日曜日, 10月 03, 2004

Advent children

it's been a while since i last played the ps2. i bought star wars: battlefront a couple of days ago on a whim whilst grocery shopping (damn you, sainsbury's!). have to keep it low-key. exams, remember? in fact, recently i reached out for my old final fantasy VII discs, and continued where i left off. it has been almost a year.

Cloud Strifei was first introduced to final fantasy by my then housemate, leQ. that was ffVII, in the days of the 486 pc's. haha. i noticed that he'd be glued to the CRT screen for hours on end, and i wondered what the thrill was all about. watching it was interesting at first, but it got tiresome after a wee while. what's all this battling monsters at no end. and get on with it lah! i can't wait to see what happens next.

hoho. little did i know that day in 1996 that i was to turn into a monster-battler-so-as-to-increase-your-character's-attributes in the few years to come.

i bought my ps2 as a reward for getting the part 1 exam in 2002. after hearing rave reviews from another friend of mine, i decided to try play final fantasy x. and i was hooked soon after. you can tell i've been playing ffX if you see me in a stupour. being a lazy and unimaginative git, i opted to play with a walkthrough. i buy 'em cause they make gameplay easier (kiasuness also has a role in this) and also, they have pretty pictures in 'em. hahahahaha. yuna... lulu (much better!)... rikku (err... jailbait) *hmmmm*

oh, where was i?

Cloud and Aeris, Squall Leonheart and his gunblade, the eidolons Bahamut vs Alexander over the city of Alexandria, Yuna solemnly performing the Sending

to the unitiated, the final fantasy series are developed by square and basically involves a single character on a quest, which mostly involve saving the planet/universe, and forming a party as you go along with the storyline. it's like LOTR, basically. in fact, role-playing games have been around for a long while since the days of dungeons & dragons, later evolving to the likes of the eponymous ultima series developed by origin in the 80's (repond! pontori! anju semanr!). before you can even say g.e.e.k./n.e.r.d./t.h.i.c.k.g.l.a.s.s.e.s., RPG's are pretty much mainstream in these day and age. really.

the final fantasy series aren't sequels (bar two: ffX and X-2) and have different stories and characters. there's always the protagonist (usually a kid with some kind of attitude problem, wielding some large sword-like weapon) and the girl (who becomes the inevitable love interest, usually with a dark secret), followed by a motley crew made up of (wo)man and beast. in short, the usual group dynamics you see in most japanese anime (haven't you noticed it's usually made up of two handsome blokes, one beautiful girl, one fat guy and one kid... go check it!). all the games involve the ability to summon gargantuan god-like entities (their names are different with each ff instalments in the series) with enough firepower (ice, fire, thunder, wind... dan sebagainya) to decimate the himalayas. why do you need 'em? 'cos at the end of the game you battle the biggest mofo' known to man. you know the drill.

The great Bahamutthe gameplay is usually linear. the newer ones like X-2, the online XI and possibly XII allows the player more freedom to pursue the quest in any way they like. for the first time in my limited experience of game-playing i actually finished ffX. in fact, i got the characters in X powerful enough, i killed the biggest mofo' dengan sekadar batuk sahaja. i even woke up the next morning, replayed the final battle and recorded it on the vcr. sad, but true-waAH! from that day, i started to play the back catalogue from square. IX, VIII and currently (if you can call it that), VII, apparently the best story in the series despite the purba psONE engine.

Battling sinspawn, and on the right, Ifrit, the fire aeon

final fantasy VII was so good that the brilliant people at square are releasing an all-CG movie called final fantasy VII: advent children this year. when rumours about the sequel to VII was released initially, avid ff gamers were coming in their pants, to put it mildly. details are still sketchy today, and the movie will be released sometime later this year on dvd (due to the unexpected flop that was final fantasy: the spirit within).

Yuffie Kisaragi, Red XIII, Tifa Lockheart, Cloud Highwind, Barrett Wallace and Vincent Valentine


the premise of the sequel revolves on events set two years after the game. square has released some images from the movie, and the trailer was awesome. the trailer shows the main character, cloud strife, battling some silver-haired man, similar in appearance to cloud's arch-enemy sephiroth. pics of cloud's compadres have now been released; whether or not they play some major role in the sequel is yet to be seen.

Cloud battling Kadaj

Aeris' back?there are rumours abound of the return of aeris, the flower girl.

will she be back?

watch this space.

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go here for more updates on FFVII:AC.