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Training

2010-12-08

I appear to be in the home stretch with Final Fantasy 12.  I'm not quite sure how long said stretch is still going to take me given that some things take a wee bit longer than others but if I wrap the game this week I'll consider it a job well done.  Which is just as well, I suppose, as Golden Sun: Dark Dawn came out for the DS recently and I didn't even realize it.  I've been wanting that for a while now and it fell off my radar as others came and went and I just-so-happened to stumble across it in the store and now I wants it.  For the past two days I've been debating the merits of purchasing it when I still need to polish off FF12 and when I still have Alpha Protocol staring at me.  Three RPGs isn't too bad to try and juggle...right?

Speaking of Alpha Protocol: it's still not bad.  Nothing in this game is great but I've certainly played far worse.  I think my only true complaint is that it touts itself as a Tactical Espionage RPG but it's not terribly RPG like.  Well, I take that back.  Perhaps the RPG elements simply aren't implemented well enough for me to care.  You have different dialog options a la Mass Effect which tweaks how certain NPCs view your character which then opens different story paths (from what I've heard) along with various character perks and the like.  So that's cool.  And you also level up and gain experience by doing certain tasks like hacking a computer, picking a lock, etc.  You know:  spy things.  When you level you can dump points into your gun skill or submachine gun skill or stealth, you know:  other spy things - which then allows for better tactics and the like.  The problem I have with the game, and I know what they're going for, I just don't have to care for it, is that when I'm shooting at an enemy and I've got the crosshair dead in his chest and I'm firing and I keep missing because my skill isn't high enough, well, that just sucks.  I feel like there are two problems with this.  The first:  the game plays out a little more like a 3rd person shooter (or maybe closer to a Splinter Cell) than it does an RPG so it just feels awkward when I can't hit the broad side of anything.  If I miss that should be more on my own merit than random dice rolls going on behind the scenes.  Again:  I understand the point of it, the execution of it is just poor.  Along with that, the second problem is that if I'm such an amazing spy like the game would have you believe, why can't I hit anything?  If I'm honestly that poor of a shot there is absolutely no reason for me to be in the field.  At all.  I realize that I have to start at Level 1 or whatever but in background the game has set-up for your character, Level 1 should be at least mid-way up the ladder of progress.  Or at the very least come with a "knows how to hit a target" perk.  You know:  something.  Like I've said, the game isn't terrible it's just full of strange choices that make a person less anxious to play even though they enjoy (relatively) doing so.

And finally:  Joe mentioned Skyline but I'd like to quickly point out that I'm surprised everyone had such issue with the end of the film.  Did they not see everything leading up to it?  You aren't dealing with anything really good in there and the ending is what people then complain about?  That seemed to fall in line quite well with the quality of the rest of the flick and then my expectations therein.  Like paying five bucks for Alpha Protocol, I consider that money well spent no matter how much crap I made need to wade through to find the entertainment.  While Skyline was technically free (yeah Birthday movie!) it was only a dollar to being with which is definitely money well spent.  For the experience and laughter alone, that's money well spent.  If you can still find Skyline in a dive theater, I highly recommend going.