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Stain-ed with...Blude?


Final Fantasy XIII is now behind me.  Mostly.  The main story is finished which is the important part though those pesky trophies still remain.  Gotta catch 'em all, as it were.  I'm not sure how far into the trophy hunt I'll go as most of the ones here seem to be ridiculously large time-sinks (though, honestly, aren't they all?) and I'm not sure I have the patience for them.  I would like to try and complete the side-missions though there are 64 of these and I can't say how long my attention span will allow me to keep with that.  Couple that with the need to grind just to take down a certain enemy type in the hopes that said enemy drops one of the items needed for me to upgrade just one of my character's weapons to its Ultima form and then realize you need all six of your characters to go through this...well...yeah.  I mean, it was a good game and a great time was mostly had, but still.  I have things to do.

My one complaint in the entire experience comes at the hands of the final boss.  Isn't that often the case?  I enjoy how the AI handled your other characters with you just controlling the main and while I still feel FF XII handled this better through their Gambit system (further customization of your AI peeps, always a plus), the system in place wasn't terrible by any means.  What is terrible is having the battle end when/if the character you're controlling dies.  I can have the other two near full health only to get hit with an unlucky blow and the entire thing goes to pot.  This is especially aggrevating in the final boss fight(s) where the dude has an instant-kill spell.  Lame.  Orphan - the "main" boss of XIII - has this move called Pergatorial Wrath or some such, I may be getting that wrong, that automatically kills one of your party members.  Now, you can purchase a Cherub Crown and then upgrade that to a Seraph Crown which grants you 60% Death resistance but, wouldn't you know it, that 40% just seems to happen far too often.  So, he targets the main character, you've been fighting for ten minutes, main character dies, start all over.  That's just crap.  I'm all for losing on my own merits but when I happen to die out of sheer randomness, there needs to be a fix (or an App) for that.  Seriously.  Outside of that:  great experience.  A tighter story, more likeable characters, characters who actually evolve, and a great battle system. 

Moving on.  I'm a bit into God of War 3 now and it's what you would expect.  I can't tell if it's because I just wrapped the Collection not too long ago but, while I'm enjoying 3, my attention is waving onto other things.  Where I expected to be able to sit and enjoy and just plow right through the blood and the carnage (and the blood), I'm only really going from save point to save point before moving on which strikes me as odd.  Not sure why.  Perhaps the game is just better in bite sized pieces?  We'll see.  I've managed to kill Poseidon, Hades (who is awesome), and Helios (who is lame) thus far and my revenge continues.  As you would imagine, the graphics are great though I will say that up close things seem...awkward.  I don't know how else to put that.  Where the textures are stellar and I love how they've handled minotaurs and gorgons this time around, the cut scenes are much more muddied.  Perhaps it's just me and I'm being overly critical.  I mean honestly:  I come from a time when Gumshoe and Milon's Secret Castle were cutting edge so I have no room moaning about graphics.  Lord, even Q*bert was and remains awesome.

So yeah, there you go.  I still have Yakuza (the first) sitting on my shelf waiting to be played.  Demon's Souls continues to whip me until I crawl weeping to a corner.  I need to wrap up disc 4 of Final Fantasy VIII though after XIII and the grind I know awaits in VIII, I'm not sure how soon that's going to happen.  Also, I need to see Clash of the Titans.  It looks awful.