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Gabe / on Mon, Oct 6 2003 at 8:04 am


As soon as it came out that I was enjoying RPG’s I was literally bombarded with email from gamers offering to guide me through this strange new world of hit points and random battles. When I talked about how I was really enjoying Final Fantasy Tactics Advance I got mail from at least a hojillion people telling me I needed to play the original on the Playstation. One of my favorite things to do is find awesome games buried in discount bins at obscure locations. So when I was at my local Fred Meyer (a store known for its fresh groceries, not its electronics) I decided I’d spend some time digging through their old Playstation one games. As I pushed aside copies of You Don’t Know Jack and Bubbsy 3D I saw it sitting right there. The game everyone had been telling me I “simply had to play” and for ten bucks even. Right next to it was a copy of FF:VII for the same price, what luck!

So after playing the original Tactics for a few hours now I can say that I’m honestly not sure it’s better. Oh don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s great…but I think I like the GBA version more. There are just certain things that square had to do for the GBA version that I think end up producing a better game. For one they had to create a menu system that is easy to read and navigate on the GBA’s tiny screen. This made for an extremely intuitive design that remains uncluttered but still conveys all the information you’re looking for. Being that the GBA is a portable system Square had to design a game that you could pick up and play for a few minutes and get in some action. The fist game for the Playstation is a more traditional RPG experience where the action is much more linear and your battles serve to progress the story. Tactics advance is mission based meaning you can turn the game on and be in a battle in a matter of seconds, they really made an effort to keep the exposition to a minimum. Also the 3D battle fields in the PS version are cool but they end up blocking the action a lot. Sure you can swing the camera around but I’ve found myself in countless situations where my view of the battle was obscured no matter how I moved the camera. Just one more problem the GBA version solves. I’ll probably continue playing it for a while though. I’m interested to get some of the more advanced spells and summons. The one thing I don’t like about the GBA version is the lack of emphasis placed on the summons. They seem like they are just slightly powered up versions of the basic elemental spells for the most part. Summons like unicorn are nice but they don’t get pulled off with the grandeur I’d expect from a summon. Obviously Totemas sort of take the place of summons in this game, but they get used so rarely (at least in my game). So thanks to everyone who recommended the PS version to me. I wanted to let you know that I did take your advice and I appreciate it.

So by now you have probably all seen the trailers for the House of the Dead. I’m sure you will agree with me when I say it looks like it could possibly be the worst movie ever made. However it is based on a videogame which means I need to go see it. I was thinking it might be cool if we all went and saw it together, Just to ease the pain a bit. Maybe the week of the 15th (assuming it is still in theatres) a bunch of us can take over a theatre on some weeknight when it would normally be empty, and watch ourselves some House of the Dead. I’ll get all the details worked out and let you know when and where it’s gonna happen.

Some of you may have missed it, so here is a new wallpaper I put up last week.

Click on the thumbnail to download the wallpaper -1280x1024

-Gabe out

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