Now that I’ve finally got a dependable crew in the new Battlefield: Bad Company - and a bandolier stuffed with the fruits of my progress - it’s time to let everyone who relies upon me down. Again.
If there is a decision matrix that determines what game is going to be played, Final Fantasy exists at a point somewhat beyond that machinery. The fact that I wasn’t able to fully enjoy Twelve still haunts me to this day, because the story behind all that stuff I couldn’t choke down really worked when someone else was playing it. Good taste has no doubt deprived me of a great many things, but I’m determined to pull every shred of meat off this one - pausing only to chew on the bones.
But which version?
I don’t give a shit about disc swapping, as I believe we’ve discussed. I give a substantially greater shit about a workaday final product, which is less apparent in the 360’s playable segments but sometimes blindingly obvious in the rendered cinemas. If you have both systems - the case for which has recently grown in stature - there’s no reason to play it on the Microsoft console. You could be diplomatic, and discuss the utility of the friends list or whatever, but in a forty to fifty hour single-player adventure that case is substantially eroded.
Ultimately, I purchased the game for both the Playstation and the Xbox 360. I’m not above some rudimentary politics. But I also want that sale on the 360 side of the equation to rise up, to caper on the spreadsheet, to perform. I don’t want to reward the shenanigans in the Digital Foundry article, but at the same time I want it marked somewhere that a multiplatform release is the virtuous path. I don’t know how to contextualize this tactic, which I call “purchasing.” It’s like a reverse boycott, I guess? It’s not something I expect to catch on.
It’s been fascinating to watch, purely as a saga: how what seemed like an unmitigated PR boon can curdle over time. Travelling forward chronologically from its incredible manifestation at E3, resplendent and unfurling, an Internet set ablaze, then on through ceaseless noise about discs, roosting concerns about a diminished experience, finally coming to rest with a product that makes the 360 look worse than its competitor - and not just worse, but worse in exactly the way Sony would want it to.
Are fifty hour games laden with gigs of 1080p video the future of the medium? I doubt it. Will that be indexed in the final record of this conflict? I doubt this, also.