The video above is dedicated to my and quite possibly our beloved PlayStation 2.
Reminisce smucks. I’m not going to do that ’cause my PS2 ain’t dead yet rather still alive and kicking and being played even now. Yes, even with a freaking XBOX360 in front of my face, I still play the PS2. It’s that good or maybe that xbox just doesn’t appeal to me then. Yet, now I’m really excited to play it with games such as BlazBlue, Brutal Legend, Resonance of Fate and Final ‘freaking’ Fantasy ‘when will they stop remaking and milking the franchise’ 13. BlazBlue and Brutal Legend are out ages ago; just finally got around buying it and no surprise about FF13 being a FFFreak myself but Resonance of Fate totally came out of nowhere.
First saw it on a “X-Button” column on ANN and thought then; the game looks bad but when Tri-Ace is given as much freedom as they can get out of desperate Sega, they really pushed their creative limits with this game. And the thought that Sega release a good game out of the mess that is Sonic (old school sonic still kicked ass and Yakuza too) is really perplexing. Maybe they just saw this opportunity seeing as Tri-Ace is being shackled under Square-E making remakes of Star Ocean and a really less than imaginative Star Ocean 4 and a number of other uninspiring games; they knew just where to push Tri-Ace’s button to get them to make this game and Tri-Ace again showed that given freedom, they can make a great game (note Radiata Stories). People might brush it off but for me it’s a definite gem of a game.
Check the review of it here by GameTrailers and see for yourselves.
While you’re at it, watch the FF13 review, also by GameTrailers which I would like to put here but I can’t cause there’s no vid of it on youtube and I can’t get GT’s video embedding to work, so here’s the link instead.
Now I’m going to talk about my impressions about Resonance of Fate and FF13 based on what I can gather from the gameplay videos that I’ve seen and the story aspect of the game will not be touched as I haven’t played the game, I can’t talk about the story. Suffice to say that I’ll take what the review said regarding the story. This part will mostly be a rant so be prepared for some bashing. Either way, click the link below to continue reading and… Flame Shield ON (it’s unlikely anyone going to read it anyway but just to be sure).
Let’s start off with Resonance of Fate, the shock of the year for me. As I said, I knew of its existence when it’s featured on ANN’s “X-Button”; from the screenshot there, my first impression is this game look like many other generic RPG but instead of sword and magic, you get guns and attitude which at that moment I felt dumb. Granted, only the story is generic based on the review but the other half of the game ain’t so generic. Maybe I could have known sooner that the game’s gameplay is not generic if I were to follow on the game closely, watching every gameplay video, trailers out there but unfortunately I hadn’t and the very first time I watch the game in action was during the review. At first, I want to watch the review and bash the game genericness with my friends after the disappointment of FF13 (which I’ll write about below) but when the video starts and the gameplay is shown; I was awed. Rather than trying to say bad things about it, I was more towards what the heck is going on?
The characters were doing some weird jumping and shooting motion that I thought the thing was cleverly cut and put out by GT but it ain’t. That’s the real-time gameplay and I was hooked. Watching the review with great enthusiasm to find out how on earth do you play the thing; which GT generously talked and explained about but I couldn’t make sense of it. Still interested, the only way I know I can understand it is by playing the game which I will be playing sometime soon. For much of the game presentation, it looked really polish for such a grim atmosphere and really sucked you into the game even though the game quite frankly lacked some color but I can still appreciate the style they are going with it. The character themselves, frankly speaking, are realistically design without any silly, atrocious, overly over the top designs to sell those characters to the audience. Heck, you can even customize the characters outfit to have the characters parade to your inner desires which I would have loved that to be implemented in FF13 (reasons below). The characters themselves looked believable in their behavior and personality; which I have no way to proof since I’ve not played it yet but from what I can see; I can certainly relate with the characters.
With characters customization comes weapons customization. Customize your weapon in the blueprint with lego like manner of sticking parts over other parts to make a functional weapon while trying maximize the weapon’s potential and having fun in the process. Admittedly, I will customize the weirdest set of pistols the world will ever see and I hope the game allow it; now that’s awesome. Not done with characters and weapons customization, the game then goes a long way to even let you customize the environment. While I don’t understand this part of the game, I can summarize that when a part of the city is opened, you can stack colored blocks on it. Stick and connect enough block and maybe that part of the city may change; I don’t know but it does sound awesome. Hate that cheap shop selling trash parts? Stack that shop with an environment modifier watch it improve and sell better stuffs; something to that effect I think. The city is not just any city, it’s this city.
I guess, you either start from the bottom to the top or vice-versa, either way, it will be a long way up (or down). Down, down and it’s all going downhill for now. Prepare for the bashing, impression of FF13 is here… oh boy, I hate this. Suffice to say, the game is almost the same as Resonance of Fate in term of genericness ratio but I thought FF13 is even more generic than Resonance of Fate (the fact that I would take my time to write Resonance of Fate in its full name says a lot). Well then, let’s take the road down FF13 and as generic as it sounds; it’s actually quite clear that FF13 have lost the plot. That statement is quite clearly showed by the utter genericness of the character names. Gone are the day you cannot even pronounce the freaking names with twisting your tongue or getting ridiculously embarrassed being called that in public (try saying Squall Leonhart as fast as you can 10 times on someone; he’ll uppercut your head). Now you get even more embarrassing name while having the name become as generic as ever (Lightning, Snow, Hope), one would thing they are Cloud and Sephiroth happy hour child. Seriously, how generic can a name get; even the already generic Jack sound cooler as in Jack Villiers rather than Snow Villiers and Jack sound more bad ass compared to the much girlie sounding Snow (I thought they are trying to kid me when I first know the name, but I guess the jokes on me). The others have better sounding name but you can still feel genericness emanating from them. I won’t be going on details on them ’cause its going to freaking annoy me even further and destroy any desire I have to play the game but there’s just 1 skank of a bitch that I need to grind to dust. Ohoho, I hate her…
Oerba Dia Vannile she’s called and is the EPITOME of character fan service and no, I’m not only talking about her clothes but about her whole persona too. How can you try to have a coherent story with this freaking bitch around; it baffles every sense that I have. Having a comic relief around is find but exaggerating that character’s persona to the point of annoyance in hope that hopeless guy like me find her kind of interesting to be a freaking great hentai material while not being in a hentai game is freaking pushing your luck S-E. Make her wear more clothes and tone down her persona a bit then she become a comical character. As she is now, I can only see her as a slut acting in a big production just to be notice while asking for a porn starring her; she disgusts me. If I can fight her in FF13, I’ll make sure she’s dead through and through. I HATE HER. Looking at her reminds me of how S-E butchered both Yuna and Rikku at the same time in 10-2. God, I HATE HER.
Not enough with characters, watching the gameplay make me feel that it’s a dumbed down version of FF12. Seeing how Dragon Age capitalized FF12’s “gambit system” short-comings and created a more versatile and technically impressive version of it while claiming that they make this from scratch may just make S-E feel angry with the whole “gambit” thing and dumbed it down to nothingness. Yes, people may argue that I may not like the system ’cause I haven’t play the game but impressions is a big thing. That’s what make you anticipate a game; waiting years for it release and closely following its development, it’s disappointing to see this. Yes, the system does need you to be alert of the situation and pick the right strategy to survive BUT (that’s a big but) like the GT review said; at first you may die because you got the wrong strategy but then you try the next strategy down the gutter which may be the right one and it became manageable. What can you get from that? Well, you still control the same way your main but just your team-mates change their set strategy to accommodate your style; giving the impression that you can still bash your way through without much thought. Bring 2 freaking healers and have your main be the ultimate damage dealer and you can get through just like in Dragon Age i.m.o. Gone are the days where one push their brain to the limit trying to confront the boss without the necessary preparation or guide to help and still came out as the victor. Now that’s what I remembered my JRPG. Just fight the freaking Persona 3 final boss on your first play-through without the help of guide or max social links and you’ll understand what I meant. I managed to defeat it that way through perseverance which FF13 seemed to lack. Sorry if what I said is incorrect because this is just an impression; if I’m wrong then the jokes on me when I played it later.
Well, I guess that’s enough of the freaking bitch and gameplay bashing. I hope that she’s a character that I don’t have to use at all and offer no importance whatsoever in FF13 while I hope I’m proven wrong in the gameplay impression because I hate to play a game when the story and the gameplay fall flat. In conclusion; seeing how FF13 is going, I guess S-E is really losing the plot. I wondered who possessed Square into this direction. Humility does a game a long way and seeing how great the first game is for Resonance of Fate; a sequel may get released and I bet that with more polish on the presentation, an improvement to an already great gameplay and a more engaging story; Sega and Tri-Ace can have a “Giant Killer” in their hands.
And speaking of “Giant Killer”, go read the “Giant Killing” manga. In my opinion, one of the better sports oriented manga out there. Story of a genius ex-football player turned manager of his old football club that is going through slumps of seasons; tried to invoke a “giant killing” by beating the top football club in Japan in their pre-season and turn their luck around in the process. A great read if you enjoy sports manga that actually play actual sports with skills and tactics rather than playing with absolutely impossible shounen skills (I’m looking at you Prince of Tennis). If you don’t bother reading manga, the anime is coming out sometime in the summer; I bet I’ll be waiting. For now I’ll end it with this phenomenal drawing from “Giant Killing” and with the dead of the Oe.Di.Va. Cheers and good day!