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Sunday, April 3rd, 2005

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[games] Beginning of an odyssey?
I started FF I today, from the Dawn of Souls GBA cart. Aside from Mystic Quest and the beginning of VII several years ago, this is the first FF I’ve played myself, although I’ve watched bits of several other games in the series played. I wanted to play the entire series through from the beginning, so I could see how conventions evolved, and since I have a considerable commute this version seemed a good place to start. At this rate III will be out in English by the time I get to it, too.

I only played as far as getting into the first dungeon. I’ve really only played a few RPGs, and so things which probably seem really old to everyone else in this game are new and interesting to me, like buying spells, having limits on equipping them, classes, and so on. I wasn’t too happy about having to choose the party at the beginning, though; I hate decisions that could potentially be the wrong ones. It’s really very stressful. The only change I made from the starting ones was to substitute a monk for the thief. I went through almost as much agony trying to equip my party, not knowing whether costs in agility were worth gains in attack and similar concerns.

It’s really rather weird to have the game start what seems halfway through the story; I’m so used to a party slowly coalescing and then marching off together to do whatever it takes to fix things. Other than that it seems normal enough and I look forward to continuing; I rarely object to game cliches.

I like the graphics, though I assume they’re considerably upgraded from the original, and the music is fine. I did get my white mage killed off early on because I wasn’t paying attention to her HP and so now she’s a level behind everyone else, annoyingly. When I returned to the first dungeon I was about to use a potion to heal her and I was asked why I wasn’t using magic instead. Well, I tend to be conservative about MP, especially when I have no way of recovering it. Still, I suppose if I have only one person capable of using healing spells I ought to conserve the items that everyone can use. I just wish it had been phrased as a suggestion instead of a reprimand. I'm undoubtedly being oversensitive, with that fear of the Wrong Decision coloring my reception of the advice.

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