Today's missions starts off with women in silly hats talking. I recognize both voices, but can't really place them... I think one's Sango, but don't quote me... HOLY SHIT WE GO RIGHT FROM CUT SCENE TO FIGHT! HOLY SHIT IT'S A DRAGON!!! A HUGE DRAGON THAT'S DOING HORRIBLE THINGS TO MY ASSHOLE!!! DO NOT WANT!!!!! NEVER TRUST A MOOGLE IN LEOPARD PRINT!!!
Well then I ran through a gauntlet of bombs, and then had to fight a smaller dragon. Flying enemies SUCK in this. If your character has a melee weapon, there's almost NO chance you'll actually be able to hit it... and I'd REALLY love a target lock, plox. In other news, where the last mission was entirely in a city, this one is in an ice field:
Which is pretty, but full of little breaks and knobbies on the ground that you constantly get hung up on in the middle of combat, so the enemy can rape you at their convenience. We lost Vinceroth and Quistis, but Cloudroth is still going, so not everyone is dead... yet. Oh, there are also some human enemies here, and they have silly Lu Bu head pieces. Also, there seems to be some weird student that's always running ahead of me... I mean, he's not part of my group, but he seems to be leading me along, or something, which is weird since I have a mini-map that points to where I should go...
HOLY SHIT IT'S THE DRAGON AGAIN!!! Aaaaaaand I lose all the chicks. Fucking hell! There are also some kind of horrifying zombie vampires that come up out of the ground and glom onto you, and then start sucking your HP... and you just have to wait until it lets you go. Right. Well, after I finally kill those fuckers off, losing Cloudroth in the process, and ending with only Srs Cat and Kadaj, I get a cut scene where a bunch of dragons fly around next to... I dunno, the bastard child of Safer Sephiroth and Ultima the High Sereph. Seriously... I wish I coulda gotten a picture for you, it was ridiculous... Pretty though.
I did shitty on this mission too, if you're wondering, but at least I did better than the last one. Back at the moogle room I... Get a new moogle, apparently:
I'm going to assume he's not a mission moogle, because the kanji over his head is blue instead of orange, which so far seems to mean shops, and door openers.
I hate being wrong... no wait... this... looks like town? When I turn around he's there and asks me a question, which I can only assume is 'Do you want to go back to school?' or possibly, 'Do you like toast too?!' Despite liking toast, I choose the second option, and get down to my exploring. I find an accessory shop where everything is WAY too expensive for me to afford, and then a guy with an orange kanji. You know... for a city that's supposed to be in the midst of an invasion, everything seems really peaceful and normal. Well orange-kanji man just told me something, and though I answered 'yes' to everything, I got no mission, and he doesn't have anything to say to me. Nice. Also, apparently the step up onto a sidewalk is too large for our intrepid students to make, so we are forever doomed to walk in the middle of the street.
Back in the moogle room is a girl with a green exclamation point:
... Does she have like, REALLY bad menstrual cramps or something? As soon as I talk to her, she bends nearly in half and holds her abdomen... and then asks me for five thousand gil. Sorry hun, I don't have it, you'll have to cough up the cash for your own pads... or whatever you wanted it for. Anyway, time to talk to Beret Moogle and see what horrible mission he sends me on. So far I'm still flying by the completely razed towns where I might actually do some good.
Well we're in a canyon now, and it's raining. Have I mentioned the fact that this game is SUPER linear? I mean like, as much if not more so than Final Fantasy XIII... but with a much worse camera. Anyway there's some kind of weird flying dragonie-type things that fly around and take out shit in the distance... but they don't seem to be attacking me, so to hell with them! Also you should keep an eye out for sparklies on the ground, since they seem to be items. We have to fight off a big flying mech thing and then... Whut?
Did... did we just get Anti-Vinceroth and Anti-Hamster-cheeks? You know, like the Anti-Sora form in KH2? Well, Anti-Hamster-cheeks disappeared before I got the picture, but then Anti-Vinceroth disappeared to be replaced... by a new Anti-Vinceroth that's a higher level... this bodes ill. He disappears, and then I get two, lower-leveled Anti-Lightening 1's. Awesome?
Not awesome, not awesome at ALL. There are like four gunner mechs, I only get ONE of my party members, and these things are made ENTIRELY out of death. I mean, I can't even hurt these things, and my guests are dropping like flies... and so are my party members. Shiiiiiiiit. Apparently you shouldn't trust moogles in berets either....
Yeah everybody died. Well then... Time to try again? I guess? Well they're killing me in one hit... how the hell am I even supposed to get up to a level high enough to do ANYTHING to these bitches? Dead again... well I almost killed one of them, so... that's KIND of a win... except for all the parts where it's EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF WINNING!
Right well... I think I need to go back and replay other missions to get my level up... and the fact that I have to level grind in a fucking DEMO isn't a good sign. I think if I get this game when it comes out in the US, I'm going to be cheating.
So... after turning the game off and pouting, I uh... realized something. In the upper right hand corner of the screen was the wireless symbol... i.e. it was connected to the wireless network... which means those people that kept popping up that were labeled as guests were, in fact, other people playing the mission. That REALLY explains the random anti-models that showed up and the widely varying levels. I remember reading some time ago that this game was going to have a lot of multi-player options, so I'm starting to think that means the beret moogle sent me out on a multi-player mission. That's more annoying than you know, since my back ups are regularly level freaking FIVE, while my level TEN characters are getting killed constantly... also most people seem to have the same problem I am, in that they don't know how to cast a Cure spell.
Well I found the option to play offline by accident... it did me no good. Which one of these freaking things will get me out of this damn mission so I can go back? Well... apparently I can't get out of this mission and I'm stuck in it until I beat it... riiiiiiiight. Time to start selecting things and see what happens!
WOOHOO! Selecting the second option after hitting start will let you abandon a mission, Thank GOD! Time to level grind!
Well apparently hitting and holding the right bumper in combat will turn the camera to focus on the closest enemy, so THAT'S nice to know. Also you can't draw magic with enemies nearby, which kind sucks when you're plopped down in the middle of a cluster-fuck.
I JUST figured out who Srs Cat looks like! He looks like a younger Cid Highwind (or potentially Loz... who also kinda looks like a younger Cid...), but with a variant of Demyx's hair:
WEIRD! Also have Quistis and Annoying Voice McAeris-face:
For the record, Aeris-face doesn't seem to be selectable in this demo, and I'm fine with that, because if I had to keep hearing her voice, I would've started biting the PSP. Oh, I don't think I've mentioned, but I've been going along leveling up people's moves with their AP, and this seems to have unlocked a move for Quistis that makes a rotating cross of energy with her as the center that heals allies and damages enemies, though it's apparently really easy for her to get knocked out of it, which kinda sucks. I know I trashed Srs Cat in the first post, but I find myself using him more and more because he's one of the TWO people you get that can't use Cure, and he's the only RANGED person you get that can't use Cure. Why pick a leader based on their innate inability to heal? Because I don't freaking know how to choose which spell to cast, and the back up party members cast it automatically as needed. Cloudroth is the other guy that can't use Cure, if you're wondering, and the only other person that has ranged attacks are Kadaj, and as previously mentioned, he's a fragile, fragile little snowflake.
Also, Srs Cat has a surprisingly nice ass on top of those freakishly long legs. What? At least I'm talking about HIS ass rather than ranting about how I want Lightning 1 to have my children. What? She's SO badass! And I know they just piled as many badass characteristics on her in order to MAKE her super badass, but I can't resist the badassery! Did I mention she wears high heels instead of the stupid mary janes all the other girls are wearing? Yeah... nice legs too.
Anyway, I get back to the moogle room and finally have enough money to pay that slutty girl that wanted five grand. She gives me something, but I have no idea what. (Probably Herpes. -Ed.) Also it seems you only gain AP when you level, which sucks. I think I'm gonna stop redoing the first mission since it has the hardest monsters, barring Beret Moogle's mission, and at the lowest levels, so they give shit XP. Time to go back to playing in the ice field!
Well I checked out the Altocrystarium again in the hopes that I could do SOMETHING, and figured maybe it wasn't letting me level up spells because I needed to have ALL of the phantoma required to level up every aspect of the spell... no, that's not right either, because the ONE spell I DO have all of the phantoma required to level up STILL won't let me do it.
Alright guys... I'm not beating that last mission. I know you're all let down, but give me a break, I'm level grinding in a DEMO. Also this is only supposed to be a weekend feature. This doesn't necessarily mean that I'll stop PLAYING it, so if I DO end up beating that mission, and it unlocks anything new and shiny, I'll rhino over Flailthrough and Co's weekend, and put it up. For now though, I'm calling it here.
Overall impression: The combination of Crisis Core's mission system with Kingdom Heart's real time fighting system actually goes together pretty well, and it damn sure cuts down on loading times for transitioning into a fight, which makes the game run smoother. I kinda of like having the attacks hot keyed, but I'd like it more if I actually knew how to, you know, change it, and maybe hot key some Cure spells... just saying. Also the fact that they give me a repertoire of three spells total, not that I know how to cast the third, AND limit the casting with MP pisses me off. Either give me infinite casting of a limited number of spells, OR give me limited casting of ALL spells. The party member switch feature is clunky. When your leader gets killed, rather than pausing combat so you can grab a new person, it continues going so your back up characters get nicely raped while you try to press/hold bumper/button combinations, and then select a new member... and if your back up characters are the ones that die, you're pretty much screwed, because once they're not drawing the monsters' ire, it gives you a whole new level of frustration in your attempt to pull new people in. Just be ready to pull in a WHOLE new party if that happens, is all I'm saying. On the subject of the Altocrystarium... I can't really say much, since I don't really get how it works, but I DO like that I don't just have to hold a button for twenty minutes and listen to annoying noises as spells and abilities sloooooooooooooooooowly unlock. Magic drawing is a bit of a confusion to me, since you gain MP from it, but it varies depending on... I dunno, barometric pressure or something. From the same type of enemy, apparently drawing the same type of phantoma, I've gotten 1, 8, and 26. What's the difference? Shit if I know! We all know how I feel about the camera so there's no need to go into that. Graphically it's a very pretty game, it's smoother and prettier that a number of PSP games I've played, but I've pretty much come to expect that kind of thing from Squenix. The collision detection needs a bit of work though, because getting hung up in a pebble an ANT could easily navigate just isn't cool.
Am I going to buy this game: Let me tell you something about myself, that I've already mentioned... I'm a WHORE. I've played or watched every Final Fantasy except V, VIII, and the MMOs. The only offshoot games I haven't played or watched have been FFXII Revenant Wings, which That Guy owns and I intend to play, FF Tactics Advanced 2, which I'm sure is around here somewhere and I might pick up some day, Dissidia Duodecim, which I WILL buy and play, and FFIV The After Years, which I'll play after Flailthroughs and Co finishes it. So to answer the question, outlook REALLY good.
Is it WORTH buying: I think it is... and this isn't really more whoredom talking so much as me being curious about what's going on, both story wise and game mechanic wise. Yes it has some systems that annoy me, and yes the camera is a malevolent douchebag, but it's an interesting new system, and once I understand what's actually going on, it'll probably be easier and more enjoyable.
Will I flail it: Unless Tetsuya Nomura came to me PERSONALLY and asked me to flailthrough the game, AND gave me a voucher that would get me KH3 FREE (I'm an even bigger KH whore than FF whore), absolutely not. There's entirely too much going on that you'd need more than a passing knowledge of kanji to figure out. I'm not saying that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to play the game, I'm just saying that *I* won't be doing it.
That's all for this weekend, and I DID have fun between the raging, so I suppose that's what really counts. Thanks for reading, and join us Monday for That Guy's bitter bitter tears as he tried to work his way through Dragon Quest 6!