.hack G.U. Volume 1 – Initial Impressions

I know that the first 4 game series for .hack was hit or miss with some.  The random dungeon/world approach sat well, but with a lot of repetition and a plot that meandered for a while, plus extended likely too much over 4 disks, made it a somewhat average game.

The new series looks to correct some of the problems, though being only about 13 hrs into it, it’s hard to see where it’s going yet.  The ‘offline’ MMORPG in the new series is more like a World-of-Warcraft world, with a history to why the world is the way it is, quests, guilds, and player “killing”, which is a key point of the game.  While I’ve not yet gotten to a point where your character can affect the data streams of the world (playing outside the confines of the system), the plot has hinted at such a device that the character eventually gets.

The random dungeons are still there, but combat’s improved as to avoiding being overly repetitive button mashing (combos, special attacks, morale to unleash party combos, and so).

Unfortunately, while the first 10 or so hours have a rather direct plot (playing mostly on rails through specific missions), I’ve hit a point where you need to level up in the player battle arena to continue, but this requires a good amount of leveling through random worlds.  However, this is holding my interesting, though I think FFXII will be a higher priority at this time.

Final Fantasy XII – (Very) Initial Impressions

So I finally got to get around to my FFXII copy (the Collectors case which comes in a nice tin container as opposed to plastic keepcase).  I’ve only got maybe an hour into it, but I can definitely see this more like FF 1 through 6  than more recent ones from the plot – it’s like a swords-and-sorcery world but still with technology to allow airships and the like.   Actually, it’s really more based directly on Tactics Advance, including the major races and the feel of Arabian archtechiture as well.

The combat system I’m not too fond of, yet, but that’s through the tutorial sections.  On the other hand, I’m rather excited about the skills/customization approach.  Like FFX, you have to gain ‘licenses’ to use certain items and skills; these are located on an irregular chessboard, and with enough ability points you can unlock any skill next to a skill you’ve already unlocked.  The board for the first main character is quite large (like 40×30 squares with maybe 20% of those missing), so I expect with other characters, they’ll be a lot of chance to take characters where you want.  And it seems to be not as linear as FFX was as well.

Graphics are better than FFX without being too grandiose.   I’m wondering how much in terms of voice overs and cutscenes there are since the game’s only on one disk.   We’ll need to see.

Gaming on a daily basis

Those that know me from Shacknews know that I play a LOT of games. And I mean a LOT.

While I will usually review all the games that I play, I generally jump around a lot unless a game really grabs my attention (such as Okami). I figured that for that end, if I would write down my thoughts on a semi-daily basis for games that I play, I would be better set for making a full review. This, I also think, would help others get an early idea of what the games I play are like, and how I approach games.

My plan is to make sure that I give at least initial impressions, mid-game impressions, and my full reviews (also posted to Shacknews), and anything else I find interesting with the game, particularly if I run into difficult situations. I don’t plan to necessarily do point-by-point aspects, but enough to give readers an idea of how the game is.

I am definitely open to any comments for anything I put here, too, so feel free to do so.