So I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIII again. Apart from the obvious obsession with Star Wars: The Old Republic, I’m not really that much of a gamer. I used to be, but it’s ebbed off in the last couple of years – perhaps due to the writing taking up so much more of my time. Also, it’s probably partly tied in with my lack of attention span. I get bored with games really quickly – and that does include SW:TOR. I have evenings where I can sit in front of it and hours pass without my noticing – and then I have evenings where I sit there and go ‘meh’. But since my first Final Fantasy game (VII, on the original Playstation), I have thoroughly enjoyed the series.
Mind, that game also gave me my first ever ‘OH MY GOD I WANT TO HIDE BEHIND THE SOFA’ jump moment whilst I was happily chugging around the ocean floor in my cute little submarine, only to plough headlong into Emerald Weapon who loomed up out of the deep like an unexpected tax bill.
The FF games seem a bit ‘marmite’ amongst what we shall loosely refer to as ‘serious’ gamers. Some people love them, other people don’t. Personally, I enjoy them for the stories that come with them. I can remember being utterly caught up in the story of Final Fantasy VII as it unfolded. X had a great story too, as did XII and XIII. I have a particularly soft spot for VIII because everyone else seemed to hate it whilst I didn’t.
So what exactly is it that I like about them? I like the linear nature of the gameplay. Himself wrote a ranty blog post about this the other day (see here for evidence). I suppose that’s why I’ve been enjoying SW:TOR as much as I have as well – the fact that there’s a story that unfolds as you go along. Yes, there are side-quests and PvP and raids and the ability to role play – but the class storylines have been great so far. (I’ve completed 4/8 of them and am about 75% through the fifth). With the Final Fantasy games as well, the music is generally outstandingly good.
But there are very few games that I’ve actually sat down and played through to the end. Devil May Cry was the first game I completed. I’ve completed all the Final Fantasy games I’ve played. News yesterday was that the HD release of FFX is out later in the year for the PS3… just in time for the PS4. What timing. But it means that I can play that game again without the necessity of plugging in the PS2. Also out later this year on HD for the PS3 is the Kingdom Hearts series. Another one that I finished and another one that I enjoyed hugely.
Spellforce: The Order of Dawn – this is another game that captures my attention for longer than five minutes at a time. I enjoy resource building. I like to get my busy little workers collecting wood, stone and iron and try to build the neatest little settlements you’ve ever seen. It was like the old days of Sim City (the original!) when all my houses and buildings were in neat little squares. OCD, you see?
The Monkey Island games – well, just point and click adventures in general. I adore the Monkey Island series because the humour was just outstanding. Also from that Lucasarts stable came the mighty Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle, again, two games with more humour than you see in the OMG SO SRS games that seem to be the norm now.
As an aside, because I really am so very old, I remember when Lemmings first came out on the Amiga. We used to spend hours just making them explode before we realised that wasn’t actually the point of the game. Turn back the dial a little further and my friends and I used to spend a veritable fortune on the Outrun machine down on Brighton pier every Sunday evening. I knew those tracks so well and actually finished it. On of the biggest anticlimactic moments of my life, that was.
Did Pac-Man ever have a final level? Or Frogger? My god, can you imagine the final level of Frogger? Also, shut up young people who don’t remember Frogger.
So I do finish some games. It’s just that it takes me a while. How about you? What games do you find you can play/replay with great relish?