Categories for Games

The long wait

April 30, 2009 by

While awaiting a final release date for Squares upcoming Final Fantasy XIII I had a look around previous Final Fantasy releases and made a list.

Now I know it’s a bit unfair to leave out Final Fantasy XI and add the delay to Final Fantasy XII but for me MMORPG variant wasn’t really a Final Fantasy and since it came out pretty soon after Final Fantasy X it’s development had probably started long before FFX was finished.

At the same time FFX-2 was only half a new Final Fantasy because it built on an existing FF world. Probably a tribute to having two Final Fantasy’s in the pipeline at the same time. This would also explain the long wait from FFX.

Game System JP Release EU Release Gap to last game Gap EU to JAP release
Final Fantasy VII PSX 31.01.1997 17.11.1997 10 months
Final Fantasy VIII PSX 11.02.1999 27.10.1999 23 months 8 months
Final Fantasy IX PSX 07.07.2000 16.02.2001 17 months 7 months
Final Fantasy X PS2 19.07.2001 29.05.2002 12 months 10 months
Final Fantasy X-2 PS2 13.03.2003 20.02.2004 32 months 11 months
Final Fantasy XII PS2 16.03.2006 23.02.2007 36 months 11 months
Final Fantasy XIII PS3 Q4, 2009 Q2, 2010 42 months 6 months

What becomes clear is that, as the visuals get increasingly elaborate so does the development time increase. At the same time it isn’t a linear growth. What remains is that the european release often trails the initial release by nearly a whole year – time will tell if Sqare Enix manages to keep the european FFXIII inside the 2nd quarter of 2010 or if all the projected dates for FFXIII are completely wrong because Squenix may want to delay the world release to get the Xbox360 version ready at the same time as the PS3 version.

Rock Band Star

November 6, 2008 by

I must admit that even I was not immune against the onslaught of music games. And that’s when I let myself get talked into Guitar Hero III and Rockband right after that, with me enjoying the latter rather more music wise.

Standing in front of the TV with a plastic guitar trying to look like a rockstar is something that takes getting used to but it has it’s charm and by now I think I am quite decent at this game. It has this incredible feeling of achievement and it is really something different than sitting on the sofa frantically pressing buttons on the Xbox360 controller.

Rock Band - Riseon - Angel OutfitRock Band - Riseon - Devil Outfit

One fun thing with Rockband was that you can customize your character much more freely than in Guitar Hero III. I have created two outfits until now that I quite like and I thought I’d share them here.

The “Angel” outfit was first and the final configuration after many experiments with white clothes. The “Devil” is more openhearted (not all that easy if you look at the stuff available in the Rockband shop) and I think it works perfectly together with the facepaint and tattoos.

One thing that bugs me with the Xbox360 is that it is not really possible to make screenshots except by taking photos of the TV. I’d love a photo mode like in GranTurismo for the PS2 where you could pose and save your pictures to a USB stick. The Xbox360 ought to have a screenshot button that would do this for you anytime you needed to but I guess that would be difficult because of copyright restrictions.

Rez HD – Xbox360

February 2, 2008 by

I already had Rez on the PS2 and loved this little gem. When I heard that is was going to be released on the Xbox360 in HD (720p) I was quite excited to see what they had made of it for this new iteration.

The graphics look wunderfull and the sound is great. The game has been converted very faithfully to the Xbox360, including the controller rumble which you have to enable the first time around.

Improvements to the original are mostly with it’s enhanced resolution although there are also a couple of minor details that seem to have been added including some extra effects (one spectacular glare effect that makes fighting the area 4 end boss quite taxing).

Overall the game seems a little bit more difficult than the PS2 version (having not played the DreamCast version I can’t really tell how faithful it is to the original).

I am not sure that it is worthy it’s 800 Microsoft Points pricetag having already bought the PS2 version (although it would have been terrible if it had been a full price game). It does have a limited long time playability with only 5 levels to unlock but it also has a uniquely fun gameplay that just works wonderfully on HDTV with a good surround sound setup.

For a rail-shooter remake this is very good (I don’t think we stand a chance of Starblade or Starblade: Operation Blue Planet getting released on any next-gen console) and if you haven’t had a chance to play this one before it is certainly a recommended buy. If, like me, you have the old version this still is nice to have, but just keep in mind that this is only a remake, not a second part.

Finally finished Final Fantasy XII

January 22, 2008 by

After playing this part in the Final Fantasy row since it’s release in germany (23. February 2007 – yeah, thats half a year after the US and nearly a whole year after japan) I have finally finished the game.

After my failed attempt at defeating Vayne a couple of months ago I took some time off finishing most of the hunts and getting all of the espers. Usually in Final Fantasy you have quite a good chance in defeating the big boss if you manage to defeat most of the extra beasts before hand and therefore this time Vayne didn’t stand a chance.

Piratennest (Sky Pirates Den)

In addition to the higher level I also had quite a good and demanding time gathering extras for my sky pirate’s den. This is quite a simple thing to implement for the game developer but it somehow adds a nice incentive to the game. Quite similair to the achievements you get on the Xbox or Half Life. I’ll just show you has become of mine:

Quite crowded by now, but I did leave out a couple of things, including the Tiamat and several other things just because I thought it was about time to finish.

My final stats are just over 4.000.000 clan points with all characters being at level 68 (and Vaan leveling to 69 inside the Bahamuth). Final playtime was about 170 hours which must be the longest time I have spent on a Final Fantasy (or any game for that matter).

Now let’s just hope Final Fantasy XIII isn’t going to be late.

Black Mesa group photo

October 31, 2007 by

Having played through Half Life 2 Episode 2 I could’nt fail to notice a photo hanging in the lab at White Forest. I think I recognise some of the faces, although they look more like the Half Life 1 models…

A group photo of Black Mesa staff found at White Forest:

HalfLife 2 - Episode 2 - Black Mesa Group Photo

  1. unknown
  2. unknown
  3. unknown
  4. seen him in HL1
  5. probably Eli Vance
  6. unknown
  7. Dr. Isaac Kleiner
  8. Dr. Gordon Freeman
  9. G-Man

Anyone know the rest or what position G-Man had at Black Mesa? My memories from HL1 are a bit shadey Wink