The Month in Gaming: June 2012

I’ll be halfway through the Final Fantasy series after this month is over, as well as having finished up the Mass Effect trilogy. How were they each?

 

Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI (GBA)

Considered one of the top two titles in the entire series, I was eager to dive in to this game. I had played it years ago as part of Final Fantasy Anthology, released for the original PlayStation, but I didn’t recall the gritty details. I had visions here and there of memorable moments, but it wasn’t like I could really tell anyone the story of the game if asked. I also had attended a Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds concert back in March, which included a lot from this game: “Terra’s Theme,” “Opera ‘Maria and Draco,'” and “Dancing Mad” all were played live. I had listened to them countless times since then, too, having bought the CDs while at the show. By the time June kicked off, I was excited to hear these pieces in their original form, as well as the game that everyone places so high on their list of favorites. So, how did it go? Check out the full review of Final Fantasy VI here!

 

Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360)

I continued with Mass Effect 3 this month, and finally actually finished it. I had been avoiding spoilers online for months, since I was late to the party in playing it. All I knew is that the ending was widely panned. However, I felt like I should give it a shot first with an open mind, and so I did.

The final battle that took place was insane. Of course, I didn’t even know it was the final battle, but I suppose maybe I should’ve after how intense it was. Once it ended, the game basically took over with a series of cutscenes with minor interaction (mostly dialogue options). I saw the ending, thought it was odd, but that was about it. So then I went online to read about what the main gripes were regarding the ending and… wow, my opinion changed. I understood and even agreed with the majority of the discontent as I read about why people felt that way, as well as possible interpretations of the ending itself.

Anyway, the game itself was absolutely fantastic, definitely the best of the trilogy. The characters that we’d all come to know across the three games each had their heyday. There was even moral choices to be made that were agonizing; I specifically recall one moment in the game where I thought I was doing “the right thing” (I always play the good role in morality-based games), only to be horrified at the results. I turned off the console, thinking I better reload and choose the other option. However, replaying the sequence, I realized that I was in a a role-playing game and, just like in life, sometimes you make a decision and you have to live by its ramifications. In the end, I think the point of that decision point was the overall ambiguity of it, and that sometimes a decision has to be made that does not have desirable results, no matter what you choose. I tend to think that the opposite choice would’ve likewise left me horrified in merely some other way.

But that’s the kind of awesome game it was — up until the end. I definitely recommend the game to anyone that enjoys story elements, morality-based gaming, and shooters, though it would definitely be best received if you played through the entire trilogy. Just don’t get too bent out of shape on that ending. Here’s some great alternatives of how to interpret the Mass Effect 3 ending (spoiler alert!):

 

Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV (PC)

To be honest, even though I had just started this back up the previous month, I didn’t play this too much. I tried traveling to some Aethryte gates and did a few quests but, really, I just had this subscription open in order to qualify for the Legacy campaign. Mostly, instead of this, I was busy playing…

 

Final Fantasy XI

Final Fantasy XI (PC/Xbox 360)

Yes, it’s true. After being away from the game since last October, I was itching to return. Only, I didn’t so much as return as I restarted. Rather than reactivate my old character that had years and years of earned progress, I started the game new from scratch. Why did I intentionally do this? Because, in playing all these other games in the series, I was experiencing all this story elements, many of which I had already experienced before, but getting to witness them again. And I thought about Final Fantasy XI, a game I spent longer with than any other in the series, and how I had mostly done everything there was to do. Oh, sure, there was gear upgrades I could still obtain, and there was also many new story-based gameplay elements added since I quit (or ones I had yet to complete). However, I thought it might be nice to recapture some of that initial magic that comes with experiencing the main story of the original version of this game. I looked at all the extra stuff I had yet to complete on my original character with the same kind of view as the “bonus content” that has been prevalent in the remakes and re-releases of the other games in the series I’ve played thus far.

I also thought that, if I created a character named Justice (of which FFXIAH.com showed none in existence on my former server of Phoenix), I could tie it into my Final Fantasy XIV character named Justice Reborn. And so I made a male Hume that resembled Justice Reborn… only, Justice wasn’t available. In fact, I tried that name on every available server, and it wasn’t available. Perhaps it was a restricted name for some reason?

In any event, I went with Justicehighwind, since I was going to be a Dragoon anyway. My plan was to get Monk to Level 25, then get my subjob unlocked. I would then go Warrior/Monk to 50, then unlock Dragoon. Following that, I could go Dragoon/Warrior all the way to 99! I also lucked out in that my old friend Kiddoe returned to the game, too. We’ve had a few times where we got to play together, and that was great. He helped me in quests as his normal White Mage, and he also was leveling his Thief for a new outlook on the game this time around. Even more lucky was that a Dragoon player named Chita — the best on the entire server — saw me and traded me 2,000,000 gil as a starter fund. Wow! The funny thing about that is that part of the restart (instead of return) was that I wanted to make my own way. The only person that knows who I am is Kiddoe and I haven’t made any contacts with former players. I plan to, possibly, eventually, when I’m 99 and well-geared. But I definitely like the nostalgic factor that comes with making my way through Vana’diel anew!

 

That’s all for June! Onwards to Final Fantasy VII, the first game I ever played in the series! How will it fare against all its predecessors? Find out next month!


I’ll be halfway through the Final Fantasy series after this month is over, as well as having finished up the Mass Effect trilogy. How were they each?

 

Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI (GBA)

Considered one of the top two titles in the entire series, I was eager to dive in to this game. I had played it years ago as part of Final Fantasy Anthology, released for the original PlayStation, but I didn’t recall the gritty details. I had visions here and there of memorable moments, but it wasn’t like I could really tell anyone the story of the game if asked. I also had attended a Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds concert back in March, which included a lot from this game: “Terra’s Theme,” “Opera ‘Maria and Draco,'” and “Dancing Mad” all were played live. I had listened to them countless times since then, too, having bought the CDs while at the show. By the time June kicked off, I was excited to hear these pieces in their original form, as well as the game that everyone places so high on their list of favorites. So, how did it go? Check out the full review of Final Fantasy VI here!

 

Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360)

I continued with Mass Effect 3 this month, and finally actually finished it. I had been avoiding spoilers online for months, since I was late to the party in playing it. All I knew is that the ending was widely panned. However, I felt like I should give it a shot first with an open mind, and so I did.

The final battle that took place was insane. Of course, I didn’t even know it was the final battle, but I suppose maybe I should’ve after how intense it was. Once it ended, the game basically took over with a series of cutscenes with minor interaction (mostly dialogue options). I saw the ending, thought it was odd, but that was about it. So then I went online to read about what the main gripes were regarding the ending and… wow, my opinion changed. I understood and even agreed with the majority of the discontent as I read about why people felt that way, as well as possible interpretations of the ending itself.

Anyway, the game itself was absolutely fantastic, definitely the best of the trilogy. The characters that we’d all come to know across the three games each had their heyday. There was even moral choices to be made that were agonizing; I specifically recall one moment in the game where I thought I was doing “the right thing” (I always play the good role in morality-based games), only to be horrified at the results. I turned off the console, thinking I better reload and choose the other option. However, replaying the sequence, I realized that I was in a a role-playing game and, just like in life, sometimes you make a decision and you have to live by its ramifications. In the end, I think the point of that decision point was the overall ambiguity of it, and that sometimes a decision has to be made that does not have desirable results, no matter what you choose. I tend to think that the opposite choice would’ve likewise left me horrified in merely some other way.

But that’s the kind of awesome game it was — up until the end. I definitely recommend the game to anyone that enjoys story elements, morality-based gaming, and shooters, though it would definitely be best received if you played through the entire trilogy. Just don’t get too bent out of shape on that ending. Here’s some great alternatives of how to interpret the Mass Effect 3 ending (spoiler alert!):

 

Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV (PC)

To be honest, even though I had just started this back up the previous month, I didn’t play this too much. I tried traveling to some Aethryte gates and did a few quests but, really, I just had this subscription open in order to qualify for the Legacy campaign. Mostly, instead of this, I was busy playing…

 

Final Fantasy XI

Final Fantasy XI (PC/Xbox 360)

Yes, it’s true. After being away from the game since last October, I was itching to return. Only, I didn’t so much as return as I restarted. Rather than reactivate my old character that had years and years of earned progress, I started the game new from scratch. Why did I intentionally do this? Because, in playing all these other games in the series, I was experiencing all this story elements, many of which I had already experienced before, but getting to witness them again. And I thought about Final Fantasy XI, a game I spent longer with than any other in the series, and how I had mostly done everything there was to do. Oh, sure, there was gear upgrades I could still obtain, and there was also many new story-based gameplay elements added since I quit (or ones I had yet to complete). However, I thought it might be nice to recapture some of that initial magic that comes with experiencing the main story of the original version of this game. I looked at all the extra stuff I had yet to complete on my original character with the same kind of view as the “bonus content” that has been prevalent in the remakes and re-releases of the other games in the series I’ve played thus far.

I also thought that, if I created a character named Justice (of which FFXIAH.com showed none in existence on my former server of Phoenix), I could tie it into my Final Fantasy XIV character named Justice Reborn. And so I made a male Hume that resembled Justice Reborn… only, Justice wasn’t available. In fact, I tried that name on every available server, and it wasn’t available. Perhaps it was a restricted name for some reason?

In any event, I went with Justicehighwind, since I was going to be a Dragoon anyway. My plan was to get Monk to Level 25, then get my subjob unlocked. I would then go Warrior/Monk to 50, then unlock Dragoon. Following that, I could go Dragoon/Warrior all the way to 99! I also lucked out in that my old friend Kiddoe returned to the game, too. We’ve had a few times where we got to play together, and that was great. He helped me in quests as his normal White Mage, and he also was leveling his Thief for a new outlook on the game this time around. Even more lucky was that a Dragoon player named Chita — the best on the entire server — saw me and traded me 2,000,000 gil as a starter fund. Wow! The funny thing about that is that part of the restart (instead of return) was that I wanted to make my own way. The only person that knows who I am is Kiddoe and I haven’t made any contacts with former players. I plan to, possibly, eventually, when I’m 99 and well-geared. But I definitely like the nostalgic factor that comes with making my way through Vana’diel anew!

 

That’s all for June! Onwards to Final Fantasy VII, the first game I ever played in the series! How will it fare against all its predecessors? Find out next month!


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Jason L. Hubsch

Jason L. Hubsch

I love music, video games, comic books, pro wrestling, politics, and God -- and not necessarily in that order! If you like any of these, chances are we'll get along.

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