Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (Demo) (3DS)

Final Fantasy games don’t interest me much any more. They lost their way back at Final Fantasy VII, and most spinoffs like the Crystal Chronicles games have left me indifferent. Aside from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, of course. And that Chocobo game for the DS. Er, anyway.

As a result, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this Guitar Hero-ish screen tapping rhythm game featuring music from Final Fantasy games, none of which I’m likely to recognise. Thankfully, it was awesome.

Sure, it’s not very deep. You tap, hold, or swipe the screen not unlike some of the bits in Rhythm Thief. And the music is nice but unremarkable. It still, somehow, was lots of fun. I’ll certainly look out for it cheap.

Crystal Defenders (iPod)

After a few weeks of uming and ahing about whether I wanted to buy a Tower Defence clone for my iPod, I caved in and bought it. I do have a tendency to get addicted to such games, but I didn’t think the iPod was up to it.

But it is. Oh yes.

The controls are a little fiddly, but aside from that it’s a perfectly capable and hugely addictive game. The basic Tower Defence unit types are swapped for Final Fantasy jobs (Soldier, Monk, Archer, Black Mage, etc.) and the baddies are FF-universe baddies, but essentially it’s the same game as found elsewhere. And very lovely it is too.

And only £3.99!

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

I spent ages just wandering the map today, fighting random battles along the way, trying to find where I’m supposed to go next.

Then I spotted a new, red, location on the map. Gah.

But by then my PSP’s battery was almost dead – again – so I didn’t actually reach it.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

It’s been a while since I last played this, yes? About two months, in fact. But Fallout 3 happened, didn’t it? That’s right. Blame everything on Fallout 3…

I’d forgotten where I was in the story. Not that it matters, as the story lost me a long time ago anyway. It’s so bloody complicated, and there are so many factions and people working for other people on behalf of other people without realising other people are pulling the strings and, in fact, they’re working for other people disguised as other people. Or something. I don’t even know what side I’m on any more.

But today I went back to see one of my brothers, and was attacked whilst leaving by a priest or something who called me a heretic. Well, he had to die. And did!

Now I haven’t a clue what to do next. I don’t know where to go (no new routes have opened up), which is odd as it normally makes it quite clear for you.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

Well, it seems to have got much easier now. I had a fight against the Cardinal (or rather, a demon-fused version of the Cardinal) which was alarmingly easy. He cast Doom on three of my characters, but since I killed him in just two hits (my White Mage’s “Holy” spell did over 300 damage!) that wasn’t a problem.

He was a sort of end-of-chapter boss, as I’m now onto Chapter 3, and am about 20 hours into the game. Of course, I’ve spent nearer 25 so far as I had so many failures (mainly on the hangman’s noose level) and retries that don’t count towards that time.

I’ve started swapping some jobs around too, with my White Mage becoming a Mystic, and my Squire becoming a Knight. I have a Monk too, but she’s useless.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

Bah. It would appear that the next fight is a bit hard too. And it didn’t help that, once again, I picked my really weak female knight instead of Agrias (or whatever her name is) as they both look so god damn the same. I ask if they want ice cream and they both say yes.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

Oh. My. God. I finally, finally, managed to beat Gaffgarion at the hangman’s noose. Only just though! I realised my magic users are mostly useless, as they couldn’t attack without causing friendly fire, and couldn’t survive more than two hits, so I sent them up out of the way to kill off the two Mystics and lay into select enemies from a distance. Phew!

I’ve only spent 10 hours on this one battle, you know.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

Just one battle played (and won) today. I went back to the only place on the map I can currently reach where random battles can occur, in the hope I could play and bump up my stats a bit.

Killed all the baddies bar one, and got him stuck in a corner while I hit him with as many non-HP-reducing attacks and spells as I could, until he decided to attack me, and I countered, killing him. Sadly, nobody went up a level in the fight at all. I have, however, gained more JP so hopefully that might help.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

Grrrah! This hangman’s noose trap level is bloody hard. I’ve tried six times now, and failed. It didn’t help that I chose an underpowered knight accidentally for one try.

And because I’m cut off from the main bit of the map, I don’t really have much chance of going away and levelling up.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

Well would you have guessed it. It seems the Cardinal is a traitor too. In fact, since everyone seems to be on the wrong side, but somehow, the same side as each other, it would appear that Ramza is actually the evil one causing unrest. Or something.

I’ve managed to rescue Mustadio (or whatever his name is) today, then rescued Agrias, all without too much difficulty. They’ve now joined my party “proper”, rather than just be uncontrollable guest allies.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

Is it me, or did this get “wicked hard” since I last played? I failed twice at the level where you rescue the machinist, and then failed (really, really failed) twice at the level afterwards. I didn’t stand a chance against an archer who could do 50+ damage each go, and a pair of summoners who could do 75+ damage to pretty much my entire party every round. I think I need to go and level up a bit…

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

I’ve been playing this a bit for the last few days. It’s very good, but I can’t help thinking the GBA Tactics game is better. I keep getting frustrated with the default camera angle, and the way I have to adjust the field rotation every couple of moves.

But it’s a more-than-decent SRPG, and the story is already full of twists and betrayals and all sorts. I’m slightly concerned that, after 9 hours play, I’m still only on level 8 or 8 for most of my characters, and in most cases have only unlocked the second-tier jobs, let alone the third, fourth and later tiers. It’s going to be a 100 hour job, innit?

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

I was away for the weekend, and this is the only game I thought to take with me. And it’s very good. Sadly, it isn’t quite as good as its predecessor, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, mainly for menu and display reasons, but a decent SRPG is a decent SRPG, and very soon I’d plowed over 6 hours into it.

Difficulty is all over the place at the moment. The first couple of battles were reasonably easy, and all of the random battles have been stupidly simple. I’ve just beaten the woman who is part of the Corpse Brigade, and that fight was trivial – I don’t even think I took a hit. However, the mission where you’re fighting in the slums tok at least 6 attempts.