Tuesday, February 28, 2012

RE: Final Fantasy XIII-2

/* Long Post Ahead */ 
It had been awhile since I've played any sort of JRPG, and FFXIII-2 (yes, you read that right) came out semi-recently in the US. Before I start getting into the sequel, I'll go ahead and say it - I was one of those people who didn't really dig XIII (13) because of its awkwardly slow pace and linearity. Sure, the story was interesting, and I really enjoyed the Paradigm battle system, but I don't care how how great it gets towards end-game... One should never have to run down a hallway for 30 hours before a game gets good. That said, once XIII opened up, I found myself actually getting into it, thus becoming less bitchy about it.  So that ended, and I can honestly say while it wasn't the worst experience, I had definitely played better in the series (and no, I'm not just referencing VII (7)). Nostlagia wasn't keeping me from enjoying it. It was the entire presentation.

Initially, when SE announced that they'd be making a sequel titled XIII-2, it immediately made me think of when they did that with X (10). FFX-2 was like Final Fantasy meets Charlie's Angels. I played it, I beat it, and I'm over it. It was really out of the ordinary, even for a Final Fantasy game, where suspension of disbelief and getting into the story are more commonplace. I was skeptical of how XIII-2 would turn out. All in all, I was wrong for doubting it right off the cuff. I enjoyed playing the sequel of XIII more than I did the original. And I'm still playing it (as of the time I'm writing this). I haven't 100% it, or gotten the whole variety of alternate endings, but I'm getting there. 

So why am I bothering to write this? Well, a few reasons...
First, I feel like I need to, because XIII-2 might otherwise be ignored by those who tried XIII and didn't like it solely because of its constant tunnel-like state. The sequel tries hard right out of the gates to rectify its predecessor's mistakes. From the get-go, the game feels instantly more open and gives the player some room to breathe without forcing you to go somewhere you may not want to go yet. Second, a friend of mine posted a video review of the game, so I figured I'd make somewhat of a response. I agree with some bits of this, some not, and there are also a few other things that weren't mentioned that I'd like to touch on, just because I happen to have seemingly infinite writing space here. So watch his video (if you want), and then read on... (below the fold)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Brown Ale Brew Day

Never made a brown ale. I actually can't think of the last time I had one, even, but I usually enjoy them. So I decided to make this!