I sort of abandoned this column for a while, and for that, I apologize. Rather than bore you with lame excuses, though, I’ll start off with what spurred me to come back to it: after 120+ hours and plenty of both enjoyment and frustration, I have finally completed Persona 3, including the FES content! I’d stalled out for a while, mostly due to the fact that, as I’ve noted before, the FES stuff just wasn’t as engaging to me as the main P3 storyline was, but I recently went back to it and began making progress again; with Persona PSP looming ever-so-close, I made it my goal to complete this particular odyssey before it came out, and I have succeeded.
I kind of wish I’d just stopped playing Persona 3 when I finished the main storyline. No, scratch that. I *really* wish I’d stopped. The FES content really didn’t add much, and the fact that it didn’t have any of the social linking that was such an integral part of the main game meant that it came off as little more than a glorified dungeon hack. It’s touted as being of a higher difficulty level, which it certainly is, but the things that make it so–lack of a Persona Compendium, for instance, or fewer save and warp points within the dungeons–appear to be there simply for the sake of making it harder (and we all know how I feel about that). Coming up with strategies for victory just isn’t as important as grinding, and that, to me, loses the general appeal of the game. Regardless, I plugged on through to the end, conquering the final boss on my third attempt. I’d say that I’ll be taking a break from Persona for a while, but you know… the PSP version comes out on Tuesday….
Since I last wrote, I’ve also been playing a great deal of Dissidia: Final Fantasy. I was braced for this game to be terrible, and to smile and play through it anyway, because my fangirl status was dependent upon it. Imagine my surprise and delight, then, when I found that the game is actually good. Quite good, in fact. Now, I definitely am coming at this from a skewed perspective, and I haven’t really had the opportunity to talk with anyone who’s played it without being a raging FF fan, but the fights are accessible enough that I haven’t gotten frustrated while being skill-based enough that I haven’t gotten bored. The storylines are, as one might expect from a fighting game, and a fighting game featuring JRPG characters at that, not exactly original. HERE ARE GOOD GUYS! THERE ARE BAD GUYS! WE FIGHT NOW! …and so forth. Whatever. It’s fun, and there’s a ton of content, and that’s what matters. If you are a Final Fantasy fan, I’d definitely recommend it, and if you aren’t, you still might enjoy it; I’d say download the demo and give it a shot.
I’ve also played a fair amount of Pokemon Platinum, and though I have not (to Elaine’s dismay) caught them all, I think I’ve got a pretty sweet party going on, including a kickass Monferno. Yeah, that’s right. I tote a flaming monkey, bitches. It’s a nice little game to get into when I just have a few minutes, or when I’m on a conference call at work…. I mean, I would never do that. Never.
Oh! And not only did I finish Halo 2 since last time, I also started AND finished Halo 3. Yes, I know, welcome to 2007. At least I’m caught up now, and ready for ODST to come out. I failed to get any actual achievement points in Halo 3, because I took the easy way out and played on… well, on easy. Don’t you judge me! I’m not very good at shooters. I feel at least a little accomplished now, though, because I’ve at least gone through this whole series without putting a controller through any glass surfaces. Baby steps, you know.
Current backlog total: 106 (stuff came out since last time!)
Now playing: Pokemon Platinum (DS); Dissidia Final Fantasy (PSP); Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3)
New games added: Dissidia Final Fantasy (PSP); Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (DS); Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii); Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy (PS2); Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3); Sly Cooper and the Thievous Racconus (PS2); Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (DS); Scribblenauts (DS); Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (360)
Games completed: Halo 2 (XBox); Halo 3 (360); Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES (PS2)