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The plot is decent but manages to fall short of epic despite the usual "topple the world order to save it from evil" stuff, the characters start out incredibly annoying but eventually get less so (with the exception of Vanille, who has both the most annoying voice and the most annoying dialogue I've ever seen. Also my current lack of hatred for the characters might just be simple exposure). The mid to end part of the game where you're allowed to run around and do all the cool stuff is... disappointing. The world only has 5 or 6 (albeit large) areas to run around in, the only sidequest/minigame things you can do are bounty hunting (to be specific, killing monsters. No "retrieve my purse I left it in that lake" kind of thing) and treasure hunting from the back of a chocobo. There are no people anywhere that you can interact with, and the monsters all fit into a relatively small number of templates such as 'flan', 'behemoths', 'flying dragon thingies'. The graphics are gorgeous, the music is highly disappointing. The combat system has swapped in micromanaging your characters for micromanaging your party tactics, and the score you get from the battle (which fuels your "do awesome stuff meter" and includes summons) is dependent on finishing the battle as fast as possible, so it turns into something of a reflex-based/button-mashing experience. I personally enjoyed the combat as switching between party tactics is something of an art form, but it's not friendly towards people who like to have time to plan.

Overall, the game ends up being pretty average. The plot is disappointingly short, the world, usually a star exhibit in its own right, is physically large but conceptually tiny. I'm increasingly coming away from my gaming sessions with the feeling that they spent all the development money on graphics and voice acting, but forgot to develop the content to go with it. The end result is an interactive movie that's fine as long as you don't want to do anything outside of combat or gawking at the pretty scenery.
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1) Pick a complex concept/object/person
2) Pick a common/simple object/concept/person
3) You have a couple of seconds in which to make an analogy that somewhat makes sense OR if you want to play it multiplayer, everyone takes turns coming up with an analogy, the sillier the better. The analogy must involve likening the complex thing to the other thing.
4) Everyone votes on how good it was.
5) GOTO 1

Today's post brought to you by being bored at the bus stop. Incidentally, at the same bus stop I saw a random sticker saying "the Earth is lonely"
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NB: sorry for the incoherentness of this post, this is really one of the ones that's more for my benefit than yours :) I have lots of ideas for good posts in the future that I haven't written yet, like how intelligence is relative, and teachers aren't appreciated in Australia, and.. I forgot the rest already :(

Well first off, I had another dream about computer games that don't exist (yet..). This one was kinda lemmings style, where you had 4 dudes and you had to get them to the end of the level, only the dudes and everything else were drawn vector style, and the level was an endless loop of some kind.

In other news, Software Construction exam was ok except for my stupid moment of not being able to remember how to use tr properly and I ended up implementing it in Perl using two 26-character hashes..
Had a Microprocessors study session with the Shirefolk yesterday, we ended up spending about 50% of the time arguing about two's complement and IEEE floating point representation, but despite all this we ended up covering a lot of ground (and hey, now we all know how to do two's complement and floating point representation REALLY WELL..)

Spent most of today running around doing stuff for the flat. I also told Alex how I had no desire to spend money on computer games anymore, less than a minute before walking into EB and seeing something I absolutely had to buy.
Spent the rest of today gossiping and procrastinating.

At the Micros study session board games came up briefly and it turns out the Shirefolk are all fans of card and board games. Makes me really want to resurrect the idea of CardBoardSoc, since now I would have a potential base of people interested. I also still really wanna play D&D one day, or failing that do the next best thing, which is running D&D for my friends. Yet another thing to do in my limitless spare time.. right after I finish making my board game projects..and watch all those DVDs I bought.. and play those games.. *sigh*

I can't wait for exams to be over. I'll be moving out and finally having time to pursue some of those things in the above list. And probably a few others I forgot about... it's really sad when you have so many things on your "want to do" list that you can't even remember them all anymore, even though they're all things you're really really really interested in..

New games: Shadow of the Colossus
Megadrive games collection (cmon, it's awesome! It's got Golden Axe and Sonic and Columns and..)
New/resurrected ideas: D&D, vector-lemmings!(needs a better name obviously), board games, CardBoardSoc!!!!!
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I think possibly I game too much? At least that's what my subconscious seems to be telling me :P But it's cool how every time I have one of these dreams it's a new game/scenario that I've never seen before.

So this game.. where do I start? You start with a fixed number of points and the aim is to get to your exit in the level with the greatest number of points. Each player has their own exit which they are heading towards. Every time you fall off something, or trip over an obstacle, or something like that, you lose some points. You can see how many points are being deducted because large cartoonish numbers appear over your head every time you gain or lose points.
Now, the game world is mostly like the real world except for one detail: You can change the world using your mind. Kind of like the Dream World in the Wheel of Time series, if you're familiar with that. That is, you can create a steed to ride if you want but it only lasts as long as you can maintain the concentration needed to sustain it. And this is where competition with the other players comes in. You can gain points and make the other player lose points by distracting them. For example, in the dream I was riding a steed or climbing a tree or something like that when my opponent started taunting me, telling me not to imagine the horse/tree/whatever to start disappearing. And so of course, like imagining a pink elephant, the surface beneath my hands immediately started disintegrating. But it lasted just long enough for me to reach the exit anyway, luckily for me. Anyway, every time you successfully do something to disadvantage the other player you gain some points.

That's pretty much all the info my dream gave me. I assume that there are also wild animals wandering around that need to be dealt with in some fashion, and the like. And it's probably Quake deathmatch style, where first person to win X rounds wins overall. Or else you tally the points up over consecutive matches and get an overall winner.


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