Saturday, April 24, 2010

(The Triumphant Return Of) SuperNerdSaturday

For the first time since its inception, I'm back with this shrine to all things geek here at the Anti-Stepford. And man, has it been a geeky six weeks over here...

To recap, when last we visited, I was drooling with anticipation for the newest installment in the Final Fantasy series. It had been eons since I had lost myself in a quality RPG, (The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion may have been the last...) and Squaresoft/Enix has always had a place in my heart. Shortly after creating SNS, I got my wish. Many long hours and sleepless nights ensued.
Bestie, gamer geek extraordinaire, and I shared custody of this epic three disc behemoth, creeping clandestine into the other's room, extracting the current disc like it were made of gold, taking care not to the wake the other, who was more than likely asleep with the menu screen on indefinite loop (for those hardcore gamers out there, waking with your controller in hand is part of the joy... "Dearly Beloved" - the title screen track from Kingdom Hearts, is one of my favorites).
Three discs. Holy shit. Bestie and I devoured the game with glee, grinding levels and smiling with every familiar reference - from Cid to the Moogles (Kupo!) We plodded along with high hopes. Trading impressions and boss battle tips as the days progressed. Being total, well, nerds.
Two things happened during the course of playing this game. Number One: I broke my hard drive. Sonofamuthafuckin whore in Babylon. Yeah. And having not connected to XBox Live in some time, I'm pretty sure all my save data is burning in hell with said hard drive. This is the quintessential FML.

BUT, as I lamented the hours invested, I realized I didn't care all that much to start over again. Are you kidding me? This is a FF GAME. Replay Value is equivalent to Unobtanium. Should've been a minor bump in the road, but it wasn't.
For starters, the leveling style was largely reminiscent of the the Sphere Grid in FFX, this time represented in Crystals that are earned at the end of battles. There is no Gil earned through battle, and no EXP/MP. A little jarring at first, but manageable. I'm used to many different flavors of the same enchilada... But I digress. The Battle System is an interesting hybrid of turn based and real-time, using Paradigms (Battle Strategies) as active combat. Once I got the swing of things, I found that I loved this new attack system. But my eagerness and excitement were quickly dimmed as I progressed through Disc One. The game, known for its sweeping open realms, is largely linear in this installment. Don't get me wrong, I love a good story line (The mind blowing twist in StarOcean? Aerith?) but this one draaagggeeedd. Maybe it was the absolute lack of free exploration, and the less than stellar characters, but I wasn't grabbed the way I was hoping. I wanted to eat, sleep, and breathe Final Fantasy XIII until I puked. And not to be a spoil sport (*hint, hint* don't read if you don't want me to ruin it for you, kthx) - but NO Airship? NO towns to explore? Seriously?!? An overall feeling of disappointment is all I left with (and for the record, Bestie as well, who has far more comparative knowledge on the subject, and to whom I defer to in all things Holy and Console related) Perhaps I'll revisit it in the future, but for now, Mass Effect 2 is up at bat.

In other nerd-er-iffic news, Dr. Who returned last Saturday night on BBC America with Series 5 - the debut of the 11th Doctor played by Matt Smith, and his companion, Amelia Pond, played by Karen Gillan. Mr. Anti-Stepford and myself were trepidatious. Who could *possibly* replace David Tennant? I cried like a bitch during "The End of Time" & "Journey's End", not gonna lie. Eleven better be a demigod, or there's no hope.

I was caught completely off guard. The rambling, goofy Doctor played by Matt Smith is endearing and affable, his Scottish companion quirky and full of spunk, without all of whining of Donna Noble. Not to mention she's smokin' hot. Wouldn't mind making her breakfast ;-) Again, I digress...
With the departure of David Tennant, head writer Russell T. Davies also left the series, only adding to my doubts about this new Doctor. But once again, color me shocked and awed, the spectacular script writing promises an engaging story line and plenty of room for the characters to grow. Don't get me wrong, I'll always love 10 and Rose, but I'm giddy for tonight's installment of Episode Two "The Beast Below".

My, how I ramble. So much to catch up on, only so much mindless babble one can write in one day. The natives are restless, and its time to unplug and soak up some sunshine.

What nerd flag are YOU flying of late? Hmmm?

Listening to: Coheed and Cambria - Welcome Home
via FoxyTunes

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