||[Mar. 20th, 2006|08:59 am]
So, I found out what was wrong with my controller for Kingdom Hearts. I had to probe into it further because it also entirely prevented me from playing Sukisho (the controller did not function, period), and when I popped in my brand new shiny copy of Final Fantasy XII, I couldn't access the Party Menu or the Map feature.
During the depths of winter, we had a problem in our electronics room. We basically couldn't touch the cats without getting an electric charge, I was getting shocked all the time, and walking across the room with a wired controller would result in accumulating an extremely high voltage charge via induction through the cord. Touching the console immediately after accumulating such an electric charge resulted in an extremely powerful shock (and, having long hair, I'm fairly used to static shock), a bright blue spark, and me usually exclaiming in pain.
So, in short, Sony's controllers can't stand up to electric shock. They start going wiggy, and games which use particular methods to read the controller no longer function. I now own a new wireless controller which hopefully will work out better, and we've been pretty religious about using our humidifier as well.
About Final Fantasy XII, I'm now willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on the new combat system. While originally I thought it was because they were trying to scavenge the system from FFXI, the opening combat section made me rethink that - it was pretty cool having four or five guys on my side just helping out with combat. Given that a major theme of the game appears to be war, I think they may have made an artistic decision to change up the combat system, and I'm okay with that. So far, it's not my favorite system, but it's not too bad, and I'm open to the possibility it'll grow on me.
The opening movie is breaktaking. Despite the fact that FFXII doesn't support Progressive mode, with component cables the opening movie stood up well on my TV, and I'm fairly sure they rendered it in HD quality. There's something about HD signals, even when they're being downsampled, that makes them look sharper - kind of like a DVD on a small, analog screen. The in game graphics aren't bad, but I really get the feeling that they're pushing the PS2 the same way they did when they released FFIX. There's a graininess to the outlines of the rendered characters.
They're really laying on the 'sucks to be you' card. In the opening, we watch Ashe get married - two scenes later her new husband is dead. (Does that mean she's taken, so no hero/heroine love story?) The character you use for random combat in the beginning is killed by his leader, and then you find out he's Vaan's brother. So, angst for everyone! Except, Vaan isn't very angsty, actually, which is good. (Ashe... well, let's not spoil everything.) Vaan probably doesn't know what happened to his brother (yet?). The opening town is occupied by enemy forces. Overall, this is one of the most depressing beginnings to a Final Fantasy I've ever seen. It really does give me a massive 'Tactics' story design feel, and I have to wonder if it might not have been better to stick it into that line instead of the flagship series.
I do want to play it now, though. (Argh!)