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Bullet Points

2010-07-23

Have I mentioned how far into Final Fantasy IX I am?  If so, this is going to be a brief repeat, but having now gotten a few hours into Disc 2, I am reminded again and again why this is my favorite of the bunch.  I absolutely love each of the characters in IX.  Their personalities, the way they interact with one another, their quirks, all of them add up to a wonderful whole that I don't see in any of the others.  VII has the memorable crew and often is what everyone refers to, the heroes of VIII just feel wooden overall, X is pretty stereotypical but not bad (mostly shades of black and white, very little gray), it's been long enough that I don't quite remember XII but I remember thinking the world was much more fleshed out than the people in it, and XIII is the best use of characters since IX.  I realize I'm missing the ones previous - VI should be played for the villain alone and the story is easily the best of the FF bunch - and then the ones before are largely useless as far as characters go (though people would argue with me over IV, I suspect, and I could see their point, I just disagree) - but as far as the "modern" FFs go, IX is easily the best for its people.  I do believe XIII did a better character arc than the others as people I initially wanted to kick in the face I wanted to kick in the face less by the end and there seemed to be actual growth between everyone which is rare in and of itself in a game and they pulled it off wonderfully in the latest.  Mind you they still pale in the face of Vivi (though who doesn't, honestly?), Zidane, Garnet/Dagger, Steiner (dude rules, he's  brilliant), etc. etc., but still a worthy effort and a great game overall.  So yeah, loving IX all over again and am chipping away at my "beat all FFs" Platinum Trophy.

Moving on.  Picked up Dragon Quest 9 for the DS over the week and, while I haven't had too much time to put into it (see above), I'm loving what's there.  The graphics are wonderful and strangely nostalgic, and the plot thus far isn't too terrible either.  Nothing groundbreaking (also see above) but the world is interesting and I'm just getting into the overall arc.  I love how combat is handled and how they did the over-world in this one as it's similar to 8 and gives you the ability to fight what and who you want to fight and avoid battles as needed.  There's a decent chance I'm threatening to unleash some rift in a time continuum somewhere by level grinding in two games simultaneously, but the respective titles are different enough to where it doesn't quite feel like I'm doing the same thing in separate worlds.  Truthfully, I had forgotten how much you need to level in the DQ series between towns and plot points where you level up and earn enough gold to buy a new sword, grind some more for then the helmet, then the chest piece and on down the line until you're fully geared to face the next dungeon.  Then you beat it, enter the next town and get yourself handed to yourself by some random wandering Slime.  And it's glorious.  Out of three and a half hours, I'm level 16 and very little of that time has been spent doing anything but fighting monsters.  I'm strangely okay with that.  Will report more when time permits.

Joe saw Inception without me.  I hear it's good.  Great, even.  I look forward to viewing it.

The Road is stellar.  Thank you Netflix.

The Men Who Stare at Goats is less-than-stellar but not-quite-awful.  Again, thank you Netflix.

I'm strangely driven to see Salt.  I don't know why.  It's the type of movie that screams rental to me and that's likely what it'll boil down to, but I'm interested nonetheless and I have no idea why.  Crazy woman killing people, likely.  

Peace out.  Enjoy your Friday.