Some stories have this visceral way of latching on… or perhaps it is us who latch on… either way I see it as a parasitic buffet. A feeding frenzy where all it takes is that scent of blood, and then there’s no turning back. The story and the audience are suddenly dancing and for as long as the song lasts, there is no one else in the room. I’m sure that you can relate to what I mean, perhaps if you’ve seen either Wall-E or The Dark Knight this summer.
Well, there’s another tale involving a Dark Knight that has me in it’s vice. Final Fantasy 2 on the Super Nintendo was one of the first games I remember playing that was just all-out-awesome. It had me completely captivated and to this day is still one of my utmost favorite stories. I don’t know if I should be embarrassed, or proud to admit that I own several copies of the game. Final Fantasy 2 for the Super Nintendo, Final Fantasy Chronicles for the Playstation, Final Fantasy IV Advance for the Game Boy Advance, and now Final Fantasy IV for the Nintendo DS.
It’s a game that has it all (in my opinion). Amazing Artwork, Memorable Music, Spectacular Story, and was just all around an A+ game. The SNES version rocked. The Playstation version was so slow and had such atrocious load times that it was practically unplayable. The FMV’s were … ugly, too. The Game Boy Advance version however won me back. It included extra plot, dungeons, and a more true translation and difficulty level. All around, it was executed very nicely, and didn’t attempt anything that they weren’t prepared to follow through on.
I’m only an hour into the DS version, and I’m not sure what to think yet. Square Enix seems to have done very nice remixing of the music, a fantastic opening FMV, and legitimately appear to have tried to improve the script and have nice 3d graphics. The game is perhaps best suited for a console however. I’m already starting to feel claustrophobic and wishing I could zoom the camera out. The voice acting is also poorly done, and quite stiff. I want to think that maybe it’s just because I’ve been watching more movies lately… but that shouldn’t really ever be an excuse. The Kingdom Heart’s voice acting was extremely well done… and though it was amusing, I just can’t go back to this.
At any rate, I’m sure I’ll enjoy the game. I just need to get through it in time for this.
I also want to mention Folding@Home.
Folding@home is a distributed computing project — people from throughout the world download and run software to band together to make one of the largest supercomputers in the world. Every computer takes the project closer to our goals. Folding@home uses novel computational methods coupled to distributed computing, to simulate problems millions of times more challenging than previously achieved.
If you aren’t familiar with it, check it out. You also get to join groups and get points. Not that these points can be redeemed for anything but awesomeness. Note that I don’t think it’s actually calculating my awesomeness correctly at the moment…