Crispy Gamer

Day One: Jones Plays Final Fantasy XII; Spots Menacing Chocobos

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So I knew the opening cutscene would be long, and lavish, with lots of action and characters staring up at the sky with their blonde hair waving in their faces.

But man! This one was REALLY LONG. It was kind of exciting for awhile. Some airships flew over and everyone stared up at them. And then there was a war sequence which was very exciting and made me REALLY LUST FOR COMBAT. And then some Chocobos were running around, but these Chocobos looked kind of menacing, so I was OK with them.(I'm Chocobo-Averse. It says so in my eHarmony profile.)

The game opens with a slow-paced tutorial, which I appreciated, since I'm not a FF expert, or an RPG expert. It was so slow that I'm sure anyone who is either of those two things would be horribly annoyed by it. It's RPG 101 stuff. Again, I didn't mind.

The combat system is kind of cool. I open the menu, select ATTACK, then move Reks, whose wedding was interrupted by the Archadian Empire's invasion (I'm already talking in FF Speak!), next to one of the bad guys and he just goes to town on him.

Then Reks is killed.

:(

Then I'm playing as Vaan, who Teti told me later on, is Reks' little brother.

I admittedly did fall asleep once in my chair, controller in hand, during one of the extended words-on-screen digressions about the history of Rabanastre and Nabradia and well, I don't remember what else, because I was enjoying a nice dream about Cheryl Tiegs no doubt.

I confess, I'm getting glimpses of the appeal here. I've hung around a tavern where I received my first quest to find and kill a demonic creature that the locals refer to as THE ROGUE TOMATO. And I visited a weapons shop. I think it's the job of any reviewer worth his salt to occasionally step out of his comfort zone, to play games in genres that he is less familiar with, to try to understand the appeal. So far, I think I see it. Way off in the distance. Just over that next hill (or maybe it's the hill after that).

For now, I'm off to kill the Rogue Tomato. Only about 59 hours of gameplay to go... I'd better pack a lunch.