Tuesday, September 09, 2014

FF8 on PS Vita

Stopped playing the FF series after FF7 on the PC - could never really afford the consoles anyways. Now, several months ago, I happened to read that some old PS games could be played on the vita, and looking it up, holy wow! Lots of the old PS generation final fantasy remakes are available, including 8 and 9 which I've never played.

Got my vita a few weeks back, and the experience is kinda bitter sweet. I got a few games for it, FF1, FF8  and Wipeout 2048. I also have FF9 in my account, but my internet access here in Adelaide is quite poor, and I thought I'd finish these games before trying to put more things on the memory card.

FF1 is great, I never played the NES version, but the PS remake is delightfully polished to perfection. I think I got a few hours under my belt, got the Earth crystal, then couldn't figure out where to go next, and decided to put it aside for awhile.

FF8 otoh is an extremely slow game! It takes ages to load, I find the story really slow, combat takes forever, summoning GF's take forever (I literally could set of 3 GFs in a row, and browse the internet, only to find only 2 of them have their animations complete.)

All that said, it's fine, my main gripe is how cookie-cutter the characters feel. Unlike say, FF6 or 7 where each character feels very different in terms of abilities, I think Squall doesn't really play that much differently from any other character. Fight, Draw, GF, Magic, Item blah blah. I don't feel the individuality of each character.

Sure, each character has custom limit breaks - but I don't think I want to gamble with keeping HP low to get the. The R1 extra attack thing doesn't really help, and it gets annoying when I'm trying to juggle 3 characters, and having to time my R1 presses to the animation.

I just finished Disk 1 today, so hopefully the rest of the storyline will improve.

Wipeout 2048, now that is a marvel. Very polished, and the attention to detail is astounding. I regret having to play it on a small screen like the vita - this game deserves proper glory at 1080p - and higher. The pacing of 2048 is really fast, and with the small screen it's actually difficult to see what's coming up. When in combat races, I find it neigh impossible to see mines or bombs.

I think I've only played the original wipeout before this, so I'm not familiar with the series. Must say the slow-down effects are really well integrated and don't stick out. I am very curious about the loading times though, the game is stored on a vita memory card, and each race takes maybe half a minute, maybe more to load? I would imagine having a memory card would make modern games load near-instantaneously.

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