giovedì, giugno 28, 2007

At Long Last!

Disclaimer: This is a rambling post. That's because I haven't blogged in a long time, and whenever that happens I tend to ramble like how I'm rambling now. Of course it's not the kind of mindless ramble you'll find on your Average Joe's blog. Well actually, it is, but I'd like to think that it's not because I love living in denial. Egypt? Who said anything about Egypt? What does Egypt have to... OHHHH! I said denial, not the Nile, idiot! Oh look at me. I just don't stop rambling, do I?

And I'm NOT high!

I'd love to tell everyone that I'm right now lounging on a tropical island, listening to the waves, sipping from a coconut and having someone play Pop Goes the Weasel on the ukelele, transposing occasionally.

But I can't. Because there are no waves, no coconuts and very few people who know how to play the bloody ukelele here in Singapore. At least it's a tropical island.

It doesn't matter though, because one thing makes up for all that - my brother's friend's PS2, which he doesn't seem to want back for some odd reason. That means I finally get to play Final Fantasy XII.


No one can beat Square-Enix when it comes to CG graphics! Take a look for yourself:

The Official FFXII Poster

(click to enlarge)
Vaan, the main character in town. He looks disturbingly like FFVII's Squall with his hair bleached... and that leads me to one of the very few complaints that I have to make. There doesn't seem to be much character diversity in this game... well that could also be due to the fact that I've only played 10 hours so far. But the way things are going now, it seems that all the characters either behave in similar fashion or they don't say much at all. There is however, one exception. More on that later.

The exception. Balthier is easily the most colourful character of the game, playing the role of the lovable scoundrel. Balthier is a Sky Pirate, speaks with a Brit accent, and is pretty charming despite being a rogue. He's got a snide sense of humour to top it all up. You'd trust this kind of person with your life, but you'd be daft to trust him with a dollar. Looks a bit like Seifer from FFVII doesn't he? Are Square-Enix running out of character ideas?

(click to enlarge)
The battle in FFXII is now in real time. That is to say, no more random 'encounters' while running around. Your opponents are visible for you to attack - kinda ala EverQuest and WoW. Another difference is that unlike the previous FFs, your party members now attack simultaneously depending on how quickly their ATB charges. Really refreshing change in the battle style. The 'random encounters' system can get pretty annoying after a while.

(click to enlarge)
Character development is now based on licences. This is rather similar to the Sphere Grid in FFX. However, one major exception is that you even need licences for equipping stuff. Another major difference from the Sphere Grid is that the Licence Board is more flexible, allowing your character the choice of either becoming a jack-of-all-trades or a master of one.

I haven't forgotten the chicks. Save the best for last. This is Princess Ashe. Apparently the Imperials staged her death, for reasons completely unknown to me. Need to play more to uncover the plot I reckon. Ashe is quite possibly the female protagonist of this game. Her character? She's not someone to mince her words. Sometimes she resembles a feminist who woke up on the wrong side of bed, which is VERY dangerous.

This one is of Ashe during her wedding. Again I have no idea how, why or when this all comes into play, but the beauty is that with CGI this sophisticated, it's not going to matter, is it?

This is Penelo. She is Vaan's childhood friend. She quite a lovable girl - chirpy, bubbly and optimistic. Slightly similar to Rikku in FFX. Very girl next door type.

Well that's it. Every minute spent here blogging is one minute less to get on with my game. So there. I'm off!

On a before-I-go note, I went shoe shopping with Lynette yesterday (well okay... more like she had to shop for shoes. I just tagged along for the free amusement). At one point she asked me, with reference to her company, "I'm not that bad right?"

To which I replied, "compared to tubercolosis, I guess you're alright."

It took her about 4 seconds before that sunk home. Naturally, I followed up with the truth. I chose to spend time with her over Final Fantasy XII. That in itself spoke volumes! She of course didn't see the import of that choice, but I bet there are a lot of guys right now probably complaining how stupid I was to do that.

But spending time with her is worth it. AND I managed to get find my mushrooms! :)

I'll blog on that another day.

giovedì, giugno 07, 2007

Sports Entertainment

I feel like I'm in Year One all over again, especially after running through several concepts in Media Studies with the hopeless freshpeople. Of these concepts, included was the difference between sports and sports entertainment. In a nutshell, sports entertainment would be the stuff you see on WWE (i.e. professional wrestling). Everything else falls under sports.

And then, on Tuesday, while having a drink at Murni, I witnessed the perfect example.

Wrestling is a sport.

But watching Sze Jia wrestling the Kit Kat vending machine, now THAT's sports entertainment.

To all the freshies, good luck for your exams.

You're all gonna need it.