I start up the game and my bf asks me if I’m watching an after-school special. Hahahaha! Yeah, the music in the start screen isn’t the best. Has it ever been? While the game is loading, I get the most recent bits of story scrolling along the bottom of the screen, which is kind of nice.
Okay, so we’ve changed things up. Since the last cutscene I am now playing as “Snow.” My team members and I progress much the same way Lightning did–things are getting a little boring. I have no control over my team members and we’re moving down what feel like narrow hallways. Then we have a cutscene with some civilians and a few REALLY cheesy lines from our characters. That gets fixed with explosions!!!!!
Alright, so now I’m playing as Lightning again. We get attacked by a Myrmidon, and Sazh is doing bad. I keep having to use potions to keep him alive. I think it’s because I somehow got behind the enemy. There’s no real maneuverability–in other words, I can’t make my character walk around behind the enemy, but it might happen by accident, which is annoying because the physical position of the characters seems to determine how they are attacked or how much damage they take.
Despite the annoyance I’m feeling regarding the battle system, I love the Datalog, accessible from the menu screen. I can check the story as it progresses (trust me, you’ll need this if you want to keep up with what’s going on), and there’s an Enemy Intel section. Awesome! I don’t have to waste a turn or use an item to scan enemies–it fills in info automatically after your first encounter with an enemy. Of course, if you want the info right away (during the first encounter), you can use the Libra technique. I get stats like HP, status immunities, and vulnerabilities. Also, “Notes” like “Attacks quickly and relentlessly.” Nice.
There’s a cut scene and I’m back playing as Snow. I head forward and pick up a new weapon. Oddly enough, I already have to make the decision to up my attack power to the detriment of my magic power. Since I don’t know any magic yet, I guess that’s okay. So far I’m not liking that I can’t effect my party members at all. I mean, I don’t even know Gadot’s HP–it just comes up as ???. Maybe he’s too unimportant to have stats. Things progress… it’s kind of boring because we just keep moving forward.
Alright, now I’m playing as Hope and I’ve got Vanille in my party. Wow, her voice is annoying. Also, my character, Hope, is WEAK. I read the Datalog “Events” section and learn that he’s apparently full of rage and loathing for Snow because he blames Snow for his mother’s death. Wow, I really did not get that range of emotion from him at all. In fact, the only reason I understand what’s going on in this game so far is because of the Datalog.
And then I realize that, even though I’m walking around as Hope, I fight as Vanille when we run into an enemy. Her weapon, which I’ve just found on the ground???, is pretty cool.
Anyways, as I progress through this new environment with Hope and Vanille, I’m finally getting the hang of preemptive strikes. Ghouls are really easy to sneak up on and beat. Eventually, I’ve got every encounter down to about 4 seconds.
… And then I’m playing as Snow. I progress by myself for a while (thank God for grenades), and then it’s back to Hope and Vanille… and then it’s to Lightning and Sahz… and then we’re all together and fighting as Lightning, Snow, and Sahz while the “kids” hang back (I guess 3 is the max party?).
Really, the constant party changes are kind of a thin disguise for the extremely rigid battle system which has, so far, allowed for no choice or variation. And when I’m a few hours into a game, I’d really like to take the wheel, already! Hopefully, things will get better–we still haven’t learned any magic, either. Til next time!