The Cycle Continues

I beat Wild Arms 5, and I have to say – of all the games on the PS2, it has the second worst plot I’ve seen.   The first goes to Wild Arms 4 – whereas in WA5, it is implied throughout that children are the future, adults are stuck in their ways and stupid, and that you can do anything if you’re a kid and you don’t give up (or, in Greg’s case, if you fall in with a bunch of kids and don’t give up)… in WA4 it is pretty much outright stated.

I still like 2 of the characters in WA5, and 3 of them in WA4… but seriously.  The first three were a lot more refined in their plotlines.  I’m hoping they ditch this trend in the next one, but that may be an impossible hope.

Last week, and through this weekend, I was playing Azure Dreams, just about the worst game I keep coming back to.  At best, it’s a Nethack clone with more pets and more dating sim.  At worst, it’s… worse?   Anyway, it plays pretty nice, but (as the title implies), as usual I got bored with it in about 15 hours of gameplay.  At that point, you build the casino, netting you all the money you need.  You’ve resolved almost all of the simple plotlines (the next being ~5 floors higher than you’ve gone before), so the game pretty much boils down to finding enough Blue & Red sand to power your gear up while leveling your monsters.

Instead of trying to finish that game, which I doubt I will ever do, I switched over to an oft highly-regarded RPG classic: Skies of ArcadiaI’m only an hour into Skies, and already I have to say – this game looks amazing.  Not in the graphical sense, mind you, but in the aesthetic one.  The game takes place in islands and ships high in the sky.  There’s this style about it that is inherently pleasing to me – in some way, it feels like it was what the idea of fantasy was designed to convey.  Something entirely different from our world, and altogether wondrous.  I’ve only been hit with a sense of beauty like this in a game a few times before, and rarely have those games not delivered on that initial feeling.

The most recent was probably Wild Arms 3.  It’s set in a steam-ish Old West style world, with seas of sand and small, isolated settlements of people trying to survive in a harsh world.   Before that, I played Rygar on the PS2; it crafted various lands influenced by Greek mythology, the most memorable of which was – yes – on islands in the sky, held together by massive chains.  Before that were world-builders like Arcanum and Fallout.  This is what I love to see in a game.  Entire new worlds crafted.  Oh, old ones are occasionally nice.  But seeing WA5, I was left with a feeling of “eh… it’s Western with vague fantasy overtones again”.  After the original, it’s hard to look interesting building off of it.

I think this is what I liked about Final Fantasy Legend 2 – so many random, disparate worlds.  Each one was separate from the others, but they were all linked through the MAGI and through the Pillars – each individual world was interesting, but there was another layer (a meta-world?) that added a sense of satisfaction to exploring every area.

Oh yes, Destiny of an Editor will be posted up here once it’s out of beta.  I think it’s getting close, but I need testers to do things I would never dream of.  Apply if interested.

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