Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What if your computer combusted?

I mean it, what if it burst into flames while you sat before it with your fingers punching its keyboard? What then?

Better yet, what if the Internet went down--everywhere! No Internet at all, no Internet to find out what is wrong with the Internet, no Internet to look up phone numbers, no non-television news broadcasts or articles. Everything would revert back to the old times, would it not? Phone books would rise again in popularity, people would once more use their couches for more than just necking. Landlines would spin with the traffic of a billion phone calls, more than the lines have seen for at least fifteen or twenty years. People would go outside to hear things by word of mouth rather than by typed word, rather than by a vociferous image. Not to mention you would have never laid eyes on this masterpiece of a blog!!!! Things would be completely different!

So, that's why once a month I plan to research any given topic (or suggested ones) by using the lost art of Library/Book research. Yes, I'm going pull my library card from my wallet, sign on to the Tiger Library Catalogue (Toledo represent!) and look up books on those subjects that are in need of thorough elaboration!! Mind you, I can use only the database version of the catalogue, not the Internet version (<--if available, I'm going overboard now, right? I'll probably use the online database:)) At any rate I'm going to write down the dewy decimal number with a short stubby under-sharpened pencil on a slip of scrap paper. I will then wander up and down rows, staring up at the cataloguing numbers, using my God given talents of sequential recognition to make my way to the proper Dewey- Decimal clad row of books!! I will count, look up and down to match the number to my slip of paper, and either find it and rejoice, or stare dumbfounded at book binders that brandish numbers that aren't even close to the one that I seek hoping to find it misplaced among the row!

Rinse and repeat as needed.

Hurrah for book research!!! Topics anyone?

Friday, October 1, 2010

What in the Esper hell?

So...I haven't posted in a while, mostly because I didn't feel like it. I still don't today, but I do want to talk about something that has frustrated me since I first began my century long trek through Final Fantasy 12, which is not over, and which is the sole reason I haven't put up my Top Video games list, and actually at the rate 12 is going, it may not even make the damn list!

Final Fantasy games are known for having moments where according to certain and varying stipulations, the characters are able to summon supremely powerful beings to aid them in battle. I've played at least five other Final Fantasy games, and none of them disappointed in the summon department--until Final Fantasy 12.

In FF12, characters summon these pretty rad looking creatures called Espers to aid in battle, and please keep in mind that I use the term "aid" loosely. Along with the ability to summon these Espers, each character through licensing upgrades is endowed with Mist abilities. Please know that these will be your go to when in the heat of a difficult battle. You can screw yourself and summon an Esper if you want, but I guarantee doing so won't have the desired results. You must go into battle against the Espers to attain them, and let me tell you those battles are OFF THE HOOK. These Epsers kick an additional hole into your patootie every time you go against them. This would seem to be pretty cool---I mistakenly surmised that if the Esper is beating my butt this thoroughly, when I become his master he's going to kick the proverbial crap out of any monster I come against when I summon him---that's not the case.

Esper Shemhazai-Don't be fooled by his bad ass exterior, he dies quicker than black folks in horror movies

Espers are weak as hell. Sorry to all those online who claim that they are very useful beneficial and strong, but if my Esper can be killed by two strikes from a damn Ceourl then it is NOT that powerful. I don't understand why when I'm in battle against the Esper it boasts five figure and sometimes six-figure HP, status effect strikes that bring me to my knees, and darn near invincibility, but then when the Esper is in my employ it has four digit HP and dies if the wind blows to the left. Lame.

I want the powerful summons of yesteryear, the kind that kicked fiends butts without batting an eyelash. Sure, the Espers have amazing special attacks, but it's hell keeping them alive long enough to use them!! FF12 is different from many of its predecessors in that the summoning character fights alongside its Esper. I have mixed feelings about this. Many times I summon an Esper to take on a bad a$$ enemy, so that enemy is more than capable of killing my summoning character in one strike, so guess what, the character dies along with the Esper. In the event your summoner doesn't die, he/she needs to spend the entire time healing the Esper--but be warned, the Esper leaves in 90 seconds anyway so don't get too comfortable. The only thing I like about this is the visual of watching my summoning character fight and strive alongside its summon, but that's strictly aesthetic appreciation--which says nothing of how this arrangement benefits the actual game play.

I am well aware of HOW to use the Espers (summon them and heal them over and over because they're weak as a pansy stalk, and hope they manage to stay alive long enough to unleash their admittedly impressive special attack) but I don't like it. I hate that two strikes from a common foe will fell them, so after that big dog and pony show of an intro that precedes the Esper's appearance on the battle field, a claw strike from a wolf will send the Esper into the realm of the useless and dead.

So there's my complaint, FF12, the Mist abilities are amazing and useful, but those damn Espers, sadly, are not. Do better!!!