A great big thank you to Blueentity for guest ranting for us. I am so happy that he volunteered his time to do this for us. Yea!

I am so happy with the new character design for Argoyle! When I drew him waaaay back in Chapter 1, I was not particularly satisfied with his look. Then Pinkentity came with a robe, and Maren went through with a robe and I began to think to myself, ok, too many people are running around dressed in robes. Argoyle needs a costume change. I studied a lot of protagonists from fantasy games and comics to come up with his new look. I only hope that the real Argoyle is happy with the change.

Like Blueentity, I have gotten caught up in playing Final Fantasy XII. I am having so much fun playing along, fighting monsters, leveling up my characters, exploring new areas and advancing the story line. It’s so nice to find a good new game to play!









Stealing ideas?

Pink and I just started Final Fantasy XII. “Just started” means we’ve only put in 40 hours of game play and barely arrived in the second town. So far we’ve enjoyed this one. Interesting plot and characters? Can anyone say, “Balthier”? Rewards for leveling up and collecting license points? It’s got it. Difficult monsters for your level? Yes, they are there too. (Side note: Shouldn’t there be some reward for defeating the dinosaur near the starting city before level 15?) Rewards for exploring every nook and cranny? Mostly. The only complaint so far is the “Steal” skill.

In the FF II (US)/FF IV(Japan) late in the game you find a character that could steal. It fit the character (Ninja+steal makes sense), but from a gameplay perspective, it was a skill that didn’t get much use. The vast majority of your “rewards” were potions, items that by the time you got Ninja Prince, your characters’ hit points wouldn’t really be affected by such a small amount of healing. Even if you were the type of gamer who made detailed charts as you played (or just looked it up at Gamefaq) and attempted to steal from every monster, there wasn’t a reward item that was worth of such devotion.

So far the Steal skill in FF XII has been of the same caliber. The “rewards” have been the same low value items you could find by defeating the same creature. Overall I have been happy with the economy of FF XII. Finding a small pebble or pelt feels reasonable. Receiving a broadsword and a large bag of gold from a tiny spider stretches the suspension of disbelief. The stealing skill shouldn’t net something powerful every time, but occasionally there should be the “Oh, wow! I just got a …”. Possibly the monsters in FF XII have a common/rare steal option and I just haven’t observed it yet.

Perhaps later in the game there will be more interesting rewards, but so far stealing has been “what’s the point?” One could reasonably expect that a “boss” monster should have something interesting to remove from his person, such as the Magus Sisters or the Slasher/Ozzie/Flea trio in other SquareSoft titles, but lifting a potion from Judge Gris really doesn’t inspire me to keep trying this skill. I can get loot faster by working on dispatching monsters instead of having gambit slots dedicated to stealing.

Then again, perhaps SquareSoft is trying to send a moral message about the futility of stealing verses working for what you want…