Sunday, September 13, 2015

Review of Star Wars Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Star Wars: The Journey to the Force Awakens
Lost Star by Claudia Gray

This is the second Star Wars novel I have read this week that leads up to the Force Awakens this December. The first was Aftermath, I and really need to read that one a second time to see how I feel about it.

The good. The story of what happened in movies A New Hope through Jedi being told from a different perspective. Seeing how two people can view things completely different, even with how much they love each other. Ciena holding onto her need for order, even after seeing what the Empire was capable of (especially with the destruction off Alderaan. Her struggle with this was so damn good. She wanted so badly to believe that they Empire could bring order to the galaxy. Even at the end where she was wanting to end her life because she saw it as the only way she could have her honor. Holy shit! Her struggle to try to be a part of a the Empire while watching them do the horrible things they did was painful at times. She really wanted them to be something more, but in the end she found herself only losing everything she cared for in a cause she no longer believed in. 

Then there is Thane. He wants to believe in the Empire as well, or at least be able to fly cool ships. But after Alderaan, he cannot stay with them anymore. It isn’t that he even wanted to be a part of the Rebels, he just could not be a part of the Empire. It wasn’t until latter that the realized that he could do more and was recruited by my favorite Star Wars person, Wedge Antilles. Then he really saw the things the Empire did, such as terror through intimidation and even slavery. He eventually came to believe in the cause they fought for, but all the while still loving Ciena and wishing they could be together. 

Seeing the events unfold was really cool. Ciena and Thane both loved each other, but were on the opposite’s side of a horrible war. It did feel a bit forced at times that these two characters were always involved in major moments, but it was still cool to see things from their view. Things like The Death Star being destroyed, and the battles at Hoth and Endor. But overall, it was just sad to watch these two people that loved each other, but would likely never be together. Painful. But well done. 

It is a slow burn as the first third of the book is setting up the eventual defection of Thane and how that would affect the two friends/lovers. But it is worth is as just the behind the scenes look at the Empire was awesome, even when Thane got to dance with Princess Leia.

The last three chapters really were emotional as it looked like Ciena would do the only thing she could think of to be able to hold on to her honor. Crash the star destroyer into Jakku. That is intense as she felt as she had lost everything and this was all that was left. The fact that Thane saved her from that and into custody of the New Republic was crazy. What a bittersweet ending to a great book. Very emotional and very well done.

The bad. I really have to nitpick here as there wasn’t TOO much bad about it.

But does every star wars anything have to used “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”, and “rebel scum”, so much? Aftermath did this as well. I don’t think we need such ham-fisted reminders of the movies. Paying homage to the movies is good, but I feel it is being done too much in the new canon.

It was a bit forced how they were there for ALL of the famous events from the movies. There is an entire galaxy after all. Also, always just happened to be in the same area? As I said earlier, it was cool, but it did feel a bit forced.

Both of those things are very minor as the book was amazing. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Review of the original Final Fantasy

The first game of the Final Fantasy Challenge to rate all of the games and finally answer the question which is best. 

Final Fantasy
Time played: 32 hours
Everything will be rated on a 1-10 scale (1 being the worst and 10 being the best).
Total Rating 3.4 out of 10

Story-I guess there was a story in there somewhere. Your goal is to just rid the world of evil!  Oooook. It is pretty standard stuff, you are going to fight the fiends that got together and tried to take over the world? Or something? With all the grinding that went into the game, I forgot about the story most of the time…which is ok since it was not that interesting anyways.

The big twist where you find out that Garland (the first sort of boss in the game) is behind it was ok. I mean since you never really knew what was going on in the first place, him coming back was kind of surprising. Also, the game did not give you ANY direction sometimes. That is the problem when there weren’t any notable npc’s to interact with. Yes, you could wander around exploring, but the crappy gameplay made that not enjoyable. I had to go online and look up where to go sometimes because otherwise I would have thrown my ps3 out the damn window.

Rating 2 out of 10

Characters-I believe this is the only game in the series that doesn’t have named characters. It showed as you just chose four different classes and named them. I chose Warrior, monk, red mage, and white mage. At first I had thief and black mage, but the thief in the game is the worst of any game I had ever played. He was USELESS. Yes, he could have eventually become a ninja later on, but he could not hit anything and almost died constantly. Eventually you could upgrade to a better version of your class, but it took so long to happen that it really did not help much in ways of gameplay.

Also it was crazy how much loot there were for the warrior, but not really anyone else. Everyone else barely had any armor and just got their asses handed to them. But the fighter would find new armor, and swords, and shields. Meanwhile, my monk and red mage were barely living in most fights. Thank goodness you could buy potions, cuz you used them often.

There was nothing to connect you to them. They were just four heroes that went around trying to save the world. There were no npc’s in the game worth mentioning as you rarely interacted with anyone.

Rating 2 out of 10

Villains-Nothing too interesting as the story is just telling you go to defeat the fiends. The twist was kind of wasted as you find out that Gordon is behind all of it and you thought you had killed him. Marilith at least looked cool.

Rating 2 out of 10

Setting/theme-Other than the end of the world there was not much of a setting. It could be at this point in rpg’s that it was not that important? Hell I don’t know. But the world was not flushed out at all. There were villages with dwarves and elves, but they added nothing at all to the world.

There was also no real theme to the game, other than just “go destroy evil”. I keep using the same words as there was nothing to really get to connect with the game at all.

Rating 1 out of 10

Battle System-I know this was the first game in the series, but was not enamored with the battle system. Well, that isn’t true, the system itself was ok, but what was NOT ok was how much you had to fight. It was ridiculous. I mean you could take five steps and have five different fights. What made that even worse was the fact that the monsters in the game constantly ambush you. I mean A LOT. There was a time when I got to the Terra Cavern to fight the Vampire there, and I was ambushed 8 straight times. Then I one shot the vampire. Really? He was a boss.

The slots for the magic was also annoying. That doesn’t even get into how expensive it was just to buy the magic. I have always preferred a mp method (like they use in like every other one). At most times you would only have one or two really helpful spells, and when you are stuck in a dungeons fighting every step…it wasn’t good.

Rating 2 out of 10


The game itself was not that hard. The bosses were easy to the point of pathetic in most cases. In defense of the game that is likely do to all of the grinding you had to do. So by the time you came to bosses, you were fairly powerful.

Everything poisons you. I mean it was ridiculous how much I had to back and keep buying antidotes at first. Later on you just bought a bunch.  As I mentioned above, the ambushes made the game hard at times. You would get attacked and before you knew it they had killed both the red mage and white mage. Game over since there were not phoenix downs yet. I died a few times this way.

Also, taking a canoe on the water? WTF. The enemies on water are maybe the hardest in the game for where you are level wise. I mean they were brutal, and you had to take a few paths that could only be taken this way and wow they were hard. Ambush meant death in those fights a lot of times.

Score 7 out of 10

Fun factor-There was not really any point where I enjoyed playing this. Maybe the first time, for a few minutes, before all of the fighting got me frustrated. The biggest thing I could say about this game is that I would not tell anyone to play it. It isn’t worth the 30 hours I put into it.

Rating 1 out of 10

Overall 3.4 out of 10. The game just doesn't hold up. Yes, it was the first in the series and there is something to say about that, but overall it was not a real enjoyable experience. This doesn't take away from how much I love Final Fantasy, but this specific game is one I would not play again.