Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tiny Tina's Assault is Halfway Decent

The trend I've noticed with the Borderlands 2 DLC campaigns is that they're all kind of "meh." In each case, the three preceding BL2 DLCs offer mostly just "more of the same" and don't offer a whole lot of truly unique, interesting content. Speaking as someone who'd spent hundreds of hours in just the base game, playing across multiple characters with multiple friends, the DLC campaigns have all felt like fleeting sideshow distractions, rather than something new and fresh. 

Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (hereafter referred to as "Tina's Ass") is the last of four originally planned DLC campaigns, and it's by far the best one. Boasting totally original landscapes to explore (no more boring desert wastelands) with a nice variety of aesthetic themes, entirely unique enemy types to fight (no more boring bandits), and a compelling narrative premise of being set inside a Dungeons & Dragons-style role-playing campaign, Tina's Ass feels like a proper expansion, and not just a bloated cash grab. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Thoughts on Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VII is frequently lauded as one of the best games of all time, being the JRPG that introduced many-a-young gamer to the world of JRPGs. But there are those who believe firmly that its predecessor, the aptly-named Final Fantasy VI, is actually the better game. I played FF7 recently and didn't think too highly of it, but wanted to get some more perspective on the series, seeing as I had virtually no experience with Final Fantasy. So FF6 seemed like the natural place to start.

Approximately 35 hours later (spread out over the course of eight weeks), I've now finished FF6 and can confirm that it does in fact have better gameplay mechanics than FF7. The main things FF7 has over FF6 is its improved graphics and its more "epic," more dramatic presentation. What I'd really like to see if FF6-style gameplay with FF7-style presentation, and then I think we'd have the best of both worlds. As it is, it's difficult for me to say which I prefer as the overall better game, so here are just some of my thoughts on how Final Fantasy VI holds up on its own and how it compares to Final Fantasy VII.