*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

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The Final Fantasy (O.o)
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[edit]Oh, and Merry Christmas everyone![/edit]

Ah yes, Christmas. I truly enjoyed mine, I hope you enjoyed yours. Christopher's here, he's been giving me all kinds of phat l00t for my comput4r. He's loaded a few thousand dollars worth of programs, music, and stuff onto my computer in his few days here so far. He still has yet to supply me Nero, some Moby, and Windows XP Pro (it's isntalled, but we need a serial key). It's pretty amazing - his song collection outgrew his 40GB mp3 player - he now has a 120GB External USB2.0 (Seagate) for his song collection, which is clocking over 16,000 at this moment. Yes, that's a whole lot of songs, with which I am partaking in the love. My cousin John (28?) just arrived, which is cool. He's not a geek, he's actually an actor, or rather, in theatrical college of sorts. He's pretty cool.

I woke up at 11:00 today, did the presents routine, ate our tradition Christmas breakfast (we don't do Christmas dinner, we do Christmas Eve fondue, which beats any Christmas goose by a mile) of Sour Cream Eggs (best breakfast ever, it may sound gross but it really is good). We watched a few episodes of Arrested Development (hilarious) and some Season 3 of 24 (so far it's the worst of the three, but still quite good).

Yesterday Christopher and I went to get my present, which happened to be in the vicinity of Best Buy. We were originally getting a hardrive, but my dad called Christopher in the middle of the searching process to inform him that he already got me one. So we decided to go for the Logitech LX700, the sexiest peripheral to ever exist. It's a wireless keyboard (About 2 dozen extra programmable buttons, black, soft-keys, solid, all around awesome) and mouse (7 buttons - technically 5, as there are only three "buttons" that are extra, persay, but the mouse can press down and tilt from side to side, useless, but hey, whatever. the battery is rechargable - you just stick it on the charger when you're not using it (most important to do when you turn it off), it has at least a 12 hour life, if not more, i have no clue, but it's Logitech, so, i expect a lot). These rock, which is good. To make life simple I'm making a bulleted list.

  1. Logitech LX700
  2. Western Digital 80GB IDE Hardrive
  3. KotOR
  4. Doom 3
  5. Rome: Total War
  6. 2x Sour Altoids - Apple
  7. Blue S-Type XBox Controller
  8. Barnes & Nobale $25 giftcard
  9. Blockbuster $50 giftcard (this came from my grandparents, which is actually probably a miracle of epic proportions. you see, my grandparents are probably the worst giftgivers known to the world. their most famous gift was a plastic statue of liberty AM radio - that's ALL it did. it was that nasty copper-green. they gave them to my parents before I was born, so I never got to see them. the next year they got the same thing. in the same way, my grandparents have completely failed in getting me logical gifts. for the past 5 years, i got model cars. they came in variations, sometimes like hot wheels, or sometimes in wooden versions. suffice to say, i don't even like cars. i never told them I did. we could never figure this phenomonon out. they also have a 15 dollar limit. my grandparents aren't poor - they aren't rolling in the green, but they aren't strapped financially, so it was always amusing to see what they managed to do within those limits. we were disapointed in a sick sort of way when we discovered my present to be, well, good. even if we don't have a Blockbuster within 15 miles of us, it's definately a milestone for my grandparents.)
  10. Every album from about 10 or 15 artists (I asked for Coldplay and Modest Mouse, but Christopher gave me a few others he thought i'd like).
  11. A lot of programs (Microsoft Office 2003, Outlook 2003 [which, for the record, is better than Thunderbird, Eudora, or any other POP3 client], SSH Tunneler, PGP Encrypter, and eventually Nero, Visual, XP Pro, and the Pro version of ZoneAlarm)
  12. Fuzzy Slippers!!
  13. Fleece Robe
  14. A picture frame + scarf (from Colette)
  15. ZSNES + a bunch of games (from Ben)
  16. Two chocolate turtles (from Jared)
My Uncle will be here tomorrow, and apparantly is bringing his gifts along to save the expense of unnecessary shipping.

Now, about this whole Final Fantasy business, I'm gonna have to smack a few people up who don't think FFVII is the best of the Final Fantasy series. Best game ever? Purely my opinion. The thing about FFVII is that it's not actually overrated. The fact that 5 people just said it in my comments proves me point. Outside of the RPG realm, the entire Final Fantasy series is looked down upon, even though most people have not played them. The strange thing about Final Fantasy and RPG's in general is their scope is limited, hype is minimal, the general audience of small. Despite this, they receive no less shame and humiliation from those who have not even played them.

Why is FFVII the best in the series? Graphically, it's visual diahrrea. The cutscenes and battle graphics were good, but most of the time you were in the world map or running around and such, and none of the models were rounded - everything was at right angles. It was good in its time, today it just sucks. It was THE FIRST 3-D turn-based-combat (TBC, also referred to as classic) RPG ever. Few people grasp this, but it was not done before FFVII. That's why the graphics sucked - it was an experiment visually. If you STILL try and knock the graphics, go back to your hole. It also had the disadvantage of being an early release on the console. The PS, if you remember, came out before the N64, and lacked certain anti-aliasing technology and other minor things that gave the N64 a graphical edge.

Moving on. The thing about FFVII was the plot, the characters, character development, and mood of the game. Unless you're an FPS or action-ish gamer, you can agree that FFVII had a near-perfect plot and implementation of the storyline. The plot, if described to you in person, would not make sense, it would seem corny and silly. Play the game, my friend, from start to finish. Tell me you weren't sad and surprised when Aries died, tell me you didn't find at least one of the characters really cool, tell me you didn't get bored of the game at any point. If you're a gamer who doesn't like Final Fantasy or RPGs, don't go and tell me you think otherwise, because I don't really care.

To be a little more specific, let's look at the choices you have with each character when it comes to magic, equipment, and attacks. For only have three equipment slots, the system is highly complex. Your armor and weapon both have "slots" which can hold materia. Materia are magical items that are either a spell, skill, or stat modifier. You put the materia in these slots to use the materia, or allow the use of the materia. That's not the complex part. It starts getting thicker by the fact that all materia change your stats. Magic materia make you physically weaker, and magically stronger. Skill materia will increase a stat related to the skill. The stat change doesn't do much until you get stronger materai - which end up changing stats by 15%. That's still pretty simple, right? Here's where it starts really getting cool. The materia have levels of growth. They grow by gaining AP from battle (just a different form of exp). Growing allows you to use the magic more times in a battle, gives greater stat bonuses, or just allows you to use the spell. Weapons or armor may be set to let your materia grow at a double rate, or at no rate, so some weapons may seem better but not actually be. Now, here's the final piece that makes the materia system awesome. Each slot is set one of two types - linked or single. Single materia are unaffected by other materia and do not change the result of other materia. Linked materia can add to the other materia, or change what happens. For example: If I have the "Counter-attack" materia, and i put it into one of two linked slots, and put the "Poison" materia in the other slot, I have a chance of poisoning the enemy on the counter-attack. The rate of success is dependant on both materia. If they're both mastered, I'll always counter, and the counter will always poison (succesfully or not is dependant on the enemy). You can come up with extremely complex combinations - it's what makes the magic system so cool. It's really complex.

Battle in generally really rocked (I can safely say, that if you really played the game, you would agree that it's better than FFVIII or FFIX, again, I cannot speak for the PS2 games). As for the plot? Play it. The characters? Play it. Just play the game. Another specific thing I should mention is the length of the game. You could probably beat the game from beginning to end in 25-30 hours, if you really wanted to. However, you would miss out on 90% of the game. The game has tons of stuff to do, explore, and find everywhere in the game. Even at the very end, there's loads to do. You can breed chocobos, you can race chocobos, you can play dozens and dozens of little minigames, you can level up your characters, get the ultimate weapons and final limit breaks for your characters, you can find all the materia, you can get the Knights of the Round Materia, its hard to describe how much there really is to do just at the end of the game. There's just as much during the middle - you can get characters early, you can do side quests, the game easily has 100 hours of stuff to do in it. I have the clock maxed in my game to 99 hours , 59 minutes and 59 seconds. I aint joking.

Why would GameFAQs have more FAQs and guides than any other game, some of which have been added THIS YEAR (this game was made in 1997, folks)? Go find out, and play it.

As for FFVIII...

I consider it a black sheep of the series. Why? The characters were highly unoriginal and extremely unlovable or stereotypical. The plot was fine, I hold nothing against it, but it wasn't superb. The combat was boring, as was leveling up. That's actually what I hated most. The combat was so slow, so boring, leveling up was just so easy. I had Squall to level 80-something on the third disc. Why do I find that wrong? Leveling up should be a challenge, it should be hard, I don't want it handed to me on a silver platter. Not to mention, there was no reward for leveling up. If you got stronger, the bosses got stronger, meaning you weren't payed off for your work. There was nothing "inventive" about the gameplay - I saw nothing new or innovative about the implementation, only a poor attempt at mixing things up. The graphics were at times, more frustrating than FFVII. The textures were so low-res, so pixelated and bad, I can't describe the amount of squinting I did. It hurt my eyes. At least FFVII was simple. The game was overall okay, but I really just did not enjoy it at all. I got to the third disc, and decided I had put up with it long enough.


I consider just behind FFVII. It was a good game - the graphics were solid, the movement and feel nice and smooth. The general gameplay was akin to FFVII, in that you had a main, driving storyline that you could jump onto at any time, but there were always minigames you could go play or you could go level up or just have fun. That's what I look for in an RPG - leisurely, go-at-your-own-pace gameplay. FFVIII forced you to jump ahead at points, simply out of boredom or otherwise. There were no side quests or minigames, for the most part. They had a bad version of the card game that was made in FFIX (which i still didn't really enjoy, but I had a little fun with it), and that was about it. FFIX had a lot of funny moments - it was the lightest, most humorous of those I've played (FFVI - FFIX). I especially enjoyed the chocobo quests - I had a LOT of fun playing Chocobo Hot&Cold. The FFVIII version was also far more boring and didn't even reward you for it.

I'll end my rant now, but I hope you understand my view on the Final Fantasies a little better.
posted by MC Froehlich at

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