Final Fantasy X HD: Just getting started

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I’ve been slowly making my way through Final Fantasy X HD on the Vita recently. Final Fantasy X was actually my first Final Fantasy game, back in high school (I first rented it from Blockbuster in 2004). I fell in love with the game almost immediately and it took me most of the summer to finish but I enjoyed every moment of it. I was blown away by the characters, the music, the world, it was all unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

So far my return to Spira has been enjoyable. The Vita makes for a great platform to experience Final Fantasy X on. It’s great to pick up and play in small spurts here and there, and yet once you start it’s hard to put down. The game looks very crisp on the display, and the HD upgrade is pleasant to look at.

Last night I made it to two of the first challenges in Finaly Fantasy X, the rapid fire encounters with both Sin and Sinspawn Echuilles.

final fantsy x HD sin

The cutscenes before and after the Sin encounter are incredibly good looking (they were mind blowing back on the PS2) on the Vita. I forgot just how darn good FFX looked at times. The battle with Sin was easier than I remembered it being, I just pecked away at Sin with Lulu and Wakka while Tidus slashed away at the Sinspawn. I finished the fight without any real trouble.

Without anytime for a breather you’re thrown right into the Sinspawn Echuilles fight, which is actually a bit more challenging than the Sin fight.

Sinspawn Echuilles Final Fantasy X HD

You’re only given Tidus and Wakka during the fight, and Echuilles presented me with my first KO situation (I suffered a few KO’s during the fight but made it through without a complete wipe!). The fight was the first exciting encounter of the game, however with some tactical thinking it didn’t go too horribly. I had Tidus cast Cheer while Wakka used his Dark Attack which saved me from most of the Drain Touch attacks. His Blender attack, however, left me in some critical health situations that I barely escaped. Fortunately I made it through the fight to be greeted with some more scenes featuring Sin’s destructive power.

I made it into Kilika and hit up the Sphere Grid before saving and calling it a night.

Final Fantasy X HD spehere grid

I remember the Sphere Grid being quite confusing at first, but eventually it became an almost addictive leveling system. Being able to see all of the ways you could power up your characters made me want to grind away and try to get as powerful as I could. I do wish the Sphere Grid would take advantage of the Vita’s touchscreen as I feel like touch would be the ideal way to navigate the grid, but it’s not so bad once you get the hang of it again.

I’m looking forward to making some more progress in Final Fantasy X over the next couple of weeks.

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Finally got a Vita!

Playstation Vita Borderlands bundle

This weekend I finally got around to picking up a Playstation Vita. I had been thinking about it for awhile, especially after I bought a PS TV and started playing Final Fantasy X HD and Persona 4 Golden on it. I felt like those games would play much better in a mobile environment as I never really had the motivation to boot up the PS TV. I finally took the plunge and picked up the Borderlands 2 bundle for $199 at GameStop (they accept Google Wallet by the way!).

Playstation vita borderlands bundle contents

The bundle comes with a voucher for Borderlands 2 (and its DLC) and an 8GB Vita memory card. 8GB isn’t very much, especially if you’re going to be downloading games, but my PS TV also came with a 8GB card so for now I’m using that and will throw in the new card when I want to download more games.

So far I’m enjoying using the Vita. It feels good in the hands, it’s not too heavy and the screen looks pretty darn good! The system also produces a decent amount of sound and it sounds pretty good when using the speakers.

Playstation Vita

The UI definitely navigates better using the touch screen when compared to navigating it on the PS TV, so that’s a plus, but I still think the Playstation UI is pretty ugly.

As of right now I own Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD, Persona 4 Golden, Borderlands 2 and MLB The Show 15 (which I bought in the store as a redeemable voucher only because it was $19.99 at GameStop and $40 on the Playstation store). The only game I’ve played so far is Final Fantasy X, but it plays great on the Vita. It’s nice to pick up and play for a bit here and there and will be great for my bus trip next week.

Playstation Vita update

I’ve been browsing the store and nothing else is really popping out at me. I had often heard that Vita support is pretty subpar, but hopefully I’ll find some more things to check out. I’m thinking about picking up Metal Gear Solid HD collection as the only MGS game I’ve actually finished is MGS2 on the 360. Do these games play well on the Vita?

Do you have any recommendations for must own Vita / classic games? Let me know please!

An unhappy day for new console owners

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I noticed after we came home from breakfast with family yesterday morning I was unable to sign into Xbox Live. We only had a few hours before we had to head out again for another family gathering so I didn’t think too much of it. I did notice throughout the evening I was unable to view my friends via the SmartGlass app on my phone. I had been looking to see which of my friends had upgraded from the 360 to the Xbox One this Christmas.

It was then I was first made aware of the mass outage affecting both Xbox Live and PSN. I saw a series of tweets mentioning the outages and found confirmation on both IGN and CNN. When I saw that the outages were thought to be a result of DDoS attacks I felt quite a bit of anger. Why would someone be so cruel on a holiday that means so much to so many people? I could imagine the thousands of gamers, the young especially, trying to boot up their new consoles only to be met with nothingness. From what I understand many were not able to play at all as the games or consoles themselves required updates and were not able to receive them.

I was away all day so the outage didn’t affect me, but the fact that it was disrupting the Christmas joy of thousands of others saddened me. Did the outage affect you? Is it still affecting you? Xbox Live seems to be working as advertised right now for most people (including myself), but PSN is still mostly down.

What happened (in a brief, barely informed nutshell)?

The nuisance group which calls themselves The Lizard Squad apparently took both networks down yesterday. They were demanding retweets in exchange for releasing their grip on the networks. In the end Kim Dotcom seemingly single-handedly ended the attacks by offering Lizard Squad members premium MEGA accounts.

A group called Finest Squad spent most of yesterday and today countering Lizard Squad’s efforts, and has been working to bring the “hackers” to justice. Their efforts are greatly appreciated, and will hopefully deter future “pranks”.