Sparky

Apr 142014
 

Status: Finished except for one puzzle hiding somewhere. Most Intriguing Idea: Trying to integrate puzzles into the playing field. Best Design Decision: The map revamp, though it’s a mixed bag. Worst Design Decision: The horse, I mean seriously. Summary: The Professor Layton series has generally felt like it’s on a long, slow decline since Mysterious Village, and Miracle Mask does nothing to alter that impression. The series has never been particularly interested in refining its core mechanics, and even the execution has started to feel a little off. Miracle Mask had more errors in recognizing my written numbers than previous Layton [Read more...]

Apr 022014
 

I’m not going to write a review of Final Fantasy X because I suspect most of the things I would say about it are going to be contained in the two posts I recently put up and the two other ones I’m working on. I understand why many JRPG purists don’t like the game, and whether it is actually any fun to play is as always a matter of taste (I happen to really enjoy it). However, in terms of a game design that helps tell a story and a story that’s worth designing a game around, I don’t think there [Read more...]

Apr 012014
 
These are his levels

“This is my story!” Tidus shouts in the last battle of Final Fantasy X, but that’s only half of it. Final Fantasy X is also his game. The minigames and some aspects of the battle system, as I mentioned in the last post, tie back to his athletic personality, but the game goes further than that. The level design of Final Fantasy X is a mirror to Tidus’ experience. In their classic form, JRPGs, including the previous Final Fantasy games, have a large zoomed-out overworld that essentially mimics walking across a map, studded with dungeons and towns that have greater [Read more...]

Mar 242014
 

I spent the last weekend between two screens. On one, I was playing the HD reissue of Final Fantasy X. On the other, I was watching a particularly exciting edition of America’s annual exercise in basketball excess, the NCAA tournament. Every year the tournament becomes a point of conversation across the country as Cinderellas like Dayton outplay their reputations, traditional powers like Louisville live up to theirs, and upstarts like the almost-victorious Coastal Carolina try to do the seemingly impossible. Final Fantasy X has a deep connection with sport. Protagonist Tidus and party member Wakka are both professional athletes, as [Read more...]