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Talraen, June 19, 2009 1:37 PM (edited 6/19/09 9:37 AM)

Boo! Work!

Mood: Sneezy
Tags: Gaming, Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XII, Picross DS, NHL 09, Guitar Hero Smash Hits
Yeah, this week was much more about "finishing super-important work projects" than gaming. And also there was a lot of waffling about whether to replay some Final Fantasy games, hardcore style. I might still do it (poll results notwithstanding), I dunno. But uh, not last week.

Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy XI
It was a Dark time in FFXI this week. A Dark Knight time, more accurately. We did actually do a few random other things, but the vast majority of my time was spent leveling dark knight, gaining 8 levels in the process. But let's start with the interesting stuff, shall we?

Randomly, Airclair decided to help Draethor and I advance in the new mini-expansion, A Crystalline Prophecy. Now, unlike the previous two big expansions, ACP's story is garbage. But it is there, and the reward isn't bad. The whole thing really only has two hard fights, and we were stuck on the first one. We managed to trio it (though Airclair was dual-boxing, so technically we four-manned it), so now I just have to do some cutscenes and stupid dungeon delving crap to get to the last fight. The upside is that it's easy, but the downside is that this is assuming you have lots of ranged attacker friends, which we don't. But we'll probably find some people.

After ACP, we decided to try doing Up In Arms. This is a BCNM where the (very, very rare) drop is a Kraken Club, which is worth 30 million gil or so. To put that into perspective, the lotto jackpot (which I didn't win Smile) was around 100 million gil. This is a lot of cash. The fight is basically the Octomammoth fight from FF4 - you take on a single kraken who attacks super-fast, but as he dies he loses arms and his attacks slow (though they become more powerful). When you take out his last leg, around 25% health, he starts spamming AoE moves. After much discussion, we went as SAM/NIN, PLD/NIN, and WHM/BLM. Turned out that the fight is pretty easy - there were a few hairy spots, but he's very susceptible to my sleep spell, so it's no big deal. We won all three fights, but no Kraken Club. Plenty of decent money items, though - I probably made 60-70k, which isn't a terrible consolation prize. Plus I can run this fight another dozen times before I run low on beastman's seals.

A few days later, I helped Airclair get his scholar hat. The fight is against another scholar, who frankly kind of cheats. But a badass monk with healing support is more than enough to take him down. Especially when his main attacks are elemental spells, and my bar-spells are faster (and very powerful). He didn't stand a chance.

So, dark knight. After hitting level 20, the lizard/bunny training regime was getting kind of silly, so I moved on to killing sheep with my NPC. No training regime, since I wanted to have her only kill beasts and there were no good ones, but they go to level 23 so the XP was still quite good. As a bonus, I was able to skill my greatsword and scythe quite a bit, though not quite cap them. Once I hit 23, I moved on, looking for a new target. I settled on Coeurls in the Meriphataud Mountains, since it was the easiest target to get to and their nasty abilities are somewhat mitigated by having a healer NPC. Plus, as I discovered, they're quite profitable to kill. I'm now 26, and that XP is beginning to dry up as well. It will still be a bunch of levels before I can get an all beast/bird/lizard training regime anywhere, but I'll keep on trucking. With my emperor band done for the week, I may just kill easy mobs to level Amerita's armor, and go solo (and do training regimes) for XP. Or just wait. I dunno.

Final Fantasy XII
Final Fantasy XII
If I do start replaying FF games, it's going to mean starting FFXII over at some point, so continuing to do useless crap towards a "perfect save" would be kind of silly. Nonetheless, I did spend some time in the Feywood getting more bestiary entries, primary among them the four mandragora bosses from the Sochen Cave Palace. Apparently they will all spawn in the second-to-last area before Giruvegan if you clear out every enemy, leave, and return. And that's fine, except each only appears once, and you have to kill them all more than a dozen times to complete the bestiary. That's not cool, Square-Enix!

Picross DS
Picross DS
I did a puzzle! YAY!

NHL 09
NHL 09
With the internet fixed, I finally got to play my brother again. It was a long game (I think my default period is now set to 10 minutes, I need to fix that) which I lost 2-0. The score doesn't really give the full story, though. I was totally unable to generate any real offense. Even when I set up a good play, there were no shots available. It was quite frustrating, and I think I was coming on a bit at the end, but there was no chance for a rematch. Next time!

Guitar Hero Smash Hits
Guitar Hero Smash Hits
I had no idea this game was even out until I saw it on the shelves at Best Buy. Checking the track list, I saw Cowboys From Hell, and thus this was an instant purchase. Truth be told, the song list is awesome. I find it almost impossible to play the original Guitar Hero now, because the hammer-ons and pull-offs were way harder back then. And it's nice to get songs from GH2 and GH3 since I can now play them with the Rock Band guitar. Plus, having all master tracks rocks.

The down side is, the lessons Neversoft learned after GH3 about not making note tracks hard for difficulty's sake seem to have been lost on the GHSH developers. Some of these note tracks are insane, which is especially annoying since these songs came out back when they generally kept things simple. I've lost at Free Bird twice, and that's a song I could beat in my sleep back in the day (and I'm much better now). But hey, it's still a great track list, and most of the songs are still fun.
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