Final Fantasy Tactics A2: December 5th, 2008-December 16th, 2009

From here on out, updates for this game became much more sparse.

I can’t really recall why.

DECEMBER 5TH, 2008: Privilege Update: We completed General Training II – Heroes and unlocked Regenra.

DECEMBER 12TH, 2008: Privilege Update: We completed General Training II – Legends and unlocked Debuff Resistance 2.

Would it have been so hard to design different characters for different towns? Goug should have moogles running its pub, general store, and auction house! Sure would have been cuter than humans and revgaji.

FEBRUARY 20TH, 2009: So we went to Zedlei, and Luso and Adele wound up stargazing. Then, some strange guy came up to them.

He tried to take Adele somewhere to exercise her gift. But he insisted that Luso stay behind, for he was giftless.

Lennart took her to that snowy battlefield at Overlook Rise to test her skills… one-on-one!

Felling him was wicked-easy, with him being lv. 22. For winning, he gave her some of his powers.

I feel…strange,” said Adele. “Like something’s writing something inside my head.”

Then it has worked,” said Lennart.

After he completed his mission, Adele unlocked the Heritor job.

FEBRUARY 27TH, 2009: I like how the Ivalice Alliance logo recalls the Zodiac Brave story.

Briefly, that was the story of Final Fantasy Tactics. It involved MacGuffins called Zodiac Stones that could turn people into powerful monsters.

The Zodiac also played a part in the gameplay. Every unit had their own Zodiac sign.

It feels good to return to a VGJ…

To be honest, I have no idea what the fourth trophy is supposed to be.

Privilege Update: We completed Teamwork I – Relations and unlocked Speed ^ 2.

I wonder what the prize for attaining MVP is…

Every time a character attained MVP status, it filled in a piece of a trophy that appeared on their stats screen.

The snowy level in this game looks very good.

I declared Tactics A2 my number-one game of 2008. It’s certainly the cutest RPG of that year.

DECEMBER 5TH, 2009: This has not been an excellent year. I only wish I could blame it on not playing A2 for months.

In Tramdine Fens, I met a nu mou selling luck-sticks. He broke my old one, charged me 1000 gil for the new one, and wished that the new year to treat me well. That meant a lot. Of course, it would mean more if it came from a “real” person.

Yup. This is still a totally adorable game. And mind-blowing in its sheer depth.

For the life of me, I can’t remember what happened to Cid.

The victory theme is very rousing. It’s not the classic FF win theme, either.

Oh, so that’s what happened to Cid. He’s still in my Clan! Why haven’t I been using him? Perchance it’s because I’ve never been terribly impressed with bangaa abilities.

I’ve completed 222 quests and have 22 units in my party. Ha!

You’re supposed to trade your luck-sticks for something from the old lady in the shack.

The first enemy in the game was huge. It was pretty overwhelming. I was all, “What!” but the game was like, “Uh-huh!”

I can’t remember where the old lady lives.

DECEMBER 14TH, 2009: We completed “A Dashing Duel”, wherein someone who wanted revenge on Al-Cid for stealing his viera companion, Baja. Adele called her “one chocobo short of a flock.”

Man, handheld games are getting better and better scripts. I’m thinking of Hotel Dusk, Professor Layton, and Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume.

DECEMBER 15TH, 2009: The quest, “Three-Point Strategy”, is described differently in the BradyGames guide than it is in the actual game. Either that, or the game I’m playing is different from theirs.

DECEMBER 16TH, 2009: Oh, boy. One mission has you punishing (very gently) Prime Donna’s “devotees” for attempting to steal some of the group’s possessions. But if you also finish the side quest, “Bangaa Bugle – Coppersun” and read the Bugle‘s article thereafter, your understanding of the events change. For you see, the Bugle‘s editor-in-chief wanted said “memorabilia”. The devotess took it upon themselves to complete the task.

Of course, your experience may differ depending on the order in which you finish them.

2009 was a pretty unhappy year for me. Compounding the issue was how I approached video games that year. For some reason, I became obsessed with unlocked at least one achievement per day in games, which turned out to be very annoying and was another thing that made me unhappy. I resented games a bit as a result. For someone like me who was convinced that she had OCD at an early age and has no job or school to occupy her time, this kind of workmanlike thinking comes easy.

So my approach is: beat the game first, worry about unlockables and stuff later.

At the end of the year, I decided to drop that obsession with achievements and didn’t miss it at all. That really kind of saved my hobby.

Do I still like achievements? Yeah, sure, they’re OK, I guess. But framing your gameplay like that, at least with a new game, is a surefire recipe for misery. You shouldn’t have to tiptoe through a new game that you’ve gotten for the purpose of enjoying it.

Achievements are best when they encourage you to try a different approach to an objective, and when they give you an excuse to replay a game that you like.