Originally Published: 20 December 2008
Christmas is a time for traditions. For many years, I warmly upheld one Christmas tradition which started way back in 1999. Flying in the face of the famous Christmas cease-fires which variously took place during the World Wars, I would spend a small portion of the festive season blowing away the invading German forces. Starting with Medal of Honor on the PlayStation and working all the way up to Call of Duty 3, the Nazi forces have fallen under a hail of bullets over the festive period.
Now, this year, I could continue the tradition with World At War, but instead I’m having a festive season of experience points, healing potions and random battles. Yes, I’m having a different kind of RPG Christmas this year and fully expect my brain to be filled with a mish-mash of different storylines all combining into one freakishly weird adventure.
And that’s before I’m confused by the different combat methods across all the games. I can cope with the combat on almost all the titles – it makes sense. I choose an action, and a target and Bob’s your Uncle. Then I start playing Last Remnant. I know I pressed “attack”. I was there when that happened. But then it just kind of went on and on. And then I won, and I was pleased. But I don’t know how, or what I did. It’s the most confusing battle system I’ve ever come across. I also suspect that as the game progresses it will become the best thing ever and I’ll completely forget how all the others work and will be trying to pull off Trigger Conditions in the middle of Blue Dragon. I know something like this will happen as I have, already, tried to do the Ring Attack thing from Lost Odyssey about 15 times and I’ve only been playing Last Remnant for an hour.
So I figure any spare time I have around the next few weeks will be spent RPG-ing. Enchanted Arms hangs, unfinished, on my Gamercard because I need to do a bit of the old levelling up before I move on and I can’t be arsed at the moment. Blue Dragon needs restarting because I can’t remember for the life in me where I’m up to or what I’m doing. And I’ve just tickled the surface of Lost Odyssey and Last Remnant. Infinite Undiscovery waits patiently on a shop shelf until the price drops a bit – seeing as I bagged Last Remnant for under £20, I’m waiting for a sale before I spring for that… which all things considered is probably for the best.
So this year, the Germans are spared as I spend my festive break digging through poo for treasure, battling an ice queen, having long (and quite boring) dreams of my forgotten life and trying to find my stolen sister.
Merry Christmas everybody!