LttP: Final Fantasy Record Keeper

"shut up and take my money!"

Logo for Final Fantasy Record Keeper

The mobile game Final Fantasy Record Keeper was (finally) released in the US last week (for iOS and Android). Since it’s already been established that I have a “shut up and take my money” approach to things from Square-Enix, I downloaded this game as soon as I got the notification email.

"shut up and take my money!"
Dee’s approach to anything S-E comes up with

But wait… this is a mobile game. It’s free-to-play! Square-Enix doesn’t have to take my money! Record Keeper turns out to be a fun nostalgia trip through the main Final Fantasy games (excepting XI and XVI), and you don’t have to pay a single cent, unless you’re either impatient, or really want a certain rare item.

Let me break it down. You’re a scholar in an art museum of sorts. The paintings depict key scenes from different Final Fantasy games. For some reason, the paintings are fading, and your world with them. Your job is to hop into the different scenes in the paintings to restore them to their glory.

However, there are limitations. You only have a certain amount of “stamina” with which to fight. It can be replenished in one of three ways:

  1. Using Mythril, which itself can be gained in one of two ways:
    • As a reward for completing dungeons restoring paintings
    • By purchase, with Gems, which are in turn, purchased with real-life money.
  2. By gaining five stamina shards, which are gained in battle.
  3. By waiting it out. You gain one stamina point every three minutes.

The game also encourages you to repeat dungeons in order to level up your characters. Not only do you have the scholar (aptly named Tyro), but as you continue to restore paintings, you meet up with player characters from the various Final Fantasy games, including some generic ones. Right now, my party consists of Tyro (renamed Dee),
Cloud, Rydia, Kain, and White Mage. You get bonuses if you match characters and equipment with their respective games. For example, if you put Cloud in the Final Fantasy VII paintings, he gets a boost in HP and EXP. Give him his Buster Sword, and it gets even better!

Speaking of the Buster Sword, let me get to the second way S-E tries to get your money: rare artifacts, or , in other words, fancy equipment. There’s a gatcha system for chances at rare items. You get one free draw per day, but if you pay roughly $3US, you get another crack at it, but this time, you’re guaranteed an item above 3-stars in rarity (out of five). However, you can also use 5 Mythril for the same drawing, and, as previously mentioned, you can gain Mythril from battles.

There are events where you can get certain characters to join your party, or an increased chance at a certain item. For example, as of this writing, you have an increased chance of getting Cloud’s Buster Sword in the premium drawings.

There are also daily dungeons; each day of the week has a different bonus, such as elemtal orbs, EXP, or gil.
I’m clearing FFVI right now, but it’s a fun little game, and I haven’t yet felt the need to actually pay in.

I’ll try to keep you posted as to whether I get tired of it, or I hit a virtual paywall. For now, when I’m chilling, I switch it out with Pokemon Shuffle, which also has a time barrier.

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I didn’t choose the Fantasy Life; the Fantasy Life chose me.

Fantasy Life logo

Fantasy Life is the latest role-playing game (PRG) from Level-5 for the Nintendo 3DS. I noticed, while trying to come up with stuff to say for this post, that I have a lot of brand loyalty when it comes to game developers. The name Fantasy Life didn’t mean much to me, but one look at the Level-5-esque characters had me intrigued. It’s not that the characters are exceptionally drawn or anything, it’s just that they have that distinctive style that evokes Professor Layton and Ni No Kuni, both of which I love.

Fantasy Life Witch
How can you say “no” to those beady little eyes?

 

Anyway, I bought this game on a whim, or perhaps it was a double-whim. First, I thought I had pre-ordered it on Amazon, but this past Monday, I realized that the release day had come and gone, which meant that I hadn’t ordered it after all. I immediately ordered my copy.

The short story: this game has everything I like about MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online RPGs), but without the MMO part, if that makes any sense. You have the option of calling your Nintendo DS friends over to play with you, but it’s not required in any way (that I know of). However, it does note which of your friends has the game and integrates them into your game. For example, it placed the house of one of my friends, complete with his interior décor, next door to mine. (I was confused – one of my DS buddies has a similar name to one of the NPCs. It’s the NPC’s house that’s next door to mine. Steele vs. Stele, it’s an easy mistake to make, right?)

This game has one major thing that most single-player PRGs does not: crafting! Along with the standard combat classes (known in this game as “lives”) such as paladin, mercenary, hunter, and wizard, you can also choose a gathering “life,” such as a miner, or a crafting one, such as blacksmith.

I started out as an alchemist, a crafter of potions and charms, and boy did my character need them! Alchemists can use daggers in battle, but aren’t very good at defense, so those potions come in handy. However, you can change your “life” often, and without penalty, so long as you’re not in the middle of a main story quest. This means that you can mine, chop wood, gather herbs, fish, and fight in the same area, without having to run back and forth to switch lives! Admittedly, it took me about eight in-game hours to realize that, so I did have some back-and-forth to do, but now I know, and now you know, too!

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle
Courtesy of G.I. Joe (and thethingswesay.com)

 

I don’t think I’m anywhere near finished with the story yet (I just unlocked the third city), and it’s obvious that Butterfly is hiding something, but this game will have me wasting many an hour trying to become a god in all lives.

Bravely Default: (where the) (f)airy (f)lies
Thanks to Airy, I still have trust issues with winged guides.

 

If only it were as easy to master skills in real life. Oh, well. Those fish aren’t going to catch themselves, so I’ll catch you later!

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Holy Sugar, It’s Candy Corn Season!

With a blog named Sugar Palace, I figure I should talk about candy. It’s been autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere) for a few days now, so candy corn is ubiquitous. I first noticed it at Stop & Shop in late July.

Stop and Shop had Halloween candy in July
Stop & Shop Halloween candy display. Photo taken by Dee on July 27, 2014.

Now, I’m a self-confessed sugar addict. My blog is named after a fictional doughnut shop named in a Dar Williams song (“Party Generation”). In my mind, the four seasons are Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. I get cranky when there’s too much blood in my glucose stream. TL;DR version: I f*cking love Halloween candy. However, that being said, even I have standards.

There has been a disturbing trend over the past couple of years of candy companies making different varieties of candy corn. First, there was the awkwardly-named Indian Corn. Then came the pumpkins, followed by the all-star combo known as the Harvest Mix. All of these are pretty yummy, if you’re in the mood for candy corn.

However. Last year, I noticed Candy Corn M&Ms, and Starburst Candy corn. They were a bit odd. I could tolerate the Starburst variety; if I ignored the candy corn-like texture, they were pretty tasty.

This year, I have to draw the line.

Brace Yourselves: Pumpkin flavored everything is coming
Listen to Ned Stark. Unless he tells you to trust Littlefinger.

Brach’s is now selling Pumpkin Spice flavored candy corn. Being an intrepid candy lover, I decided to try it.

Never again. It was reminiscent of cinnamon, if you swallowed a spoonful of powdered cinnamon that had been left out for a year and a half. Seriously, it had the powdery feel to it, without much of the taste. I could smell the pumpkin, but I couldn’t taste it.

I am loath to throw candy away, but I had to spit this stuff out and throw the rest of the bag away. Ick!

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