Saturday, July 25, 2009

One of the greatest games ever...

I was feeling a little nostalgic today so I played Final Fantasy 1 a little. This was an awesome game, I remember the first time seeing it in action.

Way back around 1990 or so, my best friend Omar and myself went to the video store to rent a game to play. I wanted something action oriented but wasn't sure what to get. He grabbed Final Fantasy 1 off the shelf and insisted on getting it because he had heard so much good about it. I wasn't sure about it but he kept on saying how good it would be.

We finally decided to get it and return home. I watched him play it a bit and was amazed at how much depth it had. I had never seen a game quite like this, with turn based combat. It didn't make a lot of sense to me but for the type of fighting involved, turn based was the best way to do it. You couldn't have much in the way of strategy playing an RPG like this if it was all real time. You had to think out what spells to use on which enemies, and which enemy each character had to attack.

The silly thing was if one character killed an enemy, and another character was targeting on the same one that just died, you would attack the air and miss. How silly would this look in a real fight? Attacking the empty air was probably just a simple error that the developers overlooked.

My friend rented this game a couple of times and I remember when he finally got to the end. When we first saw Chaos (the final boss) we both were impressed at his appearance

These graphics were very impressive at the time for the Nintendo. The final part of the story in this game did well in tying it all together and why it all happened. The storyline was weak, I will admit, but they did make it fairly easy to understand in the end.

When Square-Enix re-made this game in 2003, I was very happy about it and bought it up quickly. It was only a few weeks before it was announced when I said to my buddy "they should remake Final Fantasy 1, that would be awesome and it would let people see how the series all began.

They did great in upgrading the graphics, even if it still looked dated. The game was fun to begin with but they added all kinds of fun extras, including a complete beastiary which only filled up as you fought the monsters. This made it more fun to hunt down every mob and kill it so you could have the stats there in the book.

This was the game that got me into the whole RPG genre. If it wasn't for me seeing this game I may not have gotten into RPG's. At the time I just wasn't into the long story driven games, but this one game changed my mind.

This is why I feel this is one of the best games ever made in my opinion. Of course many people will disagree, but that is what is good about opinions right? =)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Final Fantasy XI, Who knew it could happen?

Ever since Final Fantasy 1, I have been a big fan of the series. I remember how excited each game made me when it came out, the way they were put together was great in every way. Random fights can get to you sometimes when you are just trying to get back to town, but the storylines were amazing.

When I first heard that Final Fantasy XI (FFXI) was going to be completely online, I didn't like the idea one bit. I was not a fan of playing games online with other players at the time, but we didn't really have anything worthwhile out at the time that really showed how great it can be. I was determined not to play it because of this.

Shortly after it was released, my best friend actually purchased it and tried it out. He told me all about how great it was so I went over to his place after work to check it out. It drew me in from the start. I never saw a Final Fantasy game look so beautiful graphically and have so much depth, and he was only in the first zone of the game.

Within the next couple of weeks, I bought it myself and started my journey into the game with my friend. After reaching the low 20's in level, he suddenly decided to start over. This was after about 30 hours or so of playtime, so i was not going to start over myself. I decided to keep going on my own and joined a party in the Qufim region. This was a great, fast paced party and we had great leadership. Everyone was having fun and I added everyone as friends after we were done. Emeraldzt (Alisa) was one of those people, but I had no idea who she was at the time.

Shortly after, I joined up with her to complete a mission and we got to hanging out after and decided to do things on our own, completing small quests etc. Just doing whatever we felt like doing.

Our relationship grew and we became inseperable online. We did everything together and even chatted out of the game in Real Life. We even married our characters in the game infront of all our friends.

In 2006, we finally were able to meet in the summer. I flew from Canada to Texas to see her and to this day I remember our first encounter vividly as I went down the escalator in the airport terminal. She was awesome, exactly how I imagined her from interacting with her online. My visit went so well, I knew I had to come back to see her.

Just before Christmas, I returned again for another visit. Shortly into the new year 2007, I proposed to her and she accepted! :) We got married in May that year and I filed for Green Card status. I am still here today and I am totally loving it.

I never would have imagined that playing a game I had no interest in to begin with would completely change my life for the better. It is like we were destined to meet one way or the other, and me being led into the game under these circumstances was the best thing that could have happened to me. We are both very happy enjoying our life together in Texas.

Online interaction is a really great way to get to know someone before meeting them because you really get to see who the person is before you meet face to face.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weather is my passion

Ever since I was very young, when I first heard about the devastating Edmonton, Alberta tornado in 1987, I have had an interest in weather. I can't explain why I love watching the weather so much, it just fascinates me to follow storm patterns and trends in the atmosphere.
I was in Florida when Hurricane Andrew struck the state in 1991. We were in the Tampa area which was just to the north of the outer circulation. The sky was very dark to the south of our location and the storm surge had actually created a vacuum in the water exposing the sand bar that was close to shore. It was quite an experience and I enjoyed every minute of it.
I went through school in the direction to become a meteorologist and now I am living in Texas. I am from Canada, so the way the storms erupt here is awesome in comparison. An average storm here would prompt severe thunderstorm warnings back where I am from in Canada (the Toronto region)
If a severe storm in Texas went through Toronto, Ontario, you could bet people would treat it like it was the end of the world approaching. Someday I hope to actually do some chasing here but I need to get more settled with my family first.
From time to time I also take videos of storms that move through our area and post them to my Youtube account.
I may use this blog from time to time posting about severe weather events that move through our area near Fort Worth.