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Archives for : March2014

The end of Stage One approaches

As I write this, my party of a Knight, Ninja, Black Wizard, and White Wizard stand outside the entrance to the final dungeon in Final Fantasy I. I have tried to best this dungeon once already and have found to be SEVERELY lacking. It was almost comical how badly I was beaten up in that dungeon.

I should have known  I was not yet prepared to face this final dungeon as I have not even earned one MP for my level 8 spells. Although, I had hoped that I was more prepared after the grind that the battles against the Four Fiends had been and that I had dispatched the fourth rather easily. I could not have been more wrong.

This journey has been terribly difficult, yet oddly satisfying. I have struggled to stay away from walkthroughs and other cheats, though I have referred to a map on occasion. I do not feel that is cheating as I believe the original game came with one packed in. If not, I am sorry, but finding ANYTHING in this game is extremely challenging with pretty much no help from NPCs. I have found that the more I have played, the more I have been able to pick up on the (sometimes extremely) subtle clues on where to go next.

Traveling all over the world trying to figure out if I was in the right place all the time was infuriating, but it did help get me to at least a decent place level wise for most of the game. The biggest difficulty is using my wizards to their full potential when there are no ethers and no ability to restore MP within a dungeon, grinding becomes a HUGE challenge. I figure I need to gain at least 4-5 levels before I can successfully challenge the final dungeon again… to the grind.

Episode 24

Episode 2 sits heavily in the movies. With Marvel’s Assembling a Universe airing the night before we recorded and rumors like the director being fired from the Fantastic Four reboot (along with the cast and script being scrapped) movies are high on our mind. In addition to the movies, there are some great gaming stories to talk about as well. Diablo 3 becoming a great game, Sim City finally gets an offline mode, and Kotaku getting their hands on the PS4 VR display. All in all, a great couple weeks and exciting to boot! The excitement was created by the newest addition to the Digital Nerdage family with the birth of Corey’s son, Robin! Until next time…Stay Nerdy My Friends.

My Quest begins

A short time ago, I talked on our Facebook page about my desire to play through all of the Final Fantasy games from I-XIII (excluding XI but not excluding X-2 OR the XIII sequels). I was going to do this with the closest to the original version that I could get my hands on. Besides leading to some less than legal methods of obtaining these, I don’t think I REALLY thought this through as well as I should have.

I am super excited to share this journey with you, though it may be a LONG time in the making. I have been infinitely busier with work and life than I expected. Thankfully, I have completed some things that were holding me back from working on this quest, namely the website redesign. I also wanted to wait until the new website was up before I began logging my quest. Please take note: I have NEVER played I, II, III, and V.

I have begun at the beginning. Using a NES emulator and a very cool ROM site, I began my run at Final Fantasy I. My initial impressions were that the story of this game was a bit thin. However, this was only my first impression from the title sequence. As I began the game I realized… I was right. This is not to say it makes the game terrible, it just goes to show how spoiled by amazing storytelling I have become.

The next issue I have run into is that because dialog was so limited when FFI first came out (1987), it makes the game that much harder to navigate. There is usually only one maybe two NPCs in a town that actually give useful advice on where to go next on your quest. Also, those NPCs can be easy to miss. They also tend to give very generalized directions like “Go South to reach X“, which leads to my next problem.

THE MAP IS FREAKING HUGE! After about the third town, you are sent to finally activate your first of four orbs. You are told to go South across the ocean. Nowhere in the tip did they mention that you need to pass a continent ad about 30 islands, then follow the southern coastline of another continent for a big distance East. I am a big fan of non-linear quests, but this is not so much non-linear as it is spread out all over the place.

However, even with these gripes I LOVE the challenge that this game presents. It is very nostalgic and lives up to its generation. I have always felt that games were much harder to complete and impossible to complete quickly. I can already tell that grinding levels will be super important, and while I HATE grinding I can appreciate the need for it. The only thing I don’t like is that there are too many times that the grinding seems to not matter because the bottom range of the rolls is so low that it feels like I am a level 1 taking on a level 20.

I look forward to continuing to share this journey with you. Until next time, Stay Nerdy My Friends.

Episode 23

It’s a new season, a new website, and an exciting new time for Digital Nerdage! In our first show of 2014, we span a large number of topics. From art thieves to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow to WWE Network, and MANY topics in between.  We also introduce a segment that may become a standalone segment, Corey’s Soapbox! We are stoked to be back, and are going to be offering more and more content to make your visit to our site more enjoyable! Please leave your comments below or as always on our Facebook page or Twitter! We look forward to the new Season and hope you do too!

Is there another Rob Granito in town? [Update]

A couple of years ago, a man named Rob Granito was making headlines in the comic industry and on convention circuits by using an inflated resume to secure invites to shows. He came under fire of watchful fans and a few industry pros, most of whom had artwork that was stolen by Granito and passed off as his own in order to sell prints. It appears he may have a new follower.

A Facebook page was brought to my attention by an artist friend of mine who had commented that they were contacting the page owner because of an image that seemed to be a recolored direct copy of their work. I then decided to click through the rest of the images and found a tremendous amount of pieces that were obvious copies. In one brazen example, it seemed that one particular Joker piece had its dubious origin barely even concealed. It was clear in the image that the signature of the original artist of the piece, Chris Oz Fulton, wasn’t even completely removed, and the signature of Liam York (who owns the Facebook page in question) was there as well. Fulton has commented on the photo- calling York out for the blatant copy, but no response from York is seen in the comments.

In addition to Fulton’s artwork, the work of Freddie E Williams II, Tony Moore, Jim Lee, Jim Cheung and MANY others is displayed on the page with York’s signature in place of the original artist’s. Some of the art is at least modestly changed, but no credit for the originals is given on the Facebook page OR York’s Deviant Art page. Most of the claims of stolen work- even those with links supporting their claims- have gone largely ignored.

I have reached out to Liam York for comment concerning this issue, and will update this article should he respond.

As of 7:30AM Eastern, the Liam York Artwork Facebook page can no longer be accessed. We are not sure if York pulled it down himself due to the amount of heat he was getting on it, or if Facebook deleted the page because of the amount of reports they were getting. We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Editing credits to Rob Humphrey.