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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Console Shuffle

I made a long overdue purchase of a couple games last night. In doing so, I've got to complete revisit my gaming and exercise set-up at home. Why? It looks like the Playstation 2 and HDTV do not mix.

I was pretty excited to have finally picked up a copy of Final Fantasy XII (and Dragon Quest VIII) for the PS2. I've been waiting patiently to play FF XII for years. My plan had been to buy it back in October 2006; however, the birth of my first son had me rethink my plan. I wasn't going to embark on 50+ hours of RPG goodness with a new baby in the house. My wait came to end last night when I walked up to the counter in my local EB Games, slapped down my $30 bucks, and left with a smile on my face.

After getting home and putting the kids to bed, I connected my mostly-unused PS2 to my 42" LCD TV. I fired up Final Fantasy XII and watched a rather nice movie. With the opening cinematics finished, the game started up. My jaw dropped when I saw how awful FF XII looked on my big-screen television.

I took a look around the Internet for answers. Here's how it all boils down: FF XII runs in 480i and 480i looks terrible on HDTVs. That's it! There are no tricks to making the game look good. If you have an HDTV and you're trying to play FF XII, you are S.O.L.

All is not lost, though. I happen to have a spare TV in the basement. I'm going to move my PS2 into the basement for use while exercising. My Xbox 360 will get temporarily moved back upstairs into the bedroom to be reconnected to the big screen HDTV. My Turtle Beach headphones will work with the PS2 so I'm fine in terms of sound while I play my way through Final Fantasy XII. I'll need to dig up some old PS2 cabling that includes an s-video connector. I'm sure I have one kicking around somewhere in the basement. All in all, everything should work out rather nicely.

It's been a couple nights since I used the exercise bike and tonight may be no different. I need to get both of my consoles hooked up and working if only for a little peace of mind. I'm trying not to slip too much on my Pounds for Pixels challenge as my console shuffle continues to slow things down. I am ahead of the game having dropped 2 lbs. before having finished Stranglehold. As for the new games in my line-up, I'd guess that I'm looking to drop at least 12 lbs. while finishing up my two new classic PS2 RPGs.

I'm really looking forward to all the role-playing games that I'll be playing over the next little while. Final Fantasy XII, Dragon Quest VIII, Lost Odyssey, Infinite Undiscovery, The Last Remnant, Blue Dragon, and possibly many more. That's a whole lot of gaming. I wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew...?

I've included trailers for both Final Fantasy XII and Dragon Quest VIII below. I'll be back later this week with my full first impressions of Final Fantasy XII. I want to try playing on a standard definition TV before I say anything. I know that FF XII is supposed to look amazing and I want to reserve my impressions until I see the game in all its SD glory!