May’s theme is “What’s Cooking.” This means it includes food/cooking-themed games and accessories, and they’ve asked me to write some recipes based on the games to be included in the box! No spoilers, but you’re gonna LOVE the box, and the recipes are all perfect game night snacks/treats. Want to check it out for yourself? You can save $10 off your order with code “HOSTESS”! You only have until May 2nd to sign up for the “What’s Cooking” box, so hustle on over! Check it out at www.boardgamebento.com.
Final Fantasy installments are generally stand-alone stories, each with different settings, plots and main characters, but the franchise is linked by several recurring elements, including game mechanics and recurring character names. Each plot centers on a particular group of heroes who are battling a great evil, but also explores the characters' internal struggles and relationships. Character names are frequently derived from the history, languages, pop culture, and mythologies of cultures worldwide. The mechanics of each game involve similar battle systems and maps.
The PlayStation console saw the release of three main Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy VII (1997) moved away from the two-dimensional (2D) graphics used in the first six games to three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics; the game features polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. It also introduced a more modern setting, a style that was carried over to the next game. It was also the second in the series to be released in Europe, with the first being Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Final Fantasy VIII was published in 1999, and was the first to consistently use realistically proportioned characters and feature a vocal piece as its theme music. Final Fantasy IX, released in 2000, returned to the series' roots by revisiting a more traditional Final Fantasy setting rather than the more modern worlds of VII and VIII.
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Taking a temporary divergence, Final Fantasy XI used the PlayStation 2's online capabilities as an MMORPG. Initially released for the PlayStation 2 with a PC port arriving six months later, Final Fantasy XI was also released on the Xbox 360 nearly four years after its original release in Japan. This was the first Final Fantasy game to use a free rotating camera. Final Fantasy XII was released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 and uses only half as many polygons as Final Fantasy X, in exchange for more advanced textures and lighting. It also retains the freely rotating camera from Final Fantasy XI. Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIV both make use of Crystal Tools, a middleware engine developed by Square Enix.
I just received my first box. I signed up for the What's Cookin' box because the description said that it includes a game that sold out at Essen 2015. The only food related game that fit that description was Food Chain Magnate. I highly doubted that game would be included, but I figured I'd take a chance just in case it was. Shortly before the boxes were sent out I learned about Burger Boss and in one of the forums the publisher hinted that it would be in an upcoming BGB box. Sure enough it was, along with a Board Game Bento Secret Mission promo card, Foodfighters w/Foodfighters: the Grains Expansion and Sushi Go.
First impressions of the box was that I had never heard of any of these games, which is not a bad thing. Part of the reason I wanted to try this service is like the fun of exploring new games at conventions. After getting into each game and having read the rules, it became obvious to me that I liked the sound of each game, but I quickly realised that as much as the board game Capitals appealed to me, it would not be a game that my family would like to play.
Magic is another common RPG element in the series. The method by which characters gain magic varies between installments, but is generally divided into classes organized by color: "White magic", which focuses on spells that assist teammates; "Black magic", which focuses on harming enemies; "Red magic", which is a combination of white and black magic, "Blue magic", which mimics enemy attacks; and "Green magic" which focuses on applying status effects to either allies or enemies. Other types of magic frequently appear such as "Time magic", focusing on the themes of time, space, and gravity; and "Summoning magic", which evokes legendary creatures to aid in battle and is a feature that has persisted since Final Fantasy III. Summoned creatures are often referred to by names like "Espers" or "Eidolons" and have been inspired by mythologies from Arabic, Hindu, Norse, and Greek cultures.