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Messages - Arvis

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1
General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2018
« on: Today at 02:59:35 PM »
1. Tales of Xillia 2
2. Trails of Cold Steel
3. Ni No Kuni 2

4. Trails of Cold Steel 2

Wow.  Now that's a JRPG.  Whew.

130+ hours of insanely fun, charming characters and gameplay, with a huge playable roster and tons of party-building and customization options, this is pretty close to the perfect game.  It's everything I'm looking for in an RPG, basically.  If I had a complaint it would be that it doesn't particularly respect the player's time, locking an awful lot of story behind pretty huge difficulty spikes.  However, it makes it all the more rewarding when you use the many various tools at your disposal to overcome them.  The game never puts anything truly impossible in front of you until the very very very very very end, so that's mostly a nitpick.
The story and characters here are superlative as well.  Over the course of two games, the world and cast grow in noticeable and rewarding ways, and the more you explore the world and talk to its inhabitants, the richer and more connected it all feels.  There are some troublesome "too anime" clichés and character treatments (13 year old girls are *not* sex objects, Japan) which really do hurt the final product a bit.  And the inclusion of "magic" and "witches" into the Trails canon homogenizes it a bit in comparison to its peers and tears down the distinct and interesting world built by Sky.  But even when taking into account all of this, it's hard to score this anything lower than a perfect score.  Basically, if Cold Steel 2 is not a 10, nothing is.

Cold Steel 2 (and the entire Cold Steel saga up to this point) is a JRPG tour de force, a magnum opus, a masterwork in the genre that every other studio should aspire to and learn from.  Now where the heck is Cold Steel 3??

Final Score: 10/10

Up Next: 
Wild ARMs Alter Code f
   (Nope, not paying $80 for this disc.)
Final Fantasy VII: A New Threat
-and-
Dragon Quest XI

2
Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: Today at 02:18:20 PM »
Cold Steel 2

Got to the final final boss of the final final dungeon.

...

Yeah, ultra-mega-uber-hyper-super EFF that noise.  I'll just watch the end on youtube.  You were a superlative joy up to this point, Cold Steel 2, but you've disrespected my time one step too many.  Still, I love you, even though you hate me.

3
Single-Player RPGs / Re: What are you favorite jokes in JRPGs
« on: August 15, 2018, 03:59:32 PM »
I literally just posted this over in the Game Journal thread, but oh well:

"Oh, you need a donation for the flea market?  Sure, I've got just the thing: my ass."

A bit crude, but nonetheless I laughed a long time at this one.

4
Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 15, 2018, 03:57:45 PM »
Cold Steel 2
"Oh, you need a donation for the flea market?  Sure, I've got just the thing: my ass."
Spoiler: show
Anyway, for some reason this game is still going.  And I'm not at all upset about that.  Like, not even a little.  I defeated the Big Red Mecha in a freaking amazing final boss sequence that had everything.  All members of Class VII participate?  Check.  Real danger of losing?  Check.  Intense mecha battle to finish?  Check and check.  Loved it.  Despite the challenge, only Laura came close to death, but she had just barely enough HP to survive the boss' "Thousand Arms" move or whatever it was called.  Not being able to use Gaius Win Button for the first form had me worried, but the B-Team actually acquitted themselves incredibly well.  Rean couldn't quite Delay him as often as I hoped, but Machias shielding everyone and Fie and Laura beating on him eventually made him succumb.  After that, Gaius took out 3/4 of the second form's HP in one move and he went down like a chump.  The battle with Rean and Crow fighting together against him was pretty intense.  I was like "Where is all my free healing???"  Still, the fight is balanced pretty well and a lot of fun.  That lack of healing definitely gives it an edge appropriate to a gameplay climax.

Anyways, now I'm in the Reverie Corridor.  Wow.  This game is the gift that keeps on giving.  FINALLY being able to take every character into a dungeon and go exploring makes me very happy.  I'm already through 2 cryptids, with a main party of Alisa, Towa, Elise, Alfin, Sharon, Sara and Rean, with Gaius and Jusis coming in for the cryptid battles.  Really enjoying blasting enemies with Towa and Alfin.  Towa has mastered Aries MQ, which seems pretty OP in a typically awesome Cold Steel fashion, so she's just spamming Arts left and right.  And Alfin is using level 4 Mistral.  Between the two of them, they have every color covered and it's been pretty fun.
Elise is using a SPD build and is basically just Rean Lite with spamming Delay.  She's not half as good, though, since she doesn't do as much damage nor can she regain her CP nearly as fast as he does.  She is absurdly fast, though, with her SPD coming in around 150, while Rean's is about 120.
Alisa is there to use Heavenly Gift and revive everyone if they actually die (which never happens).
Sharon and Sara are both Evasion tanks that debilitate enemies with status and stat drops.  Pretty darn effectively, I might add.  The last time a group of supermonsters from a chest got a turn, one attacked my group with a line attacked, missed both Sharon and Sara, hit Towa, then promptly got blasted by Towa right after, who was right back to full health thanks to Aries.  Ridiculous.


So many fun builds in this game.

5
Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 10, 2018, 02:13:49 PM »
Cold Steel 2
Spoiler: show
So, I just took down Crow in his Azure Knight.  Thought for sure I was dead at one point but nope.  Is there anyone out there who gets through these fights without using Morning Moon?  It was a pretty awesome fight and I had to Sunlight Blade him like 3 times, which is ridiculous, but eh.  I'm glad I pumped everything into his HP and DEF and ignored SPD.  I wanted those Morning Moons to last as long as possible.

Anyways, afterward I learned something very important about Vita Clotilde:  SHE'S A HUGE FREAKING MORON!!!  "Uh, well, I told the psycho not to summon the world-ending horror, so obviously he won't.  Because I told him not to.  So I don't need to worry about taking any precautions to prevent that.  Oh, look, what is he doing with Prince Cedric?  Whatever, probably nothing.  Oh, look, why is Prince Cedric bound right next to the world ending horror that only he can activate?  Probably just coincidence.  Let me pay attention to these ragtag kids for pretty much no reason instead...."
Right now, I really... seriously... truthfully... cannot think of a dumber antagonist than Vita Clotilde.
Add that to the waaaayyyyy overdramatic climax and you've got me rolling my eyes an awful lot right now.  But darn it if it isn't all so charming and likable.  I'm currently saved at the point right after the battle with Class VII inside the magic bubble.  A terrible place to stop, but I had to work.  Alas.

6
Single-Player RPGs / Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« on: August 10, 2018, 11:37:29 AM »
Hearing comical-voiced characters like Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in games mostly devoid of comedy is pretty damn awkward, in my opinion.

You know... I always felt something important was off about KH and I think you nailed it.  There's a serious tonal dissonance to the whole franchise.

7
Single-Player RPGs / Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« on: August 09, 2018, 10:17:03 AM »
^How about a JRPG where the fate of all life isn't at stake? Allowing both the solution and reasons for fighting to be more unique, and creatively tied to our heroes that we spend so much time getting to learn about and struggling alongside? Eh? Ehhhhhh?

...Yeah, you're right, stupid idea, forget I said anything...

LOL, some of my favorite RPGs do this, like Trails in the Sky 1 and Cold Steel 1.  Their sequels tend to swing pretty close to "the fate of all life is at stake", but still.

8
Single-Player RPGs / Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« on: August 09, 2018, 09:34:47 AM »
The power of love and friendship is still THE way to defeat the big-bad.  It was cheesy ~20 years ago and it's still cheesy now.

I see what you mean here, of course, but what's the alternative?  Winning because you have a better weapon?  Defeating the villain because your violence is more violent than his violence?  LOL
It's a tough one. :)

9
Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 09, 2018, 09:31:33 AM »
I should also mention it came at a time when I had even less free time than I do now, two roommates, and was helping plan my wedding.  So I was dropping RPGs all the time, especially if they didn't immediately grab me.

Cold Steel 2
Spoiler: show
Yeah, so McBurn lived up to the hype.  He actually survived my Gaius Win Button strategy.  I couldn't believe it!  I guess Gaius' wind just fanned McBurn's flames.  But Delay Rean put out the fire easily.  McBurn muttered something after Gaius wrecked his face, so I knew his next turn would be his uber move.  Good thing he never actually got another turn.
I definitely loved seeing Laura's dad show up and be hilariously awesome.  What I don't necessarily love (or hate, I'm ambivalent) is how every single bad guy just gets back up after Class VII defeats them.  ALL of them.  Without exception.  Even Pedo Bait Altina was able to scurry off.  It's kind of annoying.  But on the flip side, it also makes sense that this ragtag group of students can't actually fully defeat these Top 1% fighter types (even with the power of friendship).

10
I won't pay for Picard either but I will watch the hell out of it once it comes out on DVD.

1) I'm pretty sure it'll just be called "Picard" too, actually.

2) I wish I could wait for DVD but I'm entirely too "connected" to the fandom to wait that long.  Evil CBS will be getting my money after all, even though I held off on Discovery.

11
Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 08, 2018, 03:24:35 PM »
6 hours in and I have no opinions about Skies of Arcadia that aren't glaringly obvious, but I still want @Frostillicus to be aware of it

When I tried to play this back in the day, it was so hideously ugly to look at and clunky to play that I gave up after 1 hour.  So feel free to share these obvious opinions so I know what I missed.

12
Single-Player RPGs / Re: What are you favorite jokes in JRPGs
« on: August 08, 2018, 09:29:38 AM »
Final Fantasy X-2:

"You think it needs a password?"
"How about 'kick its ass!'"

Ooh, X-2 had some good ones.

Paine: *equips Songstress* "...I hate this dressphere."

13
Single-Player RPGs / Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« on: August 07, 2018, 12:15:18 PM »
@Agent D. would you prefer 3d polygonal characters in Octopath?  Or just higher-res sprites?  I think Octo's characters fit the world they inhabit, and higher res character sprites would require higher res sprites for every single NPC as well in order to maintain visual verisimilitude.  But I honestly don't know if that would have worked with the style of the game, in general.  They may contrast too starkly with their surroundings.  The game looks pretty perfect as is.

No, that's true, but each saga only loosely connects to the others, so it honestly doesn't matter what order you play them in.  For instance, Sky is set in the country of Liberl and Cold Steel is set in the empire of Erebonia.  If you start with Cold Steel, there will be one or two references where someone will say "Can you believe what happened in Liberl?? OMG!" and then they'll mention something that happened in Sky in general terms.  While these references can technically be called spoilers, they won't actually affect your enjoyment of Sky when you play it.  In fact, the anticipation of finding out what they're talking about could even enhance your experience. 

CS1 and 2 are definitely making me want to play the Crossbell arc more than I ever have, for sure.
Hmmm is that so...because I thought that some characters cameo from game to game, a friend told me that Trails of Blue/Zero characters play a big role in CS, is that not true ?
That may be true (haven't played the Crossbell games) but, again, it's all about perspective.  Whether you see them first in Azure/Zero, Sky, or Cold Steel, all that matters is that you're getting to know the characters and are interested in their activity.  So again, the order doesn't really matter.

14
Single-Player RPGs / Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« on: August 07, 2018, 11:01:17 AM »
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Dincrest's favorite JRPG back in 2009, winning out over other JRPGs like Final Fantasy VII or Chrono Trigger:



LOL, just messing with you, Din.  We all have our quirks of taste. :P
Ugly polygons and cringey writing aside, some of this looks interesting. I like the cyberpunk vibe.

15
Everyone here is a bunch of idiots.  Why is the reaction to this news to talk about Alf?  LOL

Because not all of us are into boring space operas, guy. Settle down. ...Acting like Picard is yo' daddy, or something.

YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT HE MEANS TO MEEEE :runs away crying:

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