Author Topic: A Game Journal Reborn

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Frostillicus

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7740 on: December 11, 2017, 12:42:42 PM »
The truest Elder Scrolls experience is spending 10 hours researching all the best mods, 2 hours installing them, 100 hours debugging and figuring out the load order, then playing 5 minutes and getting bored.


I laughed, cuz that shit is too true.

Wild Arms 2 - Climbed Telepath Tower. Found the legendary Booty Call tool along the way. It has already been quite useful in helping me locate some bountiful booty.
Anyway, I then watched the rather morbid enemy broadcast to the world from the top of said tower. Next, I climbed over Mt. Chug-chug, and ultimately got back to HQ. Received the next mission: to deliver a letter to some place whose(?) name I've already forgotten.
*All In all, I think it's a solid JRPG for its time (I never got around to playing the series in its day). A good follow up to the original. Enhanced in all the right aways (except for the battle sprites - yuck) . There's a lot more 'style', compared to the first game.
The poor translation to English is hilarious. The music however, is excellent. So very late 90s, yet so very good. Also, using radar to find towns and dungeons on the world map is really dumb.
"Movies are better than people. You don't have to smell who you're watching." ~ Baby Cakes

Arvis

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7741 on: December 11, 2017, 04:00:08 PM »
Anyone else try the Lost Sphear demo?  Impressions?

I'll just go ahead and say that I was surprised at how good it was.  Not that it was omg so good, but that it was surprisingly good, while I expected bland nonsense.  Needs English voices, of course, and the animation could use some work.  Also, movement is kinda slow.  But other than that, I was surprised at how interesting the world and story felt (being obviously on the side of evil, at least for the run of the demo). The "good guys" that you're fighting not all really feeling that "good", either, was interesting.  I legit wanted to know more.

The music is superlative.  Loved every tune, it was right up there with the best of Gust etc.

And, of course, the battle system: surprisingly fun and varied!  The one boss fight feels absurdly difficult, even though I did beat it on my first try.  I'm curious if that's what we can expect from all bosses in this game.
"You know, you're pretty cool too, Arvis.  You like good music, good games, and good tennis." - Divingfalcons

Klyde Chroma

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7742 on: December 19, 2017, 10:42:39 AM »
Horizon Zero Dawn -- I'm so addicted to this game it is disgusting. While I have loved every moment thus far, I must contend that this game sports some of the most terrible/awkward facial animations ever. EVERYONE IS UGLY and it is sort of funny in a way it is not supposed to be.
I am more a battlefield than a Ninja.

Der Jermeister

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7743 on: December 19, 2017, 12:06:17 PM »
Still dicking around in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Think I'm at the last dungeon in Tokyo Xanadu. Glad my Vita's power didn't crap out during the long cutscene that precedes said dungeon.

Working on Proud Mode missions in Kingdom Hearts Union Cross.

Kevadu

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7744 on: December 22, 2017, 05:48:31 AM »
As I seem to like to talk about games that probably nobody else here will ever play, let's talk Idolmaster!

The first Idolmaster game I played was Idolmaster 2 on the PS3.  I will say without any shame that I honestly quite enjoyed it.  For those of you not familiar with the franchise I would summarize it as basically 1 part rhythm game, 1 part visual novel, and 2 parts management simulation as that was really the bulk of the game.  It was a refreshingly unique combination at the time.  You assume the role of a small-time producer for a little-known idol and try to make her into a big-time star within a time limit.  You have to split their time between things like training, live shows, promotional activities, etc. while also managing a budget and trying to increase sales of their singles.  Many of these activities involved simple mini-games to mix things up a bit and yes there were even some visual novel like elements as the story progressed.

Another interesting point: Idolmaster 2 was a hard game.  Odds are you were not going to get a good ending your first few times through.  There were a lot of things to manage in the game, for instance popularity was regional not just a single number and if you neglected a region for too long your idol would start to become unpopular there.  So you had to think not only about what activities to pick but also where to pick them.  The game also very much encouraged replaying with different idols to produce, different songs to pick, etc.  Let's just say that it would probably taken a very long time to platinum trophy it (not that I ever did).

But anyway it's been like 6 years since that game came out and I hadn't picked up an Idolmaster game since so I guess I wasn't that in love with the franchise or anything.  But I really did enjoy the game and lately after seeing some promotional material for a new Idolmaster game for the PS4 (Stella Stage) I decided to give the franchise another shot.  So why am I talking about Idolmaster 2 now?  Because I really want to contrast the two games.

I said Idolmaster 2 was 1 part rhythm game, 1 part VN, and 2 parts management simulation.  Stella Stage is more like...2 parts rhythm game, 1 part VN, and...maybe half a part management simulation.  That aspect of the game hasn't been completely removed or anything, but god damn does it feel watered down compared to Idolmaster 2.  You do still make choices about what activities to pursue but I feel like the choice hardly matters.  The differences are largely superficial.  Training was an important part of Idolmaster 2 because it was the main way you improved your idol's stats (but you also didn't want to train too much and neglect your fans) but here it just provides a temporary boost that feels largely...unnecessary.  So it feels like, why even bother.

The rhythm game aspect for performances has changed a lot too, it's more of a proper rhythm game than the simplistic minigames of Idolmaster 2.  And it should be seeing how they seemed to have just completely ripped off the Hatsune Miku games.  No, really, even the button prompts and everything are exactly the same.  Not that there's anything wrong with the Hatsune Miku games or anything but the similarities are too blatant to not comment on.  I don't know about other more recent titles in the franchise but certainly the older games were not like that at all.

There is one aspect of Stella Stage that is much less forgiving than Idolmaster 2: It constantly autosaves.  Yes, even when you screw up.  However I eventually realized that during the rhythm game sections you can just pause and select retry if you're not doing well.  This is a pretty standard feature in pure rhythm games but it surprised me a little bit that they would put that here since the rhythm game aspect is embedded in a larger game where failure is supposed to have actual consequences.  Of course I don't like failing so needless to say I started abusing that feature as soon as I discovered it.  So despite the autosave thing the general lack of difficult choices and more relaxed pacing makes Stella Stage feel a whole lot easier than the sometimes grueling difficulty of Idolmaster 2.

But you know what?  I liked the management aspects.  I even kind of sorta liked the difficulty because it did feel rewarding when you finally got things right.  Yes, Idolmaster 2 was like the Dark Souls of idol management simulations.

...sorry I just really wanted to use that phrase.

Idolmaster 2 felt incredibly refreshing to me at the time because I had never played anything quite like it before.  And you know what?  I still haven't.  Because Stella Stage really isn't the same kind of game...it's not necessarily a bad game or anything but it's not really what I was looking for either.  And given the niche genre I wonder if we're ever going to see a game like Idolmaster 2 again...

Arvis

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7745 on: December 22, 2017, 09:58:47 AM »
I just saw the word "Idolmaster" and immediately went cross-eyed.

But last night I started up an RPG that I KNOW everyone here will want to discuss: Gran Turismo 6!  Eh?  Eh?  Any takers?
"You know, you're pretty cool too, Arvis.  You like good music, good games, and good tennis." - Divingfalcons

Annubis

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7746 on: December 22, 2017, 10:01:04 AM »
What are your thoughts on The Idolmaster One For All?

I always wanted to play one of those games, but there are too many timed elements and I can't read that fast...
Actually, it's been so long, I'm not even sure if I can even read Japanese anymore.

Frostillicus

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7747 on: December 22, 2017, 10:06:09 AM »
Gran Turismo 6!  Eh?  Eh?  Any takers?

I expect golds in all license tests.

I made it to International A class when playing earlier this year. The races stopped being fun for me at that point.
"Movies are better than people. You don't have to smell who you're watching." ~ Baby Cakes

Arvis

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7748 on: December 22, 2017, 10:11:16 AM »
Gran Turismo 6!  Eh?  Eh?  Any takers?

I expect golds in all license tests.

Never.  EVER.  Never again will I waste another SECOND of my life attempting that.

However, after watching entirely too much Top Gear and The Grand Tour, I really could no longer hold back the urge to "drive" those cars I was seeing on the show.  Which was the spark that led me to tearing around Sierra Circuit for the first time in my life in a Zonda.  I had no idea they had added a track like that to GT6.  It took me 10 minutes and 42 seconds to do ONE lap.  And it was heaven.  I love really long courses like that.
"You know, you're pretty cool too, Arvis.  You like good music, good games, and good tennis." - Divingfalcons

Aeolus

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7749 on: December 22, 2017, 03:12:44 PM »
Been playing FEW lately while I waited for the most recent set of XBC2 bug fixes to drop (Gotta wait for Shadow!! Percival) and unlocked Female Robin.

Sadly the game is too riddled with clones to bother with the DLC (even though getting some Lance Infantry going would've been nice).
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Kevadu

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7750 on: December 22, 2017, 08:15:58 PM »
What are your thoughts on The Idolmaster One For All?

I always wanted to play one of those games, but there are too many timed elements and I can't read that fast...
Actually, it's been so long, I'm not even sure if I can even read Japanese anymore.

I haven't actually played that one so I don't really have much in the way of thoughts about it.  But from from what I've read it sounds like it would fit somewhere between Idolmaster 2 and Stella Stage, not being quite the same rigorous management simulation Idolmaster 2 was but still having more of that sort of thing than Stella Stage.

The timed responses are definitely going to be an issue for anyone not comfortable with Japanese, though honestly they're not a huge part of the game and I don't know how much it really affects things if you screw them up.

I just saw the word "Idolmaster" and immediately went cross-eyed.

That sounds like a medical problem.

Dincrest

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7751 on: December 23, 2017, 10:34:06 AM »
On a lark, I decided to try out the demo for Legrand Legacy and I'm digging it so far (about an hour and some change in and there is still more to go.)  Bad news first, it runs a bit choppy on my rig (I have an older computer that falls short of the recommended specs), particularly during battles.  This makes timing the Judgment Ring type things in battles rather off, though even with that handicap it's more forgiving than Legend of Dragoon's overly finicky Addition system.  The plot and characters seem fairly standard for a JRPG (the dev, an Indonesian company, even touts this game as a love letter to classic JRPG epics), but the atmosphere in the game is wicked cool.  The world feels very foreboding, the characters don't look overly pretty, and I like the overall visual design.  The music is really good too.  Yeah, this is definitely something up my alley.  The full game is slated for January, so it looks like 2018 will be starting off strong. 

https://legrandlegacy.com/

UPDATE: After playing with some of the settings (graphic quality to low, resolution reduced), the game runs much smoother, I'm getting better at the Judgment Ring, and the game still looks damn good. It doesn't look like much of any visual acuity was sacrificed at all.

(My rig is 1.5Ghz processor with 4 gigs of RAM.  Yeah, it's a bit old.)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 01:06:38 PM by Dincrest »
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Klyde Chroma

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7752 on: December 25, 2017, 12:10:25 AM »
Client gave me a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. I am totally won over, Nintendo has me on board with them all over again (first time since I was a kid I actually LOVED a Nintendo console).

Also to my surprise, after sampling a few games including Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey was the game that "blew me away". Easily my pick for my first Switch title. My only gripe is the incorporation of some motion controls because I've NEVER been able to enjoy that use of my peripheral... just feels wrong and awkward to shake the hell out of my controller.

Looks like I need to rethink how I allocate my time to my games. Thinking, Nintendo and PC on the weekends and Sony on the weekdays. Making the tough life decisions that truly matter here.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!
I am more a battlefield than a Ninja.

Klutz64

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7753 on: December 25, 2017, 04:52:50 PM »
I literally have a notepad document where I assign consoles or themes to each day of the week and the current game I'm working on for that console or theme

Frostillicus

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Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Reply #7754 on: December 27, 2017, 11:25:45 AM »
Wild Arms 2 - Just arrived at the Sielje Region (typical JRPG ice region).
~I've mentioned it before, but holy shit, is the translation laughable. People have almost no personality, because they weren't given the ability to express themselves in English. There's one dungeon where you have these 2 high class/distinguished lizards accompanying you, and the (attempt at) deep conversations they have with the PCs are painful. Just a series of words being thrown around in a nonsensical order.
~Like the first game, some answers to furthering progress are vague, but there is at least a "call" function in the menu now, where you can get a refresh of what you are supposed to be doing. I guess it can be said I made it this far without consulting a FAQ, which I did several times over the course of the first game. However, this one almost got me with the finding of the bomb tool under a bed in a town inn. That was dumb. The dungeon puzzles are well balanced, though. Just enough to make you think, without actually being frustrating.
~Battle-wise, this game is crazy easy compared to the first one. The beginning was a little tough, but once the characters come together, there's no real challenge. It seems said characters become overpowered very easily. I'm not sure if it's because the Personal Skills are overpowered themselves, or what, but I have been destroying everything I come across. Haven't even come close to losing a battle in quite some time.
~That said, I'm still having fun. The game is a 90s-style delight. Especially the 2D part of it. The music continues to be great.
"Movies are better than people. You don't have to smell who you're watching." ~ Baby Cakes