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Messages - Kevadu

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Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ys VIII
« on: July 06, 2018, 01:14:19 AM »
Your AI party member in Seven tend to play extremely conservatively.  In a way that's a good thing because they don't tend to get themselves killed like some AIs do.  In fact other than big area attacks and things they don't tend to take damage at all.  But at the same time they deal very little damage.

It's a pretty unusual party system in a lot of ways.  In some sense it's not really a party's always up to the character your controlling to do most of the work.  Switching characters feels almost more like switching weapons to target different weaknesses.  But I think it works for Ys since it was never party-focused in the first place.

Though I found that Seven could drag on for other reasons I mostly enjoyed the combat.

Going to have to completely disagree with you there.

First of all Graces and Berseria (I didn't play Zesteria so I won't comment on it) may both have 'stamina meters' (except not really) but they play completely differently so I wouldn't group them together like that.   I am going to focus on Graces because it actually did this system well... unfortunately strictly in terms of the battle system at least Berseria was a big step backwards.

I take issue with the very premise of your argument that stringing together long combos is somehow the defining characteristic of what makes a good action game, or that they are somehow necessary for the player to dictate the flow of the game.  BS.  One of my favorite 'fighting games' (using that term loosely) of all time, Virtual On, didn't even have combos.  Seriously, if your oponent takes more than a minor hit they would be knocked down and made temporarily invulnerable.  There was literally no way to pull off combos in that game.  Must be hard to dictate the flow of battle, right?  Far from it, that game was entirely about battle flow.  Being able to herd your opponent, anticipate their moves, feints, etc.  It was actually quite intense even when not a single hit was landing.

But let's get back to Tales of Graces.  Yes it has combos (and they could actually be rather long combos if you did it right) but it also has some of the elements I appreciated in a game like Virtual On.  Not a lot of faking out an opponent when you're fighting an AI I'm afraid but there still was a good amount of trying to read their moves and counter and punish them.  Sorry but the Tales games you praise such as Vesperia just felt like button mashers to me.  Graces was much more precise and technical.

And the CC meter fits nicely into that.  It was never difficult to recover CC and if you played the game correctly it really didn't slow things down.  But it did force you to have to play the game correctly.  Dodging, countering, exploiting weaknesses, etc.  If you did things right you got your CC back almost immediately.  If you screwed up...well, then you had to wait a bit for it to recharge.  But I think that's a fair penalty for screwing up.

This is also where Berseria unfortunately screwed up I think.  I spent vastly more time in Berseria waiting for SG to recharge than I ever waited for CC in Graces.  In Graces getting CC was a natural part of the flow in combat.  In Berseria it just isn't...all it does is slow things down.  So I can get your complaint if you were just talking about Berseria.  But you had to lump Graces in with  Just no.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Trails/Kiseki Thread! Trails of Whateva
« on: June 27, 2018, 02:05:13 PM »
is 'The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky' any good?

I have a much shorter response than Aeolus: Yes.  It is bloody fantastic.

I'm currently playing through Berseria myself, actually.  And I have to say that while I am generally liking the game so far the endless fields (and many caves...) of enemies really does wear on me at times.  It's like they heard the complaints about the mediocre dungeons in Xillia (maybe Zesteria too but I haven't played that one) and said, "OK we'll make everything bigger".  Not more interesting, not more content, just bigger.  And filled with endless swarms of the same enemies which you feel like you shouldn't even try to avoid because it takes so many battles to get all those equipment skills.

Graces (I always seem to come back to Graces...) actually handled this kind of stuff really well in my opinion.  It didn't have a world map or anything but most of the 'overworld' links between cities and stuff were quite short.  Too short to be truly realistic, honestly, but who really cares.  On the other hand it has some huge, expansive, and actually interesting dungeons filled with puzzles, exploration, etc.  Didn't hurt that when you did fight enemies it was with the best battle system the series has produced to date.  Yeah, that was a really good game...

The plot in Berseria is definitely one of the most interesting I've seen in a Tales game but it feels like they still don't know how to get the gameplay right...even though they've gotten it right before but decided to abandon that direction for whatever reason.

BTW, is it really necessary for the final dungeon to be this epic 2h long labyrinth every time?
I wouldn't mind a more streamlined dungeon when I'm trying to push on and finish the game.

Now that is crazy talk.  Epic final dungeons is one JRPG tradition I actually like!  It's the final dungeon, it should be epic.  Just hopefully make it a more interesting location than the endless basically identical caves I've been going through so far...

Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: June 22, 2018, 02:07:29 AM »
Well if you're only on episode 8 you're still in what I would consider the good part of the show.  Let's see how you feel by the end.

Though personally I think the soundtrack for the show was excellent.  Even though it had been so long since I watched it the first time that I had forgotten major parts of the story I definitely still remembered most of the musical themes...

Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: June 20, 2018, 01:09:13 AM »
Funny, I just recently rewatched Escaflowne.  I had seen it before of course but it's been a long time so I figured I would give it another shot.

The first half of the show is pretty good but honestly it loses momentum after a while and the second half is a complete mess.  There are also a million plot holes I could pick apart.  It is a refreshing change from modern isekai if only because it's very much a shoujo series at heart with some action/adventure elements thrown in.  So it stands out from the modern isekai (which let's be honest are very much male power fantasies) because it's the style and genre is very different.  But is it actually better?  I don't know...certainly just being different has some merit when we're drowning in a see of clones but I was honestly less impressed with the show today than I remember being when I first watched it.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: June 19, 2018, 11:43:42 PM »
[member=1654]Kevadu[/member] Where is your long post about the GPD? I can't find it!

Scroll down man ;)

It's not exactly a game so I wasn't sure where to put it and just ended up putting in General Discussions.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: June 19, 2018, 06:00:03 PM »
Perhaps it was rude of me to include the "snarky" comment in my post. If that's the case, then I apologize.

That said, I was airing a legitimate complaint about the administrator's direction of the community prior to that, and frankly I don't see what's rude about it given the fact that Discord wasn't intended to replace the forums, but seems to have done just that.

More people using Discord is not "the administrator's direction".  As a non-administrator who uses Discord I find a little insulting.  People are choosing to use Discord because they want to use Discord.  Nobody made anyone do anything.  You are essentially just complaining that there is a more popular alternative.

I still think the forum has its place.  They are different forms of interaction, but for day-to-day chewing the fat kind of stuff I do prefer Discord.  However then I made that really long post about the GPD Win 2 (which nobody responded to...) deliberately on the forums because I figured it was something other people might want to reference in the future.  I could see doing the same thing for game impressions and the like as well.

I don't want to see the forums die either but it's true that they were in decline even before the Discord thing was started.  I would much rather have Discord than nothing.

General Discussions / GPD Win 2 first impressions
« on: June 16, 2018, 08:59:03 PM »

(Linking to Wikipedia because they have pictures and stuff and I haven't actually taken any myself...)

So if you've been in the discord channel you might already know this but I'll recap a bit for those who don't.  I just recently received my GPD Win 2.  What the heck is a GPD Win 2 you ask?  Basically it's a fully functional Windows 10 PC in a handheld gaming device form factor.  There have been many attempts at indie-ish handheld gaming devices over the years but most of them had ARM processors and would run custom flavors of Linux or Android.  Meaning games had to be developed specifically for them and that obviously limited their appeal.  But this thing has a standard Intel processor and runs Windows 10.  It is literally just a very small PC, and as such can run your existing PC games.  And that's a game changer.

As the name 'Win 2' implies this is actually their second device in this series.  I never tried the original GPD Win but from what I've read the Win 2 is a pretty big jump in both specs and some of the design elements.  So I'm not sorry I missed out on the original because in same ways it can be thought of as just a prototype for this one.

The Win 2 is roughly the size of a 3DS XL, though maybe a bit thicker.  It's also surprisingly heavy.  Not so much that you can't lift it obviously but it does weigh more than you might expect and can be a little fatiguing to hold for a long period of time.  It's a clamshell design with a 6 inch 720p touchscreen display on the top while the bottom houses both gamepad controls and a small keyboard.


The keyboard is more like the kind you would sometimes find on phones back when phones actually had keyboards than a laptop keyboard but it's pretty decent considering.  The buttons are shaped to help you distinguish them and have a nice tactile feel when pressed but you're certainly not going to touch type on this thing.

The real appeal of this device is the integrated gamepad controls.  Of course it has a USB port so you could attach an external device or something but that kind of kills the portability aspect.  Most of the time you're going to be using the integrated controls.  They are pretty much what you would expect from any modern gamepad: Two analog sticks, a D-pad on the left, four face buttons on the left, and triggers on the back of the device.   The analog sticks seem pretty good considering their small size.  The face buttons are also pretty nice and the D-pad is...acceptable.  I've certainly seen worse.  Start and select buttons are actually on the top right part of the keyboard but I don't really have an issue with that.  They're still pretty easy to reach and they're not the kind of buttons you're going to be using all the time anyway.

The one nonstandard thing they did was that the analog sticks do not click so for L3/R3 functionality they actually added a third pair of trigger buttons on the back of the device.  I have seen a lot of people complain about this but I guess I have a different perspective because personally I have never liked clickable analog sticks.  The main reason being is that I always seem to click them by accident when I'm just trying to move the stick around.  Am I the only one with this problem?  So for me I actually prefer having another set of triggers.  They're set a bit further in on the device than the standard L1/R1/L2/R2 triggers so you have to reach a bit for them but I haven't found them too hard to hit.

My one real complaint about the controls is an ergonomic issue I don't actually know a good solution to.  Because they have to share space with the keyboard the positioning of the D-pad and face buttons is not ideal.  The gamepad controls are all on the top edge of the device's base with the analog sticks towards the edges but the D-pad and face buttons are placed further in so your thumbs really have to reach for them.  On most gamepads they would be separated by a mix of vertical and horizontal movement, not just horizontal.  But with there also being a keyboard there's not really room to do that.  They could ditch the keyboard I suppose but given that this is a fully functional PC I don't think it's necessarily a strange thing to include.  So yeah I don't know how I would actually do it better but I do feel the need to mention it.  Particularly if you have small hands you might not find this device very comfortable.

There's a switch in the center of the device that switches between mouse and gamepad modes.  In mouse mode you actually use the right analog stick to steer the mouse cursor around which can be helpful for navigating menus in Windows.  As I mentioned earlier the screen is a fully functional touchscreen and Windows 10 does have touch support, but keep in mind that Windows 10 is not really optimized for being used on a screen this small.  So the touch capabilities are there but you might find fine control difficult.  That's why the mouse mode is pretty useful.  In theory  you could also use this and the tiny keyboard to play games that don't have gamepad support...but I don't think I would actually want to.


Let's talk specs for a bit.  It is powered by an Intel Core M3-7Y30 processor...which I won't blame you for never having heard of but basically it's an ultra-low voltage version of the same processor architecture Intel uses in their desktop and laptop chips.  It runs at a lower frequency of course but it's worth mentioning that it's not an Atom processor.  Atom processors were made to be low-power and inexpensive but their performance lags pretty far behind the Core series.  This is a surprisingly powerful CPU for such a small device.  It even has hyperthreading enabled, which some low-end desktop chips lack.

Now to the less good news: There is no discrete GPU.  You're reliant on the CPU's integrated GPU.  While Intel's integrated graphics have improved somewhat over the's still pretty bad compared to a discrete GPU.  On the plus side consider that you only have a relatively small 720p screen.  You obviously don't ever need to run at a higher resolution than that (and 720p is pretty low by modern standards) and a lot of features like AA can be turned off with minimal subjective impact simply due to the small screen.  You won't notice the details at the same level you might with a larger screen.  Still, running modern games can be a mixed bag.  The CPU is quite powerful for a handheld device so it's usually the GPU that will hold you back.  Some well optimized modern games can actually run quite well on it with low settings but others will struggle.  There are a lot of videos on Youtube of people trying various games on this device if you're interested.

To finish the spec discussion it also has 8GB of RAM and comes with a 128GB SSD.  The SSD is actually relatively easy to replace and uses the standard M.2 interface so you can put in a bigger one if you want.  However while it is an M.2 standard it is worth mentioning that there are actually a few different form factors out there and they're not all equally popular.  The vast majority of M.2 SSDs are in the 2280 form factor, basically meaning they're 80mm long.  The Win 2 uses a 2242 SSD, which is 42mm long.  So quickly looking at Newegg there are literally thousands of 2280 SSDs available but they have a whopping...16 2242 SSDs for sale.  So finding a replacement might be more challenging than you think.  Again it is a standard, not something the GPD folks made up for's just not a very popular standard.


There are actually quite a few I/O options on the Win 2.  It has a USB-C port (which is also used for charging) and a standard USB-A 3.0 port on the back, as well as a micro HDMI port, micro SD card reader, and of course a headphone jack.  My only real complaint here is the inclusion of micro HDMI...HDMI may be pretty standard but I don't see micro HDMI very often at all.  I realize that there isn't exactly room for a full sized HDMI port but I wish they had used that space for another USB-C port or something instead.  With the right dongle you can do video out over USB-C as well but you could potentially use it for a lot of other things as well...and yes you need a dongle but then I need a dongle for micro HDMI anyway.

Everything is on the back of the device which I found a little strange at first.  But it makes sense when you actually hold it because there is no way side I/O would work when you're holding it.  Still I wish they had been able to put at least the headphone jack on the front or something but that's a minor issue.

If you buy a large and relatively fast micro SD drive you can essentially just use the micro SD as a second SSD, installing things directly to it.  So that's another way of expanding your storage options.

One thing I find myself really missing is a fingerprint scanner.  I've gotten used to using them for unlocking my phone, tablet, and laptops so I find its omission here quite noticeable.  Having to type in your password on the tiny keyboard to unlock the device feels clunky.  Though if I'm only going to use it for games I suppose I could set it to not need a password at all...

Heat, battery life, etc.

The device is cooled by a single fan that sucks air in the bottom and pushes it out the back.  It's a pretty standard design but the fan can get a little whiny when it spins up.  There are four small feet on the bottom of the device which are supposed to make it so that if you place it on a flat table there is still some room for the fan to breath...but for some incomprehensible reason they made these feet really short.  They're barely little nubs on the bottom.  Which means that the airflow really isn't very good if you place it on a table, to the point where I've put it down only to hear the fan immediately start spinning faster as it struggles to breath.  To be fair it's meant to be a handheld device and this is much less of a problem when holding it in your hands, but still it feels like this would have been an easy thing to fix.  Just make those feet a little taller.  On the plus side the fan intake is central enough that I haven't had any issue with my fingers getting in the way while holding it.

The device can get a bit hot when you're gaming on it too.  Not so much that it's uncomfortable to hold but it's definitely noticeable.

On the other hand battery life is awesome.  I can't tell you exactly how long it lasts because I have yet to actually run it all the way down.  But I can tell you that I've gamed on it for a couple hours (actual gaming which tends to consume a lot more power than other tasks) and still had over half my battery remaining.  It is worth noting though that the large battery probably makes a significant contribution to the unit's weight.  As I said in the beginning it's not light.


OK, enough of this nonsense let's talk about the experience of playing games on it.  Unfortunately I haven't actually had it for very long so this is the part I probably have the least to say about, but it's something I should be able to expand on as I try more games on it.  I tried a few games just to verify that they work and nothing has seemed obviously broken so far.  Cold Steel II appears to run perfectly fine on it and that's something I plan to come back to.

Partially because it seemed like it would be a good game to test on this thing but also because it's something I've been meaning to play, most of my time with the device so far has been spent playing Tales of Berseria.  And the experience has been pretty good I would say.  It's a little more demanding than something like Cold Steel II so you definitely need to put it on low settings to get good frame rates, but assuming you do it's quite playable.  Combat seems perfectly smooth...actually the worst performance I've seen so far was in that starting down in the beginning of the game with all the falling leaves, sparkling lights, and stuff...but that's just a town so it wasn't bad enough hurt the experience that much.

Also Berseria is a fun game.  But you probably already know that.


It's a really neat little device.  It seems to work pretty well and does what it promised, though it can be rough around the edges in spots (figuratively...the literal edges are pretty smooth).  Part of me wonders if it's going to take a GPD Win 3 to really nail everything.  Though from a spec point of view it's about as good as you could ever expect in a device this size except for that integrated GPU...but a discrete GPU would never have fit into their power and space budget.  The CPU is supposed to use just 7 Watts.  Maybe someday AMD can make an APU that competes with that (AMD's integrated GPUs tend to run circles around Intel's, though both still lose to a discrete GPU) but at least for right now they don't have anything that low.

Oh yeah it's worth mentioning the price.  I picked it up during their crowdfunding campaign for $650.  They do plan to sell it through normal channels later (though right now they're still trying to fulfill all the crowdfunding orders...) but claimed the price would go up to $700 then.  We'll have to see how long that actually sticks seeing how most electronics go down in price over time.

That probably sounds like a lot when you can pick up a Switch for $300 and probably have a more polished experience.  But that's just the hardware.  With the GPD Win 2 you have access to your entire existing library of PC games on the go without having to repurchase anything.  Then consider that with sales on Steam and GOG even new software does tend to be a lot cheaper in the PC world.  And with cloud saving you can move pretty seamlessly between the Win 2 on the go and a 'real' PC when at home.  So I think there is a place for something like this, particularly if you're already invested in PC gaming.

Besides it's a neat gadget and I like gadgets.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: CD Projekt RED's Cyberpunk 2077
« on: June 16, 2018, 03:55:42 AM »
I also dislike first person games, though I guess not to the same extent as some of the people here as I'm still willing to give them a shot.  But it's never my preferred viewpoint.  No matter how much you try to tell me that first person is more immersive than third person because it's more realistic or something, I find it to be such a janky approximation of reality that it's actually less immersive.  In reality I have things like peripheral vision and a general idea of what kind of position my body is in without necessarily having to look at it.  The typical first person camera view feels simultaneously claustrophobic and detached.  You feel like a floating camera with a gun, not a person.

Is having a camera view from behind realistic?  Of course not.  But it's a useful crutch to make up for the technical limitations of a first person camera.  It helps fill in a lot of the detail that you would be aware of in reality but would be missing in a first person camera.  The way it does it may not be realistic but I find the end result to be a lot more satisfying.

General Games / Re: E3 2018: Wait. What happened to 2017!?
« on: June 12, 2018, 09:49:35 PM »
I don't have time to pick apart everything Aeolus said but there is one thing that really caught my eye.

The Sinking City: Lovecraft third person shooter.

Sorry but that game didn't look like a shooter at all.  They did say that there would be combat but it wasn't the focus and they barely even showed it.  The focus seems to be more on investigation/mystery solving.  That combined with things like the sanity mechanics they mentioned remind be a lot of the Call of Cthulhu pen and paper games.  Which would be awesome if true.  Most of the eldritch horrors in that mythos are not things an ordinary person even can fight.

So yeah I object to that characterization.  I'm actually pretty hyped for this one.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: June 12, 2018, 09:36:07 PM »
Yeah it's weird that you say you're not having any trouble and then proceed to complain about characters being dead at the end of boss fights.  If you really weren't have any trouble they would be alive...

There's a lot you can do with proper orbment management.

Not so fast.  We don't know if the PS 4 version will be released in the West.  I heard that Microsoft funded the localization of Tales of Vesperia.  If that is the case, we might only see the XBox One and PC version on our shores.  I am not yet happy.

This was an announcement for the west (E3 is a western trade show).  They explicitly said it was coming for the PS4.  You can literally preorder the PS4 version right now.

At some point you're being a little too paranoid...

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy 16 (survey)
« on: June 04, 2018, 12:49:46 AM »
Maybe that's not actually a coincidence and the reason you care about those games is because they put time and effort into each one instead of crapping out annual installments.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: May 27, 2018, 02:49:19 AM »
You had to go to the ER in the middle of the night and still went to work that day?  I think that might have warranted using a sick day...

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