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46  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Bloodstained Ritual of the Night on: May 12, 2015, 01:36:57 AM
So who's evil castle do you think we're vania'ing this time (since I somehow suspect Dracula being off limits this time)?
47  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 12, 2015, 01:35:15 AM
That doesn't match the BS-factor of the 10th one, where you have to visit an unrelated area during a nightly stealth mission and get the chapter from an NPC who's not even visibly unless you're using the exact right camera angle.

Oh and if you just like to read the story, wait for SC. It starts off in Grancel Castle and apparantly the royal library suddenly obtained a full series of Carnelia novels while the FC ending credits were rolling. Oh, and weapons don't carry over.

Alright. Wasn't sure about the weapons transfarring, so knowing that, the Carnelia sidequest is almost completely pointless (at least you don't also have to fight the strongest enemy in the game for the prize).
48  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 12, 2015, 01:23:38 AM
Endonesia - Played hide and seek with a dude. He won, which resulted in some, uh... hide-and-seek god that's a butt sticking out from under a table giving me its blessing? Also I caused a mutant monkey to pass out and then a UFO killed it which made a mecha-angel happy. Genuinely no idea about that one -- could *not* decipher what she was saying. <- Update on that, I think she was saying she's a runaway, doesn't want to forget home, and that her heart's not pumping oil. And then she does a laser attack.
Is this English?  Is this... words?  *head falls off*

I'm pretty sure he's talking about this.
49  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles X on: May 12, 2015, 12:59:04 AM

I hated FFX Summons.  They go from tanks[?] to wimps really quickly.  I wasn't exactly sure how to upgrade them, but for some reason I also remember telling myself it was largely not worth the effort either.
I do think they're some, if not THE greatest batch of summons in the series.

Am I misreading or did you just say you hated them but they're also the best in the series?

To be fair, most FF summons fall into one of two camps A) Combat Magic that's straight up superior to the school of magic that's dedicated to combat, or B) gimmicky crap that puts way too many constraints on them and makes them too ineffective to use for their respective costs. FFX is the closest the series gets in terms of taking a third option.
50  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 12, 2015, 12:45:46 AM
I liked reading the story too... Or I told myself I did to make it worth it.  But yeah, it's definitely not worth it beyond bragging rights I guess.  The one you get just after you meet Oliver and literally it's gone the very scene after that is a bunch of bullshit.

Not to mention the one where as soon as Chapter 4 starts, you literally have to trek over to the opposite gate and talk to a specific NPC before doing anything else. Don't even go to the town, pass Go or even collect $200.
51  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Bloodstained Ritual of the Night on: May 11, 2015, 10:07:34 PM
A game with enemy sprites that haven't been recycled since the days of Rondo of Blood? You have my interest.
52  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 11, 2015, 08:44:27 PM
Carnelia is interesting to complete with a guide (I'd be shocked if anyone got all ten without a guide), but the only difference is having a 120-attack weapon for the final dungeon instead of a 130-attack weapon for the final dungeon.  And on only one character.  Ultimately not worth it. 

Plus, even if you got the one for Estelle and she could carry it over to SC, it'd still get outdated within the first 30 minutes of gameplay.
53  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles X on: May 11, 2015, 08:38:22 PM
That's one of the biggest hurdles I had with that game. These cool kick ass machines should feel like some kind of novelty, a bit like the FFX summons do. Instead they felt like a downgrade from the regular battles.

I hated FFX Summons.  They go from tanks[?] to wimps really quickly.  I wasn't exactly sure how to upgrade them, but for some reason I also remember telling myself it was largely not worth the effort either.
I do think they're some, if not THE greatest batch of summons in the series.

Re: Upgrading FFX Summons. Raise Yuna's Stats.

They also gain abilities through similar means to the way equipment could have abilities applied to them (basically collect and dump enough items on them for them to learn crap). Kinda like FFVIII's GFs in a way.
54  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 10, 2015, 02:36:51 AM
Okay so initial thoughts on having finished Chapter 1...

...wow, I only just finished Chapter 1.

Combat is v e r y  s l o w...

I'm kind of confused about the Orbment System still. I've been reading everybody's forum posts and I still can't really get a grasp on how it's supposed to work. Maybe I'm still too early in the game but I feel like by now I would have a decent idea of how to build my characters.

I really like Estelle, everyone else is take-it-or-leave-it. Olivier and I would probably be buddies.

Seriously, Falcom, there's a difference between a leisurely pace and a glacial one. That said, I do appreciate the time being taken for these little character moments, I just wish things were a bit more involving.

Backtracking for days, son.

First of all, check your bracer notebook if you haven't already. The "recipes" for all spells in the game are in there. Note that lots of those spells can't be accessed yet with the limited amount of quartz you get in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 and up are where you start getting better quartz so you can start tinkering. At this point, you should already be able to get access to spells like Aerial and Hell Gate. Try to access those by seeing what their requirements are and putting quartz on your character that can contribute the elemental points you need.

Basically this.

As I mentioned earlier, Falcom really loves the slow burns to power, giving upgrades more weight and such. And right now, you're just getting the training wheels that are Schera and Oliver off your wagon. Soon you'll start getting some better Quartz to actually work with, though you'll never have a ton of options.

And yeah, go for Aerial and Hell's Gate. Those will last you until the endgame in terms of spellcasting.


Can't say I saw too much of an MGS vibe, whatnot stoving around to infiltrate enemy base. At least not nearly as obvious as say Xenosaga 1 with Ziggy sneaking around complete with stealth camo.

I beat chapter 1 myself too. Some stuff:

- Seems I can't go back to the first town, so I guess I missed the recipes there... oh well
- I equipped deathblow on Joshua to try and link some quartz. It had disappeared when I checked it again an hour later. Seems it gets used automatically or something... oh well
- What? You make me play for at least a dozen hours or more before giving a full party and then not take one, but two away at once? Not fun. Well, at least they gave back their equipment and quartz. Would suck if I lost something important like the field effect ones. I'm glad I've only been unlocking slots for the main duo.
- Also, yes. Backtracking is quite a problem, even while avoiding battles. It's like three roads till checkpoint and then three roads more to somewhere else with no variety and not really much treasure either. Just enemies that don't even give anything useful, except a little quartz. Level doesn't seem to matter much and I don't actually even know what level my characters are at.

Yeah. Chapter 1's finale wasn't all that MGS-like. You're basically just running around hallways and fighting mooks.

As for your points.
1. Yep. Once you leave a region, you're done with it for the game. Make sure you complete all the quests and get as many recipes and books as you can. (The game at least made it apparent that you won't be returning this game given all the ceremony involved in the transition.)
2. Deathblow 2 Quartz is indeed a one-time Quartz that guarantees a 100% K.O. from the person who's equipped with it from their next attack, and each and every one should either be saved for Region 3/4 Shining Pom hunting since they'll be far harder to deal with by then or chest enemies in the final dungeon (as they are huge sacks of HP). Also Deathblow 2 gives no levels in anything and should be used in creating new spells.
3. This is another thing to get used to when traveling from region to region. This game is all about two rookie cops forming a hip young squad with something to prove and doesn't hide this at all. At the very least, I can tell you that this isn't the last you'll see of them.
4. The only concern for your levels for a region is if you can climb the local tower. If you can climb it and loot it for all its worth, you're good to go until the next region (or at least the region's finale). Random encounters don't really drop anything of value (barring Shining Poms, the most you'll see is maybe a free Quartz or some cooking ingredients).
55  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dincrest plays Chrono Cross PlayLog on: May 10, 2015, 02:16:05 AM
But what I'm saying is that the polygons look sharper on a PS1 and standard def TV than a PS3 (with smoothing selected) and an HD TV.

http://ps3media.ign.com/ps3/image/article/793/793775/playstation-3-upscaling-comparison-20070601071759915-000.jpg

This is Monster Rancher 2, but l looks like ht PS3 is just stretching the image and dumping some bilinear? filtering on it which doesn't look very good. If the models were actually rendered at a higher resolution and then had just the textured instead of the entire screen filtered, they'd look more like this youtube screenshot herebelow posted, although I'm guessing the PS3 isn't powerful enough to do that and still get a consistent framerate (my understanding is that the PS3 is running PSX games through emulation and not hardware [did earlier models have hardware for PSX/PS2 stuff..? Or is CC on the PS3 virtual console deely?] which is heavy enough of a thang as it is).

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/In781ZTHDKQ/maxresdefault.jpg (Although this also show's off what I was talking about with how like, you have inconsistent texture sizes and you don't notice this at the original resolution so much, but the grass looks really weird if the models are higher res).

I remember the PS2 emulation from the early PS3 models was doable entirely due to having a PS2's core physically present (which is why Sony cut the hell out of it when it became obvious that the endeavor was horribly cost ineffective).

As for the PSX elements, I believe that is emulation IIRC (as it should be since the physical hardware of the PSX was also a goddamn mess). That would explain some of the issues that have cropped up from playing PSX games on a PS3.
56  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Project X Zone 2: Electric Bugaloo on: May 10, 2015, 02:09:02 AM
it could potentially be a good game if they just made some of the systems more complex, any of them. The level up system, equip system and combo systems are just so basic. Playing SRW z3.2 right now and while the combat is fire emblem style and I find myself skipping animations more often than not, the distributing stat points to pilots and upgrading mech stats just add so much depth to the game. Maybe they could add an ace style system to the game, giving each character a unique bonus once they reach a certain amount of kills.

That would actually be a good idea. At the very least, it'd give players a better reason to use their favorites beyond "because they're there". Of course, they're not going to do that if this is anything like PXZ1 since A) availability was a constant issue, B) you used everybody where possible anyways and C) it would suck if your favorite team were the ones constantly stuck on looting duties and thus couldn't afford to rack up the kills.
57  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 09, 2015, 05:50:41 AM
Take for instance, the Materia v. Quartz debate I went through earlier. If you looked a at a full Materia List from FFVII, you'd find that there are like 3 different types of Counter Materia, two different types of All Materia (Mega All straight up renders almost all of your All Materia useless) and at least three different Materia that changes your basic form of attack and cannot stack with each other (well, I forget how Long Range Attack stacked with either Double Cut or Slash-All, either way Double Cut and Slash-All do not stack with each other), on top of all the Summons, what happens to Deathblow later on and of course, the ridiculousness of Master Materia. There are a ton of redundancies that reduces most strategies down to W-Summon Knights of the Round or Quadra Magic + W-Magic Comet 2 with Mime x 2 following, but admittedly, most of these options looked cool when you first got them. Quartz though, is all about "Who should I give my Str +5/10/15% Quartz too and should I follow up with either the HP +5/10/15% Quartz, the Def +5/10/15% Quartz, the Spd +5/10/15% Quartz, the Move +5/10/15% Quartz, the Dex +5/10/15% Quartz or the Strike Quartz?" and "If I give this Str +5/10/15% Quartz to this person, what can I do with 1/3/5 Fire on my line? I'm getting Fire Bolt and possibly Flare Arrow, do I want +5/3/1 Fire for Napalm Breath; +2/0 Fire, 1 Wind and 1 Space for Fire Bolt Ex; +4/2/0 Fire, 2 Wind and 2 Space for Spiral Flame; +7/5/3 Fire, 4 Earth and 2 Space for Volcanic Rave, +3/1/0 Fire, 4 Wind, 2 Space and 1 Mirage for Forte, or +2/0 Fire, 3 Earth, 2 Water, 2 Wind, 2 Space and 2 Mirage for Saint? And assuming that I have Cloak for the +2 Fire and 3 Mirage, which of Confuse, Seal or Strike do I equip, or do I want a different status effect on my weapon instead, because Status Effects don't stack, much like Stat Boosts?".

Basically, you have to be very careful and deliberate with your set up to get a character that can use Volcanic Rave (its impossible with Attack 1 since there's only an additional +5 to Fire available from the other Quartz; its possible with Attack 2 but Cloak doesn't show up until near the end of Chapter 4, plus you'll be burning three slots on Fire Quartz and still need both the Defense 3 Quartz and a Space Quartz (probably Cast 2) to fulfill the other requirements, all of which needs to be done on one line) or any other high end spell out of Quartz. FFVII can eventually give you access to every goddamn spell in the game if you're willing to grind for it (and 95% of them by that point are worthless due to Comet 2 and Knights of the Round existing).

(Oh and yeah, you can only equip one Added Status Effect Quartz to a character at a time. So no, you cannot stack Poison, Petrify, Deathblow, Freeze, Sleep and Strike on a single character and turn every hit from them into FFT's Cloud's Finishing Touch.)



Won't lie I went cross eyed in the middle of that, but picked up around the end again and IIRC Hades + Added Effect will make enemies into a mess of every-disease-at-a-time

Basically; the quartz/orbment system is more balanced than the materia system due to the limits it places on the player. Each character except Estelle has element-restricted slots (and a unique slot layout) so characters never become clones of each other. Also, you can't stack quartz of the same type. If you already have a Defense2 quartz equipped to increase your defense, you can't add additional Defense2 quartz or even a Defense1 quartz to make your character a meatshield who can stand there and take 0 damage from everything, but can do literally nothing else. Likewise, you can't stack status quartz of any type. (no triple petrify quartz to give your physical attacks 30% chance of stoning enemies, nor a combined petrify and confuse quartz to tie two status effects to your weapon)

Also, materia comes with spells attached to individual materia orbs. Trails doesn't care about the individual quartz, it looks at the amount of elemental points you have on your lines. For example, both Evade2 and Shield2 quartz give you 3 wind points. That means that in order to obtain a basic wind spell that requires 1 wind point, you can equip either quartz. If you put both on the same line, you'll have a total of 6 wind points and an advanced wind spell requiring 4 wind points will be available to you too. Most orbments have multiple lines though, so if you put the Evade2 quartz and Shield2 quartz on separate lines, you won't get the advanced wind spell.

Higher-level quartz tend to come with both bigger stat boosts and more elemental points, so what Aeolus was trying to say is: if I have only 1 Attack2 quartz (3 fire points) and 1 Attack1 quartz (1 fire point) what do I do with them? Do I give the Attack2 to the physical attacker, so he can hit a bit harder or do I give the Attack2 to my magical attacker, who doesn't benefit as much from the attack boost, but who can benefit from the extra fire points to get access to that fire spell that hit can multiple enemies instead of just one? Advanced spells frequently require points in 3 different elemental categories, so it's not just a matter of what quartz you equip on what character, but also where in the quartz grid you equip what quartz. It takes some getting used to, but it's very satisfying to tinker with once you get the hang of it.

Actually, what I was trying to say is that players can't just blindly equip Quartz like they can Materia (not to say that blindly equipping Materia is a good idea, but it honestly doesn't take the effort or planning that Quartz does), but should consider the A) need of a particular spell, B) the stats and role of the character equipping said Quartz and C) if there's demand for said Quartz elsewhere due to the limited means of raising a Category's level on that character.

And then I went and gave this longwinded, rambling dissertation on a possible scenario involving the points I was trying to make, but instead, all I did was Mimic Darlavon like the sperglord that I am.
58  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 09, 2015, 02:19:27 AM
FF9 may take a long time, but it's also way more interesting literally immediately. It manages to world and character build while still not having me run across a field for the nth time as they repeatedly bludgeon me in the face with 'GOSH ESTELLE IS SO DERPY BUT GANBARE!' In 5 hours of FFIX I have staged a kidnapping, met many of the characters, been SHOWN who they are rather than told, a friend gets petrified, you escape from a ghost forest, and then you almost freeze to death in an ice thing.

In 5 hours of Trails I ran back and forth between my house and a guild and listened to them TELL me how derpy Estelle is and lampshade "MYSTERIOUS PAST" with Joshua so hard it's almost laughable.

I like parts of this game, but the fact that everything is an obscenely protracted process makes me want to cry. I can't really lose myself in the script. It's well-written and clever occasionally, but it's also the most unoriginal thing. I had hoped that would ease up, andI keep hearing that things heat up near the end... and then it ends. We'll see, though. Most of my negativity towards it is fueled by a combination of the absurdly slow build of the story AND the slow combat. I'm still enjoying it well enough, but I am a bit perplexed by the cult status of this game.

Then again, maybe I'm just a Falcom heathen, because so far I've found so many of their games (all of them that I've played, really) to be aggressively mediocre. I'll keep plugging away at this one, though.

Yeah, unfortunately, TitS 1 is basically Cultural Studies Fieldtrip: The JRPG.

And yeah, Falcom tends to veer towards the exact opposite end of the spectrum that Square/Final Fantasy does.

The old Square games (up to and including FFIX) were more focused on throwing whatever worked into the game, as long as it looked flashy and impressive (hence why you constantly had situations like lol Black Magic/Status Effects/Strategy beyond Cure/Attack/Nuke and stuff like Superbosses that drop Infinity+1 Swords and Jobs like Ninja that blow away anything that isn't a Magic based Job). Final Fantasy's game design could be summed up as "Big Numbers getting Bigger!" and FFIX is no exception to this.

Falcom meanwhile, is almost too meticulous about when and how levels and numbers grew. You're always expected to have the latest and greatest equipment and almost never look back (one of the biggest twists in Ys 1 was the fact that you had to equip the Silver Tier equipment for the final boss since Silver has a historical/mythological basis for being considered blessed). Their big thing is about making the most out of every upgrade, getting the most out of every point you come across, and every option available to you is in someway important and useful throughout the adventure.

Take for instance, the Materia v. Quartz debate I went through earlier. If you looked a at a full Materia List from FFVII, you'd find that there are like 3 different types of Counter Materia, two different types of All Materia (Mega All straight up renders almost all of your All Materia useless) and at least three different Materia that changes your basic form of attack and cannot stack with each other (well, I forget how Long Range Attack stacked with either Double Cut or Slash-All, either way Double Cut and Slash-All do not stack with each other), on top of all the Summons, what happens to Deathblow later on and of course, the ridiculousness of Master Materia. There are a ton of redundancies that reduces most strategies down to W-Summon Knights of the Round or Quadra Magic + W-Magic Comet 2 with Mime x 2 following, but admittedly, most of these options looked cool when you first got them. Quartz though, is all about "Who should I give my Str +5/10/15% Quartz too and should I follow up with either the HP +5/10/15% Quartz, the Def +5/10/15% Quartz, the Spd +5/10/15% Quartz, the Move +5/10/15% Quartz, the Dex +5/10/15% Quartz or the Strike Quartz?" and "If I give this Str +5/10/15% Quartz to this person, what can I do with 1/3/5 Fire on my line? I'm getting Fire Bolt and possibly Flare Arrow, do I want +5/3/1 Fire for Napalm Breath; +2/0 Fire, 1 Wind and 1 Space for Fire Bolt Ex; +4/2/0 Fire, 2 Wind and 2 Space for Spiral Flame; +7/5/3 Fire, 4 Earth and 2 Space for Volcanic Rave, +3/1/0 Fire, 4 Wind, 2 Space and 1 Mirage for Forte, or +2/0 Fire, 3 Earth, 2 Water, 2 Wind, 2 Space and 2 Mirage for Saint? And assuming that I have Cloak for the +2 Fire and 3 Mirage, which of Confuse, Seal or Strike do I equip, or do I want a different status effect on my weapon instead, because Status Effects don't stack, much like Stat Boosts?".

Basically, you have to be very careful and deliberate with your set up to get a character that can use Volcanic Rave (its impossible with Attack 1 since there's only an additional +5 to Fire available from the other Quartz; its possible with Attack 2 but Cloak doesn't show up until near the end of Chapter 4, plus you'll be burning three slots on Fire Quartz and still need both the Defense 3 Quartz and a Space Quartz (probably Cast 2) to fulfill the other requirements, all of which needs to be done on one line) or any other high end spell out of Quartz. FFVII can eventually give you access to every goddamn spell in the game if you're willing to grind for it (and 95% of them by that point are worthless due to Comet 2 and Knights of the Round existing).

(Oh and yeah, you can only equip one Added Status Effect Quartz to a character at a time. So no, you cannot stack Poison, Petrify, Deathblow, Freeze, Sleep and Strike on a single character and turn every hit from them into FFT's Cloud's Finishing Touch.)
59  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 09, 2015, 12:42:45 AM
Splatoon: Adventure of Ink. Got to give this a shot tonight. Overall, entertaining and when it clicked, it clicked, but I ended up having to fight with the motion controls. Also, I only got a chance to use the MG & SMG since you can't switch loadouts without backing out of the game lobby. Matches went by quick. And not much else to say.


Splatoon: An Ink to the Past. Got in on the second and third runs as well, though due to the schedule being posted in Pacific Time first, I wound up only getting in on a single game in the final run (dammit NoA, why can't you use Eastern like everybody else). Still, I got the chance to finagle with the Roller and Rifle type. Unfortunately, due to the random nature of the stage selection, the Rifle was a poorly suited weapon in half the stages I used it in. The Roller fared better, but you have to work to balance maintaining a view around you and a top-down view for inking purposes (and of course, to not try and roll over another roller directly since that way leads to double KOs). Ultimately, I ended up gravitating towards the Splattershot Senior (Splattershot Junior SUUUUUUCKS!!! (or at least it with the rest of the loadout did)) which went well as that was my beppin of choice for my one and only round in the third trial (and it payed off as I ended up taking first in points on the winning team for that match). Unfortunately, I was also on the receiving end of a pair of shutouts (where your entire team is pinned down at your starting zone by most of the enemy's team and the rest of the field is systematically covered, it usually occurs when two or more people on your team fails to pull their weight). And even more unfortunately was the fact that I was one of those slackers during one of those shutouts since I was still fumbling with a roller at the time. Other than that one disgrace though, I did alright, though its going to suck once the retail version's out and everybody finds the actual broken combos (its amusing that Rollers are considered so powerful right now when a Splattershot can tear them a new one if they're paying attention). Also I wasn't able to run into a Treehouser. :(
60  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 08, 2015, 09:20:08 PM
Sorry for the double-post, but I'm stuck at the Ravennue Village part...

After getting the information for Maybelle, I went to Ravennue Village. I defeated the monster for the elder guy, then I'm supposed to go to the abandoned mine. It's locked, so I'm supposed to return to the village and talk to the old guy in the graveyard. However, when I return, there's no one in the graveyard. I'm not sure what else to do?

Did you investigate the locked door? The game kinda makes you do that before you can get the key from the Elder.
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