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352813 Posts in 14364 Topics by 2254 Members
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3391  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles 3 Confirmed for The PSP on: November 10, 2010, 07:54:47 PM
Mechanically I'm referring to everything that happened outside of battle. Aside from the AI I'll agree the battle system itself is pretty solid. That's what got me through as far into the game I got before quitting. The rest of it though...really needs serious refinement/re-imagining. I'll try and highlight the major issues so I don't have a huge list of nitpicks.

-The Social Development Aspect: Mechanically this element detracted from the gameplay value in terms of how it was presented. The idea of "socializing with your team mates in order to advance their powers by overcoming their social faults" has been done better, with of course the prime example being Persona. The philosophy presented behind it is where the SDA falls flat. For comparison:

A lot of people want to compare this game to persona and it certainly does fall short in the socialization aspect.  But in P3 or P4 the time spent socializing is a huge part of the gameplay while in VC2 its a small extra.  Is it really fair to directly compare the two?

Also, none of this has anything to do with the gameplay video you were complaining about.

Persona: Let's socialize with my team mates at regular intervals to learn more about them and gain some powerful bonuses gradually so they'll be more effective in combat.

VC II: Let's socialize with my team mates at random intervals in order to keep them from absolutely sucking.

The part I bolded is the key point. The "flaws" your team can have in VC II ranged from minor annoyances to making the characters outright unplayable if the fates decided to screw you. Nothing like selecting a character only to have this happen: *one step* *two step* OMG! I'm having an irrelevant mental crisis! *character is unable to move anymore*. A mechanical change is needed to make the characters have lesser flaws while gaining more powers at a slower rate. (Extending the "stories" for each character from 4 to 6  scenes and having a "Potential" awaken every 2 scenes would be a nice balance, for example.)

At no point in VC2 was any character on my squad (and I used all of them) unplayable.  Most negative potentials have environmental or other factors you can be smart about to mitigate them and they were actually less random in VC2 than VC1 thanks to the whole morale mechanic.  Keep your morale up and you hardly ever got negative potentials.  There's certainly still a random element to it but even in the absolute worst case all that happens is that you waste a CP.  That's not the end of the world.  If for some reason you are activating the same negative potentials over and over then you are doing something wrong.

Also, none of this has anything to do with the gameplay video you were complaining about.

-The "Currency" & Level Up System: The funds you use to buy gear with in VC II were way too plentiful.  Every time a chapter rolled around I found it way too easy to purchase everything and still had funds left over. Not to mention most of the purchases on the "tech tree" were pretty useless IMO. With a few exceptions the best option was just to go straight down and when it did offer alternate purchases it was usually only one other choice for one or two classes per chapter. Not even the Tank purchases felt relevant aside from "personal taste". Just equip a AA turret with a AP secondary and everything dies unless they have God-Mode evade turned on (like certain bosses). VC III would need more branches on their "tree" with more relevant choices that make me want to buy something besides the "standard" gear.

I'll agree that funds were too plentiful, but that seems like a relatively minor balance issue to me.  I disagree that non-standard weapons weren't useful.  I found them extremely useful.

Also, none of this has anything to do with the gameplay video you were complaining about.

Also the Level Up system felt unnecessary. I think I got up to level 15 or 16 in all my classes and honestly I didn't feel more powerful than I did at level 1 aside from a larger HP pool. Enemies still took the same # of hits, I still died with the same # of hits...why give the player levels if they feel empty? The only time I felt power boosts were during Class Changes. The Class Changes themselves were decent but that system is also flawed. I don't mind having to farm items for class changes. But two things drag the system down:

1. Needing to restock the medals to change into a class you've already unlocked. Look at a game like Final Fantasy Tactics. Do I need to re-level a Squire to Lv. 3 each time I want to change into a Knight? No. There's no reason to. It's just silly game padding to extend the length via useless farming. This even wouldn't be so bad except...

Leveling up has an effect, it's just that in later missions the enemy is also leveled up.  Try replaying an early mission and see how easy it is.

The FFT analogy is really poor.  In FFT switching jobs was an essential part of the gameplay and each job has its own set of levels.  In VC2 there are only actually 3 tiers of specialties and there is basically no reason you ever need to switch laterally (if you want troops with different specialities, develop them that way from the start), so this seems like a pretty trivial complaint.  The one exception is Avon, but actually it was free to switch back and forth for him.

Also, none of this has anything to do with the gameplay video you were complaining about.

2. The items needed for Class Changes are rewarded randomly. I remember much frustration of making a certain character try to solo a map, only to have them not get the items they needed because the character who weakened one random soldier to let the other character  get the kill got the Certification...somehow. ~.~

OK, you finally said something I agree with.  Actually, it wasn't completely random.  Different missions would give you different types of certificates and you could tell the rankings for who was getting the most certificates even during a mission (it was one of the menu options).  Of course...

...none of this has anything to do with the gameplay video you were complaining about.
3392  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles 3 Confirmed for The PSP on: November 10, 2010, 12:51:52 PM

The game is clearly based on the same engine, but I don't know what else you could possibly have expected.  I'll admit that the AI in VC2 was pretty dumb, but other than that what 'mechanical improvements' do you want?  Story aside, VC2's gameplay was fantastic.  Better than the first game in my opinion, other than the small map size anyway.  Which is something they have actually claimed they're improving for VC3.

From what we know so far the story already sounds more promising than VC2's.

BTW, the demo is already out on the JP PSN.  You don't have to rely on gameplay videos.
3393  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: LF jrpg on PS3 on: November 10, 2010, 12:40:51 PM
The combat is fine.  It's nothing ground-breaking, though I do really like they way they handled magic (it's fairly unique).  Lot's of camera tricks and different gameplay styles keep things fresh and there are some really great boss fights.
3394  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mass Effect 2 coming to the PS3 on: November 09, 2010, 12:19:30 PM
DA:O DLC sucks anyways.

The Stone Prisoner is awesome.  Shale is probably my favorite character in that game.

I also enjoyed Leliana's Song quite a bit, though it's pretty short.
3395  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: LF jrpg on PS3 on: November 08, 2010, 04:31:17 PM
Does anyone know if there's a US release date for WKC 2?  (I never played the first.)

There is no release date.  As far as I know they haven't even officially confirmed the existence of a US release yet, though it seems likely that they'll do it eventually.  Keep in mind that the first game took a long time (over a year) to be localized...
3396  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's The Most Embarrassing Game You Have Bought? on: November 05, 2010, 04:56:04 PM
I tend to buy all my games online, embarrassing or not...
3397  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Gran Turismo 5 Feature List - Coming November 2, 2010 on: November 03, 2010, 04:06:13 AM
I think Thoren is trolling, but I'm never entirely sure...
3398  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Gran Turismo 5 Feature List - Coming November 2, 2010 on: November 02, 2010, 07:29:57 PM
This pretty much confirms a 2010 release. Phew...

Unless he's stamping the discs by hand, one-by-one ;)
3399  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Hyperdimension Neptunia on: October 30, 2010, 12:08:18 PM
...in other words, this sounds like a fairly typical Idea Factory game.  It has potential, owing to its kooky ideas, but botches up on execution particularly regarding gameplay balance.  Yep, they haven't learned from their mistakes yet. 

It's Idea Factory, not Execution Factory...
3400  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Hyperdimension Neptunia on: October 30, 2010, 03:49:26 AM
the grindy, time-consuming nature of the combat.

I'm sold.
Welcome to the club. :D

I can't even comprehend the thought process behind this sentiment...
3401  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Light Novels on: October 30, 2010, 02:43:09 AM
There are definitely a lot of stinkers and cheap cash-ins in the light novel world, but then there's the old rule that 90% of everything is crap...

I never actually read the Full Metal Panic books myself, even though I've seen all of the anime.  I should probably check them out sometime.

I wish somebody would pick up Bakemonogatari.  What little has been fan-translated looks pretty promising, and I loved the anime mostly because of the superbly-written dialogue.

Edit:  Actually, anime is exactly renowned for its dialogue but now that I think about it just about every anime series I have liked for its dialogue is based on a light novel.  In addition to Bakemonogatari there's Kurenai, Spice and Wolf, Crest/Banner of the Stars, Baccano, Kino's Journey...heck, even Full Metal Panic has some pretty good lines.  And they're all light novel based.
3402  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Hyperdimension Neptunia on: October 30, 2010, 02:27:58 AM

You know, that almost made me want to play it, at least until they started talking about the grindy, time-consuming nature of the combat.  I don't have time for that crap.
3403  Media / Brush and Quill / Light Novels on: October 29, 2010, 09:27:27 PM
I'm curious is anyone else here reads light novels.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about it's a popular style of short novel in Japan that tend to have a distinct, simplistic, and dialogue-heavy writing style and are basically always serialized.  They're accessible to younger readers but not always strictly aimed at them.  The closest English equivalent I can think of would be something like Harry Potter if Harry Potter was a whole genre.  Of course they're not all of the same quality.

If you watch a lot of anime you've almost certainly seen something that was adapted from a light novel series (whether you know it or not).  It has become very popular to do so these days.  Some of the more famous examples include Suzumiya Haruhi, Full Metal Panic, and To Aru Majutsu no Index.

While popular in Japan, commercial translations of light novels to English are still pretty rare.  But there are a few that I am following, such as the aforementioned Haruhi (which is available in a really nice hardcover version too), Spice and Wolf, and Bungaku Shoujo ('Book Girl').  It doesn't hurt that these were some of my favorites even before they were picked up commercially.  Bungaku Shoujo in particular I highly recommend, the first English volume of which came out pretty recently.

Of course, there are also non-commercial fan translations of a lot of these novels.  They're not exactly legal and the quality can be variable but they're out there.  One series I particularly recommend is Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria.

I know there are a lot of anime/manga fans around here so there must be somebody else who reads these things.
3404  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Hyperdimension Neptunia on: October 29, 2010, 02:57:55 PM
I actually bought my PS3 specifically to play Valkyria Chronicles, and I don't regret it at all.
3405  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs for beginners on: October 28, 2010, 11:16:23 PM
You know, I never really liked Lulu or Morrigan, and when you put them side-by-side like that it's evident how similar their character designs are...
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