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Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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1051  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles 3 Confirmed for The PSP on: November 10, 2010, 05:57:29 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.

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:

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.)

-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.

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...

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. ~.~

I could go on and on but I think those two things reflect the major changes VC III would need to the non-combat segments of the game. There are other things but I consider them minor.
1052  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles 3 Confirmed for The PSP on: November 10, 2010, 12:15:57 PM
Here's a gameplay vid from GT (there are a few more floating around the site):

Wow...it looks like they pretty much are rushing out the same game as VC II with some minor improvements to the graphics and better character design. Which probably means it's going to be as bad as VC II; insultingly broken AI that's either way too easy, cheatingly-hard, or plot-shielded impossible.

The only way I might give this a try is if they have much better writing for the characters and plot, if they've chucked out the "bouncing cutouts" style of dialog, and/or if they have a better character development system that doesn't feel like a poor man's Persona 3-4.

But considering how quickly this one was shoved out the gates on the heels of VC II...I have serious doubts mechanical improvements were made. :-/
1053  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Z.H.P: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman on: November 08, 2010, 07:33:11 PM
*whistles* This game keeps impressing me more and more as I play it. I really hope this gets the Disgaea treatment where we see future sequels down the road. Two things I have to note:

-Reckless Cop Dangerama has an awesome design. I hope we see cameos of him in future NIS titles.

-The Cosplay system is...brilliant. I'm amazed we haven't had any other games do this before.
1054  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: November 05, 2010, 12:53:11 AM
I hope Mega man Legends 3 is still gonna happen now :(

What? Because Inafune left? It's still happening if you'll go look over the blog. Honestly I think it's the best thing that could happen for the game.
1055  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Z.H.P: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman on: November 04, 2010, 10:35:45 PM
A bit into chapter 3 and so far I'm really liking the gameplay. The only complaint I have is your gear breaks down too fast and you don't get that much money to pay the hefty repair costs. :-/ So I haven't been able to try the weapon fusion systems or much of anything else because it costs nearly 2-4 times what I make in a dungeon to repair all my gear. (I know you're supposed to cycle through it more often but I really, really like my Rocket Punches. XD )
1056  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Triggers and Crosses, the wonderful and horrible universe of the Chrono series. on: November 04, 2010, 10:33:32 PM
Maybe I'm mistaken then and only every game I play on my tv is pixilated.

Lol, lemme elaborate. When I say "pixelated" I don't mean like Disgaea 1, 2, or any NISA game pixelated; I don't mean MSDOS game on a Windows 95 computer pixelated...I mean I can see ever pixel and someone attacked it with a blur tool...twice.

@Mickeymac92: I'm not sure on the whole ratio thing but it's one of the cheaper HD models. Only about I'd say 1 and a half to 2 foot wide screen.
1057  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Triggers and Crosses, the wonderful and horrible universe of the Chrono series. on: November 04, 2010, 06:56:26 PM
Really? I bought an SNES a while back and played some vintage games on it. The problem I'm having not didn't exist then. Parasite Eve and my Final Fantasy titles don't do this either. Just Chrono Cross. :-/
1058  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Triggers and Crosses, the wonderful and horrible universe of the Chrono series. on: November 04, 2010, 05:52:50 PM
Just picked up CC the other day and am re-experiencing it. Gotta ask though...is this game supposed to look this horrific on an HD TV? I don't remember it being quite this pixelated or the text being quite unreadable in some areas. Best I can figure is the High Definition TV is making each pixel stand out like a grainy splotch.
1059  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Z.H.P: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman on: November 03, 2010, 10:57:52 PM
Kinda surprised I haven't seen a topic for this float around before. Just picked it up today and have put a little bit of time into it. Not past the first couple of stages yet but so far I'm liking the typical NISA humor and the game play mechanics are pretty decent. It looks like a dungeon crawler I can actually sit through without getting bored. XD

What do other people think of this title so far?
1060  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: gamestop just got alot of semi hard to find ps2 games on: October 28, 2010, 10:44:37 PM
Heh, people should really start shopping  at places like Vintage Stock or Game Xchange. These places often have these "semi-rare" games in stock on a regular basis. Heck every other time I visit my local branch I see either a copy of Lunar or Lunar 2 with the Complete Box intact just to give you an example of their typical inventory.
1061  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fable III..... on: October 27, 2010, 09:26:41 PM
Err...how it ends? I haven't seen the ending yet. I can't spoil something I haven't seen. XD *shrugs* Ah well, hardly matters. It's been black boxed so all's well.
1062  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fable III..... on: October 27, 2010, 09:11:02 PM
That has nothing to do with it. "Not being easy" would be having to go on a long string of hard side quests to find another way to beat the foe without an army. "Not easy" would be having to play Lute Hero for and hour straight while maintaining a Chain 10 combo to make all the funds. "Not easy" would be having to go around and ask people for donations in a similar manner to how I became King in the first place.

This is neither easy, medium, or difficult. This is boring. I pay money for a game under the assumption that I can play it. What kind of game do you pay for just to sit and not play it for hours on end? XP

@Eusis: Actually my definition is on par with gaming reviews for Fable III. I didn't reveal anything that hasn't already been revealed in online video reviews.
1063  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fable III..... on: October 27, 2010, 08:36:54 PM
Ugh, this game really kicks you in the balls for trying to be "good" doesn't it? I've hit a snag on my play through that's going to force me to literally leave the game running while not playing it for hours.

*minor mechanical spoilers* MAJOR SPOILERS

Alright, so get this. Once you become King of Albion you basically have to chose "Be Good" or "Be a Douche" with your choices. Being "evil" ensures you
get gold in order to survive against the lords of darkness while "being good" bankrupts you and pretty much ensures the population will be wiped out
to a person unless you personally pay the army funds...which is 6.5 Million gold. This isn't counting the hundreds of thousands of gold you'll lose making the "good" decisions.

So in order to be "good" and still save Albion you have to pay the bill yourself. The jobs don't provide nearly enough payout to accomplish
this in any reasonable time period so you have to rely on buying houses/businesses and letting them fill your coffers. But even still that
takes an unreasonable amount of time. I've bought nearly everything except the crappy houses in the Industrial section and have their
rates at "Average" (as I'm trying to be "good" here) and I'm making roughly 80-90K every 5 minutes.

That's 960K an hour. In order to meet the 6.5 million goal (again, not counting what is likely to be millions in expenses to be "good")
I'm going to have to let the game sit idle, aside from tapping the pad every couple of minutes to make sure it doesn't auto-pause
 from controller shutdown...[b]for nearly 7 FREAKING HOURS MINIMUM![/b]

That...is bull crap. Sure I don't expect life on the throne to be easily if I want to remain "good"...but this isn't hard. This is mind numbing.
This is BALLS! (Play the game, you'll get that last bit. XD )
1064  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fable III..... on: October 26, 2010, 07:51:41 PM
I'm probably no where near as far as Danku but I have to say so far Fable III trumps Fallout NV in my books. The world is gorgeous and I find myself being impressed by it as a whole even more than FNV's Strip. The combat, while simple, is rather fun and offers a nice bit of variety. The dialog is down right hilarious and I love that not even 10 minutes into the game I'm already having some very "grey area" choices thrown at me when it comes to morality. Hell this game scores points because it allowed me the option of not choosing the greater of the two evils (you'll understand what I mean when events at the castle at the game's beginning come to a head) and has still left me the player questioning if I really did the right thing.

My only complaint is the "leveling system". Everything in this game is governed by "Guild Seal" points. Every time a gauge on the top left part of your screen fills up you get a point. Mostly this is done via combat and completing quests/storyline events. There is also another way to get GS points, which I will address here in a moment as it's the crux of my complaint.

Now, instead of finding powers in the world or upgrading your weapons directly you purchase these things with the GS points at a special area. But literally everything is tied to this system. Want more character interaction options? Buy them with GS. Want better job pay rates? Buy that with GS. Want a bigger sword/hammer? Buy that with GS. Want new spells? GS. Want to dye your hair purple? (Not kidding here.) GS.

And here's the rub...GS isn't an unlimited currency. GS gained from battles is relatively tiny and quests are also relatively low for a game like this. So here's where the final way to get GS comes into play...the first time you meet an NPC you can perform one of your social actions for a single GS point. There are literally hundreds of the NPCs in the game and depending on the social action you can spend anywhere from 3-7 seconds holding down the A button and an additional 3-7 seconds watching the tail end of the action play out before canceling the dialog.

So if you want say...120 extra points to unlock that Level 4 Upgrade of your Ranged and Magic skill (as the story/quests will not cover everything as it becomes avaliable). You need to spend, at maximum if you're unlucky (the game randomly chooses the social emote for you) 28 minutes just watching your character do the jig with another NPC and enduring the same random grunts and awkward poses. That isn't counting the time taken to hunt these buggers down to begin with and this is a relatively low amount of points for what isn't even the highest tier unlocks.

It's an intolerable grind. I've played some MMOs with more tolerable grinds for lesser rewards. XP Maybe I'm being impatient but I really don't want to spend over an hour hunting down and tickling every peasant in Albion so the Lute Hero job (which is a nice parody IMO) pays enough for me to start grinding it to buy some nicer houses.
1065  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fable III..... on: October 26, 2010, 09:50:41 AM
Luckily for you lot I've never really gotten to experience the first two. So I can provide some feedback from an un-biased angle. XD About to go get my copy in a few hours and will be playing it all afternoon (turns out I managed to scrape up enough cash to get it and FNV). I'll give some feedback later tonight.
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