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1156  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles 3 Confirmed for The PSP on: November 10, 2010, 05:57:29 PM
Um...what?

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.
1157  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):
http://www.gametrailers.com/video/japanese-demo-valkyria-chronicles/707318

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. :-/
1158  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.
1159  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fallout New Vegas on: October 25, 2010, 06:57:34 PM
Y'know I have to wonder exactly how much testing the game was put through. :-/ The balance on everything is screwy. I finally got tired of dying because my more "Damaging" weapons weren't doing squat and instead whipped out the Re-barb melee weapon and started swinging wildly. Explain how having 50 points in Energy Weapons, 8 Perception, and a Plasma weapon with a Damage near 30 hardly scratched anything after multiple shots with VATS; while swinging a 22 Damage melee weapon, without VATS, a Strength of 6 and only 16 points in the Unarmed skill does far better damage and to multiple opponents?

Sense this game's stat systems do not make. XP
1160  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fallout New Vegas on: October 24, 2010, 08:36:29 PM
So far at least in my play-through; yes but not because you personally are powerful. It's the companion. There's a weird "no grey area" balancing system in this game. Without my companion I'd find several of these quests impossible because the monsters take so many freaking hits to kill (High Perception, Energy Weapons, using Plasma gear and I still can't shoot down anything that's in decent armor in less than 8+ hits). Yet I just picked up Victoria out of the 188 Trading Post and suddenly the game's super easy. Anything except the hardest enemies she kills in 1-2 hits. And what she can't auto-kill she'll beat down anyway because I gave her some Power Armor I picked up. So now I'm walking around with an immortal, heavy-plated death goddess with my only purpose being to soften up enemies for her.

It's odd yet very satisfying; but definitely qualifies as "too easy".
1161  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fallout New Vegas on: October 23, 2010, 09:43:10 AM
Funny, I've actually gotten the impression that "staying on the line" gets you killed. I find myself avoiding the road and taking shortcuts across open terrain because every other time I follow the highway as suggested I get slaughtered. Either by a horde of Jackal Gang members or some random beast. Not to mention some of the "main" quests seem impossible without practically cheating. I died several times trying to get to the REPPCON facility due to a stupid, solitary Glowing-One placed right in the middle of the highway I needed to clear out. I finally killed it after over half a dozen tries thanks to an Incinerator and some lucky critical hits.

And don't even get me started on the Nightkin under REPPCON...ugh. I finally had to pop Stealth Boys like Stimpacks and play a game of "save after every kill" almost like I was trying to save-state a speedrun. Only reason those would even die is I hard-killed the first one then used Stealth + Rebarb o Doom to Two-Hit KO every other one in the entire building. I don't expect to beat the game guns blazing but it almost feels like I have to cheat to kill anything "tougher" than a Powder Ganger. And don't get me started on the NCR Prison. ~.~;
1162  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: October 14, 2010, 05:36:17 AM
Dude...that's just scary. I'm all for a little fan involvement but this is taking it to a frightening extreme. Fanbases as a whole can be nightmare-ish things. Especially the Megaman fanbase. Has Inafune never looked once at Fanfiction.net? XP

I'm wondering if this is somehow a production cost cutter as well. Instead of hiring professionals for everything just outsource some of the design and creative work to a group of people willing to work for free. >>;

Edit: A few interesting tidbits I've picked out upon reviewing the Heroine contest.

First-
As you can see below, the nine different heroine designs take nine very different approaches, and the design you pick could have effects on her personality and other parts of the game. Needless to say, this is a major element of the game, so feel free to discuss the pros and cons of each option in the forum* before making your final selection.

So it's not going to be a preset personality regardless of design, apparently the design will determine the personality.

Second-
Something interesting mentioned on the 42nd page of comments, not sure what their sources is but this'll be interested if it's true.

Just a reminder: we are picking a rival-teams spotter, so it is a support role.
1163  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: October 13, 2010, 04:52:34 PM
Actually the whole "sausage thing" just about kept me from buying Agarest War at all. The only thing that "saved" it from being ignored entirely was the fact that said scene requires following a "perfect" pathway to unlock. Even without that nonsense though Agarest failed on its own merits. XP

I agree with Dice to an extent,  but personally I find the Japanese fanservice gags to be far more tolerable than American fanservice; which is less about gags and simply a question of "How much pure nudity and sex can we add into this game/movie/book?" Pretty much anything with any of that is a "No buy/see" for me. Then again I was born with HSDD so my ability to understand or appreciate things like that is practically nonexistent.
________________

Back on my play through of MML I have to say I forgot exactly how much side-quest stuff there was to do. About a third of my gameplay's length has been subquests or side-ruin exploration. On that note: I really, really hate the Mega-Grenades. ~.~; Required only to blow up a few walls for some secret loot but the energy for that weapon is so bad you're going to have to run out of the entire dungeon at least once to get everything. (Unless you have 50K you want to throw down on energy upgrading).

Also speaking of "Upgrading"; who else let the Feldinaut wreck the town so you could  rebuild everything again? XD

...or on "evil" playthroughs shot down the new airship? >.> *raises hand* XD
1164  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: October 13, 2010, 01:47:40 AM
@Dice: I just bought Ar Tonelico x.x

Did I just buy an H game or something? I let my little sister read the manual! D:




Ar Tonelico is known for having some rather strong innuendo. Nothing major honestly except for one little scene. Just make sure no one else is around if you chose to follow Aurica about a third of the way through the game. That's all I'm saying. XD

About the only thing I've seen on the stateside JRPG market that comes close to H-game levels is Record of Agarest War.

I'd argue those games don't work as well here.  I'm pretty sure in your circle of friends you've said "those crazy japanese" or some derivative of it.

It's a good game sure; but it's riddled with cheese, innuendo, and see-through characters.
Seems US markets are more willing to sacrifice story for good gameplay (ie; sport games here are a sell to the more average player...not us RPGfan-ers.)

Unfortunately that's more of a "whole US culture" thing than a "US game culture" thing. Look at the popular movies and at the popular novels. Pretty much all the hit-sellers to the average consumer are all flash and no substance.

Anything that has a good story or (heaven forbid) a fantastic combination of substance and flash gets shoved to the wayside. *says a small prayer for the recently buried Scott Pilgrim*

And yes, I have said something akin to that before but for vastly different reasons. Say, like for example,...the "Learn how to say "I need an ambulance! I have diarrhea!" In English via slow-paced Jazzercizing Lessions" video.  XD
1165  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: October 13, 2010, 01:22:19 AM
@Dice: I just bought Ar Tonelico x.x

Did I just buy an H game or something? I let my little sister read the manual! D:




Ar Tonelico is known for having some rather strong innuendo. Nothing major honestly except for one little scene. Just make sure no one else is around if you chose to follow Aurica about a third of the way through the game. That's all I'm saying. XD

About the only thing I've seen on the stateside JRPG market that comes close to H-game levels is Record of Agarest War.

Plus Dice is putting the wrong spin on it. If somewhere were to ask me what you do in Ar Tonelico:

"You play as a stereotypical male JRPG lead going through a relatively generic but interesting plot with the main spin on the battle system being your Reyvateil partner. A Reyvateil is practically a bio-android life-form that is always generated in the form of a human female and creates magic by singing in a special language and generates the bulk of her power from her psychological bond with her partner. Said bond is strengthened by accessing your partner's psyche and "diving" into her repressed persona aspects and gaining her acceptance by exposing yourself to her true, unrestricted emotions.

Also, be warned this process is presented in a manner parallel to copulation and entails all the typical "sex jokes" one might encounter in Junior High. In addition Reyvateils are sometimes treated with a degree of sexism/racism (as it's not so much that they're "female" as they are "Reyvateil"). Therefore extremely sensitive individuals might not care to play this game because they will become offended over something that really isn't that big of a deal but someone looking for a fight can nitpick at it easily."

______________-

Also to sort of respond to Dice: I would totally admit to playing Ar Tonelico before admitting to playing something like GTA or Halo. (The first for the fact of what you do/can do in game; the other for the huge negative perception the fanbase generates. Not that I have interest in either but they're popular enough to make good examples.)
1166  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: October 12, 2010, 06:35:32 PM
Ah, that makes sense. I guess since MML was the first type of that style of game I played I  just accepted that as "normal". There was auto aim but in some parts manual aiming was required or made things significantly easier. The whole boat scene and the super-tall reaverbot boss from the subsequent ruin come to mind.
1167  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: October 12, 2010, 05:55:41 PM
The controls ARE less than ideal, but that's because it was designed for a non-analog controller, the jump to MML2's DualShock controls was huge (and similarly complaints of that controlling like crap are BS).

In what way are they less than idea? (Genuinely curious) So far the only complaints I have about MML's controls is the manual camera is slightly slower than your turning speed when circling an enemy; so every so often you'll have to stop and tap the lock on button to realign yourself. That and the manual shooting aim has flight-style height controls. (I've never understood why people feel the need to make Down, Up and Up, Down.)

Other that than, Megaman goes where he needs to. The firing is smooth. The camera never gets in my way while jumping.

Unlike say...Super Mario Sunshine (a game from a franchise known for it's controls). The wonky controls in that game led to many a game over. ~.~
1168  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: October 12, 2010, 03:44:14 AM
Y'know news of this game inspired me to go back and wrangle up the originals and play them again. Currently on the MML play through and I have to wonder exactly how badly do some people suck at these kinds of games. I mean when you have some of the more mainstream game review sites looking back on the Megaman series and pointing out Legends as one of the worst due to "poor controls" or "terrible voice acting" when in truth it really had neither of those faults. (And this isn't fanboyism defense either. I've played modern games with far worse control and VA work than even the original MML.)

Makes me think MML never caught on in it's time just because it was "different". Hopefully MML 3 will do better because the market has gotten used to the umpteen handfuls of Megaman spin-offs that have hit the market since then.

I will say this though...if they fail to get the old VA for Teisel Bonne this game is going to suffer. XD That character carried most of the game's humor alone and rediscovering him today definitely puts him as perhaps one of my most favorite video game "villains" of all time.
1169  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The 3rd Birthday on: October 09, 2010, 10:35:50 PM
No offense taken. XD I want to play PE2 again but unless it hits PSN that's not likely to happen. XP

Ah, sounds familiar now that you mention it.
1170  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The 3rd Birthday on: October 09, 2010, 07:59:06 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLh4cOLrsKs

I bet any transformation scene in T3B will involve someone exploding into tiny crystals and eventually turning into something huge with tentacles. Of course Aya will be watching that in her "ghost" form, floating and butt-nekkid.

It's been forever since I played PE2 so they might've mentioned; but I've always wondered why people suddenly started mutating in PE2 rather than catching fire like they did in PE. Was that ever explained? (Keep in mind I've only gotten to play PE2 in full once, and that was in excess of 8 years ago.)
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