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Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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1  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of PlayStation(s) revealed on: August 20, 2014, 10:20:31 AM
FIRST IMPRESSIONS

- I turn it on and go "What the hell, no awesome anime intro!??"

- I feel like a fool 6 battles in when I smacked by all sorts of anime "cool"!!! They tricked me!!

- Not thrilled about some of the re-used assets in terms of sound/music. Hopefully this doesn't prove to be the case through and through. With enough "new" material all will be forgiven.

-The gameplay has been improved upon in a major way. I only just completed chapter two and it is plain to see this battle system stands head and shoulders above Vesperia and Xillia 1. It just simply feels waaaaay tighter and more responsive to me.

-I just hit my first corridor and box field map. Who the hell thought it good to keep that design choice? I know we are revisiting a setting and world here but I don't think anyone would have minded if they amended the geography for travel a bit.

-I think they are handling the MC's silence beautifully up to where I'm at, minus a few jarring moments where his actually shouting and noises seem odd. But as I mentioned I am a bias proponent of the silent protag so this is mute point coming from me.

- I appreciate that the game noticed "I played the bejeezus" out of Xillia 1 and granted me two attachments for me efforts.

- Lastly I want to make an observation. It appears there is an obvious trend of Grey and Black hair in the Xillia-verse. 3 members (MC included) all sport the colors within the first 2 hours of playtime. So I felt it only fitting to go and dye my hair black and grey out of compulsion. It looks much better than when I dyed my hair red while playing Graces F.
2  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of PlayStation(s) revealed on: August 19, 2014, 09:54:29 AM
For anyone looking for a re-cap of Xillia 1 with some Baba Q and A here it is.

http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2014/08/06/new-tales-xillia-2-video-sets-scene/
http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2014/08/14/hideo-baba-answers-tales-xillia-questions/

Short, sweet re-cap taking all of about 15 minutes.

If this was already brought to light in this thread I am sorry. I personally just discovered these on the playstation blog so I figured there was bound to be someone else who didn't know about them.
3  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of PlayStation(s) revealed on: August 19, 2014, 06:03:08 AM
And if games EVER do a silent protagonist, I think Ludger is the perfect reinvention of it (an idea I hate otherwise works much better with him).
Actually, I HATE the silent protagonist thing. It's meant to make the player character an extension of the player himself, but Ludger actually has his own personality, which is the worst of both worlds. He has no voice so there is a disconnect between him and the player, but he has too much personality for the player to adequately relate to him on a one-to-one level.

I can't change the fact they had a silent protag, I just run with it.  I hate them otherwise in almost every instance because I've never felt a connection with the character I'm playing as.

  • I am not blond male in a green tunic saving a Princess.
  • I am not red-headed highschooler socializing after school and taking on a giant tower at midnight.
  • I am not red-headed male saving time and space from the year 1999.
  • Etc.

I don't really get why they went the route they did this time; but I kinda dig on him saying "yeah", or "wow" or whatever because it isn't COMPLETE silence.  I agree there seems to be more to Ludger, a general personality of some sort (good guy, can cook alright, loves his cat, has family issues); but I think that's why I find "safety" in the fact they throw you an optional dialogue choice at almost every cutscene or like half of all skitsTHAT makes me feel like I have a connection, or option, or stake in my role as the player. 

Ya know, I used to say the same things about not being thrilled about silent protags. Then along came voice acting and I suddenly realized that while I may not be Crono (since I am in fact Shadow), it sure was easier to fit in his shoes.

The long and the short of it for me is this. Sometimes its done so right you hardly realize they are in fact "silent". Other times it feels like your playing like a freakin' mute. Suikoden 1 and 2 and Lunar Silver Star both come to mind as great examples of where I never felt like I was lacking a tongue or personality.

And for the record I really prefer the mute Alex to any other incarnation.

So on that note, thanks for the tidbit Dice! I'm now even more excited to pick this up in about 4 hours from now!!!
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of PlayStation(s) revealed on: August 18, 2014, 07:36:27 PM
Yeah, this is one of the few games I pre-ordered that I'm not ripping my hair out in excited anticipation for. This is more a case of "Okay, Namco, I'm giving you one more chance so don't let me down." It's bad enough that the costumes I enjoyed collecting so much in Abyss and Vesperia are held back for extra cash, but the lazy design of Xillia 1 just left a bad taste in my mouth that will take a lot to get rid of.

On the other hand, Xillia 2's release means only 4 more weeks to Theatrhythm.

It is funny for me. Looking back on the last gen, Tales and Bamco is really the only franchise/company that has pleased and surprised me to be honest.

I came off the days of the PS2 with a strong taste for Persona, Disgaea and the occasional turn based epic. Turn based epics became an endangered species, Disgaea never exactly became anything profound beyond what it offered in its first entry and Persona is still stuck in the P4-era. NIS niche' J-Game releases kept getting my hopes up over the last few years but totally let me down time and again.

If you told me back in 2008 when I bought my PS3 the best time I'd have with it would be with Tales and I'd go so far as to buy an Xbox360 strictly for Vesperia I would have laughed in disbelief. Abyss, Legendia and Symphonia all left me wanting in a big way, and my only REALLY fond memory of the franchise dated all the way back to the PS1 with Destiny.

As for Xillia 1, I too found it to be weak in many respects. The saving grace for me was the cast. Alvin and Milla in particular became all-time Tales favorites for me.

1 Day left until Xillia 2 folks! I got my gamestop pre-order pick up reminder text and am totally freakin' EXCITED!!!

Wait wha??? How-come nobody is speaking about it?
Thanks for reminding me.

Holy shit! 70$
The fuck? I ain't paying 70$ for a game with DLC.
Hell, with taxes that's 80.48$ in QC.

Yea, as I mentioned the price point was easily the most disturbing part of this buy for me too. 129.99 for the CE was downright painful to pay for a PS3 game at present. It is the only CE I bought this year actually.
5  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of PlayStation(s) revealed on: August 18, 2014, 10:26:14 AM
1 Day left until Xillia 2 folks! I got my gamestop pre-order pick up reminder text and am totally freakin' EXCITED!!!

Rarely do I find myself this caught up in anticipation for a new game, but Tales really pulled into the lead as my favorite franchise this past gen. Even the dreaded Xillia 1 was tons of fun for me despite some of its terrible design choices.

Top it off with Collectors Editions that actually seem cool to me (in every sense but the price tag) and it takes me back to a time when physical releases the likes of Working Designs were a thing. The Symphonia and Xillia CE's were both beautiful and I doubt this one will disappoint.

But without a doubt, the best part of all is I can now frequent this thread and talk Tales without fear!!! I'm weird and don't even like knowing about playable characters prior to a games release. The more surprises the better!

So uh, anybody else here into this one or did Xillia 1 leave a rotten taste in your mouth?
6  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Child of Light on: August 18, 2014, 10:09:40 AM
Just finished it on the Vita (after my husband stole it and had his own play through). Loved this and hope for a sequel. Such lovely graphics/art style and so detailed... Creates a sense of  wonder and magic whe. Playing instead of uncally valley.

I want to play again, and downloaded two DLC, the light pack and the golem pack. I can't seem to change Auroras outfit and I don't see an heal spell  does this show up later?

Also when does Golem show up?

You have to change the outfit prior to loading your game, in the options, via the main menu/title screen. Golem joins upon completing his "some assembly required (find his parts)" quest that becomes available very early on when you get to the thorny tree area (if memory serves its like the second place you go).
7  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs that All Children Should Play on: August 17, 2014, 09:49:07 AM
Illusion of Gaia/Time, maybe ? I really liked that one as a kid.


Have him follow it up with Terranigma.  Then watch him fail social science/studies tests as he launches preposterous answers about columbus, general world economics, evolution and god knows what else.

"I SWEAR Ms. Smith, the first plane was built by some guy named Will just north of Freedom!!!"
8  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 14, 2014, 07:53:49 PM
The enemy/ boss designs (Atman included) in Shadow Hearts were certainly amongst the most creepy I've ever encountered in an RPG. It was part of what I really loved about the art direction. Some were downright "Linda Blair" quality in my mind. (NOTE: by linda blair quality I simply mean "nightmare inducing" for me)



= On that note, town design is somewhat uninspiring.  It's like they didn't want to do the research and show off too much?  Developers just took like the most random street of known towns and said 'fuck it' and just made an old-looking town.  It's sort of disappointing given the "real world" setting the game has.... Ho hum.  
I *do* however love the "music of London", it's truly making me question what I otherwise would have thought the big UK city might have sounded like (whereas other games/movies go the easy route with like Middle Eastern places by throwing a sitar, flutes, or other 'exotic instruments').


= But seriously, I *adore* the title if for no other reason than its incredible atmosphere.  I forget the faults.  The music is divine, the art/world direction knew what it was doing, and I think the weak/shallow story is made up with its unique setting.  Loved it.

= I'm actually pretty sure the graphics for SH:C are better than the FMVs in the first game.  Which I guess isn't saying that much given how 'rustic' the first title's graphics were; but seriously --- what an improvement between the two games.

What I really enjoyed about the towns and music was how they managed to create a real sense of safety amidst the horror at points. The soundtrack, in particular, helped give me the feeling that I was finally safe and able to breath easy without the threat of something ghastly or demonic nipping at my heels. Fine points to "Save Game" and turn in for the night :)

Lastly, thank you for upping my enthusiasm about SH: C. I purposely didn't look into it because I don't want to spoil much on myself but I was hoping the sequel improved something things both graphically and mechanically.

BORDERCRACK. Or Borderlands 2 as you may know it:

Made it to Sanctuary. Woo-hoo!! Can't stop myself from side-questing in a damn near "Xenoblade" sort of way.

Dragons Crown
Somewhere between leveling my Wizard from 15-25 he no longer feels weak to me. In fact, I dare say I'm beginning to enjoy his gameplay more than my melee characters. 4 Talisman in and no longer feeling like I'm worthless during network play. Offline I venture out with a party of Dwarves because Gandalf did it so... just seems right.



 
9  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: August 13, 2014, 09:58:16 AM
You know that the western release of the "Playstation TV" (as it's being called now) was announced at E3, right?

Don't get me wrong, having an actual release date is nice but you make it sound like you didn't even know it was coming.

Actually I did miss that news apparently. I am totally guilty of skimming gaming news sites and missing a ton. In truth the only things I really check out thoroughly are the forums here and some weird nutritional/medical sites. Forgive my ignorance/naivety on the PS TV. The fact remains, I am still very excited :)

Ok. Gotta tell on myself. I also have a horrible guilty pleasure of checking the mass of idiocy that gets posted on various Reddits as well.
10  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: August 12, 2014, 08:37:57 PM
I don't know if anyone else was bummed out by the fact that we didn't get the "Vita TV" released in the west, but I sure was. Turns out both NA and EU releases are on deck and not far off!!

http://www.siliconera.com/2014/08/12/playstation-tv-reaches-europe-november-18th-99/

I have P4 Golden waiting on a table till this gets here.

You and I both! LoL
11  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 12, 2014, 08:35:44 PM
Got a Saturn, so I guess I'll invest some time in Albert Odyssey (which I already have). Haven't played an RPG in a while...

Thats ironic, I was just thinking of Albert Odyssey and Dragon Force a few weeks ago when a strong wave of "Saturn/Working Designs" nostalgia swept over me. AO is not a title I expect to hear brought up too often. Underwhelming as it may have been, I remember loving the atmosphere and tone of the game when I was younger.

Another big thing about X-Com: EW I just saw: missions are on timers.

On EU, there's like 3 timers (UFO, abduction and terror).
In EW, there's UFO, abduction, terror, EXALT, council missions & special.

Problem is, there's no global cooldown.
I just had to do a Terror Attack, then Homebase getting attacked, and then retrieving EXALT undercover mission in 1 day.
Good thing my whole barrack was healthy at the start of this, because everyone went to the medbay after that (or the graveyard for some)

More irony! I just picked this up reeeeaaaal cheap but I'm holding off giving it a go due to Xillia 2's release next week. EU was a brief obsession of mine and I can easily see not looking at any other games for a moment once I get into EW.

In my neck of the woods...

I finally finished TERRANIGMA!!

With this, Shadow Hearts, Breath of Fire 4 and Drakengard 3 complete I have successfully managed to polish off all my intended summer RPGs.

Some final thoughts on Terranigma.

-This was, without a doubt, one of the most original SNES era offerings I have yet to experience.

-Having a hand in the economic growth of towns was a very cool side-questy implementation ahead of its time.

-Terra sported a soundtrack that rivals many of 16-bit greats. Quite a few memorable numbers here. The final boss music, freedom theme, the Quatro's (traveling nomads) theme will all remain stuck in my brains playlist for a long time.

-My only two complaints stem from the games challenge/difficulty. First off, 1 or 2 levels can take battle difficulty from damn near impossible to laughably easy in same respect that it did in first Ys title. The problem here for me, with Terra, is I naturally became over-leveled to the point where the last few dungeons and bosses proved the easiest stretch of the game. Secondly, I found some of the puzzles and brain teasers to be horribly unintuitive.

Finally in other news, I am astonished to report that I am completely hooked on an FPS title. Borderlands 2 is like digital drugs complete with withdrawal symptoms. I never thought I'd be saying that about a game that was not a JRPG nor a title that wasn't set Fairyland (I am suck for fairylands) but here I sit, completely enthralled with the game. I feel like Borderlands may be the only FPS title that can really grab me in this way, as it is more a result of the setting and charm of the title that drew me in. What ever the case may be, I can safely say I've found myself a token FPS game to keep in my library, as well as keep me fully occupied for the next week until Xillia 2.

12  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: August 12, 2014, 07:54:58 PM
I don't know if anyone else was bummed out by the fact that we didn't get the "Vita TV" released in the west, but I sure was. Turns out both NA and EU releases are on deck and not far off!!

http://www.siliconera.com/2014/08/12/playstation-tv-reaches-europe-november-18th-99/
13  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: August 12, 2014, 07:32:18 PM
so apparently Persona 3 Fes is going/already on sale for only 2.50 via PSN. That is cheap enough to tempt me simply to play through "The Answer".  P3 may easily have been one of my favorite RPG's of all time but I simply DID NOT have the stamina for the "The Answer" when first I got through "The Journey".
14  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 08, 2014, 07:17:23 PM
I'm terribly sorry to hear about the unfortunate news Din. Health problems, particularly any chronic and/or degenerative conditions are not something I would ever wish on anyone. Its bad enough that generally any serious detriment to your health status makes you feel lousy, but the psychological impact of knowing you will constantly be contending with feeling a greater or lesser degree of "bad" really sucks.

Thoughts, prayers and well wishing go out to you and Momma-Crest this day buddy. Take care.
15  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 08, 2014, 09:43:56 AM
Beat FF4: The After Years iOS this morning. Don't regret my purchase.

Your a better fan than I my friend. I was pretty sore over the whole experience. Particularly the final dungeon boss fest followed by an ending that just... didn't bode well with me.

Congrats all the same though. Having just gone through that one myself I really feel that final stretch to be a test of patience worth a gold star, or at the very least a pat on the back.



In my neck of the woods, I beat Breath of Fire IV!!!

The final boss battle was absolutely freakin' EPIC!!!! This was because, if for no other reason than being completely under-leveled, it lasted like 2 hours. I really like how the final fight cleverly strips away the sustained effectiveness of Dragon usage forcing you to rely more heavily on other party members/strategies.

It was nice to see a far more satisfying ending to BF4 after how pitiful the BF3 conclusion was. I was expecting another anime still followed by credits and instead I actually got some dialogue and (some) narrative closure!

My final impression of the game is that of pleasant satisfaction. My only complaints, in reviewing my experience in its entirety, stem from how "small" or "contained" the world felt and how underwhelming the battle difficulty proved (most the game). They did a decent job of providing a sense of variety despite the small-esque scale of everything but I couldn't help but feel very claustrophobic the whole way through.

BF4 sure doesn't get everything right, but its distinct style really gives the franchise its own identity in this installment. The title carried with it a unique "magic" in the way all the art direction gelled that left me really feeling attached to the atmosphere, cast and experience. 

Great suggestion Dice. Thank you for the nudge to dive in on this one before Xillia 2. I don't regret it in the least.
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