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1066  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Agarest Wars 2..A thread about the game and NOT the fanservice this time.... on: July 02, 2012, 10:42:22 PM
You convinced me to get it! I liked the first one, but the battle system was clunky to the point that I gave up midway through the third generation. When every single battle out of eighty threatens a total party kill, due to the mechanics, the game is too hard. Granted, I liked Ar Tonelico Qoga and I have a really high tolerance for flaws, so I guess I'm in the target demographic! ;-)

Eh? To be quite honest, I've no idea what you're talking about.  The first Agarest is easy until you start hitting the bosses in Generation 3 that wipe out your party in one attack.  Methinks you, er, didn't know the mechanics well. But I didn't either, not until midway through my first playthrough in Generation 4 (which says a lot for the game in general, that it takes some ~400 battles to fully understand the system).

This game  has a difficulty spike right at the very start, because the game does a terrible job of explaining everything, and once you get the mechanics down, it's relatively uneven from then on.  One battle I can pass with no trouble, the next the enemies toss my characters around like dolls. I'm assuming it's like the first one and eventually the bosses will butcher you if you position your characters incorrectly.  I find it more difficult than Agarest 1, but most likely because I do knows Agarest 1 so well.

Some things I definitely like, though.  They're expanding on the lore (one of the best parts of the series) considerably.  I love the new skill system, very interesting.

@ Zend- Good decision friend! I can't imagine you being disapointed here as your tastes sound similar to my own (I love the Ar tonelico series and can easily overlook flaws in light of what I like)

@Cyril- I'm finding the key not getting totally trounced one battle to the next is paying real close attention to enemies strengths and weaknesses vs my parties and swtiching out characters FAST if they aren't part of the "solution" if you will.... that is if an enemy can exploit my parties weakness or I am unable to exploit theirs and quickly build my ultimate gauge, well I'm screwed..... to accomplish this your almost forced to focus on the growth of team-mates outside your preferred 4 person party with an emphasis on variety. Being mindful of this coupled with heavy emphasis of the "extend" skills has kept me moving steadily and I'm playing on hard......

Additionally I've noticed alot of what I have percieved as being overtly difficult was me getting a little too ambitious and venturing paths I probably should have waited to blaze until completing some other stuff.... but having a game over as a real possibility has proven remarkably refreshing for me. I think it is actually part of this titles strength. They certainly don't treat the player with kid gloves by the end of the first generation, thats for sure....


EDIT: Well guys, when I'm wrong, I'm wrong... and I have to admit I was wrong about the difficulty..... I do NOT suggest playing this on hard.... it gets steep, let me tell you what.... normal may seem too easy for awhile but hard  becomes brutally frustrating.... I mean it becomes quite literally unfair, even with relatively maxed equipment and upgrades to the point were progression is literally dependant on A-LOT of grinding.... I actually decided to restart on normal.... what a chore....
1067  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Agarest Wars 2..A thread about the game and NOT the fanservice this time.... on: July 01, 2012, 01:11:02 PM
Ok so it is official... I will totally say this game kicks ass.... Yea it has its flaws.... Yes it took a full week of play-time for to get to the "kick ass" point... but if you meander your way (painfully at times...) through the first long leg of this game, you'll be pleasantly surprised by a real gem of an SRPG here..

The coolest pro of this title for me is the way they keep the narrative (which is waaaay improved over Zero BTW) in tact whilst allowing you to play in a VERY non-linear way. In fact, dare I say, I've never quite felt such a sense of open-world, non-linearity in an SRPG of this nature before.

The cons really held this game back for the first 8-12 hours for me though,  which is a shame because I can see alot of people putting it down and never giving it so much as another glance throughout its meager beginnings..... And to be completely honest, I still don't dig the skill system (too much random-ness in developing effective configurations of characters skills for the coming battles for my taste..... you'll find yourself thinking you've got a solid set-up for one battle and then completely dwarfed in the next without reworking things.... which requires a wee bit too much menu surfing IMO)...

But other than those two (albeit major) problems, this game is a HUGE step up for Idea Factory if you ask me.... I'll post more as I make my way through this title, but that is my final two cents on the first weeks worth of getting aquainted with this one.

1068  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Playstation 1 RPGs on: June 30, 2012, 06:01:39 PM
I really wouldn't call it an "upscale". It just blurs the sprites a bit to make up for the lack of scanlines and other magic old TVs used to use. I usually turn it off, I prefer pixelated sprites to the blurred blobs that they into with smoothing on.

I may have said it wrong.... when I said upscaling I was referring to the PSP.... "smoothing" is the Ps3 effect and, as I mentioned, while I have no experience with the smoothing of other newer models, the 60GB doesn't blur things out really at all, it just makes them look like they did on the ol' square tele's of yesteryear..... I have seen the smoothing of the 80gb and I agree in that regard, on some games it is a bit of a stepdown.... amazing the difference of Ps3's model to model with this effect (particularly with the hand drawn sprite stuff)...
1069  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The NEW Game Journal on: June 30, 2012, 05:54:05 PM
Bought FFXIII again this week (yeah I know I'm crazy) so one of these days I'll be playing it along with the sequel. Right now I'm fucking around with the Uncharted games seeing some things and also lately I've been in the mood to actually finish Grandia and Vagrant Story.

Dunno when I'll be going back into those two games though.

I got to the last chapter in FFXIII and it took me a full year before I had the desire/patience to polish it off.... I know the 2nd was well recieved but it still sits on my shelf untouched....

In other news, I made mondo progress in Agarest 2.... but I'm mad!! I'm in the top 100 on the leaderboards for max hits.... or at least I should be!!! I registered my max hits in at 67 and it still reads 42!!! I don't know when this updates or whatnot but I hope its soon... I've never been in the top 100 ranking on any game in any respect before..... I'm stoked...
1070  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The NEW Game Journal on: June 29, 2012, 06:21:25 PM
Breath of Fire III.

This game is turning out to be surprisingly difficult -- yay!!

I'm at the Arena.  I don't know who their fucking head would use Peco here... but he's hostage bait.
I really liked doing the "Fire Room" bit too, surprisingly involved a bit of tactics -- but the submerged-in-lava bodybuilders troubled me every second they were on screen because they were... submerged-in-lava bodybuilders.

http://spriters-resource.com/psx_ps2/breathoffire3/arenanpcs.png


Hot bunny girls.

Well Dice, ya got me.....

After the PS1 post over yonder in "single player" I had a BOF3 itch.... reading your progress sent me over the edge... I was really widdling away at my backlog whilst enjoying Agarest 2 via a neat and tidy game schedule.... and now I just had to add BOF3 into the equation and start a new game in it today.... so much for my neat and tidy gaming routine... looks like Hyperdimension MK2 and Earthbound are gonna be waiting a lil' bit longer to get any more attention from me.... and I think Dragons Dogma just totally fell off the radar... Classic gaming and backlog weekends have now just become in honor of the Dragon Clan for me...

Curse you Dice! Curse you for enticing me to indulge this ooey-gooey morsel of classic gaming goodness!.... This is all in jest by the way... this game totally kicks ass, thanks for sending me over the edge on this one :)

Just something quick to note.... (while I already posted it in the ps1 thread, I thought I would share here....) after a side by side comparison this afternoon of the first hour or so of BOF3 PSP upscaled on tv vs. the original ps1 smoothed out running on the ps3, the psp variety is totally the way to go.... way brighter visuals, better sound quality and most importantly the controls are far more responsive in regard to moving your beyond-awesome-old-school-sprites around....

EDIT:...... Ok..... so I went a nice 5-6 mile jog to think things over and I've come to my senses..... I must be disciplined... Breath of Fire has to wait until at least I finish Earthbound.... So don't worry guys.... Catastrophe averted....  I swear some days I feel as though I'm gonna explode from my excitement to delve into a new title (or old one or that matter....)....
1071  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Playstation 1 RPGs on: June 29, 2012, 06:06:34 PM
Gotta retract one of my earlier statements..... for anyone wondering the European PSP incarnation of breath of fire 3 looks (and feels) MUCH better upscaled on a TV as opposed to the original ps1 incarnation run via the ps3 with smoothing.... I just did side by side comparisons this afternoon to decide which I wanted to play (always wanted to do that-lol) and there is no contest here.... PSP Pal version is definately the way to go....

I had mentioned I ordered BOF3 to play smoothed on the ps3 in my earlier post  about backward compatability.... and let me tell you I feel like a fool now....that was totally 60 bucks that could have been better spent..... so for anyone else torn on how to indulge this classic, let my error save you some trouble... PSP upscaled is without a doubt the way to go (and cheaper)
1072  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Atelier Ayesha on: June 29, 2012, 05:59:30 PM

Oh, that is such good news. Getting the ending you wanted was such a pain in the Arland trilogy. A walkthrough was 100% required.

You can say that again... I just totally went waaay out of my way on my playthrough for a sterk ending and ended up with cordelia... I was sure I met all the requirements... I honestly don't know how it happened... well actually yea i do..... I didn't use a guide... thats what happened-LoL
1073  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Playstation 1 RPGs on: June 28, 2012, 05:09:45 PM
So my Suikoden order just came in and it actually looks like it is in really good condition, which I was really happy to see, since this is my first experience with amazons used stuff.

Now I just need to finish xenoblade before i start it, which could take like.. 2 years

Sick as it sounds, I actually have contrived "gaming schedules" to cope with such conundrums.... I have 2 current gen titles I switch between on weekdays depending on what I am feeling and usually 1 backlog or 1 classic I play starting friday til sunday. I actually just completed my 108 star playthrough of suikoden 1 via a month or so of "Suikoden Saturday's and Sunday's"-LoL

I find its sometimes hard to tear myself away from a title for a day or two to allow time for the other, but my completion rate has been much better gaming this way. If I plug away at one title long enough I find myself usually "just playing it to finish it" by the end....

While now that you all know how sick Klyde actually is, I dare someone to inquire about how I micromanage the rest of my time.... I'm so routine in the interest of productivity it is quite disgusting actually.....

lol I actually think thats a pretty good idea. I often get the "just playing to finish it" feeling myself after a number of hours on just one game, and that would be a good way to remedy it.

Quick question, I know some PS3s are backwards compatible with PS2 games, while others are not, what's the deal with PS1 games? I only have my PS3 with me at the moment, my PS2 is at my parents.

I have the 60gb launch model PS3 for backwards compatability myself. The 60gb launch model and 80gb models are the only ones that are ps2 backward compatable.

On that note, should you have that model, whenever you are playing a ps1 or 2 game, hit the PS3 button on your controller and go to "other settings" and set smoothing to "on".... the games will look 100x better than they do even with the best hdmi cables money can buy... they look so much better in fact I just bought breath of fire 3 to play on the ps3 this way, even though I own the psp european version.... it makes THAT much of a difference visually.  This "smoothing" option, may or may not be available on newer ps3's... I couldn't really tell you as I've no experience with them.

IMPORTANT NOTE: backward compatability is waaaay better with the 60gb model vs the 80gb to my understanding as well due to the fact that the 60 gb has different hardware to support the BC whereas the 80 just uses some cheap-o emulation chip. This is apparent when using the smoothing option as the visuals are enhanced notably better with the 60gb vs. the 80

1074  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Playstation 1 RPGs on: June 28, 2012, 02:39:50 AM
So my Suikoden order just came in and it actually looks like it is in really good condition, which I was really happy to see, since this is my first experience with amazons used stuff.

Now I just need to finish xenoblade before i start it, which could take like.. 2 years

Sick as it sounds, I actually have contrived "gaming schedules" to cope with such conundrums.... I have 2 current gen titles I switch between on weekdays depending on what I am feeling and usually 1 backlog or 1 classic I play starting friday til sunday. I actually just completed my 108 star playthrough of suikoden 1 via a month or so of "Suikoden Saturday's and Sunday's"-LoL

I find its sometimes hard to tear myself away from a title for a day or two to allow time for the other, but my completion rate has been much better gaming this way. If I plug away at one title long enough I find myself usually "just playing it to finish it" by the end....

While now that you all know how sick Klyde actually is, I dare someone to inquire about how I micromanage the rest of my time.... I'm so routine in the interest of productivity it is quite disgusting actually.....
1075  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Agarest Wars 2..A thread about the game and NOT the fanservice this time.... on: June 28, 2012, 02:31:02 AM
with most visually appealing sprites I've seen in a current gen title equates to godiva quality eye candy here...

I think you forgot Disgaea 4 exists.
A few more hours in and I am afraid to report things are becoming a bit stale... To expand upon my last post I'll get into gameplay a bit here....

I was mistaken.... it isn't that the systems are terribly complex or overwhelming... it is just that they are presented as such... the game does a horrible job of making things seem waaaay more complex then they need be...

So, in other words, it's a classic Idea Factory failure.

Well I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say that.... as I said, this is without question a cut above their other titles.... there is some definitive evolution to bear witness to here.... Most of IF's other titles I felt were borderline torture unless you were (as I am) part of that niche' demographic they are catering to.... I actually feel this ALMOST transcends that and stands on its own two feet as a really decent SRPG... Mind you I said almost.... The flaws do hold it back, to the point of failure...? No, I don't think so..... It has inherent IF flaws, but it has enough going for it that, unlike most other titles they have produced, these flaws are the type of thing that make you frustrated at points but not enough to quit playing....

So flawed yes, failed (in my opinion) no.

I actually feel if this is any indication of whats to come out of IF in the future they may prove to have some seriously decent games someday.....
1076  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Agarest Wars 2..A thread about the game and NOT the fanservice this time.... on: June 27, 2012, 04:58:39 PM
with most visually appealing sprites I've seen in a current gen title equates to godiva quality eye candy here...

I think you forgot Disgaea 4 exists.

Nah, I'll never forget Disgaea 4 :) I've been itching to get the post game content actually because its the only Disgaea title I didn't pour 100 of hours in after finishing the main story....

Anyhow back to more impressions of Agarest here....

A few more hours in and I am afraid to report things are becoming a bit stale... To expand upon my last post I'll get into gameplay a bit here....

I was mistaken.... it isn't that the systems are terribly complex or overwhelming... it is just that they are presented as such... the game does a horrible job of making things seem waaaay more complex then they need be... Now that I have the hang of it though, battles are getting a bit old (while still real pretty to look at). It seems each encounter is solved with the same repetitive strategy of combo attacks followed up by ultimate attacks... Just pay attention to the wait gauge, build up an ultimate/limit break styled move, let her rip and thats that.... Sort of is becoming "lather rinse repeat" a bit. I tend to think this may change more as the difficulty increases as I progress but we will see...

Now as for the skills and equipment systems.... The game once again bombards you with a 101 tutorials making things very complex to digest.... however much like the battle system it doesn't seem that trying once you get some hands on experience with it. Problem is, these tutorials come at the onset of the game and its literally hours before you get to actually put any of said instruction into application.... This left me feeling confused and baffled for no reason really. They make a souped up pseudo-materia system seem like quantum physics here.... at least that was the impression I initially got..

So another big con I feel need be reported in my humble opinion is how your introduced to everything within the first few hours... I can see it REALLY turning off gamers fast.... Coupled with the fact that first few hours are LONG.... you don't get your feet wet too quick in this title, let me tell you what.... in fact a few hours in and your still in the introductory phases, yet its still a good while before that which was introduced to you has any application.

So is this a perfect game? No, not by any stretch.... Is it an upgrade from the past Agarests? I would say without a doubt!.... I'll close now with this. I am actually pretty surprised with the quality displayed here by compile hearts and idea factory... I am a fan, but I'm the first to admit its because of my particular subjective tastes that I have appreciated their titles.  They have, however, definately stepped things up in a number of respects... I feel like if they knock up the gameplay a notch along with the production value they have going here we'd really see something stellar.... The long and the short of it..... Agarest Wars 2 will certainly be enough to tide me over til Growlanser IV, but I highly doubt its gonna prove something I feel a pressing need to burn through despite the decent narrative and eye candy.

But once again, these are initial impressions.... another week or so with the title and I think I'll really know where I stand with it.
1077  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Agarest Wars 2..A thread about the game and NOT the fanservice this time.... on: June 26, 2012, 08:47:55 PM
Ok, I am not far enough in yet to give a relevant report but I will detail my first impressions...

Let me just start by saying this game is freakin' gorgeous.... by far the most stunning anime-based visual direction I think I've ever seen in a game... katsuyuki's character art coupled with most visually appealing sprites I've seen in a current gen title equates to godiva quality eye candy here... couple that with the lush backdrops and let me say, for a game of its style, its visual impact is no less then amazing.

The soundtrack is great, very appropriate and mood enhancing. I am actually really disapointed the LE didn't include it.

The narrative a few hours in is really shining as well. This surprisingly well written script, while containing some pretty cliche elements that wouldn't normally hold my attention, has proven pretty grand so far. It's serious and gripping with great dialogue without becoming too windy for its own good if you know what I mean..... I hate feeling overwhelmed with information on the world I'm trying to immerse myself in.... worse yet is when the volumes of said info is necessary for the narrative within said world to make sense.... that is not a problem here. The scope of things feels grand, and pressing. The characters have personality. The cliches are easily overlooked in light of those two facts alone.

That so far has been its strongest points for me...

Another major pro however has been the battle system. I'm enjoying it thus far.... I'm enjoying it alot actually. However there is just a bit much to comprehend here. I'll need to give it some more time to fully understand the mechanics of it. Given that I'm a few hours in and still feel unfamiliar with it though is sort of odd.... then again I am not familiar with cross edge at all and from what I understand this sort of mirrors that a bit, so I suppose some will feel right at home here.

I can't comment  much of the gameplay elements yet actually... I just don't feel comfortable enough to say one way or the other....

On another note I will also say this.... I couldn't decide what difficulty to play on, given how tough Agarest Zero was.... yet I was afraid not playing on hard would prevent me from reaping the benefit of some content, as that was an unfortunate fact of other Agarest titles if I'm not mistaken... so after playing on normal for a few hours, it got to me and I restarted on hard. Let me just say, this game is MUCH more forgiving than the other Agarest titles. Hard has not felt dwarfing in any sense thus far. In fact, it seems to be just right I would say..... Also on that subject... I scoured the internet for info on whether or not there was much to be missed by not playing on hard and could find nothing.... The lack of info on this game is pretty astounding to me even given the fact that is a new title.

The cons so far
-No english voice acting (may or may not be a con to some)
-The gorgeous visuals can suffer a bit from lag here and there... this doesn't bother me at all, but I know it irks some people something fierce...
-Its so cool to get to walk around in real time on the world map that I feel towns could have proven alot more enjoyable if you could navigate them in the same manner.
-Character creation (much as in Agarest Zero) seems to make absolutely no freakin' sense what-so-ever.

So while my jury is still out on the meet and potatos of this one, what I have experienced thus far is golden. One more thing I would like to say, if anyone is considerring this but has been turned off by its predecessors, this is without a doubt a whole different experience than Agarest or Agarest Zero. In my opinion it is a VAST improvement on all fronts, but in some respects its way too much of a departure to even compare if you ask me.

I'll post more impressions about the gameplay and whatnot tomarrow after some more time with it.
1078  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The NEW Game Journal on: June 25, 2012, 04:20:01 PM
Just finished Final Fantasy 6. I am happy that it has held up as well as it does. Besides a few small issues I loved it just as much as I did all those years ago.

The Positives
1. The music- Remains, by a large margin, my favorite video game soundtrack ever. It is flawless from front to back, The big hitters are still great such as dancing mad and the opera song, also found some hidden gems I forgot about such as Relms theme. It also includes my favorite video game song of all time in The Decisive Battle.

2. The Graphics- Wonderful sprite work, and the world design goes from gritty and dark, to dream like and haunting. The enemy sprites can get downright bizarre and frightening, but I love them.

3. Atmosphere- The World of Ruin in particular is a work of art, It begs to be explored, and the downtrodden spooky aura that surrounds it, always makes you wonder what you will run into next.

4. Story and Characters- I thought the overall premise was relatively sound and did not go off the deep end to much, like most JRPGs we see today. I thought in general the characters will very like-able to, though often very simple. Being an Snes rpg there is room left to read between the lines, and its nice that not every single character trait and plot point is thrown right in your face, often leaving little tidbits to the side for players who want to find them. It also does not hurt that the game includes one of the greatest villains in video games.

5. Unique Characters- I will always prefer Characters with individual abilities in RPGs then ones where everyone is equally customizable. And even though FF6 allows most characters to learn the same spells and perform similar actions, it still retains individuality through unique character abilities and vastly different states between everyone.


The Bad.

1. The Translation- Now granted I played the Snes version so I don't know how much improved it was on Game Boy Advance, but it definitely had its issues here. I actually wonder how much the characters would be improved with a better translation. It did have that bad translation charm though.

2. To many random battles-  I am someone who has no problem with random battles, I think used correctly it can work really well, but there are simply to many here. It makes exploring this wonderful world a chore, and often I would not search around places as much as I wanted because I was just so sick of battles. I know this is an issue with most RPGs of the time, but its still something I thought hurt the game.

And now I can finally start Xenoblade!



The problem with the GBA version is that you have to trade both audio and graphical quality for the translation.

Incidentally the game eventually provides you with a pair of accessories that mitigate the encounter rate (even though both have guide dang it requirements).

I've played through 6 enough times to know that bad translation like the lyrics to a top twenties 90's tune that never made it off the radio once it fell off the charts... Is the the GBA translation improved enough to give it a whirl? It is the only incarnation of the game I haven't played through...
1079  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Agarest Wars 2..A thread about the game and NOT the fanservice this time.... on: June 25, 2012, 02:21:11 AM
Isn't this the one where one of the offsprings is female for once?

If so then I suppose that I should tune in at least until I hear of how they're going to handle that (my bet will be that she'll come during the final generation where it's safe to go looking for a lesbian to pair with).

wow.... I never thought about that.... dating sims that would allow you to choose your sexual preference that is... has that ever been done?

In any event, on that note, supposedly in this installment you can choose to "force" whomever to be your mate to the detriment of your offsprings stats if your given choice isn't fond of you.... something tells me this game is gonna come under scrutiny no matter how good it is, as the self-righteous who need something to bitch about take these things completely  out of context...

Between this and Mugen Souls I can't wait to here how offended parents of gamer-kiddies get this year whilst completely over looking the fact that for years they have been allowing their child the virtual freedom of shooting their neighbors and friends in modern and realistic settings...
1080  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Agarest Wars 2..A thread about the game and NOT the fanservice this time.... on: June 24, 2012, 09:17:29 PM
Before kicking this one off I just want to preface this with an apology for not continuing my last Agarest 2 thread... That thread was primarily about/focused on the LE goodies and we all know where that discussion went.... I didn't want to revive it because I felt we needed a thread about the game and not gender exploitation or discrimination or whatever the hell happened to that one.... I'm not gonna go back and check because I recall it got too out of sorts for me while it was still kicking and I figure best leave that one burried.

So any-hoo.... Who hear is as stoked as I am about this one!!? I purposely held off on Gungnir and have been finishing backlogged titles for the last 3 weeks to make sure nothing compromised immersing myself in this come wednesday morning! I really liked Agarest Zero but ruined it on myself with DLC (never ever again will I get equipment and money DLC packs.... even if they are free....).... So as such, and seeing as how this looks to be a 100% improved departure from AW0, I can't contain myself... I really feel like this is gonna be a stellar title.

If I'm not mistaken the narrative is also a completely fresh invention with nothing to do with the Ag0 and Ag1 universes, which just compounds my excitement further! Aside from that the free-roam overworld map and switch to cross-edge styled battles (much shorter than the Ag0 and Ag1 battles) has me beyond sold. So yea.... I'm going into this one with some expectations but I really don't see myself being let down here..... and if I am oh well... it still kept me focused enough this month to finish FF 4 Complete Collection, Suikoden 1 and Atelier Rorona.

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