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Subject: Persona 3: FES
Prize: $20 eShop, PSN or Steam code
Date: 3rd October 2014 Time: 16:00 EST
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1141  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.
1142  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.
1143  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...
1144  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...
1145  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.

1146  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Replaying RPGs? on: June 24, 2012, 09:00:04 PM
I typically won't restart an RPG til it is old enough to be new to me again-LoL.... There are SOME exceptions however.... I played through FF6 enough times to literally recall parts of the script verbatim... heck, I could probably draw maps of the dungeons from memory... Most of those play-through's were in my childhood though.

The stuff I replay now is all, as was stated by a few others, in the interest of nostalgia coupled with the fact that some older titles just have no equal in my mind. I did however go through a period of my life where I was so inebriated I can't remember anything of the games I played.... some of those have demanded my attention again over the course of the last 5 years or so since becoming sober.... sad as that may be.
1147  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Playstation 1 RPGs on: June 24, 2012, 06:39:50 PM
Though my recall of the few aforementioned titles is pretty fuzzy as well, I do recall liking but not finishing LoL or BtB for some reason... What I do remember is really not digging the limited cast in LoL.... In either event, neither were stellar enough to demand my attention again later in life...

I'll tell you what is demanding my attention as a result of this thread is Breath of Fire... I've been itching for another run through of 3 in the worst way... I think that is going to be my next "classic" to pop in once I finished my Earthbound play-through.

Also, to the original poster, good move picking up Suikoden man, you won't regret it :) Dare I say, you may even feel enclined to shell out the bucks for 2 (as I did) after giving it a go.
1148  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Nintendo 3DS XL Launching July 28 JPN/EUR and August 19 NA on: June 24, 2012, 06:02:11 PM
This is maddening... I feel like I just bought the 3DS.. now I got trade it and shell out more cash for this.... crud....

Er...no you don't.  This doesn't offer any functionality over a regular 3DS...

Yea, I'm drawing and tattooing for anywhere from 8-12 hours a day.... anything that eases the strain on my eyeballs is worth it...

Well, if he loves his big screens it's probably not a bad idea, but given how purchases work I'd hold on to that 3DS unless he had nothing on it anyway.

To be honest, aside from a few streetpass perks I haven't downloaded much of anything... even my 2 Ps3's are both almost completely void of online purchases, save DLC for the games I own hard copies of.... I've always been one to enjoy owning to physical game/disc/cartridge/hardware et cetera... my entire PS1 collection is all original disc based retail purchases, not a single digital... though I must admit, most of them were purchased before they were up on the network and I could have definately saved a buck or two had I waited (suikoden and arc the lad collection which I purchased in mint condition come to mind....)
1149  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: June 24, 2012, 02:16:53 AM
Thanks for the heads up on Queens blade.... you guys saved me a good hour or two of dissapointment tonite...

On the other hand I found ikkitousen to be really enjoyable for some reason... but I went into that one a pretty big fan of the battle vixens manga so I was relatively bias...

Well, while waiting for Fate/Stay I think tonite I'll check out The Familiar of Zero... I'm just not feeling any more Dream Eater Merry right now and Now and There is my daytime anime... yes I have anime viewing schedules set up for myself.... I also have game-playing schedules set up to juggle my various backlogs whilst acomadating new titles..... is this strange?
1150  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: June 23, 2012, 06:09:43 PM
Let me apologize for erroneously making any comparison between pokemon and fate/stay..... it was a retarded statement that totally mis-represented me meaning... which was that it was a false impression I discerned a long time ago that kept me away...

Anyhow, you don't have to tell me twice to check out anything of the fantasy-fare... Starting with Fate Stay/Night, orderred and on the way...

Speaking of Fantasy Anime... I decided to watch the first 3 eps of Queens Blade last night.... I don't understand the appeal of this one at all... typically I am sucker for fantasy anime but I found nothing appealing about this yet.... No cool characters, I don't like the art style and so far everyone is just a chick who gets naked... I am hoping the condition improves a few more eps in but seriously, I can't hold out much hope for a series that kicks off the first episode with a freakin' bunny demon that oozes acidic tit milk or whatever the hell that was.....

Another strike this week came by way of Dream Eater Merry.... albeit a quasi-original plot, the characters lack much of anything to get attached to for me... and might I add that Merry's jacket bothers me to no end. I know anime-attire doesn't always make sense but those coat tails are too over the top to be ignored. I don't know why this bothers me, but it does.... probably because there isn't enough going on for me to over-look it.

Still loving the heck out of "Now and Then, Here and There" though. This one just keeps getting better and better.....

EDIT: Thanks Aeolus for the "hint" about Gai-Rei.... I'll be giving it a read in due time....
1151  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Nintendo 3DS XL Launching July 28 JPN/EUR and August 19 NA on: June 23, 2012, 05:55:29 PM
This is maddening... I feel like I just bought the 3DS.. now I got trade it and shell out more cash for this.... crud....
1152  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The NEW Game Journal on: June 23, 2012, 05:50:58 PM

I seriously do not understand the hate Dragon Age II received. 30 hours in and I love this game!
Dude, don't do that! I already scratched it off my list of "games to play". Sometimes I'm relieved when a game I'm anticipating turns out to be bunk. I prefer having only a couple games on the list at a time. I really DID want to play this early on, even despite the mediocre reviews. Then a bunch of people here convinced me otherwise.

I feel the EXACT same way sometimes (that is, sometimes its relieving to know your not missing out on something you intended on pouring at least 40-60 hours of your life into.... especially when you have so many other 40-60 hour life-wasters sitting on the shelf enticing you-LoL).... Dragon Age 2 was one such case for me as well... but then again it isn't hard to talk me out of a WRPG... in any event maybe I too will reconsider turning a blind eye to this title seeing as how its less than 20 buck now and it comes suggested by Bytor who is currently batting a thousand with me after suggesting "Now and Then, Here and THere" over on the anime board....

Any-hoo..... This week in gaming for me HAS ROCKED!! I finally beat Atelier Rorona... let me repeat I FINISHED ATELIER RORONA FINALLY!!.... For a game that I started off really appreciating this one got REAL stale for me..... but I feel all the better for having meandered my way through it. I will however say, I am highly disgusted that I ended up with the Cordelia ending. I worked my non-functioning-testes off to get the Sterk ending, met all the requirements as far as I knew, had his friendship level waaay up and yet... lo and behold... I failed... Thats what I get for refusing to use guides or faqs I suppose... The way I see it reviews and reading on boards spoils enough for me....

I also recently begun moving my way through Earthbound again since its release when I was but a youngin' (at which point I could not appreciate, nor finish the title).... I went in a bit skeptical but have to admit, I feel this game totally deserves the acclaim it gets. So freakin' original in so many respects and challenging in ways I really didn't expect. I love the fact that (so far) nothing feels recycled.... some of the stuff this game requires you to figure out to progress is just brilliant yet borders on ridiculous which I can really appreciate. I can't think of a single other title that requires you to stand in place for 3 minutes in order to advance through a standard plot dungeon.... something you would NEVER figure out to do if you were not a thorough player talking to all the various townsfolk you come across. Waaaay cool how this game doesn't treat the player with kid gloves in any respects really... My only complaint here is the gameplay leaves alot to be desired. Especially the menu and inventory systems..... Talk about a head-ache.

Lastly, I was steadily moving through Hyperdimenion MK2 after having that one backlogged since Tales of Graces F came out.... I got to the third chapter this week but I'm thinking this a gonna be a spuratic weekend or in-between title for me. Why....? Because Agarest 2 comes out this week!! And I am abso-freakin'-lutely diving into that one head first this wednesday upon release. Tis a good week to be a gamer for me... yes it is...
1153  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Playstation 1 RPGs on: June 21, 2012, 05:55:37 PM
I'm not saying Saga Frontier is necessarily bad.. but out of everything listed that certainly WOULD NOT be my first pick.... or 2nd or 3rd for that matter.... though I will say I adored the art direction.....

how are wild arms 1+2? another long running series i have not played yet

I was in the same boat as you not too long ago, having let this series slip past me... let me tell you what, although these titles foster some acclaim, I don't feel they get near enough.. They are familiar enough as JRPGs to scratch that "classic" itch with enough originality by way of the puzzles and dungeons to really keep you going. After playing game after game after game, you start to feel as though you know what your in for and always challenged in the same ways over and over again.... As such, Wild Arms came into my life and was a total refresher reminding me great gameplay and design coupled with a decent (although not stellar narrative) equates to a freakin' great game that doesn't have to go out into left field to feel like a very original experience.

My advice though, if you haven't played all this stuff listed here is to go for the Suikoden series. Suikoden 1 was a bit unbalanced in the sense that with the right characters in your party, the game can prove ridiculously easy.... But half the fun for me was discovering those character combos that really let me stick it to the enemies. The narrative sets up for Suikoden 2 beautifully and makes that experience all the better. Without getting into anything else, on all RPG fronts I found Suikoden to totally rise above mediocrity and enter the realm of completely awesome  in many respects. It is original, has a great narrative and soundtrack, a wonderful cast and just too many good points to be a "bad" or "mediocre" game... In other words with suikoden 1 and 2 is VERY safe to say you won't regret your experience.....

.... Now in a completely subjective sense, I would definately second the Breath of Fire suggestions that have been presented here as well... I am probably the only one who liked 3 more then 4 but both were great to me and well worth playing. In any event, its just plain-jane solid JRPG goodness here..... But I am a Breath of Fire whore and loved the first 2 which many people did not so I could be bias, which is why my first suggestion to you is Suikoden or Wild Arms if thats seems more appealing to you.

After those I would head into Xeno, Star Ocean 2, Grandia and Valkyrie Profile. Those three are all really great titles but each are great for their originality in different respects that place them sort of outside the realm of your standard stuff.

Lastly, I want to mention "Thousand Arms" as my obscure title suggestion to look into for the future.... I know not many people talk much about it or like it.... and I myself don't have enough experience with it to say either way yet, though it is sitting on my shelf beggin for a play-through. But it looked interesting enough in a real odd-ball sense to catch my attention..... In fact, if anyone here has experience with it, I myself would love to hear it.

EDIT: I made a boo-boo and wasn't mindful of what it was you orderred already. Plus completely neglected to mention in my top suggestions.... Lunar 1 and 2 are quite possibly my favorite PS1 RPG's period. But they are not for everyone.... They are very straightforward and typical, but also very well done.  I would actually place the Lunar suggestion above my others if you are looking for a very "standard" experience and classic fantasy narrative that is well told enough to keep you hooked.
1154  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ys (IV) Celceta, Sea of Trees on: June 20, 2012, 05:45:52 PM
i knew it was gonna happen sooner or later... that is, a solid reason I can't ignore to break-down and buy a vita.... in a perfect world a vita 2.0 model will be released with HDMI output before this is localized....
1155  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Playstation 1 RPGs on: June 20, 2012, 05:41:32 PM
Suikoden 2 is on the PSN?  Since when...

I didn't see it there ....but it would stand to reason that it is (or is on the way) .... seeing as how I just shelled out 160 bucks for a copy about a month or two ago.... can't imagine we all missed it though so I don't think it is on yet
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