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46  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 04, 2016, 02:50:29 PM
Odin Sphere

Just finished Oswald's story. I liked how it tied into Gwendolyn's story, but that's about it. Oswald had some neat skills (Draw Ring + Rising Void = wanton destruction), but I was still annoyed playing as him for one very major reason: The game gives him a unique ability to set him apart from other characters (Berserk Mode) and then punishes you for using it. It's very obvious that your battle score plummets while in Berserk Mode, no matter how much of a combo you build. That's a really poor design decision if you ask me.

Anyway, on to Velvet's story in a bit.

I remember LOVING Oswald's character so much when I played Vanilla OS (see what I did there?? hehe) many years ago. Problem was, he was the absolute least enjoyable to play as.

Dumb as it sounds, his character as well as Velvet are probably the biggest draws for me to pick up the re-boot. I'm such a sucker for characters I like. More embarasing when it is someone as borderline-cliche' as Oswald.

BERSERK THE GAME DARK SOULS 3 -- Since this past saturday I've jumped from level 30 to 47 (progress) and am really beginning to feel like Strength/endurance is the way to go in this game.

Exploring Cathedral of the Deep at the moment and am enjoying the environment connectivity. I wasn't certain at first, but between this place and the Undead Settlement I can safely say I appreciate the area's a great deal more here than Souls 2.

I sent the thief I saved from a cell at the beginning of the game to go loot corpses for goodies. Don't know what that will turn up but I suspect some type of misfortune.
47  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 03, 2016, 04:02:38 PM
Golly is it easy to get bored with Xenosaga. I sincerely wish I didn't because I adored the cast which typically seals the deal for me with a franchise but I just got winded.

BERSERK THE GAME 3/ Strangely unbalanced difficulty. You hit the woods and its all like "time to get serious and die 22 times (I counted) against baddies you probably shouldn't even swing at yet" and then you proceed past that area scared shitless and difficulty takes a nosedive. Although I'm really NOT complaining cause I was in the woods for days.

MANIAC MANSION (NES)/ Tried this because I haven't played an NES game in years and "why not". I can't appropriately talk about my experience because I think I hate point and click games. I tried a few and can never last more than a few hours. All I can say is I wish this wasn't a point and click game because I'd probably enjoy the 1990 flavor right now and keep playing. This will not be making it into my line-up ATM (or ever) sadly. CURIOSITY SATIATED
48  Media / Game Journals / Re: Josh blindly flails his way through a natural magic/no esper run of FFVI on: August 03, 2016, 03:57:57 PM
  Plus, dat funky weird music.

Was my ringtone for like 2 years.

This was a mistake. It is stuck in my head til this very day. Not one day goes by I don't "hear" it.

Vector on through the rest of WoB right up til the floating continent is my favorite leg of the journey. I see the MTek dungeon as a real turning point of sorts and critical to setting things up for the false climax.

I'm not gonna echo everyone here in stating that I love the dungeon and the flashback is bat shit crazy but.. well I love the dungeon and flashback is a little bat shit crazy.
49  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 02, 2016, 02:07:40 PM
@ Mesh - ToL always looked awesome to me to be honest. I know the went way out in left field with some design choices but it was precisely that which enticed me. I highly doubt I'll ever get to it because that would entail getting a decent PS2 era set-up going (again) so I'll be enjoying that vicariously through you.

In truth, while we are on the subject, I count Tales amongst my absolute favorite franchises but Abyss and Symphonia I actually appreciated the least despite how well regarded they are.
-----------------
BERSERK THE GAME 3/ Got to the Crystal Sorceror boss. Died and began to notice my character getting ugly. Proceeded to die more and realized my character was getting REAAAALLY UGLY. In short, I discovered the hollowing mechanic but even after reaching hollow level 22 I still didn't know what the hell was going on. I'm sort of disgusted that I looked up what "hollowing" was in my stats to accidently discover this.

I foolishly believed looking up status terms and whatnot would NOT be spoilerific. Apparently I was mildly (completely) wrong.

Went back to Crystal boss all sorts of angry and ember-restored. VICTORY!!

LESSON LEARNED -- I can't even look up statistical info online without stumbling across search results that I would rather never want to lay eyes on. In short, I will not be looking up ANYTHING from now on. EVER
50  Media / Game Journals / Re: Josh blindly flails his way through a natural magic/no esper run of FFVI on: August 01, 2016, 01:13:12 PM
Thanks for taking the time to hire me Shadow.

I promise, someday, with gross accessorizing I will the Ninja prove useful.

ABOUT CASH FLOW/ Funny I never though of it before but I really don't remember GP/Cash/Currency being to tight in any FF game now that you guys bring it up (save FF Tactics were fleshing out character equipment could be costly as sin early game if I recall).

Then again, I've always sort of believed the game-breaking inherent flaw of FF was abundance. Virtually anything you need or proves useful you can aquire/do in excess. Has resource management ever really even been a thing in the FF line at all?
51  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 01, 2016, 01:06:27 PM
Final Fantasy 1

The difficulty completely collapsed once I stopped trying to attack with my Red and Black mages during boss fights and just buffed my Warrior. I had no idea that the same buff stacked. The last boss fell quick enough. I tried the bonus PSP dungeon but it didn't seem that fun. I don't think I will bother fully exploring it.

I knew roughly where to go throughout the story but it could have really used a world map.

Final Fantasy 2

Just boarded the Dreadnought. The game is pretty fun if you just ignore how stats are raised and just go with the flow.

Star Ocean: The First Departure

I just got to the first port town. This is my first playthrough of the game. So far it seems really fun but it is early days yet.

Someday I really want to play the perty PSP incarnations of FF1 and 2 for the PSP if for no other reason than to oogle at the gorgeously oversized sprites. I will of course play this full screen on a 40 inch samsung to make the "awseome" completely fill my field of view.

SO:FD for me was such a mixed bag. I enjoyed it well enough to finish it but couldn't shake the feeling of "this is like a demo for Star Ocean 2" the whole time I played. I said it before, but every time this is brought up it reminds me how much I still want to give the SF (super famicom) original a chance. The first SO on the SF was the 3rd ever import title I bought as a kid (Seiken 3, Romancing Saga 3 were the first 2) and I was so lost but still recall adoring how that game looked/sounded at the time.

I still really hope we eventually get the ps4 port of SO2 even though they stated "no plans to do so". I hold out hope its gonna come outta left field like Adventure of Mana did and just drop one week.
52  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 31, 2016, 01:33:07 PM
Berserk the game DS3 -- Discovered an awesome little tidbit about the runes on the titanite used for upgrades. It ACTUALLY says something. For anyone interested, http://fextralife.com/the-blacksmiths-tale-deciphering-runes-in-dark-souls-3/

2nd Discovery. Apparently 2 handing a weapon increased your strength stat 50 percent on attacks. I didn't know this. I assumed (as I'd guess many folks do) that two-handing increased damage output regardless of strength/dexterity. This is a game changer for the FlUnkY PaLAdIn build I've got going. Sounds silly but I want to invest my levels into more of an endurance/stamina/faith build and can compensate damage output with buffs/strength more easily now than I could have with buffs/dex.



So Bairados is the name of the world in Lunatic Dawn: Passage of the Book. To answer my own question from months ago.

Thanks for this. I had to check out what the hell this was because when you asked the question months ago, if you recall, it prompted me to figure out who "Balbados" was instead and thus the mystery remained unsolved. And this ^^ is precisely what I meant a few days ago when I mentioned turning me onto cool games I may never otherwise uncover. Little pricey on steam but I wants it!!!
53  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 30, 2016, 02:24:48 PM


Oh yeah that Onechanbara series caught my attention some time ago so I picked it up, it's pretty silly but does seem pretty fun at the same time. It reminds me of those old games you would pick up randomly at the store on a whim, but that ended up being really fun.



What really surprised me was the production value for a title like this. It may not be Uncharted 4, but the presentation is of a higher caliber than I expected. I've played lots of niche' titles in this vein and OZ2C is just a cut above. Thing is, I could see folks really feeling upset at full price. Get this on sale though and if the price is right, it's absolutely worth it.

---------------

Van Helsing-- So I figured out my gaming conundrum. It isn't to drop VH to play Berserk the Game Dark Souls. It is keeping both in rotation.

This whole "having a gaming PC" threw me for a loop. Finally realized in a moment of clarity yesterday the answer to having both a PC and console is playing both. I somehow had some self-contrived "issue" where I thought picking one over the other was necessary until I realized, very suddenly, it wasn't.

As for VH, I changed the settings and lo and behold it runs gorgeous now. I proceeded to hunt down some steam-punk robot monster-hunter things on the loose.

------------

BERSERK THE GAME
DS3 -- Explored the woods/swamp zone some more. Wowee can this place be brutal. EXAMPLE: Invader enters my game, hides around enemies, engages me while I fight off hordes, 2nd invader enters, chases me into swamp, I can't run, fight for life/souls ensues. That being said I found some freakin' PERFECT armor and equipment for my character "LEIN THE PALADIN FLUNKY with PRETTY HAIR".

6 Levels, a sword I should not have yet, 2 new bonfires lit. It was a GREAT friday night last night.
54  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 29, 2016, 12:52:47 PM
@Mesh thank you for sharing that EasternMinds link thingy. I've known about HG101 for years (love that site too) but that blog had tons of really interesting tidbits I'd never had a clue about.

In Klyde's world KLYDE HAS THE WORST GAMING ADHD EVER!!  Well not so much an attention problem per se' as it is an inability to pay attention without my mind drifting to Dark Souls 3. I can stay focused on that just fine even if it is NOT what I want to be focused on.

This is the result of mutliple factors. A) Getting the gaming PC before finishing DS3 on console. B)Starting and not following through with DS3 C) Looking at BERSERK media cause Dark Souls is BERSERK the game no matter what anyone else tells me.

So I'm throwing in the towel for now and officially swapping DS3 in and Helsing out. It's a shame because I like Helsing well enough but how long can a Ninja go "click click click... wait a minute... this isn't Souls!!" LoL

I suppose it would be worth it to throw RE:IS back in the mix in the interest of my sanity with Souls.
55  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 28, 2016, 12:26:44 PM
Anyone else have a hard time keeping track of what Mesh is actually playing?  All those acronyms/nicknames/shorthand...

I'll tell what NOT TO DO

Don't start trying to identify what he is playing by context clues and looking them up out of curiosity because then you end up wanting to play half the games Mesh is and THEY ARE REALLY HARD TO FIND!! Or at the very least, you will stumble across multiple gems that require a commitment of new Hardware/Software to access.

I have quite a few I'll get to as time passes thanks to Mesh in all honesty. His reports here in the journal are secretly something I really look forward to for this reason.

-------

Onechanbara Z2: Chaos -- This game is surprisingly fantastic if "pretty and mindlessly awesome" sounds like something you need in your life. If Senran Kagura and Devil May Cry had a ill-manored offspring it would be this. This is the 3-dimensional hack and slash game I've been waiting for and didn't know it. However, it should be noted, to discover how good the game could feel one MUST mess around with the terrible default settings. You will break your fingers trying to lock on, combo, switch targets et cetera with default. I wonder if the dev's realized this because they make changing some of button mappings obscenely obvious in the options.

Anyhow, nuf said. This one is a keeper for sure.



56  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 27, 2016, 10:46:25 AM
Zwei - Managed to get further* in Episode 5. The boss with the rotatey shield thingy's obnoxious because it stops the lock-on lasers and tapping normal shot that much kills my thumb. I feel like I should complain about the deadzones/downtime in this level but it's... really not at all problematic feeling to me? They felt dull in R-Type Final but they feel necessary here.

Okami - I have an old save of this that I never finished but I think I'm going to start over and by thing I'm going to I mean I already did because I forgot what was going on; teared up at the opening remembering a time ten years ago when I played it the first time and wondered what it would be like in the then-future playing it post-dogs.


Your Zwei talks have got me thinking on my dropped Panzer Dragoon play-through from when I was a kid. Probably because it was from roundabouts the same time-frame as LoM.

That aside, I also have a file started on Okami from last year around christmas which I put down for Dark Souls SOTFC which brings me to my little dialogue here.

DARK SOULS 3/ After Jermeister's post yesterday I gave DS3 a shot (again) and I'm beginning to wonder if I even have any appreciation for Dark Souls left in me at the moment. I feel like it is more an obsession with difficulty in progression, how demanding the game is of my focus and the freedom with builds that entices me.

Now that sounds like I am identifying a game I love and want to play, but the weird thing is I'm just not sure if I even enjoy this at this point or am just obsessed/so comfortable with playing it because of 12+ months with other FROM SOFTWARE titles in the very recent past.



57  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 26, 2016, 10:10:32 PM
Yeah, I'm playing Tom Clancy's The Division right now, and I really want to fucking decapitate the developers. It pisses me off that idiots bitch that titles such as Odin Sphere that have multiple playable characters with different styles are somehow "repetitive" while ignoring the fact that piles of shit like The Division make you fucking redo the same shit over and over if you die, which happens a fuck of a lot. Destiny suffered from the same shit as well, as do the Souls games especially if you don't get your souls back. It fucks me that "professional" reviewers don't complain about this bullshit and thus give developers permission to re-shit the same excrement again and again.

Repetition is inherent in virtually every game (hence the gameplay loop term). Trick is identifying which "loops" appeal to you and which don't. If dying and re-trying isn't your gig I wouldn't go near the titles you listed. I'm sort of the opposite in the sense that I enjoy progression that demands that to an extent and feel like it is torture to try and pay attention to a game when there is no real risk of failure (why I occasionally get bored of JRPGs).

All that being said, now I wanna play Dark Souls 3 again. WHY'D YA HAVE TO GO AND DO THAT TO ME!!???
58  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 26, 2016, 11:51:39 AM
VAN HELSING FINAL CUT (VH:FC) (First impressions) -- My experience went something like this. FIRST/ "Ah gee golly here comes a Diablo clone but it isn't as good as Diablo 3." SECOND/ "Well this looks sort of ugly and has frustrating U.I" THIRD/"Maybe I should try a different peripheral and character class, and get a little bit further before I judge it."

Switched to using the Dual Shock 4 controller and picked a ranged character. I also cranked the difficulty up to hard. After two or three hours I had a TOTALLY different impression.

--Only looks like Diablo (and boy does it). Dramatically different tone, writing and presentation give the game it's own identity for sure.
-- Character classes are polarizing. None of them exactly look good/appealing but some are highly original.
-- Playing with a ranged character makes the game feel wholly different and much better to me. Dare I say, it almost feels as though it was meant to feel this way. The melee is functional but not nearly as enjoyable, plain and simple.
-- I feel I can safely sign off on this being a very decent take on the Helsing stuff. It hits the right notes to sound, look and feel like the universe and storytelling you'd (or at least I) hope would be attached to the name.
-- The biggest pro is the originality. This totally is a superb horror/monster/steampunk/halloweenie ARPG in tone (and I cannot, in all honesty, think of too many games I'd categorize like that)
-- BIG PRO You have a constant companion character that lends a necessary layer to gameplay to make this feel new/original. Reliance on the companion character in combat and build is what makes this play different. In short, I'm not dodge rolling all over the place and I am planning my character build to compliment the companion character. Furthermore, the banter between your MC and the companion is well done commentary on the spooky crap going on and very well voiced.

The biggest bummer here is the lack of customization and melee combat factor I touched upon. I can also see a ton of folks putting this down and never looking at it again if they didn't play it with the right peripheral. The DS4 literally is what made this go from frustrating to entirely playable for me. (I assume the Xbox360 controller would work similarly well)

TLDR/ If you are willing to take to time to fuss with VH:FC a bit there is a fantastic ARPG here with some obscenely rough edges to be discovered. As a fan of the Helsing motif' I deem it totally worth the fuss.
59  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 25, 2016, 09:49:21 PM
@ Aeolus -- Thanks for elaborating so much on all that. Its precisely that type of depth that makes it a game worth going back to (for me) and, by my measure, places it ahead of it's time. I mean, datalogs being required reading isn't exactly uncommon in contemporary games but I can't think of too many of LoM's time that did this.

The long and the short of it, having more signifigant narrative to discover is quintessential to replay value but a game that can deliver as satisfying an experience as LoM did without me tripping over so much of it is pretty remarkable.

So just got the true end in Nights of Azure...and at this point I feel like this is easily the worst Gust game I have ever played (yes worse than Ar Tonelico 3). I really can't even explain the why. Just the story and the battle system did not connect with me. I'm actually missing three trophies (besides the platinum), but I dislike the game to the extent where I cannot bring myself to slog through it for those three trophies anymore. >.>

That is disheartening to hear. I really didn't think any effort could disappoint me more than AT3.
60  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 25, 2016, 05:02:28 PM
Mana History!! Yup, I did me some reading and I think it might have been after you mentioned it here in the Journal, Mesh.

The neatest part about the lore presented (at least to me) is how it fleshes out a ton which was glazed over (if even addressed) in the earlier games. Coming from a background of Mana and reading the first 10 odd entries and how it explains the cycles of the Flammy, Moon Goddess and dieties give you as a player or fan cool insight into the scope of things. That is, unless I understood it wrong, it accounts for the continuity between the games without jeopardizing any part of the writing that could otherwise be considered plot holes or at worst total retcon. Sort of like if Final Fantasy suddenly explained why there are so many "Cids" and actually had it make sense so that "Cloud" and "Terra" were in fact part of the same history WITHOUT compromising what we've already come to learn about FFVI and VII (I cite this as example WITHOUT mention of Dissidia because that game is sort of the opposite of what I am talking about here.)

That aside, it also helps out the ending seeing as how I wouldn't have understood a freakin' thing about what was happening otherwise. Not that I FULLY got it anyhow, but I imagine once I go back to it and explore the other arcs and get more history it will paint a more full picture.

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