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676  Media / Single-Player RPGs / XIII-2 Levelling and Growth Confusion on: January 05, 2014, 05:51:37 PM
Ok guys, I need some serious help here.

I have not been able to really get anywhere in XIII-2 because I am clearly doing something wrong and at the point where I am getting my ass handed to me. In fact, I suspect based on how fast my characters get wiped out I am somehow missing or neglecting some mechanic entirely.

I am currently at chapter 3 Yaschas whatever (place with the eclipse) and have been pouring most all my crystarium points into COM for Noel and RAV for Serah. I did this because although I didn't really "get it" I thought choosing those roles to pour mostly everything into and keeping them primarily as those roles was a simple and sound strategy. Clearly it was not.

My monsters seem week as well. I don't know what I am doing wrong there....

I tried reading a bit from guides on the levelling system to better understand it and even they confuse they heck out of me.

Can anyone explain in a simplistic way how effectively level and progress in this game. I feel like I am going nowhere fast.

Any tips on how to survive battles would be helpful please don't be bashful with the advice guys. I really need it. I am having horrible flashbacks of 45 minute battles in XIII-1 because I screwed up the leveling in that somehow.
677  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, The Last 13 Days on: January 05, 2014, 05:38:37 PM
For the love of god guys I tried... I read, reviewed and watched everything I could... I filled my brain with enough FFXIII info to write an incoherent sci-fi novel with religious overtones.

This is an effort best saved for Paradox games honestly. For the FFXIII games just look up game recaps and whatever information is directly relevant to your interests, because it's generally better to just go with the flow and not try to take the games that seriously. This could go for a LOT of works really, but for total story information that's better spent on something like Mass Effect, and for gameplay immersion borderline necessary for Paradox strategy games.

Well  my overindulgence did have one benefit, it took a narrative I "didn't get" and turned it into something very intriguing to me. In all honesty I haven't been this consumed with a narrative in a long time.

I'm gonna be the odd man out (in most cases) and say that I actually love the story and writing now that I have deciphered it.

What I don't love..... THE GAMEPLAY AND LEVELLING. In fact I think I need to make a thread about it.

678  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: January 05, 2014, 12:54:29 AM
High of -26F with windchill on monday, low of -39F after windchill. Don't wanna work from home again, but... -39F windchill?

And then I was looking at the weather for Bowling Green, Ohio, and they've got a low of -48F with wind chill on Tuesday I think. What the HELL?

Sans wind chill the temperatures are a... moderately more reasonable -15Fs, but still. Damnguangm.

Also I just watched Felidae. That was a thing.

I went running yesterday in a windchill of -5. About 5 miles after that poor decision I began to truly become concerned for my well-being. I am compulsive about my running and I have to go every day. I have for years. Days like yesterday really make me question my judgement...
679  Media / Game Journals / Re: Final RPGFantasy VI on: January 04, 2014, 11:03:05 PM
And there I go.... I'll be back folks... count on it!
680  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of PlayStation(s) revealed on: January 04, 2014, 06:11:43 PM
I just realized while posting in another thread and starting Vesperia this weekend something very unique about the Tales franchise for me.

They are truly a complete breather for me in terms of RPGs. My mind can be engrossed in them like other RPGs but they totally relax me in the same care-free manner of indulging anime or some other genre of gaming.

Typical RPG's tax my brain in a strategic sense and can really proof cognitively difficult to handle if over-done. I'm not saying Tales is void of strategic elements, but they are the only series I can think of that don't burn me out in that sense at all.

I know vesperia is a 360 title and thus not a thread appropriate title so forgive me.
681  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Warming up to a new title on: January 04, 2014, 05:53:32 PM
That's also a nice little strategy to help combat "game burnout."  I remember doing topics about "game burnout" on the boards fairly often over the years just to get new perspectives on it.  Either switch up your gaming (I think this is why many RPG fans also love intense shooters, since those games act as some kind of psychological palate cleanser) or take a day or few to not play games at all and just do something else in that time frame; like learn a new recipe or do some exercise. 

I do that with my reading too.  I'm in the middle of the Mistborn trilogy and it is stellar.  But it's a lot and sometimes I need something to cleanse the palate.  So I read a comic or a "fluff" book (that I can finish in a day) so I get the palate cleansed AND a sense of accomplishment of having finished something so I can attack the epic I'm in the middle of with newfound vigor. 

Playing two RPGs is not something I can do; I prefer to have an RPG and something else, like a shooter or a rhythm game like Hatsune Miku Project Diva F, so it's not like I have two cumbersome, if awesome, epics weighing me down.

I agree, I usually play an RPG and something non-RPG.  Or at the very least, RPGs in two different subgenres.  Hatsune Miku was my most recent non-RPG too, for that matter!

This also goes for VNs.  I play a VN and something non-story heavy unless the VN is particularly action-y.

Usually I won't try two RPG's either but in this case its doable for me because its a Tales title and XIII-2. Quite simply the action-ee nature of the Tales battle system and the "easy to digest" nature of the Tales narratives balances out XIII-2 for me. That and I need a more typical fantasy land in my life complete with swords, magic, knights and castles.... Save the swords, everything else is absent from XIII-2

Quite simply. Tales = Fun Focus, XIII-2 = Serious focus (for me). This works.

Now this would NOT work for me if it were say, Xenosaga and Suikoden. The settings may balance out (I got my sword and sorcery) but I would get really inundated with all that turn based focus and serious and epic nature of both stories.

Xenosaga and Suikoden both require patience, focus, are serious and have completely assimilar gameplay. This is NOT doable for me. Likewise, Xenosaga and XIII-2 would not work for me either.

Also to do two RPGs I cut out other narrative focus from my life. No reading or even watching new anime. Instead I watch some Dragon Ball here and there or re-watch something I've seen already. In short two RPG's is only doable if they are the only narrative focus in my life....
To expand on one point, I become OBSESSED with wanting to know WHY I hate something once I do. I feel like it becomes an integral matter of discerning some uncovered aspect of my personality. Once identified I can often actually enjoy a title. This in particular is the KEY to geting past my "discomfort" with some games.

I think this is completely reasonable. If you're not reassessing your own tastes, your own reactions to art, how can you trust your own sensibilities? You can go by the "is game x pleasurable or not" approach, but there's always the possibility you like something because it's ADDICTIVE but not necessarily FUN, or maybe you find something non-pleasurable to play but it's just because you haven't gotten good enough at it for it to open up yet. Or are you just liking/disliking something because that's what the reviews said? And so on.

it's like a canary in a cocker spaniel -- with a name like Shmucker's, you know it goes to 11.

Being hyper critical of my perception, reaction and taste in art is something I have always felt to be completely integral to developing my own "eye" and capability as an artist. I suppose one could say I believe to be a good artist one must become an art critic inherently.

Well put, and a fine point good sir!
682  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: January 04, 2014, 05:36:03 PM

This reminds me of when I was trying to get a copy of Endless Ocean 2.

Store 1: They had the case, but no the disc for some reason.
Store 2: They had both but when I went back a week later it was gone.
Store 3: They had both but they put the wrong disc in the case.
Store 4: They had the disc but no case but Store 3 and 4 were both Gamestop so I got stuff all put together correctly eventually.

I have like three copies of Layer Section for similar reasons.

No cases are a huge problem for me... I used to travel around to all the game stores in my area to find a case if one of my games was without. Then I finally realized I had a decent enough quality printer (for my art) that was more then capable of doing the necessary printing to craft any case I need so long as I can procure the art for it.

Speaking of art....

... I LOVE doing portraits mainly because all the "work" is essentially done for you already. You just focus and recreate exactly what you see embellishing key contrasts to make it look a bit more aesthetic....


I HATE when I have to do a portrait of someone I've never met, with a wallet sized photo reference.... it causes my brain to hurt and ellipses to run amuk amidst my posts...

Anyhow, this was friday night for me.

tricky business
683  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The NEW Game Journal on: January 04, 2014, 03:41:59 PM
After finishing Tales of Vesperia my friend and I needed a new game to play for when he visits. Our original plan was Tales of Xillia, but we ended up with Final Fantasy XIII. This one doesn't have a new game+ or something like that, so unlike the game before this one, we'll have to play it properly.

Our original goal was to just make fun of it, but this first session (we got all the way to the crystal lake) was a blast. It was the first time he played Final Fantasy XIII and he actually dislikes the series and this type of RPG in general, but he had a ton of praise for the battle system, soundtrack and cinematics. Of course we still made fun of it (ever noticed that on the cover, Lighting is one shadow away from a gigantic pantyshot?), but at this rate we may make it to the end actually enjoying and appreciating the game for what it is.

I loved XIII when I started it. By the end I hated it because I simply played it wrong. I evolved my characters so poorly fights lasted like 30-40 minutes by the end of the game. Aside from that I never really "got it" because I didn't read the datalog.

Now that I do get it, I fell really compelled to see the trilogy through which is why I totally want to get into/through XIII-2 in prep for 3 next month.

Oddly enough Vesperia has now been decided upon as my weekend game to help employ a strategy to keep FF fresh and not completely hurt my head with it.

On that note, I finally gave it a real shot and have confirmed my suspicions.... this is in fact a tales game and thus I will love it!! LoL

But what surprised me was how immediately drawn in to the title I was based on Yuri alone.

As dumb as this sounds, a physical resemblance to a character really helps immersion for me. Likewise, a personality similarity is an even greater help. Yuri has this in spades for me. I currently have long dark hair, and always wear dark clothes to evade ink and art "mess" being visible on my attire. As dumb and shallow as this all sounds it really is a major appeal for me.

At the very beginning in the inn an NPC mistakes Yuri for a girl. I got such a kick out of this, as the same exact thing happened earlier this week to me when I went to buy gloves at a medical supply place for work. LoL
684  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, The Last 13 Days on: January 04, 2014, 03:27:06 PM
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

(That's actually a horrible cliche that normally I dislike, but it seemed appropriate here...)

Seriously, Klyde, if you don't like the game then just don't play it.  Games are supposed to be fun.  Recreation.  Why do you do this to yourself?
As someone who recently forced his way through Last Rebellion because of the fact that it had been on his backlog for years, I think I can answer that. Some people simply have a compulsion to complete things, and once you have started something you cannot leave it unfinished. It is like a nagging feeling. If you ignore it, eventually it will weaken, but it never truly goes away! It is simply the way we are wired.

I could not have answered the question better myself. Thank you Ranadiel.

A few years ago I ended up in the hospital with horrible health issues. The few games I was playing at the time I dropped. Every time I turned em on after that I felt reminded of that hellish event. To this day those few irk me and that was years ago.... The "unfinished nagging" does not ever truly go away.

Funny you brought that up though.... I actually finished XIII-1 around that time. My discomfort with XIII-2 may actually be entirely a result of that. All the more reason to get through it and lay to rest a major personal hang up whilst reclaiming "comfort" from Final Fantasy.
685  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Warming up to a new title on: January 04, 2014, 03:10:27 PM
Something similar happened to me with Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter. I hated the game when I first tried it. It just felt to different from the previous games. Fast forward a few years and I end up loving the game once I gave it another chance.

Without a freaking doubt! 

When I first played Revelations: Persona on Playstation, I got bored with it after about 10 hours.  Months later, I had decided to trade it in for a copy of Star Ocean 2 when it came out.  That summer, I needed an RPG to play while waiting for Star Ocean so I revisited Persona... and the game completely opened up and I ADORED it!  It made me a Megami Tensei fanboy and I found myself extolling the Persona, and Megami Tensei, series to anyone willing to listen.  Bear in mind, this was back in the PlayStation era when Megami Tensei and Persona weren't popular like they are now.  I'm really glad I kept the game and stuck with the series, especially since Persona helped me a lot in my personal life.   http://www.rpgfan.com/news/2010/376.html

If something in my brain hadn't said "revisit Persona" I would probably not be the Dincrest I am today. 
I can say the same thing about music.  A lot of people weren't thrilled about Tool's "Lateralus" album (especially after Aenima), but once it grows on you, you realize that it's f'n brilliant!  When I first listened to the Kyuss album "And the Circus Leaves Town" I was meh on it, but I revisited it years later and now I think it's a phenomenal album. 


Revisiting at a later date with a different frame of mind really has shown me just how subjective my RPG experience can be. First time I played Earthbound I never even made it to threed. Years later it still plagued me that I gave it up and two summers ago I played it and beat it. Fell IN LOVE.

- I struggle with enjoying things because I'm goddamn nuts and force myself to hate everything because. To prove a point. I don't know. I want to say I have this contrarian drive, but that's not really... accurate. I'm just mood swingy in general?

- I complain about things because I want to be proven wrong. If I come into a game and I don't like it, I'll talk about everything I hate about it because I want SOMEONE to tell me, "oh, that starts making sense eventually" or "it gets better after X point."

- Usually if I don't like a game at the start it's because of annoying tutorial bits or exceedingly long narrative content at the start. Or if it's overly slow in giving you new mechanics, whatever.

You have once again summed up quirks of my own personality more appropriately and concisely than I could have. ^^ These points  in particular are without a doubt part of my (broken and defective) thinking and behavior that stretch well beyond game time for me...

To expand on one point, I become OBSESSED with wanting to know WHY I hate something once I do. I feel like it becomes an integral matter of discerning some uncovered aspect of my personality. Once identified I can often actually enjoy a title. This in particular is the KEY to geting past my "discomfort" with some games.

Kingdom Hearts titles also have this problem as well (mostly the Disney Worlds though, for acting out a C-grade version of their original plots... the games usually feature some sort of "half-time show", like how BBS had both Radiant Garden to intrigue players, and Disney Town to "entertain" them). 

KH 1.5 Final Mix was a hard fought warm-up for me due to the gameplay and platforming factors. Fast forward 5-6 hours into it with a host of abilities opened up and I was mega addicted. The difference with KH and most games though, while I ended up really enjoying myself with it, the lack of any narrative pay-off and complete distaste for the whole cast leaves me feeling pretty uninspired to play any more of the series even though I am well aware the gameplay gets much better.

Actually KH  is sort of the opposite of FFXIII-2 for me. XIII-2 is hard for me to warm up to for yet unidentified reasons that have more to do with me than the game and the pay off being completely narrative to me. I am so curious about the convoluted tale of lightning (whom I adore) that I am compelled to continue despite the rest of the games setting and "feel" being a total downer for me.

That is actually why I suspect I may really like XIII-2 by the end and XIII-3. Falling in love with just one character is usually enough to seal the deal for me and make any grueling aspect of a game worth it.

Edit: Also, I suppose I should admit the traditional, strict Atelier style was quite hard for me to get used to.  Rorona was easy enough, but when you go back to the stricter games like Elie, it's almost ridiculous.  But now that I've come to a realization of how they're intended to be played, they're very fun.

Atelier evolved my gaming mind. I used to hate crafting and whatnot until I played the Atelier games and Ar Tonelico. And while atelier could not relieve my distaste for time limits, I love becoming OCD about collecting and crafting now! LoL

Klydes warm up strategy

I've noticed that playing a different game on the weekend and having a routine with my gaming totally helps me overcome the warm up. Often now when I initially hate something for a week and get to something different on the weekend, I often feel compelled on monday to re-attack a title with a fresh perspective and even feel very eager to do so.

The key here is being disciplined enough to keep the routine because often what ends up happening is I get to the end of the week and don't want to put a game down. Then I get to the end of the weekend and don't want to put that game down.... When this occurs however I rarely feel compelled to ever drop either title and while the switch is jarring each weekend, I constantly stay inspired and hooked without feeling much of a title ever becomes "stale" or "chore-like".

I am employing this strategy now with FFXIII-2 and Tales of Vesperia.
686  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Warming up to a new title on: January 03, 2014, 08:44:01 PM
I had an epiphany today! Ok so not so much an epiphany as a realization that I probably should have noticed ages ago...

As some of you may have noticed, I have been severely struggling to appreciate Final FantasyXIII-2 as of late. I phrase it that way because I really like the character of Lighting, thus I want to be able to move on to XIII-3. On top of that, I actually find the story very intriguing after putting in the elbow work to comprehend it. Yet despite my excitement, each time I've gone to play it I have found myself very uncomfortable with the experience, as in it just has not scratched that "itch" or hooked me.

Now on to the point.

Upon reflection I realize that this happens occasionally to me. For a few days or a week I may completely dislike a new title I start, feeling as though I have totally made a bad choice, only to find myself totally wrapped up in it and really enjoying the experience in the end. I never realized or took note of this before as it seems only to happen when I play something a wee bit unconventional. That is, if I pop in a game and find it familiar territory I have no discomfort or apprehension about committing myself to move through it.

Case and point. Last spring I decided to try out P2 Innocent Sin. I started off being very dissatisfied with it. Two months later I had played through IS and EP back to back and discovered one of the most compelling casts and narratives I have ever come across.

So the question I pose is this. Does anyone else experience this "warm up" period for new titles, particularly those with gameplay or elements that are unfamiliar? How long do you typically give a game to hook you before deciding it is not worth the effort? Or am I the only one who experiences this phenomenon somewhat akin to a fear of commitment to a game I'm unsure about.

NOTE: I placed this in the single player board because I never typically have this problem with any other genre of games aside from JRPGS or multiplayer. Other genres (when I rarely play them)  are easily identifiable as hit or miss for me and multiplayer fun is automatic due to the social aspect.

Second NOTE: Thank you FlamingRift for posting about P2 IS earlier today and reminding me my experience with that title.

687  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: January 03, 2014, 05:58:38 PM
Just started playing through Innocent Sin and loving it so far. I was a little hesitant since the reviews criticised its aged game design, but I think it's pretty fantastic. It's also interesting to see how it feels a lot more like other SMT game than P3 and P4 do.

Plus, it's fun to see the massive changes that happened between P2 and 3. The extra people in the velvet room is a really interesting one (particularly Belladonna singing Aria of the Soul), and it's funny to see so many people using personas when it's pretty much only the main characters (bar a few others) in P3 and P4.

For those of you who have played it P2, do you think I'd like P1? I skipped it since it was even older, but since I'm really enjoying P2, is P1 pretty similar?

Man, I adored Innocent Sin. So much so, I immediately went right into Eternal Punishment with no break. While I agree the gameplay can feel a wee bit less than enjoyable, the plot MORE then makes up for it.

I too skipped P1, although I did play it when it was released for the psx but that was waaay to long ago to recall much about it now. I fully intend to get to that (again) someday.
688  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, The Last 13 Days on: January 03, 2014, 01:06:36 PM
For the love of god guys I tried... I read, reviewed and watched everything I could... I filled my brain with enough FFXIII info to write an incoherent sci-fi novel with religious overtones.

Try as I might though, moving onto XIII-2 for the last 4 nights of gaming in a row has left me feeling just as uninspired and uninterested as XIII did.

Funny thing is, I actually can't tell you what I don't like. In every measurable sense I truly believe these are good games. I'm just certain at this point that they are not for me.

It disheartens me because I WANT to like them so bad (particularly because I am fan of lightning), but I just can't. I'm good at forcing myself through titles and even enjoying them in spite of the fact that they may be sub-par in some senses. Rarely do I drop games however the XIII-trilogy is officially dropped for me.

I post this for two reasons.

A) to apologize and beg forgiveness from the gaming gods for not completing my focus and....

 B) To ask you guys out of curiousity what you feel is the common thread between the XIII trilogy and X that leaves me with no desire for this type of final fantasy. I ask this because I've already reviewed the creative team behind them and it seems everyone responsible for the games worked on other titles I love and I just can't put my finger on the root of what I don't like about them..... then again maybe its as simple as I just don't like Sci-Fi anything with the exception of Evangelion, the Xeno games, X-Com and serial experiments lain.

EDIT: Disregard the whole part about dropping the game. Everything else, including my inquirey as to the common thread between X and XIII stands. But being the basket case I am, after stewing about it again, I am yet undecided as to whether or not I could leave this alone just yet...
689  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The NEW Game Journal on: January 03, 2014, 01:40:47 AM
Also, Ephemeral Phantasia is very entertaining...why hadn't I given this game a chance before?

My wonky PS2 launch RPG of choice is Eternal Ring :T

Speaking of which.

Dark Souls - Got uncursed. Also I think the new version of dsfix improves my framerate? If I set the target FPS to 60 I definitely drop through floors and stuff. Ghosts are still bullshit but at least I can upgrade my anti-ghost sword.

Race the Sun - I think I like this. I have reservations about liking it -- it does feel sort of cheap (as in cheaply made) in some ways -- but it really DOES feel like Noctis meets Outrun which is what I wanted?

That Weird Fingerbang Simulator By The Company That Made That Weird Deer MMO - Yes.

Kokuga - Able to beat level A. I think I might briefly play with the hard modes to see what happens.

Mesh, I've never told ya but I greatly admire your ability to juggle games buddy. Every day I come to this journal and am impressed with your list of updates.

Compliments aside, I know exactly how you feel about Race to the Sun (even though I'm not familiar with it). Your words describe PERFECTLY how I feel about FFXIII-2. Its just so clearly flash and pretty pictures over substance and meaning... and as an artist I can appreciate the beauty of it... but it is just way more "slick" stylistically than what I am used to. The result is the fact that I am literally unsure if I like it (yet) or can become comfortable with it.
690  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The NEW Game Journal on: January 02, 2014, 10:01:00 PM
Klyde, thus admitted my Tales game experiences are nowhere near as extensive as many here, but Vesperia is quickly becoming my favorite and I m currently 42 hours in, no idea how far that is as I have refused to look at any walkthroughs!

I freakin' love tales man. And I KNOW my vesperia experience is going to be awesome. Which is precisely why i need to do xiii-2/xiii-3 now before I entertain Tales. I know myself, and my curiosity about the XIII-Trilogy with how invested I am in the story (or lack thereof) will drastically handicap my ability to enjoy Tales. I actually went so far as to watch an 8 hour movie and read a great deal of literature to re-familiarize myself with everything that I had forgotten or confused me in the first place (played through XIII-1 upon release, haven't looked at it since).... On that note alone, not seeing it through at this point would really be shooting myself in the foot so to speak.

I just had this problem with Suikoden 2. Awesome game. But I totally could have enjoyed it more without my mind wandering to XIII-2 so much.
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