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Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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Kevadu
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« Reply #6660 on: January 04, 2014, 10:47:05 PM »

Just finished Akiba's Trip 2.  Got Shizuka's ending.  I have mixed feelings about this game...it could be fun at times but it also felt kind of low budget in certain ways.  Dividing Akihabara into all these little zones instead of having a single open world just seems unnecessary on modern hardware.  I could understand it if this was on the PSP (as the first one was), but it's not.  It's for PS3 and Vita, both of which have far more memory.  There's a bunch of odd inconsistencies too, like some shops had 3D animated character models for the shopkeepr, others just had 2D portraits, and others had such bad 3D character models I swear they were just re-using assets from the original PSP game.

The combat itself got kind of repetitive, too.  I played it on hard and I regret that...there were some crazy difficulty spikes.  The weird thing is that it was always the big groups of trash mobs that were the hardest...the boss fights were kind of a joke.  But combat is a little stiff and you lack good crowd-control moves so when you get surrounded by trash mobs that deal 3 times as much damage as you do (as they do on hard...) there's not a lot you can do about it.  Chain-stripping (yes, that's a thing) is always fun, though.

On the more positive side the actual story was fun in a campy anime sort of way and running around a reasonably faithful reproduction of Akihabara is pretty cool.  Still, compared to something like the Yakuza games there just isn't that much to do in the city.  There are lots of shops but surprisingly few minigames and stuff.  A few of the side missions were pretty funny but most of them were quite same-y.  Are walking around very rarely prompted any sort of events, unless you want out of your way to make something happen.

I guess I enjoyed my time with the game, but I wouldn't really call it a great game.  More like an OK game.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #6661 on: January 05, 2014, 11:12:57 AM »

Ultionus: A Tale of Petty Revenge:

I was playing this because holy damn that pixel art:



But the game kind of sucks and this screenshot kind of illustrates why. A few points:
- The player and ground-based enemies move at about the same speed, so it's hard to outrun one if one gets up behind you.
- The ground based enemies take two shots to kill each. In Contra, basic enemies only take one shot to kill, which is kind of something you NEED when a game has randomized enemy spawns like this. You also have a really low rate of fire.
- You can jump and shoot at the same time, but you can't walk while shooting.
- Collision detection is either per-pixel or you have a huge hitbox, but basically you have no grace area in collision. If you try to jump over two enemies right next to eachother, like the snake and dude on the right, you are going to clip one of them and take damage.
- You have no control over your jump height.

So let's break down that screenshot above.

If the player decides to shoot at the enemies on the left, they could only take out the gun guy with 100% certainty before the snake on the left reached them.

But this is a moot point, because the snake on the right is closer, and would reach them first. If they decide to take out the snake on the right, again, they have to stop and stay in one place while shooting at it. Given the rate of fire it still might reach the player first.

But, again, this doesn't matte since the blue zubat looking thing is flying down and left, and would hit them before they could shoot anything.

The LAST possible option is jumping over the snake and the guy with the gun, but I don't think they can clear the jump.

And since enemy spawns are, afaik, random, the player is quite possibly in a situation where they have no options through no fault of their own.

This is /precisely/ what happens when you make a game without understanding how the genre works.

--- edit ---

I was trying to do the Depths in Dark Souls again, and I got cursed and one-hit KO'd by an enemy I couldn't see. That or the breath attack that cursed my guy was more or less identical looking to decorative fog. I don't know. I didn't even see the curse buildup meter ahead of time. Or hear any basilisks.

And then later I fell off a ledge because the camera spontaneously realigned. Also because I got stuck on world geometry that was JUST high enough that I couldn't walk over it for some reason.

Like, here's another thing with the basilisks -- to get down to the level they're at, you drop through a hole in the floor. It looks like you can cross this hole, because there's a rat right next to it and the rat can cross it and stand on top of it by... merit of having a bigger hit box I guess. So it looks like you can cross the gap, but you actually can't.

At which point if you're new in the game, you probably end up getting cursed, because you get dropped right next to a basilisk and it's not immediately apparent that you can curse you, or what curse does. You die, you get a message telling you to seek a healer in New Londo, and next to the healer you can also find a ring that boosts curse resistance a lot. And you can actually get through New Londo now since you need to be curses to fight ghosts.

And I guess maybe a lot of players find said ring and decide they figured something out on their own but really it's kind of contrived -- kind of backtracky stuff you can avoid if you know what you're doing ahead of time, but...

I maintain that the game's only difficult because it's entirely too clever about how it plays with what it's conveying to you and because none of the mechanics are adequately explained anywhere.

(Also I'm pretty sure the correct strategy right now would've been to grind for souls and buy them on pyro spells to spam at ghosts. Whee).

--- edit ---

Tried doing New Londo again. Got about halfway to where Ingward is, at which point I strafed into a wall which... ended up knocking me into a bottomless pit, and promptly uninstalled the game.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 10:24:37 PM by MeshGearFox » Logged

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Annubis
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« Reply #6662 on: January 05, 2014, 10:30:54 PM »

(Also I'm pretty sure the correct strategy right now would've been to grind for souls and buy them on pyro spells to spam at ghosts. Whee).

I don't know since I went agi/katana but apparently pyro is easy mode for DS.
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GrimReality
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« Reply #6663 on: January 05, 2014, 11:11:16 PM »

I finished Beyond: Two Souls today. Overall, I enjoyed it. The story was a little wonky in spots, and I couldn't stand Ryan, but Jody, as a character, was fascinating to follow. Ellen Page did a great job.
I had control issues all the way until the end, but I was playing in "easy" mode, so it never affected my game.
The game looked fantastic, and had some really varied scenarios.
The ending makes it obvious that a sequel may happen, and I would totally be on board with that.

I'm probably going to go back to Dragons Dogma now, but I'm not terribly excited about it. We'll see.
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« Reply #6664 on: January 05, 2014, 11:16:57 PM »

^ I kinda wanna play it, but it and the other mixed-reviews from Remember Me have me thinking both are going to be "better games" if they're at bargain prices.  I actually hate myself sometimes for buying games 1 month in.  I should wait for sales more...

I got Dragon's Crown back after the disc somehow and unfortunately CRACKED last time... Man that got me so sad.

I'm allll in love again.  It's a fun game, the ideal beat-'em-up.
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« Reply #6665 on: January 06, 2014, 02:09:15 AM »

Xenoblade!  Beaten! -- Thanks again Klyde for being wiling to sell such a wonderful title and at such a good price compared to other venues (and in such good condition too!)

EAT ASS, DEVELOPERS!
(spoilers ahoy)

Code:
I kid, I kid.

Well, sort-of.  The graphics team was TOTALLY jerking themselves off by the end --- HEY GUYS, LET'S MAKE SATURN, JUPITER, MARS AND THE MOON AND EARTH!  And holy shit was that came out of nowhere... and holy shit, did it ever look *amazing*!!
I'm glad that for all the bitching about the Wii's graphical capabilities that there have been a fine few titles to demonstrate that it's not so much how strong a machine can put out graphics, but how well developers can use the hardware -- even if it is taking it to its limits.

The final act, and Mongoosey mentions this well in his review, is VERY spoilery ...but almost in excess.  I don't think it's a terribly bad thing, but saying there's "too many spoilers" oddly makes sense in context.  Mostly because I feel that for how *shocking* the ending sequence is, there is little that explains it!  *Very little!*  It does tie up a lot of loose ends, but it doesn't really dive into it as much as just throwing it at you.

Dickson's motives were nearly non-existent, as well as (for the most part) Zanza's.  The fascinating "early history" of the Giants (of which, Prison Island seems particularly catered to them what with the giant-sized banquet hall) is also somewhat dubious.  The super-raging scientist Klaus seemed to have caused an implosion and recreation of the world as his Assisstant Meyneth tried to stop him...then oddly became a god as well?  Awesome potential, but it missed the mark.  Fiora also goes back to a human body after some drama that she might die in the mechanical one (that there was probably the *biggest* ending cop-out).

Bah.  Ah well.  Everything else and all the other plot points made the game feel "wholesome" nonetheless.  It wasn't about this one particular END-GOAL, but a pretty graceful build-up to a much larger thing.  I love how we go from an "us-versus-them" plot, to one where we try to understand both sides of the story, then try to break down these walls altogether! 

I also like that the ending still got light-hearted when asking Shulk if he wanted to be a god: Dunban jumps in saying happily - "Yeah, you're smart, but no way"; and Fiora kind of nonchalantly adds "None of us want to be one either".  I like that!  No deeper questions, no grand refutations! 
More of a "thanks, but no thanks".

Anyways, the game clearly takes its cues from Gnosticism.  So even if the whole Zanza/Meyneth gods things isn't well explained, I think it's meant as more of an Aesop for humankind and their many complications and pulls between power, knowledge, and self (and all the whims, perks, and flaws therein).  Ideas of "playing god", yet being human, sound both enticing and frightening.

A few other remarks, and that's that:

= lol, New Game Plus?? Maybe one day, but oh man, this isn't really a title you can really pull up and play on a whim.  I would like to take on the last few superbosses though. >:)

= Anyone else just kinda ignore the stat-resist gems?  They never seem to hit that 100% from just one gem, so I thought them often to be a waste of space.  I'm guessing all this "spike" business matters for the superbosses (the main game is easy enough without it) <--- READ THAT: GRIM.

= Riki is a terrible husbandpon, NO STOP husband

= Fuck it, I like Sharla.  She makes battles easier.  Riki too.  Reyn was used the least, though I'm sure he's a good tank and damage-dealer.

= Melia is the queen though.  I thought she was sweet.  I also thought the reason for the mixed-blooded Entia was both predictable (though I didn't read the signs), but very poignant and perfect.  Not too sure how crazy I am about the Telethia plot though...

= Kinda wished we could "save" Alcamoth from it's troubles.  The world started to feel oddly 'small' by the end-game stretch.

= Bionis' interior felt really underplayed....

= The Bionis-side plot at the beginning was slow to warm-up... but man, I was thrilled during the entire Mechonis-stretch.  I loved the history, lore, and mystery.  Maybe because I played the games stoned a few nights...whoops.... NO, NO, it WAS good!

= Favorite Lands to travel:
- Colony 9 (I guess it just feels nice?)
- Bionis' Leg (the more I played, the more I realized Mesh was right --- it's just damn well designed even if "same-y")
- Makna Forest (it just looked pretty, and I loved the clutter to make it feel like a thick, dense forest)
- Fallen Arm (that fucking finger provides quite the view and emphasizes BEST the epic-scale of the world the game takes place in, IMO)
- Machina Field (that song was great, and the refuge was a strange and interesting secret location)

= Least Favorite Lands to Travel
- Satorl Swamp (sure it looks nice at night, but i wasn't particularly inspired by its very segmented design
- Valek Peak (they went for cold, isolated, and lonely...and succeeded all too well; this place is simply a drag and the missions sucked)
- Frontier Village (nice to look at....But too many missions and too frustrating to walk through)
- Sword Valley (it's ugly and inhospitable, the location right after isn't much better either)

= Overall Good things:
- The story and its grand vision are, overall, very strong.  The ending is somewhat rushed and hard to completely swallow (see my spoiler section or tl;dr: Mongoosey's review was right), but many games do far, far, faaaar worse in this regard
- The battle system works.  Not the best RPG battle system, but the customization is greatly appreciated, and I loved levelling up skills!
- Characters are good as well with numerous points to flesh them out and get more out of them (except Reyn, but his character is sort of sacrificed toward being that "good guy best friend" character).
- The music, although sometimes repetitive, but usually with strong melodies.

= Overall Bad:
- For a game with so many fucking quests, any conveniences would have helped.  I hated remembering or looking up where a chracter NPC was (the game does give a somewhat handy affinity chart, but...).  I kinda wish the game would prompt to 'teleport' you to it.
- Item management.  Often and annoying.  The UI is great, but a game like this has you earning items a LOT, so some micro-managing is required every so often (but in a game this long, "every so often" therefor happens "often").
- Lack of indoor environments.  This is more of a nit-pick, but Dunban's house is beautifully designed and supplied....and the only real "house" you ever see the inside of.
- I kinda wish affinity between characters was better handled.  I hated having "options" during a Heart to Heart, I think more of them with a specific, choice-less script would have been more interesting (the options in them otherwise are too obvious between the Right and Wrong answer that it sucks the fun out of it).  It also takes too long to build those relationships (but I guess it balances to really WORK for those benefits from Skill Coins)

tl;dr  IT'S GOOD, MMKAY?
I'm sorry I wrote a lot, but since t's in my gaming Top 10, I feel it's justified (and, y'know, it's a big game, so it'll be a big post).  I think it's there mostly because it tickled my fancy creatively (in all of its sight, sound, and story).  The reviews live up to the hype because few games I feel go to such a level of depth to make such a well-balanced title.  The flaws are there, but the game is a one of a kind anyways.

I will Day 1 "X" even if they charge $100 for it.  Good job, Monolith!
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« Reply #6666 on: January 06, 2014, 08:36:19 AM »

Bravely Default

The game is great but I feel kind of burned out at the moment. I am approaching what I think is the end of the game. I think I will try to beat it in small chunks rather than large sessions as I have been doing.
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GrimReality
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« Reply #6667 on: January 06, 2014, 10:35:46 AM »

Oh, thanks, Dice! Now I want to jump back on the Xeno train. Hmmmm.

I REALLY want to pick up Link Between Worlds and play that, but the kid is hogging the 3DS with Pokemon.

Pondering time.
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« Reply #6668 on: January 06, 2014, 10:48:34 AM »

That was a good read, Dice. :D Glad you enjoyed Xenoblade.
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« Reply #6669 on: January 06, 2014, 11:11:47 AM »

I'm really hoping I can start to play through games as fast as you guys sometimes seem to. My new year's resolution this year is to use my time more efficiently, so maybe I'll be able to.
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« Reply #6670 on: January 06, 2014, 01:28:18 PM »

I'm really hoping I can start to play through games as fast as you guys sometimes seem to. My new year's resolution this year is to use my time more efficiently, so maybe I'll be able to.
I'll assume you're not including me in that! haha. It takes me forEVER to play through games. Too many other responsibilities get in the way. I DO have more time during the Winter, as I'm not able to be out in my garden 24/7.
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« Reply #6671 on: January 06, 2014, 03:48:43 PM »

Currently in the middle of Metroid Prime.  Recently defeated the giant ice rock monster that you use the infrared scanner on, currently trawling for missile expansions and energy tanks before I figure out where to go next. 

Now, if you remember my comments in the Memories of Celceta thread, you might know that I've been on an Ys kick.  I've beaten Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Ys Origin, and Ys I and II on Steam over November and December.  Now I'm playing Ys Seven on the PSP, and damn.  I think I like it better than the others.  Its combat is still fast and frantic, the skill learning and execution is fun and satisfying, and it still has the good characterization and dialog that the better Ys games had.  The plot and characters are maybe a little derivative, but the cast has a lot of personality and is consistently entertaining.  Boss battles are still excellent, but the ease of grinding for them makes the game a little too easy.  I appreciated the fair difficulty of Felghana and Origin, and I think I've died only once in the entirety of Ys Seven so far (right now I'm saved a ways into the Fire Shrine).  Bottom line - I really, really like Ys Seven and wish THAT MUCH HARDER I had a Vita for Celceta. 

But I have to say... am I the only person getting a Seiken Densetsu vibe from this game?  Three characters to your party, moving around in a sorta-isometric field attacking in real-time, searching for mana stones altars in corresponding towns for each classical element, seeking mana spirits dragon powers and eventually defeat their corresponding God Beasts Great Dragons.  Am I the only one? 
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Kevadu
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« Reply #6672 on: January 06, 2014, 07:07:44 PM »

The current KanColle event is almost over...cleared it a while ago but I've been farming like a madman trying to get the rare ship drops on the event maps.  And not really getting them at all...

I think part of me will be relieved when the event ends and I can do, like, other things in my spare time.  This game is fucking crack...
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« Reply #6673 on: January 06, 2014, 07:16:50 PM »

Etrian Odyssey IV is really drawing me in.

It's infinitely satisfying to finish a maze.
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« Reply #6674 on: January 06, 2014, 07:40:51 PM »

Quote
But I have to say... am I the only person getting a Seiken Densetsu vibe from this game?

The reason I like the Ys VI-based Ys games more than the SD games is that, unlike in SD2/3, you can't get random misses in Ys.

Did that change in Ys Seven :(

Anyway, currently running through Doom 2.

--- edit ---

Level 3 in RefleX is pretty amazing.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 09:46:34 PM by MeshGearFox » Logged

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