January 3, 2019

Happy 2019!

Posted in life, video games tagged , at 9:19 pm by riulyn

Sorry I haven’t been around much. 2018 was an okay year of gaming. The biggest standout for me was Valkyria Chronicles 4. I guess I could review it but really in a few words: it’s my favorite Valkyria Chronicles game. By far.

I also ended 2018 with God Wars. Still working on the Labyrinth of Yomi but overall it was definitely fun to play. The story was functional enough. It was nice that I already knew some Japanese history/legends so the god names didn’t confuse me much.

I also ended 2018 starting Suikoden Woven Web of a Century and Suikoden Tierkreis replays. I’m continuing those now and so far so good.

I think generally this year I’ll be replaying games because I want to (definitely Baten Kaitos, and Suikodens, and Sol Trigger) and playing some new games. I’m aiming for 12 new, 12 replays. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t have a ton I want to preorder this year; a bunch of stuff comes out in Japan in the spring that I’m considering but I think I’ll wait for reviews. I actually travel to Japan in early March and it will be before these games release. I’ll be looking for a few used games when I’m in Japan, but I have mostly bought what I want. If I’m lucky I’ll find Soma Bringer. I’ve looked for it every time but this time I’ll be looking in Osaka. I might get lucky?

Anyway this blog will probably become less active than last year. I mostly use twitter @anonamorEN. I closed the riulyn twitter just so you all know, and my website for sheet music is just basically an archive. It’s at riulynrpg.azurewebsites.net. I think maybe one day I’ll finish transcribing Xenoblade 2’s main theme and a song from Zero no kiseki. Otherwise I really don’t have plans to transcribe much. Writing and knitting are my outlets mostly nowadays. I’m not going to say I’ll never go back…but just no more guarantees, no more requests, no more deadlines on the music side or the gaming side this year.


October 28, 2018

Quick personal update

Posted in life tagged at 7:32 pm by riulyn

  1. I think I’ll be shutting down my sheet music website. I don’t have a date right now. But I’ve really put like 0 effort into transcribing music in the past few months. And I don’t want to keep costing my brother money, so the domain name is going away and it will stay at riulyn.azurewebsites.net but even that will probably only be temporary. I’m looking for a place to deposit them all and not worry about keeping the website alive. I think I’ll remove the website by the end of this year, but I might forget. Anyway, that part of my life might be over soon.
  2. Government and university shenanigans so I still don’t have my grant money yet. But I’m also not quite ready to take the responsibility? At least mentally. I’ve been having a rough month with a rotation student but I think we are finally coming to an understanding? I didn’t expect that to be so much work…
  3. I have started streaming a bit with my PS4. I’m anonamor on twitch and my PSN account is riulyn0. So it’s a mix of both of my primary online names haha. Will probably fire up some more Valkyria Chronicles 4 later (as in once I get back from a conference). Streaming has been weird; I kind of just ramble. But yeah, anyway, I think someone was asking me about streaming before and I think I’ll keep doing it at a rather random schedule, playing random things.
  4. Today was my birthday. Still single, still a loner, still spent most of the day playing video games, also watched a lot of volleyball on stream. I’m happy with this; my parents are out of the country so it was lowkey and I’ll see them when they get back and get free dinner. I might be older but I never want to grow up completely. I like my freebies.
  5. I’m going to keep this blog up, but I’ll probably shut down my twitter account, at least the riulyn one. I have way too many twitters and I flee from some only to make new ones. I keep changing my mind, though so far anonamorEN is doing okay! I think it’ll stay alive only because I chat with other fanfic writers of the same fandoms on there. I’m glad to be back to being a fanfic writer while I will never admit what my old usernames used to be. (though I think one is obvious, I will pretend it doesn’t exist 😀 – I don’t even know how I would remove that account as I don’t have that email anymore)

Anyway I hope you are all well! I have Valkyria Chronicles 4 for sure to finish this year, and then it’ll be whatever I manage to catch my interest. Tales of Rebirth off to a meh start for me so far; same with Atelier Annie. Maybe I should dive into Danganronpa for real… Whatever it is, I caught up with the Kiseki series. That alone makes this year a successful gaming year, even if my owned backlog got bigger…whoops!

October 21, 2018

Sen no Kiseki 4 Quick Review

Posted in video games tagged , at 5:49 pm by riulyn

The good (in my opinion)

  • Appropriate conclusion to the saga. The story made turns I didn’t like, but that started in Sen no Kiseki 2 for me, so it’s not particular to this game. I’m not going to list it in the not so good since it’s spoilers and also probably just my personal taste
  • Really upped the character interactions and cameos
  • Backstories filled out for some of my favorite characters
  • Some battle with turn limits, and a few other battles that had actual quirks
  • Quests were good for filling out lore for the Kiseki universe and overall story
  • Worldbuilding is still good

The not so good (in my opinion)

  • Battle system is still kind of lame, especially once you figure out it’s just a war of attrition and boss mechanics are mostly stupid except for the above
  • Dungeon and story padding. I complained that Sen 3 had some dungeon padding, but I feel like it’s a bigger issue here.
  • Really not great if you haven’t played the Sky or Crossbell games. The game doesn’t even try to help you out anymore unlike in Sen 3, where at least some basics were explained. Play those games or get the summaries read beforehand
  • Inconsistencies with the stupid bonding/romance stuff. Falcom backtracking to keep the waifu lovers happy? Who knows.

In the end it took me about 130 hours-ish to finish. I did “rage-quit” for a few days after a certain section, but it was something personal. I probably wouldn’t have rushed through this game if I wasn’t engaged with the Kiseki fandom online and I wonder if I would have liked it better or liked it less (aka noticed more things I didn’t like). I played the game with urgency to avoid spoilers, but the game itself didn’t really act like things were urgent, which was a bit of mood dissonance because I felt the game should have had way more urgency to it.

Overall my Sen no kiseki rankings are 3 >> 4 ~ 2 (I think 4 might be slightly better) > 1. Solid series overall but I’d say come for the worldbuilding and the cameos and character banter and don’t get into waifu wars. 4 was satisfying but maybe in a way it didn’t live up to its promise after 3 being so good. Just expect a solid conclusion to the arc/saga but not necessarily a game that blows you away.

October 12, 2018

Quick hits/Super quick thoughts on games I’ve beaten recently

Posted in video games tagged , , , , , , at 6:53 am by riulyn

I’ve neglected this place a bit but while I have, I finished a bunch of stuff. I figured it’d be good to record my thoughts down, even if just a few sentences, so future self can see how I felt.

Octopath Traveler – I apparently couldn’t stand playing it with H’aanit and her English voice, and it was also an opportunity to practice Spanish, so I did just that. So I won’t review anything about the localization but just the gameplay and story elements. The gameplay was great – the main appeal of the game for me. I liked learning the different job classes and switching up my party composition and figuring out the best way to defeat bosses. A few really through me for a loop (and learning about secondary job classes via the internet instead of in game might be considered a weakness, but the game does want you to explore around so it was sort of my bad too), but overall I thought the difficulty scaled okay considering you could do chapters for any character in any order. The stories and how emotional they got, or even how interesting they got, were somewhat variable. The structures of them were pretty similar, but I’d say Primrose’s stood out to me the most. Mostly functional, but yeah I’d say I was playing the game for the gameplay more than the story, and that worked better for me. I think some people were looking for more story than the game advertised to have…

Overall I’d say a very solid game, recommended for those interested.

Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker – Some people liked the first one more for the story, but I actually liked both the story and the characters better in Devil Survivor 2. I just finished the Triangulum path (the 3DS addition) and it’s also a solid addition and a nice complement to the Septentriones path (highly recommend Triangulum second, though, due to story reasons). I loved having easy mode to be honest, so I could just power through and get to fusing cool demons faster. I mean, that’s the biggest appeal to me compared to other tactical games. In terms of story, the premise and stuff is quite good. The balance of scenes to battles/progression ratio is kind of high towards the scenes. It’s funny because there’s a chance to finish the “bonding” (I forget the term) routes for most but not all of the characters you get. Also it feels like you get a lot, but it’s fine in the end. But yeah, lots of text. Each day is pretty full.

Overall I’d recommend it over the first Devil Survivor game, and I think it’s a solid tactical game with a good SMT flair.

Zero Time Dilemma – I enjoyed this game. The plot still kind of makes my brain hurt. I ended up liking all the characters somewhat, but still skewed towards the returning ones. The puzzles weren’t as crazy as previous games, and I only really got stuck when I couldn’t see or hit a small button that I needed to for stuff. I hear this game is a mixed bag for fans. I guess I’m on the positive side.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna the Golden Country – I actually hadn’t planned to pick this up at first, because I hate paying for DLC. But it’s really a separate story, except with maybe a lot of references to the original game. It’s fast-paced and focused compared to the original, but too short. And some of the most emotional stuff is left to cutscenes and kind of glossed over. But 20 hours for me and I couldn’t stop playing it and I would definitely play it again. I think it was worth my time and money. But I don’t see anyone who didn’t like Xenoblade 2 suddenly liking Torna and having it save the main game in their eyes.

Suikoden II PSP – I’m not used to a Suikoden game crashing on me. The loading times were also long, even just to load animations for unite attacks. I don’t think the ability to run diagonal and the expanded screen is worth the other hassles of this version of Suikoden II. It’s just weird because Suikoden ran fine, at least this compilation’s version of it.

October 11, 2018

Sen no kiseki 4 so far…

Posted in video games tagged , at 6:17 am by riulyn

Just finished Act 2. Whoo boy… [A lot of spoilers to follow]

Read the rest of this entry »

September 26, 2018

Life update

Posted in life tagged at 7:05 pm by riulyn

Sorry guys I haven’t been here much.

I kind of got addicted to twitter. I tweet fanfic and fandom stuff so I linked it to my more fannish account. I’m anonamorEN on twitter.

Also I got awarded a grant. Just getting through some paperwork now but it’s nice to know I won’t have any grants to write for a few years. And also money. Money is good.

I’ve been playing a lot of games but soon it will be Sen no kiseki IV (Trails of Cold Steel 4) and Valkyria Chronicles 4. I recently replayed Suikoden II and with each replay I notice more and more of the flaws, but I still love the game. I don’t care if it’s nostalgia that drives it; it’s still love.

I think I won’t be as active here but it’s not because I’ve stopped playing games. I am definitely motivated to keep playing games. There’s just something easier about twitter right now, though I’ll probably hiatus from internet for fandom soonish to concentrate on Sen 4. We’ll see if it takes me 130 hours like Sen 3 did…

Also, Xenoblade 2 Torna was good. I want to replay Xenoblade 2 as well as Xenoblade 1 now. So many games I want to replay. But maybe Sora no kiseki SC first? Or Sol Trigger?

I’m hoping to play Tales of Rebirth soon? I want to get closer to playing all the Tales that aren’t Radiant Mythology. I didn’t like what I played of that. Though maybe I’ll play it again anyway.

Oh, still into volleyball. I am enjoying NCAA volleyball so far. I don’t really talk about it online but that’s fine. I don’t feel the need to talk about everything with people. I can just talk to myself; I’ve done that for years.

So that’s that. I’ll maybe post something more organized, like a quick review of Sen 4, sometime in November. Hope you all have been doing well and be back sometime soon, hopefully.

August 5, 2018

Shining Resonance Refrain Quick Review

Posted in video games tagged , at 2:24 pm by riulyn

Good stuff

  • Lots of character interactions. Got a good feeling for all of the playable characters and not just with the main character, but also with each other
  • Always motivation to move forward in the plot (unlike some other Shining games…)
  • All playable characters have a unique feel and all can be effective in battle

Bad stuff

  • AI of party members is horrendous. They don’t block for major attacks and can easily get themselves wiped out. Healing AI is the only AI that seems to work right.
  • Boss battles get too easy at the end if you compensate for bad AI
  • It takes forever to level up characters. Very easy for characters to fall behind in levels if you don’t use them. My final levels were in the high 50s for my main party and only 30-ish for the two characters I used the least (used them just for affinity for dates and unlocking endings)
  • Why is there only one actual town in this game?

Recommendation – Best Shining game I’ve played so far. Characters feel well-rounded, the plot isn’t just an excuse to have characters but rather actually drives forward, and combat has its tricks and isn’t too easy. The character interactions are more fun than the main plot. It’s not like the story never gets serious, but it doesn’t try to be too dark or too serious or mind-blowing. It’s about having fun and fulfilling expectations. So if you weren’t interested in the game based on the promo materials, I don’t think there’s a pleasant surprise and that you should change your mind. If you are interested, it’s worth a playthrough. I did it immediately on Refrain and recommend that mode – sure, some stuff is out of order but nothing is confusing.

I’m just so happy that there’s a Shining game that actually lived up to its promise. Of course it’d been awesome if it had exceeded them, but meeting expectations is a good start. Finally!

Valkyria Chronicles 3 Quick Review

Posted in video games tagged , at 2:11 pm by riulyn

Good stuff

  • likeable characters + side chapters to help make each of them memorable
  • job class system is good
  • combat is solid
  • no shortage of customization

Bad stuff

  • maps weren’t that interesting most of the time
  • some chapters felt padded
  • missions felt kind of disconnected and plot really only takes off halfway through
  • no apparent reason to do the Riela & Imca split stuff

Overall recommendation – Test out the first few chapters. If the combat seems to your liking, go further. It’s a long game and there are a lot of battles, so if you can’t take the battle system, you won’t be going far.

Other thoughts: There’s more of a purpose and a maturity to this game compared to Valkyria Chronicles 2, but brings the good parts of Valkyria Chronicles 2 such as the expanded number of job classes and cameos from previous games. However it brought some of the bad from Valkyria Chronicles 2 mainly maps that get reused without interesting new objectives (lots of maps that they expect you to S-rank in 4-5 turns) and a story that isn’t quite streamline. I wouldn’t recommend this game as a first Valkyria Chronicles game – definitely think the first Valkyria Chronicles is the best one I’ve played. I’m looking forward to Valkyria Chronicles 4 though!

July 30, 2018

What I’m almost finishing now – Shining Resonance Refrain

Posted in video games tagged , at 7:12 am by riulyn

I put about 40 hours in 8 days into this game and it’s been a lot of fun! I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a few things

  1. The battle system is very solid. Every character is interesting to play as. Unfortunately boss battles were more interesting at the beginning than they are currently, where it is more of a grind than strategic.
  2. Lots and lots of optional character interactions. Interactions between party members that make me think of modern Atelier games. It’s not just late night chats and walks around town.
  3. A consistent motivation and plot the entire time. My standards were pretty low because I’d made assumptions before about these modern Shining games, and this one was coming in highly recommended as a fun romp and I was worried about how people defined their fun. Thankfully people were right about this one for me.

I think most people who focus on the plot and don’t randomly level characters they don’t use and don’t randomly decide to do dungeons or quest runs would be done with the game by now, but I’m relatively close to the end. I think it’ll be another 10 hours for me since I do keep wanting to do some character optional stuff. I haven’t decided whose ending I’m going for or whose ending I’m closest to getting? I’m not sure how much choosing there is? I guess I’ll find out soon.

Oh, I did just go straight into Refrain mode on my first playthrough. I think it’s perfectly fine and not confusing (I feel like I read somewhere online that it was?) and it’s been fun to have interactions with characters that aren’t supposed to be in my party.

July 8, 2018

More Valkyria Chronicles 3 Thoughts

Posted in video games tagged , , at 9:11 am by riulyn

I’ve made it to Chapter 11 of Valkyria Chronicles 3 and I’m not sure when this game will end, but I’ve already put in close to 50 hours… It’s a meaty experience because there are a lot of optional battles, including optional ones for every character in the squad inside of their side stories.

Probably my biggest complaint is that the plot is suddenly getting quite interesting, and it didn’t need to take this long to get here. Cameos of previous characters have been shoved left and right, and I wonder if that really needed to happen. It was cute at first, but when I started realizing the game was going to keep going, I was like “do I really need another battle so a cameo can be forced in?”

It’s been hard to track the when and why of stuff of the beginning part of the game, but now everything makes sense to me. So I’m going to blame the writing a bit for this. I’m sure there was also some of this back and forth going on with Valkyria Chronicles 1, but I felt like I had a better idea what was going on generally within the country and the warscape during that game than I have here. I’m doing missions and the warlines are changing, and maybe if I spent time reading the newspapers in the camp menu I’d know better, but I feel like I didn’t have to go out of my way to figure stuff out in VC1?

The reason things are better now are because our “side adventures” have a clear reason for happening, at least in my eyes. I’m excited to see what will come of it.

As for the other stuff in this game, it’s pretty solid. Easy mode is easier than it was in VC2 I feel. I’ve never felt in danger of really losing any battles; I have only lost when I’ve been too aggressive and ditch my home base before making sure no enemies are around. The AI has gotten smarter in the last few missions, so they aren’t dumb forever, but I think they are purposefully dumb in easy mode so I can beat it 😀 The classes are the same from VC2 and you can switch people to different classes, which is good. I haven’t switched too many people around, but Alfonse as a shocktrooper now is pretty powerful. I don’t really use the engineers or the armored techs, especially the latter in the late game since I have the swords-people (I forget their job class name) and also I haven’t run into tank mines yet. My sniper has been kicking major ass, but shocktroopers are the most useful in this game for me. There’s a good number of squad people to use, which is nice when I want 5 shocktroopers out or even 5 lancers out. I still have a few people left to recruit too (either not far enough in the story or missing some other trigger).

In pretty much every way I like VC3 more than VC2. Story-wise, I like VC1 better still. Side character-wise, VC3 wins. Gameplay-wise, VC3 wins. But to recommend it (at least at this point) to others? I’d say it’s still best if you’ve played both VC1 and VC2 before this, though it’s okay on its own. I also don’t think you’ll need to play this one or VC2 before VC4. I guess I’ll find out in a few months 😀

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