February 24, 2014

2 weeks to slack or freak out

Posted in life, video games tagged , , , , , , , at 1:24 pm by riulyn

2 weeks until my scheduled dissertation defense. I’m starting to get a bit nervous now, but I’ve also never had so much time to work on one thing (started work on it 2 weeks ago) so I don’t exactly know what to do with myself. Therefore I’ve been slacking and playing games.

Still, I’m guessing I’m going to freak out the day or two before the presentation, so that means I have some 12 days of decent video gaming. Or rather, I’ll probably spend 12 days doing some decent video game playing instead of becoming absolutely perfect at my talk and applying to all the jobs and such. I just need to relax, right?

So what will I be up to, gaming-wise? After a Sunday marathon gaming session with Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana in the day and Valkyria Chronicles in the evening/night, I think those two will be the focus as I got end-game sounding music in Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana (love the fact that they changed the normal battle music) and reached Chapter 11 of Valkyria Chronicles. Of course, my PS2 needs to cooperate; it still sometimes decides not to load discs that have worked the past 3 days. So if Atelier Iris is out, I can continue on in Ar tonelico where I am about 10 hours in, though with levels of stuff I feel like I’m already halfway? It’ll probably be better if I’m not halfway through, though, so I hope I’m wrong. I’m already at level 4 with Aurica and level 5 with Misha. It’s enough info that I should be leaning towards one girl over another, but I find both girls to be a good mix of good and bad. I guess I need to commend the game for making me conflicted like this 🙂

I guess I could ramp up the time I spend playing Bravely Default and not just spend most of the time rebuilding the village and wandering (I am auto-battling when I am cooking or waiting for saves to load as I fail in Valkyria Chronicles, which is very often). I’m probably going to make the game too easy but I am getting more mastery of jobs which is really the big reason we all are playing the game. The story as of Chapter 2 isn’t great but not bad. I do wish I liked the characters better.

I was trying to run Xenosaga on an emulator but for some reason the emulator kept glitching on me. The hard drive with the emulators installed seem to be having some issues, though running a playstation 1 emulator was fine. Thus I am slowly working through Wild ARMs 2. Ashley and Lilka are pretty meh so far but Brad seems to be at least somewhat interesting. A lot of people don’t like Wild ARMs 2 so I guess I’ll get to see why once I actually get further than 5 hours in the game.

I did end up finishing one playthrough of Hana Ki Sou. Unfortunately I don’t think I really understood what happened in the game. I’m planning to replay it at least once (to get another ending) before moving to Sol Trigger. Of course that is nowhere close to completion as there are actually 16 endings and also lots of “special images” to collect. One playthrough seemed really, really short though – like 3 hours max? I was only spending 10-15 minutes a day on the game and looking up words I didn’t know. Thank goodness there is all that voice-acting, since the game likes to use kanji in words that most other games normally don’t use kanji for. Verbs like “to understand” (わかる) was written with at least 2 different kanji in this game. I don’t believe the kanji character used affects the meaning of this word in particular, but I have not verified that yet. Anyway, the voices in the game are great. The art is okay, only because I don’t like how skinny everyone is. The colors are nice though.

My vita is still in use, though with a console focus at the moment I haven’t been playing too much Tales of Hearts R. The MC seems like a typical JRPG protagonist with the most similarity to Asbel at the moment. It’s way too early in the game for me, however, to make any real judgments on him or the battle system or other things. I just got a second playable character after all. I think, though, it might already have one of the best starts to a Tales game. Does that mean I need to do a Tales marathon to refresh my memory? Probably…

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February 19, 2014

Tales of Innocence R Review

Posted in video games tagged , at 9:22 pm by riulyn

Although I beat this game a few days ago, I did a look over at the Tales of Innocence page on TV Tropes to fill in some of my story knowledge gaps, as I didn’t understand everything that happened in the story with my beginner-ish knowledge of Japanese. Of course I also got a little lazy with dictionary use and didn’t look up any unknown words in the skits at a certain point. Still, I don’t think understanding the story better really changed my opinion on the game.

TLDR Substandard for a Tales game in pretty much all aspects. Battle system feels watered down with stupid AI and some control issues, and the plot, while it may have an interesting premise, really does not do much and is not helped by a mediocre cast. Still, a fun diversion and not too hard to play for people not fluent in Japanese.

For a more professionally-done review, check out the review at RPGFan. I pretty much agree with that review.

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February 15, 2014

Sorcery Saga Review

Posted in video games tagged , , at 9:07 pm by riulyn

I’ve been too busy playing games to write about them. Or rather, it’s best to write about games when you are finished with them instead of almost done with them. Though, I suppose I could have written this review days ago, before I embarked on the 256 floor extra chapter dungeon…

TLDR Unless you really need some “easy” and moe rogue-like to wind down your evenings, there’s really not a $40 experience here. Unless you like to collect items and level them up. There are all types of those to play around with.

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February 8, 2014

Suikoden Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki Review

Posted in video games tagged , , at 9:23 am by riulyn

*Only got 92 of 108 Stars but don’t believe it makes a major difference in the game overall*

In short, I enjoyed this game but it wasn’t amazing. Still, it’s a solid RPG that would be worthy of localization, even if it really shouldn’t be called “Suikoden”.

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February 6, 2014

Life got in the way

Posted in life, video games at 2:21 pm by riulyn

It’s been a while since I updated, but only one major thing has changed. I finished off my draft of my dissertation and I scheduled a dissertation defense. Going to a funeral last weekend put me behind a few days but I still have about 4 weeks to get ready for that part, which hopefully my reading committee gives me the go-ahead for. Yeah, I technically need them to say I’m ready to go, but it’s impossible to schedule something so short notice so I’m getting a space and time reserved at least.

I didn’t get to game as much as I would have liked to these past few weeks, but I did manage to wander off on a detour and do one run-through of Shadows of Destiny. To my surprise, this was a game written by Junko Kawano, who is more famous among RPG fans as the Suikoden character designer and the head writer/producer of Suikoden IV. Aka people like her art but not her writing. But I ended up enjoying Shadows of Destiny. It seemed to have a good vibe and an interesting story, though it wasn’t exactly standout or thought-provoking. I don’t play a lot of games of that genre, so I can’t say if it is a great game of that genre or not.

Otherwise, I did a 30-hour-ish Chrono Cross replay and I’ve put decent hours into Suikoden Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki, Tales of Innocence R, and Sorcery Saga.  I’m near the end of all three of those games but I’ll probably write up about all of them separately once I finish with them. They are all worthy of individual posts for different reasons. In short, I like all three games but they all have their issues which means I can’t auto-recommend them to people.

In other news, I have about a week to wait for Bravely Default since I did free shipping from Amazon. I haven’t touched the demo but I was too busy to do so before. I’ll probably spend this next week finishing one of those three games I mentioned and maybe playing more Ar Tonelico. Of course I still have to do work and get back to searching for jobs…but at least those 10-12 hours/day working on my dissertation are done.