January 31, 2016

Exist Archive so far

Posted in video games tagged , at 3:13 pm by riulyn

Hey guys! I’ve been all over the place in terms of gaming, then got addicted to Atelier Ayesha and Escha&Logy, but I wanted to post today about a game most of you guys have not played yet since it only just came out a month ago in Japan – Exist Archive ~The Other Side of the Sky~.

Some of you might be wondering what exactly “Exist Archive” means. I still don’t know. It’s probably partially my fault for not really paying attention to the plot in this game. It’s not like you can’t figure out what to do for the most part without much knowledge of Japanese, and well, it being a Tri-Ace game, I wasn’t even playing it for the plot in the first place.

What I am enjoying, though, is the battle system. It builds from the Valkyrie Profile base and makes it more fun in two major ways. First, you have an AP gauge that each attack takes up so you aren’t limited to 3 attacks or 2 attacks for your melee fighters. They can only have up to 3 types of attacks but they can perform them as many times as the gauge allows. Second, pressing guard buttons (or not pressing guard, increasing your risk and your chance at getting item drops) at the right time isn’t just for reducing damage but allows you to do “counters” if the right skill is equipped. Your AP gauge fills like 80 points or so upon changing from attack phase to guard phase and vice-versa, so not guarding or attacking also allows you to save the remaining AP for the next phase. Because of these two differences alone, the battle system is already better than Valkyrie Profile due to the more flexible strategy. Unfortunately the system makes mages not as fun to have in the party because they only get up to 1 attack; they have a CP requirement as well. I’ve only gotten my mages up to level 2 on their attacks so either their one attack can be done once an attack turn or once every two attack turns (if the CP requirement is 2). They do pack quite a lot of damage, though, as long as the enemy isn’t resistant to their element.

I stopped reading media on the game once I decided to preorder it, so I think there are supposed to be 12 playable characters but so far I have only gotten 9 and now I’m at the phase where the game is rewarding me for making progress by allowing me to do more things on the field. First I gained the ability to double jump. Next came the ability to freeze the enemy. Then I gained the ability to freeze the enemy or their “remnants” and use that to perform a boost jump. Now I’ve just gained the ability to slide dash, which I have yet to try out. To be honest I don’t mind that they are rolling out these aspects one-by-one. I just wished it didn’t take until a plot point happened (I think these ability started being granted in Chapter 5, which was 10+ hours in for me) to get these things.

Otherwise I don’t really think the game is difficult but it is a little uneven. I think it was Chapter 3 where I was only level 10 and the next story area suggested a minimum of level 14, and it mattered because the enemies were doing a ton of damage to me at that level. Any time there has been a level gap I’ve done a bit of grinding, aka going back to old dungeons and fighting enemies. It’s been good for getting more healing items too; at one point I had like only 3. You get all your new equipment through item drops, by the way, so I’d recommend learning item drop rate enhancing skills and equipping them ASAP.

I think I read somewhere that the same didn’t actually sell that well… I hope that there’s still interest in localizing the game, because I think I would (at this point) recommend it to anyone missing that Valkyrie Profile vibe. Though I still hope one day Valkyrie Profile 3 gets made, but that’s a Square-Enix IP so I don’t think I can have much hope…

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