May 14, 2017

Quick thoughts on Ao no Kiseki (Trails of Blue)

Posted in video games tagged , , at 7:38 pm by riulyn

Ao has just been finished and I will be replaying it and Zero in 2018 or 2019. I need to experience them again but I still have a backlog.

It does what a sequel should do. It makes everything in the first game (story, boss battles) better. It has unexpected cameos. It also doesn’t stray too far from the formula that made Zero good. It starts off with a bang but the lulls are for diversion not because the story is weak. And it still ends with a real cracker.

It is better by far (this is my opinion of course) than Trails in the Sky SC. I’m worried I’ll be let down in Cold Steel because of the huge cast that isn’t as tight (supposedly) as the Crossbell gang. Though it’s kind of hard to imagine a group as tight. Lloyd is a great main character, but so was Estelle, and what really stands out is the other main 3 characters in Zero & Ao compared to FC/SC for me.

I hope to write up a more detailed review later, but for now…if you are/were learning Japanese to play a JRPG, this is the reason why. This game is totally worth it.


May 9, 2017

A lot of cute girls in games I’m playing right now

Posted in video games tagged , , , at 8:58 pm by riulyn

It’s Gust gaming, all right. But not just Gust.

Still, let’s start off with Ion, the cute main character of Ciel nosurge. If you don’t like her “cute” clumsy, straightforward in an innocent way but yet frustratingly indecisive (unless you are really patient with characters), just wanting everyone to be happy, being more optimistic than she should be… I don’t know if I’ve captured most people’s “complaints” about her, but I think she’s supposed to be the “moe” type that has been in vogue for a while. While I flip between like/dislike for her, the actual plot in her memories is quite intriguing to me. So I rushed through that and am now stuck synthesizing for days/weeks until I can get the items needed for the ending. If I didn’t find her annoying as often as I did, maybe I wouldn’t have rushed through the game and actually played it like the life simulator it was supposed to be, instead of treating it like a visual novel with some periphery stuff…

Gust’s recently released “Blue Reflection” is basically cute high school girls as wanted by otakus, in a RPG. The main character is a girl who just started high school who had to stop doing ballet due to a knee injury, but after getting the power to fight things (I’m too lazy to translate what they are) in a “cognitive/unconscious” world (yeah not doing that translation) that has 4 areas based on different emotions and there are beings that you have to fight in them but you are really there to collect fragments from girls and hear their true feelings that they are trying to express but can’t because they are “distorted” until you get their fragment? And this is important because these fragments power you and your teammates up and you’ll need to get powered up to fight some being that wants to destroy the world? Yeah lots of little moving parts but nothing really deep so far? It’s like the game took plot elements from like Persona and Exist Archive and kind of gave it maybe a bit of Atelier flavor/style? It’s not like the plot is hard to follow along, but I guess I’m not caring about the main/overall thing yet to actually remember the name of things. Then again, I think the appeal is meeting more girls and going out with them. Yes, the game calls the outings “dates”. Though sadly I don’t think they are supposed to be romantic. But yeah, no boys so far (as far as I know, which is Chapter 3 currently). I seriously hope there aren’t any boys. We have enough of the light novel type “male MC who solves all the problems and gets his harem” RPG (Persona [except P3P female], Tokyo Xanadu come to mind for me, Exist Archive is even a little this, Ar tonelico is this for Gust games) so why not the “female MC who solves all the problems and gets her harem” RPG? I’m all for it. Especially girls helping other girls and not just a special two girl friendship, which is usually only as far as most JRPGs go…

But strangely, the most “serious” of the games I’m playing right now, Ao no Kiseki Evolution, is also really driven at times by a cute girl named Ke-A. She’s very special and if I say more it is spoilers galore. Thankfully she is not a forced love interest type but instead the “forced” cute younger sister type. Except she doesn’t feel forced, she really is cute! But also the teasing everyone does of the Crossbell Police Special Force (I think that’s what your party is called), calling them her “stupid doting parents” is pretty great. But yeah, I really, really enjoy the main party characters in Zero and Ao no Kiseki. They are why the games are so great. Also the plot of Ao is pretty darn fantastic (and I haven’t even gotten the ending, though got to the final chapter! Epic!).

I think I’m going to play FFXV later this year. Final Fantasy Bros still sounds amusing to me (and I enjoyed what I saw of my brother playing the game), but it’s going to be weird to play a game without a ridiculously cute girl in it. Okay, 2B of NieR Automata is probably really stretching the “cute girl” part, but Persona 5 has Futaba who’s legit cute in my opinion. I expect a cute girl or 10 in Fire Emblem Echoes. Maybe Iris (in FFXV) can be considered “cute”? Umm…