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.

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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 😀