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!

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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!