April 22, 2019

Fire Emblem New Mystery of the Emblem Quick Review

Posted in video games tagged , at 2:52 pm by riulyn

Good

  • Added base conversations so it’s not like a character just joins and you never hear from them again
  • myunit is anything you want him/her/they to be and their role in the story is not intrusive and not as mary sue/gary stu as “avatar” units from later games (e.g. Awakening or Fates)
  • Improved on Shadow Dragon in basically every way
  • Can “grind” a little bit of exp at base (for money) if you want to with “training” area

Bad

  • Base conversations can be hit or miss
  • The actual plot still isn’t great
  • You don’t get your own shooter unit!

The game was just solid, I suppose. I didn’t feel a burning need to finish it nor did I feel like it was dragged out. The premise for the plot was a bit dumb in my opinion, but getting all these returning characters made up for that. If you enjoyed Shadow Dragon you will enjoy this one more I think, but if you didn’t like Shadow Dragon I’m not sure this is so much better to recommend it on its own.

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April 7, 2019

Sen no kiseki characters blabber part 1 – Iron bloods

Posted in video games tagged , , at 7:55 am by riulyn

This is basically a post where I kind of just blabber on about some Sen no kiseki characters so it’s basically spoilers for the entire Sen no kiseki series all the way through. I didn’t know where else to post it so it’s here…

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March 16, 2019

Slower gaming, but not necessarily less fun

Posted in life, video games tagged , , at 4:20 pm by riulyn

I feel like I’m going through games so slowly recently, but I’m also very okay with this.

I started up Yakuza 0 recently and the substories are so charming I kind of don’t want to do the main plot. But the main plot is so charming I just want to rewatch the scenes.

I still haven’t fully pulled myself away from the Sen no kiseki games. It doesn’t help that I am writing a lot of fanfic now so I even consider it enjoyable to spend half an hour or so looking at recipe proficiencies and other trivia just for fun.

I did get a replacement Japanese new 3DS so I could start with Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem Heroes of Light and Shadow (I think that’s the title? Why is it so long seriously?) over again and I get so many base conversations and I just love it? I think they aren’t limited like supports which is good because I also think there isn’t romance tied to them so that’s also good I just random trivia!

I’m almost done with the Labyrinth of Yomi in God Wars. So maybe not worth it entirely since it is getting quite repetitive (they don’t even try to give you new maps at this point) but I already came this far and if I didn’t like grinding and developing powerful characters I wouldn’t have made it this far in the first place. After this I guess I could play Zelda on Switch but I’m thinking a Xenoblade 2 replay. A slow one, because I really should get on those games I picked up in Japan.

Yeah, so I was just in Japan and I picked up Tokimeki Girl’s Side 1-3, Soma Bringer (gotta get more Monolith Soft), Shining Blade (okay it’ll probably be mediocre and easy but sometimes I just need that in my life), 7th Dragon 2020 and 2020-II, Dragon Quest VII, Xenoblade for new3DS, and Persona Q2. I might jump onto Q2 since it’s fun to play a game before it gets localized, though I also don’t know if I care that much. I was like, it’s only 2000 yen which is less than 20 bucks U.S., so might as well. It’s not like they are dubbing the localization anyway.

Really the main focus is slowly through Yakuza 0, and everything else. Oh yeah since I last posted I played and beat Kingdom Hearts 3. It was fun! But I don’t feel qualified to give a review to this game otherwise; I came in with different expectations than other people. Only a little disappointed with the story ending, but not to go on a rage or anything. It is a freaking gorgeous game though. Might be worth the money just for how beautiful the game is.

Anyway I’m going to try to start posting here again. Apparently people still find this place so I’ll give it some love again. Besides I do like to ramble about video games…

January 3, 2019

Happy 2019!

Posted in life, video games tagged , at 9:19 pm by riulyn

Sorry I haven’t been around much. 2018 was an okay year of gaming. The biggest standout for me was Valkyria Chronicles 4. I guess I could review it but really in a few words: it’s my favorite Valkyria Chronicles game. By far.

I also ended 2018 with God Wars. Still working on the Labyrinth of Yomi but overall it was definitely fun to play. The story was functional enough. It was nice that I already knew some Japanese history/legends so the god names didn’t confuse me much.

I also ended 2018 starting Suikoden Woven Web of a Century and Suikoden Tierkreis replays. I’m continuing those now and so far so good.

I think generally this year I’ll be replaying games because I want to (definitely Baten Kaitos, and Suikodens, and Sol Trigger) and playing some new games. I’m aiming for 12 new, 12 replays. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t have a ton I want to preorder this year; a bunch of stuff comes out in Japan in the spring that I’m considering but I think I’ll wait for reviews. I actually travel to Japan in early March and it will be before these games release. I’ll be looking for a few used games when I’m in Japan, but I have mostly bought what I want. If I’m lucky I’ll find Soma Bringer. I’ve looked for it every time but this time I’ll be looking in Osaka. I might get lucky?

Anyway this blog will probably become less active than last year. I mostly use twitter @anonamorEN. I closed the riulyn twitter just so you all know, and my website for sheet music is just basically an archive. It’s at riulynrpg.azurewebsites.net. I think maybe one day I’ll finish transcribing Xenoblade 2’s main theme and a song from Zero no kiseki. Otherwise I really don’t have plans to transcribe much. Writing and knitting are my outlets mostly nowadays. I’m not going to say I’ll never go back…but just no more guarantees, no more requests, no more deadlines on the music side or the gaming side this year.

October 21, 2018

Sen no Kiseki 4 Quick Review

Posted in video games tagged , at 5:49 pm by riulyn

The good (in my opinion)

  • Appropriate conclusion to the saga. The story made turns I didn’t like, but that started in Sen no Kiseki 2 for me, so it’s not particular to this game. I’m not going to list it in the not so good since it’s spoilers and also probably just my personal taste
  • Really upped the character interactions and cameos
  • Backstories filled out for some of my favorite characters
  • Some battle with turn limits, and a few other battles that had actual quirks
  • Quests were good for filling out lore for the Kiseki universe and overall story
  • Worldbuilding is still good

The not so good (in my opinion)

  • Battle system is still kind of lame, especially once you figure out it’s just a war of attrition and boss mechanics are mostly stupid except for the above
  • Dungeon and story padding. I complained that Sen 3 had some dungeon padding, but I feel like it’s a bigger issue here.
  • Really not great if you haven’t played the Sky or Crossbell games. The game doesn’t even try to help you out anymore unlike in Sen 3, where at least some basics were explained. Play those games or get the summaries read beforehand
  • Inconsistencies with the stupid bonding/romance stuff. Falcom backtracking to keep the waifu lovers happy? Who knows.

In the end it took me about 130 hours-ish to finish. I did “rage-quit” for a few days after a certain section, but it was something personal. I probably wouldn’t have rushed through this game if I wasn’t engaged with the Kiseki fandom online and I wonder if I would have liked it better or liked it less (aka noticed more things I didn’t like). I played the game with urgency to avoid spoilers, but the game itself didn’t really act like things were urgent, which was a bit of mood dissonance because I felt the game should have had way more urgency to it.

Overall my Sen no kiseki rankings are 3 >> 4 ~ 2 (I think 4 might be slightly better) > 1. Solid series overall but I’d say come for the worldbuilding and the cameos and character banter and don’t get into waifu wars. 4 was satisfying but maybe in a way it didn’t live up to its promise after 3 being so good. Just expect a solid conclusion to the arc/saga but not necessarily a game that blows you away.

October 12, 2018

Quick hits/Super quick thoughts on games I’ve beaten recently

Posted in video games tagged , , , , , , at 6:53 am by riulyn

I’ve neglected this place a bit but while I have, I finished a bunch of stuff. I figured it’d be good to record my thoughts down, even if just a few sentences, so future self can see how I felt.

Octopath Traveler – I apparently couldn’t stand playing it with H’aanit and her English voice, and it was also an opportunity to practice Spanish, so I did just that. So I won’t review anything about the localization but just the gameplay and story elements. The gameplay was great – the main appeal of the game for me. I liked learning the different job classes and switching up my party composition and figuring out the best way to defeat bosses. A few really through me for a loop (and learning about secondary job classes via the internet instead of in game might be considered a weakness, but the game does want you to explore around so it was sort of my bad too), but overall I thought the difficulty scaled okay considering you could do chapters for any character in any order. The stories and how emotional they got, or even how interesting they got, were somewhat variable. The structures of them were pretty similar, but I’d say Primrose’s stood out to me the most. Mostly functional, but yeah I’d say I was playing the game for the gameplay more than the story, and that worked better for me. I think some people were looking for more story than the game advertised to have…

Overall I’d say a very solid game, recommended for those interested.

Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker – Some people liked the first one more for the story, but I actually liked both the story and the characters better in Devil Survivor 2. I just finished the Triangulum path (the 3DS addition) and it’s also a solid addition and a nice complement to the Septentriones path (highly recommend Triangulum second, though, due to story reasons). I loved having easy mode to be honest, so I could just power through and get to fusing cool demons faster. I mean, that’s the biggest appeal to me compared to other tactical games. In terms of story, the premise and stuff is quite good. The balance of scenes to battles/progression ratio is kind of high towards the scenes. It’s funny because there’s a chance to finish the “bonding” (I forget the term) routes for most but not all of the characters you get. Also it feels like you get a lot, but it’s fine in the end. But yeah, lots of text. Each day is pretty full.

Overall I’d recommend it over the first Devil Survivor game, and I think it’s a solid tactical game with a good SMT flair.

Zero Time Dilemma – I enjoyed this game. The plot still kind of makes my brain hurt. I ended up liking all the characters somewhat, but still skewed towards the returning ones. The puzzles weren’t as crazy as previous games, and I only really got stuck when I couldn’t see or hit a small button that I needed to for stuff. I hear this game is a mixed bag for fans. I guess I’m on the positive side.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna the Golden Country – I actually hadn’t planned to pick this up at first, because I hate paying for DLC. But it’s really a separate story, except with maybe a lot of references to the original game. It’s fast-paced and focused compared to the original, but too short. And some of the most emotional stuff is left to cutscenes and kind of glossed over. But 20 hours for me and I couldn’t stop playing it and I would definitely play it again. I think it was worth my time and money. But I don’t see anyone who didn’t like Xenoblade 2 suddenly liking Torna and having it save the main game in their eyes.

Suikoden II PSP – I’m not used to a Suikoden game crashing on me. The loading times were also long, even just to load animations for unite attacks. I don’t think the ability to run diagonal and the expanded screen is worth the other hassles of this version of Suikoden II. It’s just weird because Suikoden ran fine, at least this compilation’s version of it.

October 11, 2018

Sen no kiseki 4 so far…

Posted in video games tagged , at 6:17 am by riulyn

Just finished Act 2. Whoo boy… [A lot of spoilers to follow]

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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!

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!

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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