October 30, 2016

Game-buying limits imposed!

Posted in life, video games tagged , , , at 5:38 pm by riulyn

I bought my last game of this year in September. It was Trails of Cold Steel 2, for a total count of 19 games this year. That’s what I’ve been telling myself as I just struggled to beat my 20th game of the year this morning. It didn’t help that a good part of this year was spent playing some games for a long while, one of which I’m 70 hours in and have still not finished with no end in sight (Xenoblade Chronicles X). The other part, of course, is that my gaming time is starting to decrease again due to work and travel.

I think for my future, 20 games/year is about all I’ll beat, especially if they are all RPGs. Thus I’m trying to set a new limit of 20 game purchases per year from here on out. That means putting off games and also front-loading my year with game purchases. The beginning of next year is already front-loaded for me with Atelier Shallie Plus, Yakuza 0, Tales of Berseria, and Persona 5 all coming out within a month in the U.S.

I put a pretty good amount of time into Japanese games this year because I spend quite a bit of time with each Kiseki game (I’ve been playing them all in Japanese, but will do the Cold Steel series in English). I haven’t bought a Japanese game since Sora no kiseki the 3rd Evolution, though, as I held off on Caligula and Ys VIII. I’m still wondering about Ys VIII, specifically what this PS4 version is supposed to look like. Caligula got announced for localization, and I’m still interested in the game, but not enough to play it soon. I might have missed some big news, but other than those 2, which were summer releases, there wasn’t anything that piqued my interest that released recently in Japan (well, besides Persona 5, but I’m getting that in English). It feels kind of weird when last year I was getting hyped on buying Japanese games in Japanese… Oh well. It’s not like I’ll run out of games to play in Japanese any time soon, if my PSP backlog is to go by.

Speaking of a game I got hyped on the end of last year, I finally finished Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna, or localized as I am Setsuna. In the end I think it was an enjoyable experience, and I got used to the load times on the Vita. The lag during battle animations would sometimes cause me to mis-time button presses and not get whatever bonus attack I was trying for (do not know the term for it used in the game). The game wasn’t too hard to follow and the characters were okay. I think the best part was testing out different magic/techs and finding different combo techs. Lots of customization and every character was useful. Overall I’d say I don’t regret the purchase, though ideally my money’s worth would be partly due to playing and completing it before the localization announcement, but other things in life took my fancy. It’s still better than never finishing it and of course, not enjoying any of it.

Anyway, as I just celebrated my 29th birthday, it was just another reminder that getting older and towards the “career” portion of my life means gaming and other things will need to be enjoyed but cut down a bit. I like my current job but it’s not a permanent one, and the next one will probably mean less time for games. I can’t wait to retire already, seriously, or if I could somehow make it less hours/week… Sadly with the cost of living and the way our society works, I don’t think I can do the ideal (in my mind) 25-30 hours/week independent lab research job…

May 29, 2016

Let’s talk game soundtracks again

Posted in music tagged , , , , at 10:29 pm by riulyn

I recently picked up a few soundtracks. I would ideally have most of these soundtracks digitally as I really don’t need the physical CDs, but alas I don’t live in Japan and can’t legally get the MP3s unless the company puts them on Amazon US. Which Nihon Falcom did for the Ys soundtracks (thank you!). But anyway, I bought some soundtracks.

  1. Ikenie to yuki no Setsuna (English name “I am Setsuna”). I actually preordered this one and have enjoyed it for a bit. It’s a mostly piano soundtrack. The battle themes sometimes use drums too. The soundtrack basically shows us that the piano can do so much; it is both melodic and percussive. The tracks for the game are not complicated. It is another reminder that simple can be the best. The main theme makes me think of “For River” from To the Moon, though.
  2. Fire Emblem Path of Radiance OST. I was preordering Sora no kiseki the Third Evo and (not a preorder) Zero no kiseki Evo from CDJapan and decided to order some CDs while I was at it. I didn’t own any FE soundtracks and Path of Radiance was the favorite of the games I played. I’m not sure it’d be my favorite FE soundtrack, but it is decent. I probably wouldn’t put it in the top 5 or 10, personally, because I find FE music to be more of the good in the game but not so interesting outside of it sort. Actually, most tactical RPG soundtracks have that problem for me, a topic maybe for another day. I think the 4 CD collection is also not as crazy as the latest 8 CD collections for Birthright & Conquest, though I do think of the tracks I can remember from the newest 3DS FE games, the songs may be better there. The awful 3DS speakers make it hard to judge, though.
  3. Valkyrie Profile OST. I’ve already talked in the past about how I am a fan of this soundtrack. To be honest, it’s not the most logical thought to unite the game’s music with its plot, but somehow it works great. The rockin’ soundtrack is really great for all the dungeon exploring, and the other tracks have the appropriate moods associated with them. Also I have to admit that the first VP game’s OST made such an impression on me that I cannot remember a single track from VP2 or Covenant of the Plume. I think of VP music and can only think of VP1. So if the other games had good music…well I guess it’d be hard for me to recognize that.

I am a bit tempted to buy some Sora no kiseki OSTs on the Amazon digital music store, as that’s really the series I’m into right now (it has taken over almost all my Japanese gaming time). I’m also undecided on the Tokyo Xanadu OST. I feel like the Kiseki OSTs are better (at least FC and SC). Otherwise I’m not sure what to buy now, soundtrack-wise.

Speaking of Tokyo Xanadu, I see that there still has been no localization announcement. I’m thinking it won’t be this year since I think text-wise it’d be closer to a recent Kiseki game than an Ys game, and XSeed has announced Trails of Cold Steel 2 (Sen no kiseki 2) for this year and Sora no kiseki the 3rd for next year, and Ys sells well for them so they’d probably jump on that once Ys VIII releases (my understanding is that Falcom doesn’t let XSEED or others work on localizing the game until post Japanese release). I’m just sad that the TX tag is so dead on Tumblr and I don’t know where to talk about it with my sucky Japanese writing skills. Oh well, maybe I just need to take some time to replay the game and study more Japanese in order to understand the Japanese fandom on pixiv or wherever…