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.


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 😀

June 29, 2018

Persona Q Quick Review/Thoughts

Posted in video games tagged , , at 1:13 pm by riulyn

TLDR Solid effort. Play more for the gameplay than the story, because story takes a while to get going. Don’t play this game if you don’t like Etrian Odyssey-type dungeon crawling. Lots of skits – still feel it was a mixed bag but everything is better at the end. More thoughts bulleted below.

  • Game is longer than a normal Etrian Odyssey game because of the dialogue
  • Dungeon design is pretty great. But it can take a long time to get through a floor. Sometimes I felt like I was never making progress. Avoiding some of those FOEs could be really tricky. Puzzles seemed harder than those I remembered in Etrian Odyssey 1 Untold (the only EO game I’ve played)
  • Boss balance is a bit whack. Main character isn’t invincible-ish anymore, but thankfully it’s not game over when he dies, because he died a lot in my playthrough
  • Too exhausted to consider playing as the P4 cast, but I can already tell that there will be some different moments. However, lots of cross P3-P4 talk that probably would be the same in a replay, and I’m not sure I want to go through those dungeons again
  • It isn’t hard to get low level characters up to speed, but it still felt better to just go with a set party and level them up. Secondary personas help you pick your faves and cover some of their weaknesses
  • Rei & Zen are too good as a combo. They are strong and their SP skills don’t take much and do lots of damage
  • Found HP using skills more useful than SP using skills, though SP using skills for healing was necessary due to limited bag space. This was maybe because I never got a support skills to heal SP during battle (I don’t know if any exist)
  • Limited bag space sucks, but is normal for this game’s genre
  • Plot takes too long to get kinda cool (stated above), but it did touch me.
  • Fuuka & Rise best cross P3/P4 duo 😀

I think that’s all I want to say for now. At first I thought “Is this really how the game is going to do interactions?” and was wondering why the game was enjoyed by a good number of the fandom. Later I’m like “Finally taking advantage of the potential from this type of cross-over”. The writers’ humor/style and mine don’t always mesh, I suppose. Everything’s all cute in the end, at least.

December 24, 2017

My thoughts on 2017 releases

Posted in video games tagged , , at 8:19 pm by riulyn

2017 was a crazy year for gaming. RPGs-especially, which is my favorite genre, went more crazy than it has in a while. I definitely missed out on playing some great games in 2017, which I hope to rectify in the next year or two. Even so, there were many highlights.

As for me, I have beaten 9 2017 releases this year, have the .hack collection to still play, and will not count Tokyo Xanadu because I played it originally in 2015. 2017 games that I want to get to next year also include Horizon: Zero Dawn and Yakuza Kiwami. So on to the 9!

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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.