June 11, 2017

Blue Reflection Review

Posted in video games tagged , at 6:29 pm by riulyn

Since this game has been announced for English release, I feel like maybe I should write up my thoughts on it? I’ll definitely forget by the time it releases in English to write this up, since I’ve already mentally moved on even after a few weeks.

To be brief, the game is really not memorable at all. Except maybe for very nice-looking character models and for being very easy. It’s not to say that I didn’t have fun playing it, but it was an overall rather shallow experience and so much…so much more could have happened.

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March 12, 2017

Quick Review of NieR Automata

Posted in video games tagged , at 6:09 pm by riulyn

It’s GREAT! (I took Wednesday off to get good progress in the game, and spent all weekend playing it too. Totally worth the late night at work on Friday to get that head start.)

If you played the first NieR and enjoyed the lore, then you’ll (very likely) love the sequel you never thought you’d get. I didn’t expect as many tie-ins to the first game (since I tried not to read too much on NieR Automata before playing it) as I saw. If only the first game’s battle system could have been as functional, let alone as fun, as this game’s…

If you have any desire to play the first game, don’t play NieR Automata until you play it. There are even parts of the main plot that spoil the first game, though a lot more of the spoilers are in the archive items. One of the biggest emotional moments of the first game is ruined if you know the surprise before it happens.

The story/plot progression is similar to how the first game is set up. Don’t you dare stop at Ending A! Also, you don’t have to collect all the weapons to get the main endings. Or any of the endings (I think?), based on a quick look at a wikia. I started the game thinking that way, thought “wow this will suck there are a lot of weapons in this game” and then I checked a wikia. Thank goodness…

Also, did you enjoy quests that start off one way but end up another way? There’s quite a few of these here too. And, in NieR fashion, the typical silly ones and typical depressing ones.

Finally, the environments are way better designed but the music is not quite as touching as the first game’s. But still great. Better than that for Drakengard 3. I plan to get the soundtrack which should be releasing soon.

February 25, 2017

2 games with atypical systems = fun diversions

Posted in video games tagged , , at 10:42 am by riulyn

I recently finished 2 games for the PSP, though one was released previously for GBA. These games are Riviera: Promised Land and Last Ranker. I enjoyed playing both of these games. They took me about 30 hours each. The biggest enjoyable aspect for me was the battle/stat system.

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November 20, 2016

Whelp, I finished Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1

Posted in video games tagged , at 7:28 pm by riulyn

This weekend I was supposed to devote myself to Suikoden 1, PSP version, in honor of Suikoden Day. I don’t think I’ve done too badly, as I’m about 15 hours into a slow-ish playthrough of the game (I’ve beaten the game in 15 hours before but this runthrough is going to be 25-ish but I’m enjoying myself so I’m not worried). I broke up some of the Suikoden-ness of my day with some Neptunia, and as I realized I was getting close to the end of the game I was like, screw it, let’s just beat it. So that’s what I did.

I had picked up the game last summer (I think) on sale for $6 digitally and I definitely got that much money out of the game. I think the battle system is solid. I enjoyed the large number of characters you get at the end. I didn’t care for the dungeon exploring as most dungeons were really boring design-wise. I grinded a little at some points because I felt a little underleveled sometimes, but it was also an attempt to manipulate “Shares” by completing certain quests over and over (a thing that is better left explained in-game). Overall the game is as easy as you want to make it, and I made it easy for myself.

The game is also pretty text-heavy at times, with dialogue that I expected based on what I knew of the game coming in. Poking fun at gamers and the game industry, sexual innuendos, tropes galore, etc. It is pretty much many “unnecessary” lines and some plot. I did get a little weirded out when the “jiggle physics” became more obvious later in the game. I mean, the text is mostly static character portraits that change as needed, so the addition of jiggle physics was very obvious in comparison to games where the jiggle physics is employed while the character is in motion. Anyway, I also had that awkward moment of the dialogue taking a big innuendo turn while I was playing the game on the airplane next to a Japanese businessman (whoops…).

In the end, I found it an amusement but I don’t feel particularly attached to any character, the verse, the idea, or really anything about it. It wasn’t a bad way to satisfy my curiosity about the series, but now with my serious attempt to reduce my game purchases until I put a bigger dent into my backlog, I don’t see myself getting any of the other games for a while. I really don’t think I’ll be missing much if I don’t continue on.

*And now, back to Suikoden and then Zero no kiseki*

July 31, 2016

Just some quick final thoughts on Sora no kiseki SC/Trails in the Sky SC

Posted in video games tagged , at 2:43 pm by riulyn

  • Game is overall longer than the first one, with a lot more sidequests and fun diversions (fishing)
  • Balance between dialogue bits, walking around bits, and fighting bits is not so great. Story is much more character-focused than the first game, allowing them to really be shown off. Definitely recommended to play the second game if you enjoyed the first game and the characters. Don’t think it’s worth playing if you didn’t like the first game, or you may just want to scroll past all the dialogue…
  • I’m not sure what a CERO C is versus a CERO B and I’m too lazy to look that up right now, but the second game does have a darker tone than the first, though the lack of characters actually dying and stuff is still a thing for this series
  • Really enjoyed the CGs in the Evolution versions. Also I believe the evolution versions are easier than the PSP and original versions, or the guide I used for some battle help was super exaggerating the difficulty of the final bosses
  • the 3rd is supposedly something that can be enjoyed without the first two games. So far I don’t see how you would give much care to the introduction without caring about these characters, as it drags on pretty long

February 28, 2016

Exist Archive ~ The Other Side of the Sky ~ Review

Posted in video games tagged , at 9:18 am by riulyn

I finally finished the game last night with about ~45 hours put into it. I could have been a bit more efficient with my playthrough, but something about this game feels both long and short. Still, I think overall it was a solid effort and was worth my time.

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November 16, 2015

Tokyo Xanadu Review

Posted in video games tagged , at 7:32 pm by riulyn

Tokyo Xanadu is a Nihon Falcom action RPG that just released in Japan on September 30 of this year and was just finished this morning by me. If you want the short summary, it is basically a game more about variety then being complex or deep story-wise or gameplay-wise. It’s an overall solid, enjoyable (at least for me and what I can tell of the Internet) experience but it is definitely not a game changer in any way (unless the sales were good enough that another company will make a game with a similar mashup, which I’d totally be in for). Hopefully non-Japanese speakers can see a localization of this game in their preferred language sometime in 2016!

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January 5, 2015

Magna Carta 2 vs Magna Carta: Tears of Blood

Posted in video games tagged , , , at 11:13 pm by riulyn

To be honest, I have this urge to remind you that Magna Carta and Magna Carta 2 exist, even though I personally wouldn’t put these two games near my top 10. I feel like they don’t get enough love, even though they aren’t great games? Of course, I’m saying this years after Magna Carta 2 came out. Still, I think they are worth something, if only because of their battle systems.

Don’t worry. Magna Carta 2 shares art style and some concepts but is ultimately a completely separate game, so feel free to just pick up the second game (my recommendation) if you are interested.

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October 8, 2014

Tales of Hearts R Review

Posted in video games tagged , at 7:50 pm by riulyn

I just finished Tales of Hearts R a few days ago in Japanese and I figured one or two of you might be interested in my opinion about Tales of Hearts R, considering that it is coming out in NA in November. Well, I had fun with the game. I am really glad they are bringing this one over to NA first and not Tales of Innocence R.

TLDR If you are a Tales fan with a Vita who hasn’t played Hearts yet, I’d buy it. Though I cannot say whether the localization job will be good.

Tales of Hearts R isn’t a bad way to introduce yourself to the Tales of series. It’s not amazing but it’s a game where characters take center stage. Story-wise, it’s definitely more about the characters than a story with world-building or ethical issues or straight-up world saving, though of course your party does some major ass kicking, takes a better “moral standard”, and saves the world. Gameplay-wise, battling is similar to Tales of Innocence R but with improved button response and a character growth system like Tales of Xillia. It’s not nearly as fun as Ys IV on vita and the artes/skills are tamed down a bit compared to Graces or Xillia, but each character can use a good variety of artes and there are no hard to use characters like the gun users in Innocence R. I played regularly as all of the characters except Hisui, who I let be my main healer, and Beryl, whose the best mage and her non-magical attacks are the slowest of all 8 playable characters.

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July 11, 2014

Shining Ark Review

Posted in video games tagged , at 7:29 am by riulyn

Wow, my blog has become review central, but this time it’s for the Japan-only game, Shining Ark. For those of you who have read my Shining Hearts review, you probably wondered why I was playing another Shining PSP game. I thought I got Shining Wind for the longest time, so once I realized I got Shining Ark I was a little bummed, since I read a review that the game wasn’t so great. Well, I ended up playing it anyway and it wasn’t great, but it worked well enough for late night or “kind of just want to do something but not think” gaming.

TLDR This game will upset most people because it could have been decent and not because it’s unbearably long or awful to play. In the end it’s mostly a time-passer that you don’t have to think much about and ended up being decent Japanese practice for me.

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