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Gar's Gaming Blog (Animal Crossing: New Leaf)

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Author Topic: Gar's Gaming Blog (Animal Crossing: New Leaf)  (Read 6048 times)
Gargravarr
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« Reply #990 on: 31 July, 2011, 10:21:48 am »

Sunday 31st August

Okay, here we go. The last enty of my Dissidia coverage.

Character Impressions 11 - Shantotto and Gabranth

Shantotto
Since FFXI is an MMORPG I never really paid much attention to it, and as a result I had absolutely no idea who (or indeed what) Shantotto was when she was announced. Still, I thought she looked pretty cool, and it’s nice to have a dedicated spellcaster on the Cosmos Warriors side that isn’t Terra. I should also mention that Shantotto is definitely the smallest character in the game. Seriously, she’d be about, what, two feet in real life? This is especially obvious when you’re in a chase sequence against Garland, Golbez or Exdeathm, and one day I intend to face Chaos with her so I can fight the largest character with the smallest. I think Shantotto’s accent is supposed to be a kind of upper-class English, but it seems to waver a bit. It’s a pretty decent attempt, though. The voice actor manages to portray the character’s superior, slightly patronising personality.
Anyway, onto the important stuff. Shantotto’s playthrough is fairly similar to Cloud of Darkness’s, in that it mostly revolves around HP attacks and she has very few damaging Brave attacks. Her unique dynamic is that her HP attacks change in power and range/area of effect as she gathers more and more BP, with each spell having three tiers. Tier 1 ranges from 0 to 2999 BP, Tier 2 range from 3000 to 5999 BP, and Tier 3 is from 6000 BP upwards. On the ground she can cast Fire (Firaga, Flare), Stone (Stonega, Quake) and Thunder (Thundaga, Burst), while in the air she can cast Aero (Aeroga, Tornado), Water (Waterga, Flood) and Blizzard (Blizzaga, Freeze).
As I mentioned before, only two of her Brave attacks deal normal damage, and these are the ones where she attacks with her staff. The ground attack, A Couple Attacks, is a simple lunge forward (followed by two more hits and a chase sequence if the first one connects), while the aerial attack, Retribution, has her throwing her staff in a boomerang-like fashion, causing a chase sequence if the opponent is hit by the return attack). Her other Brave attacks, which can all be used on the ground or in the air revolve more around disabling the opponent or affecting them in some adverse way. Bio releases a slow moving, homing cloud of toxins that will poison the opponent if it hits, sapping BP at regular intervals, Bind doesn’t do any damage but prevents the opponent from moving for a few seconds (though they can still use their attacks, which is how I was once able to KO a CPU Shantotto with Squall’s Blasting Zone attack while trapped by Bind), while Stun doesn’t do any damage either but interrupts the opponent’s current action, be it movement or an attack (which apparently isn’t as useful as it sounds).
Shantotto’s primary EX Mode bonus is that she retains her BP after each HP attack, including her EX Burst (Play Rough), meaning she can do some serious damage if her opponent isn’t careful. Speaking of which, it took me a while to figure her EX Burst out. Basically you’re given her six strongest spells and you have to cast them in the right order to cause maximum damage. That order is Flare, Flood, Burst, Quake, Tornado, Freeze. What I didn’t realise was that you have to press X twice to select each spell, and then I also found out that you always had to start the chain with Flare, so you had to find it on the list before you start casting. After that, though, it’s just a matter of rapidly scrolling down the spells and quickly selecting them. They’re always in the right order, so you just have to find Flare.
As a last note, whenever Shantotto is defeated she turns into a doll, implying that the Shantotto you just beat was nothing more than a copy. Just seems pretty cool to me.

Gabranth
Gabranth is easily the most unique character in terms of playstyle, due to the fact that he can’t perform any HP attacks whatsoever outside EX Mode or chase sequences, and he only has a few basic Brave attacks. Instead, when you press the square button, he stands still and starts charging his EX Gauge. On the ground he charges for as long as you hold down the button, while in the air he charges until he lands on the ground again. It fills up at a reasonable rate, so provided you’re careful it should be too hard to get into EX Mode and do some real damage. In normal mode, his Brave attacks consist of a brief four-hit combo (Sentence, ground/aerial), a quick lunge forward with his weapon (Lunge, ground) and a quick mid-air spin (Circle of Judgement, aerial). Once he enters EX Mode, however, these attacks increase in ferocity & number of hits and he gains some new ones as well. The ground and aerial Sentences become Enrage (a very long combo) and Rupture (charge at opponent and knock them away) respectively, Lunge becomes Relentless Lunge (two more strikes), and Circle of Judgement becomes Vortex of Judgement (again, two more strikes). The new attack he gets are ground and aerial versions of Aero (summoning a large tornado) and Dual Rend, a brief mid-air combo that can cause Wall Rush damage.
Speaking of new attacks, Gabranth’s EX Charge gets replaced by four HP attacks. Innocence (ground/aerial) has him firing off four shockwaves from his swords that can arc up or down towards the opponent (or just down if you’re in the air), Hatred (aerial) has him gathering energy and drawing the opponent in as long as you hold down Square, then releasing said energy in a bubble-like shockwave, and finally Guilt (ground) has him hitting the opponent to stun them and knock them back a little, then causing an explosion with his swords.
Finally, his EX Burst. Like Shantotto’s, this one took me a bit of a while to figure out, but I think I‘ve got it sorted now. It’s based on Basch’s (Gabranth’s twin brother from FFXII) Quickenings. You have to quickly scroll through the available commands until you find the one with the X icon next to it. The EX Burst consists of three attacks: Fulminating Oblivion, Ruin Unflinching and Frost Purge, before going for a finishing strike (which I think may just be for show but I’m not really sure). Fulminating Oblivion is always done automatically, and you then have to find the other two yourself. Unlike most EX Bursts which only have two outcomes, one for a perfect execution and one for a non-perfect, Gabranth’s has three depending on how many Quickenings you manage to pull off. Inferno is the finisher if you only got Fulminating Oblivion, Ark Blast occurs when you get FB and Ruin Unflinching, and Black  Hole serves as the Perfect outcome when you manage to activate all three Quickenings. It's not too difficult to pull of correctly, but I do find it easy to accidentally overshoot the command I’m looking for and screw it up as a result. The trick is not to rush, I guess. Oh, and the reason I said the final strike was just for show is because I think I heard that it doesn’t do any actual damage, and that the three Quickenings are the ones that actually hurt the opponent.
Gabranth isn’t as awkward to use as I thought he might be, given his overall character dynamic, though I do tend to miss having non-EX Mode HP attacks. Unfortunately the key to playing a really good Gabranth seems to be having decent accessories equipped and I still don’t really know how those work… Oh well. It’s not like I’m going to be playing competitively or anything.

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So that's it. I'm finally done with Dissidia. I might come back one day and attempt Inward Chaos and some of the Arcade Courses, but it probably won't be for a long time, especially now that Dissidia 012 is out. I don't know what I'll do with this blog now... I might come across a game I want to to in-depth with again, but for now at least I think I'm going to take a break from this. Thanks for reading!
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