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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 6047 times)
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« Reply #990 on: 04 July, 2011, 05:21:09 pm »

Yeah, they're the worst. I still suck at using Exdeath's Omni Block.

With Jecht, I just don't like his controls. You really have to be spot-on with the button presses.

Ultimecia and Kuja are just typical spellcasters, though Ultimecia's HP attacks are pretty poor and she's probably the second slowest-moving character after Exdeath (plus Kuja can move at full speed during all of his Brave attacks and near-full speed during Ultima, so he trumps Ultimecia in that respect).

Kefka... He's alright, but I find him very irritating to use on stages with little floorspace, like Planet's Core, Ultimecia's Castle and Crystal World.

Garland, Golbez, Cloud of Darkness and Sephiroth are all fine, though.
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« Reply #991 on: 04 July, 2011, 06:21:33 pm »

Yeah, I pretty much agree with you.
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« Reply #992 on: 06 July, 2011, 01:44:37 pm »

Wednesday 6th July

Next two.

Distant Glory XII – Redemption of the Warrior (Part 5)

Squall
Ah, Squall… By far one of my favourite characters to use, mainly due to his high rate of BP accumulation, as I’ve mentioned many times before.
I found myself using his Rough Divide quite a bit more than I have in the past. Most notably I used it in the battles against the Emperor and his Copy on level 1 to pass straight through their Flare attacks (which the copy  in particular spams a lot) and rebound them so they start going after the enemy instead. And if I managed to hit my opponent with my attack in the process, well that’s just gravy.
The battle against the Lady of Antiquity marked the first time I’ve managed to break her, that I remember anyway. In previous playthroughs I had to try and land several weak HP attacks with my base BP and gradually wear her down, but this time I could build up my BP properly and hit her hard. Provided I could hit her at all with Squall’s HP attacks, as I think they’re his Achilles’ heel, if he has one at all. I should mention, though, that I actually managed to hit LoA with Squall’s Revolver Drive attack at one point, which is a rare occurrence for me, so I was rather pleased with that.
The Warrior of Antiquity on level 5 was surprisingly easy, mainly due, again, to Squall’s Brave game. I broke WoA early on and the following HP attack caused Wall Rush damage, bringing him down to just 1HP. After that it was just a matter of evading his attacks until my BP built up again (the more damage your HP attack does, the longer your BP takes to recover) and I could try and land the finishing blow.

Ultimecia
I’ll be honest, I don’t really like playing as Ultimecia, and I think this is primarily due to her HP attacks. I find that hitting with them is more a case of luck than anything else, so when I want to deal HP damage I tend to start a Chase Sequence with Knight’s Axe and try and land an HP attack then instead. And when I want to start an EX Burst, I tend to rely on her Time Crush ability to freeze the enemy in place long enough for me to hit them with Great Attractor, which is her fastest-moving HP attack once it’s charged. Two of her HP attacks have pretty long wind-up times (Shockwave Pulsar and Great Attractor) and two of them are pretty hard to aim with (Shockwave Pulsar and Apocalypse. Yeah, Shockwave Pulsar basically sucks). Apocalypse also leaves her pretty much a sitting duck during its use. So yeah, not a great batch, but I guess that makes them more satisfying when you actually manage to hit your opponent. A good example of this was during the Golbez boss fight on level 3, where I managed to hit him with Great Attractor in the middle of his Genesis Rock attack. I also got some amusing hits in with Apocalypse when the enemy also used attacks that freeze them in place, like Kefka’s Forsaken Null or Hyperdrive, or Sephiroth’s Black Materia.
I managed to defeat the Lady of Antiquity after a couple of false starts. I had to keep dodging her HP attacks and  taking advantage of her standing still during casting to launch a Knight’s Axe attack and start a Chase Sequence, as Knight’s Axe is faster and more reliable than Ultimecia’s normal HP attacks, and in a fight like this I couldn‘t afford to take any chances.
I defeated both the Ultimecia boss and copy with Great Attractor while they were both busy using Apocalypse (or spamming it, in the copy’s case). With the boss I managed to win the match with Great Attracter just before her attack hit me.
Considering my dislike and unease using Ultimecia, the battle against the level 5 Warrior of Antiquity went surprisingly well. I retried a number of times, as I’ve started expecting by now, but overall it went better than expected. It certainly helped a lot that in every single Chase Sequence he dodged too soon to avoid my HP attacks. It was just a matter of gradually whittling down his health and using an EX Burst whenever possible. One time I even managed to hit him with Great Attractor while he was using Innocence (a pretty nasty long-range HP attack that sends out four fast shockwaves from his swords). I must have been just out of his range, but he certainly wasn’t out of mine. I was also surprised at how easy it was to activate Time Crush, given its long wind-up time. Still, no complaints here about that…
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« Reply #993 on: 07 July, 2011, 09:02:14 am »

Wednesday 6th July

Next two.

Distant Glory XII – Redemption of the Warrior (Part 6)

Zidane
I have to say, while I’m not very fond of Zidane, I did find it particularly easy to play through this chapter using him. Maybe it was because, as a Warrior of Cosmos, he was at a really high level, or maybe I’m just getting used to the enemies’ attacks by now, but it was over pretty quickly. One of my favourite things about Zidane is his Free Energy move, which has to be one of the fastest-acting HP attacks in the game (I think it’s second only to Bartz’s Goblin Punch). In fact it was so fast, that I managed to hit Golbez with it, thus ending the match, between him hitting me with a Brave attack and chaining it into Cosmic Ray. That’s pretty damn quick.
As for the Lady and Warrior of Antiquity… I don’t know, everything just seemed to all into place with them. For LoA in particular, I just felt like I was toying with her the whole match.

Kuja
The battle against the Lady of Antiquity went pretty smoothly, lots of dodging and counterattacking from both parties, but I did end up getting hit by a couple of her HP attacks. One of them only did a little over 1000 damage, but the second did over 4000, reducing me to about 1700HP. Still, I’m not terribly bothered about high end-of-level scores anymore (I unlocked everything after my first couple of playthroughs so I’m just getting PP now), so it wasn’t much of a problem. Besides, the only remaining enemy on the board was the Exdeath boss, and he’s always a pushover.
I almost beat the Warrior of Antiquity on my third attempt, but I failed to dodge one of his HP attacks and was dealth the 8000+ damage necessary to wipe me out. The next time, however, I managed to beat him, thanks to some carefully-timed blocks and lucky Chase Sequences. I’m glad this was a relatively easy playthrough, because the next villain I’ll be using will probably be a nightmare…
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« Reply #994 on: 07 July, 2011, 07:58:58 pm »

Fuck yeah Zidane
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« Reply #995 on: 07 July, 2011, 08:19:38 pm »

He strongly reminds me of Ed Elric, though that might just be because he's short, blonde and sometimes sounds similar.
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« Reply #996 on: 07 July, 2011, 08:38:12 pm »

Could be the fact that he's basically the best character in the game.
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« Reply #997 on: 07 July, 2011, 08:44:50 pm »

Could be the fact that he's basically the best character in the game.

Had to be one I didn't like, didn't it?
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« Reply #998 on: 07 July, 2011, 08:50:29 pm »

Pretty much yeah.
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« Reply #999 on: 09 July, 2011, 05:49:03 pm »

Saturday 9th July

Next two.

Distant Glory XII – Redemption of the Warrior (Part 7)

Bartz
I’m very proud of my Warrior of Antiquity victory this time. This time when I entered EX Mode to counter one of his combos, instead of going straight for the EX Burst, I decided to fight normally a bit longer, so as to do extra damage with my Brave attacks. Unfortunately I got a little careless and was hit by one of his HP attacks, but the moment I recovered I rushed in and hit him with Goblin Punch, which is even faster than Zidane’s Free Energy move. I broke him and gained about 4500 extra BP from the stage BP, as it happened to be at a time when it was at a high point, and also caused some Wall Rush damage. When I actually started my EX Burst, he only had 1HP left. He never stood a chance. I’d also like to mention that I think I’ve finally mastered Bartz’s EX Burst. I used to do just fine up until the third or last pair of inputs, but I think the problem was that I rushed it and therefore pressed the wrong command. That’s not to say I always failed it, but it was one I pretty regularly messed up on.

Oh, and Bartz is now officially the first Dissidia character I built up to level 100.

Exdeath
Probably my favourite moment in this playthrough came right at the end of the battle with the Emperor copy. I killed him with Grand Cross just before his Flare hit me. Seriously, it hit me in the slow-motion footage that accompanies the “The Final Blow” screen at the end of a battle, just before the winning character poses, gloats and gets bonuses. It wouldn’t have killed me, far from it, but it was still damn close.
The battle against the Lady of Antiquity went surprisingly well. Especially after I realised I could block the BP damage potions of her HP attacks and use them to launch one of Exdeath’s counterattacks, provided I acted fast enough, which I did, which meant I didn’t have to rely on countering her Brave attacks. Grand Cross was useful too, as she seemed to be very bad at avoiding it after using one of her HP attacks.
Rather unexpectedly, I pretty much kicked the Warrior of Antiquity’s ass. I Broke him early on, did almost 7000 damage with a following HP attack-EX Burst, hit him multiple times with Grand Cross while he was charging his EX gauge… The only real downside to the fight was when he reduced me to about 1600 HP after using his Ultima Weapon summon to Break me while the stage BP was high. Still, by that point he only had about 500 HP left, so all I had to do was hit him with Grand Cross again while he was busy using Innocence. All in all, I expected Exdeath’s playtrough to go a lot worse. Now the only characters I’m worried about are Terra and Kefka…
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« Reply #1000 on: 10 July, 2011, 07:06:50 am »

Saturday 9th July

Next two.

Distant Glory XII – Redemption of the Warrior (Part 8)

Onion Knight
Blimey, and I thought Zidane’s playthrough was easy. This just further reinforces my belief that Onion Knight is one of the best characters in the game (though “experts” who have actually fought human players would probably disagree. ¬_¬). He’s fast, he’s a small target, has numerous Brave-HP chains, and deals high damage in both of his EX Modes. Both the Lady and Warrior of Antiquity fell pretty easily.
Two points to finish off with: Exdeath did 666 damage to me with his first Almagest attack, and Onion Knight has joined Bartz in the level 100 club.

Cloud of Darkness
CoD is probably the only mage-type character I genuinely enjoy playing as. However, that’s not to say that this playthrough was a walkover. I had to retry a few times against the Lady of Antiquity because I kept getting caught in her HP attacks. Maybe I just got sloppy, I don’t know. Still, I was able to give pretty much as good as I got, due to mainly relying on O-Form and Wrath Particle Beams. CoD lends herself well to the “lots of weak HP attacks” strategy, due to the sheer variety of them at her disposal.
The same strategy helped me through the Warrior of Antiquity battle, although this time I relied almost solely on O-Form Particle Beam. I don’t care that it was spamming, it’s her best HP attack, and anyone who disagrees is a pancake.
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« Reply #1001 on: 12 July, 2011, 06:46:45 am »

Saturday 9th July

Next two.

Distant Glory XII – Redemption of the Warrior (Part 9)

Terra
Terra ended up having a brief conversation with Kefka at the beginning of his boss fight. His opening quote was “Come on home to Papa!” (a reference to when Terra was under his control), and the first attack the first attack I used, right after the fight started, was Blizzara, for which her quote is “Get away!”. Pretty fitting, right?
The battle against the Lady of Antiquity was pretty easy. I just had to dodge each of her HP attacks and use Meltdown right afterwards, as she wouldn’t have time to recover.
Similarly, the battle against the Warrior of Antiquity was surprisingly easy, especially considering I’m not a great Terra player. I lost most of my HP at one point during the match (around 8500 down to about 2900), but doing so allowed me to dash in close and Break him with Blizzard Combo, giving me enough BP to finish the job, as an earlier EX Burst roughly halved his HP, bringing him down to just over 3700 (Holy/Holy Combo becomes much more useful in EX Mode). All I had to do was catch him, as he’s frustratingly good at dodging when not in EX Mode. But I finally managed to hit him with a couple of low-power Tornadoes (between his EX Modes) and finish him off with a Meltdown. Sorted.

Kefka
The battle against the Lady of Antiquity was rather… awkward. Thanks to her ridiculously good dodging skills, a trait she shares with the Warrior of Antiquity on level 5, and fast movement, none of Kefka’s normal HP attacks had much hope of hitting her. Well, unless I used Havoc Wing after blocking (which I unfortunately didn’t think of until writing this up *sweatdrop*). So instead I focused my efforts on Breaking her and building up my BP, which Kefka can be pretty good at, then hitting her HP in a Chase Sequence after blocking her staff-throwing attack. I did this twice, then decided to finish her off in EX Mode. Kefka in EX Mode is a beast with, I think, a BP game rivalling Squall’s. Normally when in EX Mode I like to activate Kefka’s EX Burst with Forsaken Null, which actually homes in on the enemy while in EX Mode. Unfortunately, LoA’s stupid dodging meant she could avoid it for a surprisingly long time. Still, I caught up with her in the end, just before my EX gauge ran out.
The battles against Sephiroth, Ultimecia and their copies were very annoying. Kefka really is pretty **** in the air. He just falls too quickly to be of any real use, so on stages with comparatively little solid ground, like Planet’s Core and Ultimecia’s Castle, I find it especially difficult to win.
Well, congratulations to Kefka for having the fastest victory over the Warrior of Antiquity so far (except maybe for Tidus, as I can’t remember exactly how long his took). Seriously, it only took about a minute, maybe even less. See, what WoA tends to do is use a simple Brave attack on you at the beginning of the fight, and activate EX Mode as soon as you block it. But what I did was use Extra-Crispy Firaga (a fast spell that usually causes a Chase Sequence. It was the attack I mostly used post-block on Lady of Antiquity earlier in the playthrough, as it happens) immediately after blocking, Breaking him and sending us into a Chase Sequence. I failed to hit him with an HP attack, so I made do with knocking him away with a Brave attack, further building up my BP, and retreating to get an EX Core that had just spawned. I then EX-blocked his next attack on me and used Havoc Wing to start my EX Burst. I Broke him again during the Burst and took care of the last of his HP. And this was just on my second attempt. I really didn’t expect to do so well with Kefka here, so it was a pleasant surprise.
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« Reply #1002 on: 13 July, 2011, 04:16:26 pm »

Wednesday 13th July

Next two.

Distant Glory XII – Redemption of the Warrior (Part 10)

Warrior of Light
I managed to hit  the Lady of Antiquity about six or seven times in a row in a single chase sequence, allowing me to Break her from about 2600 BP (the initial strike did about 700 damage as a critical hit, the rest did about 300). Seriously, she just failed to dodge at all.
The Warrior of Antiquity battle was almost as quick as Kefka’s. Probably would’ve been even quicker if it weren’t for his stupidly good dodging and blocking after EX Mode. I hit him almost immediately with Shield Strike, started a Chase Sequence, knocked him against the wall with a Brave attack, hit him with Rising Buckler while he was recovering (Breaking him in the process), chained that into Bitter End,  and activated EX Mode before the HP damage was dealt, throwing us into an EX Burst. He was brought down to about 600 HP, so it was just a matter of getting in a lucky hit with that final HP attack, which turned out to be Shining Wave. Pwnage.

Garland
I was almost defeated by the Lady of Antiquity due to being hit by a couple of her HP attacks in rapid succession, dropping me to just over 500 HP. Luckily by that point I’d managed to get her HP down to just over 1000, so all it took to beat her was a fortunately-timed Cyclone attack and an EX Burst finish.
As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, I’ve often been rather worried that my Garland’s damage output isn’t really as high as it should be, most likely due to poor equipment choices and a lack of any accessories. I was pleasantly surprised, then, at how much damage I was able to do to the Warrior of Antiquity. I was able to Break him in a single post-block combo (plus Wall Rush damage), and one further block and Earthquake attack later he was down to a little under 2000 HP left. I then ended up getting Broken by him afterwards (he’s a quick bugger) and losing about 4000 HP after accidentally dodging into a Guilt attack. Still, I dealt him a few more strong Brave attacks and finally got in a shot with Cyclone, allowing me to finish him off with my EX Burst.
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« Reply #1003 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.

----------

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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« Reply #1004 on: 02 August, 2011, 04:14:08 pm »

It was a pretty good read, good that you're done with Dissidia now.
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