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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)
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« Reply #120 on: 08 October, 2009, 10:32:11 pm »

New entry: Thursday 8th October

Character Impressions 9 – Exdeath and The Cloud of Darkness
Exdeath
People have told me that Exdeath is the hardest character in the game to use properly, and having played as him I’d have to agree. For starters, he’s by far the slowest character in the game. Seriously, it’s almost ridiculous. It also explained why CPU Exdeath opponents dodge around so much, because it’s actually a faster way of moving. The fact that he can teleport around the arena with his Reverse Polarity move somewhat makes up for this, however. Exdeath’s fighting style is almost entirely defensive, and four of his Brave attacks consist of four different levels of blocking. There’s Low Block (a quick move that guards against frontal magic attacks), Mid Block (similar to Low Block except that it guards against most frontal Brave attacks, magical or physical), High Block (which lasts for as long as you hold the O button and guards against almost all frontal Brave attacks), and Omni Block (a surrounding guard that blocks all Brave attacks and most HP attacks, but only for the instant that you press the button). The idea behind Exdeath’s fighting style is to use one of these block to guard against an attack and quickly launch a counterattack by pressing the O or Square buttons straight afterwards. I’m not sure how which attack you counter with is decided, as they seemed to be pretty random. What’s interesting though is that you can counterattack with moves that you don’t even have equipped. Anyhow, Exdeath only has these Block moves available as aerial attacks until he reaches level 20, when he finally learns Low Block as a ground attack. The other Blocks follow later, but I wasn’t able to get any as I’m just levelling the villains to level 20 for the moment. This meant that if I wanted to block an attack, I’d have to quickly jump and then use the command, which was annoying. It was satisfying when I did manage to land a counterattack, though. One of the main problems was that a lot of my CPU opponents had a tendency to spam HP attacks, which I wouldn’t be able to guard against until I learned Omni Block, and even then my timing would have to be spot-on. The final problem came from one opponent in particular: Ultimecia. Normally I have little difficulty against her, but I found it almost impossible to block against any of her attacks. Her projectiles just come too fast in rapid succession. Maybe I’ll do better against her now I have High Block, but still… it sucked.
Exdeath’s HP attacks are decent enough. Delta Attack pretty much doubles as a guard, so you can potentially guard and counterattack in just one move. It’s rather quick as well, so it’s pretty good for catching opponents off guard. The other move I tried, Almagest, involves him moving quickly (quickly for Exdeath, anyway. About normal running speed for other characters) towards the opponent and engulfing himself in a field of energy, causing an explosion. It’s dodgeable even at point-blank range, when the enemy is actually inside the energy field (something I don’t really understand, but whatever…), but it still hits pretty often, and sometimes the enemy accidentally dodges before the actual impact, so they still get caught in the blast.
I didn’t really notice Exdeath’s EX Mode bonus. According to my game guide, the time necessary to perform a guard (which probably includes his Block attacks) decreases, it allows you to counterattack more quickly and more times, but I didn’t really notice anything… Exdeath’s EX Burst is one of my favourites in the game. This partly because of its awesome name (The laws of the universe mean nothing!), but also because of the animation should you succeed. What you have to do is hold down the O button until the bar on the screen to reduce it, and release the button when it reaches zero. The timing has to be accurate otherwise he’ll cast the weaker Grand Cross attack. If you get it right, however, he casts Neo Almagest, which involves sending the enemy into the Void and sealing the entrance by crushing it in his hands. This animation combined with the lines he says makes for an awesome EX Burst.

Don’t believe me? Check it out and judge for yourself:


The Cloud of Darkness
Cloud of Darkness was a refreshing return to form after Exdeath. Sure, she has gimmicks of her own like any villain character, but she’s much more normal than he is. Unlike most characters, Cloud of Darkness’ fighting style revolves entirely around her huge number of HP attacks. She has a larger HP movepool than any other character in the game, nine including a pair of the same attack, but by contrast she only has two Brave attacks. These Brave attacks are where her gimmick comes into play, as she can pull off one of four different attacks depending on the timing of your button presses. To explain better, let’s take her ground Brave attack, Tentacle of Pain, as an example.

Option 1: Pressing the O button once
Her tentacles will swipe at the enemy 3 times. If you don’t press O again until the attack finishes, that’s all that happens.

Option 2: Pressing the O button again at the first swipe
If you press O again straight after the first press, around the time of the first swipe, her tentacles will dart forward a bit and strike the enemy a few times, initiating a chase sequence. This has better range than the normal attack.

Option 3: Pressing the O button again at the second swipe
If you press O again around the second swipe rather than the first, her tentacles will rush forward and slam into the opponent, often causing a wall rush. This also has the bonus of damaging the opponent for as long as they have contact with the tentacles. This attack has better range than both the previous ones.

Option 4: Pressing the O button again at the third swipe
If you press O at the third swipe rather than the first or second, CoD will conjure several dark energy bolts over the opponent. This is the long range attack of the group.

The aerial attack, Tentacle of Suffering, is basically the same but with a few differences. The first option (no extra presses) is exactly the same. The second option (first swipe) only hits the opponent once, but still starts a chase sequence. The third option (second swipe) causes the tentacles to whirl wildly around her, causing a lot of damage (this is one of her best attacks, IMO). The final option (third swipe) sends to balls of energy at the opponent.
As for her HP attacks, I got to try out five of them. Every single one of them is a form of Particle Beam, just with different effects: [Anti-Air] Particle Beam creates four thin beams that shoot upwards around her, [Long-Range] Particle Beam sends out a long semi-homing line of energy beams similar to Warrior of Light’s Shining Wave attack, and [Wide-Angle] Particle Beam fires a mid-range wall of energy that sweeps over the enemy. Those are the ground attacks I tried out, and were the most immediately useful, though they had fairly long start and finish animations. The aerial HP attacks required a bit more tactical thinking. Aura Ball sends out a large, slow-moving energy sphere, and CoD can lay up to five at a time by holding down the Square button. These energy spheres do nothing but home slowly in on the opponent until you release the button, at which point they detonate and cause damage. If you hold down the button for too long, namely a few seconds after the last ball is deployed, they’ll explode automatically. CoD can move slowly around while deploying the spheres, so you need to try and “trap” the opponent in them, otherwise they’ll just dodge the blast. It’s a pretty circumstantial move, but it’s satisfying to pull off properly since CoD laughs when the sphere’s explode, so if you use it as a finishing move, you get her laugh playing over the enemy’s death scream/quote. The other aerial move I tried out, [Wrath] Particle Beam eventually becomes available for use on the ground, and is very reminiscent of Exdeath’s play style. It simply consists of a small burst of energy that can block frontal Brave attacks if timed right. If the “attack” is successful, CoD will retaliate by summoning a beam that shoots up directly beneath the opponent, causing HP damage, kinda like [Anti-Air] Particle Beam.
Cloud of Darkness’ EX Mode involves her becoming a green-skinned/haired version of herself that’s similar to her in-game appearance in the DS remake of FFIII. She also loses her cape so you can see just how revealing her “outfit” really is [/perviness]. Her main bonus, called [Null] Particle Beam, basically means she can cancel the recovery times of her attacks simply by performing an HP attack, so this essentially means that you can pretty much chain her HP attacks together if you use it properly. Her EX Burst, Ultra Particle Beam, is pulled off exactly the same way as Exdeath’s, just going the other way. Instead of holding the O button down to reduce a bar to 0%, you’re holding it down to increase the bar to 120%. If you release it too soon or too late, she’ll perform a much less impressive attack. The trick is to actually release the button around 119%, when it just crosses into 120%. If you do it right, you’ll get Ultra Particle Beam in all its shoop da woop-esque glory. If you’re a fan of that meme, you’ll love this attack.



Next time: A Mad Mage and a Knight of Chaos!
« Last Edit: 08 October, 2009, 10:35:42 pm by Mayuri Kurotsuchi » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #121 on: 08 October, 2009, 10:49:05 pm »

About Exdeath, there may be a way to control which counter you uses, as the computer seems to use Algamest a lot. Maybe like Terrra's second Meltdown in EX mode, with a direction when used... I don't know for sure, I didn't played him much yet, but I may test this later.
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« Reply #122 on: 09 October, 2009, 09:39:11 am »

About Exdeath, there may be a way to control which counter you uses, as the computer seems to use Algamest a lot. Maybe like Terrra's second Meltdown in EX mode, with a direction when used... I don't know for sure, I didn't played him much yet, but I may test this later.

Yeah, that was the only thing I could think of. But there rarely seems to be enough time, he counters so fast...
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« Reply #123 on: 13 October, 2009, 10:41:40 am »

New entry: Tuesday 13th October

I've actually had this written up for a while, but there we go.

Character Impressions 10 – Kefka and Garland
Kefka
I’d like to start by quoting Kefka himself and saying that I now hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE Terra. I’ve discovered why the Kefka boss fight in Destiny Odyssey VI was so easy: because Terra seems to have been designed in this game specifically to make things as tough as possible for Kefka users. Or maybe Kefka’s been designed specifically to lose to Terra, I’m not sure. Maybe I just suck at playing as him, but between her irritating battle quotes (“Get away!” “Get away!” “Malevolent Winds!” “Malevolent Winds!” “Sorrowful Waters!” “Get away!” “Malevolent Winds!” etc.) and CPU attack-spamming, the fights against Terra were some of the most annoying ones I had to play while levelling him up. But enough about that…
Kefka’s villain gimmick is that the vast majority of his Brave spells have erratic attack patterns, making them harder to avoid. Unfortunately his attacks tend to have a lag when used or leave him stationary while he performs the attack, making him a fairly easy target. However, his moves seem to have very high attack strength, especially if they score a critical hit. The attacks all have weird names to go with their patterns such as “Waggle-Wobbly Firaga” (Kefka shoots a slow-moving fireball that homes in on the enemy in an erratic way and damages their BP repeatedly when it hits), “Zap-Trap Thundaga” (Kefka conjures lightning bolts around the enemy. The more you press the O button, the more bolts are cast), and “Twisty-Turny Blizzaga” (Kefka shoots a ball of ice that travels along the ground and bounces off walls). Like many other mage characters, all of Kefka’s considerable number of Brave attacks can eventually be used both in the air and on the ground. I found the best way to use these attacks was to fire off as many of them as you can in various combinations as fast as you can to really put pressure on the enemy and eventually trick them into dodging straight into the path of another attack. Also, if you’re feeling brave, you can wait to block a melee attack and counter with one of his faster moves (I found Twisty-Turny Blizzaga to be the best for this). My main complaint about his attacks is that, like so many other mages, it’s fairly hard to gather a decent amount of EX Force from his moves. Also, though this is a movement issue, it might just be me, but Kefka seems to fall very quickly. This is irritating on levels that don’t have “floors” like Dream’s End, Planet’s Core and Crystal World.
I only got to try out two of Kefka’s HP attacks: Havoc Wing and Trine. Havoc Wing is a close-range attack that involves Kefka flipping around and sprouting his EX Mode wings to stab the opponent. It’s fairly fast-moving and he can jump up to hit opponents a fair distance above him as well. I found it to be a good attack to use if you’re brave enough to attempt a close-range “block and counter” manoeuvre. Trine is an attack that, as far as I’m aware, can hit from anywhere on the stage. Kefka summons three triangles to converge on the enemy, the main downside being that the triangles move fairly slowly and your opponent could potentially just jump or dodge out of their reach.
Kefka’s EX Mode is one of the best I’ve used thus far. His main bonus, “Exhilarating Magic” causes all of his attacks to become even more erratic and hard to dodge, which is bad news for the enemy. Projectiles multiply, spells rebound in different ways, and Trine gets cast twice from just one attack, making it harder to dodge. This puts even more pressure on the opponent and makes it more likely that they’ll make a mistake. His attacks also get a boost in power and he scores critical hits more often as well, but those are just general bonuses shared by all characters. His EX Burst, Light of Judgment, is one of the easiest ones to pull off, IMO. All you have to do is memorise the three commands that flash up on the screen then enter them in order. Of course, some people prefer to mess the attack up deliberately as they feel his “failed” attack, Forsaken, looks cooler than Light of Judgment. I’d like to finish by saying that I think Kefka has been very well portrayed in Dissidia. His voice was always going to be one of the hardest to get right, but Dave Wittenberg pulls it off excellently, IMO. Kefka also seems to have developed a Deadpool-esque level of insanity during the years since FFVI’s release, as he now breaks the fourth wall by humming the Final Fantasy victory theme as one of his victory quotes.

Garland
After playing as the fairly technical Kefka, not to mention lots of other mage characters, it was nice to cross over to just smashing things with Garland. While most other villains cast spells or have a weird play style, Garland just beats the hell out of his opponents with a giant sword-thing. It’s a satisfying thing to see. He also seems to be the most basic of the villains, with a playstyle not very different from most of the heroes, just straightforward attacks. Only two of the attacks I tried out had anything technical about them, and that was just a matter of pressing the O button again at a certain point in the attack.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, Garland is the pretty much heavy-hitter of the villains, kinda like Cloud is for the heroes. If he manages to land an attack, it’s going to hurt, especially if it’s a critical hit. A couple of times at later levels, I actually ended up Breaking the enemy with just one critical strike. A lot of his attacks can cause Wall Rushes as well, so that just adds to the hurt. Of course, the payoff for this is that he’s a pretty slow mover (though not nearly as slow as Exdeath, thank god…) and his attacks are reasonably easy to dodge unless used right. He also has no ranged attacks apart from his Blaze HP attack, though he has some physical mid-range options, either by swinging his weapon on a chain like a flail or suddenly charging pretty quickly with his weapon like a lance. Still, it’s pretty satisfying once you do get close enough to crush mage characters. Especially Terra.
One of my favourite attacks of his ended up being Lance Charge, the aforementioned move where he suddenly dashes forward with his weapon pointy-end first. The move by itself usually does very little damage, but if you follow it up with another quick press of the O button, Garland will follow the charge by quickly turning his weapon into a sort of deformed axe and slamming them into the ground, adding Wall Rush damage every single time. Voila, possibly his weakest move becomes one of his best. There was also Round Edge (the Brave attack I mentioned at the end of the first paragraph), a basic three-hit combo unless you press O again right after the last hit, upon which he’ll split his weapon in two and serve up a further combo, often causing wall rush damage if you’re close enough to one.
Garland’s HP attacks could be a bit better, though I did only really try out two of them. I was a bit disappointed with Blaze, as I found it pretty hard to avoid whenever I faced Garland myself, though that was probably just me trying to avoid it the wrong way, as most CPUs seemed capable of dodging it just fine when I actually used it. I must try harder… The other HP attack, Earthquake, was a bit more reliable provided I was close enough to hit the opponent with it. I thought it was quite a good block-and-punish move, even if it was only to hear Garland shout “IMBECILE!” as he countered with it after blocking the opponent’s attack or using the EX-Guard manoeuvre.
Garland’s main EX Mode bonus has a pretty awesome concept, IMO. Indomitable Resolve, for that is its name, allows Garland to pull of all of his attacks even if he’s interrupted mid-flow by your opponent’s attack. He still takes damage, but he doesn’t stagger, flinch or get knocked back unless it was an HP attack. This made Blaze a bit more useful against mage attacks, as I could wait for them to use a ranged move (like Terra’s Blizzaga, for example) and use Blaze while they were still casting. I’d still get hit by their attack, but it’s a small price to pay for damaging the opponent’s HP and possibly going into an EX Burst. Garland’s EX Burst, Soul of Chaos, is another one that’s pulled off by hammering the O button, like Cloud and Sephiroth. If you get a Perfect, Garland strikes the enemy with each form of his weapon (twin swords, flail, lance, axe, and finishing with the basic “sword”), and he finishes it all off by calling his opponent a “miserable insect” while performing the final strike.
I’ve become a bit of a fan of Garland after playing as him. This is partly because of his great look (redesigned from the ground up for Dissidia) and so-ridiculous-it’s-awesome weapon, but also because he’s a breath of fresh air amongst the mage-filled villain side. I know there’s Jecht and Sephiroth as well, but they’re just not the same (though still awesome in their own way). And it doesn’t hurt that he has a great voice actor as well. My only main complaint about him? As far as I’m aware, at no point in the game does he ever say he’ll knock anyone down.


So there we have it. That wraps it up for the villains. I’m not really sure what to do about the blog now, since I won’t be attempting Shade Impulse for a fair while. It could well be that I simply won’t post any new entries unless something significant happens. Significant to me, anyway.
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« Reply #124 on: 13 October, 2009, 11:11:31 am »

As for kefka, I just found how to use him. In close combat... so it explain why Terra is hard to fight, by the way.
Also, interesting fact about Trine: if the opponent is hugging a wall in an angle corresponding to the triangle's approach, insta hit!

But it is not a true ending, as would Taito say in Bubble Bobble... Let's wait for the Character Impression 11!
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« Reply #125 on: 13 October, 2009, 11:15:59 am »

There isn't going to be a Character Impressions 11 for a long time.
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« Reply #126 on: 16 October, 2009, 07:38:21 pm »

Kefka humming the victory theme is pure win.

Also, as I think you said in the first post in the topic, if you aren't planning on playing Shade Impulse for a while, you could write about some other game you're playing, if something interesting comes up.
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« Reply #127 on: 16 October, 2009, 07:40:06 pm »

I suppose... Trouble is, I'm planning to play Dissidia fairly solidly for a while. Other games just don't interest me as much right now.
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« Reply #128 on: 16 October, 2009, 07:45:01 pm »

Well, you could just write about something that you found interesting in Dissidia, then, if something comes up. Doesn't have to be that long, maybe just a little experience you found amusing or something.
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« Reply #129 on: 16 October, 2009, 07:46:22 pm »

I guess... It's just that all my previous entries have been very structured. I don't know how I'd go about writing down just random things that seem to happen...
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« Reply #130 on: 16 October, 2009, 07:49:09 pm »

True... I don't have the brain capacity to think right now, but I'm sure there's SOME way to make it seem structured.
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« Reply #131 on: 17 October, 2009, 12:54:56 pm »

Minor Entry
So I'm levelling up Exdeath and Bartz right now. My god, you would not believe how much of a chore Exdeath vs Exdeath fights are...

Fighting against Terra isn't too bad, though. She's a good character to practice Exdeath's various blocks on. So's Cloud, actually. Then again I've really only been using High Block against them. I should probably try to learn the timing of Omni Block...
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« Reply #132 on: 17 October, 2009, 01:12:06 pm »

Minor Entry: October 17th 7:10pm
YOSH! I just used Omni Block properly to counter an HP attack for the first time ever! It was against Terra's Tornado. That'll teach her not to spam HP attacks...
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« Reply #133 on: 17 October, 2009, 02:02:16 pm »

Minor Entry: October 17th 7:48pm
GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

Okay, Bartz is officially joining my list of most hated opponents. I could just be my poor skills, but the AI with him is horrible to fight against. On the ground it just constantly spams Soul Eater, and on the rare occasion it comes after me into the air (since I can currently only use Exdeath's decent blocks in the air. Thanks a lot, Square Enix... ¬_¬) and I manage to Omni-Block it's spammed Wind Shear attacks, it instantly gains all the BP I took by spamming Holy. I've always hated that attack, but now it's jumped right to the top of the list.

Why? Because in my most recent fight, I was finally doing well. I'd inflicted Break on him and hit him with an HP attack, doing just under 2000 HP of damage, and I had a near-full EX Gauge ready to finish him with my EX Burst. the HP attack had slammed him into the wall and dealt extra damage which, combined with a couple low-damage HP attacks I'd used earlier, brought him down to around just 40HP. I went after an EX Core which totally filled my gauge, and I'd thought I'd managed to dodge his Holy attack. Nope. One, just one, of the projectiles hit me from behind and inflicted Break on me. Of course, Bartz's Ifrit summon then kicked in and multiplied his BP by 1.5, sending it into the 2800's, enough to finish me off. I tried to get out of the way in order to finish him off first, but then he used Flood (another really annoying attack) and OHKO'd me.

I was so close!

And its not just against Exdeath. In most of the matches I've fought against a CPU Bartz, it spams its HP attacks and Holy, which initiates a Chase Sequence where he can inflict another HP attack.

I! HATE! FIGHTING! BARTZ!!
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« Reply #134 on: 17 October, 2009, 02:06:16 pm »

Lulz are to be had here.
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