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SA2's Gaming Blog Topic

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Marie Rose
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« Reply #15 on: 07 July, 2013, 12:11:59 pm »

                                                                  

So the sequel was called Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2, and it pretty much rebooted the series by retconing the True Ending & shifted the focus to four other characters. I also bought this on day 1 (Donít judge me). Thereís Nepgear, who represents the Sega Game Gear & is just as pure-hearted and kind as she looks, Uni who represents the PSP & is tsundere-lite while having an inferiority complex compared to her sister, then thereís Rom & Ram who represent the DS, the blue one is innocent & shy, the red is a troublemaker. Itís funny because one of the complaints in some of the reviews for the first game was that some of the girls were a little young, and so they shift the focus to girls that are younger. Nice. This obviously isnít the kind of cover you can actually show to people though, not that the first gameís cover was that great. At least with the first game, I could make some excuse if a friend or someone saw it (the edited cover, at least), this oneís a lot more questionable.

So early on, the original 4 are fighting some chick called CFW Magic who beats them; along with Nepgear and holds them captive using tentacles (well of course). So IF & Compa show up to save them, only have time to get Nepgear out due to some robot called CFW Judge showing up who no sells Nepgearís super move so theyíre forced to run. Unlike in the first game, Nisa & Gust do join naturally early on. Thereís also 5pb whoís some idol who fights with a guitar, so yeah, sheís good though. I also dun goofed when I said the first game didnít have random encounters. I was thinking of this game when I said monsters just wondered around the dungeon map. Anyway, the CFWs are trying to bring back Arfiore somehow, and the gist of the game is going around the other towns, fighting bosses & convincing the other CPU candidates to join to save their sisters, I donít actually remember very much of the plot. Unlike the first game, the battle system is actually rather good, and so Iíll barely mention whatís good about it whatsoever in the next few paragraphs. I guess Iíd compare the movement in battle to games like Disgaea, but thatís a bit of a stretch. I also really liked the battle theme.



Unfortunately, HDD is almost useless in the second game. It costs like 100 SP just to transform (which you gain from doing attacks in normal battles) & I think it naturally consumed 20 SP every turn, canít remember exactly but the cost wasnít worth it when super moves also required the SP. The damage increase from using HDD was barely even noticeable too, if I have to take notes on how much more damage Iím actually doing since the boost isnít much then thereís something wrong. There was this lily rank system introduced too, where you partner up characters in the back row with ones in the front to use special skills, create specific items etc. As I just mentioned, thereís a synthesis shop too to make items, weapons & armor you canít buy & some require getting a high affection rate with another character which can be done by just partnering them up.

Thereís tons of different endings in this game depending on getting Nepgearís lily ranks above 5 with certain characters, those being the Normal ending which meets no special requirements, Planeptune ending (having Neptuneís lily rank with Nepgear being over 5 as well as the highest which obviously shouldnít be very hard + having 70% shares), Lastation ending (Having Noire & Uni being over 5 & the highest plus Lastation having 70% shares), Lowee ending (Blanc, Rom & Ram), Leanbox (just having Vert as the highest), human ending (IF, Compa, Nisa, Gust & 5pb), the True Ending (requiring everyoneís lily rank being above 4 & all four places having global shares over 15% while Arfioreís global shares being below 40%) and the one ending almost every fan seems to hate, the Conquest ending (which takes the longest to set-up and is best to do early since it gives Nepgear one of the best swords in the game. Didnít even know she could use the sword till I saw it in my inventory hours later, thought it was purely a plot weapon). There are many events with characters towards the end of the game that make it a lot easier to increase Nepgearís lily rank with other characters.

One annoying thing regarding shares is that the quests donít split them equally, for instance, thereís many more quests which take shares from certain cities in Lastation and give it to Planeptune, but little to no quests to transfer those shares back. Due to a few S-rank quests that had this and had outfits as rewards, I nearly got screwed over trying to go for the Lastation ending. Fortunately I knew to keep multiple saves when playing RPGís so I could load a file from an hour earlier to get the ending. Oh, and like in the original game, you donít get the goddesses back till like ĺís into the game after going back and fighting CFW Magic again, and though itís supposed to be a hopeless boss fight, itís still possible to win but the reward isnít worth it. But sheís beaten in a cutscene after when the original 4 are freed, then Neptune naturally joins but the other 3 require getting their main cityís shares over 50% before joining. Getting characters anywhere near level 99 takes ages compared to the first game, hell, there was a free dlc which opened up three islands that had stronger enemies that gave far more xp than any others & it still took like 6-7 hours grinding there. It was mainly to fight the strongest boss in the game, thatís an arena fight in a coliseum you unlock towards the end of the game.

During grinding my main party became Nepgear, Neptune, Noire & Blanc, and while the original 4 had superior stats to other characters, they barely had any special moves. But I have no loyalty to characters I use for most of the game, if others have better stats; youíre going in the back. This game also has a broken super just like the original had with Neptune Break, but Neptune Break isnít in this one (a free dlc later did apparently give the original goddesses more special moves later on but I was completely done with the game by then). Itís a special move called Violet Shwestern



I deliberately chose the non-HDD version. Those angles are far more blatant in the third game. The move requires seeing a few events between Neptune & Nepgear in Planeptune to learn the move but those events arenít hard to miss, then they have to be partnered up. When Nepgear is the one using the move, itís not that great since its only 5 hits and thereís a damage break limit of 9999. Nepgearís innate ability for having her as a characterís partner is to allow that character to go above 9999 in a single hit. So at high levels, with Neptune using the move with Nepgear as her partner, I was regularly doing 300,000+ damage at like level 80. When I fought Delphinus, the strongest boss in the game, I had IF use 2 items on Neptune that gave her 200 SP then used the move twice. I won the battle in under a minute. Everybody was level 99 and he was the last guy right before I fought the final boss on the true ending path but still, and itís obvious what happened.

ďAlright, Iím back to fuck shit up as the final boss. Iíve got many strong AoE moves; I get stronger when low on health, Iíve got a second monstrous form where I become a motherfucking beast from the fifth dimension, I also get-ď

ďNope. I got Violet Shwestren. Stay free.Ē

And so I stomped, yet again. The End.
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« Reply #16 on: 09 July, 2013, 02:51:47 pm »

                                                                   

Finally at the third game so after this I no longer have to talk about it. I also bought this on day 1 yet again (Youíre judging me, arenít you? I swear it wasnít an intentional thing; I just had a lot of money on me when these games came out. Well, I was low on money at this point but I knew this one was good). This one went back to having Neptune as the main character since a lot of fans said Nepgear was boring in comparison, or so I heard. Plus, unlike in the first two where the other 3 goddesses arenít available until near the very end of the game, they make up all of the playable characters. Thereís only a few new ones but they all have a HDD form (at least until DLC), and HDD is actually worth using in this game. All the human characters are gone and good riddance, fuck them. The game takes place in an alternate universe for a majority of  the plot due to spoiler details and there isnít much difference aside from Noire, Blanc & Vert having somewhat different clothing & such (Noire is more obnoxious, Blanc is more sociable & less prone to violence etc.) though Planeptune has a different goddess called Plutia in that dimension (or Pururut in JPN) whoís a ditzy, lazy & carefree person who just wants to have fun & sleep so naturally she & Neptune get along pretty fast. Plutia & Noire join very early on then the rest overtime.

The little menu things added were mainly challenges that functioned like achievements but werenít and gave permanent stat boosts (like reviving a certain character a number of times, walking in dungeons using that character etc.), and the HDD armor customization to mix & match pieces for different stat boosts. They had that in the first & second game, but it matters a lot more in the third game & can really make a difference in fights. Plus, you get far more HDD sets than in the previous games, and most are handed to you over the course of the story. Blanc probably gets the most, considering the amount of consoles Nintendo have (and some are really modelled after the look of the console like the SNES armor has the button layout & all). Going HDD takes 20% of a characterís maximum SP and doesnít take more to maintain it every turn now. Super moves are now done using an EXE gauge which becomes available from chapter 3 if I remember correctly and goes up to a maximum of 4 gauges that increase 1 bar every chapter, and you build it by using multi-hitting attacks. Thereís a shit ton of tag-team EXE skills too, pretty much every character has some, and some have an EXE skill with 4 specific characters. Most of the ones that require 2 gauges suck though, thereís honestly no point using supers above 1 gauge most of the time, most level 2 supers do less damage than a characterís level 1. I also love the theme that plays whenever you use an EXE skill:



Thereís one with Plutia in place of Neptune, as well as one for the main characters of the second game but whatever. Might as well mention a broken super while on it. While Neptune has Neptune Break as her level 1 EXE skill (which mentions the move breaking the game as its description) and can naturally go beyond the damage limit without accessories, its Noireís Infinite Blades EXE that takes 1st place partly because Noire has one ability that Neptune doesnít: Ignore Enemy Trait. Since a lot of enemies are machines, physical attacks donít do full damage against them. IET bypasses all that shit and does full damage regardless of what resistances they have. Not to mention, Infinite Blades hits all enemies on the map & debuffs them, Neptune Break doesnít.

ďAlright, Iím a badass mean machine, about to fuck up these girls. Got a whole bunch of-ď

ďNope. I got Infinite Blades. Stay freeÖis what Iíd say if you didnít have so much health.Ē

Enemies have a shit ton of health in this game compared to the first two, or at least its more noticeable. Sure, you had to break their guard in the other two, but it didnít take that long knocking it down, it takes quite a while here. Pretty much no point busting out EXE skills till that guard is down then you go all out before that guard starts recovering piece by piece on the enemyís turn. This is also the first game in this series where Iíve had to grind in the storyline to progress. It was really early too. Couldnít defeat a boss with Neptune & Plutia alone in chapter 2, so I had to go buy rings to up my health and grind a few levels. I felt confused, having forgotten itís an RPG because there was never a point in the first two where the game basically said, ďYou too weak, son. Go back to that last area & kill shit for half an hour.Ē Bosses get tough later if youíre not grinding, or doing the quests which require you being stronger than the story is expecting you too anyway. Pretty much every chapter youíll get a quest or two telling you to go fight some rare powerful monster. Of course, the game doesnít tell you shit about where it spawns. Thatís where the scouts come in.

You get a few guys that you send to explore dungeons and come back overtime to tell you what they find. Could be some items, an opportunity to increase drop rates there, alerting you of rare monster spawns, and sometimes they find fuck all. Iím not sure whether paying them tons increases chances but they level up the more you use them which increases their chances of finding shit anyway. The things that need killing for quests are usually better than storyline bosses at that particular moment so I usually needed the best stuff available in the shops, being higher levelled and so on to beat them, but they werenít that hard. Thereís one rare monster in particular called the Gargoyle for a quest in chapter 4, whoís not reasonably beatable on a first playthrough unlike the others. Sure, itís possible but the effort required is way beyond what some grinding and better equipment can achieve. On a second playthrough, he was the only enemy who put up a fight (never killed any characters but he sure tried). Thereís also a lot of optional dungeons that can only be discovered using scouts & theyíll also sometimes recruit newer scouts too. The optional dungeons will usually be far above your level when you find them. Twice I would visit a new dungeon and get curbstomped by the first enemy, or watch it no sell my attacks, try to run & be denied because the game doesnít believe in a tactical retreat, so I had to save every time I visited these optional dungeons. They never say whether itís safe to explore the area at your current level either.

Any other complaint pales in comparison to my biggest one though: The drop rate system. Good lord is it bad. Itís mainly concerning the tough spawn enemies. Later on, theyíll be many quests wanting you to track down a rare powerful monster, and collect 3 of the special item that it drops. The monster which takes 3-4 minutes whittling down and has a drop rate of like 10%. You can imagine how frustrating that is. There are game ďchipsĒ to increase the drop rate, but I swear they werenít even tested because they barely work. Drop rate chip lv1 or lv5, doesnít matter: Whether the character using the chip killed the enemy, whether multiple characters are using them, whether they were part of an attack that killed the enemy. Shit doesnít matter. Hell, one time I kept fighting a large enemy with a drop rate lv2 chip that dropped nothing the first 4 times. As soon as I took it off, I got 2 drops. Immediately, 2 drops. Shit is faulty as hell. Oh, the lv5 drop rate chip comes from a tough enemy spawn too. Yeah. Since I mentioned chips, Iíll get to that. You get chips doing all sorts of things: Enemy drops, finding them in dungeons, storyline given chips etc. There are yellow, blue & red kinds and the combination of chips are burned onto CDs to be used. Some CDs will have say, slots for a red lv5 chip, lv4 blue & lv3 yellow, or just lv3 blue & lv3 yellow, depends on the CD. Thereís around 24 or so for a majority of the alphabet.

Aside from the very first, you get CDs by collecting large medals, which are gotten from beating those rare powerful monsters. Since you only get 26 CDs, you gotta be careful which chips you put on the discs. You can also give the discs names after burning the chips. Oh, using certain combinations of chips will give an extra effect too. At first I put down dumb ones like disc-kun then I eventually used names for particular discs depending on what I wanted them used for, and Iíll list them all:

Disc-kun - (Physical Defense Lv1 & Drop Rate up Lv2)
Floppy-Woppy - (EXE Charge Lv1 & Physical Defense Lv1)
Disc-san - (Same as F-W)
Golden Girl - (Physical Defense Lv2 & Drop Rate up Lv3)
Booster Gold - (EXE Charge Lv1, Animal Defense Lv2, Lily up Lv1 & EXE Gauge Boost Lv5)
Exp - (Physical Defense Lv5 & Gained EXP up Lv3)
Media Lily - (EXE Charge Lv1, Magic Defense Lv1 & Lily up Lv4)
Hopefully Decent - (Critical Rate Lv4 & Drop Rate up Lv5) Ė The point where I realized how bad the drop rates were
The One - (Critical Rate Lv1, Plant Defense Lv1 & Gained EXP up Lv5)
Prep Time - (Physical Defense Lv4 & Gradual EXE fill Lv4)
Skyfall - (Post-HDD SP Drain Lv2, Physical Defense Lv4 & Gained EXP up Lv3)
The Grinder - (Skillseal Immunity, Physical Defense Lv2, Lily up Lv5) Ė Lily rank grind, same with next two
Grind The Love - (Critical Rate Lv2, Physical Defense Lv4 & Lily up Lv5)
Love Grind - (Virus Immunity, Physical Defense Lv4 & Lily up Lv5)
Staying Free - (EXE Gauge Boost Lv5)
The Heart - (Break Damage Limit, Physical Defense Lv4 & Lily up Lv3)
Hope - (Break Damage Limit, Physical Defense Lv2 & Drop Rate up Lv5)
Sensation - (Critical Rate Lv4, Physical Defense Lv4 & Gained EXP up Lv4)
Revengeance - (Critical Rate Lv3, Physical Defense Lv5 & Gradual EXE fill Lv4)
Fate - (Paralysis Immunity, Physical Defense Lv4 & Gradual EXE fill Lv4)
The Infinite - (Break Damage Limit, Physical Defense Lv5, Drop Rate up Lv5)

Itís also a shame you canít check out the costumes & accessories in the shop before you buy them just to see how they look, since thereís so many & theyíre not cheap (No, Iím not talking about things like swimsuits. How rude to assume such a thing. Plus it would be very inappropriate to go running around dungeons & fighting monsters in such things). So yeah, Iím done. This went on far longer than I was expecting, but shit happens.
« Last Edit: 09 July, 2013, 02:54:09 pm by Peac0ck » Report Spam   Logged

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Yare yare daze


« Reply #17 on: 09 July, 2013, 10:10:35 pm »

I'm judging you.
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« Reply #18 on: 10 July, 2013, 01:45:39 am »

How dare you, sir.
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« Reply #19 on: 15 July, 2013, 05:36:42 pm »



Since Iíve talked about how much I hated DMC 2, I suppose I should talk about the other two. Until I bought the DMC Collection Iíd never played a DMC game. It was one of those series I missed out on during the PS2 era (God of War was also another series). Iíd regularly hear shit about how DMC was so balls to the wall hard & that itís for hardcore players & itís comparable to Ninja Gaiden 2 etc., just making me less likely to check it out when the collection was announced. Then I eventually watched DSP play Shotgun May Cry & I liked the look of it. I eventually bought it early December & thankfully it was nowhere near as hard as people make it out to be (at least until DMD). Didnít take me long to beat it either since I had some idea of what I was doing. Iíve always thought the secret missions thing was stupid though, especially the placement of some of them & completing the task of some requires you to know a certain method or have a specific move. Killing the 3 shadows wasnít even that hard once you get their pattern down, did it on my first try (not bragging or anything, just saying). As Iíve said before, the combat is pretty wooden & stiff as well as there not being many combos, at least not ones the game will ever tell you. Sure, using the guns doesnít net many orbs needed to upgrade but unless youíre killing enemies with an A or S combo, the extra orbs are insignificant. Once I found out rolling after firing the grenade launcher negated the reload time, I was constantly doing it, not like I wasnít gonna gain enough orbs to get all the moves in 1 playthrough just through combos.

Hard mode wouldíve been far harder if I didnít increase the health bar from all the blue orbs found in random spots & secret missions, not to mention they force you right into a hard mode playthrough as soon as youíre done. Dante Must Die was pretty much a slightly easier Hard in terms of normal enemy placement but now thereís a time limit to kill all enemies in that area or else theyíll activate devil trigger and become a pain in the ass. It only ever happened once early on in some garden area where the enemies kept coming, fortunately I didnít have to fight off the rest. I actually did many runs of normal mode before attempting DMD since if you knew the item placement you could just keep picking up holy waters, vital stars, untouchables etc. to get past a lot of things and I really needed them. Unlike the normal enemies, the bosses are brutal in DMD to where theyíll easily kill you in like 2-4 hits. But no boss could compare to the true final boss of the game: The camera. That thing made DMD far harder than it needed to be and got me killed on many occasions, especially in rooms where walking one or two feet in one direction will alter the angle completely. Nelo Angeloís second fight was unbearable because of it (his third fight had one, but Iíd saved many holy waters purely for that part). On normal and hard, when fighting Phantom Iíd normally stand in his face, tanking the hits & just using stinger till he died, I was curious to try it on DMD and only got halfway since all bosses have like 3 times more health.

Oh, and Nightmare. Good lord, this guy lives up to his name on DMD, his third fight in particular. Fighting the previous bosses inside of him on DMD is almost as bad as fighting Nightmare himself, he took so little damage once his weak points turned red that the fight took ages, and I used so many untouchables on that **** just so it wouldnít kill me in 2 hits. Didnít help I tried not to use too many items because I still had Mundus to come (who I cheesed since I knew exactly what takes him out fast and leaves him unable to do shit). Also forgot to say last time that I actually liked Danteís design in DMC 2 the best, thatís enough compliments for now.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After having played through DMC 2 before I got to 3, it makes DMC 3 which was already a fairly good game look far better in comparison. Since Iíd heard about how hard the third one was, I actually did the first mission over and over for 15 minutes just to grind orbs so I could buy blue orbs and get a decent health bar since I knew Iíd need it. Good thing too since the boss of the second mission nearly beat me when I was done (which later becomes a somewhat normal enemy). Seems to me like the difficulty is more of a result of having so little of anything to start with and you have to face a boss like Cerberus so early whoís actually rather difficult for a boss anyway (at least compared to some others). For a majority of the time playing I stuck with the Trickster style since the roll is honestly kinda shitty, covers little distance & you can still be hit during it. The Trickster dash that replaces it covers a big distance & youíre invulnerable during it, plus you can do it three times at level 3. Aside from having to level the other styles to 3, I only used ones like Swordmaster for those combo statues that only break when your style meter is high enough (the ones requiring a stylish combo or higher I found stupid because some weapons are hard to combo moves with even when using Swordmaster).

While I enjoyed the game, I got a little bored around halfway through due to the backtracking with a few missions and some stupid objectives I had to do making it clear they were just padding, also coupled with me not having taken a break yet. It got my interest back when I got to the Lady boss fight, which surprised me because I didnít think it would be like hide & seek, makes sense though. Then came the laughably easy Doppelganger boss whoís probably the easiest in the game IMO just due to how basic his pattern is. The boss rush after was a little annoying though, sure you can just fight 3 specific fights & get through it quick (those being Cerberus, Beowulf and Agni & Rudra), unfortunately they just had to be three bosses Iím not very good at fighting. Cerberus has an attack or two thatís hard to tell until heís just about to use them, Beowulf has many AoE attacks, heís fast for his size & hits like a truck, and I just never figured out how to counter A&R effectively (I managed to down them on DMD and do like 50% damage before they got back up but I have no idea how). I had less trouble when one of them used the other as a sword. Arkham was just, well, a fucking blob. Couldnít even tell what the hell he was doing most of the time, not to mention they handicap you halfway into the fight which is stupid. I holy watered his ass as soon as the second half started on DMD.

But the final fight, Vergil 3, it was the first time I can actually remember wanting to literally throw my controller at the wall. That fight pissed me off so much. The guy blocks or counters almost everything and spams teleports like crazy. For a while I could barely even touch the guy, then I soon found out the Beowulf weapon was the best way to fight him (the weapon I rarely used up till that point), by doing cannon strikes over & over until I hit him during a point where he doesnít have any invincibility frames since he canít interrupt the kick. It was more annoying because the first two encounters are easy (the second is a little annoying because he keeps doing the dive kick himself). Since I grinded orbs by fighting this **** on easy many times in order to fill up my inventory for hard & above, I had a really easy time with him by the time I got there on DMD. I rarely even used a majority of the items I stockpiled, it was mainly 1 or 2 vital stars on bosses at very hard or DMD. Also another thing, devil trigger sucks ass in 3 compared to the previous games. Strength increase is really minimal, health regen is small & it runs out so fast that you donít get much health back anyway. Speed is good though. Oddly enough, there arenít really enemies that I can look at and immediately go ďThis guy right hereís a cheap fucking ****.Ē (except those Enigma enemies only on hard and above where they suddenly turn into projectile whores & run like pussies when you get close, plus they fire red projectile spikes that can attack me even if Iím in the middle of comboing the guy, because thatís totally fair)

The one thing that makes DMD frustrating isnít the bosses; itís the normal enemies, unlike DMC 1. There you had a time limit to take out enemies before they DT, here you get no such privilege. These guys will DT at the drop of a hat. Even if I kill 1 enemy in a room of 8 guys, the rest will usually DT seconds after. If they got a strength boost & health increase, that would be fine, but they get like 5x more health from it. I literally spent nearly 30 seconds at one point continuously comboing one guy in the corner, of course his buddies didnít jump in to help lest they get clipped & join him. But thatís still ridiculous, I ended up avoiding fights where I wasnít forced to kill anyone just so it wouldnít take 5 minutes to clear the room. Enjoyed it though despite the complaints (aside from DMD enemies).
« Last Edit: 15 July, 2013, 05:57:42 pm by Peac0ck » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #20 on: 24 August, 2013, 03:01:53 pm »

                                                                     

Itís been a while. The last time I posted here was early into Summer, but Iím sure everyoneís been doing their own shit over the last two months. So, I bought 3 games for £10 (Thatís somewhere around $15 for you Americans, thatís right, I know my shit) and those 3 games were Gundemonium Recollection, Gundeadligne, & Hitogata Happa. Theyíre all part of the same collection & were put down in order, plot-wise (not that I gave a shit about that). To be brief, these 3 are shmup games (i.e Shoot-em-ups/Bullet hell/Itís like Touhou but itís not Touhou). While I had my eye on this collection for a little while despite knowing jack shit about the games is that Gundeadligne was a 2-player game. So yeah, my friend and I played that when he came over recently, the same one I played Neo Contra with. Heís the type to generally not to care what kind of game it is as long as it looks fun, so he didnít question it at all. Being abnormal is just how I am, Iíve played some games which no-one here has probably ever heard of, I tend to like characters in shows which people arenít that fond of, I ask the questions that people normally donít think about, I find NTR more laughable than actually hurtful, Iíve liked some games which people generally hate (but I can actually acknowledge that these games are bad) etc. But enough about me, Iíve padded this beginning out enough.

First of all, this game has a dynamic difficulty system known as a ďPhase levelĒ, which increases & decreases more based on how well youíre doing so the game gets harder if youíre doing good, in a God Hand sort of way. Novice only goes between 1-5, Standard starts at 6 & goes to 10, Advanced starts at 11 and goes up to 20, and Demonic starts at 21 (I forget how high it goes). The two playable characters are Eryth (whoís the only playable character in the first game) & Elixirel (whoís the final boss of the first game, chick on the left); they both look like little girls, of course. Thereís a third character called Nagi but you gotta complete the game without continuing (I did that later on). The game lets you practice a level so we did before really starting just to know how to play. You get 3-5 hearts (depending on whether you changed the options) and have to continue if you lose them all. The levels are separated into 4 sections (e.g. 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D) and mini-bosses show up throughout the level like every 2 minutes and drop a heart every time theyíre killed. Enemies randomly drop them too on occasion. The game really started off on the right foot with me just because of the first level theme.



So cash. Also, itís a sidescrolling shooter, not a top-down one. I played as Eryth while my friend used Elixirel, whoís pretty broken in this; the game said sheís for beginners but still. Eryth gets dual pistols to use while Elixirel gets a big laser cannon, so she does damage faster. Plus, Erythís alternate fire is to rapid fire the pistols but her guns overheat if itís held down too long, while Elixirel basically gets the spread shot from Contra. Of course there are bombs but we normally used them in moments where 80% of the screen was covered in shit and there was no chance of getting through it without taking a hit, even now I still have no idea where the specific hit box actually is (I just know its somewhere around the chest area) since Iíd avoid things which I thought would hit me for sure many times when I played on Advanced later which gets pretty crazy at the amount of things they throw at you. Eryth does have a weapon ability where she throws a wheel that slows down time for all enemies if it hits someone, I doubt Elixirel had a much better ability since I canít remember what it is and I used her later to do Advanced.

Thereís only about 5 levels (the last is just a long boss fight), and the fourth is purely a boss rush of like 10 enemies which was where we died halfway through it. We continued and got through that then my friend died somewhere into the final boss fight (who had 3 big health bars) and I spent the last half taking her down myself. Itís a pretty short game though, can be finished in around 20-30 minutes if you donít continue. Thereís some connect 4 type mode too called Endless Babel where you line up boxes by shooting others off the row, thereís a trophy for getting to 25 combos too. I couldnít reach it naturally since the timer is short and speeds up like crazy when you pass 10-15 and some steel boxes will appear block off rows completely, couldnít get higher than 19. The one time I decide to stop playing normally and just moved around randomly blasting everything, I managed to get to 28.  I never finished Demonic difficulty, that one throws everything it can at you right from the start, only got to level 2 before I stopped, havenít played it since but Iíve had the level 1 theme stuck in my head for several days.
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« Reply #21 on: 29 August, 2013, 05:13:18 pm »



So onto a game I played through shortly before Summer, just before I played another game after that, which Iím still currently playing and despise it greatly. The special word of today is friendship, because that describes Tales of Graces Fís plot in one word. This is gonna be a long one, I wonít go into plot much since thereís a certain someone whoís still casually playing this. Thereís a childhood arc before the meat of the game which a lot of people didnít like, and looking back on it I can see why, but itís basically about the main character, Asbel befriending this prince called Richard, which kick-starts the friendship angle. The gameís combat (which is probably its best feature) becomes a lot better and more advanced in the adult arc. It has one of the best combat systems in the Tales series, I mean I can barely remember the Symphonia games since I played them so long ago, so I canít point out what makes it the best BUT IT IS. A lot of people say the combat is really good too so thatís gotta be proof. Iím not sure if one of the other Tales games I know nothing about did this kind of thing before, but most of the buffing the characters get are from levelling their titles, but Iíll get to that soon. From left to right, the characters are Asbel, Sophie, Hubert, Cheria, Richard, Malik & Pascal.

You fight using CC (Chain Capacity) and all moves require it (dashing does too if I recall correctly). You start off with a very little amount (5-7) whereas one full length A-Arte combo takes around 9-10 CC, but over half the artes are gained through titles from story progression, or just a reward from some random title on the list since the character doesnít have the move yet. Thereís also dualizing which you do by upgrading weapons and armor by adding shards randomly dropped by enemies that increase its stats slightly and add special effects depending on the quality. I rarely did this since I was swapping out old stuff every hour or so, plus I wanted to save them for some really annoying inn requests much later on. A-Artes are standard moves that are part of a combo while B-Artes are special attacks that have to be set and you can only use 4 at a time with the analog stick (but the AI is allowed to use all the B-Artes at any time as long as the character knows the move) Wasnít till like halfway through the game till I could do long combo chains from the extra CC gained from titles and better equipment.

Thereís 5 difficulties: Easy, Normal, Moderate, Hard, Evil & Chaos, and the game lets you switch difficulties on the fly, and good thing too since the bosses really arenít scaled that well. Very first boss I had problems with was this Slime Queen but there was more due to me not being used to the combat system yet, and the Queen producing minions while I fought the boss. My teammates died to the minions, and I was pretty much screwed. I unintentionally put Asbel on auto-pilot while I looked something up and he played better than I was and the 3 characters I had at the time beat the boss, clearly the AI was a better friend than I was. The biggest bump was a while later on two bosses within the same dungeon. I really should have prepared by taking a bit of time out to grind titles but I wanted to get it done and get the other party members. The first boss, while acrobatic, hard to stun & had long reach wasnít too much to handle for Asbel & Sophie, the problem was Richard & Pascal, or should I say their AI. Both didnít have the stats to really be taking major hits unlike the other two, not to mention numerous times theyíd run right up beside me to attack the boss, they didnít play along like good friends. At least Sophieís AI usually had to sense to attack from behind so we donít both get hit at once.

Honestly, Sophieís AI stands out as being the only real competent one, at least when she did stupid stuff; it was nowhere near as obvious as the others. The next boss was a lot harder than necessary due to the incompetent AI, which was the point where Sophieís AI stood out, since the others kept dying while just Sophie and I lasted much longer by ourselves. I retried after and swapped one member for a healer. One annoying thing about bosses is that they basically get free Mystic Artes, which are just supers. Not to mention the whole becoming much stronger & such at below 50% health etc. Bosses would normally get like 3 Eleth Bursts a fight at which point they canít be stunned at all and they get free supers if they hit me even once. Thereís one particular boss towards the end that a lot of people have problems with, and due to my annoyance with some previous bosses before that point, when I knew the boss was coming up at the end of a dungeon, I immediately put the difficulty down to easy, didnít even care. Though the game handing the bosses free supers arenít the cheapest thing, itís the final bossí mystic arte and in extension, the final boss of the future arc afterwards that really push it. As far as Iím aware, the final bossí mystic arte hits everybody and not just one person. Not sure if distance really matters but for the f arc boss, that mystic arte hits everyone regardless of how far away you are and reduces their HP to 1, thatís ridiculously cheap.

Back to the titles, you have a menu for that and within are many different icons for each unlockable title. I think thereís around 140-160 for each character. You unlock the titles by doing all kinds of things like using certain special moves to hit enemy weaknesses, getting 50 hit combos 5+ times, use low rank artes a lot of times, killing multiple enemies 5+ times, using a certain arte 50-100 times, then using that same arte over 800 times to get another etc. Thereís also some only certain characters get like Cheria getting some for collecting stamps on a point card and cooking the many dishes the game has, Sophie has several depending on the percentage of skits seen (the last is at 95%, which I knew right off the bat Iíd never reach), Hubert has ones like finishing 200 battles on Hard and 300 battles on Evil (which is required to actually unlock Evil and Chaos difficulty) and so on. On each title, there are five effects that are permanently required once you level it up to 5, by equipping it and gaining SP from wining battles. So a title will have buffs like:

1. Eagle Dive Ė Damage +5%
2. Evasion +3
3. Elegant Flash Ė Damage +5%
4. Evasion +5
5. Parry Heal Ė Evade = HP Recovery +3%

A lot of titles generally follow that kind of structure. Basically levelling it up adds all kinds of boosts to skills, stats, special effects like naturally regenerating a little over time, being given brief invincibility after 1 minute into a fight, regain health when landing hits on enemies etc. Knowing this, as soon as I reached the point in the game where everyone finally joins and stops leaving every 5 minutes, I went back to a previous spot, turned the difficulty all the way up for extra SP and grinded out all those titles for 5 hours straight to get all the bonuses I could. While grinding Iíd unlock new titles so Iíd end up grinding those to level 5 too. Just to show how absurd the boosts can get with the massive amount of titles gained and levelled, Iíll just write down Asbels, who has the most:

Physical Attack +234                                         Physical Defense +275
Cryas Attack +328                                            Cryas Defense +231
Accuracy +246                                                 Evasion +282
Maximum HP +1620                                            Defeat Enemy = HP recovery +110
Critical Hit = HP recovery +100                            Near-Death = Chance of HP recovery +15%
Mininmum CC +3                                               Maximum CC+6
CC Recovery Rate Up (24%)                               Poison & Arteseal Effect Down +25%
Paralysis, Burn & Petrify Effect Down +20%           Curse Effect Down +5%
Bird & Insect Resistance +20%                            Beast, Dragon, Fiend & Nova Resistance +25%
20% HP Recovery after 1 min                              Full CC Recovery after 1 min
4 secs Invulnerability after 1 min                         Eleth burst = HP Recovery 60%
Eleth Burst = CC+3                                           Eleth Burst = Physical Ailments Cured
Eleth Burst = Revive from KO                              Eleth Burst = Physical Attack +15%
Eleth Burst = Cyras Attack +10%                        Vs. Petrified, Critical +3
Vs. Slowed, Critical +2                                      Vs. P.DEF Downed, Critical +1
Vs. EVA Downed, Critical +3                               Vs. Max HP Enemies, Critical +5
Level Up = Full HP Recovery                               Near-Death = Damage Dealt +30%
Near-Death = Stagger Time Down +20%               Near-Death = CC Recovery Rate +10%
When Drawing Sword, Iron Stance +3                  Not in Active Party = EXP Earned 40%
Not in Active Party = Post-Battle HP +15%           Not in Active Party = SP Earned +40%
Evade = HP Recovery +9%                                Guard = Damage Down +15%
Critical Damage +50%                                      When revived w/Life Bottle, HP Recovery +40%   
Item Usage Wait Time Down +32%                     Stat Boost Effect Time +80%
Strike Stunned Enemy w/1 CC A-Arte = CC Recovery +4

A few bumped up due to gaining some new stuff much later on but I had a majority of that near the end of the main arc. The others had similar boosts with some tweaks here and there. Thereís an arena called Riot Peak somewhere halfway through after getting everyone which was where I tried out everyone for the first time. Itís just going through waves of enemies with a character of your choice and facing a boss at the end, but with a team since the best way to beat down bosses is with friends. In the future arc, the arena is changed in that you have to go through the six waves using a different character every wave but you choose what order, so youíre forced to use characters anyway to complete that. The order I did that in was:

1. Malik (Though the AI makes good use of him, I canít play the guy to save my life. Heís got slow & awkward standard attacks, and his main strength is his spells, which I can hardly cast with all enemies targeting me)
2. Richard (Not that I canít use him, I just didnít try him very much so I didnít know much about him but heís good in combat)
3. Pascal (Sheís like a magic knight, who has a healing spell as far as I remember but itís mainly for herself. Sheís actually pretty decent & fast, without relying too much on magic though)
4. Cheria (Sheís got some of the best magic in the game but her normal are slow, easily interrupted & have short range on start-up, though some normal speed up her casting time)
5. Hubert (Guy has long combos that stun enemies quite a bit but he tends to leave small gaps in his combos that sometimes allow enemies to get a cheap hit in if they arenít stunned, plus his defense is so low he breaks easier than tissue paper, so he goes down pretty fast)
6. Sophie (One character Iím actually confident using, and never actually tried out until Riot Peak where I realized sheís actually a fun character to play as. Bouncing all over, twirling in circles, doing all kinds of mix-ups, firing laser beams & shit, the girlís fighting style is insane once you unlock most of her artes, some of which are moves copied off the others like Mega Man which she learns just from fighting with them enough. She also has healing spells too)
7. Asbel (I used him like 80% of the time so Iíd obviously save him for last. Heís got a lot of crowd control   moves and can dish out damage rather fast, though he canít heal. Heís like the Mario of the game)
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« Reply #22 on: 12 September, 2013, 02:29:27 pm »

                                                          

I just wanna start off by saying this game is one of the biggest reasons I made this topic, so this is gonna be a really, really long one as Iím gonna go over a ton of things and why I hate this game. For a lot of other people, what they may consider bad I would just call ĎMeh.í Because Iíve experienced so much generic crap that those other examples may look tame in comparison. Iíve played some pretty bad games like Venetica which was so bland I can barely remember it.

Cross Edge was one of the very first RPGs by this company on the PS3 which I found in a shop when I went to Atlanta many years ago (Iíve been to America several times, in fact), most people outside Japan that played that mainly did for the Disgaea & Darkstalkers characters. It was turn based on a 4x3 grid, the instructions were pretty barebones, they just told you the basics then left & you had to work out half the other things on your own, and it had the most demanding requirements for a True Ending route Iíve ever seen with so many "See this specific scene at this limited time when you have no reason to come here,Ē & ďBeat this enemy in the corner during this dual boss fight but donít touch his friend,Ē & ďWin this timed fight within five turns.Ē Without a guide, getting the True Ending was almost impossible unless you wanna play the game through 15+ times, altering tiny things to see what changes, and Iím really not kidding. This company tends to make dirt cheap games so it recycles its dungeon designs & enemies a lot, thereís one particular big blue beast in Cross Edge called a Behemoth and itís pretty much showed up in every game prior to that, just making a quick cameo so it can get its pay check.

I think Trinity Universe was next (wasnít made by Compile Heart though), that was turn based too but no grid. Thereís really not much to say, it had two main characters, it was pretty meh. There were some dark spirits or whatever that would usually show up if you stayed in a dungeon too long and fight you, at which point youíd get raped if itís still early into the game. 2/3ís into it, when they showed up, theyíd normally avoid fighting me, as if they took a moment to check my stats first. It also had this convert shop that opened after you beat one side and could easily be exploited by repeating buying and selling certain weapons to get really overpowered shit.

I played Rainbow Moon at some point (wasnít made by Compile Heart) which wasnít bad but had a lot of things that rubbed me the wrong way (effects like poison were ridiculously overpowered to the point that Iíd ignore bosses if he had minions who could inflict it, almost everything doubled in price when buying stuff for your characters, enemies didnít naturally drop a lot of money so most of it was gotten from finding it in dungeons & selling things, a lot of enemies would ignore characters wide open in front of them to chase another character across the field who did less damage than the others, took ages to level up, you had to manually pick up items before the fight ended to keep them all, final boss was a cheap SOB etc.). Post-game fixed many of my issues and I had a lot more fun with that than the main game.

There were also many small issues with Graces F which I didnít go over since I still liked the game (such as the dualizing aspect in general which is the worst part, waiting for CC to recharge which slows down the flow of combat, my combo suddenly stopping just because the enemy isnít stunned even though it clearly hasnít blocked yet, some of the Inn Requests in general, and how the game tends to get pretty cheap when doing certain battles above Hard difficulty). Iíve already gone over the Neptunia games which may not be that innovative and stand out gameplay wise but I had fun with them and thatís what really counts, having fun (Except the first game, that one sucked. That Behemoth also makes regular appearances here too). Over the many years, Iíve made many game purchases with really small reasons, as I pointed out before when a game just happening to be an RPG will get my attention. One of the earliest games I bought for the PS3 like five years ago was X-Blades (though itís not an RPG) which is ďIncredibly bland hack & slash #427.Ē, I randomly found it in a second hand shop. Only reason I got it was because it was a hack & slash game, and wellÖ

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/27/X-Blades_Cover.jpg

Yup, you guessed it, it was the hairstyle. It was so absurd that I just had to check it out, but I still managed to get some fun out of it even if it was repetitive, which is why bad to someone else would probably just be meh to me. Thereís also the Disgaea games which I love (and Mads was the one who introduced me to the series ages ago), but they started making some dumb decisions as they made more games. D3 had a lot of changes and stuff that seemed a little stupid, and while D4 fixed some of those, it also changed a lot of post-game things that made it even more stupid which is why I preferred D3 when it came to those changes which I wonít go over. This whole build-up may have seemed unnecessary but itíll serve its purpose later. If you wanna hear me talk about a really bad game then youíre in luck.

The biggest reason this game is bad is because of its gimmick, Iíll go into detail. It plays up the appeal of Ďmoeí to use it as a game mechanic. The main character is Chou-Chou whoís apparently an undisputed god and has the ability to charm others into becoming her peons through the power of moe. Her natural personality shown is her egocentric one, but she has a completely different look for each personality that she can change into at will, which you gain early on. Those 8 personalities are Ego, Hyper (or Genki), Bipolar (or Tsundere), Ditz, Terse (Kuudere), Sadist, Masochist & Graceful. Each monster has a particular type of personality it likes. For example, one may like Ditz so you change to that type, walk up to it & play a short mini-game. You have a bunch of phrases come up and youíll have to pick 3 random ones to charm the monster. Itíll also depend on the monsterís mood shown on the right of its status. For instance, one monster that likes Hyper but is sad would probably prefer positive phrases, though success in charming them will also depend on Chou-Chouís overall charm level with her personalities, which is increased by continuing to collect more peons. Thereís only three bars for progress, a yellow bar which when filled up will make the monster drop double the amount of peons & give you items. A blue bar, which means the monster is frenzied & is now stronger but drops 3x the peons. Then thereís the pink bar, which when successfully charmed will insta-kill the enemy & give you 5x the peons. You can end battles normally or through peoning.

Sounds pretty interesting, huh? Maybe at first. I started out with a bunch of overpowered DLC stuff since it was being given free on PSN but I didnít wanna use it & steamroll everything with no effort. The plot of the game is basically, there are six different worlds, and on each world thereís a Hero & Demon Lord and in order to conquer the worlds Chou-Chou needs to charm them both, which starts out normally then it usually came down to the Demon Lord being charmed through some random circumstance & the Hero of that world joining of their free will, but they mix it up quite a bit like in one world the previous Hero & Demon Lord both had a truce to stop fighting but died of old age so the Hero & Demon Lord titles go to two kids who are related to each other. Each world is split into three different continents & to get from one to the other you need to charm the previous continent. Really, I'm not kidding. You do this through finding certain spots on the field & thereís three kinds of charm spots: Personality based ones, money based ones, and grinding out kills to charm the third kind. The last two are pretty annoying, and the first can be annoying at times because your charm level might not be high enough at the time.

Shouldíve mentioned it earlier but in every normal battle, thereís a big blue crystal in the middle and over half a dozen small crystals around the field. The small ones have area effects that only effect characters near them, the big one affects the whole field but it normally doesnít matter very much. The game wasnít too bad until the 3rd continent on Water World (World 4). The fights here were stealing health from my characters before Iíd even have a turn and it kept happening. It took nearly half a dozen fights to realize the large blue crystal had an effect that took HP every turn, until this point that crystal had never been that unfair. Right here, I stopped caring and began using the DLC equipment, and oddly that one place was the only place where the HP stealing naturally occurred. Also, around that point youíll quickly begin to notice that linked normal attacks will do far less damage than average normals, but the game doesnít let you disable linked normal attacks (Mugen Field does but Iíll get to that shit heap in due time). How you buy most equipment from the stores is that you collect the materials yourself & sell it to the shop to be able to buy the item. And you have to do this every time you need more. It gets really annoying late post-game because many of the higher tier equipment can be upgraded & converted into certain stat boosting things like Self Defense (boosts all accessories stats by ?%), Enemy Ability Decay (lowers enemies stats by ?% within a certain radius) etc. To max those out you have to find the materials constantly.

You can actually get stat boosts before you go anywhere by using a combination of soaps & shampoo at a hot spring on Chou-Chouís ship. Yes, really, I'm still not kidding. There was apparently a mini-game here where you scrub the girls that are covered by steam to get the stat boosts. They took that out & after looking it up, the mini-game looks stupid anyway. Also, while I dislike the game, I have to at least say itís good that for once an RPG isnít vague as shit in regards on how to get the True Ending, one of the NPCís gives a pretty clear hint. The requirements are to get an average charm of 20% (Youíll only reach 17% at best normally, so grinding is mandatory) and reach floor 60 in the Mugen Field. This was the point where the game tripped & kept falling down the stairs until it broke its back, it just kept happening. The Mugen Field is this gameís Item World from Disgaea, but far worse. The game basically plays like a hybrid of the Disgaea & Neptunia games, but not as fun.

See, Disagea asked if you wanted to leave every ten floors, Mugen Souls allows breaks at floors 10, 30, 60 & 100. Disgaea was more about speeding through the randomly generated floors; sure you could kill the enemies but only the gatekeepers & Item Bosses every ten floors really mattered. Mugen Soulsí Item World works like every other fight, but with more small crystals. Disgaea had geo symbols that could be destroyed & you could easily tell what effect it had just by being on the colored space. All Mugen Souls crystals canít be hit directly and take ages to peon (and thatís just if youíre successful), you need to take moments out of your time to highlight every crystal (even though thereís a big space in the right corner where you could show what it does without slowing me down) & some tend to have effects even more annoying than Disgaeaís. Disgaea let you leave with a Mr. Gency at any point, Mugen Souls doesnít let you leave on any floor ending in 0. Though to be fair, I should talk about the Mugen Field itself.

When you enter you put down a bet that determines how strong the enemies are & how big the rewards are etc. Thereís three routes, the Normal route (just the generic floors mainly), Tough route (More mini-bosses, ship battles & such), and Eventful route (most of the time thereís no point to this one. It supposedly increases chances of ship battles & event occurrences like a bit of money, but half the time the game throws things at you that stop you from doing certain things in battle). Shouldíve gone over this earlier but ship battles consist of Chou-Chouís ship & another basically playing a game of rock-paper-scissors. There are three starting options & you unlock more to improve the ships stats with peons: Attack, Reflect & Pierce. Attack usually doesnít work unless the enemy is attacking, plain defending or healing itself. Reflect is there for things like attacking. Honestly only Pierce serves a purpose, itís slightly weaker than attack but it goes through everything. Ships will eventually get skills to absorb enemy fire but that only works if the enemy attacks so eventually my only moves became Pierce & Absorb when I was low on HP & I never lost even when the other ship clearly outclassed mine. At floors 10, 30, 60 & 100 you reach a point where they let you do many things like upgrade skills using Mugen points, increase your equipment slots to wear more gear etc.

Thereís also a menu which you can use to handicap yourself with certain things to increase your bonus multiplier. These handicaps are: Linked Attacks Sealed (This is a bad thing?), Physical Skills Sealed, Magic Skills Sealed, Restore Skills Sealed, Enhancing Skills Sealed, Special Moves Sealed, Peon Ball Sealed (Iíll get to this shortly), Item Use Sealed, Party Switching Sealed, Blast Off Attacks Sealed & Form Change Sealed. Some of these handicaps will occasionally be forced on you in Normal & Tough routes, in Eventful this is commonplace. Moving on, like in Disgaea games there is a post-game sidequest but the gap between the final boss & the first fight afterwards is massive. As in, if each of your team is just as strong as the final boss, youíd barely lay a scratch on the first post-game boss & would most likely get one-shotted. It takes a ton of grinding & prep to become strong enough to take them on, but once youíre able to solidly beat the first guy, youíre done. The rest are around the same strength as the first guy (a few towards the end are slightly stronger) so if you can beat one then you can beat the others. Those post-game bosses drop Tier 15 peons, which is the highest tier & the only other place to get them is a battle which only unlocks by getting Egoís charm to 70%, but Iíll get back to that.

Though this wonít matter to many, the trophies in this game are some of the stupidest designed ones Iíve seen, including that one from D4 to see every special move. Getting charm up to 100% & creating a peon ball over 10,000,000,000km go hand-in-hand. You need over a million peons to do those, you can only get 9999 in one category & thereís 101 different peons, you basically have to max every category but one, and many of them donít have a concrete spot where they can be easily found. It was a nightmare using the Mugen Field for some of these, warping out, saving then going in, peoning the monster I need (if it even shows up), save & repeat for 5+ hours. Then do it for a dozen other peons that are found nowhere else. Itís the first time I can say I almost died of boredom and mean it literally. If I wasnít listening to/watching/doing whatever else during this I really would have died from the boredom. You donít know shit about grinding till you attempt this. Grinding in Disgaea never made me want to shoot myself. I had to go through the story & do the post-game battles over a dozen times to max out all the tier 15 peons because itís the fastest way to gain charm levels, which tells you just how slow the process is.

So, time to talk about the peon ball. Itís one of the biggest reasons to collect the peons because it gets bigger depending on how many peons you have. When you get over 100 PP in a fight (you gain it by killing enemies, attacking them, and being attacked even if they miss) Chou-Chou can use the ball & its strength increases depending on the PP you have. Itís easily the strongest attack to use and starts doing millions of damage not too far off. Unfortunately thereís a major flaw here. Thereís a percentage in the top left of the screen that shows when the peon ball is likely to overload, when it does it hits your party. Very early on, this will wound them but not kill them. Halfway into the game, the ball gets strong enough to insta-kill everyone. You may think, ďWell this will only happen if you abuse the peon ball, right?Ē Sure, it increases faster if you spam it, but it increases naturally. Every two enemies you kill increases it by 1% (Mugen Field requires this, remember?), and worst of all, when it overloads is entirely random. Itís sometimes overloaded as early as 62%, I shit you not. Itíll say that the ball will drop on Chou-Chouís next turn. You may be thinking, ďWell the game will let you swap out Chou-Chou for someone else to stop it, right?Ē Nope. As soon as sheís next your team is dead before you even get to move. Peoning enemies lowers it by 2% each, but good luck doing that early on.

Thereís a way to lower the percentage by turning on ďPeon commands.Ē Which is just doing certain things that the game says but this too is luck based. Theyíll sometimes tell a character to use a healing skill, when that particular character doesnít have one. Or tell a character to use a skill which they canít use because theyíre paralyzed, or defeat a foe when the only enemy is a really strong boss youíve been fighting for several turns. Also, you get even one command wrong & the percentage goes up by 2-3% every time, thatís fair, right? Some people may shake their head and say, ďIt adds challenge, dude, you gotta-.Ē NO. Shut the fuck up. I will suplex you through your computer, you son of a bitch. That wordís as overused as the word Ďepicí. You canít just excuse BS & say, ďOh yeah, thatís pretty challenging.Ē Challenge implies some sense of fair play, throwing tough odds at you to put you at a disadvantage but still seeming fairly reasonable. If I was playing Tales of Graces & my team was dominating a boss, then it randomly pulls a super out of its ass and immediately kills the entire team in one move, I consider that total BS, not challenge.

Now to move on, thatís right, Iím still not done. I told you this would be a really long one. The loading times are pretty bad & I usually donít mention loading times, so yeah. On occasions they rival Sonic 06, Iím still not kidding. Even then, these loading times seep into normal fights where you could run up to an enemy and use a skill, and your character will sit there for 5-8 seconds before they actually attack. This counts for the enemies too, the amount of times Iíd get ambushed & have to wait nearly a minute while 4-5 enemies take their sweet time lining up. On that note, enemies on the field are annoying. In HDN mk2, enemies were found roaming around the field just like here, but enemies didnít immediately move twice as fast as soon as they noticed you & couldnít run faster than you can so avoiding them wasnít such a hassle in that game. Another annoyance is random BS that would happen involving small crystals, mainly in the Mugen Field. There were many occasions where two characters would start off right beside a crystal that prevents them from moving. They never even got a chance to move, and these crystals canít be attacked physically. Disgaea never started you off on a spot that prevented you from moving right at the start of a normal fight, only if you ended your turn there, and yíknow, geo blocks could easily be disposed of.

One thing that really pissed me off is that the game doesnít have a decent status screen. Thereís one particular fight towards the end of story mode against two bosses. One can be hurt until around 25% at which point he dodges almost everything, the other canít be touched at all. The game never tells you why this is. Many enemies can just naturally evade your moves too in the Mugen Field. Thereís no small crystal preventing me from hurting that type of monster, it has 10% of the stats that I have, yet I canít hit it. In Disgaea 3, if you couldnít hit an enemy for some reason, you could highlight them, go to their status page & see why your attacks werenít working, I didnít have to guess (or throw a peon ball which negates all BS and always hits). Also, the whole moe system I talked about earlier, half the rules get through out the window by post-game. All the monsters require you have an absurdly high charm level to effectively peon them (At least over 65%), or in terms of the big crystal, a shit ton of luck. Before the post-game battles, the big crystal had a charm limit of anywhere under 20%. In post-game, the big crystal levels as fast as your charms, & the whole thing about choosing 3 specific phrases based on their mood doesnít work anymore. For some reason saying some of the harshest things (but not too harsh) works better, regardless of their mood altogether. You choose any positive ones & that frenzy bar will shoot up faster than The Flash.

Donít hit the topic list button just yet, Iím still not done. Unlike Disgaea that required the Item World, you max out your equipment grade by spending G Up points at a shop. Unfortunately, all the good/great/best equipment take anywhere around 1500-2600 G UP to fully upgrade & a normal run through the Mugen Field will get you anywhere between 1900-3000 G Up if you go 100 floors without exiting. Going through the floors increases your multiplier & points, as does killing bosses & winning ship battles so the points youíll get for leaving around floor 60 will be measly compared to leaving at 100. Now for a big issue, many of the fights past the sidequest fights post-game that open up depending on your charm level arenít designed well at all. Enemies may have had 27,662,374 HP in the last fight, but now they all have so much HP they canít fit it on their status screen, itíll just be shown as 999,999,999. This makes those fights take ages since even with some of the best equipment; itís rare to do more than 20 million damage with an attack. So moe kill them, right? Again, this is the point where requirements to successfully do it are ridiculously high, the only way to get your charm that high is peoning other easier types and thatís gonna take a while. Past 70% charm it can sometimes take hours to go up 1% depending on the peons.

The hardest one, Overwhelming Apocalypse (70% Ego charm) is the only other place besides the starting post-game bosses to obtain tier 15 peons. They apparently have over 100 million in every stat (not even counting the ridiculously high HP). This confuses me because even though Chou-Chou has 3 Sun Goddess Medals equipped (easily one of the best accessories in the whole game) & a DLC armor thatís even better, sheís barely able to reach 50 million. Apparently to go beyond that I need to do peon fusion, which increases a characterís aptitudes & allows them to learn what the other character knew (it doesnít kill them though). Sadly, this would take weeks since the stat gain percentage goes up to 600% and fusing at any decent level (1000+) gives a measly 2% normally. Yíknow, back in Disgaea 3, one of my characters was able to beat Baal in the Land of Carnage just by having the best accessories equipped, and the Class World took around 7-12 hours to fully max out a characterís aptitudes, except in that game it wasnít essential. 

AndÖyeah, I think Iím done. Or at least I canít remember anything else bad at this point. It doesnít take too much for me to somewhat like a game, but it takes a lot for me to actively dislike it. Thereís only three games in the last year that Iíve loathed: DMC 2, Fairytale Fights (which Iím not gonna talk about) & this one. This one gets special treatment because it seems to be going out of its way with its problems as if it was designed purely to piss me off as a person. It takes things from certain other games & tries to put some original gimmick to it, but those other games do it much better. Thereís apparently a sequel to this (doesnít surprise me), I heard they fixed some things but whatever. This game is a jumbled mess of traits thrown into a blender, shall remain on my list of games that Iíd wish I could erase from my memory, made me waste over 500 hours on the POS because Iím a masochist & have the obligation to completely finish what I start to completion, and I donít understand how anyone could like it if youíve actually played decent RPGs. Iíd like to kick the designers in the nuts, and throw the disc into outer space because I despise this game, 10/10.
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« Reply #23 on: 06 November, 2013, 04:26:58 am »

Iím not sure if Iíve actually said it on the site but Iím a fan of Blazblue, despite not really being a fighting game player (weird, I know). The story was the reason I got into the game, and Iíve played through every game except CSII (but I donít think I missed anything important anyway). Then again, towards the end of Continuum Shift the story started to feel pretty convoluted & confusing with so much info about crap being thrown at me so fast, but maybe that was more because I tried to play through everyoneís story modes in one-go, then finally took a break when I got to Hakumen who I think was 4th from the end. I forget who the other 2 after that was but I know Hazama was last, which was good since I didnít have to fight him again for the 15th time in a row. Anyway, Chrono Phantasma came out a long while ago in Japan and people have been importing it but not me since I speak English & canít read half the shit on screen, but a lot of tracks have been remixed, so I figured I may as well talk about some of them cause this topic is a blog. Would be great if they werenít getting taken off Youtube every few hours though.

Ragna Ė Rebellion 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= sqww7ryEg-o Ė Maybe Iíve just heard the original too much but itís hard to notice a big change other than the part before the section towards the end
Jin Ė Lust Sin 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= xhpCPzIqPD4 Ė Like it more, the buildup helps too.
Noel Ė Bullet Dance 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= Y8V55Ymi1MA Ė I liked the first better, the remix seems all over the place.
Rachel Ė Queen of Rose 2 Ė Loved it. Already loved the first version but this fits a little more, except the bit towards the end which they changed greatly, it was much better in the first.
Hakumen Ė Susanoo 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= mDMndrmfyUY Ė Like the first better. This one feels toned down.
Tsubaki Ė Condemnation Wings 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= O0uVRyp03Pc - Already liked it more just from the beginning.
Makoto Ė Alexandrite 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= 2mpFzV3q17c Ė Liked the first better. Thatís it.
Carl Ė Marionette Purple 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= zQvwgFOPyak Ė Liked the first better, this oneís still good though.
Arakune Ė Thin Red Line 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= OWFF6hSRy10  Ė Just seems a little sped up & I donít know why they removed the beginning section. I like both in their own ways.
Valkenhayn Ė Howling Moon 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= wQ3wFFPsGBE Ė Sounds even more like a theme from Castlevania, not that thatís bad.
Platinum the Trinity Ė Active Angel 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= qAonIgYG5fw Ė The first already sounded like it wouldnít seem out of place as the theme for Emerald Coast from Sonic Adventure, this one more so. I like the first better though; the remix removed some bits I liked.
Mu-12 - Sword of Doom 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= wb3yUbQ8ccE Ė Like the first better honestly, donít like that they took out the beginning build-up too, it was good to have there (and not just because it felt fitting when fighting her at the end of abyss mode)
V-13 Ė Awakening the Chaos 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= wunwZUftbNI Ė Like the remix a little better though I already loved the original, that added choir near the end helped too.
Relius Clover Ė Plastic Night 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= _5sOyuKI4Z0 Ė The beginning is so different that it doesnít feel like a remix, like the theme better though.
Hazama Ė Gluttony Fang 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= 1Jtw243bZUU Ė Love it. Then again, beyond the beginning section & the ďchorusĒ, I didnít care much for the original theme. Yeah, I said it.
Unlimited Hazama Ė Endless Despair 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= 4xgiFKm-bpk Ė Love it more than the original, especially the beginning section that seems more 8-bit.
Azrael Ė The Tyrant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= b-A0GjNlUxs Ė wuz gud
Amane Ė God of Dance/BUSHIN/Whatevs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= ZfDuAFFDPGo Ė Iím surprised I liked this one as much as I did.
Bullet Ė Spirit of Fire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= 4vooDKFHcH0 Ė Love it. I must also be one of the only people who doesnít care for the beginning bit.
Kagura Ė Black Agression http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= 5MygRB6bjrw - #PiratesoftheCaribbean, itís aight.
Ragna vs Jin Ė Under Heaven Destruction 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= upDv7UXqs2A Ė Better. Thatís it.
Jin vs Noel Ė Imperial Code 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= -lbXm1kR5Zk Ė Better. Also good that they sped up the intro, was pretty long in the original, chorus was better in the first though.
Ragna vs Rachel Ė White Requiem 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= OP6xBv_xNao Ė Think the first is better, they removed the organ. Unforgivable.
Relius vs Valkenhayn Ė I have no idea what itís called http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= hzc7hJ2MJ7s Ė Didnít think too much of it at first but it really grew on me.
Carl vs Relius Ė X-Matic 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= zQzfeFQ2zAQ Ė Love the shit out of it. Itís really just the original sped up and thatís good enough.
Ragna vs Hazama Ė Nightmare Fiction 2 (good luck even finding it but just watch this if you want http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=tD0Nn4Qzg8s) Ė Original was better. Thatís it.

I expect half the links here to be deleted within a day.
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« Reply #24 on: 06 November, 2013, 09:59:16 am »

I'm personally not a big fan of a lot of the remixes. Maybe its because I've played way too many hours with the originals in the background. The new ones seem almost like they're trying too hard to be Guilty Gear songs rather than their own thing that they originally were. I've heard Kokonoe's Theme though and while its not amazing the production and overall sound is more in line with the older tracks, which I enjoyed.
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« Reply #25 on: 06 November, 2013, 10:10:23 am »

Yeah, I also heard a few other people say the same about the Guilty Gear comparison. A lot of the theme changes seem rather unnecessary.
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« Reply #26 on: 06 November, 2013, 10:17:13 am »

Which is weird considering there's a new Guilty Gear coming out so they'd be better off keeping the two with their own quirks and styles rather than bringing them closer together. Maybe that's just me though.
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« Reply #27 on: 07 November, 2013, 02:08:13 am »

So I wouldn't be wrong in assuming Arakune is your main, right?
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« Reply #28 on: 07 November, 2013, 09:29:58 am »

You are correct, sir.
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« Reply #29 on: 24 November, 2013, 11:17:45 am »

                                                                       

So like 2 weeks or something ago I finally got round to playing through this. Itís old as fuck by this point but whatever. I liked it the most out of the 4 DLCs, it was a lot funnier than I was expecting it to be, laughed out loud many times. I played through it on Normal since Iím a faggot and prefer my shields to function like shields and not tinfoil that appears to be a shield. There were a few stupidly designed side missions like the last bits of the crumpets mission with one placed halfway up a lift where you can just barely reach it if you jump/fall perfectly. There were two side-missions I just didnít bother with: An escort side mission early on (I know theyíre generally awful but I had hopes) where you protect some tree monster while it destroys six huts, and the game throws tons & tons of enemies at you with many of them carrying bombs & if they explode anywhere near the tree it loses like 25% of its health & it doesnít regen either. There was some long ass tower defense side-mission after finishing the main story where you gotta protect this thing through like 4-5 waves of enemies or something, after taking like 4 minutes to finish wave 1 and noticed I had several more waves, I just killed myself.

Before this there were these 5 arena challenges I had to do, but they werenít as good as in the original game because thereís trapdoors, buzz saws, lasers, fire etc. covering like 75% of the area. There was barely any safe spots to stay at, i.e. areas with a lot of breathing room where I wonít get killed by a random hazard, cheap insta-death trapdoor & wonít get knocked in by enemies zerg rushing me. The raid boss was actually almost balanced for me doing it solo on Normal, it wouldíve been if they were doing about 30% more damage since even though I was a lot higher levelled they still came close to knocking off my shield on a few occasions, the 3-4 large elemental dragons I had to kill didnít take 5 minutes each (I think one revived itself too, or it just looked too similar to a previous one I killed so it seemed like they revive over time), they didnít have tons of AoE moves that did too much damage (except the shock dragon. If they had an actual dodge button & I could see my character Iíd shut my mouth) and they attacked one at a time (except one of the other dragons flying around will support the grounded dragon every now & then).

So yeah, really enjoyed it. Iím assuming that was the last story based DLC (not collecting the Halloween one) and it ended pretty well too.
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