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SA2's Gaming Blog Topic

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Marie Rose
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« Reply #240 on: 07 July, 2015, 08:45:56 am »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FI0J-sDQBU#t=0m39s



So I got around to playing Tales of Xillia 2 a long while ago, if you know about the first you kinda already know what to expect. Theyíre kinda like the Call of Duty of Japan at this point, with one being made almost every year and the gameplay making rather small changes from game to game. Though the Tales of series tend to come up with dumber non-existent words as it goes on. So the game is split up into main chapters, and side chapters for another special sidequests you do in-between the mains for other party members. All of the cast of Xillia 1 return, with the additions being Ludger Kresnik, a silent protagonist & the two final bosses of the previous game (far left). A silent protagonist just really doesnít fit in a Tales game & is rather pointless IMO, heíll rarely speak & when he occasionally does itís normally a one word response. Sometimes in cutscenes & skits youíll be given one of two responses to say. Usually itíll be for upping your affinity with some of the cast which has only has a purpose much, much later. In order to do tag team mystic artes (which are far stronger than single ones) you need to get a characterís affinity with Ludger to 9 and to bring characters into the secret endgame dungeon also requires them being around that high. Not that the game lets you know accurately how high a certain character is, and it takes ages to raise those affinities. If youíre not following a guide, donít expect to get them over 5 by the end of the game without a ton of resets since itís not too obvious what responses will increase the affinity of which characters until you make them. I would just pick the silliest response if the choice wasnít going to affect anything.

Early on you get a massive debt slapped on you & have to keep paying off small amounts to continue with the main plot. It was okay at first but then got really annoying halfway into the game since if you happen to have enough to currently pay off your debt theyíll keep bugging you on every screen to pay them. Itís naturally set around 10% so you quickly give them that then the very next screen theyíll keep asking for more. Pretty frustrating if youíre saving a lot of that for new weapons & armor. Near the end of the game due to plot they back the fuck up a little & decide when you wanna get to the end you can hand in your next payment, then post-game you can just pay whenever you feel like it now. The system wouldnít have been so awful if I could just pay whenever from the start instead of bugging me every two fights because I have slightly above my threshold. You get most of your money through easy jobs on a bulletin board that are either killing things, giving a certain number of things etc. The plot was about visit alternate dimensions where some details are different, finding the issue & destroying it, basically wiping out that universe. Was okay though I was actually surprised at how they did the True Ending. Oh, they also use a shit ton of the same assets & areas a lot.

The combat I didnít actually like as much as I should have since they kinda force you into using certain attacks. The three main attack styles are sword, hammer & guns. Ludger picks up all three early & the actual element artes he gains later. But many enemies (especially bosses) will happen to no sell your attacks if you donít spam certain attacks theyíre weak to. So I canít just use the hammer on every enemy when the enemies in the area tank the hits but are weak to guns. Some bosses were plain aggravating since they would plow right through what I was doing if I didnít spam their weakness on a loop to eventually stun them. Iíll admit I didnít fully get the weakness system & Iíd just prefer normal high-speed, dodge encouraged combat like Tales of Graces (but Iím always gonna say that). Ludger has a chromatus mode that he can use in battle to become super powered for a short while & take the enemies on field to a pocket dimension while heís using. The ability gets stronger as the plot progresses but soon I started to only really have it there to quickly get out a mystic arte during that mode when the boss was doing too much no sells. The mystic arts were fine but Tales of Graces still had the best & the most in the series. Mainly the 3rd & extra 4th ones being top-notch.


(up to a little under 4 min)

So yeah, liked the game but hell, Iíd probably take the first Xillia over it.
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« Reply #241 on: 11 July, 2015, 09:56:25 am »



Recently got myself a PS Vita (very odd, I know) and so I grabbed a port of an old game I very much enjoyed at the time. Honestly itís one of the best kart racers Iíve played, itís got a lot of great tracks in it. What made me go out & buy it at the time was the drift challenge on the Golden Axe stage, which is also one of the best stages. Almost everything about it is good. Just watch the first minute. Look at those awesome visuals & that hype-ass intro.



Sometimes on the demo I wouldnít press anything & just let it go on. So anyway, the first Sega All-Stars game was decent but this one improved a lot of things. There are around 24 racers overall and their standard stats can be altered as you like by unlocking mods for each, gained through xp and they each get 7 that focus on improving certain aspects. Thereís no main story, just world tour where you run through a ton of different events & collect a certain amount of stars for each event cleared depending on difficulty. Of course there are mirror races that unlock later. The game is very drift dependent on higher difficulties so you gotta maintain good control of your car to stand a decent chance of winning. They got a lot of good tracks from many other games, a few obscure ones too. Outside of the races, the other events you do are versus (outspeed a series of opponents 1-by-1), drift challenges (drift within the highlighted areas to gain time & reach the finish) boost races (no items, just boost pads), boost challenges (get to the next checkpoint, time only freezes when boosting), traffic attack (avoid green, blue & orange cars while collecting extra clocks & getting to the next checkpoint), battle races (everyone has 3 lives, kill them with weapon pickups before they get you), ring race (like boost challenge in a plane, but no time stop), sprint (basically casual time trail), and pursuit (blow up a tank with rockets).

Expert difficulty becomes unlocked when you make it past the original 5 sections of world tour, and that last difficulty can be somewhat dependent on luck when it comes to winning events because the AI will attempt to rubberband & gang up on the human as much as they can if possible. Some victories were only possible due to holding on to an all-star power up like halfway into the race & using it near the end. The main gimmick with the game is the transforming your kart into a boat when on water & into a plane when in the sky, as you could guess. Without a doubt, the best track to me even if it doesnít do anything special will be the afterburner track, because it looks amazing & has the best version of the theme Iíve heard.



I rarely lost online races on that course, regardless of the character I used. I tended to pull off a lot of clutch wins there. Another thing, I loved the online for the short while that it actually had people around, the only bad thing was the skill gap being too large. If you could legitimately win races in expert difficulty you could destroy most people online since thereís no blue shell & experts will be drifting through over half the track & get constant boosts. Iíd regularly enter rooms where one dude was above average & the rest were between decent & awful. But the ragequitters, good lord did this game have a ton of them. So often would I enter a big room, beat the top guy then see a message say he left the race. Often that guy would pull ahead while everyone attacks each other, Iíd pull away later & spend the 2nd and half the 3rd lap catching up, then through a mix of luck & skill manage to knock them out of 1st place and steal the win. Cut to them leaving as I approach the finish line. Then they still happen to be in the lobby ready for the next race. One dude did this 4 times, 3 of those being when I beat him. The fourth time someone else took first & I got 2nd, I waited for it to say he left and sure enough he did. It always made me laugh when I see them quit, sadly wouldnít happen so often if there wasnít a points counter. Of the 100+ of races I did online, over 90 of them Iíd always finish within top 3 (usually 1st or 2nd), but I earned a ton of those wins.

Depresses me somewhat that when I go back there itís a ghost town. Even the rage quitters who later on would cheat hard enough that weapons didnít slow them down just to keep their points donít even show.
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« Reply #242 on: 11 July, 2015, 10:03:46 am »

delicious golden axe
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Floyd is the devil.
I SERIOUSLY DREAMT OF FLOYD BEING A KILLER CYBORG WHO RAN 10 TIMES FASTER THAN ANY NORMAL HUMAN, AND THEN KILLED MM, TURNED FEMALE, WENT AFTER ME, AND I DROPPED FROM THE SKYSCRAPER! IT HURTED, BUT I AWAKE CALMLY, THINKING I WOULDN'T SEE YOU AGAIN.
*no gold, just us*
Marie Rose
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« Reply #243 on: 11 July, 2015, 10:05:19 am »

indeed. shame it kinda died after that beast rider game.
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« Reply #244 on: 11 July, 2015, 10:08:06 am »

I mean to be fair to it, it was dead before that too. I never played it but the reviews and sales probably didn't help. That said I would think a Steam/Xbone/PS4 arcade style beat em up would be viable in today's market.

fun fact i'm going to a barcade with the express goal of playing golden axe today
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Floyd is the devil.
I SERIOUSLY DREAMT OF FLOYD BEING A KILLER CYBORG WHO RAN 10 TIMES FASTER THAN ANY NORMAL HUMAN, AND THEN KILLED MM, TURNED FEMALE, WENT AFTER ME, AND I DROPPED FROM THE SKYSCRAPER! IT HURTED, BUT I AWAKE CALMLY, THINKING I WOULDN'T SEE YOU AGAIN.
*no gold, just us*
Marie Rose
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« Reply #245 on: 11 July, 2015, 10:09:14 am »

do those arcade machines still exist
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« Reply #246 on: 11 July, 2015, 10:28:20 am »

only in places specifically meant to cater to retro arcade people

They're few and far between but living in Philly means there's a few of them. The one I'm going to even advertises having Samurai Shodown II which is like the holy grail.
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Floyd is the devil.
I SERIOUSLY DREAMT OF FLOYD BEING A KILLER CYBORG WHO RAN 10 TIMES FASTER THAN ANY NORMAL HUMAN, AND THEN KILLED MM, TURNED FEMALE, WENT AFTER ME, AND I DROPPED FROM THE SKYSCRAPER! IT HURTED, BUT I AWAKE CALMLY, THINKING I WOULDN'T SEE YOU AGAIN.
*no gold, just us*
Marie Rose
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« Reply #247 on: 14 July, 2015, 08:53:36 am »



So I tried Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus - Proof of Tits Life - a while ago, been interested in playing it for a long time because the gameplay looked fun, and it is fun as long as youíre alright with it being basic as hell. As you can see from the picture, thereís a shit ton of playable characters, so it subtitutes long varied combos for a ton of characters with different attack patterns. The gameplay is kinda like dynasty warriors with you just mowing down tons of mooks throughout the level until you reach the boss whoís going to be one of the other girls. Itís a small bit of air combat & you sadly gotta level up the girls somewhere between level 10-20 to unlock their best stuff. After building up some power you can use shinobi transformation which will then let you start using level 1 & 2 supers once you transform. It also lets you recover all your health but I only occasionally needed that since most levels are stupidly easy. It wasn't until chapter 5 of the first school where I had to actually start blocking & dodging. Thereís also frenzy mode which is a different transformation that trades defense for attack so it can destroy bosses & mobs incredibly fast. There are 4 different schools and 5 girls in each though the last isnít unlocked till you finish the first 3 (unless you enter a code).

There are 5 chapters for each school and it normally rotates the 5 girls so you use them once in a random order every chapter. Usually. Outside of that thereís 5 Shinobi Girlís Heart missions for every character, which is basically their arcade mode. Many of those mini-arcs I found far more entertaining like Mirai fighting filthy casuls who pretend to be fans of a show or donít know about the original source material. The girls lose clothing as they take hits & the game pauses briefly when this happens to highlight it. But this loses its novelty after the first hour. Iím not actually sure if you can turn it off as it would start to get in the way of combat after a while. Oh, also tried the versus multiplayer modes too, sadly had to be with AI since online is dead on this. Itís chaotic as fuck which is just the kind of thing Iíd want. Guess Iíll have to wait for Estival if I want that with real people. The music was great too, liked a lot of themes, shoutout to Crimson Heart & the opening theme. Pretty fun basic game at the end of the day.
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