RPG Community |OT| Take the Epoch to a New Era

Oct 25, 2017
1,711
►Month end!◄
Time for me to wrap up a game or two (hopefully) and start fifteen more. The classic FiveSide method.

Also, the Blitz has started! Just a reminder, it's not a competition or a race or even something you need to commit a bunch of time to. it's an at-your-own pace kinda thing, so take your time~

Additionally, I was alphabetizing the sheet and trying to pretty it up a little. I wanted to share some data!

Arc Rise Fantasia
  • Seda
Arcanum
  • Gevin
Atelier Ayesha
  • Luminaire
Battle Chasers
  • ExistentialCrisis
Blue Dragon
  • FiveSide
Borderlands 2
  • StormEagle
Breath Of Fire IV
  • Wazzy
Breath of the Wild
  • AbsentmindedProf
Chrono Cross
  • nivora
Chrono Trigger
  • Bloodarmz
  • Kalor
  • nivora
  • Zeno
Cosmic Star Heroine
  • Taborcarn
CrossCode
  • Mattakuevan
Dark Souls
  • Asukui
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Taborcarn
Digimon Adventure
  • Opa
Digital Devil Saga 2
  • Thuddert
Divinity Original Sin
  • Novel Mike
Divinity Original Sin 2
  • AbsentmindedProf
Dragon Quest
  • Iva
Dragon Quest III
  • Tonton
  • Zeno
Dragon Quest IV
  • Soilbreaker
  • Thuddert
Dragon Quest V
  • futurememory
  • Gio
Dragon Quest VII
  • Tenrius
Dragon Quest VIII
  • HosannaExcelsis
Dragon Quest XI
  • BlueOdin
Earthbound
  • Beary
  • Bloodarmz
  • DarknessTear
  • futurememory
  • Luminaire
  • Mattakuevan
  • StormEagle
  • Taborcarn
  • Tonton
  • Wazzy
  • Xetherion
Earthbound Beginnings/Mother
  • Bloodarmz
  • Kalor
Emerald Dragon
  • lunarwhale
Energy Breaker
  • Fou-Lu
Eternal Poison
  • Luminaire
Etrian Odyssey Untold
  • Opa
Fallout
  • Beary
  • futurememory
  • Opa
Fate/Extra
  • Tonton
Final Fantasy I
  • Asukui
  • Tenrius
Final Fantasy Type 0
  • Xetherion
Final Fantasy VI
  • ExistentialCrisis
Final Fantasy VII
  • Archreaper
Final Fantasy VIII
  • HosannaExcelsis
Final Fantasy IX
  • Beary
  • Thores
Final Fantasy X-2 HD
  • Gio
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  • Iva
  • Kalor
  • Wazzy
Final Fantasy XIII
  • Gevin
Final Fantasy XIII-2
  • emonk
Final Fantasy Tactics
  • futurememory
  • Archreaper
Fire Emblem (GBA)
  • Archreaper
  • HosannaExcelsis
Fire Emblem Mystery of the Emblem
  • MoonFrog
Fire Emblem Fates - Conquest
  • Thuddert
Fire Emblem Fates - Birthright
  • StormEagle
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
  • Fou-Lu
  • Novel Mike
  • Tonton
  • preta
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
  • iiicon
Folklore
  • Fou-Lu
Ghost of a Tale
  • BlueOdin
Grandia
  • ExistentialCrisis
Grandia 2
  • DarknessTear
Growlanser
  • lunarwhale
Horizon Zero Dawn
  • DarknessTear
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth2
  • Gevin
Illusion of Gaia
  • Aters
Jade Empire
  • iiicon
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
  • Zeno
Kingdom Hearts
  • wrowa
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
  • Iva
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
  • Iva
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
  • Iva
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
  • Spamlynguist
Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos
  • StormEagle
Legend of Legaia
  • nivora
Linda Cube
  • lunarwhale
Live a Live
  • preta
Long Gone Days
  • Mattakuevan
Lunar: Silver Star Harmony
  • Gio
Mass Effect
  • FiveSide
Megami Tensei
  • MoonFrog
Megami Tensei II
  • MoonFrog
Might & Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen
  • AbsentmindedProf
Mother 3
  • BlueOdin
  • Boddy
NieR: Automata
  • Aters
  • Taborcarn
  • Zeno
Nioh
  • iiicon
Octopath Traveler
  • Fou-Lu
  • wrowa
  • Asukui
Odin Sphere
  • Archreaper
OneShot
  • Thores
Panzer Dragoon Saga
  • preta
  • wrowa
Paper Mario
  • Boddy
Parasite Eve
  • Aters
  • Soilbreaker
Pathfinder: Kingmaker
  • Boddy
Persona 5
  • Tenrius
Phantasy Star I
  • AbsentmindedProf
Phantasy Star II
  • emonk
Pillars of Eternity
  • Gevin
Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
  • Mattakuevan
  • Taborcarn
Planescape Torment
  • HosannaExcelsis
  • Xetherion
Pyre
  • nivora
Resonance of Fate
  • ExistentialCrisis
Shadow Hearts: Covenant
  • FiveSide
Shadowrun Hong Kong
  • Xetherion
  • Spamlynguist
Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
  • Gio
Shin Megami Tensei IV
  • Kalor
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom
  • Thores
Shiren The Wanderer 3
  • Opa
Skyborn
  • StormEagle
Slay the Spire
  • Mattakuevan
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Spamlynguist
Suikoden
  • DarknessTear
  • Thores
  • Thuddert
Suikoden II
  • Thuddert
Super Mario RPG
  • Asukui
  • Bloodarmz
Tactics Ogre
  • emonk
Tales of Berseria
  • Kalor
Tales of Vesperia
  • ExistentialCrisis
Tears to Tiara 2
  • Novel Mike
Terranigma
  • Novel Mike
The Last Remnant
  • FiveSide
  • Luminaire
The Last Story
  • Seda
The Witcher 3 Heart of Stone + Blood & Wine
  • BlueOdin
The World Ends With You
  • Beary
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
  • Bloodarmz
  • DarknessTear
  • Boddy
Tokyo Xanadu
  • Seda
Tokyo Xanadu ex+
  • nivora
Trails in the Sky: FC
  • Wazzy
Trails in the Sky: SC
  • Beary
  • BlueOdin
  • Luminaire
  • Wazzy
  • emonk
Trails of Cold Steel I
  • Seda
Trails of Cold Steel II
  • Seda
Trails of Cold Steel IV
  • Aters
Treasure Hunter G
  • Fou-Lu
  • lunarwhale
Ultima IV
  • MoonFrog
Undertale
  • iiicon
  • Xetherion
Utawarerumono
  • Aters
  • wrowa
Valkyria Chronicles
  • Asukui
Valkyrie Profile
  • preta
Valkyrie Profile 2
  • preta
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
  • Spamlynguist
Vampyr
  • Thores
  • Zeno
Victor Vran
  • Spamlynguist
Wachenröder
  • lunarwhale
World of Final Fantasy
  • FiveSide
Xanadu Next
  • iiicon
Xenoblade Chronicles X
  • HosannaExcelsis
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • emonk
Yakuza 0
  • Archreaper
Yakuza Kiwami
  • Boddy
Yakuza Kiwami 2
  • Novel Mike
  • Opa
Ys I & II chronicles
  • Soilbreaker
Ys II
  • futurememory
Ys VI
  • MoonFrog
Ys VIII
  • Tonton
  • wrowa
Ys: Memories Of Celceta
  • Gio
Ys: The Oath in Felghana
  • Soilbreaker
That's the list so far of what games we have and who's playing what.

We have a huge group of people who will be playing Earthbound, and it looks like FE4 and Chrono Trigger have more than three people playing through.
I quite like reading peoples write-ups and impressions, so I'm hopeful people put some stuff together about what they're playing!

Novel Mike Nice write-up! Glad I was able to help! I really enjoyed my time with D:OS1, it was great to play through co-op with a friend. We also found the resurrection thing a bit rough, but it taught us to abuse saves.
 
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Oct 26, 2017
7,751
From the day I put my name on the list to today I've made zero progress in any RPG whatsoever. Looks like ToCS4 might be the only one I will finish. Gonna write something about it for sure. There's so much to write about for the whole damn arc.
 
Oct 27, 2017
33
Kansai
Maybe the Blitz will finally be the motivation I need to play through Trails in the Sky SC (and actually post in the thread). It looks like everyone's covering a wide range of RPGs so I'm interested in reading all the write-ups at least.
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,440
From the day I put my name on the list to today I've made zero progress in any RPG whatsoever. Looks like ToCS4 might be the only one I will finish. Gonna write something about it for sure. There's so much to write about for the whole damn arc.
I remember you being pretty cold on Rean and the Cold Steel games in general, so I'm definitely interested in reading your thoughts on the arc. I really enjoyed CS1 (despite Rean) and really kind of hated CS2 so I'm sort of skeptically excited for 3 and 4 lol.

Decided to not join in on the whole Blitz thing, since I could only come up with one game (Ys 8) and I don't even feel like playing it yet.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
11
I would be interested in joining following the impressions of other people participating in the Blitz, as I have been working through my own backlog and it looks like I am playing some games quite a few others are playing at the moment.

I have been playing Fallout on and off, and of all the "older" pc RPGs I´ve played it is the one where I´ve had the most issues wrapping my head around the UI. It took me way longer than it should have to figure out how to equip weapons, using items in the menu and each time I put the game down for a while I cannot for the life of me remember how to enter VATS/body-parts-to-shoot-selection-screen. Still not sure I really have a clear idea what I am doing in combat, but I am getting by ok without dying. Ian kept shooting me in the back so I had to take his gun away. :(

After wandering around aimlessly for quite some time I finally managed to find the
water chip
so I feel like I am making some progress. It has been very interesting seeing where the Fallout staples like super-mutants and the brotherhood of steel first were introduced. The dialogue and side quests are my favorite aspect of the game, and I am pretty sure I will end up enjoying it more than the Bethesda Fallout-iterations. New Vegas is is still king though.

Other than that I have started to play Tactics Ogre (psp), but I am still very early. The maps appear to be substantially larger compared to FFT-style games. I seem to be recruiting units at a very rapid pace, and am not sure what to do with all of them. Should I be avoiding investing too heavily in units/classes that appear to be the most powerful when you recruit them (like the winged character whose name I cannot remember)? And are there any particular classes that are particularly worth investing more heavily in?
 
Nov 2, 2017
648
I'm alone for all my picks but I'll make sure to share my thoughts.

And I still got one pick left so I may pick one with more players :D
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,626
What is the Blitz? How do I join? Where is the Discord link?

So many questions!
It might be too late to join and maybe you can if you ask nicely on the discord server.
It's about trying to finish 5 RPG's in the 3 month.
Link is on the first page.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,711
From the day I put my name on the list to today I've made zero progress in any RPG whatsoever. Looks like ToCS4 might be the only one I will finish. Gonna write something about it for sure. There's so much to write about for the whole damn arc.
I've made little progress as well and I haven't even started anything on my list.

Maybe the Blitz will finally be the motivation I need to play through Trails in the Sky SC (and actually post in the thread). It looks like everyone's covering a wide range of RPGs so I'm interested in reading all the write-ups at least.
For some of us, it's been that little push of motivation to make a list of games and focus on them. With my backlog being so daunting, it's difficult to just pick something and play at any given moment. I've picked stuff I've wanted to play/finish, stuff I wanted to write about, new stuff I've never touched, and stuff that everyone seems to love.

Decided to not join in on the whole Blitz thing, since I could only come up with one game (Ys 8) and I don't even feel like playing it yet.
You can always join late if you change your mind.

I would be interested in joining following the impressions of other people participating in the Blitz, as I have been working through my own backlog and it looks like I am playing some games quite a few others are playing at the moment.
Feel free to join~
It was fun to see peoples thoughts and write-ups, get progress updates and opinions on games others have been interested in, as well as just keep conversation going.

What is the Blitz? How do I join? Where is the Discord link?

So many questions!
Threadmark!

It's a small little program we've been running in the discord since last year to encourage people to chip away at their backlogs, engage others in conversations, take recommendations, provide progress updates, share thoughts, and more. The raffle at the end is an incentive for some to beat at least one game, but I think most of the fun comes from just keeping conversation rolling and shining a positive light on games that have always just been on the list to play or gathering dust in the backlog.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
489
Canada
Looks like a pretty lonely Blitz for me, with just Xetherion playing Undertale as I do. Guess that's extra motivation to write up my thoughts on what I play in here.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,711


Beat my first game for the RPG Blitz!

Pretty decent ARPG. The final boss took me quite some time to figure out but when I finally got his pattern down it was pretty doable. His vampire totems are bullshit though.
Grats! Seemed like an interesting action RPG, like a mixture between Diablo and the Hunter The Reckoning games. I think I have some friends who might be interested in it.

Looks like a pretty lonely Blitz for me, with just Xetherion playing Undertale as I do. Guess that's extra motivation to write up my thoughts on what I play in here.
There are a ton of one-offs, but your picks are pretty beloved amongst this community so I'd wager you'll see a lot of discussion and people curious to hear your thoughts. Xanadu Next was an RPG Club game last year and I believe a few people played it in the last blitz season also. Hopefully you like it!

I have a few myself that I'm running solo on~
 
Oct 25, 2017
931
Threw my hat in the ring. Thanks for the links. Five RPGs in three months seems like a lot for me, but I'll give it the old college try.
 

Tenrius

For the Snark was a Boojum, you see
Member
Oct 25, 2017
323
Looks like a pretty lonely Blitz for me, with just Xetherion playing Undertale as I do. Guess that's extra motivation to write up my thoughts on what I play in here.
I’m still thinking about my other two games and I might pick Undertale! Especially seeing that it’s pretty short.
 
Oct 25, 2017
489
Canada
I was planning on starting the blitz with Undertale, but when I got to my computer yesterday morning ready to boot it up, I opted for Jade Empire instead. It called to me. It's been on my brain with all this talk about Bioware surrounding Anthem's release, and it's one of the few Bioware ass Bioware games I haven't played (the others, shamefully, are Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2). I wanted to get to it while my motivation was at its highest.

It's interesting coming to this game from the other side, having played all the games that came after. It's got obvious similarities with KOTOR, as the binary morality system seems similarly grafted on to existing ideologies but isn't fully fleshed out so it manifests as dialogue options that can only be summed up as "understanding and empathetic person" vs. "craven megalomaniac." The structure of the opening is reminiscent of the origins in Dragon Age as well, which shouldn't be surprising considering this team went on to make that game. But the game isn't hooking me so far. I love walking around and exhausting the dialogue options for everyone I see. That will forever remain my happy place, what drives me to play cRPGs. It's just a shame that the characters I've met in the opening area don't have much meat to them, they only exist to provide basic exposition or introduce me to the morality system in a way that completely oversells what the morality system is. The exception is Master Li, my trainer who ends the introduction by revealing his relation to the super evil emperor and hints at more twists to come.

Hopefully the next few areas are more exciting.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,711
I was planning on starting the blitz with Undertale, but when I got to my computer yesterday morning ready to boot it up, I opted for Jade Empire instead. It called to me. It's been on my brain with all this talk about Bioware surrounding Anthem's release, and it's one of the few Bioware ass Bioware games I haven't played (the others, shamefully, are Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2). I wanted to get to it while my motivation was at its highest.

It's interesting coming to this game from the other side, having played all the games that came after. It's got obvious similarities with KOTOR, as the binary morality system seems similarly grafted on to existing ideologies but isn't fully fleshed out so it manifests as dialogue options that can only be summed up as "understanding and empathetic person" vs. "craven megalomaniac." The structure of the opening is reminiscent of the origins in Dragon Age as well, which shouldn't be surprising considering this team went on to make that game. But the game isn't hooking me so far. I love walking around and exhausting the dialogue options for everyone I see. That will forever remain my happy place, what drives me to play cRPGs. It's just a shame that the characters I've met in the opening area don't have much meat to them, they only exist to provide basic exposition or introduce me to the morality system in a way that completely oversells what the morality system is. The exception is Master Li, my trainer who ends the introduction by revealing his relation to the super evil emperor and hints at more twists to come.

Hopefully the next few areas are more exciting.
Jade Empire has always been something I’ve been aware of but saw little of. It occupies the same space in my mind as that old 80s/90s tv show Kung Fu.

Does it use DnD rules?
 
Oct 30, 2017
20
Well I've made some decent progress with my blitz games so far. It's been fun to have some motivation to conquer some of these games. I've started three of my games and made a lot of good progress with one of them. I'm going to summarize each one separately in the spoilers below.

Breath of the Wild

I feel like I'm cheating including Breath of the Wild in the blitz. I'm probably already 75% done with the main story, and could probably finish the game up in a weekend if I wanted. Some I'm mostly putting it to the side for the first month of the blitz. I'll still dip in to the game to do side quests and just explore, but I won't touch the main story for a while. That said I did want to put my general thoughts of the game in here.

Guess what, BOTW is an amazing game! This isn't really a groundbreaking thought since everybody else figured that out last year, but the game has mostly lived up to the hype. The exploration in this game is fantastic. I don't think an open world has done a better job of encouraging you to explore it since Morrowind. You see something off in the distance, or hear the beep that let's you know there's a shrine nearby and you just want to take off and see it. Nintendo has also done a great job of sprinkling in fun prompts from NPC that will send you off to explore an area. Oh you're grandpa said there was something cool by that tree in the mountain. Well let's go check it out! It's been so much fun.

That said, I'm really disappointed how most reviews glossed over how bad the combat is. I find myself avoiding it most of the time, because it's just no fun. I think they really messed up the scaling, because there have been so many times that I've encountered a group of monster that can almost one shot me while it takes 20 hits to take them down. Throw in that the dodge mechanics just seem clunky and it just ruins the fun of the game. That said it's still a great game and it deserves all the accolades it's gotten.

Not much to say on this game so far. I've cleared the first town of monsters, which was pretty easy, and started to explore the outside area around the first town some. I really enjoy the exploration mechanics in these types of games, and I'm trying to play through it blind as much as possible. Got some loot, got some levels and I'm looking forward to the rest of it.

This is the game I played the most the first week of the blitz. I'm playing on the Switch using the ages mode. Playing it that way eliminated almost all of the grinding that you typically face in these old school jrpgs. I had to get a couple levels at the beginning of the game and I've been fine since. Since I don't have to grind I'm tearing through this game. I'd say I'm already about 60% complete. Should be able to tick this one off the list fairly soon.

Phantasy Star I is a contemporary to the original Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games and if the series had been on Nintendo rather than Sega would probably be more highly revered. In a lot of ways it's actually a better game than the original Final Fantasy. The "cinematic" graphics at major plot points are pretty impressive for it's time, and the story does a decent job of pointing you in the right direction. The combat is pretty quick, but outside of boss battles there's not a ton of strategy. The challenge from the game seems mostly about surviving the various dungeons than each encounter being difficult. Something that seems pretty interesting about this game is that it's much more similar to Wizardy and Ultima than it's other big contemporaries. It has quite the 80s western CRPG vibe going for it. It's setting also sets it apart from it's Japanese contemporaries. You may still be swinging swords, but you'll also being gallivanting across a solar system in a spaceship. There's always been something very engrossing about RPGs from this period (late 80s early 90s). They seem to have a very satisfying gameplay loop to them. I highly recommend people play this game, and I'm really hoping Sega does the "Ages" treatment to the rest of the series.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,421
Lima Perú
Last weekend I finished the last DLC of Inquisitionand, damn, it couldn't be any more perfect. The conversation with
Solas
at the end its something at the Sovereign level. I'm super hyped for Dragon Age 4.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,469
Last weekend I finished the last DLC of Inquisitionand, damn, it couldn't be any more perfect. The conversation with
Solas
at the end its something at the Sovereign level. I'm super hyped for Dragon Age 4.
It's a shame a lot of people never got to DA:I's DLC, because all of it — not just Trespasser — is excellent, some of the best content in the game and the series.
 
Oct 25, 2017
489
Canada
Jade Empire has always been something I’ve been aware of but saw little of. It occupies the same space in my mind as that old 80s/90s tv show Kung Fu.

Does it use DnD rules?
It does not. It's an action RPG where you have three basic types of attacks (melee, weapon, magic), which all have light, heavy, and AOE commands. There are also different styles of fighting you can learn and switch between on the fly with hotkeys 1-4, so if you wanted you could have 4 different types of melee fighting styles. It's a little clunky and I'm early in the game so I don't have a ton of options available to me, but it's kinda neat.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,711
It does not. It's an action RPG where you have three basic types of attacks (melee, weapon, magic), which all have light, heavy, and AOE commands. There are also different styles of fighting you can learn and switch between on the fly with hotkeys 1-4, so if you wanted you could have 4 different types of melee fighting styles. It's a little clunky and I'm early in the game so I don't have a ton of options available to me, but it's kinda neat.
Interesting. Now that I think of it, I don’t think I’ve seen it in motion.
 
Oct 30, 2017
466
I enjoyed Jade Empire's real-time action combat. The plot must have been forgettable, as i've pretty much forgotten it. The premise of the morality system was good, but it was sadly executed very poorly. The writers clearly had no grasp of anything other than good and evil, so instead of having collaboration vs individualism as it seemed to indicate in the beginning, it turned out to be just another good vs evil system, and most of the dialogue choices lacked any nuance. And on the rare occasion that there was some nuance in the dialogue choices, there were also several instances where dialogue choices did not give rewards for the proper alignment, again due to writers not understanding the philosophies they were attempting to display in their game. But i had fun with the game despite its flaws, overall i'd say it was about a 6/10.
 
Nov 2, 2017
648
Finished Arcanum as my first game of the blitz.

So, the tl:dr is that I loved the game and it'll surely get a spot in my top 10 RPGs ever. As a little background of my playthrough, my internet went down sunday night, and monday and tuesday were holidays here, so I had both whole days for myself.

Since I had no internet to distract me, I spent almost the entirety of those 2 days playing Arcanum (with small breaks here and there to eat and play with my dog), and that was enough to end the game. I think the fact that I constantly played the same game for almost 2 days speaks for itself on how much I liked it.

Overall, the gameplay was amazing. The game is full of posibilities and there was a lot of stuff I couldn't do only because of the build I chose. For example, I almost completely ignored the followers system and did the majority of the game alone or with my dog. Since the build I was going for was kinda OP I had almost no problems in combat. Because of that, the replay value is pretty good and I'm sure I'll do another playthrough in the future.

The lore was pretty interesting on some parts (though really cliched on others), but the ending was a little flat for me (including the difference between good and bad endings).

Bad thing: even after the fan patches, the game is kinda buggy and I had a few instances of crashes and glitches.

Bottomline, completely recommended to fans of RPGs (and specifically CRPGs).
 
Oct 27, 2017
140
Congrats to everyone that has finished games so far (and so quickly!). I’ve loved reading the write ups. Jade Empire and Arcanum sound pretty great!

I haven’t started yet, but I’m going to start with DQV, I believe. I still have the end game of KH3 looming over my head, though. Just not enough time to play games!
 
Oct 25, 2017
173
Finished Arcanum as my first game of the blitz.

So, the tl:dr is that I loved the game and it'll surely get a spot in my top 10 RPGs ever. As a little background of my playthrough, my internet went down sunday night, and monday and tuesday were holidays here, so I had both whole days for myself.
Awesome! Glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I'm curious what build you went for - I've heard magic(k) is overpowered but have never tried with it.
Plotwise the game is most interesting at the very beginning and IMO putters out once you've figured out things in Tarant. Somehow the overarching enemy doesn't have much in the way of menace or urgency, even though conceptually it seems like it should! Virgil's arc is interesting, though, and Magnus' isn't bad either so I recommend playing with them eventually!
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,335
Netherlands
Played some Dragon Quest IV again, chapter 4 write up ahead. I wanted a bit more out of this, but it is still a good set up for a later chapter.

Game starts with Maya giving a dance performance in the hopes of finding the guy that killed her dad in the audience. No dice there, so after a rest she and her little sister Meena leave in search of new clues. Balzack (hehe ballsack) used to be their dad's apprentice, went mad with power and killed him. It is a simple story over revenge.



I feel this is where the partychat shines through a lot. Here a npc gives his condolences and the above is Maya's retort. The wound is still fresh. Meena also speaks about revenge. Both sisters share the same purpose, but express it in different ways. Maya is excited and easily distracted, while Meena is much more serious and too the point. Though she tends to repeat words for emphasis. Compare Maya talking about this cow in her hometown to Meena talking about her hometown:




This duality is what makes it interesting. I also think this is the new thing they bring to the DQ4 table. Playing as two protagonists in their own chapter. Yeah, there some minor changes in equipment, magic and encounters. Like the slimes merging to form a king slime, which was a neat little surprise.

Story also brings some neat changes. Such as Oojam joining the sisters and leaving them in the same chapter. Oojam was another student under their father, although he uses physical attacks rather than magical ones. This definitely bridges the power gap between the sisters and the stronger monsters. Plus he can open the locks in the palace, that's pretty handy! His join dialogue is also the best:



The Revengers are born. Meena acts as a priest, Maya is the mage and Oojam is just a dude that hits hard as a brick. Almost got wiped in the mines once though and that was scary. Getting to Balzack was kinda fun. Setting up a diversion so you can follow the regent back to the throne and throw everything you have against Balzack. Suffering a defeat and being forced to retreat is pretty brave and anti-climatic. Neat thing is that Psaro got mentioned, so that's set up right. At least we got on a boat, except oojam lol, and I didn't have to wait years for the trip to end. This defeat quickly changes to a new resolve, to get the power to overturn the regime. FIGHT THE CORRUPTION.




I think this is pretty cute. Both sisters have never been on a boat. They have only seen it in books before or they may have heard of it from someone else. This kinda makes me think they had a sheltered life when their dad was still alive and they're slowly getting to grow in this journey of vengeance. I hope they can find closure after the whole ordeal is done for.

I'm not sure if I'll make a lengthy post on the next chapter like I have been doing, I'll see how it turns out. I didn't expect to make my chapter 4 review this long as well.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,005
Iwatodai Dorm
The first weekend of the Blitz and I think it's time to talk a little bit about the games I've been playing. After confirming that it was legal to include a game I started a few days before March the 1st, I'd like to talk about my first hours playing Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix:



So, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix or How someone cockblocked my summer vacation

The first three hours of Kingdom Hearts II are more emotional than I thought they'd be. Years of willingly exposing myself to the mockery that the series receive meant that I already knew some of the twists the game will try to pull off, but I didn't think it would be this early in the game that I'd find the first of them.

So you're Roxas or... Sora X!!!, you're in the last days of your summer vacation and have no money to go to the beach with your friends, you also get blamed by a dick that hates you and your friends of stealing stuff from the locals and you haven't done your homework... It's a nice contrast compared to the main characters of Kingdom Hearts, where Riku and Sora and Kairi just have a childish dream of building a raft to go see the world. Another thing that kind of shocked me is that Sora is supposed to be 14 years old in the first game so the first few hours of Kingdom Hearts make even less sense.

What I liked about the introduction of KHII is the fact that fantasy starts to blend with slice of life, pretty much like in the Persona series or Brave Story. Things start to get out of control quickly as you try to live the last days of your summer vacation: first some characters of Chain of Memories come back and then it's clear that Sora himself is about to wake up after the events of the same game; someone behind the curtains guides you and mocks you, a pretty girl tells you you shouldn't exist and it's clear you have memories you shouldn't have. At the climax of this short episode Roxas learns he was defeated by Riku to the point he’s almost broken and he’s been trapped in some kind of simulation in order to allow him to heal in time to go back to Sora’s heart... or at least that’s how I understood it. At the end once you learn what you are and despite Roxas’ frustrations there’s no way to avoid your fate: Roxas has to go back to Sora before he awakes... “it looks like my summer vacation is over” is the last thing you hear from Roxas and you can’t avoid to cry a little inside.

The game is a little bit cruel about the whole thing: once you control Sora the game acts as if whatever happened before didn’t even take place, to the point that the menus themselves kind of restart too.

You get to explore Twilight Town once again and soon you find some familiar faces: Pence, Olette and Hayner, who tell you The King is looking for you. A brief scene later you get told you have to ride a train, and when you’re about to do so Olette and the others come to say goodbye to you even though this is the first time they’ve met you. Sora too doesn’t understand why but he’s sad he has to leave to the point that he even sheds a tear without really knowing why. But you, the player, you do understand: it isn’t Sora but Roxas the one who’s crying. Goodbye Twilight Town.

...

...And then a bunch of Disney stuff happens

No, seriously. So far, while the game has been pretty fun, it's the prologue one of the strongest parts of the game. Another great level was Timeless River too where you play in the 30s Disney world. In general, I can say that most Disney Worlds I've visited have been cool except for two of them: Mulan's world and Atlantica. The first one is pretty simple and kind of boring both in its looks and the setpieces presented and the second one is basically a bunch of rhythm minigames blocked under random conditions.

After 14 hours of playtime, the story doesn't seem to go anywhere after the Roxas episode: It seems that I'm just unlocking paths between the different worlds while I fight two factions along my way: the Heartless and the Nobodies. I know that things will eventually escalate and I'm looking forward to playing those sections.

Please, be excited.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,711
So, I started one of my blitz games after deciding to take a small break from my others. This is always a recipe for success to finish things.

I've started with Atelier Ayesha, a game I sunk maybe 10-20 hours into back when it came out, but it wasn't a great time for me. Work was becoming a mess, games were piling up, and my living situation would get turned upside down just a few months following the release. Once that all settled, I couldn't get back into it. I started playing FFXIV, and eventually raids and the MMO life consumed any game time I had. The game got kicked to the wayside, and when I finally went to go back to it some years later...all of my ps3 saves went poof.

As much as I love the Atelier series, I've unfortunately neglected the Dusk trilogy. I'd purchased them day one, but shelved them with the intention of going back to them. I did skip to Escha and Logy, put some time into it...but again, FFXIV raids took over my gaming time. I didn't get far and don't remember much, so I'm starting over with the Dusk trilogy and am eager to chip away at them with a renewed focus.

With that, I'm starting fresh and actually enveloping myself in the game instead of playing it for 20-30 mins here and there before a raid like I did previously. I'm taking notes, recording gameplay so I can snap some screens, and reflecting on things while also sharing some thoughts. I figured I'd do some write-ups in progress and share some screens.

First off - I've always appreciated the Atelier series for shirking the standard JRPG trappings. There is no Darkness Versus Light. There is no Chosen One. There is no Evil Empire trying to rule or destroy the world. There is no Looming Threat. There is no Ancient Sword of MacGuffin. There is no Deus Ex Machina. They're slice of life and tell endearing stories that are more on the micro-scale than something grand and sweeping. Yet the characters grow across entries, go on heartfelt adventures, face hardships, and become better people. However, across the Atelier series, they escalate combat in ways that would make many JRPG protagonists (and villains) stand in awe. Cutting the moon in half to damage enemies, crashing down megaton explosives, creating horrific concoctions that add so many status ailments the almighty Doomtrain from FFVIII would shed a tear, smiting powerful creatures that could be considered gods themselves, and outright playing god by giving things life that otherwise should remain inanimate.

Secondly - I forgot how melancholic this game is. The world is on the decline. There are ruins everywhere. The land is dying. Rivers are drying up, crops are failing to yield, and people are clinging onto whatever they have left. There is no stopping it. It has happened before, and it will happen again. There's no Evil Force causing it. The only thing that can be done is to band together and try to survive through the Dusk of the world. There's a dimness and dullness that gives everything a sad spectacle while having some glimmer of hope, however faint it is. It makes any flowers in the drab earth stand out while sunsets across a grey sky become a gem. I like Ayesha quite a bit so far. She's kinda and determined, but it's clear she's fairly sheltered. She doesn't know how to do much else other than make medicine. She's an apothecary who sells her medicine to the neighboring villages. In times like these, it's certainly needed more and more. However, after a chance encounter with her missing sister - in some form she doesn't understand - she closes up shop and heeds the words of a stranger to help find her little sister.

I proceeded away from the quiet comfort of the workshop to the nearest town for some information regarding flowers that have some connection to Nio, Ayesha's little sister who disappeared three years ago.

I trekked through a seemingly dead valley that had an eerie green hue to it. Pana - Ayesha's pet cow - was loaded to the brim with everything needed for a journey... and then some. I ran across a monster who seemed rather cute. He immediately hit me in the head with an apple. After whacking him in the head with my staff a few times, he ran away. Whatever, a win is a win! I then made it to Riesengang, a hilltop city built upon an ancient and decaying ruin of an archway. The villages dug into the stone, as seen by how much of it is chipped away. No one knows what the place was originally built for, but it seems they're still excavating. In the town, I met with a friend named Regina, who is a prospector and all-around great person. She uses a pickaxe in battle, which is pretty awesome. True to her prospectin' ways. I think the best thing about Pana is that someone had to record the voice lines for variations of "oink moo". With Regina and Pana in tow, we moved to the next city to take care of some business, only to meet a few interesting characters when we got there. We crossed through a field of flowers and collected a few things before crossing through a humongous ruin that seemed to be a drainage facility for some kind of massive or advanced city. Eventually, we made our way to Vierzebeg, a huge city that thrives off trade. The people here seem to be doing decent in these declining times. I met Harry, who is quite full of himself. He's kind but I think he's full of shit. I'm unsure if I like him, but I imagine he'll grow on me. He did give me quite a large room to work in though... Naturally, I used it to do some synthesizing. Ayesha's a natural at it, yet has no idea it's even alchemy.
Wilbell, on the other hand, is quite amusing. She's a young witch who does oddjobs around the town, often cheating with her magic.
She did help Ayesha find her wallet that she dropped, so she seems kind enough. Bright little moments like this are highlighted against the dimness of the world. Ayesha is a good lead so far with a supporting cast that I enjoy. I'm not very far into it, but I appreciate her determination. Her goal is noble and personal, which makes me think of Atelier Totori a little. So far, I'm really enjoying it. It's a little depressive in a good way, but it has a lot of charm and hope in it. While it's bubbly, it's a different tone than the Arland series (and even the Mysterious series.) I'd like to finish it before Nelke comes out, but that game is so wildly different (due to being a spinoff focused on townbuilding), I don't feel any particular rush. Hopefully I'll finish it before the end of April. I'd like to have a month break before Lulua comes out though, as that may be a lot of Atelier to consume at once.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
1,711
Played some Dragon Quest IV again, chapter 4 write up ahead. I wanted a bit more out of this, but it is still a good set up for a later chapter.

Game starts with Maya giving a dance performance in the hopes of finding the guy that killed her dad in the audience. No dice there, so after a rest she and her little sister Meena leave in search of new clues. Balzack (hehe ballsack) used to be their dad's apprentice, went mad with power and killed him. It is a simple story over revenge.



I feel this is where the partychat shines through a lot. Here a npc gives his condolences and the above is Maya's retort. The wound is still fresh. Meena also speaks about revenge. Both sisters share the same purpose, but express it in different ways. Maya is excited and easily distracted, while Meena is much more serious and too the point. Though she tends to repeat words for emphasis. Compare Maya talking about this cow in her hometown to Meena talking about her hometown:




This duality is what makes it interesting. I also think this is the new thing they bring to the DQ4 table. Playing as two protagonists in their own chapter. Yeah, there some minor changes in equipment, magic and encounters. Like the slimes merging to form a king slime, which was a neat little surprise.

Story also brings some neat changes. Such as Oojam joining the sisters and leaving them in the same chapter. Oojam was another student under their father, although he uses physical attacks rather than magical ones. This definitely bridges the power gap between the sisters and the stronger monsters. Plus he can open the locks in the palace, that's pretty handy! His join dialogue is also the best:



The Revengers are born. Meena acts as a priest, Maya is the mage and Oojam is just a dude that hits hard as a brick. Almost got wiped in the mines once though and that was scary. Getting to Balzack was kinda fun. Setting up a diversion so you can follow the regent back to the throne and throw everything you have against Balzack. Suffering a defeat and being forced to retreat is pretty brave and anti-climatic. Neat thing is that Psaro got mentioned, so that's set up right. At least we got on a boat, except oojam lol, and I didn't have to wait years for the trip to end. This defeat quickly changes to a new resolve, to get the power to overturn the regime. FIGHT THE CORRUPTION.




I think this is pretty cute. Both sisters have never been on a boat. They have only seen it in books before or they may have heard of it from someone else. This kinda makes me think they had a sheltered life when their dad was still alive and they're slowly getting to grow in this journey of vengeance. I hope they can find closure after the whole ordeal is done for.

I'm not sure if I'll make a lengthy post on the next chapter like I have been doing, I'll see how it turns out. I didn't expect to make my chapter 4 review this long as well.
DQIV looks pretty good. I don't want to read too much into it because I do plan to play it at some point. You're playing on mobile, correct? If so, how does it handle? I kinda hated the virtual controls on DQ1 but I can deal with them if needed.

The first weekend of the Blitz and I think it's time to talk a little bit about the games I've been playing. After confirming that it was legal to include a game I started a few days before March the 1st, I'd like to talk about my first hours playing Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix:



So, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix or How someone cockblocked my summer vacation

The first three hours of Kingdom Hearts II are more emotional than I thought they'd be. Years of willingly exposing myself to the mockery that the series receive meant that I already knew some of the twists the game will try to pull off, but I didn't think it would be this early in the game that I'd find the first of them.

So you're Roxas or... Sora X!!!, you're in the last days of your summer vacation and have no money to go to the beach with your friends, you also get blamed by a dick that hates you and your friends of stealing stuff from the locals and you haven't done your homework... It's a nice contrast compared to the main characters of Kingdom Hearts, where Riku and Sora and Kairi just have a childish dream of building a raft to go see the world. Another thing that kind of shocked me is that Sora is supposed to be 14 years old in the first game so the first few hours of Kingdom Hearts make even less sense.

What I liked about the introduction of KHII is the fact that fantasy starts to blend with slice of life, pretty much like in the Persona series or Brave Story. Things start to get out of control quickly as you try to live the last days of your summer vacation: first some characters of Chain of Memories come back and then it's clear that Sora himself is about to wake up after the events of the same game; someone behind the curtains guides you and mocks you, a pretty girl tells you you shouldn't exist and it's clear you have memories you shouldn't have. At the climax of this short episode Roxas learns he was defeated by Riku to the point he’s almost broken and he’s been trapped in some kind of simulation in order to allow him to heal in time to go back to Sora’s heart... or at least that’s how I understood it. At the end once you learn what you are and despite Roxas’ frustrations there’s no way to avoid your fate: Roxas has to go back to Sora before he awakes... “it looks like my summer vacation is over” is the last thing you hear from Roxas and you can’t avoid to cry a little inside.

The game is a little bit cruel about the whole thing: once you control Sora the game acts as if whatever happened before didn’t even take place, to the point that the menus themselves kind of restart too.

You get to explore Twilight Town once again and soon you find some familiar faces: Pence, Olette and Hayner, who tell you The King is looking for you. A brief scene later you get told you have to ride a train, and when you’re about to do so Olette and the others come to say goodbye to you even though this is the first time they’ve met you. Sora too doesn’t understand why but he’s sad he has to leave to the point that he even sheds a tear without really knowing why. But you, the player, you do understand: it isn’t Sora but Roxas the one who’s crying. Goodbye Twilight Town.

...

...And then a bunch of Disney stuff happens

No, seriously. So far, while the game has been pretty fun, it's the prologue one of the strongest parts of the game. Another great level was Timeless River too where you play in the 30s Disney world. In general, I can say that most Disney Worlds I've visited have been cool except for two of them: Mulan's world and Atlantica. The first one is pretty simple and kind of boring both in its looks and the setpieces presented and the second one is basically a bunch of rhythm minigames blocked under random conditions.

After 14 hours of playtime, the story doesn't seem to go anywhere after the Roxas episode: It seems that I'm just unlocking paths between the different worlds while I fight two factions along my way: the Heartless and the Nobodies. I know that things will eventually escalate and I'm looking forward to playing those sections.

Please, be excited.
KH2 is such a massive improvement over KH1 to me in pretty much all aspects. I hope you like where the story goes, as KH2 shifted my interested towards the original story from the Disney stuff.

Pete is the best regardless of what anyone says. (Behind Namine, that is.)
Oh cool, I played Atelier Ayesha a few years ago, I'll be eager to see what you think of it by the end.
I've been a huge fan of the Atelier series so I'm sure I'll love it. It's been great to curl up in a blanket and just play it while it snows outside.
 
Oct 25, 2017
334
The first weekend of the Blitz and I think it's time to talk a little bit about the games I've been playing. After confirming that it was legal to include a game I started a few days before March the 1st, I'd like to talk about my first hours playing Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix:



So, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix or How someone cockblocked my summer vacation

The first three hours of Kingdom Hearts II are more emotional than I thought they'd be. Years of willingly exposing myself to the mockery that the series receive meant that I already knew some of the twists the game will try to pull off, but I didn't think it would be this early in the game that I'd find the first of them.

So you're Roxas or... Sora X!!!, you're in the last days of your summer vacation and have no money to go to the beach with your friends, you also get blamed by a dick that hates you and your friends of stealing stuff from the locals and you haven't done your homework... It's a nice contrast compared to the main characters of Kingdom Hearts, where Riku and Sora and Kairi just have a childish dream of building a raft to go see the world. Another thing that kind of shocked me is that Sora is supposed to be 14 years old in the first game so the first few hours of Kingdom Hearts make even less sense.

What I liked about the introduction of KHII is the fact that fantasy starts to blend with slice of life, pretty much like in the Persona series or Brave Story. Things start to get out of control quickly as you try to live the last days of your summer vacation: first some characters of Chain of Memories come back and then it's clear that Sora himself is about to wake up after the events of the same game; someone behind the curtains guides you and mocks you, a pretty girl tells you you shouldn't exist and it's clear you have memories you shouldn't have. At the climax of this short episode Roxas learns he was defeated by Riku to the point he’s almost broken and he’s been trapped in some kind of simulation in order to allow him to heal in time to go back to Sora’s heart... or at least that’s how I understood it. At the end once you learn what you are and despite Roxas’ frustrations there’s no way to avoid your fate: Roxas has to go back to Sora before he awakes... “it looks like my summer vacation is over” is the last thing you hear from Roxas and you can’t avoid to cry a little inside.

The game is a little bit cruel about the whole thing: once you control Sora the game acts as if whatever happened before didn’t even take place, to the point that the menus themselves kind of restart too.

You get to explore Twilight Town once again and soon you find some familiar faces: Pence, Olette and Hayner, who tell you The King is looking for you. A brief scene later you get told you have to ride a train, and when you’re about to do so Olette and the others come to say goodbye to you even though this is the first time they’ve met you. Sora too doesn’t understand why but he’s sad he has to leave to the point that he even sheds a tear without really knowing why. But you, the player, you do understand: it isn’t Sora but Roxas the one who’s crying. Goodbye Twilight Town.

...

...And then a bunch of Disney stuff happens

No, seriously. So far, while the game has been pretty fun, it's the prologue one of the strongest parts of the game. Another great level was Timeless River too where you play in the 30s Disney world. In general, I can say that most Disney Worlds I've visited have been cool except for two of them: Mulan's world and Atlantica. The first one is pretty simple and kind of boring both in its looks and the setpieces presented and the second one is basically a bunch of rhythm minigames blocked under random conditions.

After 14 hours of playtime, the story doesn't seem to go anywhere after the Roxas episode: It seems that I'm just unlocking paths between the different worlds while I fight two factions along my way: the Heartless and the Nobodies. I know that things will eventually escalate and I'm looking forward to playing those sections.

Please, be excited.
Great impressions. I'll be really interested to hear your takes as you play through the franchise, because it sounds like you're more interested in the Kingdom Hearts story and lore than the Disney stuff... which is the opposite of how I feel about these games! It's really neat to see someone approach KHII from that opposite perspective. Looking forward to more!
 
Jul 11, 2018
92
GAME 1: Earthbound Beginnings/Mother – COMPLETE

I actually bought this game specifically for the blitz, considering that other people had played it recently and that I still haven’t finished Earthbound since I first played it a few years ago. So I thought why not play the previous entry? I read other people’s thoughts a few pages back and while I don’t feel as positive as some, I still ended up enjoying my playthrough.

However, I was thinking of making a progress post a couple of days ago, and I was not feeling the game at all. The first third felt largely unimpressive to me and I was going through the motions of playing rather than being actually engaged. There was no real story progression, with the opening text crawl being the only thing I had to go on. There were two moments that stuck with me though. One was when you meet Lloyd, and the way he drags Ninten to the lab, and every few steps he turns around to talk to him, like an eager child excited that they have made a new friend. The other was the man at the bottom of the Magicant caves. The man is in despair, saying that even breathing for him is too much, and that he wants to be forgotten. When Ninten agrees to forget him, I took it as him being erased from existence rather than just moving out of the way.

Outside of that though, I was mostly down on the game. I was fighting with the UI, considering how every action closes the overworld menu, so if you want to use multiple heals at once or inspect multiple items, you’re going to have an annoyance. Another thing is PSI powers, where the game doesn’t show what new powers you have learnt, and you have to go onto the status screen and try to figure out what’s new, but it also doesn’t show what the power actually does or what its PP cost is. Which kindly leads me to Embarrassing Fact 1: I was kind of flummoxed as to how I could use these powers since I only saw LifeUp α when selecting PSI in battle, not realising that there were multiple pages to flip through *facepalm*.

Another thing I didn’t like was battling in general. I had problems with the high encounter rate, sometimes finishing a fight and then taking one step before initiating another one, which at times led to me having three fights before I even moved the length of one screen. The fights themselves were boring as well; after a while I just left it on auto and let Ninten melee enemies and heal himself while I looked at Era threads or read a Waypoint article for example. This phase was extended when I got Lloyd and had to grind, since he starts at level one, and at a certain point I had 7000xp while he was still at 1300xp. At least he provided me with extra inventory space, so it wasn’t all bad.

Things changed a little when I got Ana, partly because the game’s auto battle wasn’t as efficient with multiple characters, sometimes having allies all attack one enemy – if an enemy dies on the first attack, subsequent attacks just target the empty space rather than moving to another threat. But with a party of three I had to think more about what threats to prioritise, especially since she started at level one like Lloyd, but also spreading out my attacks so I wasn’t wasting damage potential. One of my favourite things is that status debuffs/buffs last for the whole battle, so you don’t have to worrying about them running out and reapplying them. I’ve always been ambivalent to using up a turn on casting support magic in RPGs, but here it became a part of my standard strategy.

Before I go on, I’ll quickly touch on the quirkiness of the game that others have mentioned. It is not something that stuck out to me while playing the game that much, but it does pop into my head when I think back to it. Things like how the guard dog at the factory actually wants to see your ID before you go in. The lone penguin in the monkey grotto. Everyone being disgusting and sneezing and coughing in your face, which gives you the cold status ailment. There’s the doctor in Merrysville who says he doesn’t care if you die and he will call the mortician himself. They kind of feel like incidents that if you experienced in real life, you would reminisce with your friends years later (“hey, you remember that time we were in Reindeer and some guy just handed us $400?”). They make the places you travel through more memorable and add to the sense of adventure.

Spoilers for the rest:
Youngtown was the point where the game started to make a turn. Hinted at back in Snowman when Ana says her mother is missing, all the adults are gone, leaving a town full of defenceless children. The first kid at the entrance is literally crying. In one of the houses is a child who lets you rest for free, which I think is the first place you get free healing in the real world outside of your own home, just because he is so lonely and wants company. There is also the Garrickson baby, an infant that who also possesses psionic powers and give the party the ability to teleport (which requires a bit of a run up like a DeLorean). The baby seems to be able to think well beyond their years, but regardless is probably fearful that their parents are gone, yet luckily they have siblings in charge of caretaking.

Speaking of free healing, it was something that came up again towards the end, with the doctor at the base of the mountain, and also the healer near the mountain lake. With no questions asked, they restore your health (I can’t remember if both restored PP and revived allies or just the dude in the cabin). The doctor actually provides you with free Life Up Creams as well. It is almost as if the game is telling you it wants you to win, encouraging you as you proceed. But not only are you getting to the end of the game, but the NPCs also see this as the end of the world, and see that you might be their only hope. Another instance of the game pushing you along is when you find Eve, the robot that George built after he returned from his abduction. She absolutely destroys every enemy she attacks, allowing you to steamroll through an area where you would otherwise have trouble, but you also get XP and other rewards as usual. The unexpected power jump is found in quite a few games – getting the super gravity gun at the end of Half Life 2 springs to mind – but here it isn’t really about fulfilling a power fantasy or to deliver pent-up rage to your enemies, it comes from a place of protection fuelled by love, which comes from a relative that has never met you but in the past had unconditional faith in your ability to do what is needed in the future.

There is a scene in the cabin where Ana tells Ninten she loves him and they dance. It is a heartwarming scene, but it took me by surprise because of how little characterisation there is in the game. This, I believe, is only the second time Ana talks in the whole game. There is no other scene which would’ve informed me that there was any chemistry between them. Similarly, Lloyd has only two scenes of note that I remember – his introductory sequence and the part where he rolls through in a tank and replaces Teddy. On the subject of Teddy, he feels very undeveloped and could be removed from the game with little impact.

I was kind of surprised by the low amount of bosses in the game, something that I expect in nearly all RPGs. There was only really Starman Jr, the dragon at Magicant, the R7000 series robots and the final boss. The R7XXX robots are kinds of negligible as fights and are more like events, and the first time you fight one you already have a tank and it can’t really do anything to you. But then it shows up when you are on foot, and you know that are straight out of luck, although some time later you see Eve destroy the final one. I like how the art portrays the robots as gigantic; they seem to be using a perspective trick where you are looking upwards at the constructs, uncomfortably looking up at that weird glowing crotch portion (generally, all the enemy art is Very Good, and I chuckled when I saw that goofy looking dragon). The Starman Jr fight at the zoo was great, not only did make me pay attention to the battle more than I had done at that point, but it was also the first fight against something extraterrestrial so it had some story significance. For better and worse, it also made re-evaluate what a boss’ role is in a game, rather than just being a skill/tactics/level check, but also I kind of felt underwhelmed by finishing the manor area in Spookane without a fight to punctuate it; I just got the piano melody and left.

I wasn’t expecting much when it came to Giegue. An enemy that hasn’t been seen or even named until the last 30 minutes of the game? I didn’t think that they would be able to give him any gravitas, but I was wrong. There is the setup of him being “adopted” by Maria after she was abducted and she treated him like her own child. And then when you finally get to the cave, you see the humans in glass tubes and know without a doubt that the end is near. Giegue makes his entrance on a huge ship, and there is something different about the fight. There is no battle music, just a shrill sound that repeats. This paired with the actual art of Giegue, which doesn’t match the whimsical, storybook style that other enemies have like the smiling cougar or the weird hippie, makes the game suddenly way more serious. He actually talks to you during the fight, the first enemy to do so, dropping plot points about George stealing information and coming back to Earth. I think that more time was spent on establishing Giegue’s character than anyone else in the game, including the PCs. There is also the new mechanic for this fight where you have to sing a lullaby that Giegue is known to hate, and how it cuts through the silence. I found myself staring at the screen, urging the PCs to finish the song, hoping the next melody would be the one to end the battle. The fact that you defeat him without using force actually make him seem stronger, since you were not whittling down HP because it would be impossible, so instead you had to use a different tactic to repel him. It is also poetic that the thing that stopped the aliens is the only thing left of Maria, her lullaby, which the game describes as being made up of fragments of her love.

And I guess love is what the game is about, that and family. With family, Ninten’s relatives all have a part to play (apart from Mimmie). His mother wants to take care of you when she sees you’re injured, giving you a free heal. Minnie lets you store items but also gives you encouragement every time you leave her. Of course, there is the father who saves your game, who sometimes call you through your mobile phone (I didn’t even know I had one!) to make sure you rest. Part of family is also the sense of belonging, which also applies to Lloyd, who was having a tough time at school and had no friends, and Ana, who lived on the outskirts of Snowman and perhaps thought she was the only one with psychic powers. Both of them have had their lives enriched by travelling with Ninten. George and Maria have no doubt that when the time comes, one of their descendants will have the ability to repel an alien invasion. I think the biggest example is Magicant, a projection from Maria’s essence, built to be somewhat of a refuge for Ninten as he goes on his journey. It is her final purpose, and the only reason she hasn’t left for what is presumably the afterlife to join George, and her subsequent fading from reality is a bittersweet moment. It seems to me that George threw himself into study and research so that he would not succumb to grief after whatever happened to Maria. I interpret the melody piece inside Eve to mean George’s hand was guided by Maria and her love for him transferred into his work.

There are some questions that I have about certain mysteries, but I feel like those will be answered in Earthbound, so I'm not going to look them up in case I spoil myself.

I should also post Embarrassing Fact 2: I didn’t know you could equip armour. I bought a repel ring and used it, and it just vanished from my inventory and didn’t appear on my status screen. Only realised towards the end which was just before the final boss. lol

Anyway, here are some musical highlights
Mother Earth - The title screen music sets the mood quite well, I think

Pollyanna - Overworld music when you're alone

Bein' Friends - Overworld music when you gain a companion (didn't even realised what caused the change tbh)

Battle with a Flippant Foe - Some enemies initiate this jazzy number rather than the usual battle music

Hippie Battle - In contrast, this battle music sounds more like traditional rock & roll, matched with enemies like the hippie or the mad truck

The Paradise Line - The music while taking a train ride

Snowman - The theme to Ana's hometown

Youngtown - Probably the first place in the game that is overwhelmed with sadness

Approaching Mt Itoi - I just like the feeling of this one, played when approaching the final act

Fallin' Love - The romantic song played near the end

The Ocarina's Final Melody - Of course, that melody that is so important in the game

Now for the obligatory completion picture:
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,335
Netherlands
DQIV looks pretty good. I don't want to read too much into it because I do plan to play it at some point. You're playing on mobile, correct? If so, how does it handle? I kinda hated the virtual controls on DQ1 but I can deal with them if needed.
Yeah, I'm playing on mobile. I try to see partychat whenever it pops up in my head and that's something the DS version doesn't have. Five of the six screenshots I posted are from partychat. They're not quite like skits, more like reactions/inner monologues/things said out loud.

As for controls, you can adjust the directional pad and you can touch anywere on screen (aside from the menu). Sure it sucks you can't remove it, but it becomes second nature after a while.

DQIV is also in a 3D world so it has 8 input directions and camera options on top of the default DQ mobile controls. It takes some time to get used to that as well, which is why the prologue is a good test run.
 
Nov 2, 2017
648
Awesome! Glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I'm curious what build you went for - I've heard magic(k) is overpowered but have never tried with it.
Plotwise the game is most interesting at the very beginning and IMO putters out once you've figured out things in Tarant. Somehow the overarching enemy doesn't have much in the way of menace or urgency, even though conceptually it seems like it should! Virgil's arc is interesting, though, and Magnus' isn't bad either so I recommend playing with them eventually!
Apologies for the late response. I went from a mage build using basically 3 spells the whole game :D, it is pretty overpowered.

I had Virgil but I read his quest bugged out for me so couldn't really finish it as intended, and didn't grab Magnus cause he didn't seem that interesting tbh, but for sure will keep it in mind for future playthroughs
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,711
Played some more Atelier Ayesha. I think I made some good progress. This session had a lot more combat with a lot of level ups, along with a lot of new items crafted. I haven't really been changing up my materials much because I'm still finding basic stuff, but I'm looking forward to creating items that would make me a war criminal.

Wilbell decided to join me on my ventures outside town. She's quickly becoming my favorite character. She has a bizarre sense of humor, though it seems like she's just messing with Ayesha most of the time. Wilbell says she's a witch but it needs to be secret, and that no one can know she's a witch. This is, of course, while she wears a witch hat, rides on a broom, casts magic, and says she'll be the greatest witch there ever was. There was a touching journal entry where Ayesha said she thinks Wilbell has been really lonely, so she wants to be her friend. Managed to get some crafting done and raise my Alchemy level so I can start fulfilling more quests. One lady wants veggie soup but the recipe eludes me.. Before heading out to gather materials, the monthly bazaar started up. It's a chance to buy some of the more rare materials, or see what your friends are selling. It works well because if I need ores and gems, Regina is bound to have countless shiny stones for me. After stocking up on materials from friends, I dragged Wilbell and Regina with me to fight some monsters and get some shiny new things to craft with.
I explored a cave a bit, and got to test some of my new concoctions on the wildlife there. They're jerkass wolves who bite people so they deserve the napalm thrown their way.
As mentioned previously, Wilbell is a witch who rides a broom. And, as every good witch should, she can use Pumpkin Bomb. I love these attacks whenever they show up in games or shows. She looks suitably crazed when casting it, and it's rather flashy and lives up to the Bomb portion of the name.
Blood for the Blood God. After the cave, I did a bit more exploring and found a hilltop with lots of materials, but I couldn't finish off the enemies there. After a round of attacks, they were barely at 75% HP and hit fairly hard. Being low of healing items and almost full on materials, I decided to run back to town. I met Marion, who I encounter before, and did some crafting before Wilbell kicked the door in and gave Ayesha a book on alchemy. Ayesha has been doing alchemy this whole time and didn't know it. Still, she considers herself an apothecary first and an alchemist second. I learned how to make a Craft. Much to Ayesha's surprise, it's basically a durain fruit with an explosive jammed in it. It's a sugary frag grenade. After creating items and spilling the blood of my enemies upon barren soil, I was forced invited to join in the Thrilling Treasure Contest by that whack-job Harry. He's over the top and probably some kind of convict, but he's eccentric and nice enough that I don't think I'll report him to any authorities...yet. The goal is to present an item that the judges deem to be a thrilling treasure. The rules weren't really explained that well, and I was woefully unprepared for this. Yet, my competition didn't seem all that fierce. Harry submitted a vase that people said was stinky and old. Regina seemed quite proud of herself and submitted her best item as a treasure. High powered explosives.
Wilbell showed a shiny pouch that people seemed to like quite a bit. I chose a shiny pile of junk that I found on the side of the road. People seemed to take well to it though. I guess they just disliked my item the least as I managed to nab first place (barely), which netted me some healing items and a boost of much-needed cash. Now I can buy more alchemy books and spend a month creating trash. Looking forward to doing some more in it over the weekend. I hope the trilogy gets a remaster, as they could really use it. While the game looks pretty, the performance tanks in towns at times and even in dungeons. I'm not too bothered by it, but it's certainly noticeable. I'm liking the combat so far. It's seems like it can be more strategic than the Arland battle system with the movement options, back attacks, and pursuits. One day, we'll get a 3D Mana Khemia combat system. Here's to hoping Lulua is just that.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
11
Secondly - I forgot how melancholic this game is. The world is on the decline. There are ruins everywhere. The land is dying. Rivers are drying up, crops are failing to yield, and people are clinging onto whatever they have left. There is no stopping it. It has happened before, and it will happen again. There's no Evil Force causing it. The only thing that can be done is to band together and try to survive through the Dusk of the world. There's a dimness and dullness that gives everything a sad spectacle while having some glimmer of hope, however faint it is. It makes any flowers in the drab earth stand out while sunsets across a grey sky become a gem.
Really enjoying your write ups on Atelier Ayesha (my personal favorite of the atelier games I have played). The muted, earthy color palette and the music really sells the aspect of the inevitable slow decay of the world, and gives the game a very bitter-sweet atmosphere at times. The dusk trilogy also has a larger focus on exploration, so by the end it feels more like you are actually exploring larger and more interesting world.

Ayesha´s story is also a very personal one in the vein of Totori. She has a clear motivation from the start and that gives the game more of a sense of purpose, even through the more mundane daily tasks. Especially the later parts of the game resonated quite strongly with me emotionally.

Also: Wilbell is adorable.


I was able to wrap up my play-through of Fallout. Not as long of a game as I expected, actually, probably under 20 hours, so once I decided to actually push ahead instead of faffing about, it was pretty straight forward.

Not to say that there were no casualties. I gave up of baby-sitting my brave-but-very-very-dumb companions while going through
the mutant base with its many damage-on-impact forcefield doors
and the result was a bloodbath. The solitary experience felt more thematically appropriate with the setting anyway, so I wasn´t TOO bothered.

The final dungeon/boss segment was very memorable. A very eerie locale unlike anything in the rest of the game.
Being able to use the information one has gathered about the super-mutants being sterile to talk yourself out of a final boss battle also felt very rewarding. The whole dialogue section was well-written and the voice-work for the Master was a neat touch. However, I was not prepared for how much of a cluster-fuck it would be trying to get out after "destroying the Master with facts and logics". A full-frontal guns-blazing approach might have been easier, if substantially less rewarding.

Ended up getting stuck for an embarrassingly long time trying to open the secret bookcase door, not being able to open it from the "wrong side". Frantically trying to click every little pixel of the screen that could potentially be a switch/door handle, while inhuman abominations try to eat my face. Chugging stim packs like crazy, while the nuke-timer ticks away. I did somehow manage to overcome this insurmountable barrier in the nick of time, and managed to make it out in time to safely observe the magnificent fireworks.

Final verdict:
Very good game, with good writing and an interesting setting.
Most challenging doors in a RPG I can remember (probably more of a personal challenge)
Reading the manual would probably have saved me some headache.

Will now move focus more on Tactics Ogre most likely, and have a bit of a break before jumping into Fallout 2.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,711
Really enjoying your write ups on Atelier Ayesha (my personal favorite of the atelier games I have played). The muted, earthy color palette and the music really sells the aspect of the inevitable slow decay of the world, and gives the game a very bitter-sweet atmosphere at times. The dusk trilogy also has a larger focus on exploration, so by the end it feels more like you are actually exploring larger and more interesting world.

Ayesha´s story is also a very personal one in the vein of Totori. She has a clear motivation from the start and that gives the game more of a sense of purpose, even through the more mundane daily tasks. Especially the later parts of the game resonated quite strongly with me emotionally.

Also: Wilbell is adorable.
Thanks! It's fun documenting it and providing thoughts later. The bittersweet atmosphere is really nice, it doesn't have the hyper-sugary feeling that some games can have. I get that the flat textures, earthy tones and colors, and heavy fog kind of scream "PS3 rpg" (or even an 'uprezzed PS2 game' in a sense), but it does feel like they took these things that are generally seen as negatives and worked them into the game so they make sense. A justification, I suppose. While the fog is to help with framerate by cutting draw distance, it makes the world feel a little hazy and almost like it's simply drifting in a miasma.

I like the memory system and they did a wonderful job on nailing the music that plays over it. It's so serene and sad. Just a little music box chime playing over a diary that she writes. I think that paired with "Wilbell must have been really lonely here..." was rather effective.

I've been loving the battle themes too.

I was able to wrap up my play-through of Fallout. Not as long of a game as I expected, actually, probably under 20 hours, so once I decided to actually push ahead instead of faffing about, it was pretty straight forward.

Not to say that there were no casualties. I gave up of baby-sitting my brave-but-very-very-dumb companions while going through
the mutant base with its many damage-on-impact forcefield doors
and the result was a bloodbath. The solitary experience felt more thematically appropriate with the setting anyway, so I wasn´t TOO bothered.

The final dungeon/boss segment was very memorable. A very eerie locale unlike anything in the rest of the game.
Being able to use the information one has gathered about the super-mutants being sterile to talk yourself out of a final boss battle also felt very rewarding. The whole dialogue section was well-written and the voice-work for the Master was a neat touch. However, I was not prepared for how much of a cluster-fuck it would be trying to get out after "destroying the Master with facts and logics". A full-frontal guns-blazing approach might have been easier, if substantially less rewarding.

Ended up getting stuck for an embarrassingly long time trying to open the secret bookcase door, not being able to open it from the "wrong side". Frantically trying to click every little pixel of the screen that could potentially be a switch/door handle, while inhuman abominations try to eat my face. Chugging stim packs like crazy, while the nuke-timer ticks away. I did somehow manage to overcome this insurmountable barrier in the nick of time, and managed to make it out in time to safely observe the magnificent fireworks.

Final verdict:
Very good game, with good writing and an interesting setting.
Most challenging doors in a RPG I can remember (probably more of a personal challenge)
Reading the manual would probably have saved me some headache.

Will now move focus more on Tactics Ogre most likely, and have a bit of a break before jumping into Fallout 2.
Grats!

I haven't played Fallout 1 myself (only 3/NV/4), but I listened to it on Watch Out For Fireballs (podcast thats basically a Game 'Book Club'.) I recall my uncle playing it (and 2 perhaps) as well. It's very interesting how little fighting these games can have. I think it's pretty awesome to be able to just talk your way past a fight that would otherwise be bloody. Losing companions along the way to the final area seems somehow appropriate for a post apocalyptic game where just surviving until tomorrow is a tall task for normal people.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,407
I'd appreciate any suggestions for what to play next as I'm having a really hard time deciding. I want to play an RPG with a good story - hopefully an RPG I can really sink my teeth into and in whose world I can get absorbed. I'm hoping for something that basically checks all the boxes and leaves you with that "man this is one amazing game and I wish I could start over from the beginning" feeling. I'm also kind of craving a Japanese one too. My choices are:

Trails of Cold Steel - I am partway through this and have been playing it for about a year and a half, and really enjoying the bits that I've played when I've played them, so this *should* be the default choice, especially since if I finish it (and 2 which I already own) I'll be able to play 3 later this year when that's out. The catch is I'm reluctant to play it as I have a Vita copy and would prefer to play on the PS4 instead, leaving the Vita for another game and thus avoiding burnout and genre fatigue.

Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom - I really enjoyed the first one, but haven't given this one too much of a chance (I just got past the prologue). It seems like more of the same but at the same time the bits I did play didn't seem to really grab me so I'm not sure if that's going to happen again. Even so, I do like the music, and the game is quite charming so I think I'd be okay if I gave it some more time.

Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age - This has been reviewed pretty well, and it seems big and engaging but I'm unsure about it as I've never played any of the DQ games and from what I can gather the game is a case of "do something really well but not try so much new" so I'm having a hard time figuring if I'd enjoy it or not.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - I've been meaning to finish this for over a year, and when I do get into it I do enjoy it, but at the same time, I don't like how the maps/navigation are and I also keep running into situations where I'm underleveled and get killed by giant enemies while exploring.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Enhanced Edition - I played the first game and really enjoyed that - the combat especially. I wasn't so much a fan of the story though, and I worry that this will be like the second with a story that's kind of just "there" and not really memorable or impactful. That said this looks to be much the same and improve on the predecessor on the gameplay front.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,711
Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom - I really enjoyed the first one, but haven't given this one too much of a chance (I just got past the prologue). It seems like more of the same but at the same time the bits I did play didn't seem to really grab me so I'm not sure if that's going to happen again. Even so, I do like the music, and the game is quite charming so I think I'd be okay if I gave it some more time.
The more I think about NNK2, the less I like about it. It starts off so strongly with a ton of charm, but it just kinda loses that as you go through the game. The battles are very easy and don't really evolve much unfortunately. About 80% in I was getting frustrated with the story. The final boss is one of the most irritating things and a massive difficultly spike that feels completely unearned. The game is fine overall, but I feel it's missing the charm that kept NNK1 going.

Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age - This has been reviewed pretty well, and it seems big and engaging but I'm unsure about it as I've never played any of the DQ games and from what I can gather the game is a case of "do something really well but not try so much new" so I'm having a hard time figuring if I'd enjoy it or not.
I've never really been a Dragon Quest fan. DQXI was the first DQ game I'd beaten and the first one I'd poured more than a few hours into. You don't really need to have played any of the previous games to know what you're getting as many JRPGs have pulled from the DQ franchise for nearly three decades.

It's a very good game. While I won't call it a wondrous breath-taking gem that others have, it's a pretty great and powerful traditional JRPG. The characters are very endearing, the world is vast and full of life, and there's quite a bit to do in it. It's quite long and meaty, but I do think it earns its length for the most part. The charm sticks with it throughout the game and I found it to be fun. I think it's worth it and a fine place to jump in. You can always go check out the other games later. While DQXI does do plenty of new things, it just strengthens its foundations more in comparison to the risks it takes.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Enhanced Edition - I played the first game and really enjoyed that - the combat especially. I wasn't so much a fan of the story though, and I worry that this will be like the second with a story that's kind of just "there" and not really memorable or impactful. That said this looks to be much the same and improve on the predecessor on the gameplay front.
While I've never beaten this game, I beat the first one and made it through act 2 of the 2nd. The story is much more prominent and personal, along with the character stories (which I recommend wholly versus using a blank slate). The combat in the second is a great evolution in my opinion. Overall its just bigger and better. You can expect more freedom in the sequel as well, as I'd burned through the first act three times now and have completed it in different ways each time, using different routes or methods I previously hadn't thought of.

Out of the three, I'd recommend DQXI. If you do, I'd recommend changing the camera to Classic, as the free movement is purely cosmetic. You get nothing from moving around in battle and Classic feels faster, snappier, and more focused on what is going on.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,655
Haven't played the others myself so I'll just speak to these two:
Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age - This has been reviewed pretty well, and it seems big and engaging but I'm unsure about it as I've never played any of the DQ games and from what I can gather the game is a case of "do something really well but not try so much new" so I'm having a hard time figuring if I'd enjoy it or not.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - I've been meaning to finish this for over a year, and when I do get into it I do enjoy it, but at the same time, I don't like how the maps/navigation are and I also keep running into situations where I'm underleveled and get killed by giant enemies while exploring.
DQXI: It does do new things tbh: the PS4 version changes it from round to turn-based command inputs and changes some QoL features to be more in-line with the way they're done elsewhere; generally the game moves the focus from dungeon crawling and resource management to boss battles and the combat is redesigned to be more oriented around realizing and maintaining offensive potential to burn down glass cannons. Indeed, depending on your taste plenty of this modernization can be more or less off-putting! Honestly, it is probably the most satisfying skill system in DQ for me, even if I have mixed or neutral feelings about other developments.

Where DQXI is the same-but-different is in the general strengths of its writing and narratives, which are fairly idiosyncratic among JRPG. Honestly, I don't really understand complaints about the series along this dimension: they seem to miss what is going on and how the series formulae and tropes are being arranged to draw out new meaning in conversation with past titles, often through very obvious yet intricately constructed structural conceits. DQXI was really satisfying as a fan of DQ story-telling and it added its own voice to the conversation. But yes, this is where many people fall off the train with DQ.

It is also an extremely well polished and beautiful game, reworked lovingly for western audiences. People complain a lot about the music, true. But idk...only really ever the world map song got to me well along the standard lines of criticism. The significant re-use of old music could be quite jarring at times, but that is for old fans.

XB2: I don't really know if later maps get better along your points of concern. I think they might though. I remember going to areas I shouldn't have been in mostly just from the opening areas of the game but maybe I just got better at avoiding them? IDK.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,055
PSA, you must all refer to me as Sintar now.

That's awesome. Do you know if he still sends out certificates?

I was able to wrap up my play-through of Fallout. Not as long of a game as I expected, actually, probably under 20 hours, so once I decided to actually push ahead instead of faffing about, it was pretty straight forward.

Final verdict:
Very good game, with good writing and an interesting setting.
Most challenging doors in a RPG I can remember (probably more of a personal challenge)
Reading the manual would probably have saved me some headache.
I'm glad you enjoyed Fallout. One of the things I love about Fallout is how through the quality of its setting it's able to encourage the player to make choices all without saying a word. It feels like you can just try something because it make sense, and more often than not, it just works.

==========================================================

I posted this in the other thread, but it might be of interest in here as well.

There is a particular moment that completely blew me away in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. It highlights what I've wanted from open-world RPGs for years now. Warhorse Studios held a contest for your most memorable moment recently for their 1-Year Anniversary. I submitted mine and won.

If you're interested in reading it, here it is. Beware there are some spoilers.

During the search for Timmy I was confronted by bandits from the Camp at the windmill. I managed to convince them that I'd heard he was holed up in Rattay. This was naturally a lie. They went on their way, but left someone to watch over me. Once I saw that they were gone I was left with little choice but to throw him in a ditch where no one could find him.

I did eventually find Timmy on my own, but his tale of wandering into the camp while intoxicated didn't inspire me with confidence. I decided to take it easy for the next few days, and return to the simple life.

A couple of days had passed since my encounter with the bandits. I was in Rattay, and about to enjoy a late-evening game of dice when I noticed something odd. There were bandits sitting at a table in the tavern, and not just any bandits, but the bandits I sent on a wild goose-chase here for Timmy. I couldn't believe that they were really here.

I decided to wait just outside in order to see what they would do. It was getting pretty late, and I knew they'd have to leave soon. I decide to follow while keeping my distance.

I continued to follow as they left Rattay. At first I thought they were heading towards the miller. Thoughts raced through my head that they knew I lied to them, and were coming to where I lived. It turns out this wasn't the case as they continued down the path.

I followed them on foot for literal hours across most of the map. I wasn't expecting to go on such an extensive journey, and had to scavenge the nearby grounds for mushrooms to keep myself from starving. I couldn't stray far from the path because I didn't want to lose sight of them.

A suspicion began to grow in my mind. I wonder if these bandits are leading me to their camp? The Camp! Once we began to arrive at Rovna, and headed further north into the woods I knew I had to be right.

At a couple of points along this forest path the bandits passed Cuman lookouts! This must be it! I continued to follow them, making sure to avoid any further lookouts.

In the end they led me straight to the Camp! The place I've been searching for throughout the last few quests. This completely blew me away. This wasn't the result of a formal quest. No quest markers had guided me to it. It was all the result of the logical consistency of the world simulation, and it's a moment I know I will always cherish.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,407
The more I think about NNK2, the less I like about it. It starts off so strongly with a ton of charm, but it just kinda loses that as you go through the game. The battles are very easy and don't really evolve much unfortunately. About 80% in I was getting frustrated with the story. The final boss is one of the most irritating things and a massive difficultly spike that feels completely unearned. The game is fine overall, but I feel it's missing the charm that kept NNK1 going.



I've never really been a Dragon Quest fan. DQXI was the first DQ game I'd beaten and the first one I'd poured more than a few hours into. You don't really need to have played any of the previous games to know what you're getting as many JRPGs have pulled from the DQ franchise for nearly three decades.

It's a very good game. While I won't call it a wondrous breath-taking gem that others have, it's a pretty great and powerful traditional JRPG. The characters are very endearing, the world is vast and full of life, and there's quite a bit to do in it. It's quite long and meaty, but I do think it earns its length for the most part. The charm sticks with it throughout the game and I found it to be fun. I think it's worth it and a fine place to jump in. You can always go check out the other games later. While DQXI does do plenty of new things, it just strengthens its foundations more in comparison to the risks it takes.



While I've never beaten this game, I beat the first one and made it through act 2 of the 2nd. The story is much more prominent and personal, along with the character stories (which I recommend wholly versus using a blank slate). The combat in the second is a great evolution in my opinion. Overall its just bigger and better. You can expect more freedom in the sequel as well, as I'd burned through the first act three times now and have completed it in different ways each time, using different routes or methods I previously hadn't thought of.

Out of the three, I'd recommend DQXI. If you do, I'd recommend changing the camera to Classic, as the free movement is purely cosmetic. You get nothing from moving around in battle and Classic feels faster, snappier, and more focused on what is going on.
Haven't played the others myself so I'll just speak to these two:



DQXI: It does do new things tbh: the PS4 version changes it from round to turn-based command inputs and changes some QoL features to be more in-line with the way they're done elsewhere; generally the game moves the focus from dungeon crawling and resource management to boss battles and the combat is redesigned to be more oriented around realizing and maintaining offensive potential to burn down glass cannons. Indeed, depending on your taste plenty of this modernization can be more or less off-putting! Honestly, it is probably the most satisfying skill system in DQ for me, even if I have mixed or neutral feelings about other developments.

Where DQXI is the same-but-different is in the general strengths of its writing and narratives, which are fairly idiosyncratic among JRPG. Honestly, I don't really understand complaints about the series along this dimension: they seem to miss what is going on and how the series formulae and tropes are being arranged to draw out new meaning in conversation with past titles, often through very obvious yet intricately constructed structural conceits. DQXI was really satisfying as a fan of DQ story-telling and it added its own voice to the conversation. But yes, this is where many people fall off the train with DQ.

It is also an extremely well polished and beautiful game, reworked lovingly for western audiences. People complain a lot about the music, true. But idk...only really ever the world map song got to me well along the standard lines of criticism. The significant re-use of old music could be quite jarring at times, but that is for old fans.

XB2: I don't really know if later maps get better along your points of concern. I think they might though. I remember going to areas I shouldn't have been in mostly just from the opening areas of the game but maybe I just got better at avoiding them? IDK.
Thank you both - I really appreciate it :D. Going to give DQ 11 a try then. The both of you have really sold me on it, and hopefully it'll be a really fun and memorable game :D