April 22, 2011

So, I'm trying to shake off possibly the worst writer's block I've ever had. I'm talking NO MOTIVATION TO WRITE ANYTHING bad. Like not even getting to the point where I create a text document and just stare at it until I realize that I took two hours to write that many paragraphs to the point where I think about creating one and then don't.

So, in order to help me, I'm going to give all sorts of "what I'm playing" updates. Basically any game from the past month or two from most time with to least time with.

1. Tales of Vesperia: Up to the fight with Tison and Nan. Boss fights are much tougher here than in the past couple Tales games. Seems that starting with Gattuso, I die at least once before winning. Gattuso and Barbos were particularly tricky. In Abyss, it seemed that you needed very little (if any) strategy to beat all but the toughest bosses. Here, you get shredded if you try to live by the "run up to enemy and hack wildly" method. I like that.

2. SMT Persona 3 FES: I'd played through it up through the first couple months and then it became a casualty of me buying my 360. So, I'm starting it back up again. I'm probably about to where I was when I quit (after the Emperor/Emperess fight, but nowhere near the next full moon). Definitely a "fine-line" game, although I admire how good it walks that line. The rogue-style dungeon crawling SHOULD be tiresome as hell, but the complete and total necessity of paying attention to strengths and weaknesses almost makes it a game within a game, as I'll be changing Personas from fight to fight in order to be best equipped for any foe.

3. God of War: I'd been playing it and was a bit into Pandora's Temple then stopped because I entered a pure-ass RPG mode. Since I couldn't remember any damn Blade upgrade attacks, I just started over and in a handful of hours have almost made it to that point (killed the three sirens in the desert last night). Carnage and blood are fun. Trying to target one enemy for a special attack in a cluster can be annoying. Such as the cyclops attack in the city square with all the life-restoring victims...I mean citizens of Athens. Or when you're in a narrow sewer corridor and trying to circle-button kill a minotaur for the health while being besieged by them and regular soldier foes. But it's hard to complain too much about a beautiful game that allows me to brutally slaughter medusas, sirens, minotaurs and other Greek mythos staples.

4. Cthulhu Saves the World: Haven't been saving the world much recently. At the town/dungeon with the zombie infestation early in the game. It's fun, but so far is coming off like "Breath of Death...but a bit upgraded". I'll have to have an evening with it soon.

5. Breath of Fire II: It and Chrono Trigger are the highest two games on my list of ones I want to play with a translation patch solely to get a more accurate glimpse as to how the game was before the dialogue was chopped up for American consumption. So that's what I'm doing here. I forgot how tedious the early going is. If you want to properly equip Ryu and Bow (or Bosch, in this translation) for the first dungeon, you better hope dog-boy can hunt a few boars for roasts (worth $200). And then, when it's just Ryu, the enemy difficulty picks up A LOT as you try to get to the Coliseum town. As I remember, when you get a more fleshed-out party, things are much more manageable (some areas are tougher than others, but nothing is OVERLY hellish), but in the early going, it takes a while to get going.

6. Illusion of Gaia: I'd been wanting to play this one again. When it comes to "career" goals as far as reviewing, one of mine is to do the SoulBlazer trilogy. I've done SB, so this is the next one. I've only had one session with it, which I played up to the longish hero and princess on a raft sequence. I did better against the first boss than usual (ie: didn't die, even though I went through most of my healing items before I stopped being an idiot and starting actually beating it down). That bastard is a brutal first boss by most games' standards. Has a number of attacks and you have little room to maneuver in.

Most recent blog posts from Rob Hamilton...

EmP EmP - April 22, 2011 (01:25 PM)
I'd like to offer you the advice that saw mw past my recent bout but, truth is, all I managed to do is crap out a review I'm not really happy with and half finish a few drafts I don't like.

I'd say go with whatever holds you interest down and just attack the page with words, and don't worry about quality control until there's characxters down. That's what I'm about to go for.

(Otherwise, I pick no.1)
honestgamer honestgamer - April 22, 2011 (01:32 PM)
EmP's advice is sound and the only way I've ever successfully attacked writer's block. I think I've had writer's block more often than I knew, but that I've been too stupid to realize it and just kept opening up documents and typing in words.
overdrive overdrive - April 22, 2011 (02:39 PM)
A couple weeks ago, No. 1 was the definite choice, with the two SNES games and Cthulhu being "rainy-day" projects. One of those side-effects of the writer's block seems to be a general difficulty in focusing on one game. I was all about Vesparia for a couple weeks and then suddenly decided to play Persona 3 and was all about that for a week and then went back-and-forth between Vesperia and Persona 3 and then didn't feel like a RPG, so I played God of War the last couple days. Well, Tuesday and yesterday. Wednesday, I had a bit of food poisoning and didn't feel like doing anything more than laying on the couch with a book.
Masters Masters - April 23, 2011 (07:17 AM)

You're already writing. This topic is proof positive of your ability to write about games.

When I had issues with the evil, blank Word NEW DOCUMENT page staring back at me, I would always turn to this technique. I would just talk about the game with someone over AIM (or MSN or whatever you use). I'd just ramble about the game and what I thought of it in candid terms to Dark Fact or whomever and then just copy and paste that into the document and start editing (can't really submit something full of "ok so what i hated was the fucking third boss--what a bitch!") Because it's far easier to edit than it is to write.
overdrive overdrive - April 23, 2011 (09:40 PM)
Marc, two funny points about what you said.

1. I actually thought that after typing up the original post here. Very effortless to simply put out little blurbs about what I'm playing, so I just need to transfer that to actual reviewing.

2. The "talk on AIM" is how my Galg review got done. I was reviewing it for a contest (I think) and spent multiple nights bitching on AIM to Zig about how horrible it was. Stuff I said there did either/both get into the review and/or influenced what got in.

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