A few early impressions
October 07, 2011

Over the past week or two, I ordered (and received) Stella Deus: Gate of Eternity and Wild Arms 2 online and just started Final Fantasy XIII last night. Impressions are below:

1. Stella Deus: Through the first of five chapters. Pretty easy, but entertaining. The points system for moves/attacks/spells is pretty good and adds strategy. Nothing groundbreaking or awesome, but for someone who hasn't played a turn-based strategy game in some time, it's a good way to get reacquainted with that genre. If I'd find a battle that I struggle with, I can easily hit up the (dull) Catacombs fights for levels and money to buy stuff.

2. Wild Arms 2: Through a couple dungeons past the end of the intro stuff. Reasonably fun. I'd played the first and third games and it's kinda neat to see how WA 3 essentially refined so many elements of 2. I guess I'd always thought 2 was like 1, but it's more of a prototype of 3. I guess it got blah reviews mainly because it was ugly for when it got released, but if you're playing a PSX game now, you're probably not caring about graphics all that much. The "hit button to use radar to find towns and stuff...which don't appear until you've been told about them by people" element is as dumb as it was when I played 3 a few years back, but other than that, this is pretty fun.

3. Final Fantasy XIII: Into Chapter 2. Walk in straight line. Control new characters. Walk in straight line. Repeat for all of chapter one. At least the graphics/production is through the roof. So...what chapter do you start doing things that don't involve just walking in straight lines? Is it 10 or 11? I'm enjoying it mainly because of how good it looks, but do think it's funny that so far, I've done two things (staggering an enemy and pre-emptive attack) before the actual tutorial on them were triggered. I'm smarter than the game!!!! I do like the datalog. Those sorts of things really fleshed out the last couple Star Oceans, but not in an intrusive "30 minutes of exposition" about stuff way. Click a few buttons and you're good to go. I don't like how the exclamation mark appears next to items in the menu because you picked up another potion. Just have that stuff go down when you get a new item...not another item of a type you get every other battle/treasure chest.

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honestgamer honestgamer - October 07, 2011 (09:42 AM)
Pretty spot-on impressions! I think it's chapter 10 where FFXIII opens up and gives you a bunch of extra side quests, but you'll be disappointed if you're expecting anything close to FFVI or earlier in terms of exploration and such; you're mostly just exploring a wide plains area with monsters roaming it. The game's last few chapters are in many ways its best part, though, and I'm genuinely excited for FFXIII-2 next year.
threetimes threetimes - October 24, 2011 (09:45 PM)
I tried Stella Deus but never got past the first area. Still got the game, but it seemed very lacking in something. WA2 is awesome! I played that before playing 1 - and played it to death. :)

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