The Winnowing Continues
October 17, 2017

Since I last updated my progress, I've beaten a few games in Bravely Default, Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millennium Girl, Journey to Kreisia, Kirby's Epic Yarn and Rayman Legends. My review is up for BD, it'll be up for Kreisia whenever a certain SOMEONE gets to it in the queue, I'm working on my review for Kirby's Epic Yarn (the ever-so-beloved part where I scrap 5 paragraphs and start over because my current tactic is sucking big-time) and then I'll pound out the review for Rayman Legends.

Since I'd reviewed EOU:MG for the ABC contest when I still had a couple bosses to fight, here's my opinion on those final two bosses. Well, not counting the post-game, which constitutes dungeon levels 26-30, a bunch of side-quests, the ability to change the level cap from 70 to either 99 or 100 and the true final boss. I'll might get to that someday, but not in the near future (or probably distant; my track record for going back and doing stuff like this is comically bad).

Anyway, the final boss was a fun encounter. Powerful, but not too tough if you know what you're doing. Two-part battle that I beat without much difficulty. Before it, there was M.I.K.E. I hated that computer thing because it utilized a tactic that is cheap as hell. For 11 turns, it's a good fight. It attacks in a pattern that only has slight deviations on one or two turns. Turns 12 and 13 are pure BS, though. He'll use his regular attacks UNLESS anyone in your party uses a magic attack (12) or a physical one (13), at which point, he'll ignore that attack and deliver a devastating party-wide counterattack. If I hate anything, it's when the game essentially cheats and "reads your mind" to determine its attacks. It's not challenging, it's cheap crap that I hate. So, I returned the favor after dying to it about 3 times and looked up this fight on the Etrian wiki to find what it's exact pattern was, and then planned my moves accordingly and won. You cheat, I cheat. Sucker.

As for the six games (to be whittled to 4) that I'm currently playing:

360: Borderlands -- Started this and am moving on to the mission to invade Sledge's Safe House to get the key to his hideout. I'd played through this phase of the game with a friend (split-screen gaming sucks, by the way; I'd be constantly being distracted by what he was doing) and we were kind of stupid. Focusing on main plot stuff and ignoring side quests that weren't directly on our way. The thing is, that stuff gives good XP and being under-leveled in a game like this isn't a good idea, because like Xenoblade Chronicles, it uses a formula where you cause more damage and take less if you're higher-leveled than your foes and cause less/take more if lower-leveled. So, instead of saving time by not doing side quests, we were probably wasting a bit of it because certain things like the long path through skags and bandits to get to the safe house took FOREVER because we weren't going to blast through a bunch of stuff successfully until gaining a level or two. Live and learn.

ROM: Seiken Densetsu III (SNES) -- I think the biggest issue that I have with games in this series, as far as not aging well goes, is the bizarre way they combine action-RPGing with turn-based stuff. When you're in fights and you or an enemy uses a spell or skill, all time stops until that spell/skill has been completed. Fighting Land Umber (God Beast 7 for me) was one of the most hellishly annoying things I've done in gaming in some time because his favorite attack was one where he'd take 5-10 seconds to grab a character, crumple them into a ball and toss them around the boss room for half their current health. He'd do that attack regularly, causing the battle to freeze until the animation was done, leading to a comically choppy fight where I'd be hoping to get much of anything accomplished before the screen freezes again for another lengthy spell animation. When I'm done with this game, at some point, I might replay Secret of Evermore to decide if I still remotely like it. And then I'm never touching another Mana game (or Mana-in-spirit in the case of Evermore) again.

Android: Seven Sacred Beasts -- It's a pseudo Action RPG by Kemco! A take on the "mons" games where you capture creatures and summon them in battles to fight for you. Action RPG is misleading, as you don't do anything other than summon creatures, avoid enemies and rarely cast one of three spells; while your monsters do all the actual fighting via computer control. So, how thrilling is this? Well, last night, after a few beers with a friend, I played it for a little while before going to bed and fell asleep sitting up while in a dungeon. THRILLING!

THE REST
Dragon Warrior VII (PS) -- I just finished the three-part mission to save a town that destiny did not want to stay saved. Save it once, find out something else destroyed it. Save it again, find out a third force destroyed it. Save it a third time and actually become able to move past this place to another world. This was a pretty fun region overall. Only about a half-dozen more places to clear before I might be able to do the second disc of this massive game.

Avadon 2: The Corruption (Steam) -- Closing in on the end of this one. Two more plot missions and the endgame left to do. Finished all the character quests and most of the side quests. This game is a lot more difficult that the first game, with a lot of side quests and optional encounters that all are very tough. In the first game, the only real difficulty came from a couple optional bosses or from you not taking non-subtle hints to run like hell instead of dilly-dallying around.

Shin Megami Tensei IV (3DS): AKA: The Red-Headed Stepchild of my current projects. No matter how many games I beat, this one doesn't get any extra playing time. Right now, I'm at the point where I have to decide to side with Jonathan or Walter after mob boss guy uses drunk gas-using monster to get me back to working for him. Since I'm going for the neutral end, I guess I'll be working with Jonathan, since that's what the guide I'm semi-following to stay neutral advises.

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hastypixels hastypixels - October 19, 2017 (05:06 AM)
Not even the new Secret of Mana? C'mon, you've gotta be at least curious about that. Even though it was technically inferior, it's still my favorite. I'm deadly curious. Also I'm playing Etrian Odyssey: The Millenium Girl right now, and it's basically my intro to the series. Good thing it's got a story mode for me to learn its systems... probably a good starter for anyone else looking to try the series out, as well.
overdrive overdrive - October 19, 2017 (03:32 PM)
The thing about the new Secret of Mana that concerns me is that brief time I spent with the GBA remake of Final Fantasy Adventure (Sword of Mana, I think?). Lord, they just made the story so over-the-top compared to the GB version, while adding so many bells and whistles from (I think) the PS Mans game to where it was just a bloated, annoying mess I gave up on less than midway into it. I mean, I understand that when remaking a GB game on the GBA, you have to add dialogue and plot, but that came off as someone playing the original game and writing the lamest fan-fic for it and getting it published as the actual game. If you tell me the new version doesn't make all action stop whenever anyone does anything beyond basic attacks, since that's the thing I'm finding most annoying, I'll be willing to revise my position, but as it stands, to me, Mana is one of the worst-aging of the classic retro series that I've played. I will say that, if done right, Secret of Mana would be the best one to remake. To me, it had the best world of any of the Mana games I've played AND it did have a good story, although the dialogue was definitely lacking in areas and that part where the Sage pretends to be his apprentice and sends you out on rapid-fire quests to get a bunch of the spirits felt like they were running out of cool ideas, so they just threw some stuff together piecemeal.

As for EO:TMG, I'd agree that is the best intro to the series. The story mode, while limiting you to five specific character classes, does give you a well-balanced party, the extra Gladsheim dungeon and, from what I've read, the map icons are better established or explained than in the original game. The only floor I found annoying to map was 19 (has a lot of teleporters, both two-way and one-way, and I found myself running out of options to denote different sets).
joseph_valencia joseph_valencia - October 19, 2017 (09:56 PM)
Final Fantasy Adventure for life.

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