Surviving the devils
September 03, 2015

I once came close to clearing the DS backlog, when the last remaining game was Rondo of Swords, and I failed to beat it. Annoyingly, where I stranded was at the final boss fight, and I just could not put him down with what I had or could grind up to. Wasn't about to do the entire game over, so just left it at that. Caught the ending (brief, unremarkable) on YouTube instead. Sold the game later, but what an unsatisfying way to clear the backlog that was.

A few new DS games poured in since, I beat all but one of them, and now the final remaining title is SMT: Devil Survivor 2. A previous attempt in 2013 failed thanks to a lovely mid-boss named Megrez, as mentioned (though not by name) by Joseph Shaffer in his review: http://www.honestgamers.com/10107/ds/shin-megami-tensei-devil-survivor-2/review.html

"One boss battle gave me heartburn before I could even begin. Not only do you have to lock horns with a massive boss, but you have to contend with its minions that respawn from black vortexes called "miasmas." The battle also tosses a laundry list of constraints on you. You have a finite number of turns to win the battle, not to mention that the boss is resistant to physical attacks, regenerates, moves to other parts of the battlefield after taking a certain amount of damage, and spawns mid-boss level enemies."

That's the one, the very one. As before on Rondo, I could not beat him, not by swapping around or leveling up my characters and demons enough either. Grinding levels almost impossible on this game anyway, exp gains trickle down to nothingness as your levels rise relative to the enemy, so there's a soft cap of sorts. And so with what I could get, I just could not do it. So I drifted away, played other things, until sure enough, earlier this year I trickled my DS backlog down to one game again: this one.

But the clouds have now parted, for lo and behold, I put Megrez down earlier this week on a new save. A ridiculously close call, with two of four characters down and out and a third, a magic-centric one, out of MP and about as useful as ni--okay, no GRRM here, just about useless, we'll say. That left just the one, and he was badly wounded, only capable of the very physical attacks Megrez resists, doomed to die if Megrez got one more turn, yadda yadda - but he didn't. I got him. The fact that resident coward Daichi was the one to do it only made it all the sweeter.

So now the question is: is Megrez exceptionally tough compared to the rest of the game? Is he what TVTropes calls That One Boss? Or is he just a sign of things to come, with Devil Survivor 2 gleefully waiting to drop the other shoe? I mean, it *is* SMT. I don't trust these games *not* to drop the other shoe until the credits, and sometimes not even then. But perhaps we'll see an end to this particular system's backlog. (I don't even want to talk about how many unfinished games I have remaining on the PS2 or Gog.com.)

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pickhut pickhut - September 06, 2015 (02:12 AM)
Backlogs really do suck. I try to avoid purchasing more than one game at a time, because more times than not, I just end up concentrating on one and ignore the others. It's a good thing I don't frequent Steam that much and purchase anything on sale...
honestgamer honestgamer - September 06, 2015 (04:27 PM)
My Steam library is approaching 400 titles at this point, almost entirely thanks to Humble Bundle. At least that way, though, my purchase of games I don't play supports charity. I do buy the occasional PC title when a great sale comes along, if I had wanted it for a long while, but that rarely happens because I'm not big on PC gaming in the first place. And yet... almost 400 titles. That's almost entirely backlog, obviously.
sashanan sashanan - September 08, 2015 (09:37 AM)
I treat backlog management as a meta-game of sorts, been tracking it on Backloggery for some years and have changed my system of what to count and when several times. On some systems the backlog is still quite big, PC is the main offender with both a lot of physical games left (many old and possibly won't even run on my machine anymore, or take fan patches or DOSBox or both). Also Gog.com, which does tend to work fine, but I picked up more there than I'm likely to ever play. Steam, surprisingly, is almost clear, as I've been very cautious with my purchases there.

Likewise 3DS is now fully clear and DS, after Devil Survivor 2, will be clear as well. I have new games to purchase in mind for both of them, but not very many. DS I've gotten most of what I wanted and beaten it, for 3DS there just hasn't been much yet that catches my fancy. Have my eyes on the next Zero Escape game now that it looks like it really will come, I'll gobble up whatever Ace Attorneys gets localized, and I understand there's a proper single player Dragon Quest en route also.

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