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sashanan Reviewer and FAQ writer. Productivity tends to be on the low side, but I'm an old hand, having been initially on GameFAQs and now both there and here long enough for most people to believe I've been around since the dawn of time. I'm also Dutch, I write software, and I'm something of an old school gamer with a nostalgic focus on the Commodore 64.

Title: That's better.
Posted: March 21, 2008 (08:53 AM)
My session of Metal Gear Solid gone wrong found a happy end anyway - once I brought in my PS1, hooked it up and loaded my save on that, I was able to get through the cutscene without a hitch, and finish off the last bit of gameplay (which, as Martín G had told me, was really a formality). I'm all for formalities though, so I was now able to mark it off on my Backloggery (not to mention two Excel sheets of my own, one logging all my game finishes since late 2002, the other keeping track of unfinished games per system, now largely made redundant by Backloggery).

More good gaming news arrived with a package received from recent HG staff member siara79, which got here lightning fast I might add, and contained among other things Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Given my history with PW so far, it's entirely plausible that I'll either finish it in the upcoming three day weekend (Easter Monday's a national holiday in the NL) or at least come a long way. Self-discipline was required to put it away and sleep last night.

And AJ is only the beginning. The package also includes both Luminous Arc and Hoshigami Remix - feeding my eternal hunger for strategy RPGs - Metal Saga (a recommendation from threetimes, a consummate FAQ writer/reviewer who I think has not penetrated to HG just yet), GrimGrimoire (something I've had my eyes on for a while now) and the strategy guide for Shining Force Neo.

That's a tale in its own. I don't normally do strategy guides, having been a regular GameFAQs visitor since 1999 and all. siara79 on the other hand collects them. My copy of Shining Force Neo was originally hers (or if you insist on accuracy, her husband's), and passed on to me because it was deemed too difficult and frustrating. Now I daresay Sashy knows his RPGs and I cannot turn down a challenge once offered, either, so SFN went with me and I poured in 40 hours determined to conquer it in spite of its woefully unbalanced combat. Got a whole way in, too. But now, with the only remaining primary quest consisting of "take the holy trials and then go forth and slay the ancient evil", I find I'm far too underlevelled to have a shot at even the trials. This is not because I've rushed, this is because SFN decides to tack on an easy 20, maybe more hours of grinding at this juncture.

Much of the grinding consists of clearing 20 "optional" dungeons (optional in the sense that technically you can advance the story without them, except good ****ing luck surviving for longer than a minute) spread around the entire world map. Difficulty varies wildly, some I haven't even found yet, and with all the coming and going of other games I've completely lost track of which ones I've done, which ones I've skipped, what other side stuff I was working on, everything. The sole Shining Force Neo FAQ on GameFAQs is not particularly informative either. So when siara offered to send me her strat guide as well - which I really should have taken when I took the game last year - I didn't protest. Should be just what I need to untangle what the heck I was doing and finish off a game that's been permitted as part of my backlog for far too long already.

I guess I can stomach the fact that it tramples all over the Shining Force name. Hack and slash is the direction they've chosen for the series now, so meh, fine. But it does not even get THAT genre right. You're not automatically another Diablo 2, folks.

EmPUser: EmP
Posted: March 21, 2008 (08:58 AM)
Neo, Sash? Neo?

What the hell, man?

siara79User: siara79
Title: Blame it on my husband.
Posted: March 21, 2008 (09:13 AM)
He insisted that he wanted the game, he played it, begged me to find him the strat guide.. and once I did, he decided it was too difficult, so "let's donate it to Sash!"

This year's visit should be interesting, though I don't think we have anything he wants to pawn off on him yet.. ;D

sashananUser: sashanan
Posted: March 21, 2008 (09:28 AM)
Well, EmP, you have casual RPG fans, you have regular RPG fans, hardcore ones...and then you have me, playing each and every one as long as it involves killing monsters for exp. For the PS2 in particular, I collect the bloody things; sometimes that's more painful than other times. Unlimited SaGa is still somewhere on my shelf too.

I do think however that Neo will be my *last* foray into what passes for Shining Force now. No need to have Exa bring me to Tears as well.

honestgamerUser: honestgamer
Posted: March 21, 2008 (01:41 PM)
threetimes I think declined my request to use his Metal Saga FAQ on my site, or ignored it altogether. I think he's one that specifically declined, though, as I recall.

I play all sorts of RPGs and enjoy most of them a great deal. I liked UNLIMITED SaGa quite a bit, too. It's really unique and captivating. I'm... aware that most people hate it. I've made my peace with that.

sashananUser: sashanan
Posted: March 22, 2008 (12:11 AM)
In my particular case, hate is not really the right word - rather I can't make any sense of it. Granted, I've only tried it about an hour, but in that time I barely got to grips with how to move around, failed to figure out how combat worked, didn't feel as though the slot reels responded to my button presses, and when I thought my party had been wiped out, it hadn't been (but it was a little while later).

Gamer pride demands I at least give it a proper try again sometime in the future. I don't like to write off a game as being simply beyond me (although I've had to - I gave away LostMagic a while ago for that exact reaso).

threetimes is a woman, btw.

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