Jerec's Games of March 2021
March 30, 2021

Edit - a little early, but it's the afternoon of the 31st here and I don't imagine I'm going to finish another game today.

FINISHED

Ys I (PC)

I caved in and had to follow a guide to finish Ys I. Not for the boss battles (which are generally simple enough), but the constant back and forth in Darm Tower, making sure I have the right equipment to actually stand a chance, etc. I defeated Dark Fact easily enough, although admittedly I was playing on Easy. It's a shame this game didn't really become accessible to me until its Steam release - I bet if I'd played this in the early 90's, it would've rocked my socks off. I've never seen a Turbografx or Turbo CD in reality. If it did surface in Australia, it came and went long before I was into video game consoles. Given that I started this playthrough 6 years earlier, I should probably give it another go sometime, but for now I've decided to press on with the series.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Zero (PC)

This was yet another enjoyable Trails experience. I liked the different direction of keeping this game focused on one large city plus a few nearby areas outside the city. The story started off simply with Lloyd and his colleagues in the new Special Support Section handling oddjobs and trying to improve their image (and having an interesting rivalry with the Bracer Guild). It touched on corruption of various officials, how the mob and the politicians were interlinked, then it took a late game swerve into a cult that was up to nefarious deeds. Trails to Azure is close, but not out yet. I've been on a break from Trails for the last few weeks, but definitely keen to jump back in.

Pic-a-Pix Classic 2 (Vita)

Finished the last few puzzles (Really liked those 30x20 puzzles at the end). Got my platinum trophy.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate (Switch)

It always bugged me that I never finished World of Light, that I was stuck at the last boss for the longest time. Since I usually jump back in for a while when a new character is released, this time I finally bit the bullet and lowered the difficulty from Normal to Easy to beat that damn final boss. I guess I'm just going to have to accept that I'm in these games for the story, not the challenge. The older I get, the worse I get, and the less I care about improving. I'm counting this as a finish, even though there's still plenty of challenges I haven't done (and possibly won't ever), plus a bunch of spirits I don't have either. I jump back in from time to time and make a little progress, but my game time is up around 200 hours, so if I never play it again, I got my money's worth. But with two more DLC characters on the way, I'm going to revisit it at least twice.

IN PROGRESS

Persona 5: The Phantom Strikers (PS4)

This has been my main game of the month. I'm about 25 hours in. I... don't really like the warriors style combat. It's too chaotic. After a few defeats in the first jail early in the game, I dropped the difficulty to easy. I could probably turn it up again, since by this point in the game, cashflow is not an issue. I can afford all the new weapons/armour, and I've been using the bond points to improve my party's overall strength. Like a lot of Atlus games, they generally start out challenging then level off. I'm mainly enjoying this for the story. It's a decent continuation of Persona 5 (but not Royal), and it does some different things with the cognitive realm ideas. There's some tantalising mysteries stringing me along. This is one of those rare games where I'm not too impressed with the gameplay, but everything else about it is good enough to keep me playing.

Pic-a-Pix Pieces (Vita)

I've started on Pic-a-Pix Pieces to scratch that nonogram itch. This one has you solve smaller puzzles that are parts of bigger puzzles. Given that I like playing these games on Vita, I guess I'll need to pick up the rest of these titles before the storefront closes...

Faerie Solitare Harvest (Steam)

Still plodding along on New Game+. Got all the eggs, hatched all the creatures, but can't evolve them all since collecting resources is the bottleneck. I play a couple of rounds from time to time, but I imagine completing this game fully (achievements-wise) is going to be a slow grind.

Steins;Gate ELITE (Steam)

Finished Chapter 2, in the early stages of Chapter 3. I forgot how slow the early portions of this VN were (and how much the anime speeds through a lot of this). I'm enjoying it currently as my nightly wind-down game where I might let it run for an hour or so. I've got the text speed how I like it, so I just Steam Link it to my TV and only have to pick up the controller to respond to emails in game.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

One year in. Easter is back. Oh no! The Sanrio cards got re-released, although I already had them from years ago, so I scanned them in and got a bunch of crossover items. Yay! My island population was getting a bit stagnant, so I've been using other amiibo cards to move some residents out and bring in some fresh faces.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Switch)

Still going - nearly at the end of Part 1 before the 5 year jump. Spending a lot of time on extra battles to build up party skills and support points, so it's fairly slow going. But I enjoy it. Since I've recruited everyone that can be recruited at this time, I never go into the same battle with the same lineup twice. I'm thinking I made a mistake doing Edelgard's playthrough first - Dimitri's story really seems like it was meant to be the main one, particularly since a lot of the side missions earlier on involve Blue Lion students. It's just from the outset, Dimitri seemed like the least interesting of the three. He still is, but he has more depth than I originally thought.

Fire Emblem: Fates (3DS)

Back when this first released, I bought the special complete edition that fit all three routes on a single card. All these years later, it still seems like the most economical way to buy this... except that it is a fairly disappointing experience and really overpriced. Three Houses is SUCH a massive jump in quality from this. But I'm giving it another go - playing through Birthright first. The issue is that the characters aren't all that memorable. The structure of the game was built around giving your player character the choice of which path to take, with both families being structured much the same. The characterisation never goes much deeper than the superficial (like oh no, character likes sweets but doesn't want to be seen eating sweets. Three Houses did this exact thing, too, but it wasn't the core of that character's identity). Still, combat is fine.

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (Switch)

Got myself out of the first dungeon and about to set off on the next quest. It's slow, and uses very small numbers for HP/MP etc, so it can be quite a challenging and tiring game at times, especially since you actively have to press buttons to block, and whatever action is required for attack. It's a game that forces you to sit up and pay attention. Can't just button press your way through it.

Ni No Kuni (PS3)

Finished all the stuff at the port town (which involved some ridiculous backtracking) and now I'm on the open seas where I'm getting slaughtered by random encounters, because the game balance has changed to allow for three party members, only two of them don't pull their weight because I can only control one at a time. I swear, this is the exact reason I gave up on Secret of Mana - it was a good game with one party member, but terrible with three. I guess my only choice now is to grind grind grind. It's on the backburner.

Danganronpa 1-2 Reloaded (PS4)

Finished the third trial in the first game. I guessed one aspect of the murder pretty quickly (and a VERY long time before the characters did), but I did not immediately guess all of it, so it still managed to surprise me. I played up to the end of Chapter 3, and will look at finishing Chapter 4 in April (one chapter a month seems like a managable speed).

Ys II (Steam)

Made a start on Ys II. I did roll my eyes at how Adol reverts back to level 1 with no equipment, despite this being a direct sequel to the first. Steam sells Ys I & II together, but they are two different games in terms of executables. I guess this makes sense. I wonder how much carry-over there was in the editions where this is one game. Anyway, did some grinding, handed over the books, navigated that friggin' mine, traipsed across a frozen hellscape, now I'm chilling out in a town of kangaroos, which is where I've left the game for now. At least I have a second warp point, finally!

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Feedback
honestgamer honestgamer - March 31, 2021 (01:21 AM)
I can't bear to part with my familiar island residents, even though they are saying a lot of the same things when I talk to them. I miss any who leave, it seems like, and luckily my wife (with whom I share our little village) seems to feel the same way. She accidentally told Tammy to go find other adventures and we both were displeased.
jerec jerec - March 31, 2021 (01:45 AM)
Tammy is a treasure. She was in my New Leaf town for ages.
Genj Genj - April 03, 2021 (06:14 AM)
P5 Strikers starts out pretty hard but gets significantly easier. I beat it on Normal but got wiped several times in the first dungeon. The battle system is kinda the worst thing about the game and I often found myself wishing it was another JRPG instead. "High level" gameplay essentially equates to spamming Persona moves and then popping SP items. I would highly recommend investing in the Bond Skill that improves healing items because when maxed it also doubles your SP items. Also cook as many SP items as possible. You also pretty much want to use all the party members because often there is an optimal party for each Jail and boss.
jerec jerec - April 03, 2021 (01:40 PM)
I tend to switch up characters regularly so I can build up the Showtime gauge, too. Trying to ambush everything whenever possible helps, too. I think they didn't quite get the balance right, since it does start out really hard, but as soon as you can level up a bit and start using Bond skills, not to mention selling items to make huge amounts of cash, it becomes easier.

And true, improving the effectiveness of healing items is a must. But at least you can just leave the jail and go back in without much of a penalty (unlike previous Persona games).

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