Jerec's Games of February 2022
February 28, 2022

FINISHED

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright (3DS)

This, I admit, took me a lot longer than it should've. And because this was marketed as three games, I get to mark my completion of one of the story paths as a game completion. I'll be back to play Conquest and Revelation in the future sometime. I don't have much to say on this. The story is pretty forgettable, but the combat is *chef kiss*

Ys: Oath in Felghana (Steam)

In the end, I just wanted to finish this damn game. I can't believe it took me months. The play count was only around 11 hours, but my Steam count was closer to 15. That was a lot of time lost to gameovers, particuarly in every boss that could just kill my momentum. Ys Origin, which used this same engine, was such an improvement on this. I used the "debug" hack. The thing with this game is that it isn't purely down to skill - while it is an action RPG, the emphasis is on the RPG. Your stats are vital, attack/defence etc. You can face a boss and dodge it perfectly for as long as you can, but when you get your opening and attack, the damage you inflict is minimal. But if you level up, the boss becomes easier - it can't hurt you quite as fast, but you deal more damage. The balance of this game is a bit off - you can level up fairly quickly until maybe 1-2 levels below what makes the boss managable, then XP gain slows to an absolute crawl. For me to have a chance against some bosses, I had to go back and forth through the preceeding areas and just kill hundreds of enemies. It took a lot of time just to gain one level and go try the boss again, and if it's still too hard and skill isn't getting me anywhere, back to the grind I go. And in one instance, skill wasn't getting me anywhere. It wasn't until I started button mashing the crap out of my controller that I somehow pulled off a victory.

But anyway, the "debug" hack lets you do a few things, namely gain one level by simply pressing a key. As I'm a busy guy who works full time and this game really wasn't respecting my time, I decided to use it. The problem is with a tool like this, it's easy to abuse. I played it as close to normally as I could for a while, but in the final dungeon I just gave up and boosted myself to max level and breezed through the remainder of the game. The final boss still posed a bit of a challenge, but hey, there's another key to restore all my health.

There's a reason why I say "finished" rather than "beat". I didn't beat Ys: Oath in Felghana. It beat me. But I did finish it.

IN PROGRESS

Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth (PS4)

I've made a good 20 hours progress in this. I'm enjoying the struggles of our main protagonist. Really want to see what Kuon is up to beyond the opening scenes of the narrative. Battles are still fun. Not a huge amount to say about it - being a direct sequel means that it's hard to talk about without spoiling, but it has been far more engaging than the first 20 hours of the previous title.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (3DS)

The main reason I didn't continue with Fates is because I really wanted to see what this title was all about. I'm up to Act III already. I like that there are two protagonists - Alm and Celica, each with their own plotline and collection of party members. Watching their stories intersect is interesting, and though the two clearly care for each other, they disagree on what the other is doing. The gameplay is on point, the story is compelling (for a Fire Emblem game). I've been playing this pretty steadily.

Muv Luv Unlimited (Vita)

I've progressed to the start of Chapter 8 on the main route. It does seem to be re-telling various character development beats from the first VN, but in this new apocalyptic war-zone setting, which the protagonist makes some meta commentary about. Still the lesser of two VNs for me at the moment, but I don't want to drop it entirely and lose my momentum.

Picross S series (Switch)

Picross progress is on pace. I've slowed down a lot since I'm now mostly doing 15x15 puzzles, which take longer.

Picross S - 75/300 - 25%
Picross S2 - 135/420 - 32.14%
Picross S3 - 150/480 - 31.25%
Picross S4 - 150/485 - 30.92%

Pic-a-Pix Pieces (Vita)

Finished another picture, this one was a poorly drawn pixel swan. Fair bit of white space at the top made the earlier puzzles annoying. 24 15x15 colour picross puzzles. Total 218 mins.

Ys V (SNES)

The next Ys game in the story path is Ys V, the last remaining title in the series to not be localised or remade (as III and IV were). Fortunately, there's a fan translation on the rom, and the rom works well on my hacked mini SNES, so this is about as authentic an experience I'm going to get. This feels like Ys meets Final Fantasy - the graphics and the music are a bit FFV/VI. The story centres on Adol retrieving elemental crystals from dungeons for some reason. It's a bit of a clunky action RPG, but at least it's easy. I like how lean the game is: 3 and a bit hours and I've already been into multiple dungeons and seen many towns, never staying in one place too long.

Dragon Quest XI S (Switch)

When I loaded this file up yesterday, my last save was the 3rd of January. I wandered around through some Trial of the Luminary dungeon. Fought some battles, leveled up a bit, got my ass nearly kicked on multiple occasions. Just gotta keep at it, I guess. But maybe this game is too much.

Triangle Strategy Prologue Demo (Switch)

I didn't get into the last demo they did, since it dropped me right in the middle of the story with no real context. This one worked better, letting me play through the first few chapters of the game. The battles are good, the UI is a little cumbersome, the voice acting is terrible with fairly stiff writing. But I'm intrigued, I guess. I finished the demo and I can continue my progress in the full game that's out later this week. I'll probably get it.

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Feedback
honestgamer honestgamer - March 10, 2022 (09:53 AM)
You play what seem to me like pretty interesting games. It seems we have similar taste. I usually own the stuff you play and blog about, but I don't get around to actually playing it myself. So your posts do a good job of letting me know what I'm almost experiencing. ;-)
jerec jerec - March 10, 2022 (11:40 AM)
The uninteresting ones get shelved pretty quick :)
dagoss dagoss - March 11, 2022 (02:20 PM)
I made a huge dent in DQXIS in Feb, making it into the 2nd act. It's... Ok. It actually made me go back to DQIX for a bit. I just can't put my finger on why DQXI isn't doing anything for me.
jerec jerec - March 11, 2022 (03:59 PM)
DQXI is a game I've been stopping and starting on since I bought it in 2019. I ended up stopping for about a year and a half and then when I picked it up again last year, watched all the cutscenes on Youtube as a refresher. I had my best run with it in the later bits of Act 1 leading into Act 2 where I played it pretty consistently. Then Act 3 being a very long post-credits segment, I'm kind of drifting now. Some stuff I attempt is too hard, levelling up is too slow, and having only played a couple of short sessions in the last few months, I'm a bit lost now. I'll need a guide to get back on track, but I'll probably just push forward and try to beat the damn thing. I'm nearing 100 hours now and while most of this stuff is optional, I still want to see the real ending. Whether I just go back to my good friend Youtube and call it quits, I haven't quite decided.

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