Random Progress Report
May 08, 2008

Just stuff I've played over the past week or so. As opposed to games I'm playing but haven't had time to get to for a couple weeks or ones that have been shunted to the back burner. Unless you want to hear me say that in Star Ocean: TtEoT that I'm in the lower parts of the Sphere Building right after killing the head of security guy for the 4th or 5th time over the past year and a half or so!

1. Resident Evil 4: Chapter 5-3. Last night, I totally got disemboweled by that thing Saddler refers to as "it". Great game. I find myself playing it in small bits and pieces just to let the experience sink in so that I can savor it more. I can see me giving this one a 10 easily.

2. Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. Currently nearing end of seventh dungeon. Like to have that game finished (non-linked) and reviewed by early next week. Well, either that or RE 4 --- maybe even both by the end of the week. Probably give it a 7 or so. Gets kinda cumbersome constantly changing the seasons to advance even one or two screens and to get heart pieces, gasha seeds, certain rings (like the Golden Beast quest one) and whatnot. Also just don't like the play control with certain magnetic glove rooms -- including the horrible boss fight with Digdogger. Has the classic Link's Awakening feel for awhile, but seems to get bogged down by the programmers seeing how tricky they could be later in the game.

3. Zelda: Oracle of Ages. Finished the first two dungeons. Too early to guess as to how I'll rank it. I do like the "two parallel worlds" theme more than the "one big world and one little one, but every screen in the big one has four possibilities" one. Just makes it a lot easier to focus on what you have to do and where you can go after getting new key items.

4. This Japanese NES Madara game I DLed and patched last night. Probably will near-immediately go on "LATERZ, DOOD" pile, as I have a ton of stuff to play, but this seems to be a pretty intriguing RPG. Anime-esque plot with you controlling some dude, who was found as a mutilated baby by some kindly old fellow who built you mechanical limbs, eyes and other necessary body parts. Now, you have to set out on a big ol' mission to take out a bunch of demon lords and regain your original body parts. Interestingly, battles are done via computer control in real time action while you can enter menus and give specific commands/tactics to characters. So, you essentially watch fights and input your two cents when necessary. Kind of like another Famicom RPG in Chaos World, but the battles are done from the same viewpoint as Emerald Dragon. Be interesting to see how much (or if) these mechanics work for me.

At some point, I'll be DLing a ton of other translation patches (and their games) that I just haven't gotten to yet for various reasons. No clue as to when I'll get around to them, but at least they'll be taking up space on the ol' hard drive!

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Suskie Suskie - May 08, 2008 (10:31 PM)
Ages is a lot better than Seasons. Would've recommended playing one before the other, though, so you could have taken advantage of the password system.
overdrive overdrive - May 08, 2008 (11:00 PM)
Oh, I'm thinking I'll do both of them back-to-back. If they're like every other Zelda game (which, for the most part, they seem to be), they're moderately challenging to figure out the first time through for various reasons (finding dungeons and key places in the old ones, figuring out how to get to/through them in more recent ones) and very, very easy afterwards.

I would have just done a Seasons-Ages combo, but read somewhere that Ages-Seasons gives a bit better story, as you get closure to the Queen Ambi/lost husband or lover subplot that sets up a major part of Ages' plot.

Oh, and speaking of plot, I've noticed that Ages actually has one that is present throughout the game. Seasons seems to rely on the combo of changing the seasons and their "upgrades" to all the classic LoZ bosses (Aquamentus, Dodongo, Manhandla = better; Gohma = essentially equal, as it's cooler in some ways, but more annoying to fight; Gleeok = annoying; Digdogger = putrid due to the utterly stupid magnetic glove concept).

But it's weird. As I play through these games, Ages feels like a vintage Zelda title (so far, through 3 dungeons, the only thing I don't like is how the bosses have ranged from "meh" to "suck" -- well, the flying bird miniboss in the second dungeon would have been a great fight if he could break the border tiles, too, so you'd have no safe haven from getting knocked out of his room to the basement. But then, you also have the pumpkin-head ghost that's a weak version of the genie from Link's Awakening, the miniboss mole that's an utter joke and the final L3 boss that's nearly as lame -- oh, and let's not forget the utterly abysmal Thwomp boss of L2. WTF was Nintendo thinking with that thing?

Seasons feels like an add-on so the "link/password" concept could become a reality. Has its cool moments (like in L7, the repeated encounters with the two evil ghosts), but way too many gimmicks that don't work for me. If you take the best elements of both games and put them in one, you have a 10. As it is, Seasons is looking at a 7 and Ages (from where I'm at) is a 9.
Halon Halon - May 09, 2008 (07:21 AM)
Think I have to give Seasons the nod. I liked the two larger worlds better in Ages but the dungeons/bosses were better in Seasons. It was more focused on the action as well.

EDIT: Which game had the Roc's cape? That was awesome. It's pretty close to call, and since I haven't played either game since they came out I'll just say they're even.
darkstarripclaw darkstarripclaw - May 09, 2008 (11:12 AM)
Mouryou Senki Madara is cool. Have not gotten around to completing it yet, though.
overdrive overdrive - May 09, 2008 (11:32 AM)
Seasons has the Roc's Cape. You get it in the seventh dungeon, I think. Or is it the sixth? One of the two. That is a cool accessory, especially in the rooms where you need to bust it out, but a lot of the platforms you're landing on are collapsing floors, so you have to immediately jump to the next platform.

I played it a bit more extensively last night and am really digging it. I'd read that this game was pretty challenging and it definitely seems to be, so far. I'd leveled up a couple times around the home village and bought all the equipment there. Then, I headed to the marsh, feeling pretty tough and barely survived a battle with one spider-like regular encounter. And found out that my healer having 300+ MP means nothing as even the basic healing spell takes near 100 of those points. And, while MP recharges with time, it does so really slowly, so you really can't count on "getting back" opportunities to cast spells while in a dungeon-like area.

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