The Winnowing: Part II
September 12, 2017

On one hand, you could say I'm 3/4 of the way there, as my plan is to have one game that I currently play in each of these four groups: 360, Android (ie: my Kemco niche), ROM and other system (ie: PS/PS2, 3DS/DS, Wii, Steam). And I have one game in each of the first three groups! On the other hand, in that "other system" group, I still need to narrow it down from 6 games to 1, so, yeah, there's a little bit of work I still have to do...

So, where am I?

XBOX 360: Rayman Legends -- the main goal is to start the Dark Souls games, but I didn't want to deal with something that work-intensive while trying to finish a bunch of other games, so I decided to work with this one. Which was a good decision, as this game is really awesome with a lot of cool features.

1. It's neat how the game seems to expect you to bounce between its five worlds, as each one has levels ranging from 1 skull in difficulty to 5 skulls (well, the first world and maybe the second don't have any 5-skull levels and the fifth doesn't have any 1-skull ones, but the point stands). So far, I've done all the 1s and 2s and only have one 3 left.

2. Since I really loved Rayman Origins, getting to replay most of those levels via winning Origin levels through the Lucky Tickets is a neat added feature.

3. There are a lot of neat extras, from the Daily/Weekly Challenges, the shorter Princess Rescue levels and the Invasion time-trial levels. And levels have replay value, with how there are up to 10 teensies to collect in order to unlock other levels, as well as all the lums, which are needed to unlock characters and win those Lucky Tickets.

ROM: Seiken Densetsu III (SNES) -- Up through the second God-Beast in the second half of the game. It's one of those games that's good, but not great. In other words, a typical Mana game. Main weakness for me is how unwieldy combat can get, with you having to change between characters if you want to get full use out of their skills, since it seems that while they use charge attacks when that meter gets full, they won't use spells and skills without your prompting. Unless there's a setting controlling that. In which case my issue would probably be them burning through magic against weak foes like dolts. But that's the issue with any game with RPG elements where you don't have full-time full control over your guys -- at least in the olden days before programmers were able to install truly good AI like you can see on display nowadays.

ANDROID: Journey to Kreisia -- This is Kemco's bros at Exe-Create being all meta, giving you a hero who is a standard teen in our world getting transported to a generic fantasy land to be the savior against an evil Overlord. Much like other games I've played with this plot element, the early going is fairly humorous with your hero being a fish out of water. Also much like other games I've played with this plot element, that stuff gets completely (or nearly so) eliminated from the dialogue a little ways into the quest, as your hero becomes a true (generic) good guy trying to help the people of the world. Sigh... The dungeons are pretty good in this game, but the controls are lacking. Most of these games allow you a combination of touch-control-pad controls and being able to touch icons on the screen. Not here. If you bring up the control pad, you have to use it in battle and menus instead of touching icons and that just feels cumbersome and awkward.

And for the others, where the winnowing needs to come.

Bravely Default (3DS): And I think I'm at my breaking point. In Chapter 7, I beat the mandatory fights and started the optional job master fights for this level. It was supposed to be cool as this is the chapter where they mix up the standard fights to give you new combinations. And after doing a couple, I realized that I was just sick of how comically over-padded this game is, so I think I'll be going to the final chapter and doing the bare minimum to get through it and beat the final bosses. It's not a bad game, it just needed a couple fewer chapters. On a side note, this one will be interesting to review, as it'll be near-impossible to express my displeasure with the padding without giving out a few spoilers, so it'll be challenging to say what I want while being subtle enough than I don't openly spew plot twists left and right!

Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millenium Girl (3DS): When I have to review a game under a deadline (in this case, a contest) and, due to deadline, have a wee bit left to accomplish in it, I just have no motivation to finish things most of the time. Which is why I still have the final two bosses to beat, although I am ready to go after at least the first of them! The post-game challenges might have to wait for an eternity -- I'm just getting so burnt out on modern JRPGs due to their length that I can only really stomach the Kemco ones (15-25 hours) and the 8/16 bit era ones (20-40 hours). These modern 60-100 hour games just drag on forever.

Dragon Warrior VII (PS): DID I JUST SAY "DRAG ON FOREVER"? WHY YES I DID!!! I did just add Melvin to my party and had collected enough shards to open up a couple more lands, even without doing the dungeon in the modern world located where Glacos' dungeon in the other world was. And I'm still on the first disc. But, hey, because Enix knew they were making a super-long game, they made it so it takes forever to level up, so you need to improve job classes just to feel like you're getting more powerful!

Shin Megami Tensei IV (3DS): Lord, four straight JRPGs in the "other system" category. Finish these and I might go a few years before starting another modern, non-Kemco one... Here, I'm climbing the dungeon tower to go after mob dude Tayama, I think. Beat a boss to get in, climbed a few floors and met Mastema to remove a barrier or two.

Avadon 2: The Corruption (Steam): A western RPG...far more palatable to my tastes now with the character customization and emphasis being more on just going places and killing stuff and doing quests for people. I've been playing this one (and BD) a lot recently. Interestingly, I'm only at the end of the fifth of 10 main missions, but my character levels are 25, with a cap at 30, so either those other missions are shorter (likely part of the story, as I've explored all the main areas of them, meaning other missions would involve me talking to people to update side quests and then getting sent to one side area or so) or I'll hit the level cap way before I'm done with the game.

Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii): You know, I was thinking about doing the first Borderlands game rather that Rayman Legends and Kirby wishes I had. Both this game and Rayman have some core similarities (collect currency to get the best rating for levels as well as unlocking stuff, and collect collectibles to unlock other stuff), but Rayman just gives me the package I personally prefer (higher degree of challenge, in particular), which outweighs the cute, fuzzy vibe of this game. Sort of the overall difference between a 5-star and 4-star game. You can be perfectly content with the 4, but then you'll start a similar game that's a 5 and *boom*, that 4 suddenly gets buried and you have a week's worth of gaming sessions where you intended to play it, but never got around to picking it up. Anyway, I'm near the end of the fifth world (of seven). Have to fight DeDeDe to access the two secret levels and then finish the final two lands.

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honestgamer honestgamer - September 12, 2017 (07:01 PM)
You definitely need to finish all the stuff you've started on that list... and then be careful about ever building such a large list again. Or so I say, knowing that I sometimes have done the same thing and probably will again.

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