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Messages - necrosexual

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Modern Video Games / Re: E3 2021
« on: June 17, 2021, 09:37:28 pm »
i'm pretty pleased with danganronpa collection on switch. on vita it's so expensive at this point, so seeing it get a release on switch is a welcome relief

General / Re: Your own videogame reviews thread
« on: June 17, 2021, 09:12:25 pm »
so i just played silva saga ii: legend of light and darkness (シルヴァ・サーガ2) and thought i would say a couple words.

so it's a pretty basic JRPG on the SNES and certainly doesn't stand up to the classics (or even the next in lines like produce! rpgs), but it doesn't do anything wrong either? but i can't imagine many people going, 'oh, yeah, silva saga, gosh, what an overlooked cult classic!' but i could see people playing this here and there to scratch an itch.

because that's the only notable aspect of this game: you can play it and beat it in like 15 hours, less if you have done so before, so if you don't want to dedicate to the genre's conventions it would be great for that

everything else it does is basically standard or completely ignorable (such as the idols/mercenaries combat mechanic). beyond grinding, it is basically every part of japanese RPGs conventions without any scrap of shame. it's a pretty unashamed FFIV knock-off, but at a breakneck pace, and without the drama of betrayals and death. they weren't that daring. so if you want this exact kind of classic JRPG, down to the ridiculous 20-portal tower dungeon maps (they don't make maps like this anymore) that are easy to get lost in, but without a 20+ hour commitment, here's your game.

there is a lot of unique text while interacting with hidden-item spots, but idk if that is the fan translation or not. it is charming though.

the music is... fine. all towns use the same tracks only differing depending on night or day. it gets tiring after a bit. i don't remember the overworld track. dungeon tracks were pleasing enough. i like the combat tracks, but it may have been because they used some of the same samples as 7th saga here, a game i have a soft spot for.

combat is extremely physical-leaning, and magic is seriously hurt, with buff spells almost nonexistent and only two spells necessary on your mage tbqh. the magic resistance spell is an absolute showstopper, as it negates all magic attacks (including status), and this is the main role of your mage, setting this up, and evasion buff, then being item mom. a lot of press A combat here.

but sometimes you want to play a game in a genre that isn't trying to do unique shit or blend genres or anything new. sometimes you want to go back to basics, and i think this game is great for that and i think that's why i enjoyed it well enough. it really is a linear classic JRPG, and not exactly a great one, but it doesn't have to be because it seems aware enough of that not to keep you too long either.

for the genre it does what you expect but if you dislike JRPGs already it will remind you why. but it's pretty harmless in the grand acheme. playa very safe to convention, which i guess i could dig rn.

i only pre-order if the game has an art book with it, and i want the game very much and like the art style. but you have to be wary of what is meant by 'art book'. i'm not really interested in just a package of official marketing art on paper with a binding. but if they show the rough concept art below that, and esp reject art as they built up to the final designs, i'm totally down. i'm a sucker for art books, but i use them as inspiration to flip through when i'm in art block, so i think it's worth the extra money. i also buy art compilations that have nothing to do with games too, so for games with nicely bound books of decent page lengths and sketches and such, for like $10 more than the standard, it's totally worth it to me. and substantial books are worth that cost alone when compared to retail compilation books, but usually they also have a soundtrack, which gives me access to wonderfully lossless audio of OSTs i like as a bonus.

but even this depends. some games are so overprinted that they will be found on discount later. skyrim's collector's edition was one, i found it for $80 some time after it released, new and unsealed. tbh, i don't care about skyrim, and by then the standard edition was ~$30, but the art book is exceptional (i've seen similar retailed at $20+!) with reject rough sketches/paintings, a lot of text explaining their process, etcetc. xenoblade chronicles x special edition was the price of the standard original retail cost a year or so after launching on ebay. tokyo mirage sessions special edition was $40(!!) on ebay, sealed, some time after it released. all AAA games get overprinted 'limited' collector's editions and are too overpriced, art book or no (skyrim collector's was $150 day-one... yeowch!).

notable exception is xseed games. their special editions are usually the cost of most retail AAA games ($60), while standard release is $40 or $50, but the art books are rather thick, and printed on heavyweight, glossy paper with extremely sturdy binding (if you've seen an 'animanga' book, it's like that). plus, i want to support xseed localisation and the games. so i have room for those despite being 'marketing team friendly', for a variety of reasons.

otherwise, i extremely rarely day-one purchase. i did with animal crossing new horizons, i probably will with shin megami tensei 3: nocturne rerelease because i'm a sucker. i am more willing to for idea factory and xseed just out of support, since i tend to like their games a lot. but ngl, i can't be bothered keeping up with release dates for the most part. even for games i like, i just remember the launch window ('late october' or whatever) and look it up when i remember. and i especially don't care to keep track of releases from big companies like nintendo, as if they're niche and going to be hard to find, or threaten to run out of stock for good.

General / Re: Your own videogame reviews thread
« on: May 06, 2021, 06:54:56 pm »
i just saw the credits of hades so let's GOOOOOOO.
there's a few things i wanna do before i'm personally done with it, i need to give super tsundere than-chan all the ambrosia and i kinda am not ready to say 'o i'm done' but at the same time i don't foresee myself achieving the true ending.

that said i totally see why james stephanie sterling gave hades their 2020 game of the year award. it's good. it's really good.

everything is fantastic. characters, story, weapons, everything. it's so fantastic that every time i told myself i would throw a run that i had started for the purposes of grinding, i also sat there like 'o come on, kill me!' because i also refused to stand in a lava pool and go the easy way. a few of those runs got to the end, too. whoops. and so often i just wanted to do one more shot through the underworld even tho i needed to stop. good stuff. and despite it being high intensity, there's frequent downtime after clearing areas so players never have to forgo wrist exercises. and if you play this game, you should take that time and do so, it gets intense and your wrists will thank you!

the most commendable aspect outside of the development process (no crunch!) to me is the sheer sense of progression. you incrementally get better, in part thanks to permanent upgrades, but also thanks to learning enemy patterns. it's extremely rare for me not to get to the final area almost every run now, even when i'm not trying. weeks ago that was a huge feat, now i wonder what happened to all of the chambers in an area. 'what happened to elysium?' is something i actually uttered once, and it was then i really began to appreciate the fact that the game allows you to really learn patterns and how to handle things and which boons (temp upgrades) work together and how they work with each weapon type to wreak the most havoc. at first, you will fail, but never due to feeling overwhelmed with these interlocking systems. they're fed to players in such a way they don't bombard, and hide their complexity behind choices that add up; choices that, you realise after a while, it seems pretty clear newcomers were never supposed to be able to grasp the complexity of, because they won't know what works and doesn't, but that very method also encourages newcomers to not get set in what they think is best early on. no, the game encourages trying out a lot of new things in various ways, all culminating in an experience that, towards mastery, allows a fluidity of choosing between options based on options given before it, or changed circumstances. and while no options are 'beginner's traps', beginners will most definitely make builds around certain boons that are good in the early areas but aren't good towards the end as boons to build around, as they don't help with the toughest fights, but are great as accessories to get there.

and there is also a feeling of this progression as one begins to shift from careful builds to maintain life through to the end, to all-out aggressive builds because of the build-up of confidence that one knows the patterns well enough to dodge at least enough to not die, while also outputting damage in the process. it's a very good feeling to finally clear a run without any hp regen boons, when it wasn't so long ago that you were sure any run would collapse without having the duo-boon that does just that.

i really do not get this sense of progressive learning curve from many games, with an active and steady sense of just getting better at making choices as well as combat.

and i really appreciate that 'failure' is presented as failing at the one end-goal. failure unlocks more story progression. failure reshuffles the shop and allows you to get more upgrades if you can. and the game doesn't fuck around and lead players to believe they got closer than they did, nor does the game ever feel explicitly unfair. it is never going to give you completely garbage load-outs; at most, it is going to present olympian gods to choose from whose boons the player hasn't yet found the synergy of. and that may be unfair to beginning players who don't really take to the type of randomisation that goes with roguelikes, but it isn't by design. so, failure always feels like a fair outcome, in my opinion. sometimes, it's as simple as just not knowing how the enemies fight. but whatever, there was a long way to go to the end anyway, and there's going to be a lot more surprises before you get there. and i am the type of person who is easily frustrated by difficulty and 'unfair' situations in games. but hades never made me feel that way, only slight annoyance when the boons i got to choose from ended up with underpowered weapons, but even then, i realised it was my own bad choices--i was holding out for a boon i liked for a particular slot that never showed up (and is never promised to show up; runs will often present to you a handful of gods at most, a couple more often than the rest, but not all of them are guaranteed to show). this circles back into the learning curve of the game teaching players fluidity in choices that i already mentioned. the game will bear the burden of 'bad loadouts' from frustrating beginning players into the feelings of 'how should i have known that?' while also revealing through mastery that there are no completely dreadful loadouts after all, just how to combine them into something that works.


(shout out to the queer characters here. i fucking love agender they/them chaos with all my heart, thanks. i also adore tsundere thanatos. there's a notable gay relationship you help with in the game too, that i was pretty excited about. but chaos in particular, when i realised they're always referred to as they/them, and that it wasn't leading into some gender-reveal moment, got me psyched as hell.)

small mention needs to be made that there's some small bug i found, particularly with the prophecy list, where certain choices don't register as having been made? the solution seems to be closing out and then restarting the game periodically. it's nothing near game-breaking, nor does it lock you out of achieving the prophecy by meeting the conditions again, just something to note. the game loads noticeably faster by doing this reset trick too, so it's worth closing it after play sessions or after every few runs anyway. slight nuisance when it comes to the 'duo' prophecy list (as there are prereqs involved with boons which is completely random) but it is completely optional content. just worth remembering.

that's the only con i can think of tbh.

oh, and the rail gun. i hate it. i love every other weapon, but this one is awful. and it's the only one that makes constant sound, making it even worse to me. but the game must know i despise it, because it continues to be chosen as the one that gets higher darkness rewards. terrible. i might try to escape with it, but i've put off grinding it so far. it's not a real negative to the game, but it is to me, because of the aforementioned 'higher darkness reward' problem.

pettiness aside, this game is absolutely fantastic. best i've played so far this year. and i won't judge you if you actually like the railgun.

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2021
« on: April 01, 2021, 07:58:08 pm »
legend of zelda: the windwaker HD
i think a big critique of this one is that overall, the map spaces are empty, and yet the world is big, leading to big empty world syndrome. and i see the point, but i don't find it quite as dull as most. maybe because i'm filling out a map, and if breath of the wild and etrian odyssey have taught me anything, it's that if you have me fill a map out, i like the area way more than i otherwise would.

windwaker was the first zelda game i owned and beat so i'm insanely biased in its favour. the HD remake really adds QoL that would make going back to the original difficult (no swift sail would be awful) for sure. however, windwaker is also extremely easy, especially after having played the NES and SNES classics. i also cannot understand moving the hero charm from early-mid game to post-final dungeon, it makes it worthless, and i don't think it carries to NG+. very lame.

i like the characters in this one, and i like how expressive they are. grandma's soup elixer is a charming added touch too. the final ganondorf fight is really flashy and neat, and i love dual-wield 'dorf, what a badass lookin dude. i think his motive is realistic, too. i like that zelda has a lot more action, and of the games i've played so far, this is by far my favourite rendition of her character. i like the idea tho maybe not as much the execution of link interacting compared to previous games, using a conductor's wand/baton to display this. tho i understand command melody to basically be mechanically necessary, because, well, we know how AI is when you need precision...

i like the dungeons and puzzles, tho i still dislike the wind god dungeon with makar (makar is super cute tho). and boy do i hate trying to enter the forbidden forest, there's a lot going on there, and a lot of room for error and failure, and i just feel it sets up a difficulty spike that never really gets delivered. it sucks, and i'm honestly shocked it wasn't edited to reduce or eliminate the peahats that can knock you in the water near the entrance.

i consider myself having completed this one, as i did everything except the nintendo gallery, which in many games would not be required for 'platinum trophy' but as addition to. i got all treasure maps and their treasures, every tingle statue, all supplementary maps, completed every giant octorok and platform and submarine and secret cave, had full upgrades (health, rupee, magic, bombs, arrows), had the magic armour and hero charm, 4 bottles, every type of chu jelly potion, completed the trade sequence, got to the final floor of savage labrynth, had the extra magic-using spin-attack and a completed sea chart.

i'm probably going to take a break from zelda before returning to majora's mask or continuing to twilight princess. i'm a little intimidated by TP's length, so it would be best to hold off i think.

One of my many gaming goals I have for this year is to play at least one new Zelda game I've never played before. Fortunately there are a lot that fit that into category for me.
yea same actually~ the only ones i put serious time into were windwaker, OoT and breath of the wild, but i'm on a roll rn~

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2021
« on: March 13, 2021, 10:35:41 pm »
gonna make a quick rundown of the zelda games i've played so far this year. full disclaimer is i have literally zero qualms about using walkthroughs, especially as it pertains to hidden goodies unlocked after obtaining certain items. i tend to enjoy my time more this way.

i have also played all of these on emulated hardware of some kind, but strictly without using save states. i'm trying to experience them as originally intended, so while i respect people who use states, and have used them myself for other games, i'm choosing not to for the zeldas. :)

legend of zelda
i'm a wee young to have experienced this one at its prime, so copious amounts of walkthrough usage applied here. that said, this game still is a kind of magical experience, and super charming too. i spent a number of hours trying to uncover all that i could without assistance and it honestly gave me the same sense of exploring a huge map with lots of neat little secrets that breath of the wild gave, and i wish i could've been there when it was huge, trading what i found and so on. i think this is one of those games that i'll find myself replaying here and there, esp because its length is just right for it. good on them.

zelda ii: adventure of link
this game gets too much flak and 'one of the worst games ever!!' is exaggerated imo. that said, it is also downright cruel when it comes to HP management, with no bottled fairies, no recovery drops and a magic system that can get quite tight (leaving too little to heal) with uncommon MP drops as well. after struggling and barely passing palace 3 i realised i had seen enough to know it isn't for me, my reaction speed is too slow to keep up, and it was only going to get harder.

that said, i liked the palace maps i saw. i feel it is less cryptic than the complaints led me to expect. controls were tight, and my only worries about jumps were due to dmg knockback. i think there is potential there, but someone at play-testing should've said 'hey all, maybe we should be less mean to players...?' ahaha.

link to the past
dungeons great, overworld good, lots of fun items and fun visuals. i never knew about dark world bunny link and i was like 'whaaaat no one warned me of this! what is this?!'

that said, i'm mixed on this one. i was desperate for the defence upgrade long before it was obtainable. i never felt like i really 'got' the combat aim down, and whatever it was i expected was off balance compared to the left-handed swing and shots of the game. i don't really know why.

i felt like the first 50-70% of the game was a real fun time, and the last bit was also a fun time, but that late-mid and pre-end game area was sloggish and i felt kinda done with it, and frustrated at times by getting mobbed and my health sapped insanely fast by the enemies that continually got stronger over time, particularly before getting access to the defence upgrade. it really made my experience suffer overall, which is a shame because this game has really good dungeons and puzzles, really fun items to use and a welcome overall friendliness to players.

ocarina of time
p sure there is legit nothing i can say that hasn't been said 1000 times about this game. i played it up to ganondorf's castle when i was younger, so i had experience with the game, and it was fun to experience it again after some 15+ years since then! and amusing what i did and didn't remember.

my only real hot take to offer is: i don't mind the water temple, and would rather do it twice than jabu-jabu's nauseating belly dungeon and deal with ruto's spoiled brat nonsense. water temple has few enemies to interrupt you when trying to figure out the puzzles and doing map cross-checking. it's a super long dungeon, a little tedious if you dislike menuing, can become awfully confusing... but i kinda dig that 'ruins raid' feeling, tho the final boss fight is absolutely laughable ime. meanwhile jabu-jabu is the opposite, enemies try to interrupt you constantly, most of which are annoying to deal with (particularly pre-boomerang), the puzzles are not very complex, the map is pretty boring and the final boss was super unintuitive, with my boomerang making the 'clang' failure sound 3+ times, which i took as 'not the method to fight it', when it actually was i just got that unlucky. and the visuals are gross, too. no thanks. worst dungeon imo.

i also grew a visceral hatred for bongo-bongo, tho maybe that should be actually directed at the wreck that is z-targeting in that fight. but i chalk this up in part to the wii u version's input delay (it's a 4 frame delay, and most noticeable with the bongo 'rush' and [phantom] ganondorf's tennis mechanic ime), because i don't recall it being a wreck when i was younger.

but oot is a classic masterpiece and for good reason, and it would be asinine to say one dungeon makes the overall game suffer, no matter how much i dread jabu-jabu every time. i completed everything except the final quiver upgrade (my aim sucks and it was a real struggle to get the heart piece from horseback archery alone...) and the 100 gold skulltula task (finished with ~73 iirc), and while i was glad to be finished, i felt like it was the perfect length, not overstaying its welcome, and not closing out too soon.

yea i just post my list of wins tbh because i like remembering what i actually got beat in one year or another. but i'm meticulous, spend too much time in a game, no way to get 52 a year in unless i want to play short things for a while.

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2021
« on: February 18, 2021, 06:25:42 pm »
about 2020 i did okay tbh. considering animal crossing: new horizons dropped in 2020. and considering my playtime for it is >500 hours. because that shouldn't be a problem this year i should get much closer to 52 games, unless you take into consideration my slow pace as is.
otoh i have no idea how to score puzzle games, as i played a lot of endless puzzles last year... lot of tetris, tetris attack... things i didn't include because it just seemed lame to do so. i play a lot of puzzle games like this (currently obsessed with flipull) so it holds shit back.

wanting to play/beat more zelda and final fantasy this year. less pokemon. the former might happen but the latter never will

<-- i use this as a mark of completion or an obtained platinum trophy

~~~~~11.01.21~~~~~ pokemon gold (GBC)
~~~~~01.02.21~~~~~ final fantasy IV (PSP)
~~~~~05.02.21~~~~~ hyrule warriors: age of calamity (NSw)
~~~~~19.02.21~~~~~ legend of zelda (NES)
~~~~~22.02.21~~~~~ pokemon silver (GBC)
~~~~~28.02.21~~~~~ pokemon blue (GB)
~~~~~03.03.21~~~~~ legend of zelda: a link to the past (SNES)
~~~~~06.03.21~~~~~ mario kart 64 (Wii U VC/N64)
~~~~~13.03.21~~~~~ legend of zelda ocarina of time (Wii U VC/N64)
~~~~~01.04.21~~~~~ legend of zelda: windwaker HD (wii u)
~~~~~06.05.21~~~~~ hades (NSw)
~~~~~20.05.21~~~~~ pokemon sword (NSw)
~~~~~20.05.21~~~~~ 靈幻道士 SUPER MAGICIAN (SMD/GEN) english title 'elf wor' or literal translation 'excellent magical daoist priest'
~~~~~11.06.21~~~~~ mcdonald's treasure land adventure (SMD/GEN)
~~~~~11.06.21~~~~~ dragon crystal (SMS)
~~~~~17.06.21~~~~~ シルヴァ・サーガ2/silva saga ii: the legend of light and darkness (SNES)
~~~~~18.06.21~~~~~ sanrio world smash ball! (SNES) [keroppi]
~~~~~26.06.21~~~~~ dodonpachi (PS1)
~~~~~01.07.21~~~~~~ wiz'n'liz (SMD/GEN)
~~~~~09.07.21~~~~~~ earthbound (SNES) happy birthday to me! what a great game to beat on my birthday

zelda ii: adventure of link (NES) [balls hard and everything i read says it only gets harder. got through palace 3 and realised i was only considering continuing to say i beat zelda ii. i saw enough, and it just wasn't for me.]

background games:
yoshi's wooly world (Wii U) / zelda: twilight princess (Wii U)

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« on: October 03, 2020, 10:14:04 am »

oh man, this game has a terrible reputation. most people consider it horribly cryptic at times, with a story that doesn't make sense and padded out by grinding, which most modern sensibilities consider de facto bad design as well. this was all very shocking to me, as i expected the 7th saga to have "cult classic" admiration... hoo was i wrong. i went in blind to this game.

there is a lot that one can appreciate here. the partner system of recruiting from towns where they randomly show up, tho they may ask to fight or force a fight or say idle text instead of asking to join, is unique to SNES RPGs. party members can also turn traitor on you, which i didn't experience, but which i find just charming, tho certainly an instant reset button moment.

there is a decent plot twist near the end imo. i feel the complaints of the game being cryptic and nonsensical must come from such players who play their RPGs trying to avoid NPC text as much as possible, frankly speaking, other than two particular moments that use a seldom-employed 'push' mechanic. one of those is telegraphed if you check things which may have text normally enscribed on them (in this case, tombstones, which i of course do after the excellent RIP LINK in FF1), but the other is not telegraphed at all well, and is required for one of the necessary items for completion. oops. hidden items (found by using 'search' in a menu you open by pressing 'A', o yes it's that kind of RPG) are completely untelegraphed. you will never find them without a guide. period.

it must be said that the 7th saga is a grindfest of a JRPG. there is no peninsula of power here to help out either, and this is a huge turn-off for most people these days it seems. not me. i have games explicitly for grinding (hello disgaea) and this game hit the spot just right. well, mostly. enemies have a tendency to run, which is extremely annoying to deal with, and the amount of enemies in the mid and late game with revival spells for their partners makes grinding a real chore at times. certain party makeups threaten to make this process far more tedious than need be, and it is clear that certain partners are intended by the devs. this is somewhat hinted at by NPCs however. still, of my 35 hours, i am sure 20+ of those were spent grinding.

the rest of my time was spent in dungeons, on the overworld or in towns.

this is the moment i should talk about the 'crystal ball' key item, a circular 'minimap' in the top left of the screen in dungeons and on the overworld. it shows enemy encounters moving around (in white) and loot chests (in yellow) that are on the map you're currently on. this is a great feature for showing if you are going to be in an encounter, it also helps to dodge said encounters. it's unfortunate, then, that most dungeons and much of the world map don't allow for space to adequately dodge enemies. areas that narrow out leave you a sitting duck like simon on stairs in NES castlevania games. this sucks, and the design choices of the crystal ball and layout of land really clash. still, at least you know it's incoming in advance.

the world map feels large and towns actually feel quite connected in one large world with commerce and trade happening, NPCs refer to other towns and the other continents, it is very nice. this is sometimes lacking in RPGs so it's nice to see a world instead of a collection of villages. traversing the world map and towns is made easier thanks to the wind rune, gotten as the first one very early, being a fast travel item. this is good, as backtracking for item shops and party members makes going to old towns necessary.

dungeon maps are not too linear, tho most do end up having one final path to take. by following chests on the crystal ball, you will not get lost. tbh the theme music for dungeons is so fantastic tho that even if i did get lost i barely complained.

the music in this game is sublime, there are multiple town themes and multiple overworld themes, a very subtle difference in dungeon vs overworld battle themes, and a completely different battle theme in the late game. a ton of these songs are total fucking earworms too, and i can't recall a single song i disliked other than the theme that plays during a few success scenarios, and that mostly because it sticks out and doesn't fit the rest of the OST to me, and i can't describe why exactly. regardless, these tracks never wore out their welcome despite all the time spent grinding. i love the bloody battle theme for the bulk of the game (it changes for the last fourth of the story, and i like it too but not as much). i would expect it to tire on me thanks to how much you have to grind but nah.

the battle enemy sprites ooze style, they're very good. there's a lot of recolours but that should be expected i think for a 1994 rpg. they often end up syncing movement with the battle music, and i don't know if it was intentional, but it happened fairly often. very nice. in fact, battle sounds and animations very often seem to flow with the music, as if seamless. a few sound files are... suspect... mostly the ear-piercing screech they decided on for vacuum2 (which only comes very late game), and similarly, the flashing effects so often used back then that come off as seizure-inducing for some animations, but these are few and come fairly late game and not often at all, fortunately, but when they do it's excessive, though not atypical for the time if i'm being honest. overall however, good sprites, use of the processor's camera abilities to transition in and out of battle in a way only SNES could at that time and good music make a necessary presentation for the tedium of grinding.

in the west.

and here's where everything nice i have to say grinds to a halt because it must be addressed: elnard is the japanese name for this game, but in the west, elnard is the game before localisation to make the game into a grind that puts off even most rpg diehards. and elnard is clearly not supposed to be a grind, by design. the western localisation missed all of this subtlety. we got, instead, a tough as nails game with certain scenarios that can force a player into restarting files due to impassable difficulty spikes. elnard is not meant to be impassable, ever, because it isn't meant to get time from difficulty, but time from replaying the game.

the 7th saga has various unique scenarios for some characters, as well as actual player choice in its story. it is clear from the moment you choose one unique character, to having only one additional member of your party and all the way to the credit scene that this is a game that is shouting at you to reroll a new character, choose a new partner and do it again...! and unfortunately, the western game was mangled to discourage that very intentional design element. with hours and hours of grinding required for each playthrough, it's just too much of a pain to be bothered. and that's a real bloody shame, because JRPGs with story scenarios of differing results and certain unique interactions are rare from this era. it is this reason that if i play the 7th saga again, i will grab a romhack that restores the elnard leveling curve and enemy patterns and feel absolutely 0 guilt for it.

it absolutely has to be noted that the western release destroys the charm of party members turning traitor--turning it into a reset SNES moment--because the AI apprentices are their elnard counterparts. they have better stats than you, better equipment than you and are 1-5 levels higher than you and when they stab you in the back they rob you of all your runes in the process. these runes are the collectable plot tokens--but with actual usage, such as being reusable HP or MP potions, defence buffs, etc (once per battle per character)--and the AI is programmed to use them if they have them. at two points do you have to fight an apprentice for runes in the story, and one of these fights in particular can get so absurdly out of hand (thanks to their levels scaling and the push to grind in the same area thanks to an enemy with abnormally large XP output and, well, the grindfest nature of this game) that certain matchups for that rune become instant reset file moments. if they beat you in combat, they take all your runes. it's absolutely punishing in the western release--which destroys this entire concept that is a challenging, but intriguing and unique, moment in elnard instead of an instant console reset like in saga.

i am so charmed by the 7th saga overall, though. it certainly feels like a project of love and care and it is a damn shame that it is widely trashed whenever brought up. o, yes, it is flawed, and the western release is a bastardisation for a game that is clearly meant to be played multiple times over, but it is such an ambitious title that ended up buried by an avalanche of incoming SNES rpgs with static/linear storylines, level up systems, characters and parties that played it safe but had stories with happy endings that tickle power fantasy and were relatively straight forward to follow, no NPCs or manuals required. the title screen is a tombstone with the title carved into it, and in this context it is very appropriate. elnard is a cult-classic in japan as well, despite being an enix produced game.

for what it's worth, i like those RPGs too, and those are considered classics for a reason, but none of them really make me bite my lip in contemplation of whether pressing new game next week is too early to have another go. the 7th saga did this--is doing this now as i sit at the post-credits scroll as i type--and that alone is a testament to my newfound adoration for this game, flaws and all.

Classic Video Games / Re: Is the NES going down in price?
« on: September 25, 2020, 10:32:35 am »
browsing ebay and shop goodwill indicates to me that the overall trend is the NES (loose cart, loose console) is going down, and prices of DS are creeping upwards, and GBA continues to creep up while gameboy seems to be going down (except pokemon, naturally). this indicates to me personally that it's just the next wave of nostalgia, tho arguably we've been able to predict this with DS software for some time thanks to gamestop case gutting practises...

snes, n64 and gamecube especially continue to be very expensive with no end in sight, sometimes outrageously so (lol @ super mario world loose cart going for more than the cost of a quality paperweight).

i think most people who are nostalgic for NES and want to collect casually have already done so by now. CIB is an exception, but of course it is for ANY games packaged in cardboard boxes, they usually were tossed out or ended up ruined (bugs, moths, high humidity zones, unforeseen disasters, pets, etc...), but that wasn't necessarily what this thread was about so...

anyway i still find the price for NES consoles to be absolutely bonkers but it certainly seems to be plateaued as an overall trend.

edit: as a general disclaimer it's worth pointing out that i don't keep up with NES actively so this is very much watching from afar~

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« on: January 16, 2020, 08:39:35 am »
sonic heroes (PS2)

i don't know how often i'll do reviews here but i need to vent. i just beat this, starting with team rose, as i planned to at least play through all the stories; i think i heard to get to the true ending you have to beat all stories and get all the emeralds or something, so that wasn't going to happen, but i'll get to that. i'm going to make it clear too that i knew what to expect when going in as far as the gameplay. i don't really have a problem with the gameplay in theory, in fact, it was kinda fun and refreshing after playing a bunch of other games. i've been on a sonic kick lately, so mixing it up with heroes seemed like it would be a fun breather. oh boy, i was wrong.

again i'll state that i don't mind the gameplay IN THEORY. swapping off between team members and all, i ended up playing power most often for obvious reasons, due to the revamped combat, but i don't mind because i really like big the cat tbh found out really fast that playing as speed (amy in my run) was causing all kinds of problems, it's too fast for this game tbh. i wouldn't mind this entire gameplay style again, tbh, it's quite fun as long as you know what you're in for... well, when it works. fwiw i think the complaints here are overblown, as far as gameplay. it never felt extremely 'slowed down' in gameplay, despite not 'moving forward' constantly. i never felt like the game screeched to a halt, and was constantly bouncing around, slinging my teammates around and so on. often at enemies that take multiple hits, you can just pop off a team blast, which come often enough that as long as you use them somewhat wisely, you'll never be stuck on a random mook for very long, even if it has '24 health', or about 8 hits. but that's the end of the good i have to say.

grinding rails in this game is anxiety-inducing, as characters don't seem to 'snap to' the rails like in the adventure games or later games like generations and even forces. this means you will spend an incredible amount of lives just by slipping through rail tracks or by trying to jump to the rail to the side, only for your character to fly off the side of the tracks completely. a number of times the end of a rail has a spring that sent me straight into a pit? after a few deaths it sent me in the correct direction instead. i have no idea what happened there. it makes riding rails extremely unfun in this game, which is startling after sonic adventure 2 has some stages centered around grinding rails and they're a blast. what happened?

honing isn't telegraphed at all. a few times i wanted to break boxes located in an area with a spring and had to find an alternative method entirely, as the honing was stuck on the spring in the opposite direction. sometimes, that spring was off camera, as well, and the camera is extremely bad in this game, like a precursor to the camera issues in sonic 06. rails also do not seem to be targets for honing, or, well, i stopped trying after the second time of trying to hone onto them only to fly completely off stage. no thanks. i faintly recall honing having a target system in adventure 2 battle, so why doesn't heroes?

some very precise jumps combined with a floating physics issue makes for frustrating moments where you will end up dying fairly often, while not feeling exactly like 'lack of skill' on your part. this is especially irritating when it combines with bad camera.

most, if not all, of the bosses are easily cheesed in the game. i don't really care either way about this, boss fights tend to be my least favourite parts of non-rpg games, but y'know, i noticed.

the special stages to get the emeralds have awful controls, just terrible, and without redos, you won't get chances to retry to figure them out. you'll have to go through entire stages to get another go. ugh. it's absolutely wild how something they got down with perfectly capable controls in sonic the hedgehog 2 is a mess in this game. i think i was starting to kind of figure out a method by the last time i got a special stage, but y'know... i really shouldn't have to 'figure out' how to navigate a literal pipe. it's a mess. i have also heard that you can fall through the stage which is astounding, considering it is a long, closed pipe. this didn't happen to me, but i started to avoid the keys in the level to avoid wasting my time with these stages. considering how many other things i fell through or that just corrupted for me, it probably would have happened.

the worst part is they intend people to play team rose first, as noted because it is the only story with a tutorial. so if the issues i had are prominent with the beginner characters, then i don't even want to see how bad they get with team chaotix.

i recalled picking this game up multiple times at a cousin's house when i was younger and trying it and every time quitting and couldn't recall why. tbh, i'm still not 100% sure why back then, but i know why i'm done after this credit roll now. this game just makes me sad. this is a sad game and it really shouldn't have been like this.

i don't really give out review scores because i can never figure out a good method so i'll give this a
wish i was playing sonic adventure 2 instead/10.

General / Re: No New Games in 2020
« on: January 10, 2020, 08:39:47 pm »
ya ok but animal crossing new horizons this yearrr

General / Re: Fix It Vs. Get Another One: New, Used, Or, Refurbished
« on: January 10, 2020, 12:37:45 pm »
i fix it if i can. hell i mod on occassion so i'd be silly to not fix over trash and rebuy. going to fix my OG xbox laser in a couple weeks when the laser part gets in... it reads CDs but not DVDs, so it isn't just a bit dusty, sadly.
that said sometimes the hassle ain't worth it. cracking open a PS4 or switch is like taking a trek into laptops. not an area i know well, and they're a pain to work with, so...
vita, i fear when it finally dies, i'm on the market for a 1000 model rn for backup.
i've swapped analogue sticks on joycons for others already.

fixed the 72-pin connector on my NES when i got it, too.
old consoles it is a no brainer, fix it.

i've sold before because i felt overwhelmed by too many games (choices). that's when i had 100 games total, but i almost sold my ps4 collection (~60 games at the time) for a similar reason.

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« on: January 05, 2020, 05:16:45 pm »
oh man, thanks for that sonic2 write up. i love sonic2, first genesis game i owned and the only one i had for a long time... hearing how you feel about it compared to 3 reminds me i really should sit down and beat sonic3 some day. i'm not sure exactly why i haven't, and i'm looking for a short beat-it-in-a-day game after completing two large RPGs... and ngl i am really disappointed in sonic mania oops did i say that? i've been really wanting some good sonic lately. considering my least favourite zone is metropolis for what you said, and that the speed vs patience reward is more balanced in sonic 3, i think i know what i'm gonna play as a breather game soon. :) also because i've missed out on that spicy michael jackson ost for years smh.

thanks for posting a review)))

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