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Elena and her joystick


Elena Ichinomiya
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  • Elena Ichinomiya changed the title to Oddity
  • Elena Ichinomiya changed the title to Elena and her joystick

I'm not avid gamer let alone rich enough to buy next gen to experience some game that people always love to hype about. But then again, we all aware that when everything is hyped, its not always good or come out downright wrong. Even the most renown developer have their share of blunder after being hyped. I'm not gonna tell something along the line of "Top 10 this and that" thing. This is just my impression of the game i ever played, ever completed, or ever played and abandoned. A personal opinion if you may ask, or perhaps personal rant, i don't care. As long as this writing didn't offend anyone, i'm happy.

Now let's start immediately. Back in 2016, i was bored of JRPG game. And for the first time, i legit want to look up for games that is not emulated. And then, come Bladestorm : Nigthmare

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"I'm playing PC version btw. Yeah i know, what a title, what a great cover, bet its gonna be like total war or Kessen since its from KOEI who made RTK...only more crap"

At first impression, i was expecting this gonna be another RTK spin-off with gameplay like DW or RTK series since its from KOEI. Let's sidetrack a bit, did you know KOEI patent their DW series gameplay so no one would be able to copy their style without their permission? Yeah, its selfish but then again, business always mean to anyone. Its no wonder you don't see DW-like game without seeing that KOEI logo; because they patent the work. But just like how SEGA patent mini-map system, they also being ridiculed. Not only it block any game developer for more creative space, it also fail to secure their profit because turn out, everyone is tired of the repetitiveness of DW that only expand so much per series. And now you had to buy DLC per character if you want to play their newest beat'em up games that is DW9: Walking Simulator Edition. People claim they greedy, i claim they finally catch on that lack of rival result in lack of improvement. I'm glad no one patent fighting gameplay system or else we gonna have to chew everyone ass on DOA. Don't get me wrong, DOA is decent fighting game IMO. I heard the lack of sexual content startup is because they realize audience no longer care about bouncing physic which is why most of the character are wearing their cloth in conservative way, and they told the journalist they gonna go that way. I'm not gonna comment how hypocrite they are since turn out with DLC, you can get your bouncy needs back. All i'm suggesting is if you want to enjoy DOA to the fullest, prepare more than 60$ bucks. I dare you to count every single of their DLC and think what you could buy with that amount of money. We talking about KOEI here. I don't care their agenda, but those hypocrisy followed with greed are surely fine example of what happen if good company finally learn how to count money.

Back on topic, Bladestorm : Nightmare itself is actually decent game but nothing more than that. Have you ever imagine playing total war but only control one squad so you don't miss the heat of battle? Yeah, this game focus on that gameplay where you control one squad only and beat your way to the victory. Sometime you have to change squad type by simply walk to them and then press the button and boom, from swordsman to spearman unit. Of course there's a challenge such as weapon triangle system. Sword can't beat spear, spear can't beat axe, axe can't beat sword, wands can't beat arrow, arrow can't beat heavy armor, you know the rest.

But the actual challenge is not stop there. While the game isn't a glitch-fest or being watered down version, the gameplay is very questionable. At the start of the menu, you don't think anything is wrong. But after you hit new game, you'll be surprised how screwed you are with how slow the game running. No, your hardware isn't blamed here, its just the game parameter are set to wrong value for the intro, making the game think you're running on potato PC when you actually have high end PC. I play this on my big sister laptop who is more advanced than the PC we had and it still facing same issue. Luckily, there's no blackscreen fiasco so there's that. Try lower the settings and tweak the Vsync to get ideal FPS is fantastic experience, have fun with that because i don't.

The tutorial also don't explain much of the game feature. They don't tell you that you can reinforce your squad back to the full strength by walking back to captured base. Did you dying? Go back to captured base and hope they had pork chop spawned. I'm not kidding, you might spends good minutes finding pork chop than butchering enemy. I say again, they didn't mention any of this on tutorial. Let's move to character for a bit...

Your character is original silent protagonist, meaning someone would act like your spoke person (Paimon, Yosuke/Teddie, Handler, you know those example). But this game don't give any, they treat you as if people see through your mind. There's few dialogue choice but not much gonna impact gameplay, it was added as desperate attempt to make you absorbed to the game story but fail miserably. In fact, you better off read history on library an imagine yourself getting involved than grab a joystick to hitch a ride on this slow-mo games. I won't lie, this game has some outdated issue you think world has rid of but they prove you wrong.

Now lets focus on who you playing as. Your OC is a mercenary captain seeking glory and fame by joining the war between British vs France. Since you're mercenary, you're free to hop any squad you like. But then there will be time where you had to choose side. I prefer British for some reason. Of course along the way you'll meet the historic character and you'll fight alongside them. But as wise gamer said, don't rely on AI to do their role in the game on free will; they crap. Let me be honest, other than Jeanne, the rest of character don't have any charm. Their character model design is laughable, their personality is cheesy at best. Even the other female character in the game are handled poorly (there's only 2 female character. 3 if you make your OC as female). And their dialogue...for the love of everything that holy, if you want to see how bad Japanese people doing English dub on anime 2015 version, this game would show it. There's option to change the dialogue language between Japan and English but i feel its very odd to see Europe people speak Japanese so i stick to English and boy, what an adventure. Some pause here and there, joyful chat suddenly goes into heat debate without built-up, every scene doesn't explain much of character which left you hanging who the hell are they.

There's so many example of how game company adapt history into their game and make a little twist in it with the character standout so people don't feel like they reading history class with joystick. When history is involved in a game, one thing to remember is to make it into "playable history" where you can mess around but also learn how people at this time do their things and how they act, making you feel blending in, feel some sort of bonds. But this game didn't show anything. There's no charm. Even your OC doesn't have it single bits! What a waste of time to design character (that look so out of place) and butcher them with brick walls persona! If i had to say, the moment i compare everyone in the game to my OC, i wish i can save them by moving them to better game! They didn't deserve to exist on this "storm of action" full of slow-mo and brick walls for companion! And to add insult to injury, this is coming from KOEI who make DW series where every character has their charm to fight the setback for repetitive story! 

Now that we're done to what the game did to our OC and the rest of the cast, lets head back to gameplay system. While the game is smart enough to put us into challenge with weapon triangle system, you'll realize you can survive with just one weapon type. I'm not kidding. How? Simple, there's feature to level up your character by spending EXP from battle, and their experience in handling weapon. Just put your OC on level 50 as fast as you can, and rise their efficiency on just one weapon by leveling it up and learn its skill until reach master, boom, Lu Bu would lick your shoes after you slap him with the hilt of your dagger...no, there's no Lu Bu on Europe. This is what happen if you handle the game level design poorly. It result in unbalance challenge by making your OC far too OP even on highest difficulty. 

Did the FPS issue gone? Oh no, they're not. The moment i find ideal FPS for the game, i end up facing the issue again on the gameplay. Its as if the game won't allow itself to reach 60 FPS properly. Heck, i'm not even sure they even give parameter to run the game in 30FPS at this point! No matter what unit you are, you're slow prick. There's a horse unit, but they don't do any good in attack because you had to pick some distance first to run at full speed and ram the line of enemy. Its realistic, cavalry were supposed to be like that. But not with locked broken 60FPS that make the horse run as fast as donkey pulling a wagon! That's not how horse run, that's how we run! I dare you to run with Chariot of Fire music run in background. Yeah, that's how the character move; running to distance with low gravity. Maybe they actually on space?

There's also side mission later in the game, and its taxing and just bad. Its either protect this or escort that. There's nothing wrong with escort other than the VIP move as slow as slug. Maybe even slower. But if the side mission is to protect certain objective, they were placed on the VERY FAR side of the map from where you respawn. By the time you arrive, the said VIP is dying or already dead! Mission failed, don't bother to try next time. Oh and the reward isn't even worth the trouble so there's that.

What if you play until the end? You get Excalibur if you pick British side, and Balmung if you pick French side. Those reward only to add more OP value of your character. Why?

Because i just telling you the "Thousands War scenario" part. Now we gonna enter "Nightmare scenario". This addition is definitely unnecessary because its just Bladestorm with nine tailed fox, floaty dragon, edgy grim reaper added to it. In fact, i would suggest you to stick to DW StrikeForce if you want medieval fantasy beat'em up action. They worth the trouble albeit being ridiculous setup. In fact, i would say this should be full game spin-off rather than addition. Its like playing Company of Heroes collaborated with Silent Hill. Its very off, odd, and no matter how you look at it, its just...odd.

Before we jump to story, the reason why the Legendary Weapon add your OP value is because you can use your cleared save to play on Nightmare scenario. By all mean, you don't need to bother with leveling up things from the start; you're already their nightmare.

Now onto the story. A cutscene show your character run with another mercenary friend. Why they running? Because some otherworldly creature chase them. And to add more confusion, you got that strange shaped sword on your back. There's no telling when or where you get that sword. It just latch on your back because you're protagonist? Or it works like Thor hammer? Not sure. To put it brief, you start this scenario with big question mark especially if you finish Thousands War Scenario first. As it turn out, the sword is capable to control the otherworldy creature, and your OC is the only one who can use that. Ohhh, i sense a save the world scenario here! And i was right. World were torn by war and it create a manifestation of hate hence the demon coming down to the earth. Wait...this scenario sounds familiar...anyone up for Warrior Orochi right now?

As the story goes on, you face the familiar face named Jeanne. Yes, the same Jeanne we talk about previously. You think this would be a scenario where you had to kill your own comrade that you already consider a family? Oh no, protagonist should have rainbow ending where everyone live and be happy! Beat Jeanne few times, she join your side, BFF lives on! And sorry to break it up to you, she won't wearing that sexy armor when joining you. Come to think of it, that was random to put her on that brazen outfit on the medieval era. At least Da-Ji on Warrior Orochi still blend in! This Jeanne alter (hah! how convenient!) only serve as...fanservice? Randomness? Joke between developer? This doesn't treat the French girl any justice!

I don't want to spoil much of story in this scenario so i just skip ahead to the ending. As the world finally saved, both King from each kingdom want the strange sword your OC had and going full witch hunt for it, hence another war. Oh lordy, those boys never learn their lesson for what causing those demon to appear! And then it skip to Jeanne holding the said sword, as if she's mourning, and throw the sword to the deepest part of the sea. Where your OC is? Forgotten, that's what i thought. You save the world, then the people rub you off like a real history. The end....

All things considered...

The gameplay is nice if not for broken FPS. Tweak as much as you like, as i said, have fun with that.

Character were butchered big time. You don't even know who they are and their upbringing because the story were so jumpy. King of England only appear twice (as far as i remember) and Edward, the King son, is a British Liu Bei but poor version. On the French side, it suffer similar fate. King of French lack any screen time, making you forgot there's a king on French. The focus while playing on French side is a certain Duke but his character are weak and his female guard are not spared from this.

Voice acting is...well, i strongly suggest just stick to Japanese if you can't bear the pause between words or sudden shriek when an assassin want to stab you IN THE BROAD DAYLIGHT AT THE TOWN SQUARE. I also heard if you play with English dub, the game would give you blackscreen at new game so there's that. I didn't face this issue in my gameplay.

Story executed poorly thanks to jumpy and very short scene but at least you can read every character bio through their log...which beat the purpose for cutscene in some way.

Nightmare Scenario, while it add fantasy element, were executed poorly. And...what's up with Magnus asserting dominance on air like that? The scenario also feel shorter than Thousands War Scenario. This is the reason why i think Nightmare Scenario are better off as complete spin-off than put it in one package with game that no one bother to find out.

The good side of this game? You won't bump into crash. And DLC is just pure cosmetic at reasonable price.

IMO? This game just exhaustion-fest. I'm not gonna tell you to don't buy the game, that's just mean gesture. I suggest if you curious enough, buy it when on discount. Although i doubt KOEI gonna bother and even if they did, the price is till too much.

That's pretty much it about my Joystick experience for now. Elena shutting off~

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Back in PS3 era, there's so many game that i want to play but found myself can't unless i emulate it or play at rental. Like i said previously, i'm not a person with bucks to spare for console. Not to mention when PS3 era, i'm still a Junior High School student. No way i got that black box with my pocket money unless i choose to skip lunch until i graduate. Anyway, there's this game called White Knight Chronicle. Honestly i thought Square Enix decide to make another cash grab game with sequel bait ending again but turn out, they're not part of it. However as it turn out, the game are mediocre at best. Some blame PS3 incapability, some said the game is to blame. Thanks to my small pocket change, i was saved from unstable console + possibility of wasting money on aimless game. Some even suggest its better off to play Last Remnant instead.

As years goes on, PSP emulator has been perfected and then...insert White Knight Chronicle : Origin...

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"Whoa, big ass knight with a...big ass sword that can split castle walls into two like tomato! But what's with the shield boy? Scared of arrow or something?"

Now just to be sure, i swear i forgot good chunks of the story of this game due to how poorly executed this game is. But i am indeed playing this should-be masterpiece. I don't know what Sony thinking releasing this game on PSP. When this was released, PSP is nearing its end of its time aka obsolete. Maybe they want to give PSP a proper farewell for the job well done before Vita come out. The game also feature network gameplay but not as MMO but more toward ARPG where you join a lobby, going rampage together, just like Monster Hunter, without need to think.

Let's see...the game start after you creating your OC. If you guess you're silent protagonist, you're right. Your OC only open their mouth in battle. But we'll get into that later. The story start when the guards realize some big army heading their way. If i don't know any better, i thought it was a Fortress, not a Kingdom walls. I mean, just see for yourself. 2 guards on the walls, no ballista, no tower. No wonder this Kingdom eat the dust. Never let neighborhood watch to patrol the walls.

And then as the scene goes on, we finally see the big guy himself; the white knight. As he stand proudly (without give much crap if he step on someone), he dash toward the Kingdom walls and split it into two, marking the first chapter of the story. Its lovely so far, but the music quickly clip abruptly as if the developer realize the music is too long for this scene. Instead adjusting it, they just clip it and hope nobody notice...well...maybe their supervisor didn't but we do!

As the Kingdom thrown into panic, a man with white cape show on screen and speak in monologue about how ignorant the elders is toward his warning. He might look shady, but the guy seems alright. And once he turn his back, he saw our OC and ask if we're civil and told us to run...only to ask us a question that will determine what kind of Optimus color we had later in the game. Once the poetic question ends, your OC run to the safety, only to be blocked by the big white knight himself. Curse that man wearing white cape! If he didn't ask us his question how we gonna live on, we would have time to escape! Anyway, the big knight ask you question that determine your role before he thwack you with its sword. Why he thwack us instead slice our head clean off? Because~ PROTAGONIST CANNOT DIE! Okay, i made that up, but you know what i'm talking about.

Your OC wake up later in a mercenary corps train and this where the result of your previous decision gonna show. Hope you don't get black Optimus because that's very taxing to have for the start. What is Optimus? Its basically determine how your character grow. There's Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Pink, White, and Black. I might miss one color or mixed up about how they work so forgive my gray haired brain. If your character have Red Optimus, they're basically a carry as they level up. Blue is typical magician as they level up. I forgot what green do. Yellow has their critical up as they level up. Pink has good defense from magic as they level up. White offer a vast spell damage. And black is basically good for nothing but increase any magic parameter such as magic attack and magic resist as they level up. Since its ARPG where you always get beaten up, having black as starter would be taxing. Not impossible, just demanding.

Now here's the catch, what happen if you own Red optimus until the end? You're basically executioner but your defense is BS and your casted spell felt like toothbrush. No kidding, i kick enemy ass easy but they also kick my ass just as easy due to low defense. So if you want an ideal character, you had to switch your optimus color once in a while. I usually switch from Red to Blue, sometime Pink. And if i think i had enough, i pick black later. Now you got the glimpse how your OC got their power; optimus color. Of course what kind of ARPG without party member? There's others who has fixed optimus so you had to choose wisely who you gonna take on battle. You're the only one who can change your optimus color...but not for free. You need some item to change your optimus color but such item isn't dropped every single time. You can find it as drop item or reward but if you do have them, i suggest to use it only if you need it. I understand there's such a thing like RNG on every game but this surely add a chore on character grinding. 

After the optimus fiasco, the train got attacked by some bandit...well, they call them bandit but their leader is a body builder warlock. Not sure how to put this but isn't a group of bandit led by a warlock are called cult? Anyway, here's where the first impression shown. Before the fight, you get to equip your weapon. There's sword and shied, dual hands sword, spear, wands, arrows and axes. Don't let the weapon eludes you, Axe has high damage but sacrifice defense, spear has highest defense but screw me, their attack is like an effing toothpick! Don't use this weapon unless your team lack tanker!

Once you're done with weapon picking and talking, you're finally enter the gameplay...how long does it take until we reach actual gameplay? Not sure, But i bet i already reach flight mission on GTA SA by now. Anyway, as the typical ARPG, you're come in contact with enemy and beat them down to bits. Might sounds easy but the game make it difficult because in order to cast a spell, you have to use d-pad to pick which spell/skill you wanna use. There's 4 option with 4 section which mean 16 spell can be added in total. However if your spell are located on inconvenient slot, you're pretty much turn into punching bag for the enemy for a seconds. When i realize the spell inconveniency, i decide to just use 4 slot and ignore the rest, they're not powerful anyway.

Did i said our OC only talk when in battle? Yes they did...IN TEXT! As you fight on, there's this dialogue keep popping up, showing how and what the character doing include your party. It also work as warning system if your teammate is unconscious or at least low HP. It seems annoying to have such dialogue written instead being spoken, not to mention it was overwritten on warning text system, but that didn't stop there. As the character keep "talking", the dialogue window keep moving like a gushing river. If your eyes didn't catch enough attention, you might miss the warning about teammate status. You can change how much text popping up on the screen, but it doesn't help the case. I keep missing the warning that my teammate is dead, only to realize it later after the fight is done. Anyway, your teammate won't die permanently or need to revive if they're dead; just clear the sector and they revive themselves. You can revive someone with item or spell but its pricy as heck and to find character with revive skill is like pulling gacha. Although Arrieta, one of your teammate, has that revive skill, she learn it pretty much late on the game, making the game hard to progress unless you hog the healing item and do your best to survive. Oh and if you die, as far as i remember, its game over. Yes, this game is the typical where protagonist must survive. You can revive self using certain item but that item isn't for sale; its an item drop from the chest!

First fight done, and off you go introducing yourselves to the rest of the corps. If you choose yes, you'll be rewarded with healing item. If you skip, you got nothing. No harm done, but never refuse free gift when you start a game so i decide to have a tour anyway. Other than the captain, i don't see anyone that pick my interest at the new game. Arrietta is also interesting character but she's distancing herself so you won't get that impression about her just as quick. Once the chit-chat is done, you'll see another cutscene that you saw on the opening scene at new game...YOU. CAN'T. SKIP. Thank god i play this through emulator so i just speed it up.

Speaking of mercenary, you're actually living on the train. The screen shaking give you that impression and you can even visit the engine room to show that you really are on a train. Later in the game, you can switch the train car location because...well, you're on a train. Normally, you can visit the shop through any means since they're just building or in a form of person. But here, the only way to reach places you want is by walking through lines of cars. I remember i had to run very far to reach kitchen room so i put it on the closest train i usually respawn. Have fun with the map layout! Or just use warp feature. I forgot what button does that, sorry.

The game also feature bonds. Yes, you can get intimate with your team. Even NPC. Some of NPC would join you in a fight if you keep giving them a gift. Of course some of them would give you side mission. But for the main NPC like the captain and Arrieta, you'll need to wait until the option appear, and some story progress. I remember i waste Darjeeling tea only to find out the captain approval is already maxed, just need some story advance. Why they don't tell me that on tutorial!? Oh and there's also side NPC that you might bump into after a fight. They come with their own personality and capability. If your train is full, you have to kick one from existing member; you're on train, not Noah's Ark or Doraemon pocket. Me? I just downright refuse them. Some of their reaction are funny anyway. Sorry fella, have fun in the dungeon because i won't pick you up, ever!

Anyway, the game is just repetitive action. You can experiment new things by changing your optimus and weapon style. And if you're bored, you can cosplay as power rangers if you want. Not literally of course. In order to beat bosses easy, you will need to transform into Optimus form. Depends on what role and optimus color you get, it would either make the fight easy or end up just as long. Can we beat it without transform? You could! Just prepare some bottled water because it would be long boss you ever fight. Yes, the game demand you to use their every feature even if it mean forcing your hands. Not bad concept though. 

Hey, what did we play again? Oh right, White Knight Chronicle. I assume everyone thing we gonna turn into big knight like you saw on intro did you? I won't lie, i did. But the game...says NO! You can only play as power rangers knock off without Megazord on your side let alone yourself turning into one! There's big knight that just as big but they're your enemy! And even then, they don't have much screen time, making their presence is just cameo instead main show. White knight chronicles? More like Armor Showroom Chronicles. Those big guy are just for show!

Goodness, where was i again? Oh right. If you befriend every main NPC, some of them will join you in battle. At one point, your enemy would join your parade too but only if you befriend the right person. Near the final chapter, it was revealed that one of your crew actually a...descendant? I kind of forgot what they call it but i remember something along the line "Auguste heir something something" that can save the world from certain doom called Dogma. But as it turn out, there's more than one person being suspected as Auguste Heir. You had to choose who is the real Auguste heir...spoiler alert...

Spoiler

No matter who you pick, it always the right person. The power of protagonist hunch!

You take the person you suspect as the heir and fight the final battle. Then the said suspect decide to seal the demon by sacrificing themselves, how typical! At least make it tragic or memorable instead just waving farewell damn it! He/she won't see us for long time and we bid them neighbor smile and waves!?

Of course this game can't take a good kill for the sake of story. Your OC decide to come back and take their friends back from the seal by simple touch. Happy end for everyone, except you Minato.

Now with everything considered...

The gameplay is good, although you'll find yourself mashing button most of the time, tiring yourself out. Even with spell, it still take good amount of time to kill a slime. Its not bad, but nothing worth mention either. Maybe its actually more fun playing online but...as far as i know, Sony is being crappy video game company at the PS3 era so i doubt there's much reason to try.

The character show their presence and role so well. Unfortunately, if you don't do side mission, they just  a décor. Arrieta and you are the only one at the spotlight if you decide to ignore the rest of NPC and that's not good way to leave a memorable impression. Like some RPG gamer said, if the story is crap, the character is what make the game afloat and relevant. Sadly, this game didn't manage to do so.

Story is decent. Although if you play WKC on PS3 first before you play this, its actually more than that. After all, this game is a prequel by chronological order of WKC.

VA...well, there's VA alright but only for yelling, oofing, and being there just to make the game feel alive. Other than that, you can shut them up on option and the game won't change much. Won't lie, that's what i do when playing this game.

Post-game is exist but you might only do that to maxed out every NPC that you didn't manage to bonds with. The rest of adventure is just repetitive quest etc.

Btw, while i criticize the game, this game still worth trying. Expect some typical mediocracy because it will show the moment you play.

And that's pretty much it about my Joystick adventure today with a game that would rival Phantasy Star Online but never will be. Elena shutting off~

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Just to remind you reader, this thread might sounds like critic of everything i play so far but i assure you, i only talk about the game i played and experienced and told you in my own way. Some might good, some decent, some are so bad is bad. I hope that clear things up for you. And if you're asking, i start playing video game around 2000s so you won't find me ranting about Atari or Amiga because they're long dead at the time i grab the joystick. Speaking of which, i happen to own gun-con that shaped like revolver, only twice the size. Funny because in order to use that, i had to grab it in the way of grabbing shotgun since my hand are too small.

Now that we're talking about gun-con, let me tell you my adventure on Hogan Alley...

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"Give it or take, i shot the police just to see if his face would change. No BS"

This game didn't come out in my lifetime until 2002 where my father buy a NES knock off. You know, the one that has billion games in one. Yeah screw me, Nintendo didn't see my country as a good place to conduct business thanks to the screw up economy at 1998 so here i was stuck with knock off. Anyway, at one point, this game showing up to which point we try to play it. However me and my sis scratch our head because this game can't be played because no matter what button we press, nothing happen. Days later, my father bought that revolver-like gun-con and show us how to play it. You might think why they need to bother make a fancy looking gun-con when we already had Wii-mote shaped gun-con is enough. My answer is the authenticity include to bring a feeling that you're gonna get involved in gunfight. If i were given Wii-mote at the time, i would think that's TV remote.

Just a little sidetrack, there's this place called Hogan Alley in real life. Some would refer this game are FBI simulator for new agent but i wasn't sure if its true or not. Because why you let people know how you train your agent? Its like telling the police right in the face that you own a drugs, and you do have that drugs. Speaking of which, the game was planned to be named as Hooligan Street but rumor said they change it because copyright issue. Maybe with Green Street Hooligan movie? I wasn't sure but Hogan Alley itself is catchy enough.

Anyway, since this is classic shoot-em-up games, don't expect much story...because there's no story. What you expect from simulator game? You were given something to do and what not to do. That's how easy the game concept is back in the day. Although it might only apply to simulator genre.

Finally having proper stuff to play the game, me and my sis playing in turn to see how this game goes. Suffice to say...we're not bad, but not knowing the rule how to play is both confusing and amusing at the same time. There's goon with black glasses there? Shoot him. There's red haired goon with wonky guns? Shoot him. There's smug ass cop with sausage in hand to beat you? Shoot him. There's mother with- just shoot her! Yeah, i'm gun blazing with the game...and the game over quickly make me wonder what did i do wrong? Don't look at me like that, i just start my elementary school at the time, don't expect me to understand! Anyway i'm talking about mode A. Yes, back in the day, there's 3 game mode compiled into one. Not every game has it though. You could say its how people handling their "DLC" at the time.

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This is mode A. The more you win, the faster you need to react.
Sometime the three of them are goons, sometime innocent people.
Careful, your eyes might play trick on you the longer you play.

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This is mode B. They try to simulate situation on real life. Good try i guess.
Some goons sometime only appear half image but you can shoot them either way.
See that police? Be like him; keep smug even in the face of smoking guns.
Run you fool!

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This is mode C. To be honest this like a testing area for your gun-con.
Do your best to land the can on the small spot. It score higher, but not worth it if you play alone.

I always stick to mode B because i prefer to move my hands around than just left and right. Turn out we're bored quite fast with this game so we move on...to another gun-con games *sigh* take a seat on the back cowboy, we gonna be a wildest gunman in the world in Wild Gunman. 

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To say i hate this game would be big lie. But when i said i hate my gun-con who sometime work and sometime don't, its genuine!

Similar to Hogan Alley, this game offer not much different of shooting genre other than the setting. You're a cowboy who gonna have a face off on the dessert of...wherever it is. There's 2 mode this time. Mode A which consist of standoff, and saloon shooting on Mode B. If you love to move your hands around like me, you would love Mode B. The goons have their delay depends on how far you goes. And as far as i know, there's no innocent you need to worry about getting caught in crossfire. But i find it funny when playing mode B, no matter who the goon is, they always died with blue pants. There's this goon with black attire, you shoot him, he died with blue pants shown. I must say, i never pay much mind in the game when i'm still brat other than not to die, but this game make me thing what happen if you asset flip a scene. The answer is hilarity.

The standoff however, consist of how fast you pull trigger. However if you get the hacked version of the game, you'll realize the goon don't give a crap and shoot you in 0,1 seconds later on first level. Yeah, someone love to hear the dying music and want to share how great it sounds... 

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*BZZT!!* "DING-DING-DING DING-DING-DING DING-DING DING-DING-DING!"
-8bit Officer Tenpenny

Before i forget, in standoff mode, you can only shoot 3 bullets. You can only screwed once.

Overall, my experience in gun-con game isn't much to talk about. I might tell you another one that is railgun shooting. What is railgun shooting? Its the shooting genre you always see on the arcade machine where the screen show enemy and you had to shoot them and move on to the next scene. House of The Dead would be good example of that. But i'll tell that for next episode. Where's my penny for a thought about this game you ask? Well, its decent game. The lack of music might what getting my nerve though. And also, i find that you can't use gun-con on flat screen TV. Its just not work. That's pretty much it, oh and by the way, Rather than shoot, i prefer to eat the bullet. If you know what i mean~

Elena shutting off now~

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I got something else to talk about but i already put Rail-Gun genre are the next in line. Sure i could swipe it aside but then the content won't be relevant and its awkward to read. So here goes. First of all, Arcade might be the first console i touch...if you can call it that. There's so many games at the time and different genre. Mostly bullet hell space shooting. Yeah, before Touhou, there's cake shooting bullet on space on arcade era. Anyway, the railgun shooter i'm gonna talk about is...i think you know what it is...

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"If you prefer to blast someone head rather than knocking it off with your fist while still showing respect to the dead, this game is for you"

Its a cult classic although the running joke about this series is their laughable VA. However for the first one, it wasn't...okay, its bad, but not right in your face. Everyone saves Curien (the main villain) actually has good VA or at least on tolerable level. Now let's sidetrack a bit. Did you know know this arcade game and Resident Evil take part for making horror zombie shooting a trend in the gaming genre? Yeah, back then, you shoot people like Rambo, or just go to hell with flying jet shooting. Even other railgun shooter arcade only offer so much genre that keep repeating by itself. Until SEGA, who at the time still a powerhouse in a gaming console, release this game who strangely never squinted upon by public for having gore-fest. To add more fuel to the fire, this game also has movie. But its bad, i suggest you stick to the game and bear with its VA than watching movie. What i salute, at least, SEGA learn that adapting game into movie is bad move and decide to stop there unlike RE who, IMO, is just generic people on pandemic run. That is until they allowed Sonic the movie which i don't have chance to watch...or interest in.

Now lets back to the topic. I play this game on PC version. There's arcade available in my country, but i'm still 8 years old at the time...or was it 10? I forgot. The game has the opening scene like the arcade when there's no coin inserted. But unlike the arcade, you were thrown to main menu which is normal since its PC. Of course you can tweak the game option such as changing blood color. Yeah, have some pink blood my cute zombie, you earn that. And of course the option i tweak is life count. Even though this game is PC version, it still maintain its arcade gene such as having credits. 5 continue, you're done for. So i tweak it...into 9 continue, with 9 life bar. Yeah i'm suck at shooting games, even on rail shooter genre. I'm still 8-10 years old damn it! Give me some slack!

The game overall, manage to catch the horror and for some reason, the PC version i played has their music butchered and its legit. But having no music on horror atmosphere can add the tension with zombie going to plant their face on you or with their chainsaw, or axe, or raw claw, or bites, or hip bites...yes it can happen. If you shoot the zombie torso off, there's chance the hip and the rest is still alive and trying to kill you. The crazy part? If you got hit, it wasn't splattered blood on the screen but instead a bite mark, hence the hip bites. Unlike its other relatives, you got no special weapons, only your handguns. But in PC version, it offer other character that has their own lore especially "G". Don't underestimate that dude. While he has only 2 bullets, it can kill bosses less than a minutes except final one. He might bring shotgun or Megaman hand cannon or something to make those boss cry river.

There's no memorable zombies so let's just move on to the bosses. The first boss named Chariot. Clever name since all of the bosses are named after Major Arcana. Chariot is basically a "Dancer with Halberd". I know this fella should pose danger but i can't help myself. Its animation doesn't help the impression. Maybe motion capture isn't so hot back in the day. But still, unlike every railgun shooter, you have to be specific with your aim. This part of gameplay is what innovate the railgun shooting trend. While other boast bosses with plentiful health or move fast, SEGA choose to "fuck it, use your brain when aiming, not brawn" and it shown. Chariot has one small spot for you to shoot. For newbie, its a hassle but once you hit the mark, don't move your aim anywhere else. But here's the joke, SEGA don't like 2nd form on final boss...so they give it to chariot. But the second form is nothing but a punching bag since all you need to do is shoot the fleshy part and you're done.

Second boss, codename Hanged man is...perhaps the most laughable boss if you play as G. I'm not kidding, i only shoot it few times, then it's entering invulnerable state so we can move to next scene. Its a failsafe made by SEGA so the game won't stuck due to the game didn't finish all their scene. Smart, but you have to watch Hanged Man hovering the screen doing nothing but being pretty until the next scene where you got thrown off the roof which is where you can finally kill it. But even if you play on arcade mode, this boss isn't even that hard compared to Chariot.

Next one is...*shudder* spider! Its codename are Hermit. This whacko keep moving its weak point and doing a good job. I never finish this boss without getting damaged once or letting it close to my face. Unfortunately, while this boss are hard to aim, its lack of attack variation doesn't pose a great danger. Even on arcade, the only thing you worry about is when it cover it face or if you happen to be on last leg when facing this boss.

Before you reach final boss, you'll have a nice boss rush session where you fight all those bosses. But its nothing to sweat about, their weakness remain the same.

Finally, after the cutscene, you fight the boss codename Magician. He's recurring boss, and the icon of this very series. Its not always appear on every game, but most fans know who the magician is. Just like how people know Nemesis from RE even though they never play RE3 before, they just know this fella is bad news. Anyway, Magician seems don't have any weak point but you'll need bigger eyes if you think those exposed cable aren't his weakness. Just shoot the cable part while following his attack pattern and boom, fuck you magic, science rule! And then the credits roll. Depend on the score though, you'll get different ending. Score more than 60k, your friend is alive. Score less, there's chance you'll see your friend become blocky zombie.

Overall, this game is alright but...

"LET'S SEE HOW GUDD YU REELY ARR!!"

Other than Curien wannabe villain VA, the rest is decent.

As much as i love to end it here, i find it rather short. Well, lucky me, i got other material to talk about. Same genre, same franchise, different number. Yes, i'm still talking about THOTD. Yeah~ now that's a real game title. But unfortunately, i never play the 2nd and 3rd installment because the arcade wasn't showing up on my country arcade while on the other hand, internet wasn't so hot at the time so downloading the PC version is a no-go. However as i reach my college years...i meet my old "friend" who i never thought still going on strong. The 4th installment...

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"I wish i found better cover but this is the best shot i found. Yeah, this game will lick you good and kicking you're face next. You'll see...YOU'LL SEE!"

I forgot what time i first bump this cabinet. Probably around 2014-15 i think? Anyway, there's a little pride for me when play this game. What is that? The pride for playing arcade game until the end...on its very cabinet. Yeah, you should see those staff face when i manage to end the game after sacrificing many coins or perhaps sliding the amusement cards many times just to see where this story goes. Not only i play this game for curiosity and nostalgia, it also got me hooked thanks to english subtitle. Believe me its not easy feat to find arcade that has English subtitle even if its international edition. Perhaps the staff didn't know they can set up the language? Maybe. Anyway, the arcade cabinet offer UZI shaped gun-con and true to its shape, you'll now shoot bucks of bullet to the zombie head. This wasn't first time the series didn't use handgun shaped gun-con because on 3rd installment, you'll use shotgun shaped gun-con and reloading it by pumping it. What a thrill, sadly i can't experience it. I also don't know if this 4th installment also released on PC or not but then again, i don't see what for since i already play and end the game. However i heard this game also released on PS3 when SEGA celebrate their anniversary.

Okay, little rant here. Can any game dev be like SEGA who treat their own anniversary justice? Instead giving full priced bundle (i say again, FULL. PRICED. BUNDLE!), unnecessary remake no one asked for, side project that doesn't even make sense and other crappy merchandise of outdated series? Yeah, i'm looking at certain game company right now. They better know those kind of marketing would make even god itself very unhappy.

Now i feel better, lets' move to the gameplay shall we? At first, when i play the game, i expect some gore-fest. Yeah, imagine the shock of passerby when i bath the screen in blood. But sadly, the developer decide to remove the gore-fest and turn those zombie into vampire. Because once you kill them, they vanished into black dust. Goodness! Francis from Left 4 Dead was right! They're vampire! But of course the excitement from having many bullets also given because you're not facing just 2-3 zombies but whole lines of them! Don't panic, you can throw them grenade but you have to manually aim it. Its not hard to do IMO, just stop being realistic perfectionist buster and toss it. Also, the game offer some CQC but not everytime where you had to shake the UZI to shake them off. This also applied to boss i'm gonna talk about later.

The graphic also improved to the point that i squirm a lot when i had to shoot those sharp teeth maggots. Yeah, even maggots are impatient to wait you to rot so they decide to kill you. Thanks to the HD graphic, some zombies look realistic, while some cumbersome to look. Of course as per tradition of the series, zombie isn't the only thing you face as you'll fight humanoid-android enemy along the way. And their tradition to keep you on guards with bosses weakness is still there. But boy, aren't they creative...

  1. Justice
    This big hunk really put an impression to anyone that this arcade game are not made for those who think shooting everything would help their case. Justice by far, is placed most effectively as first boss not only because its size, its also the way it move and its weak point. Similar to chariot, its big body isn't what you actually aim but instead, you have to aim its tongue. And SEGA is smart enough to make Justice randomly cover his face until it get close to you, giving more thrill or fear for having your face kicked. But don't worry, stay panic, and throw grenades if you have any. If it cover it face, shoot it until it get close enough for you to throw the bomb else its face kick for you. Repeat the step and you're the boss.
     
  2. Lovers
    What kind of horror that didn't put your Arachnophobia to the test? This creature not only menacing for its spiky texture but also how tricky it is to defeat. This creature will not just claw you to death but also spray webs and force you to shake off your UZI vigorously since its boss section. The weak point however is what make me think if this is the part where i had to waste my credits. Turn out if i just take few breaths and remain calm, this boss has pattern where it let its guard down. Shot its small little eyes, this Lover turn into my...bitch? 
     
  3. Empress
    I'll be honest, this is both my favorite Arcana and bosses. Lucky for me, SEGA treat my favorite arcana some justice (not the previous boss mind you). This black figure with red eyes won't bash you to pulp. Because it will greet you with huge chainsaw that can slice a subway train! Once the fight start, here's the part where it get tricky. I have to shoot its weak point which is located on its head, before the chainsaw covering it. I had to be fast or else i'll receive damage and it take one continue for me to beat this boss. Seriously, having HD experience with chainsaw that feel like close to your neck is the last thing i expect from arcade cabinet. Repeat the process and then you'll piss it off and decide to fight you face to face. Which somehow remind me of Pyramid Head on SH arcade...i think i'm gonna tell you that too.
     
  4. Temperance
    And you thought you'll never see big balls chasing you, SEGA won't let that jokes go. Because this time i see some big creature that seems to have temper of person failed at diet. And its ego drives miles high because its size and height is as tall as 10 stories building! I try to shoot it, no effect, grenade? no effect too! Panic all the way back, i decide to shoot it and it turn out i'll just need to hold on until the scene move inside building where the fair fight begin. Again, i must be fast because this boss keep moving. At the end of it, i don't need to do much. Just stay alive and let the game end this big glutton by itself.
     
  5. Star
    Just call it shooting star guy. I don't care if this dude is actually female. You're dude, period. As most gamer said, its easy to fight abomination shaped monster than human shaped bosses and it show. Shooting this emo mother-humper is not easy feat since it keep moving while shooting ray at me. I have to keep my eyes around the screen and it take me good 2 continue to beat this edgy looking cheap knock-off assassin creed rejected protagonist design. Yes, i loath this boss. This kind of boss are made so you keep dying and waste a good coins. As result, you'll spend more money = profit for the arcades. There's always profit in one misery and this one shaped as arcade cabinet.
     
  6. World
    There you are last boss, i've been looking for you! This icy bed bug actually has easy to read pattern of attack. You don't need any continue at all because its easy than Temperance or Empress...because this is just first form. Yeah, Magician got nothing since it has no 2nd form. This angry Kamen Raider finally show its will to fight after being abused. While this part of the boss is extremely tiring, i admit those ice dragons idea are well executed. The final boss also has good amount of health which pander the play hour. In order to get rid of the dragon, i had to shoot it at the moment it was summoned. I don't have much time to goof around at this section else i'll have my 4th continue. Yeah, at this point, i had to buy another coins. I mean, this is final boss! There's nothing to lose! Finally after few hectic (and random help from stranger who join as player 2), i beat the game. Suffice to say, the stranger who help me were speechless. Bet he think i was on first boss. As the credit rolls, i got Normal Ending for the game. Huh, satisfying enough...but boy, am i exhausted for aiming that UZI all the time! Ignoring people stare, i just get out from arcade and buy drinks...and watch movies later.

    Did i forget to tell you i play this when i'm waiting for movies? Guess i forgot. At least it give you a hint how long the game play hour is. Its short unless you messing up too much. Still, that dude face tho~
     

Overall, SEGA still has their grip about how to treat their arcade games right IMO. Although their latest entry once again introduce their wonky VA. Sure there's not much arcade games these days since everything are easily emulated. But in Japan, its still going strong. I'm talking about arcade cabinet, not pachinko cabinet. Gambling is bad, it make certain company think about making erotic-horror pachinko is great idea. And if i had a chance to play the 2nd and 3rd installment, i think i'm gonna talk about my experience while playing the game. 

 

But for now...

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"The series fate once again sleep in the void of laboratory..."

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Still on railgun shooter theme, today i'm gonna talk about the game that also made by SEGA AM1. But this time, we're not gonna shoot undead to make them dead again. This time, you shoot people- i mean, criminal. Of course as per tradition of SEGA railgun shooting, there's innocent who get in your way. And by now, i bet you can guess what i'm gonna talk about...

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"Honest to good, i thought this is Virtua Fighter. I swear!"

Just like THOTD (gotta love saying that!) i play this game on PC version. Basically this game has 5 lives, 5 credits. However unlike THOTD, this game don't offer the option to change the the credits and lives. But instead, you have to press ALT, then press any arrows on keyboard to force the game into pause. There might be more delicate approach but this is the method i used when playing this game back in the day to change the life bar into 9, and credits into 9. I was 8-10 years old when i playing this. Just like every SEGA railgun shooter game on PC, player one will play using mouse while player 2 playing on keyboard by using arrows to aim, 0 to shoot, 3 for reload. Let me tell you, its tedious as you can imagine since you had to cross your arms with player one who play on mouse while you playing on keyboard. But it wasn't that bad once you get used to it.

Once you click the mouse, the title screen show up and you'll be offered which mode you want to play. One is main game, other is proving grounds where you put into life-threatening situation which also feature time limit and had to do your best not being shoot at while aiming to kill the other cops. 

Before we move on, the game didn't tell you who you play as. Wondering who their name is? Nothing special...but their alias shown how skillful Japan is when naming someone.

 

  • Michael Hardy (Rage) : He's basically a guy whom you play as if you're player one. Typical fella with typical hair of millennial. A typical hotshot if you ask me.
  • James Cools (Smarty) : He's smart if you imagine him to be. Because his intelligent won't be shown at all in this game. I'll tell you that later. Anyway, he don't wear any glasses in game. And i don't think any smarty pants wear sharp sunglasses...
  • Jeanette Marshall (Janet) : Nothing to write home about. Although if you want to play as her in every stage, there's cheat for it. But then again, there's no need for that because...well, you're playing on FPS POV anyway

    For the record, no matter who you end up playing as, there's no advantage whatsoever. Other than hearing "Roger", "Okay", "Affirmative" when mission start. To add more ridicule point, these guys are actually investigator...investigator who wear uniform that scream "We're police". Nice move detective! Now we're brown bread!

Let's jump to the game. Once you choose mode, you'll be given option which stage you want to tackle on. There's beginner, medium, expert. Beginner mostly shown enemy for you to fight one by one, medium has more enemy for you to shoot including those who don't need to be shot at, while expert will put every level into one plus long playing hour. There's a little secret though, it said you can jump right to the final boss if you shoot something at stage select screen when the timer reach zero. I forgot what you need to shoot at but its there. What stage did i choose? Beginner of course. Even small me love to play it step by step~

At first, i just shoot everything that radar pointed at but seriously! These criminal are suck at keeping hostage! Just look at them scattering like baby chick!

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"Dang it!"

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"What the hey!?"

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"God dang it Roger!"

Just like real life, you'll got yourself crossfire with the innocent even if the said stage shouldn't have a civil there. I saw someone with suit on basement. I saw civil woman chilling, relaxing, on the edge of the screen instead running away when there's gun blazing across the street! What the hell lady!? Oh wait, perhaps she thought she's watching street of rage... But still! If real life hostage are treated in such way, there's no need for SWAT! Just send the thug brained cop since there's no need for negotiation! Weapons free!

After few hectic scene, you finally reach the construction site. See the guy who appear from dumpster? Shoot him to get Automatic weapon, or just shot the dumpster to see his head being bashed by the lid he just open. Other than that, just survive and we finally reach the boss. This boss might have a head of hamburger but he ain't no slug. Sadly this game don't feature subtitle when he taunting me. But here's what he said.

"Bwahaha! Pwa~papo-papapa-pipi!" Then he shoot rocket at me. Don't blame me, its the sounds bit rate that make it hard to hear! I might try to listen it again on youtube later but this won't be honest experience if i do that. Finally the fight heats up and he throw barrel at me. Blast the barrel but don't forget to make him eat lead. Got enough of bullet dose, the boss resort to Car-Fu by throwing van at me. Shoot it like mad and reloading like person on seizure is actually hard. But anyway, if it damage you, you still only lose one life bar so there's that. Once the van gone, shot him once again and he's done.

Now we move to medium stage. The stage take place on a luxury cruiser and let me tell you, this section is actually more harder than Expert. Its hard to figure out when enemy would appear and some of them even just pull a fast one only to have others shoot at me. There's fun thing about this though, you have many path to choose. But don't worry, it still lead to final boss anyway. Think someone gonna throw titanic at you this time? Oh no, SEGA might being ridiculous when they add Big Head Mode but not the boss. This time, i was facing numerous flying dick that also shoot rocket at me. Just focus on rocket first and then shoot those who don't move much. I have love-hate when the game stage is harder and the boss turn out to be a "comfort food". But hey, i dig it.

Next is Expert. Its similar to medium but the play hour take more longer. There's also path to choose from and of course i choose to ride the train instead cars. There's not much to talk about either other than the boss this time is a metal gear...or what i imagine it to be. The said boss is actually a tank with a pincher that also shoot rocket. Let me ask again, are we really play as investigator? At this point i would compare myself to Metal Slug Squad! Everyone want me dead by any mean! Rocket, axe, bullet, barrel, boxes, and big ass van! There might be more coming but i just forgot what else! For this boss, i had to shoot the pincer. Once the pincer gone, the tank gone batshit and run around shooting rocket. But no need to sweat the pattern of attack, just shoot at it and you're done.

Think the game end? Oh no, you forgot the last boss. Before you face him, you have some mini boss rush first. Yeah, those cops are suck at keeping their prisoner, i mean, even the flying dicks from medium level making their return! What kind of prison they were put in!? House arrest!? After dealing with them, i finally face the final boss that...color me rainbow, this dude is just asset flipping with color swap and then combined with those flying dicks jetpack! I don't need to figure out long because this boss almost has no challenge. It shoot rocket, sometime get close, and nothing else. For a size of a last boss, this is a great insult for one effort, anti-climatic in fact. All those long journey to apprehend this cheap shot? No wonder the guys i'm playing as were accepted as police...or investigator or whatever. Anyway, the credit roll and then the three of them drive to the sunset. Since there's 2 guys and 1 girl, i guess you know what they doing next...hmmm~

Overall, the gameplay is so-so. Its no wonder i prefer THOTD than VC2. In VC2, there's not much story to tell. No subtitle, and the story seems disjointed. You don't even know what kind of relation each boss had to the final boss. You don't even know why they being bad because there's nothing to tell you. Unless you own the game manual but then again its on arcade! Even i know the character name from Wiki! I always call them hotshot, blondie, and lady until i know who their name are! When you make game complete with the lore only to be questioned later, that's a big problem if you plan for a sequel.

The game isn't bad as a whole; its just so disjointed you don't even care for the character or story.

There's VC 3 but sadly, i never found the PC version nor the arcade cabinet. So that's pretty much it. Shutting off for now~

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Rather than talking about games i played in the past, why not talking about the game i currently played? Oh i bet you expect Dark Soul or anything Next Gen-ey isn't it? Well no, my PC won't hold up and i don't want to buy slice of cake and get the rest later only to realize i just bought expired cake. What am i talking about? A game with DLC that basically has essence of the gameplay. I find it funny, DLC were once planned to be filled with just cosmetic while the game function remain bundled on the main game. But business love to be mean and decide if you want some arcade mode, you gotta buy it. If i had to spend nice 60$ only to reach main menu that basically has little to no option or worst, close to just demo, i too would be pissed! You think i stop pirating once i had job? Because there's STEAM that has my country currency which make buying games easy? Oh sadly no. I buy any game originally out of pity but just its vanilla...

After that, i download the fully packaged pirated version. Now listen, 60$ might sounds like an icing on cake but to some people like me, its like wishing lobster for dinner. If i had to spend 60$ to buy fully functional game then there's no reason for me to hold back. But to buy game with additional feature as DLC that would rake up the game price from 60$ to 499$? Bitch you, bitch me, i rather upgrade my PC! Sure i can just "Fuck it i don't need that part of DLC" but what if the said DLC is feature you want? Looking back again, there's a case where you can't play arcade mode on certain fighting game I KNOW OF, you can't play survival mode on certain RTS game I BLOODY KNOW OF, and you can't even play offline unless you buy all DLC like certain game I'M EFFING KNOW OF. Its like if you want to have child, you have to assemble it from lego one by one...okay that's unsettling, lets just say its like asking for a KFC chicken bucket but you can't because you don't bring your own chicken.

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"If those master race themselves have trouble completing their experience on your game, you really got a problem!"
"I mean, seriously, see those crafting table? Its added on Expansion Pack 3 but its just decor. If i want to use it as it should, i have to pay additional gameplay feature that cost me 5$"

Let's see...you just come home from work, tired and fucked, and then decide its time to relax and play fishing games cost 60$ with 70GB in size you bought last week. And then the game crap on you because you can't catch anything but anchovy unless you buy the DLC or season pass or any crap along the line of that words. Not only you realize you just buy a "free demo" quality games, you waste good bandwidth and HDD space all this time. And being a good gamer who love the genre to the core, you decide to buy the DLC you want and realize if you total the game price, its worth two F-15 jets with a small changes to buy two PS5. When you buy a game, you expect full experience worth the money but only got yourself dog crap under the rugs is a total kick on the shin. Heck, perhaps having dog turds under your rugs are better than wasting good bucks of hard salary to buy a dang demo!

Well lucky you, refund always an option.

But there's some game that didn't pull that stunt. I could name a few but i don't want to take a shine to that and tell you how great it is. Just know there's a game that show even without putting essential feature as DLC, they can still won people attention which in turn won't mind to buy their cosmetic DLC. Back then, people debate that graphic won't promise good gameplay but now, holding essential feature and put it as DLC don't always a great idea especially if it only add gameplay hours just for one hour. Now that's sad.

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Do you know Ubisoft? Bet you know them from Assassins Creed series or Rainbow Six series or Splinter Cell series. I must say while this company has up and downs, at least they're not as grubby as EA or moron like Activision (pulling knee-jerk to your longtime fans is not smart move no matter where you look). I know them for their mobile game back in 2007. The first game i played back then was Assassins Creed. I thought they would only release one but my words, here they are with their grand adventure and series. I do play their Splinter Cell games but being a brat that i am, i can't tell what they want me to do so i just go around gun blazing instead sneaking. Yeah, go me.

Anyway, i'm not gonna talk about those series. Maybe later, but then again i didn't play the whole series. But instead, i'm gonna tell you a game that i've been playing lately for the sake of nostalgia. But unlike those nostalgia-goers, i'm not gonna ask to remaster this masterpiece. Warcraft Reforge Refund already make example of that. I welcome the HD remaster than full blown remaster of disaster!

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"In its heyday, you either play StarCraft, Warcraft, C&C or this game when it come to RTS without hassle of city management. I choose this one and glad i did"

Battle Realms setup in the Asian-like theme which is rare setup for RTS games who mostly do a fantasy, futuristic, and mostly space theme in 2001. Sure there's game like Civilization, Total War, and even RTK but some people find that economic centric RTS is a hassle and some even said they forget the game has war feature on it. Sure its nice to have realistic economy to run the show and i won't deny that. But back then, you'll find yourself busy handling people than your angry neighbor who want to impale you from day one. When gamer heard a game about war, they expect gun blazing or sword cutting but instead find themselves point finger to your peasant to reap more rice, slap your General ass to recruit more soldier, and bash blacksmith hammer to make weapon for your army. That kind of game isn't bad but some people love to see the war right before their eyes. Hence the quick RTS were born where the economic are set aside but not completely removed.

Now lets focus on the main topic. Battle Realm has basic feature of RTS games from Campaign, Skirmish, and Multiplayer. I would say this game lacking point is the missing custom games feature. Warcraft for example, has that feature and it make the game as long running cult (until reforge decide to give them something to talk about). And also, the game rely on GameSpy instead their own server for multiplayer and when the said server is shut, this game fate is pretty much sealed. You can still play local or host a server but the effort to scavenge what's left are deemed too late at that point.

Just like every RTS, they also has their own unique race. But perhaps call it a clan would be more fitting. Dragon is close to Japan style army, Serpent is a rough style of Dragon clan since they consist of rebel, bandit and ronin where Dragon has formal army from spearman to samurai. Wolf clan is a tribes that might represent the real "human" for this game since their army come naturally from brawler, leader of the pack, to berserker. With the addition from Winter Of The Wolf EP, you can turn berserker into werewolf but we talk about that later. And last clan named Lotus who represent "undead" in this game. They consist of sorcery and manipulation that would cripple your enemy attack or sabotage enemy source to slow their growth. Their units sucks but their warlocks work like Kirov from C&C.

True to its unique gameplay, Battle Realm didn't ask you to hog resource to build a numerous army. But instead, you have to grow them. Normally on any RTS games, if you want solider, you just click barrack and make one. In BR, you have to command a peasant to enter the building to make soldier. Peasant themselves are vital because they're the only one who can harvest rice and gather waters which is the currency of the game. Losing one, and your growth pace are slowed which is why you need to consider how many soldier you want to make without crippling your own growth. I usually goes with 5 rice harvester and 3 water gatherer while the rest are converted to a soldier but depends on situation, i might add more or use less numbers. Also, in BR, you can't build a numerous army. Perhaps due to hardware limitation or to add challenge for the player, its unknown. You can only spawn 30 units from your peasants hut so if it hit the mark, you'll no longer receive one unless you send your unit to battle and die. Cruel, but that's where the RTS fun point is. And no, you can't go all gung ho with just samurai. It won't be called strategy game if one tactic would solve everyone problem.

In BR, you need to train unit in specific order to get unit you want. And no, you can't rely big number of tier one either. You need to train them again and again until they're suit for combat. There's also upgrade for unit which didn't cost resource but it will cost you Ying/Yang point. How you get them? By entering the battle. Yes, you need to make sacrifice by throwing your unit to their death for upgrade point. Its easy to get. You might already hogging two point early if you manage to do well.

Since referring the unit one by one would be confusing, let me show you the image...

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  • Peasant : your basic unit that can harvest water and rice and get horses. Very vital but i don't let them fight even against tier 1
  • Spearman : not reliable for fighting against other melee unit but good if i want to stop enemy range unit from harassing my melee unit
  • Archer : shoot arrow, and become enemy bitch if enemy got close to them. Not very reliable so i just upgrade them right away
  • Chemist : They're basically work as catapult but i also use them for harassing enemy. With proper upgrade, they can have AoE attack and burn building. I always make at least 4 of them in Razing mode since destroying building are its objective
  • Kabuki : Without upgrade, they just a better looking spearman
  • Dragon Warrior : Same as Kabuki but at least they have range attack
  • Powder Keg Cannoneer : Asking sumo to bring canon? Why the heck not. Destructive power against building but without upgrade, they can't harass enemy properly. Although i personally focus them to destroy building. Slow poke even when running.
  • Samurai : The final form of peasant. Strong, but can take more hit if you upgrade them fast enough. Good melee but sucks when harassed. When they dying, they do hara-kiri and damage closest enemy near their corpse.
  • Geisha : I'm not kidding, you trade peasant for a Geisha to heal your unit. They fragile as heck but what you expect from support? Proper upgrade can make them last 10 seconds longer in battle. I personally don't rely on them or bring them to battle very much

    (The following are unit which isn't shown on the picture. They debut only on WOTW Expansion Pack)
  • Guardian : they tanker so its best to throw them first before your samurai barge in. I rarely use them since i never move alone aka with allies who always love to bum rush enemy
  • Battle Maiden : If you prefer girls who can fight and survive than being pretty, you can train your Geisha to become one of this. Still fragile as heck IMO.

Overall, Dragon is pretty much good for novice and i would say they're the most versatile. Unfortunately being versatile mean you need to choose from being powerful but slow or fast paced but costly. You can't have both.

Next one is Serpent...

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  • Peasant : You know the drill
  • Swordsmen : basic unit, similar to Dragon clan spearman but fast one to produce. Unreliable to fight one-on-one. Good harasser
  • Crossbowmen : similar to Dragon clan archer; they share similar bitch attribute. But with upgrade, they can poison their enemy
  • Musketeer : pose danger to any tier 1 unit but very slow attack since they need to reload. I just upgrade them right away.
  • Raider : probably must have when it come to destroying building. They're not only destroy, they burn building as well. As long there's no pesky melee unit come at them.
  • Bandit : probably most used in my gameplay since they are durable and can attack on range. They can loot source from enemy corpse. They bandit, don't expect them to throw flowers.
  • Cannoneer : good against building. Their bullet can do friendly fire though. I rarely use them.
  • Ronin : final form of serpent peasant. But without upgrade, they're just paper with double swords. Upgrade their armor first when you get enough Yang point. When they dying, they release spell to slow enemy unit attack and move speed; just attack the circle and its gone.
  • Fan Geisha : Similar to Dragons clan Geisha, but they're slower and their sprite has bouncy asset which confuse me at best. But then again, this game release on Lara Croft sharp tits trends so there's that. The difference is they can focus on fight but don't expect them to last long either
  • Enforcer (WOTW Expansion Only) : Similar to Dragons clan Guardian, they're tanker but only if you get all those upgrade first. Else they just filler.
  • Necromancer, witch and Demoness (WOTW Expansion Only) : Uhh...who again? Sorry, i never use them even once...

Overall, i always play in number when commanding Serpent. They fast and easy to build but they're not much durable. Not to mention that Ronin only has armor upgrade but no damage upgrade which make them considerably unreliable for easy kill.

Next is the most close to human race clan. The Wolf Tribe...

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  • Peasant : Rice and water is over there...
  • Brawler : Fast move but do little damage. A glorified peasant with brawn. Good starter but not very great when range unit harass them. I make number of them at the start because they're cheap and fast to made
  • Hurler : Has friendly attack range unit. I rarely use them.
  • Mauler : If i don't have time to make pitch slinger, i use them to destroy building
  • Sledger : alternatives to Mauler but slow. I use them more often to fight than destroy building though...
  • Ballistaman : I personally loath this fellow for being slow. So i just upgrade them. What use they had? They have strongest range attack.
  • Pitch Slinger : My personal favorite since they can burn building faster than Serpents Raider. But they unreliable for harassing and like every range unit, they become bitch when melee unit come at them
  • Berserker : Fast attack speed and good durability. Sadly, the damage isn't much to write home about. I usually make them in big number to distract enemy while commanding my pitch slinger to burn the building
  • Druidess : Unlike other slut woman unit, this one can't heal but in exchange, they have range attack that can root enemy from moving or attacking. I'm surprised to say this is the most valuable unit to bring along in battle because they can stop even a warlord from attacking.
  • Pack Master : Probably most favorable unit in combat but also most tedious to build. In order to make this unit, you need to have at least 2-3 wolves at your Wolves Den building. Pack master lead those wolves in battle which suffice to say would break population cap because wolves doesn't count as population. Having 10 of this wolf pack would equal having 40 units if you count the wolves which show how easy to break population cap without modding the game (as if its even exist...). The cons? Wolf pack and their wolves are easy to die. And if the map doesn't offer much horse to feed the wolves at the den, you're stuck with just pack master without wolves...now that's a sad alpha. I just stick to Berserker as reliable unit i guess.
  • Werewolf (WOTW exclusive) : They can be summoned if the Druidess using their blessing from Cairn on the Berserker. You can transform all Berserker into werewolf but you might risk taking more time to destroy your enemy early since this unit is on last tier. IMO, they're just glorified berserker but hey, werewolf are cooler right?
  • Dryad (WOTW exclusive) : Uhh...i rarely use this one. They're stronger version of Druidess but lack of range attack power and can't root enemy. If you want bitch that can fight, consider this an option. I personally forgot this unit exist

Wolf is pretty decent and can harass enemy early in the game. However due to how easy it is to launch an assault, you need to do it fast or else you'll be overwhelmed. Wolf unit are mostly good at offensive but they lack defense (as if lack of armor didn't give enough clue) which you can compensate it by giving them Shale armor which unlocked on late game.

Finally, a Lotus. I used to love this clan but realize this unit is too easy to use when you got warlock onboard.

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  • Peasant : Goodness, they harvest rice and water and choose not to consume it? No wonder they look pale and slim as Jim!
  • Blade Acolyte : Good basic unit and for a size of tier 1, they durable on the most part. I mostly abuse this unit to make early attack
  • Leaf Disciple : Just call it knife thrower dang it! Anyway, its tier 1 range unit. Nothing special other than fast attack speed since they don't need to draw a bow
  • Staff Adept : I don't know why but this unit is durable although its attack sucks. I use them as alternative in case i don't plan to attack early.
  • Diseased one : Don't expect a kill, they only poison their enemy and their actual damage sucks. At least they aren't as slow as next one...
  • Infested one : Average damage but fragile. Well, duh! This dude has their intestine exposed! I never bring them to battle although if you bless them, you can order them to spread famine on any rice field, preventing regrowth for sometime.
  • Unclean one : Its range attack can cause negative buff if upgraded. When they died, they blind enemy unit near to its corpse. But only those who stand close to it are caught. If there's other unit faraway from its corpse, this buff is pretty much useless...
  • Warlock : A powerhouse that can kill and destroy building with ease. Their melee sucks however. Have this dudes lined up and you're basically sending rain of Kirov to enemy.
  • Channeler : A healer, which mean another fragile fellow. Their plus is they can heal units faster with more cheap cost. Upgrade them and they can heal you forever...one unit at the time.
  • Master Warlock : Yeah yeah, you're powerful, you're a master, but you never last long on the party! Ef you! I stick to Warlock!
  • Reaper (WOTW exclusive) : Eh, you. Scythe are cool sure but this dude can't take explosive damage well so i only use them to harass range unit.
  • Overseer (WOTW exclusive) : ...pardon me lady but who are you? I forgot this unit exist...

Lotus while powerful, are tricky to use. I once think diseased one is useless only when i realize its poison also weaken enemy defense which is good if i fight tier 3-4 enemies. This clan demand unit variation since their tier 1-2 is very compromising unless you mixing things up.

In my lifetime playing this game, i frequent Wolf and Dragon since one, i like how unique Wolf clan is and two, i like Samurai on Dragon. To say i didn't have difficulty playing this would be a big lie. Give it or take this is the first RTS game i ever play and suffice to say, i'm pretty dumb. How? Because i play this when i was 8 and i can't tell how to command my army...to move. No i'm serious, i don't know how. I only make building, make soldier, but never attack because i don't know how to move. And it goes on until i'm 13 years old where i decide to play this game again properly. But by then, i already know Warcraft and its cult of Custom Games so the game eat the dust until i'm 20 years old and decide to play it again for old time sake.

The developer might never release another sequel or remaster and Ubisoft seems don't take any shine on this game since they had other game to milk to. But on the other hand, i kind of glad to be able to know one of hidden gem among RTS games remain as untouched gem. There's many people milking remaster only to be lashed out for their incompetence and lack of grasp in source material. Did you know Silent Hill remaster was disaster because Konami being dumb by losing the final code of the game? Losing final code for the game is like having stack of well written novel but never turned into book but instead it remain as stacked paper; one gentle wind would make it messed up again and when you fix it, you realize the page are mixed. That's how messed up game is when it lose its final code. In this case, if i had to choose, i rather have this game as it is if the remaster would end up like Warcraft Refunded. Now if you're wondering if there's rumor about BR sequel, well there is one. Its called BR : Lair of the Lotus which would revolve around Lotus internal struggle before they end up become who they are. Sadly, the project was scrapped due to lack of funds and some of developer filled for bankruptcy which pretty much seal this game lifeline to the void...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have you ever found yourself among the crowd of people hyping a game? Or have you ever see yourself sit on table where your friends play the newest and hottest game at the moment? I bet you did. But have you ever sit in the situation above and find yourself just "meh" toward the game no matter how good they are even if you already playing it? Well, that's the topic i'm gonna talk about. Or perhaps just me telling you that there's a game that i find myself can't love no matter how i play it.

Before i start though, keep in mind that this is just my opinion and by no mean to lower their value nor asking you to not playing it. Or worse, trying to make you look like a moron for playing the said game. So let me say this clearly once again: i just pointing out why i don't love the game that people held in high regard. If you disagree with what i said, its fine, i appreciate the input because its interesting to see the view from the other side. If turn out there's a people like me who keep some distance from highly regarded games, then know that you're not alone because i too, has similar situation. Which is what i'm gonna talk about.

  1. Final Fantasy: I know this game when i was 8 and i wouldn't lie when i said the artwork are spectacular. Even more so when i see the gameplay. Sure there's RPG genre here and there and i could just play the GBA version. But something tell me that this game isn't gonna click with my taste. And even more so when i'm grown up. The only FF i had played is FF1 and FF4 but none of them are played until the end. I just don't seems fond of the story nor the character. You know how tiring it is when the game fail to relate to you, both in character or story aspect. Even in the modern release, i still not fond with it at all. I know FF has been lives up and down but then i just appreciate the game presence and that's it. By all mean, i would say i'm happy to see FF series, but not in slightest mind to loving it. I just can't seems to relate every character or sympathetic about them.
     
  2. Kingdom Heart: No i'm not gonna put every game square enix made here, i assure you. Anyway, the only KH i ever played seriously is Chain of Memories but even so, i didn't finish the game because somehow its just exciting to me only when the Disney character story is on the focus. Once the story shift to Sora, i keep sighing and felt like, "get this over with, this is so lame" and that's not good. I like how ambitious KH is since Disney is like Nintendo when it come to licensing. But unfortunately, my excitement lies on the Donald and Goofy while Sora on the other hands, the playable character at that and the main focus of this game, i don't seems fond of it. And the whole ordeal with the shadow group fellows (i forgot their name. I play this when i was 15) is just typical "we're good fellow, but we doing it wrong way" trope that believe it or not, been repeated over and over in few series of Dragon Quest which also made by Square. But hey, at least you're lucky because Square Enix finally learn to count their fingers again with KH3.
     
  3. Megami Tensei: Yes i know this is the real Megaten and not the spin-off that also earn its fame that is Persona. While Megaten itself been gaining fame since days of old for all i care, i never seems to stick with their kind. I'm not saying the game is ugly. On contrary, its good and perhaps innovative for its kind. You don't always summon demon at your side; you convince them to join you. Making deal with devil? Now that's real forbidden game. Unfortunately, even though i play some of them, i just forgot them next day. Never bother with new game plus and all. I do have to admit their stories is good and the theme are fit my taste. I just lack the love for the series.
     
  4. Resident Evil include their remake: For the size of long running series that always gun blazing on zombies before it turn into cinematic-wannabe-horror game, i still wondering why i don't like these series. I do play 3,4, and 6 and while i enjoy the game (although 6 is very tiring to play), i never seems to find myself to recommend or get all excited with the remake. The game has both aspect of action and survival and Capcom keep everything in order so far (except REORC. That was disaster mess along with Donte DmC). But here i am never get all so gung-ho with the game. The story is alright and the game is surprisingly smooth and sometime i do get the suspense feelings (especially on 3rd one) but i only play it once and that's it. Never talk about it again, hype with its remake, or bother with the rating.
     
  5. Cyberpunk 2077: I might be biased here because i didn't play this game yet. But even so, this is one of the game that i never jump into the hype train...and boy, i'm glad i didn't take those ride. Anyway, back before the game release, i already know about the development through Tw@ter and people are really loud about it. I know better than to hype a game that still in beta test because i know those feature would be stripped for various reason. And when the game revealed to be first person, my impression is: "This is a glorified Farcry with cyberpunk setting". Even with Keane Reeves in it, it won't make much different and my opinion remain the same; its Cyberpunk Farcry or i would go as far to say Cyberpunk Fallout because i don't feel any distinctive value that separate this game from others. The hacking? Many games did that such as watch dog. Only in Cyberpunk, you did it in 1st person and i'm supposed to be excited with that visual? Oh yeah, it has genital setup but Conan the Exile already did that unfortunately. Anyway, the final nail is i don't grow any crush on this game at the first mention on Tw@ter. But then again, i might be biased here because i didn't play the game yet, and i never fond of cyberpunk setup. If there's Steampunk 2077, maybe i'll say otherwise but i might as well stick to Bioshock.

    On another note, the blackmail scandal seems fishy and very scripted as part of the hype. At least IMO.
     
  6. Monster Hunter World: I know this game been out for sometime, but this is one of the game series that i follow, and only to meet abrupt bump when this one came out. I've been playing MH series since Freedom Unite and while i do have some tears and laugh on those play hours, i find it exciting to fight the monster that can be fight against as i rose up in ranks. And the fact that the game want YOU to level up the skill instead the character and the shape of your dedication are shown on your crafted armor, it felt rewarding (take note EA! This is how you treat sense of achievement!). However when MH World come out, i just...meh? Its nothing? What about it? I don't know, the moment i touch the game, i don't feel any specialties. The challenge for hunting the monster isn't as hard as before which might be good for newcomer so i let it slide. But the moment i play through 70+ hours on the game, i just sit there and think: "Did i just fight this bastard last week?". No matter how high the rank i earn, i always fight the similar group of monsters, only more angrier or in rare case, more idiotic. No new stuff, just Wyvern with change of their color palette. There's collaboration and expansion pack sure but i still being questionably not into it.

    The lack of Piscine monster might play the part for lack of variety. I swear once that kind of monster appear on MH world, many longsword user would rage quit. Pussy. Anyway if my friend ask for MH online, i would say they should stick to MHX or Generation instead MHW. It has more monster from MH1 to Japanese only version monster and more fun. Repetitive, but worth the while.

There might be others game that i don't follow the hype nor excited with their presence but most of the main reason is just like FF or KH so i don't want to repeat myself. One thing i can relate for sure in this moment is sometime when you expect a gold when digging, your sole focus might only fall to those gold. Even if you get any kind of gem while you digging, you only want gold no matter what. And that's what happen to me. I know those game are brilliant, shiny, and worth every penny. But for some reason, i rather stick to the humble version. There's so many game worth appreciation out there after all. You might be surprised to see another game that similar to your current favorite game, but did the job better.

I think this is pretty much about my rambling about the game that people love to scream about and i just sit there and look at them with pity. At least someone is happy. I don't think with or without me around as the fan of series would alter the game fate much. Heck, i might be greatest elitist if i ever think fawning over a game would make them forever good 🤣 Elena shutting off~

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Futuristic. That kind of words usually send me into image of flying cars and oddly shaped building. Some would say laser gun, some said bionic arms, some said robot as civil member, some would say Doraemon. Well i don't blame them. Without dreaming about future, we won't have Super Baseball 2020 which people at 90's think that's how 2020 look like. Well, i kind of hate it if i break it to them if i travel back in time. But still, dreams of the future are still dream worth holding on. Sadly though, the more grown up i am, futuristic setup isn't sit well too long with me which led to my lack of taste in sci-fi.

However i'm gonna talk about a game that...i would say semi-futuristic? I mean you still doing job here to make a living so there's that. What am i talking about? This...

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How lucky i am finding the logo like that. And i don't think you need to know what's this game about. Yes, its a harvest moon! In futuristic setup! We're farming! We're whipping cream with cow's milk! We're growing marijuana every single day which is actually called wild grass! What can you ask for more! Well i do. LOTS. OF. IT. Some people consider this game hidden game for being beautiful and would even say its nice change of pace. But in my experience? Not so much. The farming in harvest moon are well-known to be detailed and even the GBA release are said to be unforgiving unless you're just playing the game just for the hell of it. After all, you have 3 years to run the farm into success and we all know no matter how much the number is, time is everyone enemy. Not all harvest moon has time limit though but the time itself is a challenge that everybody welcome anyway. In Innocent Life? There's indeed time limit and i would say i solely focus only to the farming alone. No dawdling with the bachelor, no giving gift, always brushing cow's teeth, groping chicken, molest the sheep, that's it. Seems normal? Well for long time HM player, it is not.

Comparing this game to previous installment is like comparing a birthday cake to pizza. You would pick pizza first because it has more topping with various flavor. In this case, no matter how charming IL is, everyone would pick previous installment most of the time and they have good reason why. Think every aspect and charm previous HM had. Yep, it's gone. There's so many system that i got used to in HM. Its tedious and tiring, but that's the charm of the game for making it as realistic as well as approachable. In previous installment, there's also many distraction that would interrupt your business with farming (although they are essential). Mining, fishing, flirt around, whistle everyone like pervert, litter the street, barge in someone room, its all gone.

Before i jump to that, let me tell you what i recall about the story. So the earth basically lose its essence because human live in technologically advanced era where everything is synthetized. This include nature resource like vegetable, animal produce, and anything else that would make nature thrive. The ancient one (yes, there's this ancient fella on a cave) were angered with the change of nature and how ignorant human is and decide to end it all. But not right away, it give them sometime to realize their mistake. And guess what? They don't learn at all. Asshat.

Time is short and ancient one is more pissed than before. In the middle of crisis, an old man named Dr. Hope create android which happen to be your character, to set things straight. You were told about what to do with tutorial and then the gist of the situation. Being robot, you shouldn't expect much about people reaction since you're walking tin man. Although they warm up to you given the time. As you progress through story (with some walkthrough which you might need it), you finally face ancient one. Oh you expect there's gonna fight like Rune Factory do you? Well sadly no. But i get a gist this is the first seed of Rune Factory idea because if you look at ancient one and then compare it to one enemy in Rune Factory Frontier, you'll see the semblance. Anyway, you don't fight anyone here because someone appear and calm its anger. And then boom, ending. Or that's what you get if you play the game properly. You can screw around to get bad ending by doing anything else than farming but as i already tell you, this game lack any distraction that even being lazy is very boring thing to do.  How the bad ending goes? You become one tin man on earth. The end. Just from reading it alone is not worth it to keep a secret.

Now back to the gameplay system, as i mention before, many aspect known on HM series is butchered or dumbed down so bad that i think even with it removed it won't raise any value of the gameplay worth.

  • You want to farm in a big patch of dirt? Oh no, you have to find 4 crystal to open it, sorry Mario!
  • You like cooking? Go ahead! You don't need to play guess this time, just watch tv and you'll know the recipe. What about the ingredient? No need to worry! Just get close to any cooking utensils, hit the X or O button, and cook away! What's that? We can cook without ingredient? Yes you can! Because we are the futuristic farmer! We can't put scratch on those juicy synthetized veggies! We need them to be sold as profit and to anger ancient one!
  • What's that? You curious how the tin man you play as are capable to impregnate someone daughter? Well knock yourself out becaaaaaause~~~~~ you can't married anyone. Hm-hm, nope, not here, not in your lifetime. You die virgin. That's your canon ending as bachelor. If you insist, well you can actually married...in your sleep after completing certain step. But in the end you still wake up single. At least you can imagine your character having wet dream...must be very oily down there
  • And don't start to ask about female protagonist
  • Horse? Well there's horse. Lots of it...they just run around in circle. I try many ways to tame them, nah i give up. Why bother with a horse anyway since i got ATV

I really can't tell what the hell is going on in game development. I think they try to make something new and then forget to add that something new which result in this lacking punch of a game. Some people outright saying this game is comparable to DMC 2 incident where the game title is not acknowledged even by its own dev. I don't blame them though. This game lacking way too many things that make HM series charming. I won't mind having marriage system out of the way since HM: STHL also don't have that and i personally can roll with it just fine. But IL butcher so many things that i would be better off handling garden in Plant vs Zombies. No marriage, incomplete animal, poor setup, bland character, the atmosphere of the farm is mixed to odd, lack any distraction which make the game a mundane circle, pointless tool, forgettable plot, and it still going.

Did i forget something? Oh right, you can't see everyone face. The game, don't show any character thumbnail so when you talk to them, its just text box and sometime with camera zoom. No wonder the character are also forgettable, there's no mean to memorize them.

hm-il-marcia-melihat-kurcaci-min.jpg
"Guess its their way to say keep your distance, hence lack of thumbnail"

And personally, while i don't have much to say about where the farm settings is, i can't shake the feeling that my character and the environment is a disaster mix. The farm is on top of typical ancient ruin but inside, everything is futuristic and i can't shake the feeling of more oddity whenever i near the TV. The shipping bin act like pillar but that always get in the way of my walk. And not to mention you're a bit of a hipster looking to be called farmer. And when you bring your ATV...seriously, is this HM or Mad Max?

And if you ask what is the most annoying thing i experienced in the game that so annoying, to the point its more memorable than the character in the game, its the alarm of changing time...you could compare that to any Samsung ringtone back then and might as well today. Remember how annoying a night message on Castlevania Simon Quest? Yes, Natsume decide to add that factor in the game. But to up the ante, they use it on EVERY. CERTAIN. HOUR. And no, you can't turn it off. Is it morning? Ding-Ding-Ding! Oh its afternoon? Ding-Ding-Ding! Wait its evening already? Ding-Ding-Ding! Let me guess, its nighttime? Ding-Motherhumping-Ding! You won't miss anyone here but the bell! I hate those! You're in middle of something, and the character goes freeze and the screen fade to black VERY slowly just to tell you its already morning. What's that for? They already give us clock for us to see what time it is! Might as well give that alarm whenever i talk to someone! Ding-Ding-Ding! You just talk to a girl that will never be your sex slave, sucker!

Now that everything considered...

This game isn't actually bad. But i guess it wouldn't be best thing to introduce to anyone who is new to HM series

The system lack in many point which reduce the reason to play for long. I used to play this at least 2 hours before move on. But those play hours also pandered thanks to that effing alarm!

The character IMO, are forgettable. I only remember Dr. Hope, Becky and the ATV. Might as well marry that ATV since i'm a tin man farmer anyway

At least the aspect of farming are still there to catch up. Thankfully, we can still farm a living animal because i don't know what to say if i had to brush an iron cow just to make it happy or cut a wire-like texture of sheep fleece

I think that's all i have to say as conclusion. Its very short indeed because i got nothing much to talk about this game. Its disappointing trip but at least it give birth an idea of Rune Factory. Except in RF, there's no ATV.

Well, that's pretty much it for this thread episode. Elena shutting off~

Edited by Elena Ichinomiya
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  • 2 weeks later...

Comparing everything i just post, i think i criticize more than praising. So i decide to write down what kind of experience i had with certain game that still fresh in my memory. Well, not completely but at least i know that i like this game, the character, the story, the gameplay, and the game company itself. What am i ranting on today? Here it is...

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"You would be surprised that Falcom is one of rare game company from Japan who put focus their release on PC instead console. Not much game company from Japan took shine on PC gaming due to unstable market even with game portal like Steam"

To say i like this game would be a lie, saying loving it would be understatement. Because this game is way too memorably good for me and i can't give it any justice. And after i finished YS VIII, it give me more hard time to find any flaw of this little big masterpiece. I rarely praise a game and even when i did, it won't hold up for long as the time goes. But YS never get old in my tongue and i always refer to this game like an old friend. The character, the story, the environment, the music, sound effect, monster design, even the whole NPC are hard to miss. Everything in this game get their fair share of spotlight and the NPC not just there to be random NPC that you can just talk whenever you feel like it; they were there with a purpose, making you feel engaged to the people around your area and grow fond of them even though they didn't impact much of story. In fact, i'm not surprised when some forum refer they love the NPC than the main character to the point they want them to make a cameo return. Yes, they ask an NPC cameo return instead previous installment playable character. Its a rare request that never get into any game dev ears.

When i play YS Oath In Felghana, i find out the game wasn't designed like this at first. The first concept of the game would be top-down view like classic Zelda on the NES which actually a YS tradition back in the day. Some concept also shown the game would be side scrolling. But they decide to change it into new perspective by utilizing the 3d technique but not just stuck at one viewpoint. There's a time where you can attack wherever you like, and then there's a time the game would turn into side scrolling depending on the dungeon you're in. The transition was surprisingly good so you don't find your finger twisted when it suddenly change the layout.

As for the in-game, i would first praise the NPC. You won't find anyone with the name "Villager", "Girl", "Lady", "Shady Man", "Guards".  But instead everyone here has name. And this keep going until further installment of the series. You know how hard it is to give a name? Its as hard as to pick which major of university you want to pick. So i applaud the effort for this small yet effective way for us to remember everyone involved in the game. And each of them were assigned with some task with interesting backstory. I might say this game side-quest is as exciting as Yakuza series sub-quest; they were both engaging in serious or funny way. But sadly, not much NPC has that kind of assignment but it didn't lower the value to engage those NPC anyway.

As for the main characters, they also take a huge chunk of praise in both design, personality, upbringing, and their backstory. Except our protagonist and his sidekick since the dude always come around. The game set them up like a childhood friend but they execute it in engaging way so there's no cheesy lines like "Do you remember me? I used to fuck you silly". Oh right, speaking of remember, the game didn't fall into cheap cliché that is amnesia protagonist trope. There's YS where Adol (the protagonist name) had amnesia though. But that's way back before the cliché running the show.

You know what is the staple of Falcom game is? Their soundtrack. This game dev has a long running record for making a memorable OST ever since the NES era to the point they release the album of the game song. Imagine gamer gone craze for the song like people waiting for Michael Jackson newest album. It was best seller and they still continue. Some would say other game has better OST but when they release it as separate product, no one would give a damn and even criticize it. But when it come to Falcom music, no one ever ask if they're good or bad. Just listen to both 8 bit and the modern remix and see it for yourself. Now that's what i call theme of great adventure awaits. In YS Oath In Felghana, its actually a remix of the song of their original release. But the dev didn't shy away as the song didn't stray from its original tune. Some were added as new songs and it wasn't bad either. The reason why they could easily remix the song without worry from the original composer is because Falcom has right to the song, and they were recorded on Falcom Record Studios. Yes, Falcom are both game dev and studio record which is why its easy for them to pick the old 8 bit songs and remix it without need to worry about clash of copyright.

I had fun in this game which is a surprise since the game isn't as engaging as other Falcom release. But regardless, there's only one thing i never fond of...

Treasure hunting...

On latest release, treasure hunting won't put you at disadvantage; its for achievement sake. But in YS Oath In Felghana, you have to find them out because some of them are well hidden and possess an item including equipment. If you manage to get the complete sets, Adol will change his armor appearance which is nice. Some equipment though, only found in blacksmith but again, you have to find the right material on the chest so if you never check every corner of the map, you might stuck with boss armor but still use iron sword as weapon. Yes, treasure hunting is vital in this installment and this is the only thing i didn't like. But it didn't tarnish the game completely because on 2nd playthrough, i manage to get the armor. What's more satisfying? I find them all without walkthrough. Just sheer curiosity. And come to think of it, internet isn't so hot at the time and WiFi is still pricy so opening one on the phone would put a long effort to load.

The control are fluid, even on the keyboard. Although i beg to differ if we talk about latest installment. There's no complex button nor tedious step to take to open an inventory so i never get myself in trouble drinking a potion. The boss however, are also unique in their own way. They didn't have much to talk about and the main antagonist motives are also predictable. But as i used to say on my status, Falcom always outdated when it come to trend but they make it up later as you progress. Back then i only think Dogi is just your one-time character who love to swing his fist around but turn out he's gentle giant and somewhat mama's big boy. Adol himself look like one dimensional character since he's silent but his conduct of action shown how he do his things. Any kind of trope i expect to shown, were all washed away as the story goes. In short, the game are sucks at intro but it bloom with greatness when the story reach the end. Its no wonder why such classic arcade-like ARPG like this keep receiving praise until today and why people keep referring them as one heck of Japanese PC game series.

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"This is very romantic, Elena thinks. I wonder where Dogi is, Adol thinks"

Yep, just two young'un being oblivious. Nothing to see here 🤷‍♀️ Elena shutting off~
PS: The girl name is really Elena, don't @ me

 

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I was gonna talk about Dept Heaven series but decide not to since i like the game very much so i want to give it some justice rather than spontaneous reaction. So i guess i'm stuck talking about another old games that some people would know about. Its nothing big actually let alone classic. I bet you play it on GBA back in the day. Or Nokia N-Gage. What am i talking about? Here it is...keep in mind i'm talking about the GBA/Nokia version, not the console.

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"Look, i know how much terrifying the artwork cover is but tell me, when The Sims has beautiful cover?"

I'm pretty much surprised no one bother to talk about this long running series to the point their meme isn't even exist (well there's some but only known as inside community joke, not worldwide like LA Noire doubt meme). In fact, before sims 4 release, the game didn't receive any backlash, bad review, or even dead community. I guess making one and only type of genre game sure has its profit. Although the lack of rival causing the series have trouble in improvement. Let's sidetrack a bit, Sims 4 was actually planned to be online like 1st sims did back in 2000s. However Sims 4 release schedule was planned at unfortunate time. Not because there's inflation or gaming interest decline, but rather from backlash from fans of other EA games like Starwars BF 2 sense of achievement = still greedy but in grindy way, Battlefield 1 poor dedicated server, Mass Effect 3 lackluster ending, SJW trample BioWare with their agenda to the point that main producer of BioShock choose to leave the studio which causing another havoc in fanbase, and mostly known is FIFA Ultimate Team gambling scandal. And to put final nail, SimCity 2013 also met with terrible reviews thanks to small map, poor server connection which not help the case since the game has always online requirement. The issue won't matter much if only EA didn't lie that they can't make SimCity 2013 to be played offline, only to be revealed that you can although for sort time period only. To add insult to injury, doing so won't make you banned; it only void your game warrant. This cause Sims 4 dev scared that the game would only serve as another wood for the bonfire. Hence they cut any online feature, resulting the bad vanilla game. But slowly the game doing alright with their expansion...except Star Wars Batuu. Its funny case really, go check it out. Even Star Wars fans were mad knowing their favorite franchise were ridiculed by a dev who make Star Wars game itself.

Now you know why Sims 4 is very similarly look like FB games. Because they were planned to be online game. Let's back to our main topic shall we? Sims BO, either GBA or Nokia version, has nothing difference even the graphic. There's no exclusive feature added except cell phone which not actually add much to the gameplay value so if you already played the one on GBA, don't bother with the Nokia version because you basically own two Sims BO which is wasteful. There is, however, an exclusive item that you can get if you play online. Since i only play Nokia version, i will explain my experience there and cast aside GBA online gameplay since i never play that version online. By connecting through N-Gage Arena (it work like some sort of Battle.Net), you can compete on mini game and won by beating your enemy. There's snake and Ping Pong. You can pick any enemy which actually a ghost data gameplay stored in the game. The higher you pick, the more merciless your enemy is. If you win the game, you got the exclusive item and exclusive skin to your sims cell phone. Only in Nokia version your sims receive a cell phone to call anyone anywhere without need to find a phone booth so i guess there's that one exclusive feature. At first, your cell phone is classic, palm sized grenade with antenna. After winning some score online, it would change into...i forgot, and if you win again, it would change into N-Gage QD and it will always stick to that even if you play new game. Last gift you can get is a Boat to visit paradise island which actually works like 2nd home but i bet you won't use this island much, other than to visit Daddy Bigbucks who only return to mainland at 6PM which is BS since he mostly away from mainland.

Now for the gameplay, as you expect from The Sims, you will find yourself eating and pissing most of the time. But here, you also have objective to complete. Like every Sims tradition who released other than PC, it always had a story for you to complete. Once the objective finished, you'll moving up to bigger home and greater trouble. The hardest mission i ever did in this game is to make enemy. The thing is, you make enemy with someone that can't be pissed that easily so i had to pick right interaction. As usual, depends on their persona, some would take compliment as insult. Since i play this at young age, i keep wondering "what's wrong with that angry male-bitch?" most of the time because my innocent mind always think that compliment (or perhaps licking shoes) is good way to be on everyone side. But nah, its not sims if its not random.

Then next experience is when i finally moving to another home. I put everything in place and then play the game as usual...only to find myself robbed. I keep wondering what the ef is happening because it happen at random. Like there's this one case where i just go out, and then i forgot to take a pee so i head back again. Right at that moment, i got notification that i got robbed. Mind you, i only leave for a DANG 5 SECONDS! Let that sink in! You got robbed by just open-closing your door! Akira should learn from that robber so he could steal everyone heart as fast as opening a door! And the thing that was robbed also random. It could be chair, tv, potted plant, fridge, bed, toilet, shower...yeah that robber sure is come prepared to smash my shower to steal it. Oh and there's no bath tub on Sims BO on handheld btw. Of all houses, i love clock tower house since its more spacy than others. Although Water Front Villa also not bad but the backyard serve as nothing but to make your home look pretty which is wasteful. Did you hate that robber? Do yourself favor; don't move away from your barn until you buy Jeese James Burglar Alarm.

As per sims tradition, you got to earn something to eat. By earn, i mean $$$ of course. No man can survive with crumbs of bread alone you know. And you can't pay bill with breath either. So by all mean, you have to find some job! Now how you do that? Reading newspaper? PC? Oh no, you find it by completing the objective. Of all job, i always fond of bartender because i earn much there and the work hours is convenient. 2nd favorite job would be at the lab but the work hours is easy to miss. The least favorite job is Pizza maker. You just toss pizza to the air with poltergeist ingredient flying around...look, i try to make it sounds funny but i find myself got bored just from mentioning it alone! You can get promoted of course, by increasing skill...and friend number. I don't get it, i understand if you have to befriend your co-worker so they can smooth out your promotion. But this game demand you to befriend every single soul just to get promoted! Did you want to get promoted in bartender job? Befriend that librarian. Want some more cash at Hayseed farm? You can befriend the ghost at the shack. Not enough thrill at fishing? Befriend a god dang underwear model! Everyone you befriend with will make it easier for you to get promoted or raising popularity meter. But like i said, you will find yourself wondering why you had to befriend a cowgirl just to get promoted on body builder job. Oh speaking of which, i don't know if you can get paid from lifting a weightlift...seriously, getting promoted in this game make you feel so disjointed with your actual job. They didn't dictate who you have to befriend with. Just talk to any soul and make them your friend. Now that's a real friendship with benefit. Oh and no worries, the job treat you like part timer. Feel free to take the job anytime; or just pick your favorite.

Let's move on to the people. The first guy you met is a Uncle Hayseed. Now don't get me wrong, i'm not offending anyone. Everyone here has many pun name than PC installment and mind you, they live up to their name. There's this detective named Det. Dan. D. Mann, biker named Dusty Hogg, aspiring politician Nora Zeal-Ott, hippie guy Mel Oddious, cowgirl Bucky Brock, and the one i just mentioned before Daddy Bigbucks (who also has son named Luther. L. Bigbucks which design has semblance to Lex Luthor but not appear in this installment), rich girl Lottie Cash, body builder Eddie Renaline, boxing guy who will punch you if you enter the ring before 8PM Madd Willie Hurtzya, afro doctor Maximillian Moore which might be a reference, pizza chef Chet Chez, guitarist Vera Vex, poem writer Claire Clutterbell, souvenir seller Nicki Nack (a pun of Knick Knack), angry fisher O. Phil. Mclean who sadly look wide than lean and has bad temper for a size of fisher, good ol sailor who appear on other handheld installment Olde Salty, painter Daschel Swank (who's name is Gigo Loh on french version. I don't know how Gigolo act so i'm not sure if this character live up to his name), then there's underwear model Duanne Doldrum, Beach lifeguard Misty Waters, librarian who look old but hate it if you call her ma'am Hester Primm. Now tell me, am i gonna offend them if i call their name? Its their name dang it! What did their mother swallow or their father choked on to give them such name!?

And there's guy with accent Giuseppe Mezzoalto which is shady person who sell product in his van at the end of the road near the docks at 9PM. All his item is cheaper so its big saving if you happen to find Servo Bot. It also change when the clock hit midnight. This dude is actually the bugger kleptomaniac who steal from your home. Ironically, this dude sometime sell a burglar alarm! What is he thinking for selling such item that would nab his ass?

Now for the objective, i would say none of it are difficult saves the one i mentioned before. Some objective is basic fetch this to this, and then there's time when you were told to repair some stuff but only able to do so with proper level skill. The most frequent objective is to befriend specific person but its not that hard compared to make them your enemy. There is, however, an courier mission which is not mandatory, but still worth the while depending on the target. Sometime between conversation, you can ask anyone if there's something you can help with. And then they give certain item to be delivered to the said person. Luckily the name of receiver are written down on inventory. But there's the catch...

  • Errand item cannot get ridden off by selling it. Meaning you have to give it to the receiver if you want it off from your pocket. Mind you, you can only save up to 8 items
  • You can only have one errand item. So if you already ask Daddy Bigbucks for errand and he give it to you, you can't ask for another from other people until you finish the previous errand first
  • If the item is for Daddy Bigbucks or Madd Willie Hurtzya, congrats, you got many free time because Madd will smash you dead if you try talk to him before 8PM. In Daddy Bigbucks case, he mostly on paradise island which need you to play the game online in order to unlock that part. Good luck because you can't get there since the server went off long time ago. Although hacked rom version would make it possible to have it unlocked without need to get it online.
  • The only time this errand side quest feel worth it is ironically when the item is for Daddy Bicbucks because he will pay you $600-$1000 if you deliver the item. He might be snobbish buster but dang, ain't he generous?

Speaking of being punched, some people can get so pissed and they will refuse to talk to you. To add more hatred, they will boo at you whenever you're near them. Annoying their voice is, its better than when you pissed Erpham or Dusty Hogg. Because both of them will scare you to death or bash your face in when you piss them too much (although you need to talk twice to Dusty Hogg if you want to feel his fist of everything gone south star). No worries, leave them alone for some time and they will talk to you again. Although for Dusty Hogg and Erpham, you better save first because if they turn out still pissed, they will smash you silly.

Death? Don't tell me you're one of those people. Sadly no, you can't die and become tombstone for Lara Croft to masturbate to when she found it. If you die by any mean, although i bet you would die most of the time with electrocution, you're just knocked out and...

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"Those ain't genie, those are god errand boy who love to laugh at human so-called superior intelligence"

Yep, a genie will pop up, laugh at you, clap his hands, and then you wake up at hospital...just like every GTA protagonist. Of course its not the sims if there's no nonsense death. What is that? Died by flies? Scared to death? Running with scissor? No, you died by mutated chicken. Yes, there's actually death machine chicken who will come at you and buzz you dead. And this angry chick are randomly generated although its spawn point are fixed.

  • Near the clock tower pool
  • At the end of the docks
  • In front of villa
  • Possibly at the park
  • Near the street of Uncle Hayseed house

There might be more but i forgot where else that worm pecking raptor would appear.

That chick is a nuisance especially if you just filled every mood because if you got buzzed, you're sent to hospital which also mean your mood will reset to middle. Or worse, if you happen to be on the way to work, you probably have to walk back to take your scooter which happen to be left behind prior the unfortunate event.

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"Finger licking good my ass! That chick serve my ass!"

There will be time when you can rid off that chicken for good. But when i finish that mission, i find myself miss that little terror. In fact, this chicken should be on the next entry of Dead by Daylight! But don't worry, the moment you catch it, you can remind its terror in your pocket...no i'm not kidding, you put a raptor chicken in your pocket like a boss.

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"Dinosaurs were ancestor of gator and lizard my ass. I've been lied to!"

So yeah, other than the SimValley hectic life, you have to watch out for this angry chick. If you didn't unlock any area outside of Hayseed Farm, you'll be restarted in Uncle Hayseed farm instead hospital. Mind you, Veloci-Rooster will knock you dead more like an electrocution so save frequently if you want to do something important undisturbed.

Jump back to the main menu, when you create your sim, don't expect much option. You can only change your hair and its color, skin color, and clothing color. You better make yourself look good because if you want to change cloth for specific color, god know how tedious it is. You won't enter the create-a-sim mode when you change cloth; it will change right away but the color might not be what you want. Its not random thankfully because there's a following order of the color. I'm not sure if i get the color order right so take this as example: 

  • Red>Blue>Green>Pink>White>Gray>Black

So if you want to change your shirt color from red to white, you have to keep changing cloth because you have to go through Blue, Green, and Pink shirt before you get white. have fun with that! To add more confusion, your eye color are change depending on your shoe color. Keep in mind the character you play as have a dot eye so if you got white shoes, congrats, you just make always-on-ahegao-face character.

Scooter? Oh right, that thing. You can go around fast with that thing. Mind you, its just borrowed, not bought or gift. What's that? You're in hurry? Well, why don't you dirt your own hands for once? No you idiot, you can't dig a hole. But instead, find a manhole. Yes, if you're in hurry, you can use sewer access to get into convenient spot quicker than scooter. The only catch is not every area has manhole.

My word, guess i'm talking about this game more eager than i thought. I might as well play it again if i had blast explaining this. Who knows, i might do a lets play of this game! Hah! Then upload it on PornHub! Okay joke aside, this game is one of those game that i won't mind playing it over and over but i won't hold it like a gem since people probably know what kind of game is this. There's also another installment on handheld but compared to Bustin Out, they're either tedious, bland, or way too easy. However all of those franchise share similar trait; the payment you get from the job is depend on how well you did on minigame. Heck, you can end up paying your workplace if you mess up too much!

So i guess i have to get the job done on ED by giving everyone their RP reply. More success mean more good story coming in! Elena shutting off~

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Since i'm covering The Sims previously, and i mention some problematic issue on the sidetrack part, i think its better to use that as material to talk about this time. Yes, i'm gonna rant around with Sims 4. For the record, i didn't play it on my PC. Mine only capable to run Sims 3 with its current spec. So if i want to play it, i had to ask permission to borrow my big sis laptop. Luckily, she and i share same interest in gaming except she's into RPG while me lean toward RTS and Simulation strategy. But as luck would have it, we both like The Sims...pirated of course since the dev are bonehead.

What am i bitching about? This...

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"When you release an extend update without poll, then make sure its not crappy since no pressure coming from fans. But when you cast a poll only to pick last bracket as winner, and then release it in half-assed effort, you just give more reason those pirate to thrive!"

Honestly i would pick Sims 3 over 2, Sims 2 over 4, and Sims 3 over 4. By all mean, i never fond of 4 but they do have their own charm albeit many feature more butchered to be part of DLC. Remember my joke on previous post? Here you go.

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"I mean, seriously, see those crafting table? Its added on Expansion Pack 3 but its just decor. If i want to use it as it should, i have to pay additional gameplay feature that cost me 5$"

That statement above is actually happen on Sims 4. There's so many game feature on the game that won't work unless you buy the gameplay system. I say again, you have to buy GAMEPLAY SYSTEM just to enjoy the game as it should. Here's example, you buy Triple A game only to realize you can't sit on the park bench because you didn't buy the "Lets sit down on the park bench" Game Pack. Or simple example is there's no umbrella in the game unless you buy "Get Wet" Game Pack even though you already bought "Season EP" which normally would include such item. You tell me how tedious it is to enjoy the game legally. Even me who play it pirated having hard time keeping tab. Yeah, the Sims 4 has another pack named Game Pack. Back then, Sims only has EP (Expansion Pack) and SP (Stuff Pack which sometime its time limited release such as IKEA for Sims 2 and Katy Perry Treats for Sims 3). And both installment has their gameplay system attached its expansion or the newly added stuff. In Sims 4, you have to buy the stuff, expansion, and the game feature separately. To add more crap to the blender, some of Game Pack is mandatory!

Just see Sims 4 forum if you want to know how dogshit crazy the game can be. You'll see. Compared to 2 and 3, 4 is questionably mixed to bad.

Now let's see...how much trouble do i found on Star Wars game pack? Take a guess. Yes, A LOT! I really don't know what the dev smoking with but this game pack featuer is more scarce than hen's teeth. You're given new world named Batuu that can be visited by calling vacation agency...i wish i was kidding but no, you visit Star Wars universe using travel agency. Its ridiculous by the book because in Sims 4, you can build rocket. Isn't it more make sense if you visit Batuu using rocket? But i guess EA really want to advertise their cow franchise as fast as they could so they put it on the phone line instead. Well i would love to let that slide if the game pack worth their salt...take a guess again. Yes, it ain't worth it.

The next thing i have to do on the Batuu is playing fetch quest. At this point, my sims is skilled enough to do everything so i don't have to worry about lack of logic or handiness skill to hack a door. The world offer a quest that can be fulfilled and earn yourself some reputation. It also featured as new milestone. What can you do in this new world? Fight with lightsaber? Befriend Darth Vader and make him kiss Hans? Mess around with the balance of the order? Using force to choke anyone? Make a long list of expectation here, and know that it won't happen at all.

  • Expect some heated up lightsaber battle? You won't have it here. The only way for you to have taste of light saber fight is only when you ask for it on certain building. Think there's a rank ladder like Sims 3 Kung Fu skill challenge? Hah! No, there's nothing. I've been playing around this world for a good while and the only reward i get from sparring is just a credits (a currency you use while you're in Batuu instead usual Simolean) and believe me, its not that hard to earn credit. In fact, you can abuse the sparring feature just to get lots of credit without completing quest. And no, you can't start blasting with people either because you can only have lightsaber fight with those who POSSESS lightsaber. The kick in the shin? Almost no one possess light saber unless you give them as gift! This beat one of Game Pack main spotlight!
  • Its so easy to earn credits to the point you'll get lots of it in no time. The bad part? Everything in this world are cheap. You won't get poor here even if you try.
  • The quest is very dumbed version compared to what Sims 3 did. In Sims 3, the quest require certain achievement, skills, and keys to progress which sometime can be hard to do but not impossible. The quest are varied and not stuck to only fetch quest. In fact, they had dungeons and each of them varied depending on location! But in Sims 4 Batuu, the quest mostly a fetch quest. Guess i'm a space dogs huh? Sometime the mission were way too vague and so broken that i find myself stuck from progressing because my rank isn't high enough to get the authority. Why giving us a quest that basically didn't met the requirement!? I know i already ask this before but i ask again anyway; what were they smoking with?
  • Not enough pain? Every quest you did, will mostly fall to rabbit hole system since there's no interactive dungeon. Have fun with that. This is very questionable since EA make some sort of dungeon-like on Strangetown release. Its poor version compared to Sims 3 World Adventure but at least with that system added to this pack, Batuu won't feel so bland and boring.
  • Even with the signature character appear as NPC to remind you that you're on Star Wars universe, the lack of interaction causing their appearance easily shrugged off. In fact, you can poke fun at Darth Vader presence by cosplaying as him...no cheat, no mod, just play and unlock the costume. Yes, everyone here is cosplaying. I'm not surprised if i bump into Chewbacca and it speak FLUENTLY.
  • There's Kylo Ren on the First Order side but since its the Sims...well, just tickle that fellow and see why you can shrug this bugger off.

Yes, there's so many let down and i personally thinks this release are made just for advertisement campaign just for the hell of it. The gameplay given here are so low and compared to other vacation spot, this can be easily removed and won't impact much. No hardship, no difficulty, no lethal risk, no curse, no side effect, no valuable that can be picked since you get rich easy, no new death, no reason to linger in this world for long time, no no no no no no no and no! 

I'm exaggerating? Remember when i said no one want this pack? Well here's the breakdown! No BS, no manipulation, no force involved and certainly, no one want this pack at all. Even Star Wars fans prefer play actual Star Wars than seeing Darth Vader eating through his helmet!

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Results from an independent poll of what Simmers want

Results from the Digital Spy poll.

  1. Hotels – 16.1K
  2. School life – 15.1K
  3. Worlds – 13.2K
  4. Farming – 12K
  5. Cars – 11K
  6. Hobbies – 10.7K
  7. Murder mystery – 9K
  8. Weddings – 8.6K
  9. Horses – 8.5K
  10. Reality TV – 8.1K
  11. Happy Haunts – 7.5K
  12. Medieval – 7.2K
  13. Superheroes – 6.9K <------------ (Won't lie, if i could vote, i would vote this)
  14. Winter holiday – 6.9K
  15.  Firefighters – 6.4K
  16. Werewolves – 6.3K
  17. Futuristic – 5.6K
  18. Climate change – 5.2K
  19. Zombies – 4.5K
  20. Veganism – 3.5K
  21. Star Wars – 2.5K <---------------- (What in the actual flying fuck?)

Source: https://extratime.media/2020/08/28/sims-4-star-wars-game-pack-last-thing-players-wanted/

Now you know why i asking many times what were they smoking. They cast a poll, they claim they will make the winner as the next game pack, and somehow they being shit load of stupidity by picking last one as the next one. And you think Gaben meme about he can't count to three which led to no HL3 is a joke, EA beat him to it by fail to tell which one go first.

To add more fuel to the fire about the theory that this game are made for advertisement sake, this game pack is a MANDATORY! You can't skip a leg, you have to own this piece of nothingness by buying it with Triple A price! I know i pirate the game but since the game progress so far, i feel bad knowing how abused they are buying this game legally out of passion only to have more grief in return! Oh my effing words! Hey! Wanna say that words with me? Let's do it...

Take deep breath...

Ready?

You better be...

*Inhale*

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!!?? 
Elena, Shutting Off~

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have you ever experience a situation where you play a new game on their mid-series and thought "This is epic!" and then realize the game you just played is actually the bad apple of the series? Here's example, you just play ED series and start from playing ED 2, and then decide to play ED Origin and ED 3. After finish the three, you realized ED 2 is so crap even to its predecessor and even more to its 3rd installment. Then you wonder why you loved that 2nd instalment in the first place. Yes, it happen. Here's the small number of series that i thought was gold, only turn out it was out cold.

  1. Persona 4: I start liking those spin-off after playing the 4th installment. The character, the environment, the people. However i heard from my friend that the 3rd installment, console or portable version alike, are more better than 4. Since i begin to like the game, why not give the rest a try? So i start playing 3rd (both console and portable), then proceed to Persona 2, and even goes as far to 1st installment (PSP version of course) although i didn't finish that one. Once i compare everything...i wonder why i used to love that sugar cake of installment when the rest of it kind are rather gloomy and dark. Even 5th installment upping the ante with serious crime that very close to home. What's this kindergarten cookie detective doing there? Now don't get me wrong, P4 isn't complete bad but compared to all installment of its kin, i find that one are rather off putting, way too bright, way too cheerful, and even though the twist and the villain character are memorable, i find the rest of the case are just simple game of "Why you being naughty?" and that's not deep enough compared to the rest. The Shadow lore in P4 is still commendable but i think ATLUS should go deeper than just using people dark desire as the main reason why they exist. P5 using same approach but luckily they're not as corny as P4. Either they learn or not, i can't tell. At least you won't find Mitsuo Kubo kind on P5. That freak show is cheap inside out.

    Before you point out, yes i'm aware P4 were milked like crazy with those Dancing spin-off but this only make me speculate further that ATLUS realize P4 is a lackluster and pull a desperate attempt in many ways. Even with their gold version on PSP Vita still not saving their P4 from the plague. But~ we should be grateful of their lackluster because thanks to that, there won't be Dancing Queen series. And now P4Gold is on Steam, i can't tell if they doing that because SEGA shove them to do so or they just need place to milk one more time. I don't hate them, i just question them why they focus milking this installment when they could just continue with other game *cough* their main megaten series *ahem*.
     
  2. Dragon Age 2: I wasn't sure about this game at first but since it has BioWare logo on it, the dev who also manage BioShock series, i decide to give it a shot. Just few minutes from the start, i already get attached to the game and to the point i play it over and over just to see the end of result. Sure the ending would end up the same between 2 ending but what the hey, if you love it, let it hit you over and over. But then, everything i used to love begin to go downhill when people always refer to Origin and Inquisition. I heard it on fanfic forum i joined when we discuss why the 2nd installment lack any input. Turn out it was another one bad apple that i happen to stumble upon as the first one i played. And yes, after long thought, i agree; this game is cheap sack.

    Asset flipping (mainly the dungeon), half-baked character development, hammy reaction, sometime stiff reaction, out of place placing, cryptic message that doesn't help any plot point (mainly with those Qunnary fellow), poor leveling system, buggy initial conversation that make you wonder what those NPC talking about, lack of job, lack of race, and lacking any memorable character saves Varric who manage to get himself to the Inquisition which i agree that he deserve that honor. As i used to say before, there's 2 main factor that can save the game: The gameplay system, and the characters. DA2 however, lacking both compared to the rest. Not to mention you stuck as someone instead an OC so if you feel detached to them, you're in for tiring ride. 

    Luckily, 3rd installment learn from that. Although if they choose to stick with fixed protagonist, i don't pay it much mind since the gameplay making up for it.
     
  3. Valkyria Chronicle 2: This game actually a bane for the series. I don't get it either. The 1st installment were well received on the console but here they are making the sequel on PSP right on the verge of the end of PSP era. I seriously don't know what's going on with SEGA when i learn this. Anyway, this entry is the one who hook me to Valkyria series and believe me when i said this game has similar theme like P4; oddly cheerful amidst dark setup but without screwing twist. Keep in mind these merry party are in middle of WW2-like situation. You won't find WW2 setup with turn base strategy spiced up with magic stuff in it other than Valkyria. Although the forum said there's this game that similar to both Valkyria and Wild Arms mixed but i forgot the name, it was underdog release. Valkyria bring both war atmosphere and myth in well balanced manner so you won't feel the sudden awkward transition as the dev playing it step by step (but i do question how the 4th entry messing that up. Added with powerful little kid trope, that part is such a let down and predictable)

    Once i got hooked, i decide to play the 1st one legit on Steam. Corny and cringy the plot is, its more superior than the 2nd entry. I understand the game might be held back by the engine used on PSP but at least 1st entry still has commendable plot. In 1st Valkyria, you're a dude with merry party of his trying to retake their homeland only to become hero by accident while unraveling what is the Valkyria since they thought such being are a myth. They also include betrayal trope and character death and mind you, the character they switched off is the major character, not just an NPC you would forget ten seconds later and ask google who that fellow is. In 2nd installment, you're a brat with his ragtag of misfit that i personally thought they all better off dead include the brat himself saves Franca and Alexis since they take the situation seriously. You're on war damn it! And the thing you most worried about is winning a school festival? Oh right, the setup is a military academy but somehow you feel like in one of those idol school where you jump, stop and roll and be pretty so you can won an effing school festival!

    The main villain is laughable at best and i don't know why they even exist. The main reason is because Maximillian (main villain from 1st entry) is dead after the final battle so SEGA decide to make new one rather than revive him just for the hell of it. However what i find it outrageous is their existence. They hate Darcsen race and they don't want them to lead a country. Wow, racist asshole. And that's their only reason; a persecution. So they rebel and make civil war just to overthrow the Darcsen who happen to lead a country in good way. Way to go cheap shot. At least Maximillian reason to wage war is because he want to absorb Gallian for their ragnite source and proving his birthright that he is legit an Empire born. He don't give a damn about anything other than that. Pure ice cold character that deserve to sit on the villain throne. Meanwhile, those wacky family of rebel shooting people because, well, they just racist and that's it!

    Thanks to this game poor timing release, execution, and lacking any powerful feature, the 3rd installment (which also released on PSP) are not translated because the dev said the previous games lack of sale make it impossible to localize the 3rd one. To add kick to the shin, they also thought Valkyria isn't so popular among western audience, hence they didn't translate it. Wtf dev!? You're the one who make such flop happen! But as blessing as well as curse, the series enter the 4th entry which i personally thought wasn't too bad. But...screw me silly, the story is as corny like teenage dramas on 1st entry!

So there you go. My personal experience having first hands-on the game in their mid-series, turn out its a cold fish even to their previous release. I seriously don't get it either especially with Valkyria. Why they release a game on console that already on verge of discontinuation? Even fans question their move. But thankfully, someone did a translation for the 3rd entry with hacked ISO. Albeit missing translation at some point, the main story were completely readable which is why i always refer to 3rd as the best release because they really put the war atmosphere for real, not a joke like 2nd, or teen flick drama like 1st and 4th entry. Tell you what? I think i'm gonna tell you my experience on 3rd installment on next post. Elena shutting off~

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"You can't do that because you're just highschool student!"
"Oh i could. I'm a child of the man of this and that mafia/corporate. Show me the money"

"How can a baby save us from this?"
"No worries! That baby are blackbelt! See? We're free!"

"How do you defuse the bomb?"
"Flirt with them *start flirting the bomb and it turned off* see? All done"

"That guy kill my relatives, i want revenge!"
*The guy told him that he got wrong guy*
"Okay" *left*

See the example above? This easy way out are probably okay if it were pulled out on the right place at the right time. A trap card if you may. On the first example, you probably see that often in anime where there's this bubbly girl who happen to gain every access simply because she's daughter of this and that, making her untouchable. On 2nd example are way too desperate attempt to push fate just for writer liking. On 3rd one mostly pulled off when there's this comedic relief but sometime were too awkward and deemed anti climatic at some point. And last one is a kick in the shin because if all character can excuse themselves, might as well forgetting the conflict point at all!

Now that was out of our way, let me tell you how to FAIL at Persona...

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"yes, i gambling much for making a comparison but i honestly can't help myself but reminded how this game i'm talking about somewhat close in resemblance..."

As always, let me tell you about this game first. Mainly the Xanadu part. Xanadu itself is a game made by Falcom and first released at the era of Nintendo Famicom which consist of usual dungeon crawling and fighting enemy. However Xanadu also known for its challenge and partly due to how demanding for the gamer as it force you to grind. Back then, grind is new type of enjoyment so Xanadu won many aspect as new genre of their own. However unlike their counterpart that is YS, Xanadu suffer similar fate like Megaten to their spin-off Persona; the main series lack any highlight, resulting the developer to shift focus to the more popular one. This causing some issue with fanbase although later on Falcom prod their rivalry with Xanadu VS YS which unfortunately end up as underdog release. As if they try to digging up something new, they decide to put Xanadu on modern setup that is Tokyo Xanadu. Unfortunately, this release has many set back that causing me to scratch head many times about what this game trying to show.

At the start of the Xanadu, you were put into shoes of Kou, a highschool boy who work part time in many places just because he like helping people. Sounds heroic? That's protagonist for you; always resourceful. However the story approach the conflict right off the bat and for someone who pay attention to story, this sounds rather forceful as if the dev trying to put you into action right away. You don't have time to get a grip of your surrounding and that's not very good way to go. You met with the girl named Hiiragi Asuka who being harassed by a dudes who...i don't know, their sprite look like they were same age. Anyway, your character decide to stop them from harassing her but before that happen, portal of demon open and boom, your adventure start right away with a girl that your character know for some time, but not to you. This is how the game throw you into the story.

Compare it to Persona, you were given time to live like who you are; a highschool student and progressively move step by step into conflict. This is good approach because you know some of the character, the environment, and the situation you were in. Those idle free roam might look like waste of time but the impression of the character you met before you fight along with them already attached to you, making you grow fond of them a little bit not just by name but also small background. This is how Persona do it even on their P5 release. 

I would assume Falcom intend to do that just so Hiiragi would look like mysterious and powerful girl. But that wouldn't cause many question mark if they at least let us know her character first and give us some impression. Thanks to her abrupt appearance and transition, we know her as cold and dutiful girl. And then at school, she's surprisingly put up friendly façade (although still act cold toward you for obvious reason) which kind of throw me off. This also add more hole to the character value because Kou act surprised as if he just met her today when he just saying that he know her for some time at the start of the game. Sure there's scene where his memory were erased after first dungeon but only about the dungeon, not Hiiragi herself. So why he act like she's a new student at school? What a way to get to know a character...

The plot goes from basic heroic stuff like rescuing people from the dungeon and closing any portal you found. But then you'll play as the mysterious hooded man who keep his identity a secret. This however, didn't spared from the messed up introduction. The man might be alright if he just appear and being a monologue character but you end up play as him. I learn from my gaming experience that if you play as some character and didn't feel any connection, it only tire you out. And it shows. I don't know who this dude is and why should i care about his business? It didn't pick my curiosity why this guy involved in the story but rather why putting more question mark. Even after i finish playing as him, i quickly forgot about until he appear again on later chapter but at that point, he already tolerable in my book.

Compare it to Persona, when you get new playable party member, you know who they are just from cover. This dude is chill, this dude is menacing, this girl is cheerful, this one is prince charming. Knowing those factor will lead you to at least care about their presence because you know who they are and their purpose to exist. And you don't feel tired to switch from one to another either because you know their character. Having something related with the character is what make you hooked to them no matter how they appear. If its just being pretty, Venus Party should be next on your Wishlist.

I don't know why they do this to a character that eventually didn't affect the gameplay value but still work to moving the plot. This dude play important role of the Church order and that alone should be a fair warning for dev that they can't cut effort about his detail. Sadly, even after being playable on later chapter, i still can't find him bearable to play. His fighting style is alright but as i said many times already, feeling detached to a character you played as will result in tiring gameplay. Lucky this doesn't stop me from playing.

Next one we move toward how the dungeon works. In Tokyo Xanadu, i would rate it as decent. The portal of demon were open because of human greatest greed toward others, resulting the demon taking them to their world and feed on their greed (and kill them too). In order to eliminate the source, the victim need to be rescued and then hoping them to move on with their lives. But unfortunately, the latter is what causing this dungeon is just decent. Every people you rescued, would quickly regret what they did right away. Even if their reason for their greed are legit and interesting, the way how it ends is rather cut short. Its like they have mental slap not because they know they did wrong, but rather because they were defeated and can't fight anymore; or i personally take it they better embarrass themselves than being pulled into dungeon again and die for real. This easy way out might nudging with Deus Ex Machina, a term everyone both love and hate seeing as that's the big red button to any story writer. I personally don't loath this point but i can't help myself from ignoring this glaring factor.

Compare it to Persona, let's use P4 for this case, everyone who got dragged to TV world are people with sinister intention but keep it away and reject their existence. The more they resist, the stronger they get. After the struggle, they would reach the climatic point where the shadow and victim relate to each other why they had to co-exist even though they loath each other. This of course didn't end cheap as the game also goes in-depth with the character development and add their value of existence on their next appearance.

In Xanadu however, most character you rescued are just NPC and their character improvement can't be seen much as you more focused toward your party than an NPC, tossing away the time and effort you made to rescue them...

As for the game feature, i think it is already common for you to build relationship with the character be it NPC or party member. I can't say much about how Xanadu did it but one thing i take note of is if you skip your chance talking with said NPC, the conversation didn't wait for you; it also skipped. So if one day you hang out with Hiiragi and promise to go to bookstore with her on next hang out, and then somehow you forget and choose to hang out with Sora instead and goes back to Hiiragi again on later chance, the conversation goes on and treat it as if you hanging out with her yesterday. I mean sure, off-screen conversation tend to happen and it add more realistic value but isn't it more realistic if the character end up frowning instead pretending they just have dinner date on air yesterday? Oh and not everyone are available. You also can visit for limited numbers (but can be added with certain factor)

Compare it to Persona, hanging out with party member has some challenge. They won't progress unless you reach certain rank of attribute. No one want to hang out with unmannered donkey or at least empty hand! This only make you curious to know what kind of person they are to ask such attribute/gift. The conversation of course, not always a success, it take time but all of those are worth the wait. Speaking of wait, the conversation are on halt so if you hang out with Yukiko and promise help her around the inn, the scene would gladly wait until you trigger it. Nonsense by the book but then again, its better than restarting the game just to see the said scene isn't it?

I must say, this feature are both good in their own way. Either you prefer realistic off-screen conversation Xanadu had or trigger it whenever you like in Persona, your call.

The next thing i'm gonna talk about is the character. I won't compare them to Persona because they have very different upbringing so lets leave them out of this. As you expect, even the character has some issue in their value...

Kou: Is the protagonist you play as. For the first impression, i would see this youngster as typical guy who walk with hands inside his pocket. But turn out this dude is a stubborn and hold a great sense of justice. This kind of mixed because Kou just give impression that he don't give much damn to his surrounding until his curiosity picked. Outside of fight, he's just a guy who never into nonsense conversation, an easily bored fellow. I ever find better example of character who is man of few words but also held great sense of justice but not in confusing way as Kou. I somehow think Falcom plan to make this guy a silent protagonist and let the player decide how he act, only to abort the idea and give him original character attribute but sadly, look indecisive. One day you see Kou held respect to woman, next second he just being turd because he feel like it. Make up your mind!

Hiiragi Asuka: The very 1st party member recruited but also suffer from the "cool kid wear hood" trope. Asuka is diligent girl and a class representative who also a returnee from United States. Her character by the paper are legit and interesting but when it come to personality, it throw everything off the chart. Hiiragi give impression of dutiful girl who loyal to her job alone. She even saying that if Kou decide to interfere and died, its his own fault and she got nothing to do with him. That sure is cold. But somehow just few scene later, she decide to break her character from cold to tsundere rather quick. It was revealed later that she's being cold to other so no one would be hurt under her watch. But unfortunately that fail to be a revelations plot points because she break her coldness rather quick. If she at least move toward approachable tsundere at later chapter and then revealed this fact, we could sympathize. Unfortunately, this indecisive move only make her character become predictable let alone mysterious. You know she won't leave anyone behind instead leaving them to die like she always claim. To add more issue, she's also rather OP. She could get any clue about greed with just a single call. She claim she's just a member of Nemesis (an organization who eradicate Greed) and for some reason she can gain access of any vital information without much trouble even though she's just a member. Not ridiculous enough? There's part of chapter where she can't gather on intel because she lack authorization to check it when she could easily gain access on previous chapter.

"#NotCoolNemesis #RollBackPlz" -Hiiragi

Yuki Shinomiya: Your typical geeky boi who love to eat, sit, and crap on his chair than his bed. Skipping school but still manage to keep the report book clean is truly everyone dream. But sadly, that's what make this guy a character disaster. This guy appear as programmer who make a fake oracle app who predict pretty much anything until it goes south. However it is also noted that this guy are able to hack ANYTHING include active cell phone and government defense. I know he might be BS...until he show it to our face! His cocky and rather annoying character are perfectly fit. But his value as the character suffer similar fate to Hiiragi as he's too OP on one specific things that could easily limited to. I won't give it much thought if he can hack anything but limited to government because he's lazy which happen to be his personality. But such limitation didn't show. This boy could solve any world problem with just single click. The things that separate him from Hiiragi issue is he work alone.

Sora Ikushima: I like this character personally, because she's down to earth and easily relatable. In fact, she's one of the fewest character that i deem salvageable in this list. Sora is childhood friend of Kou and was known to be tomboy. When Kou encounter her in highschool, the reaction were come as natural as Kou calling it rather odd seeing her wearing skirt. She might sounds OP when people told us that she always won every karate sparring and how she have some muscle to do heavy works. But i would find none of those factor make her OP. Sora been training karate since she's still young and the only obstacle that get in her way is their karate teacher who happen to be Kou grandfather. If a limit still exist from preventing a character from their growth, OP is not on their criteria. But if she won every karate sparring and national competition and then inherit a dojo, it won't be long for us to hear she won a fight against Godzilla! The only thing that left out from her is how her past with Kou were told half-baked. Just popping up and say "remember me?" without further in-depth character can be overwhelming...

Rion Kugayama: I would say this is another salvageable character but sadly her lack of charm tend to make me forgot of her presence except in the dungeon. Her character are rather typical of group idol girls so expect her to promote herself often. She's typical tsundere although not completely latch to it much as she tend to run her mouth without us asking. Now here's the deal, she said she's idol in disguise. But your first encounter with her beat that purpose because she give her business card right away (while in hissy fit mind you). So what was that disguise for if you flaunt your card anywhere? Even her disguise isn't much to write home about. To add more kick to the shin, compared to Yuki and Sora, Rion suffer greatly from lack of screen time except when we rescue her etc. She only pop up saying "We can do this" line and then when the boss appear, she just stand on the back. I guess her disguise do put her on the back of the line of formation. Not cool Falcom.

Shio Takahashi: A well mannered school delinquent who also work at ramen shop to the point he know how to make tasty noodle. No worries, if my memory serve me right, i don't think he can do a knitting...did he? Anyway, Shio is a Delinquent who work along with a dude named Kazuma and form a group named BLAZE who's job is to kick the trouble maker off the street. You know, high school vigilante stuff. Things going great until it finally gone south. Shio basically typical guy who work with his fist than his brain. Or that's what it look like. Turn out while this dude skipping class, his grade are up and running and the only thing that got him in trouble is how trouble looking he is...the game didn't put much effort to tell us why school had beef with this dude. So yeah, a perfect brawn and brain in one guy + well cultured. Anything else you need from this prince charming? Well not much. Except his wide arrange of connection similar to Hiiragi except from the street! This dude appear rather late in the game but that doesn't excuse him for being all perfect in some aspect when he appear! Give some room for his character improvement!

Mitsuki Hokuto: She remind me of my character in ED. She has bluish-silver hair, yellow eyes, mother-like attitude, and adorned with a royalty aura. She's a typical princess who love to get her hands dirty. However...she suffer a LOT of mary sue in this game! Let's see...

  • She was born in well known family that no one ever dare to mess up with even a Yakuza group (red flag!)
  • She has access to any places just from flaunting her last name
  • She can easily ask for help from her organization without any hassle (not without good reason but always accepted is already an issue)
  • She know every single person she met even those who didn't introduce yet
  • She know how to make Yakuza group shut up with just saying "we handle it from here"
  • She know most people past
  • She know where the cause of problem
  • She can sense something wrong right off the bat be it a Greed or people with bad intent

...look, there's just many issues with this princess. I might make list of it and still left some. She solve every problem with her brain and i know its possible thing to do. But with wide arrange of access of easy way out, deus ex machina, mary sue, and other problematic character trait make Mitsuki tragically become fine example of how to NOT make a loveable character. Her personality is suffice to say, decent. But her value above really make her presence beating any purpose for plot progression. Its useless to put any obstacle because she always know what causing it. She know what problem up ahead when our party got desperate. She know who to talk to when things don't go our way. She know how to convince people to step down simply by saying "no". There's no use putting tension and obstacle because you know this character will solve those problem; while act all cautious.

The first thing you probably notice when playing might be similar as mine: Everyone know each other or associated with. Like, everybody. See that detective over there? He work with Mitsuki. See that old guy work at cafe shop? He's associated with Hiiragi. See that old lady on antique shop? She's related to Nemesis which indirectly know Hiiragi also. See that blacksmith? He work with Nemesis which mean they know Hiiragi. See that yakuza packing heat? Hokuto and Shio are their bitch! Everyone know each other! Even those pawn shop owner know Kou grandfather and his father! Why in the hell Falcom make universe where everybody know each other!? What need to be improved when we all already in good term!? Even the world building are wrong! The lack of in-depth explanation leave you pretty much hanging. And the character bio doesn't prove useful to provide character detail especially about how they bump with other character.

Hokuto grandfather also acquaintance of Kou grandfather. How did they know each other? "we had business back in the day". That's it. That's probably the answer you get when you ask how on earth they know each other. Everyone connected for whatever the reason and their answer is "we just fit the bill" or "We're fuck buddy back in the day".

*sigh*

All thing considered, this game isn't bad. The Steam rating also didn't lie because this game indeed fun to play with. I bought this at discount (kind of glad i did). This game is great but for those who find pleasure in story in video game, i would say this is rage inducing. The plot were rushed although it didn't cut the play hours short, the transition were awkward, the dungeon executed rather hasty, the character suffer from "i know who kill me" syndrome, every NPC were forced to be associated with each other even if its too ridiculous to be true. The character are great but if i can be so blunt and bitter, i would criticize Falcom and told them to put this game as dating simulation instead ARPG. The character are great by personality; its the circle they were put into who causing their inevitable chaotic development. 

I guess that's pretty much it. If i had to put it, i would say this game is average. Not good, not bad, just fine. Could be worse, could be better; just enough to appease both side. Elena shutting off~

 

PS: Yes, i'm aware that i promise to talk about VC3 but i decide to write this one instead since i still had it fresh in my mind. I promise next one will be about my experience on VC3!

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Posted (edited)

How was your day? Hope its the best you ever had than yesterday.

I wish i could say that before the clock hit midnight. Because i just uninstall a game that disappoint me so bad, i uninstall it without bother to finish it and wish whoever write that game story to go back to their high school and learn how to make a bearable cringe fanfic!

I'm talking about Valkyria Chronicle 4. I know i promise talk about VC 3 but don't worry i still remember that. It'll be included although not as full review but as comparison. Without further ado, here is how to FAIL at Call Of Duty!

764356854.jpg
"IMO, they're indeed the same. Only the 1st were consistent and a break-through while the 4th seems trying to join the cool kids train and still going"
"When you really can't tell where to place the character and their screen time, you really need better story writer - Or sharp supervisor and sly editor"

As i promise, i only talk about the game that i ever play so if there's a game that i know of but i didn't grab the joystick to experience it with my bare hand, it won't count. And this also include the game that i play but not finished but with some reasoning why. Unfortunately, the series that use the battle system i would give thumbs up for decide to give middle finger to me instead. There's nothing wrong with the system. But the lore and the character upbringing really tearing down both Twilight series and Shadow Hedgehog game to shame. Or worst, both of them have an affair and give birth to this installment!

Since i mention COD, i only play 2 of it. I won't lie, the story were executed well even though you were a silent protagonist most of the time or if the game were set on real historical event. For the record, i wasn't bad at FPS. But it wasn't my calling in the video game genre. Valkyria Chronicle, who set in spoof of WW2, could put up the show as the character would show the terror of battlefield. While each installment has their own good value of their own, 4th really can't tell where they try to fit in. When i saw the trailer about the setup is at the winter, my mind would immediately goes to certain motherland. I don't need to say it, you already know who i talking about. Its also added with factor that you're not fight as Gallian but rather a Alliance of Federation which happen to be a spoof of Alliance army of WW2, only with colorful character and fart listener captain.

What do i get on the gameplay? Snow. Lots of it. There's so much of it and it hurt. I'm not an artist but when the playfield color were repetitive and dull between black (or grey if you prefer) and white most of the time, the eye strain would catch on and cause you to feel rather sleepy. Getting sleepy on RTS-RPG game is disaster and let me tell you, VC4 manage to do that to me more than once. I'll give you 10k of my ECredit if i did lie about what i just said. Sure the dev give what they promised but i'll tell you the detail later.

First off, let's play comparison with its predecessor. I'll do my best to recap everything i got from 1st VC to 4th installments experience and why i thought they were joyful ride until the 4th decide to go downhill to a cesspool. Be ready for a long ride private, because the latest installment already wear me out like a war torn uniform...

On the first installment, you're playing as hero who want to reclaim his homeland but become accidental hero in the end. The story start when his homeland were attacked and he goes home quickly to help his family member evacuate. Unfortunately he got into crossfire and his life change from there. VC1 might start off bumpy and rather predictable especially when you were introduced to your party. However while i sometime cringe and holding the urge to skip cutscene, they show their characteristic and role rather well. They were given fair amount of screen time so you can get to know them. Not only that, the rest of the party were also memorable for their eccentric, hectic but good, miserable but understandable attitude to the point they were added as playable character on next installment (in form of code if you wondering since their next installment were on PSP). The consistency led us to keep an eye of the character that keep playing big role in the story, making us want to indulge more as the story goes on. When the story hit climatic moment where the Valkyria is involved, it might executed rather poorly but it was placed on right place so the revelation of Alicia being Valkyria wasn't come up as slap to the face as if she's there just for show. Or come as another poor Deus Ex Machina trope which luckily dodged.

As if the dev realize this game is about shooting each other head like a turkey game, the game show its true nature when a major character were shot dead. Not random NPC, not one of your misfit squad, but one of those people who always get their face on the screen. Since you probably grow fond of the character, or at least know who they are, the death cause some heavy atmosphere and it serve as reminder that this game still has basic rule. This is war, everybody shooting, you shoot them, they shoot you. End of story. As for the ending, while it was rather forced, it wasn't so anti-climatic to say the least. Before we move on, i must say Maximillian motive also worth noting since he wage war not because he's evil or just power starved bastard. He want to prove himself worth the throne as he is apparently, an actual bastard and decide to show his people being bastard won't make him disloyal to the country. Added with how stone cold he is to anybody, include his subordinate and personal regular doujin material Valkyria guard, this man villainy know no bounds. When the Emperor said A, then A he shall have. Next!

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On Valkyria Chronicle 2, the sequel set after the first installment so expect to see some familiar face (some would appear as side mission however). The game were set on Academy of Lanseal, a school for aspiring soldier or just a place to put hot blooded youth with their own ambition in check. While the school sometime look like asylum, it wasn't. The story start with the hero wanting to know where his brother whereabout as there's no more news coming from him. His brother is a soldier so if something did happen to him, the military would tell them and give the dog tag as the proof of his ended service. Curiosity led him to enlist to the school which turn out hold more secret inside. Like a Scooby-Doo case, only with Lee Enfield banging.

While the main character might rather odd in my opinion, his jolly gravity were pressurized with the no-nonsense Darcsen companion he had. It might not help much since the companion always tag along on his stupidity. But this is apparently what missing on the 4th installment; the character countermeasure. While the protagonist and his companion tend to headbutt each other, their conflict never solved in Deus Ex term but come out naturally (albeit the latter tend to ask his own sanity for tagging along). And having someone who will bite your leg in every single corner would prove to be helpful since the protagonist were joyful pacifist hot-headed while his companion were the cynical cool-headed. Their conflict were more determined after they seen how Darcsen were treated in isolated village. They begin to understand why they thought differently because they grow in different circumstances. Their characteristic were told very well and their rivalry exist not for the stand up comedy sake but for a good reason. As for the side character, i would say they got interesting stories to tell. Some would end up romantic, some were inspiring, some were humor, some are dark, some even involve death. But either way, they were worth my time as i manage to explore all of their trait and their past which written off more better when the story end. As for the villain however...let's...just say you better fight against Zakhaev than these family trio consist of discount Jeanne, Lu Bu, and Victorian era Rugal...their motive didn't justify their existence. Their death also anti climatic too. While the death toll were almost non existent (in canon story), there's also betrayal trope but since its vital part of the story, i'll let you find out yourself. Oh and the headmaster of the school suicide on the bunker kind of remind me of certain person in WW2...next!

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Now we're moving on one of my most preferable installment that is VC3. I won't lie when i said i replay this game three times with each different difficulty and would gladly do it 4th time. The game mechanic were improved and well thought albeit look complex at first glance. The story match its gloomy theme, each side character were involved in the story and shared fair of screen time instead being character background dancer, the Villain has their presence shown really well, the plot transition come out good albeit sometime feel rushed, the list would go on and on. I don't hate VC 2 for being lighthearted, but i hate them so much when i know this installment is JP only because the poor sales of previous installment. Luckily, there's English patch for the game...unofficial of course since SEGA didn't bother to localize it. However there's good thing by letting the game remain region locked because it allow the dev to involve many horror of war than its predecessor which highly likely will be censored. Too bad most of us won't have a taste unless you pirate the English patch. The game set you on Squad 422, a squad that doesn't exist on the book and their task is do or die. Retreat is not an option and certainly failure is not acceptable. By all mean, you either do it or die trying. I let you guess what kind of WW2 spoof squad is this. Yes, 422 squad do exist IRL. Not to be confused with 404 squad with girls and their gun nutting, but the actual 422.

The story start when the protagonist were accused of being a spy right after he got promoted. Sensing the military corruption, our dude decide not just to sit still and will do what he can to crawl out from the 422 squad and reclaim his right. That is until he decide to stay after seeing how pathetic this squad is. The character wasn't using the formula like VC2 did but they shown internal conflict with each of character. This is rather realistic since you're a new guy in the squad and there's no way to earn a trust with just handshake. If you wondering why they act in such way, just get this - your squad wasn't even consisted a proper soldier. Because your squad is consist of military offender, brutal criminal, and those who did a desertion and there's still other waiting. And as you might expect, some were also falsely accused. Most of all, there's involvement of minor. These desperate party of misfit show struggle in both trust and survival and again they don't put easy way out as people accept the protagonist command gradually instead all at once. In fact, you're stuck with just 3 squad at the start for some time. This added the challenge as you need to get crafty with your approach. The game took much extreme measure from massacre of civil, breaking military law, and involving bio-weapon and other betrayal that while predictable, still come as surprise as their reason for their betrayal is legit. I mean, come on, who don't get pissed when you see hundred of your kin burned alive in a ragnite mine in a last ditch attempt? Or using civil as cover? Or shot a toxic gas shell to a civil area just to clear the enemy lines. Yes, this installment add what WW2 terrifying tactic used include using living mine detector. Namely, your very being run over a landmine in order to clear it. Something tell me this would be the first Valkyria with biggest censor and edit. The boss in this installment also has legit reason to exist. They just want their own piece of land for their kin to survive. They basically neutral people but were dragged to war for this very reason. And they didn't rely on their investor, namely, the Empire themselves. They even state that they would coup against them should they screw up. Join war for freeing self from persecution. Where did i heard that before? Next!

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"There's many useless addition to pander the game hours. The picture above might sum up what you gonna bump into when playing the game. Spoiler alert, you might not survive"

Now this...fuck me...the next one is 4th installment. I know there's a game called Valkyria Revolution before VC4 release but sadly, its PS4 exclusive and i don't have said console so that mean i can't include that here since i didn't experience it with my own hands. The rating is alright but i didn't check the user rating so i don't put much heart on it. But i still buy it if its available- wait why i talking about other installment? Guess this 4th installment piss me so bad i wish i could forget it just as quick. Just to remind you, i didn't finish the game. I uninstall the game right before i post this so yeah, my disappointment still fresh like a fish out of volcanic water!

To start thing off, we're greeted with Welkin incarnate. By all mean, expect our hero would love to stop from their track just to see a ladybug or a cattail here and there. But more rage inducing. At least Welkin know when things got serious and where to put his brain to use. This...potato peeler don't even know what to do and if you pay attention, he wasn't move on his own; someone always shove him what to do next. Even when he take initiative of his own, it wasn't without others influence. Now you know why i call him fart listener. He never listen to himself. His tendency for being indecisive doesn't come with countermeasure like what VC2 did. He listen to everyone and while it make him look open minded, its clear that he's easily influenced. How on earth he pass Ranger course in one go is beyond me. But then again, Deus Ex were flooding this installment more than once. As for the main characters, they were told as childhood friends but if i had to say, it seems like it just sugar coating so we find them rather relatable. Its fine if they being friendly whatsoever at the base, but in the battlefield, they always stick to "I won't let you die bro!" no matter what to the point they would breaking military order just because they want to keep their friends alive. And they always get off the hook.

Let's see here...we have someone sister got shot dead on VC1, someone brother blown up in iron suit on VC2, and our comrade betrayal get him banged inside the tank in VC3. Mind you, none of them are off-screen death and special case for VC3, you're actually fight and kill the traitor with your own hand. You see it with your own eyes. So why put "Bro before hoes" when its previous installment were riddled with realistic value of war! I might sounds like bloodthirsty here but what make war theme truly remarkable is its shell-shock horror and the main factor that everybody would die anytime. Think there's no such thing in a game with war setup? Tell me about Fire Emblem death then. There's no blood but there's many killing there. And here we are having "Strong bond equal strong body to pull a friend out of a gutter". Well, luckily it wasn't long until one of them got hit...

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"The lady is one of the victim of war to make this game bearable. Sadly, its questionable at best"

Is there a character i had beef on? There's one I won't lie, certain redhead woman tend to get into my nerve in this game. However i understand of her presence. She's exist to act as the military loyal dog who follow the order to the end. Added with the fact that she lost her whole squad doesn't help her foul temper and sense of duty. However when she could potentially become one of those "SOB" who voice logical sense, were end up butchered because she was shown as selfish and full of hate and unfortunately, this doesn't bode well with our redhead tsundere. There's a time when she oppose our hero because their plan wasn't making sense. She also claim that she would watch over our hero after promising the death of her comrade wasn't in vain. But sadly, her character execute it poorly. Her defining moment start at the Siegval stage and from there, her strict and dutiful to the bone are showing up. I was expecting her to act as countermeasure for our hero peaceful indecisiveness but no, most of the time she pop up to be a douche. That doesn't sounds good.

The peak of her nonsensical moment is the point where i decide to stop playing. We have to blown up a city even though there's civil inside. Our hero know its wrong but he had to because its their order. Oh now he got a sense of duty when it come to blowing things up!? Eager little buster. Did he blow the city in the end? Well...no. Soon enough there's a call for ceasefire. Yes, we got our problem solved right off the bat. This rather odd resolve come out of blue and since we already lost a major character prior to this point, it make us question if their sacrifice are for nothing. However since i'm still taking hero side, i took note of this resolve in mixed way since it fulfill the main character wish to end things in peaceful manner although not in the way i prefer. But then, certain redhead were too "horny" and want to see the city burn! It escalate quickly and we had to fight her (again)! It happen so sudden for no good reason, it was nonsense breakdown, and it was final nail for me to discontinue.

Here's my piece of thought. This plot point would be more strong if they didn't add the announcement of cease fire, leading our hero to show his final resolve to end his indecisiveness. Is he gonna perform his duty? Or took human right into account? While the scene going on, the redhead woman would coax him to do it and then his friend would coax him otherwise. Sure it still make him a fart listener but with this defining moment, our hero could finally learn there's time where you had to pick option that is less evil and Deus Ex Machina would not appear when you need it most. This also save the redhead woman some face as she popping up at the right scene and has fair reason to do so since she also lost her whole squad and swear that she would watch over if our hero prove his words for avenging her fallen comrade. But since she do it when there's already a call for ceasefire, it make her look bloodthirsty idiot and nonsense. Keep in mind this woman is Ms. Perfect and to make her popping up in such wrong place and time, we thought more less of her than already is! You know the kind of guy who is a real SOB but got logic in his douche act in Call of Duty? Believe me, this woman could potentially do the role since she fit the bill. Sadly, it wasn't paid off in full...

And then there's a term of "Every brat is a OP mofo". There's this kamikaze little girl in this game. The moment she make appearance, i know what her fate would be. Come on, you see many involvement of mysterious kid with power and how they end up most of the time did you? Yes, this predictable scene is the first wrinkle i got from this game.

As if crap doesn't look ridiculous, we have a piece of random cutscene showing the Winter Witch dating with Commander of Empire...tell me what does the value they add for showing this? And they act all lovey dovey for no apparent reason. No argue of rank, no argue of war, they just hanky panky and the guy also impressed with someone ass and poor dirty joke. What's the point of this scene?! I know they had trouble and bumpy life and trying to show us they were happy in the end like a Disney character but...hello? They weren't even part of our party, nor their relationship exposed so much let alone important to the plot! If anything, they were the start of my dislike of this game! Not because they were annoying and hard to deal with, but because their plot point were so forced you'll think your fanfic you write back when you're 15 years old look good! When the commander were dying and the Witch gone berserk, you'll agree that the plot would put much impact if just at least one of them actually die or both of them die as they lost their reason to live after losing their loved one. Its tragic but regardless, die in someone name you loved are kind of romantic in a way.

But no...they decide to resolve it in Winter Sonata way. Mind you, it wasn't hallucination before drawing a last breath, that Commander is pretty much ALIVE and he just hug the gung ho Valkyria, easing her pain, misery, sadness, and possibly her cold erect nipples for all i care!

The game decide to let them both live even though the Commander were clearly got a bang with no way out! Really SEGA? You gone full Nintendo now with nobody dying and they would live happy ever after? What kind of clusterfuck you just deliver? A Kingdom Heart with M14 rifle in it? I admit 1st installment plot was cheesy but you really play with fire when you decide to add the ante on 4th installment!

So yeah, i never thought i had to say this to my favorite franchise but i had to so here goes. I hate this one so bad that i wish by uninstalling it would rinse my brain clear about this game. If refund were possible, i'll do it right away after i uninstall it. I still see some enjoyment in the gameplay feature at least, i'm not that blind. But i want to play the game while appreciate it to the fullest. I want to appreciate game developer hard work by seeing their effort to the end. But sadly, i had to put it on abrupt end because instead of joy, i feel tired and angry as i find little to nothing i could appreciate in the game. The side character doesn't manage to save the day. Most plot would be generic at best. The main character is so stagnant and his companion are stiff. The game feature were dumbed down back to VC1 when VC2 and 3 are already improved. You might not notice but in 2nd and 3rd, there's profession called Armor Tech who act as tanker and Fencer who's job is to clear enemy defense line. It might be removed because it make the game unbalanced and make the game a bit too grindy since there's many unit to upgrade so they decide to remove it. 

So here it is, when the story is so disjointed and turned 90 degrees flat just for the hell of it, can make serious and dark themed game look nearly just as ugly as glitch-fest game. You're tired and you're exhausted of option to make the game bearable. In the end, you just give up and move on.

I'm not giving up on the franchise of course, just my faith toward the good stuff VC4 had. It might be good for the new player of the series which is great. But unfortunately, this is total kick on the shin for me. Elena, move out~!

Edited by Elena Ichinomiya
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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I just notice...

It seems some triple-A game company realize that sinking their development money on remaster can be double edged. I personally don't have anything against remaster but doing it too much to the point the series were put to a halt is agonizing. Sure some remaster are made to gather bucks for the actual project...

But if the remaster profit were equal as the project release budget, it won't do well for the future installment content; the money can only fund so much since there's nothing to spare left to make new additional content.

If anything, porting the game should be enough; not everyone gonna buy a game which the content already known for so long (add that with story DLC that only add 1 hour gameplay with a price close to the game actual full price itself is also a dick move too). But hey, fanatic gonna be fanatic right?

tumblr_oqkuo3PGwJ1resubdo1_640.gifvtumblr_od446xN8Xo1rl04amo1_540.gif 
"Dante and Vergil as game company. Both are great in their own way, and they know how to be this good"

The only dev i know who realize such a move won't get them anywhere is just SEGA/ATLUS and Nintendo. There might be more but they either split up or merge with other triple-A company. If i had to choose between nostalgia and sequel, i would pick the latter; no question. I mean...come on, this practice might work if the game is a sports game but for the game that rely on story etc, especially if the previous installment leave the gamer on cliffhanger, that won't sit well. Instead getting the continuation of what happen, you were shoved with beautified jiggle bone that you can just watch on YT for years. But hey, player gonna be player right? We all have taste so there's that.

And some people poke fun making porn with the remastered model which might considered a profit? *wheeze*

Although on the other hand, i understand everyone worry about sequel/prequel since there's disturbance from certain maniac group who put their agenda inside the game and make a project of "bad game from the start" and released as "way over their head" while completely aware of the abomination they just made *ahem* ME: Andromeda *cough*. I say this before and i say it again. Nobody likes people with agenda take the rein. Especially if its not aligned to what already made *sneeze* TLOU 2 *sniff*. There's many example of what happen if a new folks doesn't sit on where they belong. But human gonna be human, right? Repeating same mistake is what we good at!

Anyway, all things considered, i personally thought its alright to have remaster release but only if the objective were clear. Some game dev remastering their stuff to test their self-made game engine (SEGA with their Dragon Engine on Yakuza), Some dev remaster their stuff to raise money on their own for future game project (Capcom for their RE: 7&8 release) both of these example is what make gamer won't mind spending money on remaster because they know where their money goes off to. Who say gaming hobby is cheap?

But unfortunately, some would remaster their stuff just to circle around for gamer pocket money and nostalgia fetish but then realize they sink way too deep aka losing money fast, rendering them incapable to built new installment. To add more crap to the fan, they end up release numerous shameless mobile game to save their skin which also needlessly grindy unless you're...you know~ a full blown p2w player! 

...

did i just mutter Square Enix name just now? I think i do. Did i ever tell you how they celebrate their game anniversary? Long story short, everyone wish it remain as fantasy.

Elena shutting off~

Edited by Elena Ichinomiya
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9 hours ago, Elena Ichinomiya said:

I just notice...

It seems some triple-A game company realize that sinking their development money on remaster can be double edged. I personally don't have anything against remaster but doing it too much to the point the series were put to a halt is agonizing. Sure some remaster are made to gather bucks for the actual project...

But if the remaster profit were equal as the project release budget, it won't do well for the future installment content; the money can only fund so much since there's nothing to spare left to make new additional content.

If anything, porting the game should be enough; not everyone gonna buy a game which the content already known for so long (add that with story DLC that only add 1 hour gameplay with a price close to the game actual full price itself is also a dick move too). But hey, fanatic gonna be fanatic right?

tumblr_oqkuo3PGwJ1resubdo1_640.gifvtumblr_od446xN8Xo1rl04amo1_540.gif 
"Dante and Vergil as game company. Both are great in their own way, and they know how to be this good"

The only dev i know who realize such a move won't get them anywhere is just SEGA/ATLUS and Nintendo. There might be more but they either split up or merge with other triple-A company. If i had to choose between nostalgia and sequel, i would pick the latter; no question. I mean...come on, this practice might work if the game is a sports game but for the game that rely on story etc, especially if the previous installment leave the gamer on cliffhanger, that won't sit well. Instead getting the continuation of what happen, you were shoved with beautified jiggle bone that you can just watch on YT for years. But hey, player gonna be player right? We all have taste so there's that.

And some people poke fun making porn with the remastered model which might considered a profit? *wheeze*

Although on the other hand, i understand everyone worry about sequel/prequel since there's disturbance from certain maniac group who put their agenda inside the game and make a project of "bad game from the start" and released as "way over their head" while completely aware of the abomination they just made *ahem* ME: Andromeda *cough*. I say this before and i say it again. Nobody likes people with agenda take the rein. Especially if its not aligned to what already made *sneeze* TLOU 2 *sniff*. There's many example of what happen if a new folks doesn't sit on where they belong. But human gonna be human, right? Repeating same mistake is what we good at!

Anyway, all things considered, i personally thought its alright to have remaster release but only if the objective were clear. Some game dev remastering their stuff to test their self-made game engine (SEGA with their Dragon Engine on Yakuza), Some dev remaster their stuff to raise money on their own for future game project (Capcom for their RE: 7&8 release) both of these example is what make gamer won't mind spending money on remaster because they know where their money goes off to. Who say gaming hobby is cheap?

But unfortunately, some would remaster their stuff just to circle around for gamer pocket money and nostalgia fetish but then realize they sink way too deep aka losing money fast, rendering them incapable to built new installment. To add more crap to the fan, they end up release numerous shameless mobile game to save their skin which also needlessly grindy unless you're...you know~ a full blown p2w player! 

...

did i just mutter Square Enix name just now? I think i do. Did i ever tell you how they celebrate their game anniversary? Long story short, everyone wish it remain as fantasy.

Elena shutting off~

Fully Agree with you, I think this generation you should give more Credit to Capcom through, not only they abstain from making unnecessary remakes(They talked in an Interview about how they almost Remake Devil May Cry 1 instead of making 5), they also made Remakes on games that ABSOLUTLY needed one, that being Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3.

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I know i already said this before but just to remind anyone who read these thread, keep in mind the game that i'm gonna talk about is the game that i played with my own hands. So even though i watch it on YT etcetera, i won't gonna write it down here because that's not my gaming experience, its someone else. And i also need to remind you that every game i put here isn't always up for critic or crappy games. I said what i personally thought about the game so even if the audience said "Game A deserve GOTY", don't be surprised if my opinion goes 180 degrees. On the other hand, i'll not take shine over game and bias toward others.

With all that said, i'm gonna talk about my experience on the game that i promised to talk about since last month...

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"When a sequel inherit the bane from its predecessor. This is one of example"

What's this about?
What you see above is what we know better as Valkyria Chronicle 3 or Senjou no Valkyria 3E2 in JPN version. Its nothing special really, the E2 actually stand for Extra edition which has more content and extra branch. Lucky for us, the one who got fan-translated was the extra so you won't miss a thing. Its really make me wonder how small franchise fan can pretty much beat the triple A class game fans faithfulness. Not to mention the one who translate it was rumored to be a Chinese person whom we tend to prod fun of secondly after Japan when it come to English translation. I don't know if its true or not, but that fella better know that i'm grateful for his effort. You see, like i said in previous post, this installment fall prey to its predecessor flop sales which make SEGA thought the game isn't as popular as they expect. That fast-one decision led the third installment remain not translated until today. Boy, ain't they kind of indecisive in this one.

The fan-translation, although had strange format, are surprisingly good and readable. What's important after all, is the objective. I mean, sure i could understand few Japanese, but in no way i can tell what the objective is! However the translation didn't reach DLC chapter which is sad because there's this one unit that i've been curious about their background. But hey, beggar can't be picky.

The game also feature a collaboration which add special appearance of VC1 character. Trust me, you never hear the end of "Welkin" in every installment. This guy is everywhere and his merry party always around just because he's the big boy of this installment for some reason. I seriously don't find his charm but i guess he's just not my type of hero. Another one is Nagisa from Phantasy Star Online who also come with her own special weapon. This girl is sticking out as heck but then again she's just additional character. Now before you jump off into conclusion, did i ever tell you that in order to get these character, you don't get them as DLC. But rather a dang code! Yes, a password code that you always seen on NES game are used to unlock them! Where do you get the code? Its on the game manual! Another kick to injury? Some of those code, are exclusive for certain gaming site like GameSpot so you're pretty much on dead end if you want to get those character!

But eh, i just exaggerating, the wikia has those code include the GameSpot exclusive code. Oh before i forget, you have to input the code in English letter format. Did i just confuse you? Well let me give you small rundown. When you enter password screen, you can change the letter case. Normally the keyboard has letter set of basic alphabet, Chinese, Japanese, and sometime Russian and German. But in VC3, there's Alphabet case, and English letter case. What happen if i didn't change the format? The code WON'T REGISTER! Yes! I type those long blasted code only to see "Code Incorrect!"  when i type it just right! Had i didn't search for why it didn't work, i would say the code are expired! But no, it never expire. Just start the game, enter Extra menu, go to enter code, change the letter case, type away and boom, you got plenty starter unit.

Let's play the game!
The game start where you play small tutorial like how to move, how to shoot, and how to throw grenade. Compared to VC2, VC3 has more fluent animation and control although the difference is only slightly. The only thing i'm not fond of is the grenade damage. Sometime it kill enemy right away, some time it just tickle them. Mind you, the only unit that can survive a blast is Lancer and Armor tech. The one i blast is Scout unit, the most fragile of all unit!

There's improvement in this installment. The game has multiple map section in one stage. Everyone might think its overwhelming but it is actually SEGA way to reduce memory load by splitting the map rather than combine them into one section. Keep in mind this game is on PSP so a view distance of big map isn't exactly so hot for the device. In fact, if you just screenshot every multi section from the map and then combine those, its big enough. Trust me, you'll scream when you play any PC version when you see how big the map can be. There's something good come out of it actually. You can easily remember where the cover location, the enemy location, and the obstacles because in PC, the map is so big, you might forgot that there's anti-tank bunker or tank blockade.

Next one is how every unit were upgraded. VC3 still using similar way to upgrade unit. You fight, earn EXP point, and then spend it to upgrade unit. The more level they get, the more capable they are in a fight as well as earning special equipment like grenade launcher and flamethrower. There's still more to it however, its called skill trait. Skill trait can be earned if the unit were proficient enough in their job. Let's just say you want your shocktrooper to shoot more bullets, then keep using the unit until they master it. Oh before i forgot, unlike level, proficiency to earn trait is earned individually. So if you want Unit A to be good at shocktrooper, you had to use that guy over and over and over. Is that it? Of course not. Let's just say you want your Lancer C to have more AP (action point, i'll explain later) which might sounds far fetched judged from how slow and small their AP is. You can breakthrough those weakness by first mastering the Lancer, then change their job to Scout unit and master it, and there you go, Lancer with AP that close to default scout. Trust me, you need at least one of this Lancer on mid-fight.

What's AP? Its basically on how much you can walk on the battle. Mind you, this game is like a chess; you can't wander around freely. When you pick unit you'll enter Action Mode which is when you move your unit. Every unit has their own set of AP but as i explain before, there's way to give them more AP even though its a bit tedious process. What happen if the AP gauge empty? Simple really, you stop dead on your track. So make sure to pay attention to the bar and the distance because last thing you want is to make your unit become cheesed out. Especially if the unit were required to survive.

Other than that, VC3 gameplay is same as usual.

Get to know
I guess small introduction won't hurt. You're playing as fresh graduate captain who lead the squad of newly recruit. Of course with the help of tutorial, you won't face much difficulty. After the first fight end, you'll see the unit named 422 squad or nameless squad. Pretty cheesy name, but trust me, they're another spoof of 422 unit WW2 IRL and its not a pretty squad. What's their job? A penal soldier. You either success, or die trying. Sounds familiar?

As if shit goes down the gutter, you end up falsely accused and thrown to this ragtag of misfit 422 squad. Apparently, they're not even soldier. Well, not everyone. Some are military offender, some are criminal convict, some also falsely accused, some coming volunteering, and some come here for money believe it or not. One thing that catch my eyes is how they involve minor. Not exactly a brat mind you, its a 15 years old fellow but as far as i play VC1-4, only 3 who involve minor in the unit.

Since the game are set in same timeline as VC1, expect to see some familiar face. Yep, its your canon boi Welkin Gunther and his merry party of less misfit but still misfit anyway. You'll work together one-two times and eventually you can recruit them...with a password code of course. There's also soon-to-be villain of VC2 if you took a shine on them.

Who's on the spotlight?
Obviously, the main show of this game is 07 (you), 13, 01, and 06. Those 4 is the main characters in this story and you'll get to know them as story goes. In my opinion, their character isn't so odd compared to VC2 and they come here with a good reason. Everyone here love to "keep it real" about their situation. Of all VC franchise i played, i must say VC3 has more heavy tone than the rest, even to VC1. Every single character ponder their fate as their job is one-shot. Fail isn't an option so they wonder when they gonna die. It also don't help the case because all those 4 main characters, none of them had role of comedy relief so its pretty much serious overall. Well, if anything, i like how VC3 execute the situation because let's face it, no way in hell you're worried about burnt bread (VC1), school festival (VC2), and childhood bros before hoo-boy (VC4) when you're on the battlefield.

What about side character you ask? I say this installment give fair treatment to everyone. The focus of the story might fall to those 4 main characters but everyone would get involved when the story progress. You'll see many of your squad face so you're pretty much attached to them as you know how they usually act and talk. Its very nice improvement from VC2 and i like it a lot. Had they treat them like how VC1 and VC4 do, i would give this instant thumbs down. You create a character, write their bio, design how they look which vary from each person, only to remain as the backstage handler? Picky bastard. Oh and of course the squad memories also exist as sub-stories. How to get them? Just use the said unit a lot and it will appear on side stories. However in some cases, some of them only unlocked if the character involved in their story is also used often. Their backstory also interesting and spoiler alert, not all of them are sunshine and cookies.

Any bad points?
Few of it actually. While i said this game is best of all franchise, there's also downside. If you play VC1 and VC2, you'll realize some of the map were recycled and you'll feel it right away. Even though you fight on different region, sometime the battlefield used is same as before. There's new stage of course but most of the time, you'll face similar looking map from its predecessor. I don't blame them though, it might cut the cost of development and their way to show it to us that 422 squad is indeed involved in similar war like VC1. But what make it confusing is 422 squad are working in the shadow. Yet they fight on the same battlefield like regular squad. So...what's so shadow about it then?

Second bad point, the password screen. Seriously, i can't get over how BS the password screen is. Why and what make it so different between two letter case that basically look the same? Is it some UNICODE format going on? I don't know, i just annoyed with this because mind you, the password is long!

Third point, the difficulty. As you might expect, the game would show only two level. Easy and Normal. Hard would be unlocked if you beat the game on any level. And you can use the new game+ if you want to play safe on hard mode. But here's the treat. Those level is an example of book with good cover but filled with heresy. Why? Well, i'll make it short.

  • Easy is actually Normal level
  • Normal level is Hard level
  • Hard level is where you take one step forward, ten step backward

Yeah you tell me, how much masochistic Japan is. Added the fact that this game is JPN only, don't expect those AI to pull a punch. I think its well-known fact by today standard that any Japan game difficulty would be toned down for global release because they know all of us isn't into rage inducing numbnuts hence the existence of Nightmare level if you cry enough to them to unleash their fury. Let me tell you something as a kicker. If you want to play a real easy mode, find Europe version. I don't know why but some game dev would tone down the game difficulty for EU version and its not so subtle. Sometime it shows pretty much on your face. I don't know the exact reason but perhaps they looking back toward how hard the Ninja Gaiden is to beat for European back in the day to the point it had to be pulled from shelves and re-release the watered down version (this is before online patch become a thing, hence the pull). Eh, i got sidetracked here.

Is it bearable to play?
Absolutely. Everything were evenly put down. No grind-fest, no hammy situation, no corny dialogue, no "i love you" while being mortared scene, no nonsensical scene going on here and there just for the hell of it. The gameplay is fluid, and the story are interesting., the character are pretty much good to look up to, the side character also has their own charm. Provided you got the translated ISO of the game that is. 

Is the Extra content even worth it?
I would say it is but for fun value only or if you're into Phantasy Star and Skies Of Arcadia crossover.

Overall...
This game for me still remain the best of all franchise. After playing "My Immortal" VC4, it solidified more of my decision to cherish this installment. Its unfortunate that this installment had to be overshadowed thanks to the failure of the VC2. Like one of those COD quotes said, "Its the old who fight, but the youngster who died". In this case, VC2 is the one to blame, but the crap were taken to VC3. If you read my previous post, this game put pretty much horror of war nicely which is what i expect from this game for the first time. Thankfully, it deliver everything into place. And i still put my bet that this game would receive much edit and censorship due to how realistic the terror of war they add in the story.

Using your body to check landmine for example.

Anyway, i think that's pretty much of impression i got from this game. It might sounds like tutorial-like but then again, i don't want to spoil the game plot much because if anything, i want to urge you to try and play to see it for yourself. Provided the gameplay is fit your cup of tea.

Before i shut down, let me comment something first...

On 23/04/2021 at 19:54, Fortuna said:

They talked in an Interview about how they almost Remake Devil May Cry 1 instead of making 5

Really!? Do they forgot how outdated the trope in the game will be if they remake that!? Thinking back how corny the scene is especially with Trish involve, I will absolutely gonna buy the game...when its on summer sale. And no, i didn't say anything about playing it! Seriously, back then, it was romantic. But now? Nero and V gonna have serious talk with Dante, i guarantee! 🤣

Elena shutting down~

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Enter the Golden Week Sale

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Just got myself Code Vein on Golden Week sale on Steam. Another wishlist off the book after bought God Eater bundle on last lunar year sale (1 2 and 3 at the lowest price? Why the heck not~). Back on Lunar Year sale, i got most out of it on SEGA sale (Company of Heroes 2 full bundle, Sonic All Star Racing Transform, SEGA Classic collection, oh my~). But this Gold Week latch me to BANDAI/NAMCO.

Was planning to buy possibly Jump Force and Soulcalibur VI but considering the DLC price and Jump Force has mixed review to the point they enter CrappyGamesGallery alley (which by the look do give me mixed feeling)...i hold my breath for now.

Oh and on the other hand, i'm still annoyed that God Eater 3 are nothing more than husk for BANDAI to test their new engine which later on used for Code Vein and possibly that newest Tales of Arise. If someone told you GE3 felt bare bone compared to GE2 and possibly GE: RO, know that they speak the truth. The game isn't bad, its just felt lacking the punch it once had and if i can be blunt, GE3 universe felt so confusing. Were they plan to put it as sequel? In-between but set on another place? Or prequel? Had that Ein fella didn't appear, i would say GE3 is the 2nd case. Even Ein appearance felt like being shoved down my throat and instead feeling excited seeing returning character like when playing GE2, i only tilt my head in confusion; where's this installment aiming at? Its confusing, but i still like the new fighting style anyway.

Quote

Speaking of which, when i said i bought GE bundle, i didn't aware that its a bundle. I swear i bought just GE3 and plan to bought GE2 later but somehow i was legit for all of those three. Oh well, a deals a deal. 

Since all of Japan game on Steam is on sale, i might look onto another developer such as KOEI. Got any recommendation?

But that aside...

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"I wonder if i can run another No-Damage fight on Code Vein~"
(Who am i kidding. Although i do make fun all Anubis form, Amen-Ra, Odin and that three headed croc thing on GE3)
#Sales #BoughtDown #WhatAreTheySmoking #FirstTimePlay #WheresYggdra

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Posted (edited)

I was planning to talk about Rune Factory but then i remember there's this game where i used to say as an example of how it look like if Rune Factory got its farming aspect removed. The result? Mediocre ARPG. What make me want to talk about it? Because you can slap every man around the world with a big yellow pages of the medieval era. You'll know what i'm talking about. If you guess i'm talking about Avalon Code, then congrats, you're the most attentive NDS gamer.

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"One thing i never expect in this game is choosing gender...and not an ARPG"

On my day with NDS, i stumble upon this game by accident as i saw certain logo of developer who responsible with the Rune Factory franchise, Marvelous. Inc. I know how nonsense it sounds for expecting something great just because it share same company logo when they could've been just a publisher, not developer. But hey, if someone bought your game because there's your company name on it, that mean people notice your existence! Well the thing is...this game isn't so bad. Wasn't hard either but regardless too complex for some. The game basically is your running-mill ARPG where you dodge, jump and kill enemy in area. While not seamless, the world to explore is equal of open-world kind of game as you can pretty much explore many area include the previous stage. Although you might throw yourself in training area more unless you're looking for material.

Did i ever tell you creating complex gameplay can be taxing especially if its on handheld that basically has more limited button compared to console? NDS did compensate that with stylus but this game didn't abuse that feature much as this is third person ARPG. At the start of the game, we were thrown into training ground which basically a tutorial room. I like this approach but the one i dislike is...you can die. You know how bitter it is to die on tutorial. When that happen, where you suppose to go then? Hit Exit button perhaps. But NDS has no quit game button! Oh and one more thing, since this is a good old classic, the game doesn't have auto-save feature. So if you just start the game and reach tutorial without saving, have fun watching everything from the start.

What make the game is so simple yet complex at the same time however, is when you materialize something or upgrading weapon. You see, if you want an iron sword, all you can do is visit smith and buy a sword right? In this game, no, you have to craft it. You get the base blueprint for sword, all you had to do is tweaking it...

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"Dog sword. Goodness, as if throwing stick wasn't enough!"

Now let me explain how this goes and how wild this feature is. By wild, i mean how mixed it feel between calling it cool or tedious. Basically whenever you got material such as iron, alloy, bronze, gold, etc. You'll receive that in a form of block like what you see on the picture on the left. Let's just say you want to make Dragoon (right picture), then you have to own certain material to make it so. The thing is, when the material did said something like "IRON x 1" or "GOLD x 5" it wasn't easy as you think. Because the tile come in variant form especially when it come in big number. Here's how it look like...

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"This is one example of 3x3. Sometime it shaped L, but later on you'll find the vertical 3x3 block. Imagine how big it is for 5x5!"

Yes, sometime you can't make the weapon you want because the weapon slot isn't big enough and boy, what a disappointment i feel back then when i can't make specific sword just because the block i got wasn't fit! Seriously, you'll find this process fun but not right away. The only basic thing you need to know is any kind of material you put will add the damage or lowering it. But with certain attribute, you can add poison or like what previous picture shown, a dog element sword. By the way, Dog is type of monsters so adding that element to your weapon will make it easy for you to kill the enemy that has weakness to dog element. Did you curious how it look like if it work? Here you go...

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"To put it brief, if you mix-match things but it still look like basic sword, its nothing special"

Now i bet you ask how did you get the recipe for such weapon. Well, i applaud your curiosity because i bet next thing i show you will only make you cursing inside. You'll get the weapon by scanning (or roughly smacking) the dropped weapon that were given to you. Sometime recipe come by after fighting bosses or other criteria. But receiving the said recipe doesn't mean you own the weapon. You need to crack it down. What am i talking about? Well, this....

Spoiler

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"Tell me, where should i slide that blank space? To top left? Lower left? Or that back button?"

Did you just cursing? I know you did. Or at least drop some WTF bomb along the way. Yes, i'm not kidding, this is how you get the recipe for new weapon mix. You have to slide the picture to its glorious form and after that, you put the last piece on the blank space. If you ever play slide puzzle, you know what issue we gonna talk about. No matter how clear the picture is aligned, if those blank space wasn't put in right place, the puzzle will considered not complete. I say again, all your effort slide around the picture will not get your reward unless you know which tile belong to. I'm not lying when i decide to "screw this i'm out" and fight the boss with just tweaked basic swords. There's fine line between difficult and knee-jerkingly hard and broken difficulty you know! I ain't waste my time on a game feature that isn't the main show! I ain't waste good minutes just to get poison swords! Or i simply don't want to waste a good life with slide puzzle that basically only worth it if you really got the time to do so.

That's for the part of the weaponry. So, what kind of things you can bitch-slap with? I dare say everything, literally. People, weapon, even enemy and bosses. Here's where the fun part of this game. Did you feel tired to smack enemy stupid with your poison dagger? Avalon Code get you covered because you can poison enemy...by add poison attribute in their bestiary...

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"It won't bother them much but at least it would slow them down. Seriously, one tap and boom, they're sick smoking"

This feature really what make this game stand out. You can tweak enemy weakness to your desire just in case you got no weapon that suitable to fight them. Believe me, i always abuse this when i got no weapon with lighting attribute. This doesn't make the fight easier though because the debuff or other negative effect are only there as mere "assist" rather than for a kill. Hey, RPG greatest achievement is to adapt and grown up your character you know; easy getaway will get you laid off.

Right, what about people you ask? Well here's another treat. You can poke fun on their attribute or just steal their attribute should you need some material. Again, you have to believe me when i said i get most of attribute out from people than finding one from monsters.

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"GG Mayor Georg unvote pls"

Yep, we can do that. Got someone with attribute you want? Take it! lacking space for your newly gained attribute? Give it to them. Got someone you loath? Give them poison attribute! What happen if we put cat/dog element? Well, they become cat/dog lover...for whatever the reason. If you take all the tile, they become "Plain" attribute person. This also apply to bosses but in order to scan them, you need the right moment to do so. Final boss also didn't spared from this feature which is mind-blowing.

Since i mention Rune Factory, does this game has taste of romance? Well, there's is! There's some people you can interact with and you can give gift to them to raise their affection. But the thing is, not every gift will give big amount of affection unless, you guessed it, mix the food with some attribute!

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"What an icing on a cake!"

If we look back to reality, i think its safe to say this isn't complete nonsense. Just because i eat rice, doesn't mean i'm always happy if you give me a bowl of plain rice. I could approve you more if you give me fried rice and spicy one at that. This game put that term into work but again, you can poke fun with it by adding poison, dogs/cats element, anything really. Anyway, before i forgot, in order to give gift, you have to talk to the person first, then open the book, find the said gift, tap the picture. Yes, that's how you give the gift. You summon the food right out from the book. See? knowledge is one way to survive.

Oh right, i forgot to tell you about pesky fairy that one of them doesn't look too fairy at all. These fairy come with a curse set upon them which result in their power lacking the original punch. By raising their affection, you'll unlock event where they finally released from their fate. However...these pesky elf doesn't come easy way when it come to affection. You have to interact with them more while putting them as your default element. By all mean, you have to grind, open book, grind, open book again just to raise their affection. It was tedious as you can't give them a gift. But then again, these bookworm are appear as bookmark so there's some good reason for that...doesn't mean i'm happy with that though! The reward for it? You can be their boi/gurlfriend.

Now the feature are done, let's move on to the story. I don't want to spoil the plot so i just say my impression. The story progression was slow but it give you some time to get used with the game unusual feature. It wasn't such workload but you probably need to get used to flipping pages by pages. One thing you need to note is to remember to tap every single side of the screen because while they look like part of the image, it actually has feature such as explanation and status. Remember, this action can be considered good in case you want to raise affection with the bookmark fairy. Moving on, the plot would be twist and turned and depend on who you're in deep with, they'll get dragged in because of your meddling with the villain. But rest assured, its a mild business, no heavy theme such as kidnap and stockholm syndrome.

About the characters, i dare say i might forgot most of them because they either plain, too cliche, or just plain annoying and downright forgettable. It wasn't the worse compared to VC4 if anything. But the existence of the NPC was supposed to be what saving the franchise should the story isn't. If you look at the artwork and its 3D model, you'll see small semblance of Rune Factory artist at work. One thing i don't like is when the chapter where i'm stuck with specific NPC. It wouldn't be bad if the dudes wasn't so boring as well as serve no purpose!

Overall, this game in my opinion, is mixed at best thanks to the simple fight section yet complex gameplay feature. The story wasn't much to talk about but at least i acknowledge there's some story in there. Luckily the game didn't end in cliffhanger because i doubt Marvelous pay any damn to this installment anyway. But still, the smacking people feature is similar to the game that i might talk about next, only more brutal. Kind of. You'll see why. Elena shutting off~

Edited by Elena Ichinomiya
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Posted (edited)

 

 

-This scene was deleted. Let there be panic-

 

 

Edited by Elena Ichinomiya
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  • 2 weeks later...

Remember the day when you enjoying the game for the first time? It was such a ride isn't it? Experience the game made by developer who pour their ideas and executing it in our own way given by them which led into another story or just raking up more level. Its all fun and games! Until you realize the Vanilla version was too bland, too easy, or perhaps way too hard or far too much unnecessary addition which you prefer them gone. How? This is the answer...

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"Before you get an idea, no, i'm not playing those pixelated world builder since day one"

Mods, while have certain range of creativity to make the game more fun or otherwise wonky, isn't always game breaking in the right hands of people. I admit that i might have a long list of mod used on The Sims 3 and L4D2 just for the hell of it. What you need to know is before you download any mods, do yourself a favor by reading the guide about how to use it. Second, always use mod manager so it won't be a jumbled mess when a mod conflict with another. Unless you got sharp memory, i bet you'll forgot what kind of mod you put into your game after taking hiatus from the said game. Especially if you're modder yourself.

Anyway, what i'm gonna talk about isn't about giving you a warning about mods double-edged use. But instead, i'm gonna tell you how i personally define a mods based on personal category.

PERFECTION MODS
A mod in this category, be it a script or skin mod, is full of content that make the game fun, but without breaking the game rules or the game realm in the slightest. Some script in this category usually a petty stuff but not entirely silly. Some of them are so simple like making NPC interact with environment. On the other hand, when it come to skin or additional character (Skyrim for example), they were made and dressed to fit the universe the game set on, making the presence of the mods in this category wasn't so bad to have around. Its so perfectly blending which make me forget that i've been modding the game!

Example...

  • Having custom character that dressed to fit the universe 
  • Increasing challenge of the game if Hard mode wasn't enough
  • Just a beautification like 4K texture

WTF MODS
Normally, i tend to avoid this kind of mod as i never find what i want there. However the mods that fall into this category, as you can tell from the title, are filled with silly stuff such as making the swords wobbling, turning your weapon into balloon swords, or even giving some sort of makeup to your companion just for the hell of it. If there's something i need to worry about when using this mod, it probably about the mods safety itself.

Example...

  • Clown makeup
  • Swapping heads of every NPC
  • Making every NPC moonwalking

GARBAGE
This is where everything gone south and make the game utterly unbearable to look. Heck, i bet you won't even dare to livestream with a game modded with this tag running around. Not only this mods could break the game, it also break the universe way too much. I don't want to be those people but it goes without saying that its so easy to find some crappy anime/meme mods even in unlikely games these days. Beating dragon with Nico from Love Live in Skyrim? Or bashing Nemesis with Pepe Frog pillow in Resident Evil? Play as Stalin in GTA IV? Nude mods for Cooking Mama? Go figure.

I don't have anything against anime mods in my game and i do find some meme mods are creative. I even praise those anime modder because they're most dedicated person around community. However in my case, enough is enough.

Adding a character that didn't fit the universe? Breaking the game rules? One hit kill everything? Infinite gold? Spawner? Trolling script mods? Nah, i don't care who made it. Be it my parent or my friend, there's place to spent one creativity. This category however, is the only part where i wish hitting people isn't a sin. I'm sorry if any of you are modder. But i had to say this as matter of opinion. I appreciate the works modder put but sometime, its better to use those creativity somewhere rather than waste it for poor excuse of April fools.

Example...

  • Change everyone head to Troll face
  • Mod audio to annoy headphone user
  • Infinite everything
  • Anime character that doesn't fit in (Putting Naruto on Guitar Hero for example)
  • Hitler/Stalin meme
  • Shrek

So there you have it. That's how i judge mods in every single game i played should they have one. Some are good, few of them are worth my time, mostly were made by people who forgot they have life away from keyboard but instead stuck making dead meme. Oh well, creativity goes a long way they said. Elena, shutting off~

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Have you ever played an insanely difficult turn-based RPG? I assume you do. Everyone has one of those thing in their experience. Either because the game are indeed difficult, or you rake up your ego by playing nightmare mode on the first playthrough...or the game was so bad with their level design that it would scare you off on the first stage. To add insult to injury, all those long play hour is just for first chapter! How much kick on the shin was that!? Well, let me tell you mine...

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"The fine example of decent game but smeared with artificial difficulty and unbalanced dungeon" -Elena

I play this game back on the PSP, not the 3DS one. I must say i play this game at unfortunate time because i play it when i'm also playing P3P. I was wondering why i remember my experience in this game when i'm playing the greatest on side. Then i fine the answer; my very own agony going through all the way to put an end to this game. 

What did this game about?
The story of this game is set on universe of hybrid between human and myth creature such as Dragon, Phoenix, Medusa, and even Grim reaper. They were born in human shell as a form of "hatchling", but gradually growth into their true nature as the time passed. See those character at the picture above? Yes, those people are still a mere hatchling. By all mean, you could say this game thrown a 3 years old onto the jaw of death. But that just me.

The story start when a Dragon race was going to rebel against goddess, only to have their arse handed to them as the goddess curse them into their hatchling form, trapping our protagonist in their very non-intimidating state. As the dude wake up and realize he's no longer the majestic fire spitting lizard, he swear that he would get back his right as a dragon and coming back to the goddess real hard. Some entity just never learn that enough is enough and this dude is no exception. He travel around and meet up with another companion, namely Golem, Medusa, and very much later, a Mandragora. However the Golem seems already reach the adult state as he's the only one with the "adult" form while the rest still maintain their human shells. Spoiler alert, he's the only dude who's reaching "adult" state.

On the other hand, there's this Phoenix Princess who want to change her fate by turning herself into dragon, claiming their majestic presence are suit her better than being a smooth feathered Aves. How? By praying to the goddess in her own domain which of course will be the dungeon you'll be thrown in later. As you might expect, she also has companion. A nine-tailed fox, and grim reaper. These trio are in their "hatchling" state. Ahh, to be forever young~

With the two character aiming for different wish in mind, they later meet up in cliché of "From enemy to my only honey". 

How it goes?
The game played in dungeon crawling style...i might asking too much but this kind of RPG is not my taste since there's not much going on the screen other than slash and blast effect. No hate of course. Anyway, the game play in classic dungeon crawling style which goes without saying, you'll bump an enemy in random manner. I must say the dungeon isn't much to talk about and there's also fun feature that you might feel very familiar with...

Making contract.

Not exactly making one, but rather you convince them to join you. Your party can be added with more numbers by recruiting the monster to join your side. As you might expect, the dungeon would be twice harder than already is if you don't abuse this feature. But of course there's also some zonk along the way as there's monster who has no skill, to the point of inability to attack. Don't want to hire them? Well, you can mug them if you can. Also, every time the battle end, they want you to praise them. I like praising the ogre race because they let out funny noises. Now i bet you wonder why i still make a beef out of dungeon when i just poking the fun side as if nothing wrong. That's just the cover.

The dungeon were riddled with enemy with a level that skip from 5 to 10 ahead of you. Since this is dungeon crawling game, there's no limit how deep you can get yourself in. If that wasn't kick you enough, the enemy hit you rather hard for first time. Its as if you were given Grim Reaper for first enemy instead of a slime. This goes without saying that you'll either invest many gold for potion, or wasting good amount of MP just to heal with very limited chance to fight back. Now let's take a pause, did you expect a healer to come with you right away? Heck no, you get the brawn as your first party member...as if the protagonist isn't strong enough! You'll find yourself crawling back to the village not because you had enough grinding or finishing side quest, but rather to buy potion etc. You could make one yourself for the cheap price on the witch place but how can gather the necessary material at hand if you don't spend much time on dungeon thanks to the unbalanced crawlies inside!? Seriously, i had to rake up money more than i had to craft something. It was until later that i finally become powerful enough and my healer has many MP to heal us more than three times. It take me 4 days.

Then the game move to other perspective; the princess. Unlike the dude, this dudette only has 3 party include herself. Surviving with this party is rather tricky as they didn't do much damage, especially the fox since she's very reliant on her skill but also very fragile than the grim reaper girl. Yes, grim reaper can get killed, ain't that irony? Their journey share similar trouble and cumbersome issue; the unbalanced dungeon. I don't know if i play this wrong or this game intention was to give finger at the player but i swear i had difficulty with these girls because the enemy always landing a critical hit! I know those girls has no brawn look on them but this is just overkill!

Is there any definitive BS moment?
Oh there's one. I would go on the whole thread just for this section in fact. But i cut it short. There's this chapter where you play as the grim reaper old brother. This dude is alright, love to critical hit and all but...let me grab my note...

  • This dude goes ALONE which is red flag considering how wonky the dungeon is
  • The monsters level was way too high while this dude start off at level 1
  • Being alone mean you need to win over monster heart to make them join you and raise the chance to survive. But good luck with that because you need to fight them in order to do that and pray you didn't dying first
  • You'll find yourself stuck healing than attacking since you're alone
  • Since you probably coming back and forth more often, you'll find yourself tight on money. Mind you, the money isn't carried over from one party to another!
  • When this dude reunite and join the rest of the party, his level remain intact as the last time you end his chapter. Which mean by the time he join the party, your current party level probably miles higher than this so-called grim reaper!
  • To add more crappiness on previous point, he join the party way late on the game, making the purpose of grinding is rather useless as the game is on climatic point and you already got strong party at hand anyway! What's the point having him on the party if he show up as sponge cake of the team!? Even Luminous Arc 1 didn't treat their burning hole like this!

This part is where i had to throw towel many times. This part is the moment when i had to think deep if i am the one who bad at this game or this game were made to be bad! To any aspiring game dev out there, don't you dare ever underestimate level design!

For the sake of anything that sounds holy to you, have mercy at least on the first effing dungeon, Goddammit!!😠

Is there anything worth talking?
Luckily, this game wasn't that bad if you set aside the dungeon system. The battle system has some unique (at the time) skill gain and none of them are RNG so its either a passive, or absolute hit. Except ailment attack. Some of the description are funny too like "Sexy body" for charm effect or "Hit me more" to survive with 1 HP left if you get hit hard. The grinding fortunately, was merciful although its hard to call it worth taking as the enemy are way higher level than you and only grant you average EXP drop. Other than that, the battle system is alright - except that lonesome guy chapter. That part sure know how to dark soul but RPG style!

The game stories also decent too and each character shown their consistency with their personality. There's also one feature where you can talk to your party after you reaching the checkpoint (yes there's this thing thankfully). Conversation with the Phoenix Princess and the Golem are intriguing than anyone else in my playthrough.

With everything said
This game is decent. Not good or bad. The music also alright and the artwork for each character are good in some way. I can't help but felt familiar seeing the dragon dude artwork but perhaps its because his style aren't so fantasy at all. The story are worth mentioning as it set on universe where it put human form as an excuse as hatchling instead of...beauty and the beast goes to a bar thing. I'm not playing the 3DS yet so i can't tell if there's any difference especially on the dungeon part because boy, i really wish i bump into the 3DS version first if it come to that! Elena shutting off~ 

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

4f151354b0024c0afdc047963a94d86408703c89.jpg?2137166sample_d3f76c4a8eacce13bfbd89fa8a944d202b0a1cd0.jpg?3178844sample_406a7df2caa1cf7c968b5c20503d8d92c9f251ce.jpg?3137729

Since i'm sure people still on the E3 ride, i want to remind you few things since you probably gonna plan how you empty your wallet, piggy bank, or where to sell your prostethic kidney. I'm not avid gamer but i can say our hands-on experience are equal. With that being said...

  1. If you know the game dev well, remember their good and bad habit. Some dev are good at tending their game for the long run, and some would leave the game to die once the hype gone even though the game are still bug riddled
  2. Keep in mind that you bought the game with REAL MONEY. Are you sure the price are worth it if you buy it on day one? Some people has case of buying game on day one just for hype sake, finished it, and then wonder if the game worth its full price. Remember, some game has varied way of refund so if you realize you screwed, game over.
  3. I think we all learn for long time that a game released on day one, has 50-50 chance of it still behave like its still on beta. If you're in doubt, i highly recommend wait and see how the game actually goes on market and check the forum about it to see how it goes. 
  4. If you have full confident the game is alright, keep the point #1 and #3 in mind.
  5. If you see the trailer, review, footage, gameplay rundown, and still find yourself don't like the game. Don't. Buy. It. To quotes certain angry reviewer...
Quote

"If you see something and you know you gonna hate it, why give them your money?" -James Rolfe

Or refer to to point #3. Trust me, sometime its better getting late catching hype train

Yeah well, as i said i'm no avid gamer but even so, i also share amount getting crap on the face perhaps also some of you when it come to hype and sense of compulsives spending over a new game. 

Also...

large.GLS_JISU_SEO_JOY.jpg.4b0dbab92a26b6b0f193630ff14f9a5a.jpg
"Whoa, Stadia also got new game?"
(If their library still expand, that still worth noting)
#Train #Reminder #GooglyStadia #ElenaAndHerJoystick

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