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Glennstavos

Soooooo what'cha playing?

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Summer has come and that means it's time for games. Why go outside when you can stay in and dig into your backlog or try out some new releases? Here is a thread where we can post our thoughts on the games we've been playing.

I have just finished a playthrough of Golden Sun. Not my first attempt at playing the game but it is the first time I made it to the end. Spoilered for length, but also includes mild spoilers regarding this game's connection to the next one which you'd gather from reading a bit of a wikipedia article.

Spoiler

Normally I'm happy to play an RPG that doesn't go for the full 40-80 hour length. All the successful franchises seem to go for this length and it's often to their detriment since games are so rarely fun for such long periods of time. Too much of a commitment to play JRPGs, hence why I often don't try. But the reasons for why Golden Sun is such a short game kind of baffle me. The plot sets up a task you must do in four parts of the world, so imagine my surprise when the credits roll after I complete the second one and while many plot threads remain hanging for our heroes. All this time this was only Part 1 of a two part story. I wish I was warned about this because it makes the experience feel pretty cheapened. I could download The Lost Age for cheap onto my Wii U, but I wasn't intending to do so before, and I'll have to in order to learn how the story ends. Having to play the sequel just to figure out what's going on is the same level of commitment most 40 hour JRPGs ask of me, and I can't imagine it wasn't that hard to write a final act with a sense of finality. This game even ends with you getting a ship to travel the world in, which is the typical midpoint event for a 40 hour Final Fantasy game. Maybe I'm being too hard on the game, it's not like sequels don't exist in video games, but every good game I can think of that has a sequel is very self contained and satisfying.

Gameplay is probably the game's greatest strength. Battles are quick and snappy with flashy animations. I also found that you can hold the A button to advance the battle text. You'll advance it marginally faster if you mash the A button, but this way you avoid some wear on your A button. I wish I could say there was a way to skip or speed up story dialogue because the pacing for that is far slower than battles and menus. Characters love to talk and gesture. The battles are notably easy but there's quite a bit of strategy outside of battle in organizing Djinni and doing Zelda-esque puzzles with certain abilities. The puzzles are often fun, but aiming synergy with correct spacing sometimes has to be pixel perfect and can get really frustrating since the controls don't allow you to look in a direction without physically moving in that direction. Speaking of controls, binding a specific spell to the L or R button is actually mandatory for some puzzles, which was one frustrating trip to Google for me since I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I also really wish the game made any effort at all to explain what class changing does for your characters because the system has a lot of depth. Because the game is so easy, I'm willing to bet most players didn't experiment with it even though they were free to do so.

Overall I rate the game a 5.7 out of 10 or "marginally above average". The lack of an ending really brings it down for me since the story and characters aren't compelling to begin with. This game would easily have been in the 6 range if it had a passable conclusion. The battles can be an energetic blast, but even after 20 hours it can feel pretty repetitive since physical attacks and physical skills far exceed anything else in effectiveness. Or the player can rush the enemies with summons since nothing in the game tries to stop them from employing these ultimate moves on every battle when they cost nothing. And having to resort to a guide in order to learn the ins and outs of classes and why your spells keep changing speaks to the game's complete aversion to tutorials. Playing Golden Sun is easy, but understanding it can be hard.

 

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Currently playing through Final Fantasy 7. I'm at the Gold Saucer and haven't progressed the past few days but i'm hoping to change that soon. I've been live-tweeting my progress as well (i'll leave it here in case you want to see). I've been liking it so far but i don't think i'll be playing other Final Fantasy games once i'm done with this one.

I've also been playing Valkyria Chronicles. I'm on the second to last map and i haven't gotten past it because it turns out i was very underleveld and then once i'm done leveling them up i find out "oh, Lancers are actually useful in this map" so now i have to go grind them and it's just tiring replaying the Liberation of Bruhls skirmish over and over again.

 

Edited by Armagon

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I've started a playthrough of Lunatic Awakening, and I'm up to around the point where I really need to grind for extra stats. Problem is, that'll take ages, and I really can't be bothered. So that might take a while until I get back into that.

Also finishing up a playthrough of Revelation where the goal is to get my Avatar to solo the endgame (and maybe a few chapters before that, if I feel like it), without any support or pair up. Also very grind heavy, but it'll be more satisfying when I'm done than Awakening, at any rate.

I also want to start playing Xenoblade Chronicles X this weekend, and I'm pretty excited about that. So the above titles on this list will inevitably get put on the back burner for a while once I get into that.

(As a side note, it's not summer here in Australia. So I doubt I'll be finished with any of those anytime soon haha)

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I'm currently having a blast with Atelier Lulua. I'm only 3 hours in, so I can't say much about it, but graphically, it's one of the most beautiful games I've ever played.

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Well, the fan translation for the Great Ace Attorney came out, so I've been playing that! I'm planning on starting the final case soon!

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Shin Megami Tensei IV. Again. Currently deciding which path I should go for. 

 

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1 hour ago, Rose482 said:

I've been playing a game called Tales of Symphonia. It's a fun RPG, with a good cast of characters.

Indeed it is, even if its showing its age a bit. I got about 9 playtrough's of it I think.

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9 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

Summer has come and that means it's time for games.

Correction: The Whole year is time for games :p

Uni/Work/School isn't 24/7, after all :p

anyway

After finishing and enjoying my Nep journey, i am currently playing Death end re;Quest

Gameplay is Fun, and it has dual protag going on, which is something i like. And the Mystery and stuff keeps me playing.

 

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10 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

Summer has come and that means it's time for games. Why go outside when you can stay in and dig into your backlog or try out some new releases?

there's already winter for that. unless you have games on your phone, then you can go outside and play with them. it's a win-win situation.

10 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

Here is a thread where we can post our thoughts on the games we've been playing.

currently playing Thracia 776 on cellphone and God Eater Resurrection on PS4.

 

gotta say i'm enjoying my playthrough of Thracia 776 quite a lot, considering how the gameplay mechanics have changed and improved in the SNES era.

it was probably the first time that a FE game made full use of its features in order to complete chapters, giving lot of options to the players in order to progress through the story how they wanted. it's also nice to see that the players get rewarded not only for how they play, but also depending on the decisions they make( kill, capture, free enemy units ). truly a unique J/SRPG jewel from the 90's. when i'll finish this segment of my current FE marathon, i think i'll move on to the GBA titles.

 

as for God Eeater Resurrection, i've already played and completed the old version for PSP back in the days( God Eater Burst ), so i already knew what to expect.

i've been quite surprised by the amount of new features and stuff that's been added to this HD port for PS4, and it surely was a pleasant surprise. the game plays in a similar way to Monster Hunter in terms of going out to kill monsters and gather materials for new equipment, with the difference that while the other older titles from the MH franchise had close to no story at all( you just went out killing monsters because "why not?" ), GEB/R has an overall interesting story built on 3 arcs.

despite some people calling it "Anime MH" due to the popularity of the other franchise, the gameplay mechanics of GER are actually quite different in terms of battle pace, since it's way more frenetic and there's many things to manage before/during battle beside attacking enemies. if you like anime and action games, then probably GER could be an interesting game to try out.

once completed, i'll probably move on to GE 2, and then GE 3.

unless Code Vein will show up earlier, because if that happens i will surely drown myself into that game( wich is also made by the same studio -Shift- that made GE ).

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Currently playing Final Fantasy XII: This one I enjoy going through, since it's replay value feels pretty high to me.

On the side: Dragon Shadow Spell. I think I've played this around 16 times so far? I still really enjoy it nonetheless.

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Really recently beaten

Steambot Heist - I liked the original and it was on sale. It's interesting in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, but Chapter 3 gives up the best gimmick (richochetting bullets) by replacing most of your equipment with lasers. Beat it on default difficulty without a problem. I'm through Chapter 2 on highest difficulty and plan to finish soon.. my opinion of the game would be higher if I had not gone for the replay.

Pang Aventures - Completely worth it. Is a revival of a SNES-era game. Vastly fun in co-op, ok for solo. Popping bubbles is super simple, but it manages to feel vastly differently with simple chapter-wide physics changes (eg some colors of bubbles bounce in arc and others move diagnolly regardless of gravity) Has some "puzzle" levels, but the main appeal is just the frantic combination of managing to shoot bubbles while dodging them.

I'm currently working my way through Expeditions: Conquistador. I wish it was faster paced and it feels like the strategic and tactics parts of the game are at odds with each other instead of complementing each other. It does have a lot of good going for it with a kinda unique setting and the party member hate/like system.

 

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I just recently finished Shadow of the Colossus remake, so now I'm trying to finish Valkyria Chronicles 4. Then, I have a few other games I want to finish, but I'm not sure about the order in which I should do so:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I've had this game for the GameCube since I was 4, absolutely loved it, and yet, surprisingly, I've never actually finished it. I hope to do so over the summer. 
  • Xenoblade Chronicles: I've gotten as far as the fallen arm. I'm enjoying the world, the story and the characters, but I haven't been enjoying the combat, so I've been wondering if I should finish it for the sake of seeing the rest of the story. 
  • The Witcher 3: Similar boat as Xenoblade Chronicles to a lesser extent (I am enjoying the combat... sometimes), but I'm not nearly as far in it. 

Any advice on which one to play once I'm done playing Valkyria Chronicles 4?

Edited by vanguard333

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8 hours ago, Anathaco said:

I also want to start playing Xenoblade Chronicles X this weekend, and I'm pretty excited about that. So the above titles on this list will inevitably get put on the back burner for a while once I get into that.

Nice nice. Though i haven't played the game myself (it's the one Xeno game i haven't played because it's still in Wii U purgatory and i'm waiting for Monolith Soft to release it by giving it a Switch port), i can offer some advice. I'll put it in spoilers so in case you don't want any advice, you can just ignore it.

Spoiler
  1. If you've played any other Xenoblade games and you're expecting Xenoblade X to be like them......don't. Xenoblade X is pretty different than the rest of the series. While the main story is present, it actually takes a back seat to the things that are actually focused in this game: the gameplay, the exploration of the world and the sidequests (and that's how the X series of Xenoblade games is gonna be going from now on while the numbered series will keep the focus on the main story).
  2. Don't hesitate to look up information. Xenoblade X is pretty bad in offering tutorials.
  3. Once you get your Skell, try get Skell insurance ASAP. If your Skell gets wrecked and you don't have Skell insurance......well that's a lot of money you'll be paying for a replacement.
  4. Xenoblade X is very, very much about experimenting. There's so much stuff you can do here that many who've played the game say it has the best gameplay in the series (whether or not i agree is a different matter because again, i haven't actually played it).

I hope you enjoy your time in Planet Mira.

 

1 hour ago, Bloom said:

7th Dragon III Code: VFD

Oh my God, someone else is playing that game. That's three people, including myself, who have played that game (this is an exaggeration, obviously, but i haven't seen people talk about this game). I remember enjoying the game though i don't remember much of the exact details. Hope you're having fun tho.

Edited by Armagon

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mostly playing new games like sekiro and three kingdoms total war, both of which are better than expected

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Puyo Champions / Esports, Puyo Tetris.
I am getting used to Puyo, but still have my difficulties. At the moment I am just waiting for Cold Steel 2 and Mario Maker 2. These games will be a blast D=. 

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Playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2, currently in the Tantal region. Even though I have been playing for a while there is still so much to take in. I don't really know what to make of the story at the moment it changes from a battle Shoden to the world is slowly ending, to anime hijinks. Might consider buying the expansion to continue the adventure.

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I'm going off to college at the end of the summer and the wii isn't coming with me, so I'm playing the wii games since it could be a while before I'll be able to again. I'm roughly halfway through Twilight Princess right now, and I've been reminded why it's my favorite game of all time. 

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15 hours ago, Armagon said:

Currently playing through Final Fantasy 7. I'm at the Gold Saucer and haven't progressed the past few days but i'm hoping to change that soon. I've been live-tweeting my progress as well (i'll leave it here in case you want to see). I've been liking it so far but i don't think i'll be playing other Final Fantasy games once i'm done with this one.

Every Final Fantasy is different!  My inner Trails nerd really liked IX for the presentation, and appreciated XV for the characters!

As for me. . .will finish up Sky 3rd eventually.  Still too lazy to regear for a boss.

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10 minutes ago, eclipse said:

Every Final Fantasy is different!  My inner Trails nerd really liked IX for the presentation, and appreciated XV for the characters!

I agree with this! Although, I'm one of those that liked FF VIII's Triple Triad mini-game, that was actually pretty intense to me. And I hated IX's card game in comparison.

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2 hours ago, Jingle Jangle said:

Playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2, currently in the Tantal region. Even though I have been playing for a while there is still so much to take in. I don't really know what to make of the story at the moment it changes from a battle Shoden to the world is slowly ending, to anime hijinks. Might consider buying the expansion to continue the adventure.

Definitely buy the expansion if you like the game. It's only $30 but you get so much out of it that it's one of the best forms of DLC out there, with Torna ~ The Golden Country basically being a brand new game, that it honestly feels like $30 isn't enough for how much effort was put into the DLC.

1 hour ago, eclipse said:

Every Final Fantasy is different!

Well i know that. I was more referring to the fact that Final Fantasy as a whole has never really interested me. Despite me liking FF7 so far, it hasn't changed the fact that the only reason i'm playing it is because i want to say that i've played it. Had it not had it's uber-legendary status as a game every JRPG fan must play, i probably wouldn't have considered playing it.

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12 minutes ago, Armagon said:

Definitely buy the expansion if you like the game. It's only $30 but you get so much out of it that it's one of the best forms of DLC out there, with Torna ~ The Golden Country basically being a brand new game, that it honestly feels like $30 isn't enough for how much effort was put into the DLC.

Gameplay wise, I honestly thought it was much improved from the original. I like being able to switch between Blade and Driver, which I wanted in the original version. I also thought the interactions and such between characters was better handled, in battle mostly. Well it IS kind of short, sadly. I wanted so much more when I got far enough, it was a fantastic experience to me.

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