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I played Iconoclasts on my Switch. A narrative driven game about faith and other junk. While it may technically be a metroidvania game (interconnected zones, earning a few new abilities for traversal, exploration-driven progression) the constant dialogue scenes between characters make you feel far from alone in the world. Kind of like Cave Story, it definitely hits a lot of the same depressing and hopeful notes. And the game outside these scenes is quite short and simple. I played on the medium (out of three) difficulty settings and it was easy to the point where I didn't buy that the characters were struggling all too much on this journey which worked against the game for me. The narrative was remarkable though so having an optional easy mode that you can switch to any time you boot up the game makes sense, at least, for those sticking around for that. I rate it a 7.1 out of 10. Many games would kill for such good writing, but the game in this game isn't anything to write home about. The customizable Tweak system didn't push me to explore more of the game world. I found a major gameplay-related plot hole at the end of the game that bothers the crap out of me. Cool game though.

Next I played River City Ransom on my Switch. A cool beat em up game where you power up your character in an open city environment to rescue your girlfriend. Of course River City Girls is coming out in a couple weeks so I assigned the NES original as homework for myself. After researching a bit of the game's mechanics I quickly realized this is a game you could beat in 30 minutes to an hour if you know what your doing. It still took me considerably longer than that since the game will only let you encounter some boss characters after others are defeated. Also, the game tends to feed you false tips regarding when and where to be for the next fight so it's not all my fault. The fight before the final fight got me laughing quite a bit, because this very familiar music starts playing. And before my mind can place the tune, we get these dudes coming in the room announcing themselves as the "dragon twins". It was the Double Dragon music. And the developers of this game made that game. Beautiful. I rate it a 4.9. It'd be a hard game to play without guides, but still easier than the average NES game to figure out with or without the manual.

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10 hours ago, DragonFlames said:

That does sound great. Hopefully, I'll think the same way once I've finished it.
Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to 100% complete it?

Maybe about four days? It was pretty easy for me, and I really enjoyed it, so it made grinding easier.

As far as the platform goes, I think it's pudding?

Edited by lightcosmo

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5 hours ago, lightcosmo said:

Maybe about four days? It was pretty easy for me, and I really enjoyed it, so it made grinding easier.

As far as the platform goes, I think it's pudding?

Ah, I see, so it's on the shorter side.
Thanks!

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On ‎8‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 2:05 AM, DragonFlames said:

Ah, I see, so it's on the shorter side.
Thanks!

This was also after I completed the game, then I started collecting, etc, so it's longer if you count going through the game as well. As someone before mentioned, yeah the guidance is pretty bad at times, but there was only one time I couldn't figure out where to go, so it isn't like, terrible.

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4 hours ago, lightcosmo said:

This was also after I completed the game, then I started collecting, etc, so it's longer if you count going through the game as well. As someone before mentioned, yeah the guidance is pretty bad at times, but there was only one time I couldn't figure out where to go, so it isn't like, terrible.

Alright, gotcha!
Getting lost is certainly something I've been doing a lot, but I'm getting better at it, I think. It does have its advantages though: getting lost means more battles, which means more EXP, which means stronger characters.

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58 minutes ago, DragonFlames said:

Alright, gotcha!
Getting lost is certainly something I've been doing a lot, but I'm getting better at it, I think. It does have its advantages though: getting lost means more battles, which means more EXP, which means stronger characters.

I was the same way when I was lost, then I over leveled which made things easy. I've mentioned this before, but I like the simplicity of the battle system. Also I have no idea what the level cap is! I got to like, 108 or so?

Edited by lightcosmo

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On 8/22/2019 at 5:59 PM, DragonFlames said:

Good point. I still found it a bit odd, because as far as I remember, Three Houses is the first FE game to do that.

Yes and no. Off the top of my head, i remember Blazing Blade having unique weapon drops in the final chapter from the required bosses you had to kill.

On 8/22/2019 at 5:59 PM, DragonFlames said:

I did get to Lowee Harbor, which is to the northwest of Lastation, though there was a "You shall not pass!" guard there, too. But Lowee being in the EAST makes a lot of sense all of a sudden... Geez.

Yeah. I'm responding to this two days later so you've probably already done it but once you reach Lowee, you'll then be told to "go to the library" and it turns out that's all the way on the one of the exits on the west side of the map. Again, no indication of that. Moments like these aren't too frequent but when they do show up, it's kinda annoying. There are times where i'll head to parts of the map, find the save point, then find out i wasn't supposed to be there. Of course, when i do get told to go there, i already found the save point, so i can just warp to it, so i guess it's an absolute win.

2 hours ago, lightcosmo said:

Also I have no idea what the level cap is! I got to like, 108 or so?

It's a Neptunia game so the level cap is probably something ridiculous. 999 is my guess.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anyway, i'm on Ch.10 of the Blue Lions. Pretty good so far though this being my fourth time playing the game in a row, i'm finally starting to feel the monastery burn-out. More like Part One in general. The new Dimitri scenes are intriguing but as far as Part One goes, i kinda just want to get to Part Two already, as i'm sure the burn-out will go away once i reach the timeskip.

I also found out, Felix makes a damn good mage. In my Golden Deer run, he asked to train as a Mortal Savant but i only used Felix like, twice before i benched him because i was focusing on other characters. So i decided that in my Blue Lions run, Felix will get to be that Mortal Savant he wanted to be. I'm also training Ingrid to be a Holy Knight though she may as well end up as a Dark Knight at the rate things are going. And that's because Ingrid's strength stat is bad. She's so much better as a mage. Yeah, most of my Blue Lions characters are mages in this run. The only ones who aren't are Dimitri (obviously), Dedue, who's a Knight, Sylvain, who's a Hero and Ashe, who's an Archer but he's about as useful as Ignatz which means he's worse Bernadetta. So yeah, he got benched. Speaking of Bernadetta, i think it'll be hilarious if i make her an Assassin in this run.

I can't wait until i reach Part Two because i hear Dimitri just deletes maps by himself and also his personal weapon does bonus damage against anything that breathes. When he said "kill every last one of them", he meant it.

 

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47 minutes ago, Armagon said:

It's a Neptunia game so the level cap is probably something ridiculous. 999 is my guess.

 

Ouch, that's a level cap... i'm not going to try and make.

I'm playing Xenoblade 2, Torna, again. Playing through, I appreciate how much more I like the games combat, than Xenoblade 2 originally. I really enjoy the strategies you can use in battle because of the switching mechanic alone. Are Addam and Mythra intentionally bad at working with eachother because he isn't the "right" driver for her? Their synergy just seems so poor compared to Rex/Mythra, maybe it's just me. Or is it because that's showing that in 2, she grows as a character while with Lora and Co, and therefore is a better fighter in 2? I mean this from a gameplay POV, obviously.

Edited by lightcosmo

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4 hours ago, lightcosmo said:

Ouch, that's a level cap... i'm not going to try and make.

I doubt there's any use for it anyway. The mainline games had an arena mode with some ridiculously high level enemies so the 999 cap made sense but i don't think Super Neptunia RPG has it.

4 hours ago, lightcosmo said:

I'm playing Xenoblade 2, Torna, again. Playing through, I appreciate how much more I like the games combat, than Xenoblade 2 originally. I really enjoy the strategies you can use in battle because of the switching mechanic alone. Are Addam and Mythra intentionally bad at working with eachother because he isn't the "right" driver for her? Their synergy just seems so poor compared to Rex/Mythra, maybe it's just me. Or is it because that's showing that in 2, she grows as a character while with Lora and Co, and therefore is a better fighter in 2? I mean this from a gameplay POV, obviously.

What?

I think i get what you're saying. But the reason Mythra (in gameplay) is weaker in Torna is because Blades and Drivers are weaker in that game than they are in Xenoblade 2. It's because the balance is different. Torna doesn't have too much in the way of customization, in fact, it's probably the Xenoblade game with the weakest customization. Xenoblade 2, has a lot of customization so you can make some really busted builds. As a result, Mythra is "stronger" in that game than she is in Torna.

Though i suppose you could also look at is as "Blades in Xenoblade 2 have more customization because the fighting style used in that game brings out their true potential".

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12 hours ago, Armagon said:

Yes and no. Off the top of my head, i remember Blazing Blade having unique weapon drops in the final chapter from the required bosses you had to kill.

Oh yeah, I forgot.
Even then, it didn't really make sense. The weapons weren't exactly good, either.

12 hours ago, Armagon said:

Yeah. I'm responding to this two days later so you've probably already done it but once you reach Lowee, you'll then be told to "go to the library" and it turns out that's all the way on the one of the exits on the west side of the map. Again, no indication of that. Moments like these aren't too frequent but when they do show up, it's kinda annoying. There are times where i'll head to parts of the map, find the save point, then find out i wasn't supposed to be there. Of course, when i do get told to go there, i already found the save point, so i can just warp to it, so i guess it's an absolute win.

Yeah, that library thing took me a while.
While there, I also found out that the battle system is only really fun when there's three or four people in your party. I'll have some more words for that in my "review" once I finish the thing, though.

7 hours ago, Armagon said:

I doubt there's any use for it anyway. The mainline games had an arena mode with some ridiculously high level enemies so the 999 cap made sense but i don't think Super Neptunia RPG has it.

My characters are levels 37 to 39 and I have visited what appears to be most locations on the map (also some spoiler-y things happened). Don't know how much longer the game will be. I'm guessing not that much longer unless it throws some kind of plot twist at me, which... might be possible.

13 hours ago, Armagon said:

Anyway, i'm on Ch.10 of the Blue Lions. Pretty good so far though this being my fourth time playing the game in a row, i'm finally starting to feel the monastery burn-out. More like Part One in general. The new Dimitri scenes are intriguing but as far as Part One goes, i kinda just want to get to Part Two already, as i'm sure the burn-out will go away once i reach the timeskip.

I also found out, Felix makes a damn good mage. In my Golden Deer run, he asked to train as a Mortal Savant but i only used Felix like, twice before i benched him because i was focusing on other characters. So i decided that in my Blue Lions run, Felix will get to be that Mortal Savant he wanted to be. I'm also training Ingrid to be a Holy Knight though she may as well end up as a Dark Knight at the rate things are going. And that's because Ingrid's strength stat is bad. She's so much better as a mage. Yeah, most of my Blue Lions characters are mages in this run. The only ones who aren't are Dimitri (obviously), Dedue, who's a Knight, Sylvain, who's a Hero and Ashe, who's an Archer but he's about as useful as Ignatz which means he's worse Bernadetta. So yeah, he got benched. Speaking of Bernadetta, i think it'll be hilarious if i make her an Assassin in this run.

I can't wait until i reach Part Two because i hear Dimitri just deletes maps by himself and also his personal weapon does bonus damage against anything that breathes. When he said "kill every last one of them", he meant it.

Bernie-Bear killing people before they have a chance to kill her. Amazing.

Ingrid is one of those units that take a long, long while to really get going. Mine only got halfway usable long after I made her a Pegasus Knight. As a Falcon Knight, she was amazing. Ashe took a while to take off, too, but his start was a lot better than either Ingrid's or Sylvain's (who sucked until I put him on a Wyvern). In the beginning, I used Ashe for his personal skill, which is really, really useful if you don't make someone a Thief or you don't want to buy a ton of Door and Chest Keys just in case.
Dimitri is amazing, that's true. Annette and Mercedes are really good, as well. Annette learns the lightest spells in the game, so her semi-low speed growth isn't THAT much of a problem (she'll one-shot stuff later on, anyway, so who cares?), and Mercedes gets both Physic and Fortify, which automatically makes her the best healer.

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10 hours ago, Armagon said:

I doubt there's any use for it anyway. The mainline games had an arena mode with some ridiculously high level enemies so the 999 cap made sense but i don't think Super Neptunia RPG has it.

What?

I think i get what you're saying. But the reason Mythra (in gameplay) is weaker in Torna is because Blades and Drivers are weaker in that game than they are in Xenoblade 2. It's because the balance is different. Torna doesn't have too much in the way of customization, in fact, it's probably the Xenoblade game with the weakest customization. Xenoblade 2, has a lot of customization so you can make some really busted builds. As a result, Mythra is "stronger" in that game than she is in Torna.

Though i suppose you could also look at is as "Blades in Xenoblade 2 have more customization because the fighting style used in that game brings out their true potential".

Okay, I guess that does sound pretty pointless as far as level caps go.

What I mean is, in Torna, Mythra's Lightspeed Flurry is 60% at max, in 2, it's 100% at max, I was curious if this was done on purpose to fit the story more of Addam not being the right driver for her, like Jin says. And I don't think this would be a balance change because Jin's abilities are... totally broken, which would make sense as he's the strongest blade and Mythra acknowledges this. If it is setup on purpose, that's good attention to details. I would argue Jin is better than any 2 Blade that isn't Corvin, and he doesn't count since he's DLC.

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So, I finished the main story of Super Neptunia RPG earlier. As always, here are my thoughts on the game, as spoiler-free as I can possibly make it.

Let's start off with the good stuff. The environments in this game are gorgeous, as is the music. Each piece fits the location you are in perfectly and the backgrounds are just absolutely beautiful, some of the best I've seen in a video game. The artstyle in general does not disappoint. Even if the characters moving like paper marionettes takes a bit to get used to, but the colorful cast of characters is surprisingly expressive regardless. I noted this in my initial impressions already, but Noire has a new voice actress in the English VO, whom some may know as Eleanor from Tales of Berseria and/or Bernadetta from Fire Emblem Three Houses. She does a great job at portraying Noire's character, and I vastly prefer her new voice over her previous one, even if her previous one was amazing in its own right (at least in Re;Birth 3 and MegaNep VII). The voice acting in general is really, really good, at least for the main characters (except Vert, strangely enough) and villains.
The humor in this game is also top-notch as per usual, but it appeared a lot more subdued and less wacky, which I didn't mind a whole lot, even if the overall tone of the game is a lot lighter than, MegaNep VII. On the flipside, Blanc is the funniest character in this game by a very wide margin, which I found positively refreshing, because in previous outings, she didn't really stand out much. Her "mind council" had me in tears, as did her line "What are you? A Goddess or a politician?" when Neptune gave a super vague answer to someone's challenge to a fight; Neptune's line was something along the lines of "There may be a chance of a possibility that I may or may not reconsider your offer", which is already hilarious in itself.
Speaking of Blanc, this game being on the Switch feels like a meta joke in and of itself, because the game is filled to the brim with references to older Nintendo games, with the most prominent ones being Mario, Pokémon, and Metroid. There is even a Splatoon reference in there, with an octopus boss that prompts Vert to go "Splat attack!" and Blanc to remark "We won this turf war!" (which Noire promptly lampshades). It also sprays colored ink around and feels the need to announce that it is indeed an octopus. They also kept several older gags like Neptune singing the Final Fantasy victory jingle when she wins a battle or levels up.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, the platforming is surprisingly fun (except for one level that is thankfully very short), even for someone who normally sucks at those kinds of games and gets frustrated easily. The controls feel very responsive and there is little delay between inputs, making even more precise platforming quite simple. The difficulty in the game isn't THAT high in general, so it's a sit-down-and-feel-good kind of game, which I like. Though I was a little taken aback by a game titled "RPG" suddenly introducing platforming to me. Sure, Neptunia always (?) had a jumping mechanic in its mainline games, but those never really went into full-on platforming territory like this game does. I also like the way learning new skills and abilities works. It's similar to Tales of Vesperia in that both skills and abilities are tied to weapons and equipment and you can use them so long as you have the relevant equipment on. As you fight, you gain Skill Points, which allows you to "master" the skills on a weapon/equipment piece, which allows you to use it whenever. A very cool system that I wouldn't mind to see returning in the future, because it allows for some minor customization.

Which brings me to the not-so-pleasant stuff. There are a few new characters introduced in this game and... they aren't exactly what I would call memorable or great. The best one of them is Filyn, and even she doesn't live up to the likes of Gold Third, the Seven Sages, Arfoire, the Makers, or even the CFW gang. Not to mention she looks like a loli-version of Noire with magenta-colored hair. The new playable character, Chrome, is also not that great. She'd be fine in any other game, but in a Neptunia game, I don't think the brooding loner type fits very well, especially if it's not parodied in some way like S-Sha was. Some of her interactions with Filyn are hilarious, though I'd say Plutia, Uzume, Umio, and the adult version of Neptune are more memorable as far as new main character-y additions go. And I swear she and Catherine from Three Houses have the same voice (which isn't a bad thing, just thought I'd point it out). IF and Compa are also just side characters in this game and they're about as useful as a screen-door on a submarine. They're basically just there for the hell of it. And the "worst" sin this game commits is that Uni, Nepgear, Rom, and Ram are completely absent. There isn't even a passing mention of them. For me, who absolutely likes the CPU Candidates, at least one of them even more than her older sister, this is a bit of a minus point, but I can understand the decision to exclude them and they wouldn't have fit very well within the game's plot, which I theorize to be a continuation of Re;Birth 1 due to the Console Wars from that game being referenced multiple times and (Spoilers for the true ending of Re;Birth 1)

Chrome somewhat resembling Arfoire's original human form from that game's True Ending

.
There are also some framerate hiccups whenever there is a lot going on on the screen (even if it is just periodically scrolling text), which is especially noticeable during particularly effect-heavy battles.
While the music in general is great, the battle themes are a little on the "meh" side of things, especially when compared to the level themes and especially especially when compared to (to me) greatness like "Dancing Girl", "Will be Venus", "Encounter of Destiny", or "Yellow Heart's Theme".
The absolute worst part of this game, however, is the battle system. By the end of the game, I avoided a lot of fights, because it just wasn't fun anymore. Gist is, there is an AP bar that fills up and each attack uses a certain number of AP, meaning you can't exactly spam your attacks. In a party of four people, that means one person will attack while the others just stand by and watch things happen, because the damn thing takes so damn long to fill up that it turns most battles into a boring slog. Due to the slow bar-filling rate, any attack that uses more than 3 or 4 segments is essentially useless, too. The only exception is when the enemy is weak to an element you currently have. THEN you get bonus segments for every attack and you can just spam the attack button until the enemy is dead. In turn, this means battles against enemies that don't have elemental weaknesses will be absolute nightmares. Enemies in general tend to become quite damage-spongy, too.
There is also this weird formation system that makes picking skills for battle needlessly restrictive, since certain skills are locked to certain formation types. You can switch between formations in battle on the fly and that is a fun system that could theoretically allow for multiple ways of strategizing, but that falls flat because of the restrictive nature of the whole thing and each character being locked to a single skill per formation. Meaning, if you're out on your own (which is a long, long while) and you just happen to have a skill with an element enemies absorb, well... you're SOL for at least one battle, which, if your luck is bad and the Flee command doesn't work, can spell out death. Also, every boss fight basically boils down to: check for weaknesses, restart, then load out your team so you can spam their weakness at them. Rinse and repeat until you win. If the boss doesn't have a weakness, you get to watch that bar slowly fill up as the boss beats the ever-living crap out of you. And may Histoire help you if you have a weakness against the enemy while you have nothing super effective against them. Not exactly what I would call fun, honestly. Another thing: Noire's Magic formation is the only one you'll ever need, because it's the one that gives you access to most elemental attacks.
Needless to say, I VASTLY prefer the combat systems of the previous four Nep-games I've played.

Did I enjoy this game in the end? Yes, very much so, despite my issues with the battle system. It doesn't hold a candle to the other Neptunia games I've played, but it did its job. Sadly, a major part of the gameplay (practically half of it) didn't really click with me, so I struggle to say this game is great. It's still a really beautiful game, however, and a wonderful 2D platformer for everyone absolutely garbage at the genre (a.k.a. me). It also managed to warm me up to a character I previously wasn't TOO fond off, so that's a point in its favor.

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41 minutes ago, DragonFlames said:
Spoiler

Chrome somewhat resembling Arfoire's original human form from that game's True Ending

 

she doesn't just resemble her. She looks exactly like her and even has same VA afaik.

41 minutes ago, DragonFlames said:

The absolute worst part of this game, however, is the battle system.

OOF. This might be a deal breaker for me, since i do value gameplay alooooooot (much more than i do Story). Especially considering Nep's normal gameplay is one of my favs rpg wise.

Might wait for a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig sale then and then play the game on super easy or something to enjoy the Story.

 

Edited by Shrimperor

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1 hour ago, Shrimperor said:

she doesn't just resemble her. She looks exactly like her and even has same VA afaik.

I just double-checked and yes, you are absolutely right.

1 hour ago, Shrimperor said:

OOF. This might be a deal breaker for me, since i do value gameplay alooooooot (much more than i do Story). Especially considering Nep's normal gameplay is one of my favs rpg wise.

Might wait for a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig sale then and then play the game on super easy or something to enjoy the Story.

About that... the game doesn't have multiple difficulty settings. Not that I've seen, at any rate.
Though the game isn't really hard, it's just that battles tend to take so long it's dull. And if you have elemental advantages, it devolves into spamming the relevant attack button. There's basically no middle ground.
But yeah, I'd definitely wait for a sale.

Edited by DragonFlames

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On 8/25/2019 at 8:26 AM, lightcosmo said:

What I mean is, in Torna, Mythra's Lightspeed Flurry is 60% at max, in 2, it's 100% at max, I was curious if this was done on purpose to fit the story more of Addam not being the right driver for her, like Jin says. And I don't think this would be a balance change because Jin's abilities are... totally broken, which would make sense as he's the strongest blade and Mythra acknowledges this. If it is setup on purpose, that's good attention to details. I would argue Jin is better than any 2 Blade that isn't Corvin, and he doesn't count since he's DLC.

Well also Torna plays a bit differently than Xenoblade 2, so i see it as more of "it's a different game" kind of deal. Even if the two battle systems are 90% similar.

11 hours ago, DragonFlames said:

Which brings me to the not-so-pleasant stuff. There are a few new characters introduced in this game and... they aren't exactly what I would call memorable or great. The best one of them is Filyn, and even she doesn't live up to the likes of Gold Third, the Seven Sages, Arfoire, the Makers, or even the CFW gang.

Yeah i kinda feel like the spin-off characters don't exactly reach the heights of the mainline character. They ain't bad by any means but they feel more like they need to be there. The exception is Hatsumi Sega from Superdimension, she's great.

The saving grace of the spin-off characters is, if you weren't a fan of them, you can take solace in the fact that they'll never show up again. They exist for whatever spin-off game they were in and that's it.

11 hours ago, DragonFlames said:

The absolute worst part of this game, however, is the battle system. By the end of the game, I avoided a lot of fights, because it just wasn't fun anymore. Gist is, there is an AP bar that fills up and each attack uses a certain number of AP, meaning you can't exactly spam your attacks. In a party of four people, that means one person will attack while the others just stand by and watch things happen, because the damn thing takes so damn long to fill up that it turns most battles into a boring slog. Due to the slow bar-filling rate, any attack that uses more than 3 or 4 segments is essentially useless, too. The only exception is when the enemy is weak to an element you currently have. THEN you get bonus segments for every attack and you can just spam the attack button until the enemy is dead. In turn, this means battles against enemies that don't have elemental weaknesses will be absolute nightmares. Enemies in general tend to become quite damage-spongy, too.

So here's the thing. I agree with all that you said. However, i never minded and that's probably because i didn't play the game for extended periods of time. I was alternating between it, Atelier Lulua and Bloodstained (which btw, i still haven't beaten Bloodstained yet. That's another game i need to get back to. Huh, maybe it's a blessing that i probably won't be able to get Astral Chain until like two weeks after it launches....but then that means i'll be getting it the same week Gunvolt Chronicles comes out) so the flaws of Super Nep's battle system didn't click in. I mean, last i played before Three Houses came out, i had just met up with IF and Compa at their house so who knows if i'll feel the slog but i mentioned a few pages back that the game is best played in short bursts. I don't know if you did that but i do feel like the battle system's flaws really show their colors if you play for too long at a time.

Anyway, it's good that you enjoyed the game despite it's flaws. I definitely do agree that it doesn't touch the mainline games and that's probably because it's a spin-offs. Whereas the mainline games can be consistently great, the spin-offs vary in quality. I also can't really rank them as i've only ever beaten Superdimension, which i liked a lot (gameplay is very similar to mainline). The rest of the spin-offs i've played, i either haven't finished them yet or it's Hyperdevotion Noire, which i dropped.

 

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5 hours ago, Armagon said:

Yeah i kinda feel like the spin-off characters don't exactly reach the heights of the mainline character. They ain't bad by any means but they feel more like they need to be there. The exception is Hatsumi Sega from Superdimension, she's great.

The saving grace of the spin-off characters is, if you weren't a fan of them, you can take solace in the fact that they'll never show up again. They exist for whatever spin-off game they were in and that's it.

Then it's a good thing I didn't like them too much (then again, I didn't exactly hate them, either), or else I would have missed them once the next game comes out.

5 hours ago, Armagon said:

So here's the thing. I agree with all that you said. However, i never minded and that's probably because i didn't play the game for extended periods of time. I was alternating between it, Atelier Lulua and Bloodstained (which btw, i still haven't beaten Bloodstained yet. That's another game i need to get back to. Huh, maybe it's a blessing that i probably won't be able to get Astral Chain until like two weeks after it launches....but then that means i'll be getting it the same week Gunvolt Chronicles comes out) so the flaws of Super Nep's battle system didn't click in. I mean, last i played before Three Houses came out, i had just met up with IF and Compa at their house so who knows if i'll feel the slog but i mentioned a few pages back that the game is best played in short bursts. I don't know if you did that but i do feel like the battle system's flaws really show their colors if you play for too long at a time.

Anyway, it's good that you enjoyed the game despite it's flaws. I definitely do agree that it doesn't touch the mainline games and that's probably because it's a spin-offs. Whereas the mainline games can be consistently great, the spin-offs vary in quality. I also can't really rank them as i've only ever beaten Superdimension, which i liked a lot (gameplay is very similar to mainline). The rest of the spin-offs i've played, i either haven't finished them yet or it's Hyperdevotion Noire, which i dropped.

That was probably my mistake. I did play it in shorter bursts than Three Houses (mainly due to the battle system being what it is), but I didn't play any game parallel to this one.

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7 hours ago, Armagon said:

Well also Torna plays a bit differently than Xenoblade 2, so i see it as more of "it's a different game" kind of deal. Even if the two battle systems are 90% similar.

 

Maybe, it just seems like it was set up like that, though.

 

19 hours ago, DragonFlames said:

So, I finished the main story of Super Neptunia RPG earlier. As always, here are my thoughts on the game, as spoiler-free as I can possibly make it.

Let's start off with the good stuff. The environments in this game are gorgeous, as is the music. Each piece fits the location you are in perfectly and the backgrounds are just absolutely beautiful, some of the best I've seen in a video game. The artstyle in general does not disappoint. Even if the characters moving like paper marionettes takes a bit to get used to, but the colorful cast of characters is surprisingly expressive regardless. I noted this in my initial impressions already, but Noire has a new voice actress in the English VO, whom some may know as Eleanor from Tales of Berseria and/or Bernadetta from Fire Emblem Three Houses. She does a great job at portraying Noire's character, and I vastly prefer her new voice over her previous one, even if her previous one was amazing in its own right (at least in Re;Birth 3 and MegaNep VII). The voice acting in general is really, really good, at least for the main characters (except Vert, strangely enough) and villains.
The humor in this game is also top-notch as per usual, but it appeared a lot more subdued and less wacky, which I didn't mind a whole lot, even if the overall tone of the game is a lot lighter than, MegaNep VII. On the flipside, Blanc is the funniest character in this game by a very wide margin, which I found positively refreshing, because in previous outings, she didn't really stand out much. Her "mind council" had me in tears, as did her line "What are you? A Goddess or a politician?" when Neptune gave a super vague answer to someone's challenge to a fight; Neptune's line was something along the lines of "There may be a chance of a possibility that I may or may not reconsider your offer", which is already hilarious in itself.
Speaking of Blanc, this game being on the Switch feels like a meta joke in and of itself, because the game is filled to the brim with references to older Nintendo games, with the most prominent ones being Mario, Pokémon, and Metroid. There is even a Splatoon reference in there, with an octopus boss that prompts Vert to go "Splat attack!" and Blanc to remark "We won this turf war!" (which Noire promptly lampshades). It also sprays colored ink around and feels the need to announce that it is indeed an octopus. They also kept several older gags like Neptune singing the Final Fantasy victory jingle when she wins a battle or levels up.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, the platforming is surprisingly fun (except for one level that is thankfully very short), even for someone who normally sucks at those kinds of games and gets frustrated easily. The controls feel very responsive and there is little delay between inputs, making even more precise platforming quite simple. The difficulty in the game isn't THAT high in general, so it's a sit-down-and-feel-good kind of game, which I like. Though I was a little taken aback by a game titled "RPG" suddenly introducing platforming to me. Sure, Neptunia always (?) had a jumping mechanic in its mainline games, but those never really went into full-on platforming territory like this game does. I also like the way learning new skills and abilities works. It's similar to Tales of Vesperia in that both skills and abilities are tied to weapons and equipment and you can use them so long as you have the relevant equipment on. As you fight, you gain Skill Points, which allows you to "master" the skills on a weapon/equipment piece, which allows you to use it whenever. A very cool system that I wouldn't mind to see returning in the future, because it allows for some minor customization.

Which brings me to the not-so-pleasant stuff. There are a few new characters introduced in this game and... they aren't exactly what I would call memorable or great. The best one of them is Filyn, and even she doesn't live up to the likes of Gold Third, the Seven Sages, Arfoire, the Makers, or even the CFW gang. Not to mention she looks like a loli-version of Noire with magenta-colored hair. The new playable character, Chrome, is also not that great. She'd be fine in any other game, but in a Neptunia game, I don't think the brooding loner type fits very well, especially if it's not parodied in some way like S-Sha was. Some of her interactions with Filyn are hilarious, though I'd say Plutia, Uzume, Umio, and the adult version of Neptune are more memorable as far as new main character-y additions go. And I swear she and Catherine from Three Houses have the same voice (which isn't a bad thing, just thought I'd point it out). IF and Compa are also just side characters in this game and they're about as useful as a screen-door on a submarine. They're basically just there for the hell of it. And the "worst" sin this game commits is that Uni, Nepgear, Rom, and Ram are completely absent. There isn't even a passing mention of them. For me, who absolutely likes the CPU Candidates, at least one of them even more than her older sister, this is a bit of a minus point, but I can understand the decision to exclude them and they wouldn't have fit very well within the game's plot, which I theorize to be a continuation of Re;Birth 1 due to the Console Wars from that game being referenced multiple times and (Spoilers for the true ending of Re;Birth 1)

  Reveal hidden contents

Chrome somewhat resembling Arfoire's original human form from that game's True Ending

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There are also some framerate hiccups whenever there is a lot going on on the screen (even if it is just periodically scrolling text), which is especially noticeable during particularly effect-heavy battles.
While the music in general is great, the battle themes are a little on the "meh" side of things, especially when compared to the level themes and especially especially when compared to (to me) greatness like "Dancing Girl", "Will be Venus", "Encounter of Destiny", or "Yellow Heart's Theme".
The absolute worst part of this game, however, is the battle system. By the end of the game, I avoided a lot of fights, because it just wasn't fun anymore. Gist is, there is an AP bar that fills up and each attack uses a certain number of AP, meaning you can't exactly spam your attacks. In a party of four people, that means one person will attack while the others just stand by and watch things happen, because the damn thing takes so damn long to fill up that it turns most battles into a boring slog. Due to the slow bar-filling rate, any attack that uses more than 3 or 4 segments is essentially useless, too. The only exception is when the enemy is weak to an element you currently have. THEN you get bonus segments for every attack and you can just spam the attack button until the enemy is dead. In turn, this means battles against enemies that don't have elemental weaknesses will be absolute nightmares. Enemies in general tend to become quite damage-spongy, too.

I could agree with alot of this, although I never noticed any framerates drops, but I played the PS4 version, so who knows. As for the bate system, I actually enjoyed it. It was a different idea to me, and working as a team to fight was pretty neat. I do agree the bar charges a little slow. but with half AP equipped, it's not that bad. Also agree that enemies tank a little too much.

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2 hours ago, lightcosmo said:

I could agree with alot of this, although I never noticed any framerates drops, but I played the PS4 version, so who knows. As for the bate system, I actually enjoyed it. It was a different idea to me, and working as a team to fight was pretty neat. I do agree the bar charges a little slow. but with half AP equipped, it's not that bad. Also agree that enemies tank a little too much.

The thing about Half AP is, by the end of the game, I could only get it on Noire and Blanc and they already had other skills I found ultimately more useful (status immunities and straight up stat boosts).

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20 hours ago, DragonFlames said:

The thing about Half AP is, by the end of the game, I could only get it on Noire and Blanc and they already had other skills I found ultimately more useful (status immunities and straight up stat boosts).

Oh, really? I had it on pretty much everybody. I was level 70 when I completed the game, I think? Using six cost AP moves for three is amazing, for damage and speed. Although I agree status immunities are useful as well, but those only cost 7-10.

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25 minutes ago, lightcosmo said:

Oh, really? I had it on pretty much everybody. I was level 70 when I completed the game, I think? Using six cost AP moves for three is amazing, for damage and speed. Although I agree status immunities are useful as well, but those only cost 7-10.

Ah, that explains it. I was in the mid-50s when I got to the final boss and I didn't have enough room for Half AP alongside all the status immunities I had equipped at the time. I can see why that skill is so desirable, though. 

I'm also currently playing a second Black Eagles - Edelgard route run with the added challenge that horses, pegasi and wyverns are banned and I most definitely will NOT be recruiting anyone, not even from the church or faculty (which I did in my other playthroughs).

I'm also still trying to get the Platinum trophy for MegaNep VII. Currently on an NG+ trying to max out the investment stuff. Holy crap, I love that game...

Edited by DragonFlames

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On ‎8‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 8:19 AM, DragonFlames said:

Ah, that explains it. I was in the mid-50s when I got to the final boss and I didn't have enough room for Half AP alongside all the status immunities I had equipped at the time. I can see why that skill is so desirable, though. 

I'm also currently playing a second Black Eagles - Edelgard route run with the added challenge that horses, pegasi and wyverns are banned and I most definitely will NOT be recruiting anyone, not even from the church or faculty (which I did in my other playthroughs).

I'm also still trying to get the Platinum trophy for MegaNep VII. Currently on an NG+ trying to max out the investment stuff. Holy crap, I love that game...

It does make battles go by quicker as well, meaning more levels! Honestly leveling is easy if you use the Slime room to do so.

Have fun with that run, i'm sure that'll be interesting!

Also: I finished XC2 again, and out of all the areas to explore, I realized that Mor Ardain is easily my least favorite. There isn't any beautiful scenery, places to explore, just a lot of bare ground and factory styled buildings. Uraya and Tantal are easily my favorites, the former is gorgeous to look at, and for Tantal, I think they captured the whole "mountain" theme really well. And the exploration in Tantal is fun as well, since it's so big. Tantal's theme is one of my favorites to listen too. Lastly doing extra stuff right now again, yay.

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Well that's that folks. I finished Blue Lions. I'm not really gonna talk about the gameplay as i'd simply be repeating myself again. I will say that i had the most Master Classes in this run. I had both Felix and Ingrid as Mortal Savants, Mercedes as a Gremory and Lysethia as a Dark Knight with Thyrsus equipped, because it's really fun having a 7 mov unit with 1-4 magic attack range. I was also forced to abandon my offense over defense mindset in the last three chapters due to the countless siege weapons and spells placed all over the map. Stride and Retribution is some good shit. 

On the story side of things, this one is definitely the most character driven out of all them. I think Dimitri on par with Edelgard with best Lords in the series. As for the route itself, i still prefer Black Eagles - Crimson Flower. It had a better story, especially when it came to the final battle and ending. The Black Eagle House also has the best students in my opinion, with the Blue Lions coming in second and the Golden Deer landing in third. I don't plan on playing Silver Snow.

My main criticisms of the game are that for a game that promotes freedom in classes, it really wants to be on a mount by the end. War Master, Mortal Savant and Gremory are the only infantry Master Classes, and only Mortal Savant is gender-neutral. There's also some story beats i'm not that big of a fan of (major spoilers for all routes)

Spoiler
  • I think the decision in Crimson Flower should've come *before* the Ch.11 fight. Siding with Edelgard changes the map so that you'll be the one stealing the Crest Stones.
    • Ending the story with Rhea's death is a fitting ending point but i can't deny that there should've been a bit more with dealing with Slytherin.
  • Dimitri's transition from an edgelord into a more nicer person happens a bit too quickly. I get what happened but all his bloodthirstyness just disappeared.
    • Also c'mon Byleth, what do you mean you couldn't enter the True Man's World to save Rodrigue. He was right there.
    • Hegemon Edelgard doesn't make sense to me. Why is she a monster in this route? She didn't do that in any of the others. I'd say it's because she was backed into a corner but so was she in Silver Snow and Verdant Wind and that doesn't happen.
      • On a side note, the final battle of Azure Moon is kinda weak because it reuses the same map as Ch.20 Silver Snow/Verdant Wind. Crimson Flower's endgame uses the Ch.18 of Azure Moon except it's on fire and at night so it's different enough.
  • As i've mentioned before, Nemesis showing up out of nowhere in the Golden Deer route is an issue. It creates a false tension because nothing suggested he would appear.
  • The Agarthans have the potential for intriguing lore, but there's just nothing to them at the moment. Here's hoping for DLC.
  • Rhea going insane in Silver Snow only happened because they needed a final boss. 

Anyway final thoughts on the game, it's great. My favorite Fire Emblem. Here's where i would rank it with the rest of the series.

Image

The Tellius games aren't on there because i still need to get to those.

On another note, at 140 hours, Three Houses is my 3rd longest played Nintendo Switch game.

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Now, while i'd love to get Astral Chain tomorrow, i probably won't be able to and i'd have to wait like two weeks. So i suppose i'll dive back into Ritual of the Night and Super Neptunia RPG and finish those. Maybe i'll mess around in Atelier Lulua's post game. Who knows, maybe i'll actually finish Valkyria Chronicles.

 

 

Edited by Armagon

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@ArmagonNow i'm curious, why is Thracia so low? I can understand the placement of the others some way or another (even if i may agree or not agree with them), but T776 being so low kinda baffles me haha

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18 minutes ago, Shrimperor said:

@ArmagonNow i'm curious, why is Thracia so low? I can understand the placement of the others some way or another (even if i may agree or not agree with them), but T776 being so low kinda baffles me haha

Too much gameplay BS is their argument I think. Just that. To the point they haven't played it in full if at all.

-Not to say their isn't a kernel of truth or more to that assertion. But, I'm more charitable than that.

 

On an FE note, I'm 30/40 chapters through TearRing Saga for the first time. The thing that was going to be called Emblem Saga, until Nintendo filed a lawsuit and forced a name change. It is spiritually in so many ways FE that I see no reason anyone who likes FE and is willing to emulate shouldn't try it. Seriously, if you didn't know it wasn't FE, you'd mistake it as some unreleased N64 FE.

That said, low growths, no weapon triangle, no supports, and a midgame with some Gaiden-esque monster summon spam are a handful of criticisms that might hold one back from trying it. I understand if those are turnoffs. I can say more flaws or identify pros if you want me to.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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19 minutes ago, Shrimperor said:

@ArmagonNow i'm curious, why is Thracia so low? I can understand the placement of the others some way or another (even if i may agree or not agree with them), but T776 being so low kinda baffles me haha

Yeah, what Interdimensional Observer said. I found the gameplay to be absolutely bullshit and that's why i dropped it a few chapters. I genuinely wasn't having fun with the game. I strongly dislike Genealogy's gameplay was well but there were a few neat things among the abysmal slog i enjoyed.

Both Jugdral games do have good writing but the gameplay just isn't worth it in my opinion. Compare it to Conquest, where it has arguably the worst story but the gameplay hard carries it to A tier.

Gameplay over story is also why i noped out of Xenosaga Episode II. The combat was really bad so i dropped the game and just watched the remainder of the cutscenes on YouTube.

Edited by Armagon

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