What games are you playing 2: The revenge

seitora

Well-Known Member
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim

Just finished up to the Ruins of Lost Time.

I figured out where I must have stopped. It was probably a little bit after the second boss. I know there's no way I could have gotten to the third boss, because the Ruins of Lost Time has several optional items that you can only get through a dash-jump mechanism.

First issue is, I don't think this dash-jump is actually mentioned anywhere in the game. It's certainly not mentioned in the help menu, which only goes up to a lunge jump. I had to read up online to figure out how this is done. Second issue is, then the dash-jump itself requires a super-twitchy three-button combination that feels more like it belongs in a damn fighting game than an action-platformer. And if you fall off when trying to perform this, you have to run back around for 20-30 seconds. Meanwhile, some options require you pull this dash-jump off two times in a row without fail. Fortunately, it looks like this is the only time in the game I need to do this for anything, mandatory or optional, but still. What bollocks.

The rest of the game has been perfectly playable so far. It's been a little on the grindy side, but not painfully so (yet?). I found one optional grinding spot several levels above me when I was at level 20 that was just barely within my ability to kill monsters, but was able to use that to level up quickly, to level 30 in something like 45 minutes. But...this sure doesn't feel like it's going to be a very long game. If it weren't for that bullshit jumping ability, I'd probably be at 3.5 hours and the plot's already moved quite a bit.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim

Completed the game.

I estimate my total playthrough was about 11 hours, including some backtracking that could have been skipped with optimal movement (about 20-25 minutes that could be dropped to under 5 minutes with a teleportation item obtained in a dungeon shortly thereafter). I took an extra 2 hours to get that goddamn dash-move to work for optional items as mentioned above, and probably half an hour lost to dying in spots. On top of those 11 hours, I spent another 3 hours of steady grinding to be able to fight the optional hidden boss. I was at Level 51 to defeat the final boss, but then I needed to get to Level 56 and have 4 Capla Waters (completely heals Adol) available to kill the optional boss. For reference, the amount of EXP you get from a monster halves with each level you go up. So yeah, lots of grinding.

The final dungeon was really a big let-up. 3 bosses, no real actual dungeon. Only one out of the 3 bosses was even markedly challenging. Since it's beyond a point of no return but with save points, I guess it's actually nice they didn't make a final dungeon that might require starting a new game due to too-difficult final bosses and no method to level up or get recovery items? The Ruined City of Kishgal before it is really more the final dungeon in practice, and it was at least fun.

Still, this game was all over the place in quality. Some parts were alright. Some dungeons were fun. Some were god f***ing awful. Limewater Cavern, which is about two-thirds into the game, is a maze dungeon with lots and lots of room and poor lighting through the entire area, lots of enemies that can cause status effects, and essentially no good landmarks. Ruins of Lost Time would be the runner-up, due to nearly every room having lots of open ledges that you can get knocked off and have to climb up a room to return to where you started, and good optional items that require the dash-jump to obtain.

Also, it just felt pretty lacking in general for content. Honestly, it's like there was an entire dungeon that was just excised. That's just what it seems like to me with the general tempo of the game.

Combat is still really fun and smooth, but it also felt...kind of bare-bones? There wasn't much for combo attacks or strikes. I could jump and strike, jump and down-stab, regular attack, regular attack multiple times into a combo hit, and that was about it. It all relied on one button and the D-pad. Even some more versatility with jumping would have been good. Something I haven't mentioned before is Adol sometimes has this really weird lagging motion when I'm trying to move around. He has a usually constant speed, and occasionally his movement just about drops by half for a couple of seconds. Which is a huge inconvenience when I'm fighting monsters or a boss.

I played through Normal mode, Normal difficulty. If I ever do a second playthrough, I may do it on Catastrophe Mode, which is basically a 'no-healing' mode. However, you can buy Stat-Up items (albeit for large sums of money) in this mode, which if anything, should make the grinding go by quicker for the optional hidden boss.

Still. I just did a little research, and it's generally suggested this game was poor in comparison to its two follow-up sequels that make up a trilogy. So when Oath in Felghana goes on sale, I'll definitely pick it up.
 
I played this on the PS2 (fifteen years ago, WTF?). I have practically no recollection of any of it. :oops:
 

Jimbobob5536

Well-Known Member
I remember cheating like no tomorrow to max out everything... and STILL getting my shit kicked in by the bonus boss.

Stupid danmaku bug.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
I played this on the PS2 (fifteen years ago, WTF?). I have practically no recollection of any of it. :oops:
I had some recollection of it. I just wasn't entirely certain at the time where I left off, but it would have been right after the second boss in the mountain area, if only because the dungeon right after this is so aggravating.

I remember cheating like no tomorrow to max out everything... and STILL getting my shit kicked in by the bonus boss.

Stupid danmaku bug.
For shits and giggles, I've actually done a Catastrophe Mode playthrough. It's exclusive to the Steam version (Steam and PS2 ports were done by XSeed and Konami, respectively. PS2 had the Alma's Tears dungeon and voiced acting, Steam doesn't), and you're not allowed to store healing items at all - healing items will drop, but they'll be automatically used on picking them up. Most of the time, this isn't an issue, but obviously with bosses you have the HP you go in with and that's it.

However, this game is one of those where damage is very strictly calculated based off your and off of enemies' strength and defense stats. So on Level 30, I might deal 40 damage to an enemy and take 10 damage. Level 31, deal 44 and take 7. Level 32, deal 47 and take 4 (generally, Adol's strength and defense goes up 3 points a level). In Catastrophe mode, you can actually buy strength and defense boosting items. It took me until about two thirds of the game to really start buying them once I got to a good gold grinding spot, but they make an enormous difference.

A playthrough where I know what I'm doing and skipping out all the flavour dialogue would probably be...5 hours? And then probably 2-3 more hours grinding to beat the bonus boss. But on Catastrophe Mode, because of what I mentioned above, I think it'd actually be a lot easier and quicker to kill the bonus boss thanks to the stat-up items.

EDIT: Also, a pic, since I trolled around for some fanart after finishing the game

 
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seitora

Well-Known Member
Lilly Looking Through

A little indie point-and-click that took me about 2.5 hours with trial-and-error. It's a very 'rustic' game with a little girl chasing after her little brother to save him. It goes across about twelve different larger screens. On each screen, you control the little girl, Lilly, to move around the environment and manipulate objects. There's actually no inventory — about once a screen, there's a single item that you're supposed to use right away to solve a puzzle and progress (with one exception of an item you carry across two screens to continue). Instead, a lot of it is walking around and manipulating environmental objects to continue.

The 'gimmick' of this game is that on about two-thirds of the screens, Lilly has some special glasses that when she puts them on, she travels to what looks like a highly advanced past realm of the screen, while the present is run-down, barren, deserted, and generally abandoned to the elements. A lake area in the present with a run-down hut mostly underwater is a well-maintained water area in the past with the hut secured behind a controlled dam, for instance. The game doesn't exposit on this one bit. It's still a very, very interesting background detail.

That said, the screens are really large. It's not like a lot of standard point-and-clicks where the character takes up a moderate amount of space on-screen. Lilly is practically tiny, so the areas are really larger than they seem. The backgrounds are hand-painted. There's a gorgeous aesthetic on many of the screens, and it gives the impression of Lilly being a small girl in a large, desolate world. The character animation is really well-done. There's lots of quick bits of her climbing up and down ladders, falling down, grabbing hold of a tree branch, slipping, and even sneezing at one point. There's also an underwater spot with some great animation. The flip side to this is...it really causes the play time to drag when I'm losing 5-10 seconds having to move her around a spot to solve a puzzle through trial-and-error. Most of the early puzzles are doable with a very little bit of thinking, but the last few screens crank up the difficulty, including a colour-matching puzzle that for the life of me I have no idea how the logic works.

There's no text at all in the game. There is a very, very minimal amount of dialogue. Lilly says a few words very sporadically, and then the last two screens she and her little brother each have about two or three lines each. That's it. The minimalistic approach works really well here.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
CrossCode

Getting back to this game, and finished Chapter 3 and just done a little bit of Chapter 4. CrossCode is an action-platformer with a top-down view ala the Zelda games, but it moves a lot quicker than Zelda games with a little less outright puzzle-solving, but a lot more platforming action. Combat is really quick-paced close combat and run-and-gun strafing, with levels and equipment and stats. It's not perfect. But damn I feel like it's just about everything I would want from a top-down action platformer game. Smooth, responsive controls. Fast and slick combat. Fair platforming sections with no pixel-perfect jumping bs. Amazing level design. Super cute female protagonist (ok I would want that out of every game tbh).

The couple of 'dungeons' I've been to so far are really large. To get from point A to point B is reasonable enough, but each screen has lots of little platform areas dotting the sides and the middle of the maps that you can hop up on and move around to screens going off the main path and really explore the area. This helps you find some secret areas, or get the rarer items hidden out in the open, or reach environmental objects required for some sidequests. Where the puzzling part of this comes in play is that to reach a treasure box on a platform, you might have to go halfway across the screen to find a place to go from the ground up to a ledge, then jump across several platforms. Some items are even trickier, requiring you to go onto a ledge on a previous screen, and go across screens on higher ground. It gets old after a little while, but it's amazing how intricately connected all the sections are. Some really masterful design, and I hope it continues this way through the game, with no 'developer fatigue' leaving the early game well-done and the later game full of fill-in-the-bits.

There's a 'crafting-lite' system in this game. You don't do any actual crafting (so far...?), but you can collect monster drops and trade them in to shop stalls in the town areas for items or equipment. Something really interesting about this game is none of the monsters attack you first. They all move around passively, until you hit them. Then you'll get into a fight. It makes moving through areas really quickly once I've gotten leveled up enough that I don't care to fight most of them because they give barely any EXP then.
 
My PS2 game disc of the Final Fantasy 12 re-appeared today. Feeling a little curious and more than a little nostalgic, I slotted it into the drive and fired up the PS2 emulator.

And was promptly killed in the tutorial battle.

Proof, I suppose, that you should never underestimate the Tonberry.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
CrossCode

Finished Chapter 4, about halfway through Chapter 5.

The dungeon in Chapter 4 is...definitely a big 'oof' from me. Large world platform puzzling went to confined space block puzzles. Oof, oof, oof. Some parts of the dungeon were fun, including the boss battle at the end, but damn. Block puzzles all over the place are a really big step back, even if they were a little more interesting with some parts requiring timing bomb triggers to blow blocks around while Lea herself is on the block to access other platforms.

Still, I am enjoying the game overall, and pressing along. Probably have to slow down for a little while, though. My thumb is sore from pressing down on my analog stick too hard for too long, ha.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
CrossCode

Finished chapter 5, about halfway through chapter 6.

The dungeon in Chapter 5 is a lot better than the one in channel 4. Less block puzzles. While there's still a decent amount of puzzling action between projectiles and platforming, it's a lot more diverse stuff, with some fun time-based elements. The boss in this area is a lot more fun than the previous boss was, as well.

Slowly upgrading my character, Lea, to being a badass. There's a skill tree that you get a point to upgrade in every time you level up, so I'm getting some nice skills that add to the combat action.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
CrossCode

Finished chapter 6 and chapter 7. Getting into some of the story-heavy stuff now. I'm getting to the point where a lot of the auxiliary achievements are starting to pile up, too :O

Oh yeah. Something else I want to talk about CrossCode. It's extremely, extremely player-friendly.

First off, it's hard-as-nails. I've died probably close to a hundred times. But checkpoints are very frequent, so I always respawn in the same room as I died in. In some larger rooms that have multiple puzzles, I even respawn at the start of the current puzzle, instead of having to repeat a larger segment. You can save anywhere, too. When running dungeons, there is an internal timer for the sake of 'running' a race against another in-game player for an Achievement. If I die, which is frequent against the bosses, that timer resets to the start of the room, so I don't run up the timer and go over because I lost to a boss ten times in a row. Difficulty settings are adjustable, too - not as an 'Easy-Medium-Hard' thing, but as two sliders that reduce enemy damage and enemy attack frequency on a percentage scale. I had to cut back the enemy damage for one fight in the game so far against Apollo in the third duel D:

Each area has large maps, but the larger (outdoor) areas give you lots of teleportation spots, along with quick movement between areas, though that's a given in most games nowadays. Also, while there is a lot of action-platform-puzzling through the game, trying to figure out how to get up to a second or third or even fourth layer of heights, frequently the game lets you hit switches that open up quicker, easier routes to get to the higher layers once you solve it the first time. This makes backtracking a lot easier in the future.

Enemy drops and environmental object drops are neatly categorised in an encyclopedia, sidequests are easily looked up, and the game always gives me a reminder where to go next in the current story. Lots of little tweaks that really help quality-of-life.
 
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seitora

Well-Known Member
CrossCode

Finished the first two out of three dungeons in Chapter 8. I have to say, I like these two dungeons. The very first dungeon (besides the intro one) in this game was a stinker, but the ones after that make some really good effort with timing on active puzzles, and smart ways to manipulate the element of the dungeon. I'm very certain I'm getting into endgame territory too, here. There is a postgame DLC that I just recently bought, which will add some more playtime onto that. Considering some of the Achievements look like they would need some grinding to get out (stuff like guard 4000 times, make 50000 melee hits, 50000 projectile hits, etc), if the DLC adds those up, it will be useful.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

This game is a sort of exploration-crafting-farming-esque hybrid.

I actually kind of like the graphical style. It's not quite cel-style, but it's close. It's very pretty in motion. Still screenshots don't do it justice. So far, it's shaping up to be a little bit of a bog-standard open-world crafting game, but without combat (yet?). I've found a few of the sprites located around the map, though it went faster once I clued in that objects with a blue glow have a sprite there.
 

Karnath

Well-Known Member
Doing a full run through of Mass Effect Legendary Edition with FemShep, I'm on ME3 now.
 
As someone who only ever finished Mass Effect 2, and who dropped Mass Effect 3 a couple of hours in is there anything about them that's actually changed?
 

Karnath

Well-Known Member
They improved the mechanics, graphics, and Mako massively for ME1. ME2 felt fairly similar, just improved graphics. ME3 feels the same so far, why did you drop it?

EDIT

They also removed the multiplayer component from ME3.
 
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I got spoiled on how bad the ending was, and how little any of your choices made actually matter. Also, the gunplay felt off, but I couldn't really explain how if asked.
 

Oni_Rinku

Knower of Stuff
I just started playing Bravely Default II and am liking it so far. Due to lack of free time, it'll be a while until I finish it though.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
CrossCode

Been getting back into this in the last couple of days, and pushing forward with some serious progress. I finished the last dungeon in Chapter 8, and blew through Chapter 9 as well. Hmm...dungeon design is actually fairly clever in this game after the first dungeon. However, at some point it just gets too clever for its own good. I was becoming exhausted towards the back half of the last dungeon because of just how much I had to piece everything together in a puzzle room and figure out how to proceed.

Still, the combat system has finally completely opened up for me. I don't think I've mentioned it before, but this game does have a Skill tree. You can't acquire absolutely everything on the skill tree, but it comes very close. More intriguing, you're actually given a separate skill tree for each of your four Elements, plus your base non-elemental form. At least in the early game, there can be some strong variation since you can pick and choose your stat bonuses in each tree. Towards the late game, there's probably still some variation as each tree likely has a specific build trend. Plus your special techniques ('Combat Arts') can be either single-enemy or crowd-control in each tree, so sometimes you can switch around depending on your situation. But it really doesn't have huge competitive depth.

Achievements are rolling in, too.

While I like the game, I find it a little interesting how I seem to burnout from time to time. Some of that is just due to having to constantly press the D-pad during the game, I guess. My thumb keeps getting sore!
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
CrossCode

Finished the base game, though mopping up a number of Achievements. Doing the DLC now, which is post-game content that continues the storyline. In Chapter 11 currently.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
Breaking away from CrossCode for a little while.

Kingdom Hearts

I got the All-In-One collection, which has everything except for the very latest rhythm game, I think. I only ever played the first Kingdom Hearts, Chain of Memories on the GBA, and a few hours of KHII. Starting on replaying the first Kingdom Hearts since I'm at least moderately familiar with it, then I might skip CoM and go to Kingdom Hearts II.

Anyways. Playing on Easy mode with the intent to get the Speedster, Unchanging Armor, and Undying trophies, and breezing through a lot of the worlds. Just finished Monstro with about 6 hours on the playclock. I'm going to skip Atlantica and most of the Olympus stuff. Once I beat the game, I can equip stuff of course and do all the optional content as well to get most of the trophies, then possibly play on Proud Mode if I can tolerate it enough to get Platinum.

I will say...holy f*** is the automatic camera hot garbage. What a mess. I played with it for a few hours, then set it to manual. Too many times I was trying to make a jump only to have to fight the camera that attempted to swing around on me.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
Kingdom Hearts

Beat the game on Easy mode, got the Unchanging Armor, Undying, and Speedster trophies. I had cleared the Hercules Cup in Olympus earlier to get Yellow Trinity to get Aeroga, so then I went back and finished up the Phil Cup and Pegasus Cup. Working my way through the Hades Cup at the moment, and then going to go do Atlantica. After that, I have a lot of the collectibles to go through. I've got to get the remaining Gummi Ship trophies, and synthesise a lot of items as well. I have Dusk settings for my EXP, so that will save me about 100k EXP over Dawn settings. I guess I'll be able to get a couple of extra EXP accessories from synthesising, too, so I'll likely do that just about first thing to save time.
 
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