Monday, August 17, 2009

Now Playing - Come with me now on a journey through time and space

I kinda like the idea of putting up some weekly/monthly posts to give my blog a bit of structure and the games I've been playing recently have been both annoying me and interesting me. So I thought I'd try out this idea - a series of posts that I'll call "Now Playing" (a backloggery homage =p) and in which I'll discuss the video games I've been playing around the time.

 So I recently finished Infinite Undiscovery on the 360. For the most part, the flaws in the game really annoyed me at times, but towards the end the story started to pick up and you get to visit one of the most amazing areas I've ever seen in an rpg for the final stages of the game. I wont spoil it though, try it and see for yourselves.

The game does have a lot wrong with it in my opinion, in some places it is very hard to figure out what to do or where to go, as the game gives hardly any helpful stuff like directions. They might say, lets go to such and such a location but neglect to tell you where that may be...It also has a wierd kind of awkward connect system, which you can use to interact with the other playable characters on your team. With it you can basically take control of them and use the abilities they have equipped. Its a nice idea, but when you want to use a certain character's ability in the field, you cant use it if they aren't in your party and guess what, you cant change your party unless you are in a town or similar safe area. Similarly, you can only save at save points, which are few and far between. I found myself dying and losing lots of play time due to the lack of save points. Not necessarily because I had lost a lot of actual gameplay, but because there are lots of long cutscenes. That brings me to the next point...some of the cutscenes seem really poorly done in places, with bad voice acting and kind of poor graphics, especially the lip-synching.

Anyway, I went on for much longer than I wanted to on this seeing as how I already beat it. Despite its flaws and lack of polish in places, it does pick up towards the end and I ended up liking it somewhat. I'd try pick it up cheaply or second if you are into hack and slash or action rpgs such as Star Ocean (Its by tri-Ace as well and even shares the currency used in those games.)

I was looking for a portable rpg as at the time I wasnt playing any on my DS or PSP, so picked up Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness (PSP) when I was heading out on the bus to meet a friend. I've beaten it before but hadn't really done much on the extra "Etna Mode" where you get to play as a different protagonist-Etna. So I played a couple of hours more on this, doing a lot of grinding (the game is really fun but is very grindy too) Its one of those games that is really packed full of charm and is really well localised and translated. Its also one of the few games that I found really funny. I'd really recommend this one if you have a psp and like strategy RPGs or just want a really quirky, funny game.

I had already beaten the main game and I'm gonna leave the rest of Etna mode for another time because I know its gonna be very time consuming. There's so much to do in Disgaea games, definitely get value for your money with 'em. =D

I've also had the urge to go back and play another game I beat but really enjoyed back in the day. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (PC) This is an amazing western rpg and I'd still say its my favourite game, or one of them. There are a few bugs and glitches in the game but I knew there were solutions to any gamebreaking ones, so I installed it, patched it and whatnot and continued with the new game I'd created recently on my laptop. Its really hard to find any actual flaws in the game in my opinion, its so well written and detailed and there is a heck of a lot to do-sidequests, back stories to your team members, the expansion pack and many 3rd party mods (which I've never tried actually)

So far I'm yet to be completely addicted and drawn back in but I'm fairly sure thats because I've done the prologue bit and the early stages so many times I know them like the back of my hand. I'll probably get addicted when I get into the next few chapters and start hunting for sidequests and stuff to do. If you've never played this one, I'd really recommend it. Its one of the series Bioware started out with, this series. Without it, I don't think the games like SW: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect etc would be the same. The future release Dragon Age: Origins has been referred to as a spiritual sequel to the Baldur's Gate games, so if you like your western rpgs, or rpgs in general, or haven't played this, give it a shot. For me, its hard to say a bad word about this game.

 So after I put Disgaea's Etna mode on hold, I was again left with no portable titles on the go. I had a look through my games and this one jumped out over all the others. Chrono Trigger. (DS) I hadn't played it at all since I got it a few months ago and seeing as how I never played it back in the days of the SNES or the Playstation and call myself an rpg fan, I wanted to play it as it is toted as one of the best rpgs or even games of all time! (it says on the box lol) So I couldn't let my heinous crimes against the rpg genre continue and started playing this immediately =). At first it seemed like a dated rpg visually but I got more and more used to it and the music and graphics started to really grow on me. Now I am around 6 hours in and I'm really enjoying it. To think that it is a 14 year old game is really amazing as it is really well scripted and the story is really impressing me. The game feels leaps and bounds ahead of some of the other games I've played of that age. And I can tell that it's had a lot of influences on the rpg genre. I'm really liking this game and gonna play some more before I can talk about it much.

Hopefully I'll bring more of these Now Playing posts, approximately weekly or monthly dependant on how many games I play really. Till next time ;D

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