Friday, August 28, 2009

Now Playing - "when angels deserve to die."

Today felt like it went on for ever. Not because I was bored per se, just that I got to sleep quite late and then got woke up by noises around the house at half 8 in the morning, or something close. All I know is that it was some ungodly hour, I'm way out of the routine of getting up that early. Not a good sign for uni starting up soon, that will be a painful adjustment hehe.... -_-

So I couldnt get back to sleep with all the slamming of doors and shouting going on, only had a few hours sleep (4 or so) then got up, got a cup of tea and some breakfast and went back upstairs. Think I might have played some games and then fallen asleep again (only for an hour or so, until I was woken up *facepalm) Think at that point I was feeling terrible and just decided to screw the idea of sleeping any more. So I had pretty much the whole day to occupy myself (a lot more of the daylight hours than I would normally get in a day =p)
So I basically watched some tv for a bit and played Chrono Trigger and waited for the Europa League group stage draw to be made, had a look on Sky Sports and was quite pleased overall.
Rapid Vienna
Hapoel Tel-Aviv
Anyway I am rambling so let me get to the point of the post. I thought that it was time for another Now Playing post, seeing as how I've beaten 2 games today and I'll talk about them a bit here.

First was Chrono Trigger (DS). I was working on the sidequests just before the end boss stages on this for a while and got most of them done (I left out what I think were large dungeons) before I had a couple tries at the end game. The quests I left out I think I'll leave for a New Game+ which will have to be tackled at some point. There is an impressive amount of endings in this SNES rpg, 13! So thats 1/13 down =p Lots of replayability then, and I think in future New Game+'s I'll try 100% the Techniques, Items and Bestiary. Its an awesome game, definitely check the DS version out if you haven't already.

I played a couple more hours of Fable 2 (360), did a couple sidequests for some gold and reknown and then went to get the last hero you have to meet up with. Turns out that was a lot closer to the end than I thought, and I ended up beating the game not too long after that. I was quite dissapointed with the game towards the end. A LOT of the things in it seem rushed, there are tonnes of glitches and bugs from the look of it. NPCs go transparent and dissapear at times, the camera seems to periodically shake in the Wraithmarsh area. Did they playtest the game at all? Seems slack. The ending as well, I mean overall the story is cliched but alright. The ending could have been better, I was expecting a big expansive dungeon on the way to the endboss that is pretty staple in rpgs. Nope, no dungeon, hell, not even a real end boss one might argue. I ended up enjoying parts of Fable 2, it can be addictive and light hearted fun at times, but there isn't much substance and its definitely not realistic. Also there is character and atmosphere in the game, but other areas let it down. The NPCs feel like they have no personality, they are all so similar and interacting with them is clunky, you cant speak-you can only interact with "expressions" such as dance. Hmm, try communicating with a bunch of english people by dancing and you could easily end up stabbed in certain parts of So realistic its not really, but the game is gorgeous at times, like the sunsets, sunrises, some of the locations you go to, even if the camera does shake and the textures pop all over the place. Awful loading times (I didn't install it to HDD) and a fair bit of slowdown and lag when there are lots of enemies on screen.  Anyway, despite its flaws, this rpg has a fair bit to do to keep you occupied. The main game is short, but if you are an achievement junkie/whore there are a few which should give you a bit of a challenge. Quite a lot of sidequests and stuff to do otherwise. Its probably worth a shot the game, it should be cheap now. Plus there will be a 3rd eventually. Here's the debut trailer for Fable 3, from Gamescom earlier this month.

So with the other games out the way, I had just started up a save on Riviera: The Promised Land (PSP), so I put a couple more hours into it now. Its a bit early to give a lot of criticism or opinion on it, but I quite like the way the item system works (even if the items do wear out and break, think durability and it kinda makes sense.)
 You basically bring a couple items into each turn based battle and select your characters to use them as their turns come around. By using certain items a couple times, the character might learn EX Skills, which essentially give you a decent special move with that item and stat ups (from what I can tell, the equivalent stat growth you would get with a level up in rpgs)
These are key to getting your characters stronger and there is a lot of tactical stuff in there to keep you on your toes, you need to manage your formation, healing in battle, mastery of weapons (some chars are better with certain types of weapon ie. sword)
And there looks to be a lot of inventory management. I counted it to be something very low like 16 items max at any time. Hopefully I get an upgrade on that or something soon, because I hate having to make choices on what to chuck away, especially when I can learn skills from a lot of the weapons.
Here's a japanese trailer so you can see a bit more about it. It has really nice vibrant coloured graphics and pretty cool character designs. I'm looking forward to putting more time into this one. I think I'm only around 3 hrs in, on the 2nd chapter.

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