Hahaha, whenever I'm playing a Dragon Quest game I find it really easy to get quotes for this column's titles. Such awesomely scripted games.
Well, that gives you an idea of what I've been playing this past week. If you've been frequenting any RPG related sites recently, most people are playing Dragon Quest IX, or at least they were. I'm still playing through it though, as I had to wait till a bit after the EU release to get it.
Dragon Quest IX (DS) - I think I'm fairly far through this now but I'm not too sure. I've put over 40 hours in so far and I'm still enjoying it. I'm trying to fill the Monster Compendium to 100% as I go along, and doing as much collecting of items, alchemy and quests as I can, so its taking time to get through the story. I will probably try and go for 100% completion at some point though, depending on how long that will take and if I can do it without DQVC and multiplayer assistance. I have been going on the VC to 'download' quests and buy items, its pretty cool for getting rare stuff but I usually find my money dissapearing quickly... hehe
Anyway, if you are still on the fence about this game, lemme give you some info. Graphically, it has not dissapointed me in the slightest. Some people don't like DS 3D polygonal graphics, but this looks a lot better than say, FFIII DS for example. It has a kinda cel-shaded look slightly. Most things are outlined in black and have quite nice colours, its not muddy looking at all. The style reminds me of DQVIII actually. Which makes sense as Level 5 were on board for this one as well. I really like some of the aspects, for example how every piece of gear shows up on your character models.
Content wise, man there is absolutely tonnes. If you want to do everything possible, I'm just guessing but I reckon it would take a good 60-100hrs, probably more for all the grinding of vocations and skills. I think I talked about this last time, but it is really well set out, you have the Battle Record which tells you of your percentage completion of each thing as you go along. There are Quests, around 184 or so including the ones from the DQVC which you need to connect to the net to get. The stuff is actually on the cart already, it just needs to be unlocked when they decide to give it to us. They are getting through them quickly though, which is good I guess. Some of the quests are your basic fetch quests, but some are actually kind of tough, like the ones to unlock the advanced vocations. For example, one of them wants you to set up a Wizard Ward spell and then kill 2 Metal Slimes with the caster of the Ward. Metal Slimes are fairly hard to kill as they are rare in the first dungeon you find them in, and then they thend to like to Flee from battle. That quest took a while, but there are even harder ones than that. It'll definitely keep me occupied for a while, this game.
The story is dragging a bit in the middle, but for the most part I've enjoyed it. I'm at a point where you have to basically go around the world collecting the Fyggs from the Yggdrasil Tree or whatever. So its a bit disjointed, but the little vignettes do interest me, they are pretty melancholy and dark at times. People die, and there is nothing you can do about it. People learn from their mistakes and supposedly become better people from their trials etc. I was really impressed with the opening of the game though, but they stripped us of our power and made us go on a journey in typical DQ style in which the character supposedly learns and discovers themselves.
Demon's Souls (PS3) - Other than DQIX, I've been putting a lot of time into this, mostly grinding and working on getting good gear and slowly progressing with the 'storyline.' I guess critics of the game might say it doesnt have much of a storyline, but to be honest..I don't mind that much. I'm usually all about story in RPGs, but dungeon crawlers can get away without if they have good gameplay or atmosphere, both of which this has checked.
Its so tense in places, I actually found myself shaking slightly and getting a real rush out of it. Tower of Latria scared the crap outta me the first time round. After I grinded up in 4-2 and came back to it, I could more or less oneshot everything so I had less to worry about, but still got creeped out by some of the stuff. Shrine of Storms, as well. I really liked those stages. 4-2... I actually found really hard with those beam shooting respawning guys who are basically invisible. Took me ages to get through that one even after grinding to SL65 or 70. I was really liking the atmosphere of those stages, the 3rd one with the Archdemon was damn cool. Slicing through the heavens with that sword kicked ass... *makes slashing motion and noise*
I've kind of got Demon's Souls on hold for a while now. I've only got a few of the stages left before the end game, plus my brother has the disc at the moment. To be honest, I'm kind of procrastinating..I just don't want to go through that horrible swamp in the Valley of Defilement... *shudders* Its so dark and nasty and those big Depraved Goblin dudes scare the shit out've me... T_T
I want to get all of the spells for my character, but that will take at least another 1 or 2 playthroughs to get the needed Demons souls and give them to Yuria or Freke. If I do decide to try and plat this, it will take a couple playthroughs, but I think that is normal for most people...dont think its possible to get it all on one go.
So apart from those games, I've not been playing much else this week. Depending on when Eternal Poison arrives, I'll start that up. Kindof dark toned Strategy RPG, so basically two things I love.
Hmm, or if not, I'll try another PS2 game, possibly Ico or Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. Anyway, those are for another time. I've rambled enough. Eternal Poison still ain't here... T_T I ordered Ys 7 for the psp the other night, so once it releases tomorrow (I think) it'll ship, well..I hope. But I imagine it'll have to ship to the UK seller first and then on to me. Might take a while...