Sunday, February 6, 2011

Now Playing - "Are you hurt anywhere? Face, chest, ovaries?"

I've been trying to bring back my hardcore RPG self from the perilous casualness that comes with owning an IOS device, and I played some rather awesome games this week.

First person dungeon crawler RPGs have a really nice appeal to me actually. I don't know why that is, as I never really played many of them when I was young. So its not really true nostalgia for them, its probably just as they feel fresh, yet nice, oldschool and hardcore to me. So I'm trying to pick up a few of these type of games and break into the genre. Dark Spire might be next on my to buy list in terms of FPS RPGs, its been sitting in one of the game stores in town for a while now, reduced way down. Pretty good for an imported game. I'll check if its still there some time this week. Anyway, I put some more time into Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS) mainly over the weekend. I'm still in the fourth sector, progress is slow, but at least there is some now that I've finished Golden Sun 1 and 2. Anyway, I made sure to try and improve my demons in the 5 or so hours I played of this over the weekend. I managed to get all the necessary demons for the Special Fusion of Black Frost! =D Awesome! I added a few more to my party that were of decent levels and stats, which helped a fair bit. The story is one of the main aspects I am enjoying the game actually, as well as the characters and the choices you take(even if they have been rare so far). I like a good bit of sci-fi, and this game has a pretty dark, tense and thrilling feel to it. There are some generally creepy moments (The first similar piece of media that comes to mind is the movie called the Thing), which is impressive for a text-driven story and one with static character portraits and arguably fairly limited graphics. I'm getting near the end of Delphinus I think, based on the mission log at least, there are some really overpowered abilities that some of the enemy demons have. One such ability that made me stay away from Strange Journey on Monday(in addition to having uni) is 'Bite the Dust.' I think it works as a status effect designated by a bomb it looks like. It seems like if the demon with the status dies, it takes out the entire rest of the team near enough. It might as well if it doesn't, as the hurt it puts on the rest of the team is brutal. Well...I got 2 game overs in less than an hour to these bastards using this ability, so I put it down for now. I'll try and forget about it and go back to this game in a few days. I also dabbled in a bit of grinding in Etrian Odyssey (DS) while waiting for the Superbowl to start up on Sunday. Its painfully slow, even if it can be pretty simple fun. Its also bloody hard..Anyway I've got a mini-aim for myself before I can progress. I've got to get my team up to lv20 before I attempt the first sanctum boss again. I'm currently at around 17 across the board at the moment.

Earlier in the week I finally finished up Golden Sun: The Lost Age (GBA) as I said above. I had been wanting to finish it 100%, getting all the Djinn, Summon Tablets etc and I made good progress towards that goal. It took me a fair bit of time to get through the last couple dungeons, but I managed them without too much difficulty. So at the moment I've got all the Djinn, thats 72 Djinn that you can get if you import your data from the first game. I also got all but one of the Summon tablets, as I need to beat Dullahan, who is pretty fuckin gay. He is a lot stronger than the final boss(who I gotta say, I was expecting a 2nd battle against in some different form) like Deadbeard in GS1. I can get him pretty close to death by summon rushing(cheap I know..) but when he does Djinn storm and drains all my Djinn, I lose my main Psynergy such as Cool Aura(for a lot of healing across the party). There is probably a way to do it by abusing the Djinn that protect you with shields, but the damage he fires out after Djinn storming is brutal. Nasty boss. I reckon I can beat it if I get a bit of luck or really take my time to plan and calculate though.

I played some more of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) after playing a little bit of multiplayer at uni. I got my full Hypnocatrice set of armour actually. I wanna go to sleep now, so thats all I can be bothered saying right now...I was supposed to have this posted on Sunday, its now nearly Tuesday T_T

Roguelikes are another subgenre of RPGs that I've been trying to get into. I admit I've never really played much of the games in the genre but I've heard a few things about them, and the genre always interested me. They have their roots in games such as Rogue(where the name comes from) and Nethack. Nethack is one of the games which a lot of current roguelikes take inspiration from. It turns out there are a couple roguelike style games on the Apple App store, so I downloaded iNethack (Ipod) for free and played a little bit of it. Its hard to get used to at first, as I ascended the first set of stairs and ended up escaping the dungeon. Thats doing it wrong however, its more like Diablo in that you have to just keep descending further into the dungeon to progress. Less forgiving however, so if you die, its all over and you have to start again. I've played a handful of times and the furthest I got to was the 4th floor of the dungeon. I'm definitely interested to try more of these games, so I'm open to recommendations/suggestions. I'm thinking ZHP could be a good interesting entry title, as I like NIS's quirky sense of humour.

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