Saturday, July 9, 2011

Live Cookie munching (Cookie picks #2)

I posted yesterday about me choosing from a couple games which game I'll play next, so decided to play a bit of Jeanne D'Arc and Tactics Ogre: Let us cling together on the PSP and see which I prefer, which hooks me more and which I might ultimately play as my next game.

So what I'll be doing is a kind of live blog thing...I'd totally like to stream it and link my Justin TV profile here, but I don't have all the necessary hardware for streaming yet. One cable closer though, after getting a PSP component cable :D

Anyway, I'm feeling ambitious so what I'll do is a half hour of each game starting at 11:30 tonight (3 mins away) and then post my thoughts on the games as I go along. If I'm not tired or bored of the games (or indeed if half an hour isn't enough for the openings to play out, I'll do another half hour of each)

Its now 23:28, time to fire up Jeanne D'Arc (simply because it comes first in the alphabet)

[23:30] Starting the timer and watching the opening. Looks Disney esque/bad Saturday morning cartoon from the 80s or 90s...

[23:35] Is that one of the clowns from FFIX? :o

[23:36] Freaky kid..but interesting cutscene

[23:37] Time to move on from said cutscene and see some of the character portraits, dialogue and music.

[23:41] A second anime cutscene? Impressive! Voice acting is a bit suspect in places (bad accents) but its still good to see them cramming a few of these in where most RPGs would just use dialogue to get this stuff across.

[23:44] A battle already? Good that they throw you into the action :D

[23:46] A few turns into the battle and it seems pretty easy to pick up, quite standard SRPG stuff

[23:50] First battle finished with not too much difficulty, although that Orc Knight did take a turn or two to finish

[23:53] A chance to Save thankfully, and another cutscene before stuff starts getting intense :o I know I've not been playing long but I am drawn in to the already dark (and cliched) storyline

4 minutes left on the clock and just one turn into my second I turn off the power now or extend it to an hour right away?

[00:00] Another cutscene, wow cool armour! :D I'm adding on a few mins for stoppages for texting and starting the game up, so hope I can finish this battle soon and save!

[00:03] Wow, Godspeed is like hella broken... Its like the Scouts from Valkyria Chronicles but worse XD

[00:05] Crap, good thing theres no perma death..just lost my wee redhead friend in battle :(

[00:07] Wow, this game is tough. I lost my second guy and nearly Jeanne as well. I blame her transforming back to normal for nearly overshifting it from my overconfident position to a game over...I nearly lost Jeanne so had to move out of range and heal up. Always play safe in these kinds of games. Add to that there is a turn limit! Man...tough game. Stage 2 nearly got me, but I passed it :D

[00:15] Or so I thought. I think I spoke too soon. Another enemy showed up, and with one guy on the field under my command and the turn limit counter already showing, I was a bit nervous to be sure.

So I thought I could use a Healing item and then move to a safe distance, but close enough to start attacking asap next turn. Turns out you can’t use items and then move...So that was partially a waste of a turn, as the next turn I couldn’t get into range to attack. I got him down to 1 HP with an attack and a counter, but the turn counter ran out on me. Seriously 10 turns to finish such a tough level? Game Overed on Stage to be a record for me XD

I guess I now know what to expect of the game, and definitely to take my time more now. Anyway, my time is up on this one. So I’ll post some more thoughts on the game tomorrow and move onto Tactics Ogre, as Blogger seems to be having issues. Its made me lose my post edits a few times on this tonight...

Its now Sunday morning and thought I'd flesh this post out a bit more with my thoughts on the game so far. In terms of graphics it seems to have an odd style, with what looks like cel-shaded graphics. It reminds me of Tales of Symphonia in a way. I'm not always too keen on cel-shading as the games don't always age well...there are some exceptions (The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker being one example.) So they do like quite sharp and nice in this game, with some quite detailed backgrounds going on. Add to that some very abundant well done anime cutscenes (I think I saw 3 or 4 in the first 45 mins of play)

I think what will put people off most about this game is the difficulty. It seems unfairly difficult, with rather unecessary conditions in battle such as the 10 turn limit in the second battle. It gives tutorials but really kicks you in the face if you aren't careful. As for the battles themselves, they seem very similar to what you'd expect from a tactical rpg such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea or Luminous Arc. You have a player phase and an enemy phase, but there are some restrictions I'm not keen on. You can't do anything in between your characters finishing their actions and the enemy phase. I like to be able to double check I've done everything, got everyone in the right positions and check the battlefield over before I give the turn over to the computer. In this game you can't do that. You can take back some stuff such as movement if you make a mistake or aren't happy with the position. I'm slightly concerned the game might have some balancing issues, as for a few turns I was tearing through the enemy with Jeanne in her armoured form, and then it swung right back in the computer's favour when the transformation wore off.

We'll see how the game goes from here, it does have a lot going for it, but I'm interested in how it will shape up compared to one of the heavy hitters of the srpg sub-genre when I play through the opening bit of Tactics Ogre: Let us cling together later today. Stay tuned for more Live Cookie munching :D

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cookie picks

I'm blasting through Golden Sun: Dark Dawn and thought I'd maybe start up something new. I was considering starting Tales of Symphonia which I recently got, but not exactly sure if I have the right memory card and whatnot for the Wii. I'll look up the stuff for it and hopefully start it soon :D
Anyway, I chose 3 random games that I've not finished from my PSP and DS collection via the Fortune cookie option over at Backloggery and came up with these 3:
Tactics Ogre: Let us cling together (PSP)
Etrian Odyssey (DS)
Jeanne D'Arc (PSP)
Its probably just that I don't have that many games left for my DS and PSP compared to some other times when I've been buying more games and I've been careful to play the shorter games first, but it seems that I've got 3 very hard, long (stop laughing) games, at least in this random selection.
We have Tactics Ogre, a strategy RPG very much in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story (I think at least in the text font lol..) I've heard it can be very frustrating, but I'm definitely stoked to try. I made it through some ridiculously tough bits in Final Fantasy Tactics: WotL, so don't see why I shouldn't be able to get through this game.
Then Etrian Odyssey...a game I've liked so far but it really intimidates me. I've put in a few hours to it and I've slowly made my way through the first stratum. I've got as far as the Stratum boss, which is like a whole new level of ass kicking. You've got the normal enemies, then the FOEs, then these guys...super tough. It takes so long to level up and grind, but I've been itching for some turn base RPGs recently, and Golden Sun has been perfect (even if a little easy) so I might give this another shot, and try at least clear the first stratum. Maybe things will fall into place and get easier...
Jeanne D'Arc, along with Tactics Ogre has probably only been in my PSP once, and that was to watch the opening movie. Admittedly I wasn't impressed with the crappy looking anime cutscene. It just seemed like really ugly in terms of the character design. I have heard its a top notch SRPG though, similar to Tactics Ogre.
Which should I pick? I might either decide on one of them tomorrow, or give each of them an hour or so to impress me. The PSP games are tempting, that way I could finish up Golden Sun on the DS and have one of them alongside, even more so because I just bought a PSP component cable the other day which means I could play them on a bit bigger screen on my TV :P