Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recent Purchases #5 ~ Paycheck get!

Bleurgh, I've not posted in more than a month. Bad times... Well, to be more accurate, busy times...the aforementioned full time job has been taking a lot of my time up, as well as watching the London 2012 Olympics over the past two weeks when we had nothing else to watch in the evenings, or on my days off. There was some pretty amazing talent over the course of the tournament. Yeah its a bit cheesy to say, but I can see why it would "inspire a generation" like the motto says. Myself, I'm too lazy or old to try and take up a sport at this point I think, but some of the sports do look like they would be cool to do on a kind of casual basis at a university club, like fencing or swimming or something. Anyway, I am rambling a fair bit. So before I move on, well done to all the medal winners and people who devoted themselves to training for the Olympics (I'm sure a lot of them read my blog, lol... -_- aaanyways..)

Games are really annoying me at the moment though...Persona 3 FES has really been frustrating me... I'm near the start of the game (lv11, but up to the 25 Floor boss of 3 Crying Tables) so I can either grind on the
weakest enemies at the very start or the strong enemies of Block 2. I'm right in the middle, so that makes it difficult to grind against either option. Either get 1-3 exp for each battle against the weak mobs or fight really risky strong enemies. I've tried to grind against the stronger enemies, and have made good progress each time towards a level up, but then get wiped out by them exploiting my weaknesses or spamming Mudo and lose all the progress I made. I can't find good guides online either...they usually are designed for people who want to 100% the game. I just need some tips for the early game...if anyone reading has any good advice, lemme know please! I'd really appreciate it, because I'm so close to shelving this game.
Fire Emblem, which I started up so I had a portable game for a weekend where we drove down to Ayrshire for a wedding, has been really good fun and quite addictive, but the difficulty has suddenly upped at the chapter I'm at, a huge battle where I control 2 seperate groups of characters. Really simple at first, in fact, worryingly so, but they gradually tack on more little bits of strategy goodness to the battle system as you go through the first 5 or 10 chapters (yeah, there are a LOT of chapters in this game from what I read.)
I described this game as a really nice blend of Final Fantasy Tactics and Berserk (at least the manga.) Its a kind of (dark) fantasy epic with a lot of political intrigue, history and depth to the story and world. Very highly recommended from what I've seen so far. Persona 3 is good as well, but its shortcomings and difficulty have kind of dissapointed me so far...and I really wasn't expecting that from a game that comes so highly praised.

So my job has been taking a lot of my time...37.5 hrs per week to be precise (saying it like that, it doesn't sound like that much, but it has felt like a larger toll-its been really way too warm in the optician's departments, no proper aircon or windows means the air just collects and gets really stuffy) On the plus side, I've been gaining lots of experience for when I go back to uni to study my 3rd year of Optometry, and money! Lots of monies....

At first I didn't really spend much of my paycheck as I was figuring out what I should prioritise, maybe rare games I couldn't afford before, video game artbooks (an expensive niche collector's piece) or new systems like the NES or SNES I missed out on when I was younger ¬_¬ So I've kind of decided to pick up some more art books for games or series I like. At the moment I'm playing Persona 3 FES (and getting my ass kicked, as this is my first playthrough) and a bit of Disgaea 3 and since I really like the character designs and aesthetics of the games, I picked up a couple books for them.




Shigenori Soejima SC



Persona 3 Visual Works


Shadow Hearts (PS2)

I saw this one for £20 in a preowned shop that sells dvds, electronics stuff, gadgets and games. In fact its the only place that still has a decent selection of PS2, Gamecube and Xbox games onwards. This game is really getting quite rare now, at least in PAL regions, so after checking on my girlfriend's phone (I have no smartphone with free access to the internet on the go) to see if 20 was a good price, I decided to pick this up after hearing a lot of good stuff about this series. Walking out the shop, I checked the box to see what the condition was like to find it had no manual with it. Bah...maybe 20 wasnt such a good price, but I'm not one of those collectors who has to have things complete all of the time. If I see a loose manual show up on ebay, I may buy it, but I'm not hugely bothered really. Anyway, the game is a really interesting looking RPG. I played like 10 minutes before realising the time was getting pretty late. It has a dark, horror aesthetic to it. Lots of cutscenes, which are in that early PS2 era 3D style (which I'm not very keen on, it should be said) but its good to see a game which intersperses lots of cutscenes in with dialogue and fast moving scenes.

I figure I should include a wee section at the bottom for stuff I've recently preordered since Amazon has so much stuff I usually preorder months in advance and end up forgetting about... My wallet hates me for it but whatever =p

Ni No Kuni: Wizards Edition

- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ni-No-Kuni-Wizards-Edition/dp/B008MLSNOY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345032535&sr=8-1

This one is currently sitting at £69.99, a fairly high price, and that will actually make it one of the most expensive games I've bought at launch, so hopefully the price drops a bit on this one before its release next year in January. Then again, I'll probably have a little bit of Christmas money to put towards it if need be. I'm really stoked for this game, even though it sold pretty badly in Japan from what I remember. Studio Ghibli/Level-5 Dragon Quest-esque role playing game, sign me up!

Tales of Graces f: Day One Edition

- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Graces-Special-Day-Edition/dp/B007X13MJ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345101548&sr=8-1

I actually preordered Tales of Graces f way before Namco Bandai had mentioned this set for day one releases, so was really happy to hear about it. You do look like you get a lot for your money, but it does look like standard collectors edition stuff. Then again, it has an artbook, which I'm always keen to get more of =) I've played the japanese demo of Tales of Graces f and it looks actually amazing, with the graphical style and the battles moving really quickly. Hopefully I'll like this game (and hopefully we get something similar for when Xillia comes out in PAL regions.)

The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy Boxed Set 

This is currently sitting at £55.65, which is around about 50% of the RRP. I'd definitely recommend preordering it as early as possible if you are interested so you can save as much as possible.

- http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/14-856/The-Sky-The-Art-of-Final-Fantasy-Boxed-Set

- http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sky-Final-Fantasy-Boxed/dp/1616550392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345031948&sr=8-1

This is a REALLY nice set of 3 of 4 (which, I admit, I don't know much about at the moment) artbooks from Yoshitaka Amano, who has done a lot of art for the Final Fantasy games. I've never been a massive fan of his work, well...to be more accurate, I like his stuff, but some of it seems creepy and awkward, almost otherworldly. I think that is the point, but something about is a bit too discordant (is that the right word) at times. Its really kind of interesting though, and hopefully taking a punt and buying this artbook set will convert me to a fan of Amano =p It looks like a really good set for the money.

I've been writing this post for days, so I should probably just publish it now I reckon.... I hope I don't go through my paycheck too quickly lol...