Gameplay is quite fun. I really like the strategic positioning with the strategic button pressing battle mechanic. Magic is also pretty good in this game.

Game's main story is short which is nice. The challenge isn't always there as enemy AI is pretty stupid. Actually the plot is pretty unoriginal. There's lots of unnecessary dialogue that shows off the 3 character traits given to each character, even in the main story. It feels silly but I think it is purposefully humorous.

I would maybe bite into the newest Shining game if it had a battle system like this. Just maybe, though.
major spoilers )

I don't think I need to beat this game to recommend it. Plenty of other people have written good reviews of the game. I recommend it but I think it's best played with a level guide for bosses at the beginning, just so you can get a feel for how much you want to grind. But if you worry about spoilers, don't look too far ahead!
Read more... )

In other news, I did start Xenoblade yesterday and it is glorious. It is also humongous. I think I might be playing that game for the rest of my life...
I just finished up my first playthrough of NIER and I enjoyed almost every moment of it. So what does it do right?

NIER works like a charm. The main characters all endear themselves to you in one way or another. The main character will do anything for his daughter but also enjoys being a errand man, but he doesn't give everybody a free pass. Kainé will take no shit but understands and appreciates good relationships. Emil wants to do his best, to not be a burden, and shows the most pure and kind heart. Weiss is eager to dish out the insults and yet gets caught a few times being more ignorant than he hoped to be. Their banter when you unlock sidequests is the main reason why I tried to do so many of them. The NPCs are the source of these quests and they are quite a varied and lively bunch of people.

The world is small and the game is short if you don't do any sidequests, but there's enough to feel full. The first part is shorter than the second part, which is good because the first part reaches a very important climax and it just seems right that it would be more than halfway if this game was a book. You want to get to the end and the end has some really interesting boss fights and I shed some tears. And that very first ending is too short, but this game wants you to replay it. Frankly too many questions are unanswered and I hope I get a better clue about it, but at the same time enough answers are given to feel satisfied for now.

And a special bonus is the amazing music for this game. Just so beautiful, I love it so much.

Do I recommend this game? Hell yes. Do I think you are a bad person if you for some reason hate this game? Well, maybe. I can only see you hating the controls which can be a bit clunky. Do I think you have to play this game or else? No. But play it anyway.
I'm almost 20 hours into NIER and according to a walkthrough, almost done with part 1. Something about this game is making me obsessive and needing to follow a walkthrough for everything... Whatever, it's still fun.

Anyway, with that said, it's time for me to finally type up my review of Lost Odyssey. The quick answer is "if you like slightly strategic turn-based RPGs and good characters, play it! and if you don't have patience, don't".

spoilers ahead )

It's hard to say where'd I place this game on my list of top JRPGs I've played. It certainly had elements that appealed to me but nothing save for the 1000 Dreams really came off as "great". Overall a solid game that I think appeals most to the JRPG player who enjoys characters and a slow but full experience.
If you've read my last few posts, you will know that I liked Ys Seven. It's my first Ys game and one of the few action RPGs I have played, so I can't give it a good comparison to others in it genre. I can comment on its plot and characters, which were solid all around.

The plot was simple and rather obvious at times, which could be annoying if you are like "stupid MC and companions, why didn't you figure this out ages ago?", but had a few twists and turns that I didn't catch. The types of characters that join your group are great; they have variety but none of them join you without having any reasons or any skills. The least experienced person to join your group has still had weapon training. For game mechanic reasons, certain characters end up inheriting each other's skills as plot makes them interchangeable, which makes things a bit of a stretch. But it was nice not to have to do skill grinding for them.

Another thing that was a bonus was the lack of romance in the plot. It is all about the adventure and immediate goals. There is a lot of love for family members and friends and bonds formed, but no romance is forced. It is a refreshing change compared to the game currently in my PSP [though that game just had some crossdressing!].

However, I guess it may be a negative that there's nothing special about the characters, their interactions, or in the plot itself. Really, the reason I was so addicted to the game was the battle system. Otherwise I don't think I would have finished the game so quickly, though I would finish it because I like to finish things. And it's a rare game when I don't actively dislike a main party member for at least a significant portion of the game (Tales games are always guilty of this for me). Overall fun times were had and I would definitely recommend this game.
Since the last time I posted, I have gone on a shopping spree. I got Ys Seven and Tactics Ogre for PSP, Wild Arms 5 for PS2, and soon Jeanne d'Arc and the Last Story will be coming in. My sister was in town playing Growlanser II when we were in my apartment (another game I need to play) and so I picked up the PSP and decided to get some action. Ys gives me just that. It is fast-paced, has nice controls and quick character switching which makes it first-person action with actual usefulness in having a party. Even if I have preference to MC Adol because he is the most versatile, I use them all.

I haven't been too much attention to the plot; story progression is pretty much linear with "invisible plot walls" and the game is throwing obvious hints about stuff but I think they don't care whether or not the hints are obvious. Silent protagonist spends a lot of time explaining things in summarized green text, which is rather annoying to break up the dialogue like that, but maybe it's a thing I just happened not to encounter as Persona 3 PSP was sort of like that though in second person.

Ys Seven is also a nice change in pace from other stuff I'm playing - it really is just adventuring and being clueless. It's refreshing to not have shipping subtext thrown in my face (Trails in the Sky), super emotional stuff (Lost Odyssey), a hopeless war situation (Covenant in the Plume), or too much ridiculousness (Kingdom Hearts 2). It's a little silly, a little sad, and just plain old fun to battle and collect shit. It has the collect the loot of Kingdom Hearts and the harvesting of Star Ocean 4. Pretty amazing system. I think I will unexpectedly finish this game before the others...well technically I've beaten Covenant of the Plume, but I'm going for all 3 official endings before moving on.
I actually finished playing FFVII: Crisis Core on Thursday and cried a bit because of the ending. Let me tell you about the game.

MAJOR SPOILERS )

In the end, I recommend the game to any main game FFVII fan but probably not to someone who hasn't played the main game first. The story has much more impact if you know the main game's story and you will want to explore the world more to get the finer details. Otherwise this game is really short and the battle system is wonky. Also I think the faster pacing and compactness of this game might make the main game seem clunky and aimless at times, which could down the main game experience if the main game is played afterwards.

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July 2016

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