Back in 2011, Atlus made an RPG that was basically an Atelier game in everything but name. There are slight differences due to not being constraint by series traditions, but the music, game system, and atmosphere around the characters is highly reminiscent of older Ateliers. I also find it more satisfying than the one DS Atelier game I’ve played (Atelier Annie). The game doesn’t seem to have sold very well, but it does have a good degree of polish, addictiveness, and replayability, along with the charm of the lighthearted fantasy atmosphere.
In which I realize that old Megami Tensei games are not for me. Also, since this is the 3DS dungeon crawler which I played immediately after Etrian Odyssey IV (superior in the dungeon crawling department), I was already burnt out on first-person dungeon crawling upon starting. The fact that I bought the game when it came out and took 2 months to finish it despite the storyline being only ~30 hours long and still I lost the drive to even attempt post-game content conveys my feelings for the game pretty well, I think. I haven’t played any other games in the Devil Summoner line so I have no series bias towards it.
Around 60 hours later, I think I’m a little burnt out on first-person dungeon crawlers. Despite not being new to the Etrian Odyssey series, this is the first one where I went and beat the final boss. I haven’t even touch any post-game content yet, but I need a change in genre for now. I like the Etrian Odyssey games and their complex dungeons, mapping mechanics, and party creation, but I always burn out before the end, and earnestly look forward to the next one when it gets released. Good boys and girls shouldn’t pick up my backlog-growing habits.
I may have the social decency to pretend to be a polite teenager in front of random relatives instead of being glued to my handheld device like how I normally am, but dammit I need games for the airplane ride because how on Earth do I not play games during such a time where the games are begging to be played and my thumbs have to move? Also, because Chinese internet is slow and an ass to foreign sites, I’ll need my games to substitute for the net.
…And look, I’m bringing 6 games for my 2-week stay just to satisfy my terrible attention span! Although with most vacations, I end up bringing a bunch of games and only touching 1 or 2 because I’m hooked to them and a lot less ADD than I imagine myself to be. I’ve got my Ao no Kiseki, but in the case I need a break from that, I brought along Blazing Souls (SRPG I was playing before Ao arrived), Star Ocean (ARPG, in case I’m twitching for action) and Warriors of the Lost Empire (bought for $6 entirely on a whim, saw “hack and slash” on the back and thought this might just be short enough for my airplane trips). Also I’m flying from Canada to China and I highly doubt my PSP is going to last a double-digit amount of hours, so I brought along my DSLite. I’ve got Devil Survivor 2 in case my SRPG needs come up, and Glory of Heracles for a generic, easy turn-based game that I will play when watching airplane movies because I need to twiddle my thumbs.
As you’ve probably guessed, having nothing to do on an airplane trip is my nightmare. There was this one time 3 years ago where I was flying home from China, and my PSP ran out of batteries and so did my DS because I forgot to charge it. Even my iPod died on me, and the airplane movies either weren’t interesting, or I had watched on the trip to China. It was a terrible experience. Trying to sit still without some kind of distraction was a disaster, and I ended up eating 5 cups of instant noodles back-to-back because I was bored.
Because I don’t have a lot to post about recently, I guess I’ll make a report on stuff that I didn’t bother finishing. I’ll be heading to China next Wednesday so I’ll likely be gone for 2 weeks if The Great Firewall of China interferes. I don’t think I’ll be able to post anything while I’m in China anyways. Not even sure if relatives have wi-fi in their house. No consoles for at least 2 weeks, but I’ll be bringing along my handhelds because I never leave the house without them. I don’t have anything new to review since I’ve been going at Ao no Kiseki slowly (I’m trying to make this game last! There isn’t anything out after Ao no Kiseki at the time of writing, so I’m gonna savour this game!) and anything else that’s on PSP has been pushed aside to a pause. Without adieu, here is a list of games that I didn’t bother continuing.
Wild Arms 3 – It’s been like what, a year since I last played it? I couldn’t get into it. I liked the unusual cast and the Wild West setting is pretty cool, but the combat and puzzles didn’t grab me. I got spoiled by the hex system, and possibly the linearity of WA4. The story also hasn’t picked up.
Phantom Brave – I like NIS games. I like SRPGs. But I cannot like this game for some reason. The lack of grids on the maps makes things less organized, and the characters tend to slip or waste their time jumping, so they’ll never move where you want them to. Each unit having a turn limit doesn’t help. I wanted to like this game, but I just can’t get into it. Maybe I’ll give it another try in the future, since I have it on PSP and I’m much more tolerant when it comes to handheld games.
La Pucelle: Tactics – There’s a reason why people tell you to play the Disgaea series in order. The plot and characters are subjective, but the gameplay gets better with each installment. Most people who played Disgaea 2 on the PSP couldn’t go back to the first game afterwards. La Pucelle is essentially Disgaea 0 in gameplay – a less polished SRPG. I think I enjoyed it better than Phantom Brave, but I’ve still put it on pause because I’ve got other games in the backlog I want to play.
D. C. Da Capo – The legendary moe-ge that everybody knows. I didn’t even get past the common route because I found it to be real dull. I’m usually pretty good at pulling myself through long common routes, but in Da Capo it wasn’t even funny or charming so I stopped. The music isn’t outstanding, and the art clearly shows its age. Another reason I didn’t continue is probably because I watched both seasons of the anime long ago, back when harem anime was still fresh (I know, I know) and the scenario seemed original. There are plenty of media that were really good when they first came out, but their age clearly shows now. The only reason why I decided to try it out is because I liked Kotori and didn’t like how the anime went with Nemu, but my love for her died down through the years. I liked the rest of the cast back when I watched the anime, but not so much now. Maybe I would have played further if I could play the vn right after finishing the anime, like what I did with Clannad.
Blazing Souls Accelate – I still like this game, I just put it aside for Ao no Kiseki after reaching a battle where I’m too underleveled to get a move in and have to grind. I’ll be continuing this game after Ao, or when I feel like I need a bit of variety in China.
Oh yeah, and here’s an obligatory currently playing report, because that is what you do when you have nothing to do.
Ao no Kiseki – sdfdsfkdhdhdkghkgfdsflibfdlkadgh;fshgfdof;dsjfldskldsfjdklfskladhf *mashes keyboard uncontrollably* I MISSED YOU, CROSSBELL. ALSO OLIVIER AND KLOSE SFHKDFHKDHKFDKDVNKLDV DFJDFKDFKJFJESHK. RANDY SDKLFKLDSLDS BROS KJSDFDSKSDLF I THINK I’VE TAKEN A LIKING TO WAZY SDFKJDFLLS NOEL YOU FABULOUS MOB CLEANER YOU AND YOUR AOE NORMAL ATTACK DSJFHDSFHDKLSD CAN’T WAIT FOR TIO TO COME BACK KJDNFLKDFLDFSPD
Glory of Heracles – Got this for $5 new, thought you can’t go wrong with $5. It’s okay so far, certainly on the easy side. I’ll see how this continues. I’ve enjoyed some lines like “I found out I was immortal after my dad threw me off a cliff” “That’s some great parenting right there”
Devil Survivor 2 – Will be going at this slowly, I’m always slow with SRPGs. I’ve never found Devil Survivor to be OMFG amazing. SMT will always be better as a dungeon crawler for me.
SMT: Nocturne – Starting this on hard on my first playthrough is probably a bad idea, but I think I was enjoying the fact that I died in the very first dungeon (where you are solo) multiple times. Hopefully I won’t become a masochist after this. Also, starting this right before I head to China might not be such a good idea…
Developed by Grasshopper Manufacturer and published by Atlus in North America, Contact is a quirky little game released early in the DS’ lifeline. It tells the story of the Professor, being chased by an organization called the CosmoNOTs, and how he brings a passer-by boy onto his ship in order to make him search for cells to fuel his ship. The kid, default name Terry, is a silent protagonist with as much personality as a piece of paper so he just goes along with the suspicious old man to do his dirty work for him, in hopes of getting taken home. Of course, confrontation with the CosmoNOTs is unavoidable.
It was a fun year, actually. I played quite a few games that were enjoyable, and finally managed to play eroge in Japanese. I also got a sexy new PS3, opening up my library to even more games. Dad got me a 3DS as a surprise gift, so I’ll be looking in the horizon for games for that. I’m pretty much broke now, and my trip to the US increased my backlog. What a great way to prepare for new handhelds, me. I guess the Vita can wait. I don’t really give a shit about processing power or online features or touch panel or whatever they stick in there, I just want to follow Atlus, NIS and Falcom and play their games.
I played Persona 3 for a month and clocked 120+ hours and was still not tired of it by then. It took me more than a month to beat Persona 2: Innocent Sin at 48-49 hours and that felt like a complete drag. I was really excited when Atlus announced that the 1999 RPG would come to North America for the first time, but it ended up being a disappointment. I couldn’t get attached to any of the characters, and the plot was actually pretty good, but I just finished MuvLuv Alternative so P2 pales in comparison. I know I shouldn’t compare the story of one of the highest-rated eroge to an old RPG, but if something leaves an impression on me then I end up unconciously raising my expectations for a while. Anyways, I couldn’t enjoy P2 for numerous reasons, but my major complaint is on gameplay and speed. Continue reading →
There’s always stuff that I want, no matter what time it is and where I go.
1) Nora and the Time Studio (DS) – Atlus x Gust, using the artist of the Etrian Odyssey series. It definitely has the feel of an Atelier game from what I’ve seen, except you use time manipulation ainstead of alchemy. Collab between 2 awesome companies on the DS? Want.
2) Clock Zero (PSP) – Well, I never doubted Otomate when it comes to porting their otome games to PSP. I’ve only heard good things about it and I like the art style better than Kazuki Yone’s to be honest, so this is pretty high on my list. I don’t care if I’m playing as a loli in 6th grade, apprently she’s pretty manry.
3) Photo Kano (PSP) – A galge that uses 3D models like Konami’s Love Plus. It’s got more girls, including a glasses character and twintails!
4) Makai Kingdom (PSP) – As far as I’m concerned, a NIS burnout hasn’t happened yet and I won’t get tired of their games.
Honorable mention: Eiyuu Desnsetsu: Ao no Kiseki (PSP) – Well, this should be above all of them since it’s from my beloved Kiseki series, but I didn’t even get Zero no Kiseki yet and considering how the series is one of the most popular PC RPGs in China, there will definitely be a Chinese PC version sooner or later.
NA Games (not including stuff I already pre-ordered):
1) Atelier Totori (PS3) – Just finished Rorona and definitely want the next in the series. Want more cute girlsSterk alchemy.
2) Fate/Extra (PSP) – Been interested since Japanese release, didn’t bother importing. According to Aksys it has the “Persona feel” and that’s a series I’m a fan of. I didn’t even get through Fate/Stay Night because that thing was long, but the last time I tried was several years ago. After going through more eroge, F/SN is probably not insanely long in comparison, but I never bothered trying again. Maybe I’ll attempt to read through it this summer.
3) Tales of Graces F (PS3) – It looks nice and I want to play a Tales game.
4) Hakuoki (PSP) – Not into Japanese history (or history of any kind other than ingame made up ones), and I look forward to Clock Zero more because I’m not a fan of the “everyone has black hair” color scheme in VNs. Nonetheless, someone (Aksys) has the balls to bring a clean visual novel targeted to girls to a continent where the PSP is pretty unpopular in the eyes of retailers and the majority of its owners are dudes anyways. Gotta support the genre.
Honorable mention: Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC – Should be on the top of my list, but we don’t even have an estimated release period and not much news from XSeed. Also, I hereby disqualify the Kiseki games from my lists because I’ll be biased towards them for sure.
The demo includes the first 2 stages and ends after the first day. Only easy mode is available, but I ain’t complaining because I died. Multiple times. ON THE FIRST TWO STAGES OF EASY MODE. FFUUUUUUUU– Ok fine, the first death was me falling off while trying to get used to the controls on the first stage. The other deaths all resulted in the second stage. I got the hang of pushing blocks now, but not sure if want since I’m poor and already have Disgaea 4 and Persona 2 pre-ordered (not to mention that I will likely order Zero no Kiseki Chinese PC version). Not gonna day 1 for sure, since the release date’s too close and I’m hoping that my rich unpaid slave gets it so I don’t have to.