カレーまみれ勇者の冒険 Curry Chronicles


I finished Time and Eternity

I wrote a more detailed review at OrganizationASG and rambled about final boss strategy elsewhere so this is just some random babble. At 23:51 with all subquests cleared, that wasn’t a very long game. Nearly half that time was spent on subquests, so if you rush through the story, you could finish it in less than 20 hours. It’s also very easily broken, considering that magic is ridiculously overpowered and Time Freeze can be used without downtime and for as many times as you want in battle as long as you have Time Splinters to refill with. Also combine that with the chemistry system and you’ve got a game so easily broken you can make it so that the final boss never gets a move in on you.

While the game was really flawed and doesn’t appeal to a lot of people, I wouldn’t consider it absolute shit that no one should touch. It was miles more fun than Lunar Dragon Song. If I had to compare it to something, it’d be like the McDonalds’ of RPGs for me. There’s no way I can call it actually good, and the health benefits are low. But it is fast, edible without tasting like utter shit (alright, subjective here, but as someone whose high school cafeteria once served noodles with bits still raw and hard, McDonalds was a decent and affordable alternative), consistent, and you don’t have to put any mind into eating it. Sometimes you can enjoy the taste of a Big Mac (or in the case of poor student me, three McDoubles which will end up costing the same as the Big Mac) without thinking much about it, but it’s not something you want to eat all the time. Of course those who only enjoy the fine dining or healthy meals with carefully counted calories aren’t going to like it, but some people really do crave McDonalds’ at times (or eat it daily, but let’s watch our health at least somewhat, okay?).

Time and Eternity is just like that: a short game that flies by fast without overstaying its welcome, flawed, and has gameplay that never evolves. Enemy attack patterns and difficulty will remain constant whether it’s the first few hours or the last few hours (certain bosses not withstanding), and everything is just as expected. It was some 24 hours of shallow and mindless repetition, which isn’t a bad thing sometimes, just not what I’d pay $50 for (hooray for review copies). Of the girls I liked Enda the best (twintail loli always welcome), but you can only pick between Toki and Towa so I chose the latter (of course I reloaded later to get the former’s ending). While redheads are delicious and tempting, I like tsunderes and sword users so I chose Towa. Tsunderes with low-pitched voices are always great. Plus Towa’s magic is more useful for chemistry. There’s a true ending on NG+ that requires balancing both girls’ affection, but I don’t like the game enough to want to play it again.

Speaking of comparing food to RPGs, I’d have to compare some other games if Time and Eternity is McDonalds’.

The Atelier games are like dessert: sweet, delicious, always welcome but don’t last that long. They give that pleasant feeling, and you never feel tired after finishing.

Disgaea games feel like if you won a “cake every day for a year” prize. It’s definitely enjoyable and delicious, but somewhere down the really long line you’ll get tired of it. Of course, when the next one comes out, you’ll jump at the opportunity again.

Tales games are probably that one Hong Kong-style restaurant that serves their stuff in large plates. They’ve got lots of content compared to what you’re paying, and you can always rely on them to have something that you enjoy (for my particular tastes, anyway).Their servings are huge though, so you might have to force yourself to finish the last few bites, or get tired of what you ordered. You’ll often leave the store full, and while this stuff ain’t fine dining, it tastes good and feels comfortable.

Modern Atlus games feel like fancy five-course meals: good, but they take a long time to finish and your wallet probably took a critical hit or maybe even ate an instant-kill. You’ll probably feel satisfied at the end, but not before facing several hardships.

I have a huge bias for Falcom’s Legend of Heroes series so they are my waifu’s homemade meal specially prepared for my birthday (ignoring the fact that anyone I can call my waifu doesn’t exist in the third dimension). Always love, always want, always a lot and takes time to finish.

On another hand, Lunar Dragon Song is like this one noodle lunch I once had in high school: tasted terrible, had several pieces of hard, raw noodle that I absolutely couldn’t accept. I said “fuck this shit” partway through and threw it away.


Apparently my particular case of shit taste is incurable

Nominated in Japan for kusoge of the year in 2012 and getting trashed by English reviewers everywhere, and here I am enjoying Time and Eternity. I am also someone who played through the first Hyperdimension Neptunia twice from beginning to end and managed to survive Lunar Dragon Song for over five hours so I don’t think this is a fluke.

Of course, I’m only 12 hours in and in the second chapter, but Time and Eternity provides some shallow and mindless fun with its button-mashy and easily broken battle system and loads and loads of side quests. The plot is terrible, bringing in all of the nonsense of time travel stories and none of the fun and excitement, instead relying on cheesy jokes that are repeated to death and generally don’t connect all that well. Oh, but some are so bad they cross the “lame” line twice and made me laugh. Such as how a comically terrible-tasting cake brings its consumer to a near-death state and gives them the ability to see ghosts. The side quests are also more entertaining than the main story, and are miles more fun than Neptunia V’s quests, at the least. There’s one where a soul reaper asks you to go smack some sense into her chuunibyou son who is pretending to be a vampire. There are also a lot of pointless quests that give you free GP for just talking to someone.

My opinion will probably change since I’m not that far in, but for now I’m having a blast despite agreeing that it’s a kusoge and it reeks of lack of polish and lack of effort put into appealing to the otaku. As someone who regularly plays eroge, CS ports of eroge, and fanservicey RPGs like Neptunia (which is miles ahead of this game in moege writing), the unnaturalness of the ecchi situations in this game are unforgivable! But I like the lame puns and stupid sidequests and general stupidity of the whole thing. Not for the $50 that most people will be paying, of course.

I think the drama-filled White Album 2 (just unlocked coda, need a break before EXTREME SUFFERING) has somehow made me vulnerable to bad comedy and mindless gameplay. And I have a serious case of shit taste that I never want to fix. I shudder at the thought of only being able to enjoy good games. At the rate I’m progressing, I might turn into one of those people who purposely seek out kusoge to play. W-Will I have to touch Cho Aniki one day?


Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory – Impressions

This game was a pleasant surprise. I’ve been with the Neptunia series since the first game, so the much higher difficulty in V caught me off guard several times. Each boss fight so far (I’m up to Chapter 3) pretty much ended up eating all my resources on hand and were won with a dead party member and the remaining at critical HP. Bosses also have tremendous HP and regen, so staying alive and remaining offensive is the only way to do things. I got my ass handed to during a particular fight after getting Blanc because  It’s very easy to be underleveled for the next dungeon/boss since the dungeons are still small. Anyone expecting to breeze through things like in MK2 will get a nice wake-up call rather early on. Unfortunately this means “go grind.” Not that I mind since I like grinding here.

CPU mode is a nice balance between the first and second game. It eats up a set percentage of SP when you activate it and gives you a huge boost, but no longer drains SP per turn. Thus, it’s extremely useful for boss fights and strong enemies, but not broken so that you can spam it every turn. Combo system is similar to MK2’s.

Dialogue is as hilarious as ever, and they’ve ramped up the 4th wall-breaking, references, and innuendo. Plus Neptune is back as the superior main character, and Noire joins your party early and gets much time in the spotlight. Iris Heart is wonderful. Do-S characters bring out the best in everyone. All my party members have been CPUs thus far, so I’m excited to see the mascot characters. Especially Falcom-chan.

My major complaint so far is that monster drop rates suck. They are terrible. Even the risky enemies that only appear once or twice per dungeon have that shitty drop rate. Thus, fetch quests are frustrating as fuck.

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Ayesha is fun, but the Arland series have a better atmosphere

Alchemy is fine and just as complex when you get down to it, and battles take a more strategic turn as you can now position your party members around the enemy, affecting what support skills they can use. Through good usage of the battle system, a certain boss fight that is supposed to be “unwinnable” becomes winnable even on the first playthrough. The time constraints have become so lenient, even the quests from townspeople give you over a year to complete (even if it’s as simple as “get me 3 baguettes”), and hand out a lot of cash in comparison to the requests in the Arland series.  There are no deadlines, Ayesha just has to save her little sister by the end of the game (3 years) and that’s it. Levelling up is also a lot faster, and reaching level 50 in both alchemy and adventurer levels is quite easy. Boss fights don’t really happen until late game, where a bunch of optional bosses pop up in large numbers. Character models look great, English voice acting is bearable but disappointing in that only around half the game is dubbed (please, if you’re not gonna pay for the JP voices, put that cash into giving a full dub!). Soundtrack is wonderful as well.

The problem is, the game feels lonely. Kinda like Atelier Marie, except with more character events. Yeah, all the characters have plenty of events with Ayesha, but there is a lack of group events or interactions between party members. Remember back in Rorona where bringing different combinations of party members to the world map triggered different conversations between them? Doesn’t happen here. I liked the Regina and Juris events, but the other party members don’t have many events with each other. Plus, the amount of party members feels kinda few. Or maybe that’s just compared to Meruru, which had loads of characters and group interactions. Anyway, Ayesha’s fellow party members not interacting with each other just left a big gap in my heart. It was like in Atelier Marie, where the adventurers only interacted with Marie, and not with each other. Even the bath event was Ayesha & Tanya only.

Well, ’tis the beginning of a new (hopefully) trilogy, so some things gotta go back to square one. A15 has been announced to take place in the same land as Ayesha, this time with a twintail protagonist! Yeah, take my money, Gust! I hope it builds up to the same liveliness as the Arland games, with returning characters and group events. I’m not done with Ayesha seeing as how I’ve got more endings to get (only acquired the endings for party members other than Keith), so maybe it’ll be livelier in some of the other endings. I’ve got no complaints about the characters themselves. Wilbell is a fabulous loli and Linca is moe. Please return in the next game! The lack of Sterk is saddening though, hopefully we get someone who can cut the moon again. Extremely badass specials is the best kind of MANservice.

All in all, it’s a fun game, but not as good as Meruru/Totori. I liked Kishida’s art better, but the new artist is not bad at all. It’s sad to see cutscenes be in full 3D instead of visual novel style with portraits, as good the 3D models are.