カレーまみれ勇者の冒険 Curry Chronicles

Leave a comment

Rune Factory 4

I think I’m in some sort of slump where I’m having trouble enjoying things that I’d normally love without another thought. It must be university sucking the energy out of me (I am not used to taking 6 courses a semester and the difficulty jump). Time for sinking long hours into demanding games is scarce and I no longer have the ability to sit in front of the computer deciphering complicated Japanese (Masada’s chuu2 writing is glorious and painful at the same time) without worrying about something else in the back of my mind.

I got some free time during midterm week to Rune Factory 4, and I went up to the end of the second arc (beat main story) before setting it aside for Pokemon. The final arc is post-game material that requires some work to trigger, so I may revisit the game some day not during this Fall’s onslaught of games.

The only Rune Factory I’ve sunk time into was the first game, which was largely regarded as a kusoge but managed to grab me back then. Thankfully, the series was subjected to a myriad of improvements, because boy, Rune Factory 4 is incredibly addicting. The freedom and calendar-based progression along with the loads and loads of skills to level up makes up for the unspectacular graphics for 3DS (it doesn’t look that much better than the DS entries) and controls that aren’t as smooth as say, Ys.

Combat is no longer that clunky, and the dungeon-crawling ends up being very fun, in the you-get-to-mindlessly-beat-stuff-up kind of way. You are presented with choice from different kinds of weapons that all have their own different feel and advantages, and magic is useful, to say the least. You can bring town residents into dungeons as additional party members (up to 2) and they are actually quite helpful despite the almost suicidal tendencies of their AI. Some characters cast magic and heal you often, so they tend to be my picks for party members. Dungeons themselves are also a lot longer, later dungeons spanning multiple floors/sub-maps. Of course I’m only drawing comparisons to the first Rune Factory so RF3 probably also had decent dungeons.

There is an addicting cooking and forging system, and the farming seems to be pretty standard modern Harvest Moon, albeit it feels easier and less troublesome. Things seem to unlock faster to enable more efficient field work. I had a watering can that watered 4×4 grids two months into the game, whereas I would usually be stuck with the shitty starter can in a normal Harvest Moon for a long time. Monster taming is back, and you can bring them into dungeons or have them help out with field work. They also appear to level up by themselves, unlike the townspeople. Because there is a level for absolutely everything that increases as you do more of that thing, nothing becomes boring. Whether it is actions performed consciously (weapon mastery, cooking, farming, mining, etc.) or unconsciously or more out of necessity (walking, sleeping, eating), they all give you stat increases if you level them up and the sheer variety of options keeps the game from getting dull. The player’s main level can also go beyond 99.

The bottom line is that you have a myriad of ways you can spend time and nobody forces you to stick to one thing outside of clearing the main story (which also has no time limit). Aside from the beginning where the game takes a while to introduce and open up certain aspects of the game, nobody is making you do anything yet everything is fun.

Of course, I also came for the marriage candidates. Rune Factory’s fantasy character designs have always been more appealing than Harvest Moon’s, and raising affection with the townspeople in RF is also a lot faster and less tedious. You actually get somewhere by talking to them every day, instead of making friends being a long and painful process that requires you to give them their preferred item on a regular basis. Marriage also seems to require a period of dating and events acquired from said dating relationship before being possible, unlike past games where you just had to get their affection up.

I haven’t picked a waifu yet, but am certainly leaning towards Forte or Dolce. All the marriage candidates, male or female, have distinct character quirks and are brimming with energy. Their dialogues also change more often than the last Harvest Moon game I’ve played. There’s also the option of playing as a girl (with twintails!) and I might do a playthrough as her since the male marriage candidates are also quite decent. Although, with that being said, I haven’t reached a point where I can say I am truly invested into the characters. I don’t have the “I’ll definitely get her!!” motivation that I’ve had with galge and some pseudo galge/rpg. Forte does hit a good portion of my moe points, but not enough to make me truly want to work for it.

In conclusion, it is a fun game that one can easily lose himself in. I’ve enjoyed it more than how I’m liking Pokemon Y so far, but there is more to be seen with the latter. Story is not its strong point, but I don’t think it ever was for this series.


Falcom Artbooks do want, but…

My wallet is not so fabulous and AmiAmi + everywhere with decent pricing sold out. I’d rather not pay $60 a book to Play-Asia, when I can buy Nayuta no Kiseki for $75. I’m still debating whether to attempt to buy the artbooks somewhere or just skipping ahead to Nayuta (combining Ys-style fast-paced action and Kiseki-style world detail and story is like a dream game). Dammit, I need to hurry up and become legal so I can use my bank account for Paypal and not have to go through so much trouble buying prepaid credit cards and such.

Also Ao no Kiseki Chinese PC version needs to hurry up and update the site. The official site hasn’t been updated when it comes to pre-orders or limited edition content. Only the “world” and “characters” sections are even available to click. With Ys Seven dated for June 20, I don’t imagine we’d be seeing the Ao no Kiseki Chinese version until next year though. Either way, they’re getting my money. The Ys Seven PC version looks pretty good from the screens I’ve seen so far, graphics-wise.

On a side note, people complaining about XSeed not putting Trails in the Sky SC in top priority for translation are seriously getting annoying.  I can tolerate it in the Trails in the Sky boards in small amounts because I can see how bad the wait for a small company to localize a gigantic game is, but when every piece of Falcom and XSeed news on Siliconera has people whining about SC…just no. XSeed’s localization was wonderfully done and opened me and a bunch of other people to a high quality RPG series, they do NOT deserve to be the victim of such whining and “I LOST ALL FAITH IN THEM BECAUSE GOD FORBID THEM TRY TO MAKE MONEY BY LOCALIZING OTHER GAMES” speeches.

Leave a comment

My thoughts on the bosses in Ys I & II when I fought them

Ys I:
Jenocres – did I just get 2-shot by the FIRE? *off to grind until he becomes cakewalk*
Nyghtilger – lol did not even take damage
Vagullion – Y U NO APPEAR AND LET ME HIT YOU!? Oh, and goddamed bats.
Pictimos – Easy
Khonsclard – Slightly less easy
Yogleks & Omulgun – Dem stupid crystals…
Dark Fact – *rage in all caps* The danmaku here is DO NOT WANT

Ys II:
Velagunder – Why is ramming into him not working!? …wait, what’s this about a FIRE MAGIC I hear?
Tyalmath – Died a couple times until I get used to its attack pattern. Standard Ys difficulty for me.
Gelaldy – FUUUUUUU I keep accidentally running to the entrance and getting myself stuck in narrow hallway
Druegar – T’was alright…easy danmaku…
Darm – equip Elixir, use shield magic, I GET LIKE 4 HP BARS. Dodging? Tactics? What are those?

The bosses were VERY varied in terms of difficulty in Ys I. Ys II was a lot better in terms of balance, and had the more fun boss designs. I guess I was the harder game overall, since it required more precision and you could used items in boss fights in Ys II (on Normal, at least). Ys II’s item usage didn’t make it TOO easy though, since you pretty much stick with the 3 herbs until the end. I wouldn’t want to replay Ys I, but Ys II is probably worth a replay on hard (And beat Darm without Elixir…). Also, I freaking love my fire magic. I like long range attacks.

Leave a comment

Dark Fact

Hurry up and die. God I swear even Galbalan was less irritating because the floor tiles didn’t fall and there was more variety to him. Falling floor tiles are very rage inducing..

Dark himself also moves too damn fast. He makes Vagullion look like a pushover. I either a) get cornered due to disappearing floor tiles and sniped to death by the danmaku or b) can’t even hit Dark Fact enough and get killed by danmaku before I kill him.

I’ve tried the strategy of hitting him near the edge so I don’t get trapped, but then after I hit him a few times I can’t catch up with him and get killed by the danmaku. lol I swear it’ll take as long for me to beat him as the rest of the game. I can imagine how easy this game would get if rings and items worked in boss fights, though. Some long-range magic would also work wonders.

EDIT: So I figured that it’d take more time for me to try and beat Dark Fact than to replay the entire thing on easy, and I did exactly that. Dark was a complete pushover on easy, mainly because he died in less hits. Pride? Practice? Determination? I’ll save those for boss fights I actually find fun. On to Ys II!

Leave a comment

Review: Ys Seven

System: PSP
Language: English
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Localizer: XSEED
Year: 2010

After playing Oath in Felghana I went on to Ys Seven. The Ys series has changed in  gameplay many times, but Seven stands out for actually giving Adol party members and being generally more modern and RPG-like. It’s the optimal choice for new players getting into Ys since it plays a lot less old school that Oath, and damn it is addicting as hell. Ys Seven is easier than Oath by quite a bit, but is nonetheless an exciting ARPG.

Continue reading


…And to Sum Up 2011

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.

Continue reading


That’s it, I’m getting a Vita.


Zero no Kiseki Vita version with FULL VOICE? There’s hope for XSeed in localizing this, since Vita won’t be a dying system like the PSP in North America (at least for a while)! Well, maybe the full voice will provide troublesome, but there’s always the option of leaving in the Japanese (its not like that hasn’t been done before).

Besides, I do prefer handheld gaming over PC gaming. By a lot. And chances are, Ao no Kiseki will probably follow and glimmer of hope remains in North American fans’ eyes. I hope.


Leave a comment

So I really, really suck at ARPGs

Or at least I suck at Ys: The Oath in Felghana (and I’m pretty sure I’ll suck at the other games in the series). Went in thinking button mashing works (and it does for the first dungeon’s regular enemies), came out dead. The bosses are heaps stronger than the ordinary enemies, which aren’t exactly friendly starting exactly from the second dungeon. Multiple flaming projectlies are the least of my concerns. All the bosses I’ve died against multiple times (and I’m up to the 4th one, where I just died), so the retry option is a godsend. If I’m getting my ass kicked on normal, I don’t want to imagine Nightmare or Inferno.

Ys is hard in a fair way though. I started off dying before knocking out 1/4th of a boss’ HP, but repeated practice and memorization of the timing of the boss’ attacks finally let me beat it and it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling. Even if it is the first few bosses. The only one that was truly a bitch was the second boss, so I ran back to town, bought new equipment, and kicked its ass. I’m going to try and finish the game, even though I have a feeling it’ll just get even harder. It’s a good change of pace from turn-based, but os still really fun. I also refuse to select “retry on Easy,” because I have a feeling I’ll die on Easy anyways. I chose “retry with reduced difficulty.” I still died to that bitch of a flying fire dragon on the bridge. Good thing you can keep reducing the difficulty until it stops being a bitch. Now I just have to figure out a way to get back my pride…

In short, I need to play more action games and do manry training. Ys is definitely no button mash. Maybe one day I’ll be masochistic enough to play it on Nightmare or Inferno.

Leave a comment

Sora no Kiseki The 3rd — final chapter just reached

The 3rd really felt like something of a fandisk, but Sora no Kiseki is a series with enough interesting characters to warrant a fandisk. I think I’m going to start having nightmares about Chapter 7, because being thrown into a dungeon where I cannot return to the base with only 2 people in my party (1 of which I ditched for a good while and was severely underleveled) was hella scary. The Chapter 7 boss was also scary as hell since it was like Ries and Kevin (~20k HP each) vs. Weissman (~29K HP) and two other things (~39K HP each). Not to mention they got more turns than me OTL I died twice but then realized that Kevin’s new S-Craft did loads of damage and managed to use it twice. Chapter 6 also had some pretty intense fights, but the atmosphere didn’t feel as scary and having a full party is really reassuring~

Now that I’m at the final chapter of 3rd, I’m probably even more hesitant to continue than I was when I reached the final chapter of SC. I’ve still got Zero no Kiseki and eventually Ao no Kiseki to play, but Zero doesn’t have a Chinese translation yet. Plus, it’s got a new cast and I’m still attached to Sora no Kiseki’s cast a lot. After beating 3rd, I feel like playing through SC again because that really was my favorite. Travelling around the country and exploring dungeons is much more fun than 3rd’s sort-of-like-a-dungeon-crawler-but-also-not-quite style.

Also, I’m pretty nervous about The 3rd’s final boss. SC showed us that the developers aren’t afraid to throw us a level 99 boss with 99999 HP that I couldn’t even damage with physical attacks without buffing, and I’m willing to bet that The 3rd’s final boss will bring me tears lol. I used to be amazed at Nyx but I honestly had a harder time with that thing at the end of SC. My inner machoist is getting fired up!

Leave a comment

Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC Review

XSeed is manly for taking on this game with a hugeass script. They will become GAR if they manage to localize Second Chapter. I’m playing that in Chinese and I’m already getting a headache 5 hours in. So, if you didn’t know already, Trails in the Sky is a trilogy. This one localized by XSeed is the First Chapter. I will refer to this game as FC to avoid confusions as I’m reviewing the first game only, and using the acronym TitS will get very…awkward. Ahem.

Estelle Bright and her adopted brother Joshua Bright have just become Bracers (ok well, you technically become Bracers during the game, but it’s the first thing that happens so w/e), which is like a guild of people who take on requests given by people involving escort missions, item fetching, destroying monsters, etc. Their dad is a famous Bracer, but he leaves on a sudden business trip and Estelle and Joshua take on his unfinished work. After finishing the missions, they receive news that the airship their dad was on disappeared so they set out on a journey across Liberl to look for dad and become Senior Bracers i nthe process by collecting Recommendations from all 5 major cities.

Well obviously there is going to be a more serious and epic plot, but FC is just setting up the world and the characters for the most part. The game is rather lighthearted, and things start to get epic during the last 10-15 hours or so. The real action will happen in SC where the story of Estelle wraps up, and the third game involves a different main character and expands more on side characters.

The entire trilody uses a turn-based system. It feels like a combination of a standard turn-based RPG and an SRPG, considering that attacks take distance and area of effect into account and you can move in a way similar to an SRPG. However, you still crawl through dungeons and encounter monsters rather than have a set map or stage like an SRPG. The game also uses turn orders with the frequency of turns being based on speed. Think Luminous Arc 2/3 or Radiant Historia, although the turns aren’t as easily manipulated as RH. I didn’t like the battle system at first because it felt strange, but it turned out quite fun at the end.

There is decent customization, because characters can equip orbments. They don’t have a unique set of magic spells and you can put multiple elements on anyone. Crafts are character-unique, but those use CP which can be easily refilled by dealing or taking damage. The characters are all well-balanced and you can work with anyone. Heck, I decided to be extra safe for the final dungeon and gave 3 of my 4 party members healing spells. Overall, I’d say that while combat is slow, it’s also quite fun if you like some strategy in your RPGs. The difficulty is set at normal for your first playthrough and you can unlock hard and nightmare after clearing the game. There is also an option of being able to redo a fight with reduced difficulty if you lost, but I turned that off. At normal mode, FC can still get rather challenging at some parts. You can also make the game even harder by not doing sidequests and therefore not getting extra cash, if you’re M enough.

The story starts off rather typically with our hero and her adopted brother in a quiet town called Rolent in the kingdom of Liberl. Ok, it’s one of the 5 large towns in Liberl, but Rolent is pretty rural compared to the other 4. They travel across the continent, each major city having its own incident that takes up a chapter. These incidents eventually connect at the final chapter where you get to the capital, Grancel. The story doesn’t get epic until the last 10 hours, but as I said before, FC is just setting the world up for the epic things that will happen in SC. Either way, the story is the game’s strong point, and it’s really well told even in the lighthearted first chapter.

My mind is blown at how much care is put into crafting the world and the characters. There is a lot of backstory regarding Liberl and its neighboring countries, and each city in Liberl is filled with NPCs who say different things and change dialogue often. There is also a lot of information about each town as well, down it its major industries and attractions. The cities are quite huge and eventful, especially Grancel which takes up 5 screens. The characters fit into several RPG cliches, but don’t simply end there. Each character is forshadowed to have secrets and hidden sides, even if many of them are not revealed in FC. Besides, cliches aren’t bad.

Estelle: A cheerful tomboy who is also the protagonist of the game. She wields a staff, and is very manly. Lives and travels with her adopted brother Joshua.

Joshua: A dude with unusual hair and eye color that is popular amongst the ladies. He was adopted into Estelle’s family, but his past prior to that is unrevealed.

Scherazard: Big sister who uses a whip trained under Estelle’s dad. She likes to drink and is totally an S.

Olivier: Resident pervert and wandering bard from the neighboring Erebonian Empire. The most hilarious being in existence, and has some unrevealed information.

Cassius: Estelle and Joshua’s dad. He is a reknowned Bracer who used to be in the army.

Kloe: Kind student at the Jenis Royal Academy. She’s with you in chapter 2.

Agate: Male tsundere who is weak to lolis (or just Tita).

Tita: Moe moe loli with lots of guns and a pro with machines.

Zane: Huge guy from the Calvard Republic who joins your party late in the game.

I tried to keep the descriptions very brief so as to not give too many spoilers.

There’s some memorable tracks, but most of it strikes me as quite ordinary. I’m not a fan of the regular enemy battle theme, but the battle music in the final dungeon is nice. The town and ordinary dungeon soundtracks aren’t pieces I’d remember. There’s nothing really jarring, so the music is decent on average with some outstanding tracks. I’m sure vertain fans would disagree here, but I don’t find anything special with the music in FC. Now, the SC opening theme is something I’m loving.

Nothing mind-blowing at all. Granted, this is an old game first made for the PC in 2004 and ported to PSP in 2006 so I wasn’t expecting much in the first place. The sprites are small and blurry, but they won’t hurt your eyes much. At least not in comparison to trying to make out some dialogue in a foreign language in small font on a already small screen…(crycrycry Chinese patched SC is much less fun to read than XSeed’s colorful script) The backgrounds look pretty plain most of the time, and the models don’t stand out. The town designs aren’t particularly unique and look similar to each other (light-colored stone buildings). Character art and design also feels really retro, the art style feels like 90’s or early 2000’s anime style. For someone who watches a lot of anime or plays lots of RPGs, the style definitely screams “OLDDDD!!!” at you. Then again, I guess half a decade is considered pretty old for games…

I was skeptical about buying this since I heard some bad things about a different trilogy in the Legend of Heroes series and the character designs looked old (not to mention the graphics), but my doubts are all cleared. Awesome game is awesome, and from what I’ve been hearing, SC is even more awesome. I guess a experienced company like Falcom (despite suffering long cases of not being localized) will produce high quality RPGs compared to new companies. I wasn’t sure whether the story would be good since I heard their signature series, YS, had barely any story at all. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky has a humongous script and requires lots of reading through walls of text, but the battle system is also quite fun and interesting English text is a breeze compared to reading Japanese visual novels. Also, the Chinese translation of SC already has my head spinning so hard I want to run to XSeed’s arms. TitS has a pretty retro feel, and the political issues kinda remind me of Suikoden (I is the only one I played aside from Tierkreis). I liked Suikoden, but I could only play the first one on the PSP since I couldn’t find any of the PS2 ones. It’s not an awfully challenging game, but the storyline was good and I liked it despite it’s old graphics.