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About Larx

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    Romance of the Souls
  • Birthday January 17

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  1. The Sound of Emotion: Listened to all BGM tracks. (Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth) Couple reasons I selected this mild-mannered trophy for my Lv. 20 (the true Demon's Souls trophy haul starts here) up. Firstly, VGM sings to me, from youth 'til evermore. Secondly, PSNP cellmate Isilith - also known as Serethyn, my best friend and life partner - gifted me the Utawarerumono duology for my birthday in January of 2019, and she has vibrantly expanded my gaming horizons throughout this same year! Thanks eternally to her, and may video games delight us 'til beyond the beyond!
  2. #41: Utawarerumono Zan Scattershot musou, scattershot reflection. This game is a curious, if not untenable, creation. I truly couldn't speculate /who/, precisely, chomped at the saddle for an Utawarerumono action title, yet here it is! As advertised, the game retells Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception - in scattershot truncation. A few scenes read verbatim from MoD, to the point that the localization lifted from Atlus' own; several others sadly never enter Zan's script. IMO, it flat-out *nailed* the tale's final scene and exchange, to its credit! Ultimately, therefore, it serves as a busier, briefer revisit through Haku's brush with wild stuff. I ardently recommend Mask of Deception itself for the proper Uta narrative, no question. Turn to Zan for a refresher course w/ smackin' t'do. Almost all of the 2D artwork adequately translated into 3D models; moreover and more pleasingly, pretty much every single unique pose and facial expression made the same transition! Atuy and Nosuri look as chipper as ever in polygonal format, and Haku looks TALL - like, the VNs understate height differences, dang. Kinda nifty factoid, to me. On the flip side, the models which /do/ look off disappointed me fast, and one praiseworthy girl (who doesn't know how to do anything, but leave it to her! - 12 points for the sequel) received not even one measly second of screentime. A drawback, that. I like the design element to field a squadron of four into maps; it helps avert the tug of neglect. Plus, that way, one can hot-swap to more suitable candidates for new objectives mid-mission, or can prepare a well-mixed squad in advance to tackle the taller challenges - of which I must say, two bosses in particular can MOVE & therefore spurred me to re-shuffle my approach in order to triumph over them. They stood as the largest obstacles to 100% completion and, ultimately, the platinum trophy. Not a vast grind but *oh* so painful recycling in more than a few spots, oof. Tamsoft knows what they are doing w/ hacks and slashes by now, as we know they do what they do with a thin budget. Bring healers unless you live mega-dangerously~ The remixed synthesized soundtrack now sounds straight out of 6th-gen in composition and tone, chiefly, from that era of Capcom (Mega Man X: Command Mission leaped rapidly to mind) and Sega (Sonic Heroes, at least in its synth-ier tracks). It isn't noteworthy or terrific, per se, much like the game itself, but it certainly yanked me back to 2005 or so, a time trip I did *not* expect. It could've used real improvement, as could've the largely unsatisfying audio SFX all-throughout. I did miss the crunchy guitarwork of SK: Estival Versus, as ever. As you might surmise, Zan isn't remarkable or top-shelf quality. It is a palate cleanser or a side gig. Plenty of B/C-grade J-games have satisfied me across the decades, however, and I can vouch for this unusual scallywag for the Uta pack and the Tamsoft pack, a likely compatible and even highly mutual Venn diagram of players, bearing in mind that it is a B/C-grade item. I earned this platinum #41 as my 3,000th PSN trophy, whereas my 2,000th arrived in concurrence back with platinum #20, meaning across 2019 I more than doubled my platy-pace a tad. It wouldn't keep me hauntingly awake at night if I missed milestones, but I don't mind a small effort to spruce up a couple of 'em - not vital, but neato, and neato is pretty dang neat. :>
  3. Mask of Truth: Completed the ending. (Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth) Overcome. Beautiful. One of the finest gaming tales I've ever savored. Onward to Utawarerumono Zan, then Prelude to the Fallen in 2020 - a splendid age t'be an Uta devotee!
  4. I'll lead with mine. Moderately disappointed in no platinum, after Gal*Gunvolt Burst received a passable one, especially if this winds up a regular-length GV entry and not an ultra-quickie. Nothing leaps out; it appears Inti stuffed the list with the borderline minimum content. :/ An uninspired haul. The trophy images *look* nice, heck, for sure, but given Inti's modern artstyle, they already were effectively a given. I'll likely give it a solid shot, someday, but I expect an even larger majority of multiplatform gamers to lean Switch over PS4 (and, less so, PC, although the absence of a platinum scant matters there).
  5. Nintendo has become adept at marketing a wider variety of titles, at least on the Western front, and I'll not discredit that savvy move. PlayStation and Xbox tend to lean on the heaviest sellers, to an IMO excessive degree. A drawback can arise, however, when countless Switch gamers can get lost in the seemingly incessant flood of new titles, ports, retro game revivals - see also Steam. Anyway, Sony needed a jolt via the 360 and Wii during the first few years of the PS3, and they may benefit from a jolt again since healthy competition can frequently breed proactive progression, but I don't at all feel that the PlayStation library has sagged, merely that the total tally of exclusives shall shrink for all platforms as developers and publishers continue to expand their outlooks across the breadth of the console marketplace (and, again, PC - even, at times, mobile). I was born into a family which owned an Atari 2600, and I was spoiled early with both a Sega Master System *and* an NES, then a Genesis / Mega Drive *and* an SNES, plus a hand-me-down Game Gear *and* Game Boy from my cousins. Also gamed on PC w/ edutainment, RTS, and early stealth titles. Back then, exclusives almost entirely ruled the forum; if I hadn't owned an SNES, I would've been able as a SEGA loyalist to play but a pocketful of the titles which /were/ available to both 16-bit dominants. Now, *so* darn many games release simultaneously on multiple platforms that folks can by and large select their preferred as they like, and a solid portion of initial exclusives receive ports within 12 to 18 months besides. It depends, then, on the player's choice of platform,yet also, their target library. Me, I roundly devour Japanese games, from AAA and AA to A and B and C grades. I've got to this day a nice (and, blessedly, not-unconquerable) stable of backlog on PS4 and Vita to accompany me throughout the rest of this year and doubtless through 2020. The Switch is certainly flourishing compared to the *raises finger to signify a sharp personal opinion* abysmal Wii U, but it also benefits since it crosses over into the handheld space as a quasi-successor to the high-selling 3DS; since it offers decent power for its smaller size, more developers and publishers can and will capitalize on its swelling hybrid fanbase. Hence the Switch shall continue to receive a larger discrete quantity of games inbound for the months to come. Nothin' strictly wrong with raking in first-timer or double-dipper cash. Myself, I absolutely thrive on the PS4, much like the PS1 and 2 before it; it alleviated darn near all of my moderate disappointments with the PS3 itself - console, controller, network, and even modestly the PSN store albeit modestly! - and delivers an avalanche of video games more than sufficient for my time/cash consumption. I've got Yakuzas, an Ys, Cold Steels, Ateliers, and several standalones like platformers (Shantae, MM, Gunvolt) and visual novels ahead in unreleased and/or unobtained games, to name a portion; Resident Evil, Catherine, Kingdom Hearts, and Persona sell healthily for their positions - I can understand frustrations with the recent MTX-drenched "early access" multiplayer-focused W-game inclination, yet even on this side of the Pacific, for singleplayers like me, we'll receive Cyberpunk 2077 and Bloodlines 2 as punchy fresh WRPGs, plus highly welcome console newcomers like Planescape: Torment. As such, I feel entirely satisfied with my current platforms of PS4, Vita, and PC. The Switch *is* flourishing right now. So's PS4. So's PC gaming. It's grand! A smattering of healthy competition ought to keep the motor spinnin'~ If anything, between classics and new champs, it's an excellent era to be a video gamer!
  6. #40: Va-11 Hall-a [PS4] Allow me to tell of a story. Once upon midnights dreary, a Larx had never finished a full visual novel. Oh, sure, I’d flipped through plentiful reams of dialogue in JRPGs, cRPGs, WRPGs, point-and-click adventures, so forth. I read books. (Still do!) Yet never had I powered through a VN from beginning to conclusion. Why? Good grief, I wish I could answer that one. I treasure them by now, right alongside all manner of games which contain decidedly more skill-specific gameplay. I can receive and relish a Final Fantasy, an Atelier, a Deus Ex, a Command & Conquer, a Yakuza, a Castlevania, a Touhou, a DJ Max - *and* a Steins;Gate, a Collar x Malice, an Utawarerumono (let’s call Uta 90+% VN, roughly a handy minimum threshold for “contiguous” reading) - and it all began for me, 20 platinums ago, deep within a cybernetic city, as a neon glow lit the way, down the alley, toward the sign, building code Va-11, Hall A… A place to mix drinks and change lives. Again. Va-11 Hall-a hooked me from the outset. Va-11 Hall-a is about persons, plain and dry - you, me, those above us, those below us, those beside us. It doesn’t capture any heroics, doesn’t unleash narrative extravaganzas. No seismic world-rending events unfurl. Visitors, passersby, frequenters all arrive, and they sit, and they mumble, and they glare, and they babble all manner of invectives and platitudes and inquisitions, and then they drink - ohhh, boy, do all of them drink. Sukeban’s marvelous bartend jaunt plops the cozy player into the role of one Julianne Natalie Stingray, the 27-year-old risk-averse Jill, who mixes said drinks and puts up with their every word, be it effervescent or blunt. Jill is, blissfully, as fleshed a character as all the rest; through her eyes, through her mind and her unhurried perception, flow discussions twice as freely as libations. Glitch City sprawls in corporate excess uptown, squalor down below, yet the greater scope of our Earth in 207X stays notably distant - within the small scope of the bar, these are *their* stories, their exchanges, just a bartender and her clients: newfound acquaintances, budding friends, reticent coworkers, and the freakin’ Best Boss one could admire. The bar’s jukebox broadcasts a phenomenally sumptuous soundtrack to drape across the discourse - cybernetic, electronic, rocking, lounging, atmospheric, sci-fi, noir, what have you - to the point I find it a challenge to overstate my fervent delight in it. Seriously, I’ll joyfully envelop myself in its soundtrack on any given day. Mad kudos! That all said, as with any other slice of entertainment, I wouldn’t extol this personal gem as a guaranteed smash for anyone in particular. This little jaunt isn’t for every gamer. Mixing drinks hardly involves more than a few cursory flicks of the sticks. A drunk - or sober! - patron may wax acerbic or poetic about the crappy state of the city, the banality of life and those we disdain, the sultry indulgences of procreative capers and japes of a frisky slant, “weeb stuff,” or moderate ado about nothing. The game presents its persons, and they might amaze with insights, or they’ll irritate with unimportant sighs. You are the bartender, Jill. This is your charge. Change their drink, change their focus, change their outlook, change their life - or, change nothing! That’s how life works, when observed more than directed. Visual novels play out their tales with relentless indifference to me the locus, as it were. That’s fine by me. Take several parts literature, a sprinkling of interactivity, a jolt of audio and visuals and presentation panache - order up, one VN, at your service. Yeah, I’ll take it for here, or to go; whenever I roam into the engrossing genre, I’ll owe gratitude to my first-cleared VN, now twicely traversed. Seems like a bygone era when I completed it on Vita last autumn. Having now duplicated that satisfying feat on PS4, double the platinum tally later, I am undoubtfully gladdened to the core. Thanks for the nudge, Va-11 Hall-a. It’s now safe to keep playing.
  7. Trophies appear organized by metal, which is pretty neat to me. I peeked at Zan's JPN list - a 50.5% Platinum acquisition rate. Smooth sailing, then, and I truly hope to have a swell time w/ this spinoff. After DW8XL, no grind can thwart me! By the way, Rez, thank you for your suggestion about the CE - I was thinking much the same, and I'll obtain a small vial of adhesive remover in order to beautify the box.
  8. According to the shipping label, this shipped on the 10th of September, which is remarkably impressive, considering today's the 9th. Anyway, more precious Utawarerumono! Purchased Zan's CE since I -adore- the franchise and relish musou gameplay, woo-hoo~ Do I expect sheer magnitudinal greatness, like with the mainline entries, certainly not. Nevertheless, it's been far too long since I tore through a musou, and I am *absolutely* keen to reacquaint with lovelies like Atuy, and Kuon, and Nosuri, and - mmm, gosh, I treasure this cast. With Prelude to the Fallen inbound ~2020, us West-dwellers shall receive more Uta than I ever would've speculated, not even a scant few years ago. Marvel at the localization floodgates, flung open wide.
  9. Hey, in case you'd like to preorder from the UK and can cancel your USA preorder, I spotted it on Amazon UK just now:
  10. #39: Steins;Gate 0 The interquel to the modern masterwork that is Steins;Gate gives me pause. Talk about a difficult to classify visual novel, this Steins;Gate 0. Should I extol it for its peaks, its finest conversations, when its ambitious script echoes the original's, supersedes the majority of videogame scriptwriting, and earns my robust esteem as a testament to the potency of our beloved medium? Should I chide it for its valleys, its curious moments which seemingly adore to overstay their welcome, when it dives into jarring wackiness and plops in frustrating scenes not out of place in cotton-candy fluff? Should I tilt my head and question its unresolved threads, dangled from a tapestry in parts both mesmerizing and unkempt? Should I deem it a cash-grab, a sloppy second, a marvel which suffices to explore a fascinating different branch of technology and science-fiction, a heartwarming revisit to one of my all-time favorite video game casts - a thing of its own, or is it beholden to its progenitor? Superfluous, dexterous, or what? I kind of cherish Steins;Gate 0. I kind of scratch my head at it. It impressed me at points. It puzzled me at others. Welcome to the interquel life. Beyond any reasonable doubt, I'd exhort any curious 0 onlooker to play Steins;Gate firstly. As 0 directly portrays and vastly expounds upon endgame S;G actions, one shouldn't enter its Akihabara unequipped. Divergence has beset the Future Gadget Lab, its founder Rintaro Okabe in particular, and time-travel theory cedes the engine to artificial intelligence. At what point will technology outpace humanity's capability to create or even maintain it? How will a world ever seamlessly poised for wars advance beyond our pale? Just what the heck does Rumiho Akiha guzzle to fuel her boundless stamina?? That last one defies answer, people. Those prior questions, and more, circulate within S;G 0's porridge. Like a porridge heated over a flame stove, not all of its ingredients warm equally. Some, however, get piping hot! Several superb positives abound, to my great liking. All returning cast members stake at least one claim to significance and poignant display; from nurturing Mayuri and stalwart Suzuha to a spunky "Sergeant," expect their endearment to grow ever closer if you treasured them during S;G. Even the two, Moeka and Luka, who'd left lesser impressions upon me from the original breathed new light and value in 0. The new and/or newly-spotlighted cast members generally hold it together, although around half of 'em fill more tertiary, non-essential positions. Then along comes Maho, who IMO wholly earns a seat at the Round Table and by far pleased me strongest of the new faces. A short-stuff knockoff, she is not. Takeshi Abo composes several terrific synthetic additions to the S;G soundtrack catalog, to the point that I *slightly* overall favor 0's OST. Not shoddy! As before, he nails the sci-fi soundscape to a stirring note. Huke likewise again illustrates our Akihabaran populace, although more than a couple new poses and faces glare disappointingly off-model or oddly-proportioned. The game does not /deftly/ mix in artwork models from the original, in that it does mix them in, but slipshod, with hardly any grace. Finally, unevenness extended to the late-game routes and endings, as well. Two-thirds of them satisfied me and drew tears - of relief, of sorrow, of joy, what have you - to my eyes. (I cried 4 times total, compared to 7 for Steins;Gate.) One-third of them quizzically petered out and moderately dulled me. I happened to crest, in personal experience, midway through the saga and wound up almost unsuitably relaxed in muscle and mind by its narrow-margin penultimate conclusion. As I cited, interquel life! You're looking at 25-35 hours of VN without rushing through. Bless MAGES., LINE supplants SMS triggers to streamline progress toward the true end flags and 100% completion. It'd stun me if our real LINE hasn't made a killing on their precious S;G 0 sticker set. :> What happened, then? Can I recommend Steins;Gate 0? To players of Steins;Gate, absolutely, more Steins;Gate. To outsiders from Steins;Gate, absolutely, /after/ Steins;Gate. But what is it? Another masterstroke? A head-scratcher? An atypical expansion on the world-bending explosion of sci-fi at the center of the district of otaku life? It is several things - any of those, plus more - from time to time, from moments to moments. I don't regret it, no ma'am/sir. I don't have all the answers for my viewpoint, for this one. But hey - I cherish Steins;Gate with all my soul. I kind of cherish Steins;Gate 0. That's kind of awesome, then!
  11. Another news bite, chief takeaways below: "Gridge" style activates under curse contamination & confers cheat-esque powerups Same combat setup confirmed: trio party turn-based/speed-order Few spoiler-y morsels under the bullets
  12. Awesome, congratulations on Jill! Mica Team IMO nailed the writing tone of Va-11 Hall-a in the script for this collaboration event; since you liked it quite a lot, if you can enjoy VNs, I'd absolutely recommend Va-11 - one of my personal favorite video games from the past few years, no question. Just be aware that Va-11 Hall-a's Gil....differs, aha. I myself continue to sacrifice hoards of resources to the RNG Goddess in a futile reach at KSG. Desire Sensor never bit me - until now. Edit: a meager 2 - a meager *2* - contracts after, home came KSG. Public complaints succeed!
  13. Complete all minigames, that'll make or break me, a la Judgment, as expected, aha. Might withhold 30 pieces of trash until after the most arduous trophies, in case I fall short, because *good gravy* does trash collection at the beach require monumental patience. Confident in my mahjong talents by now, yet I can foresee misfortune by the boatload will confound that 1-tile-conceal victory. Anyway, since I began w/ Y3 on PS3, it feels like half an era passed since this franchise wavered in worldwide limbo. No qualms here to purchase 3 again out of respect!
  14. SWEET. Best gaming news in a while, heck yeah! \o/ Super-grateful toward SEGA West and/or Japan to follow through on the expanded global fanbase and deliver these remasters. Gonna be one heck of an RGG-centric 2020 for me, what with Yakuza 3 (again), 4, and 5, plus 6 patient on the back burner. More close to home, I grew up one of the SEGA+Atari kiddos and am elated to behold their increasing resurgence. Blessings to them, everyday~!
  15. Not even joking: a viable candidate for my 69th Platinum in a couple years. :> Although, I should hope the actual game isn't total rubbish. Also, I expected a "double-dip" entendre already~