willythom88

willythom88's Givin' Up and Gettin' On

39 posts in this topic

Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh DAAAAAH!

...or something like that....

1Lcd4e46.png

 

And after 5 years and 1 month, per PSNProfiles

ADVENTURES OF MANA is Done!

 

 

I genuinely didn't enjoy this game until this time playing through it.  Unlike Trials and Legends, I've been trying to force my way through Adventures for....well....5 years....and 1 month.  Fortunately, I always try to give a series multiple chances before I write it off, and that meant I enjoyed Trials, at least enough to give the others a shot.  Well sort of, but I'll get into that on th3e Legends review when that time comes.  Well, enough rambling, let's go!

 

 

Difficulty - 4/5

I actually think, given the length of the game, and the vibe that this is a good first JRPG, that the difficulty is actually pretty close to perfect.  There's a few segments where the difficulty spikes a bit too much for it's own good.  This results in a valley following that just too easy.  Also, these spikes tend to be a little cheap.  Still, I liked the difficulty overall.

 

Sound - 4/5

So to be honest, I mostly play my VITA with the sound down.  Just a courtesy to others since I'm usually in a room with someone.  That being said, I did like this soundtrack, but I did have to listen to a lot of it via Youtube.  The couple songs I did hear while playing were really nice, though I would say the mix between a sort of Celtic style violin, and like early 90's "JRPG" style was a tad jarring.  Overall, I think it works fine, and the soundtrack is actually pretty nice to listen to outside of the game (a kudos I rarely give).

 

Combat - 3/5

I really like the combat here.  Specifically the super attack you get when you go a little bit without attacking.  Magic is also much more impressive here than it was in Trials, which I could get through without ever using my main characters magic if I really wanted to (and it wasn't too hard even then).  Here, you have to use magic to get through the game.  Also, the bosses are a bit more memorable here, I feel.  Sure, I remember the giant eye from Trials, but I'll retain how annoying beasts like the late game bug or the final boss were.  I really liked the final boss fight, even though it was much simpler than anything from Trials.  Couple this with dungeon "buddies", who all have different effects when you call on them, and I think the combat mostly works here.  Those dungeon buddies are definitely prescribed at certain points, and worst yet, disappear after a certain point (usually the dungeon you get them) but I liked having them when I got them.

 

The main problem comes down to two things.  One, the limited item slots.  And two, the limited integration of the super move and the magic.  The super moves don't seem to have obvious effects on certain weapon types.  See, you have to use a variety of weapons.  For instance, axes cut through most plants, while flails allow you to cross between distances marked with little wooden poles.  All of these have super moves, but they aren't all very obvious, let alone super useful.  The sword and the flail were the best ones, imo.  Magic is very much the same.  I used blizzard a lot for puzzles, and fire a lot for combat.  I also used lightning and the ultimate magic at the end, but for the most part, it was cure and heal.  Silence never got used.  Not even once.  Which leads me to the biggest problem.

 

You get two slots you can use on your screen (provided you use the touchscreen, I used x and o the whole game unless I had to use the touchscreen for something).  One slot is always dedicated to your weapon.  This means that items and magic are always assigned to the second slot.  I'm sure when the game was on phones this was less annoying, but it's obnoxious here.  You'll spend fights jumping into the menu, switching in a magic, then doing it again moments later to swap in an ether.  It's terrible UI for fighting imo, and if they ever remake it for the fourth time (I've never touched the other versions), they should really do something to rectify that.

 

Story - 3/5

Here's the thing.  I know this is a game from the early 90's.  That doesn't mean it's aged particularly well though.  It's a very generic story about you saving a princess.  There's more too it than that, and in general, it's handled well enough.  It's not poorly told, justifying a 2/5, or a complete dumpster fire, bringing us a 0/5.  No, this is just an average story, told in a moderately average way.

 

Length and Structure - 3/5

I think the game gets in and gets out just fine.  Like I said before, the story points aren't amazing.  The grinding is very very dull, or as @kingofbattle8174 so astutely put it

13 hours ago, kingofbattle8174 said:

Gotta love five hours of fighting elephants. 

Fact is the grinding is still very minimized though.  Most of the game is just moving from one place to another.  I still contend that the grid style of the maps is needlessly complicated, and makes it very easy to get lost, especially on the world map.  However, I think the game manages it's locations and it's leveling well enough that it's not ultimately impossible to get through it and focus on the platinum.

 

Graphics - 2/5

Everything is basically a cut and paste of something else, with new colors.  I'm of the opinion if you're going to remake something, add your own flair to it.  Keep the same beats, but make the Hydra your own, ya know?  Evidently the developers are not.  This doesn't just apply to the enemies either.  Don't tell anyone, but I think all the people in all the towns might be related.

 

Trophies - 2/5

Hope you're ready to do everything!  In all seriousness, if you didn't have to reach level 99, and didn't have to find every item in the game, this would be way more tolerable.  The item one in particular messed me up, because even after it popped, I knew I had gotten that last item before.  Oh well.  Damn thing popped I guess.  Also, enemy drops seem to be a bit better if you restart the game, so if you're looking for any of the collector stuff, and aren't having luck, restart.  Kind of lame, honestly.

 

Dungeon Design - 2/5

Aside from a couple dungeons separated by minor details, they all look exactly the same.  Castles look like castles.  Caves look like caves.  I didn't care for them honestly, and the only thing keeping me from a 1/5 is that dungeons weren't poorly designed.  Just carbon copies.

 

 

Final Score:
3/5

 

 

Okay, so ultimately, Adventure's of Mana is as good as Trials, but just with different highs and lows?  Meh, kind of.  I think they are just different enough to justify the "apples and oranges analogy, but they are ultimately both substantial titles.  Now, of course, it's time for number three, Secrets of Mana.  This is the only one I have no experience with, so I'm very excited to go in blind.  From what I can tell, it's very similar to Adventures, in both gameplay and trophy list.  My plan is to start it this morning, and an update within the week. Peace!

 

 

 

 

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welp, here we go with an update, I guess

Lb398a5.png

It's still early to call it, but this might be the worst Mana!

 

Ok, so to start off with some positives.

 

The world map is very pretty, at least as far as what you run around.

 

The story is interesting-ish.  I'm only two hours in so it has the chance to wow me, but so far, it's fine.

 

The towns I've seen so far are diverse enough to look distinct from one another, but feel like they are part of the same world.

 

Best dwarves in the series so far.  Pretty fun little diversion, I must say.

 

And we're done...

 

So for negatives, let's start with the menu and mini-map systems.  The menu is needlessly confusing, and there really isn't a good tutorial to break down how to use it.  At least with Adventure they compensated for limited uses by making the menus easy to navigate.  Here, the stacked sloppily, and when you get into them, they can be a tad confusing to use at first.  Just keep pressing X, seems to be the way to go.  The mini-map is also one of the worst I've ever seen.  You can't expand it, and thanks to the environments, so far, looking similar, it's completely useless in telling where you are at.  Complete ball job through and through.

 

The combat is also weak, though it's not intolerable.  Basically, it functions like the super move gauge in Adventure, sort of.  Basically, you can swing your sword or spear willy nilly, but you won't get much damage output.  If you wait between attacks, for what feels slightly too long, a gauge will fill up and the attack will do more damage.  The problem here is two fold.  One, when enemies get hit, they fall down, and you can't really attack them while they're down.  Additionally, waiting for the stronger move leaves you open for attack, but it's also pretty much mandatory for fights.  We're talking the difference between 2 HP of damage vs 34 HP of damage.  And this ain't Dragon Quest, they have substantial HP.

 

The voice acting is also f'ing awful.  Sometimes it sounds like someone was recorded, and then they played the recording into a microphone so they could put it in the game.

 

Overall, this is pretty weak, and it's hard to find the motivation to finish it.  I will, but it's gonna take me a bit longer than expected.

 

 

IN OTHER NEWS, HERES SOME GAMES I PLAYED BUT WON'T BE 100%

 

Tetris Effect - 3/5

Disclaimer - I suck at Tetris.  Like, hard.  However, I was very proud to knock out the story mode on Beginner.  I cleaned up some other trophies as well.  Honestly, it's the most fun way to play Tetris, and after awhile, the background graphics actually became pretty exciting to blend into the game.  They still bothered me occasionally, though.

 

Dogs Organized Neatly - 4/5

I adore this little game.  Basically, you have a grid, and dogs of different shapes.  You organize them by rotating them, and try to fill the grid perfectly with every dog.  It's not a very long game, and I'm currently stuck because, given it's length, it spikes that there difficulty pretty quick.  Still, for 2.99 on Steam, totally worth it.

 

Critter Crunch - 4/5

Back in 2009, Capybara Games (Swords and Sorcery, Below) created this weird little take on match three games, and I gotta say, it's not too bad.  It's on PS Now, and I'm enjoying it thus far.  I will say, the difficulty peaks really quick, especially in Challenge and Puzzle mode, but overall, it's a super nice game that's a lot of fun to look at.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Brief Aside

 

L0024ed.png

Completion - 100%

 

Hell I'm glad to be done with this one.

 

Rime is an atmospheric exploration game that sees you dropped on an island you have to explore.  Unlike something like Dear Esther  or Gone Home, this game has much more gameplay style mechanics, such as platforming and sneaking.  These mechanics are designed well enough, and thanks to an easy puzzle system, you'll find that the game is actually very rewarding to play without giving you an aneurysm trying to piece them together.

 

Unfortunately, it's also really bad for cleaning up trophies.  I don't know why games like this always go ham on the collectibles, but even with the lackluster chapter select, the collectibles are annoying to go back through for.  Basically, the lion share of collectibles are in the first 3 chapters.  However, you can't jump around those chapters, but instead you have to restart the whole damn chapter.  Unskippable cutscenes and long loading times make this way more trouble than it's worth.

 

Additionally, even though I don't really care about technical performance for the most part, this game doesn't run the best.  It's a gorgeous game, but thanks to stuttering, lag, and ridiculous load times, I'm gonna have to say it fails in this department as well.

 

Final Thoughts:  Gorgeous game, fun puzzles and platforming, awful collectibles, lackluster performance - 2/5

 

L1c4c24.png

Ya know what?  I like this game!

 

This game is f-in' stupid, and I love it for that.  This one is a lot funnier than the first game was, given the more structured set up.  Still, it's the same nonsensical, easy trophy list as the last one.  I do enjoy these games, as a competition with my wife.  My time was just under 35 minutes from start to plat, while she was just over 33, so she wins again.  Oh well, I'll get her on the third one.

 

Final Thoughts - For all the shit people talk, these games are kind of fun for what they are.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/12/2022 at 5:56 PM, kingofbattle8174 said:

Gotta love five hours of fighting elephants. 

 

Glorious! Of course, it's no worse than killing a robot in a particular room of a dungeon (LoM).

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a sadder post, but here it goes....

 

 

Here you lie

 

I've now clocked in over 3 hours, trying to get a grasp on the fighting, the inventory, all of it.  I wanted to avoid doing this until a later series.  Maybe Kingdom Hearts, or Disgaea.  But truth be told, I can't.

 

This game, in my opinion of course, sucks.  And it's not a matter of being too hard.  Or too easy.  I actually think the difficulty manages to fall pretty in the middle.  It's everything else.

 

Combat - The combat is awful.  In order to do any real damage, you have to let your attack meter charge.  Given how quickly other enemies attack though, this is needless.  They also don't seem to have to play by the same rules.  So my other two characters fall really quickly in battle, partially because the enemies can attack full force no matter how long they need to charge (also because you get your other characters at lower levels, so they suck in general).  I do like having to level up each individual weapon, but I think it's a cool mechanic wasted on an otherwise awful combat system.  Let me know if the combat speeds up later on, and maybe I'll give it another shot, but frankly, it's the biggest killer of joy in this game.

 

For now, this is being moved to the back burner, and I'm going to move on to Legends.  However, I'm willing to try this further down the road if I get any positive feedback on it, but for now, I'm done with this title.  Not a fan, to put it mildly.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trophyless!

LVnT8H7.jpg

Time Played: 2.6 Hours

Genre: Puzzle

Platform: PC (Steam)

Difficulty: 4/5 without a guide (0/5 with one)

Achievement Difficulty: 0/5 (with a guide, 1/5 without one)

 

This is an adorable little puzzle game where you take pre-shaped dogs and try to fill a grid with them.  They are in different shapes, and you have to lock them into one another so they don't overlap, but they fill the grid completely.  It's an adorable little game, that unfortunately is outside my wheelhouse.  I ended up sucking @$$ at it and needing to follow a guide for a little over half of it.  I highly recommend buying this one, and it's very cheap, so if you have a PC and a love for puzzle games, this one ain't half bad.

 

5/5

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Time for an update?  I think so...

 

Lf657f3.png

 

...and it's on the best Mana game of the bunch!

 

 

So Legend of Mana is the weird one of the four, I suppose.  While the other 3 focused heavily on a set of Mana characters....get it?....or one main character I guess, this is one does something a little differently.  Yes, there is a main character, but they are sort of a blank slat.  Kind of like Skyrim, without all the options.  Anyhow.

 

The world here is almost a hand drawn children's book of unique characters and brilliant set pieces.  While you get many of the Mana staples, such as the turban wearing store clerk, you also get some really unique folks like Niccolo the slightly scummy salesman rabbit, or a group of kids that think they can punk you (and super could've if I'd been any more unlucky).  I thoroughly enjoy the world here, and I'm very glad it's not just another medieval action rpg.

 

The side content is also fantastic!  You can capture monsters to help you fight (a feature I normally don't care for, that I actually don't mind here), a gardening game that's kind of fun (though I haven't really figured out the benefits to it just yet) and the non-liner nature of the main story means you can actually end up doing a side quest without really meaning to.

 

This isn't to call the game perfect.  I still don't really understand my point in the grand narrative.  The artifact system and the non-linear way the game is presented result in a lot more missable's than the other games.

 

The artifact system is hella unique though, I'll give it that.  Basically, you are presented a huge map when the game starts.  You pick a segment of it, that's the area your adventure takes place in.  Then, as you complete quests, you will be given these artifacts as rewards.  Those artifacts get laid on the world map, and turn into towns and areas to explore.  From what I've read, there's a specific order that you need to lay them down to unlock each of the games 67 quests.  And those quests need to be tackled in a specific order.  In the interest of keeping my playthroughs down, I'm tackling this with a guide to point me in the right direction, but if you go in blind, I can see it being super easy to get to the end missing a healthy dose of the quests.

 

The combat is also a tad sloppy, though not like Secrets is.  The issue is mainly collision detection could be a bit more forgiving, but instead it requires you to be pretty damn accurate.  This can lead to you thinking you're making contact with an enemy you very much aren't.  Neither of these complaints are the end of the world, and frankly, I still adore the game in spite of all of this.  I'm done with about 10 missions, so not even a quarter of the way (been playing Little Nightmares and Hohokum for an event) but I am very excited to work more on this this week.  It's honestly worth the wait.

 

Oh, and there is a poll for the next set of JRPGs I'll be doing after this set.  Currently (just from the one vote and my status update), it's looking to be strategy RPGs, and I'm 1,000% fine with that.  Think I'll bookend that event with some non-trophy games (thinking FFT, the original, and Fire Emblem Awakening, given how much I loved Three Houses {seriously, if you have a Switch, I cannot recommend that game more to RPG lovers; as someone who doesn't normally like games with social facets in them, it's great})  However, wherever this lands is fine with me.

 

Edited by willythom88
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, now that they showed off the trailer for Kingdom Hearts IV, you have to complete the set before it comes out. xD

 

Anyone think that trailer was dope? :)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/11/2022 at 8:46 AM, willythom88 said:

And that's fair.  But it's all relative, ya know.  Damn, I beat the final boss, grinded the rest of the items, and now I'm sitting on a screen, fighting the same enemies over and over again.  It's kind of a pain in the ass, given how simple the rest of the game is.  

I've been there, willy, trust me. Grinding on the elephants for 10 hours to get those last 49 levels is NOT fun. :(

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, winter_bird_22 said:

Well, now that they showed off the trailer for Kingdom Hearts IV, you have to complete the set before it comes out. xD

 

Anyone think that trailer was dope? :)

 

That is a compelling argument haha.  I did enjoy the trailer.  I almost suspect that kid in the trailer will be the new protagonist.  I would love to see someone new get a saga of their own.  Pumped to find out more : ).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it appears I made a faux pas, and since I posted this in two different locations, it does reduce the validity of the poll since I also did a status update.  I went ahead and added a vote for strategy since two of the status update votes were for that, and only one person voted for that.

 

In the future, I'll just use the poll lol.  Anyhow, since it's a bit easier for me to read now, I'm looking at a possible tie.  Guess I need a rule for if that happens, huh?  Guess I'll need to mull that over.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

23Ld21929.png

 

Itty Bitty Update!

 

So thanks to the nature of this game, I got a little burnt out.  This game requires either multiple playthrough's (I'd say a few to get used to the nature of the of the game) or religious adherence to a guide.  Given my history with the game, I decided to adhere to the latter.  Now, this works well because it means I get to spend time focusing on getting the missables out of the way.  The problem is that, as anyone who has religiously followed a guide will tell you, it's easy to get burnt out.  Fortunately, the guide I have on Steam is fantastic.  unfortunately, I needed a break.

 

The game is actually very, very deep in terms of mechanics.  Fruit growing, monster taming, blacksmithing (my personal favorite cause it's much less hands on than the others), golem making, and the two I haven't gotten to yet, instrument making and elemental spirits.  I do enjoy being able to do things at my house when I return to it, but for the most part, the extra bells and whistles feel like they are easy to ignore.  Yes, the monster taming means you don't have to fight enemies alone (especially helpful during bosses) but I would argue it's not the most important thing to focus on.  At least where I'm at (just under halfway through the game, at about 28 or 29 tasks completed out of 67).

 

Speaking of the aforementioned bosses, this is the series hardest, but this is where I have been using monster taming for what I would expect is an unanticipated use of them.  When you die, if you have a living party member, your dead character will start to fill a bar.  Once this fills, they come back to life.  If everyone dies before that bar fills, the game is over.  Having a monster (or golems possibly, I haven't played much with the one I made) gives you a better chance if the plot doesn't provide you another party member.  I also have some party members I can bring in whenever, so I have a small pool of 3 characters I can pull from, and this helps a lot, even though my monsters suck, currently.

 

One of my bigger complaints is leveling.  I don't really understand it.  Basically, monsters drop gems....sometimes.  When they die, they might drop gems, and these gems give you experience.  Sometimes though, they drop items.  Nothing is more annoying in this game than when the last monster drops a health item (candy or chocolate bars) instead of gems.  Since you instantly refill your health at the end of every fight, this is pointless.  Also, the way that collecting this gems and the way points get dispersed is kind of confusing.  Frankly, the game does a poor job explaining all of it's mechanics.  Fortunately, the mechanics themselves are great, even when they feel pointless, so I'm down.

 

I'm taking a break, as I previously stated, and working on the RPG event.  Currently I'm working on Nights of Azure, which is a little action RPG from Gust.  I'm enjoying it so far, though I don't really know wtf is going on.  I'll update that as a brief aside as soon as possible.  I'm also doing a second, non-trophy game, in the form of Radiant Historia.  That game is fanatic, and since it's dramatically different from Nights of Azure, I can play them simultaneously without getting anything confused.  Nights of Azure is also fairly short, so I'll be back on Legends here shortly.  I'd like to be done by the end of the first week of May, at the latest.

 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At just under 30 hours....

 

I

Beat

It....

3L685349.png

The story for Legend of Mana is in the bag.

 

I managed to complete the last few sets of stories over the past week, and now the main story is done.  Unfortunately, I messed up the end of three of those, so I'm onto another playthrough.

 

I adore this game.  Honestly, I really do think this is the best of the four.  Between the ridiculously unique world, the fun (if not a little underwhelming) combat and thoroughly enjoyable (if not a little underwhelming) side content (something I haven't seen this series try across the other titles, this is definitely one I highly recommend....with a caveat!  I would recommend not using a guide for your first run.  You will miss ALOT, but it's absolutely worth it.

 

 I am working through New Game + now.  Basically I need to get to the three events (which I did mind you) and at the very end run home and save and do something very spoilerly (it's such a minor thing but i messed it up so I have to get to quest 49 before I can finish it).  Other than that, grinding to level 99 (finished the first run at level 49, which made it kind of a joke) wrapping up the produce and encyclopedia stuff, and getting the rest of the little stuff (money is a big one).

 

Next update will be the platinum, then I'll do one more as a wrap up.  Byuah!

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

So last month, early in May, I finished Legend of Mana, and the damndest thing happened.  I had no interest, at all, in platinumming it.  In fact, I found myself uninterested in plattinuming anything at all.  Hell, I didn't even care about trophies.  And that feeling hasn't gone away.  So, with that being said, I'm rededicating this thread to games, in general.  Maybe I'll come back to the trophy hunting sometime in the future, but right now, I couldn't care less, and I wanna play whatever I wanna play.  As long as I finish it, of course.

 

With that being said...

 

Fire Emblem: Awakening

3DS

Hours: 61

Genre: Strategy RPG

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/44/Fire_Emb...

 

After playing through Three Houses last week, I decided I wanted to go out and expand on the remainder of the series.  While title like Thraccia or Genealogy are harder to come by state side, Awakening was on sale, so I snatched it up.  I also grabbed Sacred stones, which is an older GBA title, but I haven't put much time into it.

 

If you aren't familar, the series is a Strategy RPG series.  You move your units around on a grid, and attack enemies once you are within range.  Three Houses adds a social component to it, which I really enjoyed, and frankly missed in Awakening.  However, Awakening isn't a bad title in the end, just not one that lives up to it's potential.  With a rather meh story (better than okay though, I will admit) it's lacking in the narrative department.  Fortunately, it's made up for by being a really damn good game, gameplay wise.  The maps are very well designed, and the difficulty is actually pretty even.  The way the game uses the map layout to push the player into rethinking their strategy is very smart.  I did find a few fights that were rough, and there's never been a genre that hit's as hard, imo, when you die as this one.  Maps can take 45 minutes to get through, and thanks to the, frankly stupid decision, to have certain characters deaths end in complete defeat, you can die at the finish line and have to restart.  

 

In fact, that's the only time I ever really lost a battle.  Your character and one other character can't die, or the battle ends in a game over.  It's really annoying.

 

Additionally, I can't speak to the permadeath, because I played on Casual Mode, Normal Difficulty.  Classic features the permadeath, and I'm not sure I really have any interest.  Despite the lackluster plot, I did like a lot of the characters, and I was not trying to sub them in because someone got taken down.

 

 

Graphics - 4/5
Music - 4/5
Gameplay - 4/5

Story - 3/5

 

4/5

 

 

Edited by willythom88
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.