AndresLionheart

Tales of AndresLionheart's backlog

116 posts in this topic

On 23/6/2019 at 0:51 PM, AndresLionheart said:

Hi. Yeh, it's been a while. After a few plats I thought something could have happened to you so I checked your profile to see you latest activity, lol. I mean, maybe you died or Maduro decided to censor the whole internet by disabling it in the country or something, lol. Good to see neither of those things happened.

 

Doing that Symphonia plat does take some special mental state, for sure. I don't know what happened to me but I got into this Tales mood that made me finally want to go through the game.

That walkthrough helped a lot with condensing all the sidequests along with the main story in one place. My usual problem with games like Symphonia is the annoyance of having to check a bunch of different sources a bunch of times because the information is not in chronological order. Now that I think about it, I should have taken notes of the order in which I was completing things for a simple point to point guide for those concerned about getting lost and missing something... damn, that would have been so useful, lol.

 

Of course we all love weeb trash! I just wasn't sure if I was getting the point across that I simply like calling it weeb trash, I found the term funny xD.

I enjoyed my time with Totori. Since it was the first one I played it felt like a different take on RPGs. At the time I remember I was unsure about having a limited amount of time to play, but I quickly got very efficient at the game and went through it without any issues. I really liked completing small tasks for the adventurer points, it actually made it feel like I was working for a real license. That game also had this feeling of wanting to know what was further away from the town, making earning those license upgrades that much sweeter. The cast of characters in that one was more developed, too, if I remember correctly.

Also, I'm sorry for making fun of people running out of time =P. Although, the time in Totori was more strict (and I've heard is even stricter in previous games).

Still alive my dude. Yeah, I'm active, it's just that I don't always have time to check and reply everywhere, so I sometimes take a couple of days off the site... and then I forget I had to reply on certain profiles, posts, and whatnot xxxD

 

I think you may have gotten the mood to get it finished once and for all. It's quite an undertaking after all. Not one that I would take out of the blue for sure. Symphonia itself is a great game from its time, it probably hasn't aged that well compared to the newest Tales of games but I enjoyed my time with it. At least, that one playthrough I did to just check on the story again. I will get back to it at one point, and yes, a point-to-point guide would have been great lmao xD
 

It's a funny term. It used to have a sort of negative connotation before but I see everyone uses it now without caring much. Like it doesn't have that much of a negative meaning nowadays :P  Probably could get more efficient on a second playthrough. I actually enjoyed my time with the game and Totori (and the whole alchemy system) is what made me play all the way through the end, even if I already knew well in advance I had fucked up with my time and was on a one way trip to bad-endingland xP Still need to get back to it, like with many games in my backlog xD  Ooh, don't worry, I know I'm not the only one running out of time out there. xP

 

Hope to read more about your future game endeavors in the future. See you. ;)

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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Game Difficulty: 4/10

Platinum Difficulty: 5/10

Time to Platinum: 23 hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

This is the third game I supported on Kickstarter and the first I dedicate time to. After not even wanting to check Mighty No.9 and only played Yooka-Laylee for like 3 hours I get an interesting game.

I checked the Kickstarter to see some information and turns out this was initially slated for March 2017... Damn it got delayed, I didn't even realize how long it's been.

 

In that time I got around to play the main inspiration for this game, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I know this is a spiritual successor, but it feels exactly like SotN. There are a few areas that feel ripped right from that game, lol (for example the Underground Waterway, which has this cave corridor to the left with toads and that ends in a Waterfall with an item behind it).

Miriam controls just like Alucard. Fluent movement, responsive jumps. The mechanic I was most happy to see still here was jump cancelling to bypass endlag on attacks.

 

Even after the graphics overhaul the game still looks just okay. SotN with it's sprites looks better =/. However, that is not my biggest issue. The game performs pretty badly. It chugs on big areas or when too much stuff is going on (the biggest example is a boss called Valefor. He has an attack with stacks of poker chips that tanks the game almost to a halt). When you get into a new area if you attack something too quickly the game just freezes for a few seconds. And this is on PS4, people on Switch can't even play. Even of PS4 I have seen reports of the game crashing on getting locked up on inifinite loading screens.

It suffices to say that the game still needed a few more months to be completely ready. Not only that, there are a bunch of stretch goals that have yet to be implemented and are supposed to come out on August, so we will see if they bring the game to an acceptable state by then.

 

Enough about that, how does the game play? Well, I'm happy to say that is a Metroidvania through and through. There is a big map to explore with little to no guidance, so it's up to you to remember things that you could not access (or use some map markers, I guess) to later come back and see if that's the next place to go. There is a character in the starting area that will share some advice about the next objective but it is sometimes so vague that it doesn't even help at all.

 

I really like the shard system. Basically, whenever you kill an enemy there is a chance to get a shard that gives new abilities or passives. Only one of each type can be equipped at a time. These can be upgraded by getting repeats and by using alchemy. Most types of shards just get stronger effects, but passive shards can also become a permanent passive when fully improved through alchemy. This makes it so you can become a monster by maxing passives that affect your current build.

On top of that there is the equipment. There is a lot of variaty in weapon types, each with their own style of play. I ended up maining Katanas, mostly because I just like them but also because they really benefit from jump cancelling (fast startup on attacks but long ending lag).

Throughout the game you can find bookshelves that containt info on the story and, more importantly, special weapon techniques. These work like in SotN, with special button inputs like quarter circle forward or forward back forward motions. Those made me like Katanas even more because they have the usual badass quick slash through enemies that is so fast that they feel it moments later. Normally these are specific to each weapon but after several uses are mastered and become available for any weapon in that category.

 

One curious feeling I had is that since this uses the same characters from the 8-bit style spin-off, Curse of the Moon, I felt like I was playing a reboot from an NES game, even though CotM came out only a year ago. Seeing the transition of those little simple sprites into their fully 3D models gave me that same feeling

 

The music is fine, I say it's in line with SotN. Still, I dunno what is with me but I tend to not be able to enjoy music in these games. I think it may be because I'm too focused in what I'm doing so I don't have time to enjoy what I'm hearing.

 

There are a few secrets here and there, and a bit too many points taken from SotN. I won't say because of spoilers but some parts in the progression through the game are EXACTLY like SotN, like too exactly. At least there wasn't an inverted castle...

 

Anyway, overall I like this beginning. I hope in the future more creative liberties are taken so we can get a fully new game. For now I'm done but I will be back to check the roguelike dungeon, I feel that the shard and weapon systems are perfect for some randomized playthroughs.

 

Thoughts on the Platinum

 

100% Item List... yeah... haven't seen one of those in a while. Nowadays most games only ask for like 80 or 90%, but here you need everything. There is a lot of going around getting materials with drop rates from 1 to 12% (most of them around 6 to 8%). This may look awful but it is not that bad because the Luck stat affects drop chances quite a bit. Before doing any of this I prepared a full set focusing on Luck, which let me get it over 100. I dunno exactly how much that increases the rates, but something with 2% drop rate would appear every 10 kills or so, so I'm gonna throw a fake number and say that 100 Luck means 5 times the drop chances =P (which is made up and especially false because I was also using a ring that said it increased item drops).

 

The rest of the completion is good fun. If it wasn't for the grind to get 100% of the item list I would actually get this Platinum again in another account.

 

Be wary that there are 2 missable trophies regarding bad endings! I randomly came across a comment that mentioned this before getting to that point, but I think I would have at least realized about one of them because it works pretty much like SotN.

 

The Media Corner

 

Just like with SotN, I completed everything else before heading into the final boss. This means I am waaaaay stronger than I should be.

 

Popping the Platinum. I was so fricking strong from maximizing my build while I completed everything else that I destroy these bosses.

I triple checked the map to be completely sure I didn't miss a room somewhere.

 

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My final stats. I actually had a better head piece that would put me over 400 Atk but I didn't use it because I didn't like how it looked with everything else.

Yes, there is some customization.

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Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!

Game Difficulty: 1/10

Platinum Difficulty: 2/10

Time to Platinum: 8 hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

I don't remember these games being so short. I dunno, I feel like as a kid I spent way more time in each stage. I didn't remember that much about this one but my foggy memory had a few signs of the first 2 hubs, nothing of the third. The obvious reason why these games feel shorter now is that Sparx being able to point to that one gem that you didn't see saves a shitton of wasted time. It is especially important in this one because green gems can easily blend with the grass.

 

I don't have much to say about this game. It felt worse than Spyro 1 in every single aspect. There is much less personality everywhere due to the lack of something like the dragons talking to you every time you save one. Those were also the moments in which Spyro's adorable animations and comments shined. In this one Spyro barely gets to talk.

 

There is a good amount of variety in stage themes, but these being so varied and completely disjointed form the world hub they are in makes them less memorable as well. The way gems are spread in levels also feels kinda random. Overall the level design was uninspired.

 

New skills being unlocked after visiting some areas just add back tracking. It is not that much time wasted, but it's time wasted nonetheless. Most of the abilities are underutilized anyway so they should just have introduced the new skill in the first level that required it. In general the game feels smaller. There seems to be less of everything.

 

When I finished Spyro 1 I was really looking forward to playing more. This one on the other hand left me with a "meh" feeling. Hopefully it picks up again for the third one, which I may have never played, I'm not completely sure.

 

Thoughts on the Platinum

 

Even easier and faster than the first one. None of the trophy requirements are challenging. There is one that could have been it, but it is actually a "Skill Point" and not a trophy. It involves beating the second boss without getting hit (which can be cheesed after finishing the game thanks to the permanent upgraded flame attack). Still, these Skill Points are not needed for any trophy and all they do is unlock the image gallery (I did them anyway, though).

 

After finishing the game there is this last area with some mini games to play for tokens to unlock a theather but for whatever reason nothing of that is needed for the platinum. Due to this I didn't feel compelled to complete any of that D=.

 

The only reason I rated this a 2/10 is because there are some kinda annoying trophies in a few levels that may require 2 hands. These are also two of this Super Charge areas that I can see people with slow reflexes having trouble with.

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Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization

Game Difficulty: 2/10

Platinum Difficulty: 3/10

Time to Platinum: 85 hours (+15 hours idle for 100 hours Trophy)

 

Thoughts on the game

 

I'm not sure what came to me that I felt like playing this game. I actually bought on release but never got around to it.

 

As far as anime games go, this one does have some effort and resources put into it. They did a lot with a little. While conversations and such are mostly done through static art with a few different expressions, there is a ton of dialogue, and of top of that, with voice acting.

Then there is the maps, which do recycle quite a bit of the geography to make places bigger but that kinda adds to the MMO feel.

 

I'd say the worst part of the recycled content are the complete generic ass quests. Just like in most cheap MMOs, these are all about gathering stuff and killing monsters. At first I was actually going out of my way to complete some of them but eventually I just forgot about it and let them complete themselves if I happened to do whatever I had to do.

The worst part about quests is that during side events with other characters they go through actual interesting quests, like looking for information about a sword and going to a tomb to find it, helping an elf waifu solve the mystery of her people turning into stone, etc. All of those I simply told through dialogue with the static art, you have to make the rest up on your mind with the sound effects and music.

The text needed a good bit more of QA as well. There are plenty of typos everywhere.

 

How the battle system works is simple but still entertaining. There are a few systems laid up onto each other that allow the player to do ridiculous damage when taken advantage of. That is something I like in my RPGs.

There are also several weapons and skills to unlock, with buff-type skills being possible to still be used with other weapons. So, leveling up a bunch of weapons to stack up a bunch of buffs is the way to go.

 

There is A LOT of talking. I was completing every side event as they appeared so most of the time, after an important story moment, I could get up to 90 minutes of conversations. Most of these are very laid back and show the characters just fucking around, going to cafes to eat cakes or to a field to make flower arrangements. The best part about those is that some reward you with some juicy images, like these:

 

Spoiler

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Waifus are indeed a part of this game, although a much smaller one than anticipated. You can raise your relationship with them which lets you give them weapons and armor. Later when affinity grows more you can hold hands with her or bridal carry her, for whatever reason. All this culminates with a bed scene where the waifu is shown in some sexy casual bed clothing and talks about some stuff with Kirito.

For this game my choice of waifu was Strea. She is one of those exceptions where even though she is the sexiest looking one she does not have a bewitching personality. She is actually the playful, cute and upbeat type. She is also self aware of how men like boobs so she gives "boob hugs" as she calls them. She is innocent, but not completely. She also has such a cute voice and way to express herself. On top of all that she starts as a Tank, and since I wanted to play as much of a glass cannon as I could she was my perfect pair.

Here are a few of her images:

 

Spoiler

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I mentioned you play as Kirito, and you do, but you are allowed to customize your character. You can name it and change their gender but I find all that stupid because other characters will still call you Kirito due to their voiced lines, and your character has Kirito's voice and acts as him. Due to this I just left the avatar as is.

I also mentioned my idea to be as glass cannony as I could. I mainly just wanted all the attack and attack speed I could find, kinda to go along with Kirito's moment against Gleam Eyes, you know, with all the "hayaku... motto hayaku!" stuff, and oh god is it possible. Attack speed can go up so fast that it looks silly, but awesome still.

 

I couldn't care about the story. The whole point is that NPCs are the ones that can actually die forever in this VR game. The idea is that you are supposed to care about them but I cannot care about some fucking NPC, I'm sorry. Even Premiere who is the main point of the story I don't give 2 shits about. And regardless, anything that is not the main story is so laid back that you forget there is some pressing matter at hand. Even at the end there is something that is supposedly falling toward the world but you can take all the time you want to go to dates with waifus, level up, explore, rest for a bunch of days, and more.

Along with the story come very few pre-rendered cutscenes that actually look really nice. They have this cel-shaded kinda look and are made to "skip frames" as to try to imitate regular hand drawn animation. I wish the game looked like that all the time...

 

What completed baffled me was the difficulty. Early on at the beginning I beat a mini boss that was quite a lot higher level than me, he gave me a decent sword. From there I started one or two shotting most regular enemies, and killing mini-bosses after one Party Skill (using a series of attack with the whole party which culminates with the enemy falling down and taking a lot more damage). A few more hours after that I was fighting things 20-30 levels above me.

Even when I got into the multiplayer mode (which can be played solo) and picked the highest difficulty to get some equipment, I was still destroying raid bosses (the main type of bosses) in one cycle.

 

Overall I had a good time. There may be a lot of talking, but I do not mind that (as long as there is voice acting). Sitting back and playing an easy game with some waifus is always a relaxing thing to do for me.

 

Thoughts on the Platinum

 

Now here is where shit gets a bit more real. I was at 45 hours of playtime when I reached the door to the final boss, then I was at 85 hours when I finished grinding and doing all other things needed for trophies... yes... 40 hours of side stuff.

Most of that time is grinding, although not one thing, it is a bunch of things, like affinity with friends, weapon mastery, skills, money.

The guide here in PSNP stated 120 hours for this plat, but the guide does not do things efficiently, at all. I found so many things not mentioned in the guide to speed up things. For example:

 

- To grind weapon mastery I actually used a golem monster that is level 83 in the dungeon of the 4th area. He is slow, has a lot of defense and is located in the self contained area where nothing else is gonna bother you and it is easy to warp out and back in to reset. You need the enemy to be at least 10 levels above you to max the chance to get mastery up on hit (I was level 52 at that point). While doing this I decided to bring along 2 of my usual party members and a third one that I had to raise affinity with. By doing Party Skills you get a bunch of affinity when successful. By doing that I got 4 characters to max affinity. On hindsight I should have actually brought 2 character and only keep my tank with me so I could get even more affinity at the same time.

 

-The guide says not to buy the unlockable EX Skills because they are costly (15 skill points) and do not count toward the 200 skills needed. The part they didn't think about is that mastery with weapons and EX Skills increases much faster in the beginning. From 0 to 100 you can get from 2 to 3 points, from 100 to 200 1 to 2, and from 200 to 300 it ranges from 0.2 to 1, after 300 it is always 0.1. Every 10 mastery you get 1 skill point, so from 0 to 200 you get 20 skills points. Getting to that takes about 5 minutes, and then to 300 is another 5 minutes. In 10 minutes you can get back 30 skill points for which you spent 15. All these EX Skills have 5 to 7 cost skills in the first few rows which do count for the 200 skills needed for the trophy. So, in short, you invest 15 skill points to get about 4 skills in 5 minutes, instead of slowly grinding points with other weapons or EX Skills already over 300 mastery. You still need to get some of them well over 300, but this shortens the grind.

 

-Not all weapons gain mastery equally. This is actually mentioned in the guide but they do not specify which weapons are the best one to get to max out and which are best left alone. Fast weapons has a smaller chance to get a mastery increase due to their faster attack speed, and slow weapons have a higher chance due to the slower attack speed, this makes sense. The trick here is that slow weapons have these downward aerial attacks that hit like 5 times even though they count as 1 hit in the combo. Each one of this 5 hits counts as a regular hit for mastery gain purposes, so the growth gets super fast. With this in mind this is my recommendation of what to grind (aside fo whatever you actually use normally, of course): Mace > 2H Axe > Katana > 2H Sword > Scimitar. Avoid the following like the plague: Spear > Rapier >>>>> Dagger.

Mace and 2H Axe get the downward attack normally. Katana does 2 regular attacks first, that's why it makes it a bit slower. 2H Sword requires an aerial dash, which makes it a bit slower than the Katana. Scimitar is actually an average speed weapon, so it's growth isn't as fast, but it still gets the downward aerial attack.

The ones I say to avoid are because they grow exceedingly slow, even when using fast multihitting skills. I still got them to 350 to unlock all their attack skills, though.

 

-When raising affinity with the "date" mini-game the guide doesn't tell you really how it works. The way they tell you to do it you get about +72 affinity per date during the final stretch (rank 5 to 6). Doing it correctly can net you up to +138 per date. The thing here is that there is a beating heart that indicates a few things, like when you are getting to close and stuff like that. What the guide doesn't tell you (or the writers didn't realize) is that if you press the corresponding button when the beating heart is biggest nets you way more affinity. I would only go up to the third special action only because they get more "nervous" when you get closer and their heart beats faster, making the timing harder. From there I would answer all 10 questions while the heart is biggest and then I would quickly approach before the date ends and hit all the special actions regardless of heart size. As long as I got most of the questions while the heart is big I would get +138 affinity, regardless of the size of the heart when hitting the special actions.

This strategy does require paying a bit more attention, but pretty much doubles the speed at which you get affinity.

 

-The guide doesn't give an non PS+ option for getting 1 million Col. They tell you to duplicate money with someone by abusing save back ups but do not offer a way to do that by yourself. What I did was fight the first raid boss on Nightmare difficulty, which gives an armor and an neckacle (if you do the last hit) every time he is killed. These can be sold for 2300 Col. I could kill him in about 15 seconds but then the victory fanfare and resetting the area makes you lose another 15 seconds or so. I did this for about 2 hours to get from 350k I had to 820k, then I sold all my ores and other valuable materials to get to 1 million. After the trophy popped I closed the game through the home menu so I didn't save and reloaded to recover my materials.

 

I may be forgetting something, but with that I actually finished everything in 85 hours. In the 100 hours trophy the guide mentions that is very unlikely you can get everything down in less than those 100 hours, but even while watching every cutscene I still got it 35 hours before their given average time to plat. Suffices to say that that guide could improve a lot.

 

The Media Corner

 

Since the 100 hour trophy is actually beating the final boss after playing for 100 hours I decided to leave my first time doing the final boss until that point. Due to this I am waaaaaaaay overpowered, even though I was already waaay overpowered by the 45 hour mark when I got there for the first time. With my current weapons and high quality armor I got from grinding the raid boss for money the final boss had no chance.

The idea was to pop the platinum after whatever cutscenes came after the end of the game, but I forgot there was a trophy for dying so I had to go out to the world and let some enemy kill me :facepalm:

 

This is actually just the 2nd phase. 1st Phase had a long cutscene and then I finished it in like 10 seconds.

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Tales of Innocence R

Game Difficulty: 4/10

Platinum Difficulty: 5/10

Time to Platinum: 50 hours (+50 hours idle for 100 hours Trophy)

 

Thoughts on the game

 

Here we have it, the last Tales of platinum I had to obtain! It is not the last game I had to play since I still have never finished Tales of Phantasia, Tales of Eternia, Tales of Rebirth and Tales of the Tempest. Rebirth and Tempest have no chance unless they get re released with Trophies, I'm not gonna go through one of these games completely in japanese without an incentive.

 

Tales of Innocence R is pretty much an overall worse game than Tales of Hearts R. All the mechanics, graphics, attacks and so on are lesser than what came with the next game.

The battle system was changed drastically from the DS version. I don't remember that much from my short time with the DS version but I remember I had a much more free time when it came to stringing together long combos and finishing them with Mystic Artes.

There was this personal gauge that went up with long combos. That has now been replaced with a shared gauge that is just used for some extra effects like regenerating TP or increasing Exp gains. My problem with that thing, which is called Rave, is that it's kinda hard to keep it from going down and it's almost impossible to keep up during bosses when they constantly ignore staggering and hit you back. On top of that the bar gets completely emptied if you use a Mystic Arte.

But the worst combat mechanic has to be the random times when enemies (yes, not just bosses, all enemies) decide they do not feel like getting staggered from hits. Every now and then your attacks will show a different effect on hit, it looks like a circular glass shield, which signifies the enemy is not staggering from the hit. If you keep going with your attacks that effect does not disappear, it keeps going until you stop attacking for a second. The problem is that it can happen again right after you initiate another combo or you party members can keep chaining their attacks not allowing it to drop. This gets especially annoying on bosses because they naturally have anti stagger from several hits (signified but another type of barrier effect) and this other anti stagger mechanic can happen in any hit during the time you are trying to break their regular boss anti stagger shield... I have gone with these for a while now but it annoyed me so much that I had to share it.

 

About the story I don't have much idea because it was all in japanese. From what I could get from the cutscenes it seems that the characters are reincarnations of some gods or powerful ancient beings. Why they fight the people they fight, I have no idea, but I'm gonna guess it is because the bad people want to destroy the world or something, lol.

 

Half of the dungeons feel uninspired, while the other half are simple lines with side roads only leading to chests. Fights start through random encounters, so it can get a bit annoying when navigating areas. There are Holy Bottles and such but the one that avoids 100% of battles lasts like 1 minute, it is too short and there is no "Holy Breath" type skill to increase its duration.

 

The rest is the usual Tales. Cities with people to talk to, lots of side events, cooking, skits, a world map.

 

I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone who isn't interested in playing/platinuming every Tales of game, there just isn't much that you can't simply find in another one (plus it is only in japanese). If you want to play a Vita Tales of, go for Tales of Hearts R. It is better in every single way.

 

Thoughts on the Platinum

 

If it wasn't for the guide here in PSNP I would have never even attempted this plat. There are so many little missable things that following a guide that isn't a simple point to point would make it too annoying, especially because it is all in japanese.

 

The guide lists every event, side event, skit and anything else of importance in a simple way, including all the japanese text so you can compare and pick what you need to. The only thing it doesn't include is a Skills List, but I found that on GameFAQs.

 

Other than the lots of missables that become a non-issue with the guide I wanted to mention the 2 "challenge" runs that have to be done. One is a "speedrun" that requires finishing the game in less than 15 Hours and the other is finishing the game with everyone in the party being level 30 or below. Both are not that hard because you can carry over equipment (including a sword for Ruca, the main character, that grows with each enemy it kills).

For the speedrun you can also carry over your levels, so that coupled with equipment makes it super fast. It took me a little over 4 hours to finish that one.

For the low level run it only becomes slightly challenging toward the end of the game. I would recommend saving all stat boosting herbs found for this run since you can carry over consumables. Still, with the grade shop option to expand item stacking to 99 I was carrying 99 of every healing item, so it wasn't too bad. This run took about 6 hours.

You can combine these 2 runs into one, as you can see by the time it took me during the low level run, but I wouldn't recommend it because you would still need a complete 3rd run to get all the affinity you need between Ruca and the other party members.

 

I'd say the worst part about this plat is having to grind for stuff. The worst grind is for Grade (I think I had to grind for like 3 or 4 hours to get all I wanted/needed for the 2nd playthrough), but you will also need to grind a bit to get to level 200, unlock all skills, cooking and maybe for some Gald for the "spend 10 million Gald" trophy (selling only gives you like 1/4 of the item price, so even while buying and selling back it can take a while. I had 5 million Gald on hand when I went for it and barely reached it).

 

The guide said you may need to start a 4th playthrough to finish up some of the affinity trophies but by following the walkthrough and always picking the correct options I got all of them right by the end of my 3rd playthrough.

 

For the 100 hours played trophy I have to thank I have a PS TV... You cannot disable the sleep feature of the Vita, it can only be extended up to 30 minutes, while it can actually be disabled on PS TV. I'm pretty sure these 50 idle hours my PS TV has gotten are more than the amount of hours I actually used it, lol.

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Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below

Game Difficulty: 3/10

Platinum Difficulty: 6/10

Time to Platinum: 50 hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

Lately I've been on a Dragon Quest kick. I started with Dragon Quest IV when I found out there were good mobile ports of all the old games, meaning I could casually play through them while at work. Then I got recommended a video about Dragon Quest Heroes 2, which reminded me that I had the first Dragon Quest Heroes, from who knows when because I found a physical copy on sale. A good amount of characters from DQ IV are on DQH, on top of two from DQVIII which I also knew, so I gave it a go. And if that wasn't enough, the Hero was added to Smash a week ago.

 

I've played a few of these Musou games (Hyrule Warriors, Fire Emblem Warriors and One Piece Pirate Warriors) so I knew what I was getting into. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how nice the graphics are. Even though the game is from 2015, the graphics looks very similar to Dragon Quest XI. They have this nice pastel-like hue, kinda cel-shade but not really, it's hard to describe. Suffices to say that I really like how it looks, and that's something that is very unusual in Musou games.

 

The music is pretty much ripped from the older games. The songs are the classic midi version because we all know how much of a greedy ass Yuji Hori can be. I don't mind the midi versions because I love how "classic" they sound, but I know the struggle from most people that know that orchestrated versions exist.

 

One thing that is very different here compared to other games in this style is that the missions are short and in small maps. Normally you would be placed in a large scale map with a bunch of bases to capture. That's nowhere to be seen here. The main focus in most missions is defending something or someone, and sometimes it is about simply killing every enemy. I also didn't mind this, it was much more laid back than the usual large scale battles.

With smaller maps also comes more detail. Each area looks unique and has nice textures, something that is usually not the case with the big maps.

 

In terms of gameplay I found it also a bit more simplified than other Musou games. You only have 4 abilities and 4 basic combos, nothing complex. Still, every character plays very different from each other (except the 2 protagonists, of which you choose one to main at the beginning). Most of the time these games have a bunch of clones (that was especially noticeable in Fire Emblem Warriors), this game is a good example that sometimes having fewer characters can be better.

 

My main team was comprised of the Heroine (who I called Airi), Jessica, Maya and Bianca. Airi was my main 1-on-1 character, Jessica was for AoE and healing, Maya was for more AoE and Defense debuff on enemies, and Bianca was for support damage with her range.

I do have to say that I seeing Jessica in HD was really nice. Like we like to say with a friend of mine in these situations, she makes me feel things. All this time shared with her made me wish for a remake or HD remaster of DQVIII.

I also have to say that Kyril and Alena always make me laugh with the way they phrase the shit they say.

 

The story is what you would expect from a DQ game. Chosen of the light who fight against the chosen of the darkness and their dark lord who wants to destroy everything because evil. The reason for why people from other worlds show up in this one is also the basic thing of they just randomly getting there all of a sudden.

The point is that the story doesn't matter that much, this is not an RPG. Regardless of that there are plently of voiced cutscenes and such. It was predictable, and that is okay.

 

Thoughts on the Platinum

 

No missables, that's good. RNG trophies, that's definitely NOT good. What I'm talking about is the stupid RNG involved in getting the Puff-Puff scenes from every character. There is very little information around of how the whole thing really works, however I do have one theory about it that I didn't read anything about anywhere.

While I played through the game I only used a select few characters. I got the scene of all of them pretty early on but then I only kept getting it from them over and over again. After I was done with most things I decided to bring other characters to grind an easy challenge map for the 50 challenge map trophy. The ones I had to use a few times before got their scene faster than the ones I used once. This makes me believe that there is a threshold of cleared missions required for each character to have a chance at proccing their scene. Maybe it's 10, maybe 15, although I also believe it is different for each character. What makes me believe so is that the last one I got was Terry, who is an edgy boy, a characteristic that would make sense for making him harder to "become friends with".

Anyway, all of that is pure speculation. Sadly no one datamined this game or something like that to get the concrete truth. In conclusion: Don't have RNG in shit like this! It took me like 2 hours to get Terry to do this thing -.-

 

The reason for my difficulty rating are 3 of the 4 "superbosses". One of them is just annoying (the one I procced the Platinum with), but the other 2 are fucking assholes. Their fights are such a difficulty spike over everything. I found both of them harder than any boss in Dark Souls and most bosses in Bloodborne, lol. The main difference though is that these two are hard for the wrong reasons. One deals massive damage and has a move that is almost impossible to dodge with characters that do not have extended i-frames on their dodges (video of this guy below), and the other freezes you all the fucking time and aims at everyone instead of just your controlled character (no video for this one because I ended up barely killing him with my last character standing, making the fight last 18 minutes). There are some accesories and shit like that that could make these guys easier but I didn't feel like farming the materials for that shit. Both only took me 2 attempts each, but I was certainly raging quite a bit due to all the bullshit.

 

The rest is a nice and easy way to 100% of all lists, along a 2 to 3 hour grind for Mini-medals, which I mitigated by listening to a few podcasts I was behind on.

 

The Media Corner

 

Since I couldn't leave the final boss for the platinum (there are enemies that do not appear until after the game is finished) I decided to leave one of the super bosses for the deed. In hindsight I think I left the wrong one for last, though. I should have left the one from the second video for that.

  

Popping the Platinum by beating this annoying thing. I didn't use Terry at all during my time with the game. This was my 4th attempt at this fight, although it was the 3rd with Terry in the party. The actual cheese strat is have Terry at level 99 and stun-lock the boss with the finishing moves so that he cannot call the aid of those other monsters that destroy the Root. The main problem with the fight is that you cannot leave the boss for too long because he walks toward the Root and if he gets there he kills it super fast.

Missing that Magic Burst at the end almost costs me the fight :facepalm:

 

This was my 2nd attempt against this beast. You can see at the beginning that I was still trying to get the timing on the dodges. Eventually I give up and go to my character with more iframes to find a different approach.

Edited by AndresLionheart
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Here is something different. While this thread is mostly to talk about completed games I also wanted to keep something around for these other games that I'm playing on the side. They may not add anything to my PSN account my they do add a lot to my heart =).

As I mentioned in the previous post, I'm on a huge Dragon Quest kick. I finished DQ1 a few weeks ago and I just finished DQII today. I wasn't gonna write about them but after realizing how I was already forgetting things about DQ1 I decided to go for it to keep more of those memories.

 

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Dragon Quest

Game Difficulty: 3/10

Time to Finish: 10 hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

I never thought about playing these old games, but one day Youtube recommended me a video ranking Dragon Quest 1 through 10. In this video the guy mentions (and shows gameplay of) version for mobile devices. I have a lot of downtime at work so I decided to start playing these on that time.

Since these are old games, it's pretty common to have to grind. Grinding at work doesn't feel bad because I'm earning money at the same time =P

 

Playing such an old JRPG is kinda wild. RPGs were a new thing at the time. This game is so old that you don't even have a party and fights are against just a single enemy.

That same basicness is also found in the battle "strategy". It really is just being stronger than your opponent. There are no buff or anything of the sort, only some crowd control with Snooze (the sleep spell).

 

The world is extremely small. If it wasn't for the random battles you could walk from one end to the other in like 1 minute. Due to this world size the game also pads progression with grinding. I'd say I spent half of my playtime grinding close to a town to get some levels and money for a new piece of equipment they would be selling. Setting foot in the wrong part of the map could mean dying in 3 turns.

Thankfully in this version you get to quicksave anywhere at any time as long as your are not in a battle. In the NES version the only way to save is to go back to the castle in the beginning. This is not as terrible as it sounds though because when you die you only lose half your money and not any kind of progress.

 

One thing I really liked is that as soon as you get out of the castle the first thing you see is the castle of the Dragonlord at the other side of the sea. Right off the bat you get to see your final destination, which sets the mood quietly nicely. But then you quickly find out how far that destination really is, as quick as right after having 2 or 3 battles and having to rest at an Inn, lol.

While some people mention the Dragonlord, he does never show up anywhere, so he is pretty much a non-entity for the whole game.

Another peron mentioned all the way through the game is an ancient hero called Erdrick. He did beat the evil whatever a long time ago but now it's the turn of his descendant to do so. You get to find all his equipment around the world, which is important because you need all the help you can get to avoid grinding more, lol.

 

As the old ass game this is directions on where to go are scarce. The flow of the game is getting top a town, talking to people to gather some information on rumors, grinding a bit for levels and some money for new equipment, and finally making the trip to the next town.

Still, I got lost 3 or 4 times and had to consult guides online to find where to go. There are some cryptic things that I'm not really sure how someone would find out about. That's NES adventures, I guess...

 

I reached the final dungeon at about level 16. While going through it I got to level 17 and then decided to look up what the recommended level for the final boss is. Not only did I find that, but I also found that it is pretty much impossible to beat the game at level 17, it's barely possible at 18, decently possible at 19, and possible starting at 20 (I did watch a speedrun once. They do it at way lower level but do some sort of RNG manipulation). So, I grinded up to 20 (which took a while) and went to beat the Dragonlord (and even still I lost once).

 

Overall I enjoyed my time with this game. It was a bit frustrating at points. I may have not liked it on the NES if I played it back then, though. Being able to quicksave takes out A LOT of frustration.

 

Below are some screenshot just to keep as a memento of me finishing the game.

 

Spoiler

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Victory over the Dragonlord (should have taken one before he died, too)

 

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Right after the battle.

  

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Dragon Quest II

Game Difficulty: 4/10

Time to Finish: 20 hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

Now this is more of an RPG. Set 100 years after the events of DQ1, we get 3 descendants of Erdrick to fight evil. This time the enemy is a priest called Hargon, who, again, is a non-entity through the whole game.

 

With 3 characters in the party now spells are spread around the others. The Hero, the Prince of Midenhall, is a tank and can only do physical damage, the Prince of Cannock is mostly a physical damage dealer but also has some healing spells, buffs and group spells, and the Princess of Moonbrooke is basically a mage with very weak physical attack capabilities. You can name all of them. I normally don't change the name of characters but I didn't like the princess name at all, so I changed that one. I don't even remember exactly what it was... I think it was Ginny or something like that.

Enemies also come in groups now. Battles are much more entertaining because you need to think where it's best to attack to reduce enemies and receive less damage. Buffing and Debuffing is mostly unused because enemies die pretty fast, but it plays a big part on the final boss.

Talking about bosses, there are like none... Before the final boss you get 3 unique enemies that could be considered so, but other than that most bosses are simply enemies that later become regular enemies, or bigger groups of enemies that normally do not come in such big groups.

 

The map this time around is waaaay bigger. You actually get to go back to the continent of the first game, and it's just this lil' island inside the landmass of the new areas, lol.

 

I really liked how the game is structured. You start with a linear path that closes off places so that you do not become ovewhelmed with options, and then later opens up and makes you go all over the world visiting places to find the 5 Sigils that are needed for a special blessing. For such an old game it gets the feeling of adventure just right.

 

What it doesn't get too right is a cave near the end of the game. The place in question is called the Cave to Rendarak. When I got there I think I was at about the right level because most enemies hit hard but was still manageable (levels 30, 27 and 24, probably).

The problem presents when you reach the first "puzzle"... It is simply a floor with some columns, but if you walk over the wrong tile it breaks, sending you to a floor below with nothing more than a walk to the stairs back to the previous floor. The big problem with this is that the encounter rate in this place is pretty high, making you waste a lot of time if you fall. Thankfully, quicksaving let's you simply load back if you fall down, but I can't imagine how horrible this place must have felt when playing in the NES version...

Following that we get to the second "puzzle". This time it's a series of rooms that if you take the wrong path you go back to the beginning. This would have also been a terrible moment wasn't for the awesome quicksave feature. Oh and I forgot to mention that the best sword and armor for the Hero, along the best hat for the Princess are hidden in this cave, so you better fucking explore it!

After getting out of that hellhole I had another "man... this would have sucked on the NES" moment. While getting to the shrine that lets you save, heal and use as a Zoom point, I got into a fight with some fire dudes and another enemy. One of the fire dudes decided to cast Thwack (chance to instantly kill, targets the whole party), killing the Hero and the Princess, while the other enemy attacked the Prince twice. Next turn I try to run but the enemies kill the Prince. This party wipe before reaching that shrine means I was sent to the last place I did a regular save, which is before that damn cave! I laughed at the situation thanks to quicksaving, but I would have been completely infurated if that was on the NES version...

 

I did talk a lot about this big difference between the NES version and the mobile one, but another important one is that the game was completely rebalanced. It was made easier and less grindy, and I thank the developers for that. A lot of people hate DQII because it was hard and unforgiving, especially in that last area with all these enemies that can cast Thwack.

 

The hero was about level 32 when I got access to the final dungeon. The enemies in the last area were destroying me so I grinded for a bit while I tried to get a drop of another of those really good hats to give to the Prince. The Liquid Metal Slimes in the cave have a 1/16 chance to drop it, but I ended up getting it from some pterodactyl enemy who has like a 1/128 or 1/256 chance to drop it, lol.

I was done with that at level 40. I went to the final dungeon and pretty much destroyed every boss. I did read a comment form someone who said he got destroyed at level 40, so I was a bit worried... I guess that one dude wasn't very good, lol.

 

DQII is a great game. That second to last dungeon can be a chore, but thanks to the changes made in this version it is not as bad. I would totally recommended this version to anyone interested in the series.

 

Below are some more screeshots, this time a few more than just the mementos of finishing the game.

 

Spoiler

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The real final boss, Malroth

 

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Victory!

 

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Right after the battle.

 

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A line of dialogue that caught me off-guard, lol.

 

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When I won the Loyalty Card, an item that gives a 25% discount on any purchase.

 

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When a Mad Cap dropped from this regular enemy.

 

And that's about it for now. Next I will finally get to play the story of Erdrick in Dragon Quest III !

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Yooka-Laylee

Game Difficulty: 4/10

Platinum Difficulty: 4/10

Time to Platinum: 20 hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

Usually I don't play games I don't like that much, this is one exception where I toughed it out and forced myself to play anyway. I don't hate the game or anything like that, it is simply mediocre.

 

This was my 2nd time supporting a kickstarter. Banjo-Kazooie was one of those games that I played a bunch of times on the N64. When I heard about former member from Rare getting together to try to revive the 3D platformer collect-a-thon genre I was really interested.

Initially the game was looking fine and the music by Grant Kirkhope evoked that same feeling from Banjo-Kazooie. The final product wasn't anything to write home about for several reasons.

 

There is a lot of "jank" here. Framerate can get jumpy, hits may not be recognized, controls may feel not completely responsive. This jank seems to be fairly common in these crowdfounded games because Bloodstained also had some of it.

The most extreme case I can think of was when I clipped through a door by just walking against it for a bit. For that section I was supposed to learn the Camo ability from the next world to avoid being seen by a security camera so that the door won't close. Since I clipped through it I kept going until I couldn't anymore because I needed the ability I was supposed to know. I turned around and tried to leave but I couldn't clip through the door again. Thankfully it's as simple as opening the menu and exitting the stage, but it was still pretty annoying.

A lot of movement options have this very slippery feeling. Flying, going fast as a ball, a bunch of different transformations, all of those are things that make movement pretty annoying. For a platformer that is not something that you want to be dealing with all the time.

 

What I think is my biggest complaint is the size of the worlds. These kind of games usually have a lot of small worlds but Yooka-Laylee opts for having only 5 that are much bigger. The problem with this is that when you first start with a world there are so many options that it becomes much more difficult to methodically explore to not miss any corner. The design is a bit too open for this style of game. Going back to Banjo-Kazooie again, all worlds are fairly small and are comprised of a main area with a few single road paths out of it, or about 3 smaller "main" areas with fewer options out of them. With that design philosophy it is much easier for the player to digest the area and explore accordingly.

To be fair, though, the last world of Yooka-Laylee is actually structure in this way and it is a much pleasant time all around.

 

I didn't check if Grant composed all the songs but I don't think he did because there are at least 2 very dinstictive styles of music, maybe even 3. The "quirky" songs, as Grant likes to call them, felt perfect, but then some of the others were a bit too... techno and clashed with the overall aesthetic of the game.

 

One last thing I found funny is that the first thing I got to after coming back to the game 2 years later was one of Dr. Quack's quizzes. Since it's been 2 years I didn't remember almost anything. Thanks internet for having all of the answers easily available, lol.

 

Thoughts on the Platinum

 

Not much to say here really. While navigating the big worlds is not always the most pleasant of experiences, there is a Tonic (basically a passive skill that you can only equip one at a time) that makes a sound and makes the controller rumble when a collectable is nearby. For the Quills it only starts doing it when there are 30 or less to find. With that it is much easier to find those last few straglers.

One shitty thing the game does sometimes is put collectables in areas that were avaiable from the beginning of a world after expanding it. This happened in 2 of the 5 worlds. Not cool. After visiting an area I never expected some collectable to spawn in it later -.-

 

There isn't that many things to collect despite the big size of the worlds, that's why the platinum time is so low.

 

The Media Corner

 

I didn't record this game as I usually do with the others because I kept going from my old save file, which was from way before I started doing this stuff. Still, I recorded the final boss (which was crap compared to Banjo-Kazooie's). One good thing, though, is that I could finally find myself in the credits of one of these crowfounded games!

 

Popping the Platinum. This was my 3rd attempt because this boss is kinda shit. The worst part is that if you die you have to start from the beginning of the whole fight. It could have been much easier if I utilized some kind of useful Tonic, but I couldn't say no to the stupid Tonic I was using (it just gives you pants xD)

 

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And there I am in the credits, on the right column. I should praise Playtonic for allowing to fast-forward and rewind during the credits.

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Dragon Quest III

Game Difficulty: 3/10

Time to Finish: 40 hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

We made it to the end of Erdrick's Trilogy. I was really looking forward to this one because it is a prequel to the previous games. Sadly I have to report that the prequel part is severely downplayed.

You start in a world completely different from before and there is no relevance to the connection to Alefgard until like 4/5ths into the game.

It starts pretty much like DQ2, although this time you can get a full party of 4. Still, there is an issue with that. There are really no party members, you create them yourself. Due to this they do not have any agency and are just as plain as the silent Hero we play as.

 

To give more variety to the way to raise characters a class system was introduced. You get to pick from a few ones, learning their spells and abilities, and can later change into other ones to learn others as well as to keep increasing stats through level ups. I only change each of my guys ones (the Hero cannot change class), which was enough to do the regular final boss. There is a powered version of the final boss but that requires a bunch of grinding and preparation which I was really wanting to do.

 

For my party I made Airi, the Thief; Himari, the Priest; and Touko, the Mage. Later I change Airi to a Martial Artist (she gained good speed as a Thief. Martial Artist gave her Strength and a high Crit Chance. Himari and Touko both became Sages (a class that has access to all Mage and Priest spells). If you are like me and like finding every chest in every dungeon and every hidden item in towns then start with a Thief. They get the Nose for Treasure skill which allows them to tell you how many more items are in the current area, that saves a lot of aimless walking. On top of that they learn Padfoot, which severely reduces the amount of random encounters, perfect for treasure hunting and to reduce the high kinda high regular encounter rate. They also learn their last thing at level 20, which is the first level at which you can switch classes, so it is perfect as an initial class.

 

DQ2 had the perfect mix of linearity and openess. DQ3 takes openess a bit too far. It opens up way earlier than DQ2 did and gives fewer directions to where to go next. Several times I had to consult a guide to know what to do because I couldn't find out myself.

 

There is plenty more world to explore, as well as more time needed grinding out (especially when someone changes class, which puts them back to level 1). The time spent played was way longer than with DQ2 but most of that was actual exploration, so do not worry about the grinding part too much =P.

 

The story is pretty much the same as usual. You have to collect 6 orbs to then be able to reach the area with an important story boss. This boss was the worst part and required the most grinding. I originally reached him at like level 24 and I got completely destroyed by his high AoE spells. I figured I needed my priest to learn Insulatle (reduce damage from Ice and Fire) to stand a chance. I checked a guide to see at which level they learned it and found out I had to grind up to level 32 for it! This took like 3 hours of grinding in this dungeon (Liquid Metal Slimes spawn here, and the regular enemies do also give good experience). I tried again at level 32 with Insulatle and it took a while but I beat him.

The next part spoils the whole plot, so spoiler tag it is:

 

Spoiler

After this is when the prequel part happens. A hole in the world opens and you can go to Alefgard! After doing some stuff there (which is basically the same things done in DQ1) and getting to the actual final boss the party saves the day but the hole that connected both worlds closes, so you are stuck in Alefgard. You hero equipment is kept as treasures and becomes the things you would eventually find in DQ1. You character is given the title of "Erdrick", which gives the reason why the legendary hero of old is known as that.

 

Overall it is pretty similar as DQ2, just a lot bigger and a bit easier. My biggest complaint is without a doubt how unimportant the whole prequel aspect ended up being =(.

 

A few screenshots below:

 

Spoiler

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The final boss, Zoma.

 

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Victory!

 

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The moment right after

 

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At some point you need to help a guy start a town. He asks for a Merchant so I made a throw away one to give him. Since I was not gonna use him I just called him Douche. He later becomes a dictator and his name is used to name the town. It was a nice surprise when I found out, lol.

 

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When I got a good chunk of money early game through gambling, lol. At that point in the game the most expensive thing was like 300g or something.

 

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Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash

Game Difficulty: 2/10

Platinum Difficulty: 3/10

Time to Platinum: 20 hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

Since I have been away from my PS4 due to Fire Emblem: Three Houses taking over all my time, I wanted something simple and fast to do. I have had this downloaded for a while so I gave it a go.

 

The Senran Kagura series is no stranger to spin-offs. This time is some sort of 3rd person team shooter. While I'm guessing it was meant to be played online I don't really care about that. Everything can be done in single player (and most trophies are indeed about single player stuff) so that's good. I actually wouldn't have even gotten close to this if it had ANY online trophies.

Anyway, I can comment anything about the story because I always skip it in these games, lol. I've played 4 Senran Kagura games with this one and I have never wanted to spend time reading through the story. One of the main reason is because it is presented in such a boring way... The "curscenes" are all made with the characters looking at the screen in using the same 3 animations over and over again. The player has to fill in the other 90% of the cutscene with imagination I guess. There are some illustrations here and there but you can just buy them from the shop and look at the pretty girls without having to slog through all the text.

 

The gameplay is pretty fun, actually. The only other team based shooter I can compare this to is Splatoon. Splatoon is better in every single aspect (except for the boobs, I guess), but I still got some flashes of it while playing this. Like how you can slide around super fast or that you use guns that shoot a liquid, lol.

There are 10 types of weapons which all function pretty different from one another. I used the Twin Handguns because I like dual wielding stuff and because the way it shoots super fast goes well with my deck of cards which consisted in getting me to the infinite ammo mode.

 

It's pretty thin on content, so there is a lot of doing pretty much the same but with different characters. The only unique part that I can think of are some of the bosses, although even there one of them is kinda recycled to be used in 2 of the stories. Most of the missions are either beat all the mooks, extinguish all the fires or beat the enemy team, all of that in like 5 different arenas. There are like 3 more arenas but those are rarely used for some reason.

 

We all know, though, that most of what the game is doesn't matter and that we are all here just for the boobs, and you will of course be right. Without them this would be just a mediocre 3rd person shooter, although to be fair the same applies to the main game in the series, without the girls those would be boring and generic hack 'n' slashs.

The main art for the girls is too good and misleading, though. They are drawn so sexy in those but the in-game models are way off in the body type part. On top of that there are over 800 cards to collect, all with images, with the rarest ones always including the more interesting drawings. In other words, plenty to look at for the run of the mill weeb.

Since all the girls work the same (except for the rarely used melee attack) my waifus of choice were: Yomi (for some reason she was made way too cute looking), Rinka (a DLC character. I saw her for like 2 dollars one time and bought her for the good memories from Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni-), Minori, Murakumo and Murasaki. Here is a simple image showing their characters art so you can see why I'm sad that the 3D models don't follow these more closely:

 

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From left to right: Murasaki, Minori, Rinka, Yomi, Murakumo

 

My biggest complaint would be that the performance is ass. It works fine until a 5v5 battle starts, then it dips like crazy to like 15 fps or so.

 

Overall the game fills its usual niche: lots of sexy anime girls in skimpy clothing with some excuse gameplay thown in the mix, although this time around the gameplay portion is kinda fun, too.

 

Thoughts on the Platinum

 

These games are always easy to complete, this one is no exception. The only problem, though, is that there is pleeeenty of grinding to do. I'd say that I had to grind about 8 hours for different things, and that is by using a time saving exploit (the usual use your stuff to pop trophies, then revert the save to use that same stuff in other things). We have to thank that they didn't ask for ALL character to get to max level, because that would have been a serious grind...

 

Other than that is just finishing the story and one other mode. The side stories are not needed this time around but I completed them anyway. The best grinding spots are on the last missions in some of those side stories, so I would have had to complete a few regardless. Those unlock some illustrations so they were still worth doing just for the sexy CGs.

 

The Media Corner

 

I was following the guide here on PSNP but I changed the order of the roadmap because I want to leave something more fun to look at for the Platinum pop instead of the boring grinds.

 

Popping the Platinum by winning the "hardest" tournament. There is plenty of sexy content in that video, so viewer discretion advised, I guess. I would have made the thumbnail MUCH more interesting, but what I had in mind might have been too much for Youtube's policies.

 

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The loadout for my played character. Basically cards that increase the Soak Gauge, which when full gives infinite ammo for like 30 seconds.

 

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The loadout for my other 4 supporting characters. Basically cards that reduce enemy reload speed, big team healing, reduce enemy damage from guns and melee attacks and a defensive barrier. Weapon of choice for them is the Gattling Gun because the guide said so, lol.

Edited by AndresLionheart
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Dragon Quest VI

Game Difficulty: 5/10

Time to Finish: 50 Hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

I haven't skipped IV and V... well I did skip V because for some reason it doesn't run on my phone, even though it uses the same engine as IV and VI. I did play IV first before any of the other phone ones but I didn't intend to write about it until I had the urge to after finishing I and II. So basically, I'm behind on my writing =P.

 

Dragon Quest VI is an interesting game. I will be very spoilerish, so avoid if you don't want the whole mistery of it spoiled.

 

The premise is pretty clever. There are 2 worlds, the Real one and the Dream one. People's dreams from the real world populate the dream world. For example you can find an old man living in the middle of nowhere who would tell you he always dreamt of starting a trading town where people from all over the world came to sell their region specialties, so when you go to the same place in the dream world there is a trading town just like the guy always dreamed about. This is a common trait all throughout the game.

 

The mystery begins right off the bat when you are sent to beat the "final boss" just as you start, in what seems to be a premonition. Later you find out that it isn't.

You and your friends get their real and dream personas split apart and are left wondering what the hell is going on. Slowly while going through the story all of this starts to make sense.

 

It's an interesting tale that I found charming, my main issues with this one is the difficulty curve.

Close to the beginning, in one of the first few dungeons, some ridiculous enemies start showing. I'm specifically talking about some bird/gargoyle looking dude that has a good amount of HP and can cast Sizz (or was it Sizzle?), which at that point is like 1/3 of the party's HP, and they can come in groups of 2!! The rest of the enemies in that area ar complete wimps in comparison. This enemy keeps showing up until like half of the game, and it's still one of the strongest enemies then as well...

When you are finally strong enough to not care about those anymore a genies looking enemy that uses Swoosh (again, about 1/3 of the party HP in damage) starts showing up, and these can come in groups of 3 along other enemies!!! These assholes infuriated me even more that the others because they were pretty fast and used that magic very often...

 

Is at this point when I had to remove my dear waifu, Ashlynn, from the party. She has a terrible HP growth and at that time I had her as a Mage which has a negative HP multiplier as well (like 0.5x HP or something). She had 75 HP and the genies dealt 50 with Swoosh...

At this point I was kinda sad because I couldn't keep using her, but I was determined to have her in the main team so I left her in reserve until she mastered Mage and I could change her to the next thing. I also fed her most of the Seeds of Life and Resilience that I found.

Why I was so hell bent on having her in the team? Well, I simply like how she looks and talks =).

 

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I loved the hairstyle and the overall simple design. She talks in the most simple way a girl would talk, which funny enough is an oddity the world of Dragon Quest.

 

I talked about mastering Mage and whatnot before but I didn't mention the Vocation system.

I don't know if it's a new thing from VI or if it was first introduced in V, but basically is a class system in which you master different classes to learn abilities and spells to then advance to better ones. Mastering specific base ones unlock advanced ones, so there is some planning involved.

I like Job systems, my issue here is that the amount of battles to master each is too high. By the time I was on the area before the last one I was halfway through the second base vocation that would then unlock an advanced one. I had too grind quite a bit at that point.

 

Thay brings me to the next point, grinding. At 3 different points I had to stop to grind because the boss was waaaay stronger than the enemies in his area. The second time was the more silly because after the boss (the last one of the Dreadlords) all the enemies in the following areas became a joke.

 

Regular battles could sometimes be a chore until I discovered the beauty of the confusion status effect. While Ashlynn was in the back I had Milly as a Dancer. At some point she learned Fuddle Dance, an ability that costs 0 MP and can confuse a group of enemies. The chance of working are extemely high (100% in a bunch of enemies) unless the enemy is immune to it, which isn't common. Confusion in this game is OP as fuck. Not only does it stop the enemy from attacking you, it makes them attack themselves or their allies very often as well. On top of that if they snap out of it they are not allowed to act on that turn, allowing you to reconfuse them if needed.

Because of this I also made Ashlynn become a Dancer until Fuddle Dance, lol. Mages get a the Fuddle spell which does the same thing but costs MP.

 

Normally I make my character a melee fighter but this time around I made my dude go through the caster classes, just like I did for Ashlynn. I made this decision because my boy, Carver, was a physical beast. He could cover all the physical damage an army of 300 dudes could only wish they were able to. He probably dealt 80% of all damage during my playthrough.

 

My party vocation routes were:

  • Me: Priest -> Mage -> Sage -> Hero
  • Carver: Martial Artist -> Warrior -> Gladiator -> Dragon
  • Ashlynn: Mage -> Priest -> Sage
  • Milly: Dancer -> Gadabout -> Luminary
  • Nevan: Thief (until Padfoot/Nose for Treasure) -> Priest -> Warrior -> Paladin

There is also Terry and the Slimes (which are optional). Terry joins too late and I didn't give a shit about the Slimes.

 

Exploration is open... too open. The game wants you to wander around and stumble upon new things so very few directions are given. This was fine until the 3rd world map came into play, the ocean floor. It doesn't have it's own map to check where you've been and where you haven't. At that point I started to check a guide because I was tired of going around having to fight random battles.

I'm fine with exploring, the problem is that this game took it too far.

 

To finish off I wanted to talk about my dissatisfaction with the ending:

 

Spoiler

 

After defeating the actual bad guy behind all the bad guys, Mortamor, you get to move around a few areas to see what the heck the party members were gonna do now that peace reigns again. Eventually you go back to the castle of your kingdom (yes, you are a prince) with just Ashlynn, to which your father is super cool about and teases you for finally bringing a cute young lady home.

 

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A party is thrown at the castle. You can see your childhood friend dancing with your adoptive sister along other party members dancing with people and being happy, but Ashlynn is nowhere to be seen. You go look for her and find her in the throne room being sad. With the defeat of Mortamor the link between the real and dream worlds is closing. Ashlynn does not have a physical form in the real world so she is forced to go back to the dream world, separating you from her forever =(.

 

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I felt so cockblocked! It left me with such a bad feeling... I thought I was finally gonna end up one of these stories with the waifu I've chosen, but nope... we could say it plays with the notion of our "dream girlfriend", but I doubt they thought it out that deep.

 

There is another ending tied to the post-game, but to see it I would need to grind like a monster to be able to beat Nokturnus in less than 20 turns. No, thanks.

 

 

All of this combined ranks this one fairly low for me. It's not a bad game but it can get frustrating a bit too often, taking away from the enjoyment too much. The original version was grindier, I can see why DQVI is usually not remembered fondly. Ashlynn will always live in my heart, though =(.

 

A few screenshots

 

Spoiler

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The final boss, Mortamor, in all his 3 forms. Funny enough the one that says he shows his "true form" is the second one, lol.

The final form was actually a bit hard because the hands can ress each other or the head. The Left hand knows Kazing, while the Right hand knows only Zing. The best idea is to beat both at the same time, but if that isn't possible always kill the Left hand first! Not only does Zing have just a 50% chance to work, it also only heals for 50% HP. Kazing is 100% success with 100% heal!!

 

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Victory!

 

Edited by AndresLionheart
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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Game Difficulty: 3/10

Time to Complete: 15 hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

I have mixed feelings about this one...


The Legend of Zelda is a franchise that I keep very close to my heart. I have a lot of fond memories even though I started with Ocarina of Time back in 1998. The next game I played was Link's Awakening DX.
For the GBC it was a massive game, but now on the Switch, the same console that houses Breath of the Wild, it's hard to feel the same, at least when putting both on equal grounds due to the $60 price tag.

It all comes down to that, the price. The remake has a really cute art style and it's pretty much 1:1 reconstruction of Koholint. There are a few changes here and there, like Dampe's Chamber Dungeons replacing the photos hut or the addition of 25 more Secret Seashells and some hearts, but for the most part it is the same game. And that is okay, it's the point of a remake.
The thing is that back then it was a $40 game, which was well worth every cent. Now at $60 it's hard to recommend this 12 hour game with some not-so-great design choices.

It performs well most of the time, with framerate drops depending on the area. It doesn't look like such a graphic intensive game to me, but then again Kirby Star Allies wasn't either yet it run at 30fps.

That's a lot of complaining, so, how's the game itself? It's an interesting tale that can leave some asking themselves questions about their actions. It's impossible to discuss without spoiling it, so here is the warning!

 

Spoiler

Around halfway through the game the dungeon bosses start telling you to stop what you are doing because your actions are gonna destroy the island and the people who live on it. The truth is that the whole place is a dream, the dram of the Wind Fish. The quest is about gathering 8 instruments to wake up the Wind Fish from its slumber so we can leave the island.
Is it correct to destroy a world just for our own sake? Personally I don't see it that way. For me what we do is destroy the Wind Fish's nightmares, which are rendering him unable to wake up. The place is a dream and as such it doesn't exist. The people we met and the adventures we had in that dream will live on in our minds.
It was someone's dream, so it was never real to begin with.


How's the gameplay? It's classic 2D Zelda, although I found it a bit odd that movement is locked to 8 directions instead of full analog range. A Link Between Worlds on 3DS was pretty much the same as A Link to the Past yet it had full 3D movement.
It was also made easier with the inclusion of Fairy Bottles for extra healing. They did add a Hard Mode to balance it, tough. On Hard damage taken is doubled and enemies do not drop hearts.

The music remixes are mostly good, but the glorious Tal Tal Heights theme did not transition as well for some reason, which is especially odd since the version in Cadence of Hyrule was awesome. Some of the songs utilize the old track mixed with more modern sounds to try to capture that old feeling while still improving on it.

In short, Link's Awakening is a weird game that, while following the Zelda formula, does some unconventional things. With Mario enemies and a tale that can make people stop and think, it's a fun game but hard to recommend at the $60 price tag.

 

Thoughts on the completion

 

The added Pieces of Heart and Secret Seashells do give some more content to go through, but some of those new shells are in stupidly obscure places. For example there is one that requires playing a song in a specific place for a walrus to give it to you. That song is used in that place as part of the story, but to get the shell you need to stand in a fairly specific spot. Then another one wanted me to thrown a bomb inside a hole that was surrounded by a wall... the bomb just happens to ignore the wall...

The good thing is that collectibles are now marked in the map, so it's easy to check online and get whatever is missing.

The thing that I didn't complete were the Chamber Dungeons. In this mode you need to create dungeons using the dungeon rooms you've seen while following some sort of rule. I only completed what was needed for the hearts and shells, but there is one final tier of challenges that only reward Rupees.

 

Still, with everything else done I only clocked around 15 hours...

 

The Media Corner

 

I recorded and uploaded my full commentated playthrough. It's in spanish and I do share some stories here and there from other games and the previous times I played the GBC version. Here is the playlist:

 

 

Edited by AndresLionheart
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Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Game Difficulty: 3/10

Platinum Difficulty: 3/10

Time to Complete: 132 hours

 

What's this? I played a AAA game with microtransactions!? Heresy! Joking aside, I have been interested in this game for a while. The reasons for it is that it looked like a fun action RPG and because I like the ancient Greece time period.
I was originally gonna buy it on release, but then they showed the microtransactions and I decided to wait. I later found a physical copy brand new for $20 and then I also grabbed the season pass for $25. All this content for $45 is well worth it.

The only thing I was concerned about was how intrusive the in-game store could be. Thankfully it is actually not intrusive at all. Sometimes a loading screen could mention it but it would never do some of that shameless promoting by making the menu flash o forcing the player to go to it for something unrelated.

So, how's the game? It's a big open world that takes some lessons from Breath of the Wild. I haven't played previous AC games but from what I've heard (and seen in some footage when people mention UI clutter) there ued to be a million icons on the map, making it quite overwhelming. For this one you only get a few icons here and there with the most important information, and a lot of it doesn't show up until you are close to the area.

The map is biiiig, however, it is not so varied. The geography can get very samey and a lot of structures, like the whole house of a leader, can be seen repeated all over the world.
It can be a spectacle, though. Some of the vistas are awesome. The optimization for a greater draw distance is commendable and it runs fairly well on a base PS4. The biggest hiccup happens when going too fast, which is more common at sea. The game simply stops for a second to catch up with loading.

In terms of gameplay there are 3 styles: Hunter, Warrior and Assassin. I love going around undetected and killing bases filled with people, so of course I went for mainly an assassin style. You stll need to some melee combat here and there, but that's easy enough to solve with the one Assassin ability that cam be used to deal damage in combat, Hero Strike. It was one shotting pretty much anything (except monster bosses). With the combination of assassin damage and lots of crit chance and crit damage most things died right away =D.

Melee combat is pretty simplistic too, which is another reason why I went for stealth.

I remember there were some complaints that the game was gating story progress with levels to encourage people to buy the exp multiplier from the shop. I'm happy to say that for a completionist that's nowhere near an issue.
Right at the end of Chapter 3 I just went out to explore the seas in search of the legendary Pirate Set which specializes in crit chance, crit damage and damage with assassin abilities. By the end of my expedition I was well over the level I needed to finish up the rest of the story, lol.

Exploring the seas and visiting new places to do these quests was super fun. It makes me imagine how much fun a One Piece game with these mechanics would be. Too bad anime games don't get near close to a budget like this.

The story isn't too long, but there is so much else to do. It can get repetitive, though. For me personally it was always fun to sneak around places and killing everyone from the shadows, lol. Sometimes when I just needed to kill one specific enemy or simply steal something I would challenge myself to infiltrate the bases, finish my mission and leave completely undetected.
I always liked this kind of "busywork" in open world games. Still, most of it is not required.
The same goes for the sidequests. They are all voiced and tell their own stories but a lot are not required for trophies.

In terms of the DLC I'm 50/50. The 3 episodes of the Legacy of the First Blade are kind of whatever because they utilize the same map. It's just some extra quests.
Now for the Fate of Atlantis is a whole different story. It starts amazingly with Elysium, a beautiful area with all new characters and quests that can have different endings.
Then we get to the Underworld, a depressing and ugly area that uses some annoying mechanics to gate progress. You get to see a lot of people who died during the main game. What this one has over the previous chapter is that it has 2 new unique bosses, one at the beginning and another at the end.
The last chapter is in Atlantis. It starts very strong but ends up being very repetitive in an area that is also very heavy on the copy/paste.

There is also a batch of free DLC that added several sidequests. Some of these are the most fun ones in the whole game, with my favorite being "One Really, Really Bad Day", I laughed my ass off during the whole thing, lol.

I came across some bugs here and there. There are trees and ground details that are set too high and do not touch the ground. I went through some walls and structures that I shouldn't. Some corpses behaved weirdly. Some enemies spawned inside the ground. The usual things on open world games that are not Breath of the Wild, lol.

It was a fun time. So fun that I will soon track a copy of Origins to play that one as well. I know a lot of former AC fans do not like this direction the series is taking, but for people like me only now are these any fun at all.

Oh, and fuck Kassandra. Alexios is the way to go =D

 

Thoughts on the Platinum and DLC completion

 

For how much the game has it doesn't ask for that much. The only one missable is very hard to miss and the only trophy that asks to complete world objectives only asks for the underwater ones.
In the beginning I was completing every single map marker, but shortly after I realized that not everything is required. Haven't I done that I would only be half way done by now, lol.

The current version does make the platinum a little more inconvenient because of the raise to the level cap. When the level cap was 50 you could focus all the materials after that on ship upgrades, but since now you need to keep upgrading your equipment there are fewer leftovers. Slowly you actually start to lose on materials because the costs go up faster than you can gather them. What I did was save on some materials until I had enough for all the remaining ship upgrades, I saved the game and then bought all the upgrades to pop the plat and the loaded back to use those material to upgrade my gear instead. By the time I finished the DLC I was completely out of mats and I couldn't even upgrade all my gear. That was at level 81.

There is one other missable on episode 1 of the Fate of Atlantis. Good thing I decided to check the guide just in case o.o

Edited by AndresLionheart
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MediEvil

Game Difficulty: 4/10

Platinum Difficulty: 3/10

Time to Platinum: 12 hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

This was an interesting trip. I played the original back when it released in 1998. I remember really enjoying it but I only played it that one time... Playing it again over 20 years later was an experience.

 

I still remember the day I got the game. I was sick so I wasn't going to school. I was bored as fuck when a friend of my mom came over for their usual chat about whatever. She came over to me and out of nowhere handed me the game.
I was so happy! My mom knew I really wanted that game because I talked to her about it and we would normally see it on a TV program I watched at the time called Nivel X.

 

A long time has gone by but somehow I still did remember things here and there. Whenever I reached one of those points I would be like "oh, right... this thing". That happened plenty of times.
The first thing that felt extremely different is the length of the game. I feel like it took me weeks to finish back then but it is actually very short. I may have gotten stuck at different points due to my lack of english knowledge or maybe I just sucked and had to repeat levels often. I would joke about it being the loading screens but I think the ones in the remake are longer somehow, lol.

 

Starting out it felt off... I was getting hit a lot by regular ass enemies and I couldn't get the hang of it. There is no real combat mechanics, you just wail your weapon and try to move away from enemies. Some have strategies that makes them easier to deal with, like moving out of the way of charging enemies and then hit them in the back when they stumble.

 

Levels are short (if you know what to do) and bosses are easy. The thing that brings the annoyance up a bit is that if you die you have to start the whole level again. There are no checkpoints. I only died a single time during my playthrough but that one single time annoyed me a bit, lol.
The other archaic design choice with this lack of checkpoints is that you need to finish the levels for anything you got to count. So if you happen to forget something in a level you need to play the whoooole thing through. I did say the levels are short but it's still a stupid design choice.

 

The performance is all over the place. You can lock the fps at 30. I left it unlocked just to see how it changed and holy shit... it's so unstable.
Not only the fps is unstable, the game crashed once for who knows why. I was coming down from a tree in the level called Enchanted Forest and it just froze.
Along with the performance I also have to say that the graphics aren't that good either. Comparing this to Spyro or Crash remakes you can tell this didn't have the same level of budget. It's especially noticeable in the pre-rendered cutscenes, the resolution (or maybe it's the bitrate) is terrible.

 

The only new content is not too good. To me it felt like padding because they knew the game was very short.
What happens is that on one of the last levels you open a chest that frees some Lost Souls. These are spread around the main 19 levels (there are 2 more that are just the tutorial and the final boss). When you found one it gives you a hint of where it wants you to take it to then do some sort of veeeery small task. This would be fine if it wasn't for the fact that you can't leave the level after finding the soul, you need to finish the thing! And since it wants you to take it to some other level it means you will end up doing some levels 2 extra times...
The one thing that is good about this is the reward. It surprised me, so to not possibly ruin someone else's surprise I will talk about it in the spoiler tag:

 

Spoiler

The reward is the original version of the game!! That's such an appropriate reward that it made me almost forgive them for the boredom of repeating all the levels so much.
Since I had the thing right there I tries for a bit to see how different the remake is. Here is when I did notice that the remake is way harder. In the original there are fewer enemies and they seemed to get staggered from every hit. I actually got to do the whole first stage without getting hit at all.
The controls are ass, though. It was at the time when the right stick was still a new thing and not many games used it for camera controls (and the game acknowledges the sticks because in the controls it tells you that you can toggle run/walk with L3, unless that's a modification from this rom).
The button configuration is awful, too, lol. You can't change it and it has things like attack on X and jump on Circle. Moving the camera with L2 and R2 feels so old, lol.

From what I played from that first level I could also see that the levels were changed a bit. Some stuff was moved around.

Who knows, maybe one day when I'm super bored I will try finishing this version as well =P.

 

 Thoughts on the Platinum

 

It would have been a fun plat even with the Lost Souls but there is one tiny problem... there is a trophy that fucking sucks because it seems to glitch for the majority of people.
It should be as simple as dying to 7 different ways. The problem starts right away from the fact that nobody is exactly sure which ones are unique other than the obvious ones. Is lava the same as fire? Is a zombie the same as a bat? Is drowning in water the same as drowning im a poison swamp? Is a cannonball the same as a windmill? Who knows!!
It goes without saying that it did indeed glitch for me too. After reading different sources, and with no clear answer, I retried some of the earlier deaths and it finally popped the second time I died to a rolling boulder. I posted my whole ordeal in the MediEvil forums, so I will copy that over here for the record:

 

Quote

My only actual Game Over during the playthrough was from falling while fighting the Demonettes. To begin my deaths I went to Cemetery Hill and died to: Zombie, Fire, Rock and Lava, in that order.

Then I went to The Hilltop Mausoleum and died from spikes and then from falling. That would make 6 deaths since I had already died from falling.

I went to Scarecrow Fields and died to the Windmill and the corn monsters. That's 8 deaths and no trophy

From here I started going around everywhere. If I remember correctly I tried cannonballs, letting the timer run out in The Haunted Ruins, killing myself with the falling crystals from the dragon boss in Crystal Caves as well as the spinning crystal with the lasers, drowning in regular water and the swamp from the Pools of the Ancient Dead.

With all my hopes destroyed I decided to go back to Cemetery Hill and repeat some deaths. This time I decided to let the thing that was gonna kill me deal the most damage, since before I was getting my health down with the lava pool. So I did lava, then fire and it finally popped when I died to a boulder again...


Other than that there are a few weird and fun miscellaneous ones that require previous knowledge to complete, but nothing out of the ordinary.

If it wasn't for the Lost Souls this platinum would be half as long.

 

The Media Corner

 

The guides made it sound like you need to finish the game to then go back and do the extra stuff but it's not the case. I made sure complete everything else first and then popper the last 5 or so trophies I had left while going through the last boss =D

 

Popping the platinum (along a bunch of other trophies) by beating the final boss.
Since I needed to complete a trophy that require me to have less health at the beginning, I actually have to go through the whole thing with way less health. That was good, though, because it made it a bit more tense =)

Edited by AndresLionheart
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Luigi's Mansion 3

Game Difficulty: 3/10

Completion Difficulty: 3/10

Time to Complete: 14 hours

 

A step in the right direction but still a long way to capture the immersion of the first one. That's how I would summarize my experience with this game.

The original Luigi's Mansion on Gamecube, while short, gave this feeling of being trapped in a mansion filled with mysteries.
Luigi's Mansion 2 then broke everything by splitting each place in chunks and having Professor E. Gadd be an annoying asshole worse than Navi.
Luigi's Mansion 3 tries to go back to somewhere closer to the original but lands somewhere in between, with a tendency towards LM2.
While you aren't interrupted and pulled away after every main objective, every floor of the hotel still is pretty much its own self contained area. You don't get a key in the 7th floor that finally opens a door in the 2nd, so you don't get the same feeling of exploration. This makes it feel more like LM2.

One extremelly good change is being able to turn off the professor's annoying hints. It's enabled by default so I got to see some of the hints. Holy shit is he annoying. I knew what to do but I was exploring around for money. In the span of like 5 minutes he talked to me twice to say the same thing!!! I obviously turned it off afterward but I can see people going the whole game with that, not realizing it can be turned off in the options.

The gameplay loop consists in exploring each floor to find the missing elevator buttons to reach other floors. You are technically saving Mario, Peach and 3 Toads but it's not something brought back or mentioned that much during the game.

In terms of animations this game is the complete opposite of Pokémon. While in Pokémon everything is static and robotic or simply does not animate at all, here every character oozes personality. Luigi getting scared and walking around all tense or all of the ghosts goofing off and being assholes to each other, everything has it's corresponding charming animation. Even something that's is gonna be used a single time was given attention. For example this boss fight with dancing ghosts (check out Luigi's sweet moves as well):

 

Dem ghosts got the moves!

 

The areas are varied thanks to the hotel giving place to a lot of different options. There are even areas that have nothing to do with a hotel (like pirates and Egypt). My problem lies in that some floors feel underdeveloped. The pirate floor for example has 3 rooms with very little in them. You are sent again to B2 during that floor to find an upgrade, so you end up replaying in the B2 theme (sewer) instead of enjoying the pirate theme.
One thing that made me sigh was the stupid cat that steals your elevator buttons. The first time it was cute, but the second time it felt like padding. Basically the cat run around the Hotel and you have to chase him down. Not only does he go from room to room, he can also go up and down floors...

 

Not only are some area themes underdeveloped, there is also an upgrade that is barely used. I'm talking about the Super Suction. With it you can get a very powerful suction but you need to be connected to a specific type of power outlet. These mechanic is used like 3 times (and one of those is just for an optional gem). And what do you do with this power? You just destroy some walls... I was convinced it was gonna be used for the final boss since it looks very powerful and shit, but nope. I really don't get why they even bothered with it if it was gonna be used in this trivial way.

Boss ghosts were improved a lot over the crap in LM2. There are way more and they all are their own little puzzle, just like portrait ghosts from LM1.

What was made worse were the upgrades. In LM2, money was used to upgrade the Poltergust (that's the vacuum Luigi uses). This time around money is only used to buy some very boring items: one that shows the location of a gem, one that shows the location of a Boo, and one that lets you come back to life when defeated. I kept grabbing money just in case something extra opened after finishing the game, but nothing happened...

As I mentioned in the opening line, it's a good step forward from LM2. I hope the next one centers more around exploration of an intricately connected area, though.

 

Thoughts on the completion

 

There are 6 Gems and 1 Boo per floor. Finding some gems can be tricky. The Boos are pretty much free if you get one of those items that shows their location (since the goo in Luigi's vacuum vibrates when close to a Boo).

There is no reward for collecting all the gems and capturing all Boos. It does not affect the rank at end, and it could even harm it. The final rank is based on the amount of money in hand, not the money and other things collected. So by spending money in the items that show you the location of Boos and such you are actually hurting the ranking to gain nothing... That's quite a shitty system, tbh.


Other than that there are in-game achievements that, as always, are not as enticing without them being tied to an overarching system.

The online co-op multiplayer mode can be fun, but only if at least 3 out of the 4 aren't idiots.
It's possible to carry a team, but luck is needed, a shitton of it...

 

The Media Corner

 

Final Boss. Isn't that a cute lil' hug? I've never seen them be this close before, lol.

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Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon

Game Difficulty: 3/10

Platinum Difficulty: 2/10

Time to Platinum: 7 hours

 

Thoughts on the game

 

I would put this one in between Spyro 1 and 2. It's much better than 2 but not as enjoyable as 1.

There is much nore variety in gameplay thanks to several mini-games (like skateboarding) and 4 other playable characters (+1 more if we count Sparx stages), each with their own specific gameplay quirks.

The stages are a bit less linear and have more hidden passageways housing part of the collectables.
This time around Spyro carries over all the moves learned from 2, so no need to relearn that. All new stuff is left for the new characters.

From the get go I could tell I never played this one. I don't have any memories from anything that happens.
I did kinda feel like I've seen Bianca (a bunny sorceress in-training) before but that must have been in some video on Youtube analysing the games.

It seems the developers of the original took into account complaints over the difficulty because this one is not completely free. The main patgs are always easy, but when you explore around you actually may need to put some effort to beat the challenges. The flying and skateboarding races are especially difficult. Not super hard, but a 5/10 at least.

This one can get a bit buggy, though. For example:

  • I broke a rolling boulder and even while broken it still hit me. It only happened that one time.
  • While going through the tutorial stage for Agent 9 (the monkey) I broke the targets of the first section before talking to the NPC. When it was time to talk to him to advance to the next section he wasn't talking.
  • Sometimes Sparx doesn't feel like picking up gems

There are probably more but those came to mind.

Spyro does get to talk a bit more than in Spyro 2, but it's still way less than in Spyro 1. This is very important to me because I love how he animates and talks =(

Overall I found this one also enjoyable like Spyro 1. The worst aspect pertains to the Platinum, so...

 

Thoughts on the Platinum

 

Why the heck doesn't this one require 100% completion? It only needs 100 eggs and like 6000 gems. The one time it would have been somewhat of a challenging Platinum they decided to not ask the player to do everything.

I was originally going to complete it but I don't feel compelled to put the effort to beat some of the harder challenges when I get nothing to show for it. It's kinda the same feeling I get from beating Celeste's B and C sides without using Assist Mode.


So, yeah, they dropped the ball on this one =(

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