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Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion (英雄伝説 ガガーブトリロジー 朱紅い雫)

I'm gonna try to not rehash all that stuff about how Tear of Vermillion is LOH IV blah blah blah. To make a long story short, this is the second entry in the LOH Garghav trilogy. Chronologically, it takes place before White Witch but story-wise, the two games have pretty much zero connection so it really doesn't matter.

To be honest, it's been a while since I beat this game so I don't really remember the story details but I do remember it started out with a bang. My theory is it was to fix the absolutely mind-numbingly boring start of the previous game.

IMOUTO TAIMU, always a good start to a game. Oniichan is here Aimeru!!
In terms of graphics and game engine, everything looks pretty much the same as the first PSP port except they changed the weird pseudo ATB nature of the battle system into a standard turn based affair. I actually preferred the neat trick in the previous game of cancelling out of the menu and letting everybody duke it out automatically so having to select attack for every party member every turn was a bummer. At least it does a better job of showing your attack range so you don't have to waste a turn just trying to reach your enemy if you don't want to.

Attack, attack, attack, attack, standard RPG fare...
To be perfectly fair, you do want to use spells and skills that have area effects when the enemies are bunched together Chrono Trigger style. The change to a clearer turn-based system does make timing things easier compared to the rather chaotic free-for-all of the first game. Overall, there's nothing too special about the gameplay. Some of the more challenging boss battles did require some planning for special attacks since they charge over time (the POWER meter). The difficulty was a bit better balanced this time around compared to the super easy previous entry with the weird difficulty spike at the end. I actually died once or twice in this one.

Overall, I enjoyed the story much more than the previous game as well. The characters were more interesting and there was some good character development for at least some of the characters if not the main character. Sure, some of the plot elements are a bit cliche at this point but hey, this is a remake of a PC98 game from 1996. The music was pretty good too overall.

For some reason, I found this tune really catchy

The main "heroine" or as we now call it "damsel in distress in OMG TRIGGER WARNING MISOGYNIST WOMEN HATER GAME", is actually your little sister. So there's not much of a romance, but it was still cool to join in Avin's frantic quest to reunite with his cute imouto. Hey, if my sister was cute and 2D, I would have done exactly the same (my real 3D ones... um... not so much).

Score: 2.5 oh those innocent days before oreimo when everything wasn't tinged with weird imouto incest fetishes out of 5

Get a room, you guys!
Also, I hear it's legal in some States?
Might wanna check that out.
Obviously, in today's modern enlightened times, an RPG about chasing after your little sister would look very different (and to be perfectly honest, I would totally be all over that). Regardless, while nothing too special, I found the second part of the Garghav trilogy to be adequate enough to be an average fun title overall.

Given the scale of the ending in White Witch (which frankly was poorly done and came out of nowhere), I think there was a missed opportunity here to expand upon the overall story and grow the universe. Unfortunately, the tiniest bit of connection to the first game they show doesn't really add anything to the story as a trilogy. It remains to be seen if there's a larger picture here in the 3rd entry: Song of the Ocean. At this point, I think it may be too late to really tie anything together but we'll see I suppose.

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

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