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Friday, June 23, 2017

Prismaticallization

Sometimes, a little perspective goes a long way. While I didn't think too much of Never 7 (called infinity at the time), it's WAY better than Prismaticallization, even though it only came out a few months later. I can't help but compare the two games because Prismaticallization is like an earlier and crappier version of Never 7. It has the exact same basic concept except without any voice acting and crappier BGM. I bought this game purely on the cover art, so fool on me I guess.

Yesh, it doesn't take much to convince me to buy (if under $10)
It first starts out by warning you that there's nothing to do put read for the first 30 minutes. Pfft, 30 minutes?! Yeah, no worries there, I'm not an ADV newb. At the end of your first playthrough, you pick up an odd green prism crystal thing (hence the title). This prism crystal can be used to remember up to 5 things.

Be prepared to loop through this damn game at least 100 times
It's a very annoying user interface as you constantly have to loop and often run out of space on your crystal. I went to about 100 playthroughs and 7 hours before I cleared the first ending (the game helpfully keeps count in the upper-right corner). Yeah, if you follow a guide, you can clear an ending in under 20 but I was playing blind. Most of the time was spent holding the △ fast forward button so this game is totally a multitask affair. It really was an awkward way to play an ADV game and kinda unnecessary in my opinion. I mean, it was kinda fun at first, but it got old pretty fast. At the very least, maybe if the prism could hold 10 things or there was a skip to next choice feature (not fast-forward but instant), it would've made things quicker.

Unlocking the swimsuit scenarios were especially annoying as you have to first play a tarot game (1 loop). This set you on to path to one girl (chosen randomly). Then you have to remember the correct cards to win a card game (2 loops). Finally, you can unlock the swimsuit at the beach (1 loop). You then have to win the card game AGAIN (1-2? loops) and trigger the swimsuit memory at the beach a second time (1 loop). This takes about 5 loops for each girl (you may have to reload if you get duplicate random girl).

Well, I guess the effort was worth it for Miyu sukumizu
As I said, the BGM is not so great either though it sounds much better on the Dreamcast version. It feels like they spent all their budget on the pretty good opening animation and the ending song. Otherwise, this game is pretty darn low on both the polish and quality front.

The OP and ED were good but that's about it

Still, despite the overall cheapness of the game, the illustrations were not bad and it could have redeemed itself with a great story but unfortunately, it falls flat in that department as well. None of the characters were well developed and pretty much almost nothing is explained even after watching all the endings. The only good thing about the story was that it wasn't too long-winded and I was able to beat the game in about 12 hours. I did not unlock all the swimsuits however cause it's a pain in the arse and Miyu is really the only girl for me anyways.

Fake imouto was almost enough to make this game a 2. Almost.
Score: 1.5 sometimes even an imouto is not enough to make a decent game out of 5. (12 hours to beat)

I didn't think this game was terrible. It has some funny moments and some decent art, I just don't know if it was worth it. I certainly won't be keeping it in my ever shrinking closet of shame. If for some crazy reason I wanted to play it again, it's also available on PSN, though I would probably recommend the DC version for the better music and some extra scenes.

Oddly, this illustration was in a different style from the rest of the game

Scale
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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Kairisei Million Arthur (乖離性ミリオンアーサー)

Let me tell you a story about a foolish gamer who for some reason no sane individual can surmise decided to go about collecting all the trophies for Karisei Million Shits Arthur. He got all the way up to the last gold trophy which involves collecting 100 yes ONE HUNDRED Ultra Rare cards. He gave up on this stupidly repetitive task for many months until a collaboration event with Peach Beach Splash gave out 5 ultra rare cards with 20 名声, the equivalent of 100 identical cards. Giddy with excitement and disbelief he laughed at the fools for essentially giving away the gold trophy. Without hesitation, he went ahead and maxed out by combining all 5 cards but alas no trophy??!!

The tragic folly and downfall of a foolish gamer
With a pounding heart and shaking hands, he looked at the card details to discover to his shock and dismay that it had only gone up to 90 instead of 100. The fucking UI only said MAX so he had forgotten he needed to max out the level of one of the 5 cards FIRST, then evolve it to Million Rare, and THEN combine the other cards as Ultra Rare cards only have a max of 90 名声. Screaming in frustration and anger, this foolish gamer, instead of deleting this piling heap of garbage, decided FUCK YOU SQUARE, I'm going to do this the hard way. He then proceeded to waste his life away for the next 10 days until he finally achieved his empty, meaningless, and pathetic goal.

The end result of a fool's quest and his loss of valuable time and life
Oh, and I think there's a game in there somewhere.

Score: 0 fuck you fuck you fuck you Square Enix out of 5.

Some of the cards have cool art, I'll give it that. But I think it's ridiculous they still haven't finished the main storyline 9 months after release. Whatever, the story is meh anyways. I DON'T CARE.




Scale
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

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mad Father(マッドファーザー)

Corpse Party was kind of my gateway drug to Wolf RPG Horror adventure games. Turns out there's of bunch of these made by creative individuals completely FREE FREE FREE!!! No, not free-to-play microtrans BS but free as in no money needed. I mean REAL indie games without all that kickstarter bags of money and false promises. Mad Father was one that seemed particularly well polished and also not TOO scary like fucking heart attack Akemi-tan.

Personally, being surrounded by bodies is a turn-off but ok
There's really not too much to the story as these things usually go but your father is kind of mad (surprise, surprise!!) You play as his little daughter who decide for some reason to go exploring your guy's giant mansion when you start the game.

I guess since you started the game, now she HAS to explore. JERK.
My first impression of the game was wow, for an indie, the music is pretty damn good! Apparently, the opening song is also used in another indie game called Ib so I don't know who made the music or what the deal is but whatever, as long as it's not RIAJ, it's all cool.

Welp, I guess I have to play Ib next.

The first part of the game has lots of areas to explore and some puzzles that frankly I would never have figured out. For example, who would have guessed to drop the eyeball down a hole in the fireplace so that the girl in the cell can get her eyeball back? Yeah, you hear somebody crying in the study but that's hardly a hint. Aha, but yeah, that's the kind of puzzles you'll be solving. Things get easier as you get down the lower basement levels as the explorable areas shrink significantly.

Hmm... personally I would have just stayed in my room.
Score: 3 and I thought my parents were crazy!! out of 5. (3 hours to beat)

The character illustrations definitely have an indie look but overall, I thought it was a pretty solid game. It's only a little bit scary so it's probably a good title for horror newbs. You certainly won't lose anything by trying it out (FREE GAMES GOOGLE SEARCH BOT!). There's a special cut-scene at the end if you collect all 21 gems scattered throughout the house but I didn't bother.

Women, their choices in men will forever confound
There is an English version for the non-jhipsters though I don't know if it includes the latest changes. I guess the latest version 3 is now for sale on steam but you can download the latest free Japanese version here: http://novice2.web.fc2.com/game/mad/index.html.

Scale
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

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ys: The Oath in Felghana(イース -フェルガナの誓い-)

I started Ys: Felghana no Chikai (that's "oath" for the non-jhipsters) pretty much right after I beat Ys 2 since it's a remake of Ys 3. In the good ol' days, people used to use numbers so customers would know what order shit came in. But now, we have games like Ghostbusters 2016 aka "AHAHA you bought this garbage??", Tomb Raider 2013 aka "we spent that whole year working on Lara's hair", and Prince of Persia 2008 aka "maybe it'll sell better if you can't fucking die joke edition" so yeah whatever, we're all fucked. Where was I? Oh yeah.

So Falcom is probably THE pioneer of series you can never figure out without consulting Wikipedia (fuck you Dragon Slayer 2 Legend of Heroes -4 Xanadu not Next). So after looking up what games are in what order, I decided to skip Ys Wanderers From Ys, and went straight to the remake.

For fuck's sake, jut put the goddamn 3 on the cover
I mentioned previously that I was traumatized on the series from the start with a rental of the SNES side-scrolling version of this game. Fortunately, Falcom went back and fixed it all up and made a completely different game which is probably why they changed the subtitle.

They scrapped the side scrolling thing and went with the 2.5 style of the later Ys games. The classic bumping mechanic is gone and you now have to jump and climb platforms and shit. When I first started this game after finishing Ys 2, it was weird having to swing your sword like some kind of barbarian. I imagine Adol was previously using some impressive Iai invisible sword attacks during the bumps previously so this brute swinging style seems like a few steps backwards for the swordsman in terms of technique.

This is Adol in Ys I+II... IMO.
Personally, I preferred the old style without all this fancy double jumping and attack button. Even though the platforming segments were pretty tame and not super annoying, I'm not a big fan of jumping on shit, falling, and having to start again. (Did I mention I'm not big into platformers?) What was REALLY annoying were those TINY flying monsters which were such a pain to attack especially before you get the green ring.

...well at least it's better than Mario...
In fact, this game is pretty annoying until you unlock at least the dash ability (aka oh thank god, I can move at a normal speed FINALLY). The options give you the ability to have dash on at all times or by double tapping a direction but seriously why?? Turn it on always. DUH!

Take my advice and turn dash on always. Screw that arrow key x2 BS.
Another tip is to not worry about having enough Ravel ore. I never upgraded my equipment until the end because I was a Ravel hoarder. Only to find out near the end that enemies in the last dungeon drop Ravel so there's no need to hoard. Another great tip for boss battles is the healing cloak. While it will never restore HP by itself because you can't stand still long enough, it WILL restore HP when you boost after the curly bar totally fills up. I unfortunately didn't realize this until the last two bosses but it definitely came in handy for the tough final boss. My final tip is to check the castle entrance frequently as there's a missable escort event there.

You can press L to quickly switch to the cloak
The exploration gets easier as you unlock other abilities such as teleportation to save points and pretty much becomes a cakewalk when you get the healing cloak except for the bosses. Oh boy, the bosses. I played on Hard difficulty (cause hardcore gamer) and each boss battle was an exercise in trial and error by death. Nearly every boss battle was tense, frustrating, and while winning had that great feeling of satisfaction, it was mentally exhausting as well. Especially near the end, it seems like there's yet another boss around every corner.

I've been playing this game on and off for over a year now because I always felt a need for a break from yet another extremely tense boss battle. Since I'm hardcore but not masochist, I didn't play on Nightmare mode in the previous games and this game unlocks an even HARDER Inferno difficulty upon completion. You can get New Game+ bonuses but yeah... maybe next time.

Overall the boss battles are definitely the highlight making this game so fun but frustrating. That ice dragon thingy took at least 10 if not 20+ tries to beat. One personal highlight was Zirduros, The Clockwork Cannon. On about my fourth try, I've pretty much given up on winning after a dumb start and only one hit away from death. Then I got into some kind of crazy groove where I was able to dodge or ram through every one of his attacks with the yellow ring. HELL YEAH!!

The story was adequate to move the action along and voiced, which was nice. The music was, you know, the usual Ys stuff.

You're going to be hearing this a lot on Hard mode

Score: 3 oh you better believe some oaths will be said while you play and they will have nothing to do with Felghana out of 5 (19 hours on record to beat but probably more with resets)

I didn't enjoy this game quite as much as the first two. All that complicated jumping and swinging sword seemed to detract from the pure precision and skill required of the first two games (well except for that bullshit falling tile hope you're lucky final boss in the first game). However, while the exploration and grinding before boss battles were ho-hum, the boss battles were definitely sweaty hands good action, though a bit tiring.

Being a Ys game, it's localized in English and easily accessible on Steam (I played the #BAE PSP version of course). I don't know if the drama CD is localized however. It's pretty much a rehash of the same story anyways. Non-jhipsters aren't missing much. Those hoping for a hot spring scene with Elena will be sorely disappointed (um... not me!).


Scale
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