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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Seiken Densetsu - Final Fantasy Gaiden(聖剣伝説 -ファイナルファンタジー外伝-)

The last Seiken Densetsu game I played was that gacha mobile port shit RISE of MANA, which definitely left a sour taste in my mouth. So naturally I went and bought the Vita port of the mobile remake of the first game in the series. After all, this game has the same janky mobile graphics like the last one I hated so gotta buy it, right? (Gamer logic 101)

Concept art looks great but a Gameboy doesn't have the specs to-, wait what? $700 iPhone? ...oh.
Now that I actually played through the game that I bought almost 3 years ago on $ale (no doubt for more than the current list price), I'm happy to report that it's actually still (almost) a real game unlike RISE of MANA. I say almost because this game is so easy, you can practically play with your eyes closed or I guess poke at your screen like some lab monkey as intended for the mobile folks. The graphics don't look so hot either. I may even go as far as to say you may as well stick with the OG Gamboy sprites. Yeah yeah, once again the Switch probably got the better deal with the whole collection of the original games, don't worry I'm already moving off of the Censorstation (but the trophies...).

25 years of technological advances and this is what we end up with?
As for the gamplay, the bosses are so easy this game is kind of like Sekiro except it's like you switched places with the bosses and they only get one try to kill you. I know cause I totally beat and can write a "review for Sekiro". (← Google, please rank this part) In fact, instead of the pro journalists that used a cheat to beat it, I'm so efficient, I beat it by watching somebody use the cheat. Actually I didn't even watch it, I count one of the views of somebody else watching on Youtube as me beating the game, I'm super pro like that. Uh where was I? Oh yeah the gameplay.

It's cool, it's just a game- wait... is this like... your job? Oh... wow.
I'm not sure about the difficulty but everything else seems to be a faithful port of the original so I did have to look up a guide when I got stuck in a few places as this is old school "You stuck? Well I guess you fucking stuck then" type of game. It's pretty ridiculous when one NPC says "Yeah, why don't ya get your ass out there and try flare on dem rocks 'till you find em hidden entrances like?" Other than getting stuck, it was a pretty simple game that I finished in a little under 12 hours. It was a bit annoying that you have to constantly switch out stuff from your menu. The 3 quick slots helped but I could have used like 6 slots, especially one for those goddamn fucking annoying keys.

Going back to the Jhipster agenda, let's discuss the localized title Adventures of Mana. Now you can play as Mana going on countless amazing adventures, wait, that's not a character? It's what? But the grammar... fine whatever.

This first game of what non-Jhipsters call the Mana series is also a Final Fantasy spinoff hence the localized title Final Fantasy Adventure for the original game. Now, you may be inclined to think that it's a spinoff in name for marketing purposes only like the Final Fantasy Legend series but no, it's a real spinoff with Moogles and Chocobos.

Aww so cute, sorry about your legs oh spoilers
In fact, in the GBA "new testament" remake, they removed all the FF stuff and made it a proper Seiken Desetsu game. However, this is definitely NOT that game so not sure why they changed the English name but once again, we are not new to localizers who don't know jack here at Jhipster land.

As for this original GB remake, I found the story had some good moments. Yeah, it's a Gameboy faithful remake so the dialogue isn't going to win the Pulitzer eg "Ugh, I'm dead. Croak." but it wasn't bad and had kind of an interesting ending (again "for a GB game" being the key caveat).

The script says "don't die!" but the face says "whatever"
I did find it funny for the best part of the story, they still decided to censor one item you need from Medusa blood to tears instead. This game obviously was loved by the JP kids back in the day because there's a whole page of details of how in the original game, you get experience for the end of the Medusa boss potentially putting up an awkward "You leveled up ze" message, ruining a touching moment. No worries, they fixed that "bug" in this remake.

Amanda, is she going to be a girl you hook up with? Play to find out!
Overall, I found Seiken Densetu - Final Fantasy Gaiden to be a standard old school portable title, something to kill time or to decompress while playing a "real" game. It's a really good Gameboy game, one that probably deserves a 3 or even 3.5 score in its day. However, on the Vita with these graphics and zero difficulty, it's a mediocre experience overall. The title screen music is great though at least.

The rest of the OST unfortunately was not as good as the title screen


Score: 2.5 buckets of blood out of 5 (12 hours to beat, 16 for plat)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have like 5 hours of grinding left killing scores of elephants to get the rest of the trophies since it's SOOO much fun and yes, I totally have a life (not really). OMG, killing elephants, what kind of message is that sending our kids? I demand this game be taken down immediately! Oh excuse me... what? We only care about censoring sex? But that's a natural part of our species... uh huh... uh ok I understand... Stay tuned for our extensive coverage of MK11, the hottest new game just released!

Don't forget to only pick Warrior and Mage to be able to unlock all 99 stats trophies!
Good thing the Auto save works as well as it does (shitty mobile port)
Oh, does this lead into the sequel? I haven't played that since before my Jhipster evolution.

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, April 11, 2019

Deemo: Last Recital(DEEMO~ラスト・リサイタル~)

There seemed to be a kind of rhythm game dark ages for a few years where the only console games coming out were what I call "play alongs", basically the video game equivalent of a tambourine at karaoke. Bemani (Konami) pulled out of the home console market and Neowiz was MIA after DJMAX Technika Tune. So naturally I was excited when Deemo was announced, a new rhythm game for the Vita. I was less excited to learn soon after that it was a port of a mobile game but I was resigned to the realities of this iPhone mobile shit fest era. Rayark is a Taiwanese developer (or Chinese according to China but let's not get into THAT whole mess) but of course, as a Jhipster, I played the Japanese version.

The Japanese VA for this Taiwanese game is Ayachi #BAE
The Vita version I believe added those nice animation cut scenes and while they are silent, there are a few lines of dialogue voiced by cutie Taketasu Ayana in-game. I dug the stylish presentation at least much more than what they're teasing for the upcoming WTF 3D remake on PS4. Overall, I enjoyed the simple story and presentation even though all the songs are basically a black background.

I'll take this over the 3D shit, thank you
The gameplay is very simple and this is a definitely a good rhythm game for casuals. Being a mobile port, you basically touch the keys when they reach the line. The yellow keys don't require a tap meaning you can do some very satisfying slides.

Ooh, this is going to be so satisfying
The piano is a major part of the story so all the songs have a piano track which naturally means that the music is not quite as varied as other rhythm games. Of course, they managed to sneak some dubstep in because how will I live without more dubstep? (barf) Overall, I thought the included songs were pretty good though nothing super memorable except for Sakura iro no yume; I must've played that shit like over 10 times.

This reminds me of some song from a Ghibli movie

Though the Vita version had a decent amount of songs, the rate at which they unlocked was way too slow meaning you ended up playing a lot of the same songs again and again. There are a handful of songs unlocked playing the After Story and they offered the Shattered Memories DLC for free but it only unlocks after you beat the game. This means I finally got a whole bunch of songs only after I was kind of already over the game. And of course, you can't help but feel cheated now that the Switch version is out with ALL the DLC which I imagine is a crazy number of songs. No trophies on the Switch but who cares about that shit, not me!

While full combo is pretty easy, it's a BITCH to get 100% (Silver trophy)
Oh well, who knows if Switch is even fun to play with that size and weight. The Vita 2000 was a perfect size for me to swipe away while holding the thing laying in bed, something I can't say applies for the Switch. #NotSaltyOkALittleSalty Also, for some reason the fully animated cut-scenes from the Vita version appears to be missing, going back to the original stills so the Vita version may be worth it just for that if you can get it on sale (not on a $ale like when I bought it).

I can't recommend Vita version over Switch (even though it's better)
Score: 3 fine, I guess it's time to switch to the Switch, ugh out of 5

Overall I had a fun time with the game and it's a solid title for the cost I paid in yen (it was on $ale). Obviously my score might have been higher if all the DLC was included like the Switch version. I just wish that the keys actually made the music. In some segments, there's an echo if your timing is off so your skill does have minor affects on the music and the the Duet mode actually seemed better in this regard but overall, it sounds mostly the same whether you play well or not. Definitely no DJMax here. (Please don't ask me how I played Duet mode with no friends.)

Having finished this a full 2 years after I bought it, the rhythm game market is hotter than ever. Not only did Neowiz knock it out the park with fucking amazing DJMax Respect, Sega lost their shit and released the double whammy Future Tone and Future Sound. Well Konami is still fucked but otherwise, it's definitely a good time to be an oto-gamer and Deemo was a good palette cleanser for the dry years.

You'll need to google the meaning after you beat (spoiler warning)
I mean honestly, does ANY game need more CV than just Aya-nyan?
Oh those Taiwanese devs, they're so funny

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