||[Dec. 24th, 2005|04:24 pm]
Picked up Rogue Galaxy, Kingdom Hearts II, and Every Party since they came in the other day. More games that I am behind on - but I appear to be in a game mood, so I suppose I'll be finishing a couple of games before I come out of it.
Impressions... I haven't put in KH2 yet, as I haven't finished the first and I'm certain (especially with cyfis's entry on the matter) it is spoileriffic. As for Rogue Galaxy, it's pretty in a cell shaded way. Level 5 definitely has mastered the art of cell shading better than any other game developer I have ever seen. The game system seems fun from first poke. The text is - a little funky. They went for a sort of curves created by straight lines style which resembles Kingdom Hearts, a style I don't especially like. I'm not sure whether I want to do it or KH first at this point. I had started KH before I picked it up, but I'm not far into it yet. I just need a break from SRWa2. It's not that the game isn't fun, it's just that the two(+) hour long battles are driving me a little batty.
As for SRWa2, I may not be remembering the last one so clearly, but I don't remember there being so many serious battles so early in the game. I just finished #25, which is after you've (barring some loose threads) apparently just wrapped up two of the plotlines. #23-25 have burned me out a little. Too many bosses with too much HP. I thought 30,000 was excessive, but that was before I ran into the boss with 70,000 (and Sokoryoku*, as if it NEEDED to be worse). Of course, part of this is my fault for going after the Jukuren** points - otherwise I could just carve through 70,000 HP instead of also taking out the three bosses before that boss that had 17,000 HP each (and Sokoryoku, like every other boss in the game >_<), and all the individual enemies with between 7500 and 9500 HP... I'd have had to take some of them out to trigger the 70,000 boss, but not every single one.
...in addition, right before the end I accidentally killed one of the bosses before I had defeated his minions, which I figured would spoil the Jukuren point, so I had to return to the save I had made ~2 turns back. Before that, I accidentally got Duo killed by assuming that a 10% chance to hit was going to keep him safe. Um. Deathscythe Custom go smash? That made me restart the battle.
Every Party is my first Xbox 360 game, and while it's no [eM], I do expect to get some distraction out of it. The only problem is that, like any board game, it is mostly a matter of luck as to who wins. This makes beating the story mode very frustrating. It took me three tries to get through the first board, and there are plenty left to go. It's much more fun (naturally) when playing with other people, because there's no stakes for winning - it's just play.
It's a very wacked game, though. I don't see it coming over to the US... ever, really. It's too Japanese.
Next... I've been reading Arrows of the Queen again. Mercedes Lackey has really advanced as a writer since when she wrote it - I never noticed before, but her point of view jumps faster than a Mexican Jumping Bean in the story. She just can't stick to one person's head. I suppose one can consider it artistic licence. She did do an okay job of identifying the character she was jumping into, and I'm not sure how it would affect the story to be told from just Talia's perspective, but it would certainly increase some of the tension. Some of the conflicts are shown as not an issue immediately by switching to a character's thoughts and showing how they're on Talia's side. It seems a little clumsy, but I think this is her first book, or definitely near to it.
The School is taking shape in my head, though I haven't been directly working on it so much. I've found a theme for the story, and I'm seeing more conflicts, specifically one that will build up and erupt between her and Jessi. I'm surprised at how coming up with a theme has made the story come into much better focus - suddenly I'm seeing conflicts building between the characters, watching them develop before my eyes into roles and then developed people who show what I need them to show. There's still more work to do, but... I would have never thought that something so 'silly' would do so much.
* Sokoryoku, for the non-SRW crowd (most of you), is an ability where as your HP gets closer to 0, your hit, evade, critical rate, and armor all go up. This is a percentage of HP based skill, but of course as the HP gap gets larger, the less likely it is that you can wipe out the enemy in one hit after getting to a certain point - with 70,000 HP, you are highly unlikely to be able to avoid the 10% region, there being a 7,000 HP gap between that and death. The most damage I've seen one of my mechs do so far is just about 6,500.
** Jukuren points are points you get by doing something extra during the battle - for example, killing everything on the field aside from the boss before you kill the boss (thus fulfilling the victory condition and ending the battle), or finishing the battle in a certain amount of turns, etc. They govern the difficulty of the game - each map has a range of Jukuren points for Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulties, which changes the parameters of battle (less money when you kill things on hard, etc.). The tempting thing to do if you just want to play the game is not accumulate any at all, but there's an in game benefit for going for them - when you get them, you get +5 Pilot Points for every pilot on the field. Pilot Points can be spent for various abilities for your pilots, including one called Learning. In the game, you construct groups of up to four mechs, only one of which is the main unit. The others get half exp and PP. Learning allows them to get full exp and PP, but costs 100PP, making it difficult to acquire. Getting Jukuren points speeds this process up immensely.