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Picked up Rogue Galaxy, Kingdom Hearts II, and Every Party since they… - Silicon Rose [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Silicon Rose

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[Dec. 24th, 2005|04:24 pm]
Silicon Rose
[Current Mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

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.

Right.

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.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: benabik
2005-12-25 02:29 am (UTC)
According to Mercedes Lackey's website Arrows of the Queen was her first book (published 1987).
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[User Picture]From: cyfis
2005-12-25 05:56 am (UTC)
RE: Jukuren, Skill Points for short. I can't think of any other decent way of translating that. Mastery Points, maybe?

Remember the Sokuryoku+ from Alpha 1? Guts? That Isamu and Ryuusei had? It's hella fun on Real Type pilots :P

Comparatively speaking I found KH's artstyle much easier on the eyes than Rogue Galaxy. Cell-shading on 3D models has always made my eyes ache because I find myself unconsciously looking for the horizon line.

As for KH, I very much recommend finishing the first game and at least reading a synopsis of Chain of Memories to get a good grasp of events in KH2.

Come to think of it I've never read Arrows of the Queen. I've read the other two books in the series but not the first, and I seem to recall the third one at least being not that bad with perspective.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2005-12-25 08:34 am (UTC)
Yeah. It doesn't translate well - that's why I've been leaving it in Japanese. Mastery probably comes closer to the intent.

Eep? Is this from #3, or am I missing something?

Hm. I don't have as much of a problem with it - Rogue Galaxy is pretty to me, though I think my eyes are complaining at the lack of anti-aliasing. That's been a big problem for me with most games. I don't know why, but for some reason jaggies have been driving me nuts recently.

Don't worry, I plan to finish both before I start KH2 (then why did I pick it up?... er. Look! Games!...). There are still other games between me and KH2, though, namely SH2 + SH3. ^^ I would probably be playing SH2, but Kingdom Hearts is just a really nice change of pace from an SRPG (though as frustrating in its own way as SRWa2 is - I didn't believe it before, but the camera really IS trying to kill you).

It probably isn't. I don't remember any perspective issues in any other book of hers I've read, though I didn't remember them in Arrows of the Queen, either, so... perhaps I'm just forgetting. Meh. I'm planning to read them all again, anyways. I'm just in a Lackey mood for some reason. Then maybe Crystal Singer.
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[User Picture]From: cyfis
2005-12-25 08:30 pm (UTC)
Guts? It's a skill they had in 1 I think. The one that raises Hit/Evade/Crit but more so than Sokoryoku when HP was low.

I haven't gotten too far in Rogue Galaxy (KH2 has sort of preempted just about everything else ^^;) but I guess I'll get used to it. Haven't really played too many games in that style.

KH is nice because it's very different from your traditional RPG. Camera angle trying to kill you is, unfortunately, a feature of just about every 3D action game.

I always thought that Lackey should have been born a Japanese mangaka. Her and Matsushita-sensei would get along great :P
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2005-12-25 08:59 pm (UTC)
Ah, right, sorry. I was connecting it to the PP system and getting confused. My mistake.

KH2 would probably be preempting things if I could play it, but my hands are full with the first and SRWa2 right now. ^^

Exactly why I'm playing it. The problems with the camera are solvable, though... I just don't like how it gets stuck if you're against a wall, and I dislike how it tries to 'help' and usually fails... and the connection between the camera and combat is black magic from my perspective. Oh well.

...yes. Yes, they would. ^^ I reread that piece Lackey did with her characters coming to her and complaining. "I'm depressed and so I whine, so I whine, all the time, I'm depressed and so I whine, my name's Vanyel." That ditty was brilliant.
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