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Ashley Winchester Feb 1, 2012

I picked up a DS XL (the Red Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary one) and a copy of Final Fantasy III and strategy guide. I don't think I could have picked a "safer" game to play.

But speaking of Final Fantasy III on the DS, does anyone else find it to be rather unimpressive? Not graphically but on the whole? Maybe if I hadn't played FFV first and had played the games in the order they came out? I don't know...

Anyway I'm about where the patched NES ROMs I played years ago crapped out with their translation. The differences that I've noticed so far don't really seem to work for or work against the game. It's just there.

XLord007 Feb 2, 2012

Ashley Winchester wrote:

But speaking of Final Fantasy III on the DS, does anyone else find it to be rather unimpressive?

It's a NES Final Fantasy that's been prettied up.  I think a lot of people were expecting Squenix to modernize more than just the graphics (I know I was), and yeah, it's not at all worth your time.

XLord007 Feb 2, 2012

Tried out some more games:

Twisted Metal (PS3)
-There's a reason the vehicular combat genre died out.  There's simply no reason for this game to exist.  Pass.

Pixeljunk Sidescroller (PS3)
-Since Q Games already wasted the "Shooter" title on two other games that aren't really shooters, they came up with "Sidescroller" for this one.  It's a Gradius clone with screwy controls that can't be customized.  Disappointing.

Dead Pixels (360)
-Like River City Ransom or the Scott Pilgrim game but with guns and zombies, and not nearly as good as either of those.

God of War: Betrayal (Mobile)
-Dreadful side-scrolling beat 'em up from the pre-iOS cell phone days.

DLC Quest (360)
-Really cute satire about how obnoxious DLC has become.  Fun.

I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1 (360)
-Decent twin-stick shooter with a great soundtrack.

Syndicate (360)
-I hate multiplayer demos since you can't get a good feel for the game, but I can at least say that the controls work fine.

Pinball FX2 (360)
-Solid pinball sim, but some of the art design on the tables can get in the way of actually seeing what the hell is going on.

Techno Chopper (360)
-Auto-scroller where you avoid obstacles.  Very hard.  Very nice music.

Quake Arena Arcade (360)
-I don't think I've ever played an FPS this fast before.  I don't think I will again either.

Ashley Winchester Feb 2, 2012

XLord007 wrote:

Twisted Metal (PS3)
-There's a reason the vehicular combat genre died out.  There's simply no reason for this game to exist.  Pass.

The last Twisted Metal I liked was 4 on the PS1. I know a lot of people hated that one as well considering 989 was behind it like they were with III but I thought it showed some improvement despite the fact the characters and cars sucked. But I agree... if I want vehicular car combat I'll play that or something older.

Wanderer Feb 2, 2012 (edited Feb 2, 2012)

Ashley Winchester wrote:

But speaking of Final Fantasy III on the DS, does anyone else find it to be rather unimpressive? Not graphically but on the whole? Maybe if I hadn't played FFV first and had played the games in the order they came out? I don't know...

I actually think the original Nintendo game is better. More enemies on the screen, better balancing and I've always felt the original chiptunes have more presence than the arrangements. Also, the attempts to give the four characters a personality fall very flat and forced.

Tried a few demos.

The Darkness 2 - I LOVED this. Not a fan of the first game but they really improved the combat here and the gore is delicious fun.

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair - Hated it. What were they thinking?

Kingdoms of Amalur - Bland, bland, bland. I suppose there was nothing horrifically wrong with it (wonky controlls aside) but the whole thing felt so uninspired.

Amazingu Feb 2, 2012

Wanderer wrote:

Kingdoms of Amalur - Bland, bland, bland. I suppose there was nothing horrifically wrong with it (wonky controlls aside) but the whole thing felt so uninspired.

Did you play through the entire demo?
I had the same impression as you during the opening dungeon, but it gets much more interesting after that, I thought.

Wanderer Feb 3, 2012

Amazingu wrote:
Wanderer wrote:

Kingdoms of Amalur - Bland, bland, bland. I suppose there was nothing horrifically wrong with it (wonky controlls aside) but the whole thing felt so uninspired.

Did you play through the entire demo?
I had the same impression as you during the opening dungeon, but it gets much more interesting after that, I thought.

Yeah, I didn't get very far in but I trust your judgement so I'll give it another shot.

Ashley Winchester Feb 3, 2012

Wanderer wrote:
Ashley Winchester wrote:

But speaking of Final Fantasy III on the DS, does anyone else find it to be rather unimpressive? Not graphically but on the whole? Maybe if I hadn't played FFV first and had played the games in the order they came out? I don't know...

I actually think the original Nintendo game is better. More enemies on the screen, better balancing and I've always felt the original chiptunes have more presence than the arrangements. Also, the attempts to give the four characters a personality fall very flat and forced.

You're not off here at all. Personally, I think I'd be more into the game if they did more of a straight-laced enhancement of it like they did with FFI and FF2 on the PS1/GBA/PSP.

And as stupid as it sounds given how many ports we've seen I kind wish they would have done all the 8/16 bit FF's on the PSP. I mean we're already half way there with 1, 2 and 4.

Ashley Winchester Feb 6, 2012

You know, this is going to sound crazy but I think I'm starting to like Final Fantasy III. Well, at least more than I did starting out. The first twist was really weak (omg... who didn't see that coming!) and reminded me of a simular moment in Final Fantasy VIII's story that hurt it (those who've played both games probably understand what I'm talking about) but the second quote unquote twist (why the bad guy is doing what he's doing) made more sense to me even though I don't understand why you'd want to live forever... I think that would get boring.

The only real problem I see is I think I'm going to hit a wall eventually. I'm pretty far in the game and my party still consists of characters with classes obtained from the first crystal - White Mage/Red Mage/Warrior/Thief. I can't help but think those classes will become obsolete soon even though my characters are still pulling their own weight. But seriously, I love some of these classes. I cannot get enough of the Warrior and the Thief; both classes do insanely well wielding two weapons. I usually don't this in any given Final Fantasy (I usually like having a shield) but it proves too useful here. Red mages suck the big one IMO (no attack power to save their lives) and I should have just gone with a black mage.

One of the bigger gripes I have with the game however is magic resistance. The gap between magic based classes (who have a lot) and the fighting classes (who have like NONE) is way too wide. I get sick of spells doing 400 more damage to my fighters than they do to my healer. I understand fighters should take more damage but it should be in the realm of sanity - not slaughter. Also, while it's not too big of a deal I've definitely noticed that later on there are sizable gaps in enemy strength from dungeon to dungeon.

Zorbfish Feb 7, 2012

Ashley Winchester wrote:

The gap between magic based classes (who have a lot) and the fighting classes (who have like NONE) is way too wide. I get sick of spells doing 400 more damage to my fighters than they do to my healer...

Yeah, that is one of the many reasons I've felt the class system has always sucked in FF. Essentially each game that used it boiled down to changing your entire party to the same class (whatever was strongest for a particular area) and spamming it until you got the next best upgrade. It almost works in the tactical/strategy games but then they always would break it by either giving you overpowered story characters or nerfed skills.

I got to the first twist myself and never played it again. That was enough...

TerraEpon Feb 7, 2012

FFX-2 was especially bad in this case. Some classes couldn't even attack, and thus running out MP was too easy.
But then using two dark knights and an alchemist pretty much kills the game itself.

FFXII International seems to have to tired to fix the imbalance issue -- because you can get MP back so easily you're free to have your healer just keep casting whenever needed (this was even more true in the original FFXII but in International you're limited by what class you pick). The game is really built around you using everyone in a different class with a balence between 'types' -- though unlike other FFs you're stuck with the class once you pick it.

Ashley Winchester Feb 7, 2012

Zorbfish wrote:

It almost works in the tactical/strategy games but then they always would break it by either giving you overpowered story characters or nerfed skills.

I know what you mean here. You spend 20-30 hours making a normal character then the game hands you some unique, very powerful ones and you have to "fire" the ones you spent all that time on cause you can only have fifteeen units. I really didn't care for that myself.

Ashley Winchester Feb 8, 2012

Okay, NOW I'm pissed. Who's brilliant idea was it to put NO SAVE POINT A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E in the last two hours of Final Fantasy III or NOT ALLOW you to RETURN from the last place? I could stand the lack of save points in every other dungeon since they where generally so small but after beating the boss in the second-to-last place it's multiple boss battles all the way to the last boss where the situation with magic resistance pretty doomed me. The last boss is nowhere as easy as he is in the NES rendition where he spammed the same move over and over.

Anyway, next time I'm only going to use one "fighter" (a Warrior, the Advance command is horribly and delightfully "broken") and three magic users.

Also, I'm rather upset I'm locked out of some rather significant content until I I find someone to exhange messages with via WiFi.

TerraEpon Feb 9, 2012

You don't deserve the whole games, you friendless bastard.

Also, apparently the best team is two ninjas and two sages.

Ashley Winchester Feb 9, 2012

TerraEpon wrote:

Also, apparently the best team is two ninjas and two sages.

Are you sure that wasn't on the NES original? I watched a video of someone fighting the last boss and that was their party.

Razakin Feb 10, 2012

Two ninjas and two sages worked nicely on original, on DS-portmake I had Knight, Magus, Devout, Ninja team. Can't remember reasons why. Probably something to do that Knights can wield Excalibur and Ninjas can't. Funnily, I still had my all monk>black belt save, should finish that up, but grinding those bloody dragons for elixir is annoying, especially when you get onion equipment instead.

Ashley Winchester Feb 13, 2012

Well I finished Final Fantasy III the other night and I happy to say my opinion of the game has radically changed. For some reason the first ten hours were kind of blah (maybe because I played that section of the game on emulator years ago) but that hours that followed were much better. That said, I'm still not too big on how the game does Magic Resistance (wearing shields helps out with that - something I figured out during the last fight where I was crushed the first time) but I guess I can forgive that in the end. Next time I play it I'll have to unlock the extra stuff with my friend's DS.

Anyway, I have a question for those that have the soundtrack. I noticed during play that the battle themes seemed to be undersampled/compressed when compared to the rest of the music, possibly to lighten the burden on the game's battle engine. Do the battle themes sound fuller on the soundtrack? I have to admit I'm curious about that.

So long story short I liked Final Fantasy III and DS enough that I picked up The 4 Heroes of Light and Castlevania: Portrait or Ruin. I can't remember but Portrait is the one with the dual character system correct?

Razakin Feb 13, 2012

Currently playing Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey in small bits, which is odd for me when I usually tend to go into full gaming mode if I start playing a game. Perhaps I've been cured from gaming, who knows.

But the game itself is fun and nicely challenging, especially with some boss battles. And on harder searchable monsters. One thing I so far do hate about the game is forma drop rate, even with sub-app that raises the drop rate, especially if I need to get drops from some of the rarer monsters. Persona 3 and 4 had the same bloody problem.

Fusing is and has always been fun, too bad that I tend to fuse neutral/chaos monsters instead of lawful, so can't much use demon co-op. And the music is just brilliant, top 3 of Meguro-scores for me.

Wanderer Feb 14, 2012

Put in Final Fantasy IX. Feeling nostalgic.

Bought Metroid: Other M for cheap. It's... not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, the storytelling is hysterically turgid and the characters don't shut up but the gameplay is fun enough.

Also, Dark Souls. I'm not sure why I picked this up as I disliked Demon Souls but the hype got to me. And as I should have expected, it's not for me.

Ashley Winchester Feb 15, 2012 (edited Feb 15, 2012)

Okay, so I started The Four Heroes of Light and the first thing that really struck me was the music. I don't want to say it's horrible but it's has made a horrible first impression. In a certain sense I was kind of surprised to see it even had a soundtrack release for some reason; I guess it's kind of off the beaten trail not being a "numbered" Final Fantasy.

Edit: Could really do without the music change when a character is in critical condition... the break in the music is awful.

Still, this is an odd little game... and as wrong as the comparison really is it kind of reminds me of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest.

Razakin Feb 15, 2012

I wonder when I will learn that when you're playing Shin Megami Tensei games, never pass save point without saving. Tends to make you lose some hours on your saves. Especially annoying when you've had some good luck in recruiting and you die because you decide to turn your brains off.

Qui-Gon Joe Feb 15, 2012

Ashley Winchester wrote:

and as wrong as the comparison really is it kind of reminds me of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest.

You're right - Mystic Quest is a much more fun and less broken game.

...and I don't even like MQ very much.

Ashley Winchester Feb 15, 2012

You ever run into a dungeon and immediately think "this has been done before" beyond the obvious quintesentals like forest/mountain path/etc? I just had one of those moments and in turn a quick look back at Breath of Fire II.

XLord007 Feb 16, 2012

Ashley Winchester wrote:

I can't remember but Portrait is the one with the dual character system correct?

Yes. It's also the worst of the portable Metroivania games, but that's another story.

Ashley Winchester Feb 16, 2012

XLord007 wrote:
Ashley Winchester wrote:

I can't remember but Portrait is the one with the dual character system correct?

Yes. It's also the worst of the portable Metroivania games, but that's another story.

I don't know... a read a lot reviews where people bashed Harmony of Dissonance before I played it but ended up liking it. Well, I liked it but will agree the game is just freakin odd - something just feels off about that one....

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