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Games General

Started by NejinOniwa, September 27, 2011, 05:02:22 pm

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LeaflameSD

still have that game... really used to sink time into it ^^

Penti-chan

I might have to try that sometime -w-;

...and now, to kinda mix things up from the usual talk about PS4, I'm going to talk about PSZ instead
[spoiler=Penti's Late Nite Thoughts on: Phantasy Star Zero (DS)]One of these days, I'll start talking about a game that doesn't involve that Sega RPG franchise that gave us such wonderful things as TOTAL ADVENTURE ROLE PLAYING and a cheesy anime intro I still make fun of. Today is not that day, however, as I talk about Phantasy Star Zero; the confusingly-named DS installment of the series.

As some might think, the title seems to imply this is the a prequel to the first game...but that's not the case; it has as much to do with the earlier PS games as FF6 has to do with FF7. If anything, this borrows more heavily from PSO...but it's not a prequel to that, either. Apparently, the developers chose to call it "Zero" because they wanted to indicate this was a "new beginning" for the series...but it never really went anywhere; it had a cult following, but long-time fans of the franchise weren't so keep on the generic anime art style, in contrast to the older titles using a more unique style.

I remember when I first heard of this game, back in the year 2009. With the series being a favorite of mine, having plenty of experience with PS1 and PSO under my belt, and longing for a more PSO-like experience than what PSU offered, I preordered it. Then, the reviews came in, and one random GameFAQs user said the magic phrase that single-handedly killed my interest in it: "long load times from cartridge". Immediately, I had flashbacks to the remake that should not be, that drained me of my sanity and nearly caused me to give up on the DS as a whole: Diddy Kong Racing DS. Thus, I cancelled my preorder and decided it was for the best if I never play this game. In retrospect, it's kinda stupid that I let a single review ruin it for me, but oh well.

Jump forward 6 years later, as I find myself getting interested in the series again; replaying PSO once more, attempting to finish one of the classic games (Phantasy Star IV), and considering trying to do a Let's Play of PSU just to make fun of it. It was around this point I began to think back to that DS game I never played; perhaps it was unfair for me to pass judgement on it based solely on the word of a single GameFAQs user? However, the game had become fairly rare; a used copy with the original case and manual run about $40 at minimum unless you get lucky or just buy the Japanese version and awkwardly fumble through the menus, like I did with MapleStory DS. Thus, I did what I did to experience EarthBound without breaking the bank: "do what you want 'cause a pirate is free; you are a pirate~". Now that I've finally played it, how do I feel about it?

The game actually did feature online play...although, Nintendo Wifi Connection shut down, limiting me to just offline play (Which does offer local multiplayer with friends; should you find someone that actually owns this game). As for the offline single-player, it has a story mode...and thankfully, it's not as obnoxious as PSU; it does have a lot of cut-scenes and dialog, but in terms of presentation, it's a bit more like PS4, but with brief anime cut-scenes replacing the comic book panels. Also, from what I've read, depending on what race your character is (Human, Newman, or Cast), you get a different story; to encourage you to play it through more than once.

The gameplay is what you'd expect; it's PSO, in your pocket. It does have some stand-out differences, like not being able to move while the menu is open (Granted, this was built for the original DS; they had no choice there, lest they awkwardly shoehorn in touch screen usage beyond chatting with your teammates), or how I have to relearn the timing for the 3-hit melee combo (It feels a bit off compared to PSO, and you can't just mash it like PSU and get the same result), but it does manage to capture the feel better than PSU did.

The one thing that does mildly irk me is the way the areas are setup; each room is a small block with a set number of monsters, with it loading the next area when you exit (Which, thankfully, is near instant like the old Genesis PS games, and nothing like DKRDS). Also, while character creation is still present and does offer more freedom than PSO in some regards  (You can more freely choose your character's race, sex, and job, instead of being locked into a pre-determined selection), it's also more restrictive (You're limited to just alternate colors for the costume, 3 different skin colors, and a few different hairstyles). Admittedly, there wasn't a way they could pull off something on as grand of a level as the original PSO on the DS without severe downgrades, so I guess it does make sense that they had to make some sacrifices.

I admit, I got myself killed on the first boss, which is where I decided to break for the night, but otherwise, it's not too bad. I wouldn't spend more than $25 on it, though; there are far better DS games you can grab around that price.[/spoiler]

alfonso_rd_30



Was playing this one... But it got discontinued

LeaflameSD

bought Sonic Adventure 2 on steam for six bucks
downloaded it to 80 percent, then my dongle decides to crap out and tell me i've run out of data
so i tried to reconnect with my phone using tethering and steam decides it won't connect

jfc

Penti-chan

@Leaf: I hate it when that happens; it was worse on dial-up when downloading over FTP, as a slight hiccup would cause it to mess up in such a way that it considers the download to be finished, but the file is considered corrupt as the download never finished >_<;

You know, I was thinking earlier; back in the early-to-mid '00s, while all the kids were nuts over GTA3 and Halo, I was instead playing these:


...with the newest game being

alfonso_rd_30


Penti-chan

So, I beat PS4. Thoughts in the spoiler tag:

[spoiler=Phantasy Star IV: The Game I Stole The Subtitle For That One Story Of Mine From]So, this was definitely an experience.

Before I took on the final boss, I tackled the Anger Tower, a side dungeon that I can earn the most powerful technique in the game from...the process of which was honestly pretty fucked up with what you had to do; at the top, Chaz goes it alone, as you see none other than Alys, whom died earlier into the game, waiting there...but it's not her; it's a demon disguised as her, that you have to fight (The sting cord when you enter the room and see her, combined with the lack of music until the battle starts, with the typical battle music being replaced with a very unsettling tune, helps give a sense of unease; you know something's off). After defeating her, the demon reveals its true form, and then asks if you want to learn "how to convert your anger into destructive power"...but you have to tell him no; if you say yes, you have to fight him again in his true form, except he's impossible to defeat unless you use Game Genie. When you say no, he tells you that by showing restraint, you have proven yourself worthy to control such immense power, and grants you the ability to use Megid; the Phantasy Star equivalent to Final Fantasy's Ultima.

Oh trust me, getting Megid is a must before you take on the final boss, as is loading up on healing items. Given I was at the very end of the game, I dumped half of my money into loading up on the most potent healing items in the game, and entered The Edge; a place with some of the trippiest visuals I've ever seen come from a Genesis, with the background resembling those of the battle screens from EarthBound, except more flashy than wavy. This one can be headache-inducing, but at least, the enemies you encounter aren't terribly strong for the most part; you can take down most of them in a few hits using just your basic attacks, since you want to save your big, hard-hitting stuff for the boss.

Also, for the first time in the game, you're allowed to choose your party...or, rather, you're allowed to choose one character out of the various characters to come and go from your party over the course of the game to join you for the final battle. Most guides I saw suggested I take Raja, or at the very least, Hahn, but I was like "fuck that" and took Kyra with me instead; she had some useful abilities to buff your team, and quite simply, I liked her.

Our final boss is the root of all evil in the franchise, The Profound Darkness. Which, as one might expect, looks like something out of the works of HP Lovecraft, and also as par for the course for the final boss of an RPG, you have to fight multiple forms of it in succession. The first form isn't too big of a threat if you buff up your party at the start of the fight, the second form poses a bit more of a challenge, and the third is easily the most dangerous of the 3; this is the point in the fight where you'll want to unload your entire arsenal of heavy-hitting skills and techniques, while keeping your shields and other buffs up. I admit, I died during my first attempt even though I did make it to the final form, which lead to me backtracking to load up on healing items and then trying again; leading to a more successful second attempt, as while things began to fall apart toward the end, I managed to push through to victory.

The ending has the group escaping from The Edge, as everyone parts ways. TBH, it seems like Chaz is going to be alone...but at the last moment before the ship took off, Rika jumps off and into Chaz's arms. Thus, the ending closes by talking about how a new chapter for the Algol System has begun, while showing brief clips of what the characters would go on to do afterward, before the credits roll, with the music from the title screen playing in the background. It's a great close to a great game, and I'm willing to bet that Chaz and Rika get it on at some point after their victory, because if I were in his place, I'd tap dat ass.

I know there's been demand from fans for a Phantasy Star V, but truth be told, I'm not sure what they could do, aside from spin-offs; since they really can't continue onward from 4 without it being far less grand in scale. Thus, Sega chose to reboot the franchise, with .hack//Dreamcast Phantasy Star Online; which I have talked about plenty of times before, so it shouldn't need any introduction by now.[/spoiler]

LeaflameSD

playing some visual novel game

its so good, really feel immersed in the story and shit  ::)

Pitkin

Just a thought: what was the first game you ever played and when was that? I have this strange feeling it's been asked before, but I... I cannot find any results.

My first game was The Great Giana Sisters, a Super Mario clone, on Commodore 64 back in summer 1990. The computer had been my big brother's but as he'd got an Amiga 500 just before, I inherited the C64 for summer holidays.

[spoiler][/spoiler]

I also remember Buggy Boy being my first game experience on Amiga, but the first PC game I don't recall. It might've been Alley Cat around 1992, though.

Penti-chan

My first was the infamously bad port of Pac-Man to the Atari 2600, when I was 2 or so. Yeah, this thing:

I admit, I kinda have a soft spot for it, even though it's a terrible port, and nowadays you can get far superior ports for it on basically every console, handheld, home computer, and coffeemaker on the planet.

Now, the first one that I remember really getting into was Ancient Empires, a couple of years later.

LeaflameSD

Quote from: Pitkin on August 31, 2015, 05:10:57 pm
Just a thought: what was the first game you ever played and when was that? I have this strange feeling it's been asked before, but I... I cannot find any results.

My first game was The Great Giana Sisters, a Super Mario clone, on Commodore 64 back in summer 1990. The computer had been my big brother's but as he'd got an Amiga 500 just before, I inherited the C64 for summer holidays.

lel i used to play that on my mobile phone

my first game was probably the original sonic the hedgehog

Pitkin

Giana's indeed got a number of sequels these few years. ^^ Not the best games ever, but such nostalgy!

Penti-chan

September 02, 2015, 05:35:26 pm #1407 Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 05:38:56 pm by Penti-chan
Indeed. I have it on DS, and somewhere on a flash drive, I have the sequel, Twisted Dreams; which I should really reinstall and play again :3

So, Phantasy Star II...I can see why people compare this to Shin Megami Tensei. Details in the spoiler:
[spoiler=Phantasy Star II: The Sequel]First and foremost, the game is very, very heavy on grinding, as most '80s console RPGs were...and like most of the MegaTen franchise, as well. Admittedly, I never cared much for the combat in this game as a kid, for how radically different it was in function than the first game; how I felt like I had less control due to the game's auto-battle system, which resulted in me dropping the game after barely 15 minutes. Now, finally taking the time to figure out how it works, I found it's not too bad; if you want to change out your strategy mid-battle, just press the C button, and after the current round finishes, you'll be back at the menu to change up your character's moves. It's not as fast-paced as the 4th game, but it's better than previously thought.

Also, the dungeons have this annoying, habit of having pipes overhead, partially obscuring your view. While this was cutting-edge in 1989, showing off the capabilities of the console, it also makes it somewhat difficult to figure out where you can and can't go; hence why I'm looking up dungeon maps to help me find my way through. Thankfully, by the time the 4th game came out, they stopped doing that.

One thing I do find mildly annoying is that you have to find a save point in order to save, in contrast to 1 and 4 letting you save at any time as long as you're not in a dungeon. However, from what I've read, later into the game I get an item that will allow me to save at any time, so at least it's just something I have to deal with during the early parts of the game.

It's worth noting this game did originally ship with a full strategy guide, much like EarthBound...although it's a pain in the ass to find a copy of it; my copy of the game is complete save for that guide, but I don't really care to spend $50+ for a book the size of a paperback novel that is known among the fandom for some glaring inaccuracies, when more accurate guides are available online for free.

Lastly...the story. While not as heavily story-driven as PS4 was, this does have a much stronger sense of story than other console RPGs of the era...and boy is it dark. I'm still pretty early into the game, having just completed the first 2 dungeons, but after those, they hit you in the face with a quick reminder of how, yes, Genesis Does What Nintendon't; in that your group reunites this man with his lost daughter...but he's become so engulfed in his desire to kill in an effort to make money to pay off her kidnappers, that he initially doesn't recognize her and kills her on the spot. Upon realizing what he had done, he then, immediately commits suicide by way of explosion, as the game mentions in the dialog box something to the extent of "this is but one of many tragedies to befall the world of Algol".

Seriously, I can see why people compare this to MegaTen; it's surprisingly dark, and I've only begun to scratch the surface...although I already know how the story ends; given the ending of the game is mentioned at the start of PS4, much like how PS2 opens up referencing the final battle of PS1[/spoiler]

Chocofreak13

Quote from: PipPitkin on August 21, 2015, 04:33:47 am
Brilliant! That's one game that only got better with time.


i'm old enough now to understand how to micromanage, so i actually got to level 6 (paused, haven't played for about a week). it's exciting, but nerve-wracking, since you have to go through all the levels again if you fail. but you remember the funstration (fun frustration). :\


my first game was Pokemon Blue on my sister's friend's Game Boy Colour when i was 5. Jocelyn lived across the street, and was my sister's best friend till she moved away when my sister was about 12 or so. she lent the gameboy to my sister, and i got to play it too--still one of my best early childhood memories. though Cerulean City/Fuchsia City's theme haunted me for years....

first computer game was when i was about 6 or so, at my uncle's house. i have very vague memories of messing with a (likely 3.1) computer when i was about 4, but the only conscious memories involve screensavers, so the Microsoft Entertainment Pack on my uncle's 95 Gateway remains my first computer game (i can't pinpoint the exact MEP version--i think he may have had multiple, weirdly enough). he also had another game that was a favourite that i don't think was included with the pack: Jewel Thief.

Penti-chan

The most common Windows Entertainment Pack was the Best Of collection, but it is possible he had all 4 releases

Also, really glad I never plunked down the cash to get the PS2 Hint Book that originally came bundled with the game, if the map (Which I do have) is any indication; I found an error in the item chart on the back -w-;