Playing so many games!

I haven’t posted in a while, have I? I’ve been busy actually playing the wealth of games that have come out recently: Dragon Quest 9, Saga 2, Love Plus (a disappointment), Mana Khemia 2, etc. I’m also looking forward to the new Ar Tonelico 3 just announced, and Rune Factory 3 is coming out next week, woo-hoo! So that’s why I haven’t been posting, though I’ll be getting round to writing up those things soon enough.

But first I want to migrate this blog to my own domain so I’m investigating hosting right now. I’m thinking of Bluehost or something, but we’ll see how it works out. Anyway, no new posts until I move, but look forward to the new domain! Ja ne!

Avalon Code – too fussy

I just started this DS game called Avalon Code; it’s about the end of the world and the boy who has to go around recording everything so it can be ported to the next world. This includes people, plants and other relevant items. I normally shy away from action RPGs, but this one had Yoshifumi Hashimoto’s prints all over it, and being the huge Harvest Moon/Rune Factory fan I am, I decided to give it a try.

…About 5 hours in so far, I’m bored as hell. First off, the premise that the world’s going to be destroyed anyway is a great one. So great, in fact, that this should’ve been a story-based RPG. Start with the story, stick with the story, focus on the story, develop the story, why, when, how, who. I’m sure the game will get around to all that eventually, but so far all I’ve done is run around a few fields, record a few people and FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT random monsters ad nauseam. They’re wasting a perfectly good story.

Secondly, and probably a bigger problem for me, is that working with Codes is too fiddly and fussy. Your job is to record people’s, animals’ and plants’ codes in your little book. Think of a ‘code’ like DNA, only you can readily manipulate it. But flipping through the book is hell. For example, let’s say you want to modify a particular spider’s DNA. You have to go through the content page -> monsters -> type of monster -> particular page before you can find the spider (or hunt it down and re-scan it). If you want to put another code on it, you have to flip through the book to find a person/monster with the code you want, strip it from them, go back to the spider and rearrange its code to fit the new one in there. It takes forever and completely destroys the rhythm of the game.

Thirdly, I already complained about too much fighting, but even that would be okay if the fights were interesting. Instead it’s all slash-slash-slash-slash, charge up big move and use, or use the so-called Judgment Link to whack the monster into the air for points — rinse, repeat. And it gets worse because the enemies on a particular map respawn repeatedly, forcing you to fight at least 3 or 4 waves of pesky monsters that only need 5 or 6 lucky hits to take you out for good.

I’m not enjoying this. I’m not enjoying this at all. I’m giving it another 3 or 4 hours to pick up or I move on.

Tokimeki Memorial: Girl’s Side 2nd Season (3)

Harry! I got his ending this time! If you’re wondering whether I’ve been playing the game over and over again each time the answer’s no. I had a save after Christmas the first year so I just use that to continue and try and get other guys. Still enough time to meet and date most of the non-secret ones. Since I’d already gotten my social stat high to try and woo Hikami, Hariya was a cinch.

He’s a really sweet guy, but I’m not sure what to think. First, even though he does say he loves you at the end, everything about the relationship felt more like really good friendship to me. Or maybe he’s just the kind of guy I’d like to have as a friend and I’m extrapolating? I just didn’t get that madly-in-love feel from him. Also I felt a bit odd about him because he’s non touchy-feely. It’s one thing when he doesn’t like you, but even at full on Tokimeki mode he’s very likely to have a burst of blue hearts when you try to kiss him (or touch his hair, go figure). Do you think maybe…he doesn’t like women? Or even worse…he doesn’t like me!? Ow…

But he’s a sweet guy, I think his route was the most heartwarming just because he’s cool to be around. Wakaouji has all this drama and Saeki’s just a dick, it was good to be with someone normal for once. Next, I finally feel like completing the Hikami playthrough. After that I’ll play something else because I’m getting a bit sick of this. Might go back to TMGS1 (somebody stop me!!) or place my order for L2 LovexLoop or something.

Tokimeki Memorial: Girl’s Side 2nd Season (2)

Subtitled: “He hits me, but I love him!
This time I went for the “true” ending of sorts, i.e. solving the ‘mystery’ of who the little boy was and whether the prince ever found his mermaid princess. Yes, Saeki Teru. The default guy, and an all-around first-class ***hole.

First off, he says mean things all the time to you, then tries to cover them up with “just kidding” type remarks. I hate that. And when he doesn’t like you yet he doesn’t even bother to pretend to be nice. Secondly, he hits you. They call it a “chop” but anything that makes the main character go “ouch!” counts as hitting in my book. So he’s verbally and physically abusive. Thirdly, he’s not that good-looking. I mean, yah, he’s alright, but he’s not God’s gift to women the way the game tries to make him come across.

Fourthly, and related to the third one, since he’s not all that, it’s annoying that you have to get excellent stats all around just to get him to confess. He’s not that smart, not that athletic, not that artistic so why do I have to be goddamn near-perfect to get him? Lastly, and most importantly, he’s just not that into you. I admit I wasn’t paying 100% attention during his ending, but I never heard him say the word “I love you.” Everybody else says it except him. He wants you, he needs you, but he’s never going to love you, so why bother?

If I was rating the guys in Tokimeki Memorial Girls’ Side 2nd Season, Saeki would get a solid 1/5, only rating above playboy Tarou and Komori. What a loser. >:-(

Persona 3 Portable

Old news is so exciting! Yes, I know. It’s been all over the internet for several days. I didn’t write anything earlier for two reasons: one, I don’t own a PSP and don’t intend to buy one and two, I don’t know if I want Persona 3 Portable.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Persona 3. I was bored at first but by the end I was so in love with the game I didn’t know what to do with myself. I love it enough that I’ve been planning to play it again once I clear my current batch of games and forget things a bit. But much as I love P3, what I really want is a new game. SMT: Strange Journey is coming out but since it’s for DS it’ll probably be as shallow as Devil Survivor was. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Devil Survivor. But yeah, it was shallow.

So I’d rather save my excitement for a proper detailed announcement of the next game for a console. P5 is in development by all accounts, but apart from the fact that Shoji Meguro’s on board, nobody knows much. In the meantime we’ll watch, and wait.

And I still think Female MC should’ve had blue hair.