Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Etrian Odyssey Untold

EOU is a remake that features the 9 original classes from EO and a story mode too. After playing both modes, I preferred classic by far since I could make my own party. I started the replay in February and just finished last night. It wasn’t the only game I played though.

The next choice besides story vs classic is the game’s difficulty. I tried to play expert, but it wasn’t for me. Once I realized that, I stuck to standard for the rest of the play through. 

EOU has an intricate labyrinth, which is genuinely interesting to explore. It made me feel a little nostalgic and it recalls the original EO because of the classes and mazes and monsters.

Part of the game is the puzzle of party building. I started with a Protector, Landsknecht, Survivalist, Medic, and Troubadour. However, after asking for advice on Gamefaqs, I dropped my S and M for a Dark Hunter and Alchemist. It was a good decision. 

I realized as I was playing that I was basically role playing as hunter-gatherers. I would explore, fight and gather in a gameplay loop that flows pretty well. I got 3 ultimate equips for my characters, which helped me do more damage. Gathering requires 30 skill points so it’s best to do it on a separate character.

I beat the game with level 60s. My total playtime for EOU is almost 100 hours! I liked it a lot, but I’m not going to play the post game because I have other games to play such as EO2U, which is supposed to be even better.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Fire Emblem: Awakening

 Fire Emblem is a strategy role-playing game (SRPG) series that is developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. My first was the Sacred Stones for Game Boy Advance. I started this game 4 years ago and just finished it today. Awakening is the first FE game for 3DS. It was easy to come back to after long breaks, which is why I was able to complete the campaign.

FE plays on a grid like a chess or checkers game, but it’s more free flowing than that because every move has many possibilities. I played on Normal/Casual difficulty. The game seems designed for casual because it’s virtually impossible to play without losing any units. I can imagine someone playing on a harder difficulty very strategically. In fact, someone on Gamefaqs said they played one of the 3DS FEs for 500 hours. It took me about 20 to beat it.

The gameplay system is solid. The graphics are simple pixel art, so it’s a bit hard to tell who’s who. It did play well on my New 2DS XL while resting on a tabletop and pressing the buttons with my fingers like a keyboard. I paired up my foot soldiers with mounted units and Chrom and Robin for defense. Some units such as Kellam before promotion seemed weaker than they should be, since he wears a suit of armor.

One other thing: although the game does contain some instructions, it does not recommend how to build a team, so I mostly used the first half of my roster only. I didn’t really use the Pegasus knights or the Dancer or the other Shapeshifter. So I felt a bit like a newbie. Set-up is fairly important.

FE Awakening is a good fantasy war epic. I have Echoes to play next. Overall I would give this game a high score of 8 out of 10. It’s better than the other SRPGs I have played, but I can’t say it was absolutely perfect or else I probably would have played through it faster. However, I am now considering myself a fan of the Fire Emblem series.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Etrian Odyssey V

I’m writing my review of Etrian Odyssey V from my iPhone. The community laptop was having trouble with Blogger.

The official website is at www.atlus.com/etrian5

Anyway this game was awesome and it seems like it was a labor of love by the developers. The labyrinth is quite amazing this time around. The character classes are a good lineup and the user interface is polished and improved.

I like the food system in game. Party characters can cook and eat roasted meat and fish, grilled apples, eggs in a basket, honey, milk, wheat, potato stew, and pancakes. Some restore HP while others restore TP. Ultimately it is often best to return to town and rest at the inn, unless you want to fight just one more encounter.

The equipment system returns as usual, but you can also forge more stats onto a weapon if you have the right materials. Then later they can be recycled for shards and ingots. I’m in the post game and at this point, I need to look up the conditional drops to get the best gear in the game.

One complaint I have is that random battles don’t give that much character experience. There is a downloadable quest that I paid for, which is easy to complete and gives loads of experience, but I shouldn’t really have to pay to level up. It is what it is, I guess.

Party building kept me busy for several months as I explored the lower levels of Yggdrasil. Overall it was a streamlined, personal journey from start to finish. I give the game a good score though, basically a 10 out of 10.

Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m going to celebrate by getting some new games: Persona Q, which is like an Etrian Odyssey game with Persona 3 & 4 characters; and Etrian Mystery Dungeon, a mystery dungeon with an Etrian spin on it.

Besides that, I’m playing EO Untold and never finished 2 Untold, so that will keep me busy gaming for a while. For what it’s worth, I played EOV on Advanced difficulty up until the post game, but I’m playing Untold on the middle difficulty.

And in case somebody is reading this looking for role playing game recommendations, last year I played through Legend of Legacy about 9 times and 7th Dragon III: Code VFD once. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

I've been playing a lot of the Legend of Zelda.

In some ways I grew up with Zelda because I had Link's Awakening on Gameboy and Ocarina of Time on Nintendo 64.  I only played them about once through and didn't remember too much about them, so replaying them has been really fun.

I played through the original Legend of Zelda on 3DS virtual console. For an NES game, it is really quite amazing! I did use a map to help get through the game, and I've been replaying it for my second time. It really is a classic, and it introduces a standard of gameplay that sets the bar for the rest of the series.

After beating the original, I went on to replay A Link Between Worlds and Phantom Hourglass. Hourglass has great control with the stylus. After all I get tired of pressing buttons with my thumb all day sometimes. The dungeon maps are very good in this game too.

A Link Between Worlds focuses on action, combat, and exploration. It also has a mechanic of wall walking where you merge and become a painting to traverse areas you couldn't otherwise. It shares the same world from A Link to the Past, and that's a game I want to play again sometime as well. Buying and renting items from a new character is how this game gives you equipment. I like it, and you do buy items in other Zelda games, but this takes it too a new level. However, you also find useful items in the dungeons as well. I like it a lot and like the original LoZ, I think it's very replayable.

Now that Ocarina of Time 3D has become a Nintendo Selects game I got it for a good price on the eShop. I've been enjoying re-visiting this game, but I haven't played for a few days. It's fun. Last time I played, I had just finished the Fire Temple. I'll get back to it soon.

On my replay of Link's Awakening, I am pretty far in the game. I'm playing with my original Gameboy cartridge on my GBA SP. I found it fun at the beginning, and I like how it shares some characteristics with the original NES Zelda game, such as the grid-based world and dungeon maps, and the inventory system. It's actually the hardest one I've played so far, and the areas are maze-like. I just beat the 5th dungeon today, and bought the bow and arrows, which was very expensive at 980 rupees. I found a good place to grind for money where the enemies respawn quickly and usually drop rupees.

Since I enjoyed my time with the games in April, I ordered two new to me games in May: The Minish Cap (GBA) and Spirit Tracks (DS).  The Minish Cap is a lot of fun so far, but I can't say much more about it than that yet since I have only beat two dungeons. The Spirit Tracks is like Phantom Hourglass, but instead of a boat, you ride a train. It's cool. The only thing I don't like is that you have to blow into the DS system's microphone a lot, to use a whirlwind item and to play your flute. It's very gimmicky in my opinion. But the pace of the game is pretty good so far.

I'm planning on playing through the ones I haven't finished in the next few months. I'm really enjoying going back to the Legend of Zelda games and playing both old and new ones.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Puzzler World and Word Games

I got Puzzler World 2013 on sale on 3DS eShop, and really have been enjoying it. It has wordsearches, crosswords, sudoku, and other logic, word, and number puzzles. Every time you complete a challenge puzzle, you play a bonus puzzle, and upon completing that, you get to spin the fruit machine. This gives you a chance to win tokens that can be used for hints while you play the game. It's very useful, and you can use tokens to keep spinning the wheel.

I enjoyed the puzzles and the presentation so much, that I found the older game called Puzzler World XL and downloaded that one too. The only difference is that was released to DSiWare, and instead of regular, you hold the system sideways. It has a few different puzzles, and some of them, like Fitwords and Silhouette, are very easy. The Link-a-pix are quite simpler in the earlier version of the game as well. Crosswords are the hardest generally, but you can always use hint tokens to get by if you need it.

Another game called Word Games by Powgi got released recently. It isn't as full-featured as Puzzler World, but it has six word games including word maze, circles, flowers, mix ups, one words, and one other that I'm forgetting. I just got it yesterday. It is fun, but its hints aren't as good as Puzzler World, so it is possible to get completely stuck on a puzzle if you just don't know a word. It's still pretty fun, and I'll keep playing all of these games in my free time.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Legend of Dark Witch 2

Dark Witch 2 is an excellent action platformer in the vein of Megaman. It's a ton of fun to play. It is a very competent sidescroller made by an indie team with clearly a passion for game design and art work.

You play as Zizou and upgrade your speed and shots with a Gradius style install bar. There is a shop with a lot of upgrades you can buy with the games' currency, Tres. Such as life, more attack power and magic abilities that can be used once per stage.

There are four difficulty settings, which vary from easy to very hard. Upon beating the game, you unlock several things, such as a new character, mini games such as poker and a rhythm game. There is also a museum you can use, playing levels which are achievements, and bonuses for your next new game.

All of these things make it an excellent game and my new favourite series. The first game was pretty good as well. It can be very addicting, so beware! I am really happy with this one!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Bust-a-move Universe

I highly recommend Bust-a-move Universe for 3DS (I personally played it on my 2DS). It's a really fun puzzle game where you shoot bubbles to match the same color and get them to disappear. An Amazon reviewer recommended Space Bust-a-move as well, but I didn't like that as much. In that one, if you got a game over on a puzzle you had to start the whole world you were on over again, which means you could have to replay puzzles you already beat. Plus Bust-a-move Universe has a guideline that is always on so you can see where your bubble will land.