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Topic: User Impressions/Reviews Thread

Posts 2,101 to 2,120 of 2,123

RogerRoger

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy Thank you for taking the time to go back and reply to so many reviews, including three of my own! I'm glad you enjoyed reading them!

Shinobi Striker definitely has the right gameplay blueprint for future Naruto games (although I suppose they'd be Boruto now) because its combat is really enjoyable. If they took the gameplay and visuals and made a story-driven, single-player game with 'em, it'd be brilliant. As much as I enjoy the simplicity of the UNS games, I feel like they've run their course, for sure.

UNS 3: Full Burst would be your best choice on PS4, yes. It picks up after the Pain arc and adapts a sizeable midway chunk of the manga's storyline, but it's just a solid game in its own right, even if you don't care about what's going on and why. Revolution was never ported from PS3, which is a shame because its standalone, freewheeling nature would make it perfect for those who didn't really wanna follow Naruto's tale. I'd recommend UNS 4 as the prettiest and most technically impressive of the series, but its storytelling leaves a lot to be desired. It'd always be there if you finished UNS 3 and fancied more.

My favourite ninja is Kiba Inuzuka. I think he's been left out of Shinobi Striker because the developers can't be bothered to figure out the A.I. scripting needed for a permanent canine sidekick in battle (something the UNS games did brilliantly). I freakin' love dogs so, if they do manage to work something out, I'm afraid all of my microtransaction protests will be rendered hollow. Kiba's post-timeskip outfit is already unlockable in-game, though, so I reckon I might be safe!

And I'm glad you found those Elite Force screencaps nostalgic! I share a fondness for a lot of that era's games, as it was around the time I properly "got" gaming, so I'll often give such character models a break for looking like the leftovers from an Amazon delivery, bless 'em.

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

johncalmc

For some mad reason I got it into my head that I really wanted to play the entire Metal Gear Solid series through immediately, and so despite my ever increasing backlog I got right on it. For clarity, a run through of the entire Metal Gear Solid series according to me means playing MGS1-4 and not bothering with anything else. We don't talk about Peace Walker here, and we definitely don't talk about Ground Zeroes, and woe betide anybody who mentions The Phantom Pain.

I have to say, Metal Gear Solid has held up pretty well. And by pretty well I think I mean that it's held up better than I imagined it would hold up. The controls weren't very good even when it came out, but the fact that the whole game uses in-engine graphics rather than switching to FMV for cut-scenes means that you have the chance to get used how everything looks and you've never got that jarring, Final Fantasy VII, oh here's the bit with the good graphics and now it's back to LEGO.

The story in Metal Gear Solid is, I think, still brilliant. It's interesting, with great characters, and it gets a little out there, but throws in some real world history and some definitely not real world history, and it's really never lost any lustre for me. I actually think story-wise there's few games - even today - that can stand up to it. The voice acting is mostly pretty good, too, or certainly, it fits with the characters.

For as much as I love Metal Gear Solid, I found myself occasionally bored when I moved to Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. I was surprised by how good it looks with the HD visuals in the remaster, and certainly how much better than the original it looks. The gameplay is still whatever - I never played these games because I thought they had great combat or anything - but I had fundamental problems with Metal Gear Solid 2 when it released with the story and how it's told, and while that has softened somewhat over time, I'm still not crazy about it.

I know it's probably a controversial opinion because the game is a bit of a darling, but for me, Metal Gear Solid 2 is the weakest of the four main games. It can't really be played alone, unlike the first game, since the story relies heavily on knowledge of that story. It also feels like a middle game because the story isn't resolved, with a lot of baddies still in play by the end. It's good, don't get me wrong, but it's definitely my least favourite in the series for many reasons I won't bore you with.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is a home run for me. Like the first game, it's a standalone story which helps, and it's got a really strong cast of ludicrous characters for Snake to go up against. While it's tough to ever top the baddies in the original Metal Gear Solid, the Cobra Unit here comes closer than any other cast in the series. Even Bee Man is good.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a contentious one because I know a lot of people don't like it for a lot of reasons and most of them I tend to agree with or at least understand on some level. But for whatever reasons this game gets away with it. It's like I've got a blind spot for it, where I know it's silly, and bloated, and there's issues, but I just don't care and I love it - it's like a Pirates of the Caribbean movie for me. It doesn't matter if you think nanomachines are dumb, or the sixty minute ending is absurd. I'm here for it.

Particular shout-out to Laughing Octopus who is a top boss, and one of my favourite in the whole series. And the final battle is one of my favourite final bosses in any game ever. I think one of the reasons that I love Metal Gear Solid 4 is because it just happens to tick so many of the boxes for things that I really like. I like long cut-scenes, I like lots of lore and story, I like ridiculous bosses, I like old men coming out of retirement for one last job, I like nostalgia, I like paying homage to an entire series that I love, and I like endings that just deliver. This game really does that, and so while I get the criticism, this is such a 10 for me, still.

Anyway, it's been probably seven or eight years since I played the whole Metal Gear Solid series, and as is always the case when I go back to a beloved franchise or game for a replay after a long time, I was worried it would disappoint. It honestly didn't. I loved the games more than I thought I would. Even in a world with your Last of Us's and your Tsushimas and whatever else you kids are playing, the series was an absolute joy to replay, and one I'll hopefully not take quite as long to get back to next time.

johncalmc

Twitter:

Keith_Zissou

johncalmc wrote:

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a contentious one because I know a lot of people don't like it for a lot of reasons and most of them I tend to agree with or at least understand on some level. But for whatever reasons this game gets away with it. It's like I've got a blind spot for it, where I know it's silly, and bloated, and there's issues, but I just don't care and I love it - it's like a Pirates of the Caribbean movie for me. It doesn't matter if you think nanomachines are dumb, or the sixty minute ending is absurd. I'm here for it.

Particular shout-out to Laughing Octopus who is a top boss, and one of my favourite in the whole series. And the final battle is one of my favourite final bosses in any game ever. I think one of the reasons that I love Metal Gear Solid 4 is because it just happens to tick so many of the boxes for things that I really like. I like long cut-scenes, I like lots of lore and story, I like ridiculous bosses, I like old men coming out of retirement for one last job, I like nostalgia, I like paying homage to an entire series that I love, and I like endings that just deliver. This game really does that, and so while I get the criticism, this is such a 10 for me, still.

I’ve been slowly working through them again across the various lockdowns and all of them still give me as much joy as they always did. My favourite ever franchise.

Snake Eater is definitely my favourite, and agree the combination of all the many parts make for a hell of a time. Totally agree with your point about 4 too, it came along when I was in a post uni slump, it was just the tonic I needed and what a way to “end” a franchise?

I’m currently playing Death Stranding and it’s ticking those Kojima boxes I need like a warm fire and good whiskey

Great post man 👍

Edited on by Keith_Zissou

The concept of absurdity is something I'm attracted to.

PSN: Bundersvessel

johncalmc

@Keith_Zissou 4 will always have a special place in my heart because of real life reasons - towards the end of the PS2 generation I actually became quite disillusioned with gaming and at the point right into the PS3 gen I didn't play much. I still gamed, but it's not like I was massively into it. I discovered going out, the pub, friends, etc. etc.

Metal Gear Solid 4 was one of the games that got me back into gaming in a big way - it was that followed by Mass Effect 2 a while later that really stirred the passion for gaming back into me. I'll always have fond memories of both games for that reason.

johncalmc

Twitter:

Th3solution

@johncalmc I really enjoy your little mini-review pieces that you occasionally drop and your Metal Gear Solid post was definitely… solid. Great thoughts, all. Except for the fact you ignored my favorite entry to the series, but I can forgive that I guess, because you made me laugh there at the end with the visions of you sitting on the porch complaining about “kids these days…” while you sip on prune juice in your rocking chair.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

————————

Forum Megapoll 2020 - Best Video Game Box Art: Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Special Edition

Ralizah

@johncalmc Nice broad sweep on this series. I really need to replay the first three games myself. Always wanted to play MGS4, but, having never owned a PS3, not being able to play that has always been one of my gaming regrets.

Personally, MGS2 was the sweet spot for me on PS2. It maintained the mechanical aspects I loved from the first game (hated that the dropped the radar and went with a camouflage system in MGS3) while giving it a far more thought-provoking storyline overall. And, if you like stupid characters, this one had a vampire! I also prefer the industrial theme to crawling around a jungle. The original game will likely always be my favorite, though. It was so impressive for its time, and it still has my favorite line-up of baddies.

I don't think your distaste for MGS2 is particular unpopular: the protagonist switch was hugely controversial back in the day, and Snake Eater has pretty much been the fan favorite since it released.

Edited on by Ralizah

Currently Playing: God of War (PS4)

Upcoming
The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve (NS)
Tetris Effect (NS)
Metroid Dread

PSN: Ralizah

RogerRoger

@johncalmc Fantastic retrospective rundown. It's never "mad" to wanna replay what is arguably the greatest saga in gaming history, and props for finding the time to do so. There's an ever-growing part of me that's wanted to do the same for a while, but it's one heck of an undertaking (even moreso for me, because I'd include your "games that must not be named" in my playthrough). I'm just convinced that my previous ranking of the individual games would change, and I'm curious to see how.

I'd say that MGS2 has only become a darling in recent years. There was a big chunk of time back there, especially in the wake of MGS3, where fans considered it a prequel-level insult. Whilst I can understand such objections with the benefit of hindsight, it was my first experience with the series, so it'll always hold a special place in my heart. My point is, you're not alone in your criticism.

Nor are you alone in your praise of MGS4. It was (and I hope, still is) my favourite. I'll never forget the impact it had on me. First game to make me cry. It's a masterpiece, plain and simple.

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Ahh fair enough then @colonelkilgore.

I think the easiest solution is to just make a twitter account, link it to your PS4, share them over through the share button and then grab the links to the screenshots off of twitter

It's what I do and the only reason I touch that site


I did write that Danganronpa 1 review ages ago so I know all too well how hard it is to keep a review like this under wraps without spoiling too much! @Ralizah 😅

I hope the second game goes just as well for you Ral and it was worth the somewhat slow set up of the first! Not to mention the extremely long wait before these finally got localised!

RE: SMT I & V

I'm kinda glad I don't have a switch atm or that it's not also releasing on PS4 if only because I'd probably be in the same situation as yourself. Not to mention Pathfinder is distracting me immensely and there's no way in hell I'd manage to beat it in time for when SMT V gets round to releasing 😄

Though to be honest... I was initially excited for SMT IV even though I didn't have a 3DS at the time (and I never even ended getting it) and yet there's something about SMT V that just hasn't fully drew me in. I like the looknof it and everything (It in fact appeals more to me then SMT IV thabks to the more nocturney tone)

Maybe I'm still annoyed at myself for not liking Persona 5 and getting sucked into that hype and that's bled into this, making me more cautious?

I dunno.

It does look good though and hopefully that delivers for you too Ral.

Good luck if you decide on learning Japanese. It's not an easy language. Easier then r
Russian though that for damn sure. My partner's Eurasian (Russian on her dad's side, Japanese on her mother's) and tried teaching me some... I didn't too well besides the basics 😂

And no problem! It's always a pleasure to read through what everyone's written!


There was that Dragonball game @RogerRoger that released last year (... Or was it the year before?) after all that was an actual single player action rpg like game (Rather then the typical bandai anime arena fighter thst they seem to love) that seemed to sell really well.

I'm sure if they did something similar with Naruto it'd sell a whole lotta copies as well. I'd certainly be more interested in that then Dragonball (I seriously don't get the facination with that series myself!)

Yeah I had a go of Ninja storm 4 (There was a demo on the US store) and it was only a story mode fight between... I forgot the names at the moment and I'm not gonna cheat and look 'em up. Madora Uchiha and,.. Uhh... The first hokage. The wood one. Did think the voice acting was a bit weak but the set piece was good enough. I'm sure Ninja storm 3 will be just fine though and I really can't complain for a £3.99 sale price! 😂

I'm both surprised and not surprised to hear that it's Kiba. It's totally a Rog answer but just a little not quite who I was expecting either if that makes sense? (But I also get why he wasn't in Shinobi strikers as he's not the biggest most well known character either). I do quite like Kiba too... The fight Naruto has with him in the Chunin tournament was pretty memorable to me!

For me it's probably more the polygonal PS1 that's the more nostalgic era for me for similar reasons as yourself of when I got into gaming... But the PS2 era of character models certainly has it's charm as well!

I'm currently rather busy with work so apologies in advance if I don't reply to your post til a few days later or seem a little less talkative then usual!

I do appreciate it though!

Ralizah

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy Some games are just inherently difficult not to spoil for others if you want to talk about them in any depth at all. At that point, you have to weigh the pros and cons of every piece of information you reveal.

As for the tone of SMT V, I actually prefer IV in that regard. Dark future/gritty 80s futurism > Dark fantasy/wandering around a desert any day. With that said, it's been pretty strongly implied in information dumps about the game since the E3 trailer that you and your friends aren't permanently stuck in Da'at and will be able to return to modern-day Tokyo throughout the game, which will give it a VERY different vibe. I could actually see light school life elements being woven into the game, which would give it a bit of Persona flair (they're already changing the way buffs work to align more with how they work in modern Persona games). With that said, they seem to be doubling down on the atmospheric and hostile feel of the game in other respects.

Interesting tidbit: the director of Shin Megami Tensei V also previously directed Atlus' Etrian Odyssey games.

I've actually studied Japanese before in University, so I know my hiragana, katakana, and some basic phrases and whatnot fairly well. What I'd like to do, and what's going to be incredibly difficult, is learn to read kanji at a level where I'll be able to appreciate video games and most literature. There are a ton of different approaches to it online that I've toyed with.

The thing about learning to read kanji is that the practice is fairly alien to an adult Westerner, so it'll take a TON of concentration, daily drills, and commitment.

Currently Playing: God of War (PS4)

Upcoming
The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve (NS)
Tetris Effect (NS)
Metroid Dread

PSN: Ralizah

RogerRoger

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy Yeah, I've yet to give Dragonball a shot, but I'd like to at least see what it's all about at some stage. I do get the impression that, if Dragonball finds success with something, a Naruto equivalent isn't far behind, so you might be right! Here's hoping!

I love the dub voices for Naruto, but all the UNS games come with the original Japanese audio if you prefer (can't recall where you stand on the whole "Sub vs. Dub" issue, apologies).

Well, at least my answer was befitting my reputation! Honestly, if he weren't a package deal with Akamaru, then I have a feeling ol' Keebs would be a couple places lower. The problem is that there are so many characters I like, to the point where it'd be quicker to rank who I don't like. Kiba's whole "bonded with wolfdogs" schtick just made him stand out from his peers, 'cause I like dogs. Without that, then my favourite would probably be Kakashi, or Naruto himself.

Yeah, that turn-of-the-millennium style holds a lot of appeal to me, as well. By the end of the PS2 generation, character models had evolved far more than they had during the PSone era. I often found myself missing those blocky peeps, even back when they were recent history.

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

nessisonett

@RogerRoger The first thing I did in both the UNS games I’ve played is rush to the options and change to Japanese audio because that’s what I’m used to 😂

Socks before or after trousers, but never socks before pants, that's the rule. Makes a man look scary, like a chicken.

Black Lives Matter. Enough is enough.

RogerRoger

@nessisonett Yeah, I'm real glad it's included as a choice, as it always should be. I'll never forget how disappointed I was when I booted up Ultimate Ninja 5 back on PS2, only to discover that it hadn't been dubbed; I sent the game back as "faulty" that same day.

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

No need for apologies @RogerRoger! I'm a filthy dub lover ha ha! 😄

At least in regards to anime. I typically tend to find something about the performances grate on my ears a little in Japanese (usually an over exagerated squeaky girl voice or something).

I've played PS4 two games with a sub only option (Digimon Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory & Yakuza 0). Hacker's Memory was fine enough that I wasn't clamouring for a dub like I normally would but Yakuza 0 was really well done in that regard. They successfully pulled me in and got my emotions flowing when they needed to!

I did end up buying UNS3 the other day & I completely forgot Naruto was voiced by a woman in english (Especially as I've never seen the anime, only read the manga and played two games in the ninja storm series). That did end up giving me a good little chuckle.


Yeah I took a look at one of the trailers that has come out since I last looked at it and... I don't know what to make of that yet @Ralizah.

I do like how distinct the two series are from one another... No doubt there's some purists who are vehemently against any persona-esque elements getting pushed into SMT.

The buffs makes sense I guess as it was easy enough to buff yourself into being untouchable. Though after experiencing how SMT did it... Persona's method doesn't feel nearly as impactful either.

That's an interesting tidbit about the director though. Will you be drawing your own map I wonder? ... Probably not but it'd be fun if you did 😄

Good luck if you do decide to go for it Ral. My partner tried teaching my daughter on how to read kanji before that trip to japan. She was only 15 or so at the time and it did not go well for her. So I do know (admitedly through secondhand experience) that it'll take some serious dedication on your part.

I'll just stick with hello, goodbye, a few swear words and get my partner to deal with the rest! Not that I, or her really, have to deal with japanese much on a day to day basis

I'm currently rather busy with work so apologies in advance if I don't reply to your post til a few days later or seem a little less talkative then usual!

I do appreciate it though!

RogerRoger

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy Many fine folks have recommended the Yakuza series to me, despite knowing that I usually need a dub. People tend to consider those games an exception to their rule, so I'm not surprised to see you highlight it as a positive example of a language restriction.

Oh, neat! Hope you enjoy UNS 3 as and when, and that I haven't steered you wrong!

And yeah, I think Maile Flanagan does an excellent job as Naruto! For me, her voice is so effective for the character that I'm always confused when people say that Naruto sounds like a girl because, as far as I'm concerned, it's Ms. Flanagan who sounds like a teenage boy! I say that with full respect, in the hopes that it's the highest praise I can give her performance; there are other female voice actors who voice young male characters, who aren't always as consistent (for example, I absolutely love Colleen O'Shaughnessey as Tails, but there are brief moments where he very obviously stops being a boy).

Of course, given the way gender is constantly evolving nowadays, such stuff is becoming less and less important to me anyway. As long as the actor is giving it their all, I'm usually happy!

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Ralizah

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy I don't mind the change to buffs at all. Most of Nocturne is so easy once you figure out fog breath + sukukaja trivializes 90% of the boss fights in that game. I did kind of like the whole buff stacking element, but I think the Persona approach will be more tactical when paired with a combat system that isn't ridiculously unbalanced.

The weird thing about the EO director being involved is that the EO series is PURE dungeon crawling, and, based on the footage, SMT V looks like the least dungeon-crawlery entry in the series to date, with the focus shifting to huge overworld landscapes instead.

So your partner can read Japanese? That's interesting. And yeah, I'm not surprised your daughter bounced off of it if she wasn't really invested in the idea of learning it. It's like trying to learn to read hieroglyphics, lol. I had a few Japanese friends in my university (the school attracted a ton of overseas learners from asian countries), and one of them effectively told me they'd have never learned to read in Japanese if it hadn't been what they'd grown up with, lol.

Currently Playing: God of War (PS4)

Upcoming
The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve (NS)
Tetris Effect (NS)
Metroid Dread

PSN: Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Yeah the performances I thought were pretty well done in Yakuza 0 @RogerRoger. I think there was only one scene for me of a flashback pretty early on that was a smidge over the top. Otherwise yeah it really drew me in. Helps it has a pretty great script for the localisation.

I've already spent about two/three hours on it getting used to playing one of these again. I went through the prologue of the story mode and it seemed quite cinematic in presentation compared to what I remember of the previous title? 😄

I wouldn't say Naruto sounds like a girl in any way rog but I can tell it's a woman doing the voice though if that makes sense?


Yeah that's true @Ralizah. Like you rightfully point out the SMT battle system is a lot more balanced then persona's so it should work out for it just fine.

I believe I played a demo for an EO game. 4 I think? Never fully played one though I did enjoy that demo. I actually didn't realise that series was in house... I assumed it was something they just helped publish and the Persona Q titles were a collab 😅

My partner's fully fluent in Russian, English, Japanese. She was in Mandarin Chinese as well as a kid and could read simplified chinese... But she hasn't kept up with that in years. She also knows a smidge of Korean.

... It helps she was a bit of a wunderkind

I'm currently rather busy with work so apologies in advance if I don't reply to your post til a few days later or seem a little less talkative then usual!

I do appreciate it though!

RogerRoger

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy Good to hear! Especially since everybody who posts around here seems to fall prey to the Yakuza series sooner or later. It's only a matter of time before it gets me, too!

The cinematic stuff is definitely more prevalent in UNS 3 than before. It's incredible to think that the first game only had four similarly-scaled fights in it. CyberConnect2 knew what the fans wanted, and dialled it up to eleven. Expect a lot more epic, a lot more often!

And yeah, that makes total sense! Apologies if my tangent yesterday got a bit soapbox-esque.

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Ralizah

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy The same division of Atlus (R&D1, which houses Team Maniax) that develops Etrian Odyssey also develops everything SMT-related other than Persona. EO itself feels very much like a successor to classic SMT in certain respects, with the hardcore level of difficulty (before the inclusion of difficulty setting in the last few games, anyhow), focus on gameplay over narrative, deep skill customization, labyrinthine dungeons, eldritch superbosses, a fusion of rock and orchestral pieces in the soundtracks, etc. With that said, it's sufficiently different from the MegaTen franchise that the two have fairly distinct fanbases, although I deeply love both.

They teased a next-gen EO game years ago, but SMT V looks like a very big, very expensive project for the company, and I imagine development efforts at that division have probably been laser-focused on that game for years now. Even after SMT V releases, though, I'm not entirely sold on the idea of another Etrian Odyssey game, since the focus on using the DS/3DS touchscreens to construct giant, elaborate dungeon maps have been a huge element of this series over the years. We'll see.

The Persona Q titles were actually a collab between R&D1 and P-Studio (which develops everything related to Persona). The only outside collaboration with this series was with the Mystery Dungeon series. Unfortunately, the first Etrian Mystery Dungeon sold terribly overseas, and so the sequel never released outside of Japan.

Good lord! Your partner sounds like a language genius. I'm a bit jealous, tbh: I've struggled to learn foreign languages over the years. If I ever master Japanese, I'll probably go back to German and try to achieve fluency in that. I probably should learn Spanish, but I just... don't really enjoy the language.

Edited on by Ralizah

Currently Playing: God of War (PS4)

Upcoming
The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve (NS)
Tetris Effect (NS)
Metroid Dread

PSN: Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

You never have to apologise @RogerRoger. Soapboxy-Tangent to your heart's content! I didn't have much to say about it because it was a great point. As long as the voice fits the character and they way they're written then it doesn't matter who's voicing them!

I can't remember anything being on that similar sort've scale from UNS2... I guess there must've been a Pain fight... But I got nothin'! 😅

... The Yakuza inevitability strikes us all!


I humbly bow to your knowledge of Atlus' inner workings @Ralizah! It was really informative and very useful to know all that though so cheers!

As for my partner... I shouldn't really say too much but let's just say it's not just languages & she was in uni a bit earlier then your average joe/jane Ral 😄

I learnt french at school myself and uhh... Yeah I ain't gonna remember any of that beyond the basics. So good luck if you try re-learning German and have to do some spanish as well (Which is no doubt actually very useful to know in America)

I'm currently rather busy with work so apologies in advance if I don't reply to your post til a few days later or seem a little less talkative then usual!

I do appreciate it though!

LtSarge

Just finished Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition on Switch after roughly 47 hours of playtime. For the first 15 hours, the game was so unappealing to me due to numerous things but over time it became better and in the end, I really enjoyed my time with the game so I'm glad that I stuck with it. I wouldn't say that it's one of the best JRPGs ever made, but it's still a good one that's worth experiencing (as long as it's not your first JRPG that is).

When it comes to the story, I thought it was interesting once you got past the first 20 hours or so because of the characters. The protagonist Yuri is actually quite dark, which surprised me as JRPGs tend to have "good guys" as the protagonists. Once I realised that, the story and the characters started becoming more appealing to me. But it honestly shouldn't have taken that long for that to happen. I think my main issue with the story is that they use all these made-up terms like blastia, aer crene, apatheia and so on, and it's really hard to follow along, not to mention be interested when it gets so heavy on the exposition. Furthermore, the story is all over the place for the first 20 hours and that makes it even more difficult to follow along. Like in one moment you have this objective, but then you run into another objective, and then another one, and you keep getting side-tracked. This is less of an issue during the second half of the game as you always have one clear goal at a given time, which is good.

In terms of the characters, what is fundamentally there is good but the problem is the awful execution of these characters through poor voice acting as well as poor writing. Whenever something serious happened, it was hard for me to sympathise because these moments weren't executed well at all. On top of that, the game has very stiff animations and so it makes it even harder to care about the characters when they're not expressed in the best way possible. However, I'll admit that when you play a game for almost 50 hours, you can't help but grow attached to these characters. There were even some moments towards the end of the game that genuinely made me smile (Flynn is definitely best boy! Gotta love his relationship with Yuri).

With regards to gameplay, it was hard for me to find it enjoyable due to the stiff movement in battles. The battles take place in real time on a 3D area but you only move in a 2D plane and while there is an option to move in 3D, you can't attack while doing so. My problem is that whenever you attack and finish a combo, the character just stands there for a whole second and it leaves you open for attacks. There's also no dodge button (there is guarding however), and overall the combat just feels incredibly clunky and not smooth at all. Moreover, there are a lot of difficulty spikes with the boss battles and after a certain point, I had to lower the difficulty from normal to easy just because I wasn't enjoying the game anymore. But once I did that, the combat became more fun because the stiff movement was a non-issue when you barely took any damage from normal enemies at that difficulty level (boss fights were still challenging though).

Now that I've talked about most of the stuff that I didn't like about the game, I'm going to mention the things that I did like. For starters, the soundtrack for this game is phenomenal. There are so many different tracks for each area and whenever you explore a new dungeon, there will always be a new tune to listen to and they were all fitting for that place. Not to mention that as you progress through the game, the battle theme will actually change over time to a completely new one and I thought that was really cool, I don't think I've ever seen a JRPG do that before. And the battle themes were great as well!

Secondly, I absolutely loved the variety in dungeons. There are so many different environments that these dungeons take place in, such as castles, ruins, sewers, forests, deserts, snowy places, cavern, crystallised caverns and so on. It was a sheer joy to arrive to a new area and explore the new environment there. Consequently, I loved that the dungeons weren't too long. Typically when you play a JRPG, dungeons tend to last for a long time and are confusing to navigate. However, in this game the dungeons are very brief and are mostly linear except for a few instances. Because the dungeons were short, there are tons of them in this game and I like that. As some already know this about me, I just love variety in all kinds of things and this game had a huge amount of that. That's something that I'll definitely commend the developers for.

So all in all, this game was an enjoyable experience once you get past a certain point (which I'm sure will differ from person to person) and I'm glad that I played through it. This was my first Tales of game and honestly, I think this title was a good starting point for me since it's on the Switch and it felt easy to pick up and play. I don't recommend it to people who are new to JRPGs since there are much better alternatives, but if you haven't played this series before and you're curious about it, then I'd recommend Tales of Vesperia.

LtSarge

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