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Thread: What Game/s are You Playing? Daily / Whenever Check :) (GAMEPLAY)

  1. #621
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    Super Bonk for the Super NES.

    ... So long as my power doesn't go out, I've gotten up to Level 6. I'm close to the end as it is, and this Super NES has been on for almost a week.

    - Austin

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    My play time has bounced around quite a bit. For a while I wanted to play my Steam Deck during a lunch break but of course I never could take a break when my deck was there. Ugh.

    I have gotten a little Atari 2600 play in with some Pitfall II. As my hardware ages, I am looking at retro-alternatives for play on modern TVs. I currently have my eye on the Atari 2600+, even though it IS a software emulation box. It is just becoming a GREAT emulation box, but it's best played with actual carts (though a Harmony cart can be used, but only loaded with one game at a time, but I don't know if I want to keep flashing it to change games). I bought a loose Pitfall II cart for a decent price from a local toy store, so after giving it a good clean I played that for quite a while. I will admit my memory really sucked on this title as I couldn't remember it had ladders as my CRT only showed "holes" to fall down (which I thought was the gameplay for a bit until I thought how this didn't seem right). My TV's brightness was too low (which I never noticed on ANY other game but this one so far) and after turning it up, the ladders appeared. I played a MUCH better game after that.

    Earlier I got down with some original Sonic action on the first Genesis Mini. I have never beaten this game in what, 34 years or so give or take? I usually got as far as the second or third act of the Labyrinth Zone (or the "Water Level" as I told my kids) and that was that. The frustration level tipped over my threshold and I never got back around to playing it again. Thanks to the magic of save states, I finally got past that damned zone! I'm now in the "Scrap Brain" Zone and saved it there. I also have 4 chaos emeralds.

    On Father's Day I went to a different arcade, "Hero's Venture" in Two Rivers, WI. as opposed to the Garcade in Menomonee Falls. I found it interesting that it had a "pay as you go" side and then the all day play-for-one-fee side. My overall experience was underwhelming. The "Pay as you go" side required the use of rechargable point cards instead of just taking cash or quarters, which I think is worse than having to buy tokens. The games there were mostly the really "big" machines, like a couple VR style systems, a lot of redemption machines and....pinball. The ONLY pinball they had in the place you could only play using a card. There were none in the "all day fee" side.

    The "All day" side did have a nice selection of mid 80's games on up. I haven't seen Black Tiger, Lifeforce, Ghosts n' Goblins, Operation Wolf and such for a very long time. The games were in their section of sorts (fighting games of many ages in one area, sit down driving games in another, etc.) and they had about 4 air hockey tables along with a pool table. Sounds like paradise, right? The problem, for me anyways and my daughter (my son...he didn't seem to care but got bored near the end of our stay), was that there were a decent number of games in states of disrepair. Both Pac-Man and Mr.s Pac-Man were near unplayable because the joysticks were wonky. Pac-Man's stick had problems going down, meaning I'd have to slam it a bit to register. My son didn't say what his problem was on Ms. Pac but it was also joystick related. Pole Position's screen was off color, Ninja Baseball Bat Man's panel was lifting up while I played, Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom had joystick problems....the list went on. The "back room" past the first room with the air hockey tables with the black light ribbons, floor tape in the shape of a Tron Recognizer and such looked like a dingy garage someone set up arcade machines in.

    Overall, Garcade spolied me. Even though the outside of the place is part of an aged old strip mall, the inside is very inviting and has a lot of games of different genres from different ages. And I can count with maybe a couple fingers on one hand the problems I had with an arcade game there. On top of that, you can play ALL the games there on free play with an all day pass....including pinball.

    Also on Father's Day I got some time in on Full Quiet for the NES. It is a pain in the rump trying to get the second cabin open! I watched a walkthrough and I was on my way to getting the place unlocked BUT I took too long and got killed by the monster that comes out at midnight. I guess you really have to manage your time in this leg of the adventure and if you don't know your way, you are scah-roood. I did notice my TV gets a bright glow on the lower right with the NES, so I'm not sure if I have to keep adjusting the brightness when I play Atari and then NES? Or if my TV is starting to show signs of impending failure (it was a refugee from a renter who just up and left the apartment they were renting from us, leaving most of his stuff behind).

  3. #623
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    Platinumed Ys8 again. Ys8 was a favorite of mine when it released on the PS4 when I first platinumed it, picked it up for PS5 and played through it then, I recently replayed the entire game on Nightmare difficulty using the new game plus option. I didn't carry over any levels and I didn't use any of the equipment, I just wanted it in my inventory so when I did get to the point that I could use it, I didn't have to worry about the materials and I'd already have them or the equipment. So it was a little easier than a brand new Nightmare save file but just cutting a little bit of time.

    Also, I recently played through Cult of the Lamb. My first experience with the game I played a couple hours then I quit, but my recent experience I started a new game and after a week or more I finished the game in 16 hours. I think it's one of the better procedural games because it's about 80% survival/simulation game and only about 20% procedural dungeon gameplay.

    So Cult of the Lamb is basically part Harvest Moon game with a lot of depth with its time/resource management. That can be stated of any game of this type and for Cult of the Lamb this is what you're going to be doing atleast 80% of the time. You start off with some followers and you'll speak to your followers and bless them daily which will level them up and provide you devotion, but they can also pray at the shrine to provide you devotion as well, and this is what you gain to acquire new things to built. At first, you can't make beds, so you'll want to build beds for them to sleep on and those beds will break so you have to repair them. From there they need to to be able to eat, so you want to make plots of land to grow crops. You'll eventually run out of trees and stone or need other material that is made from trees and stone, so you'll need to create mines, lumber mills, etc, and have them work on getting you more because otherwise you need to take multiple trips just to get enough of either resource. Your followers need to go to the bathroom regularly so at first you'll be sweeping up all the poop otherwise they'll get sick and throw up everywhere and followers will get sick from that. Eventually you can create an outhouse, eventually you can create a janitor area for them to clean up after themselves. You can create a building that can hold the seed you get from your crops and another building around your crops so your followers will water them and then later on you can upgrade this to where they will pick your crops for you. Every single time you get enough devotion, you need more and you get one item each level.

    But you also have a chapel in which you can preach once a day. Each time you level up there, you can increase aspects of your character in dungeons from finding different weapon types and increasing the level of weapons that you find in the dungeon, so unlike most procedural games, going in the dungeon isn't a big requirement as long as you have the followers. Each time your followers level up you'll get these tablet pieces and each time you get a full tablet you can add a new doctrine. There are 25 doctrines in all minus the doctrines you gain after everything is completed which allow you to gain sin, which allows for cosmetic upgrades to your chapel. Each time you choose a new doctrine, you have the choice between one of two. You can have crops grow instantly, you can throw a banquet to fill up the hunger gauge(or the other option is to fast for three days without going hungry.) One that I've found very useful is sacrifice your followers to gain extra experience, allowing you to level your weapons and curses up faster and it's not really an issue because once your followers become elderly they can't do anything to help anyways. They just walk around town until they die of old age and then you have to spend the resources to bury them, some followers might get scared that someone died, etc, or you may have picked up a dissenter follower and you want to get rid of them so you choose one of a few options.

    But the other part of this game is going into the dungeons. You were brought back to life to start a cult worshiping the one who waits and your object from there is to defeat all of the old faith. So you go into one of four areas(only one to start,) and you go through a few rooms until you get to a mini boss. Once killing the mini boss you'll get a follower along with everything else you've picked up and you come across a locked door. You'll go through each area three times with three mini bosses and you'll have two negative effects per old god that is set upon your followers, starvation, being sickness, even have to kill them when they're mind controlled and attempt to kill you. These dungeons are rather short and I'd say if you want to make them even easier, create a demon summoning location in your own and also choose the upgrade that allows you to sacrifice a follower if you die and only sacrifice them if you need that little bit of push to defeat the boss, another way that you can get rid of the elderly in your cult and have them prove useful.

    Now, you may have heard the SRG version includes a little bit of DLC. It doesn't include all DLC and it doesn't really matter because even the DLC it includes is cosmetic. I never even used a single decoration in my entire game except for three cheap ones when I was requested by a member to do so. If you don't want to track down an SRG version then the standard version with no DLC isn't a big deal to own, it's the same exact game.

    Though it would have been nice if they did wait because this August the game is getting a local co op mode to do everything with two players, a lamb and a goat. There are issues I had with the game though, technical issues. The game auto saves so the soft crashing wasn't a big deal as I pressed the options button went to the main menu and reloaded, but it happened in a dungeon during an event that never loaded and since it auto saves before entering the dungeon I had to do the entire dungeon again which as I said, the dungeons aren't very long. The second issue is that whenever the game goes to a different day, the transition appears that it should be smooth but knocks it down to single digit FPS for around two seconds or so. This is literally each and every time a new day comes around. I haven't noticed frame drops like that anywhere else in the game and on the PS5 version it does run at 60fps with no drops during normal gameplay.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

  4. #624
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    I posted as much a while ago, but I beat Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack on my Vita, and I did play some more after that. Snagged one additional trophy and then located a bunch more Blob Friends and earned more gold medals. I still might go back for more, but I'm pretty involved in Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness on my PlayStation 4.

    I'm over 25 hours into Star Ocean 5, and judging by the strategy guide, it seems like I'm about halfway through. I've heard of people beating the entire main story in that much time, and if one were to only focus on the main story, I can see how that's doable. I'm probably spending just as much time, if not more so, on optional stuff than the main story. And really, there's not much to the game outside of the optional content. You mostly just bounce back and forth through the same handful of towns and fields. I only just recently cleared what I'd consider a proper dungeon, and it wasn't much of one, with one floor, no puzzles, and a mostly straightforward point A to point B path. The game definitely has that same kind of unfinished vibe that Infinite Undiscovery has, like I'll be thinking "well, this is where a dungeon should've been". Though maybe some of it is intentional design, with their whole "seamless" approach. I guess a traditional dungeon would feel more "game-like" and less like a natural part of the world. And with all the reused assets, the game kind of feels more like a fan hack than an official entry in the series. It's also finding more and more new ways to annoy me as I progress, like the "secret" conversations between Emmerson and Anne that would occur in the middle of a cutscene where I'm already reading the subtitles and then have to whip the camera around to try to find the text boxes translating their conversation too and would inevitably miss stuff. But this isn't the first time I've played a tri-Ace game that seems to punish you if you choose to play with Japanese voice acting (or if you're deaf or hard of hearing and rely on the text). It seems like there's always stuff that's just untranslated (like the lines characters speak after leveling up here or full frickin' mid-battle conversations in Resonance of Fate), or the manner in which text is displayed makes it impossible to catch everything. Also gotta love that Star Ocean 5 gave me a means of fast travel, greatly reducing the irritation of backtracking to old towns for Private Actions and quests, only to quickly eliminate that option, so now I'm back to trudging along the same paths for the billionth time.

    My comments sound harsh, I know, but I am still enjoying the game in spite of the bounty of annoyances and look forward to playing each evening. However, I don't think I could say I love it, when I can easily say I loved every previous Star Ocean I've played, even with how maligned some of them are, like Star Ocean 4. The Star Ocean 4 haters should play Star Ocean 5 and then see how much good is actually in Star Ocean 4. I'm probably spending most of my time on quests and Private Actions, and neither are exceptional. The quests are mostly busywork. Kill so-and-so number of a specific enemy, collect so-and-so number of a specific item. But occasionally they unlock new Specialties, which is nice. The Private Actions are honestly rather pathetic compared to those in older Star Ocean games. They tend to be extremely short, random, and end abruptly. I'm talking like sometimes literally two sentences and it's over. But this is the kind of game where you have to take what you can get.
    Last edited by Aussie2B; 07-05-2024 at 03:07 PM.

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    Speaking of Star Ocean, I haven't played any of the games since Star Ocean The Last Hope until I've played and finished Second Story R. This game receives some massive praise, however I think they ruined Star Ocean the Second Story. Even Second Evolution is a far better game.

    Now the one thing Second Story R does amazingly well is it assists people like myself who refused to use strategy guides in actually understanding what a lot of the mechanics do. Writing allows you to level a lot of skills up without using your points, but then publishing allows you to increase all characters intimacy level with the others. I also didn't do many of the personal actions in the original or the PSP game because how difficult they were to find without constantly leaving towns, looking everywhere, leaving town, looking everywhere. The game tells you exactly what town has a a personal action and then you just bring up the map, do the personal action, leave town, if there's another one it'll tell you, so I was actually able to experience them this time around.

    However, aside from the quality of life improvements and the graphical upgrade, they just ruined the combat. Star Ocean the Second Story R is not enjoyable to play AT ALL. So you may have experienced this in the demo, but they added the blind side mechanic from Star Ocean The Last Hope and when it's only Claude or Rena alone, or Claude and Rena(set to only healing) the mechanic is actually useful, evade before they attack and then attack the enemies afterwards. However as soon as you get more characters you can't spend the time to wait for the enemies to attack, if you try to do so then you're leaiving all this time open that all your other characters are going to run in and attack and if you just wait and then counter you're literally going to be left to a bunch of dead allies. So you'll never use that mechanic the second you have another character to aggro the enemies.

    The other problem with the game is that the game is either stupidly easy to where you'll walk through these paper thin enemies, or stupidly hard to where these enemies will walk through you like you're paper. If you turn up the difficulty higher than the normal difficulty you'll just start getting curb stomped by everything you'll just button mash through to the end of the game and the game just feels like an extreme chore to even play through at that pointt. Until you get to the wise men. The first of the wise men is easy, you'll just walk through him like nothing, but then you go to the last dungeon and fight three at a time. One of the wise men has a pulse ability that goes off every few seconds and is unavoidable, staggering and dealing damage to all characters as the pulse is basically an aoe physical attack that goes off whether you're attacking the enemy or night. The second of the three wise men in that battle will constantly cast aoe spells that will kill you in one or two hits and then the third of the wise men while use an inescapable attack that doesn't attack straight forward so you can't just move up and down to avoid it, it literally tracks you. So at this point you'll actually need to level grind in order to defeat them. I was at the point that I hated playing combat in this game so I turned it to easy and I still needed to level grind. I then got to the second to last boss and holy sh-- was this boss like all three of them in one, had to level grind again. I then fought the last boss who was much easier than the second to last boss. But basically, the difficulty in this game was either "no chance" or "instant win button." I for one hated the game and had such a bad experience. Even if the game remained stupidly easy, I wouldn't have enjoyed it because I didn't enjoy it, but it was even more frustrating when it was clear that there is literally no skill in the game, it's just how powerful you are. I understand the original Star Ocean the Second Story is like this, but the original is atleast a bit more balanced and atleast feels like it's neither too hard or too easy unless you run into enemies that you shouldn't be fighting(certain areas on the world map.)
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    I haven't played any of the SO2 remake, but I did buy the stupidly expensive collector's edition that was exclusive to the Square Enix store. I'm not surprised if the balance feels off because it's based on Second Evolution, which already threw off the balance by adding in the 3-hit standard attack combo. I can imagine what adding extra mechanics would do. It seems like a large percentage of the people who play it just look up how to break it and then cruise through everything. Bloody Armor was very tedious and annoying to use in a beneficial way in the original (having to endlessly spam healing abilities), but in the remake, it seems easier to abuse. I've also noticed that a lot of people talk as if the remake is objectively the definitive version of the game and that every single change is objectively for the better, which is off-putting. One change I heard about that I don't like is that characters earn the same EXP whether they're in the active battle party or not. I much prefer having control over my characters' levels.

    Anyway, as for Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness on PlayStation 4, I have over 30 hours on the clock and have been catching up on a huge backlog of Private Actions. They may be pretty short, but there sure are a bajillion of them. Apparently, I hadn't quite understood how they worked. Some PAs trigger at certain spots on the maps while you're adventuring like normal, and others you have to intentionally initiate in towns by entering a golden circle with a whistle icon to split up. Then you're shown a number of diamonds that indicate how many you can see. Once you complete whatever you want, you regroup, and the whistle point disappears. I assumed the whistle point disappearing means you've seen all you can at that point in time in that town, and if I left the town or whatever and saw the whistle point return, I figured you could split up but wouldn't be able to do any more PAs until you advanced the story. Turns out, the whistle icon always disappears after doing a round of PAs, but if you enter a building or leave town and come back, it will comes back if there are more available. If you leave and return and it's still gone, then you know you're caught up. Likewise, you can farm the "random" PAs in a similar way if you know the spots they happen at. Do one, enter a building or leave the map, then return to that spot to see if another will occur. Just in Sthal alone, I spent over an hour last night catching up on dozens I hadn't yet seen. Most PAs just get backlogged so you can see them whenever, but I know some are missable. I'm not sure if I've missed any thus far, but I'm going to try to be more thorough going forward. Even though I'm referring to a guide, I basically just skim pages on parts I've already done, so I wouldn't be surprised if I missed something somewhere. I know there are also missable enemies for the encyclopedia, since areas get new enemies (more like tougher palette swaps) periodically, and I haven't been killing every enemy on every field all throughout the game. I don't want to read up on the game too much and get spoilers, so if I miss something, oh well. If I actually want the platinum someday, I'd have to replay the game two more times on higher difficulties anyway.

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    Landstalker on Genesis, since I fixed the game. It's a pretty solid game, though it took a while to get used to needing to press the D-pad in diagonal directions.

    I'd like to play Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure again too, but I don't have a copy.

    - Austin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slate View Post
    Landstalker on Genesis, since I fixed the game. It's a pretty solid game, though it took a while to get used to needing to press the D-pad in diagonal directions.

    I'd like to play Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure again too, but I don't have a copy.

    - Austin
    Landstalker using a standard genesis controller is kind of cumbersome to use unless you have a joystick instead.Back in the mid 2000's id play the game through the virtual console for wii.I will say using the procontroller analogue still was very comfortable to use for playing.

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    I spent days (roughly an hour each night) just doing optional stuff in Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness on PlayStation 4. I think I'm finally caught up on Private Actions (the ones I can do without Relia at least), and I also did some quests and a couple runs through the updated Cathedral of Oblivion. Now I'm finally ready to start making story progress again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tron 2.0 View Post
    Landstalker using a standard genesis controller is kind of cumbersome to use unless you have a joystick instead.Back in the mid 2000's id play the game through the virtual console for wii.I will say using the procontroller analogue still was very comfortable to use for playing.
    It was a bit bothersome, but I got used to it enough. Thankfully, the save battery's still working, and it read at 3.02 volts. I decided to start having a spare save file, just in case one save should corrupt while I am saving.

    I also started playing Jurassic Park and The Lion King, also both on Genesis. I finally figured out how to get through Levels 2 and 3 of The Lion King, and it's not as difficult as my plays of Ghosts 'n' Goblins on NES in 2022.

    - Austin

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    I made a silly mistake in Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness on PlayStation 4, and I have no idea how long it was affecting me.

    First, let me go on a tangent. The English localization of this game reads like an English major trying to show off their vocabulary, or at least someone who really loves their thesaurus. I think I have a pretty decent vocabulary myself. I work in publishing, after all. But even I find myself often looking up definitions of some of the extremely obscure words this game spits out, and I highly doubt the Japanese script uses equally obscure langauge. Star Ocean games aren't exactly known for having deep, highbrow stories. They're effectively Star Trek episodes in which crew members get tangled up in a conflict on an underdeveloped planet, with a heaping helping of anime tropes on top. So what's funny is that, tonally, the vocab choices arguably work to the detriment of the game. When some random NPC who isn't presented as well-educated is expressing that he has the hots for Fiore, it doesn't seem particularly appropriate to me for him to use the word "pulchritude" instead of, you know, "beauty" or something. Funnier yet, I haven't noticed any typos or other mistakes in run-of-the-mill text, but when the game tries to get flowery, that's when the screw-ups slip in. I've noticed "atramentous" on a couple occasions, which, again, probably would've been better replaced with something more basic, and one time it was misspelled. Even an inn, which is labeled on the map and has its name show up in large text every time you enter has "sultanic" misspelled as "sultantic". Anyway, with an RPG and the quantity of text that goes along with said genre, I certainly wouldn't argue for the entire script to be pedestrian language, but this is the opposite extreme and feels way overboard, or as the kids say these days, "extra". Considering it's a Teen-rated game, I feel bad for any 13-year-old playing the game and probably just guessing at what words mean from the context. Although, I guess if somebody learns some new words from the game, it's not all bad.

    Partially, I just wanted to talk about how ridiculous the localization is, haha, but I also bring this up because my mistake is related to the game's text. Most of the game has been brain-dead easy, so when I got a role that exchanges some amount of EXP gain for SP gain, I figured, "Sure, why not" and used that. Then I got an accessory that seemingly did the same thing and equipped that. You see, despite the over-the-top prose, the game does a piss-poor job of explaining the factors of roles, equipment, etc. It's a lot of abbreviations and stuff written out like formulas and just isn't very clear. Maybe it's just modern gaming terminology that I'm not familiar with, who knows. I am a dinosaur, after all, haha. It turns out the accessory causes me to gain ZERO experience, in exchange for a miniscule boost to SP gain. Really, it seems more like a trolling accessory than something that could be genuinely useful. But getting back to the whole "seamless" thing, the game pops battle results on the side of the screen, and then they quickly disappear, while I'm probably already running off somewhere. I usually glance to see if I got any good drops, but I don't care about the exact amounts of EXP, SP, and Fol I'm getting. But while doing the second proper dungeon of the game (yet another laboratory), I noticed I was getting 0 EXP every battle. At first, I assumed there must be some story reason for that and continued on, but I lost a couple times on the boss battle following the third "protect Anne" battle and started thinking about what I could do to improve my odds. I think I was probably using that accessory for quite a while, haha. I did struggle a good bit on the second "protect Anne" battle right before entering this dungeon too, so I guess the lack of EXP gain finally caught up with me. I suppose I inadvertently found a way to increase the challenge, haha. But even so, outside of the optional Cathedral of Oblivion battles, the only battles I've lost are the first two "protect Anne" missions and this boss battle I'm currently up to, which is why I never even noticed the handicap I gave myself.

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    I've been all over the place lately. Not too much retro save for "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D" for the 3DS. I met the Princess and got out of the castle to get to Kakariko Village. That's about as much time I had for that.

    Next up was some Switch play. I played some "Cadence of Hyrule" along with dipping my toes back into "The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim" after reading a post on Atari Age. Was in a completely different location than I remembered and had a blast running some wolves through with my bow.

    I had planned to play some "Nintendo World Championship: NES Edition" BUT that whole Crowdstrike thing struck my plans. Got "the call" from work at 4:30 this morning and pretty much spent all day clearing that mess out with the rest of my team.

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    Brigandine The Legend of Forsena and Brigandine Grand Edition are my two favorite games, but the last few days I'm recording a little bit of footage from Tactics Ogre Reborn to try my hand at a video review. I'll admit, I'm not going to put as much effort as you see in other videos where they cut five to 10 seconds of video to repeatedly change what's being seen and while I will do some of that, there's going to be a lot less of that. I doubt it's going to get many views but that's not why I'm really doing it. This game is the best TRPG we've seen in decades and no one has played it, not even fans of the genre, not even fans of Tactics Ogre or Tactics Ogre on PSP thinking it's just yet again the same game.

    It's pretty crazy, but Tactics Ogre Let Us Cling Together on Super Famicom defined the 3D/Isometric TRPG way back in 1995 and the mechanics are borrowed by most other games in the genre to this date. Weight playing a factor in your character's speed, whether you take move or take an action reduces your recovery time, height factors into range of attack from bows allowing increased range, etc, etc, etc. It innovated on many mechanics and not that innovation makes the game great, but as flaws as the original is in terms of damage where bows are the definitive weapon of choice, how most classes are identical to one another with different stats, the ninja just being broken because the agility stat being the most broken stat in the game, the game itself is still a great game.

    I don't care what you innovated if you're a bad game. Dragon Warrior didn't really definie anything when Wizardry and Ultima did it first, and while I don't like Wizardry and Ultima either, Dragon Warrior was only a good game because it was one of the few games that existed in the RPG genre, it only took literally one game, the original Final Fantasy to just show how bad Dragon Warrior actually was as a game and the genre has got better since. So my praise for Tactics Ogre and its innovation is because the game STILL holds up to this day as one of the better games in the genre.

    However, there's no reason to ever play the original Tactics Ogre, because while it has its own underlying flaws, the game perfects everything that the original game did wrong. The game takes what the PSP changed, and completely guts that trash game. The PSP game is garbage. It added some really cool things, but if you wanted to use any of it the game was an absurd grind. Reborn through all of that shit away. Tactics Ogre Reborn kept the script change and added voice acting, tied passives like counterattack, parry, etc to weapons instead of learning them through a skill tree, any skills that characters would gain were now based on level and added a level cap at each point. There was no grinding, there was no busy work, everything you get is given to you and you just equip your characters. The functionality of the PSP skills were changed to either active skills, passive skills, and auto skills which only allowed you to equip up to four and one of them were going to be your weapon skill, so your characters could vary depending on how you wanted to use them.

    With the addition of these auto skills that were very potent, but they only trigger about 40% of the time, your team composition is less about each individual class and more about builds. If you were to play a card game, you're not going to build a deck of 50 different cards, your deck would ultimately be trash. Maybe the perfect cards would fall into place, but the best decks would be builds centering around maybe 15-20 different cards at most in that 50 card deck. And that's how Tactics Ogre Reborn's party system works. One terror knight is going to very slowly spread fear and debuffs to all enemies, having two terror knights will do so twice as fast. One soldier or archer will allow your party to spread debuffs but when the auto ability only works 40-50% of the time, it's best to have two to give yourself a much better chance that these effects will occur, same with dragoons when dealing with beasts and dragons, same with beast tamers when your party is filled with beasts or dragons. One knight will help tank, but having two knights in the party both with guardian force going off 40-50% of the time, you'll be able to not only going to half damage to that character but then sustain half of the damage reduced. So 1000 damage will only hit the targeted character 500 and the knight 250, but when that effect is absent completely there goes your character in an OHKO from a boss. So these new mechanics that were built into the game retain what makes Tactics Ogre so great and perfects the class build party system.

    However, Tactics Ogre Reborn doesn't stop there, because how varied Tactics Ogre weapon system has been since the original it's now been reworked completely. The shield guarantees knockback 100%. It deals a little bit of damage, but it's less about the damage it deals than it is about the party and enemy positioning. I didn't bring up the cards that will appear on the map before but there are cards that will randomly appear on the map, if you have a character that's next to or can't quite reach a card, a character with a shield can push them into it. You can push a boss into a debuff card to remove all their cards, or push them into another card to push the first card on their list completely off. Your characters won't often jump off of ledges so having the shield encourage them is a great way to move a distance that may take one or more turns and enemies on the side of bottomless pits can be pushed to their deaths, a great way to get rid of undead without having to kill AND exorcise them. But while the shield is a great "weapon" for positioning, the spear is a great weapon for a melee character to attack at a range or even attack two enemies at once. Additionally let's say you have a character set up for a pincer attack and the enemy doesn't counterattack as they have one handed equipment, attacking with the spear or whip from a range of two triggers the character to pincer. If the spear or whip attacks an enemy that can only counter from a space of one and there is an ally behind with pincer and also in front with pincer, the pincer will trigger and the counterattack will then trigger the second pincer attack. You have two hands to equip any two single handed or one two handed weapon.

    Debuffs and buffs are now extremely important in this game. Not only are the soldier and archer great for building melee and ranged debuff parties, the beast tamer is one of the earliest characters in the game and the only character in the game without getting a special class that can throw items at a range. Nearly every single buff or debuff has some form of item that you can buy in the shop. Giving all your clerics the item to double HP recovery for five turns, giving any character that can debuff enemies black lizard powder to double the effectiveness of the debuff for five turns, maybe giving your characters physical or defensive buffs or giving your characters debuffs for attack, magic, or defense that they can drop on a target right next to them. The sword master excels at buffs and significantly worse at debuffs without black lizard powder and can do both in an AoE, making this a great character for a party wide defense or attack increase. Terror knights can hit enemies with fear and whatever is attached to their weapon as all active effects guarantee the weapon debuff will hit while ninja have spells that activate 40-50% of the time only on themselves as auto abilities that then last for five turns, allowing them to add poison, stun, or silence. That's not even talking about the wizard's debuffs and the ability to paradigm shift to give your characters extra turns or using MP transfer to an ally.

    Then let's not forget just how many monsters that Tactics Ogre has and the insane rework they've all received and we haven't even scratched the surface of what's possible within the gameplay.

    Tactics Ogre Reborn is a 10/10, one of the absolute best games anyone will ever play in the RPG genre and all I did above was talk about the gameplay, not even touched on the games three different story paths as well as all the possible events in which not until games like Bioware or Larian's recent games have we seen such drastic changes in story events. Games like The Walking Dead and others are superficial in comparison to what Tactics Ogre offered back in 1995. Despite coming such a long way, it's been 30 years and Tactics Ogre has done it better than just about everything that's followed it.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiM View Post
    My play time has bounced around quite a bit.
    Me too. Over the past month I've played bits and pieces of:
    Grim Dawn (with friends)
    Civ VI (with friends)
    Dungeon Keeper
    Graveyard Keeper
    Lords of Waterdeep
    Solasta: Crown of the Magister
    Potion Craft
    Alan Wake
    Deep Rock Galactic
    Baldur's Gate 3
    Slay the Spire
    Starcraft: Brood War
    Diablo 2 Resurrected

    I've never been the ADD type but for whatever reason I can't stick with one of these and finish it. Maybe it's because some of these games are boring (Solasta in particular is pretty ho-hum). Might also just be because work has been stressful...and if I ever hit a place in one of these games that seems super-hard I just don't have the energy to push through that wall.
    You are startled by a grim snarl. Before you, you see 1 Red dragon. Will your stalwart band choose to (F)ight or (R)un?

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    I finally was able to play "Nintendo World Championship: NES Editon Deluxe Set" this weekend. Even though I have NES Remix on the Wii U, it didn't click with me (though sometimes it's hard to get into a game when I have my little "sharks" hovering around me wanting to play something else and I just wanna get some gaming time for myself). This actually does. I'm still in the early stages (I only had about 15 minutes to play) and I really worked at trying to get better times doing these seemingly easy "Super Mario Bros." tasks. The first one is getting the very first mushroom in the fastest amount of time. I think mine was like 5.025 seconds....which is a "A" I think. Apparently you can do this faster.....how I have no idea but I really kept trying. I did notice some odd button delays/non responding when I was holding the B button and that moving my thumb over the A while going down stairs. I have to try this on real hardware or on the NES Online games to see if I have the same issue. I typically play with my Switch Lite so it's experiment time.

    I also dove back into "Skyrim" on my Switch earlier this week There's just something about the supported gyro aiming that just feels soooooo good in that game-getting headshots on my targets with little effort. I forgot where I was (I thought I was in a town where I had to find this crazy guy's lost sister, whose body I found in the river) but apparently I was on a snowy hill with my Khajit named Chazelle (who is based on one of the children one of my kids's character had with the NPC she married. She geeked out at seeing her "kid" in the polygonal flesh). I played for a bit then noticed like 45 minutes passed in a blink of an eye.

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