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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:32 am 


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Vagrant Story and Shadow of Rome.

Basically just dicking around while waiting on a game to arrive in the mail. Vagrant Story is better than I remembered though.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:37 pm 


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I picked up Dragon Warrior the other day (seemed like a great pick up for $5) and I started a game. Really enjoying the experience so far, good challenge and I don't mind some decent amount of grinding (I love managing the "is it worth it, right now, to grind for this weapon, or should I wait to reach an area where monsters give out more gold" aspect, and it's really fun to manage here). The simplicity of the game really cuts the fat, I thought I would hate having 1 character and fighting 1 monster at a time, but I don't. It's still fun. Really your meat-and-potato jrpg.

Of course there's less strategy in combat than in some other multiple characters/multiple monsters game, but personally I've never required deep strategy in my jrpg to have fun. When I enjoy many other aspects of a game in that genre, I can forgive it for not nailing 1 or 2 aspects (like say, having deep strategic fights. That's just 1 aspect of the genre)

It's fun to bounce around and try to figure out where to go. For example, a fair lad has confessed to me that Keys can be bought in that one town, Rimuldar. But it's all the way to the south east! Meanwhile, I have no idea if I should be venturing in caves that are accessible to me right now. And that's the beauty of it! Maybe I'll get trounced, maybe not. Only one way to know : go explore!


I also picked up a quite cheap, loose Phantasy Star II so that wil be next on the block


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:15 pm 


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I love the original Dragon Quest for its spirit of loosely bounded exploration, its addictive risk-reward gameplay, its influence on the rest of the industry, and the way it streamlined RPG mechanics into a more accessible form... on paper. In practice I think it's a very tedious and monotonous game that stops being fun after a few hours.

DQIII, on the other hand, is a grand time that I would have played to completion six or seven years ago when I had the patience for slower-paced games. These days I just can't get in the mood.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:20 pm 


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the super famicom version of DQ is quite breezy and a delight to play imo since they tweaked the exp gain. not to mention better gfx and music
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:09 pm 


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I think one of the best parts about DQ as a series is how they made 8 and 11 on newer platforms without losing their soul/what makes them Dragon Quest. Perfectly done modernization of a franchise imo.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:11 pm 


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I loved playing through the original "Dragon Warrior", for most of the reasons FinalBaton mention. It's simple, lean and smooth, especially compared to what would follow it in the DQ series, and the genre as a whole. And venturing out in a world with no idea where to go aside from vague hints picked up by paying attention to NPCs really makes it feel like an adventure. DQ2 and 3 retained that aspect, but it became less prevalent as the series went on.

Strangely enough, I tried to dig up my own post on the game from last year, and look who argued against this specific point of mine :P
viewtopic.php?p=1293835#p1293835


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:44 pm 


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Ikari and Psycho Soldier from SNK 40th. PS (played it via Mame in college) is still a good bit of fun.

Ikari I can no miss the 1st half, but still have a bit of work to do on the 2nd half. The museum bonus is a nice touch - imagine my surprise when I learned running over enemies increases your tank's fuel. There are a few parts where I tend to run out of gas, but that should help me a fair bit.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:46 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
I loved playing through the original "Dragon Warrior", for most of the reasons FinalBaton mention. It's simple, lean and smooth, especially compared to what would follow it in the DQ series, and the genre as a whole. And venturing out in a world with no idea where to go aside from vague hints picked up by paying attention to NPCs really makes it feel like an adventure. DQ2 and 3 retained that aspect, but it became less prevalent as the series went on.

Strangely enough, I tried to dig up my own post on the game from last year, and look who argued against this specific point of mine :P
viewtopic.php?p=1293835#p1293835

Well I hadn't played it in many, many years :mrgreen: and my post above is in essence me being pleasantly surprised(as I typed it, I knew what my take was from last year. should have included a reference to my previous take). I'm not ashamed of what I said back then, in fact I had assumed you were remembering that convo, and am a bit disapointed you didn't :mrgreen:

besides, one can still like FF AND DragonQuest, eh? I still like FF a tad better, but i'm definitely warming up to Dragon Quest. I think it's a fun time so far. And a very good $5 spent


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:35 am 


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Of course you can :P It's really hard to argue that Dragon Quest 1 is "better" than anything considering how much it just relies on pure grinding, especially up to the fight against the dragon lord. A lot of other RPGs, the DQ series especially tend to have a pre-final-boss grind period, but usually you have so much stuff to do at this point that it never feels as... grinding.

Of course, Final Fantasy 1 came out around a month from Dragon Quest 3, so that's the more apt comparison, and I don't think anything really compares to DQ3 when it comes to RPGs on the NES. Usually 8-bit RPGs are really archaic in a way that you have to get over to enjoy them, but DQ3 is downright one of the best games in that entire series.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:30 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Of course, Final Fantasy 1 came out around a month from Dragon Quest 3


I thought you had actually meant DQII, but you're right. Final Fantasy was released in December 1987, DQIII in February 1988. Incidentally, Phantasy Star was also released around the same time - just two days after Final Fantasy if Mobygames is correct. It's hard to believe considering how much more... advanced Phantasy Star feels.

I'm far from the first person to say this, and I definitely won't be the last, but the Dragon Quest games would be so much more popular stateside if the original three hadn't been localized so ridiculously late. (And since I'm already beating dead horses, I might as well add that FFIII would get more love, too, if not for the same reason.)
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:50 am 


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We didn't even get a single DQ game over here until DQ8, so it's hard to relate to.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:25 am 


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One rpg on the system I really want to try, also happen to be a survival horror game : Capcom's Sweet Home.

It seems to be constantly moving(since there's no town to trek back to) and always present you with hard choices


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:37 am 


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Same. I have a boxed copy, but it's in Japanese, and I don't understand Japanese.

I'm usually quite averse to fan translations, but the alternative here is never getting to play the game, so...


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:18 am 


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CrossCode. I give up.

People really, really love this and I can see there's a great game to be found here, but there's a control issue that ruins it for me.

It's an isometric shooter/brawler hybrid vaguely in the style of Secret of Mana or Ys. It's faster than Mana but not as fast and smooth as Ys.

The thing is, in the Ys Oath trilogy there is no mouse cursor and melee attacks always face in the direction of your movement. In Wizard of Legend there is a mouse cursor and both melee and projectile attacks face in the direction of the cursor. In Crosscode there is a cursor, and projectile attacks always face the cursor, but keyboard melee attacks face the direction of your movement.

The result is a goddamn clusterfuck. This is a game where you have to catch highly mobile opponents during brief vulnerability windows, but your attention has to be divided between two different aiming systems, so oftentimes I'll execute a super melee attack at the right time with my cursor over the enemy but the attack fires in the wrong direction and I miss my window. Again and again. It's maddening!

I made a request at the steam forums to add an "always face cursor" option, and I got a response, but the developer didn't sound enthused at the prospect of adding the option. So I'm giving up on this game.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:44 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Same. I have a boxed copy, but it's in Japanese, and I don't understand Japanese.

I'm usually quite averse to fan translations, but the alternative here is never getting to play the game, so...


Sweet Home is fucking fantastic.
I hope you both play it.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:25 pm 


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slightly off-topic, but i highly recommend the movie sweet home is based on. it's got a similar kind of horror/comedy vibe that hausu (one of my fav movies) has and some seriously delightful effects. really fun stuff.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:12 am 


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I also need to play through Sweet Home at some point.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:20 pm 


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The Sweet Home film has a soundtrack by the guy who did Parapa The Rapper so there's that.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:15 am 


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Blinge wrote:
Sweet Home is fucking fantastic.
I hope you both play it.


I'm trying this out now. Seems interesting. Should I be savescumming? Seems like you could use up all your wood or something and get stuck.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:02 am 


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Ooof. artificial saves/states? or does the game allow saving, can't remember.

I'd say rotating saves is legit in the latter case.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:00 pm 


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Blinge wrote:
Ooof. artificial saves/states? or does the game allow saving, can't remember.

I'd say rotating saves is legit in the latter case.


It allows a single save which can be saved and loaded at any time outside of battles. It's definitely worth loading a save if someone dies, inventory space is absurdly limited even with a full party. As far as resources go, wood and tonics seem to be the only ones that can be permanently lost. The game is generous enough that you shouldn't need to savescum or be especially stingy.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:53 pm 


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Few additional thoughts on Tokyo Mirage Sessions:

- Decided to try moving the difficulty up to Hard - "normal" battles are tougher but not too bad, but bosses and other major enemies can easily one-shot a character if they hit a weakness. The game is still notably milder than a "standard" SMT though, mainly because it's a lot easier to leave a dungeon, recover/stock up and pick up where you left off than most of those, and you can save just about anywhere too.

- One surprising way that the game does do things the "old-school" way is in its skill system: there are limited slots for different types of skills (active, passive, team-up) and when you learn a new one and your slots are all full you've got to permanently delete one, Nocturne-style. If there's a way to eventually re-access the deleted skills I haven't found it yet.

- The characters so far are somewhat tropey, as you'd probably figure, but I've found them likable enough overall; they don't do too much that you wouldn't expect, but they're not so over-the-top about it that you start dreading story sequences. I've gotten a good chuckle out of most of them at least once.

- I just finished the "modeling" segment, i.e. the most infamous censored bit, and while I don't think it totally ruins the game or anything I am curious what about the original version got the localizers so nervous, as there are still plenty of fan-servicey outfits, suggestive dialogue, alcohol/tobacco references, etc. left in. A bit too "pervasive", maybe?
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:03 am 


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I loved Tokyo Mirage Sessions, probably one of my top 5 RPGs of the last 5+ years. The only things I can complain about are the unskippable battle animations (they take a while once you unlock all skills) and the characters/story/setting etc clearly being second rate in comparison to the Persona team's. Great game tho, I want to do NG+.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:03 am 


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Finished Sweet Home. It's okay.

Random encounters rarely mix well with puzzles or backtracking and the combination is aggravating here too. Like 99% of all JRPGs, Sweet Home's random encounters are too frequent and individually too inconsequential. The party's power curve should be much flatter than it is. If you get even a little bit ahead you can mercilessly stomp your enemies with no fear of retaliation. It's pretty easy to get to that point without intending to, especially if you bring the wrong items to a puzzle and have to go back for the correct ones. Really the game could have done without experience points altogether and would have been better for it.

The horror theme is nice, especially as a change of pace from the save-the-world adventures that usually go along with this type of gameplay. I like keeping the game confined to a small area too. You'll end up getting to know the mansion really well and unlocking a new shortcut feels like a genuine reward. The mansion itself is a bigger threat than any of the monsters. It's full of hazards that separate your characters, that require a character to be rescued by another, or that damage your health. Sometimes you can avoid these with the right items and sometimes you can't.

The inventory limits are far too strict. Allowing one more item per character would have made a world of difference. As is you constantly have to guess which items you think the next puzzles will require. It doesn't add any worthwhile strategy. If you know which item you need, you bring it. If you don't, you guess and if you guessed wrong it's time to backtrack. And with the power curve being what it is, the extra encounters on the way just end up making you stronger. Finding new items was exciting at first. By the halfway point I just got annoyed at having to figure out what I should leave behind this time. This is not a complaint about inventory limits in general! Shiren the Wanderer is one of my favorite games of all time, and that's entirely about making the most of your limited inventory slots.

I like the graphics. The monsters are suitably monstrous. Their animations are minimalistic but are used to good effect. I'm partial to the enemy called "Man" who appears to be a normal dude from behind, only to reveal himself to be missing his face when he turns to attack you. The scenery is more or less what you'd expect from an NES JRPG, but there's nothing wrong with that. The first person puzzles and events improve the atmosphere a lot. One late game story scene is particularly memorable and gruesome.

The concept of finite healing is good but the execution is bad. The mansion contains far more tonics than you'd realistically need. Instead of desperately pushing ahead in the blind hope of another tonic to keep you going a bit longer, what happens is you find yet another one and of course you've got no room for it, so either you top your party off or you memorize where it is to go back for it later. You can have up to three people in a traveling party and up to five in a battle, so you always want to use tonics in battle for a full party heal. Speaking of gathering your party together, there's little reason not to have all five together for battles, aside from tedium. Your entire party gets experience and it's unlikely the monster will live to get another turn when it has to soak up five hits first.

Honestly Sweet Home kind of feels like a WRPG to me. The low levels are the most difficult part, theme takes precedence over gameplay, and most decisions seem to have been made based on what would be cool or what "makes sense" for you to be able to do. It'd probably be a good JRPG to play for low level runs or speedruns. I could see the tonic system leading to some nice agonizing decisions for an underleveled party.

I give it a B-.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:43 am 


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good review, thanks
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:42 am 


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Lol^ No need for anyone to play it now I guess.

For me it was cool, it did things in ways and combinations i hadn't seen in a game before. That's enough for me to enjoy something and recommend it.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:14 am 


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Damnnnnnnnn,,, this is really frusrtating because Vanguard's opinion : just like Squire's, is one that I seem to align with in a ratio of like, 80% or so... I tend to really connect with those guys BUT... But but but but but but but...I.m sorry I... urrrrrrrghhhhbut I can't go into Sweet Home with any kind of input in mind!!!!!!!... I just fucking can't... you know what I mean brudda?!????!!!?

I mean... this game just has so many PREMISES for me, you now what I mean nicca????

Like... my 2 favourite games of ALL TIME...of ALL fucking TIME... the 2 games I picked out of a lot of 2000 are : Final Fantasy and Resident Evil 2. And now you're asking me to NOT get hyped for Sweet Home?

ARE

YOU

FUK...
...

:::

UURRRAAAARRRGH

Arrrrrrghhhhh *holds head as if it was gonna explode*

Sorry big V... but I'm gonna completely bypass your review... bud... buddy... brother(but really, since I'm canadian, "bud" is the highest honour you can get from me. Serriously... it is higher than "your highness" and the such. be proud bud.)

I'm gonna go into Sweet Home BLIND AS A MOLE. 8)

That's right bud 8) See you on the oither side :P


Last edited by FinalBaton on Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:33 am 


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I will make it a point to clear Sweet Home in the next 10 days (long weekend coming because of the supposed ressurection of that hip cadaver "Jesus Christ" or whatever the fuk self-proclaimed king of stuff that is supposed to be? huh? you feelin' me nicca??) since it's optimal timing, then I'll make it a point to respond to Vanguard in detail


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:39 am 


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Oh and BY THE BY : while I'm drunk and shooting the shit :
Where the FUK is BIL?... not gonna beat around the bush here, I miss the guy. Hopefully the only reason he's not here is the ill-fabeld "IRL bulshitt"...

Main example for why he's sorely missed from the discussion : I see countless people discussing gameplay on here, but very few discuss both gameplay AND the dredd that 8/16 bit background layers can induce in the player... yeah that is a special kinda freak. kitten delights us with that kind of analysis too, which is really appreciated.

just putting that out here... just a minor gripe.. give sign of life you magnificent motherfucker!


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:39 am 


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That Shiren the Wanderer mention earlier put me in the mood to revisit the good old SFC original. I had replayed the DS port recently but it'd been a few years since I'd gone back to the original version. It's every bit as good as I'd remembered. Even without the DS port's considerable quality of life improvements, the SFC version is definitive. That little bit of extra cruelty and chaos go a long way.

Managed to clear it on the first try on a fresh save file, but the run was up in the air for a good long while. Right off the bat I found a nice drain buster sword but that was counterbalanced by a cursed todo shield. Everything fell apart when I stepped on a rotting trap that ruined all of my food. It was after the point where rice changers spawn so there was no converting rotten rice balls back into good ones. Had to start moving fast while desperately scavenging for anything edible only to fall victim to a second rotting trap once I had gotten some food together. I found an unusually high number of blank scrolls, and my plan was to convert them into crisis scrolls if the hunger situation got too out of hand. Fortunately, it didn't come to that as the game was willing to spawn a steady supply of egg monsters. In the mine I tried to help the lost little girl, but she got gibbed by a tank, and I almost died with her when the tank driver leveled up from the kill. The swamp went uncharacteristically smoothly and neither I nor my items suffered the usual calamitous harm. I had a rustproof bracelet ready, but no ooze monsters ever spawned to give it a purpose. Table mountain had a very high proportion of monster houses and they were generally easy to deal with and profitable. Things really started to turn around when I entered a great hall house with pair of airslash scrolls in hand. Tons of very low effort items and experience. The biggest scare was when I foolishly stepped in front of a super gaze in a late game house. Fortunately the super gaze elected not to stunlock me to death and I was able to escape and recover. I used meat to polymorph into a mecharoid in the ravine of illusions. I didn't make much use of the mecharoid's trap ability, but its double speed put me on par with the death angels and completely shut down the usually-terrifying skull wraiths. I got a good amount of experience and some supplies out of it and the three trials went without a hitch. In the tainted insect's room I had two leftover airslash scrolls that slaughtered its minions, and the insect itself went down easily to a combination of throwing weapons and a knockback staff.

S-tier game. Even the tutorial is fun.

In most RPGs I don't like getting ahead of the leveling curve. If I do a side quest in Final Fantasy or something it just means the enemies become even easier. It feels like I'm being punished with worse gameplay. In Shiren it's tough to keep up with the curve, so the rare moments when you do pull ahead feel really rewarding.

Blinge wrote:
Lol^ No need for anyone to play it now I guess.

For me it was cool, it did things in ways and combinations i hadn't seen in a game before. That's enough for me to enjoy something and recommend it.


It is cool and it is unique. The problem is that to see all the cool and unique things, you have to go through parts where you gather a bunch of those logs with no apparent use and keep them in your ridiculously tiny inventory for two hours until you decide to just dump them somewhere. Then two hours after that you find a puzzle where you need a lot of logs so you go back to where you left them and drop all your items so you can carry the logs. Then you use the logs to build bridges and go back to get your items and finally you can move on with the game. Throughout this process you're being interrupted by random encounters. For me that's a tough pill to swallow.

FinalBaton wrote:
Damnnnnnnnn,,, this is really frusrtating because Vanguard's opinion : just like Squire's, is one that I seem to align with in a ratio of like, 80% or so... I tend to really connect with those guys BUT... But but but but but but but...I.m sorry I... urrrrrrrghhhhbut I can't go into Sweet Home with any kind of SPOILERS!!!!!!!... I just fucking can't... you know what I mean brudda?!????!!!?


If FF1 and RE2 are among your favorites you're almost certain to like Sweet Home.

FinalBaton wrote:
just putting that out here... just a minor gripe.. give sign of life you magnificent motherfucker!


I definitely preferred the earlier chapters over R2RKMF Part 4: The Wintry Gravestone of Biru.


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