Tag Archives: rpg

Tales of Vesperia

A new month, a new game I am playing.  Tales of Vespeira is my current time sink, and what an enjoyable one it is!  Actually I have been playing this game since April off and on; one free rentaltales_of_vesperia coupon per month makes it hard to get really into a game.  I was finally able to pick up a used copy of Tales and immerse myself in the story.  And what a story it is!  I am getting close to the final boss and I have already played the game for almost 60 hours, and I skipped a ton of side quests and events.  Once I finish this play-through I plan on doing it all over again and getting that 100% completion I am so fond of.

At first I was leery about playing this game because, while I like watching the occasional anime, I cannot stand cell shaded games.  I hate it when a game uses all of this wonderful technology to make everything look 2-D.  I was convinced to give this game a try by my local game store employee and friend, C.  I was debating between Tales, Devil May Cry 4, and The Last Remnant and asked the opinion of C, who likes many of the same games I do.  C said to try Tales because I like RPGs and it has a really good story, but don’t expect achievements from it.  So I gave it a whirl and ended up using the April, May, June, and July free renal coupons on it; Jack was irritated with this because he wanted to play Hot Wheels.

There are many things to enjoy about this game:

  • The storyline is deep and immersive with a few unexpected twists.  There is nothing completely out of the blue and extraordinary about this story, but like a favorite children’s story, you just want to hear it anyways.  None of the villains are all that bad, and not all of the “good guys” are pure and innocent.  It does a very good job of representing the grey areas of morality that are more accurate representations of what people actually have to deal with.
  • There are titles and items that your characters can get to change their outfits and accessories.  While this seems superficial, it is so much fun to be able to have the main character wear a black fedora or mustache and pipe.  It makes things different; yay for variety in costume!  (I am such a girl!)
  • Combat is easy and intuitive.  A jPRG with real time combat seems like it should be against the rules, but it works very well in Tales.  The controls are easy to learn and the battle tutorial is smoothly integrated into the story of the game.  The spontaneous monster encounters are also avoidable because you can see the monsters and simply walk around them.  This is a big thing for me because, sometimes I am just trying to get to a save point fast!

There are also some things that just bugged the crap out of me in the game:

  • The forced dialogue sections require you to hit a button after each person speaks.  This really cramped my style because I always used those sections to make a bathroom break or refill the snacks and beverage. Yes, my place is small enough that I could still hear the game while not in front of the TV.  By having to hit the button after each sentence (and some of these conversations were loooooong) I missed my usual pit stops and had to make artificial interruptions in the game-play to perform these necessary activities.  The button pushing also made the conversations halting, which really breaks the game trance.
  • The map was very difficult.  While I am happy to have a mini-map on screen while traveling,  The big map was constantly referenced to see where I was, and usually where I needed to go.  The big map, while you could zoom it, did not do much good because you could not highlight the name of the place by scrolling over.  You had to select it from a list next to the map (and the list was big) and know if the area you were looking for was a city, dungeon, or field.  Finally, there was no clear indication of where you needed to go next in the storyline.  Many hours did I spend wandering around the map looking for a city.

Tales has so many little details and events that you must see and do to get all of the achievements, I would say that a guide is necessary for 100% completion.  If you just want to enjoy the game, then don’t stress over it.  I am using GameFAQs for my general guide and then 360Achievements for my achivement guide.   Honestly, I did not use them this first play-through very much, but I am going to be using them like crazy the second and maybe third time through.

In summation, I thought that this was a very well made game with an immersive story.  My main gripe is the endless dialog that requires button pushing to further it along; if that was changed I would think this was the best game I have played all year.  If you have at least 50 hours that you want to dedicate to a good RPG, then pick the game up.  As I learned, renting this game does not work very well.

Fallout 3

game-fallout3-poster Fallout 3 is my pick for Game-of-the-Year.  Wait!  It already won that in 2008: I nominate it for Game-of-the-Decade!  Having never played the earlier Fallout games, I was able to come to this experience with an open mind.  Although, I was slightly predisposed to like it having played Oblivion and enjoying it.  Fallout 3 is a Western RPG set in post-nuclear America with lots of guns, ammo, and mutants to shoot.  Fallout 3 was released on October 28, 2008 by Bethesda Softworks and is available on PC, XBOX 360, and Playstation 3.

I have recently finished the main storyline but still have a few quests to complete.  The biggest thing that this game has that others don’t is DLC.  Fallout 3 is one of the few games that offers DLC long after the game was released; DLC that is actally a whole chapter added to the game, rather than a new armor set or weapon only.

Fallout 3 DLC offered

  • Operation: Anchorage – January 27, 2009
  • The Pitt – March 24, 2009
  • Broken Steel – May 5, 2009
  • Point Lookout – June 23, 2009
  • Mothership Zeta – late July 2009

Pros 

My number 1 pro for this game is VATS.  For a un-coordinated person like me, FPS games are not an option if I want to keep my self respect.  When you activate VATS in the game, it shows the enemy and gives you the % chance of hitting each body area.  You then select which ones you want to try for and the game does the rest; is usually adds a cool slow motion video of the action too!

The next pro that I have is the ability to wander around Capitol Wasteland looking for quests and shooting animals/bandits/mutants.  It is much like Oblivion in this sense (no surprise there) without the plant gathering for potion making.  I can spend hours finding new places to burglarize. . . errrr explore . . . and new people to help or not.

My final big pro is the different ways to end quests.  Most RPG games have the go here, do this, go back to quest-giver, get reward format for quests.  Fallout 3 allows you to decide to kill the quest-giver, keep the special item, talk the quest-giver into giving you more money, etc.  In the very beginning of the game, you can choose to blow-up an entire town or not.  If you do, this ends many quests that you might have gotten.  Many RPG games do not allow you to shoot yourself in the foot in this manner (but it does make such a pretty boom!).

Cons

My biggest con would be the dialog.  The general, non-quest giving people have very repetitive dialog that I believe could have been expanded on.  It just gets annoying after a while to listen to the same 3 phrases given in a thick Minnesota accent for hours on end.

There are some points where you can explore too much area and find part of the main quest without following the normal progression of it.  This is nice at times, but you end up missing some major exploration and the quest is not very good about updating your progress (as Jack found out).  This is where a strategy guide or the GameFaqs site comes in handy.

The third con I have is null and void as of the Broken Steel DLC.  I did not like that after you finished the main quest, the game was over and you could not finish any leftover quests.  Broken Steel allows the game to go on and it raises the level cap from 20 to 30!

As you can tell, I am a big fan of this game.  If you like RPGs I would reccomend purchasing it, but if you do not I would reccomend a rental.  It has a gripping storyline, a ton of character customization, and a butler robot that tells jokes; you can’t get more RPG that that!

Lost Odyssey Obsession

I am back from my month long hiatus! Some of that is due to finishing up the semester, but a large part of the absence is due to video games. Yes, I admit it, I played video games for weeks at a time. Since I played games so much, I figured I should write a mini-review of the ones that I played and enjoyed and why. As the title of this post indicates, Lost Odyssey is my favorite, followed by Rockband, Mass Effect, and Oblivion. (I was only playing my XBOX 360 during this break)

Lost Odyssey – This is a “traditional Eastern RPG”, whatever that means. My understanding is that means that the fighting is turn-based, with random battles popping up with no warning and a long and emotionally involved story line. I like this game because of the turn based fighting, but the random battles can be annoying (esp when you get 3 and you are about 5 seconds from leaving an area and you need to save cause you are about to die). The graphics are very nice, and the character costumes, while not something you would really wear in a fight, at least follow the rules of gravity (this natural force has been lacking in FF women’s clothing). There are these dream sequences that are supposed to be a big emotional development part of the story, but I just skip them because they are not well written and very boring. The bosses are not too hard, if you figure out their weaknesses, but if you are the run in and start fighting type . . . good luck! This game is 4 discs in length (which is pretty astounding) and I am just starting disc 4 with over 45 hours of game time logged. If you liked Final Fantasy 12, you will probably like this.

Rockband – This is probably the best game I have ever played! It ranks as second place only because you need friends to play with you to really enjoy this game. You can play as either the singer, guitarist, or drummer of a rockband in solo mode, but if you have 3 more people to play with you, your band can have a singer, guitarist, bassist, and drummer. Way more fun! What makes this game different from Guitar Hero and Karaoke revolution (other than having drums) is the massive amount of song downloads. Every week there are at least 3 new songs to download and every month a whole new album! With that kind of variety, anyone can find a song they like (if you are willing to spend the points). I am partial to the vocals and the drums in this game. I usually stick with the vocals though, cause I am not afraid to sing in front of people and the drums are REALLY hard! I am working on finishing the game on vocals on Hard and Jack and I are doing the band world tour as guitarist and singer respectively. This past weekend, I brought the game to my parent’s house and we played Rockband with my bro for about 26 hours over 2 days. It was awesome! If you liked Guitar Hero or Karaoke Revolution, you will like this game!

Mass Effect – This game is one that I only picked up for a few hours during my break. I like this game because it has a great storyline with multiple different paths that can be taken. The fighting is real-time and you only control a team of 3. The AI on this game has been great to work with (I hardly ever end up cursing at the other members of my team) and the target help is a life-saver. I have already finished this game on “casual” level and am working on “hard” difficulty. Unfortunately, I played this game under Jack’s gamer-tag, so now I am playing it from the beginning again on my tag. I want those achievements! If you liked Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, you will like this.

Oblivion – Technically, the full name of this game is Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. It is the fourth game in the Elder Scrolls series and by far the best of them all. It is a highly detailed RPG with real time fighting that you see before you encounter. It sounds like the standard hack and slash where you pick up your sword and magic and go and kill some rats/spiders/zombies, but it is far more than that. The character classes are much more detailed that a normal RPG and there are guild that can be joined. I have spent about 10x more time moving up in the guilds that I have on the main storyline. My favorite guild to be a part of is the Dark Brotherhood, a guild of assassins. They have the best equipment and the most interesting quests. I actually use the guide a lot in this game, simply because there are so many locations and so many people it gets really frustrating to try and find a specific one. The NPC characters have schedules that they follow, which differ by what day that it is and they interact with each other fairly well.  If you liked Morrowind, you will like this game.

I hope that you have enjoyed my quick summary of my summer vacation games.  My goal this summer is to get 10,000 GP by the end of August.  I started in the beginning of May with only 800 GP and I am now up to 1535 GP.  Lets see how close I can get to my goal with the sever limitation of no FPS, Racing, or Sports games (I can’t stand them).