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    • I'm hoping PlayStation Classic has the Classic Version of Resident Evil 2.

       

    • The Nintendo Switch is my favorite handheld even though I play it twice a month....

       

    •  

      So on a whim I dropped $60 on this game. Even though it was on PS4, I wanted to have something to play on my much neglected Switch. I casually followed this game up to its release and it looked fun gameplay-wise. I got a lot more than I expected and walked away from this game delighted. I've never played a Ys game before, and after some research I learned that you really don't need to play any of them to enjoy one besides the first two that are one story. Each game is a new story that focuses around the main protagonist Adol Christin. Most of these games are old school top down Link to the Past type games. This is the first to go 3D third person apparently.  The graphics are certainly dated. They don't look much better on the PS4. Although in bigger environments there was some heavy pixilation of the characters and everything else. This only happened in one area of the world though.

      The story was actually REALLY good. It was very light hearted through and through, but it was well written, and kudo's to the localization team for putting in a very good effort for the voice acting. I think there is some type of controversy over some of the text dialogue as there happened to have been some misspellings and grammar errors. Eh, I caught maybe one or two but it didn't really bother me. They're suppose to patch it next month either way. I adore the story and how well it was paced through the 50+ hours I played this adventure. The game lets you get a feel of how it plays at first, really not giving you much story besides your current situation. Its probably not until a good 10 hours in when you start getting deep into it, where it grasps your attention. But to set this premise up without spoilers, Adol is on a ship that gets attacked by a giant sea monster, he washes ashore a cursed island and has to find the other castaways that may have survived. While all this is happening he starts having strange dreams of a girl named Dana in the process, about her life and what not somewhere else.

      When you start this game, you quickly establish a base camp with the few survivors you meet pretty fast. From there you start exploring the island little by little. You gather resources, pick up different characters that can join your party or join the home base. Characters that join your party can be swapped in and out as you please, except during important boss fights. Even though Adol is the main character, you don't have to use him. Your party size if fixed at 3 but the story never gets disrupted becasue cut scenes include the entire group as if they are always there fighting with you. Characters can have one of 3 damage types (precision/slash/bash), and its best to have one of each at all times. Certain enemies are susceptible to certain damage types.... this will allow you to break there stun bar and make them incredibly weak to all damage types. While you control one character at a time, the other two will still attack via pretty good AI. Even though the controls consist of only a single basic attack button, the combat is surprisingly varied. Not only can you swap between the 3 characters fluidly in combat, each character has special attacks that use up an SP bar. SP is gained through kills and regular attacks landing. Holding down the assigned button and pressing one of the 4 face buttons allows you to use these attacks. Each attack has a certain SP cost, and as you use them they upgrade. You can learn new attacks just by fighting a lot... they seem to randomly pop up. The SP meter can be upgraded to become larger, and you can equip gear that will reduce the cost of your attacks on the SP meter. You also have an ultimate attack that does a lot of damage. Its mostly good for annoying enemy types and powerful mobs, but Its always good to use it on a boss. It stops time so you never have to worry about missing due to enemy movement. You also can dodge and block.. while a little clunky, you can proc a flash guard and flash move by using these right when you're about to take a hit. This will slow down time and allow you to lay in a ton of hits on whatever you're attacking.

      Survivors that don't join your party join the base camp and generally offer a crafting service or material exchange. Gear can be crafted and your weapons can be upgraded this way by having the right amount of materials. These mats drop from enemies and resource nodes. I never found myself having to grind out any of these mats as they pretty much came naturally as I played through areas. There is also eventually a doctor that can craft medicines and heal potions for you... but until then you can use fruits that you find around the map. Eventually these become useless to consume straight because your HP gets larger and larger as you level up. While you have meds to heal HP and cure conditions, you can also discover recipes and cook food with said fruits that heal and offer a bonus effect such as HP regen, faster SP regen, faster break bars, or immunity to all conditions... these are all timed, and you can't use another food until the time runs out. The healing effect counts for your whole active party, while potions and what not only work for one character. All the survivors together add up to remove obstacles that block certain areas of the map. These are purposely blocked off until you find the required amount of survivors because they generally have a higher level area behind them, or a chest with special gear that's purposely timegated. These adventuring gear pieces are character wide and give you abilities to climb vines, double jump, breath underwater, etc. At the start you can only equip on at a time, but as you progress you can gain more equip slots... I managed to get it up to 5 pieces at a time. A lot of these gear pieces allow you to visit parts of the map that weren't blocked off, but you couldn't reach anyway due to some environmental design that these gear pieces were designed to overcome.

      Along with your main story, there will often be side quests to accomplish that will reward you with valuable gear, mats, extra gear slots etc. These tasks are generally easy, and require back tracking to a previous location you've already been too. There are also mini events that randomly pop called "beast raids". Its a small plot device used to gain more mats. While these are optional for the most part, they are worth doing. Its basically just a horde mode. You can upgrade your base with weapons and blockades gradually to make these easier and to gain more points. Most of these hordes consists of the latest enemy types you've encountered and maybe include a recycled boss.

      So back to Adol's dreams about a girl named Dana.. at first its only story about her, but you eventually get to play as her in his visions, living at another location. Apparently this was added in the NA version of the game. I find it hard to believe this wasn't in the original because a lot of background and story is given here. Its not a lot of game play compared to the main map and the world is very limited in these sequences, but there is a whole dungeon to do. Dana is her own party member, and because of this, she's super OP. Eventually she gets two other fighting stances to make up for the lack of party members... so the swap characters button swaps her stances instead. Eventually Dana ends up in your main party in a much weaker form of course... why she is there is a mystery... when this happens you are given the option to swap between your visions of her and your real world to try and solve that mystery any time you want, while before that, the game would proc it at key moments. So you got some old Zelda mechanics going here with a sprinkle of Dark Cloud 2.

      What I liked:

      The story was well done, well paced, and satisfying if you obtain the full ending. The ending was almost an hour long with some breaks of gameplay sprinkled in. The best part about all of this is you can toggle auto scroll on and off with dialogue. While having it off can really break the flow of conversations when its voice acting and not text dialogue, if you're trying to drink some coffee or have a text, it really saves you from missing out on anything.

      Crafting was never a chore. Nodes are marked clearly on your map, and respawn pretty fast, but I never found myself having to back track, farm or the need to look up where to obtain a certain mat. Its a super casual system.

      The DLC mentioned in the trailer was free... at least for the switch version... and the DLC was just alternate outfits and accessories like sunglasses.

      Combat was fluid for the most part... this game feels very dated at times, so some of the attacks that require some precision can get wonk and frustrating to land at times. but juggling special attacks and regular attacks to maintain enough SP to do maximum DPS was satisfying.

      Custom button mapping! Thank god, because the default layout was a catastrophe. This also let me set up a dedicated button to use a condition remove med with a button press. This made combat better since I didn't have to pause the game with the inventory screen to pop the medicine manually.

      The music is charming and nostalgic. Each zone type has its own style of music reminiscent of the PS2 days full of synth and repeating electric guitar rifts.

      While this game has a heavy mix of voice dialogue and Zelda style text dialogue, the voice acting is quite good. Adol is a silent protagonist, which only says a few words here and there, but all of the other characters really come to life with their voice actors, and even the gestures they make. For such dated graphics, the emotions still come through really well.

      The side quest system wasn't too tedious, the rewards were worth the effort, and you got some back story on whomever requested the task.

      What I didn't like:

      The side quest system.... wait what? Yeah the actual quests weren't the problem... its the system. They're posted on a bulletin board and then you have to go talk to the NPC at base about it. The thing is, that if you wait too long and do too much main story, these will go away eventually... that duration isn't really clear. I had one that popped and immediately disappeared because i didn't feel like doing it until after a big boss fight. The glaring issue with this, which i found out after i beat the game, is that missing too many of these will deny you the true ending, and will give you a really shit ending. Thankfully I only missed two of these quests, and one I'm pretty sure it was a bug that just wouldn't let me proc it. WTF? There was no indication that not doing these would deny you an ending. When you finish quests not only do you get rewards, but sometimes stat increases... while I think the rewards may be worth it, someone else may not and miss out in the end. They should have done a better job communicating how big of an impact this has.

      While the combat is fine, the tab targeting is god awful. I never used it besides to see what the possible drops for an enemy was before I decided to risk attacking something that was 10 levels higher than me. XD Half the time initiating the targeting would not target the closest thing too you, and swapping is the same button as moving the camera, wtf? The sticks are the only buttons that can't be mapped, so I don't think there was a way to change this.

      The camera can get just as wonky as the targeting system some times... its about as dated as the graphics for this game. Sometimes the enemy will go offscreen and disappear altogether until you turn the camera around... this goes for large ass bosses that devastate your HP bar with certain attacks. When you can't see the wind up, its not good.

      Unnecessary invisible walls. This contributed to the camera problems at times, but when I can't jump a rail or a growing mound on a makeshift farm.. I mean c'mon... I get the old graphics, but not this.

      While I complimented the voice acting... I had to add this nitpick in... there are a lot of recycled lines for some sequences of sleeping after setting up camp, and viewing vistas. This game has some GW2 style vistas, where when you see them, generally one of the party members will spout off one of their lines like "Its quite a view" or "Its so beautiful". For the most part they are... but one time I was in a cave and saw an old raggity pirate sail, and one of the female party members said "Its so beautiful". XD C'mon now.

      Final Verdict

      This game is well worth $60... but like I said in my original status, I bet this will be free eventually on PS+ Monthly games. Its one of those games that proves that  old graphics and really old techniques when it comes to music and what not, don't really matter as long as the actual game is fun and the story is great. I'll definitely buy a Ys IX if that ever becomes a thing. I'm honestly sad that it is over. I'm about to pass out now staying up this late to write a review. Hopefully it makes sense overall because I'm too tired to fix any mistakes or to catch them to begin with. XD

      Sledgstone likes this
    • I'd install some bat houses. We have bats all over the place here but never had any in the attic. There's way too many trees around here for them to nest in. Mostly because woodpeckers tear up the trees and make great spots for them. Bat houses could be a good alternative. And bats are great. They eat alot of mosquitoes. A pro pest remover could remove them and seal whatever holes they are getting in from too.

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  • Recent Status Updates

    • DeathscytheX

      Although its also on the PS4, I purchased Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana for the Switch recently because it's just been collecting dust. It was probably the better option anyways because the graphics look like something out of the N64/PS2 era with modern draw rates. Not a knock against it, as its quite charming... but the game looks like it belongs on the Switch rather than PS4. Everything about this game is so 1998. I've never played any of the Ys games before, but this one caught my eye for the old school hack and slash. It's very Dark Cloud-ish minus the world building. Sprinkle some old Zelda in there as well. The combat is relatively simple with 1 button main attack, and 4 special attacks that consist of holding R1 and pressing A B Y X. These use a SP meter that replenishes on kills. There are also dodge and block counters that give you a special speed combo ability. You have a party of 3, and characters that join where you can swap them out and swap between the three in combat. Each character has a assigned damage type (Slash, Precise, Bash). Having all 3 types helps weaken the right enemies susceptible to these plus you get a rare drop bonus... rather than the 1.1x bonus for having two of the same. Anyways, the story is campy but interesting, the dialogue is 90's cringeworthy, and its a lazy sprinkle of actual voice acting and text reading. The world is  large but a bunch of sectioned off instances that quickly load without a loading screen as you cross them. There are fast travel points but not in every sector, so it requires some old school memorizing where to go at times. As you get special gear, you'll find places that were inaccessible previously open up. I'm 20 hours in and I don't feel like I'm even half way through. So at $60, I feel like I'm getting my money's worth for a decent nostalgia kick. I bet this will be a free PS Plus game next year so when it comes up I highly recommend it without even finish it. I'll report back when I beat it with a proper review.
      · 0 replies
    • Sledgstone

      Its been quite the stressful couple weeks. Lady had her surgery and is having a very slow recovery process. My bank required specific repairs to the garage to approve the mortgage and instead of paying a massive price to a contractor me and my friend spent 2 days this last weekend busting our asses in 90 degree days with 90% humidity and full sun working on the garage. Thats all done and accepted now.. Yay. Getting into the final stretch here with the house. Hopefully I'll be moving by the end of the month. I might actually have free time this weekend... finally. *knocks on wood*
      · 2 replies
    • DeathscytheX

      The first two eps of AoT season 3 are better than season 2 in its entirety.
      · 2 replies
    • Strider Hiryu

      Originally I wasn't going to say anything until I actually finished watching the series (which should be Monday or Tuesday night) but you were right DX, The Ancient Magus' bride is spectacular and I say this after only watching 15 episodes.
      I have to say it's up there with Violet Evergarden for both visuals and story (and it's been awhile since I've seen a show that has completely drawn me in to the point that I sacrifice sleep just to watch another episode). I honestly didn't think the premise would suck me in this much but I'm glad it did (and both episodes with Nevin were extremely well done (I shed some manly tears they were so emotionally impacting)).
      I honestly have to say this is probably going down as one of my favorites shows from the last few years (which isn't really hard considering my problems with the last few seasons), only taking second to the masterpiece that was Violet Evergarden. I can't recommend this show enough for those who want a story driven show focused on character development and world building (I'm just sad I only have 8 episodes and 3 OVA's left, really hope this gets another season once the manga gets further along).
       
      · 2 replies
    • DeathscytheX

      This simuldub season is pretty meh compared to last. If it wasn't for the fact that MHA and out of all things; Black Clover was still running. I'd be hard pressed to keep up. Ep 1 of Overlord season 3 felt like a waste of time, but the second one made things pretty interesting. Angels of Death seems kind of bland so far. How not to Summon a Demon Lord is a typical fanservice trapped in a video game world show. Same goes for The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar. Lord of Vermilion feels like a better Tokyo Majin.. which isn't saying much. Hopefully it will be something better. Harukana Receive is bouncy bikini beach volley ball, but Haruka is a total best girl, so I'll shamelessly enjoy it. On the opposite end, I'll skip Free! because I'm not watching a bunch of dudes swim, and I'm already watching HR and Hanebado... an anime about freakin Badminton. With Dies Irae and AoT not staring until later in the month that leaves three unlikely contenders for a surprise best in season for me, that isn't Overlord or AoT which I already expect to be solid at worst.
      Magical Girl Raising Project is apparently a dark ass violent series with cute moe magic girls. A total clash of genres. The first two eps only have brief hints at it so far, its mostly just cutesy. But if it turns out like I think it has the potential too. It should be pretty interesting.
      Chio's School Road is a "school" anime thats about Chio's walk to school every day, instead of the actual school day. The absolute absurd happens apparently every time. The first three eps have been pretty hysterical so far. Its different, so I like it.
      Island is a pretty big mystery to me as to what its suppose to be about. It has my interest to see how it unfolds. It can honestly go either way. I guess I'll be reviewing these at the end of the season and we'll see how my opinions have changed since this status update.
      · 3 replies
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