So all the cool people are at PAX this weekend and I am very jealous! I really want to go to PAX again one year just to see everyone again, plus the convention was a lot of fun to explore. Getting to play unreleased games, talking to the devs, looking at all the cosplay, and sharing all of these memories with friends... it's such a magical experience!
While not at PAX, I spent my free time finishing up some Shin Megami Tensei games. I finally beat the first Digital Devil Saga, which I've been playing for the last few weeks. It was a good game, but probably my least favorite SMT game I've played so far (but basically, they've all been really good!). I felt like it had way more cheap deaths than previous games I've played, so a lot of my victories were based purely on luck. I could have spent more time grinding, and having everyone learn the moves that were useful for each particular boss battle, but grinding always manages to suck all of the fun out of a game for me. I refuse to do it if I can avoid it. For that reason, I never managed to beat a lot of the side quest bosses (like fly Beelzebub), but that's OK. At least I was able to beat the final boss with what I had. I still liked the characters a lot, and the game ended on a cliff hanger, so I'll probably pick up the sequel at some point.
I also finished Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army, which I actually started in December or January, but stopped playing it for some reason or other. Not sure why I stopped, as I actually really enjoyed it! It might be my favorite SMT series after Persona. Since they went with an action-based combat system over a turn-based one, the battles felt a LOT less cheap than some of the battles from other SMT games. If I get hit by an attack in Raidou Kuzunoha, it's because I failed to block or dodge, not because the game decided I got hit. Both combat systems are fine, but I found the action-based combat a lot less frustrating.
I also felt a lot more of a connection with the demons in Raidou Kuzunoha than I did in other SMT games, since they walk around with you, battle alongside you, talk to you, help you perform certain actions, etc. Some demons I couldn't bring myself to fuse away or release, such as Mokoi and Thoth, because I grew to really like their personalities, even though they were weaker than the other demons in my party. And actually, I'm really glad I kept Thoth around, because he ended up being incredibly useful for the final boss fight! I realized during the fight that Thoth drains all magic elements, making him weak to physical attacks, but the last form of the final boss only uses magic attacks, so Thoth was essentially invincible!
I'll probably pick up Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon next, since I enjoyed the first game so much. I plan on owning and beating all of the Shin Megami Tensei games released on the PS2, since they're apparently all fantastic. The only ones I have left to play are Devil Summoner 2 and Digital Devil Saga 2, so I've almost got them all!
Also, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is out in September and Persona Q is out in November, so I have some more SMT games to look forward to as well! I can't wait :D
* - Gray Time takes a moment to figure out what's going on with the term "Social Justice Warrior" these days. It feels like people are using the term "SJW" a bit too liberally lately.
S - Retrofraction begins a new series on video game/movie tie-ins, starting with After Burner, which was inspired by Top Gun.
S - TheDustinThomas counts down his top 5 handheld games of the last generation! The Nintendo DS was king.
S - Occam shares some of his favorite podcasts with us! Now you'll have plenty of lovely voices to hear through your headphones.
A - R. Hoffmann talks about some games he wishes had been released in English. There are several Japan-only games I wish I could play, too.
A - Dookysharpgun is worried about the new 3DS and what it might mean for current 3DS owners.
F - Friday Night Fights on Xbox + PAX time!
F - Friday Night Fights on Playstation + Corn's getting a PS4!
R - SeymourDuncan reviews InFamous: First Light, the DLC for Second Son.
T - Dreamweaver really, really likes Akiba's Trip!
T - Matt M discusses the weapons in Sniper Elite.
$ - August 29th UK releases and bargains!
V - A video about Fatal Frame.
C - Terry 309 is confused by the Adventure genre and what it says about a game.
No fails today! Huzzah!