So i keep talking about my RPG "quest," for 2013, but have not elaborated on it yet. This has taken a bit of thought because its easy to complicate and could consume tons of hours of one's life. I would like to have a social life, too. Rather than compose a rigid timeline of RPGs to do over the year, I've decided just to start each month with particular games in mind and let the chips fall where they may.
The main goal here is to have original completions of RPGs as well as replays of old favorites with more specific goals in mind. Its also important to have variety. I am not someone that slavishly adheres to particular imagery in games or swears allegiance to a particular region's RPG - sometimes I have days I would rather cuddle a Pokemon than slay dragons or slit the throats of villagers.
that Pokemon. I thought I had sworn if off and could stay strictly with SMT for monster-collecting kinds of games. Then Pokemon X/Y shows up and has to charm the pants off everyone with its 3D world and adorable starters. I don't think I will ever catch them all, but I am OK with that now.
But I suppose I should get back to the topic at hand and talk about which RPGs are on tap this month!
Games of January
Original playthroughs: Dragon Age: Origins, Etrian Odyssey
Replays: Mass Effect, SMT: Nocturne
I've never fully played through Dragon Age: Origins, I guess you could say with some RPGs it takes a few tries for me to warm up to them. I find there's a lot to like in DA:O, but its cumbersome combat and menus turned me off at times. I'd quit not long after starting a campaign because I just wasn't in the mood for the tedious design of the game. This month I seem to be in the mood for it.
This is just a basic run through DA:O, which I plan to follow up with Dragon Age II when all is said and done. I have not really decided where I'll fall morally, but I like pissing Alistair off and making Morrigan happy.
I can't always please her, though. Even though Morrigan demanded it, I couldn't bring myself to kill Flemeth because I know she's Captain Katherine Janeway. Plus she would just turn into a dragon and eat me if I tried. You just don't screw with a witch voiced by Kate Mulgrew
Etrian Odyssey is another game that can be found to be tedious, but its a big goal of mine to complete each game in the series this year. This is a franchise that requires, if not demands, dedication because it expects you to be quite the cartographer - none of that auto-mapping business is allowed. That and you must endure the kinds of vector dungeon sadism western RPGs demanded in the 80s and early 90s with an anime candy coating and paper-thin story.
In Etrian Odyssey, its your story to write.
This might be a game that bleeds into February just due to the nature of the game being time-consuming, so as I have mentioned before I'll be listening to Podtoid for inspirational thematic material to keep me motivated. I'll write Podtoid's spirit into the maps and do subsequent blog fanfiction. Jim Sterling is the Protector, Jonathan Holmes aka "Freaky Constantina" is a Landsknecht, Conrad Zimmerman is the Medic, I'm the Survivalist and Willem Dafoe is our Troubadour.
Mass Effect is kind of a fallback game for it being shooty. I had recently played through as a particularly pale, Irish lass who was intended to be an emo Renegade Shepard. The problem was she couldn't help but end up doing good things and go Paragon. I would let her have these happy thoughts about krogan babies and the Quarians and geth working together.
So now I've started a new Shepard - a tomboyish, Latina Paragon Shepard with a pleasant smile and I intend to turn her totally awful. This campaign is she's going to be the goodie-two shoes that goes bad on important decisions and just gets more horrible as time goes on. On ME1, there are no other particular goals but that. Enough with the heroics, I say.
As for Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, I'm picking up where I left off a few months ago. I had flagged every event for endgame and done much of what else I had wanted to do, I just need to work out my endgame line-up, obtain the Pierce skill and flag the True Demon ending, which includes megaboss fight with Lucifer.
On my original run with the game I had chosen the neutral ending, which for any SMT game is really the "good" ending since most alignments in the series are still evil somehow. SMT games usually have three paths, but Nocturne's special edition (our American/EU normal version) expanded to six endings. True Demon is for the baddest of the bad...
Art by Marureenu of deviantArt.
Oh, yeah, that Demi-Fiend is downright rotten as well, but he's along for the ride. I do have to thank him for granting me phenomenal cosmic power, though.
That is where I'm at for now. I am fairly confident I will complete DA:O and SMT Nocturne this month. A couple attainable goals and a couple for the long-term. I'm sure I'll have more to talk about these games as time goes on and I'm open to suggestions excluding PS3 ones as I don't have one and don't really feel inclined to get one.
I may pick up a Vita later in the year for Persona stuffs, PSX games and other RPGs, but for now I'm just sticking to 360, PS2, 3DS and whatever my laptop can handle. It says yes to some games but often "hello n" to the current generation.
Anyway, that's my plan for January.