Well Dtoid I'm getting close, while I'm still not quite caught up on writing, I'm almost caught up on my video game challenge. I'm still at 55/60, but I assume that will change this coming thanksgiving weekend. So while I'm thankful that my challenge will soon be over for me, for now enjoy the games that reached me to 3/4 the way there.
Game 43: Onimusha: Warlords Ė Date Beat August 26
So this game was made for the PS2 right? Because it sure doesnít feel like it was. Starting out the biggest problem with this game is the controls. Why is there no analog support? Why does my character move like a tank? Why canít the camera angles make up their mind at where they want to be? And why must I endure such bad voice acting? There were just so many questions starting out with Onimusha that I didnít know what to do with, and once I finished the game, I still didnít get any answers. If anything it makes me wonder why this really exists. The game is very short, with me clocking a bit above 4 hours on my first playthrough, and for what is supposed to be a survival horror game, it did not scary me at all. Not scaring me is pretty hard, considering I donít like a lot of things and I scare easily enough, but this game was just full of a few ďjump inĒ enemies that try to scary you, but really they just get annoying. The enemies donít really try to attack you either, but with the camera angles working against you it kinda balances out the difficulty of the enemies.
Aside from all the bad, the actual concept is very interesting; zombies/ demons in the feudal era could make for a really good game. Course, we just got Onimusha, which is just not a good game. Is it a bad one? Iím not sure; it certainly doesnít last long enough to give a big impression on me. I mean, I liked the orb absorbing, leveling up items, playing as two different characters from time to time, and some of the puzzle solving. But really I donít think Iíd play this game again. There are just so many other better games to play, so itís like, why play one thatís rather average, when you can play a good one again? This is what I constantly asked myself when playing Onimusha, and why I probably wonít go back to it.
Conclusion: Onimusha, while it has a good concept, just falls apart at the seams. Camera, and control issues hinder it from being an enjoyable experience, and the story doesnít exactly make you want to stay either. Perhaps, Onimushaís only real defining feature is that itís short.
Game 44: Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance Ė August 29
I started this game a while ago, and the very reason I stopped playing it was because I couldnít beat the black knight. And for those that donít know, itís a fight during the game that you have the option to win or draw at and then progress through the game. You also have to have the ability Aether to have a clear chance for victory. I didnít have Aether though, and while I wanted to beat the black knight, I decided it be best to just suck up my pride and move forward. So I did and wouldnít you know it I was close to the end of the whole game. So I proceed forth and beat it in record time.
Path of Radiance was perhaps the first fire emblem game to have me actually care what happened in the storyline. Iíll admit that I never really cared about the story so far in fire emblem games because they were often bland to me, and the characters themselves were just far more interesting. Thatís not to say that Path of Radiance didnít have good characters though, in fact this is the biggest cast of characters that I have liked in a Fire Emblem game as well. There were just so many people that I wanted to use that in the end, I couldnít fit them all in the final battle, nor have them all properly trained. But Path of Radiance literally made me stall at beating it because I wanted to beat the black knight; I wanted to give Ike his rightful victory. PoR made me feel that I was actually fighting for something, something no other FE game has really made me consider. Everything just feels bigger in Path of Radiance, the battles, the characters, cutscenes, and story itself. I suppose this was true because it was the first console game in a while and most certainly the first one in the states. But PoR made me care.
Path of Radiance didnít get everything right though, and it certainly isnít my favorite fire emblem. For one, the 3d models are just boring and feel so lifeless compared to the sprites they used to use. I really did like to watch every battle take place on the GBA fire emblem games, but Path of Radiance quickly had me turning off the battle animation in favor of the quicker battle animations on the map. As well, PoR wasnít a pick up and play type of game that Iím used to in the fire emblem series. I have always been fond of the fact that fire emblem was very portable and even turning off the game still kept you in your place without saving. But PoR doesnít exactly have that option and while itís understandable why it doesnít, it doesnít change the fact I still want that type of playstyle.
Course, I donít hate everything that PoR offers, and the fact it gives so many tools makes me love it. For instance, I loved all the little extra abilities the characters had, and it often gave more strategy to the game than anything else. I also liked the new way the support system was laid out, with supports going by battles and not by turns, so I no longer had to waste a lot of turns to get the supports I wanted. The base was also an amazing addition giving the option for extra battle experience points, conversions, and shops all in one place. The base just makes planning in do much easier than it has in the past FE games. And for gameplay thatís where PoR shines, introducing all these little mechanics that make life easier.
Conclusion: Path of Radiance feels like a much grander Fire Emblem than I am used to playing, and it added a lot of new welcomed additions to the original Fire Emblem formula that I would love to see continue and improve on. While the battle animations are lifeless and the game is no longer ďpick up and playĒ; Path of Radiance still makes for a grand time and I would recommend any fan of strategy games to play it.
Game 45: Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen -date beat September 11
Iím always surprised about how much I love Dragon Quest games. I mean I have never liked RPG games when I was little, and growing up I have learned to tolerate them to the point where I can play them. However, Dragon Quest always seems to draw my attention like no other RPG can, it makes me like to grind, it makes me want to get equipment, advance the story, and any other thing that it will ask me to do. Iím sure fans of RPGs probably understand this fetish, but to me itís still new and awkward. I never really thought Iíd like a RPG series like this, and especially not something as JRPG as DQ. And after I beat Dragon Quest VIII I knew I had to continue my dragon quest high so I decided to begin the Zenthian saga, or Dragon Quest 4, 5, and 6 for those that donít know.
Starting out Dragon Quest IV I already knew I liked it more than VIII. I just have a thing for ported RPGs, but IV was also able to draw my attention by the chapter system it used to tell its tale. I love the chapter system, and itís one of the main reasons why I love Paper Mario so much. I feel that it provides a show of progress while still having a combined story with other smaller stories in it. Itís a bit artificial, I know, but it makes the game feel fast, and for RPGs thatís a need for me. The fact that these chapters are also like origin stories makes me feel all the more connected to the characters as well. Iím not really sure which chapter I like the most, but Tornekoís chapter was perhaps the most interesting. And thatís another thing I like about this game, the characters. Most RPGs fall on a lot of archetypes, but Dragon Quest IV just feels like itís different. I know some of the cast are typical archetype RPG characters, but the introduction of Torneko was really the one that kept me off guard. The majority of his chapter is just getting money, but the way it presents itself just makes it feel fresh, and I understand why he got a few spin-offs.
I really donít have a lot of bad things to say about DQ4 though. Sure, sometimes I would be at a loss of what to do, mainly the magic key bit, but there were enough clues that could have lead me to it eventually. Perhaps, why I never really felt lost in this game is because I never felt hindered to just explore the world, and thatís another thing I like about this game. While you are restricted through all the side stories, the main game is pretty much exploring the world and getting team members back and looking for legendary armor. It really brought back memories of Final Fantasy VI and was probably the inspiration FFVI had. The only few problems I have with this game is the soundtrack, and the fact that dark moments arenít emphasized enough. I know I donít like my RPGs to be fully serious all the time, but there are several points in the game where things get really dark, but the music just doesnít drive the point nor does some of the dialogue. It took me a while to soak in some of the events that were happening in DQ4 and its like ďdamn that was actually really dark and sadĒ, but the music and dialogue just donít drive it home. Itís a minor problem though, and easily over looked considering all the fun that is had throughout the game though. Also long final boss is long.
Conclusion: Dragon Quest IV knows how to push all the right buttons with me, and for that I found it to be one of my most enjoyed RPG ventures. While the story isnít always present, the exploration, and characters are, and for that DQ4 certainly deserves all the attention it gets.
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