Prologue: Wall of text incoming.
I am just here to write about how great the game is and how remarkably addicting it can be. I believe that is as hardcore as an RPG can get. There are dozens of different stats and possible attributes across all characters which determine your fighting statistics and skill probabilities. The trick is, there are enough odd-man-out numbers in there to boggle the mind. For example, every character has the base Strength/Defense/Magic set of stats; just like any other RPG. But then, they all have a 4th attribute which can be randomly generated. Some have Charisma, Leadership, Friendliness (could be making this one up as hyperbole)Ö etc. And you donít get any explanation for any of them!
The point is how do you compare characters when they have all these stats which donít overlap??!! ďWell, this one is obviously better as he has Responsiveness:20 while this one only has Instinct: 18Ē.!!!!!!!
The craziest thing is, these all determine the types of attacks available to you at each turn. If your union (you fight in groups of 1-5 called unions, and can have up to 5 unions) has so and so attribute at X distance from Y enemy union who has Z number enemies in it, with their own set of atrributes, you get these attack choices.
It is the most mathematically beautifully complex game I have ever played. And I love it!!
Not only that, it is the most daunting gaming challenge I have ever faced. As in most RPGs I play, I am all about finding the rare and exotic optional bosses and killing them. I feel that is the point of all the grinding that I do. But some of them that Iíve read up on are so ridiculously overpowered that I pale when I think of them. I estimate that Iíve been playing for around 80-100 hours (the game doesnít keep track) and currently my entire army (all unions I have) averages about 40,000-50,000 in damage per turn. Iíve read on forums about guys who do 200,000-300,000 for individual characters (not unions, characters!!) and still get destroyed. Now, if that doesnít make your dick shrivel when you see whatís in store for you, I donít know what will.
But despite that, every night after work, the first thing I do when I get home, is boot up my 360 and get back to it. Go fight that one special monster that might drop that special weapon or item; go do that one side-quest which will unlock a stronger character to hire; go kill a few monsters to increase my ďAttractivenessĒ by 2 points.
Iíve read in a lot of places that the game has serious frame-rate issues and whatnot, but Iíve had it installed since the very beginning and I have yet to run into any problems with it. So if you donít have it, or are curious about it, I highly highly recommend it. Best Buy and Amazon occasionally do deals where it drops to $30 or something like that, and I saw thatís more than a bargain for the amount of enjoyment that this game provides.
P.S.: BSG on Friday!!!!!!