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Author Topic: (PSP) Crimson Gem Saga  (Read 4377 times)
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Dante Rising
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« on: May 15, 2009, 09:04:25 AM »

Crimson Gem Saga for the PSP releases on the 26th of this month. For those of you who don't know, this is a turn-based RPG based very loosely on Ashtonishia Story. It has a completely different development team, and a much larger budget.  Previews have been promising, and the dialogue looks to be fantastic. A few quotes I found to be funny:


"I can't believe I graduated after spending all those nights at the Pizza Port throwing back beers."

"Where's Bianca? She better not be pretending that she owns my shop again..."

"Yup! Time to throw myself headlong into the soul-crushing hamster wheel of life. YES!"

"Wow, she IS attractive. And this time I'm completely sober!



http://www.atlus.com/cgs/home.html

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/astonishia/astonishia2/astonishia2imp.html

And I must say that I like the artwork:







I found the Korean demo to be entertaining. It is definitely a polished game. (Simply unzip it to your PSP "GAME" folder):
http://www.pspdemo.org/site/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=52&func=fileinfo&id=93
« Last Edit: May 15, 2009, 09:14:01 AM by Dante Rising » Logged
EddieA
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2009, 09:32:31 AM »

I'm really looking forward to the game.  I love the graphics, the battle system looks solid, and it's always nice to have humor in RPGs.  I'm a little worried after seeing a Dan Quayle/potatoe joke in one of the screenshots, but hopefully the rest of the jokes aren't quite so outdated slywink  I tried preordering the game at Gamestop yesterday, but was told that it wasn't available for preorder.  At the GameFAQs forum, it looks like other people are having the same problem.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2009, 04:01:19 PM »

Quote from: EddieA on May 15, 2009, 09:32:31 AM

I'm really looking forward to the game.  I love the graphics, the battle system looks solid, and it's always nice to have humor in RPGs.  I'm a little worried after seeing a Dan Quayle/potatoe joke in one of the screenshots, but hopefully the rest of the jokes aren't quite so outdated slywink  I tried preordering the game at Gamestop yesterday, but was told that it wasn't available for preorder.  At the GameFAQs forum, it looks like other people are having the same problem.

Did you try the Korean demo? I was surprised at how good the combat animation looks. The overall package seems well done. Couple that with a solid translation, and Atlus may have a great little game on their hands. I'm just hoping the story is interesting. A few other pluses in my book:

1) $29.99 release price
2) Save anywhere
3) Combat is reported as being challenging.
4) No random battles
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2009, 04:02:28 PM »

Looks good, but I haven't even finished War of the Lions yet.
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EddieA
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2009, 03:12:33 AM »

RPGFan has a preview of the English version of the game.  The preview makes it sound really good -

Quote
It stars a young man named Killian who nearly misses his graduation from the prestigious Green Hill military academy due to a hangover. But do not be fooled into thinking Killian's a drunk slacker. He is actually an overachieving student who is visibly upset at not being valedictorian of his class (he was the salutatorian.) Killian's desire to be the best along with his insecurity at always being in second place is what often motivates him to action. Characters such as Spinel, the clever and sexy treasure hunter girl, are not above using Killian's insecurity to manipulate him into action.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2009, 05:03:55 AM »

Wow, this DOES sound pretty good.  Thanks for bringing it to my attention since it had kind of merged with the umpteen million titles Atlus has been bringing out recently. 
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2009, 05:51:07 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 18, 2009, 05:03:55 AM

Wow, this DOES sound pretty good.  Thanks for bringing it to my attention since it had kind of merged with the umpteen million titles Atlus has been bringing out recently. 

Yeah, Atlus seems to be slightly too aggressive on the number of titles they are releasing. And some of the more recent ones have been of dubious standards.

A few people on other forums have played the full Korean version. From what I've gathered from them:

1) The game is roughly 30-35 hours in length.
2) Combat can be VERY challenging, especially if the enemy ambushes you. (On the dungeon floor, if an enemy "bumps" into you combat is initiated and you take serious damage at the start of the battle. This damage is increased even more if you are attacked from behind.)
3) The main character is apparently very charismatic and entertaining, although it remains to be seen if the Atlus translation will pull these traits into the US version successfully.
4) Fast load times and fluid combat


Apparently for the US version a significant amount of voice acting was added, and the script was translated with great attention to detail. According to an interview with Atlus:

"Additionally, we really tried to make the world come alive through the editing process. One thing that is apparent going through the Asian version of the game is that while there is an ominous impending threat, the NPC dialogue tries to make fun of itself and RPG conventions in general. The humor didn’t really shine through all that well, so we made sure that it did. If you like the tone of what you’re seeing in the screenshots we’ve released so far, I imagine that you’re going to find this to be one of the funniest games on the PSP. (Interact with as many objects and NPC as you can!)

Another funny quote I saw from the game: "This won't be a TRUE adventure unless we get to fight giant rats...or giant spiders...and preferably both...but not simultaneously, of course...."
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2009, 05:57:58 AM »

I still need to play my copies of Jeanne D'arc and Brave Story yet.
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EddieA
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2009, 11:44:39 AM »

First review I've seen - Gamertell really liked it.
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2009, 01:06:36 PM »

was wondering about this, then made the mistake of watching this actual gameplay footage on youtube, & that was it for me - disk access both before & after each encounter?!...

i'll be holding off, unless this's been fixed somewhat...

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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2009, 01:13:06 PM »

Quote from: semiconscious on May 26, 2009, 01:06:36 PM

was wondering about this, then made the mistake of watching this actual gameplay footage on youtube, & that was it for me - disk access both before & after each encounter?!...

i'll be holding off, unless this's been fixed somewhat...



Which is why everyone with a PSP should just run custom firmware- running from the memstick fixes these issues.  Riviera on PSP was nigh unplayable due to disc access until I put it on the memstick. 
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2009, 02:03:50 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 26, 2009, 01:13:06 PM

Which is why everyone with a PSP should just run custom firmware- running from the memstick fixes these issues.  Riviera on PSP was nigh unplayable due to disc access until I put it on the memstick. 

Sad that I have to keep agreeing with statements like this - it's just not worth playing PSP games on the standard hardware and firmware. Running games off the Memory Stick is the way to go, period.
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2009, 02:45:40 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 26, 2009, 01:13:06 PM

Quote from: semiconscious on May 26, 2009, 01:06:36 PM

was wondering about this, then made the mistake of watching this actual gameplay footage on youtube, & that was it for me - disk access both before & after each encounter?!...

i'll be holding off, unless this's been fixed somewhat...



Which is why everyone with a PSP should just run custom firmware- running from the memstick fixes these issues.  Riviera on PSP was nigh unplayable due to disc access until I put it on the memstick. 

yeah, i'm thinking i'll get one of the next-gen psps (this fall?), & then mod the one i have - area-loading i'm good with, but this other stuff is just over-kill...
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2009, 03:17:55 PM »

From what Ive read you might want to get the 2000 model instead of the 3000. The screen is supposed to have a big color banding problem on the latest one.

I wonder if the Star Ocean games are good?
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2009, 03:27:10 PM »

Quote from: Daehawk on May 26, 2009, 03:17:55 PM

From what Ive read you might want to get the 2000 model instead of the 3000. The screen is supposed to have a big color banding problem on the latest one.

I think semi is saying that once he buys a new PSP (assuming one is announced at E3) then he will mod his existing PSP, presumably a 2000 model or lower.  Plus, I don't think the 3000 models have been hacked but I may be wrong about that.
Quote
I wonder if the Star Ocean games are good?

Dante Rising has some impressions on them around here.  He quite liked them if memory servies.  I got the first game for Christmas but haven't played it yet. 
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2009, 04:18:38 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 26, 2009, 03:27:10 PM

Quote from: Daehawk on May 26, 2009, 03:17:55 PM

From what Ive read you might want to get the 2000 model instead of the 3000. The screen is supposed to have a big color banding problem on the latest one.

I think semi is saying that once he buys a new PSP (assuming one is announced at E3) then he will mod his existing PSP, presumably a 2000 model or lower.  Plus, I don't think the 3000 models have been hacked but I may be wrong about that.

correct...

Quote from: Daehawk on May 26, 2009, 03:17:55 PM

I wonder if the Star Ocean games are good?

granted, i didn't give it a whole lot of time (several hours), but i really didn't like the first one. no technical problems - it just felt horribly cliched/lame (& i have a pretty high cliched/lame threshhold smile )...
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2009, 04:18:48 PM »

Quote from: semiconscious on May 26, 2009, 01:06:36 PM

was wondering about this, then made the mistake of watching this actual gameplay footage on youtube, & that was it for me - disk access both before & after each encounter?!...

i'll be holding off, unless this's been fixed somewhat...



Disk access didn't seen that bad to me. Roughly 4-10 seconds starting the encounter and 3-4 seconds afterward. If you want to see some really bad load times, try Mana Khemia. In that game 20-30 second access times were not uncommon.

Really wish I had the guts to mod by PSPs, however. I have two of the original release versions.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2009, 04:24:54 PM »

Quote from: Daehawk on May 26, 2009, 03:17:55 PM

From what Ive read you might want to get the 2000 model instead of the 3000. The screen is supposed to have a big color banding problem on the latest one.

I wonder if the Star Ocean games are good?

The Star Ocean games are very good, as long as you're a nostalgic player. They lack some of the RPG trappings that we've become accustomed to seeing. But the backgrounds are gorgeous, combat upgrades are numerous, and the later part of the story is really fun if you grab the right party members. The optional character banter really makes the game from a storyline standpoint. If you are not one for optional dialog then the game will seem somewhat hollow. Overall its a fairly standard RPG, but it is very well redone on the PSP. I enjoyed it.
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2009, 04:27:15 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on May 26, 2009, 04:18:48 PM

Really wish I had the guts to mod by PSPs, however. I have two of the original release versions.

You have two?  Definitely mod one of them.  I have two myself (2000 and an original) with the 2000 running CFW and the original running official firmware.  However I haven't booted the original in probably six months or more- CFW is so robust these days that it covers everything I need and more.  And with Pandora's battery it's almost impossible to brick the system.  
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2009, 04:36:15 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on May 26, 2009, 04:24:54 PM

Quote from: Daehawk on May 26, 2009, 03:17:55 PM

From what Ive read you might want to get the 2000 model instead of the 3000. The screen is supposed to have a big color banding problem on the latest one.

I wonder if the Star Ocean games are good?

The Star Ocean games are very good, as long as you're a nostalgic player. They lack some of the RPG trappings that we've become accustomed to seeing. But the backgrounds are gorgeous, combat upgrades are numerous, and the later part of the story is really fun if you grab the right party members. The optional character banter really makes the game from a storyline standpoint. If you are not one for optional dialog then the game will seem somewhat hollow. Overall its a fairly standard RPG, but it is very well redone on the PSP. I enjoyed it.

I, on the other hand, didn't think much of ]Star Ocean Second Evolution.  However, I never played the original so there was no nostalgia factor for me.
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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2009, 01:29:41 AM »

Anyone have ideas on where I can pick this up at? My local gamestops weren't accepting preorders and say they won't have any in until Mid June.
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« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2009, 05:41:09 AM »

Quote from: DocD on May 27, 2009, 01:29:41 AM

Anyone have ideas on where I can pick this up at? My local gamestops weren't accepting preorders and say they won't have any in until Mid June.

Gamecrazy was accepting preorders, but with the game coming out Wednesday, I'm not sure they are accepting them any longer.  I'm hoping to get mine tomorrow.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2009, 01:41:19 PM »

Quote from: DocD on May 27, 2009, 01:29:41 AM

Anyone have ideas on where I can pick this up at? My local gamestops weren't accepting preorders and say they won't have any in until Mid June.

I generally find I have good luck with being able to get Atlus games from Amazon.
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« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2009, 01:52:50 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 27, 2009, 01:41:19 PM

Quote from: DocD on May 27, 2009, 01:29:41 AM

Anyone have ideas on where I can pick this up at? My local gamestops weren't accepting preorders and say they won't have any in until Mid June.

I generally find I have good luck with being able to get Atlus games from Amazon.

Me too. Available there now for $27.99 btw.
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« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2009, 05:00:39 PM »

Gamespot Reviewthumbsdown
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 05:02:36 PM by Hotfreak » Logged

This one is on the house...and this one is better than ever...
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« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2009, 08:13:52 PM »

I preordered at Gamecrazy, and not only have they not gotten it in yet, they don't know when they will  icon_evil
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« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2009, 12:42:29 PM »

Talk about love it or hate it IGN Gives it an 8.5 I might just have to order this game to see for myself.
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« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2009, 03:07:45 PM »

Damn, you would think IGN and Gamespot were playing completely different games. I'm interested in seeing how combat truly plays out. In the demo I got my ass handed to me on more than 1 occasion, and people who played the actual Japanese release said the game slanted to the difficult side. Strangely, Gamespot reports that "the majority of your enemies are fairly weak, so these powerful abilities feel like unnecessary time-wasters unless you're fighting bosses..."

Okay, so combat in the American release must have been tweaked and is now a piece of cake? Well, wait, because...

RPG Fan says "Even regular enemies can be surprisingly powerful, and making use of every skill available is paramount to survival..."
Game Vortex says "...expect to do a bit of level grinding around towns if you want to get far. Enemies are able to pile on the damage..." 

Some other reviews:

86% at RPG Fan
http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/Crimson_Gem_Saga/index.html

85% at GameVortex
http://www.psillustrated.com/psillustrated/soft_rev.php/4603/crimson-gem-saga-psp.html

78% at Cheat Code Central
http://www.cheatcc.com/psp/rev/crimsongemsagareview.html

3.5/5 at RPG Fan
http://www.rpgamer.com/games/astonishia/astonishia2/reviews/astonishia2strev1.html

90/100 at GamerTell
http://www.gamertell.com/gaming/comment/gamertell-review-crimson-gem-saga-for-psp/
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« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2009, 03:21:07 PM »

Quote from: Hotfreak on May 27, 2009, 05:00:39 PM


That Gamespot review leads me to believe that the reviewer just doesn't like RPG's in general.  It seems like the reviewer expects every RPG to have some new mind-blowing plot -

"The plot is largely dull and unimpressive, following a predictable path that fails to enhance the adventure. You're cast as Killian, an inexperienced knight desperately seeking work with the local militia. After stumbling upon a manipulative treasure-hunter, however, you're tricked into collecting the infamous Wicked Stones, which are priceless gems with sinister powers. This generic storyline is worsened by flat characters and scripted relationships that feel pulled from any random anime, which is hardly captivating."

I don't know about you, but I can't recall too many RPG's where you are "tricked into collecting ... priceless gems with sinister powers."  Not that it's incredibly original, but it is certainly not generic such as a "kill the evil wizard who kidnapped the princess" quest.

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Dante Rising
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« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2009, 03:27:59 PM »

Quote from: Fez on May 28, 2009, 03:21:07 PM

Quote from: Hotfreak on May 27, 2009, 05:00:39 PM


That Gamespot review leads me to believe that the reviewer just doesn't like RPG's in general.  It seems like the reviewer expects every RPG to have some new mind-blowing plot -

"The plot is largely dull and unimpressive, following a predictable path that fails to enhance the adventure. You're cast as Killian, an inexperienced knight desperately seeking work with the local militia. After stumbling upon a manipulative treasure-hunter, however, you're tricked into collecting the infamous Wicked Stones, which are priceless gems with sinister powers. This generic storyline is worsened by flat characters and scripted relationships that feel pulled from any random anime, which is hardly captivating."

I don't know about you, but I can't recall too many RPG's where you are "tricked into collecting ... priceless gems with sinister powers."  Not that it's incredibly original, but it is certainly not generic such as a "kill the evil wizard who kidnapped the princess" quest.

...and this will be the first RPG where the main character almost misses graduation due to a hangover....glad to finally be playing a potential alcoholic.

At another form I visit a few of the members are saying this Gamestop reviewer is known for "constant whining about even solid RPGs" and "possible bias against the RPG genre". I not very familiar with this Gamespot reviewer, so I'm not sure what to think.

I definitely don't like the lack of a mini-map, however.
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« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2009, 03:33:55 PM »

For games like this I generally don't trust the big site reviews.  Which doesn't mean that they are wrong but it's just that I think that they typically treat these smaller releases as an annoyance. 

"Crimson Gem Saga?  Never heard of it.  I'll play it for two hours and slap a 6.0 on it.  Doubt anyone will read the review anyway."
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« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2009, 09:00:33 PM »

None of the other reviews I've read (and there are surpisingly many of them) agree with Gamespot's review.  The second lowest score I've seen is RPGamer's at 3.5/5, and I find they generally rate games on the low side.  I really wish I had impressions of this, but it looks like very few stores have actually gotten it yet.  I've preordered plenty of niche games before, but I've never seen one like this.  If there weren't a couple people at GameFAQs who'd actually managed to get a copy, we wouldn't even know if it had even been shipped or not.  icon_evil
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« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2009, 09:16:29 PM »

I just ordered it from Amazon. If you guys can wait about two weeks I will have full review up on the main page.

I looked for the game in a brick and mortar store all over my area but no one had it and no one even had a clue if they would get it.
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« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2009, 10:25:21 PM »

Quote from: Scraper on May 28, 2009, 09:16:29 PM

I just ordered it from Amazon. If you guys can wait about two weeks I will have full review up on the main page.

I looked for the game in a brick and mortar store all over my area but no one had it and no one even had a clue if they would get it.

I thought I'd cancel my Amazon order and grab it today so I could post some impressions. Unfortunately, no Gamestop within 100 miles has one (and I live near Chicago). The four Gamestops near me aren't even expecting any.
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« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2009, 11:31:57 PM »

My Amazon pre-order still shows what it has for the last few days: "Shipping soon" with an delivery estimate of tomorrow.  icon_neutral

Edited to add: at 6PM today got my 'shipped' email... so shipped today and still showing an arrival date of tomorrow. We shall see!
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« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2009, 02:25:27 AM »

Someone at GameFAQs found copies at Fry's Electronic's.  Not for the first time, I wish I had one of them nearby.
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« Reply #36 on: May 29, 2009, 11:28:41 PM »

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on May 28, 2009, 11:31:57 PM

My Amazon pre-order still shows what it has for the last few days: "Shipping soon" with an delivery estimate of tomorrow.  icon_neutral

Edited to add: at 6PM today got my 'shipped' email... so shipped today and still showing an arrival date of tomorrow. We shall see!

And it's here, they actually shipped it overnight.  thumbsup  Hopefully I'll have some time to give it a spin over the weekend.
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« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2009, 01:41:57 AM »

I looked for it over the weekend but none of the local gamestops had it in stock.  One did say they were expecting to get a couple copies soon.
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« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2009, 12:10:06 PM »

My impressions after a couple hours with the game -
The most striking thing so far has been the beautiful graphics.  The hand-drawn backgrounds look great, with lots of little animations, and the character sprites are nicely detailed and animated.  Combine this with catchy (albeit repetitive) music and great voice acting, and the presentation is top-notch.  The battle system is about what you'd expect from a turn-based RPG, although the ambush system adds an element of excitement, and the battle animations look good.  There are a few-second load times when starting up and changing locations, but getting in and out of battle is almost instant.  You can save anywhere, although they limit you to 3 save slots for some reason.

The story is just getting started, but the writing has been excellent so far, and the character of Spinel seems like she's going to be great fun.  There's been a nice mix of drama and humor so far, with funny bits ranging from mocking RPG cliches to slapstick to puns.  Overall, it seems like it's going to be one of those RPGs that doesn't innovate in any way, but has enough charm and polish to be well worth playing.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 12:13:09 PM by EddieA » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2009, 12:42:18 PM »

Agree with the above.  icon_wink

I wish I could turn off the music, though, it's really getting on my nerves. Several of the conversations have made me LOL, one exchange took place at the Inn where your character is told the daughter is running the show today because her mother is sick and "No, that is not a hint for a quest to go get medicine for her. You adventurers are all alike.".  Or the first time I found a "small bomb" in a box by a bed and thought "a bomb? there?" and then your character asked the same question.  icon_biggrin

Looks to be lots of things you can do to your weapons to improve them, some are slotted for upgrades or 'monsters' you can add, plus there's cards you can use to improve them and your skills. Kind of odd to me that, so far, all of the wandering monsters on the map use the same small blue imp-like figure, it's not until you actually get into combat that you know what you are actually going to be fighting. Just got to the first "dungeon" (the... Dark Spire, I believe) and it's the first time I have to worry about healing during combat, before that all of the random field encounters have been pretty easy and since you replenish HP and MP when you level up, that was working for me before this.

All kinds of odd healing things around to find and use... caffeine pills, a hamburger, cayenne pepper, acetylsalicylic acid, liger balm, milk, fried shrimp to name a few.
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