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Author Topic: Baiten Kaitos impressions?  (Read 3234 times)
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JCC
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« on: November 17, 2004, 12:46:14 AM »

As with Metroid Prime 2, I am surprised noone has talked about this one yet either. I have a RPG backlog that includes Paper Mario, Tales of Symphonia, and Mario & Luigi superstar saga (oh, and World of Warcraft, Yikes!) but I might add this to the list if I hear about how good it is, and how that card system (shudder) works. Anyone pick this up in lieu of the other heavy hitters today?
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2004, 02:05:53 AM »

My EB said tomorrow. I'm also going to pick this up, but I'm not sure when I'll play it. I'm still going through Halo 2 and I just picked up Metroid Prime 2 today. There's been such good word of mouth about this game that I can't resist picking it up next time I'm in a games shop.
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2004, 08:35:07 AM »

I'm getting it tomorrow, but I won't be playing it until for awhile.  I'm already playing too many RPGs at once, so I'm forcing myself to hold off on Baten Kaitos and Grownlanser Generations (assuming it makes it out this year) until Christmas.  From the reviews I've read, the consensus seems to be that the game looks and plays great, but the story is somewhat cliche.
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2004, 05:26:36 PM »

I'm going to get it, too, but it'll probably wait to be played (as the excellent Tales of Symphonia did when Paper Mario came out).
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2004, 06:40:38 PM »

AARRGGHH!!  I picked the wrong month to skip buying games and catch up on my Anime DVD purchases...
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2004, 07:35:08 PM »

I may have some impressions later.  My resolve to wait is rapidly waning smile  The thing that sounds most interesting about the game is the battle system.  Even the best battle systems get boring after you figure out the best way to kill a certain enemy or group.  With the shuffling of the cards for each battle, every combat should be somewhat different.
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2004, 01:50:50 PM »

Picked it up yesterday and played for about an hour.

The graphics are very nice.  Very colorful and full of animation.  

The combat is pretty good, but will get a lot better later when you can use more cards.  At the first you can only use 2 cards per round and that is out of three choices.  The spells and attacks during combat are very nice to watch.  I have made a mistake and actually healed the enemy a couple of times instead of me.  
 
The voice acting is kinda bad like in the reviews.  Another anoyance is when you are in the world map and you talk to someone important(involving voice action) the screen goes black then it shows the conv. then it goes black again to continue adventuring.  Nothing major.

Overall it looks promising. Currently  I am waiting for my pictures of the monsters I've battled to develop so I can sell them and get money.
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2004, 02:21:23 PM »

Can you turn off the Voices?
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2004, 02:40:25 PM »

Quote from: "exGoneGolder"
Can you turn off the Voices?

According to reviews, yes, you can turn off the terrible voices.
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2004, 04:40:52 PM »

Yes you can turn off the voices you can also turn off the menu during battles.  The menu comes up to show you how well your attacks worked.
It goes away quickly but I may turn it off one I get accustomed to it.


Also there are combo moves but you have to experiment to figure them out.  I think that it lists the combos after you have completed them which is good.  You start out with 20 cards in your battle deck but after 10 fights
I am upto 25 cards.
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2004, 05:43:14 PM »

I've only played for a couple of minutes (to the first save point in the village), but I have to say it feels very ponderous (nice way of saying slow, but also high-falutin').  Movement is sluggish (especially in cut scenes) and while I was expecting the voice work to be weak, I wasn't expecting the dialogue to be so lame and so dragged out.  It seems to take forever to have a simple conversation.  

Something that should be:
"Hey, is that a fake wing?"  "Yep, my grandfather made it."  "Wow!"  

becomes:
"Hello.  I noticed a wing on your back." Yes."  "Is that an artificial wing?" "Yes, it is."  "Where did you get it?"  "Well, my grandfather made it for me.  He could build things."  "Great.  He sounds like a nice man."  "Yes."  "Can I meet him?"  "He's dead."

And so on...  

Also it sounds like they recorded the voice-overs in a closet.
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2004, 07:50:26 PM »

I noticed the sound problem too.  I then selected surround from the menu
and I think it went away.  I had to play with headphones when I changed it.

You have to read quite abit anyway so if you turn them off no big thing.
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JCC
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2004, 04:30:53 PM »

Gamespot gave it an 8.5.

Review
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2004, 07:20:22 PM »

I am about 10 hours in. The voiceovers are pretty lame. Not sure why they even have them since they have all the dialogue on the screen anyway. Doesn't really add much to the game. They aren't bad enough to ruin the game or anything, just not anything to write home about. The game is fun so far for the most part. However, I am not sure about the card thing.  Seems to me to be a weak attempt to make the game challenging in some way.  If you are in need of healing and your healing cards don't come up you don't get to heal. If you need to attack and you don't get the right attack cards you don't get to attack. If you are getting creamed and you don't have any defense cards you don't defend. You have some time on the attack, but the defense goes really fast, you have to make a quick decision and I make a lot of mistakes and clicking errors. Also many of the cards look very similar and you are making a snap decision. I have also noticed the AI will "gang rape" your characters. They will continually attack whoever has the least health until they die or the battle ends. This is quite frustrating and one of those things that make you wonder what the hell some of these designers are thinking of when they put stuff in a game.  Seemed like the cards might add an element of strategy, but you end up just throwing whatever cards you manage to get at them till they die. You can choose which cards you can have in your deck, but at this point you have little choice because you put in every decent card you have and that is it. I don't dislike it at this point, just kinda neutral still. Overall I like the game so far. But, I am a big fan of roleplaying games. They have to really stink for me not to like them. I believe I have played every roleplaying game that has come out in the last 3 years and many from before that.
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2004, 11:32:22 PM »

I played for three hours straight today, it was a lot of fun. I don't think the VA stinks so much as it is the writing that's bad. Definately didn't get the best translation from over seas.

I like the battle system, and I'll agree with vagabond that it can be frustrating, there is some skill involved in creating decks, especially when you learn special combos etc. I feel like I have plenty of time to react to most attacks and sometimes I will pick a card just to see if it will do anything on defense. Just make sure you're visiting the church oftern enough to keep levelling up and getting you class upgrades right when you get the items, and you'll have more opportunities to build your deck and get the ratios good in terms of getting healing and defense items.

I like the little side things you can do in each area, and it gives you an extra incentive to explore each and every little nook to see if there's something to grab and help someone out with.

Graphics-wise it's definately a pretty game, I like their artists a lot.


I think that if they had written a tighter story and had a better written translation this game would easily be cast up in the RPG of the Year category.
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2004, 02:21:45 AM »

Quote from: "Tebunker"
I like the battle system, and I'll agree with vagabond that it can be frustrating, there is some skill involved in creating decks, especially when you learn special combos etc. I feel like I have plenty of time to react to most attacks and sometimes I will pick a card just to see if it will do anything on defense. Just make sure you're visiting the church oftern enough to keep levelling up and getting you class upgrades right when you get the items, and you'll have more opportunities to build your deck and get the ratios good in terms of getting healing and defense items.



Yeah, well the problem is that healing is very scarce. Made more scarce by the fact your fruit goes bad eventually. You can't get more than 2 or 3 in a 30-40 card deck. That is shallow pickings by anybodies definition. I now have 4 characters but I use all the healing I can get on 3, and pillage the 4th characters deck for healing.  I just got a 6th card in Kalas' draw. Hopefully this will make it a bit more likely I will actually get the cards I might want at a given time with him. The others are lagging still.  The derth of healing makes every battle a war of attrition, particularly the boss battles. You have to kill it before you use up your healing and go down. Which doesn't take long. Also if you use your whole deck, you get reshuffled. You not only lose that turn, but if you had a couple healing cards on top waiting to be used they get reshuffled into the deck too. Very irritating. Jury still out on the battle system. Rest of the game is okay to good.
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2004, 01:33:54 PM »

The really strange thing about this game is for me the only real and viable reason to have combat be "real time" is so it will go faster. However, the combat in this game crawls. I doubt it would go any slower if it was turn based.  So they instill slow realtime, that makes it so you don't really have time to use any actual strategy because you have to pick the cards too fast, yet they have 5 attack combos all with a lengthly animation and voiceover so each characters turn takes along time anyway. Doesn't make any sense. Would have been much better just turn based so you could take your time with the cards and perhaps have some real strategy.
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« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2004, 01:11:29 AM »

I am about 18 hours in. I really really really gave this game a chance but it just lost me finally. I was starting to have a bit of fun until it made me search a freaking library for 4 books in order to progress in the story, getting attacked by big giant books nearly everytime I search a shelf, battles take 5 minutes or more, I just got fed up. It's stupid to have a character fight with boat oars, or musical instruments, or a bunch of bananas for that matter. Having the cards change into other things sounds interesting but they nearly always change from something useful to something worthless in a lame attempt to keep you constantly searching for more freaking cards. The card combat just sucks, if it was turnbased might be better but I still think I would hate it. However, in realtime on defense your defensive items in your hand will highlight, but you have about 2-3 seconds to pick a card, you don't really know exactly what attack the enemy will throw because most have several. So despite the fact you can supposedly use some kind of strategy, you don't have time. You just click on the items as fast as you can just to put something up with no real time to be concerned about what you are using when. Not sure it would matter all that much if you did. Like most things like this, that are probably at least in the designers minds to make the game challenging, the game isn't challenging. I have never been in any danger of actually losing a battle the entire game. I have had one character go down twice in boss battles but the other 2 finished them off. You have all these cards to use for all these different things but you end up not using any of them because they aren't necessary.  For example cure poison, poison doesn't do enough damage to bother actually taking it off. Just leave it on, doesn't hurt you any.  Taking pictures in order to get money is also another really stupid idea. You only have 1 camera for quite awhile and if the camera doesn't come up in battle you don't get a chance, particularly in boss battles in which the pictures would be worth a significant amount of money. You also can only take one card for reward at the end of the battle and the picture counts for 1. So if you get anything else decent, you have to make a choice which to take. Another stupid game choice that doesn't add anything to the game but frustration. I have the game rented until Thursday and I don't have another roleplaying game at the moment to play so I may try to plod onward a bit more if I can find out exactly where the freaking books are so I don't have to search for them anymore. Like I said I am a roleplaying game freak, game has to be really bad for me to hate it. this one is bad. It's not a 1 or anything but best I would give it is a 5, and that only because the graphics are nice and the visual design of the game is good.
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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2004, 01:28:20 AM »

Shame you don't like it, I've played for about 6 hours and have found the battle system rewarding and interesting. I haven't had any trouble with defense, and have witnessed my cards morph into some really cool attacks, as well I like the idea that certain cards change over time, it keeps you on your toes.

I think healing works fine, and sometimes I get too many healing cards, I like balancing my deck and using and trying different cards and combinations, I've found several special combos that create new and unique cards that you can do even more combos with.

I've never felt that combat was slow or plodding, even in the boss battles I felt things were moving and that I was actually able to figure out my enemies weaknesses and strengths and coordinate my attacks accordingly. Also, I use my shortcuts in battles, you can use the c-stick to quickly choose cards, I pick my attacks so that I am either right next to a defense card or on one when my turns end. I would expect, being as thorough as you sound, that you read all the battle tips and tried using them. I think I'd be a lot more frustrated if I didn't use them.

I'm sorry you're not enjoying it as much, I'm not an RPG freak and can be really tough on even the best games, but I think this is a really solid RPG. I've found it more enjoyable compared to any of the last few FF games, Tales of Symphonia and several others. To each their own I guess.


Oh yeah, I love the picture system, I've never had a problem getting the camera for any of the bosses I've fought and if I miss a regular enemy I jump right back in and fight them again. I find it fun trying to get a better picture and some battles I've taken two ro three of the same enemy because the situations were different and they affect the outcome of the shot. As for picking cards at the end of battles, for the most in regular battles you get one card, for bigger battles you get more, you can also swap out cards as well. Yeah you have to make a choice, but is that really bad? Getting pictures are easy, and you see a lot of the same cards over as rewards, and you have to make a tough decision every once in a while, but to me that doesn't detract from the game but actually enhances it. What fun is a game that just gives you everything on a platter?
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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2004, 03:54:34 AM »

Well of course I don't want or expect everybody to hate the game just because I do. I give my opinions so others can use them to judge for themselves prior to buying/renting the game. They aren't intended for somebody like you that already has it. I am glad you like it, but it is a bit strange somebody could find fun just those things that drive me up a tree. Tales of Symphonia was a far far superior game to this one in every single way. I ended up taking the game back when I paid to rent it up till Thursday. There just wasn't any fun in it for me at all.  Nothing wrong with not giving you everything on a silver plate but games are supposed to be fun and not a mind numbing challenge. There is nothing fun about being frustrated, and being stuck doing things that aren't fun to proceed. This game wasn't even boring because it was hard. The characters were uninspiring, the combat was slow and bad. I am glad it is overwith. I went and picked up a copy of Grandia II for 15 bucks. I played it once before but it was a lot of fun, gonna kill a week or two waiting for KOTOR II, which I reserved and will have day one.
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« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2004, 04:04:59 AM »

Hey Vag, I don't want you to feel that I am trying to invalidate your opinions, I just wanted to give mine, and it happened that I liked everything you disliked. Different strokes and all. I was just posting my opinions so that those who haven't played it could see that I was enjoying it.
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2004, 06:13:41 AM »

Quote from: "Tebunker"
Hey Vag, I don't want you to feel that I am trying to invalidate your opinions, I just wanted to give mine, and it happened that I liked everything you disliked. Different strokes and all. I was just posting my opinions so that those who haven't played it could see that I was enjoying it.


Naah, I have a really low tolerance for frustration sometimes. I think FF-X is one of the best games ever because of the storyline, but Final Fantasy has one of the worst gamestyles ever. I HATE searching for things, moving a ball from here to there and then back again to open a door. However, when I got stuck I just looked at a FAQ and got through with minimal frustration. If I would have had to figure all that crap out by myself I would never have finished FF-X. No doubt in my mind. For a new game like this, there was no FAQ to tell me where the dang books were. So I gave up this time. But, this game wasn't in the same league to start with either. I played Grandia II for ten hours a game that is 4 years old, that I have played before and I had more fun than I did the first ten hours of this game. Although, that is why Grandia II is a classic too.

Never apologize for giving your honest opinion.
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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2004, 08:06:21 AM »

Yes, the puzzle temples in FFX were terrible.  I love RPGs with puzzles in them, but not the random trial-and-error from FFX.  I almost always try the puzzles first on my own, but I didn't even bother with the Dome puzzle - I went straight to the FAQ.  Also, if you're stuck on a new game, just ask at the GameFAQs forum, especially if the game is already available in Japan.  There are a lot of importers who've finished the Japanese version and also people who will have the game finished within days of its release.
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« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2004, 08:00:50 AM »

Quote from: "EddieA"
Yes, the puzzle temples in FFX were terrible.  I love RPGs with puzzles in them, but not the random trial-and-error from FFX.  I almost always try the puzzles first on my own, but I didn't even bother with the Dome puzzle - I went straight to the FAQ.  Also, if you're stuck on a new game, just ask at the GameFAQs forum, especially if the game is already available in Japan.  There are a lot of importers who've finished the Japanese version and also people who will have the game finished within days of its release.



That is why I usually wait till the game has been out awhile before I try it. But, the roleplaying games I pounce on because they are my favorites. I am not sure who figured that a maze is a really fun thing and vital to have in every single RPG? Mazes are NOT fun!  Sometimes I wonder about these people who do these FAQ's spending hours figuring out all these things without any help.
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« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2004, 05:08:04 AM »

Okay, I played for a couple of hours or so with the voices turned off, and it makes a huge difference.  The writing is still far from great, but when that is coupled with ponderous, over-worked and just bad voice-over work, it definitely was ruining the game for me.  As you'll notice if you check my previous post, I haven't played this damn game for quite a while since cracking into a short play spell (really it was more like a half hour or forty-five minutes).  Part of that was the holiday, part of it was the annoying trend of releasing strategy guides days after the game hits, but mostly, I really didn't want to play.  Now, I'm looking forward to giving it a go.  The style is so impressive that I can't believe I allowed the lame voices to almost make this a waste of money for me.  Hooray for the turned off voices.
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« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2004, 06:14:23 AM »

Quote from: "Bullwinkle"
The style is so impressive that I can't believe I allowed the lame voices to almost make this a waste of money for me.  Hooray for the turned off voices.


The voices aren't *THAT* bad. Sheesh. You'd think they just had screaming in the microphone or the sound of someone taking a dump.

I'd have to say, I've turned the voices back on. They don't talk often enough for them to grate; the only advantage to having them off is load times (as it reloads the screen to show auto-sequencing),
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« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2005, 02:29:30 PM »

OK, I'm a little late.   I picked up a Gamecube along with BK and Paper Mario 2 last week.  I thought I'd be spending most of my time with PM2, but BK has really grabbed me.  Probably don't need anymore, but my impressions after about 7 hours:

1)  I'm surprised the graphics haven't been mentioned as much in this thread because this is one beautiful game.  Honestly, this may be the best looking RPG I've ever played.  Even with a weak story (more on that in a sec), I want to keep moving ahead because every single area is a work of art.  It's all prerendered backgrounds, so they were able to put an incredible amount of detail into every new screen.  

2)  The voice work and writing are terrible.  I'm a little surprised because Monolith did such an amazing job with both in Xenosaga.  Thankfully you can turn the voices off in the "System" menu, which I would advise doing immediately.  I think that perhaps the reason they sound odd is because you are hearing everything as Kalas' sprit guide, not as the actual player.  

3)  The story isn't terribly interesting (it's the RPG standard "evil god gets set free, our hero must save the world" type) , but it keeps the game moving ahead so you can see the new areas.  Be warned, it starts really slowly.  I actually quit playing after an hour my first time because I was bored.  It gets moving a little better after the first couple hours, but you'll need some patience to get into it.  Thankfully seeing the new areas really made me want to press on.  Did I mention the game looked incredible?

4)  The combat is fun so far, but I can see how it might start getting frustrating.  I haven't come up against anything too tough yet, and have finally started to learn the best ways to fill my deck.  I wish there was some way to know what the cards will morph into so I can be prepared.   I thought I had some healing bamboo shoots, only to find out they morphed into attacking bamboo stalks after a few uses.  Some warning would have been nice.  Given the inherent randomness of card battling, however, it would have been nice for them to put save points a little closer together.

All in all, I'm having a good time with Baten Kaitos so far.  The card battling is a nice change of pace  from your standard RPG, and the game is visually stunning.  I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit more than Paper Mario 2, which surprises me.  I even put shelved my 35+ hour KotOR2 game for a while because of it, so it must be pretty good.  smile
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« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2005, 03:04:37 PM »

Nice impressions.  I will be playing this as soon as I finish Tales of Symphonies and PM 2.  Probably be another couple of months, but I will get it.
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« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2005, 03:57:55 PM »

Yeah, I'm still planning on getting both Paper Mario 2, and Baten Kaitos, as soon as I have completed a few more games.
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« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2005, 10:05:54 PM »

I've posted some impressions of Baten Kaitos in some thread, forgot which one.  I WAS really enjoying it!  FANTASTIC graphics, good combat, etc.

I'm about 26 hours in now and I've hit a wall.  I was really enjoying it up to this point to.  I like how the cards "evolve" into different ones.  This game has really fantastic ideas.  And I've really enjoyed it.  Up until where I am now.  I'm not going to spoil anything, but there's a certain part where people would always post on the Gamefaqs message board about.  I'm there.  The problem is - I need to level up my characters almost 10 levels.  And they're all around level 25 at this moment of time.  When I was younger I loved just leveling my characters.  Hell, I maxed every character for both FFIV and FFVI for both the SNES versions and PSX versions.  But now that I'm a senior in college, not having a whole lot of time really, I don't really feel like leveling up like that anymore.

Eh, but it's such a fantastic game, albeit the writing and voice acting is horrendous.  Some characters have OK voice acting, but Xelha makes me laugh out loud everytime I hear her.  I laugh to the point of tears.  Though, these tears could be interpeted as tears of agony rather than laughter sometimes.  I'll most likely chip at the leveling up thing, because I've really enjoyed the game thus far.
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« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2005, 12:58:20 PM »

I've also hit the wall with BK and will be trading it in this afternoon (probably towards Xenosaga II).  Too many other good games to play to keep plugging away at one that really isn't that interesting.  

Final verdict:  One of the most, if not the single most beautiful games I've ever played.  Just seeing the amazing graphics kept me playing for an extra 6-8 hours.  A fun combat system that keeps you on your toes, but gets very frustrating in the later stages.  Only having 3 seconds to pick a card was a very bad design decision, imo.  As is not being able to pause during a battle.  

Unfortunately, it's all wrapped around possibly the dullest set of characters in RPG history.  Other that Mizuti, there is not a single original character in the bunch.  Combine that with a pretty boring story, and there's not much incentive to finish.

It was fun while it lasted (I got about 23 hours in), but isn't quite compelling enough to finish.  B+
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