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Author Topic: Wild ARMs XF  (Read 2766 times)
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EddieA
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« on: March 12, 2008, 02:20:13 AM »

The first review is out for XF, and 1Up gives it a C- frown  Anyone planning on picking this up?
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TheMissingLink
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 02:24:51 AM »

Awwww man frown

It looks interesting to me...I won't let 1up's review dampen my hope for a good game.  They've been downright WRONG in the past.  NeoGAF's import impressions seem quite favorable (but what isn't over there, right?).
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 03:13:18 AM »

Yikes.  I was on the fence with this one anyways, and a couple more reviews like that will push me right off.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 03:21:02 AM »

I haven't had a chance to pick this up due to issues with the closing on my home, but my friend grabbed it this morning. He put about 3 hours in to it today and said so far it is "barely mediocre." What worries me is that he is a big fan of SRPGs and Wild ARMs, but he still couldn't find many good things to say about it.
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 03:23:43 AM »

Quote from: TheMissingLink on March 12, 2008, 02:24:51 AM

Awwww man frown

It looks interesting to me...I won't let 1up's review dampen my hope for a good game.  They've been downright WRONG in the past.  NeoGAF's import impressions seem quite favorable (but what isn't over there, right?).

Andrew Fitch is a jRPG fiend though. I'm not saying he's necessarily right, but I know he loves and knows the genre.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 03:27:53 AM »

I'll be getting it.*  I trust the Neogaffer importers over review sites on stuff like this.  In fact about the last place I look for reviews on RPGs (both strat and standard) are traditional review sites. 

*Won't be playing it anytime soon though so don't look to me for impressions.  But I figure this will be a pretty limited release so I'd rather go ahead and pick it up now. 
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TheMissingLink
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2008, 03:31:11 AM »

Quote from: Calvin on March 12, 2008, 03:23:43 AM

Quote from: TheMissingLink on March 12, 2008, 02:24:51 AM

Awwww man frown

It looks interesting to me...I won't let 1up's review dampen my hope for a good game.  They've been downright WRONG in the past.  NeoGAF's import impressions seem quite favorable (but what isn't over there, right?).

Andrew Fitch is a jRPG fiend though. I'm not saying he's necessarily right, but I know he loves and knows the genre.

Ah, good to know.  I'm pretty anti-1up, but I know you know your 1up, and that adds a little bit of credibility to the review.  Disheartening, though.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 04:03:26 AM »

I'll still be getting it also. I'm a sucker for SRPGs- mediocre or fantastic.
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StriderGG
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 04:10:54 AM »

Hehe, funny that PSPFanboy loves everything that 1up hates in their review http://www.pspfanboy.com/2008/03/11/psp-fanboy-review-wild-arms-xf/. I generally don't trust 1up and in this particular case, it seems that the reviewer rates the game based on his preconceptions that haven't been fulfilled. He expected a different kind of game and seems to have troubles accepting the game for what it is. Never a good thing.

Having said that, I am still on a fence. It's either this one or getting back to Disgaea and I am itching for a new game. smile

By the way, here is a quote from PSPfanboy:

Quote
I feel Wild ARMs XF is not only the best Wild ARMs game I've played next to the second one, but it's one of the best SRPG's I've played
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TheMissingLink
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 04:24:42 AM »

Hmmmm...I probably shouldn't even look at reviews for SRPGs since La Pucelle Tactics is my favorite SRPG Tongue
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 06:48:21 AM »

Quote from: TheMissingLink on March 12, 2008, 04:24:42 AM

Hmmmm...I probably shouldn't even look at reviews for SRPGs since La Pucelle Tactics is my favorite SRPG Tongue



retard   
saywhat
retard
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nymanium
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2008, 03:26:20 PM »

Well anyone play it yet, picked it up, but I haven't opened it yet, between 1up and pspfanboy, I'm not sure if it's any good.
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StriderGG
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2008, 03:42:36 PM »

Hehe, it looks like people here are waiting for someone to take a plunge smile

Folks from Gamefaqs board seem to like it a lot, but that's your usual bunch of fanboys, not sure if they can be trusted.

It doesn't help that the game seems to be pretty difficult to find, I haven't even seen it in Toronto, Canada yet.
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Zap Rowsdower
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2008, 06:38:09 PM »

I picked it up yesterday and played it a bit last night, before I got sidetracked into Smash Bros. A few initial impressions. (Keep in mind though, I'm only in Act 1.) I'm compare it mostly to Final Fantasy Tactics.

Graphics are fine, approximately the same detail for character models as FFT. The maps seem a bit more varied though.

Skills and classes: Still on the basic classes, so I can't tell you much there. It's a bit counterintuitive to find out what a skill does when outside of combat. Character level and class levels are handled separately.

The combat part: The actual combat plays very FFT-ish. Move then fight and only in that order. Unlike FFT, you can cancel actions right until the final click.

Two types of battles. Scripted and random. The random battles are the standard "Play these to level up" levels. So far, I've done about a half dozen of them and they're roughly equal to similar levels in FFT. Fighting 4-5 harpies in XF isn't too different than fighting Bombs in FFT.

For the scripted battles... Well, I'll spoil this, just in case.
Spoiler for Hiden:
As I said, I'm still in act 1 and I've done 6 story battles so far. The first one is the standard tutorial-ish battle. Second battle also fairly normal. But the third, fourth, fifth and sixth scripted battles are all puzzle missions. And I failed all of them (Except the 4th) multiple times. While the battles themselves are neat, (a stealth mission, a "run away" mission, an escort mission and a "just get the gates open" mission) the mission requirements are fairly strict. Lose a character? Mission over. Get spotted by a guard? Mission over. Didn't realize that the guards can see behind them? Mission over. Had three bad guys beat up the 72 year old guy before you can respond? Mission over. It's a bit annoying at times.

You can do random missions in between 4 and 5, so most people won't notice all of the puzzle missions in a row, but they are there and they got annoying, at least for me.

On the bright side, one of the members of your team will give you a strategy speech prior to a story mission, giving you a guideline for strategy for the mission, which is nice.

The plot? It isn't too bad so far. Starts off with one standard plot (find the artifact) and moves into something else. Decent voice acting. Nice artwork in the cutscenes. (Style-wise they're of the same style as Wild Arms 4 + 5.)

Overall, well, I'm only about 3 hours into the game so far, but I'm enjoying it so far. But if you're easily frustrated, you may want to hold back for other views.
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StriderGG
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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2008, 06:51:41 PM »

Thank you, Zap, great writeup.

I am a bit worried about the puzzle-ish nature of the story missions, everything else seems to be a pretty standard SRPG deal. Having to replay missions is IMO not a big deal, at least I had to do that in FFT, JD, Disgaea and Fire Emblem as well.

IMO, based on the initial impressions I've seen so far, the game has a potential to become a must-have for people who enjoy SRPGs. I think I'll buy it.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2008, 06:54:08 PM »

Based on Zap's descriptions the "puzzle" missions don't sound bad to me mainly because it sounds like they do at least prep you beforehand on what will be required and they represent a nice variety of mission types. 
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Soulchilde
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« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2008, 07:05:16 PM »

I'm out for this as I want a console rpg, so I'll be holding out for Crisis Core
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« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2008, 07:11:08 PM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on March 13, 2008, 07:05:16 PM

I'm out for this as I want a console rpg, so I'll be holding out for Crisis Core

All info I've seen on Crisis Core would peg it much more in the action-RPG category, emphasis on 'action'.  Just a heads-up...
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Soulchilde
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« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2008, 07:29:08 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on March 13, 2008, 07:11:08 PM

Quote from: Soulchilde on March 13, 2008, 07:05:16 PM

I'm out for this as I want a console rpg, so I'll be holding out for Crisis Core

All info I've seen on Crisis Core would peg it much more in the action-RPG category, emphasis on 'action'.  Just a heads-up...

Well shit...   Guess I might need to break down and get Lost Odyssey  icon_cry
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semiconscious
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« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2008, 08:32:39 PM »

thanks, zap! unfortunately, the more i hear, the more i think i just wouldn't enjoy this frown ...
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EddieA
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« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2008, 02:50:52 AM »

Can you save during the missions?
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StriderGG
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« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2008, 02:42:33 PM »

Quote from: EddieA on March 14, 2008, 02:50:52 AM

Can you save during the missions?

No, but the missions are pretty short (10 to 30 min top) and you save between them.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2008, 03:45:35 PM »

I got a chance to try out my friend's copy of the game. I'll definitely be waiting until the game drops to about $29. The graphics, gameplay and storyline are somewhat uninspired, and after playing Jeanne D'Arc this title's warts stand out even further. It certainly isn't a bad game, but on a piece of hardware that has Disgaea Portable, Final Fantasy Tactics and Jeanne D'Arc, it simply cannot stand next to its peers.

Just as the Wild ARMs series is a second tier RPG, Wild ARMS XF is a second tier SRPG. If you've finished all the games I mentioned above, it may be worth your investment at full price, especially if you have a craving for an SRPG. Otherwise, work your way down the food chain and wait for a price drop.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2008, 04:17:35 PM »

Alas, I'd have to put Jeanne D'Arc as second tier to FFT as well (I've never played Disgaea).  As impressed as I was initially with Jeanne's production values I ultimately found it pretty shallow with littletactical depth.  I think it's pretty overrated though I do think it's an excellent candidate for newcomers to the SRPG genre. 
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2008, 04:40:24 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 14, 2008, 04:17:35 PM

Alas, I'd have to put Jeanne D'Arc as second tier to FFT as well (I've never played Disgaea).  As impressed as I was initially with Jeanne's production values I ultimately found it pretty shallow with littletactical depth.  I think it's pretty overrated though I do think it's an excellent candidate for newcomers to the SRPG genre. 

I still find that the exceptional graphics, animation, voiceovers and functionality put Jeanne D'Arc in the top of its class.  If you think about it, most of the elements needed for complex tactics are all in place: different attack strength depending upon your attack location, blocking and counterattack modifiers, resistances to certain magic and weapons, burning auras, Godspeed, crafting, etc.  Where they stumbled was in making the enemies slightly too easy to defeat without the need for using all the special skills and tactics you can acquire.

But I don't think Level 5 intended this title to be a hardcore SRPG.

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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2008, 04:46:18 PM »

Yeah, I think Jeanne had enormous potential and I was initially really impressed by the game.  The story, combined with the production values, kept me playing long after I lost interest in the gameplay.  Ultimately I just found myself bored and quit around the 20 hour mark.  But I just can't consider an SRPG top class just on the basis of it's production values.  In fact, production values matter much less to me in that genre compared to most others (which helps make something as low tech as Fire Emblem be at the top of the class as well). 

I also thought Jeanne's map design was kind of boring too- there were a few interesting wrinkles but they were never fleshed out as much as I would like.

Quote
But I don't think Level 5 intended this title to be a hardcore SRPG.

Almost certainly not and it would be my pick as the best jumping off point for the genre.  But if someone who had already played and loved more complex games like FFT and Disgaea wanted a recommendation for another SRPG, I would only recommend Jeanne D'Arc to them with a lot of caveats. 
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 04:48:28 PM by Kevin Grey » Logged
EddieA
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« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2008, 05:48:47 AM »

Gamespy has posted their review - 3.5/5.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2008, 06:54:28 AM »

UGO: Score of B-

http://www.gamerankings.com/itemrankings/launchreview.asp?reviewid=926453
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StriderGG
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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2008, 03:10:12 PM »

Quote from: StriderGG on March 14, 2008, 02:42:33 PM

Quote from: EddieA on March 14, 2008, 02:50:52 AM

Can you save during the missions?

No, but the missions are pretty short (10 to 30 min top) and you save between them.

I take that back. The missions are not that short, you have to replay some of them a number of times before you get them right and sometimes you can't save between the missions.

The game is "puzzle-y". At first, it was kind of fun, finding a strategy that works. However, as the game goes on, the missions are getting longer and more complicated and failing one after 30 min is not fun - you get nothing for it, you don't keep the exp or money, everything resets and you have to restart.

Various unusual mission objectives do make the game more interesting, but sometimes it feels like too much work. If for example, I have to escort 5-6 NPC's, it would be nice if the game was more forgiving, allowing to lose 1 or 2 of them. No, your char misses his attack all of a sudden - tough luck, an NPC gets killed, replay.

It would be nice to have some options once failed the mission a number of times - make it easier, allow to skip it, give me some tips on how to handle it, anything. I failed one mission 5 or 6 times, it's quite long and it comes right after another pretty tough mission (without the option to save in between), I freaking hate it by now.

Everything else about the game is pretty good - classes, characters, music, story, graphics - nothing mind blowing, but nice. But I can't enjoy it if the game punishes me for every little mistake or unlucky roll.

Buy this game only if you like doing something over and over again until you get it just right. Nothing's wrong with that, there are people that enjoy this kind of a challenge. But if you are not one of them, save your nerves, money and time and play one of the Big Three SRPGs (FTT, Disgaea or JD) instead.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2008, 03:13:03 PM »

Lack of save between missions doesn't bother me in principle (I don't usually swap games much so sleep mode will suit my needs just fine) but when you replay the second mission it doesn't make you go through the first again does it?  Do your HPs and the like reset between those missions or do they stay the same and potentially put you in an un-winnable position from from the outset?
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« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2008, 03:26:32 PM »

Quote from: StriderGG on March 17, 2008, 03:10:12 PM

Quote from: StriderGG on March 14, 2008, 02:42:33 PM

Quote from: EddieA on March 14, 2008, 02:50:52 AM

Can you save during the missions?

No, but the missions are pretty short (10 to 30 min top) and you save between them.

I take that back. The missions are not that short, you have to replay some of them a number of times before you get them right and sometimes you can't save between the missions.

The game is "puzzle-y". At first, it was kind of fun, finding a strategy that works. However, as the game goes on, the missions are getting longer and more complicated and failing one after 30 min is not fun - you get nothing for it, you don't keep the exp or money, everything resets and you have to restart.

Various unusual mission objectives do make the game more interesting, but sometimes it feels like too much work. If for example, I have to escort 5-6 NPC's, it would be nice if the game was more forgiving, allowing to lose 1 or 2 of them. No, your char misses his attack all of a sudden - tough luck, an NPC gets killed, replay.

It would be nice to have some options once failed the mission a number of times - make it easier, allow to skip it, give me some tips on how to handle it, anything. I failed one mission 5 or 6 times, it's quite long and it comes right after another pretty tough mission (without the option to save in between), I freaking hate it by now.

Everything else about the game is pretty good - classes, characters, music, story, graphics - nothing mind blowing, but nice. But I can't enjoy it if the game punishes me for every little mistake or unlucky roll.

Buy this game only if you like doing something over and over again until you get it just right. Nothing's wrong with that, there are people that enjoy this kind of a challenge. But if you are not one of them, save your nerves, money and time and play one of the Big Three SRPGs (FTT, Disgaea or JD) instead.

thanks for all that, strider - definitely passing...

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 14, 2008, 04:17:35 PM

(I've never played Disgaea)

 eek
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2008, 03:33:22 PM »

Quote from: semiconscious on March 17, 2008, 03:26:32 PM


Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 14, 2008, 04:17:35 PM

(I've never played Disgaea)

 eek

Similar to what Warning posted in a recent Disgaea thread, it's always intimidated me.  I'll probably pick it up someday (perhaps the PSP version) but the thought of playing it has always seemed overwhelming. 
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semiconscious
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« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2008, 04:02:46 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 17, 2008, 03:33:22 PM

Quote from: semiconscious on March 17, 2008, 03:26:32 PM


Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 14, 2008, 04:17:35 PM

(I've never played Disgaea)

 eek

Similar to what Warning posted in a recent Disgaea thread, it's always intimidated me.  I'll probably pick it up someday (perhaps the PSP version) but the thought of playing it has always seemed overwhelming. 

well, of course you'll be overwhelmed (that's the whole point, now innit? smile ), as were we all, dood (& definitely do get the psp version)...
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« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2008, 04:32:42 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 17, 2008, 03:13:03 PM

Lack of save between missions doesn't bother me in principle (I don't usually swap games much so sleep mode will suit my needs just fine) but when you replay the second mission it doesn't make you go through the first again does it?  Do your HPs and the like reset between those missions or do they stay the same and potentially put you in an un-winnable position from from the outset?

1. As soon as you fail the mission, you have a choice to "Restart Mission" or "Return to Title". No idea what the second one does, probably takes you to the "New/Continue game" screen. "Restart Mission" option takes you to the "preparation screen" (where you select who fights, change classes, equipment, etc.) of the mission you just failed, i.e. the second mission in this case. So you don't have to replay the 1st part of the chain unless you exit the game.

2. Everything resets between the missions. At least between the major ones. In this case, I can't say if everything resets between the "parts" of a mission, because the first part involved sneaking around, making you fail whenever a guard spots any of your chars.

Being unable to save betwen some missions bothers me because, after getting frustrated with the game, I would like to switch to something else for some time (reading, listening to music or playing Puzzle Quest), except that I can't unless I want to replay the sneaking part of the mission, which is really not that difrficult, but time consuming - it takes 15-20 minutes.

Maybe I am just a newb at this game and it will get less frustrating once I understand all the rules better, but I really don't feel like learning this game while being forced to replay the same mission 10 times.

Having said that, I would say that Wild Arms is much more intimidating then Disgaea. Disgaea is more "feature-rich", sure, but you are not forced to be a guru by mission 4. I found it to be very newb-friendly and entertaining.
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« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2008, 05:15:50 AM »

Well I decided to go ahead and start this one since opinion is so divided.  I've just scratched the surface (I'm at 1-5, the stealth mission) so I can't speak much to puzzle missions becoming frustrated but so far I'm firmly in the loving it camp. 

It's a helluva slick piece of software- nice deep job system with cool skills available right away, great enemy variety that forces you to use the skills creatively depending on what job you've selected, fantastic interface that manages to impart pretty much all of the detail that was available in the original FFT but in a far more elegant manner, etc.  Production values are surprisingly high too- environmental graphics are every bit as good as Jeanne D'Arc (character graphics OTOH aren't at that level but they do the job), fantastic musical score, rock solid framerate, quick loads, good voice acting, etc.  Story is pretty bland so far though. 

I'll be very interested to see if it becomes frustrating but so far it's been a lot of fun and a no-brainer for any SRPG fan. 
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« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2008, 06:31:47 PM »

Well, I got through the mission that got me stuck. The problem turned out to be the unclear description of the winning conditions. There are two listed and I thought I had to meet both of them, while in reality I had to meet either one of them. I don't think the first one even possible to accomplish, let alone both of them. The second one wasn't even mentioned by the chick that briefs you before the battle.

Once I switched my tactics to work on the second winning condition, everything went fine and I finished the quest on the first try (well, after failing the quest for 6 times before, I was pretty familiar with what is going to happen smile).

Based on the above, I am withholding my decision on the "frustratingly hard" topic until I see what's ahead. Based on gamefaqs.com forums though, it's pretty much guaranteed that it's going to be a hard game.

I have completed 2 more missions and while I had to restart each of them once, I found them to be fun and creative. So far I LOVE the fact that the missions are not "kill them all" type. Several times I had "Hey! This skill is going to work perfectly in this mission!" moments and it's awesome.

You don't have to use all of your characters in a battle, although the main story battles do require you to use certain specific story characters. The good thing is that the chars who did not participate in a fight, still get their share of exp, while the ones who actually fought get more of it due to the performance-based bonuses.

You can hire "Drifters", which are your "generic" chars and they catch up to your main chars pretty quickly. I have two of them so far.

So after the first 7 missions (and some non-story related battles), I would say that I like the game and I am looking forward to playing it every evening. Not sure if I am going to like it enought to finish it, but so far I am enjoying it (I hope that "no save between the missions" issue was just an incident and they don't have multi-parts missions like that anymore).

I'd recommend it to the fans of the genre, it's a solid game.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2008, 06:57:52 PM »

Quote from: StriderGG
The good thing is that the chars who did not participate in a fight, still get their share of exp, while the ones who actually fought get more of it due to the performance-based bonuses



I was *so* happy when I read that in the manual.  I far prefer it to system where people in the party don't get
XP because then I feel like I have to grind some missions with them periodically to keep everyone almost equal since you never know when a story mission will force some character you've never touched into your party. 
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2008, 07:14:18 AM »

Glad you guys are enjoying it. I still haven't felt the magic, but I only put about 90 minutes into it so far.
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« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2008, 03:45:19 PM »

So I did the first (actually I think it might be only) escort mission last night.  And it was awesome.  Escort missions in SRPGs usually suck and, sure enough, this one was pretty difficult for me and I lost it several times.  But this one stood out for me in many ways and really exemplified why I'm impressed with this game:

(Very minor spoilers):

So you have defend a group of villagers as they escape from the bad guys.  They move on their own and if even one dies it's game over.  The mission briefing makes it pretty clear that you'll have to rely on clever defending tactics instead of trying to kill all of the enemies (maybe it's possible but it seemed too hard so I never tried). 

The most important aspect of this mission is that it really trains you on terrain types and how the Reflex (RFX) system works.  As with most SRPGs, different types of terrain have speed advantages and disadvantages (represented here by either RFX +10% (or some other number) meaning you get a 10% boost to your RFX stat, which determines turn order.  Or you might get a movement penalty.  Further, a large portion of the enemies spend most of their time casting debuffs on you or the villagers lowering their RFX stats, which slows them down and gives the enemy time for more hits. 

Inititally a good portion of the group were moving pretty quickly.  But I noticed several units bogging down.  Sure enough they were crossing sandy areas that give *major* hits on movement.  This would allow the enemies to overtake the villagers and pick them off. 

So then you have to rely on the game's job and skill system.  *Every* class has a roster of of incredibly useful skills.  Unlike some games where you only care about MP for your mages, everyone uses MP for their skills so it's an important consideration for everyone including your tanks.  For this mission I really had to get creative with skill use, by using skills that took turns away from the enemy, putting out "replicas" to distract enemies from villagers, and buffing characters to increase their RFX stat so they could move sooner. 

It was challenging but fair and it made me be pretty creative with tactics, which I loved.  It's by no means a puzzle mission- you can use many different job classes and come up with suitable tactics.  It also served as a great training ground for teaching me about some of the game systems I hadn't paid much attention to at that point, particularly the RFX stat. 
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kadnod
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« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2008, 02:38:44 PM »

I put about 8 hours into this one over the weekend and it's really grown on me.  The game's quite unforgiving at first.  The learning curve is steep and your PCs starts out as relative pushovers.  But since I got a better handle on the rules and my heroes started getting more heroic, I've been having loads of fun.  The two stealth missions I've run into so far were definitely puzzle-like, but nearly all the other missions I've played so far have been pretty great. I've had to think a lot more about strategy going into a mission than I'm accustomed to in this type of game.  Being good with tactics on the fly won't cut it.  Thankfully, you usually get a few strategy hints at the beginning of a mission.

I think what's throwing off some of the reviews off on this one is people are expecting to play it like FF Tactics. That won't work well. You can't concentrate on building up a well-rounded team of your favorite classes and then throw them at everything. You need to balance for the individual mission, not the overall game. Have an escort mission?  Better load your team up with abilities that slow down your opponents and use a tough guy to cover your flank.  Need to wipe out X number of enemy units?  Use your mages to snipe at weaker foes and have your low-health characters to distract their heavy-hitters.
 
Fortunately, the class system is great.  If you suddenly need to switch a melee-fighter over to a mage, it's easy to do and the ex-fighter should still be pretty good at melee.  If you feel like changing him back after the mission is over, it's no problem and he may have even picked up some magic skills in the process. 

I'm guessing things could still go south from here, but so far I've been pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable this game is.  It is a bit harder than similar titles in the genre, but that's actually a bonus for me.   
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