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1  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: A couple Phantom Brave questions on: November 27, 2004, 01:39:20 AM
I'm going to try and keep this relatively spoiler free, but if you want more explicit hints, I can try to provide them.

Quote from: "Gratch"
I just got started on this one over the weekend.  As with all NIS games, I love the graphics and style, but I'm a bit confused on a couple things:

1.  How exactly do characters gain exp?  I've noticed that there is XP given out after a battle, but some of my characters have also levelled up during a fight.  Are these the same exp, or are they applied towards different things?  Do you get XP for simply performing an action, or do you only get XP from killing an enemy (i.e. Disgaea)?

Your characters gain XP if they participate in a battle, but get more if they put the hurt down on enemies.


2.  Whenever I go back to the main island, I get told that things have gained mana while I am away.  Is this because of something special I am doing, or does it just happen naturally?

I believe that any item that you have that is actually on the island (not in storage) gains mana proportional to it's level.  Additionally, if you have recruited certain characters and they are present on the island, your items might also get a boost from them.


3.  Do weapons level up with use, or do they only gain XP when they kill something?

Memory's a bit hazy on this point, but I believe that it works like this: weapons gain XP (not sure if it's exclusively kill) up to a certain point.  After that point, you need to have a character level up the item in exchange for some mana.  You can also level an item before its time XP-wise if you spend the extra mana.


After about 3 hours, it seems like a great game.  I just want to make sure I understand how it works before I get too far into it.  The problem I've had with the other NIS games (Disgaea and La Pucelle), is that I'd get 30-40 hours in and realize I'd built my characters or team all wrong.  It'd be better if I started on the right foot with this one.  

Totally understand the feeling.  With these sorts of games, it always seems like you need to "waste" 10-12 hours figuring out how things work before you can build the ultimate team.  Thankfully, developing new characters is significantly easier in this game vs. Disgaea thanks to a nice trick/flaw in the game system.
2  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Saiyuki on: November 22, 2004, 07:58:20 PM
I was rather disappointed with Vandal Hearts II.  Asides from the nasty character designs, it just wasn't as appealing as the first one.  Granted, that could've been because I had played FFT after the first Vandal Hearts, but there just wasn't the spark that the first one had.

Kartia seemed ok, but I only gave it a rental so I can't give a real recommendation on it.

I did enjoy Saiyuki though.  It's nothing spectacular, but it was well put together.
3  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / No idea on: November 14, 2004, 07:17:53 AM
The given description of the plot is rather Disgaea-like - Evil Overlord trying to take power again, but the battle system seems to still take its cues from Phantom Brave - one of the IGN screenshots looks like you're confining phantoms into items within a given radius of a summoned building(?).  But hey, at the very least, they have prinnies.  Prinny dood.
4  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Star Ocean Director's Cut? on: October 26, 2004, 03:28:27 AM
I'd argue that it's still buggy - I've encountered instances of excessively long loads and even had a lock-up when accessing the menu.
5  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / New Stephen Donaldson: Anyone reading? on: October 26, 2004, 03:19:58 AM
Quote from: "Crusis"
I didn't go - at the last minute my friend backed out.  Did he talk about Steven Erikson's work?  For a while I have suspected that he was influenced to get back into fantasy by Stevenson's work since he praises it so often (Stevenson is just about the best fantasy writer out there today IMHO).

I don't think Erikson was mentioned during the session.

So what surprised you about him?  What were some of his better Q&A's?  I wish I had gone but it is a 90+ mile round trip to get there and when my friend backed out at the last minute I just stayed in bed.

Just that he actually didn't hold back in dissing Terry Brooks or Piers Anthony, or sugar coating his experience with Lester del Ray's insistence that female protagonists just don't work.  I guess I expected him to be more reserved in that regard simply because he might have trouble with them down the line.

Notable QA Points -
* He writes these incredibly dark & flawed characters out of "writing what he knows".  Evidently, his parents had a wonderful gift of saddling him with guilt that he didn't get over until he was in his 20's.
* He has no conscious agenda when writing his novels.  He might pick things up subconsciously, but all he consciously tries to do while writing is to be true to his characters.  (This was brought up in response to a question about corporate power in the Gap series.)

Oh what other fantasy writers does he like?

There were a few names, but I'm afraid they went in one ear and out the other.
6  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / New Stephen Donaldson: Anyone reading? on: October 21, 2004, 07:44:39 PM
Crusis - That's the very signing I went to.  Did you go to that signing?  It was rather interesting to hear him candidly speak about the publishers he's dealt with as well as hearing his opinions on some of the more popular SF/Fantasy authors of today.  You can get a lot of the same information/anecdotes from his Q & A section, but it was cool to see him in the flesh.
7  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / New Stephen Donaldson: Anyone reading? on: October 15, 2004, 05:59:45 PM
FYI, according to his official website, he's doing a book tour starting tomorrow.  I'm planning on picking up my copy then.

In re: the book, I have reasonably high hopes for it given my like of the prior two series and his other work.
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