Games of the Now: Mid-March Edition
I don’t have the time to do full reviews of every game I play, and since most of the time I’m playing less recent releases it wouldn’t do others much good anyway. So here’s what I’ve been playing recently. I’d like to do more lengthy reviews for Dead Space 3 (recently finished it), Fire Emblem Awakening (In the middle of it), and Metal Gear Rising: Revengence (about to start it), but these will have to do in the meantime. If you’ve got any suggestions for similar games to add to my backlog or complaints of how I’m playing the game wrong, feel free to share.
Atelier Meruru (PS3)
I am addicted to these alchemy simulators now. Meruru’s goal is to use alchemy to revitalize her kingdom, so the initial focus is synthesizing items and running them out to undeveloped lands. Later it opens up like the other games, where you can hunt monsters, explore, or do other things to progress. Some minor tweaks to the battle system from Atelier Totori were a plus and a lot of previous characters from the other two Arland games show up, making this a good end to the PS3 trilogy. A lot of people find Meruru’s voice annoying, but I thought it was great. I played it with the English dub though, and found out I was missing out on a lot of extra voice clips, which is disappointing. Do you like the other Atelier games? If yes, then play this. If no, then don’t. If you don’t know, play Totori first to find out.
Final Fantasy V (GBA)
I really like the SNES era Final Fantasy games, but put this one down before and never picked it back up until now. No idea why, as it’s pretty good. I think FF3 was the pioneer for the job system, but FF5 is the one that expanded it into something great. Managing jobs and abilities is entertaining and gives you something to work towards with every battle. I just wish more battles gave more than 1 AP, because I’m trying to avoid grinding. Like other older RPGs, you can explore the world map as much as you like, as the only obstacle to higher-level areas is the monsters that will show up and kick your butt. It’s satisfying to return later with the appropriate strength, and I wish more games allowed this style of exploration rather than railroading you along. I’m 3 crystals in right now, but it still feels like I have a ways to go.
Ys: The Oath in Felghana (PC)
Here’s how each boss in Ys:tOiF plays out for me:
First few attempts: “This shit is impossible.”
Finding a good strategy/weakness: “OK, maybe I can do this now.”
The next 20-30 tries: “SO FUCKING CLOSE”
And then on the last try I beat it without breaking a sweat and wonder why it took so long. I can’t get enough of these games. I played Origin on normal, so I went straight to hard on this one and I’m definitely feeling the heat. This one features the series’ main protagonist, Adol, as he silently journeys through Felghana to save the land. Pretty standard story so far, not that it matters, because that’s not what I’m here for. It’s all about the fast paced action and challenging bosses. Now if I can only get past this first boss in the Castle. He’s impossible.
Devil May Cry (PS2)
When DmC:DMC came out a bit ago I figured I’d try out the series before I jumped into an uninformed hatred. I heard that the first DMC was adapted from the scrapped parts of RE4 but never really understood how that could be possible. After playing it, the connection is obvious. I got dicked over by the camera so much in those castle corridors. Other than that (and the cheesy-as-hell dialogue), the game was pretty fun. The bosses would all kick my butt for a few tries, I’d get more used to their patterns and adapt to the fight, and feel pretty good after overcoming them. There’s so weird stuff here and there, like the underwater parts, jumping parts, and the first part of the Mundus battle (seriously, what?), but the core of the game is good. I can see why it was so big back when it was released, since I believe it pioneered this type of action game. DMC3 (the special edition) is sitting in my PS2 now (DMC2 was skipped because I heard it’s garbage), and I’m looking forward to getting started.