Friday, April 6, 2012

What I Did On My Spring Bre- er, Hiatus

So, I hated to do it, but not having a computer means I can't really do a lot, given the limitations of the browser on the Vita and the limitations of my patience, and because of that, as I posted last week, I had to go on a little hiatus.  It was both terrible and uneventful, yet relaxing and enjoyable all at the same time.  Much as when I had that hiatus last June, it was all fixed thanks to my computer guy who is awesome and amazing at the same time.  Long story short, the power supply on the computer went out, as I suspected.  Maybe it got shocked through the modem (and the router, both of which are fine), maybe it got a surge when I plugged it in, maybe it just died because it's old, or maybe gremlins.  I don't know.  After that was replaced with a brand new power supply, I hooked the computer back up, got ready to get on the internet only to find that it would not connect to the internet.  Again, the internet was fine; at the same time that I couldn't connect on the computer, I could connect on the Vita and used the browser to connect to Mibbit (an IRC client; it works, actually!  It's hard to use on the Vita, but it works) looking for tech support that didn't pan out.  Taking it back to the guy revealed that the Ethernet Port had simply gone out, necessitating a cheap, easy replacement.

That last part was today.  As you can see, it's working pretty decently.  But that's neither here nor there, nor is it particularly interesting, so I'll be getting into the good bit now.  The good bit being, of course, just what I did with my little 'break'.

The fun thing about what I'm going to talk about (more 'fun' for me, rather) is that every single thing I want to talk about will, in all likelihood, be its own post in the coming days, both because I have so much to say after not being able to do anything for a week, and because I need to catch up in posts.  That means that I'll need to find a way to say enough here without saying too much and taking away from future posts.  It's a problem that I've noticed Chance has come across lately and I completely understand it now.  Obviously, the above picture (with very minor Spoilers, sorry) would be how I would like to start "Platinum Get - Uncharted:  Golden Abyss", and I certainly will do so when it's appropriate, but it's also appropriate to talk about now since I got it on the first day of my hiatus.  So this is my attempt to not say too much here.

It really wasn't a -hard- Platinum to get like I thought it might be.  However, as I thought towards the end, it was a long, tedious one to get with the bounty sets requiring nothing less than repeated tries at a certain section where the yield percentage was the highest.  Or, in layman's terms, the spots in the game with the most enemies in the same checkpoint.  Coincidentally, those sections were mostly parts where you have Infinite Ammo or something close to it which makes it, well, 'easy' of course, but it also makes it frustrating because it's literally just pointing and shooting at things and restarting until you get a bunch of coins.  Alternatively, I could have just waited and just done it -after- my Crushing run, since I found out something really interesting!  Apparently, if you select the prologue on Crushing and then play the entirety of the game, you still get the trophy instead of having to start a whole new save.  This is my gift to you, potential Trophy Hunter; the gift of knowledge.  Use it so you don't end up screwing yourself out of bounty progress going for the harder difficulties.

Regardless, it was fulfilling and enjoyable as, as I've said several times, Golden Abyss was just a pleasure to play, despite the tech demo feel that it has with all the touch and motion controls towards the start.  Only one part gave me any real troubles and by 'real troubles', I mean 'this section is bullshit on Normal', and for anyone who's played the game, I don't even have to tell you that it was Chapter 11.  You know this already.  It's as bad as you think, and unfortunately, it seems insurmountable, but it is.  Mostly through luck  Actually almost entirely through luck.  There's really no sure-fire way to get through it and if there is, it certainly wasn't easy for me to find or do.  It just really requires determination and a lot of time and patience, which is something you probably have if you've ever gone for any Platinum.  Or that you might not have a lot left of, if you've been consistently going for Platinums.

For a very brief amount of time, Dynasty Warriors Next reclaimed my attention for quite simply being the only Vita game I have left that lacks progress.  I don't count MotorStorm RC when I say these things because MotorStorm RC makes me rage and want to destroy things.  Alternatively, Dynasty Warriors Next just drains everything resembling resolve and determination when I load it up because of the statistics screen above.  For the amount of time I've put into the game, which is conveniently displayed, which says 51 hours (about half the time I normally put into a DW game), I only have a paltry amount of things gained.  Of course, they all say 50-70%, but at the same time, I've voiced my complaints on the acquisition of these things before, pointing out just how tedious of a task it is.  And of course it doesn't show how many Sworn Sibling/Spouse Oaths I've formed which is 'Not a lot'.  There is likely 50 more hours of my time that Next demands before it will relinquish unto my a Platinum trophy, and I'm not sure I want to give it those 50 hours.

When I say a very brief amount of time, I mean the time it took to play two conquest maps which is, again, 'Not a lot'.  It would have taken less time had the first three rounds allowed me to do anything other than sit and watch myself being unable to invade because the RNG didn't give me a point in the one territory that needed it the most, though thankfully I also was not invaded during this time because my number stayed on par with my neighbors for those turns.  However, during that time, one of my enemies (it was a three kingdom map of twelve territories) made significant headway into the other and, on the turn I struck out, they invaded the Capital of my other enemy, thus absorbing that kingdom and making my job a lot more painful.  It's because of moments like these that I just don't find the desire to play the game when most other times, you have to find a reason for me to -not- play a Warriors game, whereas that reason is usually 'burn out'.

I guess 'burn out' is still a valid thing here, however, since the game simply doesn't have the same amount of depth, unfortunately.  After playing the story once, I really have no incentive to play that part anymore and, even if I did, it plays exactly the same way as the other mode, Conquest, with the addition of Cutscenes.  That's about it.  That isn't to say that I don't like the game, as I've clearly made it known that I do, just that I really wanted a little more from it.  Even if it was just literally DW7's Conquest Mode copy-pasted into Next, it would've been an improvement, or at least to have the option to have that alongside the Empires-esque version.  It's really just a numbers game at this point; 60-some characters in the game, each one has two Officer Cards, you can only get the second half after the first, and it's not a guaranteed gimme no matter what.  Then you have to form a Spouse and a Sibling Oath with each of those 60 characters.  Conservatively speaking, you can get one Spouse and Two Sibling Oaths per play.  I'm sure you can do the math for yourself.  Without anything approaching variety involved in all that, it simply becomes a slog and it's rather unfortunate.  Still, for a quick play here and there, it'll suffice just nicely.

Finally, as my most recent tweets (as of writing this, at least, I'm not going to link them and further my Twitter Whoring) might have already spoiled, I succumbed to the Siren's Song of the Newly discounted Persona 3 Portable after saying I really should resist for a little while.  Of course, I downloaded the hefty game at another house, turning what would have been a six-hour download into a 40-minute one, and thankfully, I've been able to stick with it this time, rather than my last play of it where I got entirely too obsessed with Social Links and quit because of the pressure involved.  Because if you want to get the 'most bang' out of a single play, it's a very strict schedule that you have to follow and I find that not caring has left me open to enjoy the game, actually.  Surprising.

At least, mostly enjoying the game.  I find myself disagreeing with a lot of the design decisions, but luckily the story has become really engrossing, keeping me around to get me more used to the things I'm not entirely crazy about.  Still for my money, the game isn't 'Fantastic', but merely 'Good' at the time of writing this in which I am about half-way through it.  At least, I think I'm about half-way through it.  Of the twelve, erm, 'events', I'm being led to believe that there are six more after taking two out in a single night.  Without a save point between them.  Which took 11 tries, despite me being fairly decently leveled for the section, purely because of really bad luck and, again, poor design decisions, this time merely with AI annoyances and the combat system (not in how you use it, but how enemies do).  When I eventually write about Persona 3 Portable more in-depth, I will go into it more, but suffice to say I think the game is great when it isn't bad, leaving no real room for a middle-ground.  Take that for what you will.

Still, there's something to be said about a game, any game, that actually makes you -feel- one way or another about the characters in a way that isn't all that shallow.  Like, more than "that's the antagonist, wanna kill him" or "that's a good guy, want him to succeed".  But to become emotionally invested in the characters for one reason or another, simply because of the way they're expressed to you, the player, speaks of a very rare talent, something special that is not present in most games.  Obviously, an RPG is the best place to go for this type of investment, but they don't always deliver.  No matter what I say about the mechanics of Persona 3, the characters will be the reason why I finish it.  I think that's pretty much the most important thing to say when talking about the game, since that's really the highest praise I can give it, and it's the highest praise someone should look for.

Really, contrary to last time, that's what the majority of my hiatus has consisted of, is only a scant few games.  I guess it speaks more to P3P's favor that I spent a week straight playing it, but I am not without my complaints about it.  Still, as you can tell, I'm enjoying it more than I'm not, so at least it's positive overall.  Regardless, I do hope that Persona 4 is as much better than 3 as I've been lead to believe as I am very anxiously awaiting the Vita port of the game in the West, despite the fact that it will likely come out in a time where I don't have time, nor money, to buy it.  Which is pretty much the entire rest of the year.  Friggin' 2012, why do you have so many games!?

1 comment:

  1. Stockholm syndrome will set in - just you wait.