Sunday, May 27, 2012

Unfortunate Downtime with Dynasty Warriors Next

So, if there was one thing that I expected with 2012, it was certainly not having a period of downtime in terms of gaming, yet since I beat Trails in the Sky, that is precisely what I've found myself in.  This is only because I can't/won't play my PS3, of course, since my backlog mostly exists there and the damned heat of the Spring/Summer prevents me from taking a shot at it, and I don't have a lot of Digital Copies of PSP games and the one that I do that I would be playing (Phantasy Star Portable 2) doesn't work (goddamnit, Sega).  So I'm stuck with the PSP games I do have digital copies of (Persona 3 Portable, Final Fantasy Tactics:  War of the Lions and, of course, Legend of Heroes:  Trails in the Sky), and my two (three) Vita games.  I have no reason to throw Uncharted:  Golden Abyss back into the Vita, and minutes with MotorStorm RC shaved entire months off of my overall lifespan, so that leaves the last choice with.....Dynasty Warriors Next.


I have a very love/hate relationship with the game as you might be able to figure out, even if you haven't read the many many posts I've written about it, but considering I have $3.07 to my Playstation Wallet and the money in my actual wallet committed elsewhere, meaning no way to any other games, I'm pretty much stuck with it until Tuesday.  At that point, I'll get Resistance:  Burning Skies that will likely have bullshit Multiplayer trophies that will keep me quite busy until the next thing that I want comes out, namely Gravity Rush.  (By the by, we're getting the Gravity Rush demo this week as well.  Eeeeeee~)  And so on and so on - Hopefully in the break between Gravity Rush and LittleBigPlanet (or, with any luck, the Beta for it) I'll get access to a little more cash to throw down on another PSP RPG or something that will be a good time-user (not waster) so that I won't have to worry about this whatsoever.  Because falling back on Dynasty Warriors Next is less than optimal as you might guess from my previous rantings.

The only reason that I'm not done with Next is the fact that it takes 54-78 hours for a few of the trophies meaning that it's a semi-endless grind.  Having that means that it's 'convenient' as a game to pick up every now and then for a few hours of gameplay that ends up with minimal progress.  A second Officer card or two, some weapons, a few sworn/spouse relationships, yet when it's held up against the great wall of necessary progress, it's almost infinitesimal.  And of course, with forced duels in every single map you play, any fun that could be derived from the actual playing of the game is drained rapidly, leaving you with a husk that used to be fun and almost makes you realize just why the series is despised by game reviewers.  Almost.  Of course, their reasons are not these and merely cosmetic at best, so all you share is a dislike for the game, despite the wildly different approaches for it.

Regardless, seeing as there's not enough time to pitch back into Persona 3 Portable or mayhaps even a Trails in the Sky NG+, yet there's too much time between now and Burning Skies, I find myself at quite the impasse.  Given how many times I've come back around to saying this, I imagine you can understand the frustration that this is a game in a series that I enjoy, not to mention a portable version of it that I can technically enjoy, and yet in playing it, I simply....don't.  In what was originally just a minor annoyance, the Dueling system has evolved into something that truly makes me loathe the play the game, when if it was not there, I would merely resent the style in which I have to play to ensure that I get the most 'bang' from my playthrough 'buck' as it were.  Barring the other unfortunate side-effect of the randomizer in Force Numbering on top of the Dueling, the game would be enjoyable to start and devolve into merely 'playable' for the last bit of the grind, yet those two items make it a chore, and one that I don't want to invest my time with, honestly.

Regardless, when the game isn't sucking my soul out painfully, I am happy to say that I am still making progress with it in the only way that's completely possible.  After wrestling with the way Second Officer Cards work (which is...uh....not at all like it should be.  You'd think that having one person in play means they can only show up as their alternate, but apparently you can have three of one person on a board at the same time as I did with Wang Yuanji) I got about four or five plays in before I just became bothered with it, leading me to turn it off.  Those plays meant that I filled out a few weapon slots, I got Wang Yuanji's Second (and only her; this is so much more of a pain than it has any right to be) and formed a handful of new bonds.  Actually, I learned something on that front as well:  Using Daqiao as a ruler for a handful of female sworn officer bonds, I discovered that it is actually impossible to form a Sworn Sibling oath with her sister, Xiaoqiao.  This is a level of detail that is all at once astounding and terrible, as it makes -far- too much sense and actively impeded progress for me earlier.  Of course, this will not be an error I will make again in the day or so left I'll spend with the game.

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