Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Trophy Hunting - Way of the Samurai 3

After finishing both inFamous 2:  Festival of Blood and Sleeping Dogs:  Nightmare in North Point, both of which I had good experiences with, I figured it was time to move onto something else.  Sure, I could have gone on to play Killzone:  Mercenary on my Vita (Which I like, but can't be bothered to play more than one mission in a sitting), Rune Factory 4 on my 3DS (because I still haven't married Forte, goddamn random events), Hometown Story on my 3DS (Because storefront) or any other combination of things, but there was one game that stood out.  Thanks in no small part to my buddy Kaseius streaming it a few times recently, and my ever-burning desire to start the game again after I lost my save to my first PS3 when it had that...unfortunate business with the YLOD, I decided it was time to finally finish Way of the Samurai 3.

It under-taking, that is to be sure.  My quest for the Platinum was well under-way when my PS3 gave up the ghost, so I have all of the trophies except, you know, the ones that require the most time and effort to get.  Specifically the trophies for Mastering all skills of a particular stance (which means, inevitably, obtaining all of the game's 102 swords) and seeing each of the games 21 endings.  It might seem like it's cut-and-dry and, well, it is which is invariably the problem here.  The road is straight, if a bit bumpy.  I know -exactly- what I'm expected to do, and the only issue is managing to do it.  The 'doing it' is just going to take a lot of time that I don't...technically have to be able to spend with just one game, but I'm going to have to manage it.

One part of the problem is that some of the swords simply do not appear unless it's on a higher difficulty.  Another problem is that some of the swords are rare spawns.  And the Venn diagram problem of those two is that some swords are a rare spawn on higher difficulty modes only.  Two of them, at least, are specifically tied to an opponent you won't even fight until the end of a particular run, which means you either save-scum or you play the game a -lot-.  I'm fairly sure that every time an area is loaded (since the map is broken up into different places, like the Road, Amana Castle, etc.) the weapons on everyone are randomly decided (minus the few who only have one, unique weapon, which you think is every main character, but is in fact only most of the main characters) which means you can theoretically save before heading into a specific part of the map, get to the guy you need to find, check his blades and decide what to do from there in terms of killing them or re-loading.

Thankfully, I haven't gotten to this point of tedium just yet.  No, no, I'm still stuck in the lower echelons of tedium in mastering skills on swords with Move Scrolls for maximum efficiency.  Each of the 102 weapons has its own set of Skills (well, the moves that you can use with the sword, really) that have to be unlocked for the Stance Mastery trophies, and there are two methods of doing so.  You can either simply fight with the weapon and evolve it through combat (later skills either take a lot of kills or there is an element of randomness to it), or use a Move Scroll corresponding to the level of the skill - Basic, Advanced or Expert.  Without boring you with too many details, you can only hold 10 of each scroll at a time, which means it's kind of a hassle to actually go through the process of mastering weapons.

I do have a little system set up, however.  Move Scrolls are expensive: around 800 - 1,600 Yen a piece - when you can reasonably expect to get 200 - 600 Yen if you do a side job, of which you can -maybe- do two a day because of time limits and availability.  There is one rather lucrative way of getting money, however, and it simply involves walking up to the Ouka Clan castle, telling them you want to join, proving yourself and then murdering their leader.  They'll make you the new boss and one of the perks is that you can demand yen daily from the guy who handles the money.  Increments are 100, 500 and 1,000, and while you can technically try to draw more than once a day, it's a bad idea.  Just demand 1,000 and move on.  Do that every day for a while to build up a nice little purse and then move on to the next step.

One of the quirks of Way of the Samurai 3, as with some other games, is that money actually transfers to a character when you buy something, instead of know, being subtracted from your total and disappearing into the aether.  What this means, of course, is that as soon as you finish buying something you can pull out your sword and stab your seller to death to reclaim your money.  And if you do this right before leaving the region, presumably while flipping the bird, well that's kind of the idea.  Spend all that stock-piled money on scrolls, murder the merchant, apply them to weapons and then leave so you can start another run through.  Since that stock-pile stays with you more or less, the Ouka Clan money grind is only a one-time thing unless you need -more- money for some reason (Mogs Note:  50,000 Yen is over-kill, but you can use the rest to by Match Scrolls and Health Increasing items) and the rest is just a slow, steady paint-by-numbers affair at cursing at the 10 stack hard cap and murdering an innocent merchant and his inordinately sturdy bodyguard.

I've had worse trophy grinds before, of course, and it's helped by the fact that Way of the Samurai 3 is rather fun, especially with my powered up Legendary Murasame Ninja Stance sword with a respectable 100-something attack.  That I got by paying the blacksmith to upgrade it a bunch of times...and then murdered him with afterward to get my money back.  It's really handy!  Once the Stance Mastery trophies are mine, the last bit should be a breeze as I only have to beat the game 18 more times.  Which is honestly less intensive than it sounds, since a single run-through can be completed in less than an hour.  In a sense, the light at the end of the tunnel is already there as I'm assuredly up to 60 or so of the weapons, with Mastery being the only thing I have to do with them.  It's just a very, very long tunnel.

I am going to get so frustrated scumming Shuzen fights because motherfucker has like two sets of weapons that I need

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