Watcha been playin?
I been out a long time folks, but my sweet Rollin came out with a call, nay, a plea for any content on our beloved blog and thus I give you the time honored exchange of information between gamers called “watcha been playin?”. Rules is simple, I tell you what I been playin, how I feel about it, etc, and you do likewise. Simple ain’t it? So for the past few months I been playin:
Mario and Luigi : Partners in Time
Great game. GREAT game. The last Mario RPG I played was THE Super Mario RPG for the SNES, so there was no paper mario of any sort for me. I’m always a little perplexed at how Nintendo manages to stretch the story of a plumber who has to save a princess from a turtle/dragon hybrid, but they managed it with panache in this game. While it wasn’t woah-god amazing, it managed to delight me with something new at precisely the right moments when I was starting to get bored. And even if you’re not into the cutesy look of it, the artist in me was staring at the beautifully rendered backgrounds and wondering just how much effort was put into them, not to mention the terrific looking sprites.
definitely 5 out of 5 stars
Feel the magic XY/XX
Essentially an experiment in DS touchscreen controls, Feel the Magic does manage to amuse and interest me with its offbeat Japanesey story and whacked out art style. However, the minigames are all stylus dependent and in some cases where pinpoint accuracy is necessary to complete a level, the hardware isn’t up to snuff and it can get pretty frustrating after a few tries. Still good for a rental or a bargain bin find.
3 out of 5 stars
I’ve just started on this Atlus RPG, and it’s the kind of game I would have loved if I still had a daily commute. That’s because it involves a hell of a lot of level grinding, something which would have happily occupied me for an hour or so on the commute to work. Now that I’m working from home, grinding becomes the chore that it usually is, and thus not so pleasant. This game’s lucky I’m going to Shanghai for vacation today, cos it’ll see a lot of use during the 3 and a half hour flight.
The story itself is mildly interesting, the emphasis on item collection and its effects on the world is also refreshing. The more you pick up or mine/chop/take items found in the Etrian Labyrinth and sell them to the shopkeeper, the more items she’ll be able to sell you. However, the amount of money you earn from the items is paltry compared to the price of weapons and armor, so you’ll be making plenty of trips into the dungeon to be able to buy one or two items. And you’ll ned them too, because the enemies ramp up in difficulty and damage in a way I haven’t seen since Final Fantasy 2, where if you stray too far into a section of the dungeon that you’re not supposed to be in yet, you’ll end up dead pretty quickly.
Atlus by nature seems to be a quirky company, so it should be no surprise that they chose to make use of the touchscreen in a rather novel way, having you draw a map of the dungeon that you’re in to make a record of the interior of the labyrinth. Apparently not too many adventurers have lived to tell the tale of the dungeon because there are NO maps for you to use except the ones you make. It’s a little odd and feels a bit tacked on, but it doesn’t make the game any less enjoyable so I’ll give the mapmaking mechanic a pass.
Overall Etrian Odyssey seems like a decent first person view RPG, and shoud be a good bargain bin find. I’d say rent it, but it’ll take you damn near forever to finish it.
3 out of 5 stars