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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:07 pm

I actually felt that a lot of your critiques are more apparent in Final Fantasy Tactics then Tactics Ogre. I much preferred the latter myself. I found the plot harder to follow in FFT, I found the difficulty balance worse, especially if you were using generic units. I found the way it constantly threw named characters at you who far outclassed the guys you'd spent all the game training so far annoying.

Tactics Ogre isn't perfect, but I think it far exceeds FFTactics myself. That said, I feel like Tactics Advance and Tactics A2 are better than either by some way because they just feel more streamlined, despite being long games themselves.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by pierrot Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:27 pm

Exhuminator wrote:[...]An obtuse title.

Funny thing about that song: The title is actually Japanese--"手を取り合って" ("Teo Toriatte")--and includes the chorus repeated in Japanese.

Exhuminator wrote:And even your best efforts to keep track of the plot proves to be in vain, when the final area and final final boss basically show up out of the blue. It's almost Necron level in that regard. I understand Matsuno was trying to write a story that is at once mature and epic, but there's something to be said for conciseness and brevity making a tale far more poignant.

I thought the plot was pretty sensible, personally. I'll admit that the final boss would be difficult to forecast, but I wouldn't equate it to Necron. He was a pretty pivotal character in the last chapter, even if mostly talked about in passing. I feel like "Shyamalanian" would be sufficiently unflattering for how it was handled.

I thought the story was, hands down, the best thing about the game--with the music, and aesthetic close behind (I actually don't care for the PSPs "updates"). I do wish the four sisters had been given a little more "screen-time," but the ending felt almost perfect. It's not quite War & Peace, but compared to the bulk of the trite, useless exposition dry heaved out of video games, I thought the story was practically award worthy. I did the Neutral path, though.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:59 pm

I'm disappointed with the others. I wonder if the script was changed and downgraded somehow. The game blew me away when I played it a few years ago and I thought it utterly destroyed FFT. But I guess there's no use to keep going on about it. I thought it would be right up your alley. Maybe it got overhyped here. Ah well.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:33 pm

Maybe Ex just wants more hamburger and less steak.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:50 pm

alienjesus wrote:I feel like Tactics Advance and Tactics A2 are better than either by some way because they just feel more streamlined, despite being long games themselves.

I often wonder if I'd enjoy Tactics Advance and Tactics A2. I've read so many conflicting opinions about those two. The contention seems to stem from something called the "judgement" system or some such. And that the plots are more lighthearted. I also now wonder how I would enjoy The Knight of Lodis on GBA. I've read many times people disparaging it versus Tactics Ogre original. I certainly don't see mention of Lodis on this forum often.
pierrot wrote:I thought the story was, hands down, the best thing about the game--with the music, and aesthetic close behind (I actually don't care for the PSPs "updates"). It's not quite War & Peace, but compared to the bulk of the trite, useless exposition dry heaved out of video games, I thought the story was practically award worthy. I did the Neutral path, though.

It's not that the story is bad overall. There's a strong tale being told, without too much melodrama even (thankfully). It's just the dense way the story was presented, with the lack of proper context for the player at times, that put me off. Perhaps the original Japanese script is better.
Xeogred wrote:I thought it would be right up your alley.

While I may not have loved Tactics Ogre, I certainly respect it for what it did back in 1995. And the 2011 version is a nice spit shine of the original (in most ways). But once I hit the 20 hour mark I started getting very bored with this one trick pony. At least I really enjoyed Arc the Lad!
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:06 pm

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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:07 pm

Xeogred wrote:Image

If you think my review hurt read this:

http://www.tbstactics.com/2011/10/tacti ... r-psp.html
Last edited by Exhuminator on Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:49 am

Finished another one tonight...

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11. Dear Esther: Landmark Edition | PC | Adventure | 2017 | 3hrs | 9/10

Dear Esther was originally a Half-Life 2 mod released in 2008, and later redeveloped as a commercial release in 2012. Five years later, Dear Esther was retooled again, this time as "Dear Esther: Landmark Edition". Differences include having been ported to the Unity engine, with a full audio remaster, and the addition of a brand-new Directors' Commentary mode. Some cite Dear Esther as the beginning of the "walking simulator" genre, a label this reviewer thinks makes as much sense as reducing Super Mario Bros. to a "jumping simulator". There's just no getting around it, Dear Esther is not a game for everyone.

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Does the idea of walking slowly around a deserted island, while listening to a man read excerpts of letters to his dead wife, sound like a fun time? Probably not. But "fun" is not the point of Dear Esther. Exploring, discovering, and thinking is. (Though unraveling this mystery which surprises you for every assumption you dare make is very entertaining in its own right.) Thankfully the island which you wander is quite beautifully rendered in convincing detail, and the cavern area contains some of most stupendous graphical design I've ever seen in a video game. Your eyes will be well fed, while your mind ponders, and your soul begins to stir. Or maybe you'll just be bored silly, it's very possible.

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This gamer however, was totally enraptured by the experience. From the achingly beautiful immersive atmosphere, to the tiny subtle secrets hidden all over the island. I found Dear Esther to be a wonderfully subversive "video game", but also understand fully why so many have challenged its authenticity as such. Now I won't claim Dear Esther is perfect; I ran into a nasty clipping bug in the caverns, and not being able to save your game at any time is annoying. Also taking control away from the player for the ending, that could have been handled a little more interactively. But those are tiny gripes in the grand scheme of what Dear Esther accomplishes.

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This game is art. Yep, I went there. Art as I define it anyway. I believe proper art asks questions, but doesn't tell the answers. And Dear Esther met that criteria with gusto. Is Dear Esther just a pompous exhibition masquerading as a video game? Is this a milestone of the medium, pushing the envelope of what a video game can be? Only future gaming historians know for certain. But this player was absolutely astounded by the experience, and moved deeply by a phenomenally brave ending. It's not often a video game can make me cry, let alone hug my wife a little tighter.

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https://www.gog.com/game/dear_esther_landmark_edition
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:57 am

Exhuminator wrote:
alienjesus wrote:I feel like Tactics Advance and Tactics A2 are better than either by some way because they just feel more streamlined, despite being long games themselves.

I often wonder if I'd enjoy Tactics Advance and Tactics A2. I've read so many conflicting opinions about those two. The contention seems to stem from something called the "judgement" system or some such. And that the plots are more lighthearted. I also now wonder how I would enjoy The Knight of Lodis on GBA. I've read many times people disparaging it versus Tactics Ogre original. I certainly don't see mention of Lodis on this forum often.

So I can't speak to A2, but Tactics Advance I feel was overall fairly weak. It sort of takes the FFT class system and heavily restricts it. Your force is split into several races, and each race can only use certain jobs (with the same style of learning skills and the need to master earlier jobs to use later jobs). Some jobs are more universal than others, but at the end of the day you lose out on a lot of customization. But the Judgement system is really the thing that just feels completely bad. This is a system wherein at the start of the battle a roving Judge shows up on his chocobo and tells you what action(s) are prohibited this battle. These are the same Judges as from FFXII (which came later), except in XII they were actually badass. The way this works is let's say the restriction is "No swords". If you attack with a sword then you'll get a yellow card, which is some sort of bad thing, and then continuing to do so will get you a red card, which is even worse. I can't even remember the specific effects since it's been (oh Christ, I hate doing math like this) almost 15 years since I touched the game. I went ahead and looked up the wiki article that explains it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fan ... vance#Laws

Knight of Lodis I can't compare to original Tactics Ogre, as I think I'm two battles into the PSP version and haven't touched it since release. Knight of Lodis uses a sort of modified version of Ogre Battle's promotion system. You still need to care about alignment and stats, but you also need certain awards. These are things gained during battle for various actions, and jobs typically need an award related to their functionality. An award might be gained for killing so many units, or charming a certain number of enemies, or counter attacking a bunch. Many of them come with inherent bonuses, so they're worth getting even if you don't care about a particular job.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:23 am

MrPopo wrote:The way this works is let's say the restriction is "No swords". If you attack with a sword then you'll get a yellow card, which is some sort of bad thing, and then continuing to do so will get you a red card, which is even worse.

I can only imagine the designers did this to try to force the player to be more strategic and not just rely on the same tactic over and over (i.e. don't just use archers all the time). It still seems a little goofy to read about out of context though.
MrPopo wrote:I went ahead and looked up the wiki article that explains it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fan ... vance#Laws

Ah and that link provides better insight, such as Judges granting bonuses (Judge Points) for using recommended things by said Judges. And that later in the game, the player gains the ability to use law cards, which can add laws, and anti-law cards, which can nullify laws that are already in effect. For all the complaining I've ever seen about the law system, I've never read anyone mention those balancing aspects. :roll: Thanks for the informative link.
MrPopo wrote:you also need certain awards / jobs typically need an award related to their functionality

Ah so this was this game's way of trying to get the player to play more strategically, gotcha.
MrPopo wrote:I think I'm two battles into the PSP version and haven't touched it since release.

Any particular reason why you dropped it?
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