Finally got some time with Skyward Sword this week. I believe I’m wrapping it up and if correct, I should complete it this week. There’s been a lot of information dropped on me in the past couple of hours. Nintendo seems to put a lot of thought into the general history of each Zelda game’s universe and when this information becomes clearer, I always make sure I’m paying attention.
Other than that, my friend and I dabbled with about a half dozen games, attempting to pick one to play through. We weren’t successful but two standout games were Odama (GameCube) and Mystaria: The Realms of Lore (Saturn). Odama is super weird for a few reasons. It is basically a pinball game set in feudal Japan but there are also elements of army management. Another weird thing: it’s controlled nearly exclusively with a microphone. I thought it was fun, but I got frustrated at it easily. I’ll definitely put more time into it.
Mystaria: The Realms of Lore, also known as Blazing Heroes, is a tactical rpg similar to Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber or Front Mission. We played it for a few missions but I was turned off by the visuals. It’s in 3D and it doesn’t look great, worst of all the camera changes are oddly jarring. The gameplay seemed easy, with a lot of depth potentially, but it was very slow. I might have an idea as to what we’ll play through next however…
Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber is a peculiar game. Developed by Quest and published by Atlus for the Nintendo 64, it was released in North America in late 2000, and is notable for being one of the only RPG’s on the system. I initially thought it to be a tactical role-playing game similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, but it’s not. There are role-playing aspects such as customization and battle scenes, but the control I had over a small army reminded of the real-time strategy genre.
The game begins with the main character, Magnus Gallant, graduating from a military academy. In this sequence, I was asked questions and my answers decided the type of class Magnus would be. Upon graduation Magnus is sent to the southern reaches of Palatinus to put down an uprising by the lower class. Magnus wields his sword protecting the status quo of the monarchy and early on realizes the unjust nature of the class system he is fighting to protect.
The game offers the player choices at main intersections in the story, the first guiding Magnus along the path he is currently on, or allowing him to join the revolutionary army and fight for equality against the upper class. Each mission usually undertakes similar related concepts, in a much smaller scope, but each one evolves Magnus’ perspective on the world around him. Of the few choices I had to make, few of them had an obvious good and bad element. I had to sit and think about the route I would take and how it would affect the cause that Magnus fought for.
Before missions, Magnus would be briefed on the battlefield, the enemies, and the situation in general. Each mission took place in a fairly small geographical region, but they usually had a handful of towns. The objective was always to reach the opposite end of the map, capturing the enemy headquarters. Once I’d been given control, I would begin dispatching battalions and giving those battalions destinations. Both dispatching and issuing destinations was a redundant task. Lacking the ability to choose a group of battalions, I had to issue destinations and dispatch battalions one at a time.
If a battalion of mine ran into an enemy battalion, a battle would ensue. Once a battle between battalions started, everything happened automatically, dictated by the battle strategy I chose for that battalion. Rather than picking each action for each character, all I did was pick a battle strategy such as attack leader, and my characters would act accordingly. Not being able to choose individual targets was frustrating in some situations. Even when I told a battalion to attack the weakest enemy, sometimes they would attack a target with full hit points instead of an opponent with a low amount of hit points. The path to victories however was customization.
Battalions are a nine by nine grid that could be composed of up to five characters. The placement of the characters was vital for battles. If a soldier was placed on the front lines he would be able to attack twice, anywhere else, he would attack only once. Similarly, if I placed an Amazon (archer) on the back row instead of the front row, she would attack twice rather than once.
Besides the placement of characters, it was important to make sure that battalions were balanced class-wise. Early on, I was losing more characters than I wanted, so I added clerics to each battalion; because of this, battalions could participate in more battles and fewer of my characters died. With customization of individual characters being a vital component of the game, I wish the process of equipping characters and buying goods was easier.
In between missions I’d do all of my customization. I’d view my entire army and select individual battalions and then, individual characters. I’d change their equipment, alter their formation, change characters between battalions, there was a lot I could do!
But I gave up on Ogre Battle 64. There were many missions that required trial and error, perhaps because I became too cocky and decided to forego strategy and tactics after a few easy wins. But I attempted the fifteenth mission half a dozen times before I realized the characters I was fighting were a decent amount of levels ahead of my characters. To continue I would have to spend an hour or two grinding my character’s levels, and after all the times I went through the set up of the mission, which takes five to ten minutes, I was done.
I fear that I was playing the game “wrong” by leveling up my battalions equally instead of focusing on a few. It’s the same way I feel whenever I play tactical role-playing games. At some point it feels like there is one correct way of completing each mission, and the trial and error it takes for me to reach that correct way is frustrating and drives me to stop playing altogether.
I would like to return to Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber and potentially complete it at some point, but not for a while, I just need some time away from it. Ogre Battle 64 had a serious story that contained mature topics and having a choice in my actions was thrilling. And the gameplay was exciting; it was something I’ve never experienced. Instead of finding a tactical role-playing game as I thought I would, I found an interesting game that combined the customization and leveling aspects of a role-playing game with the strategy and direct control over multiple units of a real-time strategy game. I spent thirty hours playing Ogre Battle 64 and there’s easily another thirty hours in it, but because it frustrated me too much, I’m moving on for now.
Unfortunately I didn’t complete three games from two decades ago as I did last week, but this week will be interesting nonetheless. Why do I say that? Well I’m onto new things as I’m finished with the two games that have been the status quo for so long.
I paid off the final portion of my debt in Animal Crossing: City Folk and will quit playing as much as I have, and perhaps won’t play the game at all soon. I have written a review of sorts for it (it basically outlines what my routine was) and I expect that to go up Tuesday morning.
I have also given up on Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber. I have reached a point in it where it is too frustrating to continue. And that’s a shame too because I enjoyed the game a fair amount, I mean I stuck around for twenty-nine hours. I’m disappointed that I won’t be finishing it, and in all honesty I’d like to reattempt it, but not for a long time.
On the brighter side, I’ll be able to play other games. I believe I’ll focus on Zelda II: The Adventure of Link next, although Grandia Xtreme is beckoning me as well. I also have a few smaller things I’ll check out, such as Star Soldier. And I still, still have to check out the extras included with Devil May Cry 4. But then again, perhaps I’ll push all these to the side and purchase L.A. Noire.
So expect a review for Animal Crossing: City Folk Tuesday morning and a review of Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber at some point this week.
I played a lot of video games last week. I had the day off Wednesday so a friend came over and played practically all day. We completed Streets of Rage, Streets of Rage 2, Golden Axe, all on the Sega Genesis, as well as Mansion of Hidden Souls for the Sega CD. We played many more games too but those are the four we completed. I’m also getting close to paying off my debt in Animal Crossing: City Folk, which means I pretty much be done with it. I’ve already begun playing the game less but once I’m done I’ll be able to focus my attention on Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber, which I hardly played last week.
With all that in mind, this will be my busiest week yet! I’ll post a review for Streets of Rage 2, Golden Axe, and Mansion of Hidden Souls this week. How about Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday respectively for those reviews, which will leave me time to write about Animal Crossing and that might get posted this week as well!
With my finals completed and no school until fall (passing on summer classes) I should have slightly more time for video games. And this week I’ll actually have at least three posts going up, counting this one. Tomorrow I’ll post my review of the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack for the Wii, and sometime later, I’ll post a review of Streets of Rage for the Genesis.
So I’ve played a fair amount since last week and I know what you’re thinking, Animal Crossing: City Folk and Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber and two of the games I played, and you’re right! I’m getting close to paying off my mortgage in Animal Crossing and with that done, who knows how much initiative I’ll have to continue playing, at least at my current pace. And with studying consuming most of my free time, I didn’t play much Ogre Battle 64 which requires a lot of time. Super Street Fighter IV also got some action last week, a little bit early on in the week and then some multiplayer at the end of the week. Besides those, my friend and I played through Streets of Rage, as well as a round of Columns on the Genesis.
So expect my Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack review tomorrow, a Streets of Rage review sometime this week and maybe some more.
Posted my review of Truth or Lies, I’m glad that’s done with. I actually played a long round of that with a friend this past week so he could earn some achievements in it; when we were done he had about 600/1000. Well besides playing a round of Truth or Lies, I’ve played other games this past week. And again, they’re pretty much the status quo of Animal Crossing: City Folk and Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber.
I still need to plant trees in my town, my town’s environment isn’t where it needs to be yet, even after planting so many orange trees last week. I got the golden shovel this week, don’t know what that’ll do in Animal Crossing: City Folk. I’m still making my way through Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber, nothing special to report concerning it.
My friend and I also played through Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold and The Last Bounty Hunter which means, that I’ve finished the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack on the Wii. I’d like to have a review of that up this week, but I’m going into finals week in school so no promises. I haven’t done anything with the collector’s edition of Devil May Cry 4 so that would be next week at the earliest.
Oh, and I’ve been playing Super Street Fighter IV after playing some Marvel vs. Capcom 3 at a coworkers’ house. MvC3 was hectic, there was a lot happening on screen and the game felt as though I could button mash and succeed, but I enjoyed it.
Let’s see, posted two things last week: my review of the Final Fantasy XII collector’s edition and my review of The Legend of Zelda. It’s satisfying for me to post more than one article per week, but this week might not be one of those weeks.
The games I’ve been focusing on are the same two for the past couple of weeks, Animal Crossing: City Folk and Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber. Two important things in Animal Crossing: City Folk this week. Yesterday was Bunny Day, which means Zipper T. Bunny came and hid eggs. I was able to find them all and completed the egg furniture set. The second important thing I did was plant a lot of trees, like, twenty plus. They’re all oranges which is a nonnative fruit in my town which means they bring big Bells from Tom Nook, plus they’ll improve my town’s environment.
I was very close to quitting Ogre Battle 64 since talking about it last week. I failed a couple of times on a mission in particular and eventually redid my battalions so that each one would have a cleric and that helped immensely. Now that I have clerics in each battalion, I have had very few deaths and the past few missions haven’t been too difficult.
Besides the status quo of Animal Crossing: City Folk and Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber, I played a few co-op missions of Killzone 3. The early missions were set in a destroyed city, which was very drab, but the game played phenomenally. My friend bought the Helghast Edition and the items that came with it seemed quite cool. We also played through and completed Mad Dog McCree. I bought the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack for the Wii which has all three Mad Dog McCree games, so once I’ve completed the other two, expect a review.
The one sure thing that I’ll post this week (besides this) will be my review of Truth or Lies. Like I said last week, I have a completed review of Devil May Cry 4, but I want to compose a review of the collector’s edition first so I can post both around the same time.