By JJWeatherman 19 Comments
It's nearly two in the morning and I'm wide awake. I've recently finished some games, so I figure I'll write a bit about them while I have the time.
I've finally finished this! I really liked it a whole lot, and I was trying to savor it for as long as possible. But I did finish it a few days ago, and continued to play after the final boss was defeated and the credits rolled. There're quite a few secrets to find in this game, so I spent a good couple hours unlocking costumes for the plethora of characters. I also made my way through all of the retro cartridge stages to unlock the classic Commander Video character. There's a lot to see in Runner 2.
I started to write a review for the game, but so far that hasn't really gone anywhere. There's something about writing reviews that throws me off. I just don't know what I want to do with a review, you know? As someone who's not a well-established internet personality, it's tough to write a meaningful opinionated review, as no one really knows a ton of my background or where I'm coming from. But then going the pure objective route in a review is entirely uninteresting to me, so it's little tough. I hope to at some point find a way to write a meaningful review, but I haven't cracked that nut quite yet.
On top of my struggles with review theory, I've had a hard time nailing down my exact thoughts on Runner 2. If I were to put a number on it, I'd either give it a four or a five, but I've gone back and forth quite a bit. I liked the game a lot, and in many ways it's nearly perfect. On the other hand, this is a game that doesn't do much differently from the original Runner. The mechanical additions to the series aren't particularly interesting, and toward the end of the game things begin to become a bit stale. Whether or not those issues are significant enough to warrant docking a star is hard for me to say. It probably makes sense to dock a star for these legitimate issues, but then I feel like I still had five stars worth of fun with the game. I suppose this circles back around to my issue with review theory.
Anyway, the game's really great. Despite my lack of faith in the art style upon initially learning about the game, it actually works extremely well, and is downright charming. I think fans of the original will definitely enjoy what's here, which is a whole lot more of the Runner you love.
So I finished this as well. I must say, I'm glad to be through with it. I wanted to like it, but I just didn't. The controls are too clunky and the basic game design lacks creativity. There are simply too many gunfights and not enough exploration. I felt like I was constantly shooting, and that's really not what's fun here. It got to the point where I'd see a gun leaned up against a crate in the distance (something that's all too common, eventually becoming laughable) and just knew I'd be in for more frustration.
The plot barely managed to keep me interested. Luckily the characters were really good, and the dialog actually provided me with two or three laugh out loud moments. I've already talked some about my problems with this game in my last blog. Unfortunately none of my thoughts have changed much since finishing it, so I won't go on too long. Uncharted was interesting, and ultimately I'm glad I played it, but I'm happy to put it behind me and never play it again. I'll be moving on to the second game in the series in a little bit, but I'm currently taking an Uncharted breather. Hopefully the second game can live up to the hype. I'll be supremely disappointed if it turns out to be too similar to Drake's Fortune.
Oh, and I guess the last thing I want to make sure to mention is how crazy short this game is. The combat scenarios were terrible, therefore I died quite often, and yet this still only took me seven hours to beat. Seriously, with as many times as I died, that total time should have been closer to six hours, possibly less. I would have enjoyed some more time with these characters, but then with my aforementioned habit of dying constantly, the brevity was, in a way, a relief.
And a game that I haven't beaten! Not yet, anyway. I'm continuing to make progress in this lengthy JRPG. Perhaps that was redundant, as length is probably implied with the term JRPG.
I have no idea how long this game is, but I now have what seems like way too many Dragoon Spirits in my possession--one for all but one of my seven party members, as it stands. I'd guess that I'm at least half, possibly two thirds of the way through.
If there's an issue with the game at this stage, it's that there's too much exposition and not enough straight icin' fools. I'm currently trapped in this process of gathering party members inside a castle for an imminent celebration of my party's heroicness and bravery. You know what? I've still got things to do. I don't have time to celebrate my own accomplishments (or lack thereof). I need to chase down Lloyd (the main Bad Dude) and take back the Moon Dagger, which is clearly of great importance, and almost certainly poses a threat to the entire planet. I have no time for scavenger hunts, followed by dialog, followed by backtracking, followed by more dialog. I hope the pace picks back up soon, because it's currently as if the story is stuck in molasses, and it's tiresome. The combat's so good here that I actually want to grind and level up my characters and their special moves, so please, game, let me do that.
The writing at this stage of the game is as laughable as ever, which continues to be simultaneously enjoyable and cringe-inducing. There was recently a scene between the main character, Dart, and his love interest Shana that was redonkulous. Shana finally confessed her love to Dart. She told him that she loved him, that she's always loved him, and that when Dart went away on his journey (an event previous to the game starting) it just made her love him even more. She says that she's okay if Dart only thinks of her as a little sister, because at least she's been able to spend time with him. At that point Dart finally tries to tell Shana that he thinks of her as more than just a little sister-type, but Shana cuts him off and says they should discuss it after their journey. They awkwardly move closer to each other. What's going to happen?! It's a JRPG, so of course there're like three awkward interruptions in a row, and the moment is lost. Everything about everything in this game is so ridiculously cheesy, but again, it's all pretty much amazing.
I'll continue to update as I make my way toward the end. I'd like to wrap this one up so that I can not only get back to Ni no Kuni, but also start in on the other PlayStation era JRPG's I've bought recently: Xenogears and Wild Arms. So many RPGs!
That's all for now, but I'll almost certainly be back to bother you all some more in the near future. If you have any thoughts (perhaps contradictory ones) regarding whatever it is I've been rambling (waffling?) about here, I'd love to hear them!