By Mento 0 Comments
01 02 03
A pretty crappy alternative, mind, but we all do what we must. I've never liked E3, but I'm aware I'm in the minority. Everyone loves hyping themselves up for games that are still months away, and who am I to stop them? Some guy writing blogs about anything but E3, that's who.
So how is everyone today? Play any new games? There's a few out, though not many good ones if the reception Hunted and First Templar are getting (two surprisingly similar games about pairs of wisecracking adventurers taking down evil in a heavily action-based, only slightly RPG-based manner.) Still, inFamous 2 is out momentarily and I can be pretty psyched about that at least. Game of Thrones is picking up too, though it ends in a fortnight with cliffhangers that won't be resolved for years. Overall, as Summer entertainment goes, there's been a surprisingly decent amount of it so far.
For the rest of this blog, I'm going to be snippy about a series of features from a fairly mediocre JRPG I just beat (Tales of Innocence, since I'll be mentioning it a few times), and talk about how happy I'd be to never see them again:
- Airships - Airships are cool, yes, but totally impractical. You need a lot of helium for one thing (and that shit has the unfortunate tendency to float off into space), and quite a considerable degree of technology to create something that can stay aloft and yet produce a lot of power for propulsion. What's worse is how often games will simply allow just anyone to pilot the damn things. In Tales of Innocence's case, it's Ricardo the Sniper Merc a.k.a. Solid Snake with a goatee. He's particularly good at shooting people and has limited skill with anything else. But, no, we'll just throw him the keys and let him get on with it. I mean who cares, right? We have places to fly to.
- Guild "Missions" - By "missions" they mean "random repetitive tasks." ToI has these in spades but they're not so integral to the plot to be as annoying as they could be. However, there are games (like the Tales crossover series Radiant Mythology in fact) that base their entirety on this pointless exercise. Of course, a large amount of the game's inventory, monsters and hidden scenes are hiding in these randomized pits either way, so that's 100% out of reach for those who care until you've spent hours doing pointless work that does nothing for the story or one's ability to enjoy life.
- Dungeons Without Maps - I guess we're supposed to just follow the left hand wall, then? Fine, okay. Just so we're clear here, I'm not talking about FFXIII type dungeons - I'm talking about dungeons with path deviation. Forks and crossroads and the like. As in, the type that could really use some sort of map system. Preferably. If it's cool.
- Random Encounters - Couple this with the last one and it's tons of fun. Of course, ToI doesn't have random encounters, because you can see the enemies on the map just as they spawn directly in front of you and sprint at you at the speed of thought. So the battles are clearly optional in that particular game's case. Roll my eyes.
- Make the Hero Someone Not Awesome - Tales isn't actually too bad at this. At least compared with a certain other long-running JRPG series. Stahn, Reid, Cless and Lloyd were all well-meaning (but kind of dumb) heroes who could legitimately kick some ass. Ruca/Luca (ToI) and Emil (Symphonia 2) are the biggest wusses this side of a Kingdom Hearts game. Do not go to that place, Namco Bandai. You do yourselves a mischief.
- Recurring Bosses - Man, I hate these. But I guess that's the point? Oops. Let's skip over this one. Just assume there's a reason they've grown vastly stronger each time you meet them.
- Undefeatable Bosses - Okay, I guess I prefer the recurring ones to these guys. Unless they're a recurring undefeatable boss. Holy shit, I hate you Beatrix. Best way to design a boss fight like this? Have the boss kill you IMMEDIATELY. You want to build up a "holy shit, this dude is serious" atmosphere with your eventual end-game boss? Just have them instantly win. Bam, down, one move - we're all done for. Don't string it out with the "cat and mouse" bit with weak attacks and allow us to use all our items first.
To recap: I'll be doing one of these blogs, about any old thing I can think of, every day this week. It'll be just like the E3 live feed, where I'll talk about old games and Braid for half an hour instead of E3! Fun times for all.
The next ones might be less churlish and sarcastic.