Have a bloopy weekend, everyone!
Mento's forum posts
@wjb: Oh lord, the AI is terrible in this game. Really made me appreciate Xenoblade's ally AI. There's no tactical setting between "cast all your biggest spells constantly at these small fry" and "don't cast shit and watch helplessly as I forget to heal myself and collapse like an idiot". There's a "keep us healthy" option but they'll still unload all their strongest attacks whenever there's no-one who needs healing. I've also noticed that they'll just put their familiars away and bop enemies ineffectually with their crappy harp and grapple hook gun.
As for the monsters, yeah, I rolled with the defaults for a while (and gave Swaine the lemur some kid gave me, since he's proficient with that genus) but I'm near the end of the game and a lot of other creatures are outclassing them. I've just been tossing the occasional strong-looking creatures in the third slot and comparing stats with my defaults whenever they finally catch up. It's how I found put my pirate cat is pretty badass.
@rorie: Honestly, I like Ni no Kuni just fine, but it's weaker than any of Level-5's PS2 games. I'd say it works best as a gateway to Level-5's other RPG output (and probably RPGs in general, because of the family-friendly Ghibli edge) but I'd much rather be playing Dark Cloud 2 or Rogue Galaxy.
I've been wondering about the name too. I suspect they might have been worried about calling it Another World and getting it confused with Delphine's Out of This World (which was Another World in a few territories and was rereleased fairly recently). Second World maybe, since that's a more literal reading of the Japanese. It's possible they were expecting that most of their sales would come from people who had been anticipating the game since its DS incarnation, who would recognize it better by its Japanese name. JRPGs are in the same kind of place that Fighters once were, where they can only really guarantee sales from folk already dedicated to the genre and tries to market directly to them.
@euandewar: They're all pretty lengthy, in fairness. My backlog is filled with games of equivalent length too and it's just hard to find the time to play them. RPGs aren't really suited for playing in spurts either, because immersion counts for a lot. I'd have to say though, that Level-5 RPGs were to the PS2 that Rare platformers were to the N64: they found a niche and really made it their own.
@thatpinguino: I believe it was largely the point early on. They wanted to focus on long-form written stuff and be a site like Rock Paper Shotgun, rather than build a lot of infrastructure for looser video content like a lot of gaming sites were doing in the wake of GB, Roosterteeth and YouTube. They were also making grand statements about being the Traveling Wilburys (not a direct quote) of gaming journalism too, but they were known for getting a little ahead of themselves in those halcyon days.
@paulunga: To be fair to the place, I mostly see Polygon through the filter of those already biased against it (and sites like it, such as Kotaku) who occasionally quote the awful article titles that they're running with incredulous disdain. It used to be that most of the Polygon vitriol was reserved for their inspirational documentary and certain staff members like Gies and Kuchera, but now it's almost exclusively these types of awful articles. I hope articles like the one you linked aren't just once-in-a-blue-moon worthy pieces, because that's precisely how quality writing can find itself buried and under-appreciated. Who wants to sift through all that muck for a few jewels?
@flameboy84: @pyrodactyl: Yeah, it's a legit shame. For as much as I've ragged on Polygon on the past and how full of itself it was right from the start, it does (or did) have a lot of talented people working there that I was glad to know were getting regular paychecks. The McElroy duo especially. It's opted to take this self-destructive "You won't believe what game character will cameo in this big upcoming Hollywood picture" tangentially-related clickbait-y route than simply call it quits or scale down to a smaller, focused team producing quality content like GS has. Professional gaming journalism/critiquing sites are all finding ways to deal with this recent crunch, displaying varying levels of pride and contempt for their audience in the process.
I'm content knowing that Giant Bomb's one of the few sites to do it right and will probably survive, bug-out bag style, but then it was also fortunate to be standing on top of the hill when the water levels began to rise.
Bwahaha, I could've warned you about Kick Challenger Air Foot (and probably did). If I find any more terrible tomato games while wiki-ing, I'll ketchup with you later.
Apparently Puzzle Boy's sequel changes the tomato into a potato, if you wanted to find another potato game to feature it with. I'm sure there's some YouTuber out there with a list of potato protagonists.
@hailinel: Honestly, I think that example demonstrates why we should have Quick Looks and Critical Reviews with no middle ground. The former's useful for quick and dirty impressions for those eager to buy something brand new and want some affirmation that the game's not complete dreck, while the latter can arrive at its own pace and give itself time to form properly. Sort of like the microwave ready meal and the sous-vide of video game coverage, respectively. (And appropriate, since I think those two are all that Dan Ryckert will be eating from here on out.)
Munchakoopas? Is that Polish?
Also, I guess we need to add another rule to this new ruleset prohibiting users from calling Nintendo fanboys "homo nintendonus".
(Talking of which, let's keep our criticism of Patrick's article constructive, if indeed you have something critical to say. Personally, I would think that any and all new Yoshi information is important to Jeff Gerstmann's vision for this site.)
You're not wrong about being worried. I think GameSpot saw how Polygon is slowly becoming Kotaku 2 (Ko-two-ku?) and figured it'd be more merciful in the long run to lose those guys and give them a shot somewhere else rather than force them to do abject clickbait-y nonsense for just enough advertising dollars to pay their checks. That's no way to be in this business and enjoy/respect what you do, and you're just diminishing your own reputation (or brand, since you invoked that term) in the process.
Honestly, I think you give me too much credit. I'm proud of some of the blogs I've written on this site, but a lot of it is goofy throwaway stuff I just tend to write for fun. My daily series, comics and LPs especially are just exercises: attempts to prove (to myself, really) that I can maintain some level of satisfactory quality on a consistent basis if need be. I'd say yourself, Dankempster and Gamer_152 are the best community writers we have because it's clear how much work you all put into the format and research and proofreading, and folk like VGK and Arbitrary and Moosey and Sparky have worked such a long time on their style that everything they write is always competent and entertaining reading. I do wish we had the amount of bloggers we used to, but it's starting to pick up again.