RayCarter's forum posts

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#1 Posted by RayCarter (237 posts) -

@random45: @sethphotopoulos: @steamrickroller:

Hi guys,

This is a bit overdue, but thanks for finding and commenting on my very old post! I've been a largely off of Giantbomb nowadays, which explains my inactivity on the site until this posting.

Unfortunately, I'm quite behind as to how Giantbomb reorganizes where articles can be found and read (like this one), so unless I google search Code Lyoko Evolution I won't be able to access this post.

Just a slight update, the first season of Evolution has finished airing nearly a year ago, in 2013. There is no second season yet, and Wikipedia seems to be suggesting that the series won't go on. I have no idea whether bad ratings or the like led to an early termination, but that won't surprise me.

There's very little to say about how the rest of the season went, and I feel quite confident that what I said here would probably still represent the show fairly and accurately.

Well, looks like I'm done here.


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#2 Posted by RayCarter (237 posts) -

It is I, RayCarter, and I have returned from watching a subbed version of Bokura War Game, at the request of @petiew, @cloudenvy and @kovie. I gotta say that it is a good movie, especially when considering that it was lightyears ahead of its time. I kind of feel bad that the movie is most likely going to be overshadowed by Summer Wars (even though from what I heard, Summer Wars is pretty good).

If there is one thing I don't really like about the movie though, it was that the vast majority of the Adventure cast is not in the fight for a variety of reasons. Mimi is in Hawaii, Jou is in an examination, and Sora is still fuming over a spat with Tai. TJ and Patamon are pretty much wasted and Izzy (and Tentomon) fall to the same path, although Izzy becomes the tech guy and thus summarizes what's going on in the fight (WTF people stop sending mail! You're making us lag lol).

But there are the upsides. Omnimon kicks a lot of butt, and the WTF faces of Tai and Izzy are priceless; they actually make me laugh. Though the story is predictable it is still filled with tension, with the battle going down to the last second. The stakes were also pretty high. All in all, for 40 minutes of my time, I could do a whole lot worse than Bokura War Game.

By the way, I gotta make clear that I am not a real Digimon fan. Frontier was the only show from the franchise I saw from start to finish. I dabbled in Adventure, Adventure 02 and Tamers, but that's not saying much (like 2 episodes each). I have never cracked open a series after Frontier. But if it's worth anything I had a lot of digivices as a child, though my success on them were hit and miss. Still it's cool to talk to yall about this show; maybe I'll go start another series when the time is right.


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#4 Edited by RayCarter (237 posts) -

Hi. First of all, I would like to thank everyone who have taken time out of their lives to view this article. I am also very grateful for the feedback and discussion that is being generated.

I wish @kovie a good trip with the Frontier crew, and you are right; there are not a lot of Digimon games out there, let alone any of them that are good. The ones I remember are the Battle Spirit games (1 and 2, the latter involving the Frontier characters, the former all the key characters from Seasons 1, 2, and 3). There are also Pokemon-esque Digimon games, but the last time I saw them was a very long time ago, back when the Wonderswan Color was still new, so my best guess is that a lot of these games stayed in Japan and never left there.

In regards to your distaste for Adventure and Adventure 2, it's kinda shocking that you skipped over Tamers, the show preceding Frontier. Take it or leave it what I'm about to say, but the feedback I took from Tamers was overwhelmingly positive. The characters were more original and the conflicts were more personal and dire. There is a grimness [darkness] in a way that actually ticked off longtime fans of the series. Maybe you can watch Frontier, then Tamers, and compare the two.

Thank you, @petiew, for reading my work and commenting on it. Unfortunately I might not know which movie you are referring to. The one movie that I did watch was this quazi-prequel, and that was when I was before adolescence. I haven't watched Savers; what was that show like?

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#5 Edited by RayCarter (237 posts) -

@hunter5024: Hey Hunter,

Just curious, have you by any chance watched the Frontier Review from a site called Lagoon of the Lizard Man? This is the site and review just in case. You guys are pretty similar, comparing the previous series (Tamers) and how Frontier just falls way short of that bar.

Just to fill in, the six digidestined kid is Koji's long-lost brother who was also about to get into the digital world until an accident got him into the hospital while his spirit got caught by the bad guys. It was weird for Koji to acknowledge just because of blunt shock, but eventually the twosome are on good terms.

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#6 Edited by RayCarter (237 posts) -

@istealdreams: I probably need to make some clarifications:

- The things I have said I have done are all done in the normal difficulty, which is the first playthrough. [ I am starting out on the "hard mode" of the game ] implies a second playthrough. Right now I have beaten the first boss in hard mode under the same conditions (small steps first), but it'll take way more leveling and learning to replicate that kind of feat in hard mode.

- I did have friendly AI helping me, but only for one stage. [ No friendly AI characters until the final boss ]

- I did die. A lot [that achievement came off all tons of trial-and-error (sic)]. But thanks to the process I did manage to go through each stage without getting the HP bar to zero.

- I probably implied that the stages are in sequence, which isn't the case. Once you beat a stage you get back to the hub world. That being said, with the knowledge gained from the trial-and-error process I think such a run through multiple stages is not out of the question. It is an option made possible midway from the first playthrough, where the game drops you at random dungeons, and you have the option to continue entering dungeons or returning to the hub world. The only problem I can foresee is that the items can break after many uses, which greatly reduces their effectiveness.

- Though the sorceress is a support-class, as you've noted, in reality she can handle herself quite well. There's the spell to generate food, as I've mentioned, that can keep hit points high. But she also has a dodge/teleport that can make for a great escape tool. Most importantly, with an ice staff, she can spam whirlwinds through the Up+Circle command.

The whirlwinds do moderate damage because they deliver a lot of hits. But the most important thing about them is that for their duration [4 seconds] they can crowd-control a large percentage of normal enemies the game throws at you. This ability gives the sorceress a window to either continue spamming whirlwinds or back off, recharge her mana by holding down square and then continue the fight.

In short, if you dodge well, invest points in the "Create food" spell, and take advantage of the ice staff's Up+Circle, then yeah. At least in the normal difficulty stages it is very possible to defeat both normal minions and bosses without sustaining too much damage.

- What makes the game easier too is that characters level up, which adds on HP and damage output, even though there is a level cap for all difficulties.

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#7 Posted by RayCarter (237 posts) -

I've just finished Dragon's Crown on the PS3 after about 20 hours, and I am posting this forum to answer some questions from guys who are either interested in buying the game or are still in the normal campaign. That being said, there are most definitely guys who are better at this game than I am, and guys like that can certainly chip into this post and provide their perspectives.

A summary of where I stand. I am starting out on the "hard mode" of the game, the second highest difficulty level for Dragon's Crown outside of Inferno difficulty. I played the Sorceress [yep, that Sorceress] with the following [weird, harder-than-it-needs-to-be] conditions:

1. No health potions, although I generated food via spell to compensate. Despite that perk, though, food takes longer to use, so I needed to be careful about my positioning before chowing down grub and regenerating HP.

2. No friendly AI characters until the final boss [which is ridiculously hard], so that means 99% of the time the enemies are geared towards me. Even then I managed to fight off a lot of enemies without taking an excessive amount of damage, so there's that.

3. Managed to beat all the stages [final boss included] without losing 1 Life. Although that achievement came off all tons of trial-and-error and help from AI bots in the final boss, as mentioned.

So I have some know-how and understanding as to how the game works and I want to share my experience with the game, both here and in a future review I am working on. That being said I am still learning the other characters and I'll update this post to track my growing understanding of the characters and the various skill trees and what not.

Ask away!

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#8 Posted by RayCarter (237 posts) -

What about Infamous? Sure, not the deepest of choices [good of bahaha evil], but at least the story can really go in two different directions.

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#9 Posted by RayCarter (237 posts) -

Would love to think that I've learnt something by putting couple of odd hours into games per day.

Would not have known about the Sengoku or Three Kingdoms Period had it not been for Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors respectively. In fact, I wrote a final essay about one stage in Samurai Warriors, and compared it to the actual battle it was trying to emulate XP [Sekigahara fyi].

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#10 Posted by RayCarter (237 posts) -

As a guy who has reviewed more spinoff-ish Dynasty Warriors games, (2 on the PSP, and Dynasty Warriors 6) on this site, I see some points that I can agree with, but other points I have to contend and/or suggest. I apologize beforehand, but I think I am going into a rant here.

Reason 1: The combat is absolutely cathartic, which is why I buy some of the games, but the assertion that the game can get tense moments needs to be given a handful of caveats. Namely, you need to be in harder difficulty settings for that to happen. Assuming you also have some top gear/weapons and some levels on you, you can and will breeze through the stages and campaigns in normal and even hard difficulty settings.

But what I think most observers need to understand about most Dynasty Warriors games, and this is to the franchise's credit, is that the killing is a means to an end. In most stages you have an incompetent commander akin to the king chess piece: Lose him/her and it's mission fail. This means that I, the player, have to go to the leader's aid and kill off key officers who are attacking the main base. Killing also allows me, as a fighter, to take bases that raise troop morale. In Dynasty Warriors 6 (and I will use this game as the main example, much to many fans' chagrin), it is to defend workers from building their catapults and battering rams. Long story short, the killing has some purpose to it, and mastering the art of both wave-clearing and 1 v 1 combat (against stronger officers) will determine just how far you'll go in the campaign.

That being said, if you are really are trying to differentiate between the fighting styles of different characters, I don't agree: it's a pretty small difference. Especially in later games, where all their moves that actually matter seem to combine both the wave-clear and nuke qualities to them [most evident in normal difficulty and lower]. But I could dig that the combat has a "rhythmic element" that makes it work. But why not start an attack with Triangle- Square, instead of starting with square. Why not have a character that doesn't have a Musou attack at all but compensates with extra stats or better ability to take objectives? I am not a game developer, and I can already point out some minor touches/compromises the franchise can take to at least make the inputs KINDA different.

Reason 2: Can't argue with anything here. The game does a pretty good job of using the source material, either in educating the gamer about the period or creating their own fantasy scenarios.

Reason 3: They are not great characters. As you've noted they are archetypes and stereotypes abound. Sure, one of a kind archetypes/stereotypes in the Dynasty Warriors-verse, but nothing special as someone who has. I'm a fan of several characters but ultimately at the most basic superficial level [ie. are you good looking, smoking hot, or super smart?]. On the plus side, it is great to see more characters added in to encompass the whole 3 Kingdoms period. Earlier rosters had most of their characters exist before 234 [date for the Battle of Wu Zhang Plains], and now later games have characters who fought in battles after 234, so more options there.

Going off topic, I wonder if any future games would promote Liao Hua into a unique/playable character. The dude's military career spanned, get this, close to 8 friggin decades, first as a Yellow Turban soldier and later as a longtime Shu officer. Now that's one character who has really been through the wars and met a lot of great allies and foes, and a guy that Koei can work with. Maybe replace him for Zhang Chunhua, who is kind of redundant as a Sima family member when we already have 4 of them? (haha, sorry. But I do admit that the Jin roster could use a couple of bodies, so it's a good choice overall. And tsunderes in Japan are always in demand anyway.)

Reason 4: I am going to defend Dynasty Warriors 6, against the wishes of maybe the entire DW fanbase. I do agree that the Renbu system had some major problems; way too easy to gain infinite combos. I also felt that the developers were lazy because not everyone had a story mode [that part really bummed me out most of all] and some characters overlapped in weapons [case in point, Diao Chan and Zhen Ji, who have identical attack animations and barely any differences aside from aesthetics]. And less characters? What's the loss when considering none of the characters lost are special only in the superficial sense?

But guess what DW6 also introduced? Grab attacks per character, a more systematic way of storming castles (defeating wall catapults, defending builders), and secondary objectives that you most likely want to weave into your battle plan as it gives you advantages in the battle and extra XP after the stage. Each character also have a certain skill that can help, like a half god-mode, half speed-boost, or fire attacks that can take down bases, full on war god mode and so on. I love some of the stages that really get me locked in, like the Battle of Yi Ling [Shu side], which had my camera going on a swivel trying to protect Liu Bei from certain death [as well as all the other subordinate officers]. I also love the labyrinthine design of He Fei Castle in the Battle of He Fei [conveyor belt trap, fire towers and so on].

DW 6 is flawed, yes. But was it a crashing failure? Absolutely not. Would take that over Dynasty Warriors 1 [the fighting game], so there's that.

Well, I hope that my comments could add a tad bit to the discussion. All in all, it's cool that you did write an article defending the franchise, but even you must admit that there are things the series can do to be better.