March 23, 2017

Game Binge - Episode Six [3DS Edition]

A few months ago - and by "a few months" I mean basically a year - I was greeted by a shiny new member of my console family: a Nintendo New 3DS (Fire Emblem edition!). I've been meaning for some time now to get back to conquering my DS collection, but I'm sure you can guess how that's going... and now I'm tasked with getting acquainted with the newest addition to the DS league. You know what that means... it's time for a GAME BINGE!

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy - 
I've never played a Theatrhythm game before, but I've heard a bunch of people speak highly of them. Based on the name, I'd guess this was some sort of rhythm game, and I'm pretty well acquainted with Final Fantasy, so this seems like a reasonable one to start with!
Okay. This is cute. As a game, it's exactly like every other rhythm game I've played... easy to read, good diversity but otherwise just a good "mindless" game for me. I don't particularly care for the sliding variety, but I understand the ceiling is rather short for a game like this. The fun part is remembering the songs from each Final Fantasy game and pinpointing all the little characters and stuff. I love the way they use the battle motif for the song, and incorporate summons as special power ups. Adorable. I also checked out the "Curtain Call" variety to see if it was any different, the only thing I noticed was the game taught me how to play with buttons instead of the stylus. Not sure if that was in the first one.

The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes - 
Like most others, I was introduced to Triforce Heroes through a Nintendo Direct a while back - can't remember if it was an E3 thing or not. Either way, the game looked cute and maybe even a little fun, but just not the kind of thing that I couldn't wait to sink into. But I've waited now, so let's see what's up!
...or not. Apparently the demo was a timed thing, and won't let me play by myself (and can't find people online). Why it's still in the eShop is beyond me... also, why would anyone agree to buy a game like this if you can't even check it out first? I was a little skeptical of the whole "three-person play" style to begin with, but I assumed it would let me try a level on my own. Not so! I googled it really quick for an explanation, but all I found was a lot of people saying it was a bad demo for a bad game. Bummer. I'm not paying full price for a game that conducts itself this inconstantly.

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: the Fafnir Knight - 
...What's a 'Fafnir'?
I'm pretty sure I've played an Etrian game before, the trouble is I can't remember which one or when. Feels like this series has been around for a long ass time, but I guess because it's been exclusively handheld-based, I've passed over most of them. My understanding is that this is actually a remake of EO2.
The 3D in this game is already giving me a headache... and I don't even have it turned on. The use of voice acting is... weird. I like the main cast well enough but not so much the ancillary characters. The storytelling is very... Japanese. "The Knights are no good for this very necessary task, so we want a guy we haven't seen since he was a child to do it!" I like the art and music, though! And the attitude. I hope the decision making stuff affects the story somehow.
I'm growing a touch tired of the storybook style of this game. I miss walking around. And I just want to get to the damn labyrinth already! Why do I have to keep doing menial tasks?! I know how to RPG, dammit! I'm not sure if I like the map-making activity or not. Mostly this game just makes me want to play other RPGs again. I think I need to muster more patience to play this, but all in all, not a terrible game. A lot of reading.

Azure Striker Gunvolt - 
This is another of those titles that I recall people raving about on twitter for a few weeks, but I didn't have access to it back then. I do now! Let's see what all the fuss is about!
Ah! Now this is my kinda game! Fast, flashy, furious, fun! And not ridiculously difficult! I love the side-scrolling, I love the little bit of story that I saw (although I'll probably burn like 200 hours reading it), I love that I can figure out the whole game without tutorials, and I love that I can blow shit up! The art is awesome, and the whole futuristic, high-tech motif actually adds to the hasty nature of the game. I don't really know the history of this game, but it reminds me of an anime-based game done right. I'm actually looking forward to getting to know these characters more... I feel like a child again!😆 Pleasantly surprised. Will definitely have to play this one through to the end!

Bravely Default - 
By definition, Bravely Default is right up my alley. Many people have compared this to Final Fantasy and other classic RPGs I love, but I also remember a lot of people pointing out things that were less than stellar about it. Now I get to see for myself!
Um... okay. I'm not in love with the way this game looks. The (town) map is atrocious and the rest of the game looks an awful lot like every other Square RPG on DS... which I was never fond of. The job system reminds me of a more complicated (in a bad way) version of FFV. Also the names are incredibly stupid. The disconnect between the D-pad and the circle pad is annoying me, big time. Combat is straight forward enough, and exploring feels like it should. The music is so-so. God, they run sooooo slowly! There are things I want to explore more, for sure, like summoning friends in battle? What's that all about? I think I dig the 'brave and default' system. Need to play around with that more... I'm a little confused about the quest for the moment, but I'm sure I'd pick that up with a proper playthrough. I must not be in RPG mode today; feel like I'm complaining a lot. I don't know what to say... I'm just not as in love with it as I thought I'd be.

Project X Zone 2 - 
Crossovers are not my thing. I had zero fucks to give about Project X Zone but a lot of others seems to chirp happy things about it. That said, I hardly noticed when the sequel came out.
The story (or excuse, if you will) is competent enough, I guess. I like the art direction and even the (all Japanese) voice acting. It's got a cute sense of humor, too. I didn't realize this game was sorta strategy based. That's exciting! I like the fight screen but it's really confusing (at first, anyway. I've never played before). I feel like I'm not even doing anything but there are about 1000 actions on screen. I don't mind the skits, but they sure are long, and there's lots of them. What's annoying me the most is the endless instruction and countless points of contention; this game seems unnecessarily complicated, and I'm growing more annoyed by the minute. Honestly I think the most exciting part of playing this game would be seeing the different characters you recruit and how they fight, but I'm still not entirely convinced I wanna sit through all this for it. Not stoked on the pace of the early game. I think I'll pass on this one.

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Sprit of Justice - 
I know a few fine folks who are head-over-heels for these Ace Attorney games, but in spite of knowing that, I actually know nothing about the game itself. I'd wager it's puzzle related. But this is probably the new (for me) game I'm looking most forward to getting acquainted with!
I love how the DS shouts "Objection!" when you highlight the game. I'm a little surprised by the level of cinematics. So much personality! The interface sucks. I can see remembering every line of text is going to be a thing, but I like that you can control the pace of the game. I also like how they're mixing the freedom of spirituality with the restriction of law, but they've already kind of killed the story by showing me the guy that says, "I'm gonna pin this on the kid," who's promptly arrested seconds later. Can't help but feel like it would be more fun if I wasn't sure what I was fighting for... or maybe not. I guess, as a lawyer, you have to believe your client regardless, huh? Character development is going well. The sound effects are getting old, fast - animated as they are. I'll have to look for options later. Assuming the rest of the game plays the way the first chapter did, I think I'm down for this! I'll expect it to get a little trickier as it goes...
It's a little simpler than most of the games I play, but I enjoy a good brain work out from time to time. I wonder if you can really fuck up in this game? I've never played one before so I don't know what I'm getting into, but I'm going to give it a shot!

Mercenaries Saga 2: Order of the Silver Eagle - 
This is an example of "cruising-through-the-eShop-and-downloading-a-demo-for-something-I've-never-heard-of-but-liked-the-picture-or-whatever." No idea what to expect, but here we go...
And despite being the wild card in this binge, I can already tell that I'll like Mercenaries Saga more than Bravely Default and Etrian Odyssey! While much, much simpler in design, almost retro-looking, the gameplay is like a quicker, simpler version of Etrian's. This reminds me a lot of my all time favorite strategy game, Shining Force, or Final Fantasy Tactics, even. Very classic in its delivery. Spends very little time boring you with text-based story, but what you do see is intriguing and important. Then, it's straight into battle, which is so familiar and straight-forward that I didn't even have to view the tutorial. My only complaint here is I need the ability to rotate the field so I can actually see where everyone is. It's a little uncomfortable to line up correctly in a crowd. My small army takes a few short opportunities to give me hints, but it's nothing I don't already know. I'm pretty stoked about the idea of having a handheld Shining Force knock-off. I really didn't know what to expect when I booted this up but I'm so happy I did! I really want to see this story through! IT EVEN HAS A FAST FORWARD BUTTON! This is my kinda game!

Kirby Planet Robobot - 
It's been a while since I've delved into a Kirby game. And I mean a WHILE. Like, N64 while. I feel like not a lot of people talk about Kirby anymore... it's just become another one of Nintendo's "wallpaper" staples, cranking out games every year that no one pays attention to. But it was offered, so I decided to give it a shot.
It looks good, it sounds good, and it's undeniably, adorably Kirby. The robot suits are definitely a lot of fun, and there's no shortage of little things to do or interact with. There's an awful lot of stuff to collect, and I'm not sure what any of it does. Oh, stickers? Why do I need those? It's nice that you can hit pause for a small tutorial on how to work the different suits, and I do want to see more suits!
Good design over all, but I don't see myself sinking hours into this game at a time. This might be a great recommendation for little ones, though! I may need to share this with my niece.

Well that was fun. Looks like I've got a few new commitments to make! I love finding games I like for handhelds, since I can take them on the go with me (and I go a lot), much less fuss than big consoles. Especially games like Phoenix Wright and Theatryhthm which don't necessarily require constant play... I can just pick them up when I have the chance and hack away at them. It's too bad Triforce Heroes is so finicky. I guess I'll have to try to borrow it from someone (not sure I know anyone that has it) 'cause I refuse to pay for it before I can see what it's all about.

So, what are you favorite 3DS games?


  1. I also noped outta Triforce Heroes because of the demo, but luckily for you the 3DS has a much more traditional Zelda experience in a Link Between Worlds. It's the most I've enjoyed a zelda game since link to the past (it's also a half ripoff of link to the past).

    For SRPGs, the two (three, four, 4.27?!) Fire Emblem games are fantastic.

    If you have a New 3DS, virtual console SNES is a great way to burn cash for faint glimmers of nostalgia.

    But the real question is... why are you worrying playing the bonus games on your Monster Hunter machine?

    1. In fact, my Monster Hunter machine is actually a Fire Emblem machine! Never did warm up to the Monster Hunter games, but Zelda and FE are old favorites of mine. I've got a couple FE games waiting on my shelf and Link Between Worlds is also on my radar. I try, as much as possible, to play games I've no experience with for Game Binges, so those guys were left out for now.

      I'm hoping to avoid the SNES VC in favor of my actual SNES collection, which has been neglected for some time now... whoops.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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