Star Ocean: First Departure – Part II: Through Purgatory September 29, 2009Posted by emeraldsuzaku in Blog-along, Video Games.
Tags: PSP, Star Ocean
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And so it continues. I played some more Star Ocean last night. I finished the stuff in Astral. I REALLY like Phia. She’s rather okay in combat, but her personality amuses me. Not nearly as much as Ilia amuses me, though. That woman is hilarious. Especially her comment about Roddick being whipped. Wow.
Anyway, I undertook the (optional?) quest to go retrieve an item from Purgatorium. You know, that place I ground waaay too many levels out at earlier. Of course, I wasn’t using this mysterious super-secret-entrance thing, so I had to stumble around a bit until I found it. I was expecting a cave-like thing on the world map, but there wasn’t any indicator of where it might be. I just zoned into the secret entrance area when I got close enough. Interesting.
I met up with Ioshua (awesome name, by the way) and ran through the dungeon with him. The teleporting colored blobs were cool, and the hints were suitably mysterious, yet easily decipherable and helpful! Though, the big multi-tiered room was really, really annoying. I kept accidentally running into the wrong color of puyo and getting sent where I didn’t want to go. I came out a couple hundred skill points ahead thanks to random pickups in bundles of 50 SP.
The phantom hounds at toward the end weren’t very difficult, and now I’m really starting to regret having taken the time to play around with the crafting. I am so overleveled (my main three are around level 30+ now), and Roddick is so insanely powerful the game has no challenge. I assume things will even out eventually, but for the moment it’s all pretty meh. Everyone has Determination maxed, Ilia maxed Appraisal, and Roddick is working on finishing up Crafting. I don’t remember if I maxed that with him or not.
Ioshua has Trance (or whatever skill it is that reduces lag time between spell casts) up to level…9…I believe, and is proving to be mostly useless. I just don’t get hurt enough to make him need to heal, and I’m still leery of allowing the AI to spam skills/spells all the time, as they invariably burn everything on random encounters as soon as humanly possible. I really wish there was some middle ground between “kill the crap out of everything” and “don’t use anything shiny.” The “spread out and attack” tactic is okay, but meh.
The conversation at the end of Purgatorium was pretty amusing, as was the cutscene back in Astral. I loved the personalities of the Three Graces, and Phia is developing well also. The plot is certainly thickening. I did end up requesting Ioshua to join me. It’s another party member, and he might actually be useful later. Maybe. Or something. Now it’s onward to Silvalant, with possibly even more skills. And stuff. Next time through I’m definitely going to hold off on the power leveling crafting thing. I didn’t realize that I could abuse item creation to get THIS overpowered so early in the game.
I finally feel like I’m getting used to the battle system. I’ve played a decent amount of Tales games, which have a similar yet different system (and one that I still like better), but even so it still took me a bit to wrap my head around this one. I think my initial issue was that I was using Semi-Auto instead of Auto, which required more menu management and made targeting clunky in comparison to the combat system as a whole. Auto is definitely the way to go with this one.
Star Ocean: First Departure – Part I: Behold the Power of Art! September 28, 2009Posted by emeraldsuzaku in Blog-along, Video Games.
Tags: PSP, Star Ocean
Star Ocean is another one of those games I started a while back and never really played too far into. Yes, yet another victim of gaming ADD. This weekend I sat down to watch a football game, as I usually do on weekends during this sports season, and plugged in Dissidia. Which was cool. But then I got Dissidia’d out, so I had to find something else to play. It’s a curse—I apparently can’t sit down to watch a sporting event on TV without having something else to do as well. I was contemplating the new Persona, which is sitting next to my chair, but instead opted to rescue the PSP version of the first Star Ocean from the bowels of my backlog.
I started where I had left off, which was apparently in the middle of a pirate hideout. I vaguely remembered some instruction or other along the lines of “kill the pirates, get the boat” so, being all about wooden floaty things, I proceeded to massacre every last pirate I could find. I know I skipped some branching paths in the place, but I was running so low on resources that I really didn’t care. Unfortunately, it seems that I can’t go back anymore to retrieve what I missed. Oh, well. Also, I have Cyuss.
After beating up the big, burly men, looting their loot, and rescuing some mysterious girl, I returned to port. The girl ran off without even giving her name (typical) and dropped her ocarina, which I picked up. I smell sidequest later. Possibly even a recruitable character. I poked my head around town, but didn’t find her, so I apparently can’t get her now. Oh, well. I’ll just hang onto that ocarina for a while.
I took my free ride by boat to the kingdom of Astral, and wandered around the continent, occasionally getting lost by not following the road, and eventually ended up in Tatroi. I wandered around town for a bit and found the ferry to take to the city of Astral, though I decided to wait on that. Instead I left town and poked around the rest of the continent. I found another city, Tropp, but there wasn’t much of interest there. I also found a cave that led to a place called Purgatorium, and I ended up doing some serious leveling there. 400-800 exp per person per battle was amazing for me at that point in the game.
Everyone in my party (that’d be Roddick, Ilia, and Cyuss) gained a massive number of levels, and with them SP. I had already started Cyuss on the path of the Chef earlier, so I finished him out on that. Dang, level 10 Knife is expensive! After that I started popping points into Determination.
Roddick spent his time working on Determination, Godspeed, and whatever else I felt like. At the moment he has 8 levels of Crafting, but other than that it’s a pretty schizophrenic skill build.
And then there was Ilia. I had her working on Art, and was able to max that out for her. This being a Tri-Ace game, I periodically take breaks to see what kinds of cool stuff my folks can make. I’ll usually save the game, but a bunch of ingredients and go craft. If I don’t like what I see, I’ll reload and craft again. This way I get a feel for what each character is liable to make me with the skills they have and with the levels they are at. I figured that with Art I’d be able make some cool stuff that would be a little ahead of where I was at at the time, but I was rather unprepared for what I actually got.
At first, I popped a couple of Jack-in-the-Boxes. Generally those resulted in junk, or a random battle that killed me quickly and messily. I kept reloading and retrying, and then I got a Goody Box. Oh, dear. I saved and opened that a few times, and ended up with a Sword of Marvels. Helllloooooo, overpowered Roddick! Coupled with the Ring of Might and Berserker ring he made from crafting random crap I had lying around, he now hits for 3500-4000 when everyone else is hitting for 200-ish. And heaven forbid he gets a Power Surge. I ran him through the Rank C arena fights and got the Omega SFT skill, which I promptly maxed with him. And in my next battle I promptly learned Omega Double Slash. That one hits for 7000-8000 per hit. Yowza! I didn’t bother going any further in the arena, or working on breaking things with any of the other characters because I’d been at it for a while and, well, one broken character really is enough for me right now. Though I did get an Arbalest out of one of my last jack-in-the-Boxes and am now awaiting someone who can actually use it.
I went back to Tatroi and took the ferry to Astral city. Phia appears to be rather amusing. When she’s not killing people. And sometimes even when she is. Oh, wait, it’s not really Phia. It’s really some spider demon chick things. Ewwww. Must squash like bug! Or arachnid! *puts on J. Jonah Jameson mustache*
I followed the demonic spider lady into the cave between Astral and Tatroi, and went pretty much all the way through it. I found the boss fight before I had finished exploring the cave so I reloaded to the save point right before her. I finished exploring, and ended up finding the way back to the beginning of the tunnel. The game was over at that point, so I healed up at the statue, saved at the save point right there, and quit for the night. I’ll run back through the tunnel and squash spider chick later. Possibly tonight.
And yes, I’ll likely be getting back to the Legendary run-through of MUA2 later this week. When football’s not on.