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The Return of the Lazy Backlogging Bum October 22, 2010

Posted by emeraldsuzaku in Anime, Blog-along, Video Games.
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So. Here we are. I am officially a lazy bum. What happened these last months, you ask? A couple of things. For one, I got distracted by a couple of non-backlog-related projects. And then when I did start playing again, I ended up spending all my time playing and not typing up blog posts. Bad, evil, naughty me.

But I’m back! For what it’s worth.

Let’s see…progress….

Dragon Age Origins is done. I started up a Nightmare game with a female human noble rogue, but am still in Ostagar on that. Haven’t touched the game in a while. I did play through the Return to Ostagar DLC on my mage, but I haven’t picked up the Awakenings DLC yet. I should probably do that at some point before DAO2 comes out.

I still have a few trophies to nab on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, but that game is just about all done. I think I’m just down to a couple of challenge missions and finishing up the boost collection.

I think I’ve touched Demon’s Souls once since my last blog entry on it. It’s at the point where I pretty much need to start over, I think. Or at least replay some parts with my current character to get back into the swing of things. I did watch a speed run of it, though, and was rather amused.

Star Ocean: First Departure has likewise been on the back burner. Mostly because I got bored being so bloody powerful. I’ll probably restart it and refrain from being awesome at Art next time around.

I haven’t touched Metal Gear Solid or Valkyria Chronicles in forever, and I don’t even remember where I am in them anymore.

Okay, enough about how much I suck. I did manage to actually beat some games and finish some anime these last months, even though I didn’t mention it on here. The list of games I’ve taken care of in 2010 is currently thus (as best as I can recall):

SNES
Dragon Quest I
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest

PS2
Ar Tonelico : Melody of Elemia
Final Fantasy X International

PS3
Assassins Creed II (+ first DLC)

Bayonetta
Final Fantasy XIII
God of War (God of War Collection)
God of War II (God of War Collection)
God of War III
Heavy Rain
Resistance: Fall of Man
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

PC
Dragon Age: Origins (+DLC)

Mass Effect (+DLC)

Mass Effect 2 (+some DLC, but not Shadow Broker)
Plants vs. Zombies

Tsukihime
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War

PSP
God of War: Chains of Olympus

I think that’s fairly accurate. I’m still going through Tsukihime to finish off all the character routes, and I started up Atelier Annie. Oh, and Final Fantasy XI and XIV. Not that I’ve done much with either in recent weeks. And I started up Xenosaga again in an attempt to get through all three games.

As far as anime goes, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and Gundam OO were my most memorable watches, and I very much enjoyed both. Black Lagoon was so-so. I’m slowly working through Golion, at like an episode per month. That is quite a slow series.

And I think that puts us back on track. The next update will likely be on Tsukihime later this afternoon. Like, as soon as I type it up. Which I’ll start doing after I post this. I also have a backlog-related project in the wings that I might start on next week. If that happens, I’ll be posting more details then.

For those (few) interested, my current video game backlog looks like this:

http://www.backloggery.com/suzaku

Sadly, it’s actually a tad bigger than that, though the sense of scale is about the same. I haven’t updated it as quickly as I’ve been pulling games from Steam sales >_>

Until next time (which I hope will be matter of minutes or hours, rather than months)!

Of Princesses and Dragons February 9, 2010

Posted by emeraldsuzaku in Commentary, Video Games.
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Yeah, it’s been a while. Sorry about that.

At any rate, I recently bought a Super Famicom and a bunch of games for it. I thought it fitting that I christen my new system with the first Dragon Quest game. I fired up the Dragon Quest I + II cart and realized that I hadn’t thought of a name for my hero yet. Looking around my eyes settled on my beer bottle. Inspiration struck and Ansel, descendant of the legendary hero Loto began his journey to glory.

I chatted with the king, looted the chests, and set out exploring the castle. There really wasn’t much to do, but I made sure to find the old guy who restores MP. He’ll come in handy later when I learn Hoimi. I bought some equipment at the town of Radatoom and proceeded to slay each and every slime I ran across for several levels. I made some money, bought some more equipment, moved up to Drackies and Ghosts, leveled up more, bought more equipment, then hit the cave with Loto’s grave. I had forgotten that there were no enemies there. Oh, well. It was less levels that I had to get later.

This being Dragon Quest, that was pretty much the entire game. I did manage to get through the entire thing without dying, which was cool. Exploring the world was fun, even having done it all before. There was a bit more exposition from the NPCs this time around, too. I’m not sure if that was new to the SFC version, or if there was just a ton lost in translation in the versions we got in English. Either way, the world felt more alive than in any of the other versions.

Three things struck me after I finished the game. First, the original DQ is in no way difficult by today’s standards. Yes, there’s grinding to be done, but as long as you have the best equipment at any given time, you don’t really have to worry too much. This is helped by thing number 2: all of the spells are useful. I used every spell in the game, and can safely say that, with the possible exception of Begira, I would not want to be without any of them. Sure, it’s a small spell list, but it’s a really useful one.

Third, and most interestingly, there are only three bosses in the entire game, and one of them is optional. You have the Dragon guarding the princess, which does show up as a normal enemy later on but gives boss-level XP and gold upon defeating it. Then there’s the Golem, but he’s actually entirely optional as you never actually have to go to Merkido for anything. And there’s the Dragonlord. Yes, there is that required battle with a Demon Knight if you want to get Loto’s Armor, but it’s a regular enemy with normal stats and normal rewards, so it doesn’t count. The game is really more about exploring the world than going from boss to boss. You go through the tunnel to get to the other side, not to defeat some big nasty. It’s an interesting concept, and not something that you really see too often anymore. I would wager that Dragon Quest has less bosses than any other game even remotely resembling an RPG.

I’ve had a general like for the Dragon Quest series for quite a while now, but going back through Dragon Quest I has kindled an appreciation for the games that I had previously not had. It’s short and sweet, but the ride is really, really fun.