Thursday, September 24, 2015

Phantasy Star Universe: Thoughts and Ongoing Playthrough




I'm gonna try and do this blog a different way and update it every time I add a video to the playlist. 

Well finally got around to this game.  I picked up the Xbox 360 version from Gamefly. I didn't want to hunt for a PS2 version. I didn't know there was on the PC.  But the game is no longer supported. I rather not buy the game and find out I don't have access to a lot of things cause of support.  After researching apparently I can't get the expansion anyway unless I get the PS2/PC version. I doubt I'll look into getting it. I already started on 360 so might as well go all the way.

Well the opening has a catchy song as most if not all Phantasy Star games go (I never played the ones on Genesis or NES).  I can let the graphics go cause I don't care for graphics. But I can already see how the game dramatically improved with Portable and Portable 2.  Universe does things that you're thankful is no longer a thing or simplified in future games.

  • The binoculars are an actual item. You have to put it in your quick select or whatever its called to use them. This de-equips you of weapons so if enemies show up you gotta switch to a weapon. There's no sniping either. 
  • Weapon techs you only need to learn them once then to level them up you just use them constantly. I actually prefer this as opposed to Portable's method of requiring you to find a higher level version of whatever move. Meaning you're depending on drop rates. 
  • Guns are generally useless. You have ammo in a sense. The PP required to shoot guns may be small at first. But recharges VERY SLOWLY! Once its out of PP you either have to wait FOREVER or recharge it using an item or a recharge point. This applies to Melee weapons too but you can still use them to hit the enemy.  
  • You can't use a created character. At least not until the expansion part of the game.  Yeah you're stuck playing as a character who you can't change clothes or looks.  

Ok so I started this and I already don't really like Ethan Waber. Or his sister.  Ethan is cocky and wants to pick a fight with everyone. I'm amazed at how quickly he humbled himself a bit at the very start of the game.  Seriously characters these days take forever to wise up and humble themselves to realize that they're not all that. But Ethan is still cocky. 

Ok I have to point this out now.  What the hell is the deal with these awkward character movements these dudes make. I don't mean from a graphics point of view I mean why do they do that? Do they have some kind of disorder or medical condition? Why do they do that? 

I have to say that main problem with this game is that the hub worlds are too damn big. I like how they simulate multiple NPC's walking around by making them disappear so the only ones that actually have something to say are standing around. That something other RPGs should take into account if they want to make the game have lots of NPCs around.  But regardless the Hub Worlds are too big. I got lost easily trying to figure out where I have to go next. I didn't even see some shops till much later.

Chapter 1


Get lost and try to advance the story.  Then when mission time came up.  It dawned on me that I'm gonna constantly miss the time requirement for an S Rank by just a few seconds each and every time. I could see where the moves came from at least. Level the skills is kinda annoying but its better than hunting down high level versions of the same move.

Chapter 2


Once again I'm lost as to where to go. These maps are far too big for there own good. New party members. And a character I may actually like. Karen has the appearance of a person that doesn't take anyone's shit. But this mission is annoying.  Having to switch from my weapons to binoculars to some special gun to defeat a specific enemy. This is annoying to no end. Its hard to make my party members take care of it too. I figured ok I'll locate where all these Seeds are and they do the other thing.  But I have to kite my allies over to it to even maybe get them to do something. I'm trying to be efficient by killing enemies and taking care of the Seeds so I can make the mission time. But once again I miss it by seconds. Boss time.  I wouldn't call this a boss by Phantasy Star standards. Bosses are usually MUCH bigger than this. But my allies didn't help at all. They were in some distant corner of the map while I'm swinging my sword. To once yet again miss the mission timer by SECONDS!. Allies are less reliable here than they are on Portable it seems. I realize its AI but man...at least do something.


Chapter 3


Well guess its time to detour and train cause I have access to side missions. Best to do those so I can be ready right?

Why is it that every chapter I have to view the damn opening FMV? Was this supposed to be an Anime? Ethan you're night clothes...well I shouldn't complain but I mean this is a game. And now Hyuga's giving me the business on how I messed up his mission points?! Last I checked I didn't get an S rank cause you and Karen decided to have a cup of tea while I'm doing all the work.

And the first Free Mission I get to do...Another A Rank....These AI partners are useless to be honest. And here's the first instance of me being poor.  In the game...I'm already poor in real life. Time to repeat that same mission countless times. At least maybe I'll get my rank up and build my techs better.

(How am I supposed to do any of these missions in the seriously strict time frame given? They're practically asking me to be able to do 1 hit death here.)

I honestly think I should train up to LVL 15 but that might be overkill. Level 12 will do me. Also my Photon Arts aren't too bad in levels.

So I'm supposed to make sure this dude doesn't die at all during the mission...Sigh...Well at least its not PSO...oh wait...its just as bad. Oh hey De Regan...oh so that's how you pronounce it. Well if that's the case just call it Dragon. How the hell do I go into FPS mode? Would love to have it so I could shoot properly.

So now we explore these damn ruins...well its just like Portable. Oh joy its those robot soldiers except in this game they're far more annoying. Seriously I can't get to backside and every time I do its smart enough to do that damn spin attack. The exact properties of these guys are the same as portable too...Guns are next to useless on guys like these while melee despite being a bad option is far more effective.  Really want that first person view so I can aim properly.  Ok...thought the game was broken for me Doctor repeated a line like a music CD was skipping.

And now we meet Magashi...oh so this is where he came from. Hmmmm....Interesting. But shit hasn't hit the fan yet. Considering that all my grinding still wasn't enough. Guess I'll have to double my efforts for the next chapter.

Chapter 4


OKAY SERIOUSLY I DON'T NEED TO SEE THE OPENING MOVIE AT THE START OF EVERY CHAPTER!

Shopping....yay...I enjoy this as much as I do in real life.  (I don't.)  And now I have access to sythesizing items. Cool...except the cost of the materials is high.  Don't think I've spent this much to make items. Well this should definitely help for this chapter.  Watch me still miss the S Ranking.

So meet with old man...he's the Headmaster of the Guardians Academy....and a perv....thought this trope wouldn't come up again. -_-

Well next mission is coming up let me prep for it.  And again getting an S Rank on these quest is a total pain.  Ugh....Well I'm in the 20s now in terms of levels.  And managed to get most of my skills up to level 11.  Apparently I get the 2nd part of the attack at LVL 11.  So worth the grind.  The endless grinding for.

So the mission is in a completely different area...I wouldn't have seen this if I didn't feel like exploring. Glad the future games made it easier to navigate. This is a perfect example of maps being too big.

On the train. This is likely familiar. And someone's trying to hijack it. Well good thing I trained quite a bit. These guys are pretty easy to deal with.  But as usual AI partners suck.  Splitting up...don't you know how these cliche's go?  Fine. Oh look Vol Brothers these idiots again.  And more robots.

Well get to watch an old man whoop a bunch of fools with ease.  And he...blacks out....-_-  So CASTs randomly BSOD.  Convenient. Well time to travel back up the cars by myself. And the Vol Brother Idiots again. Unlike the guide stated these guys quickly spread apart.  So much for taking them all out at the same time. Oh well too strong for them anyway.

And the last movie.  Well new character and that's where this girl is from.  Oh come on Ethan you should've had a gun as a backup the moment he knocked away your sword. Sigh...and they're gone.  Karen's feeling sorry for herself and WTF Magashi again... Ok dude I don't know why you're pissed at us. You're so strong and have an entire syndicate at your disposal. WHY DIDN'T YOU PROTECT YOUR OWN GODDAMN CARGO?!  Don't sit there choking Ethan for your mistakes. Hell go after them yourself. YOU HAVE A SYNDICATE TO TAKE THESE GUYS OUT EASILY! And then you walk away with a threat...ooohhh scary...*eyeroll*

Welp going home and like usual we leave with a laugh. Oh now the headmaster wakes up where were you earlier? Oh hey Extra Mode is unlocked....although...considering this game...not very useful now.

On the next chapter find out about Karen's past and meet an important plot character that actually isn't important for the 2nd time. Well as long as I don't have to see that opening movie again....

OH GODDAMNIT!!!!

Chapter 5

Chapter 5....

Well Extra Mode is totally pointless. For one I can't play online cause this game's server was shut down ages ago. Another reason although I finally get to make my character. He starts at LVL 1 and its literally starting from scratch all over again.  It would've been better to at least have access to the equipment Ethan has since I've been playing story mode.


ARGH STOP PLAYING THAT DAMN OPENING!!!

Um did things just go to Enter the Matrix? They totally stole this scene from the Matrix. Oh its just a dream.

Oh meet the character that honestly to me isn't really important again. This should be fun. Well before that Extra mode and Free Missions!

Well these weren't so bad.

Main Story...Karen gets emotional about going to Neudaiz and the maiden....well this is obvious where this is going.  Oh no an assassin.  Wow jump in the way of the shot....

Maiden: OH LET ME HEAL YOU!

It's Estelle all over again.

And Karen passes out. Obvious plot story is obvious. Oh look Karen's sister...or step sister. So this is where she comes from.  Well guess we gotta have the big booby lady character somewhere. And she can't cook.  AM I playing Tales of or Phantasy Star?

Maiden's ship has crashed. Time to rescue....I actually did little to no grinding this time. Had enough money for most updated equipment. Ok I'm switching to Ranger. In Phantasy Star I've pretty much always been ranger character. I'm reluctant to pick it cause of how this game is with PP.  I mentioned it before earlier. But this game doesn't let you recharge PP..at least easily.  You gotta use a Photon Charge. In Portable that changed. It was made so that it recharges on its own. But enough so that you don't have a constant rate of spamming attacks.

Anyway This was easy....or at least wasn't too frustrating.  But now we have another aspect of purifying SEED Cores...these one freeze you. -_-  Now you gotta use an even lamer method Well I guess its feasible this time. But sucks that you have to use a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ITEM! So that's another item that eats up your inventory. To make it worse there's next to no way I can make the AI do the job for me. 

Boss time....no Karen you're not allowed to participate.  Oh now I know why Ranger generally sucks. Cause I don't have a FPS mode. This boss would've been so easy if I could go into first person and shoot this boss while its in the air.  

Yay we saved the day. Obvious plot point again.  

Maiden: Oh the reason we look alike and you have that item is because....be...cause....*faint*

*We're sorry but we can't allow you to hear this obvious plot point as its somehow a spoiler that makes no sense.  Please come again in future chapters. We hope you enjoy playing Phantasy Star Universe.*

And we go home on comedy again...Turn this into an anime already ready.

On the next episode meet a bunch of character you already met cause they're in Portable 2. 

As long as I don't have to hear the Intro again....


Monday, September 21, 2015

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions Semi-Walkthrough #1 (Chapter 1)



Well it would take me forever to go through my videos one by one to explain EVERYTHING! So I'm gonna do my best to explain it here instead.

Changes from the Original Version

Well not too many to name. But lets go down the list.


  • Dark Knight Job Class - New Job Class added the Dark Knight. Yep Gafgarrion's job. But you have access to the full power of it. Vehemence is pretty much the notable skill of this job since it increases your damage at the cost of defense. Making the Dark Knight's main skill of absorbing HP that much more potent. The problem with this class is that it has no real boost in stats on level up or staying in that job. Just like a normal Knight you're stuck with mediocre stats that rely on equipment. Speed takes a heavy hit too.  Best to learn all the skills and level as something like a LV 8 Onion Knight, Mime, or Ninja.   The real problem arises when it comes to acquiring this job. 
  1. Master Knight Class
  2. Master Black Mage Class
  3. Level 8 Dragoon
  4. Level 8 Samurai
  5. Level 8 Ninja
  6. Level 8 Geomancer
  7. Unit must kill 20 units. (The units have to actually die in battle you can't just knock em out. Poaching does not count either.)
  • Onion Knight Job Class - The most awkward job class of the game.  Easy to acquire to but you'll quickly dismiss this as the worst and most completely useless job class of the game. When you first get it. It begins at LVL 1 with the absolute worst stat bonuses in the game. The only way to level this class up is to master the other jobs first (at least 14 of them and Dark Knight, Chemist, and Squire do not count).  Once mastered its pretty much the most powerful job class ever. I have to note that the base evasion rate of this class once mastered is pretty damn high combine it with a shield and now you're next to untouchable. However you'll notice that you acquire no EXP or JP while in this class. The only way to gain levels is to have a Tier 3 Wild Boar monster use its special skill to turn itself into a crystal and give the nearby character a level up.  Another turn off from this job class is that you have access to no abilities whatsoever. Only Move and attack are your options. However the biggest plus here is that you can equip ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING in the game. Yes that includes female exclusive equipment. 
  1. Level 6 Squire
  2. Level 6 Chemist
  • All glitches have been fixed
  • Oil status actually works now
  • Divine Knight Abilities now affect monsters and enemies regardless of whether or not they have equipment or not.
  • Added CG cutscenes 
  • New extra quest
  • Multiplayer
  • Cloud can be recruited earlier
  • You cannot steal the Genji equipment from Elmdor. You can get this equipment much later however.
  • New Characters Balthier and Luso

Well that's the general notable changes.  Now on to the game Semi-Walkthrough.

Things to keep track of in this game.
  • Brave and Faith levels: Your Brave and Faith stat are located under the character's name. Brave plays a factor in determining success rate of actions (offensive or defensive) and damage given/taken from physical based attacks. The higher it is the better off you are. Although it pays later on to have at least 1 or 2 characters with a very low Brave rating. Just don't let it get too low as they may leave your party.  Faith plays a factor in determining success rate of magic based attacks and how much damage it inflicts. However having too high a faith level can result in that party member leaving (unless its Ramza). 
  • Zodiac Sign: Although its a bit of a minor detail. It can determine things such as success rate and other secret things. The Zodiac compatibility chart is something you may want to note if you really want to get deep into this system.
  • Death Counter: When a character dies. They aren't dead yet. Just knocked out and wounded. The fallen units will have a counter above there head. Once it hits 0 or really after 0 cause the game counts 0. That character is dead for real and cannot be brought back. Better to revive that character or end the battle ASAP.  Poached and transformed into a malboro counts as a death for your party as well if you're one of those guys that pays attention to that and cares. 
  • AT/Turn Order: Its always best to check this at the start of every battle and every now and again during that battle. Simply cancel out the character's command menu and press Triangle. Check turn order by selecting AT.  You can easily find out the turn order and even when spells and other charge moves are going to come out. 
  • Equipment and Enemy Equipment: It may sound like a useless thing to mention but you should definitely keep track of this. For one Equipment will play a major role around the end of Chapter 2. Enemy equipment is notable in case you're interested in stealing them (although you can no longer take Elmdor's equipment).  Sometimes enemies carry a rare weapon/armor that you can't buy yet or at all.  

Chapter 1

Opening



Ok you really have to go out your way to lose this fight. Gafgarrion and Agrias can easily take care of things here.  

Gariland Battle



Well the training wheels are slowly being taken off here. None of the enemies have anything notable to worry about. Just don't let yourself get overwhelmed by them since they have a height advantage. Delita shouldn't be worried about in fact might be great if gets knocked out. He's a guest character so he doesn't die. Use this to gain some much needed EXP and JP. Maybe you'll even learn an ability or two. 

Mandalia Plains



The first problematic battle of the game. If you decide to Save Argath/Algus you have make sure he doesn't die. And Argath is the type to be an idiot and charge head first into a battle against 6 enemies. If he does this...he's dead and likely nothing you can do to save him from his fate. Best to pick the other option and have Delita scold you (and Argath MUCH later on will do so as well). No real penalty for it. 

Note: Now's the best time to do some leveling in JP, EXP, and gain some gil.  The battles after this point will offer no real forgiveness. Start having your party members set on specific job classes. In fact figure out what job you want each unit to be and get them started on it.  The closer they are to that desired job the better. Although equipment won't be readily available for every class you can still make use of having the advance jobs early.  Having the Monk's Barehanded/Martial arts ability is very handy. Auto-Potion helps as well...as long as you can afford potions.

The Siege Weald



Monsters Goblins, a Panther, and bombs. Make sure you kill the bombs and not knock them into critical HP. If you do they'll likely explode and that attack has nice range. Does quite a bit of damage and adds Oil status. Ice spells will do the trick.  Or really any normal tactics should do. Just be wary of your positioning. You may come across some height difficulty here.  One strategy is spread your units out not too far and have them wait till the enemy gets close enough.  Thus no party member should get ganged up on.

Note: Take advantage of looking at the turn order from time to time. You can view this either by closing the main menu during battle and pressing Triangle, then Select AT.  You also view this by pressing Triangle any time its not your party's turn. Viewing this will give you an idea of who to attack first or prepare properly.  

Dorter Merchant City



I hate this battle.  For one reason. Archers and black mages.  Ranged units and they have height advantage. One annoying Knight to try and take any stragglers in your party.  Delita and Argath should have one area of the battle field covered.  Make note of the turn order and attack accordingly. Archers and mages should definitely go down first.  Have one unit chase down the archer at the highest point of the area.  The rest should take out the incoming units. Delita and Argath will likely take out the ones straight ahead. If not then you take up that task.  Its also nice to try and let the enemy units die so you can hopefully pickup there crystals and learn abilities.

Note: If you noticed here. After the battle you have the option to another shop.  If you poached any monsters this is where you go (Must have the thief's poach ability equipped to do so). You'll have the ability to buy some equipment and items depending on what you poached. Right now there's likely nothing rare to get but remember to come back here at least for now. Its better to setup your own poaching method by recruiting a monster and having it give birth to other monsters. And you poach the monsters you don't want. Cruel I know and PETA would probably get on me for it. But this is the middle ages in the world of Ivalice. There's people, monsters, and devils trying to kill me I need to survive.

Zeklaus Desert - Sand Rat's Sietch



This isn't too bad if you don't let things get out of hand too quickly.  You'll set up 2 parties. Its best to have a good speed stat over these guys to quickly surround them in a pincer attack. Its easily done by occupying the open spaces (where the doors of an old house should be) and standing there. Just be ready to tank some hits if you do. Or you can take the other option and kill them as they walk out the door.  If you have a summoner with enough MP you can probably damage/kill them all while inside the house. 

Brigand's Den



This can get tough. You might be introduced to Charm status from the thieves "Steal Heart" ability.  Monsters and units of the opposite sex are susceptible to this. Milleuda is no push over either. She's the main target and if you need to just target her to end this quick. Archers with Longbows (not crossbows) can attack over the wall pretty easily. 


Note: Argath leaves at this point. Good riddance. May be in your best interest to de-equip him since he takes his stuff with him. 

Lenalian Plateau 



You can end this quick by taking out Milleuda.  The Time Mage hiding in the back may prove to be a nuisance by casting haste and slow. Again its your choice on how to go about take these guys out. Make note of the height here.  


Fovoham Windflats



Ok...This can get difficult.  Wiegraf is a name you will remember well as in every encounter that features him will be tough. He is seriously no pushover. Sporting the counter ability. Also sporting Holy Blade. Remember Agrias? Yeah those abilities. Unless you somehow break/steal his sword best to take him out at a range if you can.  There's also a chocobo hanging around. Try not to kill it as it plays a role later.  I don't like to waste too much time here since Wiegraf can easily decimate my party.  May be your best bet to kill him right away. Funny how this guy talks about not running away from his sister's murderers and yet he runs away.

Note: You can take the time here to recruit a dragon monster to your party if you want one. Its sorta rare but if you find one and have a Mediator well go ahead and recruit if you want...or poach it...or kill it....or just ignore entirely and end this chapter.

Ziekden Fortress



Last battle of this chapter. And its a bit of a doozy.  Argath managed to level up and gain enough JP to become a Knight sporting a bow. So expect ranged break abilities with armor to boot. His friends are annoying as well but there's one thing you can take advantage of for this fight. Every enemy unit will target Delita first before even looking at your party members.  Once Delita dies your buffer to get into position and take out enemies is gone.  Do not try to revive Teta. Despite the fact that if she was an active participating member she would actually kick ass (her abilities are OP if you check em). She can't be revived. She's dead and just taking up a spot on the map too look pretty.  

Delita will chase Argath in his rage for his sister's death. You can leave Argath to him...unless Delita sucks and you have to support him.  If you don't feel like killing everyone. Well kill Argath and end this chapter.  Argath will also scold you depending on your choice earlier in that one fight. But he also scolds you much later on (slight spoiler).

Well end of chapter. If you felt the training wheels were still on. Just prepare to see that the those wheels will be truly gone next chapter.  Hope you did some shopping earlier cause these areas will be closed off from you next chapter.  Oh well save and get some much needed rest. 

Note: At this point Delita leaves the party for obvious reasons. More on that next post.