General Video Games discussion | Page 1531 | The Popjustice Forum

General Video Games discussion

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Shockbox, May 4, 2009.

  1. Aloy will be free though.
    ohaimanabu, FridayNight and Macsun like this.
  2. All the posts about Genshin here lately have made me want to play it again. I played a few hours, thought it was fine, but dropped it.
    ohaimanabu likes this.
  3. Oh my god I can't wait for the Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut after seeing the new trailer!!
  4. [​IMG] You’ve been warned…
    ohaimanabu, FridayNight and evilsin like this.
  5. Dead Space remake yes god. Us horror girls WON
    Mr Blonde likes this.
  6. I just lost an hour of time (at work) to the game that is on the Google home page. The amount of love and care that's gone into it is insane!

    Absolute must play for any Japan fans!

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
    nikkysan likes this.
  7. I somehow only just realised you can add PS+ PS5 games to your library even without having a PS5, through the PS app... I intend to get a PS5 eventually and it sucks having missed a bunch of free games like that.
    Mr Blonde and aaronhansome like this.
  8. They've also just rolled out cross-save between PS4/5 and mobile, so I actually may be tempted to hop back in to do dailies on my lunch break each day again!
    aaronhansome likes this.
  9. Yaaass! This would help me do the same and focus on other games when I get home.
    ChrisC likes this.
  10. Beat Chrono Cross. Will post a review later. Of course I loved and will always love the game but the final boss is a) absurdly easy and b) not that cool. I like almost everything else about the game though.
    ohaimanabu likes this.

    As the sequel to the legendary Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross faced an almost insurmountable dilemma: try to recreate the magic of the original, which probably wouldn’t happen, or innovate at the risk of fan dismay? Fortunately, the creators of Chrono Cross chose the latter approach, resulting in an RPG that has very little resemblance to the original but is like nothing out there. Chrono Cross might not have the instant fun factor of Chrono Trigger and it does have a few frustrations to its name, but it is one of the most unique games in the genre and a must experience for any fan of JRPGs or any fans of artistic titles in general. Granted, the game is not as straightforward and snappy as Chrono Trigger and it does not put a premium on character development, which is a predictable side effect of featuring forty-five playable characters. But the story is fascinating and asks huge stakes-raising questions about existence, the visuals are some of the prettiest and richest in a video game, the soundtrack might be the greatest video game score of all time, and the battle system is unique and intricate. These virtues, I would argue, are worth the inevitable growing pains.

    Chrono Cross takes place in the beautiful tropical paradise of El Nido, a collection of islands whose tranquil appearance hides some dark and fascinating secrets. You are Serge, a boy who leads a simple life in the equally simple fishing town Arni. That is until he is warped to a different dimension in which he died as a child. The catch is that the new dimension is very similar to the one Serge left. There are just small differences, which I thought were fun and rewarding to witness. In any case, Serge meets the wild thief Kid and together, they get sucked into a dimension and time altering struggle against the enigmatic Lynx, who is in search of a powerful artifact called the Frozen Flame. You, however, are in search of answers about your identity and predicament, some of which are truly mind-bending.

    This is the most basic of summaries and I hesitate to go into more detail because this story is worth uncovering for yourself. As stated before, there is not much in the way of character development. Characters, even many of the forty-five party extras, have vivid personalities (along with some hit or miss accents) but they mostly stay the same and the story is not that focused on their personal journeys. This is a story that is focused on huge metaphysical questions and dilemmas. The rabbit hole goes deep and toward the end of the narrative, the complexity is truly unrivaled. Ofcourse complexity doesn’t automatically equate to good storytelling, but Chrono Cross’s revelations are interesting and rewarding enough to carry the weight. Furthermore, there are tons of small down to earth stories to counter all the game’s cerebral musings. You’re not going to get much character development, but the story has plenty of anchors to keep it from sinking into abstraction, though the narrative style did get a little text-dumpy at the end. Personally, I was hooked, partially because there are few other role-playing games with this kind of narrative ambition. In that sense, it reminds me of Xenogears in a prettier and more relaxing setting. I particularly like how a lot of the story is revealed through talking to NPCs. It’s very interesting to see how certain NPCs lived different lives in the other world due to different life choices that they made. What a great way to give what usually amounts to extras some purpose and thematic resonance!

    Chrono Cross is a very divisive game, but one aspect that has been universally praised is the visuals and sound. Chrono Cross is a game that embraces vibrant color and nowhere is this more apparent than in the breathtaking hand-painted artwork. There’s something simultaneously delicate and gritty about these tropical/oceanic locales and even when the game serves up a more typical fire or earth setting, it does it with verve, character, and panache. Character models are also extremely distinctive, with a wealth of exotic and quirky details, and they seem to sport some of the highest polygon counts on the original Playstation. Even some PS2 games haven’t aged as well visually as Chrono Cross has.

    The soundtrack is possibly even better. The songs are haunting, soothing, reflective, cerebral, sorrowful, frantic, etc. You name the emotion and Chrono Cross has a stunning song to cater to it. Variety is the name of the game when it comes to Chrono Cross’s soundtrack. While most of the music has an acoustic earthy feel, the tunes run the gamut from bouncy ditties to violin epics that bleed pathos. If there is a better gaming soundtrack than Chrono Cross’s, I have yet to hear it. Final Fantasy X comes close but that game’s music doesn’t have quite the same level of energy. The game’s superb intro video treats players to the intrepid Celtic violin jam “Time’s Scar” and it only gets better from there. I even like the much-derided battle theme. It does have a certain anxiety-provoking franticness to it but this only helps the battles to feel equally frantic. I have no complaints whatsoever about Chrono Cross’s god-tier visual and audio presentation.

    While Chrono Cross can occasionally be a little too cryptic about what you need to do to move forward, the overall design is superb. The world is very small, but it feels big because it’s so dense with things to see. The towns and settings have a very lived-in feel and it’s a joy to just explore and see what you can find. Basically, while you’re not getting very many towns, landmarks, and dungeons, you’re getting better quality towns and dungeons. Everything about the way you progress through the world feels organic and fresh and while some players might complain about having to visit many places twice and some places thrice, there’s always a unique twist. Throw in some of the most accessible sidequests in a JRPG and the world design is up there with the best.

    However, what makes Chrono Cross’s overall design truly shine is the user friendless of the combat. I’ll get to the combat system itself later in this review, but everything around the combat strips the experience of the hoops that make it so hard for many people to get into JRPGs. Grinding has been completely done away with and replaced with a leveling system that levels up the whole party at once, so your team will have a party level instead of individual character levels. Every time you defeat a boss, you get a new level for the party and then you can pick up small individual stat upgrades by engaging in regular fights. These stat bonuses will eventually dry up, but the game is filled with so many boss fights that you’ll always be picking up star levels. This all has the effect of eliminating the need to grind up new additions to your party. The game has forty-five potential party members, many of which are a blast to find and recruit, so this is very necessary. But it also has the effect of not burdening the player with the need to fight enemies over and over to gain experience. Furthermore, the game will automatically dig through your inventory at the end of fights to heal you, all enemies are visible on the map, and you can run from any enemy with 100% success rate, even bosses. Removing all these hoops makes it so much easier to truly enjoy the good stuff with minimal frustration.

    The battle system itself is hard to explain because it’s so unique. Basically, you have a weak, middling, and strong attack. The weak attack is most accurate and the strong attack is the least accurate. It’s kind of a risk/reward system. You can go for the higher damage but there’s a good chance you’ll miss. I found that the optimum strategy was to start at a middling attack and work up to a strong attack but other people’s mileage might vary. The reason you want to be pulling off strong attacks (besides the increased damage) is that landing attacks give you access to your elemental grid. This is where you access your magic spells that govern everything from elemental magic to healing to buffs/debuffs. Weak attacks will only give you access to the lowest levels of the grid. To truly deal damage and pull off the game’s most complicated spell-based maneuvers, you’ll need to access the higher levels of the grid, a grid that you can customize outside of battle. Furthermore, every character has an innate element, so a white character will be more effective at casting white spells and so on. This all comes to a head in a system called the Field Effect, where you can turn the battlefield a certain elemental color by pulling off three elements in succession. The advantage to doing this is that elements will increase their strength if the field corresponds to their color. Turn the field green and green elements will be considerably stronger. However, one could argue that this is a bit too difficult to pull off because enemies are always interrupting you and stopping you from getting those three successive elements. This, paired with the fact that enemies can attack at any time and characters must sit out a turn when they’ve exhausted all their element level points, can make battles feel very frantic.

    What doesn’t make battles feel frantic is the relative easiness of most of the bosses. Chrono Cross is below average on the difficulty spectrum and this has the unfortunate side effect of papering over many of the battle system’s intricacies. Out of nearly fifty bosses, about seven of them are difficult and when you are fighting one of these hard bosses, you get a sense for just how deep and incredible the battle system is but too often you don’t have to take full advantages of the tools the game gives you. This very easily could have been remedied if the enemy stats were increased even marginally. The game is so user friendly overall that more difficulty would have been welcome. Instead of a smooth progression of difficulty, you get weird difficulty spikes, which makes me think that the team had a bit of trouble balancing the game. Overall, this is not a huge failing and combat is mostly fun (though often too dragged out, due to the visually spectacular animations being slow), but there was certainly room for improvement in this area.

    It is inevitable that the quirky and complicated Chrono Cross would alienate fans of Chrono Trigger, but I am grateful the developmental team took that risk. There are a wealth of well executed nods to the former game, but for better or for worse (and I would argue for better), Chrono Cross is its own game charting its own territory. With an achingly beautiful presentation, a unique battle system and world, a user-friendly design, and a story that challenges the player and pushes the limits of what type of tale a JRPG can tell, Chrono Cross, for me, makes a stronger impression than the original game even if it might present some frustrations that Chrono Trigger did not. If you can judge the game on its own merits, you’ll likely find it to be a singular title that makes you makes you think, makes you feel, and continually washes you in beauty and pathos.

    VISUALS & SOUND: 5/5
    DESIGN: 5/5
    GAMEPLAY: 4.5/5
    OVERALL: 10/10
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
  12. Love that write up. Truly a great game.
    Zelbess is the funkiest funnest song in the OST, I used to just sit there and vibe as a kid.

    I also have a file with all characters recruited and thought I was the coolest person ever for doing it!
    Raichu likes this.
  13. I just reached the third act. Director's Cut should be a motivator for me to finally finish this but I still have Spiderman, Miles Morales, Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War that I want to finish as well.
    mi|kshake and aaronhansome like this.
  14. You WERE the coolest person ever for doing that. It must take so much work. I don't think I've ever gotten close.

    Also, thanks for reading the review! :)
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
    ohaimanabu likes this.
  15. I'm a few hours into Tales of Vesperia and I have some thoughts:
    • Why would anybody play on any mode but manual? I thought the combat was legit broken before I did some research and switched the mode. Now the combat feels right, though still a bit hard to get used to. I remember getting used to Tales of the Abyss a lot faster even though the combat was very similar to Vesperia.
    • The game looks beautiful with the soft quasi cell-shaded look. It's worth playing just to look at. Character designs are pretty great as well, which is not common with heavily anime style JRPGs. Why are the newer Tales games so much uglier (though Tales of Arise is looking pretty nice)?
    • Story seems like a mixed bag so far. The actual plot is not very interesting at the moment, but I'm loving the character interactions. I was expecting Karol to completely suck based on what others have said and I really don't mind him. Yuri is awesome and Estelle is also pretty cool considering her archetype can be irritating in other JRPGs. As cute as I find him, I don't have much to say about a pipe smoking dog.
    • The writing is also a mixed bag. Sometimes it's clever and funny, sometimes it's cringey and cliched as fuck. I kind of love the mix of extreme wholesomeness and some mild innuendo though.
    • TOO MANY SKITS. I like them a lot but they pop up so often it gets annoying.
    Anyway, I'm having fun but it does seem like a slightly more polished Tales of the Abyss in that, as some of you said, it's probably not going to blow me away if what I've played so far is any indication.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
  16. RJF


    nn just wait.
    evilsin, Macsun, clowezra and 2 others like this.
  17. I honestly don't see how the skits can get any worse in terms of frequency than they already are. I'm scared.

    Is this the best title theme ever? It might be:

    The game doesn't really hold up but the atmosphere is fascinating. Just look at the art! And the music is so beautifully mysterious. The archaic sound technology just makes it all the more atmospheric.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
  18. NEO: The World Ends With You comes out in less than 24 hours and I have truly not been so perched for a game in years.
  19. it is definitely a massive undertaking, and then there was the crushing realization that A. you can’t do it at all on a fresh playthrough and B. it takes a full three playthroughs to secure every character + get Harle in time for the final dungeon (since no matter what she’s not a perma character sobs)
  20. I played the demo and I really liked it, I will get it in the future but not on Day 1.
    I finally beat Act 2 of Dragon Quest XI S and now I'm at the beginning of Act 3. Beautiful game but it's taking so damn long. I bought it in January and with the exception of Little Nightmares 2 and a few demos I've tried it's the only game I've played this year. Almost 60 hours into it! As soon as I beat it I don't wanna see another JRPG for the rest of 2021.
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