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I've never played a Persona or SMT game, and I've only ever played one Fire Emblem game (too scarce or expensive too soon after release!). So, when I saw the initial trailers for this game, I was perhaps even more confused than most people. However, I was a little intrigued. I loved that it had a bright, colorful world and a generally happy vibe. I liked that the "dark" elements seemed "dark" in the way that Kingdom Hearts handles evil. Still, it was very difficult to get a sense for what the game was about and how it played.
Yesterday I watched the Treehouse Live coverage of the game and I was blown away!! It looks so fun! I love the creativity. I love how different it is but also familiar if you have been a fan of anime or just Japanese pop culture in general. I love that there is a central theme surrounding "performa," the life energy that fuels artistic performances like singing, playing music, dancing and acting. So cool!
I love how the world looks complex but simple to navigate and understand. I love how the art style is outlandishly cute and colorful but doesn't feel the need to lean on chibi/SD styles to do it.
For a little while, Kingdom Hearts was my favorite game; this is giving me a similar vibe in all the best ways. After yesterday's treehouse demo, this game rose to my top game of E3. Other games will likely be better made and .... make more sense. =P But, in terms of something that is new (at least to me) and still looks like a deep, legitimate effort? I'm very excited! The pessimist in me feels like now that I'm so interested they are going to cancel the localization. Because frankly, I can't believe a game whose central theme is something so fun and non-threatening like becoming a JPOP idol or an actor is coming to the west. Add in the stylish battle segments and cool mystical transformations and the ability to increase affinity between characters (that's in FE too, right?) and I find it super, super enticing!
... how alone am I in my excitement for this simultaneously wacky yet grounded game?
I might be able to put some time into this tomorrow. The kids should be out with their grandma, so I'll have the house to myself! ....probably. I hope so anyway, since I want to play more of this. The sooner the better.
Are you talking about in the 106? I know there are some "up to up" things I need to get, but I'm pretty sure they're hidden behind a wall I can't dissipate yet. Should hang around for a bit, I'd assume, as Ploot said.
I'm not talking about 3D, you know very well what I mean. Is 3DS even to N64 levels? I'm not sure. I remember Mario Golf looking pretty good compared to some online video I've seen of recent handheld stuff. You know what I mean..
And I know I say it a lot, but its doubly sad that they decided to go the 3DS route for the recent Monster Hunter games after tearing it up on Wii and Wii U. The first time I saw a Rathian on my current TV, I nearly shat myself. Is the 3DS MH community even "there?" I know its not really here..
@Mr_Mustache Oh Stache, you crazy man! Yes, the 3DS is more capable than the N64. The OoT, Majora and SF64 remasters run at nice, smooth framerates and look delicious on the tiny screen. The character models are leaps above the N64.
@GameDadGrant Macca / Rare Encounters: Just how RARE are we talking? I've noticed that the Gold Macca or whatever it is is required for THREE different Carnage deals, and I've only encountered ONE Rare enemy (not Savages) in 10-11 hours of gameplay. Idears?
The enemy that drops the Macca Converter? Not really rare! Here, the occurrence of "rare" monsters is based on your location.
In the first dungeon, if you find the place where you exit a mannequin-arm and it's just a tiny room, then very often, a gold-mirage will show up, run a couple of steps, and disappear. This will happen reliably the first time you exit that mannequin arm for each time you've entered the dungeon, but if you don't want to exit and re-enter the dungeon to trigger it, you can probably wander around that small area, or use an item that increases the encounter rate, and you can fight as many of those as you need.
My good sir. I will have you know that the 3DS uses nothing but the most top-of-the-line, cutting edge GPU chips the industry has to offer. As proof, I offer you screenshots of the latest first-party release on 3DS, by the talented team over at HAL Studios:
Yeah, that's right! Drink it in, son. Drink it in. Think you'd see visuals like this on your Wii U? DREAM ON, DUDE. Ain't gonna happen. Sorry bro. Game. Set. Match. *drops the mic*
Did a LOT of reading last night around the time of this post, and here is how I decided to go:
Itsuki -Dropped Dia+1 in favor of Mazio (did NOT replaced Zio+1). Mazio is an "All" attack, and I've been informed by people who are FAR, FAR AHEAD that there are enemies who REFLECT SPELLS back, so when you're going to attack two guys with lightning, there maybe be 2 more there ready to get you. It should be noted that Mazio will still initiate a Session, and its DEFINITELY been useful around the time that I learned it, though that may change down the line. (ALSO: everyone kept saying "with how cheap the items are in the game, you can get better than Dia in an item form from the Hee Ho Mart -- which factored into me overwriting Tsubasa's Poison Curing deal as well.) -Dropped Horseslayer in favor of Fang Breaker. They also said that spells that lower a targets X as well as do damage become more and more valuable (someone mentioned how they kept Hamstring for Touma, for example). I also took into account that Touma has Horseslayer on him, and he's on pace to learn a +1 (though Istuki was as well), and when I need to call him in to dispatch some horses, that "Change" button is there for a reason, and with no waiting time. And I think my Cleave+1 is being overwritten soon by the vanilla Medium Sword attack.
Touma -Dropped the first Buff/Debuff he learned. I've loaded this guy up with Lance stuff. I'm thinking (THNKING) about dropping Tsubasa's Spear Skill and just letting Touma handle everything with a lance. I've been working on her Magic (the only way you can, it seems) via Bangles, but paying a premium to the Physical side for Itsuki/Touma. It should be noted that the B/D that I dropped on Touma was also held by Tsubasa still.
I've got some tough decisions coming up on my learned weapons soon enough..
Magic -I'm planning on covering up my Light Magic attacks (now +1 across the board) with their Medium attack (Ziona, I think, for Itsuki soon). At this time, I'm thinking that I'll let each of the first 4 members handle one affinity, with the exception of Kiria, who has both Ice and Red Skull Face -- she's also carrying like 4 Ice Spells now, its wild!). Haven't had anyone double up, ie: Wind and Fire, though the opportunity has presented itself MULTIPLE times. I've heard that we get another slot down the line, but that could be a ways off..
So yeah, picking and choosing what to learn / unlearn has always been my least favorite part of these types of games, dating all the way back to Final Fantasy (NES!!) when each of your Mages could only learn 3 spells per tier..and the town was selling 4. (So I had to look ahead in my Nintendo Power Strategy Guide, and see if my other Mage could learn Sleep or something since I definitely had to give LIT2 to my Black Mage, for instance.) That said, I think I completely crushed the Chapter 2 Idolasphere, picking up EVERYTHING in there. If I missed a box, WELL DONE, BOX. Combed the hell out of that thing. Been doing a pretty good job with my map (seriously, how can we go back to a home console controller without an in-set screen? And don't tell me any BULLSH about the 3DS. Never in the mood.). And there are enough keys in that dungeon to take care of your locked chests, but for ease of use its probably easier if you enter with some still on ya.
--OH, and probably the biggest thing I learned last night that they game doesn't really throw right in your face: if you change your mind and you decided "Man, I really want Dia back on Ituski!," you can apparently re-forge your weapon (after selling?? Or later??), and learn all the Skills on it all over again. WHICH ALSO MEANS that you can boost up up up up up your spells, most of the time up to +9! It kinda makes me sick that some people online have already DONE THAT (get a job, you cretins!), but I appreciate them paving the way and letting us know what the deal is.
I guess thats it. 19 hours in. Played from 10-6 last night. DIG IT. How are you guys doing?
Oh man, thanks for that! I ran into him in that 2nd 'sphere again, and used that Item that makes guys appear..and I beat like 4-5 in a row! And then a Savage showed up and GAME OVER'd me, HAHA! It wasn't funny because I forgot where I saved..but then I was overjoyed that it was literally 2 minutes before that, and standing in the exact same spot I croaked. SAVE OFTEN. (I ran into a different spawning Rare Mirage just once later on in that same dungeon, any idea if its the same guy or a DIFFERENT one? A Savage appeared at the same time and intercepted me.)
One thing I'm not sure if they've "fixed" (IMO it's been a recurring "problem" for SMT games in that it's always turned out to be a winning strategy for me and all other battle-system details get thrown out the window once I've got it set up) is that if the spell "Energy Drain" exists, and if it is categorized as Almighty, then you might as well map that onto as many characters as can use it and start building up their magic. It steals HP and EP, and if you out-magic your opponent, then you'll always end up on top, and often force them to run out their magic in longer fights.
The downside is that it never hits a weakness (ie: There's no monster that's weak against Almighty attacks, but Almighty bypasses resistance and drain as well) and thus never fulfills conditions for Demon Cooperation, Press-Turns, or Sessions.
The combination of "Luster Candy" (raise all allies all stats), Debilitate (lower all enemies all stats), and Energy Drain eventually overrode any strategy for me when playing through most SMT games. I wonder if they've come up with a fix for that here, and if sessions be worth pursuing into late-game rather than working towards my "usual" SMT setup.
Well a lot of that is well over my head, haha. Perhaps it'll make more sense when those things come around.
Found the Arena yesterday, and I'm digging that. Worked up levels, Skills, and Stage Ranks pretty darn fast. Should be noted that Items cannot be used in there at all, and "Change" is gone as well. Soooo, when I decided to remove Dia+1 from Itsuki in favor of Tsubasa doing all of my healing, and then entered the Arena w/o Tsubasa in my active 'cast'..problematic.
I've just started the dungeon Rob mentioned (the photographer) and yeah, it's way too early to be talking about advanced spells. I don't have any Almighty spells yet (the white/blue circle icon) and just got Curse spells (skull icon) that came with the fourth character.
I wouldn't be too sad about giving up Itsuki's Dia, Rob. You should be able to find the materials for Tsubasa to learn Media (party heal) at this point.
Almighty is not the white/blue circle icon; it's not shown on the weakness chart, since weakness/resist/drain/reflect doesn't apply to almighty skills. The icon for Almighty-skills, when someone uses it (and you'll see them use it on you pretty soon if you're in the photography dungeon) looks like a yellowish-greenish moon and stars.
AH! I HAVE seen that icon somewhere.. I HAVE. Was it in an unexpected Savage Fight during Kiria's assault on everything cute sidequest? I think it might've been there, didn't even really take note of it.. Weird!
Golden Monks? I have no idea what you're talking about.
The Mirages? OH. I gotcha. Yeah, the rare ones. Welp, according to DW or someone else up there (sorry!), they re-spawn at that same exact spot, and I can confirm that through practice, so if you use an item that causes them (enemies) to appear more often, they'll just reappear over..and over..and over again. BUT, keep in mind that a Savage can ALSO pop up there.
And I found out the hard way last night; I thought that Savages were linked to the area you're in? NOT SO. They are attached to your level, or chapter, or whatever. I got DRILLED by a heavy 30's unit, hitting hard and chaining moves. Luckily I have this awesome special movie that I got from a sidequest that inflicts Confusion, Charm, or Sleep on all enemies. They fought each other, it was awesome!
And start taking note of enemies that you can see but can't fight. The ones that talk to you, about being bored, or that helped you before but no longer are. That..comes into play, I didn't know that, and I was racking my brain last night trying to figure out who I had to track down. I think I got most of them, but I'm still missing a few. I guess theres the internet for that, too, though I prefer not.
That list, I believe, chronologically is: the dark girl with a sickle from Daitama, the blue ball from the 106, the clown head from Central Shibuya, and the ghost in a hat from Harajaku street? I thought the Troll who told you about the cameras would be one, but apparently not! Anyway, if I missed one in there somewhere, if someone can give me a hint on the area I need to re-comb without explicitly telling me who / what / where, that would be great. But yeah, I think I got 'em up to that point..
When I first fought Savage mirages in the first area, they were tough, and a real drain on resources, but I could beat them if I used everything I had.
In the second area, around Lv. 20, I could take them down without too much problem, it seemed to be getting easier, although the prize (an item called Detritus, and not much performa, if any) made it seem not worth it, especially since I didn't know what this Detritus was supposed to be used for.
Once the next major Idolasphere attack happened, I had met a lot of sentient NPC Mirages, and the savage ones started getting a lot tougher again, but after a bit of story progression, I found a couple of abilities let me overcome that toughness, although the challenge of the battle itself still remained
So it seems, as far as savage mirages go, they'll scale up in a linear fashion, but you'll be getting upgrades and unlocks that let you hold your ground against enemies whose levels are progressively higher and higher than yours.
Definitely adds an extra layer of depth to the RPG levelling structure in video games.
@Mr_MustacheKiria is the first to learn an almighty spell. One of her Chapter 3 microphones teaches "Megido" a staple SMT Almighty damage spell. The Megido line of spells is a nice safe way to damage all enemies without worrying about any of it getting reflected. The only downside is that it's expensive on your spell-points, so if you have Spirit Drain or Energy Drain, make sure that's mapped, too.
EDIT: Oh, and as a cautionary measure, some rare monsters and bosses will "lose their temper" if you use a Megido-family spell on them. They'll change their strategy so that they're casting some sort of ultimate spell 3 times every round or something. That's another thing that bothered me with some of the SMT games and spinoffs, although SMT4 seems to have relegated all the "puzzle battles" to a sidequest sequestered from the world and story, which gives you all the pieces you need to solve it so that you don't need to wreck your favourite setup and rearrange your mapped skills, so that kind of structure may have solved the issue permanently for the series.