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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?
Didn't get to play last night, but it seems like I'm right on the lip of everything you mentioned. Perhaps I'll have experienced all of this stuff by Monday, through the weekend. I'll keep my eyes peeled!
Started Kiria's Stage Rank 10 (I think..) sidequest in Ch2 intermission (I like to do all I can before advancing) at L27; "Level 42 suggested." EHHH, lets give it a shot. Failed and failed and failed and failed.
Spent the next 3 or so game hours (and many days/attempts at home) Leveling up / using the EXPeditious Hunter room (and Tomes) until I was finally able to win the fight...at Lv43. Yikes. It still wasn't a gimme, but my winning one I did by ganging up on Bord until he dissolved (you can do Cord first if you prefer), and when I got to a point where I needed to revive someone, I'd revive with my first player, attacked with my 2nd player (to get all 3 in on the chain), or in some cases, use one of those items that blocks a PHYSICAL or a MAGIC attack, to allow you to STAY ALIVE (instead of one-hit death, over and over..and over) to cast Charm. Rough seas out there, my friend.
Currently in Ch3, and sidequests are still popping up all over. I thought they were supposed to mind their own business until Intermission! WELL I CAN'T JUST IGNORE THEM.
Just out there FIGHTING. Does her Quest start w/ SR8? Whatever the case, she's 11 now, and Itsuki / Tsubasa are 10. (Touma is 7)
EDIT- I was doing it earlier than I should have (and found out afterwards that its Kiria's last sidequest, apparently); the reward is pretty cool (and I like it!), but something that could've probably waited.
Hmm.. As far as I know, the only thing that increases Stage Rank is "playing," right? Like, you can't accelerate THAT with Tomes or Skillbooks or whatever they're called? Do you avoid fights a lot? I generally fight everything. ALSO, I racked up a good amount of time at the Harajaku 'sphere. Ran through the Beginner ranks once before hitting that mark. That seems to be like Stage Rank Microwave! I felt like someone was going up a rank each time I finished a set. Try it out! (What Lv are you otherwise?)
I've maybe avoided a few fights here and there if people were low on EP. Grinded a bit for skills since I'm playing on hard and that chapter 2 boss was ROUGH. Right now, my highest is Itsuki at level 30 with Eleonora being level 25.
"Low on EP"? What the.. Why? I haven't even been close to running out, and I never do anything that ISN'T a Skill. Sure, I bounce back to Home Base with Traport often, and warp around when I get in there, but yeah, never even been in peril. Intriguing..
Oh, well, not playing on Hard. Yes, Chapter 2 Boss was indeed rough. Quite the step up from Chapter 1. Eleanora is your 2nd best at 25? Most intriguing.. She joined at 24 for me, and my folks were well above her. Pretty sure I was 27 (as I wrote up there) once I got that offer from Kiria.
Usually I return to town when I hit a warp. Also I probably use more skills to take down enemies in battles... the chapter 3 mid point boss battle, wow. That one was nuts. Buffs/debuffs are VERY important in this, that's for sure. Though they pretty much always are in SMT games.
Aww man, I just reached the point where you can first do a Class Change, and instead of it being encouraging, its completely stopped me in my tracks. I didn't know it was going to be like that. *sigh* What to do, what to do.....
Man, I'm going back and forth so much on this game whether I like it or not. But I guess it always comes down to the battle system which I still think is fun, if a bit confusing with all of the skills you can learn and characters that can be switched in. Not sure how to progress with who to have learn certain skills. But yeah, the rest of the game? The characters I don't feel are all that interesting. The story I don't particularly care for all that much yet. The side quests are pure filler that are not at all interesting but you feel like you have to do them to unlock new Radiant Skills or potentially useful items. Too bad it's brought down by all of this because it could overall be a really damn fun game. I'll keep at it though and see how I feel the more I progress.
Sometimes it can be fun to build a character but in a game where you invest dozens upon dozens of hours, it's not always convenient if you realize that you could have done much better but are stuck with a certain configuration. Though I think some of the skills can be redone later (can always do the +1 weapons) through some other means of creating weapons from what I understand. I just hope that the Session skills don't end up being permanently lost (if you have to choose to lose some later... I've yet to had that happen) because linking all of those together with multiple characters could end up being confusing!
Unlocked something that might be considered the "re-spec" of this game, or perhaps what would otherwise be in other SMT games when you re-recruit or fuse a demon of a species you already trained to maximum.
I can now potentially raise my skills as high as I want them! Although I still haven't found energy-drain, I did find an enemy-mirage with a skill that lets them session LifeDrain from another enemy's Wind-skill. I'm thinkin Kiria might be able to acquire a weapon that teaches Health/EP-stealing as a session-skill, and maybe others to learn how to session off of that.
Aaaaaand I'm back to loving this game. I don't think I've ever felt so confused about how I feel about a game haha. Still have issues with it... mainly the way the world travel is designed and the numerous loading screens but I'm just hooked now.
Seems like you might be able to change your mind later, though. Last night all my characters had changed classes… and then I picked up another Master Seal. I wouldn't be surprised if I found 6 more by the end of the game.