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@TriforceBun Good point, but I actually don't think they'd need to make all of the NPCs as involved as that (even though I'd argue that it would be totally doable for them to pull off), 'cause there are already a few exceptions here and there that you can't, say, allure or challenge. Although they might be impossible to interact with like that for plot reasons, now that I think about it. But either way I don't think most would find it weird if some characters didn't carry any items around, if you couldn't get flirtacious with some kid or if you couldn't sick your leopard on grandma.
But the more I think about things, I think I might be a tad too hard on the game as a result of the chapter 1 structure rather than the writing or the mute NPCs. The way the game has virtually ever starting area behaving and progressing the same way, being limited in the same ways, and having the same types of battles and exploration. It obviously has to be that way (to a point) in order to make the game feel fair and balanced and introduce the player to stuff properly no matter who you choose as your starter, so I don't mind it, but I feel as if aspects of that might have gotten stuck in the back of my head, 'causing me to get annoyed with lackluster NPC dialogue when there were better things yet to come just around the corner.
I'm still convinced the lack of main character interaction is bad and not good and bad, though.
Also, just to end my ranting, I don't think I'd be this nitpicky if the game wasn't this good. Because it's really good overall, and I'm glad it's doing well.
Hey, I keep wandering into dungeons with nothing in them except for enemies who do arbitrarily more damage! What gives? I wanna explore, not wait to be prompted by quest-givers until my stats are incremented enough!
I've come across one of the mechanics teased on the back of the box (not sure if that's a spoiler?) in my game, and am quite pleased with the crazy amount of potential with it. This is definitely one of the most refined battle systems I've ever played in an RPG.
This makes me intrigued to play more, though. I was a little worried I'd basically figured out the battle system already. Current strategy: have Primrose buff Cyrus's elemental attack, then wreak havoc on every enemy with his double-hit spells. Once I can find more advanced materials for Alfyn's Concoct ability, I'll have an endless supply of SP and be able to boost Cyrus's BP every turn.
Not sure who I'll keep around for a fourth member. I like Tressa's BP-restoring ability, but Olberic is cooler.
I've finished all the chapter 2s and started Olberic's chapter 3. Olberic is now my favorite.
I'm surprised by how much content is in the game, although admittedly I'm playing at a leisurely pace (do a chapter, do some exploring/sidequests, do a chapter, etc). The chapter system is an interesting one, although I would like to see a bit more variety in the core gameplay within them. Even so, I'm hooked enough by the atmosphere, battle system and music to not mind so much. And the stories generally seem to keep improving as well.
@TriforceBun I've only completed Ophilia's and Primrose's second chapters so far. They were both pretty great, even if I'm still stanning Primrose pretty hard. Got a travel banter with my main Tressa in Ophilia's chapter, and got some second thoughts about Tressa as my avatar, but it's all good.
Would you say this is kid-friendly, aside from Primrose's evil boss guy relationship / dialog in her first chapter? Friend really wants to play this with his 10-12 year old kids and so far I've been saying go for it, except for that one part.
@Infinitywave Prostitution and human trafficking seems to be a theme in Primrose's story, but so far they haven't spelled anything out for the audience. It's like, if you don't know what a brothel is you're just gonna get the impression that it's a place that's not very nice.
@Infinitywave Outside of Primrose's chapter, I'd say the whole game is PG-rated more or less. There's some occasional swearing (nothing too heavy) and no blood or anything worse than what you'd find in a Harry Potter book.
Primrose's story seems to be the exception in terms of content, but even then like @r_hjort mentioned, it's somewhat subtextual rather than being spelled out in a gratuitous way. She definitely has the darkest plot so far (I've only done two of her chapters, but her chapter 2 is similarly bleak), but it's more the exception rather than the norm for the game.
I might add that my twelve year old nephew has been playing the demo and watched me play it quite a bit, and he doesn't seem to be affected by it, despite being protected from anything naughty by his mom to a ridiculous degree.
Finished Tressa's chapter two and liked it a lot. Felt like that chapter could have descended into far more violence and darkness with another character as lead, which makes me feel like it helped differentiate Tressa even more from the others, which is nice. Still, starting to feel more and more like I should have mained another character if they should be closer to my own personality and my own ideas. Also keep liking H'aanit more and more, both in terms of character and battle skills.
Also finally unlocked the secondary jobs. Love stuff like this. I don't expect it to be Etrian Odyssey III/IV levels of balance or depth, but it seems really impressive and fun all the same. Definitely gonna put some time into thinking about how to go about things from here on.
@TriforceBun I don't regret starting with Tressa because of her skills, that's for sure! Felt like a great way to start the game, and I've never felt as if I wanted anyone else in my party during battle. I like her a lot, she just doesn't feel like...me, anymore. Not that my RPG characters have to be exactly like me, 'cause that would be boring, but I can't quite relate to her the same way I initially did, and others have become more relatable. But that's part of the beauty of the game, I suppose.
Had some travel banter just now, between Therion and Primrose, and I feel as if she went out of character. All the way up until now she's been using her sultry dancing as a means to an end, and she's talked about it like something that she has to suffer through, more or less. Then, all of a sudden she wants to start dancing in some random pub just to entertain the men there. That does not sound like Primrose from before at all.
Playing Cyrus's chapter two right now. Awesome. Love this fantasy noire-ish tale it's got going. Also the Cing style little analyses Cyrus does. EDIT: Not to mention the fact that Cyrus is basically Edgar Figaro without the libido.
I'm neck-deep in the chapter 3s now. A lot of these stories are coming to a dramatic or emotional head, so I'm eager to see what happens next with everyone. I'm also starting to wander to the far ends of the world, exploring optional caves and bosses. One of them thoroughly destroyed me, so I decided to try that another day, but another one--despite initially killing me outright--was beatable after I adjusted my strategy a bit. It was a rewarding fight!