Friday, February 20, 2009

First post!

Well, this is something I've been meaning to do for quite some time now.
I figure keeping a blog of the games I'm currently playing and my progress in them will give me incentive to continue and complete each game.
Now, for a quick introduction...
My name is Travis. I'm twenty years old and I reside in North Carolina. I'm a full time Communications student and I work part time as a pizza delivery guy. I love writing and why write about anything other than my first love? Video games! I've had an obsession with collecting and playing video games since my youngest years and my addiction has only grown ever since. I've got a LOT of games under my belt, many that I have yet to even touch, but I've been juggling quite a few lately, so I'll write about those and a few of the ones that have been moved to the backburner.

My primary game at the moment is Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army. I've been playing it for about half a month right now and while the story has taken a little bit of time to get rollin', the game has finally taken flight, for lack of better words. To describe the game, mix a Tales-esque battle system with the collection aspect of Pokemon, toss in the occult themes generally found in any other Shin Megami Tensei title, and scramble it all up with some sort of detective/mystery angle and there you go.
I'm going to make sure to try and keep this blog spoiler free to the best of my abilities, so no worries unless I state that there is a possibility for spoilers.
After about a week-long break from the game due to school/work/going out of town, I'm back to playing it in full force. As of this morning, I've re. ached Chapter 7 out of 12, so I'm a little bit over halfway through the game. I've clocked in a good 15 hours and since I have yet to run into a sidequest, I'd say I've been following the main plot as close as one can outside of an hour or two here and there devoted to level-grinding and maxing out loyalty on new demons. (Loyalty is one of the more unique aspects of the game. A demon in your party is unable to be fused or used to its maximum potential until it has reached its maximum loyalty.)
To be blatantly honest, the game is pretty easy. When put in comparison to the other titles in the Shin Megami Tensei series, which as a whole has garnered quite a reputation for its difficulty, it's actually a piece of cake. The boss battles are rarely as difficult as expected, leveling up isn't very time consuming if you're where you should be in the story, and strategy, while present, is hardly an overpowering element of the game.
Despite these things, this is an incredibly addictive title and I just can't seem to put it down.

Moving on from Devil Summoner...

I spent this past weekend out of town and due to the rather lengthy car ride, I kept my PSP handy at all times. Due to the praise surrounding the game and the lack of time I had spent playing it earlier, I decided to continue playing Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth. A slightly improved port of the Playstation original, Valkyrie Profile is an RPG unlike any other. You play as Lenneth, who has been sent on a mission to recruit the souls of warriors and other individuals who have passed away for miscellaneous reasons in preparations for a great battle. The story itself is actually very open-ended, as I find that I can go anywhere at any time and really do anything I want to, except for one very important issue. You, the player, are constantly on a time limit of sorts. Each chapter is broken up into 24 periods, periods being spent recruiting new characters in villages or battling your way through dungeons. This sense of urgency is made even more prevalant by the fact everything is counting down to one very important event: the end of the world.
To explain more of the actual gameplay, imagine your typical 2D platformer. All travel outside of the world map takes place in a unique side-scrolling view. Lenneth can jump, shoot crystals that can be used to assist in various situations, and swing her sword at enemies to get the upper hand when initiating battle. Battles themselves, while seemingly simplistic upon first glance, are far more strategic in nature than you might expect. Each character in your party is assigned to a button: X, O, Triangle, and Square. To make a character attack immediately, simply press their corresponding button and they'll jump into action. Simple enough, right? Wrong. Timing is key when executing attacks. Perfectly timing each attack and using each character to his or her potential can have fantastic results; breaking an enemies guard, performing a combo, or initiating an all-powerful special attack to obliterate anyone or anything in your way. Contrarily, poor timing and choice can lead to doing little to no damage at all or even just wasting a turn, only to be pummeled by your enemies.
I am currently about 11 hours into the game, close to the end of the third chapter. Seeing as I went into the game with next to no knowledge of what to do or how to do things, the first few chapters consisted primarily of me "feeling the game out." Actually, I'm still figuring out things that I can and can't do. Since it's a portable game, I haven't played it as frequently, only clocking in an hour or two when I've got nothing to do and my PSP is on hand, but I've made much more steady progress than I expected to.

Sorry that this post is so horribly lengthy, I promise they usually won't be as heavy as this one. I'm going to make it a point to update AT LEAST once a week, if not much more often than that. There are other games I'm playing as well and if it's my first post on a game, I'll give an introduction and description of the ins and outs of it, but as for now, I'll leave it at this.

Until next time!

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