Picking up after Part 1 left, here are the remaining chest messages from The Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky that I like the most. I loved this thing in the game, it added that little something that made the game stand out from other jRPGs. I sure hope that the next episode will keep this feature.
As I mentioned in my review of The Legend of Heroes Trails in The Sky, the game has lots of lines of text. I was positively surprised that the Devs decided to add even more by giving voice to the various treasure chests you find around the game world: basically, if you open a treasure chest and then you press the action button once more so that you look into the chest a second time, you get a funny message from the chest itself.
There are more than 150 chests in the game and, even though some of the messages are duplicates, there were still quite a few to go through. I tried to choose the funniest ones and the most lolwut ones for you, some of them are really worth it. I will break this post into two parts as there are really too many to fit into a single one.
Some time ago I was browsing through my Steam library looking for something different to play and I saw this game that I bought during a Steam sale (well, like every other game really): The Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky. I couldn’t play it when it originally came out on PC, and I had not played the PSP remake, so I decided it was time to try a new jRPG franchise.
The game is not as long as other jRPGs, I have completed it in around 45 hours. It took me another 10-15 hours to get all the Steam achievements. There is not much hidden content (no real hidden bosses or huge sidequests or anything of the like) so once you complete the main storyline, you just have some cleanup to do to complete it 100%.
Don’t let this put you off though: those 45 hours are worth it. This is not the best jRPG that I have ever played, but it’s one that I am glad I have played and completed. The battle system is an interesting hybrid: it’s purely turn-based (the style I love the most) but it also allows you to move your characters on a grid (Disgaea style), which works reasonably well, although I haven’t really used this feature that much, normally you can simply attack and let your characters move by themselves. It adds an interesting new dimension to battles, but again, most of the time it’s not something you absolutely must use in order to win the battle.
Graphically, this game is beautiful. The colors are bright and the characters are so fluffy it makes you feel like a 10-year-old. The characters are well designed and well developed, each with a specific fighting style and personality, in the best jRPG tradition.
But the best thing about this game is the story. No, the combat system is not the best one ever made, and the game doesn’t offer lots of challenges but the story will keep you hooked. The game is famous for the long dialogues, and yes, I can confirm you will have to do quite a bit of reading, but everything will lead up to a finale that will keep you longing for episode two. I don’t want to spolier anything, but I can tell you that I absolutely cannot wait for the second chapter to be released (which is supposed to happen some time this summer, according to rumors online). When asked in an interview about the status of Second Chapter, XSEED replied the following:
We know you’ve been waiting for SC. Boy, do we know! And in hindsight, we wish we could’ve scheduled its localization a lot better, because at this point we want it out the door just as much as you (ha ha). I’m currently working together with Trails in the Sky FC & SC editor Jessica Chavez to clean things up and make sure it’s as polished as can be within our crazily hectic schedule. In fact, we’re working 100% in tandem with some of the series’ biggest fans to ensure that every fact is checked and every piece of foreshadowing is correctly shadowed, and just in general taking every step we can to ensure even our biggest critics are pleased with the final product. So far, I could not be happier with the feedback we’ve received.
I recommend you read the whole interview, which also includes news about other episodes of the series.
Unfortunately, there are not many jRPGs on the PC, although things have started changing in the last few years. This is one of those games that you should consider purchasing to support the developers to make sure more games like this find their way to the PC. Save your money, don’t buy another FPS (there are way too many of those on Steam already) and use that money to buy this. If everyone did this, Steam would become a better place 😉
I am a huge fan of Kingdom Hearts. I remember playing the first one a while after it came out and, even if it had its share of camera and battle system problems, I was blown away. I love Final Fantasy and Disney, so when I found out that this game was going to include characters from both worlds in an action/platformer/RPG I had a mental orgasm.
Yesterday Sony, through its official blog, made available a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, which you can see here.
Kingdom Hearts 2.5 ReMIX is going to be released in 2014 and, following the style of the 1.5 ReMIX, is going to include the following titles:
- Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix (previously only released in Japan)
- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix (previously only released in Japan for the PSP)
- HD Remastered videos for Kingdom Hearts RE:coded
I can’t wait for this to come out. I always love entering these dreamy worlds and, in the meantime, I will make the wait more bearable by playing the 1.5 ReMIX. Also, do yourself a favour and listen to the Traverse Town sountrack, one of the best in the game 😉
Anyway, I have finally completed Blue Dragon, getting the final achievements I was missing. It took me several years to do it but I have finally made it! Before putting this game aside for a while, I had already completed it at normal difficulty, but I was missing two achievements, and you can easily guess what they were: complete the item record and complete the monster record, of course.
Before beginning a New Game + at Impossible Mode, I completed the item record in normal mode, and it didn’t take too much time since I had already collected almost everything in the game. So, after getting this achievement, and since the only monster I was missing was in Nene’s Fortress and it was one of the missable ones (typical), I had to start a new game, and I decided to do this at Impossible Mode, hoping to find an interesting challenge, especially because this game is very easy out of the box.
They advise you to try Impossible Mode with characters that have reached at least level 50. It wasn’t a problem for me since I already had every character at level 99 and I had also maxed out all the classes of all the shadows (yeah, n3rd, I know).
Well let me tell you this: Impossible Mode is ridiculously easy if your characters are already that developed. Seriously, I don’t think I died even once through the whole Impossible playthrough. Well, it’s pointless to hope for any other updates on this game after so many years, but it would have been nice to have a difficulty mode for characters who were already maxed out. I know I would have enjoyed this. As it is right now, the game can probably offer a decent challenge only if you start Impossible Mode with underlevelled characters.
The game was good, I liked it (I wouldn’t have played it twice if I didn’t), but the lack of challenge and the huge amount of time required in grinding to level up classes and characters are its two main flaws. In any case, these didn’t stop me from spending about 130 hours with it, so if you haven’t played it yet, I suggest you give it a try, it’s a nice jRPG with a very nice classical turn-based battle system. It would have been even better if they had muted Shu’s voice though.
After completing Eternal Sonata’s Encore Mode last month I have decided to write down some advice on how to beat it, since I am going to play this game again on the PS3 in the future. Because I thought it might be useful to other players I have then decided to publish it online and make it available to every fellow player out there 🙂
My initial idea was to have it published on GameFAQs (hence the formatting) but I have found out that they don’t accept Tips & Tricks type of guides, so I have uploaded the plain text file on pastebin (I still think that plain text is a good way to write guides).
Feel free to use it, download it or whatever (if you want to download it just to delete it afterwards, feel free to do that as well). If you plan to publish it (or a part of it) elsewhere just remember to link back either to the file on pastebin or to this blog post. Enjoy 🙂
Eternal Sonata is easily one of my favourite jRPGs of this generation on the Xbox (well, not that there are so many on this console). I love its atmosphere, its graphics and its colors. I also like the battle system, although it becomes very repetitive after a while. Unfortunately the game is not very long (I completed the first playthrough with my girlfriend in about 40 hours, including Mysterious Unison) and, even more unfortunately, there is no sign of a sequel, and probably there will never be one. But I hear a new Call of Duty is coming out, so don’t despair.
Anyway, I have just completed my encore playthrough and I wanted to brag about it here. Technically, though, I haven’t really completed it, because I haven’t beaten the final boss, I just got up to the Xylophone Tower and then backtracked to get all the achievements I was missing. I guess I can really finish Encore mode in the PS3 version (yeah, I am going to play this for two more times, while I wait for the new Call of Duty, you know), because of the extra characters and extra stuff.
I was expecting a more difficult challenge to be honest. Although enemies are more powerful and you level up normally, like in the first playthrough, I think that being able to use Party Level 6 from the beginning of the Encore playthrough makes things a bit too easy (the only times I died were during two or three boss fights if I am not mistaken), and I was pretty much never overleveled.
Overall it was a nice experience and I am looking forward to playing this again on the PS3 because of the extra content. Again, this time I will probably completely finish Encore mode, including the final boss and Mysterious Unison), because I will play this with my girlfriend (the one who bought me Heavy Rain, remember?) and I don’t think that she will let me put it down before that happens.