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Review Topic

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The Lord of the Sands
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« on: March 25, 2014, 03:31:00 pm »

This topic is for reviewing games, both new and old. Be sure to be as objective as possible, and remember, just because somebody doesn't like a game doesn't mean it's a bad game per say, it means you might have different tastes. Learn what others think as good games and use their review, both positive and negative, to decide if you'd like a game.

I'll start off by reviewing a game I hate. Star Ocean: Til the End of Time.

As a Sci-Fi/Fantasy RPG, this game had tons of potential, especially on the PS2, which was the first console that could really handle higher power games. It's a shame the potential was used how it was.

The Plot
As a two disk game, you'd think that there'd be a well written and very deep plot. Especially given the generas. And This may be because this is the third game in the series, but there are countless terms that are mentioned and not outright explained, to the point where the game actually provides an Encyclopedia. If you need something like that, you know you made things confusing and unapproachable.

But the plot itself is confusing in it's own right. Your Protagonist, Fayt Linegod, and his family and not girlfriend Sophia are spending a vacation on a resort planet when an alien race attack, they flee, but Fayt's parents are captured. Following military evacuation guidelines, they get on a ship which is also attacked, and have to take escape pods. Dispite the pods being large, Fayt decides to go a totally different way than Sophia and winds up on a planet with 14th century technology where he's supposed to just huddle down and use the matter fabricator to survive until he's rescued, but instead he gets involved enough to learn of another interloper in the planet's development, who kidnaps some local kid, invoking Fayt's wrath. He then kicks the snot out of him with help from another offworlder who wants Fayt to give testimony to the attacks. They leave and crash on a 15th century planet where they get involved in a war before the aliens attack this planet, at which point, they discover that their entire universe isn't the highest dimension. They escape into the '4th D World' to find that they're universe is actually a giant video game that's about to be deleted for learning too much. So they fight to protect it.

That make any sense to you? No? Me neither. By the time you hit disk 2, everything gets crazy and stops making any logic.

The Gameplay
It's an action RPG. So it makes sense that you have HP, TP, and a bar that controls how rapidly you attack. But does it make sense that you die if you run out of TP, your most consumed by your own moves statistic, and that the healing items for your TP are few and far between? No. Does it make sense that out of the 10 characters, 4 of them are optional with your max team being 8, and that one of the characters you've been teamed with for most of the game is one of the optional while someone you might have never seen until you're heading for the final dungeon is required? No. Does it make sense that most of the trophies you can win in fights are won in fights you have to redo with an ultra powerful version of the boss in the optional dungons after the game? A little but not much. Does it make sense that an area that might have been your stomping ground for money grinding becomes a the primary habitat for evil angels and dragons that never go away after that point and will kill you super fast? No. This game's mechanics don't do it justice.

The thing I enjoyed most about this game was the Invention Mechanic that allowed you to dump money into making items, patent those items, make money off of it, and eventually develop an empire of inventors all working under you. And even that wasn't great. Especially given one of the inventors who is capable of ruining your market isn't available until one of the post game optional dungeons.

The Verdict
I bitch a lot about this game because for what it is, it doesn't work in my opinion. Confusing and not fun to play, if it weren't for the boss fights, the only reason I'd even run past every enemy would be to see the landscapes, but the bosses prevent even that level of entertainment when you hit a beefgate.
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Must...resist...creepy urges... too many witnesses... would look weird...

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