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Wednesday, 11 January 2017 14:17

One con to rule them all

Gamers roll into Bangor for SnowCon IX

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 17:04

Homestead, Part III: The Synergy

Sister

This part of this series may be the hardest one to write yet, because there is literally enough material to fill a massive tome with appendices and a few epilogues. My sister and I are digital war buddies. If there is a magic system, we have abused it. If there is a leveling system, we have destroyed it. If there is a mega-super-secret boss, we have had such epic battles with it.

Published in Tekk

'Devil Survivor 2' is one of these grid-based RPGs. I think the most common touchstone here is 'Final Fantasy Tactics,' though there are dozens of other examples that lamer (cooler) people than me could list. Basically, you move your party of dudes around on a grid and fight enemies.

So there's this boss fight that pops up once you've dug a little way into the game. There's a street lined with ruined buildings - the game is set in a currently-apocalyptic Japan - with a big weird-looking monster thing at the bottom. That's the target; you need to use your four party members to kill it.

The boss sits on the bottom and your party enters near the top. It takes maybe four turns of simply walking straight down the street to reach the boss. At the very top of the map - just above your party - there are a handful of enemies. Included in their ranks is one of the obnoxious paralysis-inducing monsters that is only weak to fire; you're best off setting one of your dudes up specifically to deal with it.

Published in Tekk

'Xenoblade Chronicles' is the kind of thing that can make you wonder what the hell you're doing with your life. 'Am I really literally systematically checking fetch quests off of this list right now?' you might ask yourself. 'Xenoblade Chronicles,' played at a state of near-unemployment at age 24 with an electric bass guitar plugged into a switched-off amp in the corner of the room, is the kind of game that maybe gets you to realize that you don't have to do this anymore, which is about as much praise as I can give anything that doesn't taste like gourmet root beer.

Not being a jerk: Man, these skies really are blue. That's nice. And man, these characters really do sound crazy and British. That's alright, too! Entering one of these overworld areas is maybe an actual fantastic feeling. It's crazy how far you can see and how you can just walk through all of it. I don't want to just write the same sentence over and over, but, man, the scope of this game is really something.

Being a jerk: Unfortunately, there's this arrow, which literally grins straight at you through the screen, and literally drools, and literally yells at you through your Wii Remote to go kill three more goblins and get three more goblin hearts to get one more pair of shoes that increases your defense by one but lowers your speed by one so that you'll have a pair for every member of your party, and it literally gets bigger, pixel by pixel, if you stray from the path that whatever sidequest you select is leading you along, until eventually it gets big enough to cover up your avatar, and then big enough to fill up your whole screen, and then you have to turn your Wii off if you want to see around it. Luckily, once you reach this point, the whole thing might not even be a metaphor anymore, and you can play 'Dark Souls' instead.

Published in Tekk

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