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Good story, punishing difficulty.

  • Djehuty
  • 09/28/2015 06:32 PM
I'm not going to cover the story, here. It's good. The art is fantastic, and the music is good. The overall tone the game is trying to set is perfect - but I'm going to rate this based on gameplay alone, because we can all agree that everything I've mentioned before is superb. Gameplay? 1 - Poor. The game is punishing. It felt as though I was suckered in, because all I wanted was the story. It even asked me about difficulty at the start of the game - puzzles? Fine, I can deal with difficult puzzles. Combat? Eehh... Don't want that. Combat wasn't fun in the first game, won't be fun here.

Boy, was I right.

It's not so much a difficulty curve as it is a vertical surface with no handholds with which to scale it, with the 'difficulty setting' being a man holding a gun to the back of your head saying "It's easy. Just climb it." I chose to make combat easy at the start of the game, and it was. I would choose to Engage new enemies, but put the more redundant encounters on Auto (like I did in OFF), and I would actually use Cat's Eye to spot the weaknesses of enemy bosses and the like to get the fighting over faster with semi-clever Competence usage to exploit said weaknesses.

And then Zone 4 happened. I understand this is towards the end of the game, and it's meant to be difficult, but so far it's proven to be impossible. Every random encounter is death if you haven't spent a few hours grinding in the other, less difficult zones (which you now CANNOT go to. Sure, you can go to Zone 0, but there are no encounters there.) The enemies have high resistances and HP in the thousands (compared to most attacks only doing about 100 - 150 damage at this point) and can sometimes act twice before you're even allowed to act for the first time in combat. Their resistances are incredibly high (some enemies are resistant to EVERYTHING) and they don't come at you one at a time - yes, I know, you have four cats. They have four (or more) enemies that are worth TWO of your cats individually, by this point. They can attack multiple times against multiple party members with attacks that inflict one (sometimes multiple) status ailments, while your own party members' status ailment inflicting attacks seem to almost never work (good luck getting Valerie to blind someone. The only status ailment that ever sticks is Jozlyn's Fatigue - so have fun with that, whatever Fatigue does. I haven't noticed a difference.) while the enemies' status-inflicting attacks are guaranteed to almost always stick - and keep you from using competences in some way. Or make it so your attacks don't hit. Or make it so you die in a few turns. I also forgot to mention that, no matter what, they seem to always get their attacks off first. Each Random encounter is now a boss battle that ends with a game over screen (well, not anymore. I just close the game if that starts happening, lets me reload faster) and me slowly starting to hate this game more and more.

The original game had it right. The story is most important - but you the creator decided to focus more on combat. That's fine. But when you give the option to make combat easy, it should do just that - make combat easy.

I'm sorry to have to give this such a low rating, but this sudden and completely unwarranted (didn't ask for it, didn't need it, sure as Hell didn't want it) difficulty spike has ruined this game for me. I just want to see it through to the end for the story you have to tell, and I can't. This isn't just frustrating. I am actually exceptionally angry. What was a good game turned in to an exercise in frustration - every ten or twenty steps is death and having to reload, at a point in the game where save boxes seem to be few and far between. I've tried grinding here (particularly just outside the hospital area) and managed to win one combat. After using all of my Jokers and ALMOST all of my status ailment-removing items.

Final Verdict: The story is good and music are both good, the art is superb, the combat difficulty by Zone 4 completely destroys the experience. It's not challenging, it's JUST frustrating, which does not make a good game experience. If you had been allowed to go to the other three Zones with encounter chances after realizing how tough the Zone was it would've been fine (because The Batter could do that in OFF. Remember that in OFF? When the Batter could go back to purified Zones to fight semi-difficult enemies to grind for experience? That good game design decision? Yeah, so do I.), but instead you're locked between punishing Zone 4 and useless Zone 0 - a hard place and a rock, respectively.


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I feel like giving the game a rating of 1 because of the difficulty is unfair in the sense that it disregards all the rest.

Ratings should probably go anyway.

Just my opinion.
Uhh. there is a difficulty level btw. You can choose easy, difficult, or hard combat.
Maybe you chose hard combat on accident? If so check your inventory there should be an item called "Difficulty Pill." which lowers your difficulty down to normal.

Battles with giant enemies, or enemies that are by themselves should be ran from if possible. They are challenging enemies similar to Morbol and Behemoths in the final fantasy series.

By the way, inboxing someone telling them. "Your game's difficulty system is broken. Fix it." It disrespectful as all hell.

Also, I haven't had a single complaint about the combat system being broken until now. Every person on tumblr who's inboxed me about it has replied with positive results about the combat and puzzle levels of difficulty.

However I will take your concerns into consideration and shove a few enemy commands into hard mode only and make enemies a little less reactive/volatile on easy mode. Removed the tougher encounters in the areas before the hospital allows a player who might get stuck like in your case grind the encounters there and get caught up to speed before fighting the tougher monsters later on.

Also made the hellbrought cats weaker (the catguns.)

Also what level are you? Most players are lv15-20 when entering zone 4.

This feels less like a review and more like a rant that the game was too hard.
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