Tactics Ogre

My grinding method was to go to the Xaed Moors whatevers. Random encounters are always with the undead. Bring archers with Baldur Bows/Crossbows, guys to level up, and set everybody on AI. Baldur Bows (or their +1 variant, I'm not sure) wreck the undead throughout most of the main game.

Argghh... I *do* have Baldur Bows and a couple of Archurs, plus Canopus and a second Vartan I had recruited that use crossbows. It just annoys me that I feel like I have to play the game this way, and it feels unreasonable that I can't just enter a random battle, have a balanced party of ranged, melee, and magic with 1-2 healers and only ONE character grinding for levels, and then set AI to Win. Maybe this wouldn't be such an issue if grinding were quick and easy when NOT using AI controls.

Ah well, maybe I'll still go back to Tactics Ogre sometime and just allow my Archers to reach stupidly-high experience levels killing lots of undead, while the rest of my party just kind of tags along for the ride. Eggh... (goes back to P4)

What Videogames Are You Playing Right Now?

I found a simple solution for my Persona 4 dilemma. I downloaded save data off GameFAQs, moved it from PC to PS3 with zip flash drive, then downloaded it off there onto a PS2 memory card using the adapter I already had. Even though the PS3 is a newer one, not really backwards-compatible, it works absolutely fine for data management for any PS system.

Soo now I'm replaying Persona 4 on Expert difficulty and having a great time. The enemies are providing pretty decent challenge for my skill level, but my import file came with a couple million yen so I can afford to max out on stuff like Medicine. I just recruited my second playable character (excluding the protagonist) and I think I'll summon up some Persona from the Compendium with that Victory Cry ability pretty soon...

Oh yeah, and I've been casually playing Dissidua 012. It doesn't really feel that fresh or different from the original, but I'm enjoying playing with a lot of the new characters like Laguna, Kain, Lightning, and Vaan (don't really care about Yuna or Tits McGee). I hate how shallow the characterizations can be at times though, honestly- Laguna is "lol i am bad at directions lots" and Vaan won't shut the hell up about airships.

Replaying Digital Devil Saga 1 and 2

I quit halfway through 2 because of the MC change, but now I think I can just grit my teeth through it since I want to know what happens.

I'd be interested in knowing what you think about the DDS games. I have them AND Nocturne sitting on my shelf and have been put off from playing them because I didn't really enjoy Strange Journey that much. I've deliberately tried to avoid learning DDS' story, except I've been warned that sometimes the storytelling seems silly towards the beginning, but to give it time because near the end of DDS1 the plot even explains that stuff...


There not going to say: Hey guys, in 12 months theres going to be a better version of that thing you just spent $300 on. Suckarz.

Yeah, I agree. Nintendo doesn't really hold any credibility for me here.

I recommend reading this interesting article by Jeremy Parish on the 3DS. It's interesting because it points out two potential problems with the overall 3DS strategy:

- It doesn't use "withered technology" (think Game Boy strategy), it costs a lot of money relative to past Nintendo offerings, and it is probably the most high-tech system Nintendo has developed.
- It is awkwardly positioned between the hardcore gamer's NGP and the super-casual iPhone/iPod touch (IMO, Nintendo fails to truly recognize the latter as a real competitor).

I think it's impossible for the 3DS to be anything like the Virtual Boy, but it seems like the best parts of Nintendo's strategy for the 3DS are generic things they could've done with the DSi: lock up LOTS of great releases and do a better job with 3rd-party software developers. It's almost like Nintendo needed a new console because... um... it's the *right time* to introduce the next portable system?

EDIT: Although after posting I realize that Nintendo is showing games with better graphics and such, and I know the 3DS isn't just a DSi with pop-out effects. They're still failing to address Apple's threat to their dominance over casual gamers, though. Anyways, I like talking plenty about the logic behind the thing, but the bottom-line is that I'll likely buy one someday when I'm worried about the scarcity of some great 3DS release that will be hard to find later on.

What Videogames Are You Playing Right Now?

Starting another playthrough of Persona 4. Well from tomorrow at least, might as well tie it in with the start of the story in game. I feel bad for only remembering that 'cause of some random teaser of a P4 announcement tomorrow.

Ohh man, I can't wait. I actually already heard an announcement that Persona 5 development has started- sorry if that's spoiling what *this* surprise is supposed be, but I don't think it is because it's been announced for a couple days.

I really enjoyed P4; I played through it once and didn't think I'd do the replay, since you lose a *lot* of cool stuff on the second playthrough and only gain the ability to use a really-powerful persona instead (I'm not sure, maybe you can keep your stats in things like "Academics" and "Understanding," etc?). I'm really bummed though because I had played P4 on my first-gen PS3 (you can see where this is headed), had the save file for the completed game, and then experienced my PS3 dying. Got the replacement plus a PS2 slim, but now I only have save data from around when I finished the 3rd dungeon.

Soooo ANYWAYS I would love a P4 Portable. Feels unlikely, since P2P is already being worked on and since P4P wouldn't significantly change the gameplay from P4 (compared to P3 -> P3P). We don't need an anime of the same thing though... seriously... arghhh... but unfortunately that's what it looks like it might be. Oh well. I can just replay from scratch someday in the future on the PS2, or maaybe wait 4-5 years for it to reappear on some other platform or something. (sigh)

Worst videogame character.

Teddie's voice was weird but it strangely grew on me...Rise, however...

Hahaha, EXACTLY my reaction! I started to like Teddie whereas I grew to dislike the stupid jail-bait that kept gushing about her Senpai. Her dungeon was pretty kick-ass, though. (I liked most/all the dungeons in P4, though)

Is grinding a flaw in rpgs?

Taste issue. 'x' person might find grinding in some game terrible while 'y' person might find it entertaining.

Your mileage will, in fact, vary.

Not fair!! You have to give a YES or NO answer! You're a big fat cheater, Karsuman.... .... ....

you ought to give SMT: Strange Journey on the DS a try

I've been playing it a bit and I think I made it to the 4th dungeon, but it's currently sitting in the "maybe return to later" pile of games... I really want to like it because the game just oozes polish and because the game-overs are both rare and feel fair, but I just can't get my interest back into it...

Basically I agree with Shinan's whole experience-challenge continuum idea and find myself buried far on the 'experience' side (i.e. I'm a serious wuss when it comes to video games). The closest I get to playing a challenging RPG is to play Fallout 3/NV on Very Hard (on Hardcore), which actually is not that challenging if you just plan 4-5 of your next level-ups in advance...

LockeZ- I think you're absolutely right on FF13; I can't call the game shitty for those reasons, I just have to say it's not really my thing, same as with the other video games I mentioned with higher difficulty challenges. I remember reading some story about Shigeru Miyamoto or some other Nintendo guy loving the idea of grind-friendly RPGs like DQ & FF games because people who suck at video games could still finish those games if they invested enough time, whereas a Mario game requires you to *get it* at some point. Anyways, I think Mr. M was describing folks like me- I own and play lots of video games, but I'm honestly never that great at them!

EDIT P.S.: I think Half-Minute Hero does an EXCELLENT job of handling level grinding. If I only have to spend ~30 seconds before I've got enough cash and levels to go kick some butt, I consider that a huge bonus.


oh boy i always did want to play ocarina of time and street fighter 4 in glorious 3d!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fuck the 3ds

Hahaha, yeah, pretty much my reaction to hearing of ANOTHER Ocarina of Time release. Maybe they'll make this a special version where you not only play as Young and Adult Link, but must also team up with Yoshi, Luigi, and Wario in order to take down Bowser!!

Is grinding a flaw in rpgs?



OK, longer response. Grinding's not a flaw, per se, it's just something that happens... I think I tend to dislike games where I feel I'm required to go grinding for levels without feeling a sense of advancement (unlike Persona 3/4, where I usually gain enough levels just moving through the floors of a dungeon even though they're pretty identical to each other and bland) and where I can't just assign the computer to handle gameplay for me (unlike Tactics Ogre or FFT, where I can spend minimal time on the game setting up AI for the fight and then let it run for awhile). I have a hard time maintaining interest in 'hardcore' RPGs (I'd include Etrian Odyssey games, the main SMT series, or even DQ games) because for me an increased 'difficulty' only translates into dumping more free time grinding for levels so that the difficulty is actually manageable. Why *not* play an easier RPG if it just means leveling up faster and saving me time to do other crap?? Makes sense to me.

Hey, let me change my original answer: yes. Grinding, like I described it above, is a flaw in RPGs (assuming whatever I dislike about RPGs has to be a flaw with RPGs). But there's plenty of sucky RPGs that deliberately *avoid* grinding: I hate-hate-hate Final Fantasy 13's stupid graphics-tunnels, and I hate how I find the game difficult yet the game seems to take deliberate steps to prevent me from grinding, only because, on a very deep and personal level, the game truly despises me. Aaaaaand sometimes, if a battle system is a lot of fun, I'll take time to do grinding when I don't have to, like when I stayed put in Final Fantasy 12 in the desert areas for hours killing the little desert-people, grinding to unlock cool new powers on the license board and to make tons of extra dough.

Grinding is not a flaw, it is the esscence of our souls.

no wait YES this is the right answer. that's my final answer.

What are you thinking about right now?

I am thinking about how the name of the Welp, Welp! forum reminds me of a poem from William Blake, from Songs of Innocence and Experience (I'm not artsy-fartsy, I just had to memorize this stuff for a class once). The poem I think is called The Chimney-Sweeper, I think I'm thinking of the 'Experience' version, and it has a little kid "Crying 'weep 'weep, in notes of woe!' because his big dumb parents are gone to praise God & king, who make a mockery of his misery. I think that's how it goes!

Worst videogame character.

author=Feldschlacht IV

I see your Chu-Chu and I raise you a...

And I quote: "Me will use my Pretty-Miracle-Power-X! Me will do it, Sergeipoo!!!"

Also, to the people who say that Teddie sucks: Well, yeah, the voice acting, it's... But he kinda grew on me! I think he won me over at the beauty contest when he said "Information WANTS to be free!!" Just the way the line was delivered, how it felt so out of place, I just busted up laughing for a pretty long time after that, haha.