Friday, August 13, 2010

A new feature?

I am think of reserving every Friday's post for saying 'FUCK YOU' to games, people and giant disembodied faceless corporations who deserve it. It is needlessly vulgar, juvenile, personally demeaning, and also quite enjoyable. In any case, I have already distributed this week's fuck to Ubisoft, calling them out on teasing a game several years ago and then saying nothing about it since. For reference:

Complaining about this more today would be redundant, and for all I know there was a big announcement at E3 that I missed, so I should be careful not to let too many fucks out; they can be difficult to get back.

The decision was finally made last night to forgo any more side missions and just make a run for the end of Resonance of Fate. I think it was a good decision, but the game decided to punish me for it with story encounter more difficult than anything I had seen in the last forty hours. Part of the problem here is that I do not want to play the game they way that it thinks it should be played, specifically in the area of item management. I have hoarded every last potion, bullet and grenade that I have found, rationing them out a few a time only when there is no other way to proceed. This habit comes from old JRPG's that drop final bosses with a million hit points on you and don't give you a way of resupplying before it is too late. You never know when that one little ampule of health is going to come in handy. Resonance of Fate's 'you never know' has become almost every battle. I have found myself running through special ammunition at a frightening pace and short on the money and materials required to replace it. I want to be stingier, because part of me knows that the final enemy will be bull shit (this is a TriACE game, remember) , but I have no choice. Maybe I am still playing it wrong; maybe there is still some little crumb in the combat mechanics that I have missed. Or maybe it simply assumes that I am going to grind out the levels required to not get my ass shot off.

Forced grinding is not good design, as far as I am concerned. For example, I used to really enjoy strategy RPG's in the PSX era. Final Fantasy Tactics and the Vandal Hearts games are good examples. Naturally I picked up Disgea when it first came out. That lasted about two hours before being sold off (at a profit, thanks NIS for never making enough copies of anything). It was a new, boring tedious genre: grind fest. I am well aware that this was just a return to the form of even older RPG's of the NES and SNES era, but I thought we had collectively gotten past that. There must be some segment of the gaming populace that enjoys this kind of thing, else NIS would no longer be around, but I certainly don't understand it.

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