Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How can you have your pudding if you don't eat your meat?!

I think Tales of Graces f is trying to tell me something. It has given me a deceptively deep combat system, full of dodging and attack attributes and enemies with multiple weaknesses and I have yet to take advantage of any of it. 'So, you haven't been paying attention?' it says, 'Fine. I am going to slowly crank up the bosses until they kick your ass for not hitting them with what they are weak against.' I ran through most of my precious item stockpile on a boss last night. The fight ended with two our of the four in my party dead. They did not get any XP and they stayed dead after the fight was done. It is teaching a tough lesson and I failed the the test.

The problem, and the reason that I have not been micro-managing my attacks, is that changing these requires venturing into several different menus. The game does you the service of allowing attacks and equipment to be changed mid battle but the procedure is arduous. First you need to target an enemy and find what it is weak to. Usually there are about four elements or attack types. You best write that shit down because all that info disappears as soon as that menu in closed. Next switch menus and browse through your extensive list of attacks, looking for a few that hit the correct weaknesses. No one attack will have all four so you end up mapping four different attacks to directions of the left analog stick. Best write that shit down, too. Are you ready? No? To bad, half your party is dead.

I feel strange complaining about a well thought out battle system in an RPG, but this one may have taken one too many steps in the general direction of Disgea. It features turn based complexity in a real time environment. I would be more annoyed is random encounters were also this difficult, but they are not. This madness is reserved for bosses and bosses only. My only choice will be to break out the spread sheet and slide rule for the next one and hope that I have enough phoenix downs (no, they are not called that here but you know exactly what I mean) to get me through.

...

Two more days to Deadlight. I know full well that I am going to be spending 1500 points on two or so hours of game. This is not the first time I have done this (Limbo, Journey) and it won't be the last. The entry fee does not really concern me, I only care about the experience and if I am going to remember it in a few months.

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