Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I don't remember this...

I am going to talk about Dragon's Crown, which is excellent, but first I need to figure out if I am going crazy or not.

...

Sunday night was another night without a new game. Instead of buying something that would be put aside for Dragon's Crown (or Divekick...) I played Rock Band 3 for the first time in quite a while. On top of that I pulled out one of my guitars instead of the drum set. For the first few songs I played terribly. Some rust was understandable, but not this bad. Eventually a pattern emerged: I was missing every note that was was either a hammer on or pull off. The HOPO's were alluding me.

Let me tell you about my bad Rock Band habits. Actually, let's go all the way back to the first Guitar Hero. The timing for HOPO's in the first Guitar Hero was so tight that it was not worth the risk, at least for me, to ever attempt them. I strummed everything because because it was much more forgiving and I really wasn't very good. They fixed this in Guitar Hero 2 and it worked quite well in Rock Band but it was never required so I never got out of the habit. As far as I remember they weren't required in Rock Band 3, either, but once I started performing the HOPO's correctly I stopped failing all the songs.

On the plus side the HOPO window seemed much larger. On the down side it made faking my way through fast sections of solos much more difficult. The point is when the hell did this happen? I don't remember Rock Back 3 doing this? And I swear there were backgrounds that I had never seen before. The game had mutated in my absence, both for the better and for the worse. It has my interest again, so perhaps it is finally time to dig up a keyboard or a pro drum kit.

Never mind, Divekick hits today. No time left.

...

Dragon's Crown, on top of being an excellent brawler, invalidates everything that Time and Eternity was trying to visually do. Time and Eternity attempted to be a controllable anime and ended up feeling like Dragon's Lair on a scratched laser disc. Dragon's Crown has bigger sprites that feature many more frames of animation and it is just as responsive as anything 3D that is generated on the fly. In short, it shouldn't work but it does.

It hold up just fine when I stop making goo goo eyes at it and actually start to play it. I am surprised by its depth: I chose the elf (which may have been a mistake, but the die is cast). She has at least two distinct ability paths, one being the bow and the other daggers. This means that two people playing the same character in the same party may have entirely different abilities.

I say that choosing the elf may have been a mistake because at my low level she just doesn't do that much damage. It will change as I dump all of my points into the charge bow shot but for now I am glad that AI party members drop in even when I don't have them explicitly added. It gets a little crowded for my little elf and she disappears behind the damn fighter quite often. Having a double jump that will clear half of the screen makes up for it.

I am quite pleased so far. Now let's see if it can keep me from playing Divekick all night.

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