Wednesday, November 18, 2015

There's the cranky guy we all know

Tales of Graces f, my favorite of the series, has a wonderful epilogue in which the main character goes on a tour of the world after he saved it. I no longer remember the particulars, as it was a long time ago and the facts have been muddled with hundreds of other games, but I do recall it bringing everything in the game to resolution. It provided closure beyond the credits and a few still shots of what happened after.

Zestiria, my least favorite of the series, also has an epilogue of sorts. This epilogue does not feature the main character (he's busy), is centered in one overly long, overly difficult, incredibly boring dungeon and provides no closure beyond the post credits scene on the main game. Worse, it serves as a teaser for either future DLC or a sequel.

It was a unwelcome ending to what had been a middling game.

The holiday season is rife with RPGs this year. Fallout 4 and Divinity: Original Sin loom large in my queue, but both of those are of the western style. They are less linear, or more work, depending on how you look at it. Sometimes I just want to be lead through a story and not have to put much effort into getting to the end.

Yes, this is lazy, but I play a lot of games. JRPGs can be an extended break from the grind, assuming one is not obsessed with finding every little thing or maxing out the characters. Zestiria was a break, but it was plain, boring, and forgettable,


Gems of War, the freemium spiritual follow up to the exceptional Puzzle Quest (and not so exceptional Puzzle Quest Galactrix) is equal parts just as fun as it used to be and despicable in what it is trying to accomplish. It is still Puzzle Quest - match three game play with RPGs tropes like experience and equipment tacked on. This time around the player builds a party with card based units instead of equipping weapons. In itself this is not bad but the way these cards are obtained is where the evil sets in.

Cards are distributed randomly in chests that require a key to open, Keys can either be won (rarely) or purchased with in game gold. This same gold is used to unlock area to explore. Please keep in mind that this is all done in menus and confusing ones at that. There are also enemy souls that are used level up units. These souls can either be won in battle or purchased with a different in game currency: gems. And how does one get gems?

Credit card.

Mother fuckers.

In addition, there is an online mode whose ranking is cribbed directly from Hearthstone. You can invade other people cities but you do not actually fight the other player, just the units he has set to defend. This also means that your cities can be invaded when you are not playing. I am not sure what losing these invasions does, if anything, but the intentional obfuscation of what does what and the not so subtle offering of DLC currency is a huge turn off.

Free to download and, thankfully, free to delete.

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