Thursday, August 18, 2016

Offense is the best offense

Having waded through around six hours of side missions I assumed that my characters were ready to move on with the main story in Star Ocean. Random encounters were negligible and high end kill missions did not take my team down. Tentatively I advanced the story.

Battle between two spaceships relayed entirely through character conversations making it the most boring fight in space ever, check. It didn't kill me so I cannot complain. Boarding the losing ship, a ship crewed by soldiers wielding guns, with a party of people from a bronze age planet who just recently found out that they are not alone in the universe, check. This is a Star Ocean game, I knew this kind of nonsense was going to show up eventually.

Giant ass robots that one shot my characters? What the hell. Two evenings of grinding for naught.

There is a flaw in the battle system, aside from it being too busy to ever see what is going on, that is at the core of how terrible it is: the block button. It doesn't work. It doesn't interrupt other attacks so going on the offense means opening yourself up to incoming attacks. If you do decide to block enemies animations are too fast (or to obscured) to react to. And if you sit there holding block that block is broken by hard enemies attacks.

The button doesn't work the way that it is intended to but enemy attacks assume that it does. This leads to bosses that are easy because their attacks can be dodged (which works slightly more often than blocking) and random encounters that look easy but hit you with successive attacks that stun lock after the first hit.

If there is a solution it is to bulk up on hit points and go balls out from the get go. All special attacks, all the time. This fills the screen with even more combat obscuring flotsam and the cycle begins again. According to gamefaqs, yes I checked, I only have two more chapters to go. Maybe I will have something else to talk about by the time we record the next podcast episode. I really hope so otherwise my contribution will be even thinner than usual.

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