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Well, let's kick my move to dreamwidth with the game that a lot of people (Including myself) have been waiting over a decade for to drop, Persona 5. Now I'll admit, I ignored a lot of the hype, and I tend to ignore a lot of hype, in general, mostly to avoid being disappointed (FF15 would be the best example of that, but I wasn't as disappointed because again, I got off the hype train). I don't watch trailers either because trailers usually just contain cutscenes and no actual gameplay content about 75% of the time. But unlike FF15, where I was overall disappointed, Persona 5 pretty much exceeded what I was expecting.

Also, be warned, there are some heavy spoilers in here, mostly with characters themselves. I'm going to try to avoid main plot spoilers, but be warned.

Title: Persona 5
Rating: M
Genre: JRPG, Modern

Graphics 7/10 - Now I'll admit, the graphics don't look any different than like, say, Tales of Xillia on the PS3. I mean, this is where the game probably suffers the most, so if you're going in expecting to see like FF15-like detail, you're going to be really disappointed. But I think the style makes up for it. The biggest example is probably the menu system, where you're treated to seeing the main character sort of interact with you depending on what you're doing.

The dungeons range from being dark to colorful and bright. I actually did feel like I was in a subway (And getting lost the first day as well) and I did actually feel like I was in Shibuya the times I was walking down the street. The artwork for portraits is done really well. The cutscenes are done well too and there's a lot more than previous installments as well.

While it's not the most heavily graphic detailed game, it makes up for it in it's style.

Plot: 8/10 - I'm going to try to hold off on major plot spoilers, but the game comes down to this: The Main Character (Since there's no official name for him, I'm going to go by the name he's called in the Manga, Akira) is walking home one day, where he happens upon a scene where a woman is obviously having... difficulties with a drunken man. Of course, Akira being a sensible human being, goes to help, only to have the situation completely turn on himself after the man falls down on his own accord and proceeds to yell, 'I'll sue!' (It's more like, 'I'm going to press you for assault!' rather than sue). Yeah, you should guess where this going, because this situation? Happens in real life.

Anyways, he's falsely accused of assault, and ends up with a criminal record. He's sent off to another town to be put on 'probation' for a year. Along the way, he meets people that, like him, were pretty much 'wronged' in some way, which leads us to our main theme, a bunch of outcast teens being lorded over by some of the shittiest 'adults' I've ever seen.

While walking to school one day, Akira gets pulled into a strange world along with another boy named Ryuji and... there is our 'Dark Hour'/'Midnight Channel' world of the game, called the Metaverse. Everything seems strange at first, and I'm not going to spoil it, but basically, Akira awakens to his power of 'Persona'. While in this world, they come across a cat-like creature named 'Morgana', who has no memories of his past, but seems relatively knowledgeable of the Metaverse. And basically, rocks fall and shit happens from there.

To be honest, trying to summarize the plot without some major spoilers is like impossible. So I'm going to cover the companions a little instead.

Spoilers for 'Confidant' Links, I also make some comparisons to Persona 4 )

I am going to say, I find the overall plot good for the most part. It does get dark, especially early on, so be warned on that. I don't think it gets as dark as Persona 3 or even 2, but it does get dark enough for me to give a warning about. I found Persona 3's story to be over the edge of 'too dark', but I think this game hits a perfect balance between dealing with dark issues and having it's light but quirky moments.

One complaint I have, I found the weaker parts to be, sadly, at the end of the game (And a certain character that I talked about above). However, it wasn't bad to the point of ruining my game experience. Overall, the game had me hooked from beginning to end. But I will warn, put aside at least 2 hours when you reach final boss time, cause holy shit, this game's ending is one of the longest endings I've sat through.

Music/sound 8/10 - I'll have to admit, I was really tempted to lower this, mostly because there's quite a few tracks I'm not fond of. But the tracks that I did like, I really liked them a lot, and I realized, that's how I felt about other Persona games, so I kept it as is. This Persona sort of goes for a more jazz type theme, which does fit the mood of the game. Some of the Dungeon's music is really well done and I like all the battle themes in the game. And the 'overworld' theme is really well done and I was thrown for a loop when after playing the game for over 10 hours, they put lyrics to it. But that has actually been a staple of the games, having lyrics in many of the songs in the game.

Gameplay: 9/10 - I have to say, it's been a while since I really enjoyed a turn based JRPG. Honestly, I can't really remember an old fashioned turn based RPG that I liked since Bravely Default on the 3DS, let alone a home console JRPG.

The gameplay is pretty much in the same vein as Persona 3 and moreso Persona 4. With a few minor changes/upgrades. First off, you can switch people out whenever you want. This is good because if someone is low on sp (Mana bar for this game), you can swap them out for someone who has a full bar, even if you're in the middle of a dungeon. You have your typical melee weapons, and they brought back guns from Persona 2. But honestly? Unless you have a gun that gives stat debuffs or the demon happens to be weak against guns, you're probably going to not bother with it until boss fights where extra attacks may make/break the fight.

You also have your Personas, and everyone has a set Persona besides Akira, who can swap out Personas at random. You can gain Personas by either making a contract with a shadow or by fusing them in the Velvet Room. Whereas your party members are stuck with their Persona for the rest of the game. So basically, whoever you put in your main line up will be that, and you can basically compensate for what you lack via Akira. Everyone learns different moves, but for the most part, whoever has the 'fire' spells will be only learning that, and so on and so forth.

Personas have a range of skills, but they basically serve as your 'magic' of the group, though there are 'physical' skills that will use your hp instead of sp. Dungeons are pretty much a balance of trying to clear them as fast as possible, but also focusing on saving your sp or using it to do 'all out attacks'.

Speaking of all outs, most enemies you meet will have some sort of weakness. The big trick to the game is exploiting those weakness to knock all the enemies off their feet. And if you manage to knock them all down, you can go for an all out attack, which usually kills all the enemies on screen or will do massive amounts of damage. In regular fights, you can actually talk to the demons (Something taken from earlier Persona games) and you can either have them become your Persona, or instead, they can give you money/items. Doing this will bypass the fight entirely (Though you do gain exp and money if you killed any).

Basically, it comes down to you either needing money (For your daily life, equipment, or fusions), needing items (Saving you the trouble of buying them or getting lucky and getting a sp healing item), needing power (More Personas means more chances of fusions or maybe you just really want that Persona?), or needing exp (All out attacks will usually wipe the entire pack out, unless you're underleveled/undergeared).

You also get cards later on down the line, so if there's a certain skill you need, you can slap it onto the Persona of your choice and bam. You can get more when a certain character joins you instead of farming one of the dungeons for that one card you want, basically, this character can make you a duplicate of any card and if you level his Cofidant link, he can make higher level ones.

I'm avoiding speaking about the Dungeons because they are heavily linked to the story and I don't want to spoil it. But for the most part, the Dungeons are your typical RPG flair, and unlike the last 2 games, these aren't based at random. There's also some clever puzzles in this one, and one of them actually caused me to have to write shit down, and it's been over a decade since I actually had to do shit like that.

There's also a stealth system in the game, which I think is a miss, because some parts of the game, it's nearly impossible to hide in certain areas, especially long ass hallways, without getting caught or waiting for the enemy to turn it's back, you dashing in as fast as you can, and causing a surprise attack. And you'll want to do surprise attacks as much as you can, cause if the enemy gets the drop on you, you can easily die.

And if Akira dies, the game automatically ends (Unless you play on Safety). That's the only thing I wish they would drop out of the game, cause it sucks getting far into a dungeon, only to make one stupid mistake and Akira dying because that light/dark skill that kills in one shot decided it wanted to work that one time. :/

Also, if you get caught by enemies too many times, you can get thrown out of the dungeon. I mean, in a way, it makes sense, you're supposed to be a thief, and what does a thief do? Sneak around without getting caught. There's certain tools that can bring down your 'bar' if you get caught too many times and the bar lowers if you ambush an enemy, but still. It's a clever new system, but it has some obvious flaws. I will say this though, I never managed to get a bar over 50% in the entire time I played, the highest was maybe close to 40%, but I ended up playing a lot more carefully than I usually do, and probably a couple of hours was me waiting for the enemy to come into sight before ambushing them. So needless padding.

And yes, you can play the game on a mode that basically makes battles trivial. If you're looking for a much more casual experience or going through NG+, it's good to have on, but I'd recommend to play on easy at the very least. Unless you know the tricks and trades of the series as a whole, would I recommend anything beyond Normal, because I heard the harder modes are really brutal.

Now that I covered the fight system of the game, let's get to the other important aspect of the game, the 'life simulation' portion, which was added in from Persona 3. Remember, Akira IS a teenage student, so while you have this 'mystic' power shit, you still live the life of a student. Which can range from studying for exams, hanging out with your friends, going to the movies, working a part time job, taking a bath at the bath house down the street, trying to pass the 'Big Bang Burger challenge', watching DVDs, playing video games (Playing a game within a game...), making tools for your 'heists', or hitting a home run at the batting cage.

There is SO much shit you can do compared to the previous Persona games that even I haven't found everything. And everything you do raises 'social stats', which basically serves as 'flags' for most of your Confidant routes.

If you think also, that the life sim part isn't important to the game, think again. By forming close bonds to your teammates or maybe the non teammates, say, for example, that guy in your class, you increase your own power. In previous games, it just meant fusing more powerful Personas for your main protag and your teammates would just get a more powerful Persona if you befriended them. But in this game, your 'Confidants' offer you a wide variety of abilities. You have the obvious ones, like getting more exp or money after a fight. But you have others, like befriending a certain character will let you switch characters out DURING a fight, which can come in real handy in a pinch. Or another will help you make powerful sp healing items. Or another which will let you read or make tools during class. And another will teach you special moves that you can use during fights. This isn't limited to non-teammates, as in the closer you are to your teammates, the more they offer in battle (They'll help you with negotiations with demons if you fail or they may take a fatal blow for you), and if you form a tight bond with them, their own Persona will evolve into a more Powerful version of their original.

The one good thing of this is now it's just as important to level those non party member links as it is to level your teammates. Not to mention, you can now take your party members to different places you can unlock because someone invited you there previously, or you read about it in a magazine. You can actually continue to do this even when they're maxed out, and if you take them to a place they like, they can give you something to decorate your room with. It's not something you HAVE to do, but it is a nice touch.

And yes, you can actually 'get into a relationship' with certain girls of the game. You can date one or you can date them all, if you so wish. The choice is really up to the player, and you get something special from them during two 'love bonding' events in the game that actually does go over to NG+. For the curious, in this game, I chose the Priestess, who happens to be one of my favorites of the game, on my first run. >.>

And it's all on you. Basically, you have to focus your social teenage life with the life of a Persona user. If you spend too much time on being a Persona user, you may actually hurt yourself in the long run, because you don't have enough power to defeat the tougher enemies down the line (Even outleveling sometimes doesn't fix it). However, if you spend too much time on your social life, someone will get hurt or killed and the game ends (Or it flips back a week, and all your previous progress is basically set back, which is really annoying). It's all a balancing act. Now I've seen a lot of people use the guide over at GameFAQs, but I'd highly suggest if this is your first Persona game to ditch the guide and find stuff on your own. I found quite a few things on my own that the guide doesn't really mention or doesn't mention until late end game.

Also, you do have a limited time and I think one flaw in this game is that if you explore certain dungeons, you waste an entire day until you max a certain Confident who will let you go out at night. And I feel like a lot of days are wasted, because the characters talk for like 5 minutes, part ways, and the game goes to the night, only to have Morgana nag you that you need sleep. It's really frustrating at times when you want to go out and do something, and the game basically tells you otherwise.

Other than a few minor things, the gameplay is pretty much the same as the previous with some life improvements.

Overall: 8/10 - Despite a few minor complaints and the graphics being previous generation, this is a very solid JRPG that any RPG gamer should have in their library. If you're new to the Persona series, this game is a very good one to pick up to get into it. And fans of the previous games will definitely be satisfied for the wait.
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Well, it's time to do a real video game review for once and we're reviewing the big one, Final Fantasy XV. Now, lemme say a few things:

1. I haven't played a single player based FF game since 12. I completely skipped 13 despite having a PS3. Weird huh? But that's how it is. I played FF14, and I have a review of it too. Let's say that it didn't live up to my standards. I did enjoy it more when I picked a dps class and I feel it does the FF theme a lot more than this game, but it's just not for me. Mostly, my crappy internet connection, but still... >.>

2. I avoided mostly everything about this title. Meaning I watched no trailers, played no demos, didn't want the movie/anime, or anything. The MOST I saw was when Angry Joe played FF15 demo on his stream one night about a year ago? I barely remember it (The only fight I remember is the deadeye fight and it was a bit different when he played it) and I can't even remember the combat. Other than that, I went into this game expecting nothing. Or at least expecting a decent story. Sigh... :/

Title: Final Fantasy XV
Rating: T
Genre: JRPG, Fantasy

Graphics: 9/10 - This is probably the best part of this entire game, the graphics. They're visually stunning. Some of the pictures that Prompto took for me, it looked like cutscene graphics. I also like when it's raining, the characters clothes will get wet and stay wet in the main menu. They get dirty after traveling and not camping out. The food that Ignis makes is so freaking detailed, that it looks freaking real.

This is even prettier than FF14. There's a few clipping issues here and there, but overall, this game is just pure eyecandy. And that's sadly, the only real postitive thing I can say about it. ~_~

Plot: 3/10 - The ONLY reason this score is so low is while the game does have a plot that feels sort of FFish, the way it's presented to the player is a garbled mess. Like holy shit. Look at it this way, they needed a movie and an animated series to explain stuff that happens. When you need a movie AND an anime to explain stuff that happens in a game... Why the fuck didn't you put it IN the fucking game!? Movies and animes are supposed to add on to what was already there, NOT explain to us the stuff that is NOT there.

Basically, you start out as playing Noctis, a Prince of some Kingdom. You're being sent out to meet up with your Fiancee, Lunafreya, along with your 3 bodyguards, Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto. And I swear this is real, the game starts out with you 4 pushing a freaking car down the road, bickering to each other, while the song, 'Stand by Me' is playing in the background. I blinked and said, 'Are... we for real!?'

But anyways, you find out that your castle (?) was invaded by the Imperial Empire while youre trying to hitch a boatride and your father was killed. Supposedly, before 1.03, this was ALL OFF SCREEN! But the added in patch added in cutscenes from the movie (Which REALLY stand out, and I didn't know they were cutscenes from the movie till I saw about it on a message board. I just thought they were unusual cutscenes, but didn't think anything of it). Yeah, do I even need to say anything more than that? That is piss poor story telling, and we're only at the beginning.

First off, we can't even feel for Noctis, because we never felt attached to his father, not to mentioned this happened off screen!? How are we supposed to feel anything for characters when the game just blazes through the way it does? The second example would be Jared. The old d00d from the 1 big town on the main map. When we come back and find out he's dead, I'm like, 'wait, who was that? Oh, the old guy! And I'm supposed to feel bad/sad, why now? Was this guy a friend of Noctis or a mentor of some kind? Who was he in relation to the characters?' All he told us was where to find a weapon and that's all. And when Noctis and his gang want to crash an Imperial Garrison to avenge him, I'm like, 'Uh, guys, we got better things to do than trash one Imperial site... We should be going to our destination so we can get rid of them for good instead of... You're just going to go anyways? Right...' Another example is Ravus (aka, Cecil-clone!), and I can't say why without spoilers, but when I saw what happened to him, I felt nothing. Why? Because the fucking character is on screen for 5 minutes! I heard he has more backstory in the movie, but fuck that noise.

And I'm not going to spoil the rest, but after Chapter 9 launches, it's like the story goes into overdrive and so much shit is thrown in your face with almost no time to take a breath and take it in. Basically, it's like I blinked and during that short time, something really important happened, and when I opened my eyes again, I just look at the outcome and scatch my head. And chapter 13 will make you hate everything about the game, but I'll get to that one in the gameplay section.

Throughout the entire game, I felt emotlonally distant from just about everything that happens and that's because the game presents the story so piss poorly. From it's very bizarre beginning to it's 'bitter sweet' ending. In fact, if you do the math of my playthrough, maybe 10-15 hours were with the main story. In fact, it took me less than 1 hour to go from Chapter 3 to Chapter 5. Why EVEN have chapters when some of them are done within 30 minutes!? Did they think if they divided them into 14 chapters, no one would bitcn about the length!?

The sidequests are basically water down versions of any MMO quests, look for this item, go collect this thing, go get me this thing. They add NOTHING to the story or the characters, with the exception of a few, like helping Ignis find his glasses or when you talk to Prompto after staying at a Hotel.

Anyways, let's talk about the cast. Or... really, there's not that much to talk about. Noctis is your snarky grumpy protag. Gladio is your big buff guy that kind of acts like your mentor? Prompto is the happy-go-lucky guy that you know has a deep dark angsty past (This cliche is way overdone nowadays) who likes taking pictures of just about anything. And Ignis, well, I'll call him 'Bulter-san', because that's exactly what he is. He's the 'nerdy intellectual guy' who supposedly comes up with the strats, does quite a bit of work (And by that, I mean cook, drive the car, and mend Noctis' shirt? He totally is a Bulter!).

I guess these guys are all friends. I get that more between Prompto and Noctis, since they went to High School together. And what the fuck, the FF characters going to High School!? FANFICTION NIGHTMARE FOR ME! Not to mention but the PRINCE going to high school??? Cause that's not going to draw a lot of attention! But... I can't really tell, because the game doesn't present it well. And the only way I get that feel is because Prompto loves to take selfies of him and Noctis in my playthrough a lot.

The whole game is supposed to be a kind of 'bro trip' type of thing, and I wouldn't really mind that at all (Fuck, I'll admit, the idea appeals to me because the 4 guys are pure eye candy material and I'll admit, I'd like to see 4 guys who start as strangers, but end up as, well, brothers in arms at the end)... Except it's not executed well here at all. It feels forced and I sometimes feel that this is just Noctis and his bodyguards trying to get to a destination with 'silly moments' demostrated by Prompto's pictures, not 4 guys randomly bonding with one another. Outside of combat, they make banter with one another, but I don't feel this closeness that the game should be aiming for. A better example of developing characters would be skits that the Tales of series is famous for.

Let's talk a little about the main pairing in the game, Noctis and Luna. Or... not? This is the most bland couple I've ever seen in a FF series, if any JRPG ever. Mostly because Luna spends maybe 10 minutes of screentime in the entire game. She's not a party member, so you don't see any interaction between her and Noctis. You get short flashbacks of them talking about stuff and you are told they communicate to each other through some magical notebook. And... that's it. You get the sense that these two are childhood friends. But lovers??? I barely get the sense that they are even close friends. Hell, you could give very cold answers to her via the notebook if you wanted. There's more chemistry between Noctis and Iris (Gladios' sister), mostly because Iris is on the scene more than freaking Luna!

Seriously, I don't want to hear any fucking Final Fantasy fan tell me about how piss poor Squall and Rinoa's relationship from FF8 is after seeing Noctis and Luna.

There's other characters that show up, like your Cid, his daughter Cindy (Urgh), Iris, some general guy named Cor, some messenger that I won't say for spoiler sake, your Biggs and Wedge, and the badass Highwind of the game, Aranea, but they are pretty much forgetable. Except Aranea, but I've always been a fan of the 'Dragoon' characters of the game (Hello, my favorite character from FF4 is Kain Highwind!), so... Nah, I think Aranea is a kick ass character and I heard she may be playable in DLC, so here's hoping!

This game is a perfect example of good ideas, but executed in the worse possible way. In fact, a lot of fanfiction in the past that I've read would qualify around this, good ideas that aren't presented well. What we have is a good idea: A prince losing his kingdom and has to go on a journey of self discovery with his 3 bodyguards that end up being like a second family to him. Along the way, he has to make tough choices and decisions that turn him from a sheltered prince into a worthy King. That's what I think they were going for.

But it's not executed well at all, and it's due to how it's presented to the players. Stuff that's supposed to make you sad only leaves you empty because you can't get on the wavelength or identify with the characters. Massive spoiler for chapter 9! )

What's worse, after you get into the meat of Chapter 9, the game goes pretty much linear, completely abandoning the idea of a 'brotrip' and open world all together. Wasn't that one of the biggest complaints about FFXIII, that it was too linear?? Why the hell would you think of doing that in FFXV!? I feel like they put too much into the open world aspect of the game and put the story later. And it's funny, because in order to access that open world aspect, you have to travel through time. Yeah, leave the time travel shit to Chrono Trigger, SquareEnix.

I also feel like SquareEnix wanted to make this a 'darker' type of story, kind of like Type 0. But it doesn't work, because the game's starter tone is more light at the beginning and then just suddenly goes 180 and turns dark, and some of the stuff that happens, specifically to Ignis and Prompto, just seems to be thrown in just cause FF games need angst. Sorry to say, but if you want a more darker FF story, just go play Final Fantasy Tactics. Or just play the Shin Megami Tensei/Persona series if you want darker plots.

This could be a really good setup for a game. Actually, it IS a really good setup for a game. But that's all it seems to me, a setup. We have the bare bone basics, SquareEnix decided we didn't need the meat and stripped it off the bone, leaving us with a bare basic story with little to no substance.

Music/sound: 5/10 - This is where I'm going to say nostalgia plays against this game. While you're in the car or the field and not on a chocobo, you can actually play music from previous Final Fantasies. Which sounds awesome in concept. But in practice, it works AGAINST the game, because besides the Chocobo music and generic pit stop theme, I cannot remember any music from this game at all. Why? Because half the time I'm listening to FF4/FF5/FF6 music that I forgot that this game has it's own freaking soundtrack. Yeah, ask me about a single tune in this game and all I can tell you is the chocobo music and only because I can't play my recorder on a chocobo. And the chocobo music is good, but it's the freaking chocobo theme, you can't really mess that up.

Beyond that, I cannot recall any music from this game, cept maybe for the battle music, and even that is forgetable. I don't get it. Even the FF11 and FF14 battle themes are memorable in my mind and I barely played much of FF11!

Though I really wish I could forget the 'Stand by Me' song played at the beginning and ending of this game. I mean, seriously, why that song? In the 80's and 90's, that song was used in a phone commercial and that's all I can remember it from. Not to mention, isn't Stand by Me a romantic song? Doesn't really fit a 'brotrip' theme. MAYBE it's supposed to represent Noctis and Luna (Though I'm sure it's supposed to represent the bonds between the 4 main guys, but reading the lyrics to the song, it's clearly a LOVE SONG), but like I said above, the game doesn't present that well at all.

Gameplay: 6/10 - I don't know why SE keeps going with a more action type combat. They simply aren't good at it, end of story. This game can be done just button mashing the O button. And dodging when the box pops up. And oh, it will a lot, because you'll be doing the tanking. And the dpsing. And the healing. You'll be doing just about everything while your bros will stand around and do nothing. Sure, maybe Gladio will help out sometimes, but Prompto and Ignis will probably stand around and die (Well, Ignis made himself useful with his 'regroup' skill, which basically, you run to him and heal). Like a lot. Unless you overleveled like I did and did every single bloody sidquest you see on your map.

I mean, it's not like SE is incapable of making a good action RPG. See Secret of Mana/Seiken Densetsu series. Or Brave Fencer. Or Dewprism/Threads of Fate. But it seems like they just want to copy Western games at this point, like Skyrim and Witcher. It works with those two games because you are only controlling one character usually. When you have 2 or more party members, that kind of combat doesn't work, moreso when the AI is bad. It works in the Tales of Games because you can change the AI's behavior and change what character you are controlling, but it's not 100% flawless.

I also forgot to mention this, so I'm going to now. The camera sucks in this game, it kills what could be a good battle system. And targetting sucks. When you're trying to land blows on a specific part of a monster to weaken it or maybe get an item (Good idea), you have to angle your camera so that it targets the part and try to lock onto it. The problem? It's very hard to angle the camera in the right position and can take some time. It's hard to do this when in real time combat, maybe this is where Wait mode would come into play? I tried playing Wait mode, but it wasn't for me.

Worse, you have to keep the R1 button down to keep your target. AND EVEN THEN, if you land a link strike, sometimes, you lose the target!

Not to mention, half the time I feel like I'm fighting monsters AND the Camera. A lot of the times, I have to readjust the camera because Noctis is flying all over and sometimes, a fucking bush gets in my way and I can't see him or what direction he is facing or if I'm hitting anything, period! This was a big issue I had in Kingdom Hearts series, it seems it has yet to be fixed.

Speaking of that, this game feels like in the same vein of Kingdom Hearts, only a little bit more complex, since Noctis can change weapons on the fly, but even then, it has it's limits and it gets frustrating when there's 8 mobs on the screen and they all come after you while your 3 buddies look on and just stand around or better, run right into a fucking AoE attack, getting themselves blown to bits.

The characters have different 'pass times' they like to do. Ignis does the cooking, but cooking actually has a point, as in you get some useful buffs. But you can only do it when you camp outside. But you kind of want to use a motel/hotel because experience boast and you can only do experience at rest points (Yeah, basically experience piles up from doing quests or fighting and the only way to distribute the points is via camping. Or finishing a chapter, so don't rush the main story!). Prompto likes taking pictures. That's about it for him, yay? If you're a Screenshot fan, you'll like this feature. Gladio picks up random items from the ground after a fight, which can save money. Noctis likes to fish? I hate the fishing mini game, but you need some of the fish for cooking, so meh. It's there to use and kill time when you're waiting for daylight to break.

Speaking of that, there's day to night in the game. And it's really frustrating, more so near the beginning when freaking bombs and Iron Giants come out and you see that they're level 30. Later on, it's just annoying, more so when you're trying to drive to your destination and they appear on the road. And then Magitek armor guys pop down after. And then the monsters decide they want to respawn... Like holy shit, I just want to get to the fucking gas station that's like only 1000 feet away from me, go fuck yourself monsters!

Again, a good idea, but executed poorly. Cut the freaking respawn rate. Or at least make it so the magitek can't see you at night because, well, it's fucking dark, you don't know if that's Noctis and his gang down there, what if it's just a random passerby?

Oh, let's not forget the car! Yeah, you can choose to drive or have Ignis drive. And lord all mightly, unless you're looking for pitstops, have Ignis drive. Driving is very limited, meaning, you can't go off the main and side roads to explore. I guess if you could, there would be no reason to have Chocobos, so they had to limit the car. You can drive to your destination or teleport there for 10 gil. It reminded me of traveling in FF14, which was a pain in itself. And near the beginning of the game, you can't teleport at night, because Ignis is a wuss. Later on, he'll drive at night, and you can teleport. Also, do we REALLY need to see them getting out of the car EVERY SINGLE time. Also, put some seatbelts in that damn car, and Noct, stop climbing to sit on the back part of the car while Ignis is driving! I actually did brake once, hoping to see Noctis fly like 30 feet in front of the Car, but alas!

I'll be honest, most of the time, I let Ignis drive, turned on the FF6 tracklist and went to go make a snack, use the bathroom, play on my phone (Irony was playing FF Record Keeper), or go browse the net until I got to my destination. That's not a good thing for a game to do, but I get free AP and exp for doing nothing. And you're going to need the AP to boast your shit.

Speaking of AP, the game has something called 'Ascension' in it. Basically, for using your points, you get different stuff. Like maybe you like driving the car a lot like me, so you pick the get AP and Exp skill while driving. Or maybe you want to improve stats? Go for the every level stat tree. Or you want to unlock your chain combos with the other guys? Or unlock more stuff for Noctis? This is a good idea, and it allows for really good customization. The bad thing? Getting AP is a grindfeast, some AP shit costing 333 AP or even 999 AP. ~_~;;;

Oh and magic and summoning? Magic is friendly fire. Yeah, that means, you use a spell and your bros are near the monster? They're more than likely gonna get hit with it. And take damage. So unless you cannot find a weapon weakness off a monster, you're gonna want to lay off using magic. And summons? I barely used them, because they basically come out when they want to, mostly when you're in danger of dying. The only time I remember using it was when I went to a underground sewer level and got ambushed by Yojimbo and got stabbed a bit. Then Ramuh decided he HAD to come out. It's pretty epic to see at first, and summons are basically instant KO for your enemies. But it's so random, and honestly? If I wasn't being stupid, I didn't even need to summon him to begin with! Yeah, worst summoning system ever.

Load times. I cannot believe how bad the load times in this game are. There's a load time for everything, it's really bad when you start your game up from your saved data or going back to the open world. Like holy hell, they make some of the PSX load times seem fast!

Also, I'm not going to spoiler this cut, because everyone should be warned about Chapter 13. Part of chapter 13 is basically Noctis with only one weapon walking down a bunch of narrow hallways. You have two choices, fight it out or stealth your way through. And trust me, it's faster to brute force your way through instead of stealth. This is, beyond a doubt, the worse gameplay I've seen in ANY FF game, it tries to be a survival horror game, which FF is not that.

And didn't SquareEnix want to avoid this type of play, walking down a very linear path to your destination??? Wasn't this a problem with FFXIII that a lot of people complained about??? WHY the FUCK would you put something that people clearly hated INTO a future installment!? And... this is the longest chapter of the game, because of this shitty gameplay mechanic. No joke.

Ignoring the cesspool that is Chapter 13, overall, the combat is a bit more polished than it's KH sister counterpart, but there's still a lot of room for improvement.

All in all, like the combat, the gameplay isn't really bad, but there's a lot of room for improvement.

Overall 5.75/10 - Eyecandy cannot save a horribly presented story, forgetable music, and below average gameplay. FF15 has the potential to be something really good, but falls flat, mostly due to it's piss poor story presentation. This game was in development hell for 10 years and it honestly shows, because it seems like a game that doesn't really know what it wants to show or how to present itself.

This doesn't even feel like a JRPG, it feels like a WRPG with a Final Fantasy twist. I can see why this game did so poorly in Japan, because it doesn't have the 'spark' of what makes it a JRPG. And sadly, WRPGs aren't to my liking.

Honestly, pass on this game or wait till the price drops. It's worth it for maybe the eyecandy and some of the pictures that Prompto takes are fantastic. But as a JRPG to a once popular and well known series? Yeah, I don't think I'm going to be really following the Final Fantasy series anymore, moreso if they want to go the WRPG route.

If you want a game that is sort of like a WRPG that was made in Japan? Check out Xenoblade Chronicles instead.
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Title: Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
Rating: T
Genre: Strategy/RPG
Graphics: 8/10 - Okay, honestly, the graphics are definitely not up to par, considering that almost every damn PS2 game uses 3D graphics now. To me, though, it's a relief, as I enjoy 2D graphics every now and then. Anyone who likes anime and manga drawn characters will like them here. The game works like Xenogears, 2D characters on 3D backgrounds.

And they're beautifully done. The game is colorful, despite the setting it takes place in. The characters themselves are very detailed and colorful. There are times where the game can get pixelated, though.

Plot: 9/10 - The plot in this game is amusing and interesting all at once. The King of the Underworld has passed on and the Underworld currently has no leader.

You take control of the Prince of the Netherworld, Laharl. Your job? Become ruler of the Netherworld!

It doesn't seem too much like a plot, but the game comes to life through some humorous and serious situations. Example, in one of the chapters, Laharl is being blackmailed to give up his rights to the throne and it's your job to get the pictures back.

There's also 'Next episode' scenes at the end of each chapter, where one of the other main characters, Etna, describes the 'Next episode' in an anime-like style. While some of these hint on what's to come, most of them have nothing to do with the actual storyline, it's just made to make the player laugh.

The story can also be serious at times. Flonne, an angel companion, wonders if demons are capable of love and she observes Laharl and Etna throughout the game.

Music/sound: 9/10 - I REALLY wish I could get the soundtrack of this game, because the music is excellent. The voice acting is fairly good, and you can choose to listen to the japanese or the english during storyplay. Sadly, the english voices remain when you do battle.

There is one huge error, as some of the humanoids still have their japanese voice actors. Laziness on the part of Atlus, I say...

Gameplay: 9/10 - You'll be playing this game for hours on end. This is a strategy game, after all, so the game isn't going to be a walkthrough in the park.

Basically, you can have 10 characters out on the battle field. You can choose what type of characters you want, from Prinnies (Little monsters who say 'd00d' a lot, I kid you not either, how it's spelt in the game), to Humanoids with their own classes to every monster in the game.

You can either get monsters/humans in battle to join you by throwing them in the portal or you can make your own via the 'Summon Assembly' option. Each class comes with it's own unique abilities and you can customize some of them even further by using the mentor/pupil system and equiping your characters with different weapons.

To make a character, it costs a character mana. And to get mana, you need to defeat monsters.

Creating characters isn't the only thing you can use your mana for and it's certainly not the only thing you can do with 'Summon Assembly' command. When used, the Assembly of the Netherworld is called, and you can pass bills, which differ from making the item shop sell new equipment, to beefing monsters up to opening special areas in the game!

But it's a bit harder than it sounds, as not everyone summoned will be in favor for you. You'll have to bribe them with some items!

Battling is fairly simple and runs like any other strategy game, like chess pieces, you move your characters on a board and you give them commands.

Overall: 8.75/10 - This is definitely a game worth having. The big problem? Only 40,000 copies of this game were released in America, so it's going to be a bitch to find. But lucky for all you European fans, the game was JUST released as I'm typing this. So what the hell are you waiting for!? GET this game!
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You know, I was really excited when they announced that another FFT game was going to be made.

Then I was disappointed. ~_~

Title: Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced
Rating: E
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Graphics: 9/10 - Okay, I'll admit, the graphics on the GBA for this game are really good and an improvement from other games. The mog artwork is left to be desired, however. >.>
Plot: 4/10 - Um, the plot? Kids get sucked into a book. That = badfic idea. Come ON! FFT had one of the most deepest plots for it's time and you give us this little kid show story for a plot!? That's it for the plot, really. The game's focus is on dinky little missions, which aren't exactly appealing to me.
Music/sound: 6/10 - The music is... really bland for this game compared to other games. It's happy-go-lucky and really sounds like elevator music. ~_~;;;; It's not BAD, but it's no award winning masterpiece.
Gameplay: 3/10 - The gameplay is bad. They brought back the ability system from FF9, which sucked to begin with. The 'AP learning' and you equip weapons/armor to learn your skills depending on the class. Didn't they learn it wasn't good the FIRST time!? I think a lot of people HATED the system in FF9. It was annoying as HELL to equip weaker weapons to learn abilities. ~_~

Characters no longer gain JP points in the same way in FFT. Instead, when you kill an enemy or use the 'recommended' for a law in the area (will get into laws in a minute), you are awarded 1 JP point. JP points allow you to do special combo moves depending on the class and skill you have. You can do a combo or you can summon creatures of your totem and many other different things I have yet to discover.

And this game comes with a 'judgement' system. What's that? Basically, there are certain 'laws' that need to be followed in battle. For example, a law will prevent you from using the 'fight' option. This makes battles tedious, not strategical, as battles take a lot longer than necessary.

If you break a law in battle, you are pentalized. Depending on the law broken, your character can get fined, you'll lose rewards after battle, or you get thrown in jail. *yawns*

The only good thing about this game is the class system. That's about it in a nutshell though.
Overall: 5.5/10 - This is a game you want to try before buy. To me, it's a waste, it's too easy for someone who has experience with RPGs and tactical games. It gets tedious at times, especially when you want levels and AP points to get skills and spells.

I would say unless you're a real devoted FF fan, should you buy this game. Otherwise, pass and get something like Golden Sun or Lunar.
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Not a Yami fanfic review! *gasps*

Title: .hack/Outbreak
Rating: T-PG-13
Genre: RPG (A MMORPG sim, basically)
Graphics: 8/10 - Um, basically the same as .hack/Mutation. 3D graphics that are actually not bad with anime-like characters. Very appealing!
Plot: 6/10 - Yet again, the game LEAVES you wanting more! I think the mistake is putting out 4 parts and waiting 2 months in between. By the time you play the next part, you forget what happened in the one before. :/ Basically, it continues where Mutation left off, that's all I'm going to say.
Music/sound: 8/10 - Same as Mutation. :X They brought back the japanese voices from .hack/sign to do voices for the characters in the .hack series on the PS2. And um... sadly, the summary at the beginning STILL has no subs. *Stabs Bandai* WE WANT DA SUBTITLES, FOOLS! ;_; For those of us who want to hear the game in japanese/subbed and not dubbed. And surprisingly, there's quite a few famous japanese voice actors playing the roles.
Gameplay: 8/10 - Same as Mutation. There's no changes. The camera angle can be a bit tricky, especially with monsters that dart on the map, but that's about it.
Overall: 7.5/10 - Basically the same as Mutation and Infection with a few minor improvements and the next part of the story. It could be a bit better, but overall, it's great. Bandai should REALLY consider making 'The World' into a real online RPG, just without the comas and stuff. Oh, and anime comes with it.

And um, it's HIGHLY recommended you play Infection and Mutation before Outbreak. ~_^
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Title: .hack/Mutation
Rating: T - PG-13
Genre: RPG
Graphics: 8/10 - It's not up to PS2 standards, like FF10, but it does leave you in awe, and the artwork is just beautiful. :D There's no glitches in the game graphics that I've seen.
Plot: 6/10 - Why so low? Because this is really just a PART of 4 stories. It leaves off you wanting more, and I HATE when games do that. This is the bad thing about releasing a game in parts. I'm not going to spoil it, but it basically continues where infection left off.
Music/sound: 8/10 - Shinichiro Miki gets a small part in .hack. *Swoons* *_* He plays Krim in .hack/sign and they brought him back here to play a minor part in the game. :D Anyways, the voice acting is top notch. The dub could be a bit better. What I didn't like is that for the .hack/sign flashbacks (Yes, be CAREFUL for .hack/sign spoilers in the game), there's no subtitles? Wdf? If you're playing the game with the jap voices, you NEED the subtitles if you wanna know what the flock is going on. Did they forget them or something!? Music is fairly good, some tunes are memorable, some aren't though. So it's pretty so-so. :X
Gameplay: 8/10 - This is where the game shines. I love the gameplay in the .hack series. It's typical RPG play but with a mix of action/adventure. If you played infection, the gameplay doesn't change from there and it's easy to get adjusted to.
Overall: 7.5/10 - Overall, it's a great game, but it's much too short. You'll beat it in about 10 hours. I clocked in 27 from playing both infection and mutation, and I clocked 12 hours in infection. It took me over 10 hours from doing side quests and exploring dugeons.

I would recommend it, but I would say play infection first, as so you'll know what the hell is going on, otherwise, you'll be confused.


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July 2017

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