Android · annoyances · games · iOS

More whining about Korean RPGs (mostly about Inotia 4)

Edit: Whoa. Nice going, WordPress Android. It totally ignored all the hard breaks/returns. ūüėõ Redid the formatting a bit so it no longer looks like some crazy long-winded review on the Google Play Store.

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Why won’t Inotia 4 end? Every time I start it up, I flood my Twitter account with complaints. The game simply is not designed well. Hell, none of the major KRPGs (Korean RPGs) are. But why I keep playing them is a mystery. I think, subconsciously, I am a sucker for mindless RPGs. After all, I stuck with Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll on the PS3 until I got the Platinum trophy and that game is full of generic quests and tons of grinding just like Zenonia and Inotia. In fact, it’s pretty much a higher resolution version of a KRPG.

Regarding Inotia 4… I expected it to end around level 60 like the 3rd game but I’m already at level 104 and STILL on a first playthrough. (Not that I ever replay these infernal games but I noted it to give an idea of the game’s length.) I think Inotia 2 also doesn’t end until some point after level 100 though. :/

Why do the developers do this? Why drag on the plot with idiotic quests that are all the same except a change in monster and item names? Their games have no fucking substance to justify extended play or subsequent playthroughs, even if the story is decent. In Inotia & Zenonia, the issues are compounded with the fact that you’re always underpowered and poor. All this can be remedied through in-app purchases though! More stat points! More skill points! More money! Better equipment! More inventory space so you can actually lug shit back to town to sell! Well, there’s the merchant from the lamp too in Inotia 4 but lamps take up precious inventory space, you see.

Also, Inotia 4 seems to give people the option to instantly finish quests? Looks like someone on the dev team got the fucking clue that most optional quests suck. That and it’s an excuse to get more money from players since the option requires gems which have to be purchased. However, it seems that the game has free gem offers. They probably require users to download games and apps they don’t want though.

At any rate, I’m currently doing the memory layers. Some genius at Com2uS decided that it’d be a splendid idea to have each layer fashioned after dungeons you’ve already been to with monsters you’ve already fought and slap 3 sets of identical objectives for each dungeon quest. Each layer has 3 areas and I am on the third area which means I have done 6 carbon copy quests already. I really wish Com2uS could have used some brainpower to think up more interesting ways to deal with exploring Kiyan’s (the main character) memories and fears. Or at least make it so that I don’t have to play through a billions layers with the same fucking quest over and over and over.

Edit: Discovered that this memory shit place is the FINAL FUCKING DUNGEON and that THERE ARE 5 FLOORS. I wish I can fly over to Korea and throw the designer(s) off the Com2uS company building right now. Stupid design, stupid quests. Save this crap for an optional dungeon, for fuck’s sake. I think it’s high time I ditch this moronic game.

annoyances · silliness

Love letters from me

Dear Nintendo of North America,

Your Club Nintendo rewards suck. Always have and probably always will. And I don’t mean the Gold and Platinum rewards. ¬†I mean generally pretty much everything that’s ever been up for redemption has been uninteresting and unappealing.

Love,
– me


Dear Theatrhythm,

Stop giving me:

  1. Music for the Music Player, and
  2. Movies for the Movie Player

I do not care about these things.

Love,
– me


Dear Falcom,

For the love of God, spare some time to focus on a new IP or Ys again. ¬†Yes, the Kiseki series is making you a buttload of money but goddammit, you can do something else on the side too. It’s seriously frustrating for fans that don’t care about The Legend of Heroes series.

Love,
– me


Dear Kairosoft,

It’s seriously time to invest in some public relations and customer service, especially when it comes to dealing with foreign fans. I’m not quite sure why it’s so difficult to write short lines of text explaining what’s been when updates occur for your iOS and Android games. I mean, even the Japanese releases don’t have change logs.

It’s also quite disheartening to see games released with bugs, sometimes fatal ones too since it gives the impression that you’re not all that serious about your games. Perhaps, on top of PR and CS, you can get some proper quality assurance going too.

One more thing: Do those Twitter and Facebook accounts actually belong to you?

Love,
– me

annoyances · games · PSP

Finished Unchained Blades last night (Spoilers)

I am totally not surprised that there was no explanation for the other characters joining Fang at the end. I also see no point to a sequel (story-wise) and …

< SPOILERS > ~ Highlight to read ~
… Why would Clunea continue granting wishes if she knew that the greed thing can affect her? Or did destroying her corrupt form magically give her immunity to it forever? I’m specifically referring to the post-final battle part.
< /SPOILERS >

Anyway, here’s a summary of my thoughts about the game:

The Good Stuff

  • Dungeon exploring was fun!
  • Dungeon designs were decent.
  • Colourful artwork. The mishmash of designs didn’t bother me very much. :3

I do have a silly complaint about character design though! Lucius is too skinny and has a seemingly giant head. ^^; It … really bothered me. I wish he’d leave the hood and cloak on more often. XD

And now, the whole list of things that didn’t jive with me~

The Bad Stuff

  • Stupid reply options from Masters that make no sense in relation to a question asked by a Follower.
  • Followers pestering Masters about things. It seems to be frequent if they level up quickly — that is, bringing followers into an area with enemies that are a few levels higher than they are.
  • Super puny inventory. I can only see this working well if you keep running back to town to sell or synthesize things. Of course, in many cases, it’s just not worth the effort.
  • The Unchain system. Basically, you have to wear down an enemy’s hitpoints and then HOPE you get the option to Unchain them because it won’t always appear. On top of this, if your attack is synced with a follower due to elemental affinity, there’s a horrible chance that the follower can KILL the enemy before you even get the chance to Unchain. (I can’t remember clearly but I think this even happens if you use regular attacks?)
  • Materials/resource gathering. I might be one of the few people in the world that hates seeing this in games and the hate is compounded by the fact that the tools are bloody expensive to purchase early in the game and the random nature of what you can obtain at each harvesting/timber/mining point …. Ugh. Thankfully, all quests are optional and you don’t HAVE to do synthesis. However, I’m pretty sure a lot of the best equipment and such are only available through synthesis.
  • Useless Encyclopedia that has no information about an enemy’s anima or where you can find the enemy.
  • The remaining crest keys which can only be obtained by clearing Infinite Ark multiple times. I’ve yet to confirm this but going by the tutorial about the Ark, this is the impression I get from it. I mean, yeah, I like exploring dungeons but going through 101 floors of randomly generated floor designs more than once isn’t my idea of FUN. Granted, you can cut down the journey by taking the red teleports which lets you skip 10 floors. Still, this depends on whether or not the game creates the teleport for you and if you can find it when it does.
  • Moving around on the Skill Map. Who the hell was the fucktard that decided that NOT locking the cursor to the nodes was a good idea? I can’t remember if moving around on the FFX Sphere Grid was this moronic. The D-pad could have easily been used to navigate the nodes and the designers could have simply given us the option to lock or unlock the cursor in case we wanted to move to another part of the map instead of continuing in the area we were working on.
  • The translation of the dialogue between the Reaper Clan characters is strange and doesn’t work well in English. :/ For example, the whole Big brother” thing at the end. Obviously, it’s much more endearing in Japanese which would convey the closeness between the characters a lot better.
  • Why does the storage option become available midway through the game? And, oh yeah, there IS a mandatory quest. In order to even unlock the storage option, you have to complete a quest. Thankfully, getting the materials wasn’t too difficult.
  • Tutorial topics have “automated pages”. This means that you have to review an entire tutorial topic just to read up on a single thing you’re looking for.

There’s probably some more stuff. I might add them if I think of them.

At any rate, I’m going through the Infinite Ark right now. I’m just doing one round. ¬†Just because.

Edit:

Finished it and ….

Infinite Ark results (first and only time)
Infinite Ark results (first and only time). Yes, this was done with cheats on.

…. Welp, looks like you DO get one key per visit. Totally not going for the remaining 5. I’m done with this game.

Also, going through the Ark just to get the Winged Crest Key which lead me to a damned Seal Bangle is really not worth the trek.

annoyances · games · PSP

I thought I was finished Unchained Blades and then …

… BAM! Another chapter gets thrown at me. So yeah, I’m going through yet ANOTHER Titan. Sigh. I will most likely ignore the post-game stuff though. Heh.

Will there ever be a post about the game where I won’t complain about it? Most likely not. However, I do talk a little about the characters and … stuff! No spoilers.

So much of the game still annoys me even though I’m not playing it “properly”. XD The 50 items inventory limit is way too restrictive. I mean, I don’t even do any harvesting or mining and I STILL manage to max it out while simply travelling through a dungeon and fighting. How the hell does THAT happen? I would believe this is something that will be changed in the sequel. At least, it better be. Sometimes, I wonder what the developers are thinking when they design their games. Didn’t they feel the issue when THEY played through it? Maybe it was too late to fix it by then? But then, I don’t think it’ll be a million lines of code just to make it so that you can fit a few more items into it.

Buuuuuuuut, I suppose the issue then is to figure out what the acceptable limit is. Or perhaps there’s not even a satisfactory number? Yet if they could have done some sort of average — like say, every type of monster in the dungeon will drop 1 unique item and there are 10 kinds of monsters that you can encounter. That’s 10 right there. And then all the harvesting/timber/mining points can probably give you 3 unique items on average. (I know the permanent points can give you more.) … And then, the Judgement Battles dump a crap ton of items on you too.

Well now, through this estimate alone, the inventory limit is obviously not enough. XD

Yeah yeah, I know the idea is to use the items for synthesis but when you’re very deep into a dungeon, you REALLY don’t want to zip back out to the village to do that or to place things in storage. This is especially true for a few of the Titans where getting back to higher floors is actually a bit of a walk.

Well, the storage seems to be limitless in terms of the number of unique items you can shove into it. The 99 quantity per item still applies though.

I’m kind of curious what the inventory cheats will do. I never bothered to use one since I honestly don’t even care about materials or healing items right now as my nigh invincible party has no need of them.

Indeed, I’ve pretty much just made the game into dungeon exploration and monster capturing at will. XD I still left the challenge of failing Unchains in though even though I can turn on the option for 100% successful unchains whenever I want. Actually, I’ve never done it so I don’t even know if that cheat works. ^^

Speaking about monsters, that in-game encyclopedia is so damn USELESS. All it shows is a picture of the monster and a description. I’m pretty sure I’ve hit every button possible to see if I could bring up information about its habitat and anima but there’s NOTHING about it. I mean, sometimes, you can go a long while without encountering a monster that has an anima you need and if you want to go back to a dungeon to get one … dumb old me that has a crappy memory would like to know which Titan I should head to.

However, this was when anima actually mattered. ūüėõ I believe I played up to chapter 5 with actual skill usage and follower arrangements that allowed me to access those skills. But after a while, I just said, “Fuck this.”, and turned on max stats as well as getting myself enough SP so I can simply obtain all 3 Burst types for the 4 main party members. Oh yeah, I got infinite HP, MP, and Burst going on as well.

I’m pretty much sticking to Fang, Tiana, Reaper Clan girl, and Lapis. Mari had way too many buffs and debuffs for my liking, Fox girl had a decent set of skills and dealt decent damage but I hate her character (why can’t Tiana bitch slap her instead of simply yelling at her? I’m thinking that physical abuse might actually work as a reminder that she’s not supposed to be so trigger-happy with buttons and switches), Lucius desperately needed group attacks, and Hector … I like Hector but I can only have 4 characters in the active roster. ūüė¶


Oh yeah, was it just me or was there some sort of continuity lapse in the chapter, The Last Wish? It’s like one character had the orb thing and then SUDDENLY, out of the blue, someone ELSE got it. I could swear I was reading all the narrative text and there was no indication that the orb dropped onto the floor or anything. It was so weird. :/

Also, Reaper Clan girl’s relationship with her lord/brother is …. um … let’s just say it’s not heartwarming. In fact, it gave me the impression that it’s a rather twisted relationship. But I suppose if you take into account the many generations, it’s not all that weird.

Clunea’s really weird too. I suppose she just lovesssssssssssss people asking her for help. (Re: wishes.) She has an ego thing as well.

Speaking about ego, I’m glad Fang stopped going on about the whole “I’M THE STRONGEST DRAGON IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” bit past chapter 4 or 5. I mean, he still says it but not with the frequency that he did early in the game. Goddamn, that was annoying beyond belief.

Oh, the end of the chapter 6/beginning of chapter 7 is kind of strange. I don’t see the motivation of the OTHER characters for wanting to follow Fang. I mean, I seriously don’t see any other justification from them other than, “We’re gonna stick with you till the end!” I take it they’re all going to so some stupid speech before the final battle so maybe then, I’ll get their personal reasons.

Since I’m pretty close to the end of the game now, I can say that I’m disappointed that there wasn’t much in way of character development. I mean, you’re only given so many chances at the camp sites to get a bit more detail about a single character (and if you want to learn more, you have to replay the game again or if you magically had a save before then, you could just reload that a couple of times to see all the answers) but even that’s not enough.

What’s really silly is that you’re not given any back story of the Four Dragon Kings. You just shove them into your followers slots and that’s it. They’re even goofy enough to pester you like other followers after battles and before heading into town. 9__9 I was hoping for some interaction between them especially if you already had one with you when you encountered another one. However, it seems like their main purpose is the game is to be powerful monsters to recruit.

I suppose I’ll end the rant here cuz this post went much longer than I anticipated. I still have to do a post-game rant too after all. XD

Edit: Clunea sure likes doors.

annoyances · games · PSP

Collection of Unchained Blades tweets from today so far

I figure I should move them here instead of bombarding my friends with all the bitching I’ve been doing about the game. XD

  • Wow. The game pretty much FORCES you to get materials for weapon upgrades in Chapter 2. #UnchainedBlades
  • This, along with starting at level 1 with a new party, sucks hardcore. I hope the sequel isn’t this idiotic. #UnchainedBlades
  • I’ll consider the $30 I spent on this as a donation to XSEED for other games. Never again will I play a dungeon crawler. #UnchainedBlades
  • At least not one like this. Mandatory material gathering can go to hell. Fuck developers for including those. #UnchainedBlades
  • Wait. I can get unlock dagger use for Tiana. Ahaha. ATK +1 with a Scramsax. Goddamn. Material gathering I go then. #UnchainedBlades
  • FYI, she was doing 1 HP of damage to the wimpiest monsters in the first dungeon with her default weapon. Stronger one N/A. #UnchainedBlades

I kind of forgot to explore the Skill Map before heading exploring the Temple of Trials and Titan Darius. ^^;  Turns out that you CAN buy another weapon type for Tiana pretty early so unlike her rapiers which require materials, the Scramsax (a dagger) can be bought. Unfortunately, it adds little to her attack. 9__9

I have no idea if increasing proficiency in forging new weapons will unlock more at the shop for purchase or simply advancing the story will do. Either way, I’m gonna have to get more materials if I want Tiana to be useful. ¬†Well, her and that fox girl.

Edit #1: Actually, if the sequel improves on a lot of crap like less grinding to get money in the beginning among other things, I may consider trying it as well.

Edit #2:  Ooh! Looks like weapon unlocks at the store are story driven! Mwahaha.

Edit #3: Really hope the sequel improves or even removes the whole monster collecting bit. But then, I think it’s a major gameplay gimmick. Sigh. If only Judgement Battles didn’t exist …

Edit #4: It’s really annoying when you’re trying to wear down an enemy to Unchain them only to have your stupid followers land attacks or a party member crit hit. >_>

annoyances · games · PSP

Been playing Unchained Blades

I purchased it off the PS Store on day one since it’s a game I’ve been interested in for the past while.

However, I do believe I should have a) done more research of it and b) watched WALKTHROUGH videos of the Japanese version (if they exist. Never bothered looking for them.) beforehand because I didn’t know how punishing it would be.

I’ve been checking out opinions around the Net and the general consensus seems that it’s on par with other dungeon crawlers and that the game isn’t that difficult. It’s difficult to me because I don’t have much experience with dungeon crawlers so I’m not entirely sure how my gameplay strategy should be. (The last one that I stuck with was Eye of the Beholder (the first one) on the PC. I only managed to get to the 5th floor though before losing patience. XD I did enjoy hurling food rations as projectiles at monsters though.)

Anyway, the reason I label Unchained Blades as punishing (so far — based on the Prologue and Chapter 1) is that the difficulty spikes per floor level are insane and also, you have NO WAY of replenishing MP for your skills without resorting to a run back to the inn in the nearest village. Items and equipment are bloody expensive as well although you can make money from selling off materials or products created through fusing materials harvested or mined at various locations around dungeons. The problem is that the tools for getting said materials can be expensive too. 9___9

You’re pretty much doomed to grind and grind and grind until you have enough money to get better weapons & armor and enough levels to have beefy characters to survive the higher floors in dungeons.

On top of this, you have to do some monster hunting and capturing — and I emphasize HAVE TO as certain skills are only available to you if you have certain elements at your disposal. You see, each monster has some sort of elemental affinity known as Anima. Some of them have more than one too which is all fine and dandy until you realize that you have to level up your character’s charisma stat to gain enough capacity points so you can actually attach the needed monster to the character.

Capturing monsters, known as Unchaining, can be a chore since you have to whittle their HP (hitpoints) down below the halfway mark and it seems to be random meaning that you won’t be able to unchain every single creature you come across right off the bat. However, all creatures are DIFFERENT in terms of the HP amount that will trigger the Unchain option. Sometimes, you can get them once the HP reach 50% while others can be as low as 10% (like the HP bar is nearly empty). Dragging on battles is pretty much the only way to get an Unchain at times as you have to carefully chip away at an enemy’s health to make sure you don’t outright kill it.

To wrap this up, here’s someone that wrote a post that pretty much sums up my feelings about the game so far:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=36498394&postcount=224

Android · annoyances · games · iOS

Raging about Mobile Action KRPGs

Before I start, I should list my “experience” with Korean-made RPGs~! ¬†These are off the top of my head so I’m probably missing some: Zenonia (never finished but played late into it), Zenonia 2 (midway through), Zenonia 3 (completed first playthrough only), Zenonia 4 (completed first playthrough only), Seed 2 (midway through), Seed 3 (maybe midway through?), Inotia 2 (late into the game), Inotia 3 (finished), Inotia 4 (most likely midway through), Elphis Adventure (stuck at Jeanne d’Arc era), Destinia (midway through), Advena (somewhere in the beginning), and Illusia (beginning). For what it’s worth, I played a bit of Seed (the first one) as well but the translation was so painful, I deleted the game shortly after the character got to the harbour town at the beginning of the game. ūüėõ

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I have a love-hate relationship for all the RPGs that Gamevil, Com2uS, and CH Games publish. On one hand, I play them because I guess I kind of enjoy mindless hacking and slashing. After all, their games aren’t known for amazing plots or characters. ūüėõ On the other hand, I will complain about them tirelessly on Twitter.

One of the main things that drives me insane is the fact that each company holds inventory space hostage. With the exception of Zenonia (the first one) and other cell phone ports of older games, every single fucking RPG requires you to pay for inventory space out of your own pocket. ¬†I’m a natural packrat when it comes to RPGs so only have 9 – 12 slots is really useless to me. ¬†And I pick up everything I see because, in many cases, it takes FOREVER to make money solely from grinding enemies so I need stuff to sell. Also, I’m pretty sure that even if people aren’t packrats, they’ll run of space fast because, seriously, if you’re going to be carrying around potions and alchemy material (for synthesis and stuff), you’re not going to have space for anything else.

There ARE games where money doesn’t seem to play too much of a role though — like Inotia 4. ¬†To me, you pretty much have to rely on enemy spoils and the Fusion Machine to get what you need since, honestly, enemies and selling stuff won’t get you very much. ¬†At least, not unless you spend hours slaughtering the same monsters over and over.

Oh, and that’s another thing. Incessant amounts of GRINDING. I suppose you can get by with stocking up on potions and spamming the hell out of them but for titles with item cool down times, this probably isn’t the way to go. ¬†Actually, for RPGs that have player versus player battles, I would think that’s a form of encouraging people to grind. ¬†Why can’t developers give me more substance or some other alternative to strengthening characters instead?

Adventure Bar Story, which isn’t a KRPG (and certainly not action-oriented), gets around this by implementing another system to level up characters. ¬†In that game, you eat food to gain experience and food can be obtained by cooking raw ingredients which are found lying around in various dungeons or purchased at towns. ¬†In other words, you’re not required to spend hours beefing up your party or character by enacting constant genocide on every single evil creature you come across.

Speaking about levelling, there are even games like Elphis Adventure that allow you to pay for extra stat and skill points. I am convinced that Com2uS designed it so that enemies in the game are extremely tough (offensively and defensively) just so that you would go this route and take out your credit card to pay your way through the game.  Granted, if you can get into a steady rhythm of alternating between normal attacks + special attacks, you can probably get through a bit of the game without falling into the trap of  grinding to level up.  Unfortunately, things can get rough once you end up in France (or was it Britain?). 9__9

Another common and aggravating factor of KRPGs is the sidequest system. ¬†It is the same in every goddamn game:¬† You have to kill x-amount of monsters, or you have to get x-amount of spoils from certain monsters, or you have to collect x-amount of materials. Why can’t these sidequests be self-contained stories that don’t involve fetching items or murdering monsters, such as solving a mystery in a town or escorting a merchant somewhere? ¬†I know those are usually main quests but honestly, they could work well as non-crucial quests too. In fact, I’d LOVE to see these implemented but I suppose it’d require more thought and writing for the designers. ūüėõ

Oh wow. This post is getting long! I should sum up some other rage in point form!

  • Quest-giving NPCs that aren’t marked on a map. For some reason, there are some games where, if an NPC is in a building, you won’t see the indication of a quest (usually in the form of an exclamation mark) on the mini map. It really won’t kill you to put an “!” above a building, you know. Players aren’t so stupid that they’ll stop in front of a structure and complain that there’s no one standing in front of it to give them a quest.
  • IAP-only materials like scrolls needed to reinforce weapons. Yes, these aren’t necessities but given that the option is there, it’d be nice to be able to buy them in-game with in-game currency. Elphis Adventure is guilty of this. I’m not sure you can ever purchase the scrolls needed to use the Blacksmith for ANY weapons or armor customization at a regular merchant or if any enemies drop them. ¬†The hilarious thing is that you can simply dismantle equipment to get the OTHER materials needed for strengthening. WTF?
  • IAPs for useful items like appraisal scrolls. I forgot which KRPG it was, but unless you got them from quests or enemy drops, the only other way to get them was from an in-app purchase.
  • Penalties for game over. I only see this as another scheme by developers to lure people into buying those special resurrection items from the IAP store.
  • Not tablet optimized. The hotkeys on some of the games are not easy to use due to their positions. ¬†Unless you have giant man-hands, you have to stretch your right hand a bit to hit the furthest ones. 9__9

Naturally, I’d love to see innovation from these companies but the mindless formula sells so I really don’t see it changing any time soon.

Android · annoyances · games

Tiny Farm update

It’s been a week since I first started playing one of Com2uS’ money-eating, wait & play games. As mentioned in an earlier post, I typically avoid these kinds of games since I know how they work; many things are cheap and have low wait times at the beginning, but as you expand your farm/building/town/street/whatever, wait times grow exponentially and the costs to purchase anything with in-game currency will skyrocket. ¬†Of course, making the virtual money necessary to afford such purchases may take several hours to several days unless you use a credit card.

If you think about it, it’s an ingenius business model since it exploits people’s impatience and desires. ¬†Sadly, I believe such exploitation ¬†is here to stay because players are giving developers the message that they’re fine with giving them money over and over just to maintain a virtual playground. ¬†After all, 99 cents for 1000 pieces of gold is doable, right? ¬†Everyone with some sort of job or allowance can afford that. ¬†But 99 cents x 50 purchases is $49.50! ¬†Is the game actually worth that much? ¬†Obviously, it is to some people. ūüė¶

Anyway, back to the real reason for this post!

My main purpose for trying out Tiny Farm was to see how far I could get without using my credit card to buy any coins or bells (the two virtual currencies). ¬†I didn’t really set any conditions for my experiment but since I’m currently out of a job, I was able to give my farm quite a bit of attention every day.

Usually, during the daytime, I would almost immediately react to every push notification about animals that were ready to grow. ¬†This, along with all the planting and harvesting I was doing, allowed me to get to level 13 in a week’s time. ¬†Maybe with some better planning & decision making, I could have even gotten to level 14 or 15.

About the crops, I would mostly plant cotton or wheat which grow in either 30 minutes or an hour respectively. ¬†Cotton gives 200 coins per hour while wheat gets you a return of 135 coins. ¬†(For cotton, you’re spending 1200 coins per hour to get 1400 coins. ¬†:/ With wheat, it’s 45 coins for 180 coins in an hour.)

At night, before heading off to bed, I’d plant some crops that would take either 10 – 12 hours to grow. :3

Along with constant field work, I’d also make my rounds on the world map to visit all the folks that I’ve added as “friends” to get some hearts, gold, and experience as well as spreading some love around. ¬†So far, I got 20 farms surrounding me. One thing I noticed is that I seem to be restricted to how many farms I can get visiting rewards from. I suppose Com2uS doesn’t want players exploiting this method to stock up on hearts and money. ¬†They want YOUR money after all.

So here’s what the farm looks like. (The image sizes are actually reduced here. ¬†Click on them to see their full size!):

My tiny farm after 7 days
I sold some chicken and sheep to afford the leghorns and some other stuff. My goal is to fill the farm with nothing but cute, dotty-eyed animals! The alpaca is next on my list! >:3
My tiny farm in 7 days - right side
Nothing of interest on this side but I wanted to show it anyway. XD

In terms of  mastery, I only have the sheep, brown sheep, chicken, and brown chicken maxed out.  The black sheep and black chicken are at 3rd and 2nd Mastery level respectively. I have completed the collection of those animal types though. ^o^

I currently have a ranger out looking for an alpaca but he won’t be back until Wednesday since …

Tiny Farm - Ranger out to look for an alpaca!
It'll take over 62 hours to get a cute little alpaca~! I don't have 32 bells or want to buy 32 bells so I'll just wait. ūüėÄ

I’ve completed all the farm and animal objectives up to the “Breed 2 pigs” and “Buy 1 firewood”. I don’t particularly care for these silly “missions” since the rewards are hardly worth it.

Other observations:

  • There are level restrictions for anything that will generate money, hearts, or experience. ¬†For example, if you want to increase your fields, you have to wait until level X to buy another patch. However, you can use bells to instantly buy one. ¬†Of course, bells are “special currency” which can only be obtained in-game through special conditions, offers from Tapjoy, or via a credit card purchase.
  • The Tapjoy offers are mostly laughable since a good number of them only give you 1 or 2 bells in return. 1 or 2 bells are great for instantly growing crops or animals but if you actually want to buy useful stuff like fields or animal certifications, you would need to pretty much take up every single free app offer. Ambitious folks could make use of signing up for subscription-based services like Netflix to get more bells though.
  • More than 95% of the purchasable items are simply decorations to make your farm “look more like a farm” and therefore pretty damn useless.
  • A good chunk of the purchasable aesthestics can only be bought with bells.

All in all, I think I’ll stick with Tiny Farm until it gets way too damn expensive to buy animal certification — i.e. increase population amount by 1. ¬†It costs me 24,250 coins right now which is manageable. I’m pretty sure it’ll increase to at least 50,000 coins for the next one though. ¬†Of course, I may even get bored of the game before I manage to obtain enough funds to get the next few animal certifications. :E

Android · annoyances · games

Forgotten Tales: Tips and Rage

Edit on August 30th, 2012: This post was done way back in April when the game was still wholly incomplete and new. It had an immense amount of balancing issues and required insane amounts of grinding for levelling and money. As subsequent updates pretty much didn’t address a lot of the issues I’ve pointed out, I’ve since uninstalled the game. I have no idea how things improved or degraded with the recent updates nor do I care since I’ve given up on Forgotten Tales.

I recommend people to read the comments that other players left for more up-to-date guidance.  The developer has also made a forum so you can check there for hints and information on bugs and such: http://forgotten-tales.boardonly.com/

——–

While on my quest to find fun and engaging Android games to play, I came across Forgotten Tales¬†which seemed decent from screenshots and with a near 5-star rating from 80+ users, I figure it was worth a shot. ¬†But after some quality time with it,¬†I’m finding it difficult to understand how in all hell people could give the game anything beyond 2 or 3 stars. ¬†I take it they’re all just masochists with really low expectations. ¬†Here’s my experience so far:

WALKTHROUGH OF THE VERY BEGINNING + TIPS

It’s not difficult to figure out the controls although I can’t fathom why anyone would want to play the game on the default speed. I always have it at double speed because everything moves so dreadfully slow to me. (I’m using a Galaxy Tab 10.1.) ¬†At first, the game really did seem decent. ¬†I tried out the little dungeon that was southeast of the Forester and took out some skeletons. ¬†I freaked out a little that they could move so much faster than my character but after 2 or 3 battles, I managed to jet and get out of there alive. ¬†Your character regenerates health automatically so I had him stand around for a bit. ¬†Once the health bar was back in the green, I travelled southwest to Kedington Village.

An odd thing about the NPCs (non-player characters) in this game is that, although you get the little speech balloon icon if you move your cursor over them, they have NOTHING to say! Even more strange is the fact that these NPCs can disappear from the area all together if you return at a later time. Anyway, the only ones that will even acknowledge your existence are the ones that have a little question mark icon next to them.

The first character I spoke to was a man standing around in the southwest part of the village. ¬†He gives you the quest to deliver a message to his brother, a gravedigger, in the southern village/town of Ashdown. ¬†Shouldn’t be too difficult, right? ¬†RIGHT??? (Oh yeah, at some point, you can talk to the woman (possibly a hooker?) in Kedington. ¬†After you do your thing with her, you get 25 XP or something.)

Unfortunately, unless you a) did some grinding with the skeletons in the aforementioned dungeon to get enough spoils and money to afford armor and a better weapon, and b) you save like crazy, there’s a very good chance that you will DIE on the way there. ¬†For one thing, the highway bandit (the guy with a green cape) can overpower you easily if you didn’t beef up beforehand. ¬†You may also run into the ever-so-terrible-predicament of being attacked by a giant mob of spiders, wolves, and more highway bandits all at the same time. Although this is not a common occurrence, spiders DO frequently come after you if you’re within the vicinity of the signpost north of the guardhouse near Ashdown.

Forgotten Tales
You don’t want to get into this situation when you’re level 1, travelling alone, and armed only with a wimpy sword.

Oh yeah, there’s a party member with my character in that screenshot. (The member = the other guy with a giant grey oval under him.) I’ll get to this in the next paragraph. XD

In Ashdown, I ran into some random guy that wanted to join forces with me to take out some mean orcs that took over the mines in the east. Cool. A party member! Maybe I won’t have to worry so much about dying all the time now. ¬†Afterwards, I chucked the letter at the gravedigger and it was off to the mines for orc hunting.

Alas, after about a minute of slashing, the one orc I encountered at the mines still wasn’t dead. Instead, my character was the only one taking damage. That’s when I decided to simply reload the bloody game.

So now, all I’m doing is running around and grinding because it takes 300 XP to get to level 3. I only mention the experience because enemies that I can actually kill only give around 2 XP. ¬†All I can hope for is that they drop gold or things I can sell. ¬†I’m not sure why wolves keep dropping their “fungs” because all they do is take up space in inventory as you can’t sell them.

Forgotten Tales: Wolf Fungs
I think you mean fangs. And are these needed for some eventual quest because I can’t sell them or use them in any way.

THE RAGE

Forgotten Tales is a definite work in progress. At the moment, it has extreme balancing issues and a terrible lack of direction for players. I’m all for open world games and exploration but I also like to be able to SURVIVE in them. ¬†It’s actually kind of puzzling why it was released to the public in its current state. It would make a bit more sense if it had the word “BETA” slapped onto the end.

Back to the topic of survival, see the red-headed asshole in the screen below?¬†You try and take him down at level 2 with default equipment, or hell, even the first armor “set” and a Sabre AND with your faithful companion from Ashdown by your side. Good fucking luck.

Forgotten Tales: Bloody Bandit Guy
This enemy should NOT be so close to the second village.

I’ve played my fair share of Western, Japanese, and Korean RPGs — both single player and massively multiplayer online — and generally, there’s something known as game progression. ¬†Typically, you can’t access areas with enemies that you can’t handle due to level, capabilities, etc. until you fulfil certain requirements like advancing the plot. ¬†I’m not entirely sure there really IS a story in Forgotten Tales but regardless, it ignores any sort of logical continuity and allows you to innocently wander into these particular areas.

To add insult to injury, these said areas are immediately east AND west to the goddamn fucking SECOND village.

In order to take on the enemies, you essentially either need to level up — which takes forever due to the low experience points enemies give — or grind until you have enough money to afford better equipment. ¬†Speaking about equipment, here’s a hilarious screenshot:

Forgotten Tales: Expensive shit in the second village
What is up with the prices of the armor?

This is from the shop in the SECOND village. I take it there aren’t many settlements and such in the game so this place probably doubles as “the town that’s before a late game dungeon” as well. At the pace the game is going at, I can tell you that it will be agony to even rack up 1000 pieces of gold.

Another annoyance is that NPCs don’t repeat dialogue nor speak to you again. Some of them do if you return to them after you finish the request they made. ¬†However, if you just so happened to accidentally click out of a conversation because enemies started swarming you while you were talking to someone, you won’t ever know what the hell the person was chatting about unless you reload the game.

Finally, random enemy mobs. It’s not like I’m fleeing from monsters and then running into another group of them. My party is simply walking along the cobblestone path and then BAM! Monsters from literally all directions just come out of no where and charge directly toward it. ¬†As mentioned before, this isn’t something that happens often but the fact that it can still happen is kind of frustrating and shouldn’t even be a possibility.

annoyances · games · PS3

FFXIII-2: Commentary on the last 4 monsters I needed to complete the Monster Professor sidequest

These are the ones that I’ve missed so don’t fret and think that these are super rare enemies or something cuz there’s every chance you’ve already come across them!

Flangonzola: This was found in sunny weather in The Archylte Steppe (Plains of Eternity) near the vicinity of the red flowers close to Long Gui. It’s a white flan and it’s considered a rare monster. Nothing else much to say about it since the group that I ran into went down pretty fast. ^^

I enabled Battlemania and Encounter Master to get it. However, out of the billions of monsters I fought in the area, I only found the Flangonzola twice. :/

Malebranche:I found this thing in stormy weather in The Archylte Steppe (Clearwater Marshes) near the far west end close to the wide chasm. Looks like a brown-coloured Wladislaus. This thing can be trouble since its attacks can deal strong physical damage and remove the buffs on a party member. It also has some crazy attacks that can chop down a member’s life with wound damage by a great deal.¬† What’s worse is that it slaps on Slow as well.

Ugh.¬† I totally went into this unprepared but luckily I had a Sentinel in 2 of my paradigms.¬† Didn’t know it was weak to magic and kept relying on my COMs. XD Managed to 5-star the fight somehow though. ^^ Got no spoils though. ūüė¶

Hmm. It seems annoyingly rare. I’ve gone through about 10+ battles already and it has yet to show up again. I even managed to run across a Fomoire while waiting for Malebranche to appear. ūüėõ

Swampmonk: For some reason, I’ve never found this thing before. Apparently, it’s in the marshes of the Steppe as well and shows up during rainy weather.¬† Ah. Found it. I got a group of 3 with a Mewmao thrown in. Of course, I took out the cat first. And while the monks went down fast, they DO have a skill called Power Spritz that bestow them with a crap ton of buffs. Since my party of pretty high levelled, it wasn’t much of an issue. ^^

Anyway, I ran into some to the northern part of the middle area of the Clearwater Marshes. Actually, it seems to appear quite a bit around the patch of dry land close to the middle too. :O

Tezcatlipoca: BAWWW. Missed this bugger on my trip through the final dungeon. Now I gotta redo the entire thing again JUST for it. Sigh.

Is it just me or do I not have to touch as many blocks on a second pass through this dungeon? Took me a while to realize this though. ^^;

Edit: FINALLY! DONE WITH THIS DAMN SIDEQUEST!

Monster Professor completed! YAY!
Monster Professor completed! YAY!

Went to collect my new Fragment Skill from the Mystic at Serendipity. When I went to turn on Field Killer, I saw this:

Field Killer Warning
Field Killer Warning

I think this really only affects players doing the 100 consecutive GREAT!s thing. :/

Ooh. I unlocked Mobile Mog a while back but never went to get it. ^^; Whee! *throws the moogle around Academia 4XX and watches the crowds of people follow it wherever it goes! XD*