games · photo · PS Vita · PSP · Windows

My DJMax Collection (plus thoughts on Technika Tune)

Just had my DJMax Technika Tune LE delivered today. Paid an arm and a leg for it, no thanks to the UPS Brokerage and their INSANE fees. I used to constantly blame the Canadian customs and government for the additional import cost but it turns out the culprit for the excessive charges comes from the broker. Anyway~ Here are some photos of the set. :3 They’re all kind of blurry here because WordPress resizes them to fit the blog’s theme/style. You can click on them for larger, crispier, & clearer versions (except the one with the open game case).

DJMax Technika Tune LE slipcase
DJMax Technika Tune LE slipcase
DJMax Technika Tune slipcase + box
DJMax Technika Tune slipcase + box
Clockwise, from top left: artbook, wrist strap + screen cleaner, game + card case, soundtrack, Vita slipcase
Clockwise, from top left: artbook, wrist strap + screen cleaner, game + card case, soundtrack, Vita slipcase
No manual. Not a surprise though.
No manual. Not a surprise though.

As a bonus, here’s my current DJMax collection. XD There were a few that I didn’t buy since they were either way too expensive and/or hard to find (like the Portable and Portable 2 ones), or just had stuff that I didn’t care about. I think DJMax Trilogy LE came with a mug or something goofy like that. Oh yeah, these are all pre-orders too so I got them all at retail price. :3

Haha. I didn't realize that DJMax Trilogy was upside down until I was cropping the photo. XD
Haha. I didn’t realize that DJMax Trilogy was upside down until I was cropping the photo. XD

I have an unopened copy of Fever in The Crew Edition LE because I bought the game first before PM Studios decided to sell the limited edition. The shiny silver thing between the Technika Tune LE and Trilogy is the DJMax Technika Exclusive Collection soundtrack. Bought it on a whim even though I never played the arcade game before. In fact, Technika Tune is the first time I played a game in the Technika series.

DJMax Portable Black Square: Quattra Edition has tape on its cover because either Play Asia or the people putting together the thing slashed it. I know for certain that it wasn’t me since the box itself was no where near the opening flaps of the shipping box that it came in.

Man, between all the limited and special editions here, I have 3 or 4 Platinum Crew cards. ^^ I’ve never used them before either. :3

DJMax Hot Tunes LE. I decided to open up the box again since I had the game on my shelf for the longest time. I forgot how extravagant and over-the-top this design was.
DJMax Hot Tunes LE. I decided to open up the box again since I had the game on my shelf for the longest time and wanted to put it away. I forgot how extravagant and over-the-top this design was.

Hot Tunes had one of the best looking DJMax limited editions, IMO.

Now about Technika Tune itself~~ it’s pretty fun! Only played about 4 songs in Freestyle (on Easy XD) though. I’m gonna need a lot more practice with this game since I’m bombing here and there on 2 – 3-star stages and might not move out of Easy difficulty for a while. ^^; (Bombing = breaking quite a bit. My lowest rating has been a C but I mostly get  B’s and A’s)

I just switched it to Normal to see how different it will be in terms of judgement and if note patterns change. I have a feeling I’ll be putting it back onto Easy though.


Adding some thoughts about the game~~

  • I do like this game quite a bit! I gotta say that it’s more fun than DJMax Portable 3. 😛
  • Mostly playing on Star Mixing mode until I get my reflexes up a bit more. I tried Pop Mixing and failed the first stage. XD Played it again and go through 3 stages. Had to set the difficulty on Easy though. .___.;
  • I find myself using one finger only. :/ Also, I’ve set it so that it’s only on touchscreen and the time line comes from the left.
  • Some tunes have distracting videos. For example, I Want You just flashes at some point and unless you’re familiar enough with the pattern, you may end up mistiming some things cuz the time line becomes hard to see.
  • The hand DOES block notes so it’s always good to glance ahead a little if possible.
  • Really wish they’d get rid of the stupid “Thanks for playing” splashscreen after completing a mixing mode. I KNOW it’s supposed to emulate arcade style gameplay but bleh. I guess that’s what Freestyle is for.
  • Fucking hell. I wish the goddamn Fever button wasn’t at the top right corner. Would worked better in the center or something.
  • Ugh. Forever is another one that suffers from the time line that blends in with the video. 9__9
  • Grr. Ghost is one of my fave songs but I can’t do well in it. .___. Same with Ruti’n.

Edit #2 (Dec 20th):

More babblings!

  • Getting better at the game now. Managed to pull off some full combos (with Anti Break 3 … but even with it equipped, it doesn’t need to kick in at times ^_^v) and some S and S+ ranks in Star Mixing and Freestyle (Star ones, of course). Currently trying to get a higher combo in Freestyle. I went back to Easy difficulty to ensure a better chance of maintaining a combo. XD

    Almost 100%. :/
    Almost 100%. :/
  • Spammed the hell out of Facebook last night to see what kind of exclusive items I can get. Turns out it’s some Fever +40% and EXP +40% consumable items. Looks like you can spam FB like 15 or so times? But because I did it like midnight – 1 AM, I won’t be able to post any more updates until tomorrow. XD

    Stocking up on consumable items via spamming Facebook status updates. XD
    Stocking up on consumable items via spamming Facebook status updates. XD
  • Pop Mixing is pretty fun! I think I like the touchscreen + touchpad gameplay. I just kind of suck at it at the moment. 😀
  • I just realized that I officially own some Kara tunes now. ^^; The only song I heard from them before was Jumping and that was from the Japanese version of Just Dance Wii. Actually, I think they may have another song or two on that but I never cared about it. I even bought the Japanese single of Jumping off iTunes JP. I like Step and Lupin now after hearing them so much in Technika Tune. ^^; I guess I’ll look for the singles to hear them in their entirety.
  • Managed this on Easy difficulty. I think I would have gotten a game over in Ghost if it were on Normal. :/

    Pop Mixing. Ghost almost did me in. :/
    Pop Mixing. Ghost almost did me in. :/
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.

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.


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. 😛 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. 😦

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.

games · PSP

Unchained Blades: My definition of fun doesn’t include excessive grinding

I know others frown upon the method and will whine about how the game’s challenge is part of the fun but the thing is, the way it’s supposed to be played is not fun FOR ME.

Basically, I’m cheating. I made it so that my followers wouldn’t die instantly from 1 or 2 hits or have to keep throwing Medicine at every leader to restore a  follower’s HP, that I didn’t have to strategize to wear down enemies to unchain them (and hope to God the followers won’t follow up with attacks that’ll kill the target) nor have to continually fight them over and over UNTIL I can even Unchain one, and most of all, I made it so I didn’t have to hang back for HOURS just to grind to survive the next fucking floor in a dungeon.

So why am I even playing Unchained Blades if I can’t play it “normally”? I dunno. Maybe I’m just crazy but I like dungeon exploring.  In fact, I do like the fact that I’m not bothered every 5 steps by random enemy encounters like in some RPGs. (I’m not using a no encounter cheat either.)  I also totally love uncovering every inch of a dungeon to get 100% completion. (Well, I mostly love it. I hated some floors of the tortoise dungeon. The place had so many damn turns and corners. And doors. My GOD, the doors.) I guess I’m OCD like that.

Oh, I’m also playing it for the story which is probably another crazy thing since I’m not expecting anything original or mind-blowingly brilliant.

But I think the main reason I’m still chugging along in the game is due to the fact that I bought the game from the PlayStation Store. :3 Still, if the game was on UMD and purchased from a brick and mortar store, I think I’d still keep it and play through it, but, of course, only with the “tweaks” that make it enjoyable for me~~~

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:

games · PSP

Frontier Gate and Final Fantasy Type-0 demo impressions

I haven’t used any of my PSPs (I own 3 of them — one of each generation ^^) in a long while but suddenly decided to check out some demos yesterday. After playing a bit of Konami’s Frontier Gate and Square Enix’s FF Type-0, I thought I’d write down some thoughts about both games. I’ll be skipping the synopsis on story and gameplay though:

I’ve read that Frontier Gate is supposedly a Monster Hunter clone. I’ve never played any MH games before and the closest I’ve ever gotten was the demo of Bamco’s God Eater and I really didn’t like that one due to the stupid camera being useless in battles. (Or maybe there was just some auto-lock/auto-target option I didn’t know about.)

To me, Frontier Gate feels like GE + Last Ranker (with a party) + every bloody KRPG that’s on the iOS right now. All I’m doing is running around the same bloody town talking to the same bloody people, nabbing quests from the guild master or whatever (never bothered to try and figure out what he was and it’s hard to check now since I’m in the middle of a quest), and then running into set quest areas to complete whatever tasks I need to complete. (I finally triggered the fusion option. It took about 5 quests before I was given the quest that unlocks it. >_>) The gameplay is overly monotonous and boring. I do like the combat system, however.

Being illiterate to Japanese, I’m missing out on whatever underlying story there is. There seems to be something about a Legendary Sword but I dunno if that’s still going or if it’s exclusive to the NPC, Emilio.

The sad thing, however, is that although I complain about monotonous gameplay, these are the kinds of games I usually end up playing and liking to some extent. Or at least, I’ll stick with them for an extended period of time. 😛 I mean, I managed to finish Koei’s mind-numbing TRINITY: Souls of Zill O’ll — with a good deal of the trophies obtained too. :3

While Frontier Gate felt very familiar, FF Type-0 was completely the opposite. Aside from it feeling a little like Crisis Core on crack, I felt overwhelmed by the menu and I didn’t know what the heck was going on in the game.

I was very annoyed with Guest “NPCs” constantly being swapped in and out in the middle of battles. I sincerely hope the wifi or ad-hoc or whatever option the game has doesn’t actually allow this to happen because it’s grating. I WANT the party I picked to stay with me, not some random person playing 238472 miles away to suddenly butt in. I mean, I don’t believe I could swap between the characters I selected if they joined. (Honestly, I didn’t try. ^^;;)

Sometimes, because their levels were a bit higher than my party, their help was welcomed. Otherwise, I don’t want them to be a part of my game. I eventually turned off the option in the menu since it was simply too annoying.

I’m still learning though but because I can’t read Japanese very well, there were a lot of things that lead to frustration. For example, is there any way to replenish MP beside sucking it out of defeated enemies and those restoration points? I thought there was an item in the menu that would do it but it didn’t seem there was any. ^^

I was using Rem and ran out of MP during the fight against the giant multi-legged mechanical enemy. 9__9; I didn’t want to switch to anyone else since no one had any ranged magic that didn’t require charging.

My right hand hurt after playing the demo for a while since I was gripping onto the R button in battle. Maybe I didn’t experiment enough but it seems like you NEED to keep the button pressed to keep a lock on an enemy. Very annoying.

I suppose I should do some searching online to see if anyone’s whipped up a tutorial on the gameplay and provided explanation of the menus. For some reason, while I usually love to experiment and explore, I don’t feel the urge with this game. :\