Edit on September 4th, 2014: Com2uS actually revised the inventory system an update or two ago so this post is no longer relevant. However, I’m keeping it here just to show folks that infinite scrolling is a really terrible design.
Phew. It’s been a while since I wrote up an entry on Tiny Farm. I’m still playing it because I love collecting the super cute animals. I just wish animal certificates weren’t so expensive. I’ve long exhausted the ability to buy them with gold. Have to rely on Bells now. 😦
Anyway, Tiny Farm received a massive overhaul a few weeks ago. Oddly, the ONLY revision the inventory UI received was reduced icon sizes so now each page has 2 lines of items instead of a single one. While that reduces the amount of scrolling one had to endure, it still means A LOT of scrolling for someone like me that has tons of things in storage. Sure, I can sell stuff like fences and rebuy them but why would I? Why should I have to? I’d rather save the money to spend on other things like the unnecessarily expensive lottery draw events.
I recorded the video on my iPad mini with Retina to show how idiotic the inventory design is. In it, you will see that I have to scroll forever to find the freakin’ Yellow Lotus Lantern that was automatically placed in inventory after claiming it from the gift area. I know I zoom past it in the initial scroll-by but it’s just to show that it doesn’t pop up at the end like what other sadistic developers may do with new things you get. At least that would make some sort of sense. This lantern showed up on page 7 or so.
The video was originally longer to show that every single item I have in the gift area is subject to the same random treatment but I decided just showing the lantern was enough.
So what can be done to improve the damnable design? Here are my suggestions:
ALL new items/animals you get should appear at the BEGINNING of your inventory.
Additional tabs on the side to sort between plants/trees, fences, and decorations just like in the freakin’ Store page.
Some ability to manually input a search string to look for something.
I wonder if there’s something in the code that’ll make these additions extremely difficult to implement? There’s no reason such logical ideas haven’t found their way into the game yet. It’s been over TWO YEARS since Tiny Farm debuted. Inventories will only get larger over time. >:/
I might fire off a message to Com2uS about this. A few weeks ago, I complained about the simplicity of the Com2uS Hub to them such as the inability to easily locate one’s post and the lack of a search function (for keywords and users) so what’s another complaint? XD They can make pretty looking games but they sure can’t seem to create intuitive user interfaces. The Hub is SO backwater it’s not funny. The way it functions is like a message forum from a few decades ago. 9__9
I think, under ideal conditions — such as players spending an obscene amount of hours using each character, it’ll be possible to get the max skills trophy without feeling the grind. However, I doubt that that’s the case for many.
According to multiple Japanese walkthrough sites, skills unlock when characters reach certain levels. By level 50, Adol should have 12 skills and everyone else should have 10. Unfortunately, there is some other criteria that governs how they unlock. A quick Google search led me to a GameFAQs post where the author stated that obtaining skills is dependent on fighting tough enemies or enemies that are around your character’s level.
….. The in-game manual mentions the tough foes bit too. 😛
There seems to be a consensus that beating up enemies in the final dungeon is a pretty good way to get any missing skills. I wonder if attacking Foria-Daros will also cause them to unlock as well? The thing is level 59, after all.
Anyway, regardless of the method, I still hate these kinds of mindless trophies. There’s no real sense of accomplishment. In fact, all I got out of it was relief. 😛 I mean, even with the Warrior Seal IV (which boosts skill EXP gain by +4) equipped, it STILL took a chunk of time. (Not sure if it took over an hour since I play on and off. :P) And all I did was rotate between characters, hold the R button + mash the respective button for the skill I wanted to level up over and over until the notice that it was mastered appeared. If I wasn’t going for the Platinum trophy, I wouldn’t have bothered with this at all because it’s a really idiotic “achievement”.
Incidentally, skill levelling has NOTHING to do with successfully executing them on enemies. You can attack air all you want and still master them. :E
I realize this isn’t new news but I figure I’d play my part and spread the word because, frankly, this is quite disgusting.
SE has been known for its zany pricing which has been loving dubbed as “Square (Enix) Tax” by various iOS gamers. A lot of times, people could see that a port of a PSP or Nintendo DS game, while still running close to $20 US, is relatively cheaper than buying the game to play on the parent system. And then there are those that will also defend the pricing scheme of critically acclaimed titles like the Chaos Rings series that are made specifically for the mobile platform. These particular fans will tell you that the quality of the games justify the premium prices.
Finally, you get something like Demons’ Score, a $7 US rhythm action game with a whopping $35+ worth of in-app purchases. You may think that it’s just for virtual currency and silly little aesthetic changes but NOPE. These IAP are content-based; that is, unless you want to play the same two music tracks ad infinitum, be prepared to donate your life savings to Square.
Strangely enough, Japan is not affected by this madness. While the title is sold at a higher price from the get-go, all content is already included. Simply put, for roughly $20 US, you get the entire game. To drive home the point, you can see the pricing comparison with screenshots at http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPhone/Demons’+Score/news.asp?c=45198
The revelation of the price discrepancy obviously isn’t going over very well with gamers around the world. However, I came across a post over the forums at The Escapist that suggests that it’s plausible SE considered the chance that Demons’ Score wouldn’t really be something the international market would eat up with a $20 price tag. Now, if there really was some sort of market research that was done to determine the possible behaviour and reaction of international rhythm gaming fans, Square Enix fans, and iOS gamers to the title, then why didn’t they just convert the $7 game to a free Lite version or at least reduce the price? (The obvious answer is that they wanted to make some sweet profit from the “trial” version. Kind of sickening.)
Honestly, I’m down with people defending the prices of ports and some of Square’s other premium priced games, but I can’t imagine anyone approving them for gouging users like this.
Edit: Whoa. Nice going, WordPress Android. It totally ignored all the hard breaks/returns. 😛 Redid the formatting a bit so it no longer looks like some crazy long-winded review on the Google Play Store.
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.
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.
Stop giving me:
Music for the Music Player, and
Movies for the Movie Player
I do not care about these things.
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.
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?
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. 😛
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. 😛 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. 😛
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
I’m at the end of the Bodhum area (chapter 1?) and 2 things kind of tick me off about the game so far:
The dialogue choices can be ridiculous. What sane person thinks up the questions that Serah does? I believe this is a result of stupid writing. At least they’re not as demented as the black and white choices from inFAMOUS. Thank God the sequel was much better for those. 😛
The side mission/quest involving the medical kit. (Check YouTube for a walkthrough vid or IGN’s walkthrough/wiki guidefor a screen of its location). Why the fuck would you let the player obtain a quest where the item is not available until later? I know there are some games that do this as well but those typically tell you the vicinity of the item and by the time you get there/have access to it, you will find it.NOT SO WITH THE MEDICAL KIT.IIRC, you already passed the area when you went to the crash site the first time.However, the damnable medkit won’t appear until a bit later. 9_9
I suspect this won’t be the last time I will encounter this idiocy.