Friday, October 14, 2016

#TeamHandheld Report - 10/14/2016

Another #TeamHandheld Report! Shocker. Now get to playing, as there are tons of handheld games coming out these next few months. What's on your playlist? Here's mine.

Now Playing

Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse (3DS)

While I've been a distant admirer of the SMT series, my primary experience has been Persona 3 & 4 with a taste of Devil Survivor thrown in for good measure. I own Nocturne, both Digital Devil Saga games, and even SMT IV, but have not made much progress with any of them. Even though I didn't really get into the original SMT IV, I was still drawn into Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse because of many recommendations. I heard it was easier to get into and better paced than the prior game, and that has been seemingly true so far from what I can tell. It also wasn't a bad thing that this one offered a very easy difficulty via DLC that just hit. Considering this is my first real SMT game, It's been interesting.

I definitely enjoy the setting, but there are a few things about this that I'm not quite used to yet. Demon negotiation is likely the most annoying aspect of this game, as it feels totally random. Nothing really makes sense and demons keep asking for my stuff, and I don't like parting with my stuff. That said, it's not all that bad and I've been able to get a good party of demons up and running. Much like Pokemon, however, I don't really care about collecting them. I've been spoiled by Persona and Devil Survivor in that I care more about humanoid party members than demons, so even though I have some support members, they aren't in my active party. It's just a bit of a disconnect for me, but at least the support characters are interesting and a good part of the story. I also like that I don't really feel like I'm missing much by not having played the first SMT IV, though I'm sure there are nuances that I'll not catch. At least this way any reused content shouldn't bother me at all. The story has been intriguing so far, so I will likely keep playing for a while.

-What do these demons want?!?-




Langrisser Re: Incarnation - Tensei - (3DS)

When Langrisser Re:Incarnation dropped to the sub $10 range earlier in the year I passed, but this time when it hit $9 I figured why not? After all I've spent more on games I knew I'd never play, so this would at least give me something to talk about here.

If I had to describe Langrisser Re:Incarnation with a single phrase it would be low budget. The whole design of the game just feels cheap, which doesn't bother me in terms of graphical prowess, but does when it comes to gameplay and UI design. In fact the sad battle animations are so bad they're kind of cute, but where it counts is in the play and that doesn't work. The turn based tactical RPG combat is too slow and tedious for me to suffer through, which is a shame because this seems like it could have gone somewhere with a little more effort put into the design. Moving around the battlefield in a tactical RPG should be quick and painless, and for some reason it seems they've added so many unneeded steps that it's crazy. As is I don't feel bad adding this to the collection shelf, and I have easily played worse games. You'd not be missing much by passing on this, though.

-Pretty sad effort-




Wild ARMs XF (PSP)

I started playing Wild ARMs XF way back in 2008, but was unfortunately sidetracked by other games that I was reviewing and never returned. Thanks to a Twitter post about craving a good tactical RPG, Robert Boyd (@werezompire) began highly praising this game and tons of others jumped in to support his claim. How could I resist?

What immediately jumps out at me is the varied class system. Jobs are not the typical fighter, mage, healer combos as each seems to offer a unique set of skills. Each job fits a specific purpose in battle, and the way you can combine skills from other jobs once you've unlocked those abilities is a big boon. I imagine once I get further in, my party will have a huge selection of skills to pick from, so that's great. The game is a nice change of pace and having varied win conditions beyond "kill all enemies" has been a plus, too. The game's length is the only thing that's a bit of a deterrent right now, as I have tons of other games vying for my attention and this seems to be a 50-60 hour game. Not that that's a bad thing, but it's just going to get bits of my time on my PSPgo while the winter flood hits.

-Cute, but not amazing-




Upcoming

Alone With You (Vita)

Finally finished Alone With You and will be talking about it more in a future Report.

Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni- (Vita)

I have no issues with the sexual content of this game, but I fear the gameplay might not be for me. Curious to try it out.

Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors (Vita)

Looks like I'm going to be playing through a lot of "girly" games over the next little bit. That's not a bad thing as long as the gameplay holds up.

World of Final Fantasy (Vita)

I'm not sure how soon I'll be checking this out, but it shouldn't be too much longer. I've really ignored most of the information about this one so far, so I'm going in pretty blind.

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