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29 April 2010 @ 03:24 pm
Black Sigil  
So while glue dries, I've been playing Black Sigil for DS. I didn't get it when it came out, but I heard it was a good SNES/classic style RPG. By the time I was kind of interested in playing it, I couldn't find it anywhere. Months later, I found a copy, brought it home, and forgot about it while I played various SMT games >..>

It's a shame the game sucks :/

I mean.. It's aggravating that the encounter rate is so high that you get an encounter every 2-4 steps, WITHOUT FAIL. There's no noise when you trigger a random encounter, so the screen just goes black. This would be a big deal if it wasn't for the fact that I'm like 2 hours in the game, and the game has CRASHED multiple times. Seriously. Just completely frozen or crashed many times.
Also, the layout of the battle screens are frustrating, because your dudes can't run past each other, and the game will stick your casters in front blocking your melee from the enemy. You can tell that the developers really loved Secret of Mana because your main dude runs like the main dude from that game. They put thier own twist on the item rings by assigning everything to a D-Pad direction. The targeting icon is so fiddly, though, you can't always tell what the hell you are targeting, and sometimes sit there doing nothing, or having selected melee with your damned caster when you didn't want to. The battles are all active, so while you are dicking around with an unintuitive menu screen, stuff is beating on you.

It's nice that your dead party members are revived after battle. You don't get full HP/MP when you level up, so with the encounter rate of the game, you are relegated to meleeing and hoping all three of your guys don't die by the end of the fight. If you want to save any sort of MP for the boss at the end, that is. :/ You gain a little back after every fight, but it's not enough to cast a heal spell even once, and depending on the difficulty of the monsters, you may need to heal all three party members up to 3 times to top off HP.
Your healing spell scales as you level, though, which is nice, I guess.

The boss battles are pretty easy compared to the trash you fight in dungeons, though, so it's pretty frustrating. I mean, if anything, you are supposed to grind a few levels to beat a boss. Not grind a few levels to live through the trash and then breeze through the boss. I don't know. I've only fought 3 or so bosses so far, so maybe I just haven't gotten far enough to be challenged by a boss yet.

Overall, this game so far has had most of what I found annoying about oldschool RPGs with little of their charm. The characters are stereotypical, but fun, and the story is interesting, but it's hard to enjoy it with so many of what I perceive as inherent game design flaws. It really shouldn't lock up and crash all the damned time. I really haven't been this dissappointed or unhappy with a DS game in ages. I kind of want to stubbornly finish it, but that's the nostalgia of the genre talking, I think. To save myself some frustration, I should just start A Witch's Tale or Atelier Annie or somthing. I really should just sew some more :X I'm making a boot cover today because I don't have to change the thread in the machine! (Hopefully I'll get out to Jo Ann's after Matt comes home from work, so I can get my elastic and finish this shirt once and for all)
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Fulbright Kuzunoha XXVsecret_plot on April 29th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
unbearable game.
i stopped playing pretty early on.
save point on one screen. long dungeon full of random encounters, unplayable battle system. nonetheless fought every battle and won because i couldn't figure out how to run away. bam, hotspot, boss battle. wipes me out in one roumd. only save point is the aforementioned one. 1 hour wasted with no progress.
Fulbright Kuzunoha XXVsecret_plot on April 29th, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
a witch's tale is also pretty poor. it's certainly more charming, and certainly more playable, but that's not saying much.

i'm playing AGAIN at the moment. wow cing, what happened? stereotypical storyline, choppy engine, and hardly any interactivity.
and it's a shame they've just gone bankrupt, because that really puts a damper on Last Window getting a translation.
and also because I loved all their other games :(
HIDE your facekyonomiko on April 30th, 2010 12:03 am (UTC)
I still haven't figured out how to run away either. I did learn that if your dude is being retarded and can't reach a monster to attack, his window doesn't go away, and you have to hit right trigger to go to someone else's window, that way your party isn't sitting there like a pile of dumb shits. I really wanted to like this one, but I'm probably not going to mess with it for much longer