Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (10/20/2017 part 6)

I continued playing Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II and I finished the intermission and started act 2. Here are my ten takeaways while playing the game (spoilers):

  1. Fish Burgers: While on the Pantagruel it was interesting that you while learning Crow’s backstory about his grandfather getting framed by the Chancellor, you’re also munching down on some supposedly awesome fish burgers. Just was really surreal to see the characters talking about tartar sauce.
  2. trails-of-cold-steel-ii-act-1-and-intermission-4Pantagruel: Also, while roaming around the Pantagruel, I noticed it was field with tons of furniture, paintings, plants, chandeliers, etc.; basically like an ocean liner in the sky, which made me wonder what exactly is powering this thing? It must use a lot of energy.
  3. Vulcan: Man was this a bit of an odd interaction when Vulcan says show me what you got, on the battlefield I mean, which made me wonder if he was concerned Rean was going to drop his pants or something.
  4. Altina: What’s the deal with this game and having preteens talking about sexual innuendos? While on the Pantagruel, Rean comes across a sleeping Altina, who wakes up and thinks he’s up to not so-noble intentions. What kind of 11 or 12 year old thinks that way? It’s just creepy…along with her outfit.
  5. Vents: The music when crawling in the vents is pretty intense, like something is going to jump out at you while you’re in a first person perspective.
  6. Duvalie: She is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. Her reactions are so over-the-top and indignant that it is funny. Also, I think her knightly outfit is pretty badass.
  7. Super Rean: I really enjoyed actually getting to play as super powered Rean for an extended period of time and I’m looking forward to having this mechanic integrated further into the battle system.
  8. Intermission: Wow, was this a whole lot of talking and story progression and very, very little actual gameplay–like a couple of hours worth. It was crazy. Also, it was disappointing that when everyone arrive on the deck of the ship it doesn’t turn out into an all out brawl.
  9. maxresdefaultmmmmCourageous: Being able to control this ship and having it as a base of operation that expands as you recruit more Thors students is pretty exciting and I’m looking forward to see how this turns out. Although I was a little disappointed that initial travel areas that were revealed are all the same areas I’ve already visited in the game. Hopefully the map opens up as the story progresses.
  10. Orbal Bike: Busting out the orbal bike on the Nord Plains was pretty fun, but seemed weirdly slower than the horse. It could’ve been me though, I was pretty tired at the time.

Early Impressions: 7.5/10.0

Trophies Earned: Aboard the Pantagruel

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Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (10/19/2017 part 5)

I continued playing Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II and I finished act 1. Here are my ten takeaways while playing the game (spoilers):

  1. North Kreuzen Highway: This section of the highway has a pretty catchy musical score, especially the stringy guitar section of it.
  2. cc6b26Race: What was the logic behind the race between Jusis and Rean? Seriously, Rean was riding a motorcycle while Jusis was riding a horse. It wasn’t even close, even with the motorcycle not having a very good turn radius.
  3. McBurn: Really? The villain’s name is McBurn and his powers involve fire–clearly not much thought was put into this guy’s name.
  4. McBurn and Duvalie: The interactions between these two characters was hilarious, especially Duvalie’s exasperations at how lazy and laidback McBurn is.
  5. McBurn’s Hair: Wow, does McBurn have some interesting locks. Pink and blue and looking like he has a giant feather on his head. It really reminded me of brightly colored Rod Stewart from the ’80s.
  6. maxresdefaultTeleportation: What’s the deal with pretty much every bad guy being able to teleport? How have they not won the civil war if they have this ability and the other side seemingly doesn’t?
  7. Heaving Breasts: There’s a bonding scene with Emma in Ymir where her breasts are just heaving for no apparent reason. It was really weird and it was not even subtle. It’s like Emma had just done something really physically exhausting, but the scene revolved around knitting.
  8. Sharon: Speaking of weird bonding scenes, the one with Sharon was also pretty strange. In it Rean cuts his finger and she straight up pops it in her mouth and sucks on it. Definitely not what I was expecting in that scene.
  9. Overdrive: I’m pretty stoked about the game giving you a second overdrive, I can’t wait to unleash massive damage!
  10. End of Act 1: Wow does act 1 end on a strong note, with all the forces of the Noble Alliance being marshalled against Ymir. The Nobel Alliance’s main ship was badass and all together it did a good job of conveying just how big of a threat Class VII is going to need to overcome.

Early Impressions: 7.5/10.0

Trophies Earned: Shutdown Phenomenon and Ashen Chronicles.  

 

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (10/18/2017 part 4)

I continued playing Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II and I am currently on December 9th. Here are my ten takeaways while playing the game (spoilers):

  1. Recycled Resources: At this point it’s really no surprise to find myself heading to Legram and Bareahard, two more places that are repeats from the previous game. But even beyond that, in Bareahard, there’s the two nobles sitting outside of the café with their dog, just as they were in the first game. Now, that’s just lazy. Trails-of-Cold-Steel-2-5
  2. Radiant Blademaster: The game really wants you to know that the characters are not concerned about the Blademaster not being okay, as they’ve mentioned it several times now.
  3. Long Boat Ride: Man was that boat ride from Lohengrin Castle was long. That dialogue about Emma being part of the group even though she hid that she was a witch just dragged and dragged.
  4. Emma: Also during the long boat ride Emma flinches when Rean starts talking to her, which really came off as if he has a history of beating her. Was just really weird.
  5. Boats: Speaking of the boats, they were really large looking and seemed to sit deep in the water. It really looked like they were in danger of sinking any minute.
  6. Bracer Guild: In the background of the bracer guild in Legram is just this massive life preserver that really sticks out. I just found my gaze being drawn to it time and time again.
  7. Slots: Well unlocking the slots this time around is a much bigger pain in the ass, as they now all have three levels to unlock and they take a massive amount of sepith to unlock. Grr! thelegendofheroestrailsofcoldsteel2civilwar_thumb
  8. Albarea Mansion: There is a cutscene that shows the inside of the mansion and while the rooms are huge, especially the first couple, they are also really, really empty. It’s actually only in the third room that you see some furniture. 
  9. Warrior: There’s a fish called Warrior. Warrior fish. Lol.
  10. Cats: What is with this game series and finding lost cats? There were at least two quests in the last game that involved looking for lost cats. And now in this one another lost cat quest!

Early Impressions: 6.5/10.0

Trophies Earned: None

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (10/17/2017 part 3)

I continued playing Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II and didn’t even complete December 8th. Here are my ten takeaways while playing the game (spoilers):

1. Zats Amore: There’s literally a sidequest named Zats Amore, which made me laugh.

2. Old School Sound Effect: I’ve noticed when the characters jump they make that whoosh sound–now that’s old school.

trails-of-cold-steel-ii-finale-to-epilogue-63. Altina: So, Millium now is wearing more age appropriate clothing, but now there’s Altina, who appears to be Millium’s age wearing quite revealing outfit. What is the deal with sexualized preteens in this game? Is this a thing in Japan?

4. Valimar: I’m really digging the increased use of mecha battles. While they are pretty simple, at least so far, they are also a lot of fun! Who doesn’t like big robots smashing each other?

5. Detection: I just want to say I love that there is a quartz that allows you to see all the chests on the map. Such a wonderful, wonderful thing to have.

6. Watchtower: Yay, a new area to explore–too bad the robots in side were the same that were found in the previous game.

7. Sharon: Sharon is a member of Ouroboros! Say it ain’t so! Also, her explanation that the enforcers of the group are given some autonomy only goes so far, because how would a group function if its members are allowed to work directly in opposition to its goals? Hopefully this is fleshed out more later in the game.

8. Sharon and Alisa: The interactions between Sharon and Alisa are just priceless and so entertaining. Sharon the apparent super-maid and Alisa’s continued surprise that she continues to show up out of the blue. I’m glad this has carried over from the pervious game.

trails-of-cold-steel-ii-act-1-and-intermission-159. Snowboarding: A simple mini-game in Ymir, but I’ve found it to be surprisingly fun as well.

10. Azuki Beans: Apparently not only do the people of Ymir love these things, but massive monkeys do as well. When the monkeys were revealed I was really surprised by how big they were, and more surprised by the glare that Rean gave them to scare them off, which was pretty funny.

Early Impressions: 7.0/10.0

Trophies Earned: Tactician 

 

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (10/16/2017 part 2)

I continued playing Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II and didn’t even complete December 5th. Here are my ten takeaways while playing the game (spoilers):

Legend-of-Heroes-Trails-of-Cold-Steel-021. Recycled Resources: My concern about an overreliance on recycled resources yesterday was only strengthened today, as the game took me to another area that was explored during a field study in the first game. Not sure why the developers don’t have you going to the areas that the group you didn’t control for the field study went to. Yes, they added a new section to the Nord Highlands, but as of right now they’re not doing a very good job of balance the old with the new.

2. Enemies: While the number of enemies has been bumped up over the original, it’s been clear so far that a majority of the “new” monsters are color palette swapped monsters–especially true in the Aria Shrine areas so far.

3. Millium: While Fie’s clothing got super scant, it looks like Millium’s outfit is a lot more appropriate. Not sure why the developers thought a preteen in a skin tight outfit was a good idea in the first game.

4. Flashback: When Rean flashes back to previous events, he must be having an out of body perspective, because he’s seeing himself from a third-person perspective in them.

5. Grammar: A nod to poor translations of old, when you get a new technique the game proudly proclaims “Craft Get,” which is just funny. 

6. Nord-Northeast: Wow is the view from this area pretty spectacular when you get to the higher point.

7. Claire: Absolutely loving Claire’s freezing rain craft–wide area and seems to have a high chance of freezing enemies.

8. Fishing: Really? Having players catch the same fish over as in the first one? Lame.

9. Horses: I don’t know why, but I really enjoy riding the horse through the Nord Highlands. It really is just an enjoyable experience, unless you have to make a sharp turn because they turn about as well as a tank.

2_958772555110. Characters: The strong point of this game remains its strong cast of characters and the entertaining interactions they have with one another. Having played the first game, I really came to care for these characters and seeing them being reunited in this game has been pretty effective and surprisingly moving.

Early Impressions: 7.0/10.0

Trophies Earned: None 

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (10/15/2017 part 1)

I started playing Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II and got all the way to December 5th. Here are my ten takeaways while playing the game (spoilers):

thIGWDIDR1

 

  1. JRPG Cliché #1: The main character, Rean, finds out that he has been chosen by the Great Power. A supposedly ordinary teenager discovers he is the chosen one, shocking.
  2. Inconsistent Voiceover: Rean isn’t a silent protagonist, so why are there some scenes where there is voiceovers for the characters he is speaking to? It just comes off as really weird.
  3. JRPG Cliché #2: Elise, Rean’s younger sister, is simply obsessed with him. Really an exhausted trope at this time, which also leads to the classic hot spring back cleaning scene!
  4. Overdrive: I’m really like the new battle mechanic of Overdrive. The fact that you can also power up link relationships now adds another level of depth.
  5. Trial Chests: Another new feature to this series, I like the idea of facing a challenge to unlock the overdrives, which adds some nice variety to the trap-type chests.
  6. Recycled Resources: In one sense, I understand that this is going to happen due to this being more of a continuation of the story rather than just a sequel, but I’m a little concerned at the amount of recycled places I’ve been to already–Celdic, Lunaria Nature Park and recycled enemies I’ve faced, including one boss. Hopefully, this doesn’t continue. I mean even some of the chests were in the same places!
  7. Valimar: The Ashen Knight is just badass. Love controlling him.
  8. Machias Glasses: Was his taking off his glasses to disguise himself and Rean commenting on it a poke at Superman? Seemed that way to me.
  9. JRPG Cliché #3: So, an element that was lacking in the last game was the young teenage girl wearing an impossibly skimpy outfit. This oversight has sadly been remedied this time around, as Fie is now wearing the shortest shorts and shirt possible. Lame.
  10. Story: I’m still digging the story and I’m looking forward to see how the civil war plays out, and hopefully being able to get my hands back on Crow!The-Legend-of-Heroes-Trails-of-Cold-Steel-II-screenshot-4

Early Impressions: 7.0/10.0

Trophies Earned: Born to the Battlefield, Pieces of Eight, Star Pupil, Unexpected Surroundings, and Depths of Despair.

 

10/14/2017 – Little Nightmares (part 2)

Finished playing Little Nightmares tonight and made it through the last two levels (Guest Area and Lady’s Quarter). Here are ten of my takeaways (spoilers):

Little-Nightmares-Screenshot-2

  1. Getting outside of the boat and climbing the chain gave a great perspective of just how big that ship is.
  2. Seeing The Lady overlooking the parade of patrons entering the ship was pretty damn spooky.
  3. The whole guest level, with the patrons gorging themselves on food and then chasing after you reminded me of the movie Spirited Away. I wonder if the developers were inspired by that film?
  4. The horror of realizing that when one of those patrons catch you they actually eat you!
  5. The Lady’s quarters was pretty damn creepy with all of those mannequins laying around.
  6. Breaking the vase in her bedroom, I so did not notice the key pop out and it took me some time to figure out where to do next.
  7. I actually enjoyed the boss fight with the Lady and the use of the mirror to reflect her face was pretty cool.
  8. Wow. I can’t believe you eat the Lady at the end!
  9. The ending where you are walking out and siphoning off the life of the patrons and blowing out lights was pretty creepy and was enhanced by the music.
  10. I actually only managed to die 13 times this time around.

Final Impressions: 8.5/10.0

Trophies Unlocked: Little Lost Things, Rascal, Light Up Your life, The Prison, The Lair, The Kitchen, The Guest Area, The Lady’s Quarters, Kitchen Hand, Highly Sprung, Elusive, Six’s Song.

Little-Nightmares-la-Dame-se-montre-en-vidéo-–-Level-1-Google-Chrome

 

10/13/2017 – Little Nightmares (part 1)

Started playing Little Nightmares tonight and made it through the first three levels (Prison, Liar, and Kitchen). Here are ten of my takeaways (spoilers):

little-nightmares-screenshot-14

  1. Effective Use of Sound: Little Nightmares has some fantastic sound effects and the developers went the extra mile to include even minor sounds, such as the sound of water drops hitting your raincoat to the pitter-patter of your feet as you walk.
  2. Yellow Raincoat: The yellow raincoat was an inspired choice and really adds an interesting contrast between the main character and the gloomy, dark setting.
  3. Daddy Long Arms: Wow, was this guy genuinely creepy–not only from a design perspective, but also due to the creepy sniffs and cracks that he makes walking around, and when he catches the main character. I felt so bad every time he caught me.
  4. Chefs: I don’t know why, but when the chefs got excited when seeing the main character made me laugh.
  5. Trial and Error: Man, I died a lot… like 54 times. Especially when it came to that Daddy Long Arms. Probably the majority of the deaths were due to him snatching me up.
  6. Television: The song on the TV you use to distract Daddy Long Arms was pretty dang catchy.
  7. Shoes: What’s the deal with all the shoes? What happened on this ship? Or at least I think it’s a ship.
  8. No Tutorial For You: This game really likes you to do try things out before telling you things you can do. Oh, you can swing, throw items? That would’ve been good to know.
  9. Camera Issues: The fixed camera has lead to a couple of deaths and can make grabbing hanging levers a bit cumbersome.
  10. Save Points: My understanding is that the lanterns are checkpoints, but it doesn’t seem like you start next to them when you die, which I found a bit strange.

Early impression: 7.0/10.0

little-nightmares-screenshot-1