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    jp's Inazuma Eleven 2: Blizzard (DS)

    [February 6, 2018 11:27:56 AM]
    I decided at some point that I would play 20 hours and then quit. But I kept on going - at this point mostly because the story was interesting, in a cute endearing way, and the premise was insane (though it was all explained in the end). Also, they kept doing interesting things with the characters. But then I hit a wall and decided that it was enough...after going online and learning that my team was significantly underpowered I decided, after 30 minutes of grinding just in case, to set this aside and move on. I still think it's an interesting idea and concept that doesn't quite work BUT I'm more than open to the notion that I've been screwing it all up by playing really poorly as well.

    I'm always surprised by how Japanese games for kids/youth have serious issues/things in them that feel deeper than what you normally find in the west. For example, there's an important character called Shawn Froste who you recruit early and then learn he has two personalities. One's a defender the other a striker, and the striker often comes through to save the day. You later learn that the defender personality is the "main" one (Shawn) and that the striker goes by "Aiden". Shawn had a brother called Aiden and they used to play together as a team. Shawn is an orphan due to an car accident/avalanche of which he was the only survivor - so Aiden is Shawn's memories/representation of his brother who "lives inside him". This causes Shawn great distress as he also deals with not feeling wanted/needed on the team (eg they only want me because Aiden is really good). There's lots of foreshadowing and character building until a climax when Aiden takes over, quits Raimon and joins the enemy - but you learn LATER on, it was all part of Aiden's desire for Shawn to "let go" and appreciate the love his teammates have for him...Shawn then "integrates" Aiden and also remembers/learns a special move they used to do together...

    I mean, all of the above is WOW, really? And, while that's an important plot point - there are a few others like it that are super interesting!

    In all, I think that other than the out-there concept (a football RPG that works as both football and RPG - not a management sim) I really enjoyed the excitement and energy that the characters in the game have. It's just so - innocently happy and excited that you can't help but let it rub off on you.
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    [January 23, 2018 07:11:28 PM]
    Slowly making progress, I'm up to chapter 7 now. I've enjoyed all the twists and turns the story has. It's definitely gone in directions I wasn't expecting.

    One of the things you're supposed to do is recruit new players from teams you find and face. It's an odd thing because your team is supposedly the best (being the champions from the previous game) and all the characters from then are in the game "now". So, why recruit new players? Well, you might want some for RPG-optimization reasons (e.g. get someone with certain abilities/skills your regular crew doesn't have), and...well, there isn't much more than that. SO, as a clever solution that makes sense with the story AND the you make progress you face the alien teams (yes, there are multiple) who are super tough and, invariably, a (pre-determined?) member of your team gets wounded and must go to the hospital - and now you're short a player. So, your original team is getting whittled down slowly, which means you need new players, and it makes the story feel more dramatic/meaningful because it's the regulars who are having to bow out...and it strengthens the "evil" of the alien teams - because they are so violent and "all-in". It's a clever fix I've enjoyed witnessing.
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    [January 11, 2018 02:54:41 PM]
    I just started chapter 4 (I don't know how many there are in total) and I'm starting to feel what might be some "cracks" in the system. I currently need to play (and defeat) what is essentially a shaolin soccer team. I've been losing, but not terribly, 2-1 against, that sort of thing. So, I decided to "grind" a little and level my team up by playing some more matches elsewhere - in a system whose name I don't recall but has you play against other teams that you've previously "found".

    So, I played two matches, they went well and...I'm not sure if I'm ready for the Shaolin players yet...and that's the issue I'm having right now.

    In a "typical" RPG you have some sense of where you stand because the stats and numbers are transparent. Here I know my stats, but the measure of success is opaque. In a typical COMBAT rpg, you can tell if you're doing any damage by, say, looking at a damage bar on the enemy. If it's going down - you know you're making progress and if it doesn't or it goes down too slowly you know that you need to grind a bit more before you're ready. I have no such feedback in play here - AFAIK. So, whether or not my skill check will work is opaque. Whether my super attack will get through (on a kick on goal) is opaque. If my guys seem to have problems dodging opponents...well, that's all I know. Have I had a few rounds of unlucky rolls? Or, did I have an incredibly slim chance to begin?

    In other words, I don't know if how effective (if at all) my grinding is until I hit the pitch and see. Maybe. Because the game has a bit of an action component and I really struggled to get anything to work in the beginning - am I losing because I'm just bad at the game or is it because my stats are too low?
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    [December 27, 2017 06:27:44 PM]
    The more I play the better I get. I think. Maybe it's just because my characters have levelled up enough that they're more successful?

    I'm already on to Chapter 3 - this time we need to recruit a player from the North of Japan (a snowy town whose name I've forgotten). The story is fun, in a cute charming sort of way, and I'm still surprised they made a bonda fide RPG about football. It makes so much sense that I wonder why others haven't done it.

    I thought I was going to quit after chapter 2, but I've decided to keep on going... I recently learned how to change equipment (different shoes and jewelry that give stat bonuses) and I've yet to dive in with the new moves.. it's hard to know which ones to get, why to get certain ones and so on....
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    [December 16, 2017 03:56:11 PM]
    I picked up this one and Firestorm (for my son) because they were cheap and seemed interesting. So far, I'm REALLY impressed. I hadn't noticed it was made by Level-5 (a good sign) and...I'm guessing it's based on a TV show?

    So far, it's a refreshing "typical" RPG (ala Dragon Quest, etc.) BUT, the RPG elements are all football related and combat is all replaced with football matches!

    The story is over-the-top anime style (aliens arrive and destroy all the football clubs and want to defeat everyone, and they're really good) with special moves...

    The combat is action-oriented and I'm having a really hard time understanding what I'm supposed to do, but I've noticed that a few of the matches so far area really scripted so I'm hoping it's an ease-you-in type tutorial... I have only been able to win at ONE random football battle and I don't understand the stats or system OR when I'm supposed to use the stylus and when not to... I hope I'll figure it out because I'm really intrigued and excited.

    There's also a lot of anime cut-scenes (they remind me a lot of the Layton games cut-scenes, but there's more of them) and all the characters have english accents! (I got the game in the UK, so that makes sense...)
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    jp's Inazuma Eleven 2: Blizzard (DS)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Saturday 16 December, 2017

    GameLog closed on: Tuesday 6 February, 2018

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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