jp's Contact (DS)
| [March 17, 2011 05:06:02 PM]
| Hmmm.. I guess I would have to say that I'm ultimately disappointed. In the end, a lot of the usual (sucky) things about RPGs are still there in this game though I feel like it could have been that much better. The grinding was particularly egregious (at one point I had to buy an item that cost a lot of money, and the only way to get money is to fight monsters...and hope they drop something). Once you've reached a point in which you're optimizing your grind for the best loot you want to sell off...then you're in trouble. Also, it's not like the combat system was that interesting to begin with...
I'm re-reading the back of the box and it's kind of sad actually:
"Costumes the increase your power and make you more fun to be around"
Yes, there are costumes but they're mostly a pain because you have to go back to the ship to change. Sometimes, you HAVE to have the right costume on in order to do certain actions.
"Powerful Attack Stickers"
Yes, there are stickers, but they're not really that powerful. Mostly, it felt like they were added on to make the game have more stuff, but they aren't really integrated all that well (or in interesting ways). I guess I could say that of a lot of other things in the game (like the costumes, the weapons, the cooking system, the fishing...etc)
"Monkeys. Cosmic Terrorists"
Uhm. ok. Well, the story is different, but actually hard to follow and I realized halfway through that the bad guys weren't really bad and that the good 'ole professor (your main ally) was kind of odd. In the end, the whole thing felt really anti-climactic and almost a bit boring.
Gosh, I've just realized that I've made the game sound terrible! It isn't THAT bad, it's just not that interesting...
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| [February 7, 2011 03:55:03 PM]
| Hmmm... I had high hopes for this game and so far it's been mostly a disappointment. Not a HUGE one, but surprising enough to me because I recall that it was reviewed quite warmly because it was a different kind of RPG. So far, it has a different setting (which is nice), it's not a typical fantasy game and the premise is quirky and interesting as well. There's a professor trapped in some sort of spaceship who semi-kidnaps a kid (the one you control) to help him out. At the same time, the professor acknowledges the player (even asking the player not to tell the character that you exist) so it has some neat 4th wall things going on.
The professor needs you to recover some "cells" that have landed on a bunch of different islands where they cause bad things to happen. There's also a bunch of mercenaries/space pirates who also want to recover the cells. It isn't clear to me if the bad guys aren't bad (surprise twist coming up?) or if they're sort of incompetent...but so far they're mostly harmless.
For an RPG, your character has a TON of stats, none of which are explained in the game really...you just sort of get into it. For instance there's a "karma" stat. No idea what it means. I've noticed that it goes down if you attack "good monsters". It also went down when I opened an unlocked chest inside a store (taking its contents). Should I care about a high/low karma? No idea. I'm playing "good karma" guy for now...but not really for any gameplay reason.
It also took me a while to figure out where to change costume (there are different costumes that give you bonuses/special attacks). I found my first one mostly by mistake...and wasn't able to change into a different one until a lot later in the game (when I HAD to).
There's a lot of grinding. This is actually annoying, since the combat system is also strange. To enter combat you must push an "enter combat mode" button, and your character then walks around wielding his/her weapon. When facing an enemy, he will (every now and then) attack. UNLESS he's attacked by the enemy at the same time. This results in your attack being interrupted (cancelled). There's nothing you can do about this...and it gets really annoying when you're surrounded by several enemies, since they, in practice, automatically cancel all your attacks. There's no real solution other than leaving combat mode and running around hopeful that you'll be able to put yourself in a position where you're only facing one opponent. Sometimes it doesn't work and you die...
I like the "health" system. Your characters has a stomach that fills up with food (when it is eaten). Different food items have different effects (e.g. +20 health points, +5 to evade) and different digestion times. If your belly is full, you can't eat again (which prevents you spamming health potions as you might in other games). So, when in a hairy combat situation you need to be careful since you might not be able to heal up completely.
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jp's Contact (DS)
Current Status: Finished playing
GameLog started on: Monday 24 January, 2011
GameLog closed on: Thursday 17 March, 2011