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    jp's Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (DS)

    [January 2, 2013 04:44:30 PM]

    I'm not sure what my final play time was, but it was probably at around 40 hrs or so. Finishing an RPG is a strange feeling for me. It's mostly relief rather than elation or happiness (finally!) because things tend to drag on towards the end. I can't think of an RPG I've played that I haven't felt hasn't outstayed it's welcome at some point. This is a real shame because it sours an otherwise great experience. It's also one of the reasons why I'm tending to avoid playing RPGs (though I still buy them). I hate the minor letdown I have at the end.
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    [November 5, 2012 05:18:36 PM]
    Ok, I saved Pegasus, have some special reins and can now fly around anywhere. Nice. I was instructed to press X to head to the bad guy's realm (or something like that) and to watch out that coming back may not be possible. So, I tidied up a few things and then decided to "what the hell", head over anyways, and WHOA!

    I've landed on a new "continent" and the first town is called Desparia. It's really a sorry place. I'm surprised by how effective the depression is... just talking to the characters and looking at them mope about makes me feel sorry for everyone. Apparently this new "realm" is that bad guy's playground - and he basically wants to make everyone as miserable as possible. So, I started wandering around to see how to solve the problem. I got mixed up in a fight and, like an idiot, I hadn't noticed that all my party was a t 1HP and 0 magic points. Apparently that's something to do with this area... Needless to say, everyone died...and since then I've been trailing a long line of coffins and fleeing from all the fights. None of the healing items work... so I guess it really is about feeling terribly weak, and hopeless.

    Man! What a neat surprise! I thought I was heading in to a series of boss fights - instead I'm working on restoring hope to this sad, sad place. The final battles will have to wait.

    Play time is at 34 hrs or so. Eek!
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    [November 1, 2012 11:54:05 PM]
    So I'm starting to tire. Mostly because I lost track of what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to go. Wandering aimlessly hoping to run into something interesting isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it gets REALLY tiresome when there are random fights every 10 steps or so. This actually rubs me the wrong way more than having to grind. At least I can decide to grind (or not). Here I just feel like an idiot who's interrupted all the time for meaningless battles I have no chance of losing...


    In terms of progress I've collected the 4 legendary items I needed, went to the shrine were I was supposed to activate them (or something like that), fought a giant floating fortress (yes, you read that right), and then killed a bunch of bosses. No end in sight yet. Am I almost there?

    Rather than continue making progress I decided to mop up some of the things I had pending. For example I picked up the ultimate key (to open anything that's locked) and have been collecting stuff from different places that were previously inaccessible. I'm not sure why, really. But I guess it's my way of distracting myself from the fact that I may need to grind a bit before the last push?

    My characters are mostly level 35 - I've logged 30-few hours...and I'm ready for this to be done with.
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    [October 16, 2012 05:42:48 PM]
    So I've apparently reached the point of "wander around all over the place" figuring out what to do. It's been an interesting transition since up until now I always had a clear sense of what to do next (and where to go). It helps that there's a character called Madame Luca (she's a mystic/seer) you can visit when you're lost. Up until now she's always told me what to do next. Since everything has opened now, that's obviously no longer possible. I think.

    I'm really amazed by how the world opens up - first there was the dream world vs real world. Now I can fly around on a bed, sail in a ship and, wait for it: sail UNDER THE WATER! In one fell swoop all that empty ocean area - now becomes something you want to/need to explore. Wow.

    Anyways, I'm currently in a place called Turnscote (or something like that) which is supposed to be a lawless town where anything goes (and where criminals go to hide). It's an interesting place, particularly because of how it's handled in what is essentially a really kid-friendly game. It's handled remarkably well, which is cool. I could have easily imagined the whole thing getting axed.

    I've actually been thinking about that - how do you present real/adult things/issues in a game in a way that makes sense to kids? Actually, in such a way that it isn't condescending or preachy? How do you provide kids with some perspective on adulthood without being inappropriate? (even if that perspective isn't realistic?)

    So, here are a few things that are interesting about Turnscote:
    (some of these appear in other areas, but they seem to have all concentrated here)

    (1) There's several bars - with characters drinking too much.
    (2) There's a casino, with gambling...
    (3) There's a strip club - no strippers or nudity, but women in "bunny suits" (think Playboy Club). There are men watching the show.
    (4) There's a prostitute - she takes one character, alone, into a room to play patty-cake (in the dark).
    (5) There's a "secret" bar!
    (6) There are squatters that have taken over part of a rundown house. The owners (living in a room on the 2nd floor are mystified by the squatters behavior)
    (7) There's a drinker who rips you off - you pay him money for advice, and his advice is completely useless.

    I don't have anything really profound to say about all of the above, but I can say that I'm glad that they're a part of the game. I'm glad that they weren't "censored" (e.g. bar becomes juice store). It annoys me when things go to far "to protect the children" - as in, creating artificial bubbles that have nothing to do with reality. I'm not saying that this game is realistic in any way, but it has things from reality that kids should have at least some sense of (hey, there's these places called bars!).
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    [September 27, 2012 08:31:47 PM]
    Ah, a few more hours in and a bit more progress.

    I've now figured out (and was then told point black) what the meaning of the two parallel worlds was. I had it backwards, which was interesting. In a nutshell, there's a dreamworld and the realworld, and I've spent about half my time playing in the dreamworld - which is what other characters (or you!) dream of. So, Captain "Rusty" (real) is "Captain Blade" in the dreamworld (that's HIS dream), and so on. It gets a bit messed up and I'm not sure I fully understand it, but it's interesting enough to keep on going.

    I've also picked up a few more characters. One (who has really crummy stats!) actually left (stayed behind to guard the ship we were on) the party! Normally, this is a huge annoyance because (usually) I would have just spent a ton of money getting said character all kitted out with the best gear and so on. However, much to my surprise, after leaving the party the character said something along the lines of "BTW, do you want me to return all the gear to the bad?". WHAT?! Really?! She returned everything I bought. That was really thoughtful of the designers!
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    [September 18, 2012 05:00:05 PM]
    I got into an argument the other over which Japanese RPGs were "better". Dumb argument, of course, but it got me thinking about my (limited) experience with both Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games (the two contenders in this case). I argued for Dragon Quest because, in my experience, they're just more interesting as games AND in terms of their narratives. They've felt more engaging, honest, and comfortable. They're "realistic" in the sense that there are little details here and there that make the experience of playing the game feel a little more believable. My experience with the FF games is that they try to be more "epic" and "high fantasy"-ish, but end up feeling disconnected from a relatable reality. Of course, I haven't played the Final Fantasy games that everyone raves about (VII in particular), so I could be entirely off-base.

    So, I walked into this game with pre-fuzzy warm feelings. I was curious to see how different or the same the game would be and so far, at least in terms of the "plot", things still feel interesting and fresh. The game starts at what is presumably the end (heroes head in to defeat big bad evil) before quickly whipping me back to the beginning (hero wakes up, doesn't know anything, player must slowly figure out who/what the big bad evil is and how to stop it). It's kept me on my toes in a good way - I feel through a hole in the planet into a "shadow"-land (for a while I thought I was dead - or a ghost in an alternate universe?). So, I don't really know what that's all about but I'm intrigued to see how it develops and plays out.

    I've also enjoyed the familiarity that playing this game has. This is mostly due to the sound and music. I wouldn't be able to articulate what the tunes/jingles are for when you level up, save, etc. but just hearing them evokes warm feelings again. Isn't that strange?
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    jp's Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 12 September, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 2 January, 2013

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

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    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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