mikogalatea: Asuka from Tokyo Xanadu, wielding her sword in an elegant special attack pose. ([TX] Asuka)
I bought and started playing this game on the Vita around the beginning of August. I initially thought it might just be a temporary distraction before I put it aside in favour of some shinier game, but not only did Tokyo Xanadu turn out to be a very shiny game in its own right, but I found myself getting super invested in it -- and after about a month and a half, during which I clocked up about 80 hours of playtime, I finished my first playthrough last weekend!

As much as I love this game, it sadly doesn't seem to have gotten much fandom attention, so I thought I'd write a gushy post (not a formal review by any means) talking about why I'm so bloody fond of it; I'm hoping it might encourage more people to give the game a try, along with calling out to existing fans. :3

Cue the spoiler-free gushing! )

I started playing Trails of Cold Steel shortly after beating TX, and I'm enjoying that so far as well. I guess I'm steadily falling into Falcom hell!
mikogalatea: Maria from Star Ocean 3, working at a control panel in the Diplo. ([SO3] Maria; busy)
Star Ocean 3 > Star Ocean 1 > Star Ocean 4 > Star Ocean 2

(SO5 isn't included because I don't have a PS4 and therefore haven't played it.)

Yes, you're seeing that right -- I ranked the fandom-darling SO2 lowest. That's not to say I dislike it, though! I think they're all great games! I just think SO2 gets put on too big a pedestal at times, so it feels to me like people forget that it has flaws of its own (main case in point to me: the way the plot revolves so much around Claude and Rena that the other playable characters feel like a bunch of irrelevant extras who are mostly there to fill up party slots). The fact that its stans can get pretty nasty about the other installments, especially SO3, doesn't help either.

Speaking of SO3, I think the fact that it was the first game in the series I played is a big part of why I rate it the highest; I guess it's the same kind of "first one I played wins" bias that I'm sure a lot of SO2 fans have. The game may have had its issues, especially in terms of the plot, but I got so utterly attached to it that I still feel a lot of nostalgia for it even now -- and it's been about 12 years since I was really into it. (It's scary to think that it's been that long!) That nostalgia's what inspired me to write this post out of the blue, actually.

As for SO1, something about the game and its characters just really endeared themselves to me, I guess; I wish it wasn't so ignored by the wider fandom. Because I enjoyed this game as much as I did, I loved getting to revisit Roak in SO4.

Truth be told, I still haven't actually finished SO2 or SO4, and because I've got other games on the go right now, I can't see myself doing so anytime soon either. Still, I'm nearly at the end of my first playthrough with Claude in SO2 and got pretty far in SO4, so I feel like I can make reasonable judgements as to how I rank them compared to the other games.
mikogalatea: Nagito from Dangan Ronpa 2, smiling in an affable fashion. ([SDR2] Nagito; easygoing)
Guess who's finally getting a PS Vita, about eight months after wondering if she ought to do so?

Sure took me long enough! ^^;

I've ordered Dangan Ronpa 1 and 2 along with it (plus a memory card, of course -- why are those things so damn expensive for Vita?!) so soon I'll be able to play those for myself at long last. There's some other games I have in mind that I want, too... at the very least, there's Tales of Hearts R coming out next month.
mikogalatea: Shiina from Narutaru, holding a sheet of paper in her hands and looking quite exasperated with it. ([Narutaru] Shiina; stumped)
Okay, I take back one thing I've previously said about VLR -- the puzzles are harder than 999's! In fact, shameful as it is to admit it, there's even been a couple where I've had to check the answer on GameFAQs! ~.~; (To be fair, I always try as hard as I can to solve them on my own, and two out of the three puzzles I've had to look up were just a case of me having made one little mistake. The other one... could've stood to be a tiny bit clearer -- just a couple of brackets, I think -- but maybe it was just me being an idiot.)

Anyway! I've gone back to 999 and gotten the True ending, and now I've reached four proper endings in VLR. The last one I got was pretty tragic... evidently, undoing a lock doesn't necessarily mean the results are going to be happy. =/

It probably goes without saying, but I can't help comparing the two games. On one hand, I like the improvements in VLR's gameplay (yes! I can skip through scenes I'm sick of rewatching!) and I'm very much enjoying the story and characters; but on the other hand, I think 999 had better atmosphere. I've read that the creators deliberately toned down VLR's horror factor because the gruesomeness of 999 hurt its sales; that's not to say VLR isn't disturbing in its own right, and at least it's able to show dead bodies this time instead of us just seeing a load of blood splatter and disgustingly graphic text descriptions, but it doesn't have quite the same "bite" as its predecessor. I like 999's soundtrack better, too.

They're both excellent games, though! They both have intriguing storylines, interesting and likeable characters, and well-done puzzles, and I'd rate them about as highly as each other in the long run provided VLR's endgame doesn't pull anything totally obnoxious on me (not that I can really see it happening...).

Come to think of it, it says something about how much I enjoy 999 when, even though I now have the True ending and only have three bad ends left to get, I still want to do at least one more playthrough. I'll be aiming for the Submarine ending next, mainly because I'll get to see the last few puzzle rooms I still haven't done, but I could even see myself eventually getting the other two bad ends, pointless as they might be now... maybe I'm just a completionist in that sense. ^^;

Finally, on an unrelated note, Fire Emblem: Awakening now has a proper European release date! Come on, April 19th! I want that game so much I don't know what to do with myself! @.@
mikogalatea: Mika from Lux-Pain, with a small but happy smile. ([Lux-Pain] Mika; optimistic)
I just got this game the other day, and I'm enjoying it so far. :3

At first I thought the puzzles had spiked up in difficulty somewhat from Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors, but then I screwed my brain on and realised that wasn't the case. ^^; (I always liked the difficulty levels for 999's puzzles; hard enough that you actually have to think, but never to the point of GUIDE DANGIT.) I haven't been able to get any gold or silver files yet, but then again, I haven't gotten the True ending in 999, so if the files have great big spoilers for the previous game then it's probably for the best.

I might go back to 999 for its True ending after I beat my first playthrough of VLR; it depends on what kind of ending I get in this game. Of course, I'm not really expecting the most wonderful of endings, especially given that there's supposed to be 24 of the buggers...

And now for my current dilemma.

Vague spoilers for... let's say the second set of Chromatic Doors )

Decisions, decisions...
mikogalatea: Shiina from Narutaru, holding a sheet of paper in her hands and looking quite exasperated with it. ([Narutaru] Shiina; stumped)
Wargh, I'm kind of lost in Cuss High's air raid shelter. @.@; I have been looking between damage tiles and swinging the camera round looking for holes in the walls, but I still haven't the foggiest where the exit is...

I'm sure I'm just being dense and overlooking something obvious, because it's too early in the game for any kind of plot-halting Guide Dangit. Maybe I should try searching the little dark paths linking the holes in the wall to where you find treasure chests? Hmm.

It's a good game, though! Demon negotiations can be a pain (it's so easy to piss them off, though at least it's a bit easier to have things go your way than in Strange Journey) and the loading times are annoying when I don't have a big enough memory stick to do a data install, but I like all the characters, the music's cool, and I always appreciate a game where you can save pretty much anywhere you like. Plus, there's no huge emphasis on time management that put me off playing too far in P3. >>; (Not meaning to knock P3 at all, by the way; I liked what I played of it, but with all the social links and Elizabeth's sidequests and not letting party members get too tired in Tartarus and whatnot, there's so much to keep track of!)
mikogalatea: Midori from Devil Survivor, wincing as though she's just seen something unpleasant. ([DeSu] Midori; yow...)
I got Devil Survivor 2 in the mail today. I feel like it's restored my faith in Play-Asia somewhat, because the last thing I ordered from them before (which was well over a year ago) took seven weeks to show up after dispatch, but this game only took a little over a fortnight. Hmm.

Anyway, I've only played about half an hour so far, and I'm barely past the very first battle, but I'm enjoying it. Still, it's already been rather brutal in terms of horrible things happening; there's definitely something to be said about the first battle taking place by the wreckage of a crashed train with bloodstained corpses scattered around. I was honestly surprised when I doublechecked the game's original Japanese release date and found that it came out four months after last year's tragedy, because that's all I could think of when I saw certain scenes. Disquieting, to say the least...

Sadness aside, I'll keep on playing, even if I do feel a bit naughty about it since I still haven't actually beaten DeSu 1. (I think I was trying to work out how best to go about beating Belial in that game...)
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