January 31, 2017

World of Final Fantasy Review

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , — Yukino @ 7:10 PM

Full disclaimer: After being incredibly disappointed in Final Fantasy XIII I was turned off from the franchise as a whole. I still love and will always love IX which is my all-time favorite, followed by XIII. I thought I might never find myself exploring a new game in the series, and then they showed me a world inhabited by the most adorable chibis. I was in love all over again.

 

Twins Lann and Reynn find their lives interrupted one day by the enigmatic Enna Kros. The land of Grymoire is in trouble, their absentee mother in danger, and it is time for the twins to get out there and save the day. Apparently the siblings have forgotten much because Enna “reminds” them that they are Mirage Masters, people with the ability to capture and use Mirage enemies in battle. They leave the comfort of Nine Wood Hills and with floating fluffball Tama for guidance, they begin their journey through Grymoire.

World of Final Fantasy follows the traditional FF formula: story happens, you travel to a region/dungeon, fight boss, move onto the next chunk of story. There are also side quests to take part in, whether they be the traditional fetch/fight ones acquired from civilians about town or the new Intervention quests obtained from the mysterious girl in the Tearoom.

 

Let’s discuss the Girl Who Forgot Her Name. She resides in a unique space between time accessed through a doorway located in Nine Wood Hills. Using the Arma Gems you gain from winning boss battles, you can choose to take part in Interventions or purchase Champion medals. During Interventions, Lann and Reynn “take over” for Champions who find themselves in rather dangerous situations, essentially battling on their behalf. One of my personal favourite Interventions is purely cinematic and involves a certain Black Mage that I have loved since the day I met him.

Champion medals are one of the new gameplay mechanics introduced in World of Final Fantasy. They are similar to Summons from previous installments; once you fill your meter with enough stars, using a medal calls a Champion into battle, performing their signature move to grant you varying bonuses. Most medals require one or two stars (your meter maxes at three) and you can set three active medals at a time. I’m a fan of Tifa’s Final Heaven for doing some damage and keeping Refia’s medal on hand to heal me up if I’ve dipped into the red and plagued with status effects. If you picked up the Day One, Collector’s or Limited editions, you’ll find yourself with a bonus Sephiroth medal which will make FFVII fans happy.

 

But the biggest mechanic here is capturing and using Mirages as you fight your way through dungeons and boss battles. Lann and Reynn are Mirage Masters, and as such can capture Mirages during battle and then use them to fight. Capturing Mirages is as simple as meeting the requirements to do so. Use your Libra ability to scan the enemy and if you’ve got the skills or battle items on hand you are in business. Sometimes you’ll need to perform the action two or three times, especially later on in the game, but keep at it! You’ll also find yourself running back to previous areas once you have new spells under your belt to add Mirages to your collection.

Combining these Mirages into Stacks with your Jiant (normal) and Lilkin (tiny chibi) versions is how you’ll form powerful teams to get you moving through each new area. In Jiant form you’ll have a Small and a Medium atop your noggin, whereas in Lilkin form you’re the Medium member of the stack, with the ability to put a Small on your head while you ride a Large. There are also XL Mirages that you can call into battle and have special rules of their own. Stacking smart can also increase the power of your elemental attacks, so if you find yourself slogging through a fiery area, doubling up on Water Mirages in Reynn or Lann’s stacks will boost their simple Water attacks to Watera or higher.

 

Mirages power up by unlocking abilities on their grids. Some Mirages can evolve into other variations, so make sure you experiment and regularly yoink and plonk them to and from Seraphie’s case. So long as they are in your party they will gain experience and ability points. As an example, my adorable Cactuar (S) named Pokey can be transformed into a Cactrot (L). Every passive ability (HP+, Agility+, etc) stacks between the transformations, making him stronger and boosting the HP of our stack. Active abilities are locked to whatever form he’s in, so I often find myself switching between his Small and Large forms depending on what I need. Some Mirages will need special mementos in order to transform which can be obtained by fighting special bosses along and off the main story path.

 

Between Mirage hunting and running into familiar faces from throughout the Final Fantasy franchise, I’ve been having a blast with World of Final Fantasy. It might not be quite as in-depth and lacking some of the more mature overtones much of the core series stories contain and that’s okay. You can tell Square Enix is hoping that this adventure will appeal to younger and new fans and bring them into the fold. If you’re big into Pokemon and Yo-kai Watch, think about taking World of Final Fantasy for a spin.

*This post was previously published on The Daily Crate

LEGO Dimensions Year 2 Level Packs

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , , , — Yukino @ 7:04 PM

With Christmas right around the corner, some of you are probably trying to decide whether or not the LEGO Dimensions Year 2 offerings are worth putting under the tree. I’ll break it down for you, as I cover the new Level Packs for Sonic the Hedgehog, Adventure Time, and Mission: Impossible that were released in Waves 6 & 7 as attempted in co-op mode.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog

My husband and I have both been gamers for as long as we can remember, and both of us have fond memories of playing Sonic the Hedgehog from way, way back. Sonic needs to keep Dr. Eggman from getting his hands on the Chaos Emeralds, and our quest to do so begins in the iconic Green Hill Zone. This first area of the level pack had us zipping around in loop de loops and I experienced a couple of weird glitches that I thought might be a nod to the past. Correcting the issue was usually accomplished by removing and returning my character to the portal or waiting for my husband to reach the next checkpoint.

And then the level became extremely difficult to play with the split screen.

Every time we reached a battle with Eggman it because impossible to accurately locate and target him with both of us on screen. So I would remove my minifig and let the husband tackle him alone. Another area that reminded me of the Sky Base Zone was okay to play when we were both climbing through the tower together, but “broke” when only one of us hopped in a plane to shoot at Eggman. I stayed in the tower to keep advancing and unlocking puzzles along the way, which was a bad move. The game crashed on us here, and when we reloaded and tried it again Eggman vanished and we were stuck. I checked a walkthrough to see how others had proceeded and then the game crashed again. So I kept myself off the board, the husband got through the area, and I watched while he finished the level and unlocked Super Sonic.

I’m really hoping the Sonic level gets an update to fix the glitches and crashing issues we experienced. While I am disappointed this level didn’t truly support two player mode the way every other one has so far, I will eventually go back and replay it completely on my own later down the road.

 

Adventure Time

Since the Adventure Time Level and Team Packs came out with Wave 6 I have almost exclusively been using Lumpy Space Princess. LSP has the best lines and even though I’ve heard them a thousand times I’m still laughing. Her unique interactions with other characters from outside the Adventure Time universe are also fantastic and I look forward to eventually hearing every single one of them.

The Level Pack is based on Season 1’s fifth episode “The Enchiridion!”, in which Finn and Jake are tasked with finding the legendary book to prove they are righteous heroes. You’ll play through the episode, battling your way past those pesky gnomes, the ogre, and ultimately defeating the evil entity voiced by Mark Hamill. We had zero issues this time around. No weird problems with the boss “disappearing” from the smaller field of vision in splitscreen mode, which was such a relief.

I haven’t fully explored the open World of Ooo, but I did run across Lumpy Space Princess’ camp complete with a can of beans over a firepit. It was slightly disappointing that she had nothing to say when I floated her past it, but hey, you can’t fit in every reference, right? I’m hoping to spot some more fun Easter Eggs when I go back to collect the remaining bricks. Definitely in love with this LEGO add-on.

 

Mission: Impossible

The last of the Level Packs, Mission: Impossible is definitely geared more toward the older gamer but kids should still enjoy this one. Based on the original Tom Cruise movie from 1996, you’ll primarily use Ethan Hunt to create explosions, slip on disguises, and control your drone to progress through the story. The entire level is voiced over using clips from the movie(s) which is OK but at times seem a little muffled or statical. But no one was really expecting Tom Cruise to record a fresh voice over.

The Mission: Impossible level might not stand out as much as I’d hoped but at least it wasn’t plagued with the glitches and crashes we got with the Sonic Level Pack. That alone puts it in second place of my personal ranking this go around. I am looking forward to seeing how and where Ethan Hunt’s particular set of skills pop up throughout new locales in other Year 2 chapters.

Overall, LEGO Dimensions’ Year 2 offerings have been great additions to the line-up, with several of the Year 2 characters making cameos in each of the new Level Packs that we’ve played. I’m super excited to see what new Level Packs are on the horizon (fingers crossed for Teen Titans and Beetlejuice!) and can’t wait to explore more new areas in the Shard. Look for more hands-on reviews as they fall into my… hands.

*This review was previously published on The Daily Crate.

Fallout 4 Contraptions Workshop DLC

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , — Yukino @ 7:00 PM

Remember last week when Bethesda announced at their E3 presser that we were getting new Fallout 4 DLC starting this month with the Contraptions Workshop? They showed us elevators and sorting machinery, and I’m pretty sure there was a version of the classic board game Mousetrap shown off in the preview video.

They had me at weapon and armor displays.

Wasteland Workshop was pretty meh. I didn’t care about catching monsters from the Wasteland and pitting them against one another. I built three cages on Spectacle Island and domesticated one mutant hound (who has since died in a firefight with a band of pesky mutants). But give me the chance to make my own 2mm electromagnetic cartridges for my gauss rifles so I don’t have to visit every shop in the Commonwealth to buy the stuff? YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU! 

 

Since most of my settlements are nearly built out, Spectacle Island was the best place to start my small manufacturing empire as it offers you the largest canvas to work with. I started out by building a warehouse from the Structures option. I gave it glass windows all the way up so the sun could illuminate it whenever I stopped by to fill the machines with supplies. The ammo machine was a no-brainer. But once it was built I discovered I lacked the components needs to create my ammo, so I built a builder machine to make “stuff”. “Stuff” being things like lunch boxes and Giddy Up horseys, things that you can sell for caps if you’re in a tight spot. I loaded it up with a bunch of steel and started pumping out Vault-Tec lunch boxes. Then I went shopping for 2mm EC parts: lead, oil, fertilizer, and copper. Once acquired, it was as simple as loading up the machine and telling the terminal to get cracking.

Now that I had an understanding of how manufacturing worked, it was time to visit Sanctuary Hills, my home base. I destroyed the crudely crafted warehouse I made out of crappy metal walls where I stored my various suits of power armor and rebuilt one using the Warehouse structure options. Using a mix of steel walls and the prefab slanted glass roof options, I created a new space to house my new power armor displays (13 suits and counting!) and my ridiculous accumulation of clothing and weapons. I slowly walked across the street from my house to the warehouse with my pockets at over 6000 carry weight and unloaded everything into two containers to sort through later. Then I thought to myself, “Hey, Annette, why not make some of those display mannequins in here, too?” My Silver Shroud, Mechanist, and Grognak costumes are now available to view. I wish I could charge an entry fee to my growing museum.

 

The weapon racks are cool but a little bit of a let-down, only in so much as I thought I could place multiple weapons on a large rack but only a single weapon type can be placed on each style. But weapon racks are a great way to display the rare items I’ve collected on my travels, and it makes it faster for my storage trunk to load when I’m digging out stuff to give my settlers. Those pipe pistols do nothing against super mutants and robotic assailants, and since I have 70,000 or so caps, I may as well strengthen their defensive positions.

 

After tinkering with my new displays, it was time to complete the last trophy/achievement for the Contraptions Workshop DLC: assigning someone to the pillory. I had spent a few hours running around my settlements, making fixes to the ones that had been attacked. But Warwick Homestead decided it suddenly wasn’t happy and I was itching to make an example of one of my settlements, so some poor unassigned settler got thrown into the first pillory I built. Everyone else had gone to bed so I’m hoping that when I go back to the game he’s either dead or covered in rotten food. Then we’ll see if they decide to be happier.

 

So if you’re into building intricately awesome settlements or just want to create a Fallout-esque Willy Wonka factory, the Contraptions Workshop is where it’s at. At least until the Vault-Tec Workshop comes out and we all start creating elaborate tunnels below the Earth’s crust. Mmmmm, crust.

*This post was previously published on The Daily Crate.

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir Review

Filed under: Playstation — Yukino @ 6:54 PM

When I found out that there was a remake for Odin Sphere coming out, I was overjoyed. I missed out on the original when it came out in 2007. So when Atlus announced Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, I ran out and plopped down enough to secure myself the Storybook edition. And I am so very glad that I did.

Maybe it was a blessing that the first time I got to experience your well-woven story was almost a decade later. Your vibrant world, bright and colourful, had me from the moment I walked into the attic and picked up Socrates. Maybe it was my ravenous love of books; Alice’s enthusiasm to read each book as they appeared reminded me of the nights I would lay on my bedroom floor well past my bedtime reading with the crack of light coming through my slightly open door. Ahh, the memories.

For those of you unfamiliar with Odin Sphere, it is the story of Erion, a world on the brink of destruction with heroes trying to thwart a future foretold. You play through the books of five characters, with paths crossing at various points in the storyline. Each of these books focuses on a single character, beginning with Gwendolyn, Valkyrie and daughter of King Odin. As you play through Velvet, Mercedes, Cornelius, and Oswald’s tales, the entire tale unfolds and you see everything come to a head. After completing the first five books, it’s time to delve into the various ways Odin Sphere’s story can end.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is a 2D action RPG with increasingly larger area maps to explore. Several of these areas contain enemies which must be cleared before you can progress, some with mini-bosses, leading up to a chapter ending boss. One of the unique aspects of Odin Sphere is the way each battle stage is circular, meaning there are no walls to get stuck against when you’re facing an onslaught.

Fighting in Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is a combination of weapon attacks and special skills. Each character possesses a unique weapon known as a Psypher, special crystals created in the Underworld from expired life forces (called phozons). You can button mash your basic attack in combination with directional input to attack ground and airborne attackers, but the real power comes with using your special moves and chaining attacks. These active and passive skills are learned by locating Prisms, some which are automatically given from clearing an area while others are in hidden rooms. Skills and attacks can be buffered with various area of effect potions, such as fire, wind, and poison bottles that definitely come in handy during a boss fight.

Alchemy and cooking are other important aspects of the game. Let’s start with alchemy. By mixing items with potion bottles, you can create potions that heal, hurt, and enhance. Some potions such as Cyclone and Blaze can also open up new pathways, so be on the look out for suspicious looking walls. Keep an ear open for squeaks in the floor as you run through each area as root vegetables are the backbone of alchemy in this game.

 

Scattered about Erion are a wide variety of recipes that you can present to Maury, the traveling pooka chef. Just hand over the required ingredients and you can have Maury make delicious food for you. Ordering from Maury gives you experience, increases your HP, and recovers any HP that you may have lost. This is the best way to level up your characters and earn points to unlock Abilities. The first three times you enjoy a dish will give you small decreasing EXP bonuses.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir has several endings but only one “true” ending. However, you must experience every possible outcome and finish Book 6 by fighting each boss with the hero as foretold in the prophecy. I’m just about to finish up with the alternate endings so that I can watch the true ending scene. This will get me my second ever Platinum Trophy. Since I’m not one to trophy hunt, I think that should just go to show how much I am enjoying Erion’s story.

 

If you love quality Japanese games as much as I do, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is a 20-25 hour adventure available right now for the Playstation 4 and PS Vita. I love the writing, I love the graphics… Hell, I just love this game and I think that everyone should take it for a spin.

*This post was previously published on The Daily Crate.

Fallout 4 Vault-Tec Workshop DLC

Filed under: Playstation — Yukino @ 6:44 PM

With the Vault-Tec Workshop’s recent release, we’re nearing the end of Fallout 4’s adventure. I knew it wouldn’t last forever, that eventually I would complete absolutely everything there was for me to experience in the Commonwealth. But it’s not time to say goodbye just yet, especially not when I have all sorts of new things I can build.

Tune your Pipboy to the Vault 88 broadcast to start the quest which unlocks vault building. When you arrive, odds are the main vault door is under attack by raiders, should you enter this way. There are two other points of entry, but the quarry entrance was how I approached. After dispatching them, the Overseer grants you access and asks you to run a couple of errands before sending you to activate the remaining workshop benches in other areas of the large vault caverns. Be warned! Removing some of the larger walls of rubble or limestone will most likely reveal deathclaws and irradiated enemies that will require fire power. Make sure you venture down those tunnels prepared.

While you are spelunking, the Overseer’s waiting for some recruits to answer the vault beacon. Whenever you choose, you can help her screen the three potential vault dwellers to see which best fits her plans for testing the various prototypes she’s blueprinted over the years. The affable and incredibly naive Clem is the man for the job, and the next bit of “questing” requires you build her machines and decide how to torture the poor boy. But this is a Fallout game, so you can always take the nice guy route instead. With the exception of the mistake I made with the first machine, I chose to make my remaining prototypes boring Happiness producers for the Vault and my other settlements.

 

I did a little bit of building in the beginning, making a utility room for the Overseer’s prototypes. Once I finished up with all of that, it was time to roll up my sleeves and build to my heart’s content. I started with some living quarters and nursery rooms, then built a room to fit my closest reactor. After that it was another utility room that I would use as an indoor garden before creating my cafeteria. Even with supply lines from several of my settlements, I ran out of steel and have been buying up as much as I can to finish creating the main building and string power throughout. Right now it’s a three story maze in the main area with guard stations all around my perimeter.

 

Some of the cool stuff you get with the Vault-Tec Workshop to boost morale at all settlements include the pommel horse and weight bench (above). You can find these in Furniture > Misc. I’ve been running around to my settlements adding both of these when I swing by to help put down Super Mutant and Raider attacks. Both of these, as well as the prototype machines, will grant you a temporary skill boost based on each one (slot machine=luck, weights=strength, etc). There’s also new Vault posters, counters, and lots of undamaged furniture to play with. One thing I wish was here was a better shop system for inside the vault. So far I’ve have to build a larger atrium to accommodate my six shops and it feels kind of clunky. It would have been nice to create shop counters like most every other operational vault offers.

 

But the piece de resistance is the Population Management System. Tucked away under Power > Misc, a few options down from your settlement beacon, this beauty tracks your settlers, lets you see who needs a task and assign one if available, can control any turrets connected to it via power cables, and will show you where in the Commonwealth your companions are. I’m hoping I can locate Strong this time around as he apparently got “lost” when I asked him to go to Sanctuary after I found him the first time and trips back to Trinity Tower have proven fruitless. Each settlement will need its own terminal, so I suggest starting with the ones more heavily populated.

With all sorts of new and cleaner options available, I know I’ll be spending far too many hours between now and Nuka-World updating and rebuilding older settlements to make my people happier. And it doesn’t hurt to make sure they can handle an attack or two on their own if I’m needed at three settlements at the same time. Vaults for everyone!

*This review was previously published on The Daily Crate.

January 21, 2016

The Tomorrow Children Beta

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , , , — Yukino @ 11:00 AM

The day I have been waiting for since August is finally here!!! The Tomorrow Children beta starts today, and I was lucky enough to receive a beta code. Which means that for the next couple of days I will have the pleasure of experiencing all the new areas of the game, checking out the tweaks, and striving to be the best Citizen I can be.

If you’d like to join me, why not catch my Twitch streams? You can follow me (YukiNoKokoro) or just load up this page and watch below. I’ll make sure to archive and back my streams up to YouTube. I’ll try to get my streams going by 2PM Eastern on Friday and 7PM on Saturday, Jan 22 & 23. If you follow me on Twitter or Twitch, you’ll know as soon as I go live.

Watch live video from YukiNoKokoro on www.twitch.tv

August 28, 2015

Until Dawn

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , , , — Yukino @ 12:52 PM

Until Dawn

It’s been an awful long time since Until Dawn was originally announced, and I’ve been stalking all news of this B minus teen slasher movie ever since. It came out this past Tuesday (sadly no midnight opening at my GameStop for Madden meant I had to wait until that night to pick it up) and over the course of two days I had completed my first playthrough.  (more…)

December 3, 2014

The Tomorrow Children Alpha – Hands On

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , , , — Yukino @ 2:12 PM

Town Hall upgrade

Watching game developer streams on Twitch pays off. After feeling bummed I didn’t get into the Tomorrow Children Alpha via the PlayStation sign up page, I was able to get a code the Thursday of the final alpha weekend. So for the last Friday & Saturday of the alpha I was glued to the game, no matter how many times I was asked to play Destiny.

The best way to describe Tomorrow Children after spending time in the alpha is to call it a sandbox cooperative world building simulation. Now, Dylan & the team at Q-Games might have a better genre classification than that, but that’s what I am going with until I find out what that is. In any case, the alpha starts up with this Soviet Russian era gentleman letting me know that the body I am inhabiting isn’t really my body and sends me off to work to rebuild the world. I’m hoping there will be more in the final version because while I know that this is all because an experiment went horribly wrong, I want to see the event happen. Or at least a video game friendly version. (more…)

August 5, 2014

Destiny: Alpha vs Beta

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Yukino @ 3:56 PM
BetaShipLanding

Chilling at the Tower during the Beta

After being lucky enough to enjoy both the Alpha and Beta releases of Destiny (thank you, Bungie!!), I thought I would just share a few thoughts about both experiences. I’m not the most hardcore shooter fan, I stopped caring about Halo after the original trilogy game and I’m not into Call of Duty. When I play shooters, I want fun and engaging stories that allow me to play co-op with Matt or three of my closest friends and doesn’t rely on PvP stuff. PvP is just not enjoyable with a bunch of random people for me. Sure, when I can get a dozen of my best gaming friends together and maybe with some age appropriate beverages I’ll partake in some Capture the Flag. PvP is like the sprig of parsley old school restaurants put on the edge of your plate for garnish.  (more…)

December 3, 2013

Tearaway

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , , , , — Yukino @ 4:06 PM

Status: Finished with Atoi, 96% of bonus items found
Playtime: About 19 hours or so
Trophies: 24 of 31
Papercraft Collection: tearaway.me/u/Yuki-Hime

Tearaway was a major PS Vita selling point for me, second only to Persona 4 Golden because I have a wonderfully horrid addiction to the Persona franchise. With its visually appealing papercraft world I knew there was no way I could pass up the adventure. It helped that it seemed not as intimidating as the extremely in-depth LittleBigPlanet series. Don’t get me wrong, I love the LBP platformers but I sort of let them fall into my giant backlog pile and I’ve been inseparable from my Vita since getting it.

We picked up Tearaway at the midnight launch for the Xbox One, which meant Matt was awesome enough to let me start playing it that night. I hemmed and hawed for 10 minutes deciding which Messenger I wanted to use first and settled on Atoi, the female envelope headed lead. It had nothing to do with her being female, I just hadn’t seen her in much of the advertising and wanted to take her for a spin.  (more…)

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