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#1891
LorenzoGarbanzo

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And just like Aria of Sorrow, I'm done with Dawn of Sorrow after about 21 hours. Had to google some stuff again, but this time I managed a proper 100%. No bullshit bosses with special requirements. I, for some reason, feel like writing about stuff, so here goes.

Although the game is very similar to Aria, it has some key innovations. In both games, the player can obtain a surplus amount of souls from killing mobs. However, in Aria, the only way to gain bonuses from soul collecting is through one specific soul, Headhunter, which boosts all of your stats according to the total amount of souls you have. Other than that, I suppose you could trade them via the GBA link cable.

In Dawn, on the other hand, you get more options, the weapon crafting system being one of them. While previously you could only find, buy or loot weapons, this time you can combine weapons with souls to obtain the more advanced stuff. You can't control which souls you have to sacrifice, but essentially the better the weapon develops into, the more rare souls you need.

While this is a fine system in essence, it should be anyway, considering I did nothing but farm, I tend to prefer exploring and then being rewarded by finding better weapons. I reckon most every weapon you find in Dawn are garbage and you then have to either buy or craft the better ones. I always had the souls so I didn't mind, but for an average Joe it may be more annoying. At the very least you can guarantee the weapon upgrade is always the type your like (I enjoy the fast, horizontal swinging swords and those were the only ones I used). Although that said, I think Aria already did a good job at scattering those in logical intervals for you to find.

The other way the soul farming can be taken advantage of is the fact that this time, some souls stack in power. In Aria, you got the soul and it was always as powerful, regardless of how many said souls you had. In Dawn, many souls get better as you gain more of them, up to the maximum of 9. For example, in both games there is a mob called Ghost Dancer. In Aria, its soul increases your luck by 4. In Dawn, a single Ghost Dancer soul increases your like by 2, two of them increase it by 4 and so on, up to the potential bonus of 18. While in my case this was the only soul I farmed the maximum stacks of on purpose, it at least makes it sometimes possible to make the weaker souls better or make the stat souls so much more useful.

With this change, I think there are less of these overlapping stat souls. In Aria, you would get souls that were strict upgrades over others (Gremlin gives +8 luck and cannot be equipped at the same time as Ghost Dancer). I think they compensated by adding a whole bunch of souls that give you familiars, most of which were either useless or impractical. Although to be fair, it's not like the majority of the souls aren't useless anyway. Once again I found my go-to red soul (active, bullet soul) very early on.

Finally, you also got a choice of "freeing" souls, which, as far as I could tell, just threw them in the garbage. I was wondering if they had concocted some kind of half-assed morality system, but thankfully not. I'm really not sure what this thing is supposed to do.

Since it's a DS game, it utilizes the double screens, as well as the touch screen. The former was great, as you could have the map or character info on one screen and the actual game on the other at all times. The latter was awkward. After every boss you have to draw a magic seal (if you fuck up the fight continues) and at certain points you can break blocks by clicking the screen, but they mostly felt like gimmicks. Supposedly some familiars can also be controlled by this way, but ain't nobody got time for that.

One more thing, after some time you gain an ability which lets you have two soul/equipment loadouts and then switch between them by a single click. This was extremely convenient. What it essentially allowed was to have one setup with all of my luck items/souls for farming and then a beefier setup for exploring, without always having to switch everything. A great addition.

I also mentioned the art style when I started and I would like to reiterate that I, for the most part, enjoyed the sprite designs much more in Aria, at least when it comes to the overlapping enemies. While it has a couple I could consider upgrades (well Fish Head anyway, since now it at least looks like a fish), others, such as Golem, Manticore, Catoblepas and Devil just looked awful in comparison. I guess the animations were better sometimes.

In the end, though, it's a very similar game to Aria, from enemies and abilities to castle areas. I will always have more affinity toward Aria, and I think it's more fun, but Dawn is still good, if you enjoy these games. Personally I barely even played it as a side scrolling action game, it was more of a farming simulator, so probably don't trust my opinion on anything.

------------------------------

That was a mouthful, for a change. Since this concludes the adventure of Soma Cruz, I don't think I'll be picking another one up. Maybe I can get some anime watching done instead. Funnily enough there is a sweet anime intro for this game you can watch on the main menu. Reminds me of Berserk, probably because it's rather old.



#1892
Jonas

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Played my first map of Heroes VII. It seems like a pretty good Heroes game. Haven't run into as many bugs as with VI. The designs are also better (every unit doesn't look the same as in VI), even if the general look is a slight downgrade. The teching and balance seems alright from that one map. Ranged def OP against AI tho. Speaking of AI, on normal, it was awful. All the enemy did was spam new Heroes without creatures. It's a legit strategy, but I don't think the AI used it right.

#1893
LorenzoGarbanzo

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Seems I'm going back to The Dark Mod for a bit, three new missions were released in the past couple of months. All of which appear to be larger ones, judging by the file sizes.

It's funny though, even if this mod didn't exist, there would be like thousands of fan missions for the classic Thief games too. Should really get to those at some point.

#1894
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Well, I did say I had no desire to play the remaining TDM missions, all being horror themed, but I gave in and finished the whole damn thing. And honestly, it wasn't too bad at the end of the day. The biggest annoyance in those were the skeleton knights, since you can't knock them out and actually fighting them is impossible, so I would just have to either use explosives (extremely rare to even have) or cheese them (still tedious as all hell).

But since I'm now done, until new missions are released, I could write a few words. The mod currently has 113 or so missions and since there are many authors, they vary wildly in quality and content. Some are really simple that take like 5 minutes to finish, while others are insanely rich with content and take 5 hours. The file sizes also reflect that, the smallest ones beings a couple of MBs and the largest ones several hundred. Some also contain voice acting, which adds flair and is usually done quite well.

There isn't anything really to talk about in the gameplay, if you're familiar with Thief, it's mostly the same shit. Swordplay is quite different from what I remember, since you can attack/block in like 5 different ways, by wiggling the mouse in the desired way. Mostly useless, since I wasn't going to fight anything, but makes it much more tactical than the button mashing in the Thief games. The enemies definitely block like crazy and I never cared to get better at it. Also, you can actually kill the undead enemies with the sword, which is a huge bonus, even if it is sometimes tedious. As mentioned, explosives are the most effective way, but rare, and the holy water is still very cost-ineffective.

Picking locks was slightly different, but there are a couple of "modes" you can choose from, one being the classic Thief version of just pressing the button down. I used the one which took a bit more skill, hold the button and release it at a correct time.

When it comes to your average item set, you have a lantern in this game, which the Thief games apparently didn't have. Makes me wonder how you found anything in the dark areas.

Anyway, it's an excellent mod, kudos to everyone in the community making it what it is and keeping it alive. It already has many game's worth of content to go around, hopefully it keeps growing.

-----------------------------------------------

Probably have to delve into the steam library next. It seems I won't be playing League for a bit, suddenly started having a stuttering issue a couple of weeks back and haven't found a way to fix it. It could be on the Riot's side, since there is discussion going on in their forums about recent issues related to FPS and such, or it could be a fault of some Windows update, which has also been suspected. That was my first reaction too, since it seemed to coincide with a specific Windows update, but deleting it didn't fix the issue. Neither did repairing and doing a full reinstall of League. Graphics drivers haven't changed in forever, so nothing to see there either. Have to monitor the situation for now.

#1895
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Football Manager 2016, again.

Started jobless, got a gig in the Chinese second (I think, never actually checked) league where I had to save the team from relegation. Got relegated and fired. Then I went to the Spanish lower leagues, where I had to do the same. Didn't do well, so before I got relegated again, I got a gig at Anderlecht, where I'm doing ok. Got second or third during the season, but they let me stay for god knows what reason. At the moment, my whole team is getting bought out by bigger teams tho, so trying to hang on.

Also had a gig as South Korea u23 Olympic team manager. Lost all games. Should've picked Brazil instead, but wanted a challenge.

#1896
LorenzoGarbanzo

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Kinda weak steam sale. Only two games from my wish list that I'm seriously considering:

The Turing Test - First person sci-fi puzzle game.
Scanner Sombre - A walking simulator/exploration game.

So instead, I went through the visual novel catalogue and took note of some interesting titles:

eden* - Well, it's 90% off, from 20 euros, so might as well get it for that reason alone. Some kinda sci-fi love story.
planetarian ~the reverie of a little planet~ - They made an OVA of this last year. Didn't watch it, though. Made by Key, so should be at least decent.
If My Heart Had Wings - A teen romcom. Rather highly rated.
WORLD END ECONOMiCA - "A science fiction investment bank novel". No fucking idea what that is, but it's by the Spice & Wolf author.

Honestly, there are so fucking many of these that it's hard to even figure out which are worthwhile. Only got to page 12/30. Obviously I'm missing the most prestigious titles (Steins;Gate, Clannad, Kindred Spirits, etc.), but those are quite expensive. Not to mention Sakura/Nekopara -series.

#1897
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Started playing XCOM. It's alright. Wish the aliens and soldiers were cuter tho. Did make my one Japanese chick into a mecha-girl of course.

#1898
LorenzoGarbanzo

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Watched Oddone play that a bit back in the day. Don't see myself playing it, even if I've enjoyed Shadowrun.

Although I bought all but one of the steam sale items I listed above, I'm currently playing Thief 2 fan missions. About time. In general they've been very high quality, which some very novel ideas. One of them was especially grand, the production levels were through the roof. Almost like playing a heist movie, with a team and communication and shit.

But man, this game is easy as nobs compared to the Dark Mod. Even if the enemies are literally punching you in the face, you can still often get a KO, if you manage to bonk them in the back of the head. Not to mention, knocking people out from the front, which was almost unheard of in TDM. Marble floors are still a nightmare, though, hate that shit. I also miss having an inventory screen, just scrolling through the items is tiring. And no lantern, so no easy way to see shit in the dark.

The enemy vision seems quite a bit different too. It feels as if they're way blinder when you're further away or move by fast, regardless of light, but they can detect you easier if you're very close, even in pitch black.

#1899
Jonas

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Should've bought more games during the winter sale. I feel like playing something, but got nothing to really play. Should've bought XCOM2 too, but didn't know I would really like the game. Finished it btw, but I don't feel like it holds any replay value.

#1900
LorenzoGarbanzo

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Papers, Please is on sale, play that one.

#1901
Jonas

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Looks stupid tho.

#1902
LorenzoGarbanzo

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But it's critically acclaimed.

#1903
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But people meme too much to believe anything anymore.

#1904
LorenzoGarbanzo

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They do, but I reckon it's not as commonplace in steam, although there are games like Goat Simulator.

#1905
Jonas

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Bought http://store.steampo...rations_of_War/ because it seems like something I would like and is 80% off. Don't think I've ever seen a game with that much off.

#1906
LorenzoGarbanzo

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You're not one to be swayed by reviews, are you?

As for the discount, I see them regularly (as of writing this there are three on the front page specials-tab). I know I bought Super Meat Boy and Shadowrun Returns/Dragonfall at like 90% off. Deus Ex and Thief -series also hit those discounts every sale.

#1907
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What do you mean? the reviews are pretty good

#1908
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I guess, I just glanced over the recent reviews and the brutal metacritic score and assumed the worst.

#1909
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Well, maybe those guys have the same problems I have, where the game doesn't even load.

#1910
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That sounds like a problem.

#1911
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And it's all three of them, because apparently its three games.

#1912
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Fixed it. Changed it to run with Windows XP SP2 compability.

#1913
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Watching Demo-senpai play Yakuza 0 literally made me look up the price of a console for the first time ever. My PSX and two PS2 were gifts/borrowed but never given back. Anyway, that game looks so much fun.





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