My favourite character in the game so far is Bartender. He's a flaming homo. I'm not even kidding.
Unfortunately, I was too floored by his surprisingly blatant homosexuality to get a screenshot of him coming onto Rush. (If you don't know, Rush is the main character.)
I've done a couple of sidequests, but I'm not too fond of how it whisks you away to complete them right you pick them up. The woman who explained them to me mentioned something about leaving the area and what happens with the quest once you do, but I WAS ELECTED TO LEAD, NOT TO READ, so I don't actually know what she said.
The two I've done haven't necessarily been interesting, they are just sidequests after all. I read that if you do all the side stuff, the final boss is superpowered. I don't think that's something I'll actually have to patience to work towards, but it's a neat idea. Especially rationalising it as, you can spend all that time doing mundane crap for people, but you're just giving Captain Evil time to get more power.
In times where the story doesn't give you a party, you can recruit some dudes from the guild but I'm more interested in the Guild Tasks. These are just constant objectives that you can fulfill as you play. I inadvertently completed two of them before I even knew they existed. You get rewards from them and stuff. There's kill x of y stuff and some related to character progression. It actually reminds me of the Book of 1000 in the .hack series only the rewards are actually useful and not arbitrary cosmetic shit that doesn't even apply to the game proper.
SO BATTLES. I'm starting to understand it now, but I'm... still not sure if I like
it. I'm really not. I don't know if I'm having fun, I don't know if I find it satisfying, I just. don't. know.
This is the default view, you can see the status of your unions (I found out that that's what they're called, and the individual characters are units) so in this screen, one of my unions is poisoned. The dots are the number of units in the union. Your side is blue, enemies are red. The minimap shows the location of all unions on the field and the one you're targeting is circled.
Critical Trigger is the QTE thing I mentioned, which you can set to trigger automatically. I wouldn't say the timing on them is too great, but that could just be the fact that I'm not used to the 360 pad layout so even though it shows the face button in their layout and I've set up my pad to emulate that layout, I still have to think. Or maybe I'm just retarded, who knows. Probably the best thing is that don't occur solely while you're attacking. They can show up while you're
being attacked and give you the chance to counterattack. That said, the rate at which counter QTEs pop up seems uselessly low, I've seen it maybe 5 times and crit ones have appeared maybe 50. But when you crit randomly anyway, I'm not sure why CT even exists, because it really does seem to just be a guaranteed crit so long as you hit the button at the right time.
I don't actually know what Turbo Mode does, it's never been explained to me, but it's been on this whole time, so now that I'm actually getting into the groove of things, I don't want to fuck things up by turning it off.
Chains are however many enemies you've defeated and I think
it resets whenever you change zones, but it might just be when you return to town. I still don't know what it affects, barring the aforementioned Guild Tasks (one of the ones I completed was 10 Chain).
If you press X, you can see what each unit will do for the action you've selected, so it's not like you have to guess if you've done the right/effective thing. As I said at the beginning, if an action ends up being made redundant or in any way inappropriate by the time a unit acts, they may end up doing something else. Which is great when they decide to do something useful, but they decide to do nothing half the time.
There's a weapon upgrade system that I don't have access to yet and while you can't choose equipment for anyone other than Rush (unless you tweak the ini file, but there's issues related to that), they will upgrade their weapons. Provided you give them the components to do so, that is. When you get to the loot screen, they'll tell you that they want something and that item will be indicated. You can either keep it for yourself or give it to them. They won't be happy if you don't, but I don't think it has any long-lasting effect besides them not being able to upgrade their weapon.
Skills and magic are fairly simple, they level up from use. Some of them require items to perform so if you run out, you can't use that skill until you restock.
Generic RPG stats, Mys I think relates to the power of Mystic Arts (magic). Once again, there has been no explanation, so I don't understand the character-specific stats. I DON'T KNOW WHAT LOVE DOES, BUT OKAY. Maybe the problem is that I didn't read the manual. It's a horrible habit I've picked up this gen, not helped by the fact that publishers don't want to print them any more.
The areas I've been to have been fairly linear so far, but the demo took place in an open field area, so it might just be the first few hours. Or maybe the demo lied, which isn't too far-fetched, knowing Square Enix.
In terms of feel, the game is just so reminiscent of FFXII to me. It goes beyond just the texture artists, there's a lot of common names between the two at various levels. For example, one of the lead planners
is apparently King Ivalice.
I'm wondering if the story has pacing issues, because it seems like a slow burn at the moment but I can't imagine it staying that way. I feel like I hit a point where there should have been a major progression, but it was all very vague and no one really seemed to care except for me and... nothing really happened. Everyone just kind of shrugged like "We'll just keep on doing what we were doing before." It feels very subdued, I guess. The world might be interesting. At least, the races are interesting. Frog rabbits, giant fish-men and a four-armed cat-man. Seriously. Four arms. Dual wield? Dual wield is for two-armed lesser beings. QUAD WIELD, MOTHERFUCKER.
I'm still not sure what to think of it. It feels like A Valley Without Wind all over again. I DON'T KNOW HOW I FEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLL