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Clephas

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Clephas last won the day on November 22

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About Clephas

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  • Birthday 02/24/1982

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    VNs, anthropology, writing, reading, translation, anime, video games, sharp things, firearms
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  1. Fuukan no Grasesta: gameplay as of Chapter 6

    It reminds me more of the D&D ones, because of the spell usage limits. I didn't use Hetares until the second chapter, mostly because I was doing fine... but I started getting irritated at the money issues, so I just shrugged and went for it. Even later on, the money you get from dungeons is limited to a ridiculous degree, and the quality of items found plateaus ridiculously early. As for stacking those skills, that doesn't work when about a third of the disasters are completely immune to that type of delay skill. In the first part of the chapter 5 dungeon, there is a Disaster that seems to default to immune to Charm and regenerates about half the damage he does to you... which is painful as hell. Regular enemies aren't usually a problem (Excel's area attack combined with maxing/stacking Charm is usually enough to fix them), but the only real enemies once you get a good variety of equipment are the Disasters... and those are the ones the standard tactics generally don't work on. Oh, the ones that don't regenerate are simple to deal with (standard jrpg special bosses, essentially), but the ones that are: 1) Fast 2)Immune to or resistant to delay skills 3) Use all-area attacks (this is usually predictable, because they'll use a boost right before) 4) regenerate from damage dealt can be seriously painful/hard to deal with. Nonetheless, I have to say that Eushully made this game a bit haphazardly... I spent way too much time harvesting from collection points early on to keep my money levels up. Now i have all the characters except the dwarf and the two hireable males permanently recruited... so my money issues aren't that bad, but it is seriously annoying that my income isn't going up by much from chapter to chapter. I'd be expecting enemies to get harder and rewards to get better, but it is mostly the former (to a marginal degree, seeing as this game doesn't really place that much importance on differences in level).
  2. Fuukan no Grasesta is the latest release from Eushully, the company responsible for Kamidori Alchemy Meister and Ikusa Megami Zero. As I mentioned in my previous post, it is based in a unique fantasy world based off of the idea that a futuristic version of our world got fused with a world of demihumans and gods who granted magic in return for faith. Fuukan no Grasesta's basic system is that of a dungeon-crawler... with a few twists. First, the party shares an HP bar, which signals the party's destruction if it hits zero. Each character currently recruited or hired has a basic HP stat that adds to the bar, with the protagonist, Judar Schwarka, having the largest (his hp is about five times the next highest character's addition). This is necessary, as the game has numerous points where Judar is the only fighter. Judar himself is a straight-out warrior/barbarian type, with the ability to wield swords, greatswords, and warhammers. His natural element is darkness, and his attacks, which range from a row to an all-enemies on a single platform attack, are generally powerful, albeit useless against some enemies (there are a LOT of dark elemental enemies out there, but it is great for wiping out regular enemies). Active skills in this game have a certain amount of uses each, rather than the game utilizing an MP system (which would make more sense, considering that magical energy is required for all powers and special abilities in the setting). This makes traversing the dungeons a serious pain in the rear, especially since items are expensive, levels gained have little effect on stats (seriously... think maybe one stat going up by one, or three stats going up by one at the most, with Judar's HP going up every level). This isn't as much trouble as you'd think, most of the time, simply because the enemy don't have huge gaps in strength based on level either, but it also makes grinding excessively unattractive, because there are minimal returns. When you leave the dungeon, all items found inside, save for those used to power up 'container' items (special items that can take in usables and stock them for future use without taking up space in the inventory) or weapons, or weapons that have to be assessed to find out what they are. You are given a pittance of money based on the value of what you found (seriously, it is shit money), and, if you are willing to spend what little you gained, you can get at least the most important ones (weapons and armor, usually) back... though it makes me wince every time, since money is generally scarce, no matter how far I get into this game. Upgradable weapons and armor are usually the most valuable, and it is usually good to have weapons of multiple elements on each character so they can switch as needs must, since elemental attacks make things a lot easier at times. Early in the game, my advice is hurry up and get your party wiped out once, use money to restart, then go back and use the Hetares Dungeon from the append to quickly level your characters up (after you hit about level 15 it slows down, and that is about the point you should stop using it to level up) and get coins that can be turned into money. Early in the game, this is pretty much the only way to keep afloat, as demands on your money are constant, and grinding in the main dungeon is generally inefficient. Now, about allies... allies in this game are mostly recruited by hiring people you've gotten access to through the story/talking to them in the streets. The expense for them differs... and they only stay with you for a set number of days. My advice is that you keep all available hires recruited at all times to keep your hp bar up, then only deploy the ones most effective for a given dungeon in the actual battles. Having people vulnerable to the common element of a dungeon (vulnerabilities CAN be changed based on armor, but armor is much less plentiful and full of variety than weapons) in your formation is a good way to get slaughtered, and there is little point in pounding away with an element that doesn't do crap to the enemies in a particular part of the dungeon. As you hire them over and over again and see their scenes, eventually (between chapters 4-6 for most) you'll be able to permanently recruit most of the characters, but this often requires some extremely hard battles or really persistent use of the said characters. So far, I'd say Mikuri and Aguna had the hardest recruitment issues (though Aguna was worth it, since her fire magic is powerful and her hire cost is the highest by 2X). Excel and the dwarf girl who looks nothing like a dwarf take the longest but are relatively easy to take in (though Excel's quirks are... a bit strange). The two healers of the party are Ririka and Excel, and without them you are pretty much screwed in boss battles. Throughout the dungeon are enemies called Disasters, demons of immense power who are usually dramatically more powerful than even the bosses of the areas they are in. Since most of these have seriously badass area attacks, you'll have to pick which characters to fight them carefully and expect to lose at least once on many of them (especially since they are usually about twenty levels higher than the enemies around them and have proportionately higher stats than everything around them). On the other hand, the rewards for beating them (in items, experience, and money) are generally worth it. Until chapter 5's latest dungeon, I'd say it is barely possible for an adequately leveled party to take them down, given some luck and a good strategy. On the other hand, at that point, the most recent one I ran into was having three turns for every one of mine and was using an all-area attack on at least one of those... and healing himself from the drain effect of his passive skill. Annoying, to say the least. It probably says everything about this game that I never really felt like I was anywhere near the head of the curve until I hit the fifth chapter, despite my experience with jrpgs and dungeon crawlers. While the system isn't as quirky as that of some of Eushully's other games, it is still nontraditional enough to through me off at times. I'll keep comments on the story to myself until the final review, but these are my impressions of the gameplay so far. Edit: Sorry, forgot to comment on skills... In this game, skills do not automatically level up with your experience. Rather, you have to spend money in the menu to level up the skills related to your character's use of weapons, puzzle-solving skills, and others. I suggest you max Judar's Lone Wolf skill as early as possible, as it makes him an ungodly powerhouse when forced to fight alone... when the skill doesn't bug out (which it does surprisingly frequently).
  3. What are you playing?

    Playing Fuukan no Grasesta... actually turning out to be decent, though the leveling system sucks.
  4. Eushully's fantasy world

    IMZ>Genrin games or Eien no Ikusa Hime (free download)>Verita>Madou Koukaku (in retrospect, it is more fun to play this after playing Verita because of the Easter Eggs in both, even though the events actually occur right around the same time as the chronological midpoint of Zero and don't have direct impact on the IM story) or Tenbin> IM 2.
  5. Eushully's fantasy world

    The problem is, that if you were to take away the gameplay entirely in IMZ (the best Eushully game so far), you'd still have something about on the same scale as Grisaia or Clannad in terms of text. Not all of Eushully's games are like that, but the alternate paths and endings in some of them add up to a similar level. If you want to beg or start a project of your own, the ones that are worth playing/tling are IM Zero, IM Verita, Madou Koukaku, Meishoku no Reiki (yes, I did enjoy it, so screw me), and the Genrin series story-only version (Eien no Ikusa Hime, I think it was) released for free right before Verita's release. The originals are horribly dated, and I don't recommend playing Tenbin until they get around to remaking II (as Tenbin was the first game's remake). Kami no Rhapsody and possibly the newest one are the only ones made without any involvement from the central characters of the original series I honestly consider worth playing. For some reason, the second Eushully starts experimenting with gameplay systems (going beyond basic srpg or rpg stuff) their talents wash out, and they go for weird gimmicks. SofthouseChara has a similar problem... not only that, but for some reason, Eushully only hangs onto the worst of their writing staff, letting the good ones move on, hahaha.
  6. Eushully's fantasy world

    One example is the Cerberus, which has been enslaved along with a god of the dead (I can't remember which off the top of my head) to oversee the paths to various afterlifes. Others include Marsterria's wives, which were all once goddesses of various pantheons. Most of the male deities that are still around have either been sealed away, forced into roles like the current god of the underworld, or have lost most of their power. A key element of the setting is the 'divine core', or the essence of what it is to be a deity. This grants continuity and immortality to deities, as well as allowing them to choose divine champions to save from the ravages of time. Demons also have one, but they gain energy from negative emotions or from taking life or energy from others (Tantric magic and killing both being easy ways to do so). They also cannot share their immortality with others the way a deity can, because they aren't sustained by the faith of worshipers. A lot of the constant characters of the series are 'Shinkakusha', divine champions who gain freedom from age and immense power by having their souls bonded with a fragment of their deity's essence. A harmless example of this are Serika's Disciples, who, in exchange for granting him energy through sex and their devotion, no longer suffer the standard ravages of mortal existence. Most of the religions of the world are structured similarly to this 'Paladin/warrior priest<=Priest<High Priest<Shinkakusha<=Inhuman divine servants<deity. The more powerful religions have more complex hierarchies, and local hierarchies sometimes trump the overall hierarchy. However, that is generally the standard. Sorcery and magic are two differing types of powers. Magic includes all power drawn from deities in exchange for faith, and it is generally easier to master than sorcery, while being less versatile. It is not necessarily more powerful, though. Sorcery is more of a science than an art, with sorcerers using rituals, contracts with demons, and various sources of power to fuel their spellcraft, which is not determined by alignment or affiliation. To be more specific, a priest or paladin of the God of Travelers and Storms might be able to wield lightning, healing, and physical enhancement spells, but a sorcerer might be able to do that and just about anything else you can imagine, based on his studies and knowledge. Sorcery is also subject to side-effects and unpredictable consequences, since, unlike deities, sorcerers don't necessarily know everything about the forces they are using. For example: A sorcerer uses a natural wellspring of power to fuel his experimentation with opening gates to other worlds, as a result, animals and people in the area are warped slowly or quickly over time into monsters.
  7. A question about Aselia the Eternal

    I played through all the paths, though that was a long time ago... and my opinion is that, while Aselia is the canon heroine (Seinarukana is based off of her being the heroine), you should feel free to do it in any order you like. The game is long, even with the advantages of New Game+.
  8. Eushully's fantasy world

    I love Eushully's unique fantasy world, Dir Lifyna. Most of Eushully's games, save for a few oddball ones by the subsidiary Anastasia and Fortune Arterial, are based in this world, which began with the original Ikusa Megami (if this gets translated, somebody please smash the skull of anyone who translates the title, because they'll probably pick the worst permutation of it). The first thing that anyone going into this setting should know, if only for giggles, is that this was never intended to be an expansive setting containing ten or more games. Ikusa Megami was intended as a one-off game and was competing with Venus Blood, of all things. However, to the people who played the game, the setting was incredibly attractive, and they sold well enough to justify a sequel, which was even more well-received (if only because the dungeon-crawler elements were toned down to normal jrpg levels). The basic setting of the world is that, far in the past, a technologically-advanced human world created a gate/tunnel linking a world full of magic and demihumans, for reasons that pretty much boil down to boredom and stagnation as a species due to excessive technological development. Unfortunately, this accidentally caused the two worlds to begin to merge, causing a conflict between their denizens and their gods. An important common element to note between the two worlds is that gods existed in both worlds, but the gods of the human world had mostly ceased intervening in mortal affairs openly long before, causing the near death of faith. Since faith/belief is the source of all deities' power, the humans found themselves at a surprising disadvantage in the war, because their belief in their deities was almost nonexistent. Worse, magic was quite capable of countering most of the advantages of human tech based on pure physics. A faction of humanity chose to pursue the amalgamation of magic and tech, creating wonders and horrors (including artificial demons and gods), but over time (the war apparently lasted for generations), more and more humans switched sides, devoting themselves to gods on the other side, even as humanity's old gods were destroyed, sealed, or enslaved one by one. By the end of the war, humanity was just another race, perhaps more numerous than the others, in the service of the 'Living Gods', and the 'Old Gods' were relegated to dusty legend and actively considered evil by most, if they weren't in the service of a Living God. Human technology was, for the most part, wiped from the face of the new, merged world, and the only remnants can be found in ruins filled with monsters and/or automatic guardians. The dominant deity of the new world is Marsterria, a minor war god who enslaved and killed more Old Gods than any other. Most of his worshipers are humans, their prolific breeding and generations of faith having given him immense power. His followers are often at odds with the protagonist of the Ikusa Megami series and nonhuman races, because of their excessive zealotry and broad determination of what species are considered 'dark races'. Conflict between dark gods and their servants and the gods of light and theirs is a normal part of the world of Dir Lifyna, with neutral regions and nations often becoming the battlegrounds for said followers as a result. This is a world with a massive number of intelligent species, and that, in the end, is what makes it so much fun to look forward to each game, even if the flop ratio is over 50%, lol. Damn, it was hard to do that without spoiling anything. Edit: It should be noted that demons, angels, nagas, and a few other races were actually coexisting with humanity but hidden due to their more direct service to deities in the original human world. The nagas still maintain faith with old gods for the most part, and as a result, they are marginalized to an immense degree. Most angels 'fell' or serve one of the Living Gods now (or both), and demons are a plague, with more summoned on occasion since demon summoning was one of the few magics that remained to humanity when the worlds met.
  9. Complex SRPG Vn ?

    Sengoku Koihime doesn't have a battle system. Koihime and shin Koihime Musou have a very limited battle system that is so simple a toddler could master it. If you just want to play a conquest srpg with VN elements and don't care about translation, Sengoku Hime V is my suggestion (best game in the series by far, though part of that is that the story mode is the best). The difficulty levels are explosively hard if you choose to play the non-story mode as-is, though.
  10. Complex SRPG Vn ?

    Aselia and Seinarukana are about the only ones that come to mind that are translated. Both are available on Steam.
  11. Lack of academic recognition in VN

    Probably in the archives of the English department. I hear they keep them for ten years or more, and that was only five years ago. I don't have it, because the laptop I was using at the time went kaput soon after.
  12. Lack of academic recognition in VN

    Writing about VNs for college has been done, if infrequently. I did an analysis of the community based off of personal experience and a detailed analysis of VN review bloggers for English class and got good marks, lol. That was actually the one I got the best rate on. I also did a book-style review of Dies Irae for the same class, using translations of Japanese bloggers' own analyses for opposition and backup both.
  13. What’s the longest Visual Novel?

    For ones in English, I'd probably have guessed I/O... or Dies Irae. However, that list is from a while back... *shrugs* Dies Irae is definitely longer than the Type-moon crowd.
  14. Be careful of falling into the 'mainstream audience' loop. Everyone who plays niche stuff eventually hits that wall, but you have to keep in mind that a disproportionate amount of niche stuff has been localized, considering how dominant crappy SOL games are over there. The total percentage of plotge and other types of game with actual depth to charage is something like 1:10 at best, but the localization/translation ratio over here is something closer to 1:2 if you don't count nukige. That is something of a miracle...
  15. Truth be told, if the ending fits, I'm mostly fine with it. I was even fine with the endings for Maggot Baits, which aren't exactly easy on the heart. An ending has to satisfy to be good, and very few endings manage that... whether in VNs or books. Heck, even if we get a satisfying ending, it is almost guaranteed that someone will come around latter and create a lame sequel to try to capitalize on the original, thus pissing off the people he is trying to leech off of. tbh, you have to take nakige endings for what they are. Unlike utsuge, where bittersweetness is part of the package, or a plotge, where any kind of ending might fit, by definition nakige have to have happy endings. Your comments on true endings don't fit precisely... but when I look at what has been localized so far, I have to shrug. Except for a few utsuge like Swan Song, true endings in the localized scene are almost universally of the type you complained about. It almost makes me wonder if there is some kind of conspiracy... I guess it is because I've read so many VNs over the years, but my opinion is that, while true endings are more likely to satisfy than 'regular' endings, that ratio isn't 100%. There have been any number of games I've played over the years where a side ending or the 'normal' ending felt more satisfying or interesting than the true ending. I guess it is because, too often, true endings often ruin what was most fun or interesting about the setting. I'm not particularly fond of getting rid of all the mystique of a setting solely to produce a true ending.
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