Well, just got this one yesterday, and won't have much time to play it till after the holiday rush is over, but thought I would put this up in the meantime.
as of 12/25/08:
First loaded up the game, and it gave me the option of loading up a savefile from the first Raidou game. Not sure yet how that affects things, but I'm sure I'll find out soon.
The beginning is very similar to that of the first game, with a short ordeal to teach the new battle system. So, comments on the battle system so far:
First, battlefield camera angle is still fixed, but the battlefield itself is much larger, and the camera moves with you more.
Second, sword combat is much more dynamic now. Just messing around in the first battle, I triggered three different combo attacks.
Third, guns are handled differently this time. Raidou has to reload after 6 shots, but bullets are more useful for pegging fast enemies who run away a lot, like Pixies.
Fourth, the X and L1 buttons allow for dodging and defending, include sidestepping and somersaults.
Fifth, special skills involving Raidou and allied demons now consume MAG instead of relying on tension gauges. The special skills are also a lot more impressive looking.
Sixth, now allied demons' skills cost MAG from Raidou. As well, the L2 button can summon and hide allies from the enemy. On the plus side, hitting enemies while they're stunned from elemental attacks gets you lots of MAG as a bonus.
More on the morrow.
OK, it's been a while, but because of holidays and whatnot, time with the PS2 has been precious and rare. Well, unless I want to cut some other things out of my free time, like columns.
I'm most of the way through the first chapter, I think, though it took me much too long to figure out what the heck I was supposed to do at a few points. I had all the information, but reading and understanding it's a different matter.
Battles in this edition are strictly limited to the Otherworld, however, so at least I'm not getting attacked every five seconds while I wander around trying to figure out where I'm going.
The new demon field skills are surprisingly fun, too. There's one that lets you use whirlwinds like teleporters, and another one that lets you impersonate other people.
Also, starting a new game with a DS1 gamesave gets you two items, which together sell for about 26,000 yen, so at least I'm not lacking for cash this early in the game.
Well, just beat my first real boss of the game, and holy crap that thing was difficult, even with a fire-demon to hit his weak points (and getting that little #%&$ to join me was a difficult piece of negotiation as well). The negotiation system is as quirky as ever, at least, with different demon types showing distinct personalities which need to be played to. Active allies have their own methods of convincing or cajoling hesitant demons, which can be used if negotiations are about to break down. Fun times
Well, the story sections of this game can really drag on if you don't know Japanese well enough. I've been forced to just skim the text and keep an eye out for important-looking words, because there's such a wide mix of dialects and registers in some conversations.
Negotiations are still as whacky as ever.
The Chapter 1 final boss was strangely hilarious, at least.
On a more interesting note, my current location is outside the capitol.
Update - 1/26/09
Well into Chapter 3 by this point, but man, does the exposition drag on. It probably wouldn't be so much of a problem in English, but MegaTen games tend to use written Japanese at the high school level, and that takes time even if I just skim for important-looking kanji.
In any case, I won't bother mentioning my current time on the clock for this game, because it's both embarrassing and not indicative of how long this game is supposed to last.
Luck seems to be a major theme for this game, with different ways of raising or lowering Raidou's luck abounding. I'm not sure how many different ways this affects things, but if low luck had anything to do with that level 49 majin
popping up out of nowhere and prematurely ending my existence a few minutes ago, then I really need to work on it more.
I'm not sure if I like this game's story style more as compared to the first's. With the first game, each chapter was more self-contained, with a definite climax point that carried you into the next chapter. In this game, the transitions between chapters are a little more fluid, and sometimes harder to distinguish.
I've been experimenting with the alternate sword types available from Victor in this game. Switching swords allows you to use different special attacks with the triangle button in combat. My previous sword had a stabbing attack that hit 8 or 9 times quickly. My current sword has a crushing attack that needs to charge up a second before crashing to the ground, causing shockwaves.
And on a last note, just something cool I found. In the country town where half the story seems to take place, there's a traveling scholar who's doing research on folklore, by name of Yanagita. Why is this cool? I have one of this guy's books in my personal library
. I, as in me, Gaijin, not Raidou.
Whew, sorry for the lack of updates. I'm about halfway through Chapter 6 (out of 9) at this point, but I've been taking a break from pursuing the story in order to fill out the number of special assignments completed. This is taking a while, mostly because I neglected to speak to a few important characters often enough, and let the side-quests pile higher and deeper. I shall finish eventually, though since this game's been green-lighted for US release, it'll have to be a preview instead of a review.