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Endless Frontier EXCEED!

Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer StaffRPGamer Staff
edited April 2010 in Staff Review Blogs
I picked this title up last week along with the special box (just couldn't resist).


STORY

LOTS of infocram so far, as two of the characters have no idea what's been going on the past three years, and a few others are suffering from memory loss. The events of the previous game insure that while I recognize most of the locales so far, I have no idea which area is going to be coming up next. Also, the game's now organized into chapters, and has not one but three prologue sections, each with a different lead character.


BATTLES

They've tweaked things a bit. Assist attacks can come from the back row or from special characters who are "equiped" on regular characters. Also, actions can be chained between characters. I'm only at level 14 or so, and my longest hit combo is 336 consecutive blows.

Comments

  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited March 2010
    I'm watching this blog closely, rest assured.
    336 hits adds up to what amount of damage, incidentally?
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2010
    It was at a pretty low level, so I wasn't doing much damage with each hit. It was well into the five-digit range, though.

    MORE BATTLE STUFF

    The number of hits factors into several more things in this game. The number of hits at the end of a character's action phase gets paid back in COM%. So if Kaguya registers 70 hits at the end of her action, she gets 7% of her COM back. If she kills the target, the F-Gauge also goes up (as it did in the first game). ALSO, at the end of battle the highest hit chain is translated into SP regeneration. So if that 70% combo was the highest in the battle, then the entire party will get 7% of their SP back at the end of battle.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2010
    STORY:

    Or rather, dialogue. This game likes to do a lot of recapping. Every time I meet some major new character, there will be some story recaps. Every time the plot moves forward, someone will have to remind me of all current goals for my characters. Right now, I have eleven player characters and eight assisting characters. They don't all have something to say every single time, but for a major event... it gets a bit cramped.
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited March 2010
    Is this constant dialogue filled with goofy innuendos like the first, or is it kinda boring?
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2010
    Oh, plenty of random innuendo. It just takes a while to get through sometimes.
  • HellGundam7HellGundam7 Member Full Members
    edited March 2010
    Any significant changes in returning characters? Abilities, stronger/weaker, etc.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2010
    Well, aside from the plot-required deleveling of all characters, most of the returning PCs start with a mix of early- and late-game techniques from the first game, and learn some new ones as they continue. The hit-all techniques seem to be different this time as well. The biggest difference by far is that Xiao Mu has her own finishing attack now that does not involve Reiji (though Reiji's finishing attack still includes Xiao Mu).
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2010
    OK! More battle stuff! I've decided that, barring spoileriffic details, I might as well detail everything I've seen that is different in the EXCEED battle system.

    First, of course, are Assist Attacks. Non-main characters (almost all rivals/antagonists from the first game, with a few exceptions) can be equipped on a player character. Equipping one gives a specific stat boost and the ability to summon them during a combat round by pressing the up button. I currently have three more Assist characters than I have player characters. Certain battle states and spirit techs allow for more than one use in a combat round. Finishing a battle with an Assist Attack gives you a 30% increase in cash at the end of battle. Finishing with a Support Attack from a back-row player character gives you a 30% F-Gauge increase.

    Next, finishing moves. Something that I noticed happening several times (though I didn't realize what it was at first) is that finishing moves "level up" for player characters. The animations don't change, but the damage ratings do, making the finishers a lot more powerful over time. Bigger difference is that five of my characters (Harken, Neige, Suzuka, Reiji, and Axel) now have a second finishing attack, mapped to the X button. These second finishers also target more than one enemy, though the exact number varies from move to move. Finishing a battle by defeating multiple enemies at once gets the player a 30% EXP boost (regular finishing moves get a 20% boost).

    Third, Forced Evasions. If a character is getting seriously wailed on in battle and the F-Gauge is over 50%, then pressing the A button will trigger a Forced Evasion. Very handy if your character is about to bite it in a boss battle, but you can't use it if the enemy goes into a finishing move.

    Fourth, emergency switchouts. When an enemy targets a single character, you have the option to switch them out for a backrow character. The switchout person comes in with 0% COM, but is in Guard status so he or she will probably survive whatever hits. It costs 5SP, but it's worth it at times.

    Hm... that's about it for now.
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited March 2010
    Does your having started a new review blog mean that EXCEED is finished?
    Also, how nice are the extras in the special edition you picked up?
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2010
    no, it just means I wanted to play around with my PS3 some more. I think I'll have EXCEED finished by the end of the week. My characters are all above level 50 now, and I've just taken out the second of the game's four antagonist factions, so I doubt I have much farther to go.
  • HellGundam7HellGundam7 Member Full Members
    edited March 2010
    In regard to the equipped assist characters, what determines their strength? Do they have stats of their own or some other factor?

    For the main group, is it four front line fighters and four back-up or is everyone available to switch?

    Break any new records in combo/damage?
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2010
    Hm, they seem to stay consistent with my main characters, but they don't level up independently. I'm guessing they scale as I level up.

    Four front line, 6 back line. This is counting Axel and Alfimi as one character for the sake of discussion, since they occupy one character slot.

    Oddly enough, I have yet to better my 337 hit combo, but I managed to up my top damage to the six-digit range a while back.

    Also, I officially beat the final boss a few hours ago, but I had to go out, so the game is in sleep mode in my hotel until later.



  • HellGundam7HellGundam7 Member Full Members
    edited March 2010
    Thanks for the information.

    Continuing with the assists, are the abilities they grant activated every turn or the beginning of every battle? For instance, Koma's effect is Luck but that would be useless after its first activation.

    Did you go for the secret assist character?
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2010
    Each AC has an assist attack (D-pad up in battle) and a support skill that activates a set percentage of the time. I don't have the game up for a reference right now, but I know that Kyon's support skill, Venom Tongue, activates 50% of the time but obviously won't work if the enemy resists poison. Each AC also boosts specific stats at specific percentages.

    And no, haven't tried the optional tower level or the secret AC yet.
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited March 2010
    I liek the sound of some of the battle system improvements. The whole regen of Com in the first game was a tad obnoxious sounds like that change will make for a little bit better of an experience jsut by itself.
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  • HellGundam7HellGundam7 Member Full Members
    edited March 2010
    Seems like a nice improvement. Doesn't look too bad now that you can FORCE EVASION back and the enemies can't abuse the hell outta it. Hey Gaijin, is the player's Forced Evasion as useful as it sounds?
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2010
    It's a life-saver at times, especially towards the end when a full onslaught from a boss WILL deal out more damage than your characters have HP. It costs 50% of your F-Gauge, though. Much cheaper are the back-row emergency switch-outs (5 SP, switched-out character starts with 0% COM), but those cost you attack turns as well.
  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2010
This discussion has been closed.