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RPGamer <3s #JRPGJuly - Week Three Update



Welcome to our Week Three updates for #JRPGJuly, hosted by Chic-Pixel. Last week I shared the progress of all the participants who sent me updates. This week, let's see if the staff made any progress in their current games.

Previous Updates:

Sam Wachter

This week I decided I needed to put Atelier Iris on hold. Sad, I know, but I really need to finish Ar noSurge Plus for review, so I really spent a lot of the week buckling down to complete it. I haven't finished the game yet, but I am SO CLOSE I can taste! I am well into Phase 3, and I remembered why I hate Phase 3 of Ar noSurge. Let's put it this way — because the enemies come in waves, once you hit waves that are over twenty-five enemies, the battle system begins to feel like such a dull slog. It's samey and it loses the charm that the battle system begins with. I am at the waves of fifty enemies and struggling to get to the end of the game because the battles are so boring! But the story is so interesting! This is my dilemma, guys.


No seriously, Kanon spills out of her bra. WHY SO MUCH UNDER AND SIDE BOOB?! #JRPGJuly

— Sam Wachter (@merrygodown) July 22, 2015

I really do like the story in Ar noSurge a fair bit, and if I'm being honest, I'm actually enjoying this replay more than I thought I would. However, the "plus" features once again feel so minimal, and I've noticed especially in Phase 3, the framerate plummets at times, and I've had a few crashes which has made me quite sad as well. I managed to complete more of the Genometrics this time around. Ion's always breaks my heart, it's really sad and quite beautiful at the same time. So my experience, while better, is still kind of mixed as well.

And finally, if you've been following me on Twitter, then you've been seeing the amount of boob related screenshots I've been posting. My mind is still baffled at Kanon's lack of nipples, as well as her square shaped breasts. Many ladies sent me messages on Twitter also sharing in my concern for Kanon's breasts. She's a favourite character of mine, but damn the amount of side and under boob scenes she gets.

You can follow Sam on Twitter (@merrygodown) for more updates.


Anna Marie Privitere

My time was split this week but nearly all of it ended up in Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. It’s... a Pokémon game, so I won’t go into great depth. I decided unlike my playthrough of XY where I focused largely on increasing my collection and stuck with only a trio of core characters, I decided what I wanted from my team fairly early but was flexing what was occupying those roles. For my TM/HM servant, I chose Linoone, who among other useful moves can learn Cut, Rock Smash, Hidden Power, and…Surf?!

Swampert and Taillow almost never left my part, while I rotated in to find the right combination of the other types (Mightyena, Gloom, Dustox, Manetric, and a few others didn’t make the cut) before I settled on this team, which defeated the Elite 4:  

  • [Mega]Swampert (66) - Tackle, Waterfall, Rock Slide, Mud Bomb
  • Swellow (64) - Fly, Aerial Ace, Swift, Wing Attack
  • Electrode (64) - Spark, Flash, Charge Beam, Swift
  • Linoone (61) - Cut, Surf, Hidden Power, Rock Smash
  • Camerupt (59) - Rock Slide, Earth Power, Strength, Flame Burst
  • Latias (56) - Heal Pulse, Dragon Breath, Mist Ball, Dive

I also finally dug into my adventures with Atelier Escha & Logy. The game is a combination of a lot of features and functions of previous Atelier games while adding its own twists (or at least twists I've not encountered in the series before). The game is divided into fourth month periods, each with their own assignments; the assignments are laid out on a “board,” and completing quests (along with making lines on the board) award players with new alchemy recipes, stat bonuses, and cole, the game’s currency.

One change I'm really loving is the combat items refreshing. Unlike previous Atelier games, usable combat items are limited by the amount each alchemist can hold, with different items requiring a different amount of space to equip. While these items can be exhausted, they will be renewed when returning to town. As silly as it sounds, it’s really exciting to be able to make the perfect potion or bomb and be able to use it over and over.

Currently I'm on Assignment 5 and my front line party typically consists of Linca, Escha, and Threia, with Wilbell, Lucille, and Logy in the back row. Looking forward to playing more this week!


You can follow Anna on Twitter (@ampriviterefor more updates.


Michael A Cunningham

Here's a brief rundown of my Final Fantasy XI moments from the past week. I made up a lot of ground after not touching it much the week prior. First, I finished all of the main story quests for San d'Oria and obtained Rank 10! Vanilla FFXI is beaten. Now onto the rest...

My #FFXI #JRPGJuly journey pics. 1/9

— Michael A Cunningham (@FinalMacstorm) July 24, 2015

I also got to level 70 and needed to break the limit with the Maat fight, but didn't get to fight Maat. I got to fight Laila instead since I'm a Dancer. A really easy fight with Trusts.

My #FFXI #JRPGJuly journey pics. 2/9

— Michael A Cunningham (@FinalMacstorm) July 24, 2015

I also took a trip to the new Aldouin areas...and landed with a thud.

My #FFXI #JRPGJuly journey pics. 3/9

— Michael A Cunningham (@FinalMacstorm) July 24, 2015

I found this crazy person and unlocked Geomancer.

My #FFXI #JRPGJuly journey pics. 4/9

— Michael A Cunningham (@FinalMacstorm) July 24, 2015

And I also unlocked the final job, Rune Fencer!

My #FFXI #JRPGJuly journey pics. 5/9

— Michael A Cunningham (@FinalMacstorm) July 24, 2015

After that I went back to the past and finished some more Bastok (S) quests for my girl Klara.

My #FFXI #JRPGJuly journey pics. 6/9

— Michael A Cunningham (@FinalMacstorm) July 24, 2015

And then I revisited the Ugly Temple to work on some more Zilart missions.

My #FFXI #JRPGJuly journey pics. 7/9

— Michael A Cunningham (@FinalMacstorm) July 24, 2015

But I found a slime along the way and started doing some of the event quests for the Dragon Quest X crossover?!? Salt in the wound!

My #FFXI #JRPGJuly journey pics. 8/9

— Michael A Cunningham (@FinalMacstorm) July 24, 2015

But then I got to level 74 and wound my way though Ifrit's Cauldron to finish off one more Zilart mission for the night. I'm still loving this game and have some much left to do.

My #FFXI #JRPGJuly journey pics. 9/9

— Michael A Cunningham (@FinalMacstorm) July 24, 2015

You can follow Michael on Twitter (@FinalMacstorm) for more updates.


Cassandra Ramos

I'm currently up to Friday at 13:00 as I write this. I thought for sure I would have finished this game by now, but various things got in the way all week. I was definitely wrong about it being three days long. Ah well, I'm pretty sure I'm near the last boss. I'll have it beat before next week, I think. I'm especially speeding through things by using my compendium and summoning up several very powerful demons. This metaseries never ceases to amaze me with its sheer variety of mythologies, and even using beings from other sources like literature and film. Just pictured here I have two Greek goddesses, a Norse goddess of fate, the Hindu king of birds, a duke of Hell, the king of the fairies according to Shakespeare, a sorta-cute Spanish ice dragon, and a Jack Frost that wants to be Lucifer. And yes, I am happy to have Culebre back! 

As a result, I haven't been having very much trouble at all with battles. I've gotten one Game Over so far in this arc, and it was due to a dumb mistake rather than something truly challenging. I did this to myself, so I'm not complaining that things are easy. I like a challenge, but I also sometimes just like to crush things. Devil Survivor is known for its difficulty spikes, so maybe that won't last for much longer. Speaking of crushing, I just love this skill set on Hinako. Multi-Strike's damage depends on Agility and Strength, both of which are Hina's best stats. Phys Amp powers it up, Pierce allows her to affect most enemies except for those with Phys Repel, and Marksman ensures that all of her strikes hit. It's not that useful on most bosses, but I use her to tear regular teams apart. 

So much has happened in the story, but I can’t go into detail on that. I can say that it has certainly kept my interest. It also continues to raise some odd questions and implications about the MegaTen multiverse as a whole. Of course, even if several games in the metaseries connect to each other by means of a multiverse, it doesn't mean every game is part of that multiverse. There are no real references to any Megami Tensei titles in this game aside from the first Devil Survivor, and even that is likely just an Easter egg. More importantly, though, playing through nearly two in-game days has really enhanced my opinion about Devil Survivor's story and characters. It's likely because there are so many playable characters, but many of them feel a little shallow in the base game, even with the Fate system. The Triangulum arc emphasizes both the character development they've undergone since the end of the Septentrione arc and the camaraderie and friendship they have with each other. Much of credit should also go to the voice acting in making the characters more realized.

The story itself feels a little bit closer to the original Devil Survivor in this arc. Due to various events, there is a sense of dread and hopelessness. The characters are doing their best to overcome this and find a solution, but it's ever present. It's not on the same level of desperation as shown by characters in the first game, but it does aid in the game's atmosphere. Of course, there has to be comedy relief, though that doesn't bother me all that much anymore. Well, I am still bothered my Fumi's characterization. While Fumi does reveal that she's not as much of a sociopath as she seems, the out-of-touch socially-inept scientist tropes this game plays up about her are taken too far. She's hardly the only scientist in fiction portrayed this way, and I imagine real scientists are tired of this.

I do have a another reason I hadn't finished Devil Survivor 2 yet. I continued another JRPG that I realized I could easily play while watching YouTube. Assuming I have Record Breaker beat soon, I will go into more detail on that game next week. For now though, I'll leave you all with this screenshot:


Mike Apps

Another short update this week. Progress with Fire Emblem If has slowed in week three as battles are getting longer and more complicated. This week I saw a battle in some sort of spirit world, where I was reduced to only the main character, the blue haired dancer lady, and a guest cavalry guy. The battle involved making my way to some escape point, but with a twist. The battle gives you mirror copies of these characters on the other side of the map that get their own moves, but share HP with the main versions of these characters. They start off in a small fortress that heals every turn, so it's ideal to leave them there, but they have to fend off hordes of enemies. Initially I thought both parties had to clear their portion of the map, but I hit some sort of time limit this way and got a game over. Instead, the main party just has to escape. I wonder though, if it is possible to completely clear the board and what reward you may get for doing so. Fire Emblem If continued to prove itself to be quite the RPG. It does feel on the easier side with perma-death off, but not enough that it's a cake walk by any stretch. It gives the game a more Shining Force feel, especially with no weapon durability. Hopefully I can polish off most of the rest of the game by the end of #JRPGJuly.

You can follow Mike on Twitter (@AskWheels) for more updates.


Becky Cunningham

I didn't get a lot of Radiant Historia in this week, though Main History Stocke has just arrived at the first major city in the game's Big Bad Empire. He's totally inconspicuous in his bright crimson cape. Instead, I spent much of the week playing through the Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold demo. I greatly enjoyed EOU 1, and the second game in the rebooted series looks to be more of the same. I'm not quite as fond of the party as a whole this time around (though seriously, nothing can beat EOU 1's delightful Canadian Protector), but Flavio and Bertrand are pretty fun, and it's cute that the shy little war medic calls everybody things like "Mr. Sword" and "Mr. Bow." The demo is delightfully meaty - you can play through most of the first stratum of the labyrinth before it stops feeding you new storyline material.

As always, my favourite part of the EO series is making the maps. I know not all our staffies (hi Macstorm!) love this aspect of the series, but I find something therapeutic about drawing in the walls as I carefully traverse the dangerous dungeons. It's worth noting that you can set things so that the walls are drawn in for you, but I stick with just the floors. Though I'm disappointed that the grimoire stone system is still intact, I'm otherwise excited to play this entry. Always nice to have a quality dungeon-crawler from Japan that isn't full of obnoxious fanservice. IT CAN BE DONE!

You can follow Becky on Twitter (@BeckyCFreelance) for more updates.


Sarah McGarr

Haven't done much this week, I have been working late and then working on my REAL LIFE thyrus weapon for an upcoming con. Then Thursday I got lazy and just watched TV. I should be playing more this weekend when I'm not so tired.

You can follow Sarah on Twitter @yournoodleface for more updates.


Week Three Wrap Ups — a complete success! Check back with us for the final lap of #JRPGJuly, and see who manages to complete their games and who happens to make enough progress to be satisfied. Remember to follow @RPGamer to see some updates, or use #JRPGJuly to get in on the action.

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