Neverending Tales....

Tomorrow, arguably the last big jrpg of the year comes out (though probably not the last of this generation, at the very least it's sequel is probably coming stateside next year) releases on the PS3.I'm pretty psyched about it. It seems largely unchanged from the long-running Tales formula we've seen to date, but given how much I enjoyed the last two entries, Vesperia & Graces I don't expect that to be an issue. It's pretty much Jrpg comfort food and as long as you know that going in, you'll likely have a good time. I'll hopefully be grabbing my copy tomorrow (possibly Wednesday) and give impressions sometime this weekend.

For those looking for a double dose of rpg goodness, Dragon's Crown is also out this week on PS3 and Vita, but oddly missing the usual cross-buy feature most simultaneous releases like that have. The artwork has understandably been attacked for being ridiculously sexist with the ridiculously well-endowed sorceress and the barely wearing anything amazon being just two of many examples. Though to be fair most of the art is an exaggerated fashion and according to nearly every review, if you can get past the un-pc artwork there's a solid game in there that apes the glorious beat-em ups of old like Golden Axe with gorgeous art and well-developed skill trees along with some pretty competent mp. I think I'll be far too busy with the new Tales game to get into it now, but I can certainly see at least trying it out somewhere down the line especially if it goes on sale anytime soon.

So I've played Pikmin 3 for several hours and I think I'm done. It looks gorgeous and it's charming, but there are some huge issues that absolutely kill it for me personally. While the path-finding A.I. of your Pikmin is pretty good, some do get randomly lost and it's a chore to round them up. Aiming at flying enemies with the gamepad is nearly impossible (this is not so much of an issue with the Wii Remote/Nunchuck setup, which I'm sure most Wii owners have, but it should work with the controller included with the system, that's a major flaw in my opinion) and reorganizing your Pikmin after you've scattered them can be a time-consuming chore as well. But honestly this is not what ultimately breaks the game for me, it's the two very arbitrary limits that absolutely kill any sense of exploration and experimentation-Time & Juice. Each "day" only consists of about 15 minutes and then you have to drop everything and run back to your ship.Not even a boss fight pauses time and those can take up a whole day in themselves quite easily. This wouldn't be so much of an issue if not for you having to also keep a steady supply of "juice" your crew gathers fruit to keep your supply up, but also consumes a container a day. It's not that hard to keep your supply up but it's still ridiculous how easily you can basically waste a day and by extension juice. It really should've been just one or the other. 15 minute days? Ok. Or unlimited time on days but when you go back to your ship you use up one container of juice? Also perfectly fine. Combined? Oh hell no. Granted, you can do the day over again, but that really feels like artificially lengthening the game and again punishing you for not being an extremely efficient resource machine. Maybe that's the point, but frankly the previous games didn't feel that way and I'm not enjoying this entry because of it, so it's a pass for me.

That's all for today. I plan to have another gamer cinema up later this week in addition to impressions on Tales of Xillia (and just maybe Dragon's Crown if I can rent it and get some time in) so I may be posting quite a bit this week especially if any big news breaks.

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