[GAMING] Making a dent in the backlog

[I haven’t forgotten about my artist impression and ranking wars. They should be back to a normal schedule no later than two weeks from now. There’s some things coming up and shifting of schedules that I’m trying to compensation for. Please stick with me during this time!]

Between everything on my plate, it’s become difficult to find time to game. Between this year and the last, I went back to some old games I owned to complete them. I’d like to say I have something called ‘last save point syndrome’. I have a terrible habit of playing a game, getting to or near the last save point, and then putting that game down to play something else. So this time around, instead of playing new games, I’ve been trying to make an effort to play and/or finish games I’ve dropped.

I picked up one of the oldest games I owned, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete. This fell into the syndrome category for a special reason. I headed into the last dungeon with being underleveled and having very little healing items. The point was for me to reach the dungeon, save, and go back out to stock up. So I did that… not realizing that I couldn’t exit. The enemies would almost wipe me out in less than two turns. I didn’t want to go back and restart the game, so I left it to play something else.

I started my restart of the game last year and beat it around March. I own the guide book, so I followed it but also ignored some aspects. It kept giving poor advice. In certain sections, they would mention not to fight the enemies, but I made it a point to fight every enemy I came across. I believe that since I followed that same advice last time that caused me to be underleveled, I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. Any enemy I came across, I fought and when I got to the final boss, even then I kept dying (but at least I reached him this time around right?). It took about ten or so to defeat the boss; his second form kept destroying me. It felt uplifting to go back and beat a game that basically stumped me from continuing it in my early pre-teen to teenage years.

About a two months ago, I finished off Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phanstasm. This pretty much fell into the ‘last save point syndrome’, but for a different reason. I remember being stuck and not knowing how to move forward in the game, and since I couldn’t figure it out and didn’t want to use a FAQ to look it up, I stopped playing and picked up another game. The problem was I couldn’t get the last acquired set of quest points but when I did quests, they wouldn’t provide me with the points I needed. But I kept repeating quests (some are repeatable via the guild), but never achieved the points. Because of this, I had an overabundance of money. I probably earned more money in that game than any other I can think of. I couldn’t figure out how to achieve the quest points I needed, despite doing quests, so I left the game alone and picked up something else.

But unlike Lunar 2, I wasn’t stuck because of an underleveled issue, so I didn’t restart the game, I loaded my last save point. This time, I used an FAQ to get me past what I couldn’t. Somehow, I didn’t realize that there was a specific quest I needed to do to trigger the quest that provided the balance of points I needed. Once I figured that out and completed the missions, I had no problem with the rest of the game. Actually, defeating the final boss was a breeze because I was overleveled from all the quests I repeated earlier (most were hunting related).

After Atelier Iris, I picked up a game I kept saying I was going to replay and didn’t. This doesn’t quite fit the syndrome bill, but I did screw up with the save point.  Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia was a game I had to replay from the beginning because I thought I had made a separate save for when the story split off, but apparently, I didn’t.

During a section of the game, you can split off the story by doing one of the Reyvateil’s stories (Misha or Aurica). I believe my thought of the time of when I first played it was that you could play one story and then go back and do the other person’s timeline. Nope. So when I made the choice for Misha’s story, I saved over the point once I beat her story plus the game and I wanted to reload the game, I could start from that point and do Aurica’s. I did Misha’s story first because I didn’t like her and wanted to get her out of the way first before I completed Aurica’s story. So I had to replay the game from the beginning to make it to the part where I could choose Aurica.

I finished the game about two hours ago.

One thing that bugs me about Ar Tonelico though is that they have a horrible habit of having a character join your party super late in the game and you’re expected to bond with her very quickly before the final boss, which ideally might be only less than ten hours of gameplay away. I say this is a habit because while I’ve played AT1, I also started Ar Tonelico: Melody of Metafalica a while back, which I’m sure falls under the ‘last save point syndrome’ and they did the same thing. Well I may not quite be at the last save point, but I’m sure I’m within the last leg of the game and they introduced a Reyvateil at that point that I feel the sudden need to rush and bond with her. I did start the third game, Knell of Ar Ciel, but didn’t get to far just yet. I think I stopped that because I had issues with my PS3 at the time and needed to get it fixed. So instead of going back to the game, I picked up something else.

Funny note about Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia and Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm, Vic Mignogna voiced characters in both of these games, Radolf and Edge respectively.

What do I plan to pick up next? I really should go back and beat the second Ar Tonelico or continue to play Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. There’s also the option of playing Tales of Hearts since I brought it when it was released, but haven’t started it. I still have some seal games that haven’t been open yet, Devil May Cry 2, 3, 4 (I didn’t even finish 1), and Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. I should finish Borderlands, but it’s weird to play it since I had been playing story mode on co-op but since their online servers are no longer, I’ve found little point and excitement in playing the game.

Whatever I decide to pick up, I’ll be sure to let you know. I have a feeling it’ll be Tales of Hearts. I’ve heard it’s a short game since it’s for the Vita. But I’ll be playing it on my Vita TV because sometimes, it’s difficult for me play games on handheld consoles. Even then, I should continue my kick of playing old games I’ve stopped playing. Maybe Xenosaga 2…. Hm.

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