3DS Catch-all

Not having played either, but based on what Clocky was saying in the 999 / VLR thread, VLR has a bunch of improvements that sounds really cool, and 999 sounds kind of tedious. I'm definitely thinking about whether to play 999 first or just go to VLR as well. I will say though, again based on what Clocky said, if think you might want to play 999, do it first, because I personally don't think I could play a game with the VLR system, and then go back to one that doesn't. Just knowing the VLR system exists makes me hesitant to play 999.

VLR is $50 through the eShop here, and it doesn't exist in a physical form in Australia.

They just reduced VLR to $40 coinciding with, and for the same duration as, the other titles on sale in the European eShop (Crimson Shroud, etc).

While that is a 'nicer' price to pay, it's still more than I want to pay for a 'non-physical' copy of a game.

Looking (ever so dangerously) at the UK import shop I frequent. I can get 999 for $26 and VLR for $29, so both for only $5 more than the eShop version when it's not on sale...

Damn you Minarchist (and now Garden Ninja?!?!)... I'm going to hold out for a bit longer, but it's looking very tempting.

I dunno why everyone says 999 is so tedious. They definitely improved the system for VLR, but it did not take that long to skip previously-seen sequences using the shoulder button. And seeing little snippets of the scene were helpful reminders of what you'd already seen.

999 is so awesome. I just want to add to the peer pressure.

Hey Clocky, think you can work some of your localization karma on this new Kunio-Kun game?

I liked 999 but didn't love it like Minarchist did. Virtue's Last Reward is, at least as of right now, one of my top three games for the 3DS. I highly recommend playing it.

Do you need to play 999 first? Not really. There are connections between the two games in the form of characters and aspects of the scenario, but VLR isn't a direct continuation of 999's storyline. I don't think you'd be lost playing Virtue's Last Reward on its own, and frankly, it's a better game. The puzzles are better, the writing is better, and the overall design is better.

I'm sure that when Minarchist gets his hands on a copy here in the near future he'll post about how wrongly wrong I am about it all, but my advice is to skip 999 and go straight to Virtue's Last Reward.

Minarchist wrote:

I dunno why everyone says 999 is so tedious. They definitely improved the system for VLR, but it did not take that long to skip previously-seen sequences using the shoulder button. And seeing little snippets of the scene were helpful reminders of what you'd already seen. :)

Because it is tedious. I liked the game, but I can't imagine trying to get the true ending without a guide. As it was, I blindly took the path most of the way to the true ending on my first playthrough and was frustrated to have to replay all of those scenes and all of those puzzles when I decided to go to the end. I think you were just fortunate to have been so swept up in the storyline that you weren't put off by things that really bothered other players.

Chaz wrote:

I thought Kid Icarus only let you play left handed. Does it do something else, or is that what you're after?

I just peeked at the game's manual (thank you, on-cartridge manuals), and you are correct: the Circle Pad Pro enables the game for left-handed play so that you can use the analog control with your right hand and the stylus with your left. It does not allow you to play the game as though it had standard dual analog controls (and frankly, the game is designed in such a way that dual analog controls would be a handicap).

Also, re: Kid Icarus: don't feel like you must use the stand. I never even unwrapped it and didn't miss it at all.

shoptroll wrote:

Hey Clocky, think you can work some of your localization karma on this new Kunio-Kun game?

Arc System Works is usually pretty good about localizing their games, but I'll get my mojo working, just in case.

How is/was Kid Icarus Uprising? I recall hearing good things (didn't Brad Shoemaker at Giant Bomb like it?), but honestly can't recall much of what I heard. The collector/hoarder in me wants to get it so I can collect all the damn AR cards

Trachalio wrote:

How is/was Kid Icarus Uprising? I recall hearing good things (didn't Brad Shoemaker at Giant Bomb like it?), but honestly can't recall much of what I heard. The collector/hoarder in me wants to get it so I can collect all the damn AR cards ;)

Real good. Great music, outstanding visuals, fun shooting once you get used it it, and some fun, self-aware writing. I do not use the stand.

I mentioned that Virtue's Last Reward is in my top three games on the 3DS. Kid Icarus: Uprising is in that same short list. It's amazing.

Trachalio wrote:

How is/was Kid Icarus Uprising? I recall hearing good things (didn't Brad Shoemaker at Giant Bomb like it?), but honestly can't recall much of what I heard. The collector/hoarder in me wants to get it so I can collect all the damn AR cards ;)

My original thoughts are still relevant today, and I think on the whole that's been my most popular game review. So I spam you with it.

ccesarano wrote:

So late to the train on this, but Crimson Shroud.

Firstly, after my brother and friends tried so hard to pester me into it, Crimson Shroud finally convinced me that I want to play D&D again. The miniatures are one thing. Cute and stuff. But the narration, the exploration of the dungeon, and the dice rolling. Oh dear Lord.

...

The combat system is challenging, one might even say difficult, but it feels so engaging because of it. Enemies wipe away about 1/4th to 1/3rd of a character's health in a single blow. Your strategy not only has to play out to what enemies you are currently facing and who is at what condition, but chaining together a set of elements so as not to cancel any out or repeating any so that you can gain dice that can be used for small boosts to damage or accuracy.

So many novel concepts, so awesome, so wonderful.

Too bad the game does a bad job of helping you forward.

I read back and saw where Clocky got stuck in Chapter Two, so I managed to avoid that particular problem. I also happened to try equipping the item, and that made something magically happen. I wasn't expecting it at all, and the game won't tell you about it either. There's a lot the game doesn't tell you. Now I'm in Chapter...Three I believe? And I may be stuck. Should I go and explore previous areas? Or should I keep walking around here? I don't know.

I'm playing this right now and just made it to chapter 3. For 8 bucks or whatever I paid it is great. I have to echo your praises, but unfortunately also your complaints plus a few. I was fortunate in that the required Chapter 2 item dropped on my first fight (Hundreds of hours of Baldur's Gate taught to always try killing mages first), but due to the vague information the game provides I could see where someone might not even realize the item drop is the thing they need and skip right over it.

The big flaw in the game is that for a game in which progression is entirely gear based it does a terrible job of illuminating the differences between gear. I think that when selecting and comparing gear, both screens needed to be used to provide enough room to compare the effects of what is equipped versus what you are picking up. As it stands gear selection is a bit of a crapshoot because it's so cumbersome to have switch menu panes to see what is equipped. There are so many little stats that it's pretty close to impossible to remember how what you have equipped compares to what you are selecting to pick up after a fight.

That problem continues when you're actually selecting your gear. If you highlight an item that is not equipped, it shows you the effect on your stats as a positive or negative, which is fine. If you then highlight the item you have equipped, it shows you the effect on your stats if you unequip the item. There's no way to side-by-side compare two items, which means a lot of mental gymnastics is needed to keep track of what item might be best. Generally I just end up looking at the magic/skill effects to see if there is something I want and ignoring the rest. If I find myself running into an enemy that kills me, I then change out to an item that has an appropriate effect/resistance. It's all very fiddly and requires a lot of guesswork.

I see no reason that the gear & stats menus could not have been expanded to fill both screens; when you're looking at the items the top screen is essentially useless. It would have been far superior to be able to select a character or item on the top, then compare that item to a different one selected on the bottom screen. In the case of gear equip, the top screen could show current stats, and the bottom screen the changed stats.
In fact most of the time the top screen is just eye candy.

I would love to see the game system fleshed out into a full sized title with some bigger budget. It's a big, ambitious game heavily constrained by the limitations of its budget.

It's definitely a bit opaque at times, and the interface could, as you point out, be a LOT better. The 'stats to unequip the item' thing in particular is a bummer. I really loved figuring out the combat systems with what little feedback the game does give you, though. It combines the RPG core of the game with a larger metagame puzzle aspect.

Also, how can you not love a game where one of the attributes you can get on your armor is 'Minotaur Resistance'?

necroyeti wrote:

The 'stats to unequip the item' thing in particular is a bummer.

It took me some time to realize that is what was even happening. "Why is this item making every stat worse?"

Between this and Demon's Souls my gaming time is being filled by awesome games with sh*t UIs.

...

I keep coming back to Crimson Shroud too, even though I haven't a clue how the game mechanics work (and the writing seems to be worse than 999).

I broke down and bought Kid Icarus Uprising last night, and got a notification from Nintendo that Spotpass gem deliveries ended last month Hope that wasn't a big part of the game!

Trachalio wrote:

I broke down and bought Kid Icarus Uprising last night, and got a notification from Nintendo that Spotpass gem deliveries ended last month Hope that wasn't a big part of the game!

I don't recall getting any gems via SpotPass, but I got more than enough via StreetPass. On the whole it's not really a major part of the game, it's just loot that you get from other players. I mostly just melt most of it down into hearts and keep a select handful that I have enough hearts to afford, but you'll basically get the same sort of stuff if you play the game.

Got my circle pad pro XL. No retail box, just the thing in a bag and the manual. No battery, even though the manual says its included. Annoying.

Man, this thing is big. It also blocks the stylus and the wifi switch.

It's obvious in monster hunter that the pad is digital and not analog, so it feels a bit weird, but easier than the touch screen controls.

Chaz wrote:

Got my circle pad pro XL. No retail box, just the thing in a bag and the manual. No battery, even though the manual says its included. Annoying.

Man, this thing is big. It also blocks the stylus and the wifi switch.

It's obvious in monster hunter that the pad is digital and not analog, so it feels a bit weird, but easier than the touch screen controls.

Oh yuck. That's a weird feeling. Katamari for the PSP has that issue. If you play it on the Vita the right thumbstick feels really odd because it's mapping an analog control to previous digital inputs.

DSGamer wrote:
Chaz wrote:

Got my circle pad pro XL. No retail box, just the thing in a bag and the manual. No battery, even though the manual says its included. Annoying.

Man, this thing is big. It also blocks the stylus and the wifi switch.

It's obvious in monster hunter that the pad is digital and not analog, so it feels a bit weird, but easier than the touch screen controls.

Oh yuck. That's a weird feeling. Katamari for the PSP has that issue. If you play it on the Vita the right thumbstick feels really odd because it's mapping an analog control to previous digital inputs.

In MH, the left/right motion is digital, but the up/down is incremented into levels. It's the same way on the Wii U. I don't know why they made that decision, but it's really easy to get used to with little flicks up and down instead of centering the camera up or down where you need it.

I think you mean left/right is analog, doak.

Blind_Evil wrote:

I think you mean left/right is analog, doak.

Y'know. Words.

Naw, I think the left right is digital on the ds.

After doing two under water fights, the cpp has proven its worth. Much better.

So my Circle Pad Pro XL arrived yesterday... it's... kinda big:

IMAGE(http://distilleryimage7.s3.amazonaws.com/73782afab14011e290de22000a1f97ef_7.jpg)

Heh. I was going to buy one, but since MH is my main trip, I've been dissuaded by how much the lock on has changed my life. Seriously, I had a right proper Claw going on on the PSP, but I find no need for that here. It even makes the underwater battles easy.

I'll probably get one of these just because I love stuff, but I'm in no rush.

The picture speaks volumes.

I couldn't even roll with the CPP on the original 3DS. It felt like some Cronenberg eXistenZ monstrosity. I now choose to suffer one stick, but with dignity.

That picture is crazy. I played a lot of NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat, Sonic and Aladin on the Game Gear back in college. So I remember how bulky that was pretty vividly. How thick is it compared to the Game Gear?

That is one beefy device.

Slumberland wrote:

I couldn't even roll with the CPP on the original 3DS. It felt like some Cronenberg
eXistenZ monstrosity.

Only true if you were able to have 'relations' with it during your gameplay session.

DSGamer wrote:

That picture is crazy. I played a lot of NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat, Sonic and Aladin on the Game Gear back in college. So I remember how bulky that was pretty vividly. How thick is it compared to the Game Gear?

At least the 3DS screen is phenomenally better than the Game Gear

While I haven't tried it over an extended period of time, or with any games other than MH3U, it fits my hands pretty darn good. It's moulded well and it's very light too. Doesn't add a lot of weight to the 3DS XL. I'll probably give it a good work out tonight with more MH3U, Kid Icarus, and Resident Evel to get a better feel.

At least the 3DS probably doesn't eat through batteries like the Game Gear did.