St. Elmo's Fire

  • For interested parties, I wrote a bunch of nitpicky mods tweaking really specific things, most notably removing damage variance, so give those a try if you’re into that.

    I do appreciate that the developers made the game files so transparent and moddable, though the organizational structure… left some things to be desired. Why did effects and…[Read more]

  • Oh, I did play in Radiant mode. If that’s “speedy”, I don’t want to know what the standard difficulty is like.
    The art is indeed the strongest part of this. I was really impressed by how many poses they drew for all the different attacks. The Cultist Priest in particular was an excellent use of obscured horror (the way it twitches in its idle pose…[Read more]

  • Yes, I finally got around to this one! I’m… rather ambivalent towards it.

    Darkest Dungeon is a party-based RPG roguelike where you compile a party of 4 from 17 different classes and send them on expeditions […]

    • If I remember right, part of your complaint for the extra grinding forced by loss of progression is fixed by the game’s Radiant difficulty, which was designed to speed progression while keeping the combat intact. It allows things like getting the Experienced Recruit upgrade faster, making town management cheaper, and speeding up the dungeon leveling. I haven’t tried it out myself, but I’d recommend it to anyone who wants the experience without the time dump.

      I’ve never felt the Vestal to be required except in a few cases. Usually you could get away with two of the lesser healers, or even an Occultist solo healer. I do agree that healing wasn’t very strong, though. The game’s balance seemed inclined towards damage prevention rather than healing. I’d say the two most powerful characters in that sense were the Plague Doctor and the Hellion, given that they have abilities that stun two enemies. The action economy you get from that is really good.

      I too was a little disappointed by the heroes being cardboard cutouts, but each class still felt like it had enough of its own personality that I could get invested in the class itself, at least. Particularly, I almost got tripped up on the final boss because I sacrificed two characters who were willing to die but would have been much more useful for the last stage of the fight.

      The game’s combat does suffer from quite a lot of RNG, it’s true. Everything from the turn initiative to the damage variance to whether or not characters die when they are killed comes down to a roll of the dice. Personally I’m fine with RNG-based combat systems, but this could have stood for some tuning. I do love the virtue system just for the Rule of Cool factor, though.

      Speaking of Rule of Cool, I do feel like the game is really aesthetically complete, even if it’s mechanically not there. That is its greatest strength, in my opinion, and it keeps me feeling fond of it even if I’m not willing to replay it or buy the DLC.

      • Oh, I did play in Radiant mode. If that’s “speedy”, I don’t want to know what the standard difficulty is like.

        The art is indeed the strongest part of this. I was really impressed by how many poses they drew for all the different attacks. The Cultist Priest in particular was an excellent use of obscured horror (the way it twitches in its idle pose is so subtly unnerving). I also found the mosquito vampires delightfully clever — bat monster vampires have become pedestrian at this point, so it’s great that the game went a step further to make its vampires seem truly inhuman and horrific.

        I actually found the final monsters to be the weakest aesthetically, to be honest. Generic flesh blobs are just kind of eh at that point. It’s the uncanny valley that’s truly creepy.

        • I too loved the vampire mosquitos, and also the depraved noble aesthetic they had going. A lot of the area/boss backstories were about little sins or crimes that got out of hand and escalated under the Ancestor’s neglect or worse, attention. The idea that this orgy among his friends basically got so out of control it ate the manor’s gardens is hilarious to me.

          I also loved the demons being piglike because he summoned them into pigs, the only animal he could easily get in huge quantities for his experiments. That those experiments were failures is even better.

    • For interested parties, I wrote a bunch of nitpicky mods tweaking really specific things, most notably removing damage variance, so give those a try if you’re into that.

      I do appreciate that the developers made the game files so transparent and moddable, though the organizational structure… left some things to be desired. Why did effects and monster AI have to be in completely separate files from the monster data?

  • In the name of branching out into more popular fandoms, I have written a short Legend of Zelda fic. Feed me.

  • Oh yeah, that really bothered me too. I kept being like, surely he’s going to get major comeuppance for abusing mind-wiping like that? And then no, he’s just a funny rival antagonist.

    Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be just peachy and ended up being some sort of plot point (did it? You’d know better than me)

    There are vague hints that there’s some…[Read more]

  • I saw the first season. It was sorta cute, but a bit too geeky even for me. I find gamer culture rather cringey, to be honest. I don’t think I have anything significant to say about it, though, other than that I’m pleased with how racially diverse it is.

  • Continuing where we left off. A much weaker showing this time, with a lot of games I couldn’t even finish.

    Death? Preposterous!
    Puzzle/Visual Novel

    I could not get into this at all. In addition to RPG […]

  • Someone made a throwaway to troll me and for some reason couldn’t stop responding.

    U gay
    Jun 13Is your name elmo because you had a touch me elmo as a kid and got molested? Haha
    Jun 14Do I know […]

  • I just finished 8 except for the postgame, and… sorry, but I don’t get the hype. The plot is a wholesale rip-off of A Link to the Past, right down to getting hijacked by a far less interesting villain midway through. (My post about Final Fantasy Tactics applies here, I believe.) I genuinely cannot understand what you mean by “phenomenal character…[Read more]

  • St. Elmo's Fire commented on the post, Yo-Kai Watch 2 months ago

    You have to go out of your way to do that, though. The standard gameplay is to keep fusing your demons up into stronger demons, at least in my sample size of Devil Survivor.

  • I have started playing VIII! I just unlocked the alchemy pot, and… is there supposed to be anything preventing me from buying tons of Medicinal Herbs, fusing them into Rose-herbs in front of the shopkeeper, and then selling it right back to them to make infinite money?

    (And the first female party member’s special skill is “Sex Appeal”, really? Eugh.)

  • St. Elmo's Fire commented on the post, Yo-Kai Watch 2 months ago

    Supposedly the third game greatly improves on all of this, but I am dubious. Might watch a quick playthrough to see how it shakes out.

    (Apparently the third game is also set in America, which, lol, that must have been awkward at the localization meeting.)

  • I recently tried out the first Yo-Kai Watch game, out of curiosity for what the rest of the mons scene is doing.

    My most important takeaway is that anyone who says Yo-Kai Watch is trying to copy or replace […]

    • Act replied 2 months ago

      This was also my experience. I couldn’t even finish the game, the grindiness got so boring. I loved the Yokai designs and the ideas but god it was so deeply unfun.

      • Supposedly the third game greatly improves on all of this, but I am dubious. Might watch a quick playthrough to see how it shakes out.

        (Apparently the third game is also set in America, which, lol, that must have been awkward at the localization meeting.)

    • there is an uncomfortable undercurrent of “the spooky goblin man made me do it”

      That sums up, like, a third of all youkai stories. There’s a youkai whose sole reason for existence is to block your path on the road and make you late for an appointment.

    • Shin Megami Tensei really doesn’t have that much of a tiered power level as you think. Like yeah, they have tiered spells, but nothing really prevents you from putting high-tier skills on low-level Demons and levelling them up.

       

      Hell, Shin Megami Tensei III has a Pixie that you recruit at the start of the game and you can keep and if you keep her in your party until close to the end of the game and let her evolve naturally to her ultimate form, she’ll revert back to her original form except at level 80 with some of the best spells and skills.

      • You have to go out of your way to do that, though. The standard gameplay is to keep fusing your demons up into stronger demons, at least in my sample size of Devil Survivor.

        • Devil Survivor plays very differently from the other games. But generally if you find a demon you like you can just level it up and it’ll keep pace as long as you can find a way to feed it new skills, which Persona provides in spades. Fusing is more a method to move skills you like to other demons. Generally it’s intended to pass them onto stronger demons but with how the demon fusion system works you can figure out how to put higher-level  skills on lower level demons. When I was playing SMT4 I had the trouble where I just didn’t have much need to fuse very often, and I ended up dragging Alice from level 50ish to level 80 because I didn’t have a good way to replace her.

  • Oh god, you’re right. Thank you for reminding me of the existence of that awful show and that awful, awful plot point.

  • Having done the House of Empty Time sequence with Rhin, I’m pretty annoyed that she and the game treat you like a monster for doing it. By any logical metric, that is the best option for her. In-story, the characters have no reason to believe they’ll stumble across a way to get her home, she gives them no leads to go on, and her memory is such a…[Read more]

  • I just finished the remake myself. For some reason, it felt a lot harder even though I seemed much higher level, plus the support moves should have made battles a lot easier. I found myself doing chip damage to enemies a lot, which sucks when so many of the characters can only do one of physical or magical. But otherwise, I thought the gameplay…[Read more]

  • My point is, how would Benson know he’s exclusively attracted to male humans if he’s never met a male human? Even if he figured some things out by observation and scraps of remnants from human civilization, he’d be coming at it from such a different and more fragmented perspective than Kipo. It’s baffling that two people of such radically…[Read more]

  • No, I’m arguing it makes no sense for someone who has never met another human in his life to understand what sexual orientation is.

  • Yes, it’s part of a larger plot hole.

    Like I said, I’m willing to suspend disbelief that they share language, but the idea that Benson would even understand the concept, let alone that it applies to him, just makes no sense.

  • Yes, exactly. So change the context instead of the character. Give him a backstory that doesn’t make us question how he knows vocabulary understandable to us.

    There’s lots of forms you can tweak to fit your function.

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