Yesterday, I asked the question what I believed everyone thought Edge's powers were based upon what they observed in the game. People can look at the in-game dictionary to learn a little bit more - I know I have - but I, personally, am still unclear as to what his genetic alteration's effects are on him. With Reimi, it's quite clear. She can recover from an illness once her body realizes how to combat it when said illness could kill another person.
Edge, we do get clues. When he receives a burst of adrenaline in an intense situation, the crest on his right hand lights up, and he's ready for battle. Really, though, what does that crest do? When looking at the weapons in The Calnus, Edge finds one and laments how he was never able to hit any target with it. The changes Edge undergoes aren't visible to us. We do know that he's quick at calculating what move to do next and when in a battle. This is all great for adapting to a harsh environment, but I feel like there is more to it than just being quicker with a sword and casting symbols in and out of battle.
The Star Ocean Universe asks - Who do you think would win in this kind of a fight: Edge vs. Fayt using Symbology?
Game Talk, Part Eight - Revamping Till the End of Time
I love, love, love the game of Till the End of Time. I love it. Please make no mistakes on that. At the same time I love it, I feel that it lacks a very strong tale for the wonderful characters that are presented to us. For this Game Talk, I'm going to break down the game's strong and weak points and what I'd like to see if Square Enix were to ever ask me what they could do to improve it for a re-release.
Note: This is not a game review!
Till the End of Time's Strong Points
1 - Graphics
The graphics are visually stunning. The landscapes are real. The characters are real in appearance. Everything about the graphics can lead a player to believe that such events could eventually play out in that kind of a future.
2 - The playable Characters
Each playable Character has a strength that lends to the battle party's overall ability to defeat an enemy. There's a variety from swords and daggers, to fisticuffs and symbology and guns. It's like Star Wars . . . without some creepy dude in black telling you he's your father.
3 - The battles are challenging.
Yes. The player mashes buttons, so to speak, but that doesn't mean the enemies are pushovers. If one isn't careful, it's game over. The player needs to keep an eye, not only on hit points but magic as well. In most other games I've played, no magic simply means the person with the magic can't cast a spell once it hits zero.
4 - Item Creation
I like creating items so that I can "survive" between save points. I like that I can boost the stats of a weapon or a piece of armor and potentially defeat the enemies at a slightly lower level. I like recruiting the inventors, too.
5 - The overall plot
Saving the universe can be quite a mind bender on the person who finds himself or herself in such a situation. Parents making a difficult decision to do what's right by sacrificing their children's forgiveness presents a very moral quandary. It has a lot of potential to be nerve-wracking, exciting and dangerous, and many of those elements are there.
Till the End of Time Weak Points
1 - The overall plot
Yes. The overall plot makes it into the game's weak points as well as the strong points. Saving the universe from destruction of an angry God bent on destruction is cool. Saving the universe from an angry God-like being because his bottom line is being threatened by anomalies and "viruses" and that everything is just a game? It's very lame. While it doesn't make Luther any less of an interesting villain (for me), it does make him to be a pathetic villain.
2 - Lack of Character growth and development
Let's face it. The only character who gets much in the way of development is Fayt. He's the only one who grows from his experiences. Yes, Maria does a little bit, but she still doesn't get much in the way of development. She, and Sophia, are key players as well. While I'm not going to complain about where they arrive as playable characters in the story, they are still flawed and really unaffected by the events taking shape around them.
3 - It doesn't take enough time
I like a good challenge. However, defeating a game in a grand total of three days' time isn't very challenging. People may think that's a long time for a game, but it really isn't that long.
4 - Not enough areas to explores
I don't know about anyone else, but I find it annoying that I can only leave Peterny in three different directions. I come from the south and need to head north once I reach it. I can also head west but not east out of Peterny.
The same holds true for Gemity. I don't want to head to just Arkives or Sphere 211. There's more to explore. The information technology industry is quite fierce. So what? We have Sophia! She has that amazing ability to "connect" to things! Why is it that we're just limited to Gemity?
I also ask what areas lay beyond the palatial cities of Airyglyph and Aquios. I'm an exploration nut. I want to go to all of these areas.
5 - A pathetic villain.
I know. I've said it in the first reason, but Luther really is a weak point in this game. There has to be more as to why he's trying to eradicate these anomalies when all he needs to do is reboot the system, as it were, and start over to get rid of the "viruses" and "bugs". Maybe Luther isn't the true villain, but he's what we're given.
6 - Unrealistic actions in various environments
Okay, this comes from the fact that, in the mountains, the player can run from the castle to Kirlsa with no effect. However, when the player reaches the Mosel Desert, until a particular item is obtained, we have to hop from water hole to water hole because it's so unbearably hot. Why is the mountain not so unbearably cold that heat pockets need to be found in order to keep from freezing to death?
7 - Lame final boss fight
Luther is a challenge if you aren't aware of what it is you need for that battle, both in terms of items and battle set up for the main party. That said, fighting Luther isn't as challenging as it could be. Luther is the Creator. He should be healing himself when he's dangerously close to dead. He should be summoning up little crystal spheres like we see in the Shrine of Kaddan when we go after the Sacred Orb once more. Nearly everything the playable characters can do (minus the non-MP draining special attacks like Sidekick and Fists of Fury), Luther should be able to do as well and with more damage. He should be able to shoot energy from his spear. Luther could be a Bad-A** fight, but they wimped out on him.
8 - Travel time is boring
By this, I mean that it's just too easy in terms of distance and time to get from one city or village to the next. Geographically speaking, for how short of a distance it is to go from Kirlsa to Arias, Airyglyph should have overrun Aquios before Cliff, Mirage, and Fayt arrived, no matter what kind of weapons they created and used to fight back. They wouldn't have had the time.
With all of this in mind, I would definitely, if given the opportunity to talk to the game's developers, say revamp the game's maps and strengthen the plot. Give it more punch. Show us the changes that are affecting everyone.
One thing I'd also like, in addition to the costume changes, is to see the differences in armor for the playable characters. Not every single time a change is made, but often enough to know that they're equipped with different armor.
Finally, I'd love to see an ending for some of the NPCs and villains. I would love to see what happens to Luther afterwards to answer the question, "Is he really dead?". I'd love to see the alternate universe where he ends up with Fayt as his protege (in the event of the Fayt solo ending, based on affinity from others).
There is so much that could be done with this game, and it would definitely elevate the experience.
Because I ended up procrastinating too much to get this entry done, this will be this week's Game Talk entry.
Happy belated Birthday, Claude C. Kenny!
Sadly, I don't have any fan art or fanfiction to commemorate the day. If anyone wants to send anything for it, I will gladly post it.
Birthday List - covering January to June
January 25 (assigned by me) - Ilia Silvestri
January 31 (assigned by me) - Ryoko Leingod
February 3 (official) - Faize Sheifa Beleth
February 15 (assigned by me) - Peppita Rosetti
February 16 (official) - Noel Chandler
February 29 (official - can swing to either February 28 or March 1) - Precis F. Neumann
March 2 (assigned by me) - Roger S. Huxley
March 16 (official) - Meracle Chamlotte
March 28 (official) - Reimi Saionji
April 10 (assigned by me) - Adray Lasbard
April 24 (official) - Arumat P. Thanatos
May 5 (official) - Bacchus D-79
May 7 (assigned by me) - Blair Lansfeld
May 13 (official) - Rena Lanford
June 1 (assigned by me) - Cliff Fittir
June 29 (assigned by me) - Maria Traydor
June 30 (official) - Lymle Lemuri Phi
More birthdays will be added in, and reminders will be posted.
Valentine's Day - February 14
St. Patrick's Day - March 17
Easter - March 31
Earth Day - April 22
Mother's Day - May 12
Father's Day - June 16
I've added in Earth Day to the list of holidays because of the message that lies behind The Last Hope. I think it's the kind of holiday that Star Ocean fans could have a field day with so I've included it for that purpose alone.
When it comes to the holidays and the birthdays, I am looking for the following: art, stories (one-shots), and poetry. The highest rating I will accept for stories and artwork is R. No explicit material please, and proofread your work. All submissions can be emailed to me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and must be submitted no later than midnight the previous day. All genres except for smut accepted.
Ask the Star Ocean Character For January - Adray Lasbard
There is a slight change for Ask the Star Ocean Character segments. Instead of weekly, the segments will appear once a month on the final day of the month. This will give people time to submit their questions, either here or at fanfiction.net.
The next character in the que is Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time.
As per usual, the rules are as follows:
Limit three questions per person
Keep it clean (no sex talk)
Questions need to be submitted by midnight, January 28, 2013, and they can be submitted via comments, private message, or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
One final thing - please let me know if you wish to remain anonymous or have a specific user handle you'd like for me to use. I will gladly keep the question asker anonymous or use the handle s/he has specified. Otherwise, I will use the name I know you by. This is something that I will be very flexible with because this is based on fan interaction as much as it is what I come up with for it.
For those of you wondering about the Roger segment, I have a few things I want to tweak on it, add to it, and I will post it this Saturday.