Now that I've vowed to try out these games I've bought but never played, I want to take a look at each one as it comes up. I'll figure out why I never got to it, play it, and then decide whether or not it was worth the purchase in the first place. Without further ado, allow me to present...


Bought: Sometime Post-Christmas '07

Amount Played: Nada, although I did play the online beta for about half an hour before it came out

Why I bought it: Gamestop was doing one of their Buy 2 Get 1 Free deals for all used games, which have been the bane of my bank account for some time.

Why I was interested in it: I really liked Phantasy Star Online, just like everyone else. It was a lot of fun. This was supposed to be a sequel, and everyone was interested in it. After tons of delays they announced that there would be no offline multiplayer of any kind whatsoever, and then no one was interested in it. So it sold very badly and price dropped fairly quickly. I wasn't really interested in the online multiplayer (which cost extra, unlike the successful PSO), but it did have a solo campaign. And I had played plenty of solo-PSO and really enjoyed it, so I figured... why not?

Why it collected dust: Because I bought it right after the holidays when I had tons of other games to be playing and no business being in a game store. I didn't even finish Super Mario Galaxy until this year, for Christ's Sake! There was no way I was going to get to this game anytime soon, something I knew perfectly well when I bought it. That's how I know I have a problem.

Reason to play it now: Kind of in an RPG mood, but not really. So action RPG sounds good

Reactions: It's a good thing I never tried to "sample" this game to see what it was like. It'd still be collecting dust. The first hour of the game features very little actual playing, tons of handholding, and just about every awful JRPG cliche you can possibly imagine. If I had been playing the Japanese RPG drinking game, it would have killed me. PSO had a solo campaign, but there was virtually no plot. And that's the way it should be. Because Team Sega cannot make a game with anything resembling a good plot. They can't even make an amusingly bad plot. This is the team that thought it proper for a hedgehog to be kissing a human. It should be illegal for any one of their members to submit anything resembling "story ideas", or, God help us all, "dialogue".

I was really close to giving up on the game, but after a couple hours you start getting into some legitimate gameplay, and I was reminded of all the things I liked about the series to begin with. Fortunately, by this point, the plot isn't beating me over the head as much, so I'm managing. Ultimately the gameplay is a lot of fun, but the plot is unbelievable awful, so for now I'm taking the bad with the good. If it continues at this rate I'll probably play it to completion, but we'll see - you never know what awful event Team Sega has planned for me down the road...

Buyer's Remorse?: No, I don't think so. Look, I was really curious about the solo campaign, and info was scarce because no one bought the damn thing. And it was pretty cheap, so even if it had been awful it's not like it cost me much. The combat is exactly what I'm looking for, and while it's not nearly as good as PSO, that's only because the plot won't get out of the way when all I want to do is play the game. But that gameplay is there, so I am enjoying it for the moment. Mark this one down as a "okay purchase."

Grade: C

Posted by Kevin on 11:44 AM


Lauren said...

I like this series you have going on. I'd do it with my books but, man, that just takes so long. And i'm incredibly lazy.

Also, NOTHING tops the Hemingway drinking game. NOTHING.

Kevin said...

Thanks! I'm trying out some different stuff to see what sticks, but laziness is a constant enemy.

I don't think I've ever heard of the Hemingway drinking game. Do you just go drink-for-drink with the characters in his books? If so that'd be the best reading experience eveeeeeer

Colure said...

I agree with Lau - great idea for an ongoing series. :D

Also, love this quote of yours:
"something I knew perfectly well when I bought it. That's how I know I have a problem."

You do have a problem, babe. But at least you know it. And knowing is half the battle!


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