Featuring Spectral Force Genesis

It’s a strange feeling, yah know? As soon as I buy a BS3, I can walk into a retail store and find a fuck load of games that I’d actually be interested in. Oh looky, there’s an MGS collection and Borderlands 2!?

Retailers are so biased against the Wii. All these stores carry is licensed shit, Skylanders, and Fucking Just Dance.

I swear, if I see another damn game with this exact title….

I think K-Mart will be my new Amazon. It’s amazing how a shit shack of a store has some of the rarest games that people will kill for. Kinda wish I had a 2DS to justify buying Shinobi 3D. It’s taunting me so.

But eh, I settled for Spectral Force Genesis, a game that advertises itself as a hybrid of 3 different genres. War sim, RTS, and RPG. Seeing as it’s rare for the Japanese to do anything right when it comes to JRPGs, I was somehow drawn to this game.

…..Sue me.

Anywho, I remember playing one RTS, it was Red Alert 2 on the PC, and I remember actually enjoying it despite all the computer centrism involved. Preparing troops, getting cheddar, vantage points, rocketeers, the awesomeness that as Yuri, Tanya’s titties, and more glorified fantasies of America going to war with Russia. It was a fucking cool game. Anything that is in real time is much more enjoyable than all the turn-based crap that Japan usually puts out. It’s rare to find any strategy game from Japan that is in real time, so seeing that on the back of the box was like…. “SOLD”.

So, I roll home, cut open the packaage, popped this bitch in, and in less than 4 minutes, I am treated to this screen.

I had to read that again to make sure I wasn’t about to play a video game version of the IRS.

Idk about you, but seeing some random animu chick smiling while talking about taxes is the funniest shit I’ve ever seen.

After this and some more screens, I got back in my car, rolled back to K-Mart and got my 10 bucks back immediately.

I might not have played many strategy games, but this game……mmmmMM! It’s amazing. Most other games you’d have to give at least a good week before you can see all the flaws in the works. If you need only 4-10 minutes, goddaaaaaamn.

I don’t know what it is, but perhaps the reason JRPGs aren’t popular is because Japan knows fuck all about how to make them compelling beyond titties. SFG, however, fails on levels beyond all rhyme and reason in being a strategy game, plain and simple. Nowhere in this tiny chip lies any design philosophy that is anywhere near the terms of logic and cohesion. I couldn’t fathom why any fool would put this up for 10 bucks.

Maybe just to see some random soldier ruin Raz’s shampoo commercial.

The basic premise of Spectral Force Genesis is that an entire continent is at war with itself with 40 different nations fighting for control over that tiny island. Similar to the Sengoku period, everyone wants to conquer the 40 nations just to unify the land for peace (fucking roffle), and that’s done by going to war. You know….. “Order out of Chaos” that jazz. So the game allows you to build defenses, tax people for money, choose ranking for generals, invade neighboring governments, conquer and claim generals….. if you played some game called “Risk” or “RoShamBo”, you get the idea.

I’m not familiar with the Spectral Force series beyond this:

So for me, it’s a safe bet to say that if it’s always been like this, it’s always been shit. I mean really, there’s a series of games that jerk you around like this? And this company is not begging for change at a bus stop for producing shit like this?

Considering there’s a bunch of nerds over the internet that live to literally defend every shitty RPG that exists just for the sake of validating their love of animu poon, I’m sure my reasons for saying this game is shit based on a professed hatred of RPGs in general, a lack of understanding for it’s oh so “deep and complex” battle system (if you could call it that), or perhaps it’s me judging the game based on previous experience with Red Alert 2 which, up until now, was the only RTS I’ve played, along with that one Ipod game whose name escapes me but that’s aside the point. Whatever the case may be for you, it is literally impossible for anyone to take your bullshit on this game being “average” to “Mediocre”. The term “niche” is damage control at worst.

If anything would be true, it’s that yes, I AM judging this game based off of 2 other strategy games I’ve played prior. Why the fuck wouldn’t I bother otherwise, they both seemed to have more fun factor and logical design despite the ease of getting into the game. Thanks to those games, I only need list 2 reasons for why this game is absolute shit beyond all reason.

For one, I was under the impression that

1. Strategy games VISUALLY TEACH YOU EVERYTHING.

Playing Red Alert 2 and shit like Fire Emblem, Path of Radiance, I had to go through quite a few levels learning basics such as troop generation, money allocation, resource management, unit descriptions, building bases, capturing bases, Rock/Paper/Scissors, that kind of shit. Why? Because Strategy games are complex in nature. Why? Because you are the manager. In nature, being a manager sucks hard because that is a huge responsibility. You have to monitor and regulate everything that is operated by you. That said, you need to have a basic grasp of everything that is under your control.

A: What are your units and/or unit types.

B: What advantages and disadvantages they have.

C: What are the benefits of using these methods over another.

The complexity doesn’t come from learning, persay, but how you utilize these units/camps/functions for any given situation. That said, you need to be fully aware of how these things work if you are to become efficient in being probeastgodmode.

Problem is SFG barely teaches you shit beyond the bare minimum. Lets say for instance that whole “tax screenshot” up above. During the course of that tutorial, you get a message not to have high taxes because no one wants to live in a nation with high taxes (which begs the question of why people keep coming to the US anyway when you have to be ass-fuckin rich just to live here, especially with that mandated health insurance in just one month). Problem is I see no consequence of taxing anyway since that’s how I magically get funded. I have NO information about citizens that live within my “territories” persay. I don’t think I have any citizens. Perhaps it has something to do with gaining troops, but I’m not sure how that works either. I play through a little while and jut randomly gain more troops via random “medical visits”. And I lose troops due to plagues or whatnot. I have no idea what benefit the taxing mechanic has beyond getting money. There’s the commerce thing where I can sell and by exported goods for cash, that’s simple enough to understand, but gaining goods is rare and confusing in itself. I assume I can only do this by looting other nations for goodies, but it rarely ever works in my favor. I also have the ability to change the ranks of my Generals. If I want a tactician, I can assign uh, lets say the guy with the Braveheart make upand let him do……something. If I wanted a Diplomat, I assign the kid called “Neu”, the only name I can remember. Reprisentitive, Raz Raz for the “sex-craved perverted nation”. I do all this for…..what exactly? I’m never really told. I assume that this would somehow allow me to “persuade” other generals in joining me, but since it’s an RPG hybrid, there’s a % chance that I could sway any General to my army. Tacticians don’t do anything as far as I’m concerned, and the reps…..wha?

See, there’s little explanation of how most of these mechanics benefit me in anyway. Oh I know how this piddly ass battle system works, as basic as that shit is, but otherwise, all elements outside of battle are, more or less, arbitrary distractions that have no real benefit to you. Why is that? It has everything to do with static diagram tutorials.

This is just a fucking picture with some arrows and text. how2lazy

Look at that picture. ” Use the stylus for battle” and “Some troops have advantages over others”. You’re not really shown how all of this works during the tutorial, you’re just given some random manual and then told to go at it, barely understanding anything the manual tells you. Ok, so you don’t really need much info about “Attack beats Magic, Magic beats Defense” yadda yadda,

In Red Alert 2, I’m given info on different units and their benefits (Rocketeers can fly to different terrain and take out enemies in different vantage points) as well as their vices (they’re weak to flak cannons so I need to deal with those first before using rocketeers). In Fire Emblem, I’m told that priests can heal my other units, but they can’t fight for shit, so keep them out of harms way. Then some shit about support convos that I will never understand, but they somehow benefit me so… find them when the opporunity rises… I guess. I get some sort of idea of what I have control over and exploit the advantages of all. Why is that? They actually SHOW how it’s done by giving you little missions during the tutorial. In this game, since it’s trying to be a hybrid of 3 genres, I’m given all the battle information, but hardly anything else on the paper work side of things like taxation and it’s consequences. I can only assume that high taxes prevents me from getting troops, but shit, I barely get troops anyway. I don’t see the benefits or consequences of any of my actions, so I am forced to go through the awful trial and error process of pissin and cheering for w/e reason.

This means A guy will be positioned at the top, sexy black M girl will be in the middle at the rear, and bishonen white D kid will be at the bottom. Did you get that? I sure as hell didn’t!

Lacking information also affects battles too, You see this screen prior to a battle, right? With that, you just choose which generals you want to fight and go at it. What’s wrong with that? Well, strategy games often let you see what the enemies themselves are capable of. IE the generals have no info for you to see. So the Rock/Paper/Scissors element is predicated on luck. If you send out 2 Magics and 1 Defense, you might wind up against 2 Attacks and 1 Defense which puts you at a significant disadvantage. But there’s nothing you can do to prevent that, why? Because the generals are randomly selected, and you have no way of seeing that. Think of it like Pokemon Stadium or Battle Frontier where you’re pitted against random pokemon and are forced to deal with that as is. The problem here is that the only real advantage you have on hand is how many troops you have over the other. That creates a big problem, why? Because the system of Rock/Paper/Scissors is wasted potential, and only serves to mislead players into thinking that because they have some sort of “type advantage” that they can win. Not that they just have more men on hand.

You see, it’s the lack of information regarding uses and benefits that really harms this game. It’s too damn esoteric for it’s own good. Not that it matters anyway. You see, I was under the impression that

2. Strategy games offered freedom of experimentation.

I think it goes without saying that a managerial position is a position of power. That said, you control everything, or as much as humanly possible. You control where the resources go, you control how units fight and interact in the field of battle, you controls what supplies your troops have on hand, etc. Most of all, you control the money. Power is responsibility, and management means you decide almost everything.

The problem with SFG is that……. you control nothing.

Screaming at them won’t make them give up their scheduling jobs.

That’s right. It’s a strategy game that literally decides damn near everything for you. You see, the game operates in “phases”. IE you perform certain tasks during certain events. Or in this case, certain months. One month, it might be tax season, the next month might be foreign affairs season, the next month would be ass-whippin time, etc. The problem is there’s no way to dictate when these events will be held, it just….. happens.

Lets say you want to do taxes, but it’s not the month for that. You have to wait 1-7 months in total before you can do taxes on your citizens because dammit you need money and troops. Yes, taxing is the only way to increase your troops for each of your generals. But you can’t increase them without some random medical visits that occur during the battle month (from my experience at least).

I was wondering the same thing.

The problem with the waiting period is the Japanese go-to mechanic for pure laziness, and that is the goddamn RNG. What this means is only Amma knows when you can do taxes again. It might be in 2 months, it might be after 2 battle months when you’re possibly invaded up the ass and lacking in troops and walls to keep those fuckers out. It could be after human affairs which doesn’t do shit for you, who knows?

Plus, you lose troops and status based on factors that are completely outside of your control or knowledge.

When you look at the tax situation from this standpoint, you can see how everything falls apart. The lack of control in determining how you get to prepare for anything is EXTREMELY harmful for a strategy game of any sort. You need nigh infinite control as a manager in order to ensure that you are prepared for battles. How can you be the LORD of your own governance and have no say when it comes to dictating WHEN you and your house of reps get to decide when to do anything!? If you are the LORD, then the game should bend to YOUR will. YOU experiment/prep/etc. and then see if all your prep time paid off or not. That’s how a strategy game should work. A Strategy game is destroyed by the very existence of the RNG. Tis why Fire Emblem is shit to this very day (along with being turn-based). SFG literally plays itself in this regard. You’re just a willing accomplice watching how the game masturbates to it’s animu bullshit.

The RNG destroys everything about this game. For example…

Since I’m not given any real info, I assume that an increase in my domain’s status would make it attractive for generals to come running to me. There is a Foreign Affairs Month where I get the opportunity to persuade other generals to my side. I can only, however, choose a specific general to do the job, and a high “charm” rating will only increase the chances that a persuasion will be successful. Seeing as the black chick has the highest charm rating of 10 (Gee, I wonder why), you’d think she would be successful. Unfortunately, all the generals appear to be gay as using the big burly LORD of my domain does a better job of persuasion, even though his charm rating is dead 1. What other factors could there be!? My domain’s status is high, I’ve several domains conquered, what’s wrong? Is there some “popularity” stat that prevents everyone from resisting to join my cause!? I wouldn’t know, the only way I can get generals is by kicking all of their asses. Which would suit me just fine if battles were played in my favor and not based on complete fucking luck.

Another aspect of the RNG that destroys this game is the asinine necessity of needing items to, get this, CHANGE BATTLEFIELD POSITIONS!

I shit you not!

So look at this screen.

Yeah, this one again.

So, it allows me to change if I want black chick to be in the middle, or far left. HOW WONDERFUL IS THAT!?

And I have no idea what the benefit is of doing this other than allowing her to fight other enemies sooner or later.

How often will I get this useless opportunity!? Only the RNG knows.

So you see, the purpose of the RNG is to make every idea in this game completely worthless in the end. Doesn’t matter who you appoint for diplomacy reasons, doesn’t matter how little you tax people, or how many battles you (are allowed) to win, because in the end, you guarantee nothing. Your high status and prosperous economy doesn’t magically increase troops, choosing a general with high troops doesn’t make successful loots, a high charm only proves how gay the majority of generals are, etc. You can’t make proper preparations for upcoming battles because the game literally won’t allow you to do so until it decides, the most asinine thing I’ve ever seen in a game.

The 2 basic problems of withheld information and lack of control virtually makes this game unplayable.

And that doesn’t even get into the meat of the game, and that’s the battle system. As it’s been implied, you draw lines on a screen as a path for your 3 generals to follow.

Or you could use auto fight

Look at these screens.

This makes the game look like so much fun just by the implied epicness. Problem is these battles only last up to a good minute or so. They are incredibly short and amount to just one turn used in Fire Emblem to see the soldiers throw one or 2 hits per exchange. You might not get to use all those cool effects by the time the fight is over because it’s over before you could draw another line.

After the fight, if you were invading, then you get to do… this.

Here, you have 3 options. Persuade, Attack, and Retreat. Since you kicked their asses, now you have to tear down their walls. Attacking enemy walls reduces your own troops significantly, but makes it easier for you to conquer the enemy the next time you decide to invade. But you could also persuade them to surrender (never happens thanks to RNG) or retreat to save your troops the grief. And you only have 3 chances to break through their walls. If you want to conquer these people, your best bet is to get more troops and just wing it.

Why does breaking down a wall reduce your troops, btw? Does that make any sense!? If anything, all it does is sway you to use the “persuade” command, but it just wastes an action and time as the enemy will never surrender without a fight.

The battle system boarders on tedium and insanity as the victor is usually the one with more people, and not necessarily having better tactics as it’s impossible to have better tactics without significant information, and you can’t have significant information because you have no option to gain that information. For everything in this game, you have to go over the internet and do some college level research just to know what generals you’re fighting against, what chances you have to increase the likely hood of persuading generals, etc.

A strategy game with no significant info, and a lack of total control over your options makes a completely unplayable piece of shit that wasn’t worth printing chips for. Or 10 bucks. I almost got gipped.

Honestly, I knew Japan was faltering when it came to games, but SFG is proof positive that they have no idea what the fuck they’re doing. This game is illogical to the core, and is only worth a purchase if you wanted to research the decline of Japanese game development in general. Of course, Japan and Computer centrism does not mix. Japan is the cornerstone of Arcade Centrism, so this game was honestly some misguided attempt to simplify the mechanics of War Sims and Real Time Strategy. The problem is Computer Centric games such as RTS’s NEED to be complex. You can’t simplify these things like you can Arcade Centric titles. Computer Centric games can get away with being complex because they aren’t meant for mass consumption like arcade centric games. You’re never going to make an FF7 or a Pokemon by thinking you can “simplify” mechanics. By simplifying the RTS, you’ve made it virtually unplayable to the core. It is simply a handheld game that jerks you about with no concern for your enjoyment.

Suddenly, I feel like those asswipe reviewers online using in-game screenshots for shitty puns. For example, that continent looks like a shattered brain. You can imply all kinds of shit with that image in mind.

It’s sad. I usually see potential in lots of crappy games (Even Soul Calibur 5). But I see none in Spectral Force Genesis. It is a game that appeals to the clinically insane. And perverts.

…….Not worth it.

Now I humbly await all of your “BUT FINAL FANTASY TACTICS PERFECTLY SIMPLIFIED STRATEGY GAMES” bullshit. Is that not the reason PC gamers are cocky dipshits these days?

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