I dont even think anyone comes here anymore. 😛

Where to begin? Well aside from literally wanting to kill cats and the Warner Bros. for FUCKING CANCELLING MKX… nothing really. Some reason, I now have a laptop as a gift… which caused unnecessary drama too foolish to explain. Deadpool movie was the tits. That’s rich. Fox did X-Men right for a change! That was 100% vintage Deadpool! And unlike the game,  the comedy didn’t feel forced at all! …….oh who am I kidding, I’ll be “wrong” about that somehow.

Anywho, gamewise, I’ve come to learn something. Namco is to Japanese games as a curling iron is to the dick.

Shit… redefined

To be a Tales fan means to have to constantly battle against any and all desires to interact with the fans of said franchise, for there is no threat to your sanity greater  than those that live and breathe this shit.

The Tales games I only invest in for comedic purposes as thus far, somehow, the Japanese actually learned how to be funny… or the localizers used to work on the Mario RPGs. At first glance, you could look at these games and assume they’re Japanese wank fests (it’s not THAT far from the truth), but by some bastion of great fortune, these games managed to exceed the stereotypical nonsense that most JRPGs are prone to (like Star Ocean), and actually entertains you. Sure, they’re long, stretched out, padded out the ass, and can wax poetic about nonsense like the rest of the Animu shmuck, but hey, as long as it’s not a huge bore, then it’s all good.

…….That stopped being the case with Zestiria.

This game, for some reason, managed to be worse than Xillia 1. Worse than Abyss. Worse than… hell, Sticker Star! Yeah…. that’s right, bitch! Sticker Star kicks more ass than Zestiria! Why!? That game’s mere premise alone writes itself!!

……… Oh nevermind. Lets get into it.

Bullshit is about Sorey, your typical JRPG protagonest who is confident, adventurous, and gets randomly picked as the chosen one to save the world, simply because a girl likes him. Sorey is on a mission to liberate the world from the “malevolence”.

He is joined by his best friend Mikleo, a character named after a McDonalds Happy Meal, and has a permanently resting bitch face. One would assume he would be a rival or possibly evil person, but no, he’s just the buttmonkey who complains about everything.

Along the way, Sorey gains the motivation to bring Humans and Seraphim together in harmony. Oh right… Seraphim are beings that live among Humans. Humans can’t see them (except for Sorey) or interact with them in any way. Which makes one of Sorey’s desires… pretty impossible to pull off… or just make sense of. He wants to bring 2 species together when one doesn’t even know the other exists. Right. Someone didn’t check the logic of their universe before handing out character motivations. Oh right, Mikleo is a Seraph too, which makes it look like Sorey is talking to himself… but barely anyone cares.

Sorey is also joined by Lailah, the fanservice bimboo who looks like a stick figure with boobs. Basically a One-Piece character. The voice of reason who randomly rambles about rabbits when conversations get uncomfortable, or makes really shitty attempts at humor because reasons. I would’ve guessed that this was because she was hiding some vaguely terrible secret, that ol’ foreshadowing technique, but an inept idiot could figure out the plot a mile away. And of course, the cast of characters are inept idiots.

Next, there’s Edna, a total cunt that makes Anise Tatlin look the best damn character in Abyss. A “child” genius, she insults everyone’s intelligence, constantly harrasses the McSandwich man, gives everyone stupid nicknames because Japan that would be cute, and makes lewd jokes. Also contributes to 0% of the plot, making her creation solely to piss you off.

Lastly, you have Dezel who’s just as much of a jerkass as Edna… but he dies…. so instead you have Zavied, a shirtless guy voiced by Guile in SF4. Zavied is just a black Zelos Wilder… without all the annoying qualities, and actually makes the game better by default.

Then you have Alisha, a hot white chick voiced by Chun Li from SF4. A princess who fights with a spear, is proactive, will do anything for the safety of her country, and doesn’t cry about shit! But then she leaves when you find out Sorey is allergic to real women… so instead you have to put up with The Mary Sue, Rose. A ninja chick whose only real quality is dat ass. She’s the leader of a merchant… that moonlights as an assasins guild. And somehow a bitch who threatens a kid is pure enough to be Sorey’s Squire…. oh fuck, I forgot to explain that.

*Deep Breath*

Sometime in the beginning of the game, Sorey becomes a “shepard”, a being that can make pacts with warrior Seraphs to kick sufficient amounts of ass, and save the world from the “Malevolence”, which is really just humanity’s own evil (this is game is about religion. Yep). Sorey can also “Armatize” (a fancy word for “fusion” because Japan LOVES fusions! Fusions are IMPOSSIBLE TO ESCAPE!) with the 4 aformentioned Seraphs (Mikleo, Edna, Lailah, Zaveid/Dezel). As a Shepard, Sorey can… “hire” a squire to assist him. Alisha was originally that Squire. But for some reason, Sorey kept losing his senses. Somehow, that was Alisha’s fault. Lets see, a Shepard had to be all pure and shit, and I guess that also applies to the squire. But there was absolutely NOTHING to imply that Alisha was impure. Infact, she was anything BUT impure. But w/e. Japan needed a “BS the player by taking away one of their party members” quota filled and Alisha was the first victim”.

The replacement would be Rose, a bitch so upseld, she’s pure enough to be a better squire than Alisha and even ARMATIZE as well, even though she 1.) Threatened a Child. 2.) Deceived Knights. 3.) Fucking murdered people (she is an assasin, afterall). 4.) Punched the Shepard himself. 5.) Talks about people behind their backs. And of course, she gave the world a pretext for war… so yeah, I’m gonna call bullshit and say Namco played favoritism with this character. Doesn’t help her personality is dismissive. It wouldn’t be enough to bullshit with her, but the game expects you to admire her as much as everyone else does. Even Mikleo, the guy who is overly critical about EVERYONE in the game… believes her dismissiveness is “awesome”. And everyone else follows suit in praising her for basically talking shit.

And the game…doesn’t….stop…. praising her. She might as well be the main character! It must be dat ass…

These days, JRPGs are dependent on good story because they have nothing else going for them, and Zestiria is FUCKED UP about both it’s narrative AND it’s characters. The Story gets repetitive after Alisha leaves, the characters themselves are irritating and/or dull, and shifting all the focus from how to make the world a better place, but to how the game can glorify Rose even further than she needs. The non-stop egotrain that is Rose destroys any semblance of “giving fucks” I might have had with the game, cause in the end, I wanted them all to die… which actually happens. No bullshit.

Anywho, I haven’t even gotten to the GAMEPLAY… which actually makes the experience WORSE. For those who played Xillia 2, awesome battle system, right? Fast paced, easy to understand, easy to play, and Chromatus made everything a joke. Yeah… take EVERYTHING AWAY… and completely fuck it all up. All of it. Fucked beyond. Beyond fucked, I don’t care.

The original battle system of every game starting with Symphonia was basically Smash Bros. meeting Street Fighter. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked. Battles were fought in 3D arenas with 2D fighting. Characters walked in straight lines toward their enemies and had regular melee attacks and special attacks mapped to a different button. Both moves are done Smash Bros. style so pressing in a direction while pressing special does something and yadda yadda. You could FULLY CUSTOMIZE your characters moves and what not. If this laptop didn’t suck ass so much, I could find pictures to illustrate this. Just go to youtube or some shit. 😛

With a battle system that WORKED JUST FINE, Namco buttfucks the money bed and decides to change it for absolutely no reason other than “because change is awesome”. Now the battle system is in Psuedo 3D and it is literally impossible to perform precise moves. Instead of 2D battles where the camera is situated horizontaly with your party on the left hand side and enemies on the right-hand, now you have stupid 3rd person wannabe shit going on now. Changing the camera perspective was the absolute dumbest move in Tales history. It feels awkward walking up and down when spent all this time walking left and right… like in a fighting game! Depth perception wasn’t an issue until here where I have to try even harder to judge the distance between me and my enemies. The amount of times I’ve missed attacks by even a few inches because I can’t see the space I should’ve cleared is a hassle. I felt like I had to use Semi-auto for once! Fucking hate Semi-auto.

It’s harder to perform normal attacks and special moves. Not because of the camera, but because the actual moves themselves changed. Back in the past, normals and specials were mutually exclusive. Normal attacks had their own combos and what not. In Zesty, however, Namco decided to migrate… fucking specials into normal attack combos. You know what that means!? If you want to use Sword Rain or some shit, you have to press Normal 4 fucking times and the 4th, you have to press into a direction for that specific move to come out. This is like those combo rings that Long and Shenlong had in Bloody Roar, but unfun. Because battle controls are kinda wonky, you end up whiffing your combos. So you may get to use Sword Rain, or you may not.

If moves like Sword Rain remained as purely special attacks, I wouldn’t care. But having to endure these migrated special Normal Combo Rings during a battle ends up being a real drag.

Then there’s the Armatis system. The aformentioned “fusion” system because Japan masterbates to fusions, Sorey and that irritating bitch can Armatize with the other 4 party members to gain new powers. Lailah will give you a fire sword, Mikleo gives you a Hydro Bow, Edna gives you Rock fists, and Dezel/Zaveid gives you… windy wings? Meh, the Armatis system was fun at first, but then it present a glaring problem. You would need at least 2 characters that weren’t Seraphs present… at all times. Meaning if you wanted to avoid using Rose or Sorey… tough titty. You have to put up with those 2 in every….single….battle. This mean Rose’s terrible AI will blow through your Seraphs fast. About that, if you die but have an extra Seraph in reserve, you could swap out 1 Seraph for the other, Armatize, and abuse this for the whole game… if ROSE doesn’t ruin everything. Good thing Seraphs can self heal, even after knockout.

So Armatize would be kewl… if… you know… enemies didn’t arbitrarily ramp up all kinds of resistences. You see, midway through this unnecessarily long fuck of a game, enemies start gaining random super armor, meaning that you attack them, they don’t get stunned, and you might get hurt in the process. Enemies such unbelievable resistences, particularly normal and they love to resist fire. Armatis gives you permant elemental attacks so if you fight an enemy with fire resistence, Lailah is useless. But what if you fight enemies with 2 resistences? Then you’re handicapped. Armatis is, unfortunately, the only way to do any real damage to enemies, particularly Lailah and Edna Armatizing, so if enemies have an assload of resistences (and shit, quite a few enemies have had up to 4 fucking resistences), that Armatis won’t do you a bit of good. And this also goes for that bullshit Combo Ring. You have to keep good memory of what each move does, elemental properties… oh who am I kidding, you might whiff into a move that has exactly what the enemies are resistant against, so you’re fucked either way.

Did I mention there’s a fucking STAMINA SYSTEM in this game!? Oh yes, Namco MASTERBATES to stamina systems! Thank Amma that Tekken and Soul Calibur don’t have that bullshit, but Namco makes sweet luv to de Stamina systems. Instead of an MP meter, your special attacks (and even your NORMAL attacks) run on Stamina. It depletes little by little everytime you attack, free run, etc. Here’s the thing. THe less Stamina you have, the more damage you do, which is basically 1 big fuck you, because then you’d attack lesser and less. This little quirk makes no sense overall and means if you want to do more damage (which is about as noticable as a good Sonic game these days) you’d have to mash away. Oh but that’s not even the worst part. You know that whole cooking thing the Tales series had? You know, that totally useless feature that you never used? Well, you better start using it  because if you don’t feed your asshole team, their stamina starts getting lowered before a battle starts, so if they’re hungry, their stamina might be at fucking Zero. Dats right! You have to actually FEED the bastards! But wait… if I starved them, they do more damage. WORK FOR YOUR MEALS, ASSHOLES!

TLDR, fuck you battle system. You ruined everything. Even the pacing is slower than dirt.

Zestiria is a game that makes me run away from the franchise. The bullshit I assumed about the series before was epitomized in this game. I can’t believe I miss Jude Mathis. At least he kept his mouth shut.. most of the time. Actually, now that I think about it, the Xillia folks were probably the most down to Earth characters in the whole series. But here, it’s like the characters aren’t even… organic. They’re poorly written cardboards for the most part.

And even the gameplay was ruined. You’d think as stagnate as Japanese developers are, they would keep everything as it is with some minor gimmick (Armatus), but shit. I couldn’t even stomach finishing the damned game. Do not play… ever.

Getting away from Tales crap, I soon looked at my collection and had no idea I bought so many Namco games (since company logos are invisible to me until I first boot up the game). Digimon All Star Rumble, had no idea Namco was behind it… probably why that game sucks. J-Stars Victory Vs, no idea Namco was behind it, surprised it doesn’t suck. Dragonball XenoVerse, same story as J-Stars.

And before anyone asks, yeah, I bought J-Stars Victory Vs. And I love it. Come on, why would I pass up the opportunity to take YuYu Hakusho and mother fucking Ruroni Kenshin… and beat the literal shit out of those Naruto characters!!!!!!? ……….It’s RURONI KENSHIN!! Young asses don’t know SHIT about real cartoons! Was hoping Inuyasha was in this game so I could whoop his ass too. Faggot ass Samurai with Cat ears!? Come on…

All 3 of these games have the same glaring issue. Micromanagement. And like I said, Namco jacks off to micro management. Each of these 3 games present “systems” where you must manage a Stamina bar while fighting against hoardes of Astonishingly good AI. You need Stamina to Dash, to use specials, to power up, to guard against attacks, to escape combos, you name it. Each of these games require a Stamina meter. And I ask WHYYY!? Some would argue that it balances the game, and I say they’re idiots. You don’t balance the game by handicapping the players, you balance the game by making sure the characters aren’t too goddamn powerful. And looking at Namco’s track record, fighting game balance isn’t their strongest quality.

Players like to spam moves. If it’s useful, they will not hesistate to abuse the ability. The only safe bet is to not put in such powerful fucking moves in the first place. Stamina systems of any kind only serve to hinder a player from increasing his/her chances of winning a match. It’s literally ridiculous that a single company has produced more games with Stamina ass wankery than an RPG company would. And for Dragon Ball, it’s overkill. We already have the ever-present Ki meter, but we need a secondary meter for other basic functions such as GUARDING!? I can’t tell you how many times getting Guard Broken has ruined my chances of winning missions, cause guard breaks means your whole stamina meter is destroyed and you need to recharge it. During recharge, you can’t guard, dash, or anything useful. It’s like getting dizzied in a regular fighter, but more obnoxious. If Tekken started using a Stamina, I wouldn’t be surprised but I doubt the fanbase would ass kiss that shit.

It’s like Namco set out to bust my balls with every game they produce. Even though I enjoy J-Stars and XenoVerse, these Stamina Systems ruin everything.

*sigh* Got 2 weeks of internet and a shitty Icraig to write this on…

 

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