N-E Staff
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About Grazza

  • Rank
    Metal King

Personal Information

  • Location
  • Interests
    strength training, photography


  • Nintendo Systems Owned
  • Favourite Game?
    Wind Waker, Dragon Quest VIII
  • Favourite Video Game Character?
    Risky Boots
  • Gender

Game Info

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  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (26th July 2019)

    I feel like you must have been particularly good at it, because this is my third Fire Emblem game and it did take me about 60 hours. It's just too tempting not to grind! Even so, with a lot of grinding, I still only found it easy/medium. I completed it with Black Eagles, then jumped straight back in with Blue Lions! In fact, I was going to share some thoughts, but I just don't know what I think of the game. My overall feeling is that, although it's an excellent piece of software, the whole experience is just a bit too "much". There are so many twists and turns to the (rather dark) story, I ended up not really knowing who was right or wrong. Although Fire Emblem has always been fantasy, I feel they must have been overly influenced by Game Of Thrones this time around, just in terms of the rival factions etc. There is so much plot - probably too much - and loads of pointless fighting between those who should be allies. The exploration and teaching is another thing I don't know what to think about, as it is another layer of complication, but undoubtedly makes the experience richer. Even now, I still feel a genuine bond with Dorothea, Bernadetta, Petra... it actually feels weird tutoring a rival class. It's one thing for a game to have a gripping story, but I don't think I've ever felt so involved before. On balance, I probably prefer the old class system, with less choice (get to level 20, then choose between two classes to advance to). I was disappointed there wasn't a male Sage class - in fact, the men seemed to have less choice in general - they can't be Falco Knights, yet women can be Falco Knights and Wyvern Lords. Is there actually a class the women can't be? Brawler/Grappler, I think, but that's probably because Nintendo didn't want to make the equivalent outfits. Overall, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a really stunning experience, the storyline of which might even be remembered along the lines of, say, Final Fantasy VII. I don't know if I'll fondly look back on it as one of my favourites, but I was certainly impressed.
  2. Indie World Presentation on 19/08/19

    My most anticipated games are Streets of Rage 4 and Shantae and the Seven Sirens. Hope there'll be a video of that one.
  3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (26th July 2019)

    Yeah, it's a bit odd. For one thing, I don't think any of the horse-mounted Master classes are actually better than a Paladin, which if I recall correctly always used to be an equal choice between that and Great Knight. Although I always thought Paladin was better, they were officially the same tier. Now that Ferdinand is A-rank for Lance and Riding, I'm having him concentrate on Faith just in case I want him to be a Holy Knight eventually. Also, is there no male Sage class? From the classes that are visible at the moment, it seems Bishop (an Advanced class) is best for him, but again, if I feel compelled to give him a Master class I'll probably think about Holy Knight. That said, he hasn't mastered all the magic classes yet - I'm still working on Dark Mage, so I'm half expecting a new Master class to be unlocked sometime. In past games, I always thought Bishop was the best magic class, but here I might feel compelled to give everyone a Master class. Personally, I prefer to have less choice. If I recall correctly (thinking particularly of Sacred Stones), there were some characters where you got a choice of Warrior or Hero, for example. And if someone's a flyer, I'd rather just choose between Wyvern and Pegasus. I like a bit of choice, but think it's satisfying to have a bit more guidance.
  4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (26th July 2019)

    Now I really want to reach Chapter 16!
  5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (26th July 2019)

    If you have access to a 3DS, I think Fire Emblem Awakening is a much better entry point. That teaches you about battles and character relationships. Three Houses adds an awful lot on, such as teaching, exploring and time management. It's not that Three Houses is too hard to begin with, just that there's hours and hours of thinking and reading before you've had all that much gameplay.
  6. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (26th July 2019)

    They're all to thank blame.
  7. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (26th July 2019)

    Well, that certainly does explain Manuela!
  8. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (26th July 2019)

    I've been playing this since yesterday, after deciding to buy it despite not knowing a great deal about it. The good news is that it has that perfect visual style they've been going with in recent years, a pleasing tone and interesting characters. Plus, it's Fire Emblem, so the battles are at least inherently good. The troubling side of this game is that there is just so much to do, and much of it given to you very early on. It's hard to know whether to spend your spare time exploring, battling or attending seminars. Once you've chosen, your activity points deplete and you can't shake the sense you've made the wrong decision. It's as though Nintendo has completely abandoned any attempt to ease players in gently. It's a fine game in many ways, but those who were sceptical of the changes were right to be wary.
  9. Dragon Quest Builders 1 & 2 (Switch)

    I have now finished Chapter 2, which I did greatly enjoy. It was very wise to centre the episode around the cockney bodybuilders and a loveable Golem - two DQ fan favourites for sure. Admittedly, I still think some of the story could have been trimmed and shortened, but I very much liked the ancient temple, with all its puzzles and battles, because it emphasised the "game" part of Dragon Quest Builders. I felt I was back playing Ocarina of Time. A very welcome addition was the affectionate tribute to the late, great Kenneth Williams, with many references to Julian & Sandy from Round The Horne. I'm not sure I'd have believed anyone if they'd told me me that a 2019 Square-Enix game would feature a Goodybag speaking Polari! Although I still prefer the first game, I can see how more creative people prefer this one. The building aspect has been ramped up immensely, and you can get sidetracked for hours building your base and experimenting with rooms. I still say there is just too much to the game, with each chapter taking me a week to complete, and extensive sections inbetween. However, I very much admire the giant structures the designers created - they are quite something to behold. I get the feeling this is so much more like Minecraft than the original. Personally, I have most enjoyed the parts that are more like Dragon Quest - the dungeons, the bars - and so I am looking forward to DQ XI even more now.
  10. Marvel's Phase Three

    Oh, I see. (Reads up on the film...) it actually sounds terrible!
  11. General Switch Discussion

    Actually, not all the time. I tried to play Ghosts 'n' Goblins in Dixons and it wouldn't load!
  12. Marvel's Phase Three

    Hearing there's going to be another Thor film by Taika Waititi made my day. I adore Ragnarok.
  13. Dragon Quest Builders 1 & 2 (Switch)

    These moments are one of the things that honestly made me wonder if there was something wrong with my game. It's bizarre to force the player to linger on a screen of text for so long. After Chapter 1, I got back to the hub world and have been playing about there ever since. One thing I will say is that the game is at least spectacular - but like so many games these days, bigger does not mean better. It's all very well asking you to forge enormous landscapes, but at the end of the day you're really just doing what the game tells you to. I would much rather have a neat square for my base - perhaps bigger than in DQB1, but still fixed. The original game separated everything into four chapters + the free build mode. I really enjoyed replaying each chapter, meeting the challenges, because as I say it did feel like a game. By comparison, this feels like a slow-paced story mixed in with a heavy simulation/building aspect. There's so much to do, it unfortunately, as you say, feels like a slog.
  14. Dragon Quest Builders 1 & 2 (Switch)

    I've been playing Dragon Quest Builders 2 since Friday, but didn't want to post any impressions until I'd completed the first chapter. I have to say, I'm a little bit disappointed. The first thing I noticed is that it doesn't run as well as the first game, with the loading times so long I actually wondered if there had been a mistake upon installation. It takes approx. 70 seconds for the game to boot, and then a further 25 seconds to load the file. Movement is also sluggish at times - from reading others' assessments, the frame rate is thought to drop below 30fps. Personally, I would happily lose some of the graphical flourishes to get it running at a stable 60fps. Thirdly, the camera can now be switched between 1st-person and an automatic 3rd-person, which I feel doesn't work as well as the three-choice close/medium/far camera of the original game. Quite a few gameplay changes have been made, some for the better, some for the worse. Weapons no longer break, which in my opinion is a major improvement to a moderate problem. The Hunger Meter is still there, however. Whereas I can understand stamina is part of the gameplay in some genres (roguelikes spring to mind), here I feel it's an unnecessary distraction. More often than not I completely forget about food until I'm 0% full, at which point I get a few items out of the bag and eat them, which is rather hard to see the point of. One thing that bothers me is that this sequel is not so good for those who like neatness and order. In the first game, your base was marked out by a blue square, and the first thing I'd do was build a defensive wall around the perimeter. Here, though, you are not set clear boundaries at all, so you can get confused as to which land counts as your base. Enemies still only attack from one particular direction (so far), but as far as I'm aware none of the building blocks available are strong enough to withstand attacks. In the original game, only arranged battles could destroy the strongest walls, but here it can happen when you're just trying to build. In fact, this game often has a way of disturbing you when you're trying to get on with something else. Gone are the buffs from buildings rooms, so there is less incentive to tinker about with bigger bedrooms, hotels etc. I though the defensive buffs were one of the best things about the first game, and hoped they'd be expanded upon here - not just HP and strength, but also elemental and magic resistance, for example - but no. This has been replaced by more focus on the NPCs as individuals - there are more of them and they do more too. If you want to give them a better item, you literally have to find them and hand it over. At one point they ask you to build a bathroom, but as far as I can see it doesn't have any gameplay benefit. As I watched them use all these facilities it struck me that this is slightly more of a sim and slightly less of a game than before. That's not to say it's all bad. After five days, I suddenly got into it and am now hooked. The seeking-and-building gameplay is still there and still addictive. As the chapter drew to a close, the game asked me to build something so huge and audacious, I was at first annoyed, but soon after began to admire the ambition and wondered where it would lead. Then I realised the NPCs build it for you and it's not used in the boss battle anyway. And this is Dragon Quest Builders 2 so far - an elaborate story to play through, but you might not feel as though you're having a great effect on it. I'd say the original is better by miles, and anyone interested in the series should be confident in checking that out rather than relying on the sequel being an all-encompassing improvement upon it.
  15. That describes me, but I'm honestly pretty chilled about it. The Switch's battery life is pretty terrible with 3D games, especially if the lighting is poorly designed and you have to turn the brightness up (which doesn't apply to Nintendo's own games, I must say). It's just that I've had so much entertainment from the Switch, sometimes you have to go with the flow. One thing's for sure: the best time to buy a console is when new hardware is released, whether that's on launch day or when a revised model is made available. I wouldn't buy one 12 months after release, for example.