lorekai: The Convoluted Characters of Kingdom Hearts.

This week, as my life still revolves around Kingdom Hearts, and after a conversation with marsy, in which we determined that there are very few characters originating from Kingdom Hearts, that are not in some way, shape, or form, arguably another character in the series, due to how connected they are, be it through possession or otherwise, I’ll be trying my best to explain, simply, the connections between these characters. Please be aware this will contain spoilers, and also before I begin, as far as I can determine, throughout the seven games in the series, there are only five named characters who are not in anyway connected, through convolution, to another character.

Characters connected to Sora:

Sora

Roxas

Xion

Ventus

Vanitus

Naminé

Roxas is Sora’s Nobody, and Xion is his clone. Ventus’ heart is inside Sora, which is why Roxas looks like him, it is also very implied that Roxas has Ventus’ heart. Vanitus is the darkness from Ventus’ heart made manifest, and he looks like Sora due to an earlier connection between Ventus and Sora’s hearts. Naminé is also arguably Sora, as she was created by Kairi’s heart leaving Sora’s body.

Characters connected to Xehanort:

Master Xehanort

Young Xehanort

Xehanort (Ansem the Wise’s Apprentice)

Ansem, Seeker of Darkness

Xemnas

Xigbar

Saïx

Terra

Riku

Master Xehanort is the original Xehanort, who possesses Terra, they then lose their memories and become the apprentice Xehanort. Upon regaining his memories as Master Xehanort, he split himself into a Heartless, Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, and Nobody, Xemnas. Ansem, SoD, then travels back in time and grants the power of time-travel to a younger version of Master Xehanort, who becomes known Young Xehanort. Ansem, SoD, also later possesses Riku, and while he is subdued, it meant that Riku temporarily took the form of Ansem, SoD, after using the powers of darkness. Xigbar and Saïx are both members of the true Organisation XIII, meaning that are vessels for Xehanort, and possess a fragment of his heart.

Nobodies and their Somebodies:

Xemnas/Ansem (SoD)

Xigbar/Braig

Xaldin/Dilan

Vexen/Even

Lexaeus/Aeleus

Zexion/Ienzo

Saïx/Isa

Axel/Lea

Demyx/???

Luxord/???

Marluxia/???

Larxene/???

Roxas/Sora

Kairi/Naminé

Aside from those with other connections, mentioned previously, these are fairly simple, as they are just alternative versions of each other, depending on whether they have their heart or not, though some have differing personalities. Those with ??? are characters whose somebody is not known at this point in time, and while it is unknown whether they will be introduced or not I am hesitant to declare them as having no connections.

Other connections of note:

Riku Replica: Riku’s clone, only present in Chain of Memories.

Ansem the Wise: Has his identity stolen by Xehanort, assumes the identity DiZ, later returns to being Ansem.

Xion: Looks like Kairi as she was Sora’s strongest memory.

Characters without Connections:

Aqua

Eraqus

Hayner

Pence

Olette

Thanks for reading, this turned out longer than expected, Kingdom Hearts is even more convoluted than I assumed, and I fear it’s only going to get more so, since time travel has become a thing, though I’m still looking forward to Kingdom Hearts III, hopefully it will get a release date soon. Anyway thanks once again for reading, and I hope this made some sense.

 

lorekai: Free games.

Last week I reviewed Analogue: A Hate Story, and after doing so I had a bit of a search around to see what else it’s creator had made, aside from it and it’s sequel, and I was pleasantly surprised to find two more games, both of which are available for free.

Digital: A Love Story – While technically a visual novel, this game feels more to me like a puzzle, as a lot of play time is spent trying to work out how to progress the plot. The story is interesting, and while gameplay does feel a little bit clunky at times, it seems appropriate for the setting. If you have an hour to spare, or are just looking to try something a bit different, I would definitely recommend it.

don’t take it personally, babe, this just ain’t your story – Of the three games of the creator’s I’ve played, this one definitely seems to be the weakest, though that is not to say that it is bad in any way.  The story is good, enjoyable to read, and it explores some interesting issues, however the way that it does so makes the game feel formulaic, and interrupts the flow of the story, which is a bit of a shame. While I have some other minor complaints about, overall it’s a good game and definitely worth checking out.

That’s all this week, thanks for reading, next week is Christmas so I don’t know if I’ll be writing much then.

lorekai: Tales of Hearts R Review.

This week I’m reviewing Tales of Hearts R, an excellent addition to the Tales of series.

TalesofHeartsRBoxArtJPN

Story and Characters:

If I were to describe this game’s story in two words, they would be safe, and concise, neither of which is a bad thing. None of the events feel superfluous, or drawn out, and the story is both enjoyable and well written, it just doesn’t offer anything new, and if you are at all familiar with the series, or even the genre, none of the twists will be particularly surprising.

While I find the character designs a little lacking, the characters themselves were very likeable and fun, if a little standard, there is only a little bit of irrelevance, and they actually address it in game. If nothing else, it’s a good sign when I have difficulty picking which characters I want in my party because I like them all.

Gameplay:

This game is fun, this game is very fun, it puts me very much in the mind of Symphonia and Vesperia, which if you are familiar with my opinions on the Tales of series, you will know as a very good thing. The dungeons have puzzles, proper puzzles, which is something I missed in the more recent games, and while the puzzles themselves are a little too easy, they are not frustratingly so.

Combat is where this game really shines though, for the most part it’s pretty much the standard 3D Tales of battle system, you have a circular arena to move around in, you use X to attack, and O to a special attack, and these can be altered with use of the directional buttons, it’s fun, it’s simple and it works, and each game in the series has it’s own addition to change it up a bit. What this game has is the chase link system, and while specifics of it are a little hard to explain, it basically allows you to preform huge combo chains with ease, as well as offering some other attacks. The combat however is not without it’s flaws, the party AI options have been stripped down to almost nothing, and maybe it was just how I was playing, but the combat itself seem notably slower, it most Tales of games standard encounters would take between 20-25 seconds to complete, but in this game they would take around 30-40 seconds, it’s minor thing but it does add up.

Sound:

I stand with what I said about the soundtrack in my first impressions post, in that there is nothing standout about it, either good or bad. It’s not bad, it’s pleasant enough to listen to, but there is nothing to compel me to want to download the soundtrack, or even to want to keep the sound on while playing.

If I have one complaint in terms of sound though, it’s in one of their decisions in using the Japanese voices. I have no problem with them using the voices, though I know it is a point of contention for many people, the problem I have is their decision to change one character’s name. To hear one name and read another bothers me greatly, and while I know he was given that changed name in the Graces F cameo battle, the other characters who also appeared in that battle had their names changed there as well, but got to keep their original names it Hearts R, there is no consistency, and their decision makes no sense to me.

Furthermore in regards to their use of the Japanese voices, I noticed several instances where the text and the spoken dialogue was out of sync, so the voices did not match with who was currently speaking at the time. Also the fact the some skits were voiced and some weren’t confused me, as I was unable to work a common link or probable cause for it.

Graphics:

This game is very visually appealing, it runs smoothly, and the game’s world is vibrant and pretty, it makes excellent use of the Vita’s capabilities. The cutscene discrepancy, in that some were square while others were rectangle, and the noticeable variation in quality between them, did bring it down a bit for me though, as while it was nice that they included what I assume were scenes from the DS version, it makes the game feel unpolished and the developers look lazy. Aside from that though I was very impressed with this game’s visual presentation.

Ranking within the series:

Vesperia > Symphonia > Xillia 2 > Hearts R > Xillia > The Abyss > Eternia > Graces F > Symphonia : Dawn of the New World

Overall:

If you have a Vita and like jrpgs I would definitely recommend picking up this game, there is however one thing I feel I should note though, for a Tales of game this game is short. If you don’t do the sidequests or postgame, then you are looking at around 25 hours at best, which compared to the usual 40 hours or so of most Tales of games, is not a lot. It is however a very fun game, and the postgame looks to have a lot to offer, if you have the opportunity I would definitely recommend giving it a chance.

Also it has Wonder Chef, I missed Wonder Chef and his awesome disguises.

tohr038

marsy: Pokemon Alpha Sapphire

Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby have been out for almost two weeks now, so it’s been enough time for me to play through quite a bit. Here are my thoughts.

Contests make me angry. My pokemon are the best and I will tolerate no disagreements. Had to sit my 3DS down for a while after yelling at another pokemon for using a beautiful move and getting that fifth star for the special move that was MINE!! I’m calm. So calm. Right. Anyway, contests mean berries. I’ve never really cared much about berries in previous games, but in this one I’m super into them. Got to harvest all the berries and make some pokeblocks. Soon all my pokemon will be perfect. I am maybe a bit too into the contests, but oh well.

As for the rest of the game, I always did enjoy the Hoenn region. Needs more water stones though. Really liking the pokemon search function thing (forgotten what it’s called. Something nav maybe?). Also love the fact that you can fly to places other than the towns – makes my obsessive berry gathering easier.

I must also confess that I am amazing at nicknaming pokemon. My team members have some truly majestic names. So beautiful.

lorekai: Built a Lego AT-AT instead of playing games.

So nothing to review this week, but it’s a pretty cool AT-AT, so time well spent. Though I am close to being able to review both Tales of Hearts R and Alpha Sapphire, as I’m approaching endgame in both, though with the release of Persona Q looming large it’s likely that I may end up distracted once again. Too many games released at this time of year, my wallet is crying.

marsy: Dragon Age Inquisition

So the new Dragon Age game came out about a week ago. It’s looking like it’s going to be a really long game, mostly because I’ve played for about 15 hours and achieved fuck all. That might just be me though. Important advice for new players – LEAVE THE HINTERLANDS! It’s not very clear at the start that you need to leave the area to progress in the story. There are heaps of little side quests you can do but it’s very easy to wander off somewhere that you are not levelled up enough for and have your whole party killed by a bear. Not cool.

I really like the idea of Dragon Age Keep – instead of importing  save files over from the previous games, you input your choices online and they are sent to your game that way. Makes sense considering this game is available on next generation consoles. Mine is on the Xbox 360 though because I am much to cheap to buy another new console this year. Not important. As I was saying, I like the idea of Dragon Age Keep but it doesn’t actually seem to work from what I’ve noticed. I’m quite certain that my Warden didn’t die and Anora is not ruling Ferelden. Not sure why it didn’t work for me, but it’s highly likely I just messed up somewhere.

Music in the game is nice, but it gets very broken up when loading things. Scenery is nice. Characters looks nice, but perhaps a little too shiny. Character customisation is very extensive, but the hairstyles still all suck.

I decided to play as a rogue elf. What I find fun is that my character is a Dalish elf, and the game goes on and on about how I’m supposed to be the “Herald of Andraste” (who’s kind of like Dragon Age Jesus, I guess) and it’s in character for me to be a little shit and tell everyone that I think their religion is rubbish. Fun times. I’m also going for my usual gaming style of hit on everyone possible. It’s working for me so far, although I looked it up and apparently there’s diversity in the sexuality of the romanceable characters. So I can’t actually get with everyone. Disappointing.

This is definitely a fun game so far – it has a very Skyrim feel to it, but with a bit more structure. I recommend Dragon Age Inquisition and not just because I have extreme love for the Dragon Age series.

marsy: Don’t punch your own ear

This week I learned that accidentally punching yourself in the ear a few days after getting a new piercing hurts. It hurts rather a lot actually. But hey, shiny new piercing! On a totally unrelated note, guess who has a swollen ear?

Aside from that I’ve been studying for exams, sitting exams, and playing Dragon Age. Did a run through the games to prepare myself for Inquisition, which I will probably review next week (assuming Pokemon doesn’t consume my life). I’ve run out of Dragon Age for tonight though, so I’m replaying Golden Sun (again). It’s good. Play it.

That’s all from me. marsy out.