Shining in the Darkness: Progress Log #5

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The Cave of Strength lies ahead. JERK, Meat Shield Milo, and Pyra have all been growing powerful dealing with the Labyrinth’s giant crab infestation, and they’re rocking some great equipment in addition to those stat gains because those enterprising crabs also drop quite a lot of gold. Sadly, my little time in the Cave of Strength has made it clear that it’s incredibly easy to get turned around. How does one move forward when it’s not clear which direction forward is in? Read more →

Shining in the Darkness: Progress Log #4

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You know, it’s really unfair for the game to give me a meat shield, only to find out that it’s 8 levels lower than me. That means that both of my allies are going to suck and die like I did back when I was level 1. Sigh. More grinding lies in my future, not that there’s any way to avoid it; the Labyrinth has Lufia 1 levels of random battles. I once took 5 steps and got a combat encounter for every single one. Read more →

Shining in the Darkness: Progress Log #3

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Having figured out that the shrine priest is a dirty thief who pockets huge portions of my gold whenever the Valkyrie brings in my remains, I now know better than to be content with being cut down in the Labyrinth. Instead, I’m making it a point to use the Angel Feather item to return to town whenever my health isn’t high enough to survive a bee encounter. That way, I can save up for some chainmail that will hopefully make me a little more resilient against ooze, slugs, and bees. Read more →

Shining in the Darkness: Progress Log #2

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

Now that I actually have the weapon I bought equipped rather than sitting in my pack while I get beaten senseless by early-game enemies, we’re finally cooking with fire and things can start happening. The world is my oyster! The inexplicably capitalized Labyrinth is ripe for the conquering! Surely this won’t end with numerous horrible, preventable deaths to various low-level creatures! Surely! Read more →

Shining in the Darkness: Progress Log #1

The Shining series is one I’ve never been able to get into; I usually dive into the first Shining Force game after hearing others effuse about how good the sequel is, only to quickly give up after remembering how overwhelmingly clunky the whole thing feels compared to other strategy games of that era (most notably Bahamut Lagoon and the Fire Emblem series). Shining in the Darkness, on the other hand, is a game I’ve never really made an effort to get into. Since it involves wandering around a same-y looking dungeon and I have no sense of direction whatsoever, giving it a wide berth made perfect sense. Stubbornness demands that I occasionally try uncomfortable things, however, and so I decided to see how far I can get. Read more →

Valkyria Revolution: Progress Log #11 [END]

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

In the last progress log, I brought up that there were only three ways the game could end: a flurry of cutscenes, the story being left unexplained, or a deus ex machina that magically fixes everything. As it turns out, all three ended up being the case—a deus ex machina magically fixes everything and is left unexplained (same with the Valkyria, which you’d think would be a priority in a game with “Valkyria” in the title), and then a ton of cutscenes wrap up the story of the five traitors. In fairness, the traitors’ story was handled decently enough at the end, but this small spark of promise was ultimately suffocated by dozens upon dozens of hours of completely meaningless content that served only to distract and pad the whole thing out. This game is 30 minutes of content stretched across dozens upon dozens of hours. Read more →

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