Eternal Sonata: Progress Log #7

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Today’s progress log consists mostly of tedium. More specifically, two sections in a row full of same-looking areas that are easy to get lost in, and in which you need to find a specific hidden thing in order to continue forward. That’s not a problem when Viola is in the party because of her powerful attacks and full-party heal, but the only available characters for the latter section are Polka, Beat, Fauxpin, and Salsa; their healing abilities haven’t scaled (or if they have, not nearly enough), meaning they have to burn through healing items left and right because they’re not strong enough to finish off enemies before taking damage. It becomes a bit of a mess, really. Read more →

Crossing Souls: Progress Log #2 [END]

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

I’ve had horrible luck with purchased games over the past few months. Games I’ve received review keys for have been unexpectedly enjoyable for the most part (mostly because I only request games that look like sure things, whereas I buy anything interesting regardless of the risk), but there have been a steady string of disappointments outside of that, and Crossing Souls is just another disappointment to add to the pile. It’s fraught with bad platforming, bad puzzles, and frustrating bugs, and the boss fights toward the end are simply atrocious. The single biggest issue with Crossing Souls, however, is stamina; all characters have a stamina bar that depletes as they attack, climb, float, etcetera, and this is vaguely Souls-ish. The problem is that this stamina bar becomes a hassle when you’re in a boss fight and need to, say, quickly jump from platform to platform because standing on one for more than a second causes fire to consume you (and you’re additionally dodging projectiles and missiles in the fight I’m referring to). Running out of stamina after a jump, leaving you unable to use a healing item or move for a short time can be absolutely crippling, and it doesn’t mesh with the rest of the game or add anything. Read more →

Crossing Souls: Progress Log #1

Sometimes a game comes along and makes an incredible first impression. Crossing Souls is more the kind of game that walks into a room while delivering the punchline to a racist joke, then trips over a table, sending the foods assembled on it into a ceiling fan that further exacerbates the situation. It’s possible to overcome this bad of a first impression, of course, but to be perfectly honest, I’m not seeing a path to redemption here. The art makes it frustratingly difficult to judge relative distances and figure out where ledges are positioned, the writing is stunningly amateurish and appears focused solely on nostalgia-pandering (which is to say nothing of how dialogue frequently runs onto a second screen by a single word, triggering all of my OCDs), and the combat is boring at best and irritatingly gimmicky at worst. Read more →

Eternal Sonata: Progress Log #6

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

I’ve been taking Eternal Sonata nice and slow up to this point, but nevertheless felt the urge to push a little further into it today. Not out of any real desire to experience more of the game, of course. Actually, I installed the disc to a flash drive to avoid wearing down the Xbox 360’s laser, but there’s only enough room on the drive to have one game installed at a time. That means that the pile of other 360 games I’ve purchased—which is pretty much all of the RPGs that aren’t backwards compatible with the Xbox One yet—are more or less being held hostage by Eternal Sonata. Read more →

Eternal Sonata: Progress Log #5

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

This is yet another progress log where nothing of real importance happens, and it’s all because this game loves spinning its wheels. Everyone’s goal is to go talk to Royal Brat Baddie, but the ADHD and general incompetence of both the party and the NPCS littering the world ensure that there are pointless diversions along the way that exist solely as soulless padding and don’t bother making sense. It’s kind of funny, because a lot of the specific criticisms I have about Eternal Sonata apply to many recent jRPG games, as well. Either a bunch of developers lost their way simultaneously, or there are a handful of people in the industry with awful, game-ruining ideas, and everyone’s too afraid to stand up to them for whatever reason. Read more →

Foxtail: Progress Log #2

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

All right, here’s where we start to get into the inherent issues of Early Access—I spent much of the day hopelessly stuck in Foxtail, and I could have sworn that I used every object on every other object both in my inventory and the world to no avail. In a finished release, you know that this sort of thing is almost certainly a “you” problem and a solution really does exist. In an Early Access game, however, you’re left wondering if you’ve simply hit the wall of the current content and no puzzle solution has been implemented yet. Or maybe something was done in an order the developers didn’t anticipate, leaving you without some crucial item needed to progress. None of those things turned out to be the case, and a quick look back through my screenshots allowed me to piece together what I had been missing, but I was certainly frustrated enough to weigh the possibility for awhile there. Read more →

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