Chapters 9 and 10 are mercifully short as far as the sidequest fluff is concerned, and the final two boss fights proved to be total pushovers (neither of them even got a single attack in before being chain attacked to death). Which is to say that I got the true ending. Talk about a relief; a scene rolled around that’s similar to what I’ve heard of the bad ending, but everyone made it out okay and Aria joined the party again. Then there were just a few bosses standing in the way between me and being done with the game. There are plot holes you could drive a bus through, and the amount of meaningless busywork required for the good ending precludes a “good” review, but while I recognize how deeply flawed it is, I can’t help but have a certain fondness for Omega Quintet that persists despite its occasional clumsiness. The characters are just too stupid and the fan service too transparent to outright hate it.
I made sure to craft a bunch of stuff
For a pretty significant chunk of the game, I was able to get by without having to constantly craft new things. The difficulty on normal, combined with all of the free DLC items, made it possible to coast through most of the game. Toward the end, however, I was expecting the worst and decided to craft the best weapons I could. This can really become a time-consuming hassle because every enemy drops different ingredients, and enemies have recolors that drop different items, making hunting down the right thing unnecessarily confusing. Still, you can sometimes run over and trade one ingredient for another (though this is often a matter of luck and that’s not always an option, with you usually having to go out into the field again).
Because the DLC gives you a huge chunk of the EP and Arcanium needed to craft things, it wasn’t until this late-game crafting binge that I figured out some things. Namely, that a bunch of the various rocks I had been picking up could be disassembled for huge chunks of EP and Arcanium. I had also been collecting new crafting designs while playing, and eventually discovered that I could use that EP and Arcanium to craft Amps (which are like added bonuses that can be equipped on characters’ outfits) that increase the amount of SP everyone has at their disposal. When the final two fights ended up being back-to-back, I was prepared with a huge enough pool that I didn’t have to waste time using a bunch of SP-restoring items.
This video is before I did that
I can’t really post videos of what fighting looked like with that larger pool of SP because it was right at the end and a lot of the fights could be considered spoilers (though there’s really not much of a story to spoil), but the video above highlights how quickly SP runs out. Basically, I ended up crafting Amps for all five characters that gave them an additional 1500 SP points to use, and that roughly doubled the amount they had to work with in the video above. Talk about a time-saver.
I can’t explain this performance
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wasn’t going to be getting great performance out of this game despite the recommended minimum GPU being comparable to what I have, but that’s given me some unique insight into where the problems are. For some reason, the girls who dawdle around the office and have one or two lines cause a massive performance hit. Now, I already knew that the enemies wandering around in the field caused performance to drop, which meant the early game was much smoother than when there were a bazillion enemies wandering around, but it wasn’t until a plot point caused the girls to not be standing around in the office that I realized that they were slowing things down considerably.
There are two clips in the video above; the first is with the girls present, and the second is without them. I didn’t quit out of the game or change any settings or anything between the two, and it’s stunning how much smoother the second is. I can’t explain why some characters standing around causes such a huge performance loss, but their presence is the only difference between the two clips.