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    I play video games, I buy and listen to music of all sorts, I mess around on an acoustic guitar, I own video capture and editing software, I randomly dance around at any opportunity, spend time out shopping for more music/games/film or seeing folk...the usual, really.

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  1. Grinding for that Aoba gear is going to take forever, and to be honest I'd rather take a shot at the miniboss now and progress the story a little so that I can get to a new dungeon with stronger enemies that give me more money. From the North Side of the map we can get to the concert hall and heal at the Trish's Fountain - everyone's already nicely healed, so I move on to the concert hall. As we enter there's a short scene where our party walk up to the back door of the concert hall and figure that Katsuya's probably up ahead. We go through the door and the scene fades out - when it fades back in, we get to see what was going on inside the concert hall just a few minutes before our arrival; Katsuya entered the hall with his gun ready but ended up running into Chief Togashi. This guy - the chief of police - is Sneak? Okay... Anyway, according to his intel "the New World Order is an organisation that worships a god-like figure called Gozen." During the civil war, a shogun named Kiyotada Sumaru ruled the land... but when Honmaru Park (itself a location on Innocent Sin's map) was built by NWO, the mummified body of Kiyotada was discovered. Just like Gozen, this mummified body is revered and worshipped, and people have to join in the worship or risk a cursing. The chief tells us that NWO is now an organisation "big enough to move this country...all because of Kiyotada's strong curses." NWO's devotion to the mummy have led them towards a plot to destroy everything around Sumaru City "to create a utopia" that's free from sin. Katsuya thinks this is a bit much - sure, people sin, but they can also atone, otherwise why have a justice system? Chief Togashi isn't done - NWO have an incredibly strong collective will, and the Wang Long school of fortune telling can be controlled... "The dragons of Wang Long are underground energy flows called leylines" but those dragons don't like Kegare, and could cause natural disasters or even destroy the world in their efforts to eliminate Kegare. This could have disastrous effects on a global scale, and seems to be NWO's whole "utopia" plot - deliberatly amass a load of Kegare and Joker badness until everything is destroyed and cleansed of sin. Togashi goes on to explain that the entire city will be elevated "to an ancient spaceship called "Torifune"" so that NWO can watch the whole thing go down from the safety of their spaceship - worse still, the "rumours-becoming-true" thing of P2 has already been used to will Torifune into existence - our only hope is to confront Tatsuzou Sudou and - ultimately - Gozen. Oof. That's about as far as Togashi gets with his explanation, as Shimazu enters the scene. Togashi explains that he's already brought a lot of this fucked-up masterplan to light and soon enough it will go public. Shimazu is unfazed - this will only help any rumours that begin to spread. Togashi is done talking and reaches for his gun, but Shimazu draws first and shoots him: "Checkmate..." he proclaims, but Baofu is heard saying "... for you." The camera then pans to show our party surrounding Shimazu with Maya pointing her gun at his head. Shimazu drops his weapon and Ulala demands to know where Tatsuzou is, but before he answers a bunch of Special Assault Team (SAT) goons show up and surround us, setting the stage for a boss fight against Shimazu and four SAT adds. The enemies can do painful single-target attacks, inflict status ailments that make party members miss a turn, and generally ruin your day. My plan is to use elementals that target a group of enemies so that I can take out the adds and ensure that there are fewer enemy turns. And also heal as necessary. Despite the ailments, we take out the goons without too much trouble and are left with Shimazu - he has high evasion against some attacks but takes hits from others, and he has some strong single-target attacks but nothing we can't recover from. Eventually it turns into a race to take him out before Maya runs out of SP (for healing), but we eliminate him with plenty to spare. After level-up stats and things, Katsuya cuffs Shimazu and then checks on Togashi. The chief is just about to tell us where the NWO hideout is, but slumps to the ground before the words come out. There's no point hanging around here any longer, so Baofu suggests we head back to his place so that we can work out what we can do to intercept Tatsuzou. Maya status: Lv38 Playtime: 27h12m
  2. I think the "annual pass" gives you exclusive content to enjoy as that content is rolled out over the months. For example, here's the content calendar that was provided as Forsaken launched: Everyone got some or all of the stuff at the top (depending on if they had Forsaken); annual pass holders get everything in that image.
  3. If there's one thing the last update showed me, it's that I need a persona that can cure possession, as it made our party members waste turns, throw away money and generally create more problems. Having played the other games I know that there's a skill named Kotoludi that cures possession, so I go to the Velvet Room and see if there's a decent persona that will learn this skill. I think my best bet for the moment is Seiten Taisei of the Chariot arcana; it learns Kotoludi but will also learn things like Megido and Maragion (the latter being useful for fusion spells!) I'll probably give this to Ulala since she still has Nekomata after my changes in my July 21st update. Moving on, I need to check out new gear - I quickly find out that all of the best stuff is at Aoba (in Parabellum and Rosa Candida) and I can't afford it (due to possession ailments draining our money); I'd need around 600'000+ for all of it, so that's going to have to wait. Since the only way I'm going to hang on to money is to have Kotoludi, I'm going to summon Seiten Taisei for Ulala and then do my best to start grinding in our next destination, Aoba Park. Luckily, this isn't our first time in the park and a lot of it is already mapped out for us - we merely have to get to the concert hall. This means going through one map of the "South Side" and then entering the "North Side" and getting to the concert hall at the north of that map. The battles here don't cause too much of a problem (and Kotoludi is already helping us a lot), and as we near the end of the North Side map Baofu says "Looks like (Katsuya) is just ahead of us... Man, that guy... You can't handle being a gumshoe, believing people that easily..." Beyond this is a Lv42 miniboss that I'm nowhere near ready for (I still need the better gear, new skills etc), but I also know that there's a Trish's Fountain just ahead, so I'm going to get there for now and save, then I can work on unlocking the rest of Seiten Taisei's skills and hopefully gaining more money for that Aoba gear... Maya status: Lv38 Playtime: 26h49m (adjusted for levelling, grinding money for the Aoba gear)
  4. Okay, if there's room in the poll I'll nominate Turrican; easy to get into, released on a bunch of things with multiple series entries to try.
  5. Maybe instead of genre we could do format? And then we could have classics from each genre? So for example you could have a Game Boy month with Tetris, Link's Awakening, SML2, Pokémon etc as options. Just a suggestion.
  6. Currently playing P2. Still. With a bit of Daytona on the side. Bloodlines is ace; I think I only heard about it after AVGN did his multi-part special on the series. I never picked up that collection that came out in May, but I appreciate it having Bloodlines and Super IV in there!
  7. I initially pledged £1 as a show of support in a "well they seem a bit more professional about this than the Vega bunch" way, but the keyboard thing does seem pretty messy. I mean, they at least got boards out to backers (I think?) so that's something, but with the keyboard it's like they bit off more than they can chew... Maybe they should have had the board be the Kickstarter, and then people who know what they're doing can work out suitable peripherals to stick it in...
  8. ~Deliberate Ally KOs~ As I reload my save, we're stood outside Trish's Fountain with one or more party members suffering status ailments. Nice. I pay to get healed, head up to 4F, and flee any battles until I find a door to a room labelled "Seminar Hall". Checking the door, we find that it's locked, but Katsuya tells us that we can see what's happening inside if we can get to an air duct - that said, we'd need to know where an air duct would be. In a cool nod to Innocent Sin, we get a sepia flashback to our first time at Smile (see my Jan 31 update in that thread), where the party went to a restroom and Maya borrowed a lighter from Senpai Kun/Deja Vu Boy to set off an alarm... and then we're back in control. So now we know that we should find the restrooms because they have air ducts - I continue fleeing battles and book it to the women's restroom near the northeast of 4F, then interact with the door. There's a short scene here where Ulala and Maya (being the only girls in our party) enter on their own, but then find that they need one of the guys to help remove the air duct cover, so the rest of the party is called in and eventually we're able to move on. It then cuts to the seminar hall in Smile where people are gathered to watch a man give a speech whilst stood in front of what looks like the "Kegare" machines (that seperate a Joker from its body and stores it in a tank.) The game's narrator introduces this man as "Ginji Sasaki: The young producer of the group "Muses"..." We kind of ran into him before in IS, but right now he's giving a speech about how mankind needs to avoid sin, and how sinners can "be reborn into innocence" if they let the machine "absorb" their sin. It sounds sketchy as fuck, but we can't intervene with a crowd of innocent people around, so - just like in Innocent Sin - Maya decides to use a lighter (or cigarette or something) to send smoke through the vent to the crowd of people whilst other party members set off the alarm to evacuate the building. We get no choice in who goes where - in the next scene, the camera stays on Maya, Ulala and Nate as Maya sends smoke through the vent... meanwhile (offscreen) Katsuya and Baofu set off an alarm. Back in control, we (as Maya) have to make it to the seminar hall - there will be random battles along the way, but the number of enemies in each battle is reduced to help our smaller party. When we get there, Ginji protests in front of our party, insisting that his actions are just, but Katsuya thinks that he's spouting crazy superstition. Eventually, it feels like words aren't getting us anywhere, so Maya walks up to the "Kegare" machine, pulls out a firearm and shoots the glass containers holding the separated Joker matter. It spills onto the floor, but then rises up and floods into Ginji's body! Oops. So we've learned that the separated Joker "Kegare" matter has its own will and can just find a host if it's not restrained, but now we have a boss battle against "Joker Ginji". This battle has the party facing JG and four "Shoggoth" adds that, once defeated, can be respawned by JG after a few turns. The Shoggoths can self-destruct and cast status ailments, whilst JG has party-wide elementals and can self-heal. So you really want skills that can damage the entire group of Shoggoths at once. Nate's "Holy Light" skill is particularly potent here, dealing 120-130 damage to each Shoggoth. Meanwhile, the water skills of Maia Custom are good for dealing damage to Joker Ginji (as are water-based fusion spells)...but Maya also needs to use Mediarama and Recarm for support, and we occasionally end up using healing and revival items so that Maya has less to do. The only other annoying thing is the "possession" ailment (a possessed character will sometimes attack the party); I have nothing to cure this right now so I often just let a possessed character get KO'd and bring them back with Maya's Recarm skill! Anyway, I have enough healing and revival things to drag this out, and things go in our favour towards the end as I get JG on his own and get a few fusion spells in. Eventually it's over - we all level up and there's a short scene where Nate explains that we can't keep seeking each Kegare-possessed individual and should instead "expose the New World Order publicly." He calls Ellen and asks her to give our intel on NWO to Nate's butler, Matsuoka. Katsuya also makes a call to Sneak to try and get intel about what's been going on; Sneak tells us to meet him at the concert hall in Aoba Park... And with that, we're back on the town map. Maya status: Lv35 Playtime: 25h14m
  9. A public demo is being released on the 3rd (the last one was invite-only):
  10. This will be released on PS4 this week: https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP3930-CUSA15249_00-EU00000000000003
  11. I think SFIV (in its various editions) was my most-played game of last gen - I must have sunk hundreds of hours into that - but I’d definitely alternate between loving and loathing it. SFxT was even worse... I don’t leave many reviews on Steam but I do write online reviews for a website, and my general rule is that you shouldn’t have to spend too long “looking for the fun”. That being said, online reviews give me the luxury of “first impressions” bits and then final reviews, which are useful for enormous games such as Sekiro, Nier or Persona.
  12. With nothing new at the stores and any rumours I could find updated, I move on to Smile Mall in Hirasaka. I try and battle the enemies I encounter for the moment so that I get some experience, but I may negotiate between updates. The first floor is pretty large, and there's an elevator in the north-west but there's still a lot to map out on this floor, so I won't use it yet. There are also stairs going up and down at the west of 1F, and after mapping out most of 1F I feel like these are our only way forward, so I go to B1 first, find some "Gem" items (description: "restores a character's HP fully"), and nothing else but a locked door to a "warehouse". A bit of a waste of time, then, but we got some experience out of it. After finding the elevator again we make our way up to 2F - again, the area is huge and there's a lot of map to uncover before I feel happy moving on, but the encounters aren't causing too much trouble right now so I can afford to mill around until I decide to continue up to 3F. That said, 3F isn't an option right now on the elevator (although B1, 1F, 2F and 4F are fine) so I have to run back and take the stairs up. Whilst on 3F I quickly save, as the lack of a quick elevator trip to 3F might indicate some kind of event on this floor, but when I find the stairs there we just continue exploring. However, I do find a Trish's Fountain whilst I'm here, so it's a nice place to save. So far this dungeon has been fairly free from gimmicks - there's no floor traps or weird teleporting shenanigans just yet, and there haven't been any dialogue events (there weren't even any when we entered the dungeon for the first time)... but we have only made it up to the third floor. Maybe the gimmick is that the floors are so massive and it'll take players a lot of time to map out where they're supposed to go? As I'm thinking this and exploring more of 3F, I find another staircase in the north-east of 3F, so I can see this is going to be one of those "go up a staircase to find another staircase down that leads to a previously-inaccessible part of the floor you were on" things. In any case, I explore up to 3F for now, battling as much as I can so that I gain experience, and then I save near the Trish's Fountain. Next time around I'll have to continue exploring a few areas - particularly the subsequent floors above 3F, and that extra staircase in the north-east of 3F that leads to a new area of 2F... I got a lot of mapping done in this update, but as mentioned I haven't done any negotiations. Even so, the encounters here are bearable with our current levels, equipment and personae - there's just the occasional status ailment that might be a pain now and then. Oh, and there's the little thing where I get conscious about negotiating too much and not levelling enough, then getting bodied when I find a forced encounter that's actually challenging. So for the moment I'd rather do a little bit of levelling as I explore unless the encounters just start feeling like a chore. I played a little bit more (without saving) after posting this, and found that the mapping might not be as necessary as I first thought despite the large areas to cover - there's an event that happens in an area of 4F involving the seminar hall and one of the restrooms in the southeast, but I'll cover this next time (also I may have to see if I can negotiate my way there to avoid going in with status ailments.) (also, Nate's persona ranked up and learned Sonic Punch, which then led to us learning the new fusion spell "Ryusei Rekken". Yay!) Maya status: Lv34 Playtime: 24h34m
  13. Qazimod


    Yeah, I feel like the people who played OG Nier had a much better time getting on with Automata than others... especially when you know how much missed potential was in that original game. 2010's Nier had clunky combat and forgettable encounters, but an interesting world, mad story and that soundtrack... I still have my 360 copy of Nier but I wouldn't say no to a remaster... (although having said that I still haven't played any of the Drakengards!)
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