On the run from the law…s of physics.

I’ve been playing WA5 recently, having beaten P3.

I was skeptical at first.  WA4 was ridiculously easy and horribly short.  (I think the final boss could be beaten in 2-3 rounds, without trying, and the whole game was maybe 20 hours and a bit of change).

WA5 uses the same engine, and has several of the same characteristics (such as an incredibly annoying main character and a more action-based exploration system).   The engine’s hex-based and, also annoyingly, got rid of the Encounter Cancel system from WA2/3/F which made those games so nice.

Yet, somehow, despite the fact that it’s pretty much the same battle system, I’m enjoying it more.  They even got rid of one of the few redeeming features of WA4 (namely the giant character portraits that danced around the screen during plot scenes).  But I’m still liking it; it’s a decently tough game, with a few memorable characters.  Still rather cliched, but the characters are all decently fleshed out.  I’m even finding myself liking Rebecca some, and Greg is pretty much how Jack should’ve been done – a very dark character.  While they both have revenge as their main goal, Jack really doesn’t talk about it – at all – except when he confronts the demons (I think he mentions it twice?).  Sure, he hunts for the “Ultimate Power”, but he doesn’t say what he’s going to do with it much.

Anyway, yeah.  The difficulty level from the first couple games is back.  I don’t like how they did it (namely by making all magic spells cost a hell of a lot), and it’s still unbalanced (you heal HP to full after every battle, and Force moves are way overpowered), but it’s decent.  At this point there are a half-dozen PS2 RPGs I’d recommend over it, but I’m not done with it yet.  This game’s surprised me before and it may well again – and after all, Persona 3 is good at first, but it doesn’t really pick up until almost halfway through.

Other than WA5, I have picked up a copy each of God Hand and Lumines Plus.  GH is good fun – a simple-seeming, tough brawler.  Nothing really deep to it yet, but it takes a lot of skill to make it through.  For example, I continued 15 times in the first set of areas (about 2-3 hours of gameplay), but I *still* got a bonus for the number of continues I’d used.

Lumines Plus is a very soothing game.  All techno and puzzle.  When I start playing it, I find it hard to stop, honestly.  It’s quite immersive, but I haven’t played it a whole lot yet.

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