Friday, 2 June 2017

JRPGs I Played in May 2017

Remember how last month I was tossing up between three JRPGs? What if I told you I played none of those games and spent most of the month finishing Persona 5 and beginning a platinum run for it? Would you be surprised? Probably not.

I eventually chose my May JRPG as Summon Nights 6, only to see it be delayed, which pushed me towards taking a little more time on my Persona 5 review and getting back to NieR Automata to try finish it properly. I also took some brief time to try some new experiences, such as Fushigen TOD Reloaded and some Japanese App Store experiences. Although I'm sure I'll have more of a direction in what JRPGs I play next month, I enjoyed trying new experiences and spending more time with some new favourites, so here's a look at what I played in May.


My favourite JRPG of May 2017:
Persona 5
Since I didn't play any new releases this month, and I fully finished Persona 5 mid-May, I’m putting Persona 5 as game of the month for the second month in a row. Finishing it was bittersweet because I found it so wonderful and while it ended in a way I was satisfied with, it was sad to know I wouldn’t experience the magic of my first playthrough with it again. I spent quite a few late nights with Persona 5 because it was sucking me into the deeper meaning of each dungeon and other plot twists along the way made me not want to put it down. I’m satisfied enough to try platinum it, just like I did with Persona 4 Golden and I’m enjoying my second playthrough at my own pace. I’m taking time to enjoy the little things in Persona 5 like the trend recommending NPCs and vague nods to future story events from other characters. Honestly, it’s just a really fantastic game and I’m going to be playing it on and off for a very long time, I’m sure.

Fire Emblem Heroes
Another month of Fire Emblem Heroes and playing it in small bursts, except this month is a little special. In the Gacha draw focused on Female Mages, I got my favourite Fire Emblem character Tharja, gave her all of my level crystals and put her into my party. My party is full of half five star ranked characters, so I’m hoping to either get more five star characters to join or to rank my other ones up. Anyway, I’m still playing and it’s still pretty fun.

Persona 2
I didn’t play nearly enough Persona 2 in May because I was writing a lot when I was on the go, but I did notice something a little interesting. My battle skills in Persona 2 improved drastically while I was also playing Persona 5. Persona 2 is pretty light on explaining mechanics, so it was almost like I needed Persona 5 to remind me how to play Persona properly and then jump back in with the knowledge I needed. I’m hoping to story picks up a bit more soon at this point, but it is a lot more enjoyable now I’m playing better.

Final Fantasy XV
I logged into Final Fantasy XV briefly to check out the 1.10 update and check out some Stinky Tofu (no, really). It isn’t a huge update, although the new Stinky Tofu recipeh did provide some very interesting stat changes when I tried to do this latest timed quest (which is tough by the way!) with it’s HP dropping capabilities while boosting other stats (you can imagine my shock when I saw my 9999HP Gladio go to 900. That was sort of scary.). I also did the one-question survey where they asked what future content fans would like to see in XV and if you guys did it, I’d love to know what you answered with out of sheer curiosity. Avoiding spoilers, I chose the Story Content regarding a Disappearance, but all of the ideas are ones I wouldn’t mind seeing in XV.

Fushigi TOD Reloaded
Since I enjoy finding random JRPG demos to play on my PS4, when I saw in screenshots the roguelike-JRPG elements I remembered from Sorcery Saga: the Curse of the Great Curry God, I decided to give Fushigi TOD Reloaded a go when I saw it on the Japanese PSN Store. A lot of it’s dungeon mechanics do remind me of Sorcery Saga (minus the curry brewing) with it’s roguelike nature and mechanics. It seems to be a pretty dialogue heavy game with lots of talk about ghosts and things I don’t know the meaning of in Japanese and probably some throwbacks to the Touhou game is was inspired by. I enjoyed its music and gameplay, so I may talk about it more in a First Impressions sometime, but my first (accidental) look into a Touhou Doujin game was pretty interesting and made me want to get back into roguelikes more.

Omega Quintet
Let me be straight: I only played Omega Quintet for about five minutes while getting footage for my last video, but I was reminded that I still really want to play Omega Quintet. I had enough hype a couple of years ago to buy it in Japanese when it came out because I feared that it wouldn’t be localised, and even though I don’t have the now-available English version, I was reminded by the cute singing and dancing, and the fun Final Fantasy XIII-esque combat system that I would like to eventually play this Idol-JRPG to completion. Whether I play it in English or Japanese and even whether it’s good or not, there is a still a piece of me that really wants to play it.

NieR Automata
I only played a tiny bit of NieR Automata last month thanks to cranking out my Persona 5 review (and Persona 5 in general), but I have an itch to get back into it and get those main endings I haven’t seen. I actually tried to play a few times this week but my PS4 was having errors, but hopefully I’ll have better luck before June’s releases to at least finish route C. The plot is getting weird and I like it.

Phobos Children
I had the idea of re-purposing my horribly cracked old iPhone into a phone with the Japanese App Store (I still use the Australian one) so I could play all the Japanese mobile games I see ads for on the train and on Twitter here. My good friend Dennis (the lovely designer of my logo and video intro, check out his work!) suggested a game called Phobos Children and knowing there were also a bunch of other games I probably wanted to play, I took the small amount of time to finally make this happen and played a bit of Phobos Children.

I haven’t played that much, but I liked the gameplay of Phobos Children a lot. Battles are done through tapping buttons coming up the screen and pressing matching colours to make combos was pretty fun. There were a few localisation imperfections in the dialogue, but regardless I found myself kind of wishing I had my other phone with me on the train for something different to play, so I hope to return to it in future (hopefully when I get an iPhone to HDMI cable to stop looking at my super cracked screen).

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia
Dissidia Final Fantasy is the first game I go to at arcades here because it’s so pretty and has so many Final Fantasy characters I love in it, and I’ve been interested in checking out the cute character sprites I’ve seen from Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia on Twitter, but it’s not available in English yet. With my Japanese App Store iPhone in hand, I checked out a little bit of Opera Omnia and while I haven’t made any real progress in it yet, I love how many characters are available and the fact that they actually interact with each other in cutscenes. This is one game I definitely plan on returning to and since I haven’t had much experience with the other Dissidia titles, I’m interested to see what it’ll be like.

June JRPG Plans
Episode Gladiolus feels like it was forever ago, so it’s very much about time for Final Fantasy XV’s Episode Prompto to come out and reveal just what that sobre trailer means. On top of finally playing Episode Prompto, I’m also hoping it includes a trailer for Episode Ignis because Ignis is my favourite character from XV and after seeing how fun it was to play as Gladio, I’d like to do the same with Ignis. I also really like Prompto, so I’m curious about what they’ll do with his character story-wise and if they’ll add special mechanics like they did in Episode Gladio.
As for full JRPGs I want to play in June, I’m planning to play the Japanese Valkyria Revolution demo to help me make my decision. I played the God Wars: Future Past demo a few months ago and thought the mythological story looked interesting so that’s definitely on my list, but the Valkyria Revolution trailer looks really good too. There’s also my hope to continue playing through NieR Automata and with most of the new JRPGs next month coming out after the 20th, I’ll hopefully get a bit of time.

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What JRPGs did you play in May? What will you play in June?
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