Friday 28 July 2017

Why I'm Not Ashamed of Playing on Easy Mode

Booting up most games these days, I’m met with a decision. A decision that affects important parts of my game experience, such as challenge or the time it takes to play, which has a large effect on my overall game enjoyment. This decision is choosing a difficulty mode. I find changing difficulty modes along the way distracting, so I want to get it right the first time and there’s a very easy way to tackle this decision - choosing Easy mode.

There may be a slight stigma towards playing games on Easy. I imagine some people have thoughts such as "It takes the skill or challenge out of playing", "It’s not really playing the game", "It’s for weaklings" etc etc, or at least that’s the internal dialogue I had with myself the first time I made the switch into easy town. But playing on easy mode has allowed me the opportunity to try more games by giving myself a little speed boost and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting a relaxing experience in one’s gaming downtime.

Friday 21 July 2017

Persona 5's Perfect Transition to Set Dungeons (#JRPGAppreciation)

When I was nearing the end of Persona 5, apart from leaving characters that had stolen my heart, I felt sad that I’d never experience its dungeons for the first time again. With treasure, platforming, puzzles and stealth, Persona 5’s dungeons amplify the story unfolding while mixing in the exploration experience from past Persona games in an interesting way and left me more often than not in a mild state of awe at the end of each one. Persona 5’s dungeons are a great example of how impactful story dungeons can be and this is a list of the things I missed experiencing for the first time after finishing my Persona 5 journey.

Friday 14 July 2017

Platinum Trophy Experience: Persona 4 Dancing All Night

I played the Japanese version of Persona 4 Dancing All Night a few years ago out of impatience for a localised release announcement and found myself unintentionally raking in the trophies. At the start of this year, I made it my resolution to platinum at least one JRPG and as I was checking what seemed achievable, my over 90% completion of Dancing All Night made it feel silly not to get the platinum for, even if it’s more rhythm spinoff game than JRPG. As a fan of rhythm games outside of my JRPG life, I really enjoyed aiming for high scores and dance fever combined with one of my favourite JRPG series ever. As for the platinum trophy experience, aside from a couple of minor time-consuming trophies, compared to Persona 4 Golden’s platinum trophy’s multiple playthrough extravaganza, Persona 4 Dancing All Night’s trophy is a piece of cake that a majority of people can probably get easily with a little bit of time.

Persona 4 Dancing All Night has 40 trophies that break down into 21 Bronze, 15 Silver, 3 Gold and the Platinum. At the time of making this, no trophies on the list seem to go above a ‘rare’ in the PSN rating system and most of the trophies are based on just experiencing different aspects of Persona 4 Dancing All Night. The length of this trophy will depend on your skills and since I played it over a spread out period of time, I don’t have a solid grasp on how long it took me. However, since Dancing All Night’s story is in visual novel form and most of the trophies can be done in Free Dance, I imagine it can take much less time than the average JRPG Platinum Trophy.

Spoiler note: I have included Hidden trophies names in this post, but not descriptions to avoid spoilers as much as possible while still describing my Platinum Trophy journey. I don’t think there are any major story or event spoilers in this post, but proceed at your own risk!

The Easy

~9 Story Trophies
Time to Party Harder (Hidden)
To Greater Heights - Unlocked highest difficulty (ALL NIGHT)
Appearance Matters - Bought a costume for the first time
Best Dressed - Bought half of the costumes
Closet Full of Dreams - Bought all costumes
Lapidary - Obtained all accessories
Hooked on Shopping - Bought all items in Shopping
Regular Customer - Used a total of P$500,000 in Shopping
That Familiar Rush - Watched replay data from Score
I Am Thou, Thou Art I - Completed the Database
Empty Seats - A performance ended prematurely
Hit the Dance Floor - Clear 1 in Free Dance
The Party Never Ends - Cleared all tracks in Free Dance
What’s a “Miss”? - Cleared a track with no MISSes
New Personal Best - Beat your own high score
Fashion Police - Changed costume and began dancing
The Final Touch - Equipped accessory and began dancing
Costume Coordinator - Cleared a track with each character in changed costumes
Dream Team - Paired Rise and Kanami in Free Dance

= 28 trophies

In my opinion, a vast majority of Persona 4 Dancing All Night’s trophies can be classified as easy, as most of them can be done just by completing a basic task. There are trophies for trying on a costume for the first time or for pairing certain characters together, which can be done really quickly just by changing settings before you enter a Free Dance song. Even the story trophies are very easy, as the visual novel format allows you to skip through the story while still getting all of the trophies, which is what I did with the Japanese version. What makes these trophies and Persona 4 Dancing All Night’s platinum trophy so easy is that a good majority of them aren't based on skill, you just need to play a little bit to amass money, use items to boost your rewards and you're pretty set. If you're looking for a quick way to boost your trophy total, these ones will get you up 30 in no time.
The Challenging

Born Entertainer - Obtained top rank (King Crazy) on a track
Star Dancer - Danced using 2 or more items to raise difficulty

= 2 trophies

I put these trophies in the Challenging section of this post, but in reality you can just play Easy Mode and get these trophies very easily, which is what I did to be honest. I got the Born Entertainer trophy unintentionally while challenging myself for fun to try and get a perfect score in one of Persona 4 Dance’s songs and I don’t remember it taking very long at all. Star Dancer also wasn't that difficult to get after I chose the right song. This is because there's a secret to conquering most of Persona 4 Dance’s skill-based challenges and that’s using the super easy tutorial song ‘Specialist’ on easy when in doubt. This song is not difficult on most difficulty modes, so it made raising the difficulty of a that song feel only slightly harder and I was able to get it after only a few tries if that.

Everything Else

Love Connections - Performed a full combo on a track
Perfectionist - 50%+ Perfect clear on HARD track or higher
Working Together - Triggered a Bond Fever at least once
Inseparable - Triggered 30 types of Bond Fevers
Nanako Forever! - Triggered all dances/Bond Fevers with Nanako
Senpai, You're So Cool! - Seen all Bond Fevers between Yu and Rise
Red and Green - Seen all Bond Fevers between Yukiko and Chie
The Junes Special - Seen all Bond Fevers between Yosuke and Teddie
Beauty and the Beast - Seen all Bond Fevers between Naoto and Kanji

= 9 Trophies

I put these trophies here because they require a small amount of skill, but almost all can be done using the easiest song and/or difficulty to win. The only thing with these trophies is that they may take a little bit of time and playing, but if you enjoy rhythm games and the Persona 4 soundtrack as much as I do, this probably won’t be much of a problem.
The Persona 4 Dancing All Night Platinum trophy is definitely the easiest one I’ve gotten, especially once I realised most of the trophies could be done on easy mode. In saying that, it did take a little bit of time and since I was playing in Japanese I had to Google some stuff so I could understand the trophy requirements. Because of that, I still feel like I went to a small amount of effort to get this trophy, so my Platinum achievement was a small triumph to me, but a triumph nonetheless. Now that I have the Japanese platinum trophy, I’m going to look into getting Persona 4 Dancing All Night in English so I can understand the story and maybe if I have time, I might double platinum it for fun. And I say all this with the hope that Atlus will give us a Persona 5 Dancing All Night that I’ll be able to look forward to platinuming too because this Platinum reminded me just how fun a rhythm game with Persona and its great music can be.


Have you platinumed a JRPG recently? What's your favourite JRPG spinoff game?
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Friday 7 July 2017

JRPGs I Played in June 2017

With the main games and DLC I wanted to play releasing in the later half of last month, my gaming time was pretty free for a bit, so I took the time to play demos, platinum and finish some stuff before new release time. I was kind of all over the place in my gaming time at first, but I did set a few solid goals that I completed. I finished all of NieR Automata’s main routes finally, played SINoALICE, God Wars and Episode Prompto at launch and platinumed Persona 4 Dancing All Night (because why not, right?). Most of all, I tried a few new interesting experiences I'm excited to talk about, so here are the JRPGs I played in June.