plutonick's Blog - Jan to Mar 18 (0 followers)
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Jan
31
PermalinkFront Mission Nights
I managed to fit another 4 hours yesterday in Front Mission last night.

I went to bed, holding my NDS, planning to fool around with FM for 30-60 mins, possibly finishing a mission before going to sleep. Didn't happen. Got mad. Spent 4 hours instead. Slept at 02:00. Had to wake up at 06:00. Yeah, Front Mission (and mech turn based games) are that addictive to me.

So far, missions are varied, characters are interesting enough (considering this is an old J(S)RPG. Battles are long and hard. Perhaps a little bit harder that what is fair (at least to me), but this makes it more interesting. Loading is cumbersome enough to work as a disincentive to 'save-scumming', forcing you to think strategically instead of randomly attacking, hoping for luck and resorting to loading if things don't turn out well.

I even liked that fact that there are hidden recruits/mechs for you to find if you follow certain dialogue paths or visit certain locations.


(I blame my BattleTech background and fixation for using the word Mechs instead of Wanzers throughout all those posts...)
Posted by plutonick on 31 January 18 at 12:47 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Jan
30
Permalink4 hours in Front Mission (DS Lite)
I had an urge to play a mech turn based game, but since BattleTech is not out of beta yet (and I am not a beta Kickstarter backer), I decided to try the Front Mission series instead.

Instead of starting with Front Mission 3 (the PS1 version I recently got on my PS3 via the PSN network), I thought why not start from the very begining of the series, since I did own both a hacked NDS AND a working (english) rom of Front Mission. So I dug out my NDS and plug it into the mains.

ALAS! It would not boot! I was horrified to see that the battery, after almost four years of neglect, had bloated. I ordered a cheap knock-off replacement, since the original is not being produced anymore, and once it arrived... the NDS would still not charge, even though the chargers light turned on.

I browsed Facebook's local marketplace and I realized that secondhand NDS are way to cheap. 20 euros! I ordered one, but unfortunately I had to return it, because the volume slider was broken. On the other hand I found out that my old NDS charged just fine with the 'new' charger. So the fault was with the charger and not with the NDS. I bought a new charger, charged my NDS and fired up Front Mission. It was working!

(However I found out that my slot 2 cart, which is used for GBA roms, was faulty and somehow I had to fix this before starting my FM session, even though I wasn't going to use the slot2. I just couldn't rest knowing something was wrong with my NDS. Posts on the net said that the usual culprit was a dead internal battery, however removing it and inserting a new one was a bit tricky. In the end, I just blew on the cartridge and the problem went away just like that...)

Anyway, as I write this, I am already 5 hours in Front Mission, and having difficulties finishing the 4th mission, I am enjoying way to much, which scares my, just by thinking how much I am going to enjoy BattleTech in a few months. Mech customization is way to complicated in FM and I love it. This game must have been ahead of it's time. Plot is nice too. If your are a fan of japanese Tactics (or just tactics games) and also like Mechs, I can't recommend this game enough, and I suppose later games in the series only get better!
Posted by plutonick on 30 January 18 at 13:36 | There are 3 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Jan
22
PermalinkNostalgia Trip
So my Overwatch teammates (well, Dbo mainly, Zeph is still available) are currently AWOL so I am left with some free computer time to spent elsewhere.

ScummVM v2 had just been released and this prompted my to start my nostalgia trip. I had to dig through my backlog. Since my first gaming system was an Amstrad CPC6128 you can imagine how back my backlog goes.

I always loved Text Adventures games. They are called Interactive Fiction (IF) nowadays, but I stubbornly refuse to call them that. I liked them back then, in the early 90s, mainly because of their less is more approach. By just describing what you see, and using only limited graphics, my mind filled the blanks a lot better than any graphic at that age could.

So, I went to a few abandoware sites and started downloading games that I used to fantasize about when I was younger but never managed to own them.

Santa Cruz and Vera Cruz Affair were two of those obscure little adventure games, a hybrid of hidden-object game decades before hidden-object games were invented and sleuth adventures where you have to find who is the murder. Very atmospheric games.

Then I got some Infocom, Magnetic Scrolls and Adam Scott Adventure games. Ok, who am I kidding. I found a torrent archive and downloaded ALL OF THEM. Together with scanned feelies, ie promo items included in the box of the game that were either usually essential in order to finish or at least useful clues. The Pawn stands our for me, because this was the first true text adventure that I finished in the 90s (using a printed solution/walkthrough of course). Scapeeghost (I got the play of words decades after the release of the game, but whatever) was another one that I really liked, mainly because of it theme, a Gothic ghost/detective story.

Epilogue? There is no epilogue. I barely played any of them this time. I guess I am more of a collector. However, my nostalgia trip led me to my old Nintendo DS and Playstastion Portable handheld consoles. Unfortunately BOTH their batteries had bloated and needed replacement. I am still waiting for them. In the mean time I am downloading ROMs and getting ready for an epic turn based session. Fire Emblem, Ogre Tactics and Front Mission series are in the menu.
Posted by plutonick on 22 January 18 at 19:18 | Last edited on 22 January 18 at 19:26 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.