Two years ago, the Extra-Life marathon of 2016 saw the completion of The Legend of Kyrandia early on. It was a fun little point and click adventure that, while it had a major bug towards the end of the game, I enjoyed a lot. So when this game came up as one of the possible next games to play, it intrigued me. After all, the first game completed it’s story quite well, so where would the sequel go? And while I must admit aside from the lands involved, it went somewhere completely unrelated to the original title… but at the same time, it still fit as a descent sequel, if not a great one. Come on in.
This is a game that came to my backlog quite randomly. At least once a week, I try to go through the list of games Steam wants to recommend, and this one charmed me. Between the writer having done The Stanley Parable, the trailer being just a touch bizarre, and description that was half written before the writer Tina just quit and left, I was intrigued. So I added it to my backlog on the spot.
So when a game I’m trying to complete became unplayable yesterday (online game that as I type this still seems to be under a DDOS attack), I decided I would open something new… and the dice chose this. They did not choose poorly.
My history with Ragnarok has been scarce, but personal. Back in the day, a now ex of mine that to this day I consider a damn good friend introduced me to the original game on a private server she played on, and we had fun running around and wrecking monsters for a little while. But I never found myself interested in the game itself enough to go play any of it’s sequels. But it’s introduction left the series feeling warm and something I might to play with later. When I saw this game, it was already late in it’s life, but that warmth and wanting to see if something can stand up to Phantasy Star with Sega refusing to bring their newest game to the west, I gave it a shot. All I can say is I hope I'm not looking at the original game with rose-colored glasses due to who I was playing with at the time.
When GTA IV dropped, a LOT of console gamers jumped on it as a reason console was better then PC. After all, you couldn’t play the dream-game of GTA on PC, could you? And while I would never argue a single game makes a platform better or worse then another (even if it can make a platform worth having), a lot of PC gamers were looking forward to playing it on their chosen device.
I was not one of them.
However, I did finally get that interest when an expansion the Lost and Damned trailers hit TV, but I did not count on being able to ever get ahold of it where I could play with camera aiming the way I want and demand, so I let it go… until this collection made it’s way to steam. I didn’t care enough to grab it immediately, but when a summer sale dropped, I picked it up. And then recently, it made the selection, so I checked out the trailers and thought “why the hell not?” I found out why not… and then the game showed me.
Now before we begin, this is a combination review. Since you could not install or run these games apart from each other, but had to run them from a single program, I decided it was best to treat them as one game. But in doing so, I have also split them up so clicking either name below will bring you directly to that game. Also, to be up front, I did not finish The Ballad of Gay Tony. You will find why as you read.
Well, officially, Extra Life began within the first week of January (and probably the 1st), but for us at the Red Sector, it begins now. We have settled into the new year and it’s time to return. If you want to help us, there is a brand new thermometer on the side of the page which will lead you to the team donation page. And update, Extra-Life has heard the complaints! Clicking the big green donate page will now open a wizard to take you through the process of donating in the team’s name!
At this time, however, we are still VERY early in the year, so as much as donations are welcome (and if you choose to help us, thank you so much, from me, from my team, and from the kids we will work together to help), right now I think it’s more about recruiting. So how about it? Do you want to help kids out in your local hospital? Do you want to do so by playing video games? If this sounds good to you, please come check out www.extra-life.org and get the details! And thank you for your time.
But I believe on that note, I have a very long over-due recap for the 2017 event, so come on inside if you are interested in that.
I’m going to say it here and now. I was excited for this game when it was announced. Unfortunately, I missed Kirby’s Return to Dreamland which was meant to be a multiplayer game on the Wii, and foolishly I believed Team Kirby Clash Deluxe was going to be based on it. Sure I expected the game to require purchases, but I was thinking like they had done with Fatal Frame V where the first part was free and if you wanted to continue you would buy the rest as DLC (potentially as multiple episodes). And while the first expectation being smashed is not necessarily a bad thing (a different game can still be a good one), this game destroys the second one in horrific form, defining the very issue people have with Mobile F2P games.
In fact it does so enough my patients have been pushed beyond finishing it. I write this tonight as I put the game down for the final time having barely gotten through 3 hours of gametime (according to my 3DS) before the foul taste of pay-wall after pay-wall after pay-wall this game contains just ruined my will to keep going. For the first time since setting my standards, I have been driven by a game to break them, not by a game-ending bug, but by a microtransaction system I personally find too egregious to continue.
While I always liked the idea of these games, my past with them have been a bit tumultuous. I bought this and First Voyage for the PSP at close to the same time and I played the original long ago. Simply put I loved it, even with the incredibly stupid/cheesy reason for the last boss. So when I bought a PS3, I already wanted Star Ocean: The Last Hope for it (Star Ocean 3 was going to be next to impossible to find, so I took what I could get). And when I played it, well… I was far from impressed with. But when the dice selected this as a possible game, it had my curiosity. After all, with the steep difference between what I played in the portable game vs it’s sever-iteration later sequel, I could only wonder if the game’s were good until then, or if it was a slope of sequels that got worse as they went on. After finishing this game, I believe it could well have been just Last Hope that was just that bad.
Also, please note, that by the time I played this game, my PSP had basically died. While it was in the process, but I could at least get the disc drive to work some of the time, so I hacked it and fought to get my small library to file. As such, I played this game via emulator with a 360 controller, so your experiences may vary some from my own.