Sunday, 10 July 2011

Tales of Destiny II (PSX)

This is actually the English version of Tales of Eternia on the original PlayStation, not the real Tales of Destiny 2 released later for the PS2.

Whoa... that's how you draw trees.

The game started off with a typical Japanese rpg animated character showcase intro with a bad jpop... actually no, it had a pretty good song actually. The Japanese version has a rock song over the intro, but the US version has a more dramatic instrumental track. Usually I can't turn these things off fast enough, but I liked this one.

Then they showed a woman climbing into a spherical spacecraft, and heading into the clouds.

The graphics are awesome, the voice acting... is less so.

Old friends Farah and Reid have met up on this wooden lookout to investigate the sky. It seems to be the wrong colour, and they're worried it means that something is about to come fall... what she says.

Reid isn't keen on the idea of that happening, because he hates anything new and different.

Farah seems like she could be an interesting and likeable protagonist. She's enthusiastic, curious and proactive. The trouble is I'm playing as Reid, who's determined to avoid ever seeing or doing anything that falls outside of his blissful life of hunting for food and then eating the food.

Unfortunately fate has selected him to be the main character, so he barely has a chance to mention how he doesn't want to have anything to do with anything coming from space, before the tower is shattered by a large object coming from space.

Farah immediately ran off to find out where the mysterious space object landed, leaving Reid alone in the debris with his menu screen and an annoyingly short dramatic music loop.

Cook sounds like a good option, I'm starving. But it's just a list full of ???????? at the moment. Save is an excellent option and it's nice to see that it just works wherever I am, no save points required.

I managed to take two steps before I got dragged off to the (equally pretty) battle screen by a random encounter. It seems that the fights take place on a horizontal 2d plane in real time. All I've found to do so far is run back and forth, swing my axe, block, or bring up the menu.

I'm having a little trouble here, because... well, I'm swinging at a bird with an axe. It's working out about as well as you'd expect it to. A jump button would have been appreciated.


I defeated the bird with pure determination and persistence. Then in the next fight I figured out that I can swing the axe high or low using the d-pad, plus I can get multiple hits in. So next time I meet a bird I'm totally gonna kick their ass for sure.

That glowing green object refilled my HP. It claims to be a Load Point, and explains that when I save in a dungeon and then choose to load, I'll restart from this point. It says this every single time I use it to get extra health.


A squirrel, that's awesome! I've been trapped in this endless forest maze so long I'd almost lost hope of ever finding my way out. Well actually it's a pretty reasonable sized forest, and not even a maze, but I'd still like to get on with the plot.

Damn, the squirrel made more sense than this woman does. This seems to be the celestial object we observed crashing through the tower we were standing on. It's the spaceship from the intro.

Sadly neither girl nor squirrel can speak our language, so we've got no idea what she's here for. But Reid notices that the crashed spaceship is about to explode, and drags them all away to safety. Eventually they end going back to their village to see if the elder can help.

The village elder is less than helpful, immediately banishing the girl from their town in case she stirs up trouble.

They barely have a chance to ask 'how?' before trouble bursts into the elder's house through an improvised back entrance. Hey, he's talking the same crazy language as the astronaut! And of course immediately wants to fight.

Hey, I managed to beat the guy! All I really did was run into him and hammer the kill button until he was killed ran away. Though I did get a level up from it which is almost always a good thing. And a thrust up, and a foot up...

I like how they've created a unique background apparently just for this one fight. Funnily enough, wrecking the elder's house doesn't sway him over to our side, and the stranger still has to go. But Farah decides that she's going too.

Farah decides to go to the Town of Academia to find their old friend who left to study there many years ago. She reasons that he probably knows something about something by now, so he's our best chance to figure out what our space traveller is saying, But first she needs to give her a makeover at home so she doesn't draw attention with her space clothes.

Reid stops by to see them off and make sure they've gone, but he discovers to his despair that the visitor has grown very attached to him. To the point where she refuses to leave without him. Reid has come to expect bad things to happen to him by this point, so he reluctantly goes along with it.

Annoyingly I can't grab any of those weapons that have fallen behind her wardrobe. I hate it when I can see useful items on display in an rpg, but not pick them up.


I've finally found a shop! I just wanted to show off the art really, this whole game looks fantastic.

Well I know that the sword is better than my current weapon, but it doesn't tell me in what way. I can see the weapon stats by pressing 'square', but I wish it'd let me compare the stats directly so I can see what I'm paying for.

Finally I reach the world map. To be honest it didn't take an unreasonable amount of time at all. And I didn't even have to talk to anyone before I could leave.

The world map is very PSX Final Fantasy style. Rotatable 3d with random encounters every few steps.

I only control Reid directly, but I can give my team a formation and orders. But I wouldn't know what to give them so I just let them do what they want. It's working out great so far.

Okay I have to admit, part of the reason I'm doing so bad at this is because I'm not exactly giving it my entire attention. The game just isn't grabbing me for whatever reason, and I'd turn it off right now if I didn't feel like the game deserved more of a chance.

So I'll force myself to keep going until I find a character who can figure out how to communicate with my purple haired alien.

This... is not the Town of Academia. It seems I took a wrong turn on the world map somewhere. The chances of getting Reid to actually try doing anything are slip so I'll leave the dojo for now and see if I can find this other town.

And so my valiant party travelled the land once more, vanquishing foes and taking all their cash. It seems that I can assign skills in the menu to use in battle. Using these special attacks eats up my TP (it's the bottom number), but I get some back for winning a fight. Which is good because using a Load Points or camping doesn't refill it, and I really don't want to find myself without any TP.

Eventually I find the right path, but there's been a landslide! The workers there tell me it's too dangerous to cross, but I might find someone who knows an alternative route... back at the dojo I just left.

I just noticed, there were no voices in that cutscene. I guess because that'd mean hiring an extra actor to record dialogue for the workers.


No! That's the second time you've asked. It's not gonna happen.

Eventually he does tell us an alternate way to reach the Town of Academia. We can take a raft from a pier... located right next to the landslide I just left.

Franco's obsession with Reid is getting a little creepy now, so I'm getting out of here.

Franco sent a guy to help us calm the river a little with magic. Hey, that magic chant sounds like the language our shipwrecked squirrel owner speaks! She tries to say something to him, but it's clear he doesn't understand a word of it.

I'm not sure what this raft minigame is about. All I know is that if it's possible to fail it I'm sure I would have, because I hit every damn wall on the way down.


I've finally reached the Town of Academia! Surely with a name like that, this place must be full of geniuses who can translate for us.

I paid a visit to the university to track down our old friend, but then there was dancing on desks and exploding science labs, and they threw us back out. We did get the address of our friend before we left though. I'm so close to being able to quit!


Wow. No shit.

Well I achieved what I set out to do. I found a way to understand her, and now I can turn it off. But do I still want to? Yes, yes I do.

I'm not entirely sure why this game isn't entertaining me. The characters seem bearable enough, the music's good, the art is fantastic... I should like this more than I do. But hey if I'm not interested, I'm not interested. Next game.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Semi-Random Game Box