Monday, March 12, 2018

Seisou no Amazoness: Main Story Cleared + Thoughts

Phew, finally finished it.
Though I still have to max out the moves, maybe make a video showcasing the moves (though I can only record directly from my phone...), and finish the remaining dungeons and 100% some stuff.

Anyways, the IP is owned by Arc System Works (who seems to have nothing big except Ble-Blue or whatever that fighting game is) and developed by Intense.
It is sometimes translated as Stardust Amazoness, though Seisou can have a deeper meaning than that, sometimes referring to Time. Anyways, it'd take a long time to explain, so I'm just going by the Japanese name.

Oh, and I do avoid major spoilers. Play the game yourself if you want to know.

So I might as well go over the strongest point of the game first, which is the modelling.
It is quite well done, and is quite loyal to the original character designs.
Considering that all of the characters are females, you are quite able to get into (staring) at the characters due to the good quality.

BTW, as you see from the top page,
The character designs are done by the person... using probably the most famous example, Highschool DxD.

Next, the other thing that stood out to me was the story.
The reason for this is because I usually play fantasy games. You know, Xenoblade, Pokemon...
So one that is highly Sci-Fi is quite refreshing.
You got clones, artificially created humans, extinction, big giant evil empires, weapons that are models of the original things and thus needs energy to be able to "represent" what the original could do, such as cut things. To be honest, if you are serious about the game, you could actually create a relations chart... Rather, if you want to understand everything, you might as well create one, due to the terminology and different organizations mentioned throughout the game.
Heck, even the animal girls you fight in the game are Sci-Fi. You'd be like, Succubus-like girl? That's fantasy! But then you learn from the setting, and... it's Sci-Fi.
Also, the setting is actually used fairly well. The world... universe only has females left. As for why and what is to become of this is touched on in-game, but as so, children are created artificially and they don't even know what male or female is. Because there is no need to differentiate, right?
And in that mind, I guess you can say it isn't considered Yuri either because they only have one gender to fall in love with?
And about 90% of the time, the entire group just jokes around and have short comedy skits, but they realize that they have the most fun when they are joking around and it gets serious when it needs to be. Then again, when big evil empires are involved...
Protagonist: Yeah, you kinda pissed me off, so we're gonna leave you stuck like that

The only "problem" is that while the ending of the game does close one chapter very well, it leaves an opening for a sequel... which hasn't appeared yet! Such a shame! But the problem is that the IP and development team are two different companies, and Arc System doesn't seem to me as one that really cares about its IPs... except that one fighter game. Such a shame.

As for the game system, it is a pretty simple dungeon crawler. 
Of course, but you can't expect Etrian Odyssey-level quality for the dungeon crawling. Then again, you must realize that the first two Etrian Odyssey games were full of bugs and everything. (Still better though)

So there is only auto-mapping. And while there are symbols, you cannot make your own notes on any masses.
Also, the response? or perhaps weight? is kinda slow. For instance, when you move, there is a short pause before you can move again. Also, when you move quickly, the "A Button to Inspect" thing doesn't disappear immediately, so it is still half-way disappearing when you move away from the inspect-able mass.
Also, in order to 100% a dungeon, you have to walk on every mass possible, INCLUDING pitfalls. And sometimes, the evilness in the staff shows up as you get floors full of pitfalls. And if you want to 100% the dungeon, you have to fall just as many times and walk back up and repeat.
That said, you get absolutely nothing for 100%-ing a dungeon except self-satisfaction. However, the money you get in this game ONLY comes from treasure chests, so finding all treasure chests is important. Every item you can buy in this game can only be bought once, and you get just enough money in this game to buy every item in the shop. This is actually quite a rare implementation of money (you only get EXP for defeating enemies)

As for the puzzles, there are some good and some bad. Sometimes, you just get floors full of pitfalls, where none of the pitfalls are even visibly different from normal masses.
There are also a few puzzles that do not really have hints... and at least one puzzle that does not function properly due to a bug.
Finally, there is also a bug that prevents you from even 100%-ing a certain dungeon that the staff did not fix and only warned on the official site (like I said, Arc System may not even care that much for this game), but if you play the game normally and do not rush, you won't encounter that bug.
But of course, there are plenty of interesting puzzles too.

As shown below, you select a stage to go to it.

As for Battle...
It is turn-based and I found this quite fun. I actually found this as good as the modeling, but I put this section here because it kinda fit the flow better.
You move, then your opponent moves.
You start out with 3 AP and gain 3 more at the beginning of each turn. You use them to get a character to attack, with some skills using more than one AP.
You eventually have six characters on your team, but due to the AP, you aren't insured that all of the characters can move. I mean, 3 AP means 3 characters max, right?
Of course, you can choose not to use all of your AP and store it for another turn.

Any character that DOES attack on the turn will become target-able by the enemy. So as long as you do not attack, that character will not be hit by attacks. This also goes for attacks that hit your entire party.
So if your opponent uses a party-damaging move and only three characters moved, then only those three characters are hit. However, party-healing moves also have the same property.
However, if no characters attack, then your entire party is target-able.

By the way, the final bosses have the wonderful ability to drag party members out into the open or even do more damage if you have stored AP.

Another unique aspect of the battle system are chains. Certain attacks will have a Chain property, and using an attack after that attach that fits the characteristic will get boosted depending on the first attack.
For instance
Attack 1 is a Shot attack with Chain: [Slash] 40% Power Boost
If Attack 2 on that turn is a Slash attack, then it gets a 40% Power Boost. (Chain 1)
You can chain as many times as you want, though higher chains do not have a bonus outside of the previous attack's chain boost.
Except you eventually get a move for each character that turns into a final attack if used at Chain 5, meaning all characters moved and chained. Due to this requiring a lot of AP, it usually is hard to pull off against bosses.

Another interesting characteristic of the battle system is that when you use a move during battle, it gains 1 experience. When you use it enough, the rank increases, as you can see from the stars and "Next Rank" below.
As the rank increases, it not only gets stronger, but the effect may change. There are moves that become nearly completely different things by the end.
For instance
DEF decreases, but every time this character is hit this turn, AP+2
becomes at Rank 3
DEF increases, and every time this character is hit this turn, AP+2

FINALLY, the... touching (oh-hoh!)
Technically, the setting has you looking at them with your golden eye to absorb their genetic data, but well, as far as the player goes, you are touching them.
So 100% against bosses and rarely against normal female enemies, you go into a touching phase after battle. You first are allowed a free turn of attacks, and any damage you rack up here is added to your little meter thing during the touching.
Once you begin touching, every time you touch them, you get points added to the meter. Different characters have different weak points and touching the weak points gets more points added. These points can actually be surprisingly specific, like ankle (and not just the entire foot) or left shoulder (and not right shoulder).
Finally, after a certain amount of touching, you go into a final phase where you touch symbols that appear and disappear across the screen while the meter you built up slowly... (actually quickly) starts dropping to 0. If you touch 30 or more symbols here, you unlock the touching simulation to the character in the album (so that you can look at them anytime you want).
BTW, this entire process actually requires a surprising amount of focus to get 30+ and I usually have to put aside enjoying the touching simulation until after getting 30+ and redoing it in the album.

Also, BTW, different color variants of common female enemies all get their separate touching simulation. The model's pose and voices are the same, but the camera angle and their weak points are different.
(Due to the camera angle, you can see different parts of the model for different variants)

Also, if you get 30+, then at the very end, you get a short cut-in.

So, hmm, I guess that goes over the main parts of the game?
The music is good, though the variation is small, BTW.
Also, the dialogue is full-voiced. All moves in-battle are also voiced.

All in all, it is a fun game and I do suggest playing it if you can. I was able to get it at a discount too, so yeah, totally worth the battle.

PS: When you think "weak point", you probably think of that location, and I think all of the characters are at least minorly weak there, but you usually have bigger weak points in other places.
Except for one type of enemy. (Geez, I wonder which one...

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