Terrycloth (terrycloth) wrote,

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Lightning Strikes Out

I suppose I shouldn't give up on Lightning Returns yet. I only played one session of a couple hours. But...

I don't like anything about the game so far. I liked FF XIII. I liked the FF-13 battle system. This uses a hideous parody of that, with only one character and a stagger meter that's so hard to read that I'm hardly ever sure whether or not an enemy is actually staggered until it suddenly annihilates me.

The way you set up your abilities doesn't seem inherently flawed but although you start with a stipend that's good for a few purchases, I'm not sure how you're supposed to get more money. You don't get it from fighting enemies. Fighting enemies gets you from 0.04 to 0.1 of a point of energy. For 1 energy, you can extend the overall game timer a little. For 2 energy, you can heal yourself. Or, for 0 energy, you can lose a fight and an hour of the day 'escaping'. That's the one I use most.

Even if I had money it's not clear where I'd spend it. There are two stores that offer weird services that I can't use and a third store that sells really expensive potions.

There's a job board that offers you quests? But the quests are all 'turn in these items that you get from fighting enemies' with no hints as to where you would find those enemies. One of them was for enemies in the prologue at least, so I completed one quest? I'm supposed to be looking around for people who need help but I've found a total of one of those so far and it was basically the 'find people who need help' tutorial.

There are also 'main quests'. The one you start on has a step that involves tailing a bunch of enemies and not letting them see you. The game has no stealth mechanics, so they see you, and kill you. Over and over and over again. Then when you finally finish, they run through a locked door and it's like 'whelp, guess you should go look for something else to do until tomorrow morning at 6am when the magic letters will appear on the walls'. I don't know how I'm supposed to know that the letters will appear at 6am except that a popup showed up repeatedly telling me that that's what will happen.

So... how do I leave the city? I spent the rest of the session trying to leave the city and failing. The only exit I found was a tram that went to the endgame city that I was directly instructed to stay away from. Exploring the rest of the city got me into a bunch of really annoying fights that took *forever* because the enemy had to be staggered to do any damage and with only one character, staggering anything is *hard*. There weren't any people needing help in that whole area of the city though? So it was a complete waste of time?

Then I headed for the south tram that was supposed to take me to the wilderness areas, but time ran out before I got anywhere near it. Instead I ran into someone who needed help fighting this big huge monster. ... yeah, that worked. If by 'worked' you mean 'two-shotted me while I was blocking'. I lost the last few minutes and time and got teleported up to the ark where Hope had the tree of Ygdrassil grade me on my performance. Unsurprisingly, I hadn't accomplished enough to let it bloom and extend the life of the world by another day.

No, that doesn't mean I instantly lose. You start with six days (it says seven but the first is the prologue) so I have five left.

I'm just not sure I really want to ever play the game again. The timer mechanic like in EVERY OTHER GAME EVER that used a timer mechanic is REALLY REALLY ANNOYING and adds nothing but pain and frustration. It makes things that would be fun (like exploring the city) frustrating, and things that would be frustrating (like getting attacked by difficult to grind through enemies while exploring the city) really really frustrating. Why do people keep putting this mechanic in new games? It's like an instant 'ruin game' button that they just keep banging on like some sort of demented monkey.
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