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Old 08-01-2008, 11:34 AM
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Default Spectral Force 3

Anyone tried it yet? I think I get my copy today, but was interested to see what people thought of it.
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:26 PM
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Anyone tried it yet? I think I get my copy today, but was interested to see what people thought of it.
I haven't played a good spectral force game yet, so good luck. I actually had it on preorder before i came to my senses >.< I've got a stack of good SRPGs on the DS, PSP, and Disgaea 3 coming *drool*

They tend to just be hyper generic SRPGs.

of course even having said that.. I have the urge to pick it up... lol
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:36 PM
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I haven't played a good spectral force game yet, so good luck. I actually had it on preorder before i came to my senses >.< I've got a stack of good SRPGs on the DS, PSP, and Disgaea 3 coming *drool*

They tend to just be hyper generic SRPGs.

of course even having said that.. I have the urge to pick it up... lol
I just can't favor a DS/PSP over a console game, it's just not as fun to me. I do wish I could play my PSP on my PS3 without having to use the PSP as a controller, but one can dream....

I'm pretty excited about Disgaea myself, but this is fine till that comes out. As long as the tactical experience is there and it's difficult, I'll be happy.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:22 PM
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Yeah I know the feeling. It's just not the same on handhelds. Too bad the Japanese are mostly supporting the DS and PSP these days and if you want to snag the good SRPGs that's where you have to go.

I find myself buying a ton of SRPG and RPGS on the DS and PSP that i never touch lol
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:43 PM
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Yeah I know the feeling. It's just not the same on handhelds. Too bad the Japanese are mostly supporting the DS and PSP these days and if you want to snag the good SRPGs that's where you have to go.

I find myself buying a ton of SRPG and RPGS on the DS and PSP that i never touch lol
I have a few, and really the only one I really played to completion was Luminous Arc. I have been trying to get through Ruining Blue Earth forever now, and just hasn't happened. I just can't get into the story at all. Etrian Odyssey is another game I have, but I haven't started it, and also have Legend of Mana as well. I tried the Zelda game, and it did nothing for me - I'd felt like I'd played it before...so lost interest. I'm sure there are some new ones out that are better, but I'm not investing much in DS games right now. PSP is pretty much in the same situation, I've been bouncing between J'eanne D'Arc and War of the Lions and haven't got to finished either one.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:31 AM
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Ok someone asked me on XBL what I thought about the game and having played about 5 hours so far, this is my impression thus far.

The game has a general story, being that there are many kingdoms in conflict and you play a mercenary band that is suppoed to defeat them. At the beginning of the game there are a few short anime movies to setup the plot and drop you into the game.

What I don't like:
I was somewhat surprised that there wasn't a demo for this game, and that there also isn't a tutorial mode. Dissapointed actually. The game is reasonably complex that someone not having played other S/T RPG's may not know what certain things mean. The game has some craftable equipment, but there is no indication as to what is available or when. Some of the spells on the action bar don't have descriptions (namley Alert on the healer). The characters are also locked into position once they start combat - so you can't combat and then move, only move and then combat (which makes retreating difficult). It's ambigious as to how you get an S ranking in the game, since there are certain stats recorded in the end of the match and who knows how each are weighted (# moves, combos, total combo damage, etc.) I think the game is pretty generic as far as tactical games go. There is really nothing 'new' in this game. For instance Operation Darkness had the cover and move system, which made it a bit different than other SRPG's I've played. That coupled with interesting weapons made the gameplay fresh.


What I did like:
The game is pretty much what you'd expect of an S/TRPG. The movement is grid based, and once you start combat you're locked into position and lose your movement turn. The game has some pretty cool anime cutscenes, so I'm assuming there are more as the game unfolds. The game is very nicley cell shaded, and the voiceovers are fitting. The game has different classes, a combo system called teamwork (works by granting a teammate an extra turn) and something called Assist (which gives an extra attack to any nearby player). The game usually focuses around an objective, and each objective is picked through a Mission submenu in the main menu of the game. There is also a discussion window that allows you to talk to members of your team, but it's only active at certain points so I'm not sure how relavant it is to the game other than forwarding along certain plot points. Each character gets an item point per level which allows you to equip certain spells and gear. Each spell and piece of gear has a certain item level rating to it, so you have to spend your points on pieces of gear you feel or most important. So for instance at level 6 you have 9 CP points, and a ring might cost 1 CP point to equip, so if you only have 8 more points to equip other slots with. There are 10 slots total you can equip items with: 1 Armor, 3 Accessory, 3 Abilities and 3 Spells. You can craft any one of these slots as long as the blacksmith has the materials which you find in game. The weapon slot isn't equiped per se, as your character always has a weapon. I'm not sure if later on whether you can upgrade your weapons and you just get them once made, but it seems that's the case. You can, however, upgrade your weapon with certain elemental affinities such as holy, dark, fire, water, earth, and wind. The game pretty much has two types of missions, general work missions which are for grinding and possibly advancing the game to the point where the story missions become available. I've not really got far enough to understand this part but it seems to be pretty obvious.

I'll add more to this if needed later on if anyone is interested, it's a pretty good game, but I think I liked Operation Darkness better.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:24 AM
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Reviewers are smashing it:

http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/930013.asp

Comparable scores to OD seems like, bad luck for this genre on 360 so far.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:40 AM
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Reviewers are smashing it:

http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/930013.asp

Comparable scores to OD seems like, bad luck for this genre on 360 so far.
Most reviewers I've read don't even bother to play the game before passing judgement. They base their judgement off a few hours of gameplay without seeing everything there is to offer. OD was actually a pretty good game. I don't think I like this game as much, but it's not bad - if you like tactics games you'll enjoy it. If you don't like tactics games you won't. It's not a genre for everyone, that's for sure - it's like playing chess, as the gameplay is slow and matches can take hours.

PS: I can't read game websites so if you can, post the article not the link.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:51 AM
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I understand your pain, my last job wouldnt let me access any fun sites either ; )

From IGN:
Spectral Force 3 Review
This game apparently unlocks the ability to turn your Xbox 360 into a PS2.
Some games try to earn your adoration through flashy graphics. Others go for innovative and thought-provoking gameplay. Then there are games like Spectral Force 3 which offer nothing. Here, the standard fantasy turn-based role-playing mechanics are wrapped in a package that only a mother could love. Atlus and company clearly didn't invest much time making this game. Neither should you invest any playing it.

Spectral Force 3 is a turn-based strategy RPG in the vein of Shining Force or Final Fantasy Tactics, but don't let that heralded lineage trick you into thinking this game is of the same caliber. It merely offers gameplay that is similar to those classics on the most basic level and then fails to execute on the follow through. That basic gameplay involves taking a squad of up to six characters onto a grid-based battlefield and then moving them about in a chess-meets-RPG fight for supremacy.

Aside from standard attacks, Spectral Force 3 adds team assist and specialty skills that must be used to turn the tide in battles against armies that invariably outnumber your small squad of heroes. The environmental interaction is light (explosive barrels and magic tiles are about the extent), as is the challenge. Occasionally you'll come across a battle that is tough, but it's rarely because you aren't using proper strategy. The key to victory is simply to go back and replay some old stages to level up your squad and get some new equipment. It's nothing mind blowing, but it works and will fit the needs of fans of this sort of gameplay.

Hardcore strategy RPG players will tell you that the graphics in these old-school games don't matter. That may be true for some, but it's hard not to be extremely disappointed by the visuals in Spectral Force 3. While playing the game in the office, over a dozen other editors walked by and asked when this was coming out for Xbox Live Arcade. The thought that it was a retail release never crossed their minds. It looks like a PlayStation 2 game scaled up to run in HD. And that's putting it politely. Even worse is the sound work. The voice work is at times passable, but the music sounds like a Casio keyboard loop and the effects are total garbage.

Though the graphics are downright poor for an Xbox 360 game, the bigger issue with Spectral Force 3 is the presentation. The visuals could, with the right frame of mind, be glossed over. However, it's tough to ignore the sloppy work done putting context to the game. Typos and menus with text bleeding off of the edges are the beginning, but far from the end. Even with nothing of note going on, the reviewable copy of the game crashed on me more than a few times. The story is almost non-existent for much of the game. You're a mercenary and you fight things while a war goes on around you, as shown in the game by a static map with some laughable clashing sword icons. Battles are selected from a list with a brief text description -- there's no world to travel around and explore.

Who you choose to take jobs from plays a role in this war, giving you a say in the outcome. The reality of the situation is that you just won't care who wins because the game makes you feel so removed from what is happening. Every now and then, in intervals that are far too long, you'll get a bit of story or character progression through text boxes. Even then, there's nothing compelling here. The only real reason to keep playing is to power up your characters and round out the squad.

The character leveling and recruitment features are by far the most engaging aspect to an otherwise shoddy game. Crafting items with materials found on the field, outfitting your squad, choosing how to distribute points upon leveling up and completing missions to expand your crew are decent fun, even if most of it simply involves selecting things from lists.

Spectral Force 3 is a long game, but not thanks to any hard work by the developer. The handful of maps is reused often and missions begin to repeat with the only difference being higher level enemies. Though the game ostensibly offers up mercenary work for a number of different factions, the jobs are often copied and pasted across factions to give the illusion of each having its own set. A good number of the missions feel repetitive or generic and offer nothing but filler. The entire game just feels slow and plodding, devoid of any real ideas.

Closing Comments
There are aspects of Spectral Force 3 that should be insulting to any avid gamer. Atlus has priced the game as a full retail release, comparable with any other Xbox 360 title, but chose not to invest similarly in the development process. The graphics are outdated, the sound is abysmal and the presentation is so bad that it's laughable. While some may enjoy the old-school, turn-based gameplay, much more should be expected than what you get.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:02 AM
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I agree pretty much with what he said, except his comparisons to tactics and Shining Force, it's not as if they're any better as far as gameplay - they just have a better story and better game animation. But he was pretty must spot on as far as the story being disconnected and the difficulty of the game.

I don't think this should have been a $60 game, but then I'm desperate for next-gen RPG's and this is about all you can get right now, sadly.
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