20 January, 2012

Masoukishin II, review

What? I like Cyflash.

So, I've cleared all three routes in Masoukishin II. Figured I'd write up a review.

The good
・Load times, or rather almost the lack of them. The only bit that bothered me were returning to the title screen after a quick restart (more on this later). I never cleared MX Portable because of the load times, so yeah, they're pretty important.
・Controls. Yes it's just the usual Suparobo, but skipping battles, highlighting several seishin to use at once, the way the cursor moves, being able to zoom out with the analog stick, all of that makes a really big difference (and I've been chipping away at the PS Archives release of Alpha lately so it stands out much more to me).
・Battle animations. To be honest the ones in DS LOE, and even PSP LOE kind of sucked. No such problem here. They're all beautiful. Compared to other contemporary Suparobo titles they're short, yes, but they look great. Besides, great animation and long attacks doesn't mean a thing if the tempo is so horrid you end up watching it only once and never again (like the Brasta and the Brasta and did I mention the Brasta?)
・Characters, of course. It's Masoukishin, what do you expect?
・Music is good, not that I expected anything else.
・Voices. With Suparobo, just having voices makes such a big difference. The number of veterans of course helps.
・Route splits. Aside from that little bit in Ariel it's kept simple. Faaaaar simpler than what the fuck were they thinking when they made LOE?

The bad
・Quick continue is ridiculously slow. You have to experience it yourself to really get the feel of why this is top on my list of bad points. Stuff with 99% hit rates miss and stuff with 10% hit rates actually hit. People shoot you in the back for critical damage that kills you in one hit. Unless you don't mind going bankrupt, you'll have to use quick saves and continues sooner or later, but quick continue is ridiculously slow. You'll probably think the game froze or crashed or something the first time. Seriously.
・Save menu, or rather load menu. Why does the cursor at the intermission menu where 99% of the time people are saving their fucking games (seriously, when you boot up the game you load from the title menu, not the intermission menu damn it) default to load instead of save damn it. Small detail but EXTREMELY annoying.
・Nutty weapon requirements. Not nutty as in hard to get, nutty as in people still can't figure out what they are. I cleared all three routes but am still missing one of the combination attacks, why the fuck?
・That stupid stage where you're supposed to protect that fucking ship. I only upgraded my Masoukishin on my first and second playthroughs. Argh.

The lol wut?
・Skill system. It's not bad, just odd. But the customizability is in the end very limited because of the low number of slots even at the end of the game, more so because for the most part of the game you have much fewer slots.
・Balance. Killing the final boss in one hit is fun. Some people may complain about balance but personally I think of Suparobo as a kyarage series (and judging from the CGs in Masoukishin it's closer than the usual games to one) rather have that than something half-assed like L and its annoying lack of energy for everyone.
・Possession. This goes under balance too but is bad enough (kill everything in one hit!) to deserve its own point. I think they should've limited it to a number of times per playthrough like with SRX in Alpha, and possibly added a separate ending for one where you overused it.

Anyway yeah, it was good, and I loved the game enough to blast through it three times in a row. But the story is left incomplete, new characters have yet to do anything significant, and a sequel is obviously in the making. Just hope it doesn't take another 16 years.

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