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Everything posted by SirShaggy

  1. They really do play up the silliness way too much. I mean you go from wandering around area 51 looking for clues on one guy's whereabouts, to getting sidetracked by being captured by a child pirate on your way to South America, to getting sidetracked AGAIN by mob fights in Las Vegas. The story and pacing is all over the place. To be honest though, I do like Johnny and Shania as characters. Just wish they had more meaningful dialogue together or with the others. Were they actually going to make Yuri the villain? I thought it was that the marketing team was just trolling everyone by advertising Nicolai as the main lead. Daaamn... That's quite a challenge. Wouldn't be surprised if it could be done though since some people really know how to break FFX using the bare minimum. I've played a lot of Atlus games and I thought DDS1 was a pretty fair challenge. Then again, it was one of my first. Most of the fights come down to having the right setup of abilities to exploit weaknesses and protect your own so if you know what's coming up it's not bad. DDS2 definitely had some harder fights. That big green dude with a bunch of mouths near the end comes to mind... I really liked ME1. It had amazing atmosphere, writing, and world-building. Have to say though, happy to be moving on to ME2. The mechanics have not aged well at all. I was rushing through the Mako and combat sections to get to the cutscenes.
  2. Aaah ok. He must be beatable somehow since people have done no sphere grid runs before. Probably just takes a ton of preparation and some really busted item/Mix combinations. Is DDS1 considered easy? I thought it was pretty challenging but I did play it when I was younger so. DDS2 was definitely harder, probably because I did a Luck/Agility run. I'm liking ME1 but the combat feels so clunky and the Mako is a friggin bouncy-castle haha. It's a great game with some amazing world buiding but I think I'll enjoy ME2 as a whole more. Totally agree. The humor in SH3 is so misplaced and unfunny at times. The first two games were funny because it contrasted with the dark serious tone of the plot. SH3 isn't dark at all so the constant humor just feels like a stupid attempt at being "random xD". Haha, honestly, Frank and Mao are my biggest complaints in the game. Too many joke characters. Mao has a nice personality but it's ruined by the fact that she's a cat for no discernible reason whatsoever. Imagine how much cooler she would be if she was an actual human female drunken-fist-using mafia boss. And then Frank... His entire character is a joke. There's nothing serious to take away from him. I don't mind characters like Joachim being set up to be funny, but at least Joachim was semi-serious about things and had some good back and forth between the other characters at times (Joachim/Anastasia). Frank is just there to shout a ridiculous one-liner every now and then while everyone is ignoring him. If these characters were given some sense of believability (Mao not being a cat) and their personalities were balanced to be a bit more serious at times (Frank being able to hold a conversation with the others on the team) I think it would round out the cast a lot better. And I also think that's why Johnny comes off as a pretty "meh" character. I quite like Johnny actually. It's refreshing to have a dorky average kid as the main character and he has some moments throughout the game that show him to be pretty mature and confident when he needs to be. The problem as I see it is that Johnny is surrounded by a giant drunk talking cat and an insane German ninja. The game puts him in the role of the straight-man going "Hey guys, look at that! Isn't that random? xdddd" constantly. With such a light-hearted and goofy main character I don't think the game really needed three joke characters, especially Frank and Mao. If the cast acted more like mentors to Johnny on his quest, letting him play up the naive dork role while they taught him life lessons along the journey, I think the cast would feel much less like a walking circus bumbling around aimlessly and more like a coherent group of outcasts working as a team to stop Lady. /end rant
  3. This was actually my first time ever using Lucia's oils for real and... Yeah, they're totally broken haha. To be honest, I think if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't use the Mind's Eyes. I messed up so many damn rings because of those things. I think the mod is in a great spot. Even when I was using the strongest combinations in the game the bosses still had some challenge. I started up ME1 instead cause everyone was telling me I should play it first before jumping into ME2. The combat is clunky but I really like all the worldbuilding. Honestly, From the New World is a guilty pleasure of mine. I used to hate it, but I've gotten used to its wacky antics and it has the best gameplay in the series. The setting is definitely a huge departure which I think works in some ways and falls flat in others. Some locations were very unique and really showed off the Shadow Hearts universe in a brand new setting, but I wish there were more dark locations to go and less pirate ships and area 51... In my From the New World playthrough I'll be using all the worst armor and not using any arc buffs. I might not use Mind's Eyes either this time. Also there won't be any broken oils. Last time I played the game that way and it was actually a nice little challenge, especially towards the end. I know what you mean. So many RPG's are easy to beat even without using everything in your arsenal. We need more hardmods in the RPG community. Hmm, I've never tried a HP, Str, and Mag only run of FFX. That sounds interesting. Do you still pick up Accuracy and Agility? SMT3 is a great example of a challenging JRPG (Matador can kiss my ass), and Persona 3 is another good one despite the fact that some bosses can be pretty cheap. Digital Devil Saga is a favorite of mine. Plenty of challenges without it ever feeling unfair.
  4. I've done it! I beat the game! Holy crap dude, I can't believe it's over... Man this has been a blast and I'm real sad that after 60+ hours of playing through this game there really is nothing left. This was such a fun trip down memory lane, and it wouldn't have happened if it weren't for your mod. Thank you so much Zed! Now it's on to other games (first playthrough of Mass Effect 2 coming up), but I shall return with From the New World in the future! Of course I'll be playing my own poor man's "hard mod" of it as well, if you haven't come up with one by then haha.
  5. Ahhh, I thought that might be the case. I figured I was a bit underleveled as it was but having Kurando and Anastasia, who were SUPER underleveled, in the party really made the difficulty jump. I power leveled a bit offscreen last time I played and got Yuri and Blanca to 90 so that's perfect! I'm planning to stream the finale tomorrow if everything works out! Thanks! Maybe it'll bring some more players your way. <3
  6. I guess it doesn't matter too much now that I'm 99% of the way done with the game haha. Damn, it's just hit me that I'm already at the end. It's been great to go back and experience this game again after so many years. I just might edit and put my playthrough up on youtube. Maybe not the whole thing since that would require a lot of editing and tons of bandwidth, but we'll see how the reception is (if there is any anyway). If anything, it'll make a good excuse to practice editing. The smaller enemies in the Neam Ruins part 2 are insanely fast! I think you might want to adjust them a little cause running into the 6-stack of them can be an instant game over since they all go first. Then again, I think this might be the hardest dungeon in the game right? I probably should have done the Dog Shrine first...
  7. Aw, no need to apologize! It's my fault for breaking the game haha. Honestly, Technical Ring by itself is a nice boost, but technical ring WITH with Lucia's strike oil (with 99 strike expansions...) is completely busted. It's an extra 29% bonus on strikes, including buffs. If you balanced around that the game would be insanely hard for normal ring users. I think I'm going to switch to normal ring for the rest of the game cause I feel like I'm cheapening the late-game experience.
  8. Ok cool thanks! Mecha Lord fight went really well. I put Anastasia in to take its picture and she ended up face-tanking almost every single hit so the entire battle came down to reviving Anastasia over and over and over again as it punched her across the room haha. Only the Queen's Garden left and then I'll start the optional dungeons! Not too far off from the end now.
  9. It seems weird just from a mechanical standpoint to have a spell that not only has a very small AoE but also does reduced damage to multiple targets... Oh. Well, time to swallow my pride and start using those coral pendants then haha. Is there an order I should do the sidequest dungeons in?
  10. Oh YEAH! I forgot about Dark Seraphim and his broken For Everyone buff. Wow, that's going to be interesting if I can get that off with Lucia's oil... Hitting perfects might become a problem especially with my lack of coral items. I'll try to honor my code of not using them but we'll see... My Garan fight did not go well, mostly because I kept screwing up my rings. I was really out of it when I was fighting him last stream and ended up getting tilted after screwing up Yuri's ring for the 30th time that day haha. I'll probably give it another go next time I stream and grind a bit if need be. That's a good point about Bright Banish! It really is a weak spell in comparison to all the other ones. Thanks!
  11. I'm pretty excited just to see how fast the final boss is going to decimate me haha. My first week of classes is just about over and then I'll have three days off to do nothing but stream.
  12. Aw, thank you man! I'm glad you could make it to the stream yesterday! I should be ok as far as saving myself into a dead end now. I'll probably keep going with it tonight.
  13. I've been having a lot of fun. It got a lot better once I got out of the early game, but again, that's a problem with the early game's lack of variety and strategy rather than the mod itself. Hey, I'm more than happy to help! I did my own "hard" playthrough of From the New World where I never upgraded armor, used arc buffs, or bought the "coral" items and found that it was a lot more challenging and fun. I love Shadow Hearts, but the combat like most RPG's is easy and formulaic once you know what you're doing which really takes away from the fun. Challenges like this are a dream come true. Haha, looking forward to it!
  14. That's good to know! The seals definitely make a difference though, especially on Karin who is taking over physical attacking for Yuri. The Mother Filarias and Asmodeus were just as intense, if not more! Making my way towards Astaroth, and then onto Disc 2!
  15. Night Queen is ROUGH. Damn, that was intense haha.
  16. True, I had to wait for Joachim to get out of bat form when I was grinding so he would be able to survive a hit. Karin is quite a beast right now since I gave her +6 strength/luck from seeds, even though Joachim could have used them too but... Ya know... Aesthetics. Also I just realized that Lucia's oils don't scale with stats and the only one worth using would be the one for guaranteed crits so... Crap. Well I guess I wasted those seeds on her, haha. Ah well. Stand + Spikes is amazing, I never used spikes in the original game so I had no clue they could be so broken. I was wondering why my level 2's weren't learning anymore abilities... Totally forgot they were attached to the level 3 fusions. Thanks for the tips!
  17. Joachim is probably the better choice honestly since he's a better physical attacker than Karin and he can take hits like a pro, but I just enjoy Lucia and her later oils. I'm actually boosting up Karin's physical damage with seals to make her into my secondary fighter with Yuri. Not optimal, but it's more fun for me. I'll do that! I actually beat Godhand with ease due to some very lucky Slow debuffs from Yuri.
  18. Good to know! I think my final setup will be Yuri, Karin, Lucia, and Blanca then. The difficulty spike can definitely be felt, but the last couple areas were very easy in terms of random encounters so I'm all for it. I got thrashed by the boss so now I'm grinding up some (thanks for the generous experience btw haha). I kind of like how the mod actually forces you to stealth in the Blanca section. Damn, thank you for this! I would have probably gotten myself stuck and needed to reload way back. I'm going to be staying on top of sidequests as much as possible, and cash in on those Pure Roots like you suggest. Hopefully, I won't make things too difficult for myself. Might keep going tonight if I can clear St. Marguerite. Looking forward to seeing how the difficulty affects the latter half of the game!
  19. Wow... So I was right all those years ago. I thought I noticed a difference. The update for the Lenny fight really does help. It cuts down on the randomness when you only have to take two turns into account. The fights after Lenny/Andre have been much more strategic and interesting, especially Grail Gazer! Arc Cure and manipulating turn order has spiced up the boss fights and made them more manageable, but they're still very challenging. I'm guessing that Blanca will pretty much be necessary in the later content given how powerful Aurora is. I just started up the solo St. Marguerite section with him. This part of the game always scares me...
  20. Not a problem! Happy to do so. To be honest, I was expecting to be incredibly tight on cash but now that I'm thinking about it, I've got plenty from the grinding so I should be upgrading as much as possible. Question: Have elemental properties always been on basic attacks? I used to think so when I was first played but somebody told me it's only when you use an elemental "edge" ability. I know it's definitely the case in the mod. Yeah, I figured I'd need Joachim and Yuri to tank as many hits as possible after seeing my first attempt fail miserably. Once one of the others go down I can't get them back up before Lenny gets his turns in. I'm overly cautious and stupidly frugal with using healing items in games, which is my downfall in the early game when I'm not sure if I'll have enough money (even though I know deep down that I'll be fine). Honestly I was thinking about Castor (and Grail Gazer) when I got Fire Dancer. Didn't even think about the Ekimmus, and I'm not used to having to strategize defensively in Shadow Hearts haha. Yeah, it wasn't a problem once I got the levels in to kill it before it could Hail Beak, but it kind of lead to a situation where I had to grind if I wanted to properly get through the dungeon (or in my case make a dash to the end before grinding, and use save states if I got surprised like a filthy pleb). Fire dress = worst first choice haha. I actually had to switch him back to the default dress. Never done that before. He's quite a bit stronger, simply because he sometimes gets 5 turns instead of Grimlock's usual 4 (5 if you count the occasional Gale) and his attacks generally do about 20% more damage on your already squishiest people. Using Joachim and Sorm and praying that they soak up hits or the damage is evenly spread is the main strategy, but the biggest problem with this boss is just the fact that he gets 5 turns as soon as the battle starts. If he kills someone within these 5 opening turns, the fight is basically over. You can't expect to heal through his damage and find time to get in hits if you're down a member. I just did a test fight after grinding and buying better accessories to see if I could kill him and I barely could, and only because he didn't kill someone on the opening turns or focus Karen/Gepetto down for whatever reason. Also, at the very end my berserk Karen was nice enough to throw a pure leaf onto Yuri (who was about to go berserk himself) and the hard hit from Yuri's combo killed him with the the extra 1 damage from hitting a wall... Yeah, haha. Granted, I'll be the first to say that I'm not playing the best and am being a "no coral accessories and all technical ring" elitist, but it is quite a difficulty/RNG spike going from Grimlock straight to Lenny. Gonna start the stream back up later today and see if I can kill him again and make some progress. It's all good! It's mostly the design of this boss being bad in the first place, coupled with the fact that it's early on and there aren't many options in terms of abilities. Things should get much better when the game starts adding in more party members, special abilities, and buffs. Again, I really appreciate all the work you put into this. You've given me an excuse to go back, relive my childhood, and replay one of my favorite games of all time. So thanks!
  21. Hey Zed! I've been having a really fun time going back through the game with your hard-mod! It's been a really interesting change so far. Some criticism though... First, the enemy Ekimmu in the Paris underground section has too much AGI and INT for the damage it can put out with Hail Beak. It usually goes first and Hail Beak hits for 90% of everyone's health at that point (100% if you're Gepetto... RIP). If you're surprised and it uses Hail Beak on everyone as they're grouped up, it's pretty much game over. I had to grind quite a bit before Blanca would have his turn ahead of it, but up until that point I had to run away after almost every fight and heal. Honestly, I would lower both its INT and AGI by a fair amount. Second, as you stated, the bosses have a lot of turns. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the way that they get them consecutively a lot of the time does feel a little cheap. Especially for... Lenny. Holy crap, Lenny is a friggin brute. He gets 5 turns in a row and all he does is use his physical attack. I know that it's a hard mod, but this boss is terribly designed in general. All it is is face-tanking and healing his damage, so when you beef up his damage and turns the only strategy this early on in the game is to be able to face-tank more and pray. There are no good buffs or specials to use, so all I can do is grind and hope he targets the right people. And this becomes a bigger problem when there is no dungeon before Lenny. You go right from Rhonda Mines to him, and I don't think the experience in the Rhonda Mines is scaled correctly for the hard mod because I normally get about 100 exp per encounter, which was the norm in the previous dungeon, the Wine Cellar. Lastly, just a suggestion... Tankier enemies would be cool. Having different enemies act as "tanks" that you have to combo or specifically use physical/magical attacks to get down, rather than just giving them more agility/damage would be a cool way to spice things up. They did this with certain enemies like Otheon by giving them more HP than normal enemies, but there are very few enemies in the game that are resistant to physical or magical damage based on their VIT and POW stats. Having enemies be tankier in general also allows for more strategy, as it adds variety to the enemy types in battles and allows for more combos. Of course, the other offensive stats might need to be adjusted for certain "tankier" enemies but it helps lean away from the "who one-shots who first" strategy that a lot of the random battles boil down to, and that's not a problem with your mod so much as the game in general. Just something that would be nice to see. So pretty much, Ekimmu OP, Lenny OP, and balancing different enemies around taking damage instead of delivering it would be cool. Aside from that, it's been a lot of fun and I want to thank you again for putting so much work in to create this mod! I'm gonna grind for Lenny now, haha. Merry Christmas! P.S. There's a Shadow Hearts discord that was recently started up and the owner would love to find out how you change around enemy stats. He's been doing a lot of work on his own looking through game files and trying to translate the Director's Cut. Here's the link if you're interested.
  22. Hey! Thank you so much for doing this! I love the Shadow Hearts series and was hoping some kind of hard mode mod would come out for Covenant. Excuse my ignorance as I'm new to emulating and mods, but the NTSC version is the NA version, right? Because when I ran the modded NA version nothing seemed to be different in Apoina Tower. All the enemies had the same stats and damage. Edit: Oh, ok... It's working now for whatever reason. Revenant just kicked Karen's ass in the air for 10 damage instead of 4. Yikes, haha. Gonna be streaming this at! Double edit: I just finished grinding for Castor and Pollux. Got everyone up to level 9. I swear I'm going to make a compilation of Gepetto getting one-shot. Poor guy can't catch a break.