Since I am absolutely indisposed to reading Chuang Tzu right now, here's a few more tidbits about the game I managed to play for about 2 1/2 hours today:
-The game introduced the concept of an "over-limit", a special battle command that basically lets your character whale on enemies without reservation. No need to worry about combining attacks and special attacks (or "artes") together (though you still need to worry about conserving health, etc - no invincibility!); you can pretty much just mash the buttons on your controller and watch as the on-screen monsters perish. Unfortunately, enemies can use it too, and since the introduction to this new gameplay feature, the game's difficulty seems to have spiked dramatically. Some nasty Cerberus-like Cloverfield wannabe boss beastie completely annihilated me, and after grinding/"leveling up" enough to wipe him out and traveling to the nearest town, some red-eyed ninjas accsot me before I can save the game. Ugh.
- The story is quite openly discussing consequentialism. In two consecutive scenes, two different characters are faced with situations in which they are tempted to break laws for the sake of preceived righteousness. One character does so and another declines. Sequential scenes show the characters discussing which one did the right thing. Neither characer comes out particularly better off than the other.
I wrote about this in my last entry, but I will mention it again for emphasis: There is a pervading theme of "Just-do-what-YOU-wanna-do-when-faced-with- tough-decisions" in this game's narrative . I'm not sure if "hedonism" is the right word what the game is advocating here, but it's definetley the same "believe in yourself!" self-help rhetoric that seems to pervade Western culture these days. Come to think of it, it's pretty common in anime, too...given the throughly Japanese origin of this game, I guess I can't be too surprised with this thematic.
-Lack of puzzles I realize Tales of games are genearlly light on puzzles, but the near-total lack of them thus far is ridiculous. The game seems too easy without the occasional logic puzzle, even if they are of the thoroughly rudimentary variety.
- I don't understand the "cooking" system. I know what it's used for, and it's sure handy in a pinch, but I'm not sure how the cooking "menu" is supposed to work. Perhaps a reader could add a dash of knowledge (apologies for the VERY bad cooking joke)?
- Total Playing time so far: 7:57 (it's actually more since I had to restart after losing to a "boss" and the game just loads from the last save point. I've probably played around 8:15 or so.)