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Scarlet Nexus

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I already did a pretty big post about this in the other thread lol, but sure I’ll go into a bit more detail


Tbh, I don’t really have much of experience with JRPG’s so it’s kinda hard to compare in regards to the genre, so I’m mostly talking about what I’m experiencing from somebody new to the genre.


 Firstly as I said before the graphics are pretty incredible. Maybe not every dungeon is a hit (subway’s are, y’know, subways, kinda hard to make them interesting) but at least 80% of the environments I’ve been through look absolutely gorgeous. It is very much so like pure concept art brought to life in some areas.


 I also have no issues with the animation, obviously it’s an anime aesthetic (in more ways than one but I’ll get into that in a second), so I’m already hooked on that, but dam do the fights look good, assuming you don’t get hit by a stray bullet and have your attack chain interrupted you can feel pretty baddass telekentically zapping your sword or knives around before teething a car into the giant… Vase monster.


 Ok, speaking of monsters, they’re definitely… Unique. I honestly haven’t gotten far enough into the game to say anything about what they are (and what I’ve got so far would be pretty heavy spoilers) but they’re essentially like an amalgamation of immaterial objects? You have like, Vases or pipes or literally taps on legs, and they’re pretty interesting in their own right. I will say that it’s a bit weird seeing these highly detailed, huge environments with these things walking around looking tiny in comparison, like your typical overworld with roaming enemies but in HD, but it’s hardly enough to cause an issue.


 This is all also buttery smooth on PS5, I’ve had zero issues running the game, it’s great, really shows of the capabilities of next gen.


 I did say the combat makes you feel like a baddass - you’re gonna have to trust me on that one because early game is ROUGH. You have like a 3 chain attack combo, a jump and a dodge, that ain’t gonna fly, but once you level up and unlock new attacks to chain along with combining them with party power ups (basically the characters you bring with you will power up your attacks or make you invincible or be able to teleport, stuff like that) and the tide is flipped. I will admit that it sort of feels like a curb stomp either way, whether it’s in your favour or the enemies, rarely do I feel like I’m having an even back and forth, but it’s still admittedly rather entertaining non-the-less and made fun by the challenge of breaking a crush meter before killing them to get a special kill move that replenish is some of your recourses.


 … Speaking of combat, sometimes you have to fight other characters. It’s awful. Dear god, they don’t stagger and hit hard, I’m not saying they’re impossible or it’s not fun to finally beat them after one or two attempts but especially when you get to boss fights against multiple characters, when you’ve got somebody zipping around at Mach 20 while another guy paralysis you it can get frustrating pretty quickly.


 That might just be the gamer rage speaking though, overall I REALLY do like the combat in this game once you get those perks.


 Alright… So, characters and story. To get this out of the way, there’s actually 2 main characters in this game, Yuito (the guy) and Kasano, (the gal) I’m currently playing through Yuito and I think everybody should first based on what’s happening so far.


 For the world building, I’d say it’s pretty decent so far with a couple knocks to some of the basic elements not being explained. From the get go we have a cyberpunk world where um… people have superpowers ala RWBY semblance (y’know, each person has individual abilities, your two main characters have psychic telekinesis, one can control lightning, one controls fire, once teleports, one has premonitions, whatever the devs want to include) which… i think has something to dow it’s them hooked up to a cybernetic system? Like, there’s some people without powers altogether that can’t see the electronic holograms used in this world, so I guess it has something to do with that? Tbh I think they kinda want you to ignore that and just accept that we have cool looking powers and pretty cyberpunk cities and y’know what? I am quite happy to do so, surprisingly enough. Future tech mixed with superpowers, I’ll take the aesthetic thanks.


 (Also I haven’t completed the story so we might get into that more later I don’t know)


Then big issue in this world are the “Other”, these weird brain-eating creatures that are created in something called the “extinction belt” in the atmosphere that’ll just drop in and attack people, Due to this you have the OSF who are essentially RWBY’s hunters, the monster killing baddass especially that everybody loves but may or may not be a bit more complicated on the inside. I won’t get too much into spoilers but Other’s aren’t necessarily the main bad guys of this story, but then again, it’s a cyberpunk world, would you expect any less than some grand conspiracy?


 So far as the world unravels, while it’s all coming at me at once I am enjoying it enough to want to learn more about why some of these things are happening. I’m thoroughly hooked right now and that’s in no small part to the fact that, despite some small oversights, some of the things that happen really start to expand the inner workings of this society and all those juicy things that happen behind closed doors. It’s good stuff so far, going better than a certain show I’ve already brought up a couple times to explain some of the similarities.


 You play as either Yuito Sumeragi, a prestigious lad who volunteered to honour an OSF that saved his life from an Other attack when he was younger, his father, the chairman, doesn’t approve, but he’s here anyway to be completely unprepared but surprisingly chill with everything that happens.


 Kasano is the daughter of some guy who’s high up in a pharmaceutical company, she was scouted rather than a volunteer, meaning she was drafted from a young age due to being a fuckin baddass. She literally only cares about her sister and is otherwise… Hard to get along with. (but I’ll admit she seems more interesting than Yuito)


 As I kinda already explained, it’s… Hit and miss. If I can just get this out of the way - all the other characters are like, your typical anime archetype. I was literally playing through this guy’s story and saw a character and just went “oh it’s the childhood best friend that totally doesn’t have a crush on you”, “oh it’s the shy quirky gal with an odd speech pattern”, “ah, it’s the snarky guy who supposedly has a heart of gold”, “ara ara that sort of thing. With that said… They’re not BAD, they have their own motivations and personal stories, so they are actual characters, they’re just very… Generic, at least to start off with. (Except for Gemma, the 50 year old chad, that guy’s the best)


 … Another thing I mentioned but will bring up again - you know, it’s a JRPG, you level up your friendship with your party, get new perks n stuff, typical stuff, and when you level up sometimes you get cut scenes.


 It’s kinda hard to explain this without spoiling, but at one point a bunch of characters split off and become enemies, and it gets… Weird. I’m not sure if they come back later in the story, but I assume so since for some reason even though we ain’t levelling up the friendship - and this is ENTIRELY canon within the narrative, my boi Yuito meets up with a bunch of these rebels that have on several occasions tried to kill him and… Have caused various other events I can’t really go into that would, for most people, make them their mortal enemies, and just kinda sits down to have some food with them and relax. One of them even tells him that he needs relax and that getting too stressed is bad for his health - and lemme tell you that is HARD to listen to knowing some of the things these characters did. To him.


 I’m by no means saying they’re bad characters, already some of these things are being explained and it makes sense, I can also somewhat understand WHY Yuito might forgive them eventually, I just… Really think it completely interrupts the narrative and character for some of these people to have them meet up and hang out like there’s no issue, especially since they can apparently be done later when I assume things calm down so I’m a bit confused as to why they didn’t just hold off all these things until later in the story.


 Not to mention, it makes him more of a wet blanket than he already is. Gods I REALLY want him to just yell at some of these people sometimes - not so much because I hate them, but because I think it’s well deserved that he vent a bit and it’s straight up unnatural how instantly forgiving he is and how little he pushes for information that he really ought to be demanding given the straight up confusing actions of them at the start.


 But hey - that’s anime, eh?


 Ok, rant over. I know that seems pretty bad, but I’ll be totally honest, as much as I rant about it and as distracting as it is, there’s a reason I said they weren’t necessarily BAD characters despite being archetypes and kinda inconsistent, and I suppose I’ll get into why I think you should play Yuito first if you pick up this game.


 Kasano seems to become privy to a lot of information that is withheld from you as Yuito, narratively it sort of seems to make way more sense to learn this stuff as the story progresses though him first before filling the gaps in later with her. If you’ve watched the first couple of seasons of AOT, some of those actions annoyed me about as much as some of the traitors in that show as well, where I didn’t understand how these actions could possibly be excused or why the fuck they won’t just SAY, but like that show I am, so far, getting pretty decent reasons and explanations. I like that these things frustrate me cause it’s me being engaged in this story and these people - granted, I haven’t really seen a good reason why some of these people don’t just EXPLAIN all this stuff while they’re having their break time dinner with Yuito, but oh well I can sort of overlook that.


 In regards to the pacing so far anyway, the story takes a couple chapters to set everything up, it seems kinda slow and confusing… Annnnd then shit hits the fan all at once. It can be a bit hard to keep up, but I think overall it does a great job at hooking you once you hit a certain part of the game, (you’ll know what it is a couple chapters in when they hit you with he sudden Seinen) I’ll admit I was a bit unsure before then but since this drop in tone it’s been quite a rollercoaster ride since.


 Also there’s a bunch of side quests that are impossible to find by talking to random NPCs in the street and don’t really offer much in regards to interesting gameplay OR rewards but if you’re playing a game like this you’re probably gonna feel compelled to do them all like me anyway.


…. I think I may have frontloaded a lot of the good to be honest, I’ll say right now it’s not a perfect game and there’s some small issues, but I do want to make it clear that these issues have by no means destroyed my fun with the game. I kinda needed to talk about them because they’re probably the biggest gripes you’re gonna have, but if I can just drag the attention back to the incredible graphics and aesthetic, the pretty darn fun combat, the kinda stereotypical but still fun and engaging characters, an some neat worldbuilding that’s starting to unfold a bit for me.


 it’s good. I think if you like anime or JRPG’s you’ll probably enjoy it - I’m by no means gonna say to expect it to be the best game this year and I always worry that overhyping any game could easily lead to disappointment which is why I’m very critical of things even when selling them sometimes, but I think if you go into this with that in mind and give it a bit of time before the ball starts moving you can have a really fun time playing it - I certainly have so far.

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I'm just gonna say this, the game is in no way bad, or good either. The story does a good job of telling it through different perspectives of the two primary protagonists, and you get to see some character development throughout, but since this is a JRPG, sometimes said character development, like in any anime really, takes a god damn long time to progress.

Combat in the beginning is...meh. Compared to other JRPGs like FFXV and some of the Tales of games, you at least can do a bit...more. Sure you can get upgrades to increase your combo potential, stats, or mobility, but it still feels like how it was in the beginning of the game. I do like how you can use your psychokinesis to turn the environment into your secondary weapon, and using your allies abilities to get a leg up in some fights is a neat idea, but the gameplay is still boring as hell, at least to me. I don't know, I've played a lot of fast paced games that test your reflexes and/or environmental awareness, or games that have a lot of build potential, or games that make button mashing a bit fun.

FFXV, the gameplay is usually hold button to kill enemies, but then you unlock different abilities for your retinue, and you can even play as them, each with different attacks and skillsets, God Eater, another JRPG...it plays like Monster Hunter, but you have a weapon that can switch between melee and ranged combat, and each have different weapon types with unique skillsets as well, Even Code Vein, which is Anime Dark Souls, has a system where you obtain blood codes from various characters that change your stats, and give you abilities that you can keep once you've mastered them.

Jesus Christ this is just me ranting about how the combat is bland isn't it? Anyway, the game is decent if you're the kind of person that enjoys the story and want to see how everything plays out, I just hoped they did more with the combat in my opinion, it has the potential to be fun, but it just...wasn't for me. Take it with a pinch of salt, I ain't no professional critic.

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Oh yeah, I think I said i earlier that combat gonna be a curbstomp, the only difference is which side is getting it, either you spam enemies to death and they can do little about it or you get stunlocked to oblivion lol


 I can’t compare it to other JRPGs, I think the closest comparison I have is hyperdeminsion Neptune’s which literally had turn based combat lol, but I think at the very least it looks nice and feels food, as in, there’s impact in those animations. The game clearly wasn’t built with combat in mind and yet it holds up pretty decently for me despite that anyway.


 I’m more of a story guy myself anyway though so it wouldn’t bother me either way tbh.

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