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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, '14, 4:50 am 
I have just finish playing through this mod and exploring it as much as I can imagine possible. I was eager to try a new take on PS2, I replayed this game at least 10 times in my life, I know it inside out, tip of my fingers, eyes closed, hands tied; you get the picture.

Here are my thoughts.

Short version: Is it worth playing? If you are a PS2 enthusiast: yes, definitely. I enjoyed it very, very much.

(very) Long version: So the mod changes the following:

-Script
-Enemy sprites
-Character stats and growth
-Equipment
-Easter eggs


What do we end up with?

Script: For the most part, I loved it. I'd say the originality is there but the formatting is sometimes painful to read. I understand that modding blocks of text must be very hard so, understandable.

Up to the biosystems lab: 9/10. I loved the overwhelming mood of oppression that the script gave; the Shure/Nido section is delightful. The Biosystems part gave a Resident Evil mood, I loved that. The Climatrol sections was a bit more empty but the battle with Neifirst was well done. The reason given to keep Nei alive and the fluid usage of the game genie code are masterfully done.

The Dams section: 7/10. Granted, there is not much dialogue there but you could see that many NPCs were using the same lines and it felt like there was less effort.

Dezo section: 8/10. I liked the Lutz/Tyler combo and Lutz's lines made a lot of sense. Good times.

Dark force presentation and battle: 14/10. Master's stroke, flawless, absolutely perfectly delivered. Bravo!

Motherbrain's speech: 9/10. The two YES NO questions actually make sense now, the speech was good.

Epilogue: 4/10. While the story makes sense and holds together, I didn't like it. Ever since I first played this as a teenager, my understanding had always been something like: "Terrans create a sane MB to save their race -> MB finds Algo, wants to settle there -> unfortunately, DF who is still happily drifting somewhere about Lassic's orbital ruins finds MB, corrupts it -> MB corrupts surviving Terrans who then decide to weaken Algo to a point where they can invade albeit their small numbers". This whole ''We're ex-cons who made a super computer because Dark Force is our brah" just doesn't sit well with me. Anyways.


Enemy sprites

Actually, the sprites are the same but recolored.

Biomonsters: 4/10. Seriously, most of these were completely un-necessary and plain painful to look at.

Machines: 9/10. The "pod head" series were an eyesore (see what I did there) but most of the robots were VERY cool.

Dezo creatures: 2/10. The Capeone/Wizard/Fiend are now threatening you with their AWESOME POWER OF FLUO CLOTHING!! Yeah.

Dark Force: 27/10. Thank you for turning the poorest DF visual incarnation PS ever had to offer into something that actually looked threatening. I love you.

There were a few changes to enemy formations and the adding of the lost VANLEADR so that's sorta cool. For someone who has seen every single enemy formation thousands of time, any new formation that popped up was like a kick in the eyes. Kicks in the eyes are awesome, in case someone asks you.


Character stats and growth

Now this is where this mod shines most, even if it could have shone even more.

So in the original PS2, here is what we have:

Rolf: Almighty agent of doom. If the IRS had agents like this guy, there would not be a single fiscal crime in North America. Waaay overpowered.

Nei: Flimsy, fast and two average attacks. Technique list is a joke. "Weaksauce heal, suicide, power-suicide and anti, cause nobody EVER gets poisoned in the original PS2" (They now do in this mod)

Rudo: One trick pony: uses guns that do a set amount of damage, no matter the enemy. That is all.

Amy: Weak and useless until end game. Then she becomes a STAR MIST dispenser.

Anna: Decent at mowing critters with no armor, useless with techs.

Hugh: Awesome techs against Biomonsters. By the time you get them, you're halfway through the dams. Very useless against the motherbrain: FEAR THE INTOXICATING POWER OF MY GIFOI!!

Kain: Second best character after Rolf. Can use lots of guns, has techs useful against just about everything.

Shir: Poor man's Rolf without Megid and without a useful equipment list.

So against MB, most people used either ROLF/RUDO/AMY/KAIN, replace Amy with Anna if you like using trimates.


Now, what does this mod give us: (I have leveled everyone to 50 to analyse this)

Rolf: Same old. Still as stupidly powerful, but it doesn't matter anymore because everyone else got BUFFED!

Nei: Better attack, still as flimsy but EXCELLENT technique distribution. Your standard melee/healer/buffer, exactly like PSO's HUnewearls. Spot on.

Rudo: Still a one trick pony. Guns are better now in this version but a technique-less character in this mode is useless. Rudo used to be a tank. Now you can use other people for that role. Yeah he can use axes, if you like his reliable, heavy damage to become unreliable, almost ok damage.

Amy: Still a doctor, but now she packs a technique punch! She is not the strongest offensively, but it's the price to pay to remain the strongest healer in the game.

Hugh: For the first 25 levels of the game, USE HIM, he will OWN everything up to Neifirst. After that, ditch him, his lack of offensive techs hurts. (Nathu misses too often to be reliable)

Anna: Same as ever, except that not she actually has good techniques to heal, attack and buff. She's the unfortunate well-rounded character in a game where specialists rule. I did not use her a lot. She has single target options now by the way, stronger than her slashers but yeah, single target.

Kain: Kain became Little-Rudo with techniques. He is the example of all offense, no heal, except that he can wear immensely powerful defensive gear so, here is one of your tank options. His defense is absolutely incredible end game, has lots of TP, options to hurt machine and living AND can use light guns. Kain is the man.

Shir: Is obviously the modder's favorite character. Went from "Useless" to "I make Rolf look like a kitten". Awesome technique array, can heal, can hurt and has ridiculously high HP and DEF high level, not to mention her insanely fast speed. I used her throughout the whole game, she is awesome.


What I would have done differently:

I would have given a few token techs to Rudo: Shift, Deban, Shu, stuff like that.
I would have replaced the TSU line for the FOI line for Hugh
I would have boosted Anna's native attack rating, she just doesn't compete with others.

The others are fine.

The EXP gain is X2 now, your character actually level more than once every new moon. The leveling tables were also changed: Nei levels like everyone else and watch Shir out-level the heck out of everyone because: AWESOME.

Also, when I say "use as a tank", for those with little PS2 experience, the first and second place in roster get attacked the most and the "back line" of third and fourth position are attacked a lot less. Overall, the most attacked position is second and the least attack roster position is third. Now you know where to position your flimsy healer and heavy tin can.


Equipment

Lots of new weapons and armors. The first sections of the game were greatly enhanced by this. The DAMS/SKURE section was kinda left out but it's all right. The three Dezo towns had some really cool stuff but the GUARD armor is just WAY TOO POWERFUL. I loved and abused it.

I really liked how the mod changed some of the gear in the first dungeons and I was really disappointed to see he did not do so after that. Nothing beats the awesome feeling of finding a Fire Staff In NAVAL. Modder could have made that extra push there and given the player a real reason to fully explore every dungeon. No one likes IKUTO, give me a reason to lose my mind there, sir.


Easter Eggs

I'm sorry, sir, but PS4 is not a better game than PS2 and using your PS4 nostalgia to alter PS2 characters did not make me smile, it made my cringe.

I still love you, for this awesome, awesome mod. Well done, good work, would play again.



Edit: Typos. Also: I cannot believe I wrote all that. I am insane.


Last edited by Aeroprism on Sun Jun 29, '14, 4:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 8, '14, 12:14 pm 
Erh, that was months ago...

What was it.. ...

Oh right! Check the character bio and their last name. One clear example: Hugh Thompson suddenly became Hugh Malay, because the short haired scholar who uses techs had to be blood-related to the short haired guy scholar who uses techs 1000 years after his death, right? RIGHT?

Fandom can be an handicap.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 8, '14, 2:09 pm 
Aeroprism wrote:Oh right! Check the character bio and their last name. One clear example: Hugh Thompson suddenly became Hugh Malay, because the short haired scholar who uses techs had to be blood-related to the short haired guy scholar who uses techs 1000 years after his death, right? RIGHT?

Fandom can be an handicap.

That certainly sounds like a very unnecessary tie-in. Other than that the mod seems pretty interesting. Might try it when I have nothing better to play.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 9, '14, 1:10 am 
Wait, what? They did that to Hugh, changing his last name? Laaaame. >=(

Now, if there were a throwaway line about Piata having a large college (that Rolf can't go to for reasons) or somebody talking about starting a resort town on Uzo Island, then that would be a fine reference to PSIV.

...Now that I'm wondering, were there any PSIII references?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 9, '14, 2:41 am 
Because nothing is too good for my buddies. Here it is:

Attachment:NotHahn.jpg


Attachment:LOLALYS.jpg


Also: Shir does not even say her name in her intro but Rolf knows her. BECAUSE SHIR.


Snorb: as far as I remember, no PS3 references.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 9, '14, 2:48 am 
I'm playing Numan Revolution now, and someone in Arima just told Rolf this:

"Teim? She wasn't kidnapped! She started the rebellion with her lover, Andrei."

*FACEPALM*

The sprites look like they were recolored by a three year old. The changes to the guns are excellent. I'm torn on the whole party being available at the beginning of the game. While I like the idea of the Commander assembling the team for Rolf, I prefer getting the other team members as the game progresses. I'd advocate for getting Hugh and Kain earlier, but getting the entire cast of playable characters immediately feels like a cheat.

Also, the constant use of abbreviations is ANNOYING.


Last edited by Tanith on Tue Dec 9, '14, 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 9, '14, 4:49 am 
Parma Ham wrote:I think that might have been necessary to free up "character ROM" (or whatever) for the script changes. I don't know enough about it, but I don't think you can just expand a game's script without breaking things. You have to work within some sort of limitations, and they can differ quite a bit from ROM to ROM. Anyway, that's my guess. Regardless, my hat's off to the hacker for all the work. From what I've seen, ROM hacking seems to be a deceptively hard task to do well. (Still, one wonders if the new script was really worth all that. :mrgreen:)
I think that to a lot of people, acronyms look militaristic, futuristic, etc. In the off chance the script writer wasn't limited by ROM space (or whatever it's called), (s)he might have thought the acronyms added to the sci-fi setting. From a strictly literary standpoint, it's a bit amateurish, but aside from the acronyms and many characters talking in an overly formal manner, I am relieved that the new script is free of grammatical errors. Another praise: One of the citizens of Arima said something like, "Finally, an agent has come to help us! The government robots marched right on by!" I liked that. I thought it fit in with the original story very well.

My only other criticism of the script at the moment is that although I can certainly understand characterizing Rolf as duty-bound, there's a fine line between selfless and self-righteous, and the author of the new script is toeing it HARD. Rather than express concern about confronting Darum early on because he's a known killer and Rolf lacks the experience to compete with such a street-hardened baddie, Rolf turns around on the bridge because he can't possibly ignore his "duty to Mota." Rolf, your prig is showing.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 9, '14, 12:10 pm 
Wait until you get to the people who happily reside on Noah.

I cried.

Those were not tears of joy.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 9, '14, 3:55 pm 
Were they tears of sadness?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 9, '14, 4:40 pm 
The tears of sadness came when I started playing and immediately felt overwhelmed by the sad sadness this game conveys, from Rolf's measly paycheck to Arima's less then well-tended grass areas. It's not EXPLICITELY written, but you know, my mind is powerful, yo. :-*

*cough*

Seriously. Get to the epilogue. Lose faith in all fandom, forever. Here's a great, yet non-spoiling teaser: DarkForce is a really efficient contractor.


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