This session was played on Friday the 6th. Run time: 1:12.
The game goes on. I have last session finished the tutorial-like gameplay and have finally set out to my adventure, getting the first star back. The whole business with the shy-guys was quite funny. Before I entered that boss, though, I decided to grind. This is a magical word in the RPG genre, and it has been a very though point in the debate. Compared to normal platformers, the standard RPG is always riddled with the obligatory sections of killing enemies just for the sake of the experience and to get to a better level to eliminate the next boss. Some just don’t like the idea.
For me this mechanic has been a core experience when going into games. I prefer this grinding method, not because it makes me feel better, but because it permits me to relax the mind for a while. I usually end up thinking the most unimaginable thinks while pressing a few buttons and watching my character grow.
There is something to be said about grinding. There are times this can be exaggerated. While it is nice to have now and then a moment of respite and some time to think about the next great philosophy, others just want you to sit on the A button for an eternity to advance. I usually measure the greatness of an RPG depending on the times you will have to grind to unlock the next part of a story. We have to remember that we play those games because of the epic story lines that develop. In other words, an RPG acts often as a book, where you can travel along the story and do mini games, side quests and other things that do not follow the completion, to take a break, while we enjoy our capacity of decision-making that video games allow us to have. Something like a book with distractions for when we get bored of the story without exiting the world that has been so beautifully presented to us.
My general rule of thumb is around three to five great grinding sessions. Too many and the game will be frustrating and boring, showing us how the difficulty spikes are constant and require us to stay in the same areas for too long. My war cry at this moment is always: “Just let me go on with the %&@! story!”. On the other hand, fewer grinding sessions usually speak of an easy game, which flows. Those types of RPGs are fine, since they permit you to continue without stopping, but sometimes make you miss forced stops to appreciate the details around your normal storyline.
An example of a game that has too many grinding stops is Sword of Hope. When I found the second game on my 3DS’s virtual store, I was quite amazed. I only had played the first iteration, and it was quite bad, since I was the only party member who had to fight incredibly tough foes at every turn. It was easier to grind for three hours at each zone instead of being instantly poisoned, paralyzed and then killed of by a group of three enemies. I just downloaded the game to see if there had been some improvements on the formula. There were some, namely the capacity of having one more member with an occasional third from time to time. But the main frustrating elements were still there: grinding, grinding, grinding.
In SMRPG I have now engaged a little session of grinding, just to make sure I could beat the first boss, and it was not too bad. I enjoy the mechanic of paying constantly attention to the game, to get the criticals flowing, and the session did not last longer than ten minutes. Also, I got some new stuff, which made the little effort worth it. My general level is still low, but I think I can manage the game with two sessions of grinding, which is great for an RPG game, easy to follow.
The story is now rolling and Mallow has a “destiny” in front of him. Still, the isometric view drives me crazy. Next session I will have Geno standing on my side, so I am greatly looking forward to it!
Nai ainur raituvar tietyanna!