I’ve been writing for this blog since October 2015, and in that time, I have reviewed several old school RPGs, written fun lists, and even written about my journeys with a fantastic game (and eventually will finish a mediocre one). I also mentioned in my very first post that one of my main reasons for writing about older games was due to the excess of buggy, unfinished games, and incomplete games that require paid DLC or microtransactions in order to have a more complete experience. Today, I want to talk in more detail about one of these issues. Namely, the buggy games.
Now, first and foremost, I am well aware that older games can be just as buggy as current gen games. on the top of my head, I can think of several games from the PS2 era that had bugs or glitches that would cause games to freeze up on me. When I do get around to reviewing a game that has a bug or glitch, it will be mentioned in my reviews. While this taught me to save more regularly than I did in the past, it’s still frustrating to have to go through parts of a game that you have already been through, especially if a game doesn’t let you skip cut scenes. In these instances, I tend to only suck it up and keep going with a game if I am really enjoying it.
That is NOT always the case.
For me, the straw that broke the camel’s back and made me decide what the focus of my blog was to become was a game that I did not continue, even after absolutely loving the game.
Find out which game after the break!
Lost Dimension was an interesting twist on a strategy RPG game. The story isn’t very heavy, but the gameplay and character customization was solid.
Basically you are the leader of a task force made up of Psychically gifted soldiers. A supervillain has appeared and has already destroyed most of the world, and the governments have tasked you to stop him. Upon entering his tower, he greets you and warns you that there is a traitor in your ranks. You are also told that in order to ascend to a higher floor, you must vote out one of your party members. Whoever gets voted out dies, therefore you need to determine who the traitor is before ascending. What you also realize is that there is a traitor on every floor.
In terms of game mechanics, the traitor is assigned randomly, so it creates a different play experience during each playthrough. Also, each lost teammate would leave behind a piece of their essence, allowing you to give any learned skills to another member of your team.
While not exactly ground breaking in terms of story, the gameplay more than made up for it. The added factor of determining the traitor, swaying votes, and making the hard choice of killing an ally on every floor made it stand out to me.
That is, of course, until things went south from a technical standpoint.
A little over halfway through my playthrough, I was doing a side mission. I cleared it without much issue, and right after the clear screen, the screen goes black, the music keeps playing, and it stays like this for a long while. It didn’t go anywhere, so I thought it might have been a small glitch, so I reset my system, and tried it again. Same thing. I took a break, and kept going for a bit doing some plot, and a day or so later, I tried it again. Another black screen. I decide at that point to give up on that mission and its associated PS3 trophy and move on to try and finish my playthrough. During that time, I had a few areas freeze up on me, forcing me to restart my PS3 again. At this point, I was determined to finish the game.
I finally get to the final floor, and in the second last boss fight of the game, I try to use any skill, and the screen would go black, and do nothing. The difference this time was that by waiting for two minutes, the game would continue, but I did not see the skill animations, which would have taken less time. I do make it to the final boss, but was horribly underlevelled, since I ploughed through to get to the end, just to see it.
At this point, I broke. I took the game out of my system and put it back on the shelf. I didn’t give up on things just yet. I went on several message boards to check if any other people had the same issue. I saw several instances of it happening to others, so I decided to send an email to Atlus, asking if anything can be done. Sadly, Atlus was only the publisher, so my search continued to getting into contact with FuRyu. I sent an email to them, asking the same thing, and I never got an answer. I checked on My PS3 every week or so to see if a patch update ever showed up for the game, and after a long while of disappointment, I finally just gave up.
To this day, I am very rarely checking around message boards to see if anything changes, but that checking is every few months, or when I’m between games.
This was a genuine disappointment for me. Not because it was glitchy or had any other issues, but that Lost Dimension was an actually fun game. When I encounter a game that I really love on a newer console, I make it my mission to earn all trophies/achievements. This game made it impossible for me to do so. What’s more, the fact that the developers wouldn’t even send a polite response acknowledging my concerns. Given the severity of the bugs, I find it hard to believe that FuRyu didn’t know that there were issues with its game before release. To think that they didn’t care enough to do a little bit more debugging before letting people purchase it. This means that I will be doing a lot of research before buying another FuRyu title.
So that’s my rant. This was the catalyst that made me think “You know, it wasn’t like this ten years ago” and ultimately made me decide to spend my time talking about older RPGs. That doesn’t mean I won’t mention new titles somewhere down the road. I’m still playing current gen games. In fact, right now I’m playing through Tales of Zestiria, and in a few weeks, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. The main point is that whether it’s an RPG, or a so called Triple A title, quality control has seriously been affected with games of our current generation, and that’s a real shame.
I hope this sheds some light on my mission, and gives you a bit more idea of what goes on in my silly little mind. I hope you’ll all keep reading my reviews and adventures down the road, and please share my blog or reviews as you go.