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Tycho / on Mon, Oct 6 2003 at 5:04 am

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You Can Call Me Orycteropus

I don’t know what the hell is happening with him, though it does look like the turn-based strategy RPG thing is now a permanent element of his construction.  He came back from EB with copies of Final Fantasy VII and Tactics, and other than a slight altercation at the store he doesn’t seem any worse for wear.

As complete as his conversion seems to be, and I will interrogate him to determine the parameters of this fascination, I think he might be hard pressed to enjoy the new Dynasty Tactics.  No game I have ever played has come anywhere near the level of mental exertion required by the first title, and the sequel adds elements that have profound effects if you are able to integrate them.  First of all, the relatively staid World Map of the first game - the screens that are concerned with the movement of armies and recruiting - have received conceptual upgrades that make them a part of the whole experience.  You might remember that the newest Romance of the Three Kingdoms game, also from Koei, had elements I enjoyed but did not entertain me for very long.  Players familiar with both games will see immediately that the Town gameplay elements from the Romance series, things like visiting different buildings and improving your skills, all of that has not been rolled into the new Dynasty Tactics.  So instead of earning new combat skills just as you level up, each battle you win earns you experience you can then use to buy tactics.  Of course, different heroes have different stats, some stats are good for some tactics and not others, this effects the price of the abilities, and people who know each other utilize bonus tactics you can’t purchase...  And they cranked up the difficulty something fierce.  At the end of the day, the sequel to Dynasty Tactics is vastly improved over its predecessor.  They’ll win no converts with it - the combat system has only gotten more complex, with the addition of Tactical Chains that let single units unload their entire combat inventory on an enemy unit, like a Death Sale. 

I haven’t had the time to dig into Etherlords II the way I want to - I was so agitated waiting for it to come out, and I’ve had too much writing to invest myself in it yet. On the weekend I’ve mostly been enraging myself with political blogs and playing that Goddamn Rocket Mania, I need activities that can be accomplished in the absence of sobriety and these things fit the bill.  It’s one of those tile-based puzzle games like Candy Train, but it has a friendly dragon and a vaguely Asian theme that makes me feel like I’m at one of the rich cultural festivals I assume they have.  I’d recommend just starting with the deluxe version and then just switching to the free version if you don’t feel like paying - it has additional game modes and will grip your consciousness like a sense memory.

We ended up doing an extra strip and post this weekend, you can find them at the aforementioned links.  We haven’t had new comics on the weekend since back in the Bench days, we’ve done the Monday/Wednesday/Friday thing so long that doing a comic on some unauthorized day felt almost illicit.  Also, you’ll find that the dress code is more lax on the weekends.   

We all went over to Brad’s this weekend to fold T-Shirts, not just any T-Shirts mind you but T-Shirts that have Penny Arcade things on them.  We’re just waiting on the Fruit Fuckers and the hoodies, and then it’s go time. 

(CW)TB out.

witness high velocity

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