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Mantis, Mantis Homeworld

  • Registered 3 years ago
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  • upbeatgamingnet

Active Time Babble taught me to love rpgs, and I have been playing them ever since. Very infrequent writer at my blog, upbeatgaming.

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Recent comments

  • Avatar for FTLMantis FTLMantis 25 days ago

    Honestly, it's the obsession with skins and progression that keeps me from playing overwatch. I hate feeling like hamster on a wheel. Why would people care about accumulating skins instead of playing the game because they enjoy it? Always startling to me.

    Posted in The USgamer Podcast: Dragon Ball FighterZ, Shadow of the Colossus, BioWare's Big Bet

  • Avatar for FTLMantis FTLMantis A month ago

    Despite its problems, Shadows of Valentia brought me back to Fire Emblem. After not being able to finish any of the Fates games (despite owning the special edition!) and absolutely hating Awakening (the gameplay, the writing, the maps, everything was just so bad) I played through SOV twice and loved it the whole way through. I loved the variations on the gameplay that it brought back, much to my immense surprise. The new magic system with the wider variety of spells in particular was great. It showed me that part of the problem with the new games was that they played it too safe, and that the small changes it made (pairing up) were just awful. I want the new FE game to make meaningful, fun changes just like SOV did, but then actually put them on good maps. Should be doable, in theory, but I fear that they'll be sticking with what they know worked on the 3ds. Still excited regardless.Edited last month by Unknown

    Posted in Axe of the Blood God: Our Most Anticipated RPGs of 2018

  • Avatar for FTLMantis FTLMantis A month ago

    @Flipsider99 I think there's a wide variety of good sci fi, but what it all shares is some kind of intellectual or thematic payoff that was just completely missing from Nier. It felt closer to star wars or star trek than anything actually clever. It reminds me of when Undertale came out and it was hailed as the intellectual high water mark of gaming, except that I thought the actual gameplay, structure, and humor of Undertale was good enough that I still ended up enjoying that, just in a different way. I think Nier was just awful. It really rubs me the wrong way when games pretend to be smarter than they are- makes me feel like the entire medium is for children.Edited last month by Unknown

    Posted in The USGamer Podcast Picks Their Best Games of 2017

  • Avatar for FTLMantis FTLMantis A month ago

    Man, I thought Nier was so, so bad. Everything that's wrong with made for TV sci fi. Repetitive (literally and thematically), failing to do anything with the world they develop, and completely intellectually empty. I'll be pretty disjointed if it wins US Gamer GOTY. The world deserves more Asimov and less weird, empty sci fi. If Nier was converted to a book it would be absolutely savaged- and that's, in essence, the difference between book stories and game stories. Might as well be in the dark ages in gaming on that front.

    Worst of all? In the 20+ hours it took me to finish this game, I could have 2 or 3 books that actually introduced interesting ideas or games that didn't force me to rehash gameplay. Awful.Edited 2 times. Last edited last month by Unknown

    Posted in The USGamer Podcast Picks Their Best Games of 2017

  • Avatar for FTLMantis FTLMantis 2 months ago

    @Jonnyboy407 Glad it was helpful! Your party members will actually switch to whatever blades they have that match the next elemental steps in the tree. As they accumulate special levels their names will appear at the edges of the screen with a certain amount of spinning orbs corresponding to the level of special they have. The button prompt to use the special (the right and left triggers) then actually won't appear until they've charged up enough to activate the next level of the tree, so as soon as you see those you're ready to go.

    That said, sometimes it can be advantageous to wait a little for your other party members to charge up their bars further. When you start this special chain a bar appears to the right above the enemy's health bar, and you have until it empties to trigger the next level of special. Using some of the extra time to charge up your special gauges further so you're sure you can activate the third level of special can make a big difference.

    Pouch items are medium term consumables. You use them and your driver gets some type of benefit for the duration that the consumable lasts (which is indicated in the item and can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours). So far the ones I've found most useful are the arts recharging items. Buying a lot of the cheapest variety of this item and using them constantly will let you fill your arts gauges faster, which lets you trigger combos faster.

    Hope it helps!

    Posted in Axe of the Blood God: Kat Tackles More of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Nadia Gives Kuja a Beating in Final Fantasy IX

  • Avatar for FTLMantis FTLMantis 2 months ago

    @The-Challenger I see where you're coming from. For me the battles can feel really good- when everything is clicking you feel like you're conducting an orchestra. But when you have to spend a full minute hacking at whatever lame variety of volf you're fighting it can get pretty bad. I've basically started running past anything that I don't want to fight for a quest/affinity bonus or just to try it (for uniques) and am still pretty over leveled. Might be worth trying!

    Posted in Axe of the Blood God: Kat Tackles More of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Nadia Gives Kuja a Beating in Final Fantasy IX

  • Avatar for FTLMantis FTLMantis 2 months ago

    And one more piece of unsolicited advice: you'll do best with a dedicated healer, tank, and damage dealer. That way when your team mates change blades to accommodate the combos I mentioned before you won't get caught out without one of either, which will quickly end with you dead. Giving Wulfric to Rex is best, as he's one of the best blades and should go on your damage dealer.

    Sorry to be this guy- I don't want to be a jerk- hopefully the advice is well received. I just enjoyed this game more than I expected, and hope you will too, Kat.

    Posted in Axe of the Blood God: Kat Tackles More of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Nadia Gives Kuja a Beating in Final Fantasy IX

  • Avatar for FTLMantis FTLMantis 2 months ago

    Oh no, Nadia, you gave some pretty weird advice!

    The common core crystals are really important. You get way more of them, so even though your odds of getting a rare blade from them are lower you should still use them all. About 1/3 of my rare blades so far have come from common core crystals.

    The way you get the really strong attacks from your specials is by looking at the top right corner after you use any first special attack. Every element has a tree of elements associated with it that appears after you use a special of that elemental variety. If you follow along that chain using specials of at least the level in the tree you're at (ie level two or higher for second tier, three or higher for the third) and of one of the two elements that comes next in the tree you'll progress to the next tier. The third tier in the tree triggers specials that do a bonus 10x more damage than the same special used without the tree. You'll also generate an orb that makes the enemy resistant to the element that the orb represents, but can be shattered during the "driver combo" you unlock later to extend your combo.

    For example, if you start with a fire special (say Pyra's level 1 special) a tree will appear that lets you choose between fire and water for the next special. If you, for example, use Dromarch's level two special you'll advance along the tree towards the water side, which matches Dromarch's element.

    That last tip in particular is key! The battles will take forever and be incredibly boring if you don't follow it. I'm honestly amazed you were able to enjoy the game without it, Nadia, I think I personally might have died of boredom. I suspect other people who didn't enjoy the game probably missed this critical element and so had a horrible time with the mid/late game combat.

    Posted in Axe of the Blood God: Kat Tackles More of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Nadia Gives Kuja a Beating in Final Fantasy IX

  • Avatar for FTLMantis FTLMantis 2 months ago

    Great podcast as always guys (girls, whatever). I agree with your take on Pyra Nadia, I think her voice actor is amazing and makes her seem like enough of an adult that the battle lingerie doesn't dominant her character. Wish they had made other design decisions, but not about to give up on the game over it.

    On a semi related note, this discussion of Demon's Souls led to me thinking more about the series, and deciding I'm never playing a Souls game again that doesn't have an Estus Flask system. I never finished Demon's Souls and I never finished Bloodborne, despite having beaten each of the other Souls games several times. The decision to punish you for exploring in a long term manner goes so completely against the structure of Souls games that I can't believe they ever made the mistake of going back to that system. I'm sure that for real Souls experts for whom these games are a lifestyle and are easy this system is fine, but for a "casual" (and I use that in the loosest sense of the term) the threat of having to grind for potions ruins the whole flow of the game.

    Posted in Axe of the Blood God: Our Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review and Secret of Mana Report #3

  • Avatar for FTLMantis FTLMantis 3 months ago

    I guess we'll have to wait and see. Nintendo are a notoriously conservative company in terms of unit production, so I'm going to assume they know something we don't, but that seems like a lot of units. Maybe they hope Chinese demand will be high enough? Or they have another big software surprise around the corner?

    Posted in Nintendo Wants To Ship Nearly 50 Million Switch Systems By April 2019 [Report]