Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Harmony Chain Train of Pain

Today I spent most of my gaming time working on Eternal Sonata, and I made significant progress. Starting on the 5th, chapter, I completed chapters 5 and 6, and made it all the way to the final boss of the game in chapter 7. I could have finished the game, but decided to go the the Mysterious Unison dungeon instead to earn party level 6, and complete the two other objectives in the dungeon (resurrect Claves and defeat Rondo) that have achievements tied to them. All told, I earned an amazing 70 points today. JRPGs really make you appreciate your points, because they take a lot of work to earn.

(Note: The next chunk of this post contains gameplay methods for Eternal Sonata, which may be lost on anyone not familiar to the game. If you don't care how I'm rocking this game, skip to the line END ETERNAL SONATA DISCUSSION and read on.)

I decided, since the game lets me use any 3 characters I want at this point, to not bother leveling all of them and focus my attention on only 3. Therefore, I've been using exclusively Salsa, Allegretto, and Jazz. After reaching level 8 of the Mysterious Unison, they're all leveled in the mid 50s, with great weapons and armor. With party level 6, they're also unbelievably powerful.

Harmony chains can get simply insane. I use each character's specials that deal the most hits, so the echo counter keeps building up as specials are used. Building an echo counter to 24, for example, and then using specials to get half or more of that back right away, makes it incredibly easy to quickly slap down more punishment on the next character's turn. Combine this with multiple characters using their specials through harmony chains, and I'm replenishing the echo counter as fast as I'm depleting it. The changing buttons that come with party level 6 have taken some getting used to, but the results have been devastating. When I pull it off right, I've been able to execute 380,000 points of damage per character turn! As you can imagine, that burns down monsters and bosses really, really fast. It's all been smooth sailing for a while now.


I stopped by my local Blockbuster today to examine the dregs of their buy one, get one sale, and managed to pick up Prey and Superman returns for under $8 total. Prey will probably be worth the cash, while I'll take Superman as a freebie. Both are already on my gamercard, and need completing for Operation Jedi anyway. I also checked out Gamefly's end of the year sales, and scored Transformers and Incredible Hulk for $10.54 each (that's after taxes). Transformers is also on my card already, while Hulk is new, and will sit on the shelf until I've made more completion progress. Definitely check out Gamefly for some great used game deals.

Operation Jedi update: When I started my quest for an overall 75% completion percentage, I was at about 56%. Now, I'm at 57.10%, according to the last 360voice update, which still leaves me a whopping 21,198 points short of my goal, assuming I never popped a new game into the disc tray... I'll be at this for quite a while folks. At least I can say I'm making progress.

There will be no posts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, as I'll be out with family, and I would imagine all of you will be, as well. So, I'll save Xmas stories for the 26th.

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