What I'm Playing - No. 115
Welcome back to another weekly wrap-up of the games I’ve been playing over the past week!
Warning: The section on Battle Chasers: Nightwar has final boss spoilers! If you want to avoid those, skip that section!
Click a title to skip to that section. Games contained within this post:
Persona 5 Strikers (PS4)
I fused Lucifer, the ultimate Persona in P5S this week, completing the Inmate Registry and getting myself one step closer to 100% completion!
Battles on Merciless difficulty can go south fast, you have to focus on dodging a lot more than normal, especially when fighting the bosses or mini-bosses because a single attack can take away most of your health. Merciless is lot of fun though, it’s cool how it basically requires you to make the most of your high level Personas and their strongest attacks.
I still have a ways to go maxing out the rest of the Bond skills in order to get the platinum trophy. I’ve been playing through the game again skipping most cutscenes, because replaying through everything seems like the fastest way to gain Bond levels.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar (PC)
I finished the game this week, and doing so was a relief because the final boss was absolutely brutal. But I’ll get to that shortly. Strangely, the boss of the dungeon I ended the previous week’s post on was a lot easier than some of the common enemies in that dungeon. The dungeon afterward, which was also the final dungeon of the game, wasn’t as difficult as the other one, though there still some nasty enemies within it. The boss of that dungeon was more challenging than the previous one, and I was defeated by them one or two times before I bested them. The fight felt fair though, it wasn’t completely and utterly ridiculous.
The final boss though? That’s another story. I don’t know in what way I personally offended the developers, but I feel like I must’ve hurt them in some way, and the final boss was their revenge against whatever injustice I committed against them. There are just so many things stacked against the player in that fight. The boss has an attack that damages the whole party and leaves them with a bleed that deals about 1000 HP damage a turn for a few turns, so you need to take care of healing that quickly. But while you’re busy trying to recover from that, it might hit a character with Rapture, which can crit for 11,000 HP if you’re unlucky, and if the character somehow survives that attack, they’re stunned for one turn anyway. But the worst thing was Blood Fortress. The enemy AI always uses this ability once their health falls below a certain threshold. Blood Fortress puts up a damage shield on the boss, and until you break through the shield, each time the enemy’s turn rolls around your whole party takes 1,000 damage each, and the enemy heals for around 1,700 HP. And it gets to attack afterward too, using one of those oh-so-awful attacks I described earlier, or maybe it’ll hit you with Dark Star, a 30-hit attack that hits the whole party for massive damage.
After about 5 failed tries at taking down the boss, I decided I would need to grind up a few levels, and then it would be a much more level playing field. So I went off to the arena, and got Red Monika and Knolan to max level, which is level 30 in this game. With 2 max level characters, the fight should be a lot easier, right? Well, it at least made it easier for me to reliably reach the Blood Fortress part of the battle, but once the party started taking that Blood Fortress damage and the damage of another enemy attack each time it got a turn, we got obliterated time after time. I don’t even know how many times I attempted the fight with that party build. I want to say it was around a dozen times or so before I finally threw up my hands and said, “okay, this fight isn’t possible with this party.”
At that point, I took Knolan out of the party and replaced him with Alumon. Alumon could also use healing spells, and his had the benefit of giving allies a damage shield if the heal would put them over their full HP amount. Having a damage shield in the final boss battle was basically essential given how hard many of its attacks hit. I also did some running around to gather materials to craft Garrison’s ultimate weapon, which increased his damage output by a huge amount. Feeling cautiously optimistic about my new party build, I went back at it against the final boss…and proceeded to die in much the same way as earlier another 6 times. But on that lucky number 7 attempt, the enemy missed a few times, and I was finally able to deplete its Blood Fortress damage shield without my entire party being super low on health. Victory was in my grasp at that point, and I finally took down the boss. But the weird thing about that attempt is, it felt easy. My strategy wasn’t really any different than the previous 6 times, but we just got lucky that time and it made a huge difference.
Thus, my time with Battle Chasers: Nightwar came to an end. It was a fun game overall, with a really cool battle system. But the final boss left a bad taste in my mouth, and I’m frankly glad to be done with it. I would still recommend it to JRPG fans, but just be aware that the final boss is unfair, and you’ll lose hard unless you have specific party builds and a bit of luck. The final time on my save file was 38.6 hours, and I don’t even want to know how much of that time was spent attempting to defeat the final boss, then grinding and preparing attempt the final boss battle again. I’m guessing it was probably the last 6 to 8 hours of it, maybe?
Invisible Inc. (PC)
This is a roguelike tactical espionage game from Klei, the developer behind Don’t Starve and Oxygen Not Included. Visually, it’s just as great looking as their other games, but with a distinct style.
You control the remnants of a spy agency fighting against the evil corporations of the world in a dystopian future. Gameplay is turn-based with fog of war, and a strong emphasis on stealth. You can knock out enemies (or even kill them once your agents get guns), but there’s a several turn cooldown on your weapons, so you can’t go in guns blazing every time. Observing enemy patrol patterns, peeking around corners, and hacking cameras are all essential to completing your objective and getting your agents out alive in each mission. After each mission, you upgrade your agents and outfit them with gear to prepare them for future missions.
Over the course of the campaign, you’ll choose which missions you want to pursue, and based on how far way each one is from the previous, it’ll subtract hours from your timer accordingly. Once you time is up, you’re thrust into the final mission, whether you’re prepared or not. I…was definitely not prepared. Most enemies I ran into had heavy armor, and I hadn’t managed to pick up any weapons capable of piercing that kind of armor, so it was a pretty hopeless situation. It felt like a mercy when my agents were finally put out of their misery. That was the end of my first campaign run, but as is the way of roguelikes, losing a run is just part of the process, and you gain permanent progress for future runs like unlocking new agents.
All told, my whole campaign playthrough took around 3, maybe 4 hours. I really enjoyed it up until the final mission. Being so unprepared for that one was pretty disheartening. It definitely gives me an idea of what I should be preparing for in future campaign runs though, and I’m looking forward to giving it another try eventually, but I’m going to take a break from it for the time being!