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Sands of Destruction - A shitty RPG from a bunch of nobodies.

ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Games and Technology
Sands of Destruction... epic title. The forums haven't even mentioned this game. Obviously, no one around here cares, so I guess we can just move on. I mean, Masato Kato and Yasunori Mitsuda are amateurs at best, right?

Oh what? We're interested now? Yea, me too...
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So yes, this is an RPG for the DS, brought to us by some of the fine folks behind Xenogears and Chrono Cross. In 1Up's words:
The first thing we thought when we tried a demo of Sands of Destruction was, "Huh, this is pretty much Xenogears." Same visual style of sprites on isometric polygons, same tiered multi-button combat system, same general storyline of a young man who inexplicably discovers he possesses tremendous destructive power beyond his ken. And little wonder! Sands was created by many of the same people behind Square's cult RPG classic. So, it should automatically be of interest to fans of Xenogears... and maybe it'll win over the hearts and minds of people who weren't so crazy about the older game, too.

I'm not super sold on the character designs (typical anime ridiculousness), but the battle system looks like it's straight out of Xenogears.

Some screenies (apologies for the small size):

Battle system:
Spoiler:

World map and in town:
Spoiler:

Trailer with battle footage

Oh, and this comes out next Tuesday (or Wednesday). How did this fly under our radar, exactly?

Shadowfire on
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Posts

  • NorfairNorfair Registered User
    edited January 2010
    The Xenogears comparison has me interested. I got a few games over the holidays that I still need to beat, but since I have no other backlog, I think I might pick this up in a couple of weeks when I have some free cash. At least I know the music will be good, since Mitsuda has a great track record.

  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Pfft, I made a thread about this game years ago.

    Apparently its somewhere around average.

    Anyways, good work with the title as it is, above all else, a Sega game.

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Pfft, I made a thread about this game years ago.

    Apparently its somewhere around average.

    Anyways, good work with the title as it is, above all else, a Sega game.

    I'll take average considering the gameplay looks like fun times. The last DS RPG I played was Suikoden Tierkreis, so I'm looking forward to another one.

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  • KlykaKlyka DO you have any SPARE BATTERIES?Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    WORLD DESTRUCTION COMMITEE

    SC2 EU ID Klyka.110
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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Mitsuda's name doesn't quite carry the weight it used to, seeing as how he hasn't done a good score since Chrono Cross.

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    蒼く咲く華 日は灯り 天に流れる | Kill The Past
  • KamiKami Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    :O

    BUYING DAY ONE

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  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I was going to leave this alone, but it's only $28 on Amazon. It's really easy to impulse buy for my DS.

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  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The battle screen looks terrible.

    You'd have to look up AND down to keep track of the action.

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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The top screen has party stats and flying enemies, as well as the tops of big bosses. I don't know how it would be hard to keep track of since the screen is right in front of you, but I never had a big problem with Hatsworth either.

    I'm fucking excited for this on Wednesday. :P

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  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    So mine is in the mail and likely won't get here until Monday. Anyone have any first impressions? Am I going to be disappointed? D:

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  • SebbieSebbie Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Well I just picked it up from Futureshop, seems only one location had it in Ottawa. Anyways, so far so good. It's pretty smooth and though the voice acting isn't amazing it sure beats the hell out of Suikoden's. Battles are neat (I'm still in the first cave) and I really like their sprites, reminds me of PSX era RPGs :)

    "It's funny that pirates were always going around searching for treasure, and they never realized that the real treasure was the fond memories they were creating."
  • ClevingerClevinger Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    Mitsuda's name doesn't quite carry the weight it used to, seeing as how he hasn't done a good score since Chrono Cross.

    No, no, no. He hasn't done an amazing score since Chrono Cross. Since then they've just been good.

  • SebbieSebbie Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Well after playing a bit more I find this game really good. There are a bit too many story scenes but the sprites have so many animations and they scripted the scenes so well that I always get really into them.
    Spoiler:

    "It's funny that pirates were always going around searching for treasure, and they never realized that the real treasure was the fond memories they were creating."
  • Chrono HelixChrono Helix Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    The top screen has party stats and flying enemies, as well as the tops of big bosses. I don't know how it would be hard to keep track of since the screen is right in front of you, but I never had a big problem with Hatsworth either.

    I'm fucking excited for this on Wednesday. :P

    The battle system is completely turn-based. There's no Mario RPG style interactions during attacks. Attack animations are pretty slow too.

    I played it in Japanese and didn't like it. There is not much strategy in combat, you can just grind if you can't get past a boss. Sometimes you will be doing decent damage to a boss, then he casts a defence buff and then you're doing single-digit damage. You can get around this by debuffing him or buffing your attack, but if you don't have a party member with the appropriate skill or an item that can do so (those items are pretty rare) you've got to wait it out. The converse is also true. Despite this the damage done (both by you and enemies) can be very variable.

    Normally you can do 2 or 3 attacks in a single turn. If you score a critical attack, or for every 10 hits you do in a single turn, you gain an additional attack. If you managed to build up to 6 attacks you can do a super attack. The problem with the system is even if you've only spent 3 out of your 6 attacks, you can't use the other 3, you must use the super attack. Which as mentioned above is long and unskippable.

    Enemies can get multiple attacks in a row for seemingly no reason, especially bosses. This is especially aggravating as the turn order indicator at the bottom of the screen is not reflective of what's actually going to happen. Special attack animations are long, unskippable, and strangely, you don't see the targets being hit.

    The prison dungeon about 5 hours into the game is a huge pain in the ass.

    The easiest way to get powerful is to
    Spoiler:
    Supposedly they fixed the difficulty and other issues when localised it, but I know I'm definitely not getting the game a second time.

    To the game's credit I liked the characters, but that's about it.

  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I've been looking forward to this game for a long time. So long that I forgot it was coming out this month.

    My DS has been collecting dust lately, so I'll have to get her out and give her a good polish before I pop this in.

    I wish that this generation of RPGs wasn't so dominated by the DS. I miss the days of console JRPGs on the PSX.

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  • Forever ZefiroForever Zefiro Frame Runner Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    There wasn't a thread I could find on it, and this seems like a somewhat appropriate place to ask, because I have a $25 gift card, and was thinking about getting this, bet then I saw Nostalgia too, which seems like it could be pretty fun. Anyone have any hands on with that?

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  • VyolynceVyolynce Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Enemies can get multiple attacks in a row for seemingly no reason, especially bosses. This is especially aggravating as the turn order indicator at the bottom of the screen is not reflective of what's actually going to happen. Special attack animations are long, unskippable, and strangely, you don't see the targets being hit.

    I'm pretty sure it has to do with the "Defiance" ability most of them have, but NOTHING in this game is documented so I can't be certain.

    Loving the chained attacks, though. Nothing like a 10-hit combo from one button press. Earning x2 CP on Kylie is crazy good.

  • InterpreterInterpreter Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    There wasn't a thread I could find on it, and this seems like a somewhat appropriate place to ask, because I have a $25 gift card, and was thinking about getting this, bet then I saw Nostalgia too, which seems like it could be pretty fun. Anyone have any hands on with that?

    I've played Nostalgia a little, and I've just started on this. For Nostalgia I can say that it hits every cliche
    that you can think of. You have your sword wielding fighter, your thief, a black mage, and a white mage(although, they're not called that in the game, that's what they are). The airship battles are pretty lackluster, and tend to rape you until you manage to get to a new town and buy new airship parts(and even then the upgraded airship weapons and armour don't seem to make a difference in the amount of damage you're taking or dishing out). Not that it's a bad game, but it's a very average game. I can't really compare it to Sands of Destruction yet, as I've only just started that, so I'm currently stuck bouncing from cut-scene to cut-scene. Perhaps someone else can give a better answer.

  • VyolynceVyolynce Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I played, completed and reviewed Nostalgia.

    Get Sands. Nostalgia's a fine game and all, but to the best of my knowledge Sands doesn't potentially have a bug that can render the game unwinnable.

  • major_tommajor_tom Registered User
    edited January 2010
    B:L wrote: »
    The battle screen looks terrible.

    You'd have to look up AND down to keep track of the action.

    Christ, i'd stay away from The World Ends With You if I were you. Unless you enjoy the sensation of your liquefied brain dribbling out of your ears.

    This is what i get for caring about gamercards...
  • DyvionDyvion Glorious Okinawa, JapanRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    B:L wrote: »
    The battle screen looks terrible.

    You'd have to look up AND down to keep track of the action.

    A bit of advice for you... Don't ever attempt Knights in the Nightmare.
    Spoiler:

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  • Mostlyjoe13Mostlyjoe13 Semiaquatic Suburban Subtropical Wasteland aka. FloridaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Klyka wrote: »
    WORLD DESTRUCTION COMMITEE

    Which frankly is a far, far better title.

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  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I've mostly enjoyed Sands so far. I will say that I was pumped as soon as I had enough people to get Morte out of my regular combat group. It's painful to listen to her. Rhi'a was a much better replacement. Also, I like Taupy far more than I was expecting to. As far as mascot characters go, he's about the best I've seen in awhile. For a game I bought on impulse due to the low price on Amazon, I feel like I've gotten my money's worth so far.

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  • VyolynceVyolynce Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Artereis wrote: »
    I've mostly enjoyed Sands so far. I will say that I was pumped as soon as I had enough people to get Morte out of my regular combat group. It's painful to listen to her.

    My problem with Morte isn't so much her annoyingness (although there is that), but the fact that for a "beastslayer" she isn't really much of a combat-valuable character like the combo-crazy guys (Kyrie, Taupy, and Agam; I don't have the final two yet). If SP wasn't such a precious resource I'd use her area-affect skills more, but going combo-crazy is just so much more efficient.

    Although I will say this in Morte's defense. Her "It must be my lucky day" quip fired after I beat one of the beastlords while Agam was wearing his x2 Gold turban. I earned over 50K on that fight (which I promptly wasted at the smithy).

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    That's another thing I love about the game... the quips are awesome. Turning the normally annoying gaming voices into something you can control at least slightly is a really cool idea, particularly since they give you bonuses in (and after) combat.

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  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Rhi'a is fairly obscene in combat. With her flurries fully chained, she does 17 hits per attack. She's definitely my best character at this point.

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  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Thus far I'm enjoying this game, but it does have it's share of annoyances. Why have JRPGs largely abandoned the world map?

    Unskippable and poorly paced voice acting being the number one annoyance. I shouldn't have to wait 2-3 seconds after a character stops talking before the next dialogue starts. It's probably a localization issue, but it's annoying none the less and would have been fine if I could just press A to continue to the next sequence.

    That said, I really like how you have control over building your character. It's a novel concept.

    How do you use followup attacks? I see them in the customization menu, but I have yet to see one work for Kyrie. I think that Taupe did one once.

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  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    They're tied to stunning your opponent. Blow type attacks tend to have a secondary effect attached to them. Hit a flying enemy with an air blow and you may knock them to the ground. Once that happens, the followup attack is available.

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  • VyolynceVyolynce Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    What I want to know is how you access the level 4 Specials, like Kyrie's "Chef's Special" or whatever it's called. EDIT: Aha -- go instruction manual! It's the same window as the Special Attacks (get BP to 6, hit A instead of X/Y). Makes sense, but now I'll have to not just mash buttons while I'm beating things silly.

    I'm one move away form having Kyrie completely maxed out (at level 8), thanks to the "Secret Recipe" item he's been wearing since the prison. About to take on the second Primal.

  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Those skills are available when you max out your combat gauge. Instead of activating your special attack, you go into abilities, and either the offensive or support skills are available.

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  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    There's voice acting in this? Hmm, pass. With the atrocity that is Suikoden DS' voices, I'm very wary about another DS game having voice acting. Can you turn it off?

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  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    There's voice acting in this? Hmm, pass. With the atrocity that is Suikoden DS' voices, I'm very wary about another DS game having voice acting. Can you turn it off?

    You can turn it off... but in the sequences where there is dialogue, you CANNOT skip through it. You have to wait for the line to be said, then wait a couple seconds more for the dialogue to continue. It's fucking shitty.

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  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Artereis wrote: »
    Those skills are available when you max out your combat gauge. Instead of activating your special attack, you go into abilities, and either the offensive or support skills are available.

    I don't understand what you mean by "max out" the combat gauge. I've gotten really high combos, but those abilities only seem to activate at random.

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  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    There are a set of blips that light up under a character portrait when things happen in combat, like getting a crit or a certain number of consecutive hits. Once you have 6, you can either initiate your scripted special attack or use one of the top levels support or offensive spells.

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  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    There's voice acting in this? Hmm, pass. With the atrocity that is Suikoden DS' voices, I'm very wary about another DS game having voice acting. Can you turn it off?

    You can turn it off... but in the sequences where there is dialogue, you CANNOT skip through it. You have to wait for the line to be said, then wait a couple seconds more for the dialogue to continue. It's fucking shitty.
    Well that's good that you can turn it off. I just hope it's better than Suikoden's voice acting. They talk so fast and horribly I had to stop playing that game.

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  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Vyolynce wrote: »
    I'm one move away form having Kyrie completely maxed out (at level 8), thanks to the "Secret Recipe" item he's been wearing since the prison. About to take on the second Primal.

    Secret Recipe? I don't recall finding any item like that in the prison sequence and I searched that place thoroughly.

    Upon researching, I don't think you meant the early prison sequence :P

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  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    How are you guys customizing your skills? Are you attempting to keep your accuracy up? I've thus far been emphasizing power over accuracy, but always just one point more in power. I find that if I have two more points in power over acc, then I start missing a lot.

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  • VyolynceVyolynce Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Vyolynce wrote: »
    I'm one move away form having Kyrie completely maxed out (at level 8), thanks to the "Secret Recipe" item he's been wearing since the prison. About to take on the second Primal.

    Secret Recipe? I don't recall finding any item like that in the prison sequence and I searched that place thoroughly.

    Upon researching, I don't think you meant the early prison sequence :P

    I meant the one about five hours in. It's one of the rewards for ferrying notes/packages/letters between prisoners.



    To max out your BP gague:

    Base: 2
    Have high morale (equipped <3 items or other morale boost): +1
    First Critical hit: +1
    Every 10 hits in a combo: +1 each

    So with high morale and a critical hit, you need a 20-hit combo to enable the Special Attacks/Abilities.

    EDIT: Also, stunning an enemy (KOs, Tossing) usually gives you the extra BP to enable a follow-up attack. I've converted that into a Special a few times too.

  • eaglearchereaglearcher Registered User
    edited January 2010
    My god, Rhi'a is ridiculous. She's Orlandu reincarnate. After chaining her attacks, sometime took only one turn for her to get to her supermove, not to mention she have all the healing needed.

    EDIT: well may be 2 turns

  • VyolynceVyolynce Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Hmm. I'm not sure how I feel about this development (spoiler for after you face the 3rd Primal).
    Spoiler:

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