The beginning – 10:45am
After messing around with a few options, I am told a tale of two big guys fighting each other for a few years until they both die.
Then what looks like a sequence from Starship Troopers plays out only with green robot things called Mechons instead of bugs.
Some guy with heroic hair and stubble pretty much kills everyone in his path and says some heroic things to rally his buddies, one of who looks like Hulk Hogan and is obviously the grizzled old man who is “too old for this shit” and one day from retirement.
I think he might die!
An ugly gremlin-faced man is talking to himself about running away.
I hope he dies!
He has joined us for the inevitable battle tutorial though.
The usual system of “press a to attack” is pretty expected but now I have been told about ‘Art Icons’: ‘Monado Enchant’ and ‘Monado Buster’?
Well, apparently, ‘Monado Enchant’ makes other weapons more effective against Mechons and ‘Monado Buster’ is a really powerful attack.
After beating a few more Mechon another cutscene plays out with our hero fighting far too many enemies, Hulk Hogan rescuing him in an old, grizzled guy kind of way and gremlin-face runs off!
When a huge enemy appears, the hero heroically sacrifices himself, gremlin-face appears to get killed and a big zoom-out camera shot reveals the game takes place on the bodies of the two giants from earlier!
One year later – 10:57am
There is now a cutscene of a slightly androgynous boy looking through Mechon wreckage.
He thinks he has found something good to make a shield with when it starts to shake.
A big guy with a beard appears out of nowhere to save him from what turns out to just be some kind of big hermit crab.
Lucky he was there really!
More battle training!
This time it is telling me about HP.
Shulk, which I assume is my character’s name, has ‘Back Slash’ and ‘Light Heal’ as his arts!
Apparently monsters carry full-sized treasure chests on them in this game!
I dunno where they keep them though, but I will not ask such silly questions in future.
A green barrier stops you escaping, which does lead me to wonder who sets the barrier up.
Again, no silly questions!
There is a caterpillar doing nothing more than eating some grass.
I decide to mercilessly slaughter it!
It is now dead. But we got a shell though, so that makes it better.
Another cutscene apparently voiced by the cast of Eastenders talks about the Monado and I get the feeling I may get to use it to save the world at some point!
On the way back to the village I see a tiny bunny thing.
I mercilessly kill it!
I see a dragonfly thing.
I mercilessly kill it!
COLONY 9 – 11:19am
After A LOT of merciless animal killing, we arrive at Colony 9, the village we must live in.
The beard guy has to stop off at HQ because obviously, with a beard like that, he must be a soldier.
I think it’s JRPG law or something.
My character has no beard so is obviously a bit of a nerd.
This is proven when I am asked if I am off to the “weapons research lab”!
I’ll show beard-face who’s a nerd when I get my hands on that super weapon and save the world!
Time to go shopping!
Some guy wants me to find him some small scales to make his kid some armour.
Despite my misgivings about children wearing armour, I agree to help.
I can get the scales from Piranhaxes?
What the hell are those? Piranhas with axes for faces?
If I find out that’s true I’m going to Piranhaxe that man’s face off!!
I talked to someone and got an achievement called “your first friend”.
I had to guess what Leopold’s job was then he told me!
He is rubbish at guessing games. I hope I get to punch him in the face later, then he can “tell me how it is” better than anyone else in the village!
I went outside the village and got killed by a bat!
I need to toughen up a bit.
“Gem Man” just gave me 2 gems to put in my weapons.
I hope they aren’t gems of “aggressive friendship” and “unexpected sleep” because he kind of looks like that kind of man!
Rosemary asked me to let her know if I know any eligible batchelors.
Rosemary seems a bit of a slag!
I found a wedding ring behind my house.
Then I met a man who asked me to find his wedding ring.
Damn, I’m good!!
FORTRESS – 11:45am
A cutscene with a guy with a stupid moustache shouting at soldiers.
The whole army looks a bit inept and hopefully won’t get in my way.
The soldiers have crashed some artillery into a house.
Oh, the silly, silly fools!
They mentioned something about needing a new cylinder.
As nobody in RPGs can actually do anything for themselves, I assume that will be left to me!
A soldier just asked me to kill a lake monster!
A lake monster?
I just got killed by a bat a minute ago!
How am I supposed to kill a lake monster!!
I’ll keep that one in my quest log for a bit I think!
WEAPON DEVELOPMENT LAB – 11:50am
Wooh, Hulk Hogan is back!!
He’s asking about the Monado.
He rubs it in by telling me that only the guy with heroic hair can control it but I have a feeling that may not be totally true!
There is a sepia-toned flashback.
Heroic hair man is hurt badly!
I think he might be dead now.
Hulk Hogan tells me I’m looking pasty then buggers off.
DUNBAN’S HOUSE – 11:54am
He isn’t dead!
Dunban is in bed with his heroic hair and shirt off, looking particularly toned for a man who has spent the last year in bed.
He seems a bit of a dick.
He dropped his spoon! What an idiot!
Now I’m playing as someone called Fiora.
I have to go give food to Shulk.
I think she likes him.
And I mean “likes” him, likes him!
Hulk Hogan just told me that Shulk will be over at Outlook Park.
That’s where the lake monster is!
This could go badly!
Off I go anyway.
OUTLOOK PARK – 12:04pm
Cutscene time again!!
There I am/He is, sat on a bench, being a bit emo!
A bit of awkward flirting commences.
Ah well, off back to the lab and now I have a second party member!
Bit more merciless animal killing I think, especially now as I have a vendetta against a particular bat!
Awww, they can have a “heart-to-heart” and talk about when they watched the sunrise together!
THERE’S A JUMP BUTTON?!! After an hour and a half I have only just found this?
WEAPON DEVELOPMENT LAB – 12:13pm
The stupid beardy soldier guy from before is in the lab and had a sneaky go on the Monado!
It ended as badly as you would expect!
Oops, after a bit of a knock on the Monado, Shulk is having some kind of weird flashback/dream/vision thing!
He isn’t hurt though, that’s a good sign for future usage!
He’s being pretty manly about it, shrugging it off like it’s nothing!
Beardy soldier guy has to go get the ether cylinders for the crashed machine.
Apparently where they’re kept is also the location of some big lizard monster’s cave.
Why do people keep things in stupid places in these sorts of games?!
And on that note, I shall leave it there for now!!
I might do some more on it later or just as general review if I find time to give it enough of a playthrough to do it justice!