Blood of Bahamut: Facing Gigant

By Laura . August 24, 2009 . 1:00pm

image A dragon flies over the sea of clouds, wings flapping thrice before alighting on some nearby ruins, the only inanimate platforms that rise over the mist as far as the eyes can see.  A light shines and suddenly, in its place stands a human, only a fraction of his original size.  He brandishes his (relatively enormous) sword at the monster before him.  Who happens to be the appropriately named Gigant, the one-armed giant.

 

And so the battle takes off in Blood of Bahamut.

 

The first mission is fairly simple.  But first, a quick tutorial on the controls.  Moving is done either by using the touchscreen or through the buttons.  I say “buttons” because, really, this game is apparently made so that both right- and left-handed people can play the game comfortably.  How thoughtful of Square Enix.  Both the D-pad and the face buttons allow you to move around.  Pressing the L or R button (again, depending on your handedness) causes you to dash, or you can just drag the stylus quickly across the screen.  On the other hand, the only way to use techniques is to press the corresponding icons on the bottom of the touchscreen, and basic attacks are done by poking the enemy with your stylus.

 

Now that that’s out of the way, the goal of the first mission is to destroy the core on the right hand of Gigant.  Ibuki is restricted to one platform, which is still very long, while Gigant proceeds to throw enormous stones at you.  If you provoke the giant enough (for some odd reason that defies all laws of space, tapping Gigant, who is very far away, will cause you to sometimes slash, which will somehow hit Gigant and irritate it), it’ll come up and try to slam its hand down on you.  Guess what you do then? 

 

image Yep, jump on its hand and proceed to slash its core to bits.

 

You are then introduced to the rest of the cast, who are with you for a myriad of reasons.  They will be described more in detail in the next piece, but for now, let’s just say that you can control whoever you want.  However, equipment isn’t shared, and neither is experience.  I’ve only used Ibuki thus far, to counter the under-leveling problem, so I will refer to the player character as him for the rest of the article.

 

By now, the formatting of the game is already quite clear.  There are several missions per boss, and the objective of each mission is to somehow work towards “putting the monster back to sleep” (read: killing the monster), whether that be destroying a core or running from one end of the platform to the other to get to a teleportation device so you can get to a platform closer to Gigant.  The final mission in the chapter is a long battle in which you finally take the colossus down.

 

image Each mission has a time limit.  Usually, this is 15 minutes, although with the final boss it’s 30.  Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, except in later missions the platforms become flooded with groups of smaller enemies that you have to kill.  Sometimes, even, these guys are resurrected with a flash of Gigant’s eyes.  The plus side to this all is that every time you attack, you regain a bit of health, not to mention the enemies sometimes drop HP and MP recovery balls.

 

Of course, while the small guys are giving it their all to kill you, there is still the, literally, biggest threat looming in the background.  Stay still for a second too long and a boulder (also several hundred times your size) will come flying at you.  If you’re close to the monster and it notices you, be prepared to dodge swipes and slams.  Later, Gigant will also jump, causing shockwaves that will damage you no matter what you do.

 

image Nevertheless, despite all of its efforts, Gigant was still a fairly easy boss.  The missions basically hold your hand through the fight, so you aren’t too overwhelmed by the sudden presence of this creature several thousand times your size, or perhaps even more.  In fact, despite the giant’s constant, occasionally dangerous, presence through the first set of missions, the smaller enemies proved more of a threat because they gang up on you the moment you give them a chance.

 

As expected, the final battle was indeed harder than the rest of the missions thus far.  You are now expected to dwindle the boss’ HP gauge down to nothing in 30 min when you have nothing but a sword.  Granted, you can swipe at the core on his head for easy damage, but after a while that breaks, depriving you of your one easy way to deal damage.  The only way left, really, is to just continuously slash at Gigant, dealing small “chip” damage.

 

While it’s nice that he’s capable of being defeated this way, I feel that it was kind of a disappointment that I didn’t really have to rely on any strategy other than “dodge the big flying boulders” to beat the boss.  After all, these guys carry countries on their backs.  You’d expect them to put up much more of a fight.

 

image (Although, really, after getting to Fenrir, I’ve discovered that it really is just Gigant being easy.  Fenrir has a fun lightning attack that saps almost all your HP in one go, leaving you easy picking for his little minions.  Damn him.)

 

While the controls are a bit clunky because of the heavy reliance on the touchscreen, not to mention the questionable accuracy when it comes to pinpointing when and what you’re poking at for Ibuki to attack, the game plays smoothly.  What I like is that the techniques, while they can’t be spammed because they have a set recovery time, are powerful enough such that you actually will use them. 

 

They’re not just a superfluous addition (“because all other RPGs include them!”).  The only problem I had really was the under-leveling, but the game allows you to replay old missions for easy EXP.  This also lets you pick up more loot, which you can sell – as your only source of income in the game – or combine to form equipment. 

 

Look forward for the next article, which will go more into the actual story, the characters, and the other features of the gaming system.


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  • Advent_Andaryu

    I played it for a good bit also, and I really like it! It’s different and fun, and offers some epic music.

    Only problem I had was the controls, it was difficult at some times, especially since you have to use the stylus. I really wish they included an option to map the buttons to attacks, etc.

    Other than that, I can’t wait to play more! Kudos to Square Enix for making a brand new series, and a brilliant spin on a classic genre.

  • QBasic

    I’m prolly gonna get stoned for this….but I hated the *shit* out of this game. Didn’t piss me off quite like Bleach 4th Flame Bringer, but pretty darn close.

    To me, it just feels the execution was lazy. That, or it’s one of those….”communist” things. Communist as in…good on paper, not so much in execution…

    • Aoshi00

      I don’t your opinion is of the minority, from the reviews I read on Amazon Jpn, seems like most people don’t like the game either, due to non-responsive control and difficulty playing on one’s own (w/o a friend for co-op). Jpn gamers seem to be w/ you as well on DQ9 being sucky.

      I like the epic music too, but I have a feeling I would not like this game. Don’t think I would have the patience to go back to old missions leveling up in order to tackle new ones.

      • MadMirko

        Not that I challenge any points about this game (haven’t played it yet), but Amazon reviews? Going by those, DQIX is the worst game ever (lol).

        And yet more people than ever bought the game, and it shows more “legs” (=continued sales, instead of selling a lot when it came out and then fizzling out) than other titles. That means word-of-mouth is favorable, and not what Amazon reviews would indicate.

        • Ereek

          I’m pretty sure the Amazon DQIX review bomb was done by 2ch. You can’t take their opinion as the majority, just as you can’t take 4Chans /v/ as the majority opinion in English.

          And, since someone mentioned it, how “bad” is Blood of Bahamut’s single player? Why is it bad?

          • Aoshi00

            I never thought it’s a conspiracy or anything. I usually check out review from general users on Amazon Japan for some imports that I’m on the fence, like Fragile, Disaster Day of Crisis, etc. And usually I share the same conclusion as those reviews. Sometimes I read the reviews afterwards just to see if people think the same as me. Or if I’m stubborn and just don’t listen, like Tenchu Shadow Aassassins Wii, then I waste my money, lol..

            For Blood of Bahamut, I read the stylus control is not too responsive like you would have a hard time hitting the desired targets, like you want to hit the boss, but ended up hitting the goons that swarm at you. Also the bosses are tough for single player, like you can’t progress normally unless you go back to previous missions to level up, that’s a turn off to me. My concern was if this game would be fun playing on your own, if so much focus was on multiplayer to begin w/. At any rate, the general consensus seems to be it was unpolished and poorly made, and I have no reasons to doubt it after reading a dozen of detailed reviews.

            For some games, I like to hit up both Amazon Japan and US just to see how different Western and Jpn gamers think, and surprisingly more alike than you think :)

        • Aoshi00

          DQ9 could very well be the worst to some since it’s the first installment w/ multiplayer, I can only imagine the narrative would take the backseat and suffer a bit.

          Problem is DQ is a famous enough brand that doesn’t depend on word of mouth. People will flock to buy it simply because it is the latest installment no questions asked, like FF. Unlike an IP, which could be killed by negative reviews and go straight to bargain bin, and sometimes rightfully so if a game is truly bad (ie Sigma Harmonics). For DQ, S-E banks on the nostalgia factor, any lackluster effort going into it wouldn’t affect the sales one bit. They even have this catchy marketing phrase “DS de DoraKue”, like telling people they’re stupid if they don’t play DQ on a DS.. Or it’s like Mario Kart, it will sell no matter what even though the Wii version sucked..

          Personally I find Amazon’s reviews to be a very useful helpful reference, having the most favorable pitting against the most negative review, and I would check out the latest ones by date. For some games, you just love it or hate it, and I could usually tell which review is more in line w/ my taste (should’ve read reviews again before buying Vagrant Story for 600 yen, now I know why I gave up on that game 10 years ago, micromanagement and mundane dungeon crawler is not my idea of fun, but it could be for some)

          EDIT: or like FF12, Jpn gamers seem to be split by the gambit system while US gamers generally liked it more because of their preference for MMORPG. I’m sure its sales was good too, despite the so-so Amazon Jpn reviews (contrary to Famitsu’s high score). Again, I just find the opinions from general users quite valuable. I was one of those who did not like FF12, but I still bought it on day 1 for $90 because it was FF.

          • Joanna

            what do you mean mario kart wii sucked? I liked the game. T^T
            I agree with your method though, I often do the same thing, compare the horrible reviews with the good reviews, and see whether I would like the good things or be turned off by the bad things.

            DQIX actually sounds like something I would like (little story, more focus on customization), so I hope it gets released here. Bahamut, I’m not sure about. I would probably have fun with the game, but those minor annoyances would probably prevent me from really loving it.

          • Aoshi00

            Mario Kart Wii was okay, but it just wasn’t that fun and I haven’t played it after the first week, my friend felt the same too. I don’t know, I remember playing all the past Mario Karts for years, SNES, N64, GC, or even the GBA one, but this one feels really bland, can’t quite put my finger on it. But my point was people would buy the new installment irregardless or quality since it’s an established franchise.

            I prefer a deeper story and am not too big on customization, so I guess I’m more similar to those who didn’t like DQ IX. They should do a flagship on a console anyway after the awesome VIII on PS2, this DS iteration seems like a quick cashcow before the imminent X.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/hodr Antlos

    I’m so glad when people actually remember of left-handed people :P
    The same was done with the The World Ends With You and it sure came very handy.
    Until now I really enjoyed what I’ve read, but I’ve got too many queued games to play and so little time. Guess I’ll have to wait a while until I put my hands on this one.

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