3 June - 9 June 2019: What video games are you playing this week?
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Tell us what you're playing, how much progress you've made, what you like, and what you dislike this week.

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Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2019
Video Games Ambivalently Continued by VGGers in 2019
Video Games Abandoned by VGGers in 2019

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1. Video Game: TEKKEN 7 [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:1581]
Video Game: TEKKEN 7
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Played through arcade mode a few times as various characters to get myself back into the Tekken style. Also customized a bunch of characters with Bullet Club shirts once I remembered that the game had New Japan Pro Wrestling gear.
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2. Video Game: NieR: Automata [Average Rating:8.18 Overall Rank:582]
Video Game: NieR: Automata
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I set aside Valkyria Chronicles for something with a faster pace. Automata looks fantastic, and the cinematic battles and camera movement work surprisingly well. I was surprised to see so many bullet hell style scenarios, but I'm okay with it.
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3. Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Unity [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:2296]
Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Unity
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Kind of in one of those transition phases where I'm not sure what game to really immerse myself in next. Perfect time for Assassins Creed!

(right?? laugh )

One of the things I enjoy most about this series is the post-prologue early-game, where breaking things is mostly a matter of figuring out how to sequence content in a way that makes your character hilariously overpowered in a short amount of time. Already done that. Still on Sequence 4, Memory 1, and my character has an income of 33k per hour and has already purchased the Gold Plated Pistol. For hand-to-hand combat, rocking the Gladius for now, which you can get by solving one of the murder mysteries. Those seem pretty cool - there's always some surprisingly above-average thing hidden away in these games, typically that isn't present in the others, and the murder mysteries may be it for Unity.

This game got a huge amount of flak for launching as a glitchy mess, but they must have ironed most of that out, because it seems more stable than most AC games. Off hand I'd say this is better than AC3, AC:Rogue, and AC:Syndicate. Although that's not a high bar.

Although fair warning: being an Assassins Creed game, it really beats you over the head and shoulders with the maximum possible stupidity for the first hour or so. Fortunately my wife was in the room, so it turned into some comedy time for us.

One thing I've never heard anyone say about this game, but that may be its best quality: early AC games include very little in the way of leveling/progressing/equipment. There is some, but mostly you have all the techniques (or get them early via the storyline) and learn how best to use them. The last couple of games go hard in the other direction, with strict level-gating.

Unity occupies an interesting middle ground. It has upgradeable equipment with huge differences, as well as putting some standard AC stuff behind a lite skill tree, but it's still true that if you actually plan and execute carefully, you can do high-level stuff while you are underpowered. That's a big win in my book.

Also, although this game predates the series shift to shamelessly ripping off Souls-combat, it also post-dates the series embarrassing phase of trying, and failing miserably, to copy Arkham combat. It's more or less its own idea, in transition between the two, and it's MUCH better than combat had been for quite a while. Another win.
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4. Video Game: Wild Arms 3 [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:2487]
Video Game: Wild Arms 3
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About 5 hours into this, level 16 party, fighting a boss who is easy to defeat but can inflict a status ailment that negates any experience gain for an individual character. So that's super annoying.

I'm tempted to call the story and character development here aggressively bad, but that usually implies some degree of coherence. Wild Arms 3... well, here's how I would describe it. It's like the developers responsible for building the game did not have a script at all. They just made scenes / dungeons / areas completely without narrative context, and then later gave it to a "writer." But it feels like, instead of any kind of paid professional, they gave it to a group of dorky smug teenagers, who thought it would be hilarious to mad-lib the dumbest possible jRPG-ish stuff onto each scene (and then feeding some of it through google translate for good measure).

It's all so stultifying, and so obviously without direction, that it's hard to be mad.

But at least with Wild Arms 2, you could really appreciate the good ideas that were present at a mechanical level. Most of those same ideas are here, but it feels like more work to get to them and experiment with them.

Honestly not sure how much I'll continue. I have this nagging feeling that I've already experienced everything worthwhile... just in WA2.
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5. Video Game: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:170] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Character: Geralt of Rivia
Andrew Hodkinson
Canada
Owen Sound
Ontario
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Want to settle into a single game this month, so I am trying this story arc. Watched the first Witcher (minus its combat mechanic) on Youtube. The library's ordered in the Witcher series, which I'd like to start in them this summer/fall.

I'm a little hesitant about the combat, given the first game, but from the tutorial it looks okay. Crafting looks okay too. Really I'm just looking for a good story in anticipation of playing Witcher 3 next year.
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6. Video Game: Mass Effect 3 [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:68]
Video Game: Mass Effect 3
Kevin J
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I haven't been playing a ton of games...I've been distracted by board games lately. I spent a bit of time with Mass Effect 3 yesterday, and have put in a few 30-45 minute sessions with Cosmic Star Heroine.

I bought Slime Rancher this morning for my girlfriend who will likely play it for 2 hours and then forget about it, like she does with just about every game that she gets super excited about.
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7. Video Game: Super Mario Galaxy 2 [Average Rating:8.41 Overall Rank:47]
Video Game: Super Mario Galaxy 2
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Minneapolis
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Clearing up some prankster comets and hidden stars.
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8. Video Game: Rocket League [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:281]
Video Game: Rocket League
Robert McLaughlin
United States
West Jordan
Utah
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Was doing really well with my teammate. He even offered to play some ranked matches with me- saying he was Diamond 2. Was very happy!

Then I miffed defending twice and lost us the game. blush

I think I shouldn't. I might cause him to rank down.
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9. Video Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:239]
Video Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
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Past 80 hours and exploring the Exalted Plains, the remains of a great battle-field. Enjoying spending some time with Elves finally, it's been mostly humans to this point. Been having some bad framerate drops. I wish they didn't put platforming in this game, it sucks. The frequent need to return to Skyhold to initiate War Room operations is also annoying.

I managed to get through Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts, which is a long Main Quests involving a Grand Ball. It was pretty bad and took me over 4 hours. And even then I didn't manage to get the political outcome I was hoping for. But Cassandra forgave me and enjoyed my poetry.

I really like having a voiced protagonist, one thing I missed in DA:O. The voice acting and script is good. Although I am not quite comfortable with him being "Your Worship, The Inquisitor". It feels forced.
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10. Video Game: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:611]
Video Game: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Gabe Hawkins
United States
Virginia
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I'm roughly 55 hours into the game, and I'm about 2/3rds of the way through the main missions (I think). This game has a lot of strengths, but it also has a lot of weaknesses, minor annoyances, and things that make me scratch my head. I can't say I haven't had fun -- that wouldn't be true. But the more hours I put in, the more I think the good and bad counterbalance themselves at best. This is a terrible Metal Gear game masquerading as a decent stealth action game. I'll definitely finish it, and I'm sure I'll have a handful of memorable moments, but it will be nigh impossible to wash the bad taste of a lot of this game out of my mouth. That said, the fact that "Metal Gear" is in the title is undoubtedly making me speak more harshly of its faults. Is that fair? Probably not, but it is, at the very least, reflective of my experience so far.
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11. Video Game: iRacing [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked]
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Gabe Hawkins
United States
Virginia
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A given at this point, though I wasn't able to play as much last week as I would have liked. Official races are only run at certain times, so it's easy to miss them if you've got things going on. I ran a race last night at USA International in the Street Stocks and had it won before a wrecked car backed into me. I was tired and frustrated, so I didn't even finish. Didn't play today either, but I'll be back in the saddle tomorrow.
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12. Video Game: Pokémon GO [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2606]
Video Game: Pokémon GO
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Catching Snorlax

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13. Video Game: Age of Wonders III [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:2546]
Video Game: Age of Wonders III
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United States
Minnesota
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‘Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said—’ the Hatter went on, looking anxiously round to see if he would deny it too: but the Dormouse denied nothing, being fast asleep. ‘After that,’ continued the Hatter, ‘I cut some more bread-and-butter—’"
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You know you've found a favorite game when it's all you ever want to play and you never tire of it.

Over the weekend, I was playing a medium-map game that got long, so I started up a small-map game and finished that one. Then I returned to the first game and got to where the end is in sight. But before I shut down last night, I started another small-map game and had trouble tearing myself away from it. Now, with an hour before I have to leave for work, I'm eager to get back into the medium-map game and see how much progress I can make.

Basically, if I'm not sleeping, working, running errands, or doing chores, I'm playing AoW3 all the time.
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14. Video Game: MediEvil [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:1102]
Video Game: MediEvil
Luke Jaconetti
United States
Simpsonville
South Carolina
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MediEvil -- PSOne Classics edition played on PSP. I got back to this game, which I had put down back before my vacation in April and had not picked back up. Took my several tries but was finally able to get past Scarecrow Fields, although I missed the Hall of Heroes, so I may have to do it again...
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15. Video Game: Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman! [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:4406]
Video Game: Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman!
Luke Jaconetti
United States
Simpsonville
South Carolina
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Wario Blast -- GB cartridge played on GBA SP. Put in several hours with this title, playing as Wario, tossing bombs and generally causing mayhem. I am up to stage 5-1, and have several special abilities at this point. Part of this was to check off the OG Game Boy for the multi-platform challenge, but also because this is a great pick-up-and-play cart.
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16. Video Game: Gunpey [Average Rating:6.17 Unranked]
Video Game: Gunpey
Luke Jaconetti
United States
Simpsonville
South Carolina
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Gunpey -- Wonderswan cart played on Wonderswan. Similar to Wario Blast, mostly played a bit on this game to build up some time on the Wonderswan, but this game -- where you flip tiles around to complete line segments and make them disappear -- is frantic and fun.

As an aside, I still need to add the WS version of Gunpey to the database, seeing as it is the original version! Plus I have the box and manual, so I can do some decent pictures.
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17. Video Game: Breath of Fire III [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:1475]
Video Game: Breath of Fire III
♬ Stephanie ♩♪♩♪♩ ♩♪♩♪♫♪
United States
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New York
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Went back to Syn City to find a massacre.
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18. Video Game: The Sims 3 [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:710]
Video Game: The Sims 3
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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I found an exploit which makes me mad. Apparently you can make thousands of dollars in tips on the subway. Playing anywhere else, I made a couple hundred, that's it. I think it's based on the amount of people who use the subway. I'm not really a fan of having an easy way to do things like that, but at the same time it got me the tips I needed to my guitar opportunity. She's now mastered the guitar skill, and is a Pop Idol. Work 3 days a week and make a ton of money for doing it. This will leave her enough time to master the painting skill and get her Lifetime Achievement.

Meanwhile, her daughter wants to be a director and has started on her way up the film track. She's also a writer and has been writing children's books based in the smash hit game YourCraft, and her last book was a hit.

Meanwhile, the pair of them are buying up businesses in town with the extra dough, which means a ton of weekly money, a good day job income, and book royalties.

I recently checked the value of the paintings on the wall. My original character, who has died, had a painting on the wall worth $9 when it was first drawn, and it's now worth just under $1,000. That's pretty neat, although ridiculous given the picture.

It's about time to adopt another child into the family, so Friday after work that will get done. I already built an additional room so that we can have 3 generations living in the house. I think I can fit a fourth, but I'm not sure I can keep up with that many people.
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19. Video Game: Endless Space 2 [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:2711]
Video Game: Endless Space 2
I lost my UC game on an 8p map. I probably would have done better if I allied with my opponents who actually beat me and forced me to abandon my home system. It was a humbling experience. I have kind of been off my game in general these days pretty much losing in board games and computer games everywhere. At least this Friday we have an RPG session with me as GM, I can't lose at that can I?
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20. Video Game: Enderal: The Shards of Order [Average Rating:9.03 Unranked]
Video Game: Enderal: The Shards of Order
Rudy
United States
No too far from Philly
Pennsylvania
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SPOOOOON!!!
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Enderal: Forgotten Stories - I love putting this up in the geeklist each week. It forces me to recall all the cool stuff I experienced.

Yesterday, I glitched my way into a snow-coated castle with a frozen door. It was on the edge of a cliff, so I was hopping around the backside, with certain death below me, until I found what looked like a missing section of the wall. But when I went through it, you could clearly see the outline of all the walls and objects that I was passing through until I made it to the courtyard. Then I proceeded to loot the place blind. But then I could not escape as the walls were not glitching and the exit was frozen. Good thing teleport scrolls exist. I have a feeling this castle is part of some quest later on. At least I've done all the looting already.

Edit: This game has stuff hidden everywhere! They really rewards you for exploring and going out of your way.

"I'm gonna climb up on this roof for no reason." - Loot
"I'm going to climb up this random mountain slope." - New quest item
"I'm going to go over here just because." - Secret found
"I wonder if they are silly enough to hide something over here." - Cool stuff
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21. Video Game: Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005) [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:280]
Video Game: Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005)
Sam K
United States
Arizona
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My son and I completed the Rise of the Empire campaign over the weekend. We'll probably play some more as time allows this week because this is still his favorite game to play (either solo or with me).
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22. Video Game: Civilization IV: Colonization [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:978]
Video Game: Civilization IV: Colonization
Sam K
United States
Arizona
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My wife is going back to school and is currently taking American History 1 (or the eqivalent - covers prehistory up to the civil war or so). She spent most of Saturday reading chapters covering the European colonization of the Americas which got me thinking how much I enjoy playing this game.

I started a game as the English (with John Adams as my leader) and got to about 1680 over the weekend. I'm hoping to have time to continue playing this week...it had an interesting set of developments: I allied with a set of natives near my first settlement, I had a very amicable relationship with the Dutch who set up a colony just north of mine, the Dutch declared war on me out of the blue but didn't do a whole lot of fighting (although my native allies took out one of their settlements). In this game I started my usual way - building a mega-colony but then I started to expand a lot (with most of it as inland expansions). I'm curious to see how well this setup works against the king when I declare independance in another 100 years or so.
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23. Video Game: Dauntless [Average Rating:4.25 Unranked]
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Osirus
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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Microbadge: Pebble of the Community - Always present, only occasionally kicked aroundMicrobadge: Dood!Microbadge: GameChat League - Swedish Meatball DivisionMicrobadge: Fallout fanMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner Knizia
I vaguely recall trying the early Beta of this a year or two ago with some other VGGer (Bobby? Wes? Ken?) and deciding that there wasn't enough to be interesting so I deleted it. But tonight I saw a local friend post about wanting someone to play this with him, and it sounded worth trying again...

Well, they've added a lot since Beta. While it's still a lot less complex/interesting/robust than other games of the genre (Monster Hunter/God Eater/etc.), it does have two main advantages:

1) It's free. Which not only means you can try it without paying, but your friends can play it with you without paying. (This is key, as I have God Eater which my friends don't, they have Monster Hunter which I don't, etc.)

2) The lack of complexity can be a point in favor for those who are looking for something a little more casual. It's quite easy to jump in and start hitting a giant beast on an island.

The one thing I'll mention is that it now only launches through EPIC, which meant to get my controller working I had to do an hour-long raindance eventually involving adding both the Epic Launcher and Dauntless Game to Steam, in order to get my controller config loaded. But, now that it's loaded, the controller works, and certainly running around is more fun with a controller.
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24. Video Game: Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1431]
Video Game: Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
Robert McLaughlin
United States
West Jordan
Utah
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Crispy bacon! Tasty Bacon!
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CAPITALISM HO!

So now that I've done murdering demons, let's take a break from wrath and move on to a different deadly sin - er... I mean, let's choose something with a much different pace. I'm having fun with this so far, but I'm having very little luck selling above 130%. I know I can haggle down, but very few seem to take me up on it.

Also screw the broke little girls. They never bite above 116% it seems. Go be poor somewhere else!
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25. Video Game: Final Fantasy XII [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy XII
Chris
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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It is my firm belief that little puppy dogs named Mr. Poopytime will bring our country together!
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More of this. It's surprisingly easy to pick up and play. I did a deep dive into the Zertinan caverns and learned that actually that is a bad place to go. Nonetheless, I picked up a few nice things (the tortoiseshell choker is... a realllll interesting item which I don't think I can handle but is definitely a curious idea).

I did three more hunts (one purely by accident, I forgot about it completely) and think I can probably finish all the non-elite hunts I have pretty easily (despite some poor decisions I made on one of them).

I also moved past the plot points at Bur-Omisace (which of course was the perfect time for some hunting and exploring). I'm 45 hours in and there is no end in sight. Based purely on the fact that I have 2 available flights of 6, I'm guessing I'm about 1/3 of the way through the game, but I really have no idea. In any other game the long march to Archadia would be like - the end of the game. But I feel like I have a lot of places to explore, and a few areas that are just out of my reach, or perhaps I've just become powerful enough to survive (see Zertinan, to some extent, where I poached some reaaaaaal nice stuff).

Given the number of espers I have, though, it would seem like I'm miles from the end (though I got only one recently and the second wasn't too far after, and I know where a third is). Where could they all be?

I'll have to come by and post my current class situations in a bit. I feel like there are some clear choices that I should try to avoid but couldn't, and others that just don't maybe make sense, and some that are weird (Ashe is a bushi and an archer, but is as good at healing as Penelo) and I really could spend hours just fiddling with a character's skills because it's just engaging (I am well reminded of how I could have spent forever fiddling with materia as well). I am fully captured by this game.
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