Like the title says. What are your impressions so far?
-I'm only on the Save Azurill mission, but I'm already liking it. The game plays just like the first MD, which is great.
-I like the graphics. At first, I was like, "oh, these are just like the original", but then I started noticing how the sprites are shaded and a little smoother. It's really subtle, just like D/P vs. the RSE/FRLG graphics. Also, the game art on the start screen is quite beautiful and impressive. I wish more video games would make an effort to include features like that, instead of making you unlock an art gallery. It's the little things that count.
- The story is pretty cool. I like how my character has a kind of geomancy Dead Zone/Land of the Blindfolded thing going on, where they see the future simply by touching something. Pretty deep, by Pokemon standards. Also, NoA did a great job localizing it. And some of the dark humor in the village also surprised me.
"It's called Tasty... because that's how I think Staravia might think of me later."
"Your money will rest here in peace... forever, if you want."
-The characters. I think they have a lot more personality this time around. Loudred is annoying, the partner is cute, Wigglytuff is... interesting... and Chatot reminds me a lot of Iago from Aladdin. I like the shopkeepers, too. Duskull running a bank? Much as I loved Felicity Bank last game and its little Persian sprite, I must say Duskull Bank=pwnage. I was a bit disappointed, however, that the pink Kecleon Brother this game isn't as flaming as he was last time. Did NoA really feel there was that much need to tone him down?
-For those who haven't read my thoughts over on Habunake's thread yet, a big kudos to PUSA for actually giving us a DECENT preorder gift this time. The Explorer's Guide is very impressive, and it would have been good as an artbook even without the developer interviews and Ken Sugimori comic. A little decent binding and design and a slipcover go a long way towards making a decent impression. I hope this trend continues.