2. General hints and tips
As soon as you start, the game tells you to open up your journal by pressing Start. The Journal is made of different pages which tell you:
- The current task (the Journal itself)
- Stats: Quest Items (story-related objects necessary to proceed: if you have them, they're displayed here), Health Upgrades (get six of them to add a segment to your health bar), Power and Secrets (see below)
- Move Points: this menu allows you to view and redistribute the Power points among your three skills (Combos, Ranged, Special) to increase or decrease the power of a specific type of attack
- Combos: this allows you to view the combos available with your current "Combos" skill level
- Options: self-explanatory
- Quit: shortcut to the title screen menu
The "Power" is a gauge which you fill by collecting yellow orbs. The yellow orbs are found widely throughout the game, mostly by defeating enemies, destroying common objects (crates, etc.), and also in the silver treasure chests. Every time you fill the Power gauge you will "level up" your characters (every character). After every level up you can spend another point to upgrade their three skills: Combos, Ranged, Special.
Each of the three skills has a range of power from 0 to 3, which means you need a total of 9 Power points to max-out your characters' skills. You can redistribute the skills of a character in the Move Points menu of your journal. From the most useful to the least useful, you should upgrade Ranged, then Combos, then Special.
The Ranged skills are the most powerful and effective in combat, and they typically increase the area of effect and add a "stun" effect to your ranged attacks (those you make when you press B). In order to make your ranged attacks more powerful you have to hold B to charge the ranged attack, and then release when you "hear" that the charge is finished (you hear a sound and you also see a sort of "maxed out aura" around your character, like if he/she has finished gathering the strengths to attack).
Upgrading the "Combos" skill is not a priority because your charged ranged attacks are usually a better choice in fight, although in the later Chapters of the game it starts to become important to perform quick "stun" combos to interrupt the stronger enemies' attacks. The best combo for every character is the XXB combo (this combo needs to be unlocked by spending a few Power points on the Combos skill), since it's a quick combo that stuns the opponents. An opponent is stunned when you see some yellow stars above his head, and he can't act for a few seconds while in this condition. It's possible to stun an opponent continuously with multiple stun-combo attacks, thus scoring an easy victory (if he's always stunned he can't hurt you). Note that bosses cannot be stunned.
The Special attacks of your characters are rarely if ever used in the first five-six Chapters, but they become important especially in Chapter Seven, where the strongest and largest fights of the game will ensue. The Special attacks are those performed by pressing RT, and they are possible only if you collect a "Special Attack Card", as I call them. A character can hold up to three Special Attack Cards at once, and every time you use a Special attack with that character he will consume a Special Attack Card. Special attacks are particularly useful against large groups of enemies, and they will often instant-kill all the enemies around you (for example casting a tornado on them). They are basically useless in boss fights though.
There are some cheat codes available. You can input them in the "Code Entry" menu (press LB from the title screen). Here they are:
- Double Damage: 90210
- Unlimited Special Attacks: 66206
- Unlimited Health: 65049
- Max Level: 89121
- 1 Hit Dishonor (i.e. one-hit-kill): 28260
The PS2 version of the game (possibly also the versions for other consoles), unlike the x360 version, also has these two other cheats available:
- All Bonus Games (i.e. every character unlocked in Combat Arena, every Boss Battle unlocked, every Appa Adventure unlocked): 99801
- All Gallery Items (i.e. every Image, Audio and Movie unlocked): 85061
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