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Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (no not X)
« Last post by Electricb7 on Today at 11:31:41 PM »
Literally the worst waypoint/map system in any video game I have ever played.
Astonishing.
it's really not even that godawful. The only thing that grates on me is how the waypoints give inaccurate directions at times. Still have the map itself to show you where to be, and....though the secret areas are really secret at times.

The way points being inaccurate is the worst part. I had to look on youtube more than a few times just to see what the hell I was doing wrong. But it all starts with the blank no icons map. I shouldn't have to open menus to see one with more details. Its buried for no reason.
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I went back and watched the Phantom Menace to get the taste of Episode 8 out of my mouth.

Won't be watching Episode 9.
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Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« Last post by Dincrest on Today at 08:43:11 PM »
Well, you're going to have to, because LOTR made me "WTF?!?!" again in a not-good way. 

After the masterpiece Treebeard chapter, I'm now in the middle of the next chapter: The White Rider.  Early on in that chapter, Aragorn
Spoiler: show
manages to figure out exactly what happened to Merry and Pippin simply by perusing a leaf.  Look, I know Aragorn is a ranger and the most skilled tracker in the history of tracking, but I'm not buying this.  The level of clairvoyance Aragorn displays here is beyond even Gandalf's capabilities and last I checked Aragorn is no wizard and there's nothing in his lineage, as far as I can see, that would indicate he is any sort of magical being with wizard-level clairvoyance. 
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The Soundroom / Re: Favorite Albums of 2017
« Last post by Ramza on Today at 07:12:53 PM »
copy/paste from my own facebook feed...

Quote
*The actual time period here is Dec16-Nov17, so anything that comes out next month I will consider in 2018. I think this is similar to how many awards shows do it.
**This list does not include any kind of soundtrack (film/TV/game), or fully instrumental albums. (if it did, it'd just be NieR for all slots)
***List is ranked from 10 to 1, with 1 being my favorite of the year.

Please consider making your own list, or at the very least, responding and telling me how wrong I am!

10. "Divide" (Ed Sheeran) -- This is the obligatory 'add the album to your list to keep mom happy' item. (haha Cathy Gann!!). But honestly, Sheeran is a great musician, and he seems like a decent human. The new album has lots of good tracks on it. My personal favorite is "Castle On The Hill." It's nostalgia-fuel to create nostalgia-gold in your brain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0ibBPhiaG0

9. "DAMN." (Kendrick Lamar) -- I'll probably catch heat for this from some friends, but I thought this album was significantly less impressive than Butterfly. Honestly, I'd take the 2016 "Untitled Unmastered" over this, if only for the fantabulous "Untitled #3." Some songs feel ... over-produced. Heck, just look at the credits on wikipedia. Too many cooks spoiled the soup? ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damn_(Kendrick_Lamar_album) ) ... anyway, the big winner for me was the song and music video for "DNA." The lyrics are powerful, and the whole concept/conceit of the video is great. Plus, Don Cheadle. Also worthwhile to me are LOVE. and XXX. (U2, ferreal?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLZRYQMLDW4

8. "Hopeless Fountain Kingdom" (Halsey) -- I'll be honest. I wanted to rank this higher. But then, I also wanted what would have been "Badlands Pt.2" ... and that's not the album she was ready to make. There's a lot to love on HFK, but the recurring theme seems to be about failed relationships. And that can become tired territory, especially in the top40 radio scene that Halsey managed to break into (and honestly, bless her for having that opportunity!). The big radio hit "Bad At Love" sells the message best, but at least half the songs tell the same sad story. Another of those songs is "Eyes Closed," which happens to be my personal favorite off this album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LhN6E01Mkc

7. "Reputation" (Taylor Swift) -- Somewhere between herself and other creatives who contributed to this album, this is the closest thing to a truly thematic or "concept" album TayTay has dropped to date. And I really like it. In some ways, it's a kind of thematic cousin to Gaga's "Fame." This is an album about the projected versions we carry of ourselves and others, and how those projections do and do not overlap with the real ... if there IS an objective "real." For a mainstream pop artist to engage with the central themes of postmodern humanism so well, and in such a catchy way, is a valuable thing all its own. There's also a great blend of soft songs and intense pieces. For me, though, the best song remains the first single that dropped, "Look What You Made Me Do." Sure, the chorus is garbage (fun, syncopated garbage!). But the album's theme is most explicitly expressed in the lyrics and in the video... especially in the Taylors-chat at the end. Oh, and these lyrics!!! "Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tmd-ClpJxA

6. "Something To Tell You" (HAIM) -- Sophomore slump? I DON'T THINK SO! This sister-trio brings back all of the best elements of '80s pop and tosses aside the garbage. The whole album is produced in a way that says "shiny-and-new!" But it's not gross, saccharine, or over-produced. These three girls may not have the depth of lyrical content that some of the other artists on this list are packing, but that's okay... the *soul* of the songs are what hooks you as a listener. I don't usually appeal to the ephemeral in trying to sell someone on quality of music, but it's all I got. Yes, some songs are heavy on repetition (debut single "Want You Back" is especially guilty). But even that is awesome ... and its video, done as a single take in the early hours (4am, maybe?) walking the empty streets of LA (probably still cordoned off) ... incredible choreography. But for even more choreography, check out their latest video (linked below), for "Little of Your Love." Lead (?) vocalist Danielle is wearing a Stevie Nicks t-shirt, so, bonus points!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NJYWgb6dQM

5. "Everything Now" (Arcade Fire) -- Many critics and long-time fans have been badmouthing this album since its July 2017 release. And I just don't understand it. The most cogent argument I read for why the album "fails" is that in trying to push a message about hyper-consumerism and how vapid the world becomes in such an environment, the message and messengers are caught in their own trap. I think, however, such an argument takes a myopic view of the *annoying* tracks (like "Infinite Content" or alternate versions of "Everything Now"). Maybe they're not there to be enjoyed. I skip the the "Infinite Content" tracks when I listen to the album now ... but maybe that's the point? Being overwhelmed by the production of "content," first-world problem though it may be, is INDEED a problem. Gamers need only look at their Steam backlog (thanks, sales and bundles). The fact that I'm curating a top 10 albums for the year reminds us that thousands of new songs are published on the internet *daily* -- we cannot possibly hope to listen to all the recorded music in a single lifetime. This, too, is annoying! And for some, it can lead to despair. This is why I so very much value the album's twin-songs "Creature Comforts" and "Good God Damn." If you want to understand how and why I call these songs 'sisters,' listen for yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzwicesJQ7E -- CC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKew61xGaz8 -- GGD

4. "Planetarium" (Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, James McAlister) -- Sufjan and a crew of familiar names (especially McAlister, what an amazing percussionist!!) did a concept album on our lovely solar system. It's crazy good. So easy to get lost in this one. You really owe it to yourself to listen to the whole album in one sitting. But I'll give you a sneak peek (for your ears?)... the outro, the messenger, the closest planet to the sun, "Mercury." ~~~ "...and I'm ____"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmZKVOaTc68

3. "Pulses" (The Fast Feeling) -- Somehow, this one flew under the radar for Five Iron Frenzy fans. Which is a shame. But it's not too late! Go get this album. It's sick. What we have here is an electro-rock quartet starring Leanor ("Jeff the Girl") Ortega Till on lead vocals, drums by Andy V., lots of instruments and backup vox and composition by Scott Kerr, and one Matt Langston (not an FIF member, but still awesome) on keys and guitar. Pulses has 10 tracks on it, and they're all solid gold. This was the first album I heard in 2017 that I thought "this is top 10 material," and it held a solid spot as music flooded the market all through the year. Everyone needs to hear this. Below, check out track 6, "Sunnydale" (the song title is a reference to the hometown in Buffy, but I was informed that the song title was the working title in its instrumental form, and they never changed it ... title and Buffy reference do not have any bearing on the lyrics).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe9Iv-B2xFU

2. "The Upper Hand" (AllttA) -- So Mr. J. Medeiros and 20syl teamed up and dropped this album back in February. Since then, they've also released 9 songs sequentially over the past few months in their "Facing the Giants" series. But ferreal, if you didn't pick up "The Upper Hand" yet, and you even *remotely* enjoy hip-hop music, you need to check this out. Medeiros has always been an amazing lyricist -- he intuitively writes lines that he seems to know how he'll deliver on the track ahead of time, so he can vary the rhythm, meter, stressed syllables, everything. And Syl? That man makes some of the best music out there, especially in the Euro-scene IMO. For something smooth, check out "That Good Ship."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-HT1DZWJPg

1. "Native Invader" (Tori Amos) -- Is my bias showing? Look, this isn't Tori's best album. I don't know if she'll ever top Under the Pink, Scarlet's Walk, or even Boys for Pele (my personal top 3 in her discography). Nonetheless, Native Invader is a masterpiece. Originally intended as a man vs. nature album, Tori experienced two other major events during the songwriting process: 1) her mother's stroke, putting her in a non-verbal state and now requiring a high level of care; 2) Trump elected president. These things may, prima facie, muddy the waters of the original theme. Upon further listens, I found the themes beginning to harmonize, to call and respond to one another. Favorite songs here are "Cloud Riders," "Up the Creek," "Bang," "Climb," "Mary's Eyes," and the bonus track "Russia."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWNrdqkoQAs
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Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (no not X)
« Last post by Agent D. on Today at 07:12:51 PM »
Literally the worst waypoint/map system in any video game I have ever played.
Astonishing.
it's really not even that godawful. The only thing that grates on me is how the waypoints give inaccurate directions at times. Still have the map itself to show you where to be, and....though the secret areas are really secret at times.
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Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (no not X)
« Last post by Aeolus on Today at 06:48:03 PM »
@Aeolus Don't stop doing merc mission.  Points carry over to the next level even if you haven't beaten the quest yet and you need 20k for rank 5 eventually.  Takes a while.

I was wondering if I had asked this question earlier or not. Fortunately, I finally powered through the Rank 3 Quest quickly enough once I had some time to actually spend on the game (and not continue to be hooked on Tiger! Tiger!). Two levels are a hell of a drug in this game (it also helped that I targeted the Axe Guy first since the Lance Guy is more Counter Happy).

Also, I should recommend to everyone playing to buy the Deed for the Fabric Store in Merc Village ASAP as it provides an extra 5% boost to Running Speed. There's a ton of ground to cover in Chapter 5's territory and not very many Landmarks to quick travel to, so every little bit helps.
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Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (no not X)
« Last post by Mickeymac92 on Today at 05:51:06 PM »
Literally the worst waypoint/map system in any video game I have ever played.
Astonishing.

Aren't they fixing that, though? I know I saw an article on that somewhere...
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Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (no not X)
« Last post by Electricb7 on Today at 05:47:57 PM »
Literally the worst waypoint/map system in any video game I have ever played.
Astonishing.
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The Soundroom / Re: Favorite Albums of 2017
« Last post by Dincrest on Today at 04:54:51 PM »
And in looking to the future, I'm looking forward to the new Eluveitie album.  Thanks again to some of the folks here at RPGFan for introducing me to that band. 

Their single "Rebirth" (released two months ago) straight up scorches, particularly those guitar solos.  The band lost some prominent members (including vocalist and hurdy gurdy player Anna Murphy), but with a revamped lineup, including a powerful new siren in Fabienne Erni, this song "Rebirth" is the heaviest I've ever heard this band.  And I love it!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-pSq4MJmy8
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Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (no not X)
« Last post by ScottC on Today at 01:51:03 PM »
@Aeolus Don't stop doing merc mission.  Points carry over to the next level even if you haven't beaten the quest yet and you need 20k for rank 5 eventually.  Takes a while.
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