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Messages - Ramza

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General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2019
« on: February 08, 2019, 11:25:17 PM »
So far in 2019 I've beaten the Dusk trilogy: Ateliers Ayesha, Escha&Logy, Shallie. All "Plus" versions (Vita).

Not sure what will come next. Probably Octopath.

What about it appealed me? Something like what Alisha said, but in reverse. I LOVE having playable female characters. All female character parties are awesome! I loved FFX-2.

So I actually waited awhile to start FFXV because I didn't really have motivation to start. From the time it switched from VsXIII to XV, I had low expectations. I had heard all the jokes about bromance road trips and boys' club whatever-ever, and how Lunafreya was a non-entity. So ... perhaps the low bar I had set in my mind is a big part of what made me enjoy it.

But honestly ... I really *did* like Noctis' friends. Noctis himself ... meh. But I quickly came to appreciate each of the other guys for who they were. Keep in mind, I went into this game like ... a month ago. So I had all expanded content and DLC.

Gameplay: I loved the combat. I loved all the side quests. I loved the world itself. I loved driving and listening to classic FF tunes. I loved that crazy bonus dungeon "Pitioss" -- puzzle platforming insanity.

I cried during the events of Ch. 9. I *didn't need* to know what fueled the romance between Noctis and Luna. I've seen enough media. They give you enough to get the point. Playing that dual role of fiancee and world-healer Oracle, that was interesting. Feel free to call her one-sided, but her strength and resolve explains itself. I loved the idea that while I played my part, there was someone else playing their part across an ocean.

Ardyn is a weak villain. Prompto's "reveal" could have been handled better. But I still loved the ending.

And finally ... Cosmogony. Giving *specific* story roles to those six traditional FF Eidolons/summons was fantastic. They've never been so large, looming, and daunting before IMO. They also haven't had this much personality (to my knowledge) since FFVI.

I will say ... having gotten all available trophies ... the "Comrades" multiplayer is not fun.

I could've lived without a Noctis DLC (I mean ... didn't we just play the whole game as Noctis?). But I was very hopeful for Episodes Aranea & Lunafreya. Sigh...

Hopefully the Ardyn expansion makes for a decent prequel.

I honestly enjoyed this game a great deal.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Romancing SaGa 3 on Vita!
« on: September 20, 2018, 11:11:26 AM »

Necroing this thread because the ball is finally rolling on this. Sadly, it'll be 2019 before Japan gets it (so we'll be lucky to get it before the end of the decade), but at least its coming to all the systems (and the Vita too, even though its dead Jim (and has been for months)).

Meanwhile, they're apparently working on another mobage SaGa title that I have zero interest in.

I'm so glad about RS3. Like, crazy glad.

As for Vita production ending ... it's not quite dead yet. I had to install a system/firmware update last week on it, so ... they're still paying some attention. And games are still being published. It's just ... on life support. Or in hospice, or something. :P

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best non physical Switch rpg
« on: July 26, 2018, 03:11:15 PM »
Romancing SaGa 2.

I have my biases. To that end, I totally agree with this statement. ^_^

The theme song has been out for awhile. But with the E3 conference confirming the official release date of Jan29, 2019, I'm getting more and more psyched about KH3.

I gotta say, I am FALLING IN LOVE with Hikaru Utada's new theme song "Don't Think Twice" ("Oath" or "Chikai" in Japanese). With all the non-numbered KH games released, they've been getting by on remixes of "Hikari" / "Simple&Clean" and "Passion" / "Sanctuary" for a loooooooong time. Utada had been inactive in recording new music for awhile there. And it's rather fortuitous that she decided to get back to writing and recording new music just as KH3 is *finally* coming out.


I think I prefer the English version so far ... which is strange, because I definitely prefer the Japanese versions on KH1 and KH2.

But, if KH3 follows tradition, the version we've been given here is the "slow" or "original' version that will be used during intense emotional moments and/or end credits. There may well be a pumped-up fast-tempo remix for the intro that we haven't seen yet. After all, the game's intro sequence probably won't be revealed for some time (though if they play it *at* E3 I will lose my mind).

What do you all think of the new KH3 theme song?

RPGFan Music Discussion / Re: Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom OST
« on: June 01, 2018, 10:28:16 PM »
I love Wayo records. I have multiple prints from them, if only to save money compared to the Japanese version. Legend of Legacy, the firs NnK, a few others. I will probably pick this up as well, next paycheck. :)

Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:12:03 AM »
There was indeed a Cho Aniki JRPG, on WonderSwan.

I reviewed the soundtrack for it too. :)

General Discussions / Re: PS4 or Vita?
« on: April 26, 2018, 12:14:08 AM »
they are not making games for vita anymore really. In the us anyway.

It remains a great outlet for Visual Novels. :)

The Soundroom / Re: Annual soundtracks of the year?
« on: March 23, 2018, 11:03:13 PM »
Yo. The upcoming thing Neal's talking about? It's so legit. You'll love it. :)

I love posting in this thread I made.

Here, I wrote about every single piece of music published for the TV Anime. And also mused more about why I love this show so much...

RPGFan Music Discussion / NieR Automata Arrange album -- too good!
« on: February 12, 2018, 09:00:17 PM »
Haven't self-posted in awhile. But um...

This. You should be listening to this. Track 10 is crazy good. Most of the tracks are crazy good.

(the unreleased disc, however, can generally be ignored. Unless you think it's fun to listen to the CEOs of Square Enix and Platinum Games saying stuff to the rhythm of a song).


because Amazon discontinued their premium channel "Anime Strike," Scum's Wish is now available to all Amazon Prime users at no additional cost.

So like ... go watch it. Seriously.

Also ... I picked up the Japanese DVDs for vol.4 and vol.5 because they contained the OST as bonus CDs (in two parts). I also picked up opening and ending theme singles, LE version with DVD music videos. I will probably write reviews of all this on Original Sound Version. Because um ... the music is part of what makes this TV Anime so amazing.

The Soundroom / Re: Favorite Albums of 2017
« on: December 16, 2017, 07:12:53 PM »
copy/paste from my own facebook feed...

*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.

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? ( ) ... 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?)

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.

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!"

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!

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: -- CC -- 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 ____"

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).

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."

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."

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