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Messages - Grainofariver

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1
Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best non physical Switch rpg
« on: July 25, 2018, 08:17:47 PM »
I have played exactly zero Switch games but everyone who has the console should be playing Octopath right now, so...
Dunkey said Octopath was bad, so it's just a dumb game for anime kids.
Actually Octopath just doesn't appeal to what I'm looking for in a JRPG, both with its separate character stories and the heavy call-backs to Squaresoft's style of JRPG (which I've never particularly enjoyed). I think it's definitely taking the right approach in making a retro-styled game. Contrary to something like I Am Setsuna, it's using the older style as a jumping-off point rather than feeling trapped by it. I think I mentioned once that a game based around trying to emulate an older game has already missed the point, since older games weren't trying to emulate anything. Octopath may have similarities to retro games, but based on what I played of the demo, it's very much its own thing. To that end, I'd still suggest it over something like I Am Setsuna or Lost Sphear (both download only I think?) if that's your cup of tea.

As to the original post, sorry, but indie/lesser known games aren't my area of knowledge. I checked Metacritic, and the highest rated RPGs are Stardew Valley (?), Crypt of the Necrodancer, West of Loathing, and Darkest Dungeon, which are coincidentally all downloadable titles. Can't speak to any of them personally, but it might be a starting point if nothing else has stood out.

2
Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best non physical Switch rpg
« on: July 25, 2018, 12:55:55 AM »
yes, its Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Considering I own a physical copy of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, I'd say that doesn't qualify.

I'm not sure what titles are download only. Is there a specific reason you need that?

3
Hopefully though we can all come together and mourn the loss of Camelot, forever resigned to making tennis and golf games after somebody thought it was a good idea to try and cram the content of two 20-35 hour games into a single 15-20 hour experience.

I won't mourn Camelot since their 20-35 hour games tend to end up like Beyond the Beyond or the Golden Sun games more than anything.


However, I will mourn the unfortunate passing of the OG Shining series artist Hiroshi Kajiyama (also Suikoden V's artist Kaori Fujita; goddamn this has been a rough year).

http://www.siliconera.com/2018/07/19/the-suikoden-v-and-golden-sun-illustrators-have-sadly-passed-away/
I enjoy Golden Sun and TLA, though I have no idea what the hell they were thinking when approaching Dark Dawn. I nonetheless wonder whether or not they are happy, going from Shining Force and Golden Sun to exclusively sports games. Seems a sad fate to me, but then, different strokes: might be they just really enjoy golf and tennis.

Cancer is the worst. From what I've gathered, Fujita didn't do any video-game work outside of Suikoden V, so that must've been one hell of a deep end to start with. All things considered, I think she did a pretty good job, even if the MC looks like a dingus.

4
I mean, it's not like Phantasy Star even remotely resembles the turn-based JRPGs it began as, so it's not like Shining Force is the only franchise that got completely altered for the sake of financial gain.
Uh, except Phantasy Star afterwords was both consistant, and good.
I respectfully disagree. Better than Shining I'll give you, but I don't think Phantasy Star has produced anything particularly stand-out since the original PSO.

Hopefully though we can all come together and mourn the loss of Camelot, forever resigned to making tennis and golf games after somebody thought it was a good idea to try and cram the content of two 20-35 hour games into a single 15-20 hour experience.

5
I mean, it's not like Phantasy Star even remotely resembles the turn-based JRPGs it began as, so it's not like Shining Force is the only franchise that got completely altered for the sake of financial gain.

6
Well, now that I finished right at 24 hours, I want to give two final thoughts.

Firstly, I want to share my experiences in a late-game encounter. During this encounter you play as two characters fending off multiple waves of enemies. Since back-up party members don't receive exp, they were levels 35 and 40, up against enemies leveled 55-62. Not only is this an awful practice in ANY game, it was almost enough to make me quit. I decided to give it one more go after turning the difficulty down to easy, and after burning through every single healing item in my inventory, found myself facing against the level 61 armour that served as the final battle.

This is where things got interesting, because it actually wasn't a bad fight. All of his moves were telegraphed, giving enough time for my slow character to get out of the way (I had the other party member set to hold back and heal). I discovered that blocking just before a hit nullifies damage, so when I didn't have enough time to dodge around his shield side, I could still survive. The fight gradually developed a rhythm, and while simplistic, it was the most engaging battle in the entire game. The only thing ruining it was its insane amount of health, my abysmal damage output, and the frustration surrounding the entire situation.

This is Shining Resonance in a nut-shell: there is something here, but it's so buried beneath mediocrity that even 24 hours felt over-long.

Which brings me to my second thought: I have a hard time imagining a sequel. I don't mean the realistic viability one: rather, I just enjoy thinking about sequels as a thought exercise on finishing games. It makes me think about what aspects I felt were important/not-important, done well/needs improvement/removed entirely, and so on. For instance, Catherine felt like a good game that fell just shy of a must-play, and I'd love to see just one sequel to really flesh out those ideas. Radiant Historia, by contrast, felt like it executed its ideas perfectly the first time around, and I don't think it needs a sequel.

Shining Resonance though? I'm not saying that nothing good could come of it -- I'm not that pessimistic -- but it feels like the game doesn't have enough of a core identity to build off of. Even with more fights like the aforementioned armour, combat still needs a lot of work if it's going to rival Tales (even if it's doing its own thing). Characters and plot feel about on-par with the likes of Atelier, but unlike Atelier it doesn't have the unique alchemy system. It does have AN alchemy system which, along with tunnings and aspects, make-up the most unique traits... but even expanded I can't see them carrying an entire game.

Ultimately those two thoughts say more about my overall feelings than the myriad plus' and minus' I could bring up. I want to defend Shining Resonance because I don't get the cynical vibes that I feel from a lot of modern anime games, but at the end of the day it's mediocrity in a market where there's just too many quality alternatives. I'm glad that SEGA listened to the fans who have wanted a return of the Shining series in the west, but I can't help but feel it would have been better received in 2015, when Zestiria shoved Tales to the edge of the cliff Xillia and Xillia 2 were heading towards.

7
Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 17, 2018, 07:02:12 AM »
"Who cares apathy" would be me not even going to the school dance and sitting on the couch watching reruns because I convinced myself that school dances were pointless and girls were waste of time. 
But I absolutely convinced myself that school dances were pointless and girls (more like, relationships) were a waste of time. I spent my school dance hanging out with friends, playing video-games and having a blast. I've also never gone on a date in my life despite being 26. Myself and every one of my friends has divorced parents, and those members of my family who are still married are either miserable or have a relationship where one half utterly dominates the other. Not a single one of my friends has been able to hold a steady relationship, though attempts result in such madness that one attempted suicide (and was shortly after diagnosed as bipolar, so at least something good came out of it). They say you can't be happy with someone else until you're happy with yourself, but after years of depression I'm actually pretty gosh-darn happy with who and where I am, so why risk it?

Why you gotta keep bringing up these landmines, man?

(I'm kidding.)
(About being offended: everything else is true. I think relationships are fine, but I've seen it go horribly wrong too many times to even remotely touch it myself.)
(<3)

8
Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 17, 2018, 05:40:39 AM »
I think this:
Why bother localising Zero/Ao no Kiseki? We already have plenty of JRPGS.
Why bother making that Anthem game? We already have plenty of shooters.
Remember PT? Don't worry about it friend: you know how many horror games there are?
(Heck, why even bother making any video games when there's so dang many that most people have a backlog of things that they will never get to?)
is a straw man argument.  Was there anything said about apathy towards localizing anything?  Nope.  No nihilism here. 
As I said earlier, gratuitous sex and violence in video games will always be there.  So we get gaming news every so often that a few naughty games were toned down or denied localization.  Big deal.  There is plenty of unadulterated stuff out there to scratch whatever bizarre fetish itch you may have. 
Seems pretty apathetic to me friend.

In fact, looking at it now, I shouldn't have said, 'why bother localising/releasing', but 'who cares that X didn't get localised/released'.

9
At the end of the day it's such an odd game to talk about. Personally, I'm enjoying the goofiness. For instance, there are moments where you can talk to party members in town, and they ask you questions. Answer correctly and not only will little hearts will pop up, but the character will give you an item. When I answered elf-girl's question correctly, hearts popped up, she blushed, and gave me an item called 'magic nectar'.

I busted a gut, because the item is just a standard mana restorative (albeit a 100% one, further adding to the hilarity).

This doesn't sound hilarious though. This sounds like your typical harem scenario with the "subtle" double-ententes, that's maybe amusing if you haven't seen the other 1001 other exact same scenarios making the exact same "subtle" double-ententes. Hell, noted PS2/3 JRPG series Ar Tonelico not only did the harem scenario but went total ham on it, and compared to that, Shining whatever doesn't even compare. But that and the mediocre/not even Tales of combat are the legs it chose to stand on, and those stubby nobs can only manage to stand up into the crowd. Blending in. Getting lost in a sea of tepid mediocrity.

I forgot about this game between 2014 and 2017, managed to forget about it until its launch a week ago, and I'll probably forget about it in about a month or two, if that.
My point was that it wasn't a 'subtle' double-entente. 'Magic nectar' is a standard item, and it wasn't a date scene -- just a regular conversation. It was just a combination of coincidences that made it amusing. If it was intentional, it wouldn't be funny.

It's similar to how being able to destroy things as a dragon is funny, because I honestly cannot tell if the devs even remotely thought that through. They designed this combat system around breaking enemy's guards for massive damage, and even have multiple characters that you can control for different play-styles, then render it all pointless with the dragon. They limited the dragon by making it go insane after a period of time, but quickly give you the BAND option, which negates that time limit for a different, longer one that also buffs the whole party. The game itself even suggests that you use this strategy, which just further makes me wonder what was going through the dev's heads.

I guess what makes the game work to me is that it's trying so hard to be more, but it keeps getting slipped up by its own stupid mistakes. It has a plot and characters and gameplay that it takes seriously... but doesn't seem aware of how dumb, broken, contradictory, or tread-to-death it is. I mean ffs, the arc for the main character is that he's scared to use the power of the dragon... that you can literally use in every single battle from the start of the game.

It's this complete lack of self-awareness that makes the whole thing funny, at least for me. It's no DmC: Devil May Cry (which is, to quote a friend, "Truly 'The Room' of video-games"), but personally I'm still having enough of a good time to feel like it was worth the cost. Is it a good game? No: I never said that, which is why I wouldn't really recommend it to others unless they've totally exhausted everything else in the genre and are desperately in want for this type of game. Won't stop me from enjoying it my own way though.

Given the lack of an announcement, I doubt there's going to be a Shining Resonance 2, but SEGA is looking at their older IPs, so who knows what the future has for the franchise. I don't think you should ever buy a game solely for the chance that the next one might be better, but seeing as I'm getting a good laugh, discounted price, AND a chance for a localisation of the next -- hopefully better -- Shining game (hopefully Shining Force because for god's sake SEGA, throw those people a bone)? Nah, no regrets.

10
Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 15, 2018, 09:42:47 PM »
I feel like I'm being made to sound like I'm anti-creativity or anti-competition or something.  I've said repeatedly that competition is healthy...
You said a lot of things, so please don't think I just TLDR'd straight to this: I read your whole post. I just want to hone in on this because I think it might be the source for a lot of confusion.

Maybe you have said that competition is healthy many times elsewhere, but being that I only occasionally pop-up on these boards, I haven't seen those discussions. All I really had to go off of is what you said in the earlier posts, none which brought up creativity, competition, or "If I can't get what I want, I'll create it" until the second-most recent post (which was made while I was typing). I just went off of what you said at the time, and if that wasn't reflective of or was only a part of how you actually felt... sorry, I just don't know you well enough to fill in the blanks.

I said earlier that I don't care about Omega Z on a personal level: only the broader issues of censorship. I believe you should vote with your wallet (which is why I think MonCapitan is right to stop supporting the publisher, even if I don't personally agree with the reasoning), but how can you do so when there's nothing to purchase? Personally I do just that: if a publisher does a good, I make an effort to buy their game (I bought Shining Resonance in-part to support the future release of Shining games in the west). If the game is censored, I buy it used or borrow it from a friend to deny the publisher a sale. That said, with the massive rise in digital distribution, I wonder how much longer that will be a viable solution. When there is no used copy and borrowing from a friend involves taking the whole console, it becomes pretty dang hard to legally play the game while still refusing the purchase.

But that's a conversation for another day, yeah?

11
At the end of the day it's such an odd game to talk about. Personally, I'm enjoying the goofiness. For instance, there are moments where you can talk to party members in town, and they ask you questions. Answer correctly and not only will little hearts will pop up, but the character will give you an item. When I answered elf-girl's question correctly, hearts popped up, she blushed, and gave me an item called 'magic nectar'.

I busted a gut, because the item is just a standard mana restorative (albeit a 100% one, further adding to the hilarity).

Combat is another area where the game is competent, but underwhelming. There are special moves and enemies have breaking points that require different timing, so it does have some layers even if you're just gonna be mashing circle most of the time. The biggest win for Shining is that battles don't reminded of Tales. This is much slower paced and not really interested in combos, so it makes for a very different feel. It's more about your stats than your ability to dodge around an enemy. That said, every single boss fight can be easily won by transforming into a dragon and stomping the bejesus out of the enemy. I mean, I can fight level 58 enemies at level 30 with no trouble because it's so dang overpowered (and as of now, there is no 'higher difficulty').

If all of this sounds like 'damning praise'... it is. Even though I don't really get constantly reminded of Tales while playing Shining, I l still feel Tales does everything Shining does better (unless you're into dating your party members). Personally I've played Graces four times, Symphonia/Abyss/Xillia 1 three times, and Vesperia/Xillia 2/Zestiria/Berseria twice. I'm pretty well tapped out on Tales.

Shining Resonance isn't a *bad* game (so far), it's just a mediocre one. I think that would probably be my final opinion: if you're in the mood for this ARPG/JRPG-style hybrid and aren't yet burned out on Tales, go play Tales. If, like me, you've played Tales to death (and think Star Ocean is a depth of frustration and stupid choices), give Shining a try. It might not be the best, but at least it's different.

12
Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 15, 2018, 06:40:20 PM »
But for every door that closes, a new one opens.  So the girl I was crushing on turned me down when I asked her out because she's into someone else.  Yeah, I'll be heartbroken for a little bit, but I'll buck up and find new love.  There's a good chance the new love I find will be way better than the one I was crushing on. 

If some game I really really want doesn't get localized (and it has happened, particularly during the 1990s and 2000s), I cryass about it for a day or two, then shrug it off, move on, and seek out other games to tickle my fancy.  I pick and choose my battles.  I could bitch about the game I didn't get or enjoy the games I CAN get, especially if the stuff available to me is likely better.  The fool concerns himself with the 99 who say no.  The wise man had a great time with the one who says yes.  I'm blessed that I can do that with reckless abandon nowadays because we're living in an era of feast rather than famine; wholly unlike the 16-bit era when we were lucky to get a scant handful of JRPGs a year from, like, 1 or 2 developers.  Competition among games in most any genre is pretty ferocious so they all have to do something to garner someone's attention.  The gaming scene being so resplendent that there are MANY offerings from all kinds of developers big and small to cater to my desires.  So I don't need to put all my hopes on one pony.

And I'm also of the mentality that if I want my fix and my usual place to get that fix is unavailable, I sure as hell will find a way to get a fix because there are always several ways to get a fix that be better than what was.  I still think that one fanservicey JRPG not getting localized isn't going to hurt fanservicey JRPGs as a whole.  There are/were/and will be plenty out there because there is a market for it.  Omega Z may have been halted by the Decency Police, but the Criminal Girls games snuck by them (and the Criminal Girls are arguably even MORE offensive.)  With so many games out there plying that particular cringe-fanservice trade (and doing cringe-fanservice much better than Omega Z), the decency police can't keep up.     

No one likes being told "you can't have it."  Mom says, "you can't have X."  So instead of me trying to get X (because that's what Mom's so hyperfocused on me not getting and she's resolute about me not having it), I'll look for something like X that Mom doesn't know about.  That way, I win and get my "not X but just as good if not better," and Mom thinks she won because I succumbed to her demand and did not get X.  I guess I'm just a subversive snake.  Hey, The Great Wall of China did not keep out the Mongolians. 

At this point, though, I feel like I'm saturating any semblance of a decent point with gobbledygook and am willing to just "agree to disagree" and call it a night.
I'd have no problem with 'agreeing to disagree' -- I never figured I'd change any minds anyway -- but you said "The fool concerns himself with the 99 who say no.  The wise man had a great time with the one who says yes.". The way you use it places your stance in the position of the wise-man and my stance in the position of the fool. Don't you think it's a bit unfair to make a claim like that, then attempt to close the discussion before any rebuttal can be offered?

If it weren't for people, as you say, 'bitching' about not getting certain games, how would publishers know what to release? It's not like you can vote with your wallet when the game isn't even available for purchase. Shining Resonance got a western release because people badgered SEGA for years. The Tales series was nearly dead in the west, but fans kept 'bitching' and eventually managed to revitalise the entire franchise. We only HAVE so many JRPGs today because people cared enough to prove there's a market. I can think of several more examples where fan demand lead to localisation (Xenoblade Chronicles, anyone?). If you want to just take what's given and ignore the rest, that's your prerogative, but personally I want to explore the entire field.

Also you frequently use phrases like 'decency police' and 'better', but art is a subjective field. Are you deriding the quality of the game, the content of the game, or simply that the game is irrelevant in a saturated market? These are all very different arguments.

If you chose not to respond, that's fine: we can agree to disagree. However I think, given your phrasing, I'm at least entitled to this brief counter.

13
Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 14, 2018, 05:10:20 PM »
And I *still* think censorship alarmism is a bit of a straw man argument.  As I said earlier, gratuitous sex and violence in video games will always be there.  So we get gaming news every so often that a few naughty games were toned down or denied localization.  Big deal.  There is plenty of unadulterated stuff out there to scratch whatever bizarre fetish itch you may have.
Sorry, but I can't agree with this argument. To me it smacks of over-generalisation and can be too easily abused.

Why bother localising Zero/Ao no Kiseki? We already have plenty of JRPGS.
Why bother making that Anthem game? We already have plenty of shooters.
Remember PT? Don't worry about it friend: you know how many horror games there are?
(Heck, why even bother making any video games when there's so dang many that most people have a backlog of things that they will never get to?)

I think almost everything has something to offer. Even if it might not appeal to me, people who can get something out of it have that right as long as its not hurting anybody. I mean, I didn't care for Cannibal Corpse when I listened to metal, but wouldn't it frustrate you if their music WAS banned and my response was, "Eh, who cares: metal will always be there. Big deal. There's plenty of stuff to scratch that itch."? To put it another way, I live in Arizona, so we have a lot of Mexican restaurants. But each one is a little different: some have killer chimis, some have awesome tacos, others have some great enchiladas... Sure if one closes you can say, 'don't worry about it, there's plenty of Mexican restaurants' and not be wrong. That won't stop me from lamenting the loss of the unnamed hole-in-the-wall that had the best Carne Asada I've ever had.

The other problem I have with that argument is (and one I frequently see all the time in these debates): if it's not a big deal, why change it to begin with?

14
Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 14, 2018, 06:40:30 AM »
I obviously don't feel as strongly about the topic, but thanks for sharing. I appreciate the consistency at least, as I've never grasped why mass-murder is acceptable in media, but sexuality is the barrier that should never be crossed. I tend to be an 'anything goes' guy, but I at least appreciate the opposite, 'I want none of it' camp.

The death penalty is an interesting topic. On a personal level, I wouldn't WANT to spend my entire life in prison: I'd rather just be killed and have done. As you said though, it is unavoidable to kill at least some innocent people in the process: justice is never perfect, after all. At the end of the day, it's a very complex issue, and I'm glad to not be the one making the final decision.

15
Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 14, 2018, 02:40:25 AM »
You're entitle to that opinion, but this game has the player crossing the moral event horizon by molesting a clearly underage player.  As far as I'm concerned, Sony is totally justified in not approving the game over on this side of the pond.  If anything, I am annoyed this game was even made.  I have no problem with gaming addressing controversial content, but having the player engage in clearly unethical behavior is beyond the pale.

There's a part of me that's disgusted with the localization company to the point that I will never purchase any of the games they localize in protest over choosing to localize this trash.
If you truly feel so strongly about it, then refusing to support the localisation company is absolutely the right thing to do. I simply think people are autonomous and should have the freedom to purchase what entertainment they want and ignore what they don't, without the moral guidance of a business whose only interest is their bottom line. Personally, I was never going to purchase this anyway. Ecchi/H games don't interest me, so it's not like I have a personal stake in the matter beyond the ideological issue of censorship.

As for that ideological issue, mind if I ask what, to you, the difference is between this and, say, Grand Theft Auto for making the player do immoral things? I don't mean to put you on the defensive, I'm just genuinely curious why one is considered 'crossing the moral horizon', but the other is not.

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