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Messages - darcthelad

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I'm not the one denouncing the work of others before giving it a chance, and I won't tolerate it from others either. My behavior is not one of a disturbed person; it's the behavior of an ethical person. The behavior of Ebert, prejudice, is the behavior of a disturbed person.

Personally, I'm very disappointed in you, Vanguard. Your condoning of prejudice is appaling, to say the least. You may disagree with me about individual games or what a critic's job is, but exhibiting prejudice (Ebert) and tolerating it from others (you) is something of which I cannot civilly disagree.

If your comment was about how I implied that if a good critic exhibits prejudice, a bad one may have committed violent hate crime(s), I only said that because it is the logical progression from bad to worse with regards to prejudice. I've, in no way, said anything absolute about all critics; every single time I've said anything bad about critics here I've placed an "almost all," "most," etc. to denote that. Furthermore, I didn't even say anything absolute about critics with regards to having committed violent hate crimes.

I could go on and on, quite frankly. There are those critics at various videogame magazines that took bribes in exchange for dishonest reviews. That's another heinous thing. I can of course also cite acts of displacement, where a critic lets his/her feelings for one work/person spill over to others. That's a second heinous thing. And we all know of videogame magazine critics who've written reviews for games they've barely played (which returns us to prejudice). That's a third heinous thing. Futhermore, that's not even going into the minor infractions like letting one's expectations skew his/her reviews for various works, letting popular opinion skew one's reviews of various works, or dismissing any work that's even the slightest bit different (there's a theme emerging here). It's a shame that this sort of behavior is respected, accepted, or even tolerated. It shouldn't be.

I'm not going to let it go. Critics are supposed to evaluate the work that went into something, and in that process let the artist know what he/she could have done better.

This modern day re-definition of critic where it means "sadistic psychopath who enjoys calling people shit and demanding they quit their passion" is bull. That is absolutely heinous behavior, and I will never accept it as anything but. They do not deserve the title of critic; they deserve only bad titles like psychopath, sadist, and scum. We can disagree on whatever game's individual merits, but I at least hope we don't disagree on this.

edit: I did some digging around to show what I mean. This is one of the most highly respected critics in this country today, so much so that he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism:

from here:
"In 1975, Ebert became the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize."
"In 2005, Ebert opined that video games are not art, and are inferior to media created through authorial control, such as film and literature, stating, "video games can be elegant, subtle, sophisticated, challenging and visually wonderful", but "the nature of the medium prevents it from moving beyond craftsmanship to the stature of art".[62] This resulted in negative reaction from video game enthusiasts,[63] such as writer Clive Barker, who defended video games as an art form, stating that they have the power to move people, that the views of book or film critics are less important than those of the consumers experiencing them, and that Ebert's were prejudiced. Ebert responded that the charge of prejudice was merely a euphemism for disagreement, that merely being moved by an experience does not denote it as artistic, and that critics are also consumers.[64] Ebert later defended his position in April 2010, saying, "No video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form."[65] He also stated that he has never found a video game "worthy of (his) time", and thus has never played one. writer Robert Brockway responded by opining that this made Ebert unqualified to judge video games, and that debating Ebert on such a topic was comparable to "a structured philosophical debate on the importance of pacifism and restraint with a rabid badger: Your opponent is not only unqualified from the start, but it's obviously just out to attack you."[66]

In a July 1, 2010, blog entry, Ebert maintained his skepticism that video games can ever be art in principle, but conceded that he should not have expressed this opinion without being more familiar with the actual experience of playing them. He reflected on the reaction to his blog entry, gamers' attempts to recommend to him games such as The Shadow of the Colossus, and his reluctance to play games due to his lack of interest in the medium."

Note that he only backstepped after it looked like this would ruin him, which IMO it already did since prejudice is always despicable and horrendous.

And if this is one of the good ones, what would a bad critic do? Commit a violent hate crime. I shudder at the thought of just what exactly a bad critic is, if this is a reputable, respected one.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Greatest line in an RPG ever!
« on: August 18, 2011, 07:56:47 PM »
It's not that funny but Rei from Breath of Fire III says "Don't that beat all?" I crack up. Me and a friend, when things get confusing or tough use that line...anyway.

Haha. My best friend and me do the same. Rei's our favorite. My favorite line of his is when you fight Mikba at the Northern Checkpoint and Rei says something like "You see, I'm still a kid at heart. If you tell me not to do something, it just makes me want to do it more." That moment's such a crowning moment for him. :)

Brush and Quill / Re: Some writing
« on: August 18, 2011, 07:52:45 PM »
Sorry it's been a while. I haven't forgotten though. I intend to read this soon. :)

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Arc the Lad, here I come.
« on: August 14, 2011, 09:50:07 PM »
I beat Twilight of Spirits and it was one of the most forgettable and boring games I ever forced myself through

I can see this, because its gameplay is far too easy, save for a handful of fights (and unfortunately, one of those fights is very early in the game). I do think the story is stellar though.

Arc 2 is probably the best overall, but it drags on and on at several points. I saw on the documentary disc that comes with the collection that players complained about the first one's length, so the designers made the second very repititious - stupid motherfucking players/designers >:( ! I still like it a lot though.

Arc 1 is fast and worth doing because you'll get to know characters that return in Arc 2. I find the gameplay fun after you have more than 3 characters on your team.

I agree with Tomara on Arc 3. It's good except for the lack of difficulty, the excessive amount of dialogue/text/fetch quests, and the redundancy of revisiting the guild after every task. My tip is to always do the highest numbered mission first - that way you'll beat it while doing as few fetch quests as possible. Oh yeah - the graphical change stunk too.

I'm also not a fan of the dungeon design used in Arc 3's final dungeon and optional dungeon, and Arc TotS final dungeon. I had to use a FAQ for all three of those. I've never been a fan of this dungeon design; it needs to be done away with forever or the player needs better hints like in Mario RPG's forest where you follow Geno.

Yeah, I mean we all get along about things in the real world so I can't see how anyone would disagree about video games, right?

Of course someone could have a bad experience with it, but that doesn't necessarily speak to its quality. For example, if someone found out his/her mother had died just as he/she started playing Saiyuki for the first time, he/she probably wouldn't ever be able to enjoy it. That doesn't mean it's a bad product or that the people who made it did a bad job in making it, and it shouldn't be taken as such - this is where any negative critiquing of Saiyuki is unfounded/insane. A mature/real critic would step back and evaluate the work that went into it the way only a fellow artist can, not state his/her likes and dislikes as facts, and stating one's preferences as facts is the only way one could assert "Saiyuki sucks" - a statement that should be objective. I'm never going to stop holding critics to a higher standard, even though doing so infuriates me. They're supposed to evaluate the work that went into making the product.

And thank you for listening, Ramza.

RPGFan: Site / Re: Indie Game Sections
« on: August 12, 2011, 03:37:18 PM »
This sounds great to me, too. :)

It's not really that I dislike FFT. Its story and music really shine, and on a first playthrough having all those choices is neat. It's just that subsequent playthroughs are no fun gameplaywise because you don't choose your team (your team will end up being the broken classes/characters) and you annihilate most oponents with ease. In the end, it really only has a few classes to choose from - the best 6 or so. It's the illusion of choice that bugs me. (The idiotic nostalgia-blinded fanboys don't have any bearing on what I think of the game itself.)

I just can't for the life of me figure out how someone could come away from Saiyuki: Journey West with an overall negative opinion of the game. I can certainly see people having other favorites (like Brigandine :) ) or merely thinking "it's pretty good," but someone would have to be flatout bonkers to think "it sucks."

Anyway, that review I linked to goes into more detail, and it echoes my sentiments.

"I'd like to ask you: where are the scrolls in Saiyuki coming from? Are they just released over time in battle?"

Lots of places: regular shops, one-time-purchase-only shops, in treasure chests picked up during battles, hidden in destroyable environmental things like rocks, and the characters come with one or two pre-equipped already.

"Is there a limited amount?"

There are 40 total - 8 of each of the five elements.

"Does one learn abilities over time with the scroll equipped, or do you immediately have all abilities associated with that scroll/class upon equipping?"

Each scroll grants the character one spell the instant it is equipped, and the scrolls don't level up. The player does have to think about which scrolls to equip since each character only has 6 slots for scrolls or accessories. The characters' proficiency with elements level up as you use them instead of the scrolls leveling up.

"Are there miss-able scrolls?"

Yes. I know Clone and Chef's Paradise come to mind. I don't remember any others off the top of my head. Oh, the Emporer guardian is missable too. Some characters are missable: Genshi and Reikan, and it sounds like Kinrei, Ginrei*, Taurus, and Tessen** although I've never had it happen to me in my four or so playthroughs.

"Are some of them a bitch to get?"

No. If you do all the sidequests in Chapter 2, you'll get Clone in Chapter 3. And if you enter every Shop, Blacksmith, Post, Chemist, and Dojo you'll get Chef's Paradise in either Chapter 2 or 3. The key is to re-visit the Shops, Blacksmiths, etc. in Chapter 2 after recruiting Kinrei and Ginrei. For Genshi and Reikan, just open a FAQ when you're prompted with dialogue choices in the cutscenes. The rest of the scrolls aren't missable. And for the Emperor guardian, it's also pretty simple: open every treasure chest in the battles, destroy Taurus's throne and open the chest that appears, and enter every Shop, Blacksmith, etc.


Basically, Saiyuki: Journey West shines in every way. I really can't think of a single flaw. Maybe, this will help though:

It doesn't allow each character to wield 1,000 abilities. FFT fans may cry foul, but Saiyuki: Journey West does a far better job balancing the abilities and characters as a result - namely, it avoids the player mindlessly spamming one or two best options that crush all/any who oppose. This is also part of why the difficulty level steadily rises over the game instead of becoming frantic and fucked up like FFT's difficulty. I could see an FFT fan dissing Saiyuki: Journey West for this, even though it's something Saiuki: Journey West did right and FFT did wrong.

The abilities are chosen by "equipping scrolls" instead of "changing classes," but semantics are insignificant. Calling the choice a "scroll" as opposed to a "class" doesn't change anything, yet I could still see FFT fans shouting "blasphemy!" from rooftops over this.

The story is easy to follow, but still engaging and (depending on whether one has read Journey to the West, of course) unpredictable. This is actually a good thing because complexity =/= quality, yet once again I could see FFT fans denouncing the game for the game's story being coherent and comprehendable through and through.

This is coming from someone who likes FFT a lot too (and it was my first SRPG), but I've seen so much stupid shit from FFT fans about how FFT is well-balanced compared to other SRPGs and how what something is called matters more than whether it is well-implemented/well-balanced that I've developed rather negative feelings toward nostlagia-blinded FFT fans. This, along with someone vehemently hating anything with reading in it, are the only two excuses for which I could see anyone saying bad things about Saiyuki: Journey West.

I can't really single out just one thing Saiyuki: Journey West did well since they did everything well: the gameplay, the story, the visuals, the sound, and how it all comes together beautifully. I dare say it's perfect.

edit: I agree with this review completely:

I'll comment on the ones I can...

Klyde Chroma: Valkyrie Profile - I second Ramza about this, the C and B endings are terribly unsatisfying because they're incomplete
Klyde Chroma: whichever you meant between the three Tactics Ogres (including the remake) and the two Ogre Battles - yes, these games rock, especially their stories with the exception of Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen

several members: Final Fantasy IX - absolutely, I agree the gameplay/pacing is slow but IMO this has the best story of any videogame
several members: Chrono Cross - don't sweat it, the story crumbles later on and the gameplay becomes mostly too easy (there are a handful of hard bosses later like that big humanoid robot)
several members: Dragon Quest 8 - the story is very satisfying and the game is well-balanced/offers a good level of difficulty, but the repetitious normal battles and slow loading could bore, I say yes but I do see why others haven't finished it

Tomara: Saiyuki Journey West - yes, God yes, this is the most polished and professional game ever, hands down it must be finished
Tomara: Super Mario RPG - if you find a means to play it legally, definitely finish it

Wein Cruz: Final Fantasy 12 - you're so close, that you may as well finish it, the ending is very well done, if you weren't so close I'd say don't bother though

Jubby: Chrono Trigger, FFVI, and FFVII - yes, unless you've had things spoiled which I could see since these are all extremely popular games

Akanbe: Suikoden 2 - You lucky bastard ;) if you're not going to, please do us a favor and sell it :)

Yggdrasil: Breath of Fire Dragon Quarter - the ending/story is very satisfying as well as the feeling of achievement for having triumphed over something challenging, so yes
Yggdrasil: Final Fantasy Tactics - definitely because the story is great, and I don't see why not considering how the gameplay/battles start to go super-fast/easy once you spam the best classes/characters

It did, yeah, but my main gripe (wth Radiata Stories's battling) is how it sometimes makes Jack move without the player pressing any direction to do so, and that can fuck up the player when the player is trying to block since you have to hold X and not move at all in order to block.

I certainly love everything else about the game though. :)

Brush and Quill / Re: Nuri Poetry
« on: August 04, 2011, 11:45:59 AM »
I like both :) , and I agree with Vanguard's advice for the first one. Perhaps a vague title that's not-too-different like just "Waiting" would suffice.

General Games / Re: Storytelling in Games: The Past and Present
« on: August 02, 2011, 09:16:27 AM »
Ah, thank you Maxximum. That makes it so much simpler. :)

Yeah, I got the feeling the article/designers quoted were trying to conflate graphics, music, and sound effects (in other words, presentation) with story by calling graphics, music, and sound effects "storytelling."

I guess that raises another question (for anyone). Do you think it's still possible for a game with a story told mostly through text to be successful? What if it only has decent gameplay?

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Greatest line in an RPG ever!
« on: August 01, 2011, 10:05:53 AM »
I know it's been 4 years, but I love topics like this and I figure you guys have played more games since.

I just want to add Arc the Lad 2's Paysus town idiot. Does anyone know the exact quote? I don't want to butcher it.

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