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1  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI announced for PS4 and 3DS on: July 29, 2015, 03:46:52 PM
Menu ergonomics and font size are two things I have complained about often in several of my recent reviews.  So that seems to be a problem in several games, not just Dragon Quest.

Again, this is not something that was an issue in the OG JP version. The menus of the OG JP version were the exact same as every other menu in every other DQ game up to that point. Black boxes with a white border and text.

The fancy icons and colorful grid box was something that was crafted wholesale for the western release, and it was poorly optimized as a result of throwing together such a massive graphical overhaul. That's where the loading came from in the menus.

This isn't an issue with menu design, this was an issue with localization choosing to add bells and whistles in order to further improve marketability at the cost of game performance. And in all honesty, given that nothing gamebreaking (compared to anything released by Gust recently) was introduced into the process, ultimately makes this the superior of the two options.
2  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: tri-Ace's latest is not-Valkyrie Profile (Exist Archive) on: July 29, 2015, 03:25:54 PM
http://gematsu.com/2015/07/first-look-exist-archive-ps4-ps-vita

A couple of screenshots, for those interested.
3  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI announced for PS4 and 3DS on: July 29, 2015, 08:57:20 AM
I like Dragon Quest, but I do hope they eventually ditch some of the archaic elements such as random turn order in battle and endless dialogue/confirmations when shopping and saving.

Many times this. Saving in DQ takes forever.
Also, another thing I'd love for them to get rid of are the convoluted and clunky menus. When they are pleasing on the eyes and well thought out, like VIII it seems it takes forever to go from a screen to the next. For example when you want to move items from the inventory to the characters bag. You can only move one by one and it feels like there's a delay just to piss you off.

I believe that was specifically due to the adjustments made during the localization, where they made the menu interface far more graphical, but in exchange, added unnecessary load times to the proceedings. They really should've done a better job optimizing that.
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics? on: July 29, 2015, 02:26:41 AM
Pardon the but I should clarify a few things.

First is that Awakening is not a remake of anything (you're thinking of New Mystery which never left Japan for a bunch of unknowable reasons).

Second is that the FE games in general are only loosely connected beyond what I outlined in my previous post.

Third is that while FFT and TO are incredibly similar to each other (especially given their genealogy), they are fundamentally different games (the short of it is that FFT has a greater focus on grinding and maintaining degrees of versatility through Jobs compared to TO where you're better off building specialists).

Fourth is the question of which version of Tactics Ogre do you refer to? The Super Famicom/PSX one, its PSP remake, or that GBA game. I ask because the PSP remake really overhauled the gameplay mechanics which has essentially changed a number of mechanics at play (especially in regards to Class Changing and how you grind), and the GBA one is kinda weaksauce in comparison to the others.

Fifth is that Langrisser is for almost all intents and purposes a Japan only series (outside of the localization for Warsong and the fanslation of Der Langrisser; not sure if any of the others got fanslations/too lazy to check).

Sixth is to probably avoid the most recent Langrisser. From what I could tell, the game is mostly just a pale imitation of Der and doesn't really do a good job of either standing on its own or bringing anything worthwhile to the table (and the artwork is lame/creepy).

1) yes, I was thinking of New Mystery, and it bums me out that that didn't make it here.
2) Really? I thought they were all definitely in one universe, even one planet. http://www.fireemblemwiki.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Archanea,_Valentia_and_Jugdral -- acknowledging that some of the games had a different timeline, but they could still potentially be in the same place, just aeons apart.
3) Which is why I'd say to play them back-to-back. They are not the same game, even though stylistically, prima facie, one might think so.
4) PSP TO. and PSP FFT for that matter.
5) the first half of Fire Emblem is also a Japan-only series, which corresponds nicely (tech-wise, graphic-wise) with Langrisser (I know, 3-5 were CD consoles, but early ones that still used sprites. Except for that ugly 3D battle arena in 3). I think that whatever localizations official or otherwise are available, the Langrisser games are absolutely worth playing in a study of this kind of SRPG (FE & Shining Force)
6) Has Famitsu released scores on the new game yet? Is it out? I desperately want to believe it can be good. I know a lot of people are disappointed with / grossed out by the artwork, but it's not like the prior artist was tasteful in the lady-art department either. He had young ladies with enormous breasts, the new art has younger ladies with less-developed breasts and who still dress in next-to-nothing attire.

II) Thanks to Awakening and Fates, it can no longer be assumed that events of a different duology are happening off on some other Continent since they no longer need to be continents. That said, yeah. There's at least minor nods at this point (like Fates' Dragon's Gate resembling FE7's instead of being a big ol' portal in the sky).
III) I still think FFT is far more accessible than either version of TO:LUCT. For one, you don't have to stop after every stage to grind in a training battle just to keep up with enemy levels. And for the other, you don't need to spend nearly as much time making Baldur Ore among other things.
V) Like seriously, the west has at least gotten FE1 on top of everything made after 2003 (aside from New Mystery, but that was a remake plus some added on content that was also partly remade content), whereas Langrisser has only ever officially been localized as Warsong, which is incredibly hard to find and only covers the first game. Granted, we have gotten a few Growlanser games instead, but those are rather different beasts.
VI) Yeah, its out in Japan already, and from what I've seen, the game is a straight up Der Langrisser wannabe, except the parts that its not blatantly copy-pastaing are just plain worse. Like....





Compared to....





Can you tell which is from a game made 20 years ago and which came out last week? (Hint: Shades not included.)
5  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI announced for PS4 and 3DS on: July 28, 2015, 05:12:57 PM

That said though, you should look into getting/playing DQVIII as that was the last good Console JRPG of the Aughts (XBC didn't come out until 2010 in JP).

You done cut me deep

console JRPGs (that I liked a lot) that came out between DQVIII (Nov 2004) and Xenoblade Chronicles (June 2010): Digital Devil Saga I and II, Grandia III,    Rogue Galaxy, Radiata Stories, Ys: the Ark of Napishtim, Persona 3, Baten Kaitos: Origins, Suikoden V and Valkyria Chronicles.  And that list doesn't even mention the Tales and Wild Arms games and a slew of others that I know people love.


THAT being said, I was kind of surprised by how many 'meh" titles I saw while I was going back through a list of RPGs from that time.

Err, sorry. I meant conventional JRPGs and not ARPGs, SRPGs, Visual Novels with JRPG elements stapled onto the side or games that weren't actually released between DQVIII (US Nov 2005) and XBC (JP June 2010) (I'm looking at you DDSs 1 & 2 and Radiata Stories (though even if I was going by the JP release date, that still disqualifies DDS1)).

In short, I'll concede BK:O and Suki V, but in general, my point stands.

e:f;b.


Protagonist being transgender, a really good drag queen, or legitimately female aside, I also like the idea of the 3DS version being both classic 16-bit style 2D and modern 3D.  3D looks good, but I generally tend to fail at camera so going 2D for navigation and traveling speaks to my inner old coot.  

And I do wonder if the protagonist's character design was intentionally androgynous to elicit discussion and publicity like this.  Is it a he or a she?  Or an in-between like a Thai ladyboy?  

And wasn't there that one character in one of the Suikoden games who was male but clearly had ladylike hips under his blue robe?  How about *that* for an about-face?

I don't think most people noticed. And in reality, its not that big of a deal (especially right now when its all mindless speculation on our part). Its more interesting that the 3DS version plays differently/switches what's displayed on the top screen depending on whether you're using the nub or the D-pad, because that sounds cool/neat and its gonna be a shame when this game is JP only PS4 only.
6  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: tri-Ace's latest is not-Valkyrie Profile (Exist Archive) on: July 28, 2015, 03:46:47 PM
Hey, don't be sad, it's a new IP! Remember when we used to get new IPs (that weren't otaku bait) all the time? In the PS1/PS2 era.

Plus the last game this team worked on was easily the best part of that entire FFXIII trilogy (or was it that ill-fated mobile game the last game this team's worked on? Kinda wish it wasn't such a pain in the ass to check), so things can't be all that bad.
7  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI announced for PS4 and 3DS on: July 28, 2015, 03:43:26 PM
I'm the same, I've somehow gone without touching a Dragon Quest game even though the only challenger for grandpappa of JRPG is Final Fantasy.

Not surprising given how the series has been abandoned twice in the west (the first time during the SuperNES era which lasted until around the GBC era, and the second with the 3DS).

That said though, you should look into getting/playing DQVIII as that was the last good Console JRPG of the Aughts (XBC didn't come out until 2010 in JP).
8  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI announced for PS4 and 3DS on: July 28, 2015, 03:03:45 PM
Is there anything saying this is the main character and they're definitely not doing the IX thing of giving the players a choice?

If they were doing that, then we wouldn't be having this discussion about the MC's gender right now.

Because seriously, if there was a choice, then the cannon one would've always been Male, just as it has been up until now. They wouldn't bother with messing around with all this androgyny, and they would've shown off both versions of the MC by now (unless there's some kind of push for a Male MC that's relented to later on down the line, which would essentially render this whole topic moot since it'll just put us right back where we started).
9  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI announced for PS4 and 3DS on: July 28, 2015, 02:33:21 PM
It says "Eleven".

Should've figured. -_-;

Thanks anyways.


Given the running gag of "puff-puff" in the DQ series and the blatant (if usually humorous) objectification of women in DQVIII, I'd be very surprised if the protagonist is indeed a woman. Though it would be a pleasant and welcome surprise if it turns out to be true particularly because the character design is quite nearly universally different from typical women designs in video games. It would be cool to play as a tough, courageous heroine whose breasts aren't about to burst through her clothes/armor.

Hence my initial uncertainty.

Granted DQs 3, 4 and 9 let you choose which gender you want your hero to be, but in those cases the choice is almost entirely cosmetic outside of access to female exclusive 'armor', and in DQIV's case, an extra line taking a crack at the fact that the hero's dying girlfriend's relationship status with said hero is the same regardless of gender.

Though if I'm correct, then this would be the series' first honest-to-god female main character (and this is including all of the spinoffs, outside of that one DQM game that came in two versions, which still doesn't really count due to the aforementioned multiple versions deal).
10  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: tri-Ace's latest is not-Valkyrie Profile (Exist Archive) on: July 28, 2015, 01:36:17 PM
I'm interested in the dual setting they talk about- modern day Tokyo and that Protolexa world. 

You've heard it here first folks. The first 30 minutes will be set in Tokyo and the rest will be in generic swords and sorcery anime JRPG land. :V
11  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI announced for PS4 and 3DS on: July 28, 2015, 01:34:04 PM
So nobody's going to comment on Trunk's sister being the hero this time around? Dude looks like a lady (though honestly speaking, I could actually believe it given Toriyama's artstyle and the fact that there's some serious androgyny going down in that pic; if it weren't for the fact that this is a DQ game we're talking about, I might not even be able to make a call here).

I was thinking the exact same thing.  Normally I'm savvy about JRPG/anime androgyny and pretty much assume "drag queen" but this protagonist had me fooled.  S/he kinda has that Arya Stark thing going.  I'm with you in that there's a 99% chance it's a dude, but man how cool would it be if the protagonist really was a girl.   http://www.rpgfan.com/news/pictures2015/DQXI-Announce-Init_Chara-Art.jpg

I lack experience with Dragon Quest, but were I to get it, it would be 3DS version for sure.  I spend more time playing games on it and my iPad than anything else. 

What bugs me are the shoulders and the face, specifically the lips, chin and somewhere around the eyes. Those look feminine and if you look at the character from a certain angle, you can kinda see him being a her. The problem though is that the rest of the body, especially the hands, hips, legs and hair look masculine as all hell (though the hair looks debatable) and from any sort of distance without training your eye on the details, the character looks wholly like a dude. What's really bizarre about all of this is this is from Toriyama who's notorious for being bad with female designs which makes nailing this level of androgyny really confusing and almost mindblowing.

But you have a point with Ayra Stark angle. Allowing for that within the realm of possibility would practically confirm that XI's Hero is female. (Yeah. The more I see it. The more I'm willing to make the call of this being a female character.)

Actually, can I get a translation on player's name in this

It probably won't help, but I doubt that it'll hurt much either.
12  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: July 28, 2015, 12:14:44 PM
13  Media / Single-Player RPGs / tri-Ace's latest is not-Valkyrie Profile (Exist Archive) on: July 28, 2015, 10:38:09 AM
http://gematsu.com/2015/07/spike-chunsoft-x-tri-ace-rpg-exist-archive-announced-ps4-ps-vita

http://gematsu.com/2015/07/exist-archive-first-game-system-details

So they basically got the VP team to make a VP like game, down to the 2D platforming and 'character actions tied to one of the four face buttons' style battle system. Given that Spike Chunsoft's involved instead of Squeenix, I can see why they went this route instead of finally giving us Hrist.

Could be interesting given how much better the VP team is over the rest of tri-Ace.
14  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI announced for PS4 and 3DS on: July 28, 2015, 10:13:55 AM
So nobody's going to comment on Trunk's sister being the hero this time around? Dude looks like a lady (though honestly speaking, I could actually believe it given Toriyama's artstyle and the fact that there's some serious androgyny going down in that pic; if it weren't for the fact that this is a DQ game we're talking about, I might not even be able to make a call here).


I'm really curious as to the major differences between the two versions.  Weren't the DS and PS3 versions of Ni no Kuni two very different games?  I'm not very knowledgeable about Ni no Kuni DS....

But really I hope that North America gets both versions.  Along with the 3DS versions of VII and VIII.  I hope Square-Enix makes good on Horii's accidental announcement, heh. 

The DS game came first and the PS3 version of Ni no Kuni basically added a rather lengthly postgame scenario that didn't do enough to justify its existence (nor did it fix the retarded ally AI).


That said, I really hope that the US gets anything out of this. The 3DS has basically turned into the JP-only zone in terms of Dragon Quest, and I have no idea how the PS4 version will fare in terms of localization.


I can't believe Sugiyama is still composing music at 84 years old.

Given that the guy is a professional orchestra conductor of at least National, if not of World class, I'm not surprised. Its the kind of role a person would continue doing well into their hundreds if their body holds out.

But seriously, check out some of the performances he's done over the years. Its impressive.
15  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics? on: July 27, 2015, 08:02:12 PM
They're different styles of strategy/tactical RPG. Were I to pair things off, I'd ask:

Final Fantasy Tactics, or Tactics Ogre?

*AND*

Fire Emblem, or Shining Force, (or Langrisser?!)

To these questions, I would say play FFT and TO in succession and make your life better.

And then, play *some* Fire Emblem ... depending on your own compulsions or desires, where you start matters. Shadow Dragon is a DS remake of the first game, and Awakening is a very loose remake of Fire Emblem 3. Console releases (Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn) were like ... FE9 and 10 or something crazy like that. So if you start there, you're actually welllll into the series. And there is a chronology to it all.

Shining Force ... is really quite good, though it technically came after FE in terms of development. Quite a great experience, the first two games, as well as the "Gaiden" games (found on Shining Force CD). Shining Force III and its added scenarios, I've never played, but some people worship them.

And then ... Langrisser. Oh man, I love Langrisser so much. You have your "hero" troops like in FE or SF, but each hero can have up to six "unit" troops that are totally expendable. This adds so much complexity and awesomeness. Just ... oh. Man. One of my favorite gaming experiences in my life was Langrisser II for Genesis (which I played in full-on Japanese, not even knowing what the heck was going on). There have since been patches for both the Genesis II and the Super Famicom "Der Langrisser" (which is like Langrisser II+, it adds a bunch of branching paths and 4 total endings).

So to me, those are like, the top tier strategy/tactical JRPGs. My advice is to pick one and then play its competition to see which you like more, then invest in that series to your heart's desire. Without question, of all the franchises named here, Fire Emblem has the most games ... though a bunch of them don't have official English releases, and I think there may remain at least 2 that don't have complete translation patches either.

Pardon the but I should clarify a few things.

First is that Awakening is not a remake of anything (you're thinking of New Mystery which never left Japan for a bunch of unknowable reasons).

Second is that the FE games in general are only loosely connected beyond what I outlined in my previous post.

Third is that while FFT and TO are incredibly similar to each other (especially given their genealogy), they are fundamentally different games (the short of it is that FFT has a greater focus on grinding and maintaining degrees of versatility through Jobs compared to TO where you're better off building specialists).

Fourth is the question of which version of Tactics Ogre do you refer to? The Super Famicom/PSX one, its PSP remake, or that GBA game. I ask because the PSP remake really overhauled the gameplay mechanics which has essentially changed a number of mechanics at play (especially in regards to Class Changing and how you grind), and the GBA one is kinda weaksauce in comparison to the others.

Fifth is that Langrisser is for almost all intents and purposes a Japan only series (outside of the localization for Warsong and the fanslation of Der Langrisser; not sure if any of the others got fanslations/too lazy to check).

Sixth is to probably avoid the most recent Langrisser. From what I could tell, the game is mostly just a pale imitation of Der and doesn't really do a good job of either standing on its own or bringing anything worthwhile to the table (and the artwork is lame/creepy).
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