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Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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3796  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Siliconera: Nanashi No Game Was Considered For NA, Focus Groups Killed It on: April 01, 2011, 07:01:34 AM
And speaking of which....

http://www.siliconera.com/2011/03/31/egg-monster-hero-square-enixs-first-ds-game-also-was-canned-after-a-focus-group/
3797  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky on: April 01, 2011, 05:40:39 AM
How much can a UMD hold anyway? It can't be that much...

1.8GB. And the PSP actually has a very respectable number of units sold; it isn't the Saturn of handhelds or anything here, more like the N64 or GC (and it's outsold the SNES globally). Problem is no one's apparently buying any games for it.

That's because nobody is selling them. I either have to go to the right GameStop or maybe the local outlet retailer and hope for the best for this. A lot of retailers just simply consider the system dead or have KH:BbS and a few shoveware titles and nothing else.
3798  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Worst RPGS on: April 01, 2011, 05:35:57 AM
I'd honestly like there not to be a Final Fantasy for the next five years. Develop it properly and give it time to gestate. Create alphas and betas, review them with the public to some extent if you need to, and only after tweaking it all based on that feedback, release it. It's not wrong to listen to the public when building a game, but it hamstrings the process if you let the public dictate your vision at its root.

In all honesty though FFXIII's development was fraught with set backs and redesigns. Hell the game originally started development on the PS2, before it was moved and announced during E306. Nevermind the fact that they ended up going through two whole development engines which means that they had to recreate everything at least twice, and even at the end they had to get people in from the other teams to help finish up. It took them a little under 4 years from FFXII's release for FFXIII but it's been in the works since long before.

And they succeeded to an extent. They accomplished what they set out to do in creating a JRPG with a more action oriented battle system, as well as creating the development tools they'll probably end up using for years to come, as well as setting up a base for a long running video game series. And they even managed to find the time to squeeze together a demo of this engine for both investors and the general public to experience. First with the release of the complete version of FFVIIAC, then a longer demo in the form of FFXIII. Using various pieces of incredible artwork to show off just how much fidelity the game's engine could provide to said artwork, the odd and complicated vehicle and outfit designs were kept to near identical levels of detail both in and out of cutscenes, and battles demonstrated the impressive AI as well as providing a proof of concept of just how fast they can go when left to their own devices. There just wasn't any level design, coherent world building, meaningful character development, or context.

For instance, when you start the game, it's Lightning and Sazh crashing the train ride that Vannile, Hope, and Hope's Mom are on while Snow and mates are in a firefight, both in the attempt of rescuing resident loli-pop Serah-chan. Lightning and Sazh fight a giant flying robotic scorpion with sawblades and a giant fuckoff lazor while Hope's Mom is tough but Snow is a ManBearPig and both fall off a walkway to their doom where Snow shrugs it off and Hope's Mom is a tough stain to remove thus now Hope wants to write his name into Snow and Vannile is still there. Then they all meander to the Fal-cie and Serah-chan's side where she crystallizes tragically and everyone is now in the wrong place at the wrong time and become Hi-C. Then a lake froze over.

15 hours of going in a straight line later, Snow is taken captive because he refused to leave his loli-pop behind and is working with some chick named Fang and a doofus named Cid, Lightning is babysitting Hope and gave him a knife to facilitate his plans for writing his name in Snow and they've just reached his home town, Sazh has a son and Vannile was putzing around when he was made into a Hi-C thus suggesting that she's a double agent (though it's kinda hard to have loyalties to betray when your only motivation for being there in the first place is because you're on the same boat, even if its in a power plant in the middle of a junkyard). Not a hell of a lot happened, there was apparently a war, being a Hi-C is bad, there's an evil space pope, and everybody loves Serah-chan.
3799  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Which Final Fantasy Has The Best Story and Why? on: April 01, 2011, 04:10:06 AM
I think it's mostly visual and some control issues that make FFVII age badly. Otherwise though, I don't think there are very many RPGs that really do age badly once you're out of the 16-bit era, and quite a few of those (notably FF titles!) aged very well too. Admittedly I don't doubt that the age you got into some games can be a factor, but there's less you can improve on RPGs from the technology of the late 90s versus FPSes (on consoles anyway) and other more actiony games.

Random encounters are always something that could be done away with.

That said, FFVII felt like FFs V & VI but less. Same idea that the first half of the game builds the world while you're taking the tour on the rails, then the second half opens up due to shit hitting the fan and its side quest city while backtracking to see how everything's changed thanks to the big event. FFV had the worlds FU-SION-HA!, FFVI had the overworld reshaped to the point of nearly being unrecognizable, FFVII had a change in overworld music and a bright red splotch up in the sky. FFVI also has more characters and have the cast shuffle around more during the pre-shitty fan part while FFVII was more like "Alright _______. Time to force yourself into the party for your character development in this next area." or more precisely less subtle character development (it also didn't help that VII forced you to have only 3 party members active at once (but then again, outside of IX there hasn't been a four member party since)). Summon cutscenes started into their infamous cutscene showboating (the worst of this was Bahamut ZERO). And most of this was either overlooked or accepted at the time due to the shininess of the then brand new 3D. Now it just feels like an SuperNES era JRPG, but less, and with blocky Popeye characters on prerendered .JPEGs.

On the plus side FFVII is still vastly more playable than FFVIII is with its constant camera wigouts and showboating character animations per battle, drawing magic/playing Triple Triad until the cows come home, ridiculously overlong unskipable summon animations, and shallow, all over the fucking place, plot.
3800  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: why do i not feel good about this. on: April 01, 2011, 03:42:34 AM
Check the post date.
3801  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: March 31, 2011, 07:12:54 AM
The animation is excellent but it only really serves to make the series shortcomings sting all the more.

What I was saying earlier is that it's basically Lulu's back, Kallen gets her midseason upgrade, and the Black Knights take Japan in hilariously theatrical fashion. Then the China arc. Then a bunch of stuff happens all at once, then a bunch more stuff happens all at once while the stuff happening all at once is still happening all at once, then a bunch o-Wait! What the FUCK!!! LULU'S MOM IS WHAT!!!!!, then a bunch of stuff happens all at once but none of that matters any more because "IRIS! WHAT AM I FIGHTING FOOOOOOOORRRRR!!!!!", and then it's Lulu and Susaku being BFF for each other and everybody and their brother is out for their heads except ORANGE!!! for some fucking reason. Lulu wins through some "No! It is I who is behind you!" shenanigans (or did he!?!) and then sacrifices himself to end all wars forever while Susaku becomes Zorro to ride off into the sunset forever.



Some manage to fuck up at the 3rd season... like Nanoha Strikers.

To be fair that was more of too many new characters than anything else.
3802  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Megaman Universe is Megacanned on: March 31, 2011, 05:38:59 AM
http://www.siliconera.com/2011/03/31/its-the-end-of-mega-man-universe/

And thus the Megaman Franchise begins to die it's final death....Welp.
3803  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Which Final Fantasy Has The Best Story and Why? on: March 31, 2011, 05:30:32 AM
Listen, the only travesty that happened in IX was that Beatrix wasn't a playable character outside of those 5 minutes.

This, and Quina i hated him/her, and I usually love characters with undefined genders so it was weird.

I can't figure out how anyone could hate Quina. S/he's like this chill Hawaiian dude(tte?) that just meanders about at his/her own leisure and doesn't give a fuck unless the possibility of food is involved.

That said, I also agree that Beatrix not having more screen time in the party was a travesty, but it wouldn't have changed much if she had been more playable as she didn't have even a single skill to her name only. Steiner eventually gets her sword skills and she was the third person with the White Magic skill set, and frankly I'm satisfied with what we got.

That said, it's a shame she didn't have a Super Sayin' form to trance into. Would've like to have seen that.
3804  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade + The Last Story on: March 31, 2011, 05:02:32 AM
Son of a Fucking Bitch!

This better not turn out to be another Terrenigma.
3805  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Worst RPGS on: March 31, 2011, 04:59:58 AM
Frankly, I agree with what Hidoshi saying. As I've mentioned elsewhere on this board, FFXII did do some stupid shit with its gameplay in regards to things like random chests, license board, the need to buy everything with far too limited funds even in the face of the loot system, the horribly unintuitive bazaar system, useless summons, utter bullshit (Zodiac Spear/Diamond Armlet/That one dagger/Omega Weapon XII/That one 100 floor dungeon that's actually part of the fucking plot/the Sand Sea/That glitch that let's nothing but attack query/that one sidequest in Arcadia/ect...), ect... But it also did several things right like reducing the micromanaging with the Gambit System, having a world that's more than a cluster of dots connected by dotted lines on some map, having stuff like random bosses in the middle of the desert, letting you actually fight real hoards up to and including Zombie Hoards, useful buffs for the first time in a mainline console FF game that aren't stuff like Mighty Guard or Life 3, the fact that you can totally bench either Vaan and Penelo and only have to see them in cutscenes and around town in Vaan's case.

In all of these cases though they're more like minor annoyances or conveniences, bugs on a windshield or peanut butter bunnies in ice cream. You can still see out the windshield (kinda) and there's more to the ice cream than just peanut butter flavored chocolates. In this case you can still play FFXII even if you don't like peanut butter or let yourself get distracted by that one smear of bug guts that just had to be the fattest fucking airborne insect before it smeared itself all over your windshield. Regardless of whether you can see beyond all of that or not there is still a game under there.

FFXIII on the other hand is more of a tech demo than a real game. A proof of concept. A collection of ideas put through their paces in a simulation. Everything that happens is because the developers wanted it to happen. Everything is staged, every battle measured in it's distance and challenge carefully, every direction of growth carefully planned and charted, every new strategy is written out carefully on the wall and put through its paces like a Zelda item meant only for the segment it's featured in, every party member has their script carefully set to be seen without exception, every word spoken, every action taken, and nothing significant is left to the player's whim. Many RPGs suffer from this acutely but none so thoroughly as FFXIII where you can't even choose your party member, where you can't choose their role to play beyond your very limited options which don't even matter as you're not getting past that next battle unless you're playing by the rules of the area, where you can't even avoid a single battle unless the game tells you that you have to. By the time you get to the basic freedoms held within your basic JRPG the game is over. You can't even overpower the final boss the first time around as the game wont allow even that. You can't grind your way out of a bind because you hit your growth limit, you can't upgrade your equipment worth a shit early on as you don't have the material or even the money to allow it, and even then only a certain pair of items even matter as the rest are either too costly or too inefficient to use and are better sold for extra money to expedite the process even slightly.

Basically there's no meaningful variation, no meaningful choice, every bit is planned, staged, coerced. If you couldn't make the grade then you weren't doing as you were told, everything only works when the developers want it too. You can't minimalist, you can't brute force, you can't shove Vanillie, Snow, & Hope on the bench, you can't access that end game shop/treasure trove early for some game breaking gear, you can't grind on whatever for huge amounts of whatever to unlock that awesome ability early, you can't look at GameFags for the solution to the dungeon puzzle and thus solve it early to avoid having to do the rest, and you can't even bring along someone different to a plot dump in the hopes of making something dire and serious into something unintentionally funny (thankfully the game does this part for you pretty well as well, moms are tough indeed).
3806  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: new union game. as in yggdra union. on: March 31, 2011, 03:12:28 AM
So how far are they going for the character derailment this time?

I fully expect them to bump off half of Yggdra's cast this time in forced and contrived ways.

Basically, I'm still bitter over Blaze's ending. This probably wont fare much better and most likely a whole lot worse.
3807  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Next Vanillaware Title to be Grand Knight History on: March 30, 2011, 01:10:13 AM
I *heart* them.  Grim Grimoire was a unique and fun addition to the RTS genre, and Odin Sphere bordered many levels of awesome (music, story, battlebesidesit'srepetitiveness).  Never played Muramasa (what did I miss?)

One of the few games to actually use Wiimotion controls well outside of the FPS genre Metroid Prime series. The plot was serviceable and a good way to see some Japanese myths laid out but the backtracking and the monotony drags it down.

Speaking of which, you might find this interesting.
3808  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Neptunia on: March 30, 2011, 12:50:09 AM
Actually I find it absolutely hilarious that Lowee is the most foul-mouthed and temperamental of the bunch. Almost truth in parody considering she embodies the type of people I knew in college who would crowd up the common rooms to play it when it first came out. Throw in the now banned title of "We Dare" for the Wii and Lowee's interpretation makes waaaaay too much sense. XD

I don't suppose that you've ever played a 360 game online with voice chat enabled, have you. Or played Bullet Storm (or whichever generic FPS with the PC never going more than 4 words without swearing like a sailor) for that matter?

Either way, I can't really think why anyone would associate the Wii of all systems with toilet speak. At least compared with the other available options out there.
3809  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Next Vanillaware Title to be Grand Knight History on: March 29, 2011, 10:54:55 PM
http://www.siliconera.com/2011/03/29/grand-knights-history-is-the-next-title-from-vanillaware-and-marvelous/

I'll admit, I'm interested. Muramasa was actually decent, and not the slowdown ridden mess that Odin Sphere was.
3810  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Hallucinations. on: March 29, 2011, 02:27:10 AM
Wasn't this the entire point to that one visual novel/anime Ch@os;Head which through reams of random technobabble meant that hallucinations = magic.

I still want those 6 hours of my life back you fucks!
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