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46  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The tri-Ace General Discussion (& Star Ocean 5) Thread on: May 12, 2016, 01:36:37 AM
Amazon.jp reviews are some of the worst to read.  While I don't doubt the game has faults, the amazon reviews tend to be from hot-headed fans quick to review with a one star.

And now you know why I track down streams to get an idea on a game in the short term (of course, you'll run the risk of lousy players making the game look far worse than it really is, but hopefully you're up on the game enough to spot the difference between the two types of failures).
47  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The Best and the Worst endings on: May 12, 2016, 01:32:14 AM
Fav Endings:
Chrono Trigger's bad ending! More games need special endings when you lose to the end boss like that! Actually Radiant Historia sort of does that, doesn't it? In terms of the /doomed timelines/?

Favn't Ending:
Secret of Mana's ending proper is also kind of twee for all the stuff that happened right /before/ it. It's sort of the opposite of Mother 3 -- everything kind of deescalates in a way it shouldn't have.

It would also help if the game it's at the end of weren't a grindy mess of poor design decisions, so that way GETTING to the end weren't an impossibly tedious task.

Why would you have to grind in LoM... Also there's nothing particularly Japanese about Song of Mana? ???? confuse ???

Not against the final boss (or any fight really), but a lot of Radiant Historia's endings are 'what if' scenarios where you fucked something up (with one where you tried both solutions and got fucked up endings for them, which in turn leads to taking a third option that requires combining the processes of the first two in a certain order or something).

Secret of Mana's ending is kinda weird since the game itself kinda has that same oldskool Anime/OVA plotting that FFA had, but you can tell that they were also trying to dial it down and they kinda landed in the space between where its really depressing, but also trying to whitewash the bad ends that most of the characters got (I suspect that this was a byproduct of the original game design involving multiple routes before needing to be condensed when the CD platform fell through). Then again, the second half of the game had a very rushed feel to it (Mana Fortress was buggy as all hell, Sunken Continent was like three dungeons-in-one, the latter Mana Seeds where basically 'fast travel to Jock, get hassled by Jerk(Jock), head to next Seed location', Tasnica and the Moon Palace consisted of the scenario, relevant players and 'insert region here' and Jock's Trial consisted of fighting overpowered enemies and a mirror match that really didn't do the concept of a 'mirror match' all that well.

Also one doesn't 'grind' in Legend of Mana, it just feels that way because the game tries to encourage exploration with convoluted dungeon layouts and loot at the end of long corridors, but every screen will have a mandatory fight, that you can't escape, and refreshes the moment you leave said screen (and enemies on anything above Normal Mode will have buckets of HP, especially if you went and set up your world map so that Home was located in the furthest corner and you did nothing but progressively place dungeons as far away as you could).
48  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of Berseria on: May 11, 2016, 10:36:37 PM
As far as "skit programming" goes, Tales of Berseria's are looking pretty fancy

OK, I had a pretty low opinion of the game, but this is putting me back into "I wanna buy it" territory.

Just as long as there are more than 12 of them and aren't all hidden behind something arbitrary like sleeping at a specific inn right after something goes down (or however Zesty did it).
49  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: PS4 or Vita? on: May 11, 2016, 05:50:24 PM
All of this is irrelevant, buy a Vita

What's the franchise/game that you can't live without that's on or going to be on Vita?

Not Romancing SaGa 2....
50  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 10, 2016, 05:32:25 PM
Finished Chapter 21 in FE:Fates this time. Took out the boss and the last Exp giver and found myself with a clear shot so I took it. Next up: Chapter 22, Sakura Strikes Back.
51  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently watched Episodes of TELEVISION BOX offerings! on: May 10, 2016, 02:49:23 AM
Whatever, man, Dick Van Dyke is one of the greats...

Too bad not even he could really do anything to make Diagnosis Murder not a product of its time.
52  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New 3DS Fire Emblem Fates on: May 10, 2016, 02:40:31 AM
Or you could just marry one of the royals' children and create the biggest clusterfuck imaginable. Like, marry Camilla to Ryoma, then marry Shiro. I mean, if you're going to make things weird for everyone, might as well make it as weird as it could possibly be.

I think I'll just defer to a previous post on the matter.

My eventual plan starts with having Chrom shotgun Olivia and Male Robin violate the Bro Code and marry Lissa. Then I'm going to have Inigo and Female Morgan wed while Owain and Lucina get together. Then I'm going to have Inigo Lazlow cheat on his wife by marrying Female Corrin while Owain ODIN DARK goes behind his ex's back to hook up with Dancina Azura. Then I'm going to have Ophelia and Male Kana unite in their fell battle against the fates while Soliel gets over her girl love with Shigune. Meanwhile Gaius and Cordelia are going to waste that membership to the Galeforce to give birth to Severa, who sadly can't marry her true love Kjelle, so she becomes Selena, waifu of Subaki who then gives birth to Cordelia Caeldori who will eventually reunite with Gaius Asugi, son of Saizou and lets say Mozu.

And for MAXIMUM INCEST, lets have Ryoma marry Elise, Hinoka marry Leo, Takumi marry Camilla and Xander marry Sakura. Granted, this does preclude marrying Siegbert, Forrest, Kiragi and Shiro from marrying each other, but they can always end up forever alone as kid characters in Fates deserve.

Its too bad I can't figure out a way to properly implement Kaze in the Selena/Caeldori plan.... (at least he's available for marrying off to either Sakura or Hinoka while the other gets Saizou and then Asugi and Midori can tie off the convoluted knot).
53  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of Berseria on: May 09, 2016, 09:59:38 PM
I own Xillia 2 and have yet to play it.  Xillia 1 was AWESOME though.  Sure the story was "meh" but I loved the characters and the combat.  The Colosseum was some of the most fun adrenaline-pumping gaming I've done in a good long while.

Won't be getting Berseria, though...

Any reason why? Seems a bit too early to call it out.
54  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Final General Fantasy Discussion Thread on: May 09, 2016, 04:51:00 AM
My favorite FF moments are FFIII's Flooded World,
Cecil's Job Change, Galuf's last stand,
FFVI's Floating Continent sequence (mostly), the Cosmo Canyon's and City of the Ancients' sequences (I'm talking about the entire City of the Ancients sequence, and mostly the part where you're running into the ruins and the part where you're fighting JENOVA Life; the parts centering around Aerith are only included to give context to the other parts as these are rather heavy handed for my taste), the Burmecia and "You're Not Alone" sequences (though its been 16 years since I last played this game) and hitting Chapter 4 in FFT.
55  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The Best and the Worst endings on: May 08, 2016, 03:04:24 PM
My recent efforts to dissuade Klyde from playing Golden Sun in the Game Journal reminded me that the Golden Sun games all have weak/terrible endings.

Golden Sun 1 has the strongest of the three with its "To Be Continued...." ending and a good enough reputation to make good on it.
Dark Dawn's ending is also a "To Be Continued....", but after TLA and how much DD cribbed from GS1, there really wasn't any reason to expect anything worthwhile from this.
And The Lost Age had the wettest fart of a Golden Sun ending by having the series main antagonist show up at the very end (after waffling between siding with the good guys and the bad guys) and lays claim to the grand prize in spite of the combined efforts of both parties, only for him to get swatted away effortlessly by the Sanctum's Guardian.

Also Sword of Mana for turning FFA's Green Aesop ending into an overwrought Power of Friendship speech and turning Julius from a power hungry wizard, bent on repeating his predecessors' actions/mistakes to the embodiment of pure evil.

Also also Dark Cloud 2 for never settling on a single goddamn villain. Seriously, it goes from Monica's Dad's Killer Griffith (a fact that gets completely dropped when it comes to light that he had momma issues and a difficult, single parent childhood, which apparently was enough to totally justify his need of taking over the world as well as making him into a tragic villain), who was being controlled across time and space by some other guy (who also had momma issues and was also only a victim of circumstance), who himself was being controlled by some Necron level outta-nowhere embodiment of pure evil from across time and space (you beat him up and everything's now hunky-dory with the world across time and space and Max can go back to writing to his own satellite mom).

And speaking of Level 5; White Knight Chronicles. The first game kills off the black knight and has some other dork hijack the power ranger mecha because the black knight was a grrl (only for the second game to bring her back because she's a grrl, although the revelation that she's back from the dead (and no longer secretly the black knight because that was actually some other dude all along) renders her almost completely impotent for the remainder of the duology), while the second game ends with the main character's "Heroic" return to action (coming in at the exact same level he left on after spending over half the game on the bench due to chronic plot sickness with absolutely nothing to bring him up to speed with, on top of bringing the last macguffin needed to trigger the doomsday scenario with to the party, which he loses because somehow the doomsday scenario triggered and all the giant power ranger robots combined into one slightly upgraded giant robot, and now your only recourse is to sport the Avatar's giant robot, which, much like the Avatar him/herself, is totally ignored by the plot (to the point where, unless you ground your ass off on the now totally defunct MMO portion of the game as well as paid the DLC tax (or just flat out hacked it), it will be a giant piece of shit) or fight his giant robot entirely on foot (while still lugging around the main character because he has to be there for some reason despite being a bigger load than The Load)). At least they rescued the Princess within the first game (after letting her get kidnapped right out from under them no less than half a dozen times and because the villains had no further use for her). Then again, half of the second game was one long monotonous sequence of flashback episodes.
56  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: May 08, 2016, 02:11:10 AM
Ever since a run-down movie theater near me recently renovated into a recliner theater with good recliners, I refuse to see a movie in the theater any other way.  No recliner= no Dincrest in the theater.

As it should since it costs $20 bux a pop to see anything in a theater these days.

^ so if your wife isn't into a movie then your not allowed to see it?

She's not a monster - she just hates movie theaters.  (A movie theater ran over her dog once.)

That's nothing. My parents were robbed and gunned down by a movie theater.

*in throat shredding gravelly voice* "I'M BATMAN!!!"

Alternatively: Are there reports in your local news about some kind of masked vigilante dressed like some kind of dog, attacking movie theaters and leaving their remains for the police to find? Does your night sky light up with a search light with a Dog Shaped Shadowpuppet in the middle? And do you occasionally see a Dog themed Mobile hauling ass through the dark, gritty, crime filled streets? If so, you may want to check your wife's closet for some kind of Dogcave. :V
57  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 08, 2016, 01:54:28 AM
@ Klyde: Did you play the original SD1? Also if you do play Sword, your house isn't set in place once you plant it -- you can access it from *any* flowerpot.

The shrunken text is a lengthy, incoherent rant about Sword of Mana.

(These two sentences sound really strange together but it's too, uh, late for me to try to say anything more coherent. Whee!)

Honestly tho I think my biggest issue with Sword /is/ the story. Like gameplay wise it ends up even easier than LoM (especially if you get the BB Ring, which is really easy to find) but I don't care about action RPGs being too easy, it's just like...

(I think I said this in another thread but) SD1/SD2/LoM really sold me on their sense of worldbuilding/history and... not so much storylines per se, because none of them really have traditional strong (strong as in well-defined) overarching narrative structures -- LoM's all vignettes, SD1/2 are like Earthbound (Find yr Melodies! Find the Mana Seeds!) where you have some guiding end goal but it's more about these tangentially related events you get into on the way -- but those vignettes/events all tended to be, well, impactful/evocative/moodsome.

Sword's following SD1's structure mostly but it falls apart -- and I think Aeolus said as much -- because it just adds a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with the original game, and then they still follow the original plot exactly anyway so nobody ends up acting consistently.

Like I think you could note a theme in the entire series but in SD3/LoM in particular where the character arcs be all characters unwaveringly following some course of action out of principle and then /the drama/ happens when principle butts uncomfortably against reality up. I THINK they were trying to do this with Sword and the weird /MORAL AMBIGUITY/ that's injected but again, it falls apart because it's less characters making bad decisions out of principle and more ostensibly moral characters doing bad things for no apparent reason/really dumb non-principled reasons (but they're still good anyway for some reason, so it's ambiguous!).

Also the game does kind of never shut up. SD1/2/3/LoM all had pretty economical scripts. Paraphrasing some Earthbound review I watched a bit ago, since it applies here, a bunch of terrible stuff happens, the games don't dwell on it, and it's all the more delightfully uncomfortable for it!

Oh and SSDFA1 somehow feels a lot more post-apocalyptic than Sword, which is... doofy because Sword sort-of incorporates the nuclear holocaust that SoM implied into its backstory, so it actually IS post-apoc now. But the world doesn't have that "Yeah this place is totally fucked" feel that FFA's had.

(also the atmosphere's kind of lacking because it's aesthetically a weird mashup of LoM and SD3 and it doesn't really go THAT well together and just kind of feels like a fanmade game cobbled together from ripped art assets. From stuff sort of around that era, the original FFCC gave me more of Mana vibe, especially with its like, muted melancholia and apocalypticness also there's huge mushrooms in the huge mushroom dungeon).

It's still pretty solid though!

... wait what


FFA's plot-structure feels like an 80s/early 90s Fantasy Anime or OVA. From the beginning sequence, to the timing of the plot beats and even down to the kind of plot derails such programs typically employed during that era, everything rolls through like you're watching an Anime where a heroic type of guy gets employed in saving the girl and taking down an evil empire, complete with its menacing warlord while the real villain works his way to the endgame where the fate of the world hangs in the balance and only the titular weapon, the 'Seiken' can stop him (and then you have your side characters like the aged mentor/former badass, the comic relief, the other chick with a brother as her motivating factor for fighting and even a mysterious phantom woman to serve as a guiding figure for the hero's journey). And because its on the original Gamebrick (complete with the limegreen dotmatix screen), it really doesn't have a lot of time to screw around to tell a story on that level (and honestly, its rather barebones).

Sword of Mana's plot-structure wants to be A) an Aughts era Squeenix game complete with the more kid friendly messages like villains that aren't totally irredeemable, the occasional heel-deep moral conflict, or how the Power of Friendship conquers all, B) every other game in the series, especially Seiken Densetsu 3 and Legend of Mana, and C) the original game, complete with all the beats and notes that it contained (in spite of the original game's plot being inspired by a medium that was aimed towards older audiences). What this led too was a bloated mess of a game since there were a lot of mechanical additions made to a gameplay engine designed to function with a D-pad, A, B, Start and Select buttons on a system that ran off of 4 Double AA Batteries for about 6 hours at a whack, and reams of text added for the sake of redefining a story that used to fit on a piece of hardware that had less memory than a Calculator during the era Sword was made in, while still trying to follow the original's plot-beats, half of which no longer even worked anymore due to the aforementioned redefining.

And I could go on but instead, I'm just going to link to the scripts to both games to demonstrate just what the hell I keep going on about (and because spoilers in case Klyde isn't up on either games' plot).



As for my GBA RPG inquiry, it also occurred to me I never played Golden Sun (actually it did occur to me, I just forgot for a moment). Checked out the RPGFan review and some screens... looks like that one is going on my list too. I may actually get to Golden Sun sooner rather than later. That look EXACTLY like what I am in the mood for at the moment. Visually speaking, it looks hella-Mana-esque to be honest.

Can't make a decision yet though. Just finished Disgaea and I need to let that "sink in" first.

You're either going to be hella disappointed with Golden Sun, or you should try for Lufia 2 first since Golden Sun's only redeeming factors are the on-field actions and the concept behind the Dijinni system, and neither of which are really enough to carry that game past your adolescence since there are way too many flaws either dragging things down or holding things back.

These flaws include:
Reams of useless text that make Sword of Mana's meaningless walls of text look pedestrian and Trails in the Sky's novel sized script look concise by comparison.
Being set to babby modo for every battle short of the bonus boss (which turns into a luck based damage rush).
Having a Battle System that openly repeats Famicom/NES's FF1's biggest issue of allies failing to retarget attacks once their initial target dies.
A glacial plot that's also largely meaningless and ends badly (the main antagonist looks like he's about to win it all in The Lost Age and promptly gets jobbed harder than a protagonist holding all the macguffins while standing in front of the final boss at the point where all the macguffins needed to be to activate doomsday with a token lv 99 love interest in tow ready to be rendered impotent and an active load, by the very same entity that gave you the mission of stopping this clown in the first place; and then Dark Dawn happened and nobody knows or cares what the fuck because it's just trying to repeat GS1).
The battle system being horribly unbalanced (the Dijinni system itself consists of letting your four party members equip little critters called Dijinni that you collect from various points in the game, equipping one of these can upgrade a character's stats and abilities and even confers a new Class Title that usually provides its own set of benefits and abilities, and by mixing and matching Dijinni of various elements, your characters can unlock Class Titles that they wouldn't normally have access to which can provide their own sets of stat boosts and abilities; on top of all this, you can choose to activate Dijinni in battle, which enables the use of very special and powerful abilities at the cost of the benefits conferred from equipping said Dijinni; and using Dijinni confers the Set Up status on said Dijinni which is necessary to perform a Summon (along with the proper tablet, which you also have to find separately), which does battlefield-wide devastating damage, but also sets the required Set Up Dijinni on Recharge; which Recharge at one Dijinni a turn but they recharge back to Equipped status; the problem though is that literally none of this matters since certain weapons have added effects that trigger when attacking that do comparable damage to high end spells at literally zero cost; on top of the fact that the game is so mindnumbingly easy that most Boss Encounters won't last past the Set Up phase; and even the Class Title thing is a bust since distributing Dijinni based on a character's default element confers far higher bonuses and much stronger abilities than any other given option could, especially the secret Classes which are all gimmick based and practically useless).
Limited Inventory.
Tons of one-use plot based items that can't be discarded (and their abilities are generally useless to boot).
A really fucking boring cast (your party consists of GenericMcProtagonist, his best friend Mr.BigStrongGuy, Mr.BigStrongGuy's Sister Ms.NotActuallyPlayableUntilTheSecondGame, the plot important (but not really) ShotaWindThief, and Lady Healington with special guest stars CaptainBlatheringBlatherskite and Ms.TheActualPlotImportantShotaWindThief and introducing Mr.&Mrs.TeamRocket, boyfriend of Ms.NotActuallyPlayableUntilTheSecondGame GuyWhoWillBecomeTheEdgelordProtagonistForGame2 and brother of Lady Healington SirActualVillainYou'llNeverGetToFight).
Several GuideDangIt moments with several Permamissables (most notably the Dijinni hidden on the World Map; yeah, you can get screwed out of a number of them to boot, while others will require backtracking for).
Bad dungeon design (many require frequent use of the Psyenergy of the hour to get by, while others will be Push/Pull/Dew/Chill puzzle number 50).
A frequent encounter rate.
And Graphics that only looked good on a GBA in 2001.


Return To Thousand Year Door: ...One month of backtracking later... Pow! Zam! Straight to the Moon (once I backtrack to find a pair of Bob-oms). At least I've finished upgrading my Partners and have nearly cleared out the Star Piece Trader and Badge Store.
58  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Final General Fantasy Discussion Thread on: May 07, 2016, 01:55:21 PM
Lightning just strikes me as being straight out of some kind of grimdark anime which is fine and all, but she just doesn't have the warmth of a Terra or Garnet or something to me, as the prickly FF fan I guess.

I mean the figurine is pretty polished and stuff like that, like, you know, sharp, but I think for me it just reminds me of the things I didn't enjoy as much out of FF13.

They paired up Lightning with Hope and Snow. The Snow-Lightning scenes didn't work because she yells and it goes into Snow's ear and out the other and neither experience any character growth. The Lightning-Hope scenes were a bit better. Hope gets some courage/confidence, and Lightning gains a bit of sensitivity playing the big sis/mom/protector role for Hope.

They needed to pair up Lightning with Fang more. I loved the Fang-Lightning scenes because Fang was the only character who would stand up to Lightning and call her out on her BS. Plus they had good chemistry together. By pairing each other up for a couple more missions Lightning's character could have experienced a bit more organic and realistic character growth by learning that yes you can walk and talk like a badass without being an ---hole to your companions who are trying to help you.

It really doesn't help that Chapter 9 basically resets all of the character development as the party goes back to their desire to stick it to the government when storming the flying fortress. Snow still thinks of himself as a 'Hero' in spite of his bonding timeout with Hope, Lightning's 'maybe I got a bit too spiteful/pessimistic' revelation got rolled back under her 'to battle!' attitude and Hope just got sidelined altogether since he no longer wants to stab Snow and the devs have no idea what to do with him past that. Sazh's only time in the limelight was when he got angry at Vanille, and Fang and Vanille kinda hijack the rest of the game's allotted character development time.
59  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Final General Fantasy Discussion Thread on: May 07, 2016, 12:47:26 AM
@Agent D.: Yeah that's one. She also did it once or twice in XIII, as well as one time in Dissidia 012.

Honestly is more of an stance that comes and goes really quickly more than only a pose. And besides, Squall's Gunblade design and use is much more tricky to get to understand clearly instead of the one Lightning has since the entire design of the weapon is as flexible as her fighting style and it actually fire projectiles instead of only being able to strike your opponent with a melee attack.

I'm still amazed that something like Squall's gunblade "took off".  I kinda thought it was a cheesy idea and I never really got how it's supposed to work (does it fire or just sort of...add extra 'umph' to hits??).  FF8 in general I'm kind of ambivalent on; for half of the good designs there's an equal part of ones that just didn't really work with me.... NORG being a big one of these. :P

I really gotta revisit that game though, and/or just finish my FF PSX-era game journals on it.

I think Squall's gunblade just increases the power of his strings (although it uses cartridges so... figure that one out), I think his Dissidia combat style used this as well. From FF Wiki:

In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Squall Leonhart's use of the Revolver is refined beyond the normal slashes seen in Final Fantasy VIII, incorporating the use of the gunblade's recoil for a unique combat style. Using the Heel Crush and Rough Divide techniques, Squall triggers a round while holding the gunblade behind him, the recoil propelling him forward. Using the Solid Barrel and Beat Fang techniques, Squall thrusts the blade into the enemy, triggers a round (which also damages the enemy), and the recoil of the shot pushes the blade back, where Squall immediately thrusts again, repeating the process several more times. In Final Fantasy VIII Squall wields his gunblade two-handed, but in Dissidia Final Fantasy he often uses the weapon with one hand.

Sounds like Squall refined his Gunblade into a Shotgunblade.

Also, why aren't there any Shotgunblades? We have Gunblades, Transforminggunblades, Chainsawguns and Flamingchainsawswords. So what's next? Transformingchainsawlightsabersthatshootsmallerlightsabers?
60  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of Berseria on: May 06, 2016, 06:27:17 PM
Early 2017 in the West. That's about it.

I'm glad we're not getting this game this year. Zestiria, upon reflection, was really disappointing even if it was fun. Annualization has killed the joy of this series for me a little. And I love pirates in RPGs, but I'm not totally sold on the whole game just yet. Aside from Velvet and Eizen, the cast seem a little meh, and nothing about the game stands out.

I think I'll still pick it up. Tales is my comfort food RPG series.

Yeah, this is definitely a 'wait for impressions' case before considering buying.
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