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61  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 08, 2015, 09:20:08 PM
Sorry for the double-post, but I'm stuck at the Ravennue Village part...

After getting the information for Maybelle, I went to Ravennue Village. I defeated the monster for the elder guy, then I'm supposed to go to the abandoned mine. It's locked, so I'm supposed to return to the village and talk to the old guy in the graveyard. However, when I return, there's no one in the graveyard. I'm not sure what else to do?

Did you investigate the locked door? The game kinda makes you do that before you can get the key from the Elder.
62  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dincrest plays Chrono Cross PlayLog on: May 08, 2015, 06:45:16 PM
CC's models look really good if you upscale them in ways I can't talk about here, although you start getting some weird issues where like...

FFIX and CC both did this thing where some of the NPCs were baked into the background, and weren't actually models. If you upscale by increasing rendering resolution, the models look great, but they backgrounds, being static 2D images, aren't affected by this at all so the models get out of sync with the background and the NPCs that are just part of the background looks super goofy.


They did what they could on the hardware.  None of the PS1-era polygons aged well.

Can you imagine how difficult it would be to re-create Chrono Cross' lush locales into a 3D HD video game?

I wondered about this with like Riven as well. Hi-res pre-rendered would look fantastic there, but I still don't think we're QUITE at the point where it'd look as good in real time, yet.

Also I'm... were CC's images pre-rendered 3D or just hand drawn 2D? I always though they were straight-up handed painted, which never really translates to 3D as well because you lose the /painterly effect/.

I know that there are locations that definitely were hand painted (Sprigg's joint comes immediately to mind), but I couldn't tell you if its all done like that.
63  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: May 08, 2015, 05:11:50 PM
http://www.siliconera.com/2015/05/07/kaden-shojo-like-kancolle-household-appliance-girls/

Yes. Japan, in its glorious quest to animorphize everything into moe blobs, has finally included the kitchen sink.

...the girl with the giant camera on...in? within? whatever--- the girl with the camera box is making me uncomfortable. :(

This feels like some guy who gets that moe-anything will work.

Its also a blatant attempt at getting at some of that sweet Kancolle cash.
64  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 08, 2015, 05:09:53 PM
4 XP per battle when I need a couple hundred to level up? Ngh.
I'm not an expert in this game by any means, but I do know that that is the game's way of telling you that you're a high enough level to move on.

I was gonna say, the game discourages grinding in order to keep a steady difficulty.

But then it tells you to grind at the end to have a higher starting level in SC.

At least the place where you do that in is pretty generous with the Exp (and the HP totals, but we wont go there).

Not that having a higher starting level matters that much at all since only Estelle benefits from it (and barely at that thanks to said Exp scaling).
65  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 08, 2015, 11:24:18 AM
That's some good knowledge on the grid, though it still seems very limited poor man's materia system. Not that the materia system was perfect, but I've never seen it really been outdone anywhere else either after stuff became about grids, boards and decks.

Actually I think this system has *way* more going on than materia.  I actually think the materia system is like, the worst part of that game.  Could you tell me what you think makes it so cool?

The best way would probably be a comparison list:

Materia
Slots: 0~16
Method of Increasing Available Slots: Whatever's allowed by your equipment.
Stat Influences: Either shifting Stats from Physical to Magical (in the case of Green or Red) or the rare straight increase to a particular stat.
Stat Mods Stackable?: Yes
Categories: Green = Magic, Red = Summons, Yellow = Commands, Blue = Materia Modifiers, Purple = Passive Effects.
Magic Acquisition: Specific Materia with additional spells gained from leveling said Materia.
Total number of Magic/Summon Conferring Materia: 37 (not counting Enemy Skill).
Total number of Passive Stat Increasing Materia: 5
Total number of Materia that Adds Effects to Attacks, Defense or Magic: 20
Total number of Materia with Field Effects: 4
Total number of Materia that adds Battle Options (not including Attack, Magic, Summon or Item): 8
Status Effects: Poison, Sleep, Silence, Mini, Toad, Confuse, Berserk, Haste, Slow, Stop, Debarrier, Despell, Death, Barrier, M Barrier, Reflect, Wall, Remove.
Added Commands: Steal, Sense, Enemy Skill, Throw, Manipulate, Deathblow, Morph, Mime.
Length of Combo'd Materia: 2
Effects of Combo'ing Materia: Adds effects to Magic, adds Magic effects to attacks, replicates abilities like Mug or Counter, boosts damage for MP, or allows spells/abilities to be used prior to death/the start of battle.
Equipped Materia Restrictions: Needs AP to unlock higher level spells/abilities/boosts/number of uses. Otherwise, nobody has any.

Quartz
Slots: 1~6
Method of Increasing Available Slots: One time costs of Gems (found after battle).
Stat Influences: Provides straight percentage modifiers where applicable.
Stat Mods Stackable?: No
Categories: Green = Wind/Agility/Mind, Red = Fire/Strength, Yellow = Earth/Defense, Blue = Water/Health/Magic, Black = Time/Speed, White = Space/Movement, Gold = Mirage/EP/Dexterity
Magic Acquisition: Reaching specific category thresholds by combining the values of equipped Quartz with additional spells unlocking with higher Quartz values.
Total number of Magic/Summon Conferring Quartz: 0
Total number of Passive Stat Increasing Quartz: 30
Total number of Quartz that Adds Effects to Attacks, Defense or Magic: 16
Total number of Quartz with Field Effects: 5
Total number of Quartz that adds Battle Options: 0
Status Effects: Freeze, Confuse, Seal, Poison, Petrify, Mute, Sleep, Death, Blind.
Added Commands: N/A
Length of Combo'd Quartz: 1~6
Effects of Combo'ing Quartz: Higher Category Values which lead to more Magic.
Equipped Quartz Restrictions: Can only use one Quartz of a specific type per person. Otherwise, only Estelle doesn't have any.


The tl;dr is that TitS's Quartz seems to favor following a more direct path of supplementing preexisting characters into their specific roles and keeps things simple stupid, whereas FFVII's Materia favors giving you a pile of largely interchangeable blank slates and a mess of Materia to kick logic (and balance) to the curb with.

E:F;b.
66  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of PlayStation(s) revealed on: May 08, 2015, 08:09:04 AM
^I suspect that its 'because' people kept going to those things for accidental leaks (or unintentional hilarity involving scene descriptors).


Anyways:

http://www.siliconera.com/2015/05/08/tales-zestiria-producer-finally-talks-heroine-situation/

An interesting discussion. Mostly because it sounds like what they were gunning for was to have Alisha fulfill a role similar to that of FMA's Nina, but wound up botching the execution something fierce. It probably would've helped if they either killed her off outright or had her walk away from the plot for more personal reasons than just 'fulfilling her sole purpose as a Hoary's character development tool' or 'because'.
67  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 08, 2015, 05:05:43 AM
Another thing the game keeps slightly "hidden" is the different "lines" of the quartz grid. You'll notice that both Estelle and Joshua have 2 "lines" in the little diagram. In Estelle's case, she has one line branching to the left of the center slot, and one to the right. The way this works is, elements in one line cannot combine with one another. Suppose you put a +3 fire quartz in the line to the left and +5 fire in the line to the right. You will not end up with +8 fire. You will end up with the 2 of them split up. If you put both of those quartz on the left, THEN you'd get +8. The center slot is shared between both lines, however. Therefore, the location of the quartz on your grid is pretty important.

This is the game's way of differentiating between characters whom are adept with magic, and those whom are not. If you have Olivier yet, you'll realize that he only has one line. This means that ANY quartz you put into ANY slot will count toward his possible pool of spells. Olivier is a magical man. (Not that you needed me to tell you THAT) Most of the heavy melee oriented characters have 3 or even 4 lines, meaning most quartz you give to them should be primarily based on stats, should you choose to use them.

Again, you might have already realized this, but I figured this too might be worth mentioning in case this awesome feature has eluded you guys as it eluded me for a decent chunk of the game. If I hadn't played through TitS so recently, I likely would've joined you folks. I hope to join you for future seasons though, I'll stay tuned! I am a blasphemer who has actually not played a single FF besides 4, so if you really plan on playing FFX next, that would certainly be good incentive for me to FINALLY get to my old, dusty, never played copy.

Another thing that Orbments influence is EP totals as the longer the line from the initial slot, the more EP unlocking that slot gives (and the more Septium it takes). This means that while its easier to get Estelle's Orbment fully unlocked (which in turn gives her a stronger start), it also means that her EP total will ultimately be lower than Joshua's (which generally speaking, makes him the better caster later on). But Estelle's one big advantage over Joshua (since he ultimately overtakes her generally speaking in FC) is that none of her Orbment slots are type restricted (in fact, she's the only character in the game with this trait). This opens up her build possibilities to allow for most spells since she doesn't need to equip a Def+, Act+ or HP+ quartz to use a slot (though generally speaking, this doesn't really benefit her that much over Joshua since she only gets up to a 4 segment line, and Act+ is a really good Quartz anyways). One more thing to note is that you cannot equip two Quartz of the same type (i.e. you cannot equip 2 HP+ Quartz, even if they're different levels of HP+), this can become problematic for characters who have heavy type restrictions on their slots (I'm looking at you Kloe), or want to stack as much as they can for obscene levels of benefit (there'll be no stacking of multiple Action 3 and Casts 2 Quartz for warp speed shenanigans).
68  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 08, 2015, 04:25:56 AM
Man the AI is bullshit in F-Zero: Maximum Velocity (what else is new). Thankfully, the game doesn't seem to care if you've placed consistently in First or not since its almost practically impossible to consistently land first place at Master Difficulty (the AI racers just simply go faster than you possibly can, Boosting and getting bumped from behind are your only tools for keeping up, and you only get the second option on the second lap or later). That said, the reason why I'm posting this is due to completing Master Difficulty for the Pawn series and got a new racer for it. Next up is the Knight series.
69  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles X on: May 07, 2015, 07:39:44 PM
Wait why are people complaining about the lack of dungeons here? The straight-up dungeon-dungeons XBC had felt really out of place and unnecessary.

Because RPGs have dungeons.

...*sigh* I guess if you get really particular, I guess it's like how people complained about the lack of towns in FF13, something a lot of us complained about.  Still, I think the sheer depth of exploration should make up for that.  And I agree, the few in XB1 DID feel out of place... mainly because they were just more constricted/smaller maps (I actually liked Mechonis being a sort-of super-dungeon)

The issue with FFXIII's towns though was more symptomatic of a larger and deeper issue. Namely that the game (had it focused entirely upon Lightning or made it so that you could switch out your character) felt like one was playing a menu based version of Devil May Cry or something. Like there's very little difference between running down the hallways of FFXIII and running down the mean Streets of Rage, busting badguys standing in your path like they punks they are, eating fully cooked whole roast chickens that popped out of a trashcan or popping soft-drinks found in floating balls, and each stage having its own boss to rumble with. Really, if instead of picking paradigms, you input commands to use a sequence of attacks and spells and imagined Lightning as the speedy lightweight, Sazh as the middleground balanced character and Snow as the heavyweight bruiser, you'd literally have a Final Fight clone in the making (with the RPG growth mechanics consisting of getting more Health, Damage Output, Moves and capacity to perform Longer Combos; you have something more akin to River City Ransom). Then you realize that yes, Squeenix took half a decade to make a very pretty but glorified sidescrolling brawler.
70  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: May 07, 2015, 03:33:56 AM
http://www.siliconera.com/2015/05/07/kaden-shojo-like-kancolle-household-appliance-girls/

Yes. Japan, in its glorious quest to animorphize everything into moe blobs, has finally included the kitchen sink.
71  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: May 07, 2015, 03:30:50 AM
http://imgur.com/gallery/jqQ8PoC
Holy fuck... I'd shit myself then saw off my hand.  Akira-levels of gross, but, y'know, real.

Belated, but a large one of these would probably be the closest thing to an actual bane of Japanese Schoolgirls everywhere.

I honestly think that's a fascinating and kind of funny creature. I mean, it's all like "I'm gonna eat the big pink thing!" *barfs up proboscis* "I gonna suck it all up!" "..." And fails miserably. Unless that thing is more of a sensory organ, in which case it's probably freaking out because it has just figured out it's on top of a moving giant.

From the Wiki article, its making a Soviet Russia joke with its GITrack. Its also secreting a venom into the target of its launched bowels, and once paralyzed and absorbed by the main body, little teeth get involved to grind up the meal. Basically, its what you get when your species lives off of shellfish.
72  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 07, 2015, 02:06:30 AM
I said it before and I'll say it again.
Seiken Densetsu 3 feels kinda sexist to me, since overall, the 3 guys are much better than the three girls.

I'm not just saying that, because I played the game twice (once 3 girls, once 3 guys) and my 3 guys playthrough was much easier.
You could probably solo the game with Kevin or Duran which none of the girls could ever do.
I've beaten SD3 seven or eight times.  It's one of my favorite games ever.  I think that Lise is better than Duran, because her skills add so much more utility than his do, and if you want her to go full-offense like Duran's Dark classes, Lise's Vanadis is about as good (or better) than Swordmaster or Duelist.  Her dark classes are about even with Duran's light classes, but I like stat-downs more than Heal Light because the only ways to get stat-downs in the entire game are skills from Lise, Hawk, or Carlie, while there are dozens of items and spells for healing.  Also: Carlie is the best support character in the game and it's NOT close.  If Carlie is on your team, you can have your other two characters go full offense, which is extremely useful.  Angela is right down there with Duran as one of the worst two characters, though, especially since she's bad in the first 2/3 of the game before she gets useful spells.  

...but Kevin and Hawk are so much stronger on physical offense than the other four for the majority of the game that it's not an argument worth having.  Kevin = Hawk > Carlie > Lise > Duran = Angela.  Whatever.  I liked my 3 girls playthrough MORE than my 3 guys playthrough, but that's because I planned my classes ahead of time (Vanadis, Grand Devina, Evil Shaman) to a specific end (Demon Breath, Divina's Rank 2 spells, Vanadis' Light Shot Spear and stat-ups).  Yes, the men are mostly stronger than the women in SD3, but no, two playthroughs is not a good sample.  

I feel that Kevin still edges out Hawk in terms of damage since he's pretty much guaranteed a good power attack and takes less time to start up (you only need to buy a shitload of Dreamsee Herbs). Hawk doesn't quite have the durability that Kevin does and he needs to Class Change to get to his debuffs. Duran's just slow as hell and should be a tank or stopgap healer, full stop. Lize(Rise/Lisse/Lize/Risze?) is the definition of mediocre as she only has decent damage output until promotion then either gets buffs or debuffs (and if Hawk's around, really?) and then has to choose between mutlitarget buffs/debuffs or wasting her 2nd tier promotion (at least her durability's pretty good with all that Agility, Vitality and Wisdom plus Def/Mind Ups or Str/Int Downs, possibly even better than Duran's). Carlie's all about Healing and Angela takes forever to do anything but can nuke the pants off of a shitload of enemies (right up until she runs out of MP, then her tissue durability will let her get killed while an Angel's Grail will fully recharge her HP/MP) with the proper element, Deathspell, Ancient or Rainbow Dust.
73  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: May 06, 2015, 08:55:41 PM
http://imgur.com/gallery/jqQ8PoC
Holy fuck... I'd shit myself then saw off my hand.  Akira-levels of gross, but, y'know, real.

Belated, but a large one of these would probably be the closest thing to an actual bane of Japanese Schoolgirls everywhere.
74  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 06, 2015, 01:21:49 AM
I think we actually have Bahamut Lagoon on the list, and I LOVE Seiken Densetsu 3. Great suggestions.

I'm not familiar with that last one, I'll have to check it out.

I bring it up because it recently got a localized sequel for the PSV. Basically, its Eugenics: the JRPG and Japanese as hell. Even more so than any of the FE games (and speaking of, there's about a dozen of those that you can look at too).

As for obscure JP only JRPGs, I've got a list, and it is long (throw in stuff like the Aretha series, the Metal Max series, Energy Breaker, Bealphareth, the Farland Story series, Eien no Filena, Glory of Heracles series, Rudra no Hihou as just a sample of games of interest to me).

Edit: Fucken; beaten so hard.
75  Media / Game Journals / Re: Retro Encounter Podcast Thread on: May 06, 2015, 12:49:09 AM
fuck it. also wouldn't mind listening to you guys try to grind on through:

Symphony of the Night, Parasite Eve, Tales of Destiny II (the NA version for PSX), Vagrant Story

Lufia II, Super Mario RPG or Secret of Evermore.

You, sir (or ma'am) have impeccable taste!  There's only a couple of those not on our list already, so I'll make sure to add them.  Really excellent suggestions!

If you guys are taking suggestions, what about covering some games of interest that didn't make it out of Japan, like Seiken Densetsu 3, Bahamut Lagoon, the Langrisser series or the original Ore no Shikabane o Koete Yuke?
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