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334402 Posts in 13701 Topics by 2200 Members
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61  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How long to beat an entire series on: October 01, 2014, 07:29:34 PM
A couple of exclusions that should be noted.

First, Final Fantasy Adventure should either be in place of Sword of Mana or added to the Mana tally since its an almost entirely different game from Sword (also Sword has two protags with fairly different scenarios so hopefully that was taken into consideration).

Second, you forgot about the Final Fantasy Legend games. You need to add those to the SaGa list where they belong (although I won't begrudge you for not choosing to include FFL3, that thing's more like Mystic Quest's Master Quest).

Third, you should add Mystic Quest to your FF lineup, its a half decent game and Curtain Call canonized it. Also, you should totally count Dirge of Cerberus in your Final Fantasy list because, whether you or anyone else likes it or not, its still a part of that awful FFVII compilation, and you can't skip out on that one if you're including every other ill-conceived Squeenix compilation title. Also also, you should add Advent Children to that list (just hold a controller in your hand, hold forward, and occasionally tap the X/O/B/A/confirm/deselect button and you can easily write it off as a full fledged Squeenix videogame).

Plus, you totally missed Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. Add it.

Moreover, you've totally missed the Mario & Luigi series.

That said, if you're going to do the Blazer Trilogy, you need to add Actraiser to the list (or you can be totally sneaky and add it to the Ys list since its basically Ys III mk.2).

On that note, you also missed Ys Origins (and Ys III is so completely different from Oath in Felgana that it should be included separately).

And finally, like the FFA/Sword of Mana bit earlier, you should include Wild ArmS: First Whatever (can't be arsed to look it up).

Now go and make lists for Lufia, Legend of Heroes, the Camelot games (or at least Shining whatever), Tactics Ogre and Front Mission.
62  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dice plays FF7 (Sponsored by Maxx) on: October 01, 2014, 07:01:35 PM
One thing to point out about the whole "Man in a Black Cape" bit is that there are a bunch of dudes in Black Capes, or Cloaks in this case. After all, the real Sephiroth is still chilling up at the North Crater, either he through JENOVA or JENOVA itself is controlling the various people in Black Cloaks (I personally think the implication was that when Sephiroth exerts enough control over a host, he can sorta magic the sap into a copy of himself as well as invoke bizarre mutant powers like flight and teleportation; either that, or the Man in the Black Cape isn't Sephiroth at all and its all the screwiness involving Cloud's head and the JENOVA cells inside of him, he's basically seeing Sephiroth and shouting "Sephiroth" and all everyone else can see is some dude who's figure is obscured by a Black Cape/Cloak and just take his word for it; after all you never actually fight Sephiroth prior to the events at the North Crater).

Two funny things about Fort Condor, first is that its a call back to the Battle of Narshe in FFVI (you're defending a location from enemy grunts and you must deploy your troops to halt them), and that its essentially a Tower Defense minigame that predated the establishment of the Tower Defense genre by over a decade. Also you do get some fine rewards for the mini-game, including a Large Materia and the Phoenix Summon Materia, but you have to play through it several times to get those and the later battles unlock based upon story progression. It's also cheap to run through and braindead easy to complete so its easily on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of the game's minigame's annoyance factor.

Meanwhile Junon, is pretty much where the second most annoying concentration of minigames are in the game (Icicle Inn's shenanigans like the Snowboarding minigame and the keep your body temperature up bullshit are easily the worst).
63  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Azure Striker Gunvolt on: October 01, 2014, 03:10:56 PM
From what I've heard, it's basically a speedrunner's game. I've been thinking of getting it, but the part I liked least about the MMZero series was brutal focus on perfect plays (why sure, offer an entire upgrade system and then penalize the player for ever using it; at least they got better about it as the series wore on, although Hard Mode was always essentially an enforced Minimalist Mode).
64  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: October 01, 2014, 01:44:15 AM
To be fair to Lunar: Silver Star Whatever. Lunar: The Silver Star was only ever difficult when trying to find that sandworm since the game gets weird about what you need to do to trip the next event flag (and to be fair to myself, I didn't have any problem with this either, but shortly after my playthrough someone else posted about it).

The tl;dr is that Lunar has never been a difficult game (and its EBC that has the bullshit inflated boss courtesy of Working Designs RIP).

That said, I did end up brickwalling on my only run through of SSSC due to that one fight with Kyle against a petrified Hell Mel statue since he has to fight it alone or something and I didn't bother to care about grinding my way out of that (then went for TSS where said fight never existed). I don't know why I bricked at that fight, or if it was just a matter of getting too bored to carry on.
65  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dice plays FF7 (Sponsored by Maxx) on: September 30, 2014, 03:52:38 PM
I wouldn't entirely go that far.  JENOVA is quite possibly an alien virus,  not a space monster (in the Xenomorph-style) or even a self-reliant organism.  We don't know exactly the time frame of JENOVA's arrival and its relationship with the Ancients to say enough about how much of it falls under the specific cliches you mentioned.  In the virus theory, the reason why JENOVA is initially thought to be an Ancient was because she had infected an Ancient's body.  The body itself was just a random nobody, but the cells contained a viable virus sample.

Which, of course, is entirely another major science fiction cliche in itself.  But cliches and tropes aren't necessarily bad.

In my opinion the worst offender in ridiculousness in the lore was making the Ancients super-powered aliens who could "speak" with a planet they had never been to before.  It does explain why the Ancients don't assimilate with the Lifestream when they die and gives Aeris the deus ex machina excuse of helping the party/world through death in the ending, but I can't help but feel it's backwards.  Shouldn't those who settle and remain on the planet be the ones capable of "speaking" with it?

Unrelated, but before the compilation and I had read proper translations of VII's dialogue, I always thought that the Ancients were something akin to Geomancers.  I find that more satisfying than them being aliens. Even if they could have been aliens that came from X-2's world.

Re: JENOVA. Tomaeto, tomahto. Its why I likened it to the Miticlorians of Parasite Eve in the first place. Whether JENOVA is just a space virus or a space monster made of Cosmic Rays or whatever. She/it serves the same purpose.

As for the Ancients, I thought it was the other way around. The Humans are the ones who came from some primordial ooze off some space rock during prehistory (or maybe a couple of apes hanging off a space rock that used to be a planet until the DOOP mined it hollow for Dark Matter, whatever) while the Ancients were the Planet's original inhabitants until the JENOVA space mutant plague wiped them out. That, to me, is why they had a greater affinity with the Planet versus the Muggle Humans (and then Red's Grandpa's infodump suggests that it really doesn't matter if a person is an Ancient, Human or otherwise, as long as they're living and not a threat to the Planet (the Planet basically puts JENOVA on ice because it can't deal with it otherwise), they'll get sucked into the Lifestream and intermingle shat back out as a new lifeform in a new life). I think that's the implication in regards to Sephiroth's comment to Cloud in Nibelheim (or was it the Temple of the Ancients).
66  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Live-Action Sci-Fi Tetris Movie on: September 30, 2014, 02:35:51 PM

So which version of Tetris will they be using?
67  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: September 30, 2014, 02:34:18 PM

This is the best goddamn image. Its even better than the high speed Hot-air Balloon chase that commercial uses.
68  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dice plays FF7 (Sponsored by Maxx) on: September 30, 2014, 02:26:42 PM
Yeah I know that, but Jenova wasn't the source of magic right? She was unrealted. the WEAPONS may have been created to stop Jenova, but they were made by the planet, so the source is still the Lifestream.

The thing about FFVII's plot is that its a bunch of low-Sci-Fi movies tied together, clichés and all.

While Materia was the actual source of "Magic" gameplaywise; it, Mako and Lifestream energy are basically the setting's equivalent to Atomic Energy. A recently discovered powersource capable of outperforming anything that came before it but is feared to be toxic unless properly handled/refined. The WEAPONs are lifestream created monsters and are basically Godzilla/Mothra/insert cheesy Japanese Tokyo destroying monster here.

Likewise, JENOVA is basically something that was dwelling in some random meteorite that crash lands onto Earth that, once on Earth, starts running amok and terrorizing the local population of small town, bumfuck nowhere. She/it represents wholly Alien powers/tech of th Space Monster variety, but is used in the "What can it do to humans exposed to it?" way versus the "It's Game Over man! Game Over!" of the rampaging Xenomorph variety. The cliché is treated as a supplement to the "Are humans a product of Earth/descended from Apes, or are we more special than that and our race came from a hyper advanced alien culture and thus are the only species capable of Sapience?" in that JENOVA is treated like a distant cousin to humans and thus when cells are introduced to humans, a variety of effects occur in the test subject like monstrous mutations, super human abilities, the ability to survive direct Mako exposure (don't ask how Tifa manages to survive getting dumped into the Lifestream with Cloud), and weird hive mind tendencies.

Hojo himself is also a cliché of the greedy mad scientist who has an end in mind and is more than willing to play god in regards to the means of getting there variety, and plays it to the letter. He kills his predecessor in order to steal his research, he's obsessed with JENOVA cell research even though he's a total hack at it and he's willing to use anybody and everybody to further his own ambitions, up to, and including himself.

The tl;dr is that the game pretty much runs off of B-grade Sci-Fi Movie logic.
69  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Zelda Musou on: September 30, 2014, 01:28:59 PM

So here are the deets on the first DLC pack. Seems that Epona was probably the most interesting thing about the pack after all as the rest involves the original characters. I guess the Master Quest version of Adventure Mode is neat but the new costumes are spoilers in regards to what's up with Cia.
70  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dice plays FF7 (Sponsored by Maxx) on: September 30, 2014, 01:27:46 AM
JENOVA was basically to FFVII what Midiclorians were to Parasite Eve (and Phantom Menace). Sci-Fi technobabble bullshit as to why there's magic, monsters, and superheroes/villains running amok. Kinda like how Nanomachines, Parallel Dimensions and Genetic Engineering are to today's Sci-Fi technobabble bullshit.

Especially when you consider just how many times Hojo starts an experiment that also ends with the insertion of JENOVA cells.

Otherwise, yeah. She/It is implicitly implied to be a space alien given the fact that North Crater and the Planet's formation of the WEAPONs were a direct result of her/it's arrival.

What's important to keep in mind about the Kalm flashback is that Cloud isn't the only one who's taking the wrong thing away from the incident. Sephiroth was going off of Hojo's notes during the event at the time, and as the game wears on, it becomes quite evident that Hojo doesn't really have a fucking clue as to what he's talking about or really doing. In the end, both Hojo and Sephiroth wind up pulling each other's strings as Hojo lets Hojo Jr. run off with his prize specimen as he really wants to see what the outcome of Sephy's rampage with her/it, while Sephiroth basically knows that Sephy Sr. was way off the mark, that he's his daddy's biggest accomplishment and just how far he'll go to aid his own ambitions for the sake of seeing the results.

But otherwise, the Kalm Flashback is probably one of the better examples of a flashback done in videogames due to the way its handled, the way it takes advantage of the inherent strength of the video game medium and the way the plot ties into it (and the fact that it really doesn't have a lot of worth competitors).

As for the game's handling of Barret, I don't think the localization did him any justice by trying to make him like B.A. Baracus. Granted, the effect was memorable due to the cheeziness and tone-deaf nature of the caricature, but it really speaks of the juvenile nature of how localizations and the video game industry were back in the day (and to a certain respect, still are today). That said, I can see why the translator/localizer went with that due to the fucked up nature of the game's plot/flow. Seriously, the entire Midgar section is one big Cyberpunk homage/cluster of crazy shit like the Honey Bee Inn and Sector 6 in general, but once you get out of that, suddenly the entire tone of the game changes to the more conventional FF formula and only occasionally looks back (namely whenever Shinra's top mooks are involved). The dude probably committed to the idea early on, and slowly phased it out once the tone changed with the occasional lapse for effect/spicing up what was probably dry source material.
71  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: September 29, 2014, 07:36:28 PM

So it's an image of a bunch of sprites either ripped directly from Earthbound, Breath of Fire 2, and a couple of Squaresoft games or Spriter's Resource (which consist of Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, and FFs IV-VI). I'm not seeing the woah dude.
72  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: September 28, 2014, 10:41:35 PM
Suiko 3 -
Is there a reason Geddoe called Sana the Flame Champion or am I misreading that :S

Perhaps a mistranslation, since even by then, Suikoden still didn't have the best localization/QA team available. At least its a far cry above what Konami crapped out for Suki 2. (That, or maybe he's saying something in a way that addresses or refers to TFC while speaking to Sana; either asking something about him or talking to TFC in a dearly departed sorta way (like "Hey buddy. Been a while. Just crashin' your digs, chattin' up the Missus, and come to swipe/let someone else swipe your stuffs. Some assholes and their little global empire are lookin' to start sumpthin', and hey. How's that not livin' treatin' you? I'm gettin' kinda bored of dis shit and am thinkin' of movin' on. Also, got my own li'l company now. Great crew, you'll love 'em. Anyways this call's gettin' long, I've/some jerk got's an army to build for fendin' da hood, and what's this dragon doin' here? Kthnxbye." ).)

Anyways, decided to go full Chaos in my TO:LUCT:TWoF:PSP run, and am now starting Chapter 3.

Also finally broke down and got around to playing Yumi's Odd Odyssey. Got 2 endings and half the backpacks but stage 24 can suck all the ballz.
73  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The unofficial "recommend me a game" thread. on: September 28, 2014, 04:38:25 PM
Any horror fans in the house? I have a few questions since I'm gonna try to play a bunch of Halloween-themed games this coming month:

  • Is Yume Nikki more flat out scary? Or is it more creepy/weird/disturbing? I'd actually prefer the latter...
  • Anybody know of any good point 'n' click games with dark atmosphere and themes? I know of a few, like Uninvited, 7th Guest, and Alone in the Dark (the old, old one), but I don't know if they've aged well...
  • And has Master Reboot gotten any better? I remember it getting some iffy reviews...

Re: Yume Nikki, definitely the latter. Although, even then it leans more towards surreal/trippy more than anything else.
Re: Good Point 'n' Click, I'm pretty sure 7th Guest has aged horribly and Uninvited is probably okay due to Sudden Adventure Game Death Syndrome, no idea on AitD.
Re: Master Reboot? Never heard of it.
74  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: September 28, 2014, 03:10:15 PM

It's the best (re: only) thing to come out of it thus far.
75  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!] on: September 28, 2014, 02:40:59 PM
Are you still doing "Auto battle"?

The only times you really need to be hands on is when you're playing as a Sentinel or a Synergist since the AI kinda fails at playing those roles efficiently.

What Maxx should be doing is casting Libra every fight that introduces a new enemy. The AI will dick around a bit until it fills out the enemy's Beastiary page and knows what the enemy is susceptible to. The difference between that and a Libra Scope is that Libra Scopes fully view the entries of all enemies on the screen for no TP.

Additionally, aside from instances when you need a piece of gear to complete a bonus attribute set, you should never touch the crafting system until the end/post game. And only do so with a guide in hand.

I would argue that the AI also sucks as a medic.. He always fills the ATB bar and overheals one person while you could divide the ATB bar to heal one person and then be able to quickly heal the other person. I've died because of the AI playing as a medic before and letting people die while they were overhealing someone else. The AI is also rather meh as a ravager, at least playing as Lightning, they take way too much time figuring out what the elemental weakness is when sometimes it's easily known through the enemy designs, and when they do they always choose a mixture of the physical elemental attacks and the casting elemental attacks, the thing is you will have either a higher strength or magic stat and furthermore when the enemy has no elemental weaknesses you will want  to choose the spells with the quickest animation to maximize damage.

And lastly it's the thing I don't get. A lot of people complain about the lack of control yet at the same time they let the game choose their actions automatically(something that was intended for beginners because SE thinks we are dumb or something), it doesn't make any sense. In previous FF games part of the strategy is to find out which elemental weaknesses the enemy has, choosing your own attacks with animation time/damage/MP cost  etc into consideration, that's something you can mostly do in FF13, also the biggest AI flaw that applies to all the roles is that the AI always fills the entire ATB bar when many times you don't actually wanna do that maybe because the enemies require less attacks to kill or whatever other reasons that might come up. Why relegate that for an AI that is mostly "good enough" and why choosing to disregard the option that lets you have more control and at the same time complain about the lack of control. Or perhaps people are talking about other type  of control...Idk. There is more to it than changing paradigms, unless you willingly commit yourself to that handicap for whatever reason.
The only times I used auto battle was when I was tired of fighting and didn't care and wanted a more passive role in the battles, the game has  way too much fuckin combat.

The AI Medics aren't so much trying to over heal as it is trying to take advantage of the extra percentage on the character's Stagger Gauge. It helps a lot when somebody is really hurting for health since the battle system moves too fast to just pick a point on a character's health bar and say "Good enough.", besides they may end up taking follow up damage while healing, so healing a bit more helps as well.

As for Ravagers, that's precisely why I suggested to cast Libra/throw a Libra Scope out during an encounter with a new enemy type/boss fight. That cuts down the amount of time the AI flaffs about significantly.

As for the automatic control thing, see the posts above. The battle system is way too fast paced to allow players to just futz about in the various menus without costing time and opportunities. Hell, one of the things that makes Lightning worth using during the endgame/post game despite her Red Mage-iness, is the fact that she has easy access to a combination of equipment and abilities that let her build ATB while taking actions, speeding her up and cutting the time between her actions by a significant amount. The last thing you want to do with Lightning is spend all that extra built up ATB fucking around in the menus since it defeats the entire point of having that as an advantage.

People also tend to bitch about FFXII playing itself automatically, but they either forgot or didn't realize that stuff like passive buffs persist for a set amount of time regardless as to how much time is spent in battle and that the whole purpose of Gambits was to eliminate the sheer amount of tedium that would've been involved if the player had to apply each individual buff manually (they probably also didn't realize that they could set up their spellcasters to throw out spells based upon what weaknesses an enemy has automatically which again saves a massive amount of menu diving tedium and memorization in terms of looking shit up).

Of course, this is one of the reasons so many people love Xenoblade Chronicles so much. Prebattle buffs are straight up regulated to passive skills learned over the course of the game (the skills in question usually affect the entire party and are freely available to the person that learned it) as well as equipable Gems and managing to nail that opening Quick Time button press boosts them and offer other bonuses as well (as well as refresh them with additional QTEs that show up during the fight). There's no need for your characters to suddenly come to a dead stop every so often to drop Berserk or Haste on one of your peeps or burn through their MP nor spend time in a suboptimal job/class waiting for all the buffs you want applied before switching to whatever deal damage directly class/job waiting in the wings.
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