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Messages - Mym

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Single-Player RPGs / Re: "No plans" for new Saga or Mana games
« on: June 25, 2011, 11:50:13 PM »
In the nearly three decades that they've been making video games, Japan has only developed 3 RTSes during this entire time. And they're ALL based off of Heroes of Mana's shitty engine.

Agreed on the shockingly low quality of HoM and its kin, but this isn't entirely true. In fact, you could argue that Japan actually invented the genre:

Single-Player RPGs / Re: "No plans" for new Saga or Mana games
« on: June 23, 2011, 12:42:36 PM »
For me the problem is that most everyone involved in the creation of Squaresoft's most beloved games is gone now. They lost large chunks of employees and several creative powerhouses to Monolith Soft, Brownie Brown, Sacnoth / Nautilus, and a whole bunch of other splinter companies. Sakaguchi left to found Mistwalker, and Matsuno departed after Final Fantasy XII. Others like Uematsu, Mitsuda and Kato went freelance, and though they didn't completely sever their ties to the company, they certainly started to play a less prominent role.

Of course old people going out and new ones coming in is part of the life cycle of any company, but I'm not convinced SquEnix have gone out of their way to find adequate replacements for some of the fantastic talents they used to have. I don't think it's a coincidence that when they do do something right it's usually because of the involvement of some of the staff from their golden years, nor that Dragon Quest, which as Aeolus noted still has most of its original key staff, remains just about their most consistent series. Part of me wants to see them give another shake to older franchises, but part of me believes there's hardly anyone at the company capable of making something good out of them.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: WRPG virgin no more!
« on: June 22, 2011, 09:12:52 PM »
Kind of playing devil's advocate here since I'm generally more fond of Japanese games, but I'm a girl and I've never had a problem with Western art direction. I loved the visuals of the Baldur's Gate games and Planescape Torment, and The Witcher 2 is just about the most impressive looking game I've ever seen. It's true that I do tend toward softer, more cartoonish art, but my (also female) friend swears by a more realistic approach and swoons over the graphics of games like Uncharted and Mass Effect. So I'd be inclined to say it's less of a male-female thing and more one of personal taste.

Now if you're having a go at games for not presenting compelling female characters from a writing perspective a lot of the time, then there I'm with you. But it's something that's getting better and better. And I wouldn't say Western games are any more guilty of it than Japanese ones. Heck if nothing else, Western RPGs usually offer you the chance to play as a girl if you want to, as well as giving you some degree of control over her appearance and personality. Yes there are token bimbos in some Western games, but that's true of Japanese games too. Heck there are plenty of Japanese games that trade either heavily or completely on female sex appeal. Ar Tonelico 3, anyone?

Oh, and reading back on previous posts, was Uncharted being cited as a game that isn't really appealing to women? Really? I thought both Drake and Elena were fantastic, well-rounded leads that would appeal equally to those of both genders. And I had a pretty massive crush on Drake over the two games.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade + The Last Story
« on: June 22, 2011, 04:48:24 PM »
Nintendrought: The Wii Games North America is Never Getting

I still can't fathom the fact that Nintendo of America didn't bring The Last Story.

Me neither, if only because it's a high budget title with Sakaguchi's name attached. Though in my opinion, it's hardly worth bringing over from a quality perspective anyway, and I don't think you're missing out on that much. It has some interesting ideas, but the story and characters are dull as mud, the visuals are schizophrenic and plagued by slowdown, the majority of the soundtrack isn't up to Uematsu's usual standards, and the potentially cool battle system is crippled by pathetically easy difficulty, and very quickly descends into button mashing. It has some fun and cool moments, and makes some admirable attempts to shake up the JRPG formula gameplay-wise, but for me it's just far too flawed to be anything close to good. It's not the worst game I've ever bought, but it's definitely one of the worst I've bought at full price.

Xenoblade, on the other hand, is utterly fantastic. It's easily the best JRPG of the generation for me, and many of those who have played it seem to share my opinion. I understand it's a more difficult sale given its inability to boast being 'from the creator of Final Fantasy', but I'm genuinely baffled as to why NoA isn't at least taking a gamble on it given the wholly positive feedback from Japanese players and importers, and the lack of competition on the Wii.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales Series
« on: June 01, 2011, 05:58:12 PM »
I wasn't hugely fond of Vesperia either. I enjoyed it well enough while I was playing it, but I finished it last year and already I struggle to remember much about it except that it was really pretty, that I liked the opening song by Bonnie Pink, and that I was more than a little bit in love with the admittedly fantastic Yuri. <3 It didn't really help that it did almost nothing to distinguish itself gameplay-wise from Abyss, which I had already put some sixty hours into. Of course anyone familiar with the series could tell you that they're all rather similar, but Vesperia, in particular, just felt like an ever-so-slightly polished copy-paste of Abyss from a gameplay perspective. I'd never dream of calling it a bad game, but it's definitely one of my least favourites of the Tales games I've played.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales Series
« on: May 31, 2011, 10:33:56 PM »
I'm not a massive fan of the series, but when I think back on it I've actually played and finished most of them. I think it's down to a mixture of most of the games being really easy to find for quite cheap in any Japanese bargain bin, and them usually being a safe bet to provide a fun forty to sixty hours of gameplay between titles I care more about. I'd be hard pressed to call many of the games in the series fantastic, but a few misfires aside it's got a pretty good track record with me for providing fun (if rather forgettable) titles year after year.

Off the top of my head, I've finished Phantasia, Destiny, Phantasia PS1, Eternia, Destiny II, Symphonia PS2, Rebirth, Legendia, Abyss, Destiny PS2 and Vesperia PS3. The ones that have stuck with me most have probably been Destiny II, Destiny PS2 and Abyss. The first because it was a cute, adventurous throwback to a setting and cast of characters I was very fond of during the Playstation era, the second because it's just an all around fantastic remake, with some spectacular 2D spritework and what is by far the best gameplay in the series in my mind, and the last because in spite of my usual indifference to the stories the series spins, I actually found myself getting really caught up in the struggles of Luke and his companions, and was eager to see what would happen next to the very last moment. It was total soap opera stuff, sure, but it was compelling, in its own way. :'D

About the only one I really didn't enjoy was Legendia. Though I'd offer sparse praise to some of the character quests, and I absolutely swooned over the wonderful soundtrack, which for me was far, far beyond any of Sakuraba's work on the series.

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