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Latest Member: Sorrowmoon
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31  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Half finished games on: October 28, 2009, 11:19:03 PM
Wow, I can't believe it. I finished Suikoden with all 108 Stars of Destiny and the good ending. I now have only three games that I haven't finished.

Time to start Suikoden II. :)
32  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Half finished games on: October 27, 2009, 06:49:54 PM
Actually, I'm pretty good at finishing games I start. I might start a game and leave it unplayed for a while, but I always end up coming back to it and finishing it.

Of all the games that I own, I only have four that I haven't finished:

Final Fantasy IV DS (Started but I played through the Xenosaga series).

Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Suikoden (actively playing right now so I should beat in about two weeks).

Suikoden II (This one I haven't even started).
33  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best story in an RPG? (NO SPOILERS PLEASE!!) on: August 09, 2009, 01:32:31 PM
I must say that a good story MUST have both good characters and well-constructed situations. Themes portrayed by these characters and the situations they are in are also very important. It's the whole package that matters or else the quality of the story would be hindered.

In the case of Xenosaga, I really liked the story. By no means is it perfect, because a lot of the most important plot points are crammed and resolved at light-speed and without much fleshing out at the very end of the last episode. It really felt like the series should have spanned six episodes instead of three. But the overall themes and the characters were quite endearing, even if they're still plagued by the overdramatic characterization and self-importance that is quite common in both JRPGs and anime. And speaking of anime, here's the thing: I really liked Xenosaga, but I can't stand Evangelion. So, where does that leave me in regards to this?   
34  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Oh, dear God, no! Not this again! (Deaths in RPGs) on: July 05, 2009, 04:45:02 PM

So, how many times has this thought crossed your mind when playing an RPG? I'm referring specifically to the deaths of playable
characters. The most iconic death on an RPG has to be Aeris's death on FFVII, yet at the very end if felt like it had a purpose. But sometimes, I feel like RPGs kill characters just for the sake of milking the drama. The example for this can be found in Xenosaga Episode III.

* ANOTHER SPOILER AHEAD* *BE WARNED* (don't know how to do the spoiler thingy)

Jin dies at the end of Xenosaga III, but for what? I know he was defending KOS-MOS, but really, the outcome would've been the same even if he had survived. I thought this was a death purely for shock value. This self-sacrifice deaths need to stop. It's annoying that you are invested emotionally in a character only for it to be killed at the end. Namco has produced a lot of RPGs, but for example in Tales of Symphonia nobody dies and the story still works.

So what do you think of altruistic deaths in RPGs? Do they bother you? What would you do instead? 
35  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How can JRPGs naturally evolve? Will we see more "big" JRPGs this gen? on: July 05, 2009, 03:02:52 PM
IMO, if a game has an excellent story and believable characters, I don't mind if it's linear or not. It's the dialogue, the interactions, how everything is presented that counts.

I think that a lot of emphasis should be put on how the dialogue plays out, because without good dialogue, a good story cannot flourish. And I agree with Dincrest that this is where RPGs should deviate from "Why do I fight for?" (etc) type of lines that are so prevalent, but feel so stiff, unnatural, and generally just immature.
36  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Superbosses on: June 25, 2009, 04:04:57 PM
So, a lot of games have extra challenges like a hard mode or a secret dungeon. RPGs tend to have the difficult challenges in the form of superbosses. These grueling battles are meant to test the player's knowledge of the combat system, patience and of course, dedication to level up their party and teaching them abilities. Personally, I love beating superbosses in RPGs. It gives the game a huge replayability boost and gives you reason to extend your playing time.

I've beaten pretty much every major superboss in the FF series (Omega, Shinryuu, Ruby and Emerald, Omega Weapon, Ozma, Nemesis, and Yiazmat and Omega Mk. XII). I'm currently working my way through the superbosses of Xenosaga Episode II. So far I've beaten Phobos Rigas, and I must say he's more difficult than any superboss that I've faced so far.

I've also heard that Atlus has beastly superbosses in their Shin Megami Tensei games and I can't wait to try those when I have the time.

When I finally beat a superboss I feel that I've beaten the game in the special sense that I've beaten the most difficult enemy it had to offer.

So, how many of you take the time and dedication to beat these colossal enemies? What's in your opinion the hardest superboss you've faced in an RPG?
37  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The awful war between JRPGFans and WRPGFans on: June 16, 2009, 09:36:06 PM
Well, not on this site. This site is actually pretty civilized and educated, but other sites have rabbid fanboys.
38  Media / Single-Player RPGs / The awful war between JRPGFans and WRPGFans on: June 16, 2009, 09:16:50 PM
For some time now, I've been noticing on various gaming forums that people argue that either JRPGs or WRPGs are better than the other. I think this is really stupid because both subgenres are great. Admittedly, I've never played a WRPG in my life, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to play the likes of Baldur's Gate, for example. Some people don't like JRPGs either because of their story or the turn-based battle system. I actually find that JRPGs like Final Fantasy, Suikoden, even Xenosaga have stories with an ethos pretty similar to those of Western audiences. Yes, they have stories with a distinct flavor. But really, I find stories in JRPGs more palatable than those of anime. Xenosaga's story is very anime inspired, however I'd say it's less convoluted, it actually makes sense and it's more subdued than for example Evangelion. Evangelion just plays with your mind and leaves you in need of a cold shower. Xenosaga doesn't.
Suikoden just has the true and tried fantasy setting. Final Fantasy tries a lot of settings and pulls them off well, with a lot of cultural malleability.
If we were talking about any form of media like books, movies, and tv shows, I'd agree that it would be hard for Western audiences to relate to them, but I just get the feeling that games are much more cultural friendly.
This leaves the gameplay. A lot of WRPGs are turn-based, then why hate JRPGs for being turn based (the ones that are, of course)?
Another thing, and maybe the one that causes the most controversy on both sides, is the art style. A lot of people criticize JRPGs for making males look like females. But, again I believe this is the exception rather than the rule. JRPGs portray males 25 and up just like they should be. Or are you going to tell me that Balthier, Auron, Basch, and Ziggy, just to name a few examples, look female?
Maybe Tidus, Vaan, and Cloud (in Advent Children) look femenine, but I think it's just that they have softer features than what we expect from a male here in the west, but I can still distinctly tell they're men.

Still, whenever I see fanboyism sway to any of the sides, I just feel the urge to protest because people will miss amazing games from both sides, which is a shame.

I think to claim the superiority of either WRPGs or JRPGs is to be an elitist. So, what's your stance on this subject?
39  Media / Single-Player RPGs / RPGs that critics love but fans of the series hate. on: June 06, 2009, 11:01:06 AM
Hi, guys. I'm new here and I want to say that I love RPGs and they're my favorite genre.

Anyway, on to the topic.

I couldn't help but notice a very curious case in RPGs, especially the Final Fantasy series. Critics seemed to love FFXII (among them Stephen Harris from this site and his review is one of the best I've seen). They praised it for its mature, political, and well developed story, stunning graphics, and fun and fresh gameplay.

However, FF fans seemed not to like either the story or the gameplay, or they liked one or the other. You just have to go to any gaming forum and you can see that FFXII gets a lot of hate.

And I ask: what could the reason of this be? I think it's because the story deviated from the norm of the FF series. There wasn't so much melodrama as in past games. People expect the protagonists to fall in love, the hero to have some kind of big secret. But the characters in FFXII, although quite interesting, were more subdued. That's not to say they were underdeveloped. The angle in which they were portrayed was simply different. I find nothing wrong with that, but it seems to irk people. The personalities of the main cast were firmly and vividly portrayed, their conflicts and motives well-defined. Sure, some of them could've been fleshed out a bit more. However, I think because these characters don't have over-the-top personalities that people seem not to feel comfortable with them. They need some sort of huge drama, while this game focused more on political turmoil.

So, what are your opinions on this? Can you think of another RPG series in which something similar happened? If so, why do you think are the reasons?

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