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61  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: July 03, 2015, 09:05:14 PM

62  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 03, 2015, 07:54:22 PM
wrt Growlanser 1, what did the PSP version add/change? I was sort of thinking about getting the PSX version 'cause it's cheap and I don't have a PSP (but I DO have 10 bucks sitting in paypal from a refund that I don't trust paypal to not eat), but if the PSP version is significantly improved enough maybe I'll go that route... Also I guess PSP got Growlanser 4 release domestically as well, which I know nothing about.

From the videos I saw the remake looks kind of... deliriously low-res too.


Morrowind - Wandering around some ebony mine. Game's a lot darker than I remember. Need to get a lighting spell I guess. Also trained alchemy up enough so that I can actually see what potions do. Main buy (Ajira inthe mage's guild) is out of money anyway right now so I don't think I should bother with the ebony. Probably going to Caldera - I need to get my speechcraft up before I do the next set of mage's guild things, and I want to get my attacking skills up before I get the main quest going.

Nanatsu Kaze - Wandered around in current chapter a bit. Found slug guy but he ran away. Got into the back entrance to the lake.

Anyway gonna ToR a bit. I'm still not a hundred pertotally sure where Eugene's eyes are.
63  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: July 03, 2015, 03:03:40 PM
Whenever I watch old stuff from the 90s and like, aside from musicians and actors, people always look/act way older than they were. Like people in their mid-20s seemed ancient in the 90s? I know people joke about Masahiro Sakurai looking like he's aging backwards, but I get that from a lot of people -- there's plenty of people I know that look/act a lot younger at 40/50 than they did at 30.

idk different ideas for different generations about what maturity means I guess.

Meanwhile, it rained again today. So that's like... four or five days over the past three? weeks where we haven't had any rain.
64  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 02, 2015, 11:34:29 PM
@ Mickey: I really liked Growlanser 2 when I was playing it, uh, whenever I played it. Last spring or 2013? You might want to check a FAQ for the play chapters though, they're sort of easy to permanently miss. Also I'd sort of recommend not spending stat points until you need to in case you hit a mission you can't beat and need to adjust stuff accordingly. I don't think there are MANY places where you get stuck without being able to do any emergency grinding (note that you don't really need to grind unless something goes wrong) but there are a few?

That game was the game and probably the single worst SRPG I've ever played.

dawg I could show you some shit and most of it comes from Poland.


ToR - Did little waitering minigame. Got everyone a title from that. Also found some chests on the overworld and I'm not really sure what they're for. Also not entotally sure how equipment inheritance works -- should probably figure that out before I try advancing the plot.

XIIZeal - Woohoo! New patch adds separate leader boards for different difficulty levels :D Also got onto the alternate route through Stage 5 somehow.

... I need to get a copy of Strikers 1945 2. Haven't played that in years.

Morrowind - Did catgirls mage's guild stuff. Did first thieves guild mission in Balmora. Stole a bunch of alchemy equipment. My dude is a thief/enchanter thing. I didn't take alchemy for some reason.

I'm eschewing mods for the most part -- just running something that places random flavor NPCs, something to delay Dark Brotherhood attacks (as they render the early game WAY too difficult if you start with Tribunal installed), the patch plugin, the official plugins, and most of the optional stuff from the code patch (which doesn't affect too much anyway). Basically approaching the game on its own terms. Which means making heavy use of the trainers and working with the existing mechanics to cope with the lowish base hit rate.

"eschew" fuck why did I go to grad school oh lord.

(Minor redaction: Adding two other mods that makes guards help the player fight NPCs and causes non-combat NPCs to flee from combat; also might make something to make Solstheim wolves friendly when I get there because I don't like killing doggies).
65  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 01, 2015, 07:33:33 PM
I like FFTA a lot at first but then the balance gets very strange and iirc the missions start repeating well before you've seen all 300 of them. Also thy tend to take forever despite being fairly easy.

Mushihimesama Futari - Getting a little more consistent at clearing the second half of stage 3 without dying. Basically, if there's slowdown, doing anything I can to get towards the middle left/middle right screen works well. Also trying to macrododge the spear attack thing that the pillbugs shoot because micrododging that is very unpleasant. Also definitely like Palm more than Reco.

Boss 3 is still a trouble.

Anyway I think imma... try Morrowind for a bit, against my better judgement.


Morrowind - Made character, went to Pelagiad.

ToR - Got some ritle from the library. I'm not entirely sure what that was about. Lady was all "Shame on you for following everyone else's path. Don't you have doubts about being bestowed with titles?" or something. So now I have, uh, custom titles I can give my dudes. I don't know if it's /just for funsies/ or if there's some Treasure of the Rudra's stuff going on with the naming there but whatever. Also there's a bartending minigame and I don't really know how to do it because by the point I found it I'd been staring at a dictionary for like an hour and I think my eyes are bleeding.

Think I might take a break from mushihimesama futari and spend some time with ddp resurrection. Similar type of bullet patterns, different context. Might help with making connections.

V- The length of the fights in SF3 is one of my only major complaints against it, although you can save in battle so it's not really much of an issue, and you can reload as freely as you want to, and losing battles isn't a big deal since you just go back to town instead of game overing.

If it's something like fire emblem though, where it saves after every action, or if it's one of them games where you can't save in battle at all well HOO DOGGY WE'RE IN FOR A PROBLEMS.

iirc Growlanser 2 had pretty quick fights, though. Being real time helped with that. And I want to say Arc 1 - 3 tended towards pretty short fights as well? I haven't played those in years.
66  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: July 01, 2015, 06:45:09 PM
What if Link is female but a female in disguise and it's going to be this big reveal in-game ala the original Metroid and Nintendo's intentionally misleading everyone so that it has more impact and I just ruined the surprise*?

Also Capcom would probably fuck MML3 up to a heroic degree if they revived it :( Like it'd be a droidpod exclusive and everything would be DLC.
67  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: June 30, 2015, 07:17:32 PM
Mushihimsame Futari - Managed to get through the second half of stage 3 without dying as Normal Palm. Not entirely sure what I did, although NOT hugging the bottom of the screen seems safer. Also killing the huge rhinocerous beetles cancels all bullets, not just their own, which help.

ToR - Just going through the wall decorations (aka "paintings" and "bulletin board") descriptions (aka "descriptions"). There's this whole optional backstory in the first town about why there are flowers painted on things.
68  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: June 30, 2015, 12:04:09 AM
I want a Jurassic Park movie where its like what if dinosaurs aren't dead but were always skeletons and are just /waiting/
69  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of Berseria on: June 28, 2015, 01:47:57 AM
Tragic Thing: Her sister was locked away after a horrible accident and she doesn't have the $5.99 to unlock a costume of her BUT YOU DO!!!


But seriously, from that description, the tragic thing that left her smile shoved firmly up her ass (and currently held up there with some kind of stick) was that her boyfriend was reportedly slain by a notorious dread pirate.

... and for just $5.99, you can wear his preserved skin!

Just like in Kimba!
70  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of Berseria on: June 27, 2015, 08:41:38 PM
Tragic Thing: Her sister was locked away after a horrible accident and she doesn't have the $4.99 to unlock her BUT YOU DO!!!
71  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Article: 21 RPGs that brought something new to the table on: June 27, 2015, 08:36:48 PM
Oh, okay. I get what you're saying now. I thought the game was using space differently -- namely I wasn't aware it had jumping and I remembered the movement being more rigidly grid based for some reason (OH SNAP DID I CONFUSE IT WITH LIVE-A-LIVE).

... Man now I feel like giving SO1 a proper go. Why are there so many videogames I can't cope with this distraction 8<
72  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: June 27, 2015, 07:53:55 PM



For the former, I have no idea what the song's about but it's deliriously lovely and catchy and I have no idea if I linked it here before but I'm doing it again.

For the latter, goshdang I love the music in Triangle Service's stuff. Like XIIZeal probably has the worst soundtrack out of that series and it's still great.

Both of these songs though have this airy, sunny, summery feel that I need on a, uh... chilly, overcast not-even-remotely summery summer day such as this.
73  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Article: 21 RPGs that brought something new to the table on: June 27, 2015, 07:44:44 PM
I would like to say that the crux of my dislike for Daggerfall is ultimately that the random generation method they used to produce the towns and dungeons was quite poor (even when compared to its immediate predecessor).

Essentially it fudges it's scope by repeating content a lot. To my knowledge, there's absolutely nothing at all in the majority of the... however many square miles it is game world, there's about 12 unique dungeons and another 3 unique dungeons worth of dungeon parts, about 52 unique building interiors, maybe three towns worth of building exteriors, and 200ish unique quest scripts (some of which are repeated). It's actually a rather tiny game that uses some smoking mirrors to appear massive -- it's like if FFIII had 200 town, and 190 of them were identical to Narshe.

This is particular problematic with the dungeons, though. iirc there's about five dungeon templates (Tower, dungeon going into a natural cave, and then a few variations on straight-up dungeons) and they work by piecing together dungeon segments a la Phantasy Star Online (and it should be noted that, unlike PSO or Arena, dungeons are not being procedurally generated as you play -- they were procedurally generated during development, and the resultant level structures were stored).

The huge issue with this is that the level geometry is vastly more complex than what PSO or Arena have, so you end up with a lot of familiar dungeon segments (there, again, are quite few unique segments) that never really link up in a coherent or entirely bug-free fashion. They're also needlessly massive (individual dungeons easily get as large as Ultima Underworld in its entirety) and quest targets tend to be in strange places.

But I'm going to ignore that because saying that a game is bad because it has bad level design isn't really interesting, even if it's true (ie, shmup community can waffle on about Sine Mora's mechanics as much as they want, but that game falls apart because the levels are nearly empty and nothing else matters after that. But discussions about mechanics are more interesting).


Daggerfall would've been a more interesting pick anyways as it's to this day the hugest RPG ever made, and the most deep and feature rich out of all the Elder Scrolls games. It's nuts to think that Bethesda keeps getting more popular the more features they strip away from their games. "Evolution" of gaming, heh.

With full disclosure that I don't like Bethesda in a general sense and I'm not really saying this in defense of their later works, removing features isn't really the opposite of evolution. You see this a lot in older CRPGs but there are a lot of what I guess you could call boilerplate features -- things that are present out of tradition/roots in tabletop gaming that don't really make sense in a videogame, and tend to get in the way of doing what you want to do anyway (or why you have, for instance, debuffs in Breath of Fire 2 even though they're hardcoded to always fail).

Honestly I think a minimalist approach works better sometimes -- I don't, frankly, think tying an action RPG's attack success chance to dice rolls and skill levels makes much sense. This is a big part of why I find Morrowind so unplayable, and why I think System Shock 2's skill system feels so grafted on (whereas in Deus Ex, the skill levels have a more meaningful, functional impact on what you're doing -- having a high pistol skill steadies the reticule more, but there's never a random miss chance so you can always overcome low stats if you've got good reflexes. This is true albeit to a lesser extent for Gothic -- so it worked for me in that case).

I don't think that embedding sub-system after sub-system into your core game mechanics necessarily improves anything. I'm of the opinion that depth comes from the way a game's mechanics /interact/ with eachother and grafting more /features/ onto a game has a strong tendency to make mechanics that get silo'd off instead of interacting. Which is why you end up with games that have elaborate crafting systems that don't really matter.

But I mean that's true of software design as a whole.

Essentially it's addition by subtraction. What's the /core/ experience you want to deliver? Does a feature enhance that experience? If not, why is it there?

The core experience of TES that resonates with players could be summed up as "immersion," and while there are the hardcore Daggerfall fans out there that would disagree, a lot of the features from Daggerfall that were removed were holdovers from the game's PnP inspirations, that ultimately served to highlight the interface between player and game and disrupt the immersion that the current fanbase seeks from the series.

It's not a case of removing nuance to make something more palatable to the mass market; it's a case of coming up with a more cohesive product by removing inappropriate features. And the cohesion is what grew the fanbase.

<Edited to redact cynicism; introduce malapropisms>.
74  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Article: 21 RPGs that brought something new to the table on: June 27, 2015, 04:58:34 PM

Nooo? (I'm not trying to be /that guy/ I'm just really confused :V)

Also this was about PC RPGs anyway.

- edit -

I get the impression that this guy's research involves a lot of second-hand information gathering and not having actually /played/ these games. Although that's how I feel about a lot of retrospective lists. Admittedly doing so would be a massive time sink so I mean it's not like I'd expect anyone to actually do that buuuuuut

I guesssss that's why I don't really like these lists much. I'm more interested in hearing about someone's personal experience with a game than just reporting on game history.

1. Also if you REALLY want to include Wizardry 4 on the list, technically it's the first game where you summoned up underling demons ala SMT to fight for you. So that's a better reason.

2. Ultima 4 shouldn't be in the runners up section. AFAIK, it was the first CRPG to have lengthyish NPC conversations, a meaningful moral system, and a more experimental storyline. U4 was and still is a pretty BFD (and it's also a solid game that's still quite playable because it avoids a lot of the dumb stuff that most older CRPGs did).

3. As someone that actually does like Ultima 8 a lot (in spite of its wonkiness), it shouldn't be on the list for the reasons that guy mentions -- U8 itself doesn't really make the avatar do anything evil and that's more of a retcon introduced in U9. For instance, U8 does have you murdering a dude, but that's at the dude's behest because he needs you to do it so he can ascend or something. Also the avatar DOES screw something up at one point but that's because he was tricked into doing it so that doesn't really count.

4. Dragon Wars essentially invented New Game+. You could restart the game at any time if you were in an uwinnable situation, and keep your characters' stats. This is nearly identical to what Dragon Quarter did actually.

5. I like Ishar, but the guy's kind of overstating the importance of the NPC 'personality' thing there and I THINK Wasteland did something similar first.

6. Rogue's omission from that list is... peculiar. Rogue is probably the most influential RPG that wasn't Wizardry or Ultima.
75  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Article: 21 RPGs that brought something new to the table on: June 27, 2015, 02:40:33 AM
Screw Alternate Reality: The City for being on the list. That game's an awful Bard's Tale clone with no goal, and all of the unique features were either partially implemented, not interesting, or stuff the fanbase is imagining that's not even in the game.

And Wizardry 4's pretty widely regarded as the worst one in the series.

And Wizardry 8 wasn't particularly innovative at all

Also Quest for Glory did the thing that Magic Diary does, just in a more limited way.

Nothing about SO1 perfecting real time combat on a 3D field?

Star Ocean 1 was not 3D and it was barely realtime????

I wouldn't include RoA's chargen because a lot of the stuff you could create wasn't actually used in the game. Like a very good chunk of skills were just there cause they were in the PnP system and the PC games /never checked them/.
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