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6421  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: February 24, 2010, 10:37:25 PM
Not the hugest radiohead fan, but...


6422  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The power of branding on: February 24, 2010, 07:53:35 PM
Not sure how relevant this is, buy I remember reading an article that for something to induce fannish behavior, it has to tread the border of being fantastically awful. One of the reasons for this is that fanbases exist partially to DEFEND whatever the fanbase is based around, and things that are truly great don't really need defending in the same manner. Or they don't get people defensive, in any case.

I sometimes don't think Chrono Trigger would've been nearly as memorable to a lot of people, for instance, if it HADN'T been filled with plot holes and inconsistencies, because fanon moves into fill the gap, gamers sort of reflect themselves into the game, get emotionally attached... whatever.

I think Square does this in general. They have a fanbase, and the fanbase buys everything they put out, not so much out of sheer adoration, but out of a fannish need to... defend the games or prove their loyalty or something. Same with the Sonic fanbase, for instance. Even atlus, who I think actually makes very good games, genuinely good games... even they sort of try to inspire fannish behavior*.

I think a lot of this is true, and while I can definitely say my awareness about my own opinions and reasonings behind these opinions... I think it's improved immensely over the last four years, but I still don't trust anything I think that much because I've never produced anything of value and can't empirically prove that I'm not an idiot.

* Partially, in Atlus' case, I think it's because their games actually are good enough that they wouldn't incite fervor and fannishness in and of themselves, if we're assuming that thing I read is actually true.

I have no idea if this is true in a broader sense. In some cases, yeah, I definitely thing this is true. I'd say Xenogears is a great example of it. Or, personally, I love Chrono Cross but I'd be hard pressed to say it was actually well-made, and I do still occasionally behave fannishly about it.
6423  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What on earth is Sega thinking... on: February 24, 2010, 07:41:17 PM
I could be wrong but haven't FF games been relatively linear for a while now? Why is this suddenly becoming an issue?

Well, the thing is, outside of FFX, they'd actually been getting a lot LESS linear since FFVI, whose back half was entirely non linear. Sure, FFVII-IX had linear main stories, but they also had a lot of sidequests, and similarly, points when the whole world opened up. FFXII was also fairly nonlinear in a sense, given that you could do all those side hunts and get into areas you weren't really supposed to.

Or it's Sega being Sega, which is definitely true.

FFXIII sounds like pre-FFVI levels of linear, only even moreso. That and it's apparently not story-text heavy, which would be offputting to series fans, I imagine.

http://ps3.kombo.com/article.php?artid=11619 I mean seriously. All the people that bitch about overworld maps being removed are going to be ripping out their internal organs, smashing them against their heads, and proclaiming themselves the lizard queen over this.

I don't know. Part of me just wants to see Square go away, for awhile at least anyway. Part of me wants to see an FF game of there's just bomb so that maybe they'll figure shit out and start making games reasonably. There WAS a time when Square sort of was a driving force in the genre, but now they're just growing more and more irrelevant every year and when they DO come up with something original, they just one-shot it like TWEWY and... I don't know.
6424  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The power of branding on: February 24, 2010, 05:17:10 PM
I was going to post something else but instead I think I'll just say that I really do maintain that in a lot of cases the big name games really DO tend to be better put together. Final Fantasy being one big gaping headwound here (Personal theory? Square's great at perfectionism and polish, but awful at knowing how to actually design things), but... especially with strategy games, for instance, there's tons of X-Com clones and they're all fucking messes that have nothing on the original series, despite whatever surface-level similarities they have.

The other issue is trust. If a big name game does some things that are initially off putting, well, you already like the series, so you'll stick with it and see if they improve, because you trust the company/series and think things will get better. Same thing happens with a lesser known game, and people WON'T have that level of trust to see if it improves. They probably won't stick around.

Case in point, you have a David Byrne quote in your sig. I'm streaming that particular album off of the website right now because I'm already a big fan of the Talking Heads and will probably give any track I find initially offputting the benefit of the doubt because I know Byrne puts out good stuff. Maybe my trust is misplaced in this instance, but if it had been an artist I'd never heard of, I'd be less likely to really listen to it.

Of course this can lead to situations where, as I said, trust gets misplaced and the reviewer assumes things are better than they are and if they don't like it it must be a personal problem on their end.

Opinions are very weird things, and I don't really think reviews are useful. Criticism? Yes, criticism is useful, but there's no videogame criticism industry. You don't have game critics. You have game reviewers. There's no demand for that kind of thing, and I don't think that most players would even get anything out of them anyway.

Part of the problem, though, is that games are expensive and long. You can read a ton of books per year, ruminate on them, and then analyze them. Games? Not so much.

RPGs and adventure games also have a peculiar advantage in that they're story driven, and you can use story's to sort of... charm the developer. Make them like you inspite of yourself. If you can make the reviewer/gamer fall in love with your characters, world, storyline... they'll probably be too wrapped up in it to notice whether or not they're having any fun.
6425  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What on earth is Sega thinking... on: February 24, 2010, 04:59:48 PM
Maybe the long-time FF fans will dislike how linear and undialoguey it is and sell it back and buy Reflection of Fate instead.
6426  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What on earth is Sega thinking... on: February 24, 2010, 03:41:20 PM
Wait, FFXIII comes out this March? In America? That's... a pretty fast localization.
6427  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The power of branding on: February 24, 2010, 03:40:21 PM
Big name games are going to be a lot more immediate and less likely to do things to piss the reviewer off because they're often more polished as a result of a bigger budget.

Mainstream reviewers have to play a game on a relatively short schedule so they're probably going to be less patient. Remember, they're not really playing games for fun. It's a job.
6428  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: List of RPGs for a noob trying to catch up on: February 24, 2010, 03:38:40 PM
well my copy is in the mail and I will certainly be reading up on any resource i can find about the game (guides faqs etc...)

Just PM me if you have questions I guess.
6429  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: its kind of incredible that.... on: February 24, 2010, 03:02:39 AM
Wait who's godwin? I like, Godwin's Lawed my post but I mean I'm just confused now.
6430  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Star Wars is Real on: February 24, 2010, 03:01:24 AM
Holy shit, Gupta Robot? Sanjaya Gupta's a ROBOT? Fucking hell this is so sweet.
6431  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: February 24, 2010, 01:22:49 AM
Resetting the water level takes way less time than backtracking through the fire temple though.

That, and Shadow Link as he was the single hardest fight in the game.

I couldn't figure out how to hit him but then I noticed if that he was on the water and I was on the island my blows would connect. And then it was super-easy.


Wait does he not attack in the GC version or something..?


Oh if you hit him with the hammer he stops doing anything apparently. Still, I don't recall him attacking before that.

How are you supposed to beat him?
6432  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: its kind of incredible that.... on: February 24, 2010, 12:10:38 AM
Remember that RPG with Hitler in it? Persona 2: Innocent Sin, I think it was called?

6433  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What feature in one/few RPGs should they all have? on: February 23, 2010, 10:40:14 PM
Hm. Maybe a combined system. Think Zelda. You can save anywhere, but it only saves your stats/objects/etc. Position is only saved at specific save points.

Wait goddammit Eusis
6434  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: February 23, 2010, 10:39:52 PM
Joanna Newsom - Good Intentions Paving Company. It's like Dolly Parton meets Syd Barrett.

No idea how I feel about the rest of the album though.
6435  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: List of RPGs for a noob trying to catch up on: February 23, 2010, 09:16:10 PM
Unlimited Saga isn't particularly confusing if you have any sort of experience with grand strategy games (especially stuff like Europa Universalis for fairly obvious reasons: http://adamcadre.ac/calendar/10898-euii2.jpg). If that's the case, things like how you should be managing your resources (HP, LP, time, weapons), how you should be moving around the map, feinting and avoiding enemies and finding the shortest route possible... That kind of stuff is pretty standard for strategy games, and even most of the particular interface quirks are more or less equivalent to stuff in grand strategy games.

What DOES remain problematic is how stuff like different attack types aren't really explained anywhere, which is less an issue with the game itself and more an issue with the manual. In game, each weapon can have four of five attack groups, which break down into individual skills. Basically, the attacks go from fast-but-weak to strong-but-slow/inaccurate, which makes a lot of sense and is a pretty typical breakdown that a lot of games do, but there's no real indication that this is what was going on. Explained in the JP and EU manuals, but not the US one for some reason. Admittedly, that specific case doesn't really make a big difference, but it is why I think the biggest issue was completely wrong documentation, because the game itself remains more-or-less completely consistent and adheres to a fairly compact ruleset and it's very easy to understand once you get the basics of it.

Which you never will, of course, because the US manual was apparently written for a completely different game.
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