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6466  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: January 12, 2010, 12:20:55 AM
Gettin' some Victoria goin' up in this bitch, sorta grokken the mechanics of it. Playin' Brazil, puttin' down revolutions and droppin' n's like they're made of bees. What I still don't get is how trade works, because apparently I'm getting 6 dollars a day in tariffs and like 100ish in trade, but my actual income doesn't really REFLECT that, unless trade and tariffs are factored into my taxing of the people somehow. Kenya believe it!? Also not sure how to build factories as I'm not sure how to force anyone to sell me machine parts.

Also not really sure what clergy are good for. Oh, and my party of choice lost the election to the conservatives although platform-wise they're nearly identical except the conservatives don't like Free Trade or osmethingz.
6467  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Bioware founder says JRPGs "lack evolution" on: January 12, 2010, 12:13:35 AM
Real gamers drop a fucking shield on him.
6468  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Bioware founder says JRPGs "lack evolution" on: January 11, 2010, 10:33:19 PM
You're correct that there are several different methods of classificaiton! The thing is, I'm trying to see what perspective the Bioware guy is coming from. Speaking strictly geographically... well, I don't know. I don't think that's saying as much. I mean, you could argue that if an American game dev goes to Japan and makes a game there and publishes it there

Each country has it's own culture and humor. Do we then break up into sub-genres by which country a game is from.

That's why some lumping is necessary, although it is sort of a weird breakdown. You also get a lot of overlap in Europe. While German games tend to be obviously German, and so on and so forth, there's still a lot of similarity and... general Europeanism to it. And a lot of games don't really feel of their particular country (although I've never played a European game that felt particularly *American,* that I can remember).

(Also, anything Peter Molybdenum makes is going to be infinitely more British than anything else made in Britian.).

I think a better point to make would be that Bioware tends to be really distinct from... Western RPG trends as a whole, whether we're talking North American or European. I don't think they represent the state of Western RPGs as a whole to be making claims like that. If someone like, say, Ultima 7-era Richard Garriot was to say Japanese RPGs lacked innovation, sure, I'd be more prone to listen. Except Garriot and JRPGs are equally indebted to eachother so I think he'd be more likely to respect and appreciate and learn from the cultural differences. Also, he's been into outerspace which gives him like a bajillion credibility points, too.

I'd also like to note that Bethesda games tend to be a style entirely idiosyncratic to that company. I don't think Bioware has it to the same extent, but, for comparison, I'd take everything Bethesda would say on this topic with a massive grain of salt partially because of this, and partially because I think they're sort of hacks, and going off of that I'd probably springboard into some point about how Gothic 2 was faaaaaaaar more innovative than Oblivion. In particular I'd also go after Bioware although I haven't played anything more recent than NWN, which I sort of... didn't like.


Actually, I think WRPGs as a whole have been getting less innovative and the most innovative ones today are actually throwbacks to things like Ultima Underworld where you could make popcorn in game just for the hell of it.
6469  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Bioware founder says JRPGs "lack evolution" on: January 11, 2010, 09:47:13 PM

Yeah, and a lot of WRPGs play like JRPGs and vice versa. The thing is, it's more of a stylistic difference than anything. Eastern European RPGs have pretty big stylistic differences from other Western RPGs.

Anachronox, according to Dincrest, pretty much *plays* like a JRPG, but you're not going to look at and think it comes from Japan. Gothic might have some similarities to Morrowind, but you can tell it's not American or British in origin. When you start getting into games from the FSU, the sense of humor, general style, and what passes as normal is about as far removed from "western" culture as Japanese stuff is. It's even more apparent in not-strictly-RPG games like STALKER, Space Rangers 2, and, as I hear, Vangers.

In a similar sense you're not going to watch something like Yozhik v Tumanye and conclude that it was from like, France or Britain or something. Not even with, like, Nu pogodi, which is maybe the *most* western of the Soviet Era cartoons. It LOOKS vaguely like Tom and Jerry, but you get stuff like this entirely different internal logic to it, or the weird, vague homoerotic undercurrents between Volk and Zayats, or the way objects and space kind of freely mutate, distort, and do their own things, or the way that it kind of shifts between being sci-fi or fantasy or Soviet realist or nostalgic. You kind of saw similar things going on with the Czech produced Tom and Jerry cartoons but those weren't nearly as well done.

And that's not even getting into the down-the-rabbit-hole things like Fantadroms or that There Will Come Soft Rains cartoon which is absolutely chilling.

One thing I do find odd is that Troika's games feel really Eastern European. Given their logo and name I'm pretty sure this is intentional on their part.
6470  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The woman is now obsolete. on: January 11, 2010, 07:55:57 PM

Even better mechanical woman.
6471  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Bioware founder says JRPGs "lack evolution" on: January 11, 2010, 06:07:21 PM
Risen, Two Worlds 2, Divinity II, and Arcania. WRPG's "lack evolution" just as much as JRPG's. Very innovative games... I think not.

Gothic 1 and 2 were pretty innovative. Dunno about the sequels, or the more marginally related games like Risen and Arcania though.

I also think Eastern European RPGs should be classed separately from other WRPGs because they generally differ on a functional level in some manner.
6472  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Do you think a Seiken Densetsu 3 port would be viable? on: January 10, 2010, 07:15:31 PM
Oh, I'm looking forward to this. Is there anything FACTUALLY wrong, or are you just going to disagree with my opinion?

You described the Heroes of Might and Magic games as isometric and Diablo-esque. A few points about this:

1. They're actually turn-based strategy games with RPG elements. They consist of two modes: In one, you move your hero (with a party of units with them) around the map in a turn based fashion, capturing resource points, capturing towns, finding artifacts and things, and battling random monsters/other heroes.

The other mode is the combat, which is a, uh... turn-based, tactical level thing, where you move your units around a map. Heroes aren't used directly in combat. Instead, there's an RPG element to the game, where heroes have stats that affect general combat abilities and stats of your troops. Additionally heroes can cast magic in battle.

Also, while some of them have a random map generator (Well... HoMM3 does with the expansion. No idea about the ones after that), they're not particularly roguelikeish either. All in all, not even remotely Diablo-esque.

For a more solid comparison, despite drawing from the Warlords mythos and using Bejeweled as a battle system, Puzzle Quest is *very similar* to HoMM in a lot of ways.

For further comparison, Clash of Heroes seems pretty heavily based on the HoMM gameplay style.

2. The HoMM games are actually based off of the original King's Bounty game from the 80s and significantly predate Diablo anyway.

3. Only Heroes of Might and Magic 4 was isometric. HoMM 1 - 3 were top down in the map exploration mode, and more... front-on oblique in the battles. HoMM5 was 3D and I think it had a dynamic camera so projection is sort of a non-issue there. This is pretty minor, though, since it's not necessarily clear from the screenshots and HoMM2 and 3 can look rather isometric depending on how the maps are designed.
6473  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: January 10, 2010, 05:31:35 PM
It seems Arsenal of Democracy (a commercial HoI2 mod that's coming up soon) is much better, so I'd wait for that instead.

Yes but:

A) It's commercial.
B) I'm cheap.
C) I already have HoI2.

I like CK1's ideas, it's just that the new engine would be more flexible for modders and maybe we'd have a chance of playing non-Christian countries, if not in vanilla, at least in a mod.

Problem with the new engine is that it doesn't work unless your card has full shader model... 3.0? 2.0? support, which mine doesn't. Which is dumb as hell because there's no reason the game has such high system requirements. EU3 looks like crap anyway.

Biggest problem, though (the shader thing is somewhat fixable) is that if you don't have enough video ram the game takes like ten minutes to load. Why vram affects load times is completely mysterious to me because frankly it shouldn't. I don't have much regular ram either though so...

In other words I can only run directX 8 games fully.
6474  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Do you think a Seiken Densetsu 3 port would be viable? on: January 10, 2010, 05:19:59 PM
Speaking of viability, whether or not SD3 is good is sort of a non-issue. Square ports, afaik, tend to sell, and I'd imagine it'd sell even better if they stopped charging 40 goddamn dollars for their games.

SD3's also the sort of game that'd get good scores from the big review sites, since it's fairly charming and fun, at least on a surface level. It has sort of broken/breakable mechanics, true, but I don't think most people who are by SNES games ported to the DS are playing them to break the gameplay.

It's pretty cute and inoffensive and it'd have a lot of mass appeal. I probably wouldn't buy it since I already have a copy of SD3, unless they did some bugfixes and rebalances and general smoothing of things (which I doubt they'd do. Their additions to CT DS seem stupid and minimal. I mean, another shitty bonus dungeon, a really lame re translation, and ending that manages to awkwardly retcon BOTH CT and CC by making Schala evil or something. Woo baby. Also the whole DQIV party chat issue).

Why didn't anyone else correct him on this yet?

Speaking of corrections, your Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes review~~~
6475  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: January 10, 2010, 12:25:04 AM
I think I'm going to learn Crusader Kings event scripting in order to change some issues I have with how laws work in the game. Should be interesting. Also did the tutorials in Hearts of Iron 2 and managed to get that mod installed for EU3. Should be fun.

Somewhere early in disc 3 of FFIX. Not a lot's happening yet.

6476  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: January 09, 2010, 01:38:06 PM
Arx Fatalis - Finished the stuff I HAD to do in the crypt though there's still at least one more level left. Also took down a lich with the new equipment I got. Given that one of those pieces of equipment is a quest item I need to give up, I uh... think I'm gonna go and see if I can get back to that Meat Temple and kill the last lich I had to skip. The one I just killed had a rune on him, and runes are *good*.
6477  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: January 08, 2010, 07:40:57 PM
Shining Soul 2's a lot better. Still sort of boring. I bought it during the Ice Storm because I was bored and needed retail therapy.

Anyway, the RE control scheme started with alone in the dark. Also just curious but what did SH2 use? For some reason I'm thinking it used RE style controls when you had a weapon out, and normal controls otherwise.

Anyway, gothic 2. Did a few more quests: Got the herbs for Dudefucker, got the sword for Chickennecks, and then beat up Chickennecksin combat to get some weapon training. Now I need to kill some bandits for Watchmuppet and uh that's proving difficult because there's three of them.
6478  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Sands of Destruction Release Topic on: January 07, 2010, 10:48:03 PM
The dungeon designs look pretty dreadful from the few map screenshots of them I've seen. Very... lots of twisty corridors and dead-ends. Very aimless and non-interactive looking. Also it sounds like the battle system is pretty similar to XG's where you can basically just mash the best attack combo all the time, rendering the entire setup sort of pointless. Which... makes sense given the aforementioned balance issues, and I do question whether or not the US localization re-balancing efforts are going to matter much because:

A) If it's like XG, the problem's just inherent to the system. Re-balancing would require more... semi-refactoring things than just tweaking them. (Although, XG specifically didn't really have anything resembling balancing from the get-go, so the fact their considering this is sort of promising, but...)
B) Isn't Sega funding this? When was the last time Sega HASN'T half-assed something?
6479  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: January 07, 2010, 08:51:40 PM
How do you mean?  You hit left to move left, and right to move right.  How is reversing that going to make the game easier?  Do you regularly flip control schemes like that?

I think they're thinking in absolute (well... absolute in terms of the screen space) left-right instead of relative to the character.
6480  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Do you think a Seiken Densetsu 3 port would be viable? on: January 07, 2010, 08:49:03 PM
I played SD2 in multiplayer I think a grand total of once. The only person my age that lived anywhere near me was dreadful at it and I turned it off after 10 minutes because the AI was substantially more competent (and the other four gamers I knew growing up... one knew about SD2 but lived pretty far away and beat it like a year before I got it, one was a Sega kid, and the other two were strictly RTS guys. Additionally they didn't live near me either).
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