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6616  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Most under-rated games ever? on: October 24, 2009, 09:36:49 PM
Man, screw that. MML is easily the best thing to ever come *out* of that franchise. Which makes that whole fandom outcry about NO THEY'RE GOING 3D THAT'LL RUIN IT seem really silly in retrospect.

Then again, MMX7 and 8. Then again, they sort of ruined MMX around 6.
6617  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Bernie Stolar interview. on: October 24, 2009, 09:29:43 PM
Sega has been the reigning monarchs of bad business decisions in the gaming industry for a pretty long time.

Yeah. How the hell do you let the NES beat out the SMS?
6618  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Legendary Rpgfan forums discussions... on: October 24, 2009, 09:29:34 PM
I also liked his science project story, which was a tame one by RPGFan standards but spoke volumes about broken educational systems.

I'm not sure what that story entails but it DOES remind me of the time I trolled http://www.lawsoflife.org/ by intentionally writing a nonwinning essay, won anyway, and got 100 dollars for it.

And Mesh's still using his "romance novel" avatar, a result of once again overthinking RPGFan shenanigans.

My original avatar was actually Softporn Adventure's cover but A) Roberta Williams rack was just a little TOO rackalicious and B) I'm not sure if IF counts as a novel or not. Also C) Roberta Williams is substantially less hot now. Also D) She might actually be a dickgirl we don't know.
6619  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Bernie Stolar interview. on: October 23, 2009, 12:23:56 PM
I'm not sure shmups and RPGs were big sellers in the States during the Saturn era.
6620  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Bernie Stolar interview. on: October 23, 2009, 04:44:50 AM
Let's just say that no amount of Stolar power...


Could fuel THIS green economy.

Wait that doesn't make any fucking sense.
6621  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Legendary Rpgfan forums discussions... on: October 23, 2009, 02:22:51 AM
Okay so I did some research and apparently oil of clove is used as an antibacterial and anaesthetic, and is used to treat dry socketing. And apparently Dios GX told this story. Also someone else mentioned Dios being "flexible." Am I infersing myself down the right path?
6622  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: October 23, 2009, 02:21:17 AM
Uru - Finished Kadish. The last two puzzles were really good. And then I discovered the firefly puzzle. Even after I looked up the solution I have no clue how to actually pull it off.

Uru spoilers like anyone cared.

The problem with the pyramid puzzle in Kadish is that the entire theme of the world is figuring out what's *missing*, (although this doesn't really apply to the starting ring puzzle as much). The pyramid puzzle has the player seeing a tree symbol in a painting in the Kadish Gallery and having to figure out, from that, that they need to do something with the tree symbols in the pyramid. The problem is, the entire age re-uses a set of variations on like 6 different symbols, so figuring out that the pyramid puzzle relates to the picture in question isn't entirely intuitive, and the actual clue on it isn't really fitting with the theme of the world.

The problem with the *Firefly* puzzle is that:

A) You need to collect fireflies to see in a dark cave. Perfectly logical in and of itself, except it's not immediately apparent you can get them to follow you.
B) Fireflies scare off easily. If you run, they stop following you (and, uh, you run a lot in Uru, so this sort of contributes to the problem in A). Also, water scares them, meaning you can't walk in water when they follow you. Problem? The Age you find them in has random thunderstorms that scare them off. And you can't run for cover, because running scares them off.
C) Steam also scares them. Problem? When you link back to the desert age, the game places you *on a giant steam vent*.
D) YOu need to make bridges over the water using fish trap boxes to get to the caves. Again, not illogical, except it's not really clear WHERE you should put the traps, since you can't really jump too much when you have fireflies with you and the rivers are sort of... amorphously river-like.
E) ALSO the game has wonky physics and controls which usually don't matter but kind of making positioning wooden fish traps annoying.

Putting a clue that you can get fireflies to follow you would've helped a lot. As well as making them not scare so easily.
6623  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Windows 7 Released on: October 23, 2009, 02:20:32 AM
It'd be pretty cool if they stopped trying to make Windows less like MacOS for the people who, you know, use Windows because they don't like MacOS.
6624  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Most under-rated games ever? on: October 23, 2009, 02:16:19 AM
IX and VIII also had the defense of most of the outer continents supposed to being bombed out husk of formal life-place.

Realistically, it's actually a disc space issue or something.
6625  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Most under-rated games ever? on: October 22, 2009, 11:10:50 PM
Here's another way of looking at it.

CT actually has a very fun battle system that finally makes proper use of some aspects inherent to ATB. First, there's a meaningful timing element. This stems from A) Having to wait for combo attacks and B) Attacks have different effect areas and as such you sometimes want to rate till more enemies come in range. Additionally, it added in the interesting concept of making everyone a spell-caster and everyone having a specific elemental affinity. This SORT of went a long way to making this probably the first Square game where everyone is actually useful for something.

However, the balance often gets in the way of this. Elemental affinities are rather underused. Combo cost v. effectiveness isn't really on right. And the game, as a whole, is a little too easy for a lot of this hidden depth to come out.

Suppose there was a Hardtype version of the game, where enemies were stronger, tech effectiveness and cost was tweaked, and various other unique features mattered more. Suppose this worked out in such a way that you'd want to play around with techs every battle for the sake of efficiency, so that another level of resource management opened up.

Suppose maybe that there was a hardtype version of the game, and you played it, and after playing it, the flaws in the more familiar version just became a lot more apparent.

Of course, there's no such hardtype version of CT. Just speculatin'.
6626  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Legendary Rpgfan forums discussions... on: October 22, 2009, 01:00:58 PM
Meshy-poo's been around the 'fan long enough that he probably doesn't have to think too hard to infer the "punchline" of the oil of clove story.  It makes my freshman year suitemate's Tiger Balm story seem like "See Spot Run."  

I've been around since 1999. I found the fora* about four years ago. I found the general discussion board like two years ago.

I have a guess what it's about but I'm a bit scared to actually let my mind go there.

... Is it kind of like that porcupine story only with fire?

* I don't even know if this is the singular of forum but I read it somewhere and it sort of reminds me of bacteria (like, .... uh... I'm not sure nevermind bacteria are pretty cool though) so um...
6627  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The PS3 "Yellow Light of Death" on: October 22, 2009, 12:45:26 PM
The PS2 was a pretty damn delicate system so I'm not surprised. OH NO A TINY PIECE OF DUST ON MY LENS!? CRAAAWLING IIIIIIN MY SKIIIIIIIIN. What's this? A CD? BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARFGHFG. No, I'll only work if flipped *upside down*.

Also that hole thing with "you can drop a Gamecube off a fucking building and it won't really be any worse for it."

Seriously though, the worst part is this.

No, you bloody nose-picking, weasel-licking nimrod. As a paying consumer you have certain rights, which assumes that a company will NOT screw you out of money within a reasonable time span. This shoddy workmanship AND anti-consumer attitude is one of the worst things about this generation.

He's absolutely right. The fact that like 90% of gamers are complacent consumer whores now that don't demand exceptionalism or An End To The Bullshit means that we're still going to be seeing a lot of bullshit and not very much exceptionalism.

Same reason Sonic games lately have sucked. If a company can make mediocre products and still sell them just as well, they're going to keep making medicore products.
6628  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Most under-rated games ever? on: October 22, 2009, 12:51:05 AM
It's not irrelevant, I'm genuinely interested in what you consider good design.

I wish I knew. I really genuinely wish I knew. I don't even know if I like CT. You know, I'd seriously have an easier time discussing CT in particular if rom hack discussion wasn't so verboten, because there was a hack that addressed some of my complaints about balance in a really innovative way, but I'm going to shut up about that now.

I have a hard time talking about what I'd call good design in an RPG. I think good design principles sort of go across genres, though.

So let's talk about why I think Quake 3 is well designed. At it's core, it has a surprisingly strong physics ruleset in place, for one thing. Additionally, every weapon has its use, and there's no absolutely super-powerful weapon (except the BFG, of course, but that's more of a reward item) and actually usefulness is really just bounded by player skill with a given weapon. Weapons also have interesting behaviors that you can play around with, and combined with the physics system you get some really neat emergent behaviors. Finally, there's a lot of strategy, both in terms of trick shots and acrobatics, as well as just basic things like resource control. In some regards, it's actually better than Ut99, which doesn't really have acrobatics or as interesting physics.

So let's generalize this. What do I like, in a broader sense?

* Balance (If this isn't obvious by now...)
* Emergent behavior, specifically in the form of lots of different rules that all interact with eachother. I tend to look at rules/mechanics in a very object oriented manner, in that they should all be distinct but freely interacting, I guess?
* INTERESTING behaviors. I can mostly forgive wonky balance if I can play around and experiment with things (See: Why FFV is the only SNES FF I kind of like).
* Strategy. Sort of a factor of all of these. For strategy to really work, you need fairly strong balance. For strategy to be interesting, you need emergent and/or interesting behaviors/options/whatever.
* An emphasis on player skill. As in, if this game uses stats, I want it to matter more how good *I* am at playing the game than what the characters'/units' stats are (the latter scenario leads to grindfests or just Stupid Aggravating Shit, like the uh, combat system in most elder scrolls games).

What is my favorite RPG? Ultima 7. And here's a neat problem, because Ultima 7 doesn't really have any balance, because combat is completely irrelevant and 90% of the spells in the game are literally just for either your convenience or Neat Fun Visual Effects. As such, there's no strategy, because battles are absolutely hands off and inconsequential. So why is Ultima 7 my favorite RPG?

You can fucking bake bread. Seriously. It's not JUST the bread baking, of course, but the entire game is built around this concept of being a sort of virtual world, where everything is interactive and every NPC has a purpose/schedule/home/life. I don't think there's been an RPG since that's actually *been* as interactive or detailed.

And in its own weird way, it DOES emphasize player skill. not in combat, but in problem solving and dealing with the puzzles and just how you interact with the world. It's a story driven game, but unlike XG, the story is driven by you.

Except Ultima 7 is sort of devoid of any real gameplay mechanic so it's probably not a good example here. It's probably not a good example of game design. I'm not sure it's even really a game so much as it is a virtual world. I like virtual worlds, though. I like SimCity and Creatures and Aquanaut's Holiday.

But I digress. You wanted an RPG.

I think what I want the most is a game that I can actually *play*. That I can actually *interact with*. Something where I'm not just strung along on a linear path between a series of puzzle bosses with very little other input which is why, despite like it's battle system and feeling that it was generally pretty well balanced, I can't say I consider FFX to be, as a whole, well designed (and, of course, the camera blew, the dungeons were lacking, and I'm not sure how I feel about the Sphere Grid).

I feel lately like I can't really think of any well-designed RPGs. I can't really think of any that I thought had the same depth and clarity of thought as, say, Crusader Kings (which is kind of an RPG in some sense, but...) or SimCity 4. And I have to admit, I've barely played RPGs at all since, uh, August, just out of a lack of i... ...

Quest for Glory 2 VGA. The combat system is hands on, but still does place an emphasis on your stats (but not so much so that player skill is irrelevant). Each class plays different. There's multiple solutions to every puzzle, some relying on your stats, some not. You have to *play through* various scenes. There's a scheduling system in place. You have to eat. The world is interactive. The characters feel fleshed out even though it's not a very dialogue heavy game. There's this feeling of it having its own internal reality. It's an interesting mix of linear and non-linear in the same way P3 is only it's shorter and there's far less down time. There's lots of exploration. There's lots of experimentation.
6629  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Most under-rated games ever? on: October 21, 2009, 03:12:42 PM
They only had enough resources to put his story or Fuse's story into the game, and they chose HIS...

No, that's the thing. They didn't have enough resources to put fuse's story into the game, so it was axed. Lute was tacked on as a sandbox mode. I think. Also, I rather liked Unlimited (for reasons I'll never explain).

So tell me, what RPGs do you feel are examples of good design?

I'd rather not give you examples of games I thought were well designed as a whole, because it's the same tactic *I* used to use in arguments. "I don't like X." "Well what DO you like?" "I like A, B, and C." "But A, B, and C suck/have such-and-such in common with X! Your opinion is inconsistent/flawed!" And then I do the same thing back to you, endlessly. It quickly gets irrelevant and it's not very interesting, anyway.

However, I will anyway, except I have class in 25 minutes and then I'm going to go buy myself a therapy cactus*.

Also I'll probably just give examples of mechanics I thought were well designed as way, way too many RPGs fall apart in terms of integrating the different gameplay mechanics/systems.

Also, what Gen said. I'm not saying CT is *bad*. I just don't think it's a shining example of game design.

Here's a list restating my previous points.

* CT has very little gameplay outside of the battle system.
* The battle system is ATB, with combos.
* I don't think the combos are particularly well balanced.
* I don't really like ATB anyway.
* CT's dungeons WERE well designed.
* CT didn't have any sort of character building/developing/customization mechanic.

Anyway, class.

---four hours later---

Okay, back.

* Something else I will never explain.
6630  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: October 21, 2009, 02:44:24 PM
I got the kids and I've been wandering around trying to level them up, but with no particular quests to go on yet it's getting kind of boring.

... Why are you grinding in DQ5? Was there some mandatory grind and wait part at the beginning, like with Torneko in DQIV..?
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