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347061 Posts in 14159 Topics by 2235 Members
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6691  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How can JRPGs naturally evolve? Will we see more "big" JRPGs this gen? on: July 06, 2009, 08:42:10 PM
I wonder though...

Germany has big issues with displaying Nazi imagery in its games, and Japan was allied to Nazi Germany during WWII. I wonder if the removal of swastikas in Maken X was self-censorship from a Japanese perspective to try and distance themselves from that past or something.

6692  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Which Dragon Quest game should I play? on: July 06, 2009, 07:16:53 PM
in dungeons i often found myself running from every fight to perserve my resources for bosses since i could not figure out an efficient way to dispatch normal enemies.

DQ8 is a really easy game. How far did you even get in it?
6693  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How can JRPGs naturally evolve? Will we see more "big" JRPGs this gen? on: July 06, 2009, 05:32:18 PM
sexuality is something that is almost never touched upon in RPGs, though it is seen in love adventures, and not always the H variety.  Even then, it's rare that it's presented in a meaningful and mature fashion.

Sexuality comes up in Albion, with various degrees of maturity and Germanity (which is like maturity but more your-mileage-may-vary in the sense that... well, if you've ever played a German RPG before... Well let's just say that Germans apparently loves them some random T&A). More mature when discussing Iskai sexuality. Less mature when you get a quest to get a magical viagra for some king. This is also the quest where the Blatant Christ Figure joins your party, and he's mute and falls in love with the catgirl in your party after they mindmeld. As I said, Germans.

I remember there was a game where there was alcohol you could drink, and it would raise your strenght, but give you a side effect after a while, can't remember what it was...


Speaking of Morrowind and h-games and love, though, that's the weirdest thing about the Morrowind modding community. Sure, there are sex mods. Some interactive. And there are mods that let your player character fall in love and get married.

Where it gets weird is when you consider the sex mod that lets you get another character pregnant and then proceed to raise a family with them, or all the adoptable children NPC mods. There's a VERY sizable portion of the modding community that's into these family-raising mods. I have NO idea what to make of that. Is it nerdy? Touching? Sad? Just an example of really meticulous roleplaying? There IS a difference between endless adoration magical instant girlfriend mods and... child-raising mods.

I still don't get why romance is seen as a necessity in a lot of RPGs, though. Or, well, why romance subplots have such a huge role in everything. Yes, sure, I get that if you end up traveling with people for that long you'll start caring about them but that's DIFFERENT.

That's why I liked Meis in Thousand Arms.  He was a player and had no shame about it.

HMMM now who does that remind us of !!
6694  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: July 06, 2009, 05:24:25 PM
When fighting Wendigo, go after him before you go after any other demon party, and wipe out the two guys he's with or he'll only take like half damage.


Playing Torment a lot. Still skipping Ignus because he's creepy, but I DID just get Falls-from-Grace, and as such, more of Morte's backstory which was sort of weird and a little touching. And then I found out some stuff about Dak'kon's backstory I'd missed and... yeah, interesting plot point, that! Just doing sidequests in the Lower Ward right now. I WAS moving on to the clerk's ward until I realized I'd missed a bunch of stuff.

It's not always readily apparent WHICH optional stuff will trigger a memory for The Nameless One, which means more backstory/story/lots of experience points.

Currently building up his mage class.
6695  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Most Annoying Playable Character on: July 06, 2009, 05:14:15 PM
What's so... wait, you said Precis. Not Presea.

Nobody mentions Justin because Sue was worse :(

Also, most Wild ARMs characters. I find them irritating as fuck for some reason. The first one was golden

They sissied Jack up so hard in the remake :( Turn him from a doubleplus manboat into some kind of bishounen.
6696  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Which Dragon Quest game should I play? on: July 06, 2009, 05:06:10 PM
Or, it depends on why you didn't like DQ7. If you hated it for the grind

Wait DQ7 required grinding..?

Dragon Quest was my favorite JRPG series last year but I doubt I'd like them very much now.
6697  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Burger King more like Blowjob King. on: July 06, 2009, 05:04:02 PM
Charlton Heston is running through the streets of New York holding a whopper. "IT'S PENIS! BURGER KING IS PENIS! WE HAVE TO STOP THEM!"
6698  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: July 05, 2009, 11:21:40 PM
where the only way to win is to save scum and hope you get lucky rolls.

Exploit racial skills as much as possible, although I have to admit it'd be nice if it was generally more possible to win most missions the first time around. First time around you really need to just figure out what your'e up against. You can pretty much nullify any enemy advantage though if you want.

And for the love of god *kill the healers first*. ALWAYS. No matter HOW crappy and weak a demon is, if it can full-heal an entire party every turn you're fucked.
6699  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Target Audiences for media and some insight on: July 05, 2009, 11:18:07 PM
I meant more that Rockadoodle was shit actually.
6700  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How can JRPGs naturally evolve? Will we see more "big" JRPGs this gen? on: July 05, 2009, 09:56:52 PM
"That's not how Bethesda does things" they say.

Daggerfall was FULL of tits and piles of severed heads and skewered cats on skewers, and looking back it was really, really stupid.

Let's have a mature RPG about a 40-something business man that hates his wife and has prostate issues and every time he levels up his prostate gets larger until he kills himself for being unable to pee right.
6701  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Oh, dear God, no! Not this again! (Deaths in RPGs) on: July 05, 2009, 09:50:45 PM
So you're saying that the character in the spoiler code was more developed than Aeris?

The sound that horses make wasn't really developed at all.
6702  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Most Annoying Playable Character on: July 05, 2009, 09:49:13 PM
This is why I love games like FF8 so much, where a very significant amount of the dialog and cut scenes really had nothing to do with the overarching events of the game.

Right, because the storyline was absolutely nebulous at best and something between incoherent and unfinished at its worst. And I'M well aware that YOU'RE well aware of this because you've said as much.

See, what FFVIII essentially is is a Bildungsroman in videogame form and it just completely bollockses it.

Sure, it's also a character study of Squall, but you can't make a game, or a novel, or really anything larger than an essay, out of something as broad as a completely abstract "character study." Ergo an underlying storyline is necessary to illustrate the character's personality as it is in various points within the focus period of the characters development, and to facilitate the changes that happen to the character as their life progresses.

FFVIII's story does this, but only in the most marginal of senses, primarily by introducing Rinoa as a change element, constantly putting her in danger to show Squall that he cares about her, and very little else.

Events external to a person influence them. FFVIII acknowledges this, but only in a very shallow sense, and mostly only on the first disc.

Additionally, it's hard to see Squall as realistic. His behavior is, perhaps, expected of a 14 or 15 year old, but not someone older than that. And if a 17 year old WAS acting like that, I seriously doubt that anyone would have much interest in getting them to come out of their shell. Or... any interest in dealing with them at all, really.

Even without that it's hard to see him as a well rounded character. I cannot, unfortunately, remember the exact quote, and the source is somewhat apocryphal at best, but I remember reading that Samuel R. Delaney, at one point, said that a realistic character will at some point do something selfish, something selfless and... two other things along similar lines. The problem with Squall in this sense is that he goes from someone completely closed off and fairly selfish to someone that's... mostly the complete opposite.

I also took a great deal of issue with how his thought processes were presented. Or rather, that they weren't... anything BUT presented. We see WHAT Squall is thinking, sure, but there's always a great deal of disconnect between what he's thinking and *why*. As you said -- there's a great deal of dialogue extraneous to the events at hand, but what kind of person is so utterly detached from what is happening around them that they can still be influenced by it? Then again, as I said, Squall's really not influenced by the events happening around him, outside of the very small change element aspect of the plot, and well... read up a few paragraphs.

Even his growth and development is quite small-minded and uninteresting, because, essentially, he simply switches from one mindset to another without any real reflection on why, or the inherit advantages and disadvantages to these worldviews, or whether there's anything ELSE out there. One static mindset to another static mindset. Compare it to Candide or Siddhartha, where the titular characters change their worldview several times and are constantly growing. Squall's more like a stock character from a Fonvizin play -- one of the immature and intellectually bereft ones that are primarily there just as an example of the kind of person people should strive NOT to be.
6703  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How can JRPGs naturally evolve? Will we see more "big" JRPGs this gen? on: July 05, 2009, 09:06:29 PM
I could count off dozens of current gen games that completely intrigue or blow me away in all kinds of genres. You'd have trouble squeezing even a few JRPGs out of me though.

I can't think of many JRPGs in general that really blew me away in general, though. Or... a lot of current gen games in general for that matter, and most of the ones I was really intrigued by weren't that well received by most people.

I think Neal and you both laid down some good reasons why JRPGs can be really hard to take seriously, as a genre, and I don't think you're going to see a lot of improvement until the genre is taken more seriously. Which won't happen until it improves. Catch-22's are fun! I think a part of me would like to say JRPGs lack innovation but that's not really how I feel. It's more like they're lacking purposeful innovation. There's no sense of learning from mistakes and refining good ideas. It's like if you look at the FF series as a whole, old systems are rarely revisited and rebalanced and smoothed over, and instead every game is sort of doing its own thing. That's pretty pervasive in the genre as a whole.

Of course the other problem is that if people start making JRPGs artsy for the sake of being artsy, at best, they're going to come off as pretentious and silly.

6704  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best Unique Gameplay Feature on: July 05, 2009, 03:28:06 PM
i'll second the generational aspect of PSIII. i'm actually surprised it hasn't been tried again.

It has, though not frequently. DQ5 did it, although not maybe to the same extend since only two generations were really playable. I'm also pretty sure I remember some PC RPGs where you could take over playing as your children if your main guy died or got too old.
6705  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How can JRPGs naturally evolve? Will we see more "big" JRPGs this gen? on: July 05, 2009, 01:53:10 PM
Atlus does what Squaredon't.

Wait that doesn't work.

Why are they stuck being kindergarten crushes when they're also 15-18 years old like in love adventures?

Without sounding too much like a bastard here, I think that in Western culture games are generally considered art (and the whole videogames as art debate is more whether they're high art or low art, really) whereas in Japan they're considered strictly as a form of entertainment. So going off of this, I think there's also a sense that maybe in JRPGs you just want to, well, please the player as much as possible, and not so much in a "well this game is fun and enjoyable" sense. They're the hero. They get the hot ditzy chick who's pretty useless as a person but nonetheless is packed to the brim with endless, puppy-like adoration and nipples. They get the endless, puppy-like adoration of everyone in the world they save. And they're not very smart or good at anything but they still, well, save the world and get the girl and get to be the hero anyway, because a totally worthless waistoid of a gamer would LOVE hearing that they can still be the hero, or something.

I think there might also be a segment of the game making population that's targeting the shut-in, otaku portion segment of the gaming population, although I can't really say.

And I think that Atlus sort of parodies this.

And I LIKE to think that FFVII parodied this.


I've said this before but I think that from a game standpoint, visual novels are games in a more marginal sense, and maybe this gives them the freedom to be more willingly seen AS art. In a sense they're closer to more traditional art forms like, well, the standard novel, or comics, or even movies, which are more established and acceptable.

But going from that, I think a less-linear storyline, or at least one where you have control over the relationships and outcomes of certain events, would allow the story to be more developed, since there are multiple routes and the developers would be forced to address every character equally, as such, and because the player having choices would give them a more personal investment in the story.

Atlus is a good example of this though. Even in like Devil Survivor the characters pretty much act their ages. About the only megaten games where the characters act like little kids is Devil Children, and that's probably understandable given that they... are.

And here's a fun thought experiment: Consider SMT: Nocturne as a romance/love/seduction story.

but I'd like JRPG writing to perhaps go beyond kidnergarten crushes, wangsty "why do I exist?" moaning, and petulant "I have nothing left, so I will fight you!"

Which is why it's so hard for me to go back and play all my old favorite JRPGs. They all do this! I can't really stand it now! (Brief aside: Lloyd and Colette's relationship was pretty believable in Symphonia, in the sense that it's usually ditzy girl and dark, purposeful teenaged hero. In Symphonia, it's ditzy girl and ditzy boy. Something like Colette and Regal would've been more par for course for your usual JRPG, and would've, obviously, been damn bizarre).
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