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355645 Posts in 14454 Topics by 2261 Members
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7006  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: These forum descriptions bore me. on: June 08, 2009, 03:31:13 PM
Son you better get some neosporin on that burn.
7007  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Forgotten Old Square RPGs? on: June 08, 2009, 03:15:52 PM
Chrono Trigger does what it does very well, but it doesn't really do a whole lot.
7008  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What makes for a good RPG sequel? on: June 08, 2009, 10:29:41 AM
Before it devolved into a bunch of surreal observations about things.

Here, I have an interesting concept.

What if, instead of looking at any individual game in a series and trying to judge whether it was a good sequel in and of itself, and with maybe just the limited context of its immediate predecessor, what about looking at the series as a whole, analyzing the particular role that game served in the evolution/devolpment of its series, and judging the game in THAT sense?

For instance, I said I tend to judge individual games on their own merits. But let's use Ultima 3 as an example. Ultima 3 isn't a game I found HUGELY fun, but it marked a huge shift in the Ultima series, as it added in parties, tactical combat, and it marked a big move away from the unrelenting and incomprehensible cracked-out, soul-punching insanitardation of Ultima 2.

I have to admit that sometimes I wish their was a little more... mmm... idea reuse inside of a series. DS2 is a very recent example of Atlus taking what WAS a good -- an SMT action-RPG -- and then refining it and improving it to make it something really well executed. What IF FF8 had played a lot like FFVII, only better balanced, a little more difficult, and generally improved? Or what if FFIX took the junction concept and expanded it?

I guess in a very theoretical sense you could say that Espers, Materia, and Junctions were all the same basic concept -- equipable trinkets that changed your stats and gave you new magic/abilities -- but there was never the sense of refinement, there. More like they were just starting the same system over from scratch three times.

The ONE exception to this, maybe, is how classes changed from FF1 to 3 to 5 to T. Now, ALL of these games had some goofy balance issues (although 3DS seemed pretty reasonable, at least for the first part. It sounds like stuff starts imploding towards the end), but there's definitely a sense of development and progression here.

Also, before I deleted it in favor of something more succinctly explaining my feelings, I also posted something about how the mana gaves have evolved throughout the series, and why such evolution's never been entirely positive there.

In general though, I like what Atlus has been doing. They stick to some core concepts that they keep developing on -- Press Turn, most recently, and some other series staples -- while often recontextualizing them. And they also do kind-of-incremental... well, would calling DS2 and P4 patch-sequels really be inaccurate?

But I do wish that CT would've had a direct *gameplay* sequel that fixed some of the things with CT. And in that same sense, I also wish CC had a direct *gameplay* sequel that would fix some of the things there, too (Namely, moving the thing to hardware it would actually run at a decent speed on so that they wouldn't have to lock the frame rate at like, 40).
7009  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What makes for a good RPG sequel? on: June 08, 2009, 12:27:06 AM
Press Turn is also kind of more of the same but honestly Press Turn i something I wish that Atlus would just relinquish their copyright on so that it could become industry standard or something.
7010  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: June 07, 2009, 09:15:50 PM
Losfer, there's LITERALY one of those in Tong Nou. It's actually four walls.
7011  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs that critics love but fans of the series hate. on: June 07, 2009, 08:24:51 PM
Because it doesn't drastically change the Dragon Quest formula people know and love.

The concept that Dragon Quest games don't change between games isn't really accurate, though. The aesthetics remain pretty consistent throughout the series, as does the battle system, but most RPGs ARE, or at least SHOULD be, more than aesthetics and a battle system.

Character building is one of the things that varies quite a bit. 6 and 7 introduced a pretty huge degree of customization with their job systems -- which 7 expanded by adding monster classes, and a lot of combination classes. Eight, on the other hand, got rid of the class change system in favor of something where each character has five skill sets you can develop was you see fit. All three of these got rid of the very rigid form of character progression you saw in 1-5. Except 5 had some big changes with *party* customization because of your reliance on monsters that join up with you after battles, and the way that who you marry affects your party members.

Of course, specific to, and most noticable about, Dragon Quest 8 is that the game dropped having an overworld map, which changed things rather drastically in the manner in which you progressed in the game. It's also noticable for being one of the few overworld-less JRPGs that doesn't still shoehorn you into a bunch of straight paths between towns a la FFX or SO3.

I don't really think the battle system they use is that interesting, though, but it's a JRPG, and I don't really come into JRPGs expecting interesting battle systems. The one advantage of reusing the battle system is that it's been fairly decently balanced since like, 5 or so, which is kind of nice compared to something like FF which never really has had a properly-balanced game in the entire series.

That actually reminds me of something a Gamestop clerk said one time. "All RPGs play the same. They just have different graphics and stories." Not entirely inaccurate!

The interesting thing WITH RPGs is that nothing you do is going to make picking "attack" from a menu inherently fun in any way. Ever. The fun comes from strategic decision making, I guess. And that requires a certain level of balance for it to work.

I think I'd really honestly hate most RPGs if I wasn't constantly ignoring how broken they were. Low standards are nice for never being dissappointed, although never really getting REALLY excited about anything is also a good way to never be dissappointed.

Additionally, anyone can acquire a taste for anything, but that doesn't mean they SHOULD. And there's a very fine line between "getting used to" and "acquiring a taste for."

I realize now that my mind is turning into spaghetti and I am spouting platitudes.

And I must admit that I do think the main reason I took an interest in RPGs is because I have a chronic condition that leads to me constantly living in incredibly boring towns with low populations and few retail outlets and even fewer cultural venues. The natural world is far more beautiful than anything you're ever going to find in a game or any other work of fiction, but that part of the natural world is well off limits to me. I can't say I'll ever find anything interesting in Bowling Green.

Ergo, I learn to put up with battle systems I don't find very fun because at least in Chrono Cross or Dragon Quest 8 I can see colors -- incredibly vibrant ones, too! -- whereas looking out my window will get me nothing but sandy lots, doleful Norway Spruces, beat up bus stops and decaying pavement, and were I to walk for six miles in one direction I'd see nothing but Walmarts, and were I to walk six miles in another direction I'd see nothing but fields totally empty save for drying soy plants and the close-cut remainders of already-reaped cornstalks.

America. Fuck yeah!
7012  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What makes for a good RPG sequel? on: June 07, 2009, 06:37:18 PM
prime mover is the only person i know that doesnt like p3's soundtrack.

I know lots of people that don't like the soundtrack. Prime Mover's the only one that refused to play the game because of it though.

You know what'll happen, people will bitch either way.

It's like /v/ on 4chan. Or Yahtzee. They're gamers, sure, but they're not the kind of gamers that play *games* but rather the kind of gamers that just exist to bitch. Enjoying something apparently implies a kind of emotional vulnerability because if you enjoy something, it means that it affected you somehow, and in that case, you're *clearly* a total wimp that cries at Disney movies or something.
7013  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs that critics love but fans of the series hate. on: June 07, 2009, 06:35:25 PM
i honestly think back in the day dragon quest 1 was more enjoyable than DQ8.

Yeah, even during the NES era, Dragon Quest 8 totally sucked.

Honestly, Persona 2: EP is STILL a damn daunting game. It's harder than P1 and P3, and the dungeons, despite being top-down, are still pretty huge and maze-like. Also, there's stuff like rumors you can get from demons, choices between one or two different rumors, huge amounts of customization, and in general you get lots of situations where it's not really clear at all why one persona is better than another.

I remember when Nocturne came out and some long-time fans were complaining about how your alignment didn't affect what demons you could sumoon, or how weapons were removed, or how you couldn't do stuff like Sword Fusion, or how conversations were simplified. In this case, I think Nocturne's... some of its simplifications were good, because they made the whole thing a lot... more coherent/direct/together. SMT1 and Persona 2 both kind of feel like, at times, the developers weren't entirely in control of the project.
7014  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs that critics love but fans of the series hate. on: June 07, 2009, 03:16:53 PM
So basically you're saying it's impossible for someone to hate a game?

No. I'm saying that opinions are super-malleable, and one's opinions on a game might not really have much to do with the game itself, and unless you analyze not just WHAT your opinions are but WHY they're that way, it's hard to gauge the validity and relevance of your opinions. Additionally, it makes it hard for other people to judge your opinions, and this leads to general communication gaps and feelings of disunity and anxiety.

And that's noooo good.

One thing I don't hold against the game, but that still annoyed me was the fact that being able to move in combat didn't DO anything.

See, I really DO hold this against the game, because it removes the notion of attack range and like, having attacks that could maybe hit enemies that were close together. It's REALLy silly since attack range DOES matter with guns and bows, kind of, except your AI partners tend to use them at close range anyway.

I don't even have an issue with hands off battle systems, really. Ultima 7's one of my all-time favorites and I liked the hell out of Contact. I think part of the problem I had with FFXII is that Ultima 7's very much about the story and adventuring, Contact's more about exploring and doing sidequests, and... well, FFXII's gameplay is ENTIRELY focused on the battle system. (Also U7 and Contact seemed faster to me, although FFXII's speed settings are definitely variable so who knows what I had them set at. Contact also put some emphasis on isolating enemies and avoiding bottlenecks with its area designs, whereas everywhere in FFXII is pretty wide opened so it's hard to get ganged up on, from what I remember).
7015  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What makes for a good RPG sequel? on: June 07, 2009, 02:51:20 PM
You liked the Blue Dragon boss theme.
7016  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs that critics love but fans of the series hate. on: June 07, 2009, 10:52:45 AM
Like when someone goes on about how FF7 sucks and they spent too much time on the graphics and none on the story.

It's really easy to call bullshit on this argument because looking back it's pretty apparent that they didn't spend much time on the graphics at all.

Ice burn.

So by saying they spent 40 hours beating it and still hated it, it's like a "ha! So there!" on teh intarwebnet.

Yeah, but if you beat a game just so you can be "So there!" about it you're going to force yourself to hate it anyway, thus irreleventing your opinion. Thus my original idea that it's mostly psychological.

Reverse of this is probably that you just spent 50 or 60 dollars on a game, need to justify the purchase, and so convince themselves they love it. See: Lair. Alternatively, they're so wrapped up in the hype that they like it before even playing it.

Further counter to this, of course, is that pirating software means that you have no monetary investment in a game and are incredibly unlikely to give it a fair shake.

And most fans don't have a clue about anything anyway.
7017  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Villains MIA topic... on: June 07, 2009, 02:27:30 AM
Thing needs to burn, man.
7018  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Villains MIA topic... on: June 06, 2009, 11:37:25 PM
Is the other SoM Sword of Mana?
7019  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What makes for a good RPG sequel? on: June 06, 2009, 08:42:00 PM

That stuff does sound good but I mean, economically, I never finished Persona 3, and it STILL doesn't sound like the two games are different enough.

I think, honestly, my single biggest complaint with Persona 3 was when I realized that I was working on raising my education stat and charm stat and that really, in real life, I should've just been studying or going out and making friends. Except I never did the former because I'm chronically lazy (and I still somehow have a 3.81 GPA, and got in an A in Russian last semester, even though I have less proficiency in Russian now than ever before), and I never did the latter because my university's situated in what is for all intents and purposes a ghost town. Thanks for making me feel utterly disappointed in everything, Atlus.
7020  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs that critics love but fans of the series hate. on: June 06, 2009, 06:28:27 PM
From a mechanics standpoint I think Oblivion is sound, but the quest structure was... very similar from one town to the next and kind of lacking, and you don't really NOTICE this till you've been playing it for awhile.

Of course, Daggerfall fans say Morrowind was dumbed down, too, but I can't think of anything positive to say about Daggerfall's gameplay at all. Removing skills is not dumbing things down if the skills didn't serve any purpose in the original game, kids.
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