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7036  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Remembering the Orphan: Final Fantasy VIII on: June 18, 2009, 10:45:37 PM
Oh why, oh why, do I have to respond to *you* ??? (j/k)

Because it's either that or you start paying your goddamn child support payments :T

Anyway, in response to your post, I maintain that nobody outside of Squall, Laguna and Rinoa in FFVIII had a meaningfully developed personality (Selphie's the bubbly one! Zell's the hot-headed hyper one! Quistis is the quiet nerdy one! Irvine is the skirt chaser! Kiros is the token black guy! Ward doesn't say anything!) and I'd be fine if you could somehow prove/convince me otherwise but I really, really doubt it.

Particularly, Quistis is interesting because she really DOESN'T have a personality of her own, and mostly serves as a foil for Squall -- which is what you could probably say about everyone. Even Rinoa. Which I'm sure is what they intended to do but I can't find anything particularly meritorious about this approach.

You find OUT more about some of these characters -- some of them more important than others, like Irvine's unwillingness to shoot Edea, and the actual reason WHY, or how Zell was an orphaned, or how Quistis has this creepy amount of knowledge about Squall and is kind of jelling on Rinoa or... something -- but it's more things ABOUT them or thing's they've DONE and not parts of their actual PERSONALITIES. The one real exception I can think of with Cid, who is, by virtue of the orphanage scene, revealed to be a very manipulative bastard that is not above using children for military purposes.

And this might just be my memory but was it ever discussed why Squall started closing himself off anyway?

Honestly, I thought the Persona games had really similar themes but did it better for the most part. I have more to add to this later, too, when I think of it

an insightful portrayal of human experience.

I'd like you to explain how.

Look, you're just STATING your opinion. You're not really backing it up. I'd like to back MY opinion up but you're not giving me a lot to work with. Come on, old bean. Snap-to!
7037  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The awful war between JRPGFans and WRPGFans on: June 18, 2009, 07:36:36 PM
and MeshGear's argument definitely needs solid evidence to back up the claim of them being 'lazy'

Actually, my point was that Bethesda, circa Daggerfall, was just horribly inept (and that circa Oblivion they were sort of inept or at least not very well, eh, communicating with eachother). I don't know where laziness came in. Did I mention that? If so I meant more ineptitude than laziness.

Though, if you wanted to argue laziness in the case of Oblivion, taking over a goddamn month after the game comes out to release a *beta* patch sort of points towards that. Doubly egregious since the bugs were obvious, obvious, and things that would be pretty easy to fix. Triply egregious since it was pretty well known that the dev team was on vacation even though *releasing patches very quickly after release is just what you do these-a-days*.

You could also argue that they might've spent way too long in development for the end product, given that the engine upgrades were pretty minor, there were some pretty noticeable balancing and performance issues, and they did stuff like returning to randomly-generated dungeons filled with traps that never worked making you really wonder if they ever tested anything.

Of course, again, I'd just argue incompetence.

Also, I never said they were lazy either. I just read back in the thread.
7038  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: So, Arc Rise Fantasia... on: June 18, 2009, 05:27:16 PM
Arc Rise Fantasia.

Lophophora Midget Lungfish.

Rainbow Sun-toucher Joshua.

Porcupine Raper Dmitri.

Etoliated Donut Propwash.

Jesus Motherfucking Batman.

Celestial Chromosome William.

Canadian Speakercone Calpico.
7039  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The awful war between JRPGFans and WRPGFans on: June 18, 2009, 05:16:50 PM
Calling a developer "lazy" because they missed a relatively few bugs in their gigantic, ultra-complex game is pretty much showing that you don't have any understanding of how game development works.

Erwos. Daggerfall, in its original form, as released, was not finishable and arguably not *playable*. Post-final-patch, it STILL had a crapload of bugs. Most of them were minor, but you still had dungeons that weren't finishable, quests not being finishable because the quest objective got spawned in an unreachable/nonexistant location, random holes in the geometry, crashes, general game logic issues, and shit like Wabbajack not working. These bugs are also not infrequent. Hell, the main quest STILL can break. The errors in Daggerfall are not trifling.

Daggerfall also came out before the internet was really wide spread, so most people either had to buy a magazine with a disc including the patch, or... they were... screwed.

Daggerfall is, additionally, not gigantic or ultra-complex. There were only 20-odd locations that were entirely hand made. Only three or four of these places were towns. Daggerfall is "gigantic" in the sense that it has a lot of area. It's not gigantic in the sense that much of that area isn't unique. There's very little handmade content in the game. Daggerfall is gigantic in the sense that you can generate a gigantic terrain map in Terragen. It is not gigantic in terms of context.

In terms of interactivity or quest content, there's very little depth. Most of the quests are fetch quests. The ones that aren't don't really work right. You have like, 30 skills, but only about half are useful for anything, ever. The event system in the game is mostly used for controlling some late main questline things. The other things it's used for weren't ever really implemented.

And that's the other thing. There were just TONS of planned features they never actually programmed in because of self-inflicted time constraints (It's known that Bethesda spent more time dicking around with making the engine than they actually spent making the game) or because of rampant feature creep and nobody knowing what direction the project was going in.

Even moreso, honestly, I thought the whole game just felt like it was pretty poorly constructed. It's based around doing nothing but incredibly repetitive randomly generated quests that mostly take place in incredibly repetitive randomly generated dungeons. It's an extremely subpar roguelike and nothing more.

Additionally, I'm a comp sci major, I do have somewhat of a clue what goes on in the development process, and more importantly, I've played a fuckton of RPGs and I have some inkling as to what acceptable levels of buginess and removed core features and "Hey I just spent five hours on this quest and now I can't finish it because it's broken and whoops there goes my guild rank. Back to grinding!" are.
7040  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The awful war between JRPGFans and WRPGFans on: June 17, 2009, 11:09:31 PM
The funny thing is you CAN do that with Radiant AI. Bethesda is just incredibly inept.
7041  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Remembering the Orphan: Final Fantasy VIII on: June 17, 2009, 09:28:35 PM
Prime Mover you better goddamn respond to my post because I'm writing this at you and if you don't read it I'll be all "What did he just jilt me oh my god man what the hell." So.

The creators really seemed to have a vision in mind before creating it, instead of just throwing together a hodgepodge of various ideas and styles.

Yeah, I disagree here. It's Square. They hardly ever have a unified vision behind their games. They're not that kind of company.

More salient and relevant and specific, that scene with NORG and Cid and you going through the Garden's underworking. That entire plot point doesn't amount to anything. Or the orphanage scene. Or the weird mood shift in Esthar. Or how Ultimecia doesn't have any coherent reason for what she's doing and how the game even admits it.

I'm also not sure what sweeping, overarching focus of FFVIII's your referring to because I really don't remember anything like that. You're hunting down Edea, crap happens in the process, whoops wrong villain, you're hunting down Adel, crap happens, oh shi-- Ultimecia's the real enemy. Same plot structure that a lot of JRPGs have.

I also though the character development blew, honestly, because only Squall and Rinoa were developed much after a point, and does Quistis even say anything after the five hour mark?

I really like works that start with a clear vision.

What's this clear vision, anyway? Are you referring to some sort of central theme?

which is so cohesive and shows a realistic depiction of human nature.

What does this even mean and what are you even referring to in the game specifically?

Disk 1 was f'n awesome.  Some of the best JRPGing I had of that generation.  But it went from a school-ties storyline with lots of political intrigue to a "blair witch hunt" that ended with some rather lame witches.  More of the school-ties and taut political intrigue would've been sweet.  The school-ties stuff where the kids were being kids was cool.  Like the shy library girl harboring a crush on Zell.  Or when Zell promises to make Rinoa a ring like Squalls, she playfully teases him about the library girl.  Or Irvine trying to appear more cool and suave with the ladies than he really is.  We all knew people like that.

Yeah, agreed. And after Disk 1 is when everyone's personality, except for Rinoa and Squall, just goes away, and the plot sort of starts going off wherever the hell it feels like. Disk 1 is rather tightly plotted if you think about it. It's very concise, lots of buildup, nothing really extraneous.

Persona 2: Innocent Sin's flashbacks of the kids playing Masked Raiders is what FF8's orphanage scene should have been.

Good point. The orphanage's problem wasn't the deus ex machina -- and it wasn't. Cid was a manipulative bastard. That's what you mainly learned. It's just that instead of saying anything about the characters it's just like, "Well, we all knew each other. Ain't that some shit." Actually, it sort of says stuff about the characters, but it's like, they're... it's like the Muppet Babies, almost. They're the same personalities, just distilled into single, childish lines.

and FF8 will not be forgotten. 

Whiskey cures everything !!

Anyway, honestly, this is all sort of moot. As I said before, FFVIII was too easy for me to really enjoy it. Sure, you could fiddle with junctions all you liked, or you could completely ignore that and just auto-junction everything and the game'll still be easy as hell, especially after you get that instant-summon, instant-kill GF with all the arms that later is Odin, and then it's just auto-pilot from then on out and it's really boring.
7042  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The awful war between JRPGFans and WRPGFans on: June 17, 2009, 09:13:44 PM
The thing is in Oblivion they put so much effort into making the world. Yet you got to a new town and all of a sudden had a couple quests to do. The main branches worked well but it felt like the world went to waste. They totally ruined the Dark Elves' voices too. Morrowind felt like such a complete game. Especially with the three very unique houses you could join and freedom of choice with everything.

I loved Oblivion's combat. It was very weighty and kind of like the older King's Field games where every weapon *Felt* different. Morrowind's combat's just not that fun, and they really improved it, but... they didn't fix anything else. I mean, they promised you could get a pet dog, and make armor and weapons. That didn't happen. That's not even hard to implement. They implemented Radiant AI scripting and never actually did anything with it beyond really basic stuff. They never fixed the relative lack of interactivity with the world Morrowind had (in other words, you could pick up all the useless crap but you couldn't DO anything with it. Again, not really hard to fix).

The quest structure was also worse, I thought, since each guildhall only had like one or two quests, there were fewer quests in general, they weren't really any more in depth, and a lot of them were really similar (and not in a coyly winking "Do you see what we did there?" batch of Naked Nord quests like in Morrowind(.

But I agree MW had far better voice acting. Basically, in MW, Wood Elves sounded annoying because they're wood elves and they're supposed to sound annoying. In Oblivion, they sounded annoying because the voice actor wasn't great.

Also, my GOD have you ever played a more humorless game!

7043  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Where were you when the world stopped spinning? on: June 17, 2009, 09:11:00 PM
Neal's story was probably the best, here.

Also, really not trying to be weird. This is honestly a genuine question! Albeit... um... somewhat arbitrarily and poorly phrased. And I got the lyrics wrong anyway.
7044  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The awful war between JRPGFans and WRPGFans on: June 17, 2009, 05:05:29 PM
I mean, when you put in great graphics and full voice acting, you lose so much. Oblivion's conversations were so barren compared to Morrowind.

Bethesda chronically mismanages their resources. Daggerfall took 5 years some how, and Oblivion was like "Hey let's spend all of our funding hiring Jean Luc Picard to do two lines!"

Morrowind's like the only RPG they've put together that they released in the expected time frame and without cutting everything. Unless you're a DF fanboy and like to maintain that they cut a bunch of stuff from the final product that was never in the game anyway, or something else insane.

Spoilers: Daggerfall only had like 20 hand-made areas in the entire game, and it doesn't matter HOW big your world is if there's nothing in it. This is a videogame. I want something interesting. If I want to go walk around somewhere barren and flat for hours on end without seeing anything I LIVE IN MOTHERFUCKING OHIO AND IT HURTS.
7045  The Rest / General Discussions / Where were you when the world stopped spinning? on: June 17, 2009, 04:55:25 PM
So all of my new co-workers like country and play it on the radio, and this Alan Jackson song came on.

I was in 8th grade, and it was like... third of fourth period advanced math. The teachers were hesitant to tell the students anything but I was in advanced math so my teacher went ahead and told us anyway (she also was under the impression the Capitol building had been bombed too). Their attempts at secrecy proved futile, though, because I went to one of the schools that got ChannelOne news, and that came on at fifth period, and yeah.

Weird coincidence. History teacher, second period, gave us an assignment that night: write about a recent event from a newspaper.
7046  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Up on: June 16, 2009, 10:37:39 PM
Random aside: Never seen Cars but it looks dumb :( It's also apparently considered Pixar's worst movie?

Pixar did a really nice job with the trailers and making this look... I don't know. A lot *happier* than it was.

Also there's gon' be spoilers, and I'm not putting it in code because that'd just be one unsightly black box of text.

I liked Wall-E a lot. I liked it more than Ratatouille. I also have this thing for silent films, so whatever. In any case, the second half, in space, seemed to lose something for me. It wasn't bad or anything -- far from it -- but that 2001 reference was sort of gratuitous, if not inappropriate, and there really was kind of a mood shift that didn't seem so... smooth. The first half of the movie is kind of bleak and surreal and a lot like the intro to Fallout. There's a strong grotesque undercurrent in the second half -- especially if you, like me, live in one of those weird rural towns where there's a pretty good chance that there's some horribly obese wheel-chair bound man in the theater watching the movie, while eating nachos and a large coke -- but... I don't know, it never felt really fully on to me.

Anyway, I do think Wall-E looked, visually, a lot better than Up, but the writing/plotting/overall construction in Up seemed to gel a lot better, which surprised me because the trailers made the movie look really goofy and unappealing to me. Carl's adventure is pretty meaningless outside of the context of Ellie's death, but you can't really let that on in a trailer without... I don't know.

TVTropes has this trope called Mood Whiplash which basically sums up the movie entirely. It's still dissonant, but it's a very assured and smooth kind of dissonant. The mood can flail around violently, but it's willful, and it's *smooth*. Every depressing moment is followed up by something funny that ends up not ending well. Like that seen where Dug tries to get the other dogs to stop, they walk past and ignore him, everyone in the audience laughs, and then Alpha grabs him by the neck and throws him off a cliff.

Or how like every silly thing Russel does ends with him almost getting splattered or shot or something.

Or how the concept of a guy flying his house by attaching a bunch of ballons to it switches from cute and picaresque to sysiphean as it goes on.

The title could really just as well refer to moments of elation as it could to the house literally flying, because it IS just kind of this constant cycle of happy/funny moments and "Phyllis isn't my mom" moments. Which is kind of what the entire prologue is, too. And it's also why the happy ending is so completely appropriate -- it's *deserved*.
7047  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The awful war between JRPGFans and WRPGFans on: June 16, 2009, 10:04:26 PM
This site is actually pretty civilized and educated

It also doesn't have a dragon raping it's logo.
7048  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: June 16, 2009, 09:04:48 PM
plamescape tournament:

Just got Dathklon, the guy with the shfting metal weaponmg. we together did some more quests like the helping of a woman who were lost additionally to selling gold trinkets and bibbobs for moneys to buy an eyeball that is belong to TNO. I am levelled 5 now and have got axe proficiency to level ++. he is now use better weapon and hit good. MEN die at me !! This is very pleasant game to enjoyable.

My Life as a Janitor (DS Version) is one load and defeated groan.
7049  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: More characters need to die boring deaths... on: June 16, 2009, 07:31:29 PM
Didn't Zidane or someone tinkle in FF9? :P

Zidane pees to death. There. Challenging pissing AND boring death.
7050  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Western JRPG thread. on: June 16, 2009, 06:01:46 PM
Secondly, are you suggesting to everyone to go climb a mountain because it's there?

Not at all! A mountain is an intense and very physical challenge, but it isn't really a puzzle!

And finally, are you some kind of balding/overweight starship captain from the 23rd century?

Are you referencing something I am not getting :T

Also, the Elder Scrolls games were pretty niche until Morrowind came along, and MOrrowind and Oblivion appeal more to, in a mass audience perspective, the GTA mindset than the WRPG mindset. Although Morrowind had more mass appeal within the WRPGer group because it had a coherent storyline and all of the content was actually made by a person.
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