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Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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7081  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: IT'S A MINUTE AND A HALF MOTHERFUCKER *stab* on: December 11, 2008, 12:05:11 AM
Conclusion: Fuck Nova Scotia.
7082  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: 80s RPGs on: December 10, 2008, 09:45:19 PM
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I feel the same way about Wizardry. The series isn't at it's best until the end.

I can appreciate the earlier Wizardry titles (Not 4 so much, though), and they're fairly quick, but yeah, I agree. 6-8 I think is great, though, although I have to admit that I really like the SNES version of 5. Not sure why. I like the graphics for some reason. Anyway the thing with Wizardry 5 that I do remember is that there's more of a sense of... mythology to the dungeon. This sort of Zork-ian alien-ness.

Also http://kalynuik-s.tripod.com/images-w/wiz5-images/wiz5-llama.gif

Although, honestly, 2 and 3 were more like expansion packs to Wizardry 1 anyway.

Also, I don't have a problem with Ultima 3 and I think it's a good game. It's just that personally it's not one I'm that into for some reason, if that makes any sense? I will say, since we're talking about NES conversions, while I generally think most of the SNES ports of the Ultima games are horrid with 7 being the absolute nadir (and 6 not really being bad, but it WAS censored, so...), I prefer Exodus on the NES. Town designs, IIRC, were fixed up a bit and more importantly NPCs had text most of the time. We're not talking to the extent of having the huge, informational/conversational meta-game that U4 had (which was removed in the NES version) but it's an additional bit of flavor that doesn't hurt one bit.

Going back to Phantasy Star, I actually am somewhat of a defender of 3, partially cause I think 2 was a bit overrated, partially cause I felt 3 was a LITTLE closer to 1 stylistically, but it still loses points for me for not really fixing two of the biggest problems I had with 2: Progression was sort of jacked up and the dungeons blow. In 3, at least, they're not endless, doublebacking mazes, but making all of the caves into featureless, empty, and amorphous blobs doesn't really improve things. That being said, I can appreciate the efforts they made with PS2 to make the characters unique and the efforts they made in PS3 with the generation system and magic allocationy stuff.

Also in regards to both Phantasy Star 1 and Dragon Warrior 1, with DW1 doing this more, there's this feeling that everything is just about to happen. Does that make any sense? Probably not. Another way of putting it--in DW1, you can see the dragonlord's castle from the starting town, sort of, and the progression of that games moves you spatially closer to that castle as time and your level and the story, brief though it is, progresses. Additionally, the dragonlord's done a few Very Bad Things, but he's not at the point of having a huge presence out there f'in things up. But he's about to.

Is that clear at all?

In Phantasy Star 1, it's more of a feeling than recency than imminence. Everything in the backstory of the game JUST happened, it seems like.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's a mixture of urgency and an implied uneasiness. I'm pretty sure this also applies to Pool of Radiance, although I can't remember the story in that very well because I'm having a hard time running it lately (also mother!@#%ing codewheels).

Still not sure I'm making much sense.

---edit---

Suddenly, I feel old. I just realized I could put FFL1 on this list.

Oh, and Nethack, I guess. That's... technically from the 70s, though.
7083  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Remember when people who made games were aware of what made people enjoy games? on: December 10, 2008, 08:15:33 PM
Your motherfucking pineapple ducks scare the fuck out of my fuck.

FUCK!
7084  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: 80s RPGs on: December 10, 2008, 08:14:02 PM
I'd say Ultima, but I don't like 1 much, I think 2 was the worst in the series, I'm alright with 3... 4 and 5 are great, but my favorites are 6 and 7 and those were nineties.

Phantasy Star 1, I guess. My favorite in the entire series. Had an interesting gameplay progression that was more Zelda like, with finding and using key items, than hitting certain plot points. Also, the dungeon designs were a lot more managable and I liked the atmosphere. So admittedly while the battle system and character building mechanics weren't that different from other games of the era, and there was still grinding, too, the game had a degree of non-linearity, a sense of finding stuff out on your own and exploration, and I guess a lot of adventure game elements I really liked. I thought PSIV was neat and all, but there really wasn't much unique there from a gameplay standpoint, except for a really underdeveloped combo system and... an... underdeveloped hunter's guild thingy.

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Unlike some of the other titles in the series, you get to raise your characters from level 1. Plus, combat is more forgiving, the quests seem a little less confusing, and there are much better dungeons than some of the later entries.

More than that, I seem to recall the latter games in the series getting a lot more linear. I liked the Savage Frontier games though. They're a lot closer to Pool's style, but with world maps.

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The dungeon graphics are better,

I'm gon' go ahead and argue this point. Graphics in the NES version are a lot smaller, less detailed, and in this predominately-brown color scheme.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/nes/pool-of-radiance/screenshots/gameShotId,45902/ NES
http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/pool-of-radiance/screenshots/gameShotId,10476/ DOS

Objectively, NES version's graphics are smaller and less colorful (NES sprites have 2-4 colors. PC sprites have about 8 and you can customize how your characters look). I can't find any dungeon first-person screens, unfortunately, but the PC graphics are definitely a lot more colorful as a whole.

Erm. What else.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/pool-of-radiance/screenshots/gameShotId,82624/ enemy portraits in the PC version have nice backgrounds. NES ones are sort of blackish.

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/original/1058375417-00.gif In regards to this, I don't have a comparison shot, but in the PC version this particular wall pattern had 4 or 5 colors in it and the vines were a bit more detailed, IIRC.

So yeah sorry just throwing this out there.
7085  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Remember when people who made games were aware of what made people enjoy games? on: December 10, 2008, 04:58:28 AM
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While that may have been true during the earliest days of Final Fantasy/SaGa/Seiken Densetsu, it definitely wasn't the case by the time they got to Chrono Trigger and the PlayStation lineup.

Sort of. Especially with Chrono Trigger there's some anecdotal evidence that it's one of those committee games that was designed to be a hit from the get-go.

And at the same time, it's widely considered to be Square's best game.

So essentially if you hate CT, there's some more kindling to stoke your iconoclastic fires, and if you love CT, well, looks like committee games CAN be good. And in either case, the argument that market-driven approaches to gaming is sort of into thrown a monkey wrench by this (? parsing ?)

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for game devs following their visions, but you run into two huge problems: A lot of times their visions are stupid, and for every Pixel or Tarn Adams, there's ten Derek Smarts (and I'm doubtlessly going to say something later on that totally !@#%s this metaphor).

Market-driven approaches also have the benefit of generally bringing more quality control into the mix. I mean this strictly in the sense that you tend to get more beta testers, which is a VERY GOOD THING, since, with PC RPGs at least, visionary things ending up being buggy and barely functional on a basic level is a huge problem (Daggerfall, most games based on tabletop RPGs that weren't made by SSI. Also Go Anywhere, Do Anything games on the whole tend to have this problem and lord help me I want to analyze the hell out of why I think strict GADA is a horrible idea).

(I'd also point out that there are much more important things than innovation, but that'd also come back to bite me sometime because I'm definitely going to contradict myself. I need to get into the habit of inventing other people and pretending they wrote essays, and then cite these non-existant essays to PARTIALLY express my viewpoints while still allowing me to hedge them in some way).

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God damn cosapi. You type so much yet say so little.

Yes, and that's my speciality STOP HARSHING MY GRILLS.
7086  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Remember when people who made games were aware of what made people enjoy gam on: December 10, 2008, 02:22:22 AM
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With some games they were trying radically new stuff, they were making games in their own image, not to who they thought the games would appeal to. However in modern days the games have to appeal to the audience.

And at the same time, Square's fanwank games are the ones that always sell the most, and their more experimental titles either get shot down critically or just don't sell.

And I mean that in the sense that I generally think there's something pathologically wrong with the gaming community as a whole, and we're never going to see consistently worthwhile things happen until they all get their collective head out of their collective ass*.

* I also blame this for the disproportionate emphasis on videogames as art, and other misguided notions such as trying to make RPGs that mimic tabletop RPGs perfectly or why actually trying to listen to your fans most of the time results in your project turning into an unmanageable mess of feature creep.
7087  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest X coming to Wii. on: December 10, 2008, 02:11:46 AM
What do you mean recent DQ games? Remakes and bizarre side-games notwithstanding, there's only been one.
7088  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Remember when people who made games were aware of what made people enjoy gam on: December 09, 2008, 10:04:58 PM
Also in regard to hype, the one game I can remember, most recently, people getting hyped and then disappointed by was Spore.

Funny thing is, they were talking about all these features. None of which I'd ever heard of. I've always though the game looked fairly bad, by going from the videos, and most of the complaints people had were stuff I'd been saying for years.

So I don't think the companies are at fault for hyping their games. I think the players are at fault for expecting the games to have things that were never promised in the first place.
7089  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Remember when people who made games were aware of what made people enjoy gam on: December 09, 2008, 07:59:37 PM
I had an equally angry rant typed out that I was going to post, and still might, but I found a more succinct way of expressing my view.

---

Truthfully, though, there's one thing at the core of this and one thing only:

What exactly is fun, anyway?
7090  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Youtube on: December 09, 2008, 06:01:37 PM
Soviet-era cartoons:

Fantadrom is probably the best thing ever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1ywJaOMK5w

Some song from "To the Port"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYYp1ixu7x8&feature=related

Cheburashka:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j95qCtdpmlc

Bremen Town Musicians. This'll put the fear of god in you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAWhP5CakAc&feature=related

Nu, Pogodi!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx_lpC-Sads&feature=related
7091  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal MXVII: Crisis Atelier Spectral Moon III on: December 09, 2008, 11:36:39 AM
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I didn't grind in DQ7 unless I picked the wrong job, or at the end where I just wanted to finish the damn thing and couldn't beat the last boss.

True. I'm sort of at this weird point where I don't have any offensive casters and don't have any idea what to do with Gabo. Initially started him out as a fighter, realized that was giving me redundant skills, and switched over to Shepherd so I could get antidote. I WAS thinking about putting him on the path to be a Tamer, but now I'm not so sure.

Mari has somewhat more options. Mari has a lot of potential. I'm thinking of switching her over to a mage since I've got enough healing going on right now. Maybe a fighter if I want to take an int hit for awhile with her (not a big deal since she's not really an offensive caster). Paladin looks tempting.
7092  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Time's Top 10 Games of the Year on: December 09, 2008, 11:24:50 AM
There some phone games I like, although Verizon's selection is lacking. That being said, Nectaris is groovy, and I'm a big fan of Orcs and Elves 2 (which I wish had gotten a DS port instead. It's a lot better than the first one).

That being said the PSP is the only handheld system in a very long time to provide serious competition for the DS so uh... SCIENCE!
7093  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal MXVII: Crisis Atelier Spectral Moon III on: December 09, 2008, 01:58:10 AM
Downloaded SMT:Imagine. Discovered it runs great on my laptop. Well, except for my university packet shaping the hell out of everything to hell.

Played DQ4 for a bit. Uh, lookin' for Ragnar. This game keeps getting better.

DQ7. Hamelia stuff. I think I'm about to get into some Serious David Lynch !@#% soon. Game has a tendency for the little subplots to convene at the oddest moments, and I think I can see where this is going and if I'm write, I'm going to be VERY amused. ANYWAY, I've been avoiding grinding out of a matter of principle, and I'm fairly confident you can beat the game without grinding, but I'm considering doing some grinding in that tower dungeon so I can start buying up some of those magic-casting items for MP conservation purposes.
7094  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs with City Building/development? on: December 09, 2008, 12:03:47 AM
Thing I remember disliking about Suikoden 1 is that the combat seemed really "Get paper weight, highlight select, put paper weight on confirm button." Then again I haven't played it in years, and at the TIME I think "RPG strategy" was still sort of a non-concept to me.

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most of the NPCs were individual characters to talk to, or groups of identical characters, like the Magic Academy Students, or Sproutlings.

True, true, but on the other hand, they WERE mostly unique NPCs, many getting some amount of character development, and not just arbitrary signpost NPCs that didn't matter. Although I should also point out I'm always an advocate for bigger towns. "Towns too small but NPCs fairly unique" is something I'm also really prone to launch at Dragon Quest games. Especially 8. And don't even get me started on Chrono Trigger's towns.

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Plus, it would've resulted in dungeons and enemies that were actually challenging.

Or just shark it and start out on Nightmare mode from level 1 and then cry blood. Actually in regard to this, my major complaints were that movement in combat was too slow and battle could take forever against certain high-HP enemies if your weapons weren't good enough (although this was somewhat mitigated when you discover that there's a combo system). Also I didn't think the dungeon layouts were that great although I've seen far worse (and we're not even beginning to approach Daggerfall levels of stupid, although I'd be hard-pressed to find anything that honestly did).

(Also apparently most of the fruit doesn't work as expected in regards to monster personalities, and most meats don't do anything. damns)

(Also there's the issue of stats not doing anything in Secret, although I'm of the opinion that that's the intent and the stat screen is something incidental they never actually planned to do and just forgot to dummy out).

(SD3 also has a lot of bugs)

(Oh and let's not even get started on Sword. Did they even beta that?)

http://people.umass.edu/jvight/3059/ There's a link to 3059 if you're interested, I guess.

Also, just remembered Elona, actually. JRPG-styled PC roguelike where you can build buildings and I THINK maybe form a town. http://homepage3.nifty.com/rfish/index_e.html

I'm gonna go hit up the usual circuits and see what I find.

---edit---

Had it ever been translated, Romancing SaGa 2 would probably work.

Wouldn't be surprised if one of the Gothic games had something like this, but I never played them that far myself.

Various Might and Magic games let you acquire and upgrade castles.

Morrowind has some mods that make the strongholds more in-depth. Nothing for Oblivion though, as far as I can tell.

I wouldn't be surprised if Wizardry 7 or 8, or one of the Goldbox games let you build/run a town.

---edit2---

No idea how I forgot this one. Rocket Slime Adventures is pretty heavily based around this concept. Basically, you have to rescue other slimes from the dungeons you go into. You can also capture monsters and send them back to town. As your town fills up, stuff gets repaired, weights get moved away, eцетtará.

Oh. Brave Fencer Musashi does the same thing to an extent too. Again, not town building, but you rescue crystalized people and the castle gets more diverse resultingly. Not to the same extent though, really.

---threedit---

Also, stupid me, forgot to mention that DQ7's continent resurrecting' thingy is sort of like a global town-building thing in and of itself, vaguely. Very vaguely.

(Also I think I like legend of mana on easy mode more. it's... kind of relaxing just to explore and stuff. giving the enemies more hp is kind of nice though if you like pulling of giant combos)
7095  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs with City Building/development? on: December 08, 2008, 08:19:05 PM
Dragon Quest 4 also has town building but it stupids it up from the PSX version. originally, your final town had seven versions and it was a non-linear thing. Now, it's strictly linear and there's only one final town. !@#%bats.

Dragon Warrior 3 also apparently has this.

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Yep, Terranigma has a ton of sidequests that let you expand the various towns and cities.

I forgot to buy the h!@st%f!@#ing crystal from the travelling nomads and screwed one up, I think :( Or at least I locked myself out of it till VERY LATE in the game when I can get a ship.

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Love it or hate it, Legend of Mana had the landmake system.

That wasn't really town building, though. The way that your house sort of upgrades over time is probably more what the topic starter is after.

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Of course, some of them do a better job of this (Suikoden II) than others (Suikoden IV). :P

I have one and three. How do those do at it?

Summoner 2 doesn't let you build a town per se but as the Queen of Town you DO get to make executive decisions.

Fun fact: I can't think of many PC RPGs that let you do this, other than something like Dwarf Fortress, which is really more a city builder where your citizens have RPG stats.

Morrowind with Bloodmoon has some colony that you can slightly effect the growth of, but eh...

Also technically you can build a city in The UnReal World, but that just amounts to building a ton of houses in the same area. Nobody will ever COME there unless you get them to join your party/marry you and drag them over there.

I THINK Mount and Blade might let you build cities but I've never played it.

There's also 3059 where the point IS to build underground cities which is neat in theory but in practice it means you're digging out tunnels and placing healing pods and doing absolutely nothing else. As far as I can tell. I have no idea how that game works, in practice or in theory.
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