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334713 Posts in 13708 Topics by 2200 Members
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7471  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Baten Kaitos? on: August 13, 2008, 04:37:05 PM
Does 'decent' mean good or bad these days? I'm a bit out of touch. Also, from reading home of the underdogs, "fun" and "good" apparently also mean bad. That site has stupid-ass reviews. Christ.
7472  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Baten Kaitos? on: August 12, 2008, 08:41:56 PM
I liked what I played a lot but I never really felt compelled to play it for some reason. I always INTEND to. I mean, it's card based, but the battles are non random so the fact they're slow doesn't matter so much, and it's not really card based in the traditional sense. It's sort of hard to describe, but kinda neat. Setting is gorgeous.
7473  The Rest / General Discussions / Cultists starve a baby to death. on: August 12, 2008, 08:36:30 PM
At least they didn't starve Samuel L. Jackson to death.
7474  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Let's have a visual novel thread! on: August 11, 2008, 09:32:47 PM
I wanna write a text adventure sometime, but none of the existing engines seem to do what I want*, and I can't really write my own.

* I found something utterly stupid about TADS syntax, and Inform 7 wasn't really powerful enough.
7475  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Stupid RPG conventions/cliches you can't get past. on: August 11, 2008, 07:27:20 PM
Fun idea:

Chrono Trigger has five or so fairly small towns in in 1000 AD. Yet CT's world feels like a complete world and I think that's why some of the weirder analysis holds up and continues -- you're not talking about the author's intent but picking apart what they created and looking at meaning they DIDN'T intend.

Similarly, Secret of Mana feels like it has a complete world, to me, where as SD3 does not.

The question, here, is what IS a complete-feeling world, and why do some worlds feel more complete than others?

In the latter example, SoM's world is less defined, and at the same time more detailed in a sense. You have little areas that aren't really important to the plot, like Kippo Village, in addition to a vast, unkown stretch of land just past what you can see. SD3, on the other hand, fleshes out every kingdom in a very clear and rigid sense. You know what's there and that there's nothing more beyond it and the illusion falls apart.

In a sense, SoM's world is a world in a motion and SD3's world is a world in stasis -- albeit a warlike and turbulent stasis.

The idea of a world in motion also applies to CT, although there, maybe, it's a world where something's ABOUT to happen. This is 1000 AD, at least. Nothing really HAS happened yet. The adventure springboards there, but it's the new millenium -- a turning point, ultimately -- and humans and Mystics share an uneasy, segragated peace, and 1000 AD really stands out as a world where not a lot IS happening, but where a lot of stuff is ABOUT to happen.

Additionally with CT, the setting itself is a sort of narrative, and I do maintain that very intentional theme of the game is the idea that the Planet (or entity) is leading the characters around, not just to defeat Lavos, but to narrativize itself.
7476  The Rest / General Discussions / RPGFan Gaming Journal: The Road to Infinity on: August 11, 2008, 07:02:10 PM
I like what I played of TotA except for some quest-progression stupidness that I talked about elsewhere, and in general, it improves on Symphonia in pretty much every way, but for some odd reason I still like Symphonia more.

Anyway, beat Son of Sun last night, headed to Ft. Dragonia, and just got through the desert thing in DQ8.

How big IS DQ8's world, anyway?
7477  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Games you are going to buy the last half of the year on: August 11, 2008, 06:56:10 PM
New games:

Dragon Quest IV
Persona 4

Old stuff:

Avernume 3
Parasite Eve
7478  The Rest / General Discussions / The Megahyper Summer Olympics Thread O'Awesome on: August 11, 2008, 04:55:56 PM
I like it when America loses. It's called "schadenfreude."

Some people thing I like using german words because I'm pretentious but it's really just the result of studying german for so damn long and I can't even speak that crazy-ass language.
7479  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Let's have a visual novel thread! on: August 11, 2008, 04:49:16 PM
By industry convention, a product is a "visual novel" if text is superimposed onto the entire background. However, it's simply an "adventure game" if the text appears in a little box at the bottom of the screen (like the older interactive games). IMO, that kind of classification scheme is needlessly confusing.

You still mean in Japan for that part, right?
7480  The Rest / General Discussions / Get the "anime look" with extra wide contact lense on: August 10, 2008, 10:05:00 PM
holy fucking fuckshit what is wrong with these people jesus christ.


excuse me.

Jesus McChrist.
7481  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Let's have a visual novel thread! on: August 10, 2008, 09:59:19 PM
From a western perspective, visual novels, text adventures, interactive fiction, and point-and-click adventures are all different things. Narrative style and gameplay elements are the main distinction.

Point-and-click adventures are always graphical, can be first or third person, and almost always use a mouse interface -- the exception being the early AGI games which were keyboard + simple parser. A game like Dare to Dream would be considered first person and a game like Monkey Island would be third person. Myst-like games are sometimes considered their own subgenre and sometimes not.

Point-and-click adventures almost always have inventory-based puzzles and NPCs to deal with. Some of the better ones will also have dialogue puzzles and varied ways to interact with the world. They also tend to be fairly narrative heavy. MOST puzzles -- especially the inventory ones -- are of a lock-and-key style, where you need to find a key item and then use it to unlock the next area, somehow. The downside is that in a lot of cases, interaction with inventory items is fairly limitted so there's no way of knowing how using two objects together will get interpreted by the game.

A few point-and-click adventures HAVE had RPG elements (Quest for Gloria, Kyrandia).

Myst-like point-and-click adventures tend to have fewer NPCs and mechanical puzzles, based less on combining inventory objects (and in most cases you don't even have a traditional inventory) and more around interacting with things already present in the world in a scientifical fashion to figure out what they do and how to get a desired result. There's another group that gets lumped in with Myst-likes, and these are games like Shivers 2, where you have to play Sokoban to open doors and stuff. These aren't really as interesting because the puzzles are Seriously Random As Hell.

Text adventures and interactive fiction aren't really distinct, but there tend to be more narrative led games and more gameplay led games, although both tend to have gameplay elements. With IF (which I'm gonna use to refer to more narrative oriented games) you have a strong sense of a main character (who isn't an anonymous avatar for the player in the world) and puzzles that are more rigidly geared to the plot, and also have more structured ways of dealing with them; whereas with a text adventure, the puzzles are often more environmental and represent obstacles in your path in the game world and not so much plot elements. Also, text adventures tend to be a lot more lenient about letting the player fail. Both tend to have scoring systems, although I think this is just a throwback to the Inform days or something.

Some text adventures, notably Zork, also are notable for having fairly intricate interactivity -- even if it doesn't have a lot to do with the puzzles, story, or anything else.

Visual novels, from a western perspective, are not seen as having pervasive or meaningful gameplay elements, and are mostly equated with choose-your-own-adventure books. These are entirely storyline driven and every choice the player makes is directly geared to the story. There's no real interaction with the world, but only other characters.
7482  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Eternal Eden - (indie RPG) on: August 10, 2008, 09:17:35 PM
Most other game engines can easily cost above $1000

Yeah, but you can't really compare RPG Maker to the Unreal Engine or something. They do completely different things and in all fairness the manhours and technical knowhow it takes to make something like RPGMaker are far, far less than what you'd need to make a powerful commercial engine that runs well on a wide range of hardware (and operating systems).
7483  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Eternal Eden - (indie RPG) on: August 10, 2008, 07:07:29 PM
I'd give RPGMaker a shot if it wasn't so damn expensive. I also get the impression you can't make your own battle systems.
7484  The Rest / General Discussions / We're Horrible out of 5 on: August 10, 2008, 05:13:56 PM
One time I got raped by a mall santa outside of Macy's when I was still doing janitorial there. Does that count as a one night stand?
7485  The Rest / General Discussions / RPGFan Gaming Journal: The Road to Infinity on: August 10, 2008, 02:24:02 PM
Did the rainbow shell sidequest in CT.

Started playing Secret of Mana again. Up to Kippo Village. Gonna kill some monsters so I can get some new armor before heading on to the Haunted Forest. I don't have a problem with grinding in action RPGs, honestly. Anyway, this probably kills my chances of trying to play SD3 again, and as a positively massive LOM fan I really, really wish Square would do another game in the style of SoM. Actually though since I'm playing them both, I'm really surprised at how similar CT and SoM feel.


Just did Sun Keep and repeatedly failed at Ozy's Fort somehow GODdamn. I'm gonna get the Rainbow+Sunstone stuff before I finish off the sidequest things.

Then I'll probably spend a few hours collecting dolls and cats I have no idea.

Anyway, I'm working on a Blog Post about Chrono Trigger and Cross. It's up to five pages so far. I'll post it when it's done and link to the blog somewhere.
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