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Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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7471  Media / Single-Player RPGs / The World Ends with You on: May 01, 2008, 02:45:00 AM
Yeah, the more stuff I see opening up for Shiki, the more I realize...

Well, stuff opens up as you go along. I *like* that.

I really need to start using the "sub" setting for certain pins so that I like, LAUNCH said motorcycle at the enemy instead of attacking it.


also what the hell why are people complaining about Persona 3 music but not http://youtube.com/watch?v=sCNyNmuFSlw
7472  Media / Single-Player RPGs / The World Ends with You on: May 01, 2008, 01:00:41 AM
I still haven't gotten a grip on handling the upper screen, honestly, but I think the lower screen stuff's a blast, especially if you're trying to get insane combos.

Also I think this is one of the few games where I enjoy grinding, for a few reasons.

A) Very tangible benefits. New clothes and pins and food everywhere, so you're only grinding for stuff and not to get past a certain goal (Well, the red shirt guys, sort of, but that's different for reasons below).
B) Grinding never actually TAKES long, really.
C) You're in control of the reward. You can drop your level and have to play more skillfully, but in return, you get better swag.
D) That battle system's entirely active and quite fun and rather River City Ransomish, sort of.

In some regards, it IS sort of Square ripping off SMT/Persona. In other regards, is this actually a bad thing?

Also it has a bear with tattoos for arms.
7473  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Top 5 RPGs everyone loves to hate on: May 01, 2008, 12:00:48 AM
Also MeshGearFox .. Great minds think alike. Apparently that's not a lie. .P

True but I'm Russian major furry that has trouble forming coherent sentences and using credit card readers and I spend my free time looking at pictures of rare pine trees on the internet.

Additional comments:

I keep seeing FFIX come up and I'm going to jump on the bandwagon. I don't know if it's my personal FAVORITE FF, but I started really playing it FOR REAL recently, started again this year, and I'm really liking it a lot. I think in some ways it might be one of the better executed FFs. It's quite well balanced, fairly difficult without being annoying, and has some really nicely done side stuff.

In addition to Legend of Mana comments (because post I just made in WEWY reminded me of this and I don't know if I already mentioned it): LoM reminds me way more of River City Ransom than Secret of Mana but I don't consider this a bad thing.
7474  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Top 5 RPGs everyone loves to hate on: April 30, 2008, 09:50:53 PM
Compared to Oblivion I personally liked Steambot Chronicles more since it was a perfect balance between non-linearity and an engaging (yet silly) storyline.

Jesus christ I think I've said that EXACT sentence in other posts I've made in other places.

Though I haven't really played Steambot chronicles that much since I got it :( I have no idea why. I think it's because I went away to college and my roommate sort of hijacked the PS2.
7475  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Top 5 RPGs everyone loves to hate on: April 30, 2008, 01:36:22 PM
what childish game has bunny girls and puff-puff?

WTF? DQ8 also has a pretty hefty body count.

Many have complained about the Three-Day rule.

I wonder though if in the Persona 3 era if that would be a lot better recieved.
7476  Media / Single-Player RPGs / A quick question about Persona 3. on: April 30, 2008, 03:44:30 AM
If your parents are okay with you seeing a giant blue-green penis with a bunch of tentacles on it, four tiny, tyrannosaurus rex like arms, riding around in a golden chariot made of knives, get FES.

If not, get regular Persona 3.
7477  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Horror RPGs on: April 29, 2008, 10:10:48 PM
I thought the hospital in SMT: N was creepier than the one in Persona 2.
7478  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Horror RPGs on: April 29, 2008, 09:16:10 PM
Not to be too pretentious about the entire thing.

But that's what RPG BBSes are for!
7479  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Top 5 RPGs everyone loves to hate on: April 29, 2008, 06:51:29 PM
World Map Post:

Oh wow I entirely forgot where I was going with this :<<<<

But in regards to DQ8, in addition to the tiger beast, the "teleport anywhere I've been" spell is like, the second spell you get.

Ultima 7 has probably one of the best world maps, and it's almost to scale as well!

It's completely to scale, actually. Dungeons are *on* the world map. The places where it goes out of scale are mainly in the sense that the worldmap is actually kind of tiny in some sense (google it. There's a to-scale picture of it and you can see what I mean), but I'm willing to let that slide.

Even TES games fall pray to "This house is BIGGER on the OUTSIDE than on the INSIDE" like we're all living in some sort of crazy Danielewski land.

Western RPG Thing:

It's extremely hard, almost impossible, to create a compelling, emotional or affecting, storyline in a non-linear game.

Okay, this is actually a matter of, er... how MUCH non-linearity? And again, I'm going to use Morrowind and Oblivion here because they really show what I'm talking about.

Morrowind and Oblivion are both very non-linear, but there's a big difference, that being that Morrowind tends to employ quest-arcs a lot more often. Specifically, let's talk about the mages guilds in both games. In oblivion, each guildhouse offered... a single quest. In Morrowind, each guildhouse overed between like, 6 and 20 I believe? Anyway.

Each quest in Morrowind in a particular guildhouses quest line didn't really have any particulary story connection to the last. However, you were getting these quests from the same place and from the same quest giver and sort of dealing with the same merchants.

You formed a connection to the place and a few (admittedly genericish) NPCs.

Another questline which Morrowind had, that I believe Oblivion had no analogue to, was the Anahssi line. A single character that actually does get some development as you go along.

In the case of an extremely non-linear RPG, you can't really create a single compelling storyline, nor should that be the point. However, you DO need to create poignant, interesting, and meaningful events. Not just for the sake of storytelling, but because if all of your fetch quests amount to FETCH ME A CANOE twenty times over, the player's going to get bored.

Okay, so let's move into less-linear territory. Let's talk about Ultima 7 again. ultima 7's main storyline is almost entirely linear. It's also a very good storyline, quite memorable, well told, and full of interesting characters. Also Lord British was ballsy enough to take on scientology. But yeah, storyline is very linear.

Ultima 7, as a game however, is NOT that linear. Why?

Well, here's the thing. It has lots of sidequests. Lots of optional jobs you can do. And lots of hidden things to explore. There aren't any artificial boundaries anywhere -- you can pretty much go anywhere whenever you want to. however, the *storyline* and events tied to that occur in a more or less linear fashion.

Most non-linear PC/Western RPGs aren't non-linear in the strictest sense, but are rather either linear or multilinear and just offer a lot of sidequests and exploration opportunity. TES games are actually probably the only genuinely non-linear western RPG series. Well, no, but they're the only ones I can really think of off hand.

There are also a few fairly linear western RPGs -- Albion and Septerra Core come to mind, although I've never played the latter much but want to (but if we're speaking about really godawful face portraits, JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE HELL).

tend to focus more on equipment values

That's not really the case so much. Well... sort of. This requires some explaining.

Western RPGs weren't originally so grognardy. Even the goldbox ones wihch were based on Dungeons and Dragons (Then again I think D&D was also probably less retarded back then too. No idea). We could probably use Morrowind and Oblivion as an example here. In Morrowind, you're more likely to wear armor because it LOOKS cool. In Oblivion, you're going with whatever has the best stats.

One of the original points about Ultima -- well, starting with 4, at least -- were the conversation trees. really detailed conversation trees and NPC interaction, basically. I'm not going to say this ever became standard, but western RPGs used to be way more story oriented than they are now and I think they do kind of suffer for it. Not so much because the lack of story but because powergaming seems to have replaced it (and powergaming and grinding go hand in hand to extend this to WoW).

Finally, another important concept -- and this ties in with what I mentioned about characters -- is that a character you create and build yourself is something you'll have more emotional involvement with than a premade character. When looking at this in terms of the minimax hell that something like WoW, apparently, or Diablo 2 or Oblivion turns into, you can see the problem, in that you're not so much building a character as you are building a set of number.

Second, homemade characters tend to be memorable when they do really fascinating things. In an RPG, this usually means getting a bunch of critical hits or something else that's decidedly awesome. They also tend to be memorable from bizarre quirks or flaws they develop, either through improper building or just in general.

Finally, I have to bring up Dwarf Fortress. The game doesn't have any pre-set story. at the same time, you can't really say it DOESN'T have a story. The story is formed by the actions that happen in the game. Technically you could say this about a lot of things but then you'd mostly be wrong because the reason this actually works for Dwarf Fortress is that it has far more details than any other game ever and your dwarves can miscarry and then get really mad and kill people as a result.

I think that JRPGs like FF have done so well in the mainstream because they do tell a story and are linear.

I thought it was because FFVII let you ride around on a motorcycle while stabbing people :] In any case you can make the argument thta FFVII made RPGs mainstreamer and FFVII actually had lots of side stuff.

Emotional impact, in regards to, say, your characters is something else entirely that I'll talk about later.

-- Summer Glau
7480  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Top 5 RPGs everyone loves to hate on: April 29, 2008, 06:17:15 PM
Oh crap, gobs of replies.  and... wait, what the hell, I replied after a bunch of them? Goddamn finals week.

Legend of Mana- why the hate? I have no idea. For a "not-secret-of-mana"-esque game, it sure better than all three World of Mana titles put together and works damn well as part of the series or on its own.

Don't bring up LoM :( I'm likely to defend it and say stupid stuff. Although as a massive fanboy of the game I will point out some completely valid flaws which were, strangely, the ones nobody seemed to care about.

1. Way too damn easy on normal mode. AI is still a bit dumb on the harder modes but things are generally a lot better. Of course, the normal modes aren't open at the beginning. Argh?

2. Stupid dungeon design. Why was secret of mana the only game in the entire series to do this right? SD1 had that stupid thing with the keys and doors re-locking, SD3's dungeons were more or less completely empty of everything in general, and LoM had vaguely identical looking mazes.

3. The keep-away tap. It's something you do with the spear, though technically I think all weapons can do it -- the spear is just best. It basically means you constantly do weak attacks on an enemy, paralyzing them. Extremely unbalancing.

4. Completely lack of decent documentation. What the hell !!!

CC Stuff:

The battle mechanics were different, but I think for the better.

CC is to my knowledge the only RPG that basically recharges your magic completely after every battle, more or less. This gets away from the "Well, MP is so limitted that magic is basically useless" problem that a lot of RPGs (Phantasy Star 2, for instance, is stupid with this.) have*, but at the same time, you can only use a spell once per battle, and need to "charge up" the costlier ones, keeping it balanced.

I also think people tend to praise CT's battle system for sort of goofy reasons. The "fighting on the field" thing was mostly cosmetic and the combos in and of themselves, while nice, aren't really a huge thing. It's the combos combined with how ATB works in the game combines with HOLY CRAP EVERYONE'S ACTION MENU ON SCREEN AT ONCE!?!?!? combined with area-effect attacks that really makes it all work out. It's actually a really incredibly feat of balancing.

Also it has puzzle bosses that are actually, er, solvable.

The only thing that did suck, IMHO, was the fucking artist's art.

Iiiiiiiiiii sort of have to agree, yeah :/ I wouldn't say it's bad, but kind of suckitudinal. Especially since it's not really universally bad, and inconsistency is DEFINITELY the keystone of suckitudinality.

Star Ocean 3- I think the primary hate was the story.

For me, personally, it was the big, empty, maze-like dungeons and a bunch of other things I can't even remember but I can't play the game without getting panic attacks and vague nausea for some reason.

asking for 10 zippers or less in any of the latest Final Fantasy games.

'sit just me or is WEWY sort of hanging a lampshade on that?

As for FFXII, I really didn't like the battle system, which is my main issue. Also would've like other, eh.... metagame sidquestery thingums than just the hunters guild. Like, sky piracy or an Elite-esque stuff trading system to get money, or a Skies of Arcadia-ish discovery thing would've been perfect.

For organization's sake I'd like to make a seperate post talking about the worldmap comments since this one's getting long. I'll merge them down if the ops have a problem with it though.

* I thought this applied to CT at first too, partially 'cause MP restoratives are so costly, but I realized magic costs are cheapish, and that shelters are also cheap and there are plenty of save points. Thus, convserving magic's not that huge of an issue. In this sense, too, CC is definitely in the spirit of CT, especially considering that everyone was effectively a mage in CT, too.
7481  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Horror RPGs on: April 29, 2008, 05:56:03 PM
Hey yeah, KF works, though I've only played Eternal Ring and the first one, and only the first one really extensively. I liked how in the first one, each weapon kind of felt different. I can't really describe it. I guess it's like, okay, you have a huge heavy swords. It's going to act like that. Compared to Oblivion where everything sort of feels weightless. Or Morrowind which was even worse about it (Who played Morrowind for the combat, though? Seriously).

Also thought the faceless, textureless NPCs and enemies helped the creepiness. Made everything seem alien.

Also, those stupid ghosts. Those things were peculiar.
7482  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Top 5 RPGs everyone loves to hate on: April 29, 2008, 11:38:38 AM
I just like world-maps in general, they feel much more integrated into the world rather then this almost lazy method of achieving the same goal.

Technically worldmaps are a lazy method of doing travel in an RPG, since the "ideal" method is a to-scale, worldmap-less methods, where you can go off and explore whatever you want.

FFX was also a kluge given that you didn't have a large, open world to explore but what amounted to small paths between towns. From a design standpoint, this amounts to several towns connected by dungeons -- albeit outdoors dungeons.

Compare to Dragon Quest VIII, where you can actually walk around towns.  

But the story telling is usual much greater with their linearity.

Not really. In both regards. JRPGs usually don't have particularly good storytelling -- seriously, the games people always bring up as an example of good storytelling from the JRPG side DO have good storytelling usually, but they're a very small percentage of the total number of JRPGs, and nobody brings up western RPGs in general because nobody here's really played anything outside of Diablo 2 and Oblivion, apparently -- and storytelling and linearity don't really affect eachother. Just because Oblivion had piss-poor writing and quest design doesn't mean it's the lack of linearty doing it. Bethesda is run by hacks and employs nothing but hacks, and that's always been the case and always will be the case.

Granted, I like Morrowind and Arena and continue to like them, and I think these were the rare times when Bethesda had some people around that weren't hacks, but the execution in Morrowind had some big flaws which I was fairly forgiving of because modder response was quick and thorough and it was the first time Bethesda tried doing a game with actual detail in it. When Oblivion came around and Bethesda really hadn't fixed any of Morrowind's problems, and essentially added a whole lot more... Well, honestly, the fact that Oblivion's only competition was WoW was probably the only reason it got such high praise.

I'm not saying it was overrated necessarily. I'm saying that if you don't feed someone for a few weeks and then if you give them a piece of like, dry bread made of salt and flour to eat, they'll think it's the best thing in the world.

And in regards to exploration and world maps and not having world maps, Oblivion failed here in the same way that Daggerfall did. Sure, it had stuff in the wilderness -- it had dungeons and little villages and those daedric waypoints that crashed your game if you tried to use them until a month later when the patch actually came out, by which time I'd stopped giving a damn -- but with Morrowind, great care was made to put little hidden caches and landforms and little easter eggs and everything else into the world. Oblivion's terrain was more or less conic and relatively featureless, and the dungeons were certainly large but not very interesting, and other than a few really well executed little towns, there just wasn't that much there. You could make the case that Morrowind's world was too obfuscated with mountains being put everywhere, but climbing a mountain or looking for routes through the terrain is a lot more interesting then just walking in a straight line to everywhere, which is what you could do in Oblivion.
7483  The Rest / General Discussions / IGN's GTA IV Review on: April 29, 2008, 12:04:21 AM
PS -- Idolizing gangs is why kids these days are violent little shit heads.


Consider the facts:

A) Squeez-its are no longer made.
B) They don't show Bill Nye in schools anymore.

I rest my case.
7484  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Horror RPGs on: April 28, 2008, 11:22:13 PM
What kind of horror are you talking about?

I'm talking more about Lovecraftian horror except I barely read anything by lovecraft so I don't like that term. There is something lurking here but we don't know what. Etc.?

Let's go with the wikipedia article here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horror_fiction.

"Horror fiction is, broadly, fiction in any medium intended to scare, unsettle, or horrify the audience. Historically, the cause of the "horror" experience has often been the intrusion of an evil - or, occasionally, misunderstood - supernatural element into everyday human experience."

It's that intrusion that I'm talking about. UFO Defense was scary because the aliens were on farms and in suburban environments.

And what I said about the biolab in SGF, or Apoc as a whole, in the sense of finding places that don't make any sense... they're not supernatural, but they're *things that shouldn't be* that *are* anyway.
7485  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Top 5 RPGs everyone loves to hate on: April 28, 2008, 11:09:34 PM
The point of having a world map is that sense of actually discovering new things

Sure it is, but I can maybe think of 20 RPGs in total where having a world map actually meant you were discovering things.

Most worldmaps tend to steamroll you towards one specific location, or lock you in an area with a small number of towns/caves/whatever to go to. If you're headed towards a valley, you generally know there's going to be something at the end of that valley and the sense of uncertainty vanishes.

Also, console RPGs at least are notorious for not having a lot of side stuff. Side stuff -- stuff you can miss -- stuff you have to discover -- is essential for a feeling of discovery.
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