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Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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2926  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ar tonelico 3 coming to the PS3 January 2010 on: March 11, 2011, 02:54:09 PM
I found that Atelier Rorona was a nice break from the old 'save the world' cliche.  Though it was still loaded with cliched characters.

Of course, cliche doesn't have to be bad.  As others have said, it's really all about the writing.

Back to AT3, I think the review was tough but fair.  It really is a shame since I loved the first two games.  At this point I'm too invested in the world and story not to finish the trilogy, but I think it's pretty clear that this isn't exactly Gust's finest moment.
2927  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky on: March 10, 2011, 07:51:09 PM
Kinda off topic, but not really, has anybody heard anything about that PSP phone?

I assume you mean the Xperia Play, for which there is tons and tons of news.  In fact, doesn't in come out in a few weeks?  Do a Google search.

The Xperia Play is not a 'PSP phone', however.  From what I understand it doesn't even play PSP games.


Damn. I ran xperia play throught the google machine. This thing looks useless...

I wouldn't call it useless at all.  The real star isn't the phone itself, but rather then Playstation Suite software for Android.  PSS has the potential to address the fragmentation that has always plagued the Android platform and make it more viable for game developers to target.  I think Sony was smart not to try to take on the phone gaming market by themselves, because otherwise they would just be producing another N-Gage, and we know how successful that was.  The success of this platform is contingent on getting a wide variety of handset makers to submit to Sony's certification process, however, and it remains to be seen if that will actually happen.

This is still mainly about phone games, though.  But as we have seen in RPGFan's coverage there are more and more serious phone games these days.  It's becoming harder to ignore them (I'm still pretty good at it, though).

Personally I have no interest in any of this.  But there is a bonus:  The NGP will run PSS software too.  That means that in the future you won't have to miss out on a game that's just released for phones.
2928  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky on: March 10, 2011, 04:08:18 PM
Kinda off topic, but not really, has anybody heard anything about that PSP phone?

I assume you mean the Xperia Play, for which there is tons and tons of news.  In fact, doesn't in come out in a few weeks?  Do a Google search.

The Xperia Play is not a 'PSP phone', however.  From what I understand it doesn't even play PSP games.
2929  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Squeenix turned down licensing offer for Blood of Bahamut. on: March 09, 2011, 01:47:54 PM
I don't know if 66,000 units in a month is good or bad for a DS game. All it is says is that it sold that many.

Hint: It's bad.  Really bad for a S-E game.

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And one bad, and one good review doesn't tell me much about how the game did.

Well, Famitsu's review scores are all over the place.  Sometimes I think they decide them with a game of darts.  In any event, 31/40 still isn't really a good score.
2930  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Achievements / Trophies on: March 09, 2011, 05:24:24 AM
DS is easy: wireless and WEP.

Your PS3 can do that too, you know.
2931  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Achievements / Trophies on: March 08, 2011, 03:21:19 PM
A hassle?  Really?  Achievements/trophies aside (which I already stated my opinion on), it's pretty trivial to connect your console to the internet and you're missing out on a ton of great downloadable games.
2932  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: If you're a college student, you shouldn't be allowed to vote... on: March 08, 2011, 03:18:19 PM
Clearly anyone who doesn't vote for Republicans is foolish and shouldn't be allowed to vote!

Second, it really just eliminates the college vote altogether. Why? Because classes are still scheduled on election day meaning most students wouldn't be able to travel to their respective towns to cast their vote.

As disgusting as I think the proposed legislation is, that really isn't true.  I kept my voter registration in my home town when I was going to college and just voted by mail-in ballot.  Heck, some states have gotten rid of polling centers and moved entirely to mail-in ballots.  It's a heck of a lot more convenient.
2933  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Achievements / Trophies on: March 07, 2011, 09:38:42 PM
Last year some IGN editor wrote that he played and platinumed the hannah montana game because someone told him that the platinum could be obtained in 4 hours.

That kind of thing is really common in some circles...

Personally I don't care about trophies at all.  I've never platinumed anything and I probably never will.  There always seems to be at least one grindy obnoxious task that I just don't want to do.  I decided I wanted to platinum Nier since I loved the game so much but I gave up after spending way too many hours farming ingredients for weapon upgrades.  My time is worth more than that.
2934  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Age 2 on: March 07, 2011, 07:30:17 PM
This game is a non-stop train wreck that amuses me very much.

Your trolling is kind of amusing, I suppose.


Look on the bright side: no one can accuse me of being a Bioware fanboy anymore.  I now have a new game to take FFXIII's place until the next grand train wreck appears (probably will be FFXIII-2).

Can't you at least play the game before jumping to that conclusion?
2935  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Age 2 on: March 07, 2011, 07:06:20 PM
This game is a non-stop train wreck that amuses me very much.

Your trolling is kind of amusing, I suppose.
2936  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Age 2 on: March 07, 2011, 05:44:25 PM
Well, my copy shipped.  Guess I'm not cancelling my pre-order now ;)
2937  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Gust announces new Atelier game on: March 07, 2011, 01:45:40 AM
The big problem with the VGChartz 'method' (which is really just educated guessing) is that by nature they can't ever anticipate the interesting cases, namely games that sell significantly more or less than expectations.
2938  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Gust announces new Atelier game on: March 06, 2011, 01:57:38 AM
Seems like Rorona flopped here to justify a Totori (or is it too soon to speak). 

It's a little early to jump to that conclusions, I think.  A Totori localization has been hinted at before.

NISA seems to usually take about 15 months from their Japanese release to localize Gust games.  Look it up.  They're remarkably consistent about it.
2939  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Gust announces new Atelier game: Atelier Meruru on: March 06, 2011, 01:33:11 AM
It's supposed to be the third game in the Arland series, after Rorona and Totori, but details are still limited.

http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2011/03/06/gust_new_atelier/
http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2011/03/06/atelier_first_look/
2940  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Age 2 on: March 06, 2011, 01:16:15 AM
There is a big demographic of people with consoles that don't know technology at all. That's the area we're talking about.
Since these people are not technologically savvy, making a very simple way of playing is best.
Stop going into denial about it.

Complex gameplay has absolutely nothing to do with being 'technology savvy'.

You know what pisses me off the most about this whole dumbing it down for console gamers crap?  DA:O sold extremely well on consoles!  It's not like it flopped or something.  It exceeded expectations.  Sometimes I feel like instead of companies listening to what gamers want they're telling them what they want.

Where's the tactical options? Where's my control? Where's the damn pause button so I can actually issue orders?

Did you even open the radial menu?  It has all of those things.

As far as the actual changes go...

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1. Combat Feels Like An Action/RPG
Battles in Dragon Age II feel like they evolved more from the console version of Origins than the PC. Instead of a deliberate and tactical approach, fights take place in third person and focus more on fast-paced action. This is true even if youíre playing on PC, so donít be surprised when you canít find your zoomed-out isometric view. Yes, this is a significant change from the last gameÖbut being different isnít necessarily bad.

Am I the only one who thinks that other than having to mash attack all the time (which is stupid, but supposedly optional in the real game) combat really didn't feel very different than DA:O?  A little faster paced, sure, but that doesn't even matter if you use pause.

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2. Classes Are More Specialized
In Origins, warriors and rogues had different roles in combat but shared similar abilities. For instance, both classes could dual-wield and put points into archery-related talents. In Dragon Age II, the warrior loses these capabilities, focusing instead on tanking and dealing melee damage. Rogues are more about precision and support, though their position in relation to enemies is less important. Mages still nuke foes, but they arenít quite as helpless when faced with direct combat.

More differentiation between warriors and rogues is a good thing, though taking archery away from warrior is a stupid irrational RPG cliche that I hate.

It sounds like Mages will continue to overpower everyone else anway...

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3. Inventory Management Is Better
Your allies in Dragon Age II each have a set of armor that they wear all the time. This means that you canít equip them with the helmets, boots, and gauntlets that you find in your quest. This may sound disappointing at first, but it results in you spending much less time in the menus sizing up and optimizing equipment. If you pick up a new suit of armor that isnít an improvement for Hawke, you can just sell it; no need to look at all of your active and inactive party members to see if itís better for them. Plus, you can still outfit your companions with rings, amulets, and belts, so the customization isnít gone completely. Your inventory will be less cramped, especially since you get a storage chest early on and you arenít carrying around crafting reagents all the time.

I'll admit I spent more time than I would have liked doing inventory management in DA:O, but this 'solution' is like using a sledgehammer to pound down a few nails...

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4. Skills Are Gone
When you level up, you allocate ability points and talent points. You no longer get skill points, because skills as they existed in Origins are no longer present. Your character can still do many things that used to be skills, like crafting and lockpicking, but these have migrated to other parts of the game. For instance, the rogueís ability to pick locks automatically increases for every 10 points in their Cunning ability (simple locks at 10, standard locks at 20, etc.).

Skills were not well done at all in DA:O.  I would have preferred that they actually fixed the system instead of just abandoning it, but I won't really miss them.

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5. Kirkwall Is The Main Setting
Donít expect to travel to the four corners of the Free Marches like you did in Ferelden. Dragon Age II tells the story of Hawkeís rise to power in Kirkwall, and as such, almost all of the action takes place within the city. Youíll take a few trips to surrounding locations, but donít be surprised when your adventures have you hopping between different parts of Kirkwall instead of different parts of the continent.

I actually like RPGs that are more focused on urban environments and the interactions between people, so that sounds fine to me.

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6. Not The Usual BioWare Story
BioWareís plots generally follow a predictable arc. Players go through an introductory sequence, and then the world opens up to four larger areas with their own quests and storylines. When those areas are complete, the tale converges for the thrilling finale. I wonít spoil anything about specific events in Dragon Age II, but I will say that the narrative does not follow this structure at all.

Not enough information to judge.

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7. Ally Relations Are Improved
If you did things your allies didnít approve of in Origins, they didnít like you. That wouldnít be a big deal, except that cool companion missions werenít available unless your approval was high with the appropriate character. In Dragon Age II, you can do these missions regardless of whether your ally loves or hates you. Instead of gating story content, the approval system now bestows passive bonuses. If a party member is your friend, youíll get one kind of bonus. If that same character is a rival, youíll get a different one. This way, you get reward whether youíre nice or mean, plus you still get to do all of the quests. Being neutral, however, still has no advantages.

So apparently 'rival' just means they hate you?  When I first heard the rival system mentioned I thought it would be a little more nuisanced than that.  This sounds dumb.

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8. Conversation Flows Better
The new dialogue system is very similar to the Mass Effect seriesí. This means that you donít spend your time reading through a list of responses before selecting one. Instead, you choose a brief response from a wheel that gives you the gist of what Hawke will say next. These responses are also accompanied by an icon that lets you know if youíre being flirty, aggressive, snarky, etc. One benefit to this approach is that conversations are not start-and-stop affairs; they flow naturally and Hawke emerges as a more defined character instead of a voiceless cipher.

I like reading through a list of responses.  For some reason a large portion of the video game community seems to have declared that clunky and old-fashioned.  Wait, I thought the Dragon Age series was supposed to be all about being old-fashioned...whatever happened to that?

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9. Youíre A Long Way From Ferelden
The Free Marches are influenced by the events from the previous game, but donít expect every little choice you made in Origins to change the world. Youíll hear some references in dialogue, and even see a couple cameos, but Dragon Age isnít Mass Effect. You wonít be bombarded with reminders of your previous deeds. Hawkeís story stands apart from the Grey Wardenís, though it still clearly takes place in the same world. However, be aware that some minor story points in Origins and Awakening have been retconned, so even if you import your save, the events of the previous games arenít necessarily set in stone.

Meh.  It is a different story, not like the crap they pulled in Awakenings.

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10. Itís Shorter, But Not Short
I finished Dragon Age II, along with every sidequest, in approximately 40 hours. While that isnít the 70 hours it took me to play through Origins, itís still a large chunk of time, and I certainly didnít feel cheated by the amount of content.

Sounds better than the 15 hours we heard elsewhere, but I'm still skeptical.  How long if I don't do everything?

I feel very conflicted about DA2.  I don't think it's going to be a terrible game or anything, but my initial anticipation has turned to 'meh'.  There are so many other good games coming out this year that I might have to put this one on the back-burner.

Does anyone know when the reviews will be posted?
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