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16  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 26, 2015, 10:15:18 PM
Nah, I admit the system had it's flaws, but it's presentation was certainly not one of them.

Oh most definitely.   In fact thinking about it, I can't think of a more flawless 'looking' battle system.  The font was a good size, the transitions and status bars were easy to read, the camera zoomed in and out to emphasize action when in needed and on the party other times, the UI was clean, etc.

I hope FF15 can take a few cues from that.

And yeah, I loved seeing Lightning to all those jumps and backflips. x)
17  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 26, 2015, 09:30:40 PM
In response to all the FF7 remake news about going ARPG or ATB....  ATB IS BOOOOORRRIIING D:  All this 'take your turn to attack' stuff sucks unless you're really revolutionizing it (Bravely Default, Radiant Historia) or FFX-ing it with a speedy system.

Or FFXIII-ing it with a REALLY speedy system :P

Eh.  I was 'iffy' on the auto-battle/paradigm thing.  It was different, anf I liked it for that, but it definitely takes too much away from the player and actually picking tasks took too long (FFX-2 was smart there in that picking skills set the ATB back to 'wait' mode).  You might have to stop me if 13 did this, its been a while.
18  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 26, 2015, 09:20:06 PM
Verisimilitude is key for me, and a reason why I actually don't like a lot of WRPGs - there's just not the right balance of it, and it's often pretty generic. I probably won't be making any friends here, but I think FF VII has some of the absolute best verisimilitude in any game.

I...think I really agree with that, particularly the FF7 comment really struck me when I was playing it, I thought it was a contemporary-fantasy done very right.  All in all I find Japanese developers a lot more creative (admittedly, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse).

In response to all the FF7 remake news about going ARPG or ATB....  ATB IS BOOOOORRRIIING D:  All this 'take your turn to attack' stuff sucks unless you're really revolutionizing it (Bravely Default, Radiant Historia) or FFX-ing it with a speedy system.
19  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 26, 2015, 06:40:02 PM
I keep playing FFX-2...why am I finding this game so fun?  Most of the minigames are migraine-inducing.

Cuz you're a girl, and that game involves you dressing your barbies in several pretty little outfits, duh.

/facetious



But IIRC, all of the girls wore something to that effect as Berserkers, it was a kind of badly designed class outfit wise.

Not...really, actually, Yuna's got massive cleave, but...

20  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: August 26, 2015, 05:24:32 PM
Reading the Full Metal Alchemist wiki is really confusing since it deals with synopses, trivia, and different plots from both the 2003 and 2009 anime.

Anyways, I'm watching the 2003 anime, I got half way through it before I stopped and always wanted to finish it. 
21  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dice Plays FFIX (1st post now with Table of Contents & Plot Summaries!) on: August 26, 2015, 01:46:18 PM
Awesome post as usual Dice - your eye for detail is so good. I'm happy you point out the things like the cool backgrounds and stuff for us. :)

Oh, and you do fight those other 3 elemental bosses later. You fight them in Memoria.

I'm really, really happy people are enjoying it or reading what they can... I know I write WAY too much, and believe me, some of I edit out. T_T
I feel like you can't do a video series for this kind of stuff without it being super weird.  I definitely admire your LPs.

And thanks for reminding me that, I editted the post for that. xD

Awww... you stopped mentioning past FF homages before getting to the most important one...

Terra's Guardians are the Crystal Guardians from the original Final Fantasy! I loved that little detail, especially since I played FFIX before FF1 and therefore found this out after the fact.

Also, you reminded me that there's a piece of music that plays at only the part where the teams are confronting the guardians that I remember really loving but haven't heard in forever. Now I can't even remember the name of it.
EDIT: Nevermind, Found it! Some of my favorite tracks in video games are these "Put the Plan into Action" themes, such as Stage is Set from FF8 or Judgment Day from FF7.
EDIT 2: Just realized a lot of Successive Battles can be considered a preamble to Skirmish of the Silver Dragons. Lots of similarities.

Number puns seem to be pretty common in Japan, that's why March 9 is Miku Day/Giving Day.

Argh, won't lie I barely played FFI besides what I saw my brother play as a wee lass.  And this is why I have you all here to help!! And damn, that's really cool, I'm sure people who are avid FFI fans probably were able to make the connection, and that would have been something if I could too.

I actually got a bit sad that The Four Medallions didn't play during the segment (and for the period it does in-game barely lasts the length of the song itself).  But I already complained way too many songs take from the main theme (this same issue plagues Zelda music too IMO).  But then I realized how much better that suits everything happening.  Again, I thought it was really cool the game cuts between the characters to show how they're in-sync.
22  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 26, 2015, 01:38:47 PM
Yeah... wth happened to Rikku between FFX and FFX-2?
Did she start taking hard drugs and raving all night or something?

It's weird I like her X-2 outfit because it's as goofy as she tends to be.  Other than that, making sense of ribbon arms and winter-wonder scarf with summer-fun bikini just hurts my hair to think about.  Some of her outfits are really ridiculous too, the Berserker one literally giving patches of loose cloth over her tits and some underwear.

While I still wrap my head around how spiral irises would work in real life, I did always admire them giving her dimples in her smile, and often unseen physical trait in fictional characters; she actually looked pretty realistic ...especially as far as FF-characters go. 



I keep playing FFX-2...why am I finding this game so fun?  Most of the minigames are migraine-inducing.
23  Media / The Soundroom / Re: AUG/21: Favourite VGM Song (Normal Battle Theme!! Pg1) on: August 26, 2015, 01:28:41 PM
HAPPY 10TH ANNIVERSARY TO TALES OF LEGENDIA.

In honour of it, I think it'd be a shame not to include the truly wonderful and orchestrated main battle track this one had:
Battle Artist]https://youtu.be/rM3Kf4L7gnY]Battle Artist
24  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 26, 2015, 03:53:09 AM
Holy fuck, whoever designed the 'New Cave' puzzle in FFX-2 needs to get shot.  If someone does it without WITHOUT the "no encounters" accessory then they honestly deserve bragging rights (and falatio for keeping track of such a stupid amount of annoying stats. 
25  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: August 26, 2015, 12:48:06 AM
https://instagram.com/bearcoat_tonkey/

Th-this dog..... oh my god this dog.....<3<3

Part dog, part teddy bear, part mutt, part sharpei, part FRUMPYFACE AAAAAUUUUGH
26  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dice Plays FFIX (1st post now with Table of Contents & Plot Summaries!) on: August 25, 2015, 01:00:18 PM

^ *click the pic!!* ^ Track: Daguerreo


Part IX: No take mirror!!!

Quote
Brief Synopsis: We learn that a 'clue' for Kuja's mysterious homeworld "Terra" lies in Ispen's Castle!  We get there, Amarant splits saying teamwork is stupid, he eats his words after "winning like a loser", and we join up after finding four artifact mirrors that tell us how to get to Terra.  RELEASE THE ELEMENTAL SEALS!!

Sorry, not much plot here, but I think the Terra event deserves its own Chapter and there's a lot of little crap to talk about meanwhile the way.  And we're coming to the end of the game, so why not cover a few other misc details??


= "Alright let's go find the Chocobo Air Garden...Damn it's gonna take forever to find a moving shadow on the world ma---- oh shit there it is."  *dead pepper*


= ​This sequence of events is the best.  Never has treasure hunting been so intuitive.​

(link to the full ordeal)


​= Ipsen's Castle is one of those places that looks long and confusing but I manage to find the boss within about 10 minutes.  Go up-up-up.  And...Tada~.  Also, I'm sure it doesn't need to be said, but an upside down castle (where the 'weakest weapons' are the 'strongest') is just too fucking cool.  I MEAN C'MON LOOK AT IT.


= Furthermore... HMMmmm. I wonder why all of Gaea has wooden chests, but Ipsen's Castle curiously has these fancy 'blue' ones.  The FF9 world is somewhat curious in that way, I'd reckon more than half of the stuff outside of the Mist Continent only exists due to the connection with Terra.


= Seriously, how cool is this battle ground?  It's a side room to a 'grand hall'.  The screenshot here and for the next battle screenshot really don't do it justice, but a lot of FF9 battle grounds are beautifully intricate like this.  ...and it gives ya something to look at while the battle 'loads up'. : /  (it may not sound it, but I actually get lost in the visual detail -- they're quite lovely)

(I also tend to watch Netflix in the background during the game's many "wait times")


= Again Zidane proves to be a tip-top character that avoids common JRPG hero tropes.  When Amarant decides to 'do things his way' (leaving the party in favour of working alone to find the treasure in Ipsen's Castle), Zidane doesn't give him any sort of "B-b-b-but--!!" or "we're a TEAM" shenanigans.  He lets him do thing his way and doesn't put up a fight --- Amarant's an adult, Zidane knows that, and he lets him do what he wants.  When Amarant 'falls behind' Zidane comes to get him, not to gloat, not to rescue him, but just to check up on him (indeed, "You don't need a reason to help people" rings true to his character).  I also like how the situation resolves, there's no grand apology and no big friendship/teamwork speech --- it just is was it is.


= Can't say I'm crazy for the Airship Theme in this game.  I think it's that really rough-sounding synthesized electric guitar at the beginning that sorta kills it. xS
   A little off-topic, but holy crap I forgot how awesome the Tales of Vesperia worldmap and its (literal) airship looked.


​= Whale....  Zombie.  WHALE-ZOMBIE.  WHALE-FUCKING-ZOMBIE.

I mentioned above that I tend to watch stuff while I​ play games, this is one of those times where the battle was getting started, I turn my attention to the TV, look back and this fucking thing appears giving me a good jump.  Of all the weird fiends in this game, this is surprisingly ... random and pretty freaky looking (daresay not very "fantasy-esque").  Definitely cool and creepy.


​= Quan's Dwelling I always felt is a weird place, it's completely optional, looks awful, but you get a ton of Vivi backstory, some Quina and Qu-race details, and you get a number of items from here.  I think it does help answer two things: Why Vivi is sort of 'different' from other black mages (apparently surging 'imagination' within Quan perhaps working reciprocally with the peculiar upbringing of Vivi himself)
And perhaps literally seeing the world through Quina's eyes:

I'm not really sure I made much sense of the "using your imagination bit" which is why Vivi can see Quan's spirit or why Quina sees a giant smorgasbord of food piled up, but it's a charming sidequest that I *totally* had no idea existed my first two runs of the game. ô_ô  (what can I say? I never really paired a party with Vivi and Quina together nor did I think to bring them to Quan's place).


= Hey I think Daguerreo is as great as the next person does, but BOOKS AND WATER SHOULD DO NOT GO TOGETHER DAMMIT. >:(
It makes me all nervous :(
Nevertheless, I am a huge fan of plot-unrelated villages.  They tend to be the coolest places.  As seen in the header image, Daguerro itself beautifully meshes a very tranquil water environment with an old and ancient library; the warmth from the lights collides beautifully with the dark blues of the water.


= I FORGOT to mention this time and time again!  But the game's dialogue is DEFINITELY made even more effective by it's "timing".  I've posted a few gif'd scenes where this happens and they make it work to a comedic/dramatic element all the time.  At times the dialogue boxes take pauses between words to visually[?!] represent how speech is said.  Another effective instant of this is when dialogue gets, literally, interrupted by someone else's dialogue [box]. 

   This can make a voiceless game feel surprisingly 'natural' and it definitely make it more interesting than having the whole text box come up right away.


= There is nothing more pleasant than hearing the battle SFX swoop, followed by the cutesy harps and orgels that sound off when a Friendly Monster battle happens, I always loved how it completely 180's my battle expectations and makes me smile a little.  I'm not sure if I like whether or not the trivia itself is SO DAMN SPECIFIC, you literally need to read and remember every detail written on random statues and books you pass by.
A small shame the FF10 battle theme wasn't proactively called "GUTS", like the Ragtime Mouse's trivia card implies :P


Oh and here's some fun trivia about the peculiar amount of EXP the battle rewards you:
Quote
The money and the EXP received from the Ragtime Mouse is a Japanese language pun. Gokurosan is "good job"; the number five in Japanese is Go; the number nine is Ku; the number six is Ro; and three is San. Writing 5963 can thus phonetically be pronounced "good job". The Ragtime Mouse gives 23852 EXP, which divided among four party members is 5963 EXP each. It also gives 59630 Gil.


= THE MIRRORS TO TERRA.
I love this segment and I've wanted to talk about it ever since I started this playthrough.  Particularly I love how the characters get divided up into parties of two in order to fight the elemental guardians.
Garnet and Eiko: The girls!  The 'sisters'!  They got things to chit-chat about!  It's funny that in some ways Eiko is much bolder character than Garnet.  I imagine an 'older Eiko' would be a unique character to see.
Freya and Amarant: They're quiet, but efficient workers; and well Amarant would prefer Freya to working with any kid. I do like that Amarant's a "changed man" now, Zidane finally rubbed off on him and he wants to fight to help people. Aw. <3 :P
Steiner and Vivi: Steiner respects the black mage!  Plus if you're going to a place called "The Wind Shrine", it'll be good to have tag along with a man in heavy armour to keep you grounded ...literally.
Zidane and ...Quina??

Quote
Quina: "Ah, Zidane. You want go with me!"
Zidane: "Well... I sort of got stuck with the leftovers..."
Quina: "You no have to explain! I so happy."
Zidane: "Huh?"
Quina: "There old saying in my tribe... 'Leftovers good!'"

​    Someone said it better than me, but Quina is an underrated character because "...​[while] she may appear to be only about that grub, she has her layers too. Quina is representative of the joy in life. She is way more free-spirited than Zidane and decides to dedicate most of her time on enjoying the little things in life. That's what we learn from her. In spite of the chaos and grief that is present throughout the game, she keeps a relatively positive head most of the time. The time she diverts from her happy nature is when those aim to take it away from her.​"​​​

   The whole sequence is quite thrilling anyways, I love how it chops itself up between the teams to check on how they're all working together. I'm a LITTLE disappointed that only ONE boss is playable, as it would have been a fun challenge.  I mean, the "bosses" you don't fight look pretty legit (a special shout out goes to the Fire-Naga Amarant and Freya see; her "hair" is made of a snake's body and she can lift herself up with it; see it here).   *Thanks Mongoosey!


^ *click the pic!!* ^ Track: ??????????????
Till next time!
27  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 25, 2015, 11:15:09 AM


I think I realized what bugs me most about Yuna's main outfit in X-2 (besides the fact the Songstress outfit is like a milllliiiooon times better).  Is it me or is it somewhat odd that Yuna to carries a torch for her dead boyfriend by using his sports team's logo to bridge that gap between her super-low neckline top?  I'm not to keen on the half-leg jean dress either...mainly because of the "jean dress" part. Bleh.



I don't think that half-leg dress is made of Jeans though. Seems more like blue colored cloth that get progressively less blue down the line. If anything, those daisy dukes are more Jean like (also, why the hell does her outfit sport a hood? how is that even attached to anything? also you complain about her swiping Tidus' team logo and yet nothing about swiping his barber? the rat's tail is also incredibly dumb since her hair wasn't nearly long enough to make it).

I think the hood is....just literally a hood.  It's like you scissor off the hood part of a hoodie, then glue it to your collarbone (or let 'videyagame physics' happen).    Yeah, it's goofy.  And so is the super hair growth rat-tail to dupe you from "it's not actually short hair". 
28  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 25, 2015, 12:44:19 AM


I think I realized what bugs me most about Yuna's main outfit in X-2 (besides the fact the Songstress outfit is like a milllliiiooon times better).  Is it me or is it somewhat odd that Yuna to carries a torch for her dead boyfriend by using his sports team's logo to bridge that gap between her super-low neckline top?  I'm not to keen on the half-leg jean dress either...mainly because of the "jean dress" part. Bleh.

29  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 24, 2015, 11:12:50 PM
So when I moved in with my girlfriend she had three cats. U had one cat. So we had a total of four cats. Well my cat and her cats did not get along. Well two of them mellowed to her presence and they learned to get along well enough that they weren't fighting. The third started peeing and pooping on the couch and everything else. Including my girlfriends son. Yes. He got peed on. Twice. Well today we finally had to make the decision to surrender her. It wasn't healthy for her or us. It was the most difficult decision I have ever made. I am going to go cry now.

God I'm sorry.  Having to give up a pet must be hard.  It's nice you had a sort of 'everyone's best interest' in mind, but the hurt is still there. 
30  Media / The Soundroom / Re: AUG/21: Favourite VGM Song (Normal Battle Theme!! Pg1) on: August 24, 2015, 11:03:52 PM
Great picks everyone. I've definitely got a few to add for battle themes. (I'm sad I missed the title music part though. Too busy getting used to things ahah)

FIGHT!! Ver. 1 - Grandia II Definitely my favourite battle theme of all time. Nothing else gets me as pumped as this. The guitars are awesome, the pace is awesome, it's just utterly awesome

The Gun Barrel of Battle - Lost Odyssey So majestic, empowering, and epic. There's a sense of urgency and a sense of purpose. It's stunning.

Battle 1 - FFIV I'm a huge fan of IV's battle themes. The normal battle theme is my least favourite of all of them but it's still damn good. I seem to have a thing for fast paced battle music

Mechanical Rhythm - Xenoblade Chronicles I sawStephanie mention this, but I'm not sure if it counts as a normal battle theme, but it IS the regular battle theme on the Mechonis...so...I'm going to put it here. Two words: Heavy. Guitars.

I think I love Grandia II's battle theme because it sounds like it's out of some kinda-campy 90's anime... which, I guess it kinda was, at heart, when it wasn't being a JRPG.

I like FFIV's theme, but that whole OST gives me warm fuzzy feelings because I grew up on that. 
A special shoutout has to go to the Final Fantasy V battle theme which, unless you were into running SNES games on your computer you likely didn't hear because of the games Japan-only status.  And it's strange but it's always felt like "the other FF" for the reason to me -- and I love that. :P

Lost Odyssey did well too, it's sweeping arrangement feels incredibly classic (like it's out of a movie, which kinda works for the dramatic elements of LO) but still a nice standalone.

EDIT: And my personal favorite battle theme from the entirety of the Tales series is "Bared Fangs" from Tales of Destiny.  Battles were frequent in that game, and every time the screen spun out playing that music, I bobbed my head like crazy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89jVZz9id9U

And since I've been talking about FFX-2 a lot in other threads lately, I present its battle theme.  I absolutely love it and whenever I think about it, it gets stuck in my head.  The beat is so funky and off-timey; easily one of the most unique battle themes in the series.  I love that ascending note progression 23 seconds in.  That's the money riff right there.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fErjzgGRrDA

Another personal favorite is "Death Dance" from Xenogears.  My favorite is the part from :28- 1:00.  That gets me emotionally charged up every time.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCvG74VDOKU

ToD is part of that set of games that I was exposed to early on in the PSX era, which, back then, basically looked like SNES games on crack.  So I love the ToD battle theme, it felt "fresh and clean", which, speaking ToD looked like a nicer ToP, worked perfectly.  I gotta give ToD credit especially for another category I'll be using in the future though. ;)

And yeah the FFX-2 battle theme is *amazing* for the strangest reasons.  It's totally funky, off-beat, and it totally works with the strange pace of battle and the sort of 'shift in gears' that X-2 works on.
Dagnabbit, all the FFT themes have already been taken.  And DDS2, too.

Alrighty then:
Shadow Hearts: Battle in China 'Brain Hopper'.  It manages to combine tension with mournful vocals, and still have a sense of underlying evil.  Also, dat bass.

I've always been partial to FF8's secondary battle theme, Man with the Machine Gun, but then again, I grew up in the '80s, and I still think that Synthesizers are Cool.

https://youtu.be/-p_SFBS-UCc SH2 EU
https://youtu.be/seFe8nxig70
Shadow Hearts II gets its own bragging rights too, but have a great emphasis on unique rhythm and beat over the usual sweeping melody.  Totally works for the combo-based fighting system the game has.

Lots of great ones were hit. I wanted to throw this one in the mix:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcSBYw_ycms -- LIVEALIVE "Psycho Killing"

Each of the seven characters in LAL have a standard battle theme. The cyberpunk era had some of the best music IMO. I like this song.

This was a weird game but definitely loved the music.  A little off-topic (for now) but I always loved Megalomania myself (especially on an emulator where the built-in 2x-fast forward feature made it that much faster/hardcore).

Okay I keep quoting and I'm getting confused, but a big YES to SO2 and Persona 4 and Man with the Machine Fun
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