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Congratulations to Andrew Barker! RPGfan Editor of the Year and now Chief News Editor!
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31  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of PlayStation(s) revealed on: December 11, 2014, 05:05:13 PM
Saumree...haaah x)

But I'm glad it's not just Saumree getting super saiyan fusion powers, definitely not a fan of when MCs are clearly over-powered.
32  Media / Game Journals / Re: Complete: Dice plays FF7 (Sponsored by Maxx) on: December 11, 2014, 03:43:06 AM

Why? Not only are Sources horribly inefficient in boosting stats to begin with (how many FF games have had stats that were effectively meaningless like FFVI's Evade or Stamina?), but you could've done the Battle Square for W-Summon at least (then you too can bask in the glory that is the Quad Magic W-Summon BahamutZERO (+ (Mime * 3))).

Sadly, despite my love of the game or many excellent RPG titles, there's only some I really 'go the distance' to 100% or 120% in the case of those ridiculously hard bonus challenges.  Battle Square isn't that bad, but I kinda just got lazy when I thought about going after Emerald and Ruby.  Lots to do, lots to play.  I might go back for the arena, I'm sure my current materia set up would clean it up quickly....

Which reminds me...  I'll get back to this later.

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I'm fine with their roles honestly. Not every villain team needs to consist of the Four Heavenly Kings/Divas/Generals/Whatever.

No, and you definitely got me there, but again, Sephiroth is a largely absent villain, and so is Hojo, quite frankly.  His game importance is much more vital in flash backs and in the 11th hour threat right before you're about to, for realz, go face Seph till the 'Return to Midgar' segment begins.  I wouldn't have asked for much either, just Heidegger and Scalet could have used ONE more scene each (hell, Scarlet's vain so that's easy to write, and Heidegger looks like a military man).  So they're kinda just irritating filler.

About Ancient Forest:
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It feels like something that was originally meant to be visited earlier but isn't due to not being able to fit it in the game's plot proper. I guess they just needed to put that Forest Dungeon somewhere.

Haha maybe, it might make sense given the very down-to-earth nature parts of this game is, so yeah I could have seen it as some sort of fetch quest dungeon, perhaps for the Key to the Temple of the Ancients instead of randomly popping into that one dude's house. :P

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It should've been Shield at the very least. Not that there's really any rhyme or reason to what's going on in the Northern Crater environment wise (actually, it was pointed out on another site, that the hodgepodge environment was largely Jenova's fault since she/it possessed illusionary powers; the tl;dr of the theory is that Jenova has the ability to get into peoples' minds and twist them in ways that creates delusions; for instance, Sephiroth's belief that he was an Ancient or that Jenova was an Ancient, Cloud's belief that he became a hero just like Zack (almost to the point of thinking he was Zack), Cloud's initial rendition of the Nibelheim incident, Cloud's behavior at the end of the Temple of the Ancients (part of the reason why you see Kid Cloud at this point is that this is what Cloud really is (or his ID in psychology/Xenogears terminology), with Big Hero Cloud (Ego and/or Super Ego) being an almost completely different person and out of Kid Cloud's (and subsequently the player's) control (it would also explain why it's Kid Cloud that leads Tifa through his Cosmosphere later on in the Lifestream); the other part probably being Aerith/s being the one instigating this separation instead of it just being a random occurrence (and why she doesn't just walk up to Cloud and take the Black Materia out of his hand)) and at the City of the Ancients).

Won't lie the amount of parentheses in there just fucked my mind up a bit. xD
But I do like that theory and it would make a lot more sense.  Jenova is super interesting, a shame a lot of her is merely assumed (or left in Ultimania's or that one brief video where Aeris' mum becomes "Misses Exposition").  Can you expand on the last part?  I'm not sure I understood....  Aeris really just kinda stood there and I never got why.

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Hell, Cid is the other character with a weapon with Triple Materia Growth on it. Although, I think Tifa has the most gimmick weapons out of everyone.

You might be right, I wasn't sure if I searched enough or not but the team did give Cid some love to give him a pretty strong three-slot triple growth weapon.  I feel bad I really let Tifa fall by the way side later on... I had trouble keeping up with her Limit Breaks (and the amount of shame I felt when I failed a roulette).

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One of the first things I do when getting the Falcon in FFVI is to first track down and recruit Mog, then pop on over to Kefka's Tower and snag the Fixed Dice and a few other niceties like a Minvera Plate for one of the ladies.

Hah!  That's a brilliant idea. x)
I go for what I can remember and who's easiest.  I do like going after Mog but that Kefka's Tower plan sounds like a hoot x)

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I like the fact that it is literally an unloseable fight. Even if you sit there and do nothing, Sephiroth will attack you for maybe a couple hundred HP and Cloud will then end him with a measly counter attack. Omnislash is ridiculously overkill against him. (And yes, I too did not get Omnislash before beating the game, namely because I thought that Meteor Rain was close enough and that it wouldn't have been the first time that a game held out on the main character just for the sake of making his final powerup more narrative based (I'm looking at you Secret of Mana).)

I know I bragged about saving Omnislash for last, but I got distracted IRL when the fight started, I didn't hit "Limit" fast enough, and got hit by Seph.... then it all ended with that really super lame counter....  I immediately youtubed "omnislash" to make up for it. x(
It was glorious.
I wanna go do battle arena to rectify this.

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That one's simple. Only part of the reason why the party went up to North Crater in the first place was to kick Sephiroth's/Jenova's face in so that he/it can't block Holy's counter to Meteor. The other part was speculated by Red XIII's Grandpa during his exposition dump up at the City of the Ancients during Disk 2, that Holy is the Planet's power and since it was humans that summoned Meteor in the first place (or at least, created the conditions that led up to said summoning), the Planet may deem all of humanity a threat and use Holy to eradicate them instead. Thus by going up there and kicking ass on not only the guy that summoned Meteor in the first place, but also eliminating the parasite that's been plaguing the Planet for an eon (i.e. Jenova), the party hopes to prove that humans aren't totally irredeemable.

Since the final battle took place inside the Lifestream (or at least the Safer Sephiroth and Cloud v. Sephiroth fights), it's implied that Cloud might have caught a glimpse of her essence (or whatever they considered to be her) while inside the Stream, and the other line is in direct reference to Red XIII's Grandpa's earlier speculation. This was not something left open for AC or any other extended universe bullshit to rectify.

Aaaaah beautiful.  Is that what Red meant in the final FMV where "Holy was having the opposite effect"?  I took that as troubling news (immediately 'fixed' moments later), but that might make a lot of sense then.
Again a shame Jenova has no on-screen time beyond some dialogue and in battle.

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That was an amazing troll on Squeenix's part. "Hi guys. Since we're practically synonymous with Sony's Playstation brand at this point, we would like to make a big announcement now during their 20th anniversary. As you know, Sony wouldn't even be here without the greatest video game experience of all time, FFVII. So for our contribution to this event, we would like to announce; Final Fantasy Seven: Returns! It's FFVII.... On PC.... And its not a remake.... Enjoy the rest of the evening."

Oh I know they trolled their audience, and yeah that was really stupid and mean.  But I mean the post-reaction where people are 'kinda upset' or the general sentiments to get that desired FF7 remake.  I really don't want it if it would look and play like FF13/15 would (or even the post-FF7 spin-offs) ....or at least I'm not sure how well the current company could adapt a story as strange as FF7 into how 'games today' play.  Like I said, I wouldn't want this unless the company could guarantee their A-game.... or, being japanese, SSS-game.  Otherwise, I don't see the harm in at least delivering SOME up-scaled graphics (I imagine a part of that is because of the game's age and lost/aged assets being a big obstacle).  Mecharobot's last paragraph really hits what I mean more concisely than I could phrase it.

Still, I really wonder who's fucking bright idea it was to announce that game as a port like that and make a big deal out of it...  THAT was the real baffling conscious decision.

The combination of 'World Crisis' and those freaky tornadoes and lightning made the FF7 ending one of my favorite "Catastrophe" scenes in a video game. In fact one of the few things I liked about Dirge of Cerberus was the intro where you got to see the more intimate chaos that was going on in the city during that madness.

I always remember liking the destruction of Clik in Star Ocean 2.  It's destroyed in a tsunami...it's a beautifully detailed city and it's completely gone and not very important, plot-wise, within about ten minutes of getting there.  I also really like the SMT series (and DDS) for doing similarly good work here too.

The DoC you mentioned has me super curious, I'll have to youtube that, but yes, I agree, it's a damn fine catastrophic moment.

Good job. It has been a while since I replayed the game last time. I've been meaning to do either a complete assing run (get banished from Fort Condor, get red submarine, crash the train on corel etc.), or using an emulator and trying to see if I can break something and cheat in that RPS game in gold saucer. There are still things in this game that I do not know.

But yeah, the compilation kind of missed the point of the spirit and thematics of the original FF VII. It's nice to see people still remember the real ending, which is both majestic and ambigious (without being too convoluted like FF VIII). It really opened up a lot of theories on what ultimately was sacrificed in order to save the planet. You certainly don't see Cloud cruising with excite-bike wearing sunglasses, but Midgar in ruins and the only trace of humans being the laughter you hear at the end.

I also like the role of Rufus and Shinra in mid-to-late game. Especially how they set up their own projects to save the planet (and people) too, which probably are a lot more sensible than what your team heard over at a hippie bonfire. You'd have to be crazy to believe that as an outsider. I love how that is also part of FF VII's thematics in science vs magic (or environment vs progress) and just what did the path your party chose mean, given the open nature of the ending and the destiny of your characters. Actually so many things just tie in together much better than it should when I consider that the game's mood varies from slapstick to horror. I figure it would be hard to replicate in full 3D with voice acting. The game is a product of its age, for better or worse.


You can fuck up Fort Condor?  All I remember is intentionally failing (didn't wanna spend the money) and fighting an easy boss... I didn't know you could further fuck up to get banished. xD
North Corel getting MORE fucked up would be too heart-breaking for me.  The place already looks like complete shit, but I respect your desire to make things worse. x)

AND YES! Oh man I forgot!  I remember when 2006's Children of Men similarly used the 'child laughter' as the only (and more than enough) cue that there was a bright future to be had.  You're right too, even though it pains me, the lack of an epilogue was a really nice touch --- I think all that needed to be said in-game was said.  Whereas FF8 really did what felt like an extended history almost (I did like the camera gimmick during the end credits though, that was cute).

Rufus and Shinra played a great role, and as mean as it is, I love that President Shinra died replacing and old greedy fucker with a shiny but backwards white knight named Rufus.  Indeed, and like I tried to say, his motivations were very strange and changed with the story's development quite well.  I'm kinda sad we never fight him again actually.
33  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 11, 2014, 03:10:00 AM
Hey Dice,

It's late and my brain don't work too good right now, but at some point I'ma buy the FFIX print you put up on your tumblr.

I was just wondering 2 things:

1) which version you think would look the nicest?  The medium canvas would be DOPE to have but I'm not sure I can justify dropping that much coin right now (I don't need a frame, I usually build my own)

2) Does the Dice get paid the same regardless of what I buy?  I love supporting local art. my girlfriend helps run a gallery and artist collective out of an old car factory in downtown Indy (http://www.stutzartists.com/index.html) so I am neck deep in struggling artist friends.   It SUCKS to bust your ass to show off your talent but still have to wait tables for a living (though some of them tend to price their pieces so high that it seems like they don't want it to sell.  Too many think that if their prices are reasonable people won't think they are any good...) so I might actually be more willing to spend a bit more if I know that means that more of the money is going to someone who could really use it.  If you feel uncomfortable discussing this, just PM me, ok?

It's a digital print canvas, and while I haven't bought (I'm more of a 'print gal' myself saving canvas for only select and special works), from what I've seen the RedBubble machine does a great job in replicating it (and I personally guarantee the quality of the artwork...har har).  I've noticed myself and a number of artist tend not to change the price and keep it as-is for what the website puts as a recommended mark up, and I get an 'okay' amount from that depending on what's bought (at least, it's one of those "small but adds up" amounts, basically).  Not sure if this answers your question, but the rest is really up to you. x)
Being honest though I like Red Bubble more than the slightly 'fancier' Society6.
34  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 10, 2014, 10:00:20 PM
I'm debating turning my Chrono Cross postings into one of these play journal threadlogs. 

why the fuck havent you, like 20 people have randomly responded here and technically to your sequel topic.  GET ON IT BOY.
35  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: On the subject of sequels, follow ups, etc. on: December 10, 2014, 06:34:19 PM
I'm super torn on Shadow Hearts' sequel.  I love that it's a million times more polished in every way with better graphics, a better battle system, and (from what I'm at so far) a unique premise.  Hell, the graphics for SH2 are better than the FMVs in SH1. :P
But it lost a TON of heart meanwhile and became a haven for bad jokes, shittier dungeons, and using one tune for most town themes....
36  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 10, 2014, 06:26:52 PM
Beat FF7. :D
11/10, would play again.  Go read about it!
37  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dice plays FF7 (Sponsored by Maxx) on: December 10, 2014, 05:09:25 PM
Final Fantasy VII


It's finally over: It began in Midgar, it ended with Midgar

= Sorry for the delay, I was "Source Mining" in Gelnika.... but that got boring SO IT WAS TIME TO FINISH THIS GAME.
This means I skipped the battle arena... I kinda like that too because I kinda wanna "save" Omnislash for the 'finale' ;)

= An intended design choice?  I hope so, because it was a perfect way to link where the common enemy is hiding



= I do think if there's a beef I have with the villains in this game, it's Heidegger and Scarlet being pretty 'filler' villains with no real role or inspiration beyond being lackies to more powerful people.  Which kinda sucks because half the game is really just a hunt for Sephiroth with them no better foils than Team Rocket in Pokemon...and not even that because Palmer is the only one you actually fight.  Hojo is at least responsible for some villainy, and so is Rufus...  Heid and Scar just kind of fill up the screen a bit more.  This is a bit of a shame too because Sephiroth as an enemy only works selectively since he's largely 'absent' for most of this title.

= I think I should add what I love about Rufus is that he's a politician first, before he's an enemy.  He's got a plan, he's got his enemies, abusing the main gang doesn't always really fall into that.  In fact I think we're stopping him more than he's stopping our plans, which is kinda funny huh?

= I actually like the Ancient Forest a lot as a dungeon.  It had some cool puzzle mechanics, offered a steep difficulty/leaning curve (and an unforgiving one), and provided great rewards.  Plus I think it's the only time you're in a proper forest for that game.  Design-wise, it's surprisingly pleasant for a 'bonus dungeon' and a nice tranquil change of pace from the other areas (like Midgar, Northern Cave, and Temple of the Ancients).  I also like how 'horizontal' it is.  Despite how hard it is to get around the Forest, it basically plays like a Mario level where you start on one end and the goal is to get to the other side, making at least THAT element straight-forward.


= I forgot to mention how COOL the water projection is in the City of the Ancient.  Gorgeous!  But how in the poo-perfect hell are you supposed to figure out where the key is though??  I just remembered from my brother playing. :S  Oh yeah and FUCK YOU EMERALD, you scared me one too many times. >:(


= Northern Cave...
Me: What the fuck is the 'Last Elixer'?
Actually: Megalixer
This happens a lot in this game...

= The Northern Cave is so dark and creepy...  WAIT.  What's this??!?!  It's so.... so pretty!  What could be in such a beautiful light???  Is it an all-powerful summon tucked away?  Is it the fabled "MASTER MATERIA"?  

Code:
It's Counter Materia.
WHAT!!!??! This is SOOO disappointing especially since the swamp area comes complete with a beautiful and unique new look to this dungeon and even plays the old "Reunion" track.  I feel like something was supposed to be here or supposed to happen here, but it got left (like so many good things do) on the cutting room floor.

= Final party: Yuffie (Conformer + Morph is awesome for Gelnika; I just kept her around because why not after levelling up with her), Cid (of course), and Cloud (of course).  I can't think of a real flaw in Cid and he gets some real decent equipment at most points too.  Actually, just about any character choice is fine in this except for Cait Sith and Vincent (and Aeris) I think.

= I hate when games do this: They throw a ton of AMAZING stuff in final dungeons giving you very little time to really enjoy it.  I think an extra-super-hard bonus dungeon would have been awesome (see how Tri-Ace games tend to LIVE for this).  Granted, there is Ruby and Emerald and the battle arena.  Gelnika is a bit of a cop out (it's too short/smal; admittedly the enemies are perfect though) and getting some of these "advanced-level goods" from Ancient Forest doesn't really count.  
But one more area to really merk it with all the badass materia you've acquired all game long would be great.  
This is a good thing technically, it does just mean I enjoyed the battle system that much.  The fighting felt so free!  Parties were my own choosing and decisions made in how I wanted to designate it!  I don't mind characters having roles, but I definitely don't like when those roles are as streamlined as they were in FF's 9 and 10.  FF9 especially being very 'no fun allowed' in this department, and 10 just kinda saying 'fuck it' to its own rules by the end of the game).

= Pandora's Box has to be my favourite animated spell.  :P  I guess as far as non-elemental attacks, it "makes sense".
IN SPACE NO ONE CAN SEE THE MASSIVE QUESTION MARK ATTACK.

= Alright everyone, we need to talk about Sephiroth's Supernova "summon".
  • First I love that it does look like a proper 'summon', complete with Sephiroth disappearing after he casts it.  If it didn't know better, I'd say it was the longest spell animation in the game too.
  • ...Being honest, as cool looking as they are I hate these literal 'earth destroying' spells; they're really all flash and no circumstance.  I think FF12 proved you don't have to destroy half of earth to make a still powerful looking spell.  But also because this spell CLEARLY LOOKS WAY MORE DEVASTATING THAN METEOR...That shouldn't happen!!  :/
  • Once again, it engulfs Sephiroth in flames, specifically focusing on face during the blast.  An excellent homage to the popular FMV of him.
  • MOTHERFUCKER destroys PLUTO.  Dammit man, that hunk of rock is a NATIONAL TREASURE.  He also destroys one of Saturn's rings (which was cleverly shown with giant comet-rocks and the planet in the background), Jupiter gets a hole punched through it (then blows up), it then 'explodes' the sun and engulfs Mercury and Earth Gaia....
  • Dammit.  Well, the real heroes of the game are Knights of the Round, but I was hoping not to use them...I think I just clicked it when I got worried that Supernova was gonna finish me off anyways (and it almost did).  To be fair, KotR has a lot more flash going for it than "4x Cut + Mime" ever would, so I didn't mind watching it one....last....EPIC...time. :)
  • Is there anything more daunting than having just about all the planet in our solar system named except when it comes to Gaia?  Why does Saturn and Jupiter exist along Gaia anyways?  Is Gaia just 'another earth'?  I feel like this is a hybrid system and small "fuck it" oversight for the sake of a fancy visual.
  • I love the mathematical equation and planet naming that pops up.  Well really, I thought it was kinda cheesy/funny because it reminded me of when "The Hangover" does this.  But it is an elegant and devastating spell


= I know I've compared the two before, but while i love how much more "realer" Majora's Mask Moon is as a threat (indeed, only a few times do NPCs really seem that worried about Meteor in FF7, as opposed to Majora's Mask where they go from disregarding it [day 1], then denial [day 2], to sheer bloody panic [day 3]); but the design for Meteor in FF7 is straight-up scary.  I love that there are mini tornados that start wrecking Midgar before the large rock has even made contact!!!

= I actually thought the mid-video dialogue in the ending was well done and added to the overall "epic cinematic" ending.  I don't see why 8/9 didn't use it, but all the same I respect their right to avoid it and keep to being about the visuals.

= The game forgot about Marlene....  Well, she's safe in Kaim at least.

= I think One Winged Angel is one of the world's most overrated songs ever, but the vocal fidelity of the song's choir is extremely impressive and gets my "tip of the hat" for it.

= I also love the very final fight with Sephiroth.  Indeed, the game wouldn't be complete unless the hero squared off ONE LAST TIME against his enemy, and boy is it perfect.  I love that it involves this sort of out-of-body element.  FF7 is great at mixing the scientific and magical, the ideas of life and death, love and hate, and I think it all comes together nicely when Cloud 'senses' Sephiroth is alive and goes through "magical planetary wormholes" to find him...  You even hear Aeris' theme distorted as you travel through it to remind you she "exists" in some way, maybe even in a similar and magical way that's allowing Cloud to find Sephiroth.  To finish the game with Omnislash is beautiful, and the final close-up of Sephiroth after his body has 'had enough' also is reminiscent of the 'walking through fire' FMV, in that one last, spiteful glance.


= I can obviously talk forever, but I will just say the ending FMV is PERFECT.  I love Cloud reaching for a hand, I love him coming back to reality to see it's Tifa.  I don't really understand what they mean by "seeing her" and the "answer of the planet", but I'll let FF AC figure tha---- no....no I won't.

= Quite possibly, one of my favourite "directional tropes" is 'book ends', starting something and ending it in a similar way.  Indeed, I think Final Fantasy VII NAILS this better than most could.  I love that it connects Aeris before she's even an important character to the player in the opening (beyond maybe being a pretty dame), to her being the one who really saves the world by the end.  She might be gone, but never has she felt more "alive".
The opening:

The ending:

They both even use that same three-notes chime in (I also love the little cute plucky music that happens when Lifestream shows up to save the day)

Then again, I can't remember an FF title that underwhelmed in this respect.  Hell, I don't have a terribly high opinion of FF8 and 13, but BY GOD if those end sequences aren't the most brilliant audio/visual spectacles I've ever seen...

= I love the 500 years later shot enough even though it begs more questions than it answers.  Particularly since (once again) Advent Children throws a wrench into the fate of Midgar being less "green" and still habitable than FF7's epilogue lets on.  In other words: Can we assume another disaster strikes Midgar (or does it get straight up abandoned) between AC and FF7's epilogue?  

Am I also over-thinking it?  
Probably, but that's also because the AC team seemingly didn't give a flying shit about the original game beyond what could be read from a brief game synopsis.  Similarly, what makes Aeris's death special and Zack's story so tragic is lost since Cloud keeps having out-of-body trips with them popping in to say 'what up' all the time.  This is the same with Sephiroth, where he and Cloud already HAD a huge showdown...  Why again?  

...God that movie sucked.


Well...

The game holds up and it holds up so damn well.  It's got a few issues (mine were mostly the graphical 'yuckiness' of the field sprites and some dubious translations), but this IS indeed 'THAT' RPG that popularized the genre and the series and I think it's 1,000% justified.

There's a TON of hurt from fans who were finally hoping to see it remade for the PS4, but why?  We already have an almost perfect game, a classic, and I'd be much too scared the integrity of that would be hampered in some way (can you imagine Square putting Red and Barret in Sailor Suits in this day and age?).  I DO think the game could use a "face lift".  Cleaning up the graphics, fixing up the writing, and hell, making that bonus dungeons (basically an "Advance" version like FF5 and 6 got for the GBA, or FFIV for PSP).  But Square screwed up AC enough,  FF13 proved pretty visuals on get you so far when you're missing a lot of other elements that make Final Fantasy a "Final Fantasy" to begin with, and I don't think FF7 should be re-attempted UNLESS Square is back in a sort of "do no wrong" golden era once more.  But really, I'd just be ecstatic playing this game again or if they ever did re-release it.

Go play it.  If it's your first time, be gentle, it's old, but the game is definitely worthy of the phrase "a diamond in the rough".  If you're thinking of replaying it, I hope I could share some weird/fun perspective as I once again encourage you to GO PLAY THE GAME AGAIN. :)
38  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 10, 2014, 12:55:12 AM
Beat Milla's side of Tales of Xillia and will write a review this evening, having finished Jude's side as well. Definitely impressed with the game aside from some parts with occasional vague direction on how to advance (I had to Google to find the "girl in red" in one of the towns, having spent between half and a full hour looking for her) and a frustrating fight on Milla's side.

I got stuck at the very same spot! LoL

Me three, that was so dumb, she was off the map...
39  Media / Game Journals / Re: glass Ruins Final Fantasy Tactics on: December 09, 2014, 10:15:15 PM
Given how assy some of the fights are, I'd just like to think he evens the odds.
40  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: On the subject of sequels, follow ups, etc. on: December 09, 2014, 07:15:15 PM
My reasons for not liking Chrono Cross don't have much to do with Trigger. I think the game is simply unfun to play due to its slow battle system which makes no sense, its leveling system which makes no sense and choices that are leaps of faith and make no sense. Of course this could all be ignored since the game is easy, but I kind of like to have some kind of idea of what I'm doing. There's too much junk and almost none of it works. I do like its general aesthetic, which I consider to be among the best on PSX. I just don't like to actually play it. There are games where I eventually got around their terrible systems, but it has yet to happen with Chrono Cross.

IIRC, level ups happen with any boss fight.  It means that all 40+ character stay uniformly strong (barring whatever stats differences in individual strengths/weaknesses).
I don't like CC for being slightly messy in how the story is told and the cluster of plot telling in key segments.  Otherwise I do think it's a great sequel, worthy of the world and lore of the original title and a perfectly divergent-enough title that's not "LET'S TIME TRAVEL....AGAIN".  Albeit Trigger is stronger for being more concise masterpiece that didn't need to complicate its plot to be effective.
I definitely think that Cross has without a doubt some of the best visuals and atmosphere on the PSX.  And holy crap that opening theme (hell, and ending) might just be the best piece to grace a videogame introduction.

I'm not sure how i like sequels, but the more I think about it the more annoyed I get with Tales of Xillia 2.  It's without a doubt a better title than the first game, but with a truly unforgiveable amount of recycling.

Funny enough, my "favourite game I've never beaten", Baten Kaitos Origins similarly re-uses a TON of assets....  Still, the game new when to add new elements and dramatically changed the cast and battle system to suit new needs so it felt "newer" by comparison.  The game also creatively puts "off shoots" to old dungeons that makes a new explorable path to traverse.

For books, I love when book series start kind of small or have one masterfully wrapped up plot, then start the second book with a new protagonist or shifted point of view (like the second to main character having the spotlight) with the main one from the first book popping in for an extended cameo.  Weird, but I like it. x)
41  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: December 09, 2014, 07:03:14 PM
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-12-09-tekken-7s-chief-designer-upset-over-reaction-to-divisive-lucky-chloe-character

Oh brother.  To the whole article.  The new character, to the silly response, everything. 
Then again, I don't really take Tekken too seriously to begin with.

http://youtu.be/4O0UphHT6uE
Here's a link to the infamous Lucky Chloe character


There seems to be a lot of stupidity on display here, on all sides.  But I think what bothers me the most is the idea what NeoGAF is somehow the spokesperson for North American gamers.  What?  I don't agree with like 90% of the shit posted on that site...

I like Neogaf, but of course like any good website/public internet forum you'll get your barrage of loons who bitch that Game Stop is run by the devil and the politics and behind the scenes debauchery of people's very important gaming hobby.  Certainly I'm all for topics about more/better representation for both female characters and minority ones (if I had to orient myself any direction).  And yeah I think you'd get better input from actual players then leaving it all in simply developer hands.

That being said, I agree with you, I don't get how the site became 'big enough' to become this "voice" for North American gaming --- it obviously ain't.  Probably the best/worst part about the site is that topics do run on as long as they do because there is so much dialogue worth having on certain subjects.  I don't know if Harada read all of Neogaf or just plucked out the bad from it, but some loved the new character, others hated it, and believe it or not, commentary was mixed across the board anyways --- not just exclusively NeoGaf.  Neil Druckman cited Gaf as well for why Nathan Drake was killing so many people in the Uncharted games (an obvious problem in TONS of games --- but a sometimes necessary gaming adjunct that's neither exclusive to video gaming either...  but ok, Uncharted only)....  I took that as more of a joke topic.
42  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 09, 2014, 05:38:01 PM
I've had an absolutely miserable last two weeks.  I'm not going to waste time with descriptions about why that no one will read or really care too much about.  I just wanna say it fucking sucks and leave it at that.

It can't always suck, Dice. Just believe that it can't always suck...

By laws of physics, after a while, it blows...

Yeah, I'm just worried with enough pressure building up would make me explode in a passionate rage.  But hey it can only get better after things are at their worst.

And yes it's is adoraburu!  Nicely switched.

Thanks Holy and Wild for offering an ear.  I'm definitely the type to sit and let the bad feelings stew and slowly poison me, but it's nice to have an outlet if I did ever need one. :)
43  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: December 09, 2014, 01:23:40 PM
We're talking about a franchise where you can play as a Raptor, a Panda, and 3 different kinds of robots. A cat girl shouldn't just be "not that big a deal", it should expected by now...

Quite frankly, as ridiculous as I think she is (and yeah, like you said, she "fits in" with the rest of the nutty cast; one where you can pick a badass boxing Kangaroo), I think to respond somewhat 'offendedly' with a "muscular skinhead character" to mockingly appeal to "Western tastes" is as silly as putting in a Japanese-kitty Idol to pander to the Japanese fans.  I personally think the idea of her is stupid (and annoying), it's not like Idol characters aren't saturated by Japan enough, but I think pointing fingers and cancelling a character [you can opt not to choose] is just as ridiculous -- whether in jest or not.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-12-09-tekken-7s-chief-designer-upset-over-reaction-to-divisive-lucky-chloe-character

Oh brother.  To the whole article.  The new character, to the silly response, everything. 
Then again, I don't really take Tekken too seriously to begin with.

http://youtu.be/4O0UphHT6uE
Here's a link to the infamous Lucky Chloe character


More of a reason for Tekken 7 to exist versus Street Fighter 5 (like seriously, what's the point? there isn't even a change in visual styles; its far closer to a Street Fighter 4 Alpha than 5).

The use of watercolour art again strikes as so uninspired and boring.  I really hope they change that.  Hell, make the characters look like Seurat or Monet painted them, but to use a same style again kinda stinks.  But this really look like a SFIV: the PS4 version. :P
44  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: December 09, 2014, 12:20:29 PM
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-12-09-tekken-7s-chief-designer-upset-over-reaction-to-divisive-lucky-chloe-character

Oh brother.  To the whole article.  The new character, to the silly response, everything. 
Then again, I don't really take Tekken too seriously to begin with.

http://youtu.be/4O0UphHT6uE
Here's a link to the infamous Lucky Chloe character
45  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 09, 2014, 02:55:57 AM
I've had an absolutely miserable last two weeks.  I'm not going to waste time with descriptions about why that no one will read or really care too much about.  I just wanna say it fucking sucks and leave it at that.
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