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2611  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / FFXI march update on: March 09, 2007, 05:43:08 AM
Just finished the Aht Urhgan story-missions (only 8 added, most just cutscenes and stuff, only 2 fights).

The plot is really good. It's going to lead to a pretty ass-kicking climax. Overall, I think CoP had a better plot, but this plot is really working well too.

If only they made it ... even remotely challenging. These NM fights are jokes so far. I think they responded to players' complaints about CoP being too hard and in turn made AU too easy.

Ramza
2612  The Rest / General Discussions / Spore developer thinks Wii "is a piece of shit." on: March 09, 2007, 01:54:06 AM
Thanks for the Kojima article link.

As for the apology, I am disturbed by the cynicism of ... everyone who responded under the kotaku article. I am not entirely sure that his superiors "forced" an apology out of him, and even if he did, I'm sure he was considering making the apology long before he was forced to after the CRAZY reaction on the 'net.

The statements are apparent contradictions, but it's easy to make them congeal. "I, Maxis developer guy, think the Wii is shit. I don't enjoy playing it, nor do I enjoy the prospect of making games for it. BUT, Nintendo's done a lot of great things with it, such as (he lists them in the apology). As such, it is furthering the industry for everyone, and that's a good thing."

The end, now ppl don't have to be dumb about it. :P

Ramza
2613  Media / The Soundroom / RPG soundtrack questions on: March 08, 2007, 06:33:15 AM
Quote from: "GrimReality"
Y's Y's Y's - I have all sorts of Y's cds but the original soundtrack to Y's I & II remains my favorite. Y's III was quite good as well.


*psycho fan alert*

NO APOSTROPHE!!!!!!!!!!!

Y's = incorrect. It suggests you should pronounce like a plural of the letter "y". As in "Wise."

Ys = correct. Pronounce it as if you were saying "East," but drop the t.

Had to say it. Also, he's right about the music. It's freaking fantastic.

The least memorable Ys soundtrack probably goes to Ys V. Ys IV has good music, but it's RARE stuff. I and II has been reprinted in all shapes and sizes, and is a great buy. III recently had its music remade in "Oath in Felghana" -- awesome soundtrack. Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim is a completely different sound from a whole new era of Falcom...but personally, I liked it.

Finally, Ys Origin has a soundtrack coming out in late March..expect a review from us. :P

Other good Falcom albums? The arranged albums for the Legend of Heroes series is good, and they're still available. All the other good stuff is super-hard to get these days.

Ramza
2614  The Rest / General Discussions / Spore developer thinks Wii "is a piece of shit." on: March 08, 2007, 06:22:55 AM
Quote from: "Eusis"
I'm not going to argue about whether it's art or not, but I think it's games like Xenosaga that fit Hideo Kojima's comment that games aren't art, but museums. Stuff like Shadow of the Colossus and possibly Killer 7 are the games that are art, not the games that present art. Nevertheless, you have to be entertained by the game in some manner, and really unfun gameplay doesn't work there.


I didn't know that Kojima quote, but I really like it.

Personally, I'm deeply entrenched in the "videogames can be art" camp. As some of you know, I thought very, very highly of Xenosaga III. But I will need to ponder more on what Eusis has brought to my attention. I have a lot of respect for Kojima, and that may well be a good way of looking at games. After all, a lot of what I love in a game's plot has little to do with "originality" -- as a multimedia presentation, it really is a blending of lots of very, very good things. One has to wonder how much impact it can have on a person.

That said:

Quote
The day we lump the Mona Lisa, Beethoven's Fifth and Grand Theft Auto in the same category...


Yeah...I think you're missing the concept here. Mona Lisa is a painting, a work of fine art. Beethoven's Fifth is a musical piece, part of the performing arts. Grand Theft Auto is...umm...well, I think GTA is a piece of shit. But it's also a videogame, which may be understood as "multimedia-based art" (possibly called a multisensory aesthetic experience...but yeah...).

This particular example pushes your point nicely, but the tables could easily be turned simply on the basis of quality, profundity, meaning, and (most importantly) age. For your art and music you cite things to which videogames cannot have a comparison, precisely because they are so new. They exist, yes, primarily as a form of entertainment, but the same *could* be argued about music (it took a long time for societies to accept music as a form of art...read what Plato had to say about music sometime).

The fact that films and videogames are primarily used to push a profit doesn't mean they *cannot* be a legit form of art.

But uhh...back to what douche bag Nintendo-basher said, I think you're right that HE has no place to argue about art forms. I have a hard time trusting official statements from Sony and Microsoft claiming that they want to see videogames develop as an art form. In my mind, that's something like reading in Seventeen magazine that they want to promote writing and literature as an art form.

/rant

Ramza
2615  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / FFXI march update on: March 08, 2007, 05:55:13 AM
anyone still playing?

I've been trying to keep up with the Aht Urhgan missions. Random solo exploring in most of the beastmen area = REALLY bad idea.

I like what they're doing with the game, mostly.

Ramza
2616  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Digital Devil Saga on: March 07, 2007, 07:51:10 PM
Quote from: "Bernhardt"
Lastly, I'd like to ask about the two games' soundtracks: how stylistically different from the first is the second? Is the second more or less upbeat, and how much more or less ominous than the first?


Not much difference. They're both awesome. I like 2 a little more.

Ramza
2617  Media / Single-Player RPGs / 1up: GDC Liveblog on the Evolution of the RPG. on: March 06, 2007, 09:53:35 PM
This is really excellent coverage. I'll have thoughts on some of the discussion questions and answers later, but for now, I'd just like to say: thanks for the link Eusis, and many thanks to 1up for being one of the last bastions of *excellent* gaming coverage on the net.

Ramza
2618  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Rogue Galaxy. on: March 05, 2007, 11:59:03 PM
Quote from: "Alisha"
FFXII IS HOME TO ONE OF THE MOST BULLSHIT BOSSES IVE EVER ENCOUNTERED IN AN RPG!

FUCK YOU ELDER WYRM!


I have no sympathy. FFXII is a cakewalk in terms of difficulty. The only easier FF in recent memory is VIII, and even that could be argued.

Learn the game, read a walkthrough, do something. But don't complain about needing a bunch of P.Downs to get by.

On-topic: Rogue Galaxy is cool, but deeper plot would've been nice.

Ramza
2619  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Langrisser series. on: March 05, 2007, 11:53:47 PM
I think the troop/commander setup in Langrisser is what makes it a more interesting game than Shining Force or Fire Emblem. Always nice to have some disposable units. :P

The only Langrisser I've played to completion is II (the very first version at that: Sega Genesis, before the light/dark paths of Der Langrisser were added for SNES and the "Dramatic" disc for Saturn/PS). Though fan translations now exist, at the time I played the game none existed, so I did it without knowing one bit of the plot. I didn't even know Katakana at the time so I don't even know the character names.

I bought the limited edition of Langrisser IV for Sega Saturn, but then gave it to a friend who was really into imported games (and knew Japanese better than I did). Personally, I'd love to play through IV and V, but not without some English translation.

The series comes HIGHLY recommended (Except for III and "Langrisser Millenium") to any fan of Strategy/Tactical RPGs. It's really the cream of the crop for the genre IMO, and the artwork (from Satoshi Urashibara or whatever his name is...) is awesome.

A point of sorrow for VGM fans: Langrisser IV is the *only* game in the series to not receive any sort of soundtrack release. Even Langrisser Millenium had a soundtrack (which sucked)...but L4 got nothing. Everyone who cares to know about this is pissed about it *to this very day.*

I have a very deep and desperate wish to see I through V released as a box set in the US (a la WD's "Arc the Lad Collection"), but the chances of that happening are down next to seeing the rest of Shining Force III come to the US.

Ramza
2620  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Atelier Iris: Grand Phantasm on: March 01, 2007, 04:33:07 AM
I'm with Spoony - the shop owner conversations in AI1 were what made the game a truly unique experience. I LOVED it.

AI2 was good, but I strongly prefer AI1.

I haven't read much on Grand Phantasm (it was "Fantasm" in JP, but I guess NIS is changing that). I do know it has good music! We'll see about the rest...

And uhh...I have to ask...why does Ar tonelico "disgust" you, my Magical Pink friend?

Ramza
2621  Media / The Soundroom / RPG soundtrack questions on: February 28, 2007, 09:37:59 PM
Grandia III - hmm...it was okay. I'd strongly recommend you look into Grandia I or II, as III is the worst among them IMO.

Final Fantasy XII - read my review. It's the worst thing I've ever heard out of Sakimoto. Doesn't fit my idea of FF, or Ivalice, in the least. I was pissed.

VP2 - If you're a Sakuraba fan, this is a great one to add to the collection. The only thing better he's done in recent years, IMO, are the Baten Kaitos albums.

Suikoden V - Easily one of the best Suikoden soundtracks out there. It's definitely better than III and IV, and I...I'd say it's tied with II. Much like the game itself, the soundtrack is really good.

Some personal recommendations:

- If you are interested, the arranged albums made are sometimes well worth it, even if you consider yourself an "OST-only" person. Xenogears: CREID, and any Square-produced Piano album is made of solid golden perfection.

- If you wanna listen to RPG music for games you don't have much familiarity with, start with this company: FALCOM.

- I recently became addicted to music from Gust's sound team, so the Atelier series + Ar tonelico is a good bet if you are like-minded on this point.

- Sakimoto's older works (Tactics, Vagrant Story, the Ogre Battle series) are waaay better than FFXII. Get these instead. ESPECIALLY Vagrant Story. <3 that soundtrack.

Ramza
2622  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Replaying RPGs? on: February 28, 2007, 09:32:36 PM
I wish I could replay games more often than I do. The most time I had to replay games where those lovely middle school and high school years. As such, this is what i can remember playing:

FFV - I've beaten it 3 times now if you include the GBA game. I beat it once for fun, then I wrote my own walkthrough on the 'net the second time through (it was crap but it had screenshots to guide you), then again for FFV Advance.

FFVI - 4 times on this one. The first time I beat this, I had this weird glitch; when I went to get Gogo, one of those construction-worker-dudes kicked me off the bridge. In fact, he kicked me off the bridge a good half-dozen times. The last time it happened, I was SO angry that I mashed on my controller as I fell from one screen to the next. Then, I hit start to use potions/ethers (low hp/mp from the random encounters), and TADA! I had 99 of every item in the game, including the Paladin Shield, Ragnarok Sword, and whatnot. In Espers, I had Odin and Raiden simultaneously, which is supposed to be impossible. It was excellent. But I felt like it was cheating, so I beat it a second time that same year. Then there was the PSX remake. Ten years later, GBA port.

Chrono Trigger - Only fools didn't take the time to get ALL the endings. This took me three complete play-throughs instead of two, cuz I missed a few my second time around.

Alundra - Once by myself, once with a friend and my little brother...we had WAY too much fun with this game.

Star Ocean: The Second Story - Once with each protagonist in the lead. The first time I totally missed everything and got a crap ending. The second time I was on my way to the best ending, but I missed some trigger to get the last event with Chisato...it pissed me off.

Final Fantasy Adventure - I beat it once per summer for about...six summers in a row. It was my "family road trip" game.

Final Fantasy Legend II - Same as Adventure, but slightly less awesome for me. I probably beat it 3 times.

That's about it...except, more recently, I'd say I beat Ys: The Ark of Napishtim either 3 or 4 times and gotten really good at Time Attack.

I wish I had more time to play RPGs more than once, but as a devoted reviewer, I try and portion my time out evenly for as much stuff as I can. Currently, I can boast that I've beaten 101 RPGs...I won't stop until at least 200! :)

Ramza

PS - Welcome. You sound hip.
2623  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Granstream Saga. on: February 28, 2007, 02:28:13 AM
1) the music is excellent.

2) Quintet has been doing *item design* (yes, item design...the icons/images for items) with Gust for the last few years.

3) I didn't know the dude that did Granstream went on to do Orphen. I was just looking at the Orphen RPG the other day thinking "hmm...maybe it's worth a play?"

Ramza
2624  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Super Paper Mario on: February 23, 2007, 10:25:23 PM
If Nintendo's own site advertises it as an RPG, there's a *chance* we'll cover it. But then again, it was Nintendo that called Lunar: Dragon Song an "RTS" when it was announced at E3 2005. Not sure we can always trust their PR...

As for the game itself -- I like it cuz it's fun. Fun is good.

Ramza
2625  The Rest / The Bazaar / Looking for final fantasy XI on ps2 on: February 22, 2007, 02:51:26 AM
If you can't get it to work on PC, the hassle of finding a copy on PS2 *and* the PS2 HD is about the same as the hassle of getting a 360 (well...a higher cost, but it's an easy find!).

I'd recommend the 360 version myself, but if you think you'd never use a 360 for anything *but* XI, then yeah, the Amazon order for FFXI with PS2 HD is probably your only hope.

Ramza

PS - if you start up on XI, be sure to join the Leviathan server. ^^
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