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61  The Rest / The Helper Monkey / Re: PSVita Shopping: What is digital ONLY? on: August 22, 2015, 03:24:52 PM
The vita wikipedia article will link to a list of vita games that also gives you a yes or no answer to the physical copy question.

That's helpful! I wonder if I can simply copy/paste these tables into Wikipedia so I can filter instead of sort. And get A-Z on there, not that A-L M-Z split.

I'll check it out tonight. Thanks D!
62  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 20, 2015, 10:14:44 PM
On POPULAR games? Hmmm...

idk. I got nothing. Except maybe that FFX-2 is a super-fun game because job systems are hard to mess up. ie -- fun job system is fun. Switching in-battle is fun. Fast pace is fun.
63  The Rest / The Helper Monkey / PSVita Shopping: What is digital ONLY? on: August 20, 2015, 03:39:33 PM

I'm a nut. And whenever a game exists in physical form, I want that. But sometimes, games are download-ONLY.

With the 3DS, they make pretty clear what is available retail and what's download-only. In fact, on the eShop, I think that's something you can filter by.

I can find no such filter on the PS Store, at least not from my Vita. I can narrow it to all games that are available online, but not all games that are available ONLY online.

Does anyone know a way to do this, or a website that lists all PSVita titles and allows you to filter by format (ie -- "not in physical format, download only")?

64  Site Related & More / RPGFan: Site / Re: Andrew's editorial on: August 11, 2015, 03:59:58 PM
I suppose that's true. But the trend to go console first then handheld is ... well, I suppose it's cost-effective. But it's still weird. It's like I can just sit around with a Vita and just wait for all the big titles to land in my pocket sooner or later.
65  Site Related & More / RPGFan: Site / Re: Andrew's editorial on: August 11, 2015, 03:36:50 AM
Just wait for our Editorial on that new FFX HD remaster coming out :o

I honestly wouldn't mind someone exploring the "handheld gets the bonuses" trend. P3P, P4Golden, all those Atelier "Plus" games, etc. It's like, you didn't get for console? Here, get it for $10 less on your Vita with even more stuff!
66  The Rest / The Bazaar / Re: Dice's Little Pony: Selling is Magic on: August 10, 2015, 01:53:44 PM
hey Dice, I think I PM'd you about some items on this like forever ago and never got a reply. True/false?
67  Site Related & More / RPGFan: Site / Re: Andrew's editorial on: August 10, 2015, 11:47:56 AM
Did you guys just sit on his post for 60 days?

I'd use a different phrase than "just sit on it." More likely than not, Andrew wrote this a week or two before E3, then the remake announcement came, then everyone's like "crap ... this retrospective might need some rewrites to work in the news of the remake." And then, "well, we might wanna wait for more details ABOUT the remake so Andrew can speak cogently." And then finally, "we're not getting anything concrete from SE, so screw it, let's post the original version."

As a happily retired editor I don't know the details. But that's just me usin' some ol' imagination to guess at what happened.

Also, I just played thru FFVII on Steam (because I have an achievement addiction, God help me). And it is a heck of a lot more charming than I remembered it being. For every moment of dark, there are two moments of silly-cute.
68  Media / RPGFan Music Discussion / Re: Just release the real OST already! on: August 07, 2015, 01:31:55 AM
Mother 1+2 OST exists. It may not be complete, but wasn't there some issue with intentional usage of Beatles melodies?

Xenosaga II Hosoe side, trust me, if it's ever possible to release it'll happen. Hosoe-san is no doubt proud of his works, and as he's been able to obtain rights to his own work that he'd written under contract to a publisher, he publishes them on SuperSweep records. I've talked to him about this specifically, more than once, and he wants to do it. Namco just needs to care enough to let him have it back and publish it.

There is no proper Ys IV OST release for the PC Engine (TG16) version. That ought to be remedied.

Langrisser IV never got a physical OST (but EGG music did release a pretty comprehensive digital in 2007, http://vgmdb.net/album/13817). Der Langrisser has a similar story w/ EGG.

Magical Starsign, a DS RPG I really liked, didn't get a soundtrack release.

OH! And the DS Glory of Heracles, with music by Yoshitaka Hirota. That release never happened and it probably never will. That bums me out.
69  The Rest / The Helper Monkey / Re: Shadow Hearts question on: August 06, 2015, 03:52:37 AM
You'll be missing out on the first one regardless. Shadow Hearts is actually the successor of a somewhat obscure RPG called Koudelka for the PSX.

I'm playing the series in a stupid order where the last shall be first and the first shall be last ... but the middle is in order.


It's a great plan. :)
70  The Rest / The Helper Monkey / Re: Shadow Hearts question on: August 01, 2015, 03:35:07 PM
I played the third one first and actually REALLY liked it. That was in 2006.

I beat the first game last year, and I'm going through the second one presently.

My feeling is, if you're not enjoying the games, just don't play any of them.

And if you're not a completionist, then ... yeah, just play Covenant. It has, as a mere *subplot,* the entirety of the Princess Anastasia (Romanov family / Rasputin) deal. It's awesome.
71  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Top 5 JRPGs for Total n00bs! - Post Yours! on: July 31, 2015, 07:35:26 PM
I've "converted" many people with the power of Chrono Trigger. It helps that it's on so many platforms.

The truth is, though, Square built their audience themselves with FFVII. Like it or not, that game sold like hotcakes, and they marketed it to do so. I can't tell you how many people I talk to that say "FFVII was my first RPG."

But for people who have totally missed the boat, I put 'em on CT. Works like a charm.
72  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics? on: July 28, 2015, 09:29:41 PM
Pardon the but I should clarify a few things.

First is that Awakening is not a remake of anything (you're thinking of New Mystery which never left Japan for a bunch of unknowable reasons).

Second is that the FE games in general are only loosely connected beyond what I outlined in my previous post.

Third is that while FFT and TO are incredibly similar to each other (especially given their genealogy), they are fundamentally different games (the short of it is that FFT has a greater focus on grinding and maintaining degrees of versatility through Jobs compared to TO where you're better off building specialists).

Fourth is the question of which version of Tactics Ogre do you refer to? The Super Famicom/PSX one, its PSP remake, or that GBA game. I ask because the PSP remake really overhauled the gameplay mechanics which has essentially changed a number of mechanics at play (especially in regards to Class Changing and how you grind), and the GBA one is kinda weaksauce in comparison to the others.

Fifth is that Langrisser is for almost all intents and purposes a Japan only series (outside of the localization for Warsong and the fanslation of Der Langrisser; not sure if any of the others got fanslations/too lazy to check).

Sixth is to probably avoid the most recent Langrisser. From what I could tell, the game is mostly just a pale imitation of Der and doesn't really do a good job of either standing on its own or bringing anything worthwhile to the table (and the artwork is lame/creepy).

1) yes, I was thinking of New Mystery, and it bums me out that that didn't make it here.
2) Really? I thought they were all definitely in one universe, even one planet. http://www.fireemblemwiki.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Archanea,_Valentia_and_Jugdral -- acknowledging that some of the games had a different timeline, but they could still potentially be in the same place, just aeons apart.
3) Which is why I'd say to play them back-to-back. They are not the same game, even though stylistically, prima facie, one might think so.
4) PSP TO. and PSP FFT for that matter.
5) the first half of Fire Emblem is also a Japan-only series, which corresponds nicely (tech-wise, graphic-wise) with Langrisser (I know, 3-5 were CD consoles, but early ones that still used sprites. Except for that ugly 3D battle arena in 3). I think that whatever localizations official or otherwise are available, the Langrisser games are absolutely worth playing in a study of this kind of SRPG (FE & Shining Force)
6) Has Famitsu released scores on the new game yet? Is it out? I desperately want to believe it can be good. I know a lot of people are disappointed with / grossed out by the artwork, but it's not like the prior artist was tasteful in the lady-art department either. He had young ladies with enormous breasts, the new art has younger ladies with less-developed breasts and who still dress in next-to-nothing attire.
73  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI announced for PS4 and 3DS on: July 28, 2015, 09:22:16 PM
I can't believe Sugiyama is still composing music at 84 years old.

Given that the guy is a professional orchestra conductor of at least National, if not of World class, I'm not surprised. Its the kind of role a person would continue doing well into their hundreds if their body holds out.

But seriously, check out some of the performances he's done over the years. Its impressive.

Yes. He is in good health. Too many great people in Japan's gaming industry die young. We're all thinking Satoru Iwata who was in his 50s. There was composer Ryo Umemoto who died a few years ago, only in his 30s, from some chronic lung conditions. And then I believe one of Sugiyama's competitors / peers, Kentarou Haneda (Japanese Wizardry series), died a few years back and he was also in his 50s. Liver disease, possibly alcohol-related.

I'm very happy that Sugiyama-san is still going strong. But no one lives forever, and I *still* wonder how they'll cope w/ the DQ series when he's gone. I've heard different claims about who might take his place (many people lean towards Hayato Matsuo). Were I in S-E's shoes I'd already be having Sugiyama-san co-composing for DQXI to start breaking in someone new. But considering Sugiyama is a smart, smart man who owns the rights to all his music and even has a company / brand name for all his DQ works, I suspect he can use that power and clout to hold center stage as long as he likes. Which is his prerogative.

I just feel like, were I 84, I'd have asked someone to co-compose by now. Uematsu-san, for example, hasn't done a lot of full original scores in the last decade. Most of his soundtracks are like, 20% him, 80% a group of other people (esp. Tsutomu Narita, who is quite good!). And Uematsu-san is much younger than Sugiyama-san. But they are different people, for sure.
74  Media / RPGFan Music Discussion / Re: The ETHEReal String Project on: July 28, 2015, 09:12:23 PM
Barron's original song, The Forest of Awakening, is also really excellent, and showcases that he's not only a skilled arranger.


The arrangements were all cool, and I appreciated his song selections a lot too (lots of stuff that hasn't been arranged *as much*). But that original track is brilliant. Brosef needs to land a gig doing a game soundtrack that is intentionally strings-centric (like, for example, Echochrome).
75  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics? on: July 27, 2015, 03:50:41 PM
They're different styles of strategy/tactical RPG. Were I to pair things off, I'd ask:

Final Fantasy Tactics, or Tactics Ogre?


Fire Emblem, or Shining Force, (or Langrisser?!)

To these questions, I would say play FFT and TO in succession and make your life better.

And then, play *some* Fire Emblem ... depending on your own compulsions or desires, where you start matters. Shadow Dragon is a DS remake of the first game, and Awakening is a very loose remake of Fire Emblem 3. Console releases (Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn) were like ... FE9 and 10 or something crazy like that. So if you start there, you're actually welllll into the series. And there is a chronology to it all.

Shining Force ... is really quite good, though it technically came after FE in terms of development. Quite a great experience, the first two games, as well as the "Gaiden" games (found on Shining Force CD). Shining Force III and its added scenarios, I've never played, but some people worship them.

And then ... Langrisser. Oh man, I love Langrisser so much. You have your "hero" troops like in FE or SF, but each hero can have up to six "unit" troops that are totally expendable. This adds so much complexity and awesomeness. Just ... oh. Man. One of my favorite gaming experiences in my life was Langrisser II for Genesis (which I played in full-on Japanese, not even knowing what the heck was going on). There have since been patches for both the Genesis II and the Super Famicom "Der Langrisser" (which is like Langrisser II+, it adds a bunch of branching paths and 4 total endings).

So to me, those are like, the top tier strategy/tactical JRPGs. My advice is to pick one and then play its competition to see which you like more, then invest in that series to your heart's desire. Without question, of all the franchises named here, Fire Emblem has the most games ... though a bunch of them don't have official English releases, and I think there may remain at least 2 that don't have complete translation patches either.
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