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1156  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Confused about Shin Megami Tensei games on: November 17, 2010, 05:56:57 AM
For some reason I never found SMT games too controversial or disturbing. Drakengard was much worse. Giant cannibal babies is creepier than anything SMT has ever thrown at me.

Way too freaking true. I'd forgotten about that game. Thanks for removing that mental block. XD Drakengard probably deserves the title for "Greatest Mind-Rape in a Video Game".
1157  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Confused about Shin Megami Tensei games on: November 17, 2010, 02:11:38 AM
FF7 and beyond all had some decently dark/graphic parts depending on where you look.

*might as well wrack the memory for some brief examples*

FF7: In addition to the part you mentioned Star don't forget we got to see the full frontal view of a mutated human woman with an eyeball-breast not that far into the game (JENOVA).

FF8: How about the fact that you're primary power source for the game gives you phenomenal summoning powers in exchange for slowly eating away your memories until eventually there's nothing left; leaving you as a hollow shell that doesn't remember anything. (They never elaborate too much but in theory this means you could potentially forget everything. From what events defined your personality to basic potty training. And these memory deletions seem to happen in random order too.)

FF9: Now even 2 hours into the game...Princess Garnett is implanted with seeds that basically threaten to sprout inside her body and kill her as the "death plant" grows.

FF10: Unintentionally so, but if anyone's watched Spoony's review of FF10 you'll notice the cast makes a lot of disturbing choices that are quite dark when you think about the callous/uncaring nature behind it. "We just saw a village slaughtered by Sin? That's nice. Screw advancing our mission, it's time for Blitzball!" being the primary example. There are so many cases of the party unintentionally acting like villainous d-bags that it makes you wonder. XD

FF10-2: Rikku. XD *light-hearted sarcasm*
1158  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle on: November 17, 2010, 12:15:27 AM
I didn't think the battle system was too bad. Now the Title system on the other hand...*shudders*
1159  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle on: November 16, 2010, 11:04:44 PM
Not sure if the link will work or not as it came from my NISA newsletter via email. It goes to the press release.


So...yeah...they're porting Phantom Brave again. Granted it'll be nice to have it on PSP I wonder how they're going to try and justify people buying it after they've already got the PS2 or Wii version (or both). I didn't see anything in the release that mentioned any new content, although with that strange new subtitle they've added I imagine there is probably at least something new.

So what do you all think about NIS pushing out this title again? Honestly if it's so darn popular that it requires three releases across three platforms why don't they just make Phantom Brave 2 already? XD This is starting to feel like NIS's equivalent to "Star Wars".

Edit: Strike what I said about nothing new, I somehow missed the line that says "This is the Wii version with additional character cameos."
1160  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Confused about Shin Megami Tensei games on: November 16, 2010, 10:56:25 PM
I'd also like to know when FF was graphic and disturbing.

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't saying FF has ever been "OMG hide the children's eyes! It's too controversial!" graphic/disturbing. But as other people mentioned there have been some things done with pixels that, if done with live-action where you see it actually happening in detail, is pretty damn sure to get an R rating by today's standards for "mature content".

FF4- Burning down a village of innocents, assaulting a child, violence against children (since you have child characters in your party and there's that whole "we can't show a child getting hurt because people will baw" thing in mainstream American society right now), child "death", Barbiccia (if I remember correctly she's "supposed" practically topless as part of the original design, but I might be getting my information crossed). I'm sure there are a few other things but it's been forever and a day and honestly it's not worth digging any deeper.

FF5- Can't remember a whole lot from this game as I played it less than FF4 (despite it being my favorite in the series). I do know that Ex-Death at least contributes two points to this. Predominately where he pretty much tortures Galuf into critical mode (which while pretty tame in pixels would probably look downright horrifying in reality) and also his transformation into the End-Boss could be considered some Grade-A nightmare fuel. Also the "child problems" crop up here minus the death element.

FF6- Really all I should have to say is "Kefka". I'm sure I could dig up other things but really this guy takes the cake. Multiple instances of mass murder and attempted mass murder. One particular where you get to watch every soldier on the screen die of poison. And I think there were at least 5 that they show. Imagine that as a movie or a TV program showing 5 people dying from poison. Hell "The Dark Knight" only had one and they did it off screen (probably to avoid a higher rating). Not to mention at one point he practically succeeds in his genocidal desires. Then there's the final boss form of him. Done properly if Ex-Death was Grade-A nightmare fuel then Kefka is granted Grade-S. Also the same "child stuff" as FF5. Also a minor instance of tentacle molestation. >.>

Again, not really saying that it's "more dark or disturbing" that SMT or most modern games/movies; but when you think about it and actually visualize some of the stuff that happened in the games outside of the realm of pixels it can be pretty darn graphic for a typical audience that has no preparation for the content within.
1161  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Confused about Shin Megami Tensei games on: November 16, 2010, 10:21:54 AM
Yeah, Digital Devil Saga involves people transforming into demons and eating each other - as a major plot point.

I think you might be safe playing Persona 3 or 4, but take note that there is some graphic material there, but mostly in the persona designs (Mara the "Penis Demon", etc.)

That and people shooting themselves in the head to evoke their powers...
And people being murdered by allowing their repressed thoughts to go unchecked and literally tear them to pieces...
And the whole end story behind Persona 3, not to mention the ending...
And a certain strip-tease pole dancing boss of a pre-teen girl's inner turmoil pretty much preceding a young boy's self-homophobic issues given physical form...

XD Need I go on?
1162  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Confused about Shin Megami Tensei games on: November 16, 2010, 09:51:55 AM
I DO NOT want a game with any graphic material or disturbing subjects.

This statement right here pretty much says you never want to play any Shin Megami Tensei game.

Although I find it a weird thing for you to say considering how graphic and disturbing Final Fantasy can be at times. Especially during the pre-FF7 years.
1163  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Z.H.P: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman on: November 14, 2010, 02:50:45 AM
Well, since no one else has commented in a while I'm going to at least balance the scale and list some downsides to this otherwise awesome game.

-This game's writing is an anvil dropper. A repeat-offender 100-ton x 100-ton anvil dropper. While I can understand the necessity of it for storyline and parody reasons I still feel like I'm sitting through the world's worst Saturday morning "Sonic Sez" life lessons. At times it comes on so heavy handed and unnecessarily relevant that I find myself skipping text (on a first-time play through). I'm sorry but I play games for a distraction from reality. I really, really don't need my plot interrupted by a "serious" 2-3 minute long monologue about bullying and some (possibly) made up statistics. I still remember my grade-school lessons thanks. Expect this to happen at least once a chapter and extend to other things like World Politics and Parental Responsibility.

-The difficulty variance on the Extra Dungeons is unreasonable. You know I can accept that Bonus Dungeon C would be harder to beat than Bonus Dungeon A. Or that I might have to do long hours of extra training to constantly progress through said Dungeons...but Z.H.P manages to get it all wrong. The "Anime" dungeons are only labeled by name and you can pick them in any order, but their power requirements are not equal either due to enemy level, dungeon type, or "Dark Sun Effect" (for lack of a better  term for those familiar with D2). So if you pick the "wrong" dungeons for your first 3-4 random selections, you're kinda screwed until later in the game. Thankfully amongst my first selection was one of the "easy" dungeons (lots of Prinnies) but someone could easily screw up and not get to experience the bonus features until much later.

Then you have the "Hero" dungeons. Easy at first, gets harder as you progress. Sounds hard to screw up right? Well on the very first one (I'm still trying to beat it) it seems all fine and dandy. You try, get down a bit, die, and are encouraged to basically try again with your new found powers/gear to get even further. This is a fun and rewarding system...until you hit the last floor. Now let me  references Disgaea again. You know how in the Item World you'd have a slightly tougher than normal mook every 10 floors with there being a "God" at the bottom that isn't really "that" hard if you'd made it that far unscathed? Not here. Z.H.P does follow that formula...but the last floor houses a boss so overpowered that it's minions can 1-shot you...even if you can kill everything else on the other 59 floors (including the super-powered, will OHKO you early on, 10th floor guardians) with minimal effort this roadblock will stop you cold.

Let me elaborate. When I finally got down to the final floor (after building up hundreds of levels getting there) I was not "too" surprised when after two steps a minion shot me dead in one hit. I think "Okay, so I need to get stronger". Go through the process again, gain another 100+ levels; "BAM!" one-shot. Get frustrated, farm stronger chips, go up another 100+ levels, try it again..."BAM!" one-shot. Hunker down, gain 200+ levels, actually save up good gear that protects against ranged attacks, use my limited super power that DOUBLES my HP pool and increases defense against ranged attacks..."BAM! BAM! BAM!" three-shot in two turns.

So you're telling me that after farming the dungeon multiple times for anything decent, gaining in total over 1000+ levels in power, can kill everything else in this dungeon without ANY equipment, and tricking out my character so much that the story dungeons are laughably easy I still am not allowed to even cross the map without dying? And this is the easiest "Hero" dungeon? The power curve does not exist in bonus content.

-Finally, I know in every game there's that warning of "take a break every hour" that very few listen to...but it actually should be a warning screen before this game. In big bold red letters with blaring claxons and unskippable narration. Why? This game will generate early Carpel Tunnel like no other game I've ever played before. Z.H.P actually has the "honor" of being the first game in 23 years of playing nothing but RPGs that has finally caused me to gain a repeated-motion injury. >.<; So negative marks for involving just a little "too" much button mashing.
1164  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: November 11, 2010, 11:25:33 PM
I hope Mega man Legends 3 is still gonna happen now :(

What? Because Inafune left? It's still happening if you'll go look over the blog. Honestly I think it's the best thing that could happen for the game.

Um, MML1 and 2 were fantastic partially BECAUSE Inafune was so heavily involved with their development.  I fail to see how removing him makes the games better?

Call it a hunch as I have no solid proof to back it up. But I'm pretty sure Inafune is no longer the man he was over 10 years ago. Between video I've seen of him recently and some of the things he's said along with the timing of his departure (along with having dealt with artistic-creative types from constantly working with artists & writers and extensive work in the Theater Department for 5 years) he's striking me as having become a slightly bitter director-type who's having a "I quit!" drama fit/creative crisis (albeit a rather quiet and modest one compared to some of the stinkers lesser men have thrown).

Someone undergoing that phase will only drag a project down. Regardless of if they're a fresh face or the veritable honored grandfather of the project's inception. Inafune removing himself from the project is sparing MML3 from being locked into that fate.
1165  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: November 11, 2010, 07:30:59 PM
Strike that, I forgot they were a Southwest company only. Otherwise I'd have suggestions for where to get MML1 & 2 cheap and in good shape.
1166  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles 3 Confirmed for The PSP on: November 11, 2010, 01:11:00 PM
Don't sweat it. My purpose wasn't to try and convince you "the game is bad" but rather justifying why "I think the game is bad". XD

Just hearing the fact that the 2D character portraits (which honestly I don't mind at all) actually are better done this time has rekindled a slight interest in this title now and I'll have to watch it more closely. I'd actually be amazed though if the whole game was voiced. At least the NA version anyway. RPG companies seem to be lazy or something odd when it comes to hiring US VAs to voice every line in the game even if this was done so in the JP version. :-/ Maybe VA's are just more expensive here.
1167  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles 3 Confirmed for The PSP on: November 10, 2010, 09:13:05 PM
I wasn't directly complaining about the gameplay video itself. Rather I was using it as an indicator that VCIII is going to be suffering from the same issues Fallout NV did. Same game, new face plate. If Fallout New Vegas was quite similar to Fallout 3 with a gap of what? 3-4 years? Then VC III is most likely going to be extremely similar to VC II mechanically because it hasn't even been more than a year and already it's being churned out like it's going out of style. The gameplay video is what I was citing to say "Hey, it's basically VC II with better graphics. Meaning it's going to have all of VC II's good and bad points."

-Personally I find it fair to compare the two not because of the scale, but because they both are there to accomplish the same goal; powering up your party. Honestly I find adding social aspects to an RPG a good thing so it's something I would like to see more of in VC III...just not the same way it was handled in VC II.

-Alright, "unplayable" was unnecessary hyperbole but it still is an issue that pops up more often than it should. Maybe the random factor just screwed me more than you but I would not agree that negative potentials "hardly" show up during high morale. I typically had them trigger at least once per match despite  having a constantly growing morale the whole battle. It's not that the "same" ones keep popping up, it's that multiple ones just kept popping up often enough that I started to get sick of using certain characters because they'd fail me when I really needed them to come through.

-The currency thing is minor, I just threw it in for completions sake. Honestly probably nothing more than a nitpick.

-I did replay earlier missions. Several times. That's how I was farming for Credit for class changes. Regardless of level 1 or 15 it still seemed the basic power tactic never changed. Run up, aim for the head, one-shot-kill, move on. Maybe it's because I was so persistent about head shots that I never noticed the damage change from body shots but still...

Also there is plenty of reason to change classes laterally. Maybe I think the Fencer looks better on Random Girl A despite her already being made into a heavy. Maybe I want to see how Avon plays as Tier 3 Class C rather than Tier 3 Class A. Players should not be "locked" into a specific class/talent/skill/ect. tree in any RPG. It's just bad game design. One of the things I like about SRPGs typically is the freedom to absolutely design my party or army the way I chose with the option to go back and mix things up if the formula is getting to stale for me. Being denied this because of a design written into the game itself is one of the fastest ways to make me lose interest in an SRPG. So it's not trivial IMO, it's extremely freaking huge.  If I wanted to be locked into a specific Archetype per character I'd play a regular RPG.

-I realized that. It didn't help much. XD Just meant I had to see the same map...over and over and over...
1168  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles 3 Confirmed for The PSP on: November 10, 2010, 05:57:29 PM

The game is clearly based on the same engine, but I don't know what else you could possibly have expected.  I'll admit that the AI in VC2 was pretty dumb, but other than that what 'mechanical improvements' do you want?  Story aside, VC2's gameplay was fantastic.  Better than the first game in my opinion, other than the small map size anyway.  Which is something they have actually claimed they're improving for VC3.

From what we know so far the story already sounds more promising than VC2's.

BTW, the demo is already out on the JP PSN.  You don't have to rely on gameplay videos.

Mechanically I'm referring to everything that happened outside of battle. Aside from the AI I'll agree the battle system itself is pretty solid. That's what got me through as far into the game I got before quitting. The rest of it though...really needs serious refinement/re-imagining. I'll try and highlight the major issues so I don't have a huge list of nitpicks.

-The Social Development Aspect: Mechanically this element detracted from the gameplay value in terms of how it was presented. The idea of "socializing with your team mates in order to advance their powers by overcoming their social faults" has been done better, with of course the prime example being Persona. The philosophy presented behind it is where the SDA falls flat. For comparison:

Persona: Let's socialize with my team mates at regular intervals to learn more about them and gain some powerful bonuses gradually so they'll be more effective in combat.

VC II: Let's socialize with my team mates at random intervals in order to keep them from absolutely sucking.

The part I bolded is the key point. The "flaws" your team can have in VC II ranged from minor annoyances to making the characters outright unplayable if the fates decided to screw you. Nothing like selecting a character only to have this happen: *one step* *two step* OMG! I'm having an irrelevant mental crisis! *character is unable to move anymore*. A mechanical change is needed to make the characters have lesser flaws while gaining more powers at a slower rate. (Extending the "stories" for each character from 4 to 6  scenes and having a "Potential" awaken every 2 scenes would be a nice balance, for example.)

-The "Currency" & Level Up System: The funds you use to buy gear with in VC II were way too plentiful.  Every time a chapter rolled around I found it way too easy to purchase everything and still had funds left over. Not to mention most of the purchases on the "tech tree" were pretty useless IMO. With a few exceptions the best option was just to go straight down and when it did offer alternate purchases it was usually only one other choice for one or two classes per chapter. Not even the Tank purchases felt relevant aside from "personal taste". Just equip a AA turret with a AP secondary and everything dies unless they have God-Mode evade turned on (like certain bosses). VC III would need more branches on their "tree" with more relevant choices that make me want to buy something besides the "standard" gear.

Also the Level Up system felt unnecessary. I think I got up to level 15 or 16 in all my classes and honestly I didn't feel more powerful than I did at level 1 aside from a larger HP pool. Enemies still took the same # of hits, I still died with the same # of hits...why give the player levels if they feel empty? The only time I felt power boosts were during Class Changes. The Class Changes themselves were decent but that system is also flawed. I don't mind having to farm items for class changes. But two things drag the system down:

1. Needing to restock the medals to change into a class you've already unlocked. Look at a game like Final Fantasy Tactics. Do I need to re-level a Squire to Lv. 3 each time I want to change into a Knight? No. There's no reason to. It's just silly game padding to extend the length via useless farming. This even wouldn't be so bad except...

2. The items needed for Class Changes are rewarded randomly. I remember much frustration of making a certain character try to solo a map, only to have them not get the items they needed because the character who weakened one random soldier to let the other character  get the kill got the Certification...somehow. ~.~

I could go on and on but I think those two things reflect the major changes VC III would need to the non-combat segments of the game. There are other things but I consider them minor.
1169  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles 3 Confirmed for The PSP on: November 10, 2010, 12:15:57 PM
Here's a gameplay vid from GT (there are a few more floating around the site):

Wow...it looks like they pretty much are rushing out the same game as VC II with some minor improvements to the graphics and better character design. Which probably means it's going to be as bad as VC II; insultingly broken AI that's either way too easy, cheatingly-hard, or plot-shielded impossible.

The only way I might give this a try is if they have much better writing for the characters and plot, if they've chucked out the "bouncing cutouts" style of dialog, and/or if they have a better character development system that doesn't feel like a poor man's Persona 3-4.

But considering how quickly this one was shoved out the gates on the heels of VC II...I have serious doubts mechanical improvements were made. :-/
1170  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Z.H.P: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman on: November 08, 2010, 07:33:11 PM
*whistles* This game keeps impressing me more and more as I play it. I really hope this gets the Disgaea treatment where we see future sequels down the road. Two things I have to note:

-Reckless Cop Dangerama has an awesome design. I hope we see cameos of him in future NIS titles.

-The Cosplay system is...brilliant. I'm amazed we haven't had any other games do this before.
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