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Congratulations to Andrew Barker! RPGfan Editor of the Year and now Chief News Editor!
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16  Media / Brush and Quill / The Sneaker Princess on: May 20, 2014, 04:42:33 PM
So because I usually drop a topic here for a bit whenever I do something that feels worthwhile...(which reminds me I need to have that VN topic deleted sometime.

The Sneaker Princess - Free DA Version
Amazon Ebook Listing - Not Quite Free But Pretty Close ;-P

Summary

An ill-intentioned whisper, a prayer for karmic justice, a muttered curse upon those who managed to completely ruin our day. Most people are guilty of this indulgence at least once in their lifetime. But no matter how alone you thought you were, no matter how quietly you voiced those words. They still escaped your confinement, wormed their way into the shadows, and graced the ears of sinister beings craving nothing more than to indulge them.

What should’ve been a routine end-of-term exam period for Kari spirals into a series of events that reshapes her view of reality forever. It all began innocently enough. Tales of a spiritual prankster, whose sole purpose is the theft of every heeled shoe on campus, drives Kari’s logical nature to dismiss the rumors as superstitious nonsense. But every theory needs evidence to be proven. If only it were ‘just’ a ghost at the end of this rabbit hole.

For a certain fairy tale of the Red-Shoed variety may have more truth than fiction to its pages...


Product Stats

Pages - 251
Word Count - 82,892


__________________

Obligatory 'proper' detailing aside. I honestly feel more comfortable just saying this is another one of my White Horror genre* creations. This time taking a small leaf from the original Red Shoes fairytale and extending it into an entire, for lack of a better word, pantheonistic concept. Basically if you like horror genre elements in a modern-era setting, without any of pre-teen pandering typical of current market writing, then this should be at least worth a glance. I did have quite a lot of fun writing this and it's probably my most extensive work to date.

*White Horror is what I define as the flipped coin of Black Comedy, something that is too absurd to be terrifying yet somehow manages to be so.
17  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: May 19, 2014, 08:57:39 AM
A lot of the 'Godzilla is fat' really comes from the poorly chosen release material and how bad the neck looks at up-closer viewing angles. For 2014's DGZ they both shortened and thickened the neck compared to older Godzilla models.

You can see it:
From the trailer roar
In the toy
And a bit more clearly in fan-artwork

My only problem with it is he looks more like an oversized snapping tutle with that neck/body proportion. Which oddly might be intentional since DGZ behaves more like Gamera than Godzilla. (Hmm, maybe I should call 2014 Gamerilla instead of DGZ.)

And for comparison:
Be it the Original...
Showa Era...
Heisei Era...
Or Millennium Era...

Godzilla's neck has always been longer and narrower than DGZ; technically making DGZ the 'fattest' Godzilla-style design to date.

Problem is he looks just fine in the movie. It's the promotional material that screwed the 'first impression' pooch.
18  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: May 18, 2014, 10:34:02 AM

That sounds a lot like a Showa era Godzilla film to me (well minus the last sentence). Haven't seen too much of the later eras to know if the trend holds, but most Godzilla movies do tend to focus on the humans and then throw Godzilla in at the end with maybe a fight in the middle.

Heisei era films tend to behave as such.

-Human Story.
-Monster reveal.
-First skirmish (usually short).
-Human Story.
-Mid-Boss battle (about the same length and exchange as what happened at the end of 2014)
-Human Story.
-Long end of movie all out brawl.

Sometimes there's even more battles if you have more than one opponent such as M.O.G.E.R.A in vs Space Godzilla or multiple forms of an opponent such as in vs Destoroyah.

In total it normally comes out to about 25% Enemy Focus, 35-40% Godzilla Focus, 20-40% Human Focus. (And in cause you're wondering why the numbers don't flatly add up, the human stories so often intersect with Godzillas that they more 'share' story time than get their own individual focus.)

Millenium Era films tend to behave as such.

The problem with the Millennium era is that since directors and tone changed from movie to move there's no one set pattern they follow as a whole.

Godzilla 2000 and vs Megaguirus follow more of the Heisei era layout.

Godzilla against Mecha and Tokyo S.O.S are a bit more human focused and play out a bit more like the 2014 version in terms of who gets what screen time. Only the initial skirmishes aren't given cheap cop outs since Kiryu can hold his own.

Giant All Out Monsters Attack and Final Wars are very Godzilla heavy and act a bit more like 'Boss-Rush The Movie'. But both do it exceptionally well.
19  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: May 18, 2014, 01:04:35 AM
I really wanted to like Godzilla...but geez did that movie fall flat on all parts. Not even the last 10 minutes made up for it. :-\ Think most of my complaints have been voiced but to toss in a few extra sub-comments.

Looks like generally spoilers are being done here but still consider this tagged as...

*SPOILER WARNINGS*


-What's sad is the reason for all the 'no-fight' fake outs is not suspense. It's because even the writers/directors knew the M.U.T.Os were really, really crappy opponents. No threat in power, side, speed, or even maneuverability (that tail whip was one of the slowest Godzilla's utilized in his combat history) and most sinful of all was the lack of any special powers. You can cry 'realistic approach' all you want but this was pretty much plucking two average joes off the street and pitting them against a mixed martial arts champion. Boring, one sided, expected out come. That why there were the double fake outs and so many cut aways is because there was no way possible to stretch that fight out at all.

And what burns even more here is the had SO MANY OUTS.

*Creatures feed on radiation? Use it to grow?

Then let the damn bomb go off! Kill one M.U.T.O, bomb explodes, remaining M.U.T.O mutates (further driving home your anti-nuke theme) and guess what? Suddenly you have an equal level fight. Which is pretty par for the course for any Godzilla era from Showa, to Heisei, to Millennium. Helll even freaking weaksauce Rodan got fire breath to be a legitimate threat.

Nope, can't do that. Gotta play 'real American hero' with Snores Mc Military.

*Big nest of creatures growing an accelerated rate? (Which, by the way, did we really have to rip off '98 Godzilla of all things by making the 3rd act 'kill the eggs!"?)
Then let the eggs hatch and make it a swarm/horde vs Godzilla. Even if individually their ability to take him down doesn't exist in such large numbers they can still be a viable threat against Godzilla.

Nope, can't do that. Snores Mc Military needs another RAH moment. ~_~;

-If '98's Godzilla earns the title 'Zilla' for not living up to the legacy. Then 2014's is what I would call Demi-Godzilla. He's not bad but so far he really leaves a rather weak first impression. To begin with this Godzilla gets knocked over by a light breeze comparatively. How much of that last fight was just a M.U.T.O going '*weak punch* -> *DGZ falls*'? And then a building falling on him knocks him out for well over 4-5+ hours? Holy crap this Godzilla has no endurance what so ever.

Additionally the Blue Spiral Ray...now that almost made me cry. I loved the new sounds, the build up was fantastic. DGZ opens his mouth and then....it's a flamethrower...a blue pixie dust flamethrower... Fault goes to the animators for this one. But DGZ's BSR just left no 'impact' in both figurative and literal senses. Watch ANY movie from the Heisei or Millennium era and you can instantly tell the difference. Sure, the actual 'effect' is of lesser caliber. But because of how they animate it, both in terms of delivery and how things/monsters react to it, you can tell it has more of that chest thumping 'BOOM' to it.

In comparison, someone told me they build a modern era Blastoise and told me they were going to show off it's ability to use Hydro Pump. The old guard did it just fine. The '98 version couldn't even bring a water pistol. 2014 tried to pass it off with a fire hose.

-Major personal opinion here...but Godzilla really shouldn't be a protagonist. This movie very much took the Showa era route, which is one of my least favorite eras. Bad/boring human sub plots + Godzilla as zero threat = no tension. The only reason the Showa era lasted as long as it did/worked with this approach is because of a variety of factors.

*It introduced all new monsters at the time that were actually on par with Godzilla.
*It wasn't afraid to do silly/goofy things to make up for the boring parts.

As much as I hate the second half of that personally, I admit it's very much what gave the Showa era any teeth at all. Sitting there bored after an hour of watching hippies dance and a rather lack luster slime monster stalemating against Godzilla for another 20? ...let's make Godzilla fly..

________________

Just these on top of so many other problems... As much as I want them to have a second chance to make another one...the fact that people actually applauded in the theaters over some of these scenes means they'll likely just do a rehash of the same. Kinda like how we hoped Bay might not screw up the other Transformers movies and instead gave us zoom-in CIA hairy butt and Devastator scrotum in response. XP Can we just leave G-movies to the Japanese now?
20  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fruitbat Factory to Localize Eiyuu Senki for PS3 on: May 17, 2014, 08:24:53 PM
While I can agree with the sentiment of personal tastes and what not, upon thinking about it doesn't that (learning mechanics that have no real practical purpose aside from padding) apply to pretty much almost every RPG out there?

Just to tick off some of the more beloved titles off the top of my head.

Grandia (any) - Magic is a useless system for flash more than substance. You can ignore it in lieu of nothing but Combo/Counters/Skills.
Final Fantasy Tactics - Pick a class you like, ignore the rest of the lot, it works. Can also completely ignore Brave/Faith mechanics and the Zodiac systems.
Disgaea - Does anyone ever use Tower Attacks or bother with Geo Puzzles outside of rare/forced instances? Or raising any other stat besides Attack?
Final Fantasy 8 - The entire leveling system.
Persona 4 - Gardening and items in general (SP is too plentiful and unless you're running a no healer party you virtually never need this option)

I mean these are just brief little nitpicks to throw some examples out. But if I wanted actually sit down and tear apart just about any title I could very likely make decent arguments for there being superfluous systems that mean nothing (in terms of allowing a quick/dirty playthrough) in the same vein as Mugen Souls. Not so much trying to disagree as it was a thought that came to mind.
21  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fruitbat Factory to Localize Eiyuu Senki for PS3 on: May 17, 2014, 07:26:45 PM
Damn, now I gotta read that Preview since I've been working hard to resist the temptation to get Mugen Souls...

EDIT: and I did! But I don't know, I've been put off from the first game in large part because of its confusing amount of systems. Maybe a younger me would've enjoyed the challenge of learning a complex game, but I don't know if I have the patience for that anymore. Even if it turns out really good in the end, I probably might wait for a severe price drop before I pick it up.

EDIT 2: Nevermind...

The original Mugen Souls you only need to know one series of things. All the rest of the systems are negligible.

-Custom characters are pretty rubbish, ignore them unless you want a challenge.
-Fail Moe Kills until the enemy's pissed off bar is 100% full.
-Use an aerial attack with the minimum most power to bounce it into an airborne crystal. (This triggers Fever mode and builds up your combo meter through the roof; giving you a ton of XP and Cash per battle in addition to the rage-mode bonus.)
-Rinse/repeat until enemy is dead.
-Rinse/repeat with minimal (for this style of game) grinding to beat 99.9% of Mugen Souls while ignoring pretty much every other subsystem.

There's literally only one battle in the game you have to dance around the system because without doing things in a specific order the bosses are designed unkillable and will go Baal-level hard on you if you brute force them. I don't recall what that order is but it's not that hard to figure out.

Now if you want to see the True Ending you'll have to study the systems a bit more (aka: Pull up a Moe Kill cheat sheet) and probably run through New Game+. But you can beat Mugen Souls without needing to know more then how to attack and equip attack skills.
22  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Conception II on: May 11, 2014, 06:46:39 AM
Well let's be fair to western society here.

Astrid is 26.
Rorolina is 14 (even if you factor in NA trying to 'age up' her the physical body, thanks to the art choice, made her 'look' more like 12).

Even 'joking' about molestation with that kinda age gap is potentially felony material between two real people if you have a hard nosed enough DA.

Up the nervousness factor a bit when you consider said game lets you stick Rorona in swimsuits and nighties for cutscenes.

You quite literally have what anyone raised in the west would interpret as a pedo scene that 'condones' the creeper.
_____________________

Is that what it is in context? Not 'quite' so much in spirit since it's just a trope that the East takes for granted.

But you can't blame anyone raised on this side of the ocean for throwing up a red flag.
23  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Conception II on: May 10, 2014, 06:26:20 PM
As a general rule of thumb, if an RPG has 'anime nonsense' (I.E: Overused tropes, excessive fanservice, ect.) in it, add 10-15% to the score to account for reviewer's bias as the Demon Gaze review seems to proves it does destroy their objectivity towards the rest of the content. That seems to balance it out with that the community feels on average from what I've seen in the posts around here.
24  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Conception II on: April 25, 2014, 11:43:54 AM
So yeah, for anyone who hasn't seen this yet.

Apparently the first piece of this DLC is due on the 6th next month. And is free.

Bad story? Bad character? Meh game system? Doesn't matter.

This just officially became the best game ever. XD
25  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Demon Gaze on: April 22, 2014, 06:57:17 PM
The impression I got from the review is, unlike titles such as Conception II, Demon Gaze doesn't even 'try' to have anything resembling a story or structure. Making the overkill fan service more intolerable than usual since there's zero justification or substance to help balance it out. Additionally combined with zero game depth or, again, structure to make up for it on that front either. Basically saying 'Here, let me scream in your ear and kick you in the groin. A cutscene of a boob joke makes up for it yes?'

At least, that is the vibe I got from the review.
26  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Conception II on: April 21, 2014, 05:37:10 PM
Oh great, I have to pick one at a later date? XD *sigh* Torn between Torri and Serina then...

That'll be a while though. I'm still on the 4th Dungeon just because I'm being very OCD about leveling and grabbing every last chest and doing all the quests.
27  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Conception II on: April 20, 2014, 07:43:35 AM
So far I think that part about Feene would be fine if all the other characters weren't going on and on about how 'great' she is. I get more of the 'perfect' vibe from Chloe. Oh look, a child genius, teacher everyone loves, who writes books/papers about everything that even the government uses, yet still has a perfect figure and dat-da-dat-da-dah. Good lord did they shove her harshly off the Mary Sue tree with every branch on the way down being smacked.

And yeah...those 3+ AR matings are...let's just say I'm amazed there hasn't been any GIFs cycling through here of those looped just because. XP
28  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Conception II on: April 19, 2014, 07:32:00 AM
Feene I'm still up in the air about as well. I haven't gotten any of her proper events yet. Just the 'give a gift' filler and the whole one liner about how her family specializes in a martial art technique revolving around kneeing men in the nuts.

Which normally might fall under 'eh' but considering how "OMG, I don't wanna damage God's Gift!" every other female in this game is, having one that just comes up and offers to demonstrate that technique (without any malice or intended to carry through in a harmful way) is strangely 'refreshing'.

Also. Class'man'ting and Tri-matiing...oh game, how you never fail to surprise me.
29  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Conception II on: April 18, 2014, 04:57:13 PM
Quick aside:

Just had something really odd happen. Had a Star Kid with Torri, didn't see any special notifications. However a huge list of class options opened up. Apparently this kid has a level cap of 99 and gets a special yellow star symbol under him inside of the dungeons.

...what just happened? o.O
30  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Conception II on: April 18, 2014, 03:28:08 PM
I'm almost tempted just to boycott using Feene by virtue of her introduction having pretty much tripped over every 'Thing you do not do to a female character' alarm. Of all the characters in the entire game so far she's the only one I find to be borderline offensive.

-Hero 'saves' her hometown.
-Heroine comes before him all demure and also verbatum says 'You're the strong man who saved my town. I'm a woman. Therefore you get to do anything you want with me.'
-And to top it all off her battle outfit is a wedding dress.

Good lord I thought this cliche/trope was dead and buried (at least this extreme of a case thereof). But nope. Yamato Nadeshiko and Western Trophy Wife went and had a baby. We're still doing ye-olden hero gets to treat the village girl as property clause.

Probably going to give her 3 events tops. And if she's still being a boot-licker by the end of the third I doubt even I could stand it past then.
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