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Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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346  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast Thread on: July 25, 2011, 10:45:29 AM
Thanks for the kind words, guys.  You have no idea how much I smile when I read stuff like that. The new episode should be up by the end of the week.

To IA:
That's actually a pretty interesting idea for discussion.  I've only sold back two games (Deus Ex for PS2 and Street Fighter 4) because I really like to have the collection and I love to go back and replay games every once in a while.  I find that with disposable income comes some choices that are based around having the game more than actually playing it, however.  I've bought a few games that I haven't had a chance to play, but I knew I wanted them because they are either very difficult to find or because I may want to play them in the future. 
347  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast Thread on: July 24, 2011, 10:37:33 PM
A new episode looms on the horizon.  Stay tuned...
348  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Catherine from Persona team on PS360 on: July 20, 2011, 10:43:45 AM
I really enjoyed the PSN demo.  It's certainly something to break up the summer lull as we all wait for Human Revolution and the start of the crazy fall season. 
349  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron on: July 20, 2011, 12:29:02 AM
Good point, Eusis.  I was just expecting something deeper and more nuanced from the start.  The demo did a terrible job of conveying the core mechanics, the jumping sections were god-awful, and the combat was fairly boring overall.  Felt like a huge step backward from the best action titles on the PS2 and XBox, and that's saying something.  It could have been a bad demo, but regardless I'm not spending my money on this one.
350  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron on: July 19, 2011, 03:32:42 PM
I'm all for supporting new ideas and IP, but I didn't enjoy the PSN demo at all.  The game just felt clunky and odd.  While I'm sure it opens up quite a bit and there's a lot of depth to the combat system, it felt very last gen to me.  Pretty visuals aren't enough of a reason for me to lay down 60 bones these days. 
351  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast Thread on: July 05, 2011, 05:35:05 PM
Totally forgot to post here this morning.  Episode 27 is up and ready for a listen!
352  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Shadows of the Damned, Dick jokes from the Underworld on: July 02, 2011, 12:17:40 PM
I really liked the game, but there is a really obnoxious section around the halfway point where you can tell Suda took control of the bus while Mikami was taking a piss in the back.  Awkward turret sections and awful side-scrolling levels mar what is an otherwise fun and imaginative experience.  The gunplay is decent throughout, but the controls (despite constant tweaking on my part) never felt quite right.  Going back and playing Dead Space 2 shows just how fiddly the controls in Shadows of the Damned are.  The lack of a New Game+ also kills the upgrade mechanics, and doesn't offer any incentive to play again. 
353  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Have you ever returned a game you bought? If so, which game was it? on: June 27, 2011, 10:09:58 AM
I've returned two games in my life.  The first was the PS2 version of Deus Ex.  That game was a mess on console.  The other was, oddly enough, Street Fighter 4.  I just couldn't play the game correctly with a controller and wasn't about to spend another sixty bucks on a stick. 
354  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Dungeon Siege III Demo Out on: June 26, 2011, 10:55:19 AM
The mini-map is all screwed up at times.  I've had it just disappear on occasion.  There's no actual map, which is another issue.  It makes you reliant on the bread crumb path, and that doesn't always work. 
355  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Dungeon Siege III Demo Out on: June 25, 2011, 10:48:01 PM
A quick look shows that some PC players feel the game is too dark.  I'd be interested to see the difference with the console game running side by side. 

Edit-
I adjusted the gamma settings, and now I can see a whole lot better. 
356  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Dungeon Siege III Demo Out on: June 25, 2011, 10:14:26 PM
Oh yeah, the move away from potion spamming is a huge improvement for this genre.  I much prefer this system.  I'm just saying that it can get really frustrating when you're faced with a hopeless situation.  Remember that I'm playing as the melee dude, so I can't exactly use hit and run tactics all the time (especially during one incredibly frustrating boss fight).  I hate that the game still relies on massive damage to kill you on occasion (and the AI is too stupid to help), but it is still fun and satisfying.  Has the path finding ever completely broken for you, Stephen?  I've had quest objectives, bread crumb paths, and even the map screen completely break on me a number of times.  It's probably Obsidian's most stable game to date, but that ain't saying much. 
357  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Dungeon Siege III Demo Out on: June 25, 2011, 09:05:54 PM
I'm enjoying the game in part, but I have some major beefs.  The game requires a pad on PC, which is just unacceptable.  I like the resource management aspect of the combat, but it can leave you screwed if you have no focus, low health, and no ability points to use.  It's a rare occurrence, but one that shows the flaw in the system.  The combat is fun overall.  Making the game more action focused helps to differentiate it from the crowd of hack 'n slashers.  Multiplayer is busted to hell and back, unfortunately.  It's great if you have a buddy to play on the couch, but without a proper online component the appeal of this game is quite limited. 

My biggest issue with the game is actually the camera and environments.  Most of the areas in the game are really f'ing dark, and that can make it hard to see pathways and chests.  The camera adds to the problem.  The two options are either far too pulled out or way too zoomed in.  It's really easy to lose your character in the fray, and I would often lose a huge amount of health and have no clue how.  I think Blizzard's description of the Diablo 3 color pallet rings true with DS3.  Making the game more vibrant would have helped mitigate these problems. 
358  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Dungeon Siege III Demo Out on: June 22, 2011, 08:20:09 AM
I'm playing as Lucas (knight) right now, and finding the game pretty easy.  I would say start there.

I'm using a controller now and the game plays much better.  Don't even bother with mouse and keyboard.  Just switch over to a controller, because that's the way the game was designed. 
359  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Dungeon Siege III Demo Out on: June 21, 2011, 10:24:44 PM
I take back all of the things I said about the mouse and keyboard configuration on PC.  Whoever designed this system was off their rocker.  There's no way to remap keys and actions, which kills the game because you have to use their awkward default configuration.  There have been multiple times where i was trying to attack someone towards the top of the screen but my character turned right around and started attacking someone towards the bottom of the screen.  I have to lift my whole hand up if I want to use a skill because I naturally allow my left hand to control the camera.  I'm basically going to be forced to play it using an XBox controller at this rate. 
360  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast Thread on: June 20, 2011, 08:07:53 PM
I can't really fault Obsidian's writing in NV.  The quests all had that great moral ambiguity that the series is known for.  But growing up near DC and visiting it several times as a child really shaped my experience with F3.  Investigating the Capital Building, Washington Monument, and White House were all directly linked to events in my childhood.  I know that they're all just dungeons with slightly different coats of paint, but they all felt like pieces of destroyed Americana.  That really affected me as a player.

NV certainly had interesting moments and quests, but I think the bugs and mechanics problems made the game far too much of a chore for me to play.  Quests branches kept breaking, I missed story segments because of faulty AI, and the combat was severely downgraded IMO from F3.  It's true that you do a lot of fetching in Bethesda's game, but you always had an important decision to make at the end and the combat was almost always fun.  There was also a great deal of exploration, which is really the heart of what I love about these games.  I couldn't really explore in NV because enemies were far too powerful in the first few surrounding areas.  It made the game quite difficult and frustrating at times.  I love the freedom of these WRPGs, and NV doesn't really have that until you've leveled up quite a bit.  To make matter worse, the combat system is heavily slanted towards unarmed fighting and melee weapons, which is something I didn't figure out until I was well into the game. 

I understand that you really liked NV, and I'll probably fire it up again at some point to give it another shot.  It just never grabbed me the same way that F3 did.  I think F3 is a better designed world and a better designed game.  Obsidian's writing is certainly impressive and quite interesting, but I think they pushed the limits of the engine to the breaking point.  There are some really ambitious things going on in NV (factions, morality, weapon mods, etc.), but none of it really works because the original game wasn't designed with these things in mind. 
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