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Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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61  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast (Random Encounter) Thread on: February 09, 2014, 02:08:32 PM
Really good points all around, and it got me thinking about things. 

Persona 4 is one of my favorite games of all time, and yet it is filled with a great deal of melodrama and could be considered both adolescent and extremely mature in places.  Perhaps the key to that game's resonance with me was the fact that it's filled with believable characters with very real problems.  Meanwhile, the more recent Final Fantasy titles have been filled with very tropey or, IMO, borderline obnoxious characters that I simply can't relate to.  A solid cast can pretty much elevate anything into the realm of awesome storytelling.  The original Star Wars is quite simple in terms of plot, but the characters and their banter really sells the whole experience.  Locke is a hugely engrossing character in FF6, but Snow is completely nonsensical and annoying in FF13 (again, that's my opinion).  Maybe that's where the disconnect with the FF series and many other traditional JRPGs comes from....
62  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast (Random Encounter) Thread on: February 08, 2014, 11:22:17 PM
I can see your point there, Holykrael1.  For me, FFX is when I started to turn away from the more anime/melodrama style of storytelling in JRPGs.  I will argue that we saw a significant increase in such things during the Nomura transition.  FF6 is full of melodrama, but at least the characters behave in a manner that makes sense and feels somewhat logical.  I can't make heads or tails of what's going on with half of the shit in FFX, and a lot of it feels like padding. 

However, I will say that FFX has a great, if not AMAZING, ending that truly makes things feels weighty and significant.  Too bad that everything Square did post release simply undermined their artistic vision, much the same way the Compilation of FF7 made me hate everything about that world and its inhabitants. 
63  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast (Random Encounter) Thread on: February 08, 2014, 04:36:56 PM
Stephen, there has never been a good Sonic game.  There, I said it....
64  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast (Random Encounter) Thread on: February 08, 2014, 03:30:41 PM
Episode 75 is live!  Enjoy!!

Quote
Most Bravely Default fans already know if they want the game or not; I was pleasantly surprised that there's a demo at all.

Monsoon, I think this is the problem with the demo, honestly.  I wasn't 100% sold on the game, and the demo kinda turned me off in a lot of ways.  It's great if your mind is already made up, but I think a lot of people are going to take some convincing after some of the recent Square-Enix RPGs of late...
65  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast (Random Encounter) Thread on: January 15, 2014, 04:48:59 PM
Hush, you...
66  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast (Random Encounter) Thread on: January 15, 2014, 04:13:24 PM
Episode 74 is live!  Enjoy!!
67  Site Related & More / RPGFan: The Site / Re: RPGFan's Games of the Year 2013 on: January 06, 2014, 08:07:04 PM
English be hard....
68  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Naughty Dog's The Last of Us on: November 27, 2013, 04:54:36 PM
Oh, I agree.  The tone and gameplay work beautifully in this game, probably better than any other in recent memory.  Those first clicker sections were maddening, but then they let you play in their little mini-sandbox and everything starts to flow and feel amazingly organic. 
69  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Naughty Dog's The Last of Us on: November 27, 2013, 04:40:26 PM
Totally agree with your points, Dave.  I've been playing it a bit again, and I'm actually enjoying it a lot more now that I've figured out the rules and "proper" way to play.  I finally understand how the clickers work, and they aren't nearly as random as I thought before.  I still maintain that the opening levels are way too tough and put you into pretty unfair "gotcha" moments, but it really does level out towards the Pittsburgh sections.  I ended up cheesing the AI quite a bit more than I'm used to in a modern stealth game (Gee, there's four dead bodies in this room, maybe I should go in and see wh... *shank*), but it's still a uniquely intense game. 
70  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Naughty Dog's The Last of Us on: November 27, 2013, 04:19:57 PM
...And?  I want your thoughts, Dave.  Kind of excited to hear what you thought of it. 
71  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Castlevania - Lords of Shadow on: November 26, 2013, 10:28:32 PM
Possibly.  I think the key problem is the blocking, honestly.  It just never feels right in Lords of Shadow, and there's several things working against it.  The camera is either pulled back far too much or it's so close enemies just nail you off screen.  It could also be that the wind up animation on some attacks is so short that you just don't have a chance to block.  Hell, it's also something so simply as making it obvious that Gabriel IS in fact blocking in the first place.  Kratos' flaming swords let you know what's going on, but Gabe just kinda stands there with his gauntlet slightly up. 

The biggest issue is enemies not responding to attacks.  Playing Dead Space 3 drove me fucking nuts because enemies would stagger from one shot and then shrug off the next to run straight at you.  I think you can literally hear the enemies say, "Eh, fuck you!" in LoS.  The damn skeletons shrug off attacks constantly, but the final boss staggers a bit with most attacks?  How does that make sense? 
72  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Castlevania - Lords of Shadow on: November 26, 2013, 08:02:29 PM
Really late to the party here, but I just played through the whole game again with the Ultimate Collection on PC.  Here are some of my thoughts after walking away from the game for nearly three years:

-The game starts off miserably slow.  The first areas, environments and enemy encounters are pretty awful.  It's easy to get lost, the cutscenes are way too plentiful and don't explain anything, and the game hides the combat for far too long.  The first three level barely have any real combat, so you have to play for around an hour and half before things start to open up.
-Combat is pretty good for the most part, but Gabirel isn't nearly as responsive as other characters in this genre.  He sometimes blocks immediately, other times he won't.  His rolling is also a complete pain in the ass to control at times, and the invincibility on this animation fluctuates wildly. Worse still, the lack of a midair block is just bizarre and feels wrong.  Gabriel has no defenses once in the air, but the game practically demands you go aerial during certain scenes or to get the highest possible combos.  I can't count the number of times I went for the air lift, realized the enemy blocks, and then fell back to earth helplessly waiting to get hit.  Such garbage and a really easy thing to fix.   
-Combat ends up broken by horribly cheap enemies who ignore attacks whenever they feel like it.  Skeletons and phantom swordsmen are the worst, as it seems like they're stunned by your attacks and then they just break through and cheap shot you for huge damage.  You can rarely get off a full combo before having to either dodge or block, and both of these, as mentioned before, just don't work that great. 
-The platforming sections in here are all awful.  Gabriel controls like a dump truck with a flat tire.  You can't even spin around in place; he just starts walking forward in whatever direction you press.  This made sections like the music box and clocktower practically unplayable for me.  He doesn't really connect with the ground so much as slide around it.  I actually fell through the cracks on certain scenes with moving platforms, showing that the game has serious problems with stable geometry. 
-Things get really good when you get to the castle and actually fight some damn vampires.  It's like all of the good stuff in the game was reserved for these chapters.  The enemies feel right, the platforming actually works halfway decently, and the art design is on fire.  Weird that the rest of the game is so much fluff that never really plays properly.  I died three times in the necromancer area from invisible walls that i could actually hop over by accident.  The fuck?!
-The last DLC boss fight is a pile of fucking puke that should have been balanced properly.  Gabriel isn't responsive enough to deal with all of those attacks. 

I don't know.  I was really excited for the sequel in Februrary, but playing the original game again really started to piss me off to the point that I might wait and see if they really did make some improvements.  I can live with the awful platforming and crap like that, but I refuse to play a game when the combat is frustrating simply because the enemies cheap attack you every two seconds.  Thank God they're putting in a fully 3D camera, because that may be the most inexcusable thing about Lords of Shadow.  Someone should have been shot for that travesty...

Edit-
Should point at that in this thread WAY back when I said Gabriel was super responsive.  Maybe it was the PC controls or I was drinking way too much scotch back then, but he really isn't as maneuverable as I thought he was three years ago.  Blocking just never feels good, and you'll often roll right into attacks and end up hit because the invincibility timing is all sorts of screwey. 
73  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Naughty Dog's The Last of Us on: November 21, 2013, 06:22:48 PM
They need to rename the flamethrower "You Win!"  Jesus, never used it until the last two areas of the game and it devastates everything.  Way too much fun to roast some dude behind cover.

...I may have issues. 
74  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Naughty Dog's The Last of Us on: November 20, 2013, 05:16:19 PM
Ha, all this talk about the game lead me to pick it back up.  I'm just about finished on Hard mode now.  Damn, so many great things about this game, but then stupid shit and the combat comes along and fucks up my stealth party.  I would find this game impossible to score. 

Had 5 dead dudes in a room at one point.  They just kept coming in one at a time and I kept shiving them in the neck. 
75  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Naughty Dog's The Last of Us on: November 20, 2013, 10:35:42 AM
Uncharted is WAY more frustrating than Last of Us.  There are times when you're just completely screwed and nothing is going to save you except luck.  No freakin' clue how I beat the first game on Crushing, but it was a terrible experience.  Outside of one or two parts in Last of Us (freakin' Winter section...), hard mode wasn't that bad.  The biggest issue I have is the enemies become bullet sponges, but since I use stealth most of the time it's not really an issue.  The problem gets out of control on the forced action sections, which is the reason I finally quit.  Survival mode takes away the noise vision, which is a no go for me.  You really need that skill to play with their given level design, so I'm sure it would just piss me off.  

Edit-
Also, I died about a hundred times playing Uncharted 2.  Just throwing that out there in case people thought I was showing off how good I am at games or something.  I'm not really good at games.  I'm just persistent.  I still throw a controller every once in a while. 
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