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Topics - Dincrest

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1
Game Journals / DinC's FIRST EVER Nuzlocke run - Pokemon Moon
« on: July 12, 2017, 08:53:16 PM »
In case you didn't see it on the front page:  http://www.rpgfan.com/features/Pokemon_Moon_Nuzlocke_Challenge/index.html  With planned updates every Wednesday!  First time the site's ever done a Nuzlocke playlog feature! 

And this chronicle of my first ever Nuzlocke was totally inspired by all the journals/playlogs people (including myself with Chrono Cross) have done here on this forum.  I had originally thought of posting my playlogs here, but my colleagues suggested that we make my Nuzlocke logs into a site feature.  Massive team effort this has been putting it all together, so definitely check it out.

The intro in the Nuzlocke feature takes care of all the housekeeping- defining what a Nuzlocke run is, establishing what rules I will use, and my various thoughts about the whole endeavor.  After that, you get to read the first two chapters of the story.  Enjoy! 

The most astute of you would notice that I mentioned my desire to do a Nuzlocke of Moon in my Pokemon Sun review last year: http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/Pokemon_Sun_Moon/index.html
The final sentence is:
Quote
After my time with Sun, I'm now inspired to attempt a Nuzlocke Run of Moon during the summer of 2017 and write a playlog of it for the site. It may not be another vacation to Hawaii, but it will be the next best thing. 
 

So, anyone else here done a Nuzlocke Run?  What were your feelings on it? 

2
I was having a conversation with someone about the best ethnic foods they'd eaten outside of its country of origin. 

Like for example, the best Chinese food I've ever eaten was in India.  I've eaten in US Chinatowns on the East and West coasts, but no Chinese food in either place compared to the Chinese food I had in India.  Granted, I've never been to China, so I can't comment on the real mccoy yet.  Still, I assume Chinese food in India is so good given the countries' close proximity to each other. 

I remember a former German teacher I had in high school saying to us that the best pizza she ever had was in The Netherlands, and she's traveled and eaten all over Europe, including Italy.  Thinking about it, it kinda makes sense to me that Netherlands would probably have good pizza since, at least when I lived there as a kid, good cheese and good bread were religion there, and my taste buds felt insulted by what constituted bread and cheese in the US when I first moved here (Wonder Bread and Kraft Singles are garbage.) 

So, yeah, let's discuss those best ethnic foods you've eaten outside of their country of origin.  For example, best poutine you've had outside of Canada.  Or best fish and chips you've had outside of England. 

3
The Soundroom / Favorite albums of 2016 thread
« on: December 17, 2016, 11:03:29 AM »
I have to say that 2016 has been an AMAZING year for music. 

My top 5 favorite albums of 2016:

5) TIE: Bangladeafy! "Narcopaloma" and Abnormality "The Mechanisms of Omniscience."  Drum-and-bass duo Bangladeafy! and technical/brutal death metal band Abnormality have been two of my favorites ever since I encountered them years ago during my days in Kryovax.  Both bands produce complex, intelligent, and intense (albeit in different ways) music that always entices me.  Their new releases are on par with the lofty expectations I have of these bands, but while they're not steps backwards, they're not blowing my mind the way they used to. 

4) Dysrhythmia "The Veil of Control."  I've always admired and respected Dysrhythmia, even if I haven't always liked their material.  Their music is very challenging to listen to and even I have found some of their material too cacophonic for my tastes.  That being said, "The Veil of Control" might be my favorite albums of theirs since "Pretest."  "The Veil of Control" features some of the darkest material I've heard from the band and it spoke to me. 

3) Zao "The Well Intentioned Virus."  I haven't listened to Zao since 2004's "Funeral of God" (still one of my all time favorite albums ever), but Zao's new album is a total face-melter.  I know they fall under the dreaded "metalcore" genre, which most people despise, but bands like them and Burnt By The Sun are just incredible bands that are challenging to listen to with complex songwriting, sledgehammer musicianship, and strong lyrics.  Like much of the band's music, this album is definitely one that needs to grow on you, but I like that.  Zao's sonic signature is unique and I like that in the vast sea of heavy music, their voice stands out. 

2) Megadeth "Dystopia."  Forget about Metallica's new album or KoRn's new album.  THIS is the album to listen to if you want the new stuff from an old favorite.  Everything about this album is incredible: the musicianship, the riffs, even the vocals and lyrics.  Megadeth is not a band renowned for their lyrical prowess, but the lyrics on this album are good.  Dave's voice is in good form too.  I normally dislike his vocal style, but he has a nice snarl here.  Is it "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?" or "Rust in Peace"?  No, but I might have to put "Dystopia" as one of Megadeth's top 5. 

1) Cyborg Octopus "Learning to Breathe" The album I've been digging the hell out of this year is "Learning to Breathe" by Cyborg Octopus.  That album is like Between the Buried and Me had a baby with Dog Fashion Disco.  It's heavy, epic, experimental, ferociously intelligent, and doesn't give a damn about conforming to some arbitrary genre rulebook.  These guys simply play whatever the hell they want, and I like that.  The songwriting structure is incredible too- it's not just masturbatory noodling.  So GOOD!  It is easily my pick for favorite album of 2016.  I simply cannot stop listening to it.  Not since Ever Forthright and Dog Fashion Disco has a band just exploded my mind like this.  When I posted that "recommend Dincrest some music" thread last year... I found some killer stuff in that thread, but THIS is that "precious" I'd been looking for! 

Here's a sampler of the Cyborg Octopus album:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZMl_kOcw5c

So what are your favorite albums of 2016?


4
Anime, TV, and Movies / The "what was your first anime?" Thread
« on: May 29, 2016, 04:43:18 PM »
So, yeah, what was your first anime?

Technically, I could say something like Voltron, Robotech, Mysterious Cities of Gold, Transformers, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, or any of the other 1980s cartoons I watched as a kid but didn't know were anime... But the first anime I watched that I knew was anime and I watched it in Japanese with subtitles was Devil Hunter Yohko.  I have a funny feeling this explains some of my anime tastes.  The series itself wasn't top tier and there were some continuity issues, but I loved it all the same.  One thing I found fantastic about DHY was the music.  All the vocal songs were stellar and the music pieces that played during the series, especially the battle scenes, were all killer too.  

So what was your first anime?  

5
General Games / The controllers thread
« on: April 23, 2016, 07:43:46 PM »
With the talk about how playing lengthy games on smartphones and even tablets can cause hand fatigue or control pretty slippery (I've griped about this in several of my reviews), I figured why not have a thread about the various controllers we've used in our gaming lives.  Which ones we liked, which ones we didn't like, etc. 

In terms of shape, I really liked the GameCube controller.  When a friend and I attended the CubeClub event in NYC preceding the console's launch, I spent hours playing games and my hand didn't feel fatigued at all.  My only gripe with the controller was the piston-style shoulder buttons that were a little difficult to push.  I really like the way Playstation DualShock controllers fit in my hand too.  The older non-DualShock ones were too narrow. 

In the early days, I totally favored the NES MAX over the rectangle controller, because it fit in my hands more comfortably. 

I greatly disliked the first XBox controller.  I have small hands for a guy my size, and the controller was too big and bulky to hold.  My hands felt fatigued after minutes. 

In terms of handhelds, I vastly prefer playing my Vita over my 3DS.  My right thumb definitely feels it more after I've been playing on the 3DS. 

So, yeah, let's talk controllers. 

6
Single-Player RPGs / The RPG Pet Peeves thread- 2016 edition
« on: April 08, 2016, 07:36:34 PM »
Yes, I know we have these often (though we haven't in a LONG time) and they often turn to garbage, but I think with the level of maturity and stability we've shown in the "I want to love you, but I hate you" and "Unpopular opinions of popular games/media" threads, I thought we could do this again.  

I'll start.

1) I'm not at all liking the modern trend of small fonts and menu interfaces that sacrifice ergonomics for style.  I miss the days of large fonts and still wonder why video game option screens do not have adjustments to make the fonts bigger for easier reading.  Gust has been the biggest offender here since the days of Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana.  Idea Factory is a big offender here too.  Actually, a lot of companies are big offenders here.  

2) The lack of a quicksave feature in handheld games.  I'm okay with save points, because sometimes without them I'll go forever and forget to save, only to mess up and lose progress.  That's why I liked how Maya's "spidey sense" in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment would tingle in the presence of a boss, so I knew to save, since that game had anywhere saving.  But, yes, I have played handheld games in recent years that lacked a quicksave to facilitate gaming on the go.  

3) When I choose/create a female protagonist avatar, but the game's dialogue remains unchanged and still addresses my avatar as if she's a guy.  That comes across as a lazy cop-out filled with assumptions.  This one's become a bit of a biggie for me.   Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology did that.  I created a female avatar for that game.  Then I encountered this one mission was where Stahn requested to spar with me because he didn't want to spar with Rutee because she was a girl and he didn't like to hit girls.  I looked at the screen dumbfounded because, well, my avatar WAS a girl.  Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth does this too.  I chose the girl and the dialogue stays the same, referring to her by male pronouns.  

On the other hand, in Pokemon Y, I chose a girl trainer and I liked that NPCs talked to my character as if she were a girl. Folth (boy) and Arca (girl) followed the exact same storyline path in Summon Night 5, but their conversations with NPCs differed based on their gender.  Fate/Extra was great about taking my character's gender into account.  I was about to scream "cop out!" when a female character spoke to my avatar as if she was flirting with a guy, but when one of the dialogue choices read, "Ummm... you know I'm a girl, right?" I smiled.  

4) It's also no secret that I'm not a fan of "chainmail bikinis" and other such impractically skimpy attire on female characters.  It's especially bad when teenage characters are dressed like Stripperella.  Even in comic books, I want to see the female superheroes in more pragmatic crime-fighting attire without "boob windows."  Give the ladies some REAL armor.  I always use Maya from Septerra Core as an example of "best dressed RPG heroine."  

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General Discussions / The "So Bad It's Good" thread
« on: February 28, 2016, 05:17:17 PM »
To piggyback off of Klyde's "You're totally my type, but I'm just not that into you" thread, let's talk about games, music, books, comics, manga, movies, anime, etc. that we would classify as "so bad it's good."  

My pick for a movie that's so bad it's good is Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.  And although most adult males around my age god-worship movies like Billy Madison and Dumb & Dumber, they are definitely "so bad they're good" in my estimation.  

In terms of music, I thought that Ween song "Push th' Little Daisies" was terrible.  I agreed with Beavis & Butt-head's skewering of that song/video.  But somehow it's annoying-ness grew on me and is definitely a song that's so bad it's good.  

I'm sure I'll think of more things I find "so bad they're good" (other than anything Ed Wood who's the patron saint of "so bad it's good") so let's hear some of yours.  


8
With Final Fantasy XV and the Final Fantasy VII Remake on the horizon, a certain movie having recently come out, and many book series becoming multimedia cultural icons in recent years (e.g. Game of Thrones, Hunger Games), I got to thinking:


Does a new installment-of-cultural-juggernaut-series need to be a revolution or a genre-defining masterwork? Is it okay if it's just a really good film/book/game/etc?


If new installment-of-cultural-juggernaut-series is not the revolutionary genre-defining masterwork it aspires to be but is instead just a good film/book/game/etc, will that make it a disappointment?

Is merely being a good film/book/game/etc not good enough? I don't know. I often encounter games/books/films/etc that, in their efforts to be some kind of beyond the pale experience, lose sight of simply being good games/books/films/etc

While I'm always looking for the next revolution, I'm satisfied if a film/book/game/etc is simply just a good film/book/game/etc, no more and no less.  Then again, I'm also that guy who's looking for the next sleeper hit while everyone else is fixated on seeking the next big thing.  I had a similar conversation with my coworkers before any of us saw a certain movie. We came to the conclusion-prediction that, no, it's not going to be a life-changing cultural revolution like the first film of the series was back in the day, but it will be a rollicking space fantasy adventure romp of a film. It doesn't need to be a revolution- simply being a good film would be good enough for us.

Let us discuss.

9
One of the major stories right now is the interview with voice actress Erin Fitzgerald (nu-Chie from P3, Agnes from Bravely Default, Sorceress from Dragon's Crown, Noire from Hyperdimension Neptunia, and more!)  I'm aiming to interview more voice actors from the games we play because voice over work is something near and dear to me (I myself am a fledgling voice over artist with 4 audiobook narrations to my credit and more to come) and it's just really cool to interview our favorite characters, ya know?  I can say that I interviewed Chie!  

So who are some voice actors you would potentially like to see interviewed?  

VA interviews we have so far:
Jill Melancon: http://www.rpgfan.com/features/Jill_Melancon_Interview/index.html
Erin Fitzgerald: http://www.rpgfan.com/features/Erin_Fitzgerald_Interview/index.html
Vic Mignogna: http://www.rpgfan.com/features/Vic_Mignogna_Interview/index.html
Kira Buckland: http://www.rpgfan.com/features/Kira_Buckland_Interview/index.html
Lucien Dodge: http://www.rpgfan.com/features/Lucien_Dodge_Interview/index.html

10
The Soundroom / Recommend Dincrest some music
« on: August 03, 2015, 05:54:22 PM »
Okay, despite the fact that I have 3000+ songs on my iPod, I feel like I'm listening to the same things over and over and I need some fresh new music to awaken my palate.  So, since folks here at RPGFan have good taste in music and can steer me to what I'm looking for, I come here.  

Here's what I'm looking for:
-Something heavy, but with melody as well.  I want to be able to headbang to it and hum/sing along to it when I'm doing stuff.  I've heard too many songs that, while technically impressive, were just "riff salad" and unmemorable.  I want something heavy and with cohesive songwriting.  

-Some complexity to the music.  I don't want complete technical wankery "riff salad," but I don't want simple one-note breakdowns either.  

-A measure of speed/uptempo.  I don't want droning, slow, monotonous sludge metal songs that put me to sleep after 1/3 of their 9 minute durations.  I get bored with hardcore bands that are all breakdowns and no speed.  I don't necessarily need DragonForce level speed, but I definitely want something at a good "workout" pace that makes me want to jump around, mosh, whatever.  If the artist has occasional slower songs, that's fine (I do love DragonForce's ballads), but I always tend to favor faster songs.    

-Dynamic vocals.  I want a vocalist who doesn't just monotone bark through the whole album.  I want to hear a variety of growls and screams, maybe even some skilled clean singing as well.  I've heard some pretty sick music that was ruined by a monotonous vocalist.

-Bass that isn't buried in the mix.  I'm a bass player, so of course I want to be able to hear the bass without having to strain to hear it or play it uncomfortably loud.  Bassist doesn't have to do Primus-level acrobatics, but I want to hear and feel a good bassline since that's the pulse of the music.  

-Lyrics that don't insult my intelligence.  I'm not asking for super complicated verbiage that will have me scrambling for the dictionary every 12 seconds, but I certainly want something more enlightening than "sex 'n beer" and repeating the F-word all the time.  

-An artist who isn't super popular/well known.  I generally don't listen to bands/artists who are big, because they're already big, have plenty of fans, and make enough money.  I always want to support the smaller, underground bands who are down in the trenches because they need the support and because they're in the trenches, their music feels the most genuine.  

I know some of these criteria may seem both fuzzy and picky, but it's because I know what I want yet kinda don't.  So feel free to interpret them as you wish so I can have a variety of stuff to check out.  The more I have to listen to, the more opportunity I have to find my new favorite of the moment, ya know?  

11
Anime, TV, and Movies / The best decade for cartoons
« on: July 26, 2015, 12:39:45 PM »
We all grew up watching cartoons/animated programming.  That's a given.  And we all have opinions about what the best decade for cartoons was.  So let's talk about it!

Those of us who grew up in the 1980s will champion stuff like Transformers, GI Joe, Jem, others based on Hasbro toy lines.  And He-Man, She-Ra, Thundercats, that stuff (even though He-Man was clearly done on a shoestring budget- the creators even admit as much.)  And most 1980s nostalgia stalwarts will not admit that, yes, 2002 He-Man and 2011 Thundercats were good- perhaps better than the originals.  I do, though I certainly have a soft-spot for the originals.  Hell, I was a 1980s kid, so I have a total soft spot for the cavalcade of 1980s cartoons, even if they were nothing more than half-hour commercials for toys with "in today's story" morals to appease parent groups who disliked the pandering.  

But I know many of you were 1990s kids.  That was a great cartoon decade as well, what with all the killer Disney series like Gummi Bears, Duck Tales, Gargoyles; Nicktoons like Rocko's Modern Life; Batman: The Animated Series, X-Men, the 1990s was a good decade for launching a lot of comic-book based series.  I liked the updated Jonny Quest as well- Jessie was cool.  I'm thinking 1990s cartoons were really where there was a focus on continuity in storylines.  Like there's little to no continuity in 1980s He-Man, the writers pretty much wrote as they went along, and it was 2002 He-Man that tried to make sense out of all of it.  The 1990s also saw The Simpsons, which opened the floodgates for "adult/primetime" animated sitcoms.

Early 2000s had some gems.  I liked Kim Possible, aforementioned He-Man 2002, early Spongebob, W.I.T.C.H. (which I thought was a good series), Avatar, and Cartoon Network stuff like Dexter, Powerpuff Girls, Cow & Chicken...

And now we come to the 2010s.  A lot of us say stuff like "cartoons suck nowadays, they were better when we were kids."  It's telling that one of the better series to emerge from the 2010s was the new My Little Pony.  It's generally good, to be sure, but a LOT of people argue that it was "the best of the worst" during a cartoon drought.  But we're seeing series like Adventure Time, Steven Universe and others seem to get their sea legs.  The later eps/seasons seem to be where they get good.  And I mentioned the criminally overlooked Thundercats 2011.  

So yeah, let's talk about the various decades of cartoons we grew up with, maybe those our younger relatives grew up with/are growing up with, and what was/is good.  

12
Anime, TV, and Movies / TV shows axed too soon
« on: July 04, 2015, 05:23:05 PM »
That's what this topic is about: television shows you feel were taken off the air too soon.  Could be any genre: drama, comedy, animated, whatever.  

Firefly is an obvious one that was taken off the air way too soon, after, what, 14 episodes only?  "I aim to misbehave."

Another obvious one for folks around my age was Freaks and Geeks when it first came out- it was canceled after 15 episodes but fan-campaigning led to the network eventually airing the remaining 3.

But the first that came to my mind was the "nu" He-Man (the 2002-2003 one) was nixed too soon.  It never finished its second season (so it's left hanging) and the third season was slated to resolve a huge plot thread.  I understand why it was nixed (slow toy sales and low ratings), but that's really too bad because it was a darn good show.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the crap out of cheeseball campy 1980s He-Man (because it's nostalgia and my childhood), but the 2002-2003 He-Man was a very good re-imagining of the concept, had stronger storylines, less camp, and provided much-needed backstories on several characters with much improved character designs.  (on a completely unrelated note, I couldn't quite get into "nu" Thundercats.  Maybe I'll give it another change, but man I was NOT feeling nu Cheetara's design.)  

So, yeah, what television shows do you think were taken off the air too soon?  

13
Brush and Quill / Standalone fantasy novels thread
« on: June 21, 2015, 04:12:09 PM »
It's clear that many of us here on the forums are avid readers of fantasy novels.  Heck, RPGFan is the reason I read (both present and past tense) series like A Song of Ice and Fire, Coldfire, Mistborn, and currently The Stormlight Archive to name a few.

Now, as much as I like series and I'm currently invested in the still ongoing The Stormlight Archive and A Song of Ice and Fire, sometimes the thought of investing time and money into a big series (even a "manageable" trilogy, which us voracious readers can easily tear through) seems daunting.  Like an obligation or a chore.  Sometimes people only have time to read maybe one book a season and the idea of a 10 book series elicits a "yeah... NO!" reaction, even though they WANT to get into fantasy.  Kinda like how several of us only have so much time to play RPGs that we only play a small handful a year or favor shorter (15-25 hour) titles than 50-75 hour epics. 

So while the "standalone fantasy novel" is a rarity these days for several reasons, what are some of the good ones you folks have read?  The ones that start and end between two covers.  That don't have sequels.  That aren't part of a larger series.  That stand alone as independent entities.  I know several of our favorite authors have had standalone books (like Tolkien, Brandon Sanderson, Guy Gavriel Kay).  How have those works been? 


14
The Soundroom / Album cover art thread- is this a dying art?
« on: March 29, 2015, 02:49:11 PM »
Those of us who grew up with LPs and CDs remember the days of really cool album cover art and liner notes.  I particularly liked White Zombie's Astro Creep 2000 liner notes with all of Rob Zombie's artwork.  And those of us who grew up in the 1980s or 1990s will remember the album cover controversies with stuff like Guns 'n Roses' "Appetite for Destruction" or Nirvana's "Nevermind."  With the advent of digital music, I feel like cover art is becoming a dying art.  So, let's talk about our favorite album covers.

My all time favorite album cover is easily that of "Gentlemen" by Afghan Whigs.  The boy's face... wow!   http://theafghanwhigs.com/music/gentlemen/ / The album itself is great too.  

Another album cover that just screams cool to me is "The Black Halo" by Kamelot.  I can't put my finger on why I dig it, I just do.  I haven't heard that album yet, save for one song, but I'm sure it's just as good as its cover since Kamelot is a pretty consistent band: http://www.metal-archives.com/images/6/4/7/3/64735.jpg?1534  

And although it's vulgar and disgusting (much like the band's music), the cover art for "Sperm Tsunami" by a local punk band called Sparklefight is really well drawn.  http://sparklefight.bandcamp.com/album/sperm-tsunamihttp://sparklefight.bandcamp.com/album/sperm-tsunami

So, yeah, what are/were some of your favorite album covers?  

15
General Discussions / "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« on: March 19, 2015, 06:22:59 PM »
We say this all the time, right?  About music, games, authors, and other media.  So I ask, was the early stuff truly better? 

I say yes and no.  With music, I often say a band's early stuff is better because it's more raw, gritty, heartfelt, and material written when they were struggling so it's from a place I can relate to.  Later stuff might be better musically, but it lacks that "heart."  Like when a band breaks, they start living high off the hog, partying at the Playboy mansion, get the red carpet rock star treatment, and the second album is not from a place of struggle.  That's why so many abuse drugs and alcohol to make their lives all f'd up so they can return to that place of struggle, but it's artificial. 

We can think of many game companies whose earlier works were inspired but later became insipid after they peaked and it's been a downward spiral. 

What exceptions do you see out there, where something  became better later on?  (One band I see that way is Testament.  They were an excellent thrash band in the 1980s, but were overlooked.  But when all the other 1980s thrash bands kinda wussed out, Testament went death metal and became heavier and now I think they're a million times better now than Slayer or Anthrax.) 

So, yeah, let's talk the "their early stuff was better" sentiment regarding games, music, etc. 

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