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Messages - Dincrest

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Anime, TV, and Movies / Anime/Manga Journal
« on: November 19, 2006, 11:36:14 AM »
I randomly saw a couple of anime on Adult Swim last night.  I saw an episode of Trinity Blood and though it looked like the kind of anime I'd be into, the episode I saw absolutely sucked.  The main character was a dumbass, the voice acting was monotone & wooden, the storyline & dialogue were boring and horribly derivative... not impressed at all.  The animation also looked bad, like everything was shrouded in a layer of fog.  No clarity whatsoever.  Real blurry.  

I also caught an episode of Bleach.  Again, the voice acting was generally very wooden save for some overacting in places.  And I felt like the anime couldn't decide what it wanted to be- a funny school-ties type anime or a more actiony type thing with faux-depth.  Again, not impressed.

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: September 30, 2006, 03:07:09 PM »
Some games have what it takes to try the patience of even the most skilled, patient, even-keeled RPG fans.  I'm sure anyone who's played Alundra or Landstalker has abused a controller or two.  

If certain aspects of the game are giving you trouble, you can always use a Gameshark or something.  But with puzzles, no amount of cheating will help you there.  

I'm not a fan of breakable weapons either.  Sure it's realistic and all that, but realism does not always translate into fun.  EDIT:  Look at ShenMue.  It prided itself on its immersive realism, but the game was boring as fuck most of the time (at least for me; I'm not a fan of hurry-up-and-wait.)

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: September 29, 2006, 05:48:59 PM »
Hmmm... the secrets/sidequests that are so random/arcane that they're only there for the sole purpose of selling strategy guides is a good one, ZGM.  It doesn't necessarily piss me off or anything, but it's annoying in that it just feels like the companies are blatantly trying to rip me off.  

That's one thing I liked about Tales of Destiny.  Every single secret was mentioned somewhere in the game; you just had to read every bookshelf, statue, etc.

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: September 21, 2006, 08:34:03 PM »
dasch- then avoid Thousand Arms like the plague.  The protagonist is a horny womanizer who dates all the girls in his party, has women in various towns he hooks up with, and the fanservicey humor is over the top.  

I liked Thousand Arms, though, because it was just so ridiculous.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Anime/Manga Journal
« on: September 10, 2006, 02:42:06 PM »
I was hanging with Damian, Christine, and company yesterday and was introduced to the manga Beck.  What a cool manga.  It's fun, has some bizarre moments but surprisingly realistic characterization, and so many guitar geek references it's not even funny.

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: September 03, 2006, 08:17:41 PM »
Please take the flaming and heated religious discussion to PM please.  

If this topic goes any more downhill, it's getting locked.  

(It seems any time politics or religion enter an RPGfan discussion, threads go to hell in a handbasket.)

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: September 03, 2006, 11:26:53 AM »
Quote from: "Spoony Mage"

Perhaps, but my statement still stands.  RPGs have run the gamut from fantasy-based teenfests to futuristic adult-themed warfare, whether or not they have made it over from Japan.  

...or were developed elsewhere.  

Have people forgotten adult-ish sci-fi themed US RPGs like System Shock 2, Dues Ex, Fallout, Anachronox, Septerra Core, and more?  

Then again, around these parts on RPGfan, Japanese RPGs tend to have preferable interfaces than many US PC RPGs (i.e. Icewind Dale, Arcanum, etc.)  I prefer JRPG interfaces myself over those of US PC RPGs.

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: September 02, 2006, 10:53:02 AM »

I subscribe to the theory that there are only a certain amount of plots since the human experience as a whole is limited and it's near impossible to truly make a story devoid of any cliches, because it's damn near impossible to write about things and concepts we don't know without at least trying to compare it to something we do.  We have awareness of concepts like infinity, but don't truly know "infinity-ness."  

But in any case, it's even tougher for an RPG plot to be truly devoid of cliches because the chief component in the RPG package is combat.  Without combat, there's no RPG.  And you can only have so many stories based around combat.

You have genres like digital novels, love adventures, graphic adventures that lend themselves well to perhaps more dynamic and interesting plotlines because combat is not a key aspect to their packages.

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: August 31, 2006, 03:44:16 PM »
...There's always Revelations: Persona (Megami Ibunroku Persona) where you're not saving the world but rather saving people from themselves.

I don't know if these annoyances have been mentioned yet and I'm too lazy to read the whole thread, but it's definitely annoying when there are random encounters in puzzle rooms.  When I'm trying to solve a puzzle and get into an encounter, it just destroys my concentration.  

I'm also not fond of when there are puzzles without any hints to go along with them.  Wild Arms 1 comes to mind where I remember this one puzzle.  No hints in the dungeon as to how to solve it and no hints in the puzzle room itself either.  So out of sheer frustration I just had Rudy (or was it Jack?) drop bombs all over the place so I could see things go boom.  Lo and behold, the puzzle was solved!  

At least RPG puzzles (usually) don't have the pinpoint pixel hunting and ridiculous leaps of logic that graphic adventure puzzles tend to have.

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: August 30, 2006, 10:14:36 AM »
In most any genre, romance is really tough to write and direct well.  Even in the love adventure genre, you have games like Hourglass of Summer and Never 7 that do romance extremely well and you also have games like Ai Yori Aoshi that are godawful.  

Even in movies, the romantic scenes in Star Wars Ep. 2: Clones could, and should, have been the strongest scenes in the movie but they were horrid due to the cracker-thin dialogue and the fact that George Lucas' directorial skills are horribly lacking.  

And even among romance novels, I'm sure there are those that are written well and others that are cheesier than a stinky brie.

EDIT: And Spoony Mage- that's one reason I liked Veola so much.  Whenever Lita had one of her annoying episodes, Veola's dry wit always put Lita in her place.

And +1 for those who mentioned that Tales of Symphonia's female characters are mostly melee characters.  Genis and Raine are the only mages, but that's due to their species rather than gender.  Sheena, Colette, and Presea are all melee characters.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Anime/Manga Journal
« on: June 02, 2006, 09:33:40 PM »
Just today I randomly caught an episode of Mirage of Blaze on TV (Encore WAM channel.)  I dug the music, the dark art style, and the character designs.  It was atmospheric and there were some cool moments (such as when Saori kicks major ass with a shovel when fighting zombies that Takaya's like "whoa, she's not useless deadweight after all") and everything... but I couldn't help but feel that this was a Neal-pleasing visual package over a very cliched premise, about spirits from the past possessing peoples' bodies to re-enact a war they thought ended poorly.  And the whole lengthy summoning sequence with loads of colors was lame, because what self-respecting baddie would sit through one of those lengthy things?  

I don't know what to make of Mirage of Blaze.  I love the visuals and it is atmospheric (I LOVE that dark vibe akin to Boogiepop Phantom) but the premise and the summong sequences are so silly that it totally ruins the dark atmosperics.  

It seems like it'd be a fun series to watch, but I doubt I'd waste money on a box set.  

Did I mention the dub was godawful?  It was like an old-school dub with bad actors who emphasized the incorrect words and put no emotion where there needed to be emotion.  I thought we were over this shit by now.

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: March 16, 2006, 03:34:36 PM »
Good point Eusis.  For most people, the video game console is still seen as a toy, despite the fact that all of us who grew up with 8-bit Nintendo as kids are now in our 20s or 30s and do want more maturity in our console gaming, and by maturity I DON'T mean ultra-violence, gratuitous sleaze, or whatever else deemed "mature" in GTA or Conker.  

The PC platform typicaly does appeal to a more mature demographic, because people of all ages use PCs.  Even people in their 50s and 60s play computer games, even if they are simple games like solitaire or tetris while they're taking a break from work.  

The European graphic adventure developers like Microids have titles like Syberia and Still Life which feature female protagonists in their early 30s.  The games wouldn't work without protagonists like that, since the storylines are based around their professions.  Kate in Syberia is an attorney and Victoria in Still Life is a forensics agent.  

In other words, all I'm saying is that though we may be tired of kiddie heroes in RPGs, there are alternatives for story-intensive games featuring more adult characters, plotlines, and themes.  They may not be of the RPG genre, but they are out there.

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: March 16, 2006, 09:08:28 AM »
PC RPGs tend to utilize more adult characters and storylines.  It's just that console RPGs have more appealing gameplay interfaces for us:P

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment uses young adult characters (aged from 21-32) who struggle with adult issues and have adult dialogue.  Heck, even the teenagers in Persona 2: Innocent Sin have mature and insightful dialogue, so they don't seem like chickenheads like many teens in cookie-cutter RPGs.

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: March 15, 2006, 10:22:40 AM »
Trid- I think it's a universal truth that in any video game, RPG or otherwise, the desert is always the most annoying dungeon/stage.  For me the worst desert had to be the one in Stupid Invaders.  Every screen looked exactly the same and you had to do them in a certain order to get to where you needed to go, or you'd die.  And there were NO HINTS for navigation as far as I could find.  I had to use a FAQ for it and I have no clue how the FAQ writer figured it out.

Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs
« on: March 14, 2006, 10:41:50 PM »
It was only in Paladin's Quest and Skies of Arcadia that this bothered me, but whatever.  In Paladin's Quest, the color scheme for the graphics was such that it really hurt my eyes after playing for mere minutes.  In Skies of Arcadia, the strobe effects for the special attacks made my eyes go funny and made me feel slightly dizzy.  Granted, yes, in SoA you could skip the animation by pressing start, but sometimes I didn't press it quickly enough.  Not convenient.  

I don't like it when video games cause me physical discomfort.  

Another thing I didn't like in Skies of Arcadia was that the camera was very herky-jerky during battles and made me feel seasick.  In contrast, games like Grandia 2 had very smooth panning cameras during battle and I had no issues playing that game.  

FF7 was a notorious culprit in this one particular niggle, and Nocturne did this in a couple of places too.  I didn't like those segments where the camera was panned so far away from the prerendered backdrop that the player character icon was tiny, like the size of an ant.  Were it not for the pointer thingie and the exit markers, FF7 would have been an exercise in navigatory frustration.  

Various other issues mentioned, I can probably deal with, but the eyestrain and dizziness issues in Paladin's Quest and Skies of Arcadia are ones that are complete showstoppers for me, as well as herky jerky camera work; smooth panning please.

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