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16  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The Great RPGfan Cook Off! on: August 27, 2015, 08:27:39 PM
Spinach and cheese is a delicious combo.  Kale and cheese, not so much.  And I'm not above slicing some jalepeno peppers into my mac 'n cheese.  Then it's like jalepeno popper mac 'n cheese.  I'm also not above making "pizza mac"- macaroni with tomato sauce (well seasoned) and mozzarella.  Broccoli mac 'n cheese- now THERE'S a combo!  I tend to like my broccoli mac 'n cheese a little on the garlicky side.  I happen to think broccoli + garlic is a yummy combo, and I like garlic on my pizza.  Ooh ooh ooh!  Pizza mac with broccoli and garlic!  Yeah!  And some jalepenos for a kick.  

Mac 'n cheese is an interesting food.  It tastes good and you like it, but it's not one of the more exotic meals.  I remember a friend of mine describing Final Fantasy IX like that.  Wise woman, she was.  

Man, we could go all day on doctored up mac 'n cheese.  So far we have
-Luna's mac with spinach, kale, and curry powder
-jalepeno popper mac (baked with breadcrumbs on top for that real breaded popper effect!)
-pizza mac
-broccoli mac (with garlic)
-pizza mac with broccoli, garlic, and some sliced jalepenos. 
17  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 27, 2015, 08:25:21 PM
As long as they keep the property as well-maintained and fabulous looking as their He-Man physiques and aren't nosy neighbors, it's all good.  I'll take He-Man, Fisto, and Ram Man as the HOA over a meddlesome "biddy committee" any day. 
18  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Which "Tales of" games have you played more than once? on: August 27, 2015, 08:09:02 PM
I've played Tales of Destiny twice to completion on Playstation, and it remains my favorite Tales game.  I'd play the original Playstation version again.  I hear the newer Playstation 2 versions revised the story and I'm not too fond of that, since I liked the story as it was.  My favorite scene was when Stahn
goes on a date with Ilene and we see Rutee trying to spy on them with Mary in tow, but Mary becomes distracted by an ice cream stand and starts eating ice cream while ignoring Rutee's spying mission.
 And I hear that scene was cut out of the Playstation 2 versions.  Boo, hiss, donkey piss!  

I've played Phantasia three times on three different platforms, though only once to completion.  The US releases for that game have been subpar (I reviewed the Game Boy Advance and iOS versions, and neither review was favorable.  The iOS port was exceptionally bad.)

(I've played Tales of Symphonia and Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology, but I've only beaten those once.)
19  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: August 27, 2015, 04:22:53 PM
Song of the moment is "7 Wounds" by Inkblott.  It's like Mudvayne (Inkblott's bassist pounds!), only more proggy, more mathy, and more intense.  I also get a bit of a Car Bomb vibe from them, and they're a pretty mathy band.   

20  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 27, 2015, 11:51:29 AM
Fair point, for sure. 
21  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 27, 2015, 06:24:04 AM
FF7 remake with FFX's battle system would be my preference. 
22  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 26, 2015, 06:18:39 PM
I've always liked the suburbs.  I spent 2 years living in New York City for part of my graduate studies and while it was fun (and I have friends who never wanted to leave NYC and have not), I still prefer the 'burbs.  I don't want to be out in the sticks and no more than 45 minutes or so from a major city.  I'm cool with going to the city to have some fun, then being able to go back home to my quiet suburb to relax.  

Ideally, I'd want to live in a condo- smaller property, less maintenance (HOA takes care of landscaping and inside I'm not spending all day cleaning the entire house), newer construction, move-in ready, an indoor space for my bicycles, a space I can make into a small voiceover recording studio, and most importantly my own kitchen and my own bathroom that I do NOT have to share with anyone.  And most importantly is mine and mine alone.  Even living away from home, I always had to share a living space with roommates and I want my own full living space for once in my life. 

Right now I live with my parents.  From ages 22-30 I lived away from home, but once I finished school, the economy went south and I had to move back in, because I have school loan payments out the wazoo.  And my parents' health is in decline, so it's good I can take care of stuff for them.  Still, my wish in life is to have my own place that I don't have to share with anyone.  I've always had to share a kitchen and I want one that's 100% mine.  My own bathroom would be nice too.  I kinda have my own, but I have to share it whenever we have guests.
23  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 26, 2015, 01:50:49 PM
I feel like the animal situations are part, parcel and analogous to most any relationship struggle.  

You're digging this girl/guy, but their cat/dog/animal companion can't stand you and/or your animal companion.  

You're digging this girl/guy, but you absolutely can't stand their friends.  Or your friends can't stand him/her.  

You're digging this girl/guy, but your relationship with their family is like oil and water.  Or your family feels the oil 'n water relationship with him/her.  

Two divorced parents (with kids) remarrying and forming a blended family.  Sometimes, the children's issues don't manifest themselves until much further down the road.  
24  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 26, 2015, 01:45:03 PM
I did not.  I was tempted because it's Grandia II and one of my favorite games, but I already beat the game twice on Dreamcast and would rather invest my time in money in games I haven't played before, be they new releases or simply "new to me."
25  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 26, 2015, 01:34:04 PM
Isn't Grandia 1 being the more fondly remembered title over Grandia 2 the more popular opinion though?

In Japan, maybe.  Here, Grandia was released among the PSX era glut of JRPGs and did not exactly have the best localization and voice acting.  The battle system was great, though.  On the other hand, Grandia II is the more lauded title, because it had an excellent localization, excellent voice acting, better music, and Ryudo's a more appealing protagonist to US tastes than Justin.  

You ask anyone, at least at RPGFan, and the majority will say that Grandia II was the best Grandia.  I will agree with that.  Grandia was alright, Grandia II was fantastic, Grandia Xtreme had the most refined version of the battle system but a throwaway plot, and Grandia 3 had great gameplay but its story was an exercise in wasted potential.  I've given my two cents about Grandia III several times.  

EDIT: One thing I WILL give to the first Grandia game- the music during the boss fight with Nana, Saki and Mio is one of my all time favorite boss battle themes.  It's the perfect mash-up of my two favorite pieces of music from the game.
26  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 26, 2015, 06:30:43 AM
A good majority of players out there praise Breath of Fire 4's soundtrack, calling it an improvement over Breath of Fire 3's.  I disagree with that.  I thought 3 had the better soundtrack.  4's music felt more like conventional JRPG music to me whereas 3's music was more unique with its funky, jazz-fusion type pieces.  

And I've said it elsewhere many times before: Final Fantasy 8 is my favorite FF game (though I probably complained about it the most) and Final Fantasy X has my favorite (and IMO the best) battle system in the entire series and I'm surprised it wasn't used more often.  

FF6 is a funny thing.  It's a great game with everything I should love in an RPG, but it just didn't do it for me.  It's like when you look at a girl or guy (depending on your preference) and they are quite attractive but just don't get your motor running, and your friends go "what?  How could not find him/her attractive?" and then some person, who's maybe not as attractive, walks by and you trail them with your eyes and your friends go "Seriously?  You like THAT?!?" 
27  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 25, 2015, 04:28:19 PM
...and this is probably why the "i forgot how to cat" and "i forgot how to dog" series of memes are popular.
28  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 25, 2015, 04:25:26 PM
It's clear that I enjoy visual novels.  Some of my favorites are Ever17, Hourglass of Summer, and Crescendo.  They remind me of Choose Your Own Adventure books I enjoyed as a kid.  They certainly weren't paragons of literature and several were pretty lousy, but as a whole they were fun and some of the books were surprisingly good (e.g. Mystery of Chimney Rock- that book was rather creepy and frightening when I was a kid).  

You can argue that VN stories are often retreads, but many JRPG stories are retreads too and we still enjoy those.  I can live with cliched stories and tropey characters, as long as the storytelling is solid.  Hourglass of Summer and Crescendo don't break new ground as far as love-adventures go, but I enjoyed them tremendously.  

...and I already said my pieces about the parts of Memories Off and Memories Off: 2nd that many gamers felt one way about but I felt the opposite.
29  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 24, 2015, 03:22:15 PM
I said it earlier- I like Birth of a God far more than One Winged Angel.  

And if you read my review of FF7 remastered vol. 1, you'll see that the spotlight is on the tracks that highlight the in-between moments of the game that are less bombastic but no less poignant: http://www.rpgfan.com/soundtracks/ff7-remastertracks-vol1/index.html

Back to the topic... Infinite Space is one of those games that everyone praised very highly, yet I simply could not get into it.  I found it rather dull. 
30  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 24, 2015, 12:40:38 PM
And if we look at our favorite bands, several of them have recycled licks and riffs over the years.  If you were to listen to every single Iron Maiden song from 1975 to now (that's 40 years worth of music), I'm sure we'd find a lot of recycled riffs, recycled song ideas, etc.  But no one would dare say they're a bad or unskilled band.  Far from it.  They're one of the defining bands of their genre and are heralded as living legends.  

But Uematsu was under a lot of stress during the Playstation era.  Compared to the SNES era, he had to compose greater amounts of music in shorter amounts of time, so under that pressure you're not going to be at your creative best.  Just like when our favorite bands were under pressure from their record labels to pump out an album as per their contract and it turned out not-so-great because it was created under duress and obligation.  

It's said that FFIX's soundtrack is one of Uematsu's worst because he was very ill (likely stress related) when composing for the game.  Dude composed FIVE full disks of music for that game (4 for the OST and the 5th was stuff left on the cutting room floor).  That's a LOT and he was ill.  That being said, FFIX's soundtrack was pretty good.  So if that's Uematsu's worst, then that's serious talent right there.  Uematsu's worst was better than many peoples' best.  

EDIT: I remember a lot of people back then going on the Yasunori Mitsuda bandwagon.  While I loved his music in Xenogears and Chrono Cross (music students who were NOT gamers would stop and listen when I played Xenogears because the music was so damn good) I've disliked more of his work than I've enjoyed.  

And for another unpopular gaming music opinion, I LIKED Xenosaga 2's soundtrack.  I thought Shinji Hosoe's compositions fit the game's environments very well.  

One composer I'd like to hear more of is Tsuyoshi Sekito.  His soundtrack for Brave Fencer Musashi was incredibly good, and I'd like to see him compose for a main line Final Fantasy or something.  
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