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16  Media / Game Journals / Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: November 22, 2014, 06:20:18 PM
You know how Round Robins work- I write a bit, the next person writes a bit, so on and so forth to create an RPG style storyline.  Contributions could be anything from a sentence to multiple paragraphs.  Yeah, this could be in brush 'n quill or something, but those get no traffic and no participation, and this board does get traffic.  So that's why it's here.  I had a LOT of fun with that old "Let's create a cliche RPG story" one a few years ago, and I thought I'd try again.  Anyway, here goes.  

The kingdom of Strassle is on the eve of the Century Celebration festival!  After a great war ravaged the land 100 years ago, each year of rebuilding has been punctuated by a festival to boost and bolster community morale.  Over time, the once scorched earth grew into a prosperous kingdom.  This year, the festival will be extra special, because it marks 100 years that the kingdom has grown and stayed strong.  On the outskirts of Strassle proper (a sprawling and bustling castle city, where the festival takes place), dawn breaks on Madora- a hamlet renowned for its horse ranches.  Sunlight cascades through the window of an unassuming house on a modest ranch and onto the eyes of a teenage girl, causing her to blink awake...
17  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XV, This is a fantasy based on reality. on: November 22, 2014, 03:25:15 PM
Do you like every album by a particular band you're a fan of?  No.  Plenty of Metallica fans disliked the albums Load, ReLoad, and St. Anger.  They still like the band, though, and will go to their concerts to hear their favorite songs by them.  Hell, the oldheads will bring their tween and teen kids to Metallica concerts.  Kill 'em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and Justice were all killer albums, and few bands right now can claim that kind of age diversity in their fanbase- from tweens and teens all the way to folks in their 50s even.   

And a music analogy is apt for another point made.  We could cry all day about how who's famous and popular on the radio these days is vapid garbage and that some local or underground artist who is truly amazing should be famous instead.  But then when the artist we like gets famous, do we then turn our backs on them and yell "sellout!"  Do we not like them any more because we liked them "before they were cool" and don't want to be associated with the bandwagoning sheeple who jumped on the trend?  Back in the FF7 days, all the "tr00/ 0ld-sk00L" fans cried foul that they were playing early FF games while the neophytes riding the FF7 wave were playing Mario or Mega Man.     

Metallica was a no-name underground band before they made it big.  In much the same way, Squaresoft was a no-name indie company at first, created a bunch of less-than-successful games, faced bankruptcy, and Final Fantasy was their last ditch effort before shutting their doors.  We can say "evil corporation Shinra" all we want, but they had the kind of hard luck story we love in the smaller, indie, underground developers that we wish were famous instead of Square Enix.  And with a lot of ex-Square staff splintering off, they have the "ex-Square" feather in their hats and thus their smaller development studios will get some recognition.  And that's a good thing, right?         

And, again, if we want to topple the juggernaut and stick up for the little guy, we have to speak with our wallets.  Buy the games you want to see more of.  People probably make fun of me behind my back that I'm the RPGFan "hipster" because I review obscure games and choose them for my Game of the Year selections.  But maybe if people paid attention to those underground gems instead of the latest FF (even if looking in FF's direction simply to yell and scream and complain), then maybe they'll have fun actually playing games instead of shouting about them on the Internet.  There's that old saying, "money talks, BS walks."   

Will I be buying the new FF?  Probably not.  I'll likely be playing some no-name game that falls victim to FF's looming shadow for RPGFan instead.  Remember how in FF13's wake, a really cool RPG called Resonance of Fate got overshadowed?     

I hope FF15 turns out good and that people enjoy it.
18  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: November 22, 2014, 09:17:21 AM
One thing I wished FF8's plot had expanded on was
Rinoa's past with Seifer.  It's mentioned almost off the cuff that she dated him, then Squall had a hissy fit for no good reason and stormed out of the room, forever leaving that thread dangling.

Even though I really liked FF8, I would have liked more plot regarding the "school ties" and "teen beat" stuff than that contrived Blair Witch hunt.  For a game that's supposedly about the theme of love, it handled that theme rather lackadaisically.

As for gaming, mostly been playing Love Live School Idol Festival. 
19  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XV, This is a fantasy based on reality. on: November 22, 2014, 06:40:45 AM
But such polarizing opinions are exactly why this game will succeed.  We've given it good publicity in our community and many of us will play it so we can talk, argue, etc. about it.  It's arguable that FF9 may be the best FF since 7, but it's kinda the forgotten FF.  It was good and did everything right, but it didn't spark the level of debate that 7,8,10,11,12,13, and 14 did. 

If 15 is good, we'll have people saying "told ya so" or "I was wrong to hate on it, it's good!" If not, we'll hear "told ya so" or "I was wrong to fellate it, this is awful." And we'll have those talking about how the game didn't live up to the hype, good or bad. 

The game is far from out, and it's already spawned one of the most popular threads on the forums this year.  FF is doing its job.
20  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: November 21, 2014, 08:24:07 PM
Kefir is good stuff!  I remember one time our singer had kefir and had us all try it.  She and I both liked it but the drummer and guitarist both gagged on it. 

As for Russian Dip as is, well, considering how cold it gets up there a little extra blubber for winter warmth isn't such a bad thing.  I mean, I notice that ever since I got skinny I'm noticeably more sensitive to winter cold than when I was fat. 
21  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Most Favourite Gaming Moments~! on: November 21, 2014, 05:38:50 PM
Back when I was younger, during the 16-bit days, there were times when my folks and this other kid's folks would take day trips to NYC and we'd both hang out at my house and play video games all day.  Games I couldn't beat on my own, this kid and I would end up beating together.  Those were some of my favorite gaming moments, back in the days when we rode our bikes to friends' houses and would go over to each others' houses to play multiplayer games.

And another memorable moment was one I talked about in an episode of the Rhythm Encounter podcast.  During a massive get-together, a plastic cup (like a 6 oz cup) got knocked over and cola spilled all over my Genesis.  It was a first-generation Genesis that you could fit the Power Base Converter on (to play Master System games.)  Except for a shot reset button, the thing worked perfectly for decades onward.  I don't have that Genny any more (I think it got lost in a move) but if I were to plug it in now, it would still work I'm sure of it.  I'd like to see any of my modern day consoles survive a cola spill.  

Oh, and I remember when Mortal Kombat first came out in arcades.  There was a massive controversy about all the blood and brutal finishing moves in that game.  I think that was the first domino that signaled that mainstream gaming was growing up.  That gamers weren't just young kids any more.  Sure, PC gamers still had mature games (e.g. Leisure Suit Larry with its age test) but not every household back then had a game-ready PC yet everyone had a Nintendo.  I was a shy kid, but that's how I broke the ice with other kids my age- everyone had a Nintendo so we'd talk about video games.  Bam!  Instant new friend.

I know I'm totally dating myself with these examples, but I've talked enough about in-game moments that I enjoyed, so I wanted to go a different route and talk about more life/cultural gaming moments.
22  Site Related & More / RPGFan: The Site / Re: Josh breaks down every Game of the Year pick (and regrets every second of it) on: November 21, 2014, 05:22:26 PM
I love the awards section with the funny titles.  My favorite's the "Ain't nobody got time fo' dat" award. 
23  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F on: November 18, 2014, 09:54:00 PM
^ SO will I. In 5 MORE DAYS!

Preemptively necro'ing this thread in anticipation.
Also, I'm still enjoying that Miku-themed card battle game on iOS.

And I'm addicted as hell to Love Live! School Idol Festival on iOS.  I've been enjoying it as much, if not more than, a Miku game.  Totally scratches that same itch.
24  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Youtube on: November 18, 2014, 05:36:43 PM
Narwhals, narwhals, swimming in the ocean...

Definitely one of the coolest animals out there. 

25  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: November 18, 2014, 05:34:06 PM
. I DO curse idiot drivers who have no clue how to drive in it, though.

It's like every year everyone forgets that they had to drive in this shit like 9 months ago.  IT WORKS THE SAME AS IT DID LAST WINTER YOU NUMBNUTS! It's 100 times more dangerous for me since I don't even own a car and am always on my bicycle.  One of these days I'm going to get creamed while riding in the bike lane because some shithead won't be paying attention and will slide right into me.

And when snow piles up, the area of road usable for travel gets a LOT narrower (bike lanes and shoulders become nonexistent) and it's all too easy for cyclists to get hit. 
26  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: November 16, 2014, 01:00:07 PM
Between sessions of Love Live! School Idol Festival and Chrono Cross (finished the water dragon section last night), I sampled the demo to Celestian Tales: Old North- a Kickstarter'd game that some folks have been talking about on the forums.  I dug the demo.  The game has good potential; from 2013 to now, it seems like the game has been hitting the gym every day and put on a good 10 lbs of muscle.   http://www.ekuatorgames.com/prototype/ This is the dev's website and I downloaded the demo from there.  

EDIT: I can't remember who it was, but someone made an interesting point about Chrono Cross- that the characters who seem like they'd be complete jokes are actually surprisingly good.  Macha and Poshul spring to mind first.  Macha seems like she'd be a joke character, but is one of the strongest red-innates and she can be a beast.  And while Poshul is easy to dismiss as a stupid mascot character, she's quite the tank and she's a yellow-innate, which are underrepresented. 

27  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: [Kickstarter] Celestian Tales: Old North (JRPG) on: November 16, 2014, 11:51:11 AM
Has anyone tried the prototype of this game yet?  I dug it.  The game has a lot of promise.  I like the character art, the spritework, the music is solid, and the environments have a lovely storybook look.  The game looks, feels, and plays more beautifully in person than still screens would indicate.  I'll admit, I wasn't too thrilled at first about this game and was more taken by other projects (e.g. Echoes of Eternea and Soul Saga, both of which seem to fizzled or gone poof), but this one took its time to  grow on me.  That's usually a good sign for me.   

http://www.ekuatorgames.com/prototype/ This is the dev's website and I downloaded the demo from there. 
28  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: November 15, 2014, 07:04:51 PM
Back in the early days of MP3 players and iTunes, I first bought the digital download of "Mezzanine" by Massive Attack then bought a physical copy because it was so good.  Nowadays, the only time I buy a physical CD is when I go to shows to see bands play and I buy one from their merch table if I liked them. 
29  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: November 15, 2014, 04:04:52 PM
Paradise Lost is that band for me.  They've reinvented themselves a lot.  Thrice have evolved a lot too.  Listening to The Artist in the Ambulance and The Alchemy Index, you wouldn't know it's the same band. 
30  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Youtube on: November 15, 2014, 03:30:44 PM
Everyone complains nowadays that the music kids listen to nowadays is garbage.  Granted, I fall into that trap of thinking that the music I heard on mainstream radio when I was in high school or college  is better than the music today's high-schoolers hear on mainstream radio.  (Hey, when it comes to top 40 radio hits, I'll take this  or this over this any day. )

So it's cool to see a bunch of rockin' kids doing such a great cover of Forty-Six & Two by Tool.  Okay, it's a little awkward at first, but once they're two and a half minutes in, everyone starts grooving and getting into it.  The drummer gets into the zone, the singer starts being herself more, etc.  

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