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31  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 21, 2015, 11:28:45 AM
Oh these kinds of threads have massive potential to escalate quickly.  Over the years, pet peeve threads have gotten heated as well, simply because we're all voicing our thoughts based on strong emotion.  So it's going to get heated, but I'm confident that the RPGFan community can have heated debates and still hug it out and clink glasses at the end of the day and say "good times!"  

I've gotten my share of hatemail for articles I've written.  

Outside of games, I share a LOT of unpopular opinions with music.  The following opinions would have me crucified in most musical circles.  

I'm a bassist and everyone thinks that because I'm a bassist I should worship at the altar of the late Cliff Burton (Metallica.)  Sorry, but I don't.  When it comes to Cliff Burton (1980s Metallica) and Dave Ellefson (1980s Megadeth), I think Dave Ellefson is the better bassist.  I do think Cliff is the superior *musician,* but he's really a lead guitarist playing bass.  Ellefson, on the other hand, is a bassist's bassist.  

I feel the same way about Jason Newsted.  I think he's an excellent bassist and was NOT given enough credit because fanboys fellate Cliff like vacuum cleaners.  No, Jason Newsted is not a "lead" bassist, but he's a very skilled, tightly grooving "bassist's bassist."  Cliff was a better musician than Jason, but I think Jason was the better bassist.  Jason Newsted leaving Metallica was the best decision he ever made.  His time in Metallica was like an abusive "I hate you, don't leave me" relationship.

And when it comes to Van Halen, I favor Van Hagar over Van Roth any day.  Sure, Roth was the better showman, but he just talked his way through all the songs.  Hagar could actually sing, play guitar, and was truly talented.  Oh, and I don't think Eddie Van Halen is the guitar god everyone claims he is.  He's sloppy compared to the likes of Joe Satriani and (especially) Eric Johnson who not only have superior chops, but can play consistently play insanely difficult lines super cleanly.  

Best guitarist alive right now is Prince.  That dude is a genius virtuoso on, like, every instrument.  And, again, his technique is so clean, so perfect, so consistent... forget guitar, that dude's the best MUSICIAN alive right now.  
32  Media / The Soundroom / Re: AUG/21: Favourite VGM Song (Normal Battle Theme!! Pg1) on: August 21, 2015, 11:05:03 AM
Reach Out to the Truth (Persona 4) - First time this plays is magical! I think how well it works in both the turn-based affairs in the game and the action scenes in the anime is a testament to it's quality as a battle theme.

Excellent choice.  I cannot get enough of that song.  

33  Media / The Soundroom / Re: AUG/21: Favourite VGM Song (Normal Battle Theme!! Pg1) on: August 21, 2015, 07:13:42 AM
Ahh, the normal battle theme.  I emphasize its importance ad-nauseum in my soundtrack reviews.  With RPGs being harbored by combat and at least 75% of your time spent in battle, the normal battle theme has to be good.  And I always appreciate when RPGs have multiple battle themes- like how the Grandia games have a different battle theme if the enemy gets the jump on you. 

I spent somewhere around 92 hours on Phantasy Star II and it was one of those games where random battles occurred every 3 steps.  I never got tired of its battle theme.

Phantasy Star II "Rise or Fall" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9rf9YlH5K4
34  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 21, 2015, 07:06:03 AM
I'll keep that in mind, D.  That makes a lot of sense, actually. 
35  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 21, 2015, 06:57:56 AM
On POPULAR games? Hmmm...

idk. I got nothing. Except maybe that FFX-2 is a super-fun game because job systems are hard to mess up. ie -- fun job system is fun. Switching in-battle is fun. Fast pace is fun.

I enjoyed X-2, myself.  Sure it's not a paragon of excellence but some things stuck with me.  LeBlanc was delightfully over the top.  Beclem is still one of the douchiest assholes I've met in a JRPG.  And I thought the music was great.  That funky (in a good way) battle theme is still stuck in my head:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fErjzgGRrDA

One theme I liked in X-2 was that of rebuilding/reconstruction, because that process is always filled with uncertainty.  In FFX where you break open the truth about Yevon to the people, many like Wakka still cling to their shattered faith.  FFX-2 has a New Yevon faction and the opposing Youth League.  New Yevon is proof that many in Spira could not have faith in a non-religious world.  By contrast, there's that one guy Beclem who's hardcore atheist and harshly admonishes the Besaid Aurochs for doing "ancient meaningless traditions" such as praying.  There's also Dona and Barthello.  They were tighter than teeth and gums in FFX, but when she joined the Youth League and he joined New Yevon, it wasn't pretty.  Interesting that no matter how close you are, where you place your faith can tear even the closest people apart.

Bottom line, the FFX/X-2 saga has some solid thematic elements, but execution was not always consistent.

As for unpopular opinions in popular games, here's one of my more obscure ones (how's that for an oxymoron?)  In the popular (in Japan) Memories Off game (which I enjoyed), the fan favorite character is Shion Futami.  Shion is the "alluring mysterious girl who's aloof" type and while I see that archetype's appeal (and said archetype did appeal to me at one point), I wasn't feeling her and her storyline at all.  I enjoyed Minamo's and Koyomi's stories best, and they also had the best theme musics. 

And with Memories Off: 2nd, a lot of folks hated the fact that the lion's share of the game was based on breaking up with your current girlfriend since the genre is all about building relationships than tearing them down.  I thought it was a refreshing change of pace from other love adventures.  After all, EVERY relationship hits those rocky junctures of "should I stay or should I go?"  And when I'd pursue other girls' storylines, I enjoyed seeing the different ways the ex would react throughout.  And I went for bad endings with everyone because the break-up scenes were the best.  And, again, a lot of folks greatly disliked that about Memories Off: 2nd, yet it's what I thought made the game really good. 
36  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake (updates in the 1st post) on: August 21, 2015, 06:31:50 AM
I've done Gamesharked playthroughs of several games simply because I wanted to experience the story and did not have the time or patience for all the random battle and grinding nonsense.  I regret nothing.  And besides, though that option is there, you don't have to use it.  That being said, it does seem a little bit like you're on a diet and there's a big ol' slice of chocolate cake on the counter tempting you to cheat on your diet. 
37  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake (updates in the 1st post) on: August 20, 2015, 08:19:40 PM
"Final Fantasy VII - The Visual Novel"

I'm okay with this. 

It better run on my 2013 iPad, though.  I'm still bitter that Grim Fandango won't run on it because my hardware is too old and more graphically intensive games have run on it just fine. 
38  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 20, 2015, 04:08:30 PM
I still think FFX had the best battle system in the FF series, though I could take or leave other parts of it.  I still enjoyed it, though.  Why more FF games don't use FFX's battle system is beyond me.  It's the best battle engine in the series, I think.

Now FF6 are Dragon Quest 8 are popular games I simply couldn't get into.  I can't quite put my finger on why.  They're bona fide classics and totally the kind of RPGs that are in my wheelhouse, but I found them rather unengaging.  Bravely Default falls under that as well.  It's that dating analogy I've used ad nauseum here- dating a girl who's totally your type on paper, but on an actual night out that chemistry, that intangible "spark" just isn't there.  You have to keep justifying and rationalizing all their good points to yourself objectively and it kills you.  You know you should be happy, but you're not and that cognitive dissonance stresses you out.  

Of course, there's the converse situation where you're set up with a girl who's not really the type you usually go for, but that chemistry, that intangible spark, that "oh YEAH!" feeling is there.  You're not questioning your joy, you're just enjoying it.  Several games that weren't really "my type" were ones I enjoyed a lot.  I'm not fond of SRPGs and I've generally steered clear of Fire Emblem games because they're pretty hardcore and I'm a wimp.  However, I thoroughly enjoyed Awakening.  I also thoroughly enjoyed Wild Arms XF (though most other critics thought it was lousy.)  I also tried out Lightning Returns on a whim and, again, that game is totally not my type but I had fun with it.  

EDIT: I also disliked Skies of Arcadia.  I tried playing the Dreamcast demo (that came with some magazine) and the flashy strobe effects made my eyes go funny and my head twitch.  Yeah, I know you could press start and skip all of that, but sometimes I didn't press it in time.  Also, the herky-jerky camera during battles (which took forever to play out) made me seasick.  It is one of two RPGs that actually caused me physical pain (the other was Paladin's Quest for SNES- holy mother of eyestrain that game's color scheme was!  I have zero desire to play it.  

Ergo, my favorite Dreamcast RPG was Grandia II.  No eyestrain, camera panned smoothly in battles, and the game itself was fantastic.  

EDIT 2: My favorite Dragon Quest game was Rocket Slime.
39  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: TV shows axed too soon on: August 20, 2015, 03:51:17 PM
Another cartoon that I felt was too short-lived was Dave the Barbarian.  I thought that show was hilarious and is one of my favorite Disney television cartoon series.  It only lasted 1 season. 

IIRC, this really didn't bring enough to the table to really warrant more than a second season. I can think of a dozen better shows to give out an extra season to before I'd even consider this one.

I respectfully disagree.  Dave the Barbarian easily had the potential to evolve beyond it's very sitcom-y first season.  I feel like it could have gone like Adventure Time did.  The first season of Adventure Time was goofbally sitcom-ish, but then it evolved and later seasons are rather good with involved and even continuous plotlines and everything. 

That being said, I would easily take another season of nu He-Man and nu Thundercats before a new season of Dave the Barbarian. 
40  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 20, 2015, 02:51:51 PM
Re: water.  That's why a lot of folks put cucumber slices or cut up fruit (be it citrus fruits, strawberries, etc) in their water bottles before pouring in the water so that it infuses and has a more interesting flavor than just plain water.  I like drinking water, so that's not an issue for me.  I do like bringing bottled water to me when I go camping, particularly to camping festivals. 

I stopped drinking alcohol over a year ago and tend to stay away from packaged fruit juices (I'd rather make my own- I love my NutriBullet).  Even when I go to bars with friends, I usually just drink a club soda or tonic with lime.  At home I drink water, skim milk, black coffee, green tea, and my aforementioned NutriBlasts. 

I'm still working on ways to power through my indoor cardio slumps.  When I'm outside riding my bicycle, I could be out there pedaling for hours no problem, but when I'm doing indoor cardio (which I need to during inclement weather) I get bored after 45 minutes. 

I've also been modifying some of my workouts.  Although lifting heavy makes me feel like an Agent D "manly man," my form suffers for it.  So I've actually reduced weight from a couple of exercises where I noticed my form wasn't proper and I feel the difference big time.  I have a skinny-fat body type so working out is not always intuitive, like when to switch between cutting and bulking.  I want some bulk so that I don't look sickly thin, but not too much bulk since I'm a climber cyclist and need to have a good power-to-weight ratio to scramble up hills. 
41  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The Great RPGfan Cook Off! on: August 19, 2015, 04:03:45 PM
I watch that sometimes, and enjoy it.  The time limit would kill me, though.  I'm a naturally slower and more methodical thinker, so I need a measure of patience to look over my ingredients, contemplate them, contemplate what's in my pantry, then pull something together. 

As for the tofu mousse, Ovaltine and honey work in place of cocoa and agave nectar.  It won't be vegan, but it's easier to then make in a normal kitchen. 

If I had my way, I'd somehow put honey and cinnamon into everything I cook. 
42  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 19, 2015, 03:59:56 PM
I learned a bunch of things the hard way when I changed my lifestyle to a healthier one years ago. 

I learned that the body goes into a natural "detox mode" where after some time consistently giving your body good healthy stuff, you feel like you have the worst possible flu for a few days, because the body is flushing out toxins. 

I also learned that although skin is elastic, rapid weight loss (especially from a heavy place) does not allow the skin enough time to firm up and you still look like a hutt shirtless.  Like for me, when I was 240, those first 40 pounds dropped off VERY quickly.  I'm 175 now and in very good shape for my age, but I'm still embarrassed to take my shirt off because of the loose skin on my midsection. 

The coolest thing I learned was that the more I exercised, the more my body craved healthier food.  I used to be a guy who gagged on broccoli but loved fried chicken.  Nowadays, I LOVE broccoli and gag at the thought of fried chicken. 

And like I posted earlier, I still marvel at the unique ways everyone's body evolves when working out.  I still marvel at my own idiosyncracies (e.g. I make size and strength gains more rapidly in my chest than anywhere else).  I also learned when I got fitted for my road bicycle that I seem to have a "long legs, short torso" body type (though my loose skin makes my torso look long) and needed a pretty short A-stem for my handlebars.  And apparently I also have tiny hips according to one of the trainers at my gym. 

Whenever people ask me about my weight loss and everything I always say this: "Find a form of exercise that you enjoy doing.  That way, it becomes something you WANT to do rather than something you HAVE to do.  No matter how busy we get, we always try to make time for stuff we want to do, right?" 
43  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 18, 2015, 09:10:20 PM
Just to bring this line of discussion to a close, as I think it's getting a little creepy (aren't men not supposed to ask a woman her weight? Seems wrong to talk about it instead), let's just assume I am off by 10-15 pounds.

On to bigger and better things.

...like hopefully getting somewhere with this anime girl.  Or hoping she has cute friends she could hook you up with. 
44  Site Related & More / RPGFan: Site / Re: Voice actor interviews - who would you want to see interviewed? on: August 18, 2015, 09:02:52 PM
I'm not too familiar with Xenoblade Chronicles, so I definitely want to see some of these memes and popular expressions.  This way, I can gain familiarity with the characters and try and approach their respective actors. 

A lot of great suggestions here folks.  I hope I can make at least some of them happen.
45  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 18, 2015, 11:45:16 AM
Pool of Thorns' singer is anime-sized, but she looks larger than life on stage.  Same with Shakira- she's not even 5 feet tall and her stage presence is gigantic.

I'll bet the girl wasn't literally 80 pounds.  Agent D just used the number as a colloquial exaggeration. 

As for online appliances, I remember seeing a news story about the new Crock Pot having a smartphone app so you could monitor its cooking progress while you're out and about.
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