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337741 Posts in 13830 Topics by 2212 Members
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5401  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment Part 7,894,673,589.3 on: July 24, 2007, 08:14:03 PM
My song of the moment is "In Black and White" by Sonata Arctica.  I didn't even know Sonata Arctica released a new studio album a couple of months ago.  Man I'm bad.  

I don't even know why I like Sonata Arctica so much.  I mean, there are so many other power metal bands that do what Sonata Arctica does even better than Sonata Arctica... yet I still love Sonata Arctica.  

I heard the aforementioned song and "Paid in Full" and it seems Sonata Arctica is starting to experiment a bit more with progressive touches.
5402  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Shining Force hits the Virtual Console. on: July 24, 2007, 08:06:58 PM
Quote from: "jphussey"
I think that both SF and SF II belong in a top 20 RPGs of all time list. It's also amazing to think that both SF CD and SFIII are also great games.

Why did they abdandon the series?

JP


Sega didn't necessarily abandon the series as introduce it in a new direction, i.e. in Shining Force NEO and Shining Force EXA.  Of course, that new action-RPG direction is one that most, if not all, of us are crying foul about.  I'm not the biggest SRPG fan in the world but even I can see how Shining Force 1-3 are totally awesome and NEO & EXA are, well, not (to put it kindly.)
5403  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs? on: July 24, 2007, 07:59:47 PM
Point well taken Eusis.  I myself agree that there are genres of video game that have much stronger stories than RPGs and examples within other genres that have strong stories too.  

But RPGs do have stronger and deeper storylines than your average sports, puzzle or fighting game (yes, I know Puzzle Quest and Soul Calibur can be excepted) to name a few.    

RPG is still the common knee-jerk thought when the words "story based video game" come up since, well, visual novels aren't played much and I think those have some of the best stories I've ever seen in video games.

Or maybe it's an issue with semantics.  I still stand by my statement that RPGs OFTEN have deeper storylines than games in other genres.  But I agree with you that it's not ALWAYS.  I point to your examples there, except for Mega Man because Mega Man has a whole bunch of RPGs (i.e. the MegaMan Battle Network games, MegaMan X: Command Mission.)
5404  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Persona 3 on: July 24, 2007, 07:04:49 PM
Regarding difficulty, the Persona subseries has always been easier than the SMT subseries.  The Persona games were also much easier than Devil Summoner (that game was cheap as hell) and Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (more balanced, but still tough.)  

Persona 2: Innocent Sin was pretty easy for a MegaTen game, but harder than creampuff RPGs like Grandia.  Persona 2: Eternal Punishment was more challenging (and the difficulty level in the US version was unchanged from the JP version.)  

So if Persona 3 is easier than most MegaTen games, that's no biggie.
5405  Media / Single-Player RPGs / What new rpg should I get? on: July 24, 2007, 06:56:27 PM
In terms of upcoming RPGs, it's tough to label a new RPG as the "best ever" since it's not even out yet.  And what one person may consider awesome, someone else may not think is anything special.  One man's trash is another man's treasure and all that.  

And what kind of RPGs are you into?  Traditional turn-based RPGs?  Action RPGs?  Strategy RPGs?  

What do you look for in an RPG experience?  Prefer story over gameplay?  

What system are you looking for games for?  

Honestly, we can't really help you unless you give us some information regarding your tastes in gaming, what you want out of an RPG experience, and all that.  Speaking purely for myself, some games I consider must-haves may be ones that others could care less about.

As for upcoming RPGs, I'm looking forward to Soul Nomad and Persona 3 has come highly recommended, given my gaming tastes.
5406  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs? on: July 24, 2007, 06:51:01 PM
All asshattery aside, before delving into RPGs ask yourself the following questions so that the more informed can better guide you in your selection.

What is it you like about the few RPGs you've played?  

What do you hope to get out of RPGs?  In other words, are you in it more for the storylines that are often deeper than other genres?  Are you in it for the unique gameplay experience?  Are you in it for the whole package and the "mojo" that the RPG experience offers that other genres don't?  

How high do you rate the aspects of graphics, music, story, and gameplay in a potential gaming experience?  For example, for someone who wants pretty graphics and a killer story I might recommend Xenosaga or FF12 over Atelier Iris (which had a weak story and 2D graphics, but deep gameplay and amazing music.)  

What other genres of games do you enjoy?  Why do you enjoy them?  Do any aspects of that enjoyment transfer over to RPGs?  For example, if a person likes action platformers, I'd more likely recommend an action RPG over a turn-based or strategy RPG.  

Honestly, it's hard to recommend stuff without knowing what it is you want out of your gaming experience and what your current tastes in gaming are.  Tastes are subjective and vary widely.  Some RPGs that people fawn over, I didn't think were anything special.  Some RPGs that I fawn over, others think aren't anything special.  

We have a talented staff of review writers whose reviews are there specifically to help guide your gaming decisions.  However, I do understand that many people have a mistrust of critics.  Be assured, though, that RPGfan policy is that one must finish a game before reviewing it.  After all, some games may be slow to warm up but become awesome later on.  Xenogears comes to mind here because it was only after the first exhausting 10 hours that the story really opened up.  And other games start off strong, but peter out.  Odin Sphere comes to mind here because though it's fun for the first 15 or so hours, it gets really repetitive and difficulty balance issues become a pain.  

And RPGs themselves vary widely despite being under that same umbrella.  It's like with metal music.  Dream Theater sounds very different from Pantera, yet they're both metal.  

In other words, recommending RPGs is as easy as recommending music or anime.  It's not.  It's wholly dependent on the querant's tastes.
5407  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: July 24, 2007, 09:12:44 AM
In Xenosaga II, I'm at the part where Shion, Allen, and KOS-MOS are back on the Elsa.  

And I must say,
Code:
KOS-MOS "bed" turning into a space motorcycle was the coolest most badassed thing ever.
 And the space battle scene that follows that had some incredible music.  I <3 Kajiura.
5408  Media / Miscellaneous Games / It's Guilty Gear 2! on: July 21, 2007, 11:39:20 AM
Well, we need more alien dating sims.  That segment in Super Paper Mario was proof enough for me that we need wacky humorous dating sims with nerdy lizard creatures.
5409  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Nocturne vs DDS on: July 20, 2007, 09:43:17 AM
Within the Megami Tensei series, the Shin Megami Tensei games are more driven by setting and "big picture" events than character drama.  Persona and DDS, for example, have more character drama storylines.  

Nocturne has some interesting subplots, but you have to really go hunting for them.
5410  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Game developers shouldn't fear old consoles... on: July 19, 2007, 01:35:30 AM
In the US, consoles have a much shorter lifespan than they do in Japan and other countries.  Shame really since the end of a console's lifespan is when all the best games come out because by then the developers know the hardware inside out and can program for it beautifully.  

Despite the Game Boy Advance having been out for a while, WayForward released Shantae for Game Boy Color (which had a couple of easter eggs if you played on the GBA) which was one of the best action-adventure-platformer games I've ever played.  But of course, no one bought it.
5411  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Well, this will suck. on: July 19, 2007, 12:09:58 AM
ZOMGLOL!  Bill and Ted Chrono Cross!
5412  Media / Miscellaneous Games / It's Guilty Gear 2! on: July 18, 2007, 10:44:19 PM
Guilty Gear an RTS?  What the hell kind of shit are the developers smoking?  My knee jerk reaction is that this will utterly ruin one of the best 2D fighting series ever.

Well, even if the game sucks, the music had better be the awesomely headbang-worthy metal fare of past Guilty Gear games.  One thing Guilty Gear games (the NON-handheld ones) always had were awesome soundtracks.  

RTS is bad enough, but if they create a non-metal soundtrack, I will consider the series truly ruined, dead, and unworthy of my farting in its general direction.
5413  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Well, this will suck. on: July 18, 2007, 10:40:12 PM
What the hell kind of shit are these movie studio think tanks smoking?  Really, I have nothing more to say that doesn't echo what everyone else already said, so I'll just contribute with jackassy comments in agreement.

And, yes, I agree that Keanu Reeves is a one-dimensional actor whose best performance was in Bill & Ted.
5414  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Disgaea 3 announced, PS3 game. on: July 18, 2007, 10:26:32 PM
I'm with Losfer on this one.  I love Nippon Ichi, they develop and publish some fantastic games (love the Atelier games and I have Soul Nomad preordered), but I do feel that graphically their SRPGs are stagnating.  It's as if they're just playing it safe with the familiar sprites and tiles.  I want to see them break out and offer something with some graphical pizazz.  

The PS3 is a powerful piece of hardware and if they're going to do a 2D SRPG, they'd better have sprites on par with the stuff you see in VanillaWare games like Grim Grimoire.  

I'm all for classic style, but I feel as if visually Disgaea 1-3 are exactly the same.  Disgaea was terrific, and though Disgaea 2 was good, it didn't offer anything new to the series.  Where's the upgrade in 3?  What reason do I have to play a game that just looks like more of the same?  If Disgaea 3 looked like Odin Sphere or Grim Grimoire, then I'd be interested in the new installment.
5415  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: July 17, 2007, 11:43:47 PM
I'm on disk 2 of Xenosaga where
Code:
Shion's sneaking around Vector trying to steal a spaceship, bust out, and kick it with Febronia, Nephilim, and Feb's sisters on Old Miltia.


I'm gamesharking this one as well, and boy howdy am I ever glad I am.  Even normal battles require finding the one and ONLY way of disposing of an enemy via break zones and were it not for the cheat codes on chaos (Jin and ES Asher have a bunch too), everyone was doing the most paltry of damage to anything.  You have to be a masochist to play this game without cheats, because those battles are downright annoying, frustrating, and often cheap given there's only ONE best way to win them.  Were it not for the damn break zones and stocking (I preferred the AP systems in Xenogears and Xenosaga I) this would be a killer battle engine.  

Infinite items is a damn good cheat too in this game given the lack of shops and money.  

The story is really good, though.  The narrative and pacing are a head and shoulders above the predecessor, whose story tended to drag.  Many people told me I could just view the Ep 2 database in Episode 3, but there's a big difference between seeing a story summary and actually playing through the events.  Plus, if I never played Xenosaga II, I wouldn't have been exposed to the awesome soundtrack.  Yes, I really like Shinji Hosoe's compositions.  I naturally love the Kajiura stuff too, but that's few and far between.  

I sampled some of Xenosaga 3 and while it's definitely the most refined, streamlined, polished, and seemingly most balanced of the series, I miss the multi-button attacks from prior Xeno titles.  The multi-button combo style attacks are what kept Xenogears and Xenosaga combat relatively fresh.
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