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353689 Posts in 14392 Topics by 2254 Members
Latest Member: dharkhades
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5401  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Anime/Manga Journal on: December 25, 2007, 01:51:15 PM
I got the Madlax boxset as one of my Xmas gifts and I just watched the first 5 episodes.  It's difficult for me not to compare it to Noir for obvious reasons, but as for which one is better, it's like apples and oranges.  Both have similar threads, but are very different animals.  Noir is my favorite anime series, still is, but Madlax is good in its own way.  But Mireille is still the hottest anime female I've ever laid eyes on and that ain't gonna change.  

One thing I will say is that the music in Madlax is a LOT better than the music in Noir, and that's not faint praise since I thought Noir had an exquisite soundtrack.  The opening song for Madlax is terrific.  

My opinions do far: Where Noir is more realistic, Madlax is more surreal what with those trippy sequences.  The main plot is somewhat weird, but engaging; I want to know what will happen next.  As far as characters go, I prefer Noir's characters hands down.  Madlax seems a sloppier more rookie assassin than Mireille.  Where Mireille was far more professional about her work and maintained strict boundaries with clients, Madlax seems too "touchy feely" for an assassin and lets herself get too close to clients.  This gives her character humanity, but I'm not totally buying it.  

Either way, Madlax is a fun series with good action.  In some ways it's more engaging than Noir because it's paced better so far and the main storyline is more present.  Noir never lost sight of the main storyline, but sometimes peripheral ones would take center stage.  

I am certainly a fan of Bee Train's "girls with guns" offerings and I look forward to El Cazador de la Bruja, which I hear is quite good.
5402  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Tales of Vesperia on: December 25, 2007, 10:19:58 AM
Haven't multiple development houses worked in a few Tales games.  I know Alfa System did Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology and a few others.  ToW:RM had a brilliant battle engine, but fell short in most other areas.
5403  The Rest / General Discussions / Study shows that parents may not realize their kids are fat on: December 24, 2007, 06:20:07 PM
The article itself is pretty lame, but the headline was a "WTF" headline.  Study Shows that Parents Cannot Tell that their Kids are Obese.  I mean, "WTF?"  How can not tell if your kid's overweight?  Do you wear rose-colored blindfolds in your house?  

Dude, it's like Augustus Gloop's parents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who let him eat tons of chocolate and say "oh it's all nourishment anyway.  He wouldn't eat it if he doesn't need it."  

Is this like "opposite anorexia" or something?  You know how no matter how gaunt an anorexic gets, she still perceives herself as fat.  No matter how fat the kid gets, the parent will still see a normal weight kid?  That kind of psychological delusion is frightening to me.  

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071224/ap_on_he_me/diet_children_s_obesity
5404  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Games of the Year on: December 24, 2007, 05:32:40 PM
I don't know... one could argue that 2007 was a good year for RPGs because there were more RPGs released in 2007 than in many years prior.  I could probably list 20 or more RPGs (Japanese and otherwise) off the top of my head that were released in 2007.  And since my knowledge is limited, there's probably been a LOT more.  So in terms of quantity, 2007 actually has been a good year for RPGs.  

I mean, I remember back in ye olden days when North American gaming markets barely got 1-3 RPGs a year, and even by today's standards 20+  and any I'm forgetting is more RPGs than usual for one year.  Of course by the law of statistics, not all of them can be winners.  In a classroom of 20 kids, not all 20 of them will get A's for the semester.

But I agree that among the Japanese RPGs released in 2007, most were pretty mediocre.  Though I must admit, Naruto: Path of the Ninja for DS was my pleasant surprise for 2007.  I expected that game to suck, but I was pleasantly surprised that it actually had above average storytelling by JRPG standards.

Neal's picks so far:
Disappointment of the year- Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner
Pleasant surprise of the year- Naruto: Path of the Ninja
5405  Media / Brush and Quill / What book....? on: December 24, 2007, 04:58:27 PM
I'm 2/3 of the way through Huw Lyan Thomas' "Better than Real" and though it's a fun if completely unremarkable read, I think this is one book that would translate very well into a screenplay.  I think a 2 hour movie could be made from this book that doesn't chop much out and will keep audiences entertained.  It's a cyberpunk novel, but it's uber-casual cyberpunk that any average joe could comprehend.  The hypothetical "Better than Real" movie is not going to be some academy award winning cinema, but it has what it takes to be an entertaining summer blockbuster.  

Sometimes I think the books that could translate well to movies are ones that book fans might find "casual" or even superficial.  Some of the books many of you folks are into are so packed with detail that any movie adaptation is bound to leave disappointment.  I mean, look at The Golden Compass movie.  Anyone who read the book will be disappointed with the choppiness of the whole thing (many crucial details were omitted or superficially glazed over) and anyone who did not read the book will be completely lost and all "WTF" about what's going on.

Some movies based on books have been quite good.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy was excellent.  I thought The Whale Rider was a great complement to the book; the book took the perspective of one character and the movie took the perspective of a different one so both work together as one comprehensive package.  The NeverEnding Story worked well, partially because the movie only covered the first half or so of the book- the Nothing story arc.  That was an intelligent move, because the post-Nothing part of the book was not as good.
5406  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Games of the Year on: December 24, 2007, 04:45:03 PM
I'm going to wax on why 2007 was such a great year for gaming.  There were so many high quality titles in all genres that there really are no clear runaway winners anywhere.  For every site that lists, say, Bioshock as its best game of the year 2007, there's another one that probably dubs its top honor to Super Mario Galaxy, and yet another one still who may declare Rock Band as 2007's game of the year.  That's pretty cool, I think.  There is no clear one best game for 2007.    

And the one thing I find really interesting in the race for best RPG for 2007 among all the gaming media, the frontrunners are non-Japanese RPGs like The Witcher and Mass Effect.

Of course anyone who knows me even slightly can easily guess what my top RPG for 2007 is.
5407  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: December 24, 2007, 04:29:10 PM
Since it's Christmas Eve, I will enjoy 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" starting at 8pm tonight.  I always find myself watching it a couple of times in that span.  Easily my favorite Christmas movie ever.  Gotta love the leg lamp.

And if some of y'all RPGfan peanut gallery posters keep taking potshots the way you do, you'll shoot your eyes out! :P
5408  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Games of the Year on: December 24, 2007, 11:30:56 AM
I'd say for me, the biggest disappointment for 2007 was Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner for PSP.  My review says why.
5409  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Aveyond & Ahriman's Prophecy (independently developed RP on: December 24, 2007, 11:05:49 AM
Thanks for reading, man.  I perused the Blossomsoft forum, and Mimic Book's already piqued my interest.  I'm always interested in games from smaller, independent development houses.  For 2008, I'm looking forward to A Vampyre Story and Prominence on the graphic adventure front.
5410  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Games of the Year on: December 23, 2007, 10:54:12 AM
Oh don't worry, we're doing our Game of the Year feature for 2007.  Man, 2007 has been an amazing year for gaming, hasn't it?  Not just in RPGs, but for gaming in general.
5411  The Rest / General Discussions / Generally Unhappy Fairy tales on: December 23, 2007, 10:04:20 AM
Well a lot of those fairy tales like those collected by the Brothers' Grimm were never kids' stories to begin with.  They were stories by and from adults.  And if you look at various kids' nursery rhymes, there's a lot of death and stuff in them.  Anyone remember the Garfield and Friends Saturday morning cartoon?  In one episode of US Acres, the network makes Orson and friends reenact nursery rhymes only to find objectionable content in all of them.  

Look at Goosey Goosey Gander:

Goosey goosey gander where do you wander
Upstairs downstairs in my lady's chamber
I once met an old man who wouldn't say his prayers
So I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs

EDIT: As for the Disney sanitizations and alterations, I thought that was fairly common knowledge for a while.
5412  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Tales of Vesperia on: December 22, 2007, 10:54:59 PM
On the one hand, yes Tales has become quite the prolific RPG series of late.  On the other hand, I don't think enough Tales games have hit US shores.  I'll be excited for any new Tales games once I hear news of releases outside of Japan.
5413  Media / Brush and Quill / Book Thread Continued on: December 22, 2007, 10:15:41 PM
I'm about 5 chapters into "Better than Real" by Huw Lyan Thomas.  It's a sci-fi (post modern cyberpunk) book.  The writing is a tad choppy and the story is nothing original (it evokes aspects of various anime and comics I've liked), but the pacing is excellent and the characters are cool.  Part of me thinks that this book would actually work quite well as a movie, at least so far.
5414  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Final Fantasy IV DS on: December 22, 2007, 06:38:18 PM
Geez, why does every FF thread have to turn into pissing?  All Ash intended was to share impressions of the FF4 remake for interested parties.  If you liked or disliked FF4 before for whatever reasons, this should be an informative thread for people to decide if it's worth another shot.  

Ash, thanks for the impressions and keeping the community updated with them as you play.  Regardless of the way some people are acting in this thread, I think they are very much appreciated by any interested parties.
5415  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment Part 7,894,673,589.3 on: December 21, 2007, 11:32:49 PM
Ghost Opera is a great album.  

My SOTM is "Circulatory System Overhaul" by Dysrhythmia.  They're one of my favorite bands right now and I can never seem to get tired of them.  I don't know how many times I've listened to "Bastard" and it still remains good.  Anyway, "Circulatory System Overhaul" is from the No Interference album that I've been using as bedtime music for a while and the riff in that song sticks with me.  

And since Dysrhythmia is instrumentals only, no lyrics for you.
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