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5431  The Rest / General Discussions / The best rappers are illiterate. on: August 09, 2007, 08:52:28 AM
I love the way 50 cent is insinuating so backhandedly that the hip-hop audience are a bunch of illiterate schmucks, hence why Nas is losing appeal.
5432  The Rest / General Discussions / Best ethnic accent? on: August 09, 2007, 08:43:17 AM
Now we're getting into languages that are more aesthetically pleasing to the ears than others.  Many people may prefer hearing songs in Italian, Spanish, or Hindi (to give some examples) over hearing songs in German, Dutch or Tamil, because the former languages are more flowy wheares the latter ones have harder consonants and are more guttural.  

Japanese itself utilizes more hard consonants than, say, Mandarin Chinese, which is more flowy.
5433  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #666 on: August 09, 2007, 08:34:06 AM
I'm on disk 2 of Xenosaga 3 now.  
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Yuriev, using Gaignun's body, has taken over the Durandal.  I always suspected something about Gaignun from the moment his eyes met Shion's back in the first game.  Gaignun was just way too smooth.


Shion's still a petulant child, though given her past I'm more sympathetic as to why she is how she is regarding interpersonal relationships.  I'm sure therapists and counselors often get clients who present issues the way that Shion does.  Shion'd be a tough nut to crack in therapy because she gets really defensive and clams up when called out.  She totally needs therapy but because she likely denies she needs it, she goes seeking answers in all the wrong places.  

I still think Allen's a weenie, chaos has become progressively cooler throughout the series, Virgil's always been awesome, and Captain Matthews has yet to be topped as my favorite series character.  

I liked a couple of scenes that ended disk 1.  
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I liked when the gang was running away from Labrynthos through the burning city, a piece of an ES nearly hit Jr, Jr yells at them to be more careful, and chaos remorsefully says "sorry."  It was a meaningful moment, but an amusing one as well, because I "lived" that dogfight chaos and Canaan were in during Xenosaga 2's intro.  

I also liked Virgil's redemption.  That guy was one tortured and twisted soul.  The only time he ever got to be his true self was when he was with Febronia.  He's right that he's not much different from Shion.  Both definitely show classic signs of insecure attachment.  Shion obviously does this by acting childish and throwing tantrums at people (especially Jin) when things don't go her way.  Virgil does this by hating Febronia for leaving him rather than loving her for protecting him.  It's like how an insecurely attached child, when separated from its mother, will throw a tantrum and be hard to placate, because it's angry that the mother left.  A securely attached child will be easy to placate and its dominant emotion will be happiness that mom's back.  
5434  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #666 on: August 07, 2007, 09:38:51 PM
End of chapter 5 in Xenosaga 3.  Many revelations concerning Shion's past.  HaKox is a very mean mini-game.
5435  The Rest / General Discussions / What makes a game age well? on: August 07, 2007, 08:16:32 PM
In looking at some of the recent threads rekindling our nostalgia for past games, I'm left to wonder- what is it about a game that makes it age well?  I'm sure we all have different aspects that we value and that's probably why some games age better to us than others.  

Many 8-bit games did not age well, in my opinion, because back then the concept of difficulty balance wasn't what it is today; many games were merciless because they were horribly cheap.  

Do graphics help or hinder a game's aging well?  Although a 16-bit game, I still think Chrono Trigger looks nice even now.  The art and everything still looks smooth.  Yet, when I look at some Playstation games, 3D has come such a long way that the polygon characters' faces look like mush whereas Playstation 2 games have faces that look like faces.  

I'm sure gameplay is a biggie here.  I mean, Tetris (and other puzzle games of that ilk) almost never get old to me.  

That's just two examples, but what is it about certain games that you think allows them to age well?  Discuss.
5436  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Top 3 Favourite/Least Favourite Squaresoft RPGs on: August 07, 2007, 07:43:26 PM
What are you talking about, DR?  I didn't know whether or not this thread was a "Squaresoft including FF" or "Squaresoft other than FF" thread, but I did say that if it was a "top 3 Square games that are NOT FF" then Secret of Mana would've been my #3 after Trigger and 'Gears.
5437  Media / Single-Player RPGs / top 3 best/worst Final Fantasy games (no spine-off) on: August 07, 2007, 02:29:36 PM
Just so this doesn't turn into another needless list thread (as list threads are frowned upon in the board rules), some exposition as to why you liked/disliked the FF games in your lists would be appreciated.  

/Dincrest the meanie schoolmarm signing off.
5438  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Top 3 Favourite/Least Favourite Squaresoft RPGs on: August 07, 2007, 02:23:17 PM
Why not?  

Tops:

1) Chrono Trigger.  I never get tired of that game.  I've probably sunk more hours into Chrono Trigger than any of my other RPGs.  If I were to have all my systems and games taken from me except one, I'd keep my SNES and Chrono Trigger.  The game has mojo.  More mojo than any other Square RPG I've ever played.  Chrono Cross is good, but for me it didn't have the mojo that Chrono Trigger has.

2) FF7.  I raved about that one in the FF thread, and this is the game that really started my RPG fandom.  Okay, the first ones I played to completion were the Genesis Phantasy Star games, but it was watching a friend play FF7 that gave me the urge.  

3) Xenogears.  Even though I had a rough time with the game, was ready to shelve it forever after 75 hours, and the game had some major flaws (difficulty balance issues, pacing issues esp. due to super slow text, twiddly resource management in Gear battles), it had an exquisite soundtrack and easily the best story ever told in an RPG.  The story was bold, daring, epic, and dealt with some pretty heavy themes.  

If my top 3 cannot have any FF games, then it'd be 1) Chrono Trigger 2) Xenogears and 3) Secret of Mana.  Secret of Mana looked beautiful, was really fun to play, and had a solid story.  SoM was also chock full of mojo.

Bottoms:

1) Parasite Eve 2.  I liked the first Parasite Eve game, and this one was pure suck.  The Resident Evil style control scheme was cumbersome and awkward.  The atmosphere and plot were pretty laughable.  The music was dull.  Visuals were pretty, though.  In short, a terrible sequel and a terrible game.  

2 and 1) Final Fantasy Legends 1 and 2.  Terrible games, though FFL3 wasn't *too* awful.  These games are everything that makes the SaGa series detestable by many RPGers.  Some SaGa games are enjoyable (I quite liked SaGa Frontier 1), but the FFL games have no redeeming qualities.  Cracker-thin plotlines, boring gameplay, horribly unblanced difficulty, etc.  I can't decide which one I liked worse.  They both were lousy.
5439  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #666 on: August 07, 2007, 10:09:44 AM
I'm 7-8 hours into Xenosaga 3.  I'm rescuing the Elsa.  

Man, the hours just seem to melt away when I'm playing this game.  I thought I missed the multi-button combo attacks from previous Xeno titles (gears and saga), but the current battle engine is fine.  

It is too bad that the series had to end prematurely and everything.  Monolith really pulled out all the stops on this one and really made it the absolute best game of the series.
5440  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Anyone interested in Bioshock? on: August 07, 2007, 09:58:28 AM
But then that just gets into that hairy debate of "what is an RPG?"  I mean, the realm of role playing has a lot of grey areas.  Harvest Moon is considered an RPG, but it has no combat.  Gran Turismo isn't an RPG by a longshot, but you start out with a character (well a car), build it up through races, buy equipment, and all that other RPG stat-building stuff.  

Regardless of what BioShock is, it's still a title to get excited about IMO, since I really liked System Shock 2.  I like RPGs and spent countless hours playing FPS games like Doom, Heretic, Rise of the Triad, and Hexen when I was younger.
5441  Media / Single-Player RPGs / top 3 best/worst Final Fantasy games (no spine-off) on: August 07, 2007, 09:47:08 AM
You are quite bold to put FF6 in your shitlist as that's considered one of the best, if not *the* best FF game.  Honestly, I wasn't too fond of 6 either.  The pacing was slow and many aspects that others found compelling, I found wooden or soulless.  The soundtrack was exquisite though, save for the normal battle theme.  

For me, my top 3 are the Playstation era FF games because that's when I first got into the series.  I still consider FF7 the best FF game.  It's been a decade or more since that game was first released and people are STILL arguing and debating over various aspects of it.  Plus, after people saw that PS3 tech demo, everyone was talking about whether or not an FF7 remake with those sexy PS3 visuals would become reality.  That a 10+ year old game is still so sought after and debated so heavily is truly a mark of greatness.  

I had a love/hate relationship with FF7 when I first played it, but now I really love it.  One character that at first I wasn't really into ended up growing on me big time.  I didn't really like Tifa at first, but she really showed her strength of character late in the game.  

FF8 is an FF game I've played multiple times over.  I loved the modern/post modern feel, the soundtrack (I found FF8's soundtrack more enjoyable and consistent than FF7's, though the overland theme wasn't very good), and the world that was created.  I just wished the game had done more with the school ties and political aspects of the storyline rather than the witch hunt.  I thought the school ties and political intrigue were the best parts.  Disk 1 of FF8 was some of my favorite RPGing in the PSOne era.  It's only after disk 1 that the storyline flaws and more holes than Swiss cheese really jumped out at me.  Of course, Esthar remains one of my favorite RPG cities.  I love that colorful futuristic urban landscape as in Esthar or Solaris (Xenogears.)  

And I liked Squall because he was a genuine and flawed human being.  I shared a lot of personality traits with him when I was 15, and though that's an aspect of myself I'm not too fond of now, it was what it was.  He didn't have to be such a cold fish, but I think I'd be too if everyone I cared about in my childhood kept leaving me.  And after delving into my own family history, it wouldn't surprise me if my dad had Squallities as a kid, since he had a poor/unstable sense of family growing up as well.  

I like FF9 because it's the underdog.  It's the least talked-about and most forgotten FF game.  It's like macaroni and cheese- it's good and you like it, but it's not an exciting or exotic flavor.  I loved the characters (Zidane was a terrific lead), the gameplay system was very intuitive without all the needless tacked-on complexity that plagues modern FF games, great visuals... the game really captured the charm of the older FF games with a more modern touch.  Everyone complains that in modern FF games every character can learn all the same stuff and loses individuality.  Not so with FF9.  Each character stayed true to his/her class.  Sure there were some skills everyone could learn, but only Vivi could do black magic, only Eiko could cast Esuna, etc.  

FF9 was truly an excellent game.    

As for my least favorites:  

FF2- cheap difficulty and a cumbersome leveling up system.  

FF1- cheap difficulty

(I haven't played enough of 4 or 5 to judge, I haven't played 10, and since I'm not into online RPG, I passed on 11.)

FF12- I loved the story, characters (Balthier and Fran are kinda like the Han and Chewie of FF, but my favorite character was probably Basch), and locations (I could spend hours in Rabanastre) but I didn't find the gameplay fun at all, I thought the license board was tacked on and added needless complexity, and the game tended to drag big time.  

FF12 strikes me as a love it/hate it game.  The people who love it adore it and the people who hate it really loathe it.
5442  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Anyone interested in Bioshock? on: August 06, 2007, 08:22:17 AM
I don't have a 360 (can't afford one right now) but I am definitely excited about some of the upcoming titles like Mass Effect and Bioshock.  System Shock 2 was a very memorable game for me.  Even the first level was scary, and it just got better and better.
5443  The Rest / General Discussions / Funny Video Thread!!! on: August 06, 2007, 08:16:43 AM
I see no more reason to keep this thing open.  Old, dead, and we already have a live YouTube thread.
5444  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #666 on: August 05, 2007, 11:57:12 AM
Lard- Xenosaga 2 is notoriously imbalanced.  I would have smashed up my copy had I not used a Gameshark.  The story and music are terrific, but the imbalanced battles were lame.  Xenosaga 2 would have been much better had the battle system not had those stupid break zones.  

I've heard complaints about the dungeon crawling, but I didn't think the dungeons were that bad.  They were pretty linear and save points always appeared when I needed them.  I thought Xenosaga 1 was worse in that regard where dungeons were long and save points were infrequent.   Some of the dungeon puzzles in Xenosaga 2 were twiddly and lame though.

I don't care who people are and how they feel about video game cheat devices, but Xenosaga 2 is one game that completely justifies Gameshark usage.  

Xenosaga 3 is nothing like 2.  It's like in that game they finally figured out how to balance things properly and streamline the battle system.  Xenosaga 3 is pretty much universally regarded as the one installment where Monolith soft "got it right."

EDIT:  And battles in 3 are much easier than 1 and 2.
5445  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #666 on: August 05, 2007, 10:32:57 AM
I think I did about a dozen of the GS quests.  I liked those.  I didn't do the post game thing with
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the professor and Erde Kaiser
though.  Maybe I'll go back and do it eventually.  

I'm a couple hours into Xenosaga 3.  So far, excellent.  Smooth visuals, great music, intuitive gameplay, etc.  I will admit, though, that I miss the multi-button combo attacks from Xenogears and prior Xenosaga titles.  

Thing is, with it taking place 6 months after Xenosaga 2 and reading the database, I really wanted to play the
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Gnosis terrorism, Grimoire, Jr meeting Nephilim, the meeting of Doctus, Shion leaving Vector, etc.
rather than just read about them in the "this happened in the past 6 months" database.  I definitely agree with Damian's review that it felt like there should have been a game between 2 and 3.  

If the initial segment is any indication, it seems Shion's becoming less of a weenie.  Perhaps she actually did some growing up
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after leaving Vector and thus getting off the corporate baby bottle that was feeding her and keeping her immature.
 But I tell you, what IS it with Vector employees being whiny?  Shion was whiny.  Allen was even whinier.  And Miyuki was whiny as hell in the beginning segment of 3.
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