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5461  The Rest / General Discussions / Game books on: June 14, 2007, 10:35:25 AM
This one import game I played briefly for Dreamcast called deSPIRIA was like a point and click adventure with turn-based RPG battles.  I never played a game quite like that one.  

Lard- I recall that a few Fighting Fantasy books did occasionally have group combat.  I believe Seas of Blood had some crew/ ship-to-ship battles.  But, yeah, Fighting Fantasy was always pretty much a solo struggle.  

One thing I realized about the Way of the Tiger books that I liked was the ability to choose what kind of strikes I would use against an opponent.  I thought that was pretty boss.  

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the statistics/innovations found in video games were originally drawn from gamebooks.  For example, the sanity meter in Eternal Darkness made me think of House of Hades's (House of Hell outside the US) psychological resistance meter where each encounter added points and accumulating too many points would cause you to die of fright.
5462  The Rest / General Discussions / Pepsi Cucumber.....? on: June 13, 2007, 11:25:47 PM
And Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda isn't serious?  That's a legitimate soda sold year-round not as a gag (though it does make some people gag.  I personally kinda like it in a weird way.)
5463  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: June 13, 2007, 11:21:45 PM
Kickin' it REAL old school, baby.  1980s old school.  This game journal entry is definitely inspired by that Game Books thread, which made me fondly remember my enjoyment of the Fighting Fantasy series.  I managed to snag a cheap, preowned, and clean (read: no markings on the pages) copy of the book Rebel Planet, from the Fighting Fantasy series.  I had lost my original copy of Rebel Planet in a move, so I definitely wanted a 'new' copy.  

Not a video game, but certainly has the elements we expect in a good console RPG: story, battle, exploration, and some puzzles.  It's like a single player tabletop RPG with a more streamlined interface and a story penned by an author and not by "you."  

More about Fighting Fantasy can be found in the Game Books thread, but in a nutshell, Fighting Fantasy gamebooks are like single-player, story-centered, tabletop RPGs where you keep track of stats and use dice for battles.  To me, it's kinda like console RPGs before RPG worthy consoles existed.  

Anyway, I gave it a read/play today.  Still as good as I remember it being, and just as challenging too (I died/ Game Over'd a LOT.)  Despite being written in the 1980s, it didn't feel dated like vintage sci-fi tends to.  Some of the stuff actually seemed plausible and the story was surprisingly well-written for a gamebook.  

I pretty much did a straight & narrow run to the end, but I missed out on a lot of the more interesting subplots.  Yeah, I know my time for exploring the planets was limited and there were many cool NPCs I didn't get to chit-chat with much, but I definitely want to play/read it again to check out some of the subplots.
5464  The Rest / General Discussions / Pepsi Cucumber.....? on: June 13, 2007, 10:57:36 PM
Well, in the good ol' US of A we have that turkey flavored soda during Thanksgiving.  Oh, and Dr. Brown's makes that "Cel-Ray" celery flavored soda.  That's a weird soda.
5465  The Rest / General Discussions / Game books on: June 13, 2007, 09:05:32 PM
How could I forget.  Comprehensive gamebook link http://www.gamebooks.org

I think part of the reason I was a little intimidated by Fighting Fantasy as a kid (besides the scary art and more descriptive violence in the text) was that there were more consequences associated with fighting, death, killing, etc. than in more simplistic gamebooks like CYOA.  Winning a battle within an inch of your life in Fighting Fantasy carries significantly more consequence than a life-or-death struggle in a more simplistic gamebook.

I believe Seas of Blood and Rebel Planet were made into Commodore 64 text adventure games with some graphics.  http://homepages.tesco.net/~parsonsp/html/c64_gamebooks.html should have a couple of Rebel Planet and Seas of Blood screens.  

Part of me wonders what a Fighting Fantasy gamebook would be like as a more modern RPG since there are encounters and turn-based combat built into the books.  However, another part of me likes them just fine as books and I can use my imagination to create the visual environments of the adventures.  

Genres like Japanese visual novels and love adventures embrace and heavily use the CYOA format.
5466  Media / The Soundroom / s0nG oF tEh mOmEnt on: June 13, 2007, 08:15:42 AM
Deg, you're 2 months and 12 days late for April Fool's Day.  

My songs of the moment: Last week I saw my friend Seth Bisen-Hersh's talent showcase, so in honor of that I have to have his hit song "If Only I Were Gay" as a song of the moment.  

Last week, I also saw my friends in Le Adder Noir perform and because I like their song "Lost Creatures" so much they even said "this one's for Neal since he loves this song" which was awesome.  

Sharing the stage with Le Adder Noir was this unique band called Double Breasted which consisted of a harpist, a cellist, and a drummer.  They were really good, so song of the moment in their honor is "Janus." http://www.myspace.com/doublebreasted
5467  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Ar-Tonelico II on: June 12, 2007, 08:07:35 PM
That Ar-Tonelico trailer didn't even show any of that.  Zero game footage, flash or otherwise.  Just slow scrolling over still pictures of art.  It reminds me of those old Infinity commercials back in the late 80s/early 90s where they show nature scenery, a narrator would talk about some nature bullshit, but they'd never show the goddamned car.
5468  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Ar-Tonelico II on: June 12, 2007, 07:45:44 PM
Heavens to Betsy was that trailer ever boring.  Game aside, that was one poorly designed trailer.  It moved way too slowly and didn't show anything; no gameplay footage, no battles... If the point of a trailer is to generate interest in a game, it failed miserably here.  And though the music was nice and soothing, I'm not sure I want a lullaby during a trailer.  Put me to sleep, it did.

EDIT:  I'm with Dennis in that the Soul Nomad trailer was f'n awesome.  That's how a trailer should be done.  Show some graphical flair, show some gameplay, show/tell me something about the game that would pique my interest, and play some good music.
5469  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst RPG you've ever played. on: June 12, 2007, 03:22:06 PM
Games like Shining The Holy Ark, Shining in the Darkness, and Shining Soul I do not see as part of the Shining FORCE series.  I see Shining as an overarching umbrella with a bunch of sub-series, kinda like MegaTen.  

To me, anything with the Shining FORCE moniker should be an SRPG, and IMO Shining Force Neo and Exa were an embarassment to the series.  Not simply because they weren't SRPGs, but also because I didn't think they were very good games, period.      

If it's Shining Soul, Shining Star, or Shining Bagodonuts, it can do whatever the hell it wants.  But when I see Shining FORCE I have certain expectations.  It's like when I pick up a bottle of Jack Daniels.  I'd be really pissed off if all of a sudden I take a swig from a bottle of Jack and it tastes like strawberry kiwi lemonade instead of bourbon.  

Either way, it's impossible to pick an objective worst RPG.  We all have our own subjective criteria as to what we consider shit.  In any thread like this we see responses like Quest 64 (an almost universally panned RPG) to FF7 (which was a quality game.)  And then you have games like the NIS SRPGs where the reasons people love them are the same reasons people hate them.
5470  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Soul Nomad/Cradle on: June 12, 2007, 03:08:48 PM
If you read the press release on NISA's site, it will tell you more about the game and the play mechanics.  http://www.nisamerica.com/pressevent/2007/index.html
5471  The Rest / General Discussions / New Sodom wants to ban the Blue Angels on: June 12, 2007, 08:35:08 AM
"-mongering" is never a good thing.  I don't like the misguided warmongering regarding the blunder Iraq war, but misguided peacemongering can be just as bad.  Almost like liberalism vs. conservatism taken to extremes; Michael Moore is just as scary as Dubya.  I don't want Dubya running the country, but I wouldn't want Michael Moore running it either.  

I say if you're going to promote war or peace, choose your battles wisely.  Grounding the Blue Angels is a wasted effort that doesn't make an ounce of difference in any greater cause save to fart in the general direction of the military and create a publicity stir.  

The whole "planes could fall on people" is a lame ass coverup.  And the whole "OMG Blue Angels are army drafter people who will take me, my kids, whomever away" just sounds way too much like paranoid conspiracy theory.  And I personally find most conspiracy theory to be bullshit anyway.  

Whatever.  The bottom line is that I think the SF government had some rather lame reasons for grounding the Blue Angels and that the Blue Angels should, and easily can, find a new venue where they'll be lauded and appreciated.  

I love air shows.  Something about the sky gets my adrenaline pumping.  That's why the thrill of my life was when I went skydiving after my HS graduation.
5472  Media / Single-Player RPGs / PC/Console separation needs to exist... on: June 12, 2007, 08:23:05 AM
Thing is, gaming is a business whether you like it or not.  And any business always looks to expand its market to make more money.  And the gaming business needs to make more money to offset higher development and marketing costs for games.  

Hence why you're seeing platforms try to appeal to another platform's market base.  

And for all the people whining that gaming's becoming too convergent or too "mainstream" there are always developers and publishers who are appealing to the more "hardcore" (for lack of a better word) constituent.
5473  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst RPG you've ever played. on: June 12, 2007, 08:15:37 AM
Eus- if you're going to go with drastic changes ruining a series, Shining Force by a longshot, man.  Any non-SRPG Shining Force game has been terrible.  

I've already mentioned that Lufia's another series that could have become an A-list series, but after the joke that was Legend Returns and the abomination that was Ruins of Lore, there's no saving that series.  One masterpiece, one good game, and two shitpiles?  Odds aren't in Lufia's favor.
5474  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Soul Nomad/Cradle on: June 12, 2007, 08:08:29 AM
I tried to preorder this a few weeks back, but it wasn't even on the EBgames/Gamestop system.  It's definitely under the radar.  I like how NIS SRPGs often have you play an anti-hero, but this one seems to really flip the script.
5475  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst RPG you've ever played. on: June 11, 2007, 06:06:03 PM
Oh snap... despite my assertion that Tecmo: Secret of the Stars is the worst RPG ever, Ashton had to remind me about Lufia: Ruins of Lore.  Oh my goodness, that game must have done everything in its power to piss me off.  I'm surprised I actually endured it for 14 hours.  

I know all sewer and desert dungeons in RPGs are the absolute most annoying, but the sewers in Lufia: Ruins of Lore take the cake.  

Lufia was good, Lufia 2 was a masterpiece, Lufia: The Legend Returns for GBC was a joke, and Lufia: Ruins of Lore for GBA was utter crap.  The Lufia series could have been an A-list series, but it's gone completely down the toilet.
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