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5476  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Final Fantasy VI Advance, a query on: April 12, 2008, 03:21:53 PM
Quote from: "Morphamadol"
In fact I think FFIX is really under rated as far as Final Fantasy's go, I never understood why either.

Someone once said that FF9 is like macaroni and cheese.  It's very good and you like it, but it's not an extreme, exciting, "love it/hate it" flavor that FF7 and FF8 were.  People vehemently loved and vehemently hated FF7 and FF8.  With FF9, people mostly just liked it.  It was a throwback title to the days of yore.  It didn't try to push the genre envelope like FF7 and 8 did and it's for that reason that people are probably more ambivalent to it as opposed to 7 and 8.  

I've had love/hate relationships with FF7 and 8.  I liked FF9 from beginning to end.  But I remember my experiences with FF7 and 8 more vividly than I do 9.  

Speaking of darkness in FF games, maybe it's because my benchmark for what I consider a dark video game is something like a Shin Megami Tensei game or Still Life for PC, I don't really recall any FF games being "dark."  They've been morose and sometimes depressing, but not dark in that more sinister gothic macabre way.  I would be curious to see how a macabre FF would turn out.  Would it still retain its FF-ness, or will it be a case like Bahamut Lagoon, where it was supposed to be Final Fantasy Tactics, but because it veered so far away from the FF-ness that it became a whole 'nother game?  I don't know, I just cannot see Final Fantasy in a Boogiepop Phantom mold.  

As for FF6, though I wasn't fond of the title, it was part of the JRPG evolution in the 16-bit days where storylines went beyond the veneer of high adventure and included heavier themes like death and loss.
5477  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Death Note sucks on: April 12, 2008, 02:33:54 PM
Death Note is something of a gateway anime, in my opinion.  That kind of darkly twisted, noir, more macabre anime was hardly shown on US television so it definitely had an impact.  If it encourages anime fans to explore other stuff like, say, Boogiepop Phantom then fantastic.  Boogiepop Phantom's one of my personal faves.  

We could express similar sentiments about RPGs and RPG fans with FF7.  I was one who got into them via FF7, but after exploring, I found other great JRPGs like the Megami Tensei series.  

I don't think Death Note's a bad series, but it's not one I'm thrilled about.  I found it too heavy handed for my tastes.

EDIT: I think one manga that works better as an anime is Beck.  After all, how can you have a story about music without audible music?  That's why though the Beck manga may have more details in the storylines, the anime really brings it to life because we get to see the band play shows and hear their music.
5478  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment: 15th Anniversary Edition on: April 11, 2008, 08:35:07 PM

Man, only a state like New Jersey could produce a crazy-ass band like Mothguts.  Imagine Behold... The Arctopus with a saxophone player added.  It's wild and I love it!  I tell you, I would totally cream my pants if Mothguts, Behold... The Arctopus, and Dysrhythmia played a show together.  

It's not a song of the moment, but it's "band of the moment."
5479  The Rest / General Discussions / Tell me something... on: April 10, 2008, 09:18:44 PM
Redeemed, if I recall correctly you work at an inner-city school, right?  I intern at an inner-city school myself and could totally see some of the kids there pulling a stunt like that.  

But on a lighter, more sarcastic, and unfunnily funny note, I would like to blame students' snarly behavior this spring on standardized testing.  Here in NJ, we're doing testing from March till May and it's driving everyone crazy.  3-4th grade NJAsk and GEPAs in March, K-2nd grade Terra Novas in April, 5-7th grade NJAsks in May... too much fucking standardized testing.  And that's not even mentioning HSPAs and various other high school tests.  The high school counselors were running themselves ragged in March over HSPAs.  

Don't get me wrong, I do think standardized testing can be useful if implemented properly, but it's so badly implemented in this country (and in most states) that it's stifling everyone.  Guidance counselors are stifled because they're coordinating the testing and have no time for counseling, when students probably need them most.  Teachers are stifled because they have to teach to the test and can't teach in their own ways.  Students are stifled as a result and even the young ones become disillusioned about school.  Parents are going WTF about all these needless standardized tests.  And everyone's pulling their hair out over these damn tests.  

I love being an educator, but I don't always like it.
5480  The Rest / General Discussions / Power Down - The Most Useless Power Ups in Videogames on: April 10, 2008, 09:01:38 PM
I thought it was an RPG cliche that the item gained from beating the uber-hard optional boss seems impressive but is really a useless trinket.  I mean, when you get the Sherriff's Star from beating Ragu Ragula in Wild Arms, it initially seems like an impressive item but when you realize that you beat Ragu Ragula without it and could thus decimate the final boss with ease, it just seems like a worthless trinket.  Well, okay, it does bestow the power of bragging rights unto a player, but that's not necessarily a good thing.
5481  The Rest / General Discussions / RPGFan Gaming Journal: The Road to Infinity on: April 09, 2008, 07:40:35 PM
DPB, battles in Persona 2 go MUCH faster if you turn off the battle animations in the menu.
5482  The Rest / General Discussions / So, anyone going to any conventions this summer? on: April 07, 2008, 08:48:37 AM
Just thought I'd start a thread about summer conventions and see who's going to what.  I mean, now is the time to plan, book hotel rooms, and all that so that they don't get sold out.  

What other conventions are people going to this summer?  What are said conventions about?  Anyone want to share past experiences and anecdotes about conventions you've been to?  

I'm planning on going to ConnectiCon (in Hartford, Connecticut) this summer http://www.connecticon.org/ so if any of you louts are also planning to go, let me know and we can meet up and wreak havoc and mayhem all over the place.  No, I will not wear a costume and yes I do shower daily.
5483  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Star ocean 4 on: April 06, 2008, 09:27:53 AM
Agreed DPB.  That brief taste of postmodern towards the tail end of the game was too little too late.
5484  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment: 15th Anniversary Edition on: April 06, 2008, 07:38:07 AM
My SOTM choice is a song by the new German rock band Tokio Hotel, whose sound is in the vein of AFI.  The song in German is "Ubers Ende der Welt" and in English it's "Ready, Set, Go."  Many times I've heard foreign bands do English translations of their songs and they're terrible.  However, the English lyrics on this one flow well and stay as true as possible to the German ones.  

http://www.youtube.com/v/3Q12mowBhPE (English)

http://www.youtube.com/v/_kircgFAXvg (German)

(All lyrics culled from the internet.  I already see errors in the German lyrics, but I'm too lazy to correct them. )
German lyrics:

wir sind durch die stadt gerannt
haben keinen ort mehr gekannt
an dem wir nicht schon einmal waren

wir haben alles ausprobiert
die freiheit endet hier
wir müssen jetzt
durch diese wand

verlager dein gewicht
den abgrund siehst du nicht

achtung, fertig, schloss und lauf
vor uns bricht der himmel auf
wir schaffen es zusammen übers
ende dieser welt
die hinter uns zerfällt

wir schauen noch mal zurück
es ist der letzte blick
auf alles, was für immer war

komm, atme noch mal ein
es kann der anfang sein
morgen ist zum ??? nah

verlager dein gewicht
den abgrund siehst du nicht


lass uns alles hinter dir
es gibt nichts mehr zu verlieren
alles hinter dir und mir
hält uns nicht mehr auf

verlager dein gewicht
guck mir ins gesicht

English lyrics:
We were running though the town
Our senses had been drowned
A place we hadn't been before

We learned to live and then
Our freedom came to an end
We have to break down this wall
Too young to live a lie
Look into my eyes

Ready, set, go it's time to run
The sky is changing we are one
Together we can make it while the world is crashing down
Don't you turn around

We are looking back again
Our loneliness and pain
Never been so wide awake

Breathe slowly in and out
somewhere beyond the clouds
I can see the morning break
Too young to live a lie
Look into my eyes


Leave it all behind you now
The final wall is breaking down
We are all it's all about
Nothing can stop us now

I promise you right know
I never let you down

[Chorus x2]

Don't you turn around
Don't you turn around
5485  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Star ocean 4 on: April 06, 2008, 07:22:11 AM
But the promise of sci-fi, futuristic stuff, and the exploration of space has always been in Star Ocean games, and all of them (1, 2, and 3) have blue-balled us on this and stuck us on backwater bumfuck planets for the entire game.  I hope Star Ocean 4 makes good on its promise of interstellar travel and more sci-fi futuristic stuff.

EDIT: And I hope it defies the trend of bad English VA.  SO2's was exceptionally bad.  SO3's was an improvement (Nel was great), but some of it was just *gag* like Farleen.

EDIT 2: As for the updated trailer, despite it being 4 minutes long and the teaser being 1 minute long, I didn't feel the trailer really showed anything beyond what the tiny teaser did.
5486  Media / Single-Player RPGs / The World Ends With You on: April 04, 2008, 06:30:03 PM
In listening to the samples in Ramza's soundtrack review, those are not very appealing, though perhaps they'll be better within the context of the game.  I do like the track that plays on the official website, though, especially that quieter interlude bit.  http://www.theworldendswithyou.com
5487  The Rest / General Discussions / A pregnant man? on: April 04, 2008, 06:18:24 PM
Ladies: So what are you going to name the child?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: If is a boy, Junior.  If is a girl... Junior.

You all remember that movie, right?
5488  Media / Single-Player RPGs / The World Ends With You on: April 04, 2008, 04:27:16 PM
Given my real life obligations, a 15 hour game can easily last me a long time.  25 hours is the most I can handle these days.  40 is just too long.  No matter.  Many full price action games are under 25 hours and they're worth the price of admission.  

I have my copy preordered.  It seems fresh and sexy.  It sounds like a stew with elements of Jet Grind Radio (visuals), Ontamarama (gameplay), Persona 3 (music), and a classic escape story.

And in looking at the character designs, it's nice to see Nomura branching out a little bit.  No bishie looking guys with ridiculously accessorized outfits.  Okay, the folks in TWEWY have exaggerated street clothes, but it's "normal" for Nomura.  Yeah, I'm digging his art style here.
5489  Media / Single-Player RPGs / what is your addition to the console rpg formula? on: April 04, 2008, 07:39:28 AM
Quote from: "MeshGearFox"

And what did Tales of Symphonia have?

any auto-journal. A journal that automatically updates with quest goals and information and logs bits of storyline, for future reference.

this is useful if you're like me and don't have an attention span.

Or if you have a busy schedule and can't play daily.  If, say, you can't play a game for two weeks, the log allows you to not forget where you left off.

EDIT:  And it seems to me as if western PC RPGs and graphic adventures have the elements we would most like to see in JRPGs.  

You know, despite only being a 3 hour game, Remote Control (designed by David Irwin on the PSOne RPG Maker) is probably one of the absolutely best designed Japanese style RPGs I've ever played.  http://www.rpgmpavilion.com/index.php?page=rm1full
5490  The Rest / General Discussions / RPGFan Gaming Journal: The Road to Infinity on: April 01, 2008, 10:33:43 PM
I had a chance to try out the demo of Aquaria some.  Aquaria is an independently developed game by bit blot http://www.bit-blot.com with its own proprietary engine and everything.  

Not a bad game.  It's a 2D side-scroller with some beautiful background art.  It's kinda like Symphony of the Night meets The Little Mermaid.  I like the premise of the story about a simple "feral" creature who discovers her own consciousness and sense of self.  Gameplay's a little slippery, but still good.  Bug ugh, why save points in a PC game?  Lame.  

It's fantastic to see independent developers doing such cool stuff.
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