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5491  Media / The Soundroom / The Beatles on: June 02, 2007, 05:42:49 PM
Tangent:  That brings up one reason I didn't work out with my old band.  They all creamed their pants over Oasis and I hate Oasis with a passion.  I always thought they were talentless, overrated hacks who wrote shit songs and the only thing they were good for was to point and laugh at them for beating each other up.  I with the brothers had just killed each other off and spared us from the crap that is Oasis.

Worst fucking band ever.  

Money is not the sole driving factor of musicians.  The Beatles never set out to make money, change the world, or revolutionize music.  They just wrote the music they believed in and the rest followed suit.  If you go to local venues (especially basement shows) to see local bands play, most of them are all about playing the music they believe in.  Money's just a nice bonus.  Touring bands who play underground are lucky if they even get some gas money from a basement gig.  But they still do it because they love to play.  

Money IS howere, the sole driving factor of major record labels, radio stations, and channels like MTV.  Why do you think there are so many bands signed to majors that all look and sound the same?  Because it's what's trendy and what's trendy sells.  With record labels, it's all about looking good with a guitar rather than being able to actually play.
5492  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Anime/Manga Journal on: June 02, 2007, 05:31:53 PM
I finally finished watching Noir.  Episodes 20-26 were some of the most edge-of-my-seat anime I've ever seen.  The series always kept me in the hotseat waiting to see how things would resolve themselves at the end and the ending was at once satisfying yet also not happy.  

Many anime endings leave me feeling cheated or virtually "blue balled" if you don't mind me being crass.  But not Noir.  That alone earns is serious points in my book.  

I'm now ready to say that Noir is my favorite anime series, because unlike other "favorite" series, I want to put the first volume back in and watch it all over again.  Other series I've seen where I was like "whoa that was awesome" I didn't want to go back and do it all over again.  

Everything about that series was perfect for me.  The plot was solid and easy to follow, but was not a shallow throwaway plot either.  The pacing was absolutely perfect and kept me interested and compelled from beginning to end.  If it had been paced any faster, I'd have been like "huh, what just happened?" I personally think that the people who say Noir is slow paced or boring have ADD or something, because I didn't find the pacing slow or boring at all.  In fact, I found some of the quieter moments in the series the most interesting, for example
Code:
the episode with Kirika and the painter and where Kirika had to relearn that being marked for death means that getting close to people and having any semblance of a normal life is a no go.  And Kirika always longed for some sense of normalcy.
 The visuals were terrific (Mireille is still the most gorgeous anime character I've ever laid eyes on), and the music was always awesome.  

If there was one thing this anime had, it was style.  I loved how they only showed blood selectively otherwise it'd have been more splatter than art.  

I definitely want to check out the other BeeTrain girls with guns anime.  I believe the Madlax boxset's coming out later in the year and I look forward to the US release of El Cazador de la Bruja.  I've heard mixed things about Madlax, but so far I've heard good things about El Cazador..

Still, my favorite girls with guns manga will always be Gunsmith Cats.  Bean Bandit's f'n awesome.
5493  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Which Shin Megami Tensei & Devil Summoner Games in US? on: June 02, 2007, 08:07:45 AM
Another one was Revelations: The Demon Slayer on Game Boy color.  That game wasn't very good, though.  I've heard other Last Bible games were better, but those stayed in Japan.
5494  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm on: May 31, 2007, 05:24:04 PM
In looking at our own reviews and stuff for it, even our resident Gust-lover Pat/Ramza didn't like Atelier Iris 3 as much as the other 2 or Ar Tonelico.  

One thing to note about the Atelier series, be it Atelier Marie, Elie, Lise, whatever, is that they're more driven by the alchemic gameplay and have rather bare-bones plotlines.  Atelier Iris was the first of the Atelier games to actually add meat and depth to the storyline.  Atelier Iris 2 had a deeper storyline than its predecessor (even if the characters were not quite as endearing.)  But it seems Atelier Iris 3 is veering back to the more alchemy/less story paradigm.  

But that may not be a bad thing for fans.  Speaking purely for myself, in Atelier Iris 1, I spent more time doing alchemy/item creation than actually advancing the plot.
5495  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: May 31, 2007, 09:01:42 AM
Act 5 in Odin Sphere.  I'm itching to get done with Gwendolyn's book and move on to another character.  

Is there any platform jumping or anything in Odin Sphere?  Normally I loathe platform jumping, but I'd actually welcome some of that here because otherwise the stages do get monotonous.

I'm pretty impressed at how good the voice acting is, both English and Japanese.  Believe me, having played as many import love adventures as I've played, I've heard Japanese voice acting that was mediocre and/or even downright bad.  So hearing the Japanese VA in Odin Sphere was a nice treat since all of it has been really freaking good so far.  And what I've heard of the English dub is good- everyone's cast really well thus far.  

http://youtube.com/watch?v=7e_24dR2Hrs (This is proof that Japanese VA can indeed suck hard.  Then again, fighting games usually never have good or even mediocre voice acting.)
5496  The Rest / General Discussions / Do you like sequels with or without continuity? on: May 31, 2007, 08:21:04 AM
Tangent- speaking of Golden Sun, wasn't that supposed to be a trilogy?  Whatever happened to the 3rd Golden Sun?  

You know, maybe even trilogy is too much in gaming.  Maybe a part I and part II are enough.  If each part is a 30-50 hour game, surely that's enough to tell a full story, right?  I mean, a 26 episode TV series with half-hour episodes can tell a complete story in less than 13 hours.  

Continuity in gaming can be a good thing, if done right and with considerations for various factors exclusive to gaming such as development costs, whether those costs were recouped in sales of the first installment, development times, projected console lifespan, etc.  

The idea of a serialized 8 or 24 part RPG saga?  Not a good idea.  2-3 games in a serialized subset of an overarching umbrella series?  A better idea, since there's brand recognition with the umbrella series.
5497  Media / Single-Player RPGs / jRPGs need a new name... on: May 31, 2007, 08:04:18 AM
Grinding Adventure Game= GAG!  

Yeah, let's call Japanese RPGs GAGs!  

What?  No one likes GAGs?  

Good, because I don't either.
5498  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Ar Tonelico, the Romance, and Cheddar... on: May 30, 2007, 08:08:38 PM
If some of you people are expecting awesome romance and awesome development of female characters in JRPGs, then you need to play some Japanese graphic adventures.  Many of those games have far more emphasis on character driven storylines and human drama than your average RPG.  

I think the best development of female characters in a video game goes to Ever17.  The way Tsugumi and Sora develop throughout the story gets pretty intense at times.  Hourglass of Summer developed its heroines really well too, and is still the best love adventure I've ever played.  And believe me, I've played quite a few.  

And, yes, Ever17 and Hourglass are available in English.  

To answer your question Prime Mover, no I didn't particularly think FF8's romance was all that well done.  Like everything else about that game, there was potential and some really neat ideas, but ultimately the execution was clumsy.  I could go into detail about why I disliked it, but I'm too lazy to.  In short, I'll just say that the whole tacked-on "Blair Witch Hunt" bombastic and ultimately wacky world-ending plot completely destroyed any chance the game could have had to explore the themes of love and devotion on a deeper level than it ever did.
5499  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Odin Sphere out in US May 22nd, Dual language on: May 30, 2007, 08:01:11 PM
The only thing I can safely say I dislike in Odin Sphere is that stupid POW meter.  I'll be happily smashing the hell out of a bunch of baddies (or a boss) only to have my pow run out and be immobilized for a few seconds while I get my ass handed to me.  

Cheap and lame.  

Why should I have to be penalized for doing combos and hack & slashing the hell out of enemies?  It's not like the game lets me do other stuff like chat over tea with my foes.  All I can do is beat the shit out of them and getting penalized for doing so is asinine.  

And man, I thought the easy difficulty level would be a free ride, but it sure ain't.  I'm getting my ass repeatedly handed to me by Odin because he's really freaking cheap.
5500  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Xenosaga 2 - Why all the hate? on: May 30, 2007, 04:02:41 PM
Remember, Xenosaga was initially supposed to be a 6 game series, but various circumstances prevented that from happening.  So if we had gotten 4, 5, and 6, maybe then XSII would have had more of an impact.  If you read the database in the beginning of XSIII, it does feel like there should have been something between II and III.  

So in the proposed 6 game arc context, XSII would have probably had more meaning.  But since the series was accelerated and cut short...
5501  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Ar Tonelico, the Romance, and Cheddar... on: May 30, 2007, 02:40:17 PM
Sexuality is one of those subjects that is still difficult to handle in the gaming medium.  In most cases, it's not handled that well at all.  It can sometimes be silly like in God of War.  It can often be handled immaturely.  In hentai games, it's often completely degenerate filth grounded in some kind of brain damaged fantasy.  

Heck, I think sexuality is handled in a piss poor and often immature way in most movies and TV shows (independent and art-house media notwithstanding), particularly in the US.  

I think JRPG writers tend to avoid it because there is that whole ideal of pure and innocent protagonists and all that.  JRPGs are part of that perfect world where purity, chastity, and innocence are still highly regarded and will light the way to a saved world.  

In some games I've played in recent years, such as Exodus Guilty or Phantom of Inferno, there are characters who are either very aware of their own sexuality and/or are in or have been in sexual relationships.  Nothing in those games that would raise eyebrows, but it's a nice change of pace from the very "virginal" vibe Japanese developers like to have in love adventures and such.   (Not that there's anything wrong with that.  Some of my favorite love adventures have been of the "innocent" kind.  It just gets old and overly idealistic after a while.)

Still, I'd rather the whole idea of sexuality be avoided or sidestepped in a game than be portrayed and written in a crappy fashion.  I think some of the better portrayals of sexuality in the gaming medium has come from some of the graphic adventures created by European developers.
5502  The Rest / General Discussions / Do you like sequels with or without continuity? on: May 30, 2007, 02:24:40 PM
The only time said "serialized" sequels become a burden is when, say, the plan is made for a 6-8 game series, but due to myriad factors has to be cut down to 3-4.  

El Dorado Gate for Dreamcast comes to mind as a serialized RPG that was forced to cut itself short due to the Dreamcast's untimely demise.  Xenosaga too had to cut itself short big time.  Need I mention ShenMue too?

Trilogies can work in gaming, but more than that is begging for disaster given the factors of development time, writing, and console life among others.  Anything more than a trilogy?  Probably work better as a series of books or a TV miniseries than as games.

I do like when there is continuity between games in a series, but 3 is the magic number as far as I'm concerned.  I believe some game series like Dragon Quest have storylines broken down into trilogies.
5503  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Odin Sphere out in US May 22nd, Dual language on: May 30, 2007, 02:09:01 PM
I'm loving Odin Sphere thus far for the simple fact that the game is unabashedly fun.  Sure everything is a bit over the top like in a fairy tale, but, well, it's about a girl reading a fairy tale.  Fairy tale characters take their world and situations seriously even if us real-worlders find it all absurd.  I found the self-aggrandizing propaganda on the box really freaking funny.  

I'm using the "easy" difficulty level because I downright suck at action games and even then, I find myself dying.  Game is really forgiving if you die, though.  I like planting grape trees and feeding them phozons from Phozon trees to gain loads of EXP.  

It certainly isn't the best 2D side-scrolling RPG out there (that honor belongs to Castlevania: SotN) but I like it.  Maybe I like it because I tend not to take my gaming too seriously.  Odin Sphere is what it is and I like what it is.
5504  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Sega History on: May 30, 2007, 08:29:33 AM
I think the Saturn could have been a contender, were it not for Sega's track record for notoriously bad business decisions.  Who thought the whole "surprise" launch would be a good idea?  I mean, when you're launching a system as expensive as that one was back in the day, you need to hype it up so that people will actually have time to save their money for it.  

Thing was a 2D powerhouse and had a darn good RPG library as well and was also darn good for fighting games.  (My favorite genre outside of RPG and graphic adventure is fighting.)  

Yeah, I still hold fast to the opinion that Sega didn't tank due to bad product, but rather due to incompetent business practices.  Sure people can say that they wasted time, money, and effort on useless peripherals like the 32x, but at least Sega was taking some risks at being innovative.  If Sega had better business sense, then they could have kicked major ass in all console generations.  

I still love some classic Sega commercials, though.  Genesis does what Nintendon't.  And I love the commercial for ShenMue where the male narrator's talking about the game during a montage of screenshots but when he mentions Nozomi it cuts to the girl he's making with on the bed angrily saying "Nozomi?!?!?!  Who's NOZOMI?!?!?!?!?"    

This thread makes me wonder... what if the Dreamcast had succeeded (meaning it was a runaway financial success)?  Where would Sega be now?  What if Panzer Dragoon Saga and Shining Force 3 (all scenarios) were remade for Dreamcast?  I mean, that's what RPG fans wanted, right?

Re: Alex Kidd.  Never said it was "better" than Sonic.  Comparing Alex Kidd to Sonic is like comparing oranges to cucumbers.  Completely different flavors.  Both had good games, but I just preferred Alex Kidd over Sonic.
5505  The Rest / General Discussions / GamePro: 11 Worst Video Game Trends on: May 29, 2007, 05:06:03 PM
Prime Mover- system specs are a biggie for me too.  Hence why I go more for graphic adventures such as Syberia or The Longest Journey, because they'll play on most plebian's PCs and still look great.  And since Planetscape came out in '99, it's sure to run on most anyone's PC these days.
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