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5491  Media / Single-Player RPGs / GOTY? on: January 13, 2008, 10:04:07 AM
If we're doing biggest disappointment of 2007, I think you all know what mine is: Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner for PSP.
5492  Media / Single-Player RPGs / GOTY? on: January 12, 2008, 03:59:44 PM
So what would others have picked as their Game(s) of the Year 2007?  What are other peoples' top fives and why?  

My honorable mentions:
Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles (PSP)- A remake of Rondo of Blood; the original Rondo of Blood; and a retranslated Symphony of the Night with new English voice acting, the option for Japanese voice acting, and more Maria in all the games?  Sold!  Best value for any PSP owner's money since you can't really go wrong with two of the best Castlevania games ever.  By default, this should have made my top 5 since I adore SOTN, but I wanted to spotlight new titles over remakes.  Plus, I wasn't fond of having SOTN as an unlockable instead of accessible from the get-go, because Rondo is quite difficult.  

Naruto: Path of the Ninja (DS)- This was my pleasant surprise for 2007.  I never expected a Naruto game to be as good as this one was.  The story, writing, and characters are what really did it for me.  I couldn't believe that this brief game showcased more depth and development in its cast than many big name RPGs.  

Piece of Wonder (PC)- Ahh, Hirameki's swan song.  This strategy-RPG/love-adventure hybrid is far from a fantastic game, but it is the closest thing to Sakura Taisen that US audiences have ever seen.  Both the love adventure and SRPG components could have been tighter, but the game was fun and added some nice interactivity to love adventures.

Super Paper Mario (Wii)- That beautiful parody sequence of dating sims/love adventures is enough for me to honorably mention this game.  We need more satirical love adventures and dating sims with nerdy lizards.
5493  The Rest / General Discussions / POLITICS: I like Ron Paul on: January 11, 2008, 04:01:17 PM
Well, it looks like I won't be voting for Bill Richardson in the primaries.  He was IMO the best candidate out there, but he's dropped out of the race.  Too bad because he has impressive experience in all areas a president needs experience in.  I've heard rumors that Fred Thompson may be dropping out too.  

Anyone catch any of the South Carolina republican panel stuff?  As much as I dislike Ron Paul's policies, I must say when he's in a debate or panel discussion, he is the voice of reason.  I liked when he said that with everyone's buzzword being change, he called everyone out on whether change to them means just tweaking what's already in place or just completely cleaning house and putting something new in there.  

I can see Ron Paul support increasing, but I still predict it'll be McCain vs. Romney for the Republican ticket.  

I don't like how the media is spinning things.  Since when was experience a bad thing?  The media is trying to spin things as if those candidates with experience cannot bring about change.  I think it's candidates with experience who know what's going on can bring change.  America is going through some rough times and I want a leader in charge who actually knows what s/he is doing.  I don't want a drinking buddy or rock star, I want someone who will run the country efficiently.  

I'll be voting for Clinton in the primaries.  I'm still not impressed by Obama.
5494  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst Hero & Villain on: January 11, 2008, 10:15:30 AM
Pat, I disagree with your read of Necron.  For me, Kuja could not be the final boss because even if he dies, Terra would still chow down on Gaia, like how Unicron or Galactus eats planets since it is a conscious being.  So to me, the party still had to kill this worldlike planet-devouring entitiy and Necron was like the core of it.  All that jibberish Necron said?  I thought it was just stuff to try and make the predator intimidate the prey for an easier kill.  But it backfired.

When Zidane defeated Kuja, he saved Kuja.  When Zidane and company defeated Necron, they saved their home world of Gaia.  Even at the very end, Necron decides, "okay, this prey is too strong for me to try to kill and eat.  I'd better move on to an easy prey planet to eat."  

In any case, this is how the final battle against Kuja should have gone down: http://mooncalf.org/library/parody/eikosboyfriend.html (EDIT: This is probably my favorite of Mooncalf's parody fics.  Be warned, other fanfics on her site are NSFW.)  

And I think the fact that Tidus is a jock is what divides people on him.  But to me, that protagonists like him and Squall evoke such strong ire out of people makes them appear more "real" because let's face it, not every hero is likeable and we often do not get to choose who our heroes will be (I'm talking in real life as well as fiction.)  But you know, as much ire as Tidus and Squall may draw, you can't deny that they are memorable protagonists.  They remain talked about for years after their time.
5495  The Rest / General Discussions / Characters in stories. Is it better if they're like us? on: January 09, 2008, 08:10:44 PM
In some of the character threads in the console RPG section, there is debate about some RPG characters.  This leads me to this topic which is about lead characters in all forms of storytelling be it video games, books, movies, TV, etc.  

Do you think that if a characters is very much like you or someone you know it makes him/her easier to relate to and sympathize with?  Does it work in reverse and backfire as well?  In what ways does each phenomenon manifest itself with you.  Do you prefer if a lead character shares a lot in common with you or if s/he does not?  Do you feel more connected if a character reacts to situations the same way you would or does it feel old hat and you prefer a character unlike yourself who reacts to situations in a way that you wouldn't?  Is that why we tend to like badassed characters because we're too timid and wish we could be that badassed?  Would you avoid or be drawn to a story where the lead character portrays an archetype that you most define yourself as?  

I'll take Squall from FF8 as an example.  I liked him because he was a well-developed case study and his disillusioned attitude, putting on a front to others, and his penchant for spouting soliloquies in his bedroom to make sense of life could totally describe me when I was 15 (though where Squall put on an "I don't care" front I usually put on a cheerful front.  I like his portrayal because  I could relate to him more readily than I could to other protagonists.  On the other hand, people dislike him for that reason to.  Is it because it reminds people of who they were as youths and it's not something they wish to be reminded of?  Is it because some people were reminded of the kinds of folks that did not like back in their youth?  

Nutshell: If a main character is like you, does it draw you in or turn you off?  Why?
5496  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Star ocean 4 on: January 09, 2008, 07:53:25 PM
I'm mixed.  Yes, the floating islands is cool in that Zeal kind of way (I refer to Zeal from Chrono Trigger) but though it starts out with awesome sci-fi stuff, it ends on a floating island world that's a staple in many fantasy RPGs.  I hope this installment makes good on its promise of multiple worlds because I'm sick of Star Ocean teasing us with a promise of cool sci-fi then sending us off to a backwater podunk planet for the entire game.
5497  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best secondary characters... on: January 09, 2008, 09:49:18 AM
When it comes to most any story, I always find the sidekicks and villains most interesting.  

Junpei in Persona 3 has emerged as one of my favorite RPG sidekick characters ever.  The guy is just totally cool and believable too.  I think we all know (or maybe are) someone like Junpei.  Where a teenage boy with the kind of insecurities and defensiveness that Junpei has could be written really really badly in an RPG, Junpei is so well-written that he's endearing rather than annoying.  And it helps too that his voice actor (I can only speak for the American VA) put forth one of the best performances I've ever heard in voice acting, period.  

Persona 3 had one of the best ensemble casts I've seen in an RPG, but Junpei was easily my favorite.  

I think anyone who's played Xenogears has to give it up for Citan.  Not only is he the absolute best buttkicker in battles, but he's an incredibly deep and complex character.  Throughout the journey, I went through every emotion regarding Citan.  There were times I loved and respected him, there were times I hated him, there were times I was "WTF?" about him, everything.  I think he's one of the best J-RPG characters ever written.  Another thing that I like about Citan is that he's a well-written adult character.  You don't find those very often in video games.  I thought Persona 2: Eternal Punishment had well-written adult characters as well.

And if I had to pick a best ensemble cast in a video game, that easily goes to Ever17.  Every character is deep and plays a strong, vital, and important role.  But even among the ensemble cast, it's no surprise that the runaway favorite character among both Japanese and American players is Tsugumi Komachi.  I could talk about how awesome a character she is, but I'd be giving away massive spoilers.  She is an extremely deep and extremely tragic character.

EDIT: As for secondary villains or lackey villains, I'd have to say Ratchet from Thousand Arms.  She was so over the top and annoyingly adorable as well as adorably annoying.  Pity Meis couldn't date her.  I wanted Meis to date her.  She seemed like she wanted to flirt more than fight, she talked like Cyndi Lauper, and as Nelsha pointed out during their insult war, her hair looks like two oversized shrimps on her head.  

Thousand Arms did many things wrong as a game, but one thing they did oh so right was the absurdly over-the-top characters who never took themselves seriously.
5498  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst Hero & Villain on: January 09, 2008, 09:38:55 AM
If anyone read my review of Contact for the DS, you'd see that Terry is the first protagonist I can think of that sucks.  Other mute protagonists have personality and some substance to them but he has none of these things.  I'll take a spiky haired, soliloquy-spouting amnesiac over some paper doll cutout with less personality than cardboard any day.  Even an unlikeable personality is better than no personality at all.  

Case in point: I hated Shion (Xenosaga) with a passion and Rinoa from FF8 as well (though nowhere near as much as General Mortars did.)  Both Shion and Rinoa are completely useless simpering weenie chicks.  But I endured Shion in three Xenosaga games and Rinoa in two playthroughs of FF8.  Contact?  One playthrough (I think it was 18 hours) and I was done.  Those 18 hours with Terry were more painful than the greater number of hours with the aforementioned weenie chicks.  See, I found it fun to love-to-hate Shion and Rinoa because they at least had something (even if it was a something I strongly disliked.)  Whereas with Terry, he had absolutely nothing and I was just completely bored out of my mind with him.  

FF8's villains were terrible for similar reasons.  They were all tacked-on, cookie-cutter, paper doll villains that didn't do a darn thing.  After such a strong villain like Sephiroth in FF7, having a handful of super weak, tacked on villains with zero substance in FF8 was disappointing.  The writers put so much effort into fleshing out and developing Squall as a case study that the lack of effort put into the villains and most of the other characters was apparent.
5499  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: January 08, 2008, 04:34:45 PM
Last night they were showing "From Russia with Love" on TV.  I watched it.  Still my all time favorite James Bond movie.
5500  Media / Brush and Quill / Wizards Prolouge(multiple game crossover fiction) on: January 08, 2008, 09:10:41 AM
So... where are you going with this?  Is this a pitch for a video game you're creating?  Is this a setup for a tabletop RPG you're creating?  Is this a setup for a round robin sort of thing?  Is this a setup for a message board "tabletop" RPG where you are the dungeon master and we who want to play create characters and such?  

If it's any of the above, there needs to be more than the superficial snippet you've given us.
5501  Media / Single-Player RPGs / favorite hero and boss from any game on: January 08, 2008, 09:04:26 AM
Pat, yes I finished every Xenosaga game.  I agree with you on Albedo.  He is a complex character and certainly one who I would fear.  But in the context of an RPG, he's certainly not a protagonist since he thwarts your protagonists at almost every turn.  

You could argue about a whole slew of characters like Albedo and Krelian who aren't clearly defined as heroes or villains in the greater context of the stories (after all, there are vast forces out there that are far above Albedo in the Xeno world), but for the player playing the game, they are antagonists that we fight with our parties.
5502  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment Part 7,894,673,589.3 on: January 08, 2008, 08:57:49 AM
Two songs of the moment.  One is "Mero Mero Mambo" by Tribe of Gypsies.  It's an amazing instrumental piece that's guitar rock to a Latin beat.  It's off a CD that was only available in Japan so it has a bit of a J-rock production vibe as well.  A friend of mine played this song for me back in '95 or '96 and I have it on a mix CD, and I want that album.  

Another one is a song that blew me away in the early to mid 1990s and I've had a hellish time finding.  I'm not a fan of love songs since I find them really cheesy (I've yet to meet a love song with decent lyrics) and would be 100 times better as instrumentals.  But "In the Face of the Sun" blew me away.  Amazing music, good lyrics, wow!  I first heard it on a MegaForce Records sampler in '93 and was floored.  My favorite line is "let's buy the museum
and write our names on the wall"
5503  Media / Single-Player RPGs / favorite hero and boss from any game on: January 07, 2008, 08:21:30 PM
I think to add more substance to the topic, I'd like to hear why certain characters are peoples' favorites.  Why do you like Issac so much, for example.  

My favorite main RPG protagonist has got to be Meis Triumph from Thousand Arms.  That guy is the horniest RPG protagonist ever created.  Where your typical J-RPG protagonist is brooding, sullen, misanthropic, and socially inept around girls, Meis is a very sociable and outgoing guy who's fearless when it comes to the ladies.  Where other RPG lotharios (i.e. Irvine of FF8, Edgar of FF6, etc.) talk a big game, Meis walks it by dating party members and having a girlfriend in almost every town.  The guy's a player and just too freakin' funny.  Whenever a "favorite RPG protagonist" question comes up, Meis is the first guy I think of.  

My favorite RPG villain is easily Albedo from Xenosaga.  That guy is absolutely and positively frightening.  He's intelligent, extremely complex, so utterly and disgustingly twisted, and also quite charismatic.  

But as much as I love (and love to hate) Albedo, the first villain that comes to mind when asked is Sephiroth.  He too is intelligent, complex, psychologically twisted, extremely charismatic, larger than life, but not as frightening as Albedo.  And Sephiroth wins points for "Birth of a God" and "One-Winged Angel" which are, in my opinion, two of the best boss music themes ever composed.  

There are plenty of RPGs out there with better heroes and villains than what I've mentioned, but these are the standouts to me among the RPGs I've played over the years, decades even.  These are the people who pop into my mind first.
5504  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Rom Hacks on: January 07, 2008, 12:18:28 PM
Here's the official rule according to the forum rules topic:  


We here at RPGFan do not support piracy in the least. Please do not request or post ROMs, ISOs, etc, or information relating to anything of the sort. This includes, but is not limited to: copyrighted music, console and PC games, and feature films. While chatting about any of these things, and anime, is fine, don't talk about pirating them. Thanks.

Sorry, but I have to lock this thread.  I'll be honest, I've enjoyed fan translations of games that never hit US shores and never will leave Japan but rules are rules.
5505  The Rest / General Discussions / POLITICS: I like Ron Paul on: January 06, 2008, 07:48:44 PM
Regardless, I don't think Huckabee will be the Republican nominee.  Sure he won Iowa, but that's not a guarantee for anything.  I think it'll be between Romney and McCain for the republicans.  Romney's already won Wyoming and New Hampshire has yet to be determined, though polls have McCain in the lead.  

McCain's a conundrum for me, though.  He supports amnesty (to an extent) for illegal immigrants, the other republicans hate that (most of them oppose any kind of amnesty for illegals), yet many republican voters like McCain.  McCain supports the continuance of the Iraq war, democrats hate that, yet many democrat voters like McCain.  Go figure, huh?  (This is according to CNN reports and polls.)  

As for the democrats, as much as I like Bill Richardson I really think it's between Obama and Clinton and among those two I'll back Clinton.  It's between Obama and Clinton in New Hampshire.  

It's funny, the New Jersey primaries are usually in June, but this time they're on super Tuesday.  And many political pundits say that candidates pretty much dismiss NJ as a lost cause since they think Clinton and Guiliani are the shoe-ins in NJ.  

And since this is a Ron Paul thread, I don't think Ron Paul has much of a shot of winning the Republican ticket.

EDIT: And JP- Kucinich is still in the race?  I haven't heard a peep out of him in forever and thought he just dropped out.  I know many folks on these forums love Kucinich, but realistically, the guy doesn't have a chance.
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