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Congratulations to Andrew Barker! RPGfan Editor of the Year and now Chief News Editor!
340807 Posts in 13926 Topics by 2221 Members
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5506  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: July 10, 2007, 10:10:00 PM
I'm working my way through Proto Merkabah in Xenosaga.  Wow, it's about freaking time a dungeon actually had music... too bad the music here is pretty blah.  

Yasunori Mitsuda is very hit or miss with me as far as his music goes, and this Xenosaga soundtrack did not impress me at all.  The music was pretty forgettable.  The final boss theme had better not be the same old battle theme.  I'm sick of that song.
5507  Media / The Soundroom / The Recent Musical Purchases Thread on: July 10, 2007, 10:06:56 PM
So Deggy, how you liking Pretest?  I personally think it's a fantastic album.  It's more accessible than other Dysrhythmia albums with tighter songwriting with some moments of stream of consciousness jamming.  

Catalog of Personal Faults is my favorite song on the album.  Bastard is another song that I can never get tired of.

EDIT: And DR, excellent choice.  I think Seymour Duncan makes the best pickups.  I dare Duncan to make a bad pickup.  Reasonably priced too.  Bartolinis are usually hit or miss with me and I can't stand EMGs (they make every instrument they're in sound exactly the same- sterile).

Lindy Fralin and Nordstrand pickups are said to be absolutely top notch, but those get expensive.
5508  Media / Miscellaneous Games / A Touch Detective sequel? on: July 10, 2007, 09:58:31 PM
For what it's worth, here's my review.  I'm pretty sure I gave it one of the higher scores among press reviewers.  


I never understood why critics were so peeved about the air pump on the landlady puzzle.  
Cromwell gives you hints, so showing him the air pump made him say it belonged to the landlady so of course you'll give it to her.  

This puzzle was a bit annoying, though.  
I thought the spiderweb on the butterfly net puzzle was silly, arbitrary, and it took me forever to find the web.
5509  Media / Miscellaneous Games / A Touch Detective sequel? on: July 10, 2007, 07:09:00 PM

I'll admit, I'm kinda surprised Atlus is choosing to publish a Touch Detective sequel.  I did like the first game, but in looking at all the various press reviews, everyone else pretty much slammed it.  I don't think it sold too well either.  Seems a bit of a risk to publish a sequel to a game that wasn't very well received.  

I guess as long as the sequel makes the puzzles less random (I spent a lot of time going around in circles), doesn't resort to minute pixel hunting, and expands the number of explorable areas it should be an improvement.
5510  Media / Single-Player RPGs / I think I need new friends... on: July 09, 2007, 10:58:21 PM
I didn't like the Evolution games, but that may be because I don't really like Rogue-likes (randomized dungeon crawl RPGs) in the first place.  And let's not forget, the Dreamcast's RPG library was pretty meager.  Yeah, Skies of Arcadia and Grandia 2 were the marquee titles, Lodoss War was a good Diablo-esque action-RPG, and I played the bejeezus out of Phantasy Star Online.  Other than that, what else did the console have?  Evolution 1 & 2, Elemental Gimmick Gear (which I didn't think was that bad), Time Stalkers (again, I don't like Roguelikes) and I can't remember any others, domestically at least.  

I think Fadedsun gave the best advice.  A sincere "thanks but no thanks" in your own words to let them down easy.  Say, do your friends think that because you often loan them really good RPGs that they feel obligated to reciprocate with something, even if said reciprocation isn't very good?  (I recall that thread of yours about Legend of Legaia.)  

Or is it like "oh, you like metal, you should check out [ insert name of shitty metal band here ]."  And likely this person has a very superficial view of metal (in this example) and doesn't quite get the concept that just because you like X category doesn't mean you like everything within X category.
5511  The Rest / General Discussions / EA CEO: "We're boring people to death" on: July 09, 2007, 10:42:36 PM
The same could be said for most any entertainment media.  It's the cookie cutter bands (both in look and sound) who get record deals and airplay on MTV and such while the more interesting bands are left struggling and ignored.  The movies that rake in the most box office bucks are the often vapid summer blockbusters rather than the more thoughtful art-house films.  TV shows that are/were actually good, such as Freaks and Geeks, didn't get enough viewership to stay on network television.  

It's not that there's no innovation or fresh content.  It exists.  It's out there.  It's just that a niche audience for any entertainment media is a limited one.  A niche buyer's esoteric tastes make earning a profit on a more art-house product a gamble.  In addition, the big studios, record companies, etc. who have the bankroll can do mega advertising for the "contrived and mediocre" product whereas niche stuff doesn't have the bankroll for massive ad campaigns so it's through word of mouth and fan forums like this one that gets the word out.  

Still, coming from EA, the hypocrisy of that whole statement is certainly not lost on any of us.  In any case, it's a nice ideal but seems to ignore business common sense.
5512  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Hotel Dusk 215 on: July 09, 2007, 10:24:41 AM
+1 from me too.  Definitely a good game.  Not as puzzle oriented as other graphic adventures but very dialogue oriented.
5513  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Greatest line in an RPG ever! on: July 08, 2007, 10:30:29 PM
Damn, and I thought it was bad when Wild Arms 2 used smileys in its English language dialogue.  

Another great line, this one from Persona 2: Eternal Punishment

Baofu (to Urara/Ulala): You're too needy.  That's why men run away from you, you cross-dressing bitch!

[In the Japanese version, he calls her a "CD onna" or "cash-dispensing lady" (sugar mama in US vernacular) because of her shitty relationship history of always dating, and supporting, deadbeats. ]

Still, "cross-dressing bitch" is just that much funnier.
5514  The Rest / General Discussions / The villain discussion on: July 07, 2007, 12:10:37 PM
Quote from: "Sensei Phoenix"
Hah, glad that a discussion over a few beers can prompt a topic like this :)

Bro, I'm notorious for taking conversations I've had with family and friends and utilizing them as online discussion topics, entries for my weblog, and I'm even using some for a future Godzilla Vs. The Smurfs act.  I always figure, "you know what?  I would like to hear others chime in on this topic and see what they have to say."  

DR- I have to give the +1 to Moriarty.  He's legendary.  Even just by saying the name, just saying "Moriarty" just screams badass genius villain.    

And I think we have some common ground here in that a "good" villain is a charismatic one.  A charismatic villain has the ability to sway people onto his or her side.  The most memorable "villains" in world history were ones who certainly had the charisma to move people.
5515  The Rest / General Discussions / The villain discussion on: July 05, 2007, 09:46:48 AM
In many stories, be they in books, movies, TV shows, video games, etc., we all love a good villain.  So how about we use this thread to talk about what we like in a villain and who some of our favorite villains are and why.  

For me, a villain has to have charisma.  The villains I find most memorable are those who are not only just sick and twisted, but also very charismatic.  Who can deny Hannibal Lechter's charisma in Silence of the Lambs?  In Star Wars episodes 4-6, Darth Vader was the ultimate badass; so charismatic.  There are many cool villains in the various books I've read, that it's hard to pick standout ones.  I have a soft spot for Shakespearean villains like Iago in Othello.  

In terms of RPGs, we've seen a whole slew of great villains.  One of the most twisted I've encountered is Albedo in Xenosaga.  Although many veteran RPGers may think Sephiroth in FF7 is an overrated villain, he had charisma and badassitude.  He was a tragic villain trapped within his own delusions.  

So, yeah, what makes a villain compelling to you?  Who are some villains you find memorable and why?  Are there any villains you thought were terrible for whatever reason?  Perhaps they were badly portrayed or you just couldn't get into them for whatever reason?
5516  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: July 04, 2007, 10:57:42 PM
I just completed the Song of Nephilim dungeon in Xenosaga.  Albedo is one twisted villain.  And after all my whining, it was nice to
see Virgil again after so long.
5517  The Rest / General Discussions / The Pulse of the RPG Gaming Community (Wii / 360 / PS3) on: July 03, 2007, 08:19:36 PM
In case nobody read it, I think Eric Farand's (aka Rudo) editorial is appropo for this thread.  

Eric be big boss man of RPGfan.  

5518  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: July 03, 2007, 07:54:31 PM
Still working through the Song of Nephilim dungeon in Xenosaga.  And today I preordered my copy of Soul Nomad.
5519  Media / Single-Player RPGs / any modern rpgs/soundtracks like Parasite Eve etc.? on: July 02, 2007, 11:20:24 PM
One series worth mentioning is Shadow Hearts.  The setting is not contemporary modern, but rather 1920s or so.  I loved the soundtrack to the first Shadow Hearts game.  Yoshitaka Hirota, who's mainly a sound effects guy, took a very modern approach to many of his compositions in that game.  

And among the Megami Tensei titles, Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army takes place in 1930s urban Japan.  The game has a terrific setting with a killer sense of period, but the battle engine was really lacking.  

I will say that finding RPGs set in more contemporary times is not easy.  Usually it is traditional high fantasy (i.e. knights, castles, dragons).  I would venture that sci-fi oriented RPGs (like, say, Xenosaga), though not as easy to find, are easier to find than ones with more modern contemporary settings.  

If you're willing to look at genres outside of RPGs, such as graphic adventures, then games like the Broken Sword series take place in modern contemporary settings.  I've only played Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars and Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror, but both were excellent adventure games.  George Stobbart is an awesome protagonist.

Among RPGs though, Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment had my favorite urban sprawls.
5520  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Legend of Legaia (or an excuse!) on: July 02, 2007, 07:52:49 PM
LOL @ Sprung.  You know, despite my affinity for love adventures and dating sims, I have absolute zero intentions of playing Sprung.  That game's gotta be a shitpile.  Okay, if you offered me a free copy and a worthwhile amount of bribe money, I'd consider it:P

And I think the moral of the story in this thread is that there really is no accounting for taste.  It's already been established through conversations that I will not be recommending anime to Prime Mover any time soon since the series I find stellar are ones he either hated or couldn't get into.  

DR- I agree with you that it's not fair to expect the world out of every RPG that comes down the pike and that even a garden variety RPG can be good.  However, I found Legaia to be lacking on all counts.  It just didn't have any mojo and the experience felt like work rather than fun.  Games like Dragon Quest 8 or the Tales games are traditional RPGs that don't really break new ground, but they had much of that intangible mojo that help them rise above.
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