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5506  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Solid Script... on: June 12, 2008, 12:22:50 PM
Localizing from Japanese to English is always difficult, so it's always cool to see how it's improved.  I mean, look at Revelations: Persona back in 1996 or so and look at Persona 3 now.  

But when it comes to scripting, dialogue scripting and event scripting both play a part.  And though this thread is in console RPGs, I am mean, rotten, vicious, nasty, and low-down so I'll mention some PC RPGs instead.  

Take Anachronox for instance.  Great dialogue; it's natural and often witty and funny.  However, the event scripting has some rough spots, especially since the first 5 or so hours of the game are slow to get through.  That said, the game's still fantastic.  

When it comes to dialogue scripting, few come close to Planescape: Torment.  That talking skull was the bee's knees.  Then again, P:T is one of those "once in a lifetime" games the likes of which we probably won't see again for a long time.  

Of course since those two games began life in English, I can imagine there'd be some rough spots in terms of translating to other languages like Japanese.  In any case, awesome events are less awesome when the characters lack charisma in their dialogue.  And characters with great dialogue can only go so far if nothing's happening and the great dialogue ends up being about nothing.  So when it comes to scripting, writing good event progression is IMO just as important as writing believable dialogue.
5507  The Rest / General Discussions / RPGFan Gaming Journal: The Road to Infinity on: June 11, 2008, 09:18:56 PM
Mostly just been playing bouts of Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken 4, and Tekken 5 when I get some free time.  Tekken Tag has to have some of the best music I've ever heard in a fighting game.  No RPGing at the moment.  Though this past weekend, I got about 8 endings in Fatal Hearts (an indie Japanese style visual novel by a western developer.)
5508  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Is the 360 the RPG console of this generation? on: June 11, 2008, 08:58:04 PM
And I don't know about anyone else, but buying a PC (even buying components and building one from scratch) that can run some of these latest greatest RPGs would be more expensive than a console.  So I would think there is some merit to non-Japanese RPGs and software on consoles, right?

And I wonder about the must-have-killer-app-ness of FF.  I mean, was Crisis Core supposed be that for the PSP?  Did PSP sales significantly spike because of it?  Is it poised to become the stronger handheld for RPGs?
5509  The Rest / General Discussions / Your Bookmarks on: June 11, 2008, 03:54:26 PM
Some people may think that my frequently visited sites list goes something like this:

But really it's just various email sites, RPGFan, TalkBass ( http://www.talkbass.com ) and a few webcomics:
Candi http://www.candicomics.com
FlipSide http://www.flipsidecomics.com
Least I Could Do http://www.licd.com
Looking For Group http://www.lfgcomic.com
PhD http://www.phdcomics.com
5510  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Is the 360 the RPG console of this generation? on: June 11, 2008, 10:04:15 AM
Maybe it's me, but I'm reminded of the Genesis vs. SNES days with the whole "Genesis does what Nintendon't" and "Super NES is what Genesisn't" arguments we'd have on the schoolyard.  

Competition has made the video game console race exciting again.  It's like a soap opera.  The once indomitable Nintendo was usurped by newcomer Sony.  The once indomitable Sony is losing ground to newcomer Microsoft, the underdog who no one thought had a chance.  Nintendo's become mighty-mighty again with Wii and despite Sony's valiant handheld effort (I do love my PSP) Nintendo still holds the handheld lead with DS.  And in the background, Sega's ineptitude led to its premature fall from wherever.

This is drama that cannot be scripted.  And as nerditudinous as it is, it's worthy of buttered popcorn.
5511  The Rest / General Discussions / Digging through old Usenet posts is fun. on: June 11, 2008, 09:37:29 AM
Quote from: "Losfer"
...Are we all going to sound as moronic ten years from now the way we all argue about the current console situation?  :P

Dude, I know I sounded like a moron 15-18 years ago during the whole Genesis vs. SNES war.  We were constantly arguing with each other over Genesis vs. SNES.  I was a Genesis kid because I wasn't into RPGs and the Genny had better action and sports games (Sega Sports was the bee's knees back then.)
5512  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Is the 360 the RPG console of this generation? on: June 11, 2008, 09:25:55 AM
I like that the 360 has a cross section of stuff from US, Japanese, and soon European developers.  I believe the Greek developed adventure/RPG you're referring to is Theseis.  I hope that more European developers create stuff like that for the 360, then it'll have standing in the world game market and not just US or Japan.
5513  Media / The Soundroom / Garth Brooks and The Beatles are technophobes. on: June 11, 2008, 09:18:47 AM
I look at my friends The Waffle Stompers.  They're a local ska band in my area that I'm buddies with.  They recently got on iTunes.  They're completely floored.  They're like, "WHOA!!!!  Little old us!?!?!?!  On iTunes?!?!?!?!?!  Incredible!!!"  For them, this means greater exposure than they could get otherwise.  I mean, yeah, they tour like madmen during spring break and summer vacations (they're college students who do want to get degrees) but their music on iTunes is great for their budding careers.  

And, hey, Fugazi is as indie/DIY/artistic visionary as you can get, and they sell their stuff on iTunes.  

Having played in local bands myself, if I had to choose between incredible sound quality but little exposure or okay sound quality and a fuckton of exposure, I'd choose the latter in a heartbeat.  

As for album flow, there aren't many I can listen to in one sitting from beginning to end without getting kinda sick of it.  Weezer's blue album is one of those rare few; one of the best albums of all time IMO.  On the other hand, there are albums where only one or two songs are good and so I only want those one or two songs.  Example: Do You Call My Name is the only song that was good on Ra's From One album so instead of paying 10-15 bucks for the whole thing, I just paid a buck for the song I wanted.  

I love music as much as anyone here, but do I need audiophile quality?  Nope.  Even as a bassist, I don't need or even want audiophile quality in my amp.  I like to just plug in, play, and be loud enough to cut through guitars and drums.  I also tend to listen to a lot of local artists and since local bands don't have a shitload of money to afford a big name producer and a studio with Krell equipment, their demos don't exactly sound perfect in the first place.  I also prefer hearing music live than in the studio and since live environments are less controlled, the sound is far from perfect (especially in dives with incompetent sound engineers.)
5514  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Xbox 360: RPG Title Announcement Media Event on: June 10, 2008, 05:54:58 PM
Quote from: "Vilnius"
PS3 sucks dick.

And here I thought that would be the best reason for you to have one:P (ya know I luffers you Vil!)
5515  Media / The Soundroom / Garth Brooks and The Beatles are technophobes. on: June 10, 2008, 05:50:42 PM
Some of the reasoning is just strange to me.  Garth Brooks makes it sound like everything he released was a concept album.  And sometimes consumers love that one song, buy the album, and the album sucks.  I think just being able to buy that one good song is sweet.  And previewing the others is even sweeter.  And I don't know what kind of math Garth Brooks is doing but the last I checked, $9.99 for an iTunes album download was cheapter than buying a CD for $15.99.

Then again, I always thought Garth Brooks was a pretentious wanker, so I'm biased.
5516  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Xbox 360: RPG Title Announcement Media Event on: June 10, 2008, 03:53:41 PM
And I still think it's funny that Star Ocean 4 is entitled "The Last Hope."
5517  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Xbox 360: RPG Title Announcement Media Event on: June 10, 2008, 03:49:59 PM
So is it weird that I'm happy to see a US first-party developer getting a healthy portion of Japanese software on its platform?  Is it weird that I'm happy to see an Xbox 360 RPG event such as this?  I mean, how cool is it that a once ultra-niche genre is now a viable money maker?  Maybe it's cooler in a business sense than a creative one, but if it means more of a desirable commodity for me, I'll capitalize.  

There wasn't much Japanese (or even worldwide) support with the original Xbox, but with the 360 there's a lot more.  Good for Microsoft and good for Xbox 360 owners.  They may not be getting FF, but they're getting JRPGs from Square Enix, tri-Ace, Mistwalker, even Namco (who are notoriously stingy with the US RPG market.)  They're getting killer North American titles like Bioshock and Mass Effect.  They'll be getting European titles like Theseis.  360 may not have Tekken, but it has Dead or Alive and IMO a much better D-pad on its controller for fighting games.

It's interesting to me that in the current console race, the least powerful platforms in processing power (DS and Wii) are the most powerful in marketshare.  Guess it just goes to show that the best paints will not yield you the best painting and that the American mentality of "bigger is better" may not hold as true.  

And whether it's Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo, all are guilty of doing the kinds of evil businesss practices that corporations do.  Even Sega has done disagreeable things (although their business practices have often been more inept than evil.) When it comes to the cutthroat arena of worldwide business, I'm sure that veneer of Japanese "honor" goes out the window.
5518  The Rest / General Discussions / The Slow Death of the Arcade on: June 10, 2008, 03:27:42 PM
I too thought arcades died decades ago, till the DDR craze.  In any case, some good points are touched upon.  One being that arcades are not "the" place where the youth hang out.  Home consoles have offerings superior to arcades.  With any given Tekken game, guaranteed the home console version is superior to the arcade version, especially re: features.  So kids would rather play Tekken at a friend's house than an arcade.  

So why even try to focus arcades on the youth market at all?  Some people said in the article that it's adults and families who frequent pizza arcades.  It's the casual gamers looking for a hint of nostalgia who'll play a couple rounds of joust, say "that was fun" and call it a day.  The fervent "gotta keep playing/ get to the next level" is the realm of home video games now.  

The one thing that I think cannot be replicated from any arcade is the pinball machine.  I mean, there's a certain physicality to playing it, tilting it a certain way, that a video game cannot capture.  But that's the old fogey in my talking.  

Reconfiguring the arcade to fit a different sort of clientele may not be such a bad idea.  Heck, if I were at a restaurant I wouldn't mind blowing a few quarters in an attached arcade while waiting for my food.  Probably keep the screaming kids busy too so they aren't running around like hooligans.
5519  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Xbox 360: RPG Title Announcement Media Event on: June 10, 2008, 01:29:37 PM
Am I the only one amused that Star Ocean 4's subtitle is "The Last Hope"?  Given what I've expressed about the series in previous Star Ocean threads, I snickered.

EDIT: And need I mention business contracts drawn up by console developers again?  I mean with Square Enix having their Final Fantasy IP with Sony (save for retro/retro-ish ones) and apparently their tri-Ace IPs with Microsoft (SO4, Infinite Undiscovery), it seems they're honoring their contracts with Sony and Microsoft by having exclusive IPs on each system and diversifying for profit by offering games on multiple platforms including both the PSP and DS.  

The gaming industry is a business and Square Enix, among other software developers, is playing business.  So it's not fair to blame game developers for maybe only putting some games on certain consoles and not others.  They probably agreed to and signed contracts with Sony and Microsoft for exclusives.  I don't know what the terms of any of these business contracts are since I'm a layman and nowhere near the industry.
5520  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Xbox 360: RPG Title Announcement Media Event on: June 09, 2008, 12:13:13 PM
On the other hand, we don't know what kinds of terms are in written in the contracts that console developers draw up and game developers sign.  I'm sure there is quite a bit of fine print regarding, say, IPs like Final Fantasy and what can/cannot be on X, Y or Z console and if a violation means a breach of contract, then someone's getting screwed.  

The game developers want their games to reach as many buyers as possible to turn a profit.  The console developers want exclusives on their console so they can get a marketshare that the competition won't.  

Hence why contracts are drawn up and exclusives exist.  The gaming industry, like any industry, is a business as people have said.  And in business, there are contracts.
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