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Congratulations to Andrew Barker! RPGfan Editor of the Year and now Chief News Editor!
340983 Posts in 13937 Topics by 2222 Members
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5536  Media / The Soundroom / The Recent Musical Purchases Thread on: June 29, 2007, 08:12:06 PM
Not a CD purchase, but I got some new pickups for my bass.  Seymour Duncan Basslines STK-J2 Hot J-bass humcancelling stacks.  I'm having a luthier overhaul the electronics in my bass.  I hate active electronics, so I'm having these new Duncans put in and the bass rewired passive.
5537  The Rest / General Discussions / MMM, TASTY FETUS =^.^= on: June 29, 2007, 08:06:31 PM
Dude, anything that smells rotting and is in a tied up trash bag could be ANYthing.  It could be fruit, it could be a dead hamster.  Regardless of whether it's rotting fruit or rotting flesh, it's going to smell horrible and have flies and maggots all around it.  I don't think too many people are connoisseurs (sp?) for the smells of decay.  It all smells pretty fucking foul to us.  

And I'm glad to read that the janitor is doing his job, taking it seriously, and making sure to have the offending thing removed because a rotting anything is a breeding ground for contagion, especially in a school.  Schools themselves are such crowded environments that they're naturally breeding grounds for contagion, so this janitor's really doing his part to keep the school clean.  Things fermenting in lockers is gross.  

And I also say better to react to a fcry-wolf alse alarm than ignore a real one.
5538  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Bioware to develop Sonic RPG for the DS - WHAT THE HELL on: June 29, 2007, 08:00:36 PM
Regardless of my feelings towards Sonic, I still have faith in Bioware.  Their track record has been damn good thus far and I don't think they'll do anything to fuck things up.  In fact, whatever the hell Bioware does to Sonic will surely be an improvement over what has been done to Sonic thus far.  

Just as long as it doesn't end up becoming that one clunker that does Bioware in, we're okay.  Remember that thread in General Discussions about shitty games by top-notch developers?  I couldn't believe Blizzard was responsible for that shitty Justice League fighting game.  

But I think we should be safe.  Bioware has a history of making good RPGs and actually using licenses properly.  The Star Wars: KOTOR games were awesome.  

Sega's pretty much fucked Sonic up.  There is no way in heaven or hell that Bioware can fuck it up even more.  

Bottom line from Dincrest: I may not have faith in Sonic, but I have plenty of faith in Bioware.  If there's anyone who is capable of spinning this straw into gold, it's Bioware.
5539  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: June 28, 2007, 07:51:24 PM
I finished the introductory 5 days of Grim Grimoire.  I really like the characters, but I'm still iffy about the RTS battle interface since I've never played an RTS before.  Good game, but definitely an acquired taste like Vanillaware's other offering, Odin Sphere.  Although, GG is an even more acquired taste.
5540  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Grim Grimoire on: June 28, 2007, 07:31:09 PM
This is my first RTS type game.  I'm still getting used to that interface, but I am digging the characters and voice acting.  The plot is nothing special.  The strength is in the over-the-top personalities of the site.  

It's weird that Grim Grimoire's battles are simultaneously overwhelming (with the realtime aspects) but sometimes hit boring lulls.  Not a game I can play for hours at a time, but then again, Odin Sphere is also a small doses game to me.  

I do not think I'll play another RTS game.  Not really my thing.  At least Grim Grimoire does not have any noticeable slowdown.

I definitely think Odin Sphere is the better game.  More accessible gameplay interface and far more beautiful.  Definitely one of the most beautiful games I've played in a long time.  Better voice acting too (Japanese VA is great and the English dub is one of the best I've heard in a long time.)
5541  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: June 28, 2007, 08:53:07 AM
...and no one's playing Duke Nukem Forever?  

Although admittedly, given the super slow development on Winterheart's Guild (the PC RPG starring the band Sonata Arctica), that seems to be shaping up to be the RPG counterpart of Duke Nukem forever.  Perhaps by the time the game comes out, the guitarist and keyboardist will be old, have severe arthritis and not be able to play as insanely fast as they do:P
5542  The Rest / General Discussions / This is both hysterical and pathetic. MySpace vs. Facebook! on: June 28, 2007, 08:46:53 AM
This lady's getting her PhD in information sciences, which is a legit field to get a PhD in (I was a former PhD student in Educational Psychology but last year decided to switch programs; now I'm going for my 2nd Masters, this time with certification in school counseling.)  

Regardless of the mechanics of Facebook, my biggest surprises of all this are that 1) a review board actually approved this study and 2) that this study ignores one of the basic tenets of introductory statistics, namely population and sampling distributions.  Facebook and MySpace have enough differences in their populations that no matter what, you will get non-comparable samples.  

If you're going to do research, which is what PhD is all about, you'd better be competent at statistics.  To me, a worthy PhD student will find the last panel of this comic hysterical.  http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=868
5543  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Grim Grimoire on: June 28, 2007, 08:35:38 AM
I'll be picking up my copy of Grim Grimoire today.  

Repetitive but still fun?  Sounds like Vanillaware fare to me.  I'm interested in GG because I love school settings, and the whole premise sounds like Harry Potter meets Groundhog Day (Groundhog Day is one of my all time favorite movies).  

Plus, I like what Vanillaware's doing, being that bastion of 2D and I want to support their efforts.  Vanillaware games have that intangible mojo that definitely tickles my fancy.  

As for Odin Sphere, it certainly won't beat Castlevania: Symphony of the Night as best 2D side-scrolling RPG (in my mind at least) but still a darn good game in its own right.
5544  Media / Single-Player RPGs / if it's not broken dont fix it... on: June 26, 2007, 10:10:43 PM
Sure they do.  They just have limited gameplay.  In much the same way, Choose Your Own Adventure books are GAMEbooks, even if their interface isn't as complex as other gamebooks like Fighting Fantasy.
5545  Media / Single-Player RPGs / if it's not broken dont fix it... on: June 26, 2007, 09:38:06 PM
You know, one genre that's really embodied the "if it ain't broken don't try to fix it" is the Japanese visual novel.  The graphic style (2D anime portraits over flat backdrops), the gameplay (read lots of text until it's time to make a choice), and the general interface have pretty much been the same from then until now.  I'm not sure I can foresee the format and interface of those games changing at all.  All 2D, never adopted polygons.
5546  Media / The Soundroom / Heavenly Guitar on: June 26, 2007, 06:58:48 PM
I tell you, independent luthiers create some really magnificent guitars and basses.  They can create some pretty ridiculous stuff too, but whatever.  Some of the custom stuff Neal Moser of Moser Guitars does is pretty crazy (we're talking extreme pointy metal axes.)  The melty top stuff seen on Conklin guitars and basses is pretty amazing.  

It's more than just Fender and Gibson.  I love a lot of what independent luthiers are doing.  I love the body designs on Bud LeCompte's basses.  Scott French does some interesting body designs too.  

And if you're going to talk about wild body designs, you gotta mention Ritter basses.

Playable art.  Jerzy Drozd even bills the basses his workshop builds as "Playable Art."
5547  Media / Single-Player RPGs / The Very Saddest games... on: June 26, 2007, 06:35:58 PM
Just remember kids, when you point a finger at someone, you point 3 back at yourself. Before telling others to lighten up, take a good look in the mirror. Perhaps you need to lighten up yourself before making that demand on others. :P

In any case, I too notice that many people associate death with sad.  But in some storylines, death can be a joyful thing.  I mean, when the wicked witch of the east was killed in Wizard of Oz, everyone rejoiced, danced and sang "ding dong the witch is dead!"  Or in any given RPG, we're pretty darn happy when the bad guy dies at the end.  

Or even in tarot readings, the "death" card means transition.  Like the death of something making way for the birth of something else.  Death can actually be a very positive card in tarot readings.  

Then again, as I've said many times in this thread, the saddest moments I've experienced in storylines (video game or otherwise) came not from deaths, but rather from stories of tragic lives.  There are stories I've experienced where the most tragic character with the most heart-wrenching storyline is one who cannot die and has had to endure an often miserable existence for a wickedly long time.  

Most emotionally charged video game for me is still Ever17.
5548  The Rest / General Discussions / GamesRadar Feature on game length on: June 26, 2007, 06:22:10 PM
With time being an issue for me (what with school, jobs, other stuff), it's when I love games like Chrono Trigger that aren't too long (maybe around 15-20 hours or so) but have amazing replay value, especially letting you carry over your levels and equipment into a subsequent playthrough for an easier/quicker runthrough.  

Many love adventures I play have an initial playthrough of 10-15 hours, but extensive replay value and an ability to fast forward over previously viewed stuff.  Graphic adventures (point and click) tend to be under 30 hours also, and can have damn good stories.  

There are some RPGs that feel artificially lengthened, almost like using one can of paint for an entire house.  Grandia 1 and MS Saga certainly would have been tighter were they around 25 hours or so rather than 50.  MS Saga's cracker thin and simplistic story did not warrant a 50 hour game.  

For me, a game has to be really special for me not to be completely sick of it by the 45th or so hour.  Usually when I get sick of it, I break out the ol' GameShark and whiz my way to the end so I can still get some closure on the story.

If an RPG is going to be 60 hours, I'd at least want an option for a VERY easy difficulty level so it doesn't get more tedious than it has to be.  That way I can more enjoy the experience rather than making it feel like work.  Grinding= chore.  And no deception like with Odin Sphere, where "easy" difficulty is most certainly not easy.

I wouldn't want to pay $50 for a game that only offers me 15 hours of gameplay unless it has really good replay value.
5549  Media / Single-Player RPGs / The Very Saddest games... on: June 26, 2007, 06:11:42 PM
I've had major parts of stories spoiled for me before.  A good example is of the pivotal event that occurred on page 396 of Harry Potter 6.  I knew about it well before I read the book, but then that just made me more interested in the events leading up to it.  What happened, how did it happen, and what happens next?  

I remember reading a comic strip where a character reads a book backwards because everyone always spoils the ending for her.  Then when someone says "nothing happens in the beginning" she gets mad for the beginning being spoiled for her.
5550  The Rest / General Discussions / This is both hysterical and pathetic. MySpace vs. Facebook! on: June 26, 2007, 08:43:06 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6236628.stm

I could not help but point and laugh at this.  For a PhD student, this idiot woman's total ignorance of the basic statistical concept of population distributions is pretty sad.  

Duh!  Facebook requires an attachment to a school to become a member whereas MySpace is open to the general public.  So of course one's going to have a more narrow population distribution than the other.  Didn't you pay attention in your basic statistics classes?

Someone fails at PhD life.  

Not only that, but what the fuck kind of organization even funds this kind of research?  The mind boggles.
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