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5551  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
5552  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.
5553  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.
5554  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.
5555  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."
5556  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.
5557  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.
5558  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.
5559  The Rest / General Discussions / This is both hysterical and pathetic. MySpace vs. Facebook! on: June 26, 2007, 08:43:06 AM

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.
5560  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: June 25, 2007, 10:14:57 PM
I'm still in the Gnosis Cathedral Ship in Xenosaga.  Man, this dungeon is long.  Heh, having Gameshark codes that give me unlimited items and have Shion & Kos-Mos at level 99 make the going smooth and easy.  

I'm a wuss.  I'm playing this for the story.  I want an easy ride.
5561  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: June 25, 2007, 03:58:21 PM
Quote from: "Marshmallow"

Neal: The story in CC really seems to be driven by the setting--the El Nido Archipelago, as opposed to individual characters. A few are fleshed out, but sometimes this is done in clumps and so. Regardless, I'd say Chrono Cross is very worth playing to completion. I believe it gives quite a bit more insight into the Chrono world as a whole.

I probably should've adopted that mindset of the world being a character more than its inhabitants.  After having played some Shin Megami Tensei games (I'm talking the core SMT series, not Devil Summoner, Persona, etc) I can better respect games where the setting gets the lion's share of the development.  SMT1, SMT2, Nocturne have very little character development or character fleshing out but the world/setting develops a lot and becomes quite fleshed out.
5562  Media / Single-Player RPGs / if it's not broken dont fix it... on: June 25, 2007, 03:51:53 PM
Don't get me wrong, I do respect the Dragon Quest titles and have enjoyed some of the games.  One thing I like is that it retains the traditional turn-based gameplay.  Not broken and doesn't need fixing.  Still, there will be people out there who think the series is stagnating because it hasn't "evolved" from the "archaic" turn-based structure.  

And though FF has been experimenting with more realtime and semi-realtime combat systems (i.e. FF12), it's going back to the tried and true ATB for FF13 (or so has been reported.)
5563  The Rest / General Discussions / GameIndustry.biz writer rips into Manhunt 2 on: June 25, 2007, 11:13:17 AM
As I edited into my prior post, in a perfect world, regarding censorship, each "thing" would be taken on a case by case basis.  However, that would confuse the hell out of legislators who want a more simple one-size-fits-all blanket.  

It doesn't work, because of various individual and cultural differences of what should and shouldn't be acceptable.  What flies in New York City is very different from what flies in the midwestern Bible belt.  And in the case of Manhunt 2, it contains material that doesn't fly in England and got banned.  This whole case is what it is and I'm sure Rockstar will still reap the monetary benefits from this publicity.  Forbidden fruit draws attention like moths to a flame.

The whole issue regarding censorship on all levels (personal, academic, political, media, whatever else) is a complex one and though the letter of the law seems more black or white, the reality is an enormous grey area.
5564  The Rest / General Discussions / GameIndustry.biz writer rips into Manhunt 2 on: June 25, 2007, 11:01:30 AM
Why am I reminded of that Simpsons episode where Marge successfully crusades against Itchy and Scratchy but when the advocacy groups want her on board to ban Michaelangelo's David from making a tour stop in Springfield, she declines saying "I think everyone should see Michaelangelo's David."  Then there's a huge argument about what is art and how Marge praises Michaelangelo's David yet demonizes Itchy and Scratchy.  

That Simpsons reference is more of a commentary than anything else.  Still, censorship is a complex issue because while many of us would like each "thing" taken on a case by case basis, it will confuse the hell out of legislators who want a more simplistic one-size-fits-all credo with regards to it.  

One thing I see in this thread is that while many of us do not want to see censorship in our media (be it music, movies, gaming, etc.) and/or want to showcase video games in a less immature light, using games like Manhunt 2 as bastions is probably NOT going to strengthen our case any.

As for the banning in England, it is what it is.  I do not know enough about their laws to make an approving, demonizing, or neutral judgment call one way or another.  And the simple fact that this banning is causing such an uproar is just the kind of free publicity that Rockstar thrives on.  Rockstar does what I deem "shallow shock" which is shock simply for the sake of shock.  For all we know, everything surrounding Rockstar could be a whole bunch of elaborately engineered publicity stunts.  (That's obviously taking a silly extreme viewpoint, but still...)

TANGENT: Meh, I just think Rockstar Games is pandering to the lowest common degenerate denominator in much the same way that many Japanese developers do with their often degenerate hentai games.  Seriously, the stuff you find in many of those games is some of the sickest, most twisted filth shit in gaming.  And there are more H-games than most anything else in Japan, if I'm not mistaken.
5565  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: June 25, 2007, 08:14:41 AM
everluck- I know CT's Frog/Glenn is not the same person as CC's Glenn.  Just like there's more than one person named Glenn in our world, and not all of them are alike:P  I was referring to CT's Glenn
who was a green-haired squire for Cyrus who got turned into a Frog by Magus.
And there is an ending in Chrono Trigger where
if you fight Magus in 12,000 BC when he asks you if you'll fight him, the Frog curse is lifted and Frog appears as Glenn in the ending... and Lucca thinks he's hot.  The Frog turned into a prince, eh?

With all this talk of the Trigger/Cross connections, I just may have to give Chrono Cross another chance.  I can definitely see that painstaking care was put into that game, just like the prequel.  Although I still think CC's battle music is awful.
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