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3661  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Anime/Manga Journal on: June 02, 2006, 09:33:40 PM
Just today I randomly caught an episode of Mirage of Blaze on TV (Encore WAM channel.)  I dug the music, the dark art style, and the character designs.  It was atmospheric and there were some cool moments (such as when Saori kicks major ass with a shovel when fighting zombies that Takaya's like "whoa, she's not useless deadweight after all") and everything... but I couldn't help but feel that this was a Neal-pleasing visual package over a very cliched premise, about spirits from the past possessing peoples' bodies to re-enact a war they thought ended poorly.  And the whole lengthy summoning sequence with loads of colors was lame, because what self-respecting baddie would sit through one of those lengthy things?  

I don't know what to make of Mirage of Blaze.  I love the visuals and it is atmospheric (I LOVE that dark vibe akin to Boogiepop Phantom) but the premise and the summong sequences are so silly that it totally ruins the dark atmosperics.  

It seems like it'd be a fun series to watch, but I doubt I'd waste money on a box set.  

Did I mention the dub was godawful?  It was like an old-school dub with bad actors who emphasized the incorrect words and put no emotion where there needed to be emotion.  I thought we were over this shit by now.
3662  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs on: March 16, 2006, 03:34:36 PM
Good point Eusis.  For most people, the video game console is still seen as a toy, despite the fact that all of us who grew up with 8-bit Nintendo as kids are now in our 20s or 30s and do want more maturity in our console gaming, and by maturity I DON'T mean ultra-violence, gratuitous sleaze, or whatever else deemed "mature" in GTA or Conker.  

The PC platform typicaly does appeal to a more mature demographic, because people of all ages use PCs.  Even people in their 50s and 60s play computer games, even if they are simple games like solitaire or tetris while they're taking a break from work.  

The European graphic adventure developers like Microids have titles like Syberia and Still Life which feature female protagonists in their early 30s.  The games wouldn't work without protagonists like that, since the storylines are based around their professions.  Kate in Syberia is an attorney and Victoria in Still Life is a forensics agent.  

In other words, all I'm saying is that though we may be tired of kiddie heroes in RPGs, there are alternatives for story-intensive games featuring more adult characters, plotlines, and themes.  They may not be of the RPG genre, but they are out there.
3663  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs on: March 16, 2006, 09:08:28 AM
PC RPGs tend to utilize more adult characters and storylines.  It's just that console RPGs have more appealing gameplay interfaces for us:P

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment uses young adult characters (aged from 21-32) who struggle with adult issues and have adult dialogue.  Heck, even the teenagers in Persona 2: Innocent Sin have mature and insightful dialogue, so they don't seem like chickenheads like many teens in cookie-cutter RPGs.
3664  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs on: March 15, 2006, 10:22:40 AM
Trid- I think it's a universal truth that in any video game, RPG or otherwise, the desert is always the most annoying dungeon/stage.  For me the worst desert had to be the one in Stupid Invaders.  Every screen looked exactly the same and you had to do them in a certain order to get to where you needed to go, or you'd die.  And there were NO HINTS for navigation as far as I could find.  I had to use a FAQ for it and I have no clue how the FAQ writer figured it out.
3665  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Things you can’t bear in RPGs on: March 14, 2006, 10:41:50 PM
It was only in Paladin's Quest and Skies of Arcadia that this bothered me, but whatever.  In Paladin's Quest, the color scheme for the graphics was such that it really hurt my eyes after playing for mere minutes.  In Skies of Arcadia, the strobe effects for the special attacks made my eyes go funny and made me feel slightly dizzy.  Granted, yes, in SoA you could skip the animation by pressing start, but sometimes I didn't press it quickly enough.  Not convenient.  

I don't like it when video games cause me physical discomfort.  

Another thing I didn't like in Skies of Arcadia was that the camera was very herky-jerky during battles and made me feel seasick.  In contrast, games like Grandia 2 had very smooth panning cameras during battle and I had no issues playing that game.  

FF7 was a notorious culprit in this one particular niggle, and Nocturne did this in a couple of places too.  I didn't like those segments where the camera was panned so far away from the prerendered backdrop that the player character icon was tiny, like the size of an ant.  Were it not for the pointer thingie and the exit markers, FF7 would have been an exercise in navigatory frustration.  

Various other issues mentioned, I can probably deal with, but the eyestrain and dizziness issues in Paladin's Quest and Skies of Arcadia are ones that are complete showstoppers for me, as well as herky jerky camera work; smooth panning please.
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