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318867 Posts in 13029 Topics by 2145 Members
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5566  The Rest / General Discussions / The writing/scripting topic. on: January 07, 2007, 01:57:12 AM
I can sometimes be sensitive to technical errors.  I mean, I did work professionally as a proofreader for a publishing company at one point in my life (heh, and now I help proofread for the site:P)  But I've learned when to leave my job at work.  

But there are times when I can overlook the technical errors when the dialogue, scripting, and story are so good like in Hirameki's English translation of Ever 17: Out of Infinity.  That's become my favorite video game of all time.  It was *that* good, but the amount of technical errors present in that game would make editor types go insane.

Hirameki's gotten a lot better, though.  They really tightened things up for their localization of Yo-Jin-Bo: The Bodyguards.  

On the other hand, Working Designs did some of the most acclaimed localizations, but I couldn't stand all the stupid shit that Victor Ireland would insert into the English script (like the fart jokes or out of place pop culture references).

One way I see the whole thing is that all forms of media have limitations in terms of how they can convey a story, so storytelling becomes even more important than the story itself.  A monotonous storyteller can easily kill a dynamic story whereas a skilled storyteller can make a familiar tale seem fresh and sexy.
5567  The Rest / General Discussions / Hobby versus Lifestyle and the monies involved on: January 06, 2007, 09:50:42 PM
Jedi?  Nah.  That whole lifestyle isn't for me.  It's like joining a convent or monastery.  I'd have to dedicate my life to the faith and not be able to party, go out with the ladies, fall in love, get married, have kids... way too restricting for me.  

Though other lifestyles have the risk of restricting its constituents too.  Like if you find yourself playing in a jazz/funk/R&B band, as much as you like it, that environment will definitely restrict you from expressing your more aggressive speed-metal side, hence why many musicians take breaks from their main bands and do side projects.  It's not cheating.  Just a vacation to allow the mind to breathe in other creative contexts.  

That's one good thing about the gaming lifestyle.  Many genres to choose from.  And I think that's one reason why many RPGers are also great fans of intense shooters.
5568  The Rest / General Discussions / The writing/scripting topic. on: January 06, 2007, 09:45:33 PM
If it's one thing I can assume about the populace here at RPGfan, it's that we appreciate good writing in our media.  We play RPGs, graphic adventures, visual novels all of which contain more story-oriented elements than your average platformer like Super Mario Bros.  In addition, many of us are avid readers, avid moviegoers, and even aspiring writers.  

There have been discussions here and there about how poor writing/scripting can ruin an otherwise darn good media experience.  There have been many times that I've read books that had great stories, but the writing was so cumbersome that I lost my appetite.  There have been times I've seen movies that had great concepts and solid plotlines, but the dialogue and scripting was cheesy, cracker thin, or generally subpar.  

I think that scripting/dialogue can make or break a game like an RPG or graphic adventure, since they are much more story oriented than, say, a platformer like Mario.  

I love Tales of Phantasia.  I think it's one of the best console RPGs ever.  However, the GBA port that US gamers got had some of the most stale writing I had seen in a while.  It was devoid of technical errors, but it was so bland that it absolutely sucked dry the great distinct personalities of all the characters.  In contrast, the English dialoge in Tales of Destiny and Tales of Symphonia was really good and really brought the characters to life.  This is really too bad, because the characters in Phantasia are really cool and have distinct personalities, but it doesn't come across due to the poor scripting.  

On the other hand, Phantasy Star 3 had writing as absolutely dry as you could get (whenever you did get it) but somehow, I was able to overlook the horrendously dry writing (among other things) and enjoy one of the most epic and original storylines I'd ever experienced in an RPG.  

In movies, one need only look at something like Star Wars Ep. 2: Attack of the Clones.  The concept and story are actually pretty good, but the dialogue is so laughably bad, especially that between Anakin and Amidala.  But I'll still watch the film every time it comes on the tube, because Star Wars is always fun and I dig the visual effects.  It's pure eye candy.  

Books are a different story entirely.  I mean, it's 100% writing and the storytelling can make or break it.  Even when the writing is really really good, one author's style may not click with you.  But if an author's writing style is really dry and cannot engage ANY reader... yeah.

So to reiterate, what are your thoughts?  Is subpar writing/scripting a dealbreaker for you?  Is it possible for you to look past it and allow the other redeeming qualities of the game to drive your progress?  Why or why not?  What about books and movies?  Are there other redeeming factors in those mediums that would allow you to overlook subpar dialogue/writing/scripting?  Why or why not?
5569  Media / The Soundroom / Song on FFV OST, "Harvest", DRIVING ME CRAZY on: January 05, 2007, 02:20:08 PM
Sounds like a sped-up and more Celtic style version of the Millennial Fair music from Chrono Trigger.
5570  The Rest / General Discussions / 4# lanruoJ emaG on: January 05, 2007, 10:13:12 AM
I'm about 8 hours into Rocket Slime.  Man that game is fun.  Most pleasant surprise of 2006 for me.
5571  The Rest / General Discussions / [spam bot] on: January 04, 2007, 08:25:02 AM
Ugh, spam bots.  I hate them.  Before I lock the topic, I'm gonna have a little fun with this.
5572  The Rest / General Discussions / Hobby versus Lifestyle and the monies involved on: January 02, 2007, 11:30:20 AM
So far, great discussion everyone.  My intent was to provide some food for thought and see what other perspectives had to offer.  

It is obvious that monetary investment alone does not dictate entrenchement into a hobby or lifestyle; it's a psychological investment too.  I too think a key part of a lifestyle is being able to share it with others who identify with you and who you identify with, plus who you have access to.

Perspective too is a huge thing in terms of a lifestyle.  It's very possible for someone to be entrenched within a certain lifestyle but be in complete denial about it.  I.e., the "closet" metalhead or the "just don't tell my wife/girlfriend about this" anime otaku.  

So carry on people.  The whole lifestyle, hobby, and how to benchmark your own entrenchment within it is a good reflective topic and interesting.
5573  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies on: January 02, 2007, 10:43:59 AM
I caught 40 Year Old Virgin on the tube last night.  That was definitely a charming movie.  Excellently scripted.  Even the over-the-top stuff that would be groan-worthy in other movies was handled surprisingly well and was actually funny.
5574  The Rest / General Discussions / 4# lanruoJ emaG on: January 02, 2007, 10:27:06 AM
I'm about 7 hours into Rocket Slime DS and about 5 or so into Tales of Phantasia GBA.  Road trips are great times to game.  

Current verdict: Rocket Slime is really fun.  Tales of Phantasia is another 2006 disappointment.
5575  The Rest / General Discussions / Hobby versus Lifestyle and the monies involved on: December 31, 2006, 06:51:09 PM
One thing that's always been on the lips of the masses for every new console launch is that X amount of money is too much for a "mere toy."  Back when I was a tween, $200 was considered obscenely expensive for a Sega Genesis.  Nowadays, $600 for a PS3 is considered obscenely and perhaps prohibitively expensive while $250 for a Wii is "reasonable."  

Speaking purely for myself, I would not pay $600 for a gaming console.  To me, that's prohibitively expensive for a mid-level hobby of mine.  That's one reason I tend to stick mostly to graphic adventures, because even the latest and greatest in that genre don't need a super tricked out PC.  

On the other hand, I could be considered a hypocrite, because where I denounce $600 as obscenely expensive for a gaming console, I've dropped 2 G's or more on bass amps, guitar amps, PA system, drumset, a pro quality bass, and other music gear in an effort to turn a basement into a jam space/ venue/ rudimentary studio, and I have no qualms about spending more on music gear.  

I think that's perhaps because gaming is a hobby in my mind, but music is more of a lifestyle for me.  (When I say lifestyle, I mean something outside of regular 9-5 life that's more than just a hobby; Like many people who have day jobs in an office may be die-hard Trekkers and into the Star Trek lifestyle.)  I love the music scene, going to shows, helping out at concerts, performing, all that.  In my mind, I could quit gaming more easily and readily than I could quit music.  

To someone who's more into the gaming/anime/manga lifestyle, perhaps $600 is not something to balk at for a new console.  More money is probably spent prepping for a convention or something, especially if they like to cosplay.  

To someone who's really into the automotive lifestyle, spending multiple G's on Bilstein shocks, Eibach springs, Borla exhaust is par for the lifestyle but considered "why the fuck are you wasting so much money on pointless upgrades for a mere mode of transportation?"  

I'm sure to a certain extent some of us are entrenched in the "lifestyle" of gaming, whatever that may be defined as.  As much as I may consider myself a hobbyist, I still write for a gaming website and thus am more a part of the lifestyle than most people.  

So I thought I'd open a topic up for discussion about when something is considered a hobby versus a lifestyle and what differentiates the two.  Is it merely the amount of money spent on it?  Is it the perception of what is considered obscenely or prohibitively expensive?  Is it less about the money and more about the surrounding culture of a lifestyle?  Who of you here would consider yourselves part of a gaming lifestyle versus just a hobbyist?
5576  Media / Single-Player RPGs / the first couple hours in midgar on: December 31, 2006, 05:37:46 PM
I'm with you, bro.  Midgar was my favorite part of FF7 too.  I just wish more could have been done with it.  The whole gritty urban environment is great.  That's one reason I love Megami Tensei games like Persona so much; the gritty modern and post-modern urban environments are so cool.  To me, all the coolest stuff in the game happened in Midgar and the rest of the game was mostly a standard RPG wild goose chase after an elusive villain.  

I love how in Midgar, the villain was not some sorceror madman, but a corporation exploiting the planet's natural and human resources.  Then the villain became Sephiroth and the thing became a fairly normal RPG.  

Most people do say that the game opens up when you leave Midgar, and while that's true, I wanted more Midgar.  I wanted more gritty tight-knit urban corporate political cyber/steampunk.

Midgar was cool, but a LOT more could have been done with it.  The true potential of Midgar was not realized.  

--

I felt the same way about FF8 as well.  It started out with the whole school environment and school ties.  I'm always a sucker for stories set in schools and all about school ties and all that.  That's one reason I love the Harry Potter books so much, because Hogwarts school is such an interesting environment.  

But I didn't get to spend enough time in the school.  Granted, disk 1 was awesome when it was tight political intrigue, but then it just became what Professor Gast calls the "Blair Witch Fantasy" and it became more about bombast and less about the simple things.

The Garden schools were cool, but a LOT more could have been done with them.  The true potential of the Garden schools was not realized.
5577  The Rest / General Discussions / Saddam Hussein Executed in Iraq on: December 30, 2006, 10:55:01 PM
Quote from: "Dincrest"
I was actually more scared of his son Uday.  That guy was one of the sickest sadists to ever walk this Earth.  

Well, so Saddam's sons were killed in recent years and now dad's gone.

But just because he's dead does not mean a thing.  From the bowels of hatred can easily spring a new successor.  One man (and his sadistic sons) are dead, but the plight of the Middle East is far from over.  

If people want to sing "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" and party like it's 1999, let them.  But personally, I don't think anything's ended.  Everything's still beginning.


Addendum: Personally, I think Saddam Hussein and his sons deserved to die, especially given the disgusting atrocities they've committed against humanity. Faith, belief systems and all else aside, there is absolutely no justification for the absolute sadistic and prolonged torture and gross humiliation of human beings, and the Husseins were some of the most twisted, sadistic torturers to ever walk this planet.
5578  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Completed RPGs of 2006 on: December 30, 2006, 10:27:08 PM
My list of beaten games for 2006:

2006 releases:
-Exodus Guilty vol. 2: Past
-Exodus Guilty vol. 3: Future
-Contact
-Touch Detective
-MS Saga
-Children of Mana
-Yo-Jin-Bo: The Bodyguards

non-2006 releases:
-Ai Yori Aoshi
-Aveyond
-Exodus Guilty vol. 1: Present
-Hourglass of Summer
-Tea Society of a Witch
-Trace Memory

and though I had beaten Ever 17: Out of Infinity multiple times in 2005, in '06 I managed to get the true endings for everyone and the true final ending, which was amazing to say the least.  

Ever 17 notwithstanding, the best 2006 release I played was easily Yo-Jin-Bo.  But the best overall game I played in 2006 was Hourglass of Summer.  It got an Editor's Choice award from me.  I think Hourglass and Ever 17 are the only two games I've ever given Editor's Choice to.  

Honorable mention should go to the Exodus Guilty series.  Sure the gameplay is lacking in the US versions (the JP version is more interactive), but the storyline is probably the best storyline I've experienced in a video game.

Biggest disappointments for 2006 for me were Children of Mana, Contact, and Tales of Phantasia (I've not beaten it, but I have issues with this version.)  But the worst overall game I played in '06 was Ai Yori Aoshi.  Normally, I like the games Hirameki chooses to localize, but Ai Yori Aoshi was complete garbage.
5579  Media / Brush and Quill / Book Thread Continued on: December 30, 2006, 07:00:20 PM
I found Slaughterhouse 5 really boring.  I'm not a Vonnegut fan.  I've read some of his short stories and found them pretty meh.  

Anyway, I finally finished The Amber Spyglass, book 3 of His Dark Materials.  Man, that book was a chore to read.  It dragged a lot and I fast forwarded a lot just to get to the stuff I needed to understand the ending.  I usually NEVER do that and read books attentively all the way through.  

The Golden Compass was good, if a bit slow in the beginning.  

The Subtle Knife was excellent; easily the best book in the series.  

Either way, Will Parry and Iorek Byrnison are the coolest characters.  Will rocks!
5580  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies on: December 30, 2006, 10:59:35 AM
And no one watched "A Christmas Story" during the holidays?  For shame, people.  One yardstick I measure Christmas by is not by how much I consumed, but by how many times I watched "A Christmas Story."  I saw it 4 times.  

And if you didn't watch it, you'll shoot your eye out. :P
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