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Congratulations to Andrew Barker! RPGfan Editor of the Year and now Chief News Editor!
341148 Posts in 13943 Topics by 2222 Members
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5581  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Nippon Ichi sux the big one. and i dont mean the xbox on: June 18, 2007, 01:48:11 PM
Bottom line:

If you don't like what one company puts out, then don't buy it.  If other people like it, viva la difference.  It's like with food.  Some people love broccoli.  Others don't.  It doesn't make it a "bad" or "crappy" food.  

Different game developers/publishers create/release lots of unique content.  A NIS RPG is different from a Square-Enix RPG which is a different flavor from a Namco-Bandai RPG.  I say viva la difference.  

I like having lots of restaurants with lots of unique cuisine to choose from rather than just one restaurant with one kind of cuisine.  

This topic is pure flamebait, trolling, and as such violates forum policy.  The initial post was clearly flaming NIS fans, and people took the bait and flamed back.

Not a productive topic.  Topic locked.  Don't feed the trolls.  Have a stupendous day.
5582  Media / Single-Player RPGs / FFT PSP slowdown "not that bad," says S-E on: June 14, 2007, 09:43:12 PM
Eus- good point.  Yeah, slowdown or not there's no denying Odin Sphere as a quality product regardless.  

Still with porting, I would think that with today's technology one could port a game to a equally or more powerful platform without slowdown, glitching, and all that.  

Eh, I too see S-E as becoming kinda like Gibson and Fender who are becoming more about grabbing money through past glories than creating a quality product (like they did in the good old vintage days.)  They put out a fuckton of often not-so-well made copies of past designs that made them successful and people still buy them because it's the brand they're familiar with.  Not only cheap copies, but highly priced ones too with poor quality.  (You should see the shitty fretwork on some $3000 Les Pauls.)
5583  The Rest / General Discussions / AMA may label 'Video Game Addiction' as disorder on: June 14, 2007, 09:22:23 PM
That's the real issue with the article.  The criteria they're mulling over to determing if X is an addiction or not are misguided and likely not very well researched.  I wonder what they're comparing it to to get that arbitrary 2 hour per night number.  I mean, watching TV for 2 hours a night isn't a big deal.  Reading a book for 2 hours a night isn't a big deal.  But shooting heroin or snorting zombie dust for 2 hours straight every night is a whole 'nother story.

And the idea of pharmaceuticals is that certain neurotransmitters and other neural entities are unbalanced in a true addict's brain.  Like an addict needs to get lots of a fix to keep his/her seratonin levels (for example) in balance like a "normally adjusted" person who's just fine through normal living.  Hence, the pharmaceuticals are mainly to properly balance the neural chemistry.  

I don't know much about neuropsychology or neuroscience, but the bottom line is that the drugs are there to treat chemical imbalances in the brain and an addict does have chemical/neurotransmitter imbalances.  Drugs obviously have their downsides.  With methadone, for example, heroin junkies are basically trading one addiction for another.  

Of course, drugs alone are useless.  Drugs + Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is ideal.  Of course, many people don't even need the drugs and the CBT alone is sufficient.  Not all addictions stem from neural imbalances.  Many addictions stem from sociobehavioral circumstances initially maybe as a coping habit then eventually become a more unconscious habit then addiction.  

I don't think it's a bad thing to research and set up criteria to define addiction with regards to new stimuli that more modern/advanced living brings to us, but the article as a whole is really really really flawed and I seriously have to question those flaws.
5584  The Rest / General Discussions / AMA may label 'Video Game Addiction' as disorder on: June 14, 2007, 09:01:39 PM
Ahhh, but playing video games CAN become an addiction if done to extremes that fuck up normal healthy living big time.  

ANYthing can become an addiction if it fucks up normal living to certain extents, whether it be via physical, social, and/or psychological health.  It's possible to become addicted to water, for example.  And a water drinking addiction can really fuck up your health (i.e. overtaxing your kidneys, diluting your blood.)  

Look at the difference between a social drinker and an alcoholic.  In much the same way, look at the difference between a normal gamer and guys like that Korean dude who died playing Counterstrike because he didn't eat for, what, 72 hours straight?  That's addiction, and it's a pretty ugly thing.  

Of course, that's extremes and degrees of addiction run across a spectrum.  

Personally, I think addiction comes when the stimulus controls you rather than you controlling the stimulus.    

I do agree that using pharmaceuticals to treat every little thing is overboard.  I think cognitive behavioral therapy is much more effective to help people get over addictions.

Addiction is a VERY complicated thing.  I've studied addiction theory extensively in undergratuate and graduate level abnormal psychology classes, dealt with addictions among my own family and friends, and done some delving in the DSM-IV.  And to say I'm still baffled is an understatement.  

I still think the article and the people being quoted in it are oversimplifying things.  Addiction cannot and should not be oversimplified as that's a disservice to practitioners' and clients/patients' understanding.
5585  Media / Single-Player RPGs / FFT PSP slowdown "not that bad," says S-E on: June 14, 2007, 08:50:39 PM
I too would think that, yeah, 16 years after the first CD-based home console and with todays technology available for porting and stuff, slowdown would become a thing of the past.  

Still, it's amazing that depending on where it comes from slowdown can either be demonized or forgiven as a minor annoyance.  I mean, slowdown was mostly forgiven as a minor annoyance by many here in Odin Sphere.  But if that same slowdown is seen in a S-E game, oh ho it's pitchfork time!
5586  The Rest / General Discussions / AMA may label 'Video Game Addiction' as disorder on: June 14, 2007, 08:42:48 PM
Addiction to anything is serious.  However, I'm not sure they have the criteria quite right.  Playing video games for 2 hours a day is not enough to disrupt normal living.  Watching 2 hours of TV a day doesn't disrupt normal living.  Playing 6+ hours a day does.  

Addiction to anything has its consequences and new things pop up all the time that one could be/become addicted to.  Internet addiction is a real thing.  

Addiction is really complex.  There's bazillions of pages in the DSM-IV about all kinds of addiction disorders.  There's a wide variety and a wide spectrum (it's not just "addicted" or "not."  There's varying degrees of addiction.)  

I think video game addiction is a real phenomenon and should be studied for inclusion in a DSM, but the way the article is presented, it seems like the researchers and the writers are oversimplifying the matter.
5587  The Rest / General Discussions / Game books on: June 14, 2007, 10:35:25 AM
This one import game I played briefly for Dreamcast called deSPIRIA was like a point and click adventure with turn-based RPG battles.  I never played a game quite like that one.  

Lard- I recall that a few Fighting Fantasy books did occasionally have group combat.  I believe Seas of Blood had some crew/ ship-to-ship battles.  But, yeah, Fighting Fantasy was always pretty much a solo struggle.  

One thing I realized about the Way of the Tiger books that I liked was the ability to choose what kind of strikes I would use against an opponent.  I thought that was pretty boss.  

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the statistics/innovations found in video games were originally drawn from gamebooks.  For example, the sanity meter in Eternal Darkness made me think of House of Hades's (House of Hell outside the US) psychological resistance meter where each encounter added points and accumulating too many points would cause you to die of fright.
5588  The Rest / General Discussions / Pepsi Cucumber.....? on: June 13, 2007, 11:25:47 PM
And Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda isn't serious?  That's a legitimate soda sold year-round not as a gag (though it does make some people gag.  I personally kinda like it in a weird way.)
5589  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: June 13, 2007, 11:21:45 PM
Kickin' it REAL old school, baby.  1980s old school.  This game journal entry is definitely inspired by that Game Books thread, which made me fondly remember my enjoyment of the Fighting Fantasy series.  I managed to snag a cheap, preowned, and clean (read: no markings on the pages) copy of the book Rebel Planet, from the Fighting Fantasy series.  I had lost my original copy of Rebel Planet in a move, so I definitely wanted a 'new' copy.  

Not a video game, but certainly has the elements we expect in a good console RPG: story, battle, exploration, and some puzzles.  It's like a single player tabletop RPG with a more streamlined interface and a story penned by an author and not by "you."  

More about Fighting Fantasy can be found in the Game Books thread, but in a nutshell, Fighting Fantasy gamebooks are like single-player, story-centered, tabletop RPGs where you keep track of stats and use dice for battles.  To me, it's kinda like console RPGs before RPG worthy consoles existed.  

Anyway, I gave it a read/play today.  Still as good as I remember it being, and just as challenging too (I died/ Game Over'd a LOT.)  Despite being written in the 1980s, it didn't feel dated like vintage sci-fi tends to.  Some of the stuff actually seemed plausible and the story was surprisingly well-written for a gamebook.  

I pretty much did a straight & narrow run to the end, but I missed out on a lot of the more interesting subplots.  Yeah, I know my time for exploring the planets was limited and there were many cool NPCs I didn't get to chit-chat with much, but I definitely want to play/read it again to check out some of the subplots.
5590  The Rest / General Discussions / Pepsi Cucumber.....? on: June 13, 2007, 10:57:36 PM
Well, in the good ol' US of A we have that turkey flavored soda during Thanksgiving.  Oh, and Dr. Brown's makes that "Cel-Ray" celery flavored soda.  That's a weird soda.
5591  The Rest / General Discussions / Game books on: June 13, 2007, 09:05:32 PM
How could I forget.  Comprehensive gamebook link http://www.gamebooks.org

I think part of the reason I was a little intimidated by Fighting Fantasy as a kid (besides the scary art and more descriptive violence in the text) was that there were more consequences associated with fighting, death, killing, etc. than in more simplistic gamebooks like CYOA.  Winning a battle within an inch of your life in Fighting Fantasy carries significantly more consequence than a life-or-death struggle in a more simplistic gamebook.

I believe Seas of Blood and Rebel Planet were made into Commodore 64 text adventure games with some graphics.  http://homepages.tesco.net/~parsonsp/html/c64_gamebooks.html should have a couple of Rebel Planet and Seas of Blood screens.  

Part of me wonders what a Fighting Fantasy gamebook would be like as a more modern RPG since there are encounters and turn-based combat built into the books.  However, another part of me likes them just fine as books and I can use my imagination to create the visual environments of the adventures.  

Genres like Japanese visual novels and love adventures embrace and heavily use the CYOA format.
5592  Media / The Soundroom / s0nG oF tEh mOmEnt on: June 13, 2007, 08:15:42 AM
Deg, you're 2 months and 12 days late for April Fool's Day.  

My songs of the moment: Last week I saw my friend Seth Bisen-Hersh's talent showcase, so in honor of that I have to have his hit song "If Only I Were Gay" as a song of the moment.  

Last week, I also saw my friends in Le Adder Noir perform and because I like their song "Lost Creatures" so much they even said "this one's for Neal since he loves this song" which was awesome.  

Sharing the stage with Le Adder Noir was this unique band called Double Breasted which consisted of a harpist, a cellist, and a drummer.  They were really good, so song of the moment in their honor is "Janus." http://www.myspace.com/doublebreasted
5593  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Ar-Tonelico II on: June 12, 2007, 08:07:35 PM
That Ar-Tonelico trailer didn't even show any of that.  Zero game footage, flash or otherwise.  Just slow scrolling over still pictures of art.  It reminds me of those old Infinity commercials back in the late 80s/early 90s where they show nature scenery, a narrator would talk about some nature bullshit, but they'd never show the goddamned car.
5594  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Ar-Tonelico II on: June 12, 2007, 07:45:44 PM
Heavens to Betsy was that trailer ever boring.  Game aside, that was one poorly designed trailer.  It moved way too slowly and didn't show anything; no gameplay footage, no battles... If the point of a trailer is to generate interest in a game, it failed miserably here.  And though the music was nice and soothing, I'm not sure I want a lullaby during a trailer.  Put me to sleep, it did.

EDIT:  I'm with Dennis in that the Soul Nomad trailer was f'n awesome.  That's how a trailer should be done.  Show some graphical flair, show some gameplay, show/tell me something about the game that would pique my interest, and play some good music.
5595  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst RPG you've ever played. on: June 12, 2007, 03:22:06 PM
Games like Shining The Holy Ark, Shining in the Darkness, and Shining Soul I do not see as part of the Shining FORCE series.  I see Shining as an overarching umbrella with a bunch of sub-series, kinda like MegaTen.  

To me, anything with the Shining FORCE moniker should be an SRPG, and IMO Shining Force Neo and Exa were an embarassment to the series.  Not simply because they weren't SRPGs, but also because I didn't think they were very good games, period.      

If it's Shining Soul, Shining Star, or Shining Bagodonuts, it can do whatever the hell it wants.  But when I see Shining FORCE I have certain expectations.  It's like when I pick up a bottle of Jack Daniels.  I'd be really pissed off if all of a sudden I take a swig from a bottle of Jack and it tastes like strawberry kiwi lemonade instead of bourbon.  

Either way, it's impossible to pick an objective worst RPG.  We all have our own subjective criteria as to what we consider shit.  In any thread like this we see responses like Quest 64 (an almost universally panned RPG) to FF7 (which was a quality game.)  And then you have games like the NIS SRPGs where the reasons people love them are the same reasons people hate them.
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