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5581  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Games of the Year on: December 24, 2007, 05:32:40 PM
I don't know... one could argue that 2007 was a good year for RPGs because there were more RPGs released in 2007 than in many years prior.  I could probably list 20 or more RPGs (Japanese and otherwise) off the top of my head that were released in 2007.  And since my knowledge is limited, there's probably been a LOT more.  So in terms of quantity, 2007 actually has been a good year for RPGs.  

I mean, I remember back in ye olden days when North American gaming markets barely got 1-3 RPGs a year, and even by today's standards 20+  and any I'm forgetting is more RPGs than usual for one year.  Of course by the law of statistics, not all of them can be winners.  In a classroom of 20 kids, not all 20 of them will get A's for the semester.

But I agree that among the Japanese RPGs released in 2007, most were pretty mediocre.  Though I must admit, Naruto: Path of the Ninja for DS was my pleasant surprise for 2007.  I expected that game to suck, but I was pleasantly surprised that it actually had above average storytelling by JRPG standards.

Neal's picks so far:
Disappointment of the year- Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner
Pleasant surprise of the year- Naruto: Path of the Ninja
5582  Media / Brush and Quill / What book....? on: December 24, 2007, 04:58:27 PM
I'm 2/3 of the way through Huw Lyan Thomas' "Better than Real" and though it's a fun if completely unremarkable read, I think this is one book that would translate very well into a screenplay.  I think a 2 hour movie could be made from this book that doesn't chop much out and will keep audiences entertained.  It's a cyberpunk novel, but it's uber-casual cyberpunk that any average joe could comprehend.  The hypothetical "Better than Real" movie is not going to be some academy award winning cinema, but it has what it takes to be an entertaining summer blockbuster.  

Sometimes I think the books that could translate well to movies are ones that book fans might find "casual" or even superficial.  Some of the books many of you folks are into are so packed with detail that any movie adaptation is bound to leave disappointment.  I mean, look at The Golden Compass movie.  Anyone who read the book will be disappointed with the choppiness of the whole thing (many crucial details were omitted or superficially glazed over) and anyone who did not read the book will be completely lost and all "WTF" about what's going on.

Some movies based on books have been quite good.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy was excellent.  I thought The Whale Rider was a great complement to the book; the book took the perspective of one character and the movie took the perspective of a different one so both work together as one comprehensive package.  The NeverEnding Story worked well, partially because the movie only covered the first half or so of the book- the Nothing story arc.  That was an intelligent move, because the post-Nothing part of the book was not as good.
5583  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Games of the Year on: December 24, 2007, 04:45:03 PM
I'm going to wax on why 2007 was such a great year for gaming.  There were so many high quality titles in all genres that there really are no clear runaway winners anywhere.  For every site that lists, say, Bioshock as its best game of the year 2007, there's another one that probably dubs its top honor to Super Mario Galaxy, and yet another one still who may declare Rock Band as 2007's game of the year.  That's pretty cool, I think.  There is no clear one best game for 2007.    

And the one thing I find really interesting in the race for best RPG for 2007 among all the gaming media, the frontrunners are non-Japanese RPGs like The Witcher and Mass Effect.

Of course anyone who knows me even slightly can easily guess what my top RPG for 2007 is.
5584  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: December 24, 2007, 04:29:10 PM
Since it's Christmas Eve, I will enjoy 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" starting at 8pm tonight.  I always find myself watching it a couple of times in that span.  Easily my favorite Christmas movie ever.  Gotta love the leg lamp.

And if some of y'all RPGfan peanut gallery posters keep taking potshots the way you do, you'll shoot your eyes out! :P
5585  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Games of the Year on: December 24, 2007, 11:30:56 AM
I'd say for me, the biggest disappointment for 2007 was Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner for PSP.  My review says why.
5586  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Aveyond & Ahriman's Prophecy (independently developed RP on: December 24, 2007, 11:05:49 AM
Thanks for reading, man.  I perused the Blossomsoft forum, and Mimic Book's already piqued my interest.  I'm always interested in games from smaller, independent development houses.  For 2008, I'm looking forward to A Vampyre Story and Prominence on the graphic adventure front.
5587  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Games of the Year on: December 23, 2007, 10:54:12 AM
Oh don't worry, we're doing our Game of the Year feature for 2007.  Man, 2007 has been an amazing year for gaming, hasn't it?  Not just in RPGs, but for gaming in general.
5588  The Rest / General Discussions / Generally Unhappy Fairy tales on: December 23, 2007, 10:04:20 AM
Well a lot of those fairy tales like those collected by the Brothers' Grimm were never kids' stories to begin with.  They were stories by and from adults.  And if you look at various kids' nursery rhymes, there's a lot of death and stuff in them.  Anyone remember the Garfield and Friends Saturday morning cartoon?  In one episode of US Acres, the network makes Orson and friends reenact nursery rhymes only to find objectionable content in all of them.  

Look at Goosey Goosey Gander:

Goosey goosey gander where do you wander
Upstairs downstairs in my lady's chamber
I once met an old man who wouldn't say his prayers
So I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs

EDIT: As for the Disney sanitizations and alterations, I thought that was fairly common knowledge for a while.
5589  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Tales of Vesperia on: December 22, 2007, 10:54:59 PM
On the one hand, yes Tales has become quite the prolific RPG series of late.  On the other hand, I don't think enough Tales games have hit US shores.  I'll be excited for any new Tales games once I hear news of releases outside of Japan.
5590  Media / Brush and Quill / Book Thread Continued on: December 22, 2007, 10:15:41 PM
I'm about 5 chapters into "Better than Real" by Huw Lyan Thomas.  It's a sci-fi (post modern cyberpunk) book.  The writing is a tad choppy and the story is nothing original (it evokes aspects of various anime and comics I've liked), but the pacing is excellent and the characters are cool.  Part of me thinks that this book would actually work quite well as a movie, at least so far.
5591  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Final Fantasy IV DS on: December 22, 2007, 06:38:18 PM
Geez, why does every FF thread have to turn into pissing?  All Ash intended was to share impressions of the FF4 remake for interested parties.  If you liked or disliked FF4 before for whatever reasons, this should be an informative thread for people to decide if it's worth another shot.  

Ash, thanks for the impressions and keeping the community updated with them as you play.  Regardless of the way some people are acting in this thread, I think they are very much appreciated by any interested parties.
5592  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment Part 7,894,673,589.3 on: December 21, 2007, 11:32:49 PM
Ghost Opera is a great album.  

My SOTM is "Circulatory System Overhaul" by Dysrhythmia.  They're one of my favorite bands right now and I can never seem to get tired of them.  I don't know how many times I've listened to "Bastard" and it still remains good.  Anyway, "Circulatory System Overhaul" is from the No Interference album that I've been using as bedtime music for a while and the riff in that song sticks with me.  

And since Dysrhythmia is instrumentals only, no lyrics for you.
5593  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: December 21, 2007, 07:07:38 PM
I just saw Golden Compass.  I have very mixed feelings about it.  The visual design was great and the casting was splendid.  However, the editing was quite choppy and therein lies why the movie kinda fails.  Anyone who's read the books will be disappointed because of detail omissions and anyone who has not read the books will be completely lost for the same reasons.

I've read the books and since I had them, my mom read them (she's a voracious reader) so she wanted to see it too.  

Like the book, the movie is rather boring until Lyra meets Iorek the bear.

Best part was getting free sets of Golden Compass decks of cards at the theater.
5594  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Persona 4 next year? on: December 21, 2007, 09:47:40 AM
This may be a tricky one.  I mean in the US, consoles have a shorter shelf life than they do in Japan.  The US gaming market more readily goes "out with the old, in with the new" whereas Japan was still developing some SNES games a statistically significant amount of time within the PSOne's life cycle.  

On the other hand, Playstation 2 still has such a strong userbase and with newer consoles like the 360 and PS3 still being prohibitively expensive for many people, maybe this is the time people will hang onto older consoles longer and the business side of things will have to realize that to make a profit.  

As a Persona and MegaTen fan, I'd love to see FES and 4 given US release as much, if not more than, any of you.  But it will be business and market trends in the US that give the yay or nay to Playstation 2 titles three years into the life cycle of the Playstation 3.
5595  Media / Single-Player RPGs / I need some good advice :) on: December 20, 2007, 04:38:02 PM
Still, given how talked about a game like Chrono Cross is, even years from now, and how it gets such divergent love it/hate it opinions is reason enough to try it and see for yourself.  It's like with Final Fantasy 7.  People who love it rave over it.  People who hate it take a dump on it at any opportunity.  Any game that gets that kind of extreme response in both directions is one worth trying if you haven't already done so.
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