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5596  Media / Single-Player RPGs / what is your addition to the console rpg formula? on: March 28, 2008, 04:34:09 PM
Good look on Phantasy Star 4.  One thing it did that I wish more JRPGs did was have combat a little different in vehicles rather than on foot.
5597  The Rest / General Discussions / Faith kills on: March 28, 2008, 08:02:41 AM
How so?  Everyone believes in something.  I also happen to be atheist.  I don't believe in or place faith in an external intangible idol (read: God).  I believe in existential humanism.  I believe in people's ability to control and change their lives and destinies.  It's like Albert Camus said "are you satisfied with the world you've created?"  You create your world based on your actions.

As Prime Mover said, an atheist has faith in the non-existence of God.  And if, as Damian said, you can only place faith in something unverifiable, this is it.  

I, as a human, do place faith and beliefs in something.  I place faith in change/evolution, because as the human species grows and changes as its done since the time of cavemen, science and logic has changed and evolved as well.  

And what about self? People can have faith in self.  And if you want to say you can only have faith in something unverifiable, then self is it.  Everyone's been seeking "self" since early mankind.  

And even when people are faithless and disillusioned (particularly due to horrible circumstances), they look for something or someone to believe in.  They seek out faith in something, be it humanity, self, God, whatever.  When people feel that God or humanity or whatever's forsaken them, they seek out something else to place faith in.  Faith is an important aspect in the concept of humanity.  I have faith in the complexity of humanity and humanism.  

But I digress.  If you want to get into a whole discussion about faith and religion, we can do that in another thread or in PM.  I'm merely responding to being called out.  

This thread is about a girl who did not deserve to die.  Regardless of what we believe we can all agree that what happened to this girl is awful.  To suffer with an untreated medical condition the way she did, that's just saddening.  No amount of prayer is going to increase the body's production of insulin.  Diabetes runs in my family, so I see how it affects people's health and lives.  Poor girl.  She barely had a chance to live.
5598  Media / Single-Player RPGs / what is your addition to the console rpg formula? on: March 27, 2008, 11:10:31 PM
Save points were originally created to cut down on memory resource usage.  With today's technology, even on handhelds, this is not needed any more.  That is why it's archaic.  Random encounters were done for this reason as well, and with today's technology there is no need for those either.

There are plenty of challenging video games out there that allow the user to save any time he or she wants.  I like to save when I want to save.  Not when the game tells me to.  I don't think this convenience makes games any less challenging.  American PC RPGs are plenty challenging while still allowing the user to save on their convenience.  Why can't Japanese RPGs evolve that way?  Persona 2: Eternal Punishment was a challenging JRPG that allowed anywhere saving.  With dungeons that long, hunting for save points would be a nuisance.  

And how is loading up a prior save when you've lost a boss battle a strike against saving anywhere?  Wouldn't you do that anyway even with a save-point'd game?  How does saving anywhere infringe upon resource management and all those other RPG trappings?  

We can agree to disagree (as usual), but I think anywhere saving should be a standard practice in JRPGs.
5599  Media / Single-Player RPGs / what is your addition to the console rpg formula? on: March 27, 2008, 03:18:48 PM
Adult protagonists.  I'm getting kinda tired of playing angsty teenagers or little kids in my JRPGs.  In Persona 2: Eternal Punishment it was so refreshing to play as adult protagonists with adult dialogue and adult issues.  

More varied settings.  I'm getting kinda tired of traditional fantasy.  I'd like to maybe see more cyberpunk settings, like in Soul Hackers.  I'd like to see more space opera stuff like Xenosaga.  I'd like to see more modern/contemporary/post-modern setting like in Earthbound or Persona.  Alternate history settings like in Raidou Kuzunoha and Shadow Hearts are neat too.

Non-traditional battling.  Why does all combat have to be swordfighting and spellcasting?  I found it novel that in an RPG like Racing Lagoon, which is all about Japanese underground street racing, all the "battles" were car races.  Or how about Inazuma Eleven where the "battles" are soccer matches.  Even having RPG battles play out with a fighting game engine (like that of Soul Calibur or something) would be a nice change of pace.  

I agree with more involved towns and more involved NPC interaction.  This is where Persona 3 did things really well.  

And when will Japanese RPGs ever shelve those archaic practices of random battles and save points?  Let us see our enemies beforehand and save anywhere and anytime we want to.
5600  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Wild Arms XF on: March 27, 2008, 07:21:31 AM
Storyline characters do not leave and rejoin frequently.  Once they become permanent additions, they stay with you.  And no, you don't have to use them in your 6, though some plot based missions may require some of your people.  I found myself using a generic rather than Tony for many missions.  

The game is pretty linear and there is a lot of exposition.  I think after 1-5 you can purchase generic soldiers and later on in act 1 rock the synth shops.
5601  The Rest / General Discussions / Transferring PS2 saves from internet to memory card? on: March 26, 2008, 10:54:26 PM
I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think if you put an internet save on a USB flash drive and plug that flash drive into a PS2's USB port, you can transfer content to memory cards.  I know that's how I got Gameshark code files from the internet onto a memory card and I did it all through the Gameshark boot disc.
5602  The Rest / General Discussions / Faith kills on: March 26, 2008, 10:15:55 PM
We see a lot of this "faith trumping medicine" these days.  There are many parents who won't vaccinate their kids for religious reasons, but for the health and safety concerns of the other children and teachers, public schools and most private schools require that students be up to date on vaccines or they're banned from the school.

Faith is a wonderful thing.  Everyone, be ye God-fearing or atheist, has faith and belief in something.  Faith is something that I think makes humans human.  I'm not a fan of blind faith, though since that takes away one's ability to evaluate and ponder.  And when blind faith, becomes an excuse?  Hoo boy.  I feel that this irresponsible family basically killed their kid through negligence and used faith as an excuse for their negligence.  And that is frightening since if they pulled something like this, chances are other parents are pulling stunts like this as well.
5603  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Xenogears - Games of this scale, advice required on: March 26, 2008, 09:24:10 PM
I think the games with the most compelling storylines, from my playing experience at least, are Japanese visual novels, such as Phantom of Inferno, Ever17, Hourglass of Summer, Suigetsu and even SOME hentai ones like Crescendo and EVE: Burst Error (English version has all the H content edited out) have amazing storylines.  Then again, those games are Choose Your Own Adventure style games so the focus is primarily on story rather than gameplay.  Makes it really bad when the story is crap, like in Ai Yori Aoshi.  

I'd Say EVE: Burst Error, Ever17, and Hourglass of Summer have my favorite video game storylines.  My favorite RPG storyline belongs to Persona 2: Innocent Sin.

Western style graphic adventures (point and click) can have strong storylines.  The Longest Journey and Syberia certainly did.  And though I didn't play the game very long, I thought Zork Nemesis had a cool story.  It was more dark/less humorous than other Zork titles, but that made it fresh.  Of course, you also have games like Normality where even though the puzzles were quite clever, the story and characters were terrible

And if we're still on RPGs, need I mention Planescape: Torment?  Now there's a video game that had really strong writing.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that compelling storylines are possible in video games and do happen.
5604  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Sigma Harmonics - New Square Enix RPG on: March 26, 2008, 07:15:14 PM
Quote from: "Eusis"
Thank god that it seems SE's seriously trying to make unique games again and not simply sticking to the same ol'.

I was thinking the same thing, what with The World Ends With You coming to the US next month.  That too is a unique creation.
5605  The Rest / General Discussions / So THAT'S why no JRPG character wears visible armor. on: March 26, 2008, 06:52:02 PM
As I and others have said, forget Japan for a second, this is great technology that can be beneficial all over the world.  I see it as necessity breeding invention.  Maybe it seems silly and paranoid in a low-crime country like Japan, but in places where knife violence is prevalent, this is a great thing.
5606  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Gamasutra - A Japanese RPG Primer: The Essential 20 on: March 25, 2008, 08:50:41 AM
Quote from: "Lord Scottish"

Ironically enough, that PM from so long ago answers the question that Dincrest asks in this thread: What makes something essential is public response. It's not any more complicated than that.

And the thing is, for me at least, public response is part of what I'd consider in the essential movie.  How Star Wars became a cultural phenomenon, nowadays I'd look at anybody strange who hasn't seen Star Wars.  Whether you love or loathe Star Wars, I think it's essential because of its cultural and historical significance.  Is it the greatest movie ever created?  No.  But its impact on the movegoing culture cannot be denied.    

On a smaller scale as far as JRPGs go, Final Fantasy 7 was that first blockbuster RPG that opened the floodgates and took the genre out of the underground.  Is it the greatest RPG ever made?  No.  But I do think its impact on the JRPG playing culture cannot be denied.  I mean, the game is over a decade old and people still talk about it.  It's still idolized and demonized.  People still clamor for a remake with upgraded graphics and an smoother localization.  I've had a love/hate relationship with the game.  

Think about RPGFan.  We in the community get bent out of shape when people post spoilers, but we don't when people post FF7 spoilers because we pretty much assume that everyone's already played that game and thus something like OMG Aeris Dies! really isn't a spoiler since everyone knows about it.  That's some impact right there on our RPG community and who's to say that impact isn't present in other RPG communities?

I think that there are many reasons for a game to be considered essential, and there are games I would consider essential for different reasons.
5607  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Gamasutra - A Japanese RPG Primer: The Essential 20 on: March 24, 2008, 09:51:49 PM
Then we come back to the main crux of this whole thing in that "what is 'essential?'"

Is "essential" something that was groundbreaking or innovative?  Is "essential" something that is a paragon of excellence in its medium, even if it is not groundbreaking or innovative?  Is "essential" historically significant?  Can a game that was released recently make you feel as if "wow!  This is something essential that everyone should play.  I'd rewrite my JRPG 101 curriculum to include this game."  Is 'essential' some combination of the above?  Is there something else?

I'd like to forget the list itself for a second and maybe talk a bit more about the ideas and ideals of what is "essential" in the genre.
5608  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Gamasutra - A Japanese RPG Primer: The Essential 20 on: March 24, 2008, 09:39:26 PM
But if I were to inform someone new to Japanese RPGs, I would want to give them a cross section of what's there.  To exclude strategy or action RPGs is not thoroughly informing a newb of the variety that's out there.  

The guy wrote a primer.  I think it's a lousy primer due to limiting criteria.  All of us would write different primers since we all have different opinions on what is "essential."  And therein lies the discussion within this thread.  What is "essential?"  I happen to think the writer limited his scope.  I feel that to introduce someone to Japanese RPGs, I should give them a wider picture than just "traditional turn-based."
5609  The Rest / General Discussions / LeBron James is an apish, backwards, subhuman negro. on: March 24, 2008, 09:03:21 PM
But Vogue is a fashion magazine and don't all fashion magazines do stuff that's totally "WTF?"  I mean, look what fashion models have to wear on Paris runways.  

'Sides, if anything LeBron and Giselle are the victims of a bad photographer more than cultural stereotypes.  Both LeBron and Giselle look stiff & awkward with really forced poses and expressions, as if neither of them wanted to do that pose but the photographer made them.
5610  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Gamasutra - A Japanese RPG Primer: The Essential 20 on: March 24, 2008, 08:57:34 PM
Eusis, we can agree to disagree, but I think an "essential JRPG list" that excludes action RPGs and strategy RPGs IS limiting.  It's a disservice to any reader looking for the "essentials" because it does not include all "essentials."  Come on, an "essential JRPG" list that excludes Tactics Ogre or Shining Force?  I cannot take that seriously.  

If you wanted to do an essential American RPGs list, would you exclude Anachronox for its turn-based battling when quintessential American RPGs like Baldur's Gate have realtime battling?  

If I were to do an essential graphic adventure list and only include western style puzzle manipulating games like Grim Fandango and The Longest Journey but exclude Japanese "Choose Your Own Adventure" visual novels like Ever 17 or Hourglass of Summer, I'd be doing a disservice to readers by not sharing with them top notch genre experiences.  

Again, the writer is free to do whatever he wants with his list, but I'm equally free to bitch about it.  My essentials list would look different from yours which would look different from Ashton's, etc.  Maybe I'm just taking issues with semantics.
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