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5596  Media / Single-Player RPGs / are we ever gonna see the US release of TOD and TOD2? on: February 12, 2008, 02:44:16 PM
But the Japanese Tales of Destiny 2 did introduce aerial combo attacks which have been incorporated into later Tales games.  

Worst Tales games I've played was Radiant Mythology.  The battles were fun, but the plot and other gameplay were dull, repetitive, and shallow.
5597  The Rest / General Discussions / RPGFan Gaming Journal: The Road to Infinity on: February 12, 2008, 08:16:02 AM
$1200 for Chrono Trigger?  I got a bridge in Brooklyn I could sell that guy.

 My Chrono Trigger cart is one thing I'd have a tough time parting with.  I snagged it for $50 on Ebay on September 10, 2001, while I was living in Manhattan.  Then 9/11 hit and because of that, my check never reached the seller.  Thankfully he was forgiving and allowed me to resend payment.  I got my Chrono Trigger.  Yay.  Greatest JRPG of all time and that cart has sentimental value for me too.  

As for gaming, nothing new to report.  I haven't played a video game since Thursday when I got to stage 10 or 11 in Gitaroo Man PSP.  I'm waiting for my copy of Professor Layton to come in.  I've been using my free time to learn 80s metal songs on bass for my own amusement (and the amusement of my friends who like to jam on that stuff.)
5598  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Level 5 announces new game: A... DS Graphic Adventure? on: February 12, 2008, 08:08:06 AM
The art style totally reminds me of The Adventures of Tin Tin, which was an amazing comic and cartoon series.
5599  Media / Single-Player RPGs / are we ever gonna see the US release of TOD and TOD2? on: February 12, 2008, 08:05:46 AM
But the Tales of Destiny remake for Playstation 2 (and the directors cut) are 3D remakes with the Abyss battle system, new mechanics, and some new storyline content.  

I liked Tales of Destiny on PSone quite a bit and would like to see the remake in the US, but I'm not sure it would mean sales for Namco.  Tales of Destiny didn't do so hot (not in the wake of FF7 at least).  

And regardless, we've seen a healthy amount of Tales games in the US:
Tales of Phantasia (GBA)
Tales of Destiny (PSone)
Tales of Eternia renamed Tales of Destiny II (PSone)
Tales of Symphonia (GCN)
Tales of Legendia (PS2)
Tales of the Abyss (PS2)
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology (PSP)

And I believe it was mentioned that Symphonia 2 may be US bound.  Am I forgetting any?  

The Tales series is prolific beyond belief in Japan and gets pretty good representation in the US.  I'd like to see Tales of Innocence for DS in the US, but what will happen will happen.  

And petitions don't work... unless there's a $50 bill attached to each signature.  Companies listen to the cha-ching of money, not the whining of dorks like us on the internet.  If we want X, Y or Z games we have to make our voices heard with our wallets.  If we want Tales games, we need to buy up new copies of the recent US releases of Tales games in healthy amounts.  The only reason, say, the Phoenix Wright series is a viable entity in the US is because more people than Capcom expected bought the software.
5600  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Level 5 announces new game: A... DS Graphic Adventure? on: February 10, 2008, 10:05:09 PM
Nope, not yet.  I'll probably get it in the next 2-3 days.
5601  The Rest / General Discussions / Tell me something... on: February 10, 2008, 09:32:15 PM
Willy, you can check out more of Ronzo's work here: http://www.ronscire.com/artwork-Ronzo.php

I met Ron very briefly in 2004.  The drummer in a band I was playing with at the time knew him.  Nice guy.  I also like the pictures he did of bassist PJ and guitarist Steve of 40 Foot Ringo.  I would love an action shot of me playing bass turned into a cool piece of artwork like that.
5602  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Lost Odyssey on: February 10, 2008, 09:38:15 AM
Quote from: "Leyviur"
Neal, tradition is like a turkey sandwich. You can put some lettuce and tomatoes and onions on it and stuff but it's always gonna be a turkey sandwich. Eventually some people get tired of it.

Innovation is the buffet of the video game industry.


If you're going to go with food analogies, I'll address this one with you since I'm the maharaj of food analogies around here:P  Not all turkey sandwiches are created equal.  The ingredients make a big difference.  A turkey sandwich made with better ingredients and put together better WILL taste different (usually better) than a slapdash one with mediocre ingredients.  So the flavor is not a constant even though they're both turkey sandwiches.  And I'm willing to bet that when you're tired of turkey sandwiches, one bite of a really bad one just may have you craving a good one again.  And there are some consumables I never get tired of, such as good beer.  And should that ever happen, one sip of garbage like Natty Ice will have me re-craving Belgian microbrews again in a heartbeat.  

So within the realm of tradition, it's not yay/nay.  There's a spectrum.  Some examples of games that keep with tradition ARE very stale, like a cardboardy frozen pizza.  But there are others that keep with tradition but are fantastic, like a lovingly handmade pizza with dough, sauce, and cheese made from scratch.  We can all name examples of games that felt like that to us.    

Innovation is a wonderful thing.  Fresh ideas, no matter how right or wrong, are at least a step in a different direction and learning from mistakes leads to progress.  I love progressive thought and some of my favorite things in this world are the result of innovation.  For example, if Leo Fender hadn't created the electric bass guitar as we know it in 1951, then where would I be?  

And with innovation, there's the innovation of different aspects.  It'd be silly to deviate from grandma's super ultra incredibly awesome recipe for sweet potato pie, but innovations in cooking technology allow this amazing traditional recipe to be recreated with greater ease than in grandma's time.  Of course if grandma couldn't cook to save her life, then you'll totally want to alter that recipe or just come up with one of your own.  

But the point I really want to make is that innovation and tradition are not black and white concepts.  In addition, something does not necessarily need to be innovative to be good.  And in looking at Mistwalker's track record with Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, they don't seem to be out to reinvent the wheel like other developers may be.  And to me, that's okay.
5603  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Lost Odyssey on: February 09, 2008, 08:48:48 PM
Sometimes I wonder... when was tradition a "bad" thing?  Innovation is wonderful and some of my favorite RPGs have been innovative, but does a game need to be innovative to be great?  One of the games I reviewed that was Editor's Choice, Hourglass of Summer, wasn't innovative but rather the most exemplary example of a genre (in this case a love adventure.)  I've yet to play a better one and I've played many.  

Even when I scoured information and did my preview on Lost Odyssey, my impression was "polished traditional JRPG."  I can dig that.  

In looking at Mistwalker's track record, I don't really think they're out to reinvent the wheel.  I think they're just out to make fun RPGs with time tested, tried and true aspects.
5604  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment Part 7,894,673,589.3 on: February 09, 2008, 06:18:41 PM
My song of the moment is "Wild Child" by WASP.  That's such a fun song.  Sure the bassline's pretty wack if practically nonexistent, but it's fun to jump around the room, do 80s glam metal style poses and faces while singing the words, all that.  

I remember being at a party and one of my friends brought a mix CD with some 80s metal stuff.  He, I and another friend were getting into it and he said, "Neal, you like this stuff?"  I said, "yeah bro, I loved this stuff as a kid."  He replies, "I always pegged you as more of a prog guy.  Well anyway, if you learn to play this kind of music you'll get tons of ladies."  I smiled and nodded while thinking, "back in 1987 maybe, but not these days.  Girls these days like emo boys who cry on stage."  Later on, the three of us started doing karaoke to "Wild Child" when it came on.  I picked up a broom and pretended it was a bass.  The dude I was talking to played air guitar, and our other friend sang.  

Sure this is "classic" WASP and not the awesomeness that is The Crimson Idol (which really is an excellent album) but hot darn if it isn't pure unadulterated 80s metal fun.  And even nowadays, Blackie Lawless and Frankie Banali are awesome.  Those guys should have their own talk show.

I ride, I ride the winds that bring the rain
A creature of love and I can't be tamed
I want you, cause I'm gonna take your love from him
And I'll touch your face and hot burning skin
No, he'll never ever touch you like I do
So look in my eyes and burn alive the truth

I'm a wild child, come and love me I want you
My heart's in exile I need you to touch me
Cause I want what you do... I want you

Tell me, tell me the lies you're telling him
When you run away cause I wanna know
Cause I, I'm sure it's killing him to find
That you run to me when he lets you go
Cause I'm burning, burning, burning up with fire
So come turn me on and turn the flames up higher

I'm a wild child, come and love me I want you
My heart's in exile I need you to touch me
Cause I want what you do... I want you

A naked heat machine, I want your love
When the moons arise we'll feel just what it does

I'm a wild child, come and love me I want you
My heart's in exile I need you to touch me
Cause I want what you do I want you
5605  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Persona 3 on: February 09, 2008, 04:27:30 PM
If those sim aspects of Persona 3 were more 'realistic' then it'd be like Shen Mue which was hours and hours of hurry-up-and-wait.  Realism does not always equate to fun.  

Is it honestly so hard to accept a fantasy game world for what it is?  I don't hear complaints about RPGs where you can cast an all powerful meteor spell yet still have to find a key to open a door; or where you can survive a hit from an all powerful meteor spell yet be perma-killed by a stabbing.  So why should the idiosyncrasies of Persona 3's world be any different?  Even sim games and love adventures, though utilizing modern/realistic settings, are far removed from reality, like movies are.  It's a fantasy version of what people wish life could be.
5606  The Rest / General Discussions / 18-1 is alright, I suppose.... on: February 09, 2008, 09:04:27 AM
The game was good, the commercials sucked (except the FedEx one with the carrier pigeons and the Coca Cola one with the Macy's balloons), Go Giants!  I'm a Jets fan personally, but as a Jersey boy, I gotta give it up for the Giants.
5607  The Rest / General Discussions / Tell me something... on: February 08, 2008, 03:52:55 PM
My username is a random figment of my imagination.  

I've gone by many nicknames in my life:
Nico, Nealy Boy, Mr. Neal, Old Jebediah, Rex (Rocker), Spongebob, Squidward, Neal is Real!, Dust Rag (this is my favorite one since there's a cute rock & roll story behind it.)
5608  Media / Single-Player RPGs / PS2 RPG Roundup on: February 08, 2008, 02:34:44 PM
And is that a reason *not* to recommend something a little different?  As far as I'm concerned, DDS 1 & 2 (which Pat also recommended) have pretty traditional turn-based gameplay, but a unique and nontraditional storyline.  Even with Persona 3, the dungeon crawling is pretty traditional though the school-sim stuff is a fresh twist.  

After Nocturne, MegaTen games have gotten rid of the demon chit chat during battles.  I think anyone who's been put off by the esoteric nature of prior MegaTen games' gameplay could get into the DDS games.  The main caveat with the DDS games is that the first one can be hard to find and therefore expensive.  

As far as traditional gameplay goes, there is Final Fantasy X-2 with its classic FF ATB battles and job system but that game didn't go over well with gamers.  I liked it myself, personally, though.
5609  The Rest / General Discussions / POLITICS: I like Ron Paul on: February 08, 2008, 11:36:45 AM
This goes back to individual philosophical views of life and death. Who deserves life? Who deserves death? Is death a punishment? Can death be viewed as something as precious as life? Can someone highly value life while also highly valuing death at the same time?

For some, an innocent child is more deserving of life than a sinful criminal on death row. It's back to the simplified views of children that good guys win and bad guys lose. But what defines good and bad? A schizophrenic looney condemned in the US would probably be a revered shaman in the Dinka tribe of Africa.

When it comes to issues regarding abortion, euthaniasia, and aspects of health care regarding the old and the terminal, we cannot discount our own views and morals regarding life and death. And there is no one size fits all way of pleasing everyone. That is why I think options should be made available and accessible for those who choose to exercise them.

Coat hanger abortions should not be happening in America. And even talking about patient care regarding abortions, terminally ill, etc., brings up the issue of how broken the US healthcare system really is.

It's a sad state of affairs when it's cheaper for an American to buy a plane ticket to India and have a surgery performed in the best private Indian hospitals money can buy (India has both government and private hospitals) than it is to have the same surgery done in the US. At least the success rate there is high since elite doctors in India are some of the best surgeons in the world and the best Indian hospitals adopt cutting edge technology before many US hospitals do. But what about those who elect for cheaper surgeries in central American countries where access to modern medical technology and techniques is almost nil and the people come back worse off because they couldn't afford it in the US? Penny wise pound foolish and all that.
5610  Media / Single-Player RPGs / PS2 RPG Roundup on: February 08, 2008, 08:59:17 AM
I'll obviously throw my votes in for Megami Tensei titles as SMT: Nocturne, Digital Devil Saga I and II, and Persona 3 are, in my opinion, the finest JRPGs on the Playstation 2.  

I also thought the Atelier Iris games were good.  1 and 2 were excellent, but 3 was not as good.  With Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, what really made the game for me were the characters, particularly the shopkeepers with their complex storylines that you could follow.  And though I wasn't too keen on it, Ar Tonelico's gotten love around here.  RPG + therapist sim in one.

The Xenosaga trilogy is fantastic, but if you pick up Xenosaga II, you'd best invest in a Gameshark because the gameplay is pretty broken in that installment.
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