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337723 Posts in 13829 Topics by 2212 Members
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5641  The Rest / General Discussions / OMG KEN KUTARAGI RETIRED on: April 27, 2007, 09:46:35 AM
omglol nitendo roooooooolzzzzzz sony drooooooooooolzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!

No big deal.  As someone said, Kutaragi had been on his way out for a while now and that Kaz Hirai was primed to take over his position.  Just a "management reshuffle" as far as I can see.
5642  The Rest / General Discussions / Storytelling in video games: Linearity versus non-linearity on: April 26, 2007, 06:18:08 PM
Bloodstar- point well taken.  In the RPG genre, a branching storyline can be tricky.  I've been turned off of nonlinear RPGs because of the lack of a coherent narrative to follow.  Even with FF6, once it got to the world of ruin and you could do anything you wanted, I was less interested in the game because it lost the tight focus.  I prefer when there's a tight focus on the characters.  

However, as I mentioned, visual novels are a completely different genre entirely and pull off the Choose Your Adventure style branching really well... okay the GOOD ones do at least (i.e. Ever17, Phantom of Inferno, Hourglass of Summer.)  It's as if those games were written with the branching in mind from the get go and the writing was always excellent throughout.
5643  The Rest / General Discussions / Storytelling in video games: Linearity versus non-linearity on: April 26, 2007, 01:54:30 PM
Quote from: "Bloodstar6078"
Even if good branching stories are possible within the medium, the amount of time, work, and money it would take developers to do so means that games with branching stories will probably always be somewhat limited.


Could you please expand on what you mean by limited?  If you mean limited in terms of gameplay, then I will definitely agree.  The visual novel genre that I love so much has almost no gameplay; you pretty much just read text and look at the pretty pictures until a choice (or rare interactive puzzle) is presented to you.  And that tried and true interface has not evolved much, if at all, in the genre.  But it doesn't matter, because the genre is more about storytelling than gameplay.

In terms of storyline limitations, I'm not sure I can quite agree with that.  Visuals novel storylines run the gamut from samurai sword action to modern day high school romance.  And many visual novels with multiple branches are worthwhile because as you complete each branch, the bigger picture of the storyline becomes clearer; kinda like the Rashomon style storytelling.  

Of course, yes, there are plenty of visual novels that have absolute shit storytelling.  Ai Yori Aoshi comes to mind; the writing and dialogue was gag-worthy and the decisions you made didn't influence the story one iota.

Even with Choose Your Own Adventure books, I figure most of them aren't very good because they were written by a whole truckload of different writers and some writers were a lot better than others at preserving continuity and all that.

I think regardless we can all agree that whether or not a storyline features linearity, non-linearity, or semi-linearity, it's heavily dependent on the quality of the writing in the narrative.
5644  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs based on story alone? on: April 26, 2007, 09:41:07 AM
MeshGearFox- what made Phantasy Star 3's gameplay clunky for me was the pooled experience (meaning if you get 45 EXP after defeating an enemy, that means 9 EXP for each of your 5 party members) and enemies dropping paltry amounts of money too, making the game more tedious than it should have been.  Snail's pace walking speed didn't help either.  I didn't like having to pay to save either.  

Gameplay is more than just a battle engine.  The battles itself weren't that bad.  It was everything else in the gameplay that made the experience more maddening than it should have been.  

Fan-freaking-tastic story however; though it could have been really ace were the writing smoother.
5645  The Rest / General Discussions / Storytelling in video games: Linearity versus non-linearity on: April 25, 2007, 11:39:32 PM
What about somewhere in the middle?  Like with visual novels such as Ever17, Phantom of Inferno, or Hourglass of Summer?  Those storylines do follow linear gameplay where you read/watch the events unfold until it's time to come to a decision and the path you follow and the ending you get depends on the decisions you make.  Like a Choose Your Own Adventure book.  

So I think it's the best of both worlds.  The narrative is linear enough to be compelling storytelling but the decisions allow some autonomy from the gamer to determine the story's outcome.
5646  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPG based on writing quality, alone... on: April 25, 2007, 11:35:13 PM
Not an RPG, but since RPGfan covers it...  When it comes to top-notch writing in a video game, the first that comes to mind is The Longest Journey.  The way the dialogue was written was impeccable.  It's very fluid and genuine; I can see these things as being said by actual people in these situations.  

I've played some video games with excellent writing (EVE: Burst Error, Persona 2: both, Hourglass of Summer, Phantom of Inferno, Ever17, Never 7) but the writing in The Longest Journey was exemplary.  

Super immersive.  The Longest Journey wouldn't be as exquisite as it is were it not for the top-notch writing.
5647  Media / Single-Player RPGs / suikoden V does it get better? on: April 25, 2007, 07:49:13 AM
Complain-fest threads can never turn out good.  I'll leave this open, but if it goes to hell in a handbasket, I will lock it.
5648  Media / The Soundroom / The Recent Musical Purchases Thread on: April 24, 2007, 09:10:48 PM
I just bought the self-titled debut album by the Australian goth/prog metal band ShadowPlay.  

http://www.theshadowplay.com/

http://www.myspace.com/shadowplayband

What a fantastic album.  Alitia is an amazing vocalist, and you know what?  The drummer Duane (who does the male vocals) is a damn fine singer as well.  The songwriting is tight and the sound is just breathtaking.  "Unforgiven Years" is probably my favorite song on the album.

Definitely the best metal debut I've heard this year and IMO one of the best metal albums of 2007.
5649  The Rest / General Discussions / PS3 Graphics... on: April 23, 2007, 07:10:28 PM
I was about to say the same thing that launch titles aren't the best benchmark for visuals.  It's usually late in a console's life that things start to look really good because by then developers know how to program for the console inside and out.  

The first Xbox360 titles certainly didn't look as good as some of the current and upcoming titles do now.  It's been a while from Kameo to Mass Effect.  

However, if it's true that PS3 lacks anti-aliasing, that's a grave oversight.  The PS2 lacked anti-aliasing and though the Dreamcast had less processing power, the anti-aliasing made its games look much smoother than those on PS2.  Let's face it, the Dreamcast version of Dead or Alive 2 looked much better than the PS2 version.  I hope that Sony rectified that by having anti-aliasing on their new console.  

My thing with the PS2 was that it had good parts (i.e. a powerful processor), but because Sony was still fairly new at consoles, they didn't integrate those awesome parts to harness the processing power that well, hence an "inferior" console like Dreamcast was able to produce better looking games with smoother animation.
5650  Media / The Soundroom / s0nG oF tEh mOmEnt on: April 22, 2007, 02:03:23 PM
"Let's Fighting Love" is priceless.  Best pseudo J-rock song ever.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Times_with_Weapons

That was one of the best episodes of South Park ever.  That, Scott Tenorman Must Die, and Chinpokomon are my all time favorite episodes.
5651  Media / The Soundroom / YouTube is the greatest website in the history of the world. on: April 22, 2007, 01:03:44 PM
This was in a friend's livejournal.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjEFUY7unks
5652  The Rest / General Discussions / RenFaires are corrupting the youth of America. on: April 22, 2007, 11:49:11 AM
I think metal detectors are useless.  I mean, with today's technology (even yesterday's technology) and the creativity and ingenuity of kids, there's a lot of deadly weaponry that can be fashioned from glass, wood, plastics, and other non-metals.  

You put up one barrier, and the people will find a way to circumvent it.
5653  The Rest / General Discussions / RenFaires are corrupting the youth of America. on: April 22, 2007, 10:19:59 AM
Quote from: "dalucifer0"

Being seriously, if someone is getting picked on too much, they should just tell their parents and/or the principal(and teachers.)


And risk being picked on even more?  "Ha ha, you're a little baby crying to your mommy 'cuz of the big bad bully!"  Or "what the fuck are you doing calling the fucking teacher and principal on us?  I'll beat you up even harder now!!!  Fuckin' teachers' pet!!!!!!!"

I'm not against telling someone like maybe the school counselor or the school psychologist (in fact, I'm all for telling one of them), but you need to be careful who you tell and what actions they'll take and whether or not they'll be pointed back to you and cause the bully to single you out even more.  

I believe that, yes, there are times when direct intervention is needed with incidents of bullying and harassment.  But I also believe that there are times when it is best to help guide kids towards autonomy to help themselves overcome their problems, rather than solve (or try to solve) all their problems for them.

And besides, people generally don't like to talk to adults about being bullied.  There's a huge feeling of shame and shame is one thing that prevents most people, kids and adults, from seeking proper help and counseling.  They end up retreating into themselves and letting their own confused feelings guide them into less-than-stellar decisions.  I'm sure in the girl's confused rage before that day, bringing a medieval flail to school seemed like an ace idea at the time.
5654  Media / The Soundroom / s0nG oF tEh mOmEnt on: April 21, 2007, 10:01:15 AM
Two songs of the moment.  

One is "Electric Worry" by Clutch.  Awesome song.  I'm only recently getting into them and I'm wondering why I haven't been into them sooner.  They're such a fantastic band.  From their early stoner metal stuff to the southern-fried blues of "Electric Worry", they're constantly evolving.  Is there anything they can't or won't do?  Whenever they experiment, it always sounds fantastic.  I hear they're amazing live too.  Aren't they playing in the Bonnaroo festival this year?    

The other is "Threatening Skies" by Obituary.  What a catchy death metal song.  Makes me want to jump around the room, headbang, and smash things with my fists.  Lately, I'm not into harsh death metal vocals, but I love Obituary.  Maybe it's because John Tardy has such a distinctive voice that's truly unique in genre where every guttural vocalist sounds pretty much the same to me.
5655  Media / Single-Player RPGs / OFFICIAL POKIEMANZ THREAD on: April 21, 2007, 08:21:50 AM
I'm still surprised that Pokemon is still popular enough to be a lucrative franchise.  

Heh, when someone mentioned penguin, I thought of that Chinpokomon South Park episode when Cartman beat the shit out of Kenny for his pengin.

I still call Shoe!
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