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5671  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.
5672  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.
5673  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.
5674  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.
5675  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.
5676  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.
5677  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."
5678  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.
5679  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.
5680  The Rest / General Discussions / So THAT'S why no JRPG character wears visible armor. on: March 24, 2008, 08:33:05 PM
Oh that's right.  I kinda slurred over the line that said it doesn't protect against stabbing.  

EDIT:  Still, it's cool technology.
5681  The Rest / General Discussions / So THAT'S why no JRPG character wears visible armor. on: March 24, 2008, 08:14:29 PM
If they made a knifeproof dress shirt, I'd want one.  If you're a teacher or guidance counselor at an inner-city school where teachers have been attacked at knifepoint in the past, a knife-proof dress shirt would be nice to have.  Even on a teacher's salary, $600 may be worth it for a saved life.
5682  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Persona 4 info! on: March 24, 2008, 02:10:15 PM
With the Persona games, Revelations: Persona, Persona 2: Innocent Sin, and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment are their own story arc.  EP is the ending to that saga, even if it does leave some stuff hanging.  

Persona 3 is a fresh start for the series.  No recurring characters or anything like that.  There are some references and nods to other MegaTen games, but no direct links.

It's kinda like how Dragon Quest 1-3 was the Erdrick saga and DQ4 started a whole new saga.
5683  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Gamasutra - A Japanese RPG Primer: The Essential 20 on: March 23, 2008, 12:45:00 PM
Quote from: "ValendianKnight"
While I agree with a lot of it, it sure seems to be missing a lot. Where's my Vagrant Story?!

And that's the thing.  The guy who wrote the list excluded action and strategy RPGs, which is why games like Vagrant Story, Tactics Ogre, Shining Force, and Ys are absent.  

It is his list and he can use whatever criteria he wants to make it, but I personally found his criteria too limiting.  Of course, as I've said millions of times before, if each of us made an essential 20 list, all our lists would look pretty different.
5684  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment Part 7,894,673,589.3 on: March 23, 2008, 12:38:05 PM
Sometimes you find impressive things in the most unexpected of places.  I was listening to MusicChoice Metal and ended up hearing a live cut of Slipknot's "Wait and Bleed" from the Spit it Out single.  Under normal circumstances I'd have turned it off since I think Slipknot is a garbage band, but then I heard something I typically don't hear in Slipknot:  Paul Gray's bass.  And it wasn't just some dinky little bassline.  It was a complex syncopated bassline way up in the mix.  I was like "wow!  That guy can actually play.  Why haven't I heard more of this from him?"  Then I think "oh yeah, 'cuz he's in fucking Slipknot and has 8 layers of garbage drowning him out."
5685  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Xenogears - Games of this scale, advice required on: March 22, 2008, 07:17:27 PM
*shameless plug* I know I'm in the US and thus my games are NTSC (save for imports), but if you are interested in Xenogears and the Xenosaga games I'm selling them in the Bazaar thread.  (Selling Persona 3 as well.)  

As for the epicness of scope, I think Xenogears is one of the deeper and more epic JRPGs out there, but it's not quite at the literary level of something like War and Peace or Mahabharata.  For a video game story, it's fan-freaking-tastic, even with the flaws.  There are games that IMO have better stories (i.e. Planescape Torment), but XG has a good one.
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