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338670 Posts in 13864 Topics by 2217 Members
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5671  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.
5672  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.
5673  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.
5674  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.
5675  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.
5676  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.
5677  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
5678  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.
5679  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.
5680  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.
5681  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!
5682  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs based on story alone? on: April 20, 2007, 07:11:46 AM
And one thing that I certainly overlooked and probably was pointed out by others and only got a cursory glance is what people value most in a story.  

Is it a series of epic world spanning events that makes a story compelling to you?  Is it a tightly knit tale of highly developed/well written characters that makes a story compelling to you?  Is it the quality of the writing that makes a story compelling to you?  

I realize that though I may hail a game like Hourglass of Summer as one of the best video game stories I've experienced (and I've been playing video games for around 2 decades), if your idea of a great story is a sweeping world-spanning epic adventure with knights, jousting, and chivalry, then Hourglass may disappoint since it's a love adventure.

ASIDE: some PS2 RPGs that have involved and interesting storylines but not the best gameplay mechanics would include Magna Carta and Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army.  Magna Carta has a sweeping incredibly epic storyline, but the gameplay mechanics are clunky and the load times can be horrendous.  Devil Summoner has an interesting story (it has more sense of humor than other MegaTen games), but the realtime battle engine is a bit loose and capturing demons is a pain in the neck.
5683  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Why not: all time favourite RPG on: April 18, 2007, 07:17:20 PM
Prime Mover- Tales of Eternia was released as Tales of Destiny II on PSOne.  Fun game.  A lot of people thought it was crap but I dug it; bad voice acting and all.
5684  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs based on story alone? on: April 18, 2007, 07:10:14 PM
I dunno.  A lot of 15-18 year olds who played FF8 loved it because they felt they could really identify with Squall.  On the other hand, a lot of people in their 20s and up who played FF8 didn't like it... because they could really identify with Squall.  Squall was the "emo kid" teenager that many of us older gamers were at 15-17 and many of us want to forget that aspect of ourselves.  

The stuff Squall said and many of his actions are typical of what went through my head when I was 16.  

But you know, even now... it's been about 10 years since FF7 came out and almost 10 years since FF8 came out and if we're debating the merits and demerits of those games' stories even now, they've apparently struck a chord with enough people that there has to something really good in them.
5685  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies on: April 18, 2007, 10:38:30 AM
Hey Nuri, have you read the Bridge to Terabithia novel?  I read it when I was a kid and though I don't remember much about it, I do remember liking it.  It had a rather sweet ending too.
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