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330050 Posts in 13525 Topics by 2179 Members
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5941  The Rest / General Discussions / Whoa! Schools are becoming way too competitive! on: September 07, 2006, 01:55:54 PM
In some places, recess, music, art and even social studies are being replaced by writing exercises and spelling quizzes.

This is worrying.  

Being competetive and displaying required competencies at checkpoints is all well and good, but the pile-on-more-work method isn't working.  The poor kids are working harder but not smarter.  

Even when I was in school, the gifted and talented programs were bunk because all they did was give the kids more homework in addition to their current homework load.  No wonder they hated the gifted and talented programs.  It was a chore.  

It sounds like the kids are constantly just given busywork, which makes school seem like an even duller, staler chore than it needs to be.  Homework and stuff is all well and good, but not when it's just busywork.
5942  The Rest / General Discussions / Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series on: September 06, 2006, 12:38:31 AM
Those were pretty amusing.  Especially since the eps themselves pretty much did the same schtick over and over again.  

I remember seeing some of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and I must say, it was rather violent.  Explosions, death, (i.e. the one where Yami Yugi plays air-hockey on an okonomiyaki grill using an ice block with a bomb in it and his win= the grill, the shed, and the rival kid all getting blown to smithereens.), and all that good stuff.  

The US version on kids WB was heavily edited and sanitized, and these YouTube videos satirized that nicely.
5943  The Rest / General Discussions / I hit that "point" in my life... on: September 04, 2006, 09:46:50 PM
Maybe you just have video game burnout.  Where games start to feel like an obligation, chore, or work rather than the fun diversion they should be.  Take a break from gaming, do something else (like exercise, cook, play an instrument, take a walk outside, whatever) and eventually you'll return to it with a renewed vigor.

Believe me, there have been times I've had multiple bouts of gaming burnout in a year.  These days my time for gaming is so limited due to real life and my other hobbies, so whenever I sit down to game it's like a treat.
5944  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Things you canít bear in RPGs on: September 03, 2006, 08:17:41 PM
Please take the flaming and heated religious discussion to PM please.  

If this topic goes any more downhill, it's getting locked.  

(It seems any time politics or religion enter an RPGfan discussion, threads go to hell in a handbasket.)
5945  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Things you canít bear in RPGs on: September 03, 2006, 11:26:53 AM
Quote from: "Spoony Mage"

Perhaps, but my statement still stands.  RPGs have run the gamut from fantasy-based teenfests to futuristic adult-themed warfare, whether or not they have made it over from Japan.  

...or were developed elsewhere.  

Have people forgotten adult-ish sci-fi themed US RPGs like System Shock 2, Dues Ex, Fallout, Anachronox, Septerra Core, and more?  

Then again, around these parts on RPGfan, Japanese RPGs tend to have preferable interfaces than many US PC RPGs (i.e. Icewind Dale, Arcanum, etc.)  I prefer JRPG interfaces myself over those of US PC RPGs.
5946  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Things you canít bear in RPGs on: September 02, 2006, 10:53:02 AM

I subscribe to the theory that there are only a certain amount of plots since the human experience as a whole is limited and it's near impossible to truly make a story devoid of any cliches, because it's damn near impossible to write about things and concepts we don't know without at least trying to compare it to something we do.  We have awareness of concepts like infinity, but don't truly know "infinity-ness."  

But in any case, it's even tougher for an RPG plot to be truly devoid of cliches because the chief component in the RPG package is combat.  Without combat, there's no RPG.  And you can only have so many stories based around combat.

You have genres like digital novels, love adventures, graphic adventures that lend themselves well to perhaps more dynamic and interesting plotlines because combat is not a key aspect to their packages.
5947  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Atlus announces Etrian Odyssey on: September 01, 2006, 06:03:48 PM
that, and forest dungeons feel a lot less claustrophobic than ruins and worse, sewers.  And trees are more interesting to look at than sand (I loathe desert dungeons.)
5948  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Atlus announces Etrian Odyssey on: September 01, 2006, 05:33:34 PM
Yuzo Koshiro has me interested.  Streets of Rage has awesome music.  

And I am digging the more outdoorsy foresty dungeons.  I'm not a fan of dank corridors.  Even in PSO, my favorite dungeon to crawl/explore was the forest.
5949  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Things you canít bear in RPGs on: August 31, 2006, 03:44:16 PM
...There's always Revelations: Persona (Megami Ibunroku Persona) where you're not saving the world but rather saving people from themselves.

I don't know if these annoyances have been mentioned yet and I'm too lazy to read the whole thread, but it's definitely annoying when there are random encounters in puzzle rooms.  When I'm trying to solve a puzzle and get into an encounter, it just destroys my concentration.  

I'm also not fond of when there are puzzles without any hints to go along with them.  Wild Arms 1 comes to mind where I remember this one puzzle.  No hints in the dungeon as to how to solve it and no hints in the puzzle room itself either.  So out of sheer frustration I just had Rudy (or was it Jack?) drop bombs all over the place so I could see things go boom.  Lo and behold, the puzzle was solved!  

At least RPG puzzles (usually) don't have the pinpoint pixel hunting and ridiculous leaps of logic that graphic adventure puzzles tend to have.
5950  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment on: August 30, 2006, 09:29:41 PM
Well, I've officially left my band Sullen Door (due both to school and having a personality conflict with the lead guitarist.  The singer and drummer are awesome classy guys who I love to death.)  

Hence, my song of the moment is a Sullen Door song called "Old Friends."  Subsequently, it's the only song on the band's myspace profile right now that has me playing on it.  

The song is kinda appropo too.  It's basically about how you forge friendships over a long span of time (like say during high school or college) and then the time comes when you and your group of friends have to part ways.  It's a bittersweet moment when you don't know what to say but you really don't need to say anything.  Just a hug from a good friend during this moment says a lot.  

Take me
And throw me in your arms and hold me
'Cuz we're not the same without each other
And I know that soon you will be
Leaving me

You know I don't know how to say I'm gonna miss you
And all the times we had in this life

So hold me in your arms
Tell me that you want
Us to be together
Yeah hold me in your arms
Tell me that you want
Us to be together

Save me
Pretty darling won't you save me
From all this sadness and confusion
You know this lonely will be
Losing you

You know I don't know how to say I'm gonna miss you
And all the times we had in this life

So hold me in your arms
Tell me that you want
Us to be together
Yeah hold me in your arms
Tell me that you want
Us to be together
5951  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Things you canít bear in RPGs on: August 30, 2006, 10:14:36 AM
In most any genre, romance is really tough to write and direct well.  Even in the love adventure genre, you have games like Hourglass of Summer and Never 7 that do romance extremely well and you also have games like Ai Yori Aoshi that are godawful.  

Even in movies, the romantic scenes in Star Wars Ep. 2: Clones could, and should, have been the strongest scenes in the movie but they were horrid due to the cracker-thin dialogue and the fact that George Lucas' directorial skills are horribly lacking.  

And even among romance novels, I'm sure there are those that are written well and others that are cheesier than a stinky brie.

EDIT: And Spoony Mage- that's one reason I liked Veola so much.  Whenever Lita had one of her annoying episodes, Veola's dry wit always put Lita in her place.

And +1 for those who mentioned that Tales of Symphonia's female characters are mostly melee characters.  Genis and Raine are the only mages, but that's due to their species rather than gender.  Sheena, Colette, and Presea are all melee characters.
5952  The Rest / General Discussions / Rockstar Games - Gluttons for punishment on: August 30, 2006, 09:58:43 AM
I think the Fear Effect games more exemplify the positive spin Hidoshi puts on it.  The creators of Fear Effect didn't want to compromise their vision and accepted the M rating that Fear Effect 2 received even though they knew it would mean less sales than if they had watered it down to a T rating.  

But for what its worth, Rockstar is positioning themselves as the birdie-flipping, rebel, bad boy game developer, people like that, and the publicity always translates into sales.
5953  The Rest / General Discussions / Paramount ends contract with Tom Cruise. on: August 29, 2006, 11:41:48 PM
Nah.  Tom's career isn't over.  Doesn't Tom have his own production company and stuff?  He's still a fairly bankable actor so even without Paramount, he'll make money.  Either another studio will court him because Tom= publicity, or he'll just do things via his own production company.

I think he's batshit insane and I think Scientology is absolute horseshit, but the news is no big deal and Tom won't be shedding any tears.
5954  Media / The Soundroom / Dreamfall Soundtrack! on: August 29, 2006, 09:42:31 AM
Parn is right.  The guy did send me a rather inflammatory e-mail because of my review and threatened legal action against the site for the samples.  I replied "thank you for voicing your concern.  I will bring this up with the rest of the staff so we can resolve it."  

So the samples go down and Pat/Ramza sends a very well thought-out reply and sets the guy straight.

But in the meantime, the guy sends me back another inflammatory e-mail, which I ignored because I don't have the time nor patience for an e-flamewar with some composer who's pissed off because I don't like his music.  

I'm used to hate mail.  I get it quite often.  I actually enjoy hate mail, because it tells me "wow!  Somebody out there actually gives a damn about little old me.  And for my words to fill a person with such raw emotions of disgust and loathing is testament to the power of my words."  In other words, hate mail only serves to stroke my ego.  I mean, heck, if someone were to say that my band sounds like cow diarrhea, I'd be flattered that our music caused such strong emotions in someone.  Power, baby!  

But this guy definitely crossed the line when he threatened legal action against the site.  He likely made that threat out of anger and I don't know whether or not he'd have actually gone through with it, but that was really not cool.  

Either way, thanks to this little incident, Leon Willett is getting some free publicity out of this.  http://www.leonwillett.com
5955  Media / The Soundroom / Dreamfall Soundtrack! on: August 28, 2006, 08:27:50 PM
If you want any details regarding this little slice of RPGfan soap opera drama, then PM me.  Still, Parn hit the nail on the head.

EDIT: And, yes, the Jay Sherman (The Critic) avatar and title are in honor of my snippet of RPGfan drama.
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