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355484 Posts in 14449 Topics by 2260 Members
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5941  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Odin Sphere out in US May 22nd, Dual language on: May 30, 2007, 02:09:01 PM
I'm loving Odin Sphere thus far for the simple fact that the game is unabashedly fun.  Sure everything is a bit over the top like in a fairy tale, but, well, it's about a girl reading a fairy tale.  Fairy tale characters take their world and situations seriously even if us real-worlders find it all absurd.  I found the self-aggrandizing propaganda on the box really freaking funny.  

I'm using the "easy" difficulty level because I downright suck at action games and even then, I find myself dying.  Game is really forgiving if you die, though.  I like planting grape trees and feeding them phozons from Phozon trees to gain loads of EXP.  

It certainly isn't the best 2D side-scrolling RPG out there (that honor belongs to Castlevania: SotN) but I like it.  Maybe I like it because I tend not to take my gaming too seriously.  Odin Sphere is what it is and I like what it is.
5942  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Sega History on: May 30, 2007, 08:29:33 AM
I think the Saturn could have been a contender, were it not for Sega's track record for notoriously bad business decisions.  Who thought the whole "surprise" launch would be a good idea?  I mean, when you're launching a system as expensive as that one was back in the day, you need to hype it up so that people will actually have time to save their money for it.  

Thing was a 2D powerhouse and had a darn good RPG library as well and was also darn good for fighting games.  (My favorite genre outside of RPG and graphic adventure is fighting.)  

Yeah, I still hold fast to the opinion that Sega didn't tank due to bad product, but rather due to incompetent business practices.  Sure people can say that they wasted time, money, and effort on useless peripherals like the 32x, but at least Sega was taking some risks at being innovative.  If Sega had better business sense, then they could have kicked major ass in all console generations.  

I still love some classic Sega commercials, though.  Genesis does what Nintendon't.  And I love the commercial for ShenMue where the male narrator's talking about the game during a montage of screenshots but when he mentions Nozomi it cuts to the girl he's making with on the bed angrily saying "Nozomi?!?!?!  Who's NOZOMI?!?!?!?!?"    

This thread makes me wonder... what if the Dreamcast had succeeded (meaning it was a runaway financial success)?  Where would Sega be now?  What if Panzer Dragoon Saga and Shining Force 3 (all scenarios) were remade for Dreamcast?  I mean, that's what RPG fans wanted, right?

Re: Alex Kidd.  Never said it was "better" than Sonic.  Comparing Alex Kidd to Sonic is like comparing oranges to cucumbers.  Completely different flavors.  Both had good games, but I just preferred Alex Kidd over Sonic.
5943  The Rest / General Discussions / GamePro: 11 Worst Video Game Trends on: May 29, 2007, 05:06:03 PM
Prime Mover- system specs are a biggie for me too.  Hence why I go more for graphic adventures such as Syberia or The Longest Journey, because they'll play on most plebian's PCs and still look great.  And since Planetscape came out in '99, it's sure to run on most anyone's PC these days.
5944  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies on: May 29, 2007, 11:06:05 AM
Last Friday some friends and I were exhausted at a friend's house after a ska show... so we decided to pop on Wayne's World.  Such a classic movie.  

"We're not worthy!  We're not worthy!  We're not worthy!"
5945  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Sega History on: May 29, 2007, 11:02:37 AM
Forget Sonic.  Alex Kidd was where it was at, baby.  I'd love to have another Alex Kidd game again.
5946  The Rest / General Discussions / GamePro: 11 Worst Video Game Trends on: May 29, 2007, 10:53:19 AM
I see, Lucid.  Rotten semantics on my part.  I meant all as in "all that I personally need and want" to keep my mind sharp and constantly thinking.  There's never a dull moment as a counselor when exploring humanity.

And Lucid, are you exclusively a console gamer?  Because while I can see what you're saying as applying to the mainstream console gaming market, I don't really see that in PC gaming.  I mean, sure, you have all the good and bad aspects of gaming on that platform as well and software for all ages, but many PC developers recognize adults as a wide fanbase and create games to appeal to their sensibilities.  Games like Syberia or Planetscape: Torment are but two examples of PC games go against what you believe the state of gaming to be and do explore more mature and varied ideas.  I mentioned Vampire: The Masquerade- Bloodlines as another example as well.  

I think because of things like freesource coding and software available out there that the PC is the platform for which to find more indie, art-house games by independent studios.  

I reiterate once more- GamePro's list of crappy trends in gaming hold pretty true for mainstream console gaming, but PC gaming's a whole 'nother can of worms.
5947  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Is anyone else just plain tired of Tetsuya Nomura? on: May 28, 2007, 11:48:16 PM
I was never a fan of Nomura's style.  All his characters looked alike to me and every single one of Nomura's characters is a fashion victim without peer.  Nomura does not know how to dress people properly.  The outfits he designs are over the top clownishly stupid.  Okay, the outfits in FF7 and 8 weren't bad, but from The Bouncer onward... yeah.  

But the one guy I'm getting sick of more than anyone else in the JRPG realm is Motoi Sakuraba.  I used to think his flowing compositions were good, but for years he's just been farting out so much music for so many games that it's all either sucktastic or complete drivel that wouldn't even realize was there... even if it was turned off.  Recycles like crazy too.  

How the hell does he get so much work composing for games?  Does he work cheaply or for free or something?  Guy's such a shitty composer who recycles his stuff all the damn time.  

I guess environmentalists may like Nomura and Sakuraba because they constantly recycle their own garbage.  (bad joke, I know.)

Still, in terms of character design recycling, Akira Toriyama still takes the cake.  Nomura is still not nearly as bad as him.
5948  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Sega History on: May 28, 2007, 11:24:35 PM
I have no qualms about dumping various consoles and software I own, but I will NEVER dump my Dreamcast or my Dreamcast games.  I still think the Dreamcast was the best console ever for fighting games.  And I still play various import love adventures on my Dreamcast as well.  I have fond memories of Phantasy Star Online (that game sucked up 500+ hours of my life.)  

If I had to make that life or death choice, I would dump my PS2 and all my PS2 games (save for Remember 11) in a heartbeat before I even thought about dumping my Dreamcast.  Of all the consoles I've ever owned, I've saved the most stuff pertaining to my Dreamcast.  

If Sega hadn't made so many piss poor business decisions over the last decade and some change, they'd still be a contender in the console market.

The one Sega title I'd want that's wishful thinking is a remake of Panzer Dragon Saga.  I was so hoping that a PDS remake would grace the Dreamcast, but alas it didn't.
5949  Media / The Soundroom / The Beatles on: May 28, 2007, 09:56:23 PM
Recall I said that I thought the solo stuff MOSTLY sucked, meaning there were some gems in there (i.e. "Imagine.")  But by the by, yeah, I thought with the solo stuff, the bad outweighed the good.
5950  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Completed RPGs of 2007 on: May 28, 2007, 08:18:09 PM
I really liked Hotel Dusk.  Dennis' review pretty much sums up what I thought of it.  I'm not sure it's worth $35, though.  It's by Cing, the same people who did Trace Memory.  Although Hotel Dusk doesn't use as many DS tricks as Trace did (it's more a dialogue game than a puzzle game), it's a good 3 times longer (Trace Memory's about 4-5 hours while Hotel Dusk is 12-15 hours) with a more adult storyline.
5951  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Completed RPGs of 2007 on: May 28, 2007, 07:43:43 PM
Completed games of 2007 for me:

Yo-Jin-Bo, Hotel Dusk, Piece of Wonder, Memories Off: Complete (which includes Memories Off: Pure), Memories Off 2nd, Suigetsu Mayoi Gokoro... I think that's it.  

None were RPGs, though Piece of Wonder was an SRPG/love adventure hybrid.
5952  The Rest / General Discussions / GamePro: 11 Worst Video Game Trends on: May 28, 2007, 05:48:21 PM
Lucid,  I think the discussion is starting to veer away from the portrayal of women in games to that of, like movies, the blockbuster movie/game vs. the art-house movie/game.  

I think I see what you're saying about certain aesthetic trends hurting the more art-house creative mentality in all media.  Love it or hate it, gaming is a business.  Like with movies, the mostly vapid Hollywood blockbusters with explosions, car chases, T&A, and the like make a hell of a lot more money and draw more crowd than art films, and the art-house films tend to be overshadowed or ignored... even if they're really freaking good.  I think we can all name independent and/or art-house films that deserve accolades, rewards, and recognition but are snubbed in favor of big budget Hollywood blockbusters.  

Every popular Bollywood movie in India is all the same: pretty people in colorful costumes dancing around trees in beautiful locales and overacting like bad Shakespeare.  But that's what the public wants.  When living in a country that's pretty much a shithole of corruption and poverty, do you really want to see films about corruption and poverty?  Yeah, there are movie makers in southern India who do gritty, realistically acted, no song and dance, social commentary films that win awards elsewhere in the world, but people in India don't give a flying fuck.  They see corruption and poverty all the time in their daily lives, so why do they want to see it again in their movies?  They go to the movies to escape the shithole of everyday life.  

In terms of independent console gaming, I would think doing that would be more difficult than starting your own independent record label or making your own independent film.  The technology to do those things is available to the masses.  Console devkits are not.  Maybe if devkits and all were more accessible to smaller art-house developers and publishers were willing to take risks on art-house games, then maybe we'll see more innovative independent gaming and more of that "high-art" gaming that you seem to desire.  It'd be nice to see more indie game developers doing their thing, though from what I understand, procuring devkits for consoles can be prohibitively difficult and expensive.  

I still hold fast to the opinion that the "disturbing" trends we're having these debates on thanks to GamePro's list apply more to console gaming than PC gaming.  The PC platform has always had a mean or median userbase (among gamers) that's older than the console userbase, so quite a few PC games like The Longest Journey or Planetscape: Torment are less "juvenile" and very artistic and mature.  

In addition, it's easier for more art-house game studios to develop for PC than for consoles.  There's software out there accessible to the masses to create PC games with.  In regards to the indie ethic, one of the most charming RPGs I played in recent years was an independently produced and published PC game called Aveyond (by Amaranth games.)  It plays like a classically styled console RPG.  

I can agree that American RPGs like Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines are less afraid to show darker sides of mortal nature and utilize characters that don't fit into the ideals and norms of what you'd expect in a video game protagonist, aesthetically or otherwise.  Where your typical Japanese RPG protagonist is a fresh-faced innocent youth, a more typical US RPG protagonist is often older and more world-weary.  

In terms of that final sentence you called me out on, since when did I say I get EVERYthing out of my daily life?  Granted, I don't see/experience everything, but who does?  Each human being has his or her own unique circumstances surrounding their own phenomenological experience.  This makes each person's experience different.  And because of that difference, people choose to explore the nature of humanity in their own myriad ways.  Some choose not to explore it at all.  Some people feel the need to explore it at more extensive and deeper levels than others while others are satisfied with the insight they already have.

I often feel like I can gain more insight into humanity, especially my own humanity, through my experience and metacognition of my own interpersonal relationships with family, peers, colleagues, teachers, students, and whomever else I encounter in life.  That's really what I mean by gaining insight into humanity and the intricacies thereof through going out and living life; gaining insight into humanity through more active experiential means.  Although, yes, a textbook can provide me with an objective schema through which to filter my observations, thoughts, interactions, etc. into more cohesive insights that makes sense.  I'm a guy who'll often take an idea from a textbook to task and see if, and to what extent, it applies to life as I know it.    

I'm lucky that in my life I have plenty of opportunities to explore peoples' phenomenological experiences.  I'm currently studying counseling psychology (I really like the existential-humanistic approach to counseling), training to be a school guidance counselor, and one of my jobs (I have 2) is working at an inner-city school's after school program doing some youth counseling (mostly group counseling).  Exploring the nature and intricacies of humans and their relationships with each other and their environments and helping people navigate through them?  That's going to be my career, and school is one societal (and socio-political) hub where the myriad intricacies of humanity, human nature, interpersonal and object relationships, and all kinds of wild and wacky things come to an often tangled head.
5953  Media / The Soundroom / s0nG oF tEh mOmEnt on: May 28, 2007, 12:05:02 PM
I was at a ska show on Friday.  My friends The Waffle Stompers hosted it and there were 5 bands.  Although the Waffle Stompers absolutely slayed with their elaborate stage show, the band I liked best that night was upstate New York's own Pinstripe Melee.  They claimed they hadn't rehearsed or played out in a while, but holy shit were they ever tight.  

So my song of the moment is "Fast Food Friends" by Pinstripe Melee.  I dare anyone to not want to get up and skank while listening to this song.  The musicianship is super tight and the song is so damn catchy.  


How can I serve you today,
Do you want fries, or maybe the parfait?
I'm just here, trying to serve you best
In my plastic hat, and this damn checkered vest

Got nothing new on the menu
And the inventory has run stale
I'm just looking to make you a deal
Lets have a meal
And not a date
Without plastic forks, or plastic plates

Can't you read, the sign says under new management!
Or didn't you understand, quite what that meant
This restaurant's closed, no more meal ticket deals
So take what you find, and keep what you steal
You took it from me!
5954  The Rest / General Discussions / GamePro: 11 Worst Video Game Trends on: May 28, 2007, 09:20:27 AM
In that case, something like Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines runs the gamut for types of characters you can play as in terms of aesthetics.  There are the beauty-obsessed Toreador, the sewer-rat Nosferatu, and everything in between.  But regardless of their visual aesthetics, they all have various internal traits that make them appealing to play as.  

If only that game wasn't so buggy and only playable on high-end systems.  That thing was awesome.  

I have been giving more black and white examples of things, but I think we can all agree that characters need more than just looks.  And even in terms of aesthetics, we all have different tastes.  Most guys think Pam Anderson's a total hottie, whereas I think she's revolting.

I think most US video games are less afraid to portray characters and character designs as imperfect than most Japanese video games are.  Even Squall's scar in FF8 had to look pretty.  In a more typical US video game, scars on characters are scars; there's nothing pretty about them.  

We could discuss character aesthetics in video games all day and mostly agree to not quite see eye to eye on things, but in terms of that list of "disturbing video game trends" the whole awesomely beautiful woman being a "disturbing trend" is not something I can agree with.  Do I think there needs to be improvement and more diversity among video game women?  Absolutely.  But do I think the "hot chicks with guns" is a bad/disturbing video game trend?  No, or at least not as bad as some other trends like crappy ass games based on popular licenses.    

I still like my escapism in entertainment, though, because I can get humanity and all the amazing intricacies associated with it just by living my daily life.
5955  Media / The Soundroom / The Beatles on: May 27, 2007, 11:13:09 PM
The Beatles... they were a big influence on this indie rock band I used to be in.  Although the Beatles' music could be hit or miss for my tastes, especially depending on the era as they evolved a lot over the years, they've earned their place in music history.  There has never been a band like the Beatles and there never will be.  

If you were to ask me who I think the mightiest band of all time is, I'd say Led Zeppelin or Iron Maiden.  Most would say The Beatles.  Although I listen to a lot of jazz, R&B, showtunes, and all kinds of other music, when it comes to rock, I prefer heavier rock.    

Personally, I thought the solo material after the break up mostly sucked.  The magic was with the 4 of them.  And I think Sir Paul has become a total douchebag these days in his old age.  His solo stuff makes me want to barf.  

I have to be in a particular mood to listen to the Beatles.  I can't just listen to them on a whim like I can with Zeppelin or Maiden.

"Eleanor Rigby" is still my all time favorite Beatles song.  And Sgt. Pepper is easily my favorite Beatles album.  Other Beatles albums I can't always listen to on a whim or in their entirety, but Sgt. Pepper is one that I can listen to and enjoy every time.
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