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5941  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Rumor: Skies of Arcadia sequel in the works. on: October 24, 2007, 05:52:08 PM
Eh, as far as I'm concerned the Grandia series has never been about good stories.  Grandia 2 has the best story of the series, and even then it's a by-the-numbers RPG plot.  But Grandia's always had a winner in the battle system.  That's not enough by itself to carry an RPG (Grandia 3 has an incredible battle system, but the story and characters were lame), but it is one thing that can make or break an RPG for me, since I spend 85% or more of my RPG time in battle.  

In any case, that sense of exploration is what people love about Skies of Arcadia.  That's something everyone hopes will remain in the sequel.  Combine Skies of Arcadia's sense of exploration with a Grandia-esque battle system and you'll have a winner.
5942  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: October 24, 2007, 07:58:14 AM


I think these webcomics capture the sentiments of most people about the Michael Bay Transformers movie.
5943  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #9999 on: October 24, 2007, 07:52:53 AM
Quote from: "Sketch"
@Dincrest - You never gave DDS a spin before now? I had always figured that you'd beaten that thing to a bloody pulp, and loved every second of it, for some reason. :P

Oh well. You're going to enjoy it!

Hard to believe, isn't it; especially given how much of a Megami Tensei fan I am and have been.  

And in Persona 3, Junpei has plenty of golden moments both overt (i.e. in the plot) and covert (when you talk to him after returning to the dorm he sometimes says some funny stuff.)  Junpei's a totally awesome character... too bad he kinda sucks in battle especially later on.
5944  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Xenosaga III aka How I gave up on Xenosaga II on: October 24, 2007, 07:42:53 AM
Battles in Xenosaga II were just really tedious because of that silly zone-break thing.  Any battle seemed to take forever because there were no hints other than trial and error to find the enemy's weak B-C spot/sequence.  If you didn't use that one and only one best way to defeat the enemy you'd do the most paltry damage and be toast.  

Some people have called Xenosaga II's battles strategilicious.  I call it tedious and frustrating.  If it weren't for the multi-height zone breaking thing, the battles would have been fine.    

To me, Xenosaga II is one game that justifies Gameshark use, otherwise it's a masochistic exercise in tedium and frustration.  I will say that the music in Xenosaga II was terrific.  Kajiura's stuff was great, but I also loved Shinji Hosoe's pieces.  Very underrated soundtrack.  

But regardless, Xenosaga 3 was easily the most fun to play of the three and had the best music (I thought Mitsuda's soundtrack in the first game was very disappointing.)
5945  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: October 23, 2007, 06:22:37 PM
I saw Corpse Bride the other night too.  I don't know... I LOVED Nightmare Before Christmas and I dug Corpse Bride's art style, but I just couldn't get into that movie.

I also caught Napoleon Dynamite on TV.  I can see why that movie is a cult classic, but I didn't like it at all.  I thought it was boring and stupid.
5946  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #9999 on: October 23, 2007, 06:18:16 PM
Okay... I traded in a bunch of games.  I was intending to trade a bunch in for Dragon Quest 8 and maybe something else... only to find a new copy of Digital Devil Saga 2 for 30 bucks.  I got it.  I managed to track down a reasonably priced copy of DDS1 so I can have that too.  

It's funny... I think I've been so hellbent on gearing most, if not all, of my gaming with the intention of reviewing for RPGfan that I missed out on a lot of stuff like Xenosaga, FFX, stuff like that.  Persona 3 got me back into MegaTen mode, finding DDS2 was pretty cool, and I'm back in the saddle.  

I'll probably do some semi-retro graphic adventure reviews for RPGfan in the near future since that's kinda my niche on the site.  I'm definitely looking forward to A Vampyre Story http://www.vampyrestory-game.com/  , DarkStar http://www.darkstar.gs/ , and Prominence http://www.prominencegame.com/
5947  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Persona 3 on: October 23, 2007, 06:12:28 PM
I think I just ruined a perfectly good pair of pants, then put on a new pair... and ruined them again.  

5948  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #9999 on: October 23, 2007, 11:01:52 AM
Storywise, I think XSII is worth it.  But the gameplay is broken.  Hence why I played it with a Gameshark.  And even the most ardent Gameshark haters concede that Xenosaga II is an RPG that justifies the use of one.  

However, XSIII has an extremely extensive in-game database that gives you all the information you need; it's a TON of text to wade through, but you have to appreciate the effort.  There are even summaries of XSI and II with cutscene stills accessible at the title screen.  So even if you decide to skip XSII, you can still find out what happens.  XSIII is definitely the best game of the series.  It's just that you'll be reading about what happened rather than experiencing it for yourself.

As for gaming, I'm trying to build levels in Puzzle Quest to get on with the story, but it gets monotonous.  I'm trying to do "La La" and "Canned Heat" in Elite Beat Agents cruisin' mode, but the circles don't correspond with the music at all, especially with "Canned Heat."
5949  Site Related & More / RPGFan: Site / Any change of RSS-News? on: October 22, 2007, 10:37:44 PM
Quote from: "Leyviur"
No. It will be flashing pink and neon orange. We will be the only video game website to give our readers epilepsy.

Well, there was one time many years ago (I think it was 2000 or 2001) when the site had a hot pink with canary yellow theme for April Fool's Day.  

I've grown fond of the green.  Brand recognition and all that.
5950  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment Part 7,894,673,589.3 on: October 22, 2007, 09:26:33 PM
Quite by accident I happened upon yet another damn good metal band from my home state of New Jersey.  They're called Core Device and sound quite a bit like Nevermore.  The only full song available on their website is from their self titled album "Our Fellowship Eternal" and it's a really good song.

In listening to other samples from the band, one thing I love is that their bassist isn't a token gesture like most metal bassists.  He doesn't ape the guitars or just pound out straight eighth notes.  He crafts some wicked serpentine basslines that can be heard really well in the mix.
5951  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Persona 3 on: October 22, 2007, 01:17:53 PM
This is finger-crossing time!  FES would be sweet.
5952  The Rest / General Discussions / Atari creator: modern games are unadulterated trash on: October 21, 2007, 08:24:32 PM
Fun read.  I do think he has some valid points, but part of still sounded like a grumpy old man scowling about how X was better back in "the olden days."  And the main point of his argument about the state of gaming is one I've read/heard from gaming luminaries time and time again.  

Gaming has become a viable multimedia industry whereas back in the days of Nolan Bushnell's Atari, gaming was very much a toy; a novelty even.  His mention of board games reflects his perception of gaming as a toy rather than with that multimedia industry business mindset.  

The Nintendo Wii seems to be espousing Bushnell's ideals in that article.  Some of my female classmates who never were into video games now want Nintendo Wiis after playing stuff like Wii Sports and Cooking Mama.
5953  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Rumor: Skies of Arcadia sequel in the works. on: October 21, 2007, 06:05:27 PM
Quote from: "Prime Mover"

That said, the first 3/4 of the game was amazing: killer voice acting, great music (though I think SoAs soundtrack is just as good), great battle system, and quite nice dungeon design. It made me laugh, it made me cry, everything, perfect. But that last 1/4 really pulled it off my A list in a bad way.

Still, Grandia II is not the first to do that nor will it be the last.  Too many JRPGs do that.  I've been complaining about that left and right on the boards a lot lately.  Doesn't completely negate the positive points I have about it, FFX, and others, but it definitely keeps them from being elite.  

Objectively, Skies is the much better game.  But it's not without room for improvement and I think a freshened battle system would be quite welcome in this sequel.  Especially the ship battles.  Those were dull.  Beautiful to look at, but dull to play.
5954  The Rest / General Discussions / Wow... this is a surprise. on: October 20, 2007, 10:28:52 PM
Depends on who you ask and where in the world. :P  In all seriousness though, I was being melodramatic and exaggerating.  Again, that's because I've been complaining about similar sentiments in various FF games so I pretty much copy-pasted my sentiments about that here.
5955  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #9999 on: October 20, 2007, 07:35:24 PM
I just cannot see that battle being a strategic battle.  It was more about luck than strategy.  Delsus was my MVP, though, with his Power Shot occasionally skill-breaking.  

Again, the game itself had a steady enough challenge curve throughout then they just dropped the bomb.
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