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337813 Posts in 13833 Topics by 2212 Members
Latest Member: WhiteWishes
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61  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dice plays FF7 (Sponsored by Maxx) on: October 12, 2014, 07:42:30 AM
I think some of the greatest plot points in this game is how simply, effectively, and concisely the "Character Chapters" are told.
Both Barret and Red are great examples of side chapters that have no real bearing on the main plot of the game, but adds great backstory to their character.  Red's misunderstanding about his father changes him from a coward to a still-suffering hero (the shot of his petrified body is really something to look at).  Barret confronts his best friend; a man with the same gun-arm augmentation because they were involved in the same incident against Shinra that claimed their hands while they were trying desperately to flee.  
Tifa too, I like how even though she shares most of her "character backstory" with Cloud, their accounts of the event are detrimentally different.

That's one of my favorite overall themes in the game- how every character believes something that is untrue. 
62  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: October 11, 2014, 07:51:36 PM
It is numbing when you feel like you're just putting your brain on auto-pilot for a game, but sometimes it's done wrong.  Like in Legend of Dragoon, the Additions system is so [expletive deleted] finicky, that even basic battles feel somewhat fatiguing and you want to rest your brain on auto-pilot for a little while.  If that game had more forgiving battle mechanics, I would have been a happier gamer.  It's like with a car- it's very different driving a car with either twitchy, forgiving, or ponderous handling characteristics. 

And I'll +1 in that I like how challenge is done in Megami Tensei games, though sometimes the one-hit-kill characteristics of hama or mudo can be a pain. 
63  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: October 11, 2014, 06:06:43 PM
That whole "they just don't make 'em like they used to" argument can be a precarious blanket statement.  Granted, I'm sure many of us feel that way about software, especially how we perceive the titan companies of our youth getting a little creaky in the knees.  Analogy: Michael Jordan in his prime was arguably the best basketball player ever, but if he were in the NBA now, younger stars like Kobe and LeBron would kick butt because they're in their physical prime and Jordan is past his.  Jordan's still a legend, though and no one can take that away from him.  

That being said, I do remember saying this about hardware in an old episode of the RPGFan podcast.  My first generation Sega Genesis had a 6 oz cup of cola spilt on it, and it still worked.  I don't have it now, but if I did, I could plug it in and it would probably STILL work now.  And we've all heard stories of people abusing the hell out of their old GameBoys and even Game Boy Advances- they take a lickin' and keep on tickin.'  Accidentally spilling cola on some of my current hardware?  Probably gonna get bricked.  

And I wonder if the OP might like Fire Emblem: Awakening.  

And, again, there's a treasure trove of solid stuff from smaller development houses.  Kinda like how we think music on mainstream radio is lousy, but if you dig deeper, there's some killer bands out there crafting great songs who are far from famous but are f'n good.  
64  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 11, 2014, 05:24:20 PM
I'd say it seems that way, because back then we were younger, sharper, etc.  Nowadays, we've grown up, matured, and evolved.  And I think the site's grown up, matured, and evolved too.  Looking back at my time in the community from 1999 to now, I've definitely changed a LOT.  

Honestly, I never like to fall into the trap that stuff was better "back in the day."  Sure, I could argue that mainstream music on the radio was better in the 1980s and 1990s, but the most popular stuff was still pretty bad.  And speaking purely for myself, I like my life better now in my 30s than my teens or 20s.  I do NOT want to go back to being the loser gym class joke teenager or the fat bag 'o doughnuts young adult.  And as far as video games go, you could say the former titans of our youth are getting creaky in the joints and not producing results like their prime, but there's plenty of killer stuff out there from smaller developers that's kicking butt and taking names.  

I always like to look forward.  I acknowledge the past because it's shaped the person I've become, but I don't like to dwell on it or live in it.

EDIT: Times have changed, eh?  Remember when we were all afraid that people on the Internet would find us in real life?  Nowadays, it seems we're all now afraid of people in real life finding us on the Internet.
65  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: October 11, 2014, 11:09:54 AM
I know it seems like many of us are dismissing a guy's dream, but it's just that a lot of us are jaded in that over the years we've seen several people like this decry that something isn't the way they like, they have a million ideas to make a better something, and basically just want to tell a bunch of people their ideas and have them make it happen.  This can be problematic, especially if you're a start-up and can't really offer any incentives to people.  Hiring out for composers, voiceover talent (I'm an aspiring voiceover artist myself, and I need to invest some serious time and money to make it happen), coders, debuggers... even if you have friends willing to do it for you as a favor, they might not take it seriously or flake out when the project starts feeling like work and they're getting nothing out of it.  

In terms of finding people, perhaps college students in a school like Art Institute doing graphic design or something like that- maybe appeal to them about turning your ideas into their senior thesis project and if it becomes sellable, splitting the profits.  

I'm all for people trying to make their dreams happen, but dreams don't come easy to anyone.  Hell, maybe you can find a way to offer some kind of service to a start-up developer, learn with them, grow with them, form a bond with them, and once you're thicker than thieves with them you can have your ideas in the creative process.  It's like with joining a band- first you gotta learn their songs, gig with them, rehearse with them, prove yourself, then you'll be included in songwriting and executive decisions.  And unlike the dream of being a "rock star," which has a very small window of time because rock stardom is a young person's game, the whole game development dream is one that you don't necessarily have to put that kind of timetable on. 

We're on the same page.  There is a reason why I tend to play well outside the mainstream sandbox in terms of gaming.  Best game I've played this year was Revolution 60 for iOS; an indie title.  Never heard of it?  Then go to the main site, read my review of it, and read my interview of Jill Melancon (the voice artist who played the lead character.)  Never heard of her?  That's okay, this was her first major role.  She's doing her thing.
66  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 11, 2014, 10:56:20 AM
I should take up crossdressing and get some more Febreeze while I'm at it.

Can't blame you if you want to wear a skirt/dress. Those things can be amazingly comfortable! :D

If he needs to spray some febreeze down there then maybe he should hold up on that.

How about a "Man Skirt" (aka a utility kilt)? http://www.utilikilts.com/
67  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: October 10, 2014, 07:10:57 PM
As far as I know, it doesn't.  I also don't know if any RPGM developers have managed to manipulate the engine to play SRPG style. 
68  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: October 10, 2014, 06:57:05 PM
You could always use RPG Maker as a starting point to try and bring your ideas to life.  At least see how the dialogue and scenario writing works with the stock sprites and tiles.  Many people call RPG Maker a "cake mix" type of software, but you gotta start somewhere and I've seen aspiring developers use that before moving on to more involved engines or creating their own proprietary engines.  Plus, I've seen several RPGM developers do some pretty amazing stuff with the "cake mix."  e.g. Freebird Games' To The Moon. 

Will it be time consuming?  Yes.  Will you get bored with the monotony of detailing out your paths and stuff?  Yes.  Will you reach points where you'll get frustrated, want to punch walls, maybe even give up?  Yes.  Is all that worth the sacrifice to realize the dream and craft a game of your very own?  That's up to you to answer.
69  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: October 10, 2014, 05:12:03 PM
And there are plenty of independent developers out there who feel the same way about the RPG mainstream and create the kinds of games they and like-minded-others want to play.
70  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 06, 2014, 05:13:19 PM
I work at a high school and it still weirds me out that I'm in better shape than a good portion of the students who are half my age.  I'll bet many who think they're all that and a bag of potato chips would have been absolutely done after the first leg of the PD500. 
71  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 06, 2014, 05:09:20 PM
x__X  I would have died.  My stamina is super low (I should do more cardio) so I likely would have been trampled.  But this is really amazing to hear (I think I'd be scared getting lost/left behind though...so I love that you found other people kinda having a time getting through).  Well done!!! :)
Is the terttain really rough and bumpy?

And I've actually heard they get singers to jog and sing at the same time so they can perform better live.  So I say your singing was a good thing!  Plus, for whatever mysterious reasons, musical therapy works, so sing away!

Wow, thanks for actually reading that whole story!  You rock!  We rode on public paved roads (it was a road ride rather than a mountain bike ride) and some of the roads were less maintained than others. 
72  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New NIS announcements - Battle Princess Arcadia and Fencer Fairy F for NA on: October 05, 2014, 06:43:39 PM
Yeah.  I also grinded a lot for weapon points so I could get more combo attack options.  Plus, I naturally take longer than most people to finish RPGs anyway. 
73  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 05, 2014, 06:36:37 PM
So, I did my Parkinson's Bike-a-thon today and man, it was an epic adventure on par with your favorite RPG.  

I got lost driving to the starting line, but made it with time to spare, so that might have been an omen for things to come.

The ride itself was really small (only 150 riders total, only a fraction thereof were on the 100km/62 miler).

So after a chilly launch off the starting line, I kept pace with the group over some steep climbs, we ended up getting lost and ended up adding .3 miles to our distance. We passed a walkathon during a twisty climb to the first rest stop, where I shed a bunch of my cold-weather layers.

I launched off the second leg with a couple of riders who let me tag along with them. I kept pace decently, but over a series of climbs with confusing turns, I got completely lost, was riding alone for a while, eventually found the right roads, but made a right instead of a left at Albuquerque (like Bugs Bunny) and had to do those confusing-turn hills AGAIN! So that's another 3.1 miles added to my total. I made it to the second rest stop, but few people were there and any who were, launched off while I was taking a leak.

So on my own again, I followed my cue sheet to a road where I was supposed to turn off after 1.4 miles. I completely missed the turn and when I realized it, I was at a T-junction with a road that was a little further along my cue sheet. So I took it. Had I followed the cue sheet, I'd have only been on that road for .2 miles, but I was on it for pretty much a full mile and the first leg of that road was a short-ish climb that was probably the steepest I encountered. So, an estimated .6 mile gain thanks to my impromptu detour. Further along, I caught up to another rider I recognized from the starting line and we decided to ride together for a while. We got to a confusing turn and his dad was there riding in circles trying to figure out where to go. So I took out my cue sheet, decidedly took the leader role and successfully led them to the third rest stop, where the three of us decided to form a 3-man team for the last leg (which had the most monstrous climb).

The fourth leg... 49.4 miles into the ride, we hit Harmony Hill. We're talking a good 1.5 miles of climbing with some grades I'm guessing to be 13-16%. Compare that to the Manayunk Wall, which is only about a half mile with a 17% grade at its steepest point. Harmony Hill is where I took over pulling duties for our group, because I was the strongest climber. We even picked up a couple more riders into our pack of misfits during Harmony Hill. From Harmony Hill to the end, I pretty much pulled the group and my navigation led us to the finish line without getting lost! I always thought of myself more as a domestique/assist/support type rider, but it felt good that when called upon to lead, I led, pulled the pack well over 10 miles, and stayed cheerful and positive the whole time.

And, yes, during that fourth leg, I was either whistling, singing, humming, or "la la la"-ing the Hime Hime song from Yowamushi Pedal and grinning at every grueling climb. I'm sure the riders behind me kept thinking "This guy's nuts" but I'm sure my energy was infections, because we caught our second wind about 5 miles from the finish line.

The mountain gods must have heard me constantly saying how much I love hills and climbs and tested me by having me get lost repeatedly and having to do extra hills (including an impromptu one that I may detour on again next year). But I proved to the mountain gods that even though I was born in the year of the Horse, I'm a capable Goat on the climbs....with a heavy hybrid bicycle. And since 2015 is the year of the Goat, I see that as a sign.

And when all is said and done, with all my detours et al. my 62 mile ride turned into a 66 mile ride. And crazily enough, my legs are not as destroyed as they were when I did the cancer ride this summer... and this was a MUCH more grueling ride. I think all my training's paying off, and my 2015 New Year's Resolution is to become an A-class rider (a rider who averages 21+ mph on a bicycle).
74  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New NIS announcements - Battle Princess Arcadia and Fencer Fairy F for NA on: October 04, 2014, 07:53:39 PM
Not quite Agarest 2 darkness, but  remember that Agarest is by Idea Factory and Compile Heart is a different division of the IF parent company.  Compile Heart has never really gone "grimdark" in their games and FFF is noticeably darker than, say, Hyperdimension Neptunia or Mugen Souls. 
75  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New NIS announcements - Battle Princess Arcadia and Fencer Fairy F for NA on: October 04, 2014, 05:09:43 PM
Well, my review is up.  Bottom line is that I thought it was alright.  It wasn't as grindy or needlessly convoluted as other Compile Heart games, didn't overuse the fanservice, and had good music, but it got repetitive for me and the environments were kinda boring to look at. 

Comparing this and Mugen Souls Z (which I played earlier this year), I would say that objectively FFF is the better game, but Mugen Souls Z was more memorable. 
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