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Congratulations to Andrew Barker! RPGfan Editor of the Year and now Chief News Editor!
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61  Media / Game Journals / Re: Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: November 26, 2014, 01:31:45 PM
They find a seemingly abandoned swamp house, kinda like this: http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2012/236/b/b/swamp_house_revamp_by_elucidator-d5caj4v.jpg and enter.

As they take a moment of respite, Roko asks, "Say, Crestee, how did you escape from the trap to come barging in saying "RUN!"

Crestee: Those dumb goons forgot to take my sword, so I cut myself free. *Crestee gives a "well duh!" look* "I could've prolly used my wind magic as well, but I ain't gonna waste that on some silly net."  

Meanwhile, Leona and Alexander are trying to calm down a bewildered Alexandra.  She's grateful for her rescue, but it seems the torture or god-knows-what she's endured has broken her mind and she can't seem to think straight.  

Just then, a creak is heard...
62  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Most Favourite Gaming Moments~! on: November 25, 2014, 05:50:10 PM
If we're going with Chrono Trigger moments, my favorite moments were some of the exchanges between various party members and Crono's mom whenever Crono would bring them home.  My favorites were when Crono brought Ayla and Frog home to meet his mom.  Frog's was the best. 

And this goes with something I've said a million times before in a million threads- the moments I seem to find most precious in storytelling tend to be the quieter moments.  The moments where the teenage heroes kinda stop being heroes for a second and just be kids doing "teen beat" stuff.  Or "adult beat" stuff in games like Persona 2: Eternal Punishment.  Like when
Tatsuya's in the party and they're all in Maya's apartment and Ulala slyly ribs her on the fact that why is deja-vu boy so familiar with your apartment if it's his first time here?

Or the dinner conversations in the Grandia games.  I mentioned elsewhere the dinner scene in Mareg's village where they're all eating berries that, when consumed, mimic the taste of your favorite food.  Like Ryudo's tasted like broiled fish, Elena's tasted like candy, etc.  And they all started talking about their favorite foods and why they like them.  That is the one part of the game I still remember. 
63  Media / Game Journals / Re: Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: November 25, 2014, 11:51:49 AM
Crestee: So why in tarnation did we just waste all that time sidetracked instead of scootin' along?  Heavens to Betsy, we got relatives to find and we gotta get back to our own time!  

Alex: We needed the money to upgrade our equipment and everything.  Are you gonna go out into the unknown and battle the forces of evil with a riding crop?  No, you're gonna need something stronger.  I'd say rapier style swords would suit your technique.  

Crestee: Grr... sakes alive. Fine, but once we get supplies, we better stop lollygagging and mosey on forward.  

Alex: We will, but sometimes being sidetracked can help.  After all, if the legend surrounding the Star of Mongoose is true, it could give us greater power against our foes.  

While they're yammering in the weapon/item shop, Leona (whose claws become more powerful as she levels up, so she doesn't need to buy weapons) and Roko (who already has her best possible equipment until the next town) sigh.  

Roko: *Sigh* And these two are supposed to be the great saviors or something?  This must be somebody's idea of a joke.  I mean, they're backwards!  Crestee is a spitfire, yet she's a wind innate.  And Alex kinda blows along like the wind, yet he's a fire innate.  

Leona: Normally, you'd be correct, but those two come from a future time when magic is all but dead, so their recessive genetics more strongly determine their elemental innateness.  Crestee must've come from long line of wind innates.  

Alex: Okay, we're armed with stronger equipment, bought a bunch of healing supplies, and now we can take on the wetlands.  

So the party FINALLY ventured off through the overworld and into the Marshes of Scuss, a hostile area en route to the isolated town of Slohm where Alexandra, or information about Alexandra, might be.  They fought a variety of hostile amphibians until they stumbled upon...
64  Media / Game Journals / Re: Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: November 24, 2014, 08:14:40 PM
Crestee held the pendant up to the sun, closed her eyes and concentrated.  Nothing.  The harder she tried to concentrate, the less far she got.  She was getting frustrated, but she was a stubborn lass and made one last effort.  Nada.  She collapsed on her knees frustratedly snarling, "Why. won't. this. thing. cooperate?!"  

"Let me try" said Alex, as he reached for the pendant.  

"I may be all down but nine, but mama didn't raise no mush-head!"  Crestee retorted.  

The two played tug-of-war with the pendant then something odd happened.  Not only did an image of Crestee's mom appear, but an image of Alex's twin sister Alexandra appeared too.  When Leona rested a paw on the pendant, a few stray sparks emanated as well.  

"Interesting..."  Leona thought.  

"What's interesting?  And don't you bamboozle me none!" yelled Crestee.

"It seems your mom may not be the only one who traveled back in time.  See, my theory is that after the war 100 years ago, magic was squashed, but now 100 years later, magic has violently awoken from its long slumber.  Hence why you saw an artma, which haven't existed since the age of magic.  And why your latent wind-magic abilities emerged in the flan/flapjack battle.  Yes, all the scratches I gave you as "Wild Thing" have allowed me to keep track of you..." offered Leona

"You conniving varmint!" shouted Crestee as she tried to lunge for the cat.  

"Let her speak!" grunted Alex as he held Crestee back.  "We're finally getting some answers now.  And I thought a straight-shootin' gal like yourself would be eager for those.  Besides, I was shooting fire and I've never done that before."

"Grrr. you're right.  Continue" snarled Crestee.  

"Anyway..." restarted Leona, "yes, Crestee your mana signature aligns with wind and Alex, yours seems to align with fire.  Your ancestors must have been elemental-innates during the age of magic and that is why you could harness magic in your time and why you're reacting to the Eye.  Alex, you said "they" were after your sister too, right?  So she's probably in this past as well.  And the sparks I got may be the big guy, General Armstrong, and his crew trying to follow us.  Zidd, who captured you guys in the airship during the festival, could never use magic, but he had technology to detect it."

"In other words," Roko chimed in, "we'd better get a move on.  We're not getting anywhere just yammering all day.  Figure out who we look for first.  Sugar-pie's mom or flame-boy's sister?"

Crestee and Alex looked to the beacon images emanated from the Eye, and the closer of the two (Marta or Alexandra) was...
65  Media / Game Journals / Re: Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: November 23, 2014, 10:06:07 AM
Aside: I know I should have let someone else write, but I saw an opportunity regarding male and female Alex.

At the start of the sewer dungeon, Alex (who let's say is male here) theorizes, "While we were tractor beamed in that airship, our escape probably took the pilot's attention away from the helm and it crashed in the water outside the castle.  And conveniently enough, the ventilation shaft was perfectly aligned with the loose storm drain on the nether side of the castle."

Crestee: "Wait, how do you know we're in the castle's sewers and not somewhere else?  Strassle's a big city, we could be anywhere!"

Alex: "I can't really explain, but just trust me on this one!"

Crestee: "And why in tarnation should I trust you?"

Alex: "What choice do you have?  Either we stick together and escape, or you get totally lost and become a rotting corpse in this dirty cold slop."  

Crestee: "Alrighty, but don't try nuthin' funny." *stomach growls audibly* "Hey, think we could sneak into the kitchen?  I'm a mite hungry."

Alex: "Fine."

So the two proceed through the sewer dungeon, killing easy enemies like rats and slimes.  Alex's weapon being knives/daggers and Crestee's being her riding crop.  Partway through the dungeon, they come to a safe zone with a save/recovery point.  More exposition follows.  

Crestee: "So why were ya in the hoosegow in the first place?"

Alex: "Same reason as you.  That guy Zidd felt a mana signature coming from me and my twin sister Alex (twin brother if you chose female Alex; they're Alexander and Alexandra) while we were... out running an errand for a client.  I bought my sister time to get away, but I was too slow and got caught."

Crestee: "So what is all this balderdash about mana signatures and this Eye of Spacetime?  You reckon it has somethin' to do with the war a hunnert years ago?"    

Alex: "Maybe.  I dunno.  Things have been a little weird around me lately.  Like little things, you know?"  

Crestee: *nod* "Hmm.. come to think of it, this mornin' the ornery town cat who usually pesters me and my livestock scooted off when I walked by."

Alex: "Yeah, that's what I mean.  Anyway enough talking.  Right now, all I want to do is get the hell out here and back to my sister.  I bet you want to get back to your family too."    

Crestee nods, and the two set off, killing more rats and slimes, gaining levels.  They reach their destination- the vent to the scullery.  Blocking the duo's way into the scullery is a monstrous...
66  Media / Game Journals / Re: Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: November 22, 2014, 11:27:59 PM
stray cat- a mangy grey striped manx that liked to prowl the village.  This cat, whom the residents called Wild Thing, seemed especially fond of spooking Crestee or her livestock, often by leaping out of the nearest tree.  This time, Wild Thing cautiously crept up to Crestee before bounding away as if spooked.  Crestee scratched her head at the cat's odd behavior.  It's not the first time she'd been dirty from chores and Wild Thing was always eager to add blood to her array of stains consisting of dirt, sweat, grass, animal leavings, etc.  Crestee just shrugged and took it as a good omen as she made haste back home and penned her animals.  Her uncle was waiting for her with a stern admonition and lecture.  "Crestee, you need to learn to be responsible for your own actions.  I know you're a dreamer, but you have to keep both feet on the ground.  Your dreams cost you a day at the Century Carnival!  Now get yourself cleaned up.  Maybe you'll make it in time for the fireworks!"

"Yeah, yeah..." Crestee spat back as she hurriedly raced up the stairs, throwing off her dirty clothes and taking a quick bath, her uncle muttering about "kids these days... ."  She threw on some decent dungarees and a flannel shirt, but without time to properly style her hair, she just put it in a loose ponytail and plopped on her favorite cowgirl hat.  Quickly stomping down the stairs in her boots, Crestee quickly said "See ya!" to her uncle as she spun her poncho around her, hurtled to the stable, and high-tailed it to the festival atop her favorite horse Loper.  

She and Loper made it to Strassle just in time for the festival's...
67  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XV, This is a fantasy based on reality. on: November 22, 2014, 06:49:13 PM
Ahh, but Idea Factory and Compile Heart have been making strides toward creating better games and shedding their laughingstock reputation.  Agarest War 2, Mugen Souls Z, and Fairy Fencer F were surprisingly competent JRPGs.  They still have a ways to go, but I'd definitely give them the "most improved student" award.  I look forward to see what they do in 2015.      

Remember, Honda and Hyndai used to be crummy tin-can cars back in the 1980s and now they're some of the best built and most reliable automobiles on the road.  
68  Media / Game Journals / Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: November 22, 2014, 06:20:18 PM
You know how Round Robins work- I write a bit, the next person writes a bit, so on and so forth to create an RPG style storyline.  Contributions could be anything from a sentence to multiple paragraphs.  Yeah, this could be in brush 'n quill or something, but those get no traffic and no participation, and this board does get traffic.  So that's why it's here.  I had a LOT of fun with that old "Let's create a cliche RPG story" one a few years ago, and I thought I'd try again.  Anyway, here goes.  

The kingdom of Strassle is on the eve of the Century Celebration festival!  After a great war ravaged the land 100 years ago, each year of rebuilding has been punctuated by a festival to boost and bolster community morale.  Over time, the once scorched earth grew into a prosperous kingdom.  This year, the festival will be extra special, because it marks 100 years that the kingdom has grown and stayed strong.  On the outskirts of Strassle proper (a sprawling and bustling castle city, where the festival takes place), dawn breaks on Madora- a hamlet renowned for its horse ranches.  Sunlight cascades through the window of an unassuming house on a modest ranch and onto the eyes of a teenage girl, causing her to blink awake...
69  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XV, This is a fantasy based on reality. on: November 22, 2014, 03:25:15 PM
Do you like every album by a particular band you're a fan of?  No.  Plenty of Metallica fans disliked the albums Load, ReLoad, and St. Anger.  They still like the band, though, and will go to their concerts to hear their favorite songs by them.  Hell, the oldheads will bring their tween and teen kids to Metallica concerts.  Kill 'em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and Justice were all killer albums, and few bands right now can claim that kind of age diversity in their fanbase- from tweens and teens all the way to folks in their 50s even.   

And a music analogy is apt for another point made.  We could cry all day about how who's famous and popular on the radio these days is vapid garbage and that some local or underground artist who is truly amazing should be famous instead.  But then when the artist we like gets famous, do we then turn our backs on them and yell "sellout!"  Do we not like them any more because we liked them "before they were cool" and don't want to be associated with the bandwagoning sheeple who jumped on the trend?  Back in the FF7 days, all the "tr00/ 0ld-sk00L" fans cried foul that they were playing early FF games while the neophytes riding the FF7 wave were playing Mario or Mega Man.     

Metallica was a no-name underground band before they made it big.  In much the same way, Squaresoft was a no-name indie company at first, created a bunch of less-than-successful games, faced bankruptcy, and Final Fantasy was their last ditch effort before shutting their doors.  We can say "evil corporation Shinra" all we want, but they had the kind of hard luck story we love in the smaller, indie, underground developers that we wish were famous instead of Square Enix.  And with a lot of ex-Square staff splintering off, they have the "ex-Square" feather in their hats and thus their smaller development studios will get some recognition.  And that's a good thing, right?         

And, again, if we want to topple the juggernaut and stick up for the little guy, we have to speak with our wallets.  Buy the games you want to see more of.  People probably make fun of me behind my back that I'm the RPGFan "hipster" because I review obscure games and choose them for my Game of the Year selections.  But maybe if people paid attention to those underground gems instead of the latest FF (even if looking in FF's direction simply to yell and scream and complain), then maybe they'll have fun actually playing games instead of shouting about them on the Internet.  There's that old saying, "money talks, BS walks."   

Will I be buying the new FF?  Probably not.  I'll likely be playing some no-name game that falls victim to FF's looming shadow for RPGFan instead.  Remember how in FF13's wake, a really cool RPG called Resonance of Fate got overshadowed?     

I hope FF15 turns out good and that people enjoy it.
70  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: November 22, 2014, 09:17:21 AM
One thing I wished FF8's plot had expanded on was
Rinoa's past with Seifer.  It's mentioned almost off the cuff that she dated him, then Squall had a hissy fit for no good reason and stormed out of the room, forever leaving that thread dangling.

Even though I really liked FF8, I would have liked more plot regarding the "school ties" and "teen beat" stuff than that contrived Blair Witch hunt.  For a game that's supposedly about the theme of love, it handled that theme rather lackadaisically.

As for gaming, mostly been playing Love Live School Idol Festival. 
71  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XV, This is a fantasy based on reality. on: November 22, 2014, 06:40:45 AM
But such polarizing opinions are exactly why this game will succeed.  We've given it good publicity in our community and many of us will play it so we can talk, argue, etc. about it.  It's arguable that FF9 may be the best FF since 7, but it's kinda the forgotten FF.  It was good and did everything right, but it didn't spark the level of debate that 7,8,10,11,12,13, and 14 did. 

If 15 is good, we'll have people saying "told ya so" or "I was wrong to hate on it, it's good!" If not, we'll hear "told ya so" or "I was wrong to fellate it, this is awful." And we'll have those talking about how the game didn't live up to the hype, good or bad. 

The game is far from out, and it's already spawned one of the most popular threads on the forums this year.  FF is doing its job.
72  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: November 21, 2014, 08:24:07 PM
Kefir is good stuff!  I remember one time our singer had kefir and had us all try it.  She and I both liked it but the drummer and guitarist both gagged on it. 

As for Russian Dip as is, well, considering how cold it gets up there a little extra blubber for winter warmth isn't such a bad thing.  I mean, I notice that ever since I got skinny I'm noticeably more sensitive to winter cold than when I was fat. 
73  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Most Favourite Gaming Moments~! on: November 21, 2014, 05:38:50 PM
Back when I was younger, during the 16-bit days, there were times when my folks and this other kid's folks would take day trips to NYC and we'd both hang out at my house and play video games all day.  Games I couldn't beat on my own, this kid and I would end up beating together.  Those were some of my favorite gaming moments, back in the days when we rode our bikes to friends' houses and would go over to each others' houses to play multiplayer games.

And another memorable moment was one I talked about in an episode of the Rhythm Encounter podcast.  During a massive get-together, a plastic cup (like a 6 oz cup) got knocked over and cola spilled all over my Genesis.  It was a first-generation Genesis that you could fit the Power Base Converter on (to play Master System games.)  Except for a shot reset button, the thing worked perfectly for decades onward.  I don't have that Genny any more (I think it got lost in a move) but if I were to plug it in now, it would still work I'm sure of it.  I'd like to see any of my modern day consoles survive a cola spill.  

Oh, and I remember when Mortal Kombat first came out in arcades.  There was a massive controversy about all the blood and brutal finishing moves in that game.  I think that was the first domino that signaled that mainstream gaming was growing up.  That gamers weren't just young kids any more.  Sure, PC gamers still had mature games (e.g. Leisure Suit Larry with its age test) but not every household back then had a game-ready PC yet everyone had a Nintendo.  I was a shy kid, but that's how I broke the ice with other kids my age- everyone had a Nintendo so we'd talk about video games.  Bam!  Instant new friend.

I know I'm totally dating myself with these examples, but I've talked enough about in-game moments that I enjoyed, so I wanted to go a different route and talk about more life/cultural gaming moments.
74  Site Related & More / RPGFan: The Site / Re: Josh breaks down every Game of the Year pick (and regrets every second of it) on: November 21, 2014, 05:22:26 PM
I love the awards section with the funny titles.  My favorite's the "Ain't nobody got time fo' dat" award. 
75  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F on: November 18, 2014, 09:54:00 PM
^ SO will I. In 5 MORE DAYS!

Preemptively necro'ing this thread in anticipation.
Also, I'm still enjoying that Miku-themed card battle game on iOS.

And I'm addicted as hell to Love Live! School Idol Festival on iOS.  I've been enjoying it as much, if not more than, a Miku game.  Totally scratches that same itch.
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