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6106  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.
6107  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.
6108  The Rest / General Discussions / GamePro: 11 Worst Video Game Trends on: May 27, 2007, 10:49:40 PM
In terms of ugly (or less attractive) characters being more interesting to play, I can see that in, say, Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines (and its tabletop counterpart) where a lot of people enjoy playing as the Nosferatu.  Thing is, to counterbalance their horrid physical appearance, the Nosferatu have a ton of traits that make them really appealing and desirable to play as.    

It's like with dating.  If a person isn't fly, they'd better have something else as their trump card.  If a person is less attractive, s/he had better have a fan-fucking-tastic personality and something wicked cool about them.  Not much to look at but just competed in the Olympics?  Wicked cool.  Not much to look at but was on the research team that (hypothetically) cured diabetes?  Wicked cool!  Not much to look at but laid down that awesome bass track on that hot new R&B hit?  Wicked cool!  

I remember playing PSO back in ye olden days and one of my friends in the game (a woman) said that she would try making a fat "bull dyke" HUnewearl so that guys wouldn't hit on her character.  After two weeks, she deleted that character because she didn't quite want to stare at her overweight HUnewearl for hundreds of hours.  She much preferred to play her more aesthetically pleasing characters.  

Do I think some portrayals of video game women are exaggerated and overdone?  Yes.  Tifa's basketball boobs come to mind.  And who doesn't laugh when some female character's in her skivvies in the middle of the arctic north?  I'm all for video game females being more appropriately dressed, but I still like my heroines to be beautiful.  Maya in Septerra Core is a perfect example of an attractive heroine with *gasp* full body armor.  What can I say?  I play video games for escapism and I want pretty people in my fantasy worlds.  But that's just one man's way of thinking.  

As for the list, I would put Poke-clones and card-battle games in there as questionable trends.
6109  The Rest / General Discussions / GamePro: 11 Worst Video Game Trends on: May 27, 2007, 01:54:21 PM
Quote from: "Lucid"
I don't know about anyone else, but I would rather play a video game as a Carmen Electra lookalike than a Janet Reno one.

Why does it have to be either/or though? There's more to the spectrum of looks than just very attractive and hideously ugly. Take the protagonists in Silent Hill games for example, they're pretty average looking people, and in my opinion helps draw you into the situation more, or perhaps makes it easier to suspend disbelief.

I never said it had to.  I was just giving a very cut and dry example.  A "lesser of two evils" example I guess.

Heh, I could've used Pam Anderson in my example instead of Carmen Electra, but I always found Pam absolutely hideous while most guys creamed their pants over her.
6110  The Rest / General Discussions / GamePro: 11 Worst Video Game Trends on: May 27, 2007, 09:46:26 AM
Quote from: "Lucid"

Nice list, a lot of those listed are some of the reasons gaming will remain a toy, and not develop into a more mature artistic interactive medium.

That could be argued more for console gaming, but not for PC gaming.  PC gaming has always been ahead of consoles in terms of "mature artistic interactive medium" but even now, console games are starting to grow up with their constituents.  After all, the kids who grew up with 8-bit Nintendo are in their 20s and 30s now.  

In any case, I agree with the #1 on the list.  Developers need to stop churning out WW2 games.  That dead horse has been beaten, sewn back up, beaten again, sewn back up, beaten again ad nauseum.

I disagree with the "perfect woman" thing, though.  What's wrong with having attractive game characters?  Males in modern video games tend to be well-muscled and attractive too (i.e. Dante in the Devil May Cry games.)  I don't know about anyone else, but I would rather play a video game as a Carmen Electra lookalike than a Janet Reno one.  And I'd also rather play a video game as a badassed looking guy like Dante than some fat, bald, overweight slob who looks like a skeevy landlord.  I'm with Dice on this one.  If you ditch that "perfect man/woman" thing in gaming, then what's the alternative?
6111  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: May 26, 2007, 10:55:21 PM
I decided to fire up Xenosaga 2 and 3 for the hell of it.  I can see how Xeno 1 and 2 can be monotonous and or frustrating.  Xeno 3 is where the series finally gets it right, so better late than never.  My only caveat is that I liked in prior Xeno games that during human battles, characters could do individual combo attacks using square and triangle and Xeno 3 just has "attack."  I like the use of square and triangle to do multi-hit combo attacks, though admittedly it was done to greater effect in XenoGEARS where you could earn more AP and do more extensive combo strings.  

And at the very least, Shion seems like far less of a weenie in Xeno 3.  

I'll probably end up Gamesharking my way through the first 2 Xeno games.  I'd rather experience the events first hand than just read them in the Xeno 3 summary database.  Just reading the summaries is just not the same as experiencing the drama first hand.

I definitely dig the series.  For all its flaws and faults, I love that it's a cool ass futuristic sci-fi RPG series (I won't say sci-fi/fantasy because sci-fi *is* a form of fantasy), and you don't get too many futuristic sci-fi RPGs.  I mean, you do, but for every sci-fi type RPG, there's, like, 500 medieval fantasy ones.  I prefer sci-fi over trad/medieval type fantasy.  The Star Ocean games have always had potential to be cool ass futuristic sci-fi RPGs, but they ALWAYS dump you on some backwater, primitive, bumfuck, middle-of-nowhere planet devoid of technology and pretty much keep you there.  I already get more than my fair share of traditional fantasy RPGing.  I want more sci-fi or other "non" traditional types of fantasy.

To me, the Xenosaga games feel like Star Wars on steroids, and that's a good thing to me.
6112  Media / The Soundroom / Concerts 07 on: May 26, 2007, 05:23:50 PM
My friend and I just saw a killer local ska show last night with local and touring bands.  It was at a suburban community center so it was mostly high school kids at the show, but man I had an absolute blast.  It was so much fun.  The crowd was just as awesome and entertaining as the music.  There were circle pits galore and I must've sweated  gallons from all that skanking.  

5 bands played:
a ska-core band called The Best of the Worst were a lot of fun.  
The Smooth Talkers were a pop punk band who had some catchy songs, but zero stage presence (save for the drummer.)  
Le Monstre were a folk-punk band who had talent, but their music wasn't really my thing.  
Pinstripe Melee, from upstate New York, absolutely killed.  They were so freaking tight and the crowd went nuts for them.  Really nice guys too.  
And capping off the night were our friends The Waffle Stompers.  They came out in full regalia dressed like Angus Young, Elvis, Freddie Mercury, someone in the Aquabats, and more.  The crowd was absolutely bananas during their set.  I always thought The Waffle Stompers were a good band, but they were 1000 times better than the last time I saw them.  

The Waffle Stompers http://www.myspace.com/thewafflestompers
Pinstripe Melee http://www.pinstripemelee.com http://www.myspace.com/pinstripemelee  

Clueless- I get the feeling the Taking Back Sunday stage mix was intentional. Their bassist, Matt Rubano, is the only one in the band with actual talent (he has a degree in jazz performance.) I look at him and Ryknow of Mudvayne and ask myself "what are such talented bassists doing in such lousy bands?"
6113  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Odin Sphere out in US May 22nd, Dual language on: May 24, 2007, 08:10:04 AM
For Soul Nomad, NIS is projecting an August 2007 release date, but other media outlets are speculating a September release date.  It came out in Japan on January 25 this year.  

That's the best I can tell you about Soul Nomad.
6114  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: May 23, 2007, 11:26:45 PM
5-6 hours of Xenosaga was surprisingly enough to cure my love adventure burnout after spending ridiculous amounts of time playing two Memories Off titles in a row, multiple times over.  

So I started Suigetsu Mayoi Gokoro for Dreamcast.  The beginning is painfully slow, but the story is starting to open up now.  

In Xenosaga, I'm at the part where Ziggurat 8 has to infiltrate Margulis' ship to recover MOMO.  

Xeno's on hold again.  It's love adventure time again, baby, yeah!

I'm a tad miffed that they killed off fucking Virgil in Xenosaga.  He was such an awesome character.  I'm upset that they killed him and left me saddled with that useless whore Shion.  This is almost as bad as Earthbound where the uber-cool and ultra powerful bee alien is killed by Pokey's mom and you're stuck saddled with a completely useless annoying fat kid.  
Ugh, Shion makes Rinoa look badass... and I hated Rinoa, damn whiny ass simpering spoilt brat weenie chick.
6115  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Odin Sphere out in US May 22nd, Dual language on: May 23, 2007, 07:56:15 PM
I ordered my copy and got an email yesterday that it shipped.  I should get it hopefully soon.  

I splurged a bit on games getting this one, preordering Grim Grimoire, and planning to preorder Soul Nomad once it's in the EB/Gamestop system.  

2D 2D 2D!!!!! And I don't mean the singer for the Gorillaz.
6116  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: May 22, 2007, 06:05:31 PM
Point taken.  However, in your self-disclosing example, you proved that you could recognize and own up to your own hypocrisy.  Shion's too damn stupid to recognize it and obviously too oblivious to own up to it.  

Either way, seeing Cherenkov and Virgil call her out on her ineptitude and have her cower like a dog with its tail between its legs was entertaining.  

Normally I enjoy playing an RPG or adventure as a female character since they always have more dynamic storylines, but playing as an inept simpering weenie spineless jellyfish of a broad...
6117  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: May 22, 2007, 11:10:02 AM
I'm about 3.5 hours into Xenosaga.  KOS-MOS and Virgil have joined Shion's party and now they're off to the hanger to snag escape pods.  

I like the game and all; the setting, the visuals, the music, the unique storyline are all good.  Battles are pretty fun too.  And the supporting cast is excellent with great portrayals.  

But I must ask, does Shion get any better as a character?  Or at least slightly less dim-witted?  Because right now, she should be on the short yellow bus than on the Woglinde.  She's supposed to be this brilliant PhD scientist person, but she's an idiot.  She whines a lot, allows herself to be victimized, acts very childish when things don't go her way, and is a complete hypocrite with the whole "I love people and equal rights" when in reality she's just a cowardly corporate pawn (or slave if you will) who works in the best interests of her corporation than the people she claims she loves so much.  

"Teeheehee, my parents even wonder how I made it to first division."  Even her parents think she's a moron.  That's pathetic.    

Lt. Virgil's fucking cool, though.  I love how he calls Shion out on every stupid little hypocritical thing she says, thinks, and does.  That guy's sharp and not a cowardly imbecile like Shion who simply cannot win against him.  He's my favorite character so far.  

I've met plenty of phenomenally stupid video game characters in all the years I've been playing story-intensive video games, but Shion's taking the cake.
6118  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Favorite Anime on: May 20, 2007, 02:07:42 PM
Re: girls with guns anime.  I'm not sure why I like that subgenre, but I just do.  I admit that I enjoy anime like Gunsmith Cats & Noir, and games like Phantom of Inferno more than I probably should.  

However, I'm fairly particular about the kinds of girls with guns anime I watch.  I tend to prefer those set in more modern/contemporary times rather than historical or futuristic.  I also like if the fanservice is minimal or at least covert.  Someone recommended that I check out Najica Blitz Tactics since I like girls with guns, but I didn't like it; too fanservicey and it was overt like they were beaning me over the head with it a times.  I don't need overstuffed cleavage in my face and needless panty shots.  

Talk to me a decade and some change ago, and I'd have been amused by the fanservice in stuff like Burn Up W! but not these days.
6119  Media / The Soundroom / The Recent Musical Purchases Thread on: May 19, 2007, 07:44:03 PM
Finally decided to buy "Capture the Magic" by Icarus Witch on iTunes.  Great tradional metal band.  Nothing innovative or original, but who says something has to be innovative or original to be good?
6120  Media / Brush and Quill / Book Thread Continued on: May 19, 2007, 04:26:40 PM
On the urging of my parents and friends, I attempted to read "The Namesake."  I'm probably the only person who doesn't like the book.  I try to give a book a fair shake by reading the first 50 pages and if I don't like it by then, I'll put it down.  The first 50 pages of "The Namesake" were pure torture for me to read.  The free-flowing, stream-of-consciousness, going off on lengthy and often pointless tangents writing style did NOT sit well with me and I found the book boring and needlessly whiny.  

On the other hand, in the last hour, I've already gotten through 100 pages in Motley Crue's "The Dirt."  Freaking awesome book.  I don't care if you hate hair metal or Motley Crue, the book is an absolute riot to read.  Some of the shit is so freaking off the wall I was hysterical.  How could I not like a book whose first words are "Her name was Bullwinkle."  I simply cannot put that book down.

UPDATE:  I'm about 330 pages into "The Dirt" and have 100 more to go.  This book reads really quickly.  This book is like how Tommy described the "Girls Girls Girls" tour.  It's a complete blur of mayhem and awesomeness that I can't remember a darn thing, 'cept that it was nonstop mayhem and awesomeness.  I can see why all my friends re-read this book once every year.  Looks like I'll be doing the same.  Most books, save for children's books, I read once and don't want to read again.  This one, I definitely want to read again and will make a point to do so once a year.  

Who'd have thunk it that a nerdy guy like me's favorite book is fucking Motley Crue's "The Dirt." Guess I minored in English Lit for nothing, eh? :P

UPDATE:  Finished The Dirt weeks ago and immediately bought myself a copy on half.com.  It's the only book I've read in my life where after I was done, I wanted to go back to page 1 and read it all over again.  This is one book I will make a point of reading every year.  For that rereadability factor alone, especially given its size, I'd call The Dirt my favorite book.
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