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334540 Posts in 13704 Topics by 2200 Members
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6151  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #2 on the new(ish) boards on: June 03, 2006, 02:52:53 PM
Heh, digital novels are themselves hard to find in "brick-and-mortar" stores in the US.
6152  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #2 on the new(ish) boards on: June 03, 2006, 12:25:22 PM
I beat Hourglass of Summer recently.  My review is up.  Check the front page.  

Best love adventure I've ever played, and the 2nd best digital novel I've ever played; #1's still Ever 17.
6153  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Anime/Manga Journal on: June 02, 2006, 09:33:40 PM
Just today I randomly caught an episode of Mirage of Blaze on TV (Encore WAM channel.)  I dug the music, the dark art style, and the character designs.  It was atmospheric and there were some cool moments (such as when Saori kicks major ass with a shovel when fighting zombies that Takaya's like "whoa, she's not useless deadweight after all") and everything... but I couldn't help but feel that this was a Neal-pleasing visual package over a very cliched premise, about spirits from the past possessing peoples' bodies to re-enact a war they thought ended poorly.  And the whole lengthy summoning sequence with loads of colors was lame, because what self-respecting baddie would sit through one of those lengthy things?  

I don't know what to make of Mirage of Blaze.  I love the visuals and it is atmospheric (I LOVE that dark vibe akin to Boogiepop Phantom) but the premise and the summong sequences are so silly that it totally ruins the dark atmosperics.  

It seems like it'd be a fun series to watch, but I doubt I'd waste money on a box set.  

Did I mention the dub was godawful?  It was like an old-school dub with bad actors who emphasized the incorrect words and put no emotion where there needed to be emotion.  I thought we were over this shit by now.
6154  Media / The Soundroom / YouTube is the greatest website in the history of the world. on: June 02, 2006, 09:21:16 PM
Perhaps that was a Korean made Jem.  I mean, nowadays even Ibanez' Prestige line of basses are now being made in the Korean factory instead of the Japanese one.  Not that that's a slight since Korean made instruments are amazing these days; the Lakland Skyline basses and G&L Tribute basses for example are exemplary in terms of quality; better and more consistent than even US made Fenders and Gibsons (Fender and Gibson's QC has gone down the fucking toilet.)  But the fact that Ibanez is still charging Made-In-Japan prices for Made-in-Korea basses seems like a gouging business practice.  

Ibanez and ESP/LTD all have Korean-made "cheaper" versions of their custom shop sig models.  Hence, you get Korean made Jems and JS's that kids can afford.  

Or he bought it used.  That's how I was able to afford a Warwick.  I bought it used.  

But, yes, focusing on the rhythm guitarist during the solo was kinda lame.  Maybe the cameraperson was the rhythm guitarist's girlfriend and thus focused on him more?  I dunno.

EDIT: Jem Jem is truly outrageous!  Truly, truly, truly outrageous!
6155  Media / Single-Player RPGs / RPG Control on: June 02, 2006, 09:13:35 PM
Control can be an issue in graphic adventures as well.  For example, I wasn't quite fond of the character-relative "Resident Evil" type control scheme in Grim Fandango.  No matter what I do, I could never get used to it, and that was one game where I couldn't point and click to locations.  And whether I was using the mouse or the arrow keys, the robot puzzle near the end of the game in Still Life was an absolute bitch in terms of control.  And with the arrow keys, it was all Resident Evil type character-relative movement.  

Persona 1 also had a somewhat weird control scheme in the isometric rooms.  

And when one talks of control, is it purely button responsiveness, or interface as well?  A game with a smooth interface gives me a better feeling of control, like if the menus are straightforward, easy to navigate and all that.  

Digital novel is a genre where control plays no part since it's purely choose-your-own-adventure style play.  Although I do want my choices clearly highlighted so I know I'm selecting the one I want.
6156  Media / The Soundroom / YouTube is the greatest website in the history of the world. on: May 29, 2006, 09:50:01 PM
Oh, I remember, and still have, Vai's Sex and Religion album.  Possibly the worst Vai album ever (though I like it), and it's Devin who saves the album.  I knew he was something special when I first heard it.

But, yes, the lyrics and video for "In My Dreams With You" are pretty godawful.  The fat drummer is especially horrid.
6157  Media / The Soundroom / YouTube is the greatest website in the history of the world. on: May 29, 2006, 07:39:09 PM
Heh, my favorite music things at YouTube are the Tony Royster Jr. drum solo from when he was 12 years old (he's 21-22 now) and the one where Victor and Regi Wooten are having a slap battle.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPncumXZExo (Tony)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZyQAFroumM (The Wootens.)  

In contrast, I think this is hysterical.  It's no secret that I think Michael Anthony of Van Halen is a shitty bassist.  All he does is throttle an open A on every VH song.  For someone who's been playing as long as he has, he shouldn't suck.  I can't believe he gets solo spots, and this one is embarassingly bad.  He spends most of his solo time.... JUST THROTTLING THE OPEN A!!!!!!! or just standing there waiting for applause.  And that whale-in-heat distorted bass tone is just godawful.  Oh well, the guy's damn lucky.  He gets paid a shitload of money just to be Eddie's bitch.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPafbJqAb58
 
In contrast, this kid Stefano is sporting a Michael Anthony signature model bass, and his tone and smoothness are amazing.  This guy can play that Jamiroquai tune amazingly.  I wonder if he's that smooth at improv.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS0VUtxDO-k
6158  Media / The Soundroom / Fred Durst butchers another classic. on: May 29, 2006, 09:14:55 AM
Dude, they're one of those bands that are in the "trendy now, gone tomorrow" file and it's beyond tomorrow.  If anyone still listens to them, you'll be all like, "you STILL LIKE them!?!?!?!?!"  Bands like Fall Out Boy will be like that in a year or three.  

Durst is ugly.  Durst can't sing.  Durst can't rap.  Durst has no talent.  I used to think he had talent as a businessman because he marketed himself so well that people bought his crappy product and he raked in the dough... but since no one's buying that crappy product nowadays...

The only guy with any talent in Limp was their old guitarist, and he jumped ship long ago.  

As for the video, awful.  Durst was off beat, off key, and fumbled some of the lyrics.
6159  The Rest / General Discussions / *The* gamer-oriented question... on: May 28, 2006, 09:37:19 PM
*nod* Gaming is becoming prohibitively expensive these days, and since many of us have lives outside of gaming, $600 would be better spent elsewhere in our minds.  After all, to many of us, as much as gaming has "grown up" a video game system is still "a toy."  At least the Wii isn't a bank breaker.  And given that consoles have a much shorter lifespan in the US than in other countries, it's hard to justify spending $600 on a "toy" that will be obsolete after a handful of years.
6160  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Someone tell me on: May 28, 2006, 01:04:16 PM
I tell you, there are so many things I'd rather do than play video games:

-play bass (or drums when I go visit the folks)
-play with my band or just jam with random people; I find promoting my band fun too.  I love making flyers.
-write songs/music
-lift weights
-play sports/games with friends (i.e. basketball, badminton, ultimate frisbee, bocce)
-cook
-read
-listen to music
-socialize
-go out (especially to shows, so I can hear/see local bands play out; I like to go clubbing too since I like to dance.  I also like to do my voice impersonations at open-mic nights.  Karaoke is way fun too.)  

Video games shouldn't be life itself.  Just a condiment.
6161  The Rest / General Discussions / *The* gamer-oriented question... on: May 25, 2006, 11:10:35 PM
Oh, behind Eikichi's clownish veneer lies a very twisted, disturbed, and troubled kid, with a LOT of depth.  Definitely one of the most interesting characters in the Persona series.  

Either way, teenage Justin seems like a 6-8 year old while teenage Eikichi seems more like a teen... Though you *do* get to
Code:
see him, Tatsuya, Lisa, and Jun as 8-year olds in flashback sequences and Maya as a 14-year-old in those same sequences.  Those kids had depth.  
6162  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Someone tell me on: May 25, 2006, 11:05:39 PM
Just as a heads-up, the Megami Tensei games people are recommending (i.e. Digital Devil Saga) are set in modern/post-modern times rather than your castles/knights fantasy settings.  I love the MegaTen series myself because of the unique post-modern settings, but many people don't really dig  that.  

What's great for you is that ever since the 16-bit days, RPGs have gotten more popular and there is a wider variety for you to choose from.  Back in ye olden days, we just took what we could get, but now we can actually be selective.  

I think in order for us to help you better recommend stuff, we need some information from you.  

-Do you want a turn-based RPG?  

-Are you opposed to action-RPGs (in the vein of the Y's or Mana series)?  

-Since you mentioned FFT, I would assume you like the Strategy-RPG genre, in which case NIS (Nippon Ichi Soft) has released a bunch in the US, such as Disgaea and Phantom Brave.  Thing is, they have a much different feel than FFT or Tactics Ogre (FFT was based on Tactics Ogre.)  

-What is it you want out of your ideal RPG?  Are you willing to deal with some clunky gameplay for the sake of an amazing story?  Or are you willing to have a less amazing story in favor of really fun gameplay?  To give concrete examples, the Xenosaga games have amazing story, but clunky gameplay.  Whereas Tales of Symphonia has a by-the-numbers story, but awesomely fun gameplay.  

And be prepared to get a lot of divergent opinions.  Take Star Ocean 3 for example.  Staff member Shiguma/Ryan Mattich absolutely loved the game and gave it a glowing review.  However, many people in the community couldn't stand the game for X, Y, or Z reason.  

I can't really help you out too much on RPGs since I'm more the graphic adventure/digital novel/love-adventure guy here on these boards and the most recent console RPG I played was Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana (which I absolutely loved.)  But consider what I've said and definitely look through the editor and reader reviews on the site since those give you a LOT of coherent information on the games.

Still, if you can dig digital novels, Ever17: Out of Infinity and Hourglass of Summer are two of the best.
6163  The Rest / General Discussions / *The* gamer-oriented question... on: May 25, 2006, 10:14:16 PM
Then again, some games like the Megami Tensei series, Ever 17, Hourglass of Summer, The Longest Journey, and others have young protagonists, but they're deep and very well-written.  

And many PC adventure games like Syberia or AnimaMundi (to name just two) feature adult protagonists who think, act, and talk like adults.  Then again, PC games generally are better platforms for more mature, adult type games.  

I think most any game with a storyline has its gritty, more "adult" stuff and its teenybopperish stuff.  15-year-old Justin in Grandia is very different from comparably aged Eikichi "Mischel" Mishima in Persona 2: Innocent Sin.  Both are teenagers, but Justin was written in a more childish manner while Eikichi was written in a darker, grittier manner.  

Among the love-adventure genre I play so much of, the 15-16 year olds in Hourglass of Summer are better written, much much MUCH deeper, and often more mature than the college-aged characters in Ai Yori Aoshi, who are often shallow, immature, and/or just plain stupid.  So depending on who's writing the story, characters regardless of age can either be well-written or poorly written.  I'll bet even your average 15 year old would think a typical RPG teen is childish and nothing like 15 year olds s/he knows.  

So I wouldn't necessarily discount a game solely based on a protagonist's age, though some teenage protagonists are very poorly written.  In much the same way, I don't discount a band based on age if their music is good.  I'm 28, and quite a few bands I enjoy all have musicians younger than me.

And don't get me started on the "M for Mature" rating.  I mean, something like Fear Effect is truly mature in terms of its storytelling and all that, while something like Conker is disgustingly crass and immature.  But both get M ratings.  But that whole discussion on age vs. maturity is another one for another time.  

Okay, back to the thread at hand.  Quitting gaming, and beating the burnout.
6164  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment on: May 25, 2006, 12:24:52 AM
Song of the moment is the title theme to Hourglass of Summer (Natsuiro no Sunadokei) video game.  The song is beautiful.  I've listened to it 5 times in a row already.  Excellent song, befitting an even more excellent game.
6165  The Rest / General Discussions / *The* gamer-oriented question... on: May 25, 2006, 12:09:52 AM
Like anything in life, be it gaming, playing a musical instrument, whatever hobby, there will be times when you experience burnout on them.  I've had moments where I'd been playing bass so much and so frantically that I didn't want to see it for a while.  So I focused my energies on other stuff, whether it be video games, writing, cooking, reading, drums, and eventually I beat the burnout.  

Sometimes if you have RPG burnout, playing games in other genres can keep things fresh.  This is partially why I think there is a strong correlation that RPG fans are also fans of really intense shooters.  Both are really diverse genres, but the shooters help RPG fans beat the burnout.  In much the same way, when I get burned out on bass but still want to do something musical, I bang away on the drumkit in my parents' basement (that is, when I go visit them.)  EDIT:  And it helps that shooters are generally pretty short, so you get that sense of completion quicker than you would with an RPG, some of which can get real cumbersome.  

In addition, it was so liberating when I sold a shitload of my video games on Ebay.  Sure, part of it was so I could buy a bass amp, but it was great because then I felt like my monstrous backlog was no longer an obligation where I had to beat them all.  Gaming then became fun for me again, because it didn't feel like an obligation (and thus, like work.)

Gaming is not something I'd like to give up.  I mean, it gives me the kind of satisfactions that TV shows and movies give to others.  I like the interactivity.  But that being said, I would give up gaming before I would ever give up music.  If it were a life/death decision, I'd choose my bass over video games any day of the week.
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