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Latest Member: Malekoth
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1  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Replaying RPGs? on: March 02, 2007, 07:45:11 PM
I'm okay!  I replay!

Sometimes I'll feel like going through a game again.  I like to wait five years between replays in order to make the experience fresh again.
2  Media / General Games / How to back up Sega CD Games? on: February 19, 2007, 11:18:44 PM
I want to back up my Sega CD games.  Some of them are in bad shape, and one game I own (Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective) has already bit the big one, and I don't want the others to meet the same fate.

But thing is, every time I make a backup, its always not a PERFECT duplicate--it plays but there's something wrong.  For example, Hook for the Sega CD:  If I die or when I get to the boss, the music stops and never restarts (and that game had awesome music so I hate this--moreover voice tracks for the story sequences are also recorded as CD Audio Tracks so there's no saying that a problem like this might not pop up at a time where it really counts).

I'm using Nero Express, by the way.
3  Media / Single-Player RPGs / So, what makes a game an RPG? on: February 18, 2007, 02:44:22 AM
Hope no one minds my random act of Necromancy, but I was just doing a late-night ramble on RPGs for an upcoming page and this was a part of it.  And I'm kinda-half asleep so I hope this is coherent.

You know what? I think I figured it out.

RPGs should be called S&E (Statistic and Exploration) games.

All through writing this article I've been thinking of the question "What exactly defines an RPG?" and I realized it that, whether you're talking about PCs, Consoles, or pen n' paper, the common denominator is statistics.

But its not just that they're there, no. It's also a matter of degree. Like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It has statistics, but your ability to beat the big bad monster has more to do with your hand dexterity than with Alucard's stats. In fact the best way to show my point is to point out an RPG with a real-time combat system: The Elder Scrolls: Arena. It's real time--no seperate battle scenes, you just use a button and the mouse to attack, sort of like a first-person shooter, however in a first-person shooter a hit is detected when sprites collide and Gun A always does # damage, in Arena hits are detected by offscreen die rollls independent of your physical distance and relevant only to your characters statistics, and damage too is calculated by a die roll which is based on statistics. That's why Castlevania: SOTN is not an RPG yet Elder Scrolls: Arena is. And that goes for any RPG across any system. I mean, try taking on Lavos with just Chrono, Marle, and Lucca, while they're below level fifteen. It can't be done--Lavos vaporizes you in three seconds. Because the game is stat-dependent.

But video games shouldn't really be called RPGs, because you're not really role-playing. Okay so you kinda are, but mostly to the same extent that you are in say Mario. So really all video games are RPGs. So why should only one subset of games get that moniker? I again say we should call them Statistic & Exploration games (or maybe even make two monikers--S&E for the more open-ended titles, and "Statistic & Storyline" for the more story-intensive games)

I should really go to bed.

[Looking at it again, Secret of Mana is also a good example in favor of this arguement--no matter how fast your hand dexterity is, its statistics and offscreen die rolls that determine things like whether you land a hit or are blocked and how much damage you do and you can't exactly step out of the way of upcoming attacks.  Basically I'm saying an RPG is a game where much of the outcome of conflict situations depends on statistics and die rolls as opposed to the player's reflexes.  Anyone think I may be onto something here?)
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / How many PC RPG Fans are there? on: February 09, 2007, 10:46:09 AM
Quote from: "Alisha"
one of my biggest problems with pc rpg's has always been the art direction. but as a female the character design is a much bigger problem. it seems with my limited experience that western pc rpg that developers make little attempt to include characters that appeal to female gamers. just because im a lesbian doesnt mean i like girls fighting in metal underwear.

I actually agree that this is a problem with PC RPGs.  The best you can get is Daggerfall or the Gold Box games, which allow you to customize your character's outfit so that they don't dress like sluts.

A large problem though is that this seems to be how American fantasy in general sees females--skimpily clothed if not outright naked.  Even stuff authored or co-authored by women seems to be this way--just look at the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy.
5  Media / Single-Player RPGs / How many PC RPG Fans are there? on: January 26, 2007, 02:51:52 AM
While I love your insights, MeshGearFox, I heavily disagree with that about Daggerfall.  So far, its been the most addictive RPG I've played in ten years--even down to the dungeons.

Yes they're repetitive and sometimes it gets irritating (I just got past an area where I had to find a note detailing the death of someone's brother, and found out I had actually found the right room but missed it because it was behind an obstacle that I didn't know I could get over), but I think what saves Daggerfall for me is just the freedom.  I'm not talking about being able to kill people and ignore the main quest (though I do like that the options are there), but rather the little freedoms--like if you can't pick a door's lock, you can cast a spell on it or beat it down or (and this was unintentional but still) use the void, and how you can create a spell and fly around ("I can't figure out how I'm supposed to get up there... no worries!") or climb virtually any surface.  In fact when in towns I've gotten into the habit of travelling by rooftop-jumping like a Ranma 1/2 character.

It's not just that those freedoms are there though (and what I'm about to say goes for most PC RPGs), but rather that they make me feel like I'm part of the world--I'm in the story because I choose to be, not because the game won't let me do anything else.

Ryos mentioned "compelling narratives."  While PC RPGs tend to be more minimalist (no "save points are evil and God is actually a dilapitated space zombie who created humans as a power source" stuff) I find I'm more compelled by their plots, simply for (as I said) that I feel like I'm actually a part of it.  The feel of going into taverns, hoping to get a random tip-off, or being told a rumor and having to use your own devices to verify it, is far different from the feeling I get when I reach a town and get a cutscene.

Yeah, I've rambled.

And I'll add Albion to my "games to check out" list.
6  Media / Single-Player RPGs / So, what makes a game an RPG? on: January 26, 2007, 02:26:26 AM
So recently I found this article--probably the wrong section for this since said article seems to concern itself mostly with PC RPGs, though they do mention Chrono Trigger at least, but I agree with the basic idea that RPGs are defined more by a "family resemblance" than by any strict criteria.

One of the biggest buggers I've had, ever, is trying to explain exactly what defines an RPG and, invariably, there are always disagreements--should game A be considered an RPG because it has experience points or should game B be discluded, etc.

So yeah, what makes a game an RPG?  Riddle me this, Batman!
7  Media / Single-Player RPGs / How many PC RPG Fans are there? on: January 25, 2007, 01:55:41 AM
Quote from: "The Darkrider"
The thing is, my computer's starting to get a little obsolete, so I can't play anything recent.  I've got a copy of Oblivion right here beside me just waiting for me to get a decent video card.

The comp I use for most of my gaming is a 500 MHz machine still running Win98 First Edition (though I usually just boot into DOS).

You at least can play Morrowind.  Personally I've thought about getting a new comp just for Morrowind and Oblivion.

As it happens, I've been playing Daggerfall (predecessor to Morrowind) again.
8  Media / Single-Player RPGs / How many PC RPG Fans are there? on: January 24, 2007, 05:32:43 PM
Quote from: "Silverwolf X"
As for you question, I don't remember of any PC game that took direct references from Saiyuki... well there is this hentai game in the late 90s.... -.-;;

Uhhh.... how exactly do you make a hentai game based on Saiyuki?

(Do I want to know?)

@ Dincrest

You pretty much summarized some of why I'm starting to prefer PC RPGs.  The freedom, the exploration... and funnily enough, to some extent the storylines.  I love that the best ones actually take game logic into account instead of just "This is how it played out for the sake of the plot."  Like when your mentor confronts the villain at the beginning of Baldur's Gate.
9  Media / Single-Player RPGs / How many PC RPG Fans are there? on: January 24, 2007, 07:33:50 AM
Japan's PC RPGs sound no different from their Console RPGs.

If I knew Chinese I'd like to play some of those, especially if there happens to be any decent ones based on Journey to the West (yes I know Koei made a Strategy/RPG of that for the Playstation... I have it... but I imagine the source country for the legend could do it better).
10  Media / Single-Player RPGs / How many PC RPG Fans are there? on: January 24, 2007, 06:44:08 AM
Quote from: "Silverwolf X"
Depends on what part of this Planet you're planted in...

All right.  My original post was comparing American-made PC RPGs to Japanese-made Console RPGs.

What are PC RPGs like in Japan, China, and Korea anyway?
11  Media / Single-Player RPGs / How many PC RPG Fans are there? on: January 24, 2007, 01:24:18 AM
It just seems to me that when it comes to RPGs, consoles seem to get the brunt of the fanbase, while PCs are mostly niche.

Though I own and have played more console RPGs, I've felt that PC RPGs are the superior form, though admittedly also the more complicated at times.

What you think?
12  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Dungeon Master on: January 21, 2007, 01:06:20 PM
So I hear this is a classic PC RPG.

Anyone know what the differences are between this and the SNES version?
13  Media / Single-Player RPGs / "knights do it two handed" on: January 19, 2007, 03:17:11 AM
I think I can really understand both sides of the "too serious/too funny" debate.  I kinda have it both ways.  I hate things that are too serious, for example the Spawn animated series (which was so serious that its seriousness became funny in and of itself), and I hate pure comedy that you can't take seriously in any degree (anyone remember that cartoon C.O.P.S.?)

But I can't stand parodies in any way, shape, or form.  If Cartoon Network taught me anything its that parodies are the last resort of the uncreative (and I know its funny that so far I've supported all my views with cartoons instead of video games).  Parodies often are only "funny" in that you understand what's being parodied, not because the joke is actually good.  "Oh my god, this has a giant monkey climbing a building!  IT'S A KING KONG SPOOF!  HAHAHA!"  Yeah, right, real great humor there.

The best kind of comedy, IMO, is when the situation or dialogue is inherently funny in and of itself--self-contained humor, in other words.  Stuff like a normally smart hero choosing the wrong words, or a character making one of those boneheaded mistakes that all heroes make, or maybe one of the enemies is a crow that smokes.

"In any event, the context usually makes the meaning clear.  If you're in a restaurant and you ask for hashi, you can rest assured that, no matter how you pitch the word, nobody is going to bring you a bridge."
 --Eriko Sato, PhD, Japanese Phrases for Dummies

Though I find that often, intentional, planned humor doesn't even work that well.  It really has to be spur-of-the-moment or even completely accidental to be truly hilarious.

Yeah, I've totally gone off topic.  But back to RPGs, a large problem with RPG humor is that it TRIES to be funny and usually doesn't work.  At best, it makes the game quirky and charming, but I'm not quite gonna get the hiccups from it.
14  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Which monsters do you enjoy to see the most in a RPG? on: January 17, 2007, 12:45:47 PM
The Dopefish.

Now if he ever actually appeared in an RPG that would be cool.
15  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Revisiting FF7 on: January 12, 2007, 10:01:22 PM
Honestly, I try NOT to powerlevel when I can help it.  Often it makes it so you have to be more strategic (and by "strategic" I mean more decisive about which enemy you take out first, and using status spells, etc.)
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