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Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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1516  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Is JRPG... on: November 21, 2010, 09:58:10 PM
I have no problem with old-school games and Old-school style games. The onlything I want to see done away with in JRPGs are frequent random battles. Fighting a battle after taking a single step is as irritating as it gets.

especially in dungeons with puzzles.

Yeah, no kidding.
1517  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Non-medieval and non-futuristic RPGs? on: November 21, 2010, 04:01:20 PM
Shin Megami Tensei, Earthbound, and The World Ends With You sound right up your ally. There's also Freedom Fighters if you're interested in trying a Western RPG. I suppose Fallout is Sci-fi, even though it's technically retro-future/Post-apocalyptic?

Chrono Trigger also gave me a similar feeling to what you described, despite technically being Sci-fi/fantasy, it still felt very much to me like I was following a cartoon, and I kept wanting to find out what would happen in the next "episode".
1518  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tactics Ogre on: November 21, 2010, 01:45:48 PM
Is a guy not allowed to have other hobbies aside from playing video games here? I've probably played 3 hours worth of video games this year.

Relax, they're just teasing.=P
1519  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What will bring RPGs back? on: November 21, 2010, 10:35:00 AM
To me, the shift to handhelds is one of the best things that could have happened to RPGs. The fact that handheld RPGs require less financial investment - and therefore leave developers free to take risks - is why, IMO, the best handheld RPGs this gen are better, fresher. and more interesting than their console counterparts from either the East or the West.

Etrian Odyssey, for example, is the kind of game that would never have seen the light of day without the handheld market, yet I can think of no RPG on consoles this gen that I found more enjoyable or inspiring.

I agree whole-heartedly. Loads of great games on the portables this gen, better than what we've seen on consoles, and I'm honestly not complaining, so long as we get some good games somewhere.
1520  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What will bring RPGs back? on: November 20, 2010, 05:31:48 PM
TL;DR of Below
A quick overview of why the JRPG really is in a severe pickle, where this kind of thing has happened before, and where subcultural production has really moved.

* * *

I'm with kyuusei and Prime Mover on this one. It isn't a matter of taste, and we can't blindly defend the market because we want to cling to a hopeful idea. As consumers, it's our right to demand change, either by waving our wallets and pointing to the competition, or by directly approaching developers if we have the opportunity.

Perhaps, however, it's because of the pendulum effect that every industry (and heck, just about everything) is subject to. For a large portion of the early 90's (or even late 80's) through the early 2000's, Japan was the foremost producer of fan subculture material. From anime to video games to comic books (re: manga), Japan was doing excellent work. There were all kinds of cultural reasons, from a growing economy to an excitement about new techniques and technology. Japan's subcultural markets were growing, eagerly.

That current has move to North America, though. I was recently at an Anamanaguchi concert and it struck me that North America is really where the cultural movement has shifted. From some of the better games out there (re: Mass Effect, BioShock), to the rise of the indie comic (similar to the doujin movement, but far more legitimate. re: Scott Pilgrim), to the general effect it's having on music, movies, and art in general, it isn't hard to see where all the work is happening.

It's an interesting parallel to what happened in the Japanese market a decade ago, with the rise of the doujin market, the anime market, and so forth. But it's larger now, and carries far more impact because the North American industry is building on the ideas of the Japanese. A decade from now, we're likely to see it shift back, or at least somewhere else (Korea? India? The UK?), and a whole new movement will take hold.

RPGs are a slowly fading medium, I believe. But I'd actually extend that to the idea of distinct genre. Think of how laterally the genres are moving, melding and borrowing from each other with each new title. God of War (and I am speaking strictly about the first) has a better sense of characterisation and dramatic theme than most RPGs these days. This gets back into the whole "what is an RPG" discussion, but if we can lift ourselves up from that, it's interesting to note that a lot of RPGs, if supposedly based around dramatic themes and narrative, especially in the JRPG market, simply don't deliver.

There's also an immaturity of storytelling that the JRPG needs to grow out of. I don't know if it's because of the Japanese otaku mentality, but JRPGs are almost always providing either escapism or comfort in some way. Bright, cutesy designs are more formulaic and prevalent than ever. As much as I want to like Reccetear, the critic in me is repulsed by the character designs. Not because they're "bad" (whatever that means), but because they speak to me about the mentality of the target audience. Cute, bright, and comforting.

Now, is comforting bad? Is cutesy or bright bad? Is escapism bad? Well, no.

But:

They do limit what a developer goes into a project with. They limit and curtail how "out of the box" the thinking will be, right from the very start. If a company feels it needs to make money, it could very well compromise any vision whatsoever for appealing to a target demographic. In this, the masses really are dictating how the art is made, and that my friends is a sorry state of affairs.

There's a fine balance to be had: Companies need to respect the needs of the players, listen to criticism, and respond to it accordingly. But the audience can't fully dictate how the game is wrought. To do that is to proverbially put too many chefs on one soup. In the end, you'll wind up with a thin, watery mess with no real substance.

Oh sure, people will buy it. But people also buy McDonalds and Burger King food, despite how crummy it all is. You simply can't rely on your audience to dictate good taste. Although that may sound elitist, it's kind of a sad and painful truth. Most people will eat whatever's in front of them, and ignore a better meal in favour of a cheaper or more familiar one.

So why would a developer in a tight economy make the choice to be different or work on substance over appearances? That's kind of the problem with JRPGs right now. It became an oversaturated market (and still is), full of bandwagon-jumping developers who are looking to make money, rather than do the right thing and make a good game. Look at what happened to fighting games in the early 2000's. It's the same story all over again.
^ joining the older tired of eating same old regurgitated crap train. I still to this day love turn based battle systems, but the plots...... I don't really think this is just an American problem. The fact that there are not that many JRPGS on the ps3  or Wii at this point shows how much they are not selling. Part of it is due to the economy the other part is due stagnation  and overall lack of quality.

Don't forget the cost of making games these days!
1521  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Golden Sun Dark Dawn in 10 days on: November 20, 2010, 05:08:19 PM
Aside from the not attacking the dead enemy you targeted, my only other pet peeve was a few rooms where puzzles had random encounters.

Yeah, I noticed a lot of people had a problem with that in Golden Sun. I never did, but I do remember being annoyed by similar occurrances in Tales of Symphonia.  Dunno why it didn't bother me in Golden Sun, maybe because the battles were over so quickly? Who knows.
1522  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Is JRPG... on: November 20, 2010, 04:59:57 PM
I have no problem with old-school games and Old-school style games. The onlything I want to see done away with in JRPGs are frequent random battles. Fighting a battle after taking a single step is as irritating as it gets.
1523  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Golden Sun Dark Dawn in 10 days on: November 20, 2010, 04:58:00 PM
I might as well repost this here:

I'm probably gonna give Golden Sun DS a try somewhere down the road (probably the same time I give Dragon Quest IX a try...in 2020), despite not liking the first. Ironically, the only things I disliked were the very beginning (which turned me off the story entirely, and when that happens, my interest rarely comes back. The only exception was with Final Fantasy IV, and I still can't explain that one. Probably because it was still sort of difficult and charming), and of course the utter lack of difficulty and very little need to grind. The encounter rate was also annoying and I didn't care for the puzzles either, but I could've gotten over it if there was a good reason for me to care. Seriously, all GSDS needs to do is up the difficulty and tell the story better, and I'll have no quams about playing it.
1524  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What will bring RPGs back? on: November 19, 2010, 06:54:29 PM
what is the Ar Tonelico series all about? Is it just a vehicle for cutesy rpg-ness?

Is about this.
what is the Ar Tonelico series all about? Is it just a vehicle for cutesy rpg-ness?

Obligatory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L79AzmlQy8

Warning, NSFW

WTF?! Some of you actually like this garbage? Enough to call this a reason to get a PS3? Wow. Just wow.
Well yeah. It's not like NISA is going to release any games on the XBox 360 any time soon. :(

Yeah, as sad as it is.:( Ar Tonelico Qoga, Atelier Rorona, Disgaea 3 and 4, and a few others probably won't come to the 360 any time soon.:( In fact, all of the JRPGs on the PS3 appeal to me outside of The Last Rebellion. I just really like JRPGs, especially if they're weird and obscure. The only reason I got a 360 was for the non-RPGs, and I still don't regret it in that respect.
1525  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What will bring RPGs back? on: November 19, 2010, 02:56:06 PM
Didn't we just have a bunch of games come out?  I know I've bought like 3-4 RPG's in the past few months, and that's more than I can even play in that amount of time.  You're looking at a fairly small span of time and complaining that the genre doesn't have many releases, when if you expand the time frame even a little the number of releases more than doubles.

RPG's aren't in any more of a slump then they've been in for the last couple years.

Edit:

Quote
looks to be like Dark Cloud 2 in that the first game is a piece of crap while the second one is an outright Great game.

Huh?  The first Dark Cloud was AWESOME.  I actually liked the dungeon-exploring elements a lot better then the ones in the second game, and the town-building was simpler and more easy to fool around with.

Yeah, Dark Cloud 1 wasn't bad at all. And I also agree that plenty of RPGs have come out recently, and heck, that list the OP made features more games that I have the money or time to play. If this is a slump, I hope we don't get out of it, otherwise I'm gonna go broke.=P

And I wasn't aware Ar Tonelico 3 was being localized. Better add that to my list of reasons to get a PS3.=P
1526  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tactics Ogre on: November 19, 2010, 01:28:41 PM
Release date announced for February 15th and it looks like we're getting the cards afterall!

Grr...That's earlier than I anticipated, and I just pre-ordered it...I might want to rethink my next GS purchase tomorrow...
1527  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest IX on: November 19, 2010, 01:27:24 PM
It pretty much is a DQ3 successor, and the only other game that plays most similar to it. Whether it's better or worse varies.

Well, that's certainly good to hear. I might pick it up when it gets cheap, then. Thank you.
1528  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Linear and simple RPGs on: November 19, 2010, 01:26:31 PM
Quote
Last Ranker is the spiritual successor to BoF...

Now I'm listening. *wag tail*

So was Megaman X: Command Mission.

I thought that was a Blatant Final Fantasy X rip-off with Mega Man characters inserted? That's the impression I got from playing it, at least. Not like its a bad thing, it just didn't really remind me much of BoF.
1529  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Is JRPG... on: November 19, 2010, 01:22:50 PM
I wonder if it'll be a "retro" game like a few particular game like Cladun or Half-minute hero.

Gah, I am getting sick of these 'retro' 8-bit style games.  It was cute at first but now everyone is doing it.  I guess they all realized that making pseudo 8-bit art is actually a lot cheaper.

I was starting to think that I was the only one who was thinking these 8-bit 'throwback' games were becoming one too many.

It's fun at first, sure, but how many times can you use this concept?

If we're just talking about RPGs here, I haven't seen that many 8-bit throwbacks, just the RPG section of Half-Minute Hero, Guadia Quest in Retro Game Challenge, Breath of Death VII (a console indie game), and ClaDun (which the style didn't actually work for the game, IMO). Other than that I can't think of too many others.
1530  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What will bring RPGs back? on: November 19, 2010, 01:01:54 AM
Tactics Ogre and Persona 2 are day-one purchases for me, and I already have a few DS and PSP games on reserve for Christmas. Dues Ex 3 also looks good, but I've yet to finish the first two. Dragon Age 2 also requires that I get Dragon Age 1: Ultimate Edition, first, and that's assuming my computer can run it.

Otherwise, I'm too busy playing catch-up right now. RPGs can take a break for a while, just so I can get the ones I missed and finished the ones I started. These games are long, you know.
Dragon Age Origins is optimized pretty well, so you may be able to run it even on a oldish PC. My two year old laptop runs it well on mostly high settings, minus shadows and that other crap like Anti Aliasing.

At the very least I've met the minimum requirements, but I still need a better processor and Graphics card if I intend to play it on anything higher than the lowest settings. Now my only fear left is that the free flash game on the Dragon Age website will turn out to be more fun than the main game.=P
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