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1  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: September 01, 2015, 10:46:39 AM
I've kept reading them because I've found the world and its history to be pretty fascinating. I do wish there was more about the world's history than what there has been, but I'm pretty happy still without. It really is a vibrant world, and I really enjoy the distinctive countries, customs, and peoples throughout, and I enjoy when the characters visit a new area.

The magic system is also really well developed and interesting.

The characters aren't always likable, and Took's right that they develop, but very slowly, which can be really annoying at times. But what development is there is always good, and logical.

Really, I think the series' biggest shortcoming is the poor pacing. None of the books are paced well, and some of them seem downright glacial.

I'm just glad that, at this point, the "battle of the sexes" isn't so annoying. I was so sick of the "men are stupid" and "women are crazy" that permeated the earlier books.

EDIT: Oh, and yes, there is definitely threat and tension. In fact, there almost seems to be too much at times because not only is the world at stake, but there are plenty of evil and misguided characters following their own agendas that harry the main characters. I would actually like it more if the conflict focused on the big stuff, but I think Jordan's point was to show that the world is a big place full of people with lots of different opinions and motivations that drive them to do what they do and act how they act. A lot of the complexity revolves around bringing all these different people and societies together to face a universal threat.
2  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: August 31, 2015, 04:35:02 PM
I finished reading Wheel of Time 9 this morning on the train to work. Still the typical pacing issues, which I'm used to by now, but it was an improvement over the previous book in the series. At least a few things happened in this book that have been building for a while!

Anyway, the library took a few weeks to get Wheel of Time 9, and so I requested book 10 a few days ago and it is already available. I'm going to go ahead and try to motor my way through book 10. It seems to be the series' lowest point, so it'll be good to have it under my belt.

After that I'll take another break from the series for a month or so. I'll finish reading Tales of the Elders of Ireland then, and read Njal's Saga before getting back to WoT.
3  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games on: August 26, 2015, 11:31:42 AM
piss easy game

Objection! There was one hard boss. He was optional.
Although, he was only hard if you tried it when you were there the first time instead of waiting for when you can come back near endgame.
(Talking about the one in the desert)

In my defense I never played Grandia 3.

Because, I somehow couldn't justify spending $50+ bux on a lousy game (and I haven't gone back and hunted for it at a cheaper price since I could just as easily spend that money elsewhere (and JRPGs are notoriously pricey in the secondhand market, so whelp)).

You didn't miss anything story wise, that's for sure. But the battle system was joyous. It alone kept me playing through to the end. I will never play it again, but I wouldn't mind playing that battle system for a few hours.

And it wasn't always piss easy. There are a few enemies and bosses I can think of that were pretty difficult.
4  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 20, 2015, 05:45:33 PM
Breath of Fire IV: HOLY BEJESUS!!

Cray just

KILLED ELINA! The woman he loved and the entire point of the game up until now.  It doesn't matter that Yuna had turned her into an Endless. That was Aerith level intense.  I am blown away.

Unless they wuss out at the end and make everything super happy smiles, the next time I make a top 10 list this game will probably be on it.

Loved that part. Actually, I really love the breath of fire series in general for having little whips of "brutal" bordering on "horrific" at points. It is like the perty' JRPG presentation (playful pastel palette and whimsical soundtracks) is just a smokescreen or falsehood for something more grim and dark in identity and tone when it comes to BOF.

Truly, I think you hit the nail on the head as to why I've always sung the series praise a bit louder than it may have deserved. Breath of Fire 2 was one of my first childhood JRPG experiences after Mana and Final Fantasy on the SNES and right at the opening, with less than 20 minutes of exposition, you immediately get the idea that the game is gonna provide you something a shade or two darker than what you may have been used to during that era.... I've been a fan ever since.

It'll be in your top ten list. It remains great throughout. I played it for the first time about four years ago and it left a lasting impression on me. I've actually been thinking of playing it and BoF2 again, actually. Maybe once I'm settled in my new apartment I will start new save files.
5  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Community Photo Thread: 5th Anniversary Edition on: August 18, 2015, 11:29:38 AM
Launch of the new Crayons book at work today. I'm the guy standing between the two crayons.
6  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: August 17, 2015, 02:59:29 PM
This heavy metal cat video made me think of all the metalheads on this board.


That is all.
7  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: August 17, 2015, 11:20:58 AM
I finished up Vicious over the weekend. It was really cool, and reminded me somewhat of a novel version of Watchmen and other dark, superhero comics. I liked it well enough that I think I'll check out some of the author's other books in the future.

Still waiting for Wheel of Time 9 to come into the library, so I started reading Tales of the Elders of Ireland, a translation of the Irish Acallam na Senórach. I read a bit of Irish medieval literature in college, but not a lot by any means, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the Tales include and how they hold up to other well known medieval works.
8  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: August 11, 2015, 11:34:29 AM
Wheel of Time 9 still hasn't come into the library! So I just kept reading my Sagas of Icelanders book all last week until all of a sudden I finished it yesterday. It has been a long time coming since the sagas are pretty hard reads, and you have to pay close attention otherwise you'll mix up characters with the same or similar names and think that one character just killed his brother after chopping off his leg. They were pretty excellent though. They ramble at points, but the characterizations, depictions of Viking life and mores, was fantastic. There were only two that I didn't really care for in the whole book, those being "The Saga of Hrafnkel Frey's Godi" and "Eirik the Red's Saga." The former because the bad guy gets away with everything because of his social standing, and the second because narratively it is a lot more messy and undeveloped than the other sagas in the collection. Conversely, the Saga of the Greenlanders was really, really good! I loved reading about the discovery of Vinland (North America), even if the account is probably full of inaccuracies since it wasn't written down until a few centuries after it actually happened.

I still have at least two of the Icelandic family sagas to read, namely Njal's Saga and Eyrbygga's Saga. I'd also like to read Heimskringla when I get a chance, but it is nice to still have that big compilation finished. I highly recommend the sagas to anyone interested in them. They have Vikings, curses, gruesome murders, vengeance, and humor. You know, the usual stuff.

I'm now reading Vicious by V.E. Schwab. A friend that works for the publisher gave it to me about a year and half ago and recommended it very highly. I'm about fifty pages in and am already pretty intrigued.

9  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 08, 2015, 11:21:03 AM
Super Metroid.

I've never bothered to use a guide for this game to get 100% items. As such, I still find it immensely replayable because I always find new secrets and such. In fact, for the first time, I actually got all the E-tanks this last week. For some reason, I always thought that one area in Ridley's lair was just a dead end, but this time I caught myself wondering if there were any secrets behind the worm monsters in the walls that spit the blue-ish energy at you, and turns out I was right!

I currently know where approximately 80% of the items in this game are, and I've found all of it by just dinking around for the past 22 years.

...Actually, you'd think I'd have found everything by now. 22 years is a long time.
10  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 05, 2015, 02:38:27 PM
Breath of Fire IV -  An unattended, naked baby just told the resurrected mythical emperor of Fou-Lu (which I'm pretty sure is pronounced Fu-Lu) that he's a lazy slacker for not healing up faster and going to work in the fields with the rest of the villagers.  Also, Ryu (including his dragon form) is only half of a person and the most compelling character in the game (Deis) is a "god" that was forcibly summoned (against her will) from another dimension in order to serve the people of Nina and Cray's world for eternity.

Out of context, this game sort of sounds like an intense DMT trip.

Fun as hell.

I actually love the plot in Breath of Fire IV.  It feels like it's part of some mythical story as opposed to an "RPG one".  To explain more clearly, the journey feels much more personal and about exploration (of the world and the peoples in it) than the typical "We gotta save the world because that's the right thing to do!!".  That aspect of having a clear end and a beginning, and goal on the other end feels like a tried and true mythological tale, whereas most other RPGs basically zig-zag you around a world map till you find where the 'big bad' is hiding.

Of course! That aspect of the game is essential to the plot too.

During the last boss fight, Ryu and Fou-Lu compare their experiences of the world while arguing whether or not the world is worth the effort of saving and it shows flashback scenes of their interactions with the world around them.

Chalk me up as a lover of BoFIV too. It's a wonderful game.
11  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Lets design a jRPG (and then I'll try to make it!) on: August 04, 2015, 03:43:20 PM
I'd love a parody game of JRPG tropes, to be honest. Something along the lines of 3D Dot Game Heroes, but one that doesn't lose steam with the humor and the outdated gameplay after a few dungeons.
12  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: August 04, 2015, 10:40:10 AM
I finished Gisli Sursson's Saga yesterday, and since the library doesn't have Wheel of Time 9 yet I decided to just keep plugging away at my Sagas of Icelanders book until it comes in. So now I'm reading The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue.
13  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: August 04, 2015, 09:44:58 AM
The wife and I saw Pixels over the weekend. It was good for an Adam Sandler movie and a nice ode to classic arcade games.
14  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: August 04, 2015, 09:43:34 AM
Sorry, I'm going to have to pass on World Trigger. I gave the manga a shot a year or two ago and I personally found it to be pretty uninspired. Thanks for the suggestion regardless.
I'm curious, how far did you get before giving up on it?

I don't even remember. Probably somewhere in the late twenties or early thirties chapter wise.
15  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: August 03, 2015, 03:05:07 PM
I can deal with dismemberment when the action doesn't focus on it. So, when Tien lost his arm, there were a few quick scenes that focused on that loss, but after that it was mostly just there as a reality of the battle. When I read the Toriko manga, it seemed to embellish the dismemberment and focus on it specifically with many scenes that focus particularly on the dismembered limb or the bodily wound itself. I don't like it when anime/manga dwell on the gory details.
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