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RPGFan Community Quiz
Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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1  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Zelda for the Wii U on: June 22, 2014, 11:02:12 PM
Disagree. Not having multi-item usage in dungeons due to its non-linear progression was a big demerit to the series.

Very interesting point. Though Twilight Princess has garnered some love recently, it seems one of its main criticisms even still is that, with very few exceptions, most items were relatively useless outside of the dungeon in which they were found. I think that Skyward Sword remedied this somewhat, though that may be due to the fact Skyward Sword placed a heavy emphasis on the sword mechanic. And much as I loved playing ALBW, you're assessment is very accurate.

That being said, I wonder how they could remedy this situation? I would think maybe using fewer, quality items (such as the hook/clawshot, bow, and etc.) could work. Shadow of the Colossus used a minimalist design style, and look at how well it did. However, most of the items players most frequently use in the Zelda series have been series staples for a long time now, and Zelda is known for introducing new and interesting items no matter how little they may be used. Hopefully they can overcome this design obstacle with the tech arrows that were introduced in the demo.

EDIT: That being said, I still think ALBW was a step in the right direction. It was fun without being bogged down by series conventions.

I think there are compromises to be found between some sort of linear item progression simultaneous to the non-linear dungeon and non-linear item progression. I think most of us want a less-linear Zelda. I'd be very interested in playing a Zelda game where dungeons and their puzzles had multiple solutions, and perhaps even greater rewards/meta-rewards depending on how the dungeon was solved. Using item progression to create a sort of choice and consequence system in Zelda would be incredible... of course I'm just dreaming here.

For Twilight Princess, the game was heavily re-worked and included dungeons removed from Wind Waker. To take advantage of the Wii's IR sensor and pointing mechanic, several items were completely swapped out for projectiles, and thus the dungeons had to change as well. I think that's a big reason the dungeon items don't have much synergy.

I wouldn't be surprised if multiple ways to solve puzzles is on Aonuma's list of things to change in the series. He did say recently that retooling the series' puzzle conventions was on his to do list, so I don't think that offering players with multiple options to solve puzzles is out of the picture.

A consequence system that changes the puzzle's outcome depending on how player's choose to solve it is an intriguing idea. It makes me think of the inFamous series' choice system that either leads you down the Hero or Infamous paths. Or the various scenarios that result when making choices in Mass Effect. I doubt that the Zelda series would introduce this kind of mechanic on such a macro level that changes the story given the series' history, but it would be cool if, for example, a dungeon could be more dynamic in the player's progression through it. For example, you can come to a dungeon capable of completing it with your current equipment, and the dungeon adjusts itself accordingly through procedural generation so that the player can complete it with their current equipment. That way, each player could experience a certain dungeon differently, depending on the equipment they have. They could even do something where, when the player solves a multi-solution puzzle in a certain way, the next room changes and they face a different challenge then they would had they solved the puzzle another way.

That is a cool dream. I doubt that Nintendo would implement such a complex system, though it would be cool if players could experience unique dungeons with each playthrough depending on where they are in the game when they enter it.

Sorry for rambling, I guess I just needed to think my way through your idea.
2  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: June 22, 2014, 10:41:25 PM
I finally sat down and watched Rurouni Kenshin: New Kyoto Arc. Overall I was mostly pleased by it. I both liked and disliked the conflated story at various points, but for the most part it seemed to stay true to the story and spirit of the original with one major exception.

Code:
I guess it could be argued that Shishio was dying at the end of his fight with Kenshin, but it didn't really explain that if that was in fact the case. This made it seem like Kenshin actually killed him at the end of their duel.

I did really appreciate seeing RuroKen in contemporary animation. It looked fantastic. I hope they can find the time, the budget, and the story to do more. In the meantime, I'll look forward to the release of the new live-action movie.

IIRC, Shishio dies because his body's a fucked up piece of shit that's incapable of regulating his core body temperature without assistance or a significant amount of cool-down time, and he had the bright idea of trying to duke it out with one of the greatest swordsmen of his era in a protracted sword fight. All Kenshin had to do was keep the fight going until Shishio either keeled over or gave up, and then Shishio burst into flames because it's anime and it would've been too hard/boring/lame to depict the arc's main villain dying due to severe heat exhaustion/heat stroke.

Yes, I am aware of that, but that isn't how it shakes down in New Kyoto Arc. I know it isn't canonical, but Kenshin does appear to exploit Shishio's weakness in the retelling, and not by simply having the endurance to draw Shishio into a protracted fight.

Code:
In New Kyoto Arc, when Shishio gets close to his limit, blood explodes down the center of his skull. Not long afterward, when Kenshin delivers the decisive blow, he hits the metal plate on Shishio's head with the end of his sword hilt in a way reminiscent of the head attack in the Kuzuryuusen. Shishio's skull splits in half after the blow, though he is still alive enough at that point that he pushes his head back together. When you see him next he is lying on the floor and appears to be dead making it seem that he didn't die due to his body's inability to regulate its heat (as in the original story), but as a direct result of Kenshin's attack
3  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Code name S.T.E.A.M. for 3ds on: June 21, 2014, 11:11:08 PM
...uses a Valkyria Chronicles style battle system with action points

I'm in! I don't need any more convincing than that.
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Zelda for the Wii U on: June 21, 2014, 10:59:52 PM
Disagree. Not having multi-item usage in dungeons due to its non-linear progression was a big demerit to the series.

Very interesting point. Though Twilight Princess has garnered some love recently, it seems one of its main criticisms even still is that, with very few exceptions, most items were relatively useless outside of the dungeon in which they were found. I think that Skyward Sword remedied this somewhat, though that may be due to the fact Skyward Sword placed a heavy emphasis on the sword mechanic. And much as I loved playing ALBW, you're assessment is very accurate.

That being said, I wonder how they could remedy this situation? I would think maybe using fewer, quality items (such as the hook/clawshot, bow, and etc.) could work. Shadow of the Colossus used a minimalist design style, and look at how well it did. However, most of the items players most frequently use in the Zelda series have been series staples for a long time now, and Zelda is known for introducing new and interesting items no matter how little they may be used. Hopefully they can overcome this design obstacle with the tech arrows that were introduced in the demo.

EDIT: That being said, I still think ALBW was a step in the right direction. It was fun without being bogged down by series conventions.
5  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: June 21, 2014, 10:35:56 PM
Mistborn #1, several chapters in now. It all starts out so simple, doesn't it? A band of thieves doing their thing.  It's obviously going to become so much more, and I look forward to it.

Mistborn is definitely a "stick with it and you'll be rewarded" series.  A lot of things that happened in book 1 aren't explained in-depth till book 3 and now reading book 3, it's like "whoa!"

Speaking of, I'm 56 chapters into book 3 and it feels like a snake all coiled up still, waiting for that perfect moment to strike. 

I too am reading the first Mistborn book. I've been curious about Sanderson for a while now since he finished The Wheel of Time, but only recently learned that he now lives only a few miles from where I grew up. So I decided I'd better check out the "hometown" guy.

I'm about halfway through and so far I'm intrigued. I do really like the world he created in this series, and allomancy is a really cool magic system. I am finding it a bit slow, but so far it has picked the action up whenever the narrative has been slow for a time. Sanderson can also write a fight pretty well. I don't really care for R.A. Salvatore, but I have to concede that man can write a fight scene like no other writer I've ever come across. I think Sanderson does have the potential of getting close to Salvatore in that regard though, and I think he is a much better writer of character and setting so far.

I'm looking forward to reading more.
6  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: June 21, 2014, 10:28:17 PM
I finally sat down and watched Rurouni Kenshin: New Kyoto Arc. Overall I was mostly pleased by it. I both liked and disliked the conflated story at various points, but for the most part it seemed to stay true to the story and spirit of the original with one major exception.

Code:
I guess it could be argued that Shishio was dying at the end of his fight with Kenshin, but it didn't really explain that if that was in fact the case. This made it seem like Kenshin actually killed him at the end of their duel.

I did really appreciate seeing RuroKen in contemporary animation. It looked fantastic. I hope they can find the time, the budget, and the story to do more. In the meantime, I'll look forward to the release of the new live-action movie.
7  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Zelda for the Wii U on: June 11, 2014, 02:47:00 PM
I'm starting to wonder if games are wearing out the open world thing.

Zelda was one of THE original open world games, they have a better claim to it than most long running series would.

Agreed, I've been hoping for an open world Zelda game for a long time now. We kind of got it with Wind Waker, but hopefully this will be more of what I'd like to see. The series has been linear for a long time now and I definitely think it is time to try something different, so I'm glad Aonuma is deciding to revisit the conventions of the series. They were great for a while, but they've been bogging the series down in recent years.

I loved the visual style and the landscape looks gorgeous. I am really excited to see where it goes, and this game will most likely be the reason I buy a Wii U.

I'm also intrigued by Link (or not Link's) look. I think I'd be perfectly happy with Nintendo mixing it up with a new protagonist. Whether it be Zelda, Link's sister or daughter, or just someone new. I'm game.

I actually really liked the rental system and the open world design of ALBW, so if they do something similar here then that works for me as well!
8  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles Trilogy coming to PS4 on: May 15, 2014, 03:31:48 PM
To have ones hopes and dreams soar to new heights, only to be dashed thirty seconds. Truly, we seem to be made to suffer.

If there's anything in the universe that guarantees this WILL happen is the fact that I just bought an import copy of 3.

Don't look at it that way. If that is what happens, we will honor your noble sacrifice.
9  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: May 15, 2014, 09:55:49 AM
Finished reading The Grapes of Wrath a few weeks ago. It was good, and beautifully written, though I did feel like most of the character development didn't happen until the last hundred pages.

After that I read The Great Hunt. I liked The Eye of the World fine enough, but got bogged down through most of it since the characters were always on the run, and not much seemed to happen more than that. The Great Hunt was a definite improvement, and I really liked how the world Jordan created is beginning to open up in this book, with hints of lots more to come.

Now reading a book my company publishes called All The Truth That's in Me.
10  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: April 26, 2014, 04:47:07 PM
William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back was a fun, quick read. I really like the soliloquies and the asides of the various characters we already know and love.

Anyway, I'm now a little more than halfway through The Grapes of Wrath. It's good, but I can see why Steinbeck isn't as critically studied as Faulkner and Hemingway.
11  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: April 19, 2014, 02:40:29 AM
Finished off Champion yesterday. Most of the book itself was a drag unfortunately, but it ended better than most of the other YA, dystopian series out there. In fact, I think I actually liked it better than the ending of The Hunger Games series. Overall I think I was mostly intrigued by the setting. The author did a great job creating a believable future world and actually filled it with more detail than I would've expected. I liked the voice of the male lead, but unfortunately the female lead went from being pretty cool to a lovestruck waste of space. Glad to have the series finished.

Now I'm on to William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back. I found William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope while browsing around The Strand last summer. I had to get it, and I loved it! So fun and funny. I was really glad to see The Empire Striketh Back. So far it is just as fun as the previous book.
12  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: April 13, 2014, 01:57:28 AM
I finished off Ranger's Apprentice #12: The Royal Ranger today. It was one of, if not the best book in the series, and a great finale.

Next up is the final novel in a Hunger Games-ish trilogy my company publishes; this book is titled, Champion. Like the Ranger's Apprentice series, I picked up the first book in the trilogy, Legend, when I first moved to NY because I was so broke and I could get books for free at work. The first book wasn't as good as the first Hunger Games book, but the second book was just as good as anything the subsequent Hunger Games novels had to offer. Anyway, I liked the story and the characters enough to see this series through to its conclusion.
13  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: AMAZING new TRAILER of FREEDOM WARS on: April 12, 2014, 03:07:26 AM
Yeah, I didn't see much worth writing home about in the trailer.

What does kind of make me smirk in a way is that once upon a time everyone would have been thrilled by a full CGI trailer. We would have bought the game no matter how bad it sucked as long as it looked pretty. I guess that's why we're all so jaded and want to see actual gameplay.
14  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: April 12, 2014, 03:02:50 AM
Okay, I'll read it again for the next few weeks and if I like what I see I'll maybe go back to my old issues and read through to catch up on the story.

(Only took me eight years, but 1000 posts. Whoo!)
15  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: April 10, 2014, 01:32:45 PM
Weekly Shonen Jump impressions before the scanlators release next Monday's issue.

One Piece
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God damn it, I really wish that I had people to discuss One Piece with because this chapter was amazing. Dressrosa is in chaos, Donflamingo's plans are up in smoke, and Sabo is making his move. Oh and Kyrios beheaded Donflamingo. I don't actually think he is dead (either the body that was just beheaded is actually a puppet or he can use his strong power to reconnect lost limbs), but it was a great follow up scene where basically the events exactly duplicated what happened ten years ago with the set up.

World Trigger
Great chapter, more world building and some entertaining fights.

Naruto
Goddamn this arc is boring, can we just finish this series up already?

All You Need is Kill
Great chapter very emotional chapter, and I look forward to seeing where things go from here.

Dragonball One Shot
Really? This is something that needed to happen? *sigh* The TV special for Burdock was much more entertaining and this was way too Supermanny for my tastes.

Stealth Symphony
Most of the chapter was kind of meh, but I did greatly enjoy the exchange with Troma towards the end.

I just finished reading this week's Shonen Jump and I too was pretty pleased with One Piece.

Code:
I was really happy that it seemed like we're finally progressing the arc. So much of this arc has been the backstory of Dressrosa and its people, and while that hasn't been bad it has distracted from the main action pretty significantly. Though I'm sure that we're going to learn that Mingo has a Buggy-like ability and that he isn't dead, I'd be pretty pleased if he is dead just to have that out of the way.

Naruto and Bleach both need to wrap it up. These series have both gone on for far longer than they should have. We know that this is the last arc of Bleach, but I really, really wish Tite Kubo would just get on with it! Sure, I like seeing Kenpachi fight as much as anyone, but the series has been limping along for years. Let's just get it done. I've been liking this arc of Naruto. It maybe has a few too many twists and turns, but it has been good. I don't know if it was ever announced that this is the last arc, but it feels like it should be and hopefully we're nearing the end.

All You Need is Kill is becoming a new favorite. Takeshi Obata is such a fantastic artist, and the story is really cool. My only complaint so far is that the plot seems kind of choppy. I guess this is hard to avoid given what is happening, but it does distract me somewhat.

I agree completely with this new Dragon Ball one-shot. It seems like Toriyama felt like he needed to tie Jaco and Dragon Ball a little more closely together and it wasn't necessary. Plus, as you said, the Burdock TV special was way better.

So far I'm liking Stealth Symphony. I like the art, and the premise is interesting. I just don't really see where the story is headed. It has kind of seemed all over the place. I know it's just beginning, so I'm not going to discredit the series for that yet. Just some direction would be nice.

Still really liking One Punch Man. I missed the first few chapters of the series (I know I could find/buy them, but I'm too lazy/broke), so I'm a little confused by some of the plot points still, but I like the action and the jokes a lot.

I don't really like World Trigger, Seraph of the End, Nisekoi, Blue Exorcist, or Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal, so I don't read those.
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