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1  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mass Effect 3 anyone? on: July 01, 2016, 03:40:57 PM
"Joining the Reapers" is nothing like what Star Kid is saying. The Reapers aren't the ultimate problem, they're simply a tool to "correct" the problem. They pretty much vanish or shut down, as they are deprived of their purpose. While Shepard does say he would never join with the Reapers (as he shouldn't), they're a specific enemy attacking all life... but that doesn't preclude him from considering the joining of organics and machines to sort out a much larger problem.

Secondly, Star Kid didn't create or control the Reapers, the Leviathans did. Star Kid is simply able to correct the problem in a different way than the repairs are. In fact, I don't think they really have much of anything to do with each other. To me, it seems like he's saying that organics would have wiped each other out long ago if the Reapers hadn't been there to do their culling. He's there to solve a bigger problem, one the Reapers are a part of, but nowhere near the whole.

Look, I hate the Star Kid/Catalyst twist too, it's way outside the scope of the rest of the series, and sloppy, and forces you to make a bunch of leaps. But, I'm not sure it's wrong for the exact reasons you're saying. You seem to be relying on the assumption that Star Kid and the Reapers are connected, which there's no evidence that they are, and therefor, I don't think the "faulty" point is particularly valid.
2  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mass Effect 3 anyone? on: July 01, 2016, 03:43:12 AM
Biggest problem with synthesis ending is that Shepard rejected the idea back in ME1.
I keep hearing this, but I'm not sure what part of ME1 you're referring to. And even so, at the point of ME1, Shepard has no where near the knowledge to make an informed decision on the matter. The information learned during ME3 really could change a person's decision, even if they had previously thought otherwise.

B) Star Kid "being full of hot air" really isn't a concern. Either he's all out lying, or he's correct. From what he claims, he's been around long enough to make a very knowledgable assessment of the situation. Either, he has a totally ulterior motive and is lying to you to make you do something, or he's telling the truth and probably is far more informed to make a judgement call than you are. Given that the choice you are given has three extremely different outcomes, it's hard to imagine how any ulterior motive would survive in all three situations, so given that, I think the chances are, he's telling the truth, and probably should be taken at his word.

I'm not saying that it was by any means a great plot twist or story telling, but from an internal perspective, given the information we have, I can understand the choices we're given.
3  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Nier 2 for PS4 on: June 23, 2016, 04:24:54 PM
Love it! Doesn't sound like Emi Evans to me, she has a slightly different timbre. But that doesn't sound like any language I know of, so I think the constructed speech is back.

So here's the thing, in the first game, Emi didn't create any languages. She studied the phonetics of a number of real-world languages, and then created wonderful sounding nonsense based on those. Not to knock this approach at all, in fact, it's super creative and as we know, was extremely successful. It's an entirely intuitive approach to writing vocals that just sound and feel right, without having to be tied down by meaning, or have to get wrapped up in making the morphosyntax work.

Here's one theory: maybe they went all out and wanted to make a real ConLang this time, instead of just random syllables. To do that, you need to hire a linguist, which Emi Evans is not. Find a linguist with a professional vocal background, and you're set!
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Legend of Zelda Topic (Latest: NX title delayed to '17) on: June 23, 2016, 04:09:18 PM
Mesh nailed it. Developers just need to own their decisions, problem solved. Argument ends. It just becomes "I want this", and no one can argue against that. They don't have to like it, but you can't tell someone their own opinion is wrong.

That said, I love the idea of a game where Zelda is either an active follower, or you switch off. She's always been kind of a badass, so we don't need to change much, just the idea of giving her more screen time and fleshing out her character in an action environment.
5  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mass Effect 3 anyone? on: June 23, 2016, 04:01:24 PM
I recently replayed the ME trilogy, and I liked ME3 a lot more than I remember. I've always heralded ME2 as one of the best sci-fi games ever made, but ME3 is right there too. If you remove the ending controversy, it's just so immense and full of things to do, some amazing story lines and dialog, and is just infinitely immersive.

This time I tried it with the merge ending, which I never really hear about. To my surprise, it's the "happy ending" I think everyone wanted, and makes the most amount of sense. I hear people complain that "Shepard would never allow humanity to merge with synthetics", but I just don't buy that at all. The entire series has been about bringing civilizations together, both organic and synthetic. When faced with this "ultimate problem" that organics and synthetics will always annihilate each other (as ridiculous as that sounds), in their game universe, if you really face that as the reality, the merge option makes a lot of sense.

But at the same time I think that the gaming community, myself included, wasn't really interested in having the series culminate in such a universe-changing problem. Honestly, I'm not a fan, it felt forced. The main theme of the game was bringing peoples together to overcome an insurmountable foe, and I feel like it would have been simpler and more effective to just play that out.
6  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Nier 2 for PS4 on: June 14, 2016, 03:50:08 PM
You guys realize that Emi Evans wasn't just the vocalist for Nier, but constructed and wrote all the alternate languages too? Yes, she's got a great voice, but the fact that she did that made the OST so haunting. Unless they bring in someone to do something similar, who's an absolute powerhouse, I can't say I'm anywhere near as excited. That was such a truly unique endeavor, and such a hugely significant part of the experience for me.
7  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Legend of Zelda Topic (Latest: NX title delayed to '17) on: June 14, 2016, 03:40:11 PM
Anyone else notice the very unique lighting? I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. It's a little like Skyward Sword, but taken to the Nth degree. It's this bizzaro cross between cell shading and standard graphics that's sorta chilling but beautiful at the same time. Can't wait to see the darker aspects of this game (all Zelda's have them) because they are going to be GORGEOUS.

I've pretty much given up on the Wii U, but the NX may hold some possibilities, so I'm glad this is coming to the new system.
8  Media / General Games / Re: The controllers thread on: May 15, 2016, 04:59:26 PM
One thing I really love, and find fascinating about the GameCube controller is that each button has a different shape and feel that creates a tactile connection to what you're doing. The A button is bigger, and screams "primary button", the B button is small but in a very central position, so it's secondary but very comfortable to use. The XY buttons are definitely tertiary but are each shaped and positioned differently to immediately give your brain feedback on their differentiation. No other controller does this. With it, I experience fewer accidental button pushes, or find that some part of my brain is having to calculate which button I should press. Hands down my absolute favorite button array.

I also really love the sticks for similar reasons, I could never ever get them confused because they feel very different, I also like the solid textured surface to grip my thumb. PS and Wii sticks tend to get slick with high humidity, ESPECIALLY Wii.

The rest of the controller is a mixed bag: the D pad is awful: completely useless garbage. It's too small, too stiff, and it's so easy to accidentally press 45-degrees from where you meant. The shoulder buttons are very interesting and a nice idea in theory, but not so good in practice. The travel distance is enormous, which actually really allows the player make use of the gradation, as opposed to similar trigger controllers. Unfortunately, this same travel distance becomes very un-friendly to rapid fire or repeated use, and can hurt your hands during a lengthy session. The Z button is an afterthought, and though similarly "make it very different for easy tactile differentiation", is kind of crappy, and there's only one. So the controller ends up lacking any run-of-the-mill, quick-to-use shoulder button that's good for rapid fire.

So here are the controllers marks:
Button Array: A+
Sticks: A+
D-Pad: F
Shoulder Buttons: C
Overall ergonomics: A
9  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The Best and the Worst endings on: May 02, 2016, 05:37:55 PM
It's interesting how so many fantastic authors fall flat when it comes to endings.  Like in my experience with Neal Stephenson's books (I've read Snow Crash and Diamond Age), the beginnings and middles are great, but the guy couldn't write good endings.

Huge Neal Stephenson fan here, but I agree... he positively doesn't give a shit about his endings. Everything wraps up in half a page and it's like "NEXT BOOK!" Snow Crash, Zodiac, and Criptonomicon (favorite) all have positively worthless endings. Snow Crash is probably the shortest and worst, though. That said, none of them are BAD per-say, but they're abrupt and obvious. There as-if he's saying, "yeah yeah, you know what's going to happen, so I won't bore you with the details: bad guy dies, THE END". I need to read Diamond Age.


FF8, 9, and 10 all have some of the finest endings in video game history, but all for radically different reasons. 8's FINAL FANAL ending is just dramatic and poignant (not talking bout the weird shit leading up to the ending). I love how it shows the kids being kids in their natural environment, goofing around and celebrating with a camcorder, you don't usually get to see that hardly at all. FF9 is just heart wrenching and beautiful. I'm not crazy about Necron, though, and felt like it undermined Kuja as the ultimate villain (and my favorite in the series), but aside from that it's absolutely flawless. FF10 is just... gut wrenching. Jesus.


Grandia 2 had the worst ending ever (surprised to see this on someones good list). Totally side-steps the major relationship conflict throughout the game in order to not take sides, and turns each character into a milquetoast version of their prior personality. I wanted to scream at the TV. I give this the "Afraid to hurt anyone's feelings" award of the century.


Suikoden V just made me scream. Unless you get all 108 stars (which is almost impossible due to some weird glitches and unexpected permadeaths), he games pulls a BAD ending out of nowhere. Overall, fairly light/medium hearted game that ends with an unnecessary emotional gut punch unless you're ridiculously careful. I even had a guide but still lost 3 stars due to a glitch and a permadeath during one of the under-explained tactical sequences (nothing in the series suggests there will be permadeaths and they are completely random). I ended the game feeling so let down, I had to go online and watch the good ending, and pretend I got that instead, or I couldn't fall asleep that night. Great game, terrible design decision for the ending.
10  Media / General Games / Re: Games so good you got sad when it was over on: March 28, 2016, 02:34:49 PM
Grandia II is the only game in recent memory where I distinctly remember thinking "MOAR POSTSCRIPT PLZ!" (which is nuts when you consider it's almost 45 minutes long)

I remember feeling like the ending was one of the biggest copouts in video game history:

The whole game plays the two women off each other in a love triangle, kinda sappy, yeah, but it works. There's even an incredibly romantic scene with Elena towards the end that makes it feel like things have been resolved. And then... NOPE, Ryudo just takes off for no reason and avoids getting together with either, planning on coming back later to sort it out. I felt this was a huge copout, with the writers not wanting to commit to anything. Really ticked me off. Didn't feel natural either.
11  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Yakuza 5 (need some help) on: March 28, 2016, 02:23:21 PM
Hey, sorry to start a new thread like this, but I need some help. I started playing Yakuza 5 the other day, and it's the first game in the series I've played. I'm starting to piece together the events from the previous games and I'm REALLY loving the story and dialog, absolutely fascinating. HOWEVER, I can't for the life of me find frequent save points, and it's becoming a big problem. Supposedly, the manual says I can save at any telephone, however, I can't find any phones! Especially nothing on the street. I've only been able to save at Kiryu's apartment and the taxi company. Both those places are also lengthy cutscene triggers, which I wouldn't mind, but sometimes I just need to be able to save and quit! I'm guessing there are phone booths across the map, but I certainly haven't seen any.

Help a brother out?
12  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake on: December 05, 2015, 09:30:20 PM
Okay, if it's ATB... then that is the SMALLEST, most UNREADABLE readout I've ever seen. Maybe they sized it down for the demo to show of pretty visuals?

I could go for something like XII, as it's always fun to be able to run around the battlefield. But if it's pure action RPG... I'm finally a convert, so that would be cool too.

I'm pretty excited about this now, FF7 was never my favorite FF game, but it always had a great setting, and realized in full, explorable 3D, this might be grand. I'm REALLY curious to see how they handle places outside of Midgar. It's been a LONG LONG time since we saw a world map, airship control, etc. It was about the time full 3D really came into its prime when these things disappeared, so they really have a chance to show how to make it work in a modern style. I hope to GOD they don't just have a dot map, it'll be amazing just to rome the world map/countryside.
13  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Legend of Zelda Topic (Latest: Twilight Princess HD in March '16) on: November 16, 2015, 03:14:18 PM
Twilight Princess is far-and-away my favorite game in the series, however, I only recently replayed it on Wii, that and the fact that I don't have a WiiU means I'll be skipping it. TBH, when I replayed it, about 8 years after it's release, the graphics didn't really feel dated to me, I'm not sure it's going to need much.

PS: Not sure what Dice keeps talking about "uncompressed graphics". To quote one of my favorite films, "You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means." Compression is simply a process of creating smaller files by running the data through algorythms, but the side effect is that it causes artifacts and blemishes. Compression isn't really as much of a problem for modern games, DVDs have a lot of space on them, and even high resolution textures aren't very big. A single 5-minute movie can take up as much space as all the assets in the game combined. No, what we're seeing here is higher resolution textures, and more textures, as well as added bump maps. Some totally new assets added to the original graphics (in the case of the textures on Zant's helmet). This is more than simply "re-outputing the graphics in some better way", but the design team actually having to do stuff. Yes, some of these things may be old assets that had to be scrapped due to CPU constraints, but in any case, there's actually new stuff here.
14  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Nier 2 for PS4 on: October 30, 2015, 06:30:43 PM
Will the same vocalist be creating the languages/lyrics/vocals? My fiancé is a linguist, and this made her ADORE this game. We ever performed the "Kaine" song a few times (trust me, singing harmony in a created language ISN'T EASY).
15  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FF8 am i the only one who dislikes it so much? on: March 27, 2015, 05:34:47 PM
My favorite in the series, but I'm weird. It's very flawed though. But I loved the characters, style, feel, and it has the greatest soundtrack in the franchise. The story is very very flawed though, but that said, show my an FF game that isn't (maybe not 6 and 9).

GF animations are a pain in the butt though.
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