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341085 Posts in 13940 Topics by 2222 Members
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2701  The Rest / General Discussions / Nintendo buys Monolith Soft on: April 27, 2007, 01:55:27 PM
Quote from: "Ramza"
I smell a Baten Kaitos 3 for Wii.

So THAT'S what that aweful smell was... I was beginning to wonder.
2702  The Rest / General Discussions / OMG KEN KUTARAGI RETIRED on: April 26, 2007, 07:04:19 PM
Retired... sure... the kind of retirement that follows the board telling you to not let the door hit your ass on the way out... which is then followed by a quick iron-toed boot imprent on your right butt cheek.
2703  The Rest / General Discussions / Storytelling in video games: Linearity versus non-linearity on: April 26, 2007, 04:55:15 PM
I know this sounds strange saying it... but I worry about the long-term social reprocussions of non-linear entertainment.

I think one of the most important things about narrative arts/entertainment, is that people learn how to follow someone else's way of thinking. People learn how to think for themselves by constantly having to analyze the thought processes of others. If all we're ever capable of doing is maintaining complete control over our environment, we fail to learn how to properly interact with those around us. I don't think this is a small or laughing matter, I think it's becoming an increasingly large problem, today, and impacting our culture in, what I feel is, a fairly negative way. Video games are simply a reflection of this.

Increasingly, I see people who are unable to appreciate the work of others. They become incapable of analysis, because they're never forcing themselves to study others' ideas. For instance, in a video game, we are faced with the actions of the main character, who we may not particularly agree with in a particular instance. If we are unable to control his actions, we must come to terms with his way of thinking, and through that, we go through the same mental motions as we would attempting to understand the actions of a person on the street. This is the same as literature, cinema, or any other traditional narrative genre.

In the US, today, there is such a huge emphasis on "freedom" that we many times are obligated to primitivize (?) our ways of living simply to achieve that goal. Part of free will is being able to come to terms with the free will of others, and I believe, as a society, we are becoming dangerously unaccepting of the free will of others. I make no claim to suggest that video games are to blame for this, in any shape or form, but that they are more a sign of the times.

I don't think that non-linear frameworks are, inherently bad, or a cause for alarm, but I think they are only healthy if one is also able, and willing, to cope with having to work "with" a pre-determined framework. Mastering one's own destiny begins with being able to come to terms with the actions of others. I think there is immense room for pleasure and satisfaction in this area. One needn't play god all the time, simply to enjoy ones' existance.

Also, there is a big difference between interacting with a pre-determined framework, and demanding control over one's destiny. As and artist and person who loves analysis, I thrive off a combination of exploring others' narrative frameworks. I love have all the freedom in the world to explore a world finely crafted by someone else. I feel no sense of urgancy, however, to become co-author of that world.

My appologies for the rambling nature of this post, but it's something that's been on my mind for quite some time. It may be a bit more mental than some are interested in discussing. But if it isn't, I'd like to hear your thoughts.
2704  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs based on story alone? on: April 26, 2007, 03:27:40 PM
That was actually my interpretation of Final Fantasy 8. Even though there might have been magic and fantasy elements, socially and politically, everything was pretty "contemporary" feeling. The day-to-day technology (I'm not talking about the upper eschellon space-ships, flying "cities" and hover platforms) was pretty much normal. The language, political structure, social interactions, so-on-and-so-forth were pretty contemporary. Instead of kings and warlords we had presidents and dictators, political factions and activist movements. Elevators, televisions, automobiles and motorcycles. I guess that's why I was able to connect with the game so much. It allowed for fantastical events, but communicated with the audience on a down-to-earth, contemporary social standpoint

FF9 is an interesting hybrid of sorts, the setting and politics being high fantasy and European renniassance, yet the social interaction and day-to-day lifestyle were fairly contemporary. FF7 may have been contemporary as well, but its bleak, cyber-punk setting and negatively driven social interactions sorta killed my ability to connect with the surrounding.

Anyway, I'd really like to see more contemporary-feeling RPGs. Many modern RPGs are starting to reflect what FF9 started: high rennaissance fantasy with contemporary interaction. That's nice and all, but we've seen high fantasy now for years. I'd like to see more games with a contemporary setting... that are actually good.
2705  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPG based on writing quality, alone... on: April 26, 2007, 03:10:13 PM
I've thought about getting VS... but I'm a bit affraid of all the fanboyism that I've heard, shrowding it... especially in regards the music. I've absolutely hated everything I've heard by Hitoshi Sakimoto (FFT, FF12, specifically). Everyone seems to go on and on about how amazing the music is in VS, but something in my gut tells me that it's "amazing" in a way that I really am not going to like. People said the same about FFT, and the music in that game bored the shit out of me. I may be a classical music connosseur, but I really like my non-traditional film-scoring, FFT and FF12's soundtracks just felt timid and status-quo, to me.

The attitudes I hear towards Vagrant Story seem suspiciously familar to what I heard about Xenogears and Chrono Chross before I played them... two games which I absolutely abhore (well, not so much of Xenogears, but I still was dissapointed). People around here seem to have a bit more sophistication than most, though, so hearing these things about VS is starting to peak my interest.
2706  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Dragon Quest IX battle system revealed on: April 25, 2007, 08:34:19 PM
Customization also usually leads to bland storytelling. I hope they're JUST talking about the main character... because I'd like some really well worked-out characters I can sink my teeth into. Otherwise, forget it.
2707  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPG based on writing quality, alone... on: April 25, 2007, 08:31:33 PM
MeshGearFox had a great thought, and I'm going to run with it. I typically hate these "best [blank] in an RPG" types of threads, but this is a pretty respectable gaming community, and I think we can handle this topic without it getting obnoxious, so let's do it.

Best RPG based on writing quality.

This means regardless of actual story content. Be it cliche characters and plotlines to the wicked badass, fuck-with-your-head-till-you-start-shitting-BetaMax tapes, kinds of material, what RPGs demonstrate the best use of language and storytelling? Concentrate on the "why", instead of just chucking us a laundry list. The actual list isn't as important, after all, as being able to come to terms with what, exactly, leads to a good creative endevour. Let's hear your thoughts.
2708  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Can* English Voice Acting ruins Characters in RPGs? on: April 24, 2007, 02:45:07 PM
Quote from: "CluelessWonder"
I have to agree with you on Ar Tonelico.  The battle calls are what got on my nerves.  I switched to Japanese so I wouldn't have to hear the same thing over and over again.  I switched back to English during any scenes involving plot.

Yeah, battle voice acting is just bad 95% of the time, no matter the game. Even some of the best voice acted games have terrible battle calls because designers always fall back on crappy cliches, and lines that you're forced to hear over and over again. Now, a few games like Tales and the Final Fantasy's with VA have group victory cheers, many of which are priceless. I especially liked Anise's "These monsters were LOADED!" victory cheer, and Genesis/Lloyd's "Drawven Vow #7" was a gem too. I'd like to see more of these kinds of things. But I understand, when you have 1000+ battles in a game, it's hard for victory cheers to NOT get repetative. That's why I think victory cheers should be limited to the end of boss battles, or a limited number of group cheers.
2709  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Skies of Arcadia on: April 24, 2007, 02:38:16 PM
Quote from: "saintandsinnerguy"
First off.....hello, I'm new here.

Welcome. I can't argue with your choices here. Skies is also one of my favorites, particularly because of its expansive, exploritory feel. I virtually require that RPGs I play have large, exploritory aspects, which is why I can't stand most tacticle RPGs, which pidgeon-hole you into world maps with dots, and don't let you walk around, in the traditional sense. Very few games without world maps have made it on my "best of" list.

Golden Sun is also a gem. In fact, the second game is probably even better than the first. The dungeons are simply amazing. Unfortunately, my dog got a hold of my cartridge for the second game, when I was about half-way through... and that was the end of that.
2710  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: April 24, 2007, 02:21:24 PM
Quote from: "Esper_Crusader"
I've finally decided to finish up Okami. I've just gotten, and used, the shrinking mallet and reached the Emperor so I have a pretty good idea as to what comes next...

You have a LONG way to go, my friend. In fact, that's about half way, and just where the game starts getting REALLY interesting. Okami is up there with some of my favorite games, mostly due to things that happen in that section of the game.

Bamboo Girl

Anyway, have you ever had the experience where you're at the end of the game, and you loved the game, so you want to try and do as many of the side-quests as possible, but you can't seem to get yourself to do them, so you actually put the game down? This is what's happened to me with Tales of the Abyss. I'm literally at the final boss, but I'm trying to complete the Nebilem sidequest, but she's such a fucking bitch to try and fight, I'm scared to see how hard the final boss is.

I started "Ar Tonelico". The game is shaping up to be pretty good, except that the voice acting really gets annoying in spots (battles and FMVs specifically)... the game lacks class in presentation, at least in spots, and falls into "typical anime cliche" bunk, yet the music is quite good the setting is very unique, and I think I could really get into some of the characters (Lyner, not included). Oh well, in the next few days I'll go back and beat Abyss.
2711  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Can* English Voice Acting ruins Characters in RPGs? on: April 24, 2007, 02:09:48 PM
Quote from: "dalucifer0"
I watched my friend play Warcraft 3, and everytime I heard a character speak, I started laughing. Warcraft 3's voice acting is as bad as Baten Kaitos's voice acting, at least in my opinion.

Wow, that's pretty impressive. I actually thougth Baten Kaitos' voice acting was worse than Star Ocean 2... and that's saying a lot. Still can't figure out why he hated Abyss's voice acting, it's full of vitality and emotion without being cheesy or over-the-top, the dialog is quite amazing as well. Even the battle voice (which is usually the first to suffer) acting is pretty top-notch, except for a few of Natalia's bits.

Currently playing Ar Tonelico, whose voice acting flucuates wildly. The battle voice acting is attrocious ("Lyner, ya better back me up!") and usually the FMV voice acting is pretty bad ("Oh no, that airship is going to crash!"), yet the in-game voice acting is actually pretty good. It almost feels like they had different voice actors for the battles and FMVs, some of the voices don't even sound the same.
2712  Media / Single-Player RPGs / suikoden V does it get better? on: April 24, 2007, 02:03:47 PM
Quote from: "Bloodstar6078"
Wow, you do complain a lot.

Yeah, I'm fairly new here, but I've noticed this.

Although I will say that DQ8 was far from perfect. While I loved the style, the characters, and dialog, and the voice acting was GOD, the battle system, encounter rate, and grinding were attrocious. The overall plot was pretty bland, as well... it could have worked better if the game moved at a bit faster clip, but everything just felt so long and drawn out.

But to say DQ8 sucked is just wrong. The game was a pure gem, it just happened to have some real weak points.
2713  Media / Single-Player RPGs / suikoden V does it get better? on: April 23, 2007, 09:20:13 PM
Quote from: "Eusis"
Quote from: "Prime Mover"
That said, Suiko 5 was an amazing game. In my opinion, its the first of the truly great "end of generation" PS2 RPGs.

Except DQVIII came out before it.

That's starting to push things a bit, though, SuikoV was within a year of the PS3s release, DQVIII was quite a bit previous... it doesn't seem like it came in with the same batch of goodies as SuikoV. I feel like DQVIII came in more with Wild Arms 4, Grandia 3, and ShadowHearts 3. Oh well, we're splitting hairs here.
2714  Media / Single-Player RPGs / suikoden V does it get better? on: April 23, 2007, 07:40:34 PM
Dash... Yes and Yes.

By this I mean, 5 is the best of that lot, by quite a bit. I quite enjoyed S3, but it's kind of an oddball, and it's not nearly as good as S5. I haven't played 4, but from everything I've heard, it's a complete dog (I've been avoiding it like the plague, myself). As for the guide... yeah, if you want to have even a REMOTE chance of getting all 108, use the guide. Between you and me, I used the guide and I still missed 3 of them.

And trust me, you WANT to get all 108, the ending you get when you don't get all of them is... well... let's just say something inside of me died that night, something that I don't think I'll ever get back. :(
Lyon... oh poor Lyon :(

Be carefull, it's REALLY easy to miss a few of the stars, as many of them can only be gotten during certain parts of the game. Also, wach out because once in a blue moon, a star will DIE (perminantly) during one of the tacticle battles, it's very rare, but I lost one this way (which by proxy, lost me another one as well), read up on this, unless you want to end up like I did. You have to get all 108 stars to get the good ending... all other endings will make you cry.

That said, Suiko 5 was an amazing game. In my opinion, its the first of the truly great "end of generation" PS2 RPGs.
2715  The Rest / General Discussions / PS3 Graphics... on: April 23, 2007, 02:10:10 PM
Just a heads up, I'm not trying to troll here, I'm just a bit confused, maybe some of you will have some info.

I was in the local Fred Meyer (west-coast Kroggers chain) and saw a PS3 sitting in electronics running Need for Speed Carbon. Seeing as though I've never actually sat down and tried the PS3, I decided I'd give it a whirl. I was pretty dissapointed, to say the least. The graphics were FAR from next-gen, to say the least, even on a large 1080p plasma display, I was seeing jaggies everywhere, uneven lines, unsmooth textures, just overall, pretty mediocre looking stuff. My biggest problem with the PS2 was the fact that it had dick in terms of smoothing algorythms, and everything just looks a bit jaggy, and I was expecting that the PS3 would get ride of that feeling, at the very least.

I don't get it, why do games released on the Playstation line look so much less polished than those on Nintendo's consoles? Maybe its just me, but there's always been this "unpolished" feeling I've gotten from games, especially on the PS2. There's a difference between "great graphics" and "polished graphics", and I'm just not seeing polished graphics on the PS3, where the 360 and Wii feel incredibly polished, even if they're under-achievers from a hardware standpoint.

Just as an example, Tales of Symphonia, I felt, had some of the most pristine looking graphics of any game on any system. Although FF12 or Shadow of the Collosus might have been flashier and more detailed, the graphics just looked glitchy half the time. Tales of the Abyss even more so. But, once again, I always felt that this was due to the lack of onboard graphical smoothing algorythms... maybe there's more to this than just that, though.

What's going on here?
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