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2701  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.
2702  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.
2703  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.
2704  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.
2705  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.
2706  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.
2707  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.
2708  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.
2709  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?
2710  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Can* English Voice Acting ruins Characters in RPGs? on: April 22, 2007, 05:25:24 PM
Quote from: "dalucifer0"
Then you'd probably hate the voice acting in the anime that's been released in the U.S. the past few years, if you even watch anime. For example, the VA for Luke is the VA for Sasuke in Naruto, the VA for Jade is the VA for Jin in Samurai Champloo, etc.

VA for Guy was the main character in Last Excile, as well as Miaku in Please! Twins. Both serious, of which, I was watching at the same time as playing the game.

Yeah, basically the Tales games draw on the expanding group of American Anime voice actors (I wonder if its a particular company, union, or guild). I think this is currently the best voice acting we have in the states, at this time. Their quality has improved about 500% over the past few years, and their vitality really is starting to show. But if you're not a fan of them, you're bound to hate VA for any Tales game.
2711  Media / Single-Player RPGs / suikoden V does it get better? on: April 20, 2007, 12:48:50 PM
Since it seems like we have almost opposite tastes, and I loved that game, and it's battle system is nothing much to speak of, no, you should probably stop playing now. Seeing as though all that game is is one incredible international political plotline with really well defined characters, I don't think you'll  like it.

You don't strike me as the type who would love Suikoden... and Suiko4 was absolute crap, it's hard to base a comparison off a game that bad.
2712  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs based on story alone? on: April 20, 2007, 05:20:05 AM
Quote from: "Alisha"
i realize this thread is about story but that doesnt change the fact that FFX is easily the best game in the main series on the merits of the battle system alone. but im gonna stop at that because this is probally a discussion best left for another thread.

I'll buy that. I don't really play Final Fantasy's for their battle systems (I did enjoy FF12s though), but FFX did have a very deep one, in terms of tactical strategy. Still, for me, a great battle system, a great RPG does not alone make.
2713  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs based on story alone? on: April 19, 2007, 04:02:37 PM
Yeah, FFX was a big letdown for me. I actually started playing RPGs (and video games), during college because of it. I'd been watching my friend play FFX when it first came out... I'd watched him play FF8 and FF9 as well, but I hadn't been in a place in my life where I could really play games. Seeing FFX was the last straw though. I downloaded FF6, loved it, then got FF8 for the PC (loved it even more), FF7, and then went on from there. It wasn't until almost two years later, though, that I actually bought a PS2 and played FFX... and I was quite dissapointed with what I finally saw. Before that, I had been playing the previous games because they were the only ones I could play on the equipment I had. It taught me a good lesson about how newer, and better hardware didn't always make the better game.

Don't get me wrong, in the grand scheme of things, FFX is a fine game... I just had higher hopes for it than what it delivered. I was expecting it to be one of the best in a series of incredible games, when it was only a "good game", I was pretty put off.
2714  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Can* English Voice Acting ruins Characters in RPGs? on: April 19, 2007, 01:57:00 PM
Quote from: "Lard"
I thought Yuna's voice suited her perfectly. She wasn't supposed to be a strong character, physically, and personality wise, she was kind of timid. Thought they got the voice dead on. Tidus' was annoying because it was so nasal.

I didn't have a problem with her timbre of the overall sound of her voice, yes, it made sense for her personality, but half the time it really felt like she was just reading it off the page, and hesitating at strange points. There was a strange, disjointed flow to her delivery that just felt really off to me. She would hesitate at very odd points during her delivery that I could never imagine a real person doing. But as for the tone of her voice and her inflection, I have no complaints.

Anyway, fuck Shining Force, Golden Sun still p0wns in the VA department!
2715  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs based on story alone? on: April 18, 2007, 06:22:37 PM
I've noticed this. That FFVIII was fairly unpopular to mainstream gamers, but to fairly serious RPG fans, and ones that like the series as a whole (and not just a few specific games here and there), FFVIII is many times the favorite. Back at my college, pretty much all the big Final Fantasy nuts there thought FF8 was the best in the series, and were kinda ho-hum about FF7. I've met very few who thought that FF7 was all out, "bad", but many of us can't really understand exactly what the hype was about. I just guess it's what you're looking for and willing to accept in RPGs. My number one priority is good character portrayal... regardless of whether I personally "like" or "agree" with the characters involved. In fact, I prefer flawed characters, because I think everyone has their flaws, and I'm more likely to connect with them if I don't see them as some sort of idealistic Uber-mench.

I dunno, to me Cloud came across as the Uber-mench who just got his mind screwed with, where-as Squall comes across as a much more believable human being, with all of his character failings and unlikeable traits. I guess that's why I prefer Kuja, as a villain, to Sephiroth, who, again, just seemed like the typical "evil badass" architype... the flawless human being with an evil adjenda. These types of characters bore me. I'd like to see some shades of grey. I feel like FF8 and FF9 offer me more shades of gray than FF7 or FFX do.

Unfortunately, the 13-18 year old crowd, who's still searching for their personal identity, has always turned to Uber-mench-like characters as a way of trying to imprint themselves onto their favorite characters. In some cases, they become a bit intimidated by flawed characters, as these identities tend to reflect the imperfections in themselves that they'd rather ignore. But I'm not 18 anymore... I'm almost 26, and I only started playing RPGs, heavilly, at 21. I don't know what I would have thought, had I picked up FF7 when it had first come out... maybe I would have seen things differently. But now, I'm just bored by perfection, and long to see inimate growth in a believably human form.
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