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31  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: November 10, 2014, 11:38:41 AM
What kind of evolution are you looking for, exactly? Which points of the genre do you want to see improved? Do you want to see different battlesystems? More freedom to explore? Storylines that are influenced by the choices you as the player make? There are games that experiment. Some do so by chosing for a setting that (far) removed from the typical fantasy setting, others may focus on trying new gameplay mechanics, point is, there are JRPGs that do new things. However, enjoying them may mean stepping out of your comfortzone. If you're willing to do that, there's all sorts of amazing stuff out there. From Crimson Shroud, the loveletter to tabletop RPGs, to the insanely fun strategic puzzle goodness titled Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes.

Or do you want games that are simply a bit grander than the 40 hour epics? Games that celebrate the classics of yesteryear? If that's the case I don't think you're looking for evolution. You're looking for polishing, not change. And they still make those games. Like we've pointed out many times before: many small developers love what you love. They don't have the means to make games with amazing 3D graphics, so instead they focus on things like gameplay and story. Doesn't mean these games are bad looking, by the way, there's some absolutely lovely spritework to be found in the higher-end indie-titles. Best part: many of these games will run on pretty much any PC.

As for regular console and handheld RPGs, they're still there. I don't think they're down in numbers at all, though it may seem like they are because so many JRPGs reach our shores nowadays. There are fewer and fewer titles that aren't released over here. As a result we do get some really weird or just really mediocre titles, but I don't see how that's a bad thing. Read some reviews, ask around on forums, maybe watch a let's play and you'll be figure out what titles suit your taste.
32  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: November 10, 2014, 07:58:19 AM
OP..The rpgs you are looking for are not on consoles, they are on handhelds. What are you even doing if you don't have a 3ds, psp and vita.

Well, there's Lost Oddysey on Xbox 360. That one is basically an old-school Final Fantasy with pretty graphics and a different name. I think he'd like that one.

But I agree: handhelds are where it's at. Handhelds and PC. Best thing is that they're both fairly cheap compared to modern consoles. I mean, you need a PC anyway, so you might as well invest an extra hundred bucks to make sure it covers basic gaming needs. My laptop is a plain office system (a lower-end HP Probook 4540s) but it runs games like The Banner Saga perfectly fine, so yay for me!
33  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: November 10, 2014, 04:08:26 AM
Except I was actually able to beat Tecmo secret of the stars because the gameplay was more engaging and interesting. I didn't like all those games of the past because of graphics or a certain gameplay type I liked them because they were fun plain and simple. I have never been good at playing games over again old or new not because they are any less fun but because I have already played them no surprises whatsoever.

My personal experience is that being able to beat a game or not doesn't mean that much. After a while, I tend to get into the games I'm playing, even the obviously bad ones. I just get in the zone, or zone out. Maybe both. I think it's like working a monotonous job in a production factory: the thing that needs to be done is right in front of me, so I do it. I don't think I've ever played anything I actually hated, but hate is a strong word for a videogame, anyway. I disapprove of things, I guess.

I know that happens to regular players, too. I've seen it happen with games I play for fun. I know several people on this board struggle(d) with the urge to complete games even when they didn't enjoy them.

What I'm trying to say is: in my case, I know the difference between going through the motions and actually enjoying a game. In hindsight it took years of experience to actually see that line. I know that as a kid I played through many games that are not all that great. I played a bunch of them again later, to see how well they aged. They ranged from not that good to garbage. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest/Mystic Quest Legend is a game I loved as a kid, it's the one game that got me into RPGs. All I see now is a simple but repetitive game with a cool soundtrack. Even back then I knew there were things about it I didn't enjoy, but I didn't mind, because in my tiny collection Mystic Quest Legend was an unique game.

So, don't compare new experiences to the experiences you thought you had so many years ago. No game can compete with an experience that has been edited to perfection by time. Enjoy games for what they are, and make sure that your enjoyment is actual enjoyment, not a vague obligation to play the game.

Oh what I find hilarious btw is that you mentioned random encounters and slow walking as the reason old games were bad talking about Tecmo Secret of the stars. If you actually played that game you get flee at level 7 which warps you out of dungeons no walking there you also get repel at level 12 which causes less encounters not to mention a warp spell at level 9 so basically you have free travel by level 12 DUN DUN DA. So ya tecmo secret of the stars may not be the best game but it was one of the few that actually knew about the problems that so many of those old rpgs have so poo on you sir !poo on you!

I don't think random encounters are a bad thing in and of themselves, it depends on how the game handles them. It's good when there are options to temporarily disable them, but these options should be a trap for the player. If your characters end up underleveled as a result of you wanting to make the game more enjoyable, something went wrong. I think this is one of the reasons Secret of the Stars is seen as a hard game: there balance between running and fighting is off. The fact you had a second team that needed to be taken care of made it even worse.

Also, battles must be fun. That's the main reason I don't mind random encounters in games like Tales of Hearts R, even when they pop up at inopportune moments (like when I'm trying to solve a puzzle). The ones in Secret of the Stars just weren't. At best they were completely avarage turn-based battles, at worst seemingly endless slogs through menus and battle animations.

It's good when developers have the sense to address issues inherit with the system, but it won't help the game if their solutions add new flaws. A few cool ideas do not make a good game. They may make a bad game slightly more tolerable or help make an avarage one stand out from the crowd, and we should acknowledge and perhaps even appreciate their existence, but innovation alone isn't enough to make something fun. True enjoyment comes from gamemechanics, sound, aesthetics and often also writing all working together to bring a memorable experience.

But like I sad, there is nothing wrong with liking a bad game. There are tons of reasons to like something. Despite its (more obvious than ever) flaws I still like Mystic Quest Legend. It's special to me and nothing will ever change that.

Quote from: Dice
Tomara I like when you post.  You're tough, but fair, and great at acknowledging the good and ugly in everything.

Thanks, that's a huge compliment and I have to admit I really needed that. It's exactly what I want to be when I talk about games, but all those gamers yelling some game or other is totally the best/worst thing ever and that critics don't know what they're talking about get me down at times.
34  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: November 09, 2014, 03:48:27 PM
One of the worst games I played the past few years was Time and Eterniy. I'm not saying it's impossible the enjoy it, it does do something right once in a blue moon (I kinda liked the battlesystem whenever I visited a new location - but only for a short while, repeating the same patterns over and over again became boring very fast). My dislike wasn't strong enough to prevent me from finishing it (it was my duty as a reviewer anyway, so yay for me and my perserverance!), but this is absoluty not a game I would recommond to others. Well, I guess I could recommend it if someone were able to get it for free and wanted to see a JRPG experiment gone horribly wrong, but it would still be a waste of time and time is precious.

When was the last time you played Secret of the Stars, by the way? Were you like 10 years old and has it now been covered in years and years of nostalgia? You may want to stay far away from it then. Preserve your good memories. It was bad back then and it hasn't aged gracefully.

If you want to play some old-school games with grand adventures and a high difficulty, I'm sure we can help you find something you'll enjoy. Something new, or maybe something older you overlooked. Or something new that's a lot like something old, perhaps? Like, have you ever tried something like Breath of Death VII? It's available on Xbox live and PC (system requirements are so low, it'll run on a toaster). Oh, I know, Last Dream! I bet you'll like that one. Here, let Extra Credits' James explain why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn9vK3uPYig

Oh, and just so we're clear: I do not think Ar nosurge is a bad game. More like avarage. And weird. Mostly weird. Weird with an amazing soundtrack and special bond between the player and the characters. And underage buttcracks in a kitchen. So... yeah. Weird.
35  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: November 09, 2014, 02:43:25 PM
Yeah, stuff slow walking speeds and stupidly high encounter rates sure beat whatever games have to offer today...
36  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: November 09, 2014, 12:29:25 PM
Maybe I'm old, maybe I am just burnt out on games all together

This. Those bad games you liked were, well, bad. But, it's easy to overlook shortcomings when you're a kid who doesn't have many games to choose from. Those games did something different and you liked them because of it. Liked them to the point you forgot the bad parts. That's nostalgia speaking.

Start enjoying games for what they are, instead of disliking them for not being what you want them to be. And yeah, maybe you'll need a break in order to do so.
37  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: November 09, 2014, 10:55:37 AM
I didn't even realize Level 5 made the Dark Cloud games I could see how you were upset they never made another one. That's a company that other than Ni No Kuni I had no idea of where the hell they came from or what they made. Sigh I miss those innocent days where I could buy a RPG game never looking at the company or any of that nonsense and it would be a fun game.

Yeah, it could be fun, or it could be...

The Granstream Saga
Beyond the Beyond
Secret of the Stars
Unlimited Saga
Quest 64
Ephemeral Phantasia

Or any of the many other shitty RPGs that were released somewhere between 1990 and whatever year you draw the good-old-days-line.

As someone who suffers through some of the worst the JRPG industry has to offer on a regular basis, I can honestly say things aren't better or worse quality wise. It's just easier to learn about the stinkers and I think that's what makes things seem worse.

Plus, the internet can't quite agree on how to define good or bad. Here's some quotes and scores from user reviews I saw on Metacritic:

Time and Eternity
"Yes, the game has a lot of problems." 10/10
"It's certainly not nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be." 8/10

Xenoblade Chronicles
" it isn't worst game i ever played" 0/10

So, yeah, no wonder the industry looks all *bleep*ed up.
38  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: November 08, 2014, 03:28:30 AM
I secretly imagine that's why parents don't mind play time with kids.... a chance to play again brings the inner kid out in all of us (my brother and his wifey are expecting and he can't wait to be buying Lego again in a few years).

I'm pretty sure that's the case. It would certainly explain the huge amount of creative toys we had as kids. My dad worked as a mechanic and we had everything from Meccano to Lego to K'nex. If he got or raise or bonus, he'd surprise us with a new set and helped us put it together. So yeah, I'm sure he liked those toys just as much as we did XD
39  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: November 07, 2014, 04:31:24 PM
Yeah, those Bratz dolls are scary. I mean, I'm not a fan of Barbie, but those are just... yeah.

Plus, I don't really get the whole fashion doll thing. If they're about fashion, why do they all look like hookers? Fashion isn't about combining as much sparkle with as little fabric as possible, it's about creativity! Wouldn't it be way more fun to make clothes for them yourself? Knitting a small scarf, crocheting a tiny hat or sewing a simple dress is something even a young girl can do. That what I did for my Barbies, even though they were really hard to dress because of their weird proportions.

I actually had a huge dollhouse as kid. The thing was nearly as tall as I am now and I had several pieces of furniture my dad made for me in it, because all the official Barbie crap was an ugly shade of pink. He'd even sew bedding and pillows for me from fabric scraps. Looking back, my dad's really good at the whole gender equality thing.

Hah, now I suddenly remember what happened to some of the larger Barbie stuff I had! Every year, on Queen Day, kids get a chance to sell their old toys at de 'vrijmarkt', kinda like a huge yardsale. I wanted to get rid of my Barbies to get some money for games. The biggest thing I was selling was Barbie's car and of course the entire thing was pink. Exactly one person was interested: a five year old boy. Actually, he made it seem like that car was the best thing ever. Not what I expected. But, what surprised me even more was his mom: she was happy to seem him so enthousiastic and bought it for him. Thought that was pretty cool of her. I know many parents who wouldn't buy their son something that was obviously designed for the pink aisle.
40  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: November 07, 2014, 02:07:04 PM
So, I saw this ad today. I had never heard of GoldieBlox before and the fact that it exists makes me happy.

Then I made the mistake of reading the comments under the video. Some of them are really hateful, bashing the company for daring to making a white doll with blonde hair. I guess they don't appreciate that the design is a reaction to the dumb blonde stereotype? I know representation is important, but you can't represent everyone in one single design. I took a good look at the website and the character seems to have plenty of friends with a different skin colour. The company is only two years old, so who knows, Goldie's friends might get their own dolls in the future.
41  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: November 07, 2014, 12:27:49 PM

This here... This is a gold mine.
Comics looked like that for waaay too long and were really...I dunno, "steeped" with their demographic.

Here's something similar for regular weird old books... that are for some reason still found on library shelves today.
42  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: November 07, 2014, 11:30:49 AM
I realize NIS probably doesn't put much money into the games the graphics are always behind the time which is fine I love NIS for their weird settings and odd fun characters. But I also feel they are doing their bare minimum to improve the depth and quality of their games game play wise. In Disgaea  it took them 4 games to finally make your main characters feel cool and unique in battle. In all their games but one terrain is just there to throw some bad guys on, there is nothing unique and its all completely forgettable. There is a limit to being safe and its starting to show is the main problem with NIS.

 I really liked La Pucelle tactics and I still think it was one of NIS best games they have made. It had everything the original Disgaea had but with more defined characters and stages that actually reflected the story/characters. I still wonder why it took them 4 Disgaea games to recreate that, maybe La Pucelle didn't sell well it was a pretty hidden title I had to go out of my way to obtain it. I believe if NIS put more effort into their games they could topple today's RPGs in sales without even spending half the money most of them do.

In the case of Disgaea I think there's a reasonable explanation for a lack of big changes/improvements. The systems used in those games are quite complex and every change could alter or even destroy the balance. It takes time to take all those gameplay mechanics and turn it into a 40+ hour game that's actually fun to play.

As for the graphics, I personally think that's part of the charm. They're using the limitations of 2D sprites and the like to their advantage. For instance, making a sprite move takes more time than when you use a 3D model, because a sprite needs new frames for every bit of movement. That makes it economical to re-use bits of movements and poses. NIS does that, too, knowing full well players can see they're recycling things and they do so for comedic effect.

Now, I'm sure NIS could upgrade the graphics to something fancier even with their limited budget, but why should they when those sprites are something player expect and appreciate? One of the great things about gaming nowadays is that gamers aren't so obsessed with realism anymore and that there's plenty of room to do things differently. We've got everything from super realistic looking triple A games to artsy fartsy 8-bit indiegames. That's great, isn't it?

Oh, and it's not like NIS never tries something different. The Witch and the Hundred Knight was something else for sure, just now in a very good way. Hopefully they'll come up with something better next time. If they need to make/port a Disgaea or two to fund a new project, I'm totally okay with that. Disgaea may not be as revolutionary as it once was, but those games are still really fun and I certainly don't mind playing a new one every 2-3 years.
43  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: November 07, 2014, 09:58:22 AM
It's not like everything was perfect back then. The more experimental games also tended to be the most flawed ones. Balance issues, glitches and much more. An old fan favourite like Seiken Densetsu 3 is a wreck by today's standards.

My guess is they just don't care because there will always be people dumb enough to buy them without asking questions or getting angry enough to boycott them until they produce something worthwhile.

Development costs have gone up tremendously in the past 15 years or so. Developers either pump millions upon millions of dollars into a big project with mainstream appeal, or they concentrate on a more niche market and produce something a small group of players will appreciate. That's what developers like NIS do. They make games for a specific audience and more often than not, the people these games are meant for will like them just the way they are.
44  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: November 07, 2014, 04:10:18 AM
The same could be said for the Jrpg though its like neither genre other than a few rare games can get over the hurdle of mediocre and their answer is just copy whats most popular right now with a dash of stupidity.

You know that goes for pretty much every genre, right? No, what am I saying, every medium.

Something is popular because people like it and when they like something, they'll probably want more of it. Can't really complain there as long as creators add their own tough instead of blindly copying whatever is popular.

Besides, it's impossible to think up something completely new every time. There's nothing wrong with starting with what you know and work towards something new from there. Heck, a good creator knows their limits. If you stuff just about every idea into one game, you end up with messes like The Witch and the Hundred Knights.

The point of this post was just my opinion that overall RPGs have gone down in quality  and are mostly continuing down that path. Now with the new age games coming in who knows things might get better again but we don't really know till they are released and as always I have my doubts.

I still think it's a personal thing. You're getting a little older and new games no longer have the exotic allure they had when you were a teen. Because back then, even when something wasn't new, it felt new to you. You don't want to doubt your own taste, so you blame the genre/medium/creators/someone who isn't you.
45  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: November 06, 2014, 12:36:07 PM
Mandatory link to Stupid Comics: http://www.misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/

I've actually read atleast half of these as a kid: http://www.misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/stupidcomics101.html
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