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Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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451  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Monster Tale (DS) on: March 24, 2011, 08:40:17 PM
Is anyone else playing this game?  I fear that it may have been overlooked due to being released on the same day as Okamiden. 

A short introduction, for those who are unfamiliar:  The game is made by the team that handled the Henry Hatsworth project and combines an SNES-styled platformer/adventure with some monster raising elements.  I'm about three hours in, and thus far, it's a pretty solid game.  I'll post some more thoughts on it here later. 
452  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tactics Ogre on: March 22, 2011, 11:31:48 PM
After seeing how much everyone here (and at a few other spots) is loving Tactics Ogre I decided to bite the bullet and buy a used PSP.  I'll post some thoughts when I get TO in and play it.
453  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: March 21, 2011, 11:01:47 PM
I don't get why everyone thinks SJ is such a difficult way to enter the series. It's how I did it (I wasn't aware P3P was an SMT game at the time (And I had only 2 hours in it, so it wasn't much anyways...)) and I've really only had trouble with one invisible door in Sector C and the second fight against Ouroborus (I so spelled that wrong...). I am kind of annoyed that I ended up taking the neutral path though...

Out of curiosity, why are you annoyed that you took the neutral path?
454  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: March 21, 2011, 01:10:20 PM
Strange Journey eh? Interesting way to start SMT, but not a bad one. Hell if it doesn't frustrate you then you're fit for the rest of the series.

It seemed like a good start given that I don't currently have access to a PS2, liked the modern day setting, and happen to be trying to build up my DS RPG collection.  It hasn't really left me frustrated, with the exception of a couple of boss battles, but I can see how people new to the series could be frustrated given the combination of a long game with tricky dungeons (pits, etc.) and a somewhat steep learning curve.  That said, I've seen a lot of complaints about this game being ultra-hard that I can't comprehend.  The difficulty is moderately high, but my experience has been that putting in a moderate amount of effort at grinding and using the fusion system well allows me to avoid too much trouble.  I will admit, however, that the next game I play will be something with a lighter atmosphere.
455  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: March 21, 2011, 12:46:15 PM
I recently picked up Strange Journey which has been my introduction to SMT (and to Atlus, for that matter).  I've loved the game up to this point (50 hours in and reaching the end), and I'll be checking out other stuff in the series.
456  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: jrpg hate in america. on: March 20, 2011, 08:36:06 PM

Agreed, but I'm not saying that makers of RPGs need massive marketing dollars and TV commercials to compete.  All I'm saying is that, for better or for worse, more 'normal' (less androgynous) character design would likely contribute to sales because even without commercials people would still focus on box art, screen shots they found online, that sort of thing.  Whether they should do that is another matter entirely, and is not a point that I'm trying to argue.

In no way am I suggesting an ad campaign like Black Ops (or any CoD) had. That was hugely extensive, and the TV spot was great. But no, JRPGs don't need that, it's impossible if you're not Activision. I'm saying advertising would help on ANY level. It doesn't have to be on TV. You get your game out there, people will ask what it is and look into it and talk about it. You don't, people will have no idea what the fuck it is and often not bother with researching.

In terms of JRPGs, we are not likely to lose the androgynous characters anytime soon. Japan seems particularly fond of them, even if some westerns aren't so much. I doubt they're as much a factor to many people as say, gameplay is.

I understand what you're saying now.  And you're right on point in regards to advertising, I think, most JRPG advertising is reliant upon e-mailing lists and game reviews.  (Essentially, word of mouth.)  I agree that we're not going to lose those androgynous characters any time soon given the Japanese market for them, I'm just suggesting that they don't hold an appeal to the western market of casual gamers which is at least some of what leads to the JRPG hate the thread is about.  There are some elements of game play that turn people off (turn-based combat comes to mind), but any time I see someone making fun of JRPGs it tends to be related to the image, not the game play.
457  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: jrpg hate in america. on: March 20, 2011, 07:34:50 PM
Quote
In reality,  many are more likely to look at a commercial for a game, or look at the box, or screenshots and say "Dude, that's bad-ass!" or, as you noted, "Dude, that's gay!" and make their decisions based on that.  Hell, look at how many copies CoD: Black Ops has sold!

Welllll, some companies (cough cough Activision, Treyarch) also have way more marketing $$$ than most JRPG devs/pubs. JRPGs don't have a very wide audience these days to begin with especially compared to FPSes, let alone the resources for a good promotion campaign.

Agreed, but I'm not saying that makers of RPGs need massive marketing dollars and TV commercials to compete.  All I'm saying is that, for better or for worse, more 'normal' (less androgynous) character design would likely contribute to sales because even without commercials people would still focus on box art, screen shots they found online, that sort of thing.  Whether they should do that is another matter entirely, and is not a point that I'm trying to argue.

Its not about being normal its about not being retarded.

I mean look at Geralt from the Witcher. He's an 80 year old buff man with long white hair and cat eyes.

I put normal in scare quotes for a reason.  I'm not trying to argue that the sort of stereotypical musclebound meat heads you'll find in western games are superior, just that they may sell better.  That said, yes, WRPGs have some ridiculous character designs, too.  I think that Bioware tends to strike a nice balance most of the time, though.
458  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: jrpg hate in america. on: March 20, 2011, 07:12:14 PM
Quote
In reality,  many are more likely to look at a commercial for a game, or look at the box, or screenshots and say "Dude, that's bad-ass!" or, as you noted, "Dude, that's gay!" and make their decisions based on that.  Hell, look at how many copies CoD: Black Ops has sold!

Welllll, some companies (cough cough Activision, Treyarch) also have way more marketing $$$ than most JRPG devs/pubs. JRPGs don't have a very wide audience these days to begin with especially compared to FPSes, let alone the resources for a good promotion campaign.

Agreed, but I'm not saying that makers of RPGs need massive marketing dollars and TV commercials to compete.  All I'm saying is that, for better or for worse, more 'normal' (less androgynous) character design would likely contribute to sales because even without commercials people would still focus on box art, screen shots they found online, that sort of thing.  Whether they should do that is another matter entirely, and is not a point that I'm trying to argue.
459  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: jrpg hate in america. on: March 20, 2011, 01:14:07 PM
I feel that the issue of devaluing the DS (and to a lesser extent, the PSP) which was mentioned earlier is an important piece of the puzzle.  Many people -- myself included until I got back into gaming recently -- tend to think of a portable gaming console as being, by nature, for on-the-go casual gaming.  They view it as being there for Brain Age, Picross, the latest handheld Mario, perhaps Tetris or a Sonic port.  (Please note that this is NOT a criticism of any of the titles I listed.)  Certainly not for a 30 + hour RPG.  It doesn't help matters that the DS has the dual screen/stylus feature which gives some outsiders a 'blackberry' vibe which cements their feeling that is an exclusively casual console.  (Again, not a criticism.)  It's hard for cthem to accept the idea that high-quality, massive, innovative RPGs are coming out on a device that does not hook up to a big screen TV.  And, it seems that in the current generation, this is where most of the great JRPGs are going, for a number of reasons listed earlier in the thread.  If the great JRPGs are going to handheld consoles which many people categorically refuse to acknowledge as a 'proper' place for RPGs and the consoles get mediocrities (with a few great games here and there) that sector of the gaming community is going to conclude that the (good) JRPG has gone the way of the dodo.

I don't understand the whole "androgynous characters" criticism. I know it's a matter of personal taste, but it just seems like a dumb reason to bash a game. I don't see how it detracts from the gameplay or storytelling.

In principle, I agree with this statement.  In practice, I think this viewpoint is somewhat naive.  The character design and art style of a game can, and will be used to judge the game, and it isn't limited to RPGs.  As an example:  Back in high school a JRPG obsessed friend of mine asked me what game I was playing.  At the time, it was Maximo: Ghosts to Glory.  He immediately started making fun of me, insisting that it was a children's game, citing that he had seen the box for the game at the rental store and that the cartoony art style and character design of the game was proof of this.  I repeatedly insisted that it was a challenging platformer that was clearly meant for a teenage and up crowd, because a child wouldn't be able to handle the level of difficulty it presented.  The mocking continued and he eventually agreed to rent the game for play over a weekend on the grounds that I would pay for the rental if it was a children's game.  He came back on Monday bitching about how I caused him to rent a game that was kicking his ass.  For another, more widespread example, think of the reaction to Wind Waker before (and shortly after) it came out.  In any case, his attitude represents that of a large number of gamers.  In an ideal world most gamers would make educated purchases wherein they spent time reading reviews for (or renting) games prior to buying them and didn't form prejudices based on the character design or art style of a game.  In reality,  many are more likely to look at a commercial for a game, or look at the box, or screenshots and say "Dude, that's bad-ass!" or, as you noted, "Dude, that's gay!" and make their decisions based on that.  Hell, look at how many copies CoD: Black Ops has sold!

Just for the record, I do not think that disliking androgynous character designs is intrinsically linked with homophobia, but I do feel that there is a common link between the two among average joe 'GTA *insert newest sequel* IS THE BEST GAME EVER' games.
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