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Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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1  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on: July 23, 2006, 04:52:21 AM
Quote from: "Gondor_Reficul"
An answer to your "years of service" question...I think. Think about this:

You get caught by a butt-ugly sea creature pirate thingy.
He gives you two choices, join or die.
You can die a bloody death, or serve ugly man for a set amount of time.
You choose join to save your life. Let's say you serve him for 50 years.
After 50 years are up, where are you going to go? What are you going to do?
This guy usually stays around the middle of the ocean. Swimming back will be tough. So you can either swim and run the risk of dying in the middle of almost nowhere. Or spend the rest of your wasted life onboard anyways.
No matter what, it's a lose lose situation. Even if you are freed, how much of your life would you have left?

Okay, thanks for the clarification, heh. I remember that scene. "You're free to go ashore, next time we dock at port, heheheh." Although, I thought the one whose bluff didn't get called neither won nor lost anything...

On that note, I wonder whether the physical curse endures on those who finish their servitude. I'm guessing "yes."

Code:
Also, it occurred to me that William Turner's father was afflicted by the Aztec curse when he took Davy Jones' offer. Did the "bargain" strip him of the curse? Was the curse broken after the events of the first movie, along with the other pirates? Man, he is one unlucky guy. It wasn't until rewatching the first movie today that I fully realized he was undead when they strapped a cannon to him and sank him.
2  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Final Fantasy III DS gameplay video! on: July 19, 2006, 12:53:40 AM
Quote from: "Gondor_Reficul"
And that's why I said KIND OF. The graphics kind of reminded me of 7, not exactly. The graphics are kind of like 7, but with a little more features. Maybe I was thinking about Brave Fencer Musashi.

I'm saying not even the graphics will really resemble FF7. :P  I merely expanded the statement to say that almost nothing will resemble FF7, except that it will have Chocobos and the traditional prelude music. Considering FF7 didn't even have the job system... really, that's about it. It doesn't even seem to have prerendered backgrounds.
3  Media / Single-Player RPGs / This Fall/Winter is gonna suck....but is also awesome. on: July 19, 2006, 12:33:25 AM
Quote from: "Spoony Mage"
Quote from: "Alisha"
PSU where? everyone needs to buy this game XD since the EU version is cominging out in november october seems likely for us PSU. late august for the jp rev


I'm picking up PSU.  Hell, maybe I'll actually be able to playit online this time.   I missed out on the first two games for the Dreamcast.

The second game was for Gamecube and XBox. ;)

Yeah, I know it's going to sound like I'm nitpicking. But version 1 and 2 really do look like the same game when compared with Episode 1 & 2. I still stand by my Gamecube PSO... the only reason I didn't play it more is probably because I overplayed it so much on Dreamcast. Sigh. Well, I guess there comes a point when one must move on. For me, over two thousand hours on various versions of the same game is probably coming to that point.

That is why I might pass on PSU. So much time and money ends up being spent on online games that I think I might prefer spreading my time and money among the many other excellent single-player games I have lined up.

In particular...

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

I think it is appropriate to place the title on its own line, because I am staking my strongest hopes that it will end up being my top favorite game of all time. I know people have made such wagers before and really regretted it, myself included. But it's been about 5 years since I've expected any such results from a game, and this time I have every reason to believe that it will be a truly incredible game.

At the very very least, I'm sure I'll enjoy it more than I did Wind Waker, and that alone will still make me very happy. If it is as good as Ocarina of Time, however, then I will undoubtedly end up replaying more than any other game in my collection.
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Has anyone heard from Victor Ireland lately? on: July 18, 2006, 10:32:31 PM
Quote from: "vanexel"
It seems that Victor Ireland has a new company or some sorts so maybe we might see another Lunar in the future.

Good for him... but that has no effect on whether we'll see another Lunar. Considering the fact that the DS Lunar made it to the U.S., I'm willing to bet that another main Lunar installment will make it here if it is ever made in Japan.

The question, however, is whether that will happen. Thus far, the likely answer is "no." (at least, it is if you want a Lunar 3, as opposed to Lunar sidequests like Lunar DS and Lunar Magic School, and remakes like Lunar Legend)

Perhaps it would be better to focus on Grandia. At least that series is alive and well.
5  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Final Fantasy III DS gameplay video! on: July 18, 2006, 10:18:18 PM
Quote from: "Eusis"
Quote from: "Lucid"
3d graphics just aren't something that age well for me.

To be fair... That can probably be said for most people. But I think the PS2 games will be different: The 32-bit generation is to 3D what the 16-bit generation was to 2D. Likewise, the generation that's currently ending is the 3D equivilant of the 16-bit generation.

Well, again, to be fair... the transition from 2D to 3D is different than the transition from old 3D (PSOne) to improved 3D (PS2).

On the PSOne, it could arguably be said that 3D was popular just for the fact that it could do 3D at all. Back then, I was really unhappy with seeing everything turn to 3D.

But now, 3D has become good enough that it can often have as much detail as 2D used to boast. But only on the PS2 and up... The DS is still at the point where 2D is often more detailed. I only mentioned the cinematic factor because it's Square Enix, and in my eyes that's their #1 audiovisual trump card.

Quote from: "Hidoshi"
I stand by what Radien put out there in terms of Square-Enix's abilities with 3D in cinematic areas. As nice as 2D is, SE's shown it's capable of bringing down the house when it comes to 3D, and I'm really getting sick of minor facelifts to the ancient classics. It's a good thing to see FF1-6 reprinted/remade (though honestly, IV and VI got so shafted in their PSX remakes), yet I always feel a bit gypped when it comes down to playing them. Outside of FFOrigins, none of the remakes feel truly 'remade', just ported. Sure there are enhancements, but more often than not, I'm left asking myself if it was worth the money.

The effort SE's put into remaking FFIII at least gives me some incentive to buy it. I don't own Anthologies or Chronicles because those remakes just weren't worth it, outside of FFIV's rescript.

I'm glad you agree, but you really need to set a concrete division between "remake" and "port." The distinction should affect what you expect to get out of a game purchase. The two words aren't interchangable.

There's a difference between saying that FFIV "needed a full remake," and saying that they "did a bad port job." I say they did a bad job at porting it. Perhaps a remake would have been nice, but honestly, the PSOne didn't have much to offer at the time.

Besides, remakes take an enormous amount of time compared to ports. I think we should only get on a company's case if they seem to be doing nothing BUT ports. (Sega, anyone?..)

Quote from: "Lucid"
Quote
I dunno where the fuck you're setting your standards, Lucid, but they're WAY too high.

I don't think so.  The game just looks boring. The character didn't even move out of place when they attacked. They just sloppily swung their sword, and then a hit is registered on the enemy. you were talking about cinematic qualites of the graphics but the fights are some of the most undynamic I've seen recently. If they use 3d they should at least have the camera show different angles during the combat. I'm not passing final judgement on it since I can't from just a short movie, however it really doesn't look that great to me.

Like Wild Arms 1, perhaps?...

3D doesn't always constitute constant camera changes. In fact, if you look at FFX, you'll notice that there really aren't very many camera changes. I actually think FFX needs more camera changes, but that's mostly because as you make character proportions more realistic, it becomes more and more difficult to see the details of character models from a fixed camera angle. Simplified, chibi-style characters are much easier for your eye to follow.

As for the animations, the actual movement is fluid and more than just a simple swing. You're just unhappy that they don't jump up and hit them close-up. Fair enough. But I know Square did this on purpose, for the same reason they used the screen-shake: nostalgia, not laziness.

Quote from: "Gondor_Reficul"
The game looks kind of like FF VII, but has the feel of FF IX.

I believe I can safely say that the game will have no significant resemblance to FF7. At the very least, FF7 is one of the least similar Square titles you could compare it to. FF3 happens to be a little darker since it starts in a cave, but rest assured, there will be daylight and bright happy scenery further into the game.
6  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on: July 18, 2006, 09:42:32 PM
I saw it. I thought it was good. Not as good as the original, but considering the track record of second installments in movies series I've seen, I thought it did pretty well.

The part I was most unsure about was the cursed crew.  In the original, we had undead skeleton pirates cursed by Aztec gold. The idea that the Aztecs were capable of such witchcraft is arguable, but at least it works well with the idea of pirate legend. But this time they'd already done the "skeleton crew" thing, so they had to think up a new curse... Let's see, how about sailors being turned into various mish-mashes of sea life?... And apparently they are still unkillable, like the originals?

I dunno, it just sorta loses the piratical charm of the original. I want more skeletal pirates, dangit!!

Code:
Additionally, what was all that junk about the Flying Dutchman "sailing upwind"? The dang ship could sail underwater, for crying out loud! Curses already defy the laws of nature, so they need to be consistent within themselves in order to be believable.  In any case, what exactly WAS Davy Jones' curse, anyway?... Did it just sorta happen? Perhaps they should have made it a ghost ship, or given it a firey-agent-of-hell captain, instead of this weird nautical curse...


As for the screenplay, I think it was indeed pretty good, but like the aforementioned curse, it mish-mashed together too many elements.

Code:
In particular, I didn't really like the "angry natives" scene. Sure, it's a very standard formulaic staple in nautical movies, but it's a little insulting to indigenous peoples, and it really had nothing to do with the rest of the movie. They only served as a reason for the Black Pearl to avoid docking at a particular island. There are a LOT of other ways in which they could have prevented Jack from wanting to dock.


By the time they got to the "final showdown" (or at least, as close as this movie gets to having one) I was a little exhausted at watching the rest of the action and just wanted to see how it ended.  Pirates has a little bit of a habit of having too many unbeatable enemies.

Anyway, I enjoyed the movie because it was upbeat, interesting developments kept you on your toes, and it often made fun of whatever cliches it followed.

What I DIDN'T enjoy was that after 2 1/2 hours, they finally reach an ending, and... it turns out that it's not really the end. ~_~; But at least it ended while I was interested in what was going on.

Quote from: "Rico"
Quote from: "Dice"
I don't know about you guys, but the dice game completely lost me (then again I am extremely tired).


Seemed pretty much the card game BS.

It didn't bother me, because I could tell who was making the big wagers and who was doing well. The details only need to be partially understood.

If you want the details, though, Ze Grand Master put it well, but they actually simplified the game of Perudo to put in the movie. It's a mixture of the card games of BS and Texas Hold 'Em, except done with dice. You have to keep one-upping your opponents by claiming there are a certain number of dice on the table, either by betting on the ones you have already seen (your own dice) or by guessing how many the others actually have.

When one person calls the other's bluff, if it really was a bluff, the bluffer loses. If it wasn't a bluff, the caller loses. The uninvolved player neither wins nor loses anything.

Incidentally, did anyone figure out the "years of service" thing? Were they competing to determine when they would be freed, or when they would be allowed to die?...

Quote from: "Merkava"
She has wonderful features, but I don't know if she's truley "OMG BANG" material. She denies that she's anorexic, even though it runs in her family, but she still needs to eat more. :P

I kinda question people who claim that she was included just to attract male audiences.  Yes, she is beautiful, but through most of the movie they had her completely covered in men's attire. With her hair covered, too. And often her back turned. That's only alluring if you have a thing for tomboys. *shrug*

What I really don't understand is the notion that Jack Sparrow is swoon-worthy. I mean, sheesh, the character obviously doesn't even bathe. I feel sorry for Johnny Depp being pinned as the pin-up so often, because he's done a fantastic job on all his most recent roles. He's a real chameleon of an actor.
7  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Final Fantasy III DS gameplay video! on: July 14, 2006, 05:48:16 AM
Hmm. Well, it might be PSOne quality, but I might point out that they're doing a lot of things right with the available polygon count:

The character is detailed enough to have emotes (both facial and bodily), and they use them. Don't underestimate the effectiveness of this. The boss also looks pretty good. Battle animations are interesting, and it's close enough that you can see the detail.

You may ask why it is in 3D, but remember: Square excels greatly at the video game equivalent of cinematography. They are good at making scenes more dramatically effective through camera pans and fadeouts, which work best in 3D.

This will definitely be VERY old school. They even kept in the shaking screen during battles, and enemies fade away like they did on the NES, rather than have a fancy modern animation. If you can't live without ATB and other modern comforts, well, it looks like this one isn't for you...
8  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Help w/ RPG name. What am I thinking about? on: July 12, 2006, 07:54:09 AM
It's almost certainly Alundra. But try getting your hands on a copy of Alundra, regardless. It's one of the most memorable Playstation 1 games I've played, mostly for its story and dialog.

And despite being an adventure game, I find it funny that it had a better story than most RPGs I've played.  It did an awesome job of getting me to care about the characters.

Oh, and Alundra also arguably has Working Designs' best translation job ever.  (I only counted two inappropriate jokes, woo! :P )
9  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Has anyone heard from Victor Ireland lately? on: July 07, 2006, 06:15:31 PM
Quote from: "Dade"
Seriously, who here was fucking excited for Goemon? No one. Goemon only exists in my mind as one game....and a really shitty N64 game it is.

Who here was fucking excited for Arc the Lad collection and Growlancer Generations? A lot of people.

True, true. I remember seeing Vic's Goemon avatar and thinking "what the hell IS that?"...

To their credit, though, I tried out Alundra purely because of Working Designs name recognition, and absolutely loved it, even though it's become incredibly obscure (cry).

One of these days I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy of Growlanser Generations...
10  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Verifying Chrono Brake trademark in Japan on: July 07, 2006, 07:22:27 AM
Kato really said that?...

Damn, now that really is rude in my opinion. _; I've replayed Chrono Trigger more than any other RPG, and also enjoyed Chrono Cross. I believe I understand the meaning of both quite well, on multiple levels, and yet I quite sympathize with most of the complaints of people who dislike the changes.

Usually when a series innovates, they move on to the next stage, keep what innovations were good, ditch the ones that weren't good enough to keep, and add even more innovations. Chrono Trigger had innovations, but it makes no sense to say that the spirit of the series is that no two games have any close resemblance. CC could have kept the innovations of CT's battle system quite easily: combo techs, a small party that interacts heavily with eachother, and area-based attacks.

Heck, practically every innovation outside of battle was kept: multiple endings, New Game+, visible enemies, enemy-free overworld maps, and multiple connected worlds/eras. Most of what they ditched (that was actually an innovation, anyway) was the battle system, the party structure, and actual time travel... (the last of which was more of an event model than a gameplay innovation)

I suppose you could cite Radical Dreamers, and point out that it wasn't even an RPG, whereas CC was........but that would be to imply that the only purpose of Chrono is to tell a story, regardless of format. I think that story is definitely not the only thing which makes the series remarkable.
11  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Has anyone heard from Victor Ireland lately? on: July 07, 2006, 07:12:58 AM
Quote from: "Robert Boyd"
Actually, Atlus does the exact same thing.  They intentionally keep supply low so that they can be assured of selling out on most games thus keeping their risk level low.  It also has the benefit of enticing people into buying their games right at launch instead of waiting for the inevitable (with most other companies' products) price drop.


Hmm. When you word it that way, it makes a bit more sense, for small-time companies. But when Vic explained it in his interview, the only thing he mentioned was the visible value of existing copies. The resell value of a game has no direct affect on the company's profits once production has stopped. Thus, it made it sound like they were intentionally taking a cut on a game that could earn more, solely to keep the price up.

Perhaps he thought that sounded better to the consumer, but it didn't sound better to me at all.

Personally, I'm fine if the price doesn't drop much over time, if it's something I definitely want to play. But if the price goes up, or if used copies cost the same as the original did new, or if the price was way too high to begin with and doesn't go down, then I have a negative incentive to buy.

Also, I'd wager to say that the packaging extras added more risk than anything else, much as I loved them...
12  Media / Single-Player RPGs / First RPG? on: July 06, 2006, 08:51:53 AM
My first ever was Dragon Warrior 3 (a.k.a. Dragon Quest 3).

During high school, after setting video games aside for almost a year, I looked and noticed a genre I had not played, and rented it from Albertsons at the price of a dollar for 5 days.

Two weeks later they called me asking where it was. I said no worries, I was still enjoying playing it. I kept it for about a month and faithfully paid the $6 in late fees. ^_^  ...Then I did the same thing with Dragon Warrior 4. Eventually I found a copy of Dragon Warrior 2, and Final Fantasy 1, which I enjoyed to smaller degrees.

Later on someone lent me his SNES, along with FF4, FF6, Chrono Trigger, and Lufia 2.  I also got ahold of Secret of Mana and Super Mario RPG, for a very quick educational run through the 16-bit RPG timeline.  I had quite a ball over that one year, and CT became my favorite RPG. It still is.
13  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Wild Arms Chronology? on: July 06, 2006, 08:36:51 AM
Hmm. Alternate dimensions do play a continuing theme in the series, but I gotta remind ya that Wild Arms 2 was the only one which specifically implied that their Filgaia was different from Wild Arms 1's.

Wild Arms 3, in my eyes, was a game where the designers realized that players didn't like this "alternate, completely remade Filgaia" idea, and returned to a more direct sequel. Note that most of the elements that returned from WA2 were gameplay elements and stylistic elements, not story elements. There was a wonderful "short story" you could collect in a sidequest that gave a nod to WA2, but it had no relevance to WA3's plot.

WA3 also had an appearance from the metal dragons, but they were worked into the game in such a way that it could still coexist with WA1. Also, the reappearance of one very major character from WA1 lends some very solid glue between the two games, not to mention a helluva lot of exposition regarding the origin of the demons which is totally compatible.

By the way, the inclusion of Baskar is pretty traditional. It is more of a name for a way of life than it is a village, as each Baskar Village is a different village, regardless of which timeline the game adheres to.  The fact that WA3 had a Baskar Village doesn't necessarily connect it directly to WA2, but it just may connect it directly to WA1.


Alter Code F = Wild Arms 1. No connections need be drawn. Except that both games are frickin' awesome, thank you. ^_^


I have not yet played WA4, but I certainly will, once I wade through the list of RPGs I and my sister have acquired/given to eachother/received as gifts/borrowed from friends since last fall...
14  Media / Single-Player RPGs / How Would You Make an RPG Based On... on: July 06, 2006, 08:27:05 AM
I just had to say this:
..
I don't think Smurfs would be best suited to a strategy RPG. I know you called for RPGs, but Smurfs has a single calling: Real Time Puzzle.

Specifically, a Lemmings clone. ;)
15  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Has anyone heard from Victor Ireland lately? on: July 06, 2006, 07:48:51 AM
I didn't hate Victor Ireland, but I think his status is probably something that we don't really need to think about anymore. Whether you liked their translations or not, Working Designs used a questionable business model that probably wasn't to Vic's credit. That's what ultimately turned me off to them: the knowledge that if I didn't have the cash to fork over for one of their games right when it came out, I would probably have to pay a higher cost later on to find myself a copy. Vic came right out and proudly stated, once, that he intentionally kept supplies low in order make sure their games' resell prices stayed high.  It was a rather egotistical move that sacrificed sales AND cost consumers more money. How did this benefit us or the industry? I didn't like it.

This is what I must conclude when I think of Victor's quiet disappearance: he probably has a mid-level desk job at some company, making a decent living for himself, but without enough sway to have any major affects on the industry itself. He's got some interesting ideas, yes, but he's not the only one, and I'm sure many others have better business sense, so why cling so much to one particular person?...

Quote from: "Merkava"
Wow, so I'm STILL the only person her who likes WD's style. Ok, I've only played the Lunars, Alundra, and Growlanser Generations, but I love the fact that they actually have a style.

You're not. I liked them too. :) But I stopped worshipping their style as "best evar" after finally seeing some decent translations come out of other major sources -- Grandia 2, anyone?  There's a localization team that actually put forth the money to hire REAL professional voice actors with major experience in the field. I mean, holy crap: Leonardo and the Little Mermaid.

Incidentally, Alundra and Eternal Blue Complete had among the best translations I've seen to date. (discounting Kingdom Hearts, since the way it was created makes it almost unfair to compare it to other localizations)

Quote from: "Eusis"
Oh, and mucking around with game balance is just fucking stupid unless 1. You know what you're doing, and/or 2. make it an additional difficulty, or at least give some way to access the original. WD never did either, and if anything screwed over the easier settings with limits on how far you can go and whatnot.

I think their best gameplay adjustments are the ones no one even noticed. Did you ever remember reading about how they increased the damage some Alundra bosses dealt but decreased their total HP, so the battles would be difficult because of your endurance rather than because of the enemy's?  SO GRATEFUL FOR THAT. ;_; I didn't play the original Japanese version, but considering how much HP they have even after WD decreased it, the change could only be for the better.

Also, remember how they reduced the difficulty of Borgan in Eternal Blue on the Sega CD? He was still one of the hardest RPG bosses ever, even after their changes. (We're not talking about the totally nerfed version of Borgan that appeared in the Playstation version, mind you.)

But yes, Working Designs totally F'ed up their share of games with gameplay alterations, too. Case in point: charging Magic EXP to save your game in Eternal Blue Sega CD. In addition to being ill-advised, they screwed up the ratios: saving at the start of the game set you back a LOT, whereas later on the MEXP cost was negligible.

Also, the entirety of Vay. (They changed the 2 MP basic healing spell to cost 10 MP instead. Need I say more?)
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