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1141  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: .Hack on: September 01, 2012, 03:35:16 PM
That is all... I just really needed to express how I've never played anything quite like this.... Nor do I suspect we'll ever see anything quite like it again and if you are like me it may just scratch an itch that is hard to reach with other titles.

Never heard of Sword Art Online?

Actually I heard about it but never checked it out..... I'm a crunchyroll junkie though so it was damn near impossible to avoid hearing/seeing this mentioned quite a bit recently.... Thanks to you my friend, I'm no longer in the dark... This looks to be interesting and all, and I will have to reserve my judgement til I watch but talk about a .hack rip-off.... I mean, I know we live at a point in time where every scenario one can imagine has been done in some fashion or another already but seriously.... judging from that summary the title of the series should have been freakin ".hack//alternate narrative".... though maybe I am completely off base with that assumption and it is my hope that, in execution, this has a real original flavor because it does look cool! Thanks for the info!

EDIT: I must correct myself..... apparently Sword Art actually predates .hack so disregard my ".hack rip-off" comment.... also seems there are quite a few signifigant differences actually.... I am more or less doing this edit to proclaim that my initial impressions there seem erroneous and pre-emptive before someone else points it out-LoL
1142  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time hits PSP / PSN on July 31st! on: September 01, 2012, 03:24:49 PM
Any chance they localize the Growlanser 1 remake that was released on the PSP in Japan a few years back?  We got 2 thru 5 over here now, so it would nice to have a chance to play the first game.  BTW, anyone know if the first game has any story connection to the other five games in the series?

While I share in your hope to someday see Growlanser 1 (as well as 6) I think it is a pipe dream my friend.... we certainly won't be seeing any more on the PSP (its a miracle we got WoT)....

And what really sucks about it is the story for Growlanser 1 is related to 2. Though I'm not quite sure how exactly, I know many of the same characters are in both titles and 2 is supposed to act as a co-occuring scenario to 1 somehow... that is, rather than a chronological sequel, its timeframe (growlanser 2's) is supposed to be during the same time frame as growlanser 1..... or something like that.
1143  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: .Hack on: August 31, 2012, 05:44:00 PM
Sorry to revive a month-dead-thread guys, but I finally decided to check this out seeing as how I had all 7 sitting on the shelf and it was either "sell the set because people pay more then I think is reasonable ATM for them" or give them a shot.... So I waited until a battle at Aida Bridge in Growlanser warranted a little breather from the Wayfarer of Time and decided to pop in .hack..... deciding to dare to start right from infection despite really wanting to jump into G.U.....

Now the purpose of my posting here is just to say, that this is another title I feel could REALLY be appreciated by the right audience... in other words, not to reiterate all that was mentioned already but the game is just not there in terms of gameplay and design.... HOWEVER if the style and story appeal to your particular tastes this is totally a rare gem. Nothing quite like it that I am aware of.

Being a fan of 90's anime sci-fantasy (even though this franchise kicks off in 2001-2002), the visual style and mood of this title is just freakin' awesome.  There is a certain air of creepiness that really reminds me of Serial Experiments Lain here.... something I can't say I've really discerned from many other titles (to be honest, no other games come to mind)....

Without becoming too longwinded, basically I just want to say that despite the flaws in gameplay (although it really is not THAT bad....) and the fact that there is warranted reason to write this one off, if it does seem as though stylistically it may appeal to you, really take a look at this one online or check out the first leg of this adventure (infection is real cheap despite the high price of the rest of the franchise). I am pleasantly surprised to find something really original here in concept and story.

That is all... I just really needed to express how I've never played anything quite like this.... Nor do I suspect we'll ever see anything quite like it again and if you are like me it may just scratch an itch that is hard to reach with other titles.
1144  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Agarest Wars 2..A thread about the game and NOT the fanservice this time.... on: August 31, 2012, 03:52:47 PM
Neal's got groupies, Neal's got groupies~

Hey, let me get your autograph while I still have the chance! ;3

Haha thats right he does! In fact, I'm stealing that as my status for a moment if you don't mind.... LoL
1145  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Agarest Wars 2..A thread about the game and NOT the fanservice this time.... on: August 30, 2012, 02:01:42 AM
Let me preface this post by saying this is in no way intended to kiss Dincrest's ass.... with that said, let me also state his ass deserves a smooch for that stellar review!

Why do I say stellar? Well because someone FINALLY gave a fair review of the title.... and let me explain myself further, I say "fair" because some other reviews I've read have left me wondering if the authors even played the game or simply derived their entire opinion based on the fact that "Idea Factory" and "Compile Hearts" were on the box.... and that is of course if it even got reviewed.... some major publications have yet to even touch it (if I'm not mistaken "Game Informer" didn't even review it..).

Now with all that said I simply want to highlight some of the finer points of the majesty that is Dincrest's symphomy of truth amidst a score of bias and lies.....

Enter Record of Agarest War 2. Forget about its fanservice, its silly limited edition pack-ins, and the poor reputation preceding it thanks to prior Agarest War games. Slough off that nonsense, open your mind, and give the game a shot. Perhaps you will then see as I do that Record of Agarest War 2 is actually a decent JRPG capable of standing up on its own merits without any need for gimmicks and baubles.


I feel like everyone should read that.... like it should be on the back of the freakin' box-LoL

plot direction is sometimes vague and there are a few occasions where it is far too easy to skip over vital plot points and events. For example, had I not been severely underleveled for a certain boss fight, I would not have revisited a previously completed area, stumbling upon a major chunk of plot and a key playable character!

Couldn't agree more.... as far as the games problem go, this was the biggest IMO... I actually had a similar experiences more then once and I am not yet through the title.

Despite reminding me of Valkyrie Profile, I actually found myself approaching battles like a Megami Tensei game where the key to victory lies in exploiting enemy weaknesses with various party members' strengths. Therefore, the swap-out command during battles will become your greatest ally. It is best to select the right party for the situation rather than play favorites.


Proof that (unlike other reviews floating around on the internet) Dincrest actually played through the title!! I love the (many) review authors who wrote this off as a "button masher"..... Mashing will get you NOWHERE after endeavoring a good leg into the first generation..... forget about anything beyond that.

This leads me to the best part of Agarest 2 the music! Seriously, the music in this game is excellent across the board. Idea Factory's soundtracks can be hit or miss, but this one nailed it. I enjoyed the rocking combat music (particularly the Gai Desert battle theme), the standard opening vocal song, the "dance pop" vocal song following the prologue, the other "Easter egg" vocal songs peppered throughout the game, the shimmering save/load music, all of it.


... the biggest tragedy here is that the game didn't come with a soundtrack!... To make matters worse, I can't find it available to buy either... This needs to be on my MP3 player to jog to damnit...

it shows that Idea Factory has the potential to create good stuff.


My favorite line on the review and an appropriate way to close...

So with all that, kudos Dincrest! I have never had a "favorite game review author" but I now do :)
1146  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Suikoden Topic on: August 06, 2012, 04:17:57 PM
I'm kind of curious why the selection of classic games on the PSN is so small. There must be some rather interesting reason for not shoving everything you can on there. After all, its potential revenue from reselling old games with, what I assume is, minimum effort.

I've always had a hunch that the ultimate plan was to hold off on select titles they knew were gonna be hits and make them exclusively available to the next gen consoles somehow whilst making all the previous titles still available as well. Always seemed like a solid strategy to make sure they get us for every dime we are worth..LoL.... ok... so that is more diabolical than funny.... but none-the-less I can totally see them doing that.. I mean, I imagine when the next gen consoles do become available, they are going to want to make it as advantageous to upgrade as possible.
1147  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade or Final Fantasy 12.. what's your preference? on: August 06, 2012, 04:09:37 PM
I played both, start to finish... While I do agree you can contrast the two, the vast difference in quality places Xenoblade in nearly a whole other league if you ask me... Xenoblade to me in respect to this topic is like all the postive mechanics of FFXII, done better,  with the addition of a memorable narrative and cast.

To be honest, the only thing I really liked about FFXII was Ashe... I'm such a sucker for the Joan of Arc-type chicks...
1148  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time hits PSP / PSN on July 31st! on: August 06, 2012, 04:02:59 PM
There was also Growlanser: Heritage of War (known as Growlanser V: Generations in Japan, just to add to the confusion), which is supposed to be the worst in the series, and the only one Europe got. Publishers seem to like to do that, like us only getting Xenosaga Episode II.

Aside from the skill-plate system (which wasn't terrible.... but it was not exactly great either...) and being a wee-bit on the easy side for the franchise IMO, I love Generations... The character design really appealed to me in that title... Rufus and Melvina were freakin' waaay cool... Loved the MC's appearance... even the David Copperfield-looking Randall was alright by me.... Now Pirate-Knight Krious was a different story entirely.... way to take a white-haired sword wielding arch-type and completely remove any "bad-ass" from it at all..... but I can forgive...

I believe Growlanser 6 is a direct sequal to 5.... sporting the same battle system as well... what I would do to see that localized some day..
1149  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time hits PSP / PSN on July 31st! on: August 03, 2012, 11:10:03 PM
I adore the art style for these games... this one in particular.... really reminds of lodoss/slayers era fantasy stuff even more so than Y's titles do (even though this came waaay after the fact....)

Not helping matters is that Ys character designs now look like this.

....... thats a freakin' travesty.... I'm not saying its bad art.... its no secret I'm a sucker for anime-looking-anything... but that is not Y's.....
1150  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time hits PSP / PSN on July 31st! on: August 02, 2012, 06:19:42 PM
I adore the art style for these games... this one in particular.... really reminds of lodoss/slayers era fantasy stuff even more so than Y's titles do (even though this came waaay after the fact....) That said, Regina is an eye sore....period. From her attire not making sense to looking too much like a cross between early madonna and kelly from married with children her visual just totally ejects her from the realm of the cast that surrounds her IMO....

But off that subject...

What familiar did you guys end up with? Was the one you wanted or was aiming for...?

 I got D-YN purely by chance and am happy with her as visually she is my favorite..... This game sure leaves me wondering "what if I..." every five minutes though.... it might actually warrant another playthrough for me due to elements like this. Very cool stuff, though it is difficult to curb my desire to reset and try things 4 different ways before moving on-LoL!
1151  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time hits PSP / PSN on July 31st! on: July 31, 2012, 07:22:18 PM

Oops.... guess my first impressions were a bit redundant.... excellent review! sorry I didn't catch it first...

Unfortunately, with this ridiculous heat still in effect, I couldn't get out to grab it today.

Fuck Global Warming.

I hear ya on the heat sucking my friend... I have to take a 120mg dose of loop diuretics on a daily basis which makes the heat freakin' unbearable to me.....
1152  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time hits PSP / PSN on July 31st! on: July 31, 2012, 05:47:49 PM
Well guys I couldn't help myself.... I figured I've been a good boy consistently clearing out backlog titles (now down to only earthbound, hyperdimension MK2 and Wilds Arms Alter Code F after having polished off Final Fantasy The After Years, Atelier Rorona, Growlanser HOW and Suikoden so far this year) along with having finished all my "new titles"  of 2012 (which were only Xenoblade and Tales of Graces, but they were looong).... and thought I would treat myself to Growlanser IV today as I was just too excited to see sense in doing otherwise, adding Agarest 2 (current "new title") to the pile of backlogs for the moment...

An afternoon with it later and I'm pretty freakin' happy with my decision!.... Maybe its because clearing out the backlogs over the last few months and only playing Agarest 2 left me starved of something of this caliber... or maybe Growlanser is just that good... I don't know... Here is what I do know.....

First Impressions:
1.Awesome, awesome, AWESOME BATTLE SYSTEM! Totally what you'd expect from a Growlanser but a wee-bit faster paced and akin to Growlanser 3 (although I really liked the more real-time growlanser HOW way of things, this system doesn't seem like it will get old one bit)
2.Characters.... Again, stylistically what you'd expect from a Growlanser with "personality" right from the door. What I did notice was sort of unique that I really like is the frequency of "answer options" right from the get go.... makes my silent protagonist seem a little less quiet....
3.Narrative.... Grips you right from the start... Title takes off within minutes of starting it up... pulls you this way and that without bogging you down with any information that is not necessary... that is, a lot is going on and your informed about it without having to meander through 45 minutes of starting dialogue. I love this in the beginning of a title. Let me learn a little about the history of the environment in easily digestible portions you know?..... I have a difficult time remembering the names and roles of 13 different kingdoms, their respective races, roles, historical social contributions and current affairs along with getting introduced to a starting cast before ever getting a drop of direction as to where the main narrative is really even taking me...
4. Visuals.... Starts with a bit of a dark palette for my taste... I was dissuaded by this to find pleasantly it was not the case a brief leg into the title. While the palette becomes much more pleasing to the eye there isn't much else to be said about the visuals. I love the old sprite based look of yester-year though, and this totally delivers in that regard. Plus the small bits of anime-styled fmv which I have seen thus far are pretty as well :)
5.Audio.... LOVE the soundtrack so far... totally reminds me of the Lunar (playstation incarnations) soundtracks... Which is an absolutely wonderful thing!!
6. Something pretty cool I didn't expect... the FMV's are voiced despite the fact that you can name your MC!!! This is a stupid point to appreciate but I really enjoy getting to name my MC and I didn't think anything in this title had translated spoken audio so that was a pleasant surprise.
7. One last gameplay note.... while I already mentioned battles move at a good pace I want to also mention how smooth and quick sprites zip in towns and whatnot... I hate slow or awkward sprite control in 2-d JRPG titles... yea you always get used to it 10-hours in, but it is a personal pet-peeve of mine when I must "aim" my characters just to engage talking with NPC's.... pressing an action button to initiate conversation should not be difficult, period. Controls here are smooth as butter.
8..... oops almost forgot..... Equipment and menus... while I'm not far enough in to really feel anything out, I'm really enjoying the fact that equipment and skills seem very simple to manage.... then again anything would seem simple in contrast to Agarest 2 now wouldn't it?....

Thats all for now....... If I like the rest of this game as much as I liked the first little bit I'm going to have a lovely time with it.
1153  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: July 28, 2012, 05:34:21 PM
I gotta rewind a few posts here.... I made a boo-boo (as I am so prone, to so often do....)... I must change my stance on the whole Fate/Stay Night deal... I gave another few episodes a shot and made it to 10.... I can't really put my finger on what escalated and gripped me but I'm enticed enough to keep watching... Its proving faaaaar better then my initial impression....

I also have been indulging Panty Stocking and Garterbelt.... and I don't know why, as I feel like this may rot my brain faster then american televsion and it is NOT in ANY sense typical of my taste....  For anyone into racy "mind in the gutter" slapstick type of stuff though, this is the ticket....

Lastly Lupin the 3rd.... once again nothing like anything I've ever really appreciated (i hate comedy)... but this series freakin' rocks for a quick no brainer ep of something you don't really need to pay attention to in order to enjoy. This series oozes early 90's goodness... I wish more of it was in english though...

That is all for now.... still on deck is Moribito and Gokudo... plus I'm thinking I'm gonna check out the Tales of Vesperia flick it the not so distant future as well...

1154  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: July 26, 2012, 02:37:46 AM
Well I did suggest Moribito, which you don't even have to buy, it's on Crunchyroll.

In a similar vein of LoGH, but a little more character-focused (rather that galactic politics...) there's Crest of the Stars (and its sequel series Banner of the Stars).  But it's also a little more tech-heavy so I'm not sure how you feel about that.  It's a great show, though.  And it is actually available.

BTW, I normally steer clear of fansubs, and I'm actually in the process of trying to legally purchase anything I had ever watched in fansub form in the past.  But for something like LoGH, well...it's been around a while, it's kind of obscure, and it's pretty likely that it's never going to get picked up at this point, ever.  But it's just too good of a show to ignore...

Actually I totally did forget about Moribito.... I will check that out without a doubt (looks like something I'll really enjoy!!) I just gotta get the dub... no matter how bad a dub, I'll always take it over the subs.... I can't put it on while I'm drawing otherwise.... well I can, I just don't know when to look up and check out what is happening-LoL

I sample a lot on crunchyroll though.... Plus its great for the ones I can't get dubbed (obviously) but still want to see.

As far as fansubs go, I've no problem with them beyond the fact that they are subs not dubs. I don't even think its illegal to download stuff that isn't licensed in your region.... to be honest I don't know really... the legality of downloading is not something I'm particularly versed about. Either way though, I say get your anime however you can..... the downloading just scares me personally because I've been in a lot of trouble in my life... I don't even j-walk these days-LoL
1155  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: UnchainBlade ReXX on: July 25, 2012, 06:16:42 PM
So I know the PSP is a niche platform and all, but I found this pretty sickening.

I asked Colin Moriarty at IGN why their PSP coverage has been, well, non-existent.
(Nothing on Growlanser, Gungnir, Unchained Blades, etc.)

http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/07/24/this-week-on-the-psn-072412

Quote
We've opted not to cover those games. Greg and I can only do so much; we think our time is better spent on PS3 and Vita at this point.



I'll tell ya what sickens me is the fact that my local gamestop has ceased even stocking ANY PSP games, yet still has PS2 titles  NEW... yes, not even one used PSP title (no section in the store for em, period)....
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