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16  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 14, 2014, 02:51:23 PM

I believe that if it's going to last you the rest of your life (in most cases), and possibly be on display, it should be done right.

^^^^ A thousand times over, THIS!! You hit the nail on the head. Given that fact coupled with honor and responsibility that comes with having flesh as canvas, I've never really seen any other ethical way to approach the work without the priority of "quality first". I must admit though, I am NOT the artist for everyone. I've met more than once with enthusiasts and shop owners with a strong distaste for my approach. I stopped working in street shops entirely to do strictly custom work on private clients about 3 years ago as a direct result.

 I guess they just kept yelling 'we're awesome and totally like those guys on TV' so loud people started believing them.

(And maybe I don't get tattoo's, but it doesn't make sense to me to line up for it. I mean, getting a tattoo done seems like a big deal to me, so it'd make more sense to make an appointment and not treat it like, I dunno, buying ice cream.)

I am shamed to admit that this actually happens. I've bore witness to artists actually verbalizing how great they are to validate their exorbitant pricing when in reality they can't do anything outside of a text-book mediocre tattoo. It is disgusting, plain and simple. Only in the realm of tattoos will you ever meet an artist so f***ing warped that they think themselves a picasso in leather pants when in actuality they would be hard pressed to tell you what a "complimentary" color is (yes, tattoo artists are THAT uneducated).

Now, the other problem is enthusiasts who do believe it to be as simple as buying ice cream. These folks bother me just as much as the "rock stars".



 so I tend to be in an out a lot faster than most. (this also may have something to do with tattoos hurting like a mother fucker and anyone who says differently is a goddamn filthy whore liar) but I get what you're saying. 



I agree on this note as well. Tattoos do hurt. I rarely enjoy getting or healing them, but wearing them is a different story entirely and well worth the agony for me. And of everything that hurts, linework tends to be the worst of it for most people. Generally speaking the sensation of shading and coloring is quite different and far more tolerable.

Now that I have effectively spoken ill enough about my industry to quality as "bashing" I am done bitching for the time being. Do understand guys, there ARE a lot of real respectable and ethical artists doing amazing work out there. It is unfortunate that the guys and gals doing that type of work are the exception and not the norm is my main point.


17  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 14, 2014, 06:35:10 AM
I hate to admit it though, while I adore tattooing, the drawing and prep work for custom stuff (especially my gaming tattoos that are not exactly business as usual in terms of "tattoo friendly" art") really feels more like work than a labor of love. The pay off is getting to do the work on skin which is why I HATE when I have cancellations.

The last guy I went to here in Indianapolis (at a highly recommended shop) quoted me $100 for a palmed sized and colorless version of Kefka from FFVI.   It would have taken him 45 minutes.  Then, after swearing up and down that he had done "graphic work for video games" before, he ended up trying to pass the project off to someone else because he thought the line work would be too difficult.  Maybe I'm just old and jaded (I've been getting ink painfully scratched into my skin for almost 15 years) But only about 5 years ago I got a half sleeve that took about 8 hours that cost me 400 bucks and before that I got a giant tree on my ribs and hip that ran me about $250.  When did tattoo guys stop being the crazy biker guys (or tiny badass ladies with pneumatic tattoo guns and artwork over 90% of their body) of my youth and morph into the pile of overpriced pretension that I see so often today?


You've touched upon the biggest problem I have with artists in my industry. And to answer your inquiry, tattoo artists thinking they are rock stars sort of coincided with the commercialism that came with the "TATTOO TV-SHOW" invention.

On an unrelated note however, you've completely missed the breed of tattoo artists referred to as "art fags" amongst the "rock stars" and "biker guys". These peculiar types have spent their careers carefully applying tried and true art theory and technique to the once somewhat crude medium of tattooing that has since evolved tremendously. You don't get any half sleeves done in 8 hours when you go to a "fag" but you sure as shit get nice work. I fancy myself one amongst that particular breed. I will easily spend anywhere from 20-40 hours on half sleeves.

In all honesty I could care less how long I take to complete a piece and will usually end up working for quite a few free hours to render things on skin the way I think they should be. The name of the game is speed when you work in a street shop. When you are by appointment only, primarily doing custom work, quality alone becomes the primary concern (or at least it should).

NOTE: Please know I meant nothing derogatory by the term "Fag" here. As low-brow as the verbage sounds, it is sadly a term artists use loosely. I disagree with this by the way.
18  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: October 14, 2014, 06:17:09 AM
I'll defend Mana until I croak as SoM and SD3 are my probably my favorite games of all time.

fwiw, LoM's one of my favorite PSX games, even though it's completely fucked. And SoM is one of the very few 16-bit Square games I like.

I think part of the issue I have with SD3 is that I tended to play as Hawkeye because he has the shortest 'recharge' time, but he also bounces around a lot while he attacks, making him feel really off to me. I want to say I tried playing as Lisa/Leiza/Reese/Valkyrie Jones sometime later and found her more enjoyable although by that point I started hearing about all the bugs in SD3 and kind of gave up.



I just bought Legend of Mana off of the PSN network because I sold my original copy to a buddy. I haven't played that one since release. I well over-do for another run through.

I have to say on the SD3 note, Hawkeye made for the most enjoyable play for me by a landslide. Angela could be cool if spamming magic is your thing and Kevin is also enjoyable if for no other reason than his transformation ability.

SECRET MESH NOTE: I won't reveal it here, you sir will be PM'ed ;)

19  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: October 13, 2014, 06:18:36 PM
idk SoM's collision detection and glitchiness were pretty bad even when it came out. I know that the game is 21 years old and all but LttP/Crystalis/SD1 all felt a lot smoother and less 'weird' to me.

Like what throws me off about SD2 and 3 in particular is that there's some slight lag between everything that happens -- you hit an enemy and it's like the hit doesn't register immediately, once the hit registers there's lag between when the damage pops up, hitstun lasts too long and it's hard to tell when/which attacks are registering during this time and what damage they're actually causing, and then you have that death glitch where a character dies, but it takes a second for it to register them as dead but you can still revive them before they die proper and then they just die again.

Basically it amounts to a situation where I never felt entirely in control of what was going on. It's not really THAT bad in SD2 but I thought it made 3 kind of unplayable after you got a full party.

unless you imported it, SD3 can only be played on an emulator in the west.  Most SNES emulators are notorious for lagging slightly, so I assume that had something to do with it.

I'll defend Mana until I croak as SoM and SD3 are my probably my favorite games of all time. However Mesh is totally correct in his criticisms and I have admit that. I have an import copy of SD3 as well and the problems of which he speaks certainly plague the genuine article and are not a result of poor emulation quality.

In fact, even though SD3 stands as one my most experiences gaming experiences (replayed again just last year), I feel the game as a whole is entirely more or less playable in terms of gameplay depending on the party selection. Because of the problems Mesh brings up, amongst others, picking some characters vs others is the difference between ripping your hair out or hardly noticing the problems IMO. An even bigger issue in SD3 is how unbalanced a party can become depending on your team selections making the game either tough as nails or a walk in the part.

So why are they amongst my favorites? Because to this day I can't really say anything nailed atmosphere, art direction and soundtrack the way Mana did. Likewise, I have to commend the concepts for SD3 even if in practice they proved epic fails. The branching class system and party selection in an ARPG were so revolutionary to me when I discovered SD3 as a kid I was simply awe inspired. The way they implemented those choices into the games narrative were simple yet terribly effective at giving the game some real replay value. Any game, not available in my native language, that baits me into playing it more than once is totally doing something right.



Also yes, Spiky Tiger can eat a dick. He's infamous as being unfair bullshit given when you encounter him and what he's packing. Fortunately, magic mostly solves the combat/supply issues by being hilariously overpowered if properly leveled.

Properly leveled magic is the answer to every difficulty you encounter in Mana. Spikey tiger be damned, some of those end game bosses could take someone hours to beat if they tried to rely on physical attacks given the poor hit detection. I also recall the bird boss in upper land being relatively retarded to land melee attacks on.

20  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 13, 2014, 05:58:25 PM


Tried to get some progress in Vesperia Saturday night while wifey went out dancing. Fell asleep playing, I was so tired from the work. Oh well...

There was something oddly comforting about Vesperia to me and each time I would play it while too fatigued I would pass out sitting up, controller in hand. The game didn't bore me at all. Quite the contrary in fact. Same thing would often occur while I was playing breath of fire 4.

Speaking of falling asleep, I passed out mid-afternoon for an hour and feel like I am in the twilight zone now. My client for the evening cancelled on me as well. Aren't most people happy with get an unforeseen night off of work??? Well I HATE IT!!! If I don't get to tattoo for the day I feel sort of crazy. I do however have a lot of prep work for some big projects coming up including a Legend of Zelda themed sleeve. Maybe I'll start figuring out the coloring of Link this evening.

I hate to admit it though, while I adore tattooing, the drawing and prep work for custom stuff (especially my gaming tattoos that are not exactly business as usual in terms of "tattoo friendly" art") really feels more like work than a labor of love. The pay off is getting to do the work on skin which is why I HATE when I have cancellations.
21  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: October 11, 2014, 11:07:39 PM
Finished COSTUME QUEST today!!!

Adorable is not a word I ever use to describe a game yet I find it appropriate here.

Now the question is do I move on and do the Grubbins (sp?) on Ice DLC now or wait til Christmas....?

In absolute mental anguish right now. I really want to give Silent Hill 3 one more try in honor of the season, but I keep thinking about that mirror room in the hospital that made me quit last time and I absolutely can not work up the courage to start again. Everyone says Silent Hill 2 is the scariest game in the series, but I got through that game just fine and yet always hit a moment of terror in SH3 that makes me want to stop playing for good.

^^ That makes me really want to play em. I've asked this before but never really got a straight answer... can I jump in at 2 or 3 without having played 1? I am familiar with it, having seen the movie (the first) and played a bit back in the day upon release but is that enough background to skip the first game?
22  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: October 11, 2014, 07:31:41 PM
Since at the moment we are loosely on the subject of game design and touched upon the note of difficulty I just want to chime in and say, specifically, the trend of how easy RPG's tend to be is quite honestly one of my biggest pet peeves with the genre as a whole. I swear it is like some products, as polished as they may appear, were play-tested by handicapped monkeys to determine the level of difficulty necessary to complete.

The biggest fault of most RPG's in my eyes is the incorporation of various utlities and unique gameplay elements that can just as easily be ignored in light of a "spam attack option" to get through most everything. This problem effectively takes the luster out of even most robust and interesting games for me REEEEAAAAL fast.

Sadly, this problem is more the norm than the exception. I would love to see a level of inherent complexity and challenge akin to say X-Com Enemy Unknown/Within more common.  I really appreciate the trend of challenge in the Souls games, Dragons Dogma, tougher difficulty settings in recent Tales games (even though tales pulls off a real cheap form of "hard" by simply bloating numbers for the most part).

EDIT: As an aside I find this problem plagues older titles far more commonly than newer offerings. I often credit a great deal of the joy of the SMT games to be a result of the challenge during a time when games were more commonly silly-easy. In fact, some of my most memorable play-throughs are incidentally some of the more trying titles.
23  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: October 10, 2014, 06:35:09 PM


Yes you can.

The only thing stopping you from making games on your own is you, for telling yourself that you can't.

I count these amongst the wisest words I've seen you type mesh. And that my friend is saying something, because you come off with some brilliant shit here and there! This however, is one point I couldn't agree more on philosophically and by extension well beyond the realm of gaming.

Now in terms of gaming, one need only look as far as Dust A Elysian Tale to see the potential of one man with passion and love for his project.

As for topic, I'm not quite sure whether I should be talking about my longstanding and idealistic fantasy of an RPGFan community game where Dice and I draw our little hearts out for storyboards or, alternatively,  should I be talking about the current trends in RPGs/JRPGs? I'm gonna hit both just in case.

RPGFAN COMMUNITY RPG: I think we should... ah dammit you know what? There are too many new and exciting releases to find time to make a game right now. I imagine most of the community will be playing too much to afford time for creating games along with our jobs/careers. Which brings me to point number 2.

(CURRENT TRENDS) There is no way anyone can convince me that the current status of the RPG is bad. Never in my life as a gamer, during any other generation, have I felt so much variety on the table. People hate certain RPGs/JRPGs because we now have enough games to hate. Hell, there are enough RPGs now that I would say just about anyone could find both flavors they appreciate and can't stand. That alone is testament to the fact that there exists a greater fanbase, demand and production in effect.

Rewind a few generations and you can argue that there may have only been a handful of people doing interesting, new or remarkable things in terms of the RPG vs. other genres. That just is not the case now. The gaming industry is HUGE compared to what it has been in the past and coupled with how accessible technology has become, passionate fans such as yourself (Damacon) can see your motivations to create realized. All this translates to, what I see as, the most exciting and dynamic time to be a gamer or RPGFan.

And by exciting I simply mean if you don't like something, find something new! We are fortunate enough to have that option today instead of wondering if the next Square Soft title will be as inspiring as the last. In all honesty, even being as into RPG's as I am for as long as I have been, I can easily go on steam, PSN or XBL networks and find a variety of temptations I didn't even know exist. (I know I'm echoing Dincrests point here)

Long and the short of everything I am saying is this. JRPGs and RPGs have never been so well off and conversations/posts like this make that fact evident. It has become a genre and not "games like final fantasy or games like dragon quest or games like baldurs gate".

And finally, if ever this community does band together to create I would love to help with the art. Some people do claim I draw pretty pictures well enough :)

@ Damacon- I hope your ideals lead to something running on console I love some day sir.

EDIT: DAMN YOU ANNUBIS!! You beat me to my "Dust" point. That was the best part of my entire post :(
24  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: October 09, 2014, 03:26:50 PM


Anyway, I picked up Illbleed and Luigi's Mansion awhile ago 'cause I saw them on the cheap. I think I'll spend some time with those since it's the season. Possibly divert my shmupping back to Deathsmiles as well.

Luigi's mansion is an awesome seasonal choice. I was just thinking about how I regret not hanging onto the nintendo hardware to play that.

COSTUME QUEST: Started last night. Very charming game that elicits a unique nostalgia factor of recalling childhood halloween shenanigans. I couldn't decide between Wren and Reynold until realizing that as a young boy I totally chose Serena (Sailor Moon) over transformers and GI Joe... at once the choice became clear and I selected Wren.

I can't say much about the game as of yet until I give it some more time although initial gameplay impressions are decent. I feared a snooze-fest in terms of challenge and I can at least say the first series of battles makes me feel like game provides some degree of difficulty.
25  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: October 08, 2014, 05:21:45 PM
Finished Persona 2.  HELL of an ending.  Really great story payoff on all of the major characters.  Makes me want to go and read up on additional lore.  And play Eternal Punishment immediately; good thing I've owned it for something like ten years, heh (without playing it). 

I couldn't help myself when I finished P2IS, I had to jump right in on P2ET without even taking a breathe. It was a good move. The two games felt as though they should have been one to me. I will however say that turn based combat looked awfully unattractive for a little while after those two in succession.

Taken some time off from my magical journey through the corridors of FFXIII to indulge in some Borderlands 2. Steam says I've clocked over 50 hours already and I still haven't seen the credits roll. Course, the fact I restarted the game once or twice, try to explore every nook and cranny of the maps and go out of my way to do every side quest I find probably contributed to that number. Still, I love how big the game is and how many areas seem to be there just for the sake of being explored. I'll know for sure once I finish the main campaign, but I'm almost certain that some (rather large) areas are completely optional.


I feel like I'm gonna be playing borderlands 2 until this time next year before I see the credits roll! LoL

On that note I did the halloween DLC stuff today. Uninspiring quests but the environment and music was pretty spot on. Ok, the environment was freakin' GORGEOUS for a halloween setting to be honest. Seriously easy compared to the main campaign in spite of the scaling enemy level for the quest (s). Couldn't figure out how the hell to open up the Black Church and finally through in the towel after finishing all objectives in one afternoon of play.

Going to finally embark on costume quest today/tonite. Only appropriate seeing as how I've been meaning to play it for 4 years now and the 2nd just got released out of nowhere today.
26  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: October 07, 2014, 06:03:39 PM
Xillia 2/ True ending done. Ranted about it in the Tales thread. Time to take a Tales break.

Lollipop Chainsaw/ I got to murder a dirty hippy zombie whilst enjoying some of the most clever over-use of gratuitous profanity I've yet to experience in a game. On a gameplay note, I'm very impressed with how well it switches its identity from hack and slash to shooter with "silly minigame" sandwiched in between. The variety in gameplay styles gels well enough to keep me really interested without feeling like its a disjointed mash up of genres.
27  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Shining Resonance announced for PlayStation 3 on: October 07, 2014, 05:56:36 PM
http://gematsu.com/2014/10/chat-up-go-dates-cast-shining-resonance

This sounds so much like Tales of Sakura Taisen it hurts.

Thanks for that link! Its the first I've actually read about this title and not just looked longingly at the pretty pictures periodically popping up on siliconera.


This game looks like it would be terribly refreshing to play after a generations worth of getting burned out on Atelier's, NIS titles and Compile Hearts algebra-problems of games. It actually is shaping up to look like a quite engaging JRPG with a, dare I say it, well implemented and appealing dating system.

I'll totally take the over the top, overly bright, and way too pretty looking cast. 

Count me in!! Oh yea, wait a second. I forgot. I don't read japanese. Nevermind :(
28  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of PlayStation(s) revealed on: October 07, 2014, 05:38:53 PM
Is it double posting if your last post was more than a day or two ago? Likewise, does subject matter impact qualifying as double posting? These are deep philosophical questions to which I may never have answers.

Anyhoo, I just got the true ending last night (finally). I didn't realize just how much variety was available in the ending choices to be honest. Only after finishing the game did I realize that even within the "normal" and "true" endings scenes change based on your decisions.

As for the ending I got and what choices I made.
Code:
I chose to destroy the fractured dimensions but save Elle by becoming the catylyst. The ability to choose this course of action and carry out the thematic of self-sacrifice made for a VERY satisfying ending in my opinion. I am really interested to see the other endings now but can't imagine enjoying any as much as this. It was the quintessential "perfect" way for things to play out in my eyes. It also actually makes both Ludger and your choices feel like weighty narrative components. Conclusive and not bloated with a conventional post climax character by character summary. The ending scene I got with Elle as teen post credits was gorgeous as well.

I may not have played through and beaten every Tales game yet. However, without even needing to weigh the others I have seen, I can easily say this wraps up as my favorite Tales narrative yet. I certainly liked different aspects of the other franchise entries more but hands down Xillia/Xillia 2 takes the cake in terms of story for me.  I really feel like they tried a lot harder to write something meaningful within this game. What I commend them for is doing so without making it some hard to follow riddle that required a genious level I.Q to sort out and follow. I even felt the poorly explained and simple "science" of spirts, spirit artes and spyrites was way easier to comprehend now with the Xillia 2 script supporting and fleshing out a great deal that seemed unclear to me after the first game.

Ok I'm done gushing now. I know many fans have already expressed being unhappy with Xillia 2's narrative and endings but I couldn't be more pleased. I will certainly be going back and getting all the other endings for this game for sure. Time well spent :)

29  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!] on: October 06, 2014, 05:13:17 PM
Eh, Dice, LR was pretty open-ended in its exploration.  Easily one of the most non-linear games from Japan I've played in modern years.  That's part of the reason why I enjoyed it so much.

Did not play LR, so you gotta excuse me on that part of the comment (I probably won't get around to it or bother till it's really cheap....so Steam sale???).

I'm becoming a much bigger fan of less linear games as I get older though.

Its funny you say that. I've been so opposed to non-linear progression as a gamer and RPGFan, but in recent months I feel a subtle shift in that attitude. It started with borderlands for me a few months ago, but now I'm really beginning to warm up to the idea of trying my hand at some more open world titles. The price point of PS3 games now has made trying new things far more accessible which helps A LOT! LoL

Ironically enough, today, I came across one of those fancy Lightning Returns Dualshock controllers. I killed my red dualshock's R2 with Xillia 2 and my analogs have seen better (tighter) days, so the purchase felt justified.

I think if I can ever bare the motion sickness that was induced I might give XIII-2 and LR another shot (a very long time from now).
30  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: October 06, 2014, 05:06:38 PM
@ glassjawsh: Just stop doing sidequests and progress the story. There's only a small number of them with a time limit, and you don't reach those for awhile (and the ones with time limits actually develop characters. They're also clearly marked as having a time limit). It's entirely possible to spend ten hours on the game without actually starting the story /at all/, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should.




This. You can pad your clock with a whole RPG's worth of playtime doing quests that you'd naturally accomplish just moving along with the natural flow of things. Don't feel as though you need to jump on quests immediately as they become available or you won't see narrative but in dribs in drabs spread hours part. Likewise, when you finally get to the end you'll see your clock read 150 hours when you KNOW it could have easily read 80 had you played differently, whilst still having completed just as much content.

XILLIA 2/ I'm sick of saying I'm at the end and still doing optional crap but uh... I'm still at the end doing optional crap.

All Zombies Must Die/ I think I am developing a love for twin stick shooters. Or at least this one. Highly addicting treasure. Very challenging single player but not to a frustrating degree. The chainsaw feels so good to mow down mobs with while quirky "Adam's Family" sort of tunes play. This could be, by my estimate, the epitome of mindless fun as far as PSN games go.   
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