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46  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The RPG Pet Peeves thread- 2016 edition on: April 26, 2016, 01:26:40 PM
In Earthbound's defense, that game would have been entirely broken without the strict inventory restriction. Not that it was all that "balanced" anyhow. I actually really appreciate the early game challenge/tension of only having the item-space of one or two characters.

47  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dark Souls 3 on: April 26, 2016, 01:21:33 PM
I remember harboring a distinct sense of disgust over the jump mechanic at first as well. Once you get your feet wet with the environs though, you'll soon appreciate it as yet another aspect which lends to the unique challenge of exploration. That is, if one could Mario-hop their way around a Souls environment it would completely undermine a lot of the level design (tricky item loc-als, shortcuts, et cetera...) and strategy involved (how you approach combat within said environments).

I will say, in terms of gameplay mechanic, I am finding the "Kick" to be a little bit wonky though.

Lastly, as a first time player, I totally suggest NOT being bashful about researching a bit about stats, leveling and how all the numbers/letters impact your character in a meaningful way. Going into these games blind for the first time and NOT knowing about these things could lead to a distinctly more frustrating experience and IMO there is zero shame reading up on this.

48  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The "I WANT TO LOVE YOU BUT I HATE YOU" Thread on: April 23, 2016, 01:24:01 PM
While we are talking about Suikoden, I'm gonna throw this out there at the risk of being looked at like a crazy man.

Having just replayed both 1 and 2 in the "not so distant" past, I'm gonna lump 2 in with being exceedingly underwhelming in the same respects as 1. They were great games for their time, but the gameplay/difficulty is so broken in each that I found their only saving grace to be the writing.

That being said, the writing was (and still is) superb by my standards. Exceptional enough to redeem the titles, but by no means does it make the rest of the snore fest excusable. Exploitation of particular "Unite" attacks and characters make the game profoundly easy and negate any real reason to employ any other strategies. Worse yet, this imbalance undermines the games primary draw which by my measure was character choice.

That is, Suikoden 1 and 2's biggest offense was leaving me with zero motivation to utilize my favorite characters. This is the cardinal sin of the games given the fact that they actual had awesome and original casts. Ultimately though, at the end of the day, no matter what time you sink into your ideal team they don't hold a candle to the (obviously) superior choices of whom to comprise your party.

Sadly, even though I played all the main installments, the Suikoden franchise in its entirety, in retrospect, falls into the "I want to love you but I hate you" category appropriately enough for me. My motivation to replay the games was snuffed out by the time I finished 2 (again) when I finally identified this fact.
49  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dark Souls 3 on: April 22, 2016, 02:06:36 PM
Question on Fire infusion guys.

I picked the Fire Gem as my burial gift and am sort of unclear on exactly how scaling works.

I can tell it removes physical scaling and adds fire but that is as far as I know.

My question is essentially what increases the fire strength of an imbued weapon and (to cut to the chase) is it even worth it with a dexterity/faith heavy build?

^^^ This is was viable in DS2 but I'm not certain it is so here with 3. If my train of thinking is correct though, utilizing say this or a raw gem for infusion would be most beneficial on weapons that had bad physical scaling to begin with or early game.... right?? So say, for example, get the Uchi katana drop from the Master Samurai early on and immediately infuse with Raw for the most bang for your souls? Or maybe buy a dex based throw-away in the shrine and immediately use the fire gem?

50  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Gaming hobby hygiene and community (discussion) on: April 21, 2016, 01:58:28 PM
It was less leaving communities because they made me feel bad and more just... feeling alienated to the point where I didn't even care about interacting with them anymore, and just not coming back? And I do this a lot and on very short notice? Like I'm pretty aware that there were some close friends that I had in 2012 that I just stopped talking to suddenly and completely and now I barely remember them or why I was friends with them in the first place? Or why I stopped talking to them?

I'm venturing entirely off topic here but the only forum in which I don't tend to feel alienated is within the confines of my work/career. This isn't (in my case) because I am in fact alienated but I just percieve things differently or maintain a different set of values that seriously keep me "on the outside looking in" when it comes to most forms of socialism.

That is, in my case, I've never had any remarkably profound attachment to relationships that were not professional and have easily (and somewhat unintentionally) completely dropped communications with friends and loved ones as a result. This is not because I am intentionally being cold it is just simply how I am. I don't have close friends, relationships et cetera.... And while it is not that I am opposed to the idea, or never gave "serious" relationships an honest effort, it just is not where my values lie I suppose. There is probably some new-age "brand" or personality type I could be identified as in all likelihood, but by my measure I function just fine :)

This does however bring me full circle to a point within the topic, which is I do find value in this (RPGFan) community and have for years. This is also a point with causation I simply can't identify. That is relevant here, whether I value socialism or not because, it IS an inherent part of gaming that enhances the experience. I find this necessary leg of my gaming career exclusively in these forums I suppose and I like that A LOT more than multiplayer, or  interacting with my PSN "friends".

Henceforth, part of my "hygiene" is to include socialism as an aspect of my gaming. Even without maintaining that value in the really real world. I tend to that "need" here (and will continue to do so exclusively, thus the point of my original post).

I don't even know what I am getting at really but your posts/responses always antagonize these type of "reflections" for me Mesh, so for what its worth thank you for always helping me fine tune my philosophizing. LOL
51  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The tri-Ace General Discussion (& Star Ocean 5) Thread on: April 20, 2016, 12:48:27 PM
Soooooo, not to change the subject or anything but does anyone know anything about the PS4 Star Ocean 2 port? I know Japan got it, like, back in october and we were all pretty sure it would come stateside eventually but I am (sadly) beginning to have my doubts.

Any hope of this being one of those magical "Pop up on PSN with nothing more than brief announcement a week beforehand" type of situations?

I mean, the game already had the translation work done in spades so why wouldn't they do this?
52  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: April 20, 2016, 12:41:54 PM

I know a game has me by the cojone's when everything else I play is quickly put down to pick it back up. Disgaea 5 is that game.

Even Dark Souls 3 coming out last week couldn't tear me away.

Its odd how Disgaea obsession happens because it is not necessarily a more "fun" experience than other games per se'. They simply taunt you with how far you can go with it in terms of leveling and numbers. This title in particular provides such instant gratification for grinding it even makes the item world a blast (this is amazing to anyone with a Disgaea background).

Episode 11 and the utility of diving into an item simply for farming more of the same level item is uncanny. Couple your efforts by maxing out experience and mastery via the cheat shop and you have the most productive 30-40 minutes of leveling you can get. This is seriously where the game gels all its mechanics the best.

Unlike past games, clever use of these functions make it easy as pie to get ANY new character up to snuff with your power house team. It literally only took two brief sessions to bring all the story characters up to speed with everyone else (I never leveled them AT ALL before this) and whilst doing so was able to totally outfit the rest of my units with mondo-equip upgrades.

Metallia as a DLC character allowed my two primary generic magic users to circumvent the journey to learning Omega Star via the "Squad" function and are now powerhouse casters beyond comprehension. The netherworld shakes.

This is finally gonna be the Disgaea where I keep playing well into the post game content thanks to the accessibility and streamlining of everything. This is serious. Post game Disgaea has been a life goal of mine since I was a senior in high school and the very first came out on the PS2!!
53  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RpgDatabase.net on: April 20, 2016, 10:14:48 AM
necroing because this is still a thing that I use and something I wish I would have thought of myself.

Glad you posted here and brought this back into my radar. the database, it seems, has grown substantially since I first checked it out and I'm sort of in love with it.

I mean, we all know there are games out we don't know about and wish we did. This makes it sooooo convenient to discover them. How else are you gonna so easily stumble over some appealing SNES release or GBA game you never knew about?

Fantastic site to be sure, but more so now that I know it is kept up with and maintained still. ***Forever bookmarked and tool-barred***
54  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Gaming hobby hygiene and community (discussion) on: April 19, 2016, 10:58:32 AM

I'm also trying to do away with my "I spent money on it and therefore must finish it" attitude and therefore cutting down on a lot of what I would generally consider part of my backlog.

That one is a HUGE demon I am trying to exercise as well my friend. I think fallout 4 finally broke me of the compulsive habit because I know forcing my way back into and through that one will inevitably demand more money. That rationalization was enough "logic" for me to put it down and realize I did so only because I hated too much about it.

I honestly might never get a PS4 because, in all likelihood, it would mean never getting to some titles that I've owned for a long time. 

I also think that the likelihood that I will enjoy an 8th gen game is far less these days than the likelihood that I will enjoy a 5th or 6th gen game.  1995 to about 2008 seems to be my rpg wheelhouse

^^ I find this to be a beautiful thing right here. You expand on a point I was making in my original post. That is, I gave "^^^ this ^^^" up for the last two years now as the result keeping quasi-current which is something that I'm not sure I am proud of/comfortable with at present.

I'll make my case as blunt as possible. The following games are titles I KNOW I would have loved but likely will never get to as they became a somewhat abandoned agenda for me. And at this point, rather than entice me, they feel like chores I need to tend to in order to "catch up".
--Digital Devil Saga
--Star Ocean 4
--Tales of Eternia
--Vay (Sega CD version)
--Dragon Force
--Atelier Totori, Meruru and Shallie (I think these were given up because I just easily get burnt out on the dialogue in these games)
-- Shadow Hearts 2 and Dawn of the New World
-- Skies of Arcadia
-- Xenogears

Kylde and Klutz, I think you both picked up Internet negativity in general.

This is intended as a somewhat broad response to all the comments regarding my minor gripe about negativity.

I listed it as "Minor" because A) it is easy to avoid/ignore and B) I truly believe that if it bothers me the problem is in fact with me. Thing is, this is plenty easy to resolve to simply being mindful of keeping ones focus on their own excitement and sensibilities as opposed to others. No ones opinion or feelings are my own unless I choose to make them so which then in fact completely voids my ability to claim ownership.

The simplest way to achieve steadying my focus is to avoid the (negative) distraction.

Once again though, this is all really minor (and arguably common sense) in the scheme of my "hygiene". I think it FAR more important to not pour over the latest news, screenshots, articles, release dates and press in terms of keeping myself a healthy gamer.

I think I've mentioned this but I've dropped out of nearly every, uh, gaming community I used to hang around in 'cause of* how prevalent GamersGate got thereins. And moreso than any particular views expressed by that movement, the way that gaming had turned into this... identity politics thing? It's like console wars on steroids. Where everything you do says /something/ about what you support/what your agendas, regardless of whether you're actually in support of it or even aware of all this deep symbolic meaning in your gaming decisions.

The real evil of what you describe here Mesh, is something I feel is the ultimate point of all this. That is, ^^ this ^^ completely will undermine what I loved about gaming my whole entire life which is the sense wonder/discovery inherent in the activity. By this I mean the activity of gaming and role playing is a safe way to explore and discover myself internally through my media to a degree and is NOT a means of outwardly expressing ANYTHING about my identity. This will also quickly turn me into a "Critic" which bastardizes the utility of inspiration I achieve via my hobby (this is another discussion entirely).

Once the games I play/support become something more than an activity and assume the role of some "statement" the whole enchilada becomes grossly perverted IMO.

On that note, I tip my hat to you for bowing out of the communities as you expressed. A few day in and I already have reddit withdrawal!! LoL
55  The Rest / General Discussions / Gaming hobby hygiene and community (discussion) on: April 18, 2016, 10:34:30 AM
I've been gaming, much like most here, for A LOOONG TIME. I also, much like most (I imagine), get excited to discuss and pour over news and the games that interest me.

But sadly I've come to the conclusion that modern gaming communities online, most journalism regarding the new and upcoming games and basically anything I browse is starting to detract from my enjoyment of this hobby. The problem isn't the current state of affairs per se', the problem is me and what I percieve as both spoiling and a "spoiler".

To be more concise. This is the only corner of the net I feel I can safely discuss my hobby. I can't go anywhere else without one of the following things happening.

1. Coverage of new games contains what I consider spoilers. That is, even before the games come out I end up knowing WAY more about them then I want to. This info can't be dodged either as it is strewn throughout even the most common articles.

2. Too many new games that excite me come out with greater frequency nowadays. It is a FINE TIME to be a gamer, but also hella easy to be distracted by the offerings. Its difficult to be barely out of the gate with a new title you love before seeing the next 2-3 enticing offerings ready to be released. This totally undermines immersion for me. That is, immersion is rather dependent on my ability to fall in love with and get wrapped up in the fiction I am PRESENTLY EXCITED ABOUT. Lets call this point being "a victim of over-stimulation" to be more accurate.

3. Somehow, staying current with gaming trends, news, articles, communities (aside from this one) yields more unhealthy stress and pressure that is fallaciously woven into my hobby. This has always been fun. That is why I do it. It has always been inspiring. The more I read, the less I play and more I feel it becomes about finishing a title to simply start the next.

4. (Very minor gripe) The negativity and nay-saying bums me out a bit. I can't understand for the life of me why it seems like so many people who game have nothing but complaints about their games.

5. Direct correlation here. The more I read about gaming, the less I play games.

This all once again is entirely subjective. Please don't crucify me for it. And thus, bringing me to the final point and summary.

CONCLUSION: RPGFan is the only place I feel safe with my hobby anymore. In the years that have passed, the best experiences I have had, with zero detraction or distraction have been as result of discussion within this community. Upon analysis I can't honestly say why this is. Objectively speaking, it obviously has to do with people who comprise this community so I suppose I want to give praise for the collective efforts here to keep the fictions inspiring and magical. Additionally I want to pose the question to said community, does anyone else feel exclusively loyal and safe here aside from me?

And lastly (the summary) I must express a newly crafted point of view that being exclusive to this community, swearing off the latest articles, focusing on just what is going on in my own back-loggery is what I am now terming good "gaming hygiene". To expand, good-bye to reddit, siliconera, gamefaqs, the many wiki's, youtube channels, lets plays, kotaku articles, and FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY (and my wallet) e-mail alerts on sales and discounts. I never thought intentionally turning a blind eye to large volume of that which has to do with this hobby may in fact prove healthy for it but that is precisely how I'm starting to feel.

Why I am stating all this? Has Klyde gone mad? Perhaps I have. Truth be told, this is just simply something I never really thought on before and felt like sharing.

EDIT: It is my hope that my philosophizing here spawns some talk on what all of you believe to be good gaming hygiene as well.

(Generic Example) (I always finish two games before I buy 1 new one)

So I'd love to hear a bit of focused talk on this, most precisely.
56  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: April 15, 2016, 09:40:55 AM

And thank you again Klyde, for reminding me that I forgot to post about this yesterday with your Gaming Pet Peeve post.

After reading that I realized I owe you thanks as well. Your posts have consistently reminded me of the joy and comfort of J-Heavy RPG's throughout my last year  of almost ENTIRELY souls-exclusiveness. I don't know if I would have went running back to Disgaea 5 for comfort food if I didn't consistently feel a "nudge" from your journal entries.

Given the fact that I freakin LOVE Disgaea 5 it was a nudge in the right direction, which now feels the perfect foil to my Souls 3 experience (hence my return "thank you").

On that note (while I'm at it) Mesh keeps nudging me toward Mana and Lufia 2. Funny thing is, Mesh doesn't post about Lufia. Odd....
57  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dark Souls 3 on: April 15, 2016, 08:56:30 AM

EDIT: Check that, kinda. I feel that the Capra Demon situation in DS1 is a bit of cheap bullshit, because of the ridiculously close quarters.
...As with any boss, there's a method, of course. Doesn't make the first few deaths by his/her/it's hand any less irritating.

Exceptions to every rule.

In truth I felt the smelter demon in DS2 was hella cheap. Something about the hitbox DID NOT jive with the typical iframes in my roll/dodge and resulted in at least a dozen deaths or more. Actually re-tried so many times I cleared the whole area of enemies even respawning and simply pranced over and over again to my untimely "YOU DIED" at the hands of the beast. I remember when I finally "got it" feeling as though I had to purposely "dodge wrong" to avoid his attacks.
58  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The RPG Pet Peeves thread- 2016 edition on: April 15, 2016, 08:49:21 AM

Good choices, your first one reminds me that I had something to post in the Game Journal thread.

I wish I was as proficient in identifying things I fancied, as I find it much easier to point to that which I perceive as "flawed". I sort of think of the game journal as an exercise in that vein for me. Trying to purposely identify the redeeming qualities of my game-time is healthy for me :)

Other than the 5 pet peeves I've listed so far (small fonts, save-point using handheld RPGs without a quicksave, female characters dressed too scantily, microtransactions that exist only to nickel-and-dime gamers, and lazy scripting that still keeps all the male-centric pronouns and dialogue when your selected avatar is female), I realize the other thing I complain a lot about in my reviews is uninspired music, especially battle music (since I hear that more than anything else.)  Music is very subjective and there's no accounting for taste (there are plenty of soundtracks I thought were great but others thought were lousy and vice versa) but music can often make or break the experience for me. 

OH MY GAAAAWD!!! Can't believe I missed this  one. Yes, music is integral.

Funny little anecdote. Just yesterday over in the Dark Souls thread we were discussing initially not liking the Souls franchise. Funny thing is, which I failed to mention, I never enjoyed them until the PS4 with spotify premium running. Being able to score the games with killer soundtracks I put together from theatrical composers such as Patrick Doyle, Tyler Bates and Trevor Morris transformed my experience into something entirely different (and far easier to approach).

And I got one more...

EXTRA BONUS PEEVE --- Game franchise spread across multiple platforms. This doesn't happen too often but when it does, I get bummed out to say the least. The scenario is this. Fall in love with an awesome game only to find out down the road the awesome game's sequel is on an entirely different platform you don't own nor want to, EXCLUSIVELY. Worse yet is when these games I fell in love with WERE on console and have now become, in sequel or re-release, handheld or mobile titles.

59  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The RPG Pet Peeves thread- 2016 edition on: April 14, 2016, 09:53:18 AM
1--- Illogical puzzle solution and/or problem solving. I won't look up solutions via guides and facts. I just don't do it. If I do give in and look these things up I can't enjoy a game any longer (subjective personal problem). This means games I could otherwise really appreciate like Grim Fandango become more or less unplayable to me (with excessive amounts of "not fun" gaming sessions).

2--- Self imposed difficulty with no real pay-off other than making gameplay less mundane. Citizens of Earth is a prime example of this offense. The game can be a snoozefest or a real chore. One is brutally boring while the other is intensely difficult and time consuming. The problem here lies in the fact that there is NO REASON to make the game difficult.

3--- I LIVE IN MY MENUS. Simply put, newer gen games are often very guilty of making me menu-surf longer than I'm comfortable with. I will now point directly at Fallout 4.

4--- Bloated useless loot acquisition. Borderlands is a good example of this. A high point of the titles is getting loot and good drops, completely undermined by the volume of useless crap you actually come across. Add in the fact that there is no reason not to circumvent this problem with the use of golden keys and you now have utterly removed the utility of loot, a cornerstone of the games appeal, entirely.

5--- SHUT THE HELL UP.  You don't need to spend 15 minutes and box after box of dialogue to reiterate the same crap to me which could have been expressed clearly and concisely in a fraction of the space and time. Add this in with useless mundane banter that over-emphasizes characters in repetition and you've got a writing formula akin to scratching nails on a chalkboard. Beautiful games ruined by being overtly and uselessly wordy include some recent Atelier titles (Escha and Logy was a chief offender) and Ar Tonelico 2 was pretty bad by my measure.

6-- Forcing me to replay content. I've never been a fan of this but it is particularly disrespectful to me as a gamer when comprehension of a game is locked behind a wall play and replay for me. Final Fantasy Type-0 and Drakengard 3 are examples of 1 single play-through being almost useless in terms of getting the scope of the narrative and characters.

NOTE: ^^ This last point is a funny one in that a fine line need be walked in terms of what I find appealing and a boon for replay value and what turns my stomach.

7. Menu based exploration. Purely subjective matter here. I simply like moving in real-time, walking and exploring. I can't stand when my entire movement interface is little more than a list and matter of selection. This is precisely why I found the Growlanser games to be a HUGE cut above the competition in the SRPG genre.
60  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dark Souls 3 on: April 14, 2016, 09:16:54 AM
after playing more ive come to the conclusion it's an aquired taste. i'm starting to enjoy the game a little more just the begining pats of the game were brutal for me. i think i was stuck on the first boss for 2 hours but its been relatively tame since then.

I've yet to speak to anyone who has fallen for these games out of the gate. I myself included, HATED the Souls series for a long time after giving what I thought was a fair effort to Demon Souls and Dark Souls 1.

It wasn't until Bloodborne that something finally clicked and I fell head over heels for the franchise. Literally I spent all last year with Bloodborne and Scholar of the First Sin.

I no longer see these games as cheap or brutally difficult. I'd be lying if I said that was not my argument at one point in time though. Now I see a game that truly rewards patience, focused gameplay and skill. . <<<< This sets them apart from most titles nowadays in the sense that a time sink is generally enough to ensure progression in damn near everything else I play.

In other words, I disagree with the popular opinion that the "reward factor" is a result of difficulty at all but rather altogether a result of literally how good you are at playing. Couple all this with GRADE A environmental design and world building that also rewards your focus and attention to detail and I'm in love.

Oh and the character models... I shit you not when I say you can make attractive characters. The irony is even this aspect of the games, I've found to be locked behind a certain level of challenge, restriction and effort. I find this sort of cool in the sense that you can REALLY tell the difference between a player invested in their character aesthetics and one who is not. It also provides a very visual/tangible sense of progression that feels rewarding to me. Barring a pretty face (which also takes time and patience) you generally start with a character that is less than desirable and develop them into what you want as you move through the meat of these games.

That is where I found the real difference in character building to lie with these titles. In DS2 I started out the most awkward and ugly "Merlin rip off" I could imagine and was disgusted. By end game I was the most brutal spell-casting assassin I could imagine and I adored what my character grew into. It was the result/culmination of careful stat distribution, farming the perfect weapons and armor, enhancing and imbuing until I finally made EXACTLY who I wanted and what I wanted them to wear to be and I knew it was unique to me and my efforts alone.

FINAL NOTE: Please don't take this (longwinded) post to be argumentative. I am not trying to dispute your opinions or points. They are completely valid. Your post had me reflecting on how my own perception of these games evolved over time and this reply is more so me musing over that. Maybe I should thank you Alisha, I feel grateful and more looking forward to my game-time later today now! LoL

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