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481  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 24, 2014, 07:46:10 PM
Zwarte Piet was badass.  Fat Santa's elves got nothing on him. 

My mom told me that as a kid, I had no trouble hanging with Sinterklaas for photos et al. with his majestic bishop outfit, cool horse, and everything, but that American Santa Claus creeped me out, I hated having my photo taken with him, and I'd pitch a fit. 

As for the Xmas season, the best (and worst) part for me is the cookies.  See, I try to be all healthy living, but cookies are my kryptonite.  Not mass produced hockey pucks like Oreo or Chips Ahoy, but homemade, soft baked, preferably with melty chocolate or fudge.  I don't eat cookies often, so when I do they have to be ace, and this time of year is when people pull out all the stops when baking cookies.  And I get all conflicted about eating all those cookies. 

I will help justify the cookies for you Din. Part of how I totally screwed up my guts which led ultimately to a perma-ban of cookies was eating way too clean for too long. We all know of how too much of a good thing can be bad, well in terms of your gut health you can essentially get to a point where your body simply won't be able to handle junk if it doesn't have to contend with it often.

The simplest (and probably most common) example of what I'm talking about comes by way of what I call "carb-tarded". Guys and gals who completely cut out carbohydrates (to the tune of 30g or less a day) long term are healthy folk. However, if they eat sugar or starches all hell breaks loose. I'm talking "take off work quality" illness for some.

So look at it like an obligation to your gut and to all the moms out there baking their brains out for the holiday to indulge on such a special cookie-occasion. And for what it is worth, despite my perma-ban on cookies and the fact that I am indeed "carb-tarded"  all made the worse by legitimate allergies to cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and an intolerance of fructose.... I WILL WILLINGLY SCREW MYSELF UP HARDCORE WITH SOMETHING OOEY GOOEEY AND SWEET AND LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF THE SUFFERANCE DAMMIT!!!!!!!

NOTE: At halloween I got too scared to swallow the candy and just chewed it all up to taste it. I think that is disordered eating of a certain fashion.
482  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Guilty pleasure anime thread on: December 23, 2014, 08:01:02 PM
I just made mention of it in the journal but it totally fits this thread here.

Senran Kagura.

Yup, after a brief period of not watching any anime for awhile this guilty pleasure came out of left field and grabbed me. I recently fell in love with this titles terrible-ness. The quintessential example of a guilty pleasure for me here, I can't honestly say objectively there is anything "well done" about Senran but I love it all the same.

I have actually sort of struggled to identify what it is I like about it. I typically can't stand fan service and don't dig shallow plots. Something here resonated with me though.
483  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: December 23, 2014, 07:55:53 PM
So I sort of fell out of the swing of watching ANYTHING for quite some time. Not that I lost interest in Anime so much as I was just playing more games and had limited time to give to media (priorities).

Of all things to spark my interest, I randomly picked up the Senran Kagura series. For a guy who typically hates fan-service and shallow plots I got totally charmed by this luke warm/mediocre series and I can't even really explain why.

Liked it so much I bought the "Lets get Physical Edition" of the vita game for my christmas gift to myself. LoL

I think in some strangely vague way Senran Kagura reminds me of what I loved about the battle vixen manga (never got around to watching ikkitousen) in its quasi serious presentation of the absurd. I also like the somewhat magical girl spin of the Ninja. And of course I am sucker for Ninja stuff.

In short, Senran Kagura was bad in all the best ways for me personally. Bonus: I enjoyed the soundtrack a tad more than most as well.
484  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 23, 2014, 07:12:53 PM
Finally finished up the main story in Diablo 3. I need to stop doing whatever I do that breaks games. End game of the last few titles I have played got totally boring due to do my characters being damn near invincible. I have not been purposely trying to do this and it really makes the final leg of these journeys anti-climactic.

My own play-style problems aside, Diablo 3 was great right til the credits. All the little things that they did right in this game really add up to something graceful for me. That is, while it hits all the right major notes in terms of gameplay and whatnot, the icing is in the wonderful UI, perfectly laid out expansion of gameplay elements (so things seem new and fresh right to the end), the control of appearance when you start getting late game (crazy) equipment, quick and clever multiplayer-match-ups and the list goes on.

In other words, I am singing Diablo 3's praise so much because I really feel the game offers quite a bit to be excited/surprised about in what you may typically assume to be a mindless loot adventure.

Tonite I will go and see the 3rd hobbit flick, so it is only appropriate I start shadow of mordor. Pretty excited to get to this. I've had it on the shelf for two month patiently waiting to fire it up in conjuction with seeing this movie! LoL
485  The Rest / General Discussions / Obligatory 2014 Thread: Your Year on: December 21, 2014, 07:43:48 AM
Alrightee, so we had one of these last year and I liked it.

Cutting right the chase, the format.

1. IT IS MY CONSOLE AND I WILL PLAY WHAT I WANT TO! (Personal "GOTY" even if it didn't come out this year)

2. PERSONAL GOTY (that actually came out this year)

3. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT (we all make mistakes right?)

And so without further adieu, here is mine.

1. This was the toughest category for me for sure. I played a whole lot of "awesome" this year. In fact the discovery of FPS love made Borderlands 2 a contender. If you told me last year I'd ever consider Borderlands 2 as my personal "GOTY" I'd have laughed.

But here at the end of the year something a wee bit more classical blew everything else out of the water for me. Lost Odyssey totally wowed me in just about every way but ultimately it was the writing that sealed the deal. Everything that was wrong with Lost Odyssey was a complete after-thought to me in wake of the writing, soundtrack, dungeons and level of difficulty the game presented. This title was, without a doubt, not just my personal "GOTY" but easily within my top 5 ever right up with Chrono Trigger and FF6.

Honorable Mentions: Shadow Hearts, Tales of Xillia 2, Diablo 3, Borderlands 2, Child of Light

2. Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls educated me. It taught me about the value of loot, how good it feels to kill demons and also that I can really fall in love with a western RPG. I am playing this now and I CANNOT stop. It has yielded the longest play sessions I have managed it my adult game life. Anything that can compel to play upward of around 15 hours within 2-3 days deserves this spot.

Honorable Mentions: Tales of Xillia 2, Child of Light

3. My biggest disappointment has to be Atelier Escha and Logy. While it nailed compulsive crafting gameplay, it left me pretty bored in every other respect. What makes it the big let-down of the year though was the eluding to a greater differential in gameplay with the selection of Logy as the MC, that proved to be a TOTAL LIE!! Adding insult to injury was the fact that I really felt most the whole experience was a step down from last years Ayesha.

I am not saying Escha and Logy was bad. In fact it certainly wasn't the worst thing I played this year by any measure. However I think I had my expectations raised a bit too much for this one.

That is it for me folks. Your turn.
486  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: PS Vita worth it for JRPGs? on: December 19, 2014, 06:27:21 PM
I am happy with the limited selection of JRPG's available through the PSTV, let alone the Vita library itself. I state my satisfaction without caring much about playing more Hyperdimension, Atelier or Disgaea (already got my fill on other consoles). In other words, aside from the aforementioned I still feel there is plenty appealing titles. And as was stated, you don't have to look too far into the future to see more promising offerings on the way.

Considering the price point, I can't see how you could go wrong really. That is roughly on point with the value of the TV and I felt that was a STEAL (even without Ys working on it yet!)
487  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 19, 2014, 06:18:05 PM
DIABLO 3/ So much for my break... I went through all of Act 3 yesterday in one shot. I just couldn't stop. Making my way through act IV now and wowzers, AWESOME treasure is Klyde's for the taking.

DON'T STARVE/ Well after sampling this and surviving a bit I think I'm gonna re-label as "Don't Play". I really don't like the atmosphere thus far, nor the awkward UI. I would imagine this game becomes a lot more enjoyable the more time you invest but I really don't think it is appealing enough to me to feel enticed at all to do so.

Neptunia VICTORY/ Along with "Don't Starve" I think Victory is getting retired before it really got off the ground as well. I truly enjoyed my time with MK2 but I don't want to play that again. Plain and simple, Victory feels too much like MK2 allllll over again. And while it may sound silly, I just really don't feel as though I'm looking forward to more Neptunia games in the future. I have a lot of faith and CH/IF but Neptunia is one IP I can only take so much of.  The big appeal of MK2 for me was the vast step up from the first game and they really should have kept that evolution going IMO.

488  Media / Game Journals / Re: Starmongoose Let's Play: Wild Arms 2 BLIND! on: December 19, 2014, 06:08:35 PM
Goodness did seeing this charm me. I may need some PS1 splendor in my life now.
489  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 18, 2014, 04:15:25 AM
EVOL's like my second favorite Sonic Youth album.

There is nothing wrong at all with this ^^^. It was albums like that, that ended up spawning some of my all time favorite music. In fact, and I may be totally off base here so don't write me off as crazy but, I really feel like if you role that album up with the Pixies you arrive at the "Nirvana Formula" of grunge in a manner of speaking.

Now since I can't speak on love, I'm gonna talk more about work.

That was one of the most difficult portraits I've ever drawn. Between us here at RPGFan I'm gonna share a little secret. I had an infection that greatly inhibited my eyesight in one eye last week. This is a secret because no one would hire a blind artist. Anyhow, I can't express how frustrating it was to do that portrait from an old wallet photo from like the 50's or something (no idea how old really).

The eyesight is fine now by the way, but wow is that something you really miss when its not working right even if it is only one eye and temporary.
490  Media / General Games / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: December 18, 2014, 04:02:49 AM
Wow, Anima does look wickedly impressive.

Also I'm surprised they haven't made a Vergil game up to this point, I feel he's more popular than Dante.  You know there's always that character in a series that you always WISH would get their own game but doesn't (or it takes years and years)? 

God, as a kid did I want a Megaman to star Protoman. Now, I can't even have more Megaman. Zero was the Protoman of "X" but by the time he got more in the limelight I lost a great deal of interest. In truth, as fond as I am of Mega in memory they make me want to break my controller as an adult. Maybe I got worse at games as I got older?
491  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 17, 2014, 09:10:43 PM
Girlfriend has completely hijacked the TV to play FFVI.  This is awesome because she's into something that I love dearly.  But also not awesome because I have to put Tales of Vesperia on hold and that game is awesome.

The closest I've come to girls I've dated is when this happens and then you hop into config and set a character for "controller 2". Nothing like quality time with your gal spent stopping some malevolent forces/evil empires.

DIABLO 3/ Heck is this game addicting. I don't know how many hours I put in the last few days because they simply evaporate as I play. Beat the big bad lord of lies today. I feel good about it. I think however I need to take a break after really marathon-playing it the last 2-3 days.

DON'T STARVE/ Bought this compulsively last night on the PSN holiday sale. No experience with rogue-like titles really. I think I may give this a go tonite.

I feel REALLY into trying new games lately. Normally I play them until I beat them. In the last year or two I got WAY better at retiring games I didn't like but I finally feel like its OK to try something new without having finished off other games as well. Something about getting hyper-excited with the PSTV and PS4 did me in and I just feel like broadening my horizons. Life is short. There are many games to play. I feel denying myself this fact in the interest of always seeing the credits role costs me the opportunity to play a lot of things.
492  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 17, 2014, 07:58:39 PM
I had a much easier time contributing when we talk art, quasi-existential sufferance and our experience in retail. I'm like a level-99 loser in terms of relationships. That is, tons of experience but it all ended in folly (big time) and I became married to my work ages ago. I like it this way. The tri-fecto in my life is Games-Tattooing-Nutrition/Exercise and that is the way I like it.

So although I have no frame of reference here at all really, I will leave you with these words of wisdom. My father spoke these words to me when I was a youth. While he has since disapeared from my life, the words stay with me to this very day as "truth".

"What is this wisdom you speak of Klyde?" you may now be asking yourself.

Well here it is folks...

LOVE spelled backwards is "EVOL!!!!!!"

493  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 16, 2014, 07:50:44 PM
Anachronox is mega discounted today for anyone interested. I think it was like 1.50 http://www.gamersgate.com/campaign/143/rpg-games-sale

Lots of other sales as well though once again today only I believe.

MURAMASA/ Finished Kisuke's scenario and saw the credits role for the first time. For such a loose and sort of hard to follow narrative it had a nicely woven ending. I beat it earlier this week and already have an itch to start another characters scenario.

HYPERDIMENSION NEP V/ What can I say? If you liked MK2 this is the ticket here. More of the same with slight refinements that make a big enough difference to take note. The first thing I noticed right from the door was improved writing. This is good, because the dialogue in 2 fell pretty flat for me at times. It is a bummer to see so many recycled assets but by the same token some of what was re-used I actually liked (namely a great deal of the soundtrack).

^^ There is something so unique about the Neptunia RPGs. I don't play them, nor do they feel, like anything else at all to me.  Best experienced in shorter episodic bursts instead of a primary role playing focus, they make nice weekend get-a-away games especially while playing something darker. For me personally, I would loathe trying to marathon through one of these titles I think.

DIABLO 3/ Now this is a marathon type of title. I just can't turn it off once I turn it on. It flows so well it just never feels right to quit. Between this and Borderlands 2 ATM looting has never felt so good.
494  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 16, 2014, 07:31:46 PM
Best retail job I ever had was at a large porn store. Seriously fun in ways you wouldn't think. For one, I got to do promotion parties for porn stars and got paid to essentially do nothing but hang out with beautiful women those nights. The other nights I just hang out and drew until someone wanted to buy sex toys. In other words, I got paid an hourly wage to draw (which enabled me to make additional money whilst on the clock) and once in awhile hang out with very interesting women.

Now it wasn't all fun and games of course. The amount of weirdo's I had to deal with hitting on me and trying to steal over-priced dildos was of course a downer at times, but overall the minor inconveniences for such a simple job were easily overlooked.

Then there is legitimate retail jobs. Screw those. Terrible wages, takes forever to get promoted, no time to draw or screw off, miserable consumers to deal with and the only perk they dangle in front of you is some piss poor store discount. Worst of all, I've found in most standard retail positions your performance is under scrutiny to the utmost degree. As though your position in sales somehow impacts the very progression and survival of the human race. High stress jobs with little payoff = miserable for me (and most I imagine).

On a completely different note:

I would like to take a moment to say a prayer for my 60GB backward compat PS3. It suffered YLOD yesterday at roughly 6:30 AM. Funny how stuff works. I just got a PS4 and a newer 160GB Slim PS3 last month. I take like a divine way of telling me to move on. Yes, I read too much into things but it helps narrow my gaming focus (less PS2 titles to get to).

I know my PS3 went the special bad- solder sony division of heaven for serving me well for many moons where it is getting angelic thermal paste treatment so it runs for all eternity.

495  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: On the subject of sequels, follow ups, etc. on: December 10, 2014, 08:13:10 PM
I think one of the best sequels I can think of is Lunar Eternal Blue. The way it builds upon the world and lore of the first and developed characters and concepts was daring and it worked. I say daring because it is one of the few games I can say is clearly for he who played the first. The level of appreciation a newcomer to the series would have with it is crippled. The pay off is a narrative that drops the jaw of he who loved the Silver Star. Now, the reason I say I loved Eternal Blue is BECAUSE I loved Silver Star. In no way do I think objectively a sequels narrative should depend so much on having a comprehension of the first.

Moreover, Eternal Blue gives fans more of exactly what they want in terms of atmosphere, design, gameplay et cetera... You simply get more Lunar. It is one perfect way to approach a sequel.

By my measure, the other "perfect" way is the Neptunia MK2 approach. Yup, I put Neptunia and perfect in the same sentence. Zero understanding or time with first is necessary to fully appreciate MK2 and CH/IF stripped away just about everything they knew didn't work. Learning clearly from the miss-steps of its predecessor MK2 is a prime example of how improved upon a title could be and just how much a good game could clear ones palette of the bad taste leftover from a horrible offering.

I could list more examples of both types of sequels but you get the idea. To me, a good follow up picks its direction and tackles it. Improve upon a winning formula and great game or hit "reset" and fix what those who are loyal did not like whilst attracting a wider audience.

The 3rd avenue approach I see is the non-sequel. Not that this cannot be done right, but I generally don't appreciate it as much. I'm speaking pretty subjectively on my two favorite approaches to the "Sequel" here.^^^

Special props go to the Persona series in my book for being the best at not disappointing me in the least with each successive entry despite its evolution into something so far removed from the initial product. Hell, it takes some magik mojo for certain to take persona 1 and evolve it to 2-d fighter down the road without pissing me off.

KLYDES "THE MOST DISAPPOINTING SEQUEL" AWARDS GOES TO  Ar Tonelico 3 Quoga. Without getting into it, Quoga totally let me down on every front with the exception of art direction. This seems historically more common for me when a game transitions from 2-d to the 3-d as they evolve.

NOTE: I'm not trying to antagonize or instigate any argument. This post if purely my own opinions on the matter. And there-in lies the  curse of the sequel. Everyone goes in with individualized expectations and not everyone can be satisfied.
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