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61  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 03, 2016, 11:59:10 PM

Sword of Mana is a game that for a long time, I considered to be the example of how not to remake a game. It added a ton of extra content in order to try to tie it in better with the other Mana games in spite of the fact that none of them really had anything in common beyond there being a Tree, a Sword of Mana and Rabbites (or were particularly well fleshed out to begin with). While it kinda sorta plays like Seiken Densetsu 3, it made a bunch of changes for the sake of adding features and not for the sake of playability (weapons now deal specific damage types like Slashing, Piercing and Bashing; weapons and spells all have a level up feature ala Secret's skill level system; magic now charged ala Legend's instruments, weapon and spell proficiency was determined by your chosen Class like SD3's system; your weapons and armor could now be modified via forging (also a mechanic lifted from Legend) and so on), but the game tried to sorta stick to the Final Fantasy Adventure's/Mystic Quest's/Adventure of Mana's/Seiken Densetsu 1's base which added a bunch of complications (they hacked the plot apart to make room for the Girl option, weapons are doled out largely based upon when they showed up in FFA/MQ/AoM/SD1, magic was just handled badly, forging required way too many rare items to ever make headways in, skill levels scarcely provided any benefit at all, the party mechanic is worthless due to the game hitting Gave Over status whenever the player's protagonist falls (regardless if you can switch to a still living, breathing PC to pop in and throw an Angel's Grail at the protagonist), Master Ninja was by far the best class in the game while others were dubious at best, status effects are somehow even worse than the original versions (the original version's status effects were either a mild inconvenience at worst or you couldn't use the items/spells designed to treat them until after they wore off), and there's a whole lot of extra dialogue (about as much as I've posted now) to either say the exact same thing said in the original game (i.e. about as much as I've posted since I last compared to what the game said about how much I've posted; in fact this is a good example of the dialogue bloat found in Sword as I could've just said "i.e. about as much as I've posted since my previous posting comment" and have gotten the same effect), or try to rewrite the original game's plot in spite of the fact that the events of the game are largely identical (which leads to hilarity like Count Lee going on about how he's trying to protect the Girl by stuffing her in a coffin or how Medusa wasn't evil, just misunderstood and that Davias is Dark Lord's brother and just part of a race that can't help but be monsters or Julius being defeated by a power of friendship speech while whitewashing the Green Aesop that the original game ended on)).

Or in short, it doesn't have the same issues that Dawn of Mana has, but it has a full set of its own issues that really drag the game down. I'd say you'd be better off either tracking down that recent Adventure of Mana remake or just track down a copy of Final Fantasy Adventure/Mystic Quest.

Your gonna laugh after all that but I think you sold me on the GBA version. LoL

In truth, I WOULD be all over Adventure of Mana if we got the psp/vita version. My phone is strictly meant for calling people, music, texting people, music, checking my mail, music and consulting my I-Ching app for wisdom.... No games.

And with that you guys have effectively outlined my gaming agenda for quite some time. You all have my sincerest thanks.
62  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 03, 2016, 05:49:24 PM
@ DINCREST -- Dude, your suggestions were SPOT ON. Best of all, you reminded me that I wanted to play Eternal Eden years ago and forgot all about it. I even already had it purchased and on my computer.

I don't know what I'm gonna get to first but you nailed exactly what I was hoping to find with your suggestions. Thinking Millenium, Eden or Skyborn are what I'm gravitating toward.

@ AEOLUS -- I really wanted to justify the jump into Lufia 2 from the door. Thank you for making me feel like that is the right move.

@ MESH -- I've mentioned it before but I can't help but feel as though you are somehow responsible for this urge to play the aforementioned with your posts here in the journal. As such, I thank you and can totally relate to your curiosity to explore the NES library right now (down the road for me somewhere as well)

EDIT (FINAL RETRO GAME INQUIREEEEE/thanks guys) -- I'm guessing Aeolus (if I recall your old Avatar correctly) is the community member to consult on this one but once again, any input from you fine folks is appreciated. As a Mana fan who never played the GBA Sword of Mana title, is it worth my time or is it another case of "Dawn of Mana"?
63  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Reviewing a bad game on: May 02, 2016, 06:01:57 PM
One thing that wasn't mentioned is deadlines.  Depending on what outlet you're writing for, you might have some kind of press deadline to adhere to so that may limit you to how much you play of a game. 

I have to give major respect to anyone going into gaming journalism for this ^^^ reason alone. I could never do it. I have a hard enough time swallowing the fact that I have deadlines with visual art as a tattooist, sculpter and graphic designer but I still have a blast with it.

I just could NEVER manage to strike a balance between work and pleasure with my games if I had to game like that.

I know its a job and somebodies gotta do it and all but it is simply beyond my capacity.
64  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The Best and the Worst endings on: May 02, 2016, 05:52:54 PM
FF7 Crisis Core gets special recognition even though I am not a huge FF7 fan. Why? Well when you play a whole game knowing damn well how its gonna end and they still manage to make it as emotionally wrenching as they did to witness with crisis core, I am impressed.

So dang true.  I was a weeping mess.

The other interesting thing about the impact Crisis Core's entire narrative and ending sequence had on me was changing my perspective and feelings toward 7 as a whole. As time went on and it all sank in thereafter, I think back on it and can't really stand Cloud, love Zak and Sephiroth and actually developed some love for the whole enchilada.

Before that I had a drastically different, far less emotional, attachment to 7 based on my time with the original main installment.
65  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 02, 2016, 05:39:49 PM
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment and Chrono Cross had a baby and it still has the bright optimism of childhood

Totally sold me with that statement. In truth, you sold me on this title with your updates here like 2 weeks ago. I appreciate this because I'm certain I'd never have even so much as looked if not for your coverage.

Not opposed to digimon per se', I've just never been a huge fan of "catch em all" mechanics and I've absolutely no familiarity with the source material in this case.

Not gonna be getting to it immediately because post Disgaea 5 (finally at the end, 71 hr in) I'm really feeling some old, sprite based, fantasy, with a world map (maybe a GBA title of import S. Famicom??). But rest assured good sir, when I pick up the sleuth it will be a result of your good direction.

On that note Din, if you've got the time I'd love to hear if you've got personal advice on GBA titles, Super Famicom imports, or RPGMaker titles available via steam as I've really never explored any of those 3 libraries aside from Romancing Saga and Seiken Densestsu 3. I know your a busy dude here on the Fan' but two or three springtimes ago the best gaming of my adult life was due to your nudging me into P2 so I'd feel remiss if I didn't inquire :)

Maybe half of this should have been a PM?

Regardless, anyone else wanna throw their two sense in on GBA, Super Fam. or RPGmaker titles with a mondo 90's fantasy vibe feel free (it'd be appreciated)

EDIT: Outside of those categories I'm also really enticed to give Lufia or Lufia 2 a go. I know 2 is pre-quel and the better regarded of the 2 but it is really worth just skipping the first altogether?
66  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: May 02, 2016, 02:57:24 PM
I think I'm done playing games except for a couple I'm in the process of finishing up (Bastion, Criminal Girls) until I find myself a job. Put in 20 applications last month and only got one interview, despite friends and family "putting in a good word." Most of them I didn't hear anything at all from. Don't blame them, though. I'm a 30 yr old who has never held a non-temporary full-time job and has no marketable/demonstrable skills. I"m so angry at myself for ruining my life to such a degree and yet I'm starting to feel like there's nothing I can do about it.

Don't punish yourself my friend as it sounds as though you've not intentionally committed any offense.

I echo...

Motivation is the biggest hurdle...

^^^^ That is mondo-truth right there.

Now, all that being established, there is nothing more disgusting to me then the "HEY BRO! JUST DO WHAT I DID...." type of advice in your situation, Klutz. So in that light, I am not gonna pretend to have your answer. I will however say that you don't need conventional "employment" to in fact work.

Final note. Don't buy into the lie that you have ruined you life. That is total bullshit. If you had dreams of being a golden gloves boxing champion and lost a hand in a wood-chipper you may have ruined your life. Right now, if you really want to be boxing champion you can do it. It all comes full circle to the inevitable hard part....

Motivation is the biggest hurdle...

EDIT: FINAL FINAL NOTE--- This might seem stupid but I have insane amounts of chronic inflammation/pain issues and 8-12hour days on a pair of Doc Martin shoes is the differential between "pain free" and "narcotic-qualifier" status. Got that tip from a doctor when I was 25 and have been wearing Doc. M shoes for standing/walking all day now ever since.
67  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The Best and the Worst endings on: May 01, 2016, 05:13:33 PM
Oh and I'm sure this will go over well but I thought the ME3 ending was really intense and surprising, even though obviously it was somewhat bitter and negative (I would of preferred a different choice than the ones given) it still was quite powerful in it's own way.

Honestly though I liked all the ME endings (save 2, which I wasn't really a fan of in general, just kind of felt by the numbers)

But yeah ME1 saving the citadel and doing all that was pretty great as well.

I won't let you be the lone voice on this matter Art' as I happen to also think ME3 had a fantastic ending for the trilogy. When I say that, I'd actually argue that I found all the endings substantially satisfying to be honest. By far my favorite was the 3rd that was released after everyone had a shit-fit over it, but they all worked in my book.

Now that you bring it up, all 3 games were intensely satisfying in terms of their endings. I feel foolish for not having listed them in my post.
68  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: May 01, 2016, 05:06:46 PM

So I went for like a three mile walk in a downpour because I make poor life decisions.

Did this twice in the last few days. Once out of necessity and once because photoshop pissed me off at 3-4am and I needed to blow off steam.

Let me tell ya, ever since I swore off driving cause I erroneously believed I could handle life running/jogging/walking everywhere, a forecast of rain is like THE BIGGEST PROBLEM EVER!!!!

Not matter how well equipped, if you are going any considerable distance that takes over an hour you are soaked. All the sudden a pleasant 40-50 degree day has you chilled to the bone for hours. Screw rain without a capital SCREW!!!

I used to have a xanax scrip for a sleep aid. That stuff was choice

Xanax is great for sleep. Thing is, Xanax is bad for just about... Everything else. That is one drug that no one will ever make a strong case for in my book. Couple it with just about any other downer and you have successfully crafted a mind eraser. It isn't even a fun drug by my measure, yet it has potential for dependency/withdrawal that rivals the best of em.  No sir, I don't like it ;)
69  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 01, 2016, 04:52:41 PM
And I already own Catherine and most of the interesting looking ps1 or ps2 classics that are included in the sale.

Thing is I owned them, sold them, re-bought them, sold them again.. and now I want to re-buy everything digitally so I can't ever sell them off. I disgust myself
70  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The Best and the Worst endings on: April 30, 2016, 04:34:47 PM

I still feel like I got screwed over with Breath of Fire 3's ending and its been years!!!

Anti-climactic ending sequences in JRPG's are not exactly something that surprise me, but BoF3 hurt my feelings more then most. Maybe it was because I was stuck in the desert for so long beforehand I felt entitled to something more grand or profound then I got... **shrug**

Next up, I want to note Bloodborne. I loved bloodborne and count it as a stellar game in so many respects. Then you have the 2 standard endings which leave you with NOTHING but questions and worse yet, shoehorn you right into NG+ without warning. Bloodborne may in fact be the most punishing ending of all time for me as a result of the latter point in particular.


FF7 Crisis Core gets special recognition even though I am not a huge FF7 fan. Why? Well when you play a whole game knowing damn well how its gonna end and they still manage to make it as emotionally wrenching as they did to witness with crisis core, I am impressed.

Trails in the Sky FC. I just didn't see the twist coming and it blindsided me. I hardly remember much of the title, but the ending itself stuck with me vividly to this day (and has me more than certain the other LoH titles are on my agenda in the future).

Tales of Xilla 2. Narratively speaking the Xillia saga may not have been coherent at every turn, and you sure stood the distinct possibility of getting a less than desirable ending. However, the one ending in particular was so wrought with self-sacrifice and Japanese-Jesus thematics I couldn't help but be moved in spite of the dark nature of it all.

71  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: April 30, 2016, 04:10:10 PM
Hey, atleast you got to sleep when you're tired. I'm not going to feel bad for you unless you fell asleep in an uncomfortable position. Because that sucks. Been there, done that, couldn't turn my head normally for two days.

The last 3 nights sleep has erroneously been spent sitting up in a computer chair with half drank cups of coffee littering my vicinity. My neck is killing me today. I can confirm that you Tomara, speaketh ze' truth on this matter.

I must confess, this is far too common an occurrence for me. I have terrible sleep-habits and even when I go to sleep lying down in bed I am notorious for finding myself relocated, seated and uncomfortable, elsewhere by the time I wake. I have been this way for years. It is to the point where I just accept it as normalcy for myself.

Haven't posted in "the haps" for a minute but whilst browsing this topic really "hit home" with me. LoL
72  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: April 30, 2016, 04:00:45 PM
I swore I wouldn't look at the golden week sale. I made it strong til the weekend rolled around. "Just a peek" I told myself. Next thing I knew impulse took hold and I ended up with Tainted Bloodlines for my PSTV, Gravity Rush for the PS4 and Onechambahara Z (yea, I spelled that wrong) for the PS4.

I don't know when I am gonna get to any of them so I feel guilty in that respect but I made out like a bandit!! I was waiting for all 3 to go on sale someday and with PS+ they all cost like 30 bucks together or something ridiculous cheap.


DISGAEA 5/ Ok, my only major complaint is confirmed. The character-centric chapters go on for way too long. They could have got all that done in 1 chapter, easy. Blatant padding right there and I'm happy to report I came out the other side to get back to what I consider the actual narrative (Episode 15)

DARK SOULS 3/ Totally thought I was gonna revert back to my soul-tard-self and play this like it was my job. Just not the case. The game isn't bad, in fact it is great. Couldn't tell you for the life of me why I am so comfy picking it up for brief spurts and putting it back down for Disgaea marathons. I am only at the Undead settlement (3rd area) with a pitiful 10 hours on my clock.

Having a strange obsession recently with looking into import super famicom RPGs and gameboy advance games I never player. Got a funny feeling something from those libraries is coming up on my agenda.
73  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.

74  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.

75  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.
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