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61  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 31, 2014, 09:16:57 PM
I just got to Muramasa recently as my first outing with the PSTV and loved it. I only did Kisuke's scenario thus far although it was easily more the ample material to sell me on the rest. What I really love is how departed the gameplay feels from most titles that look like this coupled with how chaos mode almost make anti-leveling a decent approach. <--- That yielded a real fast and furious progression that complimented the combat and made the experience more enjoyable that I had expected. It isn't often I feel a side scrolling action title such as this feels all too original but Muramasa is special snowflake in all the right ways for me.
You need to hurry up and beat Momohime's storyline because there are a lot of aspects of the game that are still locked for you till you do that such as several of the swords, and endings 2 and 3 for Kisuke's story. Ending 2 for both characters has one of my favorite boss fights in the game. Then Ending 3 for Kisuke has the best ending in the game (which gets even better when paired with Ending 2 of DLC 3).

I'm usually pretty bad on my follow through of multiple runs of a game even with the new content offered but I'm pretty excited to get to it with Muramasa. More so now with the info you offered up. The real cool thing about Muramasa, which is what I liked about odin sphere's narrative structure as well, is the way they TOTALLY let you know your only catching a glimpse of the big picture from one angle with each characters chapter/arc. In other words, both games clearly demand you play multiple characters to grasp the story they are telling. This is a way more compelling approach to multiple plays of a game then say, something like your standard new game + with a special ending, or even the likes of Tales of Xillia that offers up a different MC without much differential in terms of content. Some may argue that places a superficial hurtle or barrier to the full story where I feel it almost a necessary approach to take the monotony out of the repetition.

That said, I spoiled myself with toys this past holiday season I need to clear the water a bit before I jump back in on Muramasa. I have Borderlands 2, Shadow of Mordor and Senran Kengura versus on deck before I hop back into Muramasa. And on that note...

Borderlands 2/ I was wrong in my hopeful declaration that I was in fact nearing the end. While I am, the side missions I cannot turn a blind eye to will have me at this for at least another week or two. I can't enjoy this game skipping content and blitzing the last story missions. The brilliance of the borderlands structure is in how they compel you to do EVERYTHING by placing right in line with your narrative progression. It is like you can't ignore the side-missions and if you choose to do so you have to accept tons of loose ends with the plot that simply don't bode well with me.

This realization is both comforting and disheartening all at the same time. I love the idea of having more to enjoy but I hate the idea that I have been nickel and diming this game for as long as I have. Rather than force it down my gullet in the interest of a hasty finish, I think I'm gonna shift my focus more towards Shadow of Mordor for the time being.

Senran Kagura Versus/ I think this is the first game that I'm doing well in competitively online. Good for the ego after a whole generation of being too terrible at fighters and brawlers to even engage in online competitive modes-LoL. This game is a stress-free blast to play. I also love how seriously the ludicrous writing is presented. It feels like a fan-servicey dark comedy instead trying to come out at you from a silly/comedic angle. Great stuff if for no other reason than being somewhat original in its presentation of a terribly over-done genre and style.

CASE AND POINT (on the left field writing of Senran)/ One story arc presents a female ninja who's goal is to become a world class pervert by fondling other female ninja's breasts. <-- This is actually presented as a serious motivation of the character without ever feeling like they are trying to tell some pervy joke. Once you sit back and realize you've taken this character seriously within the context of the narrative you begin to realize how clever they were in their way of doing things here. In short, they somehow make the most shallow and distateful content magically interesting. I will now resound my earlier statements of I CAN"T BELIEVE I LIKE THIS FREAKIN' GAME.
62  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 30, 2014, 04:42:40 PM
Dude get the toaster, fresh toast is amazing and cannot get DDoS'd.

Anyway I finished up my work for... possibly the remainder of the time I will be on this project. Time to spend the rest of the day playing Shining Force 3 I guess.

I feel like every time I come on here lately there is some mention of food I can't eat. This is ok, as I have come to terms with my restrictions long ago but damn what I would do for some fresh toast. As a kid I remember a dietary staple of mine being what I coined "gourmet toast". Pumpernickle with butter, cream cheese and bacon bits.

I have completed replaced bread with seaweed in my realm now. I roast seaweed and make the strangest sushi-like crap you'd ever find in this hemisphere. That has been dinner, each day, for well over a year now.
63  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 30, 2014, 04:33:25 PM
Been playing the fourth DLC in Muramasa. Why has no one mentioned that this came out? I only happened to find out about it by looking at my trophy list and noticing new unearned trophies in my Muramasa trophy list. New character is alright, I love her spinning move with her adult form as it wrecks everything. Really annoying that she only really has two forms most of the time when fighting bosses. Loving the opportunity to play the game some more though. Truly this game is one of my all time favorites.

I just got to Muramasa recently as my first outing with the PSTV and loved it. I only did Kisuke's scenario thus far although it was easily more the ample material to sell me on the rest. What I really love is how departed the gameplay feels from most titles that look like this coupled with how chaos mode almost make anti-leveling a decent approach. <--- That yielded a real fast and furious progression that complimented the combat and made the experience more enjoyable that I had expected. It isn't often I feel a side scrolling action title such as this feels all too original but Muramasa is special snowflake in all the right ways for me.

Shadow of Mordor/ Just got a few hours in really and holy crud am I bad at this. Everything is killing me. Orcs are moving up the ranks like mad. That said, I love everything about the game so far except sucking at it! LoL

Senran Kagura Versus/ As shallow and fan-service based as this game is, it is equally as satisfying as a button mashing mindless anime-action title. Damn near perfect pick up and play formula. What I truly didn't expect however, is how they actually manage to make the characters and writing somewhat compelling here. I wish they made an Ikki Tousen game just like this. I could really do without all the T&A action though.

Borderlands 2/ I am getting the sense that now in chapter 16 I am actually getting to the end of the main story. I can't fathom this ending. I have been playing it off and on for months and it sort of just felt endless. I will say that the best approach here is NOT being a completionist in the interest of entertainment value. The narrative moves at a much better pace when I'm not trying to polish off every side-mission as soon as they become available.

 
64  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: You're totally my type... but I'm just not that into you on: December 28, 2014, 09:50:10 PM
This is such a cool topic, I feel like you made it just for me Din!! LoL

But truly this has been a BIG thematic for me this year. In fact, I was just scribing an entry in the ol' journal (personal journal, not the RPGfan variety) about how I feel as though I really sort have unwittingly shifted my affinities and tastes in terms of media and how that sort of alters or compromises my prior perception of myself/identity.

^^That is venturing into some airy, off topic, talk. I'll keep this post about the media itself.

The sum of 2014 for me was a ton of offerings that were right in line with what I thought was my personal taste for years. Lots a good anime, a new Ar Tonelico game, Fairy Fencer F, and a host of other things surfaced that would have had me all sorts of excited and yet I found myself gravitating toward some of the most unlikely titles.

Somewhere along the line, after playing JRPGs almost exclusively for over 2 decades I guess I just began recently to feel (falsely) that there was nothing left for me to explore. This of course is not true. Only a fool thinks they've seen it all. But when it comes to J-Pop culture, anime and JRPG's I certainly have subject myself to a far greater volume of exposure than anything else.

This awareness left me a desire to explore some other games and media, a desire that creeps in every so often and generally ends quickly with me running back to comfort of NIS titles, old SNES RPG's, and some sailor moon. Something different happened this time. I stumbled on some games I never thought I would adore near as much as I have and the last few months have really been exciting for me exploring western fantasy, shooters and multiplayer games.

See I was sort of off base in terms of my sensibilities in what I deemed quality gaming. I thought I was just into anime and JRPGs for the most part but I now realize they just inherently have qualities I appreciate. I sort of feel like Klutz now in the sense that I don't feel comfortable naming exactly what these elements are that resonate with me. In fact maybe it is more accurate to say the most crucial elements that hook me in terms of media and gaming vary from product to product. Simple as all this sounds it totally eluded me and I stayed "stuck" believing I knew by now, at the age of 30, that I was aware of what I liked and was comfortable with it. Truth be told, I was just too ignorant and set in my ways to really explore anything else.

So now, for those who just survived my wall of irrelevant ramblings to arrive here, without further musing I want to get onto the top 2 games that "Weren't really my type" but I fell in love with.

1. Borderlands 2/ Up until borderlands 2 I would have told you I hated shooters. In fact, I didn't just hate shooters but sci-fi, guns, war, the future, and comedy as well. Borderlands changed all that for me. I realized that my exposure to the aforementioned just left me with some unwarranted prejudice. I still don't like contemporary war, slapstick comedies, star trek and feel a little ill at ease with future-stuff but borderlands made me entirely aware of the fact that with clever writing and solid gameplay all these things I thought I hated could be blended togeather into pure entertainment of the highest caliber for me.

2. Diablo 3/ Western fantasy never did it for me. Yet as a huge Lord of the Rings fan, I always sort of knew the possibility of falling it love with it existed. I rediscovered not only my love of Western Fantasy, but a real affinity for looting and multiplayer here. I could explore this more but I've already made this longwinded enough.

And at that I'm gonna cut this off because if I start talking about other media this post is gonna become more of a novel entry than intended.

Thanks again for the awesome topic Din, this was really cool to think about and briefly explore here. Good stuff.
65  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2014 on: December 28, 2014, 07:15:38 PM
I wish Eternal Eden would get released on PSN. I have it but my PC, in recent months, doesn't really get used for much other than talking to you guys. It is at the point where even hitting enter to move to the next line in a message body causes temporary lock-up.

Also, I am totally in agreement about Dust's art style, or namely character design. Disturbed me too. In fact it was really the only thing about the game I didn't love. It looked and ran beautiful but I have a bit of an aversion to sentient animal deal to begin with.
66  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The unofficial "recommend me a game" thread. on: December 27, 2014, 05:06:49 PM
Well, I use gamefly as well, so I could always rent stuff out for the Wii U as well as the games I want to play now...course that means I have to wait for availability and such. But I can't play a Wii U without a Wii U, lol.

It's a dilemma, alright.

I had the same dilemma myself this generation but finally decided to put all my eggs in Sony's basket. Last gen I tried to spread myself too thin investing in Xbox360, PS3 and Wii and didn't get to a fraction of the games I wanted to before more things came out that excited me.

The Wii U has some awesome hardware alright but for 5 games in the library I really want I decided I can live without it. Not playing a new Xeno and Zelda will hurt a bit but seeing that collect dust on my shelf will hurt all the more for me (oddly enough).

Ultimately I feel like you hit the nail on the head for me with your last post. Truth is, there is plenty for the PS4 I want and plenty more on the way. Certainly more than ample volume of games to keep me satiated. The more focused I remain on one or two consoles/a few games at a time the more I enjoy em personally.
67  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 27, 2014, 04:57:02 PM
I'vs noticed the longer you are around a specific cause of your allergies, the more tolerant of it you become. I have horrible animal allergies, but after living with cats for some 8 years I only ever had reactions when I would rub my eyes or nose after playing with them. I also washed my clothes often to help keep dander and hair off of them.

Tl;dr tough guy through it.

Be careful with that good sir. In some cases, a histamine response can become greater with more exposure and benign reactions to things can become pretty severe in time. Cinnamon went from causing a sneezing reaction to pulmonary distress and lighting my skin on fire after eating it for awhile. I also used to trim trees and had what I believed to be complete immunity to poison ivy for nearly two years until due to exposure (or so says my doctor) I began to develop a histamine response and now I break out if I so much as look at the stuff for too long.

Yet oddly enough, lending validity to your suspicions, I used to have an intolerance to garlic but love the crap. After hurting myself with it long enough my gut became fairly tolerant of the stuff.

68  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2014 on: December 27, 2014, 04:41:42 PM
I've had a Klyde-style revelation that I cannot bother putting a lot of effort into playing through games anymore unless I'm *REALLY* invested in them. This has led me to another revelation that I don't really care about finishing games, either (again, unless I'm really invested in them)

There are a few games that I own the sequels to that I haven't touched, and I obviously want to finish those, but for the most part I'm okay that I probably won't be updating here much. And that's not supposed to be some kind of elegant declaration, it's just that this thread seemed like a more apt place to share these thoughts than the game journal.

I know this statement was made back in August but I am just seeing it now and am touched. Something comforting, and accurate, about associating internal-game-related awareness with me. I do spend far too much time philosophizing over games, what they mean to me and how I play them. The pay off is the layers of meaning they take on for me. The way I play evolves and acts a thermometer of personal growth, or so I like to believe. Even if this is completely false I really don't care because at the end of the day it creates a greater emotional investment in the hobby and in turn the enjoyment derived.

Declarations of said awareness are important to me as well. Stating things lends to them some "concrete" if you will. A sense of accountability and truth to a statement only exists for some things once they are penned for me. A thought or opinion, in regards to gaming, remains formless and mutable so long as it stays confined to my (fickle) imagination.

God I make no sense some times. Oh well, now that the philosophizing is over onto the list.

1.Mario 3d World
2.Tales of Vesperia
3.FF4 TAY
4.Bastion
5.Child of Light
6.Atelier Escha and Logy
7.DMC
8.Terranigma
9.Shadow hearts
10.Drakengard 3
11.Breath of Fire 4
12.Dragons Crown (again)
13.Tales of Xillia 2
14.Costume Quest
15.Lollipop Chainsaw
16. All Zombies Must Die
17. Lost Odyssey
18.Diablo Reaper of Souls
19.Muramasa Rebirth
20.Senran Kagura Versus

And I think that about covers it. Truth be told, I'm still aiming to finish Borderlands 2 by the end of the year. Highly doubt its gonna happen but it is good to have goals :)

The volume of games is pretty weak for me this year, but I feel like I got more quality time in with a few. The commitment I gave to Tales of Xillia 2 this year was sort of stupid to be honest. Well of 150 hours in that one alone.
69  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 24, 2014, 08:20:04 PM
Since you brought it up, I don't know if I could actually eat meat at this point without getting violently ill.

I have the same problem. However I have discovered some things that enable me to comfortably skate around the meat issue.

1. Gross at it sounds, the healthiest and least processed are the stage 1 beech nut baby foods. Not the shitty brands cut with starches mind you, those kill me. The o' natural meat paste in the stage 1 baby foods is pre-cooked with zero additives for taste/preservation. Believe it or not, it is typically these things that result in gut problems with meat and not the meat itself. The baby foods, in short, in no way resemble buying and eating meat prepared in any other fashion.

2. Shellfish provided you don't have an allergy. Great source of protein that your gut handles breaking down in substantially different way than say, red meat or poultry. I was utterly meat-less for years and can't even think about swallowing chicken, turkey and most red meat without terrible problems. Yet, I can literally eat upward of a pound of shrimp or crab without so much as a cramp.

PRO-TIP (for baby food). If your gonna try the baby food I suggest pretending it is not meat at all to avoid gross-ness. Mix with either cream cheese, peanut butter or nutella and make a spread or dip or something.
70  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.
71  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.
72  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.
73  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
74  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.
75  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!)
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