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901  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Western Fantasy Suggestions and Your Favorites on: February 01, 2014, 04:40:57 PM

Amalur's on sale. You can get the pack with the DLC for 12 bucks. Also it's the Steam version so uh, no Origin?

Thanks for the tip! Believe it or not I have NEVER bought/played/used steam yet... I know nothing about it... I suppose I should stop being so ignorant in that regard
902  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: January 31, 2014, 08:19:50 PM
Neither my Dad nor my sister so much as called me on my Birthday. A friend of the family on the other hand got me a 3TB external drive that I've really been wanting. Also had sloppy joes and curly fries for dinner, so all in all not the worst birthday ever.

Man, you should have told ME it was your birthday... I would have made you a creepy little sculpture-LoL

Anyhow, happy (belated) b-day all the same.

NOTE: For what its worth, no one ever really remembers its my birthday either Klutz. Seems as though the obligatory birthday wishes stopped being an obligation around when I turned 25 or so.
903  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, The Last 13 Days on: January 30, 2014, 04:25:46 PM

I would also like to say though, and I feel I've experienced enough of the franchise to say it, I REALLY don't get the extraordinary amount of hate this series has generated.

That's kind of a long story that is not worth telling at this point to be honest. The short version however if you must know would be that between expectations, some misunderstanding and what SQEX as a company feels should do to stay alive has generated a lot of conflict with chunk of their audience that has lasted for years.

There was also this thing going on with JRPGs in the late 2000s of being no longer relevant anymore and WRPGs were taking their place. I remember that being a thing.

Oh and also I almost forgot, a few years ago a dude from BioWare said this... *shrug*

I suppose I should be more accurate.I know how the hate evolved, I just strongly disagree with it.

FF6 was my first RPG ever. It is my favorite, and I have played most of the franchise. It is just as uncomfortable for me as anyone else to see what FF has become. It certainly IS NOT what it was, but it doesn't pretend to be... the part I don't get is how people can deny the quality or integrity of XIII as a whole based on the fact that it isn't what they like or are comfortable with.

XIII in my mind is no different then a slew of stellar triple AAA shooters, fighting and sports titles for me. I recognize that some of these games may be amongst the best of the generation, or ever made (some may argue). I won't dispute that fact. But I have specific tastes and those games don't suit me. The difference with XIII for me personally is as you pointed out, is expectations. I don't expect to like any of those shooters or sports titles while I fully expected to, and wanted to, love the hell out of XIII. Still doesn't change the fact that by most objective gaming measures I can see that XIII is great title even if not anywhere in the realm of my subjective and idealistic hopes.

It is sort of like star trek to me. I know its good. I know people love it. I recognize its greatness but don't want to go near it myself.... Although in Final Fantasy's case it seems more like The Wizard of Oz going on to become Star Trek or something like that-LoL

On a final note.... To be honest, the evolution of Final Fantasy to this point has been gradual and natural. They didn't suddenly jump into what is XIII. It has been evolving into XIII since VII. In all honesty I feel foolish for my expectations as I really shouldn't have expected anything different.

Now getting back on topic and more specific to XIII-3.... What I had hoped for, and what got me excited for XIII-3 in the first place back when it was announced, was the idea of a Zelda style FF featuring Lightning in which I could change her outfits (still quite the novelty in JRPG's for me). Once again, I had unreasonable expectations. What we ended up with is an appropriately evolved XIII-3 and NOT "The Legend of Lightning: Twilight Fantasy".

So I guess to summarize, I gotta agree with you entirely when you bring up expectations being the root cause of the turmoil.

And for the record, while clearly and strictly an opinion, I agree with Bioware dude... thanks for the link. :)
904  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, The Last 13 Days on: January 29, 2014, 07:44:27 PM
Yep, I too REALLY wish the actual game was done like that retro video. Made me sort of feel like playing an old FF to be honest... I never did play FF1 or 2 and I have the PSP remakes.... also want to eventually get to the after years after having beat IV (again) last winter.

Anyhow, I decided to finally quell my curiosity and try the LR demo. Thankfully, it resolved not one but two internal struggles for me. I can safely say I don't mind passing on this one and since I was really only bummed about not playing XIII-2 strictly in the interest of getting to XIII-3, no longer having the desire to touch LR sort of laid that issue to rest.

The battle system was what I was looking forward to for the most part and I can't say it sold me. I love the "feel" of the gameplay in battle but hate the whole schema/outfit switching. I wish the outfits were purely for aesthetics or just influenced class or stats or something more along the lines of the old job systems. Switching on the fly during battle for some reason really turned me off.

Ultimately though my feelings on the XIII franchise as a whole at this point can be summed up quite easily. I think they are great games. But like many other great games, they just are not for me (i wish it didn't take so many weeks/hours to confirm this-LoL). Just a taste of LR was enough to make me certain.

I would also like to say though, and I feel I've experienced enough of the franchise to say it, I REALLY don't get the extraordinary amount of hate this series has generated. I think people hating it as badly as they do is sort of what made me both curious and hopeful it would turn out to be something I loved. Sadly that was not the case here... but regardless I can't make any argument to justify in any sense that "these games suck".

Sorry to go on a wee bit of a rant there but I just got through reading a review that tore LR apart, then proceeded to read the comments that followed.... People really are strangely eager and passionate about bashing this one.
905  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Gust making a spiritual successor to Ar Tonelico: Ar no Surge on: January 29, 2014, 06:34:22 PM

I've always found the fact that the target demographic being males (given the content) with a lot of games is strange when you consider the feminine quality in tone and visual to most JRPGs. Regardless, niche JRPG's are something I certainly adore so I'm not complaining. Just stating that I observe it as a poor business model is all.

To clarify, I feel like they target a specific gender to sell games to but then go and shoot themselves in the foot by simultaneously targeting a minority proportion or small percentage of that gender.

Quite simply, most niche JRPG's have all the makings of a "girly" game if you strip away the fan service and boob-age and whatnot. So why not be rid of the fan service crap and make it WAY more comfortable for female audiences to enjoy? In many cases you would have the same product (game or anime) without panty shots and all the junk that, IMO, really compromises the integrity of a title. Add in some female MC's here and there and I could totally see a more widely accepted product in the end.

But I'm just philosophizing here based on my own narrow and skewed perspective.... maybe fan service tailored to a male audience REALLY IS a major selling point and I am simply unaware. Additionally I'm floating way off topic here because I'm not really speaking about the AR franchise and just the gaming/gender bias issue. So let me get grounded again and just say that....
So considering quite a few Gust titles get localized, what do you guys feel are chances are of seeing Ar Nosurge in the west?


.... those are GOOD odds and it makes me happy :)

906  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Gust making a spiritual successor to Ar Tonelico: Ar no Surge on: January 28, 2014, 05:59:09 PM
So considering quite a few Gust titles get localized, what do you guys feel are chances are of seeing Ar Nosurge in the west?
907  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Klyde Chroma's Contest: The Sequel!! DON'T MISS OUT on: January 28, 2014, 05:22:01 PM
Klyde, I wanted that damn sculpt!!!!! BUt I am also very happy with the links about Joan of Arc, honestly been fascinated since I finished the game

Fret not Bytor ol' buddy! I will another contest soon. Probably by the end of next week or the following so keep your eyes peeled.
908  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Enjoyment Editorial was excellent.. on: January 28, 2014, 04:19:16 PM
the final bosses' final forms were never given any context.

Forget limiting examples to a few Final Fantasies... I think this tends to be a JRPG thing in general.. In fact, I think you would have a far shorter list of end game bosses that did not turn out to be or morph into some creature/demon things that was otherwise up til that point unknown.

Another thing I hate is how people who criticize Squall's character in FF8 for being a douchebag many times act like douchebags themselves not to mention that the character has the right psychological background to be the way he is and that he grows into a great character by the end of the game

Different characters click with different people. Some people dislike characters like Squall and love characters like Laguna.

One of the primary appeals of ff8 to me was Squall. He REALLY clicked with me. I felt like his douchebag behavior made  him vulnerable and far more human than most do-gooder MC's and as such (for me) much easier to relate to. Then again maybe I just saw a bit of myself in Squall because I know at heart I can be a overtly whiny and depressive guy myself if I'm not mindful.

Back on topic though...

Upon thinking on it after posting last night, I realized a character flaw of mine I touched on that invades EVERY facet of my life (not just gaming). Quite simply I can follow through with easily, but never trust in, my decisions.

In other words, with gaming it goes a little something like this. I want to play X and Y. Both seem good, both I will enjoy. I play X... but constantly believe I would be enjoying my time with Y more. This I sort of touched upon in my initial post. What I did NOT realize until last night is that I do this WITH EVERYTHING!!!!

Every time I eat I think another viable option would taste better. When working on art, I always think other color and tonal choices would have been a better move. If I wear a f**king black t-shirt for the day I SWEAR the quality of said day could have been exponentially greater if only I had chosen the long sleeve!!!!! If I'm smoking Marlboro Menthols I'm damn-near certain with every puff I would enjoy my longstanding favorite Camel Turkish Silvers!!!!!!!

Sadly those ^^ examples are not exagerations. Reinforcing the articles point that the magical ability to enjoy lies within ones own self and not so much the media or stimuli under criticism.

For the record BTW... I always have both menthols and non on hand... I have like a closet full of exactly the same jeans and shirts so I don't have to put much thought or decisive energy into my attire and I select my foods based solely on what is objectively the healthiest options.

909  The Rest / General Discussions / Enjoyment Editorial was excellent.. on: January 27, 2014, 09:31:49 PM
I simply want to say that editorial that was recently posted on the art of enjoying games was superb and insightful.

I myself have known for quite some time that I can suck the fun out of a circus if I let myself.

Particularly when it comes to my gaming I have a myriad of traps and pitfalls I must avoid to enjoy them properly. The biggest hurdles for me personally include but are not limited to:

-New release hype the "I must play everything mentalitiy": This is the biggest one for me. Even if I have already established I don't in fact like a game I feel I NEED to experience and play them based on the fact that I see news on siliconera pop up every other day. In fact I will, and have, purposely delayed playing things I know I love for a day 1 purchase of something I know I will in fact dislike based on hype alone. I hate this about myself.

-I wonder what else is out there: Even if I am thoroughly enjoying the game I am playing, I can easily become lost in thought/obsessed with the next thing I am gonna play and rush the hell out of something I could savor. Another tendency I am trying to work on.

I wish I had more time now to elaborate more. But I simply had to express my appreciation for the editorial. Really hit home.
910  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The NEW Game Journal on: January 27, 2014, 09:21:17 PM
I can't remember if it was Vesperia or Abyss, but in one of the serving mini-games I was struggling even using pen & paper, and then found out you didn't really have to perform that well to get the outfits and felt like a complete tool.

I'd venture to guess it was Vesperia as the same thing just happened to me!! LoL

I was so happy to finally get another outfit for Estelle. I like her character enough but her outfit bugged me.
911  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The NEW Game Journal on: January 27, 2014, 06:55:58 PM
Man, all I gotta say is that is ANYONE was able to pull off the waiter/waitress mini game in Tales of Vesperia with Raven without using a pen and pad you deserve a medal.

That was tedious even with a pen and pad in hand.

I can happily report I have now acquired everyone's resturaunt service outfits. I feel a wee bit more complete as a person now...
912  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: January 27, 2014, 04:53:52 PM
My guts can't handle fruit or berries any more but when I was kid I LOVED fresh dark purple grapes right off the vine....

There was also this strange hybrid tree on my property growing up. It was amidst pear and apple trees and it produced the most unique fruit. Gee golly what I'd do to have and be able to eat a pear-apple, pain free, once again.
913  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: January 26, 2014, 07:24:32 PM

Extremely accurate visual portrayal of how my mind feels lately, Mesh.
914  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Klyde Chroma's Contest: The Sequel!! DON'T MISS OUT on: January 26, 2014, 07:22:26 PM
Maid of Heaven: The Story of Saint Joan of Arc
by Ben D. Kennedy

Extremely well-regarded amongst fans of Joan in spite of the fact that its expressed via poem. I must admit recalling being a bit thrown by the simplistic poem structure of the writing myself at first. Not by any means a bad read though.

Joan of Arc: By Herself and Her Witnesses
by Régine Pernoud

Cool because its an almost entirely factual and objective read. Comprised of translated historical documents and facts.

Joan of Arc Paperback
by Mark Twain

Fictionalized account of Joan but extremely accurate historically. This is considered by many to be the go to book about Joan. Twain supposedly spent 12 years researching her to write this.

Beyond those there are some REALLY neat books that examine the whole faith and spirituality aspect, long before they concern themselves with historical fact. But those reads would probably prove a wee bit more interesting after familiarizing yourself with Joan's story.

There are also great films about the lovely lady.

Joan of Arc - Child of War, Soldier of God

Not the most incredible cinema but it does a decent job as a good overview of Saint Joan's story.

Joan of Arc (1948)

^^ just discovered this one recently actually and haven't got to watch it yet, but it came highly suggested to me.
915  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Klyde Chroma's Contest: The Sequel!! DON'T MISS OUT on: January 26, 2014, 04:20:51 PM
I enjoyed just watching this. :)

I'm not sure if your model was based on something, but it feels like it should be a Persona enemy to me.

Nope not based on anything. Though I totally agree. Maybe playing SMT titles for a cumulative 150-200 hours last year influenced me creatively without my realizing it-LoL

Score!  I can't believe it wasn't Itzpapalotl, though... ;)  It's a cool little sculpture, glad I won.

Did you ever play the PSP game Jean D'Arc?  I'd be curious to hear what you thought as a fan of the real lady.

I played through most of the game before losing my data/losing my SD card. I am actually torn on my opinion of it. As a SRPG I loved it. As a fan of Joan though I must say the game missed the mark for me. The core legend/tale of Joan is there and the fairy-tale-take on it is cool, it is just Joan as a character that I felt was a little (or a lot) off.

But to be perfectly honest, when it comes to Joan of Arc I don't feel any representation could really do her justice in my mind. It is hard to recount the tale of the lady without portraying her in a way that paints the picture of a crazy or war-driven character. While no one knows for certain, I really don't feel that was the case.

And double post for very amateurly taken pics of my Green Lantern ring.  Just links because they're big photos.  It's a little scratched and dinged from years of wearing.  I should take it in and have it cleaned up some.  The stone's a tourmaline - not valuable, just the right color.  I wear it on my middle finger, which hopefully gives you an idea of scale.

Front of the ring.

From the side.
I certainly had fun with this too.  And it's interesting all the intellectual responses we got, like I actually learned something.  

Klyde- if you ever do the Griever ring on one of your fingers, ya'd better share pics.  

That lantern ring is AWESOME! Waaay more classy than I imagined it looking. Very nice.

And as for the griever, there is strong possibility of that happening and you guys will certainly see it if it does.

Now, as for Joan/Jeanne and me and why I chose to commemorate her in such a permanent fashion...

Its as simple as this. Jeanne D' Arc is the absolute zenith/pinnacle illustration of the utility of faith to the human condition in my mind.

I grew up with no religious background.

I didn't "find God" in a conventional christian sense.

I did however eventually discover the story of a lady who's profound faith enabled her to far exceed the capabilities and ambitions of those around her. The aspects of her life that cannot be denied as anything other than entirely factual make it difficult to deny the strength one can foster when they are doing what they believe is their purpose. Doing the right thing, for the right reasons.... This is essentially what Jeanne means to me.

- At the age of 16 she was able to take up a sword with no combat training and proceeded to conquer one of the strongest known armies in the world to free her people at what she believed was God's behest.

That fact alone, amongst the many other remarkable aspects of her tale, illustrated to me the importance of faith itself. All of the sudden God and faith became something more important to me than a fleeting intellectual curiosity and something I really cared to understand and include in my life.

I went on to read/watch just about everything I could about Jeanne and now find her story to be one of the most compelling historical events in human history. A story that goes overlooked and under-appreciated by my measure.

I could expand on all of this but you get the point.
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