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16  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What one RPG would you award 100% to? on: March 30, 2012, 01:35:56 PM
No offense, but you guys sound like you're talking out of your butts about Earthbound's graphics. Don't get me wrong, I like the game and still do. I beat a rental copy three times when it first came out and a few more times on [redacted]. Yeah, its art direction fits the game well, but FF7's has great art direction too.

Basically, Earthbound has always had crappy graphics, but now people decided they like it now because they finally realized the rest of the game is so good (which it is). Final Fantasy VII had good graphics, but over time look dated. Wind Waker (since somebody brought it up) always had good graphics, but people were too butthurt over the cell shading to realize this at first. All of these games have good art direction.

Except it doesn't. Speaking as a designer and art director, Earthbound is beautiful. And I didn't need 4 years of higher education, a degree, and 6 years of industry to tell me that. I knew that at 13 years old, because art and technical fidelity are not the same thing. FFVII had great art direction, but it has technical issues which interfere with that. Earthbound does not.

The team behind Earthbound was more than capable of making it look like Chrono Trigger or Seiken Densetsu 3. They didn't, and that was on purpose. Earthbound was meant to be whimsical and childlike. It was meant to allow for a cartoon-like level of expression (not to be confused with animated cartoons, I am talking about cartooning itself), which it succeeds in. As well, it was meant to have a surreal quality, which it also accomplishes.

Now, is it for everyone? No. Earthbound is an "art" game, more than anything. It's Shigesato Itoi delivering a story that is unapologetic in its weirdness, which is pretty much Itoi's calling card. Itoi is whimsy, wit, and weird rolled into a single package, and Earthbound (Mother on the whole) reflects that. He managed to make a game that was not only very light-hearted and strange, but also had really poignant moments, on par with (and largely exceeding) anything Square has had to offer in emotional value.
17  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPG girl you would marry? on: March 29, 2012, 06:35:44 PM
I'll leave the creepy marry-virtual-creations stuff to the Japanese and Koreans.

You people are weird.
18  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What one RPG would you award 100% to? on: March 29, 2012, 06:22:03 PM
I've never understood why people thought Earthbound had "bad" graphics. Even as a kid playing the game, I knew it was an artistic decision to have something so clean looking. Not a thing bad about it. It's purposeful, which is more than I can say for a lot of "technically" beautiful games.
19  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What one RPG would you award 100% to? on: March 29, 2012, 05:07:28 PM
A truly classic game is more than the sum of its parts. The gestalt experience is, at least in my line of thinking, the means by which to arrive at such a conclusion.
20  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What one RPG would you award 100% to? on: March 28, 2012, 05:56:35 PM
Chrono Trigger
Final Fantasy VI
Phantasy Star IV
Shining Force III
Persona 4

There are reasons.
21  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Question about Suikoden on: March 27, 2012, 08:32:12 PM
God I love Suikoden. I miss when there was a real community for the series.
22  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Question about Suikoden on: March 27, 2012, 03:45:39 PM
Wait until this guy has to play Suiko II and get Clive.
23  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Question about Suikoden on: March 26, 2012, 09:42:04 PM
Take your weapons to a forge. They'll improve it for a price. However, forging can only go up to a certain level, so you'll find yourself limited by the skill of the smith. Naturally, as you advance in the game, smiths become more skilled and you can forge further.
24  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Why does BioWare hate blondes? on: March 17, 2012, 10:55:23 AM
25  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mass Effect 3 (expect ME1&2 spoilers) on: March 15, 2012, 09:00:32 PM
Cosmic energies have more than just those attributes though, some are harmless or have no effect on organic physiology but can fry electronics, while others just blow stuff up. I assume the type of energy wave caused is tuned by the Crucible itself which can cause the network to do one of multiple things.

Like I said, conceptually sound but the execution was shitty as hell. I'm more disappointed that BioWare tore attention away from the philosophical and artistic implications of the final reveal and choice by including a crappily-executed ending than I am with the ending itself. It's not the ending I would've written, but it IS very thought provoking if you get past the stupid color explosions bullshit.

Also on the FTL thing: this is true, but like I said, there's no telling that they can't rebuild stuff on both ends fast enough to get some people out of the Sol system. There are multiple ways for the fleets to not have to stay in the Sol system.

Its established however that no ship has the fuel capacity to go beyond two systems. As well, Helium-5 is rare enough that less than 30% of the galaxy could be traversed by all the races combined given the fuel supply. The estimate by ME standards is that it would take several thousand years to construct enough fuel yards and refine enough helium-5 (if at all possible) to cover the galaxy. It would reduce Salarian society to rubble just by the loss of infrastructure, and the Quarians would be wholly unable to sustain their diaspora, considering how many we're probably on pilgrimage during those events.

In short: ME violates it's own rules with its ending if we want it to make sense.
26  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mass Effect 3 (expect ME1&2 spoilers) on: March 15, 2012, 02:35:05 AM
What you're saying doesn't agree with physics, however. We clearly see that the energy wave emitted by the Mass Relays being destroyed is, in fact, damaging. It's easy enough to infer from the fact that the Normandy gets damaged.

The entire execution is inconsistent, which presents us with several different problems. But we know that the energy wave is not harmless. Let's assume that, like in [i]actual[/i] physics, mass and energy are relatively proportional. If something can be seen on the galactic scale, it must have a tremendous amount of mass existing as energy. That kind of energy wave, clearly explosive (as opposed to implosive) in quality, would necessarily displace any other mass in its path. So one of three things is happening:

a) We are seeing a molecular movement, which would necessarily mean that all objects near a Mass Relay would be subject to concussive forces, which at that scale would sunder anything unable to sustain the impact. I somehow doubt even the Krogan, nay, the mother of all thresher maws would be up to the task.

b) We are seeing convection, which would cook pretty much everything in the path of the energy wave, provided it could even survive the temperature. Let's assume the average living creature does not have the physical density of the Normandy and it becomes immediately apparent at just how much barbecue is going on.

c) We are seeing a carrier signal effect, which would explain why in some cases it only shuts down synthetics, while it does other things in other cases. However, that doesn't explain the damage to the Normandy. It isn't as if the Normandy is magically closer or farther away from the event horizon.

We're dealing with something clearly destructive, being witnessed on a galactic scale, and even if they didn't cause a nearby supernova, their own impact would be incredibly destructive to all living things nearby.

As to the FTL thing:
Direct distance isn't the issue. It's avoiding all the shit in your path. Basic problem of FTL: Can't go in a straight line. You'll get slagged by tons of debris, could wind up going through a planet, etc. It's even explained in ME's own context as to why the relays are so useful (among other reasons), because of how difficult navigation is due to FTL-related problems.
27  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mass Effect 3 (expect ME1&2 spoilers) on: March 15, 2012, 02:06:51 AM
Wait wait...

So you're telling me that an explosion VISIBLE ON A GALACTIC SCALE was [i]just[/i] a power surge? Come on dude. That's reaching. Far. In an even poorer show of logic, one of said explosions damages the Normandy in all three endings, so it's clear there's destructive force involved.

Even if they have FTL, there's still massive distances to traverse. The distance between Thessia and Earth alone is estimably 45-50 years at ME's idea of FTL. Turians are slightly closer at 25-30. But that's still a significant chunk of time. The Salarians particularly would have issues considering how SHORT their lifespans are.
28  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mass Effect 3 (expect ME1&2 spoilers) on: March 15, 2012, 01:31:46 AM
The final reveal was fine, the execution was just a bit iffy.

I object to the final reveal, as well as everything else about the ending.

Mass relays cause stars to go supernova, as I recall. Even if they didn't, an explosion large enough to be seen on a galactic scale would certainly wipe out all life in the nearby systems. As far as I know, all systems inhabited by sentient races are, in fact, next to a mass relay. Whoops!

Secondly, the planet they land on: What guarantees are we given for Turians or Quarians to survive? Tali would have to live in her suit for the rest of her life – cut off from most of the technology which even makes her suit viable, and Turians can't even eat much of the same food as humans. Garrus would be shit outta luck, as would most Turians marooned on or near Earth. What about the Volus, or the Krogan? The Volus also have a containment issue. And the Krogan breed so quickly they'd probably eat up resources incredibly fast.

So basically all the ending shows is that despite ALL you have accomplished, all the hard work you put in, the galaxy is either:

a. Starving/fighting over supplies/generally fucked

b. Facing a giant diaspora of people who may or may not be able to survive in their new environments

c. Dead. Dead dead dead dead DEAD. Mass relay explosions killed everyone.

So yeah, the ending basically mugs the player for everything they've done.

I would wholly accept a DLC ending from BioWare, if only to wash out the disgusting taste of this one from my mouth.
29  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenosaga 1, somehow not attracted..... on: March 13, 2012, 01:13:40 PM
Xenosaga's primary issue is that it's trying to appeal to the niche fetish-anime crowd, while also wanting to be taken seriously as a sci-fi epic. It accomplishes neither well. Xenogears was far, far better an attempt at this, despite its problems. By Xenosaga 3 a lot of the issues were fixed, but it was, in my books, too little, too late overall. It's still a good game to play, but I felt very cheated by having to wade through two awful games to get there.
30  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mass Effect 3 (expect ME1&2 spoilers) on: March 13, 2012, 01:11:35 PM
Played about 25 hours so far, and while I'm not near done yet, my general feelings amount to this:

1. Far too many fetch quests. While both M1 and 2 had their share of these, it feels like the ratio of fetch-to-main quests is much, much higher, and also harder to complete (or simply harder to find). I realize Bioware was going for a less direct approach to make the quests seem more like overheard needs (to what effect, I'm unsure), but having characters you could actually target to socialize with was far more useful.

2. The modelling, both for many main characters and for most supporting roles, sucks. ME1 and 2 made pretty much everyone look unique if they weren't NPCs. But with ME3 you have characters like Traynor who seems so... generic, and then far too many NPCs like Brynn who look really close to FemShep combinations. Especially bad have been characters returning like Kelly and Jacob, who looks absolutely awful next to their ME2 counterparts. Jacob actually looks old and feeble, while Kelly looks like she got punched in the face.

3. Technical problems galore. I've had Shep's arms glitch out while she's using her headset to communicate in some scenes, and Mordin's "tower scene" had his head glitch out. Really ruined the effect in both cases. During Jacob's sidequest, Tali's model didn't load, etc etc etc.

4. Related to point 1, the non-targeted interactions really ruin some moments. I feel like Bioware was being especially lazy here, because a lot of small quests in 1 and 2 offered some emotional drama even from really minor characters. Now? It's all just dialogue and flapping mouths. So when you relay news that so-and-so's partner died on some planet somewhere, sure you hear a choked up voice, but you don't *see* anything. It really kills the mood. By far the worst offender is finding Liara's father and getting them to talk.

5. It IS still a good game. But it's the weakest in the trilogy. I'm enjoying the main plot, but there aren't any storytelling improvements over ME2. It feels like they downgraded from ME2 in many ways. ME1 had better storytelling and characterization, while ME2 had better modelling and gameplay. While ME3 has some great moments (meeting Jack again, the Krogan genophage sidestory conclusion, Thane's conclusion), it's also lacking in so many other ways.
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