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Have a great 2015 from all of us at RPGfan. :)
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1  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2015 on: February 22, 2015, 12:34:06 AM
Should this topic (and I guess the 2014 topic as well) be in the Game Journals section?  I dunno, ultimately not very important.  Here's what I have on the year so far: 

Games Beaten: 2014 Edition

1. XenoBlade Chronicles
2. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies
3. Ys: The Ark of Napishtim

XenoBlade Chronicles was incredible, if maybe a *little* too drawn-out.  Wouldn't mind if the level scaling made it 60 hours instead of 70+.  Whatever.  I'm finding it hard to justify playing a single game for weeks and weeks nowadays as I'm getting older and slightly more responsible.  Phoenix Wright was pretty excellent; the visual upgrade was huge, and I liked how they brought together all the important gameplay mechanisms from the whole series into the final few cases.  The late-game and mid-game cases were also very entertaining.  It's probably my second- or third-favorite game in the Ace Attorney series.  Ys 6 was... fine.  Mechanically it's a downgrade from Oath in Felghana or Origin, but I liked the different spells and combos afforded by the different swords, and the dungeons and bosses were mostly okay.  Too much backtracking, awful voice acting, and a sorta small world (five dungeons, two or three field areas) were the only negatives. 

Up next: either Fire Emblem: Awakening or We <3 Katamari.  Keeping it eclectic.  Around midway through Fire Emblem: Awakening, spending time grinding just to recruit all the children.  Not the "right" way to play according to a lot of people, but **** all those people.  I want all the characters.  We Love Katamari is... adorable.  It's been at least eight or nine years since I played the first Katamari, so playing the sequel is almost as fresh and fun as my first time playing the original back in college. 
2  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: February 21, 2015, 02:52:32 PM
I've had $30 sitting in my PSN wallet for over a year now, expecting to have already used it on Trail in the Sky Second Chapter....  Oh well, should drop later this year.  Right?  RIGHT!?

...anyhow I'm still playing Ys: The Ark of Napishtim.  Adol's level 40.  I found got the third mirror fragment and I'm trying to figure out where to go next. 
3  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: The movie was better than the book. wut? on: February 17, 2015, 08:32:10 PM
I think that the film version of The Wizard of Oz makes it a much cooler experience than the book, which is fun and interesting satire but not as good as the movie.  "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and the rest of the music was created for the film, and it's hard to beat the brilliant visual choice of going from gray Kansas to Technicolor Oz.

The Godfather is almost equally good as a book and a movie (Mario Puzo wrote the novel and co-wrote the screenplay), but the performances of Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, John Cazale, and Robert De Niro (in Part II) are so awesome that they are a key part of The Godfather to me.  I saw the movie first, but when I read the book I couldn't imagine the characters outside their roles. 

With all due respect to Neil Gaiman, I think the film version of Stardust was slightly better.  A few of the characters original to the movie were really awesome (mostly thinking of Captain Shakespeare and the expanded roles of Dunstan and Una) and the movie succeeds on its own as a fantasy adventure / romance.  Gaiman wrote a forward on the special edition I own expressing his appreciation for the film, saying that the two stories share a setting but exist happily in parallel universes, heh. 
4  Media / RPGFan Music Discussion / Re: Persona 2: Eternal Punishment OST (PSP 5-disc release) on: February 16, 2015, 08:42:19 PM
I had fun listening to this.  The transition from the original versions to the modern versions gives you a feel for the musical sensibilities of the two eras, and makes me even more intrigued by the work that Konishi, Kitajoh, et al. do for Atlus Sound Team.  I general think the Persona 2:EP Sound Selection is a better listen, but this is a really great, thorough collection of tunes. 
5  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: February 16, 2015, 08:27:47 PM
I really want to try Apotheon.  That game looks gorgeous.  Whacking dudes in such a cool aesthetic for five hours sounds just dandy. 

Anyhow, I played Ys: The Ark of Napishtim a bunch this weekend.  Got the second sword, and I'm early on in the Ruins of Amnesia.  Really, really similar to Oath in Felghana and Origin in the basics of movement and gameplay, but... not as good as either of them in variety or setting.  Makes sense, since it's the oldest of the three.  Still very much enjoying it. 
6  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Random VGM on: February 16, 2015, 02:57:07 PM
PERSONA2 ETERNAL PUNISHMENT. SPECIAL SOUND TRACK

Maya's Theme -Atsushi Kitajoh Rearrange Ver-
[/quote]
I love that version of Maya's Theme.  I found it after reading Patrick Gann's review of the Eternal Punishment Sound Selection album and it's been in my rotation ever since.  Great song. 
7  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Music Podcast (Rhythm Encounter) Thread on: February 15, 2015, 11:39:46 AM
I support Caitlin's pro-Okami revolution. That is all.
8  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently watched Episodes of TELEVISION BOX offerings! on: February 12, 2015, 11:34:51 PM
Saw the first two episodes of Better Call Saul tonight.  Really enjoyed them!  Worthy addition to my DVR list. 

Also, I think Agents of Shield isn't very good at all, but I ****ing LOVE Agent Carter.  Is that okay? 
9  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: February 10, 2015, 08:55:25 PM
Been playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies.  I REALLY like how smoothly the different gameplay gimmicks are incorporated (Apollo searching for tells, Athena searching for emotions), and the mysteries are pretty well-constructed.  The game just feels a little too easy.  Still really enjoying it, though.  Near the end of the third case (I think?). 
10  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: February 06, 2015, 05:47:32 PM
My only gripe is no release date yet. I have a strong feeling it might be close to summer or summer for Japan and probably fall for the rest of the world. And I'm definitely going PS4 on this game.

Pffffff...
There won't be a PS4 version of this game.
You'll have to wait for the superior P5:Ruby version or whatever they call the better version of the game they'll release not even a year after the original version.
Uh, they already announced a PS4 version, at the PlayStation Experience event two months ago.  Gonna be released on PS3 and PS4 simultaneously.  I'll buy on PS3 for now, then probably pony up for a FES/Golden/Monkey version on the PS4 when that inevitably comes out. 

Anyhow, most of you probably already know this, but Hashino posted some brief comments on the Persona website earlier today.  RPGFan link.  It's an excerpt from the big Famitsu feature article that drops next week. 
11  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: February 06, 2015, 12:20:34 AM
I would definitely play a Persona game set in college or at an office, but there's a reason it's almost always been high school: high school is the more universal experience.  High school performance in Japan is of elevated importance in general, and to your long-term career in particular (as mentioned earlier in this thread), and is a more relatable setting than college to most of Persona's audience, which includes a whole lot of Japanese high school students.  Same reason there are probably 20x more anime and manga set in high school than in college. 
12  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: February 05, 2015, 07:25:45 PM

Yeah these are probably a guy and a girl. 

And P5 looks sexy as hell.  I was hype before, now it's only stronger.  I'd like to see maybe what the Personas of those four characters look like, but not much else.  Gonna try and mostly stay in the dark for my first playthrough of the game.  Kinda weird that they're fighting SMT demons and not shadows, and that they transform into their Personas Digital Devil Saga-style, but I might be making an incorrect assumption there.  I'm interested in playing it, however they do it. 

Random thought on that tracklist trailer for Persona 4: Dancing All Night that Yggdrasil linked: they're remixing "Now I Know?" That's the ending song to Persona 4 Arena, and I had no idea there was any demand for it at all.  weird. 
13  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGs where picking your active party was hard on: February 03, 2015, 06:23:08 PM
Aeolus-ing
I'm well aware of the Falcon Knife earrings.  I just didn't like leveling her up and not seeing stats increase.  At least Ragnar can wear good armor and sees speed increases basically forever.  I used Alena for the whole game when I played on the NES, but when SPOILER joins you in the DS version I switched her out.  SPOILER is a pretty cool (if broken) addition, and I guess I liked the idea of a party of four swordsmen. 

Bonus answer:

Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4

Mr. Beaks, Philosophly, Goomez, and Vendorr.  Mr. Beaks and Phil are two of the first monsters you get, but I used them basically all the time.  Beaks is a strong attacker that can set up a lot of buffs and DOT stuff (which I love) and Phil has is a healthy mix of healing, boosts, high speed, and high magic that really works.  I had Phil use Necromaster spells most of the time, as he doesn't have a ton of high-level offense in his basic moveset.  Goomez is another good backup healer with lots of speed and status magic, plus some decent offensive options.  He's not as good of an interrupt character as Dust Bunny, Brodent, or some of the other speed characters, but I love his workable magic offense and bonuses from poisoning foes.  Vendorr is maybe the best character in the game, making items more than triple-effective after some buffs, spending MP to use items for free, and having massive HP, defense, and survivability.  Plus he is a giant, silent vending machine.  Love it.  Later in the game I subbed in some of the secret monsters (Coral Golem, Nigiri-chu, Cthulhu) out for Goomez or Mr. Beaks, but only occasionally. 
14  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGs where picking your active party was hard on: February 02, 2015, 10:12:29 AM
I'll do a couple of my favorites that spring to mind.  

FINAL FANTASY VI

The largest cast in a main-series Final Fantasy game (I'm pretty sure?) with some pretty cool variety to the cast.  I don't like using Strago or Cyan (even though I like them in the story) because they're slow and don't have great offense that justifies using them.  My favorite party is probably Terra, Relm, Mog, and Gau, but Celes and Shadow almost made that list.  So did Edgar and Sabin.  And I guess Locke.  It's a good game with a lot of characters, okay?

DRAGON QUEST IV

Alena is my favorite character in the game, but she gets less useful towards the end because her Strength and Agility max out faster than anyone else, and she gets stagnant while the rest of your party keeps getting stronger.  In the DS version of the game (where Cristo/Kiryl isn't limited by his AI) my favorite party is The Hero, Ragnar, Cristo, and the secret character.  Yeah, I switch out Alena for the secret character once you meet him.  I'm always scared to use too much magic in a Dragon Quest game, since MP healing is always so limited.  

CHRONO TRIGGER

I... don't like using Magus.  I like Dual Techs and Triple Techs too much.  I used basically everyone, but my favorite party is Crono, Robo, and Ayla.  

PERSONA 3

My favorite party for boss battles was Akihiko, Aigis, and Mitsuru (stat-downs, stat-ups, and Mitsuru's magic offense), but for most of the game I used a lot of different characters.  

PERSONA 4

This cast is really quite balanced in combat; as long you have Yukiko or Teddie present for healing, the rest of your party can be pretty effective.  Naoto is the best character in dungeons, natch, and Kanji is better against bosses than against mobs (Matarukaja, baby).  The first time I beat the final boss, I used Kanji, Chie, and Yukiko, but I used all six companion characters roughly equally for the final few dungeons.  

XENOBLADE CHRONICLES

I don't like controlling Shulk, so for most of the game I would use either Dunban or Melia in the 1st-player role.  If I was using Dunban, I would back him up with Riki and either Shulk or the seventh party member, and if I was using Melia I would back her up with Sharla and either Dunban or Reyn to draw aggro away from Melia.  Yeah, I kind of had a platoon system going on.  My favorite party (which I also used for the final boss) was Dunban, Shulk, and Riki, which is amusingly also the party that Shulk uses for his Final Smash, heh.  

SKIES OF ARCADIA

This barely counts as a game with characters that you can switch out, because you have three mandatory party members and you can only choose between multiple 4th characters for the last 10% of the game.  Still, I could never decide who the best 4th option was; Drachma has the best defense and SP bonuses, Gilder has the best physical attacks, and Enrique has the best magic and probably the best super move in Justice Shield.  When I was doing late-game side quests I changed party members constantly.  

STAR OCEAN 2

I've only beaten SO2 once, picked Rena's path, and I recruited Opera but missed out on Ernest (I know, I know...).  I used Claude, Rena, Opera, and Dias for most of the game. 
15  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 31, 2015, 05:05:29 PM
Little Paper Mario, little Fire Emblem: Awakening, and a little Super Mario World.  Yup. 

I never owned a ton of SNES games (unlike my terrifying PS1 and PS2 collections), topping out at maybe 8 or 9 games over the years, before selling all of it after getting a PlayStation.  I rented games quite often, though, and as a result I played a lot of SNES games 70% of the way through and then had to return them.  Mario World and Super Metroid were two of those games; I've invested some time into both of those, but never beaten either one.  Yes, I know, I should be ashamed of myself.  That's why I impulse-bought some Wii points and now I have both of those on the Wii.  I want to try and beat both in the first half of 2015. 
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