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Have a great 2015 from all of us at RPGfan. :)
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46  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 07, 2015, 09:22:46 PM
Beat XenoBlade Chronicles a few days ago.  ***ing fantastic.  New favorite Wii game.  Sorry, Donkey Kong Country Returns. 

Currently early on in Fire Emblem: Awakening.  I'm only on the fourth chapter, but DAMN the fights are already a little tricky (playing on Classic + Hard).  I sort of hope there are grinding opportunities a little later; does that make me a wimp? 
47  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 04, 2015, 07:53:05 PM
I think I'm near the end of XenoBlade.  The final boss and his disciples revealed themselves and I have the path in front of me.  Now the question is... how much of this endgame content do I really want to do....
48  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Obligatory 2014 Thread: Your Year on: December 30, 2014, 01:46:32 AM
Favorite game I played this year: XenoBlade Chronicles
Runner-up: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

I fuckin' adore XenoBlade Chronicles.  This is a clear merger of Japanese and western RPG traditions, with great characters, story, and action-packed combat.  By far the most beautiful game on the Wii, in both audio and visuals.  I haven't finished XenoBlade yet (taking a break from playing it right now, actually), but I want to try and beat it in the next few days.  I'm about to fight Egil.  

Favorite 2014 game I played this year: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Runner-up: Bravely Default

Dragon Age: Inquisition seemed too big.  Its environments were vast and richly detailed, and I didn't even step into one of them (the Hissing Wastes), but the ten or eleven I did check out in detail were awesome.  The dialog, scenarios, and character interactions were awesome.  One mid-game plot point still haunts me, and it kinda makes me want to create a new world state and a new Inquisitor just to try going the other way on it.  It's my favorite BioWare game since Mass Effect 2, and maybe my favorite BioWare game ever.  

Most disappointing game I played this year: Batman: Arkham City
Runner-up: Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Yeah, I played a lot of checklisty action RPGs and open-world games this year.  Arkham City was really pretty, and sometimes it was really cool, but several basics of gameplay (brawling, checking walls for clues, gliding) didn't really do it for me.  Arkham City didn't wow me with its scale like the environments of XenoBlade or Dragon Age, and the smaller details didn't impress me much either.  When Arkham City is good, it's great (the boss fight in the police station, predator scenarios, scenes with Harley and Joker).  But the game seems small and short compared to its peers, and its highs don't match the highs of Arkham Asylum.  
49  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 28, 2014, 10:44:28 PM
Beat Dragon Age: Inquisition a short time ago.  The ending was satisfying, but that tease after the credits, wow.  I really don't know what to make of that.  We might have our main villain for Dragon Age IV, or at least a chunk of Dragon Age DLC.  I appreciate how Inquisition made mythology a major focus of the game.  The politics of the Chantry, the unclear nature of the Maker and Andraste, and bringing Elven gods into the story forefront.  Great stuff.  They also bring in some Tevinter / Grey Warden / Blight stuff into the mix without it taking over the entire narrative like it was a second coming of Dragon Age: Origins.  Really interested to see how DLC shakes out for Inquisition - I assume they'll add a new zone or two.  This is probably my game of the year.

Nah, just kidding.  My game of the year is listening to podcasts while playing this: Hi!
50  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 21, 2014, 09:03:45 PM
Making big progress in both Dragon Age: Inquisition and Persona Q.  In the former I'm right about to start the "What Pride Had Wrought" quest.  I've been racking up Power in the Exalted Plains and the Western Approach to fund all this.  Also killed two High Dragons (Ferelden Frostback and Northern Hunter) and have Influence at level 10.  This game is awesome.  I'll probably buy it again on PS4 a few years down the line when I want to replay it.  I have a male human Mage Inquisitor, who is struggling with his feelings for both Dorian and Jospehine.  Yup. 

In Persona Q I'm at the 4th floor of the 4th Labyrinth, the floor arranged in a compass rose.  It's a little slow-going, not for combat reasons but because, well, these fire-carrying puzzles get a little tricky.  My party is all at level 55-56 and I recently did the request that unlocks when both MCs reach level 55.  My team is P3MC, P4MC, Koromaru, Mitsuru, and Aigis.  I deliberately avoided using Naoto, because I heard she's the best character in the game and I didn't want to lean on her too hard. 
51  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dincrest plays Chrono Cross PlayLog on: December 21, 2014, 06:00:33 PM
WHoops!  Wrong topic, my bad.  Have fun playing CC!  It's great!
52  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: December 14, 2014, 09:05:38 AM
I find him really overrated.  : /
At least, as far as Summer Wars and Wold Children go.
I only saw Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, but I enjoyed both of them.  At least enough to eventually check out a third movie of his with some optimism. 
53  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: December 13, 2014, 11:12:35 PM
Oh, the guy who did Summer Wars and Wolf Children has a new film announced:
Bakemono no Ko....  It's about a fuzzy beast.... I think director-sama is a furry ...fur sure.
I've only seen two of Hosoda's films, but I generally like the cut of his jib.  It helps fill the hole in my heart from Satoshi Kon's death.... 
54  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: So... Board Games? on: December 12, 2014, 10:10:21 PM
Does anyone sleeve their cards? Thinking about buying some sleeves but not sure what brand to get.

Any recommendations and reasons? I've only had fantasy flight sleeves before and felt it was too spiky on the corners and the cards slide around too much. I'm currently looking at dragon or KMC sleeves.
Depends on the game.  If it's a traditional CCG I would always sleeve my cards.  If it's a pre-set card game without randomization or rare individual cards I never do it.  Buying a new boxed game is usually cheaper than sleeving every card within.  My sets of Dominion, Legendary, and the DC Comics Deck-Building game aren't sleeved. 
55  Media / RPGFan Music Discussion / Re: RPGFan Music Podcast (Rhythm Encounter) Thread on: December 09, 2014, 12:26:01 AM
I actually saw that earlier but didn't have a chance to listen? Can I be lazy and ask you to link it here :)?
These two posts from the Random VGM thread.  Pretty cool stuff in there. 
56  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth on: December 06, 2014, 01:46:13 AM
I guess I'm used to reading all of these honorifics by now, because, well, how else do they convey their meaning?  I would probably like it less if they replaced "senpai" with "upperclassman" or some other epithet.  I guess my preferred setup for the English-language version would be to just have characters drop honorifics and call each other by name, maybe some characters use last names and some use first names, to convey different levels of formality and intimacy.  Whatever; Persona has done it this way for long enough that it's probably too late to drop honorifics altogether. 

The most frustrating part of the game by a longshot is being restricted to six characters for the given names and surnames of P3 MC and P4 MC.  I was able to use my traditional name for the P4 guy without a hitch, but I had to switch up both names for the P3 MC for this playthrough.  This isn't 1996 anymore.  You have at least four or five teammates with seven or eight letters in their given names....

But I'm really enjoying Persona Q so far!  I've never played more than an hour of an Etrian Odyssey title (tried the first one several years ago and didn't like it), but now I'm tempted to try one of the 3DS ones after I'm done with Persona Q.  I'm on the first floor of the Group Date Cafe dungeon.  Currently waffling between just keeping my first dungeon's party for the whole game (P3 MC, Akihiko, Mitsuru, Yukari, and Koromaru) and replacing Yukari and/or Koromaru with P4 characters.  I might just divide the whole team into 4 squads and level them up equally, but that's many, many more hours of grinding that I probably don't need. 
57  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 05, 2014, 12:14:35 AM
Burned through the first three floors of the first dungeon in Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. 

...I really dig this.  I wasn't huge on the first Etrian Odyssey when I tried playing it several years ago, but covering everything in a veneer of characters that I already love seems to have corrected a few of my former problems with the series.  That, and the dungeon mapping seems much easier and more detailed.  If this ends up being a few more of these dungeons with material- and Persona-grinding for another 70 or 80 levels... I'd be okay with that.  This is a gaiden Persona title in every sense that scratches my grinding itch with a fun, Persona-esque battle system.  I dig it. 

...shit.  I love Persona 2IS, 2EP, 3, and 4.  I love the Persona 4 Arena games.  I'm enjoying Persona Q.  I watched a few Persona anime (...not great) and read a few Persona manga (...also not great).  I guess I'm a fanboy.  I like every Persona video game except the first one.  I'm probably not the most trustworthy voice on Persona matters, since from now on I'll basically be wearing Rise's rose-colored glasses. 
58  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The unofficial "recommend me a game" thread. on: December 04, 2014, 07:40:00 PM
XenoBlade Chronicles if you haven't already played it.
59  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 01, 2014, 06:10:05 PM
The GameCube came after the N64, so your point is kind of invalid. Other than the original Paper Mario, I have a hard time naming other RPG's on the system, much less any that were decent. And *THAT* was in the era of the PS1!

OK, I guess I was a little unclear with my messaging.  I wasn't specifically disparaging the GameCube for a lack of RPGs or misunderstanding what Symphonia's place is.  I think that SoA Legends, Paper Mario TTYD, and Fire Emblem Path of Radiance are all excellent RPGs and that the GameCube was a worthwhile purchase during that generation.  I've played about eight or nine Tales games to completion, including Symphonia.  I was trying to express that I believe Tales of Symphonia is an okay RPG that was REALLY overrated because of the GameCube's situation in 2004 and because of how dedicated the system's fans were.  The fact that I didn't play it until 2006 and it wasn't my first Tales game probably had something to do with my disdain for it.  I frequented the GameFAQs forums around that time, and I was shocked and annoyed at how widely worshipped that game was on the site.  Basically I'm a bitter Tales hipster and probably should avoid talking about Symphonia in general. 
60  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 01, 2014, 12:05:22 AM
Uh, I think that Symphonia 2 is one of the worst Tales games, and Symphonia 1 is only beloved because the GameCube had so few RPGs.  Not even in my top 5 for the series.  But whatever, a lot of people really love Symphonia and would probably recommend it above all others.  Differing preferences. 

What???  Symphonia came out back in 2003, I think it was doing pretty ok for JRPGs at the time and a lot regarded it as a great title for the time.  Sure its aged a bit, but the game is over 10 years old.  The dungeons are stellar, combat took a big step up since Destiny 2/Eternia before it, the characters are a ton of fun, and the story and world is quite serviceable.

Symph 2 was indeed shit though; it was a tawdry, hollowed out shell of all the charm of the original game.  It looked better and worse than its predecessor at the same time but filling the game with BS characters.
After reading some of the comments after this one... I feel like I should apologize.  This got a lot angrier than I meant it to get.  Sorry, Dice. 

And... yeah I still think the GameCube is awful for RPGs.  You mentioned five major ones later on in this thread, but compared to the PS2?  Practically an embarrassment.  When I played Symphonia it was my 4th Tales game, and I couldn't help but feel it was INCREDIBLY derivative of its predecessors and other popular RPGs from earlier in that generation.  It had 3D combat that was... all right at the time, but doesn't hold up well at all.  I also strongly dislike a few of the characters, but my biggest problem is probably that it was set up by my friends as this awesome, incredible RPG and when I played it for the first time (in '05 or '06) I wasn't impressed.  Then I watch its incredible popularity grow and its fans become increasingly annoying so... I grew to dislike it when really it's a pretty decent RPG.  Not half as good as Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, but pretty decent. 
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