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Congratulations to Andrew Barker! RPGfan Editor of the Year and now Chief News Editor!
341128 Posts in 13942 Topics by 2222 Members
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1  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 17, 2014, 02:59:20 PM
Not looking forward to this weekend's brake job on my car... Such work never feels like fun to me, but I flat out refuse to pay a mechanic $200 in labor for something that simple. They charge the same for much more difficult/complex jobs, so it feels like robbery.
Now, I just have to remember to hit the caliper bolts with a penetrating oil (sounds like something that belongs in the bedroom, or your preferred place of doing the nasty - schwing!) the night before.
Thankfully, I have plenty of various winter beers in the garage fridge to keep me buzzed company while I work.
2  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 17, 2014, 02:48:29 PM
Anachronox is f'n AWESOME.  Yes, the first area is long, but it's like Midgar in FF7.  When people complain about FF7, the first question is "didja get out of Midgar yet?"  I actually liked the first area, though it definitely requires patience to get through.  It was really creatively designed, almost like an Escher painting in some ways.  So, yes, the game does get better once you're out of the first area.  Patience is rewarded in the game.  I thought the final dungeon was great fun to play through.

Knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel helps. The Midgar comparison makes sense. Perhaps I will revisit Anachronox again soon, should I find myself with adequate extra time over the holiday vacation. I really wanted to see what was beyond the first area, but the unnecessary tediousness of it left a sour taste in my mouth.
Thank you for posting in response!
3  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 16, 2014, 03:48:05 PM
You just saved me money. I was considering trying out Anachronox someday, but have always hesitated due to my expecting it to play like an "old" rpg. Like you said, in my teen years I may have enjoyed that, but just don't have the time, nor the patience, for it now.

Glad to help! I'm kind of hoping that someone who has played the game more extensively will come around, and tell us that it gets infinitely better after you get out of the first area.

I'm probably just being naive. =P
4  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 16, 2014, 11:34:25 AM
Bioshock Infinite - At the point after Songbird attacks the reclaimed airship, and you make your way to Comstock's lair. All of the tear traveling that happened prior to this part of the story now has me somewhat confused, but to be fair, it doesn't take much for that to happen.
I'm still mainly treating this as a shooter. Only using the Posession vigor, and spending all my money on gun upgrades, more than anything. This game just seems to work better this way. I miss the emphasis on setting traps, and making relevant use of both "plasmids" and guns in the previous 2 Bioshock games... Oh well.

Anachronox - Tried to give this one a go, as I keep hearing so much praise. The excessive backtracking, and lack of a clear goal at pretty much any time made me lose interest pretty quickly. What can I say? I guess I have the attention span of a brick.
Seriously, though. I would have eaten up such a time sink in my teenage years, when I had nothing better to do. However, being a husband, father, and full time worker, I just don't have the time to be walking back-forth-back-forth in poorly-designed areas, and talking to random people until I find the one I'm actually supposed to be talking to.
When free time is a rarity, the guiding and nudging that western games do these days can come in handy.
5  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 16, 2014, 10:57:37 AM
Gamestop... so pretty much a busier day than Black Friday for us.


Fuck. Retail.

In every possible orifice.

With hot pokers doused in habanero powder.

Mad respect to anyone who puts up with it for longer than a week.

This. Pretty much to the letter.

I also respect anyone who can do that crap for a living. I'd end up in prison for strangling somebody if I had to deal with the idiocy of proto-human customers and pretentious managers on a daily basis. I personally love the fact that my job doesn't require me to talk to anyone outside of my office.
6  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: December 04, 2014, 12:43:19 PM
It came out on June 13th, which is technically early in the "Summer" movie season.

http://www.movieinsider.com/movies/june/2014/

There really wasn't much else of interest, especially to children,  around it either.

And Natros, I was referring to the US box office. 177mil for a much asked for and anticipated sequel is pretty weak.
It's kind of interesting how many articles were written about this very topic:
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=why+did+how+to+train+your+dragon+2+underperform

Oh, well. My son wants a copy for Christmas, so we'll own it. I'm playing my part.

I wasn't aware it only grossed that little here in the States. I think that number is only a little over budget, if it is at all. I would have imagined the majority of the film's income would have come from here.
I glazed over the Forbes article in your search results link.. Interesting theories that of course make sense. For whatever actual reason, it spoke more to reviewers than it did parents and children. I still think Aeolus had a valid theory in that the movie's appearance/marketing didn't speak to said parents and children as much as the first installment did. Dragons are admittedly scarier than little talking critters and secret agent/spy penguins.
A shame, really. IMO, it's one the deepest and most entertaining animated movies I've seen in quite some time (along with the first, of course)... It has so much heart. Something that's lacking in many of today's 'toon films. I actually snagged our copy the week it came out. Walmart had the Blu Ray copy for $10. Couldn't resist.
So far, they are still planning on a 3rd installment in a few years or so, so I'm happy.  = )
7  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 04, 2014, 11:21:29 AM
I wish there was a way to block certain programs on Netflix's streaming service. Don't like my kid trying to watch Veggie Tales. The only God in my house is me, dammit. Religious propaganda that claims otherwise is frowned upon.

My dad was a fundamentalist nutjob for many years, when I was 5 (and my older brother was 8 and my younger brother was 3) he sat us all down in the living room and explained that if any of us "turned into a gay" we'd immediately be disowned from the family and deserved to eternally burn in a hellpit of fire.  I spent a large part of my childhood confused by and horrified of anything other than my whitewashed WASPY little world the church had me believe that God wanted me to exist in. This kind of thing basically guaranteed that all 3 of my father's sons grew up to be atheists. 

Moral A) don't be a religious (or any kind of) nutjob, you're progeny will resent you for it for a long long time, Moral B) BE CAREFUL, my upbringing taught me that pretty much anything you try to keep your kid away from is almost certainly what they will desperately want to do.

Damn. Sorry to hear you guys had to deal with that at such a young age. I'm sure the reasons made sense in his head, but that is pretty much the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do for your children (Just stating the obvious, I guess). I was tempted to say more about what I think are the evils of religion itself, but I didn't want to spark a religious debate (one of the most horrible and fruitless type of debates possible).
Personally, I won't keep my son from being who he is, or doing what he ultimately wants to do. If he ends up loving God or Satan or Buddha or Ganesha or whatever, I won't try to stop him. I definitely wouldn't be able to join him in that kind of stuff, but I wouldn't stop him. I ultimately just want him to have a safe and happy life, and to know he can trust and confide in me at any time. I'm just venting, because VT pushes Jesus-love on the viewer pretty hard, and I'm not a fan of it.
8  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 04, 2014, 09:59:57 AM
Bioshock Infinite - Ok, NOW things are starting to pick up. The story and action get much more interesting and exciting after the whole Hall of Heroes section. Just in time, because I was beginning to wonder if the game was going to go anywhere...
Now I am just getting to the gunsmith in Finkton. I still don't use vigor/plasmids all that much. Just the Posession one. Even that one kinda sucks, though. Compared to the first 2 games, anyway. In Infinity, it lasts only seconds, and the other enemies turn on the guy/gal before he/she can even really start fighting for you. It was awesome to be able to do stuff like pit Big Daddy's against each other in the prior games... I miss that kind of action. Maybe it will get better in time, like rest of Infinite seems to?
Good times ahead either way, I'm sure.
9  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: December 04, 2014, 09:50:02 AM
I think it was a combination of it coming out late during Summer after the hight of the movie watching season and with the stigma of cash-in sequel attached. It also did some change ups that made it appeal to older audiences than the original movie that parents might not have like (content speaking, not much had changed, but the cover gave it a more edgy and 'cool' look that might not have sat well with the mommies and daddies footing the bill, since tickets are so fucking expensive these days; but honestly, the tangent in these parentheses is reaching quite a bit here).

I'm inclined to agree with this. Probably a result of bad timing and not-as-appealing marketing.

Still, it didn't do too poorly. Over a half a mil earned, I believe. I definitely agree it should have done better. It's a quality movie. That's just how it is, though...
10  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: December 04, 2014, 09:39:15 AM
I wish there was a way to block certain programs on Netflix's streaming service. Don't like my kid trying to watch Veggie Tales. The only God in my house is me, dammit. Religious propaganda that claims otherwise is frowned upon.
11  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast (Random Encounter) Thread on: December 03, 2014, 04:58:42 PM
I've only recently begun serious gaming on my PC. I've made that move because I'd rather spend $150 on a graphics card upgrade and $10-$30 per game (in most cases), than blow hundreds on a console and it's incredibly overpriced games (most of which seem to be action- oriented sequels that already have 4 or 5 installments, anyway). It will still probably cost less to upgrade my PC again in a few years, than the consoles will at the time. I am a parent, and simply don't have that kind of cash flow to throw around these days. *Of course, this is just me and my situation. I'm explaining my own methods and reasonings.

I can see why PC gamers are all hullabaloo about the graphics, frame rates, and such. It's true how amazing games can look and operate compared to consoles. Personally though, I see no reason to look down on someone who would rather play PS3/4, or even a Colecovision (respect), or whatever. I believe that kind of condescension is done by petty and simple sheeple who have no real sense of self worth, and like to attempt to measure it by the perceived awesomeness of their possessions and personal preferences. Nearly hollow vessels of hot air and bullshit, if you will...
12  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: December 03, 2014, 09:58:46 AM
Gridlock'd - A (totally) 90s film, which happens to have Tupac Shakur in a lead role. This movie is about 3 people in a jazz/spoken word kind of band who are always doing drugs. Well, in the very first scene, 1 of them overdoses. The other 2 (played by Tim Roth & Tupac) rush to get their friend to the hospital for treatment, and thus decide to get help for themselves in kicking their drug habit(s).
The movie is basically about the unbelievable amount of red tape they have to go through just to have a hope in finding professional help (something which of course hasn't improved by now). Along the way, they run into some interesting (and sometimes) violent characters. The ending is a nice taste of coincidence. So yes, this could ultimately be considered a dark comedy.
So obviously, a lot of this movie relies on the dialogue between the two main characters as they are being directed/sent from place to place. Thankfully, Tupac and Roth had good chemistry, and said dialogue was witty; emotional, and effectively reflective at times. Making it a pretty decent movie. It has a VERY 90s feel to it. A movie about this topic definitely wouldn't have this sort of style today.
Tupac does surprisingly well in his role. Very believable. You forget the character is being played by a rap star. Can't say that about a lot of people in the music biz who try movie roles.


How to Train Your Dragon 2 - I won't lie. I fuckin' love this series. These films are done in such a way... that I know if I were a kid these days, I would absolutely go head over heels for them. They make me have all kinds of feels.You can tell a lot of love was put into them.
So anyway, this installment is quite good. I still like the first film better, but I believe that's only because it focuses more on introducing the characters and their initial development. It's more personal that way. In no way is the 2nd one an inferior film, IMO.
In this one, 5 years have passed since the first movie, so of course, the main characters are now a bit older. Hiccup has been taking any chance he can to explore the outside world, now that he has Toothless. In those travels, he/they come across dragon trappers working for a very bad dude, who of course ends up being the main bad guy, Drago. Drago is played very effectively by Djimon Hounsou. His yells are perfect for the role. Hiccup also comes across a long lost family member, who aides him in his fight with Drago. As the film progresses, there is an unexpected death of a major character. Both my wife & I thought it wasn't perma-death, but it sure as hell was. Surprising.. and effective. It reminds the viewer and the characters of how very "real" things are.
All in all, I'd say this film carries the spirit of the first one very well, and adds some unique characters and plot elements. One thing I really appreciate is the subtleties. Like how each character has their own unique mannerisms; how each rides his/her dragon differently; and how the long lost family member acts so elegant, yet feral at the same time.
Well done. Loved it.
13  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: December 02, 2014, 12:12:16 PM
Given the history and circumstances of the all of the previous SW films, I personally think this is one of those cases where's it's truly best to reserve judgement.
14  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: December 02, 2014, 11:34:16 AM
IMO, Symphonia one of the better 'Cube RPGs, but not one of the better Tales games. That seems to the consensus, anyway....

Rage - Man, this game just up and ends out of nowhere. You get to a room of continuously spawning mutants. You blast 'em all up, and the game... ends. Not even that long after you receive the final car and weapon. It didn't even really wrap it up or anything. I almost think flashing a "The End" or "Fin" card on screen would have provided more closure. It felt like the story alone could have kept going a bit, but it's almost like the devs realized how uninspired said story was, and just decided to call it quits. Weird...
Looking back on it, it was decent time spent. Id's excellent gun-play mechanics are what really saved the game for me. I doubt I would have seen it through to the end if the guns were crap. I would have liked to have seen some more of the larger enemies you run into along the way. More enemy variety in general, really. The differences between the gangs is appreciable, but each gang seems to consist of the same 4 or 5 character models attacking you while repeating the same 3 or 4 lines of dialogue (with the same voice), throughout their respective areas.

Bioshock Infinite - Started this one right after finishing Rage. I'm now at the point where Booker and Liz are going into the Hall of Heroes for the.. uh.. I think it's called "Shock Jock", or whatever. I'm assuming it's the electrical power Booker will most likely receive. Speaking of which, I've noticed I don't use plasmids (forgot what they are called in this game) nearly as much as I did in the first 2 Bioshock games. I guess cuz I don't really see as much use for them in Infinite. At least, so far. Honestly, I've really only been using the very fist one you get (which controls machines and enemy combatants).
Liz is sort of cliche with the whole "locked away in a tower" origin, but not annoyingly so. That honor belongs to Estelle in ToV. Liz's upbeat attitude is actually in good contrast to Joel's.. uh.. I mean, Booker's ultra-serious, brooding personality, so it works. The story is interesting so far. I'm sure it will become much more so as the game goes.
I am enjoying the game play, over all. The gun-play has definitely improved since the first game in the series. The sky-line system is admittedly really neat. However, I think the setting and environments in the first Bioshock are still the best of them all. Infinity's are interesting enough, though. I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of Infinity's formula of having the player wander around large boring areas, rooting through trash; hand bags; and desks for much-needed supplies in between action scenes. When things do get hectic though, they get hectic in a great way.

Skyrim (PC) - Holy sh1t. I can see why PC-dedicated gamers are always talking about how consoles are underpowered. Seeing the detail and fluidity of this game on my newly upgraded PC really blew my mind. I had played Skyrim on Xbox 360 before, and that version simply could not even hope to compare to this. Almost feels like a different game. I can see I'm going to enjoy losing hours to this.
15  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Most Favourite Gaming Moments~! on: November 21, 2014, 09:43:40 AM
They fucked up the physics.  Everything is absolutely the same as before, but when you're on a colossi or trying to climb it, the Hero tends to lose balance super easily when they sway about.  You'll keep your footing but waste a lot of time stumbling about.  It's not that bad during the main game nor game breaking, but it will basically require you to hunt for lizards (eating them ups the in-game Grip Meter) for some of the harder fights but it makes the game INCREDIBLY frustrating for Time Attacks that you have to really pull your best tricks and pray for a good spot of luck.

Really? I thought you were going to talk about the framerate or any other technical aspects, but not how they rebalanced a part of the game to something you aren't particulary fond of.

For what's worth however I'll throw my 2 cents; I've played both versions of SotC. And the PS3 version is a clear improvement over the original release. More it could be done to make SotC a smoother experience but that would be messing around too much with the original game.

I appreciate the input.

It does sound like a matter of personal preference. Since I've never played the original version, I wouldn't even know the difference. Sweet.



EDIT:

Cecil's Class Job Change in Final Fantasy IV.

This one was a biggie for me as well. Good stuff.
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