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Congratulations to Andrew Barker! RPGfan Editor of the Year and now Chief News Editor!
340931 Posts in 13933 Topics by 2222 Members
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1  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast (Random Encounter) Thread on: December 17, 2014, 12:55:23 AM
Xillia 2 in 2012, which makes the context about yearly releases false.

It depends as here in NA the yearly release has been true since the 'year of tales' was announced.

While true they made no developmental changes with the western releases. Tales of Graces, released in 2009, was the last mothership title before 2011's Tales of Xillia. Thus the comparison to an annualized series like Assassin's Creed is false or unfair.
Sorry for not being clearer on that.
2  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast (Random Encounter) Thread on: December 16, 2014, 09:40:16 PM
 So, uh, I see that there's a massive debate over physical vs digital media, but I want to interrupt quickly with some thoughts on the latest episode. I know I'm late on this - I've been catching up on podcasts while playing Neverwinter Nights (which I bought on the recent GoG sale because I lost the play disc for my physical copy), but I'm hoping better late than never applies here, because I think it certainly applies to the western release of Tales. I'll not pretend that I'm not insanely biased towards the series. I did feel a little thrown off by the opinions here though, because they didn't seem very fair. Obviously it's not fair of me to expect everyone to know the details of a game's history, but the context (framing?) of many criticisms rubbed me the wrong way. I don't want to make a list because I fear I will come across as "LET ME EDUCATE YOU ABOUT MY FAVOURITE GAME SERIES" (which I fear I might already be doing), but as an example: Putting aside Hearts R and Symphonia, both of which are re-makes, Tales hasn't actually had a new mothership title since Xillia 2 in 2012, which makes the context about yearly releases false. That's not to say that you didn't make good points: I do agree that the Xillias have problems (I haven't played Hearts R), but the context (framing?) of the arguments bothers me.

 I love your podcast, and it has provided a great background to NWN. As I said earlier, I don't expect everyone to know every detail of a game's release history, but as an RPG podcast that clearly has a great love of the genre, it felt very off putting to hear so many unfair or incorrect statements about an RPG. Hopefully we can all look forward to Tales of Zestiria, which despite coming out next year, has been in development since the (Japanese - 2011) release of Xillia 1.

 I'll let everyone get back to arguing about physical vs digital now.
3  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Age 3 on: November 12, 2014, 05:03:40 AM
 I dunno if you're answering questions, but if you are, I have one: how do the characters fare compared to other Bioware games? In your review you stated you liked them, but in a different review the characters were described as being fairly flat (at least initially). I enjoyed DA:O and ME1, but have greatly disliked every Bioware game since. With that in mind, I wouldn't consider DA:I, however aside from The Witcher 3, I honestly can't think of any other AAA fantasy WRPGs on the horizon. The initial reviews for DA:I all look very good, but considering the gap between my opinion of ME 2/3 and reviewers, I don't think it's smart to place too much faith in these scores. Specifically I'd like to know if the character's personalities change throughout the story. In DA:O and ME1 they didn't evolve as much as I would have liked.
 - Sorry my posts are always such a mess -
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of PlayStation(s) revealed on: October 01, 2014, 01:39:34 AM
I loved Gaius too, which is interesting considering I wasn't expecting to get much out of him or Muzet. I can't help but wonder how different his personality and character interactions might if, instead of Xillia 2, we got a director's cut of Xillia 1 with everything they originally intended. What exactly was originally intended I see debated regularly, but I'm pretty sure Gaius was supposed to become a party member. I imagine it would be different to see him with Jude's group without the year-long gap.

Also I find it weird that the debt intervals so constantly hated. I wouldn't call them a plus, and I certainly hope to not see something similar again, but I find it strange that people mark them down so hard. I got the required money by doing the event requests, character episodes and elites, so really I cleared the job board once (which took around 30 minutes or less) before starting the next chapter, and even then mostly for the points. I personally had a far more irritating time with say, The Witcher 2, which always drove me insane by having the plot heat up, then dropping you in a hub with a bunch of side quests. I wanted to complete the side quests, but it brought the story to a full-on halt. Compared to that, I (personally, again) found debt intervals a minor bother.

All in all I feel like everything Xillia 2 fell short on, Vesperia excelled in, and everywhere Vesperia fell short, Xillia 2 excels. Still loved X2, and I'm really looking forward to Zesty's world and dungeons, which appear to be far better designed than the Xillias'.
5  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast (Random Encounter) Thread on: July 29, 2014, 11:31:48 PM
 This is a very open question that will require some narrowing down: Do you think storytelling in video games has reached a point where it can be favourably compared with other mediums in terms of depth and complexity of the plot?

 See why it needs some narrowing down? If you'll permit, I'd like to do so in the following ways:
   I'm not interested about how a video game speaks to a concept. I'm sick to death hearing about Bioshock Infinite's Racism, Gone Home's sexuality, The Last of Us/Bioshock Infinite/The Walking Dead's "making you the guardian of a young girl". These are all good arguments to have, but not what I'm looking to ask.
   Secondly, I'd like to focus on plot. Whenever storytelling in games comes up, Bioware gets regularly brought up for having interesting worlds. Most arguments I hear favouring Bioware speak to world building, not the actual plot. The same with Demons/Dark Souls. Lore/World building is an integral part of storytelling, but it's not plot.
   Lastly, I understand the difficulties when comparing across mediums. It's hard to compare a movie to a thousand page book. For games it becomes more complex, as length varies greatly even within the medium. Personally I love the depth offered by multi-book fantasy series (Malazan, A Song of Ice and Fire, Wheel of Time, etc.), so that's where I'm approaching the question, but depth and complexity can mean different things to different people, so take that as you will.

 If this is too long or too limited to use, I understand. It's difficult to articulate exactly what I'm trying to ask. As I said earlier, I am an avid reader of massive fantasy series, and for me  the only way to enjoy games is by separating in my mind: video game plot and novel plot, so I'm curious to hear the thoughts of a more... optimistic group. I'd really rather discuss this than hear it discussed, but I take what I can get and walk away smiling.
 - Good Day
6  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast (Random Encounter) Thread on: August 12, 2013, 07:01:17 PM
 I wanted to post this because I've seen the dragon's crown argument several times around the internet, and unfortunately I've had few open-minded people with which to discuss and criticise my view on the issue.

  I am both a gamer and a reader. As a fanatic of fantasy novels, the genre I love is currently a shared space between the traditional Lord of the Rings/Song of Ice and Fire fare (my preference) and supernatural romance books in the vein of Twilight. Whenever I go to a website like Goodreads, the fantasy section is a combination of things which appeal to different types of people. I have yet to see a full on campaign demanding that one side change itself to be uniform with another. People simply support what they chose to support.

 Why can video games not be the same way? I can understand being frustrated that nearly every game today is targeted at younger males, but the method by which people are voicing their frustration leaves me confused. When you attack something people like, they react instinctively, shifting into a rabid defense of the things they enjoy (as we are seeing). Secondly you give TONS of free advertising to the offending product. To be fair, I had never even heard of Dragon's Crown before this silliness started, and I'm usually rather aware of things which go on in the gaming world. As a result of the assault against Dragon's Crown, it is more likely that the game has sold FAR more copies than it would have if everybody had simply kept silent on the matter. Further, by selling so many copies, it just might get a sequel. This is capitalism at work.

 This is not to say that people who find the current state of gaming offensive should keep silent, rather they should direct their energy into the CREATIVE side of a CREATIVE medium. Without denouncing that which offends, support that which you feel does things well. If you believe there isn't anything which does things well, then feel free to voice that opinion, but in a way that supports the creation of new ideas. Try to fill that void rather than trying to warp what people already enjoy. I see no reason why games can't be like books: coexisting.

 Those are my thoughts. Would love feedback, since it's difficult to form a solid argument without it.
 Edited for those who read English.
7  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Music Podcast (Rhythm Encounter) Thread on: June 30, 2013, 07:52:41 PM
After taking three days to listen to it, I can properly say that this was a fantastic episode. Likely I could write an essay (perhaps even essays) on thoughts regarding these songs, as I recognize many of them and the moments surrounding them stick out in memory. Instead, super fast summary time of a few select tracks because nobody likes a wall of text, much less several of them.

Anything by Shoji Meguro - Thank you, I need to replay about 4 games now... I enjoy the uniqueness offered by Meguro's work, yet what I've heard remains diverse enough that I will never be unable tell apart a Persona 3 track from say, Nocturne.
Prisoners of Fate - I swear I've heard this somewhere before, but either way Mitsuda is amazing and I still wish Chrono Cross didn't have the issues it did (would love to discuss that, but this is a place for music discussions, and the music is fantastic)
Ornstein and Smough - I would have recommended Gwyn's music earlier if it hadn't already been said that final boss themes aren't applicable. Good follow up choice, hearing that DaS was done by Sakuraba was a shock, especially as a fan of the Tales games.

Boss music is always interesting, and I often wonder how it must feel from the point of view of a composer. So often I find boss themes grand or epic (forgive my lack of knowledge when it comes to music terminology), but truly having it fit within the situation provides the most memorable effect. For example, the melancholy nature of Prisoners of Fate works with the situation, creating an experience that sticks to the mind. Similarly, while Magus' Theme is probably my favourite boss theme, everything that came about before it helped set it up. Would the situation be nearly as memorable without the flames, the tower, the quest for the Masamune, etc. before hand? That the music fit with the situation so well made that entire sequence absolutely stapled in my mind as a defining moment of my childhood gaming. (I just noticed that the two tracks I chose as examples are both by Mitsuda - no, I do not fanboy, thank you very much)

Great episode, and I enjoyed the changes. Looking forward to the next. As a closing note, that transition caught me entirely off guard. During the time I was listening to the podcast, playing a game and holding two conversations. Upon hearing the sound of the opening gate from CT the oddness of it brought everything to a crash as my mind froze. I would equate it to juggling five balls at once and one of them suddenly catching fire.
8  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Music Podcast (Rhythm Encounter) Thread on: June 23, 2013, 10:56:01 PM
 I can only speak for myself as I've read drastically different opinions when it comes to discussing podcast length, so I will say 'Personally' once and just assume from here on out that it applies to the rest.

 Personally, when taking into consideration that the podcast already runs over an hour, it seems you have a bit of room to work with, as most people are already dedicating a solid chunk of their time to it. That's not to say exceeding much over two hours would be the best idea. Still, there is the fact that it is a podcast about music, and music is certainly something which requires time. While most video game pieces do limit themselves to shorter tracks on loops, there are a few tracks which have a more dynamic nature often requiring more length, and to see them cut out for the sake of time would perhaps be limiting. While I am here equally for the music and the discussion, I would appreciate having a slightly longer podcast that gives the music... ah, how to say - a complete presentation? (my vocabulary has failed me)

 These are my thoughts anyway. (have I mentioned that?)
9  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Music Podcast (Rhythm Encounter) Thread on: June 20, 2013, 04:58:09 PM
I don't often create an account for the sole purpose of expressing enjoyment at a thing, but I would hate to see the podcast stop due to a perceived lack of interest.

I happened to be listening to be listening to the summer podcast while playing Dark Souls - particularly while going through New Londo. The music clashed with the game so badly it actually made me laugh aloud several times.

It's always conflicting hearing something from Chrono Cross, because while I agree that the music is some of the best I've heard and the art direction is wonderful, I just dislike almost everything else about the game. I've enjoyed nearly everything I've heard by Mitsuda. Hearing the selections from Lime Odyssey was both pleasant, as I got to hear more of his work, and heartbreaking as it is a game which I will never play (for multiple reasons). Certainly it would be worth listening to the music separately, but as has been stated, it adds so much to hear it within the context of the game.

Thank you sirs for the content, I look forward to more in the future. And lest I forget: Mint chocolate chip ice-cream is the bee's knees.
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