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Messages - ironmage

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Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 30, 2015, 12:49:39 AM »
The problem with Sting games in general is that while they tend to make games with mechanics seen nowhere else, there's generally a good reason why they aren't seen anywhere else.

I suspect that Yggdra Union was their most successful experiment given that they went back to it three more times.

I wouldn't be surprised.  Yggdra Union was my introduction to Sting, and although it had rough edges, the story and characters were decent, and the battle system and overall style were distinctive, perhaps the most original I'd seen in years.

Gungnir had higher production quality, but didn't reach the same level in terms of originality.  It was an interesting variation on the TRPG pattern, but it wasn't a genre-bender the way Yggdra Union was.

I have Knights in the Nightmare backlogged.  I'm kinda dreading it now.

As much as I love Xillia 2 (mostly for the gameplay and the characters) I have a huge problem with it. I feel like I might've got caught up with the fans enthusiasm, claiming it had the best story, and was the best game, and had so many sidequests (PSA Namdai: more sidequests doesn't mean repeating the same type of quest 20 times over) but I just felt a bit...deflated at the end of it all. I'd definitely replay it again just to re-experience the battle system, get the other endings, do hard mode runs etc. but the story was so flat because it was literally 15-20 hours of story to 40 hours of doing the same sidequests over and over.

Although I had other complaints, that was a major one.  I dislike filler sidequests at the best of times, and found it frustrating that the debt system put me in a position where those sidequests were effectively mandatory.  Tales games already have an unfortunate tendency to pad their length, but Xillia 2 was too blatant about it.

It's interesting that different people can often agree on whether the individual components of a game are good or bad, but still have different reactions to the game as a whole.  It's one of the reasons I try to ignore review scores, and focus on the review text...

Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: August 29, 2015, 10:59:43 AM »
Watched through the first three episodes of God Eater.  It reminds me somewhat of Total Eclipse.  I expect to drop it.

The animation is top-notch (it looks expensive, anyway), but the story and characters are generic.  Scientists accidentally unleash a race of monsters on the world, some people have special powers to fight them, and our hero gets the extra-special edition of those powers.  You could make a good story from this premise, but...the whole thing just feels unpolished.

Episode 3 had a battle take place on the back of a transport aircraft, in midflight.  Based on the drift pattern of one character's cigarette smoke, and the fact that another character managed to catch her hat after it was blown off, I estimate the airspeed of the plane at under 15 km/h.

The bad physics aren't the real problem here; the problem is that I wasn't engaged enough to overlook it.

I discovered the Tales series comparatively recently (after the release of Graces f), and liked it enough that I spent a couple years working through much of the series.  Regrettably, I haven't had time to replay any of them yet*.  I would like to replay Vesperia and Abyss, once my backlog has cleared.
Everything in the list below got a single playthrough.

Games I really liked:
Symphonia (PS3)
Vesperia (PS3, japanese import with w/online translation script)
Abyss (PS2)
Graces f (PS3)
Xillia (PS3)

Games that were okay:
Phantasia (PS1, japanese import w/translation patch)
Eternia (PSP, european import)
Symphonia: DotNW (PS3)

Better you don't ask:
Legendia (PS2)
Xillia 2 (PS3) (I'm still angry about this one)

*Playing through both perspectives in Xillia doesn't count.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 29, 2015, 10:52:01 AM »
Riveria:  The initial charm has worn off.  I've cleared the forest level, and started on the water level.  The battle difficulty is still non-existent.  The QTE elements have me save-scumming.  The characterization of the harem party members is bland, and the plot appears to be stuck in first gear.

I don't hate this game, but it is a disappointment.

Since I commit myself to finishing everything that enters my backlog, maybe I need better selection criteria, huh.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics?
« on: August 22, 2015, 07:09:46 PM »
I always felt uncomfortable equipping Agrias with female-only equipment, like perfume.  It seemed disrespectful.  She's a Knight.  She has no need for finery, just a suit of plate, and a sword in her hand.

General Discussions / Re: Unpopular Opinions on Popular Games
« on: August 22, 2015, 03:50:11 PM »
--FF13 was a sub-par Final Fantasy game, undeserving of the moniker.  However, if you take the Final Fantasy name off it, I think it was still an okay RPG (unique battle system, good music, decent production quality).  It took itself too seriously, though.
FF13-2, however, wasn't an improvement.  It was vastly worse.  Sure, they fixed some of the obvious weaknesses of 13-1 (linear dungeon design, lack of towns), but they neutered the challenge, stripped the cast down from ~two likeable characters to zero, and combined this with ever more convoluted writing.  I guess the music was still good.

--I didn't care for FF9, but I can't actually remember enough of it to say why; I guess I just didn't find it very memorable.  Who was the end boss, again?  Was it the guy with the hair?  Dice's LP confuses me a bit.  That actually looks interesting, not like the game I played at all...

--I liked FF8's battle system.  Yup, I liked way enemy levels scaled, and I liked drawing magic.  I thought the amnesia schtick was plausible.

- Uematsu is 'okay' as a composer

I thought Uematsu was brilliant back in the day, but I fear he peaked around FF6.  I haven't really been impressed by much he did post-FF8.

- NEGATIVE: The Shin Megami Tensei series is the most pretentious pile of festering self-obsession in the JRPG market.  Guess what guys? You're pretty much playing Pokemon.

Wait, now hold on a second.  Let's not be hasty.  *takes a deep breath*  Are you saying I should be playing Pokemon?  Have I been wrong all these years?  AM I MISSING OUT BY NOT PLAYING POKEMON???

Dagnabbit, all the FFT themes have already been taken.  And DDS2, too.

Alrighty then:
Shadow Hearts: Battle in China 'Brain Hopper'.  It manages to combine tension with mournful vocals, and still have a sense of underlying evil.  Also, dat bass.

I've always been partial to FF8's secondary battle theme, Man with the Machine Gun, but then again, I grew up in the '80s, and I still think that Synthesizers are Cool.

Persona 3 - Master of Destruction is kind of an interesting one.  The first time I heard it, I loved it; but eventually I began to tire of it.  Yet, as the game progressed even further, the sound was burned into my soul, and I came to like it again.

And here's some random Valkyria Chronicles, because Sakimoto.

General Discussions / Re: What's the haps?
« on: August 19, 2015, 09:52:43 PM »
I've been on a "diet" for the last several months.  My approach is:

1. Eat mostly the same stuff, just less of it, and
2. Exercise more.

Although I don't count calories diligently (just rough mental approximations), I do read the labels.  I used to drink a lot of fruit juice, but after seeing how many calories it has, I basically quit the stuff cold turkey.  Now I mostly drink water.

For exercise, I hop on the exercise bike when I'm watching anime.  Since I watch a lot of anime, I usually get in 25 to 50 min of cycling a day.  I don't pedal very fast, but since I've been gradually turning up the tension setting, I figure at least my legs are getting a bit stronger.  I tried cycling while gaming, but it just makes me dizzy.

After cycling, I snack on pickles (~5 kcal per pickle, so they basically don't count).  I like Bick's kosher-style.

I've been trying to do pushups, too, but even with the best form I can manage, my shoulders start hurting after a week or so, and I end up taking too many days off.  On a good day, I max out around 30.  100 pushups seems a long way off.

I don't know how much weight I've lost; frankly, with my build, maybe I should be trying to gain weight.  I'm 5' 7", and probably somewhere between 140 and 150 lb.  But I have gotten down from size 34 pants to size 32, and I feel a bit less flabby.

General Discussions / Re: What's the haps?
« on: August 18, 2015, 12:22:19 AM »
And it's scary to think that some of the things we thought were just conspiracy theory crackpottery are proving to be true.  Back in the day, conspiracy theorists were afraid of people remotely hacking into their cars' computer systems and taking over.  They were probably laughed at.

Yeah, but they really were crazy; it's just that the technology is now catching up.

It's a lot like those people who walk down the street having conversations with themselves.  These days, you have to look for the headset before you can tell whether they're genuinely nuts, or just talking on the phone.  Although I usually play it safe, and mace them anyway.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: August 07, 2015, 08:55:35 PM »
Any other cool "middle ages" anime?  I'm in the mood for more.

Twelve Kingdoms?
Yona of the Dawn?
The Slayers?  (but maybe not the last couple seasons)

I've heard good things about the 2015 revival of Heroic Legend of Arslan.  I vaguely remember the OVAs in the 1990s, and they were solid.

It's a pretty good war epic, with a middle-eastern feel, but it has a mild case of animitis.  I think if they don't tack in thirty seconds of tropes every episode, they lose their anime license, or something.  I wouldn't mind if this was a light-hearted series, but it disrupts the otherwise serious atmosphere.  Worth trying out, though.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 07, 2015, 08:51:46 PM »
I beat Digital Devil Saga 2 late yesterday, making this the first SMT I've finished on Hard.  Compared to Meganada, Brahman was practically a pushover. Om Mani Padme Hm.

Overall, this was a really good game.  The plot and characterization were both improved from DDS1, but the star of this game is the battle system, which is right up there with the best of SMT. 

Here, have some battle music.

<PS2 backlog clear>
<Backlog games remaining:

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI announced for PS4 and 3DS
« on: August 06, 2015, 08:44:50 PM »
Rocky Road is a delicious ice cream flavor.
The Rocky Mountains are a large mountain range along Colorado.
Rocky Balboa is a fictional boxer from a long running series of movies with varying quality.
Rocket "Rocky" J Squirrel is best friends with Bullwinkle the Moose
The Rocky Horror Picture Show features noted actor Tim Curry dressed as a dominatrix.
Rocky Maivia is the original stage name for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Rocky Desantos was the second Red Ranger.
The Rock was a 1996 film directed by Michael Bay and starred Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage and Ed Harris.
Ernest Borgnine acted in Bad Day at Black Rock in 1955.  He also starred in Ice Station Zebra, together with Rock Hudson.

The Soundroom / Re: AUG/5: Favourite VGM Song (Title Screens!! Pg1)
« on: August 05, 2015, 08:20:02 PM »
Definitely Odin Sphere.  I love that music.


Radiant Historia

Persona 3 - Brand New Days

Katamari Damacy

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 04, 2015, 10:06:46 PM »
Digital Devil Saga 2:  I've reached the final dungeon, and all my lost party members have returned.  Sort of.
I was doing well against Meganada until everybody died.  Once his HP drops into the red, he stops giving advance warning that the Big Attack is coming, and Meru Thunder is a guaranteed party-killer if I don't have Elec Drain up.  Unfortunately, I'm barely holding on at that point, and I don't really have turns to spend "just in case".  Maybe I should grind abilities for a bit.  Phys Resist might help.

Riviera (PSP):  I'm playing this because backlog, and because I liked the other Dept. Heaven games I've played, but this one is kinda broken.
Characters level up by using items, but since the inventory is tiny, I grind all my characters with the new items as soon as I get them, so that I don't have to worry about throwing them out when better items appear.  The result is that, even though I haven't spent much time with the game, I'm already horribly overlevelled.
The characters are anime-tropey dating-simish, which is okay, I guess.  Plot and gameplay are nothing to write home about yet.

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