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Messages - ironmage

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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.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: August 02, 2015, 09:06:22 PM »
... and Snow White is shoujo, which I have not had good experiences with in the past...

Overlord and Chaos Dragon were ones I threw on the list before but I honestly don't know why. The traliers, openings, and descriptions just sound terrible, and I haven't heard a good word from fans, either. Overlord especially just had me thinking "why do I want to watch this?" over and over sounds like the most blatant otaku-pandering wish-fullfillment fantasy possible...

I dropped both Overlord and Chaos Dragon after one episode.  Overlord was yet another variation on the "real person trapped in a video game" gimmick, but basically nothing happened in the first episode, and I've already had my fill of the sub-genre with SAO and IIWTTTPUGIAD.  There was a scene with an unconditionally loyal female subordinate I found a bit icky.  Fantasy wish-fulfillment, indeed.

I can't remember much about Chaos Dragon.  I guess it didn't make much of an impression.

Snow White with the Red Hair, on the other hand, is starting out pretty well, with decent production quality (I'm two episodes in).  But, it isn't exhibiting much of a departure from the standard shoujo pattern, so YMMV.

Man today's Baby Step's episode was awesome.

Yes. Yes, it was.  The shot that Maruo made between his legs?  That was it.
I've been watching Baby Steps since the beginning, and I'm staying with it, although I'm not usually into sports anime.  My mother has started watching it too, and she's a lot pickier than I am.

General Games / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic
« on: August 01, 2015, 10:26:05 PM »
Arnie Roth (composer for Final Fantasy Distant Worlds) apparently just blurted out that there WILL indeed be an updated FF12  (did he mean HD or Remake?).  Do with the info what you will.

...yes, please.  I might be worried about what they're going to do with FF7, but I think FF12 can only be improved by a upgrade/remake.

I hope we finally get the Zodiac Job System version out here.  (And the spell queue problem really needs fixing, too; some areas are almost unplayable on the PS2).

Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: July 31, 2015, 06:30:01 PM »
I've been wanting to get into a new anime/manga series for a while now so I signed up for the free Crunchyroll service a few days back.

I haven't found Crunchyroll to have a particularly strong shounen lineup.  Too many of their shounen series appear to be intended to sell merchandise to eight-year-olds, and I generally don't get past the first episode.

I'm enjoying Food Wars, but I can see how some aspects might be a turn-off.

So, random shounen-ish recommendations on Crunchyroll:

Haikyu:  High-school volleyball anime.  Quick pacing, sometimes very funny.

Yona of the Dawn:  Yeah, it's kinda girly, but I'm a sucker for medieval asian romances, and it's a decent action series in its own right.

Chihayafuru:  Somehow, the writing staff managed to produce high drama with a competitive card game.  I don't know why this series is awesome, it just is.

House of Five Leaves:  An unemployed ronin gets entangled in a kidnapping ring in medieval Japan.  The pacing is slow, but it has a distinctive style, and it avoids the genre cliches.  You won't find much action here, though.

In the giant robot genre, Aldnoah Zero and Argevollen are fairly good recent series, although both of them have some issues.

If you want to try some mahou shoujo, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is rather good.  But, don't judge it until you've watched three episodes.  It gets dark. The opening credits are a lie. If you like it, continue with Yuki Yuna is a Hero.

For currently airing series, I can provisionally recommend Charlotte (almost everything by P.A.Works is good), GATE (discussed above), Ushio and Tora (supernatural action, stylistically reminiscent of YuYu Hakusho), and Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers (light fantasy).

World Trigger is definitely a shounen series, but the pacing and production quality are rather poor.  But, it is scored by Kenji Kawai...

For the sake of completeness, Fairy Tail *is* on Crunchyroll, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it.  I only watch it late at night, when my brain is too tired to know better.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: July 23, 2015, 01:25:42 AM »
Digital Devil Saga 2:  I lost two more party members (permanently?), but that's okay.  Then I gained a new party member, who somehow had the same skills as the party member I lost previously.  It's Galuf vs. Krile, SMT edition!

And then came a dungeon.  The lights on the upper floors was out completely (even the map had reduced visibility), and the lower floors were heavily damaged, and rife with spatial distortions.  But, at least the elevators still work.  ...Wait, how could the elevators still work?  Isn't the electricity out?  Let's not examine this too closely.

Vritra gave me some trouble on the first couple attempts, but I spent a little time grinding so that Sera could learn Elec Boost and Zionga, and then I just spammed Void Fire/Tarunda/Makunda/Sukunda/Zionga, and it went comparatively smoothly.

After this, one of the party members I lost came back.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with two characters with the same elemental weakness.  Teach 'em both Resist Fire?  That's gonna be expensive...

The slowdown problems were already addressed in the 2011 PS3/PSN port, so it's a pretty good bet they won't be present in the new version, either.

As far as the balance problems go, I expect they'll still be present in the "classic" mode, but probably dealt with in the "remake" mode (however they decide to call it).

For one the original Odin Sphere is being entirely re-made and will have a variety of updated game systems. Admittedly there will be a “Classic Mode” which will retain the original game’s functionality...

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