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Topics - Artimicia

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General Discussions / Favorite game companies?
« on: June 23, 2016, 07:11:09 PM »
I don't know what gave me this idea, but I guess I was thinking about it because I thought it was cool how all the Capcom franchises were often released on a whole bunch of systems to give some degree of accessbility, whereas for Square or something (even though I like Square) it's often tied to a particular system and all that.

So yeah I was just wondering what's your guys favorite game companies, from big to small, west to east, wherever, and such.

For me, the vast majority of games I played growing up were from Nintendo and Capcom and in many ways that's stayed somewhat true over the years.

Quintet was also one that I became really fond due to their engaging RPGs like Robotrek and Illusion of Gaia.

Anyway I'm thinking of them mostly for their game franchises, but for any reason, curious if anyone wants to share and as to possible reasons.

General Discussions / PS4 or Vita?
« on: April 11, 2016, 08:49:10 AM »
Ok fellow RPGFanners and hardcore RPGers of WRPG and JRPG and well every RPG stripes, the question in the topic...

But yes I have seen games for both that I want, but possessing neither system (and simply relying on the 3DS in recent times) I was thinking why not send it to the general group of people out there?

I think for most people it would be unquestionably the PS4 but frankly there's at least a few games I really would like to play for Vita such as

1. Oreshika
2. Ys: Memories of Celceta
3. Valhalla Knights 3
4. Soul Sacrifice
5. Gravity Rush

So.. .quite a few! I could list some of the PS4 ones but it's fair to say there a few there as well.

But yes forget my stance on everything, anyone want to share what they think??

Multiplayer RPGs / Star Trek Online
« on: April 09, 2016, 04:45:40 AM »
Hey so I just wanted to mention, since I didn't see the topic for the game anywhere, that I've been trying this out and it's been way more interesting and fun than I expected (basically considering I hadn't heard about it)

For those who don't know, Star Trek Online is developed by Cryptic Studios, the makers of STO and also quite a few other Online games such as Neverwinter Online, Champions Online, and a few Korean MMOs which I am somewhat unfamiliar with to be honest...

Anyway! They are (pretty sure) all released through a platform known as "Arc" where you can easily access different games at different times, and the patching and all the processes are pretty smooth and easy to access.

So what's been attracting me to Star Trek Online? Well, a number of different things.

Character Creation

The character creators in all of the Cryptic games I've played have been extremely robust and give you a great degree of control over creation. In Champions Online, for instance, you can pretty much dress up your character like almost any comic hero or villain you have seen, with ample amounts of ways to accessorize your character. I think to illustrate, you can like pretty much turn your character into a werewolf or something wild if you really feel like it, opting out of the "human" dimension entirely.

Anyway, Star Trek Online is not quite as varied, but still pretty diverse, you can pick a wide array of racial/species selection in fact there are up to around 15-20 options or so just for the Federation, and with 12 or so from the other 2 factions you have up to 30+ options, which easily surpasses most online games out there which tend to stick to around 3-4.

As just alluded to, you can also pick one of the 3 factions; Klingon Empire, Romulan Republic, or United Federation of Planets (so basically the Federation Fleet). I went with the Federation and so I'm not really aware of the other options, but I do know they feature some "story specificity" in that you don't get a repeat experience (it's unique to the faction and such).

So, I jumped off starting a Federation officer, thinking, well it's pretty Vanilla but I usually don't go for the exotic things when starting out a game at any rate. You can also tweak a few other things like the uniform and whether you are an "Ensign" or some other designation on your uniform.

So overall, everything went easily and there were a lot of options which made the CC stand out in STO, which for anyone who plays a number of online games, this is definitely one of the things that is pretty important to get right because a lot of players really attach to the look and feel of their primary characters.

So! That's that.

Basic Questing, combat, flying your ship

The first thing I noticed about the game is that it looks pretty nice, I don't have the best computer but even without that I could turn the graphic settings up pretty high and the game itself was pretty polished and nice looking. It was also very easy to manage settings, adjust the bells and whistles so to speak, so that it was sparkling and engaging.

Anyway, questing and managing the missions, inventory, and such are also very easy to get into and make the whole experience go smoothly. The best thing though I've found was the combat was a refreshing change of pace, instead of clearly just auto-attacking and spamming abilities, it's more that you spam attacks while kind of having free range of movement. I feel like it works well because it doesn't feel over-engineered, it was just made simply and effectively so that it works quite effectively.

I'd also have to say, the music in the game that I've experienced so far (I haven't really gotten super far into the game, it's true) has been quite nice and many times I found myself standing around just listening to the music rather than in a rush to move forward.

One of the things I like about Star Trek Online is how it feels like you are being set-up for a kind of mission and commander, where you can possibly succeed. I think a lot of games these days or Online games kind of make it feel like you are heading for disaster, and you have to scratch and claw your way to the top. Instead, your commanding officers are all accomplished and focused in many ways, making it feel like you are part of ship and system that is designed to work and succeed.

Now anything on STO would be remiss without a section on "flying your ship," which I've discovered is a pretty essential part of the game. At first I wasn't sure, starting off on land seemed to make that perhaps the integral portion, but actually getting on a ship and flying combat missions soon became more common.

The deal with flying is that you have your ship, which has a number of different features etc depending on the type of ship (lasers, proton torpedos, etc), and consequently you are compelled to pay attention to a few variables such as reload times, recharge times, etc, whilist flying.

The nature of flying missions and sequences can vary, from just destroying debris to taking out enemy ships in pitched battles, the basics of the flying combat though have been pretty smooth as well making it a pretty enjoyable experience.

Basically, if you are ference is some fierce fighter game like an old Star Wars game or something, this is the wrong tree to bark up, because Star Trek Online is much more stately feeling in many ways. You fly at a steady speed a lot of the time, and just sort of try and navigate, it's akin to more like 19th century era ships firing cannons at each others broadsides or something then super fast darting around dogfighting or stuff like that.

I will say personally I kind of always have a habit of gravitating towards the ground experiences for one reason or another, maybe just because it makes me feel like "grounded" I'm not sure, but I do know that the flying in STO is built to be solid and enjoyable in large chunks so I wasn't really disappointed or anything.

Going forward, the mid-game, and beyond?

So, I must confess, I still have a lot of this game yet to see, I was thinking maybe someone here had already played it, in fact, possibly most certainly had played it, but I didn't notice a topic on it. I'm not sure if the experience is going to change over time, but overall, I've noticed the game seems to develop in ways that keep me interested.

For instance, the inventories and weapons you get in the game seem like they can be very diverse, giving you weapons that can change how you play in important ways.

For instance, the game does seem to make quite a good bit use of "choices" in conversations and quests, like, do you want to do X or Y, do you want to proceed on path A or B? I don't know why but I find these to be very fun and generally just make me a lot more invested to play, even if they don't necessarily always seem to have an impact on the game.

So, I've never really been a part of "Star Wars vs Star Trek" or similarly themed things. I do know that having played the Star Wars MMO (Star Wars the Old Republic), and this, I can't help but think that Star Trek comes out ahead, for a variety of reasons, but yes, at any rate, it's been quite surprisingly fun so I thought I'd mention it here.

It's free to play also so it's pretty easy to get into.

So! That's my shindig on STO, I haven't really gotten all the way through it by a long stretch though so lots of things could change I imagine, but overall, solid!

Single-Player RPGs / Mass Effect 3 anyone?/Bioware thread
« on: January 14, 2016, 09:46:06 AM »
Well, so, I wasn't really around here when the ME3 ending business happened, settling for the archaic experience of just playing Mass Effect 3 a lot and I remember at the time going well that was pretty interesting, and then moved on with other things.

I noticed there was an old thread on it that died around 2013, but now I wanted to get more into it.

Well now having found myself going into it and more detail I can't help but notice this was also where there was a lot of frustration and all that regarding the ending, and it's like ok lets break this down...

..that's a pretty powerful experience right there in Mass Effect 3, like I'm really impressed how they really went that far in terms of the drama and intensity, it's just a pretty intense experience. That reaction to the ME3 ending was pretty much all people just feeling kind of ill-equipped to handle that kind of intensity I think, so they all kind of lashed out negatively. Objectively speaking it was quite engaging, I mean, the entire game, but also the ending. It was a strong build on Mass Effect 2, which also maintained a lot of strong elements from the previous game before that.

As for the ending

Spoiler: show

It seems to me the ending was pretty straightforward, you could sacrifice yourself and control the Reapers, you could sacrifice the Geth/ Lots of higher technology but save yourself and pretty much all organic life, you could take a chance on the idea of "synthesis" which is what the Reaper sentience tells you (who is pretty unreliable frankly) that it is the final stage of evolution and synthetics and organic life will merge in some unexplained way.

Control is out because you, the player, are just logically never going to be sacrificing yourself, that's just how that works. The person in control of the decision isn't going to rationally do that no matter what the "numbers" or "greatest good" might suggest.

Destroy is pretty good because it gets rid of the Reapers and saves a lot of people, bad because it gets rid of a lot of technology and wipes out like the Geth and stuff. Overall, it's hard to say how the numbers would be.. but it seems logical to conclude that you would be wiping a lot of life which is really bad but since it's in the interests of saving a huge portion of other life, and you the player Commander Shepard survive, it's the winner against control easily.

Synthesis is theoretically the best but there is no evidence to really conclude it is the best. The reality is fans need to step back and just accept that this is just kind of video game whimsy on some level and it was probably never meant to be taken super seriously. Based on what was in the original game, the reality is that there really isn't any simple way to conclude whether Synthesis is better than destroy or vice versa, it's more likely to conclude that it's worst of the two since

1) it's hard to believe a merged synthetic-organic is really like what it's been before for those people. on some instinctual level.

2) considering that the galactic child person was already telling you things that fundamentally weren't true (we do this for your own good, which is literally impossible because according to him/it the actual extinction of people during a cycle is completely acceptable to them and ok, which is impossible because the sentience is gone and I mean it's just terrible obviously), his character is in question as to what he's telling you is actually true on any fundamental level, and not to meant to serve their interests.

3) Pretty much everything about chaos and restoring cycle and stuff is also all pretty silly just like Kyubey in Madoka Magica really... like he/it is basically some killer robot of some kind basically.

Consequently, the best option seemed pretty clearly Destroy.

Honestly though, ignoring all that, just the way the ending came up with all the graphics and the energy in the production and experience and stuff is all very intense, very much like many other Bioware games throughout their history. I definitely think they've always committed themselves to offering a cool and powerful experience.

I suspect for many it was their first Bioware game, or at least a recent one, because people I know who played those games before ME or DA were at least used to what a Bioware game felt like and there wasn't really a substantial deviation with ME3, and moreover most of those people actually liked the ending for the most part.

In fact, going back and replaying (or play for the first time) older games such as KOTOR, NWN, or even Baldur's Gate, and honestly (perhaps to certain player's unhappiness) that those games actually frequently offer even more intense experiences than Mass Effect 3, or the Mass Effect series in general. They don't necessarily have the same kinds of endings, or the same level of graphics, but for those craving those kind of experiences but they are certainly quite powerful experiences and from that perspective ME3 was somewhat par for the course.

Not only that, the train hasn't stopped at DA and ME, SWTOR very much has continued that trend in several respects, although I do not necessarily sense it is always at that same extreme level of intensity, most of the core game as well as recent expansions seem to continue at a larger higher energy.

I guess essentially it's hard to understand so much negative energy and stuff around this one thing, when one Bioware has clearly achieved quite a lot in several respects, but also they have really followed the same ideas in many way sin most of their games, and even in super recent history as far as this company goes, not to say they are impervious to things less fun, in fact the most recent Dragon Age game was perhaps one of the less savory efforts, capturing the surface but not the core of a Bioware game in many respects.

But yeah overall I guess I sorta missed on a lot of the discussion but that's how it all appeared to me, and yeah I don't know how other people felt about that game or Bioware games generally on this forum and like I said there was an ME3 thread but since it was so old it advised me starting a new topic so here we are... although I can't say I would necessarily be the type to follow up and keep posting, I guess I was just curious what other people kind of thought about it while sharing my own opinion.

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