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16  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Inafune's latest project The Mighty No.9 looks Mega Rocking, man. on: August 07, 2015, 11:33:42 AM
Looks like Red Ash didn't get its money (but it'll get made anyway), and Mighty No. 9 is getting delayed all the way to Q1 2016. There's a whole lot of other stuff that happens around those two announcements but I guess the short version is that the internet isn't terribly happy about it.
17  Media / Game Journals / Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind on: August 07, 2015, 10:57:30 AM
Well, no idea if I have any potential readers yet, but I guess I might as well at least try to get the Windurst storyline done before I consider stopping.

The areas outside each of the cities are relatively large, and they served as a nice introduction to the scale of the game. Outside Windurst is the steppe area of Sarutabaruta. The textures are laughably bad now (and it looked even worse on the PS2 since it had like a third the resolution I do) but at the time I thought it looked amazing, especially compared to other online games. The music in the area is also a personal favorite of mine from the game.

Music: Sarutabaruta

Like many MMOs youíd begin your journey by watching your character do nothing but autoattack enemies. Exciting stuff. Red Mage tends to have a lot more to do though. Compared to when I first played the leveling speed is pretty crazy, enough so that I basically never have to rest. Unfortunately XIís still stuck with the old MMO design where you spend lots of time killing bunnies and giant bees but thereís no adventure in that, so Rapifafa gets to take on plenty of the local Yagudo too.

Oh yeah, I guess I should post the battle music, but personally I think itís among the dullest battle themes Iíve heard (thankfully the game got a lot better at that as expansions came out).

Rapifafa gains more than enough experience just travelling to her destination, so she looks for the Orastery minister. After making her way through the grimy tower, she arrives at the room she was directed to, and spots two Tarutaru bickering. They appear to be siblings, and she recognizes the brother- he was the man that Semih Lafihna was in a hurry to chase earlier.

The brother, named Ajido-Marujido, is apparently seeking some form of forbidden magic, outlawed by the Star Sybil after the war ended 20 years ago. This is likely why the Sybil Guard was chasing him. It seems that the great hero Karaha-Baruha used this same magic back during the war, and it had killed him in the process. Regardless Ajido-Marujido is determined to pursue it due to the aforementioned dearth of new War Warlocks to replace the older, dying ones.

After the sister, Apururu, storms out in a rage, Ajido-Marujido tells Rapifafa that he is already done with his experiment, so he sends Rapifafa on a menial task of collecting a broken Mana Orb before returning to the Orastery, and asks that she keeps quiet about what she had overheard.

After returning to Windurst and returning the Mana Orb, Rapifafa receives her next task- she is to report to another one of Windurstís ministries- this time itís the Manustery, the place where Cardians- strange dolls used throughout Windurst- are created.

Rapifafa immediately recognizes the minister of the Manustery- itís Apururu, but she mustíve been too angry when she stormed out of the ruins earlier to remember Rapifafa. She explains the importance of the Cardians and how they are made with materials from many sources, with the most important material, Mana Orbs, being an exception. Itís considered important enough so that only citizens of Windurst are entrusted with handling the recharge process, which involves another trip to the Horutoto Ruins.

Rapifafa completes her task quickly, only interrupted by some rogue Goblins, but as she exits the ruins, sheís confronted by a group of Cardians. They demand that she hand over the recharged Mana Orbs, and she capitulates due to the nearby guard suggesting to her that a fight with the Ace Cardians would be suicide.

When Rapifafa returns to the Manustery, Apururu explains that some Cardians from the war went wild and began stealing Mana Orbs and attacking people. They do so to revive any of the other rogue Cardians who run out of juice, but apparently thatís meaningless because the Mana Orbs are only useful if thereís a mage to apply them.

With her task for the Manustery done, Rapifafa is sent on yet another task, this time for the Rhinostery, a ministry dedicated to the cultivation of plants. The Guard explains that the peace between the Yagudo and Windurst is kept through a tribute of food and water, and this time the Rhinostery has the task of preparing them, and Rapifafa has the task of delivering these offerings. After receiving the offerings from the Rhinostery worker Leepe-Hoppe, Rapifafa heads towards Giddeus, the local Yagudo camp (where I forgot to take screenshots at so have some concept art instead).

The Yagudo gives Rapifafa quite an attitude before taking the offerings. Not exactly the friendliest of truces, apparently. With her task done, Rapifafa returns to the Rhinostery. As she approaches, she overhears a conversation- itís Ajido-Marujido again.

It seems Leepe-Hoppe and Ajido-Marujido both want to access the canal under Windurst, which have been off-limits for- you guessed it- 20 years. Thereís something about a great beast, Karaha-Baruhaís laboratory, and someone called Rukususu, but Rapifafa canít make all of it out before Ajido-Marujido notices and takes his leave.

Leepe-Hoope thanks Rapifafa for her service while noting how odd it is Ajido-Marujido is running around doing supposedly forbidden things while rumors continue to circulate all around the city. He then sends Rapifafa back to the Town Guard, who declares that for all the work she has done the past few days, sheíll be promoted to Rank 2. Hurray! Maybe if she keeps getting promoted someone will actually bother telling her what the heck is actually going on.

18  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Lets design a jRPG (and then I'll try to make it!) on: August 05, 2015, 01:13:42 PM
I agree with the comment that it's pretty hard to do a parody of a game cliche and not have the joke wear thin. A game lasts for a long time, whereas a movie or something generally only lasts for 1-2 hours. It's not too hard to think of an idea to parody, it's just hard to make it consistently funny.

Like, you could make one guy join your party because he wants to fix his speech impediment which makes him only able to say one sentence. It would have to be sentence easily taken out of context so you can write multiple jokes with it. I can't think of anything though, but maybe someone here's more creative than I with that.
19  Media / Game Journals / Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind on: August 04, 2015, 11:23:40 AM

I have no idea if thereís any interest in a journal like this around here. I know only a handful of people around here played FFXI, and even fewer really got into the story and world building. I would like to think that due to the former though, thereís a decent amount of people at least curious of the game since itís probably ďthat one FF I never played because MMOs are for OCD pack ratsĒ.

With this playthrough I mostly want to just present the story with the game (while re-experiencing it for myself since some of this content I played years ago), which is what really made me fall in love with it- thereís actually not a lot, if any, sites focused on just the story and lore of VanaíDiel (anymore at least, I recall there used to be, but I canít seem to find them). Itís actually possible to do that now because in recent years theyíve done a crazy amount of overhauls to the solo playing experience to the game so that you donít have to put your trust in total strangers not to suck at the game just to get to the next story section. Iíve wanted to do something similar to this for a while, but I imagine itís a pretty big time investment even with all those changes- oh well, letís see how long Iíll last. If there ends up actually being interest in this Iíll keep going.

In retrospect people reading this might not feel FFXI is really anything special in the world building department, but for me personally I feel like it went way beyond any of the JRPGs I had played up to that point, and it was also my first real MMO (the other online games I had played were things like Diablo and PSO)- I had never played Ultima Online or Everquest. The sheer size of the world was also amazing to me, though it probably helps that the game was not released stateside until nearly a year after it launched.

So letís start grinding those pixel swords!

Players are first treated to a pretty CGI opening which, while very cool, is also very misleading because the depicted area is basically only part of the background story and canít actually be visited (Well, arguably it was a few years down the line, but Iím getting ahead of myself).

I should take a moment to mention that I think even people who donít like MMOs will probably appreciate the music composed for FFXI, which was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Kumi Tanioka, and Naoshi Mizuta, the last was a relative newcomer at SquareEnix and had the role of main composer, showing a great deal of improvement as he composed more and more music for FFXI and its expansions. That first song in the opening movie was composed by Uematsu, so the first introduction players would have to Mizuta would be the VanaíDiel March- hard for me to comment on it because it instills a lot of nostalgia in me but probably not for anybody reading.

So time to create a character.

I have a choice between a human- I mean, a ďHumeĒ, an elf, a catgirl (no Japanese game is complete without them), a tall monkey/lion man thing, and a loli chipmunk gnome. Well, I know from Fire Emblem Awakening that you guys love your lolis-who-are-actually-adults so letís go with that last one. Surely she will strike fear into the hearts of her enemies.

Considering where I am, her name will be Rapifafa (a lore-friendly name!) and she even has green hair- it was meant to be. Unfortunately there is no ďGreen MageĒ class in the game, so she shall be a Red Mage- Rapifafa knows sheíll get a spiffy hat at level 60.

Next I get to pick one of the three major cities to start in. Itís a choice between French Elf Knights with bagpipes playing in the background all day, the industrial mining city filled with asshole humans (there are no other types of humans in fantasy worlds),  and the hippie mage city with giant trees. Rapifafa probably will be more comfortable living amongst her own kind, so the hippies it is (she also gets a bonus starting ring for choosing the ďrightĒ city- take that, cultural diversity).

Music: The Federation of Windurst

The intro informs us that long ago, starving wanderers were led to the fields of Sarutabaruta by a star, which then returned to the heavens and returned as a being known as the Star Sybil, leading the Windurstians to prosperity. It also brought them magic, which they practiced vigorously. Eventually Windurst formed five ministries and became a city known for its academics. In recent years, the Tarutaru formed bonds with the Mithra and Windurst grew in size and influence.

With that out of the way, Rapifafa wanders into town, spying a pair of Tarutaru concerned about their missing minister of the Orastery, one of the five ministries. They gossip for a bit until they spot a Mithran Sibyl Guard.

The Tarutaru run off, apparently afraid her of wasting their time playing 20 questions. She instead stops Rapifafa, but she seems friendly enough, introducing herself as Semih Lafihna and telling her about the city. Their conversation is cut short, however, when Semih spots a Tarutaru in strange clothing running by. Apparently, she found whoever she was looking for.

Now Rapifafa is left alone to explore the city. Windurst is probably the largest of the three starting cities- it was also the one I picked when I first started playing. Even now that I know my way around, it still took me a few hours to go around talking to everyone. One thing I really like about the major cities in FFXI is that the way theyíre designed shows that thereís a Residential Area, which if you walk into just takes you into your personal house, but I do like that thereís the implication the cityís actually even larger than what they give to explore.

Rapifafaís conversation with the people around the city lets her quickly learn the present state of Windurst. During the war 20 years ago, Windurst was saved by a hero by the name of Karaha-Baruha. Since then Windurst made a peace agreement with the Yagudo, a race of bird-like beastmen. While the official stance is that Windurst is in a time of peace, some of the citizens donít think thatíll last very long. Recently, Semih Lafihna has been seen around town a lot more often, though most assume it to simply be due to the activity of the local cat burglar. Generally things are as they seem though, most are going about their daily lives, and the local children even invite Rapifafa to join their group ofÖS.O.B.s.

Not before she agrees to go on a fetch quest though!

While running around town Rapifafa also runs into Doctor Shantotto, a highly respected (and feared- mostly feared) mage even amongst the Tarutaru. Some of you may recognize her from Dissidia or from some events held in FFXIV.

Now familiar with the city, Rapifafa goes to a guard to see if she can find some work. Sheís told the Orastery needs help with an experiment of some sort, probably since most are too worried about getting blown up to get close to the mage training academy. Upon entering, she immediately recognizes the two instructors- they were the two Tarutaru she had spotted when she first arrived in the city.

They take some time out of their day blowing up dolls to tell her that the minister had already left long before she arrived, and to catch up with him in the nearby Horutoto Ruins to help him perform his experiment. She nods and leaves them to their work, but before she leaves she decides to speak with some of the staff at the academy- apparently, it has been almost 20 years since the last War Warlock had been born. Windurst cannot afford to have any sort of conflict in its current state.

All Rapifafa knows is that a lack of new talented mages just means she gets more jobs like this one, so with her cheap sword in one hand and a dusty old spell scroll in the other, Rapifafa makes her way to her first adventure outside the city!

(Sorry for the huge post- tried my best to keep it short but I had to introduce the game and all that. Pretty sure any future entires won't be this long.)
20  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: July 29, 2015, 03:32:59 AM
I saw Ant Man.

I liked it.
21  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI announced for PS4 and 3DS on: July 28, 2015, 02:07:12 PM
It says "Eleven".
22  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2015 on: July 26, 2015, 11:43:15 AM
1. Mass Effect 3
2. TES III: Morrowind + Tribunal/Bloodmoon

Went and played another character, went through the expansions this time. Combat was a lot less annoying this playthrough since I use swords instead of maces, and those actually let you move while attacking which doesn't make everything feel stiff as hell.

3. TES IV: Oblivion + Shivering Isles
4. Cave Story (PC)
5. Planescape: Torment
6. Shovel Knight
7. .hack//G.U. Vol. 1: Rebirth
8. .hack//G.U. Vol. 2: Reminisce
9. .hack//G.U. Vol. 3: Redemption

10. Deus Ex

Another one of those "games I should've played before but haven't" off the list. I enjoyed this one a lot and I'm sure I'll play it again using a different build. Probably helps I'm not really an avid FPS player so I probably didn't even notice, let alone mind, a lot of the clunkiness the game has with the shooting.

11. Bastion

Went into this one only knowing it got some glowing reviews and not much else. I liked it, but I didn't really think it was anything special. I did love the flavor text on a lot of the items though- whoever wrote all of it was good at being concise.
23  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: July 19, 2015, 10:29:24 AM
The glowy eyes and what looks like hexagons on the limbs are probably what make people think its an alternate form of Zygarde.

That, and the fact that that's pretty much what they've done since Gen 3. They made games that "starred" the third legendary which basically did nothing in the games before (Rayquaza, Giratina, Kyurem).
24  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: July 18, 2015, 12:18:30 PM
The yearly Pokemon movie has come out, and I'm sure it has a totally original and exciting storyline that doesn't involve Ash Ketchum saving the world from a super Pokemon.

I'm sure less important to everyone is the fact they did some teasing for a strange silhouetted Pokemon which looks similar to another existing Pokemon. There was also the appearance of something assumed to be a new Pokemon. GameFreak's nothing if not predictable- it's about the time they'll release their third batch of games for this wave of Pokemon and they'll start teasing the fanbase about the next generation. Guessing 2017 for the latter.

I enjoyed Pokemon X/Y a lot so I'm looking forward to another wave of furry creatures to add to my collection.
25  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Inafune's latest project The Mighty No.9 looks Mega Rocking, man. on: July 06, 2015, 05:24:16 PM
I agree completely, Hathen. I'd like to actually be able to play Mighty No. 9 before I support a new title from Inafune and Comcept. Also, since Mighty No. 9 was completely funded by the generosity of fans, they should wait and use the profit they make to fund the studio's next game. Or at the very least, try to fund it themselves.

So I slowed down and read the description a little closer, it seems like all the people reporting about this are leaving out something really important.

This thing they're kickstarting is in fact, a prologue game of some kind, and only a snippet of what the "full game" would be (they said it would be around 8 hours long). I'm guessing it's a lot like what MGS Ground Zeroes was. Apparently they're saying the full game would cost way too much to ask Kickstarter- when you think about it that's not really a surprise, they want to make an open world game and that can cost tens of millions in a first world country like Japan. Makes the $800k they're asking for make a whole lot more sense because there's no way you'd be making an open world game on that budget.

From the page:

This story has always been planned as a key jumping-on point for the universe, and we hope to use this small, but dense taste of the RED ASH universe as a foundation on which to build future content. Whether it's through additional funding, revenue from "The KalKanon Incident" sales, or teaming up with a publisher, this is a story we are determined to tell, and we want all of our backers to be on the ground floor for the creation of this new game universe.

It seems like it's basically them asking the fans to fund a pitch/proposal sort of thing. When put this way it does seem like an appropriate use of Kickstarter.

Unfortunately they really picked the worst combination of factors. People are going "didn't we already give you guys money" after MN09, June/July is like the worst time to launch a kickstarter, and on top of that they're making this right after people have already put their money into Yooka Laylee, Bloodstained and Shenmue. There's still plenty of time so I'll put some thought into whether or not I'll kickstart this one, I do hope they can make their initial goal at least.
26  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: SMTxFE (aka 'GIRFE', aka 'PerformaEmblem') on: July 06, 2015, 04:59:19 AM
all the nitpicking and the "why isn't this the way I want it" that I've seen with #FE

More like, "why isn't this what they implied it would be".

27  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Inafune's latest project The Mighty No.9 looks Mega Rocking, man. on: July 05, 2015, 02:07:28 AM
Sorry INAFKING, I'm not really feeling it this time. At least the Mighty No. 9 kickstarter had mock ups of what the game might look like (though the end product ended up looking a lot worse) in addition to their character and concept art. There was even a few shots of people working on the 3D models of Beck and whatnot. Here we got the character art and a bunch of storyboards (also what I'm guessing is Hochu Otsuka's voice which was the best part). Mighty No. 9's not even out yet and I want to know if that's actually a decent game before bothering to help you fund your next game (Though really they should be trying to fund their own projects now that they have actually made a major release). I get that you can't just have your programmers sitting around twiddling their thumbs while MN09 is entering post-production but I find it hard to believe Comcept doesn't have enough money for ~3 months before needing to make this sort of announcement.
28  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: July 03, 2015, 04:34:59 PM
Well sorry to get your hopes up, but apparently that site was from 2011 or something and the internet told me sweet lies.

Still, back in March CC2 did talk about working on three separate projects (Title 1: photo-realism, RPG, worldwide, Unreal Engine 4, physics-based rendering, Title 2: open world, Title 3: virtual reality) so I'm still thinking at least one of them will be .hack related in some way.
29  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: July 03, 2015, 07:01:04 AM
CC2's teasing a .hack project of some sort.

30  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Inafune's latest project The Mighty No.9 looks Mega Rocking, man. on: July 02, 2015, 11:18:12 PM
That girl looking really weird was something I noticed. I honestly can't tell if she's supposed to be black, white except covered with dust, or she's grey because she's a robot or something. The blue eyes and blonde hair are what throw me off I guess. Also, whoever did that coloring job got really lazy apparently because it looks like they just used a gradient fill-in for her face.
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