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1516  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Sega sells out Phantasy Star on: October 25, 2009, 09:20:49 PM
I always thought that product placements are par for the course for sci-fi stories. Reminds me of when people complained about there being a Nokia computer in James Kirk's stolen car in Star Trek 11. I actually thought that was a good thing since it made it feel like there's a world going on outside the little bubble surrounding the characters.
1517  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Bernie Stolar interview. on: October 23, 2009, 08:14:59 PM
This is probably obligatory: If you don't call this hating SOMETHING, I don't know what is. =P
1518  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: October 20, 2009, 03:49:24 AM
Oh yeah, I know you're not disagreeing with me, just love nitpicking things, it's a hobby of mine. =P

Thing about Archer is that it's pretty much a shot in the dark for the homunculus to assume that Archer would be rash enough to make a charge into the city like that, just seems like if they were really so desperate to get the philosopher's stone done, they would tie up a random element like that since they plan everything else so carefully.

Also Terminator Archer was hilarious.

He goes to kill Mustang, and instead of blasting him with one of the 5 giant cannons
he has, he just shoots him with a pistol. =P

If I'm not mistaken, the thing about the photo was that it was intelligence gathered that should've been known by all the senior officers- it was photographs taken from a balloon or something, so Archer should know about it given that he was the CO for the campaign.
1519  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: October 20, 2009, 01:31:48 AM
That said, Scar's trap wasn't totally boneheaded since it would've required a bird's eye view of the city to see what he was up to. Plus Dante and her lackeys wanted this to happen too.

My point exactly:

So they knew about the trap, and then still fell into it.

Even if you could somehow say that Scar was convinced enough by Lust to go forward with such a flawed plan (Easily foiled by having people run in the wrong places and cutting the symbol off), it would still require Archer to act like a complete idiot. Archer was impatient, but he wasn't stupid enough to fall into a trap he knew about.

That whole change the alchemical composition idea (while the theory behind it isn't complete bullshit) shouldn't have been pulled out of nowhere by Ed to begin with. Nobody else ever thought to do that which pretty much makes Ed into some kind of Super Alchemist where he's recalling chemical formulas out of thin air to shift his arm into other forms of steel in mid battle against a foe who can deduce chemical compositions subconsciously and at sight.

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with the theory, it just makes too many plot holes- he's not even just changing chemical formulas, he's changing the elements themselves, which means you can make anything out of anything if we followed that rule, heh.

As for the gate, I actually didn't mind it too much myself (Though Mizushima and team will forever be remembered for thinking that zeppelins laid siege on London at some point), since at least they used it for something. A lot of the final act of the show doesn't make any sense, but it didn't feel pointless, like the movie did.

Anyway, done with the series now, so I guess I should get around to checking out Brotherhood or reading the manga at some point.
1520  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Youtube on: October 18, 2009, 11:15:04 PM
1521  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: October 18, 2009, 03:18:41 PM
Been on a bit of a nostalgia streak recently, and I decided to revisit FMA. On my second time through, I'm finding a lot more flaws in what I once considered to be a perfect gem of anime. Don't get me wrong, it's still an excellent show, but episode 40 definately made me really confused:

At one point in the episode, Ed is fighting Scar and Scar is unable to blow up his automail limbs
because he constantly switches the metal his limbs are made from...wait, what? He explains to Scar
(Because the best thing to do in battle is to explain your secrets to your opponent) that Scar has always
been inadvertently recognizing what materials his victims are made of before decomposing them, so
switching materials makes that impossible- except if he's been doing it subconsciously there should be
no reason he shouldn't able to decompose just any metal just by thinking about metals.

But we haven't gotten to the crux of the problem, which is that fact that now it's been revealed its
possible to change elements into other elements by alchemy...this just introduces all kinds of plot
holes to the series, because you can just change anything into anything, anytime you want. Before
this its always been established (With the exception of gold, probably to keep the ties to real-life
alchemy lore) that alchemy is just manipulating scientific concepts- Roy controlling oxygen for
explosions and Kimley controlling sulfur and such in bodies for explosions. Otherwise, the first
line of the first episode wouldn't make any sense, because why doesn't Ed just change the carbon
dioxide in the air into carbohydrates?

Anyway, this actually wasn't even the worst part of the episode- the worst part comes when Scar
reveals his plan: He's going to lure a bunch of soldiers into the city so they can transmute them
into the Philosopher's stone... *facepalm* I'm absolutely speechless at how the writers couldn't
have caught such an obviously stupid plan. The whole plan relies on the army (that has a bunch
of powerful, well-educated alchemists) to fall into a trap where there's a gigantic alchemy
symbol dug in the dirt. What makes this worse is that the army actually did know about the
symbol, and they actually did fall into the trap. This whole thing was just the writers needing something
to happen, and it's not like it couldn't have been fixed easily with a single rewrite. There's no way
of explaining this other than the fact that Scar's just a complete retard!
1522  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Most under-rated games ever? on: October 18, 2009, 03:04:27 PM
Energy Breaker must always be mentioned. =P
1523  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: September 29, 2009, 03:20:47 AM
Really?  I thought Ali-al Sarshes was a pretty good villian albeit they acted like they didn't know what to do with him in the second season.

Ali was alright, I suppose, but pretty much every other villain was uninteresting to me. So much so that I can't actually remember any of their names except for Ribbons, and that's only because the frequency in which he appeared. He was just a generic "take over teh world" villain with no real personality.

As for second season, a lot of the characters it felt like they didn't know what to do with: Allelujah, Wang Liu Mei, Nena Trinity, the list goes on. Worst part of this is
that they ruined the entire arc of Soma trying to get in touch with the human side of herself so that they
could banish her into the realm of perfect sunshine flower girlfriend.

Saji was a goddamn pussy and his girlfriend should've been decapitated by a lazor (or suffered some other kind of ironic death like having a shell casing fall on to her as she's trying to flee from a battlefield, or have her try to ride a mysterious force known as Gravity back to Earth in a Barrel Spaceship).

Yeah, Saji was a real wuss, but that's kind of what made me like him. He was a lot more believable and human than the rest of the characters. A big problem with a lot of the more modern Gundam series, to me, is that almost all the characters are really over-the-top or completely vacuous. Saji was a breath of fresh air from most of these because he was just a normal guy. And, he might have been a wuss, but he wasn't as bad as the level of wussbag Kira Yamato displayed.

Louise was kinda hokey for me. You have this sweet, innocent little girl who gets caught up in a bunch of crap, and she clearly ends up suffering from PTSD. So of course,
Ribbons says to himself, "Okay, I'm going to lead humanity to a new era where they become Newtypes,
er, I mean Innovators. The shakiest, most inexperienced, most unstable little girl will do just fine in this
assignment." And even if Ribbons is in the back room pulling the strings somewhere, why would
a hard-assed military take this clearly traumatized teenager?
1524  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box on: September 28, 2009, 01:57:33 AM
I finally got around to playing this game, and figured I should just post here after reading the site's review. I'm wondering how everyone else liked this game.

Putting it up front, I really liked the first game, but I didn't enjoy this one very much.

While I agree with the review that there are a lot more puzzles that are relevant to the plot, most of them arn't very interesting. For example, the final one on how to open the Elysian Box was painfully easy- it doesn't even really qualify as a riddle. The only plot-specific puzzles that left an impression on me were the first few ones, especially the curtain one and the backwards key one, despite the latter being really obvious. That sums up the game pretty well for me- starts out really good, then gets boring quickly.

When the puzzles wern't plot-related, they were lazy. Most of them were either tired, disguised math questions or some form of sliding block puzzles. Very few of them actually required you to think a certain way, or approach the question carefully. Furthermore, the difficulty curve is all over the place. The Curious Village had a relatively consistent difficulty curve throughout the game, instead of throwing you a needlessly frustrating puzzle in between a bunch of laughably easy ones. As said above, there's also a couple puzzles that have really unclear descriptions, though I'm not sure if this was just a translation problem.

Even worse than this, though, is that a lot of the hard puzzles are difficult for the wrong reasons. A couple of them require you to distinguish some small things on an already small screen from things that I sometimes find indistinguishable from a speck of dust on the screen. The fact that I'm using the old first model DS with a slightly scratched-up touch screen really doesn't help matters. =P

As far as the mini-games go, the hamster one's alright. The camera minigame is ruined by the aforementioned tiny screen problem. But even ignoring that, I don't much enjoy playing Where's Waldo on the DS, heh. The tea minigame is boring. You walk around talking to people who tell you what flavors they want inside the tea, and then you just mix those flavors together. It's about as fun as following the instructions on the back of a box of microwavable pizza. Except you don't get to eat something when you're done.

Even ignoring the ridiculous storyline (There's a fine line between being weird and just being nonsensical), the puzzles themselves are really badly done this time around.
1525  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: September 27, 2009, 05:19:43 AM
Got around to watching the second season to Gundam 00, finally, even though I watched the first season many months ago.

Personally, I'd say it's the second best AU Gundam. Notably I've never watched Turn A though, I might watch that eventually but I was so bored mindlessly by the first few episodes last time I tried, I never got around to finishing it.

Regardless, I think this show is basically what Gundam Wing should have been- great animation and actual character development. I can't remember a single character on Gundam Wing that I liked, because most of them were either one-dimensional or completely insufferable. Gundam 00 appeals to the modern Gundam audience with the standard vacuous fucking boring prettyboys, but also hit the mark for that jaded Gundam fan inside me with the B cast. I liked a lot of them- Sergei, Saji and Graham are my favorites. The real villains were all really weak this time, though.

It also helps that they switched out Kunio Okawara for the mecha designs this time. As much as I like his past work, working on so many damn Gundam shows had really made his designs stale.

It's pretty lame that on the last episode, they literally say "Movie's coming in 2010, ready that $10!" I'm not being sarcastic, they actually advertise the movie with text during the final shot of the show. God forbid we actually resolve all the plot points in the actual show. Oh well, at least it wasn't the half-assed non-ending SEED Destiny provided.

Really, my biggest complaint about the show is still the concept itself. I guess they just wanted to move away from militarization and the Earth VS Space thing since that's been done so often.

Well, somewhat looking forward to the next Gundam show, an OVA adopted from one of the novels. I'm sure there's a bunch of fans all giddy about the fact we're revisiting UC for the first time in like 13 years. I think I'm going to use this show as a litmus test to see if the old jaded UC Gundam fans truly are an unpleasable fanbase.
1526  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Sakura Wars English trailer on: September 24, 2009, 01:08:54 PM
Oh yeah, I'm totally aware that none of the main series games have any chance in hell of making it here (Though I could say there was a naive part of me that thought SRW W would be brought here simply by the sheer awesomeness of VOLTRON), I was more talking about the PS2 OGs game, which was basically an enhanced remake of the two GBA ones, with @3 level graphics and voice acting and all those fun buttons and switches that make SRW fans do the wave. Then people complained about it not being brought here.

Of course, they brought over that DS SRW game, so it's basically telling me that they're not sold well enough to warrant translating and voicing a PS2 game for this franchise.
1527  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Sakura Wars English trailer on: September 24, 2009, 02:52:04 AM
I think I'll stick to the original Japanese version. I'm sure the dub will be fine but I'm a purist in that sense.

If you're a huge, huge fan of Sakura Wars I would say you should probably buy this game. Lots of people that had been playing Super Robot Taisen for years never bothered buying either OG game that came out here, and ultimately we never got a shot at OGs being brought here, and then complained about it even though most of the people that complained never bought the OG games.
1528  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Star Ocean 4 International coming to the PS3 on Feb. 2010 on: September 24, 2009, 02:47:42 AM
i was under the impression that star ocean is influenced by star trek. in star trek dont they spend a good amount of time on back water planets?

Star Ocean took some of the worst aspects of Star Trek to use in their games, like long, boring discussions about the Prime Directive and how great it is to not get involved. Also, if the characters get stuck on a backwater planet, it doesn't mean that everything has to become fantasy-like. I remember a particular episode of Star Trek where one of the crew members is sent to pick up some radioactive material, loses his memories in a crash, and unwittingly brings the case with the metal and wanders into a nearby village, where a "plague" begins to spread (Actually radiation poisoning). The village itself was very medieval, but the story never felt like it fell outside the boundaries of sci-fi, since it also showed what was happening on the ship and whatnot. You can have science fiction concepts on backwater planets if you want, though I'm not as sure how you'd stick such a concept in a game without feeling arc fatigue really soon after.

This is just one man's opinion, but for the record, I wouldn't consider Star Wars scifi, while some other people would. I more consider it to be a fantasy story with scifi elements (Then again, midichlorians GRR NERD RAGE). I think science-fiction should be very firmly grounded in being "realistic", so to speak, any mystical elements being limited to things that have some sort of logical explanation.

That aside, even if you get past arguing over the fact of what genre Star Ocean is supposed to be, it doesn't change the fact that most any scene in Star Ocean 4 is trite, cliche, and absolutely gut wrenching to watch.

Anyways, in response to Star Ocean being sci-fi: I swore I mentioned this here but I couldn't find it (easily), so I'm going to reiterate: I'd actually find it interesting if they at least made each of these worlds sufficiently alien Maybe the people don't have to look too alien, if only for the sake of the cast blending in, but it'd be nice if they were less like a typical fantasy RPG world and more like, say, the Dark World in Link to the Past. Look at Metroid Prime 2,  that definitely had a more alien look to its environment and stylized architecture, so doing this sort of bizarro take on the fantasy norms would make it more forgivable and a serviceable compromise between a sci-fi RPG and the familiar fantasy, you use the sci-fi as an excuse to twist and make strange the familiar.

This, too. Even if all the races in say, Mass Effect looked exactly like humans, they'd still be interesting because the races were thought out logically. Having interesting designs help of course, and Star Ocean has hit neither of these. A lot of them are basically stock fantasy races with nothing to say for themselves.

It's not like Japan isn't capable is better scifi, from their typical mecha fare like Macross and Gundam to dramas like Planates. People acting like a bunch of idiots like in SO4 is not something that needs to come with the territory, which is what it feels like a lot of people have submitted to.
1529  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: September 19, 2009, 07:30:28 PM
I'm under the impression that Joss Whedon doesn't write things very well within other peoples' universes. You see him credited on Alien: Resurrection and assume the man's a bad writer...then a couple years later he comes out and creates Firefly, which is, IMO, one of the greatest sci-fi shows ever made.
1530  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Sakura Wars English trailer on: September 18, 2009, 03:57:57 PM
Words out of my mouth, from people talking about the voice not working for a trailer.

I can imagine that voice working just fine when she's speaking the actual character lines.
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