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1516  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The Xmas swag thread. It's an RPGFan Xmas tradition! on: December 29, 2009, 10:35:22 AM
No they're not, those 3 things can be combined for a very fun and kinky night.
1517  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: December 27, 2009, 10:30:54 PM
I haven't seen Avatar yet, but I'm very interested in seeing it. As far as scripts go though...James Cameron always had a very "plain" style of writing IMO, for lack of a better word. I don't think a lot of people are going to walk into this expecting amazing writing. How does this compare to other James Cameron films?
1518  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Phantasy Star Zero on: December 27, 2009, 07:44:48 PM
Quote
Free online play huh... there must be no customizable rooms, or any other appearance modification after creation like in PSU.  If PSU were free, I'd be all up in it.  I don't know why people dislike it so much.

Free online play is definitely a plus, though I think it’s mostly because there’s no way you’ll get a respectable number of people willing to pay to play such a game online anymore with the vast number of deeper online RPGs out there.

As for PSU, I dislike it mostly for personal reasons. The only thing I think is a huge unarguable flaw in the game was the butt-numbingly awful story. For me, the biggest problem of PSU was just how slow the game was, which isn’t something you expect out of a dungeon-crawler type game, and even if you got any good weapons they didn’t really look all that great.

Personal Machines (Or whatever they were called, I can’t remember) were a step down from mags. With mags, you had an immediate use for every level you gained with them. PMs were there to craft you stuff which took forever and used very valuable materials, still had a chance of breaking and after that, you had a chance of getting an item with great stats or a complete dud. In PSO, you just picked up a weapon and you could use it immediately even before getting it tekkered if your class could use it. Thankfully, PSZ goes back to mags.

PSU got a lot of gameplay improvements right, the problem was that it was one step forward, two steps back- the gameplay was implemented poorly. I actually don’t prefer the timed-button attack combos in PSO/PSZ but I think the reason people prefer PSO is because it actually adds some strategy to how you direct your attacks and such. The biggest problem with PSU, though, was that higher levels required just too many damn hits to kill a single enemy. There were also some serious game-breaking enemies that knocked you over and then went to hide before you could get up and strike back.

Finally the biggest thing that makes me like PSO more, and this is probably just me, was that I preferred the art style and atmosphere of PSO. There was a whole air of mystery in the game’s story and your interaction with Red Ring Rico. There’s not anything like that in PSU that sticks out in my mind.



Anyway, PSZ. I decided to spend a little more time with the game in single-player, and I may or may not end up playing online- I really hate setting my router on WEP or open network, though. Anyway, I beat the game on normal, after about 7 tries on the last boss since he’s so damn hard (For all the wrong reasons).

Couple thoughts on the game- the graphics are great for a DS game, I’d say, though I’m not a big fan of the art style. Given the tone of the game though, it’s appropriate. The music though…well, I can’t say much about because for one thing the volume on the music felt really soft to me, and I can’t remember a single song from the game. PSO had a ton of great music and PSU had a lot of good ones too, so music is pretty lame this time around.

There’s not much to say about the gameplay beyond what everyone already knows about it. It’s the same as PSO but the timing on the button presses seems a bit harder to pinpoint, though all that takes is practice.

All my complaints are from playing the single player, so most of you probably won't run into these problems. Big problem for me is that the game throws you that battle-dive dodge move thing to make you think you can dodge enemy attacks, when in fact a good amount of them are nearly impossible to dodge. It would’ve been a lot more useful if I could move the camera faster- but since the system controls can’t do that, why not let me zoom out? The game does it automatically for some boss battles so they should’ve just made it an option somewhere.

Magic is pretty annoying to use in the game, at least in my experience. I want to hear if anyone around here is playing a FO because I can’t imagine trying to do anything solo as a FO. The charge idea may work for the photon arts, but I find it really irritating to use for magic. Originally the advantage of using a FO in any other game was doing big area attacks without as much trouble, as FOs have no way of dealing high, rapid damage on a single target. So not only do FOs do less damage when they spam their basic techs, they take forever to use any area techs too. Resta just makes it worse because it takes far too long to charge the spell. The single player is designed partially with the idea of you keeping your companions alive, and this is impossible when they have the IQ of an amoeba and you can’t heal them rapidly.

I realize the meat of the game is probably the online experience, but is it that hard to program the lines “don’t walk into traps”, “don’t walk into enemy attacks”, and most importantly, “don’t shoot the turret traps which then fire a giant volley of bullets into player characters”? I shouldn’t have to get my allies killed on purpose because they keep triggering obvious traps. These are some really heinous programming crimes that really shouldn’t be committed today - these are problems I only expect out of awful LJN games of the NES era. The only use the NPCs ever had were as giant targets for the enemies. There’s no way to upgrade their equipment so they’re stuck doing 5-10 damage every hit and being completely ineffectual.

Anyway, doing a lot of nitpicking, but I don’t hate the game or anything- but you’d think Sega would get these game mechanics down since this is like their 10th time making this sort of game, especially when they've gotten them right in the past.
1519  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: December 26, 2009, 03:13:38 AM
Spotted a couple movies while I was on an airplane ride, so I had no excuse to not get off my lazy ass and finally watch them:

In short,
Public Enemies: Good, but not great.
District 9: Great but not amazing.
Wanted something light-hearted, so I watched
Elf: Amazing, but not OH GOD I CAN'T GO ON IT WAS SHIT

I admit I'm not a Will Ferrell fan at all. Or at least, I'm not a fan of the comedies he does. The only one I've really enjoyed thus far was Stranger Than Fiction. I guess I generally can't stand "lovable idiot" archetypes because I'm always under the feeling that the director and/or writer is trying to make you feel sorry or relate to them, when in fact they deserve pretty much everything they get because all they do is trouble the people around them.

With District 9, I think my favorite thing about it was that it wasn't very manipulative in many aspects. Wikus was a pretty selfish person throughout, and ended up making a lot of things worse. At the same time, it was hard to blame him because the way he was flawed felt very human to me. He wasn't so much a "bad person" as he was just narrow-minded. I'm a bit disappointed with how it became a typical action movie about the last third or so, but I'm under the impression they thought they had to do that because of how many just-talking films have tanked in the past.
1520  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV CharCreation Info! on: December 22, 2009, 11:41:16 PM
Intuitive sounds nice. One thing I'd want is when you choose eyebrow shapes or whatever they show the list with pictures rather than making you scroll through a number and waiting for it to load. Character creation should go quickly.
1521  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: 5 Favorite JRPGs of 2009 on: December 22, 2009, 08:40:48 AM
There's a pretty big difference between being generic and being mind-numbingly boring. If you've played every RPG there is to offer on the DS and you're really itching to play another one, I suppose you could do worse.

It's pretty hard to accuse Nostalgia of doing a lot of things wrong, mainly because it's not "doing" a lot to begin with.

The story and characters arn't really worth mentioning, so the only thing really worth discussing is the gameplay.

I find it surprising you would actually say that your "only" complaint is that the airship battles are poorly balanced, because that's one of the only things the game has to offer that other games don't have. The airship battles are also nothing remarkable because they're pretty much the exact same thing as normal battles except everyone shares the same life bar. Oh yeah, you need to buy a different set of weapons and armor for the airship.

The other thing the game has to offer that is unique is the setting: It's set in the real world, unlike a lot of other games. Problem is, it doesn't use this to its advantage in the least bit. In fact it makes me feel like the only reason they did it was because they were too lazy to come up with a world of their own.

The battle system is boring, lifeless, and dull. Although the battles are faster than, say, FFIV DS, they are still far too long because of the simple fact that nobody is going to give a rat's ass about how smoothly Eddie swings his sword after the 6000th time he does it. The skill tree system has been done in god knows how many RPGs, and done much better than this game's typical "oh yeah put some points here and make it stronger" deal.

And what better way to accentuate your boring battle system with boring, uninspired music? The music in the game seriously reminded me of the vanilla tunes you get along with RPGMaker or something. They're not bad songs, but they are amazingly boring.

Nostalgia was a complete flop for me. It does few things wrong, but also does nothing right aside from maybe having 3D graphics that have a cleaner look than a lot of the other DS games have.
1522  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Worst. Date. Ever. (Bring your pee bottle) on: December 22, 2009, 07:00:29 AM
I think people would be more willing to drink blood than urine because we've all tasted blood at some point, like when you're having a nosebleed or something. Go with the evil you know rather than the evil you don't, yeah?
1523  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: 5 Favorite JRPGs of 2009 on: December 22, 2009, 06:54:22 AM
Quote from: Lard
Nostalgia

Ugh, save yourself the trouble. If there's one word I can use to describe Nostalgia, it would be "lazy". Lazy story, lazy characters, lazy music, lazy graphics. It's not even appealing in a old-school way. Boring from the beginning to the end- the review on this site is spot on.
1524  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Worst. Date. Ever. (Bring your pee bottle) on: December 19, 2009, 05:06:28 AM
I liked how he put a little bit of red in the pictures. It reminds me of a story Logick once posted here about a guy posting a sign up in the restroom at his workplace after someone painted the place with his shit.
1525  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV beta sign-ups on: December 19, 2009, 05:00:26 AM
To be honest after the initial "FUCK YEAH" of seeing it, I'm feeling rather lukewarm about the game. Aside from some terrible service SE in the US has provided (Though I guess that improved greatly during the later years of FFXI), I can't help but be disappointed by the fact that it took them like, 4 years to develop...that. Sure, it looks great, but it just seems so vanilla fantasy to me, and its using the exact same art style and races as FFXI. I'm looking forward to how they design the gameplay, but I'm actually not terribly excited.
1526  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Famitsu announces a new Lufia (Estpolis) game on: December 19, 2009, 04:57:05 AM
I'm with everyone as far as Selan goes, because its obvious what Selan should look like- she's a badass and a beauty, it's pretty hard to screw that up.

Guy looks okay since he was always supposed to be a brute, Artea looks appropriate since he's supposed to be bishie, and I guess with Dekar they just decided to use the small chunk of pink that was in his hair. They probably couldn't have kept the pink and blue hair and make it look any less than ridiculous.
1527  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Phantasy Star Zero on: December 19, 2009, 04:52:43 AM
I just realized that I still have PSO for the Dreamcast.  Hell, I still have a Dreamcast.  Never did get too far on the offline game and didn't get the opportunity to play online (this was back in the day when getting online via consoles wasn't a viable option for me).  Now obviously there's no way the online content is available by this point, but all this gushing of love for PSO is making me curious enough to try it again.

If you really want to, you can still play online on the SCHTHACK servers. It supports the Dreamcast version but you're probably not going to run into a lot of people still playing the dreamcast version. If you have a halfway decent computer you can try Blue Burst instead. If you've ever played Diablo 2 that's basically the same deal as this game.

Quote
PSO Dreamcast was my first and last online gaming experience, and the best part to me was that it was the closest I ever came to actually meeting all those cool RPGFan and PSDB (Phantasy Star Discussion Board) people I'd befriended on those forums.

I've wondered this for a while, but is there any particular reason you stopped playing online games after PSO?

Quote
There wasn't anything particularly amazing about PSO's formula, so much as it was a gateway to playing together with folks across the world without having to own a pricy PC

Personally, I feel the music and environments and overall tone of the game really contributed to what made me like it. To me, the PSO series feels like its moving farther and farther away from scifi and is just becoming a fantasy game pretending to be scifi. One of the things I always wanted to do was see if there was more to Pioneer 2 because the small chunk we got was actually a really cool-looking cyberpunk type deal. Then in PSU you had a bland space station that led to 3 boring worlds, 2 of which can be out of any given fantasy game and the third being boring.

As far as Phantasy Star Zero goes, I found it's basically the same damn thing as PSO, except once again missing that scifi feel. It's also missing the grandiose weapons that we all loved having in PSO- shotguns bigger than your character, giant melting lava hand wands and such. Gameplay-wise, the only thing that really put me off is how small the DS screen is, so it can be really annoying to play. It also seems a lot harder to dodge boss attacks and pretty much completely relies on you have a stock of Scape Dolls, which isn't hard since every room gives you a whole box of goodies.

It's a decent game, just not quite what I was looking for. But it's probably like Parn says, and its a experience that can't be replicated ever again.
1528  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Everybody motion controller! on: December 18, 2009, 06:59:49 AM
i demand photoshops of that picture now
1529  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Phantasy Star Zero on: December 18, 2009, 06:42:08 AM
I played this game and the only thing it made me do was go back to playing PSO again on SCHTHACK. Go figure.

I don't think the PSO series will ever have another game that had the same atmosphere PSO had. The only things that were missing from PSU to make it the most hackneyed game ever was a cop on the edge who doesn't play by the rules, a greedy corporate bigwig looking to get rich by poisoning the local water supply, and a skinny black guy who says "DA-YUM" and refer to "my black ass". Well that, and it could add a train robbery to the stor-oh wait
1530  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: So a man comes home... on: December 17, 2009, 04:05:15 AM
I'll just say the first thing every man is going to think after clicking that link.

"If my woman looked like that I'd leave too."
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