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31  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: April 17, 2016, 10:27:22 AM
Nobody said the entire cast had to be Japanese, Japan doesn't claim to be the leader of the free world, and Japan doesn't have the same demographics as the US (Especially not Hollywood, which is in, you know, California). When viewed in a vacuum it also creates this weird implication that apparently Westerners like Asian ideas as long as the hero is still White. Even that adaptation of the original 1956 Godzilla feels more respectful than what's happened to Asian-inspired works for the past few years. Or even that Mortal Kombat movie from 1995 (opinions about its quality aside). Both those movies did quite well financially. Let's also not forget the growing importance of the Asian market if we're talking pure economics here.

What I don't understand is that I often see people practicing a double standard, shifting between being apologetic about executive meddling and condemning it. For so many years I felt most people agreed that it's generally a good thing when companies are brave enough to play against what makes sense financially, but it feels like in recent years the people embracing the opposite has increased in number (or at least have gotten a lot louder). I agree that at the end of the day private companies should be allowed to do with their works as they please, but I think these things are worth at least thinking about because you don't want to get stuck in a feedback loop- if you constantly make decisions that leads should be White because that makes more money, then you reinforce that by Whitewashing characters and it'll continue being profitable to Whitewash characters etc.

And yeah, the movie might still be good, and that should be the priority- of course, that's often an argument used by people who don't actually want to address the problem, because it's probably not something they'd even thinking about otherwise.
32  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: April 06, 2016, 10:29:51 AM
By that I meant Michael Fassbender. Guess I'll keep that post there for posterity since you liked it. =P

I don't know why I get their names mixed up sometimes.
33  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: April 06, 2016, 10:17:30 AM
Which Macbeth was it?

The one that just came out came out a couple months ago starring Benadryl Cabbagepatch.

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

EDIT: Just realized it came out in the States quite a bit ago.
34  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: April 06, 2016, 08:13:26 AM
Saw Macbeth.

Wasn't really a fan of the film's style, but it could just be me being too old-fashioned and expecting something really specific out of Shakespeare. I've watched all kinds of different Romeo and Juliet adaptations and usually don't have a problem with different things though (don't even mind that incredibly silly Baz Luhrmann version).

Maybe a few years later I'll look back on this version of Macbeth and like it a bit more.
35  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Youtube on: April 05, 2016, 11:36:42 AM
He's doing tool-assisted runs of Mario 64, the challenge being pressing the A button (Jump) as few times as possible. For this level he beat it in a "half" press, but that's not really what makes the video...good, I guess is the word.
36  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: I Break the Record for Longest Post and Bahamut Yells at the Ocean on: April 04, 2016, 02:25:37 AM
は: HAil the Crystal Which Births Us

Rapifafa has a feeling she needs to travel to another crag to find answers to her questions, so she heads for the Konschtat Highlands near Bastok. There, she finds another shattered crystal just like the one she found in Tahrongi Canyon.



Before she is able to enter, she is stopped by the Mythril Musketeers. Cid has come along as well, and apparently he too is investigating some of the strange goings-on that have occured recently. The Ducal Guard also make an appearance, asking everyone to back off and allow them to look into the matter.


Unfortunately, Cid has still been unable to perfect his tinfoil hat design.

Before they can finish their argument, Rapifafa is drawn into the shattered telepoint.











Once again Rapifafa finds herself in the realm of emptiness, and she has little choice other than to move forward and continue her investigation.



As she traverses the realm within the Dem teleport crystal, she finds differences between this one and the one she saw at the Mea teleport crystal. Some of the creatures were different, and the realm itself seemed to take on features of the land that surrounded it, in this case manifesting as windmills seen throughout the Konschtat Highlands.





The spire at the center is much the same, however.





Much like at the last spire, Rapifafa is thrust into a battle with one of the creatures here.



With the creature defeated, Rapifafa is transported to the Dem Mothercrystal.



As Rapifafa rushes to help the boy off the ground, she is assaulted by another vision.







Once again Rapifafa awoke to find herself outside, with another strange feeling in her heart which encouraged her to continue her investigation.



Rapifafa next travelled to the La Thiene Plateau near San díOria, where the teleport crag of Holla awaited.



Nagímolada was already here waiting, having made the sensible induction that Rapifafa would travel to the third crag after having visited the first two.

With a wave of Nagímoladaís hand, Rapifafa is brought to her knees, and she is helpless as he gives his next order.


For all of Rapifafa's experience as an adventurer, she is still unable to fend off Nag'molada patented bitch slapping technique.



Wolfgang hesitates, believing more evidence is needed instead of haphazardly executing people. However, Nagímolada reminds Wolfgang of the importance of the Mothercrystal- they are the source of all life on the world, and to protect the world, only the Jeunoan scientists are allowed to know this secret. Where Rapifafa went, the boy was sure to follow, and that was proof enough that they were working together.



As Nagímolada speaks to the boy, he reveals a seemingly extensive knowledge of VanaíDielís forgotten past.











Once again, Rapifafa is drawn into the realm of Emptiness.







Like before, this realm was similar, yet different than the ones that had come before.





Fear grips Rapifafa as she travels through the Emptiness, passing by nameless tombstones and lifeless trees.


At least tís still fancier than that one restaurant that bard took me to.



And much like the last crag, Rapifafaís journey through the darkness ends at a spire.







With the creature guarding the spire defeated, Rapifafa enters the presence of the Holla Mothercrystal. The strange boy is already there, spreading the strange darkness like he had before. Nagímolada follows closely behind.



Before she is able to take action, Emptiness engulfs the area, and Rapifafa has another vision.

Music: Revenant Maiden









Rapifafa feels herself being swept into some strange current. As she loses consciousness, she feels the light of the crystal entering her and giving her strength.



Comments

One of the things you might have already noticed is that the storytelling style has changed in Chains of Promathia. Before this, just about every cutscene in the game was from the perspective of your character. Starting with CoP, the FFXI team started doing a more ďtraditionalĒ approach to storytelling, and many things that are happening are made known to you the player, but are unknown to your character. This arguably makes the game less immersive (Something former Director Koichi Ishii held as incredibly important), but does free up their ability to tell the story more effectively.

This first set of Missions for CoP introduced the players to the level of challenege that was to come. Capped at level 30, the Promyvion areas were incredibly dangerous to traverse, and since maps of the area were not easy to obtain (and even if you have them, they're actually not that useful), players had to slowly find their way around the areas. While the boss battles in CoP were mostly limited to 6-man parties, many early groups decided to form large alliances to make their way through the Promyvion areas before splitting the group to confront the bosses.

Promyvion also introduces to the numerous unique-looking area designs that came with CoP. Personally, I don't really agree with RPGFan's review on the Promyvion areas- I can see why someone might think they're bland, but to me the Promyvion areas are some of the most atmospheric in the whole game. Mizuta's music for the areas really helps with that.
37  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: I Break the Record for Longest Post and Bahamut Yells at the Ocean on: April 04, 2016, 02:09:59 AM
ろ: ROad Below the Arks



Rapifafa eavesdrops on a conversation between two Ducal Guards, finding out that recently, some of the telepoint crystals have shattered.



One of the younger Ducal Guards also willingly shares with Rapifafa that adventurers have recently been seen disappearing into strange whirlpools in the Valkurm Dunes and Qufim Island. The ducal scientists believe that these two events may be linked, so a group of Ducal Guards will be sent to investigate any day now.

Rapifafa figures she better investigate the telepoints now, as itís likely she wonít be able to once the Ducal Guards begin to move. She decides to visit the first telepoint she ever saw, in the Tahrongi Canyon near Windurst.



Indeed, Rapifafa arrives to find that one of the telepoint crystals has shattered into pieces.



The shattered telepoint transports Rapifafa to an odd hallway, where a strange device scans her.



The door opens, as if beckoning for her.




Rapifafa wonders if she shouldíve just let the Zilart brothers destroy the world.

Rapifafa approaches the door, but instead of walking through, she is drawn in.



Music: Faded Memories









Rapifafa awakens to find herself in a strange, nightmarish realm. Looking out into the darkness of the strange place she found herself in, Rapifafa is filled with a feeling of what she can only describe as an emptiness.



As Rapifafa ventures deeper into the area, she is confronted by creatures unlike any she has ever seen, and none of them are friendly.







She eventually reaches a dead end, containing nothing but a strange contract with a shining orb within.



Destroying the orb causes a portal to appear on the ground, and Rapifafa finds herself transported to another part of the strange realm.





Rapifafa wanders through the area, finding more orbs like the one she saw, but not all of them yield teleporters when defeated. It is a long time before she finally reaches what appears to be the central ďspireĒ of the area.



Inside the spire, the way forward is blocked by a strange web-like door.





As soon as she approaches it, however, it disappears.



Rapifafa finds herself face-to-face with another one of the strange creatures she saw before, but this one was much larger.





Upon defeating the creature, another portal appears before Rapifafa, which takes her to the heart of the crag- a heart of Vana'diel itself.



Rapifafa wasnít here alone- Nagímolada has already arrived, and he doesnít seem very pleased at Rapifafaís intrusion.











She is saved by the mysterious boy, but the area is soon engulfed in a strange darkness. As Rapifafa loses consciousness, she sees another strange vision, this time containing a familiar face.





Rapifafa awakens to find herself outside the Crag of Mea. She felt something was different, however- her contact with the crystal left her with a strange feeling in her heart.

38  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: I Break the Record for Longest Post and Bahamut Yells at the Ocean on: April 04, 2016, 01:58:12 AM








い: In the Baptism of Life

Larger things were happening near Jeuno. Wolfgang, Captain of the Jeunoan Ducal Guard, had forbidden any adventurers from entering the Delkfuttís Tower. Perhaps it was because of the recent events, but the amount of manpower moving towards the tower indicated something else was going on.







The Crystal Line has been disrupted- for some reason, the energy flow from the northern line has reversed. One might suspect that someone is creating trouble at whichever crag that line corresponds to, before realizing how that should be impossible- there is nothing but the waters of the Sea of ShuíMeyo to the north of Qufim Island.

Unbeknownst to the people of VanaíDiel, something has awoken in the in that sea.



















Music: Ruler of the Skies






Bahamut later reflected that his entrance wouldíve been way cooler had someone actually been there to see it.

Meanwhile, Delkfutt's Tower was still in lockdown, the entrances blocked by Ducal Guards. Wolfgangís own crew is slightly baffled by the amount of manpower called upon for what seems to be a simple assignment, but Wolfgang quickly reminds his soldiers of their duty.


At least youíre not Naji.











All the Jeunoan scientists are presumed dead. Theyíre unable to find much in their search aside from a young boy, who they quickly send to the Jeunoan infirmary.



Wolfgang makes frequent checks on the boy at the Jeunoan infirmary, but itís doubtful itís out of any concern for his well-being. The doctor Monberaux is somewhat puzzled by his condition as well, though heís not willing to violate the patientís confidentiality even for the Captain of the Guard. The two bicker a little bit and itís evident they have some kind of history together. Finally, Wolfgang decides that if the boy is in no immediate danger, he will be moved to the Palace where he can be interrogated.


Not even married and heís already twisting all your words, Monberaux. Better quit ahead of time.

When Wolfgang returns to the Palace to begin preparations for the boyís transport, Rapifafa arrives in Jeuno, and curious of all the commotion, decides to take a peek into the infirmary.



She engages in some small talk with Monberaux until the Ducal Guards come knocking on the door, and he excuses himself from the room to deal with them. Rapifafa doubts there is much else to see here, so she turns to leave herself.











When Rapifafa regains consciousness, she finds the boy is gone and the amulet is in her hands.

Outside, the Jeunoan scientist Nagímolada demands Monberaux to hand over the boy, and soon they are ready to force their way into the infirmary.






Inconceivable, there arenít any spells in VanaíDiel that allow you to turn invisible!



With the Ducal Guard and the Jeunoan Scientists out of his hair, Monberaux notices that Rapifafa has the boyís amulet. Concerned for his patient, he appeals to Rapifafa's curiosity, suggesting that to find out whatís actually going on, she should start by gathering information in the RuíLude Gardens. Rapifafa felt something was drawing her towards this investigation, and agrees to help Monberaux.
39  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: I Break the Record for Longest Post and Bahamut Yells at the Ocean on: April 04, 2016, 01:53:20 AM
Chains of Promathia: Intro

Long post ahoy. Lots of background about XI up to CoP ahead, if youíre interested in that sort of thing- I think itís kind of an interesting story, but thatís me nerding out like usual.

Iím in a bit of an interesting position here, because Dincrestís Journal for Chrono Cross means I have something of a lead-up into XIís development, which started soon after Chrono Cross finished.



FFXIís development team consisted of star members of Square. Around 1997, Hironobu Sakaguchi, famed creator of the FF series, was in Hawaii establishing Square Pictures (we all know all that turned out) when he came across a strange little game called Everquest. Impressed by what he saw, he returned to Japan, and immediately called up several key members of Square, including Koichi Ishii (creator of the Mana series) and Hiromichi Tanaka (involved in way too many games to list).



Ishii wasnít too interested in the idea of an online FF game, because he was happy working on his Mana games and didnít really want to go back to FF. Sakaguchi insisted, encouraging several team members to play EQ and experience the massively successful Western MMORPG- Ishii reflected many years later had Sakaguchi not been so enthusiastic about the idea, the game probably wouldíve never been made. After Ishii and other team members played EQ, they too were impressed, Ishii thinking it was now possible to do many ideas he had once only imagined. Kenichi Ishii was chosen as the director for the game, while Hiromichi Tanaka took the role of Producer.

Development started towards the end of 1999. The game would be a risky venture of sorts, being planned to become profitable over a 5-year lifespan. The game would do things other MMOs had not, such as cross-play between consoles and PC and having servers shared between players of different languages (although the development costs being significantly cut by the latter decision can make one wonder about the motivation). With Chrono Crossís development over, the team responsible for that game was assigned to work on the upcoming online FF game. This meant Mr. Masato Kato of Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross fame was to be the main writer for FFXI.



Of course, writing for such a large-scale story meant Kato needed a team of writers, some of whom had worked with him on Chrono Cross. Ishii had already finished many of the basics of the world design, and had the director of Parasite Eve II, Kenichi Iwao, design the cities of the game- his work slowly spilled over into other aspects of the game, and Iwao would go on to become the man responsible for overseeing the gameís setting.



Masato Kato, however, was the one who made final decisions regarding much of the gameís writing (and would end up writing Rise of the Zilartís story himself), and had about five different writers working under him. Three were chosen to work on the Three Nation storylines: San díOria by Yuusuke Kigoshi (Chrono Cross, Xenogears), Bastok by Nobuaki Koumoto (FFIX, Xenogears, Chocoboís Dungeon 2), and Windurst by Yaeko Sato (Threads of Fate, Final Fantasy VIII, Vagrant Story). Another known writer was Yoshitsugu Saito (FFX, Chrono Cross, Xenogears), who wrote various sidequests and created cutscenes.



All of the writers under Kato were basically unknowns at the time. The Windurst story was probably the most popular of the Three Nation stories though, and Yaeko Sato would come to be loved by some of the playerbase for her continued work- and that brings us to the second expansion of FFXI.



Music: Unity

Just as Rise of the Zilart was released, Square and Enix had their merger, and three major departures from the company occurred- Koichi Ishii, Hironobu Sakaguchi, and Masato Kato, all key in the creation of FFXI. The director position was open for XIís second expansion, and the aforementioned Nobuaki Koumoto took up the mantle. More notably, Yaeko Sato was chosen to write the story for Chains of Promathia, while Yoshitsugu Saito created cutscenes like he had before. Kenichi Iwao was now overseeing the gameís setting. (Yuusuke Kigoshi hasnít been heard from in any interviews) And so the stage was set for a team of relative unknowns to continue the work of the all-star team which created FFXI.



This might sound crazy since this journal is already longer than pretty much every other one on this board, but oh well- this is where FFXIís story really begins. If you ever talk to someone who played FFXI and ask them what the best part of the game was, the answer given will probably be either Chains of Promathia or Treasures of Aht Urhgan, generally with more these days answering with the former. The two are favored for different reasons, and in the case of Chains of Promathia, itís because of the story.

Itís actually a bit funny thatís the case, because when CoP first came out, it really wasnít received that way. For a while the response to CoP was rather lukewarm- some players were disappointed by how little the expansion seemed to add in terms of game content, but that was because many of them missed out on the real meat of what the expansion was about. Review sites similarly gave it overall positive ratings, but very few of them mentioned the story. Even the ones that did- such as RPGFanís review, did not seem to have much good to say about it.

Part of it is because of how MMOs were designed at this time- unlike how, say, XIVís had what could be considered a complete plot released at launch, the main story of older MMOs were released over time. The complete story for an expansion in an MMO would generally not be completed until 1-2 years after launch, and with the pressure of making your reviews be timely, it probably isnít a surprise that many review sites donít give particularly insightful reviews about FFXI or other MMOs like it. Itís also why some of RPGFanís later reviews for FFXI (by local fellow XI nut Patrick Gann/Ramza) would not be released until long after launch day. I should note though, that in the case of CoP this probably isnít as big an issue, because I have not found a single review of CoP from the time that actually managed to progress to the end point of the missions it had at launch (Chapter 6, Mission 3), and that is probably because of the second reason.

The second reason is a rather controversial one amongst players, but a certainly another reason CoP is memorable to many- it was ball-bustingly difficult to complete. From the first chapter of the story, many players were getting their asses handed to them by the dangerous dungeons and powerful bosses that stood in the way of completing the story of CoP. If youíve ever played something like Final Fantasy III on the NDS and had that awful feeling of dying at a boss after going through a long dungeon with no save point at the end, multiply that by about 5 times for when that happens in FFXI, because to complete dungeons in FFXI you also needed to spend time organizing a party of different players with the right jobs instead of just waltzing in whenever you felt like it.

The difficulty was magnified by two words that encompass a lot of CoPís difficulty- level cap. Almost every important mission in CoP would temporary limit your characterís level when you entered, which sounds like a good compromise to allow newer players to access the story while not letting high level players just steamroll everything and declare it too easy. It might not be such a big deal if it werenít for the fact that itíd mean youíd have to carry around a set of level 40 armor just so you can tackle a level 40 mission, a different set for a level 50 mission, etc. In game where you are given 30 inventory spaces to start off, it wasnít really feasible to constantly carry around said level cap gear for a long period of time while you were off doing the other MMO stuff, so getting ready to do CoP Missions was something you needed to plan out carefully. In many cases, this meant forming a ďstatic groupĒ that would schedule times to progress in the story together.

Of course, both these things donít exist anymore in the modern FFXI- the level caps have long since been removed from CoPís missions and the complete story has been out for even longer. While purists like to argue that the lack of struggle in the actual game part of the game takes a great deal from the overall experience, Iíd make the point that in some ways it also helps the way any new players now experience the story, because the relationships and plot details in CoP are rather complex, and back when it took so long for someone to get through the missions, some would end up forgetting a great deal of these plot details even as they progressed. Adding to this is the way Chains of Promathiaís story is presented- the story of past events is given to players in a non-linear fashion, with much of it being given in a he-said-she-said fashion and with some character straight up giving you false information. (Sounds a bit like another Square gameÖ)

Of course, either way you donít have to worry about it while reading this. Itís actually a bit of a shame so many people missed out on CoPís story due to the MMO stuff getting in the way, because in my opinion, CoPís story is right up there alongside some of the best Final Fantasy has to offer, MMO or not.

I want to mention right now that I hadnít written anything remotely creative for a long time before starting this journal, so at times Iíve been concerned whether or not my writing style is anemic.  I mention it because Iím sure some of you might be wondering how the last paragraph could be the case, given all the posts before this one. Whatever my writing deficiencies are, it probably isnít helped by the fact that before CoP, much of FFXIís story had a rather ďdryĒ feeling to it and has a lot of well-worn RPG clichťs- elves, knights, magic gods, lost ancient race etc. While how interesting the latter varies with how much of a fantasy nerd you are, the former can be somewhat explained by the man who was the overall handler of the Three Nation and the Rise of the Zilart story.

Iíve always seen Masato Kato as someone who enjoys writing expansive stories with generally pretty heavy themes to them. Chrono Cross is a perfect example, which for whatever faults you might have with it, is certainly ambitious with its story that questions the very meaning of life. Iíve also always felt that heís never been a particularly good writer of characters (Iím sure that statement steps on some toes since Trigger is so beloved). Given his strengths, he might seem like the perfect person to write an MMO story. His strengths and weaknesses are certainly on display in RoZ.

CoP is something of a conclusion to the story that had been building up for about two years before. Essentially, a lot of the story in the posts Iíve made before this one set the stage for this expansion. CoP was released in September of 2004, less than a year after the stateside release of FFXI, but it had already been about a year and a half since the release of Rise of the Zilart in Japan.

Itís known that before Masato Kato left, he had brainstormed many different ideas with the team on how to continue the story. With Sato getting the chance to determine how the story played out, she decided to throw away many of those ideas and pieced together her own- though personally I see some remnants of the some of the discarded ideas players have been told about. At any rate, I feel with CoP Sato managed to out-Kato Kato in some ways.

One of the major themes of CoP is rather obvious, since itís right there in the title- ďChainsĒ. Iíll try not to explain too much since it would make more sense to leave it to you to figure out how the theme is relevant yourself as I go through the story. Iíll just note that itís a great localization for the title and probably a more ďaccurateĒ title than the Japanese one, which uses the word ďCurseĒ instead of ďChainĒ.

Another theme is one that is unfortunately lost in translation. The story still has this theme, but it was made clearer in the Japanese version of the game via the names of the missions you clear to finish the story. By taking the first kana of each mission name, a poem very familiar to many Japanese appears.



This is known as Irohaís Poem, an interesting piece for numerous reasons, but since this isnít a Japanese culture class, Iíll try to give a tl;dr version of what the poem represents. Basically, the poem is describing the Buddhist idea of Impermanence, or in more plain terms, ďNothing lasts foreverĒ. Certainly sounds like a Kato-esque theme. (it also has a bit of a funny meta-aspect to it when you consider the kind of game FFXI is, but Iím pretty sure thatís intentional).

Aside from these themes being present throughout CoP, it also patched up one of the greatest weaknesses of FFXIís story by introducing a cast of colorful characters. Aside from Shantotto (who was of course, also created by Yaeko Sato, being the Windurst writer and all), CoPís characters are easily the most popular of the FFXI cast.

Also the quality of Mizutaís music continues its upward trend in CoP. That helps.

With this long, long introduction done, I hope you enjoy going through CoP with me as much as I enjoyed playing it again and writing this up.

By the way, CoP entries probably are probably not going to be terribly regular in when I post them, and thatís becauseÖwell, youíll see.

40  Media / General Games / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: March 31, 2016, 01:09:00 PM
I really hope that isn't a controversial viewpoint on this forum.

I was referring to her whole "Japan's policy on sexualized minors is a-ok" stance, which as I recall some people around here are not fans of. One could logically conclude she probably also believes the age of consent in places like the US should be lowered.
41  Media / General Games / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: March 31, 2016, 12:25:00 PM
This is a controversial topic to have but I trust most people around here to keep their cool (relatively speaking) in comparison to lots of other shitty sites.

For clarification, she wrote a college thesis titled "An argument for the cessation of International Pressure on Japan to Strengthen its Anti-Child Pornography laws." In it, she makes points concerning censorship law, cultural imperialism, mixing of causation and correlation, and the hypocrisy of certain Western prudish viewpoints.

It's here if you'd like to waste some time on it.

You're free to disagree with her views but remember a lot of what you hear about her is probably misinformation resulting from what was basically a smear campaign from Twitter warriors. Again I point out the irony of people mad about Nintendo's censorship targeting her considering how a lot of the censorship involved was in fact sexual in nature (of minors under Western laws even), and Rapp is clearly a very sex-positive individual.

That being said, you probably shouldn't assume complete innocence on her part when she treated her professional Twitter account like a personal one, using it to talk about her own political views (not very subtly) and antagonized people despite being in a PR job. There are companies way less sensitive than Nintendo that would can you for acting like that.
42  Media / General Games / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: March 31, 2016, 05:11:50 AM
I think the irony of all this is that given what I understand of Rapp's views, she's probably not terribly supportive of the recent changes in Nintendo games given her views of sexual imagery. Also IIRC she's marketing and not an actual translator, so her getting fired really does fuckall for people who bitch about censorship.

Nintendo's claim is that she was dismissed because she was moonlighting, which is against company policy. Rapp claims that moonlighting was actively encouraged. Given some jobs I've had in the past I'm guessing this is a situation where strictly speaking, it's against company rules, but employers were generally willing to overlook it because who cares. It's a convenient "legitimate" reason for them to dismiss her, when the actual reason was probably because she drew too much attention to her controversial opinions despite Nintendo claiming otherwise- that's consistent with what Nintendo's been doing since forever, after all.
43  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: March 30, 2016, 01:06:55 AM
I'm always ready to sperg about series I like, so no worries about being alone there Aeolus.

Personally I'm not crazy about the Zero and especially ZX series. Though I will say boss fights from both series are tons of fun and it's worth at least playing a boss rush of the games. I felt like they were trying to add too many mechanics that detract from the very "pick up and play" aspect of Megaman I like, and the parts they removed were things I really missed despite the fact they weren't always done well.

Zero was off to a bad start for me. I didn't mind Cyber Elves killing your ranking until Zero 2 where your rank determined whether you got special weapons or not. Thankfully they fixed that later. Also wasn't a fan of RPG-style level up system for your weapons rather than just having upgrades for them like X series did (The funny thing was that the armor pieces in the X series were created partially because RPGs were really popular in Japan at the time).

But my biggest problem was with the whole elements system. I understand the idea of natural progression from special weapons to having special attributes you can attach to weapons- in concept, it seems like it should allow for more diversity in weapons, yet to me it actually ended up making gameplay less varied. All I know is that I spent a lot less time experimenting with how to progress through stages using different weapons.

ZX improved on the overall mechanics and I was a little bit more willing to play around with the different Biometals, but using a Metroidvania style for Megaman greatly affect the level design for the games and this singularly killed the games for me. The map had to be designed with the assumption you could move back and forth through them a lot easier so obstacles were a lot less varied and interesting than they typically would be.

As for X6, personally I don't mind the start-stoppy feeling of Metal Shark Player and Frost Wolfang. The Nightmare effects and saving Reploids were poorly done overall, but I don't think that necessarily ruins the good stages. What I like is that both the aforementioned stages had very dangerous obstacles without having them being cheapass deaths. If you died, it's because you made a mistake and not because the game would would just kill you out of nowhere (which also happened in X6 via Yanmark's stage). Infinity Mijinion's stage was also very challenging but like you said, no checkpoints made the difficulty completely disproportional to the rest of the game. The rest of them have at least one ridiculously stupid design flaw. Yanmark's stage has spikes appear out of nowhere, Scaravich's stage is random roulette bullshit, Turtloid's stage has some cool ideas but ends up being really tedious, and Sheldon barely has a stage at all.

Blaze Heatnix's stage is the crown achievement of laziness in the series because as Aeolus mentioned, the mechaniloids aren't even really that hard when you get down to it. When you think about it there are actually lots of normal enemies that have more complex attack patterns than the donuts had- all the difficulty of the stage comes down to the devs wanting to wear down the player by giving the enemies massive health bars (Not that the series doesn't already do that sometimes, but they went way overboard here). The funny thing is that the alternate path of that stage actually felt like a stage. It's sort of a microcosm of X6 in general- some cool ideas but it was really, really obvious the game was rushed out. A couple more months in development probably would've given us one of the most fun and challenging games in the series.
44  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV: ARR, a Thread Reborn on: March 29, 2016, 01:17:43 PM
I used the free period to finish the ARR story. Kinda bummed they didn't allow me to at least try some of Heavensward.

I am somewhat interested in seeing how the story plays out, just not enough to actually buy the expansion yet- I've already waited this long, I might as well wait for a price drop or something. =P

I do appreciate how 2.5 had a lot more going on than usual, but a couple things bothered me.

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For me the biggest one are the actions your character is forced to do. Apparently your character is supposed to be completely clueless as to what's going on despite someone literally spelling it out for him/her. One of the officers tells your character straight up that Teledji has been bribing Crystal Braves and setting up some kind of conspiracy, and the next thing your character decides to do is to not just proceed with attending a suspicious banquet in Ul'dah, but also go to a shady meeting in the middle of nowhere arranged by one of said potentially compromised members? This isn't really a case of dramatic irony since one of the officers actually told your character this was going on.

I'm sure Teledji would've come up with some other excuse to frame you had you not picked up a suspicious empty vial for no reason, it's just kind of mystifying why they even felt the need to have that other than to waste the player's time with a filler quest.

Also I have the game on Japanese voices, so I feel the need to point out how amusing it is that they have every single evil Lala voiced by a super deep voiced manly man.
45  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Youtube on: March 29, 2016, 12:50:13 PM
I think Snyder's a pretty consistent director. His films are pretty much all visually great. I hate Man of Steel but I thought the visuals in the movie were still good.

He's worked with lots of different writers though- maybe worth noting Man of Steel and BvS share a writer.

Honestly despite BvS's spotty reception I've heard almost nothing but praise as far as Affleck's portrayal of Batman goes.
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