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TheMidnighter

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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #255 on: Aug 16th, 2012, 4:23pm »

Chrono Trigger is the very first game I will start playing. I had always been more enticed by Chrono Cross as a youngster but 1) Trigger is the first game, so I want to play that first, and 2) many people have said they preferred Chrono Trigger over Chrono Cross.

I had never heard about Earthbound until you mentioned it. It sounds like an intriguing, perhaps even quirky title. I do know Snatchers and Policenauts but never played them. I can try and find them but I am in no hurry, quite frankly, as I have far too many games on the to-do list.

Also, Will, apparently Sony is trying to reduce the costs (and consequently price) for the PS Vita but the price won't go down this year. I guess they'd like to score big during the Christmas season when Call of Duty arrives for Vita (all teens will want one).
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #256 on: Aug 20th, 2012, 07:38am »

I bought Chrono Cross in 2001(?). I don't think ever got off the first disc. I was never really taken with it the way I was Trigger, but I don't know if I can fairly judge it.

That was a long way of saying "...".

Earthbound is kind of like David Lynch growing up in Japan and then producing a sitcom that becomes Saturday morning cartoon that becomes a videogame; put another way, it's Peanuts on acid. It's pleasantly and casually insane. A postmodern videogame, with HAL improving upon, by making fun of, various parts of the genre throughout.

The game starts out with the RPG cliche of a party on a quest, with turn-based fights (duh)...except the other members of your party are a spineless fat kid who begs for mercy and a dog that pushes you in front of the enemy's attacks. Later on, you fight...hippies.

Too bad it bombed in the West. But that's probably the price for quirky brilliance being sold to a tween demographic. The sequel, Mother 3, wasn't released in America or Europe, but it was a given a fan translation.

http://mother3.fobby.net/

I don't know if you like Action RPGs, but even if you don't I'd suggest you give Secret of Evermore a try. It got slagged for not being Secret of Mana or Seiken Densetsu 3 (what would have been Mana 2), but it may actually play better than Densetsu 3 while providing environments that are more unique than those in Mana. Since the game was developed in America, it's biggest sin may be that it had more mainstream Western appeal during a time when most of the genre's audeince were Japanophiles.

http://www.secretofevermore.org/

Vita? You might as well be an augur with that news. Now we both know I'll cave...
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #257 on: Aug 31st, 2012, 1:48pm »

I am completely loving Chrono Trigger. I am almost at the end now. I could say that I have the option to confront the final boss in the game but you have that option about five minutes in already. Let's say then that I have done almost everything else except beating the final boss.

This is such a well-made game. I am playing the PlayStation port and the graphics and character animations look amazing. The effects during battles (e.g., when performing Techs) show off some quality graphical design as well.

The very best part about the gameplay for this RPG -- and let me stress that this is a nineties JRPG from the SNES era -- is that there is absolutely no grinding necessary. I played through the game and have never had to stop to level grind (i.e., to keep fighting enemies in one area and levelling up because the enemies in the next area are too powerful to beat). No level grinding necessary in a nineties JRPG. If that does not speak volumes of the games balance and difficulty progression, I don't know what would.

As a matter of fact, the only time I got the "game over" screen, was during a boring series of successive battles. The battles became tedious and I was just pressing the attack button without paying attention. The fact that I was not looking at the screen got me killed.

Having said that, battles seem to depend a lot on the party you take with you. It's important to maintain diversity -- you could suddenly face an enemy immune to one type of attack (e.g., physical). If you have only brought melee fighters, that enemy will prove hard.

The anime cutscenes are a treat but I really dig Japanese anime. They are done by Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, who also designed the Chrono Trigger characters. You can tell his studio made these cutscenes when his style had evolved to what it became during the Freeza Saga (and beyond).

The music sounds fantastic, as it should. The tunes never bore and some are even downright catchy. The range of styles is almost flabbergasting.

I have my hopes up for a great ending to a great journey. Character Robo has already hinted at what this journey might mean but I have no clue what he means. I will see at the end. So far, the journey has bought me laughter, awesome boss battles, a death of a party member and a great cast of characters. Onward to the ending(s)!

----------------------------

Hey Will, I got the Mother 3 fan translation and played around a bit. What a funny game! Lovely old-school and showcasing lush colours. It takes me back to the days where my brother would enjoy his Gameboy, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance. I will also try and get the Densetsu 3 and Mana games. I might never play them since I have so many games on the backlog but I will get them.


As for the PS Vita, its games I am looking forward to are Gravity Rush, Sound Shapes, Tearaway, Soul Sacrifice (might be good, might not be; too little information still), LittleBigPlanet and Persona 4 Golden. I know it's 'only' six games but I think that's quite a lot already. Six games can get me through the year easily, especially when I have other systems as well (PS3 and PSP) where I have unfinished games for.

I never had any warm feelings for the PS Vita but the conversation we have been having in this thread has allowed the PS Vita to find its way into my wishlist. I might not get it this year and most likely not with its current price tag. Still, the PS Vita looks good and several Vita games seem like software I would really enjoy.
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #258 on: Sep 6th, 2012, 08:41am »

Apparently, there's a PS Vita homebrew in the works. It's not the entire code, it will not be finished for months, but it's on its way. Of course the obligatory "it does not allow illegal games to be played" has been uttered but we all know someone else will figure out how to do exactly that.
« Last Edit: Sep 6th, 2012, 09:29am by TheMidnighter » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #259 on: Sep 20th, 2012, 02:29am »

I liked Chrono Trigger enough back in 1995 that it helped get me banned from a Hollywood Video; I picked it up, along with the rather unremarkable/atrocious SNES version of Killer Instinct, on the day of release. The people behind the counter found their level of incompetence and mismarked all the new releases as five day rentals. I took advantage of this, keeping both games (which is interesting since, let's face it, KI is trash) for about fifteen days. So by their math I owed them about $50 in rentals by the time I returned the games. Um, no. Not paying that. $30 more and I would have had a new copy (SNES RPGs were generally $20 more than any other cart). I rented the games knowing I had them on a technicality and I was generally good at arguing cases in video rental dumps on ridiculous late charges but ... I think I didn't go in for a few months and there was no way the fucking idiots would remember what they'd done by that point. Game, set, match.

They didn't share a database between stores, so I just went to the one across town. It's always interesting when you con people who conned themselves, then figure out that you made yourself the mark. Or at least left one.

Was there a point to this or have I provided a tween girl's blog post? I hope that isn't rhetorical.

Chrono Trigger might have been Square at their peak, at the very least maxing out the genre for that generation. And doing it right on time. Like Yoshi's Island (Mario meets fauvism) it came during a year that was really top heavy at the end for Nintendo, but I didn't buy either because of all the Playstation hype from September on. Battle Arena Toshinden was the greatest game ever for 1995, and abysmal by July of the next year. Oh well. Jumping Flash! and Twisted Metal held up ... well, I'm sure Twisted Metal is a timecapsule gem at best at this point but it was the shit 99it's amazing how those descriptions invert and liberalize now) in November 1995 and remained solid through the PSX life cycle.

But yeah, getting rid of random battles -- allowing players to avoid grinding -- was a major, major step for JapRPGs. Chrono Trigger remained ahead of its time because of this feature, and it looked better than crap like Beyond the Beyond on Playstation. Well, it was better in just about every way compared to anything that came out on Playstation as far as RPGs (which was close to nothing in the States) until 1997.

As far as (lack of) tedious battles, I can't think of a better SNES RPG.

It's also probably the most self-aware Square game of that era as far as graphics/music=artistic intent as complete production. In a funny way its grander intent and sense of stylistic purpose as a (rudimentary?) means to an end, was a precursor to all the CG cut-scenes that would soon follow on Sony's platform. The game's structure, looking at it with hindsight (and isn't that easy), makes it clear that Nintendo's policy vis a vis carts was going to end their relationship with Square. More than likely that was for the better: the audience for the Playstation was more age-appropriate (I was playing Square's stuff as a kid but...) and CDs meant both lower costs and more expansive cinematic possibilities.

Maybe my opening statements have some merit after all. I know that I rented far fewer games for the Playstation because retail prices were much better. Inflation is a constant (kill the Federal Reserve) but CDs provided more games at cheap prices for both devs and consumers.

Still, I don't know if I liked a Square game on Playstation more than CT. And the SNES probably had the best games for the last third of 1995. Well it does today, maybe it didn't then. Time travel is perspective.
« Last Edit: Sep 20th, 2012, 02:37am by Will » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #260 on: Sep 30th, 2012, 2:02pm »

I have now completed Chrono Trigger several times for some of the endings. I even got the 'Dream Team' ending. Very cool. I hope Chrono Cross will be a worthy successor (it doesn't have to be as phenomenal, it simply has to be phenomenal).

I have played some other games in the mean time. I picked up Burnout: Paradise after more than a year. I don't particularly like racing games but this one I do from time to time. I guess because it is not as stale or boring as a simple track -- you race through an entire, vibrant city which has many, many cool things to accomplish.

I also picked up Resident Evil 5 because a friend told me the co-op was good. I guess it might be. I had my fill of Resident Evil games years ago after completing the first three instalments on the original PlayStation. I did pick up this fifth game and it was average. Gameplay was OK, even though the aiming of a weapon is incredibly stupid, the AI can be a moron and the quick-time events are unbearably bad (i.e., they require you to react lightning fast, making you miss the entire cutscene because you stare at the bottom of the screen waiting for a button prompt).

I cleared out my game collection a bit, selling a bunch. I came across the old Tenchu games (Tenchu, Tenchu 2: Birth of the Assassins, Tenchu 3: Wrath of Heaven and Tenchu: Fatal Shadows). Especially the last two instalments (both on PS2) hold up incredibly well. I recommend tracking them down if you like stealth action games. Controls work like a charm and the game offers a nice challenge without ever feeling too difficult. This series is my second favourite of al time (after Final Fantasy, which still produced some of the best games I have ever played, despite some recent missteps).
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #261 on: Oct 1st, 2012, 08:40am »

Haven't played RE5 but 4 was/is a game changer. I lost interest in the series after the second game due to characters that controlled like arthritic statues.

From a gameplay perspective, it's a reboot.

The point of the prior games was setup and presentation. 4 retains the schlocky cinematic conceit relatively well -- fixed angles are no longer the standard -- but offers intuitive, action-oriented gameplay for the first time.

And the voice acting is better: merely bad at its worst and even occasionally decent. Japenglish RIP. Mileage may vary as to whether that's a pro or con.
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« Reply #262 on: Oct 1st, 2012, 5:13pm »

I hear great stuff about Resident Evil 4. I don't think I can muster the willpower to play it after RE5, though. That one definitely won't get me excited for a Resident Evil game any time soon. Horrible aim.

Speaking about the franchise, the Resident Evil 6 reviews coming in seem quite polarised. I read the Destructoid review by Jim Sterling and, frankly, am not surprised the RE series turned out like this after playing the fifth instalment.
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #263 on: Oct 7th, 2012, 11:42pm »

RE6 is good if you look at it like a typical action game. I wish it had more survival to it though, as I really enjoyed the church portion of the Leon section.
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #264 on: Oct 9th, 2012, 5:43pm »

on Oct 7th, 2012, 11:42pm, Clerk wrote:
RE6 is good if you look at it like a typical action game.
So it's just an average game, you mean?

I don't really get this reasoning. People should expect something different from a Resident Evil game than survival horror? That's the genre of the franchise.

It might be good (read: less of a letdown) if you don't expect survival horror but how can you not expect survival horror when Capcom releases the game as part of the Resident Evil franchise? If Capcom did not want people to expect survival horror, they should have had the balls to release it with a different title than "Resident Evil."

Alas, they choose not to. They decided it was best to put out a "typical action game" as part of a survival horror franchise, expecting (rightly so) better sales simply due to name recognition.

This is how industries get destroyed. We've seen it with the drivel DC and Marvel pump out in books we used to love, and we see it in game series that used to be a seal of approval but are now simply riding on the genius of auld (e.g., Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, both to a degree).
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #265 on: Oct 10th, 2012, 12:37am »

Did you miss the part where I said, "I wish there was more survival to it."

It's not Resident Evil, but it's still a decent game when it comes down to me playing it.

Are all these good feels that Im having while playing the game not valid because of a name on the box?
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #266 on: Oct 10th, 2012, 02:05am »

I'm not invalidating your enjoyment of the game Resident Evil 6. In fact, I wasn't at all making a statement against you. I wished to point out some trends that seems to take hold of several industries. If you felt personally attacked by my statement: that wasn't my intention, for which I express my apologies.

In the gaming industry, it seems Resident Evil 6 did two things: 1) lose the survival horror aspect, which is the core of the RE series, continuing in name rather than spirit; 2) try to appeal to the Call of Duty-crowd (large group of consumers playing a god awful game) at the cost of fans of survival horror just because they want a piece of that action as well.

I quoted "it's a good typical action game" because you did say that and that was the only point I wanted to reply to, even though you mentioned other things after that. Again, I don't denounce your enjoyment of the game -- hell, go play Wet and Mindjack after Resident Evil 6 if you enjoy it -- but I have seen so many people state that "while it's not survival horror any more, Resident Evil 6 is a good shooter" or something to that extend. I still don't get how that justifies the title of "Resident Evil" on the cover.
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #267 on: Nov 20th, 2012, 8:19pm »

I finally got my hands on several titles I wanted for quite some time. I had a lot of games I still wanted to play but I could not resist getting the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection which includes MGS2, MGS3 and MGS: Peace Walker. I really, really dig Peace Walker -- the co-op experience is unique and very well executed.

I also bought Batman: Arkham City - Game of the Year edition because I absolutely love the series. Arkham Asylum was the reason I bought a PlayStation 3 system. I have cleared my first playthrough on Hard mode and I am now looking for Riddler's riddles. I look forward to starting New Game Plus and to do the combat challenges.

Oh, Will, I'm sorry to tell you this but I got a free PS Vita.
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #268 on: Nov 21st, 2012, 05:23am »

on Nov 20th, 2012, 8:19pm, TheMidnighter wrote:
Arkham Asylum was the reason I bought a PlayStation 3 system.


Me, too. And the Blu Ray capabilities. And Netflix. And MLB.tv
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #269 on: Nov 29th, 2012, 06:12am »

Wii U breakdown:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/11/wii-u-hardware-review-gamepads-tilt-sensitivity-rocks-two-screen-gaming/
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/11/wii-u-teardown-shows-a-whole-lot-of-wirelessness/

About a week late for a console that's a half-decade out of date.

Nintendo's market strategy -- Gameboy tech retardation graduated to consoles, with the DS gimmick as chaser -- is so transparent that the above review was probably laying around on someone's hard drive for the last year.

The more interesting stuff is the minutiae, then.

A 4 hour battery life on that controller?! Ummm...

on Nov 20th, 2012, 8:19pm, TheMidnighter wrote:
I finally got my hands on several titles I wanted for quite some time. I had a lot of games I still wanted to play but I could not resist getting the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection which includes MGS2, MGS3 and MGS: Peace Walker. I really, really dig Peace Walker -- the co-op experience is unique and very well executed.


I guess Twin Snakes really was DOA; funny thing, too, since an HD version of the first MGS might draw the most interest, considering the generation gap.

We agree vis a vis Peace Walker. It's much better balance of gameplay and stylistic flourishes -- literal narrative sanity is a stretch for Kojima, so it's best to judge tone-as-content matched to pacing -- compared to MGS2, which is notable for being a game that plays great but manages(/d) to bore the hell out of me. Such is the ability of Kojima: cinematic aspirations being dragged to hell by badly-written dialogue pieces that, selfsame, suffocate gameplay into the margins.

I never played MGS3, but I liked the early Splinter Cell games quite a bit more than either MGS or 2.

Funny thing is that the original Splinter Cell is very indicative of American-made(? It may have been European/Canadian, whatevs; Western) games of the time, yet Kojima's love of Hollywood spectacle was more predictive so far as the future of console gaming, which is now dominated by European and North American devs.

Japan is still the culture that reveres the video game enough to allow for something akin to gaming auterism; I can't think of someone that would be an analogue to Kojima in the West. There have always been stars -- Carmack, et al -- but they were always closer to tech guys rather than artists (Ordinary Language Philosophy Devil's Advocate: define "artist").

I respect Kojima's intention but it wasn't until Peace Walker that I really liked the result.

Quote:
Oh, Will, I'm sorry to tell you this but I got a free PS Vita.


At those prices Sony may save the handheld market yet.

Congrats. And fuck you, man. Fuck you.

angry

You gonna crack it or stand pat?
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