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Everything posted by Guardian

  1. i can't tell you how much i appreciate that. my online self (fashioned after my actual self) has come under fire lately, and the encouragement is hugely welcome. i wish more people would reply directly to my thoughts though. i feel glossed over often.
  2. this is something that i cannot believe. "rpg"s as we know them have a serious problem. they insist on playing up character development in a numerical, systematized manner, which is very cool and satisfying. but they force the player's success in the game to be based largely on these numbers. the player's dextrous and even tactical skills ususally take a backseat to simple statistics. this is retarded. i'm still waiting for developers to find a way to compromise and get rid of necessary stat-building EARTHBOUND (yes, i'm bringing up earthbound again!), of all the rpgs i have played, hit the most successful balance here. i'm not talking about the necessity of the player's making smart choices to succeed, because there are others that manage at least this much. but earthbound is special because while the player's ability and choices matter, there is also an emotional connection/impact with the characters' growth that a lot of games miss. for me, it is something noticable throughout the game, but the obvious example is ness's psychological trip towards the end of the game that culminates in an exhilerating story-based level-up session. although the character development is quantified just like in any other rpg, it actually means something to you in this game. actually, i apologize for refuting the quote above. i do enjoy the random battles in earthbound. but the fact that i can see the enemies and have a chance to avoid them or win through the automatic victory system helps a lot with that, and the fights actually connect you to your characters' progress. final fantasy's multi-part problem is this: it does not often bring you into contact with older types of enemies, so you do not get the satisfaction of being able to defeat them easily and thus noting your development ("i'm so much stronger now!"); the levelling up is too mandatory to progress; and finally there is no emotive aspect to the quantified character development. you don't fight recurring villains who remark "ah, you've gotten better!" you don't find any story elements that prompt levelling-up. even gaining new abilities is rarely tied to the story. the gameplay is disconnected from the story and, for that reason, uninspiring. when playing an ff game, you are only playing to get to the next slice of fmv. it's disgusting. i'm still waiting for rpgs to conquer random battles. it's such a bitch when you take several different branches in a dungeon to find treasure and each time you backtrack you're wondering how many more steps you can make before you'll be forced to endure another unnecessary fight against some demonic magma rodent who you will never, ever, EVER see approaching you. oh, but at least you know how many of these stupid things there are in the level: infinite. what unfun torturous crap. in an ff game, i never even care when i get a level-up. i don't think, oh squall who i really care about just became a stronger and more able fighter. i think, thank god squall is less of a pussy now and the random battles might end one round sooner. the fact that square (and almost everyone else!) have continued to make games this way for over a decade is revolting. worst of all, though, i'm not sure if any of the rpgs i have ever played are at all role-playing games. ico is more a role-playing game than any final fantasy has been.
  3. i love you. square's earlier games aren't really any different from what they're doing now. there hasn't been any change or decline in quality. the only thing i can think of in gameplay that has changed is that they have recently been obsessed with making things much more complex than they need to be--grid spheres or days of the week for weapon tempering or assinine affinity/material systems. and i will admit that those systems have killed a couple of otherwise enjoyable games for me. but fundamentally nothing has changed between ff6 and ff10.
  4. that's about the frequency in which my faith in humanity sputters and dies.
  5. you mean this inanity has occurred before?
  6. yeah, i'm afraid i see no connection between the image and its filename.
  7. gallerians? lol are those sugar cubes attached to his vest? i can't decide if he's a mental patient who had his straitjacket put on without having his arms secured or a dental patient awaiting a most severe x-ray examination.
  8. i thought it was moss clippings.
  9. graham, ebisumaru.. neither of you from your very different vantage points have any idea of the innovation that lies ahead. i can't encourage you enough. by the way, chrono trigger is also worth your time. the opening at the fair isn't the most exciting bit, but the game will really engulf you if you give it a chance. it's no earthbound, though. one of the best things about earthbound's character is that it is tongue-in-cheek/zany in the most delightful way and yet, simultaneously, a subtle and transparently powerful sentimental experience. these two seemingly contradictory aspects are tightly wound together and inseparable.
  10. what the hell are you on about?
  11. damned right. would everyone who has never played mother please go and spend 2 hours with an snes and a copy of earthbound? i think that if everyone did this it might be the end of squaresoft fanaticism, the more fascist strands of christianity, and enormously vague wars on unimportant countries who may or may not have any weapons of their own. on the other hand, we may see a rise in rampant happy-happyism, corrupt traffic cops, teleporting desert monkeys, ritual carpainting, and the presence of sentient puddles of puke.
  12. you mean you've never finished it?! you have to! but.. if you haven't been playing it consistently then you might feel detached and not really experience everything to the same effect.
  13. I SAID EARTHBOUND--EARTHBOUND, PEOPLE. HELLO!? i have been playing and disliking einhander and its soundtrack. though in some ways it is different and gets points for that. i mean, the operatic opening stuff is good, and usually the music goes a long way to making the atmosphere, but the trancey-techno bits are stupid.
  14. mother 1 & 2 (2 = earthbound) were released on the gba in japan. i think nintendo said that they did not intend to bring them to north america and europe, but that may have changed. i'm not sure. it probably will happen. starmen.net sponsored/organized a call-in marathon to try to convince nintendo to release them over here. that was only last week; you should call nintendo's hot-line and tell the nintendo rep that you want it.
  15. i realized just after the plot turned to crap (about 30 minutes in) and then realized that the abilities were tied to the weapons (about 45 minutes in; i was on emulator so no manual) that it was a time sink with little-to-no reward. the most disappointing thing of course is that it's named for ff:t, which i love. and this game started off with a really promising plot! the kids with family problems in the modern city, the school rivalries and snowball fight; it was all very, very appealing to me. i liked the characters, these young kids with that fft art style were very attractive to me (ff:t's art direction was one of the top items on my long list of favorite things about it). but of course square had to take that and shove it in the trash, forcing you to enter a magic book called final fantasy and have the people turn into stupid moogles and dog-things. my god. i went to gamefaqs and read ahead in the plot and it sounds terrible. i want a real ff:t game with the initial plot pre-premise, please.
  16. well it depends, dude. ninja gaiden requires your total focus. i don't count as i barely get to play games. but when it comes to involving games like rpgs i definitely don't do more than one at a time. just like books, you know?
  17. not really... earthbound is nothing like secret of mana. it isn't an action-rpg at all. it's almost like... earthbound is to final fantasy as parodius is to gradius. except that earthbound isn't just the most wonderfully zany take on console rpgs ever; it's a beautiful and emotionally involving game in its own right. earthbound is mother 2. mother was a japanese-only rpg, and mother 2 was localized brilliantly and released in the usa and pal territories (i think it's pal) as earthbound on snes. mother 3 or earthbound 64 was being developed for nintendo64 but got delayed several times and ultimately canned. now it seems to be back. oh my god yes the entire game is this cool!!!! everytime i go home my mom serves me cereal, sends me to bed, and then tells me how my teacher dropped by but she covered for me so i can have my adventure. my dad just deposited $517 into my ATM account, i'm riding around ringing the bell on my bicycle with the R button, a cult of happy-happyists is painting everything in town blue, my first offense spell is called PSI Mogwai alpha, and on a typical day i battle Mobile Sprouts and Evil Ramblin' Mushrooms! awesome!!! i want to quote a paragraph i just wrote in a different thread about earthbound, which i just realized after writing it is my favorite game. better than ico. well, in my mind i know it isn't (game design, etc.), and its emotionality is more subtle, but i just love earthbound more.
  18. holy superficiality, batman! didn't you notice that kotor was going to pains to dress up as a totally open-ended game where everything you did mattered when it actually delivered the worst experience possible--a very open-ended game where nothing you did mattered in the least, and not only because none of the freaking scenarios that that open-endedness threw at you had the slightest bit to do with the game's plot, but also because it never mattered whether you were naughty or nice until bloody christmastime! i never felt the slightest connection to anything in the entire game, and that includes the flat cardboard people you meet whose romeo & juliet ripoff sagas you force yourself into and the mostly cookie-cutter assholes in your party. it's really amazing that, the more bioware tried to disguise it, the more obvious it became to me that the game was totally contrived in every aspect. i've been both a star wars and an rpg fanboy, and kotor was a powerfully emotionless experience for me. i'll take square's rpgs over bioware's fraud any day. ATTENTION: WHAT FOLLOWS IS A WONDERFULLY DISORGANIZED AND UTTERLY JOYOUS RANT ABOUT WHAT MAKES EARTHBOUND SO INCREDIBLY PERFECT, YOU PHILISTINES videogames, and especially rpgs, need to learn to show, not tell. come on, this is a basic tenet of creative writing classes everywhere. there should be as little dialogue as possible devoted to intentionally connecting a player emotionally to the game. the cliched love affairs and other crap that my party members tossed up in my general direction in kotor made me ill. take instead a game like earthbound where your emotional investment is rooted in the things your characters have done (they are totally voiceless and yet they have so much personality based on where they've come from, what they've done, the items they can use--take poo's training and inability to equip anything except the unique "of kings" items; or better yet ness's family, baseball bat, and omfg the place where you read his thoughts on the wall and the level near the end that takes place in his mind and that culminates in the most amazing affirmation of leveling-up's importance to the player's feeling) and the party members' connections to one another that you've developed only in your mind (your memories of everything they've adventured through together; the coffee and tea drinking segments (best game ever)). the end is a total revelation in terms of any game or for that matter art i've ever experienced. the game, through a slowly building climactic battle that ultimately renders your party helpless, suggestively and subtly prods you into first realizing that you care about these voiceless characters and causes you to feel that this sentiment allows you to make an active difference in their fate. i have played through this game multiple times, and the power that this final battle has over me is still, even in these repeat plays when i know what is happening, completely unrivaled anywhere in gaming or anywhere at all. the game plugs me in completely at that moment.
  19. jesus christ ninja turtles was hard.
  20. i agree with you there. in the other thread i believe this is the distinction that was made between r-type and, say, psyvariar. is it only coincidence that the dodging type tends to be vertical?
  21. well, i do like the square games i mentioned. i just don't really find them fun and i don't think they represent good game design. i like earthbound (though, still, random battles, not really rpg, but moreso than ff games because ness & co. are really vessels for you) and som and planescape and i keep waiting for something that is really an rpg and not just an interactive set piece. fable looks very promising. the WORST thing about bioware is that they promised me the very things i wanted so badly and gave me the cheapest imitation.
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