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2161  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 18, 2007, 07:10:10 PM
It looks like this version of SWAT has a storyline from the writers of the FX show "The Shield". Very cool, as this is one of my favorite television programs. If SWAT plays as well as Killzone:Liberation, it is a must have for me.

Keep us informed, Blackjack!
2162  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [DS] Etrian Odyssey 2- new website on: October 18, 2007, 06:59:57 PM
Does Etrian Odyssey get better? I'm level 8 and moved on to the second floor finally. Not really seeing any strategy or storyline yet, and I haven't  really discovered anything interesting. I also think I made a mistake by adding a bard to my party. She seems useless. By the time she casts any of her party enhancements or shields the battle is practically over.
2163  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: And....a new PS3 SKU for the US on: October 18, 2007, 06:36:15 PM
Is the 20GB PS3 a collector's item now? I went and Amazon and a new 20 gig console runs from $560-$900(!). How ridiculous. I thought I might pick one up, assuming it would drop in price to a $350-$399 price point.
2164  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: EA To Purchase Bioware/Pandemic! on: October 11, 2007, 10:00:14 PM
Well, I guess Bioware will eventually be beaten down into an internal EA developer that does RPG movie licenses.

Thank God we still have Bethesda.
2165  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Review] Folklore on: October 10, 2007, 06:43:14 PM
They've got machines that actually feed you?  And here I've been chewing my own food food like a sucker....

Wow, it isn't that difficult to return to the review pages.
2166  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Help me Pick the Next RPG I Should Play (and avoid) on: October 10, 2007, 03:00:24 AM

Quote from: JCC on October 10, 2007, 01:10:15 AM

I loved the combat in BK (the first one) until the timers became too short (which didn't take long). I thought the story was bad and the voice acting beyond horrid, but the graphics were fantastic. But, sadly the combat became to frantic with the timers and I gave it up. I thought it was lame you couldn't turn the timers off entirely, since I felt they served no purpose. The combat would have been perfectly fun to me without a timer.

Question for the FF experts: Which game is better, Final Fantasy X or Final Fantasy XII. Based on what I have read from forum people, I would guess XII, but X seems to have gotten higher review scores.... well from Gamespot anyway....


I agree with the timer really dragging the game down. I loved everything else, but the final several hours were way too frantic, and I had no time to think about the cards I wanted to use. Finally hit a wall and traded it in, although it was fun while it lasted.
2167  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Help me Pick the Next RPG I Should Play (and avoid) on: October 10, 2007, 02:58:35 AM
BTW, I just finished Enchanted Arms, which turned out to be a surprisingly fun RPG. Considering that it came from a development house not known for RPGs (From Software) I was surprised at how well the game's combat system was laid out. The strategic grid layout was a nice design choice, and collecting your army of golemns was somewhat addictive.  The story also had a few entertaining twists, but I wouldn't rate it as anything superlative.

A good, solid "75%".

2168  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Help me Pick the Next RPG I Should Play (and avoid) on: October 09, 2007, 01:06:24 AM
I'm guessing that the 20 hours of storytelling in Lost Odyssey is probably split up among multiple endings. So the average person may only see a portion of those elements depending upon their choices.

2169  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Help me Pick the Next RPG I Should Play (and avoid) on: October 09, 2007, 12:22:01 AM

Quote from: Gratch on October 08, 2007, 11:52:16 PM

Sounds like we have similar tastes (my 2 faves are also FFX & Shadow Hearts), and I'd definately recommend Final Fantasy XII first.  I typically burn out 30-40 hours into RPG's, but FFXII kept me going for nearly 80.  It's really an incredible game.  If you can handle the ridiculous encounter rate, the Digital Devil Saga games are also very good.

As far as ones to avoid, I'd stay far, far away from Shadow Hearts: From the New World.  (Eddie will disagree with me here, but I'm sticking to it!  smile) Especially if you enjoyed the first two.  The combat is somewhat fun, but the characters and story that made Covenant so amazing are replaced by a whiny teenage lead and a complete and utter snoozefest of a story.  I also didn't care much for Rogue Squadron, but I'm not big on action-RPG's in general.

SH:Covenant was an incredible game, and I'm really disappointed to see so many people agree that SH: From the New World pales so badly in comparison. I absolutely loved the characters and cut scenes in Covenant, and was thrilled to see that you could go back and watch them after the game. I really wish RPGs would tell stronger stories. This is part of the reason why I'm willing to give Lost Odyssey a chance despite the rumors that it is massively slanted toward "watching the game". If someone could someone fuse the tightly-wrapped, detailed stories in adventure games (minus the obtuse puzzles) and RPGs I'd really be ecstatic.
2170  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Help me Pick the Next RPG I Should Play (and avoid) on: October 09, 2007, 12:14:39 AM

Quote from: Farscry on October 08, 2007, 11:56:46 PM

The only console rpg from the PS2 generation I'd recommend higher than FFXII is Dragon Quest 8, which you don't have, so chuck another vote onto the FFXII pile. icon_wink

I played Dragon Quest 8 and really enjoyed it, but not quite as much as FFX or SH: Covenant.

My friend is pushing me toward Persona 3, but I'm thinking I should probably play Persona 2 first.
2171  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Help me Pick the Next RPG I Should Play (and avoid) on: October 08, 2007, 11:34:28 PM
I have a large backlog of unplayed RPGs in my closet, and I could use some help choosing the next RPG I should play. I'd also like to hear which title you would absolutely avoid.

I'm really looking forward to something character and/or story driven this time around. For a point of reference, my favorite console RPGs over the last several years have been FFX, Shadow Hearts Covenant, and KotOR. Here is what I have:


PS2
Persona 3
Nocturne
Valkyrie Profile 2
Shadow Hearts: From the New World
Metal Saga
Devil Summoner
HACK:Rebirth
Final Fantasy XII
Rogue Galaxy
Magna Carta
Digital Devil Saga 1
Digital Devil Saga 2
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter
Romancing Saga

Gamecube:
Tales of Symphonia
Baten Kaitos Origins

Xbox 360
Blue Dragon (stopped after 10 hours to wait for difficulty patch)

PSP:
Valhalla knights
Jewel Summoner
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth
Tales of Eternia

Playstation:

Vagrant Story
Parasite Eve
Persona 2
2172  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Halo 3: Over $300 million in one week on: October 04, 2007, 10:44:46 PM

Quote from: Jumangi on October 04, 2007, 10:09:19 PM

That 2001 list for the PS2 I think is what helped propel the PS2 to the win last generation( at least in the US). Especially GTA III which was this "out of left field" mega hit that helped Sony seriously mute the launches of the XBox and Gamecube.

I think 2007 is Microsoft's best chance of really hammering Sony, at least in North America. Even if Sony does release a $399 PS3 it still can't match Microsoft's current release schedule, and MS will just lower the price on the 360 again. I don't see the Xbox having so much open territory next year as the Sony software machine comes alive.

2173  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Halo 3: Over $300 million in one week on: October 04, 2007, 08:38:29 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 04, 2007, 08:33:01 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on October 04, 2007, 08:15:36 PM

That list is skewed, Kevin, because many of those titles did not appear on the same platform, and it looks like you are taking all of 1998 into consideration based upon your preface. You have games in there that are exclusive to the PC, the Gamecube and the PS2. If the games on that list were ALL appearing on one console (but some could still be multi-platform) I would agree with you. I'm referring to one console having such a large and diversified holiday gaming list.  I think the PS2 might be the only challenger to the 360.

Well, I mentioned the whole year only in response to bringing a summer release like Biioshock into play when discussing great holiday lineups.  Although just holiday releases in 1998 were pretty amazing.  Good point on platform but, again, that was in response to KD who listed GTA 3 and Halo which were on separate platforms in 2001. 

I will say that the PC lineup from 1998 alone trumps the 360 lineup from this year and I don't think the 2007 PC lineup remotely compares.  Quake Wars, Orange Box, Crysis, and Hellgate combined won't have the impact of just Half Life.  Thief, despite not getting blockbuster sales, is certainly one of the most influential games of the last decade elements of which have been cribbed in far more successful games.  Baldur's Gate 1 is also one of the bigger PC RPGs in the last decade as well. 


Is there anyplace we can actually quickly see what releases took place over what platforms in a historical timeline? There must be some crazy gaming zealot who has posted this info on the Internet.

2174  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Halo 3: Over $300 million in one week on: October 04, 2007, 08:27:15 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on October 04, 2007, 08:23:10 PM

Quote
I wouldn't say the same about Sara Lee and General Motors.

Damn it Dante!  You just ruined my EZ-Bake Oven in the GM Vehicle program....back to the drawing board.



Mmmmmmm........EZ-Bake.........


When I was young I'd force my cousin to bake for me at every family event.  Yes, violent persuasion was often involved.

Yeah, I said it.......don't get between me and my #$@! chocolate cake.
2175  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Halo 3: Over $300 million in one week on: October 04, 2007, 08:15:36 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 04, 2007, 05:59:18 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on October 04, 2007, 05:49:02 PM

I would add Bioshock and PGR 4 to the list too.

Is Bioshock part of a holiday lineup since it was released in August?  Because then things get real fuzzy.  If you want to look at a "Greatest Lineup In History" then I think 1998 easily holds the crown but not everything was released in the holidays (ie Starcraft came out in the Spring). 

Signficant 1998 releases:

Half Life
Starcraft
Fallout 2
Grim Fandango
Thief
European Air War
Metal Gear Solid
Final Fantasy Tactics
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
I-War
Resident Evil 2
Heretic 2
Redguard (personal favorite of mine)
Freespace 1

and a lot more. 

Of those, I know that HL1, Thief, Grim Fandango, Fallout 2, Zelda, and MGS were all holiday games and just those cream just about every other year IMO. 

EDIT- Doh!  Add Baldur's Gate 1 to the incredible holiday lineup of '98. 

That list is skewed, Kevin, because many of those titles did not appear on the same platform, and it looks like you are taking all of 1998 into consideration based upon your preface. You have games in there that are exclusive to the PC, the Gamecube and the PS2. If the games on that list were ALL appearing on one console (but some could still be multi-platform) I would agree with you. I'm referring to one console having such a large and diversified holiday gaming list.  I think the PS2 might be the only challenger to the 360.

And to throw mud in the faces of the "PC gaming is dead", I would say 2007 comes very close to matching 1998 in quality. Especially if The Witcher knocks it out of the park. (I know, I know, it won't be Baldur's gate, but...)

As for Ridah's post that the Wii and 360 aren't competing for the same customers/market, I think that is an argument that is simply not true. There are limited developer budgets and they are most definitely pitting the Wii, PS3 and 360 against one another when looking at future title creation. If powerful publishers and developers like SquareEnix start orientating to the Wii, Sony investors will not be pacified by the non-compete argument. It is simply lip service. I'm quite sure Sony and MS are studying and charting all of Nintendo's moves. I wouldn't say the same about Sara Lee and General Motors.
2176  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Halo 3: Over $300 million in one week on: October 04, 2007, 04:01:00 PM

Quote from: Gratch on October 04, 2007, 03:25:44 PM

Quote
Initial reports from retailers worldwide show console sales have more than doubled compared with the weekly average before the launch of “Halo 3.” With games such as “Halo 3,” “Madden 08” (EA Sports), “Mass Effect” (Microsoft Game Studios) and “Rock Band” (Harmonix), Xbox 360 has the greatest lineup in the history of video games and is the only console where consumers can play all the year’s biggest blockbusters.

Greatest lineup in the history of video games?  That's some funny shit.


Yeah, I definitely wouldn't go that far, but MS probably has the finest Fall/Winter release schedule in the history of video gaming. Obviously you have the real heavy hitters, but there is something for just about everyone being released.  I'm sure MS will also use their standard tactic of offering rebates during the holiday season. If they can't win Christmas with their Fall/Winter release lineup and price incentives, then to me it shows that games really can't save a console.


2177  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 40GB Ps3 399.99 Are you in? on: October 03, 2007, 11:31:55 PM

Quote from: Calvin on October 03, 2007, 11:11:23 PM

Quote from: Turtle on October 03, 2007, 10:02:36 PM

That's perfectly fine.  However I just want to state that not considering the system at all when some really good exclusives come out in the future, and the price drops to within your price range, is also foolish.  If this new model does come out at $400, it brings the PS3 within range of quite a few people and at the same time a bunch of new games release for it.  As I was saying, I think this new model at a lower price point was likely a reaction to Konami and Square thinking about porting to the 360.  Sony reacts by throwing more money at the PS3 to get more market share.

Calvin, I'm honestly not sure why you bought a PS3.  It's good hardware, but it doesn't have the games you want just yet.  You seem more angry at having bought something you didn't really want rather than angry at the PS3.  Admittedly, I'm really not using my PS3 that much, but about this time after I got my 360, I wasn't playing that much either.

I'd trusts the analysts more, they've got a ton more data, research, and experience behind them when determining.  Remember, they also have a line in with both MS and Sony.  Analysts may be overstating themselves by saying Sony will come out on top, but Sony is seriously pumping money into the system, and there's seriously a lot of stuff in the works for 2008.  Way too early to call this race over, I want to see what happens when the big 2008 games like MGS4, FF13, Killzone 2, God of War 3, etc... come out that go head to head with whatever cool stuff MS will have by then.  Now that'll be something to see.
I have no vested interest in seeing the PS3 struggle, and god help me I would rather them dominate than the Nintendo Wii-all-lose, but the PS3 is a disaster right now.

I'm of the same mind that I'd rather see Sony performing well instead of the Nintendo. The Wii and DS are pushing gaming in a direction that I'd rather not travel. I certainly don't have any irrational dislike of Nintendo, but their gaming library and hardware choices run completely contrary to my gaming desires.
2178  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Pre-order stance actually hurt GS/EB sales? on: October 03, 2007, 06:27:25 PM
A friend of mine was relatively high up in the foodchain at Gamestop. Since preorders save the company significant money on Inventory he suggested that customers who preorder be given a 5% discount. Not much, but better than nothing and it saves you $3 on a 360 or PS3 new release.

He said his boss looked at him like he was "growing a third eye in the middle of his forehead and said they aren't in the business of giving money away." 

So much for customer appreciation. You get raped on trade-in prices, and can't even get a tiny savings for preordering.
2179  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: File this under huge rumor, probably not true, But Microsoft would be dumb i on: October 02, 2007, 09:53:20 PM
From game Informer:

"Rumors are floating abound that Halo masterminds Bungie will be leaving Microsoft. The rumor’s source being a reader blog from Seattlepi.com stating that in fact, as of yesterday, Bungie is no longer part of Microsoft. While the majority of Internet denizens are stating that this could never happen and that it’s not true, we’ve heard the opposite. From a source close to Bungie, Game Informer has  learned this rumor has some merit. It looks like with Halo 3, Bungie really is finishing the fight.

Our source stated that Bungie is “tired of Making Halo, and didn’t want to do future Halo games.” For an unstated, but significant amount of money, Bungie shareholders bought the studio name back from Microsoft. Our source also revealed that even though Microsoft will retain the rights to Halo, Microsoft also has “the right of first refusal on future games.” This means that Microsoft has the first shot at publishing Bungie’s future titles. How this will come into play if Bungie decides they want future game X to appear on the PlayStation 3 and Wii alongside an Xbox 360 release will make things quite interesting.


http://www.gameinformer.com/News/Story/200710/N07.1002.1438.22348.htm
2180  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: File this under huge rumor, probably not true, But Microsoft would be dumb i on: October 02, 2007, 02:43:40 AM
Actually, now that I read the first post again, I can see where this would make some sense. Bungie makes Halo 4, but is allowed to work on other IPs. You then let the development house create these IPs for portables (the PSP or DS) or the PC, which are not in direct competition with your main console.
2181  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: File this under huge rumor, probably not true, But Microsoft would be dumb i on: October 02, 2007, 01:05:08 AM
In other news, Cadillac is leaving GM.  I don't see MS as the type of company to let their #1 development house and cash cow pick up their toys and leave. If anything, they would create parallel titles to keep the team happy.
2182  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Lost Odyssey - 20 hours of cutscenes! on: October 01, 2007, 04:04:16 PM
This makes me want the game even more. I'll trade you random battles for cut scenes any day of the week.
2183  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / FT: (Nippon Ichi) Soul Nomad and the World Eaters on: September 29, 2007, 01:46:59 AM
Great game if you are into Disgaea/Phantom Brave, etc, but it looks like I'm burned out on NIS.  Game will be sent to you in "Like New" condition with delivery confirmation. Looking for high-quality versions of:

PC-
Bioshock
Two Worlds

Xbox 360-
Bioshock
The Darkness


PS2-
Wild ARMs 5

PSP-
Blade Dancer
D&D Tactics
2184  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (9/24) on: September 24, 2007, 05:37:19 PM
Soul Nomad and the World Eaters
2185  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IGN gives Eternal Sonata an 8.3 on: September 23, 2007, 10:28:41 AM
I'm a little further in, and the game continues to get better. The graphics truly are stunning in this game. I really love the art direction and the color palette chosen for just about everything. Eternal Sonata definitely raises the bar for other RPGs in the graphics department.



2186  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IGN gives Eternal Sonata an 8.3 on: September 22, 2007, 01:45:56 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 21, 2007, 05:44:54 PM


Do Bethesda and Bioware actually use scaling AI?  I've never messed with the difficulty levels in their games but my experience is that most developers' idea of difficulty scales are limited to "enemy hits harder, the player hits weaker" which has zero to do with AI.  The games where the enemies actually use different tactics on different difficulty levels seems to be few and far between, whether western or easter, or RPG or not. 

On the fly difficulty levels are definitely nice but I think we are going to see less of that, not more, due to achievements.  I think any game that defines certain achievements based on difficulty level is going to be less likely to include on the fly difficultly changes.  But, yeah, I'd like to see more of that.   

No, I'd have to agree with you here. I should have used the term on-the-fly scaling difficulty instead of scaling AI. That is what I get for posting after a 15 hour work day. Still, its nice to have the option to bump up the difficulty at any point without needing to restart the game.

Eternal Sonata would be a better game if the difficulty was slightly higher. Its too easy to abuse the special attack button, and overall you can perform significantly more attacks than most enemy parties. But I'm roughly six hours in and the game continues to impress me. The story is nicely told and some of the characters are endearing. The battle system is a wonderful idea that would have been phenomenal with just a few extra tweaks. I love how your attacks change depending on the light/dark aspect of the battlefield. The game really does feel like you're playing a high-budget cartoon. The transition from gameplay to cutscenes shows no sudden, dramatic change in quality, which is a really nice bonus. It makes things feel more seamless.

Some people may find the world to be absolutely beautiful but too confining at the same time. It feels alot like Fable in that sense. There is all this beautiful scenery and architecture that you just can't...quite... explore.
2187  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IGN gives Eternal Sonata an 8.3 on: September 21, 2007, 05:22:56 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 20, 2007, 06:05:54 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on September 20, 2007, 05:53:17 PM

I'm shocked you would choose Wild ARMS 5 over Eternal Sonata or BD. I've yet to play Wild ARMS, but several reviews and forums have complained loudly about the poor graphics and brain-dead AI. It seems that the only way to die in ARMS is if you have suicidal tendencies and let the AI take the first 5 turns as freebies. Even then you are given the option to replay the battle if you lose. I've watched several gameplay videos, and I just can't see any apparent significant redeeming qualities.

Ah, to each his own. Let me know how Wild ARMS turns out.

Don't know about AI yet.  Haven't heard much positive or negative on WA5 but all I've heard about ES is that it's a complete cakewalk which isn't appealing to me.... 

Wild ARMs 5 from several review sites:

"...truly abysmal AI..."

"...Especially since the AI was apparently borrowed from a PONG machine, so don't expect much in terms of intelligent monsters -- the game really doesn't want you to get hurt, much less die..."

"Random encounters don't offer any additional challenge, just more tedium as you need to move into position before attacking."

"If you miraculously lose to its Fisher Price artificial intelligence, you can elect to start the battle over, or return to your last save point."

"...a slightly above average game weighed down by substandard graphics and an AI that never even reached the point of being half-baked."


Having a poor AI, and then forcing me to move through combat at a slower pace due to the necessity of navigating a small hex-board seems like a bad decision. At least in Brave Story I could end the easy battles in 3 strokes of the "X" button.
I do LOVE the idea of the added tactical element they tried to add, but the implementation sounds very poor.

I really wish Japanese developers would starting implementing scaling AI like that seen in RPGs by Bethesda and Bioware. The ability to change the AI difficulty on the fly? And not have to restart the entire game? Brilliant!

Anyway, I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from purchasing an RPG. Its just irritating to see one RPG panned and one praised while both share the same inherent flaws. (average story, easy AI)
2188  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IGN gives Eternal Sonata an 8.3 on: September 20, 2007, 05:53:17 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 20, 2007, 05:30:09 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on September 20, 2007, 05:20:24 PM

And why haven't you bought Blue Dragon or Eternal Sonata yet? I know you like RPGs. And please don't say you're waiting for Mass Effect. That title will be an RPG Leviathan. The niche titles need the biggest push.

Blue Dragon is an eventual purchase but I'm trying to go a bit more out of my way these days in not buying a game until I'm actually ready to play it.  Right now I've still got Persona 3 to finish (which should be done in the next week).  However I think my next RPG is going to be Wild Arms 5.  From what I've read it does the "traditional" RPG thing a little better than BD and is $20 cheaper to boot.  BD might be on deck after that though.  I like a lot of what I've heard from reliable RPG fans so I'm not turned off at all by the American press's lukewarm reaction.

Eternal Sonata, though, just hasn't sold me yet.  I've heard enough bad stuff from reliable Japanese importers to raise some pretty serious flags for me.  It's undeniably a gorgeous game but I need a bit more than that and I wasn't even that impressed by the demo.  Plus, I don't trust the American press at all when it comes to RPGs.  From listening to them talk I don't think they play them very long before pronouncing judgment so I'm not convinced that most of these guys have given BD the time to get good (which I've heard happens) or to see Eternal Sonata through to the end long after the initial wow factor of the graphics has passed. 

But I'm willing to be convinced and will be looking at impressions with interest as people get farther into the game.  I did eventually buy Enchanted Arms after user reaction was more positive than expected (though I have yet to play it) so the same could certainly happen with ES. 

I'm shocked you would choose Wild ARMS 5 over Eternal Sonata or BD. I've yet to play Wild ARMS, but several reviews and forums have complained loudly about the poor graphics and brain-dead AI. It seems that the only way to die in ARMS is if you have suicidal tendencies and let the AI take the first 5 turns as freebies. Even then you are given the option to replay the battle if you lose. I've watched several gameplay videos, and I just can't see any apparent significant redeeming qualities.

Ah, to each his own. Let me know how Wild ARMS turns out. The majority can always be wrong.
2189  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IGN gives Eternal Sonata an 8.3 on: September 20, 2007, 05:20:24 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 20, 2007, 05:14:01 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on September 20, 2007, 04:37:14 PM

I really hope this title sells well. The art direction, music, combat and story are all very well done. My only regret is that combat tends to be too easy. I had the same complaint with Blue Dragon. Apparently Japanese developers seem to be of the mindset that the Xbox crowd is filled with a bunch of RPG newbies.

Actually, Japanese gamers tend to like games easier than Americans.  American versions often feature new, harder difficult modes than their Japanese counterparts. 

I realize that they think American PS2 owners like their games harder. But apparently Xbox owners are in the remedial room...

And why haven't you bought Blue Dragon or Eternal Sonata yet? I know you like RPGs. And please don't say you're waiting for Mass Effect. That title will be an RPG Leviathan. The niche titles need the biggest push.
2190  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IGN gives Eternal Sonata an 8.3 on: September 20, 2007, 04:37:14 PM

Quote from: Misguided on September 20, 2007, 04:05:25 PM

Wow, this game is gorgeous...and engaging too. I've barely gotten started, but I'm much more into the story than with Blue Dragon.

I agree. I cannot say enough good things about this title. Not only does it have some of the most beautiful graphics I've ever seen on the 360, but the story and combat are equally entertaining. I'm about 5 hours in, and so far Eternal Sonata has definitely been worth the price of admission.

I don't even mind the fact that the game is only about 25 hours long. I can use a short, tightly woven RPG to counterbalance the massive timesinks most RPGs turn out to be.

I really hope this title sells well. The art direction, music, combat and story are all very well done. My only regret is that combat tends to be too easy. I had the same complaint with Blue Dragon. Apparently Japanese developers seem to be of the mindset that the Xbox crowd is filled with a bunch of RPG newbies.
2191  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / FT: Worms Open Warfare 2 + Gurumin on: September 17, 2007, 06:24:07 PM
Excellent condition, original manuals and cases. Will trade BOTH Worms Open Warfare 2 (this is the new highly rated Worms game) + Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure, for one of the following games. I'll also throw in the demo of Jeanne D'Arc if you'd like to try it out. The items will be sent to with delivery confirmation.


Looking for:

PS2
Wild ARMS 5

PSP
D&D Tactics
Monster Hunter Freedom 2

PC
Two Worlds

Xbox 360
The Darkness


2192  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IGN gives Eternal Sonata an 8.3 on: September 15, 2007, 02:28:38 PM
I'm supporting it. I'm hate the fact that the 360 is turning into a FPS/Sports console machine, just like its predecessor. But I feel like a Republican voting in the state of California.

Blue Dragon crashed and burned.
Viva Pinata went down in flames.
Kameo bit the dust.
Overlord limped along and sputtered out.
Enchanted Arms imploded.

Does anyone know if Culdcept Saga is even coming to the 360 any more? It was due out in early summer, got pushed to September, and now I hear that a release is "under review".




2193  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Game Controllers: I Wish Someone Would Bring This Idea to the PS3 on: September 11, 2007, 01:55:16 PM
http://www.saitek.com/uk/prod/p3600v2.htm

"New ‘Cyborg-module’ reversible d-pad and left analogue stick - Alter the stick and d-pad position to your preference"

This is a PC controller, but I think this would be a great idea for a console. Most people I know prefer the layout of the analog sticks on the 360 in comparison to the PS2/PS3 layout. After using Sony's controller for about an hour I feel like my thumbs are trying to detach from my hands in protest. Gah! Logitech, where are you when I need you most?!
2194  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Star Ocean 4 - first details and screens! on: September 09, 2007, 10:25:35 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 09, 2007, 12:53:11 AM

Quote from: Calvin on September 08, 2007, 10:06:23 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 07, 2007, 02:45:17 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on September 07, 2007, 02:31:35 PM

All things considered, I think MS made a very solid effort at trying to attract JRPGs to the console. You basically have:

Yeah the initial effort was good.  But when you look at that list the only game that wasn't announced a year ago is Last Remnant. 

I think Last Remnant has an excellent shot at selling more on 360 as long as the game comes out before FF13.  I don't think people in Japan will buy a PS3 for Last Remnant but if they already bought one for FF13...

Ok, so here is the question that I am not sure we have addressed completely. Is the issue with MS and jRPGs, at least in Japan, simply the fact that they have Microsoft branding on them? If Blue Dragon had been published by some random third pary-err Atlus lets say, or had the Dragon Quest branding on it (discussed ad nauseum before), what would the reaction have been? Heck, what would the reaction have been here? I know the Anglophobia argument is not popular around here, but there are times that I really wonder how much that might have to do with things.

It has more to do with having to buy new hardware than the publisher.  If Blue Dragon was on a Sony or Nintendo system then the fact that it was published by MS wouldn't have mattered- I think it would have sold very, very well.  The issue was that if you wanted to play BD then you had to buy a new system for it which makes the cost of entry a helluva lot higher.  Reception to BD seemed much better in Japan than it has over here but it still didn't get the "worth buying the console for" buzz that MS was hoping for.

A Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy name would help but really only if it was a proper numbered series entry.  People didn't exactly scramble to pick up a Gamecube in Japan because Crystal Chronicles had the FF name attached. 

I agree that the high cost of entry held back sales of Blue Dragon. I think most consumers want at least three or four games for a system before they can truly rationalize a purchase of new hardware.  However, I still think Blue Dragon was an amazing success in Japan. MS simply had completely unrealistic expectations on how much pull one game can have.

Look at it this way- At the time that Blue Dragon was released, I believe sales of the Xbox 360 were around 125,000 units in Japan, with an average of 2,000-4,000 units selling per week. When BD released, it moved 35,000 hardware units in a little over one week, and 29,000 of those units were the Blue Dragon bundle. Software sales exceeded 80,000 units during the opening week. The 360 saw a sales bump of almost 800% for one week. Hardware and software sales dropped off significantly thereafter, but remained above average for a few more weeks.

http://www.siliconera.com/2006/12/18/blue-dragon-causes-xbox-360-sales-to-surge-in-japan/

Looking at the actual install base, that is an amazing attach rate for hardware and software sales. If you assume 5 million North Americans own an Xbox 360, it would be like Mass Effect moving over 3 million units in the first week, and over 1 million of those units would be bundled with hardware. 

Expecting so much out of Blue Dragon was a ridiculous idea, if MS truly expected much more than they got. If Lost Odyssey is of comparable quality to Blue Dragon, I'm sure we'll see another bump in sales for Blue Dragon and MS hardware. If Lost Odyssey shines it may finally give the 360 some continuous momentum since Japanese gamers will have another quality RPG on the system.

I won't hold my breath on that, however. I still find it amazing that one of the biggest complaints against the 360 in Japan is the size of the hardware. Have they seen the PS3?
2195  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Star Ocean 4 - first details and screens! on: September 07, 2007, 02:31:35 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 07, 2007, 01:37:42 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on September 07, 2007, 01:29:36 PM

i know its not JRPG,maybe more action RPG,but knights of the old republic did great on the xbox,i am sure MS would want more RPGs,no matter how they are(JRPGS or not).

Again, Western RPGs (ie KOTOR) and JRPGs are pretty much different genres.  Xbox 1 did very well with western RPGs (KOTORs, Jade Empire, Morrowind, Fable) and the 360 looks to follow suit.  JRPGs are still unproven financially on an Xbox platform though. 

The game you are referring to is True Fantasy Online, an MMORPG that was being developed by the awesome Level 5 (DQ8, Dark Cloud, Jeanne D'Arc, White Knight Story, Rogue Galaxy) and published by MS. 

I agree that Western and JRPGs should not be categorized together.

All things considered, I think MS made a very solid effort at trying to attract JRPGs to the console. You basically have:

Released:
Enchanted Arms
Blue Dragon
FF XI Online

Around the corner:
Eternal Sonata

In the pipeline:
Cry On (action rpg)
Infinite Undiscovery
Lost Odyssey
and don't forget...The Last Remnant   http://na.square-enix.com/remnant/

In relation to JRPGs, I think the astounding success of the Wii and DS (something that NOBODY forecasted) is the true thorn in Microsoft's side.   Both pieces of hardware are going to start drawing in larger amounts of developers' money, as witnessed with the increasing love Square Enix is showering upon Nintendo.

Lost Odyssey will be important for obvious reasons, but I'm very interested in The Last Remnant. Here we will finally see a Square Enix RPG released simultaneously for the PS3 and Xbox 360. If the 360 sells more copies worldwide, it will be an interesting turn of events.
2196  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Star Ocean 4 - first details and screens! on: September 07, 2007, 02:10:57 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 06, 2007, 03:56:27 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on September 06, 2007, 03:37:38 PM

Its difficult to say how the RPG landscape will turn out. With the exception of your heavy hitters (Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, etc) RPG titles rarely break 500,000 units in sales worldwide, and most never crack 250,000. Blue Dragon will definitely hit 250,000 units, and I think it will probably end up around 400,000 units by year end. That isn't bad at all for a title with no pedigree. I'm sure insiders at MS were trying to convince themselves it would be the next Final Fantasy, but anyone grounded in reality probably never believed that. There is also still hope on the 360 with the upcoming releases such as Tri Ace's Infinite Undiscovery and Mistwalker's Lost Odyssey. I agree with the sentiment that Eternal Sonata will only gather a cult following, however.

Blue Dragon isn't a title without a pedigree.  If fact, the title is really all about it's pedigree.  It's not an existing IP but the game was being sold on being it's core trio of Sakaguchi, Uemetsu, and Toriyama.  Blue Dragon's entire role was to make other JRPG developers see the 360 as a viable platform by selling the console itself in Japan and doing well enough in Western Markets to make JRPG developers see that as a key piece in their financial planning.  It failed the former (sure it sold to in an insane attach rate but made no lasting effect on hardware sales)  and I think it's going to fail as the latter as well. 


Developer pedigree is far different than Title pedigree. Unlike in Japan and Korea where developers are often treated like celebrities, most Americans have absolutely no idea who created their gaming experiences. Blue Dragon will do respectable numbers, but Final Fantasy would have sold extremely well on the 360. That is the basic difference between a pedigree based on names vs games.


2197  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Star Ocean 4 - first details and screens! on: September 06, 2007, 03:37:38 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 06, 2007, 12:31:32 PM

Quote from: EddieA on September 06, 2007, 06:07:19 AM

The developer said that the game was being made on "hardware that can display beautiful graphics", and the screenshot of the main characters looks like it's either PS3 or 360.

Yeah Tri-Ace is one of the few JRPG developers I expect to focus most of their energy on PS3 or 360 since their games are so much technical showpieces.  The only other JRPG dev I would say that applies to are the FF teams at SE.  Level 5 to a degree but they've been doing so much standout work on lesser powered equipment like DS and PSP that I wouldn't be surprised to see them tackle some more PS2 games or even something on Wii. 

Most of the primary JRPG shops (SMT series,Tales, Suikoden, Wild Arms, etc) rely much more on artistic prowess than technical stuff and I don't see them in much of a hurry to make the jump to "next gen."  I think the Vanillaware Wii title is a sign of things to come. 


Its difficult to say how the RPG landscape will turn out. With the exception of your heavy hitters (Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, etc) RPG titles rarely break 500,000 units in sales worldwide, and most never crack 250,000. Blue Dragon will definitely hit 250,000 units, and I think it will probably end up around 400,000 units by year end. That isn't bad at all for a title with no pedigree. I'm sure insiders at MS were trying to convince themselves it would be the next Final Fantasy, but anyone grounded in reality probably never believed that. There is also still hope on the 360 with the upcoming releases such as Tri Ace's Infinite Undiscovery and Mistwalker's Lost Odyssey. I agree with the sentiment that Eternal Sonata will only gather a cult following, however.

Going back to Blue Dragon for a moment, the real problem with the game is that it really is one of those slow burn titles. Mistwalker absolutely failed to follow the Final Fantasy methodology of front loading the first few hours of gameplay with amazing graphics and several outstanding CGI scenes. Whoever decided that the first true enemy would be a giant shark fin swimming around in the dirt should be dragged into the street and capped in the head Fallout style. The later part of the game dramatically outshines the beginning, but the majority of the reviewers will never get that far.

2198  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Another PS3 game delayed-Alone in the Dark on: September 05, 2007, 10:19:16 PM
Hardcore gamers better hope that Sony and MS get their act together, or we'll be living in a Wii world where the new releases are increasingly titles like Brain Age, Cooking Mama, Wii Health Pack, and Mario Paper Tennis Cart World Domination. All in glorious 480p.
2199  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Blue Dragon Getting Some Poor Reviews on: September 03, 2007, 04:17:38 PM
This is an absolutely wonderful game. I'm really surprised by the mediocre reviews.
2200  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Brave Story...A Wonderful PSP RPG Nobody Ever Played on: August 27, 2007, 04:35:16 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on August 27, 2007, 04:22:54 PM

FWIW, the localization for both Jeanne D'Arc and Brave Story were done by the same company (8-4 Productions I believe) and they've done excellent work on pretty much everything they've done.  Between these, Persona 3, and FF12 it's nice to see localization being given a lot more attention these days.  I'm pretty sure that Final Fantasy Tactics is getting a new translation too and that should make the story really shine in that one. 

I didn't realize the same company did both translations. Very well done on both accounts.

A few years ago I read the Pinski translation of "Dante's Inferno", and wondered why his translation was so much more vibrant than other translations I read previously. In the author's notes he remarked that the best translations are not literal translations, but rather ones that capture the mood and spirit of the original writing and transfer it seamlessly into the new language. He clearly admits that his translation is not the most literal, but he firmly believed it came the closest to capturing the beauty and intent of the original work.

I think we are starting to see this occur with software translations, which is a huge step forward IMHO.

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