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2201  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Valkyrie Profile 2 English impressions and media on: September 06, 2006, 03:25:38 PM
Condensed from the review:

-Demanding
-much more difficult than the first game
-repetitive enemies
-lots of grinding and backtracking, very linear
-some tricky puzzles
-Beautiful cutscenes and graphics, but poor out of synch dubbing in several instances
-Stories behind important NPC characters are never really explained and somewhat one dimensional. You will not get attached to the characters
-Battles are more complex but more interesting than the previous game


They don't actually give a final score, but overall the reviewer seemed underwhelmed. I'm guessing he'd rate it around 70-75%.
2202  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Xenosaga 3 Impressions on: September 04, 2006, 03:41:35 AM
Quote
But what's really neat is that you no longer need to walk up to someone and press the action button to get their dialogue.  Instead a dialogue baloon automatically appears over their head as soon as you get close, letting you know if there is anything new at a quick glance.

I've always loved this feature, and it is definitely underused. I wish checking doors was the same way. It may sound petty, but I've always hated running up to a door, tapping "X", getting the text stating the door will not open, and then needing to tap "X" again to exit the text screen. Likewise, I get frustrated when an RPG will not let you easily cancel a dialogue or cutscene if you've already heard/seen it before.

I enjoyed Xenosaga, despised Xenosaga 2, and will probably never play Xenosaga 3. The second game just killed my love of the series, and jumping from game 1 to 3 seems like a disservice to the story.
2203  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I'm starting to hate the Internet. (language) on: September 03, 2006, 03:39:34 PM
Knightshade, the reasons you posted are exactly why I quit Xbox Live and stopped playing MMORPGs. I fear for America's future.
2204  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Resident Evil 4. Am I Crazy Insane? on: September 03, 2006, 12:04:45 AM
7 PM, Central Standard Time.
Game Chapter 3.
I'm growing bored with Resident Evil 4.

I'm certain I should love the game. However, much like my ex-girlfriend, I play with it for a few minutes, and then toss it aside for something different.  I can appreciate the amazing number of refinements that went into it when compared to the previous releases, but the game just won't click with me. I enjoy the horror genre, so I struggle to feel the love. It MUST be there. A hundred websites singing the praises of Resident Evil 4 cannot be wrong. Unless...No! Its too horrible to contemplate, and I refuse to become a conspiracy theorist.

Am I crazy insane, or does anyone else have Resident Evil 4 apathy? Can blowing the heads off cultists become tedious and trivial?
2205  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Enchanted Arms First Impressions on: September 01, 2006, 06:27:15 PM
Let me clarify, Kathode:


The developer asked for several MONTHS more time, but was refused. Later the game's release was delayed by several weeks, but actual reasons for the delay were never given. So, depending on how you approach the story it was shipped earlier than desired (Developer perspective) or delayed by several weeks (publisher perspective). Hopefully that clears up my messy post above.

The game was supposed to be a day one release title in Japan, but it was pushed back by several weeks for (according to Famitsu) "modest reworking". Whatever that means.
2206  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Enchanted Arms First Impressions on: September 01, 2006, 03:16:43 PM
I'm about ten hours in now, and the game continues to impress me. The golem aspect is really fun and the battle system is just entertaining enough to keep me interested. Battles still continue to be relatively easy, so I'm hoping the difficulty ramps up.After playing somthing like Nocturne, this game is a walk in the park.

I was speaking to someone who finished the Japanese version of the game, and he said that there are two poor parts of the game- the very beginning, and a small portion in the middle that involved a puzzle area. Other than that he was impressed with the game and called it a "good step in the right direction for a Microsoft Japanese RPG."

-The bad news is that this game appears to be tanking. It has sold about 5,000 units in Japan, and the EBgames DM that I know said the interest in the game is "surprisingly poor."

-Another strange rumor about the game: The grapevine has it that the game was not, in fact, pushed out the door early. Rather, the delays were due to Microsoft forcing the developer to compress and edit/shorten the game to 1 disc so that it wouldn't add fuel to the fire about Microsoft making a poor choice on deciding to go with a plain DVD format. This MAY have some validity, because Masanori Takeuchi, producer of Enchant Arms, way back in a  2005 Famitsu interview was quoted as saying "The volume of data in [Enchant Arms] won't fit into a single DVD. It's an RPG, so we're thinking it would be inevitable that we released it on two discs. But to be honest, that's even looking grim."

Any thoughts on that? I know MS was really getting attacked for the optical media they chose. Since they published this title do you think they would  force a "downsizing" to avoid analysts using a game as an indicator that even 1st generation titles are exceeding the storage capacity of 1 disc?

2207  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Enchanted Arms First Impressions on: August 31, 2006, 10:19:19 PM
I took the healing golemn. Your normal NPCs have enough firepower, and you gain more golemns soon.
2208  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Enchanted Arms First Impressions on: August 31, 2006, 08:04:36 PM
I've spent a few more hours with the game, and it definitely becomes more impressive as you continue. As I stated earlier, this title will most likely flounder because the developers made some poor decisions with the opening portion of the game. I'm not sure how many people will look past the initial hurdles and Makoto's homosexual overtones, but Enchanted Arms definitely gets better with each passing hour.

I'm still able to auto through most battles, but I have been caught in a bind once or twice by doing so. Thank God for the save anywhere feature. I'm also really enjoying the character interaction. In some ways it reminds me of my college days- friends would often bicker and make sarcastic remarks to one another, but there was never any doubt that there was a strong friendship behind the biting remarks.

And the golemns are definitely a cool addition to the gameplay.

80%. 

2209  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New PS3/PSP Info (Who is this guy?) on: August 31, 2006, 02:33:16 AM
I really don't think the disc limitations will affect Microsoft until the end of the lifecycle. Most games will just move to 2 DVDs if necessary, and that will still be cheaper than producing 1 blu-ray disc. I never had a problem <GASP!> switching to the second disc on resident Evil 4 for the Gamecube.
2210  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Enchanted Arms First Impressions on: August 31, 2006, 02:24:31 AM
Update:

I've played for another hour and the game is definitely becoming more interesting. The storyline is gathering speed, and I've had a chance to engage in more combat. I'm very happy to see that the random encounters are much more infrequent than many games I've played. There seems to be one about every 15-20 seconds. Combat has been very easy to this point, much easier than the early portions of Dragon Quest VIII or Nocturne.

The characters are beginning to grow on me, and even the super flaming Makota is a likeable character.


I'd still rate the game at about 75%. I'm definitely not disappointed with the purchase.
2211  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Enchanted Arms First Impressions on: August 30, 2006, 10:14:11 PM
Impression after 90 minutes:


PROS:

-Excellent map system
-Character interaction is generally engaging and sometimes funny
-Crisp, vivid graphics
-Save anywhere
-Battle system appears to be rather entertaining. Allows for fast forward and auto complete
-Golemn system is very fun
-There are options to display all the text on the screen at once


CONS
-The gay character is waaaaaay over the top (has a lisping voice, giggles, calls himself a "love slave" to another seemingly heterosexual NPC,  etc)
-Character animations during in-game conversations are very robotic and their swift arm movements can be distracting
-The graphics could be far better for a next-gen system. Think Oblivion, or Final Fantasy XXII, but with smoother and shinier environments.
-The tutorial stage is taking way too long

This is going to be one of those games that is hard to peg. I think the developers made of few early game decisions that may come back to bite them in the ass.

The first mistake is characterization:

The gay character is somewhat endearing, and is obviouly there for comedic relief, but he is just too far over the top. Remember the sitcom Will and Grace? Will has that gay male friend whose name escapes me. Well, think of him in a pink flamingo suit, and talking with a lisp. Then you have your main character , Atsuma, who is disliked by just about EVERYONE because he is such a slacker and idiot. There is even (no joke) an "Anti-Atsuma" club in the opening school filled with people who hate you. Then you have Atsuma's best friend Toya, who is an overacieving brainiac. The woman all love him, the teachers adore him, and gayboy has a crush on him. That is your starting party.

Strangely, the dynamics between the main characters are entertaining, but the developers made the mistake of making them too polar in one direction. Makoto is too gay, Atsuma is way too foolish and naive, and Toya is too fatherly and stern. This will obviously change as the characters evolve, but I'm betting ALOT of people will be turned off by their initial impressions of these three characters.

The second mistake is the tutorial:

Quite simply, the game holds your hand for far too long. NPCs spend too much time reminding you of this, that, and everything else. Again. And again. And again. "Hey you can break open that box by hitting the A button" "Look! Another box! Don't forget the A button!" "Isn't that a box over there? Let's practice using the A button!"

The third mistake is that the opening environment sucks:

You will spend your first hour at school, being chastised by everyone. People will tell you just how much of a slacker you are. How stupid you are. How you should be more like your friend Toya.  It actually got to be irritating. Yes, the opening CGI has you asleep in class, but I don't need to be reminded of my deficiencies by every other NPC. In short, starting a game in a school where evryone has contempt for you may not be the best way to begin a game.


One other rather distracting point centers around dialogue. I'm sure many of you RPG players are familiar with the character portraits that reside over the conversation boxes. Well, in Enchanted Arms those charcter portraits are animated from the waist up. Unfortunately, when the character makes gestures, they are robotic and swift. Imagine if in real life every time you spoke to someone their hand shot to their forehead at about Mach 2. Then it flew back to their hips. Its somewhat disconcerting.


So what is right about the game?

From Software did get alot of the details right. The battle system does work well, and there is a repectable amount of strategy involved in making decisions. Also, if you get tired of the random battles you can fast forward through them or just hit auto and be done with it. The map system is phenomenal so you won't get lost as you pass through the large environments. You can save anywhere. Speech can be in Japanese or English. The inventory system is streamlined and easy to use. Basically, the details of the game go a long way to salvaging all the broad strokes that the development house stumbled upon.

The golemn system looks like it will be alot of fun. There are nearly 100 collectible golemns in the game, and they can all be used in battle, renamed, synthesized, etc. Another wonderful thing about the battles is that they take place on a grid, and definitely do involves some strategy. Characters standing behind you take less damage, certain attacks can only reach certain opposing hexes, attacks have different attributes (fire, water, etc.) so it is possible to do double damage by using the right character and attack. It is also very important to understand the range of your character attacks. For example, if all of your long-range attackers are knocked out, it is possible for the enemy to continue attacking you from a range that you cannot perform any return attacks. Therefore, who can attack where, how, and with what becomes vital to success. It really is entertaining in comparison to usual turn-based affairs.

I'm still very early in the game, but I would rate it at about 75-80%. Despite its faults, it is a solid creation and the characters are rather entertaining. Considering that gameplay is estimated to be between 40 and 50 hours, I think the asking price is fair. More later.

Please feel free to ask questions.
2212  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Random battles - what do you think? on: August 29, 2006, 12:22:34 AM
What amazes me is that developers know people are fatigued by massive numbers of random battles, but instead of thinking outside the box they just added an "Autobattle" feature. If a player is letting the game handle things on automatic pilot, the developers have failed. I spent 25% of Suikoden III not even looking at the screen. I'd just hit "auto", and then cruise the Internet while the game did whatever. Tragic.
2213  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Xbox 360 Backward Compatibility Update on: August 29, 2006, 12:15:56 AM
Please, Dai Senryaku VII...DAI SENRYAKU VII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2214  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Enchant Arm RPG (360) has multiplayer on: August 24, 2006, 12:18:42 AM
There is NO WAY that is the in-game voice actor's real voice...right...RIGHT??
2215  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PSP Generations of Chaos....Ummm on: August 23, 2006, 05:59:23 AM
It was an enjoyable game that took some diligence to understand. The manual was absolutely atrocious, and the developers decided against offering any type of true tutorial.  I paid full price, put in 20 hours or so, and then got burned out.
2216  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Enchant Arm RPG (360) has multiplayer on: August 22, 2006, 12:09:33 AM
I've got this preordered despite the lukewarm reviews. I just wish Microsoft had given the developer the extra 6 months that was requested. Two of the reviews mentioned how close the game was to becoming something very special. Instead of creating a very solid new JRPG series for the 360, MS forced it out for the Japanese launch unpolished.
2217  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / New Windows XP Pro SP2 and MS Office XP Professional- $95 on: August 11, 2006, 02:50:56 PM
Done taking offers, everyone. Thank you.
2218  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / FS/FT: Logitech G15 keyboard on: August 10, 2006, 09:15:12 PM
Not looking to but this keyboard, but I just wanted to let other forum members know that the G15 is an excellent piece of hardware, especially if you are a gamer, or someone who uses a keyboard at night. I own two and could not be happier.
2219  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / New Windows XP Pro SP2 and MS Office XP Professional- $95 on: August 09, 2006, 05:06:35 AM
Raven and Lockdown,

I'd prefer to sell the software as a set. However, if It doesn't sell in a day or two, I'll definitely speak to both of you about a split.


Thank you.
2220  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / New Windows XP Pro SP2 and MS Office XP Professional- $95 on: August 08, 2006, 03:24:05 AM
My fiancee recently went back to college, and for one of her classes she received a copy of Microsoft XP Pro and Microsoft Office XP Professional  w/Powerpoint, Word, Excel and Access. I've already purchased these programs when I built my last computer, so I'd like to sell these and grab a few games. I only have *1* copy of each, so this is basically first come, first serve.

Note:

All discs are brand new and never opened. They are complete, full versions of MS software, just branded as "Student Media". These are NOT trial versions. They come in plastic sealed bags with all the appropriate keys.  

The software will be sent to you with delivery confirmation and insured. I'm asking for $95.  I'd really love to sell these to someone who is looking to build a new system or upgrade their own, but doesn't have the money to buy this software at full price.

Thanks!
2221  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / DQVIII: Morrie's Place on: July 31, 2006, 01:03:57 PM
You can still complete the quest. Just keep chuggin' along.
2222  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PSP Firmware 2.8 out on: July 28, 2006, 11:52:30 AM
Quote
...better movie formats (so I'm not restricted to Sony's restrictions on what resolution movies I can watch on my PSP)


Could someone explain this to me? I've tried ripping movies to the PSP at the highest quality level, and they still look like crap. They aren't even near UMD movie quality, despite the fact that my rip source is a DVD.
2223  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PSP] Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth on: July 20, 2006, 12:54:03 AM
A review from a gamer at Cheapassgamer:  

"Got it, played through the first dungeon.

It's Valkyrie Profile on the PSP! No more, no less and it  rocks.

The sprites are blurry when the camera is closer and the frames get a little choppy at certain points when walking but it happens for like half a second. The slowdown during battle is when you are doing final spells-- like the PS1 version, I can't tell if that's a bug or if it's for dramatic effect. the menu loading is not a problem...2 secs maybe?

as i suspected, it's fine and some gamers are cry babies.

It looks like true widescreen to me. I didn't notice any stretch marks. then again, I pay closer attention to the gameplay and music and all that. I'm not all into perfect aspect ratios and the finer points of graphics on a screen, unless it s with the gameplay

edit: seen 2 cutscenes so far, one of which is the one I posted earlier. both were quality"


---------

The screenshots he posted definitely show that there is some muddiness to  
the lettering, but it is far less dramatic than what has been reported.
2224  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Some Interesting EGM rumors - Square Enix Specific on: July 20, 2006, 12:43:50 AM
Quote
...if the PS3 tanks, the next gen system to have is the 360 beyond the japanese market.


I'm surprised that anyone is even considering this as an option. The PS3 will be a titan despite the initial cost. There are too may developers on board for the system to crash. Plus, Sony has the strongest development house of all three console manufacturers.  Other consoles will gain ground on Sony, but the next generation will still belong to them.
2225  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lamenting on the past - Favorite RPG of all time on: July 17, 2006, 03:22:47 AM
I can't believe Gothic and Gothic II aren't getting any love. Both titles are superlative.
2226  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Video Game sales charts.... on: June 30, 2006, 01:53:06 AM
Not only that, in the "All-Time" USA charts Fable for the Xbox isn't even listed, and it went over the 1 million mark. Ditto for a few other Xbox games.
2227  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / IGN Titan Quest review on: June 24, 2006, 11:31:33 PM
Well, I'll take the developer's comments over the reviewer. I've seen more than one game crucified due to misinformation in a review, and it will be a shame if Titan Quest falls prey to that trend. In the demo it is quite obvious that there is randomization.



Having said all that, I'm still amazed that so many games, especially high profile games like Dungeon Siege 2, never seem to understand the importance of having a massively diverse loot system.
2228  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Who has GameFly? on: June 10, 2006, 01:43:18 AM
It isn't a scam. Netflix has the same policy if an account experiences unusual missing deliveries. Personally, I hate Gamefly. Compared to Netflix they have atrocious delivery times.

Netflix= 1-2 days. Worst wait was 4 days.
Gamefly=3-5 days. Worst wait was 8 days.
2229  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Rule of Rose = Atlus will publish on: June 10, 2006, 01:37:15 AM
Quote
I often work with people who have been sexually victimized as children. While I don't really care much about the game itself I'm not very comfortable with the trend of sexualizing children.


Then you should stay far, far away from Japanese video games, manga and anime. I can think of dozens of examples where children, especially girls, are sexualized. You often see male characters drooling over a big-breasted, scantily clad female, and soon discover that she is 12, 14, or 16 years old. I'm not even referring to Hentai or some other sub-category. I'm speaking of standard, widely distributed titles.
2230  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PS3] Sony points the gun at its own head yet again? on: May 25, 2006, 01:01:20 AM
I've become an advocate of the elimination of used games. Developers and publishers deserve the money for their work and effort. Besides, even new games eventually drop to very reasonable prices.

Either eliminate them, or have EB/Gamestop pay a fee to the various publishers for selling used games. My friend recently traded in the PSP title Kingdom of Heaven at Gamestop. He received $8 in credit. The next day it was on the shelf for $30. I won't shed a tear if EB is forced to give a percentage of that profit to the creators and publishers of the games.


Quote
Bill Harris might be right. Sony could very well be #3 this generation.  


There is absolutely no chance that Sony will end up #3 in this generation. (Well, perhaps if all of their manufacturing plants spontaneously combust)
Sony will remain king. They haven't forgotten that outside developers are the key to success. They also have a very strong internal development arsenal, one that outclasses MS at almost every turn.
2231  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What are you buying this week? (5/22) on: May 22, 2006, 11:53:17 PM
Field Commander!
2232  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PS3 pricing on: May 10, 2006, 12:36:28 AM
Selling the premium system at $600 is an excellent idea. Look at how quickly the Xbox360 sold while well above its MSRP. The install base of the Playstation crowd is dramatically higher than that of MS.

Those 2 million units will be snapped up very swiftly. The high price point will help Sony recover their manufacturimg costs.  When they begin reducing their price, all the holdouts will buy a system anyway. Why enter the market at a low price point when you have:

A) limited inventory
B) limited manufacturing capabilities
C) limited games
D) high demand
D) high losses on every unit sold
2233  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Oblivion for the PS3 and PSP on: April 26, 2006, 11:46:31 PM
So it IS true. Everyone knows when someone says that they can't confirm or deny something, they ALWAYS have something to hide.
2234  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Oblivion for the PS3 and PSP on: April 26, 2006, 03:26:20 PM
Kevin Grey wrote:

Quote
Lionhead just did a pretty large round of layoffs recently IIRC so they weren't in the best of financial shape and were clearly a good buyout target. Bethesda, on the other hand, seems to be doing quite well and is only expanding with the acquisition of the Star Trek and Fallout licenses. I'm not sure they really could have been acquired.

And I'm pretty sure that Bethesda has gone on record as hoping to have another Elder Scrolls game out before the end of the generation regardless.


I think you misunderstood me. I didn't think they should acquire Bethesda, but rather tie up exclusive rights to Elder Scrolls.  If its true that Sony and MS are going to have hardware that is very similar in performance,  then exclusives become the main weapons of the generation. Elder Scrolls would have been a nice lock.
2235  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Oblivion for the PS3 and PSP on: April 26, 2006, 03:23:40 AM
Microsoft f!cked up again.  Instead of buying Lionhead studios they should have wrapped up an Elder Scrolls license. Oblivion could have been exclusive and Bethesda could probably get one more in the series out during the xbox 360 generation.
2236  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Serenity on HD-DVD.....Holy S**t!!! (My HD-DVD Review) on: April 25, 2006, 02:47:35 AM
Several people on the AVS forums are reporting that there is no resume play. I have absolutely no idea why a studio would leave this out, but hopefully it doesn't become commonplace.
2237  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Serenity on HD-DVD.....Holy S**t!!! (My HD-DVD Review) on: April 25, 2006, 01:10:27 AM
Did some more research. Two things I'm not happy about :

1) No single frame advance
2) Movies (all Warner movies confirmed) do not allow "resume play". When you stop the movie you must restart at the beginning of the entire movie.
2238  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Serenity on HD-DVD.....Holy S**t!!! (My HD-DVD Review) on: April 25, 2006, 12:55:23 AM
BTW.... join the AVS forums and you can get $60 off the price of this player through HIDEF Lifestyle. Final price- $439.99


Quote
Last I checked into it (mid-March) Bluray was exactly the same as HD-DVD- it was up to the studios to decide whether to enable the flag or not. I haven't seen any official word since then but I might have missed it.


There are reports that if you take a disc that is flagged "no" for component upscaling, when you burn the movie to a DVD-R the Toshiba will upscale. I'm guessing the flag does not transfer?

<edit>  (from another forum)

"The reason why you can upconvert your backup disks is that you stripped the copyright of the disk when you ripped it. For copyrighted disks, the CE manufactures are not allowed to send 720p/1080i over an analog connections according to licensing agreements."
2239  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Serenity on HD-DVD.....Holy S**t!!! (My HD-DVD Review) on: April 25, 2006, 12:38:53 AM
HDCP  is copy protection.

Quote
Now, I already have an upconverting DVD player....but this is leagues above. When it upconverts, it looks like it is true HD. I put in Star Wars: EPIII and it looked simply incredible. Pretty much like any HD broadcast I have seen from HBO.


Interesting. I thought all upconverting DVD players had output that was generally the same.

Quote
There is also a "Wal-Mart exclusive" HD-DVD player for the same price that is all Black, same price.


I'm glad to hear this. I just couldn't go with a black/silver unit. Between a white Xbox 360 and a black PS2, adding another color to the mix would make my home entertainment cabinet look like Frankenstein's monster. I miss the good old days of all black hardware.[/quote]
2240  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Strategy Guide? Nonono....StrategyWiki on: April 23, 2006, 07:22:23 PM
This really has the potential to be a great competitor to gamefaqs. The one thing I worry about is the collaboration. Since the site only allows for one guide, I'm wondering how the different writing styles will work out when meshed. Some people are much better with explainations and descriptions than others. This is especially true of RPGs with puzzles or complex dungeons.
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