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2281  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / MS Saga on: February 25, 2006, 03:23:13 PM
Thanks! Any other info would be appreciated. I'm still on the fence until one or two people have put a few hours into the game. If it wasn't for my love of mechs this title would be completely off my radar due to the lukewarm reviews.
2282  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / MS Saga on: February 21, 2006, 06:37:19 PM
Can anyone report on the save system?  I'm hoping it is rather liberal.
2283  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / BET On Soldier on: February 09, 2006, 01:55:17 AM
Actually it was surprisingly good.
2284  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden V coming March 28 on: January 26, 2006, 10:42:59 PM
Suikoden is dead to me. Suikoden 3 was average and Suikoden 4 completely sucked.
2285  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Baten Kaitos 2 coming to US on: January 17, 2006, 05:43:55 AM
If I'm not mistaken, combat is becoming even quicker.  Like Gratch, I was unhappy with how fast the late game forced you to make decisions.
2286  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PS3 $500!?? on: January 12, 2006, 03:06:52 AM
There is absolutely no way the system will come out at $500.  Next year the premium Xbox 360 will drop to either $349 or $299.  Sony will not want to be $200 over the price of the MS console.

IMO, the sytem will be $399.
2287  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Random encounter frustration on: January 04, 2006, 02:59:05 AM
I wish more games would employ the Xenosaga I method of battles, whereby each battle allowed you to multiply your experience by 5 or 10 times depending upon how you played that particular encounter.  I always made sure I was getting the experience bonuses, and then I could skip a bunch of unwanted combat.
2288  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / RPGs for trade on: December 28, 2005, 12:32:44 PM
Gladius is the Xbox version.
2289  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / RPGs for trade on: December 26, 2005, 02:20:34 PM
Looking to trade for one or more of my RPG titles. As a free bonus I'll throw in a copy of the Dragon Quest 8 demo if requested. This does not have to be a 1-for-1 trade. Since many of the games I'm requesting are newer, I'm willing to do a 2-for-1 trade also.

All games are in near perfect condition with box and manual. (I'm a religious zealot for keeping my games new)

FOR TRADE

Phantom Brave
Suikoden 3
Suikoden 4
Baten Kaitos
Gladius
Unlimited Saga

Looking For:

GAMECUBE

Battalion Wars


XBOX

Timesplitters 3 (Xbox only)


PC

FEAR
Knights of the Old Republic II
Dungeon Seige 2
Civilization 4

PLAYSTATION 2

Shadow of the Colossus
God of War
Genji
2290  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Armored Core: Formula Front (PSP) on: December 18, 2005, 03:44:33 PM
Gamespot just posted a very level-headed review of the game. They gave it a 7.5. The reviewer notes that controlling the mech in manual mode can be very difficult. I also felt this way initially until I realized that I needed to buid a mech that centered around the type of pilot I actually am. In other words, since I have the reflexes of a sloth, using close range weapons and  quick-fire missles wasn't doing me any good. I was getting slaughtered in over 75% of the matches. Frustrated, I took a step back and thought "what type of mech would I TRULY use if I was a pilot?".  I needed to stick to sniper rifles, long-range missles and options for decreased lock-on times. I needed increased jumping capabilities to flee from a quickly approaching enemy.  Once I built a mech that mirrored my abilities, I won 7 matches in a row. I need to reiterate that this is a relatively complex strategy game. All those stats you see in the garage are there for a reason.

http://www.gamerankings.com/itemrankings/launchreview.asp?reviewid=652580


Game Freaks gave it a 5.9, ripping the game because "I regret to report the rest of the PSP crowd that Armored Core: Formula Front isn't the action game you're looking for."

Again, the game isn't even designed as an action game. It is a strategy/simulator title, that allows for action elements if you decide to jump in the cockpit.

http://gamefreaks365.com/modules.php?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=778
2291  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Armored Core: Formula Front (PSP) on: December 18, 2005, 09:30:54 AM
Quote
Is there any PS2 connectivity?


None that I'm aware of, but the manual is very poor for a game with this much complexity. It weighs in at less than 30 pages, and much of that is pictures.

I just finished my first league. It consisted of six teams and I had to work my way into the #1 position. <minor spoilers> In the final battle the enemy mech had a devastating mortar weapon which was knocking my mech all over the arena. Luckily I had a sniper rifle so I pulled back and picked away at him from a distance. Still, the winner wasn't decided until the final few seconds, and I walked out battered with only 6% of my hit points remaining. The new league has 29 teams and I've just entered into it with several new AI routines and a few new weapons.

One point that disappoints me is that when you die you get a chance to just replay the match. I would have preferred that you lose your mech or were forced to spend credits to repair it. It takes away from the tension of the combat.

With a proper storyline and harsher consequences for losses, this could have been an A+ title.
2292  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What would your perfect game be? on: December 17, 2005, 09:36:44 PM
A massively multiplayer game where people actually role-played all of the time. A game without assholes and immature idiots whose only goal in life is to make other people miserable. A game where I never see an avatar with names like "phat-kok" or "2cool4u".
2293  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Armored Core: Formula Front (PSP) on: December 17, 2005, 08:15:15 PM
It does have wireless head-to-head play/wi-fi-compatability.
2294  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Armored Core: Formula Front (PSP) on: December 17, 2005, 06:36:14 PM
Yesterday I picked up Armored Core: Formula Front for the PSP, and now that I've put about two hours into the game I thought I'd share some of my initial impressions.

First, the original version of the game was roasted in the Japanese press and by several US sites that imported the title before it was officially released in America. Their main reasoning for such a harsh verdict was that once you spent all of your time building these wonderful mechs, you couldn't actually fight in the arenas manually. Instead, the various AI chips you built automatically played the arena games for you, and you were forced into the role as a spectator for the duration of the contest. With the official US release this has been changed. Before a match begins you now have the option of choosing manual override (you control the mech) or automatic (where the AI fights and you watch). This should please alot of people because those who are looking for a pure strategy game can choose one option, whereas speed junkies can choose the alternate option.

Okay, on to the game itself. Armored Core: Formula Front is basically one gigantic mech garage game, wrapped around a rather simplistic league match system. The true heart of the game is when you build and customize mechs from hundreds of options divided into categories such as: head, core (chest), arms, legs, boosters, FCS, generators, radiators, extensions, back and front optionals, etc.  It amazing how many build options they wedged  into this game. Besides all of the obvious customizations there are multitudes of smaller ones that can dramatically change the outcome of an arena bout. You can find equipment that reduces lock-on times, increases stability when hit, improves reload rates, enhances radar readouts, cancels enemy missle-lock ons, and dozens of other small yet vital ways to adjust your particular loadout. Then you can even "fine-tune" almost every part by redesigning them in the parts tune lab, which allows you to incrementally adjust a modules inherent characteristics (weight, cooling, energy consumption.)

Next there is the AI tuner, which sets and alters the AI's basic characteristics. For the people playing this game as a pure strategy title this is one of the most important aspects of the game. Here you add intelligence points to categories such as enemy assessment, terrain assessment, attack execution, defense execution, energy management, overall piloting, weapon utilization, combat style and temperature management.  I'm happy to report that this aspect of the game works very well. As a test I threw a bunch of points into the defensive categories, but very few into enemy analysis and weapon proficiency. When I sent my mech into the arena he was elegant and swift, easily dodging many enemy assaults. Unfortunately he couldn't shoot his way out of a brown paper bag.

The graphics in Formula Front are absolutely beautiful, easily some of the best I've seen on the PSP. The mechs look spectacualr and are intricately detailed. All of the design screens are wonderfully detailed and animated, so the game consistently feels vibrant and alive even when just poking around in the labs. The various arenas are somewhat less detailed, but I think this was a necessary sacrifice to keep such a high level of mech and weapon burst detail.  I don't think anyone will complain about this aspect of the game.

The music is basic electronica which can be turned on or off at the player's discretion. There is no voice acting in the game.

Actual combat, as stated earlier, can be manual or automatic. In manual mode you merely watch the battle, change the camera angle if desired, and then wait for the after battle statistics. In this mode you basically design, build and manage a group of mechs as the AIs you create do the grunt work. If you decide to become a mech jockey, I'm happy to report that the controls are responsive and fluid. (to the extent of how well you designed the mech)

Overall I would rate the game a solid 80%. Add 5 points to that if you are a gamer who could spend all day tricking out his stable of hardware. There are two basic faults with the game. First, there is no true storyline to the game. I would have enjoyed a more fleshed out world with a higher degree of personality, but realistically this game is meant as a simulator. Thus, all of the enemy orqanizations feel somewhat faceless and similar.  Most world information is given to you via news clips or e-mail  that you receive and read. Second, you have so many mechs (5 on your team) and so many readily available parts to choose from that the level of upward progression feels somewhat stunted. In others words, most of the goodies are available 30 seconds into the game.


<edit> I forgot to mention that one other cool aspect of the game are the AI routines that you win. Before sending a mech into battle there are 30 second slots that you can fill with specific commands. Three examples are "Zig-Zag and close on target", "Attack with hand-to-hand weapons only" and "Keep distance and fire with long range weapons". There are hundreds of these routines (think of them as cards) to collect. You then need to determine in which 30 second timeslot t to place each routine. When the AI mech goes into battle he will fight according to the parameters of these routines. If you choose NOT to fill these slots, the AI chooses what it believes is the best path to victory.
2295  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Revolution has begun...(IGN chan, specs, launch date?) on: December 08, 2005, 09:14:45 PM
Quote
The majority of people who are hardcore gamers are going to have either a xbox360 and a revolution, or a ps3 and a revolution.


Hardcore gamers will have all three systems. There are always enough exclusive titles for this group to rationalize the purchase of all three systems.
2296  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / My Christmas Prediction on: November 30, 2005, 04:10:56 AM
This opening salvo is much less important than how MS handles the launch of the PS3.  In my opinion they need to hold two killer apps (Halo and one other title) and then also drop the price of the Xbox by about $50 when the PS3 launches. And at that point be damned sure that there are Xbox 360 units next to all those "sold out" PS3 signs.

Remember, if MS had sold 10 million units on day one the console would be a disaster if those ten million people rarely bought software.  The number of consoles sold is much less important than the amount of titles purchased per system.

MS has shown that their next system is in high demand. The developers are on board but it will take time to grow the library. In the short term, with the exception of a small number of harcore gamers, most people will only be interested in purchasing one or two titles. There just aren't enought software choices. This makes the system a massive sinkhole while in its infancy.

They won't fret over initial "lost" (I prefer postponed) sales because the harcore gamers are going to buy the system at some point anyway. And these are the people who drive the console's profitability due to the number of titles they consume. It might be better to grab some of these people as costs go down and software availability rises. The name of the game is sustained demand.
2297  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / EGM Review Scores - Jan 2006 Issue on: November 27, 2005, 06:51:37 PM
Those scores for kameo and Condemned are simply absurd. I don't even really enjoy the genre in which Kameo resides, but I'm willing to admit that it is a fantastic game. Both titles deserve a rating in the 8-9 neighborhood.
2298  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Explain SLI to me on: November 24, 2005, 10:31:22 PM
Nvidia has a list of supported games on their website. It is quite substantial.
2299  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta Impressions on: November 24, 2005, 10:28:26 PM
Thanks for the battle details, semiconscious. I bought this game and Dragon Quest VIII together, and while I've been devoting my time to DQ8 I did enjoy the few hours I spent sampling Magna Carta.

Now that you've spent considerable time with the game, how do you feel about the difficulty level? I'm concerned because the fights seem relatively complex, and there does not really seem to be an easy way to power level your characters. Or is that not even really necessary?
2300  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Civ 4 demo on: November 24, 2005, 08:01:04 PM
Strange...on my midrange system the game crawled at 1024x768x32. I was getting about 6 frames per second after the second turn. So I can lay Doom 3 on this setup, but not Civ 4.  <shrug>


AMD Sempron 2800
512MB  DDR 400
Geforce 6600GT
Win XP Home
2301  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PC Gaming has ruined my Xbox 360 fever. on: November 20, 2005, 03:43:30 PM
Quote
Seriously, I understand the original intent of this thread, which is that the leaps and bounds of the 360 are not that different than the newer PC games and video cards. Sure the 360 looks good on an HDTV, and sure some games play and look better on either a PC or 360, but the different is not vast enough that the 360 looks like the second coming.


This sums up my point well. I was really hoping to experience that awe factor that some of my console-only friends are experiencing. Unfortunately AMD and Nvidia ruined it for me.  frown

However, once a system has 5 exclusive games under its banner that I desire, I'll give in and make the purchase.  At the moment the 360 has three games: Kameo, Condemned and Perfect Dark Zero. It shouldn't be too much longer until they hit that magic #5.
2302  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / My thoughts on all the XB360 games that I have played on: November 20, 2005, 03:35:56 PM
Three quick questions for you, Hetz, to satisfty my curiosity:

-Which game do you feel should be considered the best overall release game   of the titles you tested? From my very limited playtime I felt Kameo deserved that honor


-Do you feel that Rare has redeemed themselves with the release of Kameo and Perfect dark Zero?


-At this point which game to you think will hold your most memorable Xbox 360 experience?


I'm delighted that you're having so much fun!  I really hope MS has a home run on their hands with this next console.
2303  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PC Gaming has ruined my Xbox 360 fever. on: November 20, 2005, 03:09:02 AM
I'm hoping that this next generation of consoles will eventually give us games that have actual gameplay that mirrors the cut scene quality we've always watched in games like Final fantasy X.

Remember when Sony boasted that the PS2 was capable of Toy Story quality  gameplay? Hopefully we've finally reached the point where this will be true.
2304  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PC Gaming has ruined my Xbox 360 fever. on: November 19, 2005, 08:31:54 PM
I think some of you are missing my point. I'm not trying to compare prices or make an "either-or"  comparison. I'm merely stating that high end pc user will not see anything that makes them feel like we've truly entered a new generation of graphics.  In other words for the Xbox/PS2/Gamecube owner this is truly a new horizon. For the PC enthusiast it is year old graphics. I'm certain the second generation games will push the envelope further, but for the moment there is no awe factor.


Quote
I have a AMDX2 4400+, 7800GT SLI system and COD2 looks and runs better on the Xbox 360, end of story.


I'm shocked you think this is true. What type of monitor are you using? On a Mitsubishi DiamondPro 930SB there is a definite advantage over the Xbox 360.  Your system can easily run CoD2 at 1600x1200 w/AA.  But, as you stated, these things can be slightly subjective.
2305  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PC Gaming has ruined my Xbox 360 fever. on: November 19, 2005, 06:58:30 PM
Today I was at my local Best Buy and EBgames, and got to try the Xbox 360 on a few different television setups (LCD, DLP, Plasma).  I tried out King Kong, Kameo, Call of Duty 2 and Perfect Dark Zero. While I readily admit that the system is impressive, I noticed that unlike the people around me, I wasn't really awed by anything I was seeing.

All of these games look slightly less attractive than things I've been playing on my high end PC for the last year. After seeing games like Doom 3, Half-Life 2, and Fear on a PC at 1600x1200, the Xbox 360 really had no impact with me.

When the guy next to me made a comment on how unbelievable the graphics were, I replied "Yeah, they are nice." And that about sums up my Xbox 360 experience- nice.

There is no doubt that it is a light year ahead of the first xbox, but it still doesn't quite match a high-end PCs offering in terms of eyecandy. So when you see all the hyperbole about "best graphics ever!!!!" in various forums, just remember to qualify it with "....on a console" in the back of your mind. I applaud Microsoft's efforts, and I know I'll buy an Xbox 360 eventually, but somehow I feel like my PC Gaming roots, coupled with a powerful system, make every console somewhat anticlimactic.  I really wanted to get caught up in the 360 fever, but a big part of that centers solely upon graphics. Damn the Geforce 7800GTX. Damn AMD. Damn Crucial Ballistix memory. They've ruined my innocence and made me another jaded PC Gamer.

I hope all the new 360 owners really enjoy their system. I'll join you someday. In the meantime, if any of you need me I'll be playing FEAR and Civilization 3.
2306  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Pick Devil's Game (360 Launch Edition) on: November 17, 2005, 01:55:25 PM
I don't see how you can call yourself a %$%# Devil if you don't pick up a game with the name "Condemned." Maybe we should start calling you poser-devil?

Seriously, the game has gotten really good buzz and with the exception of Kameo it seems to be the least generic of the first batch release titles.
2307  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 17, 2005, 01:29:47 PM
Qbe-

Reagrding that crystal ball quest:



***mild spoilers***



Did you have to run around and level up to beat that boss? When my two party members attempt to take the crstal ball, that boss wipes out my party in three to four hits. One member gets paralyzed, one gets stomped, and then when the other member can finally fight he can't do enough damage to the boss.

My characters were level 5. Is that too low to attampt this mission?
2308  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 17, 2005, 01:50:21 AM
I enjoyed the demo, but was rather disappointed at the rather generic environments. It really reminded me a somewhat stripped down Dark Cloud 2, at least in the city environments. Combat was wonderfully fun, and some of the enemies are absolutely hilarious. Your party is also a very eclectic and motley crew, which makes the game even more entertaining.


--Battles are random, but littered around the map are slightly harder enemies that are walking around and can be avoided. If you get too close to them they will chase you and attempt to initiate combat.

--Random battles take place about every 10 seconds, but the enemies have enough oddities to them that the combat is rarely boring. Some enemies fall asleep during battle, others (cats) lick themselves clean and thus lose a turn, still others attempt to cast magic but can't remeber the correct spell or don't have enough magic points.

--One thing I love is that it is relatively easy to flee from just about any combat, although sometimes the enemies will stop your retreat and then get a free attack. Considering that you are probably fleeing because your party is battered, it is still hazardous to take a chance at leaving a battle.

--Like Baldur's gate: Dark Alliance you can buy items that instantly teleport you back to town. This makes saving relatively painless. (Although scrolls don't work in caves. I found this out the hard way...)

--The game oozes charm. The character interaction is witty and the game is littered with wonderfully entertaining details. For example, if a party member dies in combat and is not revived before the next battle, you will see the remaining party members fighting next to a casket.


***Mild Spoiler***

The very first boss I encountered (crystal ball quest) whipped my characters in three hits. It seemed unbalanced in combination with all of the battles that had taken place up to that point. I'm assuming its one of those things where they expect you to wander around for a few hours gathering levels before venturing further.
2309  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta Impressions on: November 17, 2005, 01:35:06 AM
Quote
I was hoping to have DQ8 impressions today, but alas, that will have to wait until tomorrow


I enjoyed the demo, but was rather disappointed at the rather generic environments. It really reminded me a somewhat stripped down Dark Cloud 2, at least in the city environments. Combat was wonderfully fun, and some of the enemies are absolutely hilarious. Your party is also a very eclectic and motley crew, which makes the game even more entertaining.


***Mild Spoiler***



The very first boss I encountered whipped my characters in three hits. It seemed unbalanced in combination with all of the battles that had taken place up to that point. I'm assuming its one of those things where they expect you to wander around for a few hours gathering levels before venturing further.
2310  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta Impressions on: November 17, 2005, 01:28:35 AM
I've put about two hours into the game, and so far I think I'm going to really enjoy it. The battle system is very complex, but it is definitely fun. I'm concerned, however, that boss battles could be very frustrating based upon all the different elements that can influence a battle. From what I understand things begin to move at a substantially faster pace as the game progresses, and it becomes easy to miss an attack or botch a chain. For example, I would have preferred that for each progressive button you hit correctly the attack power increases. Instead, if you miss any of the three button timings you lose your ability to attack altogether.

One nice thing about the standard world map is that you can heal at any time just by camping. It alleviates the need to constantly worry about healing items.The only negative is that wandering monsters may attack you, and you'll have to fight the battle at a disadvantage since you were surprised.  

I actually find the graphics to be somehat close to FFX, although certainly not quite as detailed. The character models and environments definitely have a Final Fantasy X feel, all the way down to the very strange character costumes.  I'm also happy to see that most of the enemies are not quite as ridiculous as those seen in many of the Japanese RPGs. One thing I DON'T like is how effeminate some of the lead male characters look. In fact for  about an hour I had mistaken one of my male party members for a girl.
I'm also disappointed that the environments are so noninteractive. Unless I'm mistaken, unlike most RPGs the items you can find in the rooms of Magna Carta are always in those large chests. It makes searching the beds, cabinets and dressers a moot point.

So while I fault the game for its rather lifeless environments, i applaud its attempt to build a relationship system. For those of you who have not played the game, you have the ability to offer gifts and have discussions with your party members at numerous points throughout the game. Based upon your type of gift or conversation responses, your allies begin to fight as a more cohesive or less cohesive band.

For the moment I rate the game a solid 8 based upon the unique combat system and slightly more adult presentation than most RPGs. The only way I see the grade falling is if combat becomes overly complex and aggrivating as new moves, timings and chains are itroduced.
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