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6041  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PS2] (spoilers, possible) Kingdom Hearts II Tuesday on: March 28, 2006, 06:56:04 AM
Sephiroth is an optional fight, one of those really hard bosses they put in RPGs for people who like a big challenge.  The regular, storyline bosses are much, much easier and shouldn't require any level-grinding to beat.

1Up has posted their review for KH2 here.
6042  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PS2] (spoilers, possible) Kingdom Hearts II Tuesday on: March 27, 2006, 08:23:13 PM
Good luck against Sephiroth.  I was at level 57, and lasted about 10 seconds, mostly by running away slywink  I knew I couldn't win, but it was great hearing the Sephiroth music again.
6043  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What are you buying this week? (3/27) on: March 27, 2006, 08:21:22 PM
Kingdom Hearts 2 eventually, although I want to play Chain of Memories first.
6044  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PS2] FFXII Pics (56K warning) on: March 27, 2006, 12:56:02 AM
These are old shots - Vaan's look has changed since then.  As for the in-game graphics, they're looking great.  There are previews and videos at 1Up that do a good job of showing off the quality and variety of the graphics.
6045  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden V impressions on: March 25, 2006, 06:54:55 AM
Gamespot has posted their review - 8.1/10.
6046  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Starcraft : Ghost cancelled on: March 25, 2006, 02:34:24 AM
According to Worthplaying, although it may resurface as a next-gen game.
6047  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The art of playing multiple games at once on: March 24, 2006, 07:18:51 AM
I generally have many, many games going at once, mostly RPGs.  Somehow, I ended up with the talent of being able to keep 20 different RPG stories straight in my mind at once.  It's not exactly x-ray vision or telekinesis, but it helps when 5 RPGs you really want to play all come out within a month of each other slywink  Yesterday was my day off, and I started Suikoden 5, played Serious Sam : TSE and Doom 3 on my PC, and Dragon Quest 8, MS Saga, GTA - San Andreas, and Jade Empire on the consoles.  I can't imagine playing only one game or only a few at a time.  Even if I loved the game, I'd get bored with it.  It does take me a long time to finish games, but I try to finish every one I like.
6048  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sega Genesis and Turbo Grafx games on the Revolution on: March 24, 2006, 01:43:37 AM
I hope some of the RPGs I never got to play, like the Shining games, are part of this "best of" list.
6049  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden V impressions on: March 23, 2006, 11:51:27 AM
Anyone else pick this up?  It's been getting good (8.2 from IGN) to great  (4.5/5 from Gamespy) reviews and my initial impressions are very positive.  It really feels like a modern version of the original games, much like Dragon Quest 8.  The graphics are a mixed bag, with great-looking and well-animated characters against fairly simple backgrounds.  Although the screenshots show a faraway view, you can also zoom in fairly close and play that way.  The voice acting is great, as was the case with Suikoden 4, and much of the dialogue (and there's been a lot so far) has been voiced.  

What's really impressed me so far is the quality of the writing.  Your first task is to "inspect" a village that your mother destroyed to stop it from rebelling. The different responses from the townsfolk, from sad and remorseful to bitter and angry, are all well-written and sound very natural.  Despite the fact that the game was released in Japan only about a month ago, the localization seems perfect so far.  I've only been in a few battles, and they seem very similar to the ones from S1 and S2.  It will be interesting to see how the various formations and being able to swap characters in and out during battle add to the experience.  Overall, the game has definitely impressed me, and my expectations were pretty high after reading the reviews.
6050  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How many DVDs do you own? on: March 23, 2006, 09:17:43 AM
The 3 LOTR special editions, Spiderman, Star Wars Episode 2, Seinfeld seasons 1-5, Everybody Loves Raymond seasons 1-3, Golden Girls season 1-4, and Mary Tyler Moore Show seasons 1-3.
6051  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Use of Walthroughs & FAQs AKA: Just Completed Shadow Hea on: March 23, 2006, 12:45:17 AM
Spoiler for Hiden:
I didn't get it from the ending, but rather what lead up to it.  It's been awhile, but Alice trades her life for Yuri's and then wants to live long enough to see the final battle through to the end.  I assumed she'd die not long after, and once her head fell and Yuri made his speech, I figured she was dead.
6052  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [ PS3 ] Tons of PS3 info from GDC.... on: March 23, 2006, 12:40:42 AM
"Sony envisions episodic gaming and digital distribution taking off on PS3"
I really hope they're wrong about that, especially the episodic games.
6053  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Use of Walthroughs & FAQs AKA: Just Completed Shadow Hea on: March 22, 2006, 10:36:05 PM
For most RPGs, there are secrets so obscure, I don't know how anyone would find them without an FAQ.  The Shadow Hearts series has a pattern, at least.  By revisiting completed areas, you will find a lot of extra stuff.  This is especially true for "boss rooms", i.e. areas where you get a cutscene, then fight a boss, and then are automatically transported out without getting to explore it.  Returning to these areas in Shadow Hearts will almost always get you something good.

As for the bad SH ending, which I got -
Spoiler for Hiden:
Yuri falls asleep on the train ride, and wakes up to find Alice lying dead next to him.  He promises to keep fighting for "the one who saved me from the darkness - the one I love".
6054  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Lego SW and GTA:SA - $10 at CC on: March 22, 2006, 07:40:37 PM
6055  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 Intro and Commercial on: March 21, 2006, 06:54:01 AM
1Up has their final day of impressions here.  They are very positive too, and I'm glad to finally read some concrete information on the game.  Some good quotes -
"It has, in short, the single most customizable battle system I've ever seen in an RPG, whether on console or on PC."
"I've yet to encounter a simple, boring dungeon. Each section of the game has its own unique hook to keep things interesting."
Even with so many new RPGs out and coming soon, it's going to be a long wait until November.
6056  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What RPG should I invest time in next? on: March 20, 2006, 03:30:40 AM
Star Ocean is a great game (I thought the voice acting was great, and the graphics are beautiful in their attention to detail), but it's very long, especially if you do the many sidequests.  Atelier Iris is pretty good, but nothing amazing.  I'd play DDS before Nocturne, as both have similar battle systems and enemies, but DDS is easier and will get you prepared for the more demanding Nocturne.  I put a few hours into Romancing Saga before temporarily shelving it in favor of other games.  It looks very detailed, with lots of stats and decisions to make, and definitely looked like more fun than the other two Saga games I've tried.  Overall, I'd go with DDS first, then DDS2, then Star Ocean, and finally Nocturne.
6057  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Lego SW and GTA:SA - $10 at CC on: March 20, 2006, 03:26:50 AM
I picked up GTA today, of which they had a ton of copies.  They also have Tom Clancy's Triple Pack, with Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, and Rainbow Six, and a bunch of those 3-pack GBA games with classics board games for $10.
6058  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What are you buying this week? (3/20) on: March 20, 2006, 03:21:19 AM
I'll be getting Suikoden V.  I wish I could get Oblivion for the PC, but I'm not going to risk it not running on my PC without a demo.  I do plan to get a 360 someday, so hopefully it will be a Platinum Hit by then slywink
6059  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Lego SW and GTA:SA - $10 at CC on: March 19, 2006, 08:19:32 AM
Circuit City has Lego Star Wars and GTA : San Andreas (PS2 or XBox) on sale for $10 this week.
6060  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Oblivion - GOLD - Ships/In Stores 3/20!!! on: March 19, 2006, 07:06:23 AM
Any chance there will be a demo for the PC version?  I'm close to the minimum requirements, and I'm not willing to risk it without playing a demo first.
6061  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 Intro and Commercial on: March 18, 2006, 10:33:20 AM
1Up has posted yet more impressions.  The gambit system sounds a lot more involved than I thought it would be.  I usually like to micromanage each character in games like this, but it looks like the gambits will be a lot of fun to play around with.
6062  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Is 3/20 one of the best videogame release dates in history? on: March 18, 2006, 02:12:04 AM
"I was hyped for Suikoden V, but it has become a wait for reviews after the initial negative impressions I saw of the japanese version."
There have been a lot of very postive impressions, too, with many calling it the best of the series.  There's a pretty lengthy review here.
6063  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Justice League - Heroes on: March 17, 2006, 10:11:07 AM
According to the article, it's based on the comics.
6064  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Is 3/20 one of the best videogame release dates in history? on: March 17, 2006, 08:03:08 AM
There's also Suikoden V for the PS2.
6065  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 Intro and Commercial on: March 17, 2006, 06:46:11 AM
1Up has posted some more impressions and a movie here and GameInformer has some more movies here.  I really like the idea of the license board.  It sounds even better than the sphere grid system from FFX.  Also, SquareEnix said that they intend to release the game in the US before Thanksgiving.
6066  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Justice League - Heroes on: March 16, 2006, 08:08:44 PM
Game Informer has the first info I've seen on this X-Men Legends style action-RPG featuring the Justice League, in the works for XBox and PS2.  It's being done by Snowblind, who did the original BG : Dark Alliance and the Champions of Norrath games.  Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Martian Manhunter, and Zantanna are playable, and there's supposed to be a much better story than in their previous games.  It will be interesting to see how this will compare to Activision's XML followup Marvel Legends.
6067  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 Intro and Commercial on: March 16, 2006, 07:13:47 AM
IGN has some new videos here and 1Up has a preview and video here.  The city looks particularly amazing.
6068  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Rare's next game: Viva Piņata for 360? on: March 15, 2006, 08:23:23 PM
This looks like Microsoft's answer to Pokemon.  It sounds intriguing, and certainly looks beautiful.
6069  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Japanese RPGs on: March 15, 2006, 08:10:14 PM
"2. Do lots of japanese characters want to molest the heroines?"
I believe this was the result of a bad translation.  After the initial awkward scenes, there's really nothing like that in the rest of the game, or in any other JRPG I've played.  If anything, JRPGs are better when it comes to female characters, as there's almost always a main female character, usually equal numbers of female and male characters, and they're usually fully clothed, something you can't say for most PC RPGs.  Don't let it stop you from playing Shadow Hearts, though, as the first game is very rough around the edges.  The sequels are much more polished and have much better translations.

I'd definitely recommend FFX and DQ8 as the prime examples of story-based and gameplay-based RPGs, respectively.  If you like those, there are a ton of games like them you'll enjoy.

"DQ8 isn't very JRPG."
It's funny you should say that, as DQ1 was the very first JRPG, and set the template (at least gameplay-wise) that the genre still closely adheres to.
6070  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Untold Legends - Dark Kingdom (PS3) on: March 15, 2006, 10:58:22 AM
Apparently to go along with the PS3 announcement, Sony has revealed a game as well.  There are details and screens at Worthplaying.
6071  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PS3 - Officially Delayed Until November in Japan on: March 15, 2006, 09:31:52 AM
There's some more information at Worthplaying.
6072  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PS3 - Officially Delayed Until November in Japan on: March 14, 2006, 07:41:00 PM
I wouldn't rule out a simultaneous US/Japan launch.  Also, Sony is holding some sort of press conference or meeting tomorrow, presumably to announce this news as well as some major PS2 news.
6073  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Atlus's latest Shin Megami Tensei title - Devil Summoner 3 on: March 14, 2006, 07:48:52 AM
1Up is apparently in love with this game, as they've posted another preview here.
6074  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Crap! Mass Effect is going to suck on: March 13, 2006, 04:16:22 AM
I don't understand what you're saying about the JE combat system.  Each button executed a certain attack, and each had a counter.  I didn't see any guessing which button to push at which time.  If the enemy blocks, you use a strong attack to overcome the block, if they are doing a strong attack, you do a quick attack to interrupt it, etc.
6075  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Kingdom Hearts 2 Official NA Release Date... on: March 13, 2006, 01:32:10 AM
I liked the idea of the 100 Acre Wood and the cute storyline, but the minigames, like most of the KH minigames, weren't much fun.  I really hope they have some much better ones in KH2.
6076  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Tom Clancy's Firehawk? on: March 11, 2006, 06:07:26 AM
If that's real, I'm glad to see Enchant Arm coming to the US.
6077  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PSP]Am I the only person excited about Generation of Chaos? on: March 10, 2006, 08:03:50 PM
The guide is available now - here.
6078  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Final Fantasy 12 info on: March 09, 2006, 08:26:44 AM
The game launches next week in Japan, so we'll know soon enough whether these things are true or not.
6079  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts: From the New World thread of ALL THREADS on: March 08, 2006, 09:51:06 PM
I just picked up the game, but I won't be starting it until tonight, as I'll be playing Tales of Phantasia first.  The manual is short, but appears to cover the basics, and has some nice art interspersed throughout.  I was hoping there would be an ad for XSeed's next game on the back of the manual, but no such luck.  One thing I'm very happy about is that there is a full-screen map for the dungeons now, rather than the little radar map in Covenant.  

"This is dissapointing. I thought the amazing voice work in SH: C was one of the games huge strong points."
Every review other than the IGN one that I've read has said the voice acting is good or great.
6080  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts: From the New World thread of ALL THREADS on: March 08, 2006, 07:33:01 PM
Positioning is important in Covenant, as it affects combos and area of effect spells.  Getting surrounded by an enemy can devastate your party, even with enemies you'd normally have an easy time defeating.  It would be nice to have more control over positioning and be able to see the whole battlefield at once, but it's at least as deep as the majority of console RPG battle systems.  Also, the summons have different abilities depending on their element - some heal, some protect from status, some speed up your party, etc. in addition to dealing damage.

"I'd love to see the studio gobbled up by Square Enix"
At least some of the Nautilus team used to work for Square, where they worked on Final Fantasy 6.  You can see FF6's influence in the SH games in how each character has a different method of attacking.  I'd love to see the next SH game use FF6's different control scheme for each character.
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