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6041  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Atelier Iris Grand Fantasm on: April 12, 2006, 07:39:00 PM
Unfortunately, those are the Japanese release dates.  After a very busy winter and spring, it looks like the US RPG releases have slowed dramatically.  There are a couple coming up - Atelier Iris 2, Disgaea 2, Metal Saga, and Steambot Chronicles.  There are a lot of games without announced US releases or dates, but hopefully we'll be getting lots of release dates at E3.
6042  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / OXM and their "10" on: April 12, 2006, 07:34:50 AM
If I had to review what I consider the best game ever made, Final Fantasy X, I could find several flaws with it - the combat is generally easy and requires little thought, you fight the same enemies over and over again, etc.  Would it make any sense for me to give the game any less than a perfect 10, though?  The same is true for Kingdom Hearts - the game has some severe flaws, but I loved playing it, and would easily score it a 9.  Reviewing games shouldn't be, IMO, an exact science, e.g. -.5 points for a bad camera, +2 points for a good control scheme, etc.  A good game can transcend its flaws, and still be great fun.
6043  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Atlus's latest Shin Megami Tensei title - Devil Summoner 3 on: April 11, 2006, 02:17:15 AM
According to 1Up, Devil Summoner is indeed coming to the US, although not until winter  biggrin
6044  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Just Canceled OXM on: April 11, 2006, 02:03:57 AM
If you don't already subscribe, I highly recommend Game Informer.  I often disagree with their reviews, especially of RPGs, but they have good features, very lengthy previews, you get 10% off used purchases at Gamestop if you buy it there, and it's only ~$1.50 an issue.  Plus, they have lots of exclusives, such as the Revolution FPS game in the coming issue, and Bioshock and God of War 2 in their last 2 issues.
6045  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What to play next: Wild Arms:ACF or Suikoden 5? on: April 09, 2006, 10:38:58 PM
It depends on whether you're in the mood for gameplay or story.  I'm currently playing and enjoying both, and WC:ACF excels in fun gameplay (a decent battle system coupled with fun, puzzle-based dungeons), while Suikoden V is supposed to have a great story and characters.
6046  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Bouncy-est on: April 09, 2006, 10:35:41 PM
Dirge of Cerberus is the FF7 spinoff shooter, and it should be released in the US in late summer or early fall.
6047  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Oblivion - Next download details/pricing emerge on: April 09, 2006, 06:28:12 AM
"I know everyone wants to go all conspiracy theory on Bethesda chargin for content that they couldhave put in and all that. However, it isn't like the game doesn't already have more content than most will actually see in the game."

Exactly.  Bethesda could easily have cut a lot of stuff out of Oblivion without negatively impacting sales, but they didn't.  With most games getting shorter, Bethesda delivered a whole lot more than they had to in order to warrant the $50-$60 price tag.  If their profit margin is higher on the mods than on the game, then fine.  Given that most publishers want to charge $50-$60 for 10-15 hours of gameplay, even if you bought lots of mods for $2, it would still end up a better bargain than most games.

I also don't get the hate directed at Bethesda.  Publishers release 10-hour games all the time, and no one goes crazy about how they're ripping people off.  Also, although MS/Rare did release the co-op Kameo pack for free, they're also charging 200 points (50 points more than the 2 upcoming Oblivion mods) for each of two sets of 10 costumes(!) and I don't see anyone going apeshit over that.  Bethesda releases a 100+ hour game, and then react to criticism by lowering the mod price while increasing content, and people still complain?  Makes me glad I'm not a game developer.
6048  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Bouncy-est on: April 09, 2006, 06:24:01 AM
Square Enix does do games outside the RPG genre, but they generally don't make it to the US, or are pretty much ignored if they do.
6049  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Chrono Trigger (formerly: Now You're Talking) on: April 08, 2006, 05:13:56 AM
There are new installments coming this year in the "Mana" series - Children of Mana for the DS and the tentatively-titled Seiken Densetsu 4 for the PS2.
6050  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Chrono Trigger (formerly: Now You're Talking) on: April 07, 2006, 07:08:30 PM
Soul Blazer is another great action-RPG for the SNES.  I've played through it 4 times over the years, which is rare for me, as I rarely play any game more than once.
6051  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Virtual Fighter 5 - Next-Gen fighting gameplay footage on: April 07, 2006, 05:38:24 AM
The voice actor for Lion sounds like the English voice of Shinichiro Ohta from Iron Chef, who also voiced the main character in Shining Force Neo.  It was very distracting - I kept expecting to hear "Fukui-san?!" every time he started speaking slywink
6052  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [GC] How is Baten Kaitos? on: April 06, 2006, 08:21:52 AM
I'm about halfway through, and I'm enjoying it a lot.  It's an incredibly beautiful game, with amazing and creative backgrounds.  The voice acting isn't the best (although I don't think it's as bad as most people seem to), but the music is great.  The battles are fun, and the randomly-dealt cards make each battle a little different, something very important to me in RPGs, given that you fight the same enemies over and over again.
6053  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Culdcept & new Tri-Ace RPG for Xbox 360 on: April 06, 2006, 08:18:22 AM
A tri-Ace RPG for the 360 is pretty big news, especially if it's going to be published by SquareEnix.  I wonder if it'll be Star Ocean 4 or something new.
6054  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Chrono Trigger (formerly: Now You're Talking) on: April 05, 2006, 03:48:00 AM
It helps that 2D graphics hold up better.  The FF7 characters looks ridiculous now, but the detailed sprites of CT will always look good.
6055  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Far East of Eden - JRPG for Xbox 360 on: April 04, 2006, 09:54:18 PM
Microsoft doesn't seem as uptight as Sony about releasing games without cutting-edge graphics, so I think it's got a chance for a US release.

"though certain companies tried to get the games released overseas"
I wonder if this is the series that Working Designs wanted to localize, but Sony refused to allow it.
6056  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Nintendo Revolution Preorders - When? on: April 04, 2006, 07:52:30 PM
I would assume official preorders for both Revolution and PS3 will start right after E3, presuming they announce pricing and exact dates then.
6057  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What are you buying this week? (4/3) on: April 04, 2006, 02:41:04 AM
I'll probably get Seal of Evil eventually.
6058  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I need a new DS title! on: April 03, 2006, 06:37:45 AM
"20 years later and its still the most fun you'll have while taking a shit."
Have you ever considered a career in advertising?  They really should put that on the back of the box  biggrin
6059  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Second Sight for $6 at CC on: April 02, 2006, 10:46:14 PM
Circuit City has Second Sight for PS2 on sale for $5.99 this week.  It got mostly good reviews (8/10), and is from the developers of the fun Timesplitters series.
6060  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FFVII: Ok. When's it get good? on: April 02, 2006, 06:36:23 AM
At the time, it was way far ahead of any other RPG in terms of presentation, but that part of its appeal obviously no longer applies.  There is a major event a the end of Disc 1, but it's kind of slow going until that point.  I'd recommend playing FFX first, as it's similar (although much better in every area), but with a modern presentation.  Once you have some more RPGs under your belt, it may be easier to go back to the "oldies" and appreciate them.
6061  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PSP] Tales of Eternia on: March 31, 2006, 06:29:12 AM
I don't get it either.  Konami also made a point of announcing that they had no plans to bring Suikoden 1 and 2 to the US either, but they do plan to release it in Europe, IIRC.  When all you have to do is basically package an existing game and sell it, I can't see their reasoning.
6062  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PSP] Tales of Eternia on: March 31, 2006, 03:04:37 AM
The US GBA version of ToP is a combination of the original SNES version, the PSOne version, and some original stuff.  Tales of Eternia was released in the US on PSOne as Tales of Destiny 2, which is also the Japanese name of a PS2 game in the series.  It makes the FF numbering seem sensible by comparison slywink  As for ToE, I believe Namco has said that they have no plans to bring it to the US, although Sony could probably publish if they wanted to, just as Nintendo published ToP for the GBA.
6063  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Revolution Specs on IGN - Less Powerful than the Xbox 1 on: March 30, 2006, 06:59:51 AM
This contradicts what Nintendo has said about the machine, so I'm going to trust Nintendo rather than "trusted development sources", i.e. people who break NDAs they promised not to break.  While I have no doubt the Revolution will be behind the other two, it won't be that far behind.
6064  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PS2] (spoilers, possible) Kingdom Hearts II Tuesday on: March 29, 2006, 08:58:50 PM
Kingdom Hearts is much better than the sum of its parts.  The combat, level design, etc. are not that great in themselves, but taken as a whole, create a captivating, wonderful game.  The beginning is very story-heavy, but after that, its mostly Disney stuff, with occasional story segments, and then story-heavy at the end.  Wonderland is also the least interesting world, so it does get much better.  I'd definitely stick with it - it's worth it.
6065  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PSX Memory Card: How Many blocks Should it Have? on: March 29, 2006, 07:54:20 PM
With the memory manager, you should see a grid of 15 slots, with icons for any saves you may have.  Most games take one slot, but some take more, so you won't necessarily get 15 files on one card.
6066  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PS2] (spoilers, possible) Kingdom Hearts II Tuesday on: March 29, 2006, 08:28:30 AM
IGN seems to be alone in their opinion of the game - Gamespy gives it 4.5/5.
6067  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PS2] (spoilers, possible) Kingdom Hearts II Tuesday on: March 29, 2006, 01:46:42 AM
I never had a problem with the camera, and I skipped the whole gummi ship building, but the main problem I had with the combat was the lack of options.  For pretty much the whole game, I just rolled out of the way of enemies' attacks and jammed on the X button to hit them.  Magic (other than summoning and healing) seemed pretty worthless, and it seemed too cumbersome to select the special moves using the D-pad.  Even so, I never really got too bored with the combat because it flowed so nicely and looked so good.  The sequel's drive system and reaction commands look like they will greatly improve the combat, especially since I've read that they ditched the platforming elements in favor of all combat.
6068  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PSX Memory Card: How Many blocks Should it Have? on: March 29, 2006, 01:41:33 AM
Do they sell new ones anymore?  I'd be wary of any used card, even official Sony ones.  You stand to lose a lot if one goes bad.
6069  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PS2] (spoilers, possible) Kingdom Hearts II Tuesday on: March 28, 2006, 08:37:31 AM
You had to get all the dalmatians, seal all the keyholes, and beat the Hades Cup at the Coliseum, but you didn't have to beat Sephiroth to get the second ending.  You might get a weapon or something, but usually these ultra-hard bosses are just for bragging rights.
6070  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.
6071  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.
6072  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.
6073  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.
6074  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden V impressions on: March 25, 2006, 06:54:55 AM
Gamespot has posted their review - 8.1/10.
6075  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.
6076  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.
6077  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.
6078  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.
6079  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.
6080  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.
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