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6081  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".
6082  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Lego SW and GTA:SA - $10 at CC on: March 22, 2006, 07:40:37 PM
6083  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.
6084  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.
6085  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.
6086  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
6087  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.
6088  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.
6089  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.
6090  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.
6091  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.
6092  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.
6093  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.
6094  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.
6095  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.
6096  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.
6097  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.
6098  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.
6099  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.
6100  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.
6101  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.
6102  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.
6103  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.
6104  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.
6105  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.
6106  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.
6107  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.
6108  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.
6109  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Atlus's latest Shin Megami Tensei title - Devil Summoner 3 on: March 08, 2006, 07:21:36 PM
RPGamer has the rest of the pictures here.  It definitely has an interesting visual style, and I'm intrigued about seeing some of Kaneko's designs (such as the pixie in one of the shots) interpreted by another designer.  Atlus also announced a DS Metal Saga game.
6110  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The ending of Superstar Saga... on: March 08, 2006, 08:37:50 AM
It took me several tries, but I finally beat it.  It was a pretty poor way to end the game, especially when you're reduced to 1 HP right before fighting the thing, and get immediately attacked.  I learned to dodge all the attacks except the spinning electricity or whatever it was.  Thankfully, it did little damage to one of the brothers, due to something I had equipped apparently, so I was able to heal afterward.
6111  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Crap! Mass Effect is going to suck on: March 07, 2006, 08:04:10 PM
I liked JE's fighting too.  It was far from perfect, but it was a good start for a developer who hadn't done action combat before.  I also wonder how close their relationship to Pandemic is, and whether they will be helping with the action elements.
6112  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts: From the New World thread of ALL THREADS on: March 07, 2006, 09:44:40 AM
Can't wait, even though I'm only halfway through Covenant.  I've always liked timing-based battle systems, and I love the real-world settings, especially the Native American ones.  I'll also be getting Tales of Phantasia Wednesday, and I just started MS Saga and Tales of Legendia.  Then, there will be a whole 3 weeks without a major RPG release until Suikoden 5 and Kingdom Hearts 2.
6113  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: March 05, 2006, 12:33:45 AM
I'm trying not to use the alchemy FAQ.  It's not exactly fun trying different objects in the alchemy pot over and over, but it's great when you get something that works.
6114  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: March 04, 2006, 10:05:18 AM
Does anyone know the purpose of the recipes that read "item x = ??? + ???"?
6115  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Japanese vote on Top 100 games of all time (WTF....) on: March 04, 2006, 04:06:37 AM
FFX is would be at the top of my all-time best game list too.
6116  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Blizzard to 360's - no World of Warcraft for you on: March 04, 2006, 04:02:17 AM
I would be suprised if Blizzard doesn't develop a console MMORPG.
6117  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Atlus's latest Shin Megami Tensei title - Devil Summoner 3 on: March 03, 2006, 11:49:11 AM
I've only played two games featuring them, but Kazuma Kaneko's character designs are my all-time favorites.  They're amazing, and I'd be willing to play a mediocre game for the sole reason of seeing them.  1Up has a preview  here, and while they haven't made an official announcement, I'm pretty sure Atlus has said that they are localizing it.
6118  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / MS Saga on: February 24, 2006, 06:04:13 AM
I haven't played much, but I'll post my impressions now, as I'll be gone for the next week.  The game starts with a nice rendered intro, showing various scenes from the game with some odd-sounding music playing.  The graphics and sound/music seem pretty average so far, as is the voice acting.  It looks like the highly customizable mobile suits will be the main graphical draw, as it seems like it will be great fun customizing them and then admiring your handiwork.
Little has happened with the story so far, but I'm liking the characters, and there's already been some nice humor, and it appears the translation is solid.    The world map is actually a map of the Earth, with you starting out in Spain, which I don't think I've ever seen in a console RPG before.  It's got a nice map for the world and dungeons (hopefully dungeon maps will become a standard in console RPGs from now on), and both the map and encounter gauge resemble those in SMT : Nocturne.  As for saving, it can be done in towns and at save points in dungeons.  Overall, it definitely seems like a winner, even from what little I've played.
6119  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts : FtNW reviews on: February 23, 2006, 07:58:34 AM
Johnny is 16, not 13.
6120  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Good RPGs on PS2 with no random battles? on: February 22, 2006, 09:58:51 PM
Grandia 3, 2, and XTreme,  Magna Carta, Radiata Stories, Xenosaga 1 and 2, Arc the Lad : Twilight of the Spirits, Star Ocean, and Breath of Fire : Dragon Quarter all have onscreen enemies rather than random battles.
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