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6321  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 21, 2005, 07:56:05 PM
"They're Final Goddamn Fantasy, they don't have to worry about larger industry trends toward approachability and away from turn or phase based combat."
Huh?  The last Final Fantasy previous to X that was turn-based was released in 1990.  The hallmark of the series is the ATB system, which is what they're using in FFXII.  Ironically, the article mentions DQ8, which was deliberately made simpler to improve "approachability".  FF12 is certainly different, but how is it an insult to anything?  I'm been a FF fan since the first game, and have played them all (some more than once), and I'm excited about the direction the game is taking.
6322  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lines Already Forming for XB360 on: November 21, 2005, 07:47:42 PM
Ironically, they'll spend more time in line than it will take to complete the games they're buying slywink
6323  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 20, 2005, 07:19:14 AM
I finally played the demo, and to my surprise, it does feel somewhat like an MMORPG, but not in a bad way.  I think the main reason for the MMO feel, and the main difference from most console RPGs is that you fight on the same screen as you walk around on.  The battle system still feels a lot like the standard Final Fantasy ATB system, only adapted to be played without a separate battle arena.  I thought the control system worked well.  I shut off all the gambits, and at the beginning of a battle, I'd hit Up to switch to each party member and set their attacks, and then use left and right to issue commands during battle.  I loved the summoned esper, and both seeing the enemies fight each other, and watch the little mandragoras run in terror when the rockeater arrived were great.

I think the new battle system will take getting used to, but also seems like it will help speed up the game.  As much as I love FFX, I found myself tiring of the battles, and I'm thinking this new system will help alleviate the battle fatigue even the best RPGs sometimes suffer from.  I wish we had gotten to see some of the story elements, though.
6324  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta Impressions on: November 19, 2005, 12:00:18 PM
I finally got to play some more, and I'm really enjoying it.  The game doesn't  make a great first impression, but it gets going quickly.  The battle system, even in the simple early battles, is already fun, and I can see it getting much more interesting once the battles get more involved.
6325  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 19, 2005, 02:43:21 AM
I don't know for sure, but I can't imagine any reason it wouldn't be.  FFX-2 allowed you to choose if you wanted combat to pause while the menu is displayed or not, so I'd assume the demo is just set up with both to allow you to try them out.
6326  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Alias is really good this season on: November 18, 2005, 07:54:25 PM
Anyone else still watching Alias?  The last two seasons haven't been that great, but I kept watching, and now I'm glad I did.  They've turned the show around, and while it's not as good as it was in its early days, it's a huge improvement over the last two seasons.  The new characters fit in well, but haven't taken over the show, the main plot is moving along at a nice pace, and the show has recaptured the heart it once had with Sydney's new baby and her being almost a mother figure to the new agent.  They also did something I thought was impossible in actually making Sloan an interesting character again.  He works much better as a villain with a purpose, and I can't wait to see what happens when he's pushed to do something truly horrible.

It looks like the show may be improving in the ratings, too, as ABC is putting it back on Thursdays after Lost for the remainder of sweeps.
6327  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / So, has anyone played the new Wild Arms game yet? on: November 18, 2005, 08:02:33 AM
I've played through the first prologue (Rudy), and if you liked the earlier Wild ARMs games, then you'll like this one.  It seems that they took the first WA game and redid it with the Wild ARMs 3 engine, even down to similar sound effects and music as WA3.  The music is very good, too, especially the first town piece and the overworld theme.  It's a nice mix of standard RPG music and wild west influences.  
It does have sort of a low-rent feel in some ways, such as the lack of voice acting, the occasionally awkward translation, and the bizarre use of actual landscape photographs as backgrounds for the character intros.  However, the game does look quite large, with lots of cities, dungeons, and side quests.   It doesn't seem like it's going to be a spectacular game, but it's definitely solid, and its mix of exploration, turn-based combat, and heavy use of puzzles are a unique and very enjoyable combination.
6328  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 18, 2005, 02:22:33 AM
"The ability to change your professions based upon the clothes your girls were wearing, REALLY, in my opinion seems about playing dress up."
The ability to change clothes was a great take on the job system from FF5/Tactics wrapped up in a silly package.  The ability to change jobs while in battle is great fun, and makes the battles much more intersting than in most RPGs.  I can understand people getting put off my the tone of the game, but underneath the silliness is a very solid battle system.

I'm looking forward to playing the FF12 demo, but I'm saving it for after a very long day of work on Saturday.  Plus, DQ8, Magna Carta, and Wild ARMs are keeping me too busy to play much else.  I'm not complaining, though slywink
6329  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FFX How arcadey? on: November 18, 2005, 02:21:25 AM
I'd say FFX is about as far from arcadey as you can get.  It's also the best RPG I've ever played, so I'd definitely recommend trying it out.
6330  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Harry Potter console games? on: November 18, 2005, 02:19:42 AM
I played CoS on the Gamecube, and while it was fun, losing your beans every time you got hit infuriated me to the point of loathing the game.  There's also PoA for the GBA, which is a nice turn-based RPG that is completely different from the other versions.
6331  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 17, 2005, 08:07:00 PM
The usefulness of Psych Up depends on the enemy.  Sometimes, it will only do double damage, but against some enemies, it does much more.  I think it has to do with the armor rating of the enemy.  In DQ games, rather than doing double damage, it seems like critical hits ignore the enemy's armor, and I think Psych Up works similarly.  In the demo, fighting the armored birds, my normal damage was very low, so I Psyched Up, and my damage went way up.  I think the damage also goes up exponentially as you psych up more, with the tradeoff of not being able to take another action with the character without resetting tension to normal.
6332  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 17, 2005, 08:00:17 PM
"Good story. Good system.

Stop with the eye candy for 13-14 year old boys."
The Final Fantasy games have always had top-of-the-line graphics, 6 and 7-9 included.  FFX is no more or less about eye candy than the others were.  All 3 games feature amazing (for the time) graphics, solid battle systems, and extensive noninteractive segments.  Other than the lack of a world map, why is FFX singled out as being different from the rest?

Back to FF12, I'm excited about the changes.  Square hasn't made a less-than-great main series FF game yet, and I doubt they're going to start now.  Tradition is fine (DQ8 proves that), but change can be good, too.  Honestly, I'm a lot more excited about FF12 than I would have been if I knew it was playing it safe.
6333  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Kameo Winter Warriors Pack on: November 17, 2005, 07:51:29 PM
"Expansions/sequals 6 months later I can stand. Intentionally keeping finished material out a game to garner more sales, it shit."
That's my problem with it.  Sure, $3 isn't a lot of money, but that's on top of the $50-$60 you've already paid for the game.  I also have the feeling that the reason this one is so cheap is to get people to use the service, whereas future game mini-expansions will be much more expensive.
6334  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 17, 2005, 08:38:32 AM
I've been a Dragon Quest (Warrior) fan since the first game, and have had a big, dopey smile on my face the whole time I've been playing the game  biggrin It's the perfect blend of old and new, with nostalgic touches like the item illustrations in the manual and the sound effects coupled with absolutely beautitful graphics and music.
6335  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 17, 2005, 08:33:35 AM
I haven't played the demo yet, but I've never understood the comparison to MMOs.  From what I've read, the battle system is very similar to that of KoTOR, and that didn't seem anything like the few MMORPGs I've played.  There are elements of FF12 that appear in MMOs, but nothing that hasn't also appeared in single-player RPGs, such as fighting enemies on the same screen (no separate battle area), visible equipment changes, etc.
6336  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta Impressions on: November 17, 2005, 08:32:48 AM
1. I think R2/L2 is supposed to switch targets.
2. The manual says it's random, so there isn't a set number.
3. ???
4. From what I've read, enemies will respawn a few times in most areas, but only after you've progressed further in the game from that area.  This was a concern of mine, too, but none of the reviews I've read mention the game being particularly difficult, so I'm assuming that if you fight every enemy in a region, you should be fine.
6337  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 16, 2005, 08:00:41 PM
I'll have some impressions in a few hours.  IGN has posted their review - 9/10.
6338  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta Impressions on: November 16, 2005, 04:57:10 AM
There's only English, but I think the voiceovers are pretty good, myself.
6339  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta Impressions on: November 16, 2005, 12:10:03 AM
I was hoping to have DQ8 impressions today, but alas, that will have to wait until tomorrow.  I do have some Magna Carta impressions, though.  First, the packaging is very impressive.  It comes in a fairly thick and heavy box, with embossed characters, making Reith's chest stick out even more, something I would have thought imposssible slywink  Inside is a shiny-covered full-color 100-page half art-book (with characters, enemies, locations, etc) and half strategy guide.  There's also a very large dual-sided poster featuring two different view of the game's characters.  The DVD insert is also dual-sided, and the manual is 40 pages and in color.  It's definitely the best packaging I've seen this generation, and more than you'd expect for just $5 over retail price.

The game starts off with a dream sequence showing the main character as a child whose village is attacked.  You take control of the character in the present-day and are preparing for a major attack against the enemy Yason.  I got up to the point where you have a tutorial battle, and the battle system definitely seems deep and potentially intriguing.  The thing that sounds most interesting is the choice between the three attack types.  You can choose to have the button-press ring move faster or even guess at the enemies' moves, risking losing your built-up power, but potentially gaining a free attack.

The graphics are good, but not great.  The game reminds me most of a cross between Suikoden 3 and 4 (there are even ????? items you have to have appraised).  The graphical quality is about on par with 4, but with the more detailed environments of 3.  From the little I've seen of the outside world, it looks like there will be some nice background scenery, though.  The translation appears solid, although the text seems more expository than natural.  The load into battle was pretty quick, but the load times between scenes seems to be about 20 seconds.   I'm intruiged so far, especially with the battle system.  I'll post some more impressions after I play some more later.
6340  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 15, 2005, 10:24:42 PM
My store won't have it in until tomorrow, but at least I have Magna Carta to play slywink
6341  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Kingdom Hearts 2 world revealed - Wow! on: November 15, 2005, 10:22:51 PM
I've read that they are definitely improving the camera.  It's supposed to work better on automatic, and the manual control is now done with the right stick rather than the R2 and L2 buttons.
6342  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Kingdom Hearts 2 world revealed - Wow! on: November 15, 2005, 08:27:07 PM
FileFront has a new trailer here, showing off some of the new worlds, including TRON.
6343  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 15, 2005, 08:17:23 PM
It looks like Square Enix either shipped it yesterday or used some sort of super-fast shipping, as a lot of stores are getting it in today.  Hopefully, mine will have it when I go to pick up Magna Carta.
6344  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 15, 2005, 06:56:29 AM
More reviews -
9.5/10 from 1Up
9.2/10 from GameZone
Is it Wednesday yet?
6345  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta out tomorrow on: November 15, 2005, 04:45:28 AM
If anyone is looking to pick it up, I got my call from Gamestop that Magna Carta will be in stores tomorrow, rather than Wednesday.
6346  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 15, 2005, 04:43:27 AM
I'm more IN than I've ever been smile
6347  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What are you buying this week? (11/20) on: November 15, 2005, 04:42:52 AM
Dragon Quest 8, Magna Carta, and Wild ARMs.
6348  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 15, 2005, 02:45:35 AM
Gamespot has posted their review - 9/10  Cool
6349  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / WOW! Devil Summoner [ps2] looks AMAZING! on: November 14, 2005, 11:20:33 AM
I love the character designs of the SMT series.  There is just something about them that is both familiar and alien at the same time.  Devil Summoner is looking great.  If the series has had one weakness, it's that the backgrounds didn't match the beauty of the characters, but it looks like DS might change that.  Next year might be the last year of the PS2, but it's certainly going out with a bang as far as RPGs are concerned, with at least 16 titles set for release next year.
6350  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Post your favorite in-game screenshots! on: November 14, 2005, 08:41:33 AM
The only game I really took a lot of screenshots for was World of Warcraft.  I figured that, after I quit, at least I'd have something to show for my $80 slywink

My favorite shot -

A deer comes up to me to strike up a conversation slywink -

Two of the most beautiful vistas I've ever seen in a game -

6351  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / help me decide which game! on: November 14, 2005, 02:47:07 AM
You can read the whole review (all three paragraphs of it) at GameFAQs.  The other two reviews I've seen were much more positive.
6352  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FF7 sequel/remake at E3? on: November 13, 2005, 10:46:52 PM
According to RPGamer, Tetsuya Nomura said in an interview that there "would be a very important presentation related to Compilation of Final Fantasy VII at the 2006 Electronics Entertainment Expo."  It's possible that this is in relation to the PSP Crisis Core game, but it's also possible that this will be the oft-rumored FF7 remake (or hopefully sequel) for the PS3.
6353  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 12, 2005, 08:53:06 PM
The official website has been updated with new videos, details, and some nice wallpapers, especially the one with the enemies.
6354  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / help me decide which game! on: November 12, 2005, 08:34:28 PM
"Years of Blood" sounds like it might be an interesting title, but it's actually "Tears of Blood" slywink  I haven't played any of them, but Magna Carta is being published by Atlus, so there won't be as many copies to go around as the other two, bigger releases.  If you're worried about availability, I'd go with Magna Carta now, although all 3 sound like great games from what I've heard.
6355  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [Famitsu] FFXII Scans (Airship!) on: November 12, 2005, 09:37:20 AM
From what I've read, the battle system sounds very similar to KoTOR.  These latest previews have me very excited.  The game looks beautiful, the battle system is a big change for the series, and I love the whole style of the game.  It's going to be a looooong wait, though.
6356  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [Famitsu] FFXII Scans (Airship!) on: November 12, 2005, 07:08:40 AM
I couldn't tell if it's the same music or not, but the summons are called Espers.
6357  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Mass Effect details, Jade Empire 2 on: November 12, 2005, 06:50:35 AM
RPGFan has some new details on Bioware's Mass Effect, as well as confirmation that Jade Empire 2 is in the works for the 360.  Jade Empire was such a beautiful game, I can't wait to see what they do with the world on the new hardware.
6358  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Mario Kart DS review [ign] on: November 12, 2005, 06:47:18 AM
I wonder why Nintendo puts more content into their handheld titles than their console ones.  The Mario Tennis and Golf games get the RPG treatment on the GBA, but not the consoles, and Mario Kart for the Gamecube was one of the weakest, most half-assed efforts I've seen from them, yet there's a lot more in the DS version.
6359  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [Famitsu] Final Fantasy IV Advance Scans on: November 12, 2005, 02:15:38 AM
The FF3 remake is for the DS, while the FF4-6 remakes are for the GBA.  It's nice to see the GBA get some RPG love before it completely dies out, with FF4, FF5, FF6, Tales of Phantasia and (hopefully) Mother 3.
6360  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [Famitsu] FFXII Scans (Airship!) on: November 11, 2005, 08:41:38 PM
1Up and RPGamer have the first English screenshots, from the demo.
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