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6761  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / "The wait is almost over" on: December 27, 2004, 12:26:28 AM
Well, it looks like the wait is actually almost over now.  The latest message is "1995 - Ensemble Studios founded".  Presumably, they're leading up to 2004 (or 2005) - Age of Empires 3 is revealed".
6762  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Halo 2.5 on xbox 2...confirmed?!?!? on: December 27, 2004, 12:24:42 AM
If this were true, it would be two dumb mistakes by Microsoft (splitting Halo 2 in half and having multiple XBox 2s), and I don't see them making either mistake.
6763  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / NWN Multiclass Question on: December 24, 2004, 11:15:13 AM
In Neverwinter Nights, does the multiclass EXP penalty apply to prestige classes?  I plan to level up to 10 or so as a druid, and then start levelling up as a Shifter.  Will I suffer the EXP penalty since my levels aren't within 1 of each other?  Also, I am an Elf, so the human/half-elf exemption won't apply.
6764  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / GTA2 now free on: December 22, 2004, 06:31:14 AM
As they did with Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar has made GTA2 available as a free download.
6765  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Katamari Damacy...2! on: December 21, 2004, 10:25:44 PM
The additions to the sequel - more varied environments, differing level goals, and opponents, all sound like great additions.
6766  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / GBA - Anything on the horizon? on: December 21, 2004, 07:42:42 PM
The sales success of the DS was probably the last nail in the GBA's coffin.  There are still quite a few games on the IGN list, but not many major games.  There's the MegaMan collection, Zelda, Mario Party, Wario Ware Twisted, and Mario Tennis.  As for RPGs, there's Fire Emblem 2 for sure, and IGN has Tales of Phantasia listed, but I'd guess any future RPGs will be on the DS.
6767  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Katamari Damacy...2! on: December 21, 2004, 08:14:05 AM
1Up has some new details on the sequel.  Sounds great!
6768  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Your anticipated games of 2005 on: December 20, 2004, 09:16:31 AM
Dungeon Lords
Restricted Area
The Witcher
The Movies

and a ton of console games slywink
6769  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / X-Men Legends question on: December 20, 2004, 03:36:44 AM
Does anyone know how much space on the PS2 memory card an X-Men Legends save takes?  I'm trying to decide which version to get, and my PS2 memory cards are pretty full.
6770  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden 4 ... seeing screenshots, thinking : on: December 19, 2004, 08:21:19 AM
"i prefer real-time combat, loved morrowind, deus ex, pirates of the caribbean, plus i've liked stuff like Baldur's Gate"
From your list, it sounds like you play mostly PC games.  If you haven't played a console RPG, they are very different from their PC counterparts.  In traditional console RPGs (including Suikoden 4), you enter battles by walking around and running into enemies at random.  Your team (up to 4 in Suik. 4) take turns inputting their moves (attack, cast magic, defend, etc), and the enemy does the same.  If you've played them before, I'm sure you know all this, but if not, I'd suggest checking out some of the IGN battle videos to see what they are like.
6771  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Atlus bringing Stella Deus and DDS2 to US on: December 18, 2004, 08:43:00 AM
Atlus made a slew of announcements today.  Stella Deus, a strategy-RPG with what appear to be high-res 2D character graphics, is coming to the US this summer.  Also, Digital Devil Saga, an off-shoot of the Shin Megami Tensei series, will be released in a limited edition box when it comes out this spring, and its sequel, Digital Devil Saga 2, will be released in the US this summer.  :shock:  That brings the total of RPGs from Atlus coming out this spring and summer to 4 - DDS and Atelier Iris in spring, and DDS2 and Stella Deus in summer.  It looks like 2005 might even end up surpassing 2004 in RPG releases, though they look to be (thankfully) spread out over the whole year this time.
6772  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Rumor Mill - Diablo 3 on: December 18, 2004, 08:30:30 AM
"As far as I know, Blizz North hasn't annouced anything that they're working on. That's the group that does Diablo, IIRC."
I would assume they're the ones working on StarCraft 2. Since WoW was launched last month, I'm guessing they won't go too long without announcing what they're working on.
6773  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest 8: Outstanding and Informative Review on: December 17, 2004, 06:57:59 AM
That's pretty much what I expected.  There's some sort of magic to the DW series that makes what would seem like tedium incredibly fun.  Although I have a great deal of nostalgia for the series (DW1 was my first console RPG), it's more than that.  I'm replaying DW1 and DW3 now on the Gameboy, and they're still fun to play.  I just hope Square Enix stops keeping us in suspense and officially announces a US release soon.
6774  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Anarchy Online now free on: December 17, 2004, 06:52:18 AM
I tried downloading from their site, but I was cut off and it was slow when it was going.  I managed to get it using the BitTorrent link yesterday, but it took many, many hours.
6775  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What next? Paralyzed by indecision... on: December 16, 2004, 07:35:57 PM
If you know you want to get Growlanser, I wouldn't hesitate.  Working Designs' games become rare much faster than most others.  You might as well get it new now, since Star Ocean isn't going to become rare, and will most likely get Greatest Hits status next year sometime.
6776  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shut up! It IS time to reveal your GOTY on: December 16, 2004, 07:31:59 PM
This may change, since I haven't finished any of these games, but so far, my GoTY would be Star Ocean : Til The End of Time, with Shadow Hearts : Covenant and Paper Mario as runners up.  It was an amazing year for RPGs.
6777  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire on: December 16, 2004, 07:40:46 AM
Jade Empire is competing with Dragon Quest 8 as my most anticipated game of 2005.  Every preview and screenshot I see only makes the game seem better and better.
6778  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What next? Paralyzed by indecision... on: December 15, 2004, 08:36:19 PM
Star Ocean is the best game I've played this year.  I'm about 25 hours in, and I love everything about it.  The graphics are amazing (not technically, but the art design, variety, and amount of detail are incredible), the voice acting is some of the best I've heard (at least from the 3 lead characters), the battle system is fun, and the story is very good as well as thought-provoking, with some great, emotional scenes.  Plus, it's very long, with a lot of extra things to do, so it will keep you going for a long time.
6779  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Anarchy Online now free on: December 15, 2004, 08:26:01 PM
You can now download and play the base Anarchy Online game (without expansion packs) for free here.  It looks like the free subscription lasts until January 2006.  I'm downloading now, but it's going to take awhile.
6780  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Beyond Divinity on: December 15, 2004, 08:03:18 AM
Speaking of BD, they've just released the full strategy guide as a free download here.
6781  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Growlanser:Generations Impressions? on: December 15, 2004, 08:02:21 AM
Growlanser 2 allows you to save at any time, even during battles.  I'm not sure why they removed that in G3.
6782  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shining Force Neo on: December 14, 2004, 07:41:04 PM
According to RPGamer, the new PS2 Shining Force game is going to be an action-RPG, rather than a strategy RPG like the earlier games in the series.  This is odd news, since the already-revealed Shining Tears is also an action-RPG.
6783  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden 4 ... seeing screenshots, thinking : on: December 14, 2004, 04:28:11 AM
IGN has some hands-on impressions of the near-final US version here.
6784  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Gothic 3 details on: December 13, 2004, 07:40:43 PM
I got Gothic 2 new at Babbage's/Gamestop a few months ago for $10.
6785  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Sunday Ad's 12/12 - 12/18 on: December 13, 2004, 07:37:51 PM
That's good to know.  I figured it would be $24.99, but $22.99 is even better.
6786  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PSP Battery Life... even worse than originally thought. on: December 13, 2004, 09:02:44 AM
"Mahjong Fight Club" - That's the funniest game name I've heard since Maximus XV Abraham Strong: Space Mercenary  biggrin
6787  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Sunday Ad's 12/12 - 12/18 on: December 13, 2004, 08:50:08 AM
I'm not sure about the $22.99 price for RoTK at Best Buy.  They show the Fellowship and RoTK DVDs side by side.  There is a "$22.99" tag over the Fellowship box, and a "Hot price" label between the two.  Whether this means they are both $22.99, or if that price just applies to Fellowship, I'm not sure.
6788  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Growlanser:Generations Impressions? on: December 12, 2004, 11:58:43 PM
I wish all games, especially RPGs, would allow the option of having the spoken dialogue displayed on screen or not.  I find it very distracting to have the words onscreen.  I can read the text faster than the actors speak it, so I find myself having to avoid looking at the screen so I don't have the whole text read before the actor is half done speaking the lines.  I'm really hoping they've added the option in Xenosaga 2 and Kingdom Hearts 2, because it really bothered me in the first games.
6789  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden 4 ... seeing screenshots, thinking : on: December 12, 2004, 11:53:23 PM
There's a reader review for Suikoden 4 up at GameFAQs.  Beware, though, that there is a spoiler for Suikoden 3 in the review.
6790  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden 4 ... seeing screenshots, thinking : on: December 11, 2004, 09:42:05 PM
"Because I mentioned FFX-2 in context as a joke and the defenders of square for some vague reason felt obligated to fire up their lightsabers to defend it."
We don't have lightsabers.  We have swords that are 3 times as big as were are slywink
6791  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden 4 ... seeing screenshots, thinking : on: December 11, 2004, 08:39:52 AM
How is it not a sequel?  All of the characters (except the ones who are gone in one way or another) reappear and it takes place in the same world.  As for the plot, the whole Sin/Zanarkand plot was wrapped up in FFX; there was nothing to continue.  It's not like the plot comes out of nowhere, though.  It has a basis in the background of Spira shown in FFX, and having new factions spring up after the revelations about Yevon makes sense.  Yes, there was a drastic change in the tone and battle system, but those were only elements of the first game, not the whole of it.

Also, Square made no attempt to deceive anyone.  You'd have to have avoided even a cursory look at the game to not know about the lighter tone or real-time battles.  From the beginning (the first image of the game was Yuna in short shorts with a gun in each hand), the game was marketed as a continuation of the characters and world of FFX, not necessarily the gameplay.
6792  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jagged Alliance 2 - WinXP capable? on: December 11, 2004, 04:07:52 AM
It ran fine for me in native XP.
6793  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Growlanser:Generations Impressions? on: December 10, 2004, 07:37:20 PM
Working Designs has said that they may bring the original Growlanser to the PSP.
6794  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Namco announces new ramen noodle theme park on: December 10, 2004, 07:36:00 PM
The good news is that 10 people can get it for only $1 slywink
6795  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Namco announces new 'Tales' RPG -- Tales of Melfes on: December 10, 2004, 07:35:21 PM
Before Tales of Symphonia came out, Namco said that its sales would determine whether or not they brought other Tales titles to the US.  Since the sales of ToS surpassed their expectations, it's a pretty good bet that this new game and Tales of Rebirth will see a US release, probably both next year.
6796  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden 4 ... seeing screenshots, thinking : on: December 10, 2004, 11:33:26 AM
Square was still hurting for cash after the Spirits Within disaster, so I would imagine they wanted to put as little effort into FFX-2 as possible, which would probably explain the direct translation.  Also, I know a lot of people were disappointed with the direction the game took, but overall, I think a lot more people like the game than dislike it.  The professional reviews ranged from good to great, and it has a 8.9 reader score at IGN and 8.0 at Gamerankings.
6797  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Growlanser:Generations Impressions? on: December 10, 2004, 08:38:47 AM
"What is the character development, leveling like?"
You get EXP for attacking enemies and casting spells, and you get a lot for killing an enemy.  Upon level-up, your stats (such as HP, MP, Strength, etc) are increased automatically, and you are given "Master Points" to spend on abilities.  There are passive skills, such as adding poison to your attacks, as well as spells and battle skills.  There seem to be quite a few of these, and more become available as you level up.  You can also customize your weapon by adding gems to it that boost its stats.
6798  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden 4 ... seeing screenshots, thinking : on: December 10, 2004, 02:16:44 AM
"It featured all the crap from Japanese society that no one in the western hemisphere older than 13 would like."
I'm way over 13 and I like it.  I've always liked cheesy things, though slywink

"It is not a matter of defending the game or not, it is just a matter of whether you prefer realtime combat or turn based. Obviously you like real time"
Actually, I prefer turn-based, but either is fine by me.  What I liked about the battle system was the variety.  I liked FFX's battle system, but even it fell prey to the "kill the same monsters in the same way over and over again" syndrom that most console RPGs do.  In FFX-2, you can play this way, but there are so many skills and different types of attacks, all of which can be effective against different enemies.  You can fight the same group of enemies many different ways.  I've played so many RPG battles in my life, variety in combat (even if the game is easy enough that you don't have change your tactics) is a big plus for me.  I can certainly see why many people didn't like it, but I still think FFX-2 is a solid game, even with the overly cheesy trappings.
6799  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Growlanser:Generations Impressions? on: December 10, 2004, 02:04:33 AM
"What throws a wrench in the whole thing is that GIII is a prequel to GII so in some ways starting with GIII wouldn't even be out of a order!"
That's true, but if you have a finished save from G2, you can import it into G3.  I'm not sure what you get for doing so, though.  Also, G2 is supposed to be pretty short (20 hours maybe, but is supposed to be very replayable with different story branches), while G3 is much longer.

As for the combat system, I'd say it has the setup of a game like Disgaea, but with a combat style similar to KoTOR.  You order your characters to attack, use magic, move, etc.  They will keep attacking until you give them a different order by pausing the game.
6800  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [gba] Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories on: December 10, 2004, 01:57:30 AM
Gamespot has posted their review.  I'll definitely be getting it after I finish the first one.
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