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6841  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.
6842  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.
6843  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.
6844  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.
6845  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.
6846  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Growlanser:Generations Impressions? on: December 09, 2004, 07:32:12 PM
I played it for an hour or two last night, got into 2 battles, and have been very impressed so far.  I honestly wasn't quite sure what to expect, even after reading the p/reviews.  Although the game is a strategy RPG, it's unlike any I've seen.  The best way to explain is to give a rundown of the second battle (the first is a tutorial).
You start with your 2 characters going to a town to defend it.  Your commander is there, along with a couple of mercenaries.  There's a child being attacked by monsters, and you are ordered to protect him, while the commander and mercenaries go after the more difficult enemies.  You head toward the child, but enemies keep appearing on the battlefield.  You order the kid to take shelter in a house, but as you're killing the monsters who were attacking him, another busts through the house's back door.  You order the kid and the others in the house to escape, and they head toward the map's exit.  You then have to not only beat the monster that broke into the house, but also protect the people as they make their way off the map.  
While this is going on, the mercenary is called to another area of the city, and walks off the map, only to return later.  I manage to defeat the monsters, although the kid took some damage while getting away.  The mercenary returns just as your commander is getting low on hit points, heals everyone, and then kills the strong monster that the commander was fighting.
All this happens in pausable real-time, where you give orders to your units, and then watch them execute them.  At any time, you can hit square to bring up the menu to change orders or use magic attacks.  The graphics are fully 2D, and look very nice.  The voice acting (and there is a LOT) is solid, and the presentation (52-page full color manual, two-sided case liner with foil lettering) are top-notch.  Unfortunately, the games are on CDs rather than DVDs.  They work fine for me, but some people have trouble playing CD games on their PS2s.  Overall, I'm very impressed, and given the amount of variety and excitement in just the second battle, it looks like this will be a great game.
6847  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suikoden 4 ... seeing screenshots, thinking : on: December 09, 2004, 10:39:25 AM
From what I've read, 4 pretty much disregards the changes to 3 and returns more to the style of the first two games.  I really disliked the "team" concept in 3's battles, so hopefully, this is a good thing.  Hopefully, we'll get some better impressions of the game as the US release draws near.

And, since it is my duty to defend FFX-2 wherever it is attacked slywink I have to say that the FFX battle system was good, but FFX-2's battle system is the best the series has seen.
6848  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / "The wait is almost over" on: December 09, 2004, 10:32:41 AM
Ensemble has updated their site with the words "2300 BC - Sargon I unifies Sumeria".  Perhaps they're reviving the old chess game? slywink
6849  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Pinball Hall of Fame on: December 08, 2004, 09:24:01 AM
Gamespot has posted their review.  Their conclusion -
"It looks good, controls well, sells at a budget price, and should be a no-brainer as an addition to your library if you're a fan of simulated pinball."
Anyone try it yet?  I'm thinking of getting it tomorrow when I pick up Growlanser Generations.
6850  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Growlanser Generations review on: December 07, 2004, 09:21:20 AM
I have it preordered, but I might hold off on playing it for awhile, as I'm still playing all the other RPGs released in the last few months.
6851  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Why is Midway hiring so many PC developers? on: December 04, 2004, 11:42:58 AM
I read over at RPGDot that Harvey 'Witchboy' Smith, the lead designer of Deus Ex : Invisible War, has been hired by Midway.  Over the past 2 years, they've also hired John Romero, Tom Hall, and J.E. Sawyer, some pretty big names in the PC industry.  I found this odd because Midway doesn't even make PC games.  Are they hiring PC developers for a reason, or is there some reason they pick Midway to work for?  I would have thought that Midway is starting a PC division (like Namco did awhile back), but word is that Romero and Hall are working on Gauntlet and NARC, both console games.  Anyone know what's going on?
6852  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / KoToR 2 shipping on Monday? on: December 04, 2004, 06:57:02 AM
"It still has nasty load times apparently"
I've never understood this.  Throughout all of KoTOR, I never had a load time longer than 10-15 seconds, and found the load times on par with other games.  I can see complaining about the load times in Sudeki or Top Spin, but the load times for KoTOR were just fine for me.
6853  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Rumor Mill - Diablo 3 on: December 04, 2004, 06:49:08 AM
I didn't mention Ghost because Blizzard itself isn't doing much work on it.  I'm guessing they'll announce their new game fairly soon, since it's unusual for them not to have an announced game in development.
6854  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Battle For Middle Earth - Just 3 days to go! on: December 04, 2004, 06:47:38 AM
Gamespy has posted their 4/5 star review.
6855  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Growlanser Generations review on: December 03, 2004, 07:57:14 PM
IGN has posted their review, giving it 8.6/10.
6856  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Kingdom Hearts 2 details and trailer on: December 03, 2004, 07:15:22 AM
This forum is so civil, it's frightening slywink
6857  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / KoToR 2 shipping on Monday? on: December 03, 2004, 07:13:54 AM
IGN will be posting their review tomorrow night.
6858  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Kingdom Hearts 2 details and trailer on: December 02, 2004, 08:04:06 PM
RPGamer has an interview with Tetsuya Nomura which gives some new details on Kingdom Hearts 2.  Also, IGN had an awesome new trailer for the game, but for some reason, they've taken it down.
6859  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / "Hard To Be a God" RPG announced on: December 02, 2004, 07:57:58 PM
The info at Worthplaying sounds interesting.
6860  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Rumor Mill - Diablo 3 on: December 02, 2004, 07:55:39 PM
The last word from Blizzard was that they were only working on one game in addition to WoW.  Since they just released WoW, I can't see them putting out another RPG in the near future, so that game is presumably StarCraft 2 or an original property.  With WoW done, it's possible that team (other than those making new content for WoW) will start work on Diablo 3.  I imagine it'll be at least a few years before we see it, though.
6861  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / anyone getting Prince of Persia - Warrior Within? on: December 02, 2004, 07:26:21 AM
1Up gave it 9.0/10, as did Games Domain.
6862  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xenosaga & Baten Kaitos coming to Nintendo DS on: December 02, 2004, 07:25:46 AM
I would guess Xenosaga would be some sort of side-story, since they'd presumably have to ditch the extensive cutscenes.  Baten Kaitos could work well, though, with your cards displayed on the touch screen.
6863  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xenosaga & Baten Kaitos coming to Nintendo DS on: December 01, 2004, 10:56:03 PM
According to 1Up Nintendo has added Xenosaga DS and Baten Kaitos DS to their list of upcoming third-party titles.
6864  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Interesting KoTOR 2 details on: December 01, 2004, 10:50:37 PM
Chris Avellone has posted some "designer ramblings" to the Obsidian forums regarding influence, romances, and endings in KoTOR 2.  About the endings - "Your character's gender, your character's light side/dark side leanings, the 4 different answers to your questions about what happened in K1, you ALSO get variations based on how you solved each planet and how you dealt with each of your companions." smile
6865  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [GBA] Final Fantasy 1 & 2: Dawn of Souls on: December 01, 2004, 07:59:03 PM
Circuit City also has it for $25 this week.
6866  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Anyone play Technic Beat? on: December 01, 2004, 11:18:52 AM
I hadn't heard anything about this game until I read this review at Gamespy.  I like both puzzle and rhythm games, so I'm intrigued by the game.  Anyone play it?
6867  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sacred Patch 1.8.62 on: December 01, 2004, 07:49:40 AM
Worthplaying has the new patch for Sacred, with several pages of fixes listed.
6868  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Restricted Area (sci-fi action RPG) coming to NA on: December 01, 2004, 07:29:30 AM
Yes, it's North America.  It'll be published in the US next spring.
6869  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Restricted Area (sci-fi action RPG) coming to NA on: December 01, 2004, 02:35:18 AM
Yea!.  IGN has a series of articles about the game here.

6870  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [GBA] Final Fantasy 1 & 2: Dawn of Souls on: December 01, 2004, 02:28:13 AM
"I've been doing a lot of generic leveling up. Don't know whether that's really required or not."
Presuming they didn't make the game easier for the GBA, then for FF1 at least, it's very much required.  I have yet to make it out of a dungeon without being almost dead, and that's after several level-up/scouting trips into the dungeon.  The game is very hard, at least on the "Hard" difficulty setting.

Also, assuming they kept the option from the Origins games, I'd suggest that anyone playing change the setting that automatically switches targets if an enemy dies to "off".  Combat is very boring if you use the auto-switch.
6871  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Fall on: December 01, 2004, 02:21:40 AM
They just launched the German version, and I guess it was a mess.  Tey've already released 4 patches for it, and it looks like it's still not fixed.  As for the English version, one of the developers posted the following on their forums -
"I'm fully aware that you guys are growing impatient, but at this point there simply isn't anything to be announced. Take note though that there will be an English version."
6872  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Gothic 3 details on: November 30, 2004, 07:48:44 PM
6873  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Onimusha 3 -- Worth $15? on: November 30, 2004, 07:47:57 PM
I don't generally like games like this, but I really enjoyed what I played of the demo.  The story appeared to be interesting, with a temporal crossover between Japan in the past and modern-day Paris.  Plus, it's always fun to grab enemies with a whip and smash them to the ground slywink  Also, the control is much improved over the earlier games in the series.
6874  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Can MS topple Sony in the next generation? on: November 30, 2004, 07:47:18 PM
"I certainly hope that Elder Scrolls 4 isn't a XBox exclusive, lets face it, the best thing about Morrowind was all the mods that enhanced the original game, and I can't see that on a console."
Usually when people refer to a game as an "XBox exclusive", that only means it won't be on PS2 or GCN.  Halo, KoTOR, etc. are considered XBox exclusives, even though they're also on the PC.  Elder Scrolls 4 has been announced for the PC, so there's nothing to worry about there.
6875  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Konung 2? on: November 30, 2004, 07:38:35 PM
The first game got pretty terrible reviews, but the sequel looks to be improved, and it's only $20.  It's shipped today, so hopefully we'll get some reviews soon.  Anyone thinking about picking it up?
6876  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest 8 impressions on: November 30, 2004, 08:14:12 AM
IGN and Gamespot have posted their impressions of the Japanese version of Dragon Quest (Warrior) 8, which was just released in Japan.  I really wish I knew Japanese right now slywink

6877  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Details on Sakaguchi's new game(s) on: November 29, 2004, 05:19:48 AM
RPGFan has some details about the games coming from Mist Walker, the game development studio founded by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy series.  Also, the article revealed that Nobuo Uetmatsu will be providing the music for the game.  I love the entire FF series, but I can't wait to see what new games these two can create.
6878  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / EB PC preowned<$14.99 now 70% off (Sale Over??) on: November 29, 2004, 12:18:18 AM
The sign at the store said it went through November 27, but that might not necessarily be for all stores.
6879  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / "The wait is almost over" on: November 27, 2004, 04:47:13 AM
Usually, that would be true, but it's been over a year since Titans was released.  Presuming they were working on this new game even before Titans shipped, it's probably not too far off.  My guess would be late next year.
6880  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / "The wait is almost over" on: November 26, 2004, 07:05:21 AM
That's the teaser message at the Ensemble Studios website.  I've been wondering what they were up to, since it's been quite a while since AoM : Titans was released.  Hopefully, they'll reveal what their new game is tomorrow, and not have an 8-day countdown to nothing, like a certain RPG developer that shall remain nameless slywink
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