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10041  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rock Band Impressions! on: February 14, 2008, 04:50:29 AM
Can't wait to sing Territorial Pissings.   icon_biggrin
10042  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lost Odyssey - new trailer and impressions on: February 14, 2008, 04:48:31 AM
A couple other quick thoughts:

-  I'm not crazy about the game mechanic of having to head-butt every tree and poke around in every crate.  That's gonna get really annoying, really quickly.

-  I can't quite figure out how the XP is determined.  Seems like some fights will give me a ton of XP, and other fights (against very similar enemies) will give me next to nothing.  I'm sure I'm just missing something obvious.

-  It appears that the first battle you fight in a new area will have a longer load time than the rest.  I.E.  the first battle will take 10-15 seconds to load (you see a couple different camera angles of scenery), while all subsequent battles just skip directly to the pre-fight animations.

-  Make sure you talk to every NPC, sometimes multiple times.  Really glad I picked up the guide, as it showed me the location of 4 Thousand Year Dreams I missed just in the first city.  Some of the triggers are a bit odd, and I never would have found them otherwise.   For example:  there are 3 sequences that can be triggered in the tavern, but you have to leave the building and come back in for each consecutive one to start.  These are so phenomenally well written that I'm sure I'll be hunting down every single one I can find.   They're certainly not easy reads (a couple of them nearly had me in tears), but are wonderful stories.

Quote from: Interloper on February 14, 2008, 03:52:34 AM

PS Gratch - Talked to my folks in SLC tonight - they said they too are getting clobbered by snow.  You guys need it so bad for the water.  I miss it personally.  Sorry for the divert  slywink

Yeah, we got hammered pretty good earlier.  My usual 20 minute drive home took almost 1 1/2 hours today.
10043  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lost Odyssey - new trailer and impressions on: February 14, 2008, 03:41:25 AM

Quote from: Sparhawk on February 14, 2008, 03:06:48 AM

Spoiler for Hiden:
The first major boss you run across (dragon dude) just layed me to waste! Group level was around 14. I'm guessing I need to grind to around 19 or 20 to kill him?

Same here.  According the guide, however, he's beatable around level 15 with the right set of skills.  We'll see...
10044  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rez HD on: February 14, 2008, 02:04:11 AM

Quote from: motodd on February 14, 2008, 12:33:01 AM

Level 4 boss and all of Level 5 is video game bliss. (for me at least)

Cool, I didn't know there was a Level 5.  Still working on figuring out how to beat the Level 4 boss when he drops on you.   icon_evil
10045  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lost Odyssey - new trailer and impressions on: February 14, 2008, 02:01:18 AM
Snowstorm canceled this evening's plans, so I've been able to put in about 2 1/2 hours so far.  Some initial impressions:

-  The load times between areas or cutscenes haven't been an issue for me at all so far.  They are frequent, but I don't think I encountered one that was more than 5-10 seconds.  When going into a battle, they don't seem any longer than any other turn-based RPG I've played.  There's a screen effect, the camera pans around for a couple seconds while it loads, and there's some initial 'battle animations'.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  I'm probably more forgiving about load times than most people, but so far they haven't bothered me at all.

-  Haven't run into any technical issues either.  No slow downs or frame rate issues whatsoever.

-  The story definitely starts out slow.   I'd say that nearly half my time so far has just been spent wandering around the city talking to people and learning the backstory.   The characters are a mixed bag, with Kiam being pretty cliche, and Jansen being pretty awesome.  Just got started on the first real dungeon (outside of the tutorial area), and I'm glad to finally get some action going.  Combat is pretty simple, but the ring feature is a nice touch.  The skill link system reminds me a lot of FF VIII's Junction system, and I'm digging it so far.

-  The Thousand Year Dream stories are going to be awesome.  Only had one so far, but it was very well done and very moving.  Very excited about that feature.

-  It looks and sounds great.   The VO work has been very good so far, and the visuals are outstanding.  Pretty disappointed in the music, though.  Hopefully it gets better, as so far it's completely generic and very un-Uematsu-ish.

Pretty impressed so far, and it feels really good to finally be playing a next-gen JRPG with a 'classic' turn-based feel.  smile
10046  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: R-Type on PSP on: February 13, 2008, 07:49:05 PM
Woah, that looks cool.  Is 5/8/08 a US or Japanese release date?
10047  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lost Odyssey - new trailer and impressions on: February 13, 2008, 07:46:46 PM
I'll pick up my copy today, but probably won't get a chance to play more than an hour until this weekend.  frown
10048  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rez HD on: February 13, 2008, 07:45:59 PM
It takes a while to get into the game, and I imagine it'd be tough to get a feel for how amazing it is with only a 5 minute demo.    Part of the appeal is the layers of graphics and music that are added as you play for long periods of time, which you can't really get across in a demo.
10049  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Rez HD on: February 13, 2008, 05:25:08 PM
Somehow I missed Rez the first time around, so I picked up the new Rez HD from XBL Arcade.  What an amazing, insane, bizzare, completely fun experience it is!  Took me a while to figure out what the hell I was doing, but now that it's clicked, I can't stop playing.  Even just the cruising mode is incredibly entertaining.   If you're looking for something out of the ordinary, I would highly, highly recommend it to anyone.  Very cool stuff.
10050  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: *Spits out drink* Bioware working on new KotOR!!!! on: February 13, 2008, 03:34:02 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on February 13, 2008, 03:28:19 PM

Where's Shifty???

I imagine it's tough for him to post a reply, what with the fainting every time he sees the topic.
10051  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: *Spits out drink* Bioware working on new KotOR!!!! on: February 13, 2008, 02:06:59 PM

Quote from: ATB on February 13, 2008, 01:29:22 PM

And for the record, KOTOR2 was oodles better than 1. Oh that Obsidian was doing this rather than Bioware.

What are you smoking and why aren't you sharing?  slywink  Actually, I really enjoyed KotOR II, right up until the part where they forgot to write an ending.  That kinda sucked.

I'm thrilled to hear they're working on a new single player KotOR*, although I do fear they may be spreading themselves a bit thin.

*not Shifty level of excitement, mind you.
10052  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lost Odyssey TV commercial on: February 12, 2008, 12:55:07 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on February 12, 2008, 06:53:18 AM

Quote from: Ridah on February 12, 2008, 05:10:29 AM

Lame, most of it was footage of CGI cutscenes. I wonder if showing in-game footage would deter people from buying the game because of the framerate hiccups.

weren't most Final Fantasy commercials nothing but ever so sexxxy CGI?

Yep, and have been since FFVII.
10053  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: According to TurboTax, I owe $3,000 to the government on: February 11, 2008, 06:35:07 PM

Quote from: DragonFyre on February 11, 2008, 05:41:24 PM

My wife just filled in Turbo tax. Apparently, we owe $3,062 to the government, on top of all that was taken out of our salary last year. I hope to hell that's wrong, because I have no idea how I'm coming up with an extra $3,000 by April.

Definitely going to go to H&R Block or something, cause that's an absolutely disgusting amount to owe.

I feel sick to my stomach.

Whatever you do, don't go to H&R Block.  They'll use practically the same software, then charge you a couple hundred bucks for it.
10054  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (2/11) on: February 11, 2008, 01:59:23 PM
Lost Odyssey, and I'm sure I'll pick up Sam & Max off Gametap as well.
10055  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lost Odyssey - new trailer and impressions on: February 07, 2008, 06:29:41 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on February 07, 2008, 05:28:14 PM

I don't see why RPG gameplay must be packaged separately from action-oriented gameplay.  Why can't a game be interesting and fun to play.  I like to play my games, not watch them while navigating menus and rolling virtual dice. 

See, I'm on the exact opposite side   I much prefer the style of the old-school turn based system and it is the main selling point of Lost Odyssey for me.   If it were an action-oriented game, there's no way I'd buy it.  Maybe I'm just getting old, but the gameplay of most action-RPG's feels way too twitchy for me and I tend to get frustrated and/or bored with it very quickly.  Something like the Ninja Gaiden/JRPG combo you described sounds spectacularly awful, imo.  I much prefer a game that will reward me for the strategy of how I build and deploy my skills rather than simply the speed of my reflexes and how well I can aim with a thumbstick.   

Quote
Part of the problem - with regards to varying scores -  is that the JRPG is such a cliche-ridden genre (both in terms of story and gameplay), that people fully expect them to be the same old, same old.  Which some people find familiar and comforting, and others find tired and hackneyed.

Well said.  I'm in the former camp, but I'm sure there's plenty of people in the latter.
10056  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sci-fi book suggestions on: February 07, 2008, 04:30:36 PM
I just picked up Ender's Game and Neuromancer yesterday.  I'm a bit embarrassed that I haven't read them before.   icon_redface
10057  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lost Odyssey - new trailer and impressions on: February 07, 2008, 01:04:17 PM

Quote from: EddieA on February 07, 2008, 07:23:53 AM

Gametrailers video review - 8.8/10.

I usually tend to agree with Gamerankings, and thought that was a damn fine review.  I find it interesting that the same things that IGN and Gamespy points out as glaring weaknesses (mainly story and voice work) are highly praised in the Gametrailers review.  Are we sure everyone played the same game?  slywink
10058  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lost Odyssey - new trailer and impressions on: February 07, 2008, 12:22:26 AM
Some encouraging, some not so encouraging.  Will still be a day one purchase for me.
10059  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rock Band Impressions! on: February 06, 2008, 03:30:39 PM

Quote from: The Grue on February 06, 2008, 03:12:19 PM

when I get back into town I am anxious to play it on drums.

I love the actual song, but trust me, you'll be extremely disappointed with the drum track.  Here's the review I submitted last night for our DLC content review project on OO:

We Care A Lot - Faith No More
This drum track is - so far - the absolute worst of any song in the game. Yes, even worse than 29 Fingers. 90% of the song is 3-5 bass kicks followed by a single snare hit, repeated over and over again. That's it. There's a couple double tom hits thrown in but this song offers absolutely zero challenge. I actually played it twice just to make sure I accidentally didn't choose Easy. This is first DLC that I feel was a complete waste of money, and I highly un-recommend it.

 thumbsdown thumbsdown thumbsdown thumbsdown
10060  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GameStop hustles used games and makes big money on: February 06, 2008, 01:33:03 AM

Quote from: DragonFyre on February 05, 2008, 09:22:37 PM

Quote
As soon as the next gen lock software to hardware, they are screwed.  Meaning there are real discussions about tying your game to your system.  First time you boot, they are tied together.

When that happens, I stop buying games.

I wouldn't stop buying completely, but would buy far, far less than I do now.  The only reason I ever purchase games I'm 'on the fence' with is because I know I can sell them somewhere if I don't like them.  If that weren't the case, I'd maybe buy 3-4 games a year and never take a chance on a game I might have interest in.
10061  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Create your own ROCK BAND SHOES on: February 05, 2008, 04:34:30 PM
LOL, that is awesome!!
10062  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (2/4) on: February 05, 2008, 01:04:51 AM
Faith No More for Rock Band, and that's it.
10063  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rock Band Impressions! on: February 04, 2008, 04:45:17 PM
All over Faith No More, but will pass on the other two.
10064  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: February 03, 2008, 10:48:31 PM




























10065  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Next two weeks Rock Band DLC on: February 01, 2008, 09:00:27 PM

Quote from: Zarkon on February 01, 2008, 07:57:25 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 01, 2008, 12:29:55 PM

Quote from: Zarkon on February 01, 2008, 10:09:39 AM

Disarm:  How about 'The Perfect Drug'?  'Sin' and 'Only' might both be good also, and there's still 'March of the Pigs' and 'Reptile' as well.

Ahem...

March 18 - NIN Pack
Nine Inch Nails: March of the Pigs
Nine Inch Nails: The Collector
Nine Inch Nails: The Perfect Drug

Didn't see that.  And YES! biggrin

Whew, I was afraid my sarcasm meter needed to go back to the shop...
10066  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Next two weeks Rock Band DLC on: February 01, 2008, 12:29:55 PM

Quote from: Zarkon on February 01, 2008, 10:09:39 AM

Disarm:  How about 'The Perfect Drug'?  'Sin' and 'Only' might both be good also, and there's still 'March of the Pigs' and 'Reptile' as well.

Ahem...

March 18 - NIN Pack
Nine Inch Nails: March of the Pigs
Nine Inch Nails: The Collector
Nine Inch Nails: The Perfect Drug
10067  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Next two weeks Rock Band DLC on: January 31, 2008, 07:02:53 PM

Quote from: The Grue on January 31, 2008, 06:58:36 PM

I would love to see an Anthrax pack, though. 

Got the Time would kick all kinds of ass.
10068  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Next two weeks Rock Band DLC on: January 31, 2008, 06:55:15 PM

Quote from: jersoc on January 31, 2008, 06:34:30 PM

Quote from: Gratch on January 31, 2008, 05:26:10 PM

Quote from: jersoc on January 31, 2008, 05:20:43 PM

mmm, more metal music. after working man, BRING IT ON!

Yeah, but good metal please.  An Opeth pack would be dreamy.

NIN(ok, not really metal, but sorta close), IM and metallica aren't good? I think you're a bit picky here.

LOL.  I love NIN, but their music is nothing even close to resembling metal.   Metallica has some good metal songs, but Fuel is certainly not one of them.  Now, if they released Master of Puppets, it would be a different story.  smile  I've never been a fan of Iron Maiden (or any of the screechy 80's metal bands for that matter), so I don't get too excited about that.

10069  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Pirates of the burning DS on: January 31, 2008, 06:36:26 PM
90%?  Damn, I'm apparently one of the 10% then, cause I've never even heard of an R4 chip.

 Roll Eyes
10070  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Next two weeks Rock Band DLC on: January 31, 2008, 05:26:10 PM

Quote from: jersoc on January 31, 2008, 05:20:43 PM

mmm, more metal music. after working man, BRING IT ON!

Yeah, but good metal please.  An Opeth pack would be dreamy.
10071  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Calling All Market Watchers: Refi Now or Wait a little longer? on: January 31, 2008, 03:27:18 PM
I'm in the exact same boat.  Refi'd out of an interest only in August (long story as to why I was in that to begin with) into a 30-year at 6.625.  Talked to a couple guys yesterday who offered 5.5% on a 30 year, and it's definitely tempting.  It would take me about 5 years just to recoup the costs of the last 2 refi's, but would save me another 40K over the long haul.  Since we've decided to stay in this house for good, I'm thinking it might be time.

None of the lenders I talked to seemed very optimistic about the rate dropping much further, but that could also just be a pitch to get me to do it now.
10072  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Next two weeks Rock Band DLC on: January 31, 2008, 03:20:04 PM
Love NIN, so those are a must buy.  Might pick up the thrash stuff too.
10073  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Composer Yasunori Mitsuda interview on: January 30, 2008, 07:57:59 PM

Quote from: Calvin on January 30, 2008, 06:46:19 PM

I am intrigued about this FFIX piano strings thing-going to look for it.

I picked up most of my FF soundtracks off E-bay.  Places like Amazon will charge upwards of $50 for the CD's, whereas you can typically get them off E-bay for under $20.  Haven't seen them on any DL services, but I haven't look particularly hard.

Just FYI, there's either piano or full orchestra arrangement CD's for many of the FF sountracks.  The favorites from my collection would be (link goes to more info on each):

FF IV - Celtic Moon
Final Fantasy VI piano collection
Final Fantasy VII piano collection
FF VII Reunion Tracks - Includes an awesome orchestral arrangement of "One Winged Angel"
FF VIII piano collection
FF VIII - Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec - Orchestral arrangement of FF VIII tracks.  One of my favorites.
FF IX Piano Collections
FFX Piano Collection - Probably the weakest of all the piano versions, imo.
FF Potion - Includes some vocal, some orchestral, even some guitar versions of tracks from FF 1 to FF IX.  There's 2 volumes, but Potion 1 is far, far better than Potion 2.
-  The FF Tactics Advance soundtrack comes with 2 discs.  One is the original sound files from the GBA game, the second is a full orchestral version, which is very well done.

So...there's a bunch of info you probably don't need.  smile
10074  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My namesake is getting his own show on: January 30, 2008, 05:43:06 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on January 30, 2008, 04:32:18 PM

Reading several of Goodkind's truly reprehensible interviews has well and good turned me off of his series forever

That's a problem as well.  Goodkind is a pompous a-hole of the highest order, and it's tough for me to overlook that as I'm reading his stuff.
10075  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lost Odyssey - new trailer and impressions on: January 30, 2008, 03:10:04 PM
Thought this preview was very interesting, and presented some info I hadn't heard before.  Some of it was a little concerning, like:

Quote
Encounters are random and frequent, in the manner of classic Final Fantasy, but can be as brutally challenging as what you might encounter in a Shin Megami Tensei game. Once you're beyond the game's first few hours, most areas have one or two possible random encounters that can easily one-shot your entire party.

I really enjoyed the SMT games, but the brutal difficulty and ridiculous encounter rate ultimately made me quit.  Since I tend to enjoy games more for story and characters rather than a huge challenge, I prefer my games to lean more towards too easy than too hard.   Not a deal-breaker, but certainly an area of concern.

Quote
The puzzles in Lost Odyssey are fairly typical for RPGs but not especially well-designed, and sometimes have solutions that don't really make a whole lot of sense. The rigorous combat that's easy to relish when you're making a straightforward trip through the dungeon begins to feel like a punishment then.

Looks like I'll be dropping the extra $20 for the guide, as I hate obscure puzzles.  Regarding the short stories (Eddie linked to one above):

Quote
The stories are written powerfully and can be incredibly moving, usually evoking deep sadness. If you're a gamer who turns to games to escape real-life difficulties, Lost Odyssey may be too much for you. It's a bleak and frank title about the frailty of human nature in a way that no one has any reason to expect a video game to be.

Sounds like these stories will be a fantastic touch, and I'm really looking forward to reading them.   They also make no mention of any technical issues, which is encouraging.  I would think that if the load times were truly horrible, they would have made at least some mention of it.

10076  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My namesake is getting his own show on: January 30, 2008, 12:40:30 PM

Quote from: Purge on January 30, 2008, 12:01:36 PM

Gratch, have you read the rest of them? I thought you stopped at 6?

I read the first 8 (up through Naked Empire).  Really liked them through Soul of the Fire, but the series took a pretty awful turn after that.  I've read the synopsis for the remaining books, but have had zero interest in actually slogging through them.
10077  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / My namesake is getting his own show on: January 30, 2008, 03:36:42 AM
Apparently, Sam Raimi is doing a "Sword of Truth" TV series for ABC.

I'm a bit conflicted, as I loved the first 5 books in the series.  Unfortunately, the series it went careening on a cliff in a huge ball of flame, and landed as a horrid, steaming pile of shite for the rest of the books.  Maybe they'll have the good sense to either wrap up the TV series or get take the story in a different direction than the mess Goodkind created in the latter volumes.

On the plus side, we'll finally get to see "Grrrrrratttttch Luuuuuurrrrrgggg Rrrrrrrriiiiiiccchhhhharddddd" in living color.
10078  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: January 30, 2008, 03:23:51 AM
10079  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Are Coheed & Cambria any good? on: January 30, 2008, 03:00:45 AM

Quote from: warning on January 29, 2008, 10:42:49 PM

If I could somehow edit out the singer's awful voice I think I might like them.

That about sums up my feeling on them too.  Good music, horrific singer.
10080  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lost Odyssey - new trailer and impressions on: January 30, 2008, 02:59:10 AM

Quote from: EddieA on January 30, 2008, 01:15:41 AM

GameTrailers has a nice new video preview here.  Also, there are some videos of the short stories featured in the game posted on Youtube.  I read one of them, and it was very well done.  I'm not sure if any of them contain spoilers, but the one I read didn't - Little Liar.

Unlike Mistwalker's previous game (Blue Dragon), every preview I see for Lost Odyssey just gets me more and more excited.  It looks to be combining elements from two of my favorite RPGS:  with an world that looks very much like FFXII, and a combat system reminiscent of Shadow Hearts.  That short story is a very nice touch as well.

Do want!!   drool drool
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