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10801  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / advent children impressions on: May 01, 2006, 05:29:27 PM
I won't go into all my impressions, as I wrote damn near a thesis on it when I was the Japanese version.  In short, I really enjoyed it but realize that it definately had it's strengths (graphics, fight choreography) and weaknesses (story and character development).  I was a bit surprised by Mrs. Gratch's reaction.  She had watched me play some of the game, but has never actually played a FF game (or any console game, for that matter).  She really enjoyed it, and actually watched it a second time while I was at work on Saturday.  She made the comment that she really liked the main characters (Cloud, Tifa, & Kadaj), but everyone else felt tacked on just for the sake of giving them face time.  I tend to agree.

I'm a bit surprised that people seemed to expect anything other than 90 minutes of blatant fan service from this movie.
10802  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Lacuna Coil / Rob Zombie Concert on: April 29, 2006, 03:13:35 PM
Good to see Zombie's cleaned up his live act somewhat.  I saw White Zombie back in the day (1994 or 95), and it was absolutely one of the worst live performances I have ever seen.  It was nothing more than a massive wall of jumbled sound for an hour.  Maybe it was just the venue, but we literally could not tell what song they were playing during most of the show.    I'd be interested to see him now and see how he's improved.  

Speaking of concerts, I'm still debating on getting Ministry/Rev Co tickets.  I've never been a big Rev Co fan, but I heard Ministry puts on a pretty decent show.  Anyone seen them?
10803  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 7/30) on: April 28, 2006, 04:32:53 PM
+1 right back at Beer Goggles
10804  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / DVD Tuesday - 04/25/06 on: April 26, 2006, 12:57:50 PM
Quote from: "depward"
Went to five different places looking for Advent Children - sold out at every one.  "Pre-orders only" at Gamestore, sold out at BB and CC.

So went to Wal-Mart and picked it up along with it being packaged with FF - Spirits Within for only $20.  Pretty cool!

All our BB & CC stores here were sold out too.  Glad to see that it isn't completely tanking.  smile  That Walmart must have been a regional promo.  Picked mine up at Walmart yesterday, and there was no packaging with Spirits Within.
10805  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / DVD Tuesday - 04/25/06 on: April 25, 2006, 05:25:25 PM
Quote from: "Zarkon"
Do we even have to ask?

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, biatch!

+a lot
10806  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FF7 Advent Children English videos on: April 17, 2006, 12:54:15 PM
Quote from: "unbreakable"
Quote from: "Gratch"
As long as you can suspend disbelief (basic laws of physics apparently do not exist in Midgar)

You did realize that swinging a 6'x1', 500-pound sharpened slab of metal is nigh impossible, right?

I will not mention that they are also casting magic spells, since that issue is insignificant compared to the size of the sword.

I meant besides all the stuff we saw/knew about from the game (giant swords, magic, etc.).  I'm talking people jumping straight up 10 story buildings, falling from 1,000 feet and landing on their feet, flipping a motorcycle 180 degrees at full speed then riding backwards while fending off two attackers with swords in both hands.  That type of stuff.
10807  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FF7 Advent Children English videos on: April 17, 2006, 04:08:26 AM
Quote from: "weleavefossils"
yeah I just would be happy to see the movie finally..but I'm not to excited.  It just seems like the length of the movie, and the basis of the story is just a "thought you might like to see these characters again."

Don't take me wrong, I loved ff7, but i'm sure it should of been left at that.

Having seen the Japanese version, I can vouch that it is definately worth seeing.  The story is a bit thin, but FFVII:  AC is one of - if not the most - visually stunning pieces of work I have ever seen.   This includes games, movies, TV...anything.  As long as you can suspend disbelief (basic laws of physics apparently do not exist in Midgar), it is a wonderful, amazing ride.

Oh, and you get to see all the old characters again.  smile
10808  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FF7 Advent Children English videos on: April 17, 2006, 02:23:33 AM
Quote from: "GGMark"
over seas I believe they got a whole specialedition set, which I wish we would have gotten here.  had like a film cell, a figure, a shirt, a soundtrack...frown

From what I understand, it's also around $300.
10809  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: April 16, 2006, 04:15:42 PM

10810  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FF7 Advent Children English videos on: April 16, 2006, 04:09:59 PM
Man, that site is ssssssslllllllooooooooowwwwwww.  DL at about 18kb/s right now. frown
10811  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Gal Civ II & Guild Wars for sale (plus freebies) on: April 15, 2006, 02:45:20 AM
bump.  Guild wars added and freebies updated.
10812  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xenosaga Ep. 3 coming to NA on: April 14, 2006, 01:12:15 AM
I really wish I could say I'm excited, but I'm just...not.  Xenosaga I is still one of my top 10 favorite games, but the second one was just so bland and boring that I could never get through it.  Tried twice, and was bored to tears after 10'ish hours.  Hopefully they spice this one up a bit, or it'll be a pass for me.  frown
10813  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Gal Civ II & Guild Wars for sale (plus freebies) on: April 09, 2006, 07:57:08 PM
EDIT: Civ IV sold, GW and new freebies added

Gal Civ II - $25.00 shipped *SOLD*
- Just your basic boxed version, but all the Special Edition content is downloadable on their site for free. Manual and box in perfect condition.

Guild Wars - $24.00 shipped
- Played it for a grand total of about 3 hours before realizing that MMORPG's just simply aren't my thing. Box, manual, and discs all in perfect condition.

As a bonus, I'll throw in whichever one of these freebies you want (CD only on all):

- Disciples II (includes both expansions)
- Age of Mythology
- Worms: Armageddon
- Fallout 1 & 2
- Age of Empires II
- Age of Wonders I

- Starcraft: Brood Wars
- HOMM III: Armageddon's Blade
10814  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Broadband on: April 08, 2006, 04:34:20 AM
First night with broadband and you're posting here instead of downloading pr0n?  What the hell is wrong with you???
10815  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Culdcept & new Tri-Ace RPG for Xbox 360 on: April 06, 2006, 12:59:15 PM
Quote from: "Nth Power"
I thought it was a great game on the PS2, but sometimes I had a feeling the AI was cheating a bit.

That's what ultimately made me quit playing.  It was a great concept and a lot of fun, but I always felt like it was cheating.  The AI would always get just the right roll to avoid your 'power' spots, while you always seemed to land on theirs.  Aggravating.
10816  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [GC] How is Baten Kaitos? on: April 06, 2006, 12:54:18 PM
I really enjoyed Baten Kaitos.  The artwork was jaw-droppingly beautiful, I enjoyed the card battle mechanic, the story and characters were decent, and the music was very well done.

But - and this is a big but - having a timer on card selection really ended up killing the game for me.  When you get further on in the game, you only have 1-2 seconds to choose which card to play.  It constantly felt like I was scrambling just to find cards and often losing battles simply because I couldn't select the correct card in time.  It was a huge frustration, and ultimately made me quit playing.  I think that if they had removed that card timer, BK would be one of my favorites.  As it stands, it was a good game marred by a terrible and completely aggravating design choice.

EDIT:  I also thought the voice acting is possibly the worst I've ever heard in a game.  Thankfully, you can turn the voices off.
10817  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / So I'm going to CTIA on Friday... any picture/info requests? on: April 05, 2006, 02:16:04 AM
Um, what is CTIA?
10818  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FFVII: Ok. When's it get good? on: April 02, 2006, 07:40:26 PM
Generally, I've noticed that those who played the FF series before 7 tend to dislike FF 7-10 much more than those of us who were first introduced to the series at 7.  They tend to view 7 as a huge downturn for the series that it never recovered from.

I also think the reverse is true as well.  As someone who started with 7, I can't really get into the older FF games, no matter how much I try.  I've played all the ones that have been released, and been either bored or frustrated within 8-10 hours.

Not saying either opinion has more merit than the other, just an observation.
10819  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FFVII: Ok. When's it get good? on: April 02, 2006, 02:12:36 PM
One other thing to keep in mind when reading reviews/feedback for FFVII.  For many of us, FFVII was out first exposure to the Final Fantasy series.  For some of us, it was our first exposure to the entire RPG genre.  Before FFVII, I had no idea games could be more than sports or mindless shoot-em-up's.  FFVII opened my eyes to a whole new world of gaming, which has been a significant source of enjoyment ever since.   So, many of us look back on FFVII through some seriously rose-colored glasses.

FWIW, I'd agree that the game gets significantly better once you leave Midgar.
10820  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / A Bob Ross video game is in the works on: April 02, 2006, 07:15:59 AM
Oh hell yes.  This is the system seller for me.

/Just kidding
//Sort of
///Bob Ross is God
10821  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FFVII: Ok. When's it get good? on: April 02, 2006, 07:14:53 AM
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
9 is by far the worst of the series.


FFX-2 notwithstanding (I refuse to count it as a real FF game), I'd probably put 8 as the worst.  While I loved the graphics, charcters, & music, the Draw system was a complete mess.  Made every battle drag on twice as long as it should have, and just killed any momentum the game had.

I really enjoyed IX (Vivi is still one of my favorite FF characters), and the general consensus on it has always been very positive.  :shrug:  To each their own, I suppose.
10822  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FFVII: Ok. When's it get good? on: April 02, 2006, 07:10:41 AM
Quote from: "warning"
When's it get good?

In about 1998.

Seriously it was landmark stuff back then and I played it through once and partway through two other times.  I loved fiddling with the materia system.

+1.  While it was incredible for its' time, everything about it has been done better in games since.   I still love FFVII (played through it 3 times, and am about halfway through a fourth), but most of the appeal is nostalgia, rather than how good the game actually is.
10823  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Revolution Specs on IGN - Less Powerful than the Xbox 1 on: March 30, 2006, 02:00:43 PM
Quote from: "Hetz"
I'll tell you what guys, most people are going to take one look at that and LAUGH.

Apparently most people=Hetz.  Since getting over the initial 'WTF', the response I've perceived from the industry is that people are very intrigued by it and can't wait to see what they can do with it.

Some dork swinging a remote control in the air on a regular TV screen vs a gorgeous HDTV experience with Metal Gear Solid for the PS3, Gears of War for the XBox 360 or Madden on both systems.

Y'know, there are plenty of us who could give two shits less about MGS &  Gears of War - no matter how pretty they are.  If Nintendo can deliver a unique and fun game experience, I'm all over the new system.  Graphics are the absolute least of my concerns.

Hell, the most fun I've had with a game in years has been Guitar Hero -  which is all ugly graphics and a goofy controller.
10824  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Just Finished: The Best Game from 1998 on: March 29, 2006, 01:34:35 PM
Quote from: "CeeKay"
You know, Shadow Hearts really stalled out for me.  I haven't touched it in 2 weeks.

Which SH are you playing?
10825  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Just Finished: The Best Game from 1998 on: March 27, 2006, 09:17:27 PM
Since you're on a retro kick, here' s a few other PS1 games you may want to check out:

-  Final Fantasy IX
-  Chrono Cross (seconded).  If nothing else, it has one of the best soundtracks in gaming history
-  Vagrant Story
-  Vandal Hearts
-  Xenogears
-  Final Fantasy Tactics

Also, while I would never try to talk anyone out of playing FF VII (my all-time favorite game), I would start on Shadow Hearts:  Covenant while the story and characters from the first game are fresh in your mind.  I played them back to back, and I think SH:  C would have lost much of the emotional impact if I had forgotten some of the first game's details.
10826  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / DQ8 - Dark Ruins boss - Seriously, WTF? on: March 27, 2006, 05:34:35 PM
Quote from: "kathode"
Multiheal would definitely help, but I am absolutely sick of leveling up at this point.  

I quit at this exact same point, for this exact same reason.  I got burned out on levelling, and doing so for another 3-4 hours just to get my characters to the required levels to beat this boss made me throw in the towel.  Add the fact that I realized about 12 hours in that I had built my characters completely wrong, and I just got rid of the game.
10827  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PS2] FFXII Pics (56K warning) on: March 26, 2006, 08:31:34 PM
Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
I really want to see a next gen FF with graphics as good as the cinemas.   That'll be sweet.  As for this one, I'll wait for a few reviews before I leap.

FWIW, the reviews from the Japanese press have been very positive.  A perfect 10 out of 10 from Famitsu (which has only happened 5 times in the history of the publication, iirc), and a couple other positive reviews here.  I wasn't terribly excited about FF XII (effeminate lead characters, an MMORPG feel, etc.), but all the positive feedback is starting to make me look forward to it.
10828  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Starcraft : Ghost cancelled on: March 25, 2006, 03:10:11 AM
Does this actually surprise anyone?
10829  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Is the 360 worth buying? on: March 23, 2006, 11:47:19 PM
Based on the titles currently available, I'd say no.  Unless you're dead set on one of the exclusives, I don't know that it would be worth the purchase.  Ask me again after the library has had a year or so to grow, and my answer may change.
10830  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What RPG should I invest time in next? on: March 20, 2006, 01:28:53 AM
Quote from: "Destructor"
Out of the entire list though, I've only played Star Ocean. If you like the real time combat, and want to put the 30-40 hours or so needed to finish it, I think you'll love it. Great RPG with a great story.

I'll be the dissenting vote and say that I thought Star Ocean 3 was absolutely terrible.  The voice work, the graphics, the combat, the story...I hated nearly everything about it.  YMMV, of course.

With the list above, I'd go with Digital Devil Saga.  If you can get past the insane random encounter rate, they are very good games.
10831  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts: From the New World thread of ALL THREADS on: March 17, 2006, 11:28:26 PM
I'm done with this game.  After 2 brilliant games, this was just a huge, huge dissapointment.  The gameplay is still very solid, but the story and characters are just completely horrible.   There is simply no plot, no character development, and no compelling reason to keep playing.   Random goofiness only gets you so far, and I've hit my limit.

I will say that it would probably be enjoyable to someone who didn't play the first two games.  Holding it up to those, however, it doesn't begin to compare.  What a shame.  frown
10832  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 Intro and Commercial on: March 17, 2006, 02:16:00 PM
While I hate the 'single player MMORPG' vibe they're shooting for, all the positive impressions have me excited again for FFXII.  I'm just hoping the full game is better than the completely underwhelming demo that came with DQ VIII.  I played that demo for a grand total of 10 minutes before being bored to tears.  Of course, FF is all about story and characters, which weren't really represented in the demo.
10833  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Is 3/20 one of the best videogame release dates in history? on: March 17, 2006, 02:10:12 PM
I don't have any of the systems for those games, which lessens my enthusiasm somewhat.  I am excited to play Morrowind if I ever get a 360, but that will be a long time from now, if ever.
10834  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Beyond Good & Evil 2 rumors on: March 15, 2006, 05:45:33 PM
That news just made my day.  Hopefully it's not just a rumor and the game sees the light of day.
10835  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Sunday Skin - 3/12/06 on: March 12, 2006, 11:57:50 PM
Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"

Wow, who is she?
10836  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts: From the New World thread of ALL THREADS on: March 12, 2006, 11:51:16 PM
Quote from: "depward"
Also, I've just noticed so far that there have been an absurd amount of "talk to one person, he/she directs you to talk to another, he/she directs you to talk to another" sort of quests.  Maybe they were present in Covenant, but that really breaks up the flow of gamplay for me (Alcatraz being a major example of this).

I came about *this* close to quitting for good during that damn Alcatraz bit.   That whole level was just very poorly done.

also, thanks to gratch for the very good bitching Smile...

I have to admit that it really pains me to do so.  As many of you know, SH:  Covenant is in my top 3 games of this console generation, so I really wanted to like SH3.   Maybe I just had my expectations set too high (I tried not to.  Honest!), but everything about SH3 just screams major dissapointment.

I just got to Roswell, so I'll at least play through the end of this level.  If it doesn't pick up significantly by then, I think I'll be done.  frown
10837  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts: From the New World thread of ALL THREADS on: March 12, 2006, 05:25:55 PM
I'm now about 10 hours in, and I honestly doubt I'm going to finish this game.  While there are many good things about it, there are a few things that are keeping me from really enjoying it:

1.  Johny Garland.  I said it earlier, but this kid is the most underwhelming, un-badass, un-threatning main character I've ever seen.  Hello Kitty looks positively evil next to Johnny 'Sunshine & Rainbows' Garland.  Having Johnny as the lead character has ruined most of the game's appeal to me.  He is just simply a forgettable, generic lead character.  Which brings me to the next problem...

2.  Both of the first two games, while very funny, were also very dark and dealt with very mature subject matter.  They seemed to have a change of heart this time around, and aim this game directly at the pre-teen market.  Sure, the goofiness is still there (and I still think Frank is a great character), but there is absolutely nothing sinister or remotely threatening to balance it out.  

3.  The story just flat-out sucks so far.  In previous SH games, you visited a ton of real-world locations, but they were all in context of the story.  There was always a reason why you would be there.  In this game, it seems like they decided on all the locations they wanted to include first ('Oooh, let's have them visit Roswell, and the Grand Canyon, and Chicago.  Gamers would love that!"), then tried to build a story around these locations.  Simply put, it didn't work.  It feels like every new location is just a stupid goose chase with no purpose except moving you on to the next place.  Also, the person I'm assuming is main villain has been seen for a grand total of about 5 minutes in the 10 hours I've played.  I have no idea who she is, why she's evil, what her plot is, or anything else.  Hell, the only reason I think she's the badguy is because her eyes glowed red and she killed some cops at the beginning of the game.  There is absolutely no sense of drama, excitement, or tension, and the story is - quite frankly - incredibly dull.

4.  I still think the Stellar Chart system is a great idea.  Problem is, outside of the odd healing spell and boss fights, there is never a single reason to use any spells!  I literally have gone through entire levels without ever using Stellar Magic until the boss fight.  Every enemy can be defeated by simply using physical combo attacks, so there is really no reason to have the extensive magic system.  Although with how the pacing has gone so far, I'm sure I'll suddenly reach a point where I will have to use magic every turn.  

My gut feeling is that they simply tried to cram too much into this game without taking the time to tie it all together.  Everything about it feels disjointed and half-baked, especially the stories.  I could completely care less about the characters, which is something that has never happened in a Shadow Hearts game before.  I might give it a couple more hours, but unless it gets significantly better, SH:  FtNW will be on the trading block.  frown
10838  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts: From the New World thread of ALL THREADS on: March 09, 2006, 03:44:35 AM
Quick impressions after about 2 hours:

Overall, I'm very impressed.  The production values are high, and the off-beat feel of the series is definately still intact.  The voice-over work is surprisingly good, and the character designs are fantastic.  They've made a few tweaks to the battle system, but it's pretty much the same.  The magic system is now based on 'Stellars', which are essentially runes that you place in different slots on a chart (based on the Zodiac symbols).  I haven't messed around with it much, but it seems like there could be a great deal of customization with this system.  You can adjust and power-up the different slots through the two gay bikers (these guys bother some people, but I think they're pretty damn funny), which allow you to equip more runes, equip higher level runes, change the slot type (each slot is designated as an attack, defense, or elemental slot, and you can only equip the corresponding runes), and lower the MP cost for spells.  Pretty cool stuff, and I can't wait to get into it further.

The story moves pretty slow, and after I couple hours, I'm not exactly sure what the point is.  There doesn't seem to be an overarching villain/peril/uber-baddie, so I'm hoping it picks up a bit.  However, it is well told, and the dialog is very funny.   A couple minor gripes:

1.  The music is pretty poor.  Granted, the last two games set an incredibly high standard, but a few of the songs they use are just grating.  on the ears.  I knew this going in (I've got the soundrack), but it's still very dissapointing.

2.  I just can't get into Johnny as the main character.  This has been one of my main concern since the game details were announced.  Again, he's some some awfully tough shoes to fill, since Yuri was one of my favorite game characters of all time.  Johnny just seems like, well, a little wimp.  He's about as un-badass as you can get.   However, Frank the Brazillian Ninja makes up for anything Johnny lacks.  Seriously funny stuff.

3.  Didn't we learned from FFVIII that unskippable summon animations are a bad thing?  Apparently not.  Not that I really mind seeing Shania strip every time she transforms, but it gets a little old.

These are the only gripes I have so far, and they're really pretty minor.  For me, stepping back into a SH game is like putting on a comfy pair of shoes.  Nothing mind-blowing, but you know you'll enjoy them.  OK, that analogy sucked, but maybe you get my meaning.  smile More impressions to come after a few more hours...
10839  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts: From the New World thread of ALL THREADS on: March 08, 2006, 01:44:19 PM
This uneven storytelling isn't helped at all by the lackluster voice acting either.

This is dissapointing.  I thought the amazing voice work in SH:  C was one of the games huge strong points.  

I'm hoping it actually shows up today.  I didn't get the standard pre-order call from Gamestop, so I wonder if they're not getting it until tomorrow.  frown
10840  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What'd You Name Your Band? on: March 07, 2006, 11:40:20 PM
The Grumpy Crampers
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