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11321  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga Impressions! (pg. 2) on: July 16, 2005, 05:36:48 PM
SoA = Skies of Arcadia?  Funny you should mention that.

When I returned it last night, the guy at Gamestop was bemoaning the fact that I didn't appreciate what a great game DDS was.  I told him I'm adding it to a rare list of mine:  Games that were almost perfect, but had one critical design flaw that ruined what could have been an amazing game.  Skies of Arcadia is the only other game on that list.  frown
11322  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Bought NCAA 06... Impressions on: July 16, 2005, 02:23:05 PM
This is the first NCAA game I've played, and I was pretty impressed.  I can only compare it to the NFL 2K series, but the controls seemed a more responsive, the player animations smoother, and the AI a bit smarter.  My only major gripe so far is the seemingly very high turnover rate.  I fumbled the ball 4 times in one game, and was picked off twice on passes that bounced off at least 2 people before getting picked.  Seems a bit unrealistic.

I've always played the NFL games, but there's just something completely different when you're playing in a digital version of the stadium you spend every weekend at during the fall.   smile
11323  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga Impressions! (pg. 2) on: July 16, 2005, 02:16:31 PM
Well, I'm done with DDS.  As much as I really, really, really wanted to like it, I just could not stand that encounter rate.  About the time I had to backtrack through the Maribel base again, I had had enough.

I would still highly recommend it, but only to those who have a boatload of patience.  The art style, music, and story are all absolutely stellar, but the encounter rate ruins what was otherwise a fantastic game.  Too bad, really.  frown
11324  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Need some console advice on: July 15, 2005, 12:46:33 PM
I'll just echo what's been said.  

Sports, racing, action = X-Box
RPG, platformer = PS2

Keep in mind that console RPG and PC RPG are usually very different animals.  While I really enjoy both, I've known many PC gamers who despise most console RPG's, and vice versa.

Let us know which system you get and you'll get plenty of game suggestions.  Many of which are some of the lesser known gems that you might otherwise miss.  smile
11325  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / How is LotR for GBA? on: July 14, 2005, 12:09:54 AM
These reviews can tell you better than I ever could.  A 45% overall rating is a pretty good indicator.   FWIW, I thought the TTT GBA game was a pretty fun hack-n-slash, but the FotR game was just an absolute mess.
11326  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / a true TRAGEDY *NSFW* on: July 13, 2005, 11:50:03 PM
At the risk of sounding like a complete pig, the only thought that came to mind is:

Wow, great rack.
11327  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / How is LotR for GBA? on: July 13, 2005, 11:48:11 PM
Make sure you stay far, far away from the FotR game.  One of the absolute worst games I've ever played on any platform.
11328  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga Impressions! (pg. 2) on: July 12, 2005, 10:22:04 PM
Quote from: "EddieA"
Gratch - What level are your characters?  I rarely get ambushed, and the only reason I could guess you're getting ambushed so often is if you're at a low level compared to the enemies.  I think I was about level 20 when I finished the Citadel.

Serph is level 22, Heat and Argilla are 20.  They all just got to the point where they can equip 8 skills.  

Maybe I'm just unlucky.  frown
11329  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga Impressions! (pg. 2) on: July 12, 2005, 01:52:46 PM
Finally got through the Citadel (thanks for the Void Expel tip), and the story sequence was fantastic.  The small parts of the story that are revealed are almost balancing out the frustration so far.  We'll see how the next level goes.

One question:  Is there a stat or spell that will lessen the chances of my party getting "Ambushed - No time to transform"?  This happens on at lease 25 - 30% of my battles, and I have to waste a turn getting everybody to demon form.  When combined with an enemy that attacks first, it's pretty much an instant death.  Anything I can do to lessen the chances of it happening?
11330  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga Impressions! (pg. 2) on: July 11, 2005, 03:46:34 PM
Quote from: "Big Jake"
Any battle is just a lucky chance away from you being slaughtered.  

I think this is the main problem I have with the game so far. I played a couple more hours after I posted yesterday and damn near threw my controller through the screen.  I got transferred directly to the Solid’s citadel after the previous level, with no chance to heal, save, or visit a vendor.  The first 6 battles I encountered, I was ‘ambushed’, the enemy attacked first, and attacked by enemies that cast Poison Dart.  So not only did I barely escape the battle alive, I had to expend my meager supply of Dis-Poisons within the first 15 minutes in the dungeon.  Since status effects stay with you post-battle (another MAJOR gripe for me), and I didn’t have any spells that would get rid of poison, I was basically screwed.  I then slogged through the dungeon for nearly an hour (see my earlier post about save points) before finding any sort of save or restore point.  I’m fairly sure I’m hosed for the rest of the game, as I was forced to use almost all my items just to stay alive.

As much as I really want to like this game, it’s quickly becoming an exercise in frustration.  There are so many good aspects that are being overshadowed by the inconsistencies in the combat and encounter rate.  I have until Friday to return it, so I’ll play it through this week and see how it goes.  If it continues to be this frustrating, it’ll be back on the shelf Friday afternoon.  frown
11331  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga Impressions! (pg. 2) on: July 11, 2005, 01:19:45 AM
Live, long dead thread.  I command thee...LIVE!!  slywink

I put about 8 hours into SMT:  Nocturne, but didn't really like the whole demon recuiting game mechanic.  So I was hesitant to pick up DDS.  My Gamestop finally in a used copy of DDS on Friday, so I picked it up.  I've put in about 6 hours so far, and overall I really like it.  My one major gripe so far: could they possibly have set the encouter rate any f**king higher?!  Honestly, there are parts of the game where the encounter rate is simply ridiculous and starts to suck the fun out of what is otherwise a great game.  Fight a battle, take 3 steps, fight another battle, take 3 steps, rinse, repeat.  There are really no battles that you can just cruise through either (unless you're repeating previously cleared levels and far outlevel the enemies).  You have to stay on your toes or you'll find yourself quickly getting trounced by the horde of enemies.  I've also noticed that the save point system is really hit & miss.  The dungeons are huge, and sometimes you'll go ridiculously long stretches with no save or restore points.  Other times you'll have points right around the corner from each other.  It all seems very arbitrary.  They do a good job of letting you save before boss battles, but some of the dungeons are really tough to get through.

That being said, I really like the graphic style and the story (small bits that there are) is simply superb.  The characters are likeable and engaging, and the wide range of reactions to their situation makes things very interesting.  I'm glad to hear that DDS2 will be more story based, because that really is the strong point of this game.  I'd recommend it, but it certainly does take some patience to really get in to.
11332  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / what are you looking forward to? on: July 08, 2005, 06:31:36 PM
Wish there was more on my list, but for now its:

-  Burnout Revenge
-  Shadow of the Colossus
-  Dragon Quest VII (I'm cautiously anticipating this one.  I haven't liked any of the other Dragon Quest games, so I'll definately check out reviews)
-  Magna Carta
-  Final Fantasy XII
11333  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana Impressies on: July 06, 2005, 11:31:06 AM
Quote from: "RamPanther"
<Pointing finger accusingly> I WARNED you Gratch, but wouldn't listen.  Now you're a chump like the rest of us.

Yeah, yeah...I know.  At least they gave me $30 trade-in credit for it.
11334  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana Impressies on: July 05, 2005, 05:45:58 AM
Got through a couple hours today, and I am definately less than impressed. While I certainly dig the art style (in towns, not the world map), the been- there-done-that storyline and bland battle system are really making it tough to keep playing. The synthesis aspect is interesting, but I don't know that it will be enough to keep it going. I'll give it a couple more hours and hopefully it grabs me, but I'm not holding out much hope at this point.
11335  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / From the Front Page - Games ruined when nearly perfect! on: July 02, 2005, 09:36:24 PM
For me, Half Life 2 was anytime you had to get in a damn vehicle.  I couldn't control those things worth a crap, and it brought the game to a grinding halt every time one of those sections came up.
11336  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana Impressies on: July 01, 2005, 02:33:25 PM
Well, I wasn't crazy about Forza (racing games in which you're completely screwed if you make one tiny mistake aren't my idea of fun.  Burnout-style games are more my type.), so I'm going to swap it for Altilier Iris this afternoon.  Should have some impressions tonight.
11337  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / GameSpot hands-on preview of Fable for PC on: June 30, 2005, 10:42:12 PM
I really enjoyed the X-Box version.  As long as you don't buy into the hype (most of which came from Moloneaux himself), and take it for what it is - a basic hack-n-slash with an interesting social system - it is a really entertaining game.  The ending is horrid, but I'm used to that in games nowadays.
11338  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / recommend good playstation 1 games on: June 30, 2005, 12:56:50 PM
99% of my favorite PS1 games were RPG's, but there were a few other gems:

-  Tenchu:  Stealth Assassins
-  Skullmonkeys
-  Rally Cross
-  Einhander
11339  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana Impressies on: June 30, 2005, 11:38:48 AM
Hmmm, I was debating between this or Forza.  I think I'll go with Forza and wait for a price drop on this one.
11340  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Are you in debt? on: June 29, 2005, 08:09:40 PM
Currently just CC debt and the mortgage, but I hope to have all the CC debt taken care of by September.  It would have been even sooner if not for all the damn car repairs.

We paid off Mrs. Gratch's car in May and got the title last week.  It's been a great car and hasn't needed many major repairs.  Since we got the title, however, we have had to replace the battery, the serpentine belt, 2 of the belt pulleys, 2 tires, and the car's computer.  I swear to God these things are pre-programmed to break down right when you pay for them. :evil:
11341  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Kong is coming... on: June 28, 2005, 11:34:52 AM
Quote from: "gameoverman"
Trailer 20+mb

Looks like fun, but nowhere near what I was hoping for.  Too much Jurassic Park in it for my taste.

My thoughts exactly.  My enthusiasm for KK dropped quite a few notches after seeing that trailer.
11342  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / FS/FT: Psychonauts for X-Box on: June 28, 2005, 03:38:32 AM
If nobody comes in with Forza (highest on the priority list), I'll take you up on that Dr. Jones.   Thanks!
11343  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / FS/FT: Psychonauts for X-Box on: June 28, 2005, 02:43:26 AM
Nothing there that caught my eye Mytocles.  Sorry.
11344  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / FS/FT: Psychonauts for X-Box on: June 28, 2005, 02:04:40 AM
Played it for a couple hours before realizing it wasn't really my thing.  Will sell it for $35 shipped, or looking to trade for:

-  Forza Motorsport (X-Box)
-  Destroy All Humans (X-Box)
-  Altilier Iris (long shot, but maybe someone will hate it right off when it's released tomorrow and want to trade)
-  Possibly Sims 2 (PC) (still debating on this one)

Or shoot me another offer for PC, XBox, or PS2.
11345  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Rage Must Sell/Trade!! on: June 27, 2005, 10:25:22 PM
11346  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suggest me some of the best RPGS out there... on: June 27, 2005, 01:40:00 PM
I posted this last week in the similarly titled thread over at OO.  But since there's quite a few different people here, I figure I'd put it up for discussion here as well.  smile

My suggestions:

- Shadow Hearts & Shadow Hearts: Covenant. If you like RPG's at all, you have to try these. Easily my favorite RPG series next to FF.  I actually just bought SH:  C again over the weekend and it's just as good the second time through.  That says a lot, imo.
- Disgaea. The other Nippon Ichi games are fun (Phantom Brave, La Pucelle), but Disgaea is by far the best of the bunch.
- Xenosaga 1. Ep 1 is great, but don't bother with Ep 2.
- .hack series (worth a try now that each volume is $20'ish)
- Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits
- Either of the Shin Megami Tensei games. They're not much for story, but the art style and combat are fun.
- Stella Deus is a decent SRPG, but you need to have a ton of time and patience for it.
- Legaia 2 is decent, especially for $10.

A few I really disliked:
- Stay far away from FF X-2. It's a nothing more than a horrid cash-in by Square.
- Y's: Ark of Napishtim.
- I personally hated everything about Star Ocean III, but I know quite a few people enjoyed it.
- Suikoden III & IV. I loved Suikoden II, but both of the PS2 Suikoden games just sucked. So....boring....
- Grandia II. It's not bad, per se. It is simply the most generic, boring RPG I've ever played. There was nothing unique about it at all.
- Unlimited Saga. I give them props for trying something unique, but it just didn't work at all.

- All the old Squaresoft games are worth trying if you haven't played them before. Any of the Final Fantasy's (VII and IX are personal favorites), Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Vagrant Story, Brave Fencer Musashi, Legend of Mana, etc.
- Final Fantasy Tactics is a must if you're into SRPG's at all.
- I'm not a big fan of Enix developed games, but they're highly recommended. Star Ocean II, Valkyrie Profile, Dragon Warrior, etc.
- Suikoden II
- Legend of Dragoon is a decent, if not spectacular, RPG.
- Vanguard Bandits
- Thousand Arms
- Lunar II

RPG pickings are pretty slim for the X-Box:
- KotOR 1 & II
- Jade Empire (I thought it was pretty 'meh'. Felt like just a KotOR mod to me)
- Sudeki
- Fable (I highly enjoyed both Sudeki and Fable, even though they got trashed in reviews. If you don't play them expecting a deep, involved storyline and realize they're really just basic hack-n-slash, they're both really fun.)

See LE's list, but add Tactics Ogre

There's a few fun hack n slash games that some people consider RPG's as well.
- Baldur's Gate I & II
- D&D Heroes
- Champions of Norrath I & II
- The Bard's Tale
11347  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Essential Xbox games? on: June 27, 2005, 12:50:58 PM
Another vote for Burnout 3, Thief, and Beyond Good & Evil, & KotOR.

I'd also add:

-  Baldurs Gate:  Dark Alliance
-  NBA Street V2
-  Fable (as long as you go in expecting a fun hack-n-slash, not an 'epic' RPG)
-  Sudeki (see Fable)
-  Star Wars:  Republic Commando
11348  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Shadow Hearts 3 characters revealed on: June 25, 2005, 04:08:02 PM
The magic system looks interesting, but every time I see a new character, I cringe.  A 15-year old lead character?  An 8 year old pirate captain?  C'mon, now.  The Shadow Hearts games have always had a quirky sense of humor, but they've also always had a very dark tone to them as well.  It almost seems like they're trying to go 'cutsey' in this installment, which would be very bad for the series.
11349  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I have purged.......TIME TO BINGE!!!! on: June 25, 2005, 02:11:41 AM
Quote from: "Devil"
Mario is good, but not as good as HSG.

Gratch - I admit that, other than sports, the PSP library is pretty thin but wouldn't you think some of the RPGs and SRPGs that are the strength of the PS2 start making  their way over? Don't know for sure but it seems logical.

I would think it's logical as well, but there seems to be a near complete silence in regards to upcoming RPG's.  Had there been even a shred of information that something was coming, I might have held onto mine.  As it is, there is nothing coming in the next 6 months that I can honestly say I'm interested in.  The only two I even know of are Y's (which was horrid on the PS2) and a 'Tales of' game (which I've never cared for).  Lame.

The promotion of the PSP is really strange so far.  You'd think that with the launch of such a sexy gadget, Sony would really be pushing developers to get something...anything...out for it.   It's almost like they're counting on the multimedia capabilities to carry the device, which I think is pretty risky.   If it's truly a gaming platform, get some damn games out already!
11350  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I have purged.......TIME TO BINGE!!!! on: June 24, 2005, 09:38:40 PM
Quote from: "Devil"
I know I'll probably be the only one in here to say it but I LOVE my PSP.

I'm finally able to play sports games on a handheld.

I'll be the first to admit the PSP is a great system.  Problem is, unless you are really into sports games, there are no great games for it right now.  That's why I sold mine.  If your genre of choice is RPG's, then the future is particularly bleak and you'd be far better off with a GBA or DS.  There are some fantastic RPG and SRPG's for that platform.

I have no doubt that I'll buy a PSP again once the library is stronger and the price drops.  Right now, however, it was a $250 paperweight.
11351  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / I got a new puppy... yikes! on: June 24, 2005, 07:44:53 PM
Awww, what a cutie.  If we ever get another dog, I want a Shepherd.

At least the family you got her from gave a crap about her.  Most of the families in my neighborhood get puppies for their kids, and once they get past the "Oh, they're so cute" stage, they completely abandon them.  There's two dogs down the street that I have never once seen out of their kennel.  Snow, rain, sleet, heat...doesn't matter.  These dogs stay in the kennel no matter what.  I've never seen them walked or seen anyone at the house interact with them other than yelling at them to shut up.  It's really sad.  frown
11352  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Phantom of the Opera on: June 20, 2005, 07:32:28 PM
Quote from: "AgtFox"
I love Phantom of the Opera and the movie by Joel Schumaker (who tortured us with Batman and Robin) was pretty good and pretty true to the original play.  Glad you liked it...I was big into it when it first came out, I did a whole project for it for band in middle school.

I love the play, but that movie version was god-awful.  There were multiple times where the lip-synching didn't come close to matching the singing, and it killed the whole suspension of disbelief.    Technically it was good, but I just couldn't get past the 'singing'.
11353  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PS2 hack-and-slash with AI allies? on: June 20, 2005, 07:28:29 PM
Demon Stone fits the bill, but it's super short (about 7 hours).  Definately a rental, not a purchase.
11354  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Grandia 3 - beautful new shots on: June 19, 2005, 05:34:37 PM
I wasn't a huge fan of the Grandia II, but those screen shots look absolutely amazing.  Might be worth a shot just for the graphics alone.
11355  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What should I be looking forward to for the PSP? on: June 17, 2005, 05:36:58 PM
For me, nothing.  Which is why I sold mine.

I'm sure I'll probably re-buy one in a year or so once the library is stronger (and the price is probably lower).  Right now, however, the lack of any good RPG's combined with the lack of any on the horizon killed my interest in the system.  frown
11356  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Arc The Lad? on: June 15, 2005, 07:11:53 PM
That's too bad.  I really enjoyed Twilight of the Spirits, but it looks like I'll be skipping this one.
11357  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Stoked for Star Ocean on: June 15, 2005, 06:55:40 PM
Ahhhhh, Vagabond posts.  Oh, how I miss them...

11358  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 7/30) on: June 15, 2005, 04:10:43 AM
+1 to stiffler
11359  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / I quit drinking for a few years and... on: June 14, 2005, 06:26:21 PM
I had a couple beers at the Assemblage 23 concert a few weeks ago.   It was the first alcohol of any kind I've had in 12+ years.  Amazing the buzz you can catch from 2 beers when you haven't drank in that long.
11360  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / FS: Neverwinter Nights (SOLD) & Battle for Middle Earth on: June 12, 2005, 10:20:24 PM
I picked up Battle for Middle Earth (CD version) yesterday hoping it would rekindle my lost interest in RTS games. It didn't. Everything's in perfect shape, as I only opened it yesterday and played it a grand total of once. My loss, your gain and all that...

Neverwinter Nights is sold

Looking for $25'ish, or a trade. Not much I'm dying to get right now, but throw out a couple suggestions and something might pique my interest. I've got PC, PS2, and X-Box.

PM me if you're interested. Thanks!
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