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11321  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xenosaga 2 Impressions? on: February 15, 2005, 04:47:07 PM
I'm taking tomorrow off so I can play it all day.  I'll toss up some impressions when I'm done.
11322  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Bard's Tale or Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2? (PS2) on: February 13, 2005, 06:17:11 PM
I preferred BGII over Bard's Tale.  While the humor in Bard's is great, it's quite a bit too long, and the jokes really wear thin towards the end.  There's also some bizzare design decisions in Bard's Tale that annoyed me to no end (i.e.  Fight your way up the tower, kill the boss, then fight your way back down the same tower to get out.  Really annoying.)

BGII is a solid hack-n-slash with a completely uninspired story.  But at least the combat and game design are solid.
11323  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced on: February 11, 2005, 02:58:58 PM
FFTA was by far my favorite game for the GBA.  I probably dumped close to 90 hours into it before I put it away.  The story is pretty weak, but I found the gameplay and individual character development to be fantastic.  My only complaint about it was the stupid law system.  Toward the end of the game, the laws start getting very restrictive and you are usually dealing with more than one at a time.  That got really annoying.

I wasn't too crazy about TO.  Honestly, I don't think I gave it much of a chance (about 6 hours worth), but it didn't grab me at all.  I found the more individualized combat of FFTA to be much more enjoyable.
11324  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Champions: Return to Arms thoughts? on: February 10, 2005, 04:35:11 PM
Same here.  I was considering this one for some mindless hack-n-slash, but I'm definately going to skip it.
11325  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lightsaber in Kotor 2 on: February 10, 2005, 01:26:33 PM
I finished up last night just under 35 hours.  A decent game, but not nearly as good as it's predecessor.  You can tell Obsidian wanted to do a lot more with it, and ended up having to rush it out the door.  It's especially obvious in the odd ending.  Seems like they simply ran out of money and/or time and wrapped it up the best they could.

A fun game all in all, but I don't think I'll be playing through it again as a Dark Sider like I did KotOR 1.
11326  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lightsaber in Kotor 2 on: February 09, 2005, 07:11:06 PM
Makes no sense to me either.  Odd thing is, it's totally random.   Most of the game is fine, even some big battle pass by with no slowdown.   Other times it will get horribly choppy while just walking around a city.  I don't get it.

Mine's a pretty old X-Box, so that may be part of it.  Playing with the component cable on an HDTV shouldn't make a difference, should it?
11327  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lightsaber in Kotor 2 on: February 09, 2005, 04:50:40 PM
I'm dissapointed with the number of technical glitches in the game.  Nothing game ending, but I've had 3 or 4 hard locks, which has never happened to me in any other X-Box game.  I've also run into a ton of slow-down when multiple enemies are on screen, sometimes so bad it's nearly impossible to fight.  Clipping problems galore, audio stutters, enemies shooting through walls, etc., etc.  Definately rough around the edges.

**MINOR SPOILERS**
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My biggest beef so far with KotOR 2 is the lack of an strong villain.  I don't think the story is bad (although I've had a bit of trouble figuring out exactly what my character did in the Mandalorian Wars), but the absence of a strong badguy bugs me.  Especially since Darth Malak was so good in KotOR 1.

I've seen that guy with the mask once, but I'm nearly 33 hours into the game (about to embark on the "Endgame" according to the strategy guide), and have no idea how he's tied into everything other than being very strong with the dark side.   I'm hoping it gets explained, but from what I've heard of the ending, I'm not holding my breath.
11328  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sega Master System on: February 09, 2005, 12:49:46 PM
I keep itching to buy a Sega Genesis so I can play NHL 93, Shadowrun, and Earthworm Jim again.
11329  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Good Super Bowl Commercials on: February 07, 2005, 08:58:31 PM
Dunno who that Godaddy.com chick is, but she was smokin hot in that commercial.  The extended one on their website is even better.
11330  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / your 2005 'sleepers'... on: February 06, 2005, 08:53:34 PM
I'm excited for most of EddieA's list of RPG's.  There will be a couple on that list that I will skip or just rent (most notably the WildARM's games.  never could get into those.), but the bulk of that list will be day one purchases.  Gonna be a good RPG year.  smile

Quote
How was SH:Covenant? I haven't played it yet and saw it for $30 at Fry's today. What didn't you like about it?

It's an absolutely brilliant game.  Battle system, characters, story, music...everything is top notch.  It may be a bit tough to catch on if you missed the first SH, but SH:  C is a great game all around.
11331  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Holy HELL!!!! Star Wars Ep 3 footage on: February 06, 2005, 03:42:00 PM
That just made my day.  Thanks Rob.
11332  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xenosaga 1 on: February 04, 2005, 09:53:58 PM
Quote from: "depward"
New EGM gave it sub-par reviews.  They say it's still heavily focused on cutscenes, character development is based upon the same skill tree, and the game can be beaten in 20 hours.  Looking like more and more of a pass for me lately . . .


And that sounds just about perfect for me.  Between 2 jobs, the wife, and the resolution to get in shape, I have very little gaming time anymore.  If I get to play for 45 minutes, that's a marathon session.  I find that when I only get to play for short sessions, I can't maintain my attention on a long (40+ hour) game.  Something around the 20-25 hour mark is usually right about the time I start losing interest in most games.  My last 3 have been Paper Mario 2 (15 hours), KotOR 2 (23 hours) and Baten Kaitos (23 hours).  If any of those games had ended around the 25 hour mark, it would have made me very happy, but I knew I was going to have to slog on for another 20 hours and lost interest.

I also love the fact that X2 is going to be cutscene heavy.  As long as the voice acting and storytelling are as uniformly excellent as they were in the first game (imho, of course), I will really be able to get into it.

Funny how everybody else's negatives are my positives.  Guess I'm odd...
11333  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [Survey] What do you do for a living? on: February 04, 2005, 03:37:30 AM
I run Sportamerica, a sports instructional video production company.  It's a small company (4 of us), and I'm pretty much in charge of everything.  Accounting, sales, order fulfillment, graphic design, video editing, etc.  You name it, I do it.  Been there for almost 9 years.

I also work part-time as a graphic designer for a laser etching company.  Mainly setting up jobs for laser engraving, but I also handle their print marketing pieces and some sales.
11334  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xenosaga 1 on: February 03, 2005, 07:47:39 PM
Quote from: "Destructor"
I hated FF8 because of the God-awful combat scheme where you were nearly forced to spend a half hour drawing or whatever the heck you did spells every time you found a new monster. That and the absurd decision to make you bust your controller and hands pushing buttons just to make your summons more powerful (and it was nearly required as well).


Same here.  I absolutely loved everything about FF8...except for the combat.  Graphics, characters, music (Uematsu's best work, imho) were all great, but that combat system absolutely drove me nuts.  Never did finish it all the way through.
11335  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Anyone read The Order of the Stick webcomic? on: February 03, 2005, 01:33:30 PM
Quote from: "VynlSol"
I've been reading it off and on for quite a while . I'm currently, "on".

Pretty funny stuff. I played D&D in the late seventies, haven't touched it since. Amazingly enough, I still have all the books, modules, dice, etc in a box somewhere. Which means I dragged that shit around with me everywhere for the past 25 years...I need help.


E-bay is your friend.
11336  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Which Game to Buy Next? on: February 03, 2005, 01:32:30 PM
Quote from: "Rage"
Any tips for other RPGs? I hear Star Ocean is good, Shin Megami Tensei got good reviews, anything else?


Shin Megami Tensei is a pretty cool game.  You may want to give it a rental first, though.  It definately has it's own style, which turns some people off.  Personally, I thought SO3 was a steaming pile of crap, but I know a ton of people who enjoyed it.  Maybe I just missed something.

A couple others fairly recent RPG's that have been good:
-  Shadow Hearts:  Covenant (my personal GotY for 2004)
-  Baten Kaitos
-  Tales of Symphonia
-  Paper Mario 2
11337  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xenosaga 1 on: February 03, 2005, 01:23:51 PM
Quote from: "Stardrifter"
...and the little creature thing that looked like it was from He-Man (a cartoon I hated), both annoyed me (this is based on screenshots and reviews only).


You didn't like Vivi?  Blasphemy!  slywink  (btw, he's actually a fantastic character once you get into the game)

Discussing the Xenosaga series is always interesting.  I don't think I've ever seen a game that polarized people as much as this one.  Either you absolutely loved it or you absolutely hated it.  I don't think I've ever talked to anyone who said "Xenosaga was just OK", it's either one extreme or the other.  Not many games that do that.

Quote
Try Shadow Hearts Covenant!

I'll strongly second this.  SH:  C is quite possibly the best RPG to come out in the last 3-4 years.  If you haven't tried it yet, you're really missing out.  You can check out the trailer here.
11338  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xenosaga 1 on: February 02, 2005, 09:02:00 PM
Quote from: "jersoc"
I say go for it. I think playing XS1 will give you vital information you need for the next one. Plus its a superb RPG.


Good point.  From what I understand, the Monolith aren't making any concessions for people who didn't play the first game.  If you don't know who the characters or events of the first game, you're pretty much out of luck.  No "Previously on Xenosaga..." for this one.

I actually asked for the 16th off so I can play Xenosaga II all day.  smile
11339  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xenosaga 1 on: February 02, 2005, 08:05:49 PM
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Quote
(too much movie, very little game)


Stay far away from Xenosaga, then. I loved the first game, but there are 60+ minute cut scenes in the game. If you don't like that sort of thing, you will hate the series.


What he said.

Personally, I loved Xenosaga I (it's in my personal top 5).  It felt like an incredible 40 hour anime with a few interactive battles thrown in for good measure.  But you have to be prepared to sit for long stretches at a time, 45-60 minutes for some of the longer ones, just watching cut scenes.  I wouldn't recommend it in your case.
11340  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Not Buying Another XBOX Game on: February 02, 2005, 05:23:36 PM
Quote from: "AgtFox"
Quote from: "ATB"
•  Fable- November 04 (may play through KOTOR II again before embarking on another RPG, so it's gonna be a while before I play through this one)

Just my opinion, but Fable will not reach the love you have for KOTOR2.  In fact, the game is crap.  I know there are people out there who like it, but any RPG that you can conceivably beat in 8 hours (I did this) is not an RPG in my mind.  I had no wish to do any side quests because the game doesn't make you feel as immersed in the land as you probably should.  I personally would trade it in toward something that is better.  Remember, this is just my opinion though.


Personally, I think your enjoyment of Fable will depend solely on your expectations going in.  If you expect a deep, epic, revolutionary, engrossing game (as most people did) then you will be horribly dissapointed.  If you expect a lighthearted, fun, hack-n-slash (as I did) then you might enjoy it quite a bit.

Just don't read anything Moleneaux himself says about the game and you'll be just fine.  slywink
11341  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Anyone read The Order of the Stick webcomic? on: February 02, 2005, 03:28:43 PM
You simply do not mess with Belkar.
11342  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Not Buying Another XBOX Game on: February 02, 2005, 03:26:52 PM
Man, you guys are nuts.  I hardly have anything on my backlog.  Then again, it's really not that often that I play a game all the way through.  I usually play something until I get bored with it, then either put it aside or trade it in.  Right now I've got:

-  KotOR 2 (25 hours.  Just got to Iziz.)
-  Theif DS (I'm on that stupid zombie boat level. Man, I hate zombies in that game!)
-  Tales of Symphonia (just picked it up the other day.  Haven't tried it yet.)
-  Pirates!

I was also 22 hours into Baten Kaitos, but it got boring so it's getting traded in this afternoon.  Of course, all of these get put aside when Xenosaga II comes out on the 15th.  smile
11343  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Baiten Kaitos impressions? on: February 02, 2005, 12:58:20 PM
I've also hit the wall with BK and will be trading it in this afternoon (probably towards Xenosaga II).  Too many other good games to play to keep plugging away at one that really isn't that interesting.  

Final verdict:  One of the most, if not the single most beautiful games I've ever played.  Just seeing the amazing graphics kept me playing for an extra 6-8 hours.  A fun combat system that keeps you on your toes, but gets very frustrating in the later stages.  Only having 3 seconds to pick a card was a very bad design decision, imo.  As is not being able to pause during a battle.  

Unfortunately, it's all wrapped around possibly the dullest set of characters in RPG history.  Other that Mizuti, there is not a single original character in the bunch.  Combine that with a pretty boring story, and there's not much incentive to finish.

It was fun while it lasted (I got about 23 hours in), but isn't quite compelling enough to finish.  B+
11344  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Are Sudeki and Yager good bargain games? on: February 01, 2005, 04:32:11 AM
Quote from: "Enigma"
Gratch, an action RPG that is more fun and fighting and less reading, puzzles, etc...is right up my alley for sitting on the couch with a controller in my hand.  So, sudeki looks like a purchase for me...COMPUSA has it for $19.99.  

The word is still out on Yager.....also, with the PC version coming out, should I wait?


I think you'll enjoy it, but let us know.  Unfortunately, Sudeki got a bad rap when it first came out (reviewers and gamers alike) because everyone was expecting this huge, epic RPG and felt somewhat let down when it wasn't.  As long as you go in with reasonable expectations, there's plenty of fun to be had.
11345  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Finally beat Thief Deadly Shadows (XB) - end impressions? on: February 01, 2005, 04:28:44 AM
I played and beat it on PC when it first came out, but just restarted it on X-Box a couple days ago.  I know this is somewhat blasphemous, but I'm actually enjoying it more on X-Box.  Playing it on the 52" screen with all the lights off is one of the more intense gaming experiences I've ever had.

I'm also very sad we won't see another Thief game.  There's plenty of "stealth-action" games on the market, but not one of them can hold a candle to the Thief series.  Truly one of a kind.  frown
11346  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Are Sudeki and Yager good bargain games? on: January 31, 2005, 04:09:13 PM
I really enjoyed Sudeki, but you have to go into it knowing what to expect.  If you expect it to be the "Final Fantasy for the X-Box" as most people did, then you will be horribly dissapointed.   It's an RPG in the same way Baldurs Gate:  Dark Alliance is an RPG; a ton of action with a couple tweakable character stats thrown in for good measure.  There is little character development, a bare minimum of a story, and a minimally complex battle system.  What it does do well is action-oriented, hack-n-slash combat in beautiful environments.  I had a great time with it, for the 15 or so hours it lasted.

Be warned though, Sudeki has quite possibly one of the worst endings (or lack thereof) that I've ever seen in a game.
11347  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Square Enix & Konami sales figures on: January 28, 2005, 11:08:19 PM
Quote from: "depward"
Quote from: "WestNile"
I like some Konami stuff, but S-E has made the same game, over and over for so long..

Being a Squaresoft fanboy . . . and I guess a loyal S-E supporter . . . I hate to say it but I can somewhat agree with that statement.  Ever since the merger they haven't really put out anything I've really TRULY enjoyed (except for ffxi   biggrin ).  I still buy everything they put out, but it just seems like it's been pretty "meh" lately.  Front Mission 4 wasn't like Front Mission 3 for me.  Drakengard, well, I had fun for a couple of hours.  Star Ocean was pretty fun but ultimately put it down after about 30 hours.  Full Metal Alchemist?  Haven't tried it but getting pretty bad reviews.

I still think they are truly the greatest company.  They put out fantastic products and usually, USUALLY never skimp on any sort of production value.  As far as "putting out the same game, over and over" argument . . . I can't fully agree with that.  And if that's the case, well, I guess the mentality of, "if it ain't broke don't fix it" comes to mind.

I hope they can release Radiata Stories in the U.S. though.  That looks like a fun RPG.  Plus it's also developed by Tri-Ace.  And that alone wants me to be able to play it   biggrin


That's an interesting point.   I'm a complete Square whore, and would buy anything with their name on it on release day.  However, I have yet to enjoy an Enix game.  In fact, two of my least favorite games were developed mostly by Enix (Star Ocean 3 & Dragon Warrior 7).

I don't know how much the product quality decline can be contributed to the merger, but it certainly seems like there has been a significant drop in creativity and overall polish in SE's recent games.  To be fair, I can't comment on FFXI, as I despise the entire idea of the MMORPG.  But recent games just seem to have lost that magic that a Square-developed game used to contain.

I'm hoping games like FFXII and the new Musashi can buck this trend.  I still at least give most SE games a try, but they're quickly becoming a rental rather than a purchase.
11348  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Square Enix & Konami sales figures on: January 28, 2005, 01:46:51 PM
These are pretty impressive.  Guess we don't have to worry about either of these companies going out of business.

Konami
Square Enix
11349  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [Paper Mario2] Impressions on: January 27, 2005, 09:59:08 PM
Quote from: "AttAdude"
Quote from: "Gratch"
I just could not get into Paper Mario 2.  The graphics were great and the combat was solid, but it just didn't grab me at all.  I think maybe it's because I was trying to play PM2, Baten Kaitos, RE4, and KotOR2 all at the same time.  I'll probably go back and try it again during an RPG lull.


Lol man you need to slow down.  how the heck could you enjoy any one of those games while you are playing them all.   Actualy that may just be an AttA thing, but when im playing a story drven game like RE4 or PM, i wont allow my self to play any other story games.  By the same token i absolutly refuse to read 2 books at once, not counting text books of course.   I still play things like shooters and other brainles stuff tho.


I know, I know.  What's even worse, I haven't finished any of these yet, but all 4 will be put aside when Xenosaga II comes out in a couple weeks.  Ugh.
11350  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [Paper Mario2] Impressions on: January 27, 2005, 09:14:56 PM
I just could not get into Paper Mario 2.  The graphics were great and the combat was solid, but it just didn't grab me at all.  I think maybe it's because I was trying to play PM2, Baten Kaitos, RE4, and KotOR2 all at the same time.  I'll probably go back and try it again during an RPG lull.
11351  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Star Craft: Ghost on: January 27, 2005, 07:41:33 PM
I saw some gameplay footage on Cinematech (I think) and was completely underwhelmed by it.  It had all the look of a very bland third person shooter.
11352  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The time has come-list the best Playstation 1 games! on: January 26, 2005, 12:58:19 PM
Quote from: "depward"
Vagrant Story - I just couldn't get into.  Put about 6 hours into it, liked it and such, but I dunno.  Wasn't hooked really.  Maybe I should pick it up again and give it another go!


The story, characters, art direction, and music in VS were nothing short of amazing.  Unfortunately, it was saddled with a horrible combat system that rendered it practically unplayable.  Having to change weapons before every battle drove me absolutely nuts.
11353  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Biggest eBay Pet Peeve!!! on: January 26, 2005, 02:46:42 AM
Wow, I was just thinking about this today.  I paid for an auction 2 weeks ago, (immediately after "Buy It Now"), received the item, left positive feedback for the seller, and still haven't received anything from him.  Gee, thanks.

I don't really buy that much on E-bay (only 28 feedback), so this guy not leaving any feedback definately doesn't help me.
11354  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The time has come-list the best Playstation 1 games! on: January 25, 2005, 03:19:42 AM
These are the only PS1 games that I will never get rid of my copies of:

-  Final Fantasy VII
-  Final Fantasy Tactics
-  Chrono Cross
-  Tenchu:  Stealth Assassins
-  Rally Cross 1
-  Final Fantasy IX
-  Einhander
-  Skullmonkeys
11355  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / POLL: for those who did NOT vote for GWB on: January 22, 2005, 03:38:53 AM
Quote from: "naednek"
talk about sore loser


So because he wins the election, all of us that voted against him are suddenly supposed to like and support him?

Yes, he is my president.  But no, I don't agree with what he does any more than I did before the election.
11356  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Why cant I get back into PS1 RPGs? on: January 21, 2005, 10:46:22 PM
One other thought.  Remember that your basis of comparison for these games is very different than when they were originally released.  Combat systems, graphics, storylines, etc., that may have been revolutionary back in 1999 have been copied countless times since then.  It doesn't have the "wow" factor because you've already experienced it elsewhere.  If it makes you feel any better, I've tried nearly all the "classic" PS1 games that I missed the first time around.  Vagrant Story, Xenogears, Valkyrie Profile, Star Ocean 2, Wild ARMs, Front Mission, Dragon Warrior, Vandal Hearts...and not a single one of them held my attention for more than 8-10 hours.  

FWIW, it took me buying the game 3 seperate times to get into Final Fantasy Tactics.  But once I figured it out, it quickly became one of my all-time favorites.  I'd suggest poking through some of the GameFAQS guides to help you get started.

I totally agree with you about FFX-2.  That entire game was simply an abomination from start to finish.
11357  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Why cant I get back into PS1 RPGs? on: January 21, 2005, 08:45:28 PM
I've found that I can enjoy replay PS1 RPGs that I played when they first came out.  But I have a really hard time picking up a PS1 RPG I hadn't previously played and enjoying it.  Maybe it's because the nostalgia kicks in whenever I pick up an old title (I've played through FFVII over 5 times now, and am itching to run through it again) and that makes me enjoy it more.
11358  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What was the Last Game you were Addicted to? on: January 21, 2005, 04:14:22 PM
The last game I played start to finish without starting anything else was Shadow Hearts:  Covenant.  It was so well done all the way through that I just couldn't pull myself away.

I'm now splitting time between KotOR2 and Baten Kaitos (about 20 hours into each), both of which are great games.
11359  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Resident Evil 4 Impressions on: January 21, 2005, 12:50:43 PM
Put in a couple hours last night.  While the graphics and overall atmosphere are great, the clunky controls are driving me absolutely nuts.    Hopefully it will get better as I play a little more.
11360  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Resident Evil 4 Impressions on: January 20, 2005, 01:13:21 PM
Damn you people.  I'm going to give in and pick up RE4 this afternoon.  I was hoping to finish Baten Kaitos and KotOR2 before I got anything else, but the CGFE has sucked me in.  

Evil, the lot of ya.
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