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11681  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.
11682  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.
11683  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
11684  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.
11685  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.
11686  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.
11687  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?
11688  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.
11689  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.
11690  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.
11691  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Starcraft : Ghost cancelled on: March 25, 2006, 03:10:11 AM
Does this actually surprise anyone?
11692  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.
11693  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.
11694  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
11695  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.
11696  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.
11697  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.
11698  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?
11699  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
11700  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
11701  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...
11702  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
11703  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What'd You Name Your Band? on: March 07, 2006, 11:40:20 PM
The Grumpy Crampers
11704  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Shadow Hearts: From the New World thread of ALL THREADS on: March 07, 2006, 01:49:28 PM
Quote from: "depward"
I can't wait to play Wednesday.


I pimped the first two SH games to the ends of the earth, so of course I'm in.
11705  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 7/30) on: March 07, 2006, 12:34:24 AM
Big +1 to The_Man
11706  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Guitar Hero 2 coming!! on: March 07, 2006, 12:08:15 AM
Quote from: "Nth Power"
Awesome news!  
I always thought AC/DC or Van Halen (and Metallica) would be a good match for Guitar Hero.  Maybe for the sequel!

From what I understand, Van Halen was their first choice, but they could never get any of the band's representatives to call them back.
11707  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Guitar Hero 2 coming!! on: March 06, 2006, 08:25:23 PM
Quote from: "ATB"
Quote from: "Gratch"
Seriously, this is the best gaming news I've heard in months.   biggrin

 depending on what their definition of 'metal' is.

Why Jethro Tull of course...

LOL.  Well played, sir.
11708  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Guitar Hero 2 coming!! on: March 06, 2006, 07:27:53 PM
Seriously, this is the best gaming news I've heard in months.   biggrin

I'll definately pass on the country version, but a metal version has the potential to kick all kinds of ass - depending on what their definition of 'metal' is.
11709  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Guitar Hero Questions: With New Questions! on: March 06, 2006, 05:12:08 PM
Ralph hit most of the points, but I'll add a couple:

1.  Hitting the 'higher' notes is simply a matter of practice.  It will feel extremely awkward the first few times you have to use the orange key, but it will become second nature after a while.  Remember that the raised notch on the yellow key is your friend.  Get used to feeling for it so you know exactly where your fingers are placed.  When you start getting into some of the more insane passages, you will need to make sure you are on the right keys, and that little bump is a lifesaver.

2.  Definately lots of notes as opposed to long ones.  Chord passages are even better, and you can really rack up the points.  8X star power on expert level 'Unsung' about made my score meter explode.  smile

3.  From what I can tell, the whammy bar does not give you more points on non-star power notes.  It does boost your star power meter if you use it on starred notes (which annoys me to no end.  I hate using the whammy in places I normally wouldn't just to get more star power.), but I don't think it has any effect on the score of regular notes.

4.  There has been a ton of talk about a sequel, but nothing has officially been announced yet.  There was an artice in GI (possibly EGM) a couple months back that the developer was talking about the list of bands they're looking at for the sequel.

Drum Hero would be awesome, but I don't think there's any way they could create a peripheral that would be cost effective.  Guess I'll just stick to my real drum set and some headphones.  smile

5.  I certainly hope so.  The guys at my Gamestop said they've had a hell of a time keeping it in stock, and everything I've read talks about what a huge success it has been.  I can't imagine that it would be terribly expensive to develop (at least in comparison to other games), so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Have fun with it, and keep us updated on your progress.  You'll be amazed at how easy some of the difficult songs seem once you've put in a few more hours.  The learning curve is just about perfect on this game.
11710  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Who are your favorite *fictional* characters? on: March 03, 2006, 03:18:47 PM
Another vote for Darth Vader & Tyrion Lannister.  I'd also add a random smattering of others:

-  Zaphod Beeblebrox (HHGTTG)
-  Raistlin (Dragonlance)
-  Fitz-Chivalry Farseer (Assassin & Tawny Man series)
-  Jules Winfield (Pulp Fiction)
-  Gandalf (LotR)
-  Godzilla (does he count?)
-  Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China)
11711  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Katrina: Bush and the administration were explicitly warned on: March 03, 2006, 01:50:46 PM
Quote from: "Devil"
Kinda like Drew Bledsoe. I don't think he WANTS to suck, he just does.

I have nothing to add to the political debate, but had to say that that quote is sheer genius.
11712  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [Guitar Hero] And your newest guitar god is... on: March 02, 2006, 12:04:31 AM
...ME!!!     biggrin  biggrin  biggrin

After about, oh, 100 or so tries, I finally beat Bark at the Moon on expert last night to get through all the songs. I am now a certified rock legend, and I have the battle axe guitar to prove it. I don't think Mrs. Skinypupy was terribly impressed (I think I detected an eye roll when I leapt off the couch in triumph), but I felt a sense of accomplishment that I haven't had from a game in a long, long time. Made me realize (for the umpteeth time) how damn good this game really is.

I think I probably only hit around 70% of the notes on BatM and finished about one step away from being booed off the stage, but at least it's done. I will now sit back and bask in my plastic guitar glory while I eagerly await Guitar Hero 2.    slywink
11713  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Virtual Girlfriend (NSFW) on: March 01, 2006, 02:59:28 AM
While it's not as revealing, I like this one better.  Strip, hummer are pretty funny, and kiss is great.
11714  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: February 28, 2006, 12:33:44 AM
11715  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / FS: Nintendo DS unit w/Age of Empires DS *SOLD* on: February 27, 2006, 08:55:26 PM

Having some financial troubles, and don't really play it much - so the DS is up for grabs.  It's the blue version in perfect condition and will include:

-  DS unit (power cord, extra stylus, original box & manuals)
-  Age of Empires DS with box & manual (played about 3 hours total.  In perfect condition)
-  Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (no box or manual)

Looking for $125 shipped, obo.  Feel free to shoot me a PM with any questions.

EDIT:  Checked on the shipping (a little more than I thought it would be) so I added a small bump in the price.
11716  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts : FtNW reviews on: February 25, 2006, 04:24:45 PM
Another very positive review here.  I'm getting more and more excited for this one as these reviews come in.
11717  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Cellphone/Mobile Games - what's good? on: February 24, 2006, 03:50:35 PM
I've really been enjoying the Doom RPG.  Nothing overly deep or complex, but it's good solid fun and very well done.  A ton of nostalgia for old-school gamers, but enought depth and 'fun factor' to satisfy anyone.  Plus, it's perfect for 10-15 minute sittings.  I just checked my game clock and noticed that I've put about 5 hours into it over the last couple months.   :shock:

FWIW, I'm actually enjoying it far more than the actual Doom 3 game.
11718  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Pre-rendered game ads no more? on: February 24, 2006, 01:24:09 AM
Quote from: "Destructor"
Quote from: "Gratch"
Good thing this wasn't in place when FFVII came out.  Methinks the game wouldn't have sold nearly as well without the completely rendered CG ads.

That's a VERY big part as to why the game sold as well as it did - all the idiots out there who thought that all the FMV was real ingame shots. That and the spamming of the airwaves in commercials.

Then, once they had the game, and found out they were lied to like you wouldn't believe, they decided to play it anyway.

Poof! Instant RPG revolution.

I'll admit it, I was one of those idiots...and am damn glad I was.  I never had a NES or SNES, so I missed out on all the 'classic' RPG's.  I purchased my PS1 about a week before I saw a FFVII ad in a movie theater.  I was floored by it and immediately rushed out to buy the game.  After I got over the initial dissapointment, I was hooked.  Not only on that game, but on the RPG genre as a whole.

Honestly, if it wasn't for those ads I probably never would have played an RPG and missed out on some truly incredible games.  So 'Thank You' to Square's marketing department, as it got at least one person addicted to the genre.  smile
11719  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: February 23, 2006, 11:51:45 PM

11720  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Pre-rendered game ads no more? on: February 23, 2006, 02:02:59 PM
Good thing this wasn't in place when FFVII came out.  Methinks the game wouldn't have sold nearly as well without the completely rendered CG ads.
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