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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Making use of my DS as usual. Recently finished Spirit Tracks and the Miles Edgeworth Case Files ("recently" meaning "in the past year," heh). One of these days I'll find the time to finish Super Paper Mario (LAST stage, on the LAST STAGE!).

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

GoldfishX wrote:

Have also cracked open Sakura Wars V and I'm not disappointed in the least, although I am worried I'll miss a ton of stuff. Game was hard to find...I haven't seen a single copy in any of the Maryland Gamestops or Wal-Marts, but saw like 3 limited editions at one in DE. I'm gonna guess there's a low print run on it. Hope it doesn't hurt the chances of the rest of the games from coming over.

I don't doubt there was a low print run on this, but working at a Wal-Mart, I can't say I'm surprised you didn't find this there. There are just certain games I don't bother going to Wal Mart for and 9 times out of 10 I'm right -  they don't have it. A lot of this has to do with how Wal-mart works. We don't always get in what's new and popular, we get in what we can get "a good deal on." I know EB usually has everything, but I try to not buy things there if I can avoid it.... but then I buy everything used anymore, which presents its own problems. Really, is it so hard to keep a manual, case and insert together? This ain't the NES/SNES days.

Last edited by Ashley Winchester (Apr 29, 2010)

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Does anyone else get the feeling the original, unlockable version of Rondo of Blood is somewhat better than the blasted remake? I don't mean graphically, just gameplay wise? Most of the problems I had before aren't a problem anymore and I don't think it's (totally) because I'm use to the levels/boss patterns by now. Some of the sections, like the marble/ball section in Level 3 play so much better.

And the alternate exit of stage 3, wow, that was really hidden.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

I finished Sakura Wars last week. I liked it a lot. I just finished writing an article about it. I'm thinking about importing the Sakura Taisen 1 & 2 bundle on the PSP and playing it with a translation guide.

I'm 34 hours into FFXIII and I really can't see myself finishing it. It's just so dreary and grind heavy to me. Doesn't help that I don't care for any of the characters.

Now I'm currently going through Heavy Rain. Actually enjoying it more than I thought.

I'm waiting for a copy of SSFIV to arrive via Goozex, so it'll probably be like two months or so before I can challenge you guys. smile

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Ashley Winchester wrote:

Does anyone else get the feeling the original, unlockable version of Rondo of Blood is somewhat better than the blasted remake? I don't mean graphically, just gameplay wise? Most of the problems I had before aren't a problem anymore and I don't think it's (totally) because I'm use to the levels/boss patterns by now. Some of the sections, like the marble/ball section in Level 3 play so much better.

I never bothered to play the original version; I only checked out the first stage a little. I was so tired of struggling through the remake (which did feel very rewarding upon completion) that I wanted only to dive into Symphony of the Night again.


Nekobo wrote:

I'm 34 hours into FFXIII and I really can't see myself finishing it. It's just so dreary and grind heavy to me. Doesn't help that I don't care for any of the characters.

I felt that way many, many times throughout the game. I play RPGs more for the story and exploration than the battles, and FFXIII is all about the battles. I must have died 100X more in that game than in any other RPG I've played. Even after getting used to the paradigm system and figuring out different strategies I still got wiped in each new area. Too much CP grinding toward the end. Then I'd see people online calling it a mindless, X-button masher and making fun of anyone who had to ask for help, and that made me feel like a winner.

Anyway, if you're only 34 hours in, I can tell you it arguably gets worse before it gets better. I actually have a positive feeling about the whole experience now, but I definitely wouldn't want to play through it again. I thought the story had a nice concept going in, but it just didn't deliver (these kinds of stories nearly always end in absurdity), and if the graphics weren't so pretty I'd find it hard to sit through many of the cutscenes. After chapter 11 the game does improve greatly--most people agree--and doing the missions can even be addicting, although repetitive. My fun was too often interrupted by frustration and I kept thinking how all that time could be better spent on other games. Here's to hoping Nomura injects some of his Kingdom Hearts flavor into Versus XIII.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Tim JC wrote:

Here's to hoping Nomura injects some of his Kingdom Hearts flavor into Versus XIII.

I'm a bit of a fanboy when it comes to Nomura's games, and as someone who did not enjoy FFXIII very much at all, I cannot stress enough that Nomura had nothing to do with it, apart from the character design.
I regularly see people on forums blaming Nomura for how much XIII sucked, but it's NOT his fault.

VSXIII however, is going to be his handiwork, and it's being made by the KH team, so I'm sure it's going to be a billion times better.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Amazingu wrote:
Tim JC wrote:

Here's to hoping Nomura injects some of his Kingdom Hearts flavor into Versus XIII.

I'm a bit of a fanboy when it comes to Nomura's games . . .

Can you explain to me the hate he seems to get? I'm not sure why he's polarized so many people. He's always been, like, the Hajime Katoki of Square Enix to me.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Idolores wrote:

Can you explain to me the hate he seems to get? I'm not sure why he's polarized so many people. He's always been, like, the Hajime Katoki of Square Enix to me.

Well, a lot of people don't seem to like his artwork, mostly because it tends to be a lot of the same, and involving too many belts and zippers. Also: effeminate teenage protagonists.

That's fine I guess, I like his environmental design more than his character design, certainly, but the people who don't like him for his artwork seem to expand this grudge towards anything the guy does or is only slightly involved in.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

I started Star Ocean: Second Evolution last night. I know many will find it hard to believe, but the game felt really fresh due to all the upgrades/changes they made to it that don't really encroach on the underlying game I've played a million times. Very nice enhanced port.

And I was pretty surprised the first time Claude dropped what I think was the s-bomb in battle. And I thought it was funny when one of the Ten Wise Man said "bastard" in the original.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Idolores wrote:
Amazingu wrote:
Tim JC wrote:

Here's to hoping Nomura injects some of his Kingdom Hearts flavor into Versus XIII.

I'm a bit of a fanboy when it comes to Nomura's games . . .

Can you explain to me the hate he seems to get? I'm not sure why he's polarized so many people. He's always been, like, the Hajime Katoki of Square Enix to me.

I've always been a fan of Tetsuya Nomura (I know he wasn't involved in FFXIII aside from character design, btw) and I think he adds a certain "coolness" factor to whatever he undertakes. His art is always something to look forward to and his story writing (along with Kitase) is above par. Since he's heavily involved in Versus I'm anticipating a great game, with action-heavy battles akin to the Kingdom Hearts formula. Some of those later boss fights in KH2 kept me on my toes!


Ashley Winchester wrote:

I started Star Ocean: Second Evolution last night. I know many will find it hard to believe, but the game felt really fresh due to all the upgrades/changes they made to it that don't really encroach on the underlying game I've played a million times. Very nice enhanced port.

And I was pretty surprised the first time Claude dropped what I think was the s-bomb in battle. And I thought it was funny when one of the Ten Wise Man said "bastard" in the original.

Ah, some of those voices were classic ("Spicule!"), and I loved the dying scream of each boss. Then there was that picture that slowly got filled in as you unlocked all the characters' voice clips. My brother and I shared the same memory card, and we never even got close to filling that whole thing in.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Mostly just playing SSF4, though I did finish Cave Story with the regular ending (awesome), and get to Dr. Wily's castle in MM10 (not sure when I'll be up for the punishing slog through the castle).  I also finally decided to blow the $0.99 and try MM9's special stage which I haven't gotten too far in.  I plan to pick up Picross 3D this week and maybe Bayonetta if I can find a copy during Kmart's $30 sale on it.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

I think I'm nearing the end of my first play-through SMT:Strange Journey. I'm surprised no one has started an official thread for it given the number of Megaten fans here.

The short of it is that I really recommend it as a must play for Megaten fans. Aside from the rigid story that attempts to build an unnecessary character narrative and explain away every little aspect of the fact that they used the  Etrian game engine, the game is a solid demon/dungeon romp. Those frustrated with the difficulty of Etrian may want to check this out as it's much more forgiving. It's not SMT3 hard, but not a Persona3/4 cakewalk either.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

I started up Xenogears again recently, and I still love that game. Despite its shortcomings, it really stands apart from other rpgs to me. The story is presented in a way that just draws me in, and some of the scenes are still moving. I'm glad I first played it when I was a lot younger and more naive, because the plot took me by surprise quite a few times back then. Now I can bask in the nostalgia. There's a large cast of characters, none of them especially insignificant, and I enjoy their interactions. The places in the game are also interesting, steeped in their own history. And I'm partial to the chunky graphics. Of course, it wouldn't be the same without Mitsuda's score. I think the music contributes half the feeling to the game.

My bro just finished up with his copy of Assassin's Creed II, so I may be checking that out soon. He really liked the Italian setting.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Tim JC wrote:

I started up Xenogears again recently, and I still love that game. Despite its shortcomings...

I have to give you props for that last part. I liked Xenogears - to a point - but get sick of fanboys acting like its infallible as a game. Personally, I think I respect the game more for what it accomplished (more or less making an anime into a RPG) although it ends up a little short in the fun factor department IMO.

Still, I would like to see a Xeno title not compromised by budget and time restraints (gears) or cut short because of one bad game and inane design choices (saga).

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Ashley Winchester wrote:
Tim JC wrote:

I started up Xenogears again recently, and I still love that game. Despite its shortcomings...

I have to give you props for that last part. I liked Xenogears - to a point - but get sick of fanboys acting like its infallible as a game.

That is true. The game is a goddamn mess of marred gameplay ideas, and the shoddy translation certainly didn't hold up well. This is not even counting the travesty of low-budget design that was the entirety of the second disc.

With that said, the cast of characters were really awesome, and I loved how the idea of star-crossed lovers in Fei and Elly was handled (it could've come off as so much worse than what it was). Junya Ishigaki's mech designs were pure sex to me, and the music was, in my opinion, Mitsuda's finest hour.

I won't be playing this again until I get an awesome PSX emulator to take advantage of Alcahest's Xenogears 2.0 patch that fixes a bunch of things. If I can find a fan translated patch that isn't pretentious and cliquey, I'll definitely install that too. I wouldn't want my copy of the game to just sit in my collection without being played once more. smile

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Idolores wrote:
Ashley Winchester wrote:
Tim JC wrote:

I started up Xenogears again recently, and I still love that game. Despite its shortcomings...

I have to give you props for that last part. I liked Xenogears - to a point - but get sick of fanboys acting like its infallible as a game.

That is true. The game is a goddamn mess of marred gameplay ideas, and the shoddy translation certainly didn't hold up well.

To be honest, I don't really worry about translations as much as I probably should. For example, I never had a real problem with the translation of Star Ocean: The Second Story on the PS1 but the PSP version showed me that it lacked anykind of individual flair like a lot of non-voice acted games. In hindsight however, it really would have been nice if Capcom would have redone the script for Breath of Fire II on the GBA - it's the least they could have done.

In the end, I'm more concerned with editing that centers around censoring issues. I mean the hackjob they did to get a Teen rating for Xenosaga III is a flat out disgrace and, keeping with the Breath of Fire, IV should have been left alone.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Idolores wrote:

Junya Ishigaki's mech designs were pure sex to me

I have to echo your sentiments here, as I still find these mech designs to be flat-out cooler in comparison to many hundreds of other mecha in anime and games. They're aesthetically pleasing and athletic (well, some were clunky), and they have personality. Xenogears is a beast.

I liked some of the designs that appeared in Xenosaga III as well. I personally liked the Xenosaga games for what they were, even number two. The battle system was definitely a love-hate relationship for me. Takahashi's magic was still present, though. Maybe I'm looking back through rose-colored glasses, but I wouldn't mind pulling those games off the back burner again. Only problem is, they're sitting behind my copy of RE4, so I don't know how much of a chance they stand.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

I'm playing the PS2 version of Sakura Wars.  This is the first time that I've played a Sakura Taisen game, and I see now why the fifth entry in the series is the first to reach American shores.  The game overflows with otaku tropes, and I cannot fault Sega if it concluded that the series is too much of a cultural mismatch to find an audience in the West.

The deployment cutscenes, for example, are a near parody of anime logic.  They boldly defy all sense and reason as they show Shin riding a zip line into a mouth-shaped orifice and the theater -- which is supposed to be a secret base for the mech operation -- conspicuously rising from the ground.  Although I am familiar with otaku subculture and its excesses, I still find Sakura Wars to be a bizarre spectacle.

NIS America's characterization of Sakura Wars in marketing materials as primarily an SRPG seems to me to be a dishonest ploy to reach a wider market than the game was designed for.  Sakura Wars isn't so much an SRPG with dating sim elements as it is a dating sim interspersed with rudimentary turn-based strategy mini-games.  The lack of customization of loadouts and bare selection of attacks and support moves disqualifies Sakura Wars from being called an SRPG, I think.

Although it may appear from the foregoing that I have a negative impression of the game, it is a fresh experience that I can enjoy as long as I make a concerted effort to suspend disbelief.  I'm just a little surprised that I'm experiencing culture shock even after long exposure to otaku subculture and 20-odd years of playing Japanese video games.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Interesting is that the quality of 5 was most likely to be why this series died. I assume 5 was localized just because it took place in New York.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

I started up Castlevania: Curse of Darkness again the other day. I know the game is flawed (why can't Konami make good 3D maps?) but damn, I love nearly everything else about it. I love how the Innocent Devil (oxymoron alert) is an expansion of the Familiar system in Symphony and for some other reason I like the soundtrack even though I know it's far from her best work.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Well, I've been playing a bunch of flash games recently but now that my college days are behind me (as of today) I'm looking to start either Borderlands or Bioshock. Yes, I haven't gotten around to either yet! Suggestions as to which?

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

taslo wrote:

Well, I've been playing a bunch of flash games recently but now that my college days are behind me (as of today) I'm looking to start either Borderlands or Bioshock. Yes, I haven't gotten around to either yet! Suggestions as to which?

Good job on getting through college! I've heard mixed things about Borderlands, but Bioshock has gotten universally high praise, which several board members here will stand behind.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Been playing WarioWare DIY. Good/okay game, but not on the level of the best WarioWares. Only played the ready-made microgames, so far.

Also, some Rage of the Gladiator. Seems a little too simple so far.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

Anyone else playing NieR at the moment?

I'm quite liking it, despite the fact that it's a pretty standard action RPG affair.
It's got a nice sense of humor though, and there's a couple of surprises here and there, as well as numerous references to other games.

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Re: So what're you playing nowadays?

I figure this tweet/picture apply to this thread since it has a lot to do with what I'm playing nowadays.. or at least what I have the option to play. wink

The sun is shining in on six (count em!) game consoles hooked up to my HDTV. Is there anything more beautiful?

http://twitter.com/the_miker/status/13751196425

http://twitpic.com/1ms92w

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