rolling thread of stuff worth reading on videogames

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cozwn, Sunday, 31 August 2008 09:10 (fifteen years ago) link

No offence to you personally cozwn, but I could shoot holes in that article all day. Then I noticed it was written by Stephen Fry, who should really know better. His "the Arctic Monkeys are a popular beat combo" shtick is pissing me off. And his deliberate stuffed-shirt use of painfully obscure words like "rorty".

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 09:19 (fifteen years ago) link

you have hurt me heavy in my heart

cozwn, Sunday, 31 August 2008 14:02 (fifteen years ago) link

The column is called "Dork Talk", but it's written by tweedy men who should be smoking pipes and growing giant vegetables. Worse than Fry is the fucker with two Amstrad PCWs...

With books, I send the manuscript to the publisher and they have to key it into their computer. With journalism, I print out a copy, then fax it.

It makes my blood boil the way he casually makes unnecessary work for other people. In both cases someone has to type the information in again, or in a best case scenario, OCR it and then check it for OCR errors.

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 14:37 (fifteen years ago) link

And "rorty" means "incorrigible", so why didn't he just say that, instead of trying to show off his big vocabulary AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 14:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Anyway, none of this is aimed at you, cozwn

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 14:43 (fifteen years ago) link

It's just that everyone in England at the moment seems to be either a middle aged person pretending to be a teenager, or a teenager pretending to be a gangsta...

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 14:44 (fifteen years ago) link

It makes my blood boil the way he casually makes unnecessary work for other people. In both cases someone has to type the information in again, or in a best case scenario, OCR it and then check it for OCR errors.

-- snoball, Sunday, August 31, 2008 2:37 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Link

oh no somebody has a job!

s1ocki, Sunday, 31 August 2008 16:37 (fifteen years ago) link

And that typing/OCRing would be done by an intern who has more than enough work to get on with already. One of the cornerstones of technology is it's ability to reduce the need for repetitive work. This guy's attitude flies in the face of that (or rather, flew, because he replaced the Amstrads with a Mac).

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 17:25 (fifteen years ago) link

two months pass...

haha, take two

czn (cozwn), Saturday, 29 November 2008 21:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Tom explains a bit more

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 1 December 2008 10:27 (fifteen years ago) link

the guy behind passage

czn (cozwn), Monday, 1 December 2008 12:24 (fifteen years ago) link

czn oyu linked page 2 of that article!

Everyone is a Jedi (Will M.), Monday, 1 December 2008 16:05 (fifteen years ago) link

passage is that zelda on rails with no enemies and bad graphics innit

El Tomboto, Monday, 1 December 2008 18:38 (fifteen years ago) link

That makes it sound better than it is.

polyphonic, Monday, 1 December 2008 18:41 (fifteen years ago) link

Nintendo's little console that could is shattering sales records left and right, and might just move more units in 2008 than any game system in history. Casual hits Wii Play, Mario Kart, and Wii Fit continue to captivate new players. But meanwhile, Nintendo's loyal fans, the ones who stuck with the company through the lean years, are feeling a bit like when you go to high school and your former best geeky friend is suddenly all hot and popular and doesn't talk to you anymore.

^^^^ lol!

TOMBOT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 17:10 (fifteen years ago) link

was this written by stephen fry the famous homosexualist actor

cankles, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 17:25 (fifteen years ago) link

^^^ Yes

snoball, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 18:02 (fifteen years ago) link

gaylord british

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 19:28 (fifteen years ago) link

can somebody make one of them things where you have a picture and then a big equals sign and then another picture, and then another row of the same thing but two different pictures, and it makes a concise argument or something? I'm busy. It should look like this

totally sweet dos bootup screen into command line = ps3 controller with that fucked-up lookin blackberry keyboard addon
old-ass macintosh system <7 black and white GUI = wiimote

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 20:09 (fifteen years ago) link

except I guess a dos pc was always hella cheaper than the mac so it doesn't hold up

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 20:10 (fifteen years ago) link

did we ever have an actual console argument thread on here or ILE?

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 20:10 (fifteen years ago) link

idk! let's make a poll!!!!

cankles, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 20:13 (fifteen years ago) link

or better yet a series of polls a la the gamefaqs CHARACTER BATTLES, we can argue whether goku could beat up sephiroth!!!!

cankles, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 20:13 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah we need to do a SEVENTH GENERATION CONSOLE WARS POLL so we can combine all the truths from the mind

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 23:20 (fifteen years ago) link

pls do

czn (cozwn), Tuesday, 2 December 2008 23:34 (fifteen years ago) link

anyone read this?

czn (cozwn), Saturday, 6 December 2008 12:03 (fifteen years ago) link

not read this, just putting it out there

cozwn, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 23:24 (fifteen years ago) link

the magical wasteland article they (he?) mention really is excellent and i would be interested in what some posters here think (or thought) of it. i'm also really glad he mentions the time extend articles which are a good template for what games reviews (as opposed to criticism) should look like. i was a lot less impressed with the "if gamers rule the world" article which strained so much to make its point it ended up sounding like a jonathan franzen parody.

handsome dude (Lamp), Wednesday, 17 December 2008 02:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Some interesting stuff. I suppose every games writer has to overcome some kind of inferiority complex coming from society at large?

Nhex, Wednesday, 17 December 2008 02:52 (fifteen years ago) link

What the heck is this?

Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:22 (fifteen years ago) link

not read this, just putting it out there

― cozwn, Tuesday, December 16, 2008 11:24 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

something about the fact that you have to make it through 700 words of meandering philosophizing to get to his list makes me value this dude's judgment a lot less

s1ocki, Wednesday, 17 December 2008 18:29 (fifteen years ago) link

what, you didnt need ten paragraphs lovingly outlining this guyz movie-selection process?

j3W1SH LAGG4RD (Lamp), Wednesday, 17 December 2008 19:15 (fifteen years ago) link

ya i dont know if i trust that guy's opinion on good writing.

s1ocki, Thursday, 18 December 2008 00:17 (fifteen years ago) link

you shd def check out the magical wasteland blog, most stuff on their is pretty decent

cozwn, Thursday, 18 December 2008 00:20 (fifteen years ago) link

man there's this great crazy japanese dude on the eurogamer forums who always posts these massive screeds about jp RPGs. totally tl;dr but I'll gobble this up all day long:

"As long as we're talking about Square Enix's output this generation, I think I'll rank everything they've done:

Egg Monster Heroes - a pleasant B-grade RPG with neither enough depth or a good enough story to be really special, but certainly very fun while you play it.

Children of Mana - still one of my favorite DS action RPGs. I really like making Mana into a dungeon hacking game. The enemy animations are awesome, I love combining magic and weapon attacks to make my own strategies and doing random errands for the villagers to get stronger stuff. The gems system is great, the boss battles are epic and I like the random different requirements for each floor of the dungeon.

Mario Basketball - another fun take on Mario sports, I'm not sure why but the portable versions are always better than the console ones. Since this is Square Enix-made the bonus Square characters are a nice touch and the dribbling with stylus feel was well-used, as well, its got lots of hidden depth and a well-tuned challenge level, but is still easy to play. Another winner.

Final Fantasy III - a superb remake of a classic game. Really nice to have the difficulty kept despite Square Enix's tendency to make games easier in their remakes. Except they really should have kept developing until they could get more than 3 enemies on the screen at a time, as that is the only thing that wasn't as good as the original. Loved the mog mail elements and redone characters. Also has probably the best DS intro movie ever.

Rocket Slime 2 - As the sequel to the incredibly fun original, absolutely nothing is lost, except a great chance to use the stylus. Better yet, the highly unique tank gameplay makes it better than ever. Fantastic humor and charm; its one of the DS's top tier games and its one of the first original games on the system to deserve the title of future classic.

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales - Leave it to Square Enix to be one of the only companies who can follow up on Nintendo's trend of mini-game collections and make an excellent game out of it. From all the loving references to the series, to the absurd character of Mog, the Super Hero, to the great and tricky card game, its a good one. Some of the minigames aren't as good as others, but luckily most of them are pure gold and the game's got a lot more to accomplish than most mini-game collections.

Heroes of Mana - The first in the burgeoning RTS meets SRPG gameplay concepts, despite some control hiccups, this one was great. It really mixed the Mana world concepts with RTS ideas well. Better yet, knowing that AI and control features weren't a match for a typical RTS, its depth was found elsewhere and thus it had a completely different feel than a Western RTS. Also, a really long and involved game.

Front Mission 1st - a port of the PS2 remake with a few more enhancements, I feel like they totally didn't pay attention to the needs of a DS game with this one. The basic game is unchanged in that its a good SRPG and the enhancements make it even better, but a failure to make sure it plays comfortably on the DS means that some of the appeal is harder to get into. Should have had more of a graphical remake as well. So great game at the core, but a lazy job done on this version.

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings - beside the somewhat iffy way the CG characters were animated, a feeling that it doesn't have enough side content and they could have done more to make gambits more flexible, this game's light-hearted plot was a welcome throwback to the whimsical nature of Final Fantasies of old, and as the second marriage of RTS and RPG gameplay, it surprisingly plays very differently from Heroes of Mana. Overall, a much better spin-off sequel than FFX-2 and still one of the most beautiful games on the system, with an incredible soundtrack.

Dragon Quest & Mario in Itadaki Street Special - Not much to surprise here, as usual, these are great multiplayer and singleplayer board games and this one is yet another well done game in that line, except made again fresh with boards and characters with a Mushroom Kingdom and Dragon Quest theme. This and the PS2 Final Fantasy & Dragon Quest game are probably the highest peak the series has reached. As always, the AI is surprisingly challenging, making for an infinitely replayable singleplayer game on top of the multiplayer.

Dragon Quest Monsters Joker - Mmmm, yummy. What the game loses in random dungeon flexibility and the total uniqueness of the caravan gameplay in the third title it makes up for with impressively 3D environments, great online tournaments and some awesome improvements to the base gameplay. Like Tactics A2, a game that can suck up hundreds of hours if you let it.

Shall We Listen to the Classics on the DS? - Yes, I bought one of Square Enix's ventures into new gaming territory. The idea of this one was that you listened to classical music and learned all about it, with visual aids and quizzes and the like. Except, only a small piece of the whole tune is played with information on how to buy the entire thing. It plays like an elaborate ad and feels like such a cheap ripoff that I feel bad just giving it attention in this paragraph. Since classical music largely in the public domain, why on earth did they do this? Also, since several of Square Enix's composers are famous, why did they not solicit their comments on the music? Koichi Sugiyama's comments especially would have been incredible. While its true that I learned an awful lot about classical music from it, seemed like a wasted opportunity. I want them to make it up by including full tunes and doing a 100 best songs/arrangements of Square Enix game.

Blooming Flowers DS Gardening Life - Now this may not please gardening maniacs or pros, but as a beginner who always wanted to know about this stuff, but never really tried, this is excellent. Thanks to this title, I finally was able to learn all the names of flowers and plants that I could only guess at before, know how to pick flowers and plants to grow in my house that I could afford to keep up and put in the right place and even start an herb garden for cooking (which amazingly, I started due to Cooking Navi, the DS is truly a monster). Excellent, easy to use, very handy and a fantastic introduction to gardening and plant knowledge. Why Square Enix got plants and flowers so very right and not music is beyond me though.

Yosumin - Did you guys know this is probably coming to you in the near future? Be very glad, as this game kicks ass. It's a puzzle game where you select smilie thingies of the same color to make a square and they disappear replaced by random other tiles. The basic rule is that you have to make a certain amount of colors disappear on each stage before time runs out. Play a free version of the game here: Of course as you play, new elements get introduced. The basic strategy of bigger squares netting you more points, but potentially wiping out other colors you could use to make a square is really well balanced and the DS game adds so many ways to play, that it's basically endless. Yosumin is the best puzzle game on the DS, period.

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates - An enormous singleplayer improvement on the Gamecube game and an extremely deep action RPG. Playing dress up with weapons and armor makes for varied replay and the puzzles, environments, enemies and abilities make for a game with a constantly evolving feel. This is where the series started threatening the Tactics games as the best Final Fantasy spin offs.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2 - After the crack cocaine addiction of the first, comes another multi-hundred hour epic. There's just so much friggin detail and so many ideas packed into this one and its so damn well thought out and fun, it will take you ages to plumb all of the jobs, side elements and ways to play it. On the other hand, it just has so much to it, it makes you wonder how they can possibly think of anything new to put in another one. You can make a case of which type of game is better, Advance or the original Tactics, but this one just smacks them both down.

The World Ends With You - 100% fresh, with all sorts of innovative ideas, totally its own identity and a great setting. The only thing really wrong with it is that it can't seem to rise above the types of characters it also wants to criticize and is kind of infected with them. Other than that, its really hard in this day and age to make an RPG that be compared with anything else, but this one achieved that. It may not have sold billions, but it seems to have been influential on the RPG market, as Blazer Drive and Devil Survivor both seem to take after it.

Final Fantasy IV - Voice-acting, new abilities, a more Celtic soundtrack, far better difficulty that brings more of the game's true depth, I remember I used to dream that RPGs would be like this one day. I can't believe it came true. Since the Dragon Quest remakes are ports of already well-done remakes, this stands as Square's best remake on the system. One wishes they kept the bonus dungeons in some form though.

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen - I'm still pissed that they took out party chat for English players, but the fact that this game received another dose of polish and refinement makes it easily the best version of the game you can play. It helps that its always been better than most RPGs since its release as well.

Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness - As a port of the two cellphone games, this is sooo much better handled than Front Mission 1st. Appropriately adapted and enhanced for the DS, the only downer is the lack of original music, as they are all remixes of other Front Mission tunes. Still as a prequel to the first, everything but how the antagonists are drawn is strongly of interest to the Front Mission series' plotline and carried out well. The branching missions and plot lines are as ever, fun to compare and the hugely tweaked gameplay makes it one of the balanced games in the series. Also, its great to also see cameos from Front Mission 2, aka the best game in the series.

Nanashi no Game (The Game with No Name) - Okay, so its controls are little awkward, and the gameplay is super simple, and some of the plot details are "Eh?" worthy and there's too little content. But none of that matters when this game managed to completely frighten me to the bone more so than any console game with far more graphic power at its disposal can. I guess it just shows how incredibly strong Square Enix's graphic designers and scenario writers are that they were able to accomplish this on the weakest hardware of the generation. Also an excellent example of experimenting with the culture of games itself within the game and how to make a truly powerless protagonist without using violence, and using that to make things even scarier. Running away from the threat in this game once unnerved me so badly that I called a friend and asked to stay over at his house for the night.

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride - Because of the somewhat lower quality music, whether this is the best version of the game is up for debate, but all the other enhancements make its gameplay the best version. One of the greatest RPG stories in the history of the genre just gets even better. As usual, if you've only played the original this is going to seem like such an incredibly thorough remake you won't believe they went through all the effort they did, but even the DS version shows a lot of attention to tweaking the game to be as perfect as it can be.

Sigma Harmonics - The very idea of making murder cases wherein the detective therein can solve them in different ways is fresh. Combining it with an outstanding setting and an interesting RPG part makes it even more so. Though its not as thoroughly thought out as Remnant, Vermilion, Yosumin or World Ends With You, its another great example of what terribly unique things Square Enix comes up with when they birth new franchises.

Chocobo and the Mysterious Dungeon + - I've not finished it yet, but its nice to play the Wii game on the DS where its easier to start and stop, and dare I say it, but the DS's quainter graphics and inability for the story to get in the way as much as the console game make it stronger (not to mention the fact that its got more content). Not nearly as strong a game as Shiren, but definitely the runner-up to the roguelike crown on the DS.

Chrono Trigger DS - I hate it when a classic gets updated and I don't feel everything is an improvement. I've always felt companies should offer a way to play the original in the same package. It's nice to see them listen for once. Because you can play the original in any way you want, you can ignore the albiet nice enhancements and make sure that nothing ruins them. Again, the DS version of a classic turns out to be the definitive one. So that's 4 (definitive: this, FFIV, DQIV & V) vs. 2 (FFIII and Front Mission 1st).

Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume - strategic, typically morbidly fascinating character storyline in Norse mythology trappings with hella unique ideas backing it up. It's 3 for 3 for this series in terms of not being able to tell which one is best and up there in my games of the year for 2008. Probably my favorite brand new DS game that Square Enix has made thus far.

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions - as much as this has some great enhancements, I can't help but feel the new cutscenes reduce some of the old charm unlike the way it was handled in FFIV. Also the new guest characters break up a little consistency of the world in a game where that's kind of an important thing. Nothing added is really all that necessary and the glitches are little annoying. It's nice to have it portable of course, but of all the ports they've done, this is the only one where I think the original version was unquestionably better. Though I guess its different for the English version, since people can now actually make much more sense of the story due to the cleaned up translation.

Final Fantasy - Yep, I've bought this game a total of five times and I'll probably keep buying it as long as they add new stuff, as the original is still one of my favorites in the whole series. The new dungeon in this one is better balanced than the ones they added before, but it still lowers the game's difficulty too much to make all these changes. The graphics have gotten unbelievably good looking, I can't believe the game has changed so much from the original. At the same time, I can't but feel that it's another case of it just being a different flavor of the original and not the definitive version, mostly because of the lacking challenge now.

Final Fantasy II - On the other hand, this one keeps getting better each time they remake it, its tweaked to play even better. Better yet, the new dungeon that makes more use of the unique keyword and item system is extremely clever and was totally awesome way of getting more use out of that system. Again, the even more vibrant graphics are appreciated. Definitely the definitive version, especially since the Dawn of Souls version finally was the one that brings it up to quality with the rest of the series.

Star Ocean: First Departure - Gorgeous, gorgeous new graphics engine make this game really stand out, but the decision to go 3D on the world map takes a little charm out of the original. Otherwise, the item creation getting beefed up to the standards of the second game and the new playable characters making it a little more in-depth totally improve the game so that it can stand toe-to-toe with the rest of the series now.

Star Ocean: The Second Story - Kind of lazy in comparison to all the other ports and remakes, but the extras are unequivocally good and since the original is one of my all time favorites anyway, and this is the definitive version, *shrugs* its good to play it again and discover once again why I was so hooked to it when it first came out. I love this game's flexibility. I always get addicted to the item creation and bonus bosses for hours.

Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special - it's basically a way to play the PS2 game on the go and as such, I only bought it for that reason so I could get rid of the PS2 version. If you omit the time I spent playing the PS2 version, which is brilliant, I played the DS one a lot more.

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth - The basic game is pretty much unchanged, but I don't feel like any of the additions add any real value whatsoever and in a way kind of detract from the original's feel, but only a little bit really. It's basically just as good as the original version, and at the same time, it's Valkyrie Profile, one of the best games ever. More people need to play it and see why. So Square Enix's PSP remake/port grades stand at 3 (definitive: Itadaki Street, Second Story and Final Fantasy II) vs. 4 (other versions might be better: this, First Departure, Final Fantasy and War of the Lions).

Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Very addictive to clear out all the missions, the random element to battle keeps the game fresh, a great example of how to design a complex game to be portable and all the Final Fantasy VII cameos and references are very fun. That said, beside some well done references and Zack's characterization culminating in the great, great, GREAT ending, man does the story stink of overthinking some good and bad ideas and mixing it together into third rate anime shlock.

Final Fantasy: Dissidia - When this game wakes up in the morning, it showers itself in AWESOME. When it has to go the bathroom, it shits out pure, unspoiled AWESOME. When it speaks, the whole room shakes in fear at its great and exalted words o' AWESOME. Where it steps, flowers of AWESOME grow. If Final Fantasy: Dissidia looks at you, you will quake in righteous fear at the power of its all-encompassed AWESOME. Yeah, I've only had it for a few hours, but in that little amount of time I must conclude that Square Enix has completely bitch slapped the shit out of fighting game makers for not thinking creatively enough (even though they still make great games, if they thought like this the genre would not be losing popularity on consoles) and has designed the best character compilation fighter ever. The Vs. series and Smash Bros. lie in shame at the feet of this game. I love how even though its based entirely on old IP, it's gameplay is the freshest and most original I've seen for a fighter since the days of the original Smash Bros. and Bushido Blade. Dear God in heaven and alive is this game AWESOME. I've never played characters who play as uniquely as Exdeath, Onion Knight or Kekfa do in any other fighter. You can laugh at Nomura all you like for some of his absurdly bad character designs in comparison to Amano, but with games like Kingdom Hearts, The World Ends With You and this, he truly has inherited the Square and the Enix round of developers ability to bring innovation in the most unlikely ways. I'm not going to be surprised if this turns out to be my all time favorite PSP game or game of the year with more play.

Infinite Undiscovery - Hmmmm, like Radiata Stories, it seems like a game where most of its ideas don't get the chance to shine as much as they could, but its still a great game in spite of that. Even though it may have been their idea to engender roleplaying responses without it, one really wishes for easier and more control of the other characters. Otherwise, it's beautiful, got lots of unique ideas and I'm probably the only person in the world who absolutely loves the main character. I also like the, "Good lord, what have I got myself into?" FFVIII feel of the plot.

The Last Remnant - SaGa team! Already talked about how much I like this game despite the technical flaws in this thread. May the SaGa team live forever, creating games that don't hold you by the hand and play so very differently than other RPGs.

Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and The Tower of Mirrors - I thought this might be the first time ever that a Dragon Quest game, spin off or otherwise, wasn't AAA. Very fortunately, I turned out to be wrong. A wonderful mix of RPG and arcade gameplay that requires the best understanding of both worlds, I hope to see many sequels and games one day take advantage of the beautiful ideas present here. I especially love the great ingenuity of implementing the various shields and how very arcade-game-style high score replayable the game is.

Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: Maze of Forgotten Time - Great little roguelike with fantasy remixed Final Fantasy music, but the DS game, graphics aside is the better version. Wii betrayal! Duh duh duh! Also, although its at least charming with the classic Final Fantasy characters, everything else is up there with Crisis Core as most pathetically awful plot for Square Enix this generation. What on earth were they thinking with that green haired alien baby...thing?

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King - As I said before, Ring of Fates is where the series started challenging Tactics as the best spin-offs, and here is where that challenge became even stronger. A simulation of what its like to run an RPG kingdom, so very novel and its extremely well made in that the basic idea is taken and run with as far as it can go. Rockman 9 aside, this still feels like the best Wii Ware game yet.

Lord of Vermilion - Card-based arcade RPGs are a dime a dozen these days, especially in a fantasy setting. But leave it to Square Enix to totally knock it out of the park. Moreso than Last Remnant, World Ends With You, Nanashi no Game, Yosumin or Sigma Harmonics, this feels like their most completely well-roundedly accomplished new franchise. Easy to start, easy to play, but hard to master, I'm surprised they struck such a great balance for their second arcade game. One of those arcade games where you wish you could take the cabinet home, it's so pretty and sexy.

Dragon Quest Monsters: Battle Road - Addictive in small doses as a distillation of the Dragon Quest Monsters game, and always fun to see classic monsters rendered so lovingly, but I can't help but feel there's always a more they could do with it.

Final Fantasy IV: The After - I hate to tell you this people, but Before Crisis was a great game, even though it was only on mobile phones. I also hate to tell you that this is a great game too. Again, it's such a better a sequel than FFX-2 in all its unbelievable suck was. It is so much of what you could want with an extended stay in the world of FFIV and is so fun to revisit old areas under new storylines. Lately, it seems like so many RPGs are getting lost in meaningless additions to a battle system, but this game's Chrono Trigger-esque links are a truly meaningful and well-carried out idea. I also like the Shin Megami Tensei use of moon phases, which is especially appropriate considering the plot of the original. It's also really cool to be able to play the middle portion of the game, each character's chapter in order you please like the end of Final Fantasy VI. This is too high profile not to port to the PSP or DS, so hopefully, like Border of Madness, we see that happen. The last chapter is set to be released soon, so I can't wait to see how it ends. :)

Friends of Mana - a kind of low-scale MMO, where you live in one of three Mana villages and work with the villagers by raising pets to do various things to help out the villagers. As you and your friends work together to go on quests and scenarios of varying lengths, the Mana Tree grows, the happiness ranking goes up and more things become available to do. From fall harvesting to playing board games together to fishing to summer and spring events, it's like Animal Crossing meets an RPG with Dark Chronicle-like kitchen sink array of elements to take part in. Better yet, it's been out for nearly 2 years now and Square Enix is still sending new content out for it. Very charming to dip into casually while on a train over the weeks and months, especially because of the warm Mana-esque graphics.

Seiken Densetsu - The original updated in a more conventional manner, unlike Sword of Mana, while I love Sword of Mana for doing all sorts of cool new things with the concept of the original, I feel like losing the old puzzles was kind of a downer as well. So it's nice to have a second version like this that is more faithful to the original, but updates the graphics and music a great amount. I like both remakes for different reasons.

Dragon Quest Monster Friends - It's Dragon Quest Tamagotchi! Talk, pet and raise a dozen or so Dragon Quest monsters until they introduce you to your friends and you can then use them to replace your cell phone's convenient features in a Dragon Quest fashion. Ever fancied being woke up by a Dragon alarm in the morning? Well now you can! A must for a Dragon Quest nut like me for the small price. The dialogue is so awesomely funny in this game. (Did you know those lava rock monsters have to be careful of their allergies because if they sneeze, they might blow up? Man, it's gotta be a tough life to be a Dragon Quest monster.)

Crystal Guardians - Though I feel like for once, the graphics effects could be stronger, as you don't really get much of a feel for the difference in technique between the different jobs, this SRPG puzzle game is really cool. You basically pay gil to place different Final Fantasy Tactics jobs on a field with a road on it. Waves of monsters run down the road and based on how you placed your jobs, they will be taken care of or escape and steal crystals. The better you protect crystals the more you get to work with in leveling up your jobs and such. During waves you place new jobs and power them up accordingly to handle the new threat. New elements like special crystals, new jobs and summons appear as new versions of the game get released. Tricky and fun to replay different ones, it's really quite a cool idea and well done for what it is. Again, needs a port to one of the portable systems so everyone can experience it.

Demon Chain - An original puzzle game somewhat like Puzzle Quest. You have a grid of different colored icons and if you match up three icons or three colors, you can make them disappear and affect your abilities, such as powering up two types of skills, recovering HP or damaging the enemy. When you make one set disappear, at the bottom a marker shows a color or icon that if you next make disappear will result in a chain, at the end of chain the power up effects are even stronger. You fight against six opponents until you can reach a new level and then repeat the process. As you go on, you can change costumes for each character which gives them jobs with different skills. Not as deep as it might sound, but well balanced and quite fun.

Hokkaido Serial Killer Crimes: Disappearance in Ohotsk - A remake of the Famicom of one of the adventure games before Yuji Horii got huge with Dragon Quest. Since the original is very old, this complete remaking of the visuals and gameplay take it and make it playable for a new generation. A pretty good adventure game experience somewhat like the Jinguji Saburou games.

Ellark - Due to the destruction of the world below and the lack of precious resources, a floating ark in the sky called Ellark is trying to rebuild the world piece by piece by using magical books to create new worlds. You wake up without your memory wandering which book you came from. You travel from book to book from the ark, carrying out adventures in Dragon Quest RPG fashion, except it's an online RPG (not an MMO) that you play by e-mail by sending in new decisions each week and then preparing for the next week once you get the results. I don't feel like you can do quite enough in each week for the pace of the game, but its an interesting idea with lovely graphics and the little stories are fun to take part in, as is looking at your avatar as you outfit him or her with new armor and such to change their appearance. Reminds me of the old Sword of Hope Gameboy games."

♪☺♫☻ (cozwn), Thursday, 18 December 2008 14:10 (fifteen years ago) link

getting to the bottom of that required no less than six page-downs

jamescobo, Thursday, 18 December 2008 17:15 (fifteen years ago) link

I know, right? a forum post! crazy!

♪☻♫☺ (cozwn), Thursday, 18 December 2008 17:41 (fifteen years ago) link

GameSpot UK: Why are you sick of Katamari Damacy?

Keita Takahashi: Wouldn't you be?

cankles, Thursday, 18 December 2008 18:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Yesterday As I Was Enjoying The Sonic Demo For The 1,000,000 Time My Picture Started To Go All Black And Grainy I Wasn't Sure Of The Problem So I Went Back To The Dashboard And The Screen Was Fine Apart From My Avatar That Was Also Grainy. So I Decided To Turn Off My Xbox And Switch It Back On. But When I Switched It Back On I Got 1 Red Ring And On The Screen Saying In Loads Of Diffrent Languages System Error.

I Also Got A Code At The Bottom Of The Screen Saying E 74. So I Went To And Went To Find Out What The Problem Was. The Only Help They Could Give Me Was Unplug Everything And Plug It All Back In. So I Did. Same Screen Came Up And I Still Had One Red Ring. It Also Said It Could Be A Problem With A Bit Of Hardware. Customer Support Was No Help The Robot Gave Me The Same Information. But I Found If I Unplug The Wire That Goes 2 The Back Of My TV Then The Red Quadrent Does Not Come Up.

Could This Have Any Thing 2 Do Wif It?


when dont't you connect and im flying darkness (cozwn), Saturday, 20 December 2008 17:35 (fifteen years ago) link

man, it must be onerous to feel compelled to capitalize like that. plus you can never get an iphone!

jamescobo, Saturday, 20 December 2008 18:04 (fifteen years ago) link

this is some pretty enraging shit:

the curious case of poster burt_stanton (Lamp), Monday, 22 December 2008 05:55 (fifteen years ago) link

i mean loldon review of books lol john lanchester lol this isnt a viditorial lol who cares but, i mean seriously: "[Bioshock] was a huge hit, and I have yet to encounter anyone who has ever heard of it." O RLY

the curious case of poster burt_stanton (Lamp), Monday, 22 December 2008 05:58 (fifteen years ago) link

"Older media have largely abandoned the idea that difficulty is a virtue; if I had to name one high-cultural notion that had died in my adult lifetime, it would be the idea that difficulty is artistically desirable. It’s a bit of an irony that difficulty thrives in the newest medium of all."

difficulty in meaning, reading or understanding /= difficulty of execution, or playing

OɔIXEW (cozwn), Monday, 22 December 2008 11:36 (fifteen years ago) link

btw the mental image of john lanchester hunched over a controller is a bit unbearable
"fuckin tubular!"

OɔIXEW (cozwn), Monday, 22 December 2008 11:47 (fifteen years ago) link

haha I liked that article, I didn't really disagree with anything in it

TOMBOT, Monday, 22 December 2008 14:13 (fifteen years ago) link

i agree with some of his assertions and disagree with others but concluding with such a hands-in-pockets, shoulder-shrugging, bet-hedger is pretty lame. "are games art? well, not now, probably, with some exceptions but it's likely they might be, in the future, probably."

and the whole thing is really lazily argued and glib and inept esp when he's talking about games and the way they function. he invokes poole but doesn't really understand him or try considering the ramifications of routine as ritual, for example. i actually think he's right about the second way in which games can become art but that point deserves to be made better, with more clarity and rigour and generosity and less emphasis on mechanics.

i'm dreaming of a white xmas btw (Lamp), Monday, 22 December 2008 16:15 (fifteen years ago) link

the way I read it, his main point was that we at least need to be having the conversation (something that gets brought up every year by different people, but his version was enjoyable enough that I actually read it) and paying attention to some of these questions - he starts off with $$$, which should tell you right away he's not trying to find a big answer in this piece.

TOMBOT, Monday, 22 December 2008 16:19 (fifteen years ago) link

i think lanchester tries to tell ppl reading the lrb "hey, video games are a thing now, here's why" and then he tries to answer the "is it art?" qn. and it feels to me like he's doing the former to justify even asking the latter which gets my hackles up, and maybe it shouldn't. but that's such a big, important question to some many ppl in the industry, not just me, that i can't help but feel he's not equipped to answer it.

also the other big flaw, and i think it leads from his relative unfamiliarity with the medium, is that he keeps complaining about sequels and corporations and the money-men and yet gives no indication of playing anything other than "blockbuster" releases himself. its fair play to say that considerations of developers and others aren't important to the end result but lanchester tries to have it both ways here sating "that nothing within a world so fully made by a corporation can be truly creative" and then refusing to engage with the desires motivating "corporate" designers.

ugh i can tl;dr about this for hours but the article bothered me which is probably lame but there it is

i'm dreaming of a white xmas btw (Lamp), Monday, 22 December 2008 16:25 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm such an illiterate

give the gift of gabbneb (Lamp), Monday, 22 December 2008 18:01 (fifteen years ago) link

as in, holding tight to even the slightest patina of progressiveness in a game and then discussing the whole thing solely through that lens is not really analysing its politics in any meaningful way

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 17:17 (two years ago) link

i just don't think critical writing has to be a tight mathematical thesis where you get to the QED, what's wrong with riffing on whimsy?

look on my guacs, ye mighty, and dis pear (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 17:19 (two years ago) link

there's many ways that a piece of writing can be bad but i don't think the tenuousness of its conceits is one of them

look on my guacs, ye mighty, and dis pear (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 17:21 (two years ago) link

"Riffing on whimsy" is p much the opposite of what I'm discussing here, tho - finding a political hook for a game and discussing how well it lives up to that hook is very much a formula! And when that formula gets adopted as the main way to write about p much anything you're going to be leaving out a lot of interesting stuff.

Like I'd be totally down for, say, an article that actually goes deep into British imperial history based on some Ace Attorney plot points but that's not what that is.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 17:26 (two years ago) link

With Polygon, there's so much of this kind of output, and some of it fairly half-assed, that I do wonder if the editor is just shrugging their shoulders saying "thoughtful... enough?" It's just in the games writing, it's like everything from comic book hot takes or a middling streaming movie review every week.

As said, they have to make filler content for everyday of the week...

Nhex, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 17:56 (two years ago) link

Like maybe they're still trying, or maybe they're just buzzfeed, I don't know anymore

Nhex, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 17:56 (two years ago) link

overall tiring trend in media of the phrase "all art is political" collapsing from meaning "all art has a political dimension" to "all art must be analyzed based on whether it has Good or Bad politics"

oiocha, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 17:59 (two years ago) link

What makes it sadder is that when Polygon was trying to be weirder apparently that just didn't bring in enough money.

Gotta say they still occasionally do good work, tho: Kazuma Hashimoto is always worth reading, a queer Japanese voice who can contextualise stuff in Japanese culture from that pov. Not video games at all, but I really enjoyed Kendra James' memoir piece on being in an Ornaldo Bloomps fan community, too.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 10:02 (two years ago) link

two months pass...
four weeks pass...

One of his video essays, more or less:

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 10 January 2022 01:00 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

Some interesting stuff in here:

As the author suggests:

If you're wondering why a lot of video game publishers are announcing games years in advance these days, this is the main reason! PR-driven secrecy hurts the industry more than people realize:

— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) June 1, 2023

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 1 June 2023 16:30 (one year ago) link

hoping companies will get the message that genocide is bad for business

Kate (rushomancy), Thursday, 1 June 2023 16:43 (one year ago) link

Wait, I don't understand how that article quote relates to delaying video game announcments...

Nhex, Friday, 2 June 2023 19:38 (one year ago) link

It's not about delaying game announcements, but more about why more publishers are announcing games earlier than in the past so they can avoid situations like with this one where the people applying were under the impression the game would be like Arkane's prior work as opposed to a multiplayer thing, which had to be kept secret since it wasn't announced yet.

Judi Dench's Human Hand (methanietanner), Friday, 2 June 2023 19:44 (one year ago) link

oooh ok.

Nhex, Saturday, 3 June 2023 12:29 (one year ago) link

Heh, the part about it being difficult to attract talent to Texas because it’s Texas is definitely a problem from my slim view of things. Cool state.

circa1916, Saturday, 3 June 2023 13:27 (one year ago) link

Yeahhh, kinda felt like that was the bigger issue there. Well, that and for some weird reason not just being able to tell hires what they're supposed to be working on in the interview process, without giving away trade secrets, guess that's too hard or something

Nhex, Saturday, 3 June 2023 15:13 (one year ago) link

Yeahhh, kinda felt like that was the bigger issue there. Well, that and for some weird reason not just being able to tell hires what they're supposed to be working on in the interview process, without giving away trade secrets, guess that's too hard or something

― Nhex

oh like anybody does the job they're paid to do, if i wanted to have privileges like doing the job i'm paid for i'd, i don't know, form a union or something

Kate (rushomancy), Saturday, 3 June 2023 18:55 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

youtube documentary on vampire survivors including an interview with the creator:

i love that a zero-budget game by one guy and some asset packs can blow up.
interesting to learn that the bad pixel scaling was left in intentionally.

formerly abanana (dat), Monday, 17 July 2023 18:02 (eleven months ago) link

oh i'm excited to watch that. love vampire survivors

c u (crüt), Tuesday, 18 July 2023 00:20 (eleven months ago) link

Gah 2 minutes in and he's talking about going through a big box full of C64 cassettes and they use imagery of 3.5" floppies to illustrate that point. WHY CAN'T I GET PAST THAT SORT OF THING?

JimD, Tuesday, 18 July 2023 10:48 (eleven months ago) link

Albert Canoe (Leee), Wednesday, 26 July 2023 05:08 (eleven months ago) link

That was cool. Simultaneously makes me want to play it and glad that I can't.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 26 July 2023 12:37 (eleven months ago) link

I'm grimly fascinated that after the initial round of politely enthusiastic release reviews for Diablo 4, you now get these kind of articles from terminally Diablo-pilled people basically going "please don't ever play Diablo 4. I am completely incapable of taking my own advice on this because it's too late for me, but trust me"

hiroyoshi tins in (Sgt. Biscuits), Sunday, 6 August 2023 12:36 (eleven months ago) link

that describes every service-based game these days. the reviewers don't get the real experience

ciderpress, Sunday, 6 August 2023 15:07 (eleven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

A different take on the thread subject, I think. I found this thread with comments from video game fans living in far flung and often tough locations that make being a gamer really hard:

There's some of the usual posturing and debate, but mostly lots of stuff about the practical challenges of game costs, dwindling physical media, download speeds, lack of stable power, low wages/weak economy. Caught my eye.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 22 August 2023 12:54 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

Thanks to Leee on the Last of Us thread for recommending that Something Rotten podcast. I've listened to most of the LoU2 episodes, and while it's often chaotic or incoherent (per hang-out podcast protocol) and I often disagree with their takes (which are steeped in not just general cynicism but also the sort that comes from spending way more time with this particular game than the vast majority of people) it's also often very incisive, and it's all been worth it for the (more or less) last installment with Cameron Kunzelman, who I was unfamiliar with, and whose smart presence sent me scrambling for a pen and paper to note down all the other stuff I wanted to pursue. Kunzelman's book, for example, The World Is Born From Zero, and his other writing on video games, or writers like Stuart Hall, who I also don't know. Not to mention Jacob Geller's video essays, or the epic game analysis videos from Noah Caldwell-Gervais.

For example, I was watching one of Caldwell-Gervais's videos on the Souls games, and he brought up a very interesting point, how almost no matter what action game you are playing, from Last of Us to Doom to Spider-man to Uncharted or whatever, but especially conventionally story-driven games, no matter how easy or difficult, everyone ends up at the same place, more or less the same way. But in Dark Souls, et al., no two players - and in a lot of ways, no two playthroughs - are the same, and how you reach the end is as ambiguous as what the end even *is*, which makes the games particularly rich, mysterious and entrancing. As a more or less casual gamer I'd never really considered this aspect.

I've also got a bunch of books about games queued up. Blood, Sweat and Pixels; Masters of Doom; All Your Base are Belong to Us; Extra Lives. Go figure, there are a lot of books out there about video games.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 21 October 2023 13:41 (eight months ago) link

three months pass...

Interesting interview with old heads in the industry:

Not as in depth or groundbreaking as I'd like but it approaches game development from a different angle.

Temple of Selune Gomez (Leee), Saturday, 3 February 2024 16:21 (five months ago) link

Sounds like my kind of game, gotta keep an eye for this if it goes on sale

Nhex, Monday, 12 February 2024 19:49 (five months ago) link

three weeks pass...


karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Tuesday, 5 March 2024 12:49 (four months ago) link

lol that last pic, amazing

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 13:01 (four months ago) link

so petty lol

Nhex, Wednesday, 6 March 2024 02:53 (four months ago) link

Yeah great pay off at the end there

H.P, Wednesday, 6 March 2024 04:33 (four months ago) link

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 19 March 2024 16:22 (three months ago) link

Longform on the pipeline between journalism and development:

Astarion Is Born (Leee), Saturday, 23 March 2024 15:01 (three months ago) link

three weeks pass...

wasn't familiar with that site; seems good, but it also made me kind of sad to read this as someone who consumed so much games writing in the '00s that so much of it is lost

Nhex, Tuesday, 16 April 2024 02:29 (two months ago) link

wow. booming post.

Humanitarian Pause (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 16 April 2024 03:36 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

i just love that i'll be watching random videos about, like, the NES version of "strider" and whoever will make the video will just pop in and say "oh by the way also ronald reagan was the worst person to ever live"

i mean it's like you can't _not_ say it at this point, y'know?

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 17 May 2024 23:11 (one month ago) link

Excellent advice:

The Mandymoorian (Leee), Saturday, 18 May 2024 13:52 (one month ago) link

My favorite response from Japan regarding the whole Assassin’s Creed Yasuke situation

— KawaiiFive0h: 10K YT Subs This Year? (@KawaiiFive0h) May 17, 2024

chihuahuau, Saturday, 18 May 2024 17:31 (one month ago) link

ok again not "reading" per se but i'd never heard of this and it's fascinating, better than manufactured "creepypasta" for me is genuinely bizarre and disturbing media from back in the day

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 24 May 2024 18:24 (one month ago) link

<3 kim justice. i've learned so much about weird ass UK culture from her stuff like blobby and how the frankie goes to hollywood game is actually good

paul mccartney and wigs (diamonddave85), Friday, 24 May 2024 18:59 (one month ago) link

indeed, i wish i had time to watch more of her videos!

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 24 May 2024 22:07 (one month ago) link

Interesting take on the impending crisis of AAA games:

Scott Baculum (Leee), Wednesday, 5 June 2024 17:27 (one month ago) link

it's again, i do less _reading_ than i do _watching_, i've kinda got a thing for video essays lately, idk why

anyway i enjoyed this followup to a previous jan Misali video:

the thing that fascinates me is the way queerness kind of seeps through

like there's nothing overtly queer about it, but it gets to the part where jan Misali is talking about how some mario games _do_ have a meaningful story element and up pops Vivian from Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (TTYD).

it's a small moment but it's a significant choice... i don't know to what extent people know how controversial this has been lately

in the original thousand year door, the character of Vivian was portrayed in Japan as an "otokonoko", a Japanese term that doesn't really translate well into English. it's often translated as "crossdresser" which... _kind of_? it doesn't have the _specificity_ associated with the english language term. an otokonoko isn't necessarily "trans" but she's not _not_ trans. it's kind of like how in japanese, the term "gei boi", although to some extent derived from english words, doesn't mean _quite_ the same thing as the english term "gay boy" would. "gei" suggests "geisha", suggests something distinctly feminine. so when a character in _funeral parade of roses_ refers to herself as a "gay boy" the term is maybe more equivalent to the contemporaneous western idea of the "street queen", people like marsha p. johnson.

anyway that kind of nuance gets lost in translation, which maybe is one of the reasons vivian was portrayed in the original English version as being a cis woman.

anyway the remaster just came out - and IMO TTYD is the best paper mario game BTW. i like "super paper mario" but it's not really an RPG, which is a shame because TTYD was a really good RPG. the timing based stuff in TTYD is tough for me, i don't have a good sense of timing.

anyway, the remaster just came out and in the english version, lo and behold vivian is a trans woman

of course there are a lot of Gamers on the Internet who are just _livid_ about this, Nintendo Gone Woke or whatever. it is fascinating to me honestly to see the development of understandings of gender in Japan... my understanding is that lately the Western concept of "transgender" has taken hold. i can't say i'm totally unhappy about that, as otokonoko aren't necessarily treated respectfully in the way that trans people are... they maybe don't get treated to the same extent that an "okama", a term that roughly translates as the "f-slur", does, but "otokonoko" do tend to get viewed as not being "real" women and are often gendered as male by cis people, even when they use female pronouns. if you look at the way nintendo has treated the gender identity of birdo, which is _not_ well, that's kinda the dynamic there.

i'm kinda curious as to whether the japanese TTYD remaster treats vivian as a straightforward trans woman as well, or if that's just how the english translation portrays her. i haven't seen any information on that either way. in general though i am seeing a lot more representation in japanese media that fits the "transgender" framing.


it's more than that, though, i watch a lot of what one might call "nerd" or "weeb" videos, these things that... i love the way jan Misali explores the different ways to categorize mario games, the way they go through the different ways and decide that it's a question of how people _use language_, a linguistic question in other words rather than a question of data analysis. like jan Misali i am interested in both things, and i agree with their conclusions. i mean you can see my love of how we interpret language from the preceding section lol. taxonomizing in this manner, i do think there's something implicitly queer about it, because it's how we make sense of _ourselves_, of who we are. i couldn't recognize myself as a "transsexual" or a "transvestite" but i _could_ recognize myself as "transgender". (as a result of that i _do_ also now recognize myself as "transsexual" - language is complicated!)

even something like stevem's recent video on cyberpunk anime, it doesn't _center_ queerness but it's implicit, implicit in the genre. the idea of "lowlifes" is _very_ queercoded. and again, you do see queerness seeping through. you start with anticapitalism and then you ask why so many cyberpunk protags are girls and you get to donna haraway and suddenly queerness is on the menu.

anyway neither of these videos is explicitly queer, and one of them isn't even about video games, though it does take a critical view of cyberpunk 2077, but these are the videos i'm into, and this kind of analysis, this kind of video essay, _is_ to me implicitly queer, is one of my special interests. i'd do this kinda shit myself if i had the spoons to make it presentable to an audience lol.

Kate (rushomancy), Wednesday, 5 June 2024 18:20 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Fixing the Mega Man 3 stage select screen

I admit that I couldn't follow all of this. Still fascinating to me.

master of the pan (abanana), Tuesday, 25 June 2024 15:18 (two weeks ago) link

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