All About Detha
Mass Effect 2 is probably the best one I've played. Arcanum: Of Magick and Steamworks Obscura is runner-up. Knights of the Old Republic and Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (or Persona 4) would be somewhere in my top 7? Phantasy Star IV and Final Fantasy IX are somewhere in there or at least in the top 10. Final Fantasy XII is also one of my beloved. Just giving perspective - I love WesternRPGs, but was raised on JasianRPGS, and many of those are more enjoyable experiences than many Western ones.
The thing is, I don't know how much of my impression of Mass Effect 2 is due to the graphics, or if I'll be coming back to it after I've beaten it a couple times. Then again, I haven't touched Chrono Trigger since beating the hell out of it. Hm, 3D realistic modeling just doesn't have the same charm as many of the 2D or isometric RPGs have after an age, which pretty much preserves them in nostalgic visual value, regardless of art style sometimes. Art style is important, and Mass Effect 2's has a dark, futuristic one down pat, but it still primarily relies on simulating realism. If the game survives top 10 lists for a few decades, then we'll know.
But maybe I'm wrong. I can still go back to early stealth games like Tenchu on the PSone and enjoy them (a genre that benefits amazingly to technology). But I have to say Mass Effect 2's graphics floor me - which I haven't said about many games. The conversations are actually fun to listen and navigate through (the writing is mostly incredible), the environments are rich and full of detail, there's so much to do, and the moral choices, regardless of being obvious to which one is good cop and bad cop, can still ambiguous as to which is right, and which is wrong (something Dragon Age's Grey Warden crap failed to do). Maybe that greyness encompasses about 30% of the choices however, but we won't really know the full extent until Mass Effect 3. I think the series will always be fun to play through for years, but I'm not sure this single entry is really as timeless as all that.
I guess this is all pointless to talk about, since games have surpassed their age for a long time, even many early 3D ones, like Ocarina, and of course, Final Fantasy VII.
Mass Effect 2 is bordering on the best game I've ever played in my life, as well. Go get it; don't listen to naysayers. It's much less of a typical RPG like it's prequel (which wasn't exactly an shining example of classic RPG elements), but it's still very much a role-playing game, and in many ways more-so of one than 70% of those called RPGs before it. Actually, I take that back -- it depends very much on what you play RPGs for.
If you play them for dialogue and characterization, this has 'em. Outlandish character personalities? This game is much more subtle and adult about those than JRPGs, but they're here. Beautiful and very realized locales? Mass Effect 2. Obviously value of character control is important, but that's a WRPG thing in general. Stat building? This game's light on that, but very choosy (still deeper than JRPG stat management). Equipment management is pretty light, where money and materials to make equipment are just another kind of experience point found in loot. However, you're still given choices in priority. Grinding? Grinding is less annoying and long than battling tons of enemies, but also less engaging - probing planets.
It's not a classic RPG by any means, nor is it a strategy RPG, or even "just a conversational shooter". I'd imagine shooter fans playing the game like Gears would get bored. It's just an action RPG, and if you want to compare it to many other action RPGs, then this game is much deeper than them even (Fable? Folklore? lol). I really don't get the depth critique. Streamlined, practical, different, and good. It isn't going to replace a standard RPG in terms of stat building and strategic combat, but that's not why you play action RPGs.
I wish I could comment on Vagrant Story, but I haven't played it yet.
I keep stepping on this grape in front of my door.
I'm tired. However, it took me almost 24 hours to get sleepy yesterday. Now it's taken me about, what, 13? I'm trying to stay up, because I'm going to take my sister out for a movie today. She broke up with her boyfriend and was in a slump, so I wanted to get her out of the house. But it sounds like her boyfriend is trying to make up with her, so we probably won't go. I don't think she really wanted to see Princess & the Frog anyway. I'm taking these... muscle pills or something every few days, wondering the difference between working out with and without them is. The only real difference is that it's easier to get exhausted from my workouts when on the pills, contrary to what it says on the box and when I first used them. I do seemed more toned or "bigger" after I use them the next day, but it's probably all in my head.
Been flipping through Dante's Inferno. No not because of the game. I want to say I'm disappointed, but only because I thought it was going to be more vivid and creative in its depictions of "terror" or "horrible" or something. Instead, it says darkness and rain a lot. Dante's also a bit of a wimp. He asks some soul about why he/she/it was there, the soul tells him a fairly standard love story, and I think... I think he faints... after crying. I think. Well, whatever Dante. Apparently, at the time, his stuff was breaking boundaries, but I think all of this happens a little later in the poem. Something about Lucifer. It being a poem, there are a few metaphors so far which are creative and make things surreal, and it really isn't bad at all. I just expected something a little more hellish, with more profound descriptions. It's a fun read though.
Been missing Phantasy Star Online lately. I'm not sure what exactly spawned that little bit of nostalgia, but it's here now. I've been wondering about restarting my Universe account, but I'm not sure it's worth it. Especially since Phantasy Star Portable 2 is out and coming out in the US on PSP. People in the forums are saying that all of the whacky advertisement gear and DLC won't be featured in the US release, and that won't fly for me. Soooo, I'll probably import. I don't know what it is, but I kind of like advertisements in games. Only when its tastefully done, and I don't really have anything against it when it isn't. It gives it personality. Gives it "culture". At least, in the American sense. Though I don't really understand why people don't like it - kills the "immersion"? Yeah, I could see that in something like Dante's Inferno (the game), where you eventually pass up a Coca-Cola machine in the 6th circle of Hell. But not in a car game, where you're driving in a modern American city. But, anyway, I usually like it.
Take Sonic Adventure 2, for example. SOAP ads and Dreamcast ads on the buildings and stuff really pushed the urban feel, and had this nice pop-art look to it. It was nice, and they bastardized it for the Gamecube release; "Play SA2 more!" Yeah, ok. You're pretty "in your face", aren't you buddy? Alright, I'll play.
Though sometimes I like it when it's shoddy. Like in Tekken 6. At the ass-end of the instruction manual is a 2$ off coupon for Church's Chicken. Now, Church's Chicken is one bland ass chicken place, and not very popular (at least in Texas). They put a single, sterile, tiny poster of the logo for Chruch's every block or so in these dingy, back-alley places where you're fighting all of these thugs. They stick out like a sore thumb and there are no other posters or anything to take your eyes off of it. It's great! It's funny!
But anyway, in PSP2, they have Pizza Hut boxes! That you can fight with! Or something like that. There are a few other things, but that sounds pretty cool.
I played through Resident Evil 5 on Professional mode two nights ago with Summerclaw. We beat it! It went by a lot faster with infinite ammo; go figure. I wasn't really interested in playing the game, because I played it so much when it came out, it became so damned boring. But, he sounded desperate and even gave me 48-hour Gold Trial to play with him. And he's Summerclaw! So I couldn't turn him down. It was fun, though! It was funny when he got frustrated that I couldn't understand his English very well, and a few jokes happened. Good times.
What else, what else? Oh yeah. I saw that Twilight movie. Sucked.
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