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2019 VIDEO GAME CATCH-ALL THREAD


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5 hours ago, Zimbra said:

My God-Emperor decree is that nothing gets made until we get a new Power Stone.

I'm not opposed to this position.

You've got my endorsement if I drop out of the primary. 

I'll stump for you if you also force Capcom to make a Capcom All-Stars 3v3 fighter with Edward Falcon as a member of the playable roster. 

1 hour ago, Lamp, broken circa 1988 said:

typing-dreamcast-backpacks.jpg

(it helps that 1 & 2 are legitimately good light gun games but Typing of the Dead is straight genius)

I still have my Dreamcast keyboard specifically so that I can bust this out and play it every once in awhile! It is legitimately awesome, you're not wrong about that.

I admit that for home light gun games made by SEGA, I prefer both Virtua Cop and Confidential Mission, though. 

 

 

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I have finished Final Fantasy VII and I have mixed thoughts, though overall it's quite enjoyable. I will put these in spoilers for length, in case you want to read more of my crazy hot takes. Also, I totally get that it's a zeitgeist-of-the-time kind of game and if you have no desire to think critically about your personal sacred cows, then you can be spared reading this stuff. That is fine, we all do it for our chosen things. 

So, I totally get why this game is getting a remaster, because it will make them tens of millions of dollars, but the funny thing is they are going to redo all the visuals from the ground up and I think the graphics are, in their own way, the part of this game that has actually held up the best through a 20+ year lens? Like, the cutscenes all look fine. The graphics are obviously a bit dated but I can't really name a better looking PS1 era title on the whole? Most of the monsters look pretty cool. There was very little in this game I actually found visually offensive beyond the clunky overworld map at times.

I'll also say this: the last third of the game is pretty clearly the strongest, and that's great to actually play a game that peaks near the end. So much of the first two thirds are kind of a cakewalk, but that actually describes a shit ton of RPG's if we're being honest. There's some hard-ish content in the last third (though honestly, only one or two bosses that get to that FF IV level of actually threatening to wipe you). It actually works well here because there's a ramp up where you go like feeling from all-conquering heroes to planting that Seed of Doubt that adds a ton of tension to the late stages of the game. So, that's good.

I still have mixed feelings on the Materia system but in the end it does accomplish exactly what the designers set out to do; make individual characters very malleable in their use of magic to fit your personal preferences at the expense of character individuality. I'm not a giant fan, but that's really a personal taste thing, and it does work well within  what they built it for. I have no real problem with the combat in this game, at the end of the day. The combat is actually, for the most part, really chill and fun to do. The only big beef I have is the (as far as I could tell) unskippable long cutscences on things like the summons and certain rare spells like Sephiroth's big one. But that's pretty minor.

The elephant in the room - the giant, unavoidable elephant - is that this story isn't very good. Well, the story is salvageable, but the delivery is really poor. This game is full of bad writing. A lot of bad writing. Tons of it. Everywhere you look, endless fields of bad writing. 

I decided years ago the dumbest thing that I would actually accept as being good is Star Wars. It's a thing that is very stupid, incredibly enjoyable as such, and that's great. This story is definitely dumber than Star Wars, and that's a problem at points in this. None of the characters have any real depth. Cloud just isn't an interesting hero, partially because he's so closely tied to a villain that doesn't get enough real meat. Aeris is your typical Magical Girl without really much else to say. Sephiroth, for all the dialogue he gets, really never moves past "look out everyone, the bad guy is doing an evil laugh and has Big Plans that involve everyone dying". Barrett is kind of an obvious racial stereotype, though at least his desire to keep his daughter safe was a good approach that makes him far more likeable than he'd be otherwise. Red XIII is some kind of weird native american spirit animal stereotype thing that adds next to nothing to the story overall. Cid, jesus fuck, Cid is just a giant unlikable sack of shit. There is almost nothing redeemable about him. Cait Sith is just so fucking weird and I don't understand why this exists. He also has the single worst moment of the game, when Cait Sith 1 dies and it's part of this giant dramatic, serious moment. Then not 3 minutes later in the middle of that serious and heavy stuff, Cait Sith 2 just pops up, utters another weird, childish one-liner (despite being a grown ass man, as we find out later), and the game goes on like nothing happened. What the fuck?

Every single other villain in the game but Sephiroth ranges from very-bad-wiggle-your-eyebrows-evil-laugh level shit, to having literally no story at all like that one boss in Final Fantasy VI that you fight in the tower of liars for no obvious reason. There's like 10 of those in this game.

Tifa might be the only half-decent character in the game, and even then she feels like such a Boob Armor stereotype I'm not sure I want to go that far. 

There might be well over a dozen times in this game that a character says "what is happening" sometimes literally or sometimes a variant of it, followed by zero explanation of what is happening. I almost wonder if this is some sort of Japanese joke being self-aware about how much anime-style exposition sucks that doesn't quite translate.

I'm not even going to waste paragraphs breaking down so much of the awful dialogue in this game, but large sections are just distinctly Not Good.

The weird thing is, on the whole I still really enjoyed playing the game. This references back to Star Wars again. Star Wars has a ton of problems. Dumb things. Stuff that will drive you crazy if you overthink it. But it can still be really enjoyable. The more I think about it, the more I think that's a pretty great comparison for what Final Fantasy VII is in its own world. Like a lot of JRPG's from this period on, it's really not a very hard game, but there's something inherently relaxing about exploring the world and the repetition of combat. I want to like most of these characters (except for Cid) enough that despite the massive holes in the writing, it was enjoyable. Is it the best Final Fantasy game? Absolutely not. Does it belong in a GOAT discussion? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck no. That doesn't mean it isn't still an enjoyable game, though.

I think it's good enough to play. I don't think it's good enough to place on a pedestal. I don't in any way regret playing it. I had fun. But my God, don't ever tell me this was a great story with a straight face.

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I replayed FFVII at some point. I'm not 100% sure when, to be honest, but sometime in the last ten years I guess. This time along I read a plot guide and it was a lot better storywise. There are crazy things like the fact you don't encounter the real Sephiroth until the very end of the game that you'd never fully figure out from actually playing the thing. I think it's wildly overrated, especially compared to IV-VI but it's cultural in the way the Attitude Era is cultural, so what are you going to do?

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Yeah, like I said, it's very much a zeitgeist of it's time. It's also, regardless of what you think of it, one of the most influential games of all-time as it absolutely triggered a massive change in game design towards a heavier cutscene style. 

I really did have fun, despite my criticisms of the writing.

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22 hours ago, Contentious C said:

If you're God-Emperors, why not just snap your damn fingers and remake them all at once.  Geez, it's like you don't even understand how this shit works.

Well, the "God" is really just for flavor; "Emperor" is the actual descriptor of the position.

However, I will snap my fingers and have my secret police kidnap Yuji Naka and force him to put together a team to remake Burning Rangers, so that's pretty much good enough for me. 

...

This seems like a quiet time for games, at least for me, so other than playing lots of Outrun, which was just released to arcade perfection on Switch, I'm probably going to finally finish Kiwami for good and pick up Kiwami 2 so that I can be ready for Kiwami 3, which I'm sure is out in a few months without even looking at the schedule. I miss Kamurocho; it's got to be one of my favorite video game cities, and maybe my favorite straight up. 

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I don't know what the suck ratio is on FFVII's storyline vs. FVII's translation.

So much has been written on the game's horrible, rushed translation that I really am looking towards the remake to see what the game was actually trying to tell me. Not that they won't screw up every narrative element twenty-plus years after the fact, drunk on the power of exponentially superior hardware / AAA gaming expectations. I'll buy it three years after it comes out for ten bucks regardless.

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i love FFVII. 

but i'm not really an RPG guy. and i assume that i'm more of your typical FF7 fan in that regard. Most J-RPG lovers that i've talked to find it inferior to lots of other games of this type (and also to other games in the FF series). i won't even argue that, i just know 7 hits the sweet spot for me.

the Materia system is my favorite part of the game. i love combining the different abilities and not being stuck in the "fighter, mage, thief" rut. 

you're 100% right about the lack of character and storyline depth. And many things are just weird and don't make sense, like the whole Cloud = Zack subplot. why is this even in the game?

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11 hours ago, Death From Above said:

Yeah, like I said, it's very much a zeitgeist of it's time. It's also, regardless of what you think of it, one of the most influential games of all-time as it absolutely triggered a massive change in game design towards a heavier cutscene style. 

I really did have fun, despite my criticisms of the writing.

VII, VIII, and Tactics all suffered from some really bad English translations. When Advent's Children came out several years ago, the disc included a recap of the first game that had a lot of re-done dialog which cleared up a few things. 

The story at the time was pretty mind bending. Now, 20+ years later, we've seen it done better and can go, "Yeah, this definitely belongs to the time it was released."

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11 hours ago, Death From Above said:

Yeah, like I said, it's very much a zeitgeist of it's time. It's also, regardless of what you think of it, one of the most influential games of all-time as it absolutely triggered a massive change in game design towards a heavier cutscene style. 

I really did have fun, despite my criticisms of the writing.

To me, the biggest issues with VII are the fact you can only use three party members at a time and the fact that characters are too customizable without that balance that you get in other games. They're just a bunch of ciphers so far as the game play goes. 

@JLSigman, as for the story, I mean VI is right there and it has a better story and it was just as progressive in how it told it in so many ways. 

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6 hours ago, TheVileOne said:

If I'm in Disney legal, I'm going to start overlooking contracts for some kill clauses right about now.

https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/01/16/star-wars-open-world-game-canceled-at-ea

The fact that we haven't got a single good Star Wars game(maybe a Lego game?) since they signed that contract is kind of absurd.  It is an intellectual property that kind of fits every single genre, and they haven't been able to figure out anything but two terrible Battlefront games.  Seriously, there could be a Star Wars fighting game, racing game, RPG, action game, 1st person shooter, 3rd person shooter, flight simulator, etc...how can they not create one good game? 

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Battlefront should have been a free play square of easy game design.

Fuck, there was a great Battlefront game on Fat Old XBox, you have no excuses for not being able to take that and go "this, but more and better looking" and it's a free dunk.

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3 hours ago, JLSigman said:

VII, VIII, and Tactics all suffered from some really bad English translations. When Advent's Children came out several years ago, the disc included a recap of the first game that had a lot of re-done dialog which cleared up a few things. 

The story at the time was pretty mind bending. Now, 20+ years later, we've seen it done better and can go, "Yeah, this definitely belongs to the time it was released."

VI definitely has some weird translation and character stuff (Edgar making a pass at Relm, anyone? What the shit is this), but I still feel overall it did a much better job of characterization. None of the secondary characters in VII really have a sequence like Cyan on the ghost train, or the Sabin/Edward coin flip story. Tifa and Cloud get some good stuff in the second half of the game, at least.

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10 minutes ago, Death From Above said:

Battlefront should have been a free play square of easy game design.

Fuck, there was a great Battlefront game on Fat Old XBox, you have no excuses for not being able to take that and go "this, but more and better looking" and it's a free dunk.

EA gets a lot of shit fairly, and unfairly, but not producing a single quality Star Wars game is just gross incompetence.  Seriously, I'm surprised they haven't just reskinned existing franchises.  I'd play a Star Wars Titanfall game.  Dead Space was an EA game, everyone I know would play Dead Space: Star Wars.  Not making a BioWare Star Wars RPG is almost as big of a crime as the last Mass Effect game.  How much did they pay for exclusive rights for the Star Wars license, because they've thrown all of that money in the trash, lit it on fire, and pissed on the ashes.  

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5 minutes ago, supremebve said:

EA gets a lot of shit fairly, and unfairly, but not producing a single quality Star Wars game is just gross incompetence.  Seriously, I'm surprised they haven't just reskinned existing franchises.  I'd play a Star Wars Titanfall game.  Dead Space was an EA game, everyone I know would play Dead Space: Star Wars.  Not making a BioWare Star Wars RPG is almost as big of a crime as the last Mass Effect game.  How much did they pay for exclusive rights for the Star Wars license, because they've thrown all of that money in the trash, lit it on fire, and pissed on the ashes.  

They did make a BioWare Star Wars RPG.  It's called The Old Republic.

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3 minutes ago, Raziel said:

They did make a BioWare Star Wars RPG.  It's called The Old Republic.

That shit don't count.  I could have sworn that was pre-exclusive rights deal.  Even if it was under the current deal, it's a game that is adjacent to what someone would want, but isn't actually something people would want.  It is like going to Five Guys and ordering a bacon cheeseburger, and they say, "We're out of hamburgers, but I'll give you a BLT."  It isn't a huge difference, but it is a really big fucking difference at the same time.  

 

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2 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

It's okay Upcoming Video Game thread. I still love you.

For what its worth, this is a conversation about games that aren't upcoming...at least not anymore.

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22 minutes ago, supremebve said:

For what its worth, this is a conversation about games that aren't upcoming...at least not anymore.

Its more I am jealous that I posted about the cancellation last night and no one gave a shit

Vile posts it and suddenly its all GRAB THE PITCHFORKS! FUCK EA!

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I'm still beyond salty at myself for preordering Battlefront 2. I really thought they would have their shit together and I wanted to get the preorder bonuses and it's probably the worst game I've ever preordered. I've never seen such an "own goal" from a video game company before. Like, this shit should have been a slam dunk. Get rid of the dumb icons for jumping into vehicles and make it more like Battlefield where the vehicles are on the map, improve on the "heroes" that were included, create better classes, and improve the replay value by including unlockables to work towards.

Instead what we got was maybe the most convoluted system I've ever seen. So much shit was the same, but they added a super, super, super lame upgrade and card system that practically required microtransactions. When everyone shit on that, the game devs took to Reddit and shot themselves in the foot with a bazooka. To date, it's the most antagonistic response to a game's paying customers. Their apology was then more of the same. Following that, they promised improvements and when those started rolling out it didn't really improve that much beyond making some things cheaper to achieve. By that point I was entirely out and I uninstalled it from my PS4. $80 down the drain.

Since then I've heard that upgrades still tilt the game in favor of those who purchased microtransactions, which just makes the game unplayable for anyone new. 

Battlefront 2 is the biggest example for what kind of a shitshow EA owning the Star Wars license has been.

The only positive thing I can say about Battlefront 2 is that the space combat was decent or good.

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