Updates from December, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • RocGaude 3:19 am on December 9, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: stories in games blow   

    @feenwager I like making broad statements. It gets people goin’!

  • RedSwirl 1:23 am on December 9, 2012 Permalink  

    @bowlisimo I wouldn’t, as @feenwager states, broadly state that all the mainstream devs aren’t willing to try things out with storytelling. Hell, one of the most mainstream releases this year — Mass Effect 3, is still a solid example of RPG storytelling mechanics (until the ending). I even think Infinity Ward did a decent job with the atmosphere, characters, and moment-to-moment narrative of the earlier Call of Duty games. They kinda nailed that “you are one soldier with your buddies in the middle of a massive ward” feeling without a single cut scenes and with some solid set piece design in the WWII games as well as the American campaigns of the first two Modern Warfare games.

    Sure the mainstream games are now stuck within a limited range of archetypes and characters and whatnot, but the medium is still malleable enough that even they’re willing to experiment with the mechanics.

  • RocGaude 3:42 am on November 28, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager Canadians can’t be trusted with the internet. FACT.

  • mjpilon 1:15 am on November 28, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager Don’t get it.. Don’t care

  • beige 4:39 pm on November 27, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager I don’t understand how I’m supposed to make my friend codes work without the internets.

  • unmanneddrone 4:39 pm on November 27, 2012 Permalink  

    @beige Resistance is futile. At least in the lunch-hour gaming space. Let the score-wars begin!

    @feenwager The one TV/tablet thing I could given some reason to. This? No idea. Didn’t a later model wifi-less PSP iteration get laughed out of Europe? You’d think they’d play up the smaller form-factor as a viable Netflix streamer box.

    Or am I bringing too much logic into the equation?

  • Pete Davison 11:45 pm on November 26, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager Did you play any of the following and enjoy them “back in the day”?

    Dungeon Master
    Lands of Lore
    Eye of the Beholder

    If the answer is “yes”, and you’re not averse to the idea of returning to that exact style of gameplay with modern graphics, then you should pick it up.

  • Mohammad AlHuraiz 7:25 pm on November 26, 2012 Permalink

    @bowlisimo @feenwager Might I suggest Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey? It is a completely different tone to the Persona series, is challenging but hadn’t faced issues of spending a long time grinding, I’m still in the middle of the game though.

  • bowlisimo 3:28 pm on November 26, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    @feenwager Don’t let them fool you, P4 still has the same grinding, easier or not. Tartarus is replaced with similarly bland dungeons, but the theme changes at least. Personally, I liked the characters/relationships better in that game, and murder mysteries are fun, but I think the overall plot (and ending) of P3 was my favorite of the two.

    Edit: Isn’t there an anime? I guess you could skip the grinding and watch that?

    @impynickers @unmanneddrone Yeah, they really do a horrible job of explaining ANYTHING in that game, so you run around saying “WTF am I doing” and “WhereTF am I going?” for a few hours.

    But man, I played Planetside 2 for an absurd amount of time this holiday weekend. I knew the only MMO that still had a chance to hook me was an FPSMMO, and well…here we are 30 something hours in.

    The battles are just incredible, every day in Esamir is like Hoth. *Holds on to dove* I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships flying into drop pod rain over Mani Biodome. I watched phalanx cannons glitter in the dark as two entire armies tore themselves apart. All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  • Pete Davison 2:42 pm on November 26, 2012 Permalink  

    @rocgaude Yeah. That’s a solid Vita list, and I second the motion for Corpse Party if you’re into that. Gravity Rush is good, too, at least until the last hour or so, when it becomes rubbish. It’s awesome up until that point, though. Hot Shots Golf is great, too, as is Need for Speed Most Wanted.

    @feenwager P4 is much less grindy than P3, and there’s more variety in the dungeoneering. It’s lots of smaller dungeons rather than one massive one. It still has a very “slow” opening, though, so be warned, as that puts some people off.

  • ckim 4:47 am on November 26, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager As a hardcore Megatenist (shut up, it’s a word and a thing), I think P4 is by far the easiest of the SMT games, and I finished it at a relatively low level. I can only think of a couple of bosses that gave me much trouble, and that’s mostly because I tried to power through them instead of just figuring out their weaknesses, fusing new personas, and then trying again, which I should have done.

  • mjpilon 9:28 pm on November 21, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager And just after I redeemed some Xbox points for episode 1…. just my luck.

    Out of curiousity, anyone play Walking dead on both PC/Mac and console? Wondering which one is the better playing experience….. as primarily console guy, I still want to kinda play it on my 360

  • RocGaude 11:02 pm on November 20, 2012 Permalink

    @angryjedi Well done sir Glad to see this… 

    @angryjedi Well done, sir. Glad to see this in motion. I’ve had both depression and anxiety in various levels ever since I was a teenager. It sucks and addressing that it’s a real thing, not imaginary, helped me a lot.

    @feenwager I wonder about that, too. For me, gaming was where I went to deal during the darkest of days. Gaming also tends to be a preferred hobby to lots of creative types which also happen to be a big target of the dreaded “Black Dog”.

  • Shingro 4:29 am on November 19, 2012 Permalink

    @feenwager I…. I dunno, I’m suspicious of current-gen (or at least close) tech being able to drive 2 screens without frame loss without very specific effort from third parties

    Effort that I’m not sure nintendo will be able to get from third parties due to history… which will ironically reinforce the poor third party performance…. and that could get quite sad.

    Maybe! I hope I’m wrong, but we’ll see.

  • RocGaude 2:28 am on November 19, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    @bowlisimo Listen to @feenwager on PS+. It’s hawt shit D-luxe.

    I have Uncharted 3 on my holiday playlist. Would fancy a discussion on that one should you get to it.

  • bowlisimo 1:23 am on October 20, 2012 Permalink

    @feenwager It begins…human nature catches up with unfettered good will.

  • unmanneddrone 3:19 am on October 17, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager I’m a bloke who would back a product, rather than a promise. Nexus 2? The engine is there, they’ve got the systems in place, essentially they just need funds to polish that thing and bring it to market. As much as the idea of throwing money at someone I respect for them simply saying “Y’know, I’d love to do [insert scenario]” in kinda appealing, I’d much rather have a prototype to investigate first.

    This XCOM talk has thrown me back into Arulco and JA:BiA.

  • Pete Davison 4:18 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager It’s me, @bluesforbuddha, @shingro and @cgrajko. We talk. A lot. And somehow manage to stay on topic. For about four hours. But then we were covering four games. 🙂

  • Pete Davison 10:11 am on August 17, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager I know. It’s just a fairly prevalent attitude on the Net, not just from your comments, and it’s getting a little tiresome. Gaming is so much more than whatever blood and guts game monopolises the front page of IGN at any one time, and it’s frustrating how relatively few places seem to accept that as a possibility, and how few take great titles like The Last Story seriously purely because of their graphics and/or platform.

    Sorry, it wasn’t intended as an attack on you. Straw that broke the camel’s back and all that.

  • Pete Davison 9:28 am on August 17, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager Your loss. Interestingly, regarding what you were saying recently about wanting to play and RPG/go on a “quest” — RPGs have very much moved to the lower-tech platforms (Wii, PSP, DS), presumably because it’s simply cheaper to develop for them, so if you want to continue to enjoy new releases of that kind of game, you will have to swallow your pride and use these “children’s toys”. I’d be very surprised if Wii U didn’t find itself home to some quality quests, too — that tablet will be ideal for menus and battle interfaces, and given the choice between developing for brand new, expensive tech and a system that is closer to being a known quantity, those wanting to make a 30-100 hour game will pick the “safer” option.

    The point is, you shouldn’t dismiss something because of what platform it’s on or what resolution its graphics run at. That may not be what you mean, but it’s what’s coming across. Is The Last Story worth buying a Wii for? Probably not, but there is a ton of quality games — including The Last Story — on that platform that no-one ever talks about just because “it’s the Wii”. Instead it’s stuck with an admittedly not entirely undeserved reputation as a waggle machine, a children’s toy. And that’s just kind of sad.

    My favourite experiences of this year (that I’ve PLAYED this year, I should say) have all run at considerably less than HD resolutions — The Last Story (Wii), Pandora’s Tower (Wii) Shadow Hearts: Covenant (PS2), Fortune Summoners (PC) and my current RPG jam, Trails in the Sky (PSP). To ignore games like these is to do them a great disservice, particularly if you’re a fan of that genre.

    On the other hand, though, I’ll freely admit that there’s enough stuff coming out for the HD consoles that it’s easy to let lesser-known stuff pass you by. It’s no longer possible to “play everything” — you have to make some decisions. For most of my interactive entertainment these days, I’ve chosen to forgo the blockbusters in favour of the smaller, lower-budget titles I find more interesting; you’ve clearly gone the other way. And that’s fine — just please, please please don’t imply that those of us who choose to play games on, say, the Wii are somehow “lesser” or “children” for choosing to do so. As I say, I appreciate that may not have been your intention, but it is what comes across.

    Peace out.

    EDIT: I realise my “you are BAD PEOPLE” comment could be taken the same way, and for that I apologise. Regardless, I do believe that titles such as The Last Story should be supported rather than ignored.

  • unmanneddrone 4:52 am on August 15, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Megacity HD   

    @feenwager So that’s a thumbs up, it sounds like. You were a big fan of the original, if I recall…

    In regards to iOS puzzlers, been really enjoying Megacity HD of late. So much so that I recommended it to @rocgaude and, thus, to the rest of you fellows. Just a tidy little block and modifier game, quite neat and lovely little soundtrack.

  • beige 3:08 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink  

    OK Squad Minecraft, let’s do this!

    L and I have been playing on the Xbox 360 the last couple of days, but for whatever brain reason this is, I get frustrated that the Adventure Update has not been applied yet and I cannot “win” Minecraft by going on quests and defeating the Ender Dragon on my console. I know this worldview defeats the whole point for most people, but for me it’s very necessary to always be working towards something concrete.

    Also I want very much to create a giant Justice League style hall of Squadness with Yorgle the dragon etched in glowing rock on the floor. You know, considering how multicontinental we all are and soforth. So yeah, how do we get this rolling?

    @feenwager I found myself scanning the surprisingly good reviews for Rainbow Moon on the PSN last night wondering why I, who has been in the mood for something RPGey in a hella way lately, hadn’t even heard of it. Sure it’s Japanese, but it’s a character-buildey kinda thing. Anybody in the squad know anything about it? Could be worth a look. There’s always The Last Story too, coming out in a few weeks. That one’s a no-brainer as far as I am concerned.


  • bowlisimo 1:24 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    @feenwager I hear you. Howabout free to play MMO’s? D&D, Lord of the Rings, Age of Conan. Do some quests, get it out of your system, never pay a cent. Hopefully Wasteland 2, the only game I’ve kickstarted, will actually be that game we’re looking for.

    And HELL YES, Episode 2 of the Walking Dead game was amazing and messed up! You know those decisions in Mass Effect where you don’t know whether to shoot a guy who is holding a hostage or keep talking to him? This game is ALL those, except there’s no easy paragon/renegade choice, there’s more of a snap, gut reaction involved, and the choices that best help your survival are often the hardest god damn decisions you’ll ever make, and you have this little girl watching you make them…

    @angryjedi I would love to screw around in Minecraft with you guys. I can show you my bridge to nowhere, and my enormous unfinished castle… and then I can lock you up and force you to mine and finish said unfinished castle. Yesssssss.

    @unmanneddrone It will, almost everything that has lost on that community vote has showed up in either the daily or flash sales.

  • RedSwirl 2:24 am on July 17, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager So… a party-based RPG… that isn’t J…

    Best I can give you is Final Fantasy XII which is the least “J” of all party-based JRPGs released in the last decade. It plays very much like an Infinity Engine game, so much so that some of its UI elements found their way into Dragon Age.

    But come to think of it, I would at least think some indie team would be trying to make an homage to Baldur’s Gate and the other Infinity Engine games.

    If I ever run into this problem, I do have practically all the Infinity Engine games laying unplayed on my hard drive as well as the desire to start two or three new characters in Dragon Age.

  • Pepperized 5:51 pm on July 12, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager Not even CAWWADOODY?

    Well to be honest, I don’t know what Grimlock is, and I already own a Total War. I’m also a bit iffey over the indy games because I’m trying to save my monies for X-COM. And dishonered.

  • Pete Davison 12:55 am on July 11, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Pendulo, ,   

    @feenwager Pendulo are doing some good stuff. Their newest project just went up on the new Gamesplanet Lab platform (worth keeping an eye on if you’re into unusual games — it’s like a quality-controlled Kickstarter) and sounds pretty cool.

    The Secret World still has its hooks in me deep. I’ve been playing for about 22 hours now and I’m still in the first main “zone”, which I’ve now got to know very well — it feels very well-realised and not at all like simply “somewhere to run through”. There are three large “hub” areas in the game — the “Not Innsmouth At All, Honest” town of Kingsmouth, an Egyptian area called Valley of the Sun (I think) and… Transylvania. Awesome. Each area is made out of three large “zones”, each with a bunch of quests to do in each. Each hub also has a lengthy and very involved “story mission” to complete, and the game is designed in such a way that you will naturally come across its objectives as you complete other quests.

    The cool thing I’ve found is that surprisingly little of the game feels like “filler”. MMOs are usually rife with filler content to help you grind, but most things you do in The Secret World feel meaningful. This is helped at least in part by the fact that “main” missions start with cutscenes, but even the side missions (which you just find on discarded objects and things lying around the world rather than from people) have a sense of purpose to them.

    The investigation missions continue to be the game’s highlight. I did one tonight that required me to visit the website of a company referenced in-game, look up product information and then use said information to find the appropriate items to solve a puzzle. Subsequently, I found myself translating morse code (with the assistance of an iPhone app — my Morse transcribing is not what it could be) and deciphering the message to find my way to my objective. And that was a simple one.

    Even the combat-heavy missions are pretty neat, too, though. There are a few “kill [x] [y]s” along the way, but these are usually tied in to another objective at the same time — for example, in one, you’re hunting down mass graves and making sure the dead bodies therein stay dead. For the most part, though, the “action” missions involve some lateral thinking and environmental puzzles, too — it’s rarely as simple as “go to this part of the map and kill shit for half an hour”.

    The levelling system is probably the most interesting thing. You have a wheel of skills, and nine different disciplines — pistols, shotgun, assault rifle, swords, hammers, fist weapons, blood magic, chaos magic and elemental magic. You can assign ability points to any of these disciplines at any time, so if you’re getting fed up with a particular build, simply switch it out. In order to facilitate this, many of the less important side quests are repeatable, allowing you to effectively “grind” them to respec if you so desire — alternatively, you could take your existing deck of abilities into a higher level area, gain AP at a much more rapid rate and spend your vast quantities of points on new low-level abilities. It’s a really nice, flexible system, with the only slight issue being the lack of an explicit “level” sometimes making it difficult to judge whether or not you’re “strong enough” for a particular challenge. It’s certainly a different approach, though, and it works very well.

    I did a “dungeon” tonight, too. This was slightly more traditional MMO fare, though it still has nice things like cutscenes to give it a sense of narrative. The boss fight at the end of it was pretty spectacular, as well.

  • Pete Davison 11:22 am on June 9, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: dumb fun, , Grand Theft Auto, Jason Rubin, opinion, , , THQ   

    Dumb Fun Has a Place 

    THQ’s new president believes Saints Row: The Third developers Volition can “make something that isn’t embarrassing”. Is Saints Row something to be embarrassed about, and is there a place for games like this?

    (More …)

    • feenwager 11:40 am on June 9, 2012 Permalink

      I chalk it up to the industry’s never-ending case of movie envy. Let’s face it, Skyrim & Red Dead are no Schindler’s List. In the race to be taken seriously, everyone wants to ‘elevate’ the whole hobby. I say humbug. They’re called video GAMES for a reason, they’re supposed to be fun.

    • unmanneddrone 11:49 am on June 9, 2012 Permalink

      @feenwager Indeed. Agreed. I’m all for powerful experiences, but I had a lot of fun with Saints Row: The Third and not really any of that enjoyment stemmed from what Rubin and Crecente are pointing the finger at. It was wry, it had great dialogue and voice acting and knew exactly what it was.

      We’re getting our powerful and unique experiences at the same time, and seeing things like The Last of Us, Metro: Last Light etc. show that there’s a great balance being struck via taking cinematic queues and fusing them with traditional game mechanics…

      …but come on. This po-faced want to fast-track videogames’ cultural legitimacy has its place, and by all means, despite falling out of love for the most part with narrative-heavy games and ones with social commentary, I encourage developers to follow in the footsteps of industry leaders like Irrational et al., but not at the expense of creativity.

      And given THQ’s current situation, Rubin should be encouraging Volition to run in any direction and keep working their magic.

    • Pete Davison 2:52 pm on June 9, 2012 Permalink

      Agreed. I’m all for video games to have increased “legitimacy” but that doesn’t mean they should lose their lighter side — as you say, Feen, they’re called GAMES for a reason. There are far more embarrassing games than Saints Row, anyhow.

  • beige 1:37 pm on June 7, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager I watched the 3DS showcase last night hoping to see some sort of new announcement of the Phoenix/Layton variety but sadly it was not to be.

    I felt like the 3DS made a good case for its existence in the show though feel free to insert your comments here about whether iOS is eating / will continue to eat / their lunch in the kiddie konsole department and everybody’s grins were just pasted on.

    Watching the demos it’s quite clear that iOS has not yet evolved either budget-wise or control-wise to the point where anything comprable to Fire Emblem or Castlevania exists yet. If it did, I doubt I’d be as lukewarm to iOS gaming as I currently am. Having traveled with my phone for half a year so far I’d almost forgotten that yes, you can play quote unquote “real” games on the go.

    Surprised to see that Lords of Shadow has been picked up by Konami as their official going-forward direction for the Castlevania franchise. Loved LoS… Sure, why not? 3DS Castlevania looks great.

    Paper Mario, also great stuff despite an overly long demo and will most likely be picking that up if I somehow come by a 3DS. For me, there is an even horizon where the “you should probably play this” factor of portable gaming tips and I end up purchasing a device. For the original DS this didn’t happen for more than a year after launch, looks like the 3DS may be in similar straits. Glad to see Nintendo embracing the fully digital-download concept, but…. does the 3DS even have a hard drive large enough to install something on?

    Delight: Fire Emblem confirmed for North America, though there wasn’t but a single tweet from NOA announcing this. Why? Advance Wars notably unavailable for comment.

    Tokyo Jungle confirmed English release….. (wait for it…) for Europe only. With this and the foolishness with Project Rainfall, it’s hard not to believe that Asia has entirely written off North America as some kind of place inhabited only by orcs and philistines, unworthy of beautiful things.

    This Rock Paper Shotgun feature called : PC Gaming: E3’s Dirty Little Secret makes a good case.

  • Pete Davison 12:49 am on June 3, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager It’s good when it works, but it’s VERY limited in how much you can play for free. It’s also blighted with pay-to-win items, which kills any desire to play for me. Why play a competitive game where people can simply pay to get a higher score?

  • Pete Davison 8:20 pm on June 2, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @feenwager Good question. We could do some sort of communal liveblog using a Page and the comments system… though I’m not sure if that updates live like the main page.

    Anyone got any thoughts?

  • unmanneddrone 1:29 pm on May 15, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Failing Feen, , ,   

    @feenwager After hideously failing your challenge, just because I really don’t want to overwork my ailing machine, all I’ve got in my foreseeable future is Endless Space on PC and Gravity Rush on Vita. Feels…good. I’m sure some indie business will pop up, but that’s about it. Will aim to add Walking Dead to the list at some point. Of course, I’m still battling through Gladiator Begins, and it’s damn tough. @beige, did you pick it up for your commute?

    Endless Space remains oh-so-good, by the way. Oh so very good.

  • Pete Davison 2:47 am on May 13, 2012 Permalink

    @feenwager I heard it was a bit Heavy Rain-esque, would you say that’s an accurate description?

  • unmanneddrone 3:11 am on May 2, 2012 Permalink

    @feenwager Yes. Squad Leaders assemble.

  • unmanneddrone 2:47 pm on April 19, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Should be a hoot, that Ni no Kuni.

    Tangentially…I mentioned this to @feenwager, but good heavens, Rayman Origins OST is by far the finest game soundtrack I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing/listening to in years. Not only that, but it continues to be utter soul food.

    @bowlisimo Magnificent work on the co-op. And yeah, quite strange with the reinforcements aspect, I never really was sure what the caper was in the grab-bag of who gets what. But it’s glorious, regardless.

  • unmanneddrone 2:02 pm on April 18, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko Utterly useless factoid that would only be useful to terrorists and/or interrogators: Rez is the only game to ever make me feel woozy. A masterpiece, though!

    Another toll from the village bell.

    Music To Game By

    Submit two tracks via THIS FORM, supply links if you feel the need, send me MP3s IN ADDITION to your form submission with the appropriate details via email at unmanneddrone ( a t ) gmail (d o t) com IF tracks are really obscure.

    Throw ’em down, friends. I’ve received tracks from @feenwager and @mjpilon thus far. Should be a hoot, this mix.

  • ckim 4:21 am on April 18, 2012 Permalink  

    Did anyone else read @feenwager‘s post in Morte’s voice? Maybe it’s just the avatar, but if I had the talent to do so, I would create an RPG about the Squad, and Feen would be an awesomely beligerent disembodied voice telling it like it is.

    I crossed off a couple more games on my list, so that’s cool. And, I don’t have much to say about them, so that’s good for all the people who read the Squawkbox and have to scroll through my long-ass posts about weird shit no one (sane) wants to play.

    I started and finished Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. It was actually an excellent diversion from the madness that is Nier, so it worked admirably in doing what I wanted it to. I’ll probably come back to it the next time I can lure unsuspecting nerds into my house to get drunk and play video games with me.

    I also, finally, finished Rez. I adore Rez. I have always adored Rez. But, I suck at Rez. I’ve owned the game on one platform or another for years, and the final boss always fucked me up. Not today. I was in the zone today, and I finally cleared Area 5. This would be a good time to start up Child of Eden if I hadn’t promised my girlfriend I would play it with her.

    Now, I’m not sure what I’ll play. Cthulhu Saves the World is an option. Costume Quest is also an option. Maybe I should check my mail again and see if Demon’s Souls finally showed the hell up.

  • beige 6:32 pm on April 17, 2012 Permalink  

    @unmanneddrone I really wish that my move twixt and fro between houses hadn’t interrupted my Rayman schedule. Somehow I’ve gotten sidetracked with… well, everything we’ve mentioned already… since then. I’ll be going back to it no doubt, though now that we’ve started both Amalur and Xenoblade god knows when that’ll be. FEZ is keeping me happy on the 2D front. Spent only a small portion of time with it last night but managed to finish with the “32 cubes” ending. Protip: After you finish and begin New Game + you will get the ability to finish all those weird puzzles you couldn’t figure out the first time around. It’s not you, don’t worry.

    @feenwager I noticed you’d played 8.5% or something of FEZ when I was looking at my friends leaderboards. One of those “…yeaah, nope.” experiences?

  • impynickers 4:05 pm on April 17, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager I hear ya man. The gaming media, may be a good source of information, but there is a point where I no longer need an opinion to validate my experience. Often the game I am innocently playing is bombarded with so many layers of extraneous impressions and ideas surrounding it that it sometimes overshadows my own experience. I do try the ‘Beginner’s Mind’ every so often, but it is difficult to overcome what is a very invasive part of my life. Good thing is that you can walk away, or take a breather. Good on you for sorting out your priorities. I was never good at that.

    I havent made any progress on the challenge since Kyrandia. Will resume after this week with extreme force and desperation. If there is another game on my entire list that people would like to hear impressions of I would be glad to do that one next. Just finishing up some crummy school junk.

  • unmanneddrone 1:30 pm on April 17, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @feenwager *hands you a boutique ale*

    In regards to my own Feenwager Challenge list, I’ve hit a bit of a tech issue on my laptop…namely an ageing machine and wearying guts that now, for some reason, heats up and could conceivably cook steaks to perfection. I can still play things, provided I don’t stress the GPU, but the PC has now taken a backseat and I don’t really turn it on with the same relish, burdened by the knowledge that graphically-pressing titles are now potential machine destroyers. I cannot justify a new laptop for gaming, so for the time being, I’m enjoying the odd spot of FUEL, a touch of GalCiv2, Reign: Conflict of Nations and some curiosities like A.I.M. 2 (a Russian sandbox trader/combat game set in a robot-infested future world)…

    …but, all is not lost. Really loving the little Vita, primarily at this point for Rayman Origins. Now, a few folks – including @feenwager – have enjoyed this one prior, and I just want to laud artistic and aural accolades upon Origins. I’ve been a big Rayman fan since the old days, and always wondered why Mario copped all the praise when there’s so much creativity and visual delight (and it’s so subtly dark and morbid just below the surface in some areas) in these French gems. (Rayman 2 over Mario64 any day of the week! Très controversée!!!)

    Anyway, I can’t say much more than hasn’t already been said. It’s a good challenge, has brilliant production values, character and level design from a scribbler’s perspective is second to none (I still cannot get over the attention to detail in the simple things like foliage crops…take a moment to gaze at the arrangement of ferns on the various planes in the first couple of levels). A very inspired piece of work.

    Coming up next month: Resistance: Burning Skies, then the month after, Gravity Rush/Daze. So very keen.

  • unmanneddrone 2:21 pm on April 12, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @impynickers Great list, sir.

    You know, it was the great @feenwager that deposited a modern day picaresque cyberpunk epic upon us with Ready Player One. Especially interesting for the way it returned to the digital remnants of the era that birthed classical cyberpunk. So kudos to Feen for that.

  • ckim 6:04 pm on April 2, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager More importantly, how the hell are you editing that post? I may be slow, but I can’t figure out how to do it.

  • bowlisimo 3:45 pm on April 2, 2012 Permalink

    @feenwager Every time I load this page, I see your challenge list pop up briefly and I couldn’t help but notice you crossed off some heavy hitters recently. Did you actually make it through Deadly Premonition? How was Lords of Shadow? etc.

  • Pete Davison 10:13 pm on March 20, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko Check the ME3 thread on the missions page. Several people have posted links to articles deconstructing the ending. @tolkoto posted a good one where a screenwriter picked it apart.

    @feenwager I hear ya. It’s all people will bang on about on Twitter, and I even have people I know inviting me to “SUPPORT BIOWARE” Facebook groups. (I rejected the invitation.)

    I’m in three minds about the whole thing. (Shush. That’s totally a thing.) On the one hand, I see where the disgruntled fans are coming from from what I do know of the situation having not played it but read a lot about it. On the other, petitioning people to change the ending to a story is just dumb, particularly it all it will result in is an “Ending Pack” DLC. And on the third mutant hand sprouting from my chest, I wish people would shut the fuck up about Mass Effect and talk about some of the fifty billion other games that are out right now. A new Ys game just came out on Steam and I want to know if it’s interesting, for example — and a couple of “double-A” PR people I’m friends with are inordinately frustrated by the whole thing because it means their poor games don’t get a look in from the press or the public.

    Basically, everyone needs to accept each other’s viewpoints without feeling the need to try and yell hard enough to change each other’s minds, step back, chill the fuck out and then go play something else.

    Or, you know, go outside. 🙂

  • Pete Davison 10:36 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , JRPGs,   

    Squad Primer: The JRPG

    Listen now!

    Direct link

    (More …)

    • unmanneddrone 2:01 pm on March 17, 2012 Permalink

      A nice first crack at another arm of podcasting domination by the Squad. I’ll just throw down my meaningless dribble before the genre fans offer their dreadnought broadsides.

      I think perhaps an unsung current of inspiration for most JRPGs stems not from the Wizardry/D&D era P&P RPGs, but from the slew of Japanese P&P RPGs thereafter. Much like in the West, you simply wouldn’t see folks sitting in a park rolling the die, so who knows what the state of things are these days and what slice of mindshare video gaming has taken from these grand old games.

      In any case, all I ask for is more Front Mission-esque adult characters and less feathered hair. More Way of the Samurai and less of this.

      Like everyone who fell off the wagon, I’d love to climb back on. That said, if even games purported to be narrative and character powerhouses in the West aren’t doing it for me, I can’t say anything bar the most po-faced Ye Olde Japon tales have a chance in cutting the mustard.

    • RedSwirl 3:21 pm on March 18, 2012 Permalink

      @unmanneddrone Well the problem with aged characters is again the target audience.

    • unmanneddrone 10:52 pm on March 18, 2012 Permalink

      @redswir1 Which I totally get, and I think we all agreed in the aftermath of the Japanicide episode that that is often the reason why there’s rarely an effort or visible section of the subset that caters to folks wanting a more…hell…mature isn’t the word. Perhaps “less flamboyantly twee” experience?

      What gets me is that you have something – and I know it’s not part of the JRPG set – like Front Mission 5: Scars of War which has terrific story-telling and never once dissolves into lah-dee-dahisms (scientific terminology right there). Granted, it’s a fairly grounded series, but even things like the Suikoden series were just fine stories that didn’t feel the need to tap into a paroxysm of eye-rolling loli cheese or the cliched sullen androgyne.

      Of course, the roots of characterisation and conveyance are the driving force; lots of cultural portrayal conventions and the ‘act of acting’ leading to less than subtle narrative developments or accelerants, but hey. It’s just a personal want. My replies and thoughts on the Japanicide episode warrant no more reiteration here.

      I will say if the tech hurdle is such an issue, with development cycles not moving with the times (Hello there, Japanese civil and business sectors), roll on with the Vita. I wouldn’t mind a lot of experimentation with the interim PS2-PS3 level tech on the portable. Lord knows it can damn well do it.

    • RedSwirl 7:09 am on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      @unmanneddrone But where are Front Mission and Suikoden now? Definitely not as big as Final Fantasy or what have you. Even when Square lets Matsuno make a game with a protagonist over the age of 17 like Vagrant Story, it ends up nearly forgotten in a niche.

      In terms of the Japanese market, even big, successful franchises aren’t free of this problem. I heard that for some time, Metal Gear has been more popular and more profitable outside of Japan than in Japan. The same is true of similar anime franchises like Berserk and Ghost in the Shell. I’d be interested in seeing the territorial sales split for Resident Evil. The only exception to this that I can think of are the Yakuza games which are blockbusters over there but niche over here.

      As for the technical issues, I’ve heard at least one person in Japan call the Vita the last hope for the Japanese market, or more precisely, whether or not the Vita becomes a success in Western territories. There’s a very good chance that the Vita will be the only place you’ll see most HD-level asset development from Japan over the next few years. That’s just where their market is, and even then a lot of those developers might just turn to the DS where they can keep developing games with the same level of art assets they’ve been working with since 2001.

    • unmanneddrone 12:09 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      @redswir1 Good points all round, man. It’s true about those niches, and an even greater travesty that Front Mission Evolved was the result of a Front Mission farm-out, even in the wake of a stellar but ludicrously non-localised 5. But as it stands, everything outside of enthusiastic circles seems to peg the entire JRPG set as a growing (or would that be shrinking) niche, one receding from the limelight – for both reasons stated on the Squadcast and due to that typical Japanese target audience measured in slivers for the most part. Funny how focus testing is always mentioned as something of a deficit notion in the studio cycle in Japan, yet they cater to such specific audiences it’s almost moot to consider it anything BUT.

      I’d also just like to blame the rising tangibility of moe as a pop-cultural phenomenon for a few things here and there, but maybe – in regards to gaming especially – more a case of the technology allowing for more intricate rendering of characters and implementation of design…but that’s a personal preference. I guess it stems from having my cultural life changed by the mature designs and stories of 80s and 90s anime back in the day – the Oshiis, the Kawajiris, Otomos yadda yadda – that I just can’t ‘grok’ (thanks Beige) the post-90s stuff. Personal preference. We just need a nice, hefty Patlabor JRPG for this generation.

      “Special Vehicle Section 2 Mission 2A: Intercept SOV-9900S SeaView Labor / Pilot Alleged to be DUI –

      > Accept Assigment? [ YES ] [ NO ]
      > Ask Ota to go [ YES ] [ NO ]
      > Pick tomatoes with Yamazaki [ YES ] [ NO ]
      > Shoot the breeze with Goto on the roof [ YES ] [ NO ]

      I hope you’re right with the Vita. I’ve read we’re getting a new Lost Planet (I actually think, despite certain wrinkles, LP2 is one of the most unique and courageous games of this generation), but if it eventually spins off onto the Vita, I’ll be one happy camper. Kinda not the genre we’re discussing, but hey – bugs, mechs and utterly Japanese shooter design = one of my nirvanas.

      All in all, I keep getting the impression the Western punditry gives a hell of a lot more of a damn about games and the surrounding pop culture of Japan than the Japanese do themselves, holistically. The classical inflexibility and top-down approach is just a reflection of assumed safe bets, but that’s not to say the Japanese spirit of creative innovation is gone…but like most aspects of Japanese society, everything feels a little…dormant. Oh, to have those halcyon days kick off once more.

      We’ll see what @shingro has to say. I expect a veritable Blunderbuss response.

    • RedSwirl 4:20 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      @unmanneddrone The anime thing I think is just a sign of how little anime DID get localized back in the 80’s and 90’s. Even back then I think most anime in Japan was made to be cute over everything else. It’s just that most of what made its way to English-speaking countries went through some kind of filter. The hard, mature anime were what got noticed back then so that’s what made it’s way over here.

      After around the earl 2000’s though anime in America kind of exploded, and we saw a bit more of the true face of the market when the floodgates were opened. That and in recent years, even the Japanese have complained about how anime is increasingly targeting itself almost entirely to otaku fetishists. They actually tried to start a whole network of anime to get away from that. I forget what it’s called but it features anime mainly targeted towards older men and the female audience like Michiko to Hatchin, Mononoke, and other stuff. You just really gotta dig in to find that stuff.

      But yeah, I wish I could tell them over there “if you wanna appeal to the west, just write the kind of story that would appeal to YOU and your peers.” Whatever kind of mindset gave birth to Patlabor and Vinland Saga.

    • bowlisimo 8:11 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      @squadcasters Thank you. The grind. THE GRIND. This is one of my fundamental problems with (or at least my perception that stops me from playing) many RPGs from Japan. It took me months to get through Tartarus. Never again.

      Otherwise, Ni No Kuni seems like a lock, I have watched just enough Miyazaki to know I like Miyazaki. I was also thinking about trying Valkyria Chronicles. Maybe the strategy element will save me.

      But, I could get behind the D&D-like mostly narrative based game with few set piece battles, that @beige put forth.

      @anyone I get the feeling that Japanese games tend to focus more on giving their players a sense of closure at the end, is there any truth to this? (past the “a winner is you” days, anyway).

    • RedSwirl 11:37 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      See this is what I’m talking about right here: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=466550

      It’s this new 3DS game called Crimson Shroud from the director of Final Fantasy XII, and he seems to be going WAY oldschool with it. Mostly text-based narrative, menu-based battles decided by visualized dice rolls, and a primary focus on dungeon crawling. I can’t find it anymore, but an old interview noted Matsuno’s influences coming directly from Ultima instead of all the JRPGs descended from it and Dragon Quest. The man apparently still logs onto Ultima Online annually.

      @bowlisimo For me, the reason THE GRIND is so goddamned annoying is because of the transition between free exploration and turn-based battle. That constant back-and-forth is what get’s me bored of most JRPGs I play. The simple act of removing this and having everything take place in real time like Final Fantasy XII, or having everything take place in menus like a Strategy RPG, alleviates the entire problem of grinding for me. For me, grinding in Final Fantasy XII was actually FUN.

      On a side note, is that ever a problem in WRPGs (non-MMOs)? The only ones I’ve played have been current-gen, and I think all of those level-up enemies with you. I don’t think I’ve played one where keeping up with enemy levels is an actual priority.

    • unmanneddrone 12:12 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      @redswir1 Absolutely agree in the mainstreaming or broadening of the anime spectrum for localisation or at least access, which is kind of the opposite of what appears to be happening with the JRPG/SRPG etc. Simply put, I just feel a little beleaguered that the equivalent of the Saturday Morning Cartoon fills the spotlight when we did have, in the past at least, utterly insane stuff jumping out from the home islands like Genocyber, Dominion Tank Police, Cyber City Odeo 808, A.D. Police etc. etc.

      And I know it’s getting off the topico f JRPGs, but it’s great to see those crazy old cyberpunk/sci-fi anime and manga series channelled in things like Vanquish and Binary Domain. Warms a bio-mechanical heart.

      Oh dear. We’ve gone all a bit anime! And just to support what you said on the rise of the otaku-centric cartoons, I’ve seen that in the pachinko parlours, most of the older men who would have been the ripe 70s/80s/90s anime audiences prefer to park themselves themselves in front of the Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers/Fist of the North Star etc. themed machines…small slice of anecdotal evidence that an age has passed. That also might speak a little how little gaming in the home console sense matters to the older generation, whereas I’d say the West in part has continued to game on well into adulthood.

      @shingro Don’t hate me for these withered and outdated anime/JRPG views!

      @bowlisimo You’d like Valkyria Chronicles. Looks great, snappy tactical fun.

    • wrdsmth 2:19 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      Great discussion. JRPGs are something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

    • unmanneddrone 2:41 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      I just read @angryjedi‘s fine blog post on all things J and it did impel me to make the distinction of where grievances lay…as Japanese RPG and SRPG systems are top-tier, and certainly cement their position at the top of the pile in character-centric strategy experiences (Wild Arms XF and MGA2 are my favourites of the SRPG genre). It’s primarily thematic and character depiction that I can’t roll with these days.

      That said, I loved the little I played of Resonance of Fate! I can’t include it in my most recently-played JRPG due to only spending a couple of hours with it when it released, but damn if that isn’t a direction – both character-wise and theme – that I’d love more of the genre to roll with.

    • Shingro 3:04 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      Okay, this is really, really hard, I got 3 pages of notes for the blunderbusses, 2 and 1/2 pages of stream of conciousness stuff penned while listening to the podcast, and then I want to join this discussion…. sooooo I think what I’m going to do is hold the stream of consciousness, work on the blunderbusses (it looks like it’ll need a few passes for clarity c_c) and participate here =P Imma work backwards and see what comes up trying to make it a tad more bite sized.

      @unmanneddrone I will say I miss some of ye olde Bubblegum Crises sort of things, I think a lot more of what exactly happened to the anime niche is going to make it into the blunderbusses but I think what happened is that the niche followed the money, and the love that people feel for certain characters makes us an easily exploitable market for merchandise, if you sell a figure of a cute girl who is cute that’s easy, you barely have to tug the heart strings, if you want to sell a figure of Patlabor, or something with a grand plot, that’s much harder to merchandise later on and there isn’t as much obsessive love to tap into to get people to ignore prices. If there was a 120$ version of AT3 with a pair of these or all 3 heroine figurines I’d have bought it without a second thought and I’m such a cheapass 50% sales on steam often aren’t good enough for me.

      Song 1: Skies of Arcadia OP
      Song 2: Persona 4 – Specialist
      Song 3: Lunar: Silver Star Story OP (I like this one more, but great selection anywho, I think she remains the only person to ever really successfully dub A SONG and invoke love from casual and hardcore fans alike. The japanese lyrics are miles different but the rewrite was an excellent move, a brief flare of intelligent localization that sadly died out, look at the comments to see how it affected people (mostly the young)

    • Shingro 3:26 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      This song rather, I’M VERY GOOD AT REMEMBERING THINGS :\

      Additional short versions of thoughts/answers!
      @redswirl they’re all sorts of places, often on portables The World Ends With You is a fantastic JRPG that won Game of the Year in a smattering of outlets, the Persona series is so good it got a followup re-release and Persona 4 melted even Jeff Gerstman’s Japan-type cynicism, and that’s a guy who I’d never in a hundred years suggest a JRPG to. Main thing is they aren’t advertised so often never found.

      @bowlisimo Grind as a concept isn’t too surprising when you consider how much japan venerates that steady, eternal work ethic as a path to success. Besides, if you consider grind as an answer to ‘what do we do if someone isn’t very good at these games and can’t get past this fight?’ it’s not a bad solution. Since I’ve played JRPGs all my life I’ve had to grind in maybe 2-3 games. there’s often a type of language that lets you alter your power level significantly. For example. Say there’s a set of 3 persona 3 players on the same boss
      Player 1 solution: Attack with three characters, heal with 1
      Player 2 solution: uses Elemental attacks to strike weaknesses, uses knockdown stuff
      Player 3: Power Charge with main, Takukaja (attack up), Dekunda, heal

      Player 1 will have to grind more then player 2 and player 3 won’t have to grind at all. This sort of thing is also really in line with how much consecuative time you can spend with a game, I beat FFVIII with Squall at lvl 28 and Rinoa at lvl 14 (since she yoyos in and out of your party so much, still was a main person though due to Invincible Moon) Later when I came back to it I couldn’t remember how in the hell I beat a FF last boss (level scaling or no, she could still easily one shot everyone with anything) with levels like that. If players can grind though, then anyone can complete any game, which is something a Zelda game can’t really say.

      Anywho, I’m done skirmishing for the moment, I’ll say that I actually really enjoyed the podcast =) Good work by yon squadies, good to see it getting some good discussion too, I’ll make sure I get the blunderbusses up after Akido if possible. It’s gone into some odd areas c_c feels like the KS pitch a little bit

    • bowlisimo 4:17 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      @Shingro I don’t really buy your second point. I’m no developer, but isn’t a better solution just to pace the game and xp so that by the time you get to a boss you’re powerful enough to handle it? If you’re terrible at games, well then you have difficulty settings. For instance, I don’t remember grinding in Baldur’s gate, all of the xp was gained through playing the game naturally. You could probably make the argument that sections of that game were grindy, but it was always in service of the plot or towards completing a sidequest, thus it felt like progress (which is a big difference, mentally).

      Anyway, I just strongly disagree with the notion of getting to an end boss, not being strong enough, and having to go waste hours of time fighting things over and over again. The weird thing is, I didn’t mind it as much in Demon’s/Dark Souls. Maybe because I understood that getting your ass kicked and coming back stronger was the whole point? I dunno.

    • Shingro 5:24 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      @bowlisimo I can respect that, let me say that I’m not saying grinding is a good thing, I just think it’s an understandable thing culturally.

      I think the question becomes ‘what is powerful enough?’ Depending on the game, RPGs can have vastly different power levels where people are capable of fighting this or that boss. Further it is a rare RPG that has difficulty settings at all, much less dynamically shifting ones. You might have not needed to grind in baulder’s gate, but what if you were someone who did ‘main quest only’ stuff and you ignored all the items/monsters/etc from subplots you would have a very hard time of it . Some people would argue that by doing sidequests at all you were grinding secondary, optional content. If you’re the sort of person to clear every sidequest and zone possible then you were theoretically at maximum possible level for every new area. I know that’s what I did, and I don’t think there was really any way for me to be any higher level. Then again, I was a mage, which ment my game was ‘harder’ then a fighter’s game in different areas and easier in others because my combat was totally different. Requiring different levels of xp for a smooth or challenging road

      Similarly I find that by the time I’m done exploring all the weird features on the map and running sidequests I’m more then strong enough for the next item in most JRPGs

      Ideally I think it’s good to have a more streamlined experience, but what do you give up? Say you had to complete every sidequest in BG before you could move to the next area to ensure that you were at an optimal level for each fight. Say you had to do the quests in a certain sequence to ensure that the curve remained smooth. Besides, it makes the narrative smoother. Say the terrain that connected those quests in order was fairly linear, to be sure that they found everything and weren’t frustrated with pointless searching, or finding out of depth stuff and getting caught somewhere they didn’t belong.

      That game is only a crazy plot from being FFXIII. The more freedom you give the player to choose what content they do and what they don’t the more you risk them missing not only game experience, but real world experience in manipulating the game. The more flexibility you put in the combat system the more you risk people shooting ahead before they’re ready or having a real tough go of it through every small bit of combat. It’s gotta be a real hard thing for a developer to manage.

      There’s definitely room to innovate though, grinding wouldn’t be as painful if there were completely new areas to explore and new monsters to fight that were optional places you could go if you needed to boost your power somewhat. Often the complaint about grinding is that you have to rehash old content, both in areas and in monsters. This is intensified by the tradition of creating palette swap monsters further eroding the excitement of the player. There’s a few games that do excellent work in disguising or making the player excited about old content, Final Fantasy 3/6’s Veldt is a good example, I hung out there for AGES trying to get Gau extra skills and powers, and in the meantime I fought dozens more monsters without a thought. Which brings up another thing. If you make every combat a joy, you won’t mind if you have to fight a bit extra to finish something. The World Ends With you is a good example of combat that is very fluid and flexible and always introducing something new.

      Actually while on that topic battles in TWEWY were to a large extent optional, and your level gets high pretty fast, but you get better drop rates the lower you set your level, making you try to scrape by with the barest minimum level necessary to finish the fight. Further if stuck in a battle in addition to exit and retry you could drop the battle difficulty to easy, which weakened your loot but you were only ever as stuck in that game as your pride, but it was also always pushing you to challenge yourself to the maximum extent.

      I dunno, I don’t think making a game everyone can get through is as easy as it seems, BG certainly did it for the completion crowd, but that’s not everyone. grinding does it but the way it used to be done was indeed monotonous.. It seems to a great extent games are solving this problem by making things so easy no one could possible fail, and that causes problems for yet other demographics. Mana Khemia and Ar Tonelico solved it by becoming incredibly easy games that rewarded good play with more and better crafting items from monsters. Kamidori fixed it by making ‘free’ areas which are brand new maps that can be left at any time and have all new monsters and materials but no story significance.

      I dunno what the right answer is. What would you like to see?

    • unmanneddrone 5:31 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      Is it just a case of encounter design? It’s not solely a JRPG notion, but damn if that loading flourish leading to…my team being attacked by two dragon flies isn’t a fatigue-inducing experience. Give me a four-story boar. Or a Tonberry.

      I suppose we’re asking for a real paradigm shift in game design.

      EDIT: I did like the variety of beasts and whatnot that popped up in FFVII, as an aside. So many great area-specific enemies.

    • Pete Davison 10:51 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      I’ve never really had a problem with grinding, personally. It’s something you can “tune out” of while you’re doing it — a relaxing, relatively mindless activity that benefits your character in the long run. Sure, it’s repetitive, but if it bothers you, take the @feenwager approach and put the ball game on while you grind 🙂

      I know I’m an unusually patient person though. During my time as a teacher I was regularly complimented on it, and I attribute a lot of that patience to many grindy, repetitive video games I had played prior to that point. Especially Chocobo breeding in FFVII. Oh GOD the horror. Worth it, though. Knights of the Round was awesome.

      @redswir1 made a good point about FFXII — the grind in that didn’t feel like it was interrupting your play. Rather, the game often gave you a story mission on the complete opposite side of the world map to where you were, and you could either fast travel or walk there, kicking seven shades of snot out of every enemy on the way. The latter approach led to some very efficient levelling as you travel, and didn’t feel grindy at all. It helped that FFXII’s combat was pretty satisfying anyway.

      Regarding the point on grinding in WRPGs, no, it’s never really been an issue as such. Sure, you can find yourself in an area filled with enemies that will completely maim you if you’re not careful, but that’s just a sign you need to come back later rather than grind any. You typically get so little XP for combat in WRPGs compared to quests that grinding is barely possible anyway.

      The exception to this is the Elder Scrolls games, which are very grindy if you want a top-spec character. It’s grinding skills rather than combat, though — making a hundred daggers, jumping on the spot for three hours, repeatedly firing arrows at passing wildlife, obsessively buffing yourself while you’re waiting for a non-hostile quest NPC to walk over to you, eating mushrooms and hoping you don’t die. Sure, your quest-essential skills (mostly combat and magic) will level up naturally as you proceed through the game, but for other skills (particularly in earlier titles) you’d have to make a specific effort to spend some time training a skill. That or making enough money to pay a trainer.

    • pepperized 6:20 pm on May 3, 2012 Permalink

      I am guilty of hating grinding. I don’t know why, it may be because I’m simply impatient or because I need that “gamer’s rush” from games.

  • RedSwirl 1:22 am on March 11, 2012 Permalink

    @feenwager A Squadcast under three hours?! Hot damn.

  • unmanneddrone 12:40 am on March 11, 2012 Permalink

    @feenwager Good heavens! And praise be!

  • impynickers 6:00 pm on March 6, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: UPS   

    @feenwager ah… ups. I hope you fair better than I did.
    I had to spend some time on the phone complaining before ups revealed that they delivered ME3 to the wrong address or something. Apparently they have top men on it…… top men.

  • bowlisimo 12:21 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink

    @feenwager Good luck! The Reapers are invading! Apparently Gregory House M.D. sacrificed his team to them.

  • RocGaude 2:50 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink

    @unmanneddrone I think Bastion’s the most logical first step for me. Like @feenwager, I’m going to knock it out before ME3 drops on Tuesday.

  • unmanneddrone 2:35 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @feenwager Good stuff. We can always bung together a twitpoll or something to aid in the Feenwager reconquista. I’m going to continue with Jagged Alliance, which should last a good while. 13 or so hours in and I’ve only got 9% of Arulco liberated. God help me. Next stop, Cambria University, and from what I’ve seen via a squad on the outskirts, Deidranna’s forces are there in number.

    More than a great idea, a very sensible idea, this Feenwager Challenge.

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