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Chrono Double Feature

Posted by CmdrKing on July 19, 2011

In doing the Thematics series, it’s important to remember that video games rarely use trained writers.  At times this works out; while the people behind Final Fantasy aren’t writers by trade, they clearly has some idea of the process, and in the end it’s simply easier for a non-professional like myself to sift through the work.  Other times?  If we’re honest, we have to admit that there are no deeper meanings or threads binding the stories together, at least not in the mind of the fellows putting dialogue together.  But of course, humans as an animal are if nothing else pattern seekers, and as such it’s entirely possible to come away from a nominally shallow story with much the same sort of impression as one clearly written with advanced technique in mind.

This brings me to today’s subject, the Chrono Series.  When I considered my next project, people immediately recommended Chrono Cross, because “you can talk about CC at the drop of a hat anyway”.  Which is probably a fair point, but I don’t think the failings of Chrono Cross at the writing level mean much without talking about Chrono Trigger.  But in considering CT as its own article, I was unsure the game was actually written to have strong central themes.  So in what follows, I’m not entirely sure if I’m stretching in order to strengthen my point later or seeing a legitimate aspect of Chrono Trigger’s story, but I think you’ll agree it makes a lot of sense and fits with what’s in the game.

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Xeroma’s XBLA/PSN Reviews #1: Introduction to the column & Pac-Man Championship Edition DX review

Posted by Xeroma on July 14, 2011

Disclaimer: This review column won’t delve into RPGs much. However, I still feel that I should do these reviews for a reason.
Lots of people in our community have been obtaining 360s and PS3s as of late, and I still see remarks from various people about how there are few games that are any good on the platforms. I feel that this is not an accurate statement, and above all ignores a prominent sector of both console’s libraries: the digital distribution network. There are actually a pretty decent number of good games on both XBLA and PSN, which are easy to overlook if you’re not intimately familiar with both services. This review column was an idea I had to help alleviate this problem, to shed light on notable games on the service and hopefully convince people of what these services have to offer. I plan on updating this column once every two weeks, so that I can have time to ensure the individual reviews will be of quality.

Without further ado, here is the first review. This game I believe represents what both services are capable of, and that game is Pac-Man Championship Edition DX.

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Tournament: Standard Duels 2011

Posted by Djinn on July 12, 2011

While the main Tournament Page is still undergoing a bit of construction, the RPGDL Tournament marches on! A smaller substitute Tournament is being held on the Forums, organized by CmdrKing. Come get all RPG-hero deathmatch needs by voting in the Forum Topic.

Discussion is welcome, but not required, for placing your vote.

Standard Duelling League rules apply. The one exception is that a few of the more famous characters who weren’t on the Ranked DL roster have been allowed to compete. Maybe one of your favorites is beating up Sephiroth right now?

Tournament 2011 – Round 1 Topic

Round Two is now open!

Tournament 2011 – Round 2 Topic

Thematics: Final Fantasy VI

Posted by CmdrKing on June 13, 2011

Welcome once again to the demented hellscape that is Thematics.  And if you have a snappier name, by all means speak up.  In the previous article, I mentioned offhandedly that Final Fantasy VII was probably the first video game that could take serious literary analysis.  But this isn’t to say it had the first game to attempt serious storytelling.  It was just the first to have enough dialogue to avoid jarring gaps in characterization and plot flow.  Fortunately, since we’re concerned with broad stroke and looking at trends and conclusions when hunting themes, this doesn’t matter.  As such, sit back as we go way back to 1994 and the launching point of the modern jRPG, Final Fantasy VI.

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Thematics: Final Fantasy VIII

Posted by CmdrKing on June 7, 2011

Welcome to Thematics, where everything’s made up and the plot points don’t matter.  That’s right, they’re like armor in a Nippon Ichi game.  Today we’ll be looking at that perennial favorite of any conversation, Final Fantasy VIII.  The follow-up to the greatest game ever circa 1999, Final Fantasy VIII had more or less infinite expectations behind it, and so had to blow everyone out of the water with its gameplay, character building, cast, villains, and of course plot, especially since Final Fantasy VII had quite possibly the first video game plot with both the concepts and scripting to make serious literary analysis worth anyone’s time.  So naturally, FFVIII had a complex theme requiring hours of in depth examination of the script, character relationships, and overall plot arc to divine.  Or wait, I have that wrong.  It loudly proclaims itself “An epic story based on the theme of love, set in a massive new world”.  Huh.  Well that was easy.

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Games Update: FF3 EVIL TYPE 1.1 Release

Posted by Djinn on May 15, 2011

Long-time Final Fantasy VI Hacker, SageAcrin, brings us his latest update to the Evil Type patch in 3 years.

FF3 Evil Type is a rebalancing patch the focuses on improving monster/boss AI and stats, rather than the standard practice of nerfing PC skills/equips. The forum topic highlights all of the changes.

Download the patch, talk about the changes, or just check it out here:

SageAcrin’s Final Fantasy III Evil Type 1.1 Topic

Forum Update: New Stat Topics

Posted by Djinn on May 12, 2011

More twintails than you can shake a tsundere at!

OblivionKnight brings us some much-needed boss stats for oft-released Dept Heaven game, Riviera: The Promised Land. And from Pyro, our latest new stat topic is for the recent PSP release, Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky.

Check ’em out:

Pyro’s Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky topic

Tonfa’s and OblivionKnight’s Riviera: The Promised Land topic

Vanity and Grandia 2, in which bad jokes are made about liking things.

Posted by Grefter on May 11, 2011

Do you like Grandia 2? Are you a someone who takes pride in your taste in video games? Do you want to read some nonsense about all of the above? Then this is the article for you. Do you none of the above apply to you? Well I don’t really fit the categories either but wrote some junk about it so you could totally check it out. There is some jokes and some ranting. Mostly the jokes though.

Disclaimer: Post contains words of a degenerate. The contents of which may be vulgar and disgraceful. Read at your own discretion.

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Thematics: Valkyrie Profile

Posted by CmdrKing on April 15, 2011

Valkyrie Profile: a gameplay-driven yarn featuring loosely adapted Norse Mythology detailing the events of Ragnarok.  We take the helm of Lenneth, middle sister of the Valkyries, as she searches Midgard for worthy souls and trains them for the coming battle in Jotunheim.  But with the evil pedo wizards, the business end of Odin’s dickery, the fire giants and watching people die and slaying vampires, what’s Valkyrie Profile trying to say?  What’s the idea at the center of its unique take on a story older than the written word?  That’s the task for Thematics, a little experiment I’m running in which we’ll be applying something approximating literary analysis to RPG plots and seeing if there’s anything left.

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How RPGs have been abused into making money with bad shooters.

Posted by Grefter on April 10, 2011

DOOM RPG is not actually discussed in this article.  It is a joke about the melding of RPGs and First Person Shooters you see.  It is used as a comical presentation of the juxtaposition of penises.

A discussion article on the ever growing trend of including RPG Elements into the First Person Shooter genre, what is wrong with it in the current trend. Not actually an article about how they totally took our gimmick and should give it back. Disclaimer: Post yet another post containing words that display the vulgarity and disgrace of the wretched and the wicked.  Read at your own discretion. Read the rest of this entry »