A blog about JRPGs

It is hard to find a place for news and information about the kind of JRPG's that are a bit obscure. Sure you can find plenty about Final Fantasy and such but what about the less known games? So I decided I would create one myself and put there what I find out. It is mostly focused on obscure games that are coming out in the west. jrpgs.wordpress.com if you have an interest in such a blog. The PS3 and Vita are getting plenty of JRPG's these days despite the PS4 being out so it is a great time for us who still have the PS3 out and who enjoy that they are localizing more games.

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A blog about JRPGs

It is hard to find a place for news and information about the kind of JRPG's that are a bit obscure. Sure you can find plenty about Final Fantasy and such but what about the less known games? So I decided I would create one myself and put there what I find out. It is mostly focused on obscure games that are coming out in the west. jrprg.wordpress.com if you have an interest in such a blog. The PS3 and Vita are getting plenty of JRPG's these days despite the PS4 being out so it is a great time for us who still have the PS3 out and who enjoy that they are localizing more games.

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My Dreamcast is working again! (and how to fix your DC)

About a year ago  my DC started to have a problem. It randomly rebooted. I felt like playing DC again so I googled and found this   http://www.neoseeker.com/forums/19/t44179-dreamcast-reseting-problem-help/ it worked and was a fairly easy process. I've tried several games and so far it has been working like a charm.


Also, people are still playing PSO online! Through private servers, but still. I can't join them since I don't have a broadband adapter and no phone jack for dial-up even if I had a dial-up internet service.

Now that I've got that working I doubt I'm actually going to play much on it, but it's nice to be able to if I want to ^^
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Just finished Dragon Age 2

From what people have said and the reviews I was half expecting the game to be awful. I'm glad I was wrong. It seems a lot like ME2 was to ME1. Better and more streamlines in certain areas while loosing certain things. Right now however I only feel angry about two things. 
 
1. Despite all my effort to find a peaceful solution, both with the Qunari and between mages and templars the game forced you to pick sides between two evils. It felt a bit like WWII and being able to side with the Nazis or the Communists, but not with the Allies! 
 
2. Damn cliff hanger ending. I'm watching the credits right now and it feels like there should be another chapter in this game. I can only hope there will be DLC or an expansion and that it will continue right where the game ended. 
 
So what do I think of the game? Some things were better and some were worse than DA1. Overall I loved it and while maybe not quite as good as DA1 it's certainly up there. If they learn from both games then they can create a great DA3. Unless they have alienated too many. It has problems, it lost a bit more than ME2 did going from ME1, but I still think it's great. 
 
And there the credits ended...I was hoping for an after credits cut scene like is so common these days, but no such luck. I guess all I can do is start over, there are so many possibilities to make other choices.

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Don't underestimate the players (why voices is a good idea)

It used to be common knowledge that western gamers didn't care for RPG's. They were too slow for us and there was just no way a western gamer would read text when we could play some action game. Then FF7 (first Final Fantasy to be released in EU) proved that if you make a good game people will play it even if it has a lot of text. 
 
It also used to be common knowledge that girls did not like games. Now we know that girls do like games. The SIms, WoW, Farmville, Singstar etc are all games with large number of female players. The reason why girls didn't play games before was that the games weren't interesting for them. The few games made for games were usually garbage and anytime a garbage game for girls failed they saw it as proof that they didn't like games instead of blaming the game for not being good enough. 
 
It also used to be common knowledge that people on the internet did not have the attention span to watch a video clip that was more than 5min long. Then Giantbomb came along and showed that if you make the content compelling enough people will watch 30min quick looks and even 100h endurence runs. 
 
So my point is that even though people say that MMO players don't have the patience to read quests much less listen to them I believe that the reason is mostly because quests in MMO's are so dumb that there is very little reason to. If you have played one "Go and collect 10 wolf pelts" you have pretty much played them all. The millions of copies of Mass Effect 2 sold proves that it's not just RPG players who enjoy a good story, even shooter fans like the game and if a very traditional RPG like Dragon Age can manage to sell a few million copies like it did, then I'm sure Star Wars The Old Republic won't be a flop. I don't think it will outsell WoW or anything crazy like that, but I think the focus of voice overs and a compelling story will prove to be a profitable one.  
 
It's easy to say that no MMO player care about the quest text when there is barely no quest text worth caring about. Just as it was easy to say that girls don't like games when all they had to play were some badly put together horse games.

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My most insane GiantBomb dream yet

I've had some dreams about being at GB or meeting some of the GB crew, but this one was so crazy I have to write it down before I forget it. 
 
I travel from Sweden to GB HQ to meet the crew, however on my flight their I ate all the Swedish candy I was going to bribe them with so they wouldn't let me in. I tried to bribe them with Swedish gentleman's magazines instead and that almost worked, but it only got me one game with Vinny on a 50" CRT (don't remember the game we played) and I wanted to meet the others as well. So I planned a heist and needed money. I contacted Nelson Mandela under the pretense that GB was stealing food from the red cross and sold it at twice the market price. However that was a lie since the only connection between the food and GB was that GB HQ was located along the Mexican border so technically they were responsible to guard that border, but they didn't so a lot of smuggling was going on, including that food that I intercepted and used as evidence. 
 
I got 29 million dollars into my bank account from Mandela to perform my heist, however he found out I had lied to him and I had to look up some RPG rulebook or something to find out if I was about to die a quick death, slow, or a very slow and painful death. Turned out it was slow and painful so I tried to escape by bicycle through the woods without my lights on, however the cops chasing me could see in complete darkness so I ended up faking my death and escape from the ambulance. Don't remember anything after that.  
  
I wonder if this means anything...

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We need a new 2 dimensional grade system for video games.

Since people started to review games they have used a 1D system consisting of only one axis. Very much like the dark/light side in games like KotOR. What I would like to see is a 2D system with two axis. More similar to morality systems in more modern games it has two scales. The first one is on a scale from 1-5 says how good the game is from an objective view point (I know that true objectiveness cannot be achieved in practice, but it should be the goal). The second scale should be how good the game made you feel or how much it meant for you. There are games that are clearly bad games, but you love them still. Just as there are great games, that for some reason doesn't do it for you. 
 
You might say that some sites use a multi-dimensional grading system having story, gameplay etc in separate categories, however those are then baked into some sort of total score. I want the objective and subjective (I call them that even though that's an oversimplification) scores to be seperate and in fact it would be wrong IMO to try to turn them into one score. 
 
A few examples for me would be Dreamfall obj: 3 sub: 5, Gears of War Obj: 5 sub: 2, Mass Effect obj: 4, sub: 5 
 
This would make things more clear if the reviewer things it's a well made game or a game that he/she loves because of it's charm. As it is now it's impossible to distinguish between a well designed game that is still not that fun to play and a not so well designed game that still is fun to play both which might be given 7 out of 10 in the system most people use today even though they are clearly very different games. 
 
This could mess things up for gamerankings and metacritic, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing in my book since 75 % doesn't say much about a game anyway. 
 
EDIT: Sorry for the bad English, I could blame it on not being a native English speaker, but mostly it's because I'm tired and it just turned midnight here. I just needed to get that rant of my chest before I could sleep ^^   
 
EDIT2: So it seems most people think it would be a bad idea. Then I ask how else should be solve the problem I was talking about? For example, should I give Dreamfall a 7 because it's not that good gameplay wise and put it in the same score department as Tomb Raider and such games with better gameplay but worse story even though Dreamfall moved me emotionally more than almost any other game? The other option would be to give it a 10, but that seems just as wrong as it clearly is not a perfect game or even near being perfect. And any score in between would just be a poor compromise.
 
Do you at least understand my dilemma? 
 
The only other solution I have is to go the way book reviews are and not try to put a number on how good it is, simply explain what we like and dislike about it and why. Because it just seems wrong IMO to put a game I care nothing about, but that is a competent game and another game that I care very much about but that isn't really a good video game in the same category.

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Just Finished Dragon Age: Origins

And already I want to play Dragon Age 2 ^^
 
Spoilers may exist here
 
It's not perfect and the ending could have been more than just text, but all in all it's my best gaming experience since Mass Effect. When I play a roleplaying game I really get into it. I played a City Elf and I really care about "my people" now. I also really care about my love Leliana. Alastair was a true friend, in another world we could have been more than that, but while he was a funny guy it was Leliana I fell for. I now travel the world with my love while my cousin Shianna has become Earl of the Alianage as I requested from the queen as a favor since I saved the world.
 
I bet every person will have a different experience of this game and I will surely play it again to experience something different. However as with Mass Effect I bet it will be my first play-through that I will consider to be canon. For me it became a story of an elven woman growing up in the Alienage whoose bethroded and  friends were killed by humans and so she was full of anger and hated all humans, until she met Leliana. With her kindness she slowly changed me until I become a calm person who fought to protoect all people. However I never forgot the people in the Alienage and did my best to help them out whenever they were in danger.
 
I hope you all have/will enjoy this game as much as I.

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PC is dead! (At least mine is)

As always I could not be content with what I had. So I bought a used Powercolor 4870 to upgrade from my 8800GTS. BAD IDEA! The card broke and it seems it's a common problem with the voltage regulators. 
 
I'm sick and tired of always doing this. It's certainly not the first video card that has broken at my mere presence in it's vicinity. 
 
So no more PC gaming for me. I'm going to stick to my consoles and netbook because I cannot mess with them. It's not like many games are released on PC these days anyway. I was looking forward to Dragon Age, but I'll get the 360 version. Only game that is unlikely to be released on consoles that I want to play is Star Wars: The Old Republic, but I'll survive without it. 
 
I can understand Jeff now when he said he didn't want to mess around with building PC's anymore. I've been building PC's for over 6 years and while they have worked most of the time there have never been a long period without some problem. Problem with video, with sound, with hard drives etc. 
 
Even if I can get it working I have decided I'm not going to spend another day troubleshooting a PC. I used to like it, but these days I just want it to work, like a console, push a button and it works. So many games I've bought on PC that crashes or doesn't work because some piece of hardware that it is in conflict with. 
 
PC gaming is not worth the trouble. I'll stick to using it for internet and video. 90 % of my PC problems have come from playing games on it directly or indirectly. 

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When an MMO dies - Memories remain?

I'm sure everyone at some point get that feeling that you want to go back and replay a game. You dust off your SNES or Saturn and hook it up to the TV. You start the game and the memories come flooding back. You play for 5 minutes and realize it's not as fun as it used to be, or perhaps it never was fun and the nostalgia filter is the only thing convincing you that there once was a time when the game was like an escape to paradise. 
 
With MMORPG's you don't have that luxury. Like on old girl friend you'll never see again there is no way to play the game and feed the demon inside you that is nostalgia. I feel that way about Tabula Rasa. I know if I could go back and play it that I would get tired after a few minutes, but because I cannot actually go back and do that, the feeling is left inside. I cannot play it and get that "Yup, that's the game alright. Yup, that's what I liked about it and yup that's why I stopped playing it." that you can from single player games. I stopped playing TR not because it was shut down, but because I didn't like it anymore. Like a girl friend you part with because you know you are not meant for each other and staying together is just prolonging the inevitable, you cannot help but wonder "What if things had turn out differently? Maybe we could start over again?" It's not enough that you know that it wouldn't work, you feel like you have to know it wouldn't work. 
 
Just like with old girl friends you only remember the good and conveniently forget the bad, even when you are fully aware of the bad, part of your mind simply refuse to accept it. The nostalgia tells you that your life used to be much better. There was a time of absolute happiness, even when no such happiness existed at all. I want to start up the game, log in, find my character who looked like a woman straight out of the US Air Force, gum chewing, spitting, bad-ass lady with shades straight out of the Top Gun movie. I want to hear the background music and jump into the game and start attacking some command post controlled by the Bane (I think that was the name of the aliens). 
 
The part of my mind that handles reasoning and logic know that going back to the game is futile and that I already know exactly what would happen, but the nostalgia demon whispers to me that true bliss can be found only on the world of Tabula Rasa. If only there was a way to play MMO games in single player, even without any people it would be enough to get that fix the nostalgia demon demands every so often. MMO's are like a forgotten period in history where we have no documents or buildings that have survived to tell us what life used to be like. We can only remember them and like history passed on by oral tradition, the memories change over time and move further and further from the truth. In our mind it becomes like the blissful state of nature many 18th century philosophers* were obsessed about. The time before the world become corrupted and everyone was pure. Or in the case of video games, before game developers become corrupted by large publishers such as Activision or EA and the games were pure and innocent, made for fun rather than profit. I doubt there is anyone who never have thought "games used to be so much better" even if they realize it's not true as soon as they have the thought.
 
What we need is an MMO museum, where servers are stored and people can get the true facts. Experience the game as it was and not as how they remember it. Perhaps in the future the worlds in MMORPG's will be on the Lost Worlds show on Discovery. People will study these virtual worlds and wonder how people live and future hackers will be like archeologists of today, trying to find the remains of the once great civilizations. 
 
* Jean-Jacques Rousseau for example

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