GrantHeaslip's forum posts

#1 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1363 posts) -

What are you talking about? Based on the title, I figured they'd done something actually crazy, like not displaying posts until they're moderated. I can't imagine a scenario in which I would have even noticed this had it not been announced.

For this to impact you, you'd have to comment on a post, have someone comment in reply, and then comment again within a span of 3 minutes. I rarely even do that on Facebook, and it moves way quicker.

#2 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1363 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@grantheaslip said:

That said though, I'm not convinced Animal Crossing has evolved very meaningfully. It's changed, but the core gameplay of New Leaf is very similar to the original. There's an implied narrative to this piece that seems at odds with (at least based on my month of playing New Leaf and months spent on the original) the reality of the series' evolution. For better or worse, New Leaf is still the product of Takashi Tezuka and Shigeuru Miyamoto's original vision. What's come after it has seemed to me to be more like caretaking than rethinking.

I don't really feel the same way. As much as New Leaf does stay relatively close to the structure of the original game, what the development team behind the game has done to evolve it has allowed for some very meaningful changes. The original Animal Crossing was, of course, a very local game; it didn't have any sort of online functionality and the aspect of multiplayer was limited to people swapping turns on the same console. Wild World and City Folk were able to introduce an online element, and expanded features, but I feel that New Leaf took those expanded ideas, reworked them for the 3DS's online structure, and then made several improvements and tweaks to the core concept of the game that make for some fundamental differences, even if they are hard to spot at first.

In terms of online, the idea of community is better represented in New Leaf than I think it ever had been in any previous game. There's the Happy Home Showcase and Dream Suite that let you interact with other players' homes and towns without necessarily needing a live connection to those locations. There's the way that the town is able to get a more personal touch through the projects you can erect as mayor (the very fact hat you're mayor, and not just another villager, is in itself a pretty big shift).

Make no mistake, the game is still largely about interactions with goofball villagers, collecting and selling fruit, expanding and decorating your home, and in general fostering activities that offer more for relaxation than they do challenge. But it's also a very social game; more social than it was ever in the past. And the diverse nature of the development team really shows in terms of who the players encounter and what can be found. There is a strong sense of rethinking that's gone into New Leaf, but a lot of that is in the game's under-the-hood elements that we're not supposed to really be thinking about actively as we actually play the game. It's the systems underneath the hood that have elevated New Leaf for me, and that easily make it the best entry the franchise has seen yet.

The online stuff feels like a natural product of the increased capabilities of the 3DS, and to some extent Nintendo's approach to online maturing. It's not that the added social aspects aren't a big deal -- it just seems like stuff that would have happened regardless of, say, the gender makeup of the development team. Given the online capabilities of the 64DD and some of the weird online stuff Nintendo was doing with it, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that online features were considered for the original.

I'm also sure you're right about some of the systems changing, but at some point, if the newest iteration in a 12-year-old series doesn't feel all that different than the original, it's probably a sign that it hasn't changed very much. I don't even think that's all that bad of a thing -- I only took issue with it because of the way this piece hand-waves its way around the elephant in the room.

#3 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1363 posts) -

This is by no means always the case, but I do find that female friends of mine tend to play games quite differently (and for different reasons) than male friends. A male game designer may also have been influenced by Ultima Online, but probably for more traditionally "hardcore" reasons. To be clear, I think that's a good thing, not just for diversity's sake, but because games will be more accessible to people without "hardcore" backgrounds.

That said though, I'm not convinced Animal Crossing has evolved very meaningfully. It's changed, but the core gameplay of New Leaf is very similar to the original. There's an implied narrative to this piece that seems at odds with (at least based on my month of playing New Leaf and months spent on the original) the reality of the series' evolution. For better or worse, New Leaf is still the product of Takashi Tezuka and Shigeuru Miyamoto's original vision. What's come after it has seemed to me to be more like caretaking than rethinking.

P.S. There's a handful of typos and some awkward phrasing in here. I don't want to go back and find them all again, but maybe run it by someone else on staff?

#4 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1363 posts) -

I tend to start playing a game for a few hours to get a sense of the systems, then take a look at the trophy list and very deliberately decide what I'm going to bother with and what I'm going to ignore. I almost never bother with trophies that require collecting 100% of something, because I know that the pressure of not missing anything is going to cause too much unfun anxiety. I have yet to get a single platinum trophy, and I'm totally fine with that. The idea that some people platinum games as a rule really weirds me out, but to each their own I suppose.

I've tended to find that the games in which I focus a lot of trophies are often games I'm not really enjoying playing. If a game has well-designed reward structures, I don't need an external motivation to want to do stuff. This is obviously on some level an issue of personal preference, but I do think it's telling that trophies are often a big deal in open world games. How many people would actually bother doing (let alone enjoy doing) 100% of the mediocre side content in most open world games if they didn't get an external bauble for it? Isn't that kind of messed up?

#5 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1363 posts) -

I wish I loved Lightning Returns as much as you. I thought it was a fine (though fundamentally flawed in a number of ways) game with some interesting mechanics and a relatively satisfying ending to the XIII story, but when I finished it I was utterly done with it. I was going to write something about the game, but it was going to end up being pretty negative and I decided against it. Ironically, considering how much shit it gets, XIII is by far my favourite game in the trilogy.

I'm really looking forward to Project Diva F 2nd. I'm 23+ hours into F, and I'm still coming back to it most days. I'm working on getting E ranks on the hard versions of every song, and after that I might make another run at some of the less ridiculous extreme songs. As with you and Lightnings Returns, I'm sticking with this game in a way that I almost never do. I'm not even working toward trophies -- I just really enjoy playing it. Your enthusiasm for the game was a big part of why I gave it a chance, so thanks!

I'm also looking forward to playing Final Fantasy X for the fist time. I'm not completely decided on how I should come at the pre-XIII Final Fantasy games, of which I've played nothing. A part of me wants to start with VI (the open-endedness of V's character progression doesn't much appeal to me, and it sounds like VI is where the localization started being decent by modern standards) and slowly work my way forward.

#6 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1363 posts) -

@yummylee said:

@grantheaslip: Besides the first one, I think all of the classic ND Crash games hold up surprisingly well! They're pretty simple games to begin with so they're easy to wrap your head around. They still control really well at that. Given how most kart racers largely play the same, CTR holds up pretty well, too.

Yeah, I've heard good things about CTR. Considering I still legitimately enjoy Mario Kart 64 and Diddy Kong Racing, I'm guessing I'll get some fun out of CTR.

#7 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1363 posts) -

I grabbed all of the Crash and Spyro games, plus Gex for good measure. I'm guessing they don't really hold up, but I never owned a PS1 and figure they're worth messing around with for curiosity's sake.

#8 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1363 posts) -

@believer258 said:

Project Diva F is only lewd if you make it lewd.

I agree, at least from what I've seen of it. I don't actually have much interest in playing this game, but what I saw in the Quick Look (detached from Jeff's creepiness) was entirely innocent. There is a weird amount of fanservice that turns me away from the game, but I don't think that any of it is meant to be lewd fanservice. It's definitely tamer and less weird than, say, the paparazzi chasing down a Western superstar and practically the entire Western civilization reading about it in the paper or hearing about it through the kinds of people who read about it in the paper.

Full disclosure: I think that Quick Look is one of the best videos on Giantbomb and anyone who hasn't seen it should for a good laugh, but going into it should require a "This isn't a serious or accurate representation of this game" warning. The fact that they're making it weird should be totally obvious, but some people can't tell.

I agree that the QL was pretty funny, though I think it veered too heavily into "laughing at" rather than "laughing with". I got the sense that the GB guys really did come away from the game thinking it was creepy, and if they weren't in on the joke, I doubt much of the audience was. I dug up a forum post I made when the video was first released that does a better job of conveying my thoughts on it.

Also, FWIW, when you're actually playing the game, you're only barely picking up what's going on onscreen. When I was on YouTube digging up the videos in this post, I was seeing all sorts of stuff I completely missed despite playing some songs a dozen or more times. If you like the music and gameplay, don't let whatever perception of fanservice you're getting from videos stop you from trying it.

#9 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1363 posts) -

@demoskinos said:

@grantheaslip: Uh, its about the same really but they have included two new scratch mechanics. You have "Link scratch" Which links the scratch notes together in a specific order with a line."W-Scratch" which are "double scratch" notes I don't know how they handle it on Vita but on the PS3 you have to flick both sticks.

On the Vita, you swipe the screen (or back touch area) to register scratches. It's awkward, and I haven't figured out any good way to hold the Vita and effectively use both thumbs at once. It's at least fairly lenient about the timing, but the scratch sections always seem way too simple or way too fast.

#10 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1363 posts) -

@hailinel said:

Great to hear! Project Diva F is a fantastic game, and F 2nd is more of the greatness with an arguably better track list over all.

The AR feature is as you suspect. The PS3 version of the game substitutes the AR function for a mode that lets you watch Vocaloids perform select tracks in a venue not unlike the live concerts that Crypton Future Media has put on.

As for the view of the games in the western media, I'm curious to see how Diva F 2nd will do. The first game obviously has a western audience; it sold so well beyond Sega's expectations that they're giving 2nd physical releases on both the PS3 and Vita, and the physical version will be available in larger quantities than the limited release of the first PDF. Hopefully outlets will realize that there is an audience for these games and treat them accordingly, as opposed to some curiosity to scorn. (Though, I can't help but feel that perhaps at least some of the western media reaction it received was due to it being localized over games like Yakuza 5 and PSO2. I'm not saying that bitterness from the choice affected any reactions to the game, but it is something I've wondered.)

I was glad to see that they announced Project Diva F 2nd and acknowledged the success of the first. There's so much pessimism in the games industry right now, and it's kind of great that this obscure (in the west, anyway) full-priced PS3 and Vita game (published by Sega, no less!) was such a clear success story. It's especially amazing considering it's the kind of game a lot of western fans would have imported if they were interested in it.

You might be onto something with respect to Yakuza and PSO2, though it would be a fairly ridiculous thing to resent considering the scope of those games are quite literally orders of magnitude higher than Project Diva F. PSO2 in particular would require a large server and support infrastructure. Someone from Sega was on 8-4 Play a few months ago, and I remember him saying that Project Diva F was essentially a labour of love for a single localizer.