VargasPrime's forum posts

#1 Posted by VargasPrime (312 posts) -

I love FFIX. It's probably my secondmost favorite of the series (behind FFVI). I always thought of it as the "underdog" of the Playstation-era FF games. FFVII was just such a big deal when it happened (and was the introduction to the series for a whole generation of people), and everyone seemed to still be riding high on that when VIII came out (which I still think is one of the weakest FF games), that by the time IX came out, and had gone back to a more traditional feel with more cartoony style characters and less "edge" or "angst" it didn't grab a lot of people the way the previous two games had.

I thought, after Cloud and Squall and their "angry at the world" characterizations, Zidane was such a welcome change. And of course, Vivi... who's better than Vivi?

(No one is.)

#2 Posted by VargasPrime (312 posts) -

@thatpinguino: I get what you're saying about defining roles for characters that way, but I tend to dislike it when I have to force that kind of limitation on myself. I have to consciously make the choice to just not equip certain GFs on certain characters in order to artificially limit their potential.

I guess I just prefer systems that either have (a) predetermined roles for specific characters, where the game is to work the system to make that character as good at that particular role as possible, or (b) an open beginning, but choices that gain you certain abilities or paths wind up locking you out of others, or at least limiting how far you can go in too many different directions.

The blank, infinitely fill-able slate that is afforded you by systems like the GF/Junction system or the Materia from FFVII doesn't really do it for me. Especially in a game like FFVIII where I didn't find myself particularly drawn to any of the characters or the story, it felt like I was just arbitrarily filling my party with one maxed out character or another. Like, I basically used Zell constantly just because I've always had a soft spot for punchy characters since I first suplexed a train with Sabin.

At any rate, your video was good, kudos to you, and if nothing else, it at least highlights how easy it is to kind of "game the system" in FFVIII, even early on. At least in FFVII you had to wait until later in the game, when you had equipment that had tons of materia slots, before all your characters could be equally powerful across the board. And as much as I didn't care for FFVIII back when it came out, this discussion actually has me considering downloading it on my Vita just to give it another shot.

#3 Edited by VargasPrime (312 posts) -

The Junctioning in FFVIII was not my biggest problem with the game, it was an interesting enough attempt at a more unique customization system. I will say, however, that I think it fails on some pretty significant levels. I agree with your opinion that it helps to dissuade players from traditional grinding (although like others have said, spending 20+ turns on a single insignificant battle just to max out your stock on a particular spell winds up being its own form of grinding), and experimenting with different GF, spell, and stat combinations was an interesting way to try to build your characters.

But I think the downsides of the system were pretty significant. It actively discourages you from actually USING magic, since most of your best spells are going to be junctioned to your characters' stats, and the less stock you have, the less of a bonus you receive from the junction. The other major problem I had with the system (and this one is mostly just my personal preference) is that, like the Materia system in FFVII, it ultimately winds up homogenizing all your characters. The right combinations of spells and stats on your characters makes every character powerful in pretty much every area, so you end up with no real reason to use any character over any other, unless you're partial to specific limit breaks or a character's appearance.

When it comes to character customization, I much prefer a system where I'm making choices that determine a specific role for each character, rather than a system that makes everyone an instant jack-of-all-trades halfway through the game.

#4 Posted by VargasPrime (312 posts) -

Oh man I need that Phantasy Star tone Jeff's got on his phone.

#5 Posted by VargasPrime (312 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@conmulligan: It's foolish to judge by the cover, no matter how the game is marketed.

People aren't judging the game, though (at least not the reasonable ones). They're judging the cover, which is what we've been presented. And given the strong reaction to FC3's racial themes, it's hardly a surprise that people are skeptical and critical of this first glimpse we've been given of the game.

It's possible the game will address the cover art in a way that's reasonable, but the picture alone, without any additional context, is leaving some people with an eyebrow raised until we know more.

#6 Posted by VargasPrime (312 posts) -

@vargasprime: Where do you see a rich white dude? I see a rich Asian dude holding down that other Asian dude.

If that guy is supposed to be Asian, he is the most Caucasian-looking Asian man they could possibly have depicted, and the implication behind that choice would still be pretty obvious anyway.

#7 Posted by VargasPrime (312 posts) -

@somejerk said:

Remember people, it's only okay to show people of the same colour gender income social-class doing potentially mean things to each other, or else it's racist/classist/whatnot.

..No seriously, if you think that shit is racist, get the fuck off the internet, there is no chance that's an evildoing person kneeling and the goodguy took power over him right? It's gotta be racism right? You're not making an ironic hipster joke right? Pull the plug on your computer and then your life, the rest of us will be better off.

Hey man you seem like a pretty reasonable guy, let's hang out.

#8 Posted by VargasPrime (312 posts) -

@splodge said:

@kentonclay said:

@splodge: Most people don't really have an agenda, they're just raised in an environment that skews their perspective of what's "normal" and fair. Bias is a largely unconscious system that you don't have direct control over, no matter how intelligent you may otherwise be.

That's not to say this game is inherently some horribly racist thing based solely on this one piece of art of course, but you should understand how the imagery could raise some eyebrows. It's a rich-looking white guy smirking while holding down a desperate looking foreigner who's holding a primed grenade. It reads like parody of anti-terrorist propaganda.

I mean, it's totally possible that they're going to do something smart and subversive, but I don't trust the history of the series enough to give them the benefit of the doubt on that front. I'm guessing it will still be a super fun open world game either way though, and I'm pretty exited.

But isn't the image of a smirking white man looking down on a foreigner holding a grenade while he dangles the pin on his forehead what you would call smart and/or subversive?

And who should the protagonist be then? Someone from the region? That would not be interesting. There's no need to explain the world if you live there. Should the villain be Himalayan? Surely that would be worse.

It just seems like typical outrage manufacture to me. I don't see anything racist whatsoever in the art, it seems like a HUGE stretch.

No, that image isn't smart or subversive in any way. It's literally a rich white dude sitting on a "throne" holding a position of power/threat over a person of color. It is literally a representation of the status quo, it's not subverting anything.

@kentonclay has a point that it's entirely possible the actual game will play out in a way that's not as awful as the art makes it seem, but considering that the racial tones of Far Cry 3 (and the writer's insistence that "you just don't get it") were the biggest problem that a lot of people had with it, it's pretty shitty of Ubisoft to have this image be the first impression of the next game in the series. Anyone who had a problem with the story and characters in the first game are not going to suddenly believe that "oh, THIS time they'll get it right."

#9 Posted by VargasPrime (312 posts) -

@deusx said:

Ugh that introduction man. Discussing issues about artistic integrity gives me a head ache when most people who discuss them don't even know what art really is. Kojima is not an artist, he's a designer. Those are two very distinct roles. Just because a concept artist or a writer worked on the game doesn't make it art. I can create an illustration for a book cover, that's not art, it's an illustration. Go read a book or go to a gallery once in a while.

The guy said: "You often make the mistake of assuming that you're interpretation of art is the correct one and that things should change to fit your views." He is completely right. Can you even explain to me why you think that game is artistic and then why it should be criticized as an artistic work? I don't think so.

So Patrick (and many others) are "wrong" in their estimation that games can be art, but you're also siding with the tumblr user that he shouldn't claim that his interpretation of art is the "right" one? What makes yours the right one?

Hey, guess what? Both games AND illustration can be art. Guess where they teach courses on illustration, design, and many aspects of game development? Art schools! Museums have displays featuring things like illustration, comics, and games, so by your very demand of "go to a gallery," shouldn't that automatically validate them?

#10 Posted by VargasPrime (312 posts) -

@pants said:

@bisonhero: The two telltale guys shipped way more than just TWD Season 1, they were working at Telltale pretty early on, and were leads on the first Poker Night game I'm pretty sure.

I know they worked at TellTale for a while, I just mean that everything pre-Walking Dead was kinda ho-hum in terms of sales and critical reception (Poker Night, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, Tales of Monkey Island, the later Sam & Max stuff).

The Walking Dead is the only really big success story the studio has had in recent memory, and it seems like as soon as Rodkin and Vanaman got their names out there by doing a bunch of press interviews related to The Walking Dead, they couldn't wait to get out of there and do their own thing. So I don't know if that speaks more to them not being at all interested in making a bunch of Walking Dead clones at TellTale, or they just had some game they've been wanting to make on their own for a long time, but I still think it seems kind of sudden to immediately leave a company after just finishing the most critically acclaimed game you've worked on.

Anyone who creates anything for a living doesn't always have the luxury of working on something that is personal and/or meaningful to them. While Vanaman and Rodkin both probably put a lot of themselves into the Walking Dead, it doesn't necessarily mean that more Walking Dead was something they wanted to do. They were fortunate that TWD earned them the recognition and clout to be able to forge their own path away from Telltale and now they get to make the games that THEY want to make, not something that's licensed from existing media.

There's nothing wrong with taking what you've earned and creating something new with it. For both of them, the safe decision would probably have been to remain at Telltale and work on the all-but-guaranteed hit that would be TWD Season 2. The fact that they decided to take the risk and leave to do their own thing is pretty respectable to me.