ArbitraryWater's forum posts

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#1 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15648 posts) -

I've been having a lot of fun using Mirage's stuff to distract people or make them give away their position. His ult isn't incredibly useful against people who know what they're doing, but the magical secret to this game is that most people don't know what they're doing. Cloak on getting downed isn't amazing, but I've definitely used it to break line of sight long enough for a teammate to revive me.

Also all of his quips make him sound like a complete garbage person and I kind of love it.

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#2 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15648 posts) -

Speaking of this thread's title, I've found Boogiepop and Others to be great, and also a lot easier to follow than I was expecting. Like, the first episode is intentionally confusing as all hell, but after hearing how the original Light Novels inspired Monogatari I was expecting almost gleeful incoherence.

Instead, once you kinda nod your head and accept that all the characters are surprisingly unfazed by crazy supernatural happenstance it's the kind of thing that's pretty easy to piece together as long as you're paying more than the bare minimum of attention. I think the non-linear storytelling has worked pretty well thus far, but I'm also a complete sucker for the kind of aggressively weird, slightly alienating style it gives off.

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#3 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15648 posts) -

Japanese RPGs definitely love them some young, idealistic shounen protagonists. As someone who has, for better or worse, gotten a lot more tolerant of that stuff - and anime bullshit in general - over the last few years, I'd still describe it as an "acquired taste." I've found a lot of my recent JRPG favorites to be ones that focus a lot on characterization, even if the plot itself still revolves around a bunch of anime dinguses trying to save the world. It's like half the reason I've gotten into the Tales series, which often take initially tropey characters and develop them until they feel more interesting and well-rounded. Playing Tales of Vesperia, I can definitely say that Yuri Lowell is much more of a utilitarian smartass than your average JRPG protag, and I find him pretty great.

That said, for all the counterexamples I could give (main-series SMT has its share of plucky youths, but also literal YHWH as a final boss sometimes), I do think it's okay to say "These sorts of games aren't for me" and put your time somewhere else. I'm not convinced Western RPGs are much more sophisticated or mature, but it is fair to say that JRPGs tend to follow a certain template. If that template doesn't work for you, the only thing exceptions do is prove the rule.

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#4 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15648 posts) -

Amazon's flat 20% discount on physical games definitely incentivized me to pre-order stuff I knew I was going to get day 1 anyway (see: RE 2 remake.) Now that it's gone I think I'm probably going to wait for stuff to go on sale more often, but I was moving in that direction anyway. It's kind of terrifying to see how quickly some games lose their value. I'm just gonna repeat it here for emphasis, but I got Battlefield V for $35 less than three weeks after it came out, and it dropped another $5 the week after.

At this point, unless you're Nintendo and can get away with marginal discounts like twice a year on first-party stuff, I fully expect to see your game at the $30-40 range within a handful of months and the $20 range within a year. Heck, I got Mass Effect Andromeda for $20 like 3 months after it came out, and now you can get it for $7.50 regularly if you want to truly experience the magic of watching a thing you like be done in the dullest, most soul-shattering way possible.

I still proclaim my *best* pre-order to be that impossible to find, immediately-scalped special edition of Fire Emblem Fates with all 3 campaigns on one cartridge. Sure, only one of those campaigns is especially great in the first place, but it's valuable and I own it. If we're talking *regretful* pre-orders, then I'm going to cheat a little and talk about the time I backed Underworld Ascendant on Kickstarter, because crowdfunding contains many of the worst aspects of pre-ordering. It's probably the only crowdfunded thing I've backed that felt like a total clunker.

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#5 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15648 posts) -

I can relate to this, as someone who used to consider Bioware his favorite developer, although I think I "broke up" with them around the time of DA Inquisition. They were kind of the only Western RPG game in town for a while, but there's a lot more out there these days and I don't think they've kept up. On the AAA side, you have stuff like The Witcher 3 (not to mention the part where every other big game these days has RPG-lite mechanics and a heavy emphasis on storytelling. Hell, Assassin's Creed has dialogue trees now) and on the smaller end of the scale you have the CRPG Renaissance making fantastic successors to the kind of games that put Bioware on the map in the first place.

In some ways, even with a shift towards more mainstream action-oriented gameplay and big open world stuff, Bioware's style of writing has never really progressed that far beyond what it was doing with KotOR in 2003 (other than being able to romance pretty much whoever you want) and I think it sticks out a lot more. That is all my own hot take, but I do feel like the easy story of blaming everything entirely on EA corporate mandates ignores the part where everyone else got better along the way.

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#6 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15648 posts) -

The slow, encroaching march of time continues and never ceases to terrify. 2009 might as well be another century for as removed as it feels from both my personal circumstances and the website as a whole.

That said, the P4 Endurance Run really does feel like one of those definitive moments in Giant Bomb’s history. It set the tone and style for a lot of what came after, and I think the site wouldn’t be the same without it. Heck, it got me to buy a PlayStation 2 for the purpose of playing Persona 3 and 4, which I don’t think I would’ve done otherwise.

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#7 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15648 posts) -

The concept of playing any of these games on a console in 2019 is the most wild shit possible. There's a certain perverse appeal to something like Planescape Torment showing up on the Switch or something, even if these games are absolutely not made for a controller. It only took 20 years, but the dream of the canceled PS1 port of Baldur's Gate has finally been realized.

@efesell said:

The real concern is I don't know anyone who has ever played these games not intensely modded out.

Like out the box Baldur's Gate is bullshit.

To be fair, the Enhanced Editions of all of the Infinity Engine games incorporate a lot of the quality of life stuff you'd get from downloading a bunch of mods, like widescreen support, all of the BG2 class kits, difficulty tweaks, larger arrow capacity, etc. While one can definitely have a more customizable experience modding the hell out of the vanilla IE games, the EEs are a perfectly valid way to play those games if you don't want to spend multiple hours going through websites that haven't been redesigned since 2001.

Of course, the drawback to not needing to dig through a bunch of mods is that you occasionally deal with Beamdog's "additions." While I can't speak to their treatment of Baldur's Gate 2, the new NPCs in the first game stick out like a sore thumb tonally. There's also Siege of Dragonspear (AKA Baldur's Gate: The Pre-Sequel), which is, uh, weird? It's a half BG reunion special, half fan-fiction and also a surprisingly decent case for making a modern Infinity Engine game if Pillars of Eternity and Pathfinder Kingmaker didn't already exist.

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#8 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15648 posts) -

@stryker1121: Use all 3 medallions on the statue in the main hall and go down the passage. You'll come back to the police station later.

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#9 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15648 posts) -

@dochaus: As someone who also started watching Kaguya-sama, I feel like that show thus far is a case of decent material elevated by really good direction and production values (see: that amazing rotoscoped ED that I watched roughly 10 times in a row). It's got a sharp sense of comedic timing, which combined with the VA and animation makes the difference for me. Not gonna claim it's like, "must watch, anime of the year" material or anything, but it's worth a look for anyone who's curious.

That said, if we're going to talk about potential anime of the year material and amazing production values, holy shit that most recent episode of Mob Psycho 100 had a couple moments where I could not believe I was watching a television anime. This new season as a whole feels like it could end up being something really special.

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#10 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15648 posts) -

It's rumored to already be in development. I'm definitely super interested in seeing what a modern take on RE 3 would be like, given the way this RE 2 remake turned out. They'd probably have to retool a lot of stuff, but I think they'd be able to do something interesting, at least.