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About Reality

  • Birthday 03/31/1996

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    Video games (mega drive, master system, arcade, snes, nes, n64, Saturn, gbc, gba, ps1, ps2, dreamcast)Forum mafia/werewolf, Reading, Writing, film and television history, Philosophy.
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    Louisville, KY. USA

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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    New Mystery of the Emblem

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  1. Video game music

  2. Video game music

  3. Thracia has rescue as well as capture... there are entire levels built around the mechanic with Chapter 19 probably being the most fleshed out. Using Rescue is also a massive quality of life improvement in casual play since you only have to mash through half of the "I'm leaving ahead of you, Prince Leaf" texts due to taking 2 units at a time instead of 1 in the many escape levels. That said it's not really a mechanic I consider core to the series... If anything I feel like it's pseduo-AI abuse in the context of the GBA games and Telius.. I think people notice it more in Shadow Dragon because of Marth having to interact with maps a lot more than other Lords, and much more focus on impassble/water terrain through the entire game instead of just a few one-off maps while doing some minor countries arc. That said I prefer it to the ubiquitous "if I can get a horse/flier there" that area is 100% done" mentality. I don't feel like rescue drops and other stripped out mechanics hurt Shadow Dragon because it makes it feel like more of a strategy game and less an RPG at least relative to the other games in the series. Things like skip-enemy turn more than make up for any elements that would make it's pace "slow" especially considering the notoriously slow pace of certain Fire Emblem games.
  4. What are your guilty pleasures?

    If I'm going by that I would just mention that I consider puzzle games to be the absolute best genre. That said it's terrible reputation exists for a good reason - budget/bad puzzle games absolutely drown out the market, especially when it comes to block action. The other thing is that when non-puzzle games want to add a little variety with their puzzles they are of necessity, very, very simple, further worsening the impression of the puzzle genre. This is less malicious, but many (still great) RPGs and adventure games do this.
  5. What are your guilty pleasures?

    "Car Combat" - for many people Twisted Metal is the only game in its genre, but there a handful of other things, some with a unique approach, some trying the same thing as TM... The main ones I use are Cel Damage - which is mostly for a little post-mario party splitscreen, and Vigilante 8, which IMO beat PS1 Twisted Metal in its heyday (I'm not a fan of pre-Black TM games) "Racing platformers" - The main ones being Rayman Arena and Ape Escape: Pumped and Primed... generally, these things are condemned to be spin offs, and have a rough time getting traction compared to normal racing games because, typically being platformers causes them to be less intuitive and ultimately they lack the excitement of racing games, not because of their own faults, but because whoever in the family played the regular platform games will have a massive advantage. However I think the idea could work and in the meantime I'm usually happy to 100% the singleplayer content of the few I end up finding. Steambot Chronicles : Sandbox game with tank controls and heavy slowdown - and yet, something draws me to the game.. maybe it's just the industrial revolution steampunk setting, or the massive side-content to help avoid the main vehicle stuff. Future Tactics: The Uprising - The "artillery" genre is dominated by a single, monolithic game, one that makes any positive comment about any competition seem like a waste of effort. Now I do love Worms Armageddon, but I think that it doesn't mean that other artillery games aren't fun in their own way (wouldn't go so far as to recomend Hogs of War or anything). The most prominent failures in the genre (critically) are the 3D artillery games... Future Tactics though is a game .. it is loaded with quirky charm and makes an admiral attempt at keeping the terrain deformable with only minor "skeleton/setpiece" objects kept intact. It also has some of my favorite music in any videogame ever made.
  6. I really hope they drop the 1st model controller thing because the technical innovation of dual shock meant a lot. My guess for the last 15 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Soul Reaver : Legacy of Kain, Parappa the Rapper, Vagrant Story, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Wipeout, Symphony of the Night, Driver, Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Spyro:Year of the Dragon, R-Type Delta, Gran Turismo 2, Twisted Metal 2, Tomb Raider 1 (blah blah Last Revelation fans), Definitely not my personal top list since I think Ape Escape was the best platformer, and would throw in silent bomber, metal gear solid, descent, and a bunch of puzzle games but bearing in mind the need for "cultural importance", which companies are known to be responsive with their IPs, avoiding arcade/PC ports, and the controller issue, these are what I came up with. Shamelessly justifying 5 "car" games at the same time as only letting 3 RPGs get through on the so-called "best JRPG system of all time".
  7. What popular franchises do you dislike?

    MMOs - I Just despise them mechanically and for the amounts of downtime in between content that matters to me. That said I think that a lot of them have pretty underrated Lore compared to say, square Enix, and they do occasionally try to address their gameplay issues (albeit usually only at the endgame raid levels) Diablo - On the surface level these kind of games fix the downtime problem of MMO by letting you fight constantly, but go too far and hit another problem - you get too used to the fighting and it starts to become simliar and blobber-ish, despite the initial breadth offered by charather types and differnces between say, melee, DoT, and summons, Later the "real game" starts to feel more like the gearing up rather than the actual combat itself- I think it's bad when what you do in fights is AN AFTERTHOUGHT Borderlands - I really hoped to use it as a gateway into Diablo hack and slashes due to my familairty with FPS and but it kind of feels terrible as both a shooter and a hack and slash... I despise a lot of the game play, and don't like that trying to use cover or aim better is usually less effective than going and getting... that on-level legendary. It is possible to play it as a scavenger, but if you choose to do it then it becomes a "health sponge" game and the vague interest sparked by the different manufacutar gimmicks is ruined by the ultimate dependence on uniques/legendaries that usually perrform as general use weapons and therefore ignore the positvie/negative trade off that the rest of the game's design calls for. Farmville/Growtopia/etc - Not really a series as much of a genre due to the way they sustain themselves over years and don't normally need sequels - tldr all the anti-grinding stuff and desire for active content > downtime I mention elsewhere Falcom / YS / Trails of - In my opinion the prime feature of Falcom compared to the other giants (square and enix) is that they were open about being "Light RPGs" as opposed to just "RPGS" and thus avoid the confusion and chain-effect due to influence on what is allowed in a mainstream RPG (mechanic-wise)... however, this of course means that I don't really like their actual games any more than the competition, just their marketing policy. Tales of - While it's worth pointing out that the Zestira branch gameplay > Graces branch gameplay .... I think that in general, Tales games have a problem with giving players access to too much hitstun... which is particualrly noticable in older Tales games, which are obscenely easy and repetetive because of pretty much being able to ignore bosses in say, Symphonia, just by wailing on them so they never get a chance to use any of their attacks. Even in the most gameplay intensive titles, enemy super-armor only goes so far, and after all, it's not like the defensive/healing abilities, even when you finally have a reason to use them, are that complicated to figure out and are more of a bandaid that still lets you "wail" 50% of the time anyway. Golden Sun - Battle System is interesting up to midgame with the summons vs stat question, but all games in series are boring as heck for their endgame (but really the last 3/5 of the game) because collecting all the Djinn starts to award a bit too much stats, .... I felt like 3 physical beaters + 1 groupheal charather was pretty much what all 3 games in the series boiled down too, and for some games the "interesting" part of the game was really only 2-3 dungeons due to Djinn distribution allowing you to get into the "statstick" territory too early. Overwatch - I would honestly like Overwatch if it were not for ultimates.... in the FPS context, I think that not only do ultimate have the drawbacks that they do in normal MOBAs (adding timing elements seperate from the healthy positiong and information timing element) , but a couple ones specific to FPSs themselves - namely a kind of pseduo-predessecorin "grenade spam" it's no mystery why loadout points systems and lowered carried equipment is done in FPS games over the years... it's an undoubted improvement that makes fighting for an advantage against humans a more meaningul process... Ultimates... are a step backward, and largely fill the shoes of grenade-spam enabled tactics.. Castlevania Symphony of The Night : I've always preffered 1 / 3 / Rondo / Super, branch of the series than the RPG/adventure branch that eventually became the "face" of the series... I still think they RPG-vanias are pretty good games and like top 30 material on GBA/DS but I kind of think that the adventure-platform that the series traded its more methodical hack/n/slash platforming roots for was something that was good for a couple individual games, but kind of stopped the series from ever really peaking what it had done in the 3rd and 4th console generation .... In fact I'm not really all that excited about Bloodstained ritual of the Night, and many of the Indie type metroidvanias that have come and gone because of these tastes...
  8. FFCC remake coming in 2019!

    I have overall positive feelings on this game, but I hope they touch up a couple of things other than adding online multiplayer and giving us an alternative to the GBA awkwardness. Equipment - probably needs a major overhaul... the defense and attack values in this game are easy to ignore ... and don't logically translate to "how many hits needed to kill things" very well. I kind of feel like the Default, Novice, Warrior, and Master equipment is the only equipment that matters because of thresholds.... The typical Square Enix math in DQ and FF is 4 points of attack = 1 point of damage, and it is obviously translated into FFCC , meaning that pretty much every equipment outside of 5 point increments is pointless (despite having arbitary, random drop dependent crafting recipes) This is especially bad lategame, as In between master and the "boss drop" equipment are - Victorious, Valiant, Mighty, and Father's - However ALL of them are pointless - The difference between 30 and 35 has an obvious 1 hit less to kill advantage, but these 4 in-between weapons with values from 31-34 require the same number of hits to kill ALL enemy types as the 30 damage Master equipment, despite requiring specific forging equipment instead of purchasable scroll + the fairly common mythril. Revisits - Every level has 3 cycles, but you aren't really encouraged to do revisits except when forced too by geography or on your first blind playthrough... with early levels it's pretty easy to see how things are changed between cycles, but with later levels (Conall Cullach) the cycle difference is almost unnoticeable, as the levels are kind of cluttered on their first cycle to begin with. One disappointing thing about the 3 cycles is that bosses are unaffected, unlike the normal parts of the levels. Repetiveness - I think that some of the ARPG design is a little clumsy compared to other things in the subgenre - dodging everything is a little too possible (exception with mount vellenge status effect enemies) and even when you can't dodge, you almost always have the option of infinte use, non-consumable healing to tank through everything, even in 10-15 minute long segment. I kind of also think that while simpicity is nice and all, a lightweight combo system would be really nice, because (depending on race) you either use normal attacks and ignore charge attacks, or NEVER use normal attacks and only use charge attacks, which kind of feels unnatural. Vendor locations : Reinforcing the Noivce>Warrior>Master status quo is the convienient location of it in the second town... while making accesories or the "in-between" armor types requires trips to cities on the edge of the map (and more complicated inner-city navigation than the simple 2 exit crossroad) ... worst of all is probbably the Player town merchants, which are upgraded according to the somewhat arcane rules of the relationship system, and even then, the size of the town is a bit unwieldy compared to all other non-dungeon areas. I think that the Switch remaster will definitely be better than the original game, but I kind of feel like it needs to make these little tweaks to help me escape the "blobber" mentality that the game's mechanics inspiried... I don't really think that the music/atmosphere need much change, since they are great already, but I think that the gameplay issues were a bit larger than just "GBA UI + carrying the crystal" .
  9. What are some fun FE4 challenge runs?

    Beat the game untranslated without knowledge of Japanese or looking up item names.
  10. I'm pretty pro FF7 and anti FF6... Pretty much the first half of the game is all about using attack all "abilities" that don't have MP costs. Then the second half of the game is about spamming magic, since by then your total MP will be so high that you can use it almost non stop. Both healing spells and attack spells in this game can be toggled between single target and attack all versions (including when using heal spells from the start menu out of combat) which is a huge time save once you notice the applications. Physical damage in this game is actually good if you want to take the time to pick up treasure chests for the relics to boost it, but doesn't benefit from weaknesses as easily as magic... especially as there is a pretty easy to obtain "weakness changer" ability later on that absolutely nothing is immune to, including things that natively have no weaknesses at all. Certain status conditions have very wonky and useful mechanics - invisible not only last multiple turns, and is carried over into other battles if you finish before it times out, reflect lets you target yourself to attack enemies and will bypass THEIR reflect when done that way (you can kind of pick this up by watching bosses use this tactic against you), and a few others. The game expects you to revisit certain areas and has a chrono-trigger esque "chest upgrade" system which increases the quality of the items of chests in these areas depending on which part of the story you enter the area in (which are permenentaly missed if you 100% it the first time through). Game difficulty is pretty low, so you should just have fun and not worried about missing anything or limiting yourself to the "best" party compositions.
  11. Proud of my Backlog Progress

    From June -
  12. I used to share the feeling with the OP, but nowadays, I play online and online-multiplayer games a lot more frequently. While single player and couch-multiplayer games can lead to endless hours of entertainment, the latter is on terms - while you have siblings, and later, while you have a college dorm (or can invite people over regularly) then they do really feel like the ideal form of multiplayer, but after college - being able to play multiplayer regularly can be difficult - Now I don't doubt that bomberman, smashbros, Worms, and Mario Party aren't still a ton of fun with very little prep time or need for all people to have experience... but actually getting them all into a living room together is not just something I can do naturally anymore... Things like Clubs and college oriented youth groups and sports groups (which usually let alumni hang on membership wise in my experience) can help, but even still, the couch experience becomes something you can only enjoy once a week or once only 2 weeks. And so, to talk about "plunging" into online play - it is something that is pretty paradoxical.... In some ways, I love the sense of an online community, while in other ways, I love the so called "faceless" player base. To go through examples - when I play competitive pokemon on Smogon's simulators within individual rooms (usually the past gens room) I am very vocal with the regulars and we talk a lot, but I spend just as much, if not more time, jumping into random auto-generated tournaments, or on the ladder... Sometimes it's possible to be a little chatty in a ladder battle, but most pass in silence after "GL hf" at the beginning. Often the most talktative ones is when newer opponents take time out mid battle to discuss why they're surprised at each other's teambuilding.... In a tournament, even an auto-generated tournament, specators from the lobby will jump into most of the matches, but especially semi finals and finals... either player can simply mute, but I find it often just as enjoyable to showboat and openly play mindgames with my opponents despite the loss of consistency and unnecessary risk... it's simply a fun time among people who might not be "friend" level, but are like minded enough to talk with briefly. In other online games, I have a more personal connection to very small groups of people (eg the Clan dynamic) but even in those I find that more total playtime is spent with randoms than the group - often my dedicated groups are of the kind that burn themselves out - time trial groups or ranked clans... it can be a relief to play games with randoms who have a fresh perspective instead of going at 11 all the time.... and who will be fine with relaxing for an evening instead of asking for some ungodly 4 hour grind I do love these people I also find that things like World of tanks or a modernish FPS (in my case Insurgency for the last few years) which are the most totally depednent on online play with strangers don't feel as short lived as you would expect ...- Insurgency is very much a game destined to be shelfed once the playerbase migrates to Sandstorm, but I have no proplem with that fact. I used to think myself superior to say, Halo players, and Unreal Tournament players, since the servers for one of their games collapse when the next game came out... but now I don't really see video game expense to time really working that pass - At best I can thin of my time in Insurgency as still being a 5-year long season... and while the game won't be something I will go back too once the servers die, that doesn't mean that those 5 years were "bad"... On the contrary, many of the SP games I could have played "for superior replay value and longevity" even very good ones, will not stand a candle to the fun I had in that game.... I don't even see going from one game to another as a problem. And I say all this, while also being a consummate retro collector --- I have literal cabinets worth of 4th and 5th gen games (and I do go back and replay about 15 start to finish per year) but the idea that started my collection - That if I had enough, I would be able to cycle between the "great games" for the rest of my life without wanting new ones due to foretting what the experience was like for the first ones if the list reached the proper size -..... is something that I now consider ridicuous... It's not because I suddenly think they've aged badly, but it'really about my memory being a lot stronger than my naive younger self believed, and that playing something for the first time IS a better way to capture my imagination and attention, and "something I've forgotten due to not going at it in a long time" while close, isn't exactly the same.... I don't consider online play quite as magical as couch-multiplayerr (where even very repetitive games like Rampage: World Tour and Gauntlent:Dark Legacy can become all time favorites) but that doesn't mean that online interactions can't be quite Real and lead to a group - even a gamewide playerbase that presupposes even learning anyone's name - having a great and chummy time together. This and the realities of setting up and enjoying couch-multiplayer after college as an adult >< make me enjoy online play more and more.
  13. What about Wario Land?

    My first wario land was Wario Land 3 Definitely a great entry point, and unusually ambitious for a platform game.... WL3 has heavy puzze elements, and extreme metroidvania syndrome - every level has 4 keys and collecting powerups and opening doors (in other levels) happens constantly. It does give you infinite health with even all bosses except the final boss being notable for knocking you out of there arena with their status effect instead of killing you. I loved this game as a kid. When you do beat it, it DOEs transition to a "time trial" mode, but the presentation of it isn't as well developed as in the later WL4. As far as how good it really is - compared to other puzzle platformers such as mischief makers or klonoa maybe it's core mechanics are simpler, but it does have superier length. Really nothing can compare with it, suprisingly considering that it's handhelds instead of console. It has the most transformations although in fairness, some of them (invisibility and fat wario) tend to further slow down an already slow-paced game I loved it as a kid, but don't usually quite have it on my radar when I think of good 2D platformers anymore. Wario World was my second Wario game.... (ignoring Dr Mario 64) . Personality I think it's a bit of a letdown from Treasure, and a good but not great brawler. For me the combat is naturally the most repetitive part of the game, but I think that it's chief platforming gimmick SNES-esque "3D: rooms that created diffiulty with fixed camera and isometric blocks that aren't always on the plane that you think they are (think Super Mario RPG or the hidden rooms in one of the 3DS mario games) was not really my cup of tea. Wario Land 4 is my favorite in the series. Having health was a strange transition for me at first but the much greater level (and faster) and the smarter use of wario's "default" non-transformed moves (eg throwing) really makes it the pinnacle of the series. I actually enjoy the very hard mode, because it feels natural considering the low number of stages and being able to do them one after the other. I playyed Wario Land Shake It and didn't really like it... it seemed to take a lot from the Yoshi school of thought platformer wise - Levels are easy to finish but are harder if you want to finish them while doing some goal or other. However, I don't really like it's platforming either because of things like the overuse of the dash launcher pipe, and generally simplified level design. Wario Land 4 might not have gone absolutely nuts with secret rooms and branching paths like 3, but it still had the ocasional one for hiding (music collectiables or Points diamonds) . Even Wario World had an impressivel amount of secrets. Shake It by comparison feels like the "main path alone" game in the series, and honestly I consider it the worst for this reason. I very recently played Wario Land 2, and I enjoyed it mostly in the context of being a prototype for WL3 - its a lot more in-control than WL3 (which would probbably be exhausintg if you tried to replay it in all honestly) but it had the nice transformation and puzzle focus that I had come to associate with the series. Playing WL4 actually helps to appreciate WL2 becacuse seeing (a faster pace) is actually helpful in enjoying WL2 explicitly for the ways its smaller than WL3. Even though I didn't like Shake It , I kind of wish the Wario platform series had the health that (Kirby/Yoshi/Donkey Kong) enjoy, as I feel like it did good work through its run, and I think it could do well in either another transformation/puzzle game or in the time-trial oriented WL4 style even in modern day.