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Messages - Ben

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76
Retro News & Chat / Re: Assessing Phantasy Star II 1/4 Of A Century Later
« on: February 09, 2015, 00:55:27 AM »
One other thing I wanted to mention that I only now picked up on, this game has a tremendous amount of nuance.  For instance, Rolf starts as the weakest party member, but by the end is the strongest with both physical attacks and magic (the Neisword and Megid), and the uptick in his power comes (if you aren't cheating by over leveling) right after Nei's death, so he's rising to the occasion.  I have to think that is a first in an RPG.  Another thing is that it punishes you for over leveling early on - Shir is one of the best characters, but you get her at level 1 towards the end of the game, so if you already had everyone else over leveled you have to start over again with her or just not use her.

A few other things I wanted to post:
Here is a great interview with the developers - http://shmuplations.com/phantasystarii/
Many people don't know there was an alternative storyline proposed for this game, that was more tied in with PS I - http://www.pscave.com/other/worldofps/r ... line.shtml

77
Other Systems / Re: The Philips CD-i
« on: February 09, 2015, 00:45:15 AM »
Quote from: "TrekMD"
I'm not very familiar with this particular console, so the video was pretty informative for me.  They usually do a good job in their videos.  :21:

78
Other Systems / Re: The Philips CD-i
« on: February 09, 2015, 00:41:39 AM »
I like the GameSack guys in that they give consoles a fair shake for the most part (I wish they had put more into the Jag review, but that's neither here nor there).  I think this is the best CD-I video that I've seen.

79
Sega Chat / Re: My SMS Collecting thread.
« on: February 09, 2015, 00:40:08 AM »
That's some collection.  There are still Sonic fans who swear by the SMS version of Sonic 1, I do think it's criminally overlooked compared to the MD version.

80
Retro News & Chat / Re: Review of the Week - Zool Sega MegaDrive/Genesis
« on: February 09, 2015, 00:39:10 AM »
I always thought these games were underrated, including Zool 2 on the Jag.  I never had a chance to play the computer versions.

81
Retro News & Chat / Re: Left in Japan
« on: February 08, 2015, 20:26:01 PM »
I really enjoy these, Joe Redifer and I are mostly on the same page when it comes to gaming (aside from JRPGs anyway), and they've done a good job of highlighting the Saturn and MegaDrive CD with this series.  The last one they did goes back and highlights some good MD CD games, in particular.  The main issue is that very few of them have been fan translated, sadly.

82
Retro News & Chat / Assessing Phantasy Star II 1/4 Of A Century Later
« on: February 08, 2015, 07:54:23 AM »
**TIP**
This post contains spoilers about a 26 year old game.  You've been warned, I don't think the [SPOILER] tag works on this board. 

I wanted to bring this up because I replayed Phantasy Star II recently, and it made me reflect back on the legacy of this game.  In particular, a lot of things credited to the Final Fantasy series seem to have shown up here first.  The storyline really is what strikes me as outstanding and groundbreaking. I see Final Fantasy VII recognized all the time for the serious storyline that involved protecting the planet and killed off a main character early on.  But, Phantasy Star II had a message about respecting nature and killed Nei off early on, then kept her dead.  It also had an open ended conclusion where the planet was - maybe - saved, but the fate of the main characters was left open.  This was in 1989, mind you, when Nintendo were still policing the content of their games.

The detail of the sprites, soundtrack and complex dungeons (the hardest of any RPG to date I think) also impress me to this day.  I know this board isn't as big on JRPGs as some, but I was curious about what others thought with 26 years between us and the release of this game.  When you compare it to anything else from 1989 it is just mind boggling to see how far ahead of its time it was, I'm pretty sure it's my favorite 16 bit game.

83
Retro News & Chat / Re: The No Swear Gamer Retro Review Show on Youtube.
« on: February 06, 2015, 23:59:46 PM »
I enjoyed that video a lot, just resist the temptation to go into AVGN territory, I think.  There is a lack of serious games journalism out there and I think your videos fill a need pretty well with that, if I see one more person goofing on bad games and screaming at the camera I think I may just give up on Youtube. 

I'm glad you mentioned Ballz, that is a great example of a tech demo type of game.  There were a lot of those in the 90's, that people rented just for the "wow, look at the graphics" appeal, and not for the gameplay. 

85
Other Systems / Re: Long Live Grim Fandango
« on: February 03, 2015, 22:21:43 PM »
I have to say Shadowrunner, I have not played this remaster, but the original really does deserve all of the praise it has gotten over the years.  I actually kept my last Windows PC laying around just to play it and Betrayal at Krondor, IMHO at least it's the best LucasArts game.

86
Other Systems / Long Live Grim Fandango
« on: February 03, 2015, 21:24:30 PM »
This is an interesting article, including an interview with Tim Schafer, that i ran across.

Quote
http://blog.longreads.com/2015/01/29/lo ... -fandango/

87
Other Systems / Did you know the Apple II had cassette DRM? I didn't.
« on: February 03, 2015, 21:08:29 PM »
But, then I read this!
Quote
Before the Apple II had floppy drives, however, it had an audio cassette interface for storing programs and data.  This was a very primitive system, requiring you to hook up a cassette recorder to your computer and fiddle with the volume knob until things started working.  To read data from tape, you specified a range of memory to fill, and hit the "play" button on your tape recorder.  If all went well, the computer cheerfully beeped at you and off you went.  Loading BASIC programs was even easier, because the start location was pre-determined, and the length was stored on the tape.  All you had to do was type "LOAD".

I recently found myself extracting software from cassette tapes purchased on eBay.  At the start of the project, I thought to myself, "it's awkward to get at the data, but at least there's no copy protection."  As it turns out, I was wrong.
http://www.fadden.com/techmisc/cassette-protect.htm

88
Retro News & Chat / The Untold Story Of The Invention Of The Game Cartridge
« on: February 03, 2015, 21:05:01 PM »
This is an interesting article I ran across, and thought I'd post.
Quote

http://www.fastcompany.com/3040889/the- ... -cartridge

89
Sega Chat / Re: The Sega Saturn Thread
« on: January 20, 2015, 13:23:50 PM »
Quote from: "obriethe1st"
I apologize for missing this, I've been busy lately and hadn't kept up with the board, so I missed this one.  To answer your question, it is playable knowing no Japanese if you use a GameFAQs guide (and it's still very enjoyable).  http://www.gamefaqs.com/saturn/574569-p ... 3259  There are full dialogue translations on the GameFAQs page as well; the only thing that might give you trouble is the seeds you plant for items, there's no good way to know what they are without memorizing them.

Quote from: "64bitRuss"
I think there is a Lunar game on the Saturn. It's Japanese though, it keeps showing up on my ebay feed.


I wanted to clear this up also.  The best 32 bit version of Lunar is Lunar Silver Star Story Complete: MPEG Edition for the Saturn (only in Japan), that takes advantage of the MPEG card add on.  I know that the MPEG card will work fine in a U.S. Saturn with the Action Replay 4M, I'm not sure about a UK one (I haven't kept up on their prices either).  Here is a video of it in action (keep in mind this game is not really playable if you don't have some familiarity with Japanese): 

One ironic thing, a lot of the U.S. gaming mags criticized the Saturn for its compressed video quality, when the (Japan only) MPEG card add on allowed it to run circles around the PS1/PSX, as that video shows.

90
Retro News & Chat / Re: Latest Retro Purchases (Games or Hardware)
« on: December 20, 2014, 18:21:58 PM »
Dragon Force is definitely one of the best games on the system (and one of my favorites). I only see that price going up in the future, so it's a great investment.

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