Highwind just finished Panzer Dragoon Saga

[By this guy here.]

Holy cow. I GET IT.

I don’t know where to begin.

The style and atmosphere of the game are incredible. It’s like HR Giger, Ancient Egyptians and the Japanese got together to create a desolate – alien – dying world.

That said – good god the graphics are terrible. I mean – wow. No wonder the Saturn flopped. Everything is so chunky and choppy and blurry it’s insane. The draw distance is really bad. The fact that the concept art, style and visual design are so incredible makes the horrendous graphics that much more depressing. I can’t imagine how great this game would look even on a PS2.

The music is astoundingly fitting with the universe. Its very brooding – often minimalistic – but sometimes bombastic when the time is right. Definitely up there in my opinion with best music ever in an RPG. Top 5 for sure.

I love how few random encounters there are. I’m not even sure if there ARE random encounters or if all of the battles are somehow triggered precisely on your progress. But this makes flying around and just exploring the areas really enjoyable. You level up naturally – no need for useless grinding. You get more powerful simply as you progress through the game – and there’s no nonsense otherwise.

The battle system is great and it is absolutely INSANE that no one has tweaked or simply ripped it off. The battles are much more like puzzles than simply mashing on the attack button. You actually have to THINK and engage in how to take down the enemies and it’s all the more rewarding when you do.

The story is cliche but I like it. I’m a sucker for it. Ancient mysterious powerful girl – fight to regain human freewill – blah blah. It works – I’m down with it every time, apparently.

EVERYTHING is in Japanese – the whole game is in subtitles and even the end game credits are all in kanji. Wat. Did SEGA even try to localize this game whatsoever? I have no idea why they even printed the 30k copies that they did in the US. Really weird.

Oh guess what guys? FLYING ON A DRAGON IS AWESOME. Why are there not more RPGs where you get to fly around on a dragon? Can someone fix this immediately? Thanks.

It’s also a great length. 12-14 hours long. Can we get more RPGs this length – instead of uselessly padding them to 40-100 hours?

In summation – I loved it. The art style, battle system, atmosphere and music are so unique it’s incredibly memorable and enjoyable. I would love to commission an artist for some paintings based on the art. It’s that good.

It’s craaaaaaazy that these innovations are just seemingly lost and ignored. Why are JRPGS still cranking out the same tired Dragon Quest mechanics when innovations like Panzer Dragoon Saga existed FIFTEEN years ago. Sad.

Is it worth the $300-$450 its going for now? I don’t know. That’s up to the buyer – I guess. I recently paid $120 for a Fleetwood Mac concert I didn’t want to go to for my brother’s birthday. So whatever. olol.

re: Abstraction

[by a man named Dreamknight]

I think neglect of the battle system is why the genre is now more or less going extinct. Most people just can’t take grinding through dungeons for 30 hours anymore.

I think its bigger than JRPGs.

By and large more powerful technology has removed many of the abstractions we used to have in games. Back in the day it was challenging to land a jump in Tomb Raider because Lara was stuck on a grid and the low visual fidelity made it hard to gauge if you could make a jump or not. These abstractions made the act of jumping and exploring in itself a challenge. Now we have games where you can hold down a button and cling to the world in lightning fast real time.

JRPGs are going through the same thing, things aren’t abstracted through menus anymore, why use a menu when you can swap weapons and spells on the fly? And just mash X to win like in Kingdom Hearts/Crisis Core?

Abstractions are probably the most meaningful component of a video game that most forget about, or even complain about. They may seem artificial but I feel they are vital in setting up the thematic/mechanical beats that get a player involved and invested.

The proliferation of large game worlds is problematic too, a lot of open world titles where traversal is a boring chore. How many games give us this large field to run around in and then make us resort to using the dodge roll to get through the screen quickest? (NIER)

When we had pre-rendered backgrounds and little space for data, game directors had to be picky and convey the most atmosphere with the smallest space.

For example, all the love it gets, I always found that MGS3 failed to bring the sense of precise, deliberate design that MGS1 and 2 had by taking place in a nondescript and open jungle area.

Re: Used games killing the industry

[by a man named Burai]

No, here’s the problem. Tomb Raider sold 3.4m units in the space of a month and it’s a “failure” because it will fail to recoup its budget.


And killing used games would have solved this how? Would it have made the execs at Squenix who thought throwing $100m budget at a franchise that’s been irrelevant since the turn of the century suddenly get a clue?

Oh, but no, they argue “GAMERS PUSH FOR HIGHER AND HIGHER BUDGETS AND WE HAVE TO GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT! THEIR ENTITLEMENT COMPLEX CAN’T BE SATIATED! WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO LET BUDGETS SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL!” and that’s lovely, but since when did they ever give a fuck about what we actually thought?

Are Microsoft going to turn around and backtrack on this DRM fiasco because “WE HAVE TO GIVE GAMERS WHAT THEY WANT!”? Are they fuck.

Are EA going to throw all their games up on Steam and patch Sim City to not need the stupid Origin authentication because “THAT’S WHAT THOSE ENTITLED GAMERS ARE SCREAMING FOR!”? Fuck no.

If you couldn’t afford to give people what they wanted, then why didn’t you just turn around and say no like you do with every other thing we complain about? Here’s why; Every publisher big and small decided to get into a dick waving contest and it turns out that not everyone has a big dick. Squenix got its tiny little acorn cock out and went up against Mandingo Activision screaming “LOOK AT MY MASSIVE JUNK! YOU’LL WANT TO CARE FOR IT!” and everyone just turned around and shrugged and bought something else.

Not everyone has a big dick. Acting like you have a big dick when you don’t have a big dick is going to make the reveal of your tiny little penis all the more humiliating. And that’s what happened here. Squenix acted like Tomb Raider, a franchise that habitually sells less than 3m lifetime per entry was going to suddenly sell COD numbers just because they spent $100m on it and guess what happened? THE FUCKING INEVITABLE.

In terms of the franchise post-Core, the game is going to do really well, probably double what you’d expect from a Tomb Raider game post-PSone but it cost far, far too much.

But no, it’s all used games that did this. Used games made Capcom make some horrible design decisions on DmC and piss off the entire fanbase. Used games made Activision and EA flood the market with guitar games and accessories long after people stopped caring. Used games made Microsoft make a fourth Gears of War game that nobody asked for from a developer nobody cares about. Used games made Sony pump out another God of War game after they spent the past few years flooding the market with HD remasters. Used games made Sony make a Smash Bros clone with no appealing characters to help sell it. Used games made Bizarre Creations make James Bond and racing games no-one wanted. Used games make publishers shutter studios the moment the game they were working on goes gold, before they’ve even had a chance to sell a single new copy, let alone a used one.

I could go on. And on. And on. You could write a book about every single executive level screw-up this gen and yet these same people with their million dollar salaries and their shill puppets still try to insult our intelligence and blame used games and awful, entitled consumers for companies shutting and talented people losing their jobs.

So please forgive our cynicism when we don’t want to buy into the bullshit you’re spouting.

[original post]