yangfeili

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Everything posted by yangfeili

  1. The Ys series in general is awesome, but sadly the only games most people are familiar with are some of the more mediocre games in the series (Ys III: Wanders from Ys, and Ys VI: Ark of Napishtim -- although they're both decent). I've imported Ys I & II Complete (SNES-esque), Oath in Felghana (an overhauled remake of Ys III, turning it from the worst game in the series to the best), and Ys Origin (a prequel to the whole series), and they're all absolutely awesome (with translation patches available for the first three). Very action-packed and gameplay-centered, with a definite oldschool vibe to the challenging boss fights and awesome soundtracks (which need far more remixes!!!). If you particularly like stuff like Illusion of Gaia and Terranigma, you should definitely check into Falcom's stuff, since Quintet was founded by former Falcom staff and definitely had a similar style and quality to their games. EDIT: I should just let this page do the talking http://hg101.classicgaming.gamespy.com/ys/ys.htm
  2. I'm about to start Legend of Heroes II, I, and III on the PSP (which are really III, IV, and V). The one thing every professional review I've ever read fails to mention (and thus possibly accounting for the low scores and criticisms that the games "add nothing new to the genre") is that they are remakes, and the original versions were released in the SNES era. Might be worth recommending...? Not sure, haven't actually started playing them yet.
  3. I've only messed with animated gifs a bit, but I usually use a combination of Paint Shop Pro to create the frames and the included Animation Shop to put them together/apply transition effects to smooth things out. With stuff like that, it's usually just a matter of being very systematic. Although one thing worth noting, I created each of the separate components (marching Toads, tanks, Mario) as separate animations first, and then put them together on the background. That way, I can still go back and add more if I want to later (like some zeppelins up in the air... the tanks could also stand to be smoothed out a bit). Another trick worth mentioning, is that I sometimes create a separate layer of bright green or magenta dots and lines to serve as reference points -- to make sure that a certain character stays in the same spot from frame to frame, or moves a consistent distance with each frame. I of course delete this layer from the frames when I no longer need it. And one other thing that's kind of fun and easy to do (and thus makes good practice to get down the basics) is to use screenshots from games as your frames, resize them down, and then just experiment with the frame speeds to get a feel for how you can string things together. Although when using game screens, you especially run into the problems everyone has mentioned about color optimization, so it might take some tweaking to find an acceptable balance between color, image dimensions, and file size (looking at that one, I could probably crop the top and bottom of the screen a bit and thereby knock a significant amount off the file size). One of the many assassinations perpetrated by the mad bomber Ophidios on the nobility of Cyrodiil...
  4. That reminds me a bit of a post I just made on GameFAQs with regards to the Gurumin soundtrack (which needs some mixes, now!!!): The more I listen to it, I think I'm starting to figure out what sets Falcom's soundtracks apart. A lot of other companies, while they do indeed have good soundtracks, they've drifted into sounding more and more like "movie style" soundtracks. Stuff like MGS, or Final Fantasy. Whereas Falcom has continued to practice and advance the style of "video game music," which has its own unique rules and requirements which are a bit different than soundtracks for the film medium. It's got to be short and loopable; it has to fulfill the paradox of being catchy while at the same time avoiding being distracting or annoying. Falcom has taken these "limitations" and perfected them into an art form.
  5. Take it as a precisely worded written template, and feel free to apply the dialect which best suits your region, social class, level of familiarity, etc. e.g. "Why you be hatin' on my music, man," or "Thou wretched knave! Verily, mine game music doth rock." I write like a text book in order to avoid the ambiguities of meaning which can arise in a more conversational style.
  6. I guess I'm imagining a whole scenario where you kind of have to trap them. When they express an interest and ask "Who is this by?", first respond with some questions of your own: "Do you like it?" And even more specifically: "What do you like about it?" Once you have these answers, only then tell them it's a game remix/from a game soundtrack. If they then nevertheless suddenly perform an about-face and express contempt/disinterest, move on to the next set of questions: "I thought you said you liked it? Specifically because of (insert reason given here)?" "Why has the context in which the music appeared suddenly altered your opinion of it? Does it still not sound exactly the same as when you told me you liked it?" "Why, in your view, does the fact that it was composed for a game negate the talent and skill of the composer, which you praised mere moments ago?"
  7. Are you looking for Charles Martinent Mario or Lou Albano Mario? I can do either, though I very much prefer the latter, although it really doesn't matter since I don't have much in the way of decent recording equipment. Why am I even posting.
  8. As a curious side-note, the Metroid "item get" and the Ys "item get" jingle are exactly the same. I'm pretty sure I've even heard it used in a third series, although I can't remember exactly what it was at the moment. Makes me wonder about the story behind it. (Is it some sort of public domain tune in Japan? A common doorbell chime? What?) EDIT: At about the 45 second mark, opening a chest. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou62LDUfP-M
  9. I was thinking something similar the other day, how a lot of shows tend to have a cast of characters where each person has their defined and distinctive role or personality. But I was thinking it would be kind of interesting to stick in two characters who both fill the same "niche," and see how they interact. Off the top of my head, the best example I could think of would be taking the original Star Trek, and having two "Captain Kirks" on the crew. Put one in a subordinate position to the other, and see what happens. Do they complement each other, do they clash, are they friends, or are they enemies?
  10. Yeah, I just saw some trailer recently where they advertised the fact that it was by "the writers of Transformers." Wait, what, seriously? Is that something you really want to advertise? Are there people jumping up and in glee thinking "Oh, man, I've been waiting for something new from the writers of Transformers!!!"
  11. I still kind of like Galneryus. Their vocalist is a bit hit-and-miss. He started out decent, went through a confused weird period on their second album where he at times sounded like Pee Wee Herman, and has consistently improved from there. The guitar solos are pretty good, especially on the first two albums. I just focused on the vocals because they seem to be the main thing people sometimes have trouble with. http://youtube.com/watch?v=5V4aeIohcnA I haven't been listening to them much lately after stumbling upon Onmyouza. They've got some pretty good solos here and there, and the vocals are damned awesome. http://youtube.com/watch?v=bJaXzRLh4sw
  12. His thing against Gordon was that he had repeatedly been trying to get Gordon to do something about internal corruption within the police force, and it was the corrupt cops who acted as the Joker's inside-men which eventually led to Rachael getting killed. Oh, as for Batman killing Dent but not the Joker, I think it has something to do with the immediacy of the situation. Dent had a gun to the kid's head right then and there. It seems like most of the scenes where he directly encounters the Joker didn't involve that same sort of immediacy. Almost kind of like a police procedure thing with regards to deadly force: just because the suspect is wanted for murder doesn't mean you can just run out and kill him unless he's in the immediate act of murdering yet another victim.
  13. yangfeili

    Watchmen

    If anything, with all of these superhero movies right now it's the perfect time for Watchmen, seeing as it really isn't so much a superhero story as it is a story about the superhero genre. Belive it or not, my first time reading the graphic novel was for a college American Literature course. Normally I would balk at that sort of thing, the efforts to try to make things "hip" or whatever, often to the detriment of the academic value of the course. But the professor had very much the same view on things, and wasn't just one of those teachers who tries to cram the course full of "alternative" voices to bury the "dead white guys" of classic literature. Most of the course was very strongly focused on the classics, but when we got up to more modern times, he included the graphic novel because he genuinely thought it had significant value as a new form of literature. And his analysis of the novel was indeed fascinating to listen to and discuss -- he's written books and articles on the history of comic books and the way they've both influenced and been influenced by cultural trends. Oh, if you're wondering why the heck he included a British graphic novel in an American course, it's because in his view, the novel falls into the category of literature about America, and I think he did a pretty good job of defending that decision.
  14. There's a Yoshitaka Amano tarot out there which might be worth looking at. His artwork definitely seems well-suited for this sort of thing, so you might want to browse through some of his Final Fantasy illustrations.
  15. Everyone in the theatre I was at found the Joker pretty darned funny, but maybe us Midwesterners just have a twisted sense of humor (most likely inherited from our ancestors who learned to look at the funny side of things when oxen drowned in rivers and children died from scarlet fever and you could only carry back 100 pounds of meat from that 2000 pound buffalo).
  16. You can buy little plastic cases shaped like Famicom cartridges. I bought a few of them on clearance from a site a few years ago, and glued down some shelf-liner inside of them to use them as carrying cases for DS/GBA games. They'd make a good canvas for something like this. Of course, it almost might be easier to just buy a cheap lot of Famicom games off ebay and remove the labels.
  17. I've seen her in other stuff, and I find that she's a weird combination of oddly attractive and utterly repugnant, and her personality is likewise strangely enticing yet god damned annoying.
  18. Very early in the movie, I really started to stop thinking of the Joker as just "some crazy guy" and more like "a supernatural force." (And I don't mean it in a bad way.) The feeling was really driven home to me near the end where he gives his final monologue during that upside-down shot, his coat flapping around him, his arms raised above his head as he eerily drifts back and forth like some sort of malevolent spirit. Again, not so much an enemy that could be defeated as an inevitable force which had to be survived.
  19. Couldn't they just skip the English dub, and then not even advertise the voice-acting as a feature? I guess I don't see why there had to be English voice-acting at all, unless there's some sort of requirement which publishers impose or something. Although to be honest, I even find the acting in games with allegedly "good" voice-acting to still be pretty bad or at least mediocre. I once saw someone phrase it very well: due to a combination of awkward translation and actors only learning their own lines without bothering to learn the context in the overall script, every dialogue sequence sounds like a bunch of individual people making vague tangential asides at each other rather than an actual conversation. Even most big budget JRPGs have this problem, and even stuff like the MGS series (the ending conversation of MGS2 comes to mind as a noteworthy example). I mean, I have zero experience, but I genuinely think I could at least perform on par with any voice-actors I've heard in any game you could name, and the main reason is that I would actually take the time (even if I was not required to do so by the employer) to read the whole script -- my lines, the narration, everybody else's lines -- so that I not only know what I'm supposed to say, but why I'm saying it, who I'm saying it to, and what I'm saying it in response to. Also, because I have little cousins and whenever they're around I do 90% of my talking in bizarre voices, the remaining 10% being reserved for my normal voice when I have to tell them to stop spitting on the cat or trying to lick the electrical outlet.
  20. I usually see the reverse: the "Doki Doki Panic and radishes" SMB2 get hated on just because it's not the "real" SMB2. I actually think it's the better and more interesting game of the two by far... That's not so say that the other one doesn't have it's interesting "Whoa" moments, like seeing Bowser outside of a Bowser level. Totally blew my mind.
  21. Grabbed Valkyrie Profile for $30. Played it, traded it (oops) for probably like $20 or something. Found Valkyrie Profile again for $20. Sold it for $140.
  22. I never really thought the best part of EarthBound was the events of the actual story (which I found to be fairly standard JRPG material), or even the New Age Retro Hippies and finding hamburgers in trash cans and all that stuff that people always bring up. No, the best stuff was things like the message which pops up if you try to use the Insignificant Item (a jab at completionist gamers), the literal "pixel hunt" in the desert, the "buy a house" subquest which ends badly thanks to the limitations of 2D perspective... the jokes which were more about the mechanics of RPGs and less about just being all wacky and different from the standard themes of most RPGs. It seems like I rarely see people bring that aspect of the humor up, and I wonder if it tends to get missed or there's an issue with a disconnect between the game's target audience (people familiar with the conventions of Dragon Warrior-era RPGs) and people who are more recently playing the game for the first time (who might be more familiar with the conventions of post-FF7 RPGs. Really, I wish someone would make a game which does for the post-FF7 era what EarthBound did for the Dragon Warrior era. I always picture a fight where the boss starts up some huge elaborate excessively long Ultimate Doomsday Spell animation, and you get sick of watching it and just walk up and kick him in the nuts.
  23. What I always thought would be really crazy is a Chrono Trigger remake with Secret of Mana style combat (with the double and triple techs worked in somehow) and multiplayer.
  24. That's pretty much what I've been thinking, not just about this, but about a lot of rereleases of old games. Nintendo did it with all the Mario Advance games, or even worse, the GBA rereleases of individual old NES games. I don't quite understand why this stuff isn't going onto compilation packs, where you get the whole set of games for $20 - $30 instead of just one of them. Final Fantasy I through VI, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu III, a few others on a disc. No reason why they couldn't do it. Well, I mean, I do understand why they don't do it -- part of it being that we let them get away with it since we've allowed ourselves to be convinced that these games are holy mystical treasures locked away in a secret vault rather than a few megs of data which can be plopped onto a compilation disc at any time. Just because the original Chrono Trigger cart is rare doesn't mean that the game data itself is somehow more expensive to put back into production. (Unless the game has acquired an inflated ego which causes it to take up more disc space or something, I dunno.) I mean, my god, Konami just gave us a compilation of the three main Metal Gear Solid games at budget price, and those are much more recent games. Capcom regularly does it, with stuff like the Mega Man collections. I'm willing to bet they could easily get away with pulling a Nintendo/Square-Enix with their old games, but they have the decency to choose not to. Oh well, I'll probably still end up buying it anyway. (I offer no solutions to the problem, I just point it out.) :\
  25. I picked mine up back in 2001 or thereabouts for $50, and have enjoyed it well enough even if I haven't played a ton of games on it (I need to get out there and find out more about what's good). One game I can recommend: Toy Commander. It looks like some cheap bargain bin game at first glance, but it's actually surprisingly fun and challenging, one of those games that manages to do a lot with just a little.