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Midgetsnowman's blog

5:19 PM on 06.27.2009

Strategy JRPGS. Totally Underrated.

So, I was looking over at the boards for a certain pisshole of the interwebs that may possibly have something to do with Games and FAQS, when i stumbled onto yet another topic on their ps3 board self-congratulating themselves on Last Remnant not coming to the pstriple.

Along with the usual reactions of indifference up to people berating the game as horrible and people who loved the game arguing. As usual it somehow devolved into an argument over sales figures of various rpgs. And I had at least one thought at that point, Just what DOES the average JRPG fan have against the strategy jrpg? Time and time again where I myself or someone else has pointed to Valkyria Chronicles as a shining example of a good rpg for the ps3, it gets beat down for "yeah, but its a strategy rpg" as the reason why it sold poorly.

I seriously don't get that reasoning, really. Now don't get me wrong, I fully understand there is a league of difference in battle systems between an japanese SRPG like valkyria, Disgaea, Sakura Taisen, or my favorite series on earth, Super Robot Wars, and something like FF7 or Lost Odyssey. But once you get past that, a lot of the things that attract people to one are present in the other a lot.

Both have a large tendency to rely on linear, dramatic stories with more than a few anime tropes and genre conventions sprinkled everywhere. (as examples, I point to my avatar icon , Seolla Schweizer and her on again, off again "boyfriend" Arado Balanga, who pretty much exemplify the "bumbling lech + crazy cute tsundere" archetype. They just also happen to pilot crazy mecha capable of destroying large swaths of enemy mecha without breaking a sweat.), not to mention the same sort of "only this small group of plucky rules defiers can save us all"

Both tend to have largely orchestrated sountracks with lots of epic songs thrown in (such as my aforementioned love of Chrono cross' music, FF7's Music, etc, or on the other end of the spectrum in SRPGs, Jam project comes across as the big example, but almost all the major original characters in SRW have their own theme songs with a tendency to be hilariously over the top))

Both also tend to be exremely flashy, though i admit jrpgs settle more for over the top cutscenes while SRPGs tend to be more motivated to have all the flash be in the upper tier attacks of characters. And lets face it, there isn't a whole lot of difference in the over the top-ness of Sephiroth to a bunch of japanese girls in steam powered mecha using mystic powers and love to smash demons.

In summary, I'm just not really sure if its simply the way a battle flows in an srpg that turns people off to them, or what..because despite how much the average jrpg fan seems to insist they're two different genres..I really dont see a huge difference other than the length of battles. Maybe someone else who does see a difference could explain it to me? o.o   read

8:03 AM on 06.20.2009

Release Chrono Cross on PSN, Damnit.

So, Its the year 2000. I'm a happy, cheerful highschool kid, and played Chrono trigger so much as a child 5 years prior that I could probably do the Underwater Palace in my sleep. Then suddenly, a miracle occurs, and one day in my internet searchings, I come across the release date for a sequel to CT, and quickly rush out after its release and buy it. So began a love affair that oddly not many people seem to share.

Yes. I'm talking about Chrono Cross. From the moment the game began, the haunting, beautiful soundtrack, practically drew me in like a moth to the flame.

Now THIS is how you open a game with epic.

Say what you will about Uematsu, but in my opinion, the man's got nothing on Yasunori Mitsuda. Few of Uematsu's works quote compare to me to tracks such as Dragon God, On the Beach of Dreams ~ Another World, Victory ~ A Cry in Summer (Fuckyeah LUCCA)), or the hauntingly sad Girl Who Stole the Stars.

I admit, at first when I played it I was a bit disappointed to not see Lucca or Crono or the rest of the gang around except in the occasional hint or offhanded remark. But then I found the Dead Sea..and Nadia's bell. And the full scope of my actions in Chrono Trigger were quickly hammered home. Chrono Cross rarely pulled punches in pointing out that endings don't always stay happy, and that there's consequences to every action. And don't get me started on how much I cried when i found out Lucca's ultimate fate.

The battle system I know some people had problems with , but I found it interesting and fun, a welcome departure from most standard battle systems, and while even I admit the plotline could get a bit vague in its explanations at times, it did tie up a lot of dangling plot ends (especially for me, one of the idiots who believed all the silly rumors about recruiting Schala in Chrono Trigger. Sue me, I was in middle school).

And then there's the characters. So many unique and strange characters. From the Wisecracking badass that is Kid, to the mysterious and enigmatic Harle, to everything from psychic pro wrestler Greco, to cheerful faerie Razzly, and Pip, yay Pip! There's just so many interesting and weird characters interspersed throughout the game even in the non-recruitable side..such as one of the first appearance of the now common trope of dumb soldier henchmen that keep recurring and looking like idiots, to the crazy heel turns certain bosses pull halfway through the game, not to mention the backstory on Lynx and Harle was so fresh and exciting at the time for an rpg.

On the whole, what I really would love would be a full remake, maybe for both 360 and PS3, along with maybe a soundtrack CD. Course, that's probably unlikely, but even a PSN release like ff7 got would be perfectly okay by me. I'd buy a copy instantly, as I've long since misplaced my copy, and while some people are devoted to Chrono Trigger as the best game ever..I'm one of those rare few who still thinks the sequel blows it and pretty much anything else away.

In short. Hurry the fuck up SE. Release the best damn game ever on psn.   read

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