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Hey, I'm currently playing The Last Remnant which is getting mediocre scores, yet it's refreshingly different from what I know of RPGs, and am enjoying it immensily! Can't necessarily say the same about every Bio game!

 

Ok, i can now come out of the closet myself, since i'm not the only one any more. I am greatly enjoying Last Remnant on the PC, i fail to see why it got such mediocre scores.

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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fully decked out in her +5 Bikini of Jiggling Boobs.

 

 

Technically I suppose it is a bikini of boob jiggling +5.

 

Double damage to undead.

 

 

Lol. Three times per day it is capable of making each one jiggle in the opposite direction of the other, causing all enemies within 5ft to make a concentration check or drop their weapons.

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Last Remnant has a fantastic combat system. It mainly got bad reviews because people focused on minor technical issues for the 360 version, which were mostly made insignificant by installing the discs, and which are apparently all mostly fixed in the PC version.

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(Approved by Fio, so feel free to use it)

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A short video on youtube (watch it on HD) showing mage combat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBR0w-89j3A

 

As a number of people have inquired about gifts - here are some quotes from the devs.

 

Posted 04/08/09 20:01 (GMT) by Mary Kirby

Gifts are there to take some of the pressure off of making "the right dialogue choices." In a lot of previous games, if you picked a single "wrong" option in conversation with a romance, the romance was ended. You only had so many chances to win characters over, and many players felt as though they were forced to make choices that their followers would like in order to gain approval, rather than the choices that their own character would like.

 

The gift system is there so that you can disagree with people, or make the "wrong" choice a few times, but not necessarily lose your romance or your friend. For example: You decide you want to help some village, and Sten thinks that's a waste of time? You'll lose some approval. Later you go up to him in camp and hand him a beer and say, "So, we're still cool, right?" Approval regained. You got to make the plot decision you wanted, no harm done.

 

Posted 04/08/09 20:08 (GMT) by Mary Kirby

 

Posted 04/08/09 20:06 (GMT) by Gfted1

 

That almost sound like an "I cant lose" button. Is there any amount of disagreement that cant be smoothed over with gifts? Are there any deal breakers?

 

There are deal breakers. There are decisions you can make that will absolutely make characters leave or even attack you, no matter how much they liked you before. There are also a limited number of gifts. If all the choices you make annoy your follower, he's going to leave.

 

Posted 04/08/09 20:08 (GMT) by Sheryl Chee

Yes, there are deal breakers for some characters. And there are a limited number of gifts and they have diminishing returns. So eventually Sten is going to see through you trying to buy his approval with beer, and run you through.

Edited by Maria Caliban

"When is this out. I can't wait to play it so I can talk at length about how bad it is." - Gorgon.

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" I like these sorts of games. I'll buy it. I might even enjoy it"

 

This. This is why they won't bother to do anything 'different'. Why should they? Why shoudl they when someone like you who is bashing them will likely still buy the game?

 

If you aren't happy with BIO; don't buy their games. Period.

 

Money talks. Whining solves nothing.

 

So, MC is the fatty who complains that McDonalds should make healthier food, but still eats a cheeseburger for lunch every day?

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I don't think it's Bioware hate, actually it's Bioware exasperation.

 

look at many of the comments here (including mine)... people respect them as a developer and enjoy their products (personally I haven't for some time - I find their linear, cut-scene heavy style, not to mention the smothering hype around their products not to my taste). I really respect the Bioware back-story and think they deserve their success.

 

So, as probably the most influential CRPG development house out there, I think it's natural that Fans Like Us (i.e. gamers who care enough to spend our time talking about this stuff on forums) will look to Bio to push the bloody envelope. Not make something that, on the available (and burgeoning) body of evidence is derivative and vanilla and... meh. Yet the hype bombards us like Soviet artillery with how original and ground-breaking it all is.

 

Do something daring, why don't you? You create your own IP and... it's vanilla high fantasy? I reserve the right to be wearily disappointed by that. I like these sorts of games. I'll buy it. I might even enjoy it. But I'd be even happier if the setting was fresher, newer.... different.

 

That's why the realist in me posted the lowest common denominator comments, which I stand by. This setting is. Bio could have used their popularity and muscle to take us in a direction new enough to excite jaded fans but familiar enough to be commercially viable, but they've clearly chosen not to.

 

Cheers

MC

 

OK - fair enough - thanks for explaining your position better. I do think BioWare did try new directions with Jade Empire and Mass Effect. I bought neither of those games - I tend to prefer more traditional and less 'action-based' RPGs and Mass Effect had unacceptable DRM, but they are there for those who want them. Many of us still do enjoy traditional types of fantasy with some twists, which Dragon Age promises to deliver. There is no reason BioWare cannot cater to both the traditionalists like me and those yearning for something new like you - they can do that and are doing so, but with different games.

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I do think BioWare did try new directions with Jade Empire and Mass Effect.

 

They did, and tried to stick to their successful formula while experimenting with a few new things. That's good IMO. The only issue is that the new things they tried follow the same 'CINEMATICK" / emo approach.

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I do think BioWare did try new directions with Jade Empire and Mass Effect.

 

That's good IMO. The only issue is that the new things they tried follow the same 'CINEMATICK" / emo approach.

 

That is just a low blow. :lol:

They do sort of follow a pattern though. "Formulaic" if you want. Based on NWN and Kotor I would expect to show up at a council which declare me very special and the saviour of the universe, sending me off to the four courners of game world to gather clues, which leads me to the hidden place where an ancient evil awaits me for a show down.

 

It can be fun if well done though. I did like Kotor :sorcerer:

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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So, MC is the fatty who complains that McDonalds should make healthier food, but still eats a cheeseburger for lunch every day?

i think he has a pint with it, but yes, that seems about right. you didn't know this?

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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Based on NWN and Kotor I would expect to show up at a council which declare me very special and the saviour of the universe, sending me off to the four courners of game world to gather clues, which leads me to the hidden place where an ancient evil awaits me for a show down.

 

Heh. Sounds like Mass Effect and Jade Empire -I think, it's been awhile since I played that one and I never did finish it (although I do have a copy sitting here I should go back to)- as well. ;)

"Geez. It's like we lost some sort of bet and ended up saddled with a bunch of terrible new posters on this forum."

-Hurlshot

 

 

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I do think BioWare did try new directions with Jade Empire and Mass Effect.

 

That's good IMO. The only issue is that the new things they tried follow the same 'CINEMATICK" / emo approach.

 

That is just a low blow. :x

They do sort of follow a pattern though. "Formulaic" if you want. Based on NWN and Kotor I would expect to show up at a council which declare me very special and the saviour of the universe, sending me off to the four courners of game world to gather clues, which leads me to the hidden place where an ancient evil awaits me for a show down.

 

It can be fun if well done though. I did like Kotor ;)

 

True.

 

The anti-thesis of 'formulaic' is organic i suppose, meaning that the story develops, albeit deterministically, into several different branches. Basically, the story and pacing reflects on the original premises of the game. I would like to see that in a game sometimes, even if it would impose a greater risk for the developer.

 

Doing it according to a 'formulaic'-pattern would be mean that there would be a higher risk of having redudant situations(game must be 40hs long!), characters with too little development(Sorry, we were really shooting for 20hs), stereotyping(We need a silent warrior, a happy girl blabla...) and extremely predictable in the long run(The chosen one must save the world).

 

Both Bioware and Obsidian are guilty of these.

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Posted 04/08/09 20:01 (GMT) by Mary Kirby

Gifts are there to take some of the pressure off of making "the right dialogue choices." In a lot of previous games, if you picked a single "wrong" option in conversation with a romance, the romance was ended. You only had so many chances to win characters over, and many players felt as though they were forced to make choices that their followers would like in order to gain approval, rather than the choices that their own character would like.

 

The gift system is there so that you can disagree with people, or make the "wrong" choice a few times, but not necessarily lose your romance or your friend. For example: You decide you want to help some village, and Sten thinks that's a waste of time? You'll lose some approval. Later you go up to him in camp and hand him a beer and say, "So, we're still cool, right?" Approval regained. You got to make the plot decision you wanted, no harm done.

"So... Uh... Remember that village I burned down, Ms. Sexyelvenpaladinchick?"

"You dare speak to me of this, you amoral beast?!"

"Here, take this flower, and let's pretend this totally didn't happen."

"That's so sweet of you! Make love to me, handsome scoundrel!"

 

What's the point of having approval (LOL @ BioWare for ripping off Obsidian's influence system) in the first place, if you can fix things up with a present? If you're bathing in gold in DA, just like you do in the rest of Bio's games, the system is glaringly prone to exploiting.

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If you read all the quotes in Maria's post, the gifts are limited and quickly reach the point of diminishing returns, also not everything can be fixed with a gift.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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So, MC is the fatty who complains that McDonalds should make healthier food, but still eats a cheeseburger for lunch every day?

 

Er, no. Have voted with my feet and not bought a Bio product since HotU. No dogma, just nothing has really appealed. Played KOTOR on XBox at a friend's place and loathed it.

 

Cheers

MC

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Last Remnant has a fantastic combat system. It mainly got bad reviews because people focused on minor technical issues for the 360 version, which were mostly made insignificant by installing the discs, and which are apparently all mostly fixed in the PC version.

 

The only problem is that at the end of the day you're still playing a JRPG ;(

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"(LOL @ BioWare for ripping off Obsidian's influence system"

 

Obsidian didn't create it. All they did wa sgive it a name. BIO had been using an 'infleunce system' since BG2. And, many other games in the past have sued.

 

And, oh btw, you cna't get more 'ripoffish'; than making sequels to somebody else's games. *cough NWN2 KOTOR2 *cough* so Obsidian owes BIO a little ripoff.

 

Besides if you actually read stuff, you'd realize that the 'bribery' doens't always work. I seriously doubt (well hope) that the goody two shoes won't look the other way if you burn down a village because you gifted them with a flower. *lol*

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Everyone rips off each other! Rip rip rip! BATTLE

 

As long as the balance is right in the gifting. It would be nice if, for instance, a gift gave you a chance to resolve the issue once again (give you a chance to rationalise your decision to help te villae again to Sten)... but given that gifts are meant to partially replace all that dialogue, probably not.

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Obsidian didn't create it. All they did wa sgive it a name. BIO had been using an 'infleunce system' since BG2. And, many other games in the past have sued.

This is a coarse and inaccurate claim (I am shocked to hear such from you. Shocked!). Bioware's influence systems to date have been binary and self-contained. Which is to say, the only things that affected the relationships between characters were conversations specifically about those relationships, and in the context of those conversations you "passed" or "failed", and the outcomes were binary. There was not a middle ground that I encountered (the "let's just stay friends" and "**** you I hate you" dialogues brought about the same resolutions in terms of the relationship) and there was no "score" that you had with a character. You were either on with them or you were off.

 

Contrast that with Obsidian's system in KOTORII. The opportunities for influencing relationships were abundant and never relegated to lovetalks, and often increasing influence with one party member meant losing it with another. The influence score was not binary - at some points you could gain or lose varying degrees of influence. The influence point system then allowed a rough approximation of "trust" between the PC and the NPCs, that in most cases had to be built up over long periods of careful consideration, whereas in Bioware games blind trust is usually a requirement for CNPCdom, and is gained and lost usually in short order. What resulted from all of this was, by necessity, a game that had to be replayed several times over to unlock the secrets of all the NPCs and to see them swayed towards both ends of the force. NWN2 was somewhat less succesful in this. Bioware doesn't really try.

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"There was not a middle ground that I encountered (the "let's just stay friends" and "**** you I hate you" dialogues brought about the same resolutions in terms of the relationship) and there was no "score" that you had with a character."

 

Simply not true. I managed to stay friends with both Jaheira, and Aerie without getting romantic.

 

NEWSFLASH: i never claimed they were exactly the same. All I said was that obsidian did not create the idea or system of 'influence'. Games have been doing it well BEfore Obsidian was alive. BIO wans't the first either. Giving something a fancy name doens't eman youc reate it.

 

Afterall, in BG2: TOB you can influence two characters to change alignment. In BG2, you can influence a certain cleric to change alignments and view. You cna also influence a certain paladin's actions too.

 

So, no, no matter how you slice it, Obsidian did NOT create the influence system.

 

I am however not shocked that an Obsidian fanboy would claim they did when they did not.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Simply not true. I managed to stay friends with both Jaheira, and Aerie without getting romantic.

 

What Pop means is that there is only one variable set for the ending of lovetalks in BG2, and would only lead to one conclusion. You can tell Jaheira she is an idiot every time and she will still pop up with talking you know. The actual global variables, such as JAHEIRALOVETALK (or whatever they were called, I forget now) only had corresponding values for the stages of the relationship (0=off, 1=ongoing, 2=after first harper hold quest, etc)

 

All I said was that obsidian did not create the idea or system of 'influence'.

 

What's the point in saying that though? 'Influence'. What a vague vague term. Of course they didn't invent 'influence' meant as an overarching general all-purpose idea.

 

Afterall, in BG2: TOB you can influence two characters to change alignment. In BG2, you can influence a certain cleric to change alignments and view. You cna also influence a certain paladin's actions too.

 

Once again these were specific variables tied to certain quests; in terms of the techniques used and the system used it is actually a lot more similar to, say, choosing the Thieves Guild or Bohdi's vampires.

 

I don't honestly give a crap who the hell invented what, it's not really important to anything. All that matters to this debate is that Obsidian created their own influence system with its own unique particulars, and DA looks like it is borrowing some stuff of that. Which is fine unless you're one of those idiots that harp on about 'originality' and 'copycats'. Oh wait...

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Hey, a multi-faceted influence system can only be a good thing, right?

 

As long as it doesn't become a tool of the Bio fan Tamagotchi tendency, that is. I always find it ironic that some of the people who hate 'micromanaging' NPCs (i.e. equipment, spells, feats, level progression) are some of the most passionate advocates of, ahem, micromanaging romances, influence (etc).

 

I'd hope for a mix - personally in a small party I'd be happy with one problem child who needed influence, one loyal Minsc-type dolt who will follow me whatever and one complete mercenary who is coin-operated. But turning my party into an episode of The OC but with swords? No thanks.

 

My views on romances OTOH are on the record and do not require repeating.

 

Cheers

MC

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Let us for forget that BG2's romance choice and dialogue choices were perhaps the first attempt at doing this properly...

 

When other developers look at this, say Obsidian, they will naturally try to-recreate this and maybe up the technological advances a bit. Then Bioware comes along, and tries to do better than Obsidian, then Bethesda will take a swing at it, and then Bioware, then Obsidian --- you get the pciture.

 

The point is that everyone is inspired by each other; they learn from each other, and they try to make the AI better, be it enemy AI, the global variable AI (if you can call it that?) for each character in say Dragon Age.

 

I actually like that in DA: Origins characters will walk away for good if you do something they really really dislike - no matter how much beer, flowers or jewels you give to them...

 

I'm not that fond of the main quest; apparently it will be us (as a grey warden) travelling the lands of Ferelden, rallying support for big (RTS?) battle against the hordes of the Blight. Hopefully, the game will feature interesting sidequests....

Please support http://www.maternityworldwide.org/ - and save a mother giving birth to a child.

 

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