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    The only games I can think of that don't fall apart at the 2/3rds mark are games like DQIII, Chrono Trigger, and to a lesser extent, FFVI. Though I feel a large part of that is different per game. DQIII's final stretch was a huge plot twist, but more importantly, it's actually incredibly short since you don't have to seriously grind to reach the locations in Alefgard, so the final stretch is pretty quick if you know what to do which makes it far more pleasant than it would normally be for this series. The fact they give you a ship right off the bat helps. For CT, all of the optional quests have a story component to it which largely ties up most of the loose ends in the plot, so there is a serious incentive for players to do it. Hell most gamers don't seem to realize all that stuff is optional. VI sort of works. I can agree that it can be a momentum killer for some players, but unlike getting the Legendary Weapons in V, the Big Materia quest, or running errands for Sage Joch in Secret of Mana; the justifications for the Ruined World actually works and keeps it from feeling like filler unlike the other entries I mentioned.

    Still, I feel the final third mark issue has larger issues cause even going into games like FFXIII or Xenosaga which are far more linear in execution and don't run the problem of just throwing a silly open world sequence at the end, these games still suffer from not building on the momentum of their stories like they should. Granted, the easy excuse here is simply that the later sequences come later in development, so when the time crunch hits, these sections usually suffer the most, which is why they tend to feel more lackluster. Not to mention most devs prioritize the opening section of the game because that's the make it, break it part of whether the player will continue or not. It would be interesting to figure out which games really had strong back halves compared to their openings.
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    I honestly feel the remakes and newer entries crank up the encounter rate. Playing DQIV, I've had far better success in running into them and having them not run away immediately. I've changed gears in VIII, I'm save scumming my way to massive money gains in the casino so I can buy some more gear and hopefully fix my money woes in this game. I'm close to 200,000 tokens at the moment, but I'll probably do it until I'm closer to a million just to give me some pocket money. I'll dive back into DQIII most likely tomorrow. My controller can't hold a charge while plugged into my computer so I had to boot up my old console to charge, which is why I've been slacking there.

    Glad BG2 has been a nostalgic treat for you. I mean they really did just design these games better back in the day if you ask me. I feel like the only way to find something similar is with either smaller titles or indie ones that emulate the golden age. It's harder to find them in big budget titles anymore because they focus too much on quantity over quality.
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    I really need to get back to TZA and finish up the last few loose ends. I never enjoyed fighting Yiazmat though. Perhaps the new changes in TZA will make it feel less like a slog.

    In DQ news, I'm not doing much, mainly grinding out a few levels in DQIII and IV before I move on. I actually picked up DQVIII again just to finish the post game stuff because I never did it. I was going to grind levels for that one, but Metal King Slimes are incredibly rare in this game, and killing one is even more difficult because luck is just not on my side it seems.
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    It looks like I'm going to have a lighter work load for the next few weeks, so that should help me have time to start writing again. Not sure if I'm going to do NaNo this year or try to get back to work on my novel or smaller stories to submit somewhere. I might focus on the smaller story bit as I really want to submit something else before the year is through.

    Glad you're getting some brainstorming ideas at least.
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    Eh its not so bad. I'm usually pretty moody this time of year anyway, so I'm likely just wangsting more than usual. DQ has just been good for shutting my brain off is all, and I end to get into the mood to play the series in autumn since I seem to have a track record of starting a new entry this time of year.

    I've been going back and forth with a few story ideas for the contest, I decided my older story I was originally going to post would just be a little too long for something like this. The main issue with horror stories is just trying to build tension, and that sometimes means dragging out events a little longer than what feels tasteful. I seriously need to get back to writing though, so I hope I can shake this couch potato rut I'm in.
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    No, worries, I figured you were being quiet due to family responsibilities and that is totally understandable.

    The new DQIII translation keeps a lot of names, it just changes a few others for strange reasons. Like Samamosa is renamed to be much closer to the original, which was simply Amazon just with the letters rearranged. Soo/Sioux changed to Perseverance doesn't really make much sense to me, especially since that sounds more like a silly name an early European colony would name their place, whereas the location and original name are all about referencing the indigenous population. Just a strange choice is all and the only reason I can imagine they would make such a change is likely to dodge any controversy with the actual Sioux tribe in the States. Yet, I feel they could have come up with something better, and I honestly don't think the Sioux tribe would be bothered by the original name.

    Dharma mostly bothers me, because the actual name is clever, seeing how Dharma can be translated to mean soemthing like Duty, which is a nice synonym for what a job would be. Alltrades Abbey just sounds like "Job-Changing Temple" to me, which might be cute if I was seven or eight, but I prefer the original because it's clever and likely to make people actually look up the word.

    As for DQI's translation, for the most part, outside of some character names the only real change I've noticed involves Tantagel and Brecconary, with one originally being Ludatorm which I haven't quite figured out where the name comes from but since it uses katakana, it's obviously named after a foreign place, just not likely an English one which is why I can't figure it out. Brecconary is the real odd one since it was the name given to the town near Tantagel in the original. Chances are, they gave it a new name just to make it easier for younger players to distinguish between the town and castle, which seems to be the consensus of the fan community.

    As for DQIV news, I have defeated Estark, beginning the long series tradition with this baddie, will next see Psaro's true start of darkness even though he's kind of been a racist genocidal dick before his morality pet was killed anyway, and finally got the Gas Engine needed to get the Balloon transportation device. I am so happy, I farmed Liquid Metal slimes before continuing. Jumped my whole team to Lv.30, which doesn't necessarily make them dominating, but also saved my ass against some of these new areas I've been exploring. I'm grateful I brought Meena and Borya to the Estark fight seeing Insulate was going to be way more useful than Kabuff and Borya's got more team buffing skills. I find it interesting that DQIV kind of redoes the Baramos/Zoma plot twist again, but reversed. The game has been building up this Estark guy for ages, but it's amusing he is the Disc-One Final Boss whereas the Dragon Psaro ends up actually becoming the final boss in the original.

    As for the story, I wouldn't really worry about it. I actually don't know if it's going to happen this year because no one has sent me any entries so far. I haven't even started writing my own story yet due to drama in real life, and comfort gaming to cope with it. Hell, I even picked up DQXI finally despite knowing I'll likely be spending most of November diving into Death Stranding instead. So we'll see. I should probably post in the thread to remind people.
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    I've decided that the main reason why DQIV feels so underwhelming is largely due to the devs really not doing much for the remake. I mean the DQIII remakes are essentially DQIII with DQVI elements and QoL fixes. It gained a new customization mechanic, has it's inventory almost doubled, and gained features like Mini Medals, going into wells, and DQV's Pastiche Tracks. What did DQIV get? DQVII's graphics, a seriously scaled down version of the Town building mechanic from DQVII, and a new chapter that feels like a Fix-it-Fic for Psaro fans.. There are more things to explore in towns, but they could have added a few more pieces of gear or some element to spruce up the party system. DQIII feels more modern with the new elements whereas DQIV just feels painfully dated.

    In my DQ gaming news, in DQIV I have reached Frymiscia in Chapter 5 and I am currently trying to prove my innocence to the Queen so I can get the Zenthian Shield. I find it interesting that BaLzack's servant Leon is a more challenging boss fight than he was considering how much more plot important he is. The difference magic makes I guess. After that, I just need to get the Balloon and go to the World Tree. I am trying to mix up my party more this time and trying to use everyone as much as I can.

    In DQIII, I am more or less just grinding to fight Zoma at this point. Baramos was a challenge and I barely squeaked out a victory with my full team intact. I think what makes the Alefgard section work so well though besides all of the call forwards to DQI, is just the fact it's actually really short. Your party is well leveled and you start with a boat, so reaching each town is pretty damn easy. I actually acquired most of the Loto gear with little effort. Now I'm just grinding Liquid Metal Slimes around Rimuldar to learn the final spells for my party. From there, I'm debating if I'm going to change my two mages into Sages, but I'm honestly thinking I may just try to take him down with this team.
  8. View Conversation
    Coming back to me harping on the newer translations of the game, I'm actually baffled by some of the choices such as changing Eginbear to Edina or more curious, Soo/Sioux to Persistence in the newer translations. The original names are meant to reflect that they are fantasy counterparts to real world places which I feel the new translation loses. Similar, I feel a bit more vindicated to learn that Dharma Temple is the actual name in Japanese as opposed to the silly Alltrades Abbey which is just a bit too much on the nose for my taste.

    On the flip side, I never realized how off the original translations were for DQI on locations in Alefgard. Tantegel is completely off from the Japanese Ladutorm. Though I do appreciate the fact that Tantegel is a slight name change from Tintagel which is associated with Arthurian myth.

    One thing I do love baout the remake is that it added a few more interesting visual touches like the reunited souls of Olivia and Errol or the volcano explosion. Even Ramiel is pretty majestic in this title. My one complaint so far has been that Ramiel is way too damn slow for a transportation vehicle. I'm use to speedy airships from FF.
  9. View Conversation
    From looking around, not much. Most of the changes are typical changes with remakes such as enemies being a bit weaker and giving more XP and Gold than the original. There was some bug fixes as well and they raised Terry's usefulness in both the DS and mobile ports. The biggest change I can see is that they completely altered the Monster Master vocation. In the original, the class allowed you to randomly recruit monsters like in DQV to be used in your party. The remake removed this feature and added the Slime Family instead. Kind of sucks a neat feature like that was removed, but considering this game brought back and refined the Job system, I can understand why they dropped it all together.

    In DQIII news, I am now just grinding up a few levels before tackling Baramos' castle. My team is composed of a Fighter, Mage, and Cleric with the Fighter now being on their fourth job cycle, while the two mages are on their third. In hindsight, I should have switched their classes to make a psuedo-Sage but whatever. I am actually debating on whether I'm going to even have a Sage in this playthrough.
  10. View Conversation
    Doubt X has it for your character, but I'm sure it pops up as a sidequest somewhere. It was just an interesting observation I noticed as I play through IV. My first actual exposure to the plotline was in VII though. I think once my Halloween gaming is over, I'm going either finish my playthrough of DQVII I started last year, or I may bust out DQVI on an emulator.
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Recent Entries

Part of your world

by Fynn on 06-06-2017 at 05:37 PM
So there's this nagging issue I've had for quite some time now. It's a pretty abstract issue but one I think is pretty interesting and perhaps even important to share nonetheless. For many reasons, it has only become more pronounced recently.

As some of you may know, I want to be a writer. I try to do as much writing as I can. I even do writing for a living, though as an SEO copywriter, it's not exactly that I have an opportunity to spread my creative wings as part of what keeps giving

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On FFVII (part of my Fmarathon rant)

by Fynn on 11-23-2016 at 12:16 PM
Decided this is worthy of being a blog-post, since it turned out to be a much bigger rant than I expected and I'm not sure the marathon's audience is really there for that kind of stuff

Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
Welp, got all the way to the Shinra building. I was thinking of barging in for once, but it just feels so stupid. I just had to take the stairs again. What sane person would just charge in, guns blazing, when there's a clearly safer, less-disruptive option?

So far, I can say that

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Frustrations of the writerly sort

by Fynn on 07-01-2016 at 12:13 PM
So there's this thing I've been struggling for quite some time. I don't want to call it a "writer's block" because it kind of seems like an excuse for being lazy. And it usually doesn't last long. This is something that's been eating at me for a long time.

I just kinda feel that I can't write anymore.

I mean, I still write articles for the site sometimes and I write other texts at my work, but it seems like, creatively, I've dried up. I'll come up with ideas

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On story expectations

by Fynn on 03-30-2016 at 12:57 PM
So this is kind of a general discussion, but the general rant I have is based on three popular 3DS RPGs: Bravely Default, Fire Emblem: Awakening, and Shin Megami Tensei IV. Sorry if this is chaotic, as I'm just writing this as it comes into my mind. Also, spoilers from the three games abound.

All of those games were very well received, though for different reasons. SMT is kind of here to serve as a neutral ground, as the evaluation of its story is pretty divided, whereas the consensus

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Character Appreciation: Junpei Iori

by Fynn on 03-30-2016 at 11:37 AM
This is in no way an idea I stole from Pumpkin, no siree.

Junpei Iori is a character from the Persona franchise. He first appears in Persona 3 and all of its subsequent releases as a playable party member. He becomes a social link character as well in the female path of Persona 3 Portable, though he isn't date-able. He is also playable in

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