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    I think it's normal that once you start actually working on a project, it loses a lot of its lustre. Like, I just started the NaNo thing and was super excited about my story that is high fantasy on the surface but it's actually cosmic horror, but now that I'm writing it, it's like pulling teeth again. You really gotta push through it if you want to finish something.
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    That reminds me I need to do that myself. I also did the Dragovian chapter on the 3DS, but never got around to rebattling the final boss to see the golden ending. Will make an attempt at some point, that's for sure.

    I've yet to sit down to NaNo, but I will try to do that today. I'm gonna work on my short story collection so that I have some stuff that I can start sending out to contest while the whole book gets rejected multiple times. Good to hear that you're excited aboyut a new project. The stuff where you've got nothing planned is usually the most rewarding once it's done.
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    Even then, I don't think DQVI is that bittersweet? I feel the only really sad thing about that ending is Ahslynn disappearing, with the world pretty much being left in a much better state aside from that
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    I mean, that's probably one of the factors. When it's a big budget thing, you need to think economically and make cuts in places that would make the most sense from a marketing standpoint (and not necessarily a narrative standpoint). It probably explains why indie titles don't suffer this problem, as they're usually already made from passion using shoestring budgets, so ironically, they have more freedom in that regard. Still, I wonder what it's like for more mainstream narrative-driven games, where the narrative is the selling point. And I don't mean RPGs, since not everyone plays those for the narrative - I mean more stuff along the lines of Life is Strange or Tellatele games or something (never played those so I don't know).
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    Well, aside from the examples you mentioned, I feel chapter 4 (of 5) in the first Witcher game is its strongest, though that's a weird case, considering the fact that it is kind of out of place compared to the rest of the game, counting as more of an Arcadian Interlude, but it's woven in so great and has such an incredible feel to it that it really kind of makes the game?

    Also, now that I think about it, it seems that the Persona games are all pretty good about having well-fleshed out later halves, and that goes for both the OG Persona and new Persona games. In Innocent Sin you do get the slightly overlong Zodiac dungeons and the final dungeon to P1 is just ridiculous, but narratively speaking, they still feel strong and fleshed out. Of course, in the case of Persona 3, the game only really goes from great to sublime in its back half, so that's definitely an example of that, though I guess the opening is pretty gripping as well.

    What's interesting is that this may actually be something that modern games have the edge over older games in, as I feel there's much more room for creating games based on a concept that's already been fleshed out and paying equal attention to all the important parts, rather than just the beginning and the end. But then again, even a game as incredibly well-designed as the Witcher 3 does kind of rely too much on retreading the story of the books at its back half, so we're back to square one in that regard. It's interesting that of the two expansion packs, the shorter (and much more narratively fulfilling like omg I can't stress this one enough) actually averts this by being impeccably paced throughout, while the second (the clearly much more rushed one but with an incredible map to explore and tons of glorious fanservice for longtime fans) really does feel like it rushes through its back half.

    I think we may have uncovered a curse.
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    See, the thing is that this game is packed, even by today's standards, I feel. It's not a smaller project that feels smaller, like Planescape: Torment. The amount of sidequests feels overwhelming in that you'll probably not even find them all on your own in one playthrough. It's just that they're all so organically woven in that none of it really feels like they're making it just to fill a quota. It's great.

    Of course, while I love BG2, it too has its issues, since I feel that (the Throne of Bhaal expansion aside), the beginning is the strongest in this game as this is where you get the most control over how you play the game. Later you're on a more linear path, which I'm not really against personally, but there is at least one chapter that feels like padding. Getting out of the Underdark shouldn't take as long as it does and it just feels like an extended detour. Granted, I know all this stems from the fact that BG1 was a miracle made by a bunch of doctors who made D&D and then the sequel had to be bigger and better in every way but they also had a strict deadline, so a lot of the stuff they wanted to put in had to be cut, and that's why it feels that way.

    Honestly, now that I think about it, a lot of games seem to hit a lull about 2/3 of the way through, don't they? I had this issue in Torment where after leaving the main hub town the game just becomes a generic RPG with a more standard setting and stuff that just feels like out of place (including a bigger focus on combat) for a couple of hours, before returning to the good stuff again. Same thing happens in BG2, as I mentioned before. A lot of FFs seem to have this problem as we,, such as with the dead horse that is the huge materia quest in FFVII, or even the Rapha/Marach section in FFT (which is still great but overall feels less developed and a bit out of place compared to the rest of the game). I honestly don't understand why this keeps on happening, but it's only now that I've really noticed it. Technically, this should be where the game builds up its climax but it just... meanders?

    A similar thing happens in Pillars of Eternity, where you leave the city that was the main hub up to that point to get to the final stretch of the plot, only for the road there to be a bit too long and the additional quests there just... not really meshing well with the overall growing urgency of the plot. But speaking of that game, it's another fantastic example of what you're talking about - Pillars was a kickstarter project that was designed by Baldur's Gate/Planescape: Torment devs (including the lovely Chris Avellone, probably the best video game writer on the Western front who is fully responsible for the weirdly beautiful Torment, whom I think you should definitely look into if you haven't already) that is deliberately evocative of those games and it is designed in exactly that way because there were no studio execs to force them to make it as mainstream as possible. I hate to sound like someone stuck in the past, but I'm beginning to believe you may actually be right and they really don't make them like they used to anymore

    Phew, so that was a long rant Glad to know DQ is keeping you happy, regardless of the actual game. That reminds me that XI is actually the first game I've actually invested a significant amount of time playing the casino, and I'll probably return there at a later point because the prizes change as the game progresses. I'm still kind of not feeling it, because there's something about gambling that just immediately repels me and I have no idea why, but I pushed through it and got some nice gear.
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    It's super easy in the 3DS version because you see them all running around on the field screen Symbol encounters are good.

    Meanwhile, I am now hooked on BG2 and once again I am very appreciative of old-school quest design. So early in the game there comes a moment where your main story goal is to raise 20,000 gp, so you're pretty much left to explore your local City of Adventure and it's surroundings for cash ad, once again, all quests are unique, have their own stories, and none of them are fetch quests. In fact, a good chunk of them involves helping potential party memebrs, who are really well fleshed-out in this game, so it all comes together really nicely.
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    So I've beaten Yiazmat recently. Had to clear up some hard drive space but I didn't wanna uninstall FFXII until I did it.
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    I've been juggling a few ideas, and my wife has also proposed an intersting one to me, but then there came one that seems kinda... horrific? ANd considering I usually wrtie more of a slow, depressing horror, I feel like it could be a nice change of pace to write something like this. it should also be shorter than usual. So we'll see how that goes.

    It's good that you've got something to keep your mind occupied, though (probably necessary considering... some of the things that seem to pop up even here, I've noticed ). DQ's helped me in a very tough time, so I can definitely see how it would help you. I actually managed to write a little bit of my novel yesterday and it's helped me feel a little bit more satisfied and at ease, so who knows - maybe if you get back into writing, that can help you out too. Of course, the farther I get into my book, the more my idea evolves and the more things I see will need to be axed, added, or just altered altogether, so the first bare draft is still only really going to be the first baby step in a very long process.
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    Hope you're coping with the drama somehow! I'm here if you ever feel like you need to talk about it.

    I need to get back to DQXI, but seeing as how I've recently purchased Pillars of Eternity II, I might stay in this isometric Western RPG rabbit hole for a bit longer than expected
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About Wolf Kanno
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Writing,gaming, martial arts, music, and the occult...
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My Top 100's Lost but Not Forgotten: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

by Wolf Kanno on 01-30-2020 at 08:17 PM
You know the drill

I mentioned this in my Chain of Memories entry for my Top 100 List, but Kingdom Hearts and I have a really awkward history with each other. This is a franchise that has always been more of a guilty pleasure for me than something I actively love. Funny enough, its not even the basic premise that bothers me. While Final Fantasy meets Disney mash-up sounds contrived, KH has always managed to make it work since this

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My Top 100's Lost but Not Forgotten: Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra

by Wolf Kanno on 12-30-2019 at 09:56 PM
Top 100 List Blah blah blah. I ended up re-writing this entry because the original was a little more bitter and more like just a genuine rant than a review. With that said, a little backstory is in order.

Continuing my trend of snubbed entries in franchises, we now come back to a series that was very near and dear to me. At this point in time, the story of

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My Top 100's Lost but Not Forgotten: Suikoden IV Part 2 ~ Suikoden Tactics

by Wolf Kanno on 06-17-2019 at 06:25 AM

So in my last blog, I talked about the black sheep numbered entry of the Suikoden franchise, Suikoden IV. Today, we're going to look at Rhapsodia, better known as Suikoden Tactics in the West. Tactics is a gaiden title that serves as both prequel/sequel side story to Suikoden IV. What makes it really standout is that the game is no longer a turn-based RPG about collecting 108 heroes, but instead a Tactical Turn Based RPG a la Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire

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Updated 08-31-2019 at 03:57 AM by Wolf Kanno

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My Top 100"s Lost but Not Forgotten: Suikoden IV ~ Part 1

by Wolf Kanno on 04-29-2019 at 06:53 AM
List, blah blah. Didn't make it, blah blah.

I feel I have a theme going here. Like the BoF1 entry, anyone who took a quick glance of my list will know I'm a pretty big Suikoden fan, you'll also notice I snubbed one of the main entries and most of the spin-off/gaiden games. I'll say right now, that I have to actually play Suikogaiden due to lacking the proper emulator, which is why

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Updated 04-29-2019 at 07:11 AM by Wolf Kanno

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My Top 100's Lost but Not Forgotten: Breath of Fire

by Wolf Kanno on 04-14-2019 at 10:23 PM
Blah blah blah, made a list, blah blah blah, this is for games that didn't make it.


Anyone who simply glances over my list will notice I have a strong affiliation with Capcom's classic and underrated RPG series Breath of Fire. They will also notice I left one entry out of the list, and while my BoFII entry hints as to some of the reasons, I figured I would lay it out here

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