: Ben's Week In Review: December 15

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Ben's Week In Review: December 15

It's snowing. So pretty...except it's going to suck when I have to go out there and shovel. LOL

My love of JRPGs isn't dead; it's merely dormant

As most of you probably know by now, there was a time during the original PlayStation days when I exclusively played JRPGs. This wasn't necessarily because I disliked all other genres; it was just because RPGs (and on consoles at that time, basically all RPGs were Japanese) were my favorite, and they took a long time. Hence, I didn't really have much time for other genres; there were plenty of RPGs to keep me occupied, if you remember. Now, I just realized that throughout the entire PS3 generation, the only JRPGs I completed were Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2, and I didn't even consider them to be elite FF titles. That's kinda sad, isn't it? I didn't like Ni no Kuni as much as everyone else, either.

It's a little disconcerting because news like Tales of Zestiria would've, at one time, made me salivate. I'd also be all over any Final Fantasy Collector's Edition except, well...that isn't Final Fantasy. However, I've realized that my love of the old-school style isn't dead; it's just lying dormant. I think the bottom line is that in order for it to feel right, I need turn-based. I need world maps and towns and a decent story and memorable characters. Ys: Memories of Celceta is great but it's just not the same. Granted, it's close, but it still feels like hack 'n slash to me.

Bottom line is I can sit down and play any of my old PS1 JRPGs and love every second of them. So, the love can't be dead.

Will the PS4 really be the "leading system" for this generation?

That's what a DFC Intelligence report says, and I'm inclined to believe it. I always figured Sony's new console would win in basically every territory besides the US. And although I've always been convinced that Microsoft will continue to own this country, it's not quite enough to top the PS4 in the worldwide count. So yeah, in terms of sheer overall numbers, I do agree that the PS4 should win this generation. For the record, I also believe we'll see the best exclusive software on the PS4 because after all, exclusive software is Sony's forte. Has there been a generation of PlayStation hardware that didn't excel in this area? I expect nothing but more cutting-edge greatness from PS4 exclusives.

The NPD numbers say the PS4 topped the Xbox One in November. It did come out a week earlier but availability appears to have been better for the Xbox One, despite the fact that, mathematically at least, the Xbox One sold faster during the month. If Sony and Microsoft continue to battle it out in the US and it remains competitive, then there's absolutely no doubt that the PS4 will end up in the lead. If it can't dominate the US the way the Xbox 360 did, there's no chance the Xbox One wins the global tally. The PS3 and Xbox 360 are essentially tied in terms of worldwide numbers (about 80 million apiece) and that was when the 360 did dominate in this region.

Doesn't look like that will happen again. I still think the Xbox One will lead in this country but the margin will be slim.

Personal gaming update

It's all about Gran Turismo 6 right now. At first, the game seemed a little lighter; a little easier for newcomers. But the more you play, the more you realize that that really isn't the case. The new PP (Performance Point) restrictions for all events help to keep them competitive and in some cases, you have to exhibit a sound knowledge of racing and mechanics. For instance, my Fairlady 350Z had a PP of 486 and I just wasn't catching the pack in a certain series of events with a 500PP limit. I couldn't get much closer to the threshold without going over, so adding more power wasn't an option. I also had the max allowed tires. But then it hit me: I invested in the fully customizable racing transmission, which allowed me to fiddle with the gears and take a test drive on any track I wanted.

Thing is, I noticed the car was barely getting into 4th gear even on the straightaways, which meant I wasn't getting anywhere near enough out of my very capable engine. I adjusted the gears, significantly lowering the top speed but enhancing my acceleration and lo and behold, I won easily (by nearly 8 seconds). This is the kind of thing that puts GT head-and-shoulders above the competition, in my eyes. I will get back to GTAV and Black Flag as soon as I've had my GT6 fill. :)

12/14/2013 Ben Dutka

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Comments (31 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 14, 2013 @ 10:49:37 PM
Reply

The Tales games are pretty darn close for me. They may only be partially turn based but since they focus on a BATTLE SYSTEM and not a hack n slash deal they are still great because they tick off all the other JRPG marks. Persona 5 should really do the trick, if they kill the turn based in that I'll be a little upset. Hoping that Fairy Fencer F embraces the style too.

I've been bouncing around JRPGs lately, from Atelier Meruru to Hyperdimension Victory to Trinity Universe to Atelier Ayesha and now I even picked up White Knight Chronicles II again. Aside from the grinding it really is nice to be fighting in a grand scale world with a big plot again. It's kinda spooky to see a screen that says "The online service has been terminated"

It's like, okay, well thanks for that. Good to know the stuff I pay for can just be turned off on me and made useless. I already knew they had killed it, but it's a sobering reminder of where games are headed: temporary status.

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Temjin001
Saturday, December 14, 2013 @ 11:32:30 PM
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I'm still trying to get through the 32-bit era jRPG's so I can't complain.
The sales race news is taking up more headlines than I care to read. Yes, the hardcore want their new consoles faster than the manufacturers can keep up. yippee. All I see is a bunch of people racing in to a new console and then whining about the lack of software in the coming months.

PGU: so my school quarter ended this week. woo hoo. some freedom. My netbook died earlier this year and I held onto to it in hopes to extract the hard drive and place it into my PS3. Well, I did that last night so I now have ~250GB of much needed space. I'll probably be getting GT6, TLoU, and Batman Origins for Christmas. Pretty miraculously actually. So that's quite cool. I'll be loaded with even more games then I have time to play.
oh, Sony sent me an email to try out Music Unlimited and they'd give me $5 PSN credit. My wife and I think the service is a pretty sweet deal. It has a ton music, even video game soundtracks like Final Fantasy and Assassins Creed and stuff. QUite nice.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 1:51:23 AM
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i think that the cap between the ps4 and xb1 will be a pritty small margin it'll be like a few hundred thousand or like a couple million at most even though thats still alot but not so much in big picture.

happy gaming =)

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Lunar_Miyuki
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 3:41:08 AM
Reply

honestly i dont understand why people keep saying all Jrpgs are orginally turn based because there not Secret of mana for the Snes star ocean 1 for the snes tales of phantasia for the snes these games were Jrpgs that arent turn based And they started the series

world Fairy fencer F does have a similar battle system to hyper dimension V i just watche a video of it in jp on utube

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 11:45:53 AM

No one said all JRPGs were turn-based. And All those games you mention have at least some semblance of turn-based in it; i.e., you can pause the battle and issue commands at any time.

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frylock25
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 4:08:02 AM
Reply

I have been playing gt6 since the day it came out. at this point i own every single expensive car in the game. i have every lambo and every ferrari. all the red bull cars. like all of the expensive cars.

the game is quite fun. I agree with you Ben, the building your car and tuning it to get it into certain races is my favorite thing to do. tuning my car is almost as fun as taking it in a race. I am getting close to 100 cars in my garage and the only crap car i have is that stupid fit they make you buy. never drove it. well they give you a couple crap cars for winning low events also.

Dont forget Ben, if you go under body and add weight to the ballast it will lower your PP. it is also useful in changing your 50/50 weight distribution. that can be really helpful on rear wheel front engine cars. some might say why add the weight, why not just leave the body lightening at stock. doing the body and adding a ballast changes the car so much.

i have a general understanding of what i want my cars set at. usually doesnt take me more than a few times to have a car dialed in. i love the tweeking though. something that no other car game can match.

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fatelementality
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 4:25:49 AM

Don't you guys forget about using the power limiter option to bring more powerful cars down to a PP level needed for a race. It's a bit cheap but effective. Yeah, I remember changing gear ratios a bunch in all of the GT games. I remember not being able right to adjust individual gears right off the bat in 5. It came in a later update & my anger was subdued. Noticed that in 6 I seem to get a much faster feel for the way a car handles. The steering seems much more responsive than it's ever been & less brick like. If you go back & play the first GT it feels like your trying to control a sack of s**t on a roller skate. I still miss Seattle Circuit though. What gives with that track just totally disappearing?

Last edited by fatelementality on 12/15/2013 4:28:27 AM

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frylock25
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 4:39:21 AM

oh yea i use it a lot actually. i forgot to mention that when i was writing. the power limiter and the ballast are a good way to balance the car for a race with a lower tire requirement but high enough PP. then spec the trans to the top speed you will reach on the course and you just walk past the other cars.

anyone want to know how to make $400 million in a few min? screw micro transactions. the game just give you money.

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 7:36:54 AM

Lovely avatar. Liz Katz is just... Yeah.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 8:16:53 AM

Makes my pants parts feel funny.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 11:54:20 AM

frylock: I do fiddle with weight a little, but it doesn't have that drastic an impact on the driving. However, ride height and other factors can definitely factor into bumpier courses, like the freakin' Matterhorn. WAY more challenging tracks have been added, IMO.

And if you want to tell me how to make a lot of money that doesn't feel like cheating, by all means. ;)

fatelemtality: Yeah, I miss the Seattle Circuit, too. :( They also give obvious preference to the newer tracks GT6; I think I've only raced Trial Mountain once, for instance, and I've only been in Rome and on Grand Valley twice. And where the hell is Laguna Seca...?!

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frylock25
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 7:13:27 PM

well i have been driving some of those 20 mil cars and the ballast can help a lot. adding weight to the back end of a 900 hp car with no weight to it does help.

ok so i dont feel this is cheating simply because they give you the way to do it. its very easy. almost feels like they did it on purpose.

it only works on the disc version of the game.

so you should have gotten the car from the vision gran turismo. that benz. its free the first time. so save it to your garage but do not get into it. then quit the game and delete the game install file. (not your save file)

restart your game but do not patch the game. do not sign in to the network. start your game. go to your garage and sell the benz. its worth something like $334 mil. it will only let you get $20 mil. save your game and quit.

go back into it and patch it this time. buy 20 of the benz. save and quit. delete the install. now start selling them one at a time til you have all the cars you want. rinse repeat.

your choice if you feel its cheating. they gave me the car.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 9:35:30 PM

Yeah, I already knew about that. And it does feel a little like cheating to me. :)

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Beamboom
Monday, December 16, 2013 @ 5:38:52 AM

If that's not cheating then nothing is :D

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 6:05:37 AM
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Funny you should mention turn-based RPG! I started playing my first true turn-based RPG only yesterday!

Expeditions: Conquistador
This HAS to be this "turnbased" thing you all talk about: Each turn the character got a set number of fields to move and actions do perform. Then when you are done you press a button and the opponent do their moves. Now we're talking, right?

It's a charming game, a huge amount of possible teammates to choose from and pretty interesting depth.
And developed by an indie, of course. They are all the rage these days, and with good reason. They do what the big devs no longer bother doing. I am certain they are what till revitalize the JRPG genre too.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/15/2013 6:06:26 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 7:56:48 AM

Never heard of it, so I doubt it.

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 11:45:57 AM

What do you doubt?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 11:47:53 AM

I've never heard of it, either, but that's definitely turn-based. However, it sounds like a strategy/RPG, Beamboom. Does it look like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQX1fbRh6XQ

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 12:10:38 PM

It kind of looks like that, I suppose. The ground is highlighted like that, showing you how far you can walk with a character that turn. But at least so far it's not that advanced, more like a "regular" rpg in that sense, only that it's entirely turn-based.

Each character has special attacks and special moves and such but nothing is decided in real time, all is done in turn. But you got healer classes, ranged, melee etc. All typical RPG classes.

Also, there's an element of "chemistry" between the characters, in that very different personalities goes bad together (like an atheist and an extremely religious person). Badly built teams will suffer from bad morale and so on (slightly affecting the dice values, I suppose).
So selecting a team is really quite the study.

But I must say it "feels" like a RPG and not much like a typical, traditional strategy game.

Oh and it's on PC, that's obviously why you guys haven't heard of it. I'm a PC gamer these days remember, until I get my PS4. :)

Last edited by Beamboom on 12/15/2013 12:14:18 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 12:38:30 PM

Yeah, that's a strategy/RPG. It's on a grid or board of sorts, each character can move and execute one action per turn, etc. Turn-based RPGs don't have those battlefields; it's a party squaring off against enemies and each takes turns. Similar, but not the same. Look up vids of FFVII or VIII to see what I mean.

The vid you saw is from my favorite game of all time. The number of factors one must consider include:

-- Speed and movement of a character; certain equipment and character class dictate how far and how fast (i.e., at what point in the turn rotation) the character will move. This is essential for having the edge over enemies. The height of the terrain also affects movement.

-- There are 20 character classes, from basic ones like Square, Chemist, Archer and Knight to more advanced ones like Wizard, Samurai, Ninja, Mime, Calculator, Time Mage, etc.

-- You gain levels via EXP. You earn EXP and Job Points for every successful completed action; the JP is used to spend on abilities for the particular class you're in. There are four separate categories of skills for each class, like active and passive. The better the skill, the more JP required; it takes only 80 JP to earn the first Fire spell for Wizard, for instance, but 1000 JP to earn the Bahamut summon for the Summoner.

-- Each Job also has levels in addition to the character level. The Job is maxed after it passes Lv. 8. If you learn all the skills for one particular class, that class is Mastered.

-- You can have two classes going into battle; the primary class (the one you're in) and the secondary. This means that a Wizard (Black Magic) can also have White Magic equipped (the Priest class) in the secondary slot, giving him access to both sets of skills. But you have to learn them in order to use them.

--1/8 of all JP earned for a particular class is given to that same class of an ally. It's a little complicated but it's helpful to know when leveling up.

-- Certain weapons and equipment can only be used by certain classes, of course, and some classes offer other benefits. For instance, the inherent ability of the Ninja is that he can wield two weapons at once. Other characters would need the Two Swords ability equipped. But because the Ninja can already do that, that's a slot he can use for something else.

That's just basic Job/battle stuff. It's just the tip of the iceberg for what that game has to offer. ;)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 12/15/2013 12:40:24 PM

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 1:15:31 PM

Here's the game in Steam Store, with screenshots and a video:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/237430

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 2:35:38 PM

@Ben,
What you describe does sound like a strategy game wrapped in a RPG coating. And I think that's what E:C is too, a turn-based strategy rpg. I've never played a game like this before.

I look forward to get further into this game and see if it eventually evolves into something as extensive as the one you describe above, but I doubt it. I think this game here might lean more over to "rpg" than "strategy". But we shall see.
At least it's definitely turn-based :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/15/2013 2:56:22 PM

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JackC8
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 8:09:53 AM
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I never played RPG's back in the PS1 days. The first I ever played was FF XII on the PS2. Really liked it, and since then I've played FF XIII, XIII-2 and Nier. My first experience with a turn based RPG will come when I get the X/X-2 HD collection. I think I'll have to read a strategy guide to figure out how that stuff works 'cause I ain't got a clue.

I'm playing GT6 as well. I think this is the most fun I've ever had with a racing game. The best part is the career mode - none of that boring grinding for money to buy the car required for the next race like in GT5. I've got tons of races to do and the prize money makes it very easy to afford the occasional car I need to buy. Now that I'm into the International A races it has gotten more challenging, and the prize money is a lot bigger. I just bought a GT-R R35 Touring Car last night which was a big favorite of mine in GT5 so I'm looking forward to giving that a try today.

I wouldn't be too surprised if the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US. That $100 price difference will give it a nice advantage during Christmas. I think once the initial batch of "Microsoft rulezzz!!!" people have gotten their Ones, sales will fall off and the PS4 will continue selling strong.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 11:50:36 AM

Don't think I've ever met anyone who started the FF series with XII. :)

Yes, X and X-2 will be definite eye-openers if you've never played turn-based, but it's not hard. You won't need a guide, I promise.

Besides, FFXII had turn-based elements. You could pause whenever you want to issue new orders and think a bit, which is what I believe is a defining element of true RPGs. If you can't do that, than I just say it's an action/adventure game with RPG elements.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 1:39:15 PM

X will blow you away for how much fun and more versatile it is than the ones you've played. You're going to feel totally in control of the strategy AND the action.

Keep us old fans posted, we love to hear about newcomers liking old school style.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 12/15/2013 1:43:28 PM

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Lunar_Miyuki
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 8:10:29 AM
Reply

@Beam your right most Big devs believe Turn based JRPGS should be handheld and phones only because the japanese market turn based RPGS sell better on handhelds than Consoles because the japanese are not home very often

you guys want the truth follow the money trail and 99% you'll find the answer
as we all know turn based JRPGS sell better in JP so charts say handhelds rule turn based JRPGS market so thats what they'll develop on

if you really want to look at the charts it dates back all the way to Pokemon outselling the consoles #1 selling JRPG FF as a buisness charts matter more than what fans think

Pokemon also captures the kid audience along with teens and yound adults who grew up watching/ playing it unlike FF pokemon has Kept its audience and still grows

Expeditions: Conquistador is a pc game i also never heard of it til i just looked it up and heres the thing you should know PC games are so diverse and alot of them are underground and most never get any real attention

also PC games are extremely pirated so unless your game gets the attention of the modding community like elder scrolls did or your game is a MMO your unlikely to ever get the attention you deserve when making a PC game sad but true






Last edited by Lunar_Miyuki on 12/15/2013 8:21:15 AM

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 11:51:07 AM

Expeditions: Conquistador is on Steam so it's not *that* underground. But it's from a small developer so there's no marketing of it.

Also graphically it's definitely not Japanese, so I didn't mean to hint at it being a jrpg, merely a turn-based rpg.

Regarding piracy yeah that's been a plague on PC since the dawn of PC gaming. But as far as I understand it's now turned for the better. With prices dropping as fast as they do, along with a very functional digital distribution making all titles very available, piracy has started to fall back.

Much like music piracy too: Supposedly that's dropped as well, along with the streaming services getting better and better.

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LowKey
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 11:10:31 AM
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My main problem with GT is that they took out the ability tou customize your turbo/ super charger. They also made overly simplified the things you can customize in GT V. That's why the last gen left a bad taste in my mouth. They took alot of things that should have never taken out of sequels and left most games with a feeling of emptyness and simplicity. The games I did beat on ps3 just didn't satisfy my need for adventure. Many had really stupid ways to play or game play mechanics that made no sense. This is why the current gen scares me so much. Little quality and higher cost (eg. DLC, Micro Transactions on games that you've payed $60 for, premium memberships/season passes). I honestly hope that many of these companies that are adopting these policies fail this gen.

Last edited by LowKey on 12/15/2013 11:15:24 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 11:48:46 AM

If you think GT6 feels "empty," you're not bothering to dive in. Just because you can't adjust the Supercharger doesn't magically make it crap.

And it's more streamlined, not necessarily less complex.

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LowKey
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 7:53:28 PM

I never said it was crap. I'm saying that they didn't have to take it out in GT5. These companies are giving less and charging more. GT 5 was still pretty good and I'm sure GT 6 is as well. But instead of taking things out they need to just add new things. And yes, last gen left an empty feeling.

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PC_Max
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 11:11:53 AM
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Would you believe... I have been playing the original Spyro series. :) As simple as the gameplay was the formula Insomniac used in developing them worked.

Will be heading back to Mass Effect trilogy as well as the Uncharted trilogy. Mass Effect 3 ending was good, regardless of the quickness or simplicity of it. Uncharted 3 ending was disappointing, but the journey to it was good.

Bioshock Infinite is waiting to be played and will save that for the Xmas holidays. May have to replay for the first two to get in the zone.

Keep playing!

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