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Key-Glyph
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by Key-Glyph Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:00 pm

Nice job, pook99! Vectorman completely baffled me. I played it for maybe ten or so minutes some years ago and couldn't even figure out what I was looking at, much less what I was supposed to do. If memory serves, I kept walking into walls thinking they were background and never made it past the first stage. So the fact that you finished it is impressive to me!

And Maru, here's the Phantasy Star IV LP by Meteor9. It's in a breezy style that I remember from the days of yore: lots of screenshots pithy observations, not a lot of paragraph-style explanations or in-depth personal reflections. I will say that the commentary does have some cringe moments, but it's nothing that would have seemed beyond the pale from a young adult in 2008. Basically what I'm saying is that the author is neither edgelord nor swaggering youth. They make me giggle on the regular, and often times I laugh out loud. Hope you enjoy it!

I'm not considering my Summer Challenge over, but I'm also not sure I'm going to start up another game just yet. All of my other possibilities would be fairly long-winded experiences, with two of them being more RPGS (Ultima III and Ultima V). I am feeling very inspired to dive into Ultima V, but I just can't figure out if that's a good idea. Phantasy Star IV burned me out a little bit, and I wouldn't want that fatigue feeling to carry over into Ultima V for no fault of Ultima's own.

But heck, I might poke around with it today and get carried away for the next month, as one does...
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MrPopo
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by MrPopo Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:31 pm

You know you can't resist the siren call of that sound board you installed.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by pook99 Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:34 pm

@key: although I appreciate the props, I can't take too much credit since I used a cheat code that started me with 99 lives and 10 health. With that in place the game is not that difficult once you get the basic mechanics down.

Also I never played any of the phantasy star games but they have been on my bucket list forever, maybe next summer I'll put PS4 on my summer challenge
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by Key-Glyph Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:29 am

MrPopo wrote:You know you can't resist the siren call of that sound board you installed.


It's true. I've spent the evening reading through the Ultima V literature at a slow and thoughtful pace, and I feel myself getting super thrilled to dive into Britannia again. I'm surprised by how much I remember about the world and feeling like one does when they think back on a place they loved to visit. Definitely going to start it up within the next few days.

This is also a really interesting study of contrasts with Phantasy Star IV. So much of my exhaustion with PSIV stemmed from the seemingly endless barrage of new spells and techniques that were often unexplained until I used them properly; Ultima V, on the other hand, comes with a "Quick Reference Card" that packs every keyboard command, weapon, armor type, spell recipe, and spell effect on a two-sided piece of cardboard. The effects are explained in no uncertain terms, and spells are even listed in alphabetical order. This puts me so much more at ease at the outset even despite Ultima V having a lot more lore and many more moving parts to manage than PSIV.

I already knew that reading material was essential to my gaming experience, but this is making me realize how the organizational schema of a game's reading material matters to me, too. Basically, if the information is too much to hold in my head, the more thought that is given to grouping and presenting the data to me in intuitive and efficient ways, the better.

For example, even when spells were written down in the Phantasy Star IV manual, they were organized by effect (offense, buffing, etctera); I would have preferred all spells listed in alphabetical order, as there was no way for me to know what effect a spell had just from its exotic name. If all the healing spells in the game were listed in orange text or were in their own separate menu, then we'd be onto something, because then I'd start to grasp the structure and have more of a handle for looking things up. But they weren't, so I found myself low-key frustrated whenever I didn't know (or forgot) what something was and had to consult the manual.

Anyways, just some ramblings from one of the resident librarians. :lol:
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by MrPopo Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:08 am

Phantasy Star and SMT both use a system of a base name describing an element, then modifiers for increasing potency. Once you learn the base names and how modifiers work it becomes much easier to remember what the useful spells do (as the ones that don't follow the pattern as much tend to be useless status magic). SMT will do things like Bufu being the ice spells, Zio being the lightning spells, then you suffix with some form of -a (Bufula, Zionga) for mid level, and suffix with -dyne (Bufudyne, Ziodyne) for top level. You can prefix any of those with Ma- (Mabufu, Maziodyne) to hit all enemies with that spell instead of one enemy. Phantasy Star is similar; the fire progression is Foi, GiFoi, NaFoi, where Gi and Na indicate mid and high level magic. PSIV's attack magic also ends up being reasonably close to the names (whereas SMT is pretty arbitrary), so Foi = fire, Wat = water, Tsu = thunder, Zan = wind (that one doesn't make any sense, but if you're a long time SMT player you're used to Zan being wind), and Gra = gravity. It might not help you figure out what a new spell does, but it helps with remembering what it does. So once you learn the naming mechanic it reduces the memorization space. It also helps to remember that 90% of the non-attack and non-healing spells are useless, like in most JRPGs, so you don't waste brain space on remembering them; it becomes "if I don't remember what this name was it must be useless".
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by marurun Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:24 pm

I think many older RPGs are better with a little bit of on-line guidance, rather than going in blind. But it's hard to tell which, since it depends on each individual's predilections. Any game that uses its own vocabulary, though, in that case, you probably want an FAQ or guide to at least help with that stuff.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by pierrot Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:02 pm

Actraiser sucks. That is all.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by marurun Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:18 pm

Drive to my house and say that to my face.

I'll probably offer you a beer and then tell you at length why you are sorely mistaken.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:25 pm

I like the game, but I'm not head over heels in love with it like some people. The sim part never wowed me much at all. It's unique but also just kind of there. I think I'd prefer it if the game was more of a sidescrolling ARPG à la Exile. It's still good though, damn good. And the visuals are astonishing. However, the sequel totally blows.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by marurun Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:43 pm

The sequel looks good. And that's about it.
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