I make and play games - playing games I use as a reward for reaching specific milestones within my various development projects. I've played a wide variety of games, having started at the tender age of three and worked my way up over the years so that, at one point, I was actually going out of my way to find the original games (cartridges, CDs, whatever) to play.

All games I elect to review must be 'Complete' status (though games still in the process of clearing out bugs are fine and will be noted in the review itself). These games must have a download on RMN (as I pass them to my Dropbox queue) and need to be self contained - everything I need to play should be in the download, without needing to install anything (including RTPs; we aren't living in the days of slow connections anymore, people). You should also have any fixes in the download, not something I have to look through the comments for - I'm going to be avoiding them like the plague until I've finished the review.

When I review a game, I try to play as much of it as I can possibly stand before posting the review - I make notes/write part of the review as I'm playing, so a lot of what goes into the review is first impressions of sections. I'm also not a stickler - things don't have to be perfect - but I've seen many examples of things not done perfectly but, at the same time, not done horribly. I rate five categories on a scale from 1 to 10: Story, Graphics, Sound, Gameplay & Pacing, and Mapping & Design. 5 is average to me, so it's not necessarily saying that category is bad - it's saying it's middle of the road. Games within the same editor are compared to one another, not games across editors (I'm not going to hold an RM2k game to the same standards as a VX Ace game due to system limitations, but I won't let it hold back the RM2k game's rating) - unless the game is part of a series across multiple editors.
Legion Saga X - Episode ...
A fan updated version of the RPG Maker 2000 classic



Dynamic Difficulty in RPGs

The one problem with a comparison of FF13 here is that, unless you've played the first 20-25 hours of the game through until chapter 11
The game difficulty is challenging right from the beginning in FF13. Though of course due to much less options it's a lot easier to figure out what to do. But many encounters required you to think and use the correct patterns or you lost. For example the monsters that could only be hurt in break mode, you had to use at least one but often two ravagers to get them there fast before you're dead.

But the problem was, until Chapter 11, they still weren't difficult. The only enemies requiring Stagger I can recall before Chapter 11 (having just replayed it in the last week) that weren't bosses were the Pulsework enemies, the ones that open when you stagger them and can't attack any more, and those shell enemies that lose all defense when staggered. The only other enemies that require stagger the game tells you you should outright avoid them - and they're right, because those ones are tuned way beyond your ability to defeat in most cases.

Even then, you can usually keep Yin & Yang (COM/RAV) and clear most enemies without ever needing to switch paradigms. Once you get three characters, Diversity (COM/RAV/MED) is pretty much the only paradigm you need for most fights.

Now note I am the one in favour of the system 13 uses - resetting health after fights. I'm just saying that 13 didn't use it properly and the game ended up suffering for it (combined with the stupid idea of your game being over if the main character died but the rest of your party was fine). 13-2 fixed a lot of the problems with it, but ended up making it too easy to overpower enemies in the process.

South Park is another game that uses the reset after battle (well, technically no - your PP recharges, and you regain health outside of battle, but your mana doesn't refill) but it does begin to push the challenge as the game progresses (plus, it keeps you from just mashing X in other ways, which is <3).

Random idea popped into my mind while cleaning up achievements on a game tonight... New project being outlined, it may eventually get worked on. The future is hope. =|

Thanks a lot~

I'm kinda iffy about completing the whole project as it would basically be a fangame but... I've been poking at doing the basic mechanics anyways, and had some pretty hefty trouble coming up with a story that didn't just feel like it was ripping off the game anyways.

What are you thinking about right now?

Happy St. Patty's. I'm out in pursuit of that ol' Mountain Dew.

I don't believe in alcohol, so I'm gonna celebrate with the only green drink that I can stomach.
Don't be a cunt. It's Patrick, not Padrick.

Paddy doesn't derive from Patrick; it derives from the name that our Patrick derives from - Pádraig. It's the same reason they're (rather badly and I feel bad for drawing the comparison here) nicknamed Paddy Wagons and not Patty Wagons.

Patty isn't a diminuitive of Patrick. Paddy is; it might not make much sense to you, given that, you know, there's no D in Patrick, but think about the next time you call someone named William "Bill" or Robert "Bob."

(Ugh, because I can't get accents working on this pos-keyboard, cut and pasted in.)

Magic the Whaaa...? My friends at school keep talking about magic the gathering. Even tried giving me some cards. My question is; What?

*goes back to playing Munchkin*

House Rule: kentona always wins?

Dynamic Difficulty in RPGs

The one problem with a comparison of FF13 here is that, unless you've played the first 20-25 hours of the game through until chapter 11, you're still in the hand holding tutorial section, which is rather sad and speaks to a lot of the game's problems. At that point is when that particular game starts to shine in the combat sections; until then, only the odd boss - particularly the Eidolons - is truly challenging. After that, though, is when you start to get access to what are, essentially, the game's superbosses. Unfortunately, they're still liberally sprinkled in between with fights where, once you're at a point where you're sufficiently powerful, you can just keep mashing the X button and call it a day five minutes later. These are the problematic fights and the ones that drag the game out too long without a challenge.

The real types of 'challenge' fights are things like the Oretoise family - even characters who've finished the game will still be challenged by these guys, as they can basically wipe out characters in one shot if you're not careful (something none of the final three bosses are capable of, by the way).

The problem's also aggravated in 13 by what, as I discovered last night, are a number of flaws in the combat system I didn't really notice on my recent playthrough. The problem is, I completed the game's story and pretty much decided that I'd come back later to 100% it because the 100% portion is pretty difficult to obtain. So I moved on to 13-2, which I'm sitting at about 95ish% on (there's two paradox endings I have left to get, and one is considered the hardest fight in the base game - one with Serah fighting Caius with just a monster to help; the other one just requires me to recomplete a tedious dungeon and I haven't bothered yet). The problem here is that 13-2 fixed a lot of problems with 13's combat - it feels faster, plays cleaner, and actually is balanced so that if you're not overpowering the enemies, you have to stay on your toes. Unfortunately, the game fails there in that you quickly and easily overpower your enemies; before I finished the game's main ending, I had level 99 in five of the six roles for both characters and the other was the mid-30s and one they never use anyways (so it's just extra stats). And that was without making a concentrated grind effort outside of raising a chocobo to race.

(I have yet to try Lightning Returns, but the battle system from the demo was interesting as a solo style game.)

If it could be done right - the need for a strategy when you don't overpower your enemy and not overpowering your enemy too quickly - it'd work for a game.

Legionwood 2: Rise of the Eternal's Realm

The only worry I'd have with that as a morality system is it leading to save scumming. Then again, if it's not a big hit and you can quickly raise it otherwise it might not be a big deal.

Magic the Whaaa...? My friends at school keep talking about magic the gathering. Even tried giving me some cards. My question is; What?

Get the most recent Duels of the Planeswalker game - it's like $20ish and will teach you the game and a ton of ways to play and learn.

RPGMVX - Attack Button

It sounds like either you have another script that's defining the battle command menu actions or there's another place that also reads the input from the command box to determine what to do. Either case, I can't really help as I don't have access to the scripts you're using or the VX default scripts to scour for where it might be.

... wait, no, there's another section in Scene_Battle that references action types, but I don't quite... urg, this is why I don't like bad formatting on code/not having access to the entire script library to figure out what is doing what. =/

Yeah, to be able to know the correct changes to make to that section, I'd need to see the battler code as well, cause it's making calls to functions of the active battler to set the numbers.

Magic the Whaaa...? My friends at school keep talking about magic the gathering. Even tried giving me some cards. My question is; What?

Your goal is to reduce your opponent to zero life...
This guy and this gal would like to have a word with you.

*Edit: Unless you're doing something really wacky!

Blue sorceress! Take thy mother-may-I control deck and... and... (Ok, I'm a huge fan of blue.)

Magic the Whaaa...? My friends at school keep talking about magic the gathering. Even tried giving me some cards. My question is; What?

Your goal is to reduce your opponent to zero life - therefore, you must physically punch them every time a monster attacks. The game's over when one of you is unconscious. If you pass out before you can deliver the coup de grace, it's a draw.