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RPG Backtrack - Episode 17

MacstormMacstorm Ysy St.Administrators
edited June 2010 in Latest Updates
Decades of domination by Microsoft, Starbucks, and the revival of grunge have had their effect on Seattle. We take you to 2050 and explore what Shadowrunning is all about, so jack into the Matrix and have a listen.

RPG Backtrack - Episode 17: "The Mean Streets of Seattle"
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"The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
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  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited June 2010
    I think the 45 second musical interludes are a fair compromise.

    Nice episode, everyone. I never played either game, but it was still intersting to learn about them.
    Phantasy Star's next, eh? Can't wait.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2010
    Yup. And we already have a contest winner. DANG. That was fast.

    BTW, I started a thread about whether or not we should do a PC RPG segement in RPG Backtrack, and, if so, what games should we look at? Check it out at http://board.rpgamer.com/cgi-bin....y491481
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • NergalNergal The Don Full Members
    edited June 2010
    Phantasy Star's next, eh? Can't wait.
    Nor can I! inlove.gif inlove.gif inlove.gif

    Haven't had a chance to listen to this episode yet, but definitely sounds interesting. My experience with Shadowrun is limited to reading the Hardcore Gaming 101 article, but it sounds like a very interesting series.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2010
    Remember, you can write your comments about our upcoming topic for the next show here, and we'll read it on air. SO, if you have some thoughts on Phantasy Star I-IV, now's the time to write them!

    Alternatively, you can record a 2 minute monologue and email it to me. We'll get it edited into the show. Sweet!
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • Fowl SorcerousFowl Sorcerous Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2010
    i kinda wanted to sit in on this episode, but couldn't due to scheduling. I'll give you the rundown on Shadowrun the tabletop game as a whole the game is clunky, cumbersome and hard to play. The premise of the setting is derivative and poorly carried out, the whole Neuromancer meets The Lord of the Rings thing could work, but they made a hash of the execution. As the game the developed it game slightly more playable but still easily broken (a fix that limits a character to 'only' 46 dice on a roll is not a fix) as it drifted away the core feel of the game (spiritualism vs technology to 'hey i can use magic surf the internet'). What really galls me is that its still the most successful table-top cyberpunk game made.

    I did try to play the SNES version this is my impression of the first hour presented in stream of consciousness:

    Opening Crawl - hey exposition that was probably on the back of the box

    Opening animation - sooooo it's the opening of Blade Runner with a space needle instead superimposing a human eye over the scene in a symbolically and thematically interesting way

    Morgue scene - I'm an amnesiac who woke up in a morgue. Game: Reminding me of better media is not helping your cause. May as well loot the place.

    Actual gameplay - I have no clue where to go, lets just wander about...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH everyone wants me dead, I'm unarmed and the game wont let me punch guys RUN AWAY...hey that dead guy in an alley has gun lets grab that...You have been killed by an orc restart Y/N? I select N.

    I'm not saying its bad, but does not give a good first impression.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited June 2010
    The music clips sound absolutely great, the longer the better as far as I'm concerned.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • solosolo Dilettante Gamer Full Members
    edited June 2010
    Does anyone who's actually played EO2 have a strong opinion on it? I'm nearing the end of the first Etrian Odyssey, and I'm curious as to how big the difference between the two is.
  • NergalNergal The Don Full Members
    edited June 2010
    SO, if you have some thoughts on Phantasy Star I-IV, now's the time to write them!

    I'm a very tired at the moment so excuse any rambling incoherence...


    The original Phantasy Star quadralogy are my all-time favourite traditional JRPG games because of their unmistakable style, interesting gameplay and imaginative characters.

    The first entry in the series, though largely unimpressive by today's standards, was very interesting and groundbreaking in concept and design. The sci-fi setting and strong female protagonist, both executed well, set it apart from the early iterations of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy.

    Phantasy Star II, though very grindy and punishingly difficult at times (DEZOLIS... GRAHHHHHHHH!), is incredibly charming and has aged well. The visuals are cool and often trippy, the enemy designs interesting and intricate, the battles fast-paced (which is a blessing considering the high random encounter rate) and the plot and its cast very memorable, despite a minimalist approach. One of the coolest aspects of II is the revelation at the very end of the game that essentially confirms the implication that Phantasy Star takes place in our universe (the Algol system actually exists in our galaxy and isn't too far away from us). The theme of environmentalism vs technological advancement, which would be expanded on in IV, was also quite interesting and ahead of its time (for a videogame, at least). The most memorable and (in)famous part of Phantasy Star II, however, is the death of a major protagonist (Nei), which was a major downer on a plot and gameplay level, considering she was an interesting character, more powerful than others, and was in your team almost the whole time up to Biosystems (which meant you had to replace her with someone else who was probably LVL 1, unless you did extra grinding in addition to the pretty much mandatory level/meseta grinding). The music during the (rare) boss fights is really cool too, and that song that plays in some shops (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FrArZp9vHg) is literally impossible to get out of your head! I really love this game, more than all of the Final Fantasies up to IX. Even after then, only XII surpasses PSII in my eyes.

    Phantasy Star III did some interesting things, but also took some huge steps back from II (graphically and gameplay-wise). The generations thing was a fresh take on linear JRPG progression and the cast of characters was colourful and eccentric. The story at first seems like that of a spin-off or gaiden game, not adding much to the overall series. However, man revelations are made over the course of the game that have an impact on the entire canon. I don't really have much else to say about this one because I haven't played it as much as II and IV. It's a nice little game, though.

    For me, and probably many others, IV is the highlight of the franchise. It is also one of my favourite games of any genre ever. The story, which is a lot deeper and developed than that of the previous incarnations, is really interesting and tackles some pretty big themes. The visuals are awesome, stylish, trippy and distinctively Phantasy Star. The music is some of the best in videogame history, my favourite pieces being in the "high-tech" dungeons and duing the final boss fights. The gameplay is at once deeper and more accessible than in the previous games, which makes it a genre-defining experience. The cast of characters is very strong, with many weird and wonderful folk joining your crew. I always find it amusing walking around with a team of individuals ranging from ages 1 to 999 (and beyond!). In case you didn't guess from my avatar, Rika (the technically-1-year-old, claw-wielding "newman")is my personal favourite character. Like II, IV also deals with the death of a major protagonist, though for some reason I found Nei's death in II sadder (guess I have a thing for Newmen tounge2.gif). IV contains many shoutouts to the previous games (especially I, with Alis-Alys, the community of intelligent cats, etc) and closes the continuity on a satisfying note, with a suitably awesome plot-twist culminating in an epic final boss battle.

    I'd say more, but I've pretty much run out steam and have MASS EFFECT 2 begging to be played.
  • OmbresOmbres Games horder Full Members
    edited June 2010
    Well for first, I do love the music interludes they bring so much memories!!

    As for Shadowrun I only play the one on the snes, I did play it with a friend that I think help a lot to appreciate it. It been a great while ago so I don’t remember many details. I know we did grind karma at the beginning a lot!

    But one on the thing that I remember the most is that we were always stuck somewhere and did not know what to do, until the next Nintendo Power got out, and some people ask about it and we were able to continue it did happen at least twice and we did not have internet to help either. But at the end we did manage to finish it and we did have a lot of fun with it.

    Next Phantasy Star… well that is still to this day my favourite series!! I will try to add some input to add to the great comment from Nergal

    I remember perfectly the first time that I played the first one at a friend house, still new to rpg, my friend told me where to start grinding my couple first level and he did tell me don’t go into the forest or you will die! So was running up in down just outside the city in the small place that we have near the forest.

    The other thing that I really like about the first one was the dungeon, it was my first experience with this kind of dungeon and it was so easy to get lost but the worst was the Iron claw cave, I did run around this cave so many time because of all the trap floor but was able to get out of there with barely no hp left and out of healing item and spell. Good times! Great last 2 boss music's too!

    For the second one, well it came with a guide with all the map of the dungeon, so it was a lot easier on that part, lot of grinding, but was fun to have so many character to pick from!

    The hardest part of the game was the 2nd to last boss, he was able to control, paralyse my team and crush all my chance to beat him, needed a bit of luck to get him!

    As for the 3rd one, well it was different but still fun, one of the music that I liked the most was when your main character was dead, I did not want to rez him!!!

    It was fun, did finish it at least 2 time was trying to see all the finish, I think I only miss one of the since a friend finish an other but it was nice piece of history that bring to Phantasy Star Online.

    Well as Nergal say the 4th was one of the best, for me it was as good as the 1st. It was fun to get to fly the ship that Alis Landale made in the first PS. It was great to see that she was a hero that people still remember today. The cast and story was great too! It was a great finish to the story even if I did fell sad to know the series was over and all we got after that was online games…

    Can’t wait to heard your thinking about this series!

    p.s. It made me laugh every time at the end when you sell the site, at least try to change it a bit every time just for fun smile.gif
    Always enjoy all the experience in life, you might gain a level or two.
  • NergalNergal The Don Full Members
    edited June 2010
    The hardest part of the game was the 2nd to last boss, he was able to control, paralyse my team and crush all my chance to beat him, needed a bit of luck to get him!
    Argh! YES! I used the exact same strategy every time and either died within two turns or easily killed him before he could do anything annoying. Mother Brain was a piece of cake in comparison.
  • RetrovertigoRetrovertigo Member Full Members
    edited June 2010
    Bit late to the party - but I went to download this on iTunes and it is giving me a message that rpg backtrack is no longer a valid url? Any ideas? Thanks.
  • Overlord_LeonOverlord_Leon Member Full Members
    edited June 2010
    Bit late to the party - but I went to download this on iTunes and it is giving me a message that rpg backtrack is no longer a valid url? Any ideas? Thanks.
    RSS feed's down, it looks like.
    Also known as Deimosion on various corners of the internet.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2010
    You can always pull it off the site here smile.gif We have a link to Backtrack on the left side.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
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