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Back from Lenox. I'll say more about that tomorrow. Or I'll decide it's entirely too dull and not worth the effort. One way or another. Six of one, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Last night, I finally got the chance to play Radiata Stories (2005), which I'd been looking forward too, what with it being Square Enix, all the hype, and the scads of glowing reviews. I played for about an hour and a half. And my personal verdict is that this is one of the most vapid, one of the dullest, one of the all-round worst RPGs I've ever played. And the music is without a doubt the worst I've ever encountered in any game. The animation is merely so-so. The gameplay manages to be both simplistic and awkward. I think the only thing in that hour and a half that I actually half enjoyed was an encounter with a stiffly animated giant ground sloth. This is a game I'd been looking forward to and very much wanted to like. And once again, I must ask why videogame producers are unwilling to hire people to write their scripts who can actually, you know, write? At least for the dialogue. Hell, writers work cheap, most of us. Anyway, there you go. I suppose it's best this way. I certainly don't have the time right now to get sucked into a good RPG.

This afternoon at lunch, I told Spooky I felt just a little silly making a fuss over those fifteen murdered trees on Highland Ave., given global deforestation rates, given the fact we've lost more than 80% of the planet's natural forests (source, World Resources Institute). What's another fifteen trees? And she nodded at the Atlanta skyline, the thick grey haze that made the tall buildings merely dim and broiling silhouettes. And I sighed and conceded that she had a point. She's far better at dodging the despair bullets than I am. You might say I have trouble seeing the individual trees for the forests that are being destroyed. Anyway...

My thanks to everyone who has had kind things to say about the latest issue of Sirenia Digest, most especially David Kirkpatrick (corucia), who took time to write not one, but two long and thoughtful e-mails on his reaction to "The Black Alphabet." I'm in a very — what's the appropriate word? — discouraged place just now, artistically, and every little bit helps. Really. So, thanks.

Comments

( 19 comments — Have your say! )
wishlish
Jun. 27th, 2006 09:29 pm (UTC)
Not to snark, but where did you see glowing reviews of Radiata Stories? IGN gave it an 8.0, and Gamespot gave it a 7.7. At those levels, I only get the game if I *really* want that game. And Square/Enix can definitely put out the clunkers on occasion.

Having said that, I'll probably try Dragon Quest 8 once the price dips. I'm not playing any Playstation games right now- I'm in love with my Nintendo DS. It's the perfect gaming system for those who work from home; you can bust it for a little bit, then quick save with most of the games or put the game into sleep mode. It's so small, it fits right next to the desk. And there's so many wonderful gaming experiences- Mario, Zelda on GBA, a freaking roleplaying golf and tennis game that's loads of fun, and my latest time-suck, Nintendogs.

I'm miles behind in prose-reading. But I enjoyed The Black Alphabet Part 1 quite a bit.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 27th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
Not to snark, but where did you see glowing reviews of Radiata Stories?

Hell, I don't know. Maybe I imagined them. I was thinking Game Informer, but I won't swear to it. So...there you go.

Spooky just checked. Game Informer gave it at 9.25.

Having said that, I'll probably try Dragon Quest 8 once the price dips.

It doesn't quite seem to be my thing, but Spooky's liking DQ8 a lot.
wishlish
Jun. 27th, 2006 09:56 pm (UTC)
Ah, okay.

My wife mocks me for playing Nintendogs, because I have to *talk* to the dogs in the game. You teach the dog to do tricks, then you speak the name of the trick over and over until he/she gets it. She reminds me we have a real cat.

Nintendogs is "crack-like"; it's so damn cute. Argh.

By the way, is this the recruitment video for the Church?

http://www.ursispaltenstein.ch/blog/weblog.php?/weblog/meteorite_collision/
greygirlbeast
Jun. 27th, 2006 09:59 pm (UTC)
By the way, is this the recruitment video for the Church?

Works for me. And I assume you mean the Immaculate Order? Strictly speaking, we're not a church. We are a pro-doomsday cult. Much more fun.
wishlish
Jun. 27th, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, the Immaculate Order. Long, long day. I wouldn't have minded a planet-dooming meteor collision today.
styggian
Jun. 27th, 2006 09:56 pm (UTC)
You have to play it for awhile before it starts to get good and even then I'm not sure the good points outweigh the bad.
I have certainly played worse games though.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 27th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
You have to play it for awhile before it starts to get good

I hear this about games a lot lately. Personally, I can see no excuse why a good game should not start out good.
styggian
Jun. 27th, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I can see that position but I think that if a boook an take a bit to get started than so can a game.
I liked the way that time passed no matter what you were doing and the fact that people in the city were living their lives independant of whatever you might be doing in the course of the game.
robyn_ma
Jun. 27th, 2006 10:18 pm (UTC)
I didn't get the new Sirenia yet, though it could be because my credit card is probably experiencing end-of-the-month max-out. What does Spooky do in the event that PayPal tells her 'Sorry, this subscriber is a loser and deadbeat and doesn't have the measly ten bucks'?
humglum
Jun. 27th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)


Everyone on the mailing lists (yes, there are two of them) should have thier issues by now. Nothing happens to the list unless I do something to it with my own paws. So, unless the situation with paypal is to the point where your subscription was automatically cancelled, and I went in and took you off the list, you should have been mailed your digest this month.
e-mail me at the crk_books yahoo account and let me know the e-mail address you've been using for the digest and I'll see if I can't sort this silliness out.
cailleach_beara
Jun. 28th, 2006 12:27 am (UTC)
Poor trees
There is a mad craze in Sydney at the moment where yuppie residents are illegally posioning trees which are, by their reckoning, spoiling 'their' view of the ocean/beach/etc. Hence the poor tree, often on public land, has to be removed at council rate-payers expense. And all in the name of a few more figures on the end of a property value. :-(
greygirlbeast
Jun. 28th, 2006 02:36 am (UTC)
Re: Poor trees
There is a mad craze in Sydney at the moment where yuppie residents are illegally posioning trees which are, by their reckoning, spoiling 'their' view of the ocean/beach/etc

Okay, that's sick. I mean psychotic sick.
cucumberseed
Jun. 28th, 2006 01:31 am (UTC)
Ah, Radiata. I feel your pain. It went back to the store as fodder for the latest instalment of Dynasty Warriors. At least there, I know I am getting badly mispronounced Chinese demigods killing hundreds of people in a swirling haze of mindless violence from which I can walk away at any time with no consequence.

On the other hand, "The Black Alphabet" which has gotten my mind going on all sorts of gears that have been dormant for quite some time making me sigh longingly at the message from Adobe that I have to send them $100 that I do not have and buy their damned software if I want to read it again. (Which I'm going to have to anyway, but still...)
greygirlbeast
Jun. 28th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)
On the other hand, "The Black Alphabet" which has gotten my mind going on all sorts of gears that have been dormant for quite some time making me sigh longingly at the message from Adobe that I have to send them $100 that I do not have and buy their damned software if I want to read it again. (Which I'm going to have to anyway, but still...)


Can't you still download Acrobat Reader for free?
cucumberseed
Jun. 28th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
I think I may have downloaded the wrong thing - I foolishly went to the adobe site and clicked on the first thing I could find. I'm going to investigate further, when time presents; unfortunately, its one of those chores I despise and put off until the last minute.
chaos_sleeps
Jun. 28th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC)
Here's the link to the free Adobe reader:
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html
reverendcrofoot
Jun. 28th, 2006 06:15 am (UTC)
You shouldn't feel silly for making a big deal about those trees. That's how they get you. They make you forget that the small things really do matter and instead dangle the big things that you can't do anything about, except by focusing on the small things.

But in my opinion there is nothing sadder then a tree in the middle of a city, especially encased in concrete. Maybe trees don't feel anything, but to be in the middle of concrete and asphalt must be very disappointing for a tree. Constantly having your roots bump into something non organic or almost never feeling the rain.
ellyssian
Jun. 28th, 2006 01:47 pm (UTC)
While the trees in the city would certainly do better if people cut up the concrete *instead* of the trees, the ones out in the country aren't faring any better against the developers.

Then again, I might just feel that way because whevever it rains for more than an hour at a time, I get to watch an obscene number of gallons a minute relocate parts of my driveway downstream... a side-benefit of having a neighboring township increase development on the mountain.
stsisyphus
Jun. 28th, 2006 03:51 pm (UTC)
I think Radiata Stories is a lot like Myspace. Some people will just go nuts over it, others will remain baffled as to how the damn thing could possibly retain any of your attention. Being as I am still using Myspace, I think I'm lost somewhere inbetween. I can't really recommend the game since the real challenge certainly isn't trying to finish the quest or storyline, it's just about jumping through hoops to gather "friends". I mean, some of them are fun (you'll be surprised how many people you can gather just by kicking them), but some of them are particularly frustratingly oblique (meet X between 2pm and 5pm behind the water fountain, offer them the blue goose, which you can obtain only after defeating the great swamp rat which is obtainable after you bribe Y with 4000 gold at the tavern, but only after you speak to him after he's had nine beers between the hours of...)
Anyway. Yeah, GI pretty much blew their wad on the game. I kinda like the silly, cartoony graphics, and it's really minimum-impact RPGing. After about the same amount of time, I knew: "Caitlín will hate this game". But since it was on Spooky's wishlist, I didn't want to bash it.

As for Dragon Quest, I would have totally gone for it, but I freaking hate that the character designs were done by the guy for Dragonball. Really, does everyone have to squint, scowl, or look constipated?

My thanks to everyone who has had kind things to say about the latest issue of Sirenia Digest

Incidentally, I failed to thank you for the saurian transformation nod in "D is for Dragon". Apologies, and it was mightily cool. Not so much as "Q is for Quills" which was freaking awesome. I could never do such a thing myself, but would fawn terribly over anyone who did.
( 19 comments — Have your say! )