Avatar for discohospital


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Recent comments

  • Avatar for discohospital discohospital 2 days ago

    @NiceGuyNeon That was wonderful. Thank you for that. Now I wish I could play that game again for the first time! I guess I'll just have to settle for second time once the remaster comes out. Dark Souls III lost something for me on a second playthrough, but maybe (hopefully) the first is just transcendent and immune to loss of poignancy and charm.

    Anyway, my answer: Adol and Dogi! However, upon consulting the Akashic records by way of the you-know-what, I see images of Estelle and Joshua dwelling in my headspace in the near future (yes, I've managed to procrastinate on Trails up till now... but all of that changes soon).

    I would've said Fei and Elly years back (and it would certainly be an appropriate answer right now), but that's actually the one aspect of Xenogears I'm most concerned about when I try to reflect on what may or may not hold up for me twenty years on. Hard to go into why without playing the game again, outside of saying with some level of confidence that I view romantic relationships a bit differently than I did at seventeen.

    As for Persona... *shakes head*. Nah, but here's my Persona thing: I'm role-playing the protagonist, and to that end, he or she chooses, and I just press the buttons. Sure, that's not literally the case, but bear with me: I tend to let whatever choices seem the most natural/fitting for the protagonist as I envision him or her and his or her circumstances guide the way, and I never really know with certainty what protagonist is going to choose until the decisive moment comes. I guess that's probably just an unnecessarily complicated way of laying out what many players do, I dunno.

    EDIT: Actually, no, forget all of that. I'd choose 9S and (character that isn't 2B) (we need spoiler tags!) I know that's an unconventional choice, perhaps (not wanting to say too much), but there's nothing of that nature that's affected me more in a game.Edited 3 times. Last edited Yesterday by Unknown

    Posted in Who's Your Favorite Romantic Pairing From a Video Game?

  • Avatar for discohospital discohospital 5 days ago

    @mos8580 Haha. Actually, I think@Vonlenska kind of ended the thread. Probably the only thing I've ever read that hits the mark dead-center on what might be called the elephant in the room regarding Xenogears' reception.

    Honestly, my post was more or less a couple of decades' worth of frustrations being aired somewhat opportunistically, with some stuff thrown in about 90's Japan that probably doesn't make much sense as is and which I'd probably need an essay's worth of space to fully work out, and this isn't really the place for that.

    Admittedly, Xenogears is one of those things that I have a lot of trouble viewing from a genuine critical remove, but I do plan on revisiting it this year (for the first time in probably over a decade) and seeing what happens.

    Posted in Why Xenogears Remains Enduringly Popular on its 20th Anniversary

  • Avatar for discohospital discohospital 6 days ago

    @Vonlenska Oh, man. Thank you for this.

    Xenogears is one of the greatest victims of overblown hyperbole becoming received wisdom in the history of western appreciation of Japanese RPGs (and it's not lacking for competition in that regard). The second disc always comes up, seemingly out of habit. I don't have an issue with it personally, and I loved all of the game's dungeons (including the sewers) - and that goes just as much for the second disc, which isn't just "one long cutscene" as many would have it. I guess it just says something when hyperbole (or sweeping generalization) is employed so often, again and again, as a means of dismissing or criticizing a particular work. The critical response described in the article was, I'm certain, a backlash against a perceived uncritical cult of fandom surrounding Xenogears, but I don't think fighting fire with fire engenders a lucid view of the work in question in this case (...or ever).

    It's interesting how thin the line between frustrating and meaningful challenge can be, especially in hindsight, with video games. Babel Tower remains one of the most memorable portions of any video game in my mind, and for me it's the latter - I don't think an easy, quick ascent with no real danger of loss of progress, etc would really suit something called Babel Tower, especially given its particular significance in the game. I'm sure it would be done differently now, perhaps employing the kind of "honest" difficulty that's often brought up with the likes of Dark Souls, or perhaps just making it less clunky with regard to landing certain jumps. But it's not something I ever thought to pay much mind to before the internet told me it was a problem.

    As to the Evangelion comparisons, the same. It certainly shares elements, but what it's doing with them ultimately is rather different. It's pastiche in a lot of ways, but popular culture is strangely ambivalent and at times contradictory about what constitutes good pastiche or bad pastiche, and where and when it's appropriate.**

    Something else it shares a lot with (but sees with different eyes, perhaps), and which will not have been on the minds of most western gamers until well after: Shin Megami Tensei. It's here you can start to get a broader picture of a zeitgeist that was written all over much of Japan's cultural output, and was reaching its zenith around the time Evangelion and Xenogears hit. The former was arguably as much a product of this wider zeitgeist as it was an influence on particular media that would be most familiar to western eyes. It's often associated with the soul-searching that occurred in the wake of the Aum Shinrikyo incident, but if you look at something like Shin Megami Tensei, for example, you might get the impression that it was in some ways already brewing. Or indeed a film like Sogo Ishii's Angel Dust, which can be seen in post-Aum hindsight as eerily portentous. The soul-searching, and in particular the concern with questions of identity, were fairly new to Japan, and there's no shortage of dark, existential horror-tinged exploration of identity in Japanese cinema of the mid to late 90's, perhaps most prominently in the work of filmmakers such as Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

    I've read that in Japan, Xenogears has often been nicknamed "Ura FF7". Appropriate in many ways, I'd say. If Manny Farber had been a video game critic, he might've called Xenogears the Termite Art answer to FF7's White Elephant*. I'm still waiting patiently(?) for video game criticism to exit its "but flawed" phase.

    (*Although I shouldn't be too hard on FF7, as I do like it as well, and FF as a whole is rather messy and termite-ish if seen in a certain way. But I can't resist an opportunity to engage in somewhat-deserved iconoclasm that's at least a bit less hyperbolically off the mark than some of the criticisms of Xenogears!)

    **EDIT: Additionally, Japanese culture doesn’t traditionally view originality as a primary value in the way that the west does. If something has cultural impact, quite a lot will pick up on that and begin to work certain elements “borrowed” from it into new and ever more differing variations and contexts. It’s the same thing that happens everywhere, really, it’s just that Japan generally seems to demonstrate no outward recognition or acknowledgement that it’s happening nor any hesitancy to assimilate and normalize ideas that strike a chord culturally.Edited 4 times. Last edited 5 days ago by Unknown

    Posted in Why Xenogears Remains Enduringly Popular on its 20th Anniversary

  • Avatar for discohospital discohospital 16 days ago

    Weren't there some untranslated and at least somewhat text-heavy Japanese games on the Wii VC? I never balk at consumer choice, and with this there's probably effectively zero likelihood of an official translation anyway.

    Posted in You Can Now Get Necromancer, a PC Engine JRPG from 1988, on the Wii U Virtual Console

  • Avatar for discohospital discohospital 21 days ago

    @link6616 I'm catching up with used-to-be-PC-exclusive Falcom (Ys Origin!)

    Finished up Yunica last night, started on Hugo immediately after, and swiftly proceeded to inadvertently overwrite my Yunica save. One of those "well... I didn't really need that... did I?" moments.

    @LBD_Nytetrayn I always hope for Power Stone. I booted it up the other day on my Vita and played for a few minutes. So many memories, Power Stone. ;_;

    Posted in What New (or Old) Game Are You Playing This Weekend?

  • Avatar for discohospital discohospital 23 days ago

    I think a parallel could also be made between NieR and Blade Runner, if only for being the exact sorts of things that get relegated to technical or aesthetic categories in favor of much safer picks for best overall, direction, narrative/script, etc. (If not skipped over for nomination then it’s pretty much guaranteed they won’t survive the awards themselves: yes, NieR probably is the most deserving game of 2017 for the music category, but not only that category!)

    But I do believe that NieR has a good few phantom thematic and maybe sub-textual threads that I haven’t really seen delved into in detail as of yet… (The spoilers want to be free!)
    (+ I very much approve of the screenshot choices for that one.)

    Best choreography of danse macabre atop mountain of cash: Rian Johnson.
    But I think we might have to wait for, like, the Yoko-san directing a Final Fantasy game proposition for a video game equivalent. Or just NieR 3.

    Posted in The 2018 Oscar Nominees and Their Video Game Counterparts

  • Avatar for discohospital discohospital 23 days ago

    @catymcc It brightened my day, so thank you for that. Up next: The Unknown Pleasures of Platforming The World!

    ...But then people would just think Joy Division, so strike that I guess. :(

    Posted in Celeste Review: Mountains May Depart

  • Avatar for discohospital discohospital 24 days ago

    ...For a second there I thought USgamer had taken up reviewing mainland Chinese arthouse films.

    I'm taking my first, cautious steps into the world of indie games this month (with Axiom Verge and Iconoclasts). I may be tempted to fall onto this bed of spikes next.

    Posted in Celeste Review: Mountains May Depart

  • Avatar for discohospital discohospital 24 days ago

    @VotesForCows FYI: I had the very same problem with the beta on a Pro. I don't think I'll be getting the game, but I hope for the sake of those who do that it's something they can mitigate.

    Posted in Monster Hunter: World Review: A Sublime Safari

  • Avatar for discohospital discohospital A month ago

    In retrospect, the transition between the 16-bit era and the emulation of those platforms and earlier ones that followed it was kind of a seamless one for me. I’d taken a break from new games for a couple of years in the mid-nineties, and found myself catching up with some late SNES titles (getting properly into RPGs by way of Chrono Trigger, for example - on actual hardware, with a rental cartridge) around the time I got a PlayStation in late ’97. Discovering emulation happened less than a year later, and it was a rush - going back to catch up on a lot of games I didn’t have access to or couldn’t afford as a child (“ahem” indeed) as well as discovering a vast new frontier in games and platforms I’d never been aware of (X68000, anyone?) and ones I’d thought distant dreams just a few years before (Neo Geo!) So, excepting periods of being on extended holiday from gaming in general, most of the history of the medium has been a persistent presence for me. I haven’t really had the opportunity to draw lines in that regard, I suppose. As a result of all of that, several of these re-releases and remasters will be totally new to me.

    In fact, when a new game comes out, generally speaking, it’s only going to be played immediately if I simply can’t keep myself away from it, and that doesn’t happen all that often - although 2017 was difficult in that regard, and had me uncharacteristically engaged with the current for a good part of it. I’m actually not sure how it would even be possible to play everything that I’m interested in as it comes out, and not keep a significant backlog, or notional world map with arrows pointing vaguely to points I haven't visited.

    I’ve actually yet to explore firsthand what indie games (in the generally accepted sense) have to offer (please don’t throw things), so this year will be an opportunity for me in that regard. For my introduction, I picked up Axiom Verge recently, which I’m looking forward to (especially after reading the review here) - and then there’s Iconoclasts, which I found out about by way of the recent article here as well. Wait, that’s new!

    But even if there’s no chance I’ll ever get through it all, I never deny myself the pleasure of revisiting an old favorite. I’m currently going back through Persona 3 FES, and I think I’m enjoying it even more this time. As with the theme of choices made in spending one’s time as presented in that game and the mechanics that drive that, it’s not so much about doing as much as possible, but the significance of what one chooses for oneself and what meaning or direction can be found through that process (in other words, a utilitarian approach!)Edited 5 times. Last edited last month by Unknown

    Posted in It's Hard to Play New Games When There Are So Many Exciting Remakes on the Way