A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I had the mehs this week. So its variety pack time.

Its kept me from doing more rules comics. But.. I have many interesting (not really) things I posted elsewhere that I can cut and paste.

I will probably be un meh next week though. Possible LARP Saturday if I can wake my butt up, and just other good stuff possibly down the pike.

First topic: Why I like western electronic RPGs to Japanese ones. Dunno if I haven't said it before, but hell, its content. Makes it look like I wish to entertain my nonexistent readership!
I've always preferred western RPGs to JRPGs.

Because in most western RPGs its about MY STORY, not whatever silly anime otaku pandering pile of cliches and character stereotypes destined to be turned into fan made porn the developers came up with on the wheel of generic RPGs this week.

(Not to say western devs don't beat that wheel like it owes them money mind you..)

I like having freedom and choice. Communist choices ala Suikoden actually just make me angrier. Its like they genuinely believe you would only pick the answer they want you to!

It isn't helped by most JRPGs being stupidly easy and generally all the random combat which was originally in RPGs as a resource sink causing risk vs reward choices to be made is just there to waste time.

By 3-5 hours into a JRPG I am sick of the combat. Its why I like the autofight options of games like Etrian Odyssey where you press L and the AI handles combat. A little poorly, but for random encounters it usually is more than adequate. ( I use party control for the dangerous boss fights.)

With save points and the general fact you will almost always be at top power and resources when fighting the dungeon boss, what's even the point of the random combat outside of a tactically irrelevant timesink?

Almost every JRPG with random combat could be improved vastly by multiplying the money and XP gained by 10, and reducing the combat frequency by the same factor.

I also love making my own characters. Its really part of the fun. I would NEVER make annoying twits like Cloud or Squall.

The point of roleplaying is to.. ROLEPLAY.

And most JRPGs are more or less boring graphic adventures with tedious combat as a timesink as opposed to ridiculous puzzles no rational person would figure out.

Is it any wonder a game like Fallout and Fallout 2 with its massive amounts of freedom to do whatever you want in whatever way you want it has such a devoted fanbase?

Its not because the characters are a bunch of fapworthy bishi boys or some girl only a mentally disturbed otaku shut in would find appealing. Its for for some rehashed story that tries to be deep and post modern, but ends up sounding like a 15 year old's fanfic.

Its because its an actual roleplaying game designed to work you creatively, strategically, and mentally.

But maybe this is because I come from Ultima 1 as my first RPG and I play a ton of tabletop RPGs.

I came into the genre differently than most, and I have higher expectations.

Its not so much (even if I came down pretty hard on them) that JRPGs are bad.

Its that they are wasted potential in comparison to the competition they were an offshoot of in the first place.

Exciting eh? Ok, not really. Part 2 is what my game group is currently playing and has played in the past. This is coming from my Yahoo Group which has so far failed to actually bring any new people into our gamegroups. Of course me happily hating on whatever version of D&D is currently in print probably helps.

We play in the Griswold/Norwich CT area, though I tend to wander down to New London for my 40K and AT 43, and another person on the group goes down to Groton for gaming. (We are pretty close to the casinos, so our stores are Sarge's Comics, Citadel Games, and Arkham Asylum.)

Currently we have 2 active (ish) play groups, one meeting on Tuesdays in Griswold and another on Wednesdays in Lisbon. (I am not at that one as it conflicts with my 40K and AT 43. I have Warmachine but I barely bring it down there. I haven't actually played my Cryx since 06 I think.)

Some of us are playing various other games like boardgame pickups on the weekend, or various LARP events (which suprisingly aren't the trainwrecks I thought they were. Let's hear it for good convention games I guess..) or other events here and there.

Some of the games we have actually played: (As a group, not counting con or individual pursuits.)
Battletech, AT 43, Warhammer 40K, Titan Legions, Warhammer Fantasy, Ogre/GEV, Squad Leader, Federation Commander, Silent Death, Magic, World of Warcraft CCG, Star Wars Minis, Heroclix, Horrorclix, Star Wars RPG, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, D&D (various versions), New World of Darkness, Doom, Heroscape, Castles and Crusades, Chez Geek, Swipe, Monopoly, Risk, Final Frontier, Munchkin, other Star Wars CCG/Build a Ship games, Blood Bowl, Necromunda, Zombies!!, Space Crusade, All Wound Up!, Axis and Allies, Gettysburg, BattleLore, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness, Catan, Formula De, Crossbows & Catapults, Car Wars, Gurps Lite, D6 Adventure, and probably a bunch more I am forgetting. Or we haven't gotten around to playing.

Currently the games on the front burner are AD&D house rules on Tuesdays, and D&D Fourth Edition (BOOOOOO!) on Wednesdays.


Now I can just cut and paste the above as needed and not have to retype it all that much!

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I like to play nerd games! I am a nerd! Join our nerd ways at https://www.facebook.com/groups/112040385527428/