Sunday, February 24, 2013

RPGs Old and New - Iwata Asks Atlus about Etrian Odyssey IV

Yesterday, Etrian Odyssey IV was released in North America on the Nintendo 3DS. Greatly anticipating the game the night prior to release, I began translating an old (Iwata Asks) interview between Nintendo CEO Iwata Satoru, and Etrian Odyssey series' directors Komori Shigeo and Kanada Daisuke, about Etrian Odyssey IV, the series in its entirety, and RPGs in general.  There's a lot of very interesting stuff here, so I'd recommend giving it a read if you're at all interested in game design or roleplaying games in particular.

With regard to the Interview's translation itself... it's very rough. I apologize in advance for any grammatical errors, misspellings or inaccuracies that may be present. I went through the interview very quickly in a short two-day span, during which I was also writing a 10-page essay on the emergence of French nationalism (exciting, I know) and plowing through a very depressing Toni Morrison novel. Oh--and I also put a good eight hours into Etrian Odyssey IV, which is a fantastic game that I cannot possibly recommend enough. By the way.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

3D Model: Legend of Galactic Heroes Free Planets Alliance Battleship

I'm not sure when or how I first became acquainted with the Google SketchUp 3D modelling program, but I do know that I immediately recognized it as a powerful tool I could use to fulfill a childhood dream: to build my own spaceships!

When I started out, well, I didn't know what I was doing. Some of my early work was... atrocious. Eventually I decided it would be best for me to try and sharpen my skills by adapting other designs into 3D models before focusing on my original work. My first such attempt is what you see before you: adapted from the Legend of Galactic Heroes anime epic, a 3D model of a Free Planets Alliance battleship, based on the design of the Patoroklos that appeared in the first episode of the OVA series.

You can download the model for yourself HERE.

Because this particularly model was created some time ago, I really don't have too awful much to say--and, well, the fact that it's not my own design gives me even less to say about it--but I would like to share some things about the design process.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Classic RPGs (and their Definitive Versions)

(Note: I am compiling this list for my own benefit. It is currently derived partly from my own opinions, partly from the opinions of my friends, partly from the opinions of the online community. I am not an expert here, nor have I played all--or even most--of these titles. This is a perpetual work-in-progress designed to point myself, and others, toward fantastic, classic games that we may not have had the pleasure of experiencing. This is not a "word of God," definitive list--it's a never-ending attempt at creating such a list. As such, all input is not just welcome, but invited! )


What does it mean to be a Classic?

Anything "classic," be it a game, literature, music, film, aesthetic, language, etc., is something timeless. Something that, despite barriers of time and language and culture remains powerful. Something that has, if you'll excuse the cliche, withstood the test of time. As a gamer and an RPG aficionado, I would like to compile a list of the classic RPGs of all time--and, where necessary (in the case of multiple editions of a single game, in the form of ports, remakes and/or re-imaginings) determine which version of a classic game is the best version.

My own experience with the RPGs of yore is, sadly, limited--I've only been able to play most of the best RPGs, not all of them. So I request collaboration: help me fill out this list, to make it as full and complete and accurate as possible. The criteria for this list are simple enough: to be a classic, a game must possess that timeless quality, that potent, unforgettable, indescribable appeal--but it must also be old. Whether a game leans a bit outside of the "genre" matters not; whether a game is of American or Japanese origin matters not; whether a game follows the Western or Eastern aesthetic matters not. For the purposes of this list, I am limiting the titles to RPGs no later than 10 years ago--circa 2006 or 2007. I think it may be prudent, however, to also include a list of newer games that meet the same subjective criteria, but list them separately as "presumptive classics" because we can only presume them to remain in our collective consciousness in the ensuing years and decades.

(Note: games that are NOT playable in English are NOT eligible for this list)