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The Man in Blak

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Everything posted by The Man in Blak

  1. The Man in Blak

    Pat Tillman an "idiot," not a hero

    At a school where there were tons of radical professors. Which means that he went to college in the United States.
  2. The Man in Blak

    Console RPG recommendations needed

    One game that I haven't seen mentioned yet that hits nearly every single category you have: Revelations: Persona (Playstation 1) Random Battles - Persona has random battles and two different "overworld" perspectives: a first-person dungeon perspective, a la Phantasy Star I, and a ghetto birds-eye view as you wander around town. Stats Allocation - With each level up you get, you're given three points to put into your different attributes. Good Battle System - The Persona series has one of the most unique battle systems that you'll find in a game. Though the actual combat itself is relatively standard turn-based fare, Persona gives you the option of negotiating with enemies for a non-violent victory. While going around and bashing monsters with your baseball bat helps out your experience, winning certain battles through negotiation can get you little monster tarot cards, which leads directly into... Added Customization - Persona's magic based system involves the use of Esper-like Persona monsters that have certain attributes and magic spells. Like Final Fantasy VIII, the Personas gain experience and levels along with you, depending on how often you use magic. Even though all of your characters start out with a certain persona, the key to getting powerful techniques involves collecting monster tarot cards through negotiations and mixing them together to create new Personas. There's a large variety of possible Personas, each with many different attribute boosts and magic skills, leaving you lots of room to mix, match, and experiment. Though you didn't mention it, Persona also has the perk (or flaw, however you look at it) of a modern-day setting, complete with guns and crazy enemy designs. Both Persona and its sequel, Persona 2, fit your specifications pretty well. Other options: Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (PS2) - TONS upon TONS of item and character customization, wonderful FFTactics-esque battle system, and parody upon parody of RPGs and anime, but no random encounters. I can't emphasize enough, however, just how much time you can spend building up your characters and items. Final Fantasy X (PS2) - The turn-based battle system is lots of fun, there's a ton of character possibilities through the sphere grid (which is like a board game, where spaces have certain ability boosts and you get the ability to move about the grid with experience points), and the battles are random. Also, like Disgaea, there's a lot of room to build your characters up and the Arena provides challenges for a long time after you've beaten the game. Grandia series (PS2) - Phenomenal mixed turn-based/real-time battle system, but quasi-random encounters (Monsters are on the map, just like in Chrono Trigger, but how you approach them can determine initiative for the battle). There's a little bit of extra customization, through building and maintaining your mana eggs (which function, basically, as spellbooks). Games to think twice about:Suikoden series (PS1/PS2) - I know they've gotten lots of recommendations throughout the thread, but for every one of your prerequisites they get right, they totally screw up two or three others at any given time. The battle system throughout all of them is dreadfully mediocre and, in Suikoden 3, encounters are downright weird and counter-intuitive, with your characters having to move in pairs. Suikoden 3 has a great deal of character customization, but the other two series involve pre-determined stat increases for level ups and little or no decisions in character development (other than what rune/magic they wield, which is mostly irrelevant). All of the games feature random battles, though.
  3. The Man in Blak

    Why ESPN sucks

    Sweet jesus, you guys act like this is some recent development. It's not like Dan Patrick ("It's deep and I don't think it's playable"), Chris Berman ("Rumblin', bumblin', stumblin'") or Craig Kilborn ("YAHTZEE!") didn't have catchphrases ten years ago. Personally, the show has been in a gradual tailspin since Olbermann left, and the new influx of "special segments" like Fact or Fiction and the Budweiser Hot Seat certainly haven't helped. I agree with the idea of all the original programming going over to ESPN2, since it's supposed to be the "alternative" channel and most cable companies carry both ESPN and ESPN2, in my experienced. As far as the non-Sportscenter shows go, I think the opinion shows are doing okay, but the sports-specific shows are starting to take a dive. Baseball Tonight, for example, used to be one of the best sports shows on any network, but they need fresh blood to replace Peter Gammons (he's a great reporter, but his on-air presence is long gone) and John Kruk ain't the answer. It's pretty much the same story for NFL Countdown, which was awful early on last year with Michael Irvin and Rush Limbaugh. (What's the lesson? Don't hire anybody who has ever worked on the Best Damn Sports Show.) Stephen A. Smith and Bill Laimbeer are two of the worst on-air personalities I've seen in a long time (for entirely different reasons), and they're both on NBA Gamebreak. And, finally, we can't mention annoying TV personalities without covering nearly all of the college sports reporters, specifically Dicky V and his quasi-sexual obsession with Chris Duhan and Coach K. The opinion/extra shows aren't that bad, though. PTI and Outside the Lines fill excellent niches - the former's basically the best 30 minute compression of news and analysis that you'll find out there, and the latter is an excellent "serious" news program. The real culprit is Around the Horn, which toed the line between entertaining and annoying with Max Kellerman barking about Michael Jordan and Pedro Martinez non-stop, but has taken a HUGE dive with Statboy as the host. If it doesn't get canceled in the near future, I will be amazed. The game crews range in quality. It's been said before, but it bears repeating - the Sunday Night Football squad is one of the worst crews ever, in terms of analysis, commentary, and even production values. Tom Tolbert and Bill Walton have up and down nights for the NBA. But Mike Tirico isn't offensive, and he covers a lot of different sports. The real gem is the baseball crews, as nearly all of the regulars (Miller/Morgan, Gwynn, Sutcliffe, even David Justice) are great and always seem to offer some interesting insight. All in all, ESPN is fairly mediocre, but they're still better than a lot of their competitors (Fox Sports News, anybody?) and they certainly aren't worthy of comments like "why don't terrorists fly over Bristol." For the love of god, it's just a television station.
  4. The Man in Blak

    New Shining Force Games!

    Well, it was actually a three-disc set (of which only one was released in North America) on the Sega Saturn. It could have came out for the Atari Jaguar, though, and I'd still be anticipating the remake. Definitely one of the more underrated series in gaming today.
  5. The Man in Blak

    Poll: Best version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"?

    I think (hope?) GNR is functioning as the "La Parka" on this poll.
  6. The Man in Blak

    Favourite Phil Collins song

    Are we including Genesis tunes in here? If so, then "Back in NYC" by a country mile. Otherwise, for Phil's solo work...well... ...er, I'll get back to you.
  7. The Man in Blak

    Best. Game. Evar~! Nominations Thread

    Action - Viewtiful Joe (GC) Adventure - Bionic Commando (NES) Driving - Twisted Metal: Black (PS2) Fighter - Super Smash Bros. (N64) Puzzle - Zoop (PS) RPG - Secret of Mana (SNES) Sports - Baseball Stars (NES) Strategy - Tecmo's Deception (PS)
  8. The Man in Blak

    Best. Game. Evar~! Nominations Thread

    Action - Deus Ex (PC) Adventure - Metroid II (GB) Driving - F-Zero (SNES) Fighter - Eternal Champions (Genesis) Puzzle - Bookworm (PC) RPG - Planescape: Torment (PC) Sports - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (PS2) Strategy - Shining Force III (Saturn)
  9. The Man in Blak

    Best. Game. Evar~! Nominations Thread

    Action - Half-Life (PC) Adventure - Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) Driving - Nascar Racing: 2003 Season (PC) Fighter - Street Fighter Alpha (Arcade) Puzzle - Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates (PC) RPG - Shadowrun (Genesis) Sports - Giant Gram 2000 (DC - Import) Strategy - Disgaea (PS2)
  10. The Man in Blak

    Best. Game. Evar~! Nominations Thread

    Action - System Shock 2 (PC) Adventure - Metroid Prime (GC) Driving - Rad Racer (NES) Fighter - Tae-Kwondo (SNES - Import) Puzzle - Dr. Mario (NES) RPG - Baldur's Gate (PC) Sports - WCW/nWo Revenge (N64) Strategy - Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (PC)
  11. The Man in Blak

    All-time "Around the Horn"-style panel

    Dream: Hosted by Karl Ravech - Mitch Albom, Michael Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser, Bob Costas Nightmare: Hosted by Chris Rose - Tom Arnold, John Salley, Michael Irvin, and John Kruk
  12. The Man in Blak

    Has the NFL QB position declined in talent?

    Yeah, to the detriment of his team, at times. The last play of the Packers' season involved Brett forcing a throw into triple coverage and getting picked off...and that seems to be the norm for him, nowadays. He had a phenomenal streak towards the tail end of last year, but his legendary presence is almost a liability in the fact that they won't think of giving the ball to anybody else in the clutch situations (like, say, Ahman Green). Favre has earned that respect, no doubt, but his gunslinging tendencies (which were incomparable at the peak of his career) seem to do more damage than good. I think next year's his last ride. And Kingpk nailed it with the comment about systems dominating the NFL now. Even the best player in the game at any given position can be taken out of the game with proper defensive strategies. And, conversely, offensive systems can be tooled to take advantage of above average quarterbacks with particular skills. It's all systems warfare, now, and a quarterback is measured in his versatility, his ability to work within a system and make things happen out of nothing.
  13. The Man in Blak

    Round Four RPG Villians Tourney 2k4

    Chrono Cross answers pretty much all of those questions. Must...resist...urge...to...rant...
  14. The Man in Blak

    "We Built This City" voted Worst Song Ever

    It's amusing and makes some good points, but I think I hate this guy's taste in music. Well, he is a Pitchfork columnist. I mean, I love reading the reviews and many of the articles are spot on but, sometimes, they get a little carried away with the elitism. Ott makes some great points, but he gets a little too smart for his own good (OMG IT'S A JINGOISTIC NATIONAL ANTHEM KILL IT~!). Personally, I think reality is probably somewhere between both of their lists. Both Ott and Blender are spot on with some of their choices, and a little off with some of their others. ("Shine" by Collective Soul? C'mon. There's 50-100 more bland and mediocre songs from alternative rock.) Starship, The Doors, Puff Daddy, Wings, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Billy Ray Cyrus...there's no question about these in my book.
  15. The Man in Blak

    Poll: Best version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"?

    Uh, yeah. What he said, times two. I didn't even know Avril Lavigne covered this song. I'm not dying to hear it or anything (she already has done enough damage to my psyche through her own songs, or through her "cover" of "Chop Suey"). It's just interesting.
  16. The Man in Blak

    Best. Game. Evar~! Nominations Thread

    No kidding. Just in case the categories change... Fighting = Soul Calibur (DC)
  17. The Man in Blak

    Best. Game. Evar~! Nominations Thread

    You know, you've got a "duh" right next to the simulation thing, but I don't have a damn clue about what you mean here. Flight simulation? Sports simulation? Sim-games? I'll go with one of Wright's games and play it safe, I suppose. Action = Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES) Adventure = Super Mario 64 (N64) Driving = Super Mario Kart (SNES) Puzzle = Tetris Attack (SNES) Role-Playing = Chrono Trigger (SNES) Sports = Cyber Stadium Series: Base Wars (NES) Strategy/Simulation = X-Com: UFO Defense (PC) Fighting = Soul Calibur (DC) EDITED for constantly changing categories.
  18. The Man in Blak

    Round Four RPG Villians Tourney 2k4

    Death – Castlevania (Series) vs Ganondorf -- Legend of Zelda (Series) Grahf – Xenogears vs Dracula – Castlevania (Series) Luca Blight – Suikoden 2 vs Zoma - Dragon Warrior 3 Jowy Blight - Suikoden 2 vs Kain – Final Fantasy 4 *prepares to be pelted by tomatoes* Queen Zeal - Chrono Trigger vs Master Belch – Earthbound Seymour- Final Fantasy 10 vs Kahran Ramsus – Xenogears (It's a disappointment because he sucks. End of story.) Ozzie - Chrono Trigger vs Ghaleon - Lunar (Series) Magus - Chrono Trigger vs Golbez – Final Fantasy 4 (I love Golbez, but let's face it - he's a Darth Vader ripoff with a laughable subplot/twist with Cecil.)
  19. The Man in Blak

    Round Four Of RPG Hero Tourney 2k4!

    Selan – Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals vs Nina – Breath of Fire (Series) Celes – Final Fantasy 6 vs Alex – Lunar: The Silver Star Story Celine – Star Ocean: The Second Story vs Citan Uzuki – Xenogears Kain – Final Fantasy 4 vs Cecil – Final Fantasy 4 (Only because Cecil's Lunarian origins are really, really hokey. Seriously, both of these guys are great characters.) Terra – Final Fantasy 6 vs Crono – Chrono Trigger (I know that it's Crono, but really...can you vote over Terra for a guy who doesn't say a damn word throughout the entire game?) Fei Fong Wong – Xenogears vs Locke – Final Fantasy 6 (Damn. Tough round.) Serge – Chrono Cross vs Cloud – Final Fantasy 7 Nes – Earthbound vs Tir – Suikoden
  20. The Man in Blak

    Just testing something...

    Just checking.
  21. Hey, it's Mike the Admin! That's a phenomenal solution, considering that repeatedly hammering the server like that is what eats up server resources in the first place.
  22. The Man in Blak

    This Week In Baseball

    Yeah, that definitely isn't the way you want to let one "get away", especially after a home run. I'm still a little bit skeptical, personally, since the Phillies have been very frustrated with the Marlins, there's a ton of pressure for them to succeed and Myers is a younger guy...but benefit of the doubt and all that, I suppose.
  23. The Man in Blak

    The Whiney Little Bitch Family AKA the Mannings

    Yeah, they squeaked into an AFC wild card spot at 9-7, back when the AFC (save for a Denver team that got upset in the playoffs by the Jaguars) was basically playing like the Eastern Conference in the NBA. They promptly got murdered by the Steelers in the first round, 42-14, who got murdered by "those New England guys" in the next round, 28-3. They weren't really that great. The year after that, the Colts' offense was ranked 20th, and the defense was ranked 26th. And the defense was pegged to take an even worse downturn in the next year (which they promptly did, by ranking 29th in the league in Manning's rookie year). They were doomed.
  24. The Man in Blak

    This Week In Baseball

    Myers lost his grip Saw the pitch on TV. It wasn't that close, and the Marlins guy overreacted in getting out of the way. He shouldn't have been throwing at him in the first place, let alone aiming for his head. I know that it's old school baseball to pluck the guy that follows the home run, but that shit is tired and it does absolutely nothing for the game. Personally, I would have heaved Pratt, Gonzalez, and Myers out of the game and then probably followed it up with Bowa, if he came out. Just inexcusable crap.
  25. The Man in Blak

    The Whiney Little Bitch Family AKA the Mannings

    Then why in the world does he want to go to the Giants? Seriously, the NFL is way too topsy-turvy to choose against the Chargers just because everybody else might be better. Tom Coughlin isn't really going to present much of an upgrade over Marty Schottenheimer, especially with Kerry Collins sitting in the starting QB slot. And don't forget - when Peyton Manning was drafted by the Colts, they were 3-13 and everybody thought they were DOOMED. Like Barkley said earlier on Sportscenter, just because John Elway is a Hall of Famer and the decision happened to work out well for the Broncos and Elway, doesn't mean that it was right. Eli should go with the team that picks him, end of story. That being said, the Chargers have a truckload of holes to fill and probably should shop around the No. 1 pick and try to get a number of higher draft picks. Given the Chargers' situation, Philip Rivers isn't necessarily much of a downgrade from Eli Manning at all.
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