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Thread: RPG Backtrack: Episode 66 - I'm Going to Disneyland!

  1. #1
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    RPG Backtrack: Episode 66 - I'm Going to Disneyland!

    Trust in me poor unfortunate souls, I'll make a man out of you. Be prepared Prince Ali, someday my prince will come. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.
    What is it? WHAT IS IT??????
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by JuMeSyn View Post
    [What is it? WHAT IS IT??????
    Obviously, according to subtle clues gleaned from the title,the backtrack is for some reason about Gears of War. Since when did you guys start covering cover shooters?
    ive got candy

  3. #3
    The Gratitude Pokemon Shaymin's Avatar
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    Can't wait to hear Phil try and pronounce 358/2 Days.
    "The flowers all over its body burst into bloom if it is lovingly hugged and senses gratitude."
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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    No! 358/2 Days! The repressed memories are coming back! THE ICE CREAM MAN. THE ICE CREAM!!!

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    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Here, have some bumbleberry crunch, Wheels!

    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance

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    これはメタです RPGamer Staff Quin's Avatar
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    Ironically, I spent most of this cast playing KHII:FM

    befriend (v.): to use mecha-class beam weaponry to inflict grievous bodily harm on a target in the process of proving the validity of your belief system.

  7. #7
    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaymin View Post
    Can't wait to hear Phil try and pronounce 358/2 Days.
    I slaughtered it mercilessly! LOL.

    Hey...we don't have spolier tags anymore? How rude!

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    Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff Fowl Sorcerous's Avatar
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    i just discovered that the ice cream is sea-salt flavoured.


    WTF!?

  9. #9
    A Familiar Teacher Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
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    I get that feeling that Mike Apps likes Stitch...

    I have yet to be called Becky or Sam, even on that string of consecutive Backtracks I was on months ago. Maybe my voice is distinct enough to Phil (though its not like the other girls sound very similar either). :P
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    I haven't finished the entire thing (wow, that's a long backtrack--the way I love it). I got through about an hour so far, but I feel that the panel is not doing the game justice.

    One of the thing that makes KH extremely unique is it's artsiness, and that it is chock full of very deep literary devices. The super light-hearted tone is definitely a good ruse to keep people from ever plumbing the true depth of the game. But Disney is not one to shy away from tough subjects. To talk about the game without mentioning the backward opening video is ignoring a large part of the Kingdom Hearts theme. I understand that some panel members might just be trying to avoid spoilers, and others simply do not have the time to replay the entire game, but one thing should be made clear on RPG Backtracks--it should be spoilerific, because the only ones who will listen to them are those who had either finished the games in yesteryears, or those yearning to learn about all the ins and outs of the game without playing it. But ultimately, the recap they made for the franchise is just..half-hearted.

    It's not the easiest story to understand, but that's the beauty of the series. The OP of the first game should be enough of a hint that this is an artsy game. Sora running up a spiraling stairs, only to end up at the same place? The cyclical theme is repeated throughout the franchies. It's there in CoM, and it's there in KH2. Heck, wasn't Kairi the one who at the end of the game chucked the letter that sent Sora out on the adventure that began the entire thing? Initially I thought that video was just reading too deeply into the game. That was until I remembered what SQE (back then Squaresoft) did with Spirits Within and FF7--the company seems to really love to bleed themes from one of their projects to the next. In case of the FFs, it is the Earth's knowledge and experience being represented by life streams, which is being invaded by alien menace who are trying to convert the consciousness to its own will. KH was released not too far from FFX, another game that is hell bent on doing the Inception thing before it became cool. The Zarnakand is Sin is Spira is eternal is a clear sign that SQ was exploring the theme of cyclical and periodic world at the time.
    Similarly, I find that a lot of times, games (even from different companies in Japan) will have similar theme. KH2 was released 2005, a few years after Star Ocean 3: Til The End of Time. Another very influential work from slightly prior--Spirited Away (which I believe was released in..2002? Or was it 2000?). But basically, the early 2000s was the rise of existentialism movement in Japan, at least as far as popular media is concerned. So many mediums (Ghost in The Shell movie, anyone?) from the period discusses what being alive is. KH series undoubtedly was SQE's share in the debate. Is being alive tied to your heart and soul (Heartless)? Or is it your memory (The Nobodies)? Your actions (represented by Organization 13's reckless pursuit of knowledge, believing only their actions and result ultimately matters)?

    The keys themselves are a very interesting and very literal metaphors (what an ironic oxymoron?). It is made pretty clear that only Keyblades can truly defeat a heartless. The keyblades unlock hearts. They unlock the hearts of each Kingdom, allowing you access to them. I find this to be a point that rarely anyone reads into.

    I never quite get why people hate Roxas so much though. I mean, sure, it was really weird to spend so much time as him, only to have him ripped away from you. Maybe that's why it is so bitter. Maybe Roxas is there to show you what is like to have your heart ripped out of your chest--to become a Heartless, or a Nobody (those who lost their hearts but still retain their consciousness becomes Nobody, like the Organization 13). You simply can't feel good for the guy after he toyed with you like that. In a sense, that is what Sora/Roxas had to go through in the game as well.

    But overall, I think I understand the sentiment that people tend to just..play the game without knowing the story. That's just the nature of ARPG. I played through the whole Diablo 2 + expansion without knowing what was going on except My Big Shield Bash Kill Demons (I play a Pally). KH just happened to stand out a lot for me because like I said, the first time I saw the OP, I knew something was special about the game, so I paid extra attention.
    Last edited by xocolatl; 03-02-2012 at 08:17 AM.

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    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    We are absolutely all about spoiling, Xocotatl...I just think the "Artsiness" of the titles was just way over our collective heads Now, I can't speak for the others...but I'm an accountant by trade. And, I do love drawing comics....so I love art. However, the accounting part of the brain makes it hard for me to understand abstract art. I've never liked it, and I never will. I love beautiful things, but if you draw something wierd in an attempt to get me to understand the meaning of the heart of the author...well, let's just say you better not hold your breath.

    What you're describing...it's like abstract story telling. Like...trying to find the hidden meaning in a dream or something. I could never get those things.

    You know...I bet there were some hidding messages in FFX with the whole sin thing and what not. I'm sure that big monster called 'sin' represented something...I could just never figure out what. It was just all too cerebral for my bunny brain. LOL.

    I do like good stories. FFVI remains one of my favorite JRPGs because of the characters and story. However, I don't care for those where the main plot is buried under a number of metaphores. Yuck.

  12. #12
    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    I'm sure all that stuff is there to find, but the problem is that a) it's spread thinly through a bunch of different games on different platforms... and some of those games honestly aren't very good and b) the highly abstract themes largely clash with the simple message of friendship found in most of the Disney stories.

    It's very difficult to pull off that kind of storytelling in a single game, with gaming being an interactive medium and all. Trying to pull it off across an entire series of games that are published over a span of years? It's a fool's errand at best, and I just don't think it works in Kingdom Hearts. It doesn't help that the metaphorical stuff is stuck into the most boring, least-interactive parts of the games.

    This is why I like the story in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep more than that in most of the other games. It focuses mostly on the three main characters and the struggles they have to overcome. The villains in the game do a great job of exploiting the characters' weaknesses, and it's neat to see the cast overcome those weaknesses and rebuild their friendship over the course of the game. That process happens naturally throughout the adventures through the different worlds, too. I found myself caring more for Terra, Aqua, and Ventus than I ever did for Sora, Riku, and Kairi (particularly Riku and Kairi), because they were presented with so much more humanity than the main series cast.

    When I think of a game that pulled off its themes well, marrying them into gameplay without being preachy or pretentious, I think of Bastion. The KH series' underlying story is almost completely divorced from the gameplay, stuffed completely into cutscenes, and spread across way too many games. It requires a great deal of devotion to the series to dig up its meaning, and the series simply doesn't give us enough reason to care.

    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance

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    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    Wow. Well said, Becky!

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    Ugh..I just realized how much of a pretentious jerk I sound like every time I come to this forums. I do need to apologize for that.

    Onto the meat of the matter..I do agree, burying hidden messages in a game is just stupid. I remember every day in my English class, just sitting there thinking, "Why can't these guys just spare me hours of my life and just say what they're trying to say in a simple sentence?" I think games like KH or .//hack has some really interesting ideas. But hiding them behind so many games is, like you said, not sensible. Every now and then, having a lengthy story to slowly shepard you to an idea can be a very effective way of doing it. But doing anything like that with Disney as your front is at best counter-intuitive.

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    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    Oh...I don't think you were pretentious at all. In fact, I'm glad you said it. It's definately something I will share on the next show. You echo the sentiment of a number of KH players out there. KH's story, as abstract as it may be to some of us DOES have a following. I believe its worthy of discussion, absolutely.

  16. #16
    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Absolutely, we appreciate you coming to the forums with intelligent and interesting commentary!

    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance

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    Thank you. Glad I didn't get off on the wrong foot here.

    Ah..and finally, tonight I shall find the time to listen to the latter half of the podcast. I shall be enjoying this. Keep up the good work! Can I request that you guys do Suikoden, if you have not already done so?

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    I played KH1 back when it was relatively new. It's a game that takes it time getting started, and then really takes it's time wrapping up. There was about 8 hours of game left after what I thought should have been the final boss fight. I also agree that the gameplay didn't have the depth to support this length (though I played on normal, I did play with strong magic and weak offense, so I was hoping to tease out any depth).

    I tried playing 2, but it also takes its sweet time getting started, and I never made it out of the first city.

    Despite being a Disney fan, the only real draw to the series is the depth that xocolati mentioned. But without being overly enamored with the gameplay, and the need to play at least 5 games, none of which sound compelling on it's own, I don't know that it's worth it, and that saddens me.

    If I had infinite time, I would enjoy playing through them all, and discussing them at length, but sadly, I haven't figured out how to freeze time for everyone but me.

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    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xocolatl View Post
    Thank you. Glad I didn't get off on the wrong foot here.

    Ah..and finally, tonight I shall find the time to listen to the latter half of the podcast. I shall be enjoying this. Keep up the good work! Can I request that you guys do Suikoden, if you have not already done so?
    We have at least two Suikofanatics on staff, so Suikoden WILL happen sooner or later.

    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance

  20. #20
    Releaser of Heavy Metal LegendaryZoltan's Avatar
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    Awesome episode. FIVE Kingdom Hearts games?! It bothers me so much that they aren't on PS2 or 3. I hope they make a GOOD PS3 Kingdom Hearts game someday. I'll definitely check it out. I'd like to point out that Kingdom Hearts II was the first game ever to make me cry. I played through the first game, so I knew about the struggle between Riku and Sora and I was SO sad about seeing best friends become enemies throughout that game. Go watch a video of Sora and Riku vs. Xemnas!

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