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Thread: Pier Solar HD Interview With Fonzie of WaterMelon Co.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    Pier Solar HD Interview With Fonzie of WaterMelon Co.

    Touted as the biggest 16-bit RPG ever, Pier Solar might be on its way to HD platforms next December. RPGamer recently had the opportunity to chat with WaterMelon Co.’s Fonzie about Kickstarter, Pier Solar’s origins, and what updates gamers can expect from the HD edition.

    Interview
    Last edited by InstaTrent; 11-08-2012 at 07:34 AM.
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    Fonzie: The reception has been good. Most of the complaints were related to comparisons with more modern games, like "I can't save anytime," but no 16-bit or even 32-bit RPG let you save anytime.
    Not correct.
    For 16-bit: In Phantasy Star II if you steal the visiphone, you can save anytime. :-)
    And for 32-bit: In SaGaFrontier you can save anytime.

    I'm sure there were more titles that featured saving anytime.

    Also is it just me or do they sound like they really hate Sony?

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    Veteran RPGamer watcher's Avatar
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    You know, when I say I like retro style games, I mean the gameplay. I wouldn't mind losing all the pixelated crap. I'd like my 2D graphics all in 32-bit please.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by watcher View Post
    You know, when I say I like retro style games, I mean the gameplay. I wouldn't mind losing all the pixelated crap. I'd like my 2D graphics all in 32-bit please.
    As long as it preserves 2D grid based movement, I agree to this. However often HD remakes look really ugly and cartoony. Going by the screenshots though, I'd say that HD backgrounds look really neat and just the sprites look completely out of place.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff GaijinMonogatari's Avatar
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    To go a little farther back, all of the SaGa games for GB and SFC allowed anywhere saving without requirements like items

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rya.Reisender View Post
    Also is it just me or do they sound like they really hate Sony?
    To be fair, it's more like Sony doesn't make life easy for indie devs. The lengthy approval process and difficulty of working with their platforms isn't worth it considering the lack of promotion the PSN is capable of giving them.

    XBLIG has a stronger community coupled with better sales and an easier approval process.
    "To tell you the truth, I like drinking tea and eating fresh vegetables, but that doesn't fit with my super-cool attitude. I guess I have to accept this about myself."

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    A Serious Man Drav's Avatar
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    Fonzie: The reception has been good. Most of the complaints were related to comparisons with more modern games, like "I can't save anytime," but no 16-bit or even 32-bit RPG let you save anytime.
    Ok, but since the game is competing for people's attention in 2010 (or whenever it was released) and not 1994, it makes sense for them to hold the game to a higher standard.

    Of course limiting saving is not a sign of "dated" game design in the slightest, and would actually vastly improve the genre if it was enforced with the same ruthlessness it was in the late 80s. One of the reasons Dragon Quest was still decent all the way up to the 8th instalment (except 7) was that the designers never pumped their dungeons full of save/heal points in the same way Final Fantasy did, thus upholding the notion of dungeons being one continuous, holistic challenge, and not just filler between boss battles. Everyone else has sadly ignored this idea, with even the recent Megaten games showering the player in save points so you never truly feel like you're in danger of losing more than a quarter-hour of progress. Another victim of the Cult of Convenience.

    The 16-bit version of this game at least looks fantastic, unlike practically all other indie-JRPGs, but if the game is honestly "very, very easy" compared to latter-day JRPGs (how can you possibly make a game easier than FFVI and Chrono Trigger?), I guess it suffers from the same basic problems that the modern ones do.

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    BEARSONA Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InstaTrent View Post
    To be fair, it's more like Sony doesn't make life easy for indie devs. The lengthy approval process and difficulty of working with their platforms isn't worth it considering the lack of promotion the PSN is capable of giving them.

    XBLIG has a stronger community coupled with better sales and an easier approval process.
    Sony's got a fairly extensive pilot program that's changing that. Dragon Fantasy is part of it.

    Moreover, let's not pretend XBLA/XBLIG doesn't have its downfalls (and pitfalls). Like habitually paying indie devs late :P

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paws View Post
    Moreover, let's not pretend XBLA/XBLIG doesn't have its downfalls (and pitfalls). Like habitually paying indie devs late :P
    Oh, XBLA/XBLIG definitely have their problems, but I'd rather be paid late then make no profit at all.

    I remember talking to Robert Boyd from Zeboyd Games about PSN's community and that was the main thing stopping him from fully embracing Sony.
    "To tell you the truth, I like drinking tea and eating fresh vegetables, but that doesn't fit with my super-cool attitude. I guess I have to accept this about myself."

  10. #10
    And it's true that you can find indie games much easier in XBox than on PSN. Generally the game search on XBox is sooooooooo much better. I can for example make it list all Indie RPGs and order them by release date. On PSN you can only search for titles or description with a text search. I can't even filter out add-ons. Really horrible.

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    Member Minneyar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drav View Post
    One of the reasons Dragon Quest was still decent all the way up to the 8th instalment (except 7) was that the designers never pumped their dungeons full of save/heal points in the same way Final Fantasy did, thus upholding the notion of dungeons being one continuous, holistic challenge, and not just filler between boss battles.
    But also keep in mind that the DQ games had a very light death penalty: when you die, you lose half of your money (if it's not in the bank) and go back to the previous save point. You keep all of the XP and items you've found, and if you have been regularly depositing your money in the bank, then even after halving it you probably still have more money than you did when you went into the dungeon. With your new levels and items, you can usually walk right back into the dungeon and then mow over enemies that were previously giving you problems, and since you have already explored the dungeon and opened all of the chests, you can just walk a straight line to get to the end.

    On the other hand, for most of the games that give you save points right before bosses, if you die, you completely lose all of the progress you've made and have to reload your game. You lose all of your items and XP and have to explore the dungeon all over again. Having to do the same thing all over again with no progress to show for it is just frustrating and discouraging.

  12. #12
    A Serious Man Drav's Avatar
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    But also keep in mind that the DQ games had a very light death penalty: when you die, you lose half of your money (if it's not in the bank) and go back to the previous save point. You keep all of the XP and items you've found, and if you have been regularly depositing your money in the bank, then even after halving it you probably still have more money than you did when you went into the dungeon. With your new levels and items, you can usually walk right back into the dungeon and then mow over enemies that were previously giving you problems, and since you have already explored the dungeon and opened all of the chests, you can just walk a straight line to get to the end.
    This is true, but I think it only began to become a real problem in the recent DS remakes, which cut the equipment costs dramatically. I can remember several points in DQVIII where I was basically making no progress because I was using so much cash reviving my dead team-mates, and the NES games required a substantial amount of grinding equipment upgrades. In general, I would say that even with that no save/heal points in dungeons make the DQ games quite a bit more challenging than the average JRPG, even after factoring in EXP gains.

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    You should be careful about that, though. Making a good game with retro-feeling doesn't necessarily require you to copy the flaws as well. If future research concluded that saving anywhere and not requiring grinding is good game design, there is no reason to not add it to your game, even if you want to make it feel retro.

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    Member sirsniffy's Avatar
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    Doesn't keeping the sprites as pixelated blobs, while making the backgrounds crisp, High Res HD defeat the purpose of doing an HD Remake? Seems like a waste of effort. Why do it at all?

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    for da thousands in sales and unnecessary hype.

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    I never knew the DreamCast could do HD....
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    The Dreamcast was on par with a PS2 at it's time of release.
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    And the PS2 can't do HD either. =p

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    IMO, the Genesis graphics look better than the HD ones; they just look too.. smooth.

    I'd love to have access to the Genesis build on Sony's PS Vita...
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  20. #20
    I really like those backgrounds. They are really well done unlike in many other HD remakes.
    The sprites just don't fit. I don't generally mind it if sprites look more retro, but it's because of their resolution. They should at least have double the resolution. Kinda makes me wish it would look like SaGaFrontier. That also has rather retro sprites and really realistic backgrounds and looks awesome.

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