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Topic II: Sprites: Obey Your Thirst
09.25.2005

Jordan: And on that note, the second topic I'd like to discuss is the shift of Xenosaga 1 & 2 to the NDS

Jordan: Not so much the games themselves

Jordan: but more the fact that they are going from a 3d style to a 2d style in a port

Stephanie: I'm trying to figure out if the Xenosaga port will be either a hit or a miss. I mean, the screens I've seen so far make it look like its going to work.

Jordan: Nothing like this has happened before

Jerry: No voice = Albedo not creepy.

Stephanie: But, its coming from the PS2.

Thomas: 2D Xenosaga...I may actually give it a chance now.

Jerry: That's reason enough for me to worry.

Thomas: Huh...see, I thought that the story was the most compelling aspect of the game, but the emphasis on the graphics just turned me off.

Stephanie: I think the shift would constitute me buying a DS when I can afford it.

Jerry: Good!

Thomas: Of course, I was one of those weird people who thought that the best part of Xenogears was the 2nd disc of nothing but (practically) text.

Stephanie: I have converted, I admit.

T.J.: I believe that the 2D aspect isn't going to die.

Jerry: Best as a story, not as a game.

Thomas: I hope not.

Jerry: 2D is good

T.J.: As anyone at NIS can tell you.

Jordan: So, what other games could a similar treatment happen to?

Thomas: Give me a Princess Crown or a Guardian Heroes over a Jak and Daxter any day.

Jerry: But I'm not so sure it'll be a magic potion for Xenosaga.

Jordan: Should any other games get this treatment?

Stephanie: Uh, hmm.. Atelier Iris, perhaps ^_^

Thomas: Suikoden III? And one perspective, only, please? ;)

T.J.: I'd like to see a Star Ocean 3 that looks more like Star Ocean 2.

Rebecca: There should be an FFTactics DS...

T.J.: .hack//TACTICS.

Michael: Can't think of any myself. I must admit I'm rather biased to 3-d.

Thomas: We'll build "The World" just for you, Nerdboy. ;)

Stephanie: That would be a good idea, if I liked TRPGs..

Michael: Especially RPG wise.

Michael: I think it lends itself better to conveying emotion. itself

T.J.: Admittedly, TRPGs fit the 2d aesthetic rather well.

Stephanie: I can enjoy a 2-D here and there.

Jordan: I'd like to see Disgaea on the DS

Thomas: 3D is good if you have a master at the helm, but you can easily lose a LOT of expression if you're just doing it for the sake of throwing on polygons.

Jerry: Indeed.

T.J.: You can milk -so- much emotion out of a sprite. Just look at the original FFTactics. That blew my mind.

Thomas: Take Suikoden II...WONDERFUL sprite animations, and then 3 has the most blocky and stiff movements in video game...

Jerry: BAH

Thomas: ...it was painful to watch,.

Stephanie: Yeah, 2-D graphic games are finding great ways to add emotion into the equation.

Rebecca: ehhh...

Jerry: "I have no nose" You call that emotion?

Thomas: Hahaha

Stephanie: Haha

Thomas: That character design did indeed blow.

Stephanie: You can draw a nose on in 2D!

Rebecca: let's face it, someone who is a master at 3D can convey emotion in 3d better than a Master in 2d can in 2d

Stephanie: Agreed.

Stephanie: But 2D can still be refreshing.

Jordan: What about other games? Could we do FF10 on the DS?

Jordan: or what about ff7?

Michael: No.

Stephanie: That one... no.

Jerry: But then, how many 3D masters are there? How many 2D?

Stephanie: FF7 Maybe.

Jordan: Why couldn't we?

Thomas: Perhaps...but there is one aspect that you overlook: in 2D, much of the emotion can be invested directly in how you interpret the animations, as opposed to be TOLD how it is happening in 3D

Jordan: they're doing XS on the DS

Thomas: Delusional? Perhaps.

Michael: FFX used its graphics very effectively.

T.J.: A sprite version of FF7? I could entertain that. And, for that matter, FF9.

Rebecca: yeah!

Stephanie: I can't see FFX being anything but a PS2 game.

Rebecca: but it'd have to be ultra good 2d sprites, ala phantasy star or chrono trigger

Stephanie: The graphics were what made the game for me.

T.J.: I agree with that. X and X-2 are too graphically-intensive to fit on the DS.

Stephanie: Yeah. Much agreed, Nerdboy.

Rebecca: I still think chrono trigger had better looking graphics than ff7 :P but ff7 was hardly the tops in 3d.

Jordan: yeah, but I thought the same thing about XS

T.J.: FF7 was the first shot at 3d. Of course it wasn't going to be the end-all-be-all.

Thomas: I am sort of an emotive gamer, though...2D or 3D...when something has been established, I have a hard time making the jump...Kingdom Hearts was one exception, though.

Michael: I really couldn't imagine seeing Tidus pounding his fists on the ground in frustration conveyed effectively in 2-d.

T.J.: It's just the begin-all-be-all. ^^

Stephanie: FF7 was great at the time, graphic wise.

Jerry: FF7 was pre-rendered with gouraud-shaded 3D "sprites"

Jerry: Not really that stunning to me.

Thomas: Agreed, Slayer: we already have precedent. 2D would be pointless at this juncture.

Jerry: (not counting the battle sequences)

T.J.: For that matter, I'd love to see the Paper Mario games compiled for the DS. But they could probably just port those. ^^

Stephanie: Yeah.

Jerry: Yeah, I imagine so.

Thomas: The thing is, they are both valid forms of expression, provided the developer knows what they are doing...

Stephanie: Exactly.

Michael: I'll agree with that.

Jerry: True

Stephanie: Wow, we can agree on something ^_^

Michael: Several 2-d games have gotten to me.

Michael: Chrono Trigger and Illusion of Gaia being examples.

Stephanie: If a 2D is done right, I can find it more enjoyable than a 3D.

Thomas: Granstream Saga, Suikoden III and IV, Summoner, Evergrace, etc etc...all prime examples of how NOT to do 3D RPGs

Stephanie: Legaia would have been better if they took a little more time on it.

T.J.: Also, they didn't redub the voices, which was very interesting.

Michael: And money grind.

Thomas: The characters in Legaia were about as wooden as a Mokujin

Jordan: So, getting back on the topic, could Legaia make the shift to the DS?

Thomas: No.

Michael: Probably.

Stephanie: I'd like to see it do that, if they redesigned aspects of it.

T.J.: I think the graphical change would do it well. With a few gameplay tweaks, I think the very unique battle system would translate well.

Thomas: Legaia is better of buried...it's sequel will go down in history as the Beyond the Beyond of the PS2 era.

Jordan: It would take a lot of innovation to do it, and that's what's happening in XS 1&2

Stephanie: That it would. Much agreed.

Jordan: So, if enough time and effort were put into it, could the same be done to any game?

Stephanie: I think so.

Thomas: It would take a lot of innovation and a pact with demons of the lowest planes, Sensei...

Michael: I think we should wait and see if XSI +II is actually any good.

Michael: At the transference, that is.

Jordan: whether it's good or not, it's still something interesting to think about

Michael: I'm still skeptical.

Thomas: Well, it will actually make ME play it.

Jordan: no one's ever tried a stunt like this

Jordan: and I plan on checking it out

Thomas: I won't have to hear Shion's voice, so I'm all for that.

Stephanie: I'm thinking, its going to make it to the list of games to buy when I get a DS.

Thomas: Kingdom Hearts: CoM was pretty much the same thing, Sensei...

Thomas: ...just a different story with familiar themes.

Stephanie: CoM is the space between KH and KH2.

Jordan: but that had card battling, right?

Thomas: But a 2D representation of what had already been established as 3D

Stephanie: Yeah.

Jordan: But that IS a good point

Jordan: I had forgotten about CoM

Thomas: In application, yes, it has cards, but for all intents and purposes, the actions are commands are pretty much input in the same way.

Stephanie: Hehe, I didn't play much of it. Just enough to get a taste.

Thomas: You are simply limited by the number of cards you have.

T.J.: It's on my list of things to play. After I play the original Kingdom Hearts.

Rebecca: CoM is meh.

Thomas: Loving it, to a point...but Maleficent is proving to be a...well...a not nice word.

Stephanie: Yeah.. Kingdom Hearts was good, but CoM didn't make me WANT to play it through.

Rebecca: a concept like that could be fun on DS, though...

T.J.: So! Perhaps a DS port of what's complete on Earthbound 64 would be the answer to all our questions. ^^

Thomas: A traditional (can you believe I can use that word for KH?) style of control for KH in a DS game = heaven.

Stephanie: There ya go, Nerdboy! ^_^

Jordan: Does anyone have any parting thoughts on porting games to the handhelds in 2D sprite form?

Stephanie: If you can't do it right, don't do it at all?

T.J.: I like that train of thought.

Michael: Thirded.

Stephanie: ^_^

Rebecca: yeah

Stephanie: Yay!

Jerry: mmmmhmmm

Thomas: Hmmm... actually, I have to abstain. I want to see how XS1&2 works out before opening my mouth.

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