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Found 3 results

  1. Greetings, Serenes Foresters. So, this is a discussion I've wanted to kick off for a little while now. The timing is partly inspired by another thread, where the topic of version differences came up. Should there be a lot of differences, so there's more material for those who buy both versions? Or should there be fewer differences, so players who only pick one aren't missing out on much? Let's step back for a minute - should there be version differences at all? Pokemon Legends: Arceus released as a single version, and I haven't heard anyone consider it to the game's detriment. But abandoning the version model would reduce the chance for different experiences and undermine the significance of connecting between players. Or would it? I think it would be possible to maintain different experiences and the need to connect, even with a single version. Depending on how it's done, it could actually enable far more variation than the current version model. How, you may ask? The answer is simple - flags. Now, before you accuse me of derailing this thread into the realm of vexillology, let me stop you right there. I'm referring to a series of binary options, that can be set to one of two values. Think "True/False" or "On/Off". Each such flag would be associated with a change in something about the game. To get inspiration, let's look at the most traditional and eminent version difference: different Pokemon between versions. In Pokemon Fire Red and Leaf Green, certain Pokemon are exclusive to one version or the other. Growlithe and Arcanine, for instance, are exclusive to Fire Red, while Vulpix and Ninetales can be caught only in Leaf Green. There are also frequency differences - Nidoran(M) and Nidorino are more abundant in Fire Red, while Nidoran(F) and Nidorina can be more readily found in Leaf Green. Each of these differences can be conceived of as a flag, colored either Red or Green. Here's a list of a few such distinctions: So, Fire Red can be thought of as the game where all the flags are set to red, while in Leaf Green, all the flags are set to green. But, do we even need two versions for that? What if the flags were set when you start a new game, either all red or all green? That way, the player can get the experience of either version, without needing two different pieces of hardware. But why stop there? What if each flag were independent of each other? Let's suppose it happened to FRLG. If the flags are independent, then you can get a playthrough where Magmar is found in the wild, but Horsea is more common than Krabby. It should be evident that this leads to more varied experiences between playthroughs. Suppose, in the next pair of games, that there are 20 exclusive "sets" of Pokemon. A "set" can be a single Pokemon (i.e. Zangoose; Seviper), an evolution line (i.e. Lotad -> Lombre -> Ludicolo; Seedot -> Nuzleaf -> Shiftry), or even a group of otherwise connected Pokemon (i.e. Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Lugia; Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Ho-oh). Under the normal version model, Pokemon Scarlet might have all the red sets, whereas Pokemon Violet has all the green sets. But a version-less Pokemon Gen IX would have far more variations - 2 to the power of however many exclusive elements there are. With just 20, that's already 1,048,576! You could play the game a thousand times, with each playthrough almost certainly being at least somewhat different from the one before it! And, if it's contained within a single version, there would be no need to make an extra hardware purchase, or otherwise buy DLC. Now, to be sure, there are senses in which such a model might be considered flawed. Right now, if you and a friend have the opposite versions, then you can fill up the Pokedex just by trading with each other. In an "independent flags" format, however, the odds of any two games having all their flags be opposite of the other is astronomically low. But is that really a problem? If the intent of version differences was to encourage players to interact and trade, then wouldn't a model which demands more trading partners actually be more effective to this end? Whereas before, two people could fill the Dex together, now they're likely to need help from a third, fourth, even a fifth player. You might be the only person in your friend group who has Zangoose - and conversely, the only one lacking Seviper. One other aspect I could see as a flaw is the lack of predictability. If I want to use Vileplume on my team, then I know that Fire Red is the version for me. But with a single version, I don't know whether I'll get Oddish or Bellsprout from the start. And needing to restart after making it through Mt. Moon would certainly be a chore. For this, my proposal is simple: let players who have beaten the game already set their own flags. Maybe it'd require a secret button input, or a unique code. But it would be a way for experienced players to set their own options ahead of time. And without the version-lock, I could set things up so that my team features both a Vileplume and a Slowking. I don't believe such an option should be available for the first playthrough, because I would want players to be surprised by what they get, but I think making it a "New Game Plus" feature is totally reasonable. So, how does this sound? Is this kind of structure something you'd like to see in future generations? Or would it be too hard to say goodbye to the version model we've known for nine generations now? Alternatively, is the very concept of version differences, or "flags", something that has no place in the future of the series? Let me know below! One more thing: I intentionally haven't broached the "business side" of such a change. I recognize that there's a very strong economic argument for Game Freak and Nintendo to retain the two-version standard. While I'm not opposed to any discussion on business considerations, I hope that the crux of the conversation can remain "is this something you'd like to see?" rather than "is this something you think the developers would or should do?". That's it, thanks for reading!
  2. So, having just about beaten this game, I am indeed pleased at all the obvious love that went into it. It didn't have a lot of the silly things that dragged Awakening and Fates down, had a lot of neat mechanics changes, made fantastic use of the secondary characters (for example, May, Boey, and Saber remaining relevant all the way to the very end), GREATLY expanded the story and dialogue, had wonderful voice acting...it was a treat. So before I go into the things I miss, I wanted to make it clear that I still consider this to be a good remake. That said...I'm someone who also really liked the NES version, in-spite of all it's flaws. And while this remake was great in it's own way, I felt there were a lot of little things that I missed. I'm only going to cover the atmosphere, this time, as this post ended up being WAY longer than I thought it would be. But, I'll get into other nitpicks in the future. For now, here's just the atmosphere. Number 1: Atmosphere One of the things that always stuck out to me about Gaiden was just how...bleak it was. From the minute you start, to the very end, the tone is generally very somber and tragic. Where the remake feels like you're trying to prevent bad things from happening...the original felt like the bad stuff had already happened. Part of the whole point of this game (and why Celica was so willing to offer herself to Jedah) was because the world was on the brink of dying. The land was dark and ominous, the literal dead were walking the Earth, and the soundtrack was EXTREMELY depressing (with only a handful of "positive" tunes in there). Celica's decision to sacrifice herself to Duma wasn't because she was naive and stupid (as you'll recall, she asks him WHY she should believe what he says). It was her believing that the whole world was dying. If she did nothing, everyone and everything in the world would die (as far as she knew). She wasn't stupid, she was desperate; and Jedah actually did a really good job of playing upon that (seriously, props to the writing team; these characters were really well-written). In any case, the original Gaiden did a WAY better job of selling me on just how desperate things were. The villages were a lot emptier, the color palette was significantly darker... ...The characters weren't nearly as handsome and well-groomed as they are in Echoes... ...and the soundtrack was generally a lot more depressing. There were a lot of new songs composed for this remake; and many of them were a lot cheerier and/or relaxing than the original songs. And even some of the original songs that were used were radically changed and/or used less frequently. For example, compare this... Village Theme (Echoes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkAjHxLKTfE A fairly neutral piece of mood music that's just kind of...there. It's not CHEERY or anything, but it's relaxing enough that you feel safe and confident. The grass is green (even in the supposedly "baren" Rigel Empire), the houses are standing, the sky is blue...you're feeling pretty good. The GAIDEN music, on the other hand... Village Theme (Gaiden): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGg97xkg4DQ Yeah. IMMEDIATELY, it sets this somber, outright oppressive atmosphere. It's depressing, and extremely monotonous. However, it's monotonous in a good way. Alm's argument with Mycen, as well as Lukas' speech about how desperate things are, hit a lot harder with this song droning in the background. And that isn't the only time it's used, either. It is used in every village you come across in the original game, save for the Sage's Hamlet and both port towns. Every village you come across is supposed to be in a state of desperation; and the original song reflects that a lot better. That said, Echoes DOES use this song once. Though, sadly... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io2yXqWVa4g It now sounds a lot more uplifting; as this has been turned into Alm's triumphant "I'm going to rise up and join the army!" theme. Still would've at least worked well for Lukas' recruitment speech, at least...but still missing the sense of despair the original had (to me, at least). The other town theme (the one that played for the aforementioned port towns and Sage's Hamlet) is also the same way. In Gaiden, you feel very...emotional, when you hear it. Encounter (Gaiden): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Hj0eM_YkuA Like, the characters themselves are happy...but they're happy in the context of a world of tears. The song is just as much sad as it is happy; being played as the recruitment theme AND the theme that plays when random villagers are talking about how many people Barth and Grieth have slaughtered. Like, the way the song is cheery, but desolate at the same time. The characters are smiling, but they're smiling in the face of unspeakable pain (or so it sounds to me). The Echoes version, on the other hand, is just happy through and through. Encounter (Echoes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXF8HFGRvgU And it IS great, don't get me wrong! I love the way it's used in the Remakes, too! I just wish they had maybe...I dunno, constructed two different versions of it. Maybe the above piece could have been the "holy cow, Est has been reunited with her sisters!!" theme, and the other could be the "port town of sad and lonely people" variation. And finally, there's "Celica Map 2/The Sacrifice and the Saint". Once again, this is the case where I like what they did with the remake...but still wish they had found a way to recapture the mood of the original. The Sacrifice and the Saint (Gaiden): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCAfEHiuI6E Now, instead of playing exclusively as Celica's "Chapter 4 Battle Music", this was, instead, the "Victory" theme. The theme that played whenever there was only one enemy left, in ALL Celica battles. In a vacuum, it's obviously not as well composed as the remake. But, it DOES do a better job of supporting that aforementioned "oppressive atmosphere". It's faintly triumphant, but it also sounds desperate at the same time. Like, the characters are winning, but, it's just one step in the long, LONG ordeal that Celica has ahead of her. She's won the fight, but she's still got the entire war ahead of her. But the Remake... The Sacrifice and the Saint (Echoes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxI9G3v-n4o Well, it works fantastically as an endgame battle theme. But, once again, it is WAY more triumphant and hopeful than the original. And that's something I find regrettable. Had they kept that same sense of despair throughout the whole game, it would have made Celica's decision to sacrifice herself to Duma make a little more sense. It wouldn't have been smart, necessarily...but I could totally buy her just being really desperate to save her dying world.
  3. Now that Fates is out what Version/Versions did you decide to get. (Birthright, Conquest, Revelation)
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