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User Info: TheKnightOfNee

1 month ago#31
Anyways, after playing the game with friends a couple times, I decided to take the deep plunge. I imported a Japanese PS2 and a copy of Beatmania IIDX 7th Style, which was the newest game in the series at the time. I started playing it almost daily, or at least a couple times a week. I also ended up getting as many of the home versions as I could. I don't have the most recent couple that came out, but as of today, my set of IIDX games looks like the below picture:


I talked about the extreme difficulty of IIDX earlier. Songs were originally rated on a 1-7 scale (and then a 1-8 scale), with harder songs that were unrated. It eventually became 1-12, with the previously unrated songs now included on that scale too. Over time, I was able to clear 6's, 7's, 8's, but it was over quite a long time. The jump to each level is actually pretty large, so there can be a lot of progress in skill without much to show. It really helped to own all the different games, because I could play through all the 8's in one game, then swap to another game and play those, and so on, to keep from ever feeling stuck or stale. Eventually, I was able to clear some 12's. It wasn't a ton, and there are some that to this day are still way beyond me, but I at least know I could hit that level.

Because I took so long to clear the harder songs, I began to realize that my strength was in timing the game. On easier songs, I could hit the notes very accurately. Once the charts got harder, I fell apart and struggled to read them, but what I could hit was still pretty spot on. There's a big online score tracking site that anyone in the english-speaking IIDX community who is even halfway serious about the game used for home versions. As I put more of my scores on there, I decided to focus on getting high scores on easier songs, since that was my strength, and the nature of the game still means there will always be room for improvement at any difficulty of song. I ended up getting some of the community kind of mad at me because of this. Top players who could pass anything and get top scores on the hard songs were getting beaten by me on the easy songs, when I couldn't even clear the hard songs. It's kind of funny to look now at 3rd Style, the oldest (and easiest) game in the series, and see the overall rankings on the right side of the below picture. dj DAN is me, and I haven't even touched this version of the game in years. I really did put so much work into the easy songs lol


My top achievement in IIDX involved the song GAMBOL.

Gambol is a super special song, in that the chart is kind of easy, and should be no problem at all. It was one of the earliest songs made for IIDX though, and somehow, due to weird programming mistakes, Konami made the timing windows for this one song obscenely small, down to 1 frame, with the other timings tightened as well. You can feel like you hit a note spot on, and still come away with a “good”.

Anyways, I worked on this song for a bit to get the timing down. I know I wasn't the first person in the world to do this, but I was the first person on the site to have a recorded AAA on Gambol, which felt like kind of a big deal to get. Yeah, it was the stupid joke easy song with impossible timing, but that was my main skillset at IIDX, and I pulled it off. I also inspired a handful of other people to put in work and get their own AAAs on it, which was pretty cool to see.

After several years, I really toned down how much I played IIDX. Konami stopped releasing home versions, so the excitement for new ones kind of faded away. I also got into some other games competitively, which took away from my time here. I do still play the arcade version every now and then, like if I go to a Round 1 arcade, or if I go to anime cons/fighting game events that happen to have a IIDX cabinet set up. I've also met a handful of people from the IIDX community playing on these arcade cabinets, which is cool. The arcade versions of IIDX are up to the 28th version by now (Beatmania IIDX BISTROVER; they started giving them all goofy names instead of numbers after a point) so there has been an insane number of songs across all the games to where I can pretty much always play something new in the arcades.

A couple years ago, some musicians who worked on IIDX music came to the US to do shows over 2 days. The show was in Michigan, due to whatever wild circumstances, so I made it out to see them perform. I ended up getting a picture with Kors K, who has made a ton of great IIDX music, and also a picture with Slake, who is my favorite musician from IIDX. Slake is the wonderful musician who created the song Gambol, for the record, so it seemed very fitting to meet him in person. In addition to making music for IIDX games, Slake also served as sound director for IIDX 9th Style and 10th Style, and that weekend I got his autograph on my copies of those two games.

IIDX is a series where I feel like I could play it forever and there will always be room to improvement and discover new things. It's possible I've played IIDX more than any other game? (there are a couple things that come close, we may get into those later) But it still feels just as fun to play IIDX now. If for whatever I hit a point where I don't play IIDX anymore, I think I'm at a point where I can say I got enough out of the game to be completely satisfied with the journey, the results, and the memories.

Here's some good songs that I like!

Slake – Gambol (Beatmania IIDX)

DJ Setup – Nemesis (Beatmania IIDX 6th Style)

Sampling Masters AYA – one or eight (Beatmania IIDX 9th Style)
Sushi, kamikaze, fujiyama, nippon-ichi...
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: TheKnightOfNee

1 month ago#32
More songs/videos related to IIDX as I stretch this into a third post:

Asletics – No Doubt Get Loud (Beatmania IIDX 10th Style)

Slake – Texture (Beatmania IIDX RED)

Elektel – Moon Race (Beatmania IIDX Happy Sky)

Seiya Murai – Trigger of Innocence (Beatmania IIDX DJ Troopers)

People who used to participate in the UCA may recognize this song:
DJ Mass Mad Izm* vs. DJ Yos***aka – Watch Out Pt. 2 (Beatmania IIDX Resort Anthem)

Dirty Androids – Midnight Lady (Beatmania IIDX Cannon Ballers)

Finally, (we're at the end of my post!) this guy is very very very good at IIDX and I feel this video should be watched, even if you skipped all the songs above. This song is the dumbest thing to combo or score on, and he just steamrolls through so much of it with crazy accuracy.
Sushi, kamikaze, fujiyama, nippon-ichi...
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: Arti

1 month ago#33
#9 - Mother 3 (GBA, 2006 JP)

Strange, funny and heartrending.

It's amazing to see a slogan that can really sum up as great a game as Mother 3 is in such a small amount of words, but Mother 3's slogan really does it justice. Mother 3 is the 3rd game in the Mother series, which includes EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound. Never released outside of Japan, it got a very high quality fan translation that brings it very close with EarthBound's humorous translation, as well as the more serious parts of Mother 3's excellent story.


Mother 3 doesn't lead off with Lucas as you might think of from Smash - rather, it follows a number of other characters for the first few chapters before settling in with a party, allowing you to experience how life in Tazmily Village and the Nowhere Islands is before the Pigmasks arrive. While the maps are much smaller than either of the two previous titles in the series, the quality of the maps are packed to make it as interesting as possible moving through the different environments of the Nowhere Islands.


EarthBound introduced the rolling HP bar mechanic that was a nice addition to the battle system, but Mother 3 takes it a step further with its battles. Mother 3 introduced a combo system in battle, where you can deal additional damage by pressing the attack button to the beat of the battle theme. This is hard to do on an emulator, though, so I never had much luck getting very far. (And when I played this, I wasn't the rhythm game fanatic I am now).


One of Mother 3's biggest strengths, and why I keep posting videos throughout this writeup, is the amazing soundtrack that accompanies the game. It takes not only remixed versions of some of the best songs in the previous games, but also adds its own great songs to the mix. Some are available in Smash but I think the Smash remix of the Mother 3 Love Theme ruins the purpose of the original song, but some of the others are good choices for the game.


My only complaint with Mother 3 is the absolute brain-dead portion of Chapter 7 where it seems like the entire party simply loses their minds for the entire scene, and if you have played the game, you know exactly what scene I am talking about here. I get it's for plot reasons but there surely needed to be a script rework here that would make it at least somewhat believable in the moment. The rest of the game, however, is still an excellent work overall.


Itoi has been very insistent on not working on any more video games in the Mother series after this one, but I am fine with that decision as it would be incredibly hard to top this game. It's also the highest Nintendo game on my list. Will we ever see an official English release of the game? Probably not, but it's definitely deserving of one.


No crying until the end.
azuarc may not know the strength of songs in VGMC, but he conquered the guru in Game of the Decade 2! Congrats!

User Info: Naye745

1 month ago#34
10. Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal (GBC, 2000)
Strong Pokémon. Weak Pokémon. That is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites.
I don't know if there's any game with a weight of expectations upon it greater than that on the first Pokémon sequels. Gold and Silver had the burden of carrying the franchise forward, of proving that it was more than a passing fad, and of establishing Pokémon as a gargantuan franchise for Nintendo, along with Mario and Zelda, for the rest of time. And holy heck, did they deliver. I'm not sure if there's any game in the series that has fully realized its potential as much as Gold and Silver, which was one of the few games to really tackle just about any little thing that the fans were clamoring for and go for it completely.
Gold and Silver bumps up the number of monsters, adds new moves and types, and gives players a whole new region to explore and discover. But it also builds upon a ton of the concepts set out from the first game: the game is canonically a sequel to the events and characters from Red and Blue, so you have things such as recurring Gym Leaders and Elite Four members, characters like Bill and Professor Oak who play a role in the story, and of course Kanto itself is accessible after reaching the Hall of Fame for the first time. But I also love the way that the new Pokémon are handled - some of the earliest monsters like Hoothoots and Sentrets are pretty common, but a ton of the new monsters are hidden in odd locations, or via new mechanics like Headbutting trees or smashing rocks. This gives the Johto dex a feeling of an evolving understanding of the Pokémon universe, one that runs parallel to the way the storyline is presented in-game. Even now-common creatures like Marill and Snubbull were confined to extremely rare encounters in Gold and Silver.
And there's just a ton of extra added stuff to the mix. There's an in-game cell phone (PokéGear) that you can use to dial up trainers for rematches and for hints to rare monsters. It's the first game in the series with a built-in internal clock, which allows for Pokémon spawns, evolutions, and events to vary by time of day or day of the week (and drained the heck out of the internal save battery, which is why it's basically impossible to find a working Gold/Silver cart now). There's a ton of optional side-dungeons, with varying challenges and rewards, and two big ol' hideouts for the game's main legendaries (both of which can be caught in either of the two games, as well). The amount of stuff packed into the cartridge is famously known for Satoru Iwata doing some mad genius programming to find a way to squeeze Kanto into the game. (And seems sadly impossible now, given the relative dearth of content in modern Pokémon games.) Crystal version also adds the first version of the Battle Tower, to add a little extra content to the single-player experience. I'm including Crystal here because it's my favorite version of the three, though its differences from Gold/Silver are far too sparse to demand a separate entry.
And then there's just the personal stuff. Johto is one of my favorite game regions: I still find it impressive the way they sold the area's traditional Japanese architecture through basic 8-bit graphics, but it works. Gold/Silver has many of my favorite monster designs, of course including my perpetual namesake, and a lot of really neat evolutions and ideas that expanded upon the potential of the original games. And it's the first Pokémon game I got the chance to get super hyped up over; while I had known some about what Red and Blue were before I played them, Gold/Silver were games I agonized over for as long as some bare-bones screenshots and monster reveals were out there. (Remember Pikablu?) I played a ROM of the Japanese release all the way to the Elite Four, where I accidentally talked to the Abra guy who teleports you back to the first town for some reason (which is absolutely hilarious in retrospect). I pored over every detail of the new creatures, the new areas, and the new Pokémon card sets, before the US release finally happened and I played it every day for months. When Pokémon Crystal dropped on 3DS Virtual Console a few years back, I played that for the first time - and actually went through with completing the game's in-game Pokédex (via trades with the Red/Blue VC releases, using some wild glitches to get a 'legal' Mew and completing everything else legit).
And as much as I'll defend what Sword/Shield did right, as much as I still do love the Pokémon series despite its problems, that was my favorite experience with the franchise in the past decade.
For me, Gold and Silver are the games that not only define my formative experience with Pokémon and video games, but still stand out on their own as just awesome and thoroughly replayable adventures. I'll point to the prior writeup of Red/Blue for all the ways I think the games are still eminently playable in 2021, with the added caveat that Gold/Silver fixed a lot of the terrible issues with balance and broken/useless moves and mechanics. I also think that HeartGold and SoulSilver are the best remakes they've ever put out, too, owing to the high quality of the source material but also the amount of effort they put into lovingly recreating the Johto region and all the crazy stuff they added there as well. (Battle Frontier! Pokéathlon! Follower Pokémon! Safari Zone! A fully-fledged Kanto! The Pokéwalker!) If you don't count it as cheating, you can sort of lump those in there with this entry, since a lot of the same great stuff about original G/S/C, plus more, goes with that.
That being said, this is a top-ten game regardless and felt like the perfect way to kick off this section of the list. I think this whole project is about a combination of games we adore but also an encapsulation of our personal experiences through games, and Gold/Silver seems essential for me in capturing a certain part of my life that will always stick with me.
Top 5 Favorite Johto Pokémon: Slugma - Lanturn - Lugia - Wooper - Murkrow
it's an underwater adventure ride
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: Whiskey_Nick

1 month ago#35
#8. Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (Complete) (PS2, 2004 and PS4, 2018)

Numbers go up!

The best Disgaea game and the best sRPG ever. The complete edition really is excellent and adds quite of bit of extra content, but its the same best in the series story with that lovable cast. Laharl, Etna, Flonne, Mid-Boss, Gordon and others all hit. What a great cast. The humor is now fairly normal but in 2004 it was crazy to me for entire chapters to be about breasts. I love Laharl's laugh. The combat is so quick and beautifully animated. This is one of only 2 games to break me away from my MMO addiction of the mid 2000's when my backlog became a thing. Tales of Symphonia was the other. Everything else from 2004 to 2010ish I pretty much skipped and played later or not at all.


I found out about this game from a friend who said he had heard about some new game called Disagea. Not Disgaea. Disagea.

I own Disgaea 1 on PS2, PSP, DS and PS4. Beat it on all of them. Maxed myself out on PS2.

Part of the fun of this series is naming the random party members you have. I have always used my friends for this. I have been a Warrior in every game. Wigs has been an Ice Mage for some years now. Bartz is a Ninja. MSG a Fire Mage. Cokes a Gunner. Various real world friends have well established characters over 6 games now. And many more.

I am Nick. Go Sens, Bills, Blue Jays!
UotY 2015, You should listen to The Show w/ Ngamer and Yoblazer

User Info: MrSmartGuy

1 month ago#36
#8 - Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (VITA, my GotY for 2017)

PSYCH, Danganronpa V3’s here too. I did not lie in my DR2 write-up. At one point, I actually did get so mad that I had to just forget about the game for a bit. Those who have played DRV3 could have probably guessed that it was because of the game’s final trial. But then over the next few days, I had some time to dwell on it, and I came around on it, hard. It is such a scathing commentary on video games in general, and I have a feeling it’s going to have a Metal Gear Solid 2 effect, where everyone looks back on it years down the road, and thinks “man, they really called this s*** years ago, huh?” Not that the world is going to end up doing literally what happens in the game, obviously. It’s just that I believe the overall sentiment is spot-on, and DRV3’s ending has since become one of my favorites of all-time. You could probably fit the last hour and a half of it into about 45 minutes of a more succinct script, but hey. If there’s one thing Danganronpa is good it, it’s making its dialogue last waaaaaaay too f***ing long.

Anyway, for the overview, Danganronpa V3 has the arduous task of following up a sequel that carried the franchise up from “really cool premise, but actually dogs***” to “still a really cool premise, but now it has an awesome story with amazing cases and decent writing, except the gameplay still can’t seem to get out of its own way sometimes”. V3 succeeded in delivering an even more gripping story with a much more cohesive cast and way better writing. And for the first time in the series, there isn’t a single bad minigame! None of them are terribly fun on their own (RIP Logic Dive), but they’re all somehow not a total waste of time! Also, the Nonstop Debates are by far at their best in this game. The previous games just kinda had regular old text, and sometimes they float across the screen….. and that’s about it. V3 has text animations. Riveting! But seriously, the style in V3 is very cool, and really gives the game a much needed make-over.

Xbox GT/PSN name/Nintendo ID: TatteredUniform

User Info: MrSmartGuy

1 month ago#37
Let’s go over the various ways V3 improves on DR2. The cast is a more cohesive unit. In DR1, there were a select few who drove every class trial, and they all had a set role to play. The characters themselves aren’t good, but they all at least played off each other fairly well. DR2 had better characters, but they all just kinda existed in their own universe. Again, two or three characters drove the story and everyone else just kinda interjected with their own gimmick every now and then. For the first time in the series, V3 is able to both deliver some very well-written characters, AND make every single one of them important to the overall game. Plus, they all actively contribute to the trials, which is honestly really cool to see. All 16 students have their own time to shine over the course of the game. I couldn’t point to a single cast member and say with conviction, “this game could’ve done better than them.” Like, yeah, obviously I like some characters more than others, but they all fill a specific role that is hard to improve on.


The game is streamlined better, and much more fun to play. Coins are handed out en masse, so there’s no need to try and cherry pick items to give to classmates. There’s a casino to play DR’s minigames whenever you want to make even more money. Speaking of which, the minigames’ tutorials actually make a slight bit of sense this time. Anyone who’s played DR2 knows that the tutorials are completely f***ing useless in that game.

Then, once you’re done with the main game, they actually have other game modes that are worth your time. Instead of arbitrarily playing a dumb resource-gathering minigame in order to keep spending time with the students, there’s a dating reality show-style game where the interactions between students are front-and-center. Which is cool, but the real meat of the post-game lies in the Ultimate Talent Development Plan and the Despair Dungeon.

The Development Plan lets you select a character from any of the three games, and play a board game where you have 3 years to accrue as many stats and useful abilities as you can. Through these 3 years, you get to see several interactions between characters that never would’ve met in the canon series timeline that make up a lot of memorable scenes. Once you finish the board game, you take your built-up characters, create a party of 4 Ultimates, and then go through the Despair Dungeon, a 2D dungeon crawler with turn-based RPG battles and bosses every 10 floors. The further you can get in Despair Dungeon, the better base characters you get access to for the Development Plan mode. Then you take the new, better characters back into the board game, accrue better stats and abilities, and go back into the dungeon to try and go even further and get all the best units. It’s a very addictive game loop, and I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I’ve spent an absurd amount of time 100%ing this mode twice over.


But I digress. The real reason this game is up here is because of the story. I f***ing loooooved going through this game for the first time. Danganronpa has some killer starting cases, but 3-1 manages to still blow the other two completely out of the water. “I dropped everything I was holding.” 3-2 is pretty solid, and kept me guessing for most of the trial, which is something half the cases in the series don’t manage to do. 3-3 has perhaps the greatest buildup to a mid-game case in the entire series. It doesn’t capitalize on literally anything it builds up, but at least the pre-trial is fun. As is the case with the other games, the 4th case is where the game ramps everything up, and I will admit that 3-4 made me cry my first time through. 3-5 is also stellar, but 3-6 is when everything comes to a head. As I said in my intro, I actually hated this trial my first time through, but it’s become one of my favorite parts of the series over time. It’s also one of my favorite sections to watch other people experience for the first time. I just wish it didn’t drag on so long.
Xbox GT/PSN name/Nintendo ID: TatteredUniform

User Info: MrSmartGuy

1 month ago#38
It’s strange to say that it is both better than DR2 as a story and a game, and yet it’s only 2 spots higher, but that’s kind of the nature of my top 10. They are all very near and dear to my heart. Anyway, I can’t think of any way to segue into this fluidly, but I have to post this screenshot because it’s my favorite line in the game.


Very relatable, Monosuke, thank you.

2-5 > 3-1 > 2-6 > 3-5 > 1-4 > 3-4 > 2-4 > 3-6 > 2-1 > 3-2 > 1-1 > 2-2 > 1-6 > 1-2 > 1-5 > 3-3 > 2-3 > 1-3

Maki > Kaede > Shuichi > Kaito > Keebo > Kirumi > Kokichi > Gonta > Miu > Kiyo > Rantaro > Himiko > Ryoma > Tenko > Angie > Tsumugi
Xbox GT/PSN name/Nintendo ID: TatteredUniform

User Info: Arti

1 month ago#39
that is indeed the best line in the series
azuarc may not know the strength of songs in VGMC, but he conquered the guru in Game of the Decade 2! Congrats!

User Info: NeatoAnAccount

1 month ago#40
heh I hated case 3-6 in the beginning too. I had to re-acquaint myself with Danganronopa as a different thing than what I thought it was. Now I'm fine with it but it's still not really what I signed up for lol

I'm sad that Angie is so unpopular. She's such an in interesting character but so many people get turned off by the Atua thing. Her auditory hallucinations are a real part of her character, not just a dumb speech gimmick. Atua's voice is why she's so absolutely confident in all of her actions, and why she doesn't care what anyone else thinks, and why she's so ready to accept whatever happens.

She's a great antagonist in chapter 3 because she has pure intentions and acts completely honestly, but her values are incompatible with Shuichi's. Shuichi is willing to risk death in order to escape the school, but Angie values survival over freedom.
Also because of Angie we get some insight into the other characters. It's interesting that for Gonta, God is a gentle grandmother but for Himiko it's some hot guy. Every character either joins the student council or chooses to reject them. The robot finds religion. That's interesting.
She did achieve a happier ending than most of the cast. 3 survived, 1 went out on their own terms, and almost everyone else had unpleasant final moments. But Angie lived a stress-free life and died painlessly in the middle of an art project. Maybe she had a point.
Neato, an account
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