Probably my most off-putting thing about country is the fake, twangy accent. Stop that. As sad as this is, it's more "authentic" to some of the audience than that stuff.
Although more "American" than country, I discovered this band on a blind listen and they're pretty awesome.
I see what you mean by "American". Rural but not deliberately twangy.
If you get right down to it, country is a melding of American folk, blues and Western. The rare Hank Williams recording of San Antonio Rose illustrates this well. It is basically the music of rural America, regardless of region. However, what sets apart the guys like Hank from the Blake Sheltons is the same thing that sets apart the Doors from Justin Beiber. You need to do more than put on an act or pretend you're putting your heart into it- you need to approach the music with full passion.
Again I reference "Weary Blues From Waitin' ". That song was in fact a demo recording, and so much heart was put into the performance that it was eventually overdubbed and included in a greatest hits compilation. Personally, I much prefer Hank with a guitar alone: it gives insight to the man and what he felt. Slide guitars only take away from the desolate intensity.
I should also add that my Dad was born in 1931 (I was born in 1979 when he was 47), and I heard a lot of the stuff from earlier- try Hank Snow, Johnny Horton, early Johnny Cash, little Jimmy Dickens, etc. My folks had old LPs from the 50s. To him, Waylon Jennings post-clean shaven was "new fangled".
Think of it this way- people will still likely be listening to rock and roll gods like Zepplin and the Beatles long after our grandkids are dead and gone. Yes, after our grandkids are gone. Time can whither away a lot of things, but quality and heart are not among them.
I think a lot of the then DW regulars knew each other and visited different sites.
James Gray's Dragon-Warrior.com, Dustin's DQ Shrine, Endwin's Alefgard, Erdrick's Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior News Network, Woodus's Dragon's Den.
I visited all of them, although I participated more in Dragon-Warrior.com at first, then at Endwin's message boards (which were meant to be a unified point for many sites), and then here.
Got a couple of "Dwaine posts" in response to some of them, but I quickly learned his sense of humor
How did you do it? It's been years and I still haven't learned it.
Once you get it, you can't help but smile at it. How can you not laugh with a guy whose interests are dark haired women and breakfast foods? Hard not to think of Ron Swanson tossing vegan bacon in the trash and asking for more.
I actually found this site at the college library when I was a student at New England Culinary Institute. That was Summer of '97. At the time, my interest in video games did not exist. I was about a career. Anyway, I searched Dragon Warrior for the heck of it. I didn't really go through the site at all, but I knew of it.
When I turned 21 in 2000, I began realizing that although cooking was a job I liked, I didn't want to be one of those "food 24-7, 90 hour a week" people. I had originally put DQ in the past, since I didn't want to deal with not getting games. That year I somehow beat FF7 (which I begrugdingly accepted as the closest i could ever get to the series I loved) all while bar hopping, working up to 14 hours a day as a cook, partying with friends and a mess of stuff. It remains my most cherished year for many reasons. I was also introduced to emulation that year, so I was able to accept that the batteries in my NES games were likely dead.
Anyway, in 2001 I hit a rut year and wound up in a bad relationship, missing DQ7. I was still drinking heavily with friends until 4 or five in the morning. The year after, I wound up bouncing around and spending the next several years on the Lost Highway.
In 2004 I met my oldest son's mother. By the start of the following year, I was going for custody. I had to sober up, and eventually I wound up with full legal custody. My folks allowed me to stay with them for a long spell thanks to my ex not showing to court and losing all custodial time. In 2006, I bought a PS2 for the release of DQ8.
I met and married my current wife in 2007. After we moved into our place I discovered Youtube. Then came 2008. For the first time, I decided to actually look at a video of DQ5. In my frustration, I did a Google search and found the fan translation. After discovering multiple versions of the DQ6 ROM, I finally joined the Den to get info. I sent a message about them to Woodus, who graciously replied.to me although I was new. In fact, I never truly introduced myself to everyone. I knew this was a cool spot since I was simply invited to talk.
So I found this place 11 years before joining. I would've been here sooner if not for poor life decisions. But then again, my early to mid twenties were a wild ride, so maybe it all panned out for the best.
And in case anyone wonders what going dow the Lost highway is:
This was actually a cover of a song written by Leon Payne, but Hank sang it like he was ripping pages from his diary. I truly felt this way a lot back in the day.
If you haven't had sex yet, it's not a huge deal, except the anticipation. Though as a guy, blue ball syndrome gets much worse into your 20's, and more frequent. Heck I was a virgin until 27, by choice as well. Eventually I just said f-it to the notion of waiting until marriage.
If you have, well, then you'd know it changes your whole dynamic after having sex for the first time. Your body and brain chemistry alters to desire sex a great deal more than you ever did prior. It also means you channel that energy more effectively into other avenues, and is one reason some people hold off on sex to function in other ways...however withholding for an extended period causes a certain frustration and anxiety. This eventually builds and causes all sorts of problems, such as irrational anger, and actually enhances psychological issues and physiological issues. It's also intriguing to note that someone who has sex doesn't actually...LOSE energy, as so many myths love to claim, in fact it actually builds up even more energy...I find anyway. 12 hours of sex...we're both tired, we rest for 2 hours, bam, whomever the girl is and I are energized and ready to handle anything...and eat about 1/10th the food I'd eat otherwise, and that lasts about 48 hours so long as we're around one another (meaning if I want to go out, have fun, or stay in and have a marathon of a sort...yeah, that's definitely possible), and 12~24 if I have to go to work. I also find I focus better after the fact. Though that only works when with a girl, and seems to be tied to emotional bonds, the stronger they are, the more energy you both end up having, at least in my experience. Alone, no, it only triggers the other element of having sex: release of sexual frustration, and all the problems that go along with it.
Thus it's an old adage, and a great way to poke fun at someone who seems irrationally snitty, angry, or grumpy...especially when it's usually the case.
Of course if you're in a relationship and your lady isn't putting out...time to move on. No relationship can handle sexual suppression, and it's actually damaging to the psyche, soul, and sense of bond both have with one another. Case in point...the best and most meaningful relationships, even in their old age still do it, and yes, they do it more than once a week. I've met a few couples like that. Spry, happy, spunky, never bitter, and always child-like in the amount of curiosity and energy they possess. Unlike their opposite, the near defunct and dead couples who simply stopped, and become bitter, resentful, aggressive, and grumpy, and often shake canes at people, call the police for the most minor of disturbances, and you find their kids hate themselves, hate their parents, and their grand children are druggies one stop from death's door, all simply due to their grandparents being idiots about the nature of reality and how to stay a happy couple. Yeah, I serious, sex and happiness, in a relationship, is EVERYTHING. They're intrinsically tied.
Wilhelm Reich figured this out ages ago as well, that most of the anger, frustration, and mental disturbances occur because of built up sexual frustration. I should point out he's the only therapist with a 100% breakthrough rate, even if his methods and motives were questionable, he at least hit on a key element missing in the lives of so many people. However it's deeper than that, one must then learn about the deeper self, the hidden elements of self, then learn to define oneself as you wish to...but that's another story, because that frustration can be channeled into very disturbing, disgusting, and horrific ways, and that only an individual can fix, but first the trigger must be addressed, then the history buried deep in the mind that led to that sexually frustrated life, which is often something the parents did or did not do...and then addressing your own darkness created by you as a result of these compounded problems.
Anyway, far more information than you probably dreamed of, lol. TMI guy strikes again!
Now a quote of wisdom:
"You people that don't smoke, what do you do when you finish (deleted)ing, eat jelly beans?"- Redd Foxx.
"The Lord created the fart, then put a smell in it so the deaf could enjoy it!"- also Redd Foxx
Grandia is completely turn-based. Grandia has fantastic combat. That's best thing about that series.
Action is not "evolving backward". Most games have action. RPGs have action. Some RPGs are split into "command phases" and "action phases". Dragon Quest's "action" comes after you press the action button over "fight" commands like nine times per battle. The "action" is represented by awesome sound effects and classy slash effects.
Until Dragon Quest VIII, you didn't even see your characters perform their actions. The graphics just were not up to par, on old consoles.
Good action RPGs don't exist on old consoles (let's pretend Battle for Olympus doesn't exist, for the sake of my argument ;^) ) because they would have been a huge undertaking for the programmers of thirty years ago. If Dragon Quest were to switch to a completely "action" combat-system, all they would have to do is remove the menus. Would this work? Yes. Look at Zelda. Add some variables. In two easy steps, you've made the first ever Action Combat Dragon Quest (Dragon Quest Swords (although a great game) shall be excluded (again for the sake of argument ; ^ ^ ^) ).
Tales of the Abyss has your character models clip through forests textures as they walk over them because, well, that was RPG convention (see anything released for the Famicom). Dragon Quest VIII has you walk underneath the trees of the forest because, really, this is what the characters have been doing all along. Programmers simply couldn't represent their characters doing so on graphically inferior platforms.
Action is not a step-back for RPG combat. Action has always existed. Because Squeenix are spineless fan-pleasers, they delayed Dragon Quest IX two years to revert their combat system to include menus. I like menus! If I didn't, I definitely wouldn't be on this forum. What I don't understand is peoples undying distaste for change away from "video game standards" in lieu of "things that makes sense to people outside of video game land". Yuji Horii knew this. This is why he was going to remove the menus from Dragon Quest IX. But because the Japanese are big babies, they will forever stick to 16-bit generation formulas and will never question them, no matter how archaic the norm may be.
Action games are not a step back. Menu-and-turn-based combat systems are a step back. We don't need Monster Hunter levels of intricacy here. Press the action button to fight, just like the old games. set hot keys to magic spells, press different buttons in combination to trigger other actions. The action would be seemless with the adventure, and it would look and feel Really Cool.
Now, iff we would like to get back to the topic, "Is Final Fantasy better than Dragon Quest?", I will always ignore the question and say Lufia II is better than both of those.
And then! I'll commend Final Fantasy for having the balls to slowly etch away from menu-combat systems. Just look at their Final Fantasy VII remake. Like, I don't care about it that much, but they've got some big balls over there, at Squeenix. I'm hecka gonna play that game, cause I just wanna see what it feels like. If it were an HD menu-combat RPG, I would definitely skip over it. Well done, Squeenix, for sticking to your guns for once in your god-forsaken career.
EDIT: Final Fantasy XV, similarly, looks pretty neat. However, XV loses points because it is just what XIII was going to be before Squeenix put their tail beneath their legs and changed everything in XIII back to menus and numbers that flew out of enemies.
The apex of gameplay was discovered, then almost abandoned for the lesser. The Japanese proved wise not letting DQ9 turn into an inferior product.
And like I said, DQH is merely God of War with frills.
Edit: The best improvement to the combat system of FF7 would be to simply remove the ATB. ATB on turn based is like adding peaches to a plate of spaghetti and meatballs that is already flavored with a chianti reduction and pesto.
If you don't mind my answering, I DID enjoy Dragon Quest IX while I was playing it. It is only in retrospect that I say that Dragon Quest IX is not a terribly interesting game because:
I could not play the game with the volume on whenever I entered Patty's
I cannot remember any character's names outside of Stella and Jack's
I cannot remember any faces
I cannot recall any story elements outside of the main story
The game encourages collecting junk and combining it into Slime Gear (which was very funny to defeat the Final Boss in)
Bosses had faces, but were otherwise nameless enemies for the sake of fighting enemies
Not enough books to read
Um, also I am not a fan of games without main characters but that's not a reason to dislike IX. Dragon Quest is about exploring a world. I am remiss to say that I cannot remember the world of Dragon Quest IX.
On the other hand, I distinctly remember the first town to the north of Castle Alefgard that held the rumors of the Magic Flute. I remember the cave I had to traverse to get there, and that I was supposed to bring a torch to (turns out you get through the cave by blindly walking right until you hit a wall, then down, then left, and then up one tile to reach the cave exit).
Dragon Quest I only has the Princess and Dragon Lord as far as characters to remember, but many other Dragon Quest games have memorable characters outside of your party members (who are, for the most part, quite memorable (I can't remember the name of that monk from six but I remember his face at least)).
That's why I, personally, don't care for Dragon Quest IX. To me, it's a remake of Dragon Quest III, but with auto-battle. And multiplayer.
I guarantee you it would have been more memorable had they had stuck to their guns and kept it an action game.
Perhaps that's just me.
I don't mean to sound confrontational at all but....
Action game? Sorry, but in my personal opinion, turn based is the apex of RPG design. Anything else, to me, is like taking a step back in human evolution.
The class system was the finest in the series: simple skill points (no junctioning systems or the ilk) that you plunk in to make the character of your dreams.
Master bows and shields, master paladin for heavy defense, master the martial artist and/or warrior, turn him her into a gladiator and stick him/her in the back row. A virtually untouchable beast is hurting everything in sight. Or have him/her be a martial artist with a great chance of critical hits.
Is your mage taking heavy damage? Again a mastery of shields with a mastery of paladin is a great boon.
Both times I played, I logged in over 100 hours before beating Corvus. I was literally addicted to grinding. Had it been action based, my interest would have waned. Right now I'm playing Tales of Symphonia: so far a fun game, but action rpgs seem like a far more.... primitive concept.
And I really can't count DQH as a true action-RPG. Its more like God of War with DQ elements tossed in, which I liked. Just push buttons and kill, with a little magic tossed in for good measure.
As I type this, DQ Builders is trending on Facebook. Seriously, Hell must be below zero right about now. The forums won't let me use the image URL option, but here's the direct link to my DQ FB page. I cropped it for public view,