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Author Topic: A Short Analysis: Phantasy Star Universe  (Read 35242 times)
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on: May 24, 2007, 07:04:15 AM

A Short Analysis: Phantasy Star Universe

This analysis is by my son, a three-year-old that prefers Super Mario World over Paper Mario and Link to the Past over Twilight Princess.  Just based on that alone, he is probably more qualified to review games than 80% of The Gaming Press.  His favorite game before Super Mario World was Katamari Damacy and its sequel, which should give you some background on his biases.  Also, he calls Katamari Damacy "Na-na Ball".

Me, personally, I don't like Sega games.  Shocking, yes, but true.  They are just a bit too fast and flashy for me to take any of them seriously at all.  However I wanted to see what this Phantasy Star shit was all about, and Phantasy Star Universe for 360 was $30.  My wife was not home and I was playing with the boy, so I decided to try it on him.

Me: "You want to see this new game I got?"
Son: "Nah."
Me: "I want to show it to you before Mommy gets home, she might not like me showing you."
Son: "OK."

I boot up the 360 and, as with every time, he asks "Na-na Ball?"
Me: "No, not Na-na Ball.  That's in the Playstation, the black one."
Son: "Oh, yes."

I put in PSU and start it up.  Cutscenes!  I thought it was some sort of dungeon romp.
Son: "Is you playin' now?"
Me: "Not yet. Lots of movies."

I gain control later.
Son: "Go upstairs."
Me: "They won't let me."
Son: "Why not?"
Me: "No idea."

Eventually I find the elevator and go up to the fourth floor.
Son: "Go on that escalator."
Me: "They don't want me to, that guy won't let me."
Son: "Where you is goin'?"
Me: "I'm not sure."

More movies.
Son: "You is playin' now?"
Me: "No."
Son: "You is playin' now?"
Me: "No."
Repeat a few times.

Eventually I get to a point where someone takes the invisible purse from the annoying girl, and the main guy has to jump on his hoverboard to pursue the train that the thief got away in.  The guy lands at the other station and I start walking around.
Son: "Where is your flying skateboard?"
Me: "Yeah, where is it?  I could use it right now."
I walk around more.
Me: "Where, indeed."

After two more cutscenes, I figure the little guy has had enough, but he has been pretty tolerant.  I skip one and suddenly I am running around a ruined station.
Son: "What are those blue thingies?"
Me: "I don't know.  I bet they told us in that movie I skipped.  You want to play something else?"
Son: "NA-NA BALL!"
Strazos
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Reply #1 on: May 24, 2007, 08:03:22 AM

Your son brings the LOLZ better than most of the internet. Good Show.

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Reply #2 on: May 24, 2007, 08:36:05 AM

When are they porting this Na-Na ball to a PC based MMPORG?
Yegolev
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Reply #3 on: May 24, 2007, 09:00:12 AM

Your son brings the LOLZ better than most of the internet. Good Show.

Thanks, it's just too bad you could not see the Stare of Boredom and hear the sighs.

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Reply #4 on: May 24, 2007, 10:04:14 AM

I like "You is playin' now?" I will have to adopt this phrase when speaking of cutscenes, downtime, MMO raids...
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Reply #5 on: May 24, 2007, 10:05:29 AM

For at least 10 minutes, I thought Yegolev's kid was JarJar Binks.

edit:
Quote
Me: "No, not Na-na Ball.  That's in the Playstation, the black one."
Son: "Oh, yes."

I love that exchange.
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Reply #6 on: May 24, 2007, 10:35:22 AM

I am trying to get the Jar Jar out of his speech, but it's hard when his grandpa has the vocal grammar of Gomer Pyle.

EDIT: My favorite part of the whole exchange was "Where is your flying skateboard?" because I was thinking the same thing, that I would make better time and/or have more fun riding it.  I find that comment to be an eloquent summary of the entire PSU intro.

I have no idea how he knows what a skateboard is.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2007, 10:40:16 AM by Yegolev »

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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Reply #7 on: May 24, 2007, 12:41:12 PM

Anyone else find it funny that a 3 year old can determine what's fun faster and more efficiently than a game designer making a 6-figure income?

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Reply #8 on: May 24, 2007, 12:46:23 PM

I am trying to get the Jar Jar out of his speech, but it's hard when his grandpa has the vocal grammar of Gomer Pyle.

EDIT: My favorite part of the whole exchange was "Where is your flying skateboard?" because I was thinking the same thing, that I would make better time and/or have more fun riding it.  I find that comment to be an eloquent summary of the entire PSU intro.

I have no idea how he knows what a skateboard is.

At the GDC this year, Miyomoto was talking about the 'Wife-ometer' in his speech, and this post reminded me of that.   It amazing what happens when you eliminate all the high-brow arm-chair dev'ing and propeganda, and put a game in front of an audience incapable of being conned with shite.  

You son is the perfect example.  If it isn't fun why play it?  If it doesn't follow basic logic, why do it?

My daughter is two, and she lacks at that age what most people would call logic, but when you put them in front of some of the stupid shit that people try to pass off as quality entertainment, their logic about why it isn't fun is infallible.

Quote
Son: "Go upstairs."
Me: "They won't let me."
Son: "Why not?"
Me: "No idea."

Priceless.

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Reply #9 on: May 24, 2007, 12:48:22 PM

Awesome.  I am impressed that your son can say 'escalator'.

My 4 year old says 'eska - tater'.

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Reply #10 on: May 24, 2007, 01:20:28 PM

Reminds me of trying to play Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. I had played the PS1 game a little bit but never all the way through, and I got the GC remake as a gift. An hour and a half later I had controlled my character for all of 5 minutes and turned it off forever. Cutscene after cutscene and codec conversation after codec conversations don't excite me.

This is something I mentioned in the Red Star thread. One of the great things about that game is that it has zero trappings. It has a start splash screen and a mission screen, everything else is levels. There are no cutscenes, no movies, no nothing.

If you are going to bore me with cutscenes and dialog, and least do it after 20 minutes of gameplay that get me hooked.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
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Reply #11 on: May 24, 2007, 06:54:13 PM

This is the cutest thing ever. smiley

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Reply #12 on: May 25, 2007, 06:13:21 AM

I enjoyed that, thanks. That's one game I wondered about to cross off the list.

My sister said eleskater until she was about eight.

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Reply #13 on: May 25, 2007, 07:36:45 AM

I whole-heartedly agree with your son and his thoughts about Phantasy Star Universe

Have you tried the internet? It's made out of millions of people missing the point of everything and then getting angry about it
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Reply #14 on: May 25, 2007, 10:41:30 AM

Nice review.

Going to buy Na Na Ball game.
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Reply #15 on: May 25, 2007, 02:03:48 PM

Nice read :)

"Na-Na Ball" = Best part of the review :D I love Na-Na Ball too!

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Reply #16 on: May 25, 2007, 02:44:18 PM

The little ones know what the deal is. My little girl was watching me play WoW and asked me what I had to do to beat the game. I said, "You really don't beat the game, you just keep playing." She screwed up her face in confusion and asked me why I would play a game I couldn't win. I'm still asking myself that question.

I was drinking when I wrote this, so sue me if it goes astray.
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Reply #17 on: May 25, 2007, 04:12:03 PM

You haven't let her ride your mounts around yet?

My daughter is fond of dressing up and getting one of every pet (she just picked up Mr. Wiggles).  She also likes to play my toon and ride the mounts.

Lately she's taken to going to AV.  She doesn't do very well, but not bad for an 8 year old.

(Must remember to leave cheap arrows on the main, since I'm not playing much WoW).
raydeen
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Reply #18 on: May 25, 2007, 06:48:37 PM

She hasn't had the urge to actually play yet. She just likes to watch and tells me to go look at things that will eat my face. Ghosts are her favorite. And she likes the netherwelp. I can be in the middle of massive battle and she wants to see the baby dragon come out. Kids rock.

I was drinking when I wrote this, so sue me if it goes astray.
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Reply #19 on: May 25, 2007, 10:02:08 PM

She screwed up her face in confusion and asked me why I would play a game I couldn't win.

Does this make anyone else think of Matthew Broderick playing Tic-Tac-Toe?
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Reply #20 on: May 26, 2007, 10:10:45 AM

She screwed up her face in confusion and asked me why I would play a game I couldn't win.

Does this make anyone else think of Matthew Broderick playing Tic-Tac-Toe?
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Reply #21 on: May 26, 2007, 10:18:22 AM

Reminds me of trying to play Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. I had played the PS1 game a little bit but never all the way through, and I got the GC remake as a gift. An hour and a half later I had controlled my character for all of 5 minutes and turned it off forever. Cutscene after cutscene and codec conversation after codec conversations don't excite me.

Heh, I understand.  I guess someone should have warned you.  To me, that's the only real reason to play that game, was for the cutscenes (which were actually pretty well directed/edited and didn't have crappy dialogue/voices).  I actually felt less amused when I was actually playing rather than watching.

Upon seeing how the intro was a big cutscene, I immediately grasped on to the concept and started treating the game like a movie rather than a video game.  That's one unique thing that MGS does that other games try but can't do.  They actually deliver the movie experience first and foremost, and then every once in a while they let you have a little interaction in the form of mini-games.  But I can definately see why that's not everyone's preferrence.  Thankfully, I like playing games which focus more on story, so I rather liked it a lot.
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Reply #22 on: May 26, 2007, 07:18:15 PM

Sweetness.   wink
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Reply #23 on: May 27, 2007, 04:09:33 PM

Excellent stuff.  You and your son need to review more games.

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Reply #24 on: May 29, 2007, 07:38:40 AM

Awesome.  I am impressed that your son can say 'escalator'.

My 4 year old says 'eska - tater'.

I did translate it a bit just so I could type it, but he is pretty well-spoken, but I'm his dad so there is probably some mental translation on my part.  He says it more like a Japanese would: escarator or some such, and slowly.  It's not really possible to put his phonetics into English text.

In related news, last night he started and completed a Star World level in Super Mario Bros. all by himself.  The one where you have to drill down through yellow blocks with a spin jump, and he goes over to the right wall after the first hole, grabbing the key and exiting via the secret route.  OK, I did tell him that he had to hold down Y to grab the key, but otherwise he had no help.  In fact, I had just left it there upon opening the route from the Donut Ghost House to the Star World.

I almost cried.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
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Reply #25 on: May 29, 2007, 09:28:29 AM

I started gaming at age of 4  smiley
Was back in the NES days though so the games were a little bit more simple. Even if I'm probably not an old schooler compared to a lot of the people here, I kind of feel sorry for people who missed out on the sort of games that were played back then, a lot of which we probably never will see the likes of again.
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Reply #26 on: May 29, 2007, 11:23:00 AM

Nonsense, get a Wii.  It's covered up with that shit.  My son isn't playing Super Mario World on an actual SNES.  In fact, his favorite Wii games behind SMW* include Kororinpa and that WiiPlay game where you are riding a cow, which is exactly the sort of stuff you are talking about.


* Yeah, yeah.  Whatever.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
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Reply #27 on: May 29, 2007, 02:56:41 PM

Out of interest, what does your son call Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz?

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Reply #28 on: May 29, 2007, 03:33:40 PM

I feel lucky in that I am just old enough to have played video games since almost the start. I started with a Colecovision, the Atari thing that would plug into it ( A 2600 that would physically plug into the Coleco - weird), an Atari ST computer and an Apple 2 computer.

It really is pretty amazing looking back how the NES was million billion times better than Atari and Colecovision.

I remember reading an old magazing called "Computer and Video Games" or something like that about the NES after it came out in Japan, and how it probably wasn't going to do well in the US for a variety of reasons. Oops.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
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Reply #29 on: May 30, 2007, 02:55:10 AM

I remember reading an old magazing called "Computer and Video Games" or something like that

Ah C&VG I remember it well......well........just  :-D

My little guy is only 14 months so dont expect any reviews from him soon (that and the fact that, being the hypocrit I am I intend to keep him away from games for a while, not a huge believer in the whole 'electronic nanny' thing I'm afraid - I suspect however that this will probably turn out to be wishful thinking)
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Reply #30 on: May 30, 2007, 08:24:49 AM

Out of interest, what does your son call Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz?

We don't have that one.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
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Reply #31 on: June 01, 2007, 06:10:19 PM

Was back in the NES days though so the games were a little bit more simple. Even if I'm probably not an old schooler compared to a lot of the people here, I kind of feel sorry for people who missed out on the sort of games that were played back then, a lot of which we probably never will see the likes of again.

There are actually a number of free NES emulators out there.  I spent a bit of time at one point going through all the NES games I had missed out on as a child (I didn't get a Nintendo until about seven years after everyone else, and didn't ever get that many games for it) and was sad to discover that most of them are in fact complete crap.  The only one that really holds up IMO is SMB3.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
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Reply #32 on: June 01, 2007, 09:16:43 PM

Clearly, you've never played Dr Mario
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Reply #33 on: June 02, 2007, 09:45:34 AM

I'm surrounded by newbs! When I was in grade 10 my Dad bought us a Pong machine as the big family Christmas present that year. :)
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Reply #34 on: June 02, 2007, 12:52:10 PM

Was back in the NES days though so the games were a little bit more simple. Even if I'm probably not an old schooler compared to a lot of the people here, I kind of feel sorry for people who missed out on the sort of games that were played back then, a lot of which we probably never will see the likes of again.

There are actually a number of free NES emulators out there.  I spent a bit of time at one point going through all the NES games I had missed out on as a child (I didn't get a Nintendo until about seven years after everyone else, and didn't ever get that many games for it) and was sad to discover that most of them are in fact complete crap.  The only one that really holds up IMO is SMB3.

Yea, a lot of them only holds up due to nostalgia. However, they were crafted in a way that simply doesn't come by nowdays, and they were very enjoyable back then. I agree with SMB3, it's simply amazing.
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