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Reader Comments (12)

Posted: Feb 12th 2012 3:00PM (Unverified) said

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I've never played this game, but just watching the beginning of your stream it was pretty obvious there are only 3 races not 6, there was just a male and female for each. You definitely picked the male version of the short race considering the eye lashes and what not on the other was much more feminine.

Posted: Feb 12th 2012 6:36PM hansh0tfirst said

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Could have sworn I played "Cloud Nine" a few years ago under a different name/publisher ("Holic"?). As I recall, there was some exploit that undermined the game's launch and led to a very premature closure. Was a real shame too given that despite some localization hiccups, the overall polish was far better than expected.

Posted: Feb 12th 2012 9:54PM ClassicCrime said

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Holic was really something special back when it was still running. i loved the community and the overall feel of the game. cloudnine is, more or less, the same exact game, as far as graphics and gameplay goes. Mainly the difference is you've got the new race (which is adorable), the faction vs faction pvp, the crafting system (which is horribly, horribly designed) and a new town to in (however, as you level up you end up running into the old towns and locations from the first game, so basically it's just the beginning that's new as far as zones go).
The thing that really kills me about cloudnine is it absolutely just feels stale and dead already. The new beginners town is poorly designed and unmemorable imo, and pretty empty player wise, and makes me miss the beginning town from holic (which looked charming and was full of people all the time). And to make things even worse, and make it harder to even want to play, once you hit level 30 or so, you end up visiting that town, and it's *completely* dead (as in, not a single other person in the entire zone). And it's the same for another large town that, in holic, as well as cloudnine now, you visit at around level 10-15, and it's completely empty and desolate now, where back before in holic, there used to be dozens of people always crowding it selling things or hanging out.
I couldn't imagine anyone that actually played holic lasting too long in cloudnine, especially if they really liked holic. it's just flat out depressing

Posted: Feb 13th 2012 10:00AM Beau Hindman said

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@ClassicCrime Hey do you recommend I continue to play? Honestly I have to move so much from game to game every week that the ones that make it on my permanent list are numbered under a dozen or so. I love the graphics, but would I only find a grind after grind in this game in higher levels?

Beau
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Posted: Feb 12th 2012 11:44PM Beau Hindman said

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@Professer yeh I've covered many older ones, like Ultima Online, Asheron's Call and others. Just check the rise and shiny tags or search for those titles.

Great stuff!

Beau

Posted: Feb 13th 2012 12:11AM Viiral said

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Bring back Holic Online >_> it was 10 times better then this shitty sequel

Posted: Feb 13th 2012 12:36AM Space Cobra said

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Man, there are so many philosophical topics in this article I could gush over that have little to do with the topic of your article! :D

So I will! (And try to reign myself in!)

There is only so much one can do with "realistic style modeling" just as there was with "realistic art". Some people only prefer that and marvel at the detail, but while I can like it (and not counting any "uncanny valleys") it gets old and the same from MMO to MMO. Really, LotRO's character models could've almost been Star Wars Galaxies, if not for clothing.

And just to mention, even among "anti-immersion" folks, many people, especially younger, like to make a human (or near human) in games and those same folks also go for same sex, too. In a way, they are "putting themselves into an MMO world" and, that right there is immersion. Some folks break away from that and others don't If you throw in Asia, it's not too big a deal. You have adult "Hello Kitty" fans and people who don't mind adorable/cute characters that are adults. In fact, I'd probably say their willingness to embrace such things was similar to the U.S. around the early 80's. Not just all the Don Bluth stuff, but there was a subtle movement that treated "wacky cartoon characters" as "real" in table-top RPGs systems and even more mature movies ("Who framed Roger Rabbit?"/"Cool World").

This sort of embodies telling a (human) story with such characters that has gone out of style for the most part in the US but still seems popular in Asia/Japan, even in certain games ("Tails Concerto" and "Klonoa" series).

Actually, much like the "Art World" I mentioned above veered from "realism" with the invention of the camera, I do appreciate games that give me more abstract worlds and characters that I can't revel in as much in the "Real World" (Well, I *could* act like a dog iRL, but I think no one would interact with me and it would be very awkward!).

Even though I date this surge of movement of "realism in cartoon worlds" to around the 80's, it's been there for a longer time. Stories with heart and charisma. Early Disney films, Carl Barks and his Ducks, even Osamu Tezuka (who was a really big Disney fan/nerd anyways), and more I forget to mention.

There is a time of life that some "kids" want to "grow up" and push away all the things they considered "childish", especially among Western Nations. They will separate themselves from such things, denounce Santa Claus not being "real" and act all "grown up" (whatever that truly means). This can add to the chorus of those that are actually legal age and beyond in that they have no time for "kiddy stuff", so you do get this commentary of "cartoons are for kids" and it never really seems to die, even if many of the old jokes in those old Warner Brothers cartoons could only be truly appreciated by adults at that time (who were waiting to watch the movie they'd paid for). Even today, the most popular section of the newspaper (if you still read a printed one) is the comics section.

And again, I throw in another tidbit of wisdom that ties in to the paragraph above: I've noted a "bell-shaped curve" wherein as children, we are more fun-loving and accepting. As we age, we get more "serious-minded" and lose some sense of wonder and innocence and do as society says. But, as we get older still, like grandparents/great-grandparents (but it can start sooner), we tend to become a bit childlike in not caring what society thinks and do whatever we want (again, individual human mileage varies).

Posted: Feb 13th 2012 8:59AM Deliverator said

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@Space Cobra
I'm not sure I fully understood your first paragraph, but if I got it right... I'm 40, definitely pro-immersion in my games, always choose the same sex (not against what others do - I've lost the 'that's weird' feeling over time, but still wouldn't choose a female char for myself) and I've never been able to get into these cutesy games. I definitely like my graphics realistic.

My question is - were you saying you see these as traits of the younger gaming set? I'd always assumed they were traits of gamers from my generation, but that is really just an assumption and I've run into plenty of guildies that don't feel the same.
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Posted: Feb 13th 2012 1:34PM Space Cobra said

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@Deliverator

I tend to see more acceptance of things and a want of more variety in those with more mature tastes. While that can be those roughly over the age of 25, each person is different and some are more mature than others (inversely, there are those less mature for their age).

The younger set (or "tween-thru-teen") seem to be much more serious-minded, although you can break them out of that. And again, sometimes this goes forward to older people. You got this famous quote from the movie, "Stand by me", that one boy asks, "Who will win in a fight? Mighty Mouse or Superman?" and the other boy answers that Mighty Mouse is only a cartoon character, implying that Superman is real (of course, BOTH are cartoon characters). It is that focus on fandom I allude to. Even now, people are getting bent out of shape over today's comic books (and I can be one of them) but you step back from it and they are, just books. Just stories that tell tales that may influence lives. I think some of the notable writers I like have grown up and recognized this while the majority of their target audience do not. You get such complaints of, "They are mixing real-world messages in my stories!", when that has been part-and-parcel of the medium in further back in "Aesop's Fables".

It's sorta a matter of taste and how you choose to go beyond or explore it. In the eighties, I mentioned there was an American resurgence in "funny animals" that got the "serious treatment" but also forgot to mention the "comic book side" (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Usagi Yojimbo, others). It's a bit like "Art" in the art world, which many people seem to take too seriously, especially abstract pieces that are mostly for entertaining or plain "looking good" and may not contain any deep messages of any sort.

I *know* with many folks, if you have realistic graphics, it is easier to immerse yourself into a gaming world. That is part of the, "I can put/see myself into this world" vision most people do in their gaming. It is all subjective, again depending on the viewer. I mentioned Carl Bark's Ducks (Donald Duck/Scrooge McDuck) and the emotions that can come out of that make such characters "human" for some people. There are people that can slip in and out of immersion fairly quickly and easily and for others, it may be jarring (like, watching and getting into said movie and then having a baby cry from the audience). I think that's where one problem lies: Many have different values and some do poke fun at (or troll) people who get too immersed. These observations do have value, but they either are disrespectful or go too far.

Stories always provide a frame of reference, but then things go further and further. Certainly we are not swinging swords at dragons in the real world or shooting lasers, but what is reality can be warped, even if it is only one's perception and they treat it as reality (although, admittedly, I am stepping a toe into what some may consider "insanity" here). Sometimes, you can lose yourself in things. A trip to Disneyland and meeting (someone dressed as) a giant mouse. Meeting an actor who plays your favorite character (and knowing they are "just an actor") but gushing over them and calling them by their character's name.

To me, sometimes a medium gets maligned for story telling: People in the West still look down on "cartoons" and "Sunday strips" as "kid's stuff", but it is just a medium to get a message across, just like TV and movies. Sometimes there can be a great game hidden under it, but again, immersion can be a personal thing. Some folks can ignore the "cute animals" because of the human nature of the characterizations (and of course, gameplay) and others find they need more visual stimuli to get lost in such a world.

And again, I am running over-long! ;p
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Posted: Feb 13th 2012 1:44PM Space Cobra said

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@Space Cobra

It is a bit hard to explain, I guess. I mean, I'll admit I couldn't get into a TV show that deals with people dressed as funny animals in real life like I could when I was younger (and I mean acting in-character, too). Well, I probably couldn't if it was done so simple...but if there was something more to it...maybe.

"Realism" in one form or another, is required, IMO. Some take their realism from how characters act (like human) and the troubles of the game world and others see a "human" they can empathize with and want to help in more realistic worlds. Generally, it's how far people have thought such things through (or not) and if they can accept it. Not everyone can and that is alright. Hopefully, there is room and tolerance for such variety of things, but tolerance is a combination of maturity and not worrying about details too much and the very young can omit such details quite naturally.
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Posted: Feb 13th 2012 12:39AM Space Cobra said

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Ack! You also mentioned internet cafes!

Too keep that short, I'll just mention that while it's great to play in your home, I sure do miss Video Game Arcades! (At least those Asian cafe's give you snacks and drinks!)

Posted: Feb 14th 2012 6:19PM ClassicCrime said

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well I only got to about level 20 in cloudnine heh, so I couldn't really tell you for sure what the high level gameplay is like. My assumption though is that it's probably just endless "kill xx mobs" quests, but with some possible faction vs faction pvp thrown in. Honestly woulda seemed more tempting to go farther and just check out for myself what endgame is actually like, if it wasn't simply for the lack of players. I find it impossible to stay focused in games like these if there aren't people to play with.
Have you tried florensia? That was has similar graphics (though I'll admit it's a bit slowpaced until you get used to it), but it's a lot more polished imo and has a pretty active community

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