Not a fan of Baten Kaitos? Not aware of what Baten Kaitos even is? Shame on you

Stiltzkin

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,135
Aw this made me sad :(

At one point I also thought battles were too time consuming so I'll be honest, I just grinded for a little bit and I haven't had a problem since. Most Monolith Soft games have this flaw tbh lol

As for the weaknesses, I've never had much of an issue, really. I try to avoid putting Dark cards as much as possible, and pretty much all monsters that are weak to Water or Fire are also weak to something else, or at the very least, aren't resistant to other elements.

The voice acting I mostly like. Sometimes it takes me out of the moment, and sometimes it's charmingly horrendous.

I like the design of the characters. *shrugs* Their outfits are pretty odd but I love the faces for all of them

Idk it has never felt too slow to me personally, but obviously that's due to the fact that I enjoy far more aspects of the game than you. Sorry u didn't enjoy ur time :(
Ah don't feel bad, it had its moments for me - most of my problems with the game are based on my preferences. Some people liked the things I didn't, and that's a-okay with me. Like I mentioned, the music and art direction were great. Even listening to the OST now brings back a lot of good feels. I may have to check out Origins because it seems to be universally liked more than the original.

I always see people saying how great this game was but why don’t the reviews match what people say?
Because it's rough around the edges and fans are less likely to notice or care. And probably because it's not a super famous JRPG.
 

Jo-awn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
712
New York, NY
they didn't release the sequel in Europe ;_;

I was so into the first one as a kid, when i read there was going to be a sequel in the video game magazine i used to buy, i was so exited. Then it was never released. Broke my young heart. Compensated it by playing the first one over and over.

The game was turn based. However, during your turn, your opponent could defend himself and, conversely, you could defend yourself during theirs. To fight you used a deck of cards. You could only have a small number of cards in your hand at a time and, as you used them, other cards from your deck would take their place.

Each of your cards had a number (from 1 to 9), and the idea was to do combos (like a straight in poker: 1,2,3,4,5,etc... or 5,4,3,2,1,etc...). At the beginning of the game each card would only have one number, but as you advanced, you would start getting cards with 2 numbers, then 3 and finally 4 (one number per corner).

When you were first introduced to the idea of being able to choose cards to defend yourself (so a defensive phase), it seemed like a brilliant idea, but later in game, i'd say it started to affecting the pacing of battles in a negative way.

The game had to give you a bit of time before each of your opponent's hits, so that you could chose a card from your hand to defend yourself with. This wasn't much of a problem at the beginning of the game, where both your combos and those of your enemies were short (2-3 hit combos). However, you would eventually be able of doing 6-9 hit combos, and your enemies would too.

Imagine you were in a boss battle, later in the game, fighting against 3 enemies at once. After your turn, you'd have to sit thought each of your 3 enemies combos, one at a time: a slow 6 hit or more combo that ended in a (even slower) charged/finisher move. That was once per turn.

The defensive turn didn't just affect the pace of battle, but also the process of building a deck. The fact you had to reserve part of your deck for defensive cards (i.e. cards that could not be used during your attacking turn) made making a deck that much more difficult.

Ideally, you would want to set up your deck to increase the likelihood of getting a straight (1,2,3,4,etc...) in your attacking turn. You wouldn't get a straight on your hand right away, obviously. But, as you started a combo (with a low number card, expecting to go up from there, or a high number card, expecting to go down), the other cards you needed would supposedly come in (with a bit of luck and a good constructed deck).

To increase your likelihood of doing combos, you needed to have an equal number of 1s, 2s, 3s etc... Managing that balance as you were constantly getting new cards to put in your deck was hard enough, but then there was also the fact that, as you advanced through the game, the number of card you could have in your deck would increase from 20 to 30, 40, 50, etc... (throwing that balance off, forcing you to remake your deck).

To make matter worse, each of your characters had its independent cards and deck, meaning you had to maintain that balance of 1s, 2s, 3s, etc... for a minimum of 3 characters. Then add to this, there was (if i remember correctly) 6 types of cards. They were distributed in 3 groups of 2, which each pair counteracting each other (i.e. if you used a water card and a fire card in a combo, they would cancel each other). And on top of all that, you had to reserve part of your deck to defensive cards? come the fuck on.

The fact you had to reserve part of your deck for defensive cards, made making straights on your attack phase that much more difficult. The defensive cards you currently had on your hand during your attack phase, couldn't be used for attacking, effectively making your hand smaller and taking up space from offensive cards.

Still, you couldn't simply ignore the defense phase and only include offensive cards in your deck since, if you did that, you'd take way to much damage during your defensive phase (as the game expected you to use defensive cards as "shields", as you were getting hit).

So, you had to keep an extremely tight balance between how many attack and defense cards you had, in addition to having an equal number of 1s, 2s, 3s, etc... for both the attacking and defensive phase, in addition to making sure you didn't use cards with opposite types, in addition to doing all this with a minimum of 3 separate decks (you could fight with 3 fighter at once) but your party was bigger than that (like in all RPGs). So, yeah...

It's not like the defense turn was that fun anyway, since what generally ended up happening during it was that you were scraping to find anything you could use to defend yourself with, disregarding card combos and such (which where the fun part). Just as defensive cards took up space on your hand during your attack phase, your attack cards took space during your defensive phase.

What all this meant was that, if you wanted to have a good deck (i.e. a deck that increased the likelihood of you getting crazy combos), you were constantly spending way to much time managing your decks thought the game. And don't get me wrong, i enjoyed doing it, but that didn't stop me from seeing the flaws in the system and how it could have been much more straightforward.

There were different solutions:
- not having a defensive phase at all
- having two separate decks, one exclusively for defense, one for offense
- all your characters sharing one deck

Although, for the last one, the problems that come with attack and defensive cards sharing the same deck would still be there? Of course you don't want to oversimplify things, you want to find a right balance, but i don't think the first game got it quite right.

I know the second game changed the battle system, by having all your characters sharing a single deck? I can't remember what else they changed. I'd like if anyone who has played both game's could comment on how the dynamic of battles and building a deck was on one game compared to the other
This is a detailed and well done explanation of the pros and cons of BK1's battle system. I certainly didn't miss waiting for all the attacks to play during the defense phase in Origins. The animations were painfully slow to watch so that certainly hasn't aged well by today's standards. And having opposing element cards cancel each other out was frustrating.

It's been a while since I played Origins but by streamlining the combat system (one shared deck, no defense phase, and only three characters versus eight) the focus was on creating combos, offering revival magnus cards in battle (in addition to healing magnus), and healing the party after battles.

In addition, characters also had unique magnus cards i.e. Sagi uses swords and elemental sword magnus cards found in BK1; Milly has unique attacks such as Rabbit Dash can be combined to combos; Guillo has volleyball-like attacks and crowd control attacks early on in the game. By using certain combo attacks, this lead to ex-combo attacks. Thankfully the game has a combo list of every possible combo for each character but without a guide, it was a blind guess.

The combat system felt more like a fighting game as I mentioned before. For instance, a combo order can go Weak Attack A, Weak Attack B, Weak Attack C, Scencion, Ascension, Transcenion (with MP Burst). With the MP Burst system, players had a limited time to use their best and most damaging combo cards plus special move cards without any limits. Stacking certain magnus cards and special moves together added special bonuses too. This made battles way more interesting and there were battle bonuses such as getting through without getting hit.

In addition, rather than hoarding up experience points to cash them in at the Endmost Bethel to level up, Origins went with a traditional level up system seen most in most JRPGs. This mitigated having to backtrack to blue save flower in order to go to go to a church.

This video gives you a good idea of how the combat system works:


Also paging john tv
 
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base_two

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,156
The main thing that stops people from really appreciating Baten Kaitos is that you really have to learn and understand the battle system early on in the game to make it through the entire game. As it's been mentioned, the game has some ridiculous difficulty spikes that can catch you off guard.

Giacomo, Folon, & Ayme is one battle that pretty much ends your save file if you aren't leveled up properly with a good deck , as you're stuck on the ship if you save there and cannot go back to the church to level up while on board. That's bad game design. I've read that it's technically possible to get past that part with a little luck if you're underleveled, but still, that's ridiculous.
 

skLaFarebear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
417
Playing through the first game now. It's pretty solid so far. Made it
past the river and beat the tank boss to cross into the next town that's apparently in flames from being invaded I guess.

Combat system is actually pretty neat, but is definitely slow and reminds me a bit of TMS where combos can just go on for so long in the late game and bog down the pacing, but thankfully playing on Dolphin makes it a much more bearable experience since I can just turbo through it. I stopped changing my cards out every time I got a new one and usually just waited till I was near the end of the dungeon/before the boss to do it since switching all the time can get real tiresome. Music is really good. That Giacomo theme is fucking ace. Gonna play more of it since I enjoy it, but it's nice to hear that BKO is even better.

Like everyone else says though, the voice acting is definitely beyond trash tier. Honestly just wish there was a mod or something to remove the voice acting altogether since i know some of those later heavier story beats are gonna fall so flat cuz of it, but what can you do.
 

Instro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,991
It makes me sad that there hasn't been any attempt to remaster these. Truly great games, with Origins being a masterpiece.
 

flashman92

Member
Feb 15, 2018
863
I gave one character nothing but healing items and cameras so I'd never be low on health ever. It made the game super easy and slow but it never bothered me. The limited inventory size (the blank cards) was annoying though. Especially since that old dudes book is basically a permanent slot iirc

The twist at at the end was pretty dumb. I don't recall having a particularly strong connection to any of the characters except paddle dude. He was awesome.
 
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theofficefan99
Oct 31, 2017
4,254
I gave one character nothing but healing items and cameras so I'd never be low on health ever. It made the game super easy and slow but it never bothered me. The limited inventory size (the blank cards) was annoying though. Especially since that old dudes book is basically a permanent slot iirc

The twist at at the end was pretty dumb. I don't recall having a particularly strong connection to any of the characters except paddle dude. He was awesome.
Y'all really play JRPG's and don't enjoy some grinding here and there? D:

The only party member I don't like is Kalas. I LOVE Xelha tho
 
Oct 27, 2017
880
The main thing that stops people from really appreciating Baten Kaitos is that you really have to learn and understand the battle system early on in the game to make it through the entire game. As it's been mentioned, the game has some ridiculous difficulty spikes that can catch you off guard.

Giacomo, Folon, & Ayme is one battle that pretty much ends your save file if you aren't leveled up properly with a good deck , as you're stuck on the ship if you save there and cannot go back to the church to level up while on board. That's bad game design. I've read that it's technically possible to get past that part with a little luck if you're underleveled, but still, that's ridiculous.
Yup, I remember when I played through the game back then I got stuck on that ship. Took me about 20 tries but I finally beat that boss fight and was so happy. I was absolutely underleveled, very bad game design.
 

Graefellsom

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
459
Enjoyed my time with it but never really understood the battle mechanics so got completly stuck when
you fight the mc

I think i still have my gamecube copy somewhere, so might try n play it again one day
 

Conrad Link

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,245
New Zealand
Love BK so much, GameCube was my main console (I had the others, just mained GameCube) so the game was always on my hype list. I would watch the Japanese advert for it that I downloaded from IGN or something over and over and over lol. So hyped.

It was the game (sprinkled with being a fan of Xenogears previously) that sparked my true love of Monolith Soft, and I've been a #1 fan and collector of all their work ever since! I've said it before but it really warms my heart to think back to those days and today see the powerhouse/important to Nintendo/really popular dev they've grown into now. <3 One of Nintendo's best decisions was buying them.

AND...

Origins is even better! Wow, now THERE is a game I absolutely looove everything about! <3
 
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Banned

Member
Nov 10, 2017
112
I played both BK and BKO years ago and loved them both, I definitely recommend them to rpg fans
 

ozfunghi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,012
It was too psychedelic for my taste. I think i made it over half way, i think i quit in the candy world pictured in the OP.
 

ΑGITΩ

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
319
Loved this game and origins. These are games that I really wish got remastered or remade for the Switch.
Although the voice acting in the first game could definitely use an update, as they all sound like they are talking with buckets on their heads (Has this even been answered by any devs? I just imagine they had all the VO done over the phone and into their microphones.)
BK was also one of the few games that I remember was a drastic shift from Disc one to Disc two with a particular boss battle I wont spoil, but I was caught off guard by that moment and the fight was very bitter feeling.
The leveling up system was another thing I greatly remember, because I didnt figure it out until an accident. Kept getting my shit wrecked in the first Giacamo boss fight, and it was because I had never once leveled up. I didn't know the Blue Flowers would take me to an area to level. But I was young and skipped a lot of tutorial talk.
 
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theofficefan99
Oct 31, 2017
4,254
I'm about to buy BKO even though I should be saving money :p

Loved this game and origins. These are games that I really wish got remastered or remade for the Switch.
Although the voice acting in the first game could definitely use an update, as they all sound like they are talking with buckets on their heads (Has this even been answered by any devs? I just imagine they had all the VO done over the phone and into their microphones.)
BK was also one of the few games that I remember was a drastic shift from Disc one to Disc two with a particular boss battle I wont spoil, but I was caught off guard by that moment and the fight was very bitter feeling.
The leveling up system was another thing I greatly remember, because I didnt figure it out until an accident. Kept getting my shit wrecked in the first Giacamo boss fight, and it was because I had never once leveled up. I didn't know the Blue Flowers would take me to an area to level. But I was young and skipped a lot of tutorial talk.
Considering the fact that the opening movie's voices are just fine, along with the fact that Disc 2 doesn't even have the opening movie, makes me think that they compressed the hell out of the voices.
 
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theofficefan99
Oct 31, 2017
4,254
Love BK so much, GameCube was my main console (I had the others, just mained GameCube) so the game was always on my hype list. I would watch the Japanese advert for it that I downloaded from IGN or something over and over and over lol. So hyped.

It was the game (sprinkled with being a fan of Xenogears previously) that sparked my true love of Monolith Soft, and I've been a #1 fan and collector of all their work ever since! I've said it before but it really warms my heart to think back to those days and today see the powerhouse/important to Nintendo/really popular dev they've grown into now. <3 One of Nintendo's best decisions was buying them.

AND...

Origins is even better! Wow, now THERE is a game I absolutely looove everything about! <3
I loved everything UNTIL they became more well-known. I haven't played any of the Xenoblade games but I highly doubt they'd appeal to me. MMO-like combat plus I don't like the art direction or character designs in any of them :p
 

Prax

Member
Oct 25, 2017
731
The first Baten Kaitos was better than the second one battle system-wise because I liked the more complicated poker bonuses. But yeah, the sound design was much better for the sequel and the battle system was much more streamlined. But I unfortunately barely remember anything about the games! lol It leaves an impression but a weird faint one like after waking from a fever dream.
 
The first Baten Kaitos was better than the second one battle system-wise because I liked the more complicated poker bonuses. But yeah, the sound design was much better for the sequel and the battle system was much more streamlined. But I unfortunately barely remember anything about the games! lol It leaves an impression but a weird faint one like after waking from a fever dream.
I’m so happy to meet another person who feels that way and prefers the firsts battle system more. I missed the more variety/poker bonuses in origins. Both great games though.
 

Prax

Member
Oct 25, 2017
731
I’m so happy to meet another person who feels that way and prefers the firsts battle system more. I missed the more variety/poker bonuses in origins. Both great games though.
YEAH! If I recall, the second game had more of some turn-based system where the first one was more speed-based where the more poker hands you got the more you could link up more combos? Or am I mixing them up now? hahah..

All I remember is that the first game was actually more fun to play, but both of them had a lot of nonsensical or strange narrative beats that made it hard to remember the full plot except for the main twist in the first game.

I'm proud I got to play such niche rpgs, but truth to be told I was RPG starved so played almost anything. Thought it was much worse in N64 days.. ... anyone remember Quest64 and Aiden Chronicles? I bought and played those too.. lol. One being babby's first rpg and the other being.. really really janky Dragon Age before Dragon Age.
 
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theofficefan99
Oct 31, 2017
4,254
I finally got Baten Kaitos Origins! I'm honestly soooo excited to play it tonight. I'll start in like an hour :D
 
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theofficefan99
Oct 31, 2017
4,254
Is there a good recommended walkthrough or video that can explain the card battling system? I own the first game, but I am so lost in the battles.

Beautiful game, I just hope I can figure it out sooner or later.

I never saw this post until now :p I'm unsure about a video or walkthrough that explains the battle system, but for the most part it's pretty simple.

The only thing you need to be aware of is that, when attacking, do not use opposing elements within the same turn (for example, a water sword and a fire sword), because their damage will cancel out (if the water sword was supposed to do 40 damage and the fire sword 30, instead of 70 damage you'll only do 10). So when building a deck just make sure you put in as few opposing elements as possible (fire/water, chrono/wind, light/dark).

For stuff like the card numbers, I literally never paid attention to that stuff, and I would get special attack cards popping up in 90% of battles (I ignored them most of the time). I guess I was lucky, but they're not a necessity at all. I also didn't even use finishers that much because I didn't feel like sitting and watching the animation over and over again. Grinding in this game makes a huge difference.
 
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Kneefoil

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,510
I once had to make a choice between Baten Kaitos and Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.

I picked Path of Radiance because I'd never played a Fire Emblem game, but Smash Melee had made me curious about the series. I still haven't played Baten Kaitos, and I sometimes wonder if I made the right choice that day.
 
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theofficefan99
Oct 31, 2017
4,254
Update, I'm roughly 10 hours in. It's one of those games where I'm decently overleveled without really trying, simply because I like the combat so much lol.
 

DrHercouet

Member
May 25, 2018
204
France
Update, I'm roughly 10 hours in. It's one of those games where I'm decently overleveled without really trying, simply because I like the combat so much lol.
I think it's the first RPG in which I never avoided a fight because it's just so good. The fact that every battle feels like a mini-arcade game gives it an amazing feel. To this day, I still play the game on my Wii just to fight a couple of monsters and then switch the console off. Really love the feeling when you MP Burst massive EX Combos in Relays. Just brilliant.
 
Dec 4, 2017
2,082
I tried 3 times to get into it and... I just can't. I really don't like the character designs and I never understood how in the world the combat it supposed to properly work.
 

rochellepaws

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,662
Ireland
The game had plenty of issues but the battle system was so much fun they were worth enduring. Such a pity Origins never made it to Europe.
 
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theofficefan99
Oct 31, 2017
4,254
Okay I do really like Origins so far, I really do. The battle system is amazing, game is obviously beautiful, voice acting is superb, etc.

But, outside of the weaker soundtrack, what's been bugging me so far is that I'm at the beginning of Disc 2, and it feels like nothing has happened yet. I'm in Anuenue, and if I'm forced to do one more fetch quest here I'm going to scream. Does it pick up sometime soon? How much of the game is Disc 2, anyways?