RPG Community |OT| Take the Epoch to a New Era

Nov 4, 2017
1,286

What is your RPG game plan for 2019? Are there a lot of releases this year that interest you? Or will it primarily be a backlog year - and if so, what are you planning to tackle?
There's a few JRPGs I'm keeping my eye out for this year, but I'm pretty much just planning on getting KH3 on day 1 and waiting on sales for everything else, so mostly a backlog year for me.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,240
Netherlands
Made some progress on DDS1. Had to do some prep work for Beck.

Didn't had mediarama and dyne skills before. Also gained some levels in the process. Maybe I wouldn't have to do this if I made more optimal choices, but you never know beforehand what to expect and adapting with what you have is also something you gotta learn.

I think I missed some optional content before going through the tunnels and that might have made me a bit underleveled. Which made random encounters a bit harder (especially without proper hunting set ups), which meant I was lagging behind on skills. I got by well with the rest, but got confronted with nasty rng from Beck without the means to overcome that. Ajna is basically also closed off, so going back wasn't really an option. Also made me less stingy on macca spending. I went through most of it. Should be fine I think for now. Almost near the very expensive mantras. Still got a nice range in party variations.

The cutscene was neat, as things are falling in its place regarding the world and Sera.

It was still an endurance race and a test of patience. The rng can screw up with the hunger waves and also beck not using force skills.

Party ~ lv 42
Serph (Bufudyne/Mediarama/Makakaja/Void Force)
Cielo (Ziodyne/Makakaja/Rakunda/Void Force)
Gale (Mediarama/Recarm/Drain Force)

I did have more skills, but these were the most used and it was my first retry after prep.

Had Heat and Argilla sit this one out. I could have gone with a physical approach using Heat with power force while Tarukaja and Rakunda is up as well. Debuffing with Argilla is also an option, but I wanted to spread the buff load from Serph.

Also Becks form reminded me of a Starman from EarthBound.
 
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What is your RPG game plan for 2019? Are there a lot of releases this year that interest you? Or will it primarily be a backlog year - and if so, what are you planning to tackle?
I've been tackling Baten Kaitos for the Gamecube. I made a LTTP thread about it, since I'm really enjoying it, and wanted to see some chatter about it. Progress has slowed down considerably since work started again, but I've got time. I don't have a whole lot of new RPGs on my radar, but there's certainly no lack of things to play. Crossing my fingers that Romancing SaGa 3 will get brought over, but I don't blame 'em if they decide to skip us. I'll probably get Kingdom Hearts, but deep down I know I've emotionally moved on many, many years ago. I'm mainly going to be playing it for a sense of closure.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,575

What is your RPG game plan for 2019? Are there a lot of releases this year that interest you? Or will it primarily be a backlog year - and if so, what are you planning to tackle?
A lot is changing for me right now, so I can't make any promisses, but so far my goals are:
Finish Mother 2 ad 3 (already started 2).
Finish Fallout 2 anf NV (basically all the games in the series I care about)
Play more Yakuza games
Play Pathfinder: Kingsmaker
Clear my Wii U backlog (for rpg's that is Xenoblade X and TMS)
Play Paper Mario 1
Play more short CRPG's ( Like Shadow Run, Tyranny, etc.)

As for new game go, I want to play KH3, Outer Worlds and Virgo Vs The Zodiac
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,629
I'm a little late to the party but wanted to share my thoughts about all the rpgs I played throughout 2018. I got to play quite a lot of games, at least for my usual standards. I didn't really play any new releases as it was mainly a year of going through my JRPG backlog and it ended up being heavily dominated by Falcom games. In roughly chronological order:

Persona 5 - I started the year with a bang. This game was absolutely phenomenal and got me glued to my TV for a few weeks straight. While it has some issues with writing and pacing, making the whole narrative unnecessarily stretched and hit some pretty bad lows, the highs more than made up for it. Thematically it's one of the strongest games I've experienced in the last few years and the striking visuals and music enhance it at every bit. The gameplay improved a lot from P4, especially in terms of dungeons which are now pretty fun to explore, though sometimes a bit too long. The game is very much a flawed masterpiece to me and easily beats P3 and 4, even though I loved those as well.
Trails in the Sky the 3rd - it's been a while since I finished Second Chapter but I enjoyed my time with the previous games a lot. Initially I wasn't too hot on the game as the early hours were giving me a strong "gaiden" vibe but once the story started for real, it became one unforgettable ride. The game does wonders building on the foundations of the previous games, while also setting up a lot for the future of the series. The main narrative is a very personal and emotional story beautifully fleshing out the protagonist who was only a supporting character in SC. The rest of the cast also get their moments to shine, especially in the side stories. The one thing I missed were the towns full of npcs with their own storylines that the series is famous for but their lack is also probably what helped the 3rd have the best paced story so far.
Trails of Cold Steel - after how amazing the 3rd was I needed more of the series and maybe that was a mistake since this is where things started getting rougher. Initally I was taken aback by all the lazy cliches and while it does get better, it never really comes into its own. The game's biggest strength is the worldbuilding and the npcs whose storylines were very entertaining to follow. The main cast on the other hand was just fairly dull, filled with derivative anime characters who never really manage to break out of their cliches. It tries to give them some depth but these attempts are still usually trite and formulaic, either tragic backstories or some contrived epiphanies, rarely feeling organically woven into the plot or even actually showing them in a different light. As much as I enjoy the social sim aspect of Persona, it was my least favourite part of this game as it just felt tacked on and filled with superfluous events making the end result a snoozefest. In general, the quality of characterization was my biggest disappointment after the Sky arc and while the story was mostly okay, it was so badly paced the ending was the only part really worth anything.
Trails of Cold Steel 2 - I wasn't too enamored with the first game but it managed to builld up a lot of goodwill and its ending created an exciting setup for the sequel. Unfortunately it was a major letdown on most fronts. The more open world and some gameplay improvements made it more fun to play and the npcs were as great as ever but it failed miserably at what to me matters the most in this series - the writing in the main story. The game's portrayal of war is genuinely among the worst I've ever seen in any media, both in terms of being tonally all over the place with non-existant stakes and poor politics of the local conflicts. The finale also left a pretty bad taste in my mouth as it tried too hard for my tastes to be shocking, resulting in feeling like a barrage of cheap plot twists. Similarly to the first game the ending was the only part that actually mattered and it still managed to create an interesting setup for the sequel but I'm not sure I care anymore. Couldn't get through the entire epilogue.
The Ys series - over the last year I also got into these games and played most of the series (all except VIII and Celceta). I had a lot of fun with the fast paced action but most games also had some issues that put them in the "good but not great" category for me. There were two games I found genuinely amazing though: Oath in Felghana and Origin. Both feel like a full package with the tightest combat, tough but very fun bosses, great dungeons and pretty good stories. Ys Origin especially resonated with me and ended up among my favourite action rpgs ever. The only issue I had with it was the three characters' routes were almost exactly the same, making it easy to feel burned out when playing them in succession.
Xanadu Next - now this is one of the more unique Falcom games which ended up being my dark horse of the last year. From the beginning I was sold on it thanks to the refreshing gothic aesthetic and soundtrack. I wasn't too thrilled with the combat and bosses but it also didn't get in the way of the main dish - the dungeons. The game has immaculate level design, with an interconnected world often looping back on itself in unexpected ways. The storytelling is more sparse than in other Falcom games but it's also surprisingly effective, especially in the presentation of its backstory.
Final Fantasy IV (PC) - it took me a while to get through this even though I consider myself a big FF fan. I have to say I mainly appreciated it in the historical context of how it defined the franchise and influenced the genre. I don't feel like it really stands on its own nowadays as it was surpassed in pretty much every way by later FFs. Especially the story and writing feel rough, though I can see how it could be enjoyable and even groundbreaking back when it came out.
Zwei: The Ilvard Insurection - this was the second game other than XN which surprised me with just how great it was. It was a charming adventure, very well written and well paced, never overstaying its welcome. From the beginning I enjoyed the two lead characters for their chemistry, the way they play off each other and consistently develop throughout the game. The often quirky supporting cast was also very memorable. The npcs were my favourite in all of Falcom games, likely helped by the game's pacing which made every time I talked to them feel like I learn something new about them. The gameplay also proved to be a lot of fun, even though it wasn't as tight as Ys, with okay dungeons which were short enough to not get tiring. The English localization was also excellent which was surprising for such a small niche game.
Tokyo Xanadu - the final game I beat last year (but barely, on the New Year's Eve). It pretty much became my "junk food" jrpg over the last month, generally mediocre to average across the board. Walking around the city talking to npcs and doing side quests was pretty fun but the main story was just boring and bland generic characters didn't help. Action combat was serviceable but not really up to Falcom's standards, same with dungeons. Overall it didn't really do anything very well but also nothing offensively bad. It was okay enough to play through it but I doubt I'm going to remember anything from it in a few months.

This turned out a little longer than I expected so to sum up 2018 for me had been a year of both positive surprises and disappointments but I'm glad I managed to play as many games as I did. I don't really have concrete gaming plans for 2019 but I'll probably continue to play mostly older games.
That is a LOT of Falcom.

I've only played TitS FC and dabbled a bit with Xanadu Next myself, but this was a good read~
 
Oct 26, 2017
7,409
Ha, beat SMT2. So I've finished all the mainline SMT games except Nocturne. Time to give it another try I guess.

I went for the neutral route, but I have to say killing Lucifer is not easy. He's like the most decent thing in the world.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
444
Vienna
I finished Dragon Quest IX again around new year and I think I enjoyed it even more than back then.
Let me begin by saying that I adore how you start the game as an angel literally picking up poop for people. Anyway, I started with the assumption that I wanted to attempt a solo playthrough with just the minstrel class, but after a while I thought that maybe this would need too much time spent grinding to outlevel the bosses. It also just didn't feel right that there would be no one to cheer me - I mean - be cheered on by me, so I added a fighter and shortly after a thief just for the flavor and went my merry way.
DQIX is already a rather easy game for the most part, and missing only one party member didn't seem to impede me too much, which disappointed me greatly. On the other hand, I found a new appreciation for classes that would not be considered that great of a choice, but shine because of their versatility and synergy in a smaller party - although I went into the post-game with the classic gladiator, paladin and sage.

Ranger stood out for me, and I would've loved to use one for the post-game, but the party wide healing just wasn't enough. The regeneration rain you can pick up from sage is too often dispelled by bosses, and the area healing effect of that one bow doesn't really cut it either when it gets hairy. It just can't compete with the one-round area heal of sage or priest. But if I'd build around the paladin more I could probably make it work, the class armor just looks too sweet. Then again, apperently ranger is supposed to be even better for a solo playthrough...

I think that's what always connected especially Dragon Quest IX to Dungeons and Dragons in a strong way for me. The itemization of equipment as "proper and unique magical artifacts" from the DQ series is brought together with a visual representation that makes the items stand out even more. All the while I can experiment with party combinations to my hearts contend. Although I would argue that some JRPGs could really benefit from allowing some form of additional class agency outside of combat. There's some of that discreetly blooming in DQIX, but they don't really follow through with it. Like, it's great that a ranger can cloak the whole party, but a thief should also just be able to open some locks. I mean, come on.

And because the week-by-week playing format of D&D lends itself so readily to the format of vignettes, I would have loved an updated 3DS version with online-multiplayer, some balancing, extended post-game, and maybe one or two new classes......
 
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Oct 26, 2017
7,409
Congrats! What did you think of it in the end?
I'm surprised how easy SMT1 and 2 are. Heard a lot of people saying how these old games are tough as nail, but the truth is they are obscure sometimes but never too difficult. I can't remember a single boss in both games that gave me any trouble.

I'd say so far SMT2's story feels the least "SMT-ish" to me. The deities have too much personalities that they don't feel like deities anymore. It makes the story a lot more interesting, but at the same time it takes away the crude "holiness" of the first game. It doesn't feel like a holy war between god and devil, more like war between two countries.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,607
I finished Dragon Quest IX again around new year and I think I enjoyed it even more than back then.
Let me begin by saying that I adore how you start the game as an angel literally picking up poop for people. Anyway, I started with the assumption that I wanted to attempt a solo playthrough with just the minstrel class, but after a while I thought that maybe this would need too much time spent grinding to outlevel the bosses. It also just didn't feel right that there would be no one to cheer me - I mean - be cheered on by me, so I added a fighter and shortly after a thief just for the flavor and went my merry way.
DQIX is already a rather easy game for the most part, and missing only one party member didn't seem to impede me too much, which disappointed me greatly. On the other hand, I found a new appreciation for classes that would not be considered that great of a choice, but shine because of their versatility and synergy in a smaller party - although I went into the post-game with the classic gladiator, paladin and sage.

Ranger stood out for me, and I would've loved to use one for the post-game, but the party wide healing just wasn't enough. The regeneration rain you can pick up from sage is too often dispelled by bosses, and the area healing effect of that one bow doesn't really cut it either when it gets hairy. It just can't compete with the one-round area heal of sage or priest. But if I'd build around the paladin more I could probably make it work, the class armor just looks too sweet. Then again, apperently ranger is supposed to be even better for a solo playthrough...

I think that's what always connected especially Dragon Quest IX to Dungeons and Dragons in a strong way for me. The itemization of equipment as "proper and unique magical artifacts" from the DQ series is brought together with a visual representation that makes the items stand out even more. All the while I can experiment with party combinations to my hearts contend. Although I would argue that some JRPGs could really benefit from allowing some form of additional class agency outside of combat. There's some of that discreetly blooming in DQIX, but they don't really follow through with it. Like, it's great that a ranger can cloak the whole party, but a thief should also just be able to open some locks. I mean, come on.

And because the week-by-week playing format of D&D lends itself so readily to the format of vignettes, I would have loved an updated 3DS version with online-multiplayer, some balancing, extended post-game, and maybe one or two new classes......
I should go back to DQIX some day. I only played it at launch. Interesting reading impressions on it as I don't remember it that well.

In general, I am unsure where DQ remakes go next. It would be a nice excuse to play DQIX again if they remade it and it is next in line but Switch ends the DS line and it is back to being only compatible with DQX and soon DQXI so perhaps that means a new line of remakes or a series of mobile/ds ports to Switch/PS4(/PC?) is next instead.

I'm surprised how easy SMT1 and 2 are. Heard a lot of people saying how these old games are tough as nail, but the truth is they are obscure sometimes but never too difficult. I can't remember a single boss in both games that gave me any trouble.

I'd say so far SMT2's story feels the least "SMT-ish" to me. The deities have too much personalities that they don't feel like deities anymore. It makes the story a lot more interesting, but at the same time it takes away the crude "holiness" of the first game. It doesn't feel like a holy war between god and devil, more like war between two countries.
SMT1 is pretty foundational. I was surprised just how completely (and emphatically) it stated quintessential "SMT" when I played it last year. That's one of the things that makes me really curious about MT1&2 (which I want to play this year).

SMT2 is a direct sequel that builds on that foundation and explores certain facets of it quite intimately, namely Law and the chosen hero.

SMT3 and 4 are instead "alternative" (quite alternative at that) SMTs to a certain extent although they use that alternative nature to also explore and expand SMT lore. SMT4 also shares some similarities with what you are pointing to in SMT2, namely, particularly with Apocalypse considered, there is a more "human" like nature/personality to the faction leaders. 4 also has Mikado, which, like Tokyo Millenium, is more abstracted from the original post-apocalyptic setting (and also similarly is used to set up and under-gird a conflict between Law and Chaos).

I really enjoyed SMT2 when I played it last year and that's the other reason I'm curious about MT, particularly MT2: I've seen some very high praise of MT2 and comparisons to SMT2.

As to the difficulty thing, I think SMT1&2 have a difficulty curve much like SMT3 and SMT4 where it can be pretty challenging to a certain point but then, when you've got yourself set up, it becomes fairly easy.

...

I played Undertale over the last couple of nights (for the first time). I'd been spoiled on some things just by osmosis (which did lessen the excitement of certain gimmicks) but it was actually largely fresh for me in terms of settings, characters, gameplay, and narrative. It is a good game and short too. It kind of reminded me of Cave Story meets Mother meets SMT if that makes any sense. Might write more about it in a couple of days but I'm going to be busy again finally so we'll see!
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,383
Reached the last character story in Odin’s Sphere L. Fun times. I can see how people could find the game repetitive, but I am not too bothered, thanks to different playstyles of characters. I wouldn’t have minded more locations and unique bosses, though.

I usually play 8-10 games in tandem so repetitiveness is usually not an issue for me. Last game I quit for that reason was White Knight Chronicles 2.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,272
Every year is a backlog year for me and 2019 is no exception! This year I would like to attempt to 'complete' (play all the main entries in) a few more classic JRPG series. In the last year I began my journey in Star Ocean, Fire Emblem, Golden Sun, and Wild Arms and I look forward to playing more of them. I also have some series where I have played entries here and there and would like to fill in the gaps (Suikoden, Dragon Quest, Shin Megami Tensei). Hopefully the release of the Grandia Remaster will go well and I will finally finish it too! There are a bunch of series I would like to start, but we'll see (Atelier, Front Mission, Arc the Lad to name a few). Lastly, there are a bunch of other games I would like to play for one reason or another. This includes games like Emerald Dragon, Energy Breaker, Valkyrie Profile 2, Shadow Hearts 3, Resonance of Fate, The Last Remnant, etc. That's not even talking about CRPGs and WRPGs...

This is only the tip of the iceberg of what I'd like to get done gaming-wise in 2019, but I hope it gives you an idea of how in love with this genre I am.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,607
Started two games tonight: MT and TitS 3rd. Might be a little freewheeling for a while idk but that's what I felt like doing this weekend.

Some thoughts about Undertale's ending:

So I gather I got the pacifist ending. The game pretty much tells you to do this and warns you about the first boss fight--Toriel--where it is unclear you can get through it peaceably: an NPC tells you there might come a time where you need to "spare" even though the name isn't yellow shortly before the encounter. Similarly, the game outright removes the mercy command when you are supposed to actually fight Asgore (although it comes back and lets you choose it at the end) making it pretty clear you have to attack him.

Asgore is interesting because I feel he underlies the subtle critique of the pacifist route in the game. Namely, he makes killing into such a ritual because he really doesn't want to do it (all those false "last rooms" and "last save points" and "last encounters" but also the whole royal guard and the hunt and the puzzles) but a) at the end of the day he still does it and crushes people's dreams and b) this dancing around the point creates Flowy (a perversion of his son's soul moreover), an insatiable monster as well as the strange undead monsters. Toriel also makes a point of this when she preempts the Asgore fight the second time around, namely she points out that Asgore could have simply gone out, murdered six people and been done with it instead of dragging the rest of the monsters in and making his murder elaborate (as a way to avoid it and ritualize it).

It is similar with the protagonist's route: at the end of the day they are going to have to kill Asgore to get through but they put their eventual murder off, and go out of their way not to be a murderer. Now, partly that is just "kill as few as you have to" but partly it is also a denial of what the first "end" reduces itself to: a duel to the death, as Flowy predicted in the beginning. There's this sort of hypocrisy building up as you play through the game.

The game doesn't, however, stop there and it makes a point of this in the first imperfect end with the discussion of Undyne and her vow of violence. In the second pass it becomes about actually seeing through the pacifist route completely and about righting the situation in the underworld and the corruption that has wrought on the souls of its inhabitants rather than escaping even if in the former there is finally escape for everyone. (Save Asriel).

I feel there is an interesting juxtaposition in the work the game does to humanize and make sympathetic the monsters but also the effort it makes to drive back home what they have been trying to do to you the entire game, namely kill you as well as their other demons. Really, this latter effort is another form of humanizing. Undertale emphasizes one side, then the other in a dialectic approach, which I think is kind of the underpinning of what I'm trying to call attention to about the pacifist route. There is a generosity and a love but also a penchant for self-interested, self-righteous murder and the game ultimately has the former triumph over the latter but its characters pretty much all struggle with this.

In any case, I really enjoyed the detailed approach to the monsters, the strong central cast, the mixture of goofiness and understated sorrow, and just the captivating setting/core premise.

As to why I mentioned Cave Story above:

It is a couple things: the zany humor layered on top of a morbidity and tragic narrative, the human/robot interloper in a monster world with a problem brought on in part by a human interloper, said monster world closed off from human world because of previous problems, a monstrous flower, fluffy cute white monsters gone bad, etc. So mostly superficial stuff beyond the first thing I listed but it made me think of it while I played.
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
Baldur’s Gate 2 Cavalier’s log 1/13/19: Throne of Bhaal edition

Well, Taborcarn the Cavalier has returned once again to the sword coast. After about 2 and a half months have passed since beating the main game I have started up the Throne of Bhaal expansion. Since the most of the content assumes you’ve beaten the main game I’m going to put the majority of this post (and any following journal entries I make) behind spoiler tags.

Well the undoable is done and I have defeated the mad mage Jon Irenicus and went to Hell and back to prevent him from becoming a god. All of that earned my character… about a week of rest since now there is a Bhaalspawn war in full swing. So far through the first 2 full games we knew that the dead god Bhaal wandered the earth as a mortal for a time and fathered as many children as he could to increase the likelihood that one of them would become powerful enough to resurrect him. To date we only know the existence of 3 such Bhaalspawn. Myself, the young orphan raised by Gorion in the library city of Candlekeep. Saervok, the master manipulator behind the iron shortages and revolt in Baldur’s Gate, the main antagonist of the first game. And Imoen, my children friend from Candlekeep and constant companion who was just revealed towards the end of the second game to also be a Bhaalspawn.

But now we learn that there are no less than 5 more Bhaalspawn now leading their own personal armies across the countryside. They all have the aim of slaughtering the remaining Bhaalspawn and taking their power, Highlander-style. There can be only one, the Quickening, yada yada yada. Also there are probably more, since a Bhaalspawn tried to assassinate me right at the start of the game. Since I was able to thwart and kill them so easily I doubt this was one of the main 5 spoken of in the intro.

But killing this other Bhaalspawn but me into a weird state was I was transported back to the Hell-like plane I traveled to at the end of the main BG2 game. There I once again met the dead form of my half-brother Saervok. He explained that the area we were in was a sort of safe cocoon within this dimension, and plane-within-a-plane. He would tell us how to get out of here, with the cost being restoring him to life. He swore a magically-binding oath that he would not attack or betray me, and even offered to join my party. I’d like to tell him “No can do, buckaroo” but it seems this is the only way to move forward. But at least I was able to tell him that I might consider having him in my party, but he should wait here until I’m ready and come back for him. (Spoiler: He’s a dick and I’m not coming back for him). Also there’s an imp here with a funny voice who offers to upgrade my most powerful equipment (even my prize Holy Avenger) if I can find him the correct ingredients. Neat.


Finding the exit from here had me fighting waves of most of the types of creatures I had killed since the beginning of my journey, seeking retribution. Thankfully the strongest of these were some Drow warriors and priests, so I didn’t have to worry about any beholders, mind flayers, or dragons right from the outset.

Upon getting through the exit portal I am whisked not to where I want to go, but where I am needed. In this case it is a sort of sanctuary city for Bhaalspawn, which is under attack from an army of Fire Giants. Unfortunately the general in charge is also a Bhaalspawn who has gone crazy and is ruining things from the inside, so if he’s not stopped soon the city will be lost. Also there is a side quest about a traitor who was framed by another traitor who had kidnapped the first guy’s best friend to make that friend’s mom implicate the first guy, then when I went to the second traitor he told me a wizard did it. But the wizard said the second asshole did it, and if I wanted proof the friend was in his basement. There he was indeed so I killed some folks and freed some folks and (almost) everyone went home happy even though they’re all still constantly under attack from giants. This side quest was as boring or convoluted as I’m making it sound, it was just something very basic given the epic stakes of everything else going on so they could say “Welcome back, here’s a side quest so you can remember what these look like”. Which I did actually appreciate since it’s been a while.

Anyway by talking around I found that the path to this general guy can be accessed from beneath the local temple but it’s infested with undead. Well I guess I know what I’m doing next time.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,607
Making some progress in TitS 3 and MT1, moreso the former.

I've done one of each type of door now after being able to go back to the second door I found finally. They're pretty nice so far with unique challenges and quite a bit of narrative content. It is also nice how they sort of fill in what was going on leading up to the events in the game in a non-linear fashion. It hasn't really been revelatory in this way so much as fun--at least so far.

Hope I get to update my orbments soon. I upgraded Kevin pretty thoroughly from stripping the most recent addition to my roster of all her stuff, which is nice. But I'd like more to play around with to get more interesting spells up and running. The novelty of focusing on different basic spells has kind of worn off so I'd appreciate exploring more spells. Crafts have been really key so far, offering me revives, heals, area of effect damage, etc.

Finally bought my chain mail in MT1; I've also recruited some more demons. Think I'm up to five now. Can't really fuse anything yet--too low level. Kind of regretting putting some of the heroine's points into vitality instead of strength at the moment. Not really sure how much each adds to health. I just assumed vitality added more and that she'd be spending her time with magic but she has just been getting healing/support spells so far and having her hurt more when she isn't using those would be nice. She's got a good weapon and all; it is just her strength that is at issue. I've been messing around with the fourth floor (could be wrong as to which it is) but I've found one side is a dead end so I guess I'll focus on the other next time.
 
Making some progress in TitS 3 and MT1, moreso the former.

I've done one of each type of door now after being able to go back to the second door I found finally. They're pretty nice so far with unique challenges and quite a bit of narrative. It is also nice how they sort of fill in what was going on leading up to the events in the game in a non-linear fashion. It hasn't really been revelatory in this way so much as fun--at least so far.

Hope I get to update my orbments soon. I upgraded Kevin pretty thoroughly from stripping the most recent addition to my roster of all her stuff, which is nice. But I'd like more to play around with to get more interesting spells up and running. The novelty of focusing on different basic spells has kind of worn off so I'd appreciate exploring more spells. Crafts have been really key so far, offering me revives, heals, area of effect damage, etc.

Finally bought my chain mail in MT1; I've also recruited some more demons. Think I'm up to five now. Can't really fuse anything yet--too low level. Kind of regretting putting some of the heroine's points into vitality instead of strength at the moment. Not really sure how much each adds to health. I just assumed vitality added more and that she'd be spending her time with magic but she has just been getting healing/support spells so far and having her hurt more when she isn't using those would be nice. She's got a good weapon and all; it is just her strength that is at issue. I've been messing around with the fourth floor (could be wrong as to which it is) but I've found one side is a dead end so I guess I'll focus on the other next time.
Prepare.

Also always glad to see someone got to 3rd. It really is a crown jewel.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,785
How is Exist Archive?
It's on sale for £7.99, and I just found out it's by the Valkyrie Profile people (I loved the second game on PS2).

Is it more of that, or is it just worth replaying that again if I want to play a game in that style?
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,629
How is Exist Archive?
It's on sale for £7.99, and I just found out it's by the Valkyrie Profile people (I loved the second game on PS2).

Is it more of that, or is it just worth replaying that again if I want to play a game in that style?
I like it, but it’s anime VP right down to a Hrist looking character. The story does tie in some more complex relationship stuff into the narrative, and the premise is kinda neat. The combat is a fun and flashy spin on the VP style. I wouldn’t say it’s an amazing game by any means but I’ve enjoyed my time with it. It doesn’t really hold a candle to VP in most regards, but it’s fine.

Disclaimer: VP1 and 2 are my favorite games ever so I may be more apologetic than others.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,768
New Jersey
How is Exist Archive?
It's on sale for £7.99, and I just found out it's by the Valkyrie Profile people (I loved the second game on PS2).

Is it more of that, or is it just worth replaying that again if I want to play a game in that style?
It was so awful that it made me question whether or not VP was ever good (it was, Exist Archive is just terrible).
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,785
Hah, that's two different opinions alright.
I'm not a huge fan of overly anime JRPGs, and I had a look at the combat, and it seems to lack the FFXII feel of VP2, where you can run around sort of freely, so I might pass.
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
Baldur’s Gate 2 Cavalier’s log 1/14/19: Throne of Bhaal edition

This will be a shorter entry, since there was a not much going on to advance the story. As such I'll forgo the spoiler tags too. When I last left off I was about to enter the abandoned jail that held a pathway to get to Gromnir, the Bhaalspawn general inside the city who had gone mad and is causing problems for everyone. The jail is sealed off with an unpickable lock, but I remember that a townsperson I talked to said that a sister at the temple might have the key. I go check and with the proper dialogue options she gives us the key without a problem.

Once we get into the jail, it is indeed infested with undead, in particular vampires. Since we already have a bunch of experience fighting vampires in the main game, nothing here poses much of a problem. Not a problem, but the level drain they cause sure is annoying. As is the Restoration spell that cures level drain, since that causes exhaustion to the caster and they need to rest again before they can do much else. So it’s slow going through here. I do meet a sad looking ghost who wants us to follow him. There an out-of-place skull sitting around near where we met him, nothing special about its description but I pick it up anyway. The ghost leads us to an open grave where there’s a headless corpse, so it seems pretty obvious for us to chuck the skull in. Nothing happens yet, but the ghost is making a motion around its neck that’s kind of like putting a necklace on. So not too far away we find a rusty necklace, throw it in the grave too, and the ghost is satisfied. We end up with a bunch of quest XP and an Ioun Stone that lets the wearer cast an additional 7th-level wizard spell per day, which is pretty damn useful.

Further through the jail and into the tunnels beneath the general’s palace we encounter more standard parties of warriors, archers, and mages. These prove to be more annoying than the vampires since every single one of these mages casts time stop, simulacrum, and wail of the banshee. The Time Stop spell is the worst offender, since it causes to the screen to go black and white, and then you wait while this other mage casts three spells in a row with full animations and some pausing in between for good measure. You can’t select any characters or give any new orders while this happens, just wait and watch. Going to the inventory or other screens will pause this and you still have to watch it play out when you close those screens.

Even worse, when I make my way to Gromnir he has no less than 3 of these time-stopping mages in the room with him. And the Simulacrum spell makes them a fake body that you have to kill first before the real body appears. So after a whole bunch of reloads I’m able to do the fight with just one character death, and I’m sapped and ready for bed. To be continued.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,629
Hah, that's two different opinions alright.
I'm not a huge fan of overly anime JRPGs, and I had a look at the combat, and it seems to lack the FFXII feel of VP2, where you can run around sort of freely, so I might pass.
Yeah it doesn’t have the movement of VP2 but it’s a little more strategic than VP1 with enemies/things that can interrupt your attacks if you just rush in.

You should look at Resonance of Fate. There’s a lot of VP2 DNA in there, but it’s more it’s own thing.
 
Oct 25, 2017
914

What is your RPG game plan for 2019? Are there a lot of releases this year that interest you? Or will it primarily be a backlog year - and if so, what are you planning to tackle?
Starting this year off by trying to finally finish Nocturne. I've made decent progress on it but time is limited through the week most nights.

I also started to get into Diablo 3 on weekends which isn't helping. I've had the base game and Reaper of Souls for a number of years now but never really played them. A few weeks ago a good friend of mine mentioned it was on sale on the Switch, and a third friend of ours (that doesn't have a PC) has been playing it a ton there. I was initially reluctant, as I try to not buy games multiple times, but eventually I was convinced and the three of us started playing together on Switch. Despite my misgivings it is a lot of fun when we all play together.

I don't even really know what RPGs are coming in 2019 other than Kingdom Hearts III. Last year I played Xenosaga Episode I, so I'd like to play II and III possibly. I also played Trails in the Sky FC, so I'd like to finish those games and maybe move on to Cold Steel. I've also got Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Octopath Traveler, and Dragon Quest XI barely touched. After Nocturne I also want to play SMT IV and Apocalypse, hopefully before V comes out. I have the Kingdom Hearts collection as well! I've only played Final Mix and I'm maybe halfway through Re: CoM. Finally, Monster Hunter World.

I might not even be able to finish all those in 2019.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,629
Starting this year off by trying to finally finish Nocturne. I've made decent progress on it but time is limited through the week most nights.

I also started to get into Diablo 3 on weekends which isn't helping. I've had the base game and Reaper of Souls for a number of years now but never really played them. A few weeks ago a good friend of mine mentioned it was on sale on the Switch, and a third friend of ours (that doesn't have a PC) has been playing it a ton there. I was initially reluctant, as I try to not buy games multiple times, but eventually I was convinced and the three of us started playing together on Switch. Despite my misgivings it is a lot of fun when we all play together.

I don't even really know what RPGs are coming in 2019 other than Kingdom Hearts III. Last year I played Xenosaga Episode I, so I'd like to play II and III possibly. I also played Trails in the Sky FC, so I'd like to finish those games and maybe move on to Cold Steel. I've also got Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Octopath Traveler, and Dragon Quest XI barely touched. After Nocturne I also want to play SMT IV and Apocalypse, hopefully before V comes out. I have the Kingdom Hearts collection as well! I've only played Final Mix and I'm maybe halfway through Re: CoM. Finally, Monster Hunter World.

I might not even be able to finish all those in 2019.
You are buried in rpgs.

FiveSide would be proud.

I hope you like XS2 and 3. I’m fond of all the games in the trilogy but 3 shines rather brightly.
 
Oct 25, 2017
914
You are buried in rpgs.

FiveSide would be proud.

I hope you like XS2 and 3. I’m fond of all the games in the trilogy but 3 shines rather brightly.
I didn't even get into the stuff I still have on PS3 like Ni No Kuni or the eight million Tales of games I thought it would be a great idea to buy at various points on sale...
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,383
Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time is prettu fun. It’s a bit different from many rpgs that I have played. The story is decent so far. A bit dark, even if there are some anime cliches that seem unavoidable. Combat is fun, but the fields and dungeons have been quite boring so far.

I’m done with all the character stories in Odin Sphere L. It might be my favorite VannilaWare game. I only have The Book of Armageddon and trophy grinding left. Should be easy enough.
 

Box of Kittens

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,794
Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time is prettu fun. It’s a bit different from many rpgs that I have played. The story is decent so far. A bit dark, even if there are some anime cliches that seem unavoidable. Combat is fun, but the fields and dungeons have been quite boring so far.
It's one of my favorites. The scenario design is really strong. Too bad it flew so under the radar, probably from a combination of being a 2012 PSP release and Heritage of War's poor reception killing a lot of interest in the series.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,629
I miss Estelle. I’m really looking forward to finally playing SC. I don’t want any details but is it as an emotional a journey as I think it is?
Couldn’t say! I just beat FC last month and should be starting SC around March-ish. Based on how FC wrapped up, I imagine so. I enjoyed FC but didn’t want to burn out by playing them back to back immediately. I’m looking forward to SC as well.
 
Nov 27, 2017
840

What is your RPG game plan for 2019? Are there a lot of releases this year that interest you? Or will it primarily be a backlog year - and if so, what are you planning to tackle?
No hardcore game plan but really looking forward to finishing some old faves and hopefully some new games(just realized I can't think of many RPGs coming out in 2019). Currently on DQIII and plan to continue my Dragon Quest playthroughs. Excited for IV and V.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,607
No hardcore game plan but really looking forward to finishing some old faves and hopefully some new games(just realized I can't think of many RPGs coming out in 2019). Currently on DQIII and plan to continue my Dragon Quest playthroughs. Excited for IV and V.
Ah DQIII through V....so so good.

I miss Estelle. I’m really looking forward to finally playing SC. I don’t want any details but is it as an emotional a journey as I think it is?
Depends on how emotional you think it is :P. (I think the emotional narrative is a key strength of SC whenever it comes to the fore and is overall quite strong.)
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
Baldur’s Gate 2 Cavalier’s log 1/15/19 and 1/16/19: Throne of Bhaal edition

Another short entry this time as life has kept me busy from writing this, and game-wise I haven’t made much progress. In fact in two days of playing I’ve really only been through a couple screens of exploration and progress.

After defeating Gromnir, Melissan was pretty unhappy that I killed him. She’s the one who’s been gathering the Bhaalspawn in this sanctuary city to protect them. Hard to argue against the case for self-defense here though. He was a murderous psychopath who has personally locked her up, attacked me on sight, and had all those Time Stop mages. He had to go.
Anyway, even though Gromnir is dead, we still have to deal with Yaga-Shuroth, the Fire Giant Bhaalspawn who is assaulting the city. Turns out he’s immortal too, so that’s a challenge. While the siege is ongoing there is no way in or out of the city. Except… I had magically warped into the city, couldn’t I just warp out again? Turns out that yes, yes I can. I go back to my pocket plan to regroup. Also there’s a magic wall there who can summon any of the potential companions I’ve met in BG2 if I want to bring them along. Valygar the ranger really hasn’t been pulling his weight lately (with the lack of actual animals we’ve ecountered) so I bench him and call up Mazzy the halfling fighter to fill in my archer role.

I have a lead that the source of the Giant’s immortality is in a temple in the nearby hills, so I head over there. After a bunch of random soldier encounters I make it to the temple, and am confronted by the ghost of my adopted father Gorion, who was killed by Saervok in BG1. He says all kinds of nasty things like how I’ve disappointed him and failed him and I should just kill myself so that I don’t become the final Highlander Bhaalspawn. So after telling him 5 times that I don’t believe him and he isn’t the real Gorion, he reveals himself to be *surprise* not the real Gorion and just a Greater Shade. He summons a bunch of other assorted undead and we have a big old level-draining fight.

Inside the temple there is an old cultist woman, who claims to be the last remaining follower here. Oh yeah, it’s a temple to the dead god Bhaal, father of the year. She says she raised the Fire Giant Bhaalspawn from a child, but he betrayed her so she’s willing to help us take him down. She knows the way to undo the immortality, it’s a ceremony that involve his heart that he previously removed and kept safe in his stronghold. Also her heart has been removed, she needs that too. So off to the mountains we go.

This was the slowing moving part I mentioned before. The base of the mountains is a small area the contains the Fire Giant stronghold. Moving through that small wilderness area and the first floor of the stronghold took all of my second session, about 2 hours. Not much to report other than the Fire Giants are tough as nails. They hit hard as hell, have tons of hp, and even though they’re not mages they have a tendency to drink healing and haste potions. Those, along with some salamanders, upper tier golems, and some fire trolls made this an all-combat session, no real new story or exploration beats. Next time, to the second floor and hopefully some more progress.
 
Oct 25, 2017
914
Baldur's Gate II is my favorite game ever, although I haven't played it in many years.

I've been putting some time into Nocturne lately. Last night I finished the Amala Temple, and then beat the Angel trio. They mentioned something is happening in Ginza so the next time I play, I think I'm headed there next.
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
I'm so glad I got back around to BG2. For a game that I stopped playing back in 2000 at only about 8 hours in, it's quickly shot up to being one of my favorite games ever.
 
Oct 27, 2017
10,096
Xanadu Next - now this is one of the more unique Falcom games which ended up being my dark horse of the last year. From the beginning I was sold on it thanks to the refreshing gothic aesthetic and soundtrack. I wasn't too thrilled with the combat and bosses but it also didn't get in the way of the main dish - the dungeons. The game has immaculate level design, with an interconnected world often looping back on itself in unexpected ways. The storytelling is more sparse than in other Falcom games but it's also surprisingly effective, especially in the presentation of its backstory.

Zwei: The Ilvard Insurection - this was the second game other than XN which surprised me with just how great it was. It was a charming adventure, very well written and well paced, never overstaying its welcome. From the beginning I enjoyed the two lead characters for their chemistry, the way they play off each other and consistently develop throughout the game. The often quirky supporting cast was also very memorable. The npcs were my favourite in all of Falcom games, likely helped by the game's pacing which made every time I talked to them feel like I learn something new about them. The gameplay also proved to be a lot of fun, even though it wasn't as tight as Ys, with okay dungeons which were short enough to not get tiring. The English localization was also excellent which was surprising for such a small niche game.
I'm right there with you on both of these games, easily some of Falcom's best work and two games that any RPG fan should play. Zwei in particular I think has been overlooked, but I totally agree about the writing, characters, and general localization work.
 

Tenrius

For the Snark was a Boojum, you see
Member
Oct 25, 2017
316
I guess my new year's resolution is to finish more Japanese RPGs this year. My most common approach to gaming is to play a game for some time (maybe 10-20 hours), then switch to something else and get back to the first game some time later (a few months or years), but never restart anything.

It works well with shorter games, but longer RPGs typically take more than 2 approaches which often means that finishing games takes multiple years (for example, I started FFXII in 2010 and finished in 2016 – it took three approaches of ~30 hours each).

I finished 31 games in 2018, but only 6 of them were RPGs and most of them were Western (I count MMO expansions as standalone games, as well as huge expansions for offline games, so the list is: FFXI vanilla, FFXIV Heavensward, The Witcher 3, Hearts of Stone, Tyranny, Fallout 3).

However, I played quite a few more – DQ7, FF1 GBA, DQM: Caravan Heart, SMTIV, Persona 5, Breath of Fire 5, Valkyrie Profile 2, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. I'm 50-75% done with a lot of those games, so they'll probably be my focus for the first half of the year.

I also got a Switch and started Octopath Traveler this month. So far my impression is that the combat is amazing, but the disjointed story is a bit weird
 
Oct 25, 2017
914
I do something similar although I’m trying to not get distracted so easily.

On January 1 I finished Radiant Historia on the DS. I preordered it from Amazon and played about ten hours from 2011-2018. Finally just sat down and played through it all, and I loved it.

Last night I made it to the Diet Building in Nocturne (first purchased in 2008...)

If the gods of free time are kind this weekend I have a pretty good chance and finally finishing it.

It’s hard having gaming ADD as an RPG fan.
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,012
Speaking of Falcom, I started a replay of TiTS FC a while back and picked it up again yesterday, after the CS3 news. I'm planning on playing all the games in the series over the course of this and next year, in hopes that if I go at it at a relaxed pace, the proper Zero and Ao fan translations will be out and close to being out respectively when I'm done with The 3rd, and CS3 and maybe even CS4 are out when I'm done with CS1 and 2.

I already did talk-to-every-single-NPC-after-every-fucking-event runs of FC, SC and CS1 so this time around the main focus with these three games in particular will be gameplay - I won't cheat (aside from a permanent 2x speedhack though cause whoo boy, slow games), will probably play on hard (or at least NOT on easy), etc. 3rd, CS2 and the Crossbell games I've never even properly finished (or played at all), so I guess I'm going to be tackling them with the full experience in mind - talk to the NPCs, don't cheat and play at a difficulty level higher than easy, pay attention to the story.

Gonna be interesting to see how I fare. I'm halfway through chapter 2 of FC and I'm really enjoying the combat itself - the actual battles are wonderfully tactical little puzzles and the arts delay and positioning aspects in particular are great. I love using an AoE art on an enemy, then trying to bait others to get inside the damage area.

But I've never liked resource management in RPGs and aside from the orbment stuff, character progression in these games is pretty boring. Occasionally you get an accessory that'll really change the way you manage a character or unlock a new craft when you level up, but that's about it - otherwise it just seems like a case of endlessly, slowly rising numbers. Maybe these will get better later on.

Probably going to try and install Wine and Steam and Cheat Engine on my Macbook so I can slowly chip away at the games even when I'm at my GFs house or traveling or whatever.

e: Damn it, seems like attaching CE to the game process might be a huge pain in Wine. Ain't no way in hell I'm playing TiTS without the speedhack lol.
 
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Tenrius

For the Snark was a Boojum, you see
Member
Oct 25, 2017
316
I do something similar although I’m trying to not get distracted so easily.

On January 1 I finished Radiant Historia on the DS. I preordered it from Amazon and played about ten hours from 2011-2018. Finally just sat down and played through it all, and I loved it.

Last night I made it to the Diet Building in Nocturne (first purchased in 2008...)

If the gods of free time are kind this weekend I have a pretty good chance and finally finishing it.

It’s hard having gaming ADD as an RPG fan.
My situation with Radiant Historia is basically the same, actually. I did finish Nocturne, though – it took me about 3 years (2011-2014). Nocturne is also probably my favorite RPG of all time

EDIT: About Octopath Traveler – what's the general consensus on it? I played it for 4 hours and I really like the visuals, music and combat, but transitions between chapters feel jarring. I started as Alfyn and then played Therion's chapter – it's weird that the game basically ignored Alfyn's presence and gave no reason for him helping Therion. From what I read in Schreier's review, that doesn't really change later in the game
 
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Oct 25, 2017
3,607
EDIT: About Octopath Traveler – what's the general consensus on it? I played it for 4 hours and I really like the visuals, music and combat, but transitions between chapters feel jarring. I started as Alfyn and then played Therion's chapter – it's weird that the game basically ignored Alfyn's presence and gave no reason for him helping Therion. From what I read in Schreier's review, that doesn't really change later in the game
That in particular isn't going to change. Notably, there is party chat--both in bars and outside of them. The conversations outside are gated by what's going on in the story you are working on (think this starts in chapter 2s). It is a bit weird because the game goes into "cutscene mode" so often and the other characters disappear when it could've instead just been that some of those conversations they made for party chat could have occurred in the story sequences themselves.

As for my own opinion: this didn't bother me much most of the time. I kind of expected it given the core conceits of the game. I do think it is unfortunate that they did do all the work to actually have conversations between the characters and then didn't put any of them in the scenario proper really. It is a complicated thing: I like party chat as a system but to some degree it should be supplement not the only source of conversation.

Speaking more broadly, I think the game has strong combat, class system, visuals, and music and an interesting core conceit that I enjoyed. I liked what a lot of the stories aspired to be more than I liked their specific content but they were generally enjoyable imo. My biggest disappointment is with the town gameplay of story chapters but I've gone on about that in length many places including this thread iirc.