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

Boddy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,726
A bit late to the party on this one, but seeing as I've played a good bit of the major CRPG scene I could find (BG, NWN, IWD, DoS, PoE, Tyranny), I was looking at Tower of Time as the next big game on my to-do list. Anyone familiar wanna talk me out of it or into it?

I finished tower of time shortly after launch. It's pretty good. Balance was a bit of, at least back then and later I kept on playing most for the story.

Also, don't sleep on pathfinder kingmaker.
 

Luminaire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,813
Ayesha update~

After beating Harry in the last treasure contest, he fell into a deep depression and contemplated giving up on... whatever it is that he does. However, he was quick to find the fire again and declared himself Ayesha's eternal rival. Ok.
Monsters On The Hill Saga - Part 3: Revengeance. With my much stronger party and a few better items, I went to clear some tasks in my notebook. One of them was searching the hill that I had trouble with. My last task was to eliminate a few monsters - namely the ones who stomped me. They went down pretty quickly. I didn't even have my super bomb I'm working towards. But, once I create a big bomb, I'll make sure to test it on the survivors of the hill.
After painting the flower fields red, I went to check out that ghost town where everyone disappeared. It's suitable creepy. There are no signs of life recently, but there's a pretty heavy fog over the town. Keith was there investigating the place, and he was an asshole as usual.
The town has a very spooky vibe to it. Monsters are all over and put up a decent fight. There are a few abandoned houses too, which have some goodies leftover. What a mysterious place...
After exploring, gathering, and battling, I found the townspeople. But they're not... right. They're like Nio, Ayesha's little sister who disappeared. And speak of the devil, she appeared near more glowing flowers. That must mean the people of the town were also spirited away. But to where...?
Keith was there as well, but he refused to give any answers. When he tried to leave, Linca drew her sword on him.
Of course, Ayesha got dragged into the confrontation.
Keith... wiped the floor with me. Wilbell stood no chance. A single hit floored her for more than 2x her HP. My hits did single digits against him. I've no idea what his HP even is...
Linca, my powerhouse, also fell quickly.
A hail mary - my good old trusty high-powered explosive bomb should do the trick. No one can withstand the pow-- Oh.
So, rather than be merciful to Ayesha who was the only one left standing, Keith decided to go all out and use his special move. Atelier games escalate hard when it comes to special attacks being over the top and frankly unnecessarily flashy and I love it.
Ow. I never stood a chance. I lost. Hard. There was no way for me to win that fight. Though, it did make me think Keith was pretty cool with how he kicked around alchemy vials and ignited a pocket dimension with a cigarette. Keith ended up taking an artifact Ayesha found because it would be useless in her hands. I'm not sure what his intentions are, but I do appreciate that there hasn't been an overdone 'good vs evil' thing. After he left, it was time to recover some health, finish up my investigation, and pretend I'm not mad.
After practically limping back to town, I ran into Ranun. Again. I hate him. He's such a weird creep. Ranun tried to imply there was something going on between himself and Ayesha to Ernie, one of Ayesha's friends. Ernie managed to rope him into doing work instead of being a lazy idiot. Ranun deserves whatever falls on him.
I suppose my next task will be focusing on finishing Wilbell's item that she needs. I managed to find the ingredients needed in the ghost town. I wonder what she'll do with the item...

I'm coming up on a year having passed in game, which means I have two left to find out what happened to Nio and how to potentially rescue her. More areas keep opening up as well, so I'll need to balance my garbage crafting and clumsy exploration a little better. I should probably find out how to make a better bomb though...
 

MoonFrog

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,700
Finally made some progress in Valhalla over the weekend!

I fully explored the map as far as I can tell and managed to slaughter Loki. It was a close one: if not for Kerberos landing a clutch recarm and thus not only restoring Yumiko's life but also her MP, I would probably not have made it. This is with the item that closes his magic--he just hurts A LOT with his normal attack and also spreads it around the party so I spent much of the battle with multiple Mediama spam. The other thing is that bosses in this game don't tend to take a lot of damage. Even with repeated tarukajas (not sure how it stacks in this game) I was mostly doing low single digits damage with Nakajima being the only exception. Just like with Medusa, I was surprised when I finally got him to turn red: I thought I wasn't going to make it because it was dragging on too long and my MP was drained on all my mediama demons. Again, thank god for recarm!

As to exploring, it was a very different experience from exploring Daidalos and Bien, where I had to make my way from Micon every time and back again (although in Bien with the help of hypnotists). Trastart really changes the game but to meet that, the enemies were much more deadly. So it was more about slowly chipping away at the mysteries of the map and then teleporting out quite frequently rather than extended dungeon delves. Another factor in this is that levels have slowed down: especially in Daidalos knowing you were going to level up was an important factor in calculating your resources and hence when to return to the surface because you heal on level up. Can't depend on that free HP/MP heal as often anymore.

Haven't had that much luck with the demon fusing game. Currently can't make anything worthwhile with a full stock. Guess I need to release someone but that would probably be Kerberos, my lowest level demon--but he is also my sole source of recarm, which is quite useful in a pinch!
 

texhnolyze

Self-Requested Ban
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
11,543
Indonesia
I have yet to finish the game, but so far I'm highly impressed with Enderal. Just wow, this is a legit great RPG and surpassed most RPGs released in the past few years. It feels like Gothic meets Morrowind.


The world is pretty dense and rewarding to explore, with lots of hand-placed loots scattered in the world and/or dungeons. The dungeons are very complex and deep, with lots of dead ends as well as verticality. There's no fast travel like in Skyrim, but it's replaced with a flight path system to surrounding towers like in WoW, and you can go back to a city/town with teleportation scrolls. There are puzzles too, but they're mostly seen in main quests. Everything from settlements to ruins feels handcrafted and makes sense. Economy is well-handled too, I always found myself looking for scraps and loots to sell, because I always need more money to learn skills and/or upgrade my gears. Skills are gained by reading the corresponding book, and merchants sell them.

Quests are pretty good and varied. There are simple quests like bounties which you can take in the notice boards, and there are also chained quests from important figures in the city. But most quests are not a simple go here and kill/gather that. Even the simple side quests have several steps to complete and going to multiple places, and have their own small twists. There are guild questline too, but what makes it different in Enderal is that they are trading guilds with their own ways and interests instead of fighter/mage/thief, or some political guilds like what you can find in a lot of RPGs. For some quests, there are no clear 'good' or 'bad' choice, sometimes you have to make tough choices (even side quests), which may impact the reward, your companion's view on you, or the fate of the NPC. Yeah, there's NPC relationship system in this game, they may like/dislike what you say so you have to keep that in mind, even in non-decision making dialogue. I love how your actions and dialogue choices directly affect the outcome of a quest and/or NPC relationship. With how well-written and loveable the characters in Enderal are, you wouldn't want to piss them off.

The main highlight for me is that I totally like the progression, that feeling of helplessness in early game where everything can wreck you easily. You have to run, but then you come back several hours later with better skills and gears to get your sweet revenge. The combat is very strategic, and every encounter can Iead you to your demise if you're not careful. Archers are deadly, and mages are even more deadly. With the warriors and rogues defending them from the front, you need to think you strategy carefully before engaging a group of enemies. Enderal has also incorporated lots of QoL, fixes, and graphical mods from Skyrim so you barely need any mod to enjoy it. I do still install a few mods though.

The story is also interesting (it's a nod to a certain game's plot) and I'm eager to see and explore more.
 
Mar 19, 2019
206
Also, don't sleep on pathfinder kingmaker.
Oi! Kingmaker looks really good, but I heard that as far as combat and feats go it's closer to being like the original Neverwinter Nights than Pillars of Eternity or Tyranny. Can you can confirm? I prefer the more developed feat libraries of Tyranny and PoE -- the variety they introduced added a new depth to a lot of the tactics in combat, I feel.
 

Buckle

Member
Oct 27, 2017
11,843
It always weirds me out that I can't remember if I actually played Dragon Quest VI or not on the DS considering that game has sort of a dream theme to it.

I feel like I have vague memories of it but that could very easily be the other two remakes. I don't have the cartridge anymore while I still have IV and V, couldn't imagine selling any of them. Either way, I still need to beat it and VII (god help me, thats the forever length entry) before DQXI S gets localized.

Gonna go ahead and nab a copy of VI off Amazon. Worst case scenario, I did play and now I actually own all three awesome DS remakes together again.
 

BlueOdin

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,614
Currently watching Giant Bomb's playthrough of Mass Effect and wondering if we ever saw female versions of the more prominent alien species like Salarians or Turians? There was one Krogan woman for five minutes and they have an entire species dedicated to space babes but I don't recall any other woman characters in the alien species other than the Quarians (who turned out to be space babes).

Was there something in the codex about this? Did this change in Andromeda? Or am I forgettign some character? Maybe there was something in the multiplayer
 
Oct 27, 2017
14
Currently watching Giant Bomb's playthrough of Mass Effect and wondering if we ever saw female versions of the more prominent alien species like Salarians or Turians? There was one Krogan woman for five minutes and they have an entire species dedicated to space babes but I don't recall any other woman characters in the alien species other than the Quarians (who turned out to be space babes).

Was there something in the codex about this? Did this change in Andromeda? Or am I forgettign some character? Maybe there was something in the multiplayer
There is at least one female salarian, turian and krogan that I can remember. One of the high ranking salarian politician, a Turian that can join your team for the duration of one of the Mass effect 3 DLCs, and the section featuring a fertile female krogan in Mass Effect 3 (?).

I believe one of you main crew in Andromeda is a female turian, but I have not played that one. They might have rectified the imbalance somewhat in Andromeda, but you are correct in that the asymmetrical sex-distribution is a bit jarring in the mass effect trilogy. Lots of "hot" alien ladies, and weird-looking alien dudes, but not so many "hot" alien dudes or weird-looking alien ladies.
 

Jailcat

Member
May 19, 2018
56
Just started Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (PSX) and I can’t believe how long I’ve slept on this game. It’s like a cross between Dragon Quest and a 90s anime. It nails all the tropes from that era and has a lot of charm.

Gameplay wise it was surprisingly good. NPCs have a different text if you talk to them twice and the dialogue isn’t just vanilla bs. First cave was surprisngly difficult, I had a decent amount of character deaths but never wiped. The combat can definitely throw you some curve balls, since you need to select actions for your whole party before the turn plays out. It’s important to know stuff like speed order and positioning to maximize your efficiency.

Overall it’s super good so far, and I’m excited to finish this and move on to Eternal Blue.
 

Box of Kittens

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,871
Just started Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (PSX) and I can’t believe how long I’ve slept on this game. It’s like a cross between Dragon Quest and a 90s anime. It nails all the tropes from that era and has a lot of charm.

Gameplay wise it was surprisingly good. NPCs have a different text if you talk to them twice and the dialogue isn’t just vanilla bs. First cave was surprisngly difficult, I had a decent amount of character deaths but never wiped. The combat can definitely throw you some curve balls, since you need to select actions for your whole party before the turn plays out. It’s important to know stuff like speed order and positioning to maximize your efficiency.

Overall it’s super good so far, and I’m excited to finish this and move on to Eternal Blue.
I appreciate how your party members will respond to NPCs or comment on them. Like DQ's Party Chat, it's a nice way to further develop the characters.
 

Spamlynguist

Member
Oct 27, 2017
853
The Netherlands

Finished Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines as my second game for the RPG Blitz! What an awesome fucking game. Definitely going to do a Malkavian and Nosferatu playthrough later this year.

Now to decide if I'm going to do Shadowrun: Hong Kong or Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic as my next game.
 

Iva Demilcol

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,114
Iwatodai Dorm
The past weekend I finally beat Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. All in all I'm surprised at how much I liked it and how much shorter it is compared to KH and Chain of Memories; the main story took me 36 hours though I was ready to beat the final boss 4 hours earlier.

The game kind of left me exhausted for some reason, maybe it's the fact that right after beating it I went to watch the whole CG cutscenes of KH 179 Days; anyways, I didn't feel like making a long post about it during the weekend and somehow I still don't feel like doing so but at least I'd like to try to explain how was my experience with it.

Some highlights of my experience with KHII:
  • Critical mode: Almost everyone told me to give Critical Mode (the highest difficulty) a try and I must say they weren't wrong. Critical unlocks several abilities from the very beginning so the combat is satisfying and you don't have to wait hours for the fights to get fun. It was so good that I'm considering waiting for Critical mode to be released for KHIII before playing it.
  • "Sanctuary" is an awesome theme song. I don't think this is controversial or anything, but just wanted to say it.
  • Xemnas is the Soul Calibur announcer... Like, It bothered me because every line he spoke made me imagine a Soul Calibur match, and now I want Sora as a guest character in SCVI.
  • I've been paying special attention to all those characters that had yellow eyes, just in case. =D
  • The hilarious dialogues.
    "Who are you?"
    "I'm what's letf, or perhaps I'm all that ever was"
    "I meant your name"
    I couldn't help but laugh at this exchange that you witness several times in different games. The series tries to take itself so seriously at times but sometimes it's impossible not to laugh. "Look Sora, is Sephirot!"... that's an actual line spoken by Donald Duck; tell me it's not funny.
  • "They'll pay for this!" There's this section of the game where Disney characters, the FF characters and the KH characters fight side by side or against each other, it's fanservice of the highest caliber and the gameplay is super fun and you get to see Squall and Cloud teaming up against an army of heartless and nobodies. This is the kind of thing that most fans of the series may love the most.
  • Twilight Town. This world -a KH one- is one of the most significant areas of the whole game. Whenever you have to go there the story goes to places. It's a mysterious yet nostalgic place where you get to witness sad and tragic events and where you even get to see someone die.
  • Timeless River. The best Disney world of the bunch. Years before Cuphead SE attempted to recreate the feel of old cartoons and they succeeded wonderfully. Please tell me you can visit this world in other KH games.
  • The World that Never Was. They hyped the existence of this world since the very first game and I was looking forward to exploring it at some point. When I started to see it kind of hidden in the background of the world map I got super excited that at last I'd get the chance to explore it.
  • The bad boss fights and the bad controls. There are some boss fights that are so bad they literally had to make another character to appear and rescue you every time you died, and when they didn't make that character intervene the fights just became frustrating. Pretty sure some people from the Discord server know what boss fights I'm talking about. Some of these fights are actually harder thanks to the fact that reaction commands and menu shortcuts are both tied to the triangle button and sometimes you ended up activating one of the several powered up forms instead of using reaction commands, and it sucks whenever it happened.
  • The Kingdom Hearts lore. There are peple who play these games because of the Disney characters (by the way, summoning Stitch was both hilarious and awesome), but I'm pretty sure that there are many others that are more interested in the KH side of the crossover. Well, I'm part of the second group. I'm way more invested in the original KH stuff over the Disney parts. Which leads me to the next point...
  • Roxas. Yes, Roxas is an awesome and kind of tragic character. I'm not sure exactly why I resonated so much with both his personality and his story but in the end I think so far he's the best character from the series.
  • The final sequence. While the actual final boss is easier than both Ansem in KH and Marluxia in Chain of Memories, the whole sequence is super intense with you fighting members of Organization XIII one after another, enemies throwing buildings at you, fighting a mech made out of some sort of tower, a mech dragon, and tons of "press triangle to awesome" moments. The last hours of the game are over the top action sequences that made the conclusion quite satisfying, both in terms of gameplay and the story. I must say though that I was expecting the game to end in some sort of huge cliffhanger by all the comments from people saying they were awaiting for years to know what would happen next. The conclusion seemed quite reasonable for a second part, in fact it looked like the story actually concluded, don't @me.
And after that I'll take some time to rest and prepare mentally to play my second Blitz game, which apparently is a massive one: FFXII.
 
Oct 30, 2017
23
I've been moving on to the second game of my blitz which is Might & Magic IV Clouds of Xeen. I played the original Might and Magic and a little bit of M&M II a couple of years ago, and while it wore me down a bit you could see the elements of a great game. By M&M IV you can tell the series is really hitting it's stride. It still has all the same elements as the original, but it's smoothed out the leveling curve so there's not an intense amount of grinding required to complete them. It also has an auto note and auto map system that is really helpful. So far I've cleared out the starter town and 2 dwarf mines. I killed a bunch of witches in a tower to get a unicorn horn, which an old lady in a cabin is going to try and use to resurrect her unicorn friend. Hopefully that means I'll be meeting a unicorn later. I've also rescued a girl from zombies for her ranger boyfriend and made it to the second town that seems to be infested with bat ladies and gnome vampires. I've also stumbled upon a former mermaid that wants me to get something from "Yak" tower so she can transform back. This is all in the first 5 hours or so of the game.

I'm really having a blast with the game. There's something incredibly addictive about the gridded maps that makes me compelled to fill in every tile. That helps because exploring is what has led me to a few of the quests. I sort of stumbled on the "hidden" path in a forest that led me to the girl that was captured by zombies. While I seem to be following a fairly straight forward path I know of a few other places I can go to already. There was an exit to the second dwarf mine that led to a knew area, and I also found a castle. I bolted from there because it had jester enemies that I remember being pretty difficult in either the first or second M&M game.
 

Biestmann

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,138
Hey, guys. I stumbled upon the 7th Dragon series OST on Youtube and find myself enthralled. Is the series worth a go, and if so which entry makes the best of the crop?
 

Jag

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,978
Shadows: Awakening any good? On sale today. Thinking about picking it up, but don't want a weak Diablo clone.
 

Arulan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,151
Finished Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines as my second game for the RPG Blitz! What an awesome fucking game. Definitely going to do a Malkavian and Nosferatu playthrough later this year.

Now to decide if I'm going to do Shadowrun: Hong Kong or Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic as my next game.
I'm glad you enjoyed it. With all the excitement about the sequel, I'm looking forward to playing it again soon as well.

Some thoughts from PAX...



Even though I won't be playing The Outer Worlds until 2020, I attended the PAX panel. It's good to see Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky working together again. I got the chance to talk to them briefly too. I brought up a topic I've been thinking a lot about recently, unspoken choices (choices that the game doesn't tell you about) and the example in Fallout with the water merchants. Surprisingly, Leonard thinking back thought that they should have warned players about the potential consequences. I have to strongly disagree though. Worlds such as Fallout make me want to play according to the world's coherent rules. I think making these consequences and potential choices obvious to the player, in essence often making the gears behind the game obvious and destroying that illusion damages my investment in the world and my character.



I played a demo of World of Horror and was really engrossed by it. The imagery and slow sense of discovery of the occult is really convincing. I'll certainly be picking it up when it releases.



Last Epoch shares a lot of similarities to Path of Exile, but rather than unified systems to handle progression (shared class skill tree, skill progression via universal support gems), this game is uniquely designing everything for each class and skill. One of my friends was so convinced he bought an Alpha key on the spot. It looks promising if you're looking for another ARPG.



I played through the demo. It certainly looks like a game focused on Divinity: Original Sin 2's combat, which isn't a terrible thing. It's in good hands too as Logic Artists have made some great tactical RPGs before such as Expeditions: Conquistador. In the demo you picked one hero (Lohse or Ifan) and the rest from unnamed defaults builds (Healer, Archer, etc.). You also picked two items like the pyramids, a cowbell that polymorphs an enemy, or an apple that restores all health. I believe all the items were one-use for the specific mission, and they worked on bosses too (the cowbell for sure!). It was a lot of fun.
 
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Luminaire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,813
More Ayesha. I think I'm about halfway through now. Sitting at 12 hours and the game is said to be 24~25 or so.

To start things off, I hate Ranun still. His song is annoying and his personality is that of a half-wet napkin hung daintily on the side of a pungent dumpster in a particularly hot yet breezy summer day.
Moving onto people who are actually interesting - I managed to make the Madder Iron for Wilbell. She had a scheme to show it to her teacher (and great-great-grandmother) and claim it as her own to pass some sort of test. It didn't turn out how she expected. She was scolded quite harshly and fell into a deep depression for roughly 41 seconds, but eventually thought up another scheme without learning much about how she was wrong.
Ayesha had some flashbacks of her little sister Nio. It was interesting to see what kind of person Nio was. She seemed pretty kind and helpful. After losing everyone in her family, I start to wonder just how much depression Ayesha carries herself. Being an apothecary seems like an escape. Something to keep herself distracted form being alone. At least, it seemed that way until she found her sisters 'ghost' of sorts.
Homonculi are interesting in the Dusk world of Atelier. One was looking for shiny jewels and had a ton of money. It was roaming around the shop that Harry owns. Harry doesn't like them because he "doesn't know how they think". Seems a little bigoted to me but I figure he'll have some kind of turn to where he gets over it.
The Love Triangle? Is it really a love triangle if it's all completely unrequited? Marietta is into old guys like Keith (specifically Keith). Keith ignores her completely to a degree that she doesn't really exist to him it seems. Fred at the bakery has a huge crush on Marietta. She thinks he's scary and that his shop will fail. This is because he tenses up and gets embarrassed when she's around. Ayesha was the one to drop that bomb on him and unintentionally crush his romantic aspirations under her heel like a bug. Poor guy. I'm not sure if anyone is crushing on Fred but we'll see where things end up. I guess the good thing is: no one likes Ranun.
I've been finding a ton of equipment lately and managed to make some items that will appraise/reveal them. Linca got a nice new huge sword. Everyone got new weapons and armor and I managed to push Ayesha and Linca's defense pretty high. Ayesha has very high resistance to status ailments, which will come in handy. I did some exploring along new areas, some of which have huge ruins scattered about them. I really like seeing the giant remnants of dead civilizations.
Wilbell thinks she can hit it rich by roaming through ruins. She has her eyes set on becoming a millionaire. The first plan of attack is the glass factory, where she thinks she'll find something worth a million cole. Linca, on the other hand, is learning to cook. Slowly and clumsily, but its a work in progress.
Instead of going to the glass factory to murder stuff and try to get rich (or die tryin), I wanted to go south past the ghost village. There was rumor of some giant estate that houses tons of books. As this info came from Harry, it was probably bullshit. Lo and behold, that weirdo pulled though. There's a huge library with over eighty million books stored from all over the world across many eras and ages. I really loved this area, especially the dim grey run-up to the front door. It's so eerie to just have this bastion of knowledge hidden away. It's run by a creation (robot?) named Odelia. She's pretty helpful and pretty nice to boot. She was able to help Ayesha find a book on the flowers she's been studying in hopes to find her missing sister.
I uh...also took roughly 50 bombs with me as I didn't really know what to expect. I've also been running out of explosives in my dungeon dives, so I packed thirty one too many. I found my basket full after a few fights in the library, as the monsters dropped tons of equipment. Each battle was dropping five to seven pieces of armor or weapons, along with items I can synthesize with. They hit kinda hard but they gave a ton of exp. It was the perfect place to get items, make some money, and level up a little bit. I got some new moves as well. Naturally, Linca's wipes out pretty much an entire group of enemies in one hit. Wilbell's basic back attacks are hitting pretty hard too. Along with her very high MP, she's an offensive powerhouse but still a bit of a glass cannon.
I quite like the aesthetic of the library. It's sprawling and massive and it seems to go on forever. Deeper and deeper and deeper into the world. There were a ton of enemies that Odelia said were malfunctioning, so there was no worries about crushing them into a fine powder. Keith was there, surprisingly. Ayesha's longest conversation with him so far occurred. While he seemed very annoyed by her presence (and was a jerk the whole time), it seemed like he was trying to help her indirectly. I'm not sure why he cares, but he does. He pointed her to the book she'll need to study, then told her to go away. I guess I'm just glad he didn't bury my party in a completely one-sided fight like he did the last time.
Afterwards, I returned home to unload all the equipment and materials and get started on reading the books I bought and borrowed. The book on flowers helped Ayesha narrow down some areas of interest that might help lead to her sister. Additionally, I bought a book that spoke to my very soul: Useful Bombs.
I have a few things to take care on the next session. Raiding the glass factory again should be lucrative. At least, I hope it's lucrative because I have a ton of books to buy and I may or may not have spent all my money cleaning out shops to raise their levels. I have some more random exploring to do, and I've also gotten better items for alchemy alongside some skills that will help push the quality and effects of my creations up. My main personal goal is to build a better bomb. I'm curious what kind of horrific effects I can add to this tier of explosives...
 

Cyclonesweep

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,443
Hey friends, don't know if it's the right place for this but I'm in a lull.

Beat Kingdom Hearts 3 a while back and now I'm sad. Thought about going back and playing the old games again but a friend has my copy of them.

So I'm looking for a replacement game. Turn based, action, strategy doesn't matter. I'm looking for something that gives me the same feeling. Friendship, story about the characters etc.

My favorite JRPGs are FFIX, Chrono Trigger, KH Series.

Any suggestions on something to fill the void?
 

iceblade

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,453
Hey friends, don't know if it's the right place for this but I'm in a lull.

Beat Kingdom Hearts 3 a while back and now I'm sad. Thought about going back and playing the old games again but a friend has my copy of them.

So I'm looking for a replacement game. Turn based, action, strategy doesn't matter. I'm looking for something that gives me the same feeling. Friendship, story about the characters etc.

My favorite JRPGs are FFIX, Chrono Trigger, KH Series.

Any suggestions on something to fill the void?
What platforms do you want to play on?
 

Luminaire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,813
Hey friends, don't know if it's the right place for this but I'm in a lull.

Beat Kingdom Hearts 3 a while back and now I'm sad. Thought about going back and playing the old games again but a friend has my copy of them.

So I'm looking for a replacement game. Turn based, action, strategy doesn't matter. I'm looking for something that gives me the same feeling. Friendship, story about the characters etc.

My favorite JRPGs are FFIX, Chrono Trigger, KH Series.

Any suggestions on something to fill the void?
Have you played Dragon Quest XI?
 

Luminaire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,813
That one I haven't. Never actually played any of the Dragon Quest games to be honest..
Give it a look. I’m not much of a DQ fan and have a spotty history with the series including outright disliking VII. However, XI is a great entry for JRPG fans. You don’t really need previous DQ experience as it has its own story and characters.

It’s very bright, warm, and colorful with a lot of charm and life to it. The story is pretty good overall but the characters and their stories are where the game really shines. It’s feel-good and positive while having some impactful and dramatic stories.

It’s a pretty huge and long game so if you’re looking for something more bite-sized you may need something else.
 

Cyclonesweep

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,443
Give it a look. I’m not much of a DQ fan and have a spotty history with the series including outright disliking VII. However, XI is a great entry for JRPG fans. You don’t really need previous DQ experience as it has its own story and characters.

It’s very bright, warm, and colorful with a lot of charm and life to it. The story is pretty good overall but the characters and their stories are where the game really shines. It’s feel-good and positive while having some impactful and dramatic stories.

It’s a pretty huge and long game so if you’re looking for something more bite-sized you may need something else.
I think the bolded is what sells me on Kingdom Hearts so much. There are impactful and dramatic parts in the story but it's still feel good and positive. I guess hope is the part that sold me so much. I'll have to take a look and see if I can find it on sale somewhere. Wonder if the previous ones are any good or similar.
 

Pokeytax

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4
Hey, guys. I stumbled upon the 7th Dragon series OST on Youtube and find myself enthralled. Is the series worth a go, and if so which entry makes the best of the crop?
It's a solid series, especially with four Koshiro soundtracks. I think 7th Dragon 2020 is the best entry point (although any game other than VFD means rigging up a fan translation). The original DS game is unique but very dated (it was intentionally retro even back in 2009), 2020-II is a direct sequel and desperately hopes you are familiar with 2020, and VFD has weaker gameplay/environments (as well as being the conclusion of the series!).

You can definitely start with 7th Dragon DS, but although it's a lot easier than Etrian Odyssey, it hates the player just as much, so be forewarned.

Give it a look. I’m not much of a DQ fan and have a spotty history with the series including outright disliking VII. However, XI is a great entry for JRPG fans. You don’t really need previous DQ experience as it has its own story and characters.
Yeah, I can't believe we had to wait fifteen years for another console-scale Dragon Quest, but it was worth the wait.
 
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Kalor

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,110
I finished playing Mother 1 for the Blitz the other day and I really enjoyed it. There were small things that bothered me about it but they were more things due to the era than anything. Though the easy ring and run button in the Game Boy release at least helps mitigate some of those. The story was charming and it was just pleasant overall. It was interesting seeing all the small twists they put on stuff that were inspired by Dragon Quest, like the teleport requiring a run up before it activated.

I'm looking forward more now to playing Earthbound and Mother 3 at some point, both of which I've played a tiny bit before but never got far.
 

angelgrievous

Member
Nov 8, 2017
3,589
Ohio
Been playing Wild Arms for the last week or so and am really liking it. Sure, the random encounters are awful and so far (about 6 hours in) it seems really easy but overall it's not a bad experience.

I like the story too, some of the dialogue is terrible and a product of it's time but it's a darker story as far as I can tell and I like the more mature themes. Will keep playing it and I've got the second one downloaded and ready to go when I finish.

Also got a $10 PSN credit from Sony Rewards so I was thinking about grabbing Arc the Lad. I've heard the second one is the best but a direct sequel to the first so I figured I'd play that before hand.
 

MoonFrog

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,700
I've made decent headway into Mazurka since I last posted.

Mazurka is shaped like a table: you climb up to the eighth floor then make your way horizontally along it and then work your way down. The initial climb was interesting because I started with the elevator unlocked. I'm not sure if this is because I killed Loki (and got the orb of malice) or if it is just always unlocked. The elevator only goes to the sixth floor, though, and things really open up at the eighth floor which is pretty vast. Bien, however, docks on the far end of the eighth floor, which was a relief to find out as that net me a save/heal/retreat point much closer to where I was actually exploring. I've now found another "town" on the sixth floor, descending on the far side of the "table." Part of the eighth floor, however, remains unexplored: The floors bifurcate after the third floor on the initial ascent and one side leads to Bien on the eighth floor (perhaps the other does too through one way doors) but doesn't reconnect with the other path. I've been hoping that I can get back up from underneath the body of the "table" but it hasn't happened yet. Might have to go back to the ascending side and explore starting from there. (Bien makes that less annoying because it can fly!)

Demons have been fairly tough in Mazurka and I've resorted to actually summoning some of my own to keep me in the field longer before I need to teleport back to camp. After the elevator gave out, I gave in :P. The magnetite economy is generous enough to support this though, so I'm not wasting macca dismissing and resummoning. Also, I did get rid of Kerberos and managed to fuse some good demons using the local stock as ingredients. I've also got recarm back (and Yumiko has learned it too). There are also some evil demons that can steal levels from you! So far Vampire and Loa have done this mischief to me and honestly I have just reset the game every time it has happened so far. I don't like seeing those demons. Succubus is also quite evil, with her powerful Ziolaon and status effect spells.

I've gone up a lot of levels in Mazurka. Yumiko maxed out her intelligence last level so probably going to focus on making her a better physical fighter now, namely give her some strength and speed. Nakajima is close to maxing strength. I've spread his points more, particularly into speed but also into vitality. Probably actually want to put some in intelligence after he is done with strength: he takes a lot of damage from spells and he could really stand to take less :P.

Mazurka is pretty long. Seems I need to find a thief in a dark room that stole a tablet that weighs as much as that Ares necklace I got back in Valhalla and then use this tablet to reveal the true from of Hectate and then kill her. This is what I have picked up from the sporadic NPCs but nothing has really developed along these lines yet.
 

MoonFrog

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,700
Well, double post but I played a lot of MT1 this weekend.

Finished Mazurka. It didn't take much longer. Finished the Sea of Flames and am now into Infini Palace, the last area unless they're hiding one from me.

Sea of Flames was interesting because the entire floor was made of damage tiles--it isn't as bad as it sounds tbc, the damage was just 1 hp per move--and the save/retreat point was at a distance from the heal point, altering the retreat logic some. Goal in the Sea of Flames was to find Izanami, a demon in a bottle, and the white dragon soul. I don't actually have the last item--I found it but I can't seem to reach into the bottomless urn yet.

I did find Izanami and the bottled demon though. Izanami was locked in a coffin and I had to put some items I'd been getting from killing bosses into her mask in a certain order. I couldn't just spam it because the room only reset on the change of a moon phase. So instead of dealing with that I wandered around looking for clues in the rooms. Eventually I found an old man. He told me the first orb and where on the mask it went as well as the second orb but he couldn't remember where it went...I got it the first time after that anyway (if I hadn't it would have been the next time anyway so it really was enough to go off). He also told me about the white dragon soul but couldn't remember how to get it.

As to the demon in the bottle, he's a helpful guy. He helped me get Hinokagutsuchi and then find Seth and take the Lion Shield from him! Speaking of Seth Pazu was useless. His mane never restricted Seth's movement for me despite that being its purported use :P. Seth was kind of scary. He could (but failed to) steal levels from my characters and he hurt like a truck. But so does Hinokagutsuchi!

Hinokagutsuchi is so good. Enemies that felt like damage sponges are cut like butter now. Plus it makes a different noise than the other swords so even when I'm autobattling I know when it is doing its magic!

I've gotten the other two legendary armor pieces too. The helmet actually went to Yumiko, but Nakajima also got a suit of armor. I'm on the lookout for armor/weapon vendors. I want to fill in the rest of the pieces the legendary set doesn't cover, namely Nakajima's helmet and Yumiko's armor and weapon. She hasn't gotten new armor in forever.

Yumiko in general though has been growing quite well lately. Getting spells and MP faster was very useful but glad to be working on her fighting skills now for much the same reason--MP is a scarce resource. The more damage she does the less turns things take and the less healing she has to do. The more that damage is physical and not magic, the better.
 

Niahak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
199
What are people's opinions on Pier Solar? Would it scratch that Lunar itch?
I'll concede I didn't get very far in it (~2 hours?), and only played the initial release, but it did not scratch that itch for me. It had really wobbly difficulty, felt too simple mechanically and plot wasn't very memorable in any of the ways Lunar SSS or Eternal Blue were.
 

FashionTarkus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
308
NYC
I started playing Divinity 1, coop with my girlfriend (PS4) and man we are having a blast.
She usually plays the Switch and likes turn-based combat and I've been looking for a game we could play together on the PS4 and I'm so glad I remembered I bought it dirty cheap long time ago.
Besides the amount of talking you have to go through in the initial few hours we are really enjoying it.
Also, kudos to them for the way the optimized couch co-op on PS4
 
Oct 27, 2017
14
Homonculi are interesting in the Dusk world of Atelier. One was looking for shiny jewels and had a ton of money. It was roaming around the shop that Harry owns. Harry doesn't like them because he "doesn't know how they think". Seems a little bigoted to me but I figure he'll have some kind of turn to where he gets over it.

The Love Triangle? Is it really a love triangle if it's all completely unrequited? Marietta is into old guys like Keith (specifically Keith). Keith ignores her completely to a degree that she doesn't really exist to him it seems. Fred at the bakery has a huge crush on Marietta. She thinks he's scary and that his shop will fail. This is because he tenses up and gets embarrassed when she's around. Ayesha was the one to drop that bomb on him and unintentionally crush his romantic aspirations under her heel like a bug. Poor guy. I'm not sure if anyone is crushing on Fred but we'll see where things end up. I guess the good thing is: no one likes Ranun.

I've been finding a ton of equipment lately and managed to make some items that will appraise/reveal them. Linca got a nice new huge sword. Everyone got new weapons and armor and I managed to push Ayesha and Linca's defense pretty high. Ayesha has very high resistance to status ailments, which will come in handy. I did some exploring along new areas, some of which have huge ruins scattered about them. I really like seeing the giant remnants of dead civilizations.

Wilbell thinks she can hit it rich by roaming through ruins. She has her eyes set on becoming a millionaire. The first plan of attack is the glass factory, where she thinks she'll find something worth a million cole. Linca, on the other hand, is learning to cook. Slowly and clumsily, but its a work in progress.

Instead of going to the glass factory to murder stuff and try to get rich (or die tryin), I wanted to go south past the ghost village. There was rumor of some giant estate that houses tons of books. As this info came from Harry, it was probably bullshit. Lo and behold, that weirdo pulled though. There's a huge library with over eighty million books stored from all over the world across many eras and ages. I really loved this area, especially the dim grey run-up to the front door. It's so eerie to just have this bastion of knowledge hidden away. It's run by a creation (robot?) named Odelia. She's pretty helpful and pretty nice to boot. She was able to help Ayesha find a book on the flowers she's been studying in hopes to find her missing sister.

I uh...also took roughly 50 bombs with me as I didn't really know what to expect. I've also been running out of explosives in my dungeon dives, so I packed thirty one too many. I found my basket full after a few fights in the library, as the monsters dropped tons of equipment. Each battle was dropping five to seven pieces of armor or weapons, along with items I can synthesize with. They hit kinda hard but they gave a ton of exp. It was the perfect place to get items, make some money, and level up a little bit. I got some new moves as well. Naturally, Linca's wipes out pretty much an entire group of enemies in one hit. Wilbell's basic back attacks are hitting pretty hard too. Along with her very high MP, she's an offensive powerhouse but still a bit of a glass cannon.

I quite like the aesthetic of the library. It's sprawling and massive and it seems to go on forever. Deeper and deeper and deeper into the world. There were a ton of enemies that Odelia said were malfunctioning, so there was no worries about crushing them into a fine powder. Keith was there, surprisingly. Ayesha's longest conversation with him so far occurred. While he seemed very annoyed by her presence (and was a jerk the whole time), it seemed like he was trying to help her indirectly. I'm not sure why he cares, but he does. He pointed her to the book she'll need to study, then told her to go away. I guess I'm just glad he didn't bury my party in a completely one-sided fight like he did the last time.

Afterwards, I returned home to unload all the equipment and materials and get started on reading the books I bought and borrowed. The book on flowers helped Ayesha narrow down some areas of interest that might help lead to her sister. Additionally, I bought a book that spoke to my very soul: Useful Bombs.

I have a few things to take care on the next session. Raiding the glass factory again should be lucrative. At least, I hope it's lucrative because I have a ton of books to buy and I may or may not have spent all my money cleaning out shops to raise their levels. I have some more random exploring to do, and I've also gotten better items for alchemy alongside some skills that will help push the quality and effects of my creations up. My main personal goal is to build a better bomb. I'm curious what kind of horrific effects I can add to this tier of explosives...
Homonculi are so adorable in the Dusk-games. ;D Their quest for sparkles speaks to my soul.

I also remember really liking exploring the library "dungeon" area. Odelia has some sweet interactions if you come back and talk to her later. Keith, on the other hand, is such a grumpy-grampa. As far as I remember he is never completely unhelpful, though. A very ambiguous character, that I could never decide if I liked or not. Coolest coat in the game though.

Been playing Wild Arms for the last week or so and am really liking it. Sure, the random encounters are awful and so far (about 6 hours in) it seems really easy but overall it's not a bad experience.

I like the story too, some of the dialogue is terrible and a product of it's time but it's a darker story as far as I can tell and I like the more mature themes. Will keep playing it and I've got the second one downloaded and ready to go when I finish.

Also got a $10 PSN credit from Sony Rewards so I was thinking about grabbing Arc the Lad. I've heard the second one is the best but a direct sequel to the first so I figured I'd play that before hand.
Wild arms has some amazing music and very neat puzzle mechanics, but the combat and 3D models were extremely bare-bones. I would be curious to hear opinions about the sequel(s) though, as I never played past the the first one. Especially whether the great music and fun puzzles/dungeon exploration carries on in the later entries.
 

Niahak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
199
I would be curious to hear opinions about the sequel(s) though, as I never played past the the first one. Especially whether the great music and fun puzzles/dungeon exploration carries on in the later entries.
The music is good throughout the series. The puzzles are a bit uneven (good up to 3, not so great otherwise).
The first is probably the best overall, IMO, even if others do elements of t

2 is longer, has a terrible translation AND a convoluted plot that actually makes less sense as you continue or replay it. Maybe slightly better music but more tedious dungeons with slower battles. Puzzles are still in.

3 has the best setting, but is really plodding for about 15 hours at which point it peaks for several hours (because there's some major plotdump all at once), and has another boring 10 or so at the end. The ability to cancel encounters is really nice, though, and if you liked Skies of Arcadia style ship battles battles there are kind of blatant ripoffs very similar ones. The puzzles are in but many are unintuitive even if in retrospect the solution seems reasonable.

Alter Code: F (remake of 1) is fairly good, but its translation is honestly pretty bad and the remixed music isn't as good as the originals. It brought in the encounter cancel and skill system of 3, which is mostly an improvement, but they added in more unavoidable surprise attacks. There are more party members if you liked some of the supporting cast of the original. Art design is really good - there is a fantastic artbook for it if you're into that kind of thing.

4 is by far the shortest (~20 hours was where I landed) and has good music, but man the plot is awful. If you want a shoddy post-apocalyptic western sci-fi where all the adults are wrong and dumb and all the kids are right because friendship, man this is the game for you. There is one tolerable party member (the "old" one, at a practically geriatric 19 years old). That said, there's one section that lasts about 30 minutes with no encounters and a ton of plot-dump and it's actually fairly haunting. The battle system is decent enough, but not very challenging. The puzzles aren't as good since they ditched the tool system in favor of dungeon-specific tools.

5 is probably second best, it's a little on the long side and doesn't have encounter cancelling, but it's kind of a return to form and a bit of a love letter to the series (some townspeople resemble characters from throughout the series). The music is pretty good, and although the "adults are dumb, kids rock" themes are still there, they only crop up every now and then. The cast is more tolerable than 4 and the puzzles are slightly better, although still not up to 1-3/F.

(eagerly awaiting avatar quote)
 

Lothar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
253
A little bit of Final Fantasy on piano, for those that like that sort of thing.


I suggested the idea to her and made this video for her. A hour of her favorite Final Fantasy songs.
 

MoonFrog

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,700
So I beat Megami Tensei! Played it on/off for quite a bit there (starting in January but mostly playing in March and April).

It is weird because the Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei version just segues right into Megami Tensei II so I had to set up my characters for that game and save so that when I get to it I can have the benefits from having cleared Megami Tensei. Honestly, I really want to get to Megami Tensei II. Just the opening felt very Shin Megami Tensei and I want to experience this chapter in the genesis of the series. I've only heard good things about it!

Playing Megami Tensei was interesting in its own right and I enjoyed the game. It was fun to see the roots of certain things in the series, e.g. the Hero/Heroine setup, demon conversation, magnetite and macca, the initial delve to Minotaur repeated in SMTIV (and looks like MT2), Kerberos talking to me at the end (even if he wasn't treated as a special demon earlier), etc.

Infini was fairly simple. It was separated into two towers that connected at their bottom floors, a blue tower and a red tower. The blue tower had information/treasure/shops and the red tower was the final 8 floor climb to Lucifer. The blue tower had huge maps but the red tower maps were pretty small--they just had lots of traps and dead-ends. It didn't take long to finish the game when I focused in on the red tower.

The final boss was pretty deadly. His physical attack hit the entire party with damage ranging from just under 100 to 200 hp. I don't tend to stack Vitality in these games tbh. I know when you read about stats and what they do a lot of people suggest vitality but honestly for the most part it seems like overkill and I'm generally much more interested in upping my offensive, accuracy, magic, and mitigation stats than my HP. But I could see how it would have been useful on Lucifer to have a little more HP: Yumiko was threatened with the very real possibility of being two-shot depending on when her Mediama landed and, furthermore, her Mediama could not keep up with the party-wide damage. Jewels and Diarahan saved the day. He never turned red though so I was actually surprised when he died--I was running down my Jewel stockpile and Yumiko's MP and most of my demons had been killed so I thought this was heading to game over. But he died! And cursed me that he couldn't cast Diarahan on himself.

In any case, I'm happy I played this game!
 

MoonFrog

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,700
Double Post.

So I started U4 tonight. Playing it with just XU4. Tried to get the u4upgrad patch to work but I threw my hands up in the end (Only got anywhere at all thanks to Aeana's help!).

Read the Book of History two nights ago now and meant to start last night, but I finally have now! I think I'm getting used to the controls plus XU4's help menu is nice. I managed to explore Britain pretty thoroughly, get the rune of compassion, the mantra of compassion, and go meditate at the shrine of compassion. Now I have made my way south through paws to Trinsic. I'm using my knowledge of the world from my partial U7 play through last year so far, but I've got the map open in a browser window to help later.

I started as a bard. I actually didn't realize I was selecting a class with the opening questions and only discovered I was a bard when looking through the menus. Then I looked it up and people were saying bard was good for beginners so I just rolled with it. I equipped a sling and have messed around with the battle system some. Ranged is pretty nice. Mostly enemies have been escaping from me--which is good going--but I've managed to kill some orcs and trolls.

It is interesting using a dialogue system where you type in words to talk to people. I think I've sort of gotten the hang of it. Managed to get some nice clues (which I have written down) and get the rune/mantra I needed from talking to townsfolk. The NPCs are also interesting. I particularly like it when they question me and judge my answer :P.
 

Thuddert

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,535
Netherlands
Finished Dragon Quest IV properly now. Got the regular ending a while back and the happy ending just now.



Here the evolution of Psaro was a sad thing to witness. Going from pursuing ideals to dropping them all when Rose dies. The cell growth is kinda gross. Very vivid animation from the phase transitions.

The many phases made it a tough and lengthy fight. Totally spend after that.

Suprising this was the facto ending before the remake, it does have a satisfying credits scene, but it is not a happy ending.



Finding the place to start needed a guide. That was a lengthy dungeon plus a tough bossfight for a lousy flower. After getting Psaro as a member I attempted the real final boss. Kinda sad it's the same shape as the last final boss, but okay it does fit with the evolution theme.

Returned to Foo Yung and Chow Mein for Psaro's armor was a bit tedious, but it did give me a good way to level a bit as well. Aamon went down relatively quickly after that. Still a tough fight. The extra scene in the credits is kinda sweet. Although it being much of a rehash is kinda boring.



Had a great time playing this game. Chapter 5 was a lot longer than I expected. It's great to see it all come together, although I also think not all members were that useful in the long run. Torneko already peaked in his chapter, so there was really no role for him. If dungeons allowed swapping, he would be better. Because then you could use him to attack and preserve MP for other members, them switch him out before the final boss. Ragnar had some use when I needed an extra attacker, but Alena outdamaged him always and the damage they both took was that different. Borya amd Maya both had good use because of sap. Maya was nice to have for offensive magic, while Borya gained some great supports. Meena kinda drops off as a healer later on. A healer that kerplunks might be good in the last stretch of the battle or if you have means to resurrect her, but active involvement is best. She misses a multiheal. Insulatle still extremely useful. I have shitted on Kiryl many times, because he died so many times, but kabuff and multiheal is so good when fighting bosses.There's also his thwack skills for random encounters. I like putting the game on auto battle to speed it up nicely. The final party member I wish he had sap and insulatle, to make life easier.

DQ hero being flexible and kinda average, is my jam. You can't simply rely on just the hero, you need the help of people better than you in different ways to win.

Not even mad Zenithians couldn't do anything. I think the gap between what people think and what is, makes for a neat addition to the whole quest. I think I still love DQ3's ending more, DQ4 comes close tho. I'm more enamored by the structure of the game and making bosses big setpieces.



Shout outs to these amazing slime npcs, they're gooreat and deserve recognition.

Now to decide what to play next...
 

Soilbreaker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
669
USA
Finished up Ys Seven yesterday and even though I thought it was a pretty decent game, it's probably my least favorite ys game out of the four that I've played.

Also kinda been in a magical girl anime phase for the moment so I'm curious about trying out Blue Reflection next.
 

Luminaire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,813
Finished up Ys Seven yesterday and even though I thought it was a pretty decent game, it's probably my least favorite ys game out of the four that I've played.

Also kinda been in a magical girl anime phase for the moment so I'm curious about trying out Blue Reflection next.
Grats on Ys Seven!

I really liked Blue Reflection so I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on it if you do start it up.
 

Pellaidh

Member
Oct 26, 2017
716
I don't know if this would count for the Blitz thing given it's pretty late, and I never even signed up properly (because I didn't think I would actually participate), but I had some time recently to actually finish up something from my backlog: Atelier Totori (the PC version).

I initially started this when it came out on the PC, but dropped it pretty early because my first impression of it was frankly quite terrible. There was simply way too much fanservice, which was pretty weird given that the series is usually pretty decent at avoiding this kind of garbage. In addition, all of the starting party members were pretty terrible, and Totori herself seemed much blander and more annoying than your standard Atelier protagonist.

But I'm glad I picked it back up, because I think it's now my favourite Atelier game (or second favourite after Sophie). Mostly due to the gameplay, which is I think the only time an Atelier's core gameplay loop actually worked for me. Unlike most other games in the series that are hyper focused on telling you exactly what you should be doing, Totori just throws you into an open world, then tells you to just go do whatever you want. Everything you do, from gathering materials, fighting, or crafting gives you points, with the only real goal of the game being to get enough points in a 3 year period (followed by an extra 2 years).

And it's so far the only Atelier game I've played where this timer actually mattered. It's still forgiving enough that it's pretty hard to actually completely fuck up, but I still ended up about 900 points short of the max rank (so I had about 2100 out of the necessary 3000 points). In comparison, I got all of the requests and main missions of Rorona done with plenty of time to spare, and got all of the endings in Escha & Logy without even trying. Not even trying to brag, but it's just that the time limit might as well not exist in those games. In Totori, I had to settle for the normal ending (and even getting that was actually pretty tight, as I only got the requirements for it done about 3 months before the end of the game). Sadly, much like in Rorona, the character specific endings requirements remain too cryptic for my tastes. I've actually heard series veterans describe Totori as pretty easy in terms of time limits, but that certainly wasn't my experience. I guess this just shows that you can breeze through most other games in the franchise without having any idea of what you're actually doing.

The strict time limit and open world design also help the combat not suck. In most other Ateliers, it's way to easy to completely gear up your party, and then trivialise every encounter (with the exception of Sophie on hard difficulty, I guess). But here, thanks to the time limits, you're never going to be 100% prepared. And the open world design means you can always skip the easy fights and go fight something harder. People often describe Atelier games as being about time management and managing your efficiency and so on, but Totori is the only one I've played so far where this is actually true.

Other than the rock solid gameplay, the game does a couple of other things right. Like I said, most of the initial companions suck, but I was actually surprised by the story. Granted, the main plot only shows up like 90% into the game, but when it does, the simple story of Totori trying to find her mother is actually pretty effective, if very basic. But at least the game gives you a reason to care about Totori, which is a lot more than I can say for other games in the series where the main plot either doesn't seem to exist, or is just terrible.

Unfortunately, most of the companions introduced in Totori do continue suck throughout the game, but at least the ones that are back from Rorona are still okay (and in terms of new characters, Totori's family is fine too). Sadly, the fanservice remains pretty constant too, with one particular endgame event being in particularly poor taste (as well as several hidden ones I've seen talked about online and am very glad I missed). The one saving grace in this regard is that a particular late game character ended up being my favourite female Atelier character to date, even if her screen-time was tragically short.

I'll probably try Meruru next (or that town building one that recently released), although from what I hear Meruru is once again a step back in terms of time management. The way this franchise refuses to commit to this one aspect that actually makes it special is pretty frustrating. Hopefully Lulua goes back to this formula since it's an Arland game again, but after how the last couple of ones turned out I won't get my hopes up.

Currently, I'd rank the ones I've played as:
Sophie>Totori>>>>>Rorona>Mana Khemia 2>Firis>>>>>>>>>Escha & Logy>Lydie & Suelle
 

Luminaire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,813
I don't know if this would count for the Blitz thing given it's pretty late, and I never even signed up properly (because I didn't think I would actually participate), but I had some time recently to actually finish up something from my backlog: Atelier Totori (the PC version).
If you wanted to join, you can do so late. You'd just have the same end date as everyone else, so it'd be less time overall. Of course, you're not required to finish all five or anything.

--snip--

I'll probably try Meruru next (or that town building one that recently released), although from what I hear Meruru is once again a step back in terms of time management. The way this franchise refuses to commit to this one aspect that actually makes it special is pretty frustrating. Hopefully Lulua goes back to this formula since it's an Arland game again, but after how the last couple of ones turned out I won't get my hopes up.

Currently, I'd rank the ones I've played as:
Sophie>Totori>>>>>Rorona>Mana Khemia 2>Firis>>>>>>>>>Escha & Logy>Lydie & Suelle
There is a lot of experimentation and steps back and forth with each entry. Some are heavier on time limits, others are heavier on exploration from what I've found. Seems like half the fans like the time limits and the other half don't. If possible, I imagine a casual mode without time limits would be a solution, but that could lead to some nightmares in development trying to split event triggers with dates and all that.

Meruru has broader time limits with more a focus on building up the kingdom. I can't really recall how many dates I squeaked by as it was years ago since I last placed it.

Ayesha has been very exploration based for me, as I've had my general base of operations and have ventured out further and further. There are no real time limits other than a general "do this in 3 years", so it's pretty light on that aspect. However, I do get the exploration aspect pretty heavily in Ayesha. Kinda why I've been journaling it in my updates here.

I can't recommend Nelke that much unless you want a straight up town building simulator. There is very little alchemy to it and practically no exploration. It's all about managing shops and items and facilities.

As for Lulua, it doesn't really have the time limit that other Arland titles did from my understanding. However, it's looking to be the best implementation of the crafting system, battle system, and exploration. The areas are pretty big and full of life. There's a JP demo for the Switch version as well (possibly PS4 too) if you wanted to give it a whack.
 
Oct 27, 2017
14
The music is good throughout the series. The puzzles are a bit uneven (good up to 3, not so great otherwise).
The first is probably the best overall, IMO, even if others do elements of t

2 is longer, has a terrible translation AND a convoluted plot that actually makes less sense as you continue or replay it. Maybe slightly better music but more tedious dungeons with slower battles. Puzzles are still in.

3 has the best setting, but is really plodding for about 15 hours at which point it peaks for several hours (because there's some major plotdump all at once), and has another boring 10 or so at the end. The ability to cancel encounters is really nice, though, and if you liked Skies of Arcadia style ship battles battles there are kind of blatant ripoffs very similar ones. The puzzles are in but many are unintuitive even if in retrospect the solution seems reasonable.

Alter Code: F (remake of 1) is fairly good, but its translation is honestly pretty bad and the remixed music isn't as good as the originals. It brought in the encounter cancel and skill system of 3, which is mostly an improvement, but they added in more unavoidable surprise attacks. There are more party members if you liked some of the supporting cast of the original. Art design is really good - there is a fantastic artbook for it if you're into that kind of thing.

4 is by far the shortest (~20 hours was where I landed) and has good music, but man the plot is awful. If you want a shoddy post-apocalyptic western sci-fi where all the adults are wrong and dumb and all the kids are right because friendship, man this is the game for you. There is one tolerable party member (the "old" one, at a practically geriatric 19 years old). That said, there's one section that lasts about 30 minutes with no encounters and a ton of plot-dump and it's actually fairly haunting. The battle system is decent enough, but not very challenging. The puzzles aren't as good since they ditched the tool system in favor of dungeon-specific tools.

5 is probably second best, it's a little on the long side and doesn't have encounter cancelling, but it's kind of a return to form and a bit of a love letter to the series (some townspeople resemble characters from throughout the series). The music is pretty good, and although the "adults are dumb, kids rock" themes are still there, they only crop up every now and then. The cast is more tolerable than 4 and the puzzles are slightly better, although still not up to 1-3/F.

(eagerly awaiting avatar quote)
Ask and ye shall receive! Your avatar is very cute :D

Seems like wild arms 2 and 3 would be my best bets, then. Can´t remember much of the story from wild arms 1 anyway, so I don´t think shoddy localization/incomprehensible plot would be a deal-breaker. I am really in the mood for a game with some decent dungeon-puzzle mechanics, however.

Alter code F was never released in Europe, and Wild Arms 5 is now getting very rare and expensive to get a hold of, so barring any re-releases I don´t think I will ever get to play them. After getting a 4K HD TV I have also been struggling with displaying ps2 games in a way that doesn´t make me want to vomit. I wish there was better availability for ps2 games in digital form on PSN in general as there are still a lot of games that I would like to play from the ps2 catalogue.

I don't know if this would count for the Blitz thing given it's pretty late, and I never even signed up properly (because I didn't think I would actually participate), but I had some time recently to actually finish up something from my backlog: Atelier Totori (the PC version).

I initially started this when it came out on the PC, but dropped it pretty early because my first impression of it was frankly quite terrible. There was simply way too much fanservice, which was pretty weird given that the series is usually pretty decent at avoiding this kind of garbage. In addition, all of the starting party members were pretty terrible, and Totori herself seemed much blander and more annoying than your standard Atelier protagonist.

But I'm glad I picked it back up, because I think it's now my favourite Atelier game (or second favourite after Sophie). Mostly due to the gameplay, which is I think the only time an Atelier's core gameplay loop actually worked for me. Unlike most other games in the series that are hyper focused on telling you exactly what you should be doing, Totori just throws you into an open world, then tells you to just go do whatever you want. Everything you do, from gathering materials, fighting, or crafting gives you points, with the only real goal of the game being to get enough points in a 3 year period (followed by an extra 2 years).

And it's so far the only Atelier game I've played where this timer actually mattered. It's still forgiving enough that it's pretty hard to actually completely fuck up, but I still ended up about 900 points short of the max rank (so I had about 2100 out of the necessary 3000 points). In comparison, I got all of the requests and main missions of Rorona done with plenty of time to spare, and got all of the endings in Escha & Logy without even trying. Not even trying to brag, but it's just that the time limit might as well not exist in those games. In Totori, I had to settle for the normal ending (and even getting that was actually pretty tight, as I only got the requirements for it done about 3 months before the end of the game). Sadly, much like in Rorona, the character specific endings requirements remain too cryptic for my tastes. I've actually heard series veterans describe Totori as pretty easy in terms of time limits, but that certainly wasn't my experience. I guess this just shows that you can breeze through most other games in the franchise without having any idea of what you're actually doing.

The strict time limit and open world design also help the combat not suck. In most other Ateliers, it's way to easy to completely gear up your party, and then trivialise every encounter (with the exception of Sophie on hard difficulty, I guess). But here, thanks to the time limits, you're never going to be 100% prepared. And the open world design means you can always skip the easy fights and go fight something harder. People often describe Atelier games as being about time management and managing your efficiency and so on, but Totori is the only one I've played so far where this is actually true.

Other than the rock solid gameplay, the game does a couple of other things right. Like I said, most of the initial companions suck, but I was actually surprised by the story. Granted, the main plot only shows up like 90% into the game, but when it does, the simple story of Totori trying to find her mother is actually pretty effective, if very basic. But at least the game gives you a reason to care about Totori, which is a lot more than I can say for other games in the series where the main plot either doesn't seem to exist, or is just terrible.

Unfortunately, most of the companions introduced in Totori do continue suck throughout the game, but at least the ones that are back from Rorona are still okay (and in terms of new characters, Totori's family is fine too). Sadly, the fanservice remains pretty constant too, with one particular endgame event being in particularly poor taste (as well as several hidden ones I've seen talked about online and am very glad I missed). The one saving grace in this regard is that a particular late game character ended up being my favourite female Atelier character to date, even if her screen-time was tragically short.

I'll probably try Meruru next (or that town building one that recently released), although from what I hear Meruru is once again a step back in terms of time management. The way this franchise refuses to commit to this one aspect that actually makes it special is pretty frustrating. Hopefully Lulua goes back to this formula since it's an Arland game again, but after how the last couple of ones turned out I won't get my hopes up.

Currently, I'd rank the ones I've played as:
Sophie>Totori>>>>>Rorona>Mana Khemia 2>Firis>>>>>>>>>Escha & Logy>Lydie & Suelle
The main difference is in how much of a presence the time limits have throughout the gameplay loop: in Rorona and Escha&Logy you have new time limits every few months, so people who dislike time management systems tend to feel stressed out. Even though you always have time to complete you objective with some to spare, you are always kept on a leash in terms of how the games thinks you should spend your time. In Totori/Meruru/Ayesha you can technically just ignore the time limit completely if you want to. Of course, you will not get past the time limit extension deadline targets in that case, but you can still enjoy nearly all the game has to offer, and (barring Ayesha possibly) you still get a pretty satisfying ending at the end.

In Totori you have so much time before the single deadline that if you spend to much time not doing activities that rank up the points that count towards the deadline you may not discover until it is to late in the game to rectify the issue. Meruru could be somewhat similar I think, as you are gauged on the population of your kingdom, which you increase through the kingdom building mechanics (building libraries/shops etc.). If you only spend the points you accrue through the tasks you complete on pure gameplay-mechanics facilities, then you could probably end up having trouble making the deadline target. I don´t remember it being particularly hard to make the deadline though, or at least I felt like the Totori deadline was tighter.

Totori has the single worst instance of fan-service that I have seen in the series (probably the one you were hinting at), and that is probably the aspect I like the least about the game. I hate Astrid as a character for the terrible "funny" sexual assault/harassment segments she always brings to the table when she appears. Curious to see you rank Sophie so high, as while I only played that one for a few hours, Plachta´s outfit is so beyond ridiculous, I assumed the game might be heavier on the fan service front overall. Also quite curious who your favorite female character was as I do not remember who shows up at what time in Totori anymore.
 

Pellaidh

Member
Oct 26, 2017
716
Totori has the single worst instance of fan-service that I have seen in the series (probably the one you were hinting at), and that is probably the aspect I like the least about the game. I hate Astrid as a character for the terrible "funny" sexual assault/harassment segments she always brings to the table when she appears. Curious to see you rank Sophie so high, as while I only played that one for a few hours, Plachta´s outfit is so beyond ridiculous, I assumed the game might be heavier on the fan service front overall. Also quite curious who your favorite female character was as I do not remember who shows up at what time in Totori anymore.
I like Sophie mostly for the same reasons I like Totori, since they're structured in a pretty similar way: an open world you can pretty much explore however you want, with no strict goals or the game telling you what you should be doing. Sophie doesn't have the time limit aspect, but it makes that up with actually challenging combat. Plachta's default outfit does indeed suck though, but later on in the game you do at least get the option of more sensible clothes for her (and also some that somehow look even worse than her default costume). Other than that though, I can't remember too much fanservice, certainly not as much as Totori.

And yeah, the specific fanservice event I was referring to is the

Swimsuit contest. The way the game expects you as the player to actively cheer at what's going on is the thing that takes it over the top for me, because it just feels incredibly exploitative. Like you said, this is far from the only time sexual assault is played for laughs in these games, but this is the only time where the game actually expects you as the player to actively take part in it. And while the whole event is technically optional, if you decide to skip it, the game tries to guilt trip you super hard. And of course it doesn't help that a large portion of the game's cast look like they're ten years old, even though Totori herself is supposed to be 19 at this point in the game.

As for the best female character part, maybe that's going to far, but I really liked

Totori's mom. She's only in the game in two very short flashbacks, but she still manages to come across as a strong, no-nonsense woman who gets things done. Plus she's not super cutesy or super sexualized like pretty much every other atelier character, and she's also one of the few characters in the series who's actually capable of being in a relationship with another person instead of just being used as bait for lame shipping debates.
 

Adam Sadler

Member
Nov 9, 2017
1,138
Damn have I been sleeping on Growlanser Wayfarer of Time! This game is great so far even tho the art style isn't my taste