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

Luminaire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,912
Been a while since I've seen one of these, so figured I'll toss one up.



When's the last time you played your favorite RPG and how often do you replay it?

For me, I haven't done a full replay of Valkyrie Profile in a couple years. I did a partial replay to get re-familiarized with some zones so I could have some advice for a friend who was going through it blind. I do try to replay it every 2-3 years. Same with VP2. I think I'm due for another, but I may do a full replay of VP1, 2, and Covenant before the end of the year. The House in Fata Morgana is making me want to go back and relive misery in abundance.
 

Gevin

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,134
Finished my first blitz game, The Last Remnant. I'm going to straight out say that if it were not for the fact that Chrono Trigger is on Steam, for me this is the best JRPG available on PC.

I don't know how to describe it exactly, but there's something special about the battle system and the general gameplay that ticks all my boxes and it comes together in a fascinating way.

You may have heard this is a game where its core mechanics are not properly explained and that results in a playthrough potentially being stuck at some point. Unfortunately that's true. Grinding is counterintuitive in this game, in the sense where mindlessly fighting weak enemies over and over again will hurt you in the end and leave your party extremely weak and unprepared against the difficult story bosses. The game can be played normally, just fighting enemies you come across and even going a bit out of your way to complete a few gulld tasks and that would be enough to complete the story and most of the sidequests without major problems.

As a bit of background for this playthrough, I had done that my first time a few years ago. I managed to complete the story, but it was a pain near the end, and I couldn't come close to the hardest optional bosses, and the true final boss. For this playthrough, I made the active effort to skip most encounters and only catching up on combat at a few select points. Also ignored crafting weapons for the most part, and only did a few upgrades before the final two fights. This allowed me to complete all sidequests and beat the hardest version of the final boss (it gets harder the more sidequests you complete).

In particular, I love everything related to building your unions so they are properly balanced and able to tackle every challenge in the game. I felt pretty unstoppable near the end and only the last boss presented a hurdle, but I'll talk more about that in a bit. A combat system where proper setup of your unions and selecting the right skills with the right target at every turn is key makes up for a very satisfying experience once one is able to understand what works best and what is honestly useless for battles.

Since I love almost everything about it, I'll dive a bit into some of the weaker points and the stuff that I wish it were a bit different:

- First of all the story is just OK. Nothing really mindblowing, characters are mostly generic save for a few exceptions, the twists are pretty predictable. The worldbuilding is pretty cool though.
- While grinding for the sake of grinding is discouraged, the game does have a few guilds which offer tasks that reward the player with cool stuff, either in the way of money, new characters, battle formations, a higher level of crafting, or in turn unlocking more rewarding tasks. In fact I think almost all the optional bosses require completing a random task before. The nature of the tasks ranges from defeating a rare monster (specially infuriating considering the nature of spawning rare monsters, bless TLR Planner for this), collecting a certain amount of an item (again, can be very easy or infurating when it's a 10% split from a 15% capture from a rare monster that may spawn 2 screens into a zone) or defeating X amount of a random regular enemy. As you can infer this is where the game gets grindy and at a few points a chore. Luckily you can remedy some of this stuff with TLR Planner if you are on PC.
- Related to that point, the biggest grind comes if you want to upgrade your weapons. To do that you require certain components for each weapon path and of course most of those are rare drops from monsters, or even worse, require you to complete a guild task to unlock more item drops for some types of monsters and then farm those until you get the necessary amount. As you may guess, if you want to upgrade all your weapons you'll be fighting monsters for a long time. Because of that, I only upgraded a few of the late game weapons for my most key units and left it there, and only that required about 7 or 8 hours of gameplay and browsing the wiki to track everything down.
- A few of the hardest bosses basically boil down to luck. There's an specially OP spell in the game which drains units of Ability Points, meaning they cancel any queued ability and prevent most end of turn attacks from the hardest bosses. Those battles go well when you get 2 or 3 units each turn casting that spell (and hopefully acting before the enemy so they don't kill it before they can cast it). If you don't have enough units able to do that (which usually requires aggressively spamming some spells to learn it), or you are not lucky enough for the spells to come up in your possible actions, or the enemy acts before you killing that unit before it can cast it, you might as well give up on certain battles and retry cause the downtime of reviving units is too punishing at some points. The true final boss was specially aggravating on this regard since it seemed able to instakill all my units at a certain point with no real counterplay on my end, just had to hope it missed attacks or didn't use one of its million wipe attacks on me.
- Finally, some of the monster designs are quite scary (thankfully no spiders) and sometimes they appear from out of nowhere in your face and that's really distressing.

Most people would consider this game as having cool ideas but a bad execution. I feel it's a flawed gem, and most of it can be fixed by simply asking people that have played the game for a bit of advice. With a few pointers in your mind, the game can be really enjoyed and it gets really rewarding in the end.

I don't have a cool picture showcase this time, since I don't really feel like the game has good "screenshotable" moments, most of the cool stuff would require for a short video. So here's a quick gif showcasing the most satisfying part of the game, stat growth and skill learning at the end of a hard battle.

 
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FiveSide

FiveSide

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,672



When's the last time you played your favorite RPG and how often do you replay it?

For me, I haven't done a full replay of Valkyrie Profile in a couple years. I did a partial replay to get re-familiarized with some zones so I could have some advice for a friend who was going through it blind. I do try to replay it every 2-3 years. Same with VP2. I think I'm due for another, but I may do a full replay of VP1, 2, and Covenant before the end of the year. The House in Fata Morgana is making me want to go back and relive misery in abundance.
Mine is Nocturne as many of you all know. Sometimes I wish it was a shorter RPG so that I could justify playing it more often, perhaps even yearly. As it stands I've played it only three times total, with each playthrough taking at least 70 hours. A 70 hour replay is a tall order, even when I was young, let alone now that I have to adult.

When I look at the RPGs that I do actually replay with some general consistency, I find that I replay "second-tier" RPGs far more than my all-time favorites. I think, maybe subconsciously even, that I'm worried that I won't like my absolute favorites as much if I replay them more often. When it comes to my actual all-time favorite RPGs, a lot of them transcend just being an RPG; they become a full storytelling experience that I cherish and that at times have even changed my perspective on real things beyond the umbrella of video games. Something like EarthBound for instance is really hard for me to replay, because the first experience was so magical and left such a lasting impression. A part of me almost doesn't want to attempt that again, knowing that it probably won't be the same the second, or third, or fourth time.

So instead of replaying those favorites very often, I instead replay stuff like Final Fantasy IV, which is one of my favorite RPGs but not in my highest tier. And it's also pretty short, sub-15 easily. I would just rather go through a comfort food "I love this game but not in a top 5 way" RPG multiple times, than go through my all-time favorites over and over again and potentially have their effect lessened through the repetition.

Gevin Once you understand what the hell you're doing, TLR's combat is just insanely addicting. I ended up just skipping the cutscenes but I can't get enough of the way it plays, I easily could've finished it by now if I hadn't gotten genuinely engrossed in fighting basically everything that I can.
 

Novel Mike

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,227
Been a while since I've seen one of these, so figured I'll toss one up.



When's the last time you played your favorite RPG and how often do you replay it?

For me, I haven't done a full replay of Valkyrie Profile in a couple years. I did a partial replay to get re-familiarized with some zones so I could have some advice for a friend who was going through it blind. I do try to replay it every 2-3 years. Same with VP2. I think I'm due for another, but I may do a full replay of VP1, 2, and Covenant before the end of the year. The House in Fata Morgana is making me want to go back and relive misery in abundance.
I played through Phantasy Star IV maybe 6 months to a year ago. I used to play through the game all the time when I was younger. In recent years I think I've been playing through one of my other favorites Shining Force more, felt like playing it again just recently actually and I kinda want to learn how to speed run it as thats not something I've ever done and would be a fun challenge. I'd say at this point those two are my biggest favorites. I love PSIV's story and its major gameplay moments but Shining Force is so much more replayable.

As for DQVI I've made quite a bit of progress so heres DQVI Log #4
(Spoilers up through the events around Pascado)
  • The slime can use the job system? AWESOME! This Slime Knight might have to get into the main group at some point!
  • Temple nearby leads back to the dream world and another new town called Clearvale with talk of a flying bed, got some new equipment and continued on and found a pathway to real world and another version of Clearvale.
  • At this new version of the town we meet a couple mourning the loss of their son. They mention he wanted a badge of courage before he died so to fufill his dying wish we head to this large cliff to scale in order to obtain said badge of courage.
  • This dungeon is interesting and I enjoyed the design of it but god it was rough. I wiped two times once to a Rockbomb and another to a group of enemies that put my whole party to sleep before I could even do anything. It takes a long time to scale the cliff and the encounter rate here felt very, very high.
  • We did finally make it to the top and get the item to bring back to the kids parents who are overjoyed since it was such a dangerous task. They offer to let us spend the night and while doing so we encounter the spirit of Matt the son of the couple. He thanks us and gives us his flying bed, now we can fly in the dream world! Also returned to Clearvale and picked up Healie another slime party member.
  • Spent some time exploring with my new flying bed, more clues about the legendary equipment and other stuff like that. Also found out where the Mini Medal king was (ironically in the area where you first drop down to the real world) and traded in 30 to get a few items, sadly not much in the way to upgrade here.
  • Eventually found how to progress which was by finding a Kingdom known as Swanstone with a king obessed with a princess that was trapped within a mirror. We helped him use the Mirror of Ra in an attempt to free the poor girl but its never that easy, it did reveal that a Sorcerer seemed to be preventing her from being freed and it just so happens I knew right where to go to find this asshat.
  • One of the towers I visited in the dream world I couldn't get into but it was named after the same Sorcerer who trapped the Princess so that was easy enough to figure out. We climbed the tower, beat the Sorcerer who was a huge asshat just like we thought and returned to Swanstone. It was at this point I started to get Tier 2 Classes as well. MC is Gladiator, Carver is a Paladin, Milly and Ashlynn are Sages. Everyone else is some classes but tbh I'm not really using anyone besides these main four.
  • Using an ancient spell the King was finally able to free the Princess and we learned why he was so obsessed with her in the first place, she was alive a thousand years ago and was madly in love with its king before the Sorcerer trapped her within the mirror, he lover died but our dear King is the reincarnation of him. Nice little happy ending, the party chat here from the girls was great. We were rewarded with a key to open the floodgates so the rest of the real world is open to exploration!
  • So not much to actually explore this mainly leads to one new direction but I did find this weird cave that had a maze that an NPC mentioned before that related to the legendary equipment. I can't remember the path he told me today so I just looked it up, fun little cave but the solutions to some of the puzzles aren't obvious at all if you didn't follow a guide. That said, legendary shield acquired!
  • Only other place to go to was Pascado which quickly revolved around aiding a crippled fishermen help a Mermaid (and the love of his life) get back to her people. Had a bit of a tedious stealth section where we had to follow him through a cave that took longer then it needed to but was minor. Theres a sweet little love story between the two which DQXI clearly took inspiration from, among other things.
  • Upon taking back the Mermaid to her people we acquire the Lorelei's harp and now can explore under the sea! Lots more things to find under here, encounter rate seems quite high but several locations to find including some hidden caves, a sunken ship, and several palaces.

To make this a bit easier to read I'm going to split log #4 into 2 parts since its quite long. Basically this second part consider 4.5 I guess XD

(Spoilers up through the events with the MC's past and Felonia MAJOR SPOILER WARNING HERE FYI)
  • We meet the king of the sea, who tells us about an underwater evil invading his land and if we defeat it he'll tell us some... secret. Not sure where this is going but not doing this atm I've got lots more exploring to do.
  • Because we can dive underwater a lot more of the real world has opened up to us and one of those locations lead us to a Slime Arena where I can use my slimes to battle, sadly its not controllable and you can only use 1 slime instead of like a team of them but fun none the less. I did half the cups by using Goowain and giving him most of MC/Carver's equipment. Got some nice rewards including 2 helm upgrades for Milly and Ashlynn.
  • Went ahead and checked out the Sunken ship which got me the Ultimate Key! Well my adventuring just got more complicated because now I have to go back to everywhere and open all of the locked doors and get a bunch of treasure.
  • Ultimate Key is good, Ultimate key is life. Got tons of new armor options, gold, mini medals, ect. However the big prize was waiting for me at one of the castles under the sea, I had to fight these two uber robot things which are likely not meant to be fought until later but I was able to take them down and doing so netted me what I imagine is Ashlynn's best weapon in the game, the Gringham Whip. It boosted her attack +80 over her previous weapon. If she wasn't a sage she'd have the highest attack power of my party right now. So... That's awesome! This weapon is normally a Casino reward in other DQ games so I'm super surprised to see it so early, Ashlynn isn't even level 30 yet!
  • Exploring found myself at the real world version of Weaver's Peak... With another MC and a not so friendly relationship with Buddy, in fact hes quite a dick. The 'real' MC is rather weak and lacking in courage. My first thought is that his dream version created this more powerful and capable fighter, which would also explain why he refused to fuse with his dream self, thinking he'd stay his weaker version again. He also has amnesia which doesn't help anything.
  • A somewhat complicated relationship triangle going on between the MC, Tania, and Buddy. In the dream world the MC and Tania were really brother and sister but here that doesn't appear to be the case, Tania just found the MC after his battle with Murdaw at the start of the game. Buddy clearly is in love with Tania and sees the MC both as a threat and unworthy of her with him being so weak. Interesting setup that I did not expect, also more I play this game the more I see how much inspiration from it went into DQXI.
  • After the real MC runs away the group goes to confront him but before we can really dive into it we learn that the village is being attacked by monsters. The real MC goes straight to Tania while we kill everything else. The 'boss' of the monsters shows up and admits they were looking for the MC to begin with (likely killing off his weaker self to kill the stronger dream self which has been a problem for them). The real MC admits that seperated neither one of the MC's can beat this boss monster so he agrees to fuse and we wipe the floor with the boss proving that we didn't need the real MC at all XD! Tania, and the rest of the town are safe but she also realizes that the MC she knew is gone and isn't really happy about that. Sad partings but something that was ultimately necessary.
  • We make up with Buddy, say goodbye to the villagers and head home to Somnus a new man! We are confronted by Captain Rusty? No, different person same sprite, thats confusing and tbh troubling. We get a heroes welcome and the parents are happy to have us home. During the night we are visited by Luca who suggests we walk around the castle to see if our memories might float the the surface.
  • Well this new captain seems legit at least as he shows up in your memories, using the same sprite as a dead NPC was sending red flags in my mind. We also learn more about the events that lead up to the first battle with Murdaw but nothing too interesting most was easy to assume. The main thing we learned was that the MC had a sister named Sarah who died when she was young. I think was hinted at before but I'm not sure. Either way thats curious and they don't really go in depth on what actually happened to her. The obvious thing to think is that Sarah=Tania but that doesn't add up with what we know now. Just that the MC and her have a close connection, that Sarah died as a child and that Tania lost her family when she was young. Yet no one at Weaver's Peak talks like Tania was from somewhere else so... idk we'll see.
  • Wasn't sure where to go next from my understanding its really up to me once the ship can go underwater so made my way to the town of Felonia which the party chat really was well done here with Carver and Ashlynn making comments but Milly remaining silent, cluing me into she was being reserved for a reason although that reason never became truly clear. I wasn't sure if she started to remember or just had a feeling that she knew the place.

  • It became pretty clear what was going on though, the former king and queen were horrible people and had many slaves, they refereed to them as 'dancers' but I get a strong feeling that was a localization change from something worse. The objective here besides getting some Milly backstory was to get clues to the location of the Legendary Shield which I already have so this wasn't as fortuitous as I was hoping. I really didn't expect Milly to have such a dark past and I'm wondering when we'll find her real body and how she'll react when we do and she recovers her memory.
 
Nov 4, 2017
1,750

After starting it, burning out halfway through, and then taking a 2 week break, I finally managed to finish CS2, and with that, I'm all caught up on this series. I have to say, my expectations for this game were kinda low given how many mixed things I've heard about it, but overall I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Most of my issues with this game are largely story based, and while I think the reveals in this game were quite good, needless to say don't come to this game expecting answers. There are quite a number of plot points that kinda felt like they were left hanging by the end, and while I did find that disappointing, it's also a clear sign that this arc isn't exactly done yet and I'm sure that was as obvious back when this game originally released, as it is now with CS3 being 3 short months away. With that being said, I think the way things ended in CS2 has opened the door to a lot of potential interesting themes and story beats for CS3/CS4 and I'm very much looking forward to them.

I think the most interesting thing for me about this game's ending is more or less how it establishes Osborne has the main antagonist of this arc, and while I wasn't necessarily surprised by that, as he never really came off as a good person, I'm curious where things are going and what his plans are going forward. Rean being stuck in the middle of the whole thing due to him being his son makes the situation even more interesting as it sets up an interesting dynamic between Rean, and the person who has now become one of the many antagonists in this series.

What I probably found the most interesting was the topic regarding Osborne working with the society during the liberl incident and how Osborne outplayed them and managed to take over 1 of the 13 factories. Another thing I was kinda surprised by was how Osborne basically challenged the society's power by the end, when he said "I'm taking control of that phantasmal blaze plan of yours" and interfering in the society's plans. It really makes me wonder how the society is going to respond and how much things are going to escalate in the future.

Last thing is the new game +stinger, and while to be frank I wasn't really surprised by the info, it was still kind of nuts in terms of story stuff. Professor Thomas being a grailsritter, was pretty interesting largely because the entire game, I was wondering if a grailsritter was going to show up and it turned out there was one among us the whole time. The even bigger thing in my eyes is finally the mention of the sept terrions that reside in Erebonia, and how Osborne is not only going after Oroborous but also the grailsritter too. The black records were also very interesting to read, though admittedly some of it is hard to make sense of. The most interesting thing in the black records in my eyes at least was regarding the dragon whose blood cursed the Tessa Rosa.

Story stuff aside, I think overall I enjoyed this game a good bit more than CS1. As mentioned in my CS1 post, my biggest issue with it was the repetition of the chapters. While act 1 of CS2, felt like a bit more of the same, act 2 really opened up in a way I wasn't expecting and for me at least, the side content in act 2 had some of my favorite side content in the series. I really enjoyed

finding all the students throughout the world and recruiting them on the courageous, it felt very suikoden to me and I really enjoyed that aspect of it.

While it didn't necessarily hinder my enjoyment, I did find the lack of story progression in act 1 and 2 rather jarring. While I personally felt it's more noticeable in act 2 than act 1, I personally just found the gameplay loop of doing main content, doing the content spoiler tagged above, talking with NPCs, and then doing side quests really addictive. I think it worked really well within the context of how act 2 starts out I just really enjoyed it.

Outside of that, I also found myself really enjoying the combat in this game, more so than CS1. While all the playable characters from CS1 are also playable here, there are also a lot of characters that are playable here that weren't in CS1 and I found that they added a lot of variety to the combat with their unique s-crafts and abilities. I found that it spiced up combat quite a bit and made it more enjoyable as a result. 3rd is still king when it comes to combat in this series, but I still thoroughly enjoyed combat in this game. Also felt that bosses were a lot better in this game than CS1.

After 3 months, of playing this series nonestop, I have to say I'm really glad that I finally decided to give this series a try. While this series isn't really similar to Kingdom Hearts, it has one thing in common which is having an overarching narrative and personally coming off of KH3 this series really scratched that itch and in many ways I think it does the overarching narrative aspect much better than Kingdom Hearts. I really enjoy the themes of the series, and I really love how much love and care is put into the characters, NPCs, and the world. While CS, and Crossbell's characters aren't as good as Sky's characters, they're still quite good and again, the love and care put into realizing everything is just on display wherever you look in this series. For those who haven't tried the series yet, I highly recommend giving it a shot. While it might seem daunting having to play 7 games (and counting with CS3 launching this year and CS4 likely in 2020) it really is a fantastic series that is worth your time.
 
Nov 3, 2017
86
Not sure if it warrants it's own thread but currently debating between DQ11 and FFXII the Zodiac Age.

Leaning towards DQ11 first but I love the world of Ivalice and on the surface the characters and world of FFXII seem more interesting. Not sure if I have a preference regarding the battle system and both seem to encourage exploring.

Anyone have any thoughts / recommendations?
 
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FiveSide

FiveSide

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,672
Not sure if it warrants it's own thread but currently debating between DQ11 and FFXII the Zodiac Age.

Leaning towards DQ11 first but I love the world of Ivalice and on the surface the characters and world of FFXII seem more interesting. Not sure if I have a preference regarding the battle system and both seem to encourage exploring.

Anyone have any thoughts / recommendations?
You really can't go wrong with either, they're both fantastic. Do you have a Switch? If so then I'd say play FFXII now and wait for the Switch release of DQXI.

If you already have them both in hand, like for PS4 or something, I'd still play XII first and then wait until the Switch release of DQXI so you can play it along with the people getting into it for the first time on that platform. It's always fun playing through something when it's in the "zeitgeist" so to speak. More people to talk to about it, etc.

I'll say though that I've played both and as far as characters go, I prefer the cast in DQXI. They're a great set of characters with a lot of depth and smart, understated writing.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,199
The thing with FF XII is that the characters and world are interesting, but due to the game's troubled development they don't end up getting as fleshed out as I'd like, and as the beginning of the game seemed to promise.
 

Opa-Pa

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,423
Not sure if it warrants it's own thread but currently debating between DQ11 and FFXII the Zodiac Age.

Leaning towards DQ11 first but I love the world of Ivalice and on the surface the characters and world of FFXII seem more interesting. Not sure if I have a preference regarding the battle system and both seem to encourage exploring.

Anyone have any thoughts / recommendations?
They're both fantastic really, can't go wrong with neither, but they scratch different itches, at least in terms of their strengths. IMO FF12 is the more mechanically interesting and fun (talking strictly combat wise) as the combat is brilliant when/if it clicks and the amount of content there is to engage in it is huge. Then there's DQ11 which IMO is better at almost everything else, namely the world, the little stories and especially the main cast.

FF12's tone and style of writing appeals to me a lot but like it's been mentioned, a lot of things in it aren't fully realized so overall while great, it disappoints in some respects. DQ11 does have good combat but the game is painfully easy for the majority of the story and takes a while to get fun in that sense... Its world is one of the most perfectly realized in an RPG tho, so it's a joy to get lost in and explore every nook and cranny. Those towns are seriously to die for.Z

In terms of exploration tho, but are strong yeah, though they approach it differently. FF12 is more about how far you want to venture and how many maps you want to try "conquering" whereas DQ11 has stuff like verticality and lots of depth to its level design with things to find in every corner.
 
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FiveSide

FiveSide

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,672
FFXII has great combat mechanics yea, especially if you factor in the Gambit system. If the thought of programming party actions with granular control and testing your routines out to see how well you can control and automate battles appeals to the tinkerer in you, FFXII should be the priority no question. I was planning to replay the game at some point and see if I could finish the entire thing using nothing but Gambit routines.
 

Pellaidh

Member
Oct 26, 2017
875
Did some short play sessions for two of my blitz games.

Pillars of Eternity 2
First one was Pillars of Eternity 2. Originally, I dropped it shortly after release because the loading times were just dreadful on my hard drive. Thankfully, a combination of an SSD upgrade, fresh windows install and patches seems to have mostly fixed this, with loading times taking about 5 seconds. Unfortunately, while they are short, there's still way too many of them, with a loading screen for every single area or house you want to visit. Which gets really annoying when you just need to speak to a quest giver inside a house to turn in a quest, as that means you spend 3 seconds talking to the NPC, and 10 seconds loading into the house and back out. There seems to be literally 0 reason why the game can't just keep the area outside loaded in, or just preload all the houses once you enter an area.

Other than that, the game itself is actually pretty fun. Although my save was set to Path of the Damned, which seems to be incredibly poorly balanced, since it gives enemies a huge boost to their armor ratings. Which means you spend most of the time missing, leading to combat taking forever. I'll probably just turn the difficulty down, because this really isn't fun.

Thracia 776
And then to take a break, I briefly tried Thracia 776. Thankfully, it actually had a new fan translation released recently, which solves the biggest issue I had with getting into it in the past. And so far, the translation itself seems very well made.

As far as the actual gameplay goes, this sure feels very different from modern Fire Emblems. The first and very obvious difference is that your units can't hit anything. As in, I literally spent 20 minutes trying to hit a boss with one of my units, only to miss every single time (even though the game claimed I had a 40% hit rate, which by itself is still incredibly low). This leads to all sorts of frustrating scenarios, like your units dying because they get hit 3 times in a row by enemies with a 10% hit chance. RNG can be cool when it forces you to adapt to unforeseen scenarios, but there's really no room for such adaptation in a game that expects you to restart the entire mission every time one of your units dies. And even healing staffs can miss in this game for some reason, so you can get screwed there too. And once again you can't really plan around this without playing super passively. The game also loves giving bosses tons of armor, evasion, and health regeneration, which makes them incredibly annoying to fight when only one or two of your units can even damage them. The game even caps accuracy at 99% instead of 100% just to really drive the point in. And some units have a random chance of moving twice in a turn, which again includes enemies.

The RNG also extends to unit growths. In classic old-school Fire Emblem tradition, a lot of my level ups have just been a +1 to hit points.

The game's age is also very obvious in its interface, as it doesn't show you things like how much damage you'll do to the enemy, the skills involved, or if you're going to attack twice. So there's a lot of manual damage calculation required, which isn't all that hard, but does get kind of annoying when you have to do it for every single fight. There's also no way to show unit healthbars.

Surprisingly though, the graphics are still pretty decent. My only real issue with them is that it can be super hard to tell your units apart. Especially because there's at least two of them that look exactly the same.

On a more positive side, the maps seem very good compared to other old Fire Emblems I've played (4 and Echoes, which were both really terrible). Not anywhere near as good as Conquest, but still way ahead of other Fire Emblem games. The first mission was a pretty standard Fire Emblem fare, but the other 3 I did so far all had interesting things going for them. Mission 2 requires you to save villages from being razed, with an additional twist of tons of reinforcements coming at you from every side. Mission 2x (the game has special unlockable missions, with this one unlocking if you save every village in the previous mission) was a standard fog mission, and mission 3 requires you to first rescue children from a cage, then carry them back to their village (with stat penalties for whoever is carrying them). Except that when you go back, reinforcments show up to ambush whoever is carrying the children. But you also can't dedicate your entire army to this rescue, because there are also chests inside the castle with a turn limit to them, so you'll also need to send someone to get those. And in general, all of the maps featured large number of reinforcements.

Hopefully the game keeps up this sort of map variety, because so far this aspect alone is enough to make up for its shortcomings. But without it, I'm not really sure I'll keep playing this.

As a final criticism, the game has a ton of mechanics that are only vaguely hinted at, or just straight up not explained at all unless you read the wiki. Like Pursuit Critical Coefficient, a unit stat that can as much as quintuple your units actual critical hit odds when attacking twice. That is also not displayed anywhere in the game. Oh, and enemies also have this stat. So good luck not dying to random crits you can't tell are coming I guess.
 

Worldshaker

Member
Oct 28, 2017
781
Michigan
What is everyones favorite RPG that leans on the short side? Mostly interested in games released post 2005 since I've played most of the classics on NES/SNES/Genesis/Saturn/etc.

With my current life situation I find myself enjoying short and sweet games over longer ones. 20-40 hours is the sweet spot, even less if they're fun. Good examples are:

Chrono Trigger
Super Mario RPG
Child of Light
South Park The Stick of Truth
Older Ys games
Suikoden

I just ordered The World Ends With You: Final Mix on Switch because I heard its on the shorter side.
 

Gevin

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,134
What is everyones favorite RPG that leans on the short side? Mostly interested in games released post 2005 since I've played most of the classics on NES/SNES/Genesis/Saturn/etc.

With my current life situation I find myself enjoying short and sweet games over longer ones. 20-40 hours is the sweet spot, even less if they're fun. Good examples are:

Chrono Trigger
Super Mario RPG
Child of Light
South Park The Stick of Truth
Older Ys games
Suikoden

I just ordered The World Ends With You: Final Mix on Switch because I heard its on the shorter side.
Transistor is around 10 hours and it's amazing
 

cj_iwakura

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,734
Coral Springs, FL
My favorite RPG is Nocturne, and I recently finished my third run at it. (No Compendium)

My favorite 'classic' is either FFVI or Chrono Trigger, though I've also played each of the classic Personas upwards of three times... (1, IS, and EP)

I played 1 twice on PS1, once on PSP, same with IS, and I've played EP three times on PS1 and once on PSP.
 

Pellaidh

Member
Oct 26, 2017
875
What is everyones favorite RPG that leans on the short side? Mostly interested in games released post 2005 since I've played most of the classics on NES/SNES/Genesis/Saturn/etc.
Some of my favourites, with main story times from howlongtobeat for reference.

  • Pyre (10.5 hours)
  • Planescape Torment (33.5 Hours. Pre 2005, but you did only mention consoles. Well worth playing even for strictly console JRPG fans)
  • Sunless Sea (12 hours, although this one is very open ended, so it can take a vastly different amount of time for different people. Howlongtobeat has story+extra at 54 hours and completionist at 100, but it didn't take me anywhere near as long)
  • Trails in the Sky the 3rd (32.5 hours, although you do need to play the first two Sky games first, with the second one in particular being super long)
  • Devil Survivor 1 and 2 (31 and 32 hours according to howlongtobeat, but I don't remember the first game being anywhere near that long)
  • Fire Emblem Conquest (26 hours)
  • Tyranny (20.5 hours)
  • Atelier Totori (22 hours)
 

Thuddert

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,819
Netherlands
What is everyones favorite RPG that leans on the short side? Mostly interested in games released post 2005 since I've played most of the classics on NES/SNES/Genesis/Saturn/etc.

With my current life situation I find myself enjoying short and sweet games over longer ones. 20-40 hours is the sweet spot, even less if they're fun.
Xanadu Next is around 20 hours and it's the falcom goat.

Brandish: The Dark Revenant is also a pretty good game by Falcom and it's like 15 hours I think.

Pandora's Tower is a game I really liked from the wii era. It's also around 20 hours.
 

Luminaire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,912
I’ve been knocking out some side quests in The Last Remnant. Currently with 4/4/4/3 unions, with my three being full of characters specializing in hexes and magic in general. Wiping out the entire field with Caustic Blast is ever satisfying.

I feel like I’ve a couple weak links in two of my unions but I’m not certain who to replace them with. Hm...

That said, it’s a very good game with a fantastic soundtrack. The combat presentation is top notch and the characters are charming. Pagus is great, but the most annoying character Darien is absolutely my favorite. He’s a loud little bastard who is rather strong.

I don’t think I’ll tackle any superbosses as I’ve quite a few hours ahead of me with other blitz games (Sky SC has a large looming shadow.) Still, hopefully I can finish it before July is up.
 

MoonFrog

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,729
Been a while since I've seen one of these, so figured I'll toss one up.



When's the last time you played your favorite RPG and how often do you replay it?

For me, I haven't done a full replay of Valkyrie Profile in a couple years. I did a partial replay to get re-familiarized with some zones so I could have some advice for a friend who was going through it blind. I do try to replay it every 2-3 years. Same with VP2. I think I'm due for another, but I may do a full replay of VP1, 2, and Covenant before the end of the year. The House in Fata Morgana is making me want to go back and relive misery in abundance.
Well. IDK what my favorite RPG is tbh. I'll go through a couple.

I last played both DQIV and V in the fall of 2017. I had first played them as the DS remakes came west in the late 00s, early 10s iirc the dates correctly. I had subsequently done partial replays but this was actually the first time I fully replayed them. And it was the first time I wrote about them as I played them. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and only deepened my appreciation for them.

I last played Chrono Trigger sometime in the past half-decade--not quite sure exactly when. It was the third time I played the game. Still love it to death.

I last played Path of Radiance sometime in the past decade. I've played it many times. Somewhere between 5 and 10, mostly while I was still in high school.
 

Sceptile

Member
Oct 27, 2017
466
I just completed Dungeon Master for the blitz. That last boss, Lord Chaos, was conceptually interesting, but it's hampered by the fact that the room seals once you assemble the Firestaff needed to beat him, preventing you from falling back and getting supplies or grinding. You have to use the Firestaff to place flux walls in the arena to trap him with, then cast a invoke spell on him once you've done so. Unfortunately, the arena is full of extremely powerful demons who will burn you to ashes if not dispatched, and they're tough enough that you'll want to save after beating them and healing, despite that trapping you.

I'd like to see more in this "Real Time Dungeon Explorer" Genre, any recommendations? I still need two more games (if I'm allowed to add them after the blitz has already started).

Been a while since I've seen one of these, so figured I'll toss one up.



When's the last time you played your favorite RPG and how often do you replay it?

For me, I haven't done a full replay of Valkyrie Profile in a couple years. I did a partial replay to get re-familiarized with some zones so I could have some advice for a friend who was going through it blind. I do try to replay it every 2-3 years. Same with VP2. I think I'm due for another, but I may do a full replay of VP1, 2, and Covenant before the end of the year. The House in Fata Morgana is making me want to go back and relive misery in abundance.

I don't think I have a solid favorite RPG, but I played through Fallout: New Vegas again about a year ago, and I replay it whenever I feel like it. :D Large amount of interconnected quests with multiple endings that change the ending gives the game a lot of replay value.
 

Novel Mike

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,227
DQVI Log #5 (Spoilers up to getting all of the legendary equipment!)
  • Decided to head and take care of the last of the underwater stuff with the villain under the sea that I was warned about earlier. He has a little maze of a dungeon and a really easy boss fight, makes me think I should have done this earlier but oh well.
  • Beating him frees Sorceria in the dream world which we head to right away. It quickly gets revealed that this is where Ashlynn is from. Interesting thing to note is that Sorceria was originally from the real world but the Archfiend feared the 'Magic Burst' spell so he tried to destroy it but instead the people there sent it off to the dream world and one of the NPC's says they lost of their earthly bodies as well which explains why Ashlynn was a ghost/spirit when we first find her. We also learn that Ashlynn is the next leader of the village and has the blood of the ancient Sorceress within her. Her own reaction to this is actually quite funny as she seems rather shocked.
  • We meet the Elder who teaches Ashlynn magic burst but the Archfiend kills the elder as soon as she does (if it could do that why didn't it just kill Ashlynn instead?).
  • We learn from one of the residents about flying carpets but they don't offer one up but at least I know thats something I need to find.
  • I decide to look it up and find out that I need to get a rub from the style contest so I find that and partisipate. I got through round 1 with ease but had to swap up some equipment for rounds 2 and 3 but we win and get the Rug, take it back to Sorceria and get it fixed and now we have a flying carpet! Sadly its like the flying bed but its in our inventory, doesn't open that much more then we already had done.
  • I ended up at a broken down castle with a well that takes us to the dream world version which isn't wrecked at least not yet. A guard quickly leads us into the castle and we learn from the residents that the King is planning to deal with the Archfiend with the worst play ever... of all time, summoning an even more powerful demon, take control of it (how?), and use that to beat the Archfiend. This place also has the legendary chest piece so I clearly have to see how events play out here...
  • Things go as bad as I expect, the demon murders everyone and we manage to escape back to the real world, the captain of the guard hides the legendary chest piece away but we see how he does so and in the real world we find the legendary chest piece! That's 3 down and 1 more to go!
  • Interesting thing to note, if we head back in the well it'll take us back to the kingdom before the events take place and I'm guessing we can actually watch what happens over and over again, its basically a time loop.
  • I head to Madam Luca's to figure out where to go next, she says we need to head to a snow area and so we do so. We find a snow village with its residents all turned to ice except for one person who tells us to not go to the temple to the north east... So we go to that temple because why not?
  • Here we meet an ice spirit(witch), she cursed the man because she saved his life and told him not to tell anyone about her and he did when he got drunk, the curse is what turned all of the people in the town to ice and that was 50 years ago. Pretty evil thing to do someone but she agrees to free the villagers and warns us not to tell anyone about her.
  • Returning to the village finds everyone is now okay, we also find Terry who leaves rather quickly. Hes looking for something, I'm guessing the legendary sword. From clues we gathered earlier it seems the sword was sealed away in a cave to the north, we also find out how to get access to it so off we go!
  • A relatively short cave, a few puzzles solved and we find the legendary sword... but its all rusted, its never that easy is it? Terry also showed up and introduced himself to the party finally. Now we need a find a way to repair the sword...
  • Returning to the nearby village and speaking with the guy who told us how to get access to the sword sets us off to find the legendary swordsmith who apparently lives in Turnscote so off we go!
  • Turnscote is the 'thiefs town' of this DQ, bunch of outlaws live here. We don't get a ton of info right away but we do get pointed into the direction of Mo the mole (who is not actually a mole sadly) a guy who is very good at getting information and disguising himself. He offers to help but only if we play a little game with him, we have to find him 3 times after hes switched into a disguise, if we do he'll get us the info for 2k if we can't its 50k...
  • I don't know if you would actually have to pay him 50k but regardless we found him and he reveals that the legendary swordsmith was named Cole but hes long gone but his daughter was taught everything he knew. We go to see at her mothers grave and she refuses to fix the sword because her father abandoned her and her mother so she hates him and all of the skills she got from him.
  • Returning to her at her home in Turnscote she apparently changes her mind and agrees to fix the sword but only if we agree to only do good with it (isn't that the whole point that only the legendary HERO can even use the thing?), she sees that we will do so and she fixes the Sword!
  • With that all of the legendary pieces of equipment have been gathered! I went ahead and upgraded the legendary equipment at the style forge and it doesn't tell you this but doing this actually boosts the weapons damage too, I'm assuming it also boosts the armor as well. Not sure why the UI only lists style when upgrading, weird. I think I'm getting close to the end of the game now.
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,395
I don't usually do updates, but I'll just say that I recently finished Zero no Kiseki and loved it and I'm a couple of chapters into Ao no Kiseki and I'm loving it. By far the best Kiseki games around, no contest, even with the fan TLs.

I'll do a huge post on both of them when I'm done with Ao.
 
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dawgparty

Member
Nov 27, 2017
1,009
Which android JRPG ports are good? I played DQ 1-3 and loved them all, they ported them so well to mobile. Are the FFX games any good? Anything else? I don't really like using the gba emulators because of having to tap on the virtual d-pad rather than swipe around to move.
 

Thuddert

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,819
Netherlands
Which android JRPG ports are good? I played DQ 1-3 and loved them all, they ported them so well to mobile. Are the FFX games any good? Anything else? I don't really like using the gba emulators because of having to tap on the virtual d-pad rather than swipe around to move.
DQ4 is really good as well. It does come with more directions plus camera control.
 

Niahak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
235
Which android JRPG ports are good? I played DQ 1-3 and loved them all, they ported them so well to mobile. Are the FFX games any good? Anything else? I don't really like using the gba emulators because of having to tap on the virtual d-pad rather than swipe around to move.
If you're good with (or prefer) landscape mode, Final Fantasy Tactics WOTL is (probably) the best version of that game. Retranslated, rebalanced, and less of the lag of the psp version. The continue feature has caused me a bit of confusion (if your last action was to save the game manually, don't use the continue menu item - I'm not sure when exactly it saves).

There's the ability to configure confirmation dialogs for movement etc. in the case of a misclick too.
 

Asreia

Member
Jun 29, 2019
31
Trying to decide on what RPG to play after I finish Final Fantasy V Advance (fiesta). I recently played through all the non-mmo Final Fantasy mainline games, having previously beat in the past few years the Xeno series (minus Saga), Chrono series, Mario RPG, and further back the Suikoden games. I got several Tales games along with Lufia 1 & 2, Breath of Fire 1 - 5, and the Mario & Luigi/Paper Mario games. Other series are welcome, but I might not have the game on hand to play. Like I don't own any of the Shadow Heart games so I have to track them down first.
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,395
Finished Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki. They're almost like a single massive, MASSIVE game, so I'm gonna ramble about both of them in one long post.

Now THIS is what I've been hoping for from Trails. While very similar in many ways to the preceding games (FC and SC), the duology wrecks the Sky trilogy in essentially every single category I could come up with.

Let's start with the... Let's say lukewarm stuff. It's good, but you know, not perfect. Like with my The 3rd post, it's spoiler-tagged just to keep the post more organized/shorter, actual spoilers inside will be tagged.
- The new artstyle
To be perfectly frank, I hate the 2d art of the Sky games. I think it looks genuinely terrible. So when I noticed that they have a completely new artstyle starting from Zero, I was obviously happy.
And it's very good too.. But it's also distractingly juvenile when it comes to the female designs. I really don't think the vast majority of a game's female characters need to be HOT LADIES with HUGE TITS and SKIN-TIGHT SHIRTS, that is, if they're even wearing shirts. Feels way too weeb-y for such a serious story (for the most part, at least). Oh, and (Zero spoilers) Joshua's new art looks friggin' hilarious. He looks like a doofus.
- Lloyd
It was a bit disappointing to find out how similar he feels to Estelle and Rean. Idealistic, optimistic, energetic, self-serious, has a penchant for sappy, fluffy speeches, GOOFY and QUIRKY in few specific ways, and he's also someone who the writing sometimes goes out of its way to show as particularly clever or insightful at the cost of making everyone else look like fucking blabbering idiots, and so on. I was hoping for something different this time around, someone with a bit more edge to them or something.
That said, I generally liked Lloyd and thought he was much, MUCH better than Estelle or Rean.
- The (Ao) finale, gameplay-wise
In true Trails fashion, the final dungeon is SO FUCKING LONG to, yet again, the extent that it manages to leave a slightly sour taste in my mouth, even though everything everything else has been fantastic. I really don't understand why they keep making final dungeons that are like.. Longer than every other dungeon in the game combined. It's just way too much, maaaan.

That's it for the lukewarm, pretty much everything else about the game I liked or loved.

The setting of Crossbell is fantastic. I love the aesthetic and how absolutely CRAMMED with content the city is. Visiting the smaller villages every now and then was a great change of pace, and almost all of the dungeons felt very well integrated into the world. I can't wait to do a talk-to-all-NPCs-all-the-time replay of these games in the far off future when we'll have proper, high quality localizations for them. 2034 gonna be so exciting.

Aside from the earlier bits I mentioned on Lloyd, and Elie being a bit of a generic bore, I loved the cast. Not just the core cast, but the vast majority of named characters with artwork ranged from good to fantastic. If I had to pick a favorite, I'd definitely pick Wazy. I really hope we'll see more of him in the future. Loved that ruffian.

The story was fantastic and wonderfully varied from the very beginning of Zero to the very end of Ao.
Zero's more intimate, somewhat more grounded narrative was interesting and following Lloyd and the SSS slowly getting better, gaining the trust of others and the city was a lot of fun. I didn't care for (Zero subplot spoilers) the continuation of Estelle (and Joshua's) borderline disconcerting "WE WILL FORCE RENNE INTO OUR MFKIN FAMILYYYYYY" storyline, but surprisingly, I really liked Renne herself in this one, and overall the Estelle/Joshua/Renne subplot was super minor, so it wasn't that bad. Zero also very nicely paved the way to the absolute hype shit that went down in Ao.
Ao's story was ridiculous, and it was hilarious, and most shockingly, I loved how unabashedly typical anime/JRPG madness it was. I can't say why it is that it REALLY worked for me in Ao when it REALLY didn't work for me in TiTS SC, but I loved how wild things got somewhere around chapter 4 in particular, from where they just kept getting dumber (in a good way) and more hype and dumber (still in a good way) and more hype all the way to the end, with reveals and twists and surprises and shocking swerves just raining from the sky. I suppose Ao's "JRPG nonsense" just felt way better integrated into the world and world building of the game. Also helps that I genuinely liked the cast and the protagonists, too.
(Major Ao/minor Cold Steel 1 spoilers) I also like how much more sense Cold Steel 1's strange flash-forward/in medias res opening makes after Ao. Now I get why people wouldn't give me a straight answer when I tried asking about it back when CS1 came out, haha. And I'm very glad they didn't!
Really could've done without the beach episode, though.

I also really appreciated how loosely structured these games and their stories were. None of the uninteresting, unsurprising formulaic structuring that plagued FC and Cold Steel 1 and even a good amount of SC. Shocking how two 60 to 100 hour games that take almost exclusively place in a single city feel more organic and way less strict with their structure and storytelling than the aforementioned ones, which had all of Liberl and Erebonia available to them.

Gameplay balancing was truly fucked - raise everyone's evade to 40%+ and you're gonna have a REAL easy time for essentially all of Zero and almost all of Ao, and then you still get fucking SMACKED in Ao's final chapter. So balancing-wise it was a bit of a mixed bag. But otherwise the gameplay is the same as before, just better, more fun and with more options. I really liked all of the new features they added, and the master quartz that were introduced in Ao are a particularly fun addition. I'm glad it's one of the things they've kept in later games.


I can't imagine how good these games would be if played with a proper localization and on a platform that didn't completely ruin the audio when the game was played at 2x/4x speed (talking about PPSSPP, and I did this for the vast majority of the two games - whoo boy are they SLOW), but alas, this is the best I could get right now. If Ao is ever officially localized and released on modern platforms with some QoL additions (boost in particular), I can definitely see it landing somewhere in my top 20, maybe even top 10 RPGs list.

If I'm being perfectly honest, I actually feel like my opinion of the Sky and Cold Steel games has lowered a bit due to the Crossbell games realizing the potential of the franchise and the premise better, cutting down on some of the stuff I'm not a fan of writing-wise and in general, just being so much more interesting and varied and FUN. I didn't care that much before, but NOW I'm fucking excited for Cold Steel 3.

And speaking of Cold Steel, I think I'll move on to 1 and 2 right away. I was planning on playing Judgment between Ao and CS1, but I really want to have a longer Trails break between CS2 and 3, so I'll just smash through the first two games over the next couple of weeks on easy or something.

--

Also, a small blitz question: I'm actually replaying CS1 since I've finished it once already (back in 2017 or whenever it came out on PS3), should I maybe not count it in my blitz games? CS2 I haven't finished before, so that one should be valid at least.
 

StormEagle

Member
Oct 29, 2017
394
Been a while since I've seen one of these, so figured I'll toss one up.



When's the last time you played your favorite RPG and how often do you replay it?

For me, I haven't done a full replay of Valkyrie Profile in a couple years. I did a partial replay to get re-familiarized with some zones so I could have some advice for a friend who was going through it blind. I do try to replay it every 2-3 years. Same with VP2. I think I'm due for another, but I may do a full replay of VP1, 2, and Covenant before the end of the year. The House in Fata Morgana is making me want to go back and relive misery in abundance.
I don't have one well-defined favorite RPG. I'd call the group of SNES RPGs. Quintett and "Secret of x" games probably my favorite. I've replayed on of these each of the past couple years. Last year someone was asking about Soul Blazer and I wanted to give thorough recommendation. I was hazy on some details, so I started the game up again to check. I ended up playing through the whole game and forgetting to write an answer in this thread. The year before I played Secret of Evermore. Before that I played through Illusion of Time. This Year I'm the Mana Collection at some point.
 

Niahak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
235
When's the last time you played your favorite RPG and how often do you replay it?
It's hard to pick a favorite, but I used to replay through the Suikoden series (sometimes minus 4) around once a year when I had more time. Last time I played through any of them was Suikoden 5 around 3 years ago. My enjoyment of the first two games has remained steady, but I've developed a better appreciation for both Suikoden 3 (lots of optional content, nonlinearity of chapters, bonus bosses, skills and lottery) and Suikoden 5 (lots of plot, which is better once you understand everything that's going on on a replay).
 

Soilbreaker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
723
USA
Over the weekend I've beaten the first game on my current biltzlog DQV, and out of the three DQ games that I've played it might be my favorite. Was overly impressed with the storytelling & the monster recruitment feature made a good amount of the enemy encounters a bit addictive. Also was meant to play Trails FC as my next game but went with Tales of Berseria instead. Might be because i'm still kinda on a Tales kick after beating Graces F & the reveal of Arise.
 
Oct 27, 2017
352
I find it hard to replay rpgs, I can really take my time playing them. The series I find most replayable is Pokemon, I've replayed SoulSilver several times, between 60 to 80 hours each time. Must be a year or two since I last played SoulSilver though (currently replaying Black 2).
 

Iva Demilcol

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,218
Iwatodai Dorm



When's the last time you played your favorite RPG and how often do you replay it?

I don't think I have just one favorite RPG but let's say that from the best ones I've played the one I've replayed the most is definitively Persona 3. Each playthrough takes me about 130 hours so naturally I don't replay it that often. The last time I did? Maybe about 5 years ago? I suppose I could try to go back to it one of these days, but most of the time it's the backlog or replaying a game so choosing one of the games from the backlog is usually what I end up doing, especially these days with the Blitz and all that.



And now it's time to talk about the first Blitz game I've finished this season:

Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD or... Why do people hate this game again? This is awesome!

It's not a secret that I've been playing the whole series for the last few months. In fact I was looking forward to playing this game because I've read so many comments about how KH3D is a much proper sequel to KHII compared to other spin-off games. At the same time though I was trying to keep my expectations low because of the huge amount of negative comments I've also read regarding this game. In the end keeping my expectations low proved to be the right thing since as I mentioned above I ended up liking what I played. I'll try to use spoilers this time because KHIII is still kind of a recent release and I don't want to ruin something for any of you.

Well, first I must say that while I said above that I didn't know, I think I kind of understand why fans hate this game:
  1. The new mechanics (traversal, the not-Pokémons, the touchscreen)
  2. The Story (the many things that just don't make sense)
When I first started playing it it was very difficult for me to see what they were trying to do with this game, as I said the new traversal mechanics ("Flowmotion"? I think they were called?) that allow you to interact with certain objects or enemies to perform acrobatic moves or special kicks and strikes were surprisingly counter intuitive, sometimes you try to activate them and you can't or sometimes you'll trigger them without wanting to do so. So, while part of the experience they are bad implemented, there's no way to deny this.

Then we have the not-Pokémons... a bunch of "cute" creatures that you have to fuse, pet, feed and play with so they can assist you in battle. They are obviously made with the touchscreen of the 3DS in mind and I cannot imagine that people were happy about their inclusion because you have to engage in those activities in order to get new commands and abilities for your characters. That alone is like 30 steps backwards compared to what was done with BBS.

And then we have the touchscreen... I played the PS4 version so I didn't have to deal with it that much but it's super obvious that a lot of features in the game were implemented because it was a 3DS game. Some of those features were adapted to the PS4 and... well, they just don't work. What's worse though is the fact that some of the people who played the game on 3DS assure me that using a touchscreen wasn't exactly a good experience either, since I don't have any reason to distrust those words I just can't grasp what happened to the game there... I heard that the devs had a hard time while making KH3D.

... Aaaaaaand then we have the story. I don't want to spoil anything critical so I'll try to be a little vague here: There are several scenes that don't make sense because they kind of ruin what was established previously in the main games. The main bad guys came out of this game as being more assholes than before, okay that's a good thing but the supporting cast came out worse because originally you thought they had something to gain from becoming nobodies, but then it turns out that in the end nothing happened to them? and that they were blindly following the one that turned them into nobodies against their own will? I need some explanations here. Then we have the deal with the sleeping worlds and the dream realm and the dream eaters and the fact that it turns out that all the times you visited Traverse Town were all the same place (and time?)... and then let's add time travel because why the fuck not... it's just... too much. I'm still struggling to understand what happened in this game.


and yet... despite all the issues I found in it I ended up liking it. Why?

Well, I have several reasons:
  1. The great presentation
  2. The game was still fun to explore (some of the worlds are awesome)
  3. The story is super ambitious despite its flaws and shortcommings
  4. A good campaign for Riku for the very first time
Even if those reasons are very few they are enough to twist my general perception of this title. For example, when I mention the presentation let me tell you that I'm quite surprised how pretty this game looks, and not only that, the music is brilliant at times. Other than "Dearly Beloved" and their infinite versions I think the music in this series is not exactly memorable, I'd recognize it because I've played too many of these games recently but for the first time KH3D made me pay attention to its music. To give you the clearest example of why the presentation in this game is great just let me show you this: 4 minutes of an opening movie that escalates and escalates as it introduces the main characters of the series:

The second reason is a big one. In the whole game there's just one world that really sucks: The Grids (from the second Tron movie). It's confusing, it's ugly and the special attacks that you can perform specifically there aren't fun. The rest? They all are great. They also learned from BBS how to make you explore different parts of the same world to keep things fresh. The best thing is that you also get to see new worlds... no more Agrabah for the nth time, no more Atlantica... Almost all worlds are new and they are big an interesting. It's true that they are also big and empty, but they all come from a 3DS game and after playing BBS it's super clear that this is what you get in exchange of having an action rpg on a handheld system. So in the end, even if levels are a little bit empty at times, they were varied, new and pretty. I couldn't ask for more.

And then the story... didn't I mention it was confusing and let me scratching my head at times? Well, yes, but this game basically tries to tie all main games ans spin-offs together to prepare you for the conclusion of the story and they kind of managed to accomplish that goal in spite of the shaky elements they introduced to the story with this entry. The last three or four hours of the story just had me wondering how in the world would the story end as I witnessed the main characters being screwed over and over even after the threat of the main villains had disappeared. The end like always, is a bittersweet one: all is okay in the world but just momentarily, the bad guys will return and they have dragged you into their plans already, there's no escape... see you all in 7 years so you can know how everything ends. Now I understand why people were so eager to play Kingdom Hearts III.

And now let's talk about Riku... I think Riku is super lame (don't @me), he's always been. But for the first time ever I get to play as him and it wasn't bad like when I played his story mode in Chain of Memories. Riku is the big hero this time around and it's fun to play as him period.


All in all my reasons for liking this game may be as shaky as the new elements introduced to the series with DDD, but hey, I couldn't stop playing from start to finish in like a week, so they must've made something right, right?

God... I'm super invested in this series now... I never thought this would happen.
 
Last edited:

Asreia

Member
Jun 29, 2019
31
Been a while since I've seen one of these, so figured I'll toss one up.



When's the last time you played your favorite RPG and how often do you replay it?

For me, I haven't done a full replay of Valkyrie Profile in a couple years. I did a partial replay to get re-familiarized with some zones so I could have some advice for a friend who was going through it blind. I do try to replay it every 2-3 years. Same with VP2. I think I'm due for another, but I may do a full replay of VP1, 2, and Covenant before the end of the year. The House in Fata Morgana is making me want to go back and relive misery in abundance.
It a toss up for me on my favorite RPG. It either Final Fantasy IV, VI, or Suikoden 1 & 2. I just recently beat VI and IV a few months ago, with six not been beaten since the GBA release and IV around 2015 or so when I beat the PSP release. Suikoden 1 & 2 last were beat around that time on the Vita. I need to replay the series again sometime, but want to try out some new RPGs first.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,210
Austria
I did it.



(This is for Divinity OS 2, difficulty means you only get one save so when you die, it's game over)
Holy hell, you get so stupidly overpowered when you do a Lone Wolf run.
I finished the game in a way I didn't even know was possible (I killed
Braccus in the first part of the final battle, thus completely avoiding the part with the Kraken
It basically took me 2 turns to beat the entire last party.
 

Novel Mike

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,227
Dragon Quest VI Log #6 (Final log, spoilers for everything now!)

  • We make our way to the dream world to what I believe is the last big missing area and jump down into the real world like we did early on in the game. We find the sacred temple and solve a rather obvious puzzle and the Castle in the Sky appears... and we have to fight THE CASTLE ITSELF!?
  • Made short work of the castle, Oomph+Double Edge Slash= MC doing 400damage a turn, basically double what anyone else can do. With the castle defeated we arrive inside of it to find... it infested with Demons who have taken it over, uh oh....
  • So this is the same castle from DQIV and V interesting to see it taken over in this way, wasn't expecting that. The leader of these demons invites us in, expecting a fight soon... Well that didn't take long, the leader didn't even mence words, just said he was going to kill us and sent out some monsters to fight.
  • Didn't take much to beat the monster but then the demon calls his human ally who sold his soul... TERRY!? Oh, okay well... That's interesting, wasn't expecting thats how he'd tie into all of this but well.. LETS KICK HIS ASS!
  • Terry gets absolutely wrecked by the party. MC was able to do over 700 damage to him via Focus Strength and the combo I mentioned before on the castle. Now its time to face this demon.
  • Demon goes down fairly easy. Reveals that he and the other major demons we've fought thus far are all minions to the Archfiend, Mortamor. He dies and Terry is revealed to be Milly's brother... Which I already knew sadly but neat none the less. They are reunited and Terry (finally) joins.
  • With Cloudsgate Citadel freed we head there in the dream world and meet with its leader, Zenith who tells us the only way to get to Mortamor is to get Pegasus who can travel to the Dread world which is in between the real and dream worlds.
  • We arrive at the shrine for Pegasus in the real world, it has a fairly simple layout and once we reach the top our horse resonates with the Pegasus that's been turned to stone before anything can happen we get interrupted by a trio of enemies. We dispatch them and then Pegasus is reborn! It's really neat that this horse you get early on in the dream world ends up being the key to the end of the game.
  • Returning to the Citadel, Zenith powers up Pegasus giving it the ability to get to the Dread World so we can head off to our final confrontation with Mortamor but first I need to check and see what I could have missed...
  • First thing I find is another party member. It seems Terry didn't actually kill the Hacksaurus back when we first met him and its still alive and with Terry in the group she wants to join as well! Neat! I end up putting Amos on the bench and bringing her in although I don't intend to use her at least right now shes really low leveled but gotta get some experience at least Hacksauruses are cool!
  • I checked out a few places but didn't find all that much to do, did a few more ranks of the Slime arena and a few more style contests and then decided to head to the endgame!
  • We fly up to the Dread Realm to find our party completely weakened, 1hp and 0mp and healing items or resting at the Inn nearby does nothing. We find ourselves at a makeshift town full of depressed people, it seems like the loss of our strength is do to Mortamor's influence on the town making everyone depressed and full of despair.
  • We meet an old man who gives us his pipe and says if were really from the real world then go back there and get his tools as proof. Okay... how?
  • Heading west gives us this answer with a lagoon that literally looks like a hot spring thats sucking up peoples souls (and it is! Lol). The cave within her though leads to a well that does take us back to the real world. We travel to this mans home, speak to his wife and get his tools.
  • Upon heading back to the old man hes shocked to see we have his tools and that his wife is still alive. He agrees to make some armor for us and we get to pick what kind (I just go with normal armor and it ends up being a minor upgrade for Carver), however the better news is that now that people know they can escape this realm they have gotten over their despair and things are much better and this change has caused our strength to return!
  • Speaking to the villagers has them exceptionally happy to learn that there is a way to get back home and that its all thanks to us. We also learn about another town in the north east so our next destination has been set.
  • Just a note for this part, I wasn't able to document my comments from this point forward as I was playing so this is just how I remember things after I've finished the game.
  • The next location is full of people who have let their greed take control over their lives, we get a clue about a treasure in the depths of a lake to the west. Arriving there finds a bunch of people trying to figure out how to get to the chest at the bottom, speaking to everyone has the lake suddenly empty and everyone runs in and starts killing each other trying to get to the chest, once everyone is dead we open it to find that its empty and then a few seconds later the whole area seems to reset and things begin anew. I wasn't really sure what the game wanted me to do at this point so I ended up having to look it up but if you go a specific way down to the chest you can open it and show everyone its empty. Doing this seems to fix the loop and everyone gets over their greed.
  • Upon investigating the chest more we find that it actually has a hidden staircase underneath that leads to the next area.
  • I wasn't expecting the final arc of the game to be quite this long to be honest. We end up going to this fortress as a legendary sage is being held here, we sneak in and find the sage locked up but to rescue him we need to defeat the warden. We also get help from Captain Blade who... I thought was dead, does this mean Rusty is alive? It said he was dead, weird.
  • We stage an uprising with the help of the prisoners and kill the demon in charge. This frees the Sage or rather, his brother and he reveals the way to where his brother is being kept.
  • The demons are trying to turn the Sage into the Archfiends puppet but before he gives up we and his brother arrive and are able to save him. Together the Sage and his Brother are able to open a pathway to the Archfiends lair and its time to head off towards the final battle!
  • I explored the final dungeon which had some rather simple mechanics but made it to the final boss with my resources very low and no way to leave once I arrived. Made it to the third form but ultimately died.
  • At this point I decided that since I wasn't sure what if anything I was going to do in the post game I should tackle whatever stuff I didn't already finish now before we properly challenged the final boss. So I spent some time doing some Slime Arena, hunting down the only 2 mini medals I Was missing, and getting up to the final rank of the fashion contests. I couldn't win the final one as I didn't actually have anyone go down the Luminary class so I decided to just be happy with the 7th and at least I got a king slime for my trouble as a new party member (which I likely will never use XD)
  • With all the side objectives done we headed back to face Mortamor once and for all and... I wiped the second time on the same stage (the third form), he was really just able to overwhelm me and part of that was because I really didn't have a good backup team. Almost none of my extra four characters had anything equipped so I did my bests to get them some decent gear and challenged Mortamor again and this time around I didn't even need the B team ironically enough.
  • Mortamor dies, the realms are saved and soon the dream world itself will disappear. The MC and the rest of the cast is able to travel around the dream world and say goodbye to the friends and family they've met here and then the dream world disappears.
  • In the real world we go on a world tour taking all of the party members home and saying goodbye to everyone before we end back up at Somnia where the king and queen greet their son and invite everyone he knows over for a big celebration. The king comments on Ashlynn assuming she and the hero are an item. Everyone has a good time at the party but Ashlynn isn't around, we find her in the throne room but sadly she cannot stay. She is from the dream world, she has no real body and because of that, like the dream world itself soon she will disappear from the real world. With a final goodbye she thanks the MC and disappears... then the credits roll.
  • In the post credits we see the group gathering at Madam Luca's as they use Milly's power to see within the dream realm. In the dream realm Ashlynn is at Cloudsgate Citadel and a golden dragon is being born. This confirms what I wasn't sure of before but is made more clear now that DQVI is actually a prequel to the other two games (I think it does VI>IV>V if I'm not mistaken).

I ended up deciding to do some postgame stuff so I'll do a full thoughts writeup later but overall, DQVI was fantastic and I really enjoyed it. Its not perfect (I really do not care for this or DQVII's class system) and I had some complaints in how certain characters were handled
(Terry)
but overall this is a fantastic game and up there in my top 5 DQ games, maybe top 3.
 

Eridani

Member
Oct 25, 2017
677
Banner of the maid - END

I'm done with my first blitz game. No fancy ending screenshot, sadly. This is the best I can do:


Overall, I really liked the game, though it also has a number of things I wasn't too fond of. It does a good job of taking everything that makes the basic Fire Emblem gameplay fun and adds some changes that make it feel a bit more fresh. The French Revolution setting is also a welcome change compared to the usual medieval fantasy setting that's present in every FE game, and a ton of other RPGs as well.

It's not an amazing, genre-defining experience, but the core gameplay is fun and the mission design is mostly interesting and varied. Most of my impressions from my last post describe the things I liked about the game pretty well and they mostly still hold after finishing the game. In addition to that, there's a couple of outstanding missions in the mid-game that are just super good. One that really stands out is a hard defense mission that forces you to defend against enemy waves coming from all directions. However, unlike most defense missions in games, trying to play super defensively doesn't work since you quickly get overwhelmed by a large number of units. Instead, you have to aggressively take on the enemy waves, making sure to match up units with enemies they are strong against and blocking the enemies coming from the back. It's unusual to see a defense mission that requires you to be super aggressive, but it works really well. I think one dialogue choice makes that mission easier, but if that's true I'm really glad I didn't pick it.

The difficulty felt pretty good for me overall. There's were some really tough missions in the mid-game, though I can't tell whether that was because I managed my EXP poorly and didn't have enough upgraded units. Even those were completely beatable with the correct strategy, and beating them felt great. The end-game was too easy though. My army was incredibly strong at that point and the game didn't do anything to really challenge it. There are optional missions you can grind to make the game easier, and I think a self imposed challenge of completing every optional objective without losing a single unit would prove to be a big challenge. Possibly even without doing optional missions, though that might just turn out to be impossible.

There are also some things from the initial impressions that I have to follow up on:

There's no perma-death. Instead, you get a major penalty to the gold rewards of each battle for each unit you lose. The penalty's pretty harsh too: 1 lost unit already takes away pretty much everything and with 2 you already receive 0 gold. I don't know how much gold actually matters in the long term, but I like the idea.
Money actually turned out to matter a lot. It's needed to upgrade units after they reach max. level and it's not exactly cheap. A mid-game mission can give you enough money to upgrade 1 unit if you do it without losing a single unit, it can give you around half that if you lose 1, or it gives nothing for losing more than that. So if you're sloppy, you can quickly end up not being able to upgrade units. While the game does have optional missions you can grind, they don't really give out a lot of money.

Unfortunately, this means that after you've upgraded everyone, there's no real reason to care about that anymore, which makes the game much less interesting. Optional objectives also primarily give you money, so there's no real reason to care about those either (except for achievements and personal satisfaction). While money is also used for buying weapons and skills, those don't really matter.

From what I have so far, there's light and heavy cavalry, light and heavy of infantry, artillery and musicians (priests, basically). It's not a lot so far, but the missions have also been rather small-scale, so it's not a big problem.
The above are all the unit types the game has, so there's not as much variety as in most FE games. And while there is some variation between units in the same class (some infantry has long-range attacks, there's a light cavalry unit with a gun instead of a sword, and some other minor differences) it still feels less interesting compared to pegasus knights, wywerns, archers, mages, assassins, dragons, and all the other fun stuff you get in Fire Emblem. This also means that units that join late game aren't very interesting. Getting your 5th light infantry unit just isn't very exciting when you already have 3 that are super good.

The weapon triangle (well, square in this case) feels much more impactful, with a large effect on damage, but not to the point where the game would just turn into rock/paper/scissors.
Later in the game, unit counters become extremely important. They become so strong that a unit can effortlessly solo half a map worth of units it's strong against but immediately dies to a unit it's weak against. I'm not the biggest fan of rock-paper-scissors systems like this dominating everything else. Still, it's also kind of a good system, for the following reasons:

  • It eliminates a common problem in FE games where a couple of units become strong enough to basically beat everything single-handedly while all the weak units just stand around awkwardly. In this game, even the strongest unit gets demolished when facing the wrong type of enemy, so you still need to be quite careful about that even later in the game.
  • The game is quite good at mixing enemy types together. This means you can't just send units to always fight things they are strong against, because they will often be next to other types of units.
  • The fact that there's four unit types helps slightly because it means it's not just rock-paper-scissors. There's always 2 unit types a unit can fight - the one they counter, and the one they don't counter but aren't weak against either.

So it's a pretty interesting system overall. I'm not a huge fan, but it also fixes one of my major complaints with some FE games.

Weapon durability is per-level. Which means it basically doesn't matter so far, except for some of the more powerful weapons that have limited uses (the FE dancer ability that makes a unit act twice can only be used 4 times per battle here, for example). Items do not recharge though, only weapons.
This turns out to matter quite a bit in longer missions later in the game, where it's actually possible to completely run out if weapon uses. Additionally, there's a unit that's capable of restoring those uses and he turns out to be quite useful.

There's a bunch of other stuff that also isn't that great. The optional objectives more or less always alternate between "finish the mission in X rounds", "kill all enemies", and "nothing", which does get repetitive after a while. Although surprisingly, even such simple and repetitive objectives help with making the missions a little more interesting and while I'm generally not a fan of time limits in SRPGs, I quite liked having one every couple of missions for some variety. Aside from the optional objectives, the map design is very inconsistent. There's some incredible missions (as mentioned above), but there's also a bunch of missions that are just about slowly marching up the field killing everything in your way without anything interesting happening.

The last part of the game is also quite disappointing. The map design isn't all that great in the later missions. The last mission (well, the one before that since the real last mission is more like a pointless epilogue) stands out by just being completely terrible. As mentioned above, late-game missions are also too easy. There's also a lot less story in the later parts of the game, with a number of missions that barely have any story between them and an ending that's barely built up and therefore isn't really any good. Granted, a translation that's actually good might improve on that, but even without one it's pretty evident that the late-game story leaves a lot to be desired.

The game also lacks a lot of non-combat stuff that a lot of people seem to really like in FE games. There's no support conversations (unless I'm just dumb and managed to get through the entire game without noticing them, which would be pretty embarrassing), no children, no base-building stuff, no story branches, barely any voice-acting, and the music is bad. The optional missions also re-use maps from the main missions, though they do tend to change things up quite a bit so that you're at least not just doing the same thing all over again.

There's also a lot of enemy reinforcements, which can often really mess up your plans when you're not expecting them. Which is cool in a way but can also cause you to lose a mission without being able to do anything about it. Thankfully, missions are quite short with animations turned off, so even if you lose it doesn't take much time to get back to where you where. I think easy mode also lets you save mid-mission but I'm not completely sure.

So all-in-all, it's a simple FE-like game (especially compared to the more recent FE games) with solid core gameplay, some good mission design, a fresh setting, and some nice ideas (optional objectives, a different take on penalties for losing units...) that help differentiate it from actual FE games. On the other hand, it's also missing a lot of things that I think a large number of FE fans enjoy. Apart from the core gameplay, there's really not much there but thankfully that + the mission design was really enjoyable for me.

Next up, I think I'll go with Yakuza 0. It seems like a good change of pace.
 

Taborcarn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
640
Banner of the maid - END

I'm done with my first blitz game. No fancy ending screenshot, sadly. This is the best I can do:


Overall, I really liked the game, though it also has a number of things I wasn't too fond of. It does a good job of taking everything that makes the basic Fire Emblem gameplay fun and adds some changes that make it feel a bit more fresh. The French Revolution setting is also a welcome change compared to the usual medieval fantasy setting that's present in every FE game, and a ton of other RPGs as well.

It's not an amazing, genre-defining experience, but the core gameplay is fun and the mission design is mostly interesting and varied. Most of my impressions from my last post describe the things I liked about the game pretty well and they mostly still hold after finishing the game. In addition to that, there's a couple of outstanding missions in the mid-game that are just super good. One that really stands out is a hard defense mission that forces you to defend against enemy waves coming from all directions. However, unlike most defense missions in games, trying to play super defensively doesn't work since you quickly get overwhelmed by a large number of units. Instead, you have to aggressively take on the enemy waves, making sure to match up units with enemies they are strong against and blocking the enemies coming from the back. It's unusual to see a defense mission that requires you to be super aggressive, but it works really well. I think one dialogue choice makes that mission easier, but if that's true I'm really glad I didn't pick it.

The difficulty felt pretty good for me overall. There's were some really tough missions in the mid-game, though I can't tell whether that was because I managed my EXP poorly and didn't have enough upgraded units. Even those were completely beatable with the correct strategy, and beating them felt great. The end-game was too easy though. My army was incredibly strong at that point and the game didn't do anything to really challenge it. There are optional missions you can grind to make the game easier, and I think a self imposed challenge of completing every optional objective without losing a single unit would prove to be a big challenge. Possibly even without doing optional missions, though that might just turn out to be impossible.

There are also some things from the initial impressions that I have to follow up on:



Money actually turned out to matter a lot. It's needed to upgrade units after they reach max. level and it's not exactly cheap. A mid-game mission can give you enough money to upgrade 1 unit if you do it without losing a single unit, it can give you around half that if you lose 1, or it gives nothing for losing more than that. So if you're sloppy, you can quickly end up not being able to upgrade units. While the game does have optional missions you can grind, they don't really give out a lot of money.

Unfortunately, this means that after you've upgraded everyone, there's no real reason to care about that anymore, which makes the game much less interesting. Optional objectives also primarily give you money, so there's no real reason to care about those either (except for achievements and personal satisfaction). While money is also used for buying weapons and skills, those don't really matter.


The above are all the unit types the game has, so there's not as much variety as in most FE games. And while there is some variation between units in the same class (some infantry has long-range attacks, there's a light cavalry unit with a gun instead of a sword, and some other minor differences) it still feels less interesting compared to pegasus knights, wywerns, archers, mages, assassins, dragons, and all the other fun stuff you get in Fire Emblem. This also means that units that join late game aren't very interesting. Getting your 5th light infantry unit just isn't very exciting when you already have 3 that are super good.


Later in the game, unit counters become extremely important. They become so strong that a unit can effortlessly solo half a map worth of units it's strong against but immediately dies to a unit it's weak against. I'm not the biggest fan of rock-paper-scissors systems like this dominating everything else. Still, it's also kind of a good system, for the following reasons:

  • It eliminates a common problem in FE games where a couple of units become strong enough to basically beat everything single-handedly while all the weak units just stand around awkwardly. In this game, even the strongest unit gets demolished when facing the wrong type of enemy, so you still need to be quite careful about that even later in the game.
  • The game is quite good at mixing enemy types together. This means you can't just send units to always fight things they are strong against, because they will often be next to other types of units.
  • The fact that there's four unit types helps slightly because it means it's not just rock-paper-scissors. There's always 2 unit types a unit can fight - the one they counter, and the one they don't counter but aren't weak against either.

So it's a pretty interesting system overall. I'm not a huge fan, but it also fixes one of my major complaints with some FE games.


This turns out to matter quite a bit in longer missions later in the game, where it's actually possible to completely run out if weapon uses. Additionally, there's a unit that's capable of restoring those uses and he turns out to be quite useful.

There's a bunch of other stuff that also isn't that great. The optional objectives more or less always alternate between "finish the mission in X rounds", "kill all enemies", and "nothing", which does get repetitive after a while. Although surprisingly, even such simple and repetitive objectives help with making the missions a little more interesting and while I'm generally not a fan of time limits in SRPGs, I quite liked having one every couple of missions for some variety. Aside from the optional objectives, the map design is very inconsistent. There's some incredible missions (as mentioned above), but there's also a bunch of missions that are just about slowly marching up the field killing everything in your way without anything interesting happening.

The last part of the game is also quite disappointing. The map design isn't all that great in the later missions. The last mission (well, the one before that since the real last mission is more like a pointless epilogue) stands out by just being completely terrible. As mentioned above, late-game missions are also too easy. There's also a lot less story in the later parts of the game, with a number of missions that barely have any story between them and an ending that's barely built up and therefore isn't really any good. Granted, a translation that's actually good might improve on that, but even without one it's pretty evident that the late-game story leaves a lot to be desired.

The game also lacks a lot of non-combat stuff that a lot of people seem to really like in FE games. There's no support conversations (unless I'm just dumb and managed to get through the entire game without noticing them, which would be pretty embarrassing), no children, no base-building stuff, no story branches, barely any voice-acting, and the music is bad. The optional missions also re-use maps from the main missions, though they do tend to change things up quite a bit so that you're at least not just doing the same thing all over again.

There's also a lot of enemy reinforcements, which can often really mess up your plans when you're not expecting them. Which is cool in a way but can also cause you to lose a mission without being able to do anything about it. Thankfully, missions are quite short with animations turned off, so even if you lose it doesn't take much time to get back to where you where. I think easy mode also lets you save mid-mission but I'm not completely sure.

So all-in-all, it's a simple FE-like game (especially compared to the more recent FE games) with solid core gameplay, some good mission design, a fresh setting, and some nice ideas (optional objectives, a different take on penalties for losing units...) that help differentiate it from actual FE games. On the other hand, it's also missing a lot of things that I think a large number of FE fans enjoy. Apart from the core gameplay, there's really not much there but thankfully that + the mission design was really enjoyable for me.

Next up, I think I'll go with Yakuza 0. It seems like a good change of pace.
Great write-up, glad you enjoyed it!
 

Gevin

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,134
Finished my bonus game of the blitz, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter (proposed by Fou-Lu). I would say my overall impression is good, but I was not blown away by the game and think it has some flaws that were a detriment to my enjoyment.

A little bit of background before, some years ago when I went through the BoF I reached this game and bounced hard in the first few minutes. I found the combat system annoying and needlessly difficult, and the rest of the mechanics didn't help. Thanks to the insistence of some people of the Discord server and taking advantage of the bonus game, I decided to give it another choice.

I think my younger-me's thoughts are still valid, the difference is that I have acquired some tolerance for those things. I get the intentions of making the combat difficult and give the player limited tools in order to emphasize the strategic aspects. In the same vein, limiting inventory space forces you to make hard decisions some times about what stuff you should keep (and since almost all equipment you acquire is unidentified you can never really know what you are getting rid of).

In reality, I felt the combat boiled down to try as hard as I could to get the first strike with the correct character, and then spend half a minute trying to precisely position my characters so they could get a specific number of attacks in order to use the combo system. Failure to do this resulted in battles being overly long and stupidly hard at some points. Then, whenever my inventory filled out I had to backtrack all the way to the nearest shop, id and sell all the trash and refill my inventory with healing items. This gameplay "loop" turned out to be kinda annoying, but at least was mitigated a bit by speedhacking the game.

With that out of the way, the game can be pretty satisfying once you set up a few combos and attacks (I specially loved the trap system Nina has in the early game and the interaction with displacement skills from the other characters).

Regarding the story, I think it was mostly OK. The 2nd playthrough certainly adds more interesting stuff cause it delves into the background of all the mysterious persons in the game and there are some really good bits. I found it pretty funny that your D-Ratio is not actually reflected at all in the story, since for all its intent and purposes you are still the lowest of the low even on a replay. And the things you learn about Nina in the 2nd playthrough are too heartbreaking.

A few other negatives I have to point out:
- Spiders, and not only that, spiders that jump out of the ceiling to appear in your face.
- The optional dungeon ends up being really boring, 50 floors of straight fights, meh. I stopped about floor 15 or so.
- It feels like the boss difficulty is way too hard in the 2nd half of the game, when it introduces that dumb shield system all boss battles end up being the same. I was trying to avoid using the dragon form since it's extremely OP and it trivializes the game but at the end I just used it for the last 2 or 3 bosses cause it was a chore otherwise.
- Lastly, the game is pretty short. My first playthrough was around 15 hours, and my 2nd 10. I get the game is designed to be replayed over and over but in the ends there's not much substance.

I would say the game ends up being like a 6.5. Some great ideas but dragged down by dumb and tedious implementations of them. That said, I can certainly see why a lot of people are attracted to it and love it very dearly. If you are the right person for the game, you will be amazed. Unfortunately, I'm not.

Finally, some pics (spoilers):




 

Eridani

Member
Oct 25, 2017
677
I spent some time playing Yakuza 0 this week and managed to get through the first four chapters. Unsurprisingly, the game is really good.

One thing that I really love is just how much is just how real the game's two cities feel. The game isn't very impressive graphically, but all the stuff scattered around and all the small details that the places are filled with (like a ton of random signs, posters, bikes and the like) really helps to make it feel like you're walking through an actual city:


Being able to enter a ton of random stores/restaurants is also really cool in that regard. From a purely gameplay-related viewpoint, there's really no reason for those to exit at all but it helps make a city feel like a real place people live in. As with the cities itself, it's also cool to see how much effort went into making those look like real places:

Of course, much of Kamurocho is the same as it was in Yakuza 4 (the only other Yakuza game I've played) so exploring it doesn't feel as fresh as it did originally, but the 80s setting makes it different enough that it still feels fun and the introduction of another city in Osaka also helps in that regard. That one is smaller but feels even more detailed.

As for everything else, the wacky side-stories are fun and the game seems to have a lot of them, to the point where you can run into multiple ones just trying to walk 100 meters from one main story location to another. I also like the friendship system that seems to be new in this game. It seems super simplistic, but going to a random restaurant and befriending the chef, or a random convince store and befriending the cashier helps make those locations feel like they matter and gives a nice reason to return there.

The biggest thing that sticks out so far is just how much more interesting everything involving Majima is in comparison to Kiryu. He's much more interesting as a character and I like the fact that his story focuses on that to a large extent. In comparison, Kiryu's real-estate bickering hasn't been very compelling so far and he's just such a bland character in comparison. Plus Majima's fighting styles are much more fun. With Kiryu, you just get to pick whether you want to punch people quickly, slowly, or something in between while Majima gets to beat people with a bat and pull off crazy breakdancing moves.
 

MoonFrog

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,729
Yakuza 0 is the best Yakuza game I’ve played so far—but that’s only 0, K1&2, and Judgment. Hope you continue having fun; it’s special.
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,395
Finished my third Blitz game, Trails of Cold Steel 2

And not a moment too soon, goddamn the game just wouldn't end. If I'm being completely frank, I thought it was thoroughly mediocre, so I'll just quickly write out my thoughts below.

Didn't like:
- Rean. He's so fucking lame. Goddamn I hate you, Rean. I'm happy Crow died so at least his frustratingly naive "I WILL FORCE THIS TERRORIST TO BE OUR FRIEND AGAIN" drivel ended there, even though Crow's death scene might be the single worst death scene I've ever seen lol, which leads me to...
- Writing, or a lot of the dialogue writing specifically. It's so incredibly sappy and corny that I feel like CS2 might hold the number one spot on my "most times I wanted to die during a playthrough" list. JRPGs tend to be very corny for sure, and I can certainly appreciate cornball hijinks, but this was definitely not the type of corn I enjoy.
- Cast chemistry and/or the harem garbage. I can't even call the chemistry between Class VII members terrible, cause it's essentially nonexistent. Aside from the rare Laura/Fie and Jusis/Machias interaction, I feel like I could count the amount of times the other members had actual conversations between each other on one hand. The game does an absolutely terrible job at selling me on the whole "THAT'S THE CLASS VII WE KNOW AND LOVE HEH" angle. And I feel like the dreadful harem approach might be a major contributor.
- Padding. A lot of the story just felt like this.

Liked:
- Combat and gameplay. It feels a bit sloppier and more chaotic than Ao and The 3rd's, but it was fun. A lot of potential if you like breaking systems, which is always great.
- Quartz system. It grew on me. I wouldn't say it's better or worse than the Sky/Crossbell system, just different, and pretty much equally as fun.
- Some of the story. I won't lie, even though a lot of it did feel like padding, it was a blast to go around smacking smug nobles in their mouths. Take that, archaic class system.
- A lot of the cast. Many of the villains/bad guys/noble faction peeps etc. were particularly great. Despite my earlier writing gripes, there was also a lot of entertaining stuff to be found here.
- Presentation. I know many lament the loss of 2D portraits and the strange 2D sprite fight cutscenes that almost look like an invisible child is playing with dolls (in a good way), but I think Trails works perfectly well in 3D too. The combat cutscenes are certainly not as exciting and dynamic, but I like being closer to the ground and the action. Makes it easier to get immersed in the world.
- Crossbell! Didn't get to see a lot of it, and unfortunately the two characters you play as weren't my favorites of the duology, but the divertissement chapter was still a nice surprise. The insane Crossbell arc namedropping from Lloyd was absolutely hilarious, though. What the hell was the point lmao.
- Music, to the surprise of no one.
- Seeing Rean sad at the end. Get fucked, Rean.

Overall, it was fine for this one playthrough and I'd say I mostly enjoyed it, but I can't see myself ever replaying it. Cautiously optimistic about CS3, now.

---

And now I'm all caught up with Trails. Replayed TiTS FC and SC, played The 3rd and the Crossbell games for the first time and replayed/finished CS2. I skipped CS1 cause, well, that one's just so formulaic that I couldn't really bring myself to go through it again, since I still remembered most of it.

I really hope they mix things up a bit in the future. I'm getting bored of playing as energetic goody two-shoes Bracers/bracer-in-all-but-names every single time. Would absolutely love to explore this world from a less strictly formulaic point of view.

And as for my current series ranking, I'd go with: Ao > Zero > The 3rd > CS1 > FC > CS2 > SC.

---

Will resume playing my fourth and final Blitz game, Judgment, tomorrow evening. Very high hopes for that game.
 
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TheMadTitan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,272
After weeks of struggling with whether or not I was going to play the PS1 version of Final Fantasy VII or whether or not I was going to buy the PC version and mod it so the menus function at the proper speed, I just settled on the PS1 version. Had to redump my game to get it working properly in Retroarch, but whatevz. All that time I spent on which version to play and I could've just been playing the game.