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BTW, is it really necessary for the final dungeon to be this epic 2h long labyrinth every time?
I wouldn't mind a more streamlined dungeon when I'm trying to push on and finish the game.
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I don't dislike the hoverboard, although you get it far too late. I know the days of getting boats and airships which gradually open more of the map are long-gone, but I feel like, if implemented well, the hoverboard could fill that role. In theory it somewhat did by making travel quicker and opening new areas, but it felt a bit like an after-thought (not dissimilar to using the elemental abilities in Zestiria: that felt like such wasted potential).
Frankly, I think going pseudo open world is what hurt the dungeon and field designs of the Tales series.  I think the best thing the developers can do is to go back to a separate navigable world map with distinct dungeon and village zones.

Its not the open world aspect as it is having battles take place on the field rather than their own distinct battlefield. It was atrocious for Zesty and not much better for Berseria (since at least they did a better job of designing field/dungeon maps to accommodate battle arenas; even if it led to all of the dungeons looking like an interconnected series of boxes; at least compared to Zesty's "what could possibly go wrong?").
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I don't dislike the hoverboard, although you get it far too late. I know the days of getting boats and airships which gradually open more of the map are long-gone, but I feel like, if implemented well, the hoverboard could fill that role. In theory it somewhat did by making travel quicker and opening new areas, but it felt a bit like an after-thought (not dissimilar to using the elemental abilities in Zestiria: that felt like such wasted potential).
Frankly, I think going pseudo open world is what hurt the dungeon and field designs of the Tales series.  I think the best thing the developers can do is to go back to a separate navigable world map with distinct dungeon and village zones. 
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Playing through this game now, and not only are some locations stupidly huge *cough*that temple you face Artorious in*cough*, but generally speaking your land speed travel is slow enough that if an enemy gets a bead on you, unless you get outside of their aggro zone, you're likely getting into a battle since they're generally faster than you (and the other movement speed upgrade(s?) don't really do much of anything, especially when later enemies scale with it).
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I don't dislike the hoverboard, although you get it far too late. I know the days of getting boats and airships which gradually open more of the map are long-gone, but I feel like, if implemented well, the hoverboard could fill that role. In theory it somewhat did by making travel quicker and opening new areas, but it felt a bit like an after-thought (not dissimilar to using the elemental abilities in Zestiria: that felt like such wasted potential).
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At least Berseria added the hoverboard so you can travel those empty fields faster...
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The sad thing is, I might not have minded Velvet's outfit much if they'd approached the character with an 'I don't give a damn how I look' mentality. Instead she gets embarrassed when somebody draws attention to her attire... in literally the first town of the game. It's baffling that they would go out of their way to draw attention to this contradiction. Then again, I've never cared for Inomata's designs, so any further complaining would just feel like kicking a dead horse.

Sakuraba is an enigma. He composed Dark Souls, which presents one of my favourite final boss themes. He also composed Golden Sun/TLA: both boasting excellent soundtracks for the GBA. On the other hand, his work with titles like Tales and Star Ocean is all over the place. I rather enjoyed some of the Zestiria tracks (The Essence of Adventure Lies in Exploration is a pleasant little theme), but Tales of Graces has some of the most awful music I've heard from an officially published game (not only would I argue the standard boss theme is one of the worst battle themes ever, Sakuraba deserves some kind of lifetime achievement award for Lying in the Darkness). I'm not sure what to take away from his work: he has too many great tracks for me to write him off as a hack, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

I think people have been calling for a different composer for a long time: at least since 2012, when I started following the series. For better or worse, I can't ever see a Tales game without him. Legendia was done by a different team entirely, and aside from that he's been involved in every single game. Given the contradiction in quality between Tales and his other work, the question for me isn't so much 'how can we get rid of him' as much as 'does he even want to be there'.  Alas, I doubt we'll ever get a concrete answer. I'm more hopeful that we'll see a return of a co-composer. Funnily enough, I remember defending Sakuraba once (maybe on this very board), but have since found out that the majority of songs I liked weren't his.

My single biggest hope for the newest title is that they will finally work on the field/dungeon designs. They are spacious, empty, and lacking any kind of structure or design to make them feel like a real world. Four games in a row the exploration aspect has been a complete drag, which is a pretty big problem for an RPG. I can recall a lot of the locations in other games by their visual aesthetic and structure, but with Xillia/Xillia 2/Zestiria/Berseria everything that isn't a town just bleeds together into an open field of blah. If nothing else gets fixed or changed from Berseria except this one thing, I'll take it with gusto.
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Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Last post by MonCapitan2002 on June 22, 2018, 07:43:18 PM »
I wonder why wearing clothes is so difficult for so many female RPG protagonists...

And even when they wear clothes, they're ludicrously skin-tight or have "boob windows" or something ridiculous, right? 

Septerra Core seems to mostly buck that trend.  Maya wears full armor.  Okay, so Led (a girl who's maybe 18-20) wears a tank top and there is a brothel in the game with scantily clad prostitutes, but that's about it. 

As for a new Tales of... game, I don't expect too much from that series beyond a fun-to-play, pulpy, summer-blockbuster style romp.  I just hope that it bucks the trend I complain the most about in modern gaming- miniscule text fonts in dialogue boxes with no way to make them bigger.  If I'm allowed complete wishful thinking, I also want to see someone other than Motoi Sakuraba composing the music.  I think Sakuraba is an uninspired hack.  He farts out so much music that it all sounds boring, generic, repetitive, recycled, and completely unmemorable to me.
While I do agree with you that his music is mostly forgettable, it is at least nice to listen to for the most part.  Having said that, though, I would definitely echo your desire to see someone new get a chance at composing a Tales game's score.  Yasunori Mitsuda or the woman behind the Wild Arms scores come to mind.
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Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« Last post by Kevadu on June 22, 2018, 02:07:29 AM »
Well if you're only on episode 8 you're still in what I would consider the good part of the show.  Let's see how you feel by the end.

Though personally I think the soundtrack for the show was excellent.  Even though it had been so long since I watched it the first time that I had forgotten major parts of the story I definitely still remembered most of the musical themes...
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Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« Last post by Aeolus on June 21, 2018, 11:06:23 PM »
Yeah, its a Shoujo series alright. Every time there's a dramatic close up for 'romance' I keep wondering if this time's the time somebody loses an eye to those shoujoFace.jpg noses.

That being said, I'm now up to episode 8 and I find myself wanting to see Escaflowne in a SRW more than ever now. I wasn't aware that the titular mech's flight mode literally has Vaan standing on top of the thing like a fucking sandworm, but I love the idea of picturing him doing that while blowing up Zakus in outer space while the writers come up with whatever 5 cent bullshit excuse to justify the absurdity of it. Hell, its absolutely not even water tight so you can easily see the gameplay/story segregation even with the D rank in Water across the board (let alone the shenanigans a Screw Module or A-Adapter would incur).

Of course, I can also see why it hasn't been used in an SRW game yet as well since it has some pretty self contained world building. It also doesn't have too much of a soundtrack (its got some incidental music but not much in terms of themes beyond the OP and ED; at least the OP is Yoko Kanno, even if its some of her more middle of the road stuff), so I'd say that the OVA is superior on this front. But then, I've seen SRW do more with less so these things aren't really much of an excuse.
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