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Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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6481  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Response to Final Final Dungeon editorial ***SPOILERS*** on: March 11, 2009, 02:18:39 AM
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(GFs on the whole were largely pointless except as a plot device and the only real way to level up your characters).

I actually beat most of the fights up to that point by spamming GFs. There were... something like three boss fights, other than the final boss, where that didn't work.

FFVIII is a nice reminder that RPGs are in fact very system-heavy things where the numbers matter.

As I've said like a million times though, I don't play games to finish them, so length and final dungeons aren't really issues to me. In the sense that it's mostly gameplay mechanics or some sort of atmosphere that drive me to play a game and I can generally get my fill of any particular game's gameplay mechanics or atmosphere by playing said game for maybe like three hours a year.
6482  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: March 11, 2009, 02:11:44 AM
I agree with Eusis, though about demikids, the japanese devil children games were substantially better than the two demikids we got in the states from what I remember. they had like, storylines and stuff.
6483  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Response to Final Final Dungeon editorial ***SPOILERS*** on: March 10, 2009, 08:05:54 PM
Oh, you're right. The last boss being harder than anything else in the game by far didn't really help things either.
6484  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest V on: March 10, 2009, 04:32:55 PM
They also have about two lines each for the monsters, it seems. I find the Apple monster's two lines strangely hilarious in a very Snake and Bacon way.
6485  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best RPG of Last Generation? on: March 10, 2009, 04:32:48 PM
Maybe I SHOULD play P4. I really liked P3 but I never got that far in it for some reason (it's not really tedious to me, and it's not that hard if you lose the party splitting option right). I think it was because some of the Requests from that one bitch are kind of unreasonable. "Collect three whatevers from this one monster that hardly shows up ever!" "And do it by tomorrow!"
6486  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Response to Final Final Dungeon editorial ***SPOILERS*** on: March 10, 2009, 02:15:49 PM
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The problem is that I can't spend hours and hours trekking through a final dungeon and grinding towards victory.

Okay, so why not just make all dungeons a little shorter, punchier, and well designed (You know. No mazes, no "switch-flipping hell," no endless, double-backing corridors), get rid of grinding completely, and either switch to a save-anywhere system or let the player make quick saves? That way you take care of the tedious final dungeon problem and a whole hell of a lot of other problems at once. And if you HAVE save points, increase the number of them.

The goal of the game is to be challenging. The goal of the game is NOT to be abusive.

At that I'd also advocate adding something like in Dragon Quest where, if you die, you lose gold but keep items and XP.

And I'm starting to get the impression that 'bad final dungeons' is just a symptom of a greater underlying problem with the genre, now.

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Also, I feel strongly that final dungeons should have relevance to the plot and maybe even be an integral part of it. Does it really hurt to have cutscenes in a dungeon?

Why stop at a cutscene? Get rid of the cutscene there, and take a cue from SHMUPS and use other visual elements to convey story. The most basic example, maybe, is to have something like cave paintings on the walls revealing important information, but it could be done really elaborately.

See the problem with cutscenes in a dungeon is that they're often non-skippable and by definition non interactive. So, you die, repeat the dungeon, and you have to do the thing again.

Then again, if you have a savepoint after every cutscene, DO make them skippable, and uh... yeah. Then it's not as much of a problem.

Finally, no dungeons should EVER be a point of no return. Points of no return are almost always atrocious game design.

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Give me puzzles,

OH, right! Another good point. FFXII didn't have a lot of puzzles from what I remember -- very non-interactive. Comparing DDS to Nocturne, I also felt those games had few puzzles or interactive bits -- especially the second -- than Nocturne.

Although I think it's fair to say that dungeon design is the most neglected aspect of RPG making. I think you could argue in the past that dungeons in most games were intended to do nothing but take up time. I personally think they should be more like playgrounds where you kill things.
6487  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best RPG of Last Generation? on: March 10, 2009, 02:08:42 PM
Since SH:C came up, I had problems with not being able to read the font on my TV. It was small and kind of... serif-happy if I remember right.

Tttthat and the dungeon designs were KIND OF lacking at times and it had a bad tendency to have "hey check behind every scenery object for stuff" syndrome.
6488  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest V on: March 10, 2009, 01:22:45 AM
Oh lord.

Code:

Okay, I'm being slow. I know. Anyway, I have Maria, and I took her back to uh.. Roundbeck. And uh... there's still party chat for her. And it's SiLlY.

Them dev's think of everything.
6489  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Response to Final Final Dungeon editorial ***SPOILERS*** on: March 10, 2009, 12:45:44 AM
okies!

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4) The slew of classics people love DO have final Dunegons and final bosses.  And while some may be avoidable or at least minimalized, here's a short list:

Final Fantasy
Seiken Densetsu
The Shin Megami series (wanna talk about hard and the need to level up)
Suikoden
Persona (maybe you can use 4 as an exception depending on how far you play)
Star Ocean
Any of Namco's "Tales" games
Mario RPGs (any one of the series)
Phantasy Star (before the MMO versions)
The Sega "Shining" games
Lunar
Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross
Xenogears
Xeno Saga
Rogue Galaxy
Terranigma


Let's break this down as I actually beat some of these.

SD2's final dungeon was about the same length as all of the other dungeons. Legend of Mana's was shorter.

Xenogear's final dungeon is horrible. Like, that and Norturne are literally my two least favorite dungeons in the game. And uh... Shevat... pipeworks? Or was that Solaris? In any case, XG's final dungeon was bad and I don't recall people liking it.

CT and CC, even though the Black Omen and... Terra Tower, as I've said, have an air of finality to them, they're not really all that long (well, black omen sort of is).

Third, in regards to Shin Megami Tensei, or at least Nocturne, if you're grinding you're doing it wrong.

Seventh, Shining force games are strategy games and don't really have dungeons?

Sally-Forth, sure, I loved Persona, and I actually rather ENJOYED Deva Yuga for some reason, but that game's not really the pinnacle of dungeon design. I never finished P2, but that wasn't all that much better.

Nineteenth, semantically speaking, every game will have a final dungeon in anyway, in the sense that you'lre probably going to complete at least ONE dungeon before you finish the game and probably wouldn't be completing dungeons AFTER you've finished it.
6490  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: March 09, 2009, 09:39:17 PM
Yeah, Leon is pretty powerful, magic-wise, and his attacks aren't bad either. They do decent damage and they hit flying enemies.

Anyway, got back to Disciples 2. still in the second mission of the human campaign. I levelled up my main hero and now he can have an army of four guys with him. Also managed to level up some basic soldiers and a lot of mages (On levelling up, your units class change, based on which buildings you've built. It's sort of like a skill tree, a little). Also I got some quest in this mission to find some guy's brother, and I formed an alliance with the Dwarves. Oh, and my native terrain is the most abundant :]
6491  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Response to Final Final Dungeon editorial ***SPOILERS*** on: March 09, 2009, 09:37:36 PM
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Can everyone please stay on topic?

no.

What are you guys all eating right now? I'm about to cook myself up a bowl of curry. Thai-curry.

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I was happy as a clam when Eternal Eden did like Chrono Trigger and had no final dungeon

Technically the Black Omen was the final dungeon. Also not technically because it's the last dungeon you do. You didn't HAVE to fight Lavos there (could you? I thought you could) but it still had a very... finalness to it.

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And Losfer, if you want to talk Phantasy Star, then the final dungeon of Phantasy Star 4 deserves mention.  That dungeon was an absolute eyesore with horrible music.

Wow, that's worse than PS2. That game's dungeons were eyesores with pretty damn fine music :P

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The final dungeons in both Digital Devil Saga games (and Nocturne) are pretty good reasons why I mostly agreed with the editorial in question.  I'm all for having a cool final dungeon or whatever, but it's ridiculous to be sitting in a dungeon forever relative to everywhere else in the game.

Yeah, but Nocturne was mostly a dungeon crawl. The entire GAME was dungeons. Yes, they keep getting longer, but it's not like what, apparently, Divine Divinity does, where the game is more or less a non-linear sort of thing, and then the last fifth of it takes place in this incredibly linear final dungeon that's rather bland.

All in all though I've only finished like ten RPGs ever so this doesn't matter to me.
6492  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Free Indie RPG - Legionwood!! on: March 09, 2009, 09:28:19 PM
Dude. Freeware game. Just post a link and some pictures. No need to oversell it :)
6493  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: March 09, 2009, 03:10:16 PM
Started Entomorph. Got to the second island, explored a bit, and was consumed by bees. Bugger :(

---edit---

Also, looks like the music is redbook audio format. this would explain why I don't have music. I think I'll go dig the CD out and give it a listen :)

---edit2---

And then I played Aquanaut's Holiday and discovered both pyramids AND a sunken temple, all within a short period of playing. hrrya :#
6494  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Response to Final Final Dungeon editorial ***SPOILERS*** on: March 09, 2009, 01:42:30 PM
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Linear games allow you to concentrate on story and character development.

Yeah but videogames always have bad stories so why bother :(
6495  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best RPG of Last Generation? on: March 09, 2009, 12:11:37 PM
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FF12 was an abomination (it perfectly captures the feel of a standard MMORPG but in 1P mode...great!),

Wait, wait. I have to object to this. Diablo 2 and PSO are both fairly similar games that are... MMO-ish, event hough they're not MASSIVELY multiplayer but more like small-team multiplayer but you get the drift. I liked D2 more because I thought PSO's random dungeon generator was hella off, and I DO NOT AGREE WITH HAVING TO KILL EVERYTHING IN A ROOM TO CONTINUE THIS IS TEDIOUS AND BAD GRR. But I liked them both pretty well. I also think I'd really like an offline, single player Ultima Online type game, although, I admit, that'd just be Ultima 7 with a skill system, but uh... nothing wrong with that.

So FFXII CLEARLY can't have the feeling of a standard MMORPG in 1P mode or otherwise I might've liked it more. So, why isn't it?

* Well, maybe I'm wrong about this, but did the game have any interesting treasures, rare drops, or just cool stuff to find lying about? Did it have collectible sets of armor or unique weapons that got dropped by enemies? To the best of my knowledge, it didn't. The loot kind of sucked. Did you even find weapons, in general, in chests?

* UO was pretty interactive and all of it's skills were linked to stuff you could do. Was FFXII all that interactive? Well, again, not really. And was there a lot of stuff you could do? Again, not really. You could kill things, I guess, but even then -- even just looking at the combat only skills -- the things you had were pretty limitted compared to most other FF games. D2, for that matter, had some nice skill trees.

* PSO and D2 both had really unique character classes with very different abilities, leading to replay value and group dynamics.

* Finally, there's no crafting, fishing, or mining. All of which are pretty standard now in MMOs, all of which are pretty cool to have, and all of which should really be present in more 1P games.

So, I guess FFXII is like a single player clone of an MMO, only without all the features that in theory make MMOs fun.

(Not trying to be combative with the person I'm quoting, by the way. My point is that I agree with them, honestly, it's just that FFXII is a rather feature-poor game. I don't hate it or anything [although I'd argue that the writing was damned odd] but I got bored with it because of the lack of features. Maybe features isn't the best word to use. What I mean is there wasn't a lot to do, I found).
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