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6631  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled for DS. Anyone have updates? on: June 14, 2009, 09:45:40 AM
Gen, funny you should mention that!

Despite what the status menu said, you didn't have any stats in Secret of Mana. You had attack power that reflected your current weapon and defense which reflected your current armor, but nothing like strength, speed, etc. And the game worked fine without it (well, except for the shoddy hit detection and bad AI and, and, and...). It also made grinding fairly useless, since only HP and MP would increase, and these things weren't hugely advantageous.

Here's something interesting, you know. In a lot of Square RPGs, what your stats do is fairly mystifying. Well, JRPGs in general. Maybe it's just because half the time they do odd things like "Name magic defense charisma!" but I swear that the SGF, Usaga, and the chrono games are the only square games where all those little numbers are meaningful to me.

Atlus is pretty good about transparency, here (and, well, lots of other places, really).

And don't forget, Chrono Cross also allowed you to see your enemies beforehand so you could more easily pick and choose your battles.  In a throwback game like Black Sigil, you don't get to pick and choose your battles the way you can in some of the more modern RPGs out there.

See, if Black Sigil is basically a CT homage in every other sense, WHY did they go with random encounters? That's just odd to me. Especially since *set* enemy patterns in the non-random battles was entirely unique to CT and a really good idea.

Additionally, I think the main problem with save points is that they're inconsistent. In something like DQ, where you save at the inns, well, they're still technically save points, but you pretty much always know where they are, and never have to wonder something like "Well gee will THIS dungeon have a save point and where?"

Save points when specifically used as a checkpoint/progress pacing system CAN work but you've got to have a really steady hand at dungeon designs for that and I mean, modern-day Atlus, again, is the only company that's really doing that much lately. I mean like, the Obelisk in SMT:N probably had eight or so terminals in it, but they were all in reasonable places. Also there were eight of them and they let you teleport out if things got really bad making the two pass (Get items and explore, then go back and kill bosses) method really doable if that's what you wanted to do.
6632  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Phantasy Star II on XBLA on: June 14, 2009, 09:34:32 AM
Buck Rogers is a WRPG (and Goldbox, for that matter).

You know, though, the german made Whale's Voyage is fairly JRPGish and even looks a lot like an early megaten game.

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/original/1075313750-00.gif <- See?

It also has a pretty Engrishy translation so you can pretend like you're playing an SNES-era JRPG!

http://members.chello.at/theodor.lauppert/games/whale_2.htm Apparently the sequel is freeware. It's also ugly and not in English so you might be playing it and yr mom'll walk and and be like "Oh my GAWD my SONS A NAZI" and then she'll go smash your Hummels.
6633  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FFXIII: Shiva-Bike in battle on: June 14, 2009, 12:05:47 AM
They should have a transformer named BETSY ROSS and it turns into a John Deer tractor. Big ol' green one.
6634  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled for DS. Anyone have updates? on: June 13, 2009, 09:44:17 PM
Interesting gameplay makes battles interesting.
6635  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled for DS. Anyone have updates? on: June 13, 2009, 09:33:15 PM
Battles aren't for rewards. Battles are for killing things and being obstacles. If you're doing battle for the XP rewards you're doing it wrong.

Admittedly, I can't really think of many RPGs that I thought had really engaging battle systems.

Also, I played this game for like ten minutesat a good buddy's house and it seemed pretty much like any generic SNES RPG, which is completely the intent, I know, but that makes it utterly unappealing to me :(
6636  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled for DS. Anyone have updates? on: June 13, 2009, 01:36:59 PM
What's with moving in battle anyway? It looks like if you pick attack and you're out of range, you'll move up to the enemy anyway, in the space of about a turn and a half, whereas if you manually run up to them, you won't attack till the charge bar fills completely again. And you can't seem to DODGE with it.
6637  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Phantasy Star II on XBLA on: June 13, 2009, 01:35:31 PM
Yeah, that was really cool looking, except PS3 had boring dungeons :(
6638  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs that critics love but fans of the series hate. on: June 13, 2009, 08:50:01 AM
Fist of the North Star never has any tension that Ken can lose. Why? Because he's goddamn Kenshiro. That's why. But it still works, because you're not watching it to see if he wins or not. You're watching it to see how over the top and insane the writers are going to make everything in the episode.

The problem with movies based on RPGs is that RPG devs tend to shy away from unflinching, over-the-top, straight-faced fuck-yeah-we-just-shot-ninjas-out-of-cannons-ery. It's a very self-important genre. There always has to be a core of 'serious' narrative about something of inflated importance to go back to.

I mean like, someone should make an RPG where the power of love conquers everything. This isn't new. But what WOULD be new is that they could shoot concentrated love out of themselves, a la care bears. And what would be REALLY new is that this causes enemies to explode in huge gore.

For real game examples, something like TWEWY might work, because you have bears with tattoos for arms.

Additionally, and what's really ironic, is that I think FFVII was shifting towards this too. I mean more in the context of it being an FF game than anything. The weapons are huge -- and not just the swords, but I mean, The Weapons, Junon's cannon, Midgard's plate -- stuff like that. Cid's turned into a disgruntled astronaut. The overstated glitz of the Gold Saucer. The idea that both the main hero and the main villain (Zack and Sephiroth) are pretty much dead the entire game and that like, Cloud's some moook that THINKS he's Zack and Sephiroth's some chunk of Jenova that THINKS he's Sephiroth. Aeris' death, and then Aeris' death not actually meaning a lick, and THEN Sephiroth pretty much lampshading the whole thing.
6639  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: June 13, 2009, 01:05:52 AM
Played BG2 a bit, but the slow move speed is really offputting, as is the weird tendency for the game to just rape the hell out of you for EXPLORING. Like, I'm in that... Umnes Hills area with the gnolls. However it's spelled. I go up a mountain and I encounter some guy that asks if I'm some other guy, I say no, he says I'm lying and attacks and Minsc dies pretty much instantly. WTF?

Also some of those backdrops are way too busy and inavigable. jesus.

And I maintain that Eternal Sun is my favorite implementation of D&D rules >:(

I'm giving planescape another shot soon, I guess. Maybe tonight.
6640  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled for DS. Anyone have updates? on: June 13, 2009, 12:38:51 AM
Reading gamestop's review, it sounds like most of the bad vibes I was getting from the game are correct.
6641  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Phantasy Star II on XBLA on: June 13, 2009, 12:05:17 AM
That reminds me though. Like, all of my old favorite games I either don't like nearly as much as I used to (CT) or just don't find that fun anymore (LoM).

It's this sort of aimless and immobilizing saudade that I experience while waiting for Septerra Core's ATB bars to fill up; this feeling of loss and regret for your loss of childhood.

Speaking of good, modern sci-fi RPGs, what about the DDS games? They're not space operas like PS2, though.

Space exploration RPGs are hard to pull off because you often fall into Daggerfall syndrome on the PC side of things -- millions of planets, each of them more similar than the last -- and on the console front you get a lot of things that just end up like bad Star Trek fanfics written under the influence of a shitload of meth. Which is Rogue Galaxy syndrome.

Why Star Control 2 worked so well is that it had EXCELLENT writing and a very strong sense of creepiness to it. Phantasy Star 2, if nothing else, had creepiness. From a gameplay standpoint the nonsense buildings is absolutely rubbish, but from an atmospheric standpoint, you can't HELP but wonder what built them and who the hell works in them and what they're even for, given that nobody works. They're these weird inconsistencies in the game's internal reality.

I also found PS3 to have a certain creepiness, partially from the color palette being gloomy as all get on, partially from WHAT the setting was, and partially because it really conveyed a sort of hugeness in time and scope. No, the writing WASN'T good, but whatever.

And PS1 had Dezoris. PS1's Dezoris is something very magical. As a whole I honestly think PS1's still pretty playable, though. More so than 2 and 3, at least.

You know, though, I almost wonder -- what if in PS2... what if monomate and dimate and the like restored your TP instead of HP, so that you could cast spells more freely? What if spells, well... what if the more unique spells WORKED better? That'd cut down on the grind since you could be a lot more destructive in battles. The thing with PS2 is that the typical "conserve MP for bosses" strategy doesn't work because in regards to boss the game has like, three.

And in PS2's defense, I completely maintain that you WEREN'T supposed to do the dungeons without maps.

(Some additional notes: Space opera should maybe address relationship between characters and space as a *geography*. Space-based RPG should incorporate setting into gameplay beyond "Hey I have spells that let me summon BATTLESHIPS."

large glass dungeon suspended BENEATH something over space. as you walk over it you see stars parallaxing. think the hub world from FFL2 sort of
6642  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Phantasy Star II on XBLA on: June 12, 2009, 08:58:53 PM
The big problem with Septerra Core is that it basically uses ATB, except the bar moves SLOW AS HELL and you can't do anything to speed it up, so more or less most of the game is spent by you sitting there and watching a bare slowly increase.

And while you wait, you think about your own impending mortality, but more horrifyingly, the death of everyone you know and love, and even more horrifingly, and perhaps oddly, the inevitable collapse of your favorite retail chain in the face of this recession.

Mine, of course, was Value City.
6643  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Forgotten Old Square RPGs? on: June 12, 2009, 08:05:43 PM
FFVI was the only FF that didn't end with the planet exploding, because in FFVI it happened at the midway point.
6644  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: I met the Angry Videogame Nerd on: June 12, 2009, 08:01:52 PM
Personally I think NC is pretty damn sexy and I would like his beard.
6645  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: June 11, 2009, 10:42:21 PM
Played BG2 for a little bit. Killed some random enemies, found a teddy bear for a kid, got some new quests. I don't really like the D&D core mechanics but the Ultima-ish-ness of the game interests me. and I had DS2 turned on briefly but barely played it. I've kind of lost the energy to do things and I had really bad hiccups since noon-ish.
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