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7021  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best Unique Gameplay Feature on: July 04, 2009, 11:02:32 PM
How Chrono Cross handled ending battles and your hp/mana.  I forget the actual name now.

No mana. Rather, you had a certain number of spells you could use every battle. To use a spell you had to charge up with regular attacks.

if you were charged up enough to use healing spells, at the end of battle you could use as many as possible to heal your guys. You could also have it auto-use as many comestibles as possible to heal you.
7022  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How can JRPGs naturally evolve? Will we see more "big" JRPGs this gen? on: July 04, 2009, 11:00:00 PM
Chevalier are you intentionally not reading my posts or something?
7023  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best Unique Gameplay Feature on: July 04, 2009, 08:01:33 PM
Grandia and Valkyrie Profile are both interesting in that in a large part they play more like action games, in the sense that unlike most turn based RPGs attack animations and enemy positions and movement speed AREN'T totally divorced from the actual gameplay.

I really wonder what Xenogears would've played like had timing been at all relevant to the comboing system. As it stands, XG's combos were more like a really elaborate way of just selecting regular attacks -- replacing a menu with a minigame, like in the case of Judgement Ring.
7024  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How can JRPGs naturally evolve? Will we see more "big" JRPGs this gen? on: July 04, 2009, 07:58:12 PM
I don't like highly open ended games like Oblivion; they tend to be less polished,

Oblivion being less polished is not a factor of its non-linearity. Oblivion being less polished is a factor of Bethesda being fairly inept and everything.

It's also worth noting that Oblivion also fails from an interactive storytelling point since nothing you do has any affect on the story progression. The main storyline there is *COMPLETELY* linear. Every *questline* for the guilds is completely linear. Every *quest* is completely linear, for that matter.

I'm talking more like Wing Commander, where the storyline can be affected by your performance.

Or Persona 3, where the main storyline is essentially linear, but you have a great deal of control over what happens outside of that in regards to your S. Links and how each day progresses.

Or Crusader Kings, which has no set story but TELLS a story, and I can't really explain that very well, sorry.

On a different note, one way that I think the JRPG genre could evolve is by adding more gameplay outside of combat.

This is also more what I meant and should've brought up, but anyway, going back to Oblivion -- and this is something that the elder scroll games have always done -- every sidequests amounts to lots of killing and little else. Daggerfall is the most egregious and concrete example of this. In a 16-bit JRPG there's not much gameplay outside the random battles. In Daggerfall there's not much gameplay outside of the endless questing.

If you want to make a Go Anywhere, Do Anything game, you have to be willing to go ALL the way in and let me be a goddamn farmer if I damn well want to be a goddamn farmer (or chef, or shopkeep).

GADA's also not really the kind of non-linearity I mean either. GADA, honestly... I can think of a few examples of it being done well, but not a whole lot.

The reason that GADA fails is pretty much because feature creep is near-mandatory and the projects basically implode.

I'm going to write more later tonight. I have to organize my thoughts for a bit.
7025  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: July 04, 2009, 07:54:30 PM
People are theorizing it's status effects causing the crashes. Personally I doubt it. People say it crashes while using menus. It crashed on me when Midori left the field.

Atlus really should do something though.
7026  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How can JRPGs naturally evolve? Will we see more "big" JRPGs this gen? on: July 04, 2009, 04:34:43 PM
Have you ever played a Contra game? R-Type? I have a feeling you will love them then *evil laugh*

These are action games and thus inherently a lot more fun than RPGs. Blowing shit up with force pods is a lot more enjoyable than selecting crap from a menu and then whoops you lost time to go grind.

So, point and click games are really not games because you just...well, click and point? What about something like the Thief/Metal Gear Solid series where you are suppose to hide from enemies instead of fighting them?

You missed the point. The second paragraph, which is, apparently, a reductio ad absurdum breakdown of what I said, makes me think that you don't WANT to get the point I was making, but I don't care. I will explain my point anyway.

Additionally, do not assume that any generalities or vagueries in my writing are intentional and actually reflect how I think. I'm way too tired to be fully coherent right now.

Anyway, games are inherently an interactive medium. And individual games have different focuses. You mention stealth games, for instance. The primary interaction there is between the player and the environment. Your goal is to avoid direct combat, so you have to find ways to hide and manipulate yourself and the environment -- and maybe your enemies -- in such a manner to prevent you from being seen. An example of a non-interactive stealth game would be one where you walked around and as soon as you got near an enemy, a menu with two options would pop up: Hide and Don't Hide. Picking the latter would instantly cause a game over, and the former would, well, instantly hide you.

Obviously that's not very fun. The player needs to be able to figure out how to hide themselves. The player needs to have CHOICES, because if no choices are present there's no decision making and the game's running on auto, and they need to be meaningful choices because if the outcome of every choice is immediately obvious there's still not much decision making going on.

(Of course, a more realistic example of a bad stealth game would be one without crouching, very poor AI that doesn't notice you much anyway, and uh, really, you just strafe behind a box to hide and there's nothing more to it than that).

JRPGs are generally pretty story-focused, to the extent that the other gameplay elements are reduced. You don't really interact with the world much, beyond maybe flipping a switch, and you don't really interact with NPCs beyond them giving you a single line of text. No meaningful puzzle solving or environmental manipulation or dialogue trees, here.

However, you also have a really limited way of interacting with the storyline. Generally everyone has a preset personality, you don't have choices about where your party goes next, or who your main character falls in love with, or whatever. I'm not talking total non-linearity or no pre-set anything. In fact I think an entirely procedurally generated world would be HORRIBLE. I'm just saying that the player SHOULD have some control over how the story turns out.

Star Ocean 2 is a good example (conceptually. Quality of execution of this in SO2 is debatable) of what I mean. You get to choose which characters you get, and how you interact with them in private actions. FFVII let's you end up with either Tifa or Aeris at the golden saucer. SMT: Nocturne let's you pick which reason you want to align yourself with.

You don't even need multiple endings really. You CAN have multiple, different branches that all converge eventually onto the same end goal.

But a strictly set-in-stone storyline that the *player* does not involve themselves with in, in any way, is not interactive storytelling, and not, in my views, appropriate for a story-driven game.
7027  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: July 04, 2009, 04:06:17 PM
Stupid Devil Survivor. The mechanics are so damn near perfect but that CRASH BUG is infuriating.

I mean, that Keisuke fight. I just won it. See, I was losing because these one parties had Dark Wave which lets you attack from a distance. So no retaliation. Then it dawned on me to just give Yuzu a demon with Dark Wave. Dark Wave let's you attack from a distance AND retaliate to getting attacked at a distance. I also gave her this one demon with Double Up, so two attacks per turn. Did that, and beat the hell out of that mission. And I thought I was going to have to grind! Oy!

Racial skills might be the most important thing of all, really. I don't know.

Also it's funny that civilian AI sort of breaks down give how absolutely rapefest the demon AI gets.
7028  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Most Annoying Playable Character on: July 04, 2009, 02:21:43 PM
See, I'll never get this. PrimeMover calls Chrono Cross the most cynical game he's ever played. I think it's one of the most exuberantly joyful games I've ever played.
7029  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best Unique Gameplay Feature on: July 04, 2009, 02:07:14 PM
I thought SH:C's battle system was sort of tedious for other reasons, and while I don't have a problem with the Judgement Ring in and of itself I question design choices that replace menus with minigames. I played Nocturne around the same time since they came out around the same time, and I realized that having a well-balanced game with a fairly normal battle system could be a lot of fun.

I dunno. It's like the conversation ring in Oblivion (although that was done HORRIBLY and I'm only mentioning it as the most loosely connected of examples). It's an attempt to increase interactivity by replacing the menu with something alittle less menu like, but is it really fixing the core issue or helping things?
7030  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How can JRPGs naturally evolve? Will we see more "big" JRPGs this gen? on: July 04, 2009, 01:56:49 PM
Any specific example?

Unless it's a game I REALLY adore, I generally stop playing as soon as I hit a dungeon I find tedious or a boss I can't defeat within three tries.

Why the stuff done by some random guy from a village should re-shape the aspect of the entire world he's living at?

That happens in linear JRPGs too. An example of a JRPG where a random guy from a village doesn't re-shape the world would be like, Harvest Moon.

if the creator of the game wants to tell an specific story and set of events, then the game can't be a "write your own story" type of game, and neither is this a bad thing per se.

The problem is, videogames are an interactive medium, and by disallowing the player to interact with the story progression... well, that IS a bad thing. So, yes, no matter how much/how many people enjoy this kind of game design, I am going to maintain that it's bad game design.
7031  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How can JRPGs naturally evolve? Will we see more "big" JRPGs this gen? on: July 04, 2009, 12:05:47 PM
I mean the evolution of Traditional JRPGs. It seems to be the slowest evolving genre in video games.

Traditional JRPGs sort of work on adhering to tradition. Expecting them to evolve is like expecting Oasis* to be original.

Not every rpg made needs to be open/sandbox/choose your path type of game.

I think they do. I don't really have the time or attention these days to play games where I can't do what I want when I want to do it. If I'm playing a linear game and I'm being forced to do a dungeon I don't like, I'll probably just quit playing the game, whereas if I'm playing a non-linear game, I could just go do a different side-quest or dungeon.

The funnest thing ever is going back and playing all of my favorite JRPGs and realizing how much I hate them now :3

* Or whatever the hell you kids are listening to these days. Get off my lawn!
7032  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Most Annoying Playable Character on: July 04, 2009, 11:54:47 AM
If a games' story is serious, I'd rather not have too many/any characters that colourful.

Yeah but outside of Starky most of the super-colorful characters were optional. Also the wrestler dude was a depressed exorcist so I mean while he looked kind of goofy his personality was sort of grimmish.

And it's not like Chrono Trigger didn't have its share of inappropriately goofy bits, like the entire "Let's go back in time and replace Chrono with a doll from the carnival so that he doesn't die" thing.

I mean, it's Squaresoft. You can't possibly expect them to know how to make a game with a consistent tone and without really stupid comedic relief where it's not appropriate.

yet they were some of the most normal characters I've seen in a while.

That reminds me. That girl with the doll annoyed me too, mostly for her mannerisms and way of being all like GLOOMYETTA OH MY WHAT A ZING THAT WAS I BET YOU NEED SOME ICE FOR THAT BURN GLOOOOMMMMMYYYYEEEEETTTTAAAAAA.
7033  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: July 04, 2009, 11:43:13 AM
There's a battle where you need to evacuate some civvies, not let any of them die, and (obviously) kill all the dudes.  Had to try that one a few times.

That's not too bad. Just get some demons with movement skills and something like affection or devotion, get up to the civvies FAST, and heal as necessary. The demons you fight aren't hard.

The Keisuke/Midori fight is hard since Keisuke fights enemies even if he has no HP whatsoever. He will *never run*. The civvies on the other hand DO run away.

I'm pretty sure it's not mandatory but I don't really feel like killing Keisuke off.

Hmmm, I guess I need to play more then, I've never had a DS cart crash on me before :P

I've had FF3 and Dragon Quest 4 crash on me, and I THINK Rune Factory too, except in those cases I'm almost positive it was either dirty contacts or something hardware related, given that they crashed on area transitions or battle transitions. I mean sometimes joggling the DS makes the cart like... slightly disconnect, makes the data loading freak out, breaks the RAM, whatever. That's understandable, and while it's still dumb, it's probably nintendo's fault.

In this case, what happened is Midori left the field, Keisuke's turn came up, and the menus started popping up without text. He used Dia, and the game crashed. Menu breakdowns would either make me think GPU overheating -- which is NOT what's happening. It's a damn DS game with 2D sprites -- or something software related.

I mean you CAN save whenever you want in-battle but it's still anoying.
7034  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: July 04, 2009, 03:15:49 AM

I was doing pretty well in a mission in Devil Survivor. And then the game crashed.

Completely rescinding everything positive I had to say about the game.
7035  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Most Annoying Playable Character on: July 04, 2009, 01:40:25 AM
For the importance the character has; her looks are everything but flattering

Heaven forbid that a female main character not exist solely for the sake of being eye candy ! :T
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