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7036  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Response to Final Final Dungeon editorial ***SPOILERS*** on: March 10, 2009, 02:15:49 PM
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.

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.

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.
7037  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.
7038  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest V on: March 10, 2009, 01:22:45 AM
Oh lord.


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.
7039  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Response to Final Final Dungeon editorial ***SPOILERS*** on: March 10, 2009, 12:45:44 AM

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)
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
Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross
Xeno Saga
Rogue Galaxy

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.
7040  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 :]
7041  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Response to Final Final Dungeon editorial ***SPOILERS*** on: March 09, 2009, 09:37:36 PM
Can everyone please stay on topic?


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

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.

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

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.
7042  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 :)
7043  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 :(


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 :)


And then I played Aquanaut's Holiday and discovered both pyramids AND a sunken temple, all within a short period of playing. hrrya :#
7044  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Response to Final Final Dungeon editorial ***SPOILERS*** on: March 09, 2009, 01:42:30 PM
Linear games allow you to concentrate on story and character development.

Yeah but videogames always have bad stories so why bother :(
7045  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best RPG of Last Generation? on: March 09, 2009, 12:11:37 PM
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).
7046  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest V on: March 09, 2009, 04:09:09 AM
As a port job, in general, this feels better than DQIV did so far. I mean, yes, the translation IS better, but DQIV felt a bit half-assed at times, and they made the pilgrim town *really* stupid. I don't really know why (although the enemy animation got a huge boost over DQ4). This remake just feels a lot more... together.
7047  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ys 7 and another Ys I & II remake announced... for consoles? on: March 09, 2009, 02:19:49 AM
I wonder if Atlus might pick those up actually, assuming Falcom published themselves. It'd be nice to get them if they're notably better than the three LoH games we already go.

It sounds like the three LoH games that got localized were the worst and the series and some of the other ones are considered classics or something.
7048  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: March 09, 2009, 02:09:58 AM
Did the first two missions in the Kohan campaign. This is... kind of what I wish Age of Empires would've been like, I mean, if I wasn't viewing AoE through the lens of nostalgia. Also I'm kind of digging the storyline as it's really reminding me of Fist of the North star. Like, the Kohan are kind of like the nanto seiken guys, and Darius is sort of like Kenshiro.

And for the hell of it let's say the Custodian is Toki.

I have no life :(

Zone of supply thing is probably the best innovation though, still. If only because you have something like: R - Resource. O - Outpost. T - Town.


Where you have an outpost built to connect the resources to the town, you could potentially go in, take out the fairly harmless outpost, and sort of fubar the entire enemy wingdong. Sort of like in MAX with blowing out supply pipes. I'd really like a dedicated strategy RPG with something like that (and, as I've said, incorporate the whole concept of capturing towns for resources. Jagged Alliance 2 was the closest, since you need to capture uh... mines and towns for money, but IIRC no real supply chains involved).

Oh, the other interesting thing that feeds into this is that towns also produce resources, depending on what you build in them. Or, they SELL resources if you build the related structures and you have surplus. You can expand towns to build more slots, although because of the way upgraded buildings work (You build a quarry. Quarries produce stone. On upgrade you can either have it produce more stone, sell stone, or reduce unit costs) it's impossible to make every town exactly identical and still have a functioning resource chain. I really, really, really damn like this for city management, and I don't know how well it'd work in something like Civ 4 or Galciv, but it'd be interesting to see.

Anyway, I'd like to play some various other PC RPGs right now -- namely finish Quest for glory 2 and start 4. And Entomorph, for that matter. I already mentioned that -- but those are on my laptop. And uh, being home for spring break, my laptop desk is more or less inaccessible because of this thing: http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/8360/pineaplevlaptop.jpg . I don't like moving it around constantly because that seems like a good way to puncture my face.
7049  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best RPG of Last Generation? on: March 09, 2009, 02:00:31 AM
Just 'cause the staff liked SO3 didn't mean anyone ELSE did :(

Although I have to say FFX confuses me more. Not so much it being on there. Just... #2? Can I toss that up to primacy?

Anyway P3 isn't my personal favorite game of the last gen but from an objective standpoint it's probably the best put-together in a lot of ways.
7050  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Will we ever see a new Seiken Densetsu game? on: March 08, 2009, 11:21:22 PM
I'd say that Seiken Densetsu is right up there with the SaGa series as one of Square's most versatile franchisees

Okay there are parts of this I kind of disagree with. Every Saga game's mostly adhered to fairly similar underlying principles, if not exactly the same gameplay mechanics. In other words, I guess since the second game, if you take any two games in the series and look at any particular gameplay mechanic, it'll probably have an analogue in another game in the series. None of the Saga games have completely changed genres, though, in the same way the seiken densetsu series did.

Also, I'm not sure I'd really call the new SD games innovative, from what I've read about them. Mind, I only played Sword of Mana. Anyway, you said you're all for innovation, but the thing is, how is taking a generic dungeon crawl and slapping SD flavor text on it innovative? Or a generic RTS? Or a generic 3D platformer? I'm all for a series branching out into other genres, I guess,

but I will still argue to this day that the game was ahead of its time and a wonder that essentially followed a single-player MMORPG format before there were even such things as console MMORPGs.

LoM actually followed the semi-non-linear*, quest-based RPG format, which has been around since like, the eighties. The main thing LoM did was group a lot of the quests into consistent storylines, whereas something like Might and Magic just had a lot of one off events. Morrowind's quest structures, in relation to the guilds, actually, might be a bit similar, but then Oblivion sort of returned to more one-off events for everything except the assassins guild so ochen goddamnz.

Anyway all things considered I tend to think that from an action standpoint Terranigma is probably my favorite action RPG. All of the first four SD games had weird gameplay issues. SD3 was the only one with really decent AI, none of the stats in SD2 actually DID anything (thought that didn't seem to matter), SD2 was sort of glitchy, all of the games have a lot of non-useful spells, SD3 was slow and took out the free weapon selection thing that the other three had, legend of mana was not difficult, SD2 was the only one that actually had solid dungeon designs (LoM and 3 were kind of bland, SD1 had issues with keys and mattocks and getting stuck and also kind of bland), and you could probably argue that none of them ever really got the level of polish they needed.

They're all old as hell though so it's not like if-onlies really matter, though.

* Weird point I feel like mentioning is that the way the quest lines were structured, LoM wasn't really all that non-linear. You did have one-off events, and you could hop around between the three main and three minor arcs however much you felt like, but each of the arcs tended to be really linear, with the exception of some missable quests or decisions you could make (Like uh not making Daena get dead or whever). Similarly, a lot of the Saga games are pretty linear, with the two huge exceptions being RS1 and 3 which are veering more towards the Bethesda & Might and Magic flavor of nonlinearity, which is generally pretty much restricted to either the Might and Magic games or games made by Bethesda. And even at that Bethesda's kind of nonlinearity is different and I can't explain how at all (other than, I mean, DAggerfall being entirely randomly generated and I'd argue that this was a goddamn stupid decision and that the hardcore fans of that game are I don't know SOMETHING).
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