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7471  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPG Annoyances/Pet Peeves on: March 29, 2009, 04:12:12 PM
In theory I like talking main characters more. In practice most RPG devs can't write main characters or dialogue in general.

Anyway! While this is almost entirely a JRPG thing, apparently table top RPGs do it a lot too. I wouldn't know because I rarely play D&D and when I do it's pretty house rules.

Lots of Game Systems That Don't Really Do Anything or Are Usless in Practice, Which Look Good On Paper But are Executed Poorly -- Often With Bizarre/Stupid Acronyms.

-- Cooking, in every Tales game I've played. Sure, it's a mainstay. And in theory, it's useful because you can only have up to 20 gel units of each kind of gel, whereas you get a lot more ingredients in general, so you save your gels for battle and cook outside of battle. In practice, cooking doesn't heal enough HP to be actually useful, 20 of each kind of gels is plenty enough for any given dungeon, and if you need to heal in batte, use a healing mage.

-- Crafting generally doesn't seem that useful in a lot of games that have it. I mean, I know it's a big feature in Star Ocean 2, but I never found myself actually using it. Seemed to have a high fail rate and I didn't get a lot of decent stuff from it. And then I got to Nede at about 20 hours and discovered that SO2 is probably a lot shorter and easier than I thought. In Legend of Mana, the game's too easy on regular mode to bother putting any effort into crafting (Althought it's a lot more essential in the harder modes. Golems also become a LOT better by means of it. Pets and instruments still are arguably not very useful, unless you want to play a straight up magic game for whatever reason).

-- A lot of SMT games have had combo spell features. Outside of Persona 2, I never found these particularly useful. And I'm still early in Persona 2 so what the hell maybe it does get useless. Part of the problem is that some of these combos are sort of obscure. Same thing with Phantasy Star 4.

-- I think I'm the only person here that liked Contact, but seriously. Why the hell did they bother with Mochi? I mean if they wanted a cute little virtual pet thing, you get that with the non-interactive top screen stuff. Um... Kind of similarly, Chocobo World and other kind of goofy VMU games. There are some other similar games I can think of... um... didn't FFIV DS introduce something similar? And mog painting wasn't that useful in Crystal Chronicles either, really.

-- Arguably SH:C would fall into this rampant system-ism trend, except everything in that game actually worked, for some... odd... reason.

-- Rogue Galaxy, which, in an odd twist, DID have individual systems that worked -- it's just that none of them worked together.

-- In a rare WRPG example, I'd say the dialogue minigame in Oblivion. Keep in mind that I'm not picking on minigames here, but rather goofy gameplay systems that don't add anything. Oblivion somehow managed to do both with this thing.

-- Of course, maybe the best examples of this would be time travel and interplanetary travel in Ultima 2...

-- And a question to the peanut gallery: Was magic useful in Terranigma?
7472  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The RPG towns thread on: March 28, 2009, 01:31:11 AM
- Sumaru, for pretty much every reason Dincrest described. I spent a lot of time just wandering around and looking at stores and stuff.

- I thought all of the PSX FFs were going in the right direction with the towns. FFVI's felt mostly like stopover points, except for some of the AWESOME plays like Zozo. With FFVII through FFIX, each town felt more like a really fleshed out area, with a lot of them having minigames, FFVIII having draw points (which count as extra interaction in my eyes,), FFVIII and IX introducing cards, etc. Yeah, bitch all I may about FFVIII's uh... easiness, I thought the area design was spot-on. Anyway, while I have to admit I'm not very far in FFIX, I adore the weird little town with the auction, partially because it reminds me of...

- Lumina, from LoM. Which is odd because strictly from an interactivity and stuff-to-do standpoint, Geo has a bit more going on. Anyway, I love the music, the creepy bartender guy, and all of the quests that happen here. It's like stepping into an old Nick Jr. cartoon and not have to live with the constant dread of being an Ohioan (Side-pocket sniping with a hat on here, but this is one area where Id idn't think SD3 did that good of a job of compared to SD2 and LoM. You had some neat early cities like the one with the auction, but after half of the game places just stopped... doing much).

- Earthbound's towns all felt very fully realized. I think my favorite was Moonside. As per the last two examples, I think I like incoherent, eternally nocturnal cities. Then again, I love Twoson's music. Much like P2 and LoM, I just liked walking around places and looking at stuff.

- And the fourth city like that, of course? Koorong. Neon lights, weird back alley hotels, and that elaborate freaking dungeon.

- Just assume I copy and pasted the entirety of Eusis' post.

- Ultima 7's towns. Ultima 5 and 6 had NPC scheduling and nice details, but they were often tiny towns. Ultima 7's towns were all just a lot bigger, a lot more interactive, a lot more text and story heavy, and a lot more sidequesty. Also good god the Fellowship theme.

- I can't remember the name of it, but the starting town from Albion. All of the buildings are made of plants and it's gorgeous. Look up some screens on Mobygames sometime.

I think in theory I liked Zeal -- and by extension, Shevat, which was the same damn thing. Including the music -- but from a gameplay sense there's not a lot to do there, and it's a very brief part of the game. The towns in CT, while typically beautiful, are also typically sort of empty. I wish they ALL could have had millennial fairs. That was one of the things I liked more about Cross -- you actually spent some time in the towns, and they had alternate versions, too.

Just like people complained that FF7 kept you in Midgar too long, people complained that Anachronox kept you in The Bricks too long.

For the millionth time I get out of Midgar in three hours and hell no you're not there long enough.

People around here know I come down on FF12, mainly because I think the License Board sucks.

What, not deifacted nethycite?
7473  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy IV: The After Years on: March 27, 2009, 05:59:29 PM
Is canon sometimes worse than bad fanfiction?

What if you get in a situation where fanboys of the original game start working on the sequel, and thus... well... bad fanfiction IS canon?
7474  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: March 27, 2009, 01:41:38 PM
I like the DW games in the sense that uh, of all the beat em up/RPG genre blends I've played in recent years, DW somehow feels the most RCRish to me. Legend of mana probably being the second closest.

I just wish they had a better mid-level save system. Or rather more forgiving, I guess. But anyway yeah I'd have to get the PS2 version anyway. No current gen sitting consoles here. Anyway though, you got me feeling like getting this, maybe :P I always associate dynasty warriors with spring for some odd, odd reason.

Also good god how late was I up last night?
7475  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The sacred battle screen... or "why is it sacred"? on: March 27, 2009, 01:09:33 PM
Oh, right. BoF3 and 4 both do the thing where they essentially take a screenshot of the current area view and use that as the backdrop. Thank you. I was not remembering what games did that.
7476  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Best RPG of Last Generation? on: March 27, 2009, 05:54:08 AM
Somehow I really really liked the plot of Abyss, for some reason the whole game just felt a lot more polished than any other tales game.

Okay what. Am I the only person that had problems with incredibly long load times, and the map camera being way, way too slow to rotate? (Having timed both, it takes a full 14-20 seconds to rotate the map 360 degrees, IIRC. FFVII takes 5-6, and some more modern RPGs with rotatable world maps are even like, half that. Specific rotate rate in and of itself isn't a big issue, but it should rotate about as fast as your character can move forward. It wans't anywhere near quick enough in Abyss. Additionally, load times were... about 6 seconds in and out, and battles lasted about 8-12 seconds for me on average. So huge problem there. Maybe would've been alleviated if enemies in dungeons never respawned but I seem to recall a lot of them respawning or something. Or maybe that was just that haunted house dungeon).

And even then there were some fairly obvious bugs. Like that thing with the overworld music breaking after the sewer escape.

Also sidequests that were easy to break.

I'm not sure I'd consider glitchiness to be polish :|
7477  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy WiiWare/Virtual Console announcements on: March 27, 2009, 05:42:52 AM

Good to see Square maintaining their usual standards of writing quality.
7478  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: March 27, 2009, 05:28:26 AM
Having fun with Dynasty Warriors 6. I cleared Sima Yi, Sun Shang Xiang, and Guan Yu's stories so far. Now I'm working on Dian Wei. I think I'm tolerating the repetitive gameplay primarly because it looks so pretty on my hdtv. :D

I keep thinking about getting this, but I already have DW4, and DW5 is cheaper. Is it that much of an improvement over the latter two that I should get this? Or is DW5 better?

Anyway, Oddworld keeps impressing me. It pretty much IS Flashback with Exile-esque interactivity and interaction-driven emergence. It's also very gorgeous and atmospheric, and does a great job with non-textual storytelling. But the gameplay and designs what's really impressing me. I'm in the second  'level' now, and it's more open than the first, but with backtracking via those portals, kind of.

Also, spent some time with FFL2, because it's my favorite game. One of the things -- I might've mentioned this before -- that I was sort of liking about FF2 is the way that not every town has every weapon, which in theory gives you a non-story reason to back track or visit towns. In practice it doesn't work all that well. The actual Saga games improve on this a lot. I remember, especially, in FFL1 the way that one of the towns had a lot of equipment suitable for mutants, so I always had to go back there to resupply. Up to Giant's town in FFL2. Good equipment there but I can't afford it yet, so I always know I can go back later and get it.

I remember someone mentioning the pet peeves thread where they didn't like having to constantly revisit towns to see if new sidequests opened up. I think making sidequests less apparent, but giving players a non-story reason to go back -- special weapons like in the SaGa games, or minigames like in Zelda, for instance -- would alleviate this issue. That way you can sitll surprise them with new events without having to hint at them thus ruining the surprise, but they also want be as likely to miss them or forced to a bunch of repetitive endless backtracking.

( I can't remember if Morrowind did this or not. I have various economy mods running that make store inventories dynamic).

(I like pretending that the trees in FFL2 are araucarias :333)
7479  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: It's official: the news media is comprised of functional retards. on: March 27, 2009, 05:18:06 AM

Oh sweet a larch. I loooove larches :3
7480  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenogears made me puke (Soylent stufffff) on: March 25, 2009, 07:51:20 PM
I guess my main problem with the DID was that it wasn't really even necessary. Look, you already HAVE the thing where Fei keeps getting reincarnated. Run with *that*. I'm sure that reincarnation, at least in a fantasy context, is a perfectly good reason to have multiple identities. So what, like, have him shift around between the people he used to be sometime without him realizing it... have that be some huge buildup to a big reveal about the reincarnation.

When I found out Id was Fei my main response was "Wait they don't even look similar." I'm sure this was probably explained via nanites, but still.

I also never felt like they really made the connection between Fei's multiple presonalities and the reincarnation thingy, either.

I actually DID think they were going that way with Elly, which makes it seem even stranger to me.

I want someone to make an RPG where your first enemy is a tornado :3c
7481  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The sacred battle screen... or "why is it sacred"? on: March 25, 2009, 07:40:49 PM
FFXII is basically ATB where you can move around, yeah. In a big sense it's pretty similar to what CT did. Only you can run around.
7482  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Don't let your kids paint your house. on: March 25, 2009, 05:41:15 PM
Rory’s mum Clare, 49, said: “We don’t want any more children."

7483  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The sacred battle screen... or "why is it sacred"? on: March 25, 2009, 05:39:40 PM
The sacred battle screen... or "why is it sacred"?

Because it been around for a hell of a long time.

In all seriousness, you're likely to have a load wait even if the battle system is on-map, unless it's an action RPG or whatever FFXII did. And the shatter effect replaces a load bar.

Programmers would save themselves hours of time

That battle screen is just an interface. Interfaces do not take that long to program. They take forever to design, but you're still going to have a battle interface even if it's not a seperate battle screen.

Also, your average 16-bit RPG didn't have any longer for a battle load-in or load-out than CT did. Yes, you switched screens in FFIV. And in CT you had a few seconds where everyone drew there weapons.

You could also get the same effect as CT by taking a temporary screencap, minus character and enemy sprites, of the current dungeon/town/wherever, load up a seperate battle screen, and then use that screencap as the background. Actually, I think that's how you emulate it in RPGMaker. Of course, if it's a DS or SNES game, you'd also want gratuitous mode 7 effects.

cause it's da seventh goddamn mode and u know dat turns u on

Unless it's like Tales of the Abyss where battles take forever to load it's kind of not an issue, at least from the reasons you're describing it.

Programmers would save themselves hours of time, and fans would have less to complain about if they just did away with the whole battle screen all together. To date, only ONE turn-based RPG has ventured to do this, over a decade ago, and it's been praised ever since: Chrono Trigger.

Septerra Core, Ultima 6, Fallout, Fallout 2, Arcanum, might and magic 3-5, might and magic 6-8 if you count their optional turn-based thing, Wizardry 8, arguably Phantasy Star 1 while you're in the dungeons, since it just overlays the enemies on top of the current view, Arc the Lad 2, probably the other arc the lads (and not the first one since there aren't areas you can walk around in), The Spirit Engine, the Avernum series (seperate battle maps if you're on the overworld, mind, for obvious reason), every roguelike ever (Except that crappy one that starts with an E or an L or something, and it's very yellow looking), arguably any first person RPG that behaves like PS1, actually...

* loads up RPGFan review pages *

Shadowrun on the SNES, Drakken, probably more that I don't feel like looking for right now...

Although the list is shorter if you remove games that let you move around in battle, and if that's the case, I'm going to say that having a seperate screen is probably the most appropriate design if your battle system just consists of picking menus from an option. And really, the fact that battles took place on the map in CT, instead of in a seperate screen, was more of a purely aesthetic thing with a very minimal affect on the gameplay.

In general the main reason for having a seperate screen is that, if your battle system uses a drastically different interface from the rest of your game, like most of the games using a seperate screen do, then you really don't want to overload your initial context. and in most JRPGs, that battle system and the rest of the game are kept pretty seperate.
7484  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenogears made me puke (Soylent stufffff) on: March 25, 2009, 12:25:57 AM
I'll be honest.

I didn't read any of Mesh's response.

7485  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Super Game Journal Turbo II - The New Challengers on: March 24, 2009, 09:00:42 PM
Oddworld 2pack was like, 3.75 on steam this weekend so I bought that. Just go all the mudokons on the first stage. I'm really liking this. Sort of like out of this world or flashback, obviously, but the level of interaction with the environment is more like Exile or Spelunky.

I do feel like playing some sort of JRPG though I guess. Probably SaGa Frontier, maybe. I don't know.
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