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Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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8026  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs? on: July 28, 2007, 12:40:37 AM
anyway though, yeah, ToS wasn't ever made to be the Best Perfect RPG Thing Ever. I think it did everything the devs were trying to do with it and it did it pretty well. It's not some massive, heavy serious game. It's an adventuresome, fun sort of game with its serious moments.

Which is also what DQVIII is for that matter. DQVIII had better writing and voicework I'd say, though DQVIII is probably one of the few VA'd games where the VA's actually sound like they're enjoying themselves. ToS had good voicework, but like, with DQVIII, it sounds like the VAs were actually working WITH eachother instead of AROUND eachother.

And the writing IS good. Not because it's like, immense and arty and world shattering. It's really, er, real though. I can't really describe it. It's got that intangible something. I guess 'confidence' would be the world. Sometimes games seem to have writing that's TRYING to sound... not smart. No, it's not that. It's like, trying to sound important. I'm not finding any forced importance in it.
8027  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs? on: July 27, 2007, 10:24:03 PM
And for point 5, DQ is twice as long as ToS.

My last save was at like, 60 some hours, and I still have a lot to do. Th...that would put DQVIII around SMT:N + Giant Bonus Dungeon.

Zelos wasn't supposed to be "cool", he was supposed to be cocky to the point of being childish.

Q...uite. Kratos was the cool guy. Zelos was the token loser.
8028  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Anyone can make a 2D RPG. on: July 27, 2007, 10:22:40 PM
PM, that analogy didn't work well.

Also, I'd like to point out, again, that I honestly believe that by the end of the year, or by the end of next at the latest, the adoration for Odin Sphere will be completely gone. I also honestly believe that all the adoration is strictly because it's entirely 2D and some sort of massive nostalgia bomb. The game doesn't do anything new or particularly better in comparison to any other sidescroller or RPG that's come out in the past decade.

as that could've just as well been a 2D game without any significant changes

The NPCs and non-boss monsters were 2D sprites int he Japanese release. Unlike everyoen else though, I didn't really think the sprites looked that great -- sort of a early PSX 2D sprites in 3D world thing (as opposed to the, er, actually really good spritework in Eternal). But anyway, Ys VI plays completely 2D, yes.

Oblivion and Morrowind handled it best for realism anyway.

Daggerfall fanboys said Daggerfall did it best, but then I just get bitchy at them for not understanding city morphology, ergo why DF's towns were just large, and not even remotely realistic :333

Arena actually had pretty solid towns and outlying areas. I mean, jesus, they HAD A good area randomisation thing. Why in god's name did they scrap it? For that stupid 3D engine they apparently spent 80% of the game's dev time on?

Anyway, as far as tiny towns go, I like the idea of a game consisting of no large towns -- just a bunch of small 'outpost' type towns, with the implication being that nobody has a really permanent home.

and the upcoming Rondo of Blood remake is too

Does that still look so... ugly? I'm aware that the PSP is capable of having, like, *colors* and things. I'm hoping the version I saw was just an alpha but someone said it wasn't.
8029  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Anyone can make a 2D RPG. on: July 27, 2007, 06:04:40 PM
Ok, someone said they had 3D games back in the 80s so to clarify, they couldn't make 3D games without spending ten times as much only to end up with the looking even worst than they did in 2D.

No, I meant the 2.5D Bard's Tale type games. These don't require any more effort than a 2D game to make because graphically, they technically ARE 2D. They just *play* in 3D, if that makes sense. I'm not thinking well enough to explain how it works, but it's mostly just loading a set 'viewpoint' sprite to the screen, and then either rapidly toggling it with a few other linked ones to create animation (Like Bard's Tale), or just putting the scenes on the screen. It's the same way sierra's... AGI? (Or was SCI first? Thinking AGI, though) had 3D worldspaces but were all drawn in 2D.

By viewpoints, i mean stuff like 'facing north' or 'facing north with a west fork.' Like phantasy star.

Alternate Reality's the only 80's RPG I know of that actually had raytracing.

Granted, you also had stuff like Elite, with the actual 3D wireframe graphics, which didn't really have that much of a cost or effort difference from 2D games because the inherent geometry was pretty simple. You also had stuff like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freescape_engine which as far as I know was pretty efficient and actually looked *quite* nice.

Also, stylistically visually, games like Elite and Damocles have proven to be pretty enduring. It's simplistic yes, but the blocky, colorful, and minimalist style is actually really enjoyable. It's why a lot of people still actually like how FFVII and Saga frontier looked (Well, sprites and models were different, but the background art was very similar). Same sort of thing as how the peculiar Genesis colorset led to it developing it's own unique visual style, or whatever.

The current generation of games has its shining stars, for sure, but they are needles in a haystack.

Color Motherfucking Dreams, licencsed games that were somehow even MORE retarded than they are now, and all that jazz... Also the whole 'crappy console platformer' thing, where like, there were millions of console platforms, and pretty much anything that wasn't Nintendo, Sega, Treasure, or Capcom just sucked.

well, I like to just probe and try to figure out how a game works.

One space trader -- the rather fascinating and probably excellent, though I haven't played it enough -- Sundog, intentionally had sparse documentation for this very purpose. It pretty much just discussed the interface and that was it, and it really worked beautifully. The interface works great too -- one of the best I've ever seen. The ST version, at least, was incredibly fast with the menus -- I assume the Apple 2 version was too but it looked like crap being, you know, on the Apple 2.

because it's like trying to teach me in a foreign language until a try.

In regards to this, a few years back when I imported Romancing SaGa 3 and bugged some japanese usenet group for info on using a dictionary to look up kanji, they just told me to shelve the thing till I learned how to read and speak Japanese. I've since realize that that method's retarded, and the best way to learn a language -- probably for anyone -- is just to dive right into it.

So, more recently, I've been working on Swedish, and I have this PDF, all på Svenska, with 2000 some common words and example sentenes, and I'm trying to learn meanings entirely by context -- Taking an example sentence, figuring out what it means, looking up other unknowns the same way -- and only resorting to the dictionary for words only used once or so.

Anyway, I forgot how this was relevant.

It feels like I completely exhaust games with normal play, and taht I can't just poke around the world for fun or whatever like I did in DQVIII.

To be fair, though, worldmaps haven't really been that great for a long time. Granted, the now worldmapless setups are almost as dull as the old worldmaps had been. Star ocean 3's was pretty empty, and FFX's was just linear. granted i also felt that oblivion's wilderness was sort of boring as hell and nowhere near as detailed as morrowind's. Maybe players just don't like getting sidetracked?

I think there was more of a suposition back in THE DAY that the player would generally try to find all the hidden, obscure stuff just because they paid for the damn game and would want to milk it for all its worth. So even if you weren't hand-holding, you still never really had to worry about the player missing all the cool stuff you hid away, because you could reasonably expect them to hunt it down. I guess as a result, you sort of lose easter eggs and the 'just for fun' stuff.

You know what DQ8 had in its overworld? Weird little structure and nice views. I'm not just imagining this, no. They definitely intentionally put in some hills and forests just because they'd look cool. And you could actually walk around in them. Zelda games have always had this and that's what made them so cool. So did Shadow of the colossus. If you just want to ignore the main game and play it like Aquanaut's holiday, you basically can.

I'd love to dig up an article on some of the stranger items in ADOM that... don't really do anything practical but people love them anyway just cause they're silly.

As far as cinematics go, I really appreciate how in FFVII, you never leave the viewpoint of the characters much. It's not as dissociating. SMT:N and the DDS games did the same sort of thing (although I think those were all in-engine.

Oh, and there seems to be an effect of restricting where/what you can do because more effort is necessary in world creation.

Isn't this originally why you had experience levels*? To restrict characters to a couple of quests within their 'range'? If you're gonna force the game along a relatively set path, why not just go the chrono cross route and basically set the character's levels based on whatever part of the game they're in so that they can't just level-grind past everything?

* Or the various items in Zelda and Metroid games (Barring fusion, which did have a fair amount of story-limited points which was *lame*).

** I think it was somewhere pretty early on when I stopped playing RG 'cause I was wondering when I'd actually get to *play* it. I wanted to just explore and catch bugs and make items. Thing turned into a dungeon crawl, and the dungeons designs were *nowhere* near good enough to be a dungeon crawl.

*** Speaking of dungeon crawls, crappy dungeons are basically the same as dull overworlds/wildernesses in the sense that they're basically completely seperate from the characters, story, and serve more as an obstacle than a gameplay environment. I think this is the main reason why I really, really started hating WA:ACF after awhile. Every city, dungeon, and overworld area was made tiny and featureless. All the neat little world details was one of the things that made the original WA so cool. You could blow up barrels and throw hamsters at things!

& Also, cool as DQ8's overworld was, the towns DID sort of... not... They were small as hell >:(

&* TOS' tiny towns also annoyed the hell out of me, although the Magical Search Circles that game had on the overworld really did help things out a lot.
8030  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Anyone can make a 2D RPG. on: July 27, 2007, 01:43:18 AM
New ones however may cram down a tutorial along the way rather than setting it up as a side thing to check or asking if you want stuff explained at key moments.

Oh, that sucks, but that's something else. That's like, well, we don't trust you to RTFM, so HI.

Anyway, linear game progression's not really a problem. I think a better point would be things like stupidly rigid boss strategies, which FFX was just terrible with, I though, although I think the series as a whole had "Boss Z requires a very specific tactic, and you'll probably never figure it out" things going on.

That's not really handholding though. If anything, it's expecting you to figure crap out that you'd never actually expect because it's never made clear you can actually DO what you need to do (and I actually felt wind waker had problems with this in places, although I don't know, maybe I just suck at Zelda). This is the sort of thing that killed adventure games, though.

But anyway, you mentioned RG. RG had tons of problems with this from what I played! Each boss sort of had a theme weapon you needed to use against it, and then you'd never use said weapon again. Also, the puzzles never seemed to get beyond the lock & key variety. The other problem you mentioned was just absolute crap too. While in might and magic: xeen, it annoyed me a bit when I'd get key items prior to the quest, instantly solve it, and have no idea what I just did, for instance, what RG did was just *way* more annoying.

These problems aren't really new though. Whereas now you have really specific, esoteric strategies, in the past you just had mindless, brute force strategies.

comparatively, SMT:N or the DDS games give you a lot of elbow room to figure stuff out. There are tons of ways to set your party up, and plenty of viable strategies.

And maybe it's not to the same extent, but experimenting and finding new materia that gave you tangible new skills and magics and not just, er, the ability to use better weapons... experimenting with materia, or GFs, or FFX weapons, or job crystals, for that matter, was just a lot more interesting than FFXII's license board. I don't think that's a handholding problem though.

I think with RPGs though more than rigid boss strategies, rigid character development is, er, pretty much terrible. Even in D&D campaigns when nobody's actually *roleplaying*, getting to pick how your character develops in a gameplay sense is really essential. I think that THIS is the big 'hand holding' problem with old games. You develop in a very linear, specific manner, you always get the skills you need for dungeon X right around dungeon X, and there's no real room to play around with how your chars develop.

Where the handholding issues are actually meaningful, they're pretty much in the same amounts, just in different areas. none of these are totally indicative of the eras as a whole though, and they're really just broad generalizations. but i think this is the trend i'm seeing.

What I get is the impression that devs want the player to see EVERYTHING they did and see it the way the intended to. this isn't a result of more money or anything. it's just the realization that peoplea re paying attention and the wanting to not be misunderstood.

this is something i saw in oblivion and morrowind. in oblivion, to get anywhere near a 'complete' story, you'd have to do everything. all guilds, all quests, all... everything. and you never really could screw yourself out of another quest by pissing someone off. in morrowind, on the other hand, you had one great house you could join from the three, and while you could potentially join every guild, you'd eventually have to double-cross one or two to progress completely in a third.

"We made this big world and you're going to see and appreciate all of it," instead of "We made this big world. Have fun exploring it."

i think the reason i liked unlimited saga s much was that it actually gave you the freedom to lose. being able to not win actually makes me feel like i'm *playing* a game. i'm not saying that it's hard, but that most rpgs are set up so that as long as you just respond to the cues and grind enough, you aren't going to lose. so the active role of playing is sort of gone.

im not saying gaming should be some super-intelligent esoteric confusing persuit that needs the player to learn a lot to do it. i'm just saying that games that can be won with, instead of actual playing, mere mechanical gruntwork, just make no sense to me.
8031  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Anyone can make a 2D RPG. on: July 26, 2007, 05:04:55 PM
PM's post reminded me of this -- 2D and 3D RPGs basically evolved simultaneously. I'm not talking about high-poly 3D family dream wow 3D. I'm talking about faked 3D with 2D sprites. Close enough. Rogue, Ultima, and Wizardry were all released at roughly the same time (although it's sort of debatable as to when Rogue was 'released').

What's odd is that back then, 2D and 3D RPGs actually DID play differently than eachother -- sort of. 3D RPGs anymore play roughly the same as the 2D RPGs of old.
8032  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Anyone can make a 2D RPG. on: July 26, 2007, 11:14:09 AM
Also, I have another point I wanna make real quick.

3D games have been around since the mid 80s. They aren't anything new. Stop acting like it.

MMOs also aren't new. And FFXI and WoW aren't indicative of the subgenre as a whole.

Yeah, the indie scene for gaming isn't much at this point

The indie scene at this point is doing just fine and has put out some excellent games. Historically, though, the indie game scene's probably been pretty important cause like, well, back in the 80s, you didn't have massive game companies. You had two guys in a garage making a game and then either self-publishing it or tossing it out to Origin or whatever.

Granted, the indie scene nowadays is usually totally ignore because nobody cares about IF or roguelikes because they have 'confusing' interfaces or tend to get stuck in permanent, but very complete and stable, beta states.

Explain howso please.


So, Genesis side, what were the flagship serieses? Phantasy Star and Shining Force. Now, PS2 and PS3, at least, weren't handholding in the sense that they really didn't tell you WHERE exactly to go or when. They WERE handholding in the sense that you usually only had access to one town and one dungeon at any particular time, and exploration was pretty pointless and you couldn't sequence break (Which you actually could do in PS1). Phantasy Star IV, on the other hand, actually did pretty mucht ell you exactly what to do and when.

Shining force was a bit better with the secret characters, but beyond that, strategy RPG, so...

SNES... barring the world of ruin in FFVI, the saga games, and that short bit in CT where you have seven sidequests, they were all pretty hand-holdy. In the few instances where they weren't being handholdy, they usually had obscure, impossible to start sidequests or hidden items or whatever.
8033  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Ico... on: July 26, 2007, 10:33:41 AM
I thought the Colossi looked relatively unique enough.
8034  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs? on: July 25, 2007, 07:49:37 PM
9. DQ is just WAY too easy.

ToS isn't even remotely difficult.

6. ToS has a more comical and advanced dialogue than DQ.

It has funnier dialogue. Not more comical. The phrase 'more comical' is some retarded carp invented by mobile phone companies to sell JAMDAT's latest mowbyul barf.

Also, it's just a goddamn game genre. You don't have to hold their hand and gentle introduce them to it like it's, I don't know. It's gaming. Jesus. We didn't have beginner's games back in the day. Not until Roberta Williams made Mixed Up Mothergoose which was actually a pretty amusing counterpoint to her suggestive posing for softporn adventure, but anyway, yeah. This is RPGing, and the person in question is probably old enough to not be warped by seeing Williams' cleavage, so it's not like you're forking over Softporn Adventure to a 10 year old(although given how the last Leisure Suit Larry went, I'm guessig anyone OVER ten would probably not find it that funny.)

Anyway, right. I recommend Summoner 2.
8035  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Anyone can make a 2D RPG. on: July 25, 2007, 07:42:45 PM
Ultimately, to me, the golden age of the RPG may be the SNES/Genesis.

SNES/Genesis games were even more hand-holdy than modern games, and RPG storytelling is just as shit as it's always been.
8036  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs? on: July 24, 2007, 05:54:41 PM
odin sphere is the best rpg ever made and so aer the n1 games because they're 2D and true to rpgs' roots. all the 3d games put graphics over gameplay and story so much. it's sick.
8037  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Persona 3 on: July 24, 2007, 05:49:26 PM
Cute. Three weeks for an artbook that nobody'll probably look at more than once. I appreciate them trying to revive feelies, but nobody ever bought a game solely FOR the feelies.
8038  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Persona 3 on: July 24, 2007, 02:41:06 AM
I do think Nocturne's difficulty, in the states, was exagerated. This would've been back before I suicided my gamefaqs account with horseporn and wotwot, but I distinctly remember people being really confused that using lightning attacks on an enemy that absorbed lightning damage was not, in fact, a good idea.
8039  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Persona 3 on: July 23, 2007, 10:29:06 PM
Persona 3 is not Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne in difficulty, so for those that are worried that they will be bent over time and time again, fear not.

I don't like hearing this. SMT3 to me was like, what I'd consider a very solid, middle difficulty. That makes Persona 3 sound really easy.
8040  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Nocturne vs DDS on: July 23, 2007, 02:36:01 PM
I was just surprised to see it in an rpg of all things.

I could list tons of violent RPGs.

System Shock 2 is, by far, one of the most violent RPGs out there. Deus Ex was also pretty violent. Oh, and Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Immensely.

Ultima 8 has an extremely bloody decapitation in the first five minutes or so. In Ultima 7 Part 2, you apparently have to collect Iolo's dead wife's severed limbs so you can revive her. both ultima 7s were pretty gory though. i also remember the underworld games having their of violence.

Fallout. Do I need to say antrhing else? Even wasteland hand... gory descriptions.

The Elder Scrolls games were never particularly not violent. Oblivion had burning, crotchless corpses nailed to walls (And yet it's the hidden nipple texture that gets in the M rating. America. FUCK YEAH.) Morrowind had the mutants. Daggerfall just had some immensely fucked up dungeon clutter.

might and magic games were usually relatively nonviolent, but 6-8 have the occasional body on a pike

also the entire first two hours of xenosaga when the entire crew of the woglinda gets gorily splattered. and i guess xenogears would work, for that matter. not as many gory scenes really but tons of implied violence.
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