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Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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319724 Posts in 13047 Topics by 2147 Members
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1471  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Memorable "NPC" moments. on: December 05, 2008, 02:55:50 AM
Well, he wasn't a NPC (or was he, at that moment?),
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but the canned people were!
1472  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Traditional Strategy & Action on: December 02, 2008, 10:20:35 AM
Fire Emblem is only "hard" if you're OCD about having to keep all your characters alive. I can count on one hand how many times I've actually had Game Over in Fire Emblem. Of course, I haven't played that many of them.

However, losing good character is a bad idea as well. The games become much harder when you use mediocre units.

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I'm still kicking myself for losing Soren in the FE for Gamecube.

I kicked my brother when he lost Soren (and everytime he mistook him for a girl) and personally pushed the reset button for him, yet he still fails at Fire Emblem.
1473  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Traditional Strategy & Action on: December 02, 2008, 02:52:53 AM
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Dumbed down in what sense? They're not any less complex than the shining force games were. It's fairly easy, but again, so was shining force.

The Arc the Lad games, especially the third and fourth game, had extremely small parties and maps. It's more akin to Popolocrois and Rhapsody than to Shining Force, IMO.

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Going out on a limb and saying that most strategy RPGs don't really provide a lot of strategic depth. In regards to like, fFT, there were a lot of cases where you'd get one Awesome Guest Character or some excellently general purpose skill and could get by using nothing but that. Fire Emblem is more difficult but it annoys the hell out of me because character death is permanent (I only played the first US GBA one, though. I thought it was kind of unbalanced).

Biggest problem with SRPGs, I find, is that you tend to, very quickly, get a small core group of characters that are vastly more powerful than everyone else, rendering most of the other characters useless and reducing strategic... depth? variety? This is usually just a result of the levelling system. Characters that get the kills get more XP. More powerful characters get more kills. It's kind of a positive feedback loop in that sense unless you're willing to put up with the tedium of levelling up lagging characters (I'm not willing to do this).

...You used Marcus, didn't you? :P

Using only the strongest people in Fire Emblem is a bad idea. A good team is something you need to work for, which isn't so bad as long as you have some solid strategies. And, most Fire Emblem games actually encourage you to work with characters that start out weak. They get neat bonuses like extra stat growth (Nino comes right in time for the Afa drops), extra exp gain (Astrid!) or a unique weapon (the only reason to use Eliwood...) Well, except for Radiant Dawn in the later chapters. "Oh, you noticed the Dawn Brigade sucks? Well, here are so awesome characters to make up for it!" Not that that game was easy...
1474  The Rest / The Helper Monkey / Re: Swap Magic for PlayStation 2 on: December 01, 2008, 03:55:59 AM
Slide-cards are annoying, really annoying. Buy an American PS2/PStwo instead. They aren't exactly expensive and you can play PSone and PS2 games on 'm.

I own two big fat PS2s, one PAL, one NTSC U/C. Wouldn't want it any other way.
1475  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: What modern JRPGs use dual audio? on: November 30, 2008, 03:41:50 PM
These too:
Riviera: The Promised Land (PSP)
Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (PSone)*

*DS version only has the songs in Japanese, the English versions were removed.
1476  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Traditional Strategy & Action on: November 30, 2008, 02:27:38 PM
In Fire Emblem, when a character dies he can't be used for the rest of the game. There is no phoenix down or whatever to revive them. Because of this people prefer to reset the game whenever a character dies on the battlefield. In most Fire Emblem games that happens quite often.

Shadow Dragon is a bit different in that regard. Death is still permanent, but you get so many worthless characters that it doesn't if some pawn dies to protect the queen. The game actually encourages players to focus on a group of strong units, instead of keeping every character alive till the end of the game. You'll still want to reset when one of your good characters dies, but that won't happen that often. Also, this installment is the only Fire Emblem with save points on the map. You can save your game before a daring/important decision and reload that save if the outcome isn't what you hoped for.

BTW some fans reviewed the Japanese version, but it will be atleast a few more days before the first reviews of the European version appear. Nintendo values street dates and doesn't send out review copies of important games until after they're officialy out. Right now, the only way for reviewers to play the game is to actually go to one of Nintendo's branch-offices and play it there.
1477  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Traditional Strategy & Action on: November 30, 2008, 03:50:50 AM
Some qualify the Arc games as SRPGs, but since the battlesystem is so dumbed down, some people prefer not to. You might say that if you count the Arc games as SRPGs, you might as well say the earlier Lunar games and the later Wild Arms games are SRPGs as well, since they allow the player to move on the battlefield. Out of all the Arc games, the first installments fits the genre the best. It's similar to the first Shining Force in many ways.

Arc the Lad was fun and short. Arc the Lad II expanded upon the first game in every way, but also overstayed its welcome. Arc the Lad III was mission based and couldn't really motivate the player to actually do those missions, because the story was so weak. Twilight of the Spirits was a decent game, but unbalanced in more than one way. The final battles are ruthless if you didn't get the secret characters and one half of the story was cliche garbage, while the other half showed a lot of originality and interesting characters. Oh and: Mary Sue alert.

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Fire Emblem isn't going to be the best game to start out with, I'm thinking. One of the Fire Emblem quirks is that when one of your characters dies, they're dead for the rest of the game, and for someone new to the genre, well...I don't think that'd be a very good thing. =P

Shadow Dragon is different. It actually encourages you to get rid of the weaker characters and the overall difficulty is lower than that of the other Fire Emblems because of the weaker enemies, the abundance of special weapons and the map save points. (This coming from someone who actually played the game) If you're new to the genre, Shadow Dragon is a good start (or Sacred Stones, that one's pretty newbie-friendly as well).
1478  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: IGN ARTICLE ON SQUARE ENIX on: November 28, 2008, 02:59:20 PM
FF is more generic than Tales, it's just that Tales has released twenty fucking games since Symphonia came out, which is why Tales seems more generic.

What makes the games look generic is the Final Fantasy 1-6 ports and remakes. However generic they make look now, those installments set the standard, or atleast an example. For a long time Final Fantasy was a series other companies wanted to imitate. (And then we get crap like Shadow Madness from western developers, hah!)

The Tales series made itself generic. Namco really shouldn't release a new one every 2-3 months.
1479  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and Usability on: November 28, 2008, 02:51:37 PM
The thing about having no save points for me is that I forget to save and then lose half an hour when I die. Damn Western RPGs...

That too, though I was usually too lazy to open the menu and save... only to be murdered minutes later by some insanely powerful random encounter or an unexpected boss.

The shiny floating thingy is always a nice reminder. BOSS BEHIND DOOR. SAVE NOW. Thank you, save point!
1480  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Traditional Strategy & Action on: November 28, 2008, 02:47:07 PM
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is very newbie-friendly compared to the other Fire Emblem games, but it will be a while before it's available in the US (not Europe, we get it next week, haha!). However, if you want to play a SRPG right now, Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon (what's up with all the dark dragons?) for the GBA is an excellent choice. It's not too difficult (you can grind some levels whenever you want), teaches all the basics and is one of the genre's classics. The story feels very dated, but the gameplay is timeless.

Having played way to many strategy RPGs I'd say there are three types.

The classics
The first type gives the player many characters to choose from, but keep stats and items fairly simple. Characters can carry a weapon or two, some healing items and maybe an accessory. Maps are often large with many enemies and the player has to plan a strategy based on the map. Examples: Fire Emblem, Shining Force, Vandal Hearts.

The middleground
These are very similar to traditional RPGs, but use the battle system of a strategy RPG. These games usually only allow the player to bring a small party (5-6 characters) to the battleground. However, the characters learn skills, can wear various types of equipment etc. Examples: Final Fantasy Tactics, Stella Deus

The NIS games
Nippon Ichi makes its own kind of strategy RPGs. The gameplay is practically limitedless, the amount of options and stats a source of confusion. However, at the same time it's nice to have the freedom to throw friendly units and enemies or to damage everything on the map with some insanely intricate geo-symbol combo. NIS games usually have a quirky plot to motivate the player.

1481  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and Usability on: November 28, 2008, 02:21:00 PM
I'm not really in favor of auto-saving and or being able to save whenever I want. Quicksaves are fine and I think every RPG should have that option, but some games just wouldn't be the same without the save points. Many RPGs gave points of no return and you could be seriously screwed over if you save at the wrong time. And then there are games like Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, I can't imagine playing that one saving and loading whenever I wanted.

 
1482  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: IGN ARTICLE ON SQUARE ENIX on: November 26, 2008, 05:10:21 PM
Many of the acclaimed western RPG's are extremely lengthy because of the amount of material stuffed in. I guess the players has the freedom to rush through it, but most of these games encourage the gamers to stretch the experience/replay the game and choose a different path. The only difference is that Japanese RPGs are usually more linear. In both cases large amounts of time are spend killing stuff and micromanaging.

From my experience Japanese RPG's are getting shorter. A lot of the ones (50%?) I played were less than 30 hours long, which is usually a good length.
1483  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: IGN ARTICLE ON SQUARE ENIX on: November 26, 2008, 04:31:18 PM
Wait, didn't we go through the same phase in 2002 when Squeenix just merged? Everyone was complaining about lack of innovation, too much innovation, lack of worldmaps Enix was falsely accused of unleashing the abomination known as Unlimited Saga etc. Then some good stuff came out and everyone forgot about that.

Taking two games from the same publisher, but different developers and calling it a trend is idiotic. Want a Squeenix trend? Final Fantasy ports and remakes are a trend. Disappointing Mana games are a trend. Square Enix unwillingness to use the Virtual Console is a trend. But  I guess that isn't flashy enough to write about.
 
You know what? I predict that 770 days after the gaming gods give birth to their new offspring, the nerd s will rage again and the digital lands will be consumed by their tears. From 4chan four annons will rise to lead the armies of the undead to do battle against the vocal fanboys who defend the old beliefs on Youtube. Few will survive the end of the old days and the new generation will be blessed with obliviousness. However, this unawareness will be a curse as well and history will repeat itself.
1484  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Sumo wrestling + fat Australian girl = greatest photo in the world. on: November 26, 2008, 02:53:52 AM
Hard to believe she's 14. She looks like she's in her 20s.

Anyway, it's awesome she's doing something positive like that. I bet she's more healthy and active than most of the skinny kids I know. Heck, I know she's fitter than me. I fail at sports.
1485  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal MXVII: Crisis Atelier Spectral Moon III on: November 26, 2008, 02:42:11 AM
Beat Odin Sphere's final boss. Not with a piece of toast -I went back and created a bunch of elixers- but is was a great fight anyway. Got the good ending. Great stuff, all  magical and fairytale like, with true love and everything a girl could wish for.

Great game. Slow down didn't bother me that much, but that may just be my playing style. There was this one time the screen froze up, Oswald was going berserk in the mountains and all sorts of crap was flying around, but other than that it only really slowed down twice.

I really enjoyed the food element. Collecting ingredients, growing sheep... Also, this is the only game in which pralines saved my virtual life. Go chocolate!

BTW If I was any good at Odin Sphere the toast would have been enough. I did get to his head a few times, for some quick and easy damage from a safe place, but I kept dying when he had like 20% of his health left :(
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