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Author Topic: Help me get caught up on the last 13 years.  (Read 1694 times)
zero123
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« on: February 18, 2014, 06:44:16 PM »

Hey guys.

Long story short: I grew up in the 90's and early 2000's on JRPG's. Chrono Trigger/Cross, FFIV-X, Lufia II, Star Ocean... these kinds of games were my jam. However, after I beat FFX in 2001, I basically took a sabbatical from RPG's, and with the exception of Dragon Warrior VIII (which I picked up in 2005 because it had the FFXII demo with it), I basically have not played a real RPG since 2001. I have seen Skyrim and games like that and WoW do nothing for me. I am not a fan of MMORPG's. I like a plot to go with my game. That's why Chrono Trigger is the all-time perfect game for me.

So where do I begin? What are the must have games to be released since then? It seems like the JRPG genre has basically all but died. Am I wrong?
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Blace
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2014, 07:34:19 PM »

JRPG's haven't died, but they aren't exactly enjoying a revolution like in the 90's and are certainly declining. Let's see, JRPG's that are must haves since 2001 (before people complain about my picks, obviously these are my opinions):

Final Fantasy XII
Xenosaga Trilogy
Persona 3 and 4
Dragon Quest VIII
Kingdom Hearts I & II
Tales of Symphonia
Crisis Core

If you are into strategy RPG's

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (not #2)
Jeanne D'Arc
Any GBA Fire Emblem game or the newest 3DS one. I really liked the Gamecube one too, but others did not. The rest are solid but not on the same level honestly.
Valkyria Chronicles

There's plenty I have not played too that others can recommend. Hope this helps. Plenty of ports and remakes of older games too. Also tons of solid JRPGs, but not must haves I can recommend.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2014, 07:35:30 PM »

Some single-player RPGs I've liked from the past 13 years. These aren't all JRPGs, but they do have a lot of story to them:

SMT: Nocturne
Digital Devil Saga 1 and 2
Devil Summoner 2
Ookami
Summoner 2
Ys: Ark of Napishtim
Tales of Symphonia
Radiant Historia
Xenoblade Chronicles

... uh...

There were more than that. Go ask someone that has memory span.

Lemme look through Steam and GOG:

Dark Souls
Dust: An Elysian Tail
All the Ys games on Steam
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Fallout: New Vegas (Qualifying this in that, while it doesn't have much of a /central/ story, the vignettes it's comprised of are really cool. Also I hate Bethesda's games and loved this, so).
Bunch of Geneforge games.
Planescape: Torment
Anachronox (Never played this myself, but it's Dincrest's favorite game).
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Darilon
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 07:42:16 PM »

What consoles or handhelds do you own outside of PS1 and PS2?
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zero123
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 08:30:41 PM »

Thanks for the recommendations guys. I own a PS3, XBox 360, Wii, Wii U, Super Nintendo,  and N64.

It just really bums me out how the JRPG genre just fizzled out. I can remember back in 1999/2000, it seemed like a truly epic game came out every 3 or 4 months. I remember beating Chrono Cross, getting bummed out I beat it, and then picking up FFIX just a few weeks later. I assumed it would be like that forever. Like I said, I was out of the loop, but it seemed like World of Warcraft came out and then all of the RPG fans that were left jumped on the MMORPG bandwagon.

I sound like my dad now, and how he complains about them not making western movies anymore, like those old clint eastwood movies. You could get so sucked up into a game like FFVII or Chrono Trigger. It's just a shame they died out so quickly. How did this happen?
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zero123
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 08:32:45 PM »

Also, with regards to FFXII and FFXIII. I heard FFXII was entirely unremarkable and FFXIII was entirely monotonous. Any truth to this?
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Aeolus
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 08:46:39 PM »

FFXII tried to do a lot but ended up falling short more often than not due to several factors, and at this point Xenoblade Chronicles is what FFXII was trying to go for but better.

FFXIII is really hit or miss depending on whether you were a bigger fan of FFIV or FFV/VI. Its extremely linear and really doesn't allow for any deviation from its set trajectory, but if you like a more action oriented FF, then you might enjoy it. FFXIII-2 though is the much better game, but its also got a pants on head stupid plot (not X-2 levels of stupid, but more like FFIV: The After Years level of stupid). No comment yet on FFXIII-3.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 10:29:39 PM »

Quote
It's just a shame they died out so quickly. How did this happen?

JRPGs are less common because the genre didn't really do anything /uniquely RPG/. Almost eEverything about RPGs can freely be dropped into other genres. It's the same reason that adventure games are less common -- what CAN'T you stuff inventory puzzles into?
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Vencoris
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2014, 11:40:02 PM »

Thanks for the recommendations guys. I own a PS3, XBox 360, Wii, Wii U, Super Nintendo,  and N64.

While you may not want to add another to that pile, Vita is absolutely spoiled on JRPGs with PS1/PSP support and being able to suspend is great for times when you are between save spots.

RPG games I've enjoyed over the last few years and would recommend in no particular order (MMOs excluded, but the remainders are a mix of subgenres):
Xenoblade (Wii)
Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)
Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Kingdoms of Amalur (Multi)
Dragon Age (Multi)
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (PSP)
Ys: Oath in Felghana (PSP)
Legend of Heroes: Tits (PSP)
Phantom Brave: Hermuda Triangle (PSP)
Tactics Ogre: LUCT (PSP)
FF4: Complete Collection (PSP)
Vagrant Story (PS1)
Jeanne D'arc (PSP)
Disgaea Series (PS2/3, PSP/Vita)
Wild Arms XF (PSP)
Phantasy Star Portable 2 (PSP)
Dissidia Duodecim (PSP, does this count?)
Neverwinter Nights 2 (PC)

I'm sure I'm forgetting some...
The western RPGs listed above are the more narrative focused ones that ideally you should still find appealing.
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Yggdrasil
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2014, 01:46:39 AM »

Damn. Nobody has mentioned Demon's Souls yet?

What's wrong with you guys. ;_;

FFXIII-2 though is the much better game, but its also got a pants on head stupid plot (not X-2 levels of stupid, but more like FFIV: The After Years level of stupid).

For all of its drama (which I never had a problem with) XIII-2 was a game that was willing to have fun with itself, and I enjoyed it more because of it.
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Tomara
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 04:11:48 AM »

If I had to pick a few must-plays...

Xenoblade Chronicles
This game is epic incarnate. It offers an almost MMORPG-like take on exploring with tons of quests and a modern active battle system, but don't let that fool you. This game will remind you of those JRPGs of yore. Seriously, I played this behemoth like it was the summer of 1999.

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes (or the first Puzzle Quest)
If the past ten years taught us anything, it that good things happen when RPGs go all Voltron with other genres. Clash of Heroes is an addictive strategic puzzle RPG with lovely graphics and music. Puzzle Quest is Bejeweld with stats, which is suprisingly awesome.

Disgaea
This game kicked some major SRPG ass back in 2002/2003 with flexible gameplay (throw units, create massive combos by using geo panels and symbols), an original setting (the Netherworld!) and some pretty funny dialogue. So play Disgaea. Or a Disgaea. NIS made a bunch of them and they're all fun.

Tales of Vesperia
There was no lack of Tales games the past decade, but if I could only recommend one it would be Tales of Vesperia. It has a great cast of characters and is a really solid game overall. Sure, other Tales games excel in their own way (Graces has an amazing battlesystem) but Vesperia offers the best total package.

Persona 4
The more recent Persona games combine dungeon crawling with dating sim and visual novel elements. Fight demons, befriend all sorts of people, date a cute girl and don't let your grades slip. That may sound pretty lame, but it's totally amazing thanks to clever gameplay mechanics, extremely likable characters and writing that can be suprisingly mature.

Atelier Ayesha
There are a ton of Atelier games available, but Atelier Ayesha is probably the easiest one to get into. Explore a colourful world, uncover ancient mysteries, hang out with a bunch of weirdoes, synthesize all sorts of items in your cauldron, throw freshly brewed bombs at dragons... Be warned: these games are like crack.

Ys: The Ark of Napishtim
Ys games are great fun. Play one.

Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter
You want innovation? Dragon Quarter will give you innovation. Humanity has been forced to live underground and it has been so long since the great exodus no one knows what the outside looks like anymore. Your mission is to help a frail girl (formerly used as a human air filter!) to the surface, the only place where she might have a chance of survival. You've got great dragon powers to aid you, but the clock is ticking as the dragon within you is slowly consuming your very life. You will fail the first time around, but don't worry, that's what the extremely important new game+ is for.
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Maxximum
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2014, 11:19:31 AM »

The good news is that if you own a PS2 you pretty much have what you need to catch up. Thats also the bad news. Handhelds are probably where you should look if you want anything that resembles the golden years of jRPGs. PS3, Xbox 360 and the Wii got a few games here and there but most of them are either action RPGs or have real time action battle systems with AI controlled teammates. If you aren't into that, you're mostly out of luck on those systems. Even then, those games are still few and far between if you take the entire lifespan of those consoles into account. Xenoblade for the Wii has a weird take on the action battle system but its done pretty well and the rest of the game is pretty much everything a retro jRPG player wanted.
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Klyde Chroma
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2014, 02:56:40 PM »

What an AWESOME thread!!

I myself got back into gaming about 5 years ago after quite a long hiatus.

Same situation.. Grew up playing and loving 90's RPG's (and anime). Got back into it around the age of 23 and was highly intimidated with all the cooooolness I missed.

A word of advice though, don't inundate yourself with playing catch up. It will never happen. Too many games my friend... What is really cool about your (our) scenario though is being able to draw from a slew of titles that harken back to an age of RPG's that just don't exist anymore, and its NEW in our eyes.

For a long time I tried to stay current with my RPG gaming  and with day 1 releases and whatnot. Now I'm finding a far greater thrill in diving into forgotten gems of yesteryear and being a wee bit more choosey about the new stuff I indulge. It is a luxury we have for having Not kept up (or so that is how I like to see it).

Anyhow... My suggestions (from my extremely narrow and particular tastes)

My Favorites:

Xenoblade WII/WIIU
Xenosaga (though I've yet to complete it) PS2
Suikoden 1-2-3 (didn't do 4-5 yet) PSX/PS2
Final Fantasy VI The complete collection (I didn't hit the after years yet, but the remake of VI was like a nostalgic wet dream) PSP
Anything with "Tales" in front of it MULTI-PLATFORM (Graces F, Vesperia and Xilia if you want to be "current")
Persona 2 Innocent Sin and Persona 2 Eternal Punishment PSP/PSX (respectively)
Persona 3 (portable or FES) PS2 or PSP
Persona 4 PS2 or VITA
Disgaea 1 PS2/PSP
Disgaea 3 PS3/PSP
Disgaea 4 PS3/ VITA (soon?)
Growlanser Heritage of War PS2
Growlanser Generations PS2
Ni No Kuni (people will say what they will, but I LOVED IT!!! one of my top 3 from the last generation and possibly my favorite PS3 title)PS3
Corpse Party (totally not mentioned or talked about enough, visually nostalgic with some very orginal, although not groundbreaking, gameplay)PSP
Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (PSP)
Star Ocean Remakes (1 and 2) (PSP)
Ys titles PSP/PC
Atelier Iris series PS2
Breath of Fire 3 PSX
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles GAMECUBE (yep, everyone can laugh at me for this one, I had fun with it)
Hyperdimension MK2 (keeping laughing....) PS3
Lunar Silver Star Story Complete PSX (must play)
Lunar Eternal Blue PSX (must play)
Jeane D'Arc PSP
Final Fantasy Tactics PSX (WotL psp remake has terrible slowdown that drives me nuts but more content, its a trade off)
Atelier Ayesha PS3

Other I can't suggest, but can't wait to get to myself:

Nier PS3
Skies of Arcadia Legends GAMECUBE
Shadow Hearts Series PS2
Digital Devil Saga PS2
Mhana Khemia 1 and 2 PS2
Dark Cloud 2 PS2
Growlanser Wayfarer of Time PSP (played through half of it, rage-quit and didn't pick it back up... but I WILL!!)
Devil Summoner PS2
Star Ocean 4 PS3
Rune Factory PS3
Lost Odyssey XBOX360
Blue Dragon XBOX 360
Last Story WII
Corpse Party Book of Shadows PSP
Final Fantasy 1 and 2 Anniversary PSP
Eternal Sonata PS3


And on that note... while we are on the subject of, can anyone with Devil Summoner experience tell me if I can/should skip right to 2? I have heard/read that 2 was a waaaay better experience but I don't know if I NEED to play 1 first.

Once again, kudos for the awesome thread. I think I should print this out and tack it to my wall... LoL

Damn. Nobody has mentioned Demon's Souls yet?

What's wrong with you guys. ;_;



I cannot justify suggesting Demon's Souls... albeit great, the degree of frustration I felt with it out-weighed the "fun". It all ended for me on a bad note when I saved my game in a relatively impossible scenario to survive (do to my own idiocy).
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Yggdrasil
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2014, 03:30:28 PM »

I cannot justify suggesting Demon's Souls... albeit great, the degree of frustration I felt with it out-weighed the "fun". It all ended for me on a bad note when I saved my game in a relatively impossible scenario to survive (do to my own idiocy).

Demon's Souls is not fun in the sense of your typical RPG that's enjoyable and engaging. Demon's Souls goes more for what Survival Horror games did back in the late 90s to early 2000s before they shifted their focus in the mid-2000s (out of necessity more than anything).

That said, I know that is risky to recommend Demon's Souls because it can be too much but once you can get into the flow and logic of the game everything just comes together really well.

Is a game that I would say is at least worth checking out.
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ultra7k
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2014, 04:15:51 PM »

I'll mention some notables that stood out in my mind for good or bad from the last generation that I've played. Actually after writing this, I noticed I didn't play a whole lot of RPGs on consoles...hmm...I guess most of it was on portable systems like DS/3DS/PSP/Vita. I would not have guessed that.

PS3

Tales of Graces f - by far the most fun combat system I've ever played in a Tales game. By comparison, everything else felt flat (except maybe Vesperia). Sure the characters are tropes and archetypes and the story really isn't anything to write home about, but the voice acting and the combat make it worth it. I poured about 94 hours into this game, and still didn't see everything. I'd rate this as a must play from this past generation. Also on the Wii, but without the future arc, I believe.

Final Fantasy XIII - What a real divider this game turned out to be. It's either a love it or hate it game, and personally I think I am in the relative minority that like this game and Lightning. While the tutorials are seemingly endless, I think they are well introduced in the age of hand holding. The story jumps around a bit, and can actually be nonsensical at times, but sticking with it was quite satisfying. The game doesn't allow for a whole lot of exploration, in fact it is perhaps too linear, but it does allow for enough customization in building your characters/party composition to keep things interesting. That being said, I do recall FFX being very linear as well, and not liking Tidus nearly as much as I like Lightning.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Made the fun combat system in FFXIII more streamlined, and added in more of an open world element. I personally enjoyed the story, but not the main characters as much as I enjoyed them in the previous game. Still, it's a good game and improves upon FFXIII.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Currently playing this game right now, and loving every minute of it. Though the time limit can be somewhat stress inducing at times, (most of the times it isn't) it adds an interesting element to the game play as you sort of need to decide what you are going to do and what you aren't, and when you are going to do them. Story is still pretty interesting and I hope it leads to a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.

Tales of Xillia - First thing that I will always recall about this game is the voice acting, as in some of it sounds like it was recorded with a tin can. Combat takes two steps back in my opinion when compared with Graces, and the story is just ok. Overall I thought an average entry into the Tales series, and lacked some of the energy that Graces and Vesperia managed to contain and deliver so well.


Xbox 360

Tales of Vesperia - A whole ton of fun. A lot of interesting characters, and a semi-decent story from what I can remember. Combat is good, and maybe play this one before you play Graces and have everything else ruined. The first RPG that I truly enjoyed on my 360 as it kept giving and giving. May be my second favourite Tales game after Graces.

Star Ocean: The Last Hope - Let me start by saying I didn't enjoy this as much as I hoped I would. The characters did nothing for me, and neither did the plot. It just felt clunky to me, after coming from the previous entry on PS2, but that could just be me. I beat it, but...I'm not sure that I'd really recommend this particular game. I can't say I really recall too much of the plot, characters or anything else from this game. Remarkably average at best.

Enchanted Arms The first RPG (I think) to grace the 360, just before Blue Dragon (which I never played), so it has that going for it. I think I played the first...2 hours and put it down, never to play again.

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