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Author Topic: RPGs and the horrible path they follow  (Read 1107 times)
Kevadu
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« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2014, 06:02:02 PM »

Also, Ar no Surge isn't really half finished, I have no idea where you're getting that from. Maybe the localization is half finished, but the game is definitely complete in a way that other half-finished games aren't.  Unless you're referring to the slowdown and graphics?  Or the fact that it's a sequel?  Or the whole VN-style, which has been retained in the series for more than 7 years?  I am genuinely curious as to your reasoning that the game isn't complete.

I think he's talking about the practically nonexistent dungeons, palette-swapped enemies, and poor balance (leaning in the stupidly easy direction).  In which case he kind of has a point.

But hey, I'm not the OP.
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« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2014, 06:06:43 PM »

That whole "they just don't make 'em like they used to" argument can be a precarious blanket statement.  Granted, I'm sure many of us feel that way about software, especially how we perceive the titan companies of our youth getting a little creaky in the knees.  Analogy: Michael Jordan in his prime was arguably the best basketball player ever, but if he were in the NBA now, younger stars like Kobe and LeBron would kick butt because they're in their physical prime and Jordan is past his.  Jordan's still a legend, though and no one can take that away from him.  

That being said, I do remember saying this about hardware in an old episode of the RPGFan podcast.  My first generation Sega Genesis had a 6 oz cup of cola spilt on it, and it still worked.  I don't have it now, but if I did, I could plug it in and it would probably STILL work now.  And we've all heard stories of people abusing the hell out of their old GameBoys and even Game Boy Advances- they take a lickin' and keep on tickin.'  Accidentally spilling cola on some of my current hardware?  Probably gonna get bricked.  

And I wonder if the OP might like Fire Emblem: Awakening.  

And, again, there's a treasure trove of solid stuff from smaller development houses.  Kinda like how we think music on mainstream radio is lousy, but if you dig deeper, there's some killer bands out there crafting great songs who are far from famous but are f'n good.  
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Cyril
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« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2014, 06:09:10 PM »

I'll give you the dungeons, that was a shame, considering some of them had neat art direction, but anything above base difficulty is fine.  I'd say the middle difficulty really should have been default and called "Normal."  But, uh, if unbalanced difficulty (and palette swaps) makes a game incomplete, then probably 90% of games ever released are incomplete. Including things like FFX, which I'm pretty sure everyone would argue is definitely complete.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2014, 06:11:10 PM by Cyril » Logged
Klyde Chroma
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« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2014, 07:31:41 PM »

Since at the moment we are loosely on the subject of game design and touched upon the note of difficulty I just want to chime in and say, specifically, the trend of how easy RPG's tend to be is quite honestly one of my biggest pet peeves with the genre as a whole. I swear it is like some products, as polished as they may appear, were play-tested by handicapped monkeys to determine the level of difficulty necessary to complete.

The biggest fault of most RPG's in my eyes is the incorporation of various utlities and unique gameplay elements that can just as easily be ignored in light of a "spam attack option" to get through most everything. This problem effectively takes the luster out of even most robust and interesting games for me REEEEAAAAL fast.

Sadly, this problem is more the norm than the exception. I would love to see a level of inherent complexity and challenge akin to say X-Com Enemy Unknown/Within more common.  I really appreciate the trend of challenge in the Souls games, Dragons Dogma, tougher difficulty settings in recent Tales games (even though tales pulls off a real cheap form of "hard" by simply bloating numbers for the most part).

EDIT: As an aside I find this problem plagues older titles far more commonly than newer offerings. I often credit a great deal of the joy of the SMT games to be a result of the challenge during a time when games were more commonly silly-easy. In fact, some of my most memorable play-throughs are incidentally some of the more trying titles.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2014, 07:41:58 PM by Klyde Chroma » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2014, 07:51:36 PM »

It is numbing when you feel like you're just putting your brain on auto-pilot for a game, but sometimes it's done wrong.  Like in Legend of Dragoon, the Additions system is so [expletive deleted] finicky, that even basic battles feel somewhat fatiguing and you want to rest your brain on auto-pilot for a little while.  If that game had more forgiving battle mechanics, I would have been a happier gamer.  It's like with a car- it's very different driving a car with either twitchy, forgiving, or ponderous handling characteristics. 

And I'll +1 in that I like how challenge is done in Megami Tensei games, though sometimes the one-hit-kill characteristics of hama or mudo can be a pain. 
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Kevadu
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« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2014, 08:33:19 PM »

I also complain about how easy a lot of modern RPGs are, though I'll still take easy over being a grindfest--which seems to be the other option for a lot of developers.  Especially old school games.

It's worth noting that a lot of the challenge in classic RPGs did not come from individual battles but rather more like resource management on a bigger scale.  If you went all-out in every single random encounter you would exhaust your MP/items/whatever so you had to think about when to use them.  The modern trend of having HP/MP totally restored at the end of every encounter kind of ruins that.  Of course even in those old games when you could carry 99 of every item it wasn't actually a big deal either, but it at least took some work to get to that point.  In early/mid game resources would usually be scarce enough that you couldn't totally splurge like that.

Anyway, I would like to see more turn-based games with combat that actually requires strategy.  And no, that doesn't require grind-based SRPG-esque combat (though it certainly wouldn't hurt).  There are plenty of card games, etc. that require strategy without needing maps and stuff.  My definition of strategy in a turn-based game is simple: Do you have to plan your moves more than one turn ahead or not?  Most turn-based RPGs fail miserably at that test.  Hit then enemy with your best attack unless somebody needs healing, in which case heal them.  You're reacting, not planning.  An example of a conventional turn-based RPG that required some actual strategy would be something like Xenosaga II...and yes, I realize most people didn't like Xenosaga II's combat.  It definitely had its flaws, the biggest being how long every random encounter took.  But I thought it had some pretty good ideas.

I know a lot of people around these parts praise SMT to high heaven but to be honest I don't really think SMT is very strategic either.  If you know what an enemy is weak against and you have the appropriate attack than you would be a fool to use anything else.  If you don't know what the enemy is weak against then you're just playing a guessing game.  Neither scenario requires terribly deep thinking, though I guess it does require slightly more thought than just spamming attack.  Where it does succeed is in the bigger scale preparation aspect.  Again, looking beyond the single battle scenario.  You have to make sure you have a set of appropriately leveled demons/whatever that have the abilities you'll need, and it does take some work to get to that point.  And that's cool, but once you actually get into combat to be honest SMT has never impressed me.
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Cyril
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« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2014, 08:51:21 PM »

It is numbing when you feel like you're just putting your brain on auto-pilot for a game, but sometimes it's done wrong.  Like in Legend of Dragoon, the Additions system is so [expletive deleted] finicky, that even basic battles feel somewhat fatiguing and you want to rest your brain on auto-pilot for a little while. 

I think LoD is more "your mileage may vary."  I never had any problem with Additions. Some of them are quite hard (for example, the leap in difficulty from Lavitz to Albert in general), but they're intended to be.  Mastery of the last additions make them the strongest attacks in the game, stronger than even Dragoon form for some characters - Rose comes immediately to mind. But you're not required to master the strongest ones.  You don't even need to max out Dragoon form to beat the game. LoD has a surprising amount of flexibility in the way you play; even if there's an obvious "best" you don't need to use it.

That being said, I admit I have something of a 10 year-old muscle memory for LoD.  I just recently discovered that even though I hadn't played the game for 3 years that I still know, at least the basics of, the Addition timing.

When it comes to strictness, I'd say the more crazy modified grids in Shadow Hearts 2 and 3 were much more difficult and finicky.
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Mickeymac92
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« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2014, 10:00:30 PM »

To be quite honest, one of the main reasons I love Turn-based RPGs is that they rely heavily on simple resource management. I don't think I could handle an RPG where I actually had to think several steps ahead, because that's shit I don't do ever. Like, in Life. Just force enough thinking that I feel involved, but not enough that I start getting anxious about everything I do, and I'm fine. Life is stressful enough, man. I don't need games giving me grey hairs. Unless it's like Tactic Ogres, where you can turn back the clock if you make a mistake. That's pretty much the main reason it's one of the only strategy games that actually require some strategy that I enjoy.
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Damacon
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« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2014, 09:53:22 AM »

 Very nice posts since I last looked it actually finally turned into a discussion about what we find wrong with RPGs which is the solution to figuring out how to change things!

 First off I played the  older fire emblems, tactics ogre, and pretty much every non PC game. I have not played many of the newer nintendo side of rpgs since I don't really trust nintendo. I always get to them eventually when the systems are dirt cheap but to buy a nintendo system new just feels wrong to me. The reason why is nintendo doesn't really release any other games I am interested in other than RPGs and for like a total of 5 per system doesn't make me feel like running out to buy the systems  full price hehe.

 Pretty much exactly what Kevadu said is the reason I feel Ar NoSurge is unfinished they put a lot of work into the character development but after that it feels like they said lets just throw in two rooms and a hallway I am bored making this game. Not to mention like 10 different types of enemies and the battle system that just cuts off its evolution half way.

 I also feel one of the biggest problems with RPG games is that they are to easy, some of the problems is that you can grind levels or lack of difficulty settings. Some of the best RPG games that I have played are ones that don't let you level past a certain point the enemies either stop giving exp or they just don't give you the option to grind. Well in the original Dark Souls it didn't matter how much you leveled, leveling was very close to being completely useless hehe. What I don't feel should happen with RPGs, is they shouldn't be extreme if you can't lay down on the couch and play without moving it is not a RPG game. I always look to the tales games in this case if you put those games on the hardest setting and fight the bosses that is what a RPG game should be like. You use everything at your disposal just to win and the fights are amazingly fun. So many games have really complex battle systems but you just auto attack and win what is up with that why even bother.  But frankly this problem has been going on all along and we kind of just let it slide since the games were still fun. Which is my point if you don't act things will never change you might get a few companies that understand but if you don't tell them and buy their games anyway they are just going to continue to do exactly what they were doing.

 The second problem I saw posted here is more towards the newer RPGs not all of them, but a lot of them. Its that after awhile you just get bored fighting the monsters in the same way going into a zombie like state the game loses its appeal because it really only has one appeal. Some of the old games had things to help and they were not anything huge. Like my best example is the Suikoden games, they didn't just have rpg turn based battles they had the duels and the big army battles to give you a taste of something different which helps tremendously. If you don't put any extra flavors into your game sometimes even a great story isn't enough to justify the torture of doing the same thing over and over again with no real change. The puzzles in Wild Arms were another version of this the battle system was never that great in the wild arms series it had some fun tough fights but what kept me loving those games were the puzzle filled dungeons always making me think and problem solve.

 NIS is the prime example of a company I want to love but just can't cause their games are just nothing but tedious never ending grinding and its a damn shame. Because I love the stories in their games they are different and off the wall they bring a new flavor to a genre that usually has very very similar stories. I managed to complete at least the Disgaea series but I had to set rules for myself to make the games enjoyable. Like I never grind or even visit anything other than the main story battles which makes the games extremely short but what can you do everything else will just burn you out unless you have a will of steel.  Some people like that sort of thing so I can't tell the company to change, they are doing exactly what their fans want. But if you take NIS,Compile Hearts and Square Enix out of the equation of RPGs I want to play what am I really left with. So even though we have more rpgs than ever before to me at least it feels like I have less games I want to play than even before. I've got Bandai,Atlus and Falcom games with the occasional Ni No Kuni to give me some hope but that is it. Everything else I hope oh maybe this one will be different but they all end up exactly how I expect them to be which is half finished RPGs.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 10:27:30 AM by Damacon » Logged
Alisha
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« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2014, 05:26:43 PM »

That whole "they just don't make 'em like they used to" argument can be a precarious blanket statement.  Granted, I'm sure many of us feel that way about software, especially how we perceive the titan companies of our youth getting a little creaky in the knees.  Analogy: Michael Jordan in his prime was arguably the best basketball player ever, but if he were in the NBA now, younger stars like Kobe and LeBron would kick butt because they're in their physical prime and Jordan is past his.  Jordan's still a legend, though and no one can take that away from him.  

That being said, I do remember saying this about hardware in an old episode of the RPGFan podcast.  My first generation Sega Genesis had a 6 oz cup of cola spilt on it, and it still worked.  I don't have it now, but if I did, I could plug it in and it would probably STILL work now.  And we've all heard stories of people abusing the hell out of their old GameBoys and even Game Boy Advances- they take a lickin' and keep on tickin.'  Accidentally spilling cola on some of my current hardware?  Probably gonna get bricked.  

And I wonder if the OP might like Fire Emblem: Awakening.  

And, again, there's a treasure trove of solid stuff from smaller development houses.  Kinda like how we think music on mainstream radio is lousy, but if you dig deeper, there's some killer bands out there crafting great songs who are far from famous but are f'n good.  

except in the nba the number of teams doesnt decline and over generations the players get better not worse.
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« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2014, 10:34:49 PM »

That being said, I do remember saying this about hardware in an old episode of the RPGFan podcast.  My first generation Sega Genesis had a 6 oz cup of cola spilt on it, and it still worked.  I don't have it now, but if I did, I could plug it in and it would probably STILL work now.  And we've all heard stories of people abusing the hell out of their old GameBoys and even Game Boy Advances- they take a lickin' and keep on tickin.'  Accidentally spilling cola on some of my current hardware?  Probably gonna get bricked.  

Oy, okay.

You didn't get optical drives in consoles for awhile because optical drives used to be either really slow or really expensive, so I think that was why people stuck with cartridges for awhile, even though they were more expensive to make.

But in the long run, this brings up another good point -- part of the reason that old, cartridge based consoles are a lot harder to wear out is the lack of moving parts. Optical drives are fragile and kind of self-destructive.

But then like, more powerful hardware also means more heat, which is bad, and like you said, never technology's just a lot more sensitive to damage in general.

idk that sort of depresses me -- I /like/ my consoles and the fact that modern ones just are comparatively not nearly as durable or long lived, and are really hard to repair when they do break, makes me sad.

I don't like how disposable stuff is. This is why I've never gotten into smartphones.
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« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2014, 06:57:02 PM »

Good points, definitely.  And that's not even discussing cultural perception.  Back in the day, video games were seen as a child's toy and were often made to be kid-proof.  Nowadays, gaming machines are multimedia devices primarily used by adults (the biggest consumers of games are people our age who grew up playing them) and you figure adults know better and shouldn't have to have their "toys" kid-proof. 

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« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2014, 07:28:50 PM »

The idea that I might not be able to play a game in my personal Top 10 is heart-breaking for my lil' gamer hobby.

I am all in favour of HDs and going Digital and Steam and all that jazz.
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« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2014, 07:45:07 PM »

I'm mostly concerned about the Dreamcast TBH, cause there weren't really a /ton/ of those made, the later models are very prone to breaking, you can't really find spare GD-ROM lasers much (I don't think you can put the GD-ROM laser from a NAOMI unit into a DC but even then), dropping in a normal CD-ROM drive into a DC and playing burnt games isn't really ideal because you have to gut the sound before doing that, and Dreamcast emulation is kind of terrible.

It's like the one system I can realllllly think of where you're kind of screwed if you don't have a Rev. 0 or Rev. 1 model in good working order.

Doubly problematic for me 'cause I've got a bunch of Dreamcast games now and I can't think of any that I really would be fine with not playing again (maybe with the exception of VOOT, since the 360 port's superior) :( And I've always got /that fear/ cause my first Dreamcast died on me, and that's pretty much the second console failure I've had ever, period (family's toaster oven NES died a looooooooooooooooooooong time ago).
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« Reply #44 on: October 15, 2014, 04:26:46 AM »

The console that worried me most was my NTSC U/C (a very early model) but I've managed to find a slim PS2 as back-up, so I'm good. I hope. I guess I could play my old games on my PC thanks to the wonderful world of emulation, but that just isn't the same. It's a good thing the typical PS2 problems are quite easy to fix.

There are actually some games I can't play right now because I don't have the proper old hardware. Lightguns don't work on modern LCD and plasma screens. Now, a CRT is something you could fairly easy get, but think about all sorts of arcade cabinets with weird parts. Or storage mediums that deteriorate over time. Some games will be lost forever. Best case scenario you could make back-ups and use emulation to keep the game available, but you won't be playing it the authentic way. And even that may be tricky because it wasn't uncommon for companies to delete source code back in the eighties and nineties.

I wonder if games will ever be considered an artform worthy being restored and saved for future generations.
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