Author Topic: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread

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Arvis

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #90 on: June 20, 2018, 10:05:00 AM »
You still get Underboob Velvet in every skit... :/
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Tomara

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #91 on: June 20, 2018, 11:04:35 AM »
I wonder why wearing clothes is so difficult for so many female RPG protagonists...

Goblin Shark

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #92 on: June 20, 2018, 02:59:56 PM »
I wonder why wearing clothes is so difficult for so many female RPG protagonists...

And even when they wear clothes, they're ludicrously skin-tight or have "boob windows" or something ridiculous, right? 

Septerra Core seems to mostly buck that trend.  Maya wears full armor.  Okay, so Led (a girl who's maybe 18-20) wears a tank top and there is a brothel in the game with scantily clad prostitutes, but that's about it. 

As for a new Tales of... game, I don't expect too much from that series beyond a fun-to-play, pulpy, summer-blockbuster style romp.  I just hope that it bucks the trend I complain the most about in modern gaming- miniscule text fonts in dialogue boxes with no way to make them bigger.  If I'm allowed complete wishful thinking, I also want to see someone other than Motoi Sakuraba composing the music.  I think Sakuraba is an uninspired hack.  He farts out so much music that it all sounds boring, generic, repetitive, recycled, and completely unmemorable to me. 
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 03:06:32 PM by Dincrest »
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Aeolus

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #93 on: June 20, 2018, 07:10:29 PM »
I wonder why wearing clothes is so difficult for so many female RPG protagonists...

Because, contrary to popular belief, the defensive rating of armor goes up as the area it covers goes down. The idea is to concentrate it all onto three spots (the bare minimum needed to retain the 'decency' status effect; incidentally losing said status effect is an automatic game over).


Septerra Core seems to mostly buck that trend.  Maya wears full armor.  Okay, so Led (a girl who's maybe 18-20) wears a tank top and there is a brothel in the game with scantily clad prostitutes, but that's about it. 

Lol at bringing up Septerra Core and further including the two party members who were most blatantly designed after noted anime characters Motoko Kusanagi and Sailor Moon.


What about people who played with "good girl Velvet" ?



As I recall, most of Velvet's standard ensemble was assembled with her "good girl Velvet" outfit (or at least what was left of it).
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MonCapitan2002

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #94 on: June 22, 2018, 07:43:18 PM »
I wonder why wearing clothes is so difficult for so many female RPG protagonists...

And even when they wear clothes, they're ludicrously skin-tight or have "boob windows" or something ridiculous, right? 

Septerra Core seems to mostly buck that trend.  Maya wears full armor.  Okay, so Led (a girl who's maybe 18-20) wears a tank top and there is a brothel in the game with scantily clad prostitutes, but that's about it. 

As for a new Tales of... game, I don't expect too much from that series beyond a fun-to-play, pulpy, summer-blockbuster style romp.  I just hope that it bucks the trend I complain the most about in modern gaming- miniscule text fonts in dialogue boxes with no way to make them bigger.  If I'm allowed complete wishful thinking, I also want to see someone other than Motoi Sakuraba composing the music.  I think Sakuraba is an uninspired hack.  He farts out so much music that it all sounds boring, generic, repetitive, recycled, and completely unmemorable to me.
While I do agree with you that his music is mostly forgettable, it is at least nice to listen to for the most part.  Having said that, though, I would definitely echo your desire to see someone new get a chance at composing a Tales game's score.  Yasunori Mitsuda or the woman behind the Wild Arms scores come to mind.

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Grainofariver

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #95 on: June 23, 2018, 09:16:03 PM »
The sad thing is, I might not have minded Velvet's outfit much if they'd approached the character with an 'I don't give a damn how I look' mentality. Instead she gets embarrassed when somebody draws attention to her attire... in literally the first town of the game. It's baffling that they would go out of their way to draw attention to this contradiction. Then again, I've never cared for Inomata's designs, so any further complaining would just feel like kicking a dead horse.

Sakuraba is an enigma. He composed Dark Souls, which presents one of my favourite final boss themes. He also composed Golden Sun/TLA: both boasting excellent soundtracks for the GBA. On the other hand, his work with titles like Tales and Star Ocean is all over the place. I rather enjoyed some of the Zestiria tracks (The Essence of Adventure Lies in Exploration is a pleasant little theme), but Tales of Graces has some of the most awful music I've heard from an officially published game (not only would I argue the standard boss theme is one of the worst battle themes ever, Sakuraba deserves some kind of lifetime achievement award for Lying in the Darkness). I'm not sure what to take away from his work: he has too many great tracks for me to write him off as a hack, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

I think people have been calling for a different composer for a long time: at least since 2012, when I started following the series. For better or worse, I can't ever see a Tales game without him. Legendia was done by a different team entirely, and aside from that he's been involved in every single game. Given the contradiction in quality between Tales and his other work, the question for me isn't so much 'how can we get rid of him' as much as 'does he even want to be there'.  Alas, I doubt we'll ever get a concrete answer. I'm more hopeful that we'll see a return of a co-composer. Funnily enough, I remember defending Sakuraba once (maybe on this very board), but have since found out that the majority of songs I liked weren't his.

My single biggest hope for the newest title is that they will finally work on the field/dungeon designs. They are spacious, empty, and lacking any kind of structure or design to make them feel like a real world. Four games in a row the exploration aspect has been a complete drag, which is a pretty big problem for an RPG. I can recall a lot of the locations in other games by their visual aesthetic and structure, but with Xillia/Xillia 2/Zestiria/Berseria everything that isn't a town just bleeds together into an open field of blah. If nothing else gets fixed or changed from Berseria except this one thing, I'll take it with gusto.
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Annubis

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #96 on: June 24, 2018, 12:44:46 AM »
At least Berseria added the hoverboard so you can travel those empty fields faster...

Grainofariver

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #97 on: June 24, 2018, 06:44:34 AM »
I don't dislike the hoverboard, although you get it far too late. I know the days of getting boats and airships which gradually open more of the map are long-gone, but I feel like, if implemented well, the hoverboard could fill that role. In theory it somewhat did by making travel quicker and opening new areas, but it felt a bit like an after-thought (not dissimilar to using the elemental abilities in Zestiria: that felt like such wasted potential).
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Aeolus

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #98 on: June 24, 2018, 10:39:55 AM »
Playing through this game now, and not only are some locations stupidly huge *cough*that temple you face Artorious in*cough*, but generally speaking your land speed travel is slow enough that if an enemy gets a bead on you, unless you get outside of their aggro zone, you're likely getting into a battle since they're generally faster than you (and the other movement speed upgrade(s?) don't really do much of anything, especially when later enemies scale with it).
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MonCapitan2002

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #99 on: June 24, 2018, 11:25:14 AM »
I don't dislike the hoverboard, although you get it far too late. I know the days of getting boats and airships which gradually open more of the map are long-gone, but I feel like, if implemented well, the hoverboard could fill that role. In theory it somewhat did by making travel quicker and opening new areas, but it felt a bit like an after-thought (not dissimilar to using the elemental abilities in Zestiria: that felt like such wasted potential).
Frankly, I think going pseudo open world is what hurt the dungeon and field designs of the Tales series.  I think the best thing the developers can do is to go back to a separate navigable world map with distinct dungeon and village zones. 

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Aeolus

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #100 on: June 24, 2018, 12:04:09 PM »
I don't dislike the hoverboard, although you get it far too late. I know the days of getting boats and airships which gradually open more of the map are long-gone, but I feel like, if implemented well, the hoverboard could fill that role. In theory it somewhat did by making travel quicker and opening new areas, but it felt a bit like an after-thought (not dissimilar to using the elemental abilities in Zestiria: that felt like such wasted potential).
Frankly, I think going pseudo open world is what hurt the dungeon and field designs of the Tales series.  I think the best thing the developers can do is to go back to a separate navigable world map with distinct dungeon and village zones.

Its not the open world aspect as it is having battles take place on the field rather than their own distinct battlefield. It was atrocious for Zesty and not much better for Berseria (since at least they did a better job of designing field/dungeon maps to accommodate battle arenas; even if it led to all of the dungeons looking like an interconnected series of boxes; at least compared to Zesty's "what could possibly go wrong?").
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Annubis

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #101 on: June 24, 2018, 02:47:58 PM »
BTW, is it really necessary for the final dungeon to be this epic 2h long labyrinth every time?
I wouldn't mind a more streamlined dungeon when I'm trying to push on and finish the game.

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #102 on: June 24, 2018, 03:37:45 PM »
I'm currently playing through Berseria myself, actually.  And I have to say that while I am generally liking the game so far the endless fields (and caves...so many caves...) of enemies really does wear on me at times.  It's like they heard the complaints about the mediocre dungeons in Xillia (maybe Zesteria too but I haven't played that one) and said, "OK we'll make everything bigger".  Not more interesting, not more content, just bigger.  And filled with endless swarms of the same enemies which you feel like you shouldn't even try to avoid because it takes so many battles to get all those equipment skills.

Graces (I always seem to come back to Graces...) actually handled this kind of stuff really well in my opinion.  It didn't have a world map or anything but most of the 'overworld' links between cities and stuff were quite short.  Too short to be truly realistic, honestly, but who really cares.  On the other hand it has some huge, expansive, and actually interesting dungeons filled with puzzles, exploration, etc.  Didn't hurt that when you did fight enemies it was with the best battle system the series has produced to date.  Yeah, that was a really good game...

The plot in Berseria is definitely one of the most interesting I've seen in a Tales game but it feels like they still don't know how to get the gameplay right...even though they've gotten it right before but decided to abandon that direction for whatever reason.

BTW, is it really necessary for the final dungeon to be this epic 2h long labyrinth every time?
I wouldn't mind a more streamlined dungeon when I'm trying to push on and finish the game.

Now that is crazy talk.  Epic final dungeons is one JRPG tradition I actually like!  It's the final dungeon, it should be epic.  Just hopefully make it a more interesting location than the endless basically identical caves I've been going through so far...

Grainofariver

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #103 on: June 24, 2018, 05:10:30 PM »
BTW, is it really necessary for the final dungeon to be this epic 2h long labyrinth every time?
I wouldn't mind a more streamlined dungeon when I'm trying to push on and finish the game.

For me the problem lies less with the length and more with the design. Xillia and Xillia 2 both had very short final dungeons, to the point that it felt stupidly anti-climactic. Zestiria's final dungeon, it turns out, can be cleared in about 10-20 minutes with a holy bottle (which my co-op partner and I found out after being forced to do it THREE TIMES (I'd never had, nor have I since, had a PS4 game crash), but at least they got the look and sound right... Berseria's dungeon just doesn't have anything interesting or unique enough to justify the length. There's no puzzles, the environments feel over-sized, and there's only two variations to the visuals. By contrast Abyss and Vesperia had pretty lengthy final dungeons, but there was a lot of visual variety and a few puzzles to keep changing things up.

That is, ultimately a dungeon should be as long as its design and structure can remain interesting.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 05:33:16 PM by Grainofariver »
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Grainofariver

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Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Reply #104 on: June 28, 2018, 08:45:47 PM »
I've always had a problem with CC ever since I first played Graces back in the day, and I have never, ever been able to articulate why. Lately I've been playing a bunch of action games, I think finally I can articulate (after literal years) why this resource system bothers me so much. After writing it down and running through it a few times, I want to post it here and get some feedback. Apologies for the length.

Stamina in Tales is indicative of the conflict between returning RPG elements and the greater emphasis that newer games place on action. Having not played Destiny DC, I'm approaching this from the perspective of Graces, Zestiria and Berseria, all played on higher difficulties. Please note that I'm not saying, implying, or in any way giving a single care as to whether or not TP is the superior resource: this is solely a look at stamina.

So before we really get into stamina, it's important to first look at what is arguably the biggest change to the series since free-run: side-stepping. Side-stepping is so noteworthy for how it heavily angles the gameplay more towards a pure action game by relying on a your physical reaction rather than a stat. Where once the focus was on damage mitigation through defence-stats and blocking, the series now emphasises perfectly timed dodging. Where once you could have a dedicated healer playing support, the effectiveness of healing spells has diminished significantly with each new release.

This is where the contradiction arises: Tales is clearly pushing the player towards a more combo-heavy action-game style of play, yet restricts it through the inclusion of a number of RPG elements. It allows your defensive capabilities to be limited only by physical skill and reaction, yet your offensive capabilities are limited by an RPG-styled resource system: stamina (CC/SC/SG). As if having stamina wasn't bad enough, extending your stamina requires dabbling in micro-management heavy equipment systems like Graces' dualising or Berseria's upgrading. Ultimately my defensive capacity reflective of (and rewarded by) my physical ability, but my offensive capacity is so heavily tied to (and rewarded by) my management of equipment.

Why is this bad? Well any action game worth its salt allows the player to dictate the flow of battle through their skill. The better one understands their own abilities and those of the enemies, the more aggressive they can be. Games like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta -- the peak of the combo-heavy action game -- exemplify this. With enough skill, bosses can be downed in a single ceaseless assault. By contrast, no matter how skilled a Tales player is (or how well they manage their equipment), they will inevitably run out of stamina.

The interesting thing is, it's not like the two must be mutually exclusive. Nier: Automata is a combo-heavy ARPG, yet it combined the action game elements and RPG elements very well. The player's physical skill is always rewarded, yet it featured levels, stats, and the chip system which affected the way you play the game. Best of all, the flow of combat is always controlled by the player, thanks to the lack of a stamina meter.

Now I'm not suggesting that Tales needs to copy Platinum Games. There are a dozen different approaches they could take. For years Tales has been a solid JRPG, but as it moves more fully into the realm of the ARPG (with an emphasis on action), I hope it can draw inspiration from other games which have tread this path before. I enjoy Abyss and Vesperia as RPGs, but for me Graces, Zestiria and Berseria feel like sub-par action games. A big first step to fixing this is to get rid of that stamina meter.
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