Author Topic: Things you can't bear in a JRPG

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Arvis

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #90 on: August 10, 2018, 11:37:29 AM »
Hearing comical-voiced characters like Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in games mostly devoid of comedy is pretty damn awkward, in my opinion.

You know... I always felt something important was off about KH and I think you nailed it.  There's a serious tonal dissonance to the whole franchise.
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Dincrest

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #91 on: August 10, 2018, 11:38:57 AM »
That's one reason I could never get into Kingdom Hearts- it takes itself way too seriously.  And some things, in all mediums, should learn not to take themselves so seriously.  I remember this stupid OVA series called Luna Varga from way back in the day.  Luna Varga is an anime about a princess who, literally, has a Godzilla-esque kaiju (giant monster) attached to her hiney.  The first volume was more enjoyable than I expected it to be because it embraced its ridiculousness.  The second volume was terrible because it tried to take itself seriously.  For crying aloud, this is an anime about a princess with Godzilla grafted to her butt.  Not Le Morte d'Arthur or something. 

The other reason I could never get into Kingdom Hearts is that the camera is terrible.  The drunk camera hampered my enjoyment of the first game and when I demoed later games, the camera was still drunk and uncooperative.  I realize that bad cameras were an issue back in the Playstation era because 3D gaming was new and developers were still getting their sea-legs, but you would think that by now it would be moot. 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 04:47:14 PM by Dincrest »
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Der Jermeister

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #92 on: August 10, 2018, 05:32:45 PM »
Also, near-death alarms. We're not freaking idiots. Just the red flashing of the health bar is enough to alert us of low health, thanks.
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Gregosa

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #93 on: August 10, 2018, 09:23:42 PM »
Also, near-death alarms. We're not freaking idiots. Just the red flashing of the health bar is enough to alert us of low health, thanks.
Pokemon comes to mind whenever I think of this. One change I liked in generation V was the revamped music for low health.

Aeolus

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #94 on: August 10, 2018, 09:37:30 PM »
Star Ocean is notorious for wasting its potential over the course of the entire series.

Lol @ ^this.

Because seriously, Star Ocean never held any real potential. The producer went on record to state that all he ever wanted to do was to make yet another bog standard JRPG series in an era inundated in bog standard JRPG series. And no, even SO2 sucks, even back in the day. Most of us just weren't exposed to enough JRPGs at the time to notice the glaring issues of constant unwinnable boss fights, 100 different ways to break an already prebroken game, horribly unbalanced cast and writing (Claude gets to hang out with Starships and Phasers at the start; Rena starts out by delving into a rape dungeon that she'll eventually needs to be rescued from, by Claude), a meandering plot, and a thoroughly busted battle system (they never got Magic Symbology to not be a complete waste of time in these games, while Range is the fucking god stat no matter how Anime Waifu the character they stick it on is).


Lufia is a series that had so much potential, but never realized it.  Lufia and the Fortress of Doom was alright.  Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals was a SNES masterpiece.  Lufia: The Legend Returns was a disappointment.  Ruins of Lore was dumpster trash.  Curse of the Sinistrals wasn't bad, but like most remakes of classics, the original was still way better.

Lufia 1 isn't actually all that right. Its rather bland for the time it came out in (FF V and DQ V both predate it, but it did come out  a whole two months before Secret of Mana and 6 months before Romancing SaGa 2) with its main redeeming features being its intro and the way it handles its conclusion. Lufia 2 may be fucking Lightning-in-a-Bottle but it still has its issues (like the early game meandering and the endgame's rush to beat the development deadline), but the fact that this was the devs 2nd game on the system and that it came out during an incredibly strong period for JRPGs speak more for the game's overall quality than any sort of potential. Lufia 3 wasn't just a disappointment, it was doomed to fail from the start since it was on significantly weaker hardware and carted too many legacy systems over from Lufia 2. Admittedly its 3x3 party grid and Wave Formation mechanic weren't bad ideas, they were just wasted on the procgen mystery dungeon game design. Ruins of Lore was subsequently rushed out onto the GBA which was unsurprisingly not a smart move considering their lack of proficiency with the hardware, which itself wasn't powerful enough to allow the devs to get away with what they got out of Lufia 2, along with the fact that they were desperately chasing that awful Pokemon-alike trend that gave us the late 90s/early 00s of JRPGs. Curse is surprisingly competent given what it was, its just also too boiled down and lacking in the charm that Lufia 2 had while also being too beheld to it. If the devs could ever get their act together long enough to make a stand alone game (or at least a brand new one) with Curse's level of quality, they might make an impact in today's market, but that would involve them getting ahold of those coveted resources of plentiful time, money and skill.


Grandia 3 is another one that had potential to be amazing,

...but then Alfina came along and messed it all up with a whole host of stupid JRPG cliches. 

To be fair to Alfina. None of the Grandia games ever escaped their host of stupid JRPG cliches, just like how none of the Lunar games before them could.

No matter how much they tried to dress up Grandia in this story of young adventure and coming-of-age discovery, they were always shonen style power fantasies at heart with Magical Princesses to save (Feena, Elena, Alfina), cooler adults to give their wisdom and their lives to guide the protagonist (Gadwin, Mareg, Miranda), obnoxious rivals to eventually come through for you in the end (Rapp, Millenia???, Ulf), evil villains looking to use whatever evil technology and ancient ruins on hand to dominate/destroy the world (Baal, Zera, Emelious), with the usual Team Rockets working for them, various fantasy races with absolutely no contact with each other until the protagonist shows up to spread the good word about the power of Jesus friendship, ancient discoveries that no one but the protagonist could've ever made (unless the villains got there first, although they usually prefer to wait just off screen until the moment you've done all the work for them), etc.... Hell, even the midseason powerups are the same (Dragon Slash).
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Der Jermeister

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #95 on: August 10, 2018, 10:18:51 PM »
@Aeolus Plus Lufia 1's battle system was kind of unconventional in a negative way. You input commands for a few characters, the enemy goes, you input more commands, and the people for whom you gave commands finally execute their turns. Weird. Lufia 2 also had an awful localization that resulted in things such as a garbled Dual Sword Shrine. Plus battles were slow, and some puzzles hard without a guide. And whoever called the villains in the English versions "the Sinistrals" was obviously unaware the word means left-handed.
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Spoony Mage

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #96 on: August 10, 2018, 11:23:55 PM »
I personally find the Kingdom Hearts games to have potential as well, particularly when it comes to humor as one would expect from a mashup, but they largely fail in that regard. Hearing comical-voiced characters like Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in games mostly devoid of comedy is pretty damn awkward, in my opinion.

On one side, I agree.  Kingdom Hearts is an example of a series that got too big for its britches.  Like it tried too hard to maintain its child-like innocence with the darker themes the series kept bringing in as it went on.  I haven't played Chain of Memories (never plan to since I dislike card-based gameplay), but I felt that beginning with KH2 and going on with Birth by Sleep and the Dream Drop Distance the series lost its thematic balance.  Not to mention that the storyline has just become so confusing that it's hard to follow or care by this point.

On the other hand, there is just something fun about watching cute Disney mascots kick ass wholesale.  Mickey, in particular, going full on Jedi Master with his Keyblade is just badass.
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Limlight

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #97 on: August 10, 2018, 11:26:39 PM »
I can't disagree about grandia's story (the original) but damn did the battle system click with me, maybe i'm in the minority with this?

Aeolus

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #98 on: August 11, 2018, 01:52:21 AM »
@Aeolus Plus Lufia 1's battle system was kind of unconventional in a negative way. You input commands for a few characters, the enemy goes, you input more commands, and the people for whom you gave commands finally execute their turns. Weird. Lufia 2 also had an awful localization that resulted in things such as a garbled Dual Sword Shrine. Plus battles were slow, and some puzzles hard without a guide. And whoever called the villains in the English versions "the Sinistrals" was obviously unaware the word means left-handed.

Sadly, there is an ancient superstition about how Left-handed == Evil. At least that one can't be blamed on Lufia 2's localization since that was held over from Lufia 1 (not that Rise of the Superbeings would be much better). And on that note, there's always the fact that the series was named in the west for a character that literally only figures in the first game
Spoiler: show
(you can't even claim that its related to Erim since she spends Lufia 2 going by Iris, plus Lufia manages to end up as a separate entity by the end of Lufia 1 anyways, even if doing so effectively killed Lufia via memory wipe and didn't even stop Erim from coming back anyways).


As for the gameplay mechanical fails, I had already mentioned it up thread 5 pages ago during my tirade against worthless Defend commands (albeit, I didn't exactly call it out by name, so spoiler alert, that rant was more specifically in regards to my Lufia 2 playthrough earlier this year). It also has a weird quirk where buffs/debuffs last until the end of battle irregardless of anything short of using the appropriate counter spell. If nothing else, it makes the Ancient Cave easier since it makes it easier to punch above your weight class a bit (which you were basically doing all the time past Floor 30).

Seriously, Lufia 2 is as good as it is in spite of its development, not because of it.


I can't disagree about grandia's story (the original) but damn did the battle system click with me, maybe i'm in the minority with this?

Yeah. I fucked up and didn't give Grandia's battle system its due. Granted the games often err on the easy side, but beyond that they're amazingly solid for their gameplay. But, yeah. You are definitely not alone in this. Its the main reason why the series is still even remembered today.
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Dincrest

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #99 on: August 11, 2018, 07:02:44 AM »
I think these songs are the theme songs of this thread:

"Everything Sucks" by Dope https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uuLTG-qVkQ

"I Hate Everything About You" by Ugly Kid Joe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIP1NDosBJU

EDIT: And to keep to the thread topic, JRPGs are often notorious for poorly done mascot characters.  I get the need for cutesy mascot characters for marketing purposes, but it needs to be done in such a way that they endear you in the game and make you think, "I want a plushie of this!"  Otherwise, the mascot is just a dunce and nuisance you want to torture. 

And once again, I must remind myself to be careful what I wish for.  After all, Thousand Arms did a LOT of things I would consider "wrong" in this thread, but I loved that game.  Conversely, I'm glad that some of the grievances we had back in the day are moot points now.  For example, I hardly see JRPG localizations sanitizing booze into milk, juice, or tea any more.  (On the other hand, you could totally make a drinking game out of how old JRPG localizations would get rid of alcohol references.  Play a 90s RPG and take a shot of tequila if the character is drinking tea instead of booze, take a swig of one of those alcoholic/hard sodas if it's soda/soft drink, take a shot of orange liqueur or Apple Pucker if they're drinking juice, a shot of Bailey's or Rumchata if they're drinking milk...)
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 10:14:38 AM by Dincrest »
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Agent D.

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #100 on: August 11, 2018, 03:26:12 PM »
Can we change Aeolus's title to "party pooper" since he LITERALLY shits on everything we all love?

TASTY!

Dincrest

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #101 on: August 11, 2018, 04:46:15 PM »
But this is a pet peeve thread, so everything's fair game and up for debate.  One person's noise is another person's sweet music.  I offered up those Ugly Kid Joe and Dope songs as theme songs since pet peeve threads always seem to boil down to "I hate everything" and "everything sucks."

Even for something that we can mostly agree on like "bad voice acting," we all have different standards as to what constitutes bad.  For example, in Atelier Escha & Logy, I thought the voice actor for Logy played it very naturally, whereas others found him dry.  Or take Fidget from Dust.  I thought the voice actress absolutely nailed Fidget and displayed a ton of range and acting chops.  However, a lot of people found her voice off-putting. 

Another thing I'm sure we can all agree on is that good music can often make or break a game.  But when we talk about RPG soundtracks we love or loathe, it gets personal.  For example, my disdain for Motoi Sakuraba's music is no secret, but several people think I'm tonedeaf or have no taste because I don't see the beauty in his "sweet lilting leitmotifs" or whatever. 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 04:53:49 PM by Dincrest »
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Der Jermeister

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #102 on: August 11, 2018, 06:19:06 PM »
Personally, I really don't think voice acting is all that necessary in RPGs, since I tend to always skip the text if able to, anyway, since I'm more a reader than listener. Deaf gamers certainly wouldn't be able to appreciate voicework that they couldn't skip. I'd much rather the music be the "voice" of the game.

Personally, the worst voice acting I tend to notice is in battle, especially if the writing is shitty. I didn't like how in Personas 3, 4, and 5 how someone had to narrate everything that went on in battle, and in the fifth game downloaded the Japanese voice acting instead. I thought Persona Q's voice work was just as bad, especially addressing and referring to the chosen protagonist as "leader" (i.e. "Leader is dead! Can anyone revive him?") . And people don't shout out the names of their attacks in the heat of battle in real life. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue actually, however, did worse by having characters shout random crap like "Ferocious wind!" or "Mega-magic flame!"

Giving monsters dialogue in my opinion is a bad idea, too, like in Wild Arms 5 or Star Ocean 3. I turned off the battle voices in both those games. I've played few games where battle dialogue was done right, like Final Fantasy X, which IMO actually sounds believable and subdued.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 06:27:54 PM by Der Jermeister »
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Aeolus

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #103 on: August 11, 2018, 07:44:27 PM »
Can we change Aeolus's title to "party pooper" since he LITERALLY shits on everything we all love?

It sucks to get old and jaded.

Although having a Triumph the Insult Comic Dog as an AV would be amusing for about a month.

But I probably should replace my current Avatar with one based on the bottom right part of this image.

In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Agent D.

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Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« Reply #104 on: August 12, 2018, 12:34:18 AM »
Can we change Aeolus's title to "party pooper" since he LITERALLY shits on everything we all love?

It sucks to get old and jaded.

Although having a Triumph the Insult Comic Dog as an AV would be amusing for about a month.

But I probably should replace my current Avatar with one based on the bottom right part of this image.


Don't you dare use that as grounds to slander the epic voicework of Symphony of the Night. I'll end you in the most jrpg of ways....a long grueling battle where I mostly cast aoe heals every round and have 1 person attack because jrpg bosses are surprisingly dull....

TASTY!