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Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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Author Topic: Best RPGs based on story alone?  (Read 14818 times)
Alisha
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2007, 01:46:14 AM »

when it comes to story id probally reccomend any game/series with linked games especially if they have returning characters. the exception to this rule is XS2

SRT OG/OG2  <--yes i'm a biased fangirl but i loved reuniting with all the characters i loved in the first game.

phantasy star 1,2,4

arc the lad 1 and 2

xenosaga 1 and 3
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Lard
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2007, 12:31:36 PM »

My favourites?

Suikoden 1-3
SMT Nocturne
Shadow Hearts 1
Grandia
Xenosaga (series)
Wasteland (on the C64)
Final Fantasy 9 - I really liked Vivi's "arc".

Suikoden - Do I need to say anything else?

I'd choose SMT Nocturne over DDS - but that's my opinion.

I *really* dug the story of DDS until I got to the end of part 1....I thought it was a bit cheesy. (Again, my opinion).

I agree that the first Shadow Hearts has a *fantastic* story. I thought SH2 was an apologist's take on Roger Bacon - and tried to make him a sympathetic character - when he wasn't.

Xenogears/Xenosaga

I'd have to choose Xenosaga (the series) overall - it seems a bit more coherent in its presentation - and it wasn't rushed like Xenogears was.

As for Grandia - I know how much people like Grandia 2 here. And I loved it on my first playthrough....the second time through about 1.5 years later....not so much.

It just seemed to hammer the "anti-religion" thing to death. And  I'm an atheist....but halfway through the game, I just kept thinking "I GET IT".
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Willy Elektrix
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2007, 04:02:44 PM »

Quote from: "Lard"
My favourites?

Suikoden 1-3
SMT Nocturne
Shadow Hearts 1
Grandia
Xenosaga (series)
Wasteland (on the C64)
Final Fantasy 9 - I really liked Vivi's "arc".


Wasteland is an interesting choice. I agree. While I didn't think the overarching plot was very interesting (in fact, I can only vaguely remember it), I thought that the narratives that occured in the places you visited were really cool. So, in a way, it had a lot of interesting stories, but not really a good plot.
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Sapphire_Fate
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2007, 08:51:46 PM »

DDS2 is where the real meat of the story is...and where it becomes better than Nocturne.
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2007, 10:23:54 PM »

Quote from: "Lard"
As for Grandia - I know how much people like Grandia 2 here. And I loved it on my first playthrough....the second time through about 1.5 years later....not so much.

It just seemed to hammer the "anti-religion" thing to death. And  I'm an atheist....but halfway through the game, I just kept thinking "I GET IT".

I'm actually with you on this, though it didn't bother me all that much. Few RPGs have good "stories", but what they do offer is wonderfully portrayed characters, and G2 offers that in spades. The plot is kind of a mess, though, and the anti-religious stuff holds the player's hand all the way through, as you said.

Tales of the Abyss - silly story, overall, but does a damn good job with portraying religion in both its possitive and negative aspects. Amazing character portrayal, too.
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Spoony Mage
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« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2007, 01:11:22 AM »

Quote from: "Calamity"
Shadows Hearts Covenant - Favorite rpg on the PS2.
Suikoden 1,2,3,5 - Favorite series.  Liked 2 and 5 the best.. the political plot(s) rocked.
Lunar SSSC
Xenogears
FF7, FF9, FF10
BoF 3 (maybe not the best story, but I liked it)
FF Tactics, Tactics Ogre, Ogre Battle 64 (Loved all of these to death, even though they are SRPGs)
KOTOR 1 & 2
Tales of the Abyss
Skies of Arcadia

Games I didn't like:
Rogue Galaxy (terrible story, boring, dull... the only saving grace is the graphics and gameplay.)
Wild Arms 4
Final Fantasy 12 (The story is alright.. but the pacing has some serious issues)
Shadows Hearts: FTNW (Disappointing to say the least.. though not terrible.)

I notice you have Wild Arms 4 under your "didn't like" list.  Have you tried the first game for the PS1?  In my opinion, it has one of the best examples of character development in the series.  You see quite a lot of internal struggles on both the good and evil sides.  It even has great character development of the silent protagonist, something I rarely see in games (though that may be just me).  I love all the games in the series, but none of them top the original.  Not even Alter Code: F.

As someone else mentioned, the first Shadow Hearts game also beats out the rest of its series in terms of storytelling.
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Onoda
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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2007, 10:35:33 AM »

I can understand why Alisha decided not to include Phantasy Star 3 (the graphics were grainy, the music was grating, and the gameplay was slow and clunky), but I'm willing to argue that Phantasy Star 3's story was possibly the best in the series.  The branching storyline spanning 3 generations was deep.  And if you managed to trudge through all of them (Game Genie is a boon here) you got a lot of insight into the world and its people.  I liked how mysteries in the first generation would get resolved in the 3rd generation.  

However, I still stand by my opinion that for story alone, graphic adventures and visual novels often have more interesting stories than RPGs.
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Bloodstar6078
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« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2007, 11:21:12 AM »

I hate discussion like this since I haven't played the same games as everyone so my experiences differ. Besides, what makes a good story? Believability? Character development? Something else? What if a game does everything well but is far from perfect? What about a game that does somethings perfect and others not as well? Which game has the better story? These questions are just way too subjective...

Anyways, of the games I've played I'd have to say FFVIII is one of my favorite games for the story. There are a few minor things that drive me crazy like the age of the characters and such, but those could have been easily remedied. My main problem with the story would be that Ultimecia seems to lack proper reasoning for compressing time, but some people have come up with theories to explain it. I'll just give them the benefit of the doubt. I won't forgive FFX though.
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2007, 02:01:11 PM »

Quote from: "Bloodstar6078"
Anyways, of the games I've played I'd have to say FFVIII is one of my favorite games for the story. There are a few minor things that drive me crazy like the age of the characters and such, but those could have been easily remedied. My main problem with the story would be that Ultimecia seems to lack proper reasoning for compressing time, but some people have come up with theories to explain it. I'll just give them the benefit of the doubt. I won't forgive FFX though.


I'm with you on all of this. What always really got me was that the FFVIII characters always acted so much more mature than the characters in FFVII, although they were supposed to be something like 5 years younger. The "High School" always seemed a lot more like a college, and the way everyone acted (save Selphie at times) made them feel more like college students than anything else. It's almost as if, at the last minute, Square decided that their target audience was younger than the characters they had created, so they altered a few lines of text here and there to make them 16 instead of 21. I just ignore that and add about 5 years to everyone's age.

Ultimecia, I never put much stock into. She was a minor character, in terms of character interaction. Some villains are very central to the protagonist's growth (Sephiroth & Kuja) and some are not (Vayne, Kefka, & Seymour), Ultimecia is an extreme example of the latter. She's not really supposed to be someone you know anything about. Usually, I like to have my villains be sympathetic in some way, but since the story focuses so much (and so well) around the main party, this never bothered me.

So yes, FF8 is probably one of my favorite stories, especially from a character portrayal standpoint. I found it much more compelling than FF7s or FFXs.
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DisturbedAngel
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2007, 03:01:52 PM »

It's so nice to to be the only one that loves FFVIII. I mean, I love all the FF games,  but for me, there has just always been something about VIII that just touched me. The romance, the friendships, Squall's growth from basically a sullen teen afraid to show of feel love and emotion, the schools, the switching from Squall's story to Laguna's. I've always felt that if any FF deserved it's own side story, it's VIII with Laguna's. I know, I already know how it ends, but I would love to play through Laguna's story in it's entirety.
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Lilim
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2007, 05:18:02 PM »

Quote from: "Prime Mover"
I'm with you on all of this. What always really got me was that the FFVIII characters always acted so much more mature than the characters in FFVII, although they were supposed to be something like 5 years younger.


I always wondered if the loose English translation FFVII received could be a reason why the characters seem less mature than the ones in FFVIII.

Still, I'm a fan of FFVIII despite its flaws. That ending is one of my favorites.
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2007, 06:22:37 PM »

I've noticed this. That FFVIII was fairly unpopular to mainstream gamers, but to fairly serious RPG fans, and ones that like the series as a whole (and not just a few specific games here and there), FFVIII is many times the favorite. Back at my college, pretty much all the big Final Fantasy nuts there thought FF8 was the best in the series, and were kinda ho-hum about FF7. I've met very few who thought that FF7 was all out, "bad", but many of us can't really understand exactly what the hype was about. I just guess it's what you're looking for and willing to accept in RPGs. My number one priority is good character portrayal... regardless of whether I personally "like" or "agree" with the characters involved. In fact, I prefer flawed characters, because I think everyone has their flaws, and I'm more likely to connect with them if I don't see them as some sort of idealistic Uber-mench.

I dunno, to me Cloud came across as the Uber-mench who just got his mind screwed with, where-as Squall comes across as a much more believable human being, with all of his character failings and unlikeable traits. I guess that's why I prefer Kuja, as a villain, to Sephiroth, who, again, just seemed like the typical "evil badass" architype... the flawless human being with an evil adjenda. These types of characters bore me. I'd like to see some shades of grey. I feel like FF8 and FF9 offer me more shades of gray than FF7 or FFX do.

Unfortunately, the 13-18 year old crowd, who's still searching for their personal identity, has always turned to Uber-mench-like characters as a way of trying to imprint themselves onto their favorite characters. In some cases, they become a bit intimidated by flawed characters, as these identities tend to reflect the imperfections in themselves that they'd rather ignore. But I'm not 18 anymore... I'm almost 26, and I only started playing RPGs, heavilly, at 21. I don't know what I would have thought, had I picked up FF7 when it had first come out... maybe I would have seen things differently. But now, I'm just bored by perfection, and long to see inimate growth in a believably human form.
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« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2007, 07:10:14 PM »

I dunno.  A lot of 15-18 year olds who played FF8 loved it because they felt they could really identify with Squall.  On the other hand, a lot of people in their 20s and up who played FF8 didn't like it... because they could really identify with Squall.  Squall was the "emo kid" teenager that many of us older gamers were at 15-17 and many of us want to forget that aspect of ourselves.  

The stuff Squall said and many of his actions are typical of what went through my head when I was 16.  

But you know, even now... it's been about 10 years since FF7 came out and almost 10 years since FF8 came out and if we're debating the merits and demerits of those games' stories even now, they've apparently struck a chord with enough people that there has to something really good in them.
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Lard
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« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2007, 01:18:08 PM »

Quote from: "Willy Elektrix"

Wasteland is an interesting choice. I agree. While I didn't think the overarching plot was very interesting (in fact, I can only vaguely remember it), I thought that the narratives that occured in the places you visited were really cool. So, in a way, it had a lot of interesting stories, but not really a good plot.


It's been a *loooooooong* time since I've played it - but I remember really enjoying it at the time.

Of course, this was at the point where RPGs still came with encyclopedia thick manuals full of paragraphs you had to read. I just recall it being particularly well written.

Pool of Radiance was good like that also.

Final Fantasy 8? Easily one of my most hated RPGs of all time.

Hated the characters, hated the story, hated the drawn out summons that you had to sit through. Not only, easily, the worst Final Fantasy, but one of the worst RPGs I've ever played in my life. Couldn't even finish it - and I slogged through until "the big revelation" which makes Tales games look like political thrillers by comparison.

Bloodstar - why won't you "forgive" FFX?
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Bloodstar6078
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« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2007, 03:34:33 PM »

Quote
Bloodstar - why won't you "forgive" FFX?

Because I expect a company like Square not to repeat those mistakes.

Then there is the fact that the whole time I played FFX I wanted to know why Sin was destroying crap and killing people, and then I found out it was Yu Yevon and that apparently Yu Yevon doesn't have a purpose. At least FF8 had some other enemies and some other things going on to keep me entertained.

Then you can consider the fact that there were a bunch of things about X that pissed me off, like Tidus and the Grid System. FF8 was far from perfect as well, but if you fixed the problems in both games I'd still prefer FF8.[/quote]
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