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Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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Eusis
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« Reply #2895 on: April 03, 2013, 11:10:56 PM »

Well, I think to a degree some go with controls or systems that can only work about as well as their hardware will allow, and a lot of older computer RPGs depended heavily on outside materials to explain things to you rather than being largely self explanatory. It's a big reason why Ultima IV isn't as accessible as Fallout 1, Ultima IV even straight up says stop playing and read the fucking books.

This is also why I tend to feel most JRPGs aged just fine from the SNES onwards unless they were just a pain to play in the first place, I definitely had more trouble with EP back in 2000 or 2001, whereas SMT:N's just better designed period.
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« Reply #2896 on: April 03, 2013, 11:31:00 PM »

Hate to break it to you, but the older games are pretty much unplayable. 

This is a load of horseshit. They are not unplayable, you simply refuse to put the time in to enjoy them.

Strange Journey on the DS is an old school, first person dungeon crawler.
Same with Etrian Odyssey. I suppose those are unplayable too?
It half makes me think we're getting the EO remake strictly for the P3/P4 crowd.

Well, the thing you most commonly find is that people expect P3/P4 type gameplay from P2, and are disappointed when that's not the case.

This is 100% correct.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 11:33:28 PM by Lard » Logged

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Eusis
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« Reply #2897 on: April 03, 2013, 11:42:11 PM »

Hate to break it to you, but the older games are pretty much unplayable.  

This is a load of horseshit. They are not unplayable, you simply refuse to put the time in to enjoy them.

Strange Journey on the DS is an old school, first person dungeon crawler.
Same with Etrian Odyssey. I suppose those are unplayable too?
It half makes me think we're getting the EO remake strictly for the P3/P4 crowd.

The problem you're making is the assumption it's just about the TYPE of gameplay that puts people off rather than a deeper balance or design problem. P2(:EP anyway) can be kind of dependent on grinding for cards for creating persona then grinding a bit to make them useful, and I don't believe the demons/player characters were as well balanced in older MegaTen games, plus I recall P1 could get annoying where you're trying to fuse persona and some simply can't be used by any of your characters at all. This sort of stuff doesn't apply to Strange Journey, and Etrian Odyssey not only is a non-factor here but IS an attempt to smartly modernize Wizardry-style gameplay... and the older Wizardry or Might & Magic games WOULD be considered unplayable by modern standards, and were likely kind of alienating back then anyway.

It's part of why I said everyone has their limits though: some can't stand how completely hands off really REALLY old games were, whereas there's a bunch of modern gamers who'd be dumbstruck by needing to do anything but grab the next gun and move move move.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 12:13:37 AM by Eusis » Logged
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« Reply #2898 on: April 03, 2013, 11:43:32 PM »

Is the game play really that different though?
It doesn't seem like it's evolved *that* much.
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« Reply #2899 on: April 03, 2013, 11:48:33 PM »

Is the game play really that different though?
It doesn't seem like it's evolved *that* much.

Specifically with P1 and P2: I'd say P3's definitely more accessible than either, ESPECIALLY P1. Whole party management of personae is replaced by managing a selecting for just the MC, and you slot in the other characters for combat as relevant. Though P1 DOES go for straighter fusion more akin to P3 so that helps some.

Admittedly this IS streamlining, but that isn't inherently bad either.
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« Reply #2900 on: April 03, 2013, 11:53:24 PM »

I meant has game play changed from old Wizardry games to games like Strange Journey or EO now.

Sorry for not being clear.
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« Reply #2901 on: April 03, 2013, 11:57:42 PM »

Based on what I played of at least Might & Magic? The gameplay may not be fundamentally THAT different, but it introduces you to the game better and figuring out what to do, and isn't balanced so you'd QUITE as easily be curbstomped at the offset.

I admittedly also may've just been more interested in seriously playing EO too, though it helps you have a map always there that you update yourself versus needing to pile up on graph paper.
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« Reply #2902 on: April 04, 2013, 12:04:44 AM »

There are plenty of games as old or older than P1 that I can still play and enjoy today.  I think Eusis is right that it's not so much the style of gameplay as it is the balance and finer details.  Simply having the same format does not make two games equivalent.

The early SMT games had real issues, and I can't help but think that anyone who claims otherwise is wearing some rose-colored glasses.
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« Reply #2903 on: April 04, 2013, 12:58:34 AM »

I think the thing to realize is that your happy memories with these games and the fun you had do not age poorly-- in their own context and in the time they came out, these games had the power to compel you. When you go back to replay them, they may have aged mechanically, and to say "these archaic mechanics are brilliant!" is disingenuous, but that doesn't mean that the fantastic time you had with it is any less true or valid or you being "a stupid kid."

It's like an old piece of literature. It might become antiquated and wonky as time goes on, but the impact it had in its time was very real and not devalued by it becoming somewhat antiquated-- you simply have to adjust your expectations and realize you're reading something from another era of literature and appreciate it for what it is. This of course doesn't apply all the time, because some stuff DOES manage to avoid this to an extent.

TL;DR: may age mechanically, but you can still appreciate it for what it is.
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« Reply #2904 on: April 04, 2013, 01:16:12 AM »

On the other hand it may've really just been a pain in the ass to get into initially! I depended way more heavily on a FAQ for playing Persona 2: EP than most other games because I kept creating the wrong Persona for tackling a new dungeon, and sometimes would be locked into it with no recourse. Wipe out everything that came afterwards, and it'd STILL be way more of a pain to play than something like Final Fantasy IX, Skies of Arcadia, Dragon Quest VII (though the class system was kind of crap) whatever.

Though somewhat ironically it IS faster paced than those were.
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« Reply #2905 on: April 04, 2013, 04:22:56 PM »

Looking at how IS remake made me feel, I really hope SH doesn't have a retarded encounter rate.
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« Reply #2906 on: April 04, 2013, 04:55:34 PM »

@Taelus: You could also just have said "things change".

As time goes on long-running franchises have to find ways to maintain relevant and evolve somehow. Of course, most of the time that's easier said than done.
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« Reply #2907 on: April 04, 2013, 06:57:37 PM »

1.
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It's a big reason why Ultima IV isn't as accessible as Fallout 1, Ultima IV even straight up says stop playing and read the fucking books.

The only time you have to consult the manual in Ultima IV is for looking up spell formulas. The other reading material is just... supplemental stuff.

The only other times Ultima games generally have you consult the manual is for answering copy protection questions.

You never have to look up passages of text from the manuals in the older Ultima games, though, like you did in Wasteland or the old Goldbox games.

Except, again, the text-in-the-manuals was a copy protection thing, and NOT a hardware limitation or conscious gameplay choice by any means, which proves that there has never been a point at which DRM doesn't fuck everything up.

Seriously though I have no idea what you're talking about here. I checked the manual for Ultima 4 all of once and never had any issues with it.

2.
The big problem I have with Persona 1's gameplay -- and I think this is the central governing Big Problem that makes all of the other possible problems relevant -- is the utter dearth of save points.

Sure, the battles are long, the encounter rate is highish even in the US version, and the dungeons are... a thing. But none of that really matters too much if you get to save frequently enough so that deaths, punishing though they may be, do not force a ton of backtracking. Add in a lot of backtracking when you die, though, and the smaller problems get huge.

I ended up save-stating through P1 and found it to be considerably more engaging than P2 from a gameplay standpoint, and P2 let you save anywhere anyway (for the most part).

3.
I think the issue with a lack of save points was also the central problem with the SMTs on the SNES.

4.
So I think there were three major improvements that Nocturne added to the formula that improved things. One was obviously Press Turn, and another was that the dungeons were just a LOT better than... a lot of other JRPGs, period. But the third really big thing, and it's a subset of the second, is that the pacing of the save points felt /really/ spot-on. Long enough apart to build tension, but close enough that you never got annoyed from backtracking.

5.
Addressing the rose tinted lenses thing:

a. I've seen a lot of people complaining about the lack of alignment affecting what demons you get, lack of sword fusions, and simplified conversation mechanics in SMT: N, compared to 1 and 2. I don't really felt like the alignment added much in those games -- it was an overlap between gameplay and story, but a kind of arbitrary one, NOBODY CARES ABOUT SWORD FUSION, and... honestly, yeah, SMT: N's negotiation stuff WAS really simple -- just bribing the demons with stuff, and then a coin-toss question at the end.

I don't really think SMT1 had... particularly stellar conversations. They were branchy and felt more like a conversation tree, but the actual answers you needed to give always felt arbitrary, so it was pretty much guess work till you figured out what actually worked. It's more in-depth in some nominal sense, but it's not really DEEPER or something you can think through.

6.
Also I think it was incredibly dumb that Atlus restored that Japanese encounter rate for the PSP port. It was high in the original US release, but not unmanageable wrt the battle lengths. Complain about the translation all you want, but rebalancing encounter rate and money/exp growth to be more reasonable was a GOOD thing.

7.
Addressing fandoms specifically, within the SMT fanbase, I only found the Persona 2 fans -- specifically, the Innocent Sin fans -- to be really unbearably elitist. They basically had that attitude where they thought Innocent Sin was perfect, and it was too DARK and EDGY for american audiences and OH MY GOD HITLER (Remember, we live in a world where WW2 games never get released, ever, and wtf even is Wolfenstein 3D???). All hail glorious Japan master race.

Although I've HEARD that oldschool SMT fans thought the Persona games were dumbed down because they were less dark than normal SMT or something. I wasn't around when THAT storm was brewin', though. Personally, I'm of the mind that, in terms of /darkness/, the original Devil Children games take the cake for sheer WTFness, so what do I know?

8.
I lost interest in Persona 3 shortly after getting Fuuka as a navigator because I really wasn't feeling much depth in the combat and the game seemed *really* easy.

The other thing is I... I don't think the life sim stuff was well implemented. You were scheduling time to make numbers increase, and I thought the interactions with the SLinks was staggeringly shallow (unless they started getting branchy or more involved later. I don't know).

9.
There were actually a lot of reviews complaining about Raidou 2 and the Persona 1/2 remakes not having the social sim aspects. Specifically with the P1/2 remakes, I'm not saying there weren't issues there, but it's like the reviews were completely ignoring those in favor of "why isn't this a dating sim?"
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 07:05:00 PM by MeshGearFox » Logged

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« Reply #2908 on: April 04, 2013, 07:11:29 PM »

Looking at how IS remake made me feel, I really hope SH doesn't have a retarded encounter rate.

SH handles it really well. It has a color meter like SJ. If the meter is red, you're in an area with stronger enemies and can't avoid them.

If it's green, Estoma lets you negate them entirely(ALWAYS have a demon with Estoma in short).


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Eusis
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« Reply #2909 on: April 05, 2013, 01:46:31 AM »

1.
Quote
It's a big reason why Ultima IV isn't as accessible as Fallout 1, Ultima IV even straight up says stop playing and read the fucking books.

The only time you have to consult the manual in Ultima IV is for looking up spell formulas. The other reading material is just... supplemental stuff.

The only other times Ultima games generally have you consult the manual is for answering copy protection questions.

You never have to look up passages of text from the manuals in the older Ultima games, though, like you did in Wasteland or the old Goldbox games.

Except, again, the text-in-the-manuals was a copy protection thing, and NOT a hardware limitation or conscious gameplay choice by any means, which proves that there has never been a point at which DRM doesn't fuck everything up.

Seriously though I have no idea what you're talking about here. I checked the manual for Ultima 4 all of once and never had any issues with it.

Huh, maybe they were just proud of what they wrote and wanted you to REALLY get into it. Though I think that was mainly reading the lore books to get in character (heh) more than anything else.
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