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Author Topic: Recommend me a game, please!  (Read 4537 times)
Summoner Yuna
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« on: May 04, 2010, 08:51:36 PM »

So, having recently finished Suikoden V, I've sort of reached an impasse, because I have no idea what other RPG could suit my tastes. The three RPG series that I've tried and loved (Final Fantasy, Xenosaga, and Suikoden) I found about out of sheer luck. Compared to some of you on this site I'm a complete newbie to RPGs (and gaming as a whole), so I turn to you RPG vets for adviice.

I like my RPGs to have meaningful stories without gratuitous gore or sexual innuendo. I don't mind sexual themes as long as they're handled in a mature way. In short, story is a very important aspect on how I choose my RPGs. In the gameplay department I prefer turn-based RPGs but I want to try action and strategy RPGs as well.

So I've heard about a few series or games that people would recommend playing first based on the focus on story.

Here are some that I've heard good things about:

Valkyrie Profile
Lunar
Wild Arms
Grandia
Shin Megami Tensei
Kingdom Hearts
Tales of
Vagrant Story
Xenogears
Breath of Fire
Skies of Arcadia
Dragon Quest


I would also try WRPGs such as

Baldur's Gate
Planescape Torment
Icewind Dale

I really don't know a lot about WRPGs, so any guidance on them would be very appreciated. I mentioned these because the often come up in discussions of WRPGs.

The consoles that I have are a Gamecube, a PS2 and a DS. I'm planning to get a PS3 but in the meantime I need something to keep me occupied.

Basically, you can just recommend a turn-based JRPG, a WRPG, a strategy RPG and an action RPG. If you want you can put a recommendation in just one sub-genre.

Sorry if this is all too much, but I'm really not sure which game to play. Thank you in advance!
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 09:33:07 PM »

Quote
I like my RPGs to have meaningful stories without gratuitous gore or sexual innuendo.

I guess the SMT games are out, then. Planescape: Torment's probably out too. I mean, it's maturely handled, but you still have dick monsters and a lot of blood.

SMT: Nocturne is my favorite JRPG though, by far.

Quote
I really don't know a lot about WRPGs, so any guidance on them would be very appreciated. I mentioned these because the often come up in discussions of WRPGs.

The good news is that there's a hell of a lot of free ones and they'll almost certainly work on your PC because they're very low tech. A LOT of great DOS PC RPGs out there although you might have to fiddle with a DOS emulator to get them to work.

Anyway, starting with freeware:

http://www.agdinteractive.com/games/qfg2/ - Quest For Glory 2. It's a hybrid adventure/RPG game. It's wonderful. Nice story, nice music, a really cool day/time system where different events happen at different times and you need to manage your time and stuff. Not a really huge game in terms of real estate but there is a lot of stuff to do. Three different classes to play as, and they all play differently. Also most of the puzzles have multiple solutions. A really, really great game.

http://xu4.sourceforge.net/download.php - Ultima 4. Also great. Ultima is one of my favorite series and I'd recommend Ultima 6 and 7-- and not the console ports. They were fucking terrible, sometimes unplayable and only loosely related to the originals -- for buying, although Ultima 4 is really good too. Sort of slow, at times, since combat is tactical and it can take awhile to move everyone around. First person dungeons, although they're not too hard. Pretty big world. Keep in mind that you have to take a lot of notes for this game since it sort of predates in-game quest logs. Also really heavy adventure game undercurrents. Controls are sort of weird. Interesting story about becoming an avatar for morality, which was the total opposite of stories back then which typical involved beating some Big Bad Guy and amassing loot.

... I'm seriously out of the loop and having a hard time coming up with stuff. There's LOTS of roguelikes but they're probably more difficult than what you're after.

Anyway, commercial things. These are all available from either steam or gog.com.

Fallout - Gory, but I mean, it's from like 1998 or something so it's not going to be THAT bad. Really wonderful game. Strategic combat. Lots of stuff to do. Kind of short at maybe 15 hours or so but definitely worth playing. Way better than Fallout 2 and I don't care WHAT anyone else says. Fallout 2 expands Fallout into an incredibly long epic, except it's overblown, the story sucks, the writing sucks, and the sharp satire of Fallout 1 is replaced with a bunch of stupid pop culture references.

Gothic 2 Gold - I think gog.com has it the cheapest. Sort of hard, especially till you get a hang of the controls. More open ended but not WIDE open-ended. You'll almost always have an idea what your overall goals are. Action RPG. Quite pretty. But as I said, pretty hard.

Arx Fatalis - French dungeon crawl/action RPG with goofy voice acting and sort of weird translation because it's French, originally. Takes awhile to get started but really interactive, lots of things to do, nice puzzles, fairly enjoyable albeit simple combat, and a REALLY unique magic system. And it has a great atmosphere. Plot's sort of wonky.

Might and Magic 6-pack - I don't think Steam has this. Only gog.com. First-person dungeon crawls that are actually pretty open ended and not strictly set in dungeons. The first two games are pretty archaic but 3-5 have some really great spritework and play quite nice, and 6 is ugly as hell but still plays nice. Mildly violent (or at least 6 is. 3-5 are more cute than anything). Not a lot of story but the art (in 3-5) is just dripping with personality. although the backstory is sort of neat, since these fantasy worlds you're playing on are actually research stations orbiting around a sun or something.

Space Rangers 2: Reboot - Steam has this one. Space trader RPG with text adventure and RTS minigames. REALLY awesome. No actual story per se but it's got this persistent war that like... the results of it depend ENTIRELY on in-game stuff, and the world is really alive feeling. Second best game in the genre I've played after Hardwar (Which is not so much an RPG and also questionable as to whether or not it's freeware. The developers actively encourage people to download it for free though I'm not sure who owns the rights to it).

X-Com UFO Defense and X-Com Apocalypse - Sort of the high water mark for PC Strategy RPGs. You manage this force of dudes that's fighting aliens. You have tactical missions but you also have to build bases to dispatch from, do research, and shoot down ufos. All sorts of great stuff. Only on Steam (oddly enough). Skip Terror from the Deep since it's basically UFO defense, but with different graphics and a lot of bugs.

Jagged Alliance 2- This one's on GOG. Sort of the other big PC Strategy RPG. Sort of more RPGish since it's more plot oriented. I prefer X-Com, though.

Anyway, in terms of old DOS games, Ultima 6 and 7 are great. Ultima 7's probably my favorite PC RPG although they're really hard to find now.

anyway, rundown on my favorite console RPGs by system:

Gameboy (Color):
Any of the Final Fantasy Legend games
Final Fantasy Adventure
The GBC Zeldas


SNES:
Soulblazer
Illusion of Gaia
Terranigma
Earthbound

Genesis:
Landstalker
Shadowrun (which is different from the SNES one which wasn't very good)
Warriors of the Eternal Sun

PSX:
Saga Frontier
Chrono Cross
Final Fantasy IX
Persona 1
Valkyrie Profile sort of..?
Arc the Lad 2

PS2:
SMT: Nocturne
SMT: Devil Summoner 2
Ookami
Romancing Saga: Minstrel's Song
Seriously I haven't even had my PS2 on since like December and I don't even remember what games I have for it.

Gamecube:
Tales of Symphonia
Twilight Princess
Skies of Arcadia's pretty cool.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 09:35:58 PM by MeshGearFox » Logged

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Sagacious-T
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 09:43:43 PM »

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Gen Eric Gui
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2010, 10:06:14 PM »

Since when does SMT have gratuitous gore or sex?  I mean, you get occasional jokes like Mara and Vaginaman in Devil Survivor, but on the whole the games have very mature topics and ideas presented in a very mature way.  It's certainly better then the way, say, Breath of Fire 3 handles sex.

Breath of Fire is fantastic, though.  I'd suggest that and SMT.
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Kevadu
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2010, 10:38:07 PM »

Since when did Planescape: Torment have gratuitous gore or sex, for that matter?  It's definitely a mature game, but that's because of the writing.  It's all in text, they don't show you hardly anything.  I wouldn't describe it as having 'a lot of blood'.
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010, 11:25:46 PM »

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 or any Persona game... and that´s a saga that will take many hours of your life.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2010, 03:11:27 AM »

Only Breath of Fire game I liked was 5. I thought 4 was boring and devoid of any interesting features, and I thought the first two were just horrible by any metric except for maybe music because BoF1 DID have nice music (not 2, though).

Anyway, PS:T has the brainwhores or whatever. Which isn't sexual at all and probably just a huge sendup to Harrison Bergeron because god knows people that weren't me saw that. Also scantily clad late-90s CGI models which are more grotesque than anything.

Although honestly I'm not sure what I was getting at. Maybe just giving them heads up since they mentioned it. Maybe I was thinking of BG2 which WAS sort of gratuitous.

I don't know. I play FPSes a lot and my favoritest anime ever was Fist of the North Star. I'm not sure what constitutes gratuitous gore by RPG standards.

Didn't Fallout 1 have gore settings, at that?
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ShadowLaguna
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2010, 03:46:13 AM »

Commenting on games that you're interested in (and of course the ones which I have played myself):

Valkyrie Profile is really good. However, the PS1 original is pretty rare, and you'll be lucky to catch it at a reasonable eBay price. If you had a PSP however, then there's the much cheaper option of the port, which is basically the same game with a few additions. Valkyrie Profile 2 is on the PS2, and I'd imagine that to still be fairly easy to find.

I'm not a Shin Megami Tensei veteran like the other members here on RPGFan, but I can say that Nocturne is amazing, along with Persona 3 and 4. Those three are PS2 titles.

Kingdom Hearts is one of those love/hate series. I am one of those who loves it. If you like Final Fantasy (which you do) and old-school Disney, then I'd definitely recommend checking out the first and second games.

I'm a huge fan of the Tales series, and Tales of Symphonia is one which I would definitely recommend, seeing as you have a GameCube. Another Tales games which I really like is Eternia (or Destiny II, if you live in the US) though I believe that's another rare one. Haven't played the PS2 titles. Vesperia is out on the PS3 in Japan, if you're interested in importing (PS3 games are region-less).

Vagrant Story is pretty good, but it's had some rather mixed reactions. I rather enjoyed it though.

Xenogears is another awesome title. Second disc isn't so good, but the first disc is fantastic.

I'm also a huge Breath of Fire fan. III being my favourite, which is on the PS1.

Skies of Arcadia is a must-play for every RPG fan. It's out on the GameCube. Not too sure about the rarity of it though, I've heard rare things.

Dragon Quest is another series which I rather enjoy. VIII being one of my favourite games of all time, and then there's IV and V in the DS which I would recommend (along with VI and IX coming out on the DS too).
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2010, 07:09:57 AM »

Persona 3 or Persona 4 definitely.  P4 is the more refined of the two.  And the Digital Devil Saga games.
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2010, 07:37:19 AM »

You have a PS2 so the SMT games are the obvious answer here. Start with Persona 3:Fes, if you like it go with Persona 4. If you like some of the trademark gameplay mechanics like demon fusion and elemental weaknesses and don't mind going for something more focused on dungeon crawling with a higher difficulty, random battles and darker story/atmosphere play Nocturne. It's a masterpiece, I wish I could experience it for the first time all over again. Then there are the digital devil saga games which are a lot closer to Nocturne in terms of overall game design than the persona games but have a unique battle system.
Play these games!!!
Also on the PS2, the shadow hearts games, 2 is the best imo but you should play the first game because covenant is a direct sequel. If you really like them play the third game but expect a subpar story and characters.
I don't like kingdom hearts and if you're looking for meaningful stories forget it unless you're a disney fan.
FFX and XII are very good and very different, you might like one but not the other.


Xenogears is my favorite game ever but it isn't perfect, in the end it comes down to if you like the characters and story, personally I highly recomend it.
Other mandatory psone rpgs are the FF games (play them all), grandia and chrono cross. Vagrant story is a very unique game, it's excellent but might not be your cup of tea. I'm not a big fan of the first persona, persona 2 is highly recomended though.

But seriously, do yourself a favor and play the smt games. Now.
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2010, 09:32:03 AM »

ALL wildarms (all but the 4th) are great, i recommend to play 'em all, after that grandia! 1 and 2 are great, but sadly the second was too short in my opinion, and then.... lol you put too many options lunar nice but kinda cliche story, tales of, my favorites are symphonia and abyss, breath of fire i've beat them all and loved them all, dragon quest, i highly suggest the 5th, and well kingdom hearts duh.

Anyway i recommend WA2 or 3 first :D .

Of the WRPG ive only played baldurs gate of that list, is a great game, specially if you play with someone (the one i played had 2 players option), it gives a feel of MMORPGs as well, i really enjoyed playing it, specially because i played it with someone :)
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2010, 11:26:33 AM »

I wouldn't really recommend Xenogears, either. It's kind of expensive, the story ends up being sort of silly and incoherent after a point because a lot of it was cut, and nothing about the gameplay really works.

It's got a battle system based around entering combos, which use different amounts of time units or something. Interesting in theory but in practice you just end up spamming the strongest attack available constantly which renders the whole mechanic sort of moot.

Also each combo has an elemental property associated with this but I only found one area in the game where messing with that actually seemed to matter. Realistically there's only about a half dozen enemies with elemental strengths and weaknesses.

And magic is almost entirely useless from what I recall. There are some statboosts which are theoretically useful but all the attack magic is bad, partially because of the whole "nothing has elemental strengths/weaknesses anyway" thing.

If you go for Wild Arms, for your own sanity, get the original WA1 and not the remake, Wild Arms: Alter Code F. All of the additional content was sort of shoved into a bonus dungeon at the end of the game, and for the most part there's actually less content than the original and the translation is worse as well (and literally it just breaks sometimes. NPCs start spouting out meaningless sentence fragments taken from god-knows-where).

WA1 and 2 are pretty cool though 2 started this trend of introducing a lot of arguably useless mechanics (like most of the personal skills).

And definitely get Valkyrie Profile. Just keep in mind that the gameplay mechanics don't really shine unless you're playing on hard mode. And also keep in mind that the requirements for getting the good ending are completely stupid and vaguely reminiscent of something Roberta Williams would have come up with.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 11:32:38 AM by MeshGearFox » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2010, 12:16:38 PM »

Based on your list, I'll say that Valkyrie Profile both 1 and 2 are among my favorite RPGs and they have quite an amount of story for a game that has a lot of dungeon crawling. (More story than FFXII)

Shin Megami Tensei, like anybody else here, I recommend Persona 3 and 4. Both amazing games, and these ones, like you said yourself, I found out by chance. I had heard of Digital Devil Saga, but never minded giving it a look and boy, I consider one my my biggest mistakes having overlooked these games for so long. If you want a game that will last a long time, they'll fill the spot.
During my playthroughs of both games they lasted me almost a year and I never got tired of them.

And on the WRPG side, since all games you mentioned are Bioware games, which I love myself, you should try Dragon Age. On the consoles I've seen it used on ebay for about 10 dollars and for a game this good it's a quite a deal !
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2010, 04:43:32 PM »

of note in valkyrie profile 1 is the short stories you get Chronicling each playable characters death.
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2010, 04:47:22 PM »

I really can only talk about turn-based games, since it's really the only kind I get any satisfaction from so I'll just name a few of my personal favourites.

SMT: Almost all of them. Persona 1-4, Nocturne, Devil Survivor, Strange Journey, Digital Devil Saga ( SMT really is the Daddy of the JRPG right now)

Atelier Iris: 2 was my favourite, but 1 and 3 were both excellent (3 was a little, tiny bit of a disappointment). Ar tonelico and Mana Khemia came in the mail while I am over visiting my parents in Scotland, but I'll be diving into them when I get back.

I'm sure you have played all the final fantasies worth mentioning so I won't bother.

Fire Emblem, love *love* fire emblem. I can't get enough. Path of Radiance is awesome. Though I couldn't finish Radiant Dawn, the shifting perspective while a cool idea, was not executed well. Sacred Stones is also awesome, and the remake of the first one, Shadow Dragon is worth looking at. I wouldn't mind if the next fire emblem came out on the DS as it fits well.

Jade Cocoon 2, I stole this off of my cousin when I was 12 and have cherished it since. I just like it's simple, cute storyline and the addictive monster collecting.

Warcraft III & The Frozen Throne. I'm not a fan of MMORPGS so I couldn't tell you if WoW is any good, but the Campaigns in Warcraft 3 and it's expansion are very good and very challenging. I know it's an RTS but it has heros who level up, items and weapons and skill trees. Plus the High-Fantasy setting, I think it counts.




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