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Author Topic: Where Should I Begin?  (Read 2385 times)
Vanguard
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« on: July 15, 2010, 11:50:25 PM »

I haven't really owned or played any video games for the last four years, but after I found a DS Lite on eBay for super cheap, I've decided to re-enter the world of gaming. The only problem is, I don't know where to begin. I've read pretty much every DS review here and I've narrowed my options down, but I'd like some recommendations. I don't have any preference for genre, setting, or style so long as the characters/story hold my attention and the gameplay is fun. These are the games I'm considering:

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure

I love NISA and I missed out on the PS1 version, unfortunately. The only detraction is that it seems short. 10 Hours, no matter how cheap I can find this game, doesn't seem quite immersive enough. Is there considerable replay value? Does the charm of this game make up for its short play time?

Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island

I've yet to play any Atelier games, so this would be a good chance for that. I'm also attracted to the somewhat non-traditional elements that Neal brings up in his review (the de-emphasis on combat, for example). I also like how much replay potential this game has.

Magical Starsign

This game seems so ridiculously over the top and fun, but I'm weary of the somewhat weak story. Do the characters really save this cookie-cutter plot from being too predictable?

These are the three I'm really considering, but also feel free to suggest something else entirely.
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insertnamehere
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2010, 01:24:26 AM »

I was gonna post something like this asking about ds games to get for christmas, because I don't have one yet.
based on those ones you picked, I would suggest:
Luminous Arc
Mario & Luigi
Super Robot Taisen
Summon Night
Avalon Code
and maybe:
Rune Factory
Wizard of Oz
The World Ends with You
Devil Survivor
Infinite Space
Disgaea (probably already played it, though)
also maybe a few more like blue dragon, children of mana, dragon quest/final fantasy, etc. but this list is starting to get pretty long.
edit: forgot to mention Chrono Trigger even though again, you may have played it already
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 03:51:55 AM by insertnamehere » Logged

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Eusis
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2010, 01:32:34 AM »

Check out the Dragon Quest games, you may be surprised with character/story there! Also The World Ends With You is one of the more praised and original titles on the DS.
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FlamingR1ft
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2010, 01:50:27 AM »

I'd advise against Rhapsody, though I'm pure Pat (he reviewed it) will tell you otherwise. It's buggy, very short and not all that interesting. It is very cute and adorable though.

I'd highly recommend (non-RPGS included):
-- Advance Wars: Dual Strike
-- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
-- Dragon Quest V
-- Knights in the Nightmare
-- Mario Kart DS
-- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
-- Professor Layton & The Curious Village
-- Professor Layton & The Diabolical Box (I think it's called something different in the USA)
-- Super Mario 64 DS (If you never had a 64)
-- The World Ends With You

Some other (not quite as good) recommendations would be...
-- Animal Crossing: Wild World
-- Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
-- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
-- Luminous Arc
-- New Super Mario Bros.
-- Pokemon Platinum
-- Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume
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Dincrest
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2010, 07:46:21 AM »

I'll +1 The World Ends With You.  Cool story (especially when you replay the game and get the codex elements, it becomes much deeper) and the characters develop.  Okay, the main character is a cockwad in the beginning, but if you're patient enough to get through that first chapter, there's a legit reason for that.  The gameplay is both intense and fun.  That still remains the best DS RPG in my mind.

Atelier Annie was a cool little game.  It was definitely a unique experience for me.  Flawed?  Absolutely.  But fun.  

If you are a very patient gamer, Infinite Space is a surprisingly dense RPG.  

My feelings about Rhapsody are the polar opposite of Pat's.  If he rated the game a 95 I'd rate it a 59.  I played it on Playstation and thought it was terrible.  Granted, the changes to the DS version are welcome (i.e. streamlined combat) but it does not fix unfixable flaws like atrocious dungeon design.  I also didn't care for the story (though it did flip the script having the princess save the prince) nor the music.  

Same with Magical Starsign.  The game was cute and everything, but I found it slow, boring, and horribly generic.  The cutscenes were pretty, though. 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 07:48:00 AM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2010, 09:18:29 AM »

If you're going to get a DS Advance Wars game, skip Dual Strike and get Days of Ruin instead.  It's got a somewhat better balance(Still not as good as AW2 though), has online play, and the story is arguably better (Not that you'd play AW for the story anyway).

SMT is always good, so look into Devil Survivor and Strange Journey.  The World Ends With You is always a good bet, and the Ace Attourney games simply CANNOT be missed.  I'll also repeat Eusis and mention that the DQ games on the DS are pretty good, ESPECIALLY if you're looking for interesting characters.

And bairns.  If you're looking for bairns, DQ4 is for you.
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Vanguard
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2010, 09:29:15 AM »

The World Ends with You does look like a really fun, unique title.

How ugly are the ship designs in Infinite Space, Dincrest? I've looked at some of the screenshots and was not impressed. I was, however, enticed by the possibility of playing a Sci-Fi JRPG. Do the games's shortcomings overshadow what the games does right? I guess graphics are important to me here because blowing stuff up with giant ships isn't fun if they're not fun to look at.

I've never played Dragon Quest before, but the one thing that turns me off is the first person battles. I also don't know which one I should get, seeing as a new one was just released. Is the story in IV really that engrossing, Eusis? I know the new one emphasizes multiplayer and the story suffers "nameless-hero syndrome", but the gameplay itself looks fun.
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2010, 09:33:02 AM »

When it comes to visuals, Infinite Space is definitely not pretty.  Because it's in outer space, it's graphically kinda sparse.  But the deep level of ship customization and cool storyline are pretty sweet.  Battles and overall progression can be painfully slow, though, so patience is a virtue with that game.  EDIT:  I recognize Infinite Space for its brilliant ambition, but it's really not a game for everyone.  I actually liked it a lot LESS than I thought I would. 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 11:46:15 AM by Dincrest » Logged

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FlamingR1ft
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2010, 09:42:16 AM »

If you're going to get a DS Advance Wars game, skip Dual Strike and get Days of Ruin instead.  It's got a somewhat better balance(Still not as good as AW2 though), has online play, and the story is arguably better (Not that you'd play AW for the story anyway).

:O No way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hated Days of Ruin. I thought it was really lame. It tried to be serious and failed, I thought. I loved Dual Strike to death. Huge amount of side missions, commandos, special abilities, units etc. Plus, it's just great fun. If I remember correctly, Samy + Eagle = Win (except for sea battles). Though I agree that AW2 is the best.

I've never played Dragon Quest before, but the one thing that turns me off is the first person battles. I also don't know which one I should get, seeing as a new one was just released. Is the story in IV really that engrossing, Eusis? I know the new one emphasizes multiplayer and the story suffers "nameless-hero syndrome", but the gameplay itself looks fun.

I thought that about the battles too. Until I actually played it. I really grew to enjoy that it's different from other RPGs in that sense. I personally didn't like IV all that much. I could never relate to the characters. I think V is the best of the ones on DS.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 09:43:59 AM by FlamingR1ft » Logged



Gen Eric Gui
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2010, 04:27:09 PM »

Dual Strike is -shattered- in terms of game balance.  Sami + Eagle is basically an auto-win if you pull it off, and the only counter is to use solo Sasha and spam her power endlessly while taking critical losses each turn to ramp the power.  Colin + Sasha is also ludicrously powerful, not to mention craziness like Javier + Kanbei, Kanbei + Colin, or Kanbei + Sonja.  the Dual Strike function completely overrode all the other powers in the game and made the game strategically worthless.

And that's even BEFORE we get into talking about how they got a chance to fix some of the slight balance issues in AW2 and instead chose to make them worse.  Max got less powerful, while Colin and Nell got BETTER?  Colin and Grit absolutely dominated the previous game, and they didn't even try to fix them?  Did Olaf REALLY need a nerf via making snow a pointless condition?  Why did they even make Jugger when Flak has his exact stats and is in the game anyway?  What's the deal with making Koal a strictly better version of Adder?  The whole cast is all screwed up, basically the only good additions were Rachel and Jake.  (Although, Javier is AWESOME character-wise)

There are so many problems with Dual Strike that I can barely even acknowledge it as an AW game.  Days of Ruin still had some problems (Namely Tasha and Waylon being totally useless without aircraft and Lin being stupid powerful in general), but overall if you'relooking for a good GAME you're better off investing in AW2 or DoR.


That said, I did actually enjoy playing Dual Strike, it's just that the overall quality of the product really is in the toilet when compared to the other games available.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2010, 04:44:23 PM »

DQ battles are third person. Your characters are just hiding behind the menus.
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2010, 05:37:24 PM »

I've never played Dragon Quest before, but the one thing that turns me off is the first person battles. I also don't know which one I should get, seeing as a new one was just released. Is the story in IV really that engrossing, Eusis? I know the new one emphasizes multiplayer and the story suffers "nameless-hero syndrome", but the gameplay itself looks fun.

It's charming, though V is a  better choice if you're interested in story. It's best to remember that it's bare bones though, so if you're looking for a large quantity of story telling rather than sparse but charming and impactful. It's more a series of vignettes than a tale about a group of characters since you create your party and the main character, as usual, is a mute, but I find the vignettes more endearing than most JRPG narrative anyway.
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Cyril
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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2010, 06:28:54 PM »

I'd highly suggest Atelier Annie, OP.  It's a great portable title with very nice replay value.  Just don't go into it expecting the battle system to be very interesting, as you don't play the game for the battles.  Just be aware that the game is pretty much completely non-linear and you've not given much of a direction right from the get-go.
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spikyhairjon
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2010, 06:35:44 PM »

My personal favorites are Contact, Knights in the Nightmare (amazing gameplay, but the story is kind of disconnected), SMT: Devil Survivor and Strange Journey, and The World Ends With You.
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Starmongoose
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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2010, 06:36:51 PM »

Just be aware that the game is pretty much completely non-linear and you've not given much of a direction right from the get-go.

No kidding.
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