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Author Topic: Just started Strange Journey...  (Read 5132 times)
PaleRobbie
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« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2010, 04:01:37 PM »

@Fei - I wasn't trying to imply a complete design overhaul.  I'm actually having a good deal of fun with the game, but I do think some things could be changed to make the game even better.  Sure, there is a great deal of satisfaction in equipping armor that will stop that type of attack.  Totally understand where you are coming from on that.  I just wish the game didn't have to kill me in order to teach me that mechanic.  Having to die to figure out how to beat a boss (a'la Castlevania Order of Ecclesia) is super frustrating.  Having to kill me with mudo in order to teach me to avoid it just makes me roll my eyes and wonder why I'm playing.

@Gen - There are general outlines but I'm noticing that certain responses that seem right aren't necessarily correct.  Sure, this adds a layer of intensity and randomness to the encounters, but along with that comes annoyance and tedium.  Completely agree that there are different types of games for different people.  I'm sure some people would consider my "improvements" completely detrimental to the SMT experience.  I get that. 

I think people are missing the point I'm trying to make, which means I'm probably not expressing it correctly.  I'm annoyed at the anachronistic fail state design in video games today.  I have a full time job, and precious free time to play games.  When I die in a game and am forced to replay certain sections I feel like I'm wasting my time.  Imagine if you were watching a movie, and then every ten or so minutes someone asked you to rewind five minutes to recap what just happened.  Wouldn't that drive you a little mad?  I understand that some people really want a challenge, as Gen pointed out, and that's perfectly fine and awesome.  But you can have challenge in a game without throwing me backwards in terms of progress. 

Strange Journey is a fun game, and I'll probably go back to it after a couple days away from it.  I'm glad other people are enjoying it, but I do think that some little changes here and there could have made this game even better. 

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Eusis
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« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2010, 05:01:24 PM »

While there's quite a few games I think could be improved a lot by changing that death mechanic I can't feel the same about Strange Journey for reasons already cited. With that said, I would've at least appreciated an Etrian Odyssey-esque 'save your map' feature upon dying, if only so I can waste less time retreading familiar areas and zoom straight to the new stuff more easily.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 05:52:47 PM by Eusis » Logged
MeshGearFox
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« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2010, 05:11:56 PM »

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Having to die to figure out how to beat a boss (a'la Castlevania Order of Ecclesia) is super frustrating.

You got killed by a boss in SJ?

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But you can have challenge in a game without throwing me backwards in terms of progress.  

Sure but SJ is really generous with save points. You're never really that far from them and you have a really, really high run chance most of the time.

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I find it very frustrating and tedious because the answers feel arbitrary at times and you can end up losing a conversation even if you seem to pick the right answers.

Demons that match your alignment respond consistently to normal conversation questions. The only cases where things get random are:

1. If it's a full moon, the correct choice is always random.
2. If it's an unknown demon, the correct choice is random.
3. If a demon is the same alignment as you, sometimes you get random bonuses, like, they just decide to join you even if you answer wrong.
4. If the demon is of the opposite alignment, then sometimes they still get mad at the right answer because they're not of the right alignment and they hate you.
5. If it's a beast or some other thing you can't converse with, none of the choices you make will do anything anyway.

This behavior is consistent even in terms of when it gets random and I'm not sure what's illogical about it. Also each demon *race* has its own personality, meaning that Dragon X is likely to respond the same way as Dragon Y, so once you figure it out for a demon of one family, conversing with other demons of the same family should be more or less doable (Unless I got this wrong and demon personality isn't related to family but in any case there's still a finite number of personalities and they're all blatant).

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You could still be cryptic in the descriptions (say, this type of demon is very vain) in order to keep the conversation interesting

That's the thing. It's not really hard at all to gauge a demon's personality based on their response conversations. What you're describing WAS an actual issue in a lot of the older SMT games, but Devil Summoner: Raidou whatever 2 and SJ actually really addressed that.

If I had to name some things that I thought were legitimate design flaws it'd be like:

1. Some of the sidequests have either ambiguous or flat out wrong hints. Like the cu chulain one. Cu Chulainn thing had other issue I took issue with, though.

2. You should not goddamn have to face hidden doors to find them. If they're within your Demonica's radar range, they should pop up, like everything else.

3. There seriously should have been--if there's not. I don't think there is, though--some demonica app for lighting up the dark hallways. Those were annoying and didn't really add much to the game.

4. Also ALL npcs should be marked on your minimap. Not just the questgivers. Alternatively make NPCs visible from more than one space away. this is actually something I seriously hate about oldschool RPGs in general. Xeen was nice about it in that random townie NPCs were always founds by clicking on chairs or tents or something. Older SMT games, Wizardry 6/7, and uh... anything using the bard's tale engine? They got sort of dumb about this.

Or again barring having this as a feature outright, make a demonica app for it.

5. Enemies should be able to combo for hitting a weakness. It's not really fair that only the player can do that. The onesided nature of it makes the game a bit easy.
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« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2010, 05:18:21 PM »

@Eusis -  See, there's a great idea that would make the game a tad bit more forgiving.  It would also keep me from feeling like I wasted my time since I would still have the map to show for all my work.

@Mesh - Not trying to be a prick, but was all that conversation explanation anywhere in the game?  I mean, maybe I missed a journal entry on it, in which case shame on me.  But if I had to look that up online to figure out the moon phases and all that crap then we would have another issue to add to the list for this game.  Again, if it's in the game then I'm an idiot and will gladly wear that moniker.  Most of your other complaints I can't really comment on because I haven't gotten too far in SJ just yet. 
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Gen Eric Gui
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« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2010, 05:33:55 PM »

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3. There seriously should have been--if there's not. I don't think there is, though--some demonica app for lighting up the dark hallways. Those were annoying and didn't really add much to the game.

There is an app for that.  You get in in Sector D.  It actually makes exploring those areas WORSE, because it has to do the whole scan thing every time you enter a dark area, and with some sections of maze popping you in and out like whack-a-mole, it gets annoying.

@PaleRobbie: Well, that's the way it works in all the SMT games, but I'm fairly positive they tell you in the Demonica system encyclopedia almost all of that information.  And even then, there's NPC's on the ship who will walk you through all the systems in baby-steps if you don't feel like going through the encyclopedia, although none of the tutorials are mandatory.  I am 99% sure they cover demon attitudes in the conversation tutorial.
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Fei
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« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2010, 05:40:16 PM »

Imagine if you were watching a movie, and then every ten or so minutes someone asked you to rewind five minutes to recap what just happened.  Wouldn't that drive you a little mad?  I understand that some people really want a challenge, as Gen pointed out, and that's perfectly fine and awesome.  But you can have challenge in a game without throwing me backwards in terms of progress.  

That's a terrible way to think about it though.  When you die, it's not because you were too slow on the ATB decisions, or got unlucky with your evasion rates... it's likely because you didn't know that the demon could cast a spell you were weak to.  That situation really shouldn't repeat itself (and should only -kill- you in the case of mudo/hama, which has only happened to me once, at the same point it happened to you).  The demons you face don't change every 10 minutes either...

Also, you don't have to die to learn the mechanic, although it is faster than filling up the analysis gauge for that demon :)  Knowledge is power in SMT.

You aren't attacking a mechanic specific to SJ.. you're complaining that when you die, you lose unsaved data.  Get the rest of your issues with the game in order, and I'm sure it won't bother you, as it didn't bother you in <insert just about any other JRPG>

As for conversations, most of what Mesh posted is apparent in game, with the moon and beast type info flat out told to you.  I personally didn't realize that demon race played into it beyond the beast thing, but that is just me.  I'd recommend the Relax Spray app for you.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 05:44:24 PM by Fei » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2010, 05:58:35 PM »

MC: Your mother fucks Jack Frost in Hell.

Nyx: What?! I will fucking kill you - *Relax Spray*

Nyx: Well, I never did like that bitch. Do you have 180 Macca?
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Darilon
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« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2010, 06:45:15 PM »

The only thing that really annoyed me about SJ was when in the middle of negotiating they say "I want 1,005,002 Macca. Only joking, did you believe me?"

I did not mind it when Faeries did it because, well... they are Faeries. It really got on my nerves after a while though.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 06:52:58 PM by Darilon » Logged

PaleRobbie
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« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2010, 07:22:12 PM »

@Fei - I haven't experienced the mudo death thing in many other RPGs, but it would piss me off in any of those.  DQ9 started piling on cheesy attacks in the last two dungeons.  Random critical hits would kill nearly any character outright, sending you back to the beginning of the dungeon to heal and prepare again.  This annoyance was compounded by the fact that the enemies weren't hard in and of themselves.  The game just started giving out a higher critical chance. 

I think you missed the point of my movie argument.  Sure, that type of mudo thing won't happen again if I take the proper precautions, but now I'm fucking paranoid because something else could happen in a similar fashion and set me back again.  It's the loss of progress that bothers me.  That and the fact that I didn't see it coming, and the game teaches me a lesson by sending me back to the title screen. 

Similar thing happened in Persona 4 one time.  My main character had a persona equipped that was weak to ice.  I run into a battle with three new enemies I've never seen before.  They each cast ice and attack the main character when he's down and kill him outright in one turn.  Loss of progress, no way to know it was coming, shame on me for not being clairvoyant to see that coming. 
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Darilon
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« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2010, 07:32:01 PM »

That risk factor is what draws certain people to these games though. Although it allowed you to keep your map progress, Etrian Odyssey could be just as harsh.  If they did make the changes you mention it may allow other gamers to enjoy it more but it could also lose that attractiveness that drew people to it in the first place.

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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2010, 10:20:14 PM »

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@Mesh - Not trying to be a prick, but was all that conversation explanation anywhere in the game?  I mean, maybe I missed a journal entry on it, in which case shame on me.  But if I had to look that up online to figure out the moon phases and all that crap then we would have another issue to add to the list for this game.  Again, if it's in the game then I'm an idiot and will gladly wear that moniker.  Most of your other complaints I can't really comment on because I haven't gotten too far in SJ just yet.  

The moon phases thing has been a standard feature of the Megaten games since at least SMT1 on the SNES. I'm pretty sure it was explained in SJ somewhere, in any case. Either in-game or in the manual. If not, at the least, if you talk to an enemy on a full moon the game TELLS you that demon conversations aren't normal on full moons.

In terms of alignment affecting how demons respond to you, if that wasn't in the manual, it seriously should be apparent. And the game tells you the conversation might not go well if you're doing a cross-alignment conversation.

I mean seriously now you're complaining that this stuff isn't explained in game even though it is.

Also mudo and hama attacks rarely work against the main character unless he's weak to them or there are no other demons out. And if you're wearing mudo-weak armor in an area where you're *not absolute 100% certain* that nobody can cast it, then... that's sort of your own fault. That's not a matter of clairvoyance. It's a matter of not wearing weak-to-instant-death-attacks into an unknown area being common sense.

And instant death attacks WERE annoying in, er... I never played P4 but I played p3, but that's because P3 had a different save mechanic, where you had to lose a lot of in-dungeon progress, potentially, to save. In SMT: SJ, save points are never that far away from you.

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I personally didn't realize that demon race played into it beyond the beast thing, but that is just me.

It doesn't, really, outside of like, UMAs and other map-search enemies not being conversable. Demon personality matters, although, as I said, that seems to line up one to one with demon race. It might not, though.

---edit---

Yeah all that stuff you were complaining about is explained in the in game tutorial. I just checked.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 10:23:18 PM by MeshGearFox » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2010, 11:38:59 PM »

@Mesh - Read my post carefully, friend.  I said I wasn't sure if it was explained, and shame on me if it was.  After looking through the manual and my in-game journal the game does say that moon phase and alignment are important.  I get that.  However, you did a better job of explaining the mechanics than the game did.  After reading your post I have a better understanding of how to win these conversations and recruit new demons.  It doesn't take away the fact that there is still a level of randomness in the instances that can (at least for me) prove annoying.  I'm glad you like the feature, but I don't.  We're allowed to disagree on a game, man. 
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2010, 08:32:01 PM »

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However, you did a better job of explaining the mechanics

I learned how the mechanics worked by playing the game and this isn't at all difficult to do because they're pretty simple. This is largely the same way we all learned not to walk into Goombas in Mario because I sure as shit didn't read the manual back then because I was like three and didn't know how to read.

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We're allowed to disagree on a game, man.

If your ultimate point is that we should all just agree to disagree then why did you even bother bringing up your opinion in the first place?
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« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2010, 08:59:57 PM »

There is only one way to settle this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxkr4wS7XqY
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« Reply #44 on: July 30, 2010, 06:42:44 AM »

All I have to say is my hat is off to anyone who managed to get through that last dungeon without using a faq.
I already complete game two time (normal and chaos ending) without using any FAQs or map... Hmmm... Manual may be faqs or not???))
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