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Author Topic: WRPG virgin no more!  (Read 6887 times)
Summoner Yuna
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« on: June 19, 2011, 06:26:22 PM »

So, I finally did it! After scrupulous research and recommendations I settled for Baldur's Gate and its expansion Tales of the Sword Coast. At first I didn't know what to expect. But I battled gnolls and wolves, spiders and wyverns until the conclusion. And it was extremely satisfying.

First I'll do a brief review of the game and then I'll say something on the ongoing debate between JRPGs vrs. WRPGS.

Let me start by saying that to play this game I was in need of a completely different mindset than when playing a JRPG. I had to familiarize myself with a bunch of terms and stats which I was not used to in JRPGS. This is an AD&D based RPG after all. Even though combat was difficult it was extremely fun and enjoyable once I got the hang of everything. And of course I had to adapt myself to real-time. The world of Baldur's Gate is fully fleshed out and it's fascinating. But more on the gameplay first. Whereas in JRPGs death is but an inconvenience to recuperate from and quickly before you get a game over (not including Fire Emblem, lol), in Baldur's Gate it must be avoided at all costs. Sure, it's possible to resurrect characters but you're better off avoiding death in the first place. These kind of games ask you to debilitate and incapacitate the enemy in the shortest amount of time possible. Don't let archers pelt to death your mage or cleric. Don't let mages get there spells off in the first place. Of course drawing out a battle in a JRPG is just as dangerous but is more of a possibility. There's usually (not always) a way to avoid a fatal attack or a strategy to do huge amounts of damage. Can't figure out how to beat Emerald Weapon in FFVII? There are some materia combinations and setups that can ensure victory. You can't beat Omega Weapon in FFVIII because it's using its insta-death attack? Just junction 100 death spells and you're good to go.

No such thing in Baldur's Gate or other WRPGs like it. Yo can prevent and protect to a certain extent but there's nothing that'll guarantee victory.

Does this mean that JRPGs are piss easy and WRPGs are superior? Not by a longs hot. It's just two different design philosophies. It also depends on the type of game you're playing. In more action or real-time RPGs it's difficult to make a definite strategy against a certain enemy as opposed to turn-based ones. Of course, both types of games require you to know the mechanics of the game and even metagame to come out victorious.Some people hate on JRPGs just because a lot of them are turn-based. I can understand that for some people turn-based may not appeal to them and that's fine. But calling turn-based out-dated or simplistic is not something I can agree with.

Both real-time RPGS like Baldur's Gate have their place in the gaming world just as turn based like Final Fantasy, Xenosaga, or Dragon's Quest have theirs.

None is inherently better than the other, IMO. I just wanted to throw my two cents about this, rather than doing just a review. 
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 07:23:46 PM »

Quote
Does this mean that JRPGs are piss easy and WRPGs are superior?

About this. Planescape Torment, which is by the Baldur's Gate guys and plays really similarly, is actually pretty easy and much more of a... well, point-and-click adventure game, in a sense. Same for Ultima 7. Both ofthese, by the way, are very story oriented and have quite excellent stories.

SMT:N, on the other hand, isa JRPG that plays like what you were describing about Baldur's Gate -- you can't just run in and attack, you have to find a way to cripple the enemy first.

The magic moment really isn't discovering that you dig both Western and Eastern RPGs. It's when this revelation makes you realize in turn the extent to which there's variety within BOTH branches.

(Also people hate on JRPG because they're linear and, well, because stuff like Star Ocean 3 is wrongfully considered typical JRPG storytelling. WRPGs actually have a long history of being turn-based. Baldur's Gate is actually /technically/ turn based in some really loose sense, based on how it adheres to the D&D ruleset. Which I don't understand at all. But LOADS of WRPGs are turn-based. It's only really recently that the majority are realtime).
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o/` I do not feel joy o/`
o/` I do not dream o/`
o/` I only stare at the door and smoke o/`

Kevadu
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 09:17:30 PM »

About this. Planescape Torment, which is by the Baldur's Gate guys and plays really similarly

Hate to get all nitpicky, but that isn't true.  Baldur's Gate was made by Bioware and published by Interplay under their Black Isle label.  Planescape: Torment was made by Interplay's internal Black Isle team (same guys who did the original Fallout games), though they did borrow the engine from Bioware which is why they play similary.

Random trivia:  After Black Isle Studios was disbanded a lot of the people who worked there went on to start Obsidian Entertainment, who most recently made Fallout: New Vegas.  And so we have come full circle.
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hell_snake
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2011, 09:40:36 PM »

Random trivia:  After Black Isle Studios was disbanded a lot of the people who worked there went on to start Obsidian Entertainment, who most recently made Fallout: New Vegas.  And so we have come full circle.

So you're telling me, the guys who made Planescape: Torment are the same people who made Alpha Protocol?

Oh how the mighty have fallen :(
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Archendrus
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2011, 09:50:37 PM »

Baldur's Gate was the first wrpg that I got into as well.  I prefer old school turn based battles personally, but I still really loved the system in BG.  Strategic realtime, not action realtime.  That way I could still kick back with a beer and play =D  Wrpg's generally offer some really good stories as well, though sometimes the non-linear nature of some games throw the pacing off for me. That's why I still love a nice convuluted and linear jrpg story =D
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2011, 10:02:49 PM »

Hate to get all nitpicky, but that isn't true.  Baldur's Gate was made by Bioware and published by Interplay under their Black Isle label.  Planescape: Torment was made by Interplay's internal Black Isle team (same guys who did the original Fallout games), though they did borrow the engine from Bioware which is why they play similary.


Cut me someslack bro, interplay's internals are like the biggrest clusterfuck on earth OUTSIDE of Sony's internets. Also apparently the Infinity Engine was originally used by PST before the game it was INITIALLY built for got re-engineered into Baldur's Gate. Which is why it has some rather noticeable differences.

Also most WRPGs weren't excessively non-linear till Bethesda came and fucked everything up.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 10:05:20 PM by MeshGearFox » Logged

o/` I do not feel joy o/`
o/` I do not dream o/`
o/` I only stare at the door and smoke o/`

Archendrus
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2011, 10:17:40 PM »


Also most WRPGs weren't excessively non-linear till Bethesda came and fucked everything up.

I'll buy that.  Usually when I make a complaint about non-linearity in general, it's inspired by a Bethesda product.
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Kevadu
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 10:59:32 PM »

Also most WRPGs weren't excessively non-linear till Bethesda came and fucked everything up.

More like until Bethesda suddenly became popular.  It's not as if they only started doing their thing recently.  Arena came out in 1994.  I never did play Arena, but I did sink quite a bit of time into Daggerfall back in the day.  I skipped Morrowind but did eventually check out Oblivion after all the hype, and honestly it shocked me how little things had changed since Daggerfall.  Sure the graphics were much improved and they are always playing with the mechanics (yet somehow never fail to produce something broken and exploitable), but the gameplay feels identical.  Oh yeah, their newer games have fewer bugs, at least.   No, really.  Daggerfall was a complete mess.

It always amuses me when people talk about the lack of innovation in JRPGs and then use Bethesda games as an example of what WRPGs are doing.  Bethesda hasn't changed their formula in 17 years..
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 11:06:22 PM »

Daggerfall's schtick was mostly the huge number of randomly generated quests which was pretty much taken lock, stock, and cock from Frontier: Elite 2 and Frontier: First Encounters and other some other really obscure German RPGs that did similar shit.

The huge empty world thing gets boring fast these-a-days, same for the endless dungeons that break 9/10 times. The other schtick was the huge and detailed but decidedly pointless skill system. You could create a really detailed character. none of the detail mattered.

Arena could be seen as grafting Heretic onto Might and Magic. Actually, Arena plays a lot better. No skill system, so less bullshit there. Less buggy. Everything's still pretty randomized, but uh, reasonable. You actually see shit if you wander around in nature even if it's impossible to actually travel between towns (literally -- you have to fast travel, towns aren't connected in a global map). The random dungeon generator could also pop out some interesting things.

Morrowind is sort of less bullshit than Oblivion in that it also tends towards really small and reasonable missions, a somewhat more developed quest structure, and the game environment is DEFINITELY more detailed.

Still, though, Bethesda is DEFINITELY not an innovative company at all.
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o/` I do not feel joy o/`
o/` I do not dream o/`
o/` I only stare at the door and smoke o/`

Alisha
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 11:18:04 PM »

i think the first wrpg i played was a game for mac called realmz-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realmz. later i played diablo on psx then diablo 2.
while i do find most wrpgs to not be palatable to a female player i do enjoy the various diablo clones. i played both baldurs gate games for ps2 and both of the champions of northath games as well as x-men legends 1 and 2. also played marvel ultimate alliance but never got around to MUA2.
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“Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.”
MeshGearFox
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 12:40:51 AM »

Quote
female player

Can you fucking stop bringing your gender up in ever goddamn thing.
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o/` I do not feel joy o/`
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Alisha
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 01:13:51 AM »

no....

would you prefer if i said i dont like rpg's with guys with big roided out muscles because they offend my eyes?
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“Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.”
Kevadu
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 01:58:55 AM »

no....

would you prefer if i said i dont like rpg's with guys with big roided out muscles because they offend my eyes?

Actually I would prefer that.  It's a lot more insightful.
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Lazlowe1984
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 03:02:48 AM »

I popped my WRPG cherry with Ultima 7.Goooood times.I was pregnant with Elder Scrolls the following year.

Now I mainly sleep with Fallout New Vegas and he is good to me.He reminds me of the first boy I ever loved,Fallout.
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John
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2011, 11:09:31 AM »

while i do find most wrpgs to not be palatable to a female player

I'd actually like for you to expand on this thought.  I know that you, personally, are not fond of WRPGs.  How and why do you feel that this bleeds over to your gender as a whole?  Do you feel that it's related to setting?  Characters?  Art style?  If any of these, expand on why you feel that Japanese titles don't suffer from the same pitfalls.
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