So, what you're telling me is that my favorite pianist-composer is a playable character in one of the most vibrantly colored JRPGs of all time? Sold! In all seriousness, it was a pleasure playing through Chopin's dreamworld of musically-termed inhabitants and locations. I really appreciate that in between each chapter they inserted a piece of Chopin's music with alluring pictures and history on the piece/Chopin. Not only was this game fun, but it was educational as well! Now, here's hoping I get my sequel where you play as Wagner going through each of his musical dramas in a Zelda-esque fashion!
This would mark my first entry into the Tales Of franchise, but it was not the story that had my attention. Usually, the music is what catches my interest first, but this time it was a mixture of three elements: music, exploration, and gameplay. Random encounters were very enjoyable — even more so when hearing Celestia's battle theme for the first time — and the sidequests and minigames had me coming back for more (darn your addictive nature, WHIS!). Sadly, the great amount of enjoyment I had with this title would pale in comparison to its descendants.
Wild Arms 3 is one of the most charming games I've ever played. There's something greatly amusing about watching the heroes and enemies running around an arena, politely taking turns attacking one another. Yes, it's as silly as it reads, but it was something very new to me that was interesting to watch. The cartoony cel-shaded animation was a wonderful choice that brought out an even more goofier presences in the characters. However, the other reason — and the deciding factor why I chose this game out of the others in the series — was that it somehow took these cartoon-ish characters and threw them in one of the most barren wastelands I've seen in a game (the ocean has since dried up in their world). For whatever reason, those two items left an uncanny impression on me. Also, the music is wonderful.
One of my classmates in junior high recommended this game to me, testifying as to how cool it was — even hyping up the music from the game. I had no reason to doubt him, so I picked up Grandia at Funcoland and lost a month of my life. The music was spot-on delicious, the dialogue was goofy but charming, battles were surprisingly satisfying, and the story was delightful. I couldn't ask for a better game back then! If only the voice acting wasn't so... unique?
I remember that one day at recess, a classmate brought in his Game Boy and copy of Dragon Warrior Monsters. He showed it to me, explained his thoughts on it, and made it out to be the bee's knees. He had piqued my interests, so I asked my mother as a graduation present — I was in 6th grade at the time — if she could buy this for me. She did. After carefully handling the packaging and cautiously sliding the contents out, I securely placed the game in my Super Game Boy and have never been the same since. For whatever reasons, this spin-off from the main series engrossed me and kept me entertained as a kid; to this day, I sometimes brush off the dust and give it another go. There was something beautiful, yet very simple in its presentation. The story was amusingly whimsical (you enter the land of GreatTree through your dresser), and the music was a joy to listen while traversing the various worlds. However, what I found most fascinating was the breeding portion of the game. It was always exciting to see what kind of strong monster I would breed — especially monsters that would could from the most unlikely parents!