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Random thoughts on whatever JRPG you're currently playing?

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by Exhuminator, May 15, 2019.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Random encounters in towns is a venerable oldschool RPG tradition!

    (doesn't make it any less annoying though)
     
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  2. aweigh Arcane

    aweigh
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    DQ7 = best DQ.
     
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  3. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Jasede
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    Persona 5

    * Sure is good music
    * Too many girls in my party
    * Too many girls in my social links
    * Damn that music
    * Man this game is long I'm 45 hours in and in a pyramid and don't seem even at the half-way point yet
    * Man this song is a banger
    * Why can't I date the cat? It's 2019, pander to me like you pander to everyone else
    * Music slaps
    * I'm actually Yusuke
     
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  4. Rahdulan Arcane Patron

    Rahdulan
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    They're just really really long and become cumbersome at points, especially if you come from the likes of Final Fantasy or modern JRPGs. I kinda want to read reactions from someone who got into JRPGs with DQ7, for example.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. aweigh Arcane

    aweigh
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    It only took me 110 hours to beat DQ7, so I don't know what you're trying to imply!

    EDIT: Funnily enough, by far the longest a JRPG has ever taken me to beat was with my first playthrough of Elminage: Gothic. Clocked in at 160 hours or so when I finally beat all 20 floors of the last dungeon, Ibag's Tower.

    For non-japanese RPG? Hmm, probably Fallout: New Vegas? After finishing all the DLC and then doing Hoover Dam I think I ended up having something like 125 hours or so on that save-game.
     
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  6. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Jasede
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    "only" 110? That's the size of four to six modern RPGs right there.
     
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  7. Grauken Divide and Confuse Patron

    Grauken
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    Recently tried to play FF9 and I realized I hated the more adventure-like sceneries starting with FF7 that often devolved into a guessing game of where you could go, what object on the screen was relevant, etc

    Probably one reason I largely stopped playing them
     
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  8. SausageInYourFace Codexian Sausage Patron

    SausageInYourFace
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    Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I recently played DQ7 for a couple of hours and I think this game made me reevalute my opinion on JRPGs in general and JRPG writing in particular. The writing in this game is very charming and snappy, it doesn't drop huge walls of text on you but it has so many great aphoristic lines that make you either smile or stop and think for a moment. On occasion the game manages to be genuinely touching, which I can't say about a lot of games. I wish I had known that beforehand and then maybe I would've gone through the effort to collect screenshots of the best moments.

    The structure is also pretty interesting with these closed-off sections that essentially work a little like short stories or episodes. You never know what to expect and there is usually something fun and interesting going on, from creepy demons, to strange desert tribes, to uncontrollable robots to tragic love stories. Good stuff. Put some Wizardry combat on top and you have a really neat combination.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  9. aweigh Arcane

    aweigh
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    Fully agree. I think DQ7 is one of the best-written RPGs I've ever played.
     
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  10. Puukko Magister

    Puukko
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    I took me 160-170h and I don't think I went through it slowly or anything. Don't remember how much I had clocked in at the fourth palace but it's not quite the halfway point yet. You can use the calendar as a pretty good reference point; Christmas is when the real end game starts.

    --

    Moved straight on to SMTIV: Apocalypse after IV and I am liking it a fair bit more than I anticipated. I'll write a proper review once I've finished it (probably) but I've got to mention the changes they've made:

    - The world map, holy shit. It's not torturous to traverse anymore! The streets are wide, the color palette makes everything easier to see, there's names now and you've got objective markers which might be decline in many other games but here they are welcome.
    - Smirking feels like a fully fledged addition to the combat now. Coincidentally, mudo and hama spells are now way more useful despite arguably looking nerfed on paper, as they no longer have a chance to instakill by default, rather only gaining that property during smirk, otherwise they deal damage. I've very rarely used these spells in other SMT games so far due to not wanting to waste a skill slot on a spell that only works half the time at best and actually dangerous enemies being immune to them anyway. Thus it is also worthwhile to keep a weaker multi target hama spell around for those moments when that demon gets a smirk.
    - Elemental affinities are a great addition, it discourages simply dumping the same spells on several demons and actually making use of their strengths.
    - There's lots of little but very welcome QoL changes. This, along with stuff like partner commentary on the overworld does give the game a more polished feel. Speaking of partners, they're considerably more useful now, gain new spells as they level up, and you can choose who you need based on the situation at hand, so you don't have Walter using Agi on Minotaur anymore.
    - There's a couple additions that I don't like. The trap mini game from IV where you had to mash X to free yourself takes twice as long now. What was the purpose of this? in IV you could get ambushed by demons while trapped but now it just pauses the game so it's just a 6 second stop. They also increase the costs for apps and added restrictions - you need to be level 50 to get the seventh skill slots as well as the best compendium discounts, and 75 to unlock the eight skill slots. Furthermore, bumping up the difficulty increases compendium costs a lot to the point where you might as well drop the difficulty whenever fusing because they clearly want you to use the DLC for grinding macca and app points.
    - Visual design as a whole has improved, the new designs by Doi work well despite his style not being the most unique, and brings the whole game's visuals together quite well.
    - The story is honestly not nearly as bad as people made it out to be. Yes, there is a shift in tone, but making IV's drabness more light hearted still hardly makes it all sunshine and rainbows. Your friends are alright for the most part, Nozomi is bland, Asahi is a believable 15-year-old. I like the aspect of the MC actually being dead and your friends not really realizing it until later. I'm aiming for the massacre ending because why not.
     
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  11. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Jasede
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    I have to admit, I might not have the stamina for it. It's rare a Persona/SMT game makes me enjoy the story/VN segments more than the dungeons. I loved dungeon crawling in Persona 3/4 and SMT 3, but this pyramid, even though it wasn't actually that long, started to bore me. At least there aren't that many dungeons as far as I know. And it's on me, too, because I keep doing them in 1 game day when you are probably meant to stretch them out through the month as a new player. But I am an old veteran of the series...
     
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  12. Endemic Arcane

    Endemic
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    I guess tactics games with RPG elements count, so... I've been doing a lets play of Berwick Saga (PS2, Japan-only but has a ~65% complete fan translation) here on the Codex, in addition to having played most of the game on a couple of previous runs.

    [​IMG]

    It's been great fun so far, with only a few niggles (durability system, some potentially vital information is obscure, occasionally the RNG screws you, production values are a bit low I suppose). While the campaign structure is mostly linear, you have some freedom in how you accomplish the goals, including which mercenaries you hire. Some side missions are optional and can be done in a different order (your main character is not available for these, which make up ~2/3 of the game). It's rare for the objective to be routing the enemy, with a lot of variety in the 41 missions.

    Combat mechanics aren't as straightforward as they first seem, and the simultaneous turns really shake up the usual flow of SRPG combat. The writing and music are largely very good and the latter makes up for the lack of voiceovers. There is also some minor choice & consequence scattered throughout (eg protecting a specific NPC in a mission leads to a sequence of events that make a new mercenary available, etc).
     
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  13. Puukko Magister

    Puukko
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    Been playing Raidou 1, I think it's enough of an RPG to fit here. I'll get the least impressive part out of the way first - the combat. It's really only serviceable at best. You've got 3 main types of attacks with your sword and no combos to speak of. Elemental bullets help in exploiting weaknesses which causes enemies to lock up and be able to be forced to join you. You've got 1 demon in battle and the battles take place in real time in rather small areas with up to 5-6 enemy demons and a relatively high chance of backups. Aoe skills work in a circle around the caster and there's some neat stuff like confusion causing your controls to invert. You can issue basic commands to your demon and switch em out mid battle. It all works, but it is rather barebones and speeding up the emulator almost improves it. I could see something like a 50-75% boost making it consistently better. You'll be using that speedup to alleviate the high encounter rate as well. It feels even higher than in previous PS2 SMTs. Did I mention you can get attacked by zombies in broad daylight on a busy street?

    Luckily, all other aspects of the game are much better. The setting is great, 1920s Japan with Kaneko's character designs in pure kino. Traversing a historical Tokyo after spending a few games in Demon Rape Tokyo is a refreshing change and there's nice variety between the areas. The harbor has foreigners and thus western style housing. It's still a bit of a chore knowing where to go and remembering how to get there, but I've learned to deal with that by now. The game uses prerendered areas which lends the architecture much greater complexity, but it is a PS2 game so the texture quality makes the "trick" clear, particularly at higher resolutions. Still, suspension of disbelief goes a long way, and the cutscenes are actually detailed with good video quality for PS2, especially when compared to DDS' pixelated messes.

    The compendium is small, but each demon is more important and you're encouraged to keep them for longer. Demons have overworld abilities so you always have one out with you. Frost demons can chill panicking people and use the same skill to freeze water to walk over it. Some demons can read minds, others occasionally give bonuses like restore other demons' MP. To fuse demons, the source demons must have max loyalty, which is gained via winning battles with them. This doesn't take long and you can switch in the demon you want to at the last second if they're not great at battle.

    Music is great which won't surprise anyone familiar with Meguro's work. It's 1/3 DDS, 1/3 Nocturne, 1/3 original saxxy jazz.

    Plot is intriguing so far. Playing a detective is fun and I mean, you're chasing after Rasputin. It is dedidedly more plot driven than mainline SMT.

    I'll stick with the game, hopefully till the end, and continue on to 2. At ~25h it is well on the shorter end of the spectrum for SMT but I doubt it would benefit from padding anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
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  14. Licorice Savant

    Licorice
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    I'm playing Gungnir.

    I really like the time keeping system.

    It's asymmetric and it's not immediately clear how enjoyable it would be otherwise.
     
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  15. CyberWhale Arcane

    CyberWhale
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    Having random encounters in the city is immersive, interesting and highly appropriate if it fits with the narrative and the setting.
    Burglars and thieves at night, city guards if you have gained a bad reputation and so on.
     
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  16. Doktor Best Arcane

    Doktor Best
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    Four for the price of one!


    I'm currently continuing my playthrough of Trails in the Sky FC after i put it on pause because i couldnt beat the fight against Don and i couldnt backtrack to get stronger. I set down the difficulty to hard with an hexeditor because i have come to the conclusion that playing on nightmare is just too reliant on meta knowledge and should be reserved for a second playthrough. The game just likes to throw you into situations in which you are suddently cut off from resting opportunities and it is easy to fuck up because of some minor ressource mismanagement (IE you dont reload after not performing perfectly in a hard trash fight or you didnt stock up on ressources/rest)

    The other big complaint is sadly the music. There are some absolutely gorgeous pieces in the soundtrack, but it is all dragged down by some really obtrusive elevator style music pieces that just gets too much on my nerves after a while. So i decided to turn off the music completely. I will probably get a lot of shit by fans for saying this, but i just prefer it this way.

    Other than that, its still a blast. The plot gets more and more intriguing and i am slowly warming up to Estelle, who has been an annoyance up until now (i think this is on purpose). The combat is still fun and the game systems get more and more interesting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  17. Shackleton Arbiter Patron

    Shackleton
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again!
    Picked up Xanadu Next in the GOG sale and enjoying it quite a bit. It's a bit on the easy side, and I think playing it with a controller makes it easier, but I'm liking the exploration and the satisfying combat. Going with a melee build and running with 1 weapon damage buff, plunder skill, slash and an interchangeable slot for a spell or backstab damage buff. The backtracking is manageable with the shortcuts that open up and if you don't stop to bash the low level mobs then it takes a matter of seconds to get back to where you where. Puzzles so far are of the 'moving crate' type, but with the ability to change the height of the crates through bashing, which makes them require a bit more thought than say, BT4.

    Just beaten the big spider boss and opened up the Harry Potter spectacles and teleport stones. Fun game.
     
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  18. Mychkine Educated

    Mychkine
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    I'm currently playing Ys 8 on my Vita. I didn't thought I would enjoy the game that much (currently at the end of Chapter 2), since I'm more of a turn by turn classical JRPG enthousiast than of this kind of quasi-beat them all button mashing fest. There is something in this game, inbetween the tight action gameplay, the well done feeling of exploration and the simple but entertaining story that makes for a complelling game that feels more than the sum of its parts. Falcom is truly one great gaming studio, accounting for the wonderful classical JRPG Trails franchise and those kinds of treats of action-RPG games.
     
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  19. Puukko Magister

    Puukko
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    Raidou 2 does a lot of things to improve upon 1. They reuse a lot of the assets as it still takes largely place in the capital, but there's also entirely new locations.

    The combat has been improved though to what degree is debatable. You now have two demons in battle and battles start with the command menu by default which does add a bit of extra time but I believe this was a reasonable decision. Elemental bullets as items are gone, replaced with temporary elemental enchant skills for both your gun and sword that your demons can learn. Only Raidou has an MP pool anymore - or rather, MAG pool as MP and magnetite were fused into one resource. This means keeping that pool topped up is vital since your demons will become nigh useless without it. The only reliable way to replenish it is to attack stunned enemies after exploiting their weakness, which requires casting those spells, which requires MAG, so if you're so low you can't cast a single spell, the only reliable way to gain MAG is by buying it from the healer demon who appears in some areas. I've found that keeping the momentum going by constantly abusing weaknesses to replenish spent MAG is the way to go as simply setting your demons to constantly use the same abilities with no regard for enemy weakness is a good way to run out of MAG in 2-3 battles.

    The combat on Raidou's part is very similar to 1 as you'll almost always simply be button mashing and occasionally using the strong special move that I believe changes depending on your weapon. In 1 you fused demons into new weapons that gave resistances, in 2 you use materials to create them. The bonuses have also been improved from simple resistances to stuff like revival once per battle, extra MAG gain and so on. I wish they had introduced some combos at least. If someone found the mediocre combat in 1 to be intolerable, 2 does improve upon it, but not by much.

    What is cool is that they introduced proper demon negotiations after 1 had a simple minigame for forcing demons to join you. It's not Nocturne level RNG bullshit either, but you have demon personalities that respond differently to responses, and your own demons have negotiation skills to turn the tide after a bad choice. It's usually best to have demons that have negotiation skills that are strong against both female and male demons. There's also nice flavor stuff like random conversations between your demons and the enemies as well as farewell letters from demons you fuse away. All in all I'd say the game does a good job of giving the demons personality that most games in the series don't really have.

    I presume one of the main complaints for 1 was that it was difficult to know where to go, especially if you dropped the game for a long time, as there was nothing in the way of a journal or quest log, just Narumi's vague hints at the office. Now you've got Gouto constantly penning notes and sometimes during long cutscene conversations you get asked if you're still following. I think they may have even overdone it a bit - I don't have alzheimer's. The story is also quite tightly packed.

    The game also actually has alignments now which you get points towards depending on your dialogue choices. I'm not entirely sure of all the effects, but I know some bosses and quests are alignment specific. I'm going chaos for the first time ever, unless you count Nocturne's TDE.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  20. Max Damage Learned

    Max Damage
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    I've been playing several jRPGs lately, here're my thoughts:

    Dragon Quest 3 - it's fine, so far the best DQ I've played. Make whole party from the start and go adventuring, no dreadful slog start that plague so many (j)RPGs where you have to wait forever until you get to really play with full party. Not sure what to think of some of the goofier monster designs yet.

    Disgaea - always loved tacticool RPGs, this one doesn't disappoint either. The way characters learn off-class skills from classes/creatures they assemble is weird, but pretty straightforward (yet not covered in the tutorial AFAIK). Clerics also don't level up from healing, you have to either teach them elemental spells or give something punchier than staff. So far I focus on leveling main characters mostly, maybe this will change for end/postgame after I unlock more classes and creatures.

    Dragon Quest 5 - slow walking speed and sleep-inducing start made me drop this one.

    Dragon Quest 7 - I'm not graphics whore, but I can't see myself playing something so hideously looking. If it was released somewhere near the beginning of PS1 cycle, it would be understandable. But the game came out in 2000! Somehow it looks worse than either 2D or 3D games on the console, combining the worst of both worlds. 5 minutes is all I could endure, pretty sure my eyes would start bleeding if I hadn't closed the game.

    Tales of Phantasia - love the music and visuals, but the combat, while certainly unique, is more clunky than it is fun. PSX version is a definite upgrade over the SNES release, but gameplay is still meh. Don't see myself finishing this one.

    FF10-2 - like FF10, decent-good combat dragged down by shitty story and unskippable cutscenes. Writing. while it wasn't stellar in FFX, is abysmall here, and designs of some of the new characters are even more pants on head retarded. Where the game really shines is in freedom to switch classes (and thus skillsets) in combat, there's more choice than in FF10 too. If the combat system was like in 10 and overall difficulty was higher, this would be my favorite FF game besides Tactics. For what it is, it's like almost every other FF: just alright, with lots of wasted potential.
     
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  21. aweigh Arcane

    aweigh
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    dq7 is the best dragon quest, so you're missing out.

    dq5 is the 2nd best.
     
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  22. Max Damage Learned

    Max Damage
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    If it almost makes me vomit, it can't be best even if only by being visual equivalent of barf bag. And if it takes too long for a game to become good, it's not worth playing when I could just play something that respects my limited lifetime in this world. DQ3 is much better than either of those.
     
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  23. Garbage Literate

    Garbage
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    I'm forcing myself through Xenoblade Chronicles X to finally get it off my backlog. It's trash.
     
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  24. Nifft Batuff Learned

    Nifft Batuff
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    Maybe you can try the 3DS version.
     
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  25. Max Damage Learned

    Max Damage
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    I'll give it a try if it'll work through emulator.
     
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