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Help me find a JRPG....

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by Ash, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. Ash Arcane

    Ash
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    ....that is specific to my tastes. I stopped exploring Japanese RPGs (and all its many sub-sub genres) in the mid 2000s when they apparently changed and no longer appealed to me in any form aside from DS castlevanias and Dark Souls.

    -Preferably on the subtle side of anime-inspirations. Nearly all JRPGs have anime inspirations of course, but some much more than others. Dark Souls = little to none. Final Fantasy 9 = Some. Dragon Quest XI = anime incarnate.
    I'm talking simplistic art style, hyperactive characters and wacky acting, sexualised children, style over substance, and whatever other trope. However if we're talking 80s mature manga Akira/Ghost in the shell style anime or even studio Ghibli style then I am all for it, but most JRPGs look nothing like that.
    -Fit for a Gameplayfag. I don't care for much of anything as long as the gameplay is engaging. for reference, I find Chrono Trigger to be boring and Final Fantasy 6 to be awesome. FF6 has build choices, gameplay-oriented level design, and cool exploration. Chrono Trigger is ultra linear, level design is no more than a straight line the majority of the time with zero consideration for gameplay. and there isn't any build choice beyond equipment. It's piss-easy to boot.
    turn-based, RTwP, Real-time I'm not too fussy here.
    -Any timeframe is welcome. I am curious about PS2, PS3, PS4 era, but also any old classic I may have missed. I stopped playing new JRPGs around this time. For some reason the quality dropped, and they all became heavily trad anime-styled rather than westaboo stuff Japan pumped out in the 90s.

    these are my tastes and the only JRPGs I find worthy (of the pool that I've played): https://rpgcodex.net/forums/threads/any-jrpgs-i-should-play.118743/#post-5339238

    Type of JRPG I DONT like: Suikoden, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, Breath of fire, Final Fantasy 13, Final Fantasy 4. The gameplay is simplistic and unengaging in each, and in most cases an afterthought. If this statement upsets you, please don't make any recommendations.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
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  2. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne sounds about perfect for you.

    Some of the best turn-based combat in any JRPG ever, great character progression, fun demon recruitment system/demon fusion system to play with, excellent challenge. Amazing game.
     
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  3. Ash Arcane

    Ash
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    [​IMG]

    Looks ugly and possibly more animu-emulating than I'd like, but if the gameplay is good I'll enjoy it. Thanks. Any moar?

    Damned Registrations Grampy_Bone
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
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  4. Ataraxia Unwanted

    Unwanted
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    Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume (Srpg, Nintendo DS)

    Vandal Hearts 1 and 2 (Srpg, PS1) (About medium in difficulty)

    Front Mission 2 (Srpg, PS1)

    Front Mission 5: The Scars of War (Srpg, PS2)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Shadow Tower: Abyss (Arpg, PS2)

    King's Field IV: The Ancient City (Arpg, PS2)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Elminage Gothic (Blobber, PC) Note: First dungeon is one of the worst I've seen in a rpg, but succeeding dungeons gradually gets better. Also, the game is very, very hard.

    SMT Strange Journey (Blobber, DS, 3DS(Remake)) Note: Reception for the 3ds remake is mixed, doubly note that the character designs for the remake is more 'anime' than the original.
     
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  5. Ataraxia Unwanted

    Unwanted
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    Might I suggest another way for you to experience anew those Castlevania games you've already played?

    There is a program called DSVania Randomizer (which you can download here: https://github.com/LagoLunatic/dsvrandom)

    It not only randomizes the games but also gives you a number of options to customize how 'random' your game is going to be.

    You might be able to extract more fun out of the games by using it.
     
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  6. Jenkem お前はもう死んでいる Patron

    Jenkem
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    Make the Codex Great Again!
    yakuza: like a dragon
     
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  7. Reinhardt Arcane

    Reinhardt
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    Stopped reading at
     
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  8. CryptRat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Developer

    CryptRat
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    You can probably take a look at Resonance Of Fate.

    Breath of Fire : Dragon Quarter should be right up your alley too.

    These games focus on gameplay and the second one especially is much harder than average.
     
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  9. Derringer Savant

    Derringer
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    I can also recommend SMT 1-3 and Dragon Quarter. SaGa is cartoony but the gameplay is full-front compared to the non-existent story. Yakuza looks alright, I haven't played any of them beyond the first one on PS2 over a decade ago though. King's Field is clunky as fuck but the first two (Japanese original fan-translated and first american release) along with both Shadow Tower releases are fun exploration Ultima Underworld clones. Front Mission's fun but the 4th game is really fucking bland. Vandal Hearts 1 is also a fun SRPG from the few hours I've played and I always hear the Japanese and Westerners going on how about how much they love it.
     
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  10. Emmanuel2 Savant

    Emmanuel2
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    As a gameplayfag, I recommend The Last Remnant - PC version. It is sort of a SaGa entry, so the gameplay, difficulty and the exploration of mechanics play a big part.

    Customizable units, crafting (but not at all intrusive), formations, individual classes and stats with differing advancements based on what that unit does in combat, a great variety of spells, item and weapon specific skills all learned through use, et cetera, et cetera... There's also an Anti-Grind mechanic but as long as you are aware of it, it will never bar you from progress even if you like to grind here and there.

    Probably the only JRPG I really adored and obsessed over these recent years.
     
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  11. Hyperion Arcane

    Hyperion
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    Second The Last Remnant. Scarlet Grace, SaGa Frontier 2, Romancing SaGa 3.

    Shadow Hearts: Covenant.
    Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria.
    Nioh and its sequel.

    As far as blobbers go, I say stay away from Elminage, Stranger of Sword City, and the other games from Exp Inc. despite the cool art, unless you like one button combat, and lots of 1x1, and 2x2 rooms like in Proving Grounds. Instead, play Tale of the Forsaken Land, it's pretty much the apex of dungeon crawls. Shining the Holy Ark is another good blobber that melds the crawl with the typical jRPG, and was made by the Golden Sun devs.

    Dragon Force is another Sega Saturn classic that blends jRPG with Grand Strategy. 8 different ways to play it. I would hope you also played the original Ogre Battle on SNES, it's another timeless gem. Speaking of gems, there's Gemfire which is another Kou classic based on history. Turn-based strategy set in a War of the Roses kind of fantasy.

    Legend of Mana has a very cutesy art style which may drive you away, but underneath that paint job is a highly autistic system of gear crafting, character building, and even making your own personal map with lots of optional sidequests. And it was made by none other than Kawazu, naturally.
     
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  12. TheImplodingVoice Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    TheImplodingVoice
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    RESONANCE OF FATE
     
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  13. Nifft Batuff Arbiter

    Nifft Batuff
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    One of the SMT games.
     
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  14. purupuru Learned

    purupuru
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    Devil Survivor 1 (or Overclocked version on 3ds). The artstyle is heavily anime, but the plot is solid mature SMT stuff. Gameplay is very well-done, though you should avoid exploiting free battle for exp to get the most out of it. I really wish they do more tactical rpg like this in the SMT series, the traditional weakness+1more system is really getting dull at this point and adding a grid provides so many possibilities to enrich gameplay, but with the success of nu-persona games this seems less and less likely.
     
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  15. Sreggin Etah I Savant

    Sreggin Etah I
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    Vagrant Story is the least anime jrpg i've played. The atmosphere in that game is dark. Lots of customization too and the game is ridiculously hard, especially if you haven't played before.

    Other than that, i recommend you sticking with blobbers, unlike others JRPGs subgenre, blobbers are still pretty similar to WRPG gameplay wise, some not-too-anime blobbers:

    SMT 1, 2 and IF
    Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land
    Wizardry 4 gaiden
    Elminage Gothic and Original
    Stranger of Sword City - a bit anime but not too much
    Paper Sorcerer


    And go for SRPGs for challenging tactical gameplay. Some not-too-anime SRPGs:

    Vandal Hearts 1 and 2
    Fire Emblem 4,5
    Front Mission
    FF Tactics
    Tatctics Ogre
    Ogre Battle March of the Black Queen

    The gameplay in normal world-map based JRPGs is mostly always bad.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
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  16. MotherMachinae Arcane

    MotherMachinae
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    Jeanne D'Arc
    One of the reason I got Sony PSP in the first place. Artstyle is colourfulk, but I don't remember any repulsive character that plague average jRPG.

    Brandish - Dark Revenant
    Dungeon crawlers with weird roguelike-like movement, combined with rotating camera for more confusion.
    I still have to play post-game part with sorceress.

    Xanadu Next

    Fell Seal - FFT wannabe, with a bunch of customisation options

    Anachronox old joke, I know

    Stranger of the Sword City
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
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  17. Dycedarg Educated

    Dycedarg
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    Have you tried Brigandine? It's a PS1 strategy rpg where you control, in each battle, up to 3 generals and several monsters. Since you mentioned liking build choices and customization, one of the best things about the game is levelling up your monsters and changing them into other more powerful "classes" of monsters.

    As for the visuals, I don't think it's "too anime", but you can check out for yourself:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wd9lQj7RJN0
     
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  18. Shinji Learned

    Shinji
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  19. Abu Antar Prestigious Gentleman Tweet, tweet Patron

    Abu Antar
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    From your description, play SaGa: Scarlet Grace.

    The Last Remnant is good, but the PC version was delisted from Steam.
     
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  20. Efe Liturgist

    Efe
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    sengoku rance
     
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  21. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

    KeighnMcDeath
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    Oh! This looks interesting. Pity no GBA projects for the metroidvanias on that system (albeit emulator would be just fine fuck playing on the hardware).
     
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  22. Ash Arcane

    Ash
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    Thanks for the suggestions everybody. I'll go over it all now.
     
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  23. Ash Arcane

    Ash
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    So Far most appealing to me is:

    Xanadu Next (my interest is high though the game isn't too pretty)
    The Last Remnant (My interest is high. How come gayme journos trashed it?)
    Popolocrois (was not recommended here, but I've heard good things. has anyone played?).
    The Nightmare of Druaga - Fushigino (this one is an odd one is my first impression, but still may try)
    Shadow tower Abyss (cautious of this, because King's Field in my experience isn't too good sadly, at least the ones in the series I played)
    Front Mission 2 (I'm playing XCOM2 atm so my interest in another SRPG or that style of game is a bit low for now).
    Brigadine (ditto)
     
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  24. Magitex Novice

    Magitex
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    I think it mostly got panned because the characters and story are very JRPG style .. and the combat was very unique. Probably easier to read their actual reviews on it, but continuing..

    The combat is great once you get into it (and building/equipping characters etc), but at the same time they also managed to nullify its strongest aspect by punishing the player for combat (in a combat/tactical JRPG).
    For instance you could tag multiple monsters to fight at once for more rewards, so you could have a huge battle - but in doing so you would just make boss fights outright impossible because they would just get harder far faster than anything you could really gain from these battles.

    I think between the original 360 version being a complete stutter fest in combat (fixed on pc), leader limit on 360, the BR scaling system (it was slightly improved on pc).. I think it just took a really bad rap from the get go.

    This is all from memory o'course, which was quite some time ago, but having played the 360 version I distinctly recall that stuttering ugh.

    ..and my real reason for mentioning all of this is because just now, I decided to google if anyone had modded TLR successfully - and it turns out they not only did (in 2017), but they outright fixed the BR scaling on PC. Damn, how did I not discover this sooner..
    https://steamcommunity.com/app/23310/discussions/0/2906376154333740815/
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2020
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  25. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
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    As previously stated SMT III Nocturne. It's as non-anime as they come and pretty serious and of course it's all about engaging gameplay with challenging combat and great mechanincs where you fuse demons to create your party. Better wait for the new PC-Remastered release though since it will add skills inhericatnce which is a very QoL feature in the fusion mechanics. It will also look prettier.

    Also it's funny that you say Dragon Quest is more anime than FF, I think it's pretty much the other way around. DQ is more fairy-tale like, but non in an anime way. FF has all the anime tropes at 11. Indeed FF9 is somewhat of an exception, but story-style it's very close to DQ actually. About the DQ art style, I can't say I'm overly fond of Toriyama either.

    Xanadu next is pretty cool. It just has RPG elements though.

    Resonance of Fate has some very interesting combat mechanics and it's not too much animu.
    Nier is pretty special and not much animu either.

    The Last Remnant is good but kinda repetitive. I dropped it at some point, but played a lot.
     
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