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Incline Mad Princess: The great gladiators

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by Lhynn, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    Lately i have been looking for one of those gems of a game people discover a couple years after they got released. Those indie little releases nobody gives a shit about. After looking for 7 days straight, pirating hundreds of games and playing them for roughly 30 to 60 seconds before realizing they are complete and utter souless garbage i found this beautiful little pearl.

    [​IMG]


    Mad Princess is hard to describe, it is a fairly simple rpg with a lot of depth. You play as a prisoner and a criminal, and you fight in the arena. The beginning is very reminiscent of Darksun 1, you go through a series of fights as you understand the games combat mechanics. This work as a tutorial, but there really isnt any handholding, you are left to figure it out at all times.

    After you are done with it you get bought out as a slave by a fairly gracious woman that will allow you to roam the world to find ways to pay back the investment she made on you. From this point on its an open world rpg, the entire kingdom is yours to explore, and it is inhabitated with a lot of people you can interact with, each with their own life.

    The combat is turn based, and your skills depend entirely on your chosen weapon and the special skill in your armor/helm and shield (If you are using a one handed weapon).

    Npcs have affinity, you can increase it by talking to them or giving them gifts. Some of these npcs will reward you with quests that add life to the world around you. You will also be competing in the arena and winning money and earning titles. Some of them are recruitable, you can only have one companion, but some of these npcs are insanely powerful, so you should try to make friends with them.

    You can also venture into dungeons, each with 10 levels. The dungeon mechanic is simple. You will have to pick one of two rooms, each with their own conditions, like beasts, treasure or different obstacles and you are able to see the following 8 rooms, so you get to plan two moves ahead as you delve deeper into the dungeon. These places can get extremely tricky if you are not prepared.

    Closest thing to this game in terms of gameplay loop would be Dragons Dogma. Just try to imagine a completely menu driven dragons dogma and you will get the gist of it.

    The translation is excellent and i recommend it.

    Leaving the link here


    felipepepe RK47 Jinn
     
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  2. Latro Arcane

    Latro
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    I had been eyeing this one for a while but the sparsity of reviews made me hesitant, how long is the game exactly?
     
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  3. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    Wow, thank you so much for thinking of me with this Lhynn ~!

    I'll be getting this very soon, as I hold your recommendation in high regard, particularly with strange games like this.
     
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  4. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    No clue, played for 5 hours and it feels like im past the early game, but just barely.
     
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  5. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    SOLD!

    Thanks for tagging me, I also like to do these deep RPG dives, but it's REALLY hard to find good stuff. Best hidden gem I found this year was Erannorth Reborn, a really complex deck-building roguelike with shitty art, and Devil Slayer Raksasi, a Hades-like top-down action roguelike.
     
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  6. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Played it for around 1 hour. While I like the world structure and the combat, it seems to be very shallow? No classes, no skill trees and, worst of all, you can't even choose what equipment you buy - you just pay 500 gold and get some random shit.

    Is this really it? Might be fun for a few more hours, trying to get money to repay my debt, but is there anything after this? You said that after 5 hours you feel you are leaving early game, what has changed since you left the arena?
     
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  7. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    Buying gear is only useful until very early, its there mostly to introduce you the weapons and the enhancing mechanic. Soon you will need to get your gear from dungeons, to that end you need to buy keys from different qualities and look for chests. Old chests will have regular gear for your level, silver chests will have slightly magical gear, golden chests will have gear with powerful enhancements and really high defense/damage rolls. Enhancing gear with magical gear will give you its bonuses, but you can only have up to 4 of those. You need to be careful about what you get, because while some bonuses are really powerful, some seem to be very useless or situational, and you cant get rid of them.

    Every single quest in the game is unlocked when you fulfill some criteria, either be friends with someone, have reached a certain popularity level, have completed a quest for somebody else, etc. So there is a lot to do and see.
    I have been befriending Athena, one of the most powerful and influential gladiators, because of that i have gotten my character involved in a military conflict between the nobles from the capital and inhabitants of the woods. I participated in a small battle and beat a powerful archer, it also gave me a new cap for affinity with her, eventually i will be able to unlock her.
    Thanks to my fame i have unlocked several events. And thanks to my choices at certain points i have gotten to meet new characters and have locations made available to visit. Those locations have opened new merchants with different items.
     
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  8. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    Going further, the game seems to be time sensitive, there are a bunch of events that are to go off at certain times, but they are affected by what you have done and who you have befriended.

    NPCs can die from these events depending on choices or past actions. Going to a place to get something done may mean someone will live or die because of that. Because this shit is time sensitive i can imagine there are a LOT of things you can change through your playthrough, but i wouldnt know until a second or third playthrough. If this shit is true there may be a lot of reactivity in this thing.
     
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  9. kaisergeddon Learned Patron

    kaisergeddon
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    I put twelve hours into this one a month ago. It's everything Lhynn has said. There's a surprising amount of depth to the questlines, and yeah, you definitely can't seem to do them all on a single playthrough, especially collecting the Dragon's Holy Treasure from each dungeon and building that into a narrative, or getting involved with the creepy nobles and their golems in the castle. You gotta really pick your battles in this one, and with no guides in English, we're essentially charting this game ourselves. A Japanese wiki would help greatly, but it's still amazing playing this one blind. We probably each have very different ways of ending the game when the time literally comes around.
     
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  10. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    Curious, I thought it was barely above RPGMaker trash, but it seems not. I'll wait for a discount sale and consider buying it.
     
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  11. ebPD8PePfC Learned

    ebPD8PePfC
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    Should I play on normal or hard?
     
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  12. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    I played normal on the first playthrough and it got fairly challenging. If you are starting a new game with your old gear i recommend hard though, thats more likely what this is for.
    Started a new playthrough last night.
     
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  13. deama Liturgist

    deama
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    I played it and finished it in about 6-7 hours, not too shaby.
    I didn't like how rng the gear was from buying it from merchants.
    At some point everyone just scales up in hp and dmg without leveling up, this happened around lvl 50 and I noticed the enemies just took several more hits than usual, this was quite annoying and cheap.

    I also would have liked romances once you reach 1000 relationship, oh well.
     
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  14. ebPD8PePfC Learned

    ebPD8PePfC
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    I'm at the final boss, I think, and I need to grind a lot to beat it, playing on hard. Lhynn was right for the most part.
    - Open ended structure past the half hour mark, but be ready to lose a lot in this part as you learn the ropes.
    - The game doesn't hand hold. It's up to you to figure out what items do and to how quests work. This is really good.
    - The dungeons are really economical, but interesting.
    I would add that each room in the dungeon gives you different exploration points, based on what it contains, and you only find the exit after you reach the minimal amount of points.. Monsters give 4 exploration point, treasure gives 1, etc'. So there's also a strategy to how fast you want to explore. It's a really cool system, don't think I've seen it before, though that's probably because I don't play too many JRPGs.
    - There's a ton of characters to recruit, but they are 90% identical to one another with their levels and weapons being the main difference. It suffers from the same problems as Suikoden did, with many shallow and interchangeable characters that don't add much to the game beside the "gotta collect them all" feeling.
    - Weapons are cool. There's nine of them and each has its own abilities. The problem is that you can't replace them mid combat, and there's only a handful of handcrafted fights, the rest rely mostly on stats. So the entire system is good, but there are no challenges that allow you to test it.
    - writing is bland. I didn't play this for the story, but still, it's impressively bland.
    - Combat is serviceable, it's mostly about one shooting the enemy before they one shoot you. This could have been a problem but most combat encounters take only 2-15 seconds. On the other hand, since you can't see enemy levels and stats, the same snail that you kill in level 1 of the dungeon can suddenly wipe you out and level 9 without warning.
    - You get ridiculous amounts of XP by dueling characters. Should be nerfed or adjusted for levels.

    This game isn't a hidden gem, but many of its systems are really good. The open world, open structure, dungeon design, quests, weapons, using menus rather than pointless virtual spaces, these are all interesting and fun to play with. So while the combat is mediocre and the game gets grindy toward the end, it's still worth playing for the novelty of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
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  15. eric__s ass hater Developer

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  16. oscar Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    oscar
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    I think I managed to completely break the game with the Fallout skill. I can one shot pretty much anyone and beat people in duels 20-30 levels higher than me without taking a scratch.
     
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  17. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    Well, game is easy enough to break. Once you beat it you can go on a higher difficulty, but also get on the ultra hard dungeon that opens up in a new game. It introduces very powerful monsters and planning ahead becomes very important, as having a correct gear+skill combo. That can go up to level 1000.
     
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  18. InD_ImaginE Arcane Patron

    InD_ImaginE
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Been playing this.

    Game is fun, but the balance between Normal and Hard is out of whack.

    In Normal you are pretty much too strong and can whack everybody easy.

    In Hard every single random mook can 1 shot you unless you have a defense buff up. I am not sure how but by the time the Spear Tournament comes up the enemies become way overbuffed. Gearing up is dependent on going to a dungeon and hoping you get good gear from chests, which in on itself is RNG reliant because the monsters in a dungeon can range from strong but reasonable to "lol you are doing 0 damage and the monster will oneshot you even with defense buff."

    The shop is useless because the price you are getting at that point (8.8 k gold a pop) is way under the curve for Hard.
     
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  19. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    Hard is there mostly for new game+ to keep the challenge going. Id recommend normal on your first playthrough. Hard even as a starter is manageable once you beat the game and get access to the infinite dungeon.
     
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