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Old/obscure/underrated JRPGs

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by Stabwound, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Alkarl Learned

    Alkarl
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2016
    Messages:
    472
    Thanks for correcting me. Those are fairly standard issues for a mobile game, so no huge deal. I'll have to pick it up!
     
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  2. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,569
    I'm holding out hope that they'll port Romancing Saga 2 to PC.
     
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  3. Rahdulan Arcane Patron

    Rahdulan
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,635
    I'll settle for Vita English version. I mean, you already can play Android games on PC with something like BlueStacks, right?
     
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  4. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10,726
    Location:
    Fiernes
    Finished Lesser Mern, a 1992 rpg for FM Towns/PC98.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This is a truly epic game, it must’ve had a very big budget back in the day because it starts with a 20 minute intro movie (it takes two floppies to play); the FM Towns version is even fully voiced (and apparently by notable voice actors at the time).

    The game is overall quite esthetically pleasing, in particular boss* and monster design; music is also p. decent.

    Uncharacteristically, the protagonist actually has a father, mother and little brother whom you can interact with in the beginning of the game – aside from Chrono Trigger I can’t really think of any other rpg that did this.

    There are no party members in the game, instead you use two summons; there are a lot of summons you pick up in the course of the game, they level up and grow progressively stronger but can only be healed by taking them to special totems scattered about the game world.

    As for magic, in the game spells can only be learnt by finding scrolls in dungeons (Branmarker worked the same in this regard).

    In order to further the plot the game almost seems an adventure game at times; various plot critical items need to be found, either by dungeon exploration, sidequests (e.g. saving someone from a dungeon or slavers) or simply by searching around. For example early in the game I needed to find a breath mask to gain access to an underwater dungeon, it was locked in a dungeon room the key to which I found in a trash heap).

    I liked how one of the early game plot related items –magical earrings from a princess- served as a translation device for the rest of the game – reminiscent of the translation bracelet/ring/whatever to communicate with the Dezolians in Phantasy Star I.

    As for the dungeons they are usually multi layered and many of them are pitch dark; sight is very limited without using a torch or a lantern. But even with illumination it is very easy to miss a pathway or a staircase, which can be highly annoying when you’re stuck trying to find a plot critical item. There is no auto mapping and though there are items to shortly reveal dungeon layout, they are too expensive to be useful.

    Combat encounters are not that frequent and can actually be completely avoided if one chooses to; encounters on the map appear in the form of whirlwinds rushing towards the player character that can be dodged.

    The game is p. short, though. It has 4 play discs but disc 3 & 4 are merely to accommodate the final boss fight and cutscenes.

    *Final boss is quite memorable, a redhead with massive tits.

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  5. Max Stats Arbiter

    Max Stats
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,084
    Somewhere, a cuck is ughing.
     
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  6. deuxhero Arcane

    deuxhero
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    9,661
    Location:
    Flowery Land
    MS Saga is this weird cross between every jRPG cliche and every Gundam cliche that somehow manages to be enjoyable despite (and in many ways because of) it.

    Battle has a lot of interesting stuff. You have an "energy" stats that resets between battles. Certain attacks cost more or less energy to use, and some parts can give you more starting energy or energy growth (It's similar to Bravely Default's Brave/Default system but a lot more fleshed out). Each suit has a limited inventory space for weapons (a grid) in addition to their built in attacks (punching and any head vulcans ect) that can be selected per attack, and by early-mid game most characters will have special attacks that fire everything of a certain type for a single fixed energy cost (so it might be worth sticking a bunch of low space weak weapons onto a suit instead of more utility based things). Attacks are divided into melee/ranged and physical/energy, which a lot of enemies have very unbalanced resistances to and interact differently with each character's special attacks.

    Unfortunately, it's one of those games where very small problems ruin everything that is followed by a really awesome sequel that just fixed everything while featuring a much more unconventional plot, except it never got a sequel (not even Japan only). There's also a limited number of the large energy cells needed to build new suits: In a super dickish move this is exactly ([mobile suits in game]-[the suits you get for free]+1) large energy cells, and quite a few of the suits you get for free are ones you can build way before getting them for free. Even if you are not a completionist, the free suits you can't make often vastly overshadow the ones you can, just to shit on you for spending time and credits to build them. For example Zeta era suits become buyable just a short time before you are showered in Gundam variants that wildly outclass them.

    The world map is HUGE (it's based on Earth), and geographically it's got a lot of detail (lots of mountains and forest to get lost in) but it's completely empty except for the plot important places and you rarely know exactly where you going. This makes overland travel really frustrating as you constantly run into dead ends. Something to do on this large world map beyond random encounters (even just some treasure to find) would have improved the game immensely.
     
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  7. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10,726
    Location:
    Fiernes
    Finished D'ark Gaiden, 1993 sequel to 1992 dungeon crawler D'ark.

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    As the title suggests, it's not really a sequel but merely a sidestory that expands on two events from the first game.

    There's a part with Felnous, white knight who is defeated at the end of first game and Zarsch, black dragon knight. Both go through only one dungeon, but each dungeon has five p. expansive floors and there's a focus on solving puzzles and avoiding traps to progress.

    Both main characters get a sidekick who occasionally helps them out but more often than are there to provide comic relief.

    Main problem with the game is that Felnous is simply a very drab character compared to the "evil" main characters of the first game. Plus there's the fact that in the first game he gets cucked by the main protagonist again and again (in fact, the sidestory takes place right after Felnous is tricked into killing his own sister and right before his waifu is killed). The highlight of his part is right at the end when one of the evil protagonists of the first game shows up out of nowhere and Felnous' sidekick (who managed to be even more annoying) is killed.

    Zarsch's part on the other is good from start to finish with some fun interplay with his sidekick (a fellow dragon knight) who's actually competent. They're basically an Ashram + Pirotess copy paste.

    I like the Lodoss inspired D'ark setting, pity a proper sequel to the first game was never developed. The developer only made two Nana Eiyuu Monogatari games after this and then focused fully on publishing mainly C's Ware titles.

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  8. CryptRat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Developer

    CryptRat
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    3,354
    Two interesting ones I've played quite recently, relatively classic but good :

    . Lagrange Point (NES) : This one is a sci-fi JRPG, and a very good one.
    Exploration is nice, it's not free but you visit different planets and you have to unlock new suits, vehicles and key items to reach previously unreachable areas, revisiting previous planets from time to time. The third tier of the game is particularly good because you eventually open a big playground with a lot of things to do.
    You start with one character, and you have to choose your companions from a big cast of characters to find, many of them are theorically missable I guess, and they all have their own skills.
    Encounter rate is high but the classic turn-based combat is fast and it is above average, the total number of different skills isn't impressive but at least you get to use a lot of them ; the characters are different and trying to build the best team is fun and useful.
    The game is not very talkative but the story is nice, with a lot of cool situations (and it feels like a 100% sci-fi game, unlike Star Ocean 3 for example). I must say I haven't played some if not most of the usual suspect ones (Xenogears...) yet but I think it's the single best sci-fi JRPG I've played so far.
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    . Super shell monsters story (SNES) : This one is a very classic fantasy JRPG but it's interesting if only because of the amount of content (locations, quests, characters, skills).
    You start with one character and there is a big cast to choose your companions from, a lot of them are available as soon as you reach the adventurer's guild and some more must be found (at least one is secret). Each character has its own class, they're all very different with different stats and they all have a big range unique skills to unlock.
    The classic turn-based fights themselves are OK, a few enemies near the end have some very weird skills but overall the game would have benefited from more enemy skill variety.
    In addition to the companions which help you in combat, you'll also find other ones which only come with a non-combat skill.
    The world is big and filled with a lot of content, exploration is not completely linear, there are some parts in the story with multiple things to do, a lot of side content, in particular each character or so has is own side quest (generally including a dungeon) and you'll have to bring the character with you if you want to unlock the side quest, so if you want to complete every side quest you'll have to use every character at least for a little while. The game is long, and some dungeons are very good with a lot of hidden stuff, in particular the first ones.
    The story is nothing to talk about but the locations are varied and the dialogs are often funny, you also get different dialogs depending on the characters you bring with you, not that they are particularly interesting but it's still a cool feature.
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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
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  9. Nostaljaded Savant

    Nostaljaded
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    325
    うたわれるもの 偽りの仮面 (PS4/PS3/PSVita) [2015]
    Utawarerumono: The False Faces

    AVG (VN) + SRPG, same developer as Dungeon Travelers 2

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    Gameplay mechanics

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    + Option to attack first and then move later
    ~ No add. damage for side/back attack. Good idea here as less (things to consider) is more, see below
    + Optional Timed (Tap/Charge) combos aka Legend of Dragoon style with more variations and progression

    + Skills can be used on every turn as long as morale requirement (if any) is met
    + Upon reaching max morale, will gain an extra turn, self-buff and the ability to execute ultimate skills
    + Items are only for equipping, like modifying attributes/status/buffs/passives/elements; healing is done through skill usage
    ~ 7 element affinities - 4 elements triangle (Earth>Fire>Water>Wind [yes, it's unintuitive]), 2 opposing elements (Light<>Dark) & null element
    + Stages may buff certain elements due to environment/conditions
    + Weak protagonist


    Player-friendly features
    + Movement & Skill range simulation
    + Separate Animation Speed Sliders for Timed & non-Timed actions
    + Adjustable 2-difficulty mode before every battle; Hard mode has more enemies and/or higher levels
    + Up to 50 Rewindable actions, can self-abstain to be a masochist play the classic way
    ~ No permadeath, same XP & Bonus Points (BP) gained for unconscious units at end of stage; applies to replayable stages as well
    + Customization of characters' stats (HP, Attack, Defence, Speed) using BP in addition to those from level gains


    Others
    + Full-voiced
    + Pleasant voice actors for protagonist & female lead
    + Wacky characters may have funny combat animations & sound fx
    ~ Furries world setting
    ~ Eicchi CGs
    - Dialogue dumps due to forcing waifu(s) upon you its large cast

    Prequel [2002] - Let's Play (Eng) by TheEntitledOne: http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/inde...furry-ears-and-tails-oh-god-its-heaven.75748/

    There's also a final chapter (うたわれるもの 二人の白皇/Utawarerumono: The Two Hakuoros [2016]) if wanting more of the same, coupled with UI enhancements.
     
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  10. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,310
    Is this combat that's both turn-based and action-based?

    :philosoraptor:
     
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  11. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Messages:
    5,500
    Location:
    California
    CryptRat Those Lagrange Point cliffs are giving me a strong sense of a deja vu. I thought Crystalis, but no, not quite the same...
     
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  12. Nostaljaded Savant

    Nostaljaded
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    325
    Turn-based SRPG. Units go by their order sequence (determined by their speed stat), NOT by player/enemy turn.

    Optional action-based.

    Each learned skill starts as a 1-hit combo. As the character levels up, the combos will increase.
    Eventually the full combo will be something like the example below
    Skill 'abc' - tap------tap--tap----tap
    Sklll 'def' - tap----chaaaarge--tap

    Simply follow the UI prompts. If bored of the timed actions, just turn it off to play like a traditional SRPG.
    Still confused on how the (optional) action-based combat works, go look up Legend of Dragoon (a mandatory, more-primitive-yet-harder action-based system) gameplay videos.
     
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  13. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10,726
    Location:
    Fiernes
    Finished Grounseed. Game follows a trope quite common to 90s Wapanese PC rpgs: high schooler (with or without childhood friend) is teleported to parallel world which he must subsequently save.

    The game is quite short and strictly speaking more of a visual novel than a pure rpg. Between reading text there are brief intermissions where you explore a map and fight enemies. There are only fixed encounters in the game and the only way to become more powerful is through combat, so it is necessary to explore thoroughly looking for enemies. Aside from this there are also chests with stat power ups.

    I think I missed some encounters early in the game and invested some power ups in characters I did not know were only temporary (the protagonist's girlfriend is kidnapped at one point); this nearly screwed me over at the end fighting one of the final bosses whom I could only beat by a hair.

    There is an odd moment near the middle of the game where the protagonist is presented with a choice - either to stay in his room and sleep with his girlfriend who will confess to him or go outside and sleep with a random sloot. I am not certain but it is possible this choice determines the ending of the game.

    A nice touch is that one actually needs to pay attention to what is being said, basically the main character learns five "power words" related to the elements, near the end of the game one must input them correctly or get instant game over.

    All in all story and gameplay wise the game is average but the soundtrack is fantastic, p. extensive and varied. Indeed the main reason why I checked out this game is that the late Ryu Umemoto* (who worked on classic such as YU-NO and Eve: Burst Error) worked on the music.

    This game was very hard to find and I needed to create a .hdi on my own which is a pain in the ass but in the end it was worth it.

    *Article on HG for those that are interested: http://blog.hardcoregaming101.net/2010/11/dragons-journey-ryu-umemoto-in-europe.html

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  14. reversependulum Novice

    reversependulum
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    20
    Super Dimensional Heroes 2 - Revenge of the Demon God (1996)
    Super Dimensional Heroes 2 - The Northern Emissary (1998)




    This is not really a JRPG because it is not made in Japan.
    Known as Super Heroes, a turn based SRPG for PC, made by Userjoy from Taiwan.
    This is one of the best if not the best SRPG gameplay mechanics and battle system during its time.
    SRPGs that I have played are Shining Forces, SRWs, Feda, Fire Emblems, Jeanne D'Arc, D&D tactics, Front Missions, Sangokushi Eiketsuden etc

    Gameplay Mechanics and Battle System:

    Turn base SRPG similar to Fire Emblem.

    The battlefield is grid based "3D" with X, Y coordinate and Z (height). Unit facing direction and height of the panel would affect the accuracy and damage. So attack from the back, side or higher grounds for more damage and accuracy. The terrain type would also affect the damage.

    Branching class system where you can choose between 2 different class during class change with 3 to 4 tiers of class changes. Think Seiken Densetsu 3 type of class branching.

    Each characters have HP, MP, SP and AP bars. MP for magic and SP for Sword/Ki Techs.

    The biggest difference compare with other SRPG is the AP bar.
    AP is used up for actions taken like Movem, Attack, Magic/Tech and Rest.
    Different type of actions use up different amount of AP.
    For example if you move to the maximum and use up all the AP then you could not able to attack.
    Or you could choose not move and sometimes a character can use all the AP to attack twice in 1 round.
    Or you could choose to not take any action and rest to regain a certain % of HP/MP/SP.
    When you select your character, different color grids would indicate the actions you could take.

    The gameplay mechanics is simply mind blowing compared to other SRPG titles during the same era.


    Other Similar Games:

    Super Dimensional Heroes
    Lords of Ancient Kingdom
    Super Dimensional Heroes 3
     
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  15. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10,726
    Location:
    Fiernes
    Finished Slayers, a 1994 PC98 dungeon crawler. The game came out one year before the animu.

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    It is not strictly a rpg since the game lacks leveling up; all characters start out very powerful. The main character Lina Inverse is a glass cannon with 270 HP, 999 MP and about 40 spells.

    Her partner Gourry (who is fixed in the party) is a fighter with 800 HP. Aside from these two there’s room in the party for one temporary dungeon related NPC and one follower to be chosen among major manga/animu characters (Naga the Serpent, Philionel, Amelia, etc.)

    Basically it is almost impossible to lose any combat encounter - Lina can literally one shot 90% of enemies with the right spell. Then again dungeons are so expansive (and excessively make use of teleporters) that the point of the game is more to be conservative with mana reserves and clear dungeons as efficiently as possible. The only way to restore mana is to rest at an inn (though there are some occasional onsen spots in dungeons to restore HP and MP) after which there is a lot of backtracking to do. So the approach to combat enemies is to capitalize on elemental weaknesses and/or simply freeze/paralyze/scare enemies. Lina has enough toys at her disposal to keep things interesting.

    Aside from Lina the three party members are AI controlled and generally do a p. good job, e.g. when someone is low at health or struck with a status effect a party member will automatically apply the correct item if available. Although with magic users it occasionally happens that they cast very mana costly spells to finish off a near death enemy. Generally it doesn’t really matter which follower to use but there are some dungeons with a lot of wind/water resistant enemies meaning for instance Naga the Serpent (who mainly casts lightning/water spells) is less useful, while other dungeons may have a lot of melee resistant enemies.

    Naga the Serpent is overall the best follower to use since she has the best lines and interactions with Lina and NPCs. Though for some reason she will arbitrarily leave the party and return to town which can be highly annoying when you’re already backtracking through a dungeon.

    Storywise the game is about Lina pursuing a rumour of a dragon whose valuable fangs she covets. In the first dungeon the task is to catch five unique monsters to create a chimera; in the final dungeon this chimera unexpectedly pops up again and kills the dragon Lina is after.

    I had expected to fight the dragon in the end but instead it’s a battle with the chimera who was immune to all elemental magic. To beat it Lina simply had to cast her most powerful spell, Dragon Slave, twice and it was p. much dead.

    All in all, it is a good game that makes excellent use of the source material. After the two console Berserk games it is the best animu/manga game adaptation I’ve played.

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  16. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10,726
    Location:
    Fiernes
    Finished a troo classic.

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    This is élf’s very first game and it shows. P. primitive game tbh: no automap, no potions (frequent return to temple necessary), only four kinds of armour/sword/helm/shield, ridiculous Engrish (bload sword, sqotuum, preit armor, bockler, etc.), very low level cap and only two magic spells. Not to mention the game is also p. short (8-10 hours at most to beat).

    The game story is p. simple: the protagonist needs to retrieve six orbs from a tower invaded by dragon knights to restore a goddess of a land (Strawberry Fields) inhabited only by women.

    The tower dungeon has six quite small levels, but to the game’s credit at least in order to gain access to the level boss (a dragon knight) at least one needs to solve some minor puzzle(s). Though each dungeon level has two waifus to save who give hints on what to do.

    Overall not a bad game but the sequels should be much better.

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    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
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  17. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10,726
    Location:
    Fiernes
    Finished X.NA, a 1990 PC88 dungeon crawler.

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    The game is similar to Dragon Knight in many ways, again there’s a male main character ending up in a city inhabited only by women and having to trudge through six levels of a tower infested with monsters.

    This time though the main character has a fixed female party member called Mei who can cast healing spells (again, no potions). She and her older sister basically save the main character in the beginning of the game and take him into their house. When the older sister is kidnapped by monsters the main character and Mei go off to save her (Final boss is basically Elizabeth Bathory). .

    It amused me that Mei explicitly states she is 15 years old – of course if the game had been translated for overseas markets she would be 18. At any rate, since Mei grew up in a city without males she is completely clueless about the opposite sex and this is at the center of the majority of (humorous) interactions with the main character.

    Overall, though, Mei is quite annoying but gets better near the end of the game. Closest comparison in a western rpg would be… Imoen.

    Like in Dragon Knight, there are various waifus to save on each dungeon level, but this time there are waifus who will temporarily join the party and help to fight the dungeon level boss – a significant improvement. Most waifus are significantly strong and a big help in leveling up quickly (grinding not really needed) - some waifus can even cast healing and offensive spells.

    Compared to Dragon Knight the dungeon levels are more expansive and complex to navigate (again no automap). Combat wise the game was quite unbalanced from beginning to end, regardless of party level there were always certain random encounters that could instagib Mei.

    Easily beaten enemies one encounter suddenly dishing out >600 damage next encounter was quite common (actually I lost about two hours of game time at one point). There was likely some Oblibion like level scaling working behind the scenes.

    Though the game storyline was mostly silly, surprisingly there were still some themes thrown in ranging from haafu bullying, fuzoku (prostitution/hostess clubs), idol culture and interracial relationships that were handled surprisingly serious and almost felt out of place.

    Overall I found this to be a better game than Dragon Knight.

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    • Brofist Brofist x 1
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  18. Chaotic_Heretic Arcane

    Chaotic_Heretic
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    Location:
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    abnaxus Any of the games you mentioned playable in english and not moonrunes?
     
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  19. KILLER BEAR Educated

    KILLER BEAR
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    That's some cool art right there. Now I want to try it.
     
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  20. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10,726
    Location:
    Fiernes
    It seems the only early 90s rpg *officially* translated is Dragon Knight 3 aka Knights of Xentar.

    There was a translation project for Slayers at one point but it seems to be dead in the water now.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
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  21. I second Romancing SaGA for PS2. Fun game with a very unique open-world that is unlike other open-worlds. There are several main characters that you can play through the game with and each has their own story. You can pick up many side characters and other main characters whose story all converge. There are also a bunch of other unique quirks, like dynamic-type events, secrets, branching choices in exploration and some unique character development. Cool game.

    Also will throw Vandal Hearts in the mix. Very underrated PS1 SRPG, cool story, good strategy gameplay and great atmosphere. Also, Brigandine. Another very underrated "grand strategy" RPG for PS1. You can select a nation out of several, each with their own leader a unique take on combat, and then build up your army and conquer a "Risk-style" map. Also has a story and multi-player even. Well worth checking out.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
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  22. Rahdulan Arcane Patron

    Rahdulan
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,635
    Just in case someone wants to play Brigandine I'd like to point that Japan-only Grand Edition has been fan translated.

     
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  23. TigerKnee Arcane

    TigerKnee
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    Messages:
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    • Agree Agree x 1
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  24. Latro Arcane

    Latro
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    Location:
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    Why can't this game be translated by an honest Roman Catholic?
     
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  25. Hyperion Arcane

    Hyperion
    Joined:
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    They tried to, but every time there was a game over screen from the death of the main character, they blamed the Jews.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
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