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Random thoughts on whatever JRPG you're currently playing?

Joined
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
502
So i played King's field 3, i enjoyed it to a point, but i think i'm done with it.
If you liked King's Field I'd recommend Shadow Tower ps1 and Shadow Tower Abyss ps2 if you haven't already tried them. Abyss never got a release outside of Japan but its pretty easy to find a fan translation. Both maintain a good atmosphere though sadly lack a good soundtrack and the better handling of resource management has made Shadow Tower a more interesting series than King's Field for me.

I'll definitely try Shadow tower soon.

As for my king's field 1-2-3 thoughts, i liked the first one the most by far, KF1 feels like diablo in first person, where you kill shit, get stronger and proceed to the next level to kill stronger shit, all while exploring dungeons, finding weapons, buying items, etc.

Kf2 and KF3 feels more like zelda or metroidvania, where there's a lot of backtracking, key hunting and puzzle solving. Personally, i fucking hated it, these games are just too slow for this style of gameplay, plus KF1 is more generous with ingame maps.

Soundtrack and atmosphere are all top notch in these games, however, if there's one thing i hate in all three KF games it is having to press "use" key on every fucking wall to find secrets(Wolfenstein-style).
 

Puukko

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Sakura Wars (Saturn) has been a very pleasant game to play on the side as a counterweight for difficulty modded FF8. Presentation wise it's delightful - soulful 90s shitty Japanese pornographic cartoons with an actual budget and with voice actors who clearly had fun with their performances. It's divided into episodes with save screens assuming the role of the bits before and after "ad breaks" , if it was an actual show. It does the same thing I liked about Persona 5 where doing well in the character interactions (which are the bread and butter of the game) also benefits you in combat in the form of stat boosts. Consequently, Sakura herself is the most useless member of the cast but she might also be saved for last in the character development front and the following increased usefulness in combat - which might actually work out better than the typical way one might expect the story to go, where the main character gets the most front loaded exposition. This way, the pacing is smoother.

Combat itself is bog standard tile based strategy with no major flaws or strengths. You have up to seven mechas on the field and they have different standard and special attacks. Some do heavy single target melee damage with both while others might do a long katana stab or horizontal firearm spray as a standard attack, and a cross pattern fire beam or long straight energy slash as the special. The special attack animations are great and not too long (looking at you, FF8 summons) - that said, unit movement is sloooow and you have to manually press a button each time to speed it up. A lot of the time is also spent simply traversing empty terrain to reach the boss who might not act until you reach it.

The game is definitely easy and I think they could have made it a fair bit harder, but I wouldn't say this game needs genuinely difficult combat. Having its focus and pacing revolve around the VN bits was the correct choice for the devs to make as that aspect is its strength.

I looked into the rest of the games and I am certainly intrigued, but 2-4 haven't been translated and even if they were to receive fan translations (no idea about the team's plans) it would still take years for the entire series to be translated. That said, the fan translation is very good. I haven't come across anything cringeworthy or parts that I didn't understand. They opted not to use honorifics and translated all the military ranks as well, which helps with the flow. No TL's notes needed.


In FF8, I've reached disc 4, or the final dungeon. Technically, disc 4 starts with the last boss of the second-to-last dungeon. The dungeon was short but filled with hard bosses. Raijin & Fujin must have taken me ten attempts until I got a stable start and got Rinoa's limit break rolling. With the mod, she becomes uncontrollable and casts random spells from a list at 4x power as opposed to using her actual spells. That's possibly the mod's biggest weakness - fights easily become front-heavy as you pray to the RNG gods to give you a good ATB gauge at start and hope the wrong members don't get hit until you've rolled out all the buffs. This is kind of the opposite of how it worked in 12 where bosses were bottom-heavy and the last 20% could take as long as the initial 80%.

The mod does a fine job of working within the confines of the final dungeon's gimmicks. The gist is, you lose everything except melee attacks and junctions and must beat bosses to regain the ability to use magic, items, summons, resurrection, saves(!) etc by beating bosses. You might expect a boss where you can only do standard attacks to be easy and simple, and in vanilla this is indeed the case - the boss has 10k hp and can be 2-3 shot. With the mod, he has 40-50k hp and only casts magic, so I give Squall auto reflect and go to town. Except, he uses drain which goes through reflect and I cannot heal via leech since the boss is mechanical. Thus I give Squall zombie status junction, have him hit himself to inflict it, and the boss can no longer directly damage me. He summons adds with physical attacks though, so I inlict zombie on them and when the boss casts full-life on Squall for an attempted instant kill, it gets reflected to the zombified adds instead and they die. That's a surprising amount of thinking outside the box required for a supposed tank and spank boss.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
2,838
Finished Shin Megami Tensei IV Final, I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. Ended with the Peace Neutral route I'd say the weakest part of the game is the story and the characters especially coming from recently playing Nocturne and IV where the characters are more subdued and less shitty Japanese pornographic cartoons. Two of the reveals that were supposed to be dramatic fell flat as they were far too predictable and obvious. I'll probably replay Final more than IV since the game play and overall pacing are much better in it.

Here's to hoping that V is a slam dunk.
 

Dishonoredbr

Liturgist
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
1,430
Here's to hoping that V is a slam dunk.

Let's hope they got IV/Final's gameplay with Nocturne/Devil Survivor writting.
I playing IV , i honestly , i can't myself playing any SMT game without Skill inheritance. Easily one of the best features.
 

Dishonoredbr

Liturgist
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
1,430
I just finished SMTIV. Neutral Route , Dex/Gun build , level 92 and 100h45m playtime.
It's really good game with quite few mistakes.
Why Walter and Jonathan fused with Lucifer and Merkabah ? Never explained in the Neutral route.. Isabeu is okay but mostly just exist , barely have any relevance..
Characters barely have screentime and the map is horrible BUT The gameplay is really good , OST amazing , graphics solid ,artstyle really good and VA is great.
 

Puukko

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Yeah the neutral route doesn't even make an attempt of explaining what happens in the other routes so it can be pretty confusing. You have to realize SMT relies heavily on character archetypes with predetermined roles. Law heroes always end up zealots, chaos heroes become edge lords.

I'm curious how you managed to drop that many hours into it though, I had 60 hours played, including the DLC other than Masakado.
 

Dishonoredbr

Liturgist
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
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I'm curious how you managed to drop that many hours into it though, I had 60 hours played, including the DLC other than Masakado.

I got lost for at least 10 hours trying to find the bookstore, dropped the game and came back early this year. Wasted more 4 hours trying to find the objective , gave up , look up a guide and only now finished the game.
Also the Demon fusion things is kinda adicting so i spent some time just fusing demons.

Yeah the neutral route doesn't even make an attempt of explaining what happens in the other routes so it can be pretty confusing. You have to realize SMT relies heavily on character archetypes with predetermined roles. Law heroes always end up zealots, chaos heroes become edge lords.

That i understand , but at least they could drop some dialogue saying why both of them fused with Lu/Merkabah. I saw SMT1's story and both Law and Chaos heroes, make sense and are explained why and how they transformed, made their decision to join the faction, even in the neutral route. I got the certain needs to fit their roles but only Walter made some sense , actually he's probably the best character of this game.
 
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Tse Tse Fly

Learned
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
410
Had a 1 hour long sample of Thousand Arms today, and I've seen some extreme cringe regarding characters and dialogue, it was simply torturous to witness. I really don't appreciate this sort of 'humour', in most of the dialogues where you get to choose main character's reaction one of the options is always main hero desperately trying to pass off as an alpha male in hopes to get in the pants of the girl he is currently having conversation with, coming across as an immense creep and no one is ever going to punch him for that, reminds me of those intense dreams wherein my 14 year old self was assaulting good-looking madams that randomly popped up out of thin air without said madams putting up much resistance (sadly those dreams always ended before I was able to get to the interesting part). In almost each one of the cut scenes it's either horny women expressing their sexual fantasies (not in a rude and literal way but nonetheless) about fucking some certain dude or it's men doing the same in regard to women, main character's father was a promiscuous oaf who seemingly had no other purpose in his life but having sex with as many women as he possibly could - I don't get why they had to make it all so degenerate and retarded, maybe there was a profound reason, but so far it is not very clear. The combat is the standard repeatedly press 1 button borefest with zero tactical depth or challenge, itemization and character building are non-existent. So overall it looks like a complete joke, though I'm still in the very beginning and there is a slight hope the game will surprise me in a good way, so I'm going to play on and see.
 
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Lincolnberry

Educated
Joined
Dec 2, 2019
Messages
46
Just finished Yakuza Zero. My first Yakuza game.

I wasn't sure what to expect going in but I ended up really enjoying it. Very strong characters, fairly interesting story, fantastic music, a ludicrous amount of side content and mini games that ran the entire gamut of terrible -> awesome and from piss easy to balls hard.

If you like JRPGs for the sense of progression and to have some actual narrative holding it all, I think it's an easy recommend especially if you think you'd like or at least can handle brawler style combat. I played on normal my first playthrough and that felt about right for me - probably would have felt it would be tedious starting on hard out of the gate.
 

Modron

Arcane
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
5,643
Kiwami 1 holds up just fine in my opinion, 2 has some growing pains moving to the new engine and the combat isn't nearly as varied for it.
 

GhostCow

Ask me about my Planescape tattoo
Patron
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
2,754
I enjoyed Kiwami but I had to wait until my memories of Zero faded before I could actually enjoy it. It didn't seem very good when I tried to play them back to back.
 

flyingjohn

Arcane
Joined
May 14, 2012
Messages
2,378
Just finished Yakuza Zero. My first Yakuza game.

You made the same mistake I did. If you play the other ones you will probably think they are shit because they can't hold a candle to Zero.

Just the stupid real estate stuff disqualifies the game from being the best.And some people prefer the less goofy side quests and Majima of the old games.
 

GhostCow

Ask me about my Planescape tattoo
Patron
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
2,754
I didn't love the real estate stuff but it didn't make the game worse for me. Majima's story and combat styles were my favorite parts of Zero. When I found out that Zero is the only game where you get to play as him I was pretty bummed and Majima everywhere was probably my favorite part of Kiwami. I'm a huge fan of the current Majima. I tried to play Kiwami 2 right after beating Kiwami and I missed the old combat system a lot. I'm going to try waiting a year and then playing it again like I had to with Kiwami after Zero.
 

GhostCow

Ask me about my Planescape tattoo
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Jan 2, 2020
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I started playing Ys VIII yesterday. It's the first game in the series that I've tried. I gave it a shot because I saw someone say that it's better than Trials of Mana. So far it's not bad but I wouldn't say it beats Trials. The graphics aren't as good and the intro section on the boat was pretty boring. The combat seems to be all about mashing a single button when not using the four skills you can select. I assume it gets better but so far it just seems decent rather than great.
 

Removal

Scholar
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Messages
178
Rolling through Alliance Alive remaster. It's pretty blah, I don't have any problems with chibi designs but the core gameplay loop isn't satisfying at all. The game is just way too easy, I don't think I'll be finishing this one.
story started out interesting but quickly fell into bog standard jrpg conventions
 

Dishonoredbr

Liturgist
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
1,430
I'm playing SMTIV Apocalypse and so far...I really don't understand all the hate. It's real good.
The gameplay is SO good , Mudo/Hama are actually useful for once (and i don't die for lucky ones vs mobs), demon fusion + affinities make demon fusion much more complex, also no AG/Dex , MAG , Phy or Balanced stats distribution , i actually need to think about the fusion is instead of making a Fire Demon use Ice magic amazingly, partners don't fuck me over (even if the ghost dude is kinda OP) , Smirk isn't broken.. Oh Demon Negotiation is MUCH better. Not too hard or too easy.

The story is fine. I just got Ame-No-Habero and discovered Dadga's plan (Great VA btw). The characters are bit Too happy (Asashi , your friends just dead.. Let's talk about being hunter laters.. ) but they mostly fine. VA is great, game is easy but it's mainly because i know what i'm doing (and every new place with new demons , i got everysingle one of them).

The game is better than 4 and still early game. I hope everything about the gameplay is present in SMTV because god damn.. It's quite addicting right now.
The scene with Walter (aka Lucy) and Jonathan (aka Merka) is great.They both play humanity and put them into help them wheter they want or not.
 

Puukko

Arcane
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Jul 23, 2015
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Yeah, on paper mudo/hama appear weaker due to needing smirk to gain the insta KO effect but in practice I used them waaay more than in any other game thanks to the damage. Judgment light on everyone!
 
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Dishonoredbr

Liturgist
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
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Yeah, on paper mudo/hama appear weaker due to needing smirk to gain the insta KO effect but in practice I used them waaay more than in any other gamer thanks to the damage. Judgment light on everyone!

I used more hama in one boss (Black Frost) than i used in entire SMTIV. I'm even question replacing Megido for a while with Hama (or Mahama) just because so many demons are weak to light and nothing else and cost less to spam it.
 

Puukko

Arcane
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Megido/la/on are very rarely worth it. Now Antichthon/Grand Logos on the other hand...
 

Reality

Learned
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
249
I used Megido in SMT 4 just for the raw MP efficiency, but I guess that's a side effect of letting you break the main charather's stat allocation.
 

Ysaye

Savant
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
676
Location
Australia
I started playing Ys VIII yesterday. It's the first game in the series that I've tried. I gave it a shot because I saw someone say that it's better than Trials of Mana. So far it's not bad but I wouldn't say it beats Trials. The graphics aren't as good and the intro section on the boat was pretty boring. The combat seems to be all about mashing a single button when not using the four skills you can select. I assume it gets better but so far it just seems decent rather than great.

I found the early parts of the Ys VIII I found to be underwhelming - only redemption is the fun beach music tracks and (for philosophy student fans) "Doctor Kierkegaard". Then Dana's flashback stories gets more serious, Adol gets to the other side of the mountain and a lot of stuff gets A LOT better and feels more Ys.
 

newtmonkey

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Joined
Aug 22, 2013
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Goblin Lair
Ultima: Quest of the Avatar (FC)
I decided to play this to compare/contrast with the PC version ("Ultima IV" below), and I finally finished it last night.

I specifically played the JPN FC version as the US NES release contains a major bug where INT and DEX are swapped. It's not game-breaking or anything, but it means DEX-based fighting classes (Ranger and Paladin) are extremely weak until you start raising their INT stats.

It's not a bad port, and I think it gets a lot of hate for no good reason. The basic framework is the same—QotA is still a nearly completely non-linear game where your goal is to travel the world, gather information and items, and figure out how to become the Avatar. The morality system is intact, and the way you progress through the game is 99% the same; unlike the Sega Master System version (which is generally a more faithful port of the PC game), QotA retains the first-person view dungeons of the PC version.

With that said, there's a lot that's been changed. The keyword-based conversation system has been dropped in favor of one line of dialog per NPC as in Ultima I-III. This is clearly the biggest and most substantial difference from the PC version. You only control four characters at a time, with other NPCs left at in inn; this sounds like a huge change on paper, but the combat in Ultima IV is so god awful that most people typically do whatever they can to put it off until the end, and dropping the party down to four people speeds combat up a bit. QotA completely gets rid of the food system; food management was not as important in Ultima IV as in earlier games in the series, but this change does make Gremlins completely useless. Finally, QotA forces you to solo the Abyss; this is something I expect a not insignificant number of veteran Ultima IV players wish was possible in the PC version.

That sounds like a lot of changes to important game systems, but by streamlining the combat (easily the worst aspect of Ultima IV) and retaining the core of what made Ultima IV so revolutionary (the virtue system and nonlinear exploration/information gathering) QotA has a lot to offer as a port worth playing even for Ultima IV veterans.
 
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AArmanFV

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Aug 28, 2015
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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
It's not a bad port, and I think it gets a lot of hate for no good reason.

The keyword-based conversation system has been dropped in favor of one line of dialog per NPC as in Ultima I-III.

I remember that the guy who introduced me to CRPGs (specifically Ultima IV) disliked the FC version, being this one of the reasons (and the most important apparently). I don't know if there is another major change to justify the hate, because he was "ok" with the SMS version as an option.
 

newtmonkey

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Aug 22, 2013
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AArmanFV
I would agree that the loss of the keyword conversation system is the most important difference in the FC/NES version... that also leads to another significant difference that I forgot to mention above, which is the removal of mantras (instead, you just meditate at the applicable shrine once you've reached avatarhood in that virtue). It's definitely a major difference for sure.
 

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