JRPGs that Aren't Final Fantasy Catch-All 2.0

I'm deep into Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and I'm loving it. I'm playing on classic, hard, without any of the rewind mechanics and it feels like a great mix of classic and modern Fire Emblem. Being the final 3DS release, it's clear they really started to understand how to make these games work on the system. The art is gorgeous, everything is voice acted surprisingly well, and the 3D animations are fantastic.

Being a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, it's surprising to see just how much of the core mechanics still hold up well today. While the maps are a little too open-ended for the most part, they're functional enough and some are surprisingly enjoyable. The two different parties you play as have wildly different battles too!

Because I lost a few characters early on, I've had to spend a considerable amount of time grinding just to pass some of the harder levels. This really threw out the pacing, but it's not something I can truly criticize since I did it to myself (I could have used the rewind mechanic or reset the game - but I genuinely enjoy the thrill of permanent death).

Fire Emblem (GBA) has always been my favourite, but this might just topple it. Such a fantastic game.

Fired up Child of Light on Switch yesterday. Beautiful game still years later, and interesting ATB system with cast interrupt.

Not very far in, just level 4 or something, chapter 2, and picked up a spell for Aurora. Seems like you can use the battle plants to top of health/MP super easy. Maybe I should switch to hard mode?

I am COMMITED to finishing this games YES YES YES AND YES

1. Lost Oddysey
2. Nier Automata

I have played both.
I will probably finish Nijer 1st then restart LO

PSA

Having 2 toddlers and a 8 month old is a tornado and madness!!!!

So I haven't had a good opportunity to resume it, but am about 2/3rds of the way through the first campaign of Scarlet Nexus sponsored by Xbox Game Pass.

It's a weird little specimen that simultaneously feels better than it is and not as good as it is, if that makes sense. The combat is certainly neat, a combination of Control-style object tossing and mixed with melee strikes. The dodging mechanic is near worthless unless you get a perfectly timed evasion, which is more difficult to pull off with a lack of dodge-cancel. However, if you immediately go from a melee combo to kinesis throws, the character will immediately jump backwards and away from the enemy. So if you time it well, you can get a couple hits in, kinesis to evade any attacks, then immediately lunge back in with more melee, rinse and repeat. It doesn't work for all enemy types and you'll need to learn some of their attack patterns, but it helps evade damage, for sure.

The real draw is figuring out how to best drop an enemy's... uh... stamina? poise? bar (if you played Nioh, think the not-health bar that allows you to get super painful hits). Once you drain it you can pull off an immediate execution on most standard foes, or deal major damage to bosses. Some enemies have specific moments of vulnerability where you can hit them with kinesis to really drain this bar down, and you can knock these foes down typically through clever use of your teammates' abilities during certain phases. For example, enemies that cloak get knocked down once you use Clairvoyance to reveal their location and you strike.

Once your bond with teammates strengthens, you can then call them in for a couple quick hits in the heat of combat. Chain these attacks together and you'll drain their stamina/poise bar even faster.

There's some neat decisions, but it's still lacking some top notch character-action polish to feel like the game is always doing what you want, and some of the encounters are just designed around some frustrating groupings of foes. Most irritating is the nature of the bosses, as the fights can be interesting but they're total damage sponges. If there's a quicker way of dropping either health or stamina, I haven't figured it out.

The story might be the biggest draw, though not necessarily for its quality. It moves at a fast pace and is so filled with twists that get more and more... well, this game goes places, that's for sure. It makes it a bit fun, and while the cast is pretty archetype-y none of them feel obnoxious (save for "I hate you because I'm better than you" guy), so they end up being pretty pleasant as well.

It's an overall enjoyable game, but at the same time I feel like it's going to be quite forgettable by time I finish.

Compile Heart: We're announcing a new Neptunia game that isn't a crossover!

Me: Woo! About time!

Compile Heart: It stars the CPU's sisters!

Me: OMG! You remembered they exist! And you're giving them the lead role!

Compile Heart: Hyperdimension Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters

Me: Uh oh...

I finally bought and started playing The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd recently. The structure is... weird. So far, the sense of place from the other Trails games is just... absent. Somehow, the story progression of the game feels more like Ys Origin than a Trails game. It's not a bad thing, just... unexpected.

I'm only 4 hours in though, so things could change at some point, but I get the feeling they won't.

It's basically an excuse to lorr dump.

garion333 wrote:

It's basically an excuse to lorr dump.

I made it to chapter 2 and, so far, that sounds about right.

I bought all 4 of, large inhale for insanely long name, The Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel with the goal of completing them all within 2022. This goal overrides my goal of 1 game per month on average (aka finish 12 a year). I learned this year that I just love JRPGs and they take priority over everything else as long as i have a quick jump in/out game to play when i want some downtime.

I'd love to know why "lorr" didn't get aurocorrected to "lore".

KozmoOchez wrote:

I bought all 4 of, large inhale for insanely long name, The Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel with the goal of completing them all within 2022. This goal overrides my goal of 1 game per month on average (aka finish 12 a year). I learned this year that I just love JRPGs and they take priority over everything else as long as i have a quick jump in/out game to play when i want some downtime.

I wish you nothing but the best. Cold Steel 1-4 is definitely not a run for the faint hearted!

garion333 wrote:

I'd love to know why "lorr" didn't get aurocorrected to "lore".

KozmoOchez wrote:

I bought all 4 of, large inhale for insanely long name, The Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel with the goal of completing them all within 2022. This goal overrides my goal of 1 game per month on average (aka finish 12 a year). I learned this year that I just love JRPGs and they take priority over everything else as long as i have a quick jump in/out game to play when i want some downtime.

I wish you nothing but the best. Cold Steel 1-4 is definitely not a run for the faint hearted!

I was thinking the same! We've done 1 and 2 in the JRPG club, so let us know when you're up to 3 and we'll see if we can twist a few arms

ComfortZone wrote:
garion333 wrote:

I'd love to know why "lorr" didn't get aurocorrected to "lore".

KozmoOchez wrote:

I bought all 4 of, large inhale for insanely long name, The Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel with the goal of completing them all within 2022. This goal overrides my goal of 1 game per month on average (aka finish 12 a year). I learned this year that I just love JRPGs and they take priority over everything else as long as i have a quick jump in/out game to play when i want some downtime.

I wish you nothing but the best. Cold Steel 1-4 is definitely not a run for the faint hearted!

I was thinking the same! We've done 1 and 2 in the JRPG club, so let us know when you're up to 3 and we'll see if we can twist a few arms :)

Will do!

ComfortZone wrote:
garion333 wrote:

I'd love to know why "lorr" didn't get aurocorrected to "lore".

KozmoOchez wrote:

I bought all 4 of, large inhale for insanely long name, The Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel with the goal of completing them all within 2022. This goal overrides my goal of 1 game per month on average (aka finish 12 a year). I learned this year that I just love JRPGs and they take priority over everything else as long as i have a quick jump in/out game to play when i want some downtime.

I wish you nothing but the best. Cold Steel 1-4 is definitely not a run for the faint hearted!

I was thinking the same! We've done 1 and 2 in the JRPG club, so let us know when you're up to 3 and we'll see if we can twist a few arms :)

Since I finished the crossbell games this year, I’m ready to play the Cold Steel games next. For a while, I thought I would try to get through all 4 before Trails into Reverie gets a English release in 2023, but looking at the release schedule for games next year, that looks like a tall order. But if timings align for playing CS3 for the club, you’d have my vote!

At this point I only have three games left to be all caught up with the Trails series (Sky 3rd, Cold Steel III and IV). With Sky 3rd in progress (and I should be able to wrap this up in January, unless I find a job), I'd be all in for Cold Steel III for JRPG club later this year (I plan to play it probably in the Spring, with CS IV sometime late in 2022, hopefully just in time for Reverie).

And I’m still working on Sky SC after replaying the first because I’d forgotten so much. While there’s some novelty to revisiting the same places, it still kind of saps my motivation a bit knowing I’m not seeing “new stuff.” I like it, but I’m sort of chipping away at it occasionally.

steinkrug wrote:

And I’m still working on Sky SC after replaying the first because I’d forgotten so much. While there’s some novelty to revisiting the same places, it still kind of saps my motivation a bit knowing I’m not seeing “new stuff.” I like it, but I’m sort of chipping away at it occasionally.

That was my main issue with SC, and it's also a problem with Cold Steel I and II.

i love that we may have already unofficially selected the next next jrpg game

KozmoOchez wrote:

i love that we may have already unofficially selected the next next jrpg game

Putting it on the list of games I might nominate for Q2

Excellent, I was thinking of starting it early 2022 but I have too many other grindy games at the moment

bobbywatson wrote:
KozmoOchez wrote:

i love that we may have already unofficially selected the next next jrpg game

Putting it on the list of games I might nominate for Q2

Maybe! I don't love the Trails series as much as some JRPG fans do, and I'm sure I'm not alone. But certainly, put it up and we'll see how it does.

It was a quarterly JRPG selection that finally got me to stick through the first Trails in the Sky game, so there's certainly precedent!

Hmmm if CS3 is going to be a contender this year, I need to finish my replays of CS2 to have the perfect save for importing... Really wish you could get that infinite bonding points and carry over stats all at once.

Malkroth wrote:

Hmmm if CS3 is going to be a contender this year, I need to finish my replays of CS2 to have the perfect save for importing... Really wish you could get that infinite bonding points and carry over stats all at once.

I could be wrong, but I don't think there is any option to import data from CS2 into CS3.

I remember looking that up earlier: there isn’t. You can import from 1-2, and I think from 3-4, but not 2-3.

I think it was a generational or compatibility thing, given the systems on which each game was originally released.

What's funny is that if you get the ps4 version of the first two games, you can get transfer bonuses in the 4th game since all three of those came after CS3

If you have Xbox gold, the fantastic jrpg Lost Odyessy is only $6.25

It’s a classic

IUMogg wrote:

If you have Xbox gold, the fantastic jrpg Lost Odyessy is only $6.25

It’s a classic

I believe they also gave it away at some point as well. It is a great game with a bunch of novel style stories.

JohnKillo wrote:
IUMogg wrote:

If you have Xbox gold, the fantastic jrpg Lost Odyessy is only $6.25

It’s a classic

I believe they also gave it away at some point as well. It is a great game with a bunch of novel style stories.

It was a freebie on Xbox Gold for the 360 years ago, and I picked it up, but never had the time for it.

I did get the new NEO:TWEWY on sale in the ps4 store and have been enjoying it so far. I just got to the clothing mechanic introduction. I think they did a good job replicating the frenetic and wild combat of the DS version with a more likable main character. Otherwise, it is basically the same game so far, and I am on board for that.