JRPG Catch-All

I love Xenogears! I just recently found it at a used game shop and repurchased it after losing my copy years ago. I'm about 20 hours into the game and the music, cut scenes and battle system are all still very good even by today's standards. The story can be really good in spots but extremely convoluted. And man oh man those PS1 era graphics don't hold up well at all.

Proof..
Of the men..
Of the sea!

Ferret wrote:

Oh hello.

www.atlus.com/etrian4/

Hot damn! Now that's the birthday present I needed.

Ferret wrote:

Oh hello.

www.atlus.com/etrian4/

Pre-order confirmed

Leanback:

Mr GT Chris wrote:

The general consensus among Japanese Tales fans seems to be this order:

Tales of Xillia PS3 - not localised yet
Tales of Graces F PS3
Tales of Vesperia 360
Tales of the Abyss PS2/3DS

Funnily enough, the series seems to keep getting better and better. I haven't played Graces F yet myself but am greatly looking forward to it. Loved Vesperia.

Tales of Phantasia (SNES)

best Tales game.

I've started playing FFIX and I'm loving it so far. I gave Xenogears the old college try, but was sidelined by my mom visiting, the crappy graphics (they didn't age well at all) and now the death of my grandmother. I figured the lighter tone of FFIX seemed a better fit tonally and it really is. It's cheesy for sure, but I'm truly enjoying the silly world.

Sorry about your grandma. Happy to hear you are enjoying FFIX. Like I said, one of my favorites.

Citizen86 wrote:

Sorry about your grandma. Happy to hear you are enjoying FFIX. Like I said, one of my favorites.

Same here. Sorry for your loss garion

Xenoblade on the Wii is a great JRPG. I'm way too slow trying to take on the monster challenges with only Shulk. I know he gets to use the super weapon but still I wish I could change out his crappy first blade for something else.

For those not following the Vita thread, Corpse Party is half off this week and next for $10 on PSN (and Corpse Party: Book of Shadows was announced by Xseed as being localized this winter).

Wasn't too sure where else to put this. JRPG thread seemed most relevant.

So Radiant Historia is the first game to get me all choked up in recent memory (or any memory). I mean we're talking a couple tears managed to slip free here.

Near-end-of-game-spoiler:

Spoiler:

So the Chronicle people start to flash some previous Sacrifices before Stocke, and one of them is a man talking to his niece. He's just sitting there, talking with her, before he is summoned off to be Sacrificed for the ritual. His niece doesn't know what is happening, and he doesn't tell her.

I have a niece. She is 7. I don't get to see her often even though I live with her, but what few times I get I try to play with her. Hearing her laughter and seeing her smile is just one of the best things in my life.

I suddenly put myself in that situation, where the last thing I do before going off to die so that others may live is to play with my niece.

Yeah, that got me real choked up there, and it was so unexpected too. It was basically "Oh, Uncle and niece, just like me and my niece.....oh sh*t, are those tears?"

So Radiant Historia may get the nod for first game to ever get me teary-eyed.

On another note, I may be willing to ship out my copy of the game to a curious GWJer since I don't expect to play it again. Not so much because I disliked the game. On the contrary, I've been playing it like an addict all weekend (in fact, I went from 15 to 30 hours of playtime between yesterday and today alone). It's just not the sort of handheld game I want to keep around for repeat gaming, like I want to do with Kid Icarus or RE: Revelations.

So if you're interested, let me know. I'll send the game, no charge, maybe just shipping costs.

I would love to give that a go if someone doesn't beat me too it.

I just picked up Tales of Graces F, haven't got to play it yet but I am excited to.

Falcom is putting The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter on the Japanese PSN on Nov. 8th. No word from Xseed on localization, but this certainly gets around the "two UMD" problem.

The game will probably go to you, then, DSGamer. I'll PM you with details when I'm feeling a little less lazy.

I finished Radiant Historia this morning. This is one of those games where you learn quickly not to trust other people's comparisons. When people say it's like Chrono Trigger, they mean "it has time travel and junk". That's about it, and the way time travel is handled is different anyway. In truth the two games only have two things in common: time travel and being a JRPG.

I dig the combat in Radiant Historia for the most part. The problem is because of the nature of the time travel you can never be too certain who will be in your party (until the second half where it gets mostly consistent), so I basically only had a party of Stocke, Raynie and Marco as they're the only characters you're pretty much guaranteed to have at all times. While their move sets are pretty awesome early on, their weaknesses begin to show towards the end of the game. Problem is, the other characters end up being lower in level and I personally didn't really feel like doing much grinding.

Though there's at least good news in that regard. The experience you earn adjusts based on your level. So if you go someplace with high level enemies with low level characters, they'll earn a lot of experience and start catching up at a relatively quick pace. However, it's still easy to get in a situation where Stocke, the lead character, is several levels above everyone else.

For someone with more patience than I have for grinding, though, you'll probably find the other characters to be incredibly useful and the final few hours of the game to be less of a pain than I did (that said, the only real problem I had was having to keep using items to restore MP as the end becomes very magic-intensive and Stocke, Raynie and Marco aren't the best spell-casting characters).

Still, the combat is a lot of fun. To make a comparison, think of how Final Fantasy 10's turn-based strategy worked, where you saw in what order everyone would have a turn. Radiant Historia allows you to adjust that turn order. This could mean having certain characters move before others, or even having enemies go earlier so you can have all your characters go at once.

The real advantage to this is that the battlefield is laid out in a 3x3 grid, and certain attacks allow you to move enemies to certain locations. If you organize your attacks just right, you can basically push all the enemies into a single block on the grid and then hit them all. Typically you won't be able to do such a large attack, but for most of the game it is possible to take out two or three foes in a single round of attacks.

It is turn-based combat made a bit strategic, and I really dig that. Towards the end, though, there are a lot of immobile enemies that are only vulnerable to magic, and truth told I'm not familiar enough with the other characters to know what a good strategy against such foes becomes. So if you insist on Marco and Raynie on your team at all times like I did, then each fight will become long and at times tedious as opposed to the quick bouts early on.

All in all, I really dig the combat.

The story was also good, though there's one issue with the time travel. There aren't a lot of good spots to jump back into. Most of them require a lot of dialogue to be repeated, and though you can just press Start and skip it, there are times where actions from another time will now change the current cut-scene...and you'll skip all the new content, too. This only happened to me once or twice, but it was still a bit frustrating. Even worse is if you choose an outcome that results in a Game Over (a lot of those), the game shoves you all the way back to the beginning of the chapter instead of as close to that choice as possible (which you can almost always go right back to the choice). In some ways I liked Chrono Trigger's time travel better because, while you jumped across several different time periods, it was all linear. You didn't have to sit through content again. Radiant Historia is constantly full of repetition.

But on the upside, if you set the game aside for several months (like I did), it's really easy to get caught back up.

As for the story itself, I really dug it. From the beginning it didn't have the sort of aesthetic or writing I've come to expect from modern JRPG's. In fact, it didn't really feel like any older JRPG I've played, either, in terms of story-telling and visual design. It was easy to stop thinking of it as a JRPG and just as a game. It feels light on the typical tropes you come to expect, though it certainly carries a very spiritual theme to it. It isn't quite as blatant as others.

But it's nice to play a game where you're not some kid from a small town destined to save the world, or part of a rebel group fighting against the big evil empire, or trying to find out why all the monsters are suddenly going crazy and then it turns out mankind is messing with the planet's energy, etc.

It's a good story that actually had me smiling at the end, and while there's a lot of themes to be explored none of them are beat over your head.

For those of you that have played the game:

Spoiler:

I've started to try and use what limited understanding I have of Japanese culture to try and help me evaluate and understand some of their storytelling as of late. With Radiant Historia, I wonder if typical Eastern philosophies are a major part of the whole "Sacrifice for the world", which ultimately ends with Stocke becoming part of the world itself. Hironobu Sakaguchi wrote FF7 in part because his mother had recently died, and the idea of "returning to the planet" figures heavily in that game as well. I don't really know much about Eastern religions, so I'm only guessing.

Though what didn't occur to me until the end was how the Prophet Noah and its abuse by Hugo could be viewed as how Japanese see Western religions or history. I don't want to make assumptions, though. But it just seems like an interesting possibility.

In the end, while I wouldn't quite praise Radiant Historia as feverishly as it seems some have, it's certainly a solid game and I could recommend it easily. I think it has one of the better stories in video games of the past decade, too, which is a damn shame as no one probably noticed.

garion333 wrote:

Falcom is putting The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter on the Japanese PSN on Nov. 8th. No word from Xseed on localization, but this certainly gets around the "two UMD" problem.

They should release it on something. PSP/Vita/PS3/DS/Toaster..
anything Falcom.

Dragon Quest VII is getting a remake for the 3DS. It's slated for release in Japan in February, with hopefully localization to North America to follow.

This was released in North America as Dragon Warrior VII on the PSOne back in 2001. Anyone play it?

No experience with Dragon Quest/Warrior myself, but it will probably be the subject of discussion on the next episode of the 8-4 podcast. They've got a couple of real fans on the crew there.

I registered my thoughts on the 3DS thread. Looking forward to the staring at the back of this dude's head for another god-knows-how-long:

IMAGE(http://www.hair-cell.com/cgi-bin/dqa5/images/chara/hero72.gif)

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Dragon Quest VII is getting a remake for the 3DS. It's slated for release in Japan in February, with hopefully localization to North America to follow.

This was released in North America as Dragon Warrior VII on the PSOne back in 2001. Anyone play it?

It's a LOOOOOOONNNNNGGG game.

I remember enjoying it, but my employer had closed in Dec of 2001 leaving me with a) no job and b) a whole lot of free time.

If I recall correctly, the story is that the world is fractured into a number of small islands. As the game progresses, you discover a hidden chamber in which you can assemble pieces of islands on various daises. Finishing an puzzle unlocks a new area to explore. I think there's also a mini game in which you assemble a town and grow it by inviting people from the different islands you open. It also had an odd job system in that combat victories (and not XP) was how progression was achieved. I eventually developed a strategy by which I would knock most enemies out of combat (thus foregoing the XP) but still winning in order to unlock higher level hybrid jobs while still having low character levels. Or something. I don't exactly recall.

It's a shame it'll be on a handheld. Those just aren't my cup of tea, these days.

I'll just leave this here in re DQVII:

The glacial pacing probably won't win over many gamers either. The first segment of Dragon Warrior VII are spent running fetch quests and exploring one long, very boring dungeon. You won't even get into a fight until roughly two hours in. The plot doesn't even start properly even several hours further in, and you won't even get to mess around with the class system until roughly fifteen hours in. And even once the plot has kicked into gear, there's still lots of senseless backtracking, because Dragon Warrior VII probably has the highest proportion of fetch quests of any JRPG in the history of JRPGs. Every chapter works like this - in order to warp through time, you'll need to hike through several screens to get into the lower chambers of the ruins. After teleporting and discovering the crumbled society you need to save, you'll need to figure out some kind of resolution. Many times, this involves transporting back to the present, hiking back to the overworld, finding some object or person to help you out, hike into the depths of the shrine, transport back to the past, and then proceed.

From here: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/dra...

One man's trash is another man's treasure. =)

Well, I guess that explains Clocky's Wii thread. Zing!

Yeah....looks like a skip.

garion333 wrote:

Well, I guess that explains Clocky's Wii thread. Zing!

Heretic!

I've really enjoyed it. I have something like 120 hours in it now, and after finding the pentasphere last night am just missing two hard-to-find items from the optional dungeon. It is easily the best battle system ever in a Tales game. I'd rate the story 3rd-best, behind Symphonia and Vesperia (in that order).

Pro Tip: Take the time to get used to how chaining moves flows when you're a child, because things really ramp up a lot when you become an adult and have B-artes unlocked plus have a lot more CC to play with. Also, CC is king. I can now create combos that burn 20CC or more with Asbel, so it's worth getting every Rise and Exceed you can.

EverythingsTentative wrote:

I just picked up Tales of Graces F, haven't got to play it yet but I am excited to.

I just picked this up too. Haven't played a Tales game since Symphonia, which I thought was fun if forgettable. (As in, I can't remember anything about it).

Took me a while to get used to the combat in Graces; my head is still in the 2D Tales games. One thing I will say for new players is that the game really picks up after the longish prologue, IMHO.

Story:

Spoiler:

I am very sick and bored of more stories about angsty teenage farmboys meeting robot girls. Isn't this the story of 95% of JRPGS? How about something fresh guys? Tales of Destiny broke that paradigm 15 years ago, and the series just seems to backslide from there.

Last night, after gazillion failures, I managed to defeat Dark Fact on my PSP. Darn', this was one frustrating end boss fight!!! I was almost ready to give up, then on my 'final try' I was just one or two blows from victory. After another 20 minutes and 20 attempts, I finally beat him (with barely any HP left).

Now, on to Ys II. Are the fights just as frustrating? Because I might be better off switching to Easy. Another Dark Fact could push me over the edge...

Ys II was fairly easy compared to I I found. Yeah, Dark Fact was definitely a pain in the ass but I also found the Mines boss difficult. There is a part in Ys II where it's tough to find where to go next. I found it handy to use a faq for that.