JRPG Catch-All

I remember watching the first trailer for Persona 3 with my friend and then us making a spur-of-the-moment road trip looking to get a copy of Nocturne (which ended in failure haha).

Garden Ninja wrote:
ccesarano wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

Oh really, that's an Atlus game? Awesome. That's hopefully arriving in my mailbox today (or some day soon, at least).

Yeah, that sucker's been almost a week. That's got me concerned.

Also, not using UPS for shipping anymore. For as much as it cost this is insufficiently slow.

You would prefer it be slower?

...shut up...

Grumble mumble stupid English...

So I'm about 4.5 hours into The Last Story as of tonight, and while my initial first hour impression was "eh" it's starting to sink its teeth into my soft, fluffy flesh. I feel I'm being unfair as I try to compare certain aspects to Xenoblade, though. I feel like Xenoblade definitely had a better budget, as a number of the animations and presentation of cut-scenes just seemed more polished. But whereas Xenoblade is mostly a single player MMO, The Last Story is a sort of tactical cover-based action RPG.

I like it.

I'll get into more detail later.

Rumor has it Square-Enix has trademarked the phrase "All the Bravest" and registered allthebravest.com.

It kind of has to be part of a Bravely Default localization, doesn't it? Please?

edit: link

Timetable is about right, game has been out in Japan for about a month. Actually, almost 2.

ccesarano wrote:

So I'm about 4.5 hours into The Last Story as of tonight, and while my initial first hour impression was "eh" it's starting to sink its teeth into my soft, fluffy flesh. I feel I'm being unfair as I try to compare certain aspects to Xenoblade, though. I feel like Xenoblade definitely had a better budget, as a number of the animations and presentation of cut-scenes just seemed more polished. But whereas Xenoblade is mostly a single player MMO, The Last Story is a sort of tactical cover-based action RPG.

This was my experience also. I think i would have enjoyed Last Story a lot more if I hadn't just played Xenoblade. But if you can look past some of the polish the game really is fantastic.

Oh I have no doubt, and if I was the sort of person that required that much polish in all of my games I wouldn't be playing on the Wii. I haven't gotten to where the story gets really interesting yet, but the gameplay has sold itself on me. I like how they're really starting to tie elements together in a way that matters, which is where the other comparison to Xenoblade comes in: in Xenoblade, it feels like you have very little control over the actual proceedings of battle. You can try and set your AI team mates up using specific kinds of attacks and then other abilities, and Shulk has special abilities himself, but it all seems very passive.

The logic The Last Story uses for the Gale ability is similar to a lot of what Xenoblade does (use this ability to inflict this status effect, then your AI team mate will use this ability to inflict THIS status effect, and THEN they're vulnerable!), but it allows more control and more efficient use of abilities. Command your team to cast a spell, Gale into the circle and then inflict a specific status. That's got potential, and what's more is I wouldn't have realized just how much if it weren't the key to that one boss fight on the ship.

I think my only complaint is sticking to cover seems a bit iffy. Sometimes Zael just rolls into cover. Other times he rolls out of cover instead of using Slash. It feels frustrating at times, but on the whole the game works pretty well. I'll just take it as a "Calm Down and Stick to Cover" thing, where I'll take my time more.

I think I need some clarification on what you guys mean by polish in this case. I still have Xenoblade Chronicles sitting at about 25 hours, and part of the reason I quit is because the design felt unchecked by reason and unnecessarily bloated. Maybe the graphics were a bit smoother but it felt like they just took the kitchen sink approach and it ended up feeling totally unfocused. I'll take well designed gameplay systems over aesthetic polish til the day I die.

ccesarano, try messing with the control settings if you haven't. I strongly preferred manual mode with the Wii remote and nunchuk.

I dunno, the issue doesn't seem tied to the gamepad as much as contextual awareness. I think I'm hitting the cover button too early or not in the right spots. I've played Gears of War recently so that could be part of the reason.

As to "polish", it's all in superficial presentation. The cut-scenes have a sort of style to them in The Last Story that feels more archaic while Xenoblade feels more up to date. Could be character animations, could be how they "shoot" it, could be a number of things (I'm about as far as you are in Xenoblade, actually). But as I also said, it's not going to ruin things for me. After all, I grew up on Final Fantasy IV.

Started Terra's story in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, and today I was given Jeanne D'Arc. Don't know much about it, but when I saw it was Level 5 I smiled.

KidDork wrote:

Started Terra's story in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, and today I was given Jeanne D'Arc. Don't know much about it, but when I saw it was Level 5 I smiled.

You'll smile even more when you play it.

Right, about halfway through The Last Story I'm guessing (11-12 hours, 20some chapters in). Plot hasn't grabbed me, gameplay has though. Just one question...

Where the Hell do I get iron and copper?

I started Resonance of Fate this weekend and, uh... it's like the opposite of FFXIII. Instead of a slow introduction of new concepts over 20 hours, it drops this complex combat system on you and says "the tutorials are that way if you feel like it". What will make or break this game for me I think is if those combat options are really required to do well, or if you can just tank everything.

Also, the "you just won" post battle music I know I've heard before, it's driving me crazy.

You will pretty much have to learn every little intricacy of that battle system, or you will get your ass handed to you by the Chapter 1 boss. Not to mention every single enemy in Chapter 4 (of like 20).

Things do get a bit easier once you start piecing together more bezels, though.

NormanTheIntern wrote:

I started Resonance of Fate this weekend and, uh... it's like the opposite of FFXIII. Instead of a slow introduction of new concepts over 20 hours, it drops this complex combat system on you and says "the tutorials are that way if you feel like it". What will make or break this game for me I think is if those combat options are really required to do well, or if you can just tank everything.

Minarchist wrote:

You will pretty much have to learn every little intricacy of that battle system, or you will get your ass handed to you by the Chapter 1 boss. Not to mention every single enemy in Chapter 4 (of like 20).

I disagree somewhat. I got through the first chapter or two without completely understanding it by grinding up a few levels, but it was much harder than it needed to be as a result. I think you can start going through without 100% understanding it, BUT you do definitely want to head over to the arena first thing and do the tutorials. Then the ones you don't understand, go back and do again later. They "should" have been built into the storyline, but I guess they wanted to make them skippable for New Game+.

As you get on in chapters, though, you do really need to understand all the intricacies.

It's been a long time since I played RoF but I enjoyed my 30-40 hours with the game quite a lot. Having said that, I found the battle system a little annoying. It's difficult to explain well but 90% of the strategy was super obvious and easy to master in the first hour of the game but the last 10%, in particular something about lining up your 3 characters attacks, was really frustrating and I never got a handle on it during my entire time with the game. I reckon there must be a balance between RoF into the fire approach and FFXIII's 40 hour tutorial.

So, after trolling this thread, I went out and bought The Last Story last night.

I did not get SUPER far... I think Chap 6 or 7 or 8 I lose track they happen so fast. I just got to my first point where I can spawn my own baddies.... so I was farming a bit to get the fighting down.

Seems like a cool game, I like the characters. I do feel like I am confused a lot, but that could just me being dumb. I am trying to get a better feel for the combat system. I am not yet good with the whole scanning the room for weak points and things, I am too slow.

Anyway, really I was just dropping by to say it is all your guys faults... I have another game now!

Ah, I did say I wanted to write more about The Last Story, didn't I?

I just finished Chapter 25, though it seems I missed Chapter 23 somewhere. I don't know if anyone will actually remember what point that is in the game aside from "halfway", but I feel like the story is finally going somewhere. For a while it basically felt like "Hey, we're going to make a star-crossed lovers story, and everything else will take back seat". I'm not totally against that, but I'm just not buying into the romance.

The combat is what's gotten me hooked, lined, and sinkered...ered....and I'm totally good with that. Even if they introduce a lot of the basic mechanics early on, they manage to keep switching it up in different boss fights.

I'm not sure you have to worry about environmental advantages, as the game seems to point them out to you constantly.

But, the arena is rather addicting, even though you can't really grind experience there. I was hoping to catch Lowell up after returning from PLOT POINT, but the experience is simply low. It DOES provide you with a lot of materials and cash for upgrading armor, though, which is great.

It's not often you get sucked into a JRPG for the combat, but I feel like The Last Story has REALLY made a step forward in the action segment of the genre.

Now, there IS one plot point I wanted to discuss...

Spoiler:

So you get to Ganondorf and he's all "FIGHT MY CAT!" Dagran decides to chase after Ganondorf and disappears while everyone else has to get speedy cat to stop and take some damage. Alright, gotcha.

Then you return to him and he's all "Man, he must've knocked me out. Let's go!" or something. I couldn't buy that. I was expecting him to die, but he was okay? Completely? That's it? Either this is a bad villain or something is up. Now I've been suspicious of him, but I don't know if I SHOULD be. I feel like he's been slightly different, and I don't know if the game is giving me subtle hints in his behavior (from getting drunk to how he talks to Zael about working with Arganan), or if I'm just making this stuff up.

I dunno what I'm expecting since I can't imagine anyone being all "Yeah here's a spoiler", but did anyone else get a strange feeling at least?

re: experience, The Last Story is similar to all other Mistwalker games in that they will very quickly level you to the point they want you to be, then cut the XP gains off completely. It's dependent on the individual character, too. I found the arena helpful to level up certain people if they lagged behind; one person might gain 3 levels from a single fight (ya rly) while the others barely moved the XP meter forward. But if they're all ahead of the arena (which does eventually get tougher with better XP gains) it won't matter, anyway.

Re: your spoiler, you'll just have to wait and see.

RE: Chapter 23, there are some optional chapters in TLS. i think in your case Ch25 is the optional one. Here's a chapter list from the wiki. Usually just reading the first paragraph of the Chapter page tells you how to start it, and isn't too spoilery. Also you can click on "other sidequests" down at the bottom to see some of the collection stuff around the city and after what chapter each is available.

RE: Spoiler. I had the same suspicions. And there's an event at the end of Ch26 that bugged me too.

Yeah, it seems there was a chain of missions intended to take place before Chapter 22. I ended up completing Chapter 24 before 22, and it was a bit difficult since I wasn't at the appropriate level yet.

Minarchist wrote:

Re: your spoiler, you'll just have to wait and see. ;)

You tease. I'm assuming I'll have to wait until I've finished the game for your front page spoiler article?

ccesarano wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

Re: your spoiler, you'll just have to wait and see. ;)

You tease. I'm assuming I'll have to wait until I've finished the game for your front page spoiler article?

Honestly, I think you could read it now. If you're in the 20s you're already past everything that I minorly spoiled. That warning was written mostly for an earlier iteration of the article that had more direct mentions of events.

Okay, the article had a near-end-game spoiler that isn't quite so surprising, but I figure I'll hold off on the rest nonetheless.

But some of what you say early on is something I certainly like about games from Japanese culture. When they feature war in games it is from a different perspective than that of American culture. We have the whole "horrors of war", but still celebrate the hero that brings everyone to victory. A lot of Japanese stories are more focused on why fight and how the horrors of war might have been avoided.

Macross, not a game but an anime, captures this very well. In fact, Halo pops into my mind as I think about it. In Halo 2 and 3 Earth is invaded and segments of the planet are blasted away, but the game never focuses beyond more than "holy crap, this place is dead now". Even ODST doesn't feel so much like a war zone as much as it has been abandoned. Then there are games like Modern Warfare 2 and Homefront, which focus on a cultural fear of America being invaded and everything we love about it being torn apart.

Macross has all this. You watch cities crumble from the onslaught of alien weaponry, as a soldier dives over a young girl trying to protect her as they are swallowed by a blistering blast wave. But the show doesn't end here, and instead continues with the recovery and rebuilding of the planet following the war.

When you take a step back and think, sure, it makes sense that the Japanese may write a story in such a manner. They experienced the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, after all, and had to rebuild and recover as a nation.

But as obvious as it seems, people continue to talk about how generic and bland anime or JRPG's have become with their stories. Is it any wonder that they'd take something completely different away from World War II thematically than we have? And that at this point it is buried so deep in their culture that even those born long after the war still carry these ideas and philosophies?

I know I've greatly gone off topic, but I've grown to enjoy, to some extent, the tropes in Japanese games about war. It's different enough from the American ideas and gives a bit of insight into how their culture has been effected by shared events. Considering video games are also the one medium where, originally at least, Japanese games have had a chance of breaking into mainstream consciousness, I look at it as being progressive in terms of global communication and shared culture.

And The Last Story is just another example of that. Only based on what I've been seeing...

Spoiler:

It seems the Power of the Outsider, at least to turn the island into a mobile fortress, started killing a bunch of the surrounding trees. Tying this to Merania's background and how we've been seeing Guardians dying, it's pretty obvious where this is going...

You start to get a bit of their philosophies inspired by the tragedy of World War II combined with their more spiritual heritage (Shintoism? Is that what it is?), and it just...well it's just interesting.

And you can always count on Sakaguchi to be interesting.

Whoa whoa - MATSUNO?!

How did I never hear of this before now? That guy's damned brilliant.

Crossposting from the 3DS thread.

Friendly reminder: Crimson Shroud is out on the eShop tomorrow, created by Yasumi Matsuno. His other works include Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII, Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together, Ogre Battle 64, and MadWorld.

Here's a review by Jeremy Parish. If I hadn't already known I was buying the game, it would have piqued my interest. It's apparently a game you'll either love or hate.

I'm hearing it'll be $8.

Nice. Just in time for a flight out to the West Coast.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Crossposting from the 3DS thread.

Friendly reminder: Crimson Shroud is out on the eShop tomorrow, created by Yasumi Matsuno. His other works include Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII, Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together, Ogre Battle 64, and MadWorld.

Here's a review by Jeremy Parish. If I hadn't already known I was buying the game, it would have piqued my interest. It's apparently a game you'll either love or hate.

I'm hearing it'll be $8.

And that, kids, is how Daddy spent his bonus on a 3DS :p.

I love everything YazMat has done and this looks up to par with his previous work. Gonna have to do it.

Is Final Fantasy 4 Heroes of Light worth $10? Just saw it's on sale at the Square-Enix store...

Honestly hard to say, because it's quite different from the typical Final Fantasy fare, aside from the trappings. I enjoyed it reasonably enough, but read some in-depth reviews before you pull the trigger.

Trailer for the 3DS remake of Dragon Quest VII:

I'd like to play that now, please. Thanks.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Trailer for the 3DS remake of Dragon Quest VII:

I'd like to play that now, please. Thanks.

You mean 3DS port?