JRPG Catch-All

Good to hear about RoF. Going to give it a try in a month or two.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Very pretty new Xenoblade trailer (Japanese)

(If anyone wants to embed..)

You mean:

Very pretty new Xenoblade trailer (Japanese)

(If anyone wants to embed..) (Thanks Garrion)

It baffles me why Japanese animators are going for more realism in their works, especially since their works typically also contain key elements taken from anime style animation, which only makes their characters look weird and monstrous.

If you're going for the anime look, you should strive to make your models look more like anime characters, not real characters. Ugh.

LarryC wrote:

It baffles me why Japanese animators are going for more realism in their works, especially since their works typically also contain key elements taken from anime style animation, which only makes their characters look weird and monstrous.

If you're going for the anime look, you should strive to make your models look more like anime characters, not real characters. Ugh.

Yup. Either give up the big eyes or make everything else wacky so the big eyes aren't so freakish.

The only character that looked odd to me was the girl and a big part of that was just the way they elected to have the facial texture stretch over the model.

The entire way they model hair and such is odd. In anime, hair is almost always dynamic. It bobs attractively, sways to motion believably, and breaks apart in strong wind. Clothes, too are done in amazing detail in anime. None of that translates in Japanese game CG.

LarryC wrote:

The entire way they model hair and such is odd. In anime, hair is almost always dynamic. It bobs attractively, sways to motion believably...

You meant boobs, right? Sounds like boobs to me.

...and breaks apart in strong wind.

Aw, damn.

Siliconera has a teaser of the Ys logo with a ? as the title.

Speculation is that Ys 7 is coming to NA for PSP.

Today's Amazon Gold Box is Lunar: Silver Star Harmony Limited Edition for $25.98, which is a little lower than MSRP for the regular edition.

Nier is out this week, still getting lukewarm reviews, but Giant Bomb has promised a quick look, which to me is in many ways more important than a review.

garion333 wrote:

Nier is out this week, still getting lukewarm reviews, but Giant Bomb has promised a quick look, which to me is in many ways more important than a review.

Isn't Nier more of an action/adventure game than an RPG? I was under the impression it was more of a Heavenly Sword/God of War brawler deal.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Nier is out this week, still getting lukewarm reviews, but Giant Bomb has promised a quick look, which to me is in many ways more important than a review.

Isn't Nier more of an action/adventure game than an RPG? I was under the impression it was more of a Heavenly Sword/God of War brawler deal.

Hmmm, good point. I thought it was an action rpg, but it appears to be more of an adventure game. Oh well.

Record of Agarest War is being released today. I'd get it if I had any spare money or time, but I already have a nice stack of strategic JRPGs to work through.

garion333 wrote:

Hmmm, good point. I thought it was an action rpg, but it appears to be more of an adventure game. Oh well. ;)

Well, they're referring to it in all their press materials as an action RPG, so maybe it is one. I still don't think it looks much like what people would call a JRPG, though.

In any case, I'm actually interested in news about it. It looks interesting, and I'm not afraid to say that Kainé looks sexy. What's very interesting to me, though, is the developer's decision to make two versions of the game: Nier Gestalt (our Nier) and Nier Replicant that are identical except for the design of the lead character and his relationship with the daughter character (in Nier Replicant, she's his little sister). Only Nier Gestalt, with its burly lead character, is being released in the US.

From the first review of NIER I could find, it sounds like the game is a crazy-quilt of ideas:

Even describing it as a JRPG may be stretching it, for while NIER has experience points-based levelling up, weapon upgrading, towns, NPCs, item farming, party members, and all that other role-playing stuff we know and love, it doesn't really feel like a JRPG at all.

In truth, it feels more like an adventure game, specifically that great influencer: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Indeed on the face of it, NIER looks like a high def OoT, except with lots and lots of blood and loads of swearing. But really this is an imperfect comparison, because while cavia has clearly used OoT's manual to fashion NIER's foundations, built on top are nods to old-school Resident Evil, 2D side-scrolling platformers, "shmups" and even God of War.

[...]

Really though, compared with so many recent Square Enix games, NIER's story, and indeed its attitude to gameplay, is refreshing. It's packed to bursting with interesting ideas, from occasional 2.5D side-scrolling platforming to top down perspective puzzle solving. NIER's camera is in a constant state of flux, and only occasionally suffers from the embolisms that afflict so many third-person action games. One section, set in a horribly creepy manor, sets the camera in ceiling corners in classic Resident Evil style. As you explore its mysterious innards and meet Emil, a powerful young boy who eventually joins your eclectic party, you feel as if you're playing a completely different game. Later, there's a section with the camera set at a distant isometric view, a clear nod to old-school Western RPGs. At one point, the camera goes birds-eye, leaving you free to direct Dark Blasts with the right thumb stick in a section that brings to mind Geometry Wars. There's even one section which doesn't involve a camera at all, instead presenting the player with walls of "choose your own adventure" text. NIER, really, is one big electronic doffed cap to games past and present.

The review itself is mixed, but it's piqued my interest in the game. It's a shame that I have a gigantic pile of new games and probably won't get to this one for awhile.

This might help you find some more reviews.

garion333 wrote:

This might help you find some more reviews. ;)

Perhaps I should have said "the first one I bothered to click on."

Are there any video reviews up, oh wise one?

ClockworkHouse wrote:
garion333 wrote:

This might help you find some more reviews. ;)

Perhaps I should have said "the first one I bothered to click on."

Are there any video reviews up, oh wise one?

I was wondering.... No, I haven't seen any video reviews. IGN would be the most likely since they do a ton of video reviews, but I'm thinking this game has such a low profile .... And you never know with GameTrailers. Even if they do one it might be a month or more in coming. They've been all over the place lately.

Anyway, that Giant Bomb quick look should suffice for me when it goes up.

I *still* can't find Infinite Space or Sands of Destruction anywhere.

Lard wrote:

I *still* can't find Infinite Space or Sands of Destruction anywhere. :(

Goozex?

Clemenstation wrote:
Lard wrote:

I *still* can't find Infinite Space or Sands of Destruction anywhere. :(

Goozex?

Amazon.ca has them...

garion333 wrote:
Clemenstation wrote:
Lard wrote:

I *still* can't find Infinite Space or Sands of Destruction anywhere. :(

Goozex?

Amazon.ca has them...

Really? Cause I looked for Sands of Destruction and thought it was sold out.

Also -

X-Seed partners with Nihon Falcom
Strategic Deal Reflects Bringing the Popular Ys and The Legend of Heroes series to North America

XSEED Games today announced a wide-ranging partnership with developer and publisher Nihon Falcom, one of Japan’s most well-respected development studios, to bring the three latest installments in the long-running Ys franchise: Ys SEVEN, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, and Ys I & II Chronicles, to the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system in North America. In addition, the deal will allow XSEED Games to release the next three chapters in Falcom’s popular The Legend of Heroes series, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky trilogy (known as the Sora no Kiseki trilogy in Japan), to the North American market on the PSP system. All six titles were developed by one of Japan’s most well-admired and longest-running independent-minded studios, Falcom, which has been a pioneer of the RPG genre since their first release in 1983.

“We are ecstatic to partner with XSEED Games on multiple new releases,” said Toshihiro Kondo, President of Falcom. “Their passion and reputation for working on outstanding RPGs is in line with our own development philosophy and assures me that our fans in North America will be getting the best English versions of our games possible.”

Under the terms of the partnership, XSEED Games retains exclusive North American publishing and distribution rights to multiple upcoming iterations of the Ys and The Legend of Heroes series, starting with Ys SEVEN, exclusively for the PSP system.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to announce a partnership with a development studio as renown by gamers for consistently putting out quality titles as Falcom,” said Jun Iwasaki, President of XSEED Games. “Their titles have always been some of the most requested titles so it is going to be our pleasure to oblige the North American fans by delivering an amazing line up of in-depth and gripping RPGs.”

Ys SEVEN is the latest installment in the long-running Ys series which first debuted on PC in 1987. This is the first iteration to be built specifically for the PSP system, taking full advantage of the widescreen format and hardware for beautiful graphics and virtually no loadtimes. The battle system consists of a three-member battle party with enemies engaged on the field map in real-time for fast-paced combat. Old fans of the series and new players alike will be immersed into the rich vibrant world containing over 30 hours of gameplay.

Currently in production, Ys SEVEN will be the first Falcom project from the announced line up released in North America by XSEED Games for the PSP system in late summer 2010. XSEED Games will release more product information and plans on each title in the coming months.
__________________

Lard wrote:
garion333 wrote:
Clemenstation wrote:
Lard wrote:

I *still* can't find Infinite Space or Sands of Destruction anywhere. :(

Goozex?

Amazon.ca has them...

Really? Cause I looked for Sands of Destruction and thought it was sold out.

They're both still there, though Infinite Space is currently expensive as hell. Even when they sell out they'll generally get more stock in at Amazon. Anyway ...

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I finally reached a combat section in Sakura Wars (1:30 on the game clock; forewarned is forearmed)...

The game's PS2 roots also show in the video display: some of the backgrounds are blurry and obviously interlaced at 480p, and the game doesn't support 16:9 at all, not even offering bumpers to keep the image at a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Yeah, at least on the PS2 I'm getting a nice-looking 4:3 picture. This is definitely a PS2 game with good but PS2-era graphics.

After several false starts (I kept getting interrupted a half hour in and just starting over) I finally got about as far as you, although it took me a bit longer. I have finished the first chapter and I expect every chapter is divided up into a few "dating sim" sections and then concludes with a big "battle" section.

I am very poor at strategy games, so I'm glad the first fight was pretty easy. I can't add much that Clockwork hasn't already said, although there are some interesting mechanics around positioning for team attacks. Also, if a turn ends and you are near one of your partners, you might have a conversation with them which might increase your trust level. So there's a certain risk/reward around putting yourself in danger or acting sub-optimally to get close to a partner, so you can talk to them and team attack with them.

My big complaint is that the "dating sim" portions seem to frequently have clear answers that are good or bad; so far, at least, not much branching. It does not make a huge difference to the game but it would be hard for a min/maxer not to grab a walkthrough and cruise through on all the best answers. Which is probably less fun.

It's wacky anime situations, a lot of conversations, occasionally some free walking around the theater and parts of the city, and a fairly simple SRPG. It does it well but it is definitely niche. You should probably have a good idea whether you will like it or not.

Beeporama, I'm glad someone else picked up Sakura Wars. Unfortunately, I haven't played it since I finished the first chapter. I've been waiting until I have a classic controller, and I've gotten sucked into other games (Resonance of Fate and New Super Mario Bros. Wii, primarily). I'm hoping to get back to it soon, though.

With regard to the branching options, I'm hoping that that's something that becomes more prevalent in later chapters. I'd like to see players have to make strategic choices about who to pursue and who to let fall by the wayside.

I've updated the list to add the upcoming Ys and Legend of Heroes games. I'm not sure if Ys I & II Chronicles is significantly different from the same games released on the Wii's virtual console. I simply numbered the Legend of Heroes games; the second and third Japanese releases were named Sora no Kiseki Second Chapter and Sora no Kiseki the 3rd, respectively.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Beeporama, I'm glad someone else picked up Sakura Wars. Unfortunately, I haven't played it since I finished the first chapter. I've been waiting until I have a classic controller, and I've gotten sucked into other games (Resonance of Fate and New Super Mario Bros. Wii, primarily).

With Alan Wake and Red Dead Redemption on the way, we'll see how it goes with me. My setup is interesting: the current-gen consoles are hooked up to the living room television, and last-gen (including the PS2) are in the rumpus room. I usually keep two or three games going at a time: one in the living room when the TV is free, another from the last-gen Pile when my wife wants to watch something I'm not interested in. I'll probably end up playing a chapter here and there when RuPaul's Drag Race or whatever is on. I really have enjoyed it so far.

Also, according to Kotaku, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep has been dated for September 7. I'm not sure that it counts as a JRPG just by virtue of being Japanese and having an incomprehensibly convoluted story, though; and maybe it should have its own thread...

beeporama wrote:

Also, according to Kotaku, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep has been dated for September 7. I'm not sure that it counts as a JRPG just by virtue of being Japanese and having an incomprehensibly convoluted story, though; and maybe it should have its own thread...

I haven't played any of the Kingdom Hearts games. What's the gameplay like?

ClockworkHouse wrote:
beeporama wrote:

Also, according to Kotaku, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep has been dated for September 7. I'm not sure that it counts as a JRPG just by virtue of being Japanese and having an incomprehensibly convoluted story, though; and maybe it should have its own thread...

I haven't played any of the Kingdom Hearts games. What's the gameplay like?

They're action role playing games, but lean a bit more towards the action side of things. You can get the first two pretty cheap and they're fun games, if a little button mashy. I mean, the second game could be beaten with your eyes closed. Seriously.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
beeporama wrote:

Also, according to Kotaku, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep has been dated for September 7. I'm not sure that it counts as a JRPG just by virtue of being Japanese and having an incomprehensibly convoluted story, though; and maybe it should have its own thread...

I haven't played any of the Kingdom Hearts games. What's the gameplay like?

The console iterations are the only ones I played extensively, and they are action RPGs, kind of Zelda or Fable with EXP and leveling up. The DS game (a "side story" to the first) is supposed to be similar, but there was a GBA game (set between the two console games) that had a lot of collectible card game aspects (and was miserably un-fun during the half hour or so I played). Based on my limited reading, this is similar. I'm not actually a huge fan of the series; I really enjoyed the first game, but the story quickly took a turn for crazytown in the sequels.

garion333 wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
beeporama wrote:

Also, according to Kotaku, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep has been dated for September 7. I'm not sure that it counts as a JRPG just by virtue of being Japanese and having an incomprehensibly convoluted story, though; and maybe it should have its own thread...

I haven't played any of the Kingdom Hearts games. What's the gameplay like?

They're action role playing games, but lean a bit more towards the action side of things. You can get the first two pretty cheap and they're fun games, if a little button mashy. I mean, the second game could be beaten with your eyes closed. Seriously.

Really fun if you (or any child, wife, etc. of yours) is at all into Disney, as well. The plot is well-written but convoluted (hey, it's Square), and the voice-acting is generally top-notch. I enjoyed them, but I can't wait to play through them again when my daughter's old enough to play along. They'll look like ass by then, but hey. Of course, if you're throwing back to the PS2, you need to check out Persona 3 and 4, first.