RPG Thread Take Two Interactive
#76
(11-27-2018, 01:09 AM)Narmy Wrote:
(11-27-2018, 12:56 AM)Nin Wrote: I'll post more thoughts on Stella Glow once I am finished, but Luminous Arc 4 is great. If 2 is a significant improvement on 1, then Stella Glow is a significant improvement on that. 3 never got translated IIRC. I heard that Stella Glow had the same dev team as the Luminous Arc series, and it's pretty obvious, even to someone who hasn't played 1 and 2 in a decade or so.

Speaking of 2000's JRPGs, Idea Factory International got Agarest War 3 and is putting it on Steam. I played a bit of one, but I've been avoiding it ever since I realized that it and the rest of the ones released by Ghostlight were censored. I'll probably buy it; I like the concept and I like IFI.

They are also apparently releasing Agarest Marriage on PC.

I assumed Marriage was Agarest War 3, but it might not be technically called that.
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#77
(11-27-2018, 03:29 AM)Nin Wrote:
(11-27-2018, 01:09 AM)Narmy Wrote:
(11-27-2018, 12:56 AM)Nin Wrote: I'll post more thoughts on Stella Glow once I am finished, but Luminous Arc 4 is great. If 2 is a significant improvement on 1, then Stella Glow is a significant improvement on that. 3 never got translated IIRC. I heard that Stella Glow had the same dev team as the Luminous Arc series, and it's pretty obvious, even to someone who hasn't played 1 and 2 in a decade or so.

Speaking of 2000's JRPGs, Idea Factory International got Agarest War 3 and is putting it on Steam. I played a bit of one, but I've been avoiding it ever since I realized that it and the rest of the ones released by Ghostlight were censored. I'll probably buy it; I like the concept and I like IFI.

They are also apparently releasing Agarest Marriage on PC.

I assumed Marriage was Agarest War 3, but it might not be technically called that.

No it was a PSP spinoff.
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#78
VC4 is a lot of fun so far (I'm on chapter 7). I've played through most of VC3, and I like how VC4 takes some of the improvements there (APC, command option, and squad stories) while refraining from some of the grindy bullshit in that game (Skills that you have to grind for by using one unit in multiple classes and one squad story for every individual unit instead of one mission for every three units). Grendiers are also a really cool class that make the game more fun while the VC3 only classes of Gunner (specialized in defense shocktrooper) and Fencer (sword user with shit defense) didn't really do that quite as much. From what I've played of both, VC4 is an improvement on VC3 and an improvement on the first by extention.

VC3 did let you customize the tank more (you could pick between light, medium, or heavy tanks and equip it with various accessories with various effects), which is something I'll miss. VC3 also had 2 overpowered units that were fun to use, but probably broke the balance of the game. One thing I'll note is that scouts feel even more overpowered than usual because the PSP maps feel smaller. I didn't finish it quite yet, but I can still recommend giving it a try.
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#79
Octopath Traveler is amazing visually on the handheld mode. The gameplay is also simple but fun. I haven't tried it docked yet, but I love how the game uses the rumble feature really liberally too. It's the little things. 

That said, I'm in the middle of doing all of the Ch1 for all of the characters and the plot feels very disjointed. Each of the chapter 1's are good individually, but the fact that the story pretends that the character is alone is weird (even though it's necessary since the game is so open world), and there's no real moment where the main characters meet each other. Hopefully, there will be chapters that focus on 2 or more main characters at once down the line.
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#80
Was thinking about getting it but too many games. I'll remember about it once I burn through this insane backlog.
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#81
A few more things of note in Octopath.

1. There's a solid amount of grinding necessary between a character's Ch1 and Ch2 even if you do all of the Ch1's before attempting any Ch2. It's not too painful grinding for levels or even skills though, at least IMO, though grinding for equipment money, even with the merchant's passive abilities, is a chore. Consumable items are cheap enough that you don't have to worry about them though.

2. You're stuck with whoever you pick first, and you can't remove them from the party ever. All the characters are well rounded enough that they probably won't be a complete liability in any battle if you pick them as the obligatory character, but I'm still glad that I picked the merchant, who happens to be a jack of all trades character with self-healing, area magic, and both the spear and bow. I would personally also recommend the warrior because he can cover weakened teammates or the scholar because his magic is crazy powerful compared to everyone else, but anyone with a practical area attack (along with merchant, scholar, and warrior, there's cleric, dancer, and hunter) should be fine. The Cleric can get a stupidly high amount of SP reserve early on, the Dancer can restore a solid amount of SP every turn, and the Hunter can theorecticaly have an attack of any element if you catch the right monster, so these three are far from bad picks as well. I don"t like the herbalist since his area attack is expensive SP-wise and only does high damage on low HP, and the thief outright doesn't have one (at least in the beginning).

3. While party members don't participate in Ch2 events, they can comment on it after the scene is over. It's a neat band-aid solution to deal with the negatives of having the game being so open world (You can go to the Chapter 2 of a character before getting anyone else). After a scene is over, you can actually go out of your way to switch characters and get the retrieved character's opinion of the scene if they have some. I won't go out of my way to do this, but the option is nice.

4. After doing all of the Chapter 1 material, you should be high leveled enough to look for the job shrines that let you subclass. While having more elements and more weapons to work with is neat, the real benefit of a subclass is to mix and match passive abilities. Most of the primary job shrines are near the Chapter 2 towns and you just have to follow the shrine sign on the way to the city, though as the Dancer one is in a level 31 area south of Sunshade, gunning for that one is a bit more of a risk.
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#82
I was about to say Octopath was somewhat difficult, and it is ... in the beginning. Once you get subclassing, your characters can become very overpowered very easily or at least feel as such.

The protagonist I picked on a whim was the merchant. A simple enough jack of all trades class, whose final passive ability was halving SP for her moves. Since I was forced to keep her on the party at all times, I got that while doing her Chapter 2. Then I started trying to get the sub classes. The thing about class passives is that the first two are really cheap (in JP) to get, and you don't have to be in that class to equip the passive once you have learned it. The third isn't that much harder; just an extra dozen or so battles in Ch2. Furthermore, JP are generic, so you don't have to spend any time at all in a suboptimal class to get their passives. It was easy to get the Scholars 2nd passive (elemental boost), the Cleric's second passive (50 extra MP), and the Dancer's third passive (5% of Max SP recovery per turn rounded up) and combine those with the final passive of my merchant to turn her into a magic nuke machine.

The bosses still tend to do enough damage to keep you on your toes, but Ch 2 bosses feel a lot shorter than Ch 1 bosses because how much damage you can do in a single turn. Overall, Octopath Traveler feels like Final Fantasy Tactics where the gameplay is fun, but you can shatter the balance easily enough with some creativity.
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#83
Mercenary Saga Chronicles isn't bad, playing a bit into it. It's clearly discount Final Fantasy Tactics, but the core gameplay is solid enough. Since your characters are more restricted as to what classes they can become, it might not be as easy to break the game in half, but I haven't gotten too far.
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#84
Seen it, interested in it, it's too damn small for me and by that I mean my eyes are in migraine-inducing pain in twenty minutes. Otherwise I'd be slobbering all over that series. Does Circle have it up and available for Switch?
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#85
Yes, I was referring to that version.
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#86
Noted. I'll swing at it at that point.
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#87
I finished Octopath Traveler, well at least the main plots of the 8 characters (Didn't fight the true final boss yet). It's really good, probably worth buying the system for if you like old school RPGs. It has its flaws, but most of them are due to it being an open world game and fixing those flaws would mean making the game not open world (and thus removing the positive aspects of being open world). For example, one flaw is that the character's 8 stories don't generally connect to each other until at Chapter 4 (the final one for each one) and even so, only vaguely, but fixing that issue would mean being less able to progress each individual character's story at your own leisure. One funny thing that in practically all instances, your character is treated as being by himself. So, if say, a character is knocked out in the plot, the party members do jack shit. From chapter 2 on, you can trigger banter if the right character is in your party after a plot event. Don't try to see all of them in-game (that's what youtube is for), but it helps the journey feel a bit less lonely, and pretty much all of them are enjoyable to read.

One thing I don't really like is how you're stuck with the first character you pick with for the whole main game. Thankfully, you can remove that character from your party once you complete that character's Ch 4, and all of the characters are versatile enough to be useful for any battle, especially once you go out of your way to unlock subclassing. The only issue is that the Ch 1 for that character may be harder than if you picked a different character first since the first Ch 1 you do has to be done solo. Just pick the first character based on your play style. Ophelia is the cleric, arguably the best healer in the game and has good magic power on top of that. Cyrus is the scholar, basically a powerful black mage. His passive is to see one enemy weakness as soon as the battle begins which is very useful early game. Therion is the thief. Stealing items from NPCs as fun, and he's the only one who can open purple treasure chests. He can debuff in his base class, he's fast, and his other stats are well-rounded enough to work with both physical or magic subclasses. Olberic is the warrior, basically the tank and physical damage dealer. Challenging random NPCs in duels is fun. Primrose is the dancer, a buffer and great at magic, especially if you stick the scholar subclass on her. Both Ophelia and Primrose can temporarily recruit characters by guiding or alluring, but this is honestly gimmicky IMO. Alfyn is the apothecary, who is arguably the best healer if you use the Concoct command. That requires items, but they are buyable. He's also decently powerful with axe skills, and tankier than Ophelia. Teressa is the merchant. The merchant is a good all-rounder class with an area magic attack, BP donation abilities, a self buff that lets you dodge any physical attack, and area physical attacks (if you have enough money). Buying the veteran soldiers when using fully boosted hired help is one of the most powerful things you can do when you're in the main game, but it's probably outclassed by the late post game. Ha'anit is the hunter. She's more offensively oriented than the warrior and has a bit easier time in breaking shields. She can summon the creatures she captures, and she can be pretty powerful and versatile if you go out of your way to capture strong ones.

The battle system is fun with the boosting and shield mechanics. IIRC, that's ripped from Bravely Default, but I never played that game because it was censored. Even with the antics you can do with subclassing (the fact that you can equip passives from any class doesn't help), the bosses generally provide a challenge especially if you're unprepared. Nonetheless, you can use the Dancer's divine skill in combination with the Cleric's fully boosted reflective veil to cheese any magic focused boss though. Similarly, you can have Runelord Terresa use transfer rune in combination with sidestep to cheese out any physical focused boss, but that means unlocking the Runelord class at least. The Ch4 bosses all have a gimmick, but as a result, they vary pretty widely in difficulty. A few are piss easy, a couple are crazy hard, and the rest are okay so long as you're prepared. The advanced job bosses are much harder, though two you can cheese since they are magic focused. It's a bit weird that you're more or less expected by the game to only get the advanced job classes after beating the main story bosses, but they are pretty overpowered. That said, from what I hear of the final area, you need all the help you can get.

There are a trillion side quests. A few are necessary to unlock the final dungeon, but the vast majority are completely optional. Some provide neat worldbuilding, some provide feels, and so on. The fact that you can solve about half of them with 2 different ways is neat, even if save scumming to see the results of the ways you complete a side mission is a hell I don't want to bother with. Granted, some side quests are an utter pain to complete, but scouring the world to find a way to beat them is fun in its own way. One extremely neat thing is that almost every named side character during a protagonist's story will have a postgame sidequest related to them after you beat that protagonist's story. Some of them involve named characters from two different protagonist's stories and thus can only be unlocked after doing finishing both.

I like all of the main 8 stories overall. They are of similar enough quality, though they differ significantly in style. Teresa and Alfyn's stories are both generally about journeying around and growing as people (though they differ significantly nonetheless), Ha'anit's story is about wanting to save her not!Dad, Therion's is about journeying around to steal shit while also growing as a person, Ophelia's is about journeying around for the sake of a religious pilgrimage and helping other people grow as people, Cyrus's story is about journeying around to find a book and being dragged into a crazy conspiracy, and both Olberic's and Primrose's stories are arguably both about righting past injustices. I like Ha'anit's story the least, but that still has plenty of good moments while I honestly like Teresa's story the most despite arguably it being the most slice of life. Each chapter is pretty formulaic (go to a town, do some shit that requires your path actions, go through a short dungeon, fight the boss), but the stories varied enough that I wasn't bored unless I was forced to grind.
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