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RPGs that didn't impress you...


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#1 ChernobylCow

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 04:41 AM

In the wake of Persona 4's great acclaim and acceptance, I decided to get Persona 3:FES.

I am the sort of person that does plenty of research on something that I plan on spending my hard earned $$$ on (or Goozex points in this case). I'll read many reviews trying to see if some reviewer had some obviously failed to recognize a killer flaw in a game that would kill it for me.

In the end I decided to try out P3:FES. First off there is about 30 minutes of scripted dialogue and exposition. X continue dialogue, here's a character. X continue dialogue, here's the dorm...yadda yadda yadda. Then once they finally let you start playing I realize that this game is (I guess I should've predicted it) merely a dungeon crawler like Nocturne [see below] all over again. Except instead of a streamless dungeon crawl, the game forces you to go through dialogue sequences again and again (going to school) before it lets you play the game? Man, forget that. In Baldur's Gate 2, if I don't want to talk to someone I'll kill them. In Planescape: Torment, if I don't like someone that I'm talking to I'll talk them into a loophole so that they UNTHINK their own existence.

So if I am wrong here please say that the game opens up...eventually. Because I'm at about 3 hours and I feel like I'm waiting for the game to become....a dungeon crawler.

Don't get me wrong, I admire the art style, the anime cinematics, the attempt at introducing social elements, and the unique premise. As opposed to Nocturne this game actually has character development (no not leveling up, I mean there is depth to the characters, albeit shallow).

So anyways.

RPGs I took back to the store:

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne:
Spoiler


Dragon Quest VIII:
Spoiler


Disgaea 1 & 2:
Spoiler


So if you want to defend P3, please do. I am a patient gamer, having beaten clunky games (to some, unloveable) such as Siren: New Translation and Gothic [pc]. I am just trying to be more picky about how I squander my lovely entertainment time.

Edited by ChernobylCow, 26 April 2009 - 01:32 AM.


#2 ratzombie

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 08:38 AM

You are a brave man.

#3 Ryuukishi

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 02:49 PM

Eh. I'm loving Persona 3 but I can definitely see how someone wouldn't appreciate its unusual approach. It does have ultra-long dialogue sequences but that's kind of the point of the game. And if you don't like dungeon crawls, then yeah, it's just not going to be your cup of tea.

It is kind of funny to me that you don't like Shin Megami Tensei or Dragon Quest. They're like polar opposite examples of JRPG design. I'd think that if you had a strong dislike for one, you might really dig the other. What JRPGs do you like?

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#4 ChernobylCow

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 03:04 PM

Honestly, I am replaying FFIX right now. I am enjoying it mostly but am sort of bored with its dated combat...I'm nit picky about the story because it's being told from dual perspectives atm which many people might praise but I believe it's disjointed and unnecessary.

In the end, the only JRPGs I can say with true honesty that I liked would be Suikoden 1 & 2. Their combat is dated, of course, but their stories actually have significant things at stake. There are numerous characters w/memorable personalities, not just character art design.
In the end I guess am just from the school of Western RPGs. None of the JRPGs I've played can satisfy anything that the following games have provided:
1) Baldur's Gate I & II
2) Fallout 1 & 2
3) Deus Ex & Fallout 3

#5 Josef

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 04:08 PM

To each his own.

I personally loved DQVIII and both Disgaeas.

#6 Teh Nitwit

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 04:25 PM

Of the games you mentioned, I loved BG, BG2, DQ8, P3, and Disgaea 1.
Tried but couldn't get into PS:Torment and hated Disgaea 2.
Currently enjoying P4.

Each game has its own charms and its own drawbacks (for example, BG series has stupid pathfinding).

#7 fyrtoes

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 04:44 PM

freedom is not the kinda thing that pops into my head when i think "japanese gaming"
think about who makes the "choose your own adventure" games
sandbox games.
I cant think of one that has been developed from japan.
JRPGs i guess arent suppose to have that kind of freedom. They are number crunchers, much more so than any western RPG. no western RPG has the numerical rigor of Jrpgs.
its cultural i guess

#8 camoor

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 05:55 PM

You tell it like it is man. I kinda regret all that time I wasted on RPGs.

I know I'm going to end up finishing Shadow Hearts Covenant, but I'm really starting to question why...

#9 oremites

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 07:29 PM

You tell it like it is man. I kinda regret all that time I wasted on RPGs.

If you enjoyed playing the RPGs, how was that wasted time? Isn't that the point of playing video games?

If you weren't enjoying them, why were you playing them?

#10 oremites

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 07:32 PM

In the end I guess am just from the school of Western RPGs.


You should have posted "I like Western RPGs. I don't like JRPGs." right at the beginning of the thread. It would have saved a lot of time.

#11 Teh Nitwit

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 07:49 PM

If you enjoyed playing the RPGs, how was that wasted time? Isn't that the point of playing video games?

If you weren't enjoying them, why were you playing them?


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#12 62t

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 08:02 PM

You will have a better time with games like Fable 2 and Oblivion I think

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#13 Rodster

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 08:49 PM

I've had the opposite experience with P3:FES to the OP. I have never been a big fan of JRPG's in fact I hated them for some reason. Just like the OP I did my research on P3:FES and I read a crap load of impressions and reviews. When the FES version came out I decided to buy it.

It's the best game I have ever played hands down. I love everything about the game. I love the part of being a HS'er, going on field trips, taking exams, going on dates, making friends etc. And the story gets pretty cool too. Don't want to spoil it for anyone.

For some reason I had no problems with the dungeon in fact i'm at the top and have 16 days left to boost my stats before I fight the Main Boss. I also love all the Persona's you can make in this game. It's awesome and now i've come full circle and started buying JRPG's because of P3:FES. I also bought P4 as well. As soon as i'm finished with P3 i'll crack open P4.

As someone else stated and impressions i've read. P3 is not for everyone even if your a fan of JRPG's. A buddy of mine who works at Gamestop loves the game but hates the huge dungeon. I'm totally the opposite. I love the dungeon part and all the cool monsters you fight along with all the crazy magic you get to use.

#14 keithp

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 11:42 PM

First, if you did as much research as you say I don't see how you couldn't have gone into Persona not knowing it was one big dungeon-crawl.

Secondly, console RPGs, and especially JRPGs, are nothing like the great Western PC RPGs that you named, such as BG, PS:T, Fallout.

Third, try Arcanum on the PC if you haven't played it. I think you'll like it.

#15 surak

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 12:06 AM

The story and atmosphere do pick up dramatically in P3, so I think it is still worth it to keep going a little further with the game. It will still be much more linear than a western RPG but as the game progresses, you will feel more drawn into having a purpose (as the protagonist) and identifying with the other characters. A very important part of the game is your relationship to others in the P3 world. I would say keep going until you have at least a high social link with a character you don't hate and see whether you have any interest in hanging out with them again. I think for almost everyone who likes the game, getting to know the other characters is one of the highlights of the game and the reason to keep playing. I personally am not a fan of the dungeon crawling but internalize the protagonist's reasons to keep going (after all, Tartarus isn't supposed to be enjoyable).

If you feel nothing at all, then you are a shell of a person (j/k) it definitely won't get any more fun.

#16 ChernobylCow

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 12:13 AM

I know I'm going to end up finishing Shadow Hearts Covenant, but I'm really starting to question why...


I traded off SH:Covenant also. I liked the timing based combat, but storyline was not engaging to me and too nonsensical.

Third, try Arcanum on the PC if you haven't played it. I think you'll like it.


I've played it extensively and enjoyed it, but I'll never go back to it because the combat system is practically broken.

They are number crunchers, much more so than any western RPG. No western RPG has the numerical rigor of Jrpgs.
its cultural i guess


I would have to say that isn't true at all. In my opinion nearly ALL JRPGs calculate all these little numbers and say you do X damage blah blah blah but it's all PRE-determined values. You as the player/user have next to no ability to affect the damage output EXCEPT by grinding/leveling which raises your STATS in a predetermined manner as the designers chose.

Take Baldur's Gate series for instance. It's based off the AD&D ruleset. I'm not the biggest fan of the AD&D ruleset. But it's based off those RULES, you as the player/user know what the rules are. You have the ability to manipulate the numbers. You understand WHY there is a big difference between a longsword + 1 (+5 fire damage) and a longsword + 2. Fallout's system ALSO is much reverred (but definately, definately, not perfect) and it gives you a great range of manipulation of the number system.

In JRPGs, my experience is that you have no idea where these absurd numbers are coming from. They're all in the background, just whatever the developers wanted them to be. You buy the next pair of Mario Underpants because you're in the next level and you know you need the next powerful item to make the grind easier. Otherwise you won't beat Goomba Wizard #3.

#17 willardhaven

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 12:20 AM

I "digged" this thread.

What I find especially hilarious is that it took you 20 hours of your life to realize you didn't like what you were doing.

How many times did you burn your hand on something hot as a child?

On a more serious note, I agree with you about the annoying text in P3 and Dragon Quest VIII being kind of crappy.

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#18 surak

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 12:39 AM

You can just hold down triangle if you don't like exposition.

#19 willardhaven

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 12:49 AM

I was just about to mention that, plus the option to have the text auto-advance like a movie.

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#20 ChernobylCow

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 12:58 AM

What I find especially hilarious is that it took you 20 hours of your life to realize you didn't like what you were doing.


Yawn. Let's look at the logistics of this.

If Dragon Quest VIII is about a 60+ hour game 20 hours would be 1/3rd, correct?

These games take time to get rolling and it takes time to see if the game is ever going to "open" up or "reveal" itself to you. It's no different than watching 40 minutes of a 2 hour movie.

It's a moot point to be critical of someone having spent a lot of time with a game and ending up not liking it. Gaming is about squandering time. Entertainment is squandering time.

I was hoping to have some meaningful gaming discussion. Telling me that you can press Triangle to skip dialogue is like telling me I can skip the talking scenes on Shoot Em' Up dvd starring Clive Owen...

#21 willardhaven

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 01:11 AM

I would argue that if you don't like a game after the first hour it's worthless to continue, but to each his own.

You probably wouldn't be disappointed to the point of ranting if you didn't spend so much time on games you obviously dislike.

I wasn't trying to be critical really, I was just joking with you.

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#22 ChernobylCow

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 01:26 AM

No harm done.

My hope is that someone will really defend some of the JRPGs they love and have some valid points. I've definitely spent time with these games, I don't regret the experience. I just know they're not as great as they're proclaimed to be.

My posts/thread is far from ranting. I haven't even made fun of the Dragon Ball Z lovers and the gratuitous, angsty, emo suicide animations in every P3 combat.

#23 willardhaven

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 01:34 AM

A good way to understand JRPGs is from the perspective of someone who enjoys both cartoons and video games.

To me P3 is like peanut butter and chocolate. I put the text on auto advance and watch an entertaining cartoon in between the awesome battles.

The dungeons are uninspired but the action-based field encounters before battles are a lot of fun to me. The battles move quickly and you can use a lot of strategy or experiment like I do.

What aspect do you want me to defend? Hell, I'll try defending DQ VIII if you want me to even though I dislike that game.

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#24 keithp

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 01:40 AM


My hope is that someone will really defend some of the JRPGs they love and have some valid points.


Why? You've already said you don't enjoy them, so whatever points someone makes won't be valid to you. Or maybe you're hoping someone will inspire you to try the games again? But then you'll come back in a couple of days, weeks, whenever and rant some more I guess when you realize you still don't like them.

#25 davegargamel

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 02:46 AM

Why? You've already said you don't enjoy them, so whatever points someone makes won't be valid to you. Or maybe you're hoping someone will inspire you to try the games again? But then you'll come back in a couple of days, weeks, whenever and rant some more I guess when you realize you still don't like them.



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#26 surak

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 02:58 AM

If you want a serious discussion, then here you go. It sounds like you prefer games that allow you do define what you want to do in-game (ignore/kill NPCs to avoid conversation, etc.) and what kind of person your protagonist is. You'd rather the game let you advance no matter how you play it, but JRPGs are typically set up in a way that's closer to a story unfolding interactively, where character development fixed and you have less say in what the protagonist can do, leaving choice only to side quests or at a few key points to get different endings.

Ironically, P3 has much more choice than a typical JRPG because it's up to you to decide which personas to make and use, which bonuses you want to acquire via social links and other outside-dungeon activities, and most battles require more strategy rather than pure investment in leveling since every persona has different weaknesses and skills. Many people, including myself, think the story and dialogue are actually very well written as far as video games go. You might dislike it because no matter how well written it is, it doesn't allow you to change your character's motivations and won't change the game or let you play it in a different manner to the extent that things like Fallout or Deus Ex do. Then it's just a matter of subjective taste and perhaps you'd like more open JRPGs like Legend of Mana, which is about as sandbox a title as I can think of right now.

#27 ratzombie

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 04:40 AM

I would argue that if you don't like a game after the first hour it's worthless to continue, but to each his own.

You probably wouldn't be disappointed to the point of ranting if you didn't spend so much time on games you obviously dislike.

I wasn't trying to be critical really, I was just joking with you.

And I would argue that if he said he only played P3 for one hour, you would say he didn't give the game "a chance."

I personally find gameplay in "Western RPGs" a lot more fun to play, where as I find the story in JRPGs a little more interesting.

That being said, I still need to play Persona 3 / 4.

#28 Brian9824

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 04:45 PM

Honestly if you don't like it nothing we will say will change your opinion. I mean you might as well say you don't like a movie because you can't kill a charachter in it you don't like.

The game tells a story and honestly its a more entertaining story then most of the western RPG's like Fallout 3, Oblivion, etc.

Yes its more structured and you don't have the same level of freedom, but the story is more entertaining to me, the charachters are much more likeable, and I honestly want to see what happens next.

Not to say games like Fallout 3 and Oblivion aren't good for their own reasons but in terms of story they don't measure anywhere near Persona 3/4.

#29 oremites

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 04:47 PM

A

Edited by oremites, 14 February 2009 - 11:42 AM.


#30 willardhaven

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 05:09 PM

And I would argue that if he said he only played P3 for one hour, you would say he didn't give the game "a chance."


No. :)

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