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 Post subject: Re: High difficulty JRPGs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:57 am 
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noiseredux wrote:
weird. I thought the laws thing was really interesting.


To me it was one of those interesting ideas but either wasn't implemented well or just sounded good in theory but didn't translate in the end. I get what they were trying to do, but more often it annoyed me than I felt it added to the experience.

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 Post subject: Re: High difficulty JRPGs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:21 pm 
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BoneSnapDeez wrote:
And I can't confirm it, but supposedly if you make some bad choices early on, the game becomes literally impossible once you hit a certain point.


Yep, pairing with the wrong partner, or losing a duel winds up with you losing almost all the Runes. Without the Runes, the game feels near impossible unless you plan to power-level for some 20+ hours.

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 Post subject: Re: High difficulty JRPGs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:24 pm 
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Jmustang1968 wrote:
noiseredux wrote:
weird. I thought the laws thing was really interesting.


To me it was one of those interesting ideas but either wasn't implemented well or just sounded good in theory but didn't translate in the end. I get what they were trying to do, but more often it annoyed me than I felt it added to the experience.


Never got around to beating FFTA. Last thing I remember was getting to a Boss fight or a hard battle then being slapped with the no healing law or something like that.

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 Post subject: Re: High difficulty JRPGs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:30 pm 
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avrame wrote:
Never got around to beating FFTA. Last thing I remember was getting to a Boss fight or a hard battle then being slapped with the no healing law or something like that.

Haha, you would have loved the final boss then, one of it's attacks adds a lot of rules.


Which was it's downfall since it wasted turn on something easily countered with a "clear all the rules" card.

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 Post subject: Re: High difficulty JRPGs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:34 pm 
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avrame wrote:
BoneSnapDeez wrote:
And I can't confirm it, but supposedly if you make some bad choices early on, the game becomes literally impossible once you hit a certain point.


Yep, pairing with the wrong partner, or losing a duel winds up with you losing almost all the Runes. Without the Runes, the game feels near impossible unless you plan to power-level for some 20+ hours.


Damn, I can imagine that would happen! I would always reset if I lost to an apprentice so thankfully I never experienced that.

You know how Valsu (the mage) gains the elixir spell at level 42 (I think)? I've always heard that if you try to fight him at this level you'll never win as he's essentially immortal at that point.

Also, if you somehow manage to skate through the first half of the game while underleveled you'll get owned by regular enemies once you reach the past. And of course, it's impossible to level grind if you can't win a single encounter.

The game is just bad ass!

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 Post subject: Re: High difficulty JRPGs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Have you considered trying some rogue-likes instead of just JRPGs? High difficulty, high risk as death often forces a full restart, but very interesting games if you want a challenge. Most people get their asses kicked repeatedly until realizing they need to understand the game world and learn what can be taken advantage of versus what will take advantage of you. Try playing the old (free) classic NetHack and see how you do.

Not sure there are a lot of classic console games that fall into this genre (none come to mind unless you want to import) but there are a handful of great PC releases that are easy to track down. The Wii/DS also have a few solid entries: Baroque, Shiren, Izuna, and the comparatively easy Chocobo's Dungeon/Mystery Dungeon games all come to mind.

As for straight-up difficult JRPGs, the toughest I remember playing is a translated version of Final Fantasy II on the NES. The game had some interesting ideas but wasn't really very good. It had a weak story and was prone to masochistic levelling abuse as you can beat up your own party members to increase character stats and abilities.

I've played through the Final Fantasy games on the original Game Boy. They aren't half bad, but certainly aren't super difficult. Grinding is required... somehow that never bothered me in portable games though, as it's easy to grind while doing other things at the same time. I think that the second game was my favorite from that series.


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 Post subject: Re: High difficulty JRPGs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Is Final Fantasy Legend on Gameboy worth it? I've read that that game's damn near impossible

No one responded to this, so I figured I might as well say something. FFL (SaGa) on the Game Boy is actually not that difficult once you know how the system works. Essentially, you have three types of party members:

Humans, who gain stats by you feeding them items. HP items for health, Attack items for attack, Agility items for agility. They're all clearly labeled. They don't use magic so you load them up with weapons and armor and they're your fighter types.

Mutants, who gain stats randomly after a battle. They also randomly gain techniques after a battle (essentially spells). You can have up to half your inventory filled with techniques, and new ones replace old ones. So they end up being your mage characters. Sometimes you can luck out and get a really good technique early, other times you don't. They are less consistent than humans but they have the potential to get more powerful quickly if you are willing to save and reset. For single-target damage humans will do better (because you can get their stats above 99 due to an oversight in the game engine) but mutants have lots of multi-hit spells, which is important.

Monsters, who stay at fixed levels of power. To get a better monster you feed them meat left by an enemy at the end of battle. Due to the mechanics of monsters you can actually get a ridiculously powerful one at a very early point in the game, but you need to be taking a specific series of steps. The results of your monster + enemy meat is well defined, so if you're willing to look up a guide you can get a lot of mileage out of these guys. However, you cannot customize their equipment or skills, so they end up being sub-par compared to humans and mutants.

The key sticking point for most people is that your power growth is not based on how many battles you fight. If you spend all your money on new weapons you're worse off than if you spent them on stat-ups for your humans, for example. Once you understand the system it's not too hard at all.

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 Post subject: Re: High difficulty JRPGs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:16 pm 
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MrPopo wrote:
Quote:
Is Final Fantasy Legend on Gameboy worth it? I've read that that game's damn near impossible

No one responded to this, so I figured I might as well say something. FFL (SaGa) on the Game Boy is actually not that difficult once you know how the system works.


Thanks! I tried to give it a go, but it's that weird little system that really put me off. It's definitely back on the list now!
ejamer wrote:
Have you considered trying some rogue-likes instead of just JRPGs? High difficulty, high risk as death often forces a full restart, but very interesting games if you want a challenge. Most people get their asses kicked repeatedly until realizing they need to understand the game world and learn what can be taken advantage of versus what will take advantage of you. Try playing the old (free) classic NetHack and see how you do.

...

As for straight-up difficult JRPGs, the toughest I remember playing is a translated version of Final Fantasy II on the NES. The game had some interesting ideas but wasn't really very good. It had a weak story and was prone to masochistic levelling abuse as you can beat up your own party members to increase character stats and abilities.


I've been thinking about trying out a rogue-style dungeon crawl, that's a good idea. I remember seeing a friend play rogue on an IBM when I was 9 and thinking it looked pretty cool... "W" is werewolf, right? :P

I tried a patched FF II. That whole hurting your own party members thing really put me off. And another problem, if the FAQs are anything to go by (and sometimes they're not; everbody'll tell you Sleep is useless in DWI; I call bullshit on that, I used it on the Dragonlord), it's filled with clutter: spells that are don't do anything, weapons and armor there's no conceivable reason to buy... shit like that really gets on my nerves, you can't buy anything without looking at a walkthrough. Couldn't they make it a little tighter? OK, Final Fantasy I suffers from basically the same problem, but... it's Final Fantasy I, I mean, come on :mrgreen:

But that does remind me... I'm definitely gonna give a patched version of Final Fantasy IV for the SNES a shot. The US version (which would be Final Fantasy II) was dumbed down 30% apparently!

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 Post subject: Re: High difficulty JRPGs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:48 pm 
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Jmustang1968 wrote:
noiseredux wrote:
weird. I thought the laws thing was really interesting.


To me it was one of those interesting ideas but either wasn't implemented well or just sounded good in theory but didn't translate in the end. I get what they were trying to do, but more often it annoyed me than I felt it added to the experience.


The laws were annoying, not a game breaker, but just the idea makes the game world feel sillier than it already is *cough*DIY map screen*cough*. IMHO, that game's real fatal flaw is the terrible monster design. If nothing else, that's the one thing JRPGs consistently get right, it's like going into a JRPG you never have to think to yourself "I wonder if the monsters are really terribly drawn and lame-looking", but FFTA was just crap. They're ugly and unimaginative to begin with, and there's only about oh say no more than 15 basic monsters, but that isometric view scrunching them down to proportion makes them look even more stupid. That's what did it for me. The playable characters were all really cool, I really don't see how they could screw it up so bad...

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 Post subject: Re: High difficulty JRPGs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:59 pm 
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I think the difficulty in rpgs thing is kinda tough, since there is usually a spot that can be used to level up and gain strength on the competition.

Some jrpgs can be fairly tough if you never stop to grind a bit, and especially tough if you skip some sections.

In my first play through of FFX-2 (yes, Ive played it through more than once), I missed pretty much everything, and ended up in the final dungeon at lvl 19, unable to take out the first boss.

Some other jrpgs will try to add difficulty by making the enemies have really tough attacks, or even instant kills, but then make that enemy have a weakness, so that once its learned, the enemy isnt quite so dangerous. I don't mind this kind of difficulty, as Shin Megami Tensei series does this a lot, but at times it can feel cheap.

The third kind of difficulty I find is just cheap. A boss that has the ability to kill you whenever it likes, but with luck, the boss wont kill you and you can take him down. This is definitely my least favorite kind of difficulty.

Something a few jrpgs have done to keep my eyes and hands entertained is to add a timing system to the battle. Legend of Dragoon did this really well, and Shadow Hearts is another good example. The game in general is not hard, but having a timing system gives you something to try for, so that you aren't just attacking every turn.

In all, as I've grown up, I've realized that jrpgs are good for story and character building, but not so much for difficulty. Whether the game is way too tough, or way too easy, I never find myself enjoying an rpg for the difficulty. Now, if I want a good challenge, I try to clear an older game on one credit, or chase score.


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