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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:56 pm

I still need to try out Esper Dream 2. I finally snagged the first (disk) game last year. It's alright. The sequel looks so much better.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:24 pm

I should consider getting an FDS at some point. Might be interesting.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:31 pm

If you plan on playing RPGs then bone up on your Japanese. Very few contain English text, even in the menus.

Esper Dream is actually a huge pain on original hardware, mainly due to disk flipping and load times. In some circumstances the disk has to be flipped twice within a 30 second span.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by MrPopo Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:36 pm

Exhuminator wrote:
MrPopo wrote:I'd really like to see them bring back the scale of Seisen no Keifu in a future game, though I'm not holding out hope.

I sincerely doubt it, unfortunately. If anything Nintendo is working to dumb down the series to be more approachable for the general masses. The only thing being made more complex are the social linking and waifu aspects from what I've read.

However, on a more positive note, the man himself Shouzou Kaga is working on a new SRPG. His first in eleven years:

http://serenesforest.net/2015/07/16/fir ... ndie-game/

Yeah, hence the not holding out hope. And I'll be honest and say that few people can handle 3 hour maps in their SRPGs.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by alienjesus Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:38 am

Exhuminator wrote: If anything Nintendo is working to dumb down the series to be more approachable for the general masses. The only thing being made more complex are the social linking and waifu aspects from what I've read.


I dunno about dumbing down. If anything, the series has more intricacies than ever with team up combos, skills, children mechanics, class switching and branching promotions.

Yes, the default difficulty is easier than usual, and they added a casual option. If anything, that gives them more leeway with the harder settings to really go all out, especially with all the new options you have to tackle the map.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:41 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:If you plan on playing RPGs then bone up on your Japanese. Very few contain English text, even in the menus.

Esper Dream is actually a huge pain on original hardware, mainly due to disk flipping and load times. In some circumstances the disk has to be flipped twice within a 30 second span.


Well, given that I'm a Japanese Language & Culture major, I hope my Japanese is eventually good enough for that kind of thing Xp

What was the original hardware for Esper Dream? I can't think of any disk-based thing that can't just read the both sides from one side O.o
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:15 am

I finished Corpse Party last night (took me somewhere between 6 and 7 hours), and I just finished Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love (that took me about 16 hours).
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:32 am

PartridgeSenpai wrote:
BoneSnapDeez wrote:If you plan on playing RPGs then bone up on your Japanese. Very few contain English text, even in the menus.

Esper Dream is actually a huge pain on original hardware, mainly due to disk flipping and load times. In some circumstances the disk has to be flipped twice within a 30 second span.


Well, given that I'm a Japanese Language & Culture major, I hope my Japanese is eventually good enough for that kind of thing Xp

What was the original hardware for Esper Dream? I can't think of any disk-based thing that can't just read the both sides from one side O.o


Esper Dream is only on the FDS. At least in its physical form.

And yeah, due to the way the FDS is designed, disks need to be flipped periodically (with the exception of those that are one-sided). In some cases it's less annoying than others. For instance, there are those that need to be flipped only when loading or saving a game. Esper Dream, on the other hand, needs flipping whenever you enter a town or dungeon.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Ack Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:43 am

1. Metal Slug (MVS)(Run and Gun)
2. Puzzle Link (NGPC)(Puzzle)
3. Illusion of Gaia (SNES)(RPG)

I have mixed emotions on this one, folks. There are some things that I feel Illusion of Gaia does really well, while other parts...not so much. I went into this game expecting to like it a lot; previously I had heard it was a beloved NTSC-U SNES game that could rival the likes of the best action RPGs on the console. Overhype is a constant problem for those of us who play older video games. We've all been burned by it, and this...well, this was one of those examples for me.

But it's not all bad. I'd like to start by focusing on the positives. First and foremost, Illusion of Gaia is incredibly aesthetically pleasing. It is a visually attractive game, with excellent use of colors, some marvelous sprite work(particularly the hero sprites as well as certain bosses and enemies), and a superb soundtrack. In particular I adore the overworld theme, Start a Journey. There is something about it that I find whimsical and refreshing, and while I will complain about the overworld in a bit(I will), I would always take some time to appreciate this track. It reminds me of some of the music of the first Wild Arms. I don't mean to single this track out as the best though, just that it represents a level of quality I found throughout most of the tracks. Other high points for me include Will's Dream, In the Earthen Womb, To the New World, Clash of Light and Shadow, and many others.

But that's just the exterior packaging. In dungeons, the game plays very well, with excellent implementation of the controls. Yes, I do have a few maneuvers that I was not overly fond of(the Psycho Spin, or whatever it is called), but even at their most complex, I managed to pull them off with enough accuracy to get by. Combat feels pretty good, and the enemy design offers a steadily evolving variety that throws fresh challenges against the player in each new dungeon. This I liked because it felt like the game was constantly building. There are a couple of times I felt this faltered(the blue guys in Angkor Wat come to mind), but otherwise this was a consistent joy. I also greatly appreciate the in game map showing enemy locations. That was hugely helpful. Levels were also creatively varied and made heavy use of special moves and the character switching motif, which was also well handled. Some of the puzzles were a bit frustrating, but all could be overcome.

Now for the criticism: while I loved the dungeon design, the actual story presentation was lackluster and considerably more frustrating in my opinion. I don't just mean that the translation was poor, though I think quite a bit was lost in it. I mean that the scenes occurring in town were often dull or annoying, such as having to talk to specific folks in order without leaving a room, having to wait a certain amount of time to access a particular store, or having to open up my inventory or find a secret area to advance the plot when nothing pointed me in those directions. I often felt more frustrated navigating towns than I did the dungeon puzzles. And then there is the actual overworld, which is a giant railroad. As much as I loved the theme, the overworld consists of you picking a point to access and then waiting as the game automatically navigates you to your next spot. This seemed a pointless exercise, a visual experience for no real reason that distracted from the real meat of the gameplay. Most of the game requires no backtracking either, so going to the world map is practically pointless. The few times I did have to backtrack were due to inventory problems.

Which brings up my next problem: the inventory system sucks in Illusion of Gaia. Its limited size and inability to remove key items means it gets cluttered. If you're good at the game and don't use the limited number of herbs often or if you miss the chance to drop off red jewels with the Gem guy, you'll soon find yourself having to juggle things to keep slots open for whatever absolutely necessary item that you have to carry. I only used 1 herb before the final dungeon boss rush, so for the penultimate Pyramid dungeon, I found I had to constantly make time-consuming trips back to the nearest town to drop off Red Jewels just to free up space. I also had to cart around several objects that were worthless which I could not get rid of while doing this. Sure, your inventory features a delete option, but it refuses to work on certain key items, so you're stuck carrying that stupid letter for nearly half the game.

Now I'd like to take a moment to focus on the bosses. One of the things I had heard about the game is that the bosses have a lot of variation, both in design and difficulty. In particular I had heard that the dual vampires boss was the hardest part of the game. I did not find this to be the case though. In general I found the bosses to be consistently more challenging than the last, with the notable exception of the Sand Crawler, who is pathetic. The Mummy Queen was definitely the most challenging for me, especially during the boss rush at the end when I had to fight the updated Vampires, Sand Crawler, and Mummy Queen in a row without healing beyond herbs. That was a fair bit tougher, and the only real reason why I ever needed herbs in the game. As for the final boss battle, well, it can be cheesed if you know where to stand. I totally cheesed it. No, I don't feel bad about it.

Overall, I liked the game, but it has its problems. I don't think this is a top tier RPG. It has some qualities that I adore, but there's enough that I find problematic for me not to consider this one of the absolute greats.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:19 pm

Ack wrote:Overall, I liked the game, but it has its problems. I don't think this is a top tier RPG. It has some qualities that I adore, but there's enough that I find problematic for me not to consider this one of the absolute greats.

Fantastic and fair review, probably the best I've seen for the game. I think you hit on the highs and lows that really matter.

I would love to read a review of Terranigma by you.
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