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Action JRPGs

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1 Action JRPGs on Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:43 pm

hedfone


D-Rank
I have been playing a lot of Action JRPGs most of last year and into this year to fill the action game void and get me to Sekiro/DMC. (Side note: If Left Alive does come out in march with those games like the internet says, that could be one of the best months for Japanese action games in a long time.)
I'm specifically talking about games like Tales, Ys, Ni No Kuni 2, Kingdom Hearts, and more recently for me, I have been playing Valkyrie Profile.

I want to talk about Valkyrie Profile in this first post, though this topic is to discuss any and all of those games. VP is such a hidden gem and I am having a blast. It has everything I love in a game, good combat, interesting story, good leveling and progression system, and it is super vague on how to even play it at all, like classic King's Field or those newer FromSoftware casual cash grabs. (Mostly joking but Dark souls 2 put the nail in that series) I love when I have to really dig into a game and read faqs online/watch playthroughs to truly understand a game. If you play the new spiderman game, within the first battle, you have seen and done just about everything there is to the combat. This game is the exact opposite.

If you haven't played it, each party member is on one of the four face buttons. You select an enemy in a classic turn based way, then unleash combos in any order or string you want with the four buttons. The game rewards juggling the enemy as long as possible to get more XP and enemy drops. It's a pretty fun little system. Yeah it isn't the most in depth thing in the world, but trying to set up your party to maximize juggles is a lot of fun. Different weapons have different attacks as well, some even having multiple attacks, and a lot of them can break. So equipping your dudes is a tough choice, luckily the game let's you practice on a dummy to test your kit whenever you want.

I haven't even talked about the other main part of the game. It is time based like Dead Rising, each action, like going to town or a dungeon, consumes time. After a certain amount you have to send one or more of your party members up to fight for Asgard in Ragnarok at the end of the game. Though you can choose not to send anyone up and get a bad ending, or send up too many people and not get the true ending. It is a super weird system that can be frustrating, but is clearly meant to be played multiple times to understand. The A ending sounds impossible to get without a FAQ on your first play though so I will just end up watching it on youtube.

The ps2 sequel Silmeria looks great as well and I can't wait to try that one.

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2 Re: Action JRPGs on Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:46 pm

Birdman


Moderator
Great to see you here.

Feel free to make topics on individual games if you want to focus more on them too.

VP is such a hidden gem and I am having a blast.
Years ago I watched my brother play this. At that time I had only played the most simple turn-based like early FF series. I found many of of VP's mechanics totally bizarre, yet amazing, being the first time I'd seen such things.

The flying on the world map and timer were the main things. Combat was cool to watch with all those crazy super moves.

If you play the new spiderman game, within the first battle, you have seen and done just about everything there is to the combat.
I find most games these days never even leave the tutorial. They are constantly bombarding you with the basics. I found it particularly egregious in Batman and Tomb Raider. I'd be trying to explore and they wouldn't shut up about what to do next.

TR is probably the worst. Spidey sense, Lara never stops giving hints, and the fact that none of it is even hard. Who do they design these games for? Zombies? Though in the new TR you can turn everything off in the harder mode.

But yeah, older games had so much shit to uncover.

It is time based like Dead Rising
Love this game.
Weird, it sounds almost the same. In DR, you escort survivors back to the security room, but you don't have to. There are different endings depending on whether you took all of them or none. Not sure if there's an in-between, but there are more endings.

The ps2 sequel Silmeria
I played this a little years ago. Watched my bro play it mostly.

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3 Re: Action JRPGs on Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:50 am

Welcome to the board Hedfone! Great first post!
Be sure to introduce yourself here when you have the time :)
http://stinger.actieforum.com/t6p50-welcome-new-members-introduction-topic

Left Alive totally flew under my radar, never heard of it before but from what I see it looks fantastic. Looks like a mixture of Max Payne (in its tps-sections) and just a balls to the walls action title with the mechs. Not a big fan of the visual filters plastered on top to obscure vision.
Dark Souls 2 is, unique. It did a lot of things wrong but also a lot of things right (like exclusive enemy layouts to NG+) as well as having fantastic DLC - the base was just such a step backwards. Bloodborne redeemed the studio a lot in my eyes.

> I love when I have to really dig into a game and read faqs online/watch playthroughs to truly understand a game.
This is something I miss so much in recent years, most of the things - even the little details - are overexplained. It is no secret I'm a big fan of the casual JRPG Golden Sun, which had a lot of neat little tricks to it. But in its latest modern sequel it even went so far as to explain that, if you run out of PP (mana basically), you can walk around to regenerate it. Even that little piece of data is handed to you in minutes worth of dialogue. That feeling of exploration of a game's mechanics is so rare these days. People are to blame for this sadly, you saw it with Vanquish's PC-re-release especially, with them not knowing a single advanced tactic or mechanic since the game never explains it, it just wants you to figure it out.

> VP
Game sounds very interesting. The way you describe it, it kind of reminds me of Indivisible (an upcoming Western actionRPG) and also a tad of Final Fantasy XIII. Any truth in that or am I misunderstanding? Really like your mention of weapons changing up the gameplay, I love that. Always hate how it tends to just be a pure 'stat boost'.

> Spiderman

I've seen users not the opposite, but the challenge in that game is more from playing better and more efficient than going wild with combos or other options. Not nearly on the level of the greats, but I've heard good tales from good action players (haven't played it myself).

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4 Re: Action JRPGs on Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:52 pm

hedfone


D-Rank
I knew about the skull girls rpg but haven't heard anything recently. After watching some gameplay, yes it is 100% Valkyrie profile. I am excited as hell for this game now. With their fighting game background that game could have some sick juggles. I hope they can nail the difficulty, most western JRPs never have a good difficulty.

I want to try golden sun one day, hell I want to try every JRPG. They are such a time sink though.

I found Left Alive from some random googling. I have heard no one talk about it at all. I was a huge fan of cover shooters of yesteryear. Especially the Japanese takes on the genre, like Binary Domain, and Vanquish. Hopefully it turns out good.

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5 Re: Action JRPGs on Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:15 am

Fantastic to hear you like Indivisble, I played a demo on the PS4 years ago and the combat system really had me hooked. Interesting to hear it is basically VP, sounds amazing. Which VP title would you say is the best?

> Golden Sun
Not that big a time sink thankfully, if you want to do a 100% run of the first game you're looking at 20~ hours depending on skill level. Its sequel, The Lost Age, is a lot longer though.

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6 Re: Action JRPGs on Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:05 pm

hedfone


D-Rank
Sadly even 20 hours is a lot for me these days, most jrpgs want 50-60 hours of your time.
I think Silmeria looks like an improvement to VP in every way. I am going to start it soon, just picked it up. I would say definitely try the first one, though copies go for $100+, sooo maybe just jump into 2.
I hear it is a prequel and isn't required.

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7 Re: Action JRPGs Yesterday at 9:19 am

Birdman


Moderator
I don't want to turn this in a definition topic, but would count games like Shadow Hearts? They're still turn based, but when attacking you have to time your inputs.

Have you played The Last Remnant?

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8 Re: Action JRPGs Yesterday at 3:53 pm

>VP
I love these games so much. The ability to skip as much of the game as you want and go to certain story points or the final dungeon in the first game is great. Fun combat and great music too. I played on Hard the last time I played it and I had a pretty tough time with it, but it was a ton of fun. Managing your time/actions is very cool too, was sad to see this go in the sequel.

VP2 is quite different while still retaining a lot of elements from be first. You can move in combat now, with a cool dash that makes the whole party move together. I spent a ton of time fighting monsters and breaking off different parts of them for equipment. The ability to freeze enemies during exploration and use them as puzzle pieces is cool too. While I like the combat and dungeons more in VP2, I miss flying around the world map. It’s still my top PS2 RPG, along with FFX. I have really great memories of me being in junior high and playing VP2 and Okami for several months straight.

>Ni no Kuni 2
What did everyone think of this? I got towards the end but it didn’t click with me. I purposely stayed at a low level so I didn’t break the game but it was still pretty easy and I really felt like I was missing something about the combat. Plus the kingdom building thing was disappointing. I had read it was similar to Suikoden(anyone played these?) but it really wasn’t. Felt more like a mobile game or something to me.

>Shadow Hearts
Was there anything else in the combat that you had to time? I only played Covenant but I just remember attacks being that way. Part of me wants to say it’s not an Action RPG because there’s no movement or reacting to enemies involved. But I don’t really know what the criteria actually is to be considered “Action” in terms of JRPGS.

>Last Remnant
Nope. Always wanted to.

Anyone here played Resonance of Fate? Now that is an interesting game.


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9 Re: Action JRPGs Yesterday at 9:02 pm

Birdman


Moderator
What did everyone think of this? I got towards the end but it didn’t click with me.
I'm still playing it on and off. Originally, I got it for the character design which I love, colorful world, and Higgledies because I love games with some sort of minion. Had lots of set ups in mind, though not all of them worked out.

I purposely stayed at a low level so I didn’t break the game but it was still pretty easy
The only hard things in vanilla were repeating Kingmakers, but that was more due to RPG stat BS. Doesn't work well in this game because even if you dodge everything, your pals won't. They'll never smartly use their abilities either.

The other was the Faraway Forest dungeon where there was a timer called the danger level that slowly went up and made the monsters stronger, but again it was just more level up crap and got to the point where a run of the mill wolf thing took like 3 damage per hit and could kill you in less.

I have the DLC which has expert mode, and the new dungeon and skills are pretty cool, but the Bayo dodge breaks the game, it's too good and super easy to do, and makes the Higgledies even more irrelevant.

kingdom building thing was disappointing
I was hoping it was like Dark Cloud 2, where you could place everything yourself. No kingdoms would be the same.

Was there anything else in the combat that you had to time?
Only your actions, so attacking in any form, and using items/healing/support magic or abilities. Your characters were stuck on the spot though and took turns.

But I don’t really know what the criteria actually is to be considered “Action” in terms of JRPGS
While it's definitely more involved than standard turn based, not sure if we should call it action. But then VP is also turn based isn't it? You just juggle the shit out of them manually when you get a turn.

What about NamcoXCapcom? Sort of similar. When it's the player phase, you move units into range and it goes into a 2D battle where you manually juggle. I had quite a bit of fun with this game back then.

Anyone here played Resonance of Fate?
Saw a friend play it a little. Battle system looked really unique. Weird world map too.

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10 Re: Action JRPGs Today at 3:58 am

>Ally AI
Is there any way around this? This was a huge problem for me in the first game and I had just as many issues in this game too. I did notice a difficulty spike around chapter 7 or so because the enemies randomly jumped up about 10 levels. Felt really lazy to me.

>VP
Yeah it’s technically turn based. Your whole party gets to all attack at once so it looks real time but it isn’t. The sequel is a little different though, that’s harder to classify. I actually might play it tomorrow just to see because this is a very interesting point I’ve never thought about. You can move around the arena freely but all enemies have an area in front of them that will trigger their attacks. Enemies only move when you move, and depending on your positioning you can kill enemies before they get to take a turn while you can get several. I don’t know...maybe it’s another game for notes.

>NamcoXCapcom
I would call that at least partially turn based, since it has a grid. This is interesting to think about.

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11 Re: Action JRPGs Today at 5:46 am

Birdman


Moderator
The only solution seems to be to equip them with the best stuff, give them food that boosts def against whatever you're fighting, and do something with the tactic tweaker (never bothered with this myself).

There are no commands for the AI or any way to set behavior that I know of. They can't seem to use the new abilities like the Bayo dodge either.

You can switch characters any time but that would still be near impossible to constantly get them out of danger, and as soon as you switch you're previous character will just run into the boss whose charging energy for a super attack.

Strange, I recall them acting more defensive before the DLC. When I boss charged up I'd see them start blocking and rolling around but they rarely do that now.

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