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51Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:19 am

Birdman


Moderator
Sold Revolutions. The gameplay is boring and I don't get why it's like this.

You have an action meter that completely depletes when you attack. Once depleted you can only block or dodge roll.

When you attack, the guy does a three hit slash combo, and this drains all the meter. It's weird because if you kill something in the first swing you're left hitting air. This makes no sense. They should've at least made the attacks optional.

There's no management here. It's pretty much your most basic attack on cool down. Wtf?

And other than that, it's such a basic action RPG that I can't get any enjoyment out of it.


52Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:05 am

hedfone

hedfone
B-Rank
Revolutions looked good on the surface, love the first ps3 game. Watched reviews at the time and was iffy. Good to know to avoid this.

Sent from Topic'it App

53Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:18 am

Birdman


Moderator
Shining Resonance Refrain does something similar where your attacks drain a meter of sorts but you aren't forced into a string and can do single strikes as you please.

54Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:21 am

Birdman


Moderator
Just came across this.

Looks like it takes FF World's stacking system and does I dont know what. Even looks similar when they get toppled and separate. Different classes means build potential so I might grab this after doing more research.

55Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:21 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
I know we talked about this before, how some artstyles just always pull you into a game like what you have with Chaos Legion? Yeah, I'm not getting that here hahaah! Not my style.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

56Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:29 pm

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
What are everyone's thoughts on the Tales series? I've been really enjoying Xillia lately.

Main problem: When I want my characters to all be in Manual mode for when I want to use them, that means that they won't move at all if I'm not controlling that character at the moment, and am using another one. Would've been real nice to just have the AI take over when I'm not controlling them, and then let me be in full control when using them. Figured that out the hard way, unfortunately, and ended up getting decked by standard monsters.

57Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:21 pm

Birdman


Moderator
I bought Vesperia on PS4 not long ago.

I've only watched a few vids on advanced tech like cancelling.

58Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:13 pm

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
I hear that Tales of Graces F has REALLY good combat.

I haven't gotten around to playing it yet though, has anyone tried it?

59Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:24 am

Birdman


Moderator
Anyone want to tell me why Berseria is bad? I hear this often. It's on sale on PSN right now.

As it stands, I don't know enough about Tales games to tell the difference between them. They actually all look the same to me.

60Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:03 am

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
Not sure why. While the combat itself wasn't my thing, I found myself getting pretty attached to the characters.

And I can't really blame you for getting Tales games mixed up. Similar naming scheme, similar cover styles, art style, and in some cases, colour schemes make it pretty easy to get confused as to which is which.

61Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:50 am

Birdman


Moderator
Could you give me an example of a Tales game that is your thing compared to Berseria?

62Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:39 am

Birdman


Moderator
Anyone interested in Atelier Ryza?

I've only ever heard of these games due to them being made by Gust, who are responsible for Nights of Azure.

I'm not interested in the 20+ previous games but I might grab this new one. I've heard these games have complex alchemy systems.

A user on Gamefaqs told me this regarding previous games:

"If you get cheeky enough with the alchemy system you can create fire bombs that also deal ice damage, you can long carry (carry a trait + a higher form of the trait to create a 3rd tier of that trait then carry it across multiple synthesis recipes to get it to your end goal)

These games give you the freedom to create some nonsense gear and abilities so long as you understand the alchemy system."

Not sure of the exact systems in Ryza but it should follow the above. most likely with a few changes as I was told it varies game to game.

63Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:43 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
If you want to talk Tales, Khayyaam is pretty sagely at it. He has an account here, I'll give him a note. Maybe he'll pop on in!

About Action RPGs, without the J, Indivisibles is coming out this week as I recall. Very interesting combat system from what I've seen.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

64Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:54 am

Birdman


Moderator
I remember my little brother talking about this game like 2 years ago and downloaded demo for it. It looked nowhere near as flashy as that trailer though. It took this long to get a release huh?

65Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:53 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
I had the exact same feeling, because the demo way back when took my interest. It was already pretty flashy as I recall, lots of combat options.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

66Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:01 am

hedfone

hedfone
B-Rank
Nice, though it looks like October 8th, with no switch date in site :/.
The original post from this thread was about Valkyrie Profile, which indivisible is a clear copy of (in a good way as they don't make Valkyrie Profile games anymore.) With their fighting game knowledge I expect this to be fantastic. Valkyrie Profile is balls to the wall hard, with replayability out the ass, if you want to see every ending and party member the game has to offer. Hoping this game isn't," just take the combat and leave a shallow western rpg experience."

67Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:21 pm

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank
I've been summoned it seems. Well I've been meaning to post again anyway.

@Birdman wrote:Anyone want to tell me why Berseria is bad?

You want to talk about Berseria? Oh boy. Strap yourselves in. I talk about this game a lot, and have gone *at length* about it. It's bad, jim.

I'm gonna divide this reply into parts so it's not an overwhelming wall of text:

1. Why Berseria is bad on its own.
2. Why Berseria is bad in the context of the Tales series

Why Berseria is bad

The Tales series is a series of Action RPGs and Berseria is no different, so naturally combat is a big part. Before I get into the combat though, let's talk about the other gameplay aspects.

RPG mechanics: The equipment system is pretty annoying. The game wants you to master each generic piece of equipment, of which there is a lot, and by the time you get new equipment it's pretty much a straight downgrade until *that* is mastered, at which point you get new equipment after that. This feels pretty annoying if you like to think about your builds, but then the worst part is that it ultimately doesn't matter. Most of the stats and skills don't matter. They might make a battle take longer or go faster but your equipment, stats and skills don't really change how a battle goes. I'll explain why in the battle system.

Dungeons/Exploration: The exploration seems inoffensive at first, enemies and goodies to find are strewn about, if you touch a certain point you get to travel slightly faster, save points are fast travel points... what's really bad is dungeons and "puzzles". Every single time a new obstacle pops up in a dungeon or field, you get a whole tutorial on the obstacle that... tells you to press X. They're all functionally the same, they're just there to make you press a button while walking around. Cracked Walls, small gaps, things to burn, it doesn't matter what the obstacle looks like at first. It's all the same, you walk up to it and press X. I have no idea why they came up with so many different obstacles that have the same solution and even gave a different tutorial for each and every one of them. It's not even an obstacle because it's not like you have to find any sort of item, you're just already able to clear them when you reach them. There's also a DISTINCT lack of puzzles. The only interesting dungeon in the game is the bonus dungeon you're supposed to do after you beat the game, one that comes with randomized layouts and obstacles you CAN'T just press X on. Every other dungeon works the same, save for two dungeons that have an actual puzzle going on, color coded doors where every door of one color opens at the same time and the opposite color must stay closed. Unfortunately, the first dungeon to use this puzzle feels more like an introduction to the concept rather than a real puzzle challenge, to set up for the second dungeon, which actually did make me think a bit. And that was it for required dungeons. The layouts themselves aren't even interesting, there's no hidden paths, nothing maze like, it's clear where you have to go next. 90% of the time this game is just about moving forward and pressing X.

And finally, the Combat: Ooh boy. Where do I start?

I'll start with the most obvious issue: Hitstun. Hitstun, hitstun, hitstun. Tales of Berseria is a game where you can do the *same exact combo* on an enemy multiple times and, if it works at all, it works maybe 1/3 or 1/2 of the time, with no clear issue on why it doesn't work the other times you tried it, especially since enemies would break out of the combo at different points. This is *immediately* noticeable. There's no true combos, whatever you try, 90% of the time the enemy will break out and land a hit on you.

The first conclusion I had come to when I noticed this was that hitstun was random, it was entirely RNG... well it isn't. But part of me wishes it was. Now that's not to say there are NO RNG elements, as putting the enemy into a stunned state is RNG, and moves that cause knockdowns aren't guaranteed to do so, but hitstun itself doesn't have RNG. It's kind of worse.

There is *no* set value for hitstun. Hitstun on Artes (the term for named attacks in the series) is determined by:
1. How many times you used the arte in that fight. The more you've used it, the less hitstun the arte has.
2. Lifetime total uses of that arte on that save file. The more you've used it in total, the *more* hitstun it has. It's already counterintuitive...
3. How many souls you have.
4. How many souls the enemy has.
5. Whether or not you just used a Break Soul.
6. Whether the enemy is weak to or resists the element.

Put all these together and you have... a hitstun system that nobody can possibly keep track of every element when artes come out fast and in sequence, and ultimately combos that just never work consistently. Sometimes the enemy may break out after even one arte... congratulations, you've been punished for successfully landing an attack. By the way, none of this is told to you. Of the game's MANY tutorials, none of them explain how hitstun works. I had to dig deeper and look at guides to find this. There might even be more, these are just the ones I remember.

Let's talk about the Soul system

In battle you have a soul gauge. You start off with a certain amount (usually 3), have a maximum amount (starts at 5), and the enemies have their own gauges. Each Soul represents about 100 SG IIRC. Each arte has a different cost, usually like 25, 125, etc. You use up SG by doing artes in sequence, so the idea is for your combo to use up the amount of SG that you have, right? Well it's not that simple, because the game ALSO only lets the number of actions you chain be equal to the amount of souls you have. So great, now you have two separate mechanics based on the same gauge that determine how long your combos can go. You can actually attack when SG is empty so long as the souls themselves are not (already confusing, since it's the same gauge) but the enemy WILL break out unless they've been stunned if you do that. And on top of all this, as I've outlined above, the combos themselves don't even necessarily work and have their own complicated hitstun rules, so this is just more mechanics piled on top to keep track of. It really feels like they just put a bunch of mechanics in for the sake of it, like there's no actual underlying design... well there might actually be, but I'll get to that. You get souls by stunning the enemy (RNG), have a chance of getting it by hitting their weakness (also RNG) and can also get some by dodging attacks (not only is this RNG, this causes the souls to fly out and you have to run over them to pick them up). The chances of getting a soul for an action increases the less souls you have and the more souls an enemy has.

BREAK SOULS: This is the game's main gimmick. By pressing R2, you can expend one soul to perform a special action unique to the character you're playing. But no matter who you're playing, there's a few universal things.
1: Break Souls are completely invincible.
2: Break Souls will *always* stagger the enemy (though the hitstun may still be variable).
3: You heal a little bit when you perform a Break Soul.
4. Break Souls refill your SG.
5. Break Souls restart your chain.

This sounds like a powerful, if costly, move on paper. All these benefits, but it takes a whole soul! Well, it's not actually that costly. As it turns out, it doesn't actually cost a whole soul... it actually *gives your enemy* one of your souls. The game illustrates this quite clearly, there's a little animation when you use one and if you check the enemy's status it's clear. The tutorials aren't as clear about this fact. It also WILL stagger the enemy and gives more hitstun to your next attacks... and since you have less souls anthe enemy has more souls, it increases your chance of getting a soul, basically covering its own cost. This is the ONLY move that works in the game, and I haven't even gone into what a break soul actually does for each character.

I'll cover that quickly, no need to go into detail, and I won't cover the unlockable ones that only work by pressing R2 again after the first one. Rokurou does a counter attack, Eleanore does a launcher, Eizen CAN'T BREAK SOUL unless an enemy is knocked down or stunned so he relies on RNG to function at all... Let's talk about Velvet, the main character, and who's break soul is the worst offender and ultimately what reveals the game's underlying design.

Velvet's Break Soul is a claw slash that has all the properties I laid out above... AND puts her into a special state called Therionized. In this state her HP is constantly going down, but her attacks ALWAYS hit the targeted enemy's weakness. Woah! HP constantly going down? That's a hefty cost, right? Nope, and here's why. First of all, combos are more consistent in this form because you used a break soul AND now the enemy is weak to all her attacks. If you do your max chain of attacks, she'll automatically do a fully invincible finishing move that has huge damage and AoE that is specific to the enemy's weakness. But even if combos are more consistent, it's still not totally consistent, so what happens if the enemy breaks out anyway and attacks her? Surely she should be in danger due to the HP drain! Nope, as it turns out, if her HP hits 1, either through drain or an enemy attack, she'll ALSO do that finishing move. And no matter how powerful an attack is, it'll never take her HP below 1 while she is therionized, so she can't die in that state. And guess what? Since you were attacking an enemy's weakness with less souls and the enemy more, you're basically guaranteed to have covered the cost by the time the finisher comes out... so just do another Break Soul immediately, get that healing and be totally invincible. Who cares if you're at 1 HP? That just makes the finishers come out quicker. Just break soul, mash out any attacks because the enemy is weak to all of them, then break soul again when your finisher comes out. Doesn't matter who you're fighting.

I have pored over every tutorial and guide on the game at length. I've spent hundreds of hours trying to comprehend this. All signs point to this being the optimal, intended strategy. Just Press R2 and button mash. If that doesn't work? Then play as Velvet, where it will work. At one point I was severely underlevelled for a boss, and none of my characters did any more than one or two points of damage... except for velvet who was regularly getting thousands with each attack. The game is also incredibly EASY. I bumped the difficulty the highest it could go, and after fighting on that difficulty for a while, the game unlocks a higher difficulty. I kept bumping them up as I unlocked them, going through the game. It didn't matter. The only thing difficulty changed was the number of enemies in each encounter and how likely the enemy is to stun you with an attack. Doesn't make the game difficult, just more annoying and takes longer. You can honestly just rub the face buttons on your cheek and occasionally press R2 and you'll win even against bonus bosses on max difficulty. This isn't an exaggeration. I've tried this multiple times. It worked every time.

There's only two fights in the game I had trouble with. First was a one on one fight early on to get a party member. I don't even know if I'd still find it difficult going back because it was so early I didn't know break soul was just that good yet. Second was an optional puzzle boss near the end that's basically immune to damage. Figuring him out was fun, required good timing AND use of RPG mechanics... but it was also an optional puzzle boss.

If you want to talk about Button Mashy action games, here it is. It's called Tales of Berseria. If you've seen a combo video or a skilled solo run of the game, chances are the person who made the video hacked it so the game actually *works*. If you see someone singing praises for the game, it's because they don't care about the gameplay, they just like the story... or worse, they LIKE it being button mashy. In fact, everyone who likes the game will agree it's mashy. Just check the reviews on Steam! Most of them say recommended, but if you actually read them, they'll say the gameplay was bad or the combat is mashy... and sometimes that's even listed as a pro. This isn't a game with no thought put into the balance and so it ends up being mashy, no this is a game designed such that mashing is an optimal strategy.

I'll leave it at that, I have to head out now so I'll post about why the game is bad in the context of the whole series later, so I'll leave you with this: In the entire rest of the Tales series, combos and hitstun actually work consistently, there's no blatantly overpowered abilities, no super complicated mechanics and dungeons have actual puzzles.

But even forgetting the rest of the series, the game itself is just bad, and I've basically covered all the reasons why.

68Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:26 pm

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
@Khayyaam

Holy shit

You've said everything. Like, wow. This is so spot-on, it hurts. Berseria's combat is an unnecessarily complicated, messy, spam-fest. Thanks for cementing my decision to just go onto easy mode, and then just wipe out everything while watching the cutscenes.

Do you have anything to say about Graces F? I hear that game has the best combat in the series, and I'm just playing Xillia right now (Which the second I started the combat in that game, I immediately liked it better than Berseria's)

69Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:43 pm

hedfone

hedfone
B-Rank
Wow great post man. Yeah I loved the game at first but the combat got busted wide open almost immediately. It is piss easy and broken in so many ways.
They had cool ideas, and I do think it is the best playing Tales game, as far as moving your player, dodging etc.
It's no zesteria though. That is one of the worst games I have slogged through in my life.

Sent from Topic'it App

70Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:52 pm

Birdman


Moderator
What has been unleashed...

This is exactly what I'm looking for. Looking forward to your next post.

>moving/dodging
I heard this too. A friend told me I might like Berseria more since I'm always talking about action games. He might have been referring to this aspect, but after reading Khayyaams post, it doesn't sound like something I'd like at all.

>Zesteria
How is this one? Saw it on sale as well.

71Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:59 am

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank
Thanks guys. I'm glad my post hasn't fallen on deaf ears. I have some time now so I'll continue on and explain why it's a bad Tales game, but let me address some things first.

Moving/dodging

I actually think it's the absolute *worst* Tales game by those respects. I'm not going to argue and if you disagree and like the game, by all means. But the movement is the thing that absolutely kills the game, and maybe the series.

Zestiria
This game is just ok. There's fun to be had. I wouldn't go out of my way to play it before any other Tales game but if you enjoy delving into the combat for the series zestiria has some cool ideas... and some frustrating ones.

Graces F
Ohoho. This is my favorite in the series... and actually one of my favorite games ever. Actually, it's the funnest game I've played, period, though that was through co-op. It's still really fun single player, and the combat absolutely takes it. But I won't go into detail about it just yet. I might make another post about what Tales games to play if you're getting into the series though.

Anyway, since I'm going to go into the series history, let me explain my stance and my stake: Tales is my favorite game series. My avatar here is from the series. I have a separate one on twitter from the series. Today I wore a Tales shirt. I run social media and also write articles for Abyssal Chronicles, which is pretty much the main source of information on the series the west has. Basically what I'm saying is, I've dedicated my life to this series, and I'm not happy with the direction the series seems to be headed. Berseria in particular makes me actually depressed to think about. I'm not gonna stop playing the old games, because they're some of my favorite games and I just enjoy them that much.

All that said, time to move onto my main point.

Why Berseria is a bad Tales game

This can also be rephrased as

Why Berseria is Tales in name only

Or perhaps more directly

Why Berseria just straight up isn't a Tales game

I think that's the most accurate thing to say. So I'm going to delve into the series and what makes it unique, and what makes each game, well, a Tales game. There are lots of recurring elements in the series, but there's only two aspects that stand out as something that is definitely Tales.
1. The Linear Motion Battle System, or LMBS for short. Whether or not an individual game is good or bad... it's having this that makes it play like Tales. This is actually the MOST important part of a Tales game, as it's been there since the beginning and each iteration has its own name.
2. The Skit System. This only came about in the second game, Tales of Destiny, as the party chat system, and wasn't in Eternia, the third game, but it's been added to remakes of the first game and has been in every game since.

So there's only two things that DEFINITELY make something a Tales game. And I'm arguing that Berseria isn't a Tales game. Why do I say this? Well, let's talk about Skits first.

Skits

The skit system is the main way the Tales series delivers characterization and commentary on the story, settings and characters. The basics of the system are like so: After fulfilling certain requirements outside of battle, you'll have the option of pressing the Skit button to view, well, a skit. A short conversation between party members and then some where they talk about all manner of things. Often humorous, these flesh characters out in a way that other RPGs don't. If this system sounds familiar, it's because Tales is actually one of the most popular and influential RPG series in Japan, and other series have tried following suit. Final Fantasy itself tried something similar with Active Time Events in Final Fantasy 9, while other games would try copying the skit system wholesale like Square Enix' recent titles Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler, to varying degrees of success. I've even heard that Dragon Quest sometimes uses a similar system. All that said, Tales is the series that invented it. And it's definitely the series that does it best.

I know so far it might seem like I'm talking about a purely story element, but in my opinion skits are actually a big part of the series' gameplay. It's one of those things where story and gameplay go hand in hand... skits are basically rewards, kind of like achievements, for going out of your way to do all manner of things and experiment with the game. As an example, here are some choice skit requirements:
-Get a really high combo count
-Run away from many battles
-Get stuck on a puzzle for too long
-Do a no items challenge run
-Have a character wear and fight in a bath robe
-Eat ice cream in the tundra

Essentially, a lot of thought is put into the skits, and it leads to the game ending up feeling more alive and polished, like they thought of everything, when you decide to play a certain way and the characters end up commenting on it, like your playstyle is something they're canonically doing. It's a big part of the RPG aspect and is a good reason for the series to remain an RPG series rather than an action series. Tales of The Abyss even had skits for each boss fight that you can view if you lose to them and get a Game Over, where your party thinks about how they can beat the boss. They're funny, but they also provide hints and help players actually think about the boss' design to come up with a strategy.

Berseria's use of Skits

So where does Berseria fall in? Does it not have skits? Well, it does, but it's not that simple. See, before the game came out, the skit system was HEAVILY marketed in the west, more than other tales games. And the presentation of the skits are really flashy and dynamic, too. Many people went in thinking there would be a lot more skits than usual.

There weren't. There was actually a lot LESS skits than usual. The reason why the game gets to boast about its skits... is because they put skits after every cutscene. Skits after cutscenes aren't uncommon in the series, but they're usually optional and provide alternate viewpoints on events that transpired, or sometimes the game just pokes fun at itself. Not Berseria. A cutscene just transitions into a "Skit" as if its part of the cutscene, and the events/dialogue continues. It's less a skit, and more that they couldn't be bothered to fully animate the cutscene in 3D so they just use their skit system to fill in what they didn't do. This isn't a skit, it's just a cutscene in the skit engine.

That doesn't mean there's no optional skits. There are! They're just... so few and far between compared to other games. They pretty much all entail just going somewhere at a certain time that you'll usually go at that point in the plot. And until near the end of the game, most of them follow a formula:
Someone, usually Eleanore or Laphicet, makes an observation or asks a question
Rokurou, contributing nothing to the discussion, says "I don't know, I'm a demon" or something along those lines. I'll emphasize "I'm a demon" because he uses that exact phrase every time.
Magilou essentially also contributes nothing, either by pointing out she's a witch or just saying her catchphrase "Magikazam"
Eventually, Velvet pops into existence and tells everyone to shut up and get back to work. This is the main character, but instead of using the skits to learn more about her, she doesn't exist for most of them.

So basically, the few skits you do get don't feel worthwhile. They're not entertaining, you don't learn anything about the characters, and they don't talk about anything you actually do while playing. There's no skits for doing combos or using certain moves a lot. They're just there. Berseria is a miss on this aspect, so that's strike 1.

(By the way, if you'd like to read a little more of my thoughts on skits, as well as other fans, we did a little column on the subject over at Abyssal Chronicles . If you check it out, be sure to ctrl+f and search for Berseria, you can see I'm not the only one who had a problem with the way that game used skits)

Linear Motion Battle System

The Tales series is a series of Action RPGs and this is the name of the battle system. However, to simply call it an Action RPG would be an oversimplification. It's better to not think of it as a simple action RPG or even an Action Game. I'll explain why.

LMBS is the main battle system in the series. In fact, there's specific names for each game's iteration of the battle system, such as Flex Range Linear Motion Battle System (FRLMBS) or Three Line Linear Motion Battle System (3LLMBS). This is the most important aspect of the series and is there even when skits aren't.

But what is the LMBS?

The LMBS, to put it simply, is a Fighting Game Battle System. Yes, those fighting games. I'm talking Street Fighter, Tekken, Soulcalibur... even Marvel Vs. Capcom and Fatal Fury. The series is based on, inspired by, and continuously has borrowed from fighting games. Furthermore, the main developer for the series is Bandai Namco, which are the developers for many fighting games. Tekken and Soulcalibur are their main ones, but they've also done two Smash games (4 and Ultimate), Pokken Tournament and Ehrgeiz, among others. And that really shows in the Tales series. If you're a big fan of fighting games, like I am, and you play a Tales game, it should be really obvious... and to a lot of people it isn't, because unfortunately there isn't a huge overlap between fighting game fans and RPG fans.

Why is it called LMBS? That's because it is characterized by just that: Linear Motion. You move in a straight line towards (or away from) your target. If this sounds weird, it's just what fighting games do.

To put it simply, the Tales series is a Fighting Game RPG series. Alternatively, it's an RPG series where, when you enter an encounter, starts to play like a Fighting Game instead.

Let's move on to specific examples of the LMBS.

Action JRPGs - Page 2 2878382-talesphantasia001

The original LMBS was 2D, as you can see here. It drew mostly from street fighter and SNK fighters. The main character's moveset, which is a recurring moveset in the series that is usually used by the protagonist or at least one other party member, is even technically a shotoclone moveset: A projectile, a jumping anti-air (or DP) and a move that lets the character advance while attacking. But they also have many, many more moves... so much so, that the main control scheme for the series, which lets you assign which move comes out for certain combinations of direction + button, is nowhere near enough to be able to use all their moves at once. So some games in the series even have an option called Combo Command which instead turns into a fighting game style command list, with quarter circles and DPs galore. Here's Cress' moveset from the first game, and you can see the fighting game style input required for each move on the right hand collumn. I'm a fan of Final Fury's input in particular...

The series would continue producing 2D games up until the DS era, to many fan's dismay, as many people feel like the 2D games have the best battle systems. I don't disagree...

Not every game has combo command. But they retain Linear Motion and fighting game elements. Here's a few examples.Action JRPGs - Page 2 MaxresdefaultAction JRPGs - Page 2 1hubC3N

Tales of Symphonia is the first game to bring the series into 3D. But it stayed true to Linear Motion. The game does not have any 3D movement at all. This is hard to notice with groups of enemies from just looking, but when you have a one-on-one fight like the second picture I linked, the game takes a complete side view and the fighting game influences become increasingly clear. This might feel weird to play, but if you're into fighting games it's completely natural- it just places all fighters on a 3D field and lets you change targets. Movement still takes place in 2D. There's many other fighting game elements, such as breaking an enemy's guard by crossing them up (hitting from behind), knockdowns and OTGs and even classic Street Fighter style Dizzies. There's even bonuses for getting first attacks!

(By the way, the PSP Yakuza games used a similar system- only allowing you to move towards and away from opponents, but you could switch targets placed on a 3D field. The devs for that game were also fighting game devs, specifically some Def Jam games, so basically I honorarily say the PSP Yakuza games are Tales games, or at least, they're more Tales than Berseria is.)


Action JRPGs - Page 2 PRmnZj5
This is Tales of The Abyss. Every Tales Game has at least one one-on-one fight against a character on equal footing as you, which is where the series feels most like a fighting game. What Abyss did though, was add 3D movement in the form of Free Run, which you can see being done by the character on the left in this image. Free Run lets you move around the field in any direction-however, it's a crutch. It's for people not used to linear motion and was never intended to be the main way to move. To that end, the developers introduced Start-up and Endlag to freerunning, making you have to commit hard to the decision to do so. You also cannot attack, block, backdash or jump during free run. That's not to say it doesn't have its uses, but many skilled players strongly suggest to limit your usage of Free Run if you actually want to play better. Furthermore, Namco also included a mechanic from their own fighting game series Soulcalibur- the Run Counter. In Soul Calibur, Run Counter is when your attack hits someone using 8 Way Run and does extra damage. In Abyss, this is implemented by every attack being a guaranteed critical hit on you if you're free running. Every 3D game in the series since then would have Free Run, and would impose their own restrictions on it. Tales of Vesperia actually did add Free Run Attacks, and the PS3/Definitive version even let you cancel into and out of Free Run, but when cancelling Free Run you could only do so towards the target, so it wasn't a true 3D movement when using it that way.

By the way, Symphonia, Abyss and Vesperia can be considered a "trilogy" as they were the three games developed by Team Symphonia before Namco would dissolve Namco Tales Studio and start developing the games in-house. That said, several other games in the series can be considered "Team Symphonia" style.

Action JRPGs - Page 2 8o2kH9F

Tales of Rebirth, one of the last games by the other Tales developer team, Team Destiny, uses a very unique take on LMBS called the Three Line Linear Motion Battle System. Essentially, the fights take place on 3 lanes, and moving between them lets you dodge attacks and change targets. It's also optional, and the game is perfectly possible by ignoring the lanes. This makes the game closer to an arcade beat 'em up... but fans of SNK fights would recognize this as being a direct copy of Fatal Fury's battle system, which was also based around moving between 3 different lanes.

Team Destiny Games were more experimental than Team Symphonia games, but it never got rid of Linear Motion and never lost that Fighting Game Influence. So that brings me to...

Action JRPGs - Page 2 1ctQIxj

https://imgur.com/9ey8vlG

Tales of Graces/Tales of Graces F, the last game Team Destiny would make before Namco Tales Studio was dissolved.

(You'll have to click the second image link- I don't know how to embed it, sorry!)

Tales of Graces F is the *furthest* removed battle system in the series from its origin, focusing on 3D battles and 3D movement... but it did so without getting rid of fighting game influence, and without getting rid of Linear Motion. Basically, where most Tales games drew their inspiration mostly from 2D fighters such as Street Fighter or Fatal Fury, Graces F instead took from Namco's 3D fighters like Tekken and Soulcalibur. Free Run is still present, but so extremely nerfed nobody uses it, and doing so is a death sentence. See, there's a meter on the bottom known as CC, and while the meter usually just handles combo length, free run turns it into a stamina meter and RAPIDLY drains it, so you'll only run a few steps. Furthermore, it also moves you *extremely slowly*. At this point, the mechanic only exists to let you know it's a bad idea, so you stick to linear movement.

How does the linear movement work? It's 8 way Run from Tekken/Soulcalibur, although rotated. You press up to move towards your opponent (regardless of where the camera is or where you're facing- this is important in co-op mode). You press down to move away. Pressing left and right does nothing... But tapping the stick in those 4 directions quickly is a different story.

Tapping, or pressing while holding the guard button, lets you quickstep. Quickstep up to move towards the enemy, down to step away (Backdash), left to strafe clockwise, and right to strafe counterclockwise. This is way faster than free run, still moves linearly, and is intuitive to fans of 3D fighters. It can be weird to play with at first, but once it clicks, it *really* clicks. And hey, it's not all too different from God Hand which has similar dodging options.

It also takes something from Soulcalibur specifically- the Horizontal/Vertical strike system. This is even explained in the tutorial- some attacks are vertical and some are horizontal. But it expands on it and creates perhaps my favorite dodging system in any action game. See, quicksteps don't have true invincibility frames, but they do have conditional ones. Backsteps are completely invincible to horizontal attacks, Sidesteps are completely invincible to vertical attacks, and Frontsteps are completely invincible to projectiles. But you use the wrong step, and you'll get hit (unless you move your hitbox out of the way completely). Furthermore, the invincibility doesn't work on a window of time like most dodge moves, but rather it grants one hit of invincibility. So a single sidestep can dodge a one hit vertical strike, but a multi-hit vertical spell will hit you after one sidestep. However, a successful dodge with a quickstep makes it cancellable, and you can chain the quickstep again, letting you repeatedly dodge until you have a moment to strike. This is what's happening in the little gif I posted that you have to click through. It feels like a true evolution of 8 way run and I'd love for Namco to even make a whole new fighting game with these mechanics. Despite Graces F being so far removed, it still has linear motion and it still has fighting game influence and elements, so it's still a Tales game. This is how you make an experimental title without getting rid of the series identity. Later Tales games would use a similar quickstep system.

I could keep going, but this wasn't intended to be a post about every Tales game's battle system, so those few will suffice. I hope they paint a good picture of what the series is... and what Berseria isn't. So on to my main point.

Berseria's battle system

I've already explained in the previous post exactly why the battle system sucks. Everyone who's played the game can see those same flaws. But here is what's, in my opinion, the true sin the game commits, the thing that kills the game and maybe the series, and the thing that makes me big time depressed thinking about it.

There's no LMBS

Just like with skits, the game was marketed with LMBS. However, the unique name they gave was Liberation Linear Motion Battle System. They Liberated us and let us move freely.

I didn't ask to be Liberated

The game does not feature any linear movement at all. Movement is entirely free run, with no restrictions, and there isn't even an *option* to turn Linear Motion back on. They took the one thing the series had from the beginning, the thing that made it unique, and threw it away. What we have in its place is your standard, run of the mill move around in 3d and hit things game. Sure, that's not a bad thing necessarily, it's what most action games do... but it's generic. Every game does it. I don't want to play just any game, I want to play Tales, but Tales isn't here. It's Linear Motion Battle System in name only, because there's certainly no linear motion. It's just Battle System. I can't even give it the benefit of the doubt and say it still has fighting game influence at least, but it doesn't. Not even those 3D Arena Anime fighters that also have free 3D movement. It has none. Knockdowns are random, OTG/Restands don't really exist, the asinine hitstun rules means attacks don't really have framedata like other tales games. There ARE quicksteps but they're no longer conditional and work more like windows of invincibilty so you can treat it like a standard dodge move, there's also barely any hitstop, if at all, so fighting doesn't even feel as responsive as other tales games. There are certainly some misses in the series, bad Tales games, but I can handle them, because they're still tales games. This isn't just a bad game. It also kills the things that makes the series unique, and because most RPG fans don't seem to care about gameplay, you barely see anyone talk about this. Berseria almost turned me off the series completely.

Will the series ever return?

Maybe. Who knows? They ended up making a mobile game, Tales of The Rays, that has linear movement and fighting game elements (and is actually really good). It's sad that it's F2P and has a better, more fighting game influenced battle system than the 60 dollar Tales of Berseria, but it does. They also remastered Tales of Vesperia and expressed interest in porting later games. But on the other hand, the next game, Tales of Arise, looks like more of the same. Maybe the battle system won't be as bad as Berseria, but it also showed a complete lack of Linear Motion and also a regular old dodge roll out of free 3D movement. I'm not a fan, and it might just be the first tales game I won't play.

So that settles it. A comprehensive list of exactly why Tales of Berseria just isn't a Tales game. As a wise man once told me, quite recently at that, "Enjoy the Of Series". That's certainly what it feels like. It's an Of game with the trademark Battle System.

this might sound doom and gloomy, but I feel that strongly about Berseria and what it spells for the series as a whole. I have some hope, but it's not much. If it's truly a shell of its former self, then I'll move on. There's no shortage of action games and action RPGs to play. But what hurts is that there's nothing out there like Tales. There's no other RPG that Plays Like A Fighting Game out there. Closest is Valkyrie Profile and the games that are based on it (Exist Archive and Indivisible) but those are more like turn based games where you're taksed with constructing a fighting game combo, not really a true fighting game RPG.

And... that's all I have to say for now. I hope I've made it very clear what Berseria represents. I'd also like to say that I'm not alone, there are many people who are into the series who feel the same way as me. Most of them are more hopeful about the future, but we can all agree on Berseria.

72Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:46 am

Birdman


Moderator
That explains why my friend told me to play Berseria over Vesperia. The movement being completely free. Thanks for the fantastic write up.

So Vesperia is a good one then? It's the only one I own. Got the definitive edition on sale not long ago.

73Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:02 am

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
@Khayyaam

That was fucking beautiful. I'm still interested in Tales of Arise, but since it's fully 3D (Plus on-map battles instead of battle stages), the only thing that we can hope for is that it at least gets the skits down.

Also curious: What are your thoughts on Xillia? I decided to pick that one as my first Tales game with Linear Motion (Since I heard that Berseria was actually completely different). Should I have run with something else instead?

74Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:17 am

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank
@Birdman wrote:That explains why my friend told me to play Berseria over Vesperia. The movement being completely free. Thanks for the fantastic write up.

So Vesperia is a good one then? It's the only one I own. Got the definitive edition on sale not long ago.

Yeah, Vesperia is fantastic. It's one of my favorites in the series, especially the definitive edition. Lots of cool tricks like manual cancel, free run cancel... and puzzling out the combo flow as you get more super chain skills. The only issue is that it can be unforgiving in the beginning and it takes a little while to get to a point where the combat is really GOOD. But that's par for the course for an action rpg, especially in this series. You kind of have to learn more skills as you go. But on the flip side, you do definitely have everything you need to win, as long as you're thoughtful of how you fight and approach each battle, and also so long as you're not afraid to use items. The game does have a skit for doing a no item challenge but trust me, that's for new game+ runs, which are a completely different game.

@TheFirmament1 wrote:@Khayyaam

That was fucking beautiful. I'm still interested in Tales of Arise, but since it's fully 3D (Plus on-map battles instead of battle stages), the only thing that we can hope for is that it at least gets the skits down.

Also curious: What are your thoughts on Xillia? I decided to pick that one as my first Tales game with Linear Motion (Since I heard that Berseria was actually completely different). Should I have run with something else instead?

Xillia was, at one point, near the bottom of my list of Tales games... I've definitely, definitely forgiven it in recent years for a multitude of reasons, but it still has its faults... but that's as far as how good it is. It's still a good game on its own, and I've always felt that way, so it's fine to start with. It doesn't have any outstanding gimmicks that you'd get too used to to play a previous game in the series, and playing it prepares you for Xillia 2, which is actually one of my top 3 in the series, so it's fine. In my opinion, Symphonia is the best in the series to start with, but if you couldn't start with that, Xillia 1 isn't the worst thing to start with. At the very least, it's short and asks you to do two playthroughs back to back (and still feel short) which is good for getting used to doing that with the other games in the series.

I'm glad you guys liked my write up. It's the most in-depth I've been on my feelings about the state of the series as it is. Maybe some time soon I'll write about what games I think are good for someone getting into the series and which ones are more for people who are already into the series.

75Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:45 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Fantastic posts Khayyaam, cheers! Really insightful. I personally cannot go too in depth, as I've only ever played Symphonia (to death). How well is that title regarded in the greater whole you'd say? Is it among the best, or are there better ones?

https://stinger.actieforum.com

76Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:34 am

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank
@Royta/Raeng wrote:Fantastic posts Khayyaam, cheers! Really insightful. I personally cannot go too in depth, as I've only ever played Symphonia (to death). How well is that title regarded in the greater whole you'd say? Is it among the best, or are there better ones?


Symphonia is highly regarded in the west, mostly due to it being most people's introduction to the series, including me. In Japan it's not held up to such a high status, but this is less due to them hating it, they still love it, and more due to the series already having its foothold there: Symphonia was seen as another solid hit in a series that, at the time, consistently produced them, so it doesn't stand out as much to them. All that said, Symphonia's basically the best introduction to the series-introduces key concepts the series has and doesn't pamper you too much to appreciate the games that came before it (especially when the game that came immediately before, Destiny 2, feels more advanced to many).

All that said, I don't know anyone who necessarily would place Symphonia at the top, strictly from a gameplay/combat perspective. (Many would when considering the whole, i.e. story and characters, which I do like, but I'm more interested in the gameplay in the first place : P) Again, this isn't because the game is flawed or anything, it's more that later games in the series build on and have definite improvements over it. For example, if we consider the Team Symphonia trilogy (the console games developed by Team Symphonia: Symphonia, Abyss and Vesperia) you can easily see the improvements.

Tales of Symphonia brought the series into 3D as I've covered.

Tales of The Abyss added free run on top of that as I've also covered, but it also standardized many aspects that the series would continue to use: the attacks you learn are now known as artes (where symphonia used techs), and have categories (base, arcane, spell). Overlimit is no longer a semi-hidden mechanic the player has almost no control over- it has a dedicated meter that you can store and activate at any time. Overlimit activation also serves as a cancel mechanic similar to Marvel Vs. Capcom 3's X-Factor Cancel, and the activation also has a burst effect that sends opponents flying. It also standardized how supers work: where before they were hidden and character specific (such as Symphonia's level 4 hidden techs) they're now called Mystic Artes and are available to every character, tied to the overlimit mechanic, and have to be done either as an extension off a combo or as a higher level spell. There ARE alternate Mystic Artes that have specific requirements closer to the way Symphonia did it, however, and those would remain in the series as well.

This is NOT to say that the game is a direct improvement in every respect, however. The game completely lacks aerial artes, and the only OTG options in the game are Overlimit Activation and Mystic Artes, so knockdowns end combos most of the time. Again, not a problem necessarily, but aerial artes and OTG/Restand extensions were things that made high level/endgame Symphonia fun and interesting.

Vesperia however combines the best of both worlds. It further builds on Abyss, brings back OTG and aerial artes (and adds much more of them), and adds its own improvements like different cancel mechanics. It feels like a combination of everything Team Symphonia learned while developing for the series, and for that it's many people's top game (it's in my top 3, personally, I like Graces F and Xillia 2 more.)

Another reason why Symphonia is held back is because it has the old style of party composition, which many of the earlier games have (up to and including Abyss). To explain: It has characters that were clearly made to be controlled by a player, and characters that were probably meant to be left to the AI. In Symphonia's case, it has fun characters with combo options, different styles and mobility options (Lloyd, Kratos/Zelos, Regal and Presea), but it also has characters that exist to deal high damage and nothing else (Colette and Sheena) and spellcasters that, unless you go out of your way to get spell usage up and have specific EX skills, aren't good for much besides standing to the side and casting spells. If you were to ask people who they mained in Symphonia, most would say Lloyd and some would say Zelos or Kratos, with maybe the occasional Regal. This isn't a bad thing in and of itself, especially since it's more interesting than most RPG party compositions: the party roles are Combo, Damage Support and Magic Support, which is more unique compared to most RPGs using Tank/DPS/Support.

This is as opposed to later games like Vesperia where every party member is able to combo well and has a good amount of attack and movement options, both melee and spell, and they do this while still having clear party roles. As an example, here's a comparison of high level play of Raine, Symphonia's Healer:



Don't get me wrong, this is difficult and impressive to pull off. But it takes a lot of work: the video's description notes that in order to pull off Spell Cancels that fast, they need a spell that has 999 uses (it's much less in the gamecube version for the record). The strategy also doesn't have much that Raine specifically is able to do-the only combo done loops regular attacks by spell cancelling, which any character who can spellcast can do, and the rest is just the basic movement options.

Compare this to high level play of Estelle, Vesperia's healer:



If you were to just watch these two videos, you may not realize Estelle is supposed to be the party's healer... but she is. In fact, she has all the same spells Raine does and many players will leave her to the AI their first run and not realize how good she can be as a solo fighter. They just also gave her many melee attack, movement and combo options, on top of Vesperia having much more base mechanics she can make use of. Granted, it's not as easy as someone built for the purpose of doing combos like the game's own main character, Yuri, but it's not terribly hard and the added difficulty just makes it more rewarding to try out different characteres and make them work. Many people prefer this newer style of party composition that the games would use, including me. Personally I like it better this way because it brings the series closer to its fighting game style roots if you can main anyone in the cast.

So to put it simply, Symphonia's the perfect introduction to the series, but that doesn't mean it's the best at any particular aspect-it just introduces all the concepts well.

77Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:28 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Good point, I never considered that it had more of an impact compared to the west and east. I'm a big Fire Emblem fan, and Fire Emblem 7 had something similar. It is very well loved here, but in Japan it was just 'a good prequel', because here it was our first game.

Those mechanics you mention regarding Overlimit are interesting. I remember liking it as an idea, but it was always a tad "well, I guess that just happened". About the characters, it is funny you mention that, because we had a kid at school who mained Genis and loved it. He really enjoyed being a spellcaster, and his brother always used Sheena. I was generally the Kratos user. I think the game has a pretty big difference in skill compared to casual and high level play. When we played the game originally, we didn't even chain moves together i.e. Sonic Thrust into Super Sonic Swordrain or something akin to that. Just "RISING FALCON" with the occasional other level 3 skill. Didn't even know what spellcanceling was.

I actually found spellcanceling by myself later-on, and abused it, until my friends asked me to stop as it made my Kratos too good compared to them.

Later-on when replaying the game with my fiance, I was really interested in the game and how creative you could get with the different characters, though also a tad disappointed by how dull some were by comparison. Kratos is still my man paired with Regal, though with the later I mostly was a fan of his Tech-chains (?) which tended to leave me low on TP. So yeah, I'm far from a hardcore player. I'm the Square Square Triangle player if we're using GoW analogy haha.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

78Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:03 am

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank
Yeah, Fire Emblem 7 is a good comparison. Solid title among solid titles, but it was just our introduction. At the very least for Tales, Destiny and Eternia actually did come out in the west beforehand, but unfortunately even after Symphonia's release many games wouldn't make it over, partially due to Sony's anti-2D policy and also because back then and even today the series has trouble converting fans of one game into fans of the series. Many Symphonia fans haven't played the rest of the series, and many of those people are in fact unaware that it even *is* a series. It's frustrating, but I find people like that to this day.

Anyway I guess it's a little unfair to say that spellcasters weren't designed to be controlled. I mean I still think they aren't, but it's true there are people who enjoy that sort of playstyle, even though it really isn't all that engaging.

In any case, I'm not too surprised to hear that you weren't aware of many of the game's mechanics. Symphonia lacks any sort of tutorial at all, and while it does have some in-game manuals hidden away they're far from comprehensive. Also like some other action games, a lot of those mechanics aren't necessary to win on a normal mode playthrough-doubly so since it's an RPG and many people's first inclination when they have trouble is grind instead of rethinking their approach. I don't think the game even mentions combos, co-op or the difference between Semi-Auto and Manual, though you DO need to know these for Hard Mode and higher.

Everything we know about the game has been found through experimentation, and honestly, we still don't know everything. For example, the tech list for every character on the wiki doesn't list any move properties like knockdown, otg or even cancels, but they do for later games like vesperia. I actually plan on compiling a list of what techs have what properties some time, particularly for OTGs, because the only ones we know for sure about are Demon Fang and Photon, and only recently did I hear that Genis' Absolute does as well.

Later games actually do have tutorials so every player should know how to combo and chain artes on a basic level, but the game still keeps most mechanics hidden. That sort of experimentation and "labbing" is another big part of why I enjoy this series, but unfortunately a lot of the player base seems uninterested in even learning the basic mechanics. I remember one time trying to talk about my issues with a certain boss fight in Vesperia with a bunch of people who played it only for all the responses to be some level of "wait, this game's combat is that deep???". When I probed further I found out none of them even knew how to chain a basic attack into an arte, which is taught in a mandatory tutorial. I'm not gonna fault someone for not being into that into a game, but being outright ignorant of basic mechanics frustrates me. There's not that many english speaking people I can talk about the combat with, but it's basically the whole reason I play. I'm also worried that this is part of why the most recent and seemingly the upcoming entries seem to have gotten rid of the LMBS in favor of a more generic, mashy system in a bid to try to get more western fans.

79Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:41 pm

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
So you would consider Graces F, Vesperia, and Xillia 2 as your favourite Tales games, and I'm assuming that's primarily due to the combat of those games. Is there any place where I can find a nice list of Tech in this series? Prioritizing Xillia at the moment, because that's the one I'm playing.

Now, uh, I know this word is completely taboo on this forum, but... Which of the games in the series have the best story? When I'm playing a straight action game like DMC or Bayonetta, I don't really think about that, but when it comes to RPGs... That's another story. Pun very much intended. Obviously for me, gameplay is still going to be king in nearly all cases. But I'd like it if I was playing a game that could do both.

80Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:27 am

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank
Because english speaking fans who are focused on combat are sparse and scattered, there's not really one single list of advanced tech in the series. It's all pretty much just passed around by word of mouth and the occasional video tutorial. As for Xillia 1, the only ones that really come to mind is spell cancelling, which I'm not actually sure is in Xillia 1 (it's in Xillia 2 which has much of the same techniques) which can regenerate your AC faster than usual by chaining into a spell and immediately cancelling it, and the Damage Limit. The latter isn't really an advanced technique so much as it's a hidden mechanic-once your combo reaches a certain damage threshold on bosses they'll break out, so it's recommended to get a feel for when that is and end the combo early with a knockdown rather than keeping it going. Anything else I can think of that comes close to an "advanced technique" is almost always a skill that the game itself explains and has to be equipped, i.e. jump cancelling

As for story... I don't think I can help there. I like every game's story except for Graces F, Xillia 1, Zestiria and Berseria, but in the case of Graces F and Xillia 1 the characters more than make up for the plot. My favorite story in the series is Abyss (actually it's one of my favorite game stories period). But in general I'm not a story oriented guy, never have been, I don't think it's more important in an RPG than any other genre, and it's not something I'm terribly interested in talking about. Most of all it's not something any fan can agree on either, every game is pretty split on whether the story is good or not...

81Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:39 pm

Birdman


Moderator
This looks decent.

82Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:33 am

The_Lord_of_Zeal

The_Lord_of_Zeal
D-Rank
@hedfone wrote:Nice, though it looks like October 8th, with no switch date in site :/.
The original post from this thread was about Valkyrie Profile, which indivisible is a clear copy of (in a good way as they don't make Valkyrie Profile games anymore.) With their fighting game knowledge I expect this to be fantastic. Valkyrie Profile is balls to the wall hard, with replayability out the ass, if you want to see every ending and party member the game has to offer. Hoping this game isn't," just take the combat and leave a shallow western rpg experience."
God damn completely forgot about this game, wasn't this gonna come out in 2017 or something?
Anyway they seem to be copying more than just the gameplay of Valkyrie Profile I think.
Here's what it says about the games plot in their website

"Our story revolves around Ajna, a fearless girl with a rebellious streak. Raised by her father on the outskirts of their rural town, her life is thrown into chaos when her home is attacked, and a mysterious power awakens within her.

The game’s huge fantasy world, characters and aesthetic design are inspired by various cultures and mythologies. Throughout Ajna’s quest she’ll encounter many “Incarnations”: people whom she can absorb and manifest to fight alongside her. There are many Incarnations to recruit, each with their own story and personality. By uniting people from faraway lands, Ajna will learn about herself, the world she inhabits, and most importantly, how to save it."
Doesn't it sound a bit too familiar with Lenneth's story in VP?

83Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:42 am

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
@Khayaam

I'm finding Tales of Xillia's combat pretty... overwhelming. I haven't had much time to play lately, so I'm only on Bermia Gorge.

Any recommendations for characters, and arts and skills to set on each? I've only played Jude so far (His Snap Pivot is totally busted), but I'd like to learn how to play the other ones. Rowen seems like he could be interesting, with his art-tuning.

Playing on moderate, if that's worth mentioning.

84Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:16 pm

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank
I have mixed feelings about Trials of Mana

I don't think it'll be bad, I'm just sad that it doesn't use the original's gameplay at all. I always found Secret of Mana and Seiken Densetsu really interesting and fun because they were basically a good example of what Action RPGs could be like before Tales of Phantasia came and said "hey you know, we can just take fighting game and beat em up mechanics. We can just have combos". Like they really just took Zelda, and went like "what if the combat had depth?"

On the other hand, later mana games already changed the formula anyway, and I do like combos. Plus we got the original Trials of Mana recently, it's basically a new game to the west, so it's fine for the remake to be radically different.

@TheFirmament1 wrote:@Khayaam

I'm finding Tales of Xillia's combat pretty... overwhelming. I haven't had much time to play lately, so I'm only on Bermia Gorge.

Any recommendations for characters, and arts and skills to set on each? I've only played Jude so far (His Snap Pivot is totally busted), but I'd like to learn how to play the other ones. Rowen seems like he could be interesting, with his art-tuning.

Playing on moderate, if that's worth mentioning.

sorry for late reply, but I'd like to know what you mean by "overwhelming". It's true that there's a LOT of mechanics but that's par for the series.

As for characters, I'd only recommend the physical fighters (Jude, Leia, Alvin) + Milla for first time players. The spellcasters, Rowan and Elize require a completely different mindset. If you do want to try them out though, all I'd really recommend is getting used to spell timing, chaining spells together and getting used to backdashing. Rowan's really good with crowd control and elemental moves with his arte tuning, but that's basically it. His low defense makes mistakes costly. Only arte set up I'd suggest for him are a good assortment of elemental moves alongside his only non-spell artes.

Jude IS absolutely busted, pretty much all his moves are useful and Snap Pivot is just, way too good. Plus, I'd especially suggest using him because linking with Leia or Elize means easy access to the Pixie Heal Link Arte, which is useful for the whole game basically. Technically, you can control Leia or Elize and link with Jude to do it, but they have to cast First Aid to do it, where Jude can just chain healer instantly. Recommended artes would be Palm Strike, Cerberus Strike, Beast, Steel, Healer (I don't remember what you should have at that point in the game)

Leia is kinda like Jude but not busted. Similar to him, she's a physical fighter who can heal, but since her heals are spells you can't just pop it instantly like Jude does, and while she gets a backstep effect like him, hers doesn't basically mean free guard breaks like snap pivot does lol. But she's fun. Recommended Artes are Darting Claw, Cerberus Strike, Swallow Flight, Staff Rain... honestly all of them really.

Milla is who I'd suggest if you want to get into Spellcasting. Spirit Shifting means she doesn't have to choose between physical and magical moves- you can use both depending on the situation. With certain skills you can also cast in the air, and this is on top of her good physical moveset. I'd recommend Shimmer Spin, Whirling Assault, and whatever elemental spells you like to use spirit shifted.

Alvin's a fun one. While linking with him is useful because he helps out with guard breaks, playing with him is really good. He's basically Devil May Cry's Nero but without grabs- not just because he has a sword and a gun, but because his mechanic is Arte Charging, which is essentially EXceed. Like Milla this gives him a lot more options of attacks than other characters- for example, Demon Fang becomes Fierce Demon Fang when he has a charge. I haven't played him that much because my sister mained him for both of my runs of the game, but the main arte I'd suggest is Squall Shot (and it's charge, Storm Shot) and Arc Fire. His gun moves in general are really good.

Have fun experimenting as you learn more artes and skills. Remember that you can change who you control mid-battle and can even change your party mid-battle so if you feel overwhelmed when using a character you're not used to it's ok to fall back to using Jude or something (or, hell, use one character than switch to Jude to pop a Pixie Heal when you need it).

All that said, you're still early in the game, so it's ok to stick to one character for now. In fact I wouldn't suggest anyone except Jude until you're past the Nameless Anomally, which is the boss of Bermia Gorge. Here's a tip: Snap Pivot works no matter how far you are from the enemy, if their attack would reach you and you time it right, you'll snap pivot.

__________

I'm wondering if we should just have a separate Tales thread at this point.

85Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:59 pm

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
@Khayaam

Mostly just the large amount of mechanics. The last AJRPG I played was Xenoblade 1, a few months back.

That game was pretty technical as well, but I'm not really used to this area of the genre yet. Thanks for the advice though, once I get started on Graces F, I'll probably be barraging questions left and right.

86Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:46 am

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank
Oh, it's funny that you mention Xenoblade 1. I wouldn't say that's an action game at all... same for Xenoblade X and 2. They're in realtime and have action elements, but they're not really action. There's no dodging, whether an attack hits or not is dependent on RNG, you attack automatically, there's no "hitstun" or anything, etc. It's a really good game and one of my favorites, but it took me realizing it's not an action RPG at all for me to enjoy it. Same goes for Xenoblade X and Xenoblade 2. They're interesting because they each have slightly more action elements than the last one, but they still aren't action games. Just realtime. Love all of em though.

87Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:53 am

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
I wasn't calling "Action" games. I personally consider an ARPG to be any RPG with real-time combat.

But yeah, Xenoblade is definitely not under the umbrella of "Action Game".

88Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:29 am

Birdman


Moderator
I'm looking for recommendations for RPGs that have good customization.
Examples that I've enjoyed so far are Dragon's Dogma (Dark Arisen), Final Fantasy 12, and World of Final Fantasy. Souls would count, but I'm a bit tired of those types now.

So far I'm planning on getting Indivisible, Bravely Default and Lapis x Labryrinth.
Indivisible looks like it has lots of variety in team composition and Bravely Default has a class system.

Lapis x Labyrinth has a similar stacking system to World of FF, where your party members are stacked on your head. Also has classes.

I have Blue Dragon which has jobs, but I haven't had time to try it yet.

One thing I'm not interested in is those huge multiplayer ones like Black Desert.

89Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:03 pm

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank
Bravely Default is *exceedingly* good, I'd recommend it, and its sequel Bravely Second, as well as Octopath Traveler released by the same devs, which also has a class system.

Other examples off the top of my head would be

Xenoblade X which has a customizable protagonist and class system. Wii U exclusive though

Xenoblade 2 which has sooort of a class system? They're unlocked randomly though which turns a lot of people off

Final Fantasy 5. Basically what Bravely Default, WoFF, Final Fantasy Tactics and all those other class based FF games are based on

Fire Emblem Three Houses if you're into strategy RPGs, it's basically about a whole team of customizable units

Final Fantasy 8. Not a class system or anything like that. Instead it lets you equip spells directly to your stats as well as a completely customizable command list, as you unlock them. It's very unique and one of my favorites in the series, but a lot of people hate it because it's "too complicated". In reality it's just different, and pretty simple, and lets you do a LOT when you master it. They also hate it because it punishes grinding (enemies level up with you) but that's one of the things that makes it amazing imo, since skill at utilizing the system takes you further than levels.

And of course, Golden Sun. As you find more Djinn, different combinations of Djinn on each character changes their class and therefore their abilities. And the summon/set system even lets you change in-battle.

90Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:54 pm

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
I highly recommend SMT IV, Strange Journey Redux, and Devil Survivor Overclocked on 3DS. If you're not at all interested in story, then get SMT IV: Apocalypse, which has some great combat, but terrible story/morality system. SMT games are amazing when it comes to turn-based combat.

91Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:07 am

Birdman


Moderator
>Bravely Default
How does the job system work exactly. You can equip a sub-job right? What does this do?

92Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:19 am

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank
A subclass simply lets you use the unique command of that class. For example, if Ringabel has level 3 black mage but is currently a monk, you can equip black mage's command so you can use level 3 black magic.

Only primarily classes get job experience (Job points) though so if you want higher level black magic you'd need to train that class some more.

As far as passives, you can equip any you've learned from any job as long as you have the skill slots for it.

93Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:36 am

Birdman


Moderator
That sounds good. I like it when the classes have some kind of crossover rather than simply magic guy, sword guy, etc.

Are you familiar with the Etrian games? I've decided I don't want to play anything in first person, but there's one called Mystery Dungeon where you can see the characters at all times.

94Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:01 am

Birdman


Moderator
So in Bravely Default, is default basically defense mode and stores my turn for later use when using brave?

I've only done a few fights outside of the first town and got my first part member, but is there any reason NOT to default aside from say, if you need healing right away?

95Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:19 pm

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank
As far as regular encounters, the main reason to not Default is to get one turn kill/no damage bonuses (this is even more useful in the sequel). As far as bosses and later more difficult fights there are definitely situations where you'll have better options than just defaulting. Don't think you have the game figured out from the first few hours

96Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:15 am

Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright
D-Rank
Hi, I was told to come here if I had interest in the Tales of games. Is there any game available for the 3DS? It's the only working device I have now, since my PS2 doesn't work at the moment. But if there's any title worth checking out on current gen consoles, you can recommend me those as well, it's just that I won't be able to play these anytime soon.

97Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:28 am

Nadster


B-Rank
Hi there! Well my second 3DS is dead(due to bricking) but all that I can recommend you for Action JRPGS is the Monster Hunter series. It's there on the 3DS and current gen. The only one I liked is Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.

98Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:08 am

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
Tales of the Abyss is on 3DS. I don't know if it's a good port or not.

And for non AJRPGs, I recommend SMT IV and Devil Survivor Overclocked.

99Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:26 pm

Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright
D-Rank
@Nadster wrote:Hi there! Well my second 3DS is dead(due to bricking) but all that I can recommend you for Action JRPGS is the Monster Hunter series. It's there on the 3DS and current gen. The only one I liked is Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.
Monster Hunter, huh? I've heard of that series. I think I recall someone saying that Generations is also good. Is that true?

@TheFirmament1 wrote:Tales of the Abyss is on 3DS. I don't know if it's a good port or not.

And for non AJRPGs, I recommend SMT IV and Devil Survivor Overclocked.
Just to clarify, SMT is Persona, right? If so, it's funny that you should mention it, since 4 days ago someone recommended them to me.

100Action JRPGs - Page 2 Empty Re: Action JRPGs on Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:01 pm

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
SMT is NOT Persona.

Persona and SMT are both part of the larger Megami Tensei franchise. But they're separate. SMT is generally considered the "mainline" Megami Tensei series.

And even though it's called SMT: Persona 4 or SMT: Persona 3, that's not what they were originally called. It was just that way in America.

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