Author Topic: The current gen JRPG thread  (Read 2220 times)

Offline EOJ

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The current gen JRPG thread
« on: February 09, 2010, 04:45:20 PM »
I've always enjoyed Japanese RPGs, and recently I've been trying out various ones on the current home systems (xbox 360, ps3, wii). Post your thoughts, impressions, recommendations and so forth on these games here. You can include action-rpgs and SRPGs too.

Ones I have played or have recently bought (but not yet played):

1) Lost Odyssey. I recently finished this, and found it to be an excellent, thoroughly enjoyable game. Great graphics, music, battle system, and actually a good story. I loved the towns, the feeling of exploration, and most of the characters were designed well. My complaints include the lack of a temporary save option (so you can just stop the game between save points if need be, and go back to it later), some cut scenes were too long, and some battles relied a bit too much on having "the right skill or equipment, otherwise it's nearly impossible". Overall I highly recommend this one, it's one of the best out there.

2)Blue Dragon. See this.

3)Tengai Makyou Ziria. This is one you don't hear much about, because few people outside of Japan have given it a shot. The first JRPG on the X360, it's also the one I'm most interested in right now. I have just ordered this (it commands a higher price, new or used, than any other xbox 360 JRPG, btw), so when it arrives I can post some impressions. The videos on nico douga really have me excited for it - I love the Tengai Makyou series, and this game seems to have a great battle system, great music, and a fun story set in ancient Japan. Simple graphics, but they still look fine.

4)Magna Carta 2. I'm not too excited about this, and it's a Korean, rather than a Japanese, RPG, but Play-asia had the asian (japanese language) version up for $9.90 brand new today, so I figured what the hell, I'll give it a try. We'll see.

5)Tales of Vesperia. Another one I bought this week, it's gotten mainly positive reviews, so I'll probably enjoy this. I went with the Japanese Xbox 360 version as it's cheaper than the PS3 one (1/2 the price, actually), I don't care about all the extra stuff in the PS3 version, I can't stand English VA, and the PS3 version runs at a lower resolution and looks blurrier. I downloaded both demos and compared them back to back, and the X360 version really looked noticably better to my eyes.

6)3D Dot Game Heroes - PS3. I'm about 5 hours into this action-rpg, and I need to go back and finish it. Fun game, I like the "save anywhere" feature. More of these games need this (or a temporary save option).

7)Valkyria Chronicles. I played about 15 hours on this and stopped 1.5 years ago, for some reason I've never gone back to it. Some day I shall fire it up again.

« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 12:16:43 AM by EOJ »
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Offline adverse

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 06:37:56 PM »
Thanks for the write-up.  :righton:

If Magna Carta 2 can be judged from its demo, the game is pure shit.  Endless tutorials and NPC babbling.  I hate games that hold your hand, and try to teach you the dictionary before your first word.

Valkyria Chronicles is really worth going back to.  RPG of the gen for me, moreso since it's the only one I've enjoyed.  The sequel for PSP is pretty good too although the high school theme is pretty whack.

Offline EOJ

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 06:48:22 PM »
Have you tried Tengai Makyou Ziria? Here's a vid:

http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm3317296

I think that looks awesome. I love the towns, they remind me of Kyoto.  :)

I did play the MC2 demo, thought it was OK, didn't knock my socks off. I never find demos of RPGs to give me a good feel for a game, though. I thought the Tales of Vesperia demo was equally just "OK". The tutorial stuff is fine for me, a lot of games have that and its battle system seems to have a bit of a learning curve to get used to, so I can understand why they put it in.
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Offline ookitarepanda

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 07:56:31 PM »
I'd definitely agree on Lost Odyssey on every point you made. I remember going through the Temple of Enlightenment and I was actually afraid to save and quit because I'd forget how to get the hell out of there. Needed a warp spell or something...

It had a pretty balanced encounter rate, too, so it wasn't too frustrating except when the battles would take a long time. It generally eliminated grinding for levels, only grinding to get abilities on your immortals. That was cool.

Did you do the Backyard? The last battle in that thing was extremely epic for me, and took about 40 minutes to finish. I loved every second.


As for other JRPGs, I haven't been able to play many recent ones, but I am looking forward to 3D dot game heroes...

Offline EOJ

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 08:22:33 PM »
I'd definitely agree on Lost Odyssey on every point you made. I remember going through the Temple of Enlightenment and I was actually afraid to save and quit because I'd forget how to get the hell out of there. Needed a warp spell or something...


Yeah, a "get out of a dungeon" warp spell would have been great. I liked the Temple of Enlightenment as [spoiler] you could go up one level with each battle[/spoiler].  
I never went far inside the temple for fear of getting lost, and not knowing the way back.  :laugh:

Quote

It had a pretty balanced encounter rate, too, so it wasn't too frustrating except when the battles would take a long time. It generally eliminated grinding for levels, only grinding to get abilities on your immortals. That was cool.


Agreed. It is a really well-balanced game in this regard.


Quote
Did you do the Backyard?


Nah, I rarely do any of the optional stuff (side quests, etc) in JRPGs, and I almost never go back to do anything extra after I finish a game like this. With that said, I did enjoy [spoiler]the Forgotten Cave,[/spoiler] and [spoiler]you get such an awesome sword for Seth when you beat that boss. [/spoiler] :)
I also was curious about  [spoiler]Kelolon Village and Pirate's Cove.[/spoiler] I like this game so much I might actually go back and play through those extra sections.
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Offline ookitarepanda

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010, 10:37:04 PM »
Nah, I rarely do any of the optional stuff (side quests, etc) in JRPGs, and I almost never go back to do anything extra after I finish a game like this. With that said, I did enjoy [spoiler]the Forgotten Cave,[/spoiler] and [spoiler]you get such an awesome sword for Seth when you beat that boss. [/spoiler] :)
I also was curious about  [spoiler]Kelolon Village and Pirate's Cove.[/spoiler] I like this game so much I might actually go back and play through those extra sections.

The [spoiler]Kelolon Village[/spoiler] wasn't so great of an event but you got some good stuff out of it. I guess the game was especially poignant for me because I was finishing college and going to be moving back home, and the thought of saying goodbye coincided a lot with the dream sequences. Some of my friends didn't like the whole glorified Powerpoint presentation thing, but others who saw me playing the game would say, "jesus christ this game is depressing."

Didn't they get Kiyoshi Shigematsu to write the 1000 years of dreams and Jay Rubin to translate? That's a powerhouse team right there. I read Rubin's translation of 藪の中 in college for one of my Japanese lit courses and it was fantastic... In general, that part of the story was more compelling than the portion you play in the game, at least for me. I just wish that modern RPGs that tried to have serious stories could write like that. Otherwise we just get a bunch of recycled save-the-world stuff and such. Not that the story is the most important part, but it definitely helped me move along in LO.

Offline adverse

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2010, 11:05:53 PM »
Random aside: I've met Jay Rubin.

I was living in Boston and barged in on his office to ask advice about becoming a translator after reading one of his books.  He talked to me for like an hour.   :righton:  Great guy.

Offline fuse

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2010, 01:27:16 AM »
I thought Lost Odyssey was quite enjoyable too - felt it was considerably more adult than a lot of other RPGs I'd played around the time, and actually covered some quite interesting themes. Did pretty much everything in the game too other than the bloody 'Treasure Trove' achievement :( I didn't realise Rubin had done the translation until his name popped in the credits; I've got a lot of Haruki Murakami books translated by him and it put a smile on my face to see him involved with this too, certainly made a lot of sense too in relation to the quality of the writing.
 
I loved Tales of Vesperia - was really fun and chirpy throughout, but what really surprised me was how likable Yuri was as a lead character. I've also played Enchanted Arms, which is ok but not great by any stretch of the imagination. Eternal Sonata, Magna Carta 2 and Star Ocean : TLH are all sat on my shelf, but I'm not sure when I'll get to them. Have also toyed with the idea of picking up Infinite Undiscovery and The Last Remnant but I know it'll take me forever to get to them.

The demo of Resonance of Fate actually put me off it a bit, after the first set of trailers whet my whistle quite considerably. It reminded me of Parasite Eve quite a lot when I got to play it, which is no bad thing, but I certainly didn't have the right level of Japanese comprehension to be able to get far with it.

Offline gsl

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 10:08:32 AM »
Random aside: I've met Jay Rubin.
:o !  I don't have many heroes, but he's definitely one of them.  I love his translations of Murakami's work; I can't really compare him to Philip Gabriel as they both have separate but enjoyable styles, but his work is miles above that of Alfred Birnbaum's earlier translations.

So I haven't really been interested in a non-re-release Final Fantasy since getting burned by FFX's annoying voices and "I hate you, Dad!" melodrama, but I have to say that I'm looking forward to FFXIII just a little bit.  It sounds like the battle system is a bit more engaging, and the annoying parts of a story-heavy RPG (running around the landscape, searching through towns) seem to have been streamlined quite a bit as well.  Waiting on the English release.

Any of you Wii-bearing Japan folks play Fragile?  It's been pretty low on the western radar, but the very atmospheric look and RPG-lite gameplay really have my attention.  How was it received in Japan?

And I suppose this qualifies as current-gen only by virtue of the Wii port, but Sakura Taisen finally in the US!  The series has been a guilty pleasure of mine for some time, and it'll be nice to finally have an installment I don't have to play with frequent FAQ and dictionary consultation.  Plus, it's being localized by NISA (not Sega, oddly enough, though they probably have their hands full making more terrible Sonic games), so at least they know how to handle strategy RPGs and have a history of quality releases. I just hope there's nothing wrong with the Wii port--it strikes me as really odd when the localization company ports a title to a platform that didn't get the original release.

Offline EOJ

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 03:17:20 PM »

And I suppose this qualifies as current-gen only by virtue of the Wii port, but Sakura Taisen finally in the US!  The series has been a guilty pleasure of mine for some time, and it'll be nice to finally have an installment I don't have to play with frequent FAQ and dictionary consultation.  Plus, it's being localized by NISA (not Sega, oddly enough, though they probably have their hands full making more terrible Sonic games), so at least they know how to handle strategy RPGs and have a history of quality releases. I just hope there's nothing wrong with the Wii port--it strikes me as really odd when the localization company ports a title to a platform that didn't get the original release.

Have you heard the English voice acting for this? It made me long for deafness. The fact they cancelled the extra disc with the Japanese VA from the Wii version makes me have absolutely zero desire to buy it. I already played through the Japanese version anyway.  :)
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Offline gsl

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 12:30:46 AM »
I had no idea the Japanese voiceover was only present in the PS2 version!  That's pretty disappointing.  I'm not really sure I want to go with that version thanks to my PS2's getting more feeble as time goes by.  I guess I'll have to listen to the trailer and see how horrific the English is.  I've never been a fan of Japanese anime-type voices--they sound as unlike normal Japanese as most English anime does--but sometimes the fact that it's a foreign language makes it a lot more bearable to hear.  I suppose I could always get the PS2 version instead; wouldn't really have to worry about possible funky porting issues in that case, either.

And yeah, I figure most people with a functional command of Japanese would have played through it when it originally came out--what, four years ago?  I was never brave enough to import and try to muddle through it; still need to finish both of the original Saturn releases.  Say, do you recall if there was an option to turn the voices off (or adjust the volume) in the original version of STV?

Offline EOJ

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2010, 01:09:09 AM »
I don't remember if there was an option to turn off the voices, sorry. I know GP played through it the same time I did.

Give the trailer a listen. It doesn't get much worse than that fake, overdone southern accent.
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Offline MX7

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2010, 12:18:09 PM »
Is Eternal Sonata/Trusty Bell worth a play? It's dirt cheap on PA at the mo for the English language Asian version. I don't have a very good track record with finishing RPGs (I was really enjoying Persona 4, but gave up for no discernible reason) but the idea of an RPG about Chopin intrigues me  =D

Offline Aquas

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2010, 05:52:43 PM »
I noticed Star Ocean: The Last Hope got no mention.  I finished the main game once and it really stood out as a modern JRPG to me.  There are some setpiece moments that I want to experience again, for sure.  Voice acting is hit and miss, but for what hits it pulls it together.  Compared to Star Ocean 3 the battles feel a bit more streamlined, but Tri-Ace takes simple procedure and makes every battle quick and fun.  The dungeons don't fool around, either.  They are big.  I like the characters for the most part.  You can really empathise with the main character, Edge Maverick, and relate to him, almost, as you go through the motions.

I particularly enjoy the setting of this game, too.  It's Earth's first major exploration into space after WWIII occurred and the world leaders were forced to cooperate, to invest towards space.  The human population has dwindled but space is the new frontier when the warp drive is invented.  It is more Star Ocean than any Star Ocean, I mean, the characters mention "star ocean" more than any other time!  *errr snirk* lol

Give it a shot, the International Version just came out on PS3.  Adds japanese voices selectable and like 7 different subtitling settings.. and even better, it's on one disc.  There is a point later in the game where disc swapping becomes a pain while farming for some items.  The farming requires physical work of disc swapping!  >_>

Offline EOJ

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2010, 06:43:46 PM »
Star Ocean TLH has gotten more mixed reviews than any other X360 RPG. Seems a prototypical "love it or hate it" game.

I got Tales of Vesperia and Tengai Makyou Ziria the other day. I'm playing through Tengai Makyou Ziria first, and it's amazing. The camera is a little weird and it makes some parts akward, but the story is the best of any X360 RPG (it's brimming with humor and originality), the turn-based fighting is fast and fun, there are nearly zero loads if you install it to your hdd, and the music is the absolute best I've heard in an RPG in many years. The whole sound mix is superb. I also love the new HD anime cinemas. I think the game would be hard to play through if you can't read Japanese, but if you can and you like JRPGs, you should hunt down a copy. If the camera wasn't so annoying in some parts it would be a near perfect game.
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Offline fuse

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2010, 01:49:51 AM »
I started Magna Carta 2 this week and I've been pleasantly surprised by this. Story is a bit by-the-numbers so far but I'm hoping it develops, but the battle system seems very enjoyable and very hands-on, which is a major plus point for me. Considering this is dropping to budget prices all over the shop I'd definitely recommend it.

Offline Square King

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2010, 11:08:15 AM »
Any other impressions on Magna Carta 2? Considering picking it up. Definitely has that Korea-developed sheen to it, and WoW-esque gameplay elements be damned, but I dig the style.

Is Eternal Sonata/Trusty Bell worth a play? It's dirt cheap on PA at the mo for the English language Asian version. I don't have a very good track record with finishing RPGs (I was really enjoying Persona 4, but gave up for no discernible reason) but the idea of an RPG about Chopin intrigues me  =D

fuse's comment on Tales of Vesperia being 'chirpy' immediately made me think of Eternal Sonata. It's definitely bright and almost borderline childish at times, but the subject matter, art style and battle system are quite unique. If you like Chopin, you might get an extra kick out of it. Overall, I'd say it's a really niche RPG but worth your $15-$20.

Offline gsl

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2010, 11:55:35 AM »
Goddammit postal service, hurry up with that Sakura Taisen order.

So I got Final Fantasy XIII on the 360 , which struck me as the first FF title since, oh, FFVIII that actually caught my eye as looking interesting.  I've only put about an hour and a half into it--my current gaming time being wholly take with the Oblivion Lost mod for STALKER--and it's really quite enjoyable so far.  The battles are amazingly streamlined, and the concept of only having to focus on the main character (while occasionally healing your cohorts) is really interesting.  That was one of the things that sold me on the title, actually, was how pared down the combat system is, and how the game is supposedly a lot more linear in its progression and not quite as annoying re: level grinding as the typical JRPG.  That's what's been turning me off the genre in general, actually--all the other crap that gets in the way of the story progression, assuming it's not a typical cliched JRPG story.  I just don't have the patience to hunt around for the next bit of plot development, or keep going through the same obnoxious battles over and over again to make the next boss less frustrating.  So far, FFXIII really seems to have shed a lot of that useless baggage the genre's collected over the past two decades.  We'll see if that's still the case around the 30 hour mark.

Offline EOJ

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2010, 06:35:47 PM »
I finished Tengai Makyou Ziria today. Took me about 50 hours from start to finish. Awesome game, though in the last 10 hours the encounter rate was too high, and became a bit annoying. Too bad, otherwise I'd have few complaints about this game. Great story, great adventure, great battle system, great anime cinemas (feels like a PC-FX game on steroids in this regard).  I am going to keep playing to get the medals in the underground battle tournaments, but other than that I'm pretty much done. Highly recommended!! I'm not sure whether or not this tops Lost Odyssey for best turn-based RPG on the X360 (it's close, they're both great games), but this game is quite unique and has a very special charm to it. There's nothing else quite like it on any of the current home consoles.

BTW there is no walkthrough in English for this game (AFAIK), but here's a link to the Japanese walkthrough/FAQ that I used (particularly for the ougi chart and item list):

http://www5.atwiki.jp/ziria360/pages/1.html
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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2010, 03:42:40 AM »
i'd suggest Eternal Sonata/Trusty Bell for 360/PS3, the soundtrack is awesome on it's own, the characters are well designed and the battle system gets better as you progress through the game

since PS3 version came way after the first 360 one, there are some new features like more cutscenes, 2 additional playable characters and new dungeons

only one fatal flaw: the plot; it's confusing, incomplete, and it doesn't make sense even at the end of the game

overall, it's pretty much enjoyable, and there's a New Game + option (it's not that +, you lose everything you have made in the first playthrough, only exception is that there are additional side quests, and the enemies are much stronger)

Offline fuse

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2010, 04:32:18 AM »
I ended up sinking 97 hours into FFXIII to get all of the achievements, and for the most part I really enjoyed it. The story's pretty typical FF fare, and as usual I think the slightly less mature generic FF-type storyline would probably work a whole lot better if it were to be read rather than spoken - not to say it's awful though, there are certainly worse, but also much certainly much better examples of stories out there.

I enjoyed the streamline battle system too but feel it didn't get quite deep enough by the end - my final paradigms were essentially 3x Com, 3x Rav, 3x Sab and so forth. Some of the final battles were good fun (Shaolong Guis for example) but spending the best part of 15 hours grinding Adamantoises nearly drove me mad.

Offline cstarflare

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2010, 08:10:28 PM »
i'd suggest Eternal Sonata/Trusty Bell for 360/PS3, the soundtrack is awesome on it's own, the characters are well designed and the battle system gets better as you progress through the game

I counted this as a plus, until I hit New Game + when I realize how much better the game is when it's not intentionally crippling itself. The extra challenge, items, etc. are nice as well.

New Game + is so much better overall that it actually made me resent the game for making me play through once to unlock it. Still, the first playthrough would have been worth it for the graphics and music alone, so I'd still recommend to anyone who like Tri-Ace style games or JRPGs in general.

EDIT: I'm told the story is much better if you know enough about Chopin's life to connect characters and events from the game to those in his life. I knew nothing about that stuff, so I was mostly in it for the pretty colors.

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2010, 03:26:12 AM »
I counted this as a plus, until I hit New Game + when I realize how much better the game is when it's not intentionally crippling itself. The extra challenge, items, etc. are nice as well.
yeah, i liked the harder difficulty setting, that actually made the game a challenge, in the first playthrough not a single character ever died during a battle, it was a walk in the park

EDIT: I'm told the story is much better if you know enough about Chopin's life to connect characters and events from the game to those in his life. I knew nothing about that stuff, so I was mostly in it for the pretty colors.
i liked the overall story, even if it made almost no sense to me
extra note: Viola is hot, as well as the strongest character in the game IMO

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2010, 05:04:59 AM »
I fully enjoyed Eternal Sonata but the NG+ was handled poorly, which is more or less a trend with all Bandai Namco games.

You're given a harder difficulty level and retain absolutely nothing from the previous playthrough.

That's not how you reward a player for beating your game.

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2010, 09:58:16 AM »
I fully enjoyed Eternal Sonata but the NG+ was handled poorly, which is more or less a trend with all Bandai Namco games.

You're given a harder difficulty level and retain absolutely nothing from the previous playthrough.

That's not how you reward a player for beating your game.
i still remember a friend of mine talking on how about NG+ sucks
it should be like Disgaea

Offline EOJ

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2011, 08:56:52 PM »
Some updates!

X360 stuff:
I've recently played through Trusty Bell, and I quite liked it. It was simple and straightforward, sorta like FFXIII. The battle system was really fun toward the end, and all the different characters were awesome to play in different combinations. It also has pretty much the most beautiful graphics in any game ever made. Seriously, why doesn't every JRPG use this graphic style?

I didn't like Tales of Vesperia. Gave it a good shot, but the characters are stupid & annoying and the battle system put me to sleep. I played about 10 hours and that was enough.

I'm replaying Blue Dragon and liking a lot more than I did a few years back.

PSP stuff:
Ys Seven was awesome. So was Oath in Felgana. YS I & II (PSP) is good, but it runs at 30fps, which is a bit distracting. Queen's Gate was good fun like the first game. The Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy IV remakes on the PSP were both really enjoyable. I have II, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Tales of Phantasia Narikiri Dungeon is an awesome package of two quality games. I usually don't like Tales games, but the original Phantasia is awesome and this is the best version ever.

Next up whenever I get around to them:
-The Last Remnant (X360)
-Star Ocean The Last Hope (X360)
-Persona 2 (PSP)
-Genso Suikoden I & II (PSP)
-Star Ocean First Departure (PSP)

***All versions played are Japanese.
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Offline EOJ

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Re: The current gen JRPG thread
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2011, 12:15:21 AM »
I recently completed Blue Dragon (all told it took me 36 hours, but I probably could have done it in 33-34. I did a bit too much grinding at the end, methinks), and I really miscalculated the game. It's really awesome. Actually, I'd go so far as to say it's the best RPG on the HD consoles. Just a bit better than Tengai Makyo Ziria X360 overall (which is definitely the most under-appreciated RPG ever). It ultimately ends up feeling like an HD Dragon Quest which is better than any Dragon Quest game put out by Square-Enix.
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