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Someone mentioned JRPG's in another thread...and having a great interest in them...probably went to crazy with listing some of my favorite ones...which can make quite a list.

 

I imagine that if there are others...this could create quite the thread.

 

So, to start things off...

 

They wanted to list the seminal RPGs equivalent to Baldurs Gate series, Fallout, and Planescape Torment. I'd add others which would be the gold Box series.

 

So, in that light....

 

The equivalent if not more so than the Gold Box series for me would be

 

The Final Fantasy series. Specifically

 

Final Fantasy IV, V, and VI.

 

VI would be the crowning achievement (known as FF III in the US when it was released) of ALL Final Fantasy games. Pure awesomeness. Encapsulates everything one would want into an RPG. They've even released updated versions of these for other systems such as the Gameboy advanced (which plays on the Nintendo DS), the Playstation, and now are available via PSN for the PS3 I believe.

 

The equivalent for the Baldurs Gate series would be

 

Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and then I'd toss in IX simply because VI was already taken with the gold box games.

 

Playstation was a good system among the pack of new CD driven consoles when it came out. It was Final Fantasy VII where I felt it suddenly shifted. I know many people who got a Playstation solely due to Final Fantasy VII. Hype build Hype, and before long everyone wanted to try Final Fantasy VII...and needed a Playstation to try it.

 

The equivalent of the Fallout series...

 

This is harder. I think historically, there isn't really an equivalent for the F/O series. Someone mentioned Phantasy Star...having played PS since the beginning (and the older ones are MUCH better then the MMO type ones that came out later) I'd disagree. Maybe impactually they are equivalent...but I'd say there aren't that many.

 

Probably the closest I've seen JRPGs come to a fallout type game would be Nier.

 

Then for Planescape Torment with it's mental and psychological ponderings...that would fall solidly into the Xeno series.

 

Xenogears was it for a long time but Xenoblades has slowly taken and become part of that as well.

 

They actually have some convoluted background, and possibly could be considered closest to the Fallout equivalent if we didn't use them already for the Planescape equivalent. I suppose one could argue that the Persona games fill the PS gap much better...but I was never really a fan of those.

 

 

I'd also like to toss into JRPG's another category not looked at much, which would be the Musical RPGs. Ironic, but there are some of these.

 

My favorites are some of these...they are the Lunar series. Great little games.

 

One of my favorite series other then the Lunar series however was

 

the Chrono series...aka...Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger.

 

anyways, this gives us several branches of discussion we can pursue.

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Suikoden II III and V are considered some of the best. Although I'm not sure what they'd equate to in the West given they have 108 joinable characters (although half of those are just non-combat character that help with your war)

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Suikoden II goes for crazy ridiculous prices still. Was it III or IV that had fan outcries however? One of those they didn't think fit the mold for Suikoden. I'm thinking it was IV.

 

Tactics was another one of the Suikoden that had some fan outcry about it.

 

Still a fan of Suikoden I however. It's the only PS1 game I actually paid to download onto my PS3 so I didn't have to put in a disk. Still have to play that version on the PS3 though. Disk version had some painful issues on the PS1 when I played it...though if you jumped through hoops it still worked.

 

If they released Suikoden II on PSN I'd pick it up in a heartbeat.

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it was IV. Basically because you were running around in a buggy mess as a "pirate" with "rune cannons" rather than some epic empire clashing story.

 

Another one that people should probably give a look at is Shin Megami Tensei... well that and Persona(s) 3 and 4 which are considered some of the best RPG's to date from Japan.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Most underrated JRPG ever: "Radiata Stories" that it's all

 

@Calax: You really like Suikoden don't you?

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Only really played V. But it was one of the most epic games I've ever played and one of the only ones where I felt like I had consequence.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Only really played V. But it was one of the most epic games I've ever played and one of the only ones where I felt like I had consequence.

I imagine, you mention and compare other games to it quite often.

 

Just for my edification, what aspect of it appealed to you the most?

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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I actually haven't played a lot of JRPGs. FF7 & 8 were my first RPGs and I loved them; I recently replayed 9 and it was quite fun, as well. 5 & 6 are good, too. They aren't too strong combat-side, though, and it was probably only because I was so young and poor that I was happy to spend hours grinding. I thought FF10 and 12 were quite terrible, and now that they're pushing the whole skimpy chick deal even more, meh.

 

What I've seen/tried of Persona, Chrono Trigger, etc didn't impress me. I do think Shining Force 2 is excellent in that it actually has good, tactical, fun JRPG combat - obviously FF Tactics is another.

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Only really played V. But it was one of the most epic games I've ever played and one of the only ones where I felt like I had consequence.

I imagine, you mention and compare other games to it quite often.

 

Just for my edification, what aspect of it appealed to you the most?

Basically, Most RPG's anymore have some aspect of the game that throws you into a position of power. Being master of a keep, running a nation, ruling over mercs... whatever. But ultimately, they all feel like you're not ACTUALLY that important in the grand scheme of things.

 

In Suikoden V You're the prince of a kingdom, and ultimately are just a figurehead (it's a matriarchy). But after the 4-6 hours of prologue, there's a coup and you actually feel like you're an important person. Instead of "Here sir, we got you an escort" (who dies in less time than it takes for you to eat a sandwhich), you have a party member who's only job is to be your bodyguard, and several temporary (at the start at least) guys who are also guards and just MURDER anything that comes near them. The fact that they put in these characters that actually DO something to get you OUT, rather than just showing up to be a redshirt or saying "I'll protect you!" before becoming a party member who does 1/4th your damage gives that sense that you are that weak kid and you're important because you're part of the royal family.

 

Later, you start to build up a rebellion (well... a counter-coup), and can get a non-standard game over if you choose to not go after your sister and her throne and instead make your own nation with the force you've created. And everything about this rebellion is focused on YOU. Not on the NPC character who is the King or Lord or whatever (but still do what you tell them). Hell, at one point if you make a decision, you can have a near-perfect body double of yourself (who's a party member) end up dying because they think he's you and ambush him.

 

Most other RPG's you play, even when you're the master of the planet and slay dragons by farting, you still get very basic fed-ex quests, and guards etc still will refuse you entrance unless "the count" or whatever allows it. In this, there isn't that. The Main Story is god, and every little bit of the side questing actually effects your progress within the main story (as most of the "side quests" are actually retrieving troops or character who then join your rebellion... the non-combat guys end up in your keep downstairs mining or whatever, while the combat folks can either be used as party members, or will show up in the turn based battles between the Coup forces and your Royalists).

 

I compared this to Mass Effect earlier because in ME you get a war asset, and it's just a number. If it's lucky it may show up one extra time near the end, but otherwise it's inconsequential. In Suikoden, your gathering these war assets... and actually fighting the battles with them. It's not a very deep system (and Beavers are the most powerful creatures on the planet apparently), but the fact that it's there makes the fact that you're amassing an army have much more of an impact. Everything you "gather" for your war effort will either show up as a party member, or be attached to one of your army/navy units, or both (or be a shop as I explained earlier).

 

I suppose the thing that really sticks to me is just how, in most western RPG's where you're supposed to be "the chosen one" who moves mountains etc. You still feel like a "behind the scenes" sort of guy. If the castle is attacked, it's not to kill you as a threat (at least not outright anyway), it's to get the macguffin in your bacement. If the kingdom needs to unite under one banner, it's not "For <Protagonist>!" it's "For the (NPC)KING!" If there's something that needs doing, you always do it... no matter it's consequence, and the NPC's who sent you out just sit on their thumbs doing nothing.

 

In Suikoden, the focus and control is very firmly on your Player Character, as you're the only member of your family that can be around to raise the Royal standard. Your troops go into battle, not to save the world from being annihilated or out of some ancient treaty obligation... but because they want your characters family back on the throne. Those around you don't just send you off to collect some random piece of bat hair from the nether continent... they'll send you out to see what you can do for a devastated village to improve your PR, and make a war strategy while you're doing it. You don't have a quirky crew of problem solvers who'll fix any issue and mulch any enemy, you've got yourself, a bodyguard, your aunt... and then 105 people who will do different things to make sure you're back on the throne (including the survivors of your parents bodyguards, dwarves who'll make arms and armor for your troopers, an Admrial who had retired and is returned to put the royals back on the throne... And Gerog).

 

Mass Effect billed itself as the culmination of an epic story where every decision counted and the stakes were the universe... but felt like a very small world. Suikoden just feels HUGE and the nature of the story made a much larger impact on me (although, these memories are getting older now.. I'm gonna retrieve my PS2 from home next month, and probably play through the game over summer).

 

So we don't get to sidetracked. I think that we're gonna have to mention the Dragon Quest series simply out of necessity when talking about JRPG's (character designs from Akira Toriyama (the Dragon Ball guy) and it's on it's 8thish iteration).

 

http://lparchive.org/Suikoden-II/

 

suikoden 2 Let's Play

Edited by Calax

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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I actually enjoyed DQ8, but I haven't enjoyed many of the other DQ games. I know many love them, especially in Japan...but I've never really gotten to fall in love with them like that.

 

Enjoy Suikoden though. Radiata stories is also a nice game.

 

For me another series I enjoy more than Suikoden, but still has a choices and consequences thing going on is the Chrono series. You can seriously get some unique end results with that series.

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now i want to play suikoden 5...

 

thanks calax!


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SNIP

Interesting point, I would counter with the fact that for most of the game I felt like a figurehead rather than an active player. The silent protagonist routine doesn't really bode well with your notion that you are an important person, specially since most of the time Lucretia was the one coming up with the strategies everyone else agrees and your character just nods his head and the linear course follows its motions. Funny that you compare it to ME3 since most of the choices offered by both game mirror each other; they are basically variations of "Choice A: do what the game wants you to do" and "Choice B: Be an ass and do what the game wants you to do". The only major choice that alters the course of the story in Suikoden its whether you want to go into a campaing for yourself and it's destined for a cinematic detailing how badly you lost.

 

Plus I seem to recall jumping through some hoops to get people to join me, like having to train a geriatric party member because a turtle wanted me to show him that I respected old people by putting them in harm's way. Or Oboro to whom I had to prove that I had a knack for detective work and without whom the whole foundation of gathering all allies was unsteady.

 

So I really don't understand your reservations since both genres seem prone to the same tropes just with different approaches.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Suikoden with the possible exception of IV which was not that great and never really felt like a Suikoden game. Number V on the other hand was EPIC, just lacking in FF's production values.

Final Fantasy , goes without saying really. Personal faves : V,VI,IX,X,XII,XIII-2. X is still one of the best games Iv'e ever played, a real emotional rollercoaster that no game has really come close to equaling.

Persona/Shin Megami - Another series that is well worth a look. Horror RPGs are uncommon.

More recently the Atelier series as long as you don't mind playing as a ditzy girl. The earlier games in the series too, these games are perfect for people who like to mess around and create just for fun. And the recent ones have endings in double figures.

Going back some again. Wild Arms is another personal favourite of mine. It's a pretty unique blend of western and post apocalypse.

Shadow Hearts - Can't say enough good things about this one, it's another "horror" themed game goes all the way back to Kudaulka on the PS.

For something more "tactical" Turn based goodness in Fire Emblem. Although the handhelds versions are probably "better" The GC Wii versions have some really good characters and the cinematics bring them to life in a way that the handhelds never really could.

 

I could probably fill pages, but that should be enough for now.

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Most recent ones I tried where The Last Remnant and Star ocean, couldn't get into either of them. I just can't get past the protagonists anymore (he/shes with emo tendencies). I wonder if we'll see any JRPG try a customizable PC like in WRPG.

 

IMO both could use some of each others ideas on RPGs.

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Most recent ones I tried where The Last Remnant and Star ocean, couldn't get into either of them. I just can't get past the protagonists anymore (he/shes with emo tendencies). I wonder if we'll see any JRPG try a customizable PC like in WRPG.

 

IMO both could use some of each others ideas on RPGs.

 

Star Ocean is very good. Takes a while to get going but there is a huge ammount of game in there once things open up. I found Shepards PTSD routine far more "emo" and the people in Star Ocean are arguably in a worse situation.

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I loved Suikoden I and II, but really hated Suikoden III. Skipped the series since then.

 

I haven't played a Final Fantasy game since X-2; the MMORPGs sort of broke me of the need to try each game and subsequently none of the games have seemed all that interesting to me. In fact most of the Square/Enix oeuvre has been lacking to me; I haven't liked the new versions of the Star Ocean series, the Final Fantasy Tactics "sequels" or the Valkyrie Profile sequels (truly a crashing disappointment for me). I've never actually liked a Dragon Quest game; they seem like they'd be very much what I'd like as old school style JRPGs but I find them kinda bland. :/ The disappointment in the follow-ups for FFT makes me think I shouldn't hold out hope for a good Tactics Ogre follow up (although I suppose I should try to finish the remake at some point).

 

Similarly the Breath of Fire series seems to have went off the rails to me after BoF2.

 

Most of the NIS strategy games are a little TOO detail oriented for me; I got tired of having to earn experience and level up my characters, my characters' armor, my characters' weapons, my characters' magic spells and so on. And I really wanted to like Phantom Brave.

 

As I mentioned in the other thread, I still have a soft spot for the MegaTen series and really enjoyed Persona 3 and 4. Looking forward to an anouncement on 5 and may buy a vita just to play Persona 4: The Golden.

 

I loved Xenogears but throught Xenosaga to be dreadful.

 

Sega destroyed the Shining series with their last editions; I was a huge fan of their earlier entries but the modern games seemed to be poorly thought out action games and not terribly fun or interesting. For whatever reason I haven't been able to get into the Fire Emblem series.

 

I did like Nier, but never beat it as I found the combat a little too repetitive for me. Actually that may be part of my problem with a lot of JRPGs is my appreciation for grinding out levels has decreased over the years...

 

I love the concept of Etrian Odyssey series - old school, Wizardry style games - but I have yet finish any of them. :(

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Thanks guys, thread like this was badly needed here, at least for me :)

 

Suikoden I and II already on the way to me :)

 

Aaaaand anybody played Eternal Sonata and Katherine on PS3, would you recommend them to me to buy them?

 

And unfortunately, I do not see any info about Suikoden III release for PAL territories :(

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SNIP

Interesting point, I would counter with the fact that for most of the game I felt like a figurehead rather than an active player. The silent protagonist routine doesn't really bode well with your notion that you are an important person, specially since most of the time Lucretia was the one coming up with the strategies everyone else agrees and your character just nods his head and the linear course follows its motions. Funny that you compare it to ME3 since most of the choices offered by both game mirror each other; they are basically variations of "Choice A: do what the game wants you to do" and "Choice B: Be an ass and do what the game wants you to do". The only major choice that alters the course of the story in Suikoden its whether you want to go into a campaing for yourself and it's destined for a cinematic detailing how badly you lost.

 

Plus I seem to recall jumping through some hoops to get people to join me, like having to train a geriatric party member because a turtle wanted me to show him that I respected old people by putting them in harm's way. Or Oboro to whom I had to prove that I had a knack for detective work and without whom the whole foundation of gathering all allies was unsteady.

 

So I really don't understand your reservations since both genres seem prone to the same tropes just with different approaches.

Yes and no. As I said, in V there were other options about what you could do, and they had consequences about who lived and died. (If you held out at your keep or moved your troops out to fight in the field for example). And while you did still do some really bizzare stuff, it was all to give you a very direct benefit (one of the 108 stars of destiny)

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Thanks guys, thread like this was badly needed here, at least for me :)

 

Suikoden I and II already on the way to me :)

 

Aaaaand anybody played Eternal Sonata and Katherine on PS3, would you recommend them to me to buy them?

 

And unfortunately, I do not see any info about Suikoden III release for PAL territories :(

 

Eternal Sonata for the price it goes for now is a steal I had the 360 version and the PS3 adds some extra characters and some other stuff.It's a little repetative but that's probably because I don't like to run away from a fight. The premise is quite intereting too, and the music of course.

 

Valkyria Chronicles while not strictly a JRPG is also a must have for a PS3 owner.

Edited by BobSmith101
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Thanks guys, thread like this was badly needed here, at least for me :)

 

Suikoden I and II already on the way to me :)

 

Aaaaand anybody played Eternal Sonata and Katherine on PS3, would you recommend them to me to buy them?

 

And unfortunately, I do not see any info about Suikoden III release for PAL territories :(

 

Eternal Sonata is critically praised, but it takes a while to get into. Once that happens, stellar game.

 

Never tried Katherine though, didn't know if it was really an RPG, a dating sim, or what it was...so just didn't get it.

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Thanks guys, thread like this was badly needed here, at least for me :)

 

Suikoden I and II already on the way to me :)

 

Aaaaand anybody played Eternal Sonata and Katherine on PS3, would you recommend them to me to buy them?

 

And unfortunately, I do not see any info about Suikoden III release for PAL territories :(

 

Eternal Sonata is critically praised, but it takes a while to get into. Once that happens, stellar game.

 

Never tried Katherine though, didn't know if it was really an RPG, a dating sim, or what it was...so just didn't get it.

 

Catherine ? The one with the sheep ? It's a puzzle game a bloody hard one at that with some social interaction mixed in.The hard bit is getting by the main character being some guy in a pair of boxers.... I'd really have rathered a choice there I don't want to look at some guy in boxers for 20 hours..

Edited by BobSmith101
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