Retro RPGs on PS store

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sticky-runes
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Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby sticky-runes » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:26 am

Recently I've been downloading some old style RPGs on PS3, so I'll chat about them here. If you've played any of them, feel free to share your thoughts about them, or give me some recommendations.

Grandia
I downloaded this one back in October, got quite far into it, but then got a bit bored. The last thing I did was recruit the big guy with the sword and we were going through some dungeon after a storm broke out over his village (I can't remember any of the names). I do like the combat system and the skills that increase as you use them. I got bored of the part where we were climbing up the massive wall, even the characters were complaining about how dull it was. I will get back to it at some point.

Dragon Fantasy Book 1
A spoof RPG created with 8 bit style graphics, it does have lots of gags and funny moments of dialogue. I don't like how the game refers to me having a "party" when I've only had one character to use the whole time. You don't get to fight groups of monsters either, it's just one enemy at a time. I'm at the part where I need to collect the final relic, and now I'm taking a break from it.

Pier Solar and the Great Architects
This game has some of the most hideous sprites I've ever seen. There is one character who I could have sworn was using a shovel in combat, when he performs his attack, it even looks like he's digging into the ground at the enemy's feet. Turns out his weapon is a hammer, so there you go. There are some nice hand drawn graphics that have been blended into the maps and backgrounds. The combat system is a bit awkward, if you choose auto then characters will use up spells and items, and it's particularly annoying when characters heal each other after one hit. You do have the option to modify the encounter rate, though, so you can crank it up to 8x the enemy encounters so you can buff up your characters with some training, or you can put it down to zero and take a leisurely walk through the dungeons and collect any treasure chests you've missed.

Wild Arms
I was always curious about his game but never played it until now. Haven't done a lot so far, I've just played the blue haired guy and been banished from the village that I rescued, and I've just played the relic hunter guy with the flying mouse (I found his little adventure in the dungeon a lot more lively) and next I'm going to try playing as the girl in the abbey. The overworld map is nicely designed, as I press a button to enter a locale when the text pops up, so I don't accidentally re-enter a place when I don't want to.

Arc The Lad
This has probably been the most engaging one I've played so far. Vandal Hearts style combat system but with top down graphics instead of the isometric or 3d POV. Hopefully that means I won't get headaches from hours of playing! The story line moments are exciting, I've only got the first 3 characters so far, but they seem interesting and well thought out. I haven't encountered any shops, though. I don't know if shops are excluded form this game and we are to rely only on items we pick up in combat. The option to replay battlemaps is there for training, and it seems pretty important to do so.

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby Antimatzist » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:13 am

I'm curious on the upcoming Switch-Rerelease of Grandia. It's been years since I last played the game. I like everything, but think the story is too lightweight. Which might be a good thing now!

Pier Solar is one of the worst pseudo-16bit games I've played. You notice it came out years before the "current" retro-RPG trend. It's just not a good or pretty game. Never got really far though, lost motivation after the first couple of towns.

Wild Arms did not age too well, it's very slow. But the music is awesome and it has some nice puzzles in the game.

Arc the Lad is very similar to SUikoden, it's a very short game (actually, it's merely the prologue for Arc the Lad II!) but I enjoy the game a lot. It took me some time to get through the bonus dungeon to get a hidden summon.. which you can't really use in important battles, meeeh. Yeah, there are no shops in the game. You can transfer your save file to the second game and your levels carry over, so train well! Except for Chongara, he's useless.

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby sticky-runes » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:09 pm

I'm liking Wild arms so far. I like the magic system and the firearms upgrades. I also really enjoyed the princess' prologue section in the abbey because it reminds me of the Aes Sedai chapters in the wheel of Time novels! I regret that I overlooked this game, actually. I could imagine myself receiving this game as a birthday or Christmas present as a teen and getting really excited about what was gonna happen next. My only issue at the moment is there doesn't seem to be much interaction between the main characters. When I got them all together for the first time, there was no intro between the three of them, it was basically "oh, you're going to those ruins? Can I come along?"

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby Antimatzist » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:01 am

Yeah, it does not get a whole lot more than that. The characters get their seperate developments, but never interact all that much anymore ... I think.

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby sticky-runes » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:03 am

Well that's a shame because I like to think there's some sort of relationship between the characters. That's something the Suikoden games have always done really well - characters don't just interact with each other in the story, they protect each other in combat and perform co-op attacks, and even go berserk when somebody close to them gets knocked out. When characters get knocked out in Wild Arms, I can't imagine them getting upset over each other, it's more like "oh well, he was useless, I suppose I have to win this fight on my own now." :roll:

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby Wolkendrache » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:47 am

As a fan of the Vandal Hearts series, should I try out Arc the Lad?

I haven’t played Grandia, but I enjoyed Grandia II. I own a PC version of it, but I haven’t played it for a long time. I wanted to play it last year, but couldn’t make it run on Windows10.
"Within the four seas, all men are brothers" Shuihu Zhuan

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby Antimatzist » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:53 pm

Arc the Lad is actually very similar to Vandal Hearts in some regards i would give it a try. Arc the Lad II is among my favourite games ever.

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby sticky-runes » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:39 am

Wow, Wild Arms suddenly became really morbid. And it was weird to see the opening credits rolling after nearly 4 hours of game play, that's probably the longest game intro I've ever seen. I think I'll take a break from that game and get back to Arc The Lad for a bit.

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby sticky-runes » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:13 pm

I've just met Chongara. He's quite funny. The Forbidden ruins must be what inspired Suikoden Tactics to come up with the levels for the Obel Ruins.

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby Antimatzist » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:53 pm

Chongara is just really bad in battle. The Forbidden Ruins are fun, and an easy way to hit the level cap. Nothing can beat Tosh!

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby sticky-runes » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:27 pm

Tosh is awesome. It's always him and Arc who are up front killing everything in sight. I'm disappointed with Iga. He's too slow, I guess i need to use those agility satchel things to move him around more.

I like a lot of Gogen's dialogue, its funny that he's the oldest character but talks more plainly than everyone else. Arc and his parents seem to give all these overly dramatic speeches.

Wolkendrache, if you ever decide to take up that idea you had for the Suikoden Tactics game set before Suikoden 1, then I'd recommend you try Arc the Lad. It's mechanics are simple, yet effective, so it could give you lots of good ideas on how to pull it off.

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby sticky-runes » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:18 pm

I've gone back into Grandia. To be honest, the whole Justin and Feena thing is kind of annoying. It's a bit too fanservicey. I'm relieved that we've caught up with the Garlyle forces again, because they make the game a bit more interesting, it was getting boring when it was just us wandering around on the other side of the wall.

This game doesn't seem to treat its female characters very well. I mean, there are some strong females, but the dialogue seems to keep knocking them back. Sue and Feena are good in combat, yet they act like cheerleaders for Justin, and then there are the three female generals who all kick ass but they keep trying to suck up to Mullen. And seeing heart icons on the end of all their text boxes doesn't do much for them either. Maybe I'm making an issue of this because I'm used to Suikoden games where we meet a lot of female characters who just want to focus on their duty without giving a sh!t what the guys think.

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby sticky-runes » Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:25 pm

I completed the Forbidden Ruins in Arc The Lad. Took me 5 fricking hours with no saving :evil:

In Grandia, I've parted ways with Sue and Gadwin, which made me quite sad. Now I'm on disk 2 and I've teamed up with the elfy ninja boy and a hulking Amazon. I like the updated battle music.

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Re: Retro RPGs on PS store

Postby sticky-runes » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:27 pm

Some more thoughts on Grandia...

Combat becomes very annoying once you've got 4 party members because you have to constantly put up with people interrupting each other (I'm not a big fan of that time bar)

The camera is a nightmare. Maybe it's just me, but I very easily get lost in towns and dungeons. I've run past doors because I can't see them from certain angles. No area maps are available, so there's a lot of guess work. Those points that zoom out to give you a birdseye view of the immediate area are absolutely useless.

There are no shortcuts out of dungeons. No items or spells to let you insantly escape to the exit. Even after you kill the boss, the story line doesn't have the courtesy to skip you out of the dugeon so you have to walk out the way you came in, and because I suck at these dungeons I often get lost trying to get out. I've had enough of exploring this place, can we just skip to the next bit of story please :evil:

I've done two of the optional dungeons. The dream Castle was a lot of fun, nice and short. The Soldier's Grave was very tedious. Getting ambushed by those will-o-wisps wouldn't be so bad if they all attacked at once, but they all appear at the same time and you can only fight them two at a time. And only one save point on the first level is very unfair. It's basically Grandia's answer to the Forbidden Ruins from Arc The Lad. I'm all for a challenge, but removing the option to save and quit without traipsing all the way back to the beginning is not cool. Hopefully these issues have been improved upon in other games in the series.


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