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Thread: Daria Reviews Wonder Project J [SNES]

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    Last edited by Daria; 05-07-2017 at 09:21 AM.

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    Most of these would bore the hell out of someone new to the genre, especially BOF3. If someone isn't into rpgs, these aren't going to change their mind. Arcadia and DQ8 would be too hard for a rookie. Alot of these are too grind heavy, and that's boring.

    The Paper Mario or Mario + Luigi games would be good be better as an intro to the cliched, overrated genre.
    Last edited by FieryReign; 07-30-2015 at 02:12 PM.

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    I remember being a rookie to the JRPG genre. My first epic-length JRPG was 'The Legend of Dragoon' on PS1. I still play that game today, nearly 15 years later. I can practically beat it in my sleep now, but as a kid it provided just enough challenge to be entertaining, while still being simple enough that a new gamer can appreciate it and not feel overwhelmed. When I saw the thread title, I was hoping LoD would make the list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FieryReign View Post
    Most of these would bore the hell out of someone new to the genre, especially BOF3. If someone isn't into rpgs, these aren't going to change their mind. Arcadia and DQ8 would be too hard for a rookie. Alot of these are too grind heavy, and that's boring.

    The Paper Mario or Mario + Luigi games would be good be better as an intro to the cliched, overrated genre.

    Aside from something like Dark Souls or Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne RPGs aren't really "hard". They might be grindy, cryptic, or have a brief learning curve but prohibited by skill? No. I also don't believe in "beginner's RPGs" as I don't think they're necessary. Most people that love the genre do so because they found a game that resonated with them and they keep trying to recreate the experience. The whole point of the article was the show that all you really need to get hooked on the genre is a solid game. People who love RPGs (and hey they're not for everyone) fell in love with a great game, doesn't matter what the title was, but to them it was a great game. No one ever quotes Mario & Luigi as being their favorite games. A fun diversion yes? But I don't know of any die hard Mario & Luigi fans. Non RPG gamers might enjoy them, but I don't think they're likely to convert someone into becoming an enthusiast of the genre.

    Basically I made of list of games with qualities that I feel outweigh the inherent "flaws" of the genre. If you play these 5 and hate them, I'm willing to bet you won't like any traditional RPGs.

    Paper Mario almost made my list though. :P

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    Paper Mario 64 is no RPG, it fakes being one but it's really a timing based action game with RPG elements and to reinforce that they also capped you from being able to level up because if you hit a hidden leveling point for the section you're on, the suddenly 5xp a goomba goes to 1xp for the entire cluster in a fight. You either learn to be good at timing if you're just not eternally cursed with it (like me) and grind like hell for 100 battles to get the XP needed to level up like once.

    Skies I think would be fantastic, the GC one at least, if it wasn't so damned tricky at places and also overly aggressive with the often popping up encounter rate and the boring forcing of watching all the spells which grates as the story and especially those unique airship battles are amazing. I find it amazing no Final Fantasy, especially a 16bit era one of all things, didn't make the list. FF4 for instance would be an excellent go-to trainer because you gain levels and talents at certain levels. The characters are a constant, you don't character switch and have to swap out to level up like 10 dudes, the story is fantastic and emotional for what it is, and it's also a good 20 hour adventure so it's a nice bite sized easily tackled adventure for the newbie or the experienced wanting a small distraction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    I find it amazing no Final Fantasy, especially a 16bit era one of all things, didn't make the list.
    I like Chrono Trigger better. :P

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    And I can't even finish it as it gets boring. That and for some multiple endings would not be a plus, nor would having to muddle through setting up combo attacks.

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    Lunar for Noobs? Gotta disagree on that one. I played it a couple of years ago and I literally got my ass handed to me unless I grinded for awhile. This was in that cave after you leave your hometown or whatever it is. I was like WTF? It is only the beginning, I still gotta continue that.

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    I think Skies of Arcadia would be a good recommendation, but the encounter rate just sucked all the fun out of the game near the end. Did the GC version improve it that much over the DC version?

    Here are a few of my recommendations:

    Grandia II (DC) - The player could choose to avoid battles for the most part, but when they did happen, they didn't feel like a chore. Who didn't like Millenia's special attacks?

    Wild Arms (Playstation) - The game has really nice FMV cut-scenes, the battles look pretty cool, the exploring isn't tedious and the game doesn't take too long to complete.

    Shining: The Holy Ark (Saturn) - It's a nice mix of 16-bit and 32-bit RPGs, with the old dungeon crawling in the 1st person view. Yeah, there are moments where you'll have one encounter right after another, but there are also times where you won't encounter an enemy for a minute or 2. The battle music has a nice tempo and the music sort of fits the mood for this style of game. It's not that long of a game either.

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    Final Fantasy V. Yes, the class system takes some work, but (iirc) you're eased into it; the story overall doesn't take itself all that seriously. I would've said VI instead, but between the Esper-based spell-learning system (which can easily be skipped, of course) and Gau's Rages, plus the bugginess of most versions, I can't quite recommend it as the 1st game.

    ...to my surprise, most of the other games that come to mind are either just SLIGHTLY too complicated and/or eyebrow-raising (SMT: Digital Devil Saga), not menu-based for the character you directly control (Tales of Symphonia), or were also made by Squaresoft (FF4,9,10; Chrono Trigger, Threads of Fate[aka Dewprism]). :/
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    Probably....

    Super Mario RPG (SNES): Familiar characters, pretty standard and understandable interface, a fair amount of comedy, and a pleasant, upbeat soundtrack make it more accessible than most.

    Earthbound (SNES): A setting that most players will relate with their childhood in some way, an extremely traditional interface, loads of comedy to reward even wasted time, and very little grinding allow Earthbound to be imminently playable.

    Lunar (PS1): Anime-flavored swords and sorcery that takes a little grinding, but should appeal to anime fans. Funny, too.

    Suikoden (PS1): A real roller coaster of fun and adventure. There is so much to find and an uncomplicated battle system that it can really capture the imagination of a player. You do a ton of stuff without it becoming too overwhelming.

    Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES): Even if they don't finish it, Mystic Quest is a great RPG tutorial. What an easy way to learn tropes like elemental affinities or HP/MP management. About 90% of the game is applicable to the genre.

    Edit: forgot about the one per developer rule. Still, I think all of these have distinctive flavors.
    Last edited by celerystalker; 07-30-2015 at 09:55 PM.

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    Wow there are a lot of posts here without yet mentioning or honorable mention for Pokemon. By far it has been the most popular introduction into the genre for the last 15 years. While it may lack in story and other places, it magically makes random battle encounters fun for all ages.

    It was my introduction into rpg's when I had always been scared off before at the age of 15. After that I remember picking up Golden Sun thinking Mabey the turn based battles could be fun. Now I buy them for my nices who love them at 6, 7 and 9 years old.

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    Quote Originally Posted by celerystalker View Post
    Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES): Even if they don't finish it, Mystic Quest is a great RPG tutorial. What an easy way to learn tropes like elemental affinities or HP/MP management. About 90% of the game is applicable to the genre.
    I love this game, but even if people hate the game you got to love the soundtrack. >> <<

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    Nice video!


    Quote Originally Posted by Dashopepper View Post
    Wow there are a lot of posts here without yet mentioning or honorable mention for Pokemon. By far it has been the most popular introduction into the genre for the last 15 years. While it may lack in story and other places, it magically makes random battle encounters fun for all ages.
    Good point!

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    I agree with the list of overall being good RPGs, but I disagree with Dragon Quest 8 and Skies of Arcadia as being good for beginners of the genre. Dragon Quest 8 isn't grindy until later, but the game progresses very slowly going from point to point and I think that may be a turn off to people who are new to the genre. Also, the leveling up feature in Dragon Quest 8 where you use points to learn skills can break your characters, something I wouldn't think of throwing on someone new to the genre, especially since I dislike the way they did it myself. Skies of Arcadia with the high encounter rate, the long flashy skills, and the game being a little disorienting at first is also something that I think would scare away newcomers from the genre instead of get them interested.

    I think Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire 3 though were great choices. Lunar is a good choice in terms of the world and the experience, but I'd personally choose Grandia as a game that captures the same sort of feel. With Grandia though, I feel is a much easier title to get into because of how amazing the battle system is and all throughout the game you're working towards better skills, spells, etc, while Lunar you just have a handful of skills, and most newbies to the genre might dislike the lack of variety because they didn't grow up with the games and it would be easier to get into something with more variety than something like Lunar. Lunar can be a good start, but it does seem like the type of game younger generations might not get into until they're already initiated with other games in the genre.

    Suikoden would be another choice I'd add to the list. Battles in Suikoden are visually appealing while being fast paced and it has a overall good battle system without any grinding whatsoever. For a game with 108 characters, there are a lot of memorable characters throughout many major scenes throughout the game. Additionally, while they won't get this experience from the first game alone, when they do get into RPGs and start playing future titles from the series because of the experience they had with this title, they'll notice how much each game ties to one another and see how much an expansive world the Suikoden universe is once they play the second game afterwards(even if they stop playing at that.)

    Guardian's Crusade. Now without a recommendation, this is one of those games I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't play, but I'd recommend this to both beginners and veterans alike. The world of this game is graphically like Mega Man Legends and progression wise through most of the game plays similar although much larger. The game is explorable but has set paths to keep you on track so while being a fully 3D open world, you won't get lost and not be able to find where to go(atleast until late game when you get the grasshopper/ship.) Combat is simplistic with the player controlling a single character but that doesn't stop there being depth to the combat system thanks to the living toy system that act as additional characters that can be brought to and stay on the field of battle or one that come on the field and cast a single spell then leave. You also have your AI ally baby who is randomly controlled and will use attacks and spells on his own.

    That's how I'd update your list. Still include Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire 3, replace the others for Grandia, Suikoden, and Guardian's Crusade.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dashopepper View Post
    Wow there are a lot of posts here without yet mentioning or honorable mention for Pokemon. By far it has been the most popular introduction into the genre for the last 15 years. While it may lack in story and other places, it magically makes random battle encounters fun for all ages.

    It was my introduction into rpg's when I had always been scared off before at the age of 15. After that I remember picking up Golden Sun thinking Mabey the turn based battles could be fun. Now I buy them for my nices who love them at 6, 7 and 9 years old.
    Quote Originally Posted by bb_hood View Post
    Nice video!
    Good point!
    Very good point. I guess it's one of those thing where something is so obvious people just overlook it. I think the history alone on it with it being like 20 years old now (amazing I know) with the age demographic it shoots for, yet the other ages it still retains, says a lot for its staying power as a 'best' of the JRPGs. Sure they don't vary much, but it's one hell of an introduction to RPGs and it also benefits from as dash said -- making random battle encounters fun for all ages. I for one can't stand yet can at the same time Pokemon depending on the game. I can't finish the things, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I had 2 versions of it I keep around because I end up missing the random finds and captures of the things so I keep Yellow and FireRed around. It may get tiring after another 10hours or something I put into it, but I always tend to come back and piddle some more time on it after wiping the save and going at it again. It has all the RPGs mechanics on it other than the all party/team attack where everyone benefits from the fight XP and all (though the latest X/Y has a very potent XP share item.) You buy, you sell, it just lacks buying/selling using weapons and armor, has spells, brute attacks, defense, parry, item usage, mid-boss and full boss fights, and so on with it.

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    Well done, Daria, and that means the list but in particular the explanations why the games should be on the list.

    I know about the 'one developer-one game'-rule, but I'd get rid of the rule and throw out Skies of Arcadia, and instead put FFX or FFXII or Ni No Kuni on the list.

    I'm so glad you put Dragon Quest VIII on top. It is such an underrated game, and it is possibly the best RPG I've ever played. I underline everything you said about the game, additionally there was one extraordinary aspect which made it brilliant: the pacing. The pacing was so good, there seemed to be no tedious or boring moment throughout the game. You leveled up if you needed to, the story developed at the right time, the boss battles weren't too early or too late, even the unavoidable grinding was fun. It was a perfect balance of all important RPG elements. To go after the golden and silver slimes was just great.

    DQ VIII bridged perfectly the old and new RPGs. In 3D it gives you the feeling of an 8bit or 16bit RPG while the visuals and self-humoring story is modern. Just a great game.

    Keep those posts and videos up, I love to watch and read them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daria View Post
    Aside from something like Dark Souls or Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne RPGs aren't really "hard". They might be grindy, cryptic, or have a brief learning curve but prohibited by skill? No. I also don't believe in "beginner's RPGs" as I don't think they're necessary. Most people that love the genre do so because they found a game that resonated with them and they keep trying to recreate the experience. The whole point of the article was the show that all you really need to get hooked on the genre is a solid game. People who love RPGs (and hey they're not for everyone) fell in love with a great game, doesn't matter what the title was, but to them it was a great game. No one ever quotes Mario & Luigi as being their favorite games. A fun diversion yes? But I don't know of any die hard Mario & Luigi fans. Non RPG gamers might enjoy them, but I don't think they're likely to convert someone into becoming an enthusiast of the genre.

    Basically I made of list of games with qualities that I feel outweigh the inherent "flaws" of the genre. If you play these 5 and hate them, I'm willing to bet you won't like any traditional RPGs.

    Paper Mario almost made my list though. :P
    DQ8 and Skies of Arcadia are 2 of the few rpgs that I actually enjoyed and finished. But I certainly wouldn't recommend them to a "noob". And I really can't stand rpgs, even though I've tried numerous games.

    Well, I didn't think this topic was about "great rpgs" that's why I mentioned Mario+Luigi. Who cares if people don't call them they're favorite all-time games? They're simplified action-orientated rpgs that don't convolute things with unnecessary menus and gameplay that actually requires some gameplay. Not just clicking through menus and upgrading your characters with +2def and -1off armors, and other such nonsense.

    You're not going to win any new fans with random battles. That concept is so outdated and asinine. DQ came out like 30 years ago yet they still make games with this bullshit. Grindy rpgs will get no love from "noobs" either. Who the hell has time to sit there and fight hundreds of monsters just to see their stats go up a level? Not to mention the boringness of fighting the same enemies over and over again. You'd better have an extremely fun battle system in place if your game requires grind. It might also help if there were an rpg without that overly cutesy anime fluff. Not everybody likes that art style. It's nice to be able to distinguish male characters from female.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FieryReign View Post
    DQ8 and Skies of Arcadia are 2 of the few rpgs that I actually enjoyed and finished. But I certainly wouldn't recommend them to a "noob". And I really can't stand rpgs, even though I've tried numerous games.

    Well, I didn't think this topic was about "great rpgs" that's why I mentioned Mario+Luigi. Who cares if people don't call them they're favorite all-time games? They're simplified action-orientated rpgs that don't convolute things with unnecessary menus and gameplay that actually requires some gameplay. Not just clicking through menus and upgrading your characters with +2def and -1off armors, and other such nonsense.

    You're not going to win any new fans with random battles. That concept is so outdated and asinine. DQ came out like 30 years ago yet they still make games with this bullshit. Grindy rpgs will get no love from "noobs" either. Who the hell has time to sit there and fight hundreds of monsters just to see their stats go up a level? Not to mention the boringness of fighting the same enemies over and over again. You'd better have an extremely fun battle system in place if your game requires grind. It might also help if there were an rpg without that overly cutesy anime fluff. Not everybody likes that art style. It's nice to be able to distinguish male characters from female.
    I agree with you in the first part there on those 2 games and they're really not noob friendly as you put it. The second part, you're right, DQ is now 30 years old and random battles are BS at this rate, but DQ also doesn't do it anymore as they stopped with the 9th one on the DS. The monsters now show up on the map and float/walk around and you have to get within an aggro range to them to have them chase you down, so they are avoidable, so it's not random anymore which I approve of entirely. Sadly the other part is right, it's still a damned grind fest. I recently picked up DW1+2 and DW3 on GBC and I'm just pecking away at it now because it's so grindy. I tried to use the Retron5 to boost my stats but the damn system wouldn't copy the save back to the carts. I just wanted to enjoy the ride, not play them for 40+ hours.

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    It's difficult to identify if "for noobs" means for lower-skilled players or specifically players entering the RPG genre who may or may not be well-equipped to do well and feel comfortable with the difficulty level presented from the start. In any case, there's a game I played not long ago that may be a fun choice for this topic. I don't know what the popular opinion of this game is; whether it's well received or has a poor notoriety for some oddball reasons, but it's comedic, interesting, offers a varierty of unique/interesting ideas and mechanics and has a healthy pace to it to maintain a player's interest. The game I nominate is Rogue Galaxy. I've played the original JP release, not Director's Cut, so whatever I missed out on I don't know what it is or how much it affects the game's assessment. I think the developer did a great job putting together a rich pleasant experience. For someone new to RPGs, someone who hasn't had a fair chance to understand why they're fun, I think it's a good role model for this purpose.

    Some of the most popular "best" RPGs tend to be menu-driven in battles and that experience for a new player to the genre might be so disuading that the player may feel the entire genre is dull and slow. It's probably important to perceive via experience (no pun intended) what the fun factor is in this genre to build up tolerance for some initially negative factors like menu-driven battles and other things non-RPG gamers tend to complain about.

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    Personally for me the noob comment has a few qualifiers.

    You actually are new to the concept either entirely or you've maybe dabbled in like one of them ever before so it's basically fresh.

    Then you have your unskilled or just poor players who just suck at the type of game and just fail to do well or get far. And third to that are those who have low tolerances for overly repetitive slow grinds in games, not even quite just qualifying only for RPGs but other games too that crawl to get to the point which could drive people mad for various reasons. Perhaps you have low tolerances to bs. Maybe you have other things in life (kids, job(s), other responsibilities.) Or maybe you just have a very small amount of patience in general. People like that probably could easily thumb their way through a Final Fantasy 2 SNES cart because its' a 20 hour game, it could be done in a month with casual play an hour here or there. But someone under any of those qualifiers would probably say screw this garbage and walk from any Dragon Quest main line RPG, FF games from like 6 and later that are like 30-70 hour games plus, Skies of Arcadia stuff that crawls too due to over zealous random battles making dungeon crawling and map traversing a slog.

    A game like DQ7 or 8 maybe easy to get the concept and easy enough not to die, but that's only because they're so bloody slow to get anywhere because of how they're designed by the time you can safely go somewhere you'll have bought all the gear you need and the XP required walking around outside a town for 5-10 hours or more. Garbage like that is not fun for a lot of people for any reason including those I gave just above. That's why I argued for different titles on my list as I was thinking of not just the noob, but also those who have other things going on in life or have a personality that games like that would grate their nerves raw.

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    I think the discussion about the best RPG entry games is exaggerated. There are only a few RPGs I wouldn't recommend to beginners, but all the games in the OP are suited for RPG newbies. Actually, the vast majority of RPGs aren't a hindrance if you are a bit interested in the genre.

    In 1990, I had little experience with videogames. I had only played Life Force, Mega Man 2, Ninja Gaiden and Zelda 2 before I tried a strange game called 'Final Fantasy'. They called it a 'Role Playing Game,' Nintendo Power and other game mags had explained in detail what kind of a game genre that is when in 1989 Dragon Warrior on the NES was released. I knew that Dragon Warrior despite a huge marketing effort by Nintendo didn't sell well at all, but I was curious and tried this Final Fantasy game. (Supposedly it was successful in Japan) Result: I wasn't overwhelmed, the game was not too complicated for me as Nintendo was afraid of for European and American players, and I appreciated RPGs from my first FF on.

    I think if you have a dispostion to like RPGs, not a lot of games can throw you off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lendelin View Post
    I think the discussion about the best RPG entry games is exaggerated. There are only a few RPGs I wouldn't recommend to beginners, but all the games in the OP are suited for RPG newbies. Actually, the vast majority of RPGs aren't a hindrance if you are a bit interested in the genre.

    In 1990, I had little experience with videogames. I had only played Life Force, Mega Man 2, Ninja Gaiden and Zelda 2 before I tried a strange game called 'Final Fantasy'. They called it a 'Role Playing Game,' Nintendo Power and other game mags had explained in detail what kind of a game genre that is when in 1989 Dragon Warrior on the NES was released. I knew that Dragon Warrior despite a huge marketing effort by Nintendo didn't sell well at all, but I was curious and tried this Final Fantasy game. (Supposedly it was successful in Japan) Result: I wasn't overwhelmed, the game was not too complicated for me as Nintendo was afraid of for European and American players, and I appreciated RPGs from my first FF on.

    I think if you have a dispostion to like RPGs, not a lot of games can throw you off.
    If someone wants to get into RPGs, you're right, not a lot of highly praised games are going to turn them off. But this post and video could be considered what if you have friends who have no interest in getting into the genre, and what could you show them to get them into it? With the games you played, it's comparing 8bit game to 8bit. What about gamers who started gaming in the last gen regardless of age? The original Final Fantasy is a great game, but it might feel a bit too limited and archaic not only in terms of how it plays but graphics too. You'd rather show these people games that are timeless in execution rather than something that is clearly showing its age, especially when you're trying to get someone who's not very interested in trying the genre.
    Last edited by kupomogli; 07-31-2015 at 11:49 PM.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    No doubt, these are good games. Except for BOF3, that just boggles the domepiece. Would you expect your friends, who crush Madden even in the offseason, to like these games? Or your friend who is into online fps? Or your friend who is into mmorpg type shit? Maybe, but it depends. I still think it's a niche genre. Despite the perception that it's popular.

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    It's actually kind of funny. I can't get my husband to play my games usually (when we met he wasn't big on games with a lot of reading), but he LOVES both Dragon Quest 8 and Skies of Arcadia. Really the only two JRPGs he'd actually had the patience to play. So Nyaaaahhh! (jk) :P

    Ni No Kuni (come to think of it he liked this one too) IS an excellent suggestion and one I originally wanted to cover but I can't capture footage from my PS3. So that really limited the systems I could pick from.

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