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Thread: Giving/Asking Recommendations (PS2 RPGs)

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by celerystalker View Post
    Ephemeral Fantasia was very poorly received when released. In Japan, it's compatible with the Guitar Freaks controller... I didn't spend a lot of time with it. However, a couple of close friends called it "very boring."
    This was my impression also. More than ten years ago I put maybe one to two hours of gameplay into Ephemeral Fantasia, and I remember it as a unique game for which I had good expectations but was overshadowed by terribly boring gameplay.

    But I have to be careful. My experience is with the game is limited, it may pick up after a couple of hours, but one thing is for sure -- it didn't give me any motivations to play the game.

    However, as a unique and odd game is it worth to be picked up. I don't know how much it is right now, I got it for around $5 at a Gamestop more than ten years ago.

  2. #22
    Cherry (Level 1) WulfeLuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lendelin View Post
    WulfeLuer, I put a link to your thread in this older thread about PS2 RPGs.

    https://forum.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?73673-Complete-RPG-List-for-the-PS2-Updated-2016

    I hope you don't mind. It is a complete list of PS2-RPGs which was done from 2005 until 2009 and got updated the last time last year.

    I think this thread is a nice complementary thread to the RPG-list since we avoided back then a discussion about gamequality; the necessary discussions were all about the Q if certain games should be regarded as RPGs or not.
    I can't say find anything objectionable about that at all; keeping such a list is all to the good, and will probably be fairly useful for this thread. All in all, a good idea.

    And thanks everyone for the comments on Ephemeral Fantasia. Truth be told I came across it on one of those "people who like this also like" sidebars. Even without the timey-wimey stuff, there's more than enough kookiness to qualify for Yet Another Wackadoo RPG (the lute is sentient? is it the chosen prophet of Banjo the Clown?) which attracted my attention. It might wind up being added to the Backlog of Glory and chronicled in my Blog of Dork Side Natter.
    RPGs: Proof that one you start done the dork path, forever will it dominate your wallet's destiny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WulfeLuer View Post
    Well, if anybody cares, I snagged a copy of MS Saga, so after a bit of a romp through Atelier Iris 2 I'll probably wind up breaking out the mecha. Also I beat DQ8 for the PS2, and that was a lot of fun (though the alchemy pot timer was EVIL). Any game that gives you dinosaur lumberjacks and spell called Kaboom also gets bonus points.

    Has anyone here ever heard of a game called Ephemeral Fantasia? I stumbled across it, and it seems to be a RPG centered around Majora's Mask-style time loop shenanigans. What little reviews I could gather (yay for interwebs crapouts) were pretty mixed, but I find myself intrigued.
    Once you put in enough time, tell me what you think. I'd say after atleast gaining access to six characters and putting in a bit of time so you get a feel of the games depth of combat.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

  4. #24
    Cherry (Level 1) WulfeLuer's Avatar
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    Well, I beat Atelier Iris 2 again, so decks are just about cleared to start this chibi Gundam foolishness called MS Saga (that still sounds like a bad web comic). There's still gonna be a bit of a delay, since I went through like the nerdiest bout of angst ever and wound up with a SNES, so I've been throwing fireballs at bunny slippers too.

    Anyway, a bit of an AAR review for Atelier Iris 2: Azoth of Destiny. It's a fun little RPG, that I randomly picked up and tried out a few years back. I like to take it out for a spin every year or so, acting as a sort of 'palate cleanser' between longer, more serious games. The gist is that it's by-the-numbers JRPG fare, bumped up with a complex and enjoyable crafting system, fun combat, and some interesting characters. It is worth a look-see, especially if you like tinkering with your items and gear. I happen to feel that overall Iris 2 is a much more enjoyable game than Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, with a tightened up crafting system, better characters, and a much better overall focus (Iris 1 just didn't know whether or not it wanted to be a traditional Atelier gather-and-craft or a goofy RPG).

    Pros: A better take on Atelier's crafting, allowing you to go nuts and make stuff from weapons and armor to potions to big bombs made of alchemical doom. Interesting (but a bit shallow) characters, with standouts being Gray the dragon man (a considerably less grim copy of Fogel from Ogre Battle), and Flashbang Poe, a hilarious little fairy dude that hauls around huge handcannon and hits on anything female. Throw in a talking magical sword infused with the essence of snotty, insufferable genius (though it gets better as the story goes by). The combat is turn-based, but eschews MP in favor of a charge meter to fuel special attacks. Attack items are actually practical. I also like the overall aesthetics of the graphics and the soundtrack, both contributing to an air of fun and exuberance (that last can turn some players away, since it is kinda kiddie, but I could use more kiddie). No brown filter here, and even the dark, dank places have bits of brightness and life to them. It's very reminiscent of the Mana series and PS1-era SaGa games.

    Cons: It's a very standard JRPG plot, though if you're into them, then it's not that big of a deal. There are some plot details and bits of garbled dialog that can confuse you. A couple of the NPCs really come across like useless stoners in positions of responsibility, through a combination of dull VA work and...overdone serenity in their choice of words. There are some technical problems, mostly things like voice clips and sound effects being cut short, though there are some nasty bugs that can make the game hang up (most of it is Gust's game engine being flawed and made worse when localized), though in Iris 2, they tend to be very rare (I see them usually once a playthrough). One last one is Gust's apparent love of completely recycling enemy sprites and programming, which can contribute to the combat bugs.


    Overall, Atelier Iris 2 is a fun little RPG (usually clocking in 25-30 hours or less), and well worth a look, especially if you need a break from the usual melodramatic grindfests that dominate the genre.
    RPGs: Proof that one you start done the dork path, forever will it dominate your wallet's destiny.

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    WulfeLuer, thanks for the nice recommendation. I have to give Atelier Iris 2 a go, I have all the Atelier games published in the US, and haven't played not even one of them. It is a shame.

    I want to recommend an almost forgotten game, a game hardly mentioned anymore and even when it was released, underappreciated. The game has certainly flaws, but overall it is unique, original and fun to play. It's

    Dual Hearts

    Dual Hearts was released in 2002, published by Atlus. More importantly it was developed by Matrix Software, a developer founded by former employees and game designers of Climax Entertainment and Telenet, two RPG developers which designed among others Landstalker (Genesis) and Alundra (PS1).

    The Landstalker/Alundra heritage shows clearly in Dual Hearts when it comes to the game's story, character design, aesthetics, and level design. It is an action-RPG with a surprisingly good portion of a jump 'n run like Jak and Dexter and Super Mario 64. The story isn't the most important and best written of the RPGs I've played, it is sufficient to know that the protagonist has to enter dreams of human beings and animals in order to fulfill the main task.

    It is exactly here where the strenghts of the game show. The old receipe of Alundra works well and provides for uniqueness, some quirkyness and humor to create a wonderful playful atmosphere, something I miss often in todays RPGs. The rather boring hub world is completely forgotten as soon as you enter the dreams which are varied, consist of wonderful surreal elements and allow for a well-executed variety of different landscapes; to enter the dreamworld of Santa Claus in a snow landscape, or the bizarre and sometimes good but always interesting dreams of a dog or sheep is never boring and always makes you curious what's around the next corner. The level design of a little girl's dream is rather ingenious, namely presented as a pop-up storybook. The flying sequences in these kind of levels are very reminiscent of Super Mario 64.

    The controls of the battle mechanics could certainly be better. At times the lock-on feature is imprecise and so is the shield. Luckily, some features and abilities are unlocked over time which are very helpful in battle. Another weakness are the boss battles. Unique and quirky characters yes, however, the battles are too long (at times 15 minutes) and too repetitive with the same moves which have to be applied. These rather boring and at times frustrating gameplay elements are thankfully more than compensated by the overall unique level design and wonderful gameplay elements on the way to reach the boss characters.

    I recommend Dual Hearts. If you can overlook some weak gameplay mechanics but love the overall great atmosphere, the exploration of interesting worlds and fantastic gameplay ideas, this game is certainly worthwhile to play. Overlooked, not admired, but certainly a very good game.
    Last edited by lendelin; 08-21-2017 at 09:33 PM.

  6. #26
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    Hopefully I'll get some more into the meat of MS Saga: A New Dawn soon. Sorry for putting it off for so long. A lot of real life bullshit happened, though less catastrophe and more annoyance. More is due to the fact that I picked up that SNES and unleashed the Harvest with a bit too much enthusiasm.

    Anyway, my initial impressions of the game has been pretty favorable. A JRPG that starts the encounters off with letting you punch tanks to death is pretty awesome. The walking and running animation for the humans are pretty weird, though I believe that comes from the humans having the same basic wireframe and attendant animation as the mecha.

    As before, if somebody wants to ask or give an opinion within the scope of this thread, feel free to speak up!
    RPGs: Proof that one you start done the dork path, forever will it dominate your wallet's destiny.

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    Just dropping by this thread again, hopefully you've put more time into MS Saga to where you see how much depth there is to the combat with a party swap system that works better than any other game imo. FF10 the party swap system is good on paper, but it's just common sense where you swap to the characters that each enemy is weak to. You don't necessarily have to swap characters as any character is viable, but certain characters have certain mechanics like recovery, status effects, buffs, debuffs, and then you have boost skills like chaff grenade which protects your party from solid rounds, counter zone which defends and counters all attacks etc.

    Even if you didn't put a lot more time into the game, still a great buy at $40 back then when it goes for over $150 now.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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