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Post by RealGunner on Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:53 pm

@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:Have you played Doom RG? If you haven't you should when you're done with New Colossus.


That's next or Exodus. Saw Exodus for £13 in Argos so might get that before doom.

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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:26 pm

Good lad, Exodus has an expansion next week so I'm probably going to go back to that soon as well.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:27 pm

I love good single player FPS tbh, it's just a shame how rare they are.

Doom, Wolfenstein and Metro are my shit.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:38 pm

Speaking of which Bioshock Collection is free with PS+ this month, might replay them as i haven't played them in years.
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Post by RealGunner on Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:59 pm

@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:I love good single player FPS tbh, it's just a shame how rare they are.

Doom, Wolfenstein and Metro are my shit.


I love the stealth aspects in fps. Wish there were more as well.

Yea it's a shame there isn't huge market out for story driven fps games anymore.
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Post by RealGunner on Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:59 pm

@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:Speaking of which Bioshock Collection is free with PS+ this month, might replay them as i haven't played them in years.


I am so burnt out with them that i will never ever touch them again lol.

Still 2 of the greatest games ever made.
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Post by RealGunner on Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:55 pm

You all remember the courthouse mission?

What the fuck lol? Are you serious?

It's impossible to do
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Post by Harmonica on Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:09 pm

Didn't remember how boring W3 got at around level 10, when you had done the main guest part in Velen. If you're going 100% like my OCD will almost always force, fking hell is leveling design broken beyond disbelief here. Boring map markers as far as you can see, and just a reminder how filled with shite the game is.

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Post by RealGunner on Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:25 pm

@RealGunner wrote:You all remember the courthouse mission?

What the fuck lol? Are you serious?

It's impossible to do


nvm no such thing as impossible

lmfaoooo at the events after that rofl rofl
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Post by Harmonica on Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:28 am

Literally can't wait


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Post by danyjr on Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:10 pm

They need to update the graphics. Looks 2010 not 2020 ffs. That repeating terrain square pattern is butters.

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Post by Harmonica on Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:12 pm

@danyjr wrote:They need to update the graphics. Looks 2010 not 2020 ffs. That repeating terrain square pattern is butters.
I think that's just a test level. Something like texture tiling should be easily fixed, and not really a priority.
Also eventually game play will be before graphics with this one. Can't believe 8 year wait is finally going to be over next month.

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Post by Harmonica on Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:24 am

The greatest rpg since Skyrim is free on Epic Store today.

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Post by danyjr on Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:38 pm

Witcher 3 is free on EGS?

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Post by Harmonica on Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:30 pm

Laughing no

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Post by danyjr on Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:35 pm

I reckon I have close to 80 games on the Epic launcher that I've picked up for free over the year and I've played maybe 3 or 4 of them.

I'm inclined to sell my account once they stop doing free games tbh.

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Post by Harmonica on Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:14 pm

It's good for free games, that's about it. Haven't installed it myself and probably never will. I despise exclusives and never will support that kind of anti-consumer activity.

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Post by Lord Spencer on Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:59 am

#11

Game: Shining Force III.
Year: 1998.
Genre: Tactical RPG
Publisher: Sega.
Developer: Camelot Software.

General Games Discussion - Page 37 97231-shining-force-iii-sega-saturn-front-cover

First things first, I am changing my rating system to a simpler 10 point system. Games that get above a 7 I fully recommend, and those that get below that are mostly a waste of time. That leaves the score of 7 to depend on your taste

This is one game on the Saturn I played knowing pretty much that it would be good. After all both Shining Force games on the Genesis were very good and are among the top 10 games on that system.

Yet, it appears that Camelot Software had much higher ambitions for the game than merely being good. Years before the Tactical RPG behemoth, Fire Emblem, experimented with different storyline and perspectives with Fates and Three Houses, Camelot planned to release Shining Force III in three parts.

This ended up crafting a game with a rich and complex storyline, one that could have been seen as a great competition to the RPGs of the PS1. However, due to the decline of the Saturn, Sega of America decided they were only going to localize the first of those three games, thereby depriving Western gamers of the rest of the story and what could have been a legendary game for the system.

Still, it is a testament to its quality that even with a third of its story with no possibility of continuation, the game still managed to shine through.

"When idealogies come into conflict, bloodshed is almost inevitable. Humans... how ignorant we all are"

The game starts with you naming the three heroes that will play a huge part in the events of the game, but the first scenario will only focus on the exploits of Synbios, the son of a famous general of a new Republic that sprang from previous territories controlled by the rigidly feudal Destonian empire.

Slightly prior to the start of the game, the Destonian empire managed to invade and conquer an important Republican city. In order to resolve the conflict before it becomes another all-out war, a peace conference was called by a neutral third party.

As to be expected (or else we won't be having a game), the peace conference not only fails but quickly exacerbates the situation. What ensures is a well-told story of political intrigue, ideological conflicts, personal struggles, and good old ancient evil cults that all mixes in really well.

Previously, I complained about the simplicity of the storylines in Shining Force I & II. However, this is not the case here. In fact, it is a continuously engaging story from start to finish.

Since this is a review of the first Scenario only, I won't dwell too much on the three-pronged story other than state the obvious fact that it means certain elements will be unclear and a number of characters will not have the resolution that they deserve. Overall, the first scenario concludes with an ending that doesn't introduce new questions but leaves some questions unresolved.

Yet, even without experiencing all three scenarios, it is clear that the ambition to tell the story in three parts is what lead to Camelot crafting a story that develops intelligently and shows room for different perspectives, even if it doesn't allow all those perspectives to fully develop.

One thing that could have been better is the involvement of the playable characters themselves. Usually, other than through a pre-battle small conversation, the various playable characters don't develop much with the exception of the core group. This was a point of common concern in TRPGs back in the day and was only truly resolved through the now-classic support conversations in the Fire Emblem series.

"Listen up, you Republican buffoons. I'll take my leave with the Emperor now, your pathetic lives end here!"

Besides the advancement to its story, there isn't much changed from the basic template that worked so well for the first two Shining Force games. This is still a TRPG with all that is expected from the genre.

Up to 12 playable characters take the field against an assortment of enemies. Turn order is decided by the Agility stat. It pays to keep your formation intact. Experience is awarded based on damage dished out, healing, and kills. Character gain level, skills, and can be promoted. And, of course, characters come in a variety of classes.

This formula works really well due to the variety of the characters at our disposal and the general balance and occasional change in the many battles you are facing. Typically, there are two to tackle any battle. First, there is the safe block of doom approach, where all of your force moves in semi-unison to clean up the field. Second, the more fun and efficient way of dividing your force into squads and decimating the enemy in as short a time as possible.

Playing the game the second way reveals how the game provides more tools to both develop your force and finish battles more efficiently. Mainly, the addition of a trust system between encourages maintaining a squad between battles as it increases their overall performance. Also, the addition of super attacks showcases how strong your characters get by the end of the game.

Without being revolutionary, the gameplay is consistently engaging and fun.

"Many lives were lost... for nothing. If we do nothing, more will perish"

Outside of battles, the game offers what looks like a classic JRPG world exploration. With NPCs to talk to, items to buy, treasures to find, and even secret characters to recruit.

The latter activities may offer the most frustration to players as the "inspect" every box and barrel looking for precious mithril ore that they can later craft into amazing weapons. Yet, that is secondary to the possibility of missing a playable character because you didn't want to explore all the houses in a city (although you really should do that in an RPG).

Yet, this has always been part of the series's charm. The fact that it had the world-building aspects of any other JRPG. Generally, the NPCs do a great job of giving more context to the world and both story and dialogue are decently good. As such, even the downtime between battles is necessary for the game. Also, if you like, you can always forgo looking for items and just rush the story along.

Ultimately, there is no real gameplay in the sections between battles and the preparation aspects could have been more efficiently presented in menu screens. However, these "pillow" moments between battles serve to give greater context and contrast to the rest of the game.

"All of you... these chumps are slowing our progress! Eliminate them all so we can get back to business, stealing treasure!"

If you read some of my other Saturn reviews, you would probably guess what I would say regarding the switch fro sprites to 3D polygons in the game's graphics. It simply is not as pretty or "age-resistant" as the Genesis games. Especially when contrasted to the obviously beautiful 2D character portraits (those are still great).

However, there is enough charm in the character's chibi polygonal forms that the majority of the game looks fine. It is only when character initiate attacks that the game shows them in more "detail" (meaning more jagged edges and blocky features), which is also surprisingly competent. Better than Final Fantasy VII for reference.

In fact, the graphics were probably damn impressive by the standards of the day. Especially for the magic and special attacks, which must have appeared revolutionary at the time. Now, they are just random explosions of jagged edges and garish colors.

One thing that didn't negatively age is the game's soundtrack, which was crafted by legendary composer Motoi Sakuraba of Tales and Dark Souls fame. It works really well both inside and outside battles.

However, its best use was ina accentuating the more dramatic scenes, always playing the right theme at the right time, adding drama in lieu of voice acting. It is a really stellar soundtrack with "The Opening" and "Flying Dragon of the Battlefield" being some of my favorites in the game.

In Conclusion:

Besides the fact that it doesn't actually complete the story, with two other scenarios never localized, Shining Force III never gets a foot wrong. In fact, it even manages to make the best of its inferior polygonal graphics, making them charming in spite of the technical limitations.

Simply put, it is a great Tactical RPG that is pushing me to go and play the fan translations of the other two scenarios, which is something that I never did before.

Final: 9/10 by itself, 10/10 as part of the trilogy

Pros:

  • Complex storyline with lots of players
  • Very good tactical RPG gameplay
  • A lot of character variety with good designs
  • Lovely music that plays at the right times


Cons:

  • Only a third of the story was officially ported West
  • Polygonal graphics are OK, but 2D sprites would have been better


"Tips"
1- For maximum efficiency, don't upgrade character class until they are at level 14-15.
2- Don't worry about leveling-up fringe characters, there is a dungeon at the end where you can gain levels very fast.
3- There are a lot of items hidden in the game world.
4- Pay attention to save some characters if you are planning to play the other two SFIII games.
5- Make sure to let all your characters involved in a battle to level them up semi-equally.
6- Use the same weapon class with a character t increase their proficiency with it,
7- Healers are your friends.
8- The earliest characters you get are always the strongest.

"Next Game"

As expected, I had a great time with Shining Force III. So much so that I am actually going to play the fan translations for Scenarios 2 and 3 (but I won't review them).

Later, I will continue my Saturn review series with a review of Clockwork Knight which is requested by one of my readers. Hope it is a fun game.

Stay Tuned
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Post by RealGunner on Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:51 pm

The 1st and 2nd are some of me favourite games of all time. But i never played the 3rd one.

They are turn based rpg at their best
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Post by Harmonica on Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:59 pm



Warhorse selling the artwork of the group that cracked their game. rofl First counter piratism I've ever heard of.

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Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:24 am

@RealGunner wrote:The 1st and 2nd are some of me favourite games of all time. But i never played the 3rd one.

They are turn based rpg at their best


The third game, with its two fan translated scenarios (I am playing the second scenario right now), is one of the best Tactical RPG games I played.

Still fun today, although the emulation set-up is a huge hassle.
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Post by Harmonica on Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:55 am

GTA V is the first game I've tested that runs well over 60 fps @5120x1440 with max settings (no MSAA)
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KCD, W3 and TWW2 all work 32:9 out of the box, Skyrim and Morrowind needed additional mods to get the correct aspect ratio with full screen.

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Post by danyjr on Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:46 am

I suggest you increase your anti-aliasing. Too many sharp edges.

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Post by Harmonica on Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:00 pm

It doesn't look that bad ingame, MSAA is the real killer of frame rates.

MSAA 2x 50 fps
MSAA 4x 40 fps
MSAA 8x 30 fps

FXAA does pretty good job without performance penalty, so I settled with it and MSAA 2x for reflections.
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Post by danyjr on Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:46 pm

You need a better GPU Laughing

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Post by Harmonica on Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:52 pm

Yeah, I've 5700 XT Pulse and that just isn't enough for this monitor. But there isn't currently real upgrade from that, and I'm waiting Big Navi from AMD. It's supposed to be twice as powerful as 5700 XT. That or Nvidia's Ampere will be worth of upgrade, and hopefully AMD entering high end market lowers the top of the line prices.
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