General Games Discussion

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Post by Thimmy Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:56 pm

That's a good sign. I played that clown rollercoaster game on the PS4 for over an hour without feeling dizzy or sick at all, but other games seemed to affect me after only a few minutes. Would've thought the trigger was games that shake and blur a lot, but it must be something else.

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Post by LeVersacci Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:13 pm

@Thimmy wrote:That's a good sign. I played that clown rollercoaster game on the PS4 for over an hour without feeling dizzy or sick at all, but other games seemed to affect me after only a few minutes. Would've thought the trigger was games that shake and blur a lot, but it must be something else.
I just hope we got some really good VR games for PS5 like Phasmophobia & Among Us type of games.

Although the new Star Wars is mad fun & immersive on VR.
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Post by Thimmy Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:17 pm

I'm sure they'll make some good, if not great VR games for next gen. They'll probably improve the VR tech, as well. FPS games are fun in VR, but the controls are always a bit wonky and inaccurate.
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Post by Lord Spencer Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:53 pm

#78

Game: Star Ocean: The Second Story.
Year: 1998 (JP), 1999 (NA).
Genre: ARPG.
Publisher: Enix.
Developer: Tri-Ace.

General Games Discussion - Page 36 Star_Ocean_Second_Story

The retirement of the space-based JRPG franchise, Phantasy Star, allowed for another to shine in its place. For many people, the second game in the Star Ocean series is a true masterpiece. Yet, it is rarely considered as one of the top PS1 RPGs.

After finishing the game once, I fully understand why it is a favorite game for many, while at the same time failing to stick-out much for those who didn't fall in love with the game.

"On the course of the journey you are about to embark, you should be able to find who you really are"

In what may be a disappointment to those who are expecting a space odyssey, the story begins and is mostly confined to the planet Expel. Here, you get the choice between the perspective of two heroes: Claude, the son of the first game's hero, and Rena, a local girl who may represent a deeper secret. Your choice doesn't have much impact on the greater story, but it offers the chance for a slightly different perspective. Also, each main character gets a unique party member that isn't available if you choose the other.

With any character in the driving seat, you start investigating a mysterious meteor that crashed into Expel causing all kinds of calamities. As you investigate, you are joined (sometimes you need to look for the) by colorful allies that help you out and get involved with some local issues. This provides room for the world and the characters to grow before the mid-game reveal.

After that, the stakes become larger and more immediate but is unfortunately hampered by a cast of ridiculously one-dimensional villains. This shouldn't be a big issue, as the story focuses on the personal journey of your characters and the relationship between Claude and Rena.

I say shouldn't because it depends on how much the awkward translation can affect your enjoyment of those interactions and how the story unfolds. This is par the course for PS1 RPGs, but I feel that the story here is affected by it more severely.

Thankfully, you get the chance to interact more with your party members through "Private Actions". Here, each of your party members goes about doing their own thing in town and you can talk to them. In some locations, you can trigger an event that fleshes out a character and change your relationship parameters with them. This in turn affects the endings you get in the game.

Practically, I don't think you can get the endings you want without a guide. Also, I think that the game's natural ending should have Claude and Rena hooking up. Regardless, the number of possible endings and the variety of character combinations suggest a game that invites multiple playthroughs.

"All of these are merely stepping stone towards us regaining our powers and making the galaxy and universe ours"

The idea of multiple playthroughs must be supported, of course, by the game being fun to play even once. To support its case, Star Ocean 2 attempts to be a more action-focused JRPG, continuing its foray into ARPG gameplay. Since you will be spending about half of your time in the game in battles, how much you enjoy the gameplay has a lot of influence on your appreciation of the game.

In battle, you control one character while the other three operate with broad AI mindsets. The battle can be paused at any point to change characters and issue commands, which helps when you need to use items, but Rena is usually good at keeping you healthy most of the time. When you control a character in full manual mode (the only mode you should play), you can walk around and attack normally as well as use one of two "Killer Moves". Controlling all but three or four physical characters isn't very fun.

Early in the game, resource management is critical, and as such you pay attention to the flow of battle and how much MP you spend with "Killer Moves". Yet, as you and enemies get stronger, the game degenerates into a mindless button-mashing affair. I seriously was just jamming the R1 button as fast as I can in the final battle.

Ironically, this mindless battle system may be a blessing in disguise, but that's due to another key issue. Namely, the fact the random encounter rate is very high, which is apparently necessary to level enough to survive the late game difficulty spikes.

Objectively, I cannot say that the combat system in Star Ocean 2 is any good. However, it is fun and fast enough in a mindless way that actually makes the game easier to play through twice, since the battles become more of a set-up game than actual in-battle strategizing.

"I'm not doing anything as audacious as saving the world"

Setting-up your party is the most fun thing to do in the game, as there is a lot of customization both in character building and part composition. The key to that is the Skills you can upgrade for each character.

There are more than 30 Skills in the game, which are divided into permanent stat boosts, combat support skills, and some flavor ability. Once you upgrade your skills by spending level-up skill points, you unlock specialties that rank-up based on your skill level. For example, Pickpocketing is a very important specialty that you unlock by upgrading two skills: Poker Face which increases your critical chance, and Courage which does nothing but helps you upgrade Pickpocketing itself.

Specialties are actions you can take in the menu screen or in the game world to help support your party. Mostly, you use them to craft new weapons and accessories that are much more useful than the things you can normally find. As your party learns more specialties, they start being able to do super specialties, which again bring in more useful things.

As expected, the game is built around these skills and specialties to a great degree. You end up drowning in crafting, cooking, customizing, compounding, and composing materials for you to play with. It is almost overwhelming, but there are tons of online guides to help you sort through it. Also, there are tons of ways you can break the system, getting powerful weapons and armor very early in the game that makes most of the game trivial.

If you are not a fan of all the available tinkering, then this might actually turn you off. However, this is a big reason why the game is so beloved by its fans since it allows for a lot of experimentation different set-ups.

"My, my. How primitive those beings of undeveloped planets are. So quick to raise their voice"

A key element to most JRPG games that some feel were not rated fairly by the mainstream press is their adherence to the sprite graphics of the 16bit era. Ironically, most of these games look much better now than the venerated polygonal nightmares that were lauded for their "realistic" graphics.

Sure enough, Star Ocean 2 fits in that bracket. It features some charming 2D sprite work for all of its characters and enemies juxtaposed against some rudimentary 3D-looking backgrounds (like Final Fantasy VII) that are sometimes seriously gorgeous.

In battle, the sprites are more detailed an the animation is varied and meets the requirements of ARPG gameplay. Yes, it sometimes looks weird to have 2D sprites running around in 3D space, especially since you cannot actually attack the sides very well. Also, the spell animations are varied but unfortunately stops the time during battle, causing battles to stall needlessly.

One honestly impressive thing is the quality of the CGI cutscenes, which are some of the best I have seen from that era and are used effectively to underscore key points in the story.

In the sound department, the voice acting is only used for in-battle chants, which are not very good. There is poor quality to the voice recordings and some samples are offensively bad, but not to a degree that brings the whole game down.

Musically, this is a classic Motoi Sakuraba soundtrack. It has some really good tracks, with "The Venerable Forest" being one example. However, the majority of the soundtrack, while very good, blends together in a non-distinctive, but highly competent soundscape.

In Conclusion:

I feel that Star Ocean 2 is the rare JRPG that is built to be replayed several times, and the super fans of the game are ones who like this aspect about it. For someone who rarely replays games, it means that I am missing a big portion of the experience.

Nonetheless, even a single playthrough showcases how this a charming game with tons of customization options. So much, that even with some slightly mindless gameplay and a prosaic story, it still is a very good game.

Final: 8/10

Pros:

  • Built to be replayed with a lot of endings
  • A lot of variety in character building and party composition
  • Sprite graphics are really good


Cons:

  • The ARPG battles become button-mashing affairs at the end
  • In-game explanation for things is lacking


"Tips"
1-Before you upgrade any skills, go to the town of Helie (in the eastern shore of the first continent) and buy the perseverance skill and upgrade it first. This will make the other skills cheaper to buy.
2-Utilize private actions to angel for a specific pair to hook up for different endings.
3-Stamina is important to recover after a battle (which keeps you going), so upgrade Dange Sense early on.
4-Upgrading the skill "effort" is great to help in leveling up.
5-Saying no to someone when they ask to join is FINAL.
6-Some characters are mutually exclusive. For instance, recruiting Ashton keeps you from recruiting Opera and her boyfriend.
7-Only physical characters are fun to play as.
8-Some of the best items in the game can only be gotten by pickpocketing your allies during private actions.
9-There is a lot of RNG involved in crafting and pickpocketing, so save scum if you are attempting to get the best gear (a must if you are aiming for the higher difficulty runs and the final optional dungeon).

"Next Game"
As expected, I really enjoyed Star Ocean: The Second Story. It's not as good an ARPG as a game like Tales of Destiny, but it has a lot of customization options and a unique skill progression system.

Next in my list is another JRPG at #75, Breath of Fire IV. However, before playing it, I will play the third game in the series first. Reportedly, the PSP port of Breath of Fire III has an expanded fishing mini-game (which I don't care about) and it fixes a glitched soundtrack. For the soundtrack, I will actually apply an emulation hack to fix it on the PS1 version.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Lord Spencer Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:48 pm

DS Review #17

Game: Front Mission.
Year: 2007.
Genre: Tactical RPG.
Publisher: Square Enix.
Developer: Square Enix.

General Games Discussion - Page 36 189673-front-mission-nintendo-ds-front-cover

First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

This game is an enhanced port of a unique SNES TRPG game that was made back when Squaresoft couldn't do any wrong move. Staying true to the anime genres that it was inspired by, Front Mission was an intrigue-heavy and gritty war story featuring grounded character and technology, even if that technology is a bunch of hulking mechs that look like WWII tanks crossing over with the Transformers.

On the DS, the game now features two campaigns (in line with a PS1 remaster) as well as all the benefits in the presentation that duel screens provide, making this the definitive version of a bonafide classic.

"This isn't just about you! The fate of our entire squad is at stake here!"

True to any story of the "Realistic Mech Warfare" genre, the story follows a squad of morally grey, but ultimately good-hearted, soldiers as they navigate the horrors of war. In this particular story, two mega-nation are fighting over control of the strategic Huffman island. Early in the story, a special ops mission goes wrong and the main character, Royd, may have caused a reignition of the Huffman conflict in an operation that also caused the disappearance or death of his girlfriend, Karen.

Later, Royd is enlisted with a group of mercenaries called the Canyon Crows as it tries to help push back one nation against the other. Both mega-nations are compromised of three initials, supporting the notion that for the soldiers and citizens in the ground, these are simply intangible realities that don't affect the central reality of the conflict.

In this bleak world, the game wants to focus on the camaraderie between squad-mates and the value of doing the right thing even in the face of orders. That is made more apparent as the truth of the conflict is slowly revealed. This works for the main part, but there is a glaring lack of squad interactions between missions that is a missed opportunity in building up your relationship with the characters.

While the story works well in its main campaign, the addition of another campaign that shows the story from the other side of the conflict not only adds more context to the story but also reinforces its central themes as well.

In fact, I think the second campaign is even better than the first, especially since it wastes less time and actually allows you to talk more with your squad-mates.

Overall, Front Mission has two very good campaigns and interesting if a little bit low-key, characters to lead the story along. Sure, there could have been more interaction between the characters, but you can imagine much of that to happn during the several intese mech battles you face together.

Interesting Story and Setting: +3
Two Campaigns Showing the Two Sides: +5
Limited Character Interactions: -2

"Do you not realize that our technology has allowed us to transcend to the realm of gods?! We have nothing ot fear from the pathetic fools that are trying to stop us!"

War in the world of Front Mission is beggening to be dominated by crane-sized mechs called Wanzers. Theortically, these wanzers provide more varied mobilty options thant tanks while being directl controlled by their operators, making them a more efficient killing machine.

In both campaigns, your squad consists exclusively of Wanzer pilots fighting in a turn-based square-grid map against a combination of enemy troops and Wanzers. Maps are varied in their terrain, and there are occasional strategic objectives that are more varied than emliating all the oppossition, but the gist remains the same.

The twist that Front Mission brings to the table is the fact that each Wanzer is compromized of four parts, each iwth their own individual statistics and HP bar. The two hands each carry weapons (including shoulder weapons) and the legs are responsible for the majority of movement points.

This division of parts leads to the game's most innovative strucure and its most frusterating flaw. At first, this makes for some exciting possibilities of destorying an enemy's weapon-holding arms, leading for an easier and safer kill by weaker units that you want to level-up. However, the game's RNG syste soon steps-up to mess things up for you.

Like other TRPGs, experience is gained by destroying enemy troops. Yet, in this game, destroying enemy body parts nets you even more experience, which is neccessary to be in par at later stages of the game. As such, imagine the frusteration of having both arms and leg being ripe for destruction with a limted amount of HP when your stupid character decided to unload ALL of their damge int othe body; destroying the enemy without getting any experience points from their body parts.

Equally frusterating is the times an enemy gangs up on a perfectly healthy unit and proceeds to target ALL their attacks on the body, destorying it without touching any of the other parts.

Later in the game, you unlock skills that can help you manage more efficently farming your foes for experience, but this is a game where you can suddenly find your best plans laid to ruin at the siple generation of an unforable number. Still, despite that, the gameplay is fast and fun enough that you can easily power through the frusteration of repeating a map.

Fun and Fast TRPG Gameplay: +4
Random Elements Can Ruin Your Match: -2

"I decided to do everything I could to redeem myself of my sins... But look at all the good that did"

Half of the fun in any mech-battle game is the customization options and the preperation element before going into combat, and the game doesn't dissapoint here. There are several styles of mechs that are suitable for your different pilots and several ways to mix and match.

There are three types of weapons: Melee, Short Range, and Long Range. While the late game unquetionably showcases the superiority of short weapons, it is more fun to build your characters with different specilization in mind, and your mech design and battle tactics will change accoridngly.

Typically, you will start upgrading your mechs every three battles, and you will always have oney for that in the main game by particiapting in the Arena. However, the second campaign is more stingy with money, and I ended up not upgrading any character to the most expensive mechs and instead installed one or two expensive parts on each pilot's mech.

Generally, the game hits a difficulty spike in the middle since you don't have much skills or experience at that stage. However, the game becomes easier once you unlock more skills and you become able to efficiently farm for experience.

Theoritically, you can manage the difficulty level by not upgrading oyu mechs as often. However, that can actually be suicidal, as the mech specs are much more important to your overal power than skills or pilot expereience level.

A Lot of Mech Customization Options: +3

"Oooh!! The army boys are too afraid to get some mud and guts o ntheir shiny Wanzers?"

Originally an SNES game, Front Mission was designed with the full constraints of 16 bit graphics and sound in mind. Obviously, that's not a bad thing considering how revered the graphics and sounds of the 16 bit era are today.

Indeed, the sprite work is nothing fancy but it looks great, suitably reflecting the different mech designs and realstic battle maps. This is aided by the mech menu screens which showcases each part and design with more detail.

Outside your Wanzers, pilots are single portraits that are wonderfully designed by the famous Final Fantasy character designer, Yoshitaka Amano. Admittedly, the characters have little precense outside of these single portraits, but they do the job well-enough in conveying both character and the general style of the world.

That style is probably most evident in the soundtrack composed by Yoko Shimomura and Noriko Matsueda which is different to anything that they composed since. It has a lot of industrial overtunes merged with low-key and jazzy tunes that evoke both the grand and seedy parts of war.

Tracks like "Driscoll's Theme" and the "Canyon Crows" still ring in my ears, especially since the soundtrack was actually rearranged for the DS version (the DS version is very difficult to listen to online).

Good Graphics: +3
Very Good Music: +4

In Conclusion:

As a TRPG designed for the SNES, Front Mission is a game in a genre that still didn't see its best days yet. As such, it is expected that the gameplay is a little bit lacking in variety, complexity, and/or polish.

However, the game's core concepts are strong enough that it shines through its aged design and still delivers a great experience. That is especially the case because two campaigns are aviaalble to flesh out thei nteresting story and world.

Final: 43/50

"Tips"
1-To get the largest amount of possible experience points, try and destroy all other parts in an enemy mech before you destory the body parts.
2-Skills such as guide and duel can help target specific parts.
3-Skills are randomly unlocked once experience in a specific category goes above 2000.
4-The short wepaons category is usually the best (and is even overpowered).
5-Once you have good-enough Short weapon experience, then it is better to have weapons with high number of rounds than it is to have wepaons withhigher damage-per-round.
6-Make sure that all of your mechs level-up more or less equally.
7-Performence is more controlled by you mech specs than by your pilot's level, so any difficulty spike means you probably need to upgrade your mechs.
8-Generally, enemy Wanzers always counter with their right hand weapon, so target that first unles both hands carry different kinds of weapons.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Harmonica Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:36 am

https://wccftech.com/kingdom-come-deliverance-is-the-latest-game-to-get-live-action-adaptation/
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Post by The Demon of Carthage Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:13 pm

Can't believe how far the Mortal Kombat franchise has come. Growing up, it was one of my favorite fighting games, but it wasn't in my top 3. Always felt Tekken, Soul Blade (later renamed Soulcalibur I think?) and Street Fighter were considerably ahead of it.

But now, not only has it overtaken them, it also has left them in the dust. It blows them out of the water in pretty much everything (plot, graphics,...). It's in a league of its own now and it's definitely become my favorite . Hats off to them!
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:30 pm

While i agree it should be noted those other franchises have fallen off a cliff.

Which makes me sad, i really liked Virtua Fighter growing up.
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Post by LeVersacci Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:35 pm

Didn’t play any fighting games this gen. Played it heavy last gen. Mostly Street fighter & Soul Calibur.

Might grab one next gen but with a fighting stick. Can’t play properly with d pad with so many hours using the analogs.
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Post by M99 Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:23 pm

I wonder which major game series will skip the next generation. This gen saw no new GTA, Elder Scrolls, Fable, Prince Of Persia (will likely be killed completely if Remake sells bad) and Splinter Cell.

Red Dead is the likeliest candidate. With GTA 6 surely coming and how long it takes Rockstar to release games I don't think we will see GTA 6 and RDR 3 in a seven year cycle.

Fallout is likely unless Obsidian makes one. Bethesda Softworks have Starfield and then ES6 coming out. Obsidian also have their hands full with Avowed and Outer Worlds 2 but they seem to be far more efficient.

MGS is completely done so RIP.

Unsure about DMC. Dev said he wants to do Dragon's Dogma 2 next. Who knows how long that will take.

Mass Effect is on ice and Bioware is busy with Dragon Age IV, but its likely if the remasters sell well a new game will be made after DA4. Depends on how fast they can make one.
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Post by Pedram Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:06 pm

Has anyone here tried Genshin Impact? looks absolutely gorgeous. it's free to play so might give it a try. hmm
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Post by danyjr Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:32 pm

Looks very Zelda: Breath of the Wild but seems like it has more RPG elements. Interesting title, not sure how I hadn't heard about it.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:49 pm

Chinese and mobile game are probably the reasons why.
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Post by Firenze Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:08 pm

@Pedram wrote:Has anyone here tried Genshin Impact? looks absolutely gorgeous. it's free to play so might give it a try. hmm


Put 40 or so hours into it. And it's erased any interest in rebuying a Switch I had for BOTW2.

It's better than BOTW in almost every way. And yeah, I'm not sure how you hadn't heard of it @danyjr, the game has made over $100 million in the first two weeks and has like 50 million downloads. (I haven't spent a penny on it) but it's budget with marketing factored in was apparently 100 million.


however

now I've cleared the existing story content..the end game grind stuff is meh, no real interest in that, the developers are aiming for a new update every 6 weeks or so, with a major update with an entire new area every few months.

You can get an easy 40-50 hours out of it though, but the end game stuff consists of just lengthy grinds to level up your characters and gear so you can do abyss challenges, only almost every single thing required to grind takes 'resin' think of this as stamina, which the game caps you at every day.

it does have microtransactions and a gacha aspect for summoning new characters (it floods you with currency for these, but ultimately these will dry up.) I'm using the free characters the game throws at you, they're good and the cast are pretty charming.

It's very highly polished for a F2P game (as I mentioned 100 million budget) co-op is kinda whatever, the towns in the game put the JRPG's from the last couple of generations to shame.

Worth a go if you're bored and want a premium JRPG experience without spending anything. The combat is really fun and the exploration is far more rewarding than BOTW.

Also, it's playable on mobile, but it's very much a console quality game. Runs a little sus in places on the PS4, but the PC version doesnt have FPS issues apparently.
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Post by M99 Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:58 pm

Looks like rough draft of GTA 6 map has leaked (Vice City).

https://gtaforums.com/topic/962819-gta-vi-rumored-map-analysis-thread/
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Post by Lord Spencer Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:17 pm

#75 (S)

Game: Breath of Fire III.
Year: 1997 (JP), 1998 (NA).
Genre: RPG.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom.

General Games Discussion - Page 36 Breathoffire3_box

Both on the SNES and the PS1, Capcom’s Breath of Fire series was rarely considered as examples of the system’s best RPGs. In many ways, they felt too formulaic and safe to be contenders for greatness. On the PS1, where graphics were going into a more 3D and “realistic” style, the first BoF game was firmly planted in the past.

Ironically, it is this last quality that best preserves BoF III for today’s players. Its sprites and 2D graphics and animations have aged better than most PS1 RPGs, and what may have been considered (erroneously) a weakness at one point is the game’s biggest strength along with a surprisingly good story and characters.

Yet, other weaknesses that were noted in the past, such as a lack of innovation and depth in its combat and an overall sluggishness to the experience, all contribute to dragging the game down. In the end, BoF III’s adherence to past SNES RPGs is both its biggest strength and most damaging weakness.


""

The game starts with a dramatic scene, where a small dragon escapes a mine by killing a couple of guards and then is captured and carted to authority. Yet, a dragon is not easily contained, and it escapes and is suddenly transformed into a young blue-haired boy. This boy, Ryu, is then adopted by a golden-hearted ruffian, Rei, who also earlier adopted another child in the gang. In the beginning’s narration, you learn that dragons, who harbor near-infinite power, were previously involved in a war that almost destroyed the world.

From this set-up, the story resolves itself slowly, in two parts. The first part involves Ryu as a child under Rei’s thieving tutelage. This leads them to accidentally crossing a powerful crime organization which leads to a separation of the trio and the mandated imprisonment of the JRPG hero. In prison, Ryu meets Nina, the spritely princess of the Kingdom who becomes an invaluable ally in Ryu trying to find his friends. In the child chapters, Ryu meets all of the game’s playable characters and sets up both his peaceful and compassionate moral compass, as well as his relationship with the other characters.

As such, in the second part of the game, where Ryu must resolve the issue of his powerful and destructive dragon powers, the emotional and personal stakes have already been set-up. This leads to a second part that is like a funeral march on the surface.

A common criticism of the game is that the story takes a while to get going, with the stakes never getting high until much later in the game.

I disagree with that criticism, as I think the slow-burn works for the story. It allows for a breathing room for the characters to develop in, and even allows a lot of “pillow” moments where characters just behave in a silly or humorous manner. Seriously, there is a lot of funny moments in the game that land well due to both the slapstick direction and on-key animations and visual cues.

Overall, I think that there is more depth to BoF III’s story and character than it is commonly given credit for, and that is one of its biggest strengths (along with a good sense of humor).


""

On the surface, there are a number of interesting mechanics that should shake up how BoF III plays.

First, there is a master system that significantly affects character growth. For instance, Bunyan is an early master that increases power and defense at the expense of intelligence and action points, making him perfect for a potential tank. Once you train with a master, you also get some special skills every two or three levels you train under them. A major flaw in this system is that levels don’t stack up when learning skills, meaning that if a master teaches something at level 10, then you must remain with him and NEVER change masters until you get that skill.

Second, all your characters have the Blue Mage ability to learn some enemy skills by examining their actions in battle. In theory, this is an excellent system, as it allows you to learn many enemy skills and then freely transfer them between characters. However, the great majority of skills in the game (90%) are almost useless. As such, I feel compelled to grind for more useful skills while getting a boatload of utter rubbish.

Third, exclusive to Ryu is the ability to transform into a dragon by splicing up to three different “dragon genes” which you find around the world. These transformations are very powerful and they look super cool. One can complain that they have no idea how to get the best transformation from a combination of around 15 genes, but that’s what trial and error (and GameFAQs) are for.

Other than that, the turn-based gameplay is classic JRPG fare with each character really filling in a basic role that can be augmented or slightly changed by training with different masters. This isn’t terribly exciting but should be effective despite the plethora of useless skills.

However, what sucks the excitement out of gameplay is not the system itself, but the technical performance which is excruciatingly slow, compounded by high random encounter rate and sudden difficulty spikes.

Simply put, for it to be playable in any respectable way, battles need to be sped to double the speed at least.

""

Unfortunately, the general sluggishness of the game is not restricted to combat but somehow affects other parts as well. For instance, movement in town and in the maps feels too slow, but that’s not a big issue.

A much bigger issue is the VERY SLOW text scrolling speed even at the highest setting. Dialogue becomes sluggish as a result, with every conversation taking almost two minutes more than it should. While some of it is due to scene construction (waiting for the character to animate), most of it is just slow text scrolling.

Other minor annoyances creep up, such as the need to physically travel to a master’s location to train under them or learn their skills. Also, some dungeons have puzzles that require some backtracking, which is annoying with the game’s slow combat and high encounter rate.

To provide moments of levity, BoFIII includes a number of mini-games. While most mini-games are one-time affairs included to shake things up, the fishing mini-game is something that was so good, it was expanded further in the PSP release.

What is cool about the fishing mini-game is that it could provide a lot of in-game bonuses as you can trade some fish for high-level gear. Another major side activity that can help you is a fairy village which you open in the latter part of the game and can influence its development, which also can help you by providing some good items.

The game’s general sluggishness does reduce the fun in both the above activities, as you feel nothing goes fast enough to be engaging. This almost ruins a theoretically great part of the game where you cross a desert and need to keep the stars in mind in order to correctly navigate. It is a great idea, but the game’s slow performance makes it truly disastrous if you ever make a mistake.

""

Finally, let us just take a moment to appreciate how well the game’s graphics and animations have aged compared to its polygonal peers. Capcom were known for its excellent sprite-work, and that shows clearly here.

Not only are the characters sprites well-drawn, but they are also expressively animated. Take for instance the several idle animations of the characters, which are hardly noticeable but provide so much character context in their execution. Sadly, there is a limited number of action animations, and I wish there were two or three per character.

A similar level of care was reserved for enemy sprites, which have a variety of designs (despite the occasional color swaps) and especially menacing boss sprites. The same level of care did not translate to the game’s world, which is sadly mostly forgettable with only a handful of interesting locations and an almost washed-out look.

In the audio department, attacks are voiced in Japanese, but there is no voice acting outside of battle, which wouldn’t be an issue if the text scrolling wasn’t slower than human speech.

As for the soundtrack, it is not exactly memorable, and I am not saying that because of the glitched PS1 soundtrack. Sure, it has some interesting tunes and an especially interesting jazzy take in some tracks. However, it fails to compare to Capcom’s best work and wasn’t very memorable to me.


In Conclusion:

In conclusion, I think that Breath of Fire III could have been a very good RPG if not for its sluggishness in both combat and general movement and dialogue. It has an interesting story and a lovable cast as well as some solid foundations in its gameplay. Sure, the Masters and Skills system have some holes, but the combat would have still been fun if it had double the speed.

Ultimately, that’s the only thing that keeps me from surely recommending the game, which is otherwise a great looking game with a very good story. Maybe play it in an emulator with a fast-forward function (just a thought).


Final: 7/10

Pros:

  • Great graphics that aged very well
  • The story and characters are surprisingly good with humor that works
  • Some interesting ideas in combat (the master system)


Cons:

  • Simply too slow in combat and in-world movement
  • This sluggishness is also evident in dialogue


"Tips"
1-DON'T CHANGE MASTERS UNTIL YOU LEARN ALL THEIR SKILLS.
2-Consult a FAQ to know which skills are useful so that you don't waste your time fishing for trash.
3-To unlock Deis as a master, don't be a perv and compliment how she looks after she changes.
4-You can save your favorite dragon combinations, but you do that from the menu screen.
5-Since passive party members don't ain any levels, you can avoid the late-game grind requirement by focusing on one single party throughout the game (which I don't like to do).
6-Engage with the fairy village mini-game to unlock some useful mid-game gear.
7-The fishing mini-game also gives you access to some useful gear.
8-Use Masters to build your character to complement their strengths rather than their weaknesses.
9-Ryu's best attribute should be Action Points.

"Next Game"

I think that if you play BoF III in an emulator with a fast forward function, then it deserves another point to its score. However, as it is, its charm is not enough to offset some seriously sluggish gameplay. It still is so damn charming though.

Now, I am going to play Breath of Fire IV, which is the game that officially sits in #75 in the Retro Sanctuary list. I am hoping it has the same level of charm but with a faster and more streamlined gameplay loop.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Harmonica Thu Nov 05, 2020 1:19 pm

Starfield targeted for 2021.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:10 pm

Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster announced for Spring 2021.
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Post by Pedram Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:14 pm

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Post by danyjr Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:23 pm

New Mass Effect game being developed by a team of "veterans".
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:26 pm

I mean based on Andromeda I'm not excited lol, but the Remaster is cool.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:26 pm

.


Last edited by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Pedram Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:27 pm

General Games Discussion - Page 36 Mud-skipper-1024x515

https://blog.bioware.com/2020/11/07/happy-n7-day-4/
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Post by Pedram Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:52 pm

@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:I mean based on Andromeda I'm not excited lol, but the Remaster is cool.


Andromeda was a proper disasterclass, the fact that Casey Hudson is on it gives me hope though.

Also hope they stay away from woke culture or at least minimize it, i know that's pretty hard these days considering how much developers are under pressure from lunatics like Anita Sarkeesian. Dragon Age Inquisition would've been a pretty good game if it wasn't trying to appeal to 15 years olds in Tumblr.
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Post by M99 Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:07 pm

@Pedram wrote:
@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:I mean based on Andromeda I'm not excited lol, but the Remaster is cool.


Andromeda was a proper disasterclass, the fact that Casey Hudson is on it gives me hope though.

Also hope they stay away from woke culture or at least minimize it, i know that's pretty hard these days considering how much developers are under pressure from lunatics like Anita Sarkeesian. Dragon Age Inquisition would've been a pretty good game if it wasn't trying to appeal to 15 years olds in Tumblr.


More than that, I think they need a new engine. Jason Schreier's article on Bioware had some stuff on Bioware devs saying that they hated using Frostbite. It was really challenging for them to create open worlds with it. It works great on sports game and FPS but its not ideal for RPGs.
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Post by danyjr Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:10 pm

What was woke about Andromeda?
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