Ever go back...

to the past to play some shitty games that suck ass? (sorry, couldn’t resist)

Anyways, has anyone ever gone back to play one of their favorite old RPGs recently and learn something new about it that they never thought they’d find? For example, I played Phantasy Star II recently after stumbling upon a TAS video of someone playing it. Well, after learning a bit more about how it was done, I discovered there is a glitch in the game that can allow you to get any item you want early. So after playing around for a bit, I found a way to beat the game in 1 hour and 16 minutes using only Nei and Amy. I plan on submitting the run to SDA.

It just amazed me that after all these years, after learning to read from the game, after making the shrine on this site for the game and after making a gamefaqs guide for it, that there were still pieces that I didn’t know existed. And here I thought I knew that game inside and out. Has anybody else experienced something like that recently?

I haven’t experienced anything like finding something new…but, I do tend to play my favorite games annually or bi-annually. My favorite RPG, SaGa Frontier, has a lot of potential for variance, as there’s a lot of different potential characters to recruit, as well as ways to build them. So, it’s easy to play it in a way you’ve never tried previously.

I actually picked up SaGa Frontier recently while I started building my game collection. I played a little bit of it and I was amazed by the overall gameplay and the music of the game. I’m finding a lot of the old Playstation RPGs that I never had a chance to get when I was younger like Breath of Fire 3, Wild Arms 2, Front Mission 3, etc… it’s just I have over 600 games at my disposal now so it’s just a matter finding time between that, work, family, speedrunning, exercise, and working on my 2nd novel (which reminds me, I haven’t touched that in about a month… probably should get back to working on that). I’d consider playing one right now… but the wife is playing Legend of Dragoon again… aside from Final Fantasy IX, one of her top RPGs of all time.

Yeah, the PSX RPGs are totally legit. The retro gaming craze is really stuck on “8-bit” and “16-bit” games, but I’d really like to see some better examples of retro games that emulate gaming from that particular time period.

I think the reason why people generally don’t want to go back to the PSX era is that most of those games (or at least any that employed 3D graphics) looked like ass, smeared in shit, wrapped in butt, and caked in crap.

But yeah, that era was great for experimental JRPGs and shit that just wanted to be different, especially when they stuck to 2D graphics.

The only look I wasn’t a huge fan of was the full-3D. But, I liked 3D character models on 2D art pieces (i.e FF7, or at least I think they are 2D maps?), or 2D sprites on 3D backgrounds (Breath of Fire, Suikoden). Besides, it doesn’t necessarily have to look terrible - Ys: The Oath in Felghana has exactly the kind of look I wish we could see more often in indie/retro games. If the 2D art is good, the 3D art doesn’t have to light my shit up, imo.

Sad but true. Finished WA2 about a year ago, man that game’s mechanics were terrible.

most Playstation games as a whole are dirt cheap to buy because of a lot of what Killmore was talking about. that and it was also the start of the mass-production effect that CDs could accomplish. that being said, finding clean, working playstation games complete (especially the gems of the console like Symphony of the Night, the Final Fantasies, etc) can be quite a challege.

as far as what I’ve seen so far though, any retro collector I talk to usually considers retro to be NES and SNES-era games, though the N64/PS1 era are on the cusp of being considered retro (this is why more people focus on the NES/SNES eras… and that is why the prices of some of those games are through the roof).

when I think back to the days when I first started shrining here at RPGC, I recall a lot of people talking about a lot of PSX RPGs like they were the greatest thing ever… of course, half of them I never heard of because I went with the N64… seems funny how time can change the viewpoints of things we grew up on… the only thing I haven’t seen change is that there are still a crap ton of FF7 fanboys out there who still think it is the greatest thing ever created… (then again, I’m married to a Zelda fangirl who thinks that Twilight Princess is the greatest thing ever created :smiley: )

Actually, there’s a retrogaming bubble going on right now that makes getting any retro game a costly affair simply due to our generation getting old enough to have a job and subsequently, disposable income, especially in regards to RPGs. There’s also the factors of gamers trying to get their kids into the games they played as kids, and collectors who just want to hoard shit.

The only reasons why you’d pay less than $50 for a used PSX era RPG these days is because A) you’re at a garage sale and lucked the hell out, B) you know the seller and s/he’s nice enough to give you a fair price for it, or C) you’re looking at something like Beyond the Beyond.

It might not be the greatest thing ever created…but FF7 really is pretty damn remarkable. I went through a phase where I tried to downplay that, and now I wonder why I ever did, lol.

Final Fantasy VII was a benchmark game, I never have any qualms about that. I just think the game is way over-rated, even when I played it for the first time back in the day. What the game accomplished in itself was actually far greater than the game itself. Is it the greatest RPG ever? IMO No. Is it the greatest Final Fantasy game ever? IMO No. Did the game bring RPGs to the mainstream unlike any other before it? Yes. That much I give credit for. It’s just one of those games that in order to find any entertainment in at all these days, I have to do something weird like make a Cloud-only run or something like that (which actually was not too hard).

As for the gaming bubble, yeah I know what you mean. I’m living that bubble right now and I see people everywhere taking advantage of others. Anything PSX or later hasn’t hit that problem yet, but I’ve seen so much in the way of scamming, defrauding, and outright ripping off of other people when it comes to SNES-era or earlier. I admit that I got lucky in some of my collection and some I paid more than I should have. $150 for an Earthbound cart? $500 for Little Samson or Flinstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak? Or even $20,000 for Stadium Events? I’m curious as to when the bubble will burst and the prices will start to deflate faster than my dick when watching an episode of Rosanne (which mind you is pretty damn fast, lol)…

I just appreciate games with stories that have themes. When I was young, I never really understood that about FF7. To me, it was “Cloud is crazy, but he doesn’t know he’s crazy, then he finds out he’s crazy and gets over the fact that he’s crazy, then saves the world from a meteor”. Now that I intentionally look for messages a narrative might be trying to convey, I see and appreciate how FF7 is a really hardcore, fire-and-brimstone allegory about how we are seriously fucking up when it comes to our treatment of the environment. The ambiguous ending (or at least, the fate of the human race WAS ambiguous since Holy was supposed to eliminate everything it deemed a threat to the planet, including potentially the human race) also gives it a sort of intensity that I don’t really get from other games. It made me think, “When a disaster befalls us from abusing the environment, is it going to wipe us out? Or will we survive? In the world of FF7, it was obvious to the people of the planet, because the disaster was a big-ass meteor (or more specifically, Shin-Ra created the disaster of Sephiroth, who summoned the meteor afterward); will it be obvious to us when we’re about to hit the point of no return?” Admittedly, the fact that FF7 has a billion sequels really takes the wind out of that ending…but, forget about those games. Best FF game, maybe not. But, it’s definitely my favorite storyline in an FF game for that reason…certainly not for Cloud’s soap opera-caliber drama.

deflate faster than my dick when watching an episode of Rosanne (which mind you is pretty damn fast, lol)…

Okay, but why do you get a boner and then go “Hmm, I should watch Rosanne”? lmfao

I always considered that the ending was trying to tie up one of the biggest loose ends of the game, which was how was the planet going to deal with Meteor again if the last of people capable of using Holy had died off during the events of the game. Then you see Red XIII and his grandkids pull up to the ruins of Midgar and wonder how he managed to have offspring when he was the last of his kind. Then you play through the game again till you get to the part where you’re saving Aeris from Shinra HQ and remember what goes down when you meet Red XIII. Then you get to Cosmo Canyon again and go “Oh goddammit.”.

Yeah, FFVII really loved its metaphors.

As for what will happen to the human race, my money’s on humanity’s final words being “Eureka! It’s working!!!”.

FFVII used to be one of my favorite games but a recent play through made me realize how badly it aged. It has potential for greatness with a remake, but I don’t know how far that would go because of how reticent SE has been to remake it (surprisingly) and how bad its “sequels” have been. All style, no substance.

FFVII was a product of its time and with all this said, it still broke a lot of ground and struck a lot of high notes. Unfortunately, the JRPG era mostly died with the PS1.

The theme to Cosmo Canyon is probably my favorite video game track ever, which is saying something. I played through FF7 and 8 a few year ago on my roommates PS3. 8 wasn’t my favorite at the time but in replaying it, I certainly appreciated it more. I still think the junction system was too easy to exploit, but whatever. Frankly it was a long game back then and now it feels a bit longer.

The one I didn’t really like is 9, and I was hoping to play that one through too but the roommate moved on.

I didn’t really consider it one of my favorites, even before my second playthrough, but otherwise I came to the same conclusion. The second half of Disk 1 was basically a SuperNES era JRPG where you have a vague goal and a bunch of areas that have little or nothing to do with that goal, save being between you and it. It also borrowed a lot of its structure/plot flow from FFs V and VI where the first half of the game is mostly globe-trotting while dealing with the Empire or whatever while bumping into/revisiting old issues that your party members have been carrying around, then you hit the half way mark and shit hits the fan due to the real villain finally putting his plan into motion, then the rest of the game is spent powering yourself up for the final battle while resolving your party’s remaining personal issues. Of course due to the limitations of technology, FFVII couldn’t pull the same formula off with the same impact as it’s immediate predecessors (essentially instead of watching the world merge with another/get blown up, you got a dead party member and a big red rock in the sky).

Also, the Materia combos present in the game were mostly backloaded in appearance and weren’t really all that useful. It’s also the one of the few FF games where your party’s stats matter the least (second to FFIV really), due to the lack of ways to influence them beyond crappy/rare stat boosters and Matiera. Cloud’s permanent residency within the party didn’t help either. Not helping matters either was the fact that the 9999 cap could easily be reached by both your HP and with your basic Attack command (even moreso than FFVI, and that was probably the easiest game in the series).

Also also, the first Wutari sidequest sucks since you’re forced to rely on rare/crappy items that you pretty much spent the game ignoring and which you will never need again after this.

I agree with you except for

While Disc 1 was certainly the low point (I especially didn’t love the snow sequence towards the end of it), you revisit virtually every location you’re introduced to on the first disc, so I think that has value. In that sense, they are hardly strung together in the manner you suggest. But it is the most boring “act”. Also I had never really considered how the stats don’t really matter. That’s an interesting observation, although outside of the simple idea of “level up, get better stats”, I’m not sure stats really matter in any of the Final Fantasy games. But I would suggest they do matter in FF7 to some degree. Equipping materia required a sacrifice in your stats and the more powerful the materia to more impactful it was. I found that when I got to boss fights, I would often remove materia that negatively affected my health or mp totals.

There’s a trick with stats in FF games that should still work in FF7: Your stats don’t actually go up every time the number increases. Your proficiency in any stat just gets more powerful every time you hit a multiple of 16. So, if you’re watching multiples of 16 as you equip Materia, you can game your stats to some extent. Unfortunately, if you equip a ton of Green/Red Materia, you’re still gonna wind up with like 10 max HP and die, so there’s no way of getting around that (except HP Plus Materia, I guess).

Not sure if this counts since I never played them originally. Mine was an N64 household back in the day so I missed a lot of PSX RPGs. Eventually on Sin’s advice I went back and played Legend of Mana, Vagrant Story and Xenogears, all of which have held up reasonably well despite some glaring flaws.

I ended up playing Symphony of the Night for the first time a couple of months ago, a long time after having played most of the other Castlevanias based on its template. Still a very good game even though it can feel choppier nowadays. I was thinking of FFVII a while ago due to the Steam sales (I still have the original PC version). I replayed it a second time a few years ago and even though its then-mouthdropping graphics look dismal and the writing could be better, it’s still fun and it’s still obvious it was an ambitious game. It was overrated of course (Zelda fo lyf), but it was always a very good game and it worked wonders for the popularity of JRPGs in the west. And the graphics were fantastic back in the day. It still has my second-favourite FF soundtrack.

I’ve heard very good things about FFXIV, but I dislike monthly subscriptions. Might still take the plunge at some point. Did anyone try it?