Out of touch with RPGs.

Well, I haven’t quite finished Grandia 3, but I know I’m close, and to say that I wasn’t let down would be a complete, fucking, lie. But, instead of writing about how bad it is, I decided to reflect, instead. This is one of the many RPGs I’ve played in the last few months that I’ve just completely been disgusted by. As I look at the changes that have come with the industry and who makes the games, I realize there’s not a lot of hope for game series I once held dear.

  • Lunar doesn’t even use the original scenario writers anymore, and their last game was fucking atrocious. Working Designs has gone kaput and sold the Lunar rights to Ubi Soft, anyways, making me think that there’s no possible hope for a Lunar game with that old charm that captivated me long ago.

  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter was a GREAT game, and got mostly excellent reviews. I’ll hold by the fact that it was a great game until I die…however, I heard when it came out that it was gonna be the last one, and I have no reason not to believe that. Have you guys heard of ANY Breath of Fire related news lately? I suppose it’s good to end on a high note, but knowing that I’ll probably never see another game quite like it leaves me feeling kind of hollow.

  • I’m convinced that Grandia isn’t a good series. I think I only buy the games now because the composer is one of my favorite composers. All the games are entirely too fucking long, and strut their combat engine like it’s the fucking greatest fucking gift ever to grace RPG-dom.

  • Growlanser 2 and 3 were great, but again, WD is no longer in business; the chances of us seeing Growlanser 4, especially now that it’s been out for quite a long time, is pretty much zip.

  • Langrisser series is nice, but I’ve already beaten three of the five games, and there’s only five…not to mention they aren’t even in english.

  • The Xeno series fell apart after the very first fucking game. I don’t even wanna TALK about this.

  • Even the SaGa series, the series I once held as my favorite, has failed to deliver lately. The Romancing SaGa remake has the most incredible combat engine; however, its lack of any sort of solid plot makes it hard to care enough to push on. SaGa Frontier at least had neat, and even EXCITING things for your character to do, and all the scenarios were different. I’ve yet to see that happen again.

  • Not to mention various RPGs we’ll never see sequels to, like FFTactics, Chrono series, Vagrant Story, Parasite Eve, and the like.

I also looked at the series that are winding up these days, that I just don’t get, like Wild ARMS and Suikoden. These games just don’t do it for me. I heard the old Suikoden games were nice, but wish me luck if I ever wanna find them…Kingdom Hearts…yeah. I think KH might have been the most overrated RPG…EVER. I’m absolutely not looking forward to KH2. And the Tales and Star Ocean series, to me, are just plain ridiculous. Never very engaging in combat (fast, but boring still. what’s the deal?), and never very interesting in story. Almost every Tales game I’ve seen pans out and ends in the exact same way. And the series of various Nippon-Ichi strat RPGs? They’re ridiculous. La Pucelle might have been the worst TRPG I’ve EVER played, and from what I hear, they’re not getting any better.

I feel like RPGs haven’t left me a lot of choices…These are the only games I feel like I can look forward to, right now…

  • Shadow Hearts 3. The first game was one of my favorites on the PS2, and the second game was one of the biggest letdowns I’ve ever seen. This one will tell me where the series stands, I think.

  • A new Paper Mario game. I hope to GOD they make one. Fuck Mario and Luigi, I really don’t find those games to be interesting at all.

  • Children of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 4. The problem is, my love for the series is mostly within Legend of Mana, and I doubt we’ll see another game quite like that…

  • Phantasy Star Universe. Oh man, if this one delivers…that would be a nice way to revive a good series. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  • Final Fantasy 12. This one is usually my solid game. I can almost always count on FF to be good. FF10 and FF10-2 really restored my faith in the series since 8 and 9. 12 was produced by two different people, neither of them being the father of FF, Sakaguchi. While this doesn’t necesarily mean anything bad, I’m certainly curious about how it’ll turn out.

I feel like all of my favorite games have dropped out of the race, or are changing too drastically. Do I have unrealistic expectations of RPGs these days? Is the new market demanding something SO drastically different from what I’m used to, that I’ll have to struggle finding an RPG that I can enjoy from now on? Whatever the case, I’m beginning to feel like RPGs are less and less for me now. Anyone else feel this way?

Did you play Magna Carta? My word that game is terrible. I know the Japanese like to make their male characters feminine, but wow, that game took it to a new extreme.

It might just be me, but these new RPGs are just plain BORING! I’m sick of the same long winded story and slow moving battle system. They should at least find beter writers or translators. Japanese humor doesn’t really work in other countries.

I gotta agree with you on most of that, but i never knew you didn’t like FF9. That’s probably one of my favorite FF games, actually. I rather enjoyed the Mario and Luigi games, too. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if any new RPG series emerge that can compare to the older ones.

Yeah, I was interested in that game first, and then I heard from a GOOD review that the combat was slow. I was like “Yeah, I’d hate it. No dice.” I dunno. I really hope a new localization group a la Working Designs comes around. A lot of people disliked WD, but I think they really raised the bar for my expectations of RPG dialogue overall. I’m really hoping someone will step forward and be ballsy about their translations like WD did, in spite of what most angry bitter nerdy translation purists might have to say about them.

Btw, BMO, if you’ve never tried the original Shadow Hearts, you might like to try it. Very old school in execution, very short for a PS2 rpg (like 20 hours, 25 with all sidequests), and it can be really funny and engaging, too.

I’m in basically the same position, only I’m not yet dissapointed with the Romancing SaGa remake (although I’m maybe an hour in, so that might be the reason).

Also, it’s good to see another of the believers of Legend of Mana, the One True Seiken Densetsu faith. That was my favourite game for a long time, and it doesn’t have nearly the fans it deserves.

I dunno, I love the Mario and Luigi games. Paper Mario actually kind of sucks to me.

The only game I’m really, really looking forward to is Metal Gear Solid 4. And thats a looooong way away.

Sadly, Capcom has been completely silent about this. Then again, you know how Capcom is with sequels and the like, they may not do anything for years and suddenly decide to squeeze more money out of the saga. I consider the BoFIII PSP remake a good sign.

Yeah I know, XS2 was just painful. I’m still going to play XS3, but I’m terrified.


I agree, but maybe…

This is really depressing.

I have a feeling SG means Xenogears.

In the case that’s what he meant: XS1 had potential, it’d be unfair to judge it as a standalone when it was only the beginning of the story. Xenogears’ first parts weren’t that great either, it got good when you started receiving some answers.

For the record, before Working Designs fell, Game Arts was (practically) bought by Enix, who had the rights to all of the GA games. When Lunar: Legend was to be released on GBA, Enix actually gave WD the chance to translate it, and WD said that it wasn’t worth their time (and they were right). Thus, Ubi picked up the series. Which, really, is for the best, cause the games that Ubi did in the series were a total letdown.

Aside from that, I actually agree with you on a lot of it, though I’d change some of the individual game opinions. Frankly, I’m sick of seeing the same game over and over and over again. It seems that ever since the early PS1 era, RPG developers got this idea in their head that they could just keep re-using the same story. Few games have stood out at me lately (though there were three I enjoyed last year: SO3, Ys6, and DQ8), and there are few on the horizon that really whet my appetite.

The only RPG series I even pay any attention to now is the Megami Tensei series, and even they’re heading downhill.

I think KH might have been the most overrated RPG…EVER.

Agreed. I never saw the appeal and the battle system and shitty camera eventually resulted in me throwing up all over the place.

Shadow Hearts 3. The first game was one of my favorites on the PS2, and the second game was one of the biggest letdowns I’ve ever seen. This one will tell me where the series stands, I think.

I played the first Shadow Hearts game when it came out, and thought it was funny at times, but that was pretty much it. I found the judgement wheel to be obnoxious. The second one tried far too hard to be funny and failed. Again, I don’t see the appeal of this series – everyone raves about how awesome it is, but I don’t feel it. Of course, if I state my distaste for it, people get on my case.


The first one was awesome. Suikoden IV was just horrible, though. It was like playing Final Fantasy 1 – with the obnoxious amount of random battles and gimped out magic system. Honestly, the amount of random battles they throw at you coupled with how slow you move on the worldmap is ridiculous – what makes it even worse is you’ve got limited rune use, so, a few battles, or even a single battle, and you’re stuck to physical attacks.

I’d like to see Quintet make a comeback – I liked their SNES Action-RPGs. They seem to have dropped off the face of the planet, though. Closest thing we’ve got to a new Quintet is Level-5, as I’ve always considered Dark Cloud to be a sort of “spiritual successor” to Soul Blazer.

Yeah, I hear you, bro. Honestly, i’ve had a harder and harder time enjoying games for about two years now. After FFX, there have been fewer and fewer games that I dig. I mostly just play NWN now, at least I can download “new” games for it. I’m playing through some older RPGs on my GBA recently, and at least those still have most of their old flavor. I don’t find myself going to other genre’s like some people, i’m just pretty much done with games in general.

I didn’t like Shadow Hearts all that much. I have to agree that it’s been a long while since I played a new game that I really, truly enjoyed. Every new game I’ve played since 2001 has either been entirely bad (Star Ocean 3, Xenosaga 2), or has been a basically good game with enough annoying things about it to render it bad (Kingdom Hearts, Wild ARMs: ACF). I am looking forward to FF12 and KH2, but I’m not holding my breath thinking they’ll be unbelievable.

There are tons of good anime stories out there. Where are those writers when it comes to video games?

It has been the same for me (I think that is largely why DQ8 didn’t click with me). I’ve found myself liking American RPGs more though. They tend to be much more action oriented and have stats for more things making the character(s) much more customizable. They also too me seem to be more free roaming and less story, which gives it a little more replayablity. I’ve also taken to adventure games for a similar reason.

This is exclusively a console list, have you considered PC RPGs? Some of them are very old but there are definately some classics there.

I’ve just discovered a torrent of all the LucasArts games (point-and-click adventures). There are some real gems in there… Loom, the Monkey Island games, Sam and Max, The Dig… (well, that one’s not unbelievable, but it’s definitely interesting.) I just finished Monkey Island 3 and I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. :sunglasses:

“Theeere’s aaaaaa…
Monkey in my pocket,
and he’s stealing all my change.
His stare is blank and glassy,
I suspect that he’s deranged…” :smiley:

Monkey Island is one of the greatest graphical adventure series I’ve ever seen, and I definitely recommend it to everyone interested in the genre. The puzzles aren’t stupidly easy, but they aren’t stupidly hard either, and the cast is simply awesome. The Curse of Monkey Island (The 3rd game) is arguably the best, but mainly because of Murray.

Grim Fandango is not bad at all either, Manny kicks ass.

‘Mister Flores, I’m ready to take you now. . .’ Hell yes! I loved Grim Fandango!

Did you check out Tales of Symphonia? That one’s absolutely amazing, and it resparked my interest in RPGs.

“If you would learn and try to be like me, just look at what could happen to you!”

It may be different from yours because I had the mexican versions for both Fandango and Monkey Island (Both absolutely MAGNIFICENT), but it was the last scene in the third chapter :D. And the whole ending segment is awesome: “I am Calavera, and I want a bigger slide”.