Author Topic: Game Discussion  (Read 35314 times)

Ryan Baker

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Game Discussion
« on: April 17, 2013, 10:42:42 AM »
Let's talk about games! Our games, other people's games, triple-A and indie.

So let's kick this off by discussing our favorite Action RPGs..... OTHER than Zelda! (devilish smile).


Or you can try to define RPGs / Action RPGs, but that's a Sisyphean task (yet one which gives me fiendish analytical pleasure). You could make arguments that all kinds of games are "action" + "RPG" but I would tend to say that "Action RPG" should (or at least usually does) refer to Zelda-likes: action games, usually top-down in view (but not always), with some degree of character progression, usually requiring inventory item use, and manual exploration (no point-to-point map navigation). But most importantly these mechanics occur in a true action-game mode: you press an action button that has an immediate, direct effect - unlike Diablo-likes which are more indirect and timer-driven. But you could sort of extend that definition to Darksiders (which I think is valid) and even Borderlands (less so, it's a *shooter* first and an RPG second... but it does have "action" if you wanted to stretch it). As with all definitions of multi-faceted subjects, there is really no clean way to divide up genres in any strict way.


Some of my favorite Action RPGs:
Rolan's Curse (GameBoy) - probably the first action RPG I ever played. It's like a very slow Zelda, but I really like the fact that you only have 2 inventory slots for weapons / items. There weren't many to choose from, but my favorites (and I would grind and hunt to get them) were the magic rod and the crystal, both projectile weapons. The music is actually really good, too.
• Final Fantasy Adventure (GameBoy) - This is actually the first (gasp!) Secret of Mana (Seiken Densetsu) game. And... probably the best. I went on a podcast last night and (another gasp!) said that I thought SNES SoM had not stood the test of time extremely well. But FFA really made me fall in love with giving players all kinds of weapon types. The Flail was awesome. I need to go back and play that soon.
• Lunar Knights (Nintendo DS) - By Hidea Kojima of all people! Sequel to the 2 Boktai games on GBA (GameBoy Advance). The graphics are really great and interesting - pure top-down tileset, but at a 45-degree angle. I haven't gotten super far in the game, and all of the crazy systems are a bit off-putting at first, but it's a really solid game with amazing art.

Interesting list of Action RPGs appears on this site run by Jeremy Parish (ex-EGM and 1UP). Most inclusions I agree with, some I do not. http://www.telebunny.net/toastywiki/index.php/TwoD/ActionRPG
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 10:52:16 AM by Ryan Baker »

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TheLazyGeek

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 11:20:33 AM »
I remember FFA back when I had to steal my friend's gameboy to play it.  It was a fun game and I like going back to it every so often, but it does show its age.  HOWEVER, Secret of Mana is my favorite of the Mana series simply because Falcor Flammie.

Daggerfall and beyond in the Elder Scrolls series would be my favorite dungeon-crawl ARPG.  Not much to say about them because it's The Elder Scrolls.

And I'd be miffed if I didn't talk about how many quarters I threw into Gauntlet Legends machines way back when I was around an arcade.  Not a fan of the sequals, but at least the N64 and Dreamcast ports were awesome so I got more milage out of the game with my brother.  Also, "Blue Valkyrie is about to die!"

Other than that, I'm submitting that The Guardian Legend totally counts as an ARPG even though it has shmup sections.  It's top-down parts are much like Zelda but with guns and laser beams!  The game is such an under-appreciated gem back from the NES days of gaming and it has one of the best soundtracks ever. 
It's the stuff of legends
.

See what I did there?

Doomspeaker

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 11:42:22 AM »
The Boktai series actually has 3 games. The third was available as japanese only release. Good thing there's a translation patch for it. ^^


Sword of Mana: People tend to forget about this little gem quite often. It's the quasi successor of Secret of Mana. It a wide range of spells and weapons (and all of them played quite different) lot of things to do and a nice story. It really needs to be mentioned more often

The newer Castlevania titles (Metroidvanias) : I just love these games! They feature a level up system, but will never require the player to grind. Castlevania features beautiful sprites and some of the best boss designs I have ever seen in games. (Check out http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/Legion. No seriously look at that thing. Isn't it just sick?). I would love to pick one game out of them but I simply can't

Metroid Prime(it's a bit of a stretch here) :The best entry of the Metroid series up to date. Maybe the best first person game of the last decade. They even got Andrew Jones as concept artist on board.


Not an SRPG but I urgently need to mention it:Final Fantasy Tactics Advance!
This game up to this day continues to inspire me. With tons of classes and abilities this game is a pure goldmine of ideas. I have 4 full fledged board games at home which were more or less a product of me coming up with ideas while playing the game.



Coby

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 11:50:00 AM »

Crystalis, Illusion of Gaia, Soul Blazer
Honorable mentions: Willow (hated it as a kid, enjoying it as an adult), Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (cute, quirky, odd, but quite fun)



Other than that, I'm submitting that The Guardian Legend totally counts as an ARPG even though it has shmup sections.  It's top-down parts are much like Zelda but with guns and laser beams!  The game is such an under-appreciated gem back from the NES days of gaming and it has one of the best soundtracks ever.  It's the stuff of legends.



The Guardian Legend fits to me - and in a similar vein, I really liked Fester's Quest and Blaster Master. Since the latter is half vehicular platforming, it's a bit of a stretch. But I don't care :)

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Dynimix

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 11:51:33 AM »
I am a huge fan of the action RPG genre!! I have proved that a few times over I think.  ;) I guess I will jump over the isometric side of things and list a few of the Action RPGs that I like:

Titan Quest
Torchlight Series
Diablo Series
Kingdoms of Amalur
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing

There is also a very large list of action RPGs here:

http://arpgamer.com/arpg-index/?orderby=title&order=asc&gdsr_order=asc

Dave

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 12:16:18 PM »
I watched my uncle beat the last boss of Willow when I was younger. Strange that I had the patience to get through Zelda 1 (both quests), but couldn't get into Willow.

I played a lot of Diablo 2. A lot. Diablo 3 was alright, but the auction house kind of ruined the whole looting aspect of the game so it didn't last.

Have you guys checked out "Evoland" on Steam? It goes through the history of the action rpg. each time you find a chest, it unlocks a new advancement in the genre. So for example, you could find a chest that gives freedom of movement any direction, then you find a sword, then monsters, then sound effects, etc. It's very short, but go check out some videos to get the idea.

Dynimix

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 12:30:35 PM »
I really like the concept of Evoland and it is on my too-play list, but I have yet to give it a play.

TheLazyGeek

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 12:38:28 PM »

The Guardian Legend fits to me - and in a similar vein, I really liked Fester's Quest and Blaster Master. Since the latter is half vehicular platforming, it's a bit of a stretch. But I don't care :)

Bah, how could I forget Blaster Master?!  And it totally counts if The Guardian Legend fits.  Both were games that combined popular genres to make great games.

I really like the concept of Evoland and it is on my too-play list, but I have yet to give it a play.

I'm in the same boat;  I've looked at it but have yet to give it an honest try. 

Heradite

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 12:48:15 PM »
Evoland sounds too much like a gimmick game for it to appeal to me.

I've been a big fan of RPGs my whole life (action or turn-based). I'm currently playing through Divine Divinity and am enjoying it. Dragon Age: Origins was also a really good game I liked-although it's sequel was pretty terrible.  Fable is a pretty good game as well and I like the Elder Scrolls series. I love to the Mass Effect series (and KOTOR).

I know I've listed mainly 3D games but I like 2D ones as well. The Pokemon series remains one of the best RPG series of all times-it's the game that introduced me to the RPG genre as a whole. Well that and Final Fantasy: Legend II. I have played the original Zelda and a few other classics and I've enjoyed them.

I'm not just a fan of RPGs though. As long as it's not horror (tried playing original Silent Hill but I was so freaked out by the time I hit my first monster that I just couldn't continue) or musical rhythm (I have none!), I tend to like all kinds of games.

Dave

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 01:03:45 PM »
Evoland sounds too much like a gimmick game for it to appeal to me.

You're not wrong. It's totally gimmicky and probably a bit overpriced for it's length. I found it a nice story about how the genre changed over time. In that sense, it's neat. It will undoubtedly go on a Steam sale at some point so waiting isn't a horrible idea.

Ryan Baker

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 01:22:11 PM »
The Boktai series actually has 3 games. The third was available as japanese only release. Good thing there's a translation patch for it. ^^

You have one-upped me, sir. I feel like I once knew there was a 3rd game, but have begun to lose my encyclopedic console RPG knowledge.
Sword of Mana: People tend to forget about this little gem quite often. It's the quasi successor of Secret of Mana. It a wide range of spells and weapons (and all of them played quite different) lot of things to do and a nice story. It really needs to be mentioned more often

But now I shall one-up you a bit: Sword of Mana is actually a remake of Seiken Densetsu 1 (aka Final Fantasy Adventure). I'm a huge fan of the Sword of Mana / Legend of Mana art style. Legend of Mana would probably be in my top 10 for beautifully painted 2D games.
The newer Castlevania titles (Metroidvanias) : I just love these games! They feature a level up system, but will never require the player to grind. Castlevania features beautiful sprites and some of the best boss designs I have ever seen in games. (Check out http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/Legion. No seriously look at that thing. Isn't it just sick?). I would love to pick one game out of them but I simply can't


I think my favorites are Dawn of Sorrow, then Order of Ecclesia, then Symphony of the Night... but I missed SotN back in the day, and need to dig into it more since it's widely regarded as the best.
Not an SRPG but I urgently need to mention it:Final Fantasy Tactics Advance!
This game up to this day continues to inspire me. With tons of classes and abilities this game is a pure goldmine of ideas. I have 4 full fledged board games at home which were more or less a product of me coming up with ideas while playing the game.

We need to eventually make a separate thread all about Tactics/Strategy RPGs! It is my favorite genre. I am the biggest FFT fan ever (though I prefer the PSOne original to the FFTA "Advance" series). BUT - this is the series that inspired my love of character classes and character design. I regularly look at my strategy guides and art books and get inspired by Akihiko Yoshida's work, and the Square design teams' character concepts. I vastly prefer the class-based FF games in general.

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2013, 01:34:09 PM »
Dark Souls! In my opinion, the best kind of Action RPGs are the ones you can beat at lvl 1. (Or at least the lowest level possible.) Dark Souls does this. I actually much prefer doing gimmick runs in it, because despite how hard people claim it is the skill cap goes much higher and it becomes easy(ish). No shield, bow only no locking on, and magic only no estus are a few of my favorites.


The other Action RPG I love dearly is...
The newer Castlevania titles (Metroidvanias) : I just love these games! They feature a level up system, but will never require the player to grind. Castlevania features beautiful sprites and some of the best boss designs I have ever seen in games. (Check out http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/Legion. No seriously look at that thing. Isn't it just sick?). I would love to pick one game out of them but I simply can't
Bingo. Minus the really new ones because I think they've been going down hill since Order of Ecclesia sadly. (Not really Metroidvanias anymore nowadays.)
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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2013, 01:41:21 PM »
Dark Souls!
This has quickly become one of my favorite games of recent years. Outside of that Castlevaniaand Sword of Mana are good ones from my childhood I'll always cherish.

Dave

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 01:47:25 PM »
Dark Souls! In my opinion, the best kind of Action RPGs are the ones you can beat at lvl 1. (Or at least the lowest level possible.) Dark Souls does this. I actually much prefer doing gimmick runs in it, because despite how hard people claim it is the skill cap goes much higher and it becomes easy(ish). No shield, bow only no locking on, and magic only no estus are a few of my favorites.

Oh yes. Dark Souls and Demons Souls. I finished up my Dark Souls level 1 playthrough about a month ago. So much fun.

Draithix

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Re: Game Discussion
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2013, 01:48:27 PM »
Dark Souls!

...and Demon's Souls are easily my favorite action RPGs of all time.

The torchlight series and Diablo II are also amazing, though.

 

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