Gaiablocks wrote:Doesn't anyone feel like the super Nintendo-playstation 2 era had the absolute best rpg games? Breath of Fire, old Final Fantasy, Suikoden 1,2,3, Xenogears, Chrono Trigger, Wild Arms, etc. Those types of games were the best, with amazing story and music, that in my opinion blow away todays competition, minus the graphics.
I'll say that Square / Enix's golden years are definitely in the late 90s and early 2000s. After that, you need to branch out. The "Tales of" series is truly excellent... and the Tales games start becoming awesome around 6th Generation / Gamecube with Tales of Symphonia, and remain solid through Tales of Xillia on the PS3. You probably weren't looking at Bandai / Namco for a JRPG though... but its pretty good honestly.
There are a couple of one-offs. The "Valkyria Chronicles" series set in a WW2-esque era is a truly excellent Strategy JRPG. For those who enjoy hundred-hour grindfests with deep combat systems, the more lighthearted Disgaea series will more than satisfy your urge. Beyond that, recent years have had great titles. Studio Gibli's "Ni no Kuni". You've got Hironobu Sakaguchi's "The Last Story" (Hironobu created the Final Fantasy series, but left Square / Enix a long time ago). I've personally enjoyed portable games like Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (2008, 7th Generation game), and Fire Emblem: Awakening (2013, 8th Generation Video Game).
And as... erm... terrible... as the fanservice gets in "Record of Agarest War", I have never played a game with a more complicated combat system than that game. Its AI is great too. Beating "Record of Agarest War" is a mental exercise, as the game really requires an insane amount of planning per turn. Too bad it was a crappy grindfest filled with creepy fanservice shots, but its one of the better combat systems IMO. Honestly, mastery of the combat system will take you those hundreds of battles, dozens and dozens of hours. So the game's battle system basically stands on its own.
You just gotta step out of the Square / Enix mode around generation 6. Final Fantasy 10 was still good overall... but other companies began to offer better JRPG game experiences. Although... I've personally missed out on FF12, but people tell me that it is a "forgotten gem".
The "golden age" in the late 90s and early 2000s was when everyone
was playing JRPGs, and it was easy to talk to mainstream gamers to discover new JRPGs. Today, its more of a niche market. Mainstream has moved on to Call of Duty, League of Legends, WoW and so forth. You just gotta work harder today to find a good JRPG, because it seems like there are fewer people playing them and talking about them. But I'll bet you that modern titles like "The Last Story" or "Valkyria Chronicles" will go toe-to-toe with any JRPG from the past.
Heck, if you want a one-stop shop for JRPGs, just head over to XSeed Games. As Square/Enix USA got dismantled in 2004, XSeed Games developed as a company. XSeed basically rehired the old Square/Enix JRPG translators, and went to work translating the niche JRPGs as the mainstream market moved on to other games.
Xanthir wrote:If you don't have a minimap, people will get lost.
The mechanic of that series is that YOU DRAW THE MINIMAP
. The game's primary improvements across generations is just giving you more features on the minimap. Things like... conveyor belt arrow buttons
that automatically walk you through the game. (but these can only be laid out by the player... and only if you've drawn out the map)
The *entirety of all maps put together* in most SNES or PS1 RPGs generally covers less game-space than a single one of the major environments in DA:I, for example, often by a large amount.
Case in point. Here's the entirety of Super Metroid
, a game known for its large map in the 16-bit era. The Gold/Silver Map (including Johto / Kanto) is probably among the largest of all Pokemon games. But in the great scheme of things, its actually pretty small
I think people get like ~60 hours typically on Pokemon Gold/Silver (not speedrun... but about "normal pace"). So you can see that a small map can actually contain a good amount of variety. That said, there's something to be said about maps of this size. I honestly am not an explorer type, and often get lost in MMORPGs and a lot of the bigger RPGs like Skyrim. I just don't like playing those kinds of games. Not my taste.