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-   -   Recommended jRPGs thread (and other japanese PC games) (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20445)

felipepepe May 19th, 2013 02:30

Recommended jRPGs thread (and other japanese PC games)
 
So, since RPG Watch doesn't enforce a jRPG apartheid and has a smaller and (reportedly) tigher community than the Codex, I decided to create a thread for jRPG/japanese PC games recommendations. The idea here is to avoid obvious games, like Chrono Trigger, and focus on hidden gems.

Since most people here seem to be Lawfull Master Race citizens, I'll try to keep this to legaly adquirable PC games, ok? But feel free to post anything you find worthy of attention. ;)

Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale



A very unique game, you're the owner of a item shop in a typical RPG city, and must not only price and sell items for the adventurers, but also finance their expeditions inside dungeos in search of loot to be sold. When inside dungeons, you controll the adventurers in a top-down real-time dungeon-crawler. Very fun game, available on Steam.

Fortune Summoners: Secret of the Elemental Stone



A real-time side-scrolling action-rpg, where you control a group of girls, each with its speciality, like Water Magic or Mellee combat, and can freely switch between then to solve puzzles and defeat monsters. Don't let the visuals fool you, it's a very hard game. Also available on Steam.

Labyrinth of Touhou



Fan-made game derived from that ah… thing that is the Touhou project, this one is a turn-based party-based dungeon-crawler, with insane dungeon maps and difficulty. Only for those able to handle extreme challenges and DESU-levels. Available (and already patched to english) here.

Ys: Origin



Prequel to the entire Ys series, it's a convoluted action-rpg, with 2 protagonists (actually 3), nice graphics and great & challenging boss battles. Also on Steam.

Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden



Not really a jRPG, but a parody of them, staring the adventures of Mr. Charles Barkley, the basketball player that threw the world into a post-apocalyptic chaos after performing a "chaos dunk". Short, sweet and free, I highly recommend this one. Download it here.

NON-RPG GAMES:

Kara no Shoujo



A great detective visual-novel. You're a policemen in 50's Tokyo, trying to solve a series of murders. Tons of text and little gameplay, but you're offered many choices thru the game and have to choose place you'll visit and things you'll ask people. It features fantastic artwork, good story and multiple endings, most of them extremely grim… Sadly it also features some hentai scenes, that doesn't fit the game or the story much, but are a minor downpoint in a great game. Available here.

fadedc May 19th, 2013 04:03

I've played Recettear and Labyrinthe of Tahou. Reccetear is an interesting game, it was fun for awhile being on the other end of the item shop, overcharging for things and buying them back for much less when people wanted to sell them. It's not a great game by any stretch, it does a lot of things wrong. But still, it's pretty unique and worth checking out.

Labyrinthe of Tahou is an interesting game. Very cutsey anime, but that doesn't bother me as much. Some of the boss fights are brilliantly brutal and would destroy me over and over until I finally had an ah-ha moment and figured out the right strategy (which would still only barely work). Unfotunately the rest of the game isn't as great as the boss fights, the dungeon levels are huge but bland and filled with empty corridors and endless repetitive wandering monsters. Eventually not even the amazing boss fights could keep me interested.

felipepepe May 19th, 2013 04:52

Yeah, one of the things I like most in jRPGs are the weird ideas and new concepts they bring into the genre. Usually there is always something impressive and very well done, although it is somewhat common for other aspects to be less polished and the game not holding up well during the entire playthrough…

HiddenX May 19th, 2013 10:29

Recettear: Capitalism, HO! - I like this game, but I still have to play this to the end. -> recommended!

HiddenX May 19th, 2013 10:47

A very good freeware jRPG IMHO is Byteria Saga - Heroine Iysayana

Zloth May 21st, 2013 03:56

Oh, sounds like time to semi-recommend Last Remnant again! I'm right at 499 hours, so it seems a good time. ;)

Let's get the ugly out of the way first. It's a console port and Square Enix got pretty lazy with the mouse implementation. You can't even use your mouse on the main menu! You can use it to turn in-game, though, so the actual playing of the game works pretty well with mouse and keyboard. You can play it with a controller, too, of course.

While the I/O department dropped the ball on the port, the game designers sure didn't. The game has been heavily rebalanced and all the DLC for the Xbox version has been rolled into the game proper. What's more, the game actually fits on a PC. The Xbox version had a terrible time with memory and would often have to load up animations and effects before many battle moves. Some bad texture pop-ins still can cause you some pain but a few quick tweaks to the ini files should take care of most of them.

The battle system is the big question in this game. It's a turn based system but, by the end of the game, you've got 18 characters in your party. Telling each one exactly what to do each round would be a nightmare! Instead, you divide your characters into squads (up to 5 by the end) then give those squads more general commands like "heal that squad" or "attack that squad with mystic arts". The list of commands is pretty short and depends on a number of factors, including what leader you pick for the squad.

The system is pretty complex, too. You can't just all gang up on one target then keep moving to the next one and hope to do well in this game. You've got to figure out what to gang up on and what just needs to be pinned down in a deadlock. Or maybe you would like to try and keep one squad out of fray so they can heal squads that get pounded. Of course, the more squads you have the smaller those squads have to be which makes them easier to bring down… except against AoE powers which actually work better against big unions… and so on and so forth.

There's also a morale system. If things start to go bad in a battle, morale will drop which tends to make things go even worse. Conversely, if they go well you'll find your characters hitting harder and dodging more, which will improve morale even more. You'll find that you have to keep your eye on the morale bar just as much as your hit point bars.

Here's a battle video that shows it all working together.

Enemy encounters are all visible in the 3D world. You're given the ability to tag several encounters if you want to group them all into one big battle. This is actually a really handy thing. If you're in an area where the enemies aren't that much of a challenge, just link a bunch of them together at once. You'll be rewarded with better loot but, best of all, you'll actually have a challenging battle instead of a snore job.

There are a lot of skill trees in the game, though each tree is linear (so more like skill poles, I guess). Advancement is done by learning, which adds yet another dimension to the battle system. Do you finish that enemy off quick or do you play with them a bit to get some extra practice in?

While the battle system is nicely (IMHO) complex, the game actually does a pretty poor job of telling you about it. You'll put 5 characters into a trident formation and you'll be told they are in Trident 3 formation, while 5 other characters just get Trident 1. Why? No clue. You'll see in the rewards screen that a character has changed class from scout to bishop. Why? No clue. What does a bishop do that a scout can't? No clue. David wants some "superior cotton", where can you find that? Umm… I think I saw some a few days ago… somewhere? There are quite a few examples like this and I believe they may have been a big cause for low review scores for this game.

Enter the Wikia pages! Some games get mods to spruce them up, this one just got a truckload of documentation. Here's your trident formation info and here's the low down on superior cotton. This would also be where you find the above mentioned ini tweaks to minimize the texture pop-in. There's some Steam guides, too, written by some fanboi with too much time on his hands.

The story is always a big deal in JRPGs and unfortunately this one is a bit so-so. It has some good parts and even some political intrigue but it also has a main character that's about as dumb as a box of rocks. The mix of modern day language and fantasy can be pretty weird at times (I even switched to Japanese voices for a time just to avoid it) but it grew on me. Eventually. Overall the story is enough to keep you going but it isn't memorable.

The game is on Steam for $10 and I'm pretty sure you can find it plenty of other places, too.

P.S. The idiotic main character's name is Rush and all the squads are actually called unions. I smell liberalism! ;)

Dr. A May 21st, 2013 08:35

Grandia II which was on Dreamcast then later ported (rather lazily) to PC was a very fun turn-based action JRPG. The tactical combat was a huge part of the gameplay and made every fight varied and entertaining.


JDR13 May 21st, 2013 09:11

My physical reaction to this thread —> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-NrPOMBKnw

;)

Dr. A May 21st, 2013 10:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDR13 (Post 1061198762)
My physical reaction to this thread —> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-NrPOMBKnw

;)

Well, I doubt JRPGs will appeal to you. You might find them a bit too tough. May I suggest Facebook games instead? :P

Fnord May 21st, 2013 12:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. A (Post 1061198759)
Grandia II which was on Dreamcast then later ported (rather lazily) to PC was a very fun turn-based action JRPG. The tactical combat was a huge part of the gameplay and made every fight varied and entertaining.

I remember playing that game, but the only thing I really remember about it was the voice acting (it was actually rather bad, even by JRPG-standards)

joxer May 21st, 2013 13:39

I remember Grandia2 music. In one word:
Unbloodybealievable.

wolfing May 21st, 2013 13:56

My favorite RPG of all time (or at least one of the top 3) is actually a jRPG… Suikoden 3. Reaching the end I didn't want to play it because I knew I would miss it once I finished it.

Scrav May 22nd, 2013 12:01

I like a lot of console JRPGs, but I can't think of a PC JRPG that I would rave about - most seem to be average at best.

Couchpotato May 22nd, 2013 12:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfing (Post 1061198802)
My favorite RPG of all time (or at least one of the top 3) is actually a jRPG… Suikoden 3. Reaching the end I didn't want to play it because I knew I would miss it once I finished it.

I recommended every Suikoden game. It's a pity the franchise is dead now.

Most good JRPG's are on handheld devices now anyway. I can't recall that many on any consoles this generation except a few in the last couple of years.

felipepepe May 22nd, 2013 15:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Couchpotato (Post 1061199021)
Most good JRPG's are on handheld devices now anyway. I can't recall that many on any consoles this generation except a few in the last couple of years.

Yesh, the DS is the quintessential jRPG platform, but the PS3 had some nice stuff, like Valkyria Chronicles, Atelier Totori, Disgaea 3 & 4, Rune Factory, FF XIII/XIII-2, Dragon's Dogma, the Souls games…

Still, is extremely lacking for a console that's been around for so long… and there are way too many japaneses-only releases…

Fluent May 22nd, 2013 16:29

Suikoden 3 was fantastic. 1 and 2 were great, too, but I adored 3.

I would highly recommend Lost Odyssey to any fan of RPGs (not only JRPG fans, but RPG fans in general). One of the best games I've played in the genre. I loved it.

I would also recommend another game from Mistwalker, Blue Dragon. Very good game as well.

These games aren't for PC that I know of, but for the Xbox 360. They are very cheap too. I paid less than $10 for each of them, used of course.

Happy gaming!

fadedc May 22nd, 2013 22:33

Does the DS/3DS still do RPGs? For awhile my DS was RPG heaven, but it seemed like around the time that the 3DS came out, the RPGs (and games in general) just dried up completely. Was very disapointing. I know that a lot of games moved to the online store though, which I didn't necesarily keep up with.

I'd also have a hard time coming up with a PC JRPG that I'd really recomend. The ones I've enjoyed the most have mosty been on DS, with some console.

Quote:

Originally Posted by felipepepe (Post 1061199040)
Yesh, the DS is the quintessential jRPG platform, but the PS3 had some nice stuff, like Valkyria Chronicles, Atelier Totori, Disgaea 3 & 4, Rune Factory, FF XIII/XIII-2, Dragon's Dogma, the Souls games…

Still, is extremely lacking for a console that's been around for so long… and there are way too many japaneses-only releases…


Dr. A May 23rd, 2013 03:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by fadedc (Post 1061199126)
Does the DS/3DS still do RPGs? For awhile my DS was RPG heaven, but it seemed like around the time that the 3DS came out, the RPGs (and games in general) just dried up completely. Was very disapointing. I know that a lot of games moved to the online store though, which I didn't necesarily keep up with.

I'd also have a hard time coming up with a PC JRPG that I'd really recomend. The ones I've enjoyed the most have mosty been on DS, with some console.

I'm not a fan of Nintendo but the 3DS definitely carries on the tradition of great handheld JRPGs. The latest and greatest RPG is Fire Emblem Awakening. It's getting rave reviews so you should definitely check it out.

fadedc May 23rd, 2013 03:32

I'm not a huge Fire Emblem fan, are there any others that I should look for?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. A (Post 1061199187)
I'm not a fan of Nintendo but the 3DS definitely carries on the tradition of great handheld JRPGs. The latest and greatest RPG is Fire Emblem. It's getting rave reviews so you should definitely check it out.


felipepepe May 23rd, 2013 04:10

Most stuff are still japan-only, but there is Etrian Odissey IV and the SMT: Devil Summoner port now.

I'm still waiting for that fabled second version of the 3DS, and untl them more jRPGs should be released and/or translated… incluiding that awesome looking new Pokémon. :3


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