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  #421  
Old 06-16-2017, 11:14 AM
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Half-Life 2 showed me that FPSes were not something to dismiss out of hand. It showed me that FPSes could be more than a series of intense firefights, with its impeccable atmosphere, propensity for quiet moments, and an incredible amount of gimmicks and creativity on display. It is maybe a bit overlong, but that's something I can overlook for something so ambitious— and successful.
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  #422  
Old 06-16-2017, 11:24 AM
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I was enjoying Valkyria Chronicles, but I still need to get back to it and beat it. Great motif, music, graphical style and character design. I like the gameplay a lot too, but as noted it does prioritize speed, which is not something I am playing this for.
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  #423  
Old 06-16-2017, 12:12 PM
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I want to write a little bit more extensively about VC considering I was the other guy who ranked it that high, but right now I'm trying to get by at work on like 4 hours of sleep so I'll probably wait a while until I'm feeling more alert and mentally present.
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  #424  
Old 06-16-2017, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirin View Post
I was keeping an eye on the sort-of-spinoff Valkyria Revolution for a while but it kind of fell off the radar. But apparently it came out in Japan in January and is releasing here at the end of this month. Anyone heard any verdicts on whether it's actually good?
I haven't heard much, but what I've heard isn't good. Apparently V-Rev isn't even in the "average RPG" category, where it might be a passable diversion while waiting for an actual Valkyria Chronicles game. Instead, it's supposed to be a below average RPG which also completely misses the point of Valkyria Chronicles. Sega from 2008 should really have a word with whoever's running the shop these days.
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  #425  
Old 06-16-2017, 01:58 PM
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Half-Life 2 is excellent. I've played it 4 or 5 times and it feels totally new and fresh every time. Such a well-thought-out sandbox of a game.

I just wish they had released HL2E3!

Ravenholm was one of my favorite parts; it contributes well to the atmospheric storytelling, as you can imagine the Combine firing juuuuust a bit too many headcrab rockets at areas they don't like until, whoops, turned the whole town into zombies. It's a great play-with-the-gravity-gun introduction, too, just when it's needed.
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  #426  
Old 06-16-2017, 02:48 PM
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HL2 is the kind of guided experience that a lot of other developers have tried and failed to accomplish. It doesn't really have much of a tutorial, and you don't even have to follow some of its rules. Like when the Combine guy tries to make you throw away this empty can he knocks down, you can throw it at him and piss him off. It's definitely not perfect, but it's a great game that's influenced pretty much every single player FPS to come since.

I like Valkyria Chronicles a lot, but I never finished it. I actually think I should restart it someday. I do wish it rewarded something other than rushing through the stages, though.
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  #427  
Old 06-16-2017, 03:12 PM
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i enjoyed valkyria chronicles a lot, but it's hard for me not to say that a lot of the game's potential is lost due to the more abusable parts of the design. it's not nearly a total loss; there are a few truly great levels still, and even a couple where you can do fun things by stacking turns on characters who aren't scouts (my fondest memory was one level where i ran a trooper behind a tank parked on the street and just ground a million bullets into the back of it). plus i do find the perimeter scouting pretty fun still. but i still just can't look back on it and not feel the game still could've been SO much more

the story's not really that interesting overall but i do think there's a couple of terrific scenes. as a vegetarian the skit or whatever where the giant lancer dude gets super pumped for vegetables and mixed metaphors has stuck in my mind for years
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  #428  
Old 06-16-2017, 03:53 PM
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Valkyria Chronicles is another one that just barely missed my list. Loved it a whole lot, it's a very interesting take on strategy games.

Half-Life 2 is great, but ultimately shooters just don't stick with me much.
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  #429  
Old 06-16-2017, 04:33 PM
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Something I couldn't quite work into the main post, but I'm pretty sure Ravenholm was a huge influence for the people that designed Rapture.
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  #430  
Old 06-16-2017, 07:57 PM
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I can't post at work, so I've missed a bunch.

TTYD is my fave Mario RPG because imo the writing is most tops in this one. The amount of character stuffed in the world is insane, I especially love how each villager has their own little story and show up in the throughout the game from time to time (Like the amaze-o pirate chapter).

Valkyria Chronicles is mad dope. I love the ideas, the aesthetic and the dumb anime world. Alicia runs mad fast so she's sick. That dude who does headshots with a sniper has a quote that I'll remember for a little bit at a time and then forget and it makes me feel like I'm losing my sanity sometimes.

Uuhhhh...

FFX is pretty cool. Sphere grid is fun and Jecht is jacked as hell.
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  #431  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:17 PM
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I still remember my dad taking 14 hours to kill one of those beasts from that monster maker in the Calm Lands. He was obsessed with the side quests.
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  #432  
Old 06-16-2017, 10:15 PM
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I like Half-Life 2 but I came to it too late, i.e. on the Orange Box after playing Portal. Coming to it that way, it's like, why isn't this game %100 about the gravity gun? And obviously the answer is because game physics had to get a lot better before that was possible, as the silly see-saw puzzles demonstrate. Still, you get to propel saw blades through zombies.

I would have loved Valkyria Chronicles if I'd had it when I had all the time in the world to waste on video games. But it was so time consuming, and it did that Advance Wars thing where you kind of have to fail at a level once to figure out how to beat it. And the story, as far as I got, was boring as butter on toast. Love the art style, though.
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  #433  
Old 06-17-2017, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanagi View Post
I like Half-Life 2 but I came to it too late, i.e. on the Orange Box after playing Portal. Coming to it that way, it's like, why isn't this game %100 about the gravity gun?
It can be like 90% about the gravity gun, if you want it to be. They hid tons of stuff you can pick up and throw at Combine soldiers to kill them after you leave Ravenholm, and you can even pick up and throw grenades or the pulse rifle's plasma ball thing.

That's the beauty of the game for me. It feels like it's a straightforward shooter with impeccable level design, but there's a lot of cool stuff hidden within those levels that isn't just loads of powerups.

Half-Life 1 is the same, but IMO better, but it's also a 90s game.
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  #434  
Old 06-17-2017, 08:35 AM
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#34


"Just one more turn..." - Every Civ Player Ever

Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Platforms: Windows, OSX, Linux
Release: September 21, 2010 (NA), September 24, 2010 (EU)
167 Points, 6 Votes, Highest Rank: #6 (ThornGhost)




Sometimes it feels like we really can only blame Sid Meier for the explosion of freemium "strategy" mobile games. He laid the template of terribly addictive worldbuilding for the moneygrabbers to format to their own purposes.

Obviously that's not entirely fair. The Civilization games are incredibly deep experiences, easy to learn but nearly impossible to master, whereas if you scratch Game of War enough it's pretty shallow.

The fifth entry in the series brought a lot of interesting changes. The first thing you notice is that the breadth of choices you have as to what peoples you want to start with. I'll tell you, getting to lead an advanced Iriquois nation against a snooty, confrontational England and obliterating them handily was one of the most satisfying experiences I've ever had in a game. The next thing is that Barbarians are much more of a thing. Where they might take out a few Scouts here and there in Civ 4, in this game they will straight-up raid you and capture your citizens and workers. Describing how much more streamlined building and research are would take more words than I'm willing to spend here. Really, the only thing I didn't like about V compared to its predecessor is that you can't stack military units. Having knights and artillery both garrisoned in your city was some wonderfully anachronistic stuff. Still, having only one unit per city makes you think more strategically. Do I move my Infantry out to deal with those Barbarians, or am I in a tenuous enough position that losing those Workers is less of a blow that what could happen to my city? The game also has many more upgrades and research options, though one wonders if one needed any more than one already had in 4. Still, 4 and 5 tend to be different enough experiences that we're not exactly comparing Madden games here.

Looking back at the series, the first game is very hard to play if you didn't start with it way back in the early 90s. The second game was better, but it also needs nostalgia goggles to be fully appreciated. 3 was where the series really found its footing, but it pales in comparison to its later bretheren. 6 just hasn't been around long enough to evaluate. So it comes down to 4 and 5, really.

In the end though, Civ 5 made enough great changes from the already celebrated 4 that it is the series' representative in our top 50 games of the century. And while 4 is my deep-down favorite, 5 is always there, whispering in my ear those three important words: "Giant Death Robot".

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  #435  
Old 06-17-2017, 08:35 AM
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#33


"Evoking symbols and motifs that connect us to our deeper selves, they can help us along the heroic journey of our own lives." - Joseph Campbell

Developer: thatgamecompany
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: Playstation 3
Release: March 13, 2012 (NA), March 14, 2012 (EU), March 15, 2012 (JP)
168 Points, 7 Votes, Highest Rank: #2 (Karzac)




When talking about Rez I mentioned wholly unique game experiences, and Journey is certainly one. It doesn't fit the traditional mode. There is no fail state except to turn it off before finishing it. That has lead some people to call it "not even a game", a common refrain for anything that isn't a brown-and-gray military shooter or MMO. I guess I can't begrudge people who want pulse-pounding challenge from every game they play not wanting to bother with this one, but still, they are missing out.

Because what Journey is, more than anything, is an experience. You can do it alone, offline, or you can meet up with other players and help each other out. Either way, the... person, for lack of a better word, that you play as is ultimately on their own.

Journey is a great experience, but it is more fuflilling the less you know going into it. The game is five years old at this point, so avoiding spoilers is fairly difficult I assume. If you can though, keep unspoiled until you can play it. The one thing one could speak of without spoiling is, of course, the aesthetics. Journey is one of the most gourgeous games, both aurally and visually, that have ever graced a screen. A prime example is how the sand is implemented in the desert scenes. It is, for all intents and purposes, sand. In certain situations, though, as it flows down a hill or, in one area, when the player character surfs down it like a skislope, it flows like water. The effect blows my mind every time I see it. The architecture is amazing, too. It is appropriately mysterious, beckoning the player. The music...

Well, listen for yourself.

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  #436  
Old 06-17-2017, 08:39 AM
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Don't really have anything to add there. Journey was my #2, but it easily could have been #1. My top 5 are all basically equivalent in my love for them.
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  #437  
Old 06-17-2017, 09:01 AM
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Journey was, and is, one of the most effecting experiences I've had in the medium. I have a lot of memories and stories about the time I spent with the game, but this is the one that best sticks out in my mind:

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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
One of my favourite times in Journey is when I was playing the penultimate level with another fellow and we came to a big, windcurrent jump leading to a high platform. The other player made it, but I bumbled and missed the platform at the end. The other player shouted. I readied myself and tried again, only to fail that time too— prompting another shout. I made the jump on my third try, but all the while felt kind of bad about it, like I was letting my friend down. When I made it to the top, the other player was still waiting for me, and I noticed this was actually the end of the level. The other player could have gotten fed up with me and advanced without me at any time, but he chose to patiently wait for me to make it up there with them (and no, this wasn't the first player I met in this run, so there was no achievement on the line). It recontextualized the whole thing— suddenly, those shouts weren't "get a move on", but "you can do it"— and it gave me this real sense of camaraderie with this fellow.

It comes across a bit cheesy when I relay the story, and honestly, maybe it is. But it felt really special in the moment, which is more than I can say about most games.
I had it at #12. In retrospect that may be a bit low.
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  #438  
Old 06-17-2017, 09:04 AM
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I've played a whole ton of Civ 5 and loved it immensely. I haven't been quite as grabbed by Civ 6 yet, but we'll see if that changes once the first expansion comes out. After all, Civ 5 wasn't at its best until both expansion packs came out.
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  #439  
Old 06-17-2017, 09:18 AM
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This thread makes me realize how little I can enjoy games other people enjoy.

Civ V I never played. I played Civ 2 I think. I kinda think the concept is interesting, but for some reason all games like this just can't keep my attention. After a few turns I always stop and want to try some other map because I'm bored.

Journey did not really work for me at all, but that's probably a personal issue. I bought it only because everybody said it was so great and I thought it could be something like Ico. But then it really was just a walking simulator with even less interesting stuff happening than all other walking simulators I've played.
I also found the fact that the game put other real players into my game as an intrusion into my privacy. I couldn't deal with that at all so I actually switched off the router whenever I played it just to be safe.
I guess other people actually really like seeing other players, that it makes such an eventless game so interesting for them.
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  #440  
Old 06-17-2017, 09:38 AM
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Journey really opens up once you have a strong enough grasp of the meta game to make the ranked matches worthwhile.

Or so I'm told, I'm still trying to 1CC the Wheel in the Sky.
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  #441  
Old 06-17-2017, 10:05 AM
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I had Journey on my list, and now I'm feeling like I should have put it higher. It's just a fantastic little encapsulated experience if you're open to what it's offering. And of course the aesthetics are gorgeous.

I multiplayer feature can be hit or miss, ranging from just random distraction to game-making bonding experiences depending on your luck, but on the whole I think the minimalist options for interacting worked out really well. It's a rare multiplayer game where there's really no way to be a jerk to other people and removing that option helps a lot. The context seems to bring out the best in people. I ran into random folks who nudged me towards secrets or interesting things and then I passed on the knowledge in turn during later runs. And I did have a buddy for the penultimate level, which can be a really affecting experience.
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  #442  
Old 06-17-2017, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Issun View Post
Sometimes it feels like we really can only blame Sid Meier for the explosion of freemium "strategy" mobile games. He laid the template of terribly addictive worldbuilding for the moneygrabbers to format to their own purposes.

Obviously that's not entirely fair. The Civilization games are incredibly deep experiences, easy to learn but nearly impossible to master, whereas if you scratch Game of War enough it's pretty shallow.
If you scratch the surface of Game of War you find ... more surface.
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  #443  
Old 06-17-2017, 01:57 PM
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Journey did nothing for me. I got bored partway through and quit playing. It's been a few years and I think I should give it another chance.
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  #444  
Old 06-17-2017, 04:22 PM
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Unlike countless games that claim to be cinematic but actually resemble riding a roller-coaster for ten hours, Journey is a movie-length experience with beautiful images and sound, using the video game form not so much for mechanics but for a sense of tactile immersion in the environment. I remember at first being disappointed by the lack of complexity and how little the game delivers on the promise of an open environment, but once I gave it a chance for its own merits, I quickly changed my mind.
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  #445  
Old 06-17-2017, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
If you scratch the surface of Game of War you find ... more surface.
Is that the one that rose to fame on the back of kate upton's tits
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  #446  
Old 06-17-2017, 07:57 PM
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Remember when it was just that skeevy banner ad using stolen art and calling itself "Evony"?
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  #447  
Old 06-17-2017, 08:01 PM
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I had Valkyria Chronicles at #6 on my list. I think I bought it before I got a PS3 and played a little bit on my brother in law's system before getting my own. I loved the pencil drawing thing, and the little bits of character the non-story units have. I remember one of the snipers had a perk that improved his aim or something, and when it kicked in he'd be like "I got good eyes!", which pops into my head now and then when I'm trying hard to see something. There's a stage everybody hates where a big tank shows up halfway through and if you're not ready for it then basically you lose. I actually loved that stage. I wasn't ready and it all fell apart but I managed to pull through and win.

Journey was good but I didn't vote for it. Just for a second as I was scrolling down and the image came into view I thought it Desert Golfing had made the list. I didn't vote for that either but I hope it does.
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  #448  
Old 06-17-2017, 09:28 PM
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Oh no I forgot Desert Golfing!
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  #449  
Old 06-18-2017, 08:46 AM
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#32


A handsome demon like you deserves a major discount!

Developer: Atlus
Publisher: Atlus
Platforms: Playstation 2
Release: February 20, 2003 (JP), October 12, 2004 (NA), July 1, 2005 (EU)
172 Points, 6 Votes, Highest Rank: #3 (Galadrome)




The Shin Megami Tensei series is something I'm horribly unfamiliar with. It's something I plan to rectify someday, but for now, I've enlisted the help of SMT Guru Galadrome to type the thoughts up for any games in the series that might show up. I will say though that, from the screenshots, this game looks pretty dang great for 2003!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadrome
I feel a bit intimidated writing this, as Nocturne seems to be one of the most beloved games on this forum. I'm probably not as qualified as some of the Tru-SMT-Maniax like Zef or Erikr to write about this game but I'll do my best!

I first saw Nocturne when I was probably 14 years old and let me tell you this shit amazed me and served as a great introduction to one of my absolute favourite series (I actually saw Persona 3 first, but I thought that game looked like garbage at the time (My tune has since changed). My tiny mind was blown when I first saw the Conception and it was blown even harder the first time I saw Demi-Fiend slide across the ground and punch a dude. I've since replayed it twice. The two factors that make Nocturne stand out in my mind are its earnestness and style.

The game came out well before Persona 3 would make SMT a series people actually care about and a lot of the game comes across as somewhat janky. The move translations are comically bad, the UI needs some work and things like buffs/debuffs are wildly imbalanced. But this all contributes to the beauty of the game. It was full of wild experimentation by the developers and showed the player no quarter. Either you picked up the systems and thrived or you failed to understand the games little wrinkles and nuances which it refused the share and died repeatedly. As a kid, who lost to Matador over and over again and fought more dumb stingrays in a sewer than anyone should, mastering the game was truly satisfying. Recently I watched my roommate play through Nocturne for the first time and saw the exact same love-hate relationship develop. I had to resist giving him the strategies I had memorized for every boss the game (Poor, poor guy. Going up against Mot with no warnings). The impression of the fights were so strong precisely because I had no knowledge of how to deal with them or what was coming. Nocturne's obtuseness pulls you in and leaves you desiring to understand. Unlike most RPGs you play nowadays, Nocturne plays hard to get and will you force to XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO until you want to tear your hair out. I love it. Nocturne is a game in which it feels like the developers fully and truly made the game they wanted without attempting to pander to any particular audience. It comes across as a product of love and affection.

Nocturne is an aesthetically beautiful game. Graphically, it is often simple and minimalistic. Most of the dungeons are as simple sparsely decorated office buildings, subways or stupid cubes. If I'm in pretty much any building at my university alone I will inevitably think about how eerily similar it is to Kabukicho Prison. This emptiness is intentional, and only serves to drive home the isolation of the Demi-Fiend. The demon models ooze personality and, well, enough has been said on this forum about Kaneko's brilliant interpretations of a diverse range mythology. He perfectly combines sick nasty OG anime vibes with respectful and (Usually) accurate interpretations of myth from every culture. Even when he veers from the literal interpretations, his designs interpret myth through allegory such that there is rarely any question of a demon's identity if you're well versed in a given mythology.

Lastly, this game has personal significance to me. I would not have the relationship I have with religion today without this game. It gave me a brief introduction to a diverse array of different faiths and has sparked one of the main passions in my life. I study religion and history in part because of Nocturne. This game was essential in developing my personal understanding of the spiritual. It would not be an exaggeration to say this game changed my life. The game's plot is brisk and minimalistic, it leaves itself up to myriad interpretation. It was in interpreting this game's story that

Sidenote: Thanks to Nocturne I am amazing at trivia questions pertaining to mythology and I will always be proud of winning it for my team by correctly identifying Cu Chulain. Also Dante is in this game and holy shit is Dante ever cool.
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  #450  
Old 06-18-2017, 08:48 AM
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#31


If you are really concerned about people, then you should not die.

Developer: Quest/ Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: Playstation Portable
Release: November 11, 2010 (JP), February 15, 2011 (NA), February 25, 2011 (EU)
173 Points, 6 Votes, Highest Rank: #1 (Galadrome, breakman)




This is the touching story of a hedgehog and an ogre that find...

Oh. Oh wait. My bad. Let me try that again.






This is a tactical RPG of the series that was the model for Final Fantasy Tactics. The version nominated here is a remake of the SFC classic for the PSP, and it was the remake you guys were most willing to go to the mat for. Let's have someone that actually knows what the heck they're talking about take it from here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadrome
Tactics Ogre is one of the rare video games that actually, for real has a good plot. Above all else, it's the world building and story that makes it one of my favourite games of all time. I'm in University studying history and playing this game feels like biting into an history all of its own. Combine that with compelling, well written characters and amazing art and you get one hell of a game. It's hard to really dig into to this aspect of the game without mad spoilerin' but it is the writing that makes this game great. Another thing I love about this game is the way it handles moral decisions. There are very few binary choices, but each of them presents a real tough moral quandry and the consequences are felt immediately. Additionally, there are hidden stats and other smaller decisions which can subtly alter the players path and story. Those little touches make the gameplay tie more directly with the narrative, with real consequences for certain player choices, even the player may not notice while playing. To this day it is the best use of a branching story I have seen in a video game.

The remake comes with a number of improvements. Namely, YOU DON'T HAVE TO GRIND ALL THE TIME OH GOD. This is the biggest difference, honestly. Ironically, the class level system they introduced (All members of the same class share level ups) creates new grinding problems in which new classes have to be trained for a while before becoming worthwhile. This is still leagues better than the original, where you frequently had to grind between every mission which rendered it unplayable to me as a man who hates grinding. Some of the post-game stuff they added was lots of fun and added more game to one hell of a meaty game.

The translation in the remake is improved and comes with many memorable quotes:

"There is blood on my hand. How long till it lie on my heart?"
"I have no love of war but I'd sooner die on my feet than on my knees."
"To lead is to stand alone."

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is not without its flaws and balancing issues (Archers are always the best choice) but in spite of these issues it is a uniquely Matsuno experience that is able to fully immerse the player in its incredible world.
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