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Old 07-03-2018, 07:21 PM
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Default USGamer's Top 25 RPGS

Obviously their list will be far inferior to our list, but it should be interesting.

And it started off right with Final Fantasy V.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:39 PM
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5 times 5 is 25. So does that mean FF4 will be #16 (#4 in the US)?
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:27 PM
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Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together is #24. No article yet but it was on the podcast.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Issun View Post
Obviously their list will be far inferior to our list, but...
I missed the memo to contribute to our list, so I can't exactly criticize it. But if this USGamer list manages to have a single SaGa, Grandia, Tactics Ogre, Arc the Lad, Parasite Eve, or Sakura Wars game on it, it'll have our list beat easy*.

Also, do we know the scope of this list? Because if it's all RPGs, I expect a healthy number of games like Fallout or TES or KotOR to make it too, which just seems like a different kind of list and not comparable.

*Fake edit: seems like Tactics Ogre is #24 if I'm reading things right? And that it beats out FFT for the nod? So ya. Already superior list.

Real edit: Damnit Falselogic
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2018, 12:00 AM
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Talking And all the games you listed were bad =P

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I missed the memo to contribute to our list, so I can't exactly criticize it. c
Our list is perfect. And used perfect science to arrive at its answers.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:55 AM
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Our list is perfect. And used perfect science to arrive at its answers.
FACTS
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:24 AM
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And it started off right with Final Fantasy V.
10/10 finally someone...

Wait it's 25? Not 1?

Nevermind.
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2018, 11:56 AM
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Things like this don't interest me any more, but I hope as a pure troll move they make Skyrim #1. PLEASE. The world needs this; now more than ever.
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  #9  
Old 07-04-2018, 12:31 PM
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Its protagonist Bartz is a Han Solo-like figure who wanders the world on a chocobo.
I'm always frustrated with the tendency to lean on Star Wars comparisons in writing about Final Fantasy (or anything else), but this is a really perplexing example even within that framework.

Outside of that, it's nice to have some acknowledgement, if somewhat begrudging, that FFV has a story, characters and a world worth caring about, and it's not just numbers mashing against each other like the focus is on usually when talking about it.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:37 PM
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FFV has some extremely charming, expressive sprites brutally undermined by the character portraits now in every revision. Get rid of them imo.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:40 PM
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...that FFV has a story, characters and a world worth caring about
I, uh...it does? The first time I tried playing FFV I completely bounced off it because I was so disappointed by the story and I was expecting something closer to FFIV/VI. It wasn't until I abandoned all attachment to the characters and world that I actually started to enjoy the game. Because that story is real bad. Or at least terminally silly.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:56 PM
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I, uh...it does? The first time I tried playing FFV I completely bounced off it because I was so disappointed by the story and I was expecting something closer to FFIV/VI. It wasn't until I abandoned all attachment to the characters and world that I actually started to enjoy the game. Because that story is real bad. Or at least terminally silly.
PS1(/fan?) or GBA? GBA had a vastly superior translation, and replaying IV it took itself far too seriously for the story it had. FFV had a somewhat sillier story and took itself significantly less seriously, with more actual tragedy that stuck.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:01 PM
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It's a story of five people that allows for a degree of close-knit interpersonal character dynamics the series wouldn't visit again until FFXV. Said group is also not male-dominated, and of the couple of cis dudes present, they're not the sort of regressive patronizing assholes both IV and VI are full of, if we're comparing to its peers. It also notably doesn't feature a romantic narrative aspect within its core cast, which is incredibly precious to me, instead focusing on reciprocal camaraderie. Faris is a queer icon, Krile is buds with Moogles, and Lenna has pink hair--there's no way this cast is weak or not among the best the series has ever had, because it's full of gender non-conforming pirates, powerful magical girls and battle princesses who actually matter and get to do stuff. Exdeath is also the best villain in the series, completely invested in a sense of theatrical enthusiasm in everything he does and remains a delightful menace throughout.

I think there's a real danger of being dismissive of stories that are tonally less invested in melodrama and introspection and regarding them as somehow lesser for it. V has characters with personalities, it engages in worldbuilding, and its narrative has dramatic weight. Its methods of exploring that just differ. I think it also suffers from people not really remembering what it does to communicate itself--there are instances like entirely optional towns or visits to locales out of the way where the only reward for doing it is additional character development. This isn't a case of a game uninterested in telling a story, but of its audience unwilling to care because it's not covering the expected/preferred genre standbys in a tonal form made palatable and familiar by its peers.
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2018, 02:18 PM
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FFV's story is fine (Gilgamesh is the best, obviously), and I think it's characters are cute and endearing for reasons just outlined above.

But probably the thing that game does best is that everything in the game reinforces and uplifts the characters. The overall story is whatever; standard RPG save the world fare with sparse dialogue and a few bits of character stuff thrown in periodically. I'm not trying to dunk on it; it's like a new house that's solidly built but plain looking. The framework is there, and everything WORKS, but there's nothing truly special about it on it's own.

But then you add in the job system. Obviously, from a gameplay perspective, the job system is great; I don't even need to say anything about that. But switching jobs gives your characters a ton of adorable little outfits that showcase tiny bits of their personality and further reinforce all the character bits that are doled out during the course of the game (example: Krile's White Mage sprite having cat ears, or Faris having masculine AND feminine looking outfits). On top of that, having control over your character's end game "build" and party composition instead of just using who the story forced you to helps build attachment to the characters since you have ownership over their growth.

The expressive sprites were just mentioned, and the outfits I just described is all good spritework too. Add in more detailed than FFIV backgrounds and areas, and better spell effects etc., and more of them, and I think we can say that the artists' work all paid off too.

Then you've got the music. Obviously Uematsu is great and we all know that, but he did great work here too. Things like Lenna's Theme and Dear Friends highlight the more emotional scenes and reinforce your connection to the characters. Obvi that's what Uematsu DOES, but he did a good job here.

So yeah. It doesn't get a lot of credit but FFV kicks ass. Everything in the game builds up the characters, and the gameplay is fun, and IF NOTHING ELSE, it gave us Clash on the Big Bridge, which kicks ass. It's a great game. I mean, FFVI is better IMHO but FFV is a really strong game that kicks ass
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:41 PM
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Kazuko Shibuya slaved over those Job sprites, people. 22 sprite sheets times five! It's incredible and she's incredible. I'm also really tired of Tetsuya Nomura being used as a punchline, so V is a good reminder of what a great monster designer he is.

V's a great Uematsu project because it has the best percussion out of his SNES works, which really defines many of the best tracks in the game.
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  #16  
Old 07-04-2018, 03:02 PM
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I didn't think much of Final Fantasy V when I played the PSone localization, but I really grew to appreciate it when I played the GBA localization.

Also, while I dislike the art direction of the mobile remakes, I'm not ashamed to admit that I've considered picking up Final Fantasy V on Android in spite of it. Yes, I would be much more pleased with a mobile version that sticks to the original sprites (or at least competently copies the look of the 1/2/4 and Friends PSP), but FF5 in my pocket is FF5 in my pocket and I don't see Nintendo releasing a Game Boy Micro Classic any time in the near future.
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:06 PM
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#24: Tactics Ogre is up.
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  #18  
Old 07-04-2018, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
A letter from one of USgamer's regular readers offers an indication of how deep Tactics Ogre's rabbit hole goes. They write in part:

When you play through a different timeline you see some character's motivations change. You see villains in different, and sometimes more damning light. A good example of context clues across different timelines helping in characterization is Oz, one of the villains. His characterization is already one of a deranged individual with an unhealthy attachment to his sister Ozma. But if you face him in a certain timeline, he says a really creepy line that implies he's gonna rape one of the characters which makes it feel even better to smash him up. But Oz still gets creepier, after you reach a certain character level (roughly level 33 on the main character) Oz will wear the armor called the "Alluring Corset" which is a rare drop from him. He's basically the Lodissian equivalent of Buffalo Bill, and I'm surprised there isn't a line about putting the lotion on the skin.

Creepy.
wow what a stellarly written mature game

Was this really the best reader input that could be highlighted? I thought the article was supposed to cast the game in a favourable light!
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  #19  
Old 07-04-2018, 03:39 PM
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As someone who spent way too much time playing it (350 something hours), the PSP version of TO has too many poorly implemented mechanics for me to consider it better than the original game. Its attempts to fix the the original's problems fall flat, often introducing new problems that exacerbate the problem they were trying to fix.

Presentation-wise, it's top notch, but as a tactics game, it's a bloated mess.
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peklo View Post
It's a story of five people that allows for a degree of close-knit interpersonal character dynamics the series wouldn't visit again until FFXV. Said group is also not male-dominated, and of the couple of cis dudes present, they're not the sort of regressive patronizing assholes both IV and VI are full of, if we're comparing to its peers. It also notably doesn't feature a romantic narrative aspect within its core cast, which is incredibly precious to me, instead focusing on reciprocal camaraderie. Faris is a queer icon, Krile is buds with Moogles, and Lenna has pink hair--there's no way this cast is weak or not among the best the series has ever had, because it's full of gender non-conforming pirates, powerful magical girls and battle princesses who actually matter and get to do stuff. Exdeath is also the best villain in the series, completely invested in a sense of theatrical enthusiasm in everything he does and remains a delightful menace throughout.

I think there's a real danger of being dismissive of stories that are tonally less invested in melodrama and introspection and regarding them as somehow lesser for it. V has characters with personalities, it engages in worldbuilding, and its narrative has dramatic weight. Its methods of exploring that just differ. I think it also suffers from people not really remembering what it does to communicate itself--there are instances like entirely optional towns or visits to locales out of the way where the only reward for doing it is additional character development. This isn't a case of a game uninterested in telling a story, but of its audience unwilling to care because it's not covering the expected/preferred genre standbys in a tonal form made palatable and familiar by its peers.
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Originally Posted by Peklo View Post
Kazuko Shibuya slaved over those Job sprites, people. 22 sprite sheets times five! It's incredible and she's incredible. I'm also really tired of Tetsuya Nomura being used as a punchline, so V is a good reminder of what a great monster designer he is.

V's a great Uematsu project because it has the best percussion out of his SNES works, which really defines many of the best tracks in the game.
A fuckin men. Peklo speaking the truths in my heart that I couldn’t voice.

This is a game where the evil world destroying villain disguises himself as a splinter and hides in the hero’s thumb. It’s a work of genius.
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  #21  
Old 07-04-2018, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
As someone who spent way too much time playing it (350 something hours), the PSP version of TO has too many poorly implemented mechanics for me to consider it better than the original game. Its attempts to fix the the original's problems fall flat, often introducing new problems that exacerbate the problem they were trying to fix.

Presentation-wise, it's top notch, but as a tactics game, it's a bloated mess.
Oh, so it's a Yasumi Matsuno game? (FYI he's my boyfriend and I love him but...I mean, relationships require work and patience in order to last)
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:06 PM
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In the podcast the compared fft poorly against TO. I like a good story and all. But what I like about FFT is the flexibility of the job system, and the gba/ds sequels severely limit that. Does TO have the breakability of FFT?
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  #23  
Old 07-04-2018, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Peklo View Post
Faris is a queer icon,
faris is the same tired cross dressing trope that's prevalent in anime and video games: "i'm actually _____, i just dress this way as a means to an end"

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Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
As someone who spent way too much time playing it (350 something hours), the PSP version of TO has too many poorly implemented mechanics for me to consider it better than the original game. Its attempts to fix the the original's problems fall flat, often introducing new problems that exacerbate the problem they were trying to fix.

Presentation-wise, it's top notch, but as a tactics game, it's a bloated mess.
love 2 recruit characters with unique classes in a new cycle and have them be complete dead weight because of how long it takes to get those classes up to par

(there's also a lot of weirdness with the skill system, where apparently stuff like Strengthen and Overpower and what have you only activate against enemies that are of equal and lower level to you?)

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Originally Posted by chud_666 View Post
In the podcast the compared fft poorly against TO. I like a good story and all. But what I like about FFT is the flexibility of the job system, and the gba/ds sequels severely limit that. Does TO have the breakability of FFT?
it has... bows.
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  #24  
Old 07-04-2018, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by chud_666 View Post
In the podcast the compared fft poorly against TO. I like a good story and all. But what I like about FFT is the flexibility of the job system, and the gba/ds sequels severely limit that. Does TO have the breakability of FFT?
It's not particularly flexible. There are restrictions on which jobs can equip which skills, and most of the skills are not particularly impactful. Like, there are dozens and dozens of skills, but only a handful really mean anything. Imagine FFT's skill system, only they got rid of most of the passive abilities, and the ones that are there are just... four versions of "Defense Up", but the mechanics are so inscrutable that you can't actually tell if it's changing anything.

It is pretty breakable, though. Use longbows.
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:24 PM
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faris is the same tired cross dressing trope that's prevalent in anime and video games: "i'm actually _____, i just dress this way as a means to an end"
Sorry, but that's too cynical for me and I'm not reading them that way. It's enough to dissuade me from the notion because of scenes like after the ball at Tycoon, where Faris is uncomfortable having to present traditionally femininely in a gown and relieved to be back in their own androgynous garb. Even the initial scenes with their circumstances being "revealed" to the group, which comes as close to trans panic as anything in the game, conclude with everyone shrugging and attesting that Faris is just Faris, and that's what the rest of the game sticks with, their authenticity as a person. I understand the failings and the hurtful stock tropes that are present but it's a piece of media that can be made better than it is by the people who interact with it and give it form.
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  #26  
Old 07-04-2018, 06:29 PM
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I acknowledge and appreciate the strengths of both FFV and Tactics Ogre, and also appreciate how both games paved the way for others down the line. I like both games in theory. But I came to them both too far along in life, removed from the context of their original releases, to really love them and dig deep into them. I just don't have the time or patience to play games like these anymore and fully appreciate them. Tactics Ogre does a decent job of removing the grind, but not enough for me personally. Especially when they simply introduce a new level of grind - exploring the consequences tree. And pretty much every FF game before 7 is prohibitively grindy for me to ever fully enjoy again.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
I, uh...it does? The first time I tried playing FFV I completely bounced off it because I was so disappointed by the story and I was expecting something closer to FFIV/VI. It wasn't until I abandoned all attachment to the characters and world that I actually started to enjoy the game. Because that story is real bad. Or at least terminally silly.
Yeah, I second this. I bounced off FF5 more than a few times before it finally stuck, and the main reason it finally stuck was my abandonment of narrative and just learning to work with and love the Job mechanics. Eventually I came around on the story, one of those 'it's so bad it's good' things.

It's a shame it didn't get a U.S. localization until after the SNES. I have a strong suspicion I'd hold FF5 in much higher regard if I had played it at release.
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  #28  
Old 07-04-2018, 10:42 PM
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On the subject of Tactics Ogre, I really wish the remake would show up on mobile or modern consoles or something 'cuz it sucks that it's stuck only on PSP and Vita.
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  #29  
Old 07-05-2018, 03:31 AM
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FFV is my favorite FF by a fairly wide margin, though I've never been big on the series. It has the best mechanics out of the series by far. The story is just ok. What rubric are we using in calling it "bad"? It is a bit generic but it does its job. It is whimsical and lighthearted and adds to the atmosphere. And it has the best music of the 2d games.

On Matsuno... this is blasphemy in a lot of places, but I never much liked FFT. I've played it twice and steamrolled over it both times. Yeah, the classes are cool but it's way too easy and the maps are way too simplistic for me to take it seriously as a tactics game. Like, even the GBA Fire Emblem games required more tactics from me and those are pretty simple games. And that's without mentioning how broken everything is. A shame because I really do like the aesthetics/music and story of FFT but there's not much there for me mechanically. Ogre Battle seems pretty cool though.
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  #30  
Old 07-05-2018, 06:48 AM
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FFT's a little better if you intentionally avoid some of the more overpowered stuff, but ultimately, the maps are too small and there aren't really enough units on the battlefield for positioning and minute to minute tactics to mean much. Most of the strategy is in unit building. Which is why AI tournaments are pretty neat, actually.
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