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Old 03-30-2019, 10:24 AM
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Default Getting into JRPGs

Hello. I don't like JRPGs very much. They belong to a genre that somewhat broadly makes me go "um, where's the fun" but I know this to be unreasonable. Now that I have SNES/PS1 Minis I have access to an enormous number of JRPGs and I would be thrilled to know which ones to play.

Across these two systems I would be willing to try anything with an open mind. I want to finally get through Chrono Trigger. I already like FFIV and Seiken Densetsu 3, and I have already got FFV and VI on the SNES Mini.

I've been recommended Lunar on PS1 and Terranigma on SNES, worth a look?
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:48 AM
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Teranigma is action rpg. More Zelda than final fantasy.

I enjoyed the first Wild Arms on PS1 quite a bit. You get tools to use outside of battle for puzzle solving, gives you a bit more to do.
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:54 AM
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Lunar is a solid game but also it's like the textbook definition of a "For Fans of the Genre" comfort food game. I wouldn't recommend it for trying to get into JRPGs.

The plan to try Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy V, or Final Fantasy VI is good. They're all distinct from each other and make good introductory games to certain types of JRPGs.
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:57 AM
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I don't want to tell someone not to play Lunar, but I'm not sure what it has to offer someone who isn't a fan of jrpgs. It is a quality example of the genre. I love it, but I'm a big fan of the genre. Along the same lines, I would say Suikoden or Suikoden 2 are worth a look. Suikoden 1 has the virtue of being very brief, so its not a huge (time) investment to give it a try.

Breath of Fire 4 has some marvelous spritework, so its at least worth a look.

Terranigma is definitely one to try, especially if you already have enjoyed Seiken Densetsu 2 or 3. I was loving it before I got distracted by law school.
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:57 AM
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I liked Chrono Trigger a lot when I tried it before, but for some reason I fell off it like I always do this genre.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
I liked Chrono Trigger a lot when I tried it before, but for some reason I fell off it like I always do this genre.
In that case my honest and heartfelt suggestion is to abandon this thread, never look back, and be thankful that you are not as susceptible to Number Go Up lizard brain shenanigans as so many of us. This is not because Chrono Trigger is perfect or to suggest you're wrong for not liking it, but just because JRPGs are a huge time sink.

Trying to get into JRPGs past is kind of like trying to get into smoking. Just . . . be happy the genre doesn't work for you.

Play Terranigma though because it's good and not a JRPG.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:04 AM
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Haha. I don't hate them though, I feel like I have a bizarre prejudice against them and that I am missing out on experiences that a lot of people greatly enjoy. It makes me sad
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:17 AM
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Alundra and/or Alundra 2 (PS1) might be up your alley then too; Zelda-like action rpg.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:18 AM
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Not sure it's particularly beginner friendly, but Live-a-Live is a very awesome game that has several mini RPG scenarios with different writing and presentation that is definitely worth playing. You'll need a translation patch, but it's totally worth it.

How I wish Square Enix would do another game like this...No After Years and Dimensions do not count I mean different chapters in different genres with different creative minds behind them
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
I liked Chrono Trigger a lot when I tried it before, but for some reason I fell off it like I always do this genre.
I agree with Estragon. If Chrono Trigger isn't good enough to keep you engaged through to the ending then all the other games in the genre are probably going to do even less to captivate you.

Maybe turn based battle systems just don't do it for you? You said you like Seiken Densetsu 3 so maybe give Secret of Mana or Secret of Evermore a spin (Mana is a fun action RPG in stereotypical swords-and-magic setting and Evermore is the weird American-made spin-off that just throws in a fistful of different settings to see if anything will stick)?
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:27 AM
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This might be a weird suggestion... but try some SaGa games out? Kawazu's gameplay systems rely on the idea that every encounter can kick your ass, and his design ethos involves rather having you quit a game because it's too hard rather than too boring. I find that almost every JRPG's trash mob fights, whether they be random encounters or symbol encounters, are where the boredom finds its way in.

People make a big fuss about how weird Kawazu games are, but so long as you specialize your characters (i.e. always have the magic dude use magic and the sword dude use sword) and don't try to stop and grind, it's fine.

For what it's worth, I love JRPGs and also fell off Chrono Trigger half way through. There's a bit where the game kind of switches from narrative-driven to player-driven and I went "whelp I've got no idea what to do" and stopped. It's a big, obvious break point like I feel games shouldn't have if they want to keep me specifically playing. On the other hand, I played through nearly half of Halo 2 the other night because there are only soft level transitions and I kept going "well I'm already in the next level, so."
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  #12  
Old 03-30-2019, 11:32 AM
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If you really do want to try something . . .

Judging by your taste in other games uhhhhh have you considered playing JRPGs that are typically considered janky and weird instead of The Important Classics like Chrono Trigger and comfort food For Fans of the Genre games like Lunar?

Romancing Saga 3 (Super Famicom, but there's a fan translation) is a 16-bit Square JRPG with gorgeous spritework that is one of the more accessible games by Kawazu Akitoshi.





Saga Frontier on PSX is another Kawazu game that's 7 standalone scenarios under 10 hours. (Just don't pick Riki first.)





For an action RPG variant, Legend of Mana has some Kawazu elements and gorgeous spritework in basically a belt scrolling brawler.



People are probably going to reply saying this is a terrible idea, but . . . that's because these games are considered to be weird and janky, like if someone asked for how to get into platformers and you recommended Aero the Acrobat in a thread full of people talking about Mario 3 and Mario World.

Last edited by estragon; 03-30-2019 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:37 AM
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I want to say that madhair has literally already done that?
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:45 AM
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You shouldnít feel bad just because you donít enjoy a type of game. I spent years ďfeeling badĒ because I felt something was wrong with me that I wasnít enjoying games everyone else was like Resident Evil or shooty mcshooters. But sometimes itís as simple as we like what we like and donít what we donít.

If you just melt off of RPGs, you donít have to feel bad. They just arenít for you. Thatís ok! People donít have to like all games.

When youíre not enjoying a game, it feels like work, and life is too short to dedicate huge chunks of it doing something you donít like. Especially if nobody is paying you!

If you really canít handle the FOMO, I suggest instead of playing these games, engage them through other means. Read a Letís Play, or watch a speed run, or read some literature on them. I canít stand the actual act of playing through a Dark Souls game and banging my own head against a wall to learn them, but I greatly enjoy watching a friend stream and seeing them do stuff that I would be frustrated with if it was me behind the keyboard. That way you can explore what a game is all about, with some narration as to why itís good/noteworthy, without having to subject yourself to actually expending the effort to play them.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:57 AM
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I feel like Earthbound is a very Madhair sort of JRPG.
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Old 03-30-2019, 12:02 PM
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Let me expand a little because it might help - I tend to lump action/JRPGs in together a lot, I don't mind the distinction, but there are some that grabbed me - Final Fantasy 7 and 9 did, Seiken Densetsu 3 was a lot of fun on co-op, I liked FFIV, I liked the Zeboyd Penny Arcade games, Chrono Trigger was a lot of fun - I didn't finish it but I think I may have lost my save rather than just given up?
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Old 03-30-2019, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meditative_Zebra View Post
I agree with Estragon. If Chrono Trigger isn't good enough to keep you engaged through to the ending then all the other games in the genre are probably going to do even less to captivate you.
I disagree with this. Just 'cuz he fell off of Chrono Trigger doesn't mean he'll fall off of every jRPG. It's very possible that he could enjoy other games in the genre, even if some of the most beloved games bounce off of him.
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Old 03-30-2019, 02:25 PM
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Are there any hack and slashy dungeon crawly games with real time combat on SNES or PS1? Like Children of Mana on DS.
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Old 03-30-2019, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
Are there any hack and slashy dungeon crawly games with real time combat on SNES or PS1? Like Children of Mana on DS.
This is PS2 but Dark Cloud 1 & 2 are examples of hack and slash action rpgs with random dungeons.

On PS1 . . . the roguelike mode of Tobal No. 1? (Maybe being literally fighting game characters shoved into a roguelike makes it too complex to be a hack and slash...)

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Old 03-30-2019, 02:36 PM
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Hmmmm. There's the of Mana games, but they're not as dungeon crawly as Children. PS1 had a Diablo port, but that's, uh, not a JRPG by any definition. The King's Field games are dungeon crawlers made in Japan, but they're slow as hell, first-person, and the direct ancestor of Souls, so I feel like those probably don't fit within the scope of the question. Vagrant Story is less action-focused, but it's all about one big-ass dungeon; it's famously hard to deal with as a newcomer though.

Oh! Brave Fencer Musashi! That's something!
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Old 03-30-2019, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
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Oh! Brave Fencer Musashi! That's something!
That's a good suggestion.
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Old 03-30-2019, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estragon View Post
This is PS2 but Dark Cloud 1 & 2 are examples of hack and slash action rpgs with random dungeons.

On PS1 . . . the roguelike mode of Tobal No. 1? (Maybe being literally fighting game characters shoved into a roguelike makes it too complex to be a hack and slash...)
On the note of Tobal No.1, Ehrgeiz ALSO had a dungeon-crawling RPG attached that has nothing to do with the fighting game for some??? reason???
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Old 03-30-2019, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
Are there any hack and slashy dungeon crawly games with real time combat on SNES or PS1? Like Children of Mana on DS.
I prefer Soulblazer to Terranigma, but both qualify as does Illusion of Gaia (which I like least of the three, but it's still got its good points).

If you like CT and the Penny Arcade games get Cosmic Star Heroine like, yesterday.
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Old 03-30-2019, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
Are there any hack and slashy dungeon crawly games with real time combat on SNES or PS1? Like Children of Mana on DS.
Soul Blazer!!

I would also recommend this video if you just want a good overview of what all the SNES action RPGS look like and play like.

I honestly think getting into genres that you don't play often has a lot to do with finding games that you want to like because they have things you already like. So if you like top down games or if you like turn based strategy games, you could find a JRPG like that and ask yourself if you feel excited (try it) or whether you expect to dislike it (pass). But I would also include the superficial stuff. Like whether a game has aesthetics or character designs similiar to games you already like and know well.

In other words, choosing recommendations based on what other people like (as opposed to merely excluding what other people dislike) is one way to optimize. But the downside is you aren't optimizing over games that you might be most motivated to play because you formed some kind of image in your head of what it's going to be like. The right motivation is what gets you past those "early game slumps" that playing a new games often produce before you get to the point of feeling fully invested.
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Old 03-30-2019, 03:42 PM
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I have that for Steam, I'll install.
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Old 03-30-2019, 03:48 PM
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I could see you being really into the Quintet games, Madhair. I think that's a decent starting place to see if you want to explore further along that route.
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Old 03-30-2019, 06:46 PM
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Give Parasite Eve a chance!

Also Threads of Fate!
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:21 PM
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I don't know how much it counts, but try giving Front Mission: Gun Hazard a try. I think that's the best SNES game that was never localized.
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:36 PM
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Try Secret of Evermore!

Also, the PS1 is almost comically rife with JRPGs, that vary wildly in quality but I'd wager to say they mostly sway into the "playable" to "good" range. Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy 7-9, Legend of Mana, Legend of Legaia, Xenogears, Brave Fencer Musashi, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics, Threads of Fate, Suikoden... I mean theres a lot.

I think Brave Fencer Musashi and Vagrant Story are ones everyone should try!
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Old 03-31-2019, 04:43 AM
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Legend of Mana is batshit. Is there... is this a deconstruction? It seems to be deliberately violating some sacred cows and RPG tropes, in a way that feels almost pointed and cynical.

Have I gone down a rabbit hole here? Sorry, rabite.
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