• 49 results
  • 1
  • 2
#1 Posted by darkjester74 (1568 posts) -

Hey guys...

Always been curious about the SRPG genre, but I've always been somewhat intimidated by the apparent complexity of the Disgaea series. Not sure if it mechanics are actually as complex as they seem tho, since Ive never played it. Ive heard nothing but wonderful things about Fire Emblem, and I like the art style of Bravely Default, but I dont own a 3DS. Last night I tried the demo of Rainbow Moon, and although I liked the basics something about the art style and sound design is very off putting. I also hear its very grindy in a not-good way.

Anyways, what would you guys recommend for someone who has never played an SRPG before? I own a PS3 and a Vita, so if its something with cross-buy, that would be a plus.

#2 Posted by BongChilla (204 posts) -

Final Fantasy Tactics is probably the easiest answer. It's not that complicated but it can deliver quite a challenge at spots. If you've played FFV than you already have a beginners grasp on the job system.

I'd say try that.

#3 Edited by IIGrayFoxII (303 posts) -

Well for a strategy RPG on PS3, I will always always recommend Valkyria Chronicles. It came out over 5 years ago but the art style and the mechanics of the game itself are fantastic. It also shares some elements of Fire Emblem, in which you hire and lay out your team with different types of classes and there are no "generic" units with each one having there own unique character. I am not sure how available it is though. I am not sure if you can even get it digitally.

I would also recommend XCOM: Enemy Within the re-release of the excellent XCOM: Enemy Unknown with added content and new unit types. It is only $40 new, so not a bad price for a game you can get a ton of value from.

Check out some trailers and see if they look like something you would enjoy.

#4 Posted by mosespippy (4032 posts) -

Valkyria Chronicles is a great game. If you are a beginner though you'll probably hit a wall with the boss in Chapter 7. Valkyria Chronicles 2 on PSP is much easier (but also nowhere near as good). It's not on the Vita store but you can download it on PS3 and transfer it to Vita that way.

Jeanne D'Arc is also a great SRPG on PSP. You'll also need to download it on PS3 and transfer it to Vita because it's not on the Vita store either.

#5 Edited by Kidavenger (3509 posts) -

If you haven't played XCOM: Enemy Unknown I think it would qualify and it's free with PS+ right now

#6 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3743 posts) -

Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre are the two best SRPG games IMO and neither are intimidating, though brushing up on how they work before hand may be helpful.

The PSP versions of both those games are really excellent. Final Fantasy Tactics in particular, as it has one of my favorite game stories.

The easiest game to jump into in the genre if you haven't played it is the recent XCOM, I'd say. Jeanne d'Arc is also very beginner friendly, and a solid game, though personally I'd much rather play FFT or TO.

#7 Posted by ThunderSlash (1548 posts) -

If you want PS3 SRPGs, listen to what @iigrayfoxii said. You can also grab Final Fantasy Tactics on the PSN, but I find that it is a bit difficult for beginners.

On PC, you got a ton of choices. For beginners, I'd recommend something like Skulls of the Shogun or Card Hunter. Card Hunter is free to play on your browser too! Oh man this is the second time this week I've pimped Card Hunter, I feel like a shill.

#8 Edited by believer258 (11632 posts) -

Xcom would probably be the best place to start. Also Disgaea's not really hard to learn.

#9 Posted by darkjester74 (1568 posts) -

Thanks for all the input, you guys are the best! :) Interesting, I never really thought about XCom as an SRPG. just a plain old TBS game, but thinking about it more I guess it does qualify.

I just remembered I also own FFT:War of the Lions via PS+. Not sure how good it is but its free, so Ill check it out as well! :)

#10 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3743 posts) -

@darkjester74 said:

I just remembered I also own FFT:War of the Lions via PS+. Not sure how good it is but its free, so Ill check it out as well! :)

The best SRPG! Well IMO and I think a lot of others at least. That's great that it was free though, definitely the best version of that game. Give it a shot.

#11 Edited by Gonmog (580 posts) -

Well if you have a 3ds i can not suggest Project X Zone enough. It is easy to pick up, not hard, and lots of big effects to make it fun. Some funny writing too. If you ever wanted to see Ken and Megaman destroy something together its your game. :D

#12 Posted by endaround (2138 posts) -

Fallout Tactics is still free for another day!

#13 Posted by LackingSaint (1771 posts) -

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is fuckin' great.

Valkyria Chronicles is lame and for nerds.

#14 Posted by CitizenCoffeeCake (475 posts) -

XCOM for sure.

#15 Edited by biggiedubs (493 posts) -

Final Fantasy Tactics seems way too in-depth for a beginner, in my opinion. Doubly so for Tactics Ogre. They might be the best games versions of the strategy RPG genre, but I probably wouldn't recommend anything with a Job Class system in it to a beginner. Fire Emblem Awakening is great, but sometimes even I feel like I'm fucking myself over by promoting people here, and not there, and pairing this person with this person....There's just so much stuff outside of the gameplay that can be misunderstood / completely missed. Same with XCOM to a certain point, in my opinion.

My money would be on something like Luminous Arc for the DS. Easily beatable, passable story (I guess) and nice mechanics. Not too long either. Can probably pick it up for incredibly cheap now, too.

#16 Edited by BlackLagoon (1382 posts) -

You might want to check out Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 or Victory. While not full SRPGs, their battles play out in a similar, if simplified, manner, and could get you more used to the basics (positioning you characters, prioritizing targets). Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God for Vita is a similar case. It's a streamlined mystery dungeon roguelike, not a SRPG, but you have to think in a similar manner to succeed at it.

#17 Posted by XpressTuning (14 posts) -

Shinning Force III is the best strategy RPG ever created, it's easy to get into and incredibly fun to play, unfortunately it costs quite a lot. It's on the SEGA Saturn.

Shinning Force II isn't as good, but still top 5 material. Brilliant SRPG, it's on the Genesis.

#18 Posted by peritus (959 posts) -

@darkjester74: I'd say Valkyria Chronicles or XCOM: Enemy Unknown are great choices. I would have said Fire Emblem over both of those myself but thats not an option i guess. XCOM can be a pretty stressful game though so if that might put you of then maybe Valkyria is a better first crack at it. Unless you like trophies. ( the game doesnt have them :p )

#19 Posted by Rejizzle (259 posts) -

Front Mission on PSN is good if you're tired of a fantasy setting and want some mech action. And if you're not adverse to real time I recommend the Total War games for PC.

#20 Posted by TobbRobb (4579 posts) -

Disgaea is initially complex and heavy with mechanics. But it's not especially punishing and very modfiable/easy to break. So you can get away with futzing around and learning without feeling like the game resents you for it. I'd say those games are the way to go if you are brand new.

Though, if you got a little thicker skin, Final Fantasy Tactics is the better game. Storywise, and balacen/gameplaywise. It's just a lot meaner to new players...

#21 Posted by McLargepants (361 posts) -

Final Fantasy Tactics isn't the right choice. The beginning of that game is confusing and the rest of it doesn't give you any help in figuring out how to do stuff correctly. XCOM: Enemy Unknown, though difficult, seems to be a really great choice to get into the genre, it is super tough, but it explains everything well and you'll get some good experience in the genre.

Also, if you're into PS2 era games, and ancient aesthetic, Gladius is fantastic and super easy to get into, and has a ton of content.

#22 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3743 posts) -

FFT was the first SRPG I ever played and I learned it fine. So I'd give it a shot before I took some of the "beginners can't figure this game out" advice.

#23 Posted by casper_ (901 posts) -

@tobbrobb: yeah i totally agree. disgaea is actually kind of inviting in a strange way. it gives you tons of room/time to learn the systems. i've heard a lot of reviewers mention that it isnt very good at teaching but i think that they come in with idea that they must learn every system at once which is really not the case. as you progress through the campaign/item world you gradually pick up little mechanics along the way. some people love the humor/stories too but i never really was crazy about them.

i kinda felt like xcom had some flaws although the presentation was very nice. valkyria chronicles is a blast. jagged alliance is pretty cheap on GOG.

#24 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

@artisanbreads: Ah, but you're forgetting the main problem. Once he plays FFT, everything else in the genre is going to be a bit of a letdown by comparison!

Really though, FFT can be tough in spots, but the challenge ramps at such a rate that even newbies to the genre can figure things out by the time the game starts putting bricks in its gloves. Although I'm not as big of a fan of War of the Lions' translation as a lot of people are, it's almost certainly the version to go with.

Fire Emblem: Awakening is another one that's easy to recommend. With the difficulty settings and the ability to disable permadeath, it might actually be the ideal entry point to the genre, but you don't have a 3DS so that's sort of a problem.

#25 Posted by BBAlpert (1369 posts) -

FFT was the first SRPG I ever played and I learned it fine. So I'd give it a shot before I took some of the "beginners can't figure this game out" advice.

I've seen a surprising number of comments over the years about people getting like 6 hours into the game before realizing fundamental mechanics (like being able to take more than 1 character into battle). I'm not saying that they shouldn't give it a shot, but there is some precedent for people not finding the interface particularly intuitive.

#26 Edited by GERALTITUDE (2917 posts) -

The new xcom, especially on lower difficulties, is probably the most accessible SRPG ever made.

#27 Posted by sanchopanza (247 posts) -

The Shining Force games on the Mega Drive (Genesis) are both classics of the genre and probably among the few that are relatively easy to pick up for beginners.

Both are available on Steam for basically nothing so get both or if you can only afford one probably go for Shining Force 2 as it is a bit more user friendly.

#28 Edited by __pb__ (16 posts) -

I can second the recommendation of Front Mission 3 on PSN. It's only $6, plays on PS3 or Vita (it's a great portable game), has a serious story of military intrigue, and has you globe-trotting all over Asia. It's also not punishingly hard and has a cool giant mech combat, complete with full customization and a lot of different weapon types.

#29 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3743 posts) -

@silvergun:

Isn't that the truth man. Still waiting for my FFT true sequel.

@bbalpert :

I feel ya. It's not that I took to it immediately either. When I first got the game on release actually I ended up not making it more than a few battles in but when I came back months later I figured it out and made it through. I just don't think it's crazy complex or anything.

#30 Edited by TobbRobb (4579 posts) -

@casper_: Yeah, much like other games of equal or greater mechanical density, you have to kinda learn by doing in this genre. There just isn't a tutorial that could possibly cram all this stuff into your brain in a short amount of time. And I really feel like Disgaea allows you to mess around and figure it out along the way without making you feel like you are bashing your head against a wall, like similar games might.

Also OP might want to note that there is some inherent grind in these games, killing things just to level up is going to happen at some point.

#31 Edited by MikeLemmer (532 posts) -

I recommend the new XCOM and Disgaea. XCOM's easy to understand while still being challenging, while Disgaea's systems are easy to break (and recover from if you screw up).

#32 Posted by hermes (1370 posts) -

Disgaea might be complex in the amount of systems, but its not a difficult game, so its still a good option for beginners.

It doesn't have permadeath, and you can grind your way up to the end. The characters don't have a roof in terms of stats (or it is a really high roof), so any stage (even the end) can become trivial after some grinding.

#33 Posted by Marz (5642 posts) -

found Agarest generations of war pretty easy for a SRPG. But yeah I find the complex systems in games like FFT and Ogre Tactics what make me like them the most and what drew me into the genre in the first place.. so i'd say play them even if your intimidated, they are top of the class for a reason.

#34 Posted by Superkenon (1388 posts) -

@hermes said:

Disgaea might be complex in the amount of systems, but its not a difficult game, so its still a good option for beginners.

It doesn't have permadeath, and you can grind your way up to the end. The characters don't have a roof in terms of stats (or it is a really high roof), so any stage (even the end) can become trivial after some grinding.

I'll second this. Disgaea actually caters to both casual play and crazy-peson play. It has a lot of systems to get deep into, but you can safely ignore a lot of them if all you're interested in is mainlining the story scenario. It's forgiving, you can't get stuck, and... yeah, there's grinding if you need to.

I'd stay away from Disgaea D2 though, since it's kind of a half-game and a mess at that.

Disgaea 4 is solid.

#35 Posted by darkjester74 (1568 posts) -

Just fired up FFT:War of the Lions and looking through the tutorial, it has to be one of the deepest and longest tutorials Ive seen in a while. It is doing a good job of explaining the mechanics so far, and the quick help function seems useful.

Disgaea seems kinda wacky, which has me somewhat interested, along with the item world mechanic. Should I just start with the latest one, or do I need to play the earlier ones first?

#36 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6087 posts) -

@darkjester74: Disgaea D2 is definitely the friendliest Disgaea title to newcomers. I'd say start with it.

Moderator
#37 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1436 posts) -

Thanks for all the input, you guys are the best! :) Interesting, I never really thought about XCom as an SRPG. just a plain old TBS game, but thinking about it more I guess it does qualify.

I just remembered I also own FFT:War of the Lions via PS+. Not sure how good it is but its free, so Ill check it out as well! :)

The major difference between turn based strategy and strategy RPGs is that SRPGs tend to put more of a focus on story, characters, and progression. This does make XCOM more of a TBS than a SRPG, but mechanically they're very similar. XCOM is nothing but battles and management, whereas something like Valkyria Chronicles has lots of dialogue, cutscenes, and narrative. However, the combat of those games is quite similar.

If you're looking to get into the genre primarily for strategic turn based combat, the distinction between SRPG and TBS won't matter a whole lot to you.

#38 Posted by Mento (2438 posts) -

Vandal Hearts, dude. Pretty much built for beginners, that one, since you never change your party members and don't have a whole heap of customization options to stress out over. Every scenario comes down to using the tools that you have available, rather than worrying that you leveled someone wrong and are now screwed. Also, arterial sprays are fun. If you wanted to take the hybrid route, you could try one of the Suikodens.

Early stuff like Shining Force and Arc the Lad are good too, because there was (generally speaking) less complexity back when they were made. I suppose the same could be said for Fire Emblem, but I've never been a fan of how easy it is to permanently miss/lose recruitable characters in those games. The new one has a Casual mode, so that might be ideal.

Then after that maybe work up to the FFTs and XCOMs and Nippon Ichi games like Disgaea. They're not much more challenging, but there's a lot more options to tinker with and that's the sort of thing that might put you off if you're new to this genre.

Oh, and by all means jump into Valkyria Chronicles at any stage of this process. It doesn't play like any other SRPG, so nothing's going to prepare you for it. Have fun!

Moderator
#39 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11474 posts) -

Fire Emblem dawg. If you can't understand that, you probably will have trouble with the rest of the genre.

#40 Posted by Hailinel (23885 posts) -

Fire Emblem: Awakening is among the most newcomer-friendly entries in the series. If you have a 3DS, it's the one I'd recommend for you.

#41 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5337 posts) -

XCOM is extremely non complicated and I suppose Tactics Ogre is at the other end of the spectrum. Jeanne D'arc is reasonably simple but still has a solid amount of depth to it.

#42 Posted by DystopiaX (5293 posts) -

Final Fantasy Tactics seems way too in-depth for a beginner, in my opinion. Doubly so for Tactics Ogre. They might be the best games versions of the strategy RPG genre, but I probably wouldn't recommend anything with a Job Class system in it to a beginner. Fire Emblem Awakening is great, but sometimes even I feel like I'm fucking myself over by promoting people here, and not there, and pairing this person with this person....There's just so much stuff outside of the gameplay that can be misunderstood / completely missed. Same with XCOM to a certain point, in my opinion.

My money would be on something like Luminous Arc for the DS. Easily beatable, passable story (I guess) and nice mechanics. Not too long either. Can probably pick it up for incredibly cheap now, too.

Fire Emblem is fine. Especially if you play on Easy it's really hard to fuck up.

#43 Posted by audioBusting (1477 posts) -

@thunderslash said:

On PC, you got a ton of choices. For beginners, I'd recommend something like Skulls of the Shogun or Card Hunter. Card Hunter is free to play on your browser too! Oh man this is the second time this week I've pimped Card Hunter, I feel like a shill.

You're totally right though, Card Hunter is really good! It being essentially free makes it a pretty easy recommendation.

#44 Posted by Chaser324 (6325 posts) -

In spite of what some people in this thread have said, Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre are poor choices in my opinion. They seem pretty daunting for someone fresh to the SRPG genre. This does however exclude FFT Advance and A2 which are both extremely accessible if you happen to have a GBA or DS.

Valkyria Chronicles would be an excellent place to start. It's hands down one of the best PS3 games, and while it's a bit challenging in spots, it doesn't have nearly the complexity of some other strategy games.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown also seems like a pretty solid choice. It's definitely a difficult game, but Firaxis is a master of making strategy games accessible for all skill levels.

Then, you can start to ramp up on the "lighter" stuff on PSP like Jeanne d'Arc. After that, feel free to dive head first into Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, and Disgaea.

Moderator
#45 Posted by Flappy (2127 posts) -

Stay away from anything related to ideaFactory. Seriously. Their games are bad.

Front Mission 3 cannot be recommended enough and as some people have already mentioned, Fire Emblem Awakening is a nice introduction to the genre. Disgaea is an interesting series with a lot of charm, but if you really want to get into the meat of those games, you better be prepared to spend a lot of time with them.

#46 Edited by AmatureIdiot (1076 posts) -

It's a real shame that you haven't got a 3DS as Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is an almost perfect beginner SRPG from one of the original creators of X-COM.

#47 Edited by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1803 posts) -

I started with fire emblem on the gba. I think that one is a good place to start, there's a really lengthy tutorial that eases you in to the complex customization and battle mechanics.

#48 Edited by gike987 (1749 posts) -

Fire Emblem Awakening is pretty accessible if you play on the easiest settings and probably the best choice. But the new XCOM is really simple and could be a good first game.

Bravely Default is a great game, at least so far I'm 20 hours in, but it's not an SRPG. It's a classic JRPG (like early Final Fantasy) that have a mechanic that allows you to take more than one action in a turn (called Brave) or save turns for later and take less damage (called Default) so that you can then use Brave without having the character wait for multiple turns.

#49 Edited by DonutFever (3550 posts) -

XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Fire Emblem: Awakening, if you have a 3DS.

#50 Edited by tsutohiro (364 posts) -

If you happen to have a PS1 or PS2 on hand I'd also recommend getting Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy Tactics.

...or working out some form of "legal" emulation.