#1 Posted by development (1993 posts) -

(I tried attaching this to the Fire Emblem forum, but the search wasn't working)

I'm a ways into Fire Emblem: the Sacred Stones on the GBA, getting it after seeing it was regarding well among the entries in the series... and I don't have a 3DS or a Wii.

I love the gameplay. I hate everything else. Is there an equivalent experience, where characters can permanently die mid-battle, that isn't ultra-colorful generic anime fantasy? A loaded description, sure, but you get what I mean even if you don't agree. I've had enough cliche JRPG stories for ten lifetimes.

I might pick up Banner Saga, but I'm moreso looking for a game that has the permanent combat death mechanic; not just unconsciousness.

So, basically: a turn-based, character-driven story with permanent combat death... that isn't a JRPG. Does that exist yet?

#2 Edited by Anomareh (91 posts) -

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Well, except for the character-driven story part. It's the closest thing to what you're looking for that I can think of.

#3 Posted by development (1993 posts) -

@anomareh: Oh, duh, I forgot about XCOM. Unfortunately, though, it doesn't run well on my computer. I'll have to pass it up for now.

#4 Edited by Anomareh (91 posts) -

Some older alternatives then? Both are up on GOG. There isn't much story in JA2 and I can't speak to SS. As far as I've found, there really aren't any Fire Emblem-alikes. You can get the strategy and combat or the story, but not both. If you're more interested in the story, not sure I can be of much help.

#5 Edited by ILikePopCans (745 posts) -

Yeah, sorry. There really is not much else. Fire Emblem is well known for that for a reason. Double Fine's Chalice might be that.

Also, Sacred Stones is more of a mid-tier entry in the Fire Emblem. The gameplay is very friendly for series beginners, but decent at best story/characters and easy difficulty really does not bold well for the big time Fire Emblem fans. Please try and play Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance for the GC before writing the series completely off. The story and characters are much better and flesh out more. And other than the hair colors, it's not that animey (at least to me.)

#6 Posted by TobbRobb (4549 posts) -

XCOM and Jagged Alliance are the only ones I can think of.

#7 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1403 posts) -

@anomareh: Oh, duh, I forgot about XCOM. Unfortunately, though, it doesn't run well on my computer. I'll have to pass it up for now.

There's a console version as well, and an ios version I believe. It is also part of the instant game collection as part of PS+, so if you have that the game is free.

#8 Posted by development (1993 posts) -

@anomareh: I might just pick up Jagged Alliance 2, then. I've known of the game for a long time, but I guess I never knew what kind of game it was. Doesn't sound like it has perma-death (or does it?), but it might be good enough for what I want.

#9 Edited by Haruko (284 posts) -

Wizardry has what you need minus the character stuff its a first person wrpg turn based dungeon crawler where you create a party out of selected classes and if you like that there's Etrian Odyssey which is basically wizardry but you have to draw your own maps but no permadeath.

Edit: Also the The Dark Spire on DS.

#10 Posted by Abendlaender (2730 posts) -

Can't remember if Commandos had perma death....I feel bad now

#11 Posted by development (1993 posts) -

@haruko: Which Wizardry game would you recommend? There's... a lot.

#12 Edited by ftrevelin (70 posts) -

No permadeath in it, but you might like Front Mission. It's a tactical rpg with giant robots, japanese, with only a few anime/jrpg cliches it has a story kinda like metal gear solid with that soapy opera war/political fiction feel.

I only played FM3 on PS1 so that's the one I can recommend.

#13 Edited by Anomareh (91 posts) -

@development: It does. Basically you need to overthrow a dictator of an island and you make money by capturing bases and such. Your squad consists of whoever you hire from this mercenary directory. All of them are unique and have their own stats and personalities. The more you use them the more they level up and you buy gear to better equip them. Some will not get along with each other or disagree with missions you take and stuff.

#14 Posted by believer258 (11553 posts) -

@development: Wizardry is nothing like Fire Emblem. I don't know why that user suggested it.

Don't write off Fire Emblem just yet. Try a different one - I hear good things about Path of Radiance so look into that? Nobody else really does this kind of strategy game that I know of.

#15 Posted by Sinusoidal (1255 posts) -

Beware!

The Giant Bomb weeaboo contingent will be here soon enough to tell you about how the fan service is not disgusting and sexist. It's merely our cultural misconceptions at work and everything Japanese is entirely innocent of western perversion. If you don't like something anime, it's because you're a bad person!

Is there fan service in Fire Emblem?

#16 Posted by Superfriend (1517 posts) -

Banner Saga looked a lot like that kind of game. It seems to be rather short though.

#17 Edited by Video_Game_King (35777 posts) -

Is there fan service in Fire Emblem?

Outside of Awakening? Not that I can remember.

Online
#18 Edited by seveword (134 posts) -

Beware!

The Giant Bomb weeaboo contingent will be here soon enough to tell you about how the fan service is not disgusting and sexist. It's merely our cultural misconceptions at work and everything Japanese is entirely innocent of western perversion. If you don't like something anime, it's because you're a bad person!

Is there fan service in Fire Emblem?

Not particularly. The support conversations actually serve to flesh out characters' backstory and personality, not their...flesh. Character design isn't more or less ridiculous than most other games, and while there are some tropes that always wriggle their way into the plot it's usually pretty...I dunno, clean? Not insane? Something to that effect. Awakening is the only one that I've played (and I've played a lot of Fire Emblem) where that stuff seemed more pronounced.

#19 Posted by pyrodactyl (1852 posts) -

Banner Saga looked a lot like that kind of game. It seems to be rather short though.

It's about 8 hours or something. I liked it a lot

#20 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3716 posts) -

Unfortunately a lot of the tactical genre died years ago, but it is coming back. When mid tier games were lost to how the gaming industry went this last gen, that type of game kind of fell through the cracks.

#21 Posted by chrissedoff (2075 posts) -
#22 Posted by thatpinguino (657 posts) -

Final Fantasy Tactics doesn't have a cliche anime story line, but it sure is anime. The game is worth playing if you have a ps3, psp,or ps vita.

#23 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3716 posts) -

@chrissedoff said:

How long until Massive Chalice gets released?

Still very early from the last updates I saw but I am optimistic about that game. Love the idea.

Can't imagine it comes out this year (in a finished state, I should say).

#24 Edited by development (1993 posts) -

@seveword said:
@sinusoidal said:

Beware!

The Giant Bomb weeaboo contingent will be here soon enough to tell you about how the fan service is not disgusting and sexist. It's merely our cultural misconceptions at work and everything Japanese is entirely innocent of western perversion. If you don't like something anime, it's because you're a bad person!

Is there fan service in Fire Emblem?

Not particularly. The support conversations actually serve to flesh out characters' backstory and personality, not their...flesh. Character design isn't more or less ridiculous than most other games, and while there are some tropes that always wriggle their way into the plot it's usually pretty...I dunno, clean? Not insane? Something to that effect. Awakening is the only one that I've played (and I've played a lot of Fire Emblem) where that stuff seemed more pronounced.

From what I played of Sacred Stones (I'm on chapter 9, I think), I just have no interest in the characters. I guess that's what it comes down to. Though, my disinterest could be a result of the writing and character design (pink/green/blue hair, flashy outfits, all the characters look identical, and the men look like girls if they don't have facial hair (straight-up, I thought "Franz" was a girl for the first 6 chapters)), on top of your generic "grab the crystals/stones" JRPG story. I'd actually love some insight into why these things are commonplace in JRPGs. Is there some cultural significance to the macguffins always being crystals/stones/shards-of-whatever or some equivalent? Or is it just easy?

#25 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11413 posts) -

@development: Sacred Stones is one of the weaker installments in the series in terms of both gameplay and story, but they all are pretty JRPG/anime-ish.

I'll echo XCOM, Jagged Alliance 2 and S2: Silent Storm.

Online
#26 Edited by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

That's rough. Permadeath *and* character-driven? The Fire Emblem games are the only ones I can think of that lean so heavily on those two things.

As for general turn-based strategy? There's also the original X-Com, though now I recommend getting that and loading it up through OpenXcom, which generally makes it much nicer on a modern machine than plain old DOSBox.

Someone mentioned FFT. I'll go ahead and recommend Tactics Ogre along with it, which, IMO, has a more grounded world.

If you're on the GBA, you might want to hunt down a copy of Rebelstar. It's designed by the same person who did the original X-Com.

#27 Posted by BlackLagoon (1368 posts) -

Shadowrun Returns, I guess. I think that one has perma-death for non-essential characters, though it's not likely to happen unless you crank up the difficulty.

Battle for Wesnoth maybe? It's community developed so the focus and strength of the campaign plots are all over the place, but your units level up and stay with you throughout a campaign until they die.

#28 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

That title seems somewhat racist.

#29 Edited by development (1993 posts) -

@blacklagoon: I actually beat Shadowrun Returns' main campaign when it was released. I really can't recall, but I think you're right that it had perma-death. Game was boooring, in my opinion.

@ubersnake224 I'm not asking you to speak for everyone else, but, in general, when people recommend FF:Tactics are they recommending the Playstation version or the GBA version? They're completely different games, from what I can tell. Both are highly rated on metacritic.

@arbitrarywater Really? It seems Sacred Stones is among the top in the series, besides the originals and Awakening. Sounds like the in-between games took away mechanics and systems that the fans came to know the series for. I'm just looking at the metacritic user-scores and reviews, though, so that's where I'm getting this impression.

Jeez... never realized how sparse the turn-based strategy market is. It really is pretty bleak. Surprising. Hopefully indies will fill some holes in the next few years.

#30 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11413 posts) -


@arbitrarywater Really? It seems Sacred Stones is among the top in the series, besides the originals and Awakening. Sounds like the in-between games took away mechanics and systems that the fans came to know the series for. I'm just looking at the metacritic user-scores and reviews, though, so that's where I'm getting this impression.

Fire Emblem fans tend to, unsurprisingly, be a bit snobbier about this sort of stuff than your usual critical consensus (and that includes me). Sacred Stones is fine in my book, but among fans of the series it's generally derided for being easy as hell (there are no real crap characters, infinite grinding) and yeah, the story isn't much liked either. If I had my say about the best one released in the west, I'd probably go for either Path of Radiance (the gamecube one) or Awakening.

Still, in this case I don't actually think you can have your cake and eat it too. Fire Emblem is a pretty singular series of strategy games, inasmuch as it doesn't have a lot of other games directly imitating its style of streamlined mechanics + permadeath.

Online
#31 Edited by ILikePopCans (745 posts) -

@development: HA if your going to metacritic then there's your problem. Scared Stones and Awakening has the map system, but only 1 other game before them had a map system. The map/open world system is by NO MEANS a stable of Fire Emblem. Maybe if the next fire emblem game has one then maybe, but no two consecutive fire emblem game had has it. Many of the fire emblem games have taken out and put back in mechanics throughout it's time so there is very little people should expect in a new fire emblem game, especially if the game is not a direct sequel from the previous one. The franchise did start in the famicom era.

Sacred Stones is a middling at best FE game. Maybe you are seeing such great scores because it is only the second FE game that came outside Japan, while in japan this was like the 7 or 8 one.

@arbitrarywater Hey, who are you calling a snobbier? But it does makes sense. With a majority of the series still only being release in japan and fan subs are the only English way to play the game, the die hard probably feel like the top of the totem poll of Fire Emblem fandom with the big ticket of entry to experience all the games.

OK. Im done with talking FE in the forums today. I should really finish this school work.

#32 Posted by myketuna (1644 posts) -

RebelStar: Tactical Command on GBA is kind of like XCOM Enemy Unknown. I've never played Fire Emblem though, so I don't know if XCOM is like Fire Emblem, but you could look into it. I liked what I played of it.

#33 Posted by Arabes (338 posts) -

@development: Jagged Alliance 2 has permadeath, it's also pretty tough in the early stages, especially if you play iron man. You could also try xenonauts, it's a remake of the original x-com that's still in early access I think.

#34 Posted by Veektarius (4530 posts) -

Try Expeditions: Conquistador.

#35 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5111 posts) -

Xcom Eu sounds like just the game for you. I'd definitely say get the expansion Enemy within as well.

#36 Posted by Rejizzle (241 posts) -

I'ld give Fire Emblem another chance. I like the series, but Sacred Stones is my least favorite. Aside from that give the old fallout games a try. 1 and 2 specifically have turn based combat and your companions can die.

#37 Posted by Corvak (830 posts) -

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Ghost Recon - Shadow Wars (3DS)

Even if you don't like Tom Clancy / Ghost Recon games, the 3DS game is a great turn based game with some of the minds behind the original XCOM games behind it.

#38 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (570 posts) -

I know you don't have a 3DS but you should really give Fire Emblem: Awakening a try. It's not very "JRPGish" at all to me really, the art style is different than the older Fire Emblem games and much more original. It was translated by 8-4 and has a very American feel. It not cutesy at all. It really feels like its own thing. It's also a much better game than Sacred Stones.

#39 Posted by MikkaQ (10261 posts) -

Ghost Recon for 3DS is basically that game but with guns.

#40 Edited by Jagged85 (128 posts) -

Front Mission

X-COM

#41 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@anomareh: I might just pick up Jagged Alliance 2, then. I've known of the game for a long time, but I guess I never knew what kind of game it was. Doesn't sound like it has perma-death (or does it?), but it might be good enough for what I want.

JA2 is fantastic but if you start fresh I would advise you to download the fanpatch as well since it makes the game even better:

http://ja2v113.pbworks.com/w/page/4218345/Installation