I hate that I don't want to play this game anymore

#1 Posted by Pullarius_Capax (80 posts) -

(I am reposting this from a reply to the First Impressions topic)

To begin this rant I have to say that I absolutely hate it that I don't want to play this game anymore.

I am a huge fan of the Tales series (this game is a Tales game in everything but name and combat) so I went into it with high hopes, and my first impressions were that I loved it, the presentation, the merit stamp sequence and the heart system are all really cool, but as I got deeper into the combat I realized I really didn't like it at all. One, I have never found a monster collecting system compelling other than in pokemon as I feel it just distracts from the characters of the story. Two, switching between familiars and characters and their commands is too clunky, the fact that it takes several steps (some of which don't pause the action) to get from using a familiar to use an item is just absurd to me. Three, a lot of the difficulty of the combat to me comes from the fact that MP is scarce (characters don't have a lot of it, doesn't regenerate and restorative items are ridiculously expensive for how much MP they restore) and I don't find that kind of challenge very fun at all. I may give this game another go (I'm maybe 2-3 hours ahead of Brad in the quick look), but I think I may just replay Tales of Vesperia or Tales of Grace F even though I will be really missing everything about this game.

As a demonstration of my love of the Tales series I will just say that Tales of Symphonia for the Gamecube is my favorite game I have ever played.

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#2 Edited by project343 (2812 posts) -

It sounds to me like you're trying to play this game as a Tales game. Stick with one character/familiar unless you have a really specific reason to swap (like, some dude has a lightning spell, and the enemy is weak to lightning).

Also, MP is your juice. It's actually a lot like the Pokemon games: you can only go so long before having to go back to the Pokecenter. Making due with what you've got and trying to be conservative is the name of the game.

#3 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (1591 posts) -

The combat didn't really click for me until about 15 hours in. And once I stopped obsessing about which familiars to use, I started having more fun. I find that when a game gets a little overwhelming with all its systems, I like to set rules for myself to make things more manageable. I settled on giving each character one sun familiar, one moon familiar, and one star familiar. Then I focused on making sure they were all of their favorite genuses. I'm sure there are better familiars I could be using at this point, but devoting a ton of time to working that stuff out doesn't sound fun to me.

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#4 Edited by kerse (2100 posts) -

The only things I'm not liking so far is the battle music (its just not a good song for battling), the way Oliver always says one of 3 lines at the beginning of battle thats twice as loud as the rest of the dialogue in the game (I admit this is a little nit-picky) and your familiars all start at level 1 whether you catch a new one or evolve it, they catch up to like 5 levels under you pretty fast, but it makes it feel like its gonna be super grindy later on. I'm also not liking that if you switch to a character and hit something like defend on a familiar and then switch back they put that familiar away, so no queuing up actions.

I'm still really enjoying it and I hear you get a all defend or all attack thing in a little bit and that seems like a game changer, I just wish that games that had ai companions would have more ai control options, maybe not quite as crazy as dragon age, but at least more than the 1.

#5 Posted by Yadilie (380 posts) -

This isn't Tales. You sound like you want to play a Tales, why I don't know. But you should probably go play a Tales game.

#6 Posted by Pullarius_Capax (80 posts) -

@kerse, @SpunkyHePanda: I decided to switch the difficulty to easy and I have a group of familiars I am happy with to keep thus the frustration has abated and I am enjoying the game a whole lot more than I was. I still wish the combat was more like Tales, but I'm having a lot of fun with the game now so I'm good.

@Yadilie: I would love to play a Tales game, but they have only released 3 this entire console generation (one of them being Tales of Symphonia 2 which wasn't great).

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#7 Posted by kerse (2100 posts) -

@Pullarius_Capax: Xillia is supposedly coming out this year, I'm pretty excited for it.

#8 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

@Pullarius_Capax: How does Tales of Graces F compare to Tales of Symphonia? I had quite a few issues with Vesperia, but loved Symphonia. Should I consider jumping into that experience?

#9 Posted by Pullarius_Capax (80 posts) -

@project343: Well I guess it depends what your issues were with Vesperia, the biggest difference of Graces F is that they completely overhauled the title system to something where they each individually gain experience and impart bonuses and you constantly switch between them after you max them out.

Man I really really want to play symphonia (for the 3rd or 4th time) but it requires me to connect my wii and buy another wavebird receiver. I basically only keep the Wii to be able to play Symphonia again.

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#10 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1386 posts) -
#11 Posted by iGooner7 (136 posts) -

JRPG is finally back with masterpiece and you dont want to play it anymore?

Stop playing it as a Tales of game and you will 100% enjoy it.

Its been years since I played a really good classic JRPG

Ni No Kuni will offer you an experience that you wont ever forget.

Dont give up on it cause at the end you will regret it. Believe me mate

#12 Posted by Pullarius_Capax (80 posts) -

Having gotten back to it I have basically beat the game (I died on the third phase of the final boss and it check pointed me to the beginning of the whole battle, so that combined with how completely unnecessary and tacked on that third phase felt, it will be awhile before I put in the effort to go through the boss battle again). Here is my sort of review (possibly spoilery):

While the production quality from the graphics to the voice acting is absolutely top notch and the side quest system with the merit stamps and "perks" is really cool, I was disappointed with everything else. I thought the story had good promise in the beginning but the last few hours are just baffling, you see the white witch plotting throughout the entire game yet she basically doesn't have any effect on the protagonists until the last 10-15% of the game which is also the first time they learn she exists at all (they don't even suspect someone is behind Shadar). So basically in a game called "Wrath of the White Witch" I felt that the White Witch was tacked on and the game would have been better served completely dropping her and developing Shadar more, whose interesting but slightly cliched backstory is only revealed in an info dump right after you beat him. Also the game does very little in characterizing your party beyond Oliver, this is a problem with a lot of JRPG's but I felt the Tales games did a much better job of giving characters in the party at least a personality

The use of the familiars just makes the character problem worse. Pokemon works because the character is non existence and you get attached to the pokemon and you strategize with the elements and what not and the grinding of pokemon to get a pokemon of a type you need for a gym leader make sense. In a game with actual characters like this it makes it harder to really emotionally attach to either and the story means that going out and grinding up a familiar specifically for its element not compelling at all.

@iGooner7: So overall I was disappointed with this game, but when they apply this high of a production value to something like a Tales game, I cannot wait (I don't think this requires studio ghibli as I feel the real high mark of this game is the english voice acting)

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#13 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

@Pullarius_Capax said:

Also the game does very little in characterizing your party beyond Oliver, this is a problem with a lot of JRPG's but I felt the Tales games did a much better job of giving characters in the party at least a personality

What.

I love all my companions. They all each feel so distinct and likable. The entire Hamelin bit with Swaine was completely touching on a level that few other JRPGs nail.

#14 Posted by Karkarov (2984 posts) -

Holy crap has the expectations for JRPG's really become Tales games? It is a sad day when a tiny sub genre of "JRPG" (a term I hate to begin with) is being confused with the standard. Play the game the way it plays, it isn't a tales game, no game that doesn't have tales in the title is, stop trying to play it like it is one.

#15 Posted by Pullarius_Capax (80 posts) -

@project343: But other than that sequence he has almost no personality I feel any strength of the characters comes from the great voice acting (though I feel Swaine's voice is just too generically British), The game doesn't really go into what happened to him in the period between being broken hearted and leaving hamelin.

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#16 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7051 posts) -
@Ghost_Cat
This picture made me happier than it had any right to.
#17 Posted by kishinfoulux (2255 posts) -

You shouldn't feel bad. No need to force yourself through any game if you're not feeling it anymore. Maybe in time you'll come back to it. Honestly I don't think you're missing out on anything incredible. It's a solid game, but if you don't finish it there is much better out there.

#18 Posted by Marz (5642 posts) -

yeah, it's definitely not a tales game, how you got that impression in the first place lead to false expectations.

#19 Posted by Alkaiser (358 posts) -

Tales characters are bad. I don't know a nice way to put that, but they're all shit. Except for the dog. That dog could steal, and that was pretty sweet.

#20 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

As a fan of PS1 and PS2 RPG's I was thinking of picking up a used PS3 just for this game, should I?

#21 Posted by Kerned (1169 posts) -

@kerse said:

The only things I'm not liking so far is the battle music (its just not a good song for battling), the way Oliver always says one of 3 lines at the beginning of battle thats twice as loud as the rest of the dialogue in the game (I admit this is a little nit-picky)

Not nit-picky in the least, in fact it's a major reason that I am trading this game in tomorrow. Mostly though, I just find the combat so boring. It's not what I consider "neato!"

#22 Edited by Stymie (16 posts) -

I think there is somewhat of a curve to the experience of Ni no Kuni, and a lot of the disagreement you'll find about the game has to do with different players being at different phases of the game. I'm about 50 hours in, and I'm knocking on the door of the game's end. The majority of the "RPG" elements of the game have held up; I love (almost) all the characters, I have been thoroughly satisfied with plot and its twists / revelations, I love the music, I love the exploration, I love the horrible puns and the goofy familiars.

But as the game winds down, I have to say I truly, sincerely hate the combat. It's been a sort of parabolic experience for me. In Ni no Kuni's very early sections, I was pretty nonplussed by the fighting; of course, the game opens its mechanics at a very slow and deliberate pace, so that is to be expected. As I got further into the game, I started really enjoying the combat -- there would be frustrating moments, but they were always things I felt that were within the boundaries of my control and which I could do better. However, somewhere around the 35 hour mark, a sense of loathing started settling in for me as the fights became less forgiving, and the flaws in the combat system stood out more and more. Now, as I'm going up against end-game bosses, I find myself struggling to keep playing at times.

First and foremost, the AI is remarkably terrible. I've glanced at various forums, and most people seem to notice this later in the game (not sure if the larger # of available spells affects the games AI) and it continuously worsens the longer you play the game. Now, heading towards the game's final dungeon, the party members I'm not controlling can often be seen running against the wall with a familiar out but not taking any action. And healing -- forget about it. I've tried setting up two characters as healers, specifically with healing pets and setting their AI mode to "Keep us healthy." Somewhere around the 40 hour mark, they decided they didn't like doing that anymore. Even though I've given them familiars which have vastly superior healing capabilities compared to their own, they tend to dismiss the healing pet -- sometimes to auto attack / melee, sometimes to do nothing at all.

I've also hit a boiling point with casting animations. Many bosses early in the game have "cinematic" abilities that stop all other action. Bosses later in the game have tons of them, and sometimes cast them every 7-8 seconds (some more frequently than that). This leads to a situation where you cannot use some of your good abilities on numerous boss fights, because if the cast time is 2 seconds + the ability needs an additional 2 seconds to finish its animation, your abilities will get "canceled" in order for the boss' spell to go into cinematic mode. You don't lose the MP, but it *does* set your ability to use spells on cooldown.

And the bosses that leave damage or ailment effects on the ground, and constantly watching your AI teammates run right through them...

Watching the AI teammates bring out their familiars at the start of a fight and waiting 10 seconds before they'll do anything...

Switching from Oliver to a teammate in order to make them bring a familiar out or cast a spell, only to in-turn watch Oliver immediately dismiss his familiar and decide to go whack something with his wand...

Not being able to equip any of the badass, high MP abilities on your familiars because if you do, your teammates will spam them and go OOM 15 seconds into a fight...

The list goes on (and on, and on). Every layer of complexity and difficulty that gets added to the combat, I feel the flaws just stand out more and more. I can't see myself ever playing the game again because of this, and that is such a damned shame, because Ni no Kuni has shown me some of the most heartfelt, sincere moments I've ever seen in a JRPG, and the characterization seen in the game (I'm trying really hard to avoid any remote spoilers, here) is just simply excellent.

#23 Posted by Demoskinos (14562 posts) -

I've been way more distracted by Legend of Grimrock. I have two days off with no plans I should be mainlining me some Ni No Kuni like a motherfucker and instead I'm starting at dungeon walls for hidden switches oh...and I popped DmC back in after I bought the costume pack. I really adore the spirit of the game but something about the game seems off... i dunno I'm not hating it I'm just not in the mood to play right now?

#24 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5235 posts) -

It's okay. Jrpgs are a niche for a reason. Usually they have at least one or two things that keep people from playing them. Whether it be grinding, characters, or in this case combat management. I personally love the game and plan on finishing it.

#25 Posted by TohruAdachi (261 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior: You won't be wanting to return it,KENNY! However if you read post above this game is freaking masterpiece,best JRPG in this genre,Persona 4 Golden in second.Persona 3 FES in third.

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