I'm really unsure whether to get this game. (Opinions?)

#1 Posted by Hupfen (44 posts) -

I adore the Studio Ghibli animations, and I am so attached to them all. However, I'd rather keep my £40 if this game isn't as good as it was all hiped up to be.

What are your opinions on the game, doesn't matter if you have or haven't played it.

#2 Edited by Zeik (2537 posts) -

Nearing 60 hours into the game and it's probably my favorite PS3 game at this point. To be fair, I do have an unabashed love of this style of JRPG though.

I do have my share of minor complaints here and there, but overall it's a really really good JRPG. If you like JRPGs you should buy it.

#3 Posted by lilbigsupermario (842 posts) -

I'm 12 hours in so far (haven't given it too much time lately).

If you like JRPGs and you like Studio Ghibli, then get it, I'm sure you'll like it. Story-wise, it's Studio Ghibli style, young main character on a fantasy and whimsical quest that usually has a heart-warming story with morals in it and interesting colorful characters. Presentation, it's awesome, looks really good! Gameplay, it doesn't really bring something new, it's like a mash of Pokemon (due to use of familiars) and Final Fantasy 12 (due to the battle system where you control only one character) but it's fun and challenging.

If you're a child at heart and plays JRPG, then you'll definitely like it.

#4 Posted by Damian (1538 posts) -

If you're a fan of Ghibli and can go for a JRPG, it's a no-brainer. If you're a fan of Pokemon I imagine that helps.

A lot of people say there's an undue amount of grinding, but I'm no JRPG officionatto and I did fine. Though, to be honest, I was highly OP by the end because I was grinding inadvertently just trying to get some of the more frustrating side-quests complete.

Selfishly, I'd very much like to see Ghibli/Level5 do more of this, so I say grab it.

#5 Posted by Sterling (2454 posts) -
Do it!
#6 Posted by Gorehorn (90 posts) -

Hmm, how much tolerance do you have for bad combat systems? With combat not being turn-based, party member's AI being pretty horrible and no functional way of micromanaging your whole party, battles mostly turn into all-out slugging and their difficulty mostly depends on the number of opponents you're facing. Boss Battles are stupid easy most of the time, though, and if you try to do most of the sidequest normal battles seem to be trivial. Story is slow (no surprises there) and up to now (I suspect I'm about halfway done) pretty lackluster. Some parts are genuinely charming though, and I agree that the graphics look really nice. The hand-drawn bits are pretty sparse, though.

Oh, and the familiar taming and raising makes up a lot of that games appeal, having effectively 12 characters to level up (3-6 of which are unneccesary for combat and therefore completely open to personal choice) makes for fun end-of-combat summaries.

#7 Posted by Fattony12000 (7518 posts) -

It's baller as shit.

#8 Posted by TohruAdachi (261 posts) -

There is nothing to not like about this game other than a New Game plus or an Hardcore Wizard mode in my opinion. The game starts off really nice with the nice soundtrack and gameplay,I believe the thing that gets you the most into the game is the familiars. It gives you a Pokemon feel to it,but even better,you have to catch all 400 and you train them,evolve them,etc. but doesn't have that hardcore EV training part too it. At the same time,the battle soundtrack never gets old,and as you get your party members it'll be kind of annoying since they use their MP so fast and die so fast,and well lets just say really dumb,you soon learn how to play them more and it makes the game more enjoyable,and traveling on a dragon is just so much better,soaring through the skies in the game. The game also has a really good storyline too in my opinion,a boy who looks to save his mum's soul mate,it's flipping amazing! Not just that,but you equip your familiars with numerous weapons making them stronger and even get to make it yourself. The boss battles are also really enjoyable,I only disliked one of them,but yeah,I recommend doing all the bounty quest for the boss early on so it's more challenging,I regret doing it on a higher level,because I really wanted to fight a competitive hard boss.

Also I'm point out that I didn't spoil anything since the game in the beginning already shows Oliver riding a dragon and I believe in the case too,however I do apologize if I did!

#9 Posted by D_Bones (365 posts) -

18 hours in. Really fun but you would need to enjoy jrpgs and ghibli to really love this game, which i do :D

#10 Posted by Marz (5658 posts) -

it's a JRPG yo, if you like JRPG's then play it.

#11 Posted by kerse (2117 posts) -

If you like JRPGs you should get it, if you dislike them you will HATE this game. The ghibli anime videos kinda stop coming after like the beginning of the game, there's a few scattered here and there and voice acting is pretty much nonexistant after 10 hours. The combat can be a pain at times, but overall I'm still really enjoying it.

#12 Posted by 8Bit_Archer (456 posts) -

I really enjoy it, but with all game purchases do your research first!

#13 Posted by killacam (1284 posts) -

get it ya bunter!

#14 Posted by Spoonman671 (4694 posts) -

If you're on the fence about it, then I don't recommend getting it. There really is not a ton of Ghibli animation to appreciate in this game, though the in-game graphics certainly have their fair share of charm (I actually prefer these cutscenes). The combat is pretty mindless, and I'm finding the game extremely easy. The side quests are generally uninteresting time-sinks, as well, and involve entirely too much mundane dialog. Also, the UI is pretty unwieldy.

I actually am enjoying the game so far (~50 hours), but it's mostly getting by on adorableness, awesome animations, and the fun of catching, raising, and evolving monsters. If you don't think you're predisposed to liking this game, then I would not expect it to win you over.

#15 Posted by mwng (944 posts) -

@Gorehorn said:

Hmm, how much tolerance do you have for bad combat systems? With combat not being turn-based, party member's AI being pretty horrible and no functional way of micromanaging your whole party, battles mostly turn into all-out slugging and their difficulty mostly depends on the number of opponents you're facing. Boss Battles are stupid easy most of the time, though, and if you try to do most of the sidequest normal battles seem to be trivial.

This was my experience too, maybe I'm just too attached to turn based systems. Or maybe I'm playing it wrong, but the tales series handles the cluster fuck of real time battles so much better.

The story is pretty sappy, but has had me smiling like a loser throughout, if you enjoyed some of the more whimsical Ghibli films you're bound to like it, though actual Ghibli animation sequences are few and far between it seems. The familiar capturing/training stuff has almost the same draw as Pokemon, but it's a little grindy sometimes (having to feed your familiar 1000000 chocolates to advance levels...). It's also a very very pretty game, with a great ost and possibly the best localization I've seen in a video game, I can't stress this enough.

If you can forgive the combat (or work out what I'm doing wrong) I'd say it's definitely worth getting.

I think the reason everyone is so excited about it is because localizations of good JRPGs seem to be few and far between at the moment. Also note: Tales of Xillia is out in a few months if you're itching for a different real time battle JRPG.

#16 Edited by Zeik (2537 posts) -

I really don't agree that the combat is bad. In fact I actually think it can be quite fun at times once you figure it out. It's not the highpoint of the game, but I don't consider it a flaw either.

The AI definitely has it's issues, but you've just got to learn to work around them. For example, the AI can be really wasteful with MP when you leave them on their own, so you just give them a physical familiar up front and set their AI to not use skills and that's really not an issue anymore. Just switch to them and manually use skills if you need to. The other option is to not fill your skill slots full of expensive skills when you're exploring. Generally you don't need a skill that costs 30 MP just to clear out some random enemies. Lately I've been able to keep my AI companions on "Do what you like" and not have to worry about it. It could be better, but generally the AI does what it needs to do for me without getting in the way.

The fact that you can't access the tactics menu at all apart from controlling your human in battle is a much bigger nuisance than the AI itself IMO.

#17 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

@Hupfen:

I'm about 3 hours in and so far it is a nice looking, fairly straightforward JRPG that is inoffensive and nice and all that but it's not the amazing thing that I was expecting. But, again, I'm only 3 hours in and have only fought one boss.

#18 Posted by evanbower (1215 posts) -
@Zeik

Nearing 60 hours into the game and it's probably my favorite PS3 game at this point. To be fair, I do have an unabashed love of this style of JRPG though.

I do have my share of minor complaints here and there, but overall it's a really really good JRPG. If you like JRPGs you should buy it.

I second all of this. This and Valkyria Chronicles are probably tied as my favs.
#19 Posted by Efesell (630 posts) -

It's an adorable, whimsical love letter to JRPGs of old.

You can probably gauge interest by how many of those words you like.

#20 Edited by CollyWolly (64 posts) -

I previously had an open disdain for JRPGs and their bizarre nonsense. However, I purchased this game after being intrigued by the unique and beautiful graphics and reading an almost universal sentiment from reviewers that the game is excellent. I was interested in trying something new, so picked this game up on a whim.

I am absolutely loving the game. I am 35 hours in, and it just keeps getting better and better. I would say even if you are someone who has little experience or interest in JRPGs, give this game a shot. It's got a certain charm/magic that dispels my cynicism and makes me wish I could spend all day playing it.

#21 Posted by Vanek (383 posts) -

If you're looking at this game for the Ghibli animation or story then I'd say either wait till the price drops or simply don't buy it.

I don't think this is a bad game but I'm about 20 hours in and I'm liking it less and less. The bits you actually want to see, ie: story sequences and animated videos seem to drop off as the game progresses and the combat becomes the games main focus. That's not me saying the combat is bad, it's not, but the ratio between combat and story just isn't to my liking. It doesn't help that I find the story to be hit and miss with certain parts being a little boring to me and the sheer amount of combat eventually takes its toll.

As I said, I don't think you should buy it but try the demo if you haven't and maybe that'll help you. It seems to have some amazing high points but it doesn't reinvent the JRPG or solve any existing issues from what I've played.

#22 Posted by Hupfen (44 posts) -

@oulzac said:

Do it!

THEN I WILL KIND SIR~

@TohruAdachi said:

There is nothing to not like about this game other than a New Game plus or an Hardcore Wizard mode in my opinion. The game starts off really nice with the nice soundtrack and gameplay,I believe the thing that gets you the most into the game is the familiars. It gives you a Pokemon feel to it,but even better,you have to catch all 400 and you train them,evolve them,etc. but doesn't have that hardcore EV training part too it. At the same time,the battle soundtrack never gets old,and as you get your party members it'll be kind of annoying since they use their MP so fast and die so fast,and well lets just say really dumb,you soon learn how to play them more and it makes the game more enjoyable,and traveling on a dragon is just so much better,soaring through the skies in the game. The game also has a really good storyline too in my opinion,a boy who looks to save his mum's soul mate,it's flipping amazing! Not just that,but you equip your familiars with numerous weapons making them stronger and even get to make it yourself. The boss battles are also really enjoyable,I only disliked one of them,but yeah,I recommend doing all the bounty quest for the boss early on so it's more challenging,I regret doing it on a higher level,because I really wanted to fight a competitive hard boss.

Also I'm point out that I didn't spoil anything since the game in the beginning already shows Oliver riding a dragon and I believe in the case too,however I do apologize if I did!

It sound pretty good, even with it's flaws! I love how everyone is representing the 'monster collecting' as a Pokemon thing, which really touches home with me. :)

I may consider actually buying it then! I've always been a fan of JRPG's, even if I haven't played many. I'm quite open to what ever game, really.

@CollyWolly said:

I previously had an open disdain for JRPGs and their bizarre nonsense. However, I purchased this game after being intrigued by the unique and beautiful graphics and reading an almost universal sentiment from reviewers that the game is excellent. I was interested in trying something new, so picked this game up on a whim.

I am absolutely loving the game. I am 35 hours in, and it just keeps getting better and better. I would say even if you are someone who has little experience or interest in JRPGs, give this game a shot. It's got a certain charm/magic that dispels my cynicism and makes me wish I could spend all day playing it.

Thank you. :)

You and I share a kind of resemblance with finding and buying things which look good. I heard about it's beautiful graphics, and it's absolutely amazing that they have pulled off such a style, I feel.

#23 Posted by TohruAdachi (261 posts) -

It really is a good game! Most of the people who say the storyline sucks haven't got to the end of the game yet!

#24 Posted by destruktive (1069 posts) -

I've got one single thing to say about this game: It's fucking awesome.

Go get it.

#25 Posted by me3639 (1790 posts) -

My first JRPG and im having a good time at around the 40 hour mark(Just got a new ride, and im not talking about the boat). The combat, IMO, is hit or miss, but the game, story, characters, and world are awesome.

#26 Posted by Demoskinos (15011 posts) -

People who say the combat is bad are crazy. Sure, the A.I. is a tad dumb but once you get the All-Defense/Offense commands telling them what to do greatly changes how effective they are in battle.

#27 Posted by TohruAdachi (261 posts) -

@Demoskinos:True that,you just have to use the All-Out Defense right when the opponent uses the attack before the dumbass AI walks around like an idiot. On the other hand the only thing I hate about the AI is that S-w-n-e always takes the MP essence even though half of the time doesn't use his MP,and they keep steaing my golden essence! On the other hand Esther just heals so that's good... I really wanted to play S-w-n-e as an main attacker in the party similar to FF13 because I used Sazh, but no.......

#28 Edited by me3639 (1790 posts) -

@Gorehorn:

I agree with you i think the combat is not that polished. i have heard a lot of praise, but to me it is hit or miss. The timing is my biggest complaint. It needs maybe just a slight 1-2 second adjustment in movement and reaction time to counter and block. Would have been better if turn based as opposed to real time. And the AI, as with other RPGs should always, and i mean always include a DAO style tactics menu. So time consuming to go through each charcter and throw out the right familiar, or cast a certain spell for each challenging combat encounter.

.

#29 Posted by Demoskinos (15011 posts) -

@TohruAdachi: My problem has been that Esther just buuuuurns through her MP so damn quick. My only complaint is I wish you could set up more advanced A.I. routines like how you could in Dragon Age. Luckily, her running out of MP usually isn't a issue since there is almost always a save point before a boss and most field enemies are fairly easy if you aren't in a area you are vastly underleveled for.

#30 Posted by TohruAdachi (261 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@TohruAdachi: My problem has been that Esther just buuuuurns through her MP so damn quick. My only complaint is I wish you could set up more advanced A.I. routines like how you could in Dragon Age. Luckily, her running out of MP usually isn't a issue since there is almost always a save point before a boss and most field enemies are fairly easy if you aren't in a area you are vastly underleveled for.

I usually have to solo the boss with Oliver or just make the boss go after me while they attack it,on the other hand I wish they made it so when you used the attack button it instantly changes back to Esther and than you can attack again,etc. Because usually after you use an attack like a spell there's usually a cooldown too,and it'll take awhile for the familiar to use the attack button so they should've just made it similar to Final Fantasy. Oliver 1st -> Es 2nd -> Sw 3rd -> Oliver 1st.

#31 Posted by Kerned (1170 posts) -

I lasted about 5 hours. The combat is terrible. Boring and repetitive is just not my cup of tea at all. Also, the voice acting for the player's character is just the worst. I knew there would be no way I could sit through tens of hours of "yippee!" and "neato!" For what it's worth, I'm not a huge JRPG fan but I was hopeful this one would click with me. It SO did not.

#32 Edited by Karkarov (3178 posts) -

Best RPG I have played since Xenoblade except for Dragon's Dogma which is actually much more action RPG. This game is awesome on many many levels. You can tell Ghibli was involved and I don't just mean with the graphics, the story, the lore, the presentation. It is like I am playing one of their movies as a game. The voice acting is great, the characters are all likable, the wizards compendium is stupid cool.

Unless you absolutely hate JRPG's I would recommend the game.

Edit: It seems weird but I get the feeling a lot of Giant Bomb users seem to think Pokemon is it's own genre or something? It is a JRPG too. It isn't even the first JRPG to focus on monster collection.

#33 Posted by TohruAdachi (261 posts) -

@Kerned said:

I lasted about 5 hours. The combat is terrible. Boring and repetitive is just not my cup of tea at all. Also, the voice acting for the player's character is just the worst. I knew there would be no way I could sit through tens of hours of "yippee!" and "neato!" For what it's worth, I'm not a huge JRPG fan but I was hopeful this one would click with me. It SO did not.

That's probably it than. Usually JRPGs the character usually say some weird catchphrase or just does a weird pose. I don't know about voice acting,I liked it,but I just loved the Japanese one more so I switched it,and the combat isn't really terrible in my opinion,only problem is you always have to watch out for golden essence before your party members take it. On the other hand I was so totally gonna bash on you until you said you weren't a JRPG fan. I played a total of 13 JRPGs in my life and around 6 RPGs in my life,not really if they're JRPG though,but the other two are WRPG.

#34 Posted by Kerned (1170 posts) -

@TohruAdachi: Thanks for not bashing on me, I guess. :/

#35 Posted by Demoskinos (15011 posts) -

@Kerned said:

I lasted about 5 hours. The combat is terrible. Boring and repetitive is just not my cup of tea at all. Also, the voice acting for the player's character is just the worst. I knew there would be no way I could sit through tens of hours of "yippee!" and "neato!" For what it's worth, I'm not a huge JRPG fan but I was hopeful this one would click with me. It SO did not.

Well to be fair the combat doesn't really open up until after you get your 3rd party member. If its not your cup o' tea its not your cup o' tea but just something to remember.

#36 Posted by Demoskinos (15011 posts) -

@TohruAdachi said:

@Demoskinos said:

@TohruAdachi: My problem has been that Esther just buuuuurns through her MP so damn quick. My only complaint is I wish you could set up more advanced A.I. routines like how you could in Dragon Age. Luckily, her running out of MP usually isn't a issue since there is almost always a save point before a boss and most field enemies are fairly easy if you aren't in a area you are vastly underleveled for.

I usually have to solo the boss with Oliver or just make the boss go after me while they attack it,on the other hand I wish they made it so when you used the attack button it instantly changes back to Esther and than you can attack again,etc. Because usually after you use an attack like a spell there's usually a cooldown too,and it'll take awhile for the familiar to use the attack button so they should've just made it similar to Final Fantasy. Oliver 1st -> Es 2nd -> Sw 3rd -> Oliver 1st.

Not a terrible idea but also there are cases where you need to cancel out of an attack animation and either hit defend or in the cases using familiars who don't have an Defend/Evade switch to Oliver and hit Defend before a big attack hits.

#37 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

@Hupfen said:

I adore the Studio Ghibli animations, and I am so attached to them all. However, I'd rather keep my £40 if this game isn't as good as it was all hiped up to be.

What are your opinions on the game, doesn't matter if you have or haven't played it.

Demo.

#38 Edited by TohruAdachi (261 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@TohruAdachi said:

@Demoskinos said:

@TohruAdachi: My problem has been that Esther just buuuuurns through her MP so damn quick. My only complaint is I wish you could set up more advanced A.I. routines like how you could in Dragon Age. Luckily, her running out of MP usually isn't a issue since there is almost always a save point before a boss and most field enemies are fairly easy if you aren't in a area you are vastly underleveled for.

I usually have to solo the boss with Oliver or just make the boss go after me while they attack it,on the other hand I wish they made it so when you used the attack button it instantly changes back to Esther and than you can attack again,etc. Because usually after you use an attack like a spell there's usually a cooldown too,and it'll take awhile for the familiar to use the attack button so they should've just made it similar to Final Fantasy. Oliver 1st -> Es 2nd -> Sw 3rd -> Oliver 1st.

Not a terrible idea but also there are cases where you need to cancel out of an attack animation and either hit defend or in the cases using familiars who don't have an Defend/Evade switch to Oliver and hit Defend before a big attack hits.

Yeah lol I was using a familiar (forgot which one) for the the near end-game final boss and instead of blocking I used Psyche Up.

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