RPG Retrospective

After I cut down a great many games on my to-be-played list, I plan on running an RPG retrospective of console RPG' dating back to the PS1, as well as various PC games from 1990-2007 (roughly). The following is a list of games I either own or know that are widely available. I will NOT be pirating games for the sake of a blog.

List items

13 Comments
Posted by dankempster

Some really stellar titles on there. In response to your recent status, I'd definitely be interested in hearing more about the Suikoden games. They're games that I've always wanted to check out but have never been able to, due to their rarity in physical form and none of them getting digital releases over here in the UK. The original Fallout would be cool too, for similar reasons, although my reason for not playing that is simply an inability to get over the hump of the somewhat dated CRPG gameplay.

I wish you the best of luck with this project, Sparky, and can't wait to see what comes of it.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@dankempster: Thanks for the input. I'm glad to hear someone will want to hear about Suikoden, as I plan on playing through 1, 3, 4, and 5 for this thing. I don't intend on playing every game to completion on this list, as that would be incredibly time consuming and would probably result in a decade of blogs (interesting idea, but I don't have that kind of stamina). The tentative plan - and mind you, it is VERY tentative at that - is to play the minor games for at least one week's blog, the major releases for two weeks' blogs, and more if anyone has some particular desire to see me complete and/or play through a game longer. I also plan to try to complete several games whose conclusions have eluded me - namely, Wild ARMS 3 & 5, Phantom Brave, and bunches of games I've purchased but have yet to try.

As I write this, I realize how silly that plan sounds. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I do change that up to completing the games that interest me and "endure" as many of the others as I can until I run out of things to write about or just plainly feel like I've done enough.

Like I say, I've got time to think about it. Bah. Regardless, I know most of the Suikoden games like the back of my hand. I own Suikoden 2 as well, but as it's in near mint condition with all its original manuals and case, I'm really loathing the idea of busting it out and may just cover it in broad strokes. Besides, despite it being one of the pinnacles of RPG storytelling, its gameplay was far surpassed by III and V.

As for Fallout, again, I know the series very, very well, so it shouldn't take much effort to blow back through it and cover it fully. I might also do up Fallout Tactics as a side entry, despite it not being a real RPG (or a really good game).

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Posted by Mento

Any reason you're skipping the second Suikoden? It's probably the best one, all told. I imagine it's an availability issue, which is a shame, but I'd strongly consider covering that before the rather underwhelming 4. Like Dan, I'd love to read more about 3, it being the only Suikoden that was never released over here in the UK for whatever reason. I have a rather grotesquely overstuffed list of JRPGs I've played if you need any further inspiration, but I think this is probably plenty. Any excuse for a plug, though, right?

A little insider scoop: After VGK and I had a blog duel of sorts over The Temple of Elemental Evil last year, ArbitraryWater's been thinking of staging something similar with either Might & Magic VII or Arcanum with a new duo (or trio) of GB bloggers. I'm not suggesting it should interrupt the retrospective project you're undertaking here, but it might be a fun thing to do with another interested party if you're covering those games anyway.

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Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@Mento: About Suikoden II - I'll definitely be covering it, but I didn't include it on this list as I won't actually be playing it. I have a like-new copy of it on my shelf, and while I'm not shy about playing my other rare games, that's one I won't risk. That being said, I have played it multiple times and I feel that I can cover it in great depth with a minimal amount of help from the Internet.

I'll add it, though, with a footnote explaining that. Thanks for the heads-up. As for the Arcanum/M&M VII, that's an interesting idea, but I'm terrible about deadlines and would probably fall rapidly behind.

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Posted by drac96

Bah this list just reminds me that my copy of xenosaga 3 is broken. I went to replay it last year and it won't go past the first cinematic. Apparently the tiny scratch on the disc is a huge deal.

I guess I just had problems with that game though haha. When I picked up my preorder copy there was black goo all over the first disc and it couldn't be read. I had to exchange it.

Good times.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@drac96: I sold a copy of Ep. 3 just before it skyrocketed in price. I was severely pissed about that one. Had I waited no more than a week, I could have sold it for nearly $30 more than I did. Grrr...

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Posted by Luxer

Good list. I recently started doing this as well... so I'll try to avoid doing the exact same games. Although I don't think I can resist the Lunar or Suikoden I+II.

Posted by Slag

hah loved your comment on Suikoden II! Too funny and too true!

man Suikoden IV though.... I don't envy you on that one. Ugh that was dreadfully dull.

Lookin forward to whenever you get to Zettai Hero Project. I know nothing about that series.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@Slag said:

hah loved your comment on Suikoden II! Too funny and too true!

man Suikoden IV though.... I don't envy you on that one. Ugh that was dreadfully dull.

Lookin forward to whenever you get to Zettai Hero Project. I know nothing about that series.

And see, I'm weird. I actually liked Suikoden IV. Despite its problems (namely with the combat and the ridiculous rate of random encounters), I thought it was actually better than III, maybe even better than the first (I'll have to play both again to definitively say that). Huh, now that was a lot of parentheses. Eh, oh well.

As for ZHP, I wrote a little bit about it a year or so ago, but I couldn't begin to tell you where to search for that long-lost motha. Long and short of it is, if you've played any sort of NISA games before and either enjoyed or hated them, odds are, ZHP is going to fall in line with your prior experiences. The supremely bizarre anime-styled story scenes are more entertaining than most of the Disgaea games, but the gameplay isn't quite as solid as that series. It's essentially a 3/4 perspective rogue-type action-RPG of sorts. Death in the game actually helps to level your character up. It's kind of a crazy game with a bunch of weird mechanics, but once you get into it, it's supremely addictive.

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Posted by Slag

@Sparky_Buzzsaw said:

And see, I'm weird. I actually liked Suikoden IV. Despite its problems (namely with the combat and the ridiculous rate of random encounters), I thought it was actually better than III, maybe even better than the first (I'll have to play both again to definitively say that). Huh, now that was a lot of parentheses. Eh, oh well.

As for ZHP, I wrote a little bit about it a year or so ago..

Oh my bad, I'll look up the ZHP one then.

As for Suikoden I guess we have opposite tastes!

IV just didn't have the content hooks for me, way too much unavoidable grinding, dull characters (in my opinion) and slow exploration with bland environments. All of which you alluded to. So it's a matter of personal taste I guess.

I don't mind exploration in games and in fact it may be my very favorite aspect of RPGs, but the mix of boat travel + lots of random battles I felt was a bad mix it made backtracking and travel a chore. What Wind Waker got right, Suikoden IV got wrong imo.

I guess I found the political intrigue and character switching of III to be more interesting. I really didn't care about the Hero's story in IV.

Not a terrible game but it felt like it dragged to me and is my least favorite of the series (unless you count Suikoden Tactics).

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@Slag: I didn't do it as a Retrospective, and honestly, it's so far removed from my memory that I couldn't even give you an approximate month as to when I wrote about it. Bleh. Anyways, let us never talk about Suikoden Tactics. Or Suikoden Teirkreis, for that matter. Both shall have to be Retrospectived at some point, probably with a lot of cursing and general farting in the producers' direction.

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Posted by Catsy10

I never got to finish Suikoden IV. I played it at a friend's house but he got rid of the game.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@Catsy10: That's a shame. The ending is terrific, especially with all 108 stars collected.

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