Old school RPGs funnier than anything I could write about them.

Breath of Death VII: The Beginning

(Man, if ever there was a game that described me perfectly, this would be it.) Think about it: this is both an old school RPG AND a Steam indie game, covering both things I tend to cover in these things. Its humor mainly consists of referencing obscure shit you've certainly never heard of, so you can't tell if it's actually funny. And to top it off, you'll acknowledge it as decent and then forget about it entirely two days from now. Just like me!......That's fucking depressing.

Which is a perfect transition into the story for two reasons. First, it's all about death. (Fans of breath, beginnings, or colons need not apply.) Every character you encounter is dead, and there's only one human the entire time. I'd make a Fragile Dreams comparison, but here comes that other reason: there is no story. There's really nothing here resembling a character arc or a plot line or....anything, really. It's just your characters clumsily bouncing from goal to goal until the game decides it's had enough. Not that that's a bad thing; it's part of what gives the game its charm. A lot of the fun comes from it just mocking every goddamn RPG trope imaginable (usually through the sardonic DEM (presumable last name: BONES)), and for the most part, it works out pretty well. The blunt stuff is pretty cool, but the subtle stuff is what really makes the game work. You know, things like this and this are the reasons why you play this game. (Unless, of course, some dickhead spoils it for you.)

Funniest joke in the game. By far.

Now there's a reason why I said "for the most part": the game references. Turns out Breath of Death loves referencing other video games for a lot of its jokes, even though this is usually where the game falters a bit. Part of it is simply because a few of the references are too obscure for most people to get. Yes, I know what Langrisser is, but does anybody else? After something like that, I was expecting a Witch of Salzburg or Mystic Dragoons reference somewhere just for the hell of it. Certainly wouldn't be the first time it happened. In fact, a lot of the reference jokes don't seem to mesh too well with the story. A robot tells you that he is error for no reason outside his robotic nature and the fact that Zelda 2 did it. It's confusing if you don't get the reference, utterly lame if you do. Lesson of this paragraph? Don't let Family Guy Seth MacFarlane write your jokes. Leave that shit to Johnny Bravo Seth MacFarlane.

Has Seth MacFarlane done any work on RPGs? Because otherwise, I have no goddamn clue how I'm gonna transition into something like that. Hell, I can't even make the obvious cutaway gag reference, since the random encounters here are actually kinda cool. There's a certain rhythm to it, where each round lasts only a few seconds and your random combo meter increases like crazy. But don't think it's some mindless button masher (at least not yet); you still have to pay attention to your HP and heal accordingly, risking the destruction of your meaningless combo in the process. It's a fun balancing act, especially in the boss battles, and is at least part of the reason why the game is so balls hard. I don't know which is more confusing: that undead characters managed to die so damn much, or that I came back so often. I also don't know which of the two is more numerous.

Is anybody else picturing them as overly enthusiastic Evangelical Christians?

Unfortunately, a lot of the battles tend to devolve into simply mashing Enter until you hear elevator music. (Not the dumbest Mass Effect reference the game makes.) Part of this is because of the aforementioned rhythm, but a lot of it is because the systems are simply bloated. This becomes pretty obvious with each level-up, wherein you might be confronted with a choice between two abilities. OK, so most of them actually do provide a hard choice, but it's not quite there. For whatever reason, I never really felt like I missed out on anything when making any of those choices. Still, it's a lot better than the team attacks, for which I could never find a use. Why bother using two characters for one attack when they can separate and be FAR more useful?

This would be the part where I tell you that there's more to this game than the battles, but I'm not that much of an idiot. So excuse me while I get completely goddamn plastered.

Well, it turns out that alcohol poisoning wasn't the inspiration I thought it would be. Although I did get a few ideas from the things that blonde girl was yelling at me. What was I talking about? Oh, right: the dungeons. They're....something. It's gonna be hard to complain about them, but I oddly have a lot to complain about. Every single one of them is a long winding path that often bends into itself simply to fuck with you. You can see why I'd like to complain, but, well, isn't that the point? Isn't Breath of Death VII trying to parody old school RPGs by pointing out how dumb they were? Then again, you probably shouldn't do that by being dumb in the first place. Then again again, these long dungeons pretty much force you into a million battles, which, as I've already discussed, are pretty goddamn cool. Then again again AGAIN, they also m...you know what? Ignore the dungeons. Instead, try to focus on the cool combo stuff and the sarcastic bag of bones thinking things at you. That's what the game's gonna give you, anyway.

Review Synopsis

  • Geez, Lois, did you have to remind me of all those video game references? It's just like that time I tried watching an episode of Family Guy.
  • OK, so a lot of the battle mechanics don't do jack shit, but the good ones actually do jack shit. (Jack shit is good. I should clarify.)
  • The dungeons: they're like the first Dragon Quest, except without the suck.

Some RPG parodies, however, are...less successful.

The Final Fantasy Legend II

(Man, it's been a while since I've even touched a SaGa game.) In fact, I think the last time I did so was....yea, about two years ago with Romancing SaGa for the SNES. So has anything changed in the two years between these games? No, not really. True to its name (the Japanese one, at least), this game's battle systems are near impossible to understand, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Scratch that. I'd have it a few other ways. The translation, for one, could be a lot better. You know how it's been a while since I've touched a SaGa game? Well, it's also been a while since I've seen a translation this bad. I'd list off the reasons why, but it'd feel like I'm just listing off what not to do when translating a game. Might as well, though. First up: don't be so damn literal. I don't have to know the difference between あたし and 俺 to see that every single word was looked up in a Japanese-to-English dictionary. There's a reason most games don't do that: it makes the dialogue feel stilted and unnatural. It doesn't exactly help when the translation is flat-out wrong in several areas. Not in the predictable L/R way, but more in the less well known A/R way. Prepare to fight unquestionably living Orks and the fecal matter of a TF2 character while trying to figure out just what the hell is going on.

So this totally happened while I was playing Final Fantasy Legend II.

Then again, that last part is what makes the actual story kinda cool, so I can't berate it too much for that. It starts off the writers ignoring a three year gap so you can search for your father because he's the only person in the world who owns a hat, and gets weirder from there. Soon after that, you have to shrink down so you can fight horses and terrorists in a goddess' anus, something they're very clear about. And it gets weirder from there. Unfortunately, I can't give the game too much credit for its weirdness, because I don't think it's even aware of how strange this all is. Somebody should really send that Goatse video to Akitoshi Kawazu simply so he knows what can and cannot be found inside somebody's rectum. Yet even ignoring that (although I'm not sure how you can ignore something like "horses in a holy anus"), you still get a pretty involved plot outlining just how much gods suck. Yea, it sounds simple when I put it like that, and while it kinda is, it commits to the idea well enough to get something out of it.

Speaking of getting some, the ba-wait, what? How did that happen? I just wanted to talk about battles; I'm a fighter, not a lover. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that one of the battle system's main strengths is in customization. I mean, it certainly isn't in the actual battle system, which is just regular turn-based fare with a few quirks (no items, very limited defending capabilities, and a completely useless MAGI system). That leaves us with the deceptively strong customization. You only get four classes, but an oddly high amount of versatility between them. Monsters evolve by eating, mutants change at random (remember that), robots are a bit more fixed, and humans are. Already, there's a lot of room to craft your party to your liking, with tankish robots and mostly mediocre monsters, but things get even better when your stats actually come into play. In theory, your characters change according to how you play them, essentially letting you do whatever the hell you want with their stats. Do things right, and you're looking at an ultra versatile, ultra powerful party by the end of the game. Or maybe a bunch of paper dolls that can move between time. It's your call, really.

Of course, this is assuming that you know how the game actually works, and this is where things fall apart pretty fast. For you see, the game doesn't upgrade stats based on use. In fact, I don't know how it upgrades my stats. It's all so random and arcane that you're gonna spend a lot of time brute forcing battles until you get the right ability or monster form or whatever. It gets especially bad near the end, when every other battle is against a boss. OK, to be fair, I can understand the appeal in figuring all this shit out, but Final Fantasy Legend II certainly isn't gonna make it easy. Or maybe it will. I don't know. Sometimes, nothing will stand in your way, while other times, the enemies will be deeper in your ass than you were two worlds ago. The point is that the game can't even make its difficulty clear. In fact, that's probably the best way I could describe this game: I don't get it. How do I increase my defense? How challenging is this game? What are horses doing in this girl's anus? Is this a good game? I can't answer any of these questions. Truly, it is a mystery for the ages....that I can sum up in three bullet points.

Review Synopsis

  • 彼女のけつの穴の中に馬だ!
  • It's pretty cool that this game lets you do whatever the hell you want with your party.
  • Now I just wish I knew how to do whatever the hell I want with my party.
44 Comments
45 Comments
Posted by Video_Game_King

Breath of Death VII: The Beginning

(Man, if ever there was a game that described me perfectly, this would be it.) Think about it: this is both an old school RPG AND a Steam indie game, covering both things I tend to cover in these things. Its humor mainly consists of referencing obscure shit you've certainly never heard of, so you can't tell if it's actually funny. And to top it off, you'll acknowledge it as decent and then forget about it entirely two days from now. Just like me!......That's fucking depressing.

Which is a perfect transition into the story for two reasons. First, it's all about death. (Fans of breath, beginnings, or colons need not apply.) Every character you encounter is dead, and there's only one human the entire time. I'd make a Fragile Dreams comparison, but here comes that other reason: there is no story. There's really nothing here resembling a character arc or a plot line or....anything, really. It's just your characters clumsily bouncing from goal to goal until the game decides it's had enough. Not that that's a bad thing; it's part of what gives the game its charm. A lot of the fun comes from it just mocking every goddamn RPG trope imaginable (usually through the sardonic DEM (presumable last name: BONES)), and for the most part, it works out pretty well. The blunt stuff is pretty cool, but the subtle stuff is what really makes the game work. You know, things like this and this are the reasons why you play this game. (Unless, of course, some dickhead spoils it for you.)

Funniest joke in the game. By far.

Now there's a reason why I said "for the most part": the game references. Turns out Breath of Death loves referencing other video games for a lot of its jokes, even though this is usually where the game falters a bit. Part of it is simply because a few of the references are too obscure for most people to get. Yes, I know what Langrisser is, but does anybody else? After something like that, I was expecting a Witch of Salzburg or Mystic Dragoons reference somewhere just for the hell of it. Certainly wouldn't be the first time it happened. In fact, a lot of the reference jokes don't seem to mesh too well with the story. A robot tells you that he is error for no reason outside his robotic nature and the fact that Zelda 2 did it. It's confusing if you don't get the reference, utterly lame if you do. Lesson of this paragraph? Don't let Family Guy Seth MacFarlane write your jokes. Leave that shit to Johnny Bravo Seth MacFarlane.

Has Seth MacFarlane done any work on RPGs? Because otherwise, I have no goddamn clue how I'm gonna transition into something like that. Hell, I can't even make the obvious cutaway gag reference, since the random encounters here are actually kinda cool. There's a certain rhythm to it, where each round lasts only a few seconds and your random combo meter increases like crazy. But don't think it's some mindless button masher (at least not yet); you still have to pay attention to your HP and heal accordingly, risking the destruction of your meaningless combo in the process. It's a fun balancing act, especially in the boss battles, and is at least part of the reason why the game is so balls hard. I don't know which is more confusing: that undead characters managed to die so damn much, or that I came back so often. I also don't know which of the two is more numerous.

Is anybody else picturing them as overly enthusiastic Evangelical Christians?

Unfortunately, a lot of the battles tend to devolve into simply mashing Enter until you hear elevator music. (Not the dumbest Mass Effect reference the game makes.) Part of this is because of the aforementioned rhythm, but a lot of it is because the systems are simply bloated. This becomes pretty obvious with each level-up, wherein you might be confronted with a choice between two abilities. OK, so most of them actually do provide a hard choice, but it's not quite there. For whatever reason, I never really felt like I missed out on anything when making any of those choices. Still, it's a lot better than the team attacks, for which I could never find a use. Why bother using two characters for one attack when they can separate and be FAR more useful?

This would be the part where I tell you that there's more to this game than the battles, but I'm not that much of an idiot. So excuse me while I get completely goddamn plastered.

Well, it turns out that alcohol poisoning wasn't the inspiration I thought it would be. Although I did get a few ideas from the things that blonde girl was yelling at me. What was I talking about? Oh, right: the dungeons. They're....something. It's gonna be hard to complain about them, but I oddly have a lot to complain about. Every single one of them is a long winding path that often bends into itself simply to fuck with you. You can see why I'd like to complain, but, well, isn't that the point? Isn't Breath of Death VII trying to parody old school RPGs by pointing out how dumb they were? Then again, you probably shouldn't do that by being dumb in the first place. Then again again, these long dungeons pretty much force you into a million battles, which, as I've already discussed, are pretty goddamn cool. Then again again AGAIN, they also m...you know what? Ignore the dungeons. Instead, try to focus on the cool combo stuff and the sarcastic bag of bones thinking things at you. That's what the game's gonna give you, anyway.

Review Synopsis

  • Geez, Lois, did you have to remind me of all those video game references? It's just like that time I tried watching an episode of Family Guy.
  • OK, so a lot of the battle mechanics don't do jack shit, but the good ones actually do jack shit. (Jack shit is good. I should clarify.)
  • The dungeons: they're like the first Dragon Quest, except without the suck.

Some RPG parodies, however, are...less successful.

The Final Fantasy Legend II

(Man, it's been a while since I've even touched a SaGa game.) In fact, I think the last time I did so was....yea, about two years ago with Romancing SaGa for the SNES. So has anything changed in the two years between these games? No, not really. True to its name (the Japanese one, at least), this game's battle systems are near impossible to understand, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Scratch that. I'd have it a few other ways. The translation, for one, could be a lot better. You know how it's been a while since I've touched a SaGa game? Well, it's also been a while since I've seen a translation this bad. I'd list off the reasons why, but it'd feel like I'm just listing off what not to do when translating a game. Might as well, though. First up: don't be so damn literal. I don't have to know the difference between あたし and 俺 to see that every single word was looked up in a Japanese-to-English dictionary. There's a reason most games don't do that: it makes the dialogue feel stilted and unnatural. It doesn't exactly help when the translation is flat-out wrong in several areas. Not in the predictable L/R way, but more in the less well known A/R way. Prepare to fight unquestionably living Orks and the fecal matter of a TF2 character while trying to figure out just what the hell is going on.

So this totally happened while I was playing Final Fantasy Legend II.

Then again, that last part is what makes the actual story kinda cool, so I can't berate it too much for that. It starts off the writers ignoring a three year gap so you can search for your father because he's the only person in the world who owns a hat, and gets weirder from there. Soon after that, you have to shrink down so you can fight horses and terrorists in a goddess' anus, something they're very clear about. And it gets weirder from there. Unfortunately, I can't give the game too much credit for its weirdness, because I don't think it's even aware of how strange this all is. Somebody should really send that Goatse video to Akitoshi Kawazu simply so he knows what can and cannot be found inside somebody's rectum. Yet even ignoring that (although I'm not sure how you can ignore something like "horses in a holy anus"), you still get a pretty involved plot outlining just how much gods suck. Yea, it sounds simple when I put it like that, and while it kinda is, it commits to the idea well enough to get something out of it.

Speaking of getting some, the ba-wait, what? How did that happen? I just wanted to talk about battles; I'm a fighter, not a lover. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that one of the battle system's main strengths is in customization. I mean, it certainly isn't in the actual battle system, which is just regular turn-based fare with a few quirks (no items, very limited defending capabilities, and a completely useless MAGI system). That leaves us with the deceptively strong customization. You only get four classes, but an oddly high amount of versatility between them. Monsters evolve by eating, mutants change at random (remember that), robots are a bit more fixed, and humans are. Already, there's a lot of room to craft your party to your liking, with tankish robots and mostly mediocre monsters, but things get even better when your stats actually come into play. In theory, your characters change according to how you play them, essentially letting you do whatever the hell you want with their stats. Do things right, and you're looking at an ultra versatile, ultra powerful party by the end of the game. Or maybe a bunch of paper dolls that can move between time. It's your call, really.

Of course, this is assuming that you know how the game actually works, and this is where things fall apart pretty fast. For you see, the game doesn't upgrade stats based on use. In fact, I don't know how it upgrades my stats. It's all so random and arcane that you're gonna spend a lot of time brute forcing battles until you get the right ability or monster form or whatever. It gets especially bad near the end, when every other battle is against a boss. OK, to be fair, I can understand the appeal in figuring all this shit out, but Final Fantasy Legend II certainly isn't gonna make it easy. Or maybe it will. I don't know. Sometimes, nothing will stand in your way, while other times, the enemies will be deeper in your ass than you were two worlds ago. The point is that the game can't even make its difficulty clear. In fact, that's probably the best way I could describe this game: I don't get it. How do I increase my defense? How challenging is this game? What are horses doing in this girl's anus? Is this a good game? I can't answer any of these questions. Truly, it is a mystery for the ages....that I can sum up in three bullet points.

Review Synopsis

  • 彼女のけつの穴の中に馬だ!
  • It's pretty cool that this game lets you do whatever the hell you want with your party.
  • Now I just wish I knew how to do whatever the hell I want with my party.
Posted by Karkarov

You played Final Fantasy Legend II? As soon as I saw that I started laughing uncontrollably. I can't believe you didn't discuss the subplot about illegally trafficking banana's into the samurai country.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Karkarov said:

I can't believe you didn't discuss the subplot about illegally trafficking banana's into the samurai country.

I did in the pictures, but felt that rectum terrorists deserved more attention.

Posted by MikeGosot

You know, that's the second time where i see horses related to an anus. Don't ask about the first time. About the rest of the game... wat. wat. WAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!

Posted by Video_Game_King

@MikeGosot:

I never knew how horrible this game could be.
Posted by MikeGosot

@Video_Game_King: I never played this game but it can't be worse than some of the Barbie movies, holy shit.

Posted by Ravenlight

Your blog did not terrify me this week. You're slipping, moon-man.

Edited by CaLe

彼女のけつの穴の中に馬だ!--> 彼女のけつの穴の中に馬がいる

「瓢箪から駒」に似ていますね。

Posted by Video_Game_King

@CaLe:

差異は何ですか?アッハハハ!
Edited by CaLe

@Video_Game_King: It wouldn't be said like that just. Unless this is some kind of crazy game show and they are building up suspense about what is inside her... Then it would be 彼女のけつの穴の中には・・・馬だ!

Posted by Video_Game_King

@CaLe said:

Unless this is some kind of crazy game show and they are building up suspense about what is inside her... Then it would be 彼女のけつの穴の中には・・・馬だ!

I think there are websites dedicated to such obviously pornographic content. It's just that most people wouldn't even realize it's a porn site.

Edited by CaLe

@Video_Game_King said:

@CaLe said:

Unless this is some kind of crazy game show and they are building up suspense about what is inside her... Then it would be 彼女のけつの穴の中には・・・馬だ!

I think there are websites dedicated to such obviously pornographic content. It's just that most people wouldn't even realize it's a porn site.

I once knew a girl who was only attracted to centaurs. Real men did nothing for her.

Can't blame her..
Posted by Video_Game_King

@CaLe:

But for a centaur, where does man end and horse begin? Because this is an important factor in determining where the genitals on the damn thing are.

Edited by CaLe

@Video_Game_King said:

@CaLe:

But for a centaur, where does man end and horse begin? Because this is an important factor in determining where the genitals on the damn thing are.

Well she was 36 and still a virgin, so I don't think she gave a damn about the location of male genitalia.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@CaLe:

Final Fantasy Legend II is an argument for why she should.

Posted by Mento

I've played both your games this week, Moon man! Does this mean I get your pot of moon gold or.. what was even the deal with that? Send down the literature for how to thwart moon people when you get the chance, I think I've gotten the rules confused with leprechauns again. Do I make you say your name backwards?

Anyway, you hit the nail on the head with Breath of Death VII, in that it kind of craps the bed its made by making its dungeons as labyrinthine as the games it's trying to mock. I mentioned it briefly in the Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden review, since that was a game that was able to introduce what appeared to be a horribly confusing cliché JRPG dungeon but actually make it far easier and shorter than the real thing would've been because it was waiting to spring the next silly joke on you and had a decent sense of timing. I couldn't tell you how long I spent wandering around that military base at the end of Breath of Death, though. At least the random encounters were fun. I guess. Maybe Cthulhu Saves The World is a lot better about that sort of thing?

The FF Legend games I played when I was much younger and couldn't make heads or tails of any of them. I believe I beat all three of them eventually, but I think they scared me off 2D Final Fantasy games (which I mistakenly thought they were, since this was before I had internet access and - oh yeah - their boxes called them Final Fantasy games) until my college years. I've had a Pavlovian response of terror to anything "SaGa" ever since. Well, ever since them and SaGa Frontier 2. And Unlimited SaGa. Why did I keep buying them?

Moderator
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Mento:

We really don't have literature on how to best a Lunarian in battle. Why would we? It'd be like if you guys kept journals on the best ways to kill other people. I'd end that with a link, but I can't name any manuals for killing people.

Maybe Cthulhu Saves The World is a lot better about that sort of thing?

Hell no. I remember seeing a developer orb thing early in Cthulhu Saves the World saying that they added some torches or whatever to make the dungeons easier to navigate, and it only sort of helps. It gets much better if you exhaust all the random encounters an area offers you, though.

@Mento said:

The FF Legend games I played when I was much younger and couldn't make heads or tails of any of them.

Of course you couldn't. Can anybody understand existential equine excretion in the midst of a banana subplot? Especially when the translation sucks?

I've had a Pavlovian response of terror to anything "SaGa" ever since.

That's good of you. Romancing SaGa 2 and 3 are OK, but still feature a pretty high barrier of entry (all the times I've played them, my skills were always behind where they'd be for the people writing walkthroughs for these damn things).

Why did I keep buying them?

Kenji Ito?

Edited by Karkarov

@Video_Game_King said:

@Karkarov said:

I can't believe you didn't discuss the subplot about illegally trafficking banana's into the samurai country.

I did in the pictures, but felt that rectum terrorists deserved more attention.

I found the illegal banana trafficking a far more gritty plot point. Also there is the fact that the last boss is a giant robot that seems to have no real purpose or plot point, they are just sort of there. Final Fantasy Legend 3 on the other hand is the first (and last) Saga game that was actually good as far as I care.

Well the banana thing could just be me. I mean I remember when I first realized this was going on and all I could think was "Why do all these canadians dress like japanese people?"

@Mento said:

I've had a Pavlovian response of terror to anything "SaGa" ever since. Well, ever since them and SaGa Frontier 2. And Unlimited SaGa. Why did I keep buying them?

What an excellent question. I wouldn't play a Saga game again even if someone paid me to do it.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Karkarov:

Legend 2 was OK, from what I remember, and so were Romancing SaGa 2 and 3. They're by no means perfect, but....actually, that's how I'd describe all the SaGa games, really. "They're by no means perfect, but".

Posted by Slag

Ah BoDVii, one of the few games I've bothered to review on GB. Which is here if anyone cares. Pretty much agree with your sentiments.

The combat system is pretty enjoyably solid, you can run on the dungeons as well as limit random encounters, there are very few treasure chests in thus pointlessly huge dungeons, paper thin story with ok-ish humor. Also really really short. That's about it.

Especially on references, or really just blatant name-dropping. Not impressed. I would have preferred fewer of those if they went deeper than just tossing the random homage here or there.

been a while since I played Cthullhu Saves the World but I believe the team attacks were more useful/essential there. It's a better game than BodVii. But still not my thing. I love me some NES/SNES RPGs but these games feel like pretenders not contenders.

gotta admit, not super impressed by these Zeboyd games. I mean it's an awesome game for the size studio they are. but so many things felt under done.

Posted by envane

ogbesians

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Slag:

Yes, those sound like things I'd say about this game (and will inevitably say about Cthulhu Saves the World).

It's a better game than BodVii. But still not my thing.

Except for this. I'm pretty sure I liked both games. Even if Cthulhu was a dick. And not in the "fun dick" way, but more the "dick dick" way.

Posted by Slag

@Video_Game_King said:

@Slag:

Yes, those sound like things I'd say about this game (and will inevitably say about Cthulhu Saves the World).

It's a better game than BodVii. But still not my thing.

Except for this. I'm pretty sure I liked both games. Even if Cthulhu was a dick. And not in the "fun dick" way, but more the "dick dick" way.

Thanks man. And I can see why you do/will. I thought the Cthulhu character in particular was much better than Dem Bones, and I liked Dem Bones.

I do freely admit, I can get a little mean when I review a game. For whatever reason, I tend to review games I don't like. I guess I just find negative information more useful than positive. Most people I assume can guess what the positive of game could be before playing it. Whether it be familiarity with the developer/franchise, marketing or word of mouth. A lot fewer places will tell you why something isn't good, in a fair way without making it personal (I admire the herculean efforts Zeboyd has made to do what they've done with so little resources, that aspect of the story is simply incredible) or just being a dick.

I did appreciate that both games conceit were pretty different from your standard JRPG tropes, especially Cthulhu. That's probably my favorite aspect of them. I just need a lot more variety (story, exploration) in a JRPG outside of battles for me to enjoy it, no matter how engrossing the battle system is.

I'm also someone who admittedly prefers AAA releases over indies, it's what I've always played. But I do try to take that into consideration when playing games like these. Zeboyd is just not going to come close to Square Enix/Atlus/Sega level production, their budget is probably smaller by two orders of magnitude. So it's not really fair to hold them to the same standards

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Slag said:

Most people I assume can guess what the positive of game could be before playing it.

No! That's no way to review games. Sometimes, a game is good for reasons you could never expect. Besides, reviewing only games you don't like makes you look like a cynical asshole, thus seriously hurting your credibility.

I just need a lot more variety (story, exploration) in a JRPG outside of battles for me to enjoy it, no matter how engrossing the battle system is.

To be fair, isn't the point of the game "look at how much old JRPGs suck!"? I do remember the dungeons going on for a while, though.

Zeboyd is just not going to come close to Square Enix/Atlus/Sega level production, their budget is probably smaller by two orders of magnitude. So it's not really fair to hold them to the same standards

Yea? That sounds obvious.

Posted by Slag

@Video_Game_King said:

No! That's no way to review games. Sometimes, a game is good for reasons you could never expect. Besides, reviewing only games you don't like makes you look like a cynical asshole, thus seriously hurting your credibility.

Well it's not purely intentional on my part, I'm just not someone who feels the compulsion to write very often. So it usually takes something extraordinary to get me to write a review since I don't have a tremendous amount of free time. This is just something I know about myself. Fwiw I like/love the vast majority of most games I play, so the extraordinary occurrence tends to be the bad one. For every Glory of Heracles I play, there is ten games I do have a great time with.

And I don't often play games at launch so by the time I get to them, so many times what I would say has already been said by better writers than I.

e.g. Dragon's Dogma was my personal GotY 2012. However pretty much everything I can say about it has already been said in reviews here on Giant Bomb. I would give 5 stars obviously, but I don't feel the 4 star reviews that cover the points I would have are unfair for docking it a star even though I wouldn't (It's a question of weighting not of substance, e.g. I do not care about Fast Travel). Does it really help anybody for me to basically repeat something that's already been covered well quite a few times?

Credibility is no concern of mine, although I can see why it would be for you since you do such a high volume of reviews.

To be fair, isn't the point of the game "look at how much old JRPGs suck!"? I do remember the dungeons going on for a while, though.

I didn't think that was their intent at all, especially after playing Cthulhu Saves the World with developer commentary on (A really neat and rarely used idea btw, but ultimately too distracting to use for long). I really think they like old school JRPGs and were trying to make the best one they could (albeit with their version of in jokes and humor). They made huge technical leaps in Cthulhu, so I don't think they were trying to make an ironic statement about the genre.

Maybe I'm completely wrong, but I interpreted their efforts as 100% fanboy earnest.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Slag said:

Fwiw I like/love the vast majority of most games I play, so the extraordinary occurrence tends to be the bad one. For every Glory of Heracles I play, there is ten games I do have a great time with.

But your readers won't really know that unless you give them something to go on.

And I don't often play games at launch so by the time I get to them, so many times what I would say has already been said by better writers than I.

Fuck that concern, man. You can usually find something nobody else has said in a game, even if it's been covered to death. Have you ever considered that this MGS3 scene is funnier if you interpret "boss" as an adjective? Because I think I said that in my Metal Gear Solid 3 blog. Also this. (Then again, I pretty much limit myself to games nobody has covered anyway, so that might color my descriptions.)

I really think they like old school JRPGs and were trying to make the best one they could (albeit with their version of in jokes and humor).

Yes to the first part, sort of no to the second? I think they were trying to point out all the flaws of old school RPGs by exaggerating the hell out of any perceived flaws. Cthulhu just fixed flaws I'm pretty sure they didn't want in Breath of Death. Or something.

Posted by RenegadeSaint

If you want a genuinely funny RPG, check out Albert Odyssey (Saturn) if you can find a copy. Some good stuff in there.

Posted by Slag

@Video_Game_King said:

@Slag said:

Fwiw I like/love the vast majority of most games I play, so the extraordinary occurrence tends to be the bad one. For every Glory of Heracles I play, there is ten games I do have a great time with.

But your readers won't really know that unless you give them something to go on.

Well the assumption you are making is that readers care about the reviewer when reading a review. I'm not so sure they do for most screen name user created review sites. Perhaps they should but I suspect they don't in most cases. I'm not entirely sure many even bother to read reviews that might not agree with their predetermined opinion.

It would be interesting to know what actually does influence someone to read a review. And how important each factor is.

IMO Highly prolific and popular reviewers like yourself and professional reviewers like the GB staff are a much different beast than an infrequent and largely invisible reviewers like myself. e.g. see the butthurt over Brad's DmC review.

fwiw I do care about the reviewer, it's why I read your blogs and some reviewers who don't really post in the forums at all.. (Something I hope they improve in Seaserpent is to make user reviews more high profile and notify when your followed users post them)

In your case, yeah I do agree with you, If you were routinely uniformly blindly positive or uniformly blindly negative your blogs probably won't be very popular. If I were to write more often, I probably would write more positive reviews just because I'd be writing more , and well games I like are usually what I play.

But again I only have posted 6 reviews in the ~two years I've posted on here, so I don't think I have a reputation one way or the other. I doubt I'm even noticed much other than comments I write to people.

long story short: You and people like you are special, I'm not. :)

Fuck that concern, man. You can usually find something nobody else has said in a game, even if it's been covered to death. Have you ever considered that this MGS3 scene is funnier if you interpret "boss" as an adjective? Because I think I said that in my Metal Gear Solid 3 blog. Also this. (Then again, I pretty much limit myself to games nobody has covered anyway, so that might color my descriptions.)

Hah it's not a concern, it's lack of motivation!

By the time I have a chance to log on Giant Bomb I'm bushed man, I work long days. It's a lot easier for me to justify to myself writing a review for a game that has few or none than one that has a bunch. Then I feel like I'm accomplishing something. Unfortunately games that don't have a lot reviews often don't because they are bad, so few people play them. That is certainly not always true (niche games are a thing as you intimately know), but there is probably a good reason that I'm the only reviewer of Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure on Giant Bomb. It's likely because that game is terrrrrrrible.

And no I hadn't considered that about MGS3, but I will now. Hah but see you have a unique perspective which makes your opinions interesting, I'm not sure mine is when it comes to games anyway. I think I like your creative vision better than Kojima's. Except for Psycho Mantis. That was a great moment in video game history.

Yes to the first part, sort of no to the second? I think they were trying to point out all the flaws of old school RPGs by exaggerating the hell out of any perceived flaws. Cthulhu just fixed flaws I'm pretty sure they didn't want in Breath of Death. Or something.

hmmm I didn't get that impression at all obviously. I thought the addition of Run and Capping Random Encounters showed the reverse, i.e. that they were trying to fix the flaws of 8 bit JRPGs by removing a lot of the filler crap. They just totally blew it with the dungeon design by making them empty and far too large.

That would be impressive actually if true, kind of a MSGS2-like F.U. to the player.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Slag said:

Well the assumption you are making is that readers care about the reviewer when reading a review. I'm not so sure they do for most screen name user created review sites. Perhaps they should but I suspect they don't in most cases. I'm not entirely sure many even bother to read reviews that might not agree with their predetermined opinion.

On a single review basis, you're right, but over the course of several reviews, it doesn't hold up too well. Priorities, I guess.

It would be interesting to know what actually does influence someone to read a review. And how important each factor is.

I.....I'm gonna be quoting this post A LOT in this post, aren't I? Quoting and then cutting to the relevant stuff as much as I'm doing here sure is exhausting....Anyway, I read reviews only after I've said everything I have to say about a game, possibly for some type of discussion. Then again, I'm certain I'm the exception here, since most everybody else would answer "I want to know if a game's good, and then discussion". I imagine.

fwiw I do care about the reviewer, it's why I read your blogs and some reviewers who don't really post in the forums at all.. (Something I hope they improve in Seaserpent is to make user reviews more high profile and notify when your followed users post them)

From what I've seen of Seaserpent so far:

long story short: You and people like you are special, I'm not. :)

(Posting videos in the text editor is finicky as fuck, so I had to post it in the code manually. That's why it isn't centered like the other.)

Unfortunately games that don't have a lot reviews often don't because they are bad, so few people play them.

Nuh-u

That is certainly not always true (niche games are a thing as you intimately know)

Damn you and your apparent mind-reading powers. However, I will say that it can always go the other way. For instance, Alone in the Dark was high profile enough to have a ton of reviews telling people how awful it is, yet I'm still gonna blog about it and review it. Why? Because it's that bad. Speaking of...

but there is probably a good reason that I'm the only reviewer of Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure on Giant Bomb. It's likely because that game is terrrrrrrible.

That sounds like a challenge...that I'm too lazy to take. I already had my fill of aquatic blogging when I will have blogged about BioShock alongside The Little Mermaid.

Hah but see you have a unique perspective which makes your opinions interesting, I'm not sure mine is when it comes to games anyway.

Everyone's a snowflake or whatever that pretentious saying is.

I think I like your creative vision better than Kojima's.

If ever I compile these blogs into a book, I'm putting this quote on the back cover, just to piss off Kojima. As for what that book would be called...."The Syphilitic Ramblings of a Lunar Madman"? It'd be the type of book you leave on your coffee table to tell your guests that you make poor life decisions.

hmmm I didn't get that impression at all obviously. I thought the addition of Run and Capping Random Encounters showed the reverse, i.e. that they were trying to fix the flaws of 8 bit JRPGs by removing a lot of the filler crap. They just totally blew it with the dungeon design by making them empty and far too large.

Maybe the cap, but tons of old school JRPGs had run buttons, so that one's more a fault on their part.

Posted by Slag

@Video_Game_King said:

On a single review basis, you're right, but over the course of several reviews, it doesn't hold up too well. Priorities, I guess.

Right, if readers do that, then you are right that could happen. Using me as an example again, I suppose I would look well like a pretentious jerk if you only went by my 6 reviews. The only positive reviews I gave was to Limbo and Hector: Badge of Carnage (and my hector review had moments of lukewarm praise). Maybe Birdman. I had fun with Birdman, but I don't think I scored it very high.

but yeah that only matters if people read reviewers, whether or not they do is the ten million dollar question.

You and I probably write about games for different reasons. I write them almost to get it out of system, or out of a desire to warn people. Either way I'm mainly writing for my own enjoyment. If someone else likes it, that's a bonus.

Anyway, I read reviews only after I've said everything I have to say about a game, possibly for some type of discussion. Then again, I'm certain I'm the exception here, since most everybody else would answer "I want to know if a game's good, and then discussion". I imagine

Yeah I would say that is unusual. Admirable as your opinion is your own, but definitely not the norm.

re: Seaserpent- yeah I didn't see it either. But I'm assuming/hoping Seaserpent will add new features over time post launch.

Damn you and your apparent mind-reading powers. However, I will say that it can always go the other way. For instance, Alone in the Dark was high profile enough to have a ton of reviews telling people how awful it is, yet I'm still gonna blog about it and review it. Why? Because it's that bad. Speaking of..

Yes that's true just being AAA doesn't make you great or even good. Most of them are at least ok. Alone in the dark is more the exception than the rule.

Just sayin', I've played a lot of games (maybe not as many as you have) over the last couple decades and the thing about obscure games is that a larger number of them compared to the major releases are really bad. But that's also what makes playing them fun, because when you do find a hidden treasure it's a cool feeling.

It's not an absolute thing, more of a ratio difference. What those numbers might be I couldn't say (60% good or better 40% bad?). Just my impression that the odds are worse with smaller budget games. But they aren't horrible odds, just worse.

(SeaMonsters) That sounds like a challenge...that I'm too lazy to take.

Good, Don't waste you time or your money. So many better and weirder games to play.

If ever I compile these blogs into a book, I'm putting this quote on the back cover, just to piss off Kojima. As for what that book would be called...."The Syphilitic Ramblings of a Lunar Madman"? It'd be the type of book you leave on your coffee table to tell your guests that you make poor life decisions.

hahah nice!

Maybe the cap, but tons of old school JRPGs had run buttons, so that one's more a fault on their part.

I don't really recall seeing much of that till the SNES era, I could be mistaken though. Games were a heck of a lot more expensive back then so I din't get to play as many games as I do now.

hunh now I'm curious, I'll see if I can find some interviews with those guys to see what their intent really was.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Slag said:

Yes that's true just being AAA doesn't make you great or even good. Most of them are at least ok. Alone in the dark is more the exception than the rule.

AAA's an odd term, anyway. I mean, I'm pretty sure it started in GameSpot's System Wars board (or at least it propagated there), and what was once a term for score seems to have become one more for budget, really. But I digress from points I have yet to make in this post.

Just sayin', I've played a lot of games (maybe not as many as you have) over the last couple decades and the thing about obscure games is that a larger number of them compared to the major releases are really bad. But that's also what makes playing them fun, because when you do find a hidden treasure it's a cool feeling.

Trust me: I can name a billion examples to prove this notion wrong. The real reason nobody remembers these obscure games is because for the most part, they're kinda average. Not good; not bad; just average.

I don't really recall seeing much of that till the SNES era, I could be mistaken though. Games were a heck of a lot more expensive back then so I din't get to play as many games as I do now.

Breath of Death never limited itself to pre-SNES stuff. Hell, compare an early story shot to Phantasy Star IV (IE a late-life Genesis game). Now that's an obscure reference.

Huh. This wasn't nearly as long as the last comment.

Posted by Slag

@Video_Game_King said:

AAA's an odd term, anyway. I mean, I'm pretty sure it started in GameSpot's System Wars board (or at least it propagated there), and what was once a term for score seems to have become one more for budget, really. But I digress from points I have yet to make in this post.

It certainly is. I like using it in the budget sense, since I think budget is the fairest way to describe the differences between some styles of games. I wish there was a clear hierarchy of budget level terms. I personally dislike the term indie (although I don't have a better one) as I feel it creates some false perceptions that aren't good in the long run.

But really the term like a lot of video game terms is fuzzy and not terribly useful.

Trust me: I can name a billion examples to prove this notion wrong. The real reason nobody remembers these obscure games is because for the most part, they're kinda average. Not good; not bad; just average.

You might be right. However I'm not sure you or I could definitely prove our points, without significant quantitative work. These sorts of questions are hard for any one person to fairly assess in an unbiased manner without data.

That's the problem with bringing up difficult to prove claims like I did.

Breath of Death never limited itself to pre-SNES stuff. Hell, compare an early story shot to Phantasy Star IV (IE a late-life Genesis game). Now that's an obscure reference.

Yeah I caught that one in playthrough too. Certainly they didn't limit themselves in references, but in gameplay look and style it felt like they did. Whether that was time/budget driven or deliberate design choice I don't know. Cthulhu feels more like an early SNES game to me, BoDVii feels like FF1 era NES.

had a Langrisser/Warsong refernce in there too if memory serves. Lots of obscure callbacks. The Devs certainly know the genre.

Huh. This wasn't nearly as long as the last comment.

heh I am trying to be pithier, I can ramble on for some time if I don't make a concerted effort.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Slag:

I'm pretty sure indie is supposed to refer to a development team under a certain number of members, although I may be confusing that with an episode of King of the Hill.

By "difficult to prove", you mean "subjective" or "unfalsifiable", right?

I imagine it was more a deliberate design choice, since the two eras of JRPG can certain bleed into each other. My guess is because of Final Fantasy VII (and likely the advent of 3D gaming in general) is where the line is drawn in the sand.

I'm quite aware of the Langrisser reference, given that I mentioned it in the blog.

Part of it is simply because a few of the references are too obscure for most people to get. Yes, I know what Langrisser is, but does anybody else?

See? Right there.

This would be the part where I tell you that there's more to this game than the battles, but I'm not that much of an idiot. So excuse me while I get completely goddamn plastered.

I'm quoting this again because I like the joke.

Posted by Hailinel

Final Fantasy Legend II was the only one of the Game Boy trilogy I never played. Sounds absolutely bonkers, though. Final Fantasy Legend III is legitimately great, though. It's just a shame that the DS remake was never localized. I would have liked to play it.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hailinel said:

Final Fantasy Legend III is legitimately great, though.

Is there more holy horse anus? Or banana crime? Or at least enough mythological soup to make Shin Megami Tensei jealous?

It's just a shame that the DS remake was never localized. I would have liked to play it.

There's a fan translation floating about, so you could probably pull some flash cart whatevers if you wanted to. I'm more interested in Blood of Bahamut, since that game gets absolutely no attention. It's like everybody just forgot it existed.

Posted by Slag

@Video_Game_King said:

@Slag:

I'm pretty sure indie is supposed to refer to a development team under a certain number of members, although I may be confusing that with an episode of King of the Hill.

If that's the case then it's worse than I feared. Indie is a term I usually bandied about as being synonymous with "independent". Indie record labels, indie products, indie stores etc. But the implied connotations of that is somewhat unintentionally negative, in that it's assumed they cannot compete for attention or sales with the "mainstream" due to lacking in some quality (commercial viability, production values etc). Which leads into silly things like Hipsterism. I really dislike the view Hipster view of the world. Popularity does not equate to bad/uncool just as unpopularity does not equate to bad/uncool.

If all "indie game" truly means in the game world is size of staff in a dev studio then we really need a new naming schematic since Indie doesn't communicate that well without other baggage. Just my opinion.

I personally don't care if a company is big or small. All I care about is that new Ideas, new IP and new people always have an opportunity to make games. Good games are good games. Not all new ideas and such are good ones, which is perfectly fine. It's just part of a healthy ecosystem of creation.

By "difficult to prove", you mean "subjective" or "unfalsifiable", right?

I wouldn't go so far as to say un-falsifiable. But since defining a "good" or even "ok" game does have a significant subjective component, it would be terribly difficult to falsify/verify objectively.

Probably the cheapest/dirtiest way would be to filter metacritic scores by relative budget tiers (adjusted for inflation and relative ranked by standards of the era) and then see what numbers that produces. But even if you thought metacritic was an effective way to score a game (I don't fwiw) I don't think that would work well since I doubt metacritic is comprehensive enough to cover enough indie/niche/obscure games to get a meaningful data set.

So yeah I think it would be pretty tough to quantitatively prove/disprove your assertion (that most obscure games are "kinda average) or mine (that a higher % of obscure games are bad than AAA games). Or maybe I'm just too lazy to try it.

I imagine it was more a deliberate design choice, since the two eras of JRPG can certain bleed into each other. My guess is because of Final Fantasy VII (and likely the advent of 3D gaming in general) is where the line is drawn in the sand.

I agree that NES/SNES definitely was its' own era and that line of demarcation for the end of it was the PS1. They really did blur together and you are right, there was major convention changes with the advent of 3D.

I'm not sure I can articulate what the exact difference is in my mind between a NES JRPG and a SNES one, but I did feel like they different enough to have their own conventions. BoDVii just felt more like a NES one to me.

I'm quite aware of the Langrisser reference, given that I mentioned it in the blog.

Part of it is simply because a few of the references are too obscure for most people to get. Yes, I know what Langrisser is, but does anybody else?

See? Right there.

oh crap, I forgot you said that. my bad dude!

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Slag:

I thought the connotation there was one of budget and resources (IE they probably can't afford to have a ton of people working on this).

I personally don't care if a company is big or small. All I care about is that new Ideas, new IP and new people always have an opportunity to make games.

I just care about go-

Not all new ideas and such are good ones, which is perfectly fine. It's just part of a healthy ecosystem of creation.

FUCK! Anticipation!

@Slag said:

So yeah I think it would be pretty tough to quantitatively prove/disprove your assertion (that most obscure games are "kinda average) or mine (that a higher % of obscure games are bad than AAA games). Or maybe I'm just too lazy to try it.

I'd say it's more something logic forces you into with some very loosely connected premises:

  • Most things have to be average for the mathematical average to hold.
  • Only a select few games can be exceptionally good/bad above all others, again because of that average stuff.
  • Some other things I'm not remembering entirely.

I think it's loose largely because I'm not defining it well enough.

(Also, I might as well add that I don't really pay attention to Metacritic scores, either.)

I'm not sure I can articulate what the exact difference is in my mind between a NES JRPG and a SNES one, but I did feel like they different enough to have their own conventions. BoDVii just felt more like a NES one to me.

A greater amount of confidence and flexibility in telling stories, along with a greater overall narrative focus (SNES JRPGs simply figuring out better/more elaborate ways to tell the stories, Sega CD just giving you cutscenes, both giving the technology necessary for expansion to occur).

Posted by Hailinel

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel said:

Final Fantasy Legend III is legitimately great, though.

Is there more holy horse anus? Or banana crime? Or at least enough mythological soup to make Shin Megami Tensei jealous?

It's just a shame that the DS remake was never localized. I would have liked to play it.

There's a fan translation floating about, so you could probably pull some flash cart whatevers if you wanted to. I'm more interested in Blood of Bahamut, since that game gets absolutely no attention. It's like everybody just forgot it existed.

SaGa's mythological references couldn't make SMT jealous if it actually tried.

I really don't remember that many specifics of the FFL3 translation. For all I know, there could have been that sort of batshit insanity, but I played the game when I was twelve. 1993 was a long-ass time ago.

Posted by Karkarov

@RenegadeSaint said:

If you want a genuinely funny RPG, check out Albert Odyssey (Saturn) if you can find a copy. Some good stuff in there.

I don't remember much of it being funny other than getting the strong impression that your love interest was actually some psycho old hag who was doing something to make herself look younger than she was to cover up the fact that she was a dirty pedo.

Posted by Demoskinos

Final Fantasy Legend II was my first RPG I ever played. How i still like RPG games to this day is a miracle.

Posted by Slag

@Video_Game_King said:

@Slag:

I thought the connotation there was one of budget and resources (IE they probably can't afford to have a ton of people working on this).

That's one of them, but it isn't the only one. It's a loaded term with lots of different meanings to different people. It probably should mean just that and only that, but I don't think it does because of how the term is used in other facets of life.

It would be nice if we had better terms, and definitions, for these distinctions we know exist. par for the course for our hobby though. Heck even "gamer" is a pretty silly and fuzzy term

I'd say it's more something logic forces you into with some very loosely connected premises:

  • Most things have to be average for the mathematical average to hold.
  • Only a select few games can be exceptionally good/bad above all others, again because of that average stuff.
  • Some other things I'm not remembering entirely.

I think it's loose largely because I'm not defining it well enough.

(Also, I might as well add that I don't really pay attention to Metacritic scores, either.)

That's probably better than I would do defining it.

that being said, the question I suppose we are really getting at is the average (or maybe really median) AAA game better than the average (or perhaps median) "indie" game? That is the hypothesis I think you would try to test. So there are two different averages of two different data sets you would have to weigh (unless you want to break down further than that). Assuming you could determine a reasonable measurable proxy for a game's quality, you would still have to find a way to classify what qualifies as a AAA game and what doesn't. Both are fairly subjective judgments and both potentially could create datasets that could generate wildly different answers depending on how you did it. So yeah not so easy.

A greater amount of confidence and flexibility in telling stories, along with a greater overall narrative focus (SNES JRPGs simply figuring out better/more elaborate ways to tell the stories, Sega CD just giving you cutscenes, both giving the technology necessary for expansion to occur).

Using your definition then, then I would say that perfectly jives with my take on BoDVii (more NES like) and Cthulhu (more SNES like) fwiw.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hailinel said:

1993 was a long-ass time ago.

Words to live by.

@Karkarov:

@Demoskinos:

Other games, I take it? Or maybe you were searching for more games with thrilling banana heists.

@Slag said:

That's one of them, but it isn't the only one. It's a loaded term with lots of different meanings to different people. It probably should mean just that and only that, but I don't think it does because of how the term is used in other facets of life.

It would be nice if we had better terms, and definitions, for these distinctions we know exist. par for the course for our hobby though. Heck even "gamer" is a pretty silly and fuzzy term

That's language for you: things that shouldn't be loaded turn out to be loaded as hell.

Posted by Demoskinos

@Video_Game_King: I do like me a good banana heist.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Demoskinos:

This sounds like the beginning of a porno.....Is this a porno?

Posted by Slag

@Video_Game_King said:

@Slag said:

I just need a lot more variety (story, exploration) in a JRPG outside of battles for me to enjoy it, no matter how engrossing the battle system is.

To be fair, isn't the point of the game "look at how much old JRPGs suck!"? I do remember the dungeons going on for a while, though....

(from a later comment)

I think they were trying to point out all the flaws of old school RPGs by exaggerating the hell out of any perceived flaws. Cthulhu just fixed flaws I'm pretty sure they didn't want in Breath of Death. Or something.

Just to finish this point since I mentioned I would. I didn't find the interview I was thinking of , but I did find one with Robert Boyd that I think gives decent insight into their approach to development.

http://bitmob.com/articles/interview-with-creator-of-zeboyd-games-the-3-secret-ingredients-to-making-a-good-role-playing-game

Some of the relevant bits

RB: One of the major problems I’ve had with commercial RPGs lately is how slow most of them are. From slow-paced battles, complete with lengthy animations and load times, to every dungeon taking hours to complete, everything’s just so slow. Gameplay elements in Breath of Death 7, like being able to start a fight instantly if you want to grind -- and making it so grinding is optional if you play strategically -- was a reaction to this. If the game goes as fast as the player wants it to, they’ll enjoy it more.
The funny thing is that I think, instinctively, many RPG developers realize that their games are too slow paced. This is probably why action/RPG hybrids have become so much more popular lately. I find this quite ironic because the problem isn’t the turn-based format (Breath of Death 7 is very fast-paced, and it’s turn-based), it’s the pacing.
CCR: This reminds me of Final Fantasy 13, which people jokingly refer to as having a 20-hour tutorial -- and I don’t blame them for doing so. I think you’re onto something. A close friend of mine is actually playing through Dragon Quest 7, which I love, but starts slowly. It's 2 hours before you engage in your first battle and 15-20 hours until you get job classes. I really don’t blame gamers for not having the patience.
RB: Yeah, I’m with your friend. I’m a huge fan of the Dragon Quest series, but DQ7 was just too slow for me. Maybe I’ll give it another try if it ever comes out on the PSN.

Now the way I read his interview, certainly the tone of it, was that they were trying to make fix as many problems they saw with genre as they could. But their budget forced some hard limits to what they could address. I don't see any evidence of them pulling a Kojima.

If I'm right than any flaws that are there are either due to budget constraints, lack of skill or not perceived as a problem by the devs.