Name a rpg with a simple or cliche story that was still good by the end cause the cast and adventure

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Topcyclist

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#1  Edited By Topcyclist

I always enjoyed tons of RPG's in the past and was surprised how people hated the stories at the time. Even something simple as fighting a big bad empire was fascinating as a kid. That said, I know it comes with the territory, being a kid, less knowledge, and more.

My question: does anyone else remember a game or series they like knowing the story is poor when under a microscope or not revolutionary (according to internet consensus) in a way, yet you still find it amazing and fun due to enjoying the ride, by the end. The characters, world, tone, etc.

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krelmoon

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I played a licensed gundam RPG on the ps2 where you started with a zaku and would earn Better Mobile Suit parts instead of the normal armor or weapons so you built your own kitbash suits with the parts you earned the story was as generic as it could be but it was an unique take on a RPG. The weird part of the story is it doesn’t take place in any cannon story it’s just a post apocalyptic world that just happened to have licensed Gundam Mobile Suits in it. It’s been 20 years so I don’t remember the title.

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bigsocrates

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I think most RPGs have pretty basic stories. There are some like Xenoblade Chronicles that are just so nuts that it's a little more complicated, but most of them are pretty straightforward when you drill past the jargon and attempts at world building.

I think that relying on cast and "adventure" is oversimplifying because a lot of RPGs are good because of their gameplay and graphics and music. A good combat system and character progression system can go a long way, as can some killer tunes.

I think Grandia is an example of an RPG with a pretty simple story but a charming cast and a lot of other positives to recommend it. I played it last year and I really liked it despite its age and simplicity. Tales of Graces F is another game with a somewhat straightforward story that I thought was good because of the combat and some pretty decent characters.

I Am Setsuna I would say doesn't have much of a story...and its cast is barely sketched out, but I think it's still a pretty fun game because the combat is enjoyable, the music is great, and it has this sparse tone that really works in context.

When I think of what makes an RPG good story is pretty low on the list.

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mellotronrules

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i mean- just a few years ago i was fairly obsessed with the mass effect franchise. i've cooled on it considerably- and although ME3 wasn't the climactic conclusion i was hoping for- it wasn't the reason (or CATALYST, if you will).

the overarching plot is pretty rote when you lean back and look at it. it's a series of BIG BADS that threaten the universe and you are the CHOSEN ONE to save the day.

the individual characters and world-building are what gives that thing life. i think that's what keeps BioWare on life-support in the mindshare- people don't conceptually love the Reapers (Saren was kinda interesting though), or even their individual Shepard- but Garrus and the Elcor are what keep people looking back lovingly on their first time through that series.

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imhungry

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Pretty much every Tales game after Phantasia? Good combat and fun character interactions and development is pretty much their stock in trade. I've enjoyed many of them.

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krelmoon

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I’ll second that. I’ve never played a bad tales game the story is almost always pure anime but they are always emo and epic.

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bigsocrates

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@imhungry: Tales of Xilia did not have a good story but I would not call it simple or cliche. It was very anime but it was pretty original. Because of how nut it got.

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kmolyneaux

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The recent Ys games (8 and 9). I’ve loved them, despite, or maybe because, the stories are so...whatever. They’re not bad, they’re not good, they’re just moderately interesting things that happen in between dungeons. The characters are also generally likable. Maybe it’s just because b-level JRPGs almost always become grating anime nonsense, and a game being innocuous and generally inoffensive feels like a breath of fresh air, but I’ve loved them.

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redwing42

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SKIES OF ARCADIA

It is maybe the perfect form of the classic JRPG.

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clagnaught

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Not quite this, but the first game that came to mind is Tales of Graces. On one level, the game goes through some lengths to have the first several hours be a prologue where the cast are still children and then the game jumps forward like 8 years into the future. There’s also a late game reveal that sort of caught me by surprise. But also, there are some archetypes that you’ve seen plenty of times before or subplots that were pretty well known from other games.

The characters, while not the greatest cast ever, made things fun and they keep things interesting when the story gets typical. But parts of the story made me think, “Yes, I’ve seen this before”.

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Efesell

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#11  Edited By Efesell  Online

I mean to be honest it's harder for me to think of RPGs that do not fit into this descriptor. It's a genre built on providing narratives that are better than the sum of their parts, generally.

It was harder still for me to think of a game I enjoyed playing despite the story being genuinely bad and then a bright beacon in my mind lit up to show me... Fire Emblem Fates. A game that is profoundly terrible in almost everything it tries to do narratively but damned it's not a A Lot of real good Fire Emblem stuff.

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Topcyclist

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@bigsocrates: I wanted to keep gameplay, music, and graphics out since pretty much every game can be good if it hits those points. The story is an afterthought or not so expected in a game if it hits those points, besides when you're dealing with RPGs. Rpg's are the sole point where people like GB crew, for example, will ask, how's the story, in a serious manner and expect to lower or higher their expectations if it's bad or cliche. That said, ask how's the story in a fighter, or shooter, and telling someone it's bad, won't dissuade them as much as when it's an RPG, as long as the gameplay, music, graphics, etc are good. Trudging through a 50-hour RPG with a weak story is tuff for many, but my question deals with weaker or cliche stories still being fun since you enjoyed the experience due to the party, cast, adventure, etc. Hope that clears it up. my question is a bit off and weird. Ha.

My example was Skies of Arcadia. The world of pirates intrigued me alone. Add the normal part of other games, flying airships, and expand it to a world and somehow the cliche, already done plot, is still fun and charming. The cast is a goofball crew, working their way up, meeting rivals, all Saturday morning cartoon cheese and I love it. The plot twist are here and there. You're essentially looking for ancient crystals to awaken ancient monsters, lost civilizations, corrupt empires, rich vs poor, generic cultures on each island from sand, ice, oceans, darkness, etc. It's all the stuff you love and saw in a neat package but for some reason, it's more fun than something with twice the production value in graphics, sound, and gameplay ie FF15, or FF13. FF15 has a more complex original plot but dang am I more interested in Skies, can't fairly argue why thou without seeming unfairly biased.

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theonewhoplays

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#14  Edited By theonewhoplays

The Lunar games basically rely on the cast being charming. If you like them, you'll probably enjoy the games. If not, there's really no reason to keep playing.

I would also mention FFXV. The story as presented is extremely basic (mostly because most of it was never implemented and instead hidden away in collectables) and I'm pretty sure almost every fan of it will tell you their favorite aspect is the main characters and their bond. The automatic 'tourist photography' mechanic is a genuis way to deepen the player's bond with the boys.

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oldenglishc

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hermes

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Most Dragon Quest stories are pretty cliche as far as JRPG goes, to the point DQ 11 (the latest one) just skips all that plot and starts with you being the chosen, special one who can wield ancient power, is secretly the son of dead royalty and is fated to save the world from the demon lord (all that is revealed in the opening cutscene). However, they do manage to get a lot in the way of characters and some light twists out of those troperistic constraints.

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AdamALC

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Dragon Age Origins. The story was standard fantasy tropes and more than a little ripped off but the cast was great and the small stories really set it apart.

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oldenglishc

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Trails in the Sky really nailed the whole "JRPG-ass JRPG who's characters are charming enough to make make me want to see where this story ends up" as far as semi-recent games go. The majority of Falcom's recent games really do a good job of scratching that comfort food JRPG itch that Square has lost track of since the SNES/PS1 days. I just finished up Ni No Kuni 2 and that caught me off-guard with it's quality. Despite immediately bouncing off the first one, this new one kept me hooked from start to finish. It was some old-school, Level-5 goodness.

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DaviKaze

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#19  Edited By DaviKaze

Dragon Quest 5. Your dad beats up monsters while babysitting you, you spend years in demon prison, you get married, and eventually fight the demon lord with your kids. Spans a full hero's arc of "My dad can beat you up" to "My kids can kick your ass."

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Y2Ken

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I'm definitely of the mind that a vast majority of RPGs, especially JRPGs, are kinda in this boat if you boil the core story down to its essentials. Usually it's the characters, their individual stories, and the relationships they form over the course that make the games memorable. I think this is true of most Final Fantasies, I'd say it's largely true of Persona although they do come up with interesting concepts for how their dungeons are integrated into the world, it's certainly the case with Dragon Quest and with Fire Emblem.

Honestly it's probably true of most stories in general. It's hard to come up with a truly unique tale, but things such as the specifics of your story, the characters in it, or the way you tell it are what make it distinct from others that have come before. Maybe I'm thinking on too much of a meta-level for the question.

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bmccann42

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Phantasy Star 2. I remember getting this game back when I was 13, and even with the very anime/JRPG story was fun and had amazing music throughout.

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Darkaileron

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The good "Tales of" games are great, straightforward RPG's. Games like Tales of Destiny 1 & 2, Symphonia and Vesperia have a great cast to boot and are fun adventures throughout.

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theonewhoplays

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Tales of Xillia 1 and 2 are the only Tales games I've enjoyed enough to beat and that's simply because I enjoyed the characters.

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Brendan

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I agree with the consensus in this thread that most RPG's main plot line isn't that interesting but the characters relationships and individual stories are what make them compelling.

The example that best sticks out to me is the Mass Effect series, possibly with the exception of the first one because I found the latter portion of the main story pretty cool on Virmire, Ilos etc. Especially in the 2nd and 3rd game though that completely flipped and the main story was arguably kind of silly in those while the quality of the character writing got better.

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Onemanarmyy

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I think Final Fantasy XII fits this. You got a few big powers in the world that clash with eachother, some mystical crystal bullshit and an Aladdin / Princess Jasmine situation with a bunch of Star Wars sprinkled over it.

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SethMode

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It's been since the year it came out, but I remember thinking the Lost Odyssey story ended up being largely fairly cliché but with really great bits sprinkled in throughout. I really enjoyed the game back then...who knows how I'd feel now.

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Girafro

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I'd nominate both Dragon Quest 4 and 5. The stories aren't revolutionary, they're both "big bad demon trying to resurrect and take over the world" starring silent protags but I think they're both good journeys.

DQ4 has you play through a prologue chapter for each of your party members up to the point they join the hero, then it all comes together and you begin the quest to stop the evil demon.

DQ5 features several generations of the main character's family questing to find the hero that is supposed to save the world (spoiler, it's not you) and then going off to face the ultimate evil.

They're just great little stories with cool moments along the way but I could gush about them all day so I'll leave it at that.

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scoutnagnets

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I just finished up Ni No Kuni 2 and that caught me off-guard with it's quality.

I would second this. I really couldn't get into the first one and, despite its wonderful Ghibli animation, the story/characters never grabbed me. But Ni No Kuni 2 swept me up with its cast and story. The battle system was also fun for the whole game whereas most RPG's lose me with the monotony of the combat.