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ArbitraryWater

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I got a few minutes into Drakensang before realizing it wasn't going to work out between us

Real Dubious RPG-ers play at least three hours of Drakensang before realizing that they're wasting their lives. PFFT cute anime girls doing alchemy? Why not play a worse version of Neverwinter Nights 2 with a more impenetrable and Deutsche ruleset?

(in all seriousness you made the right call there)

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ArbitraryWater

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You might’ve sold me on making this the next Tales game I play after I finish Berseria. Obviously I can’t speak to *when* that’ll be, but I like a good chain combo as much as the next wannabe Dante.

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ArbitraryWater

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I was very tempted to pick Graces F over Zestiria for this season of "the wheel." Especially given how the introductory hours of the game involve dumb children who wouldn't know a LIMBs system if it bludgeoned them over the head. However, given that I wanna play and potentially stream Graces F "4 realsiez" at some point I figured the more generally disliked game would suffice.

well, that and I'm like 20 hours into Berseria and having a pretty good time.

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ArbitraryWater

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@bigsocrates: I'm sorry that I've been beaten by the dark overlords at GoodRPG. I will work in earnest to regain your trust and the Dubious RPG brand reputation as I seek out more weird, obscure, and questionable examples of the Role-Playing genre in the future.

As a consolation, know that in the future we have some truly *extra* RPGs to look forward to. The Elder Scrolls Battlespire is, uh, a thing. Boy, it's absolutely a thing. So is King's Quest VIII, which is apparently as much of an RPG as it is an adventure game, and therefore qualifies for this feature. Konung is the first Russian game to make its way onto the Wheel, assuming I can get it to play nicely with OBS (if not, might have to try Konung 2 instead.) Also I picked the Final Fantasy that gives people actual motion sickness, another early 360 JRPG stalwart and the titty anime vampire souls game by way of God Eater.

@relkin said:

It may not belong on the wheel, but accidentally playing a decent game once in a while is probably very important for maintaining your dubiosity-compass.

Also, Sophia calling Fayt's parents aunt and uncle might just be a translation thing. In some Asian cultures (like Japan, I believe), folks refer to non-related persons who are older than them with titles (like aunt/uncle) that other cultures use only with family.

At least, that's what I hope is happening here.

I have to assume that's a thing, right? That it's more a translation quirk than anything? Anyway it's nice to be proven wrong once in a while. Like by no means does Star Ocean III seem like some sort of amazing game, but there's nothing specific about it that puts it in association with the likes of... that Game of Thrones RPG that Focus Home published.

Might have to wait for me to really start digging into that early HD era goldmine for the real dubious JRPG pay-dirt. Eternal Sonata has been discussed.

@daavpuke said:

Considering my rabid fandom over Star Ocean III, I'm slightly offended it was even considered for a dubious title. It's good to see it was rescinded of such. Now my Roger action figure can stop crying.

I dunno if I met Roger yet, but I did meet Cliff during my time with the game and that guy seems alright.

@genessee said:
Yup and yup. "How about more monster closets since we're dead set on more floors but have ran out of time and money for new enemy types?" Shame, as the steampunk atmosphere was killing it.

Anyhow, you aint deep enough into SO3 to get the dubiosity that is that game's handling of ally AI, stat point allocation, crafting (which was a massive leap backwards from SO2's smorgasbord of wonders), how the game can only be played when the rules are ignored, and how Tales of Graces f did that what they were attempting here on combat but good.

I was very much digging Vaporum right up until it felt like the game had run out of ideas. It seems entirely *fine* but going back to Grimrock II was a pretty hard contrast. Goddamn it, we're never gonna get another dungeon crawler of that caliber again, at least not for a while. (unless there's something in the indie scene I haven't discovered yet.)

Ah, so Star Ocean III is one of those "the subsystems are trash" sort of games, hm? Well I'll give it credit for not immediately bludgeoning me over the head with the worst loot system in the world like Tales of Zestiria did. Unless I can convince Jeff and ZP to do it for the podcast, I think Star Ocean III definitely falls more into the "I would play more of this in the hypothetical" camp, rather than the "I need to play more of this" camp. Graces F tho...

@mento said:

Star Ocean 3: I wouldn't have expected you to reach the part I gave up at, since it's something like twenty hours in, but I recall there being a juncture where healing was prohibitively expensive for some reason and a recent story twist had significantly boosted the local enemy difficulty. There was also some crafting mini-game thing involving creating new inventions for prizes that other NPCs always seemed to get to first, and all those alerts got annoying in a FOMO sense, and then of course the constant hugging the contours of every map to get the 100% exploration bonus. It all started to grate after a while. I probably should've stuck with it to see that wild ending, but I suppose I had better things to do.

Anvil of Dawn: Oof, yeah, that game was just a lot to deal with. They built RPGs to last back then for sure, but those dungeons burn through most of their ideas early and then it's just hours spent running around in circles filling in the map (though maybe not in the literal Star Ocean 3 sense) and abandoning half of everything you find because there's no room in the inventory. I agree it could've done with a party system, or something like Lands of Lore's "revolving chair" of companions for a bit of tactical variation.

Arcana: Of Steamworks and Magic Obscura: Have fun. As you no doubt recall from a couple years back, it really wasn't my cup of tea. Someday I'll figure out what other CRPG nuts see in it.

I feel like I've reached a point with Arcanum where I can't fully let go of the idea of beating it, even though I've played the introductory hours of that game like a half-dozen times at this point. I also think it'd make for great podcast material, because my brain is broken and now very much views potential uses of my time as avenues for #content.

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ArbitraryWater

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DMC 1 feels like a proof of concept for the series (and, to some extent, the entire genre.) DMC 2, on the other hand, is just a baaaaaad time. Dread it, run from it, it arrives all the same.

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Try Operencia: The Stolen Sun for yourselves. This isn't a recommendation by the way; I'm actually daring you. I need others to feel the pain I feel. Are you chicken, McFly?

So what I'm hearing you say is that Operencia is an RPG of Dubious nature, Mento? (I'm currently sticking to my "no indies" rule while vetting for season 2, but I'd be willing to bend it. Also, if you have any suggestions for a Season 2, I'd love to hear them. Definitely have taken some... inspiration from some of the pain you've experienced over the years)

Given that it's on Game Pass, I'll give it a look regardless.

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ArbitraryWater

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ArbitraryWater

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Fun list. I'd be curious to know why Chimera Squad ranked low on your tier. It's a game I immensely liked for a while and finished, but it didn't really leave any lasting impression other than, "Oh, that was pleasant." Could have definitely done without the wild camera swings in it too. That game's debris was not mean tor over-the-shoulder stuff.

I think the biggest thing with Chimera Squad is that it's mostly just "fine." It wears the $10 experimental side game thing on its sleeve, and in that sense it's entirely solid. I just don't think it has enough going on to last a full playthrough, and indeed I didn't finish it. It's a similar problem to Gears Tactics, honestly.

Good list!

If you're going to play FEAR 2 on PC, you should know that the default mouse movement feels bad. Like, really bad, I have no idea how people thought that was OK back then. Perhaps they were all playing the 360 version? Anyway, there's a DLL file out there somewhere that fixes it.

Mechanicus has been on my radar for a while now, since MandaloreGaming reviewed it. I didn't buy it on the Steam sale, though, so I suppose that will have to come later this year.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is probably the best metroidvania out there. I mean, it's not as good as Super Metroid, but then what is? It's certainly the best Castlevania game and I'm perfectly happy with old school and Igavania style Castlevanias continuing under the Bloodstained name.

When did FEAR 2 come out? 2009? Yeah, okay, that explains it. That's the era of peak "The PC port was clearly not the focus of development" for a lot of games.

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ArbitraryWater

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Baldur’s Gate 1 is very definitely a first of its kind sort of thing. You’re not missing out on all that much if you totally skip it. In fact, what you are missing out on is a whole lot of lawnmowering away fog of war in what looks like the same rolling plains/forest that you lawnmowered out for the last area. You’re also missing out on the first few hours of basically having nothing to do in combat except select a character, select an enemy, and hope that your rolls are better than his rolls

That's a weird way of saying that clearing out mostly empty wilderness areas is the *best* part of Baldur's Gate 1. Well, maybe not. The game gets a lot more up to speed once you get out of Cloakwood and into the city itself. Then it *really* turns into the predecessor of pretty much every Bioware game.

Anyway, appreciated this.

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@slag: I have options, yeah, although maybe it would be better for my newly-acquired rare and expensive retro game habit to be snuffed out before I accidentally end up purchasing a copy of Rule of Rose with my stimulus check. (I am not going to do this oh god I have too many video games, bury me in my backlog)

Similar to Eador?! I'm sold.

Similar to Eador in the sense that it's a strategy game that incorporates a half-dozen mechanics from similar genre staples and somehow manages to keep it coherent. There's definitely a little overly-ambitious eastern bloc strategy game resting in Troubleshooter's soul.

@efesell said:

Yooo I'd always been high on Nioh 2 but I booted it up again to try those DLC weapons and the fists boosts this game up tremendously.

Haven't played any of those missions yet but the weapons are worth the price of admission on their own.

hell yeah motherfucker, let's talk about PUNCHING.

I mean, the way every single Splitstaff attack has different properties depending on if you tap or hold the button is also very good, but I'll fully confess that I never quite managed to wrap my head around it in the same way as chaining together fist specials. At some point I'll do a quick and dirty weapon ranking setup, but tentatively I'ma say that fists are Top Tier

@efesell said:

Yooo I'd always been high on Nioh 2 but I booted it up again to try those DLC weapons and the fists boosts this game up tremendously.

Haven't played any of those missions yet but the weapons are worth the price of admission on their own.

Huh. I had the complete opposite reaction to the fists. I think they are - by far - the worst weapon-type in the game. May I ask what is it that you like about them? I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything - one of the things I love about Nioh 2 is that I can watch a video of a play style and be completely blown away by the number of viable ways people can play the game. I just found the fists exceedingly difficult to use. Their ki consumption is off the charts compared to the other weapons and they seem incredibly dependent on stacking the damage buff (which I never found big enough to justify the time spent stacking it and usually ran out of ki before getting it up there anyway).

My impression was that the fists are basically similar to the tonfa, in that they are both close range weapons dependent on getting a lot of smaller-ish hits in. But the tonfa have a lot more options for controlling distance during the fight and seem to have better/easier ways of almost endless comboing opponents.

EDIT: I'll also say that if nothing else, Xenosaga III should get credit for bringing back KOS-MOS's original voice actress. The change to the super-magic pixie-girl anime voice in II was possibly the worst part of what was already a pretty mediocre sequel.

So I definitely think I'm more *effective* with Tonfa overall, but the way you can chain fist normals into specials into normals is kinda great, especially with the full Hayabusa armor set reducing stamina consumption. A lot of it is also an animation thing. The backstab and grapple animations where you just do the Ip Man thing is so good.