Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Anything from run & guns to modern RPGs, what else do you play?
cfx
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by cfx »

Steven wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2024 10:51 am In reality 13 Sentinels is about as much of a visual novel as Microsoft Flight Simulator is. It's an adventure game like Maniac Mansion or whatever.
That's because most people in the US, reviewers included, have never played a VN and have no idea what they're actually like. I've only played the 13 Sentinels demo, but I'm not aware of cryptic puzzles like in Maniac Mansion and the like though.

I see Ace Attorney referred to as a VN all the time too and I'd say that's also more of an adventure game.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by evil_ash_xero »

Well, if Oregon Trail is considered a strategy game (well, by Google standards), then I'd agree. I have no idea what genre 13 Sentinels is. It's mainly a story game, where you really can't change the outcome (or much of anything, really).

And then it has a strategy game inside of it. But it only took up like 10 percent of your playtime (maybe more).

I don't know what I'd call it. Story was great, though.

On a side note, I think my Monarch's Edition of UO should be in Monday. Very interested at looking at the card game. Although, I don't play any card games. :?
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Steven »

So how is the game so far? I have not been able to play it since last week, but my initial impression is that it is kind of too easy, even unpatched on Expert...
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by cfx »

Depends on your skill level, considering how I died repeatedly on the default middle level in the demo.

There is a level beyond expert though, that you have to unlock, which besides being harder...
Spoiler
has perma death. At least according to all the youtubers that instantly spoil everything for everyone in thumbnails and video titles in the race to get clicks. :(
Who knows when I will actually get the game. Playasia estimates late April for the Asian English disc, the only physical PS4 version with English.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Steven »

It looks like this game is one of those ones that might get easier as you go because it will let you add more and more characters to each unit. You'll notice the game gets much easier as soon as you are able to do this.

You definitely should use Josef, though. In most games that give you a powerful character at the start, you want to avoid using that character so your other characters don't miss EXP, but here you should use him because he will greatly help weaker units gain EXP instead of stealing it. In the first few hours of Expert difficulty he's also going to carry you through stuff that you might not be able to get through without him anyway.

I don't know if you actually legitimately need him to defeat some stuff like the first boss, but without him I got my ass kicked by that boss over and over no matter what I did. I restarted and brought him and it was effortless. It's like either you use him and the game is too easy or you don't use him and it's impossible. Maybe that is why they made the game easier with the patch. I'd have to do more testing, though.

Even without Josef, Clive destroys everything, so once you put a few people together with Clive you can demolish everything very quickly.

Atlus published an official apology for the lack of stock in Japan. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but it does indicate that there is high demand for the game. I never bought a Switch copy, but I am still thinking about it. I believe Amazon still had copies a few days ago.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Sima Tuna »

Jagens should always be used. If only to soften up targets for your growth units to get kills. I remember back in the Fire Emblem 7 days, everybody was always shit-talking Marcus because he's a Jagen and the common wisdom of the time was Jagens suck. They don't. Jagens are there to help you set up kills in the early game and pass bosses. Early game is where new players struggle the most in sarpigs anyway, so it makes sense Jagen is there for early game. He's also useful in max difficulty runs where the enemies get huge buffs and early missions can be brutal. Not only that, but some Jagens have decent growth rates depending on the game, so they're less a Jagen (early game crutch unit with no potential) and more just a really powerful unit you get early. Certain Jagens at endgame still have solid stats, so there's really no downside to using them the entire game.

I don't know about Japan, but Amazon USA sold out instantly. I'm pretty sure they're back ordered a month or two out. The game seems to be selling really well. I have to wonder how many people bought it because they like Ogre Battle gameplay vs how many people bought it because it's the new Vanillaware game. :lol: I never thought an Ogre Battle-like would sell well.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Steven »

Nah, toss your Jeigans on the bench immediately or only use them for support functionality like carrying healing items or extra weapons for other characters to use. Josef is decent at healing, and in his case you can make him the leader of his unit if you want faster movement.

I might actually get to play this game this weekend unless I decide to smash my face into the wall that is Same! Same! Same! 1P version some more. Depends on how much sleep I manage to get, which will probably not be a lot.

The success of this game has made me wonder what would have happened if Sega had left Sakura Taisen as a strategy game instead of creating the mindless button mashing of the newest game. I believe Nagoshi said something to the effect of "modern gamers are too stupid to play strategy games so it's a button masher" to explain it.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by BryanM »

Eh, the success or failure of a game is larger than just the game itself. You have to win the lottery like Balder's Gate did to go viral out of nowhere and for burnt out gamers to get permission from their imaginary internet friends to play a genre they otherwise would never touch. That means building a reputation and imprinting kids on your product at a young age over decades - Sakura Wars has no mindshare presence outside of Japan and Sega's reputation is eh....

We're just about the grogiest of grognards here - how many of you guys ever give a Summon Night game a spin?
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Sima Tuna »

Steven wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 4:50 am
The success of this game has made me wonder what would have happened if Sega had left Sakura Taisen as a strategy game instead of creating the mindless button mashing of the newest game. I believe Nagoshi said something to the effect of "modern gamers are too stupid to play strategy games so it's a button masher" to explain it.
I think the success of Unicorn Overlord is primarily due to a couple of factors:

-the game was pretty well advertised for once. I actually saw ads for this thing on youtube. For once, I was not pissed off when youtube ran an ad.
-It's been 20 years since an Ogre Battle-like game released (or close to it, I believe Yggdra Union was the last localized one)
-It's been 10 years or thereabouts since a new Vanillaware game

So you had a) people who found out about the game and how beautiful it looks from the commercials, b) grognards hyped for another sarpig, and c) vanillaware fans (I am one) just happy to see a new vanillaware game.

Hopefully, the sales of Unicorn Overlord will convince Vanillaware to port over some of their other games. I doubt we'll see PC versions but maybe some modern console ports will be on the docket.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Necronopticous »

Rolled credits on expert mode last night. This game is a triumph.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by cfx »

Steven wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 5:44 am It looks like this game is one of those ones that might get easier as you go because it will let you add more and more characters to each unit. You'll notice the game gets much easier as soon as you are able to do this.

You definitely should use Josef, though. In most games that give you a powerful character at the start, you want to avoid using that character so your other characters don't miss EXP, but here you should use him because he will greatly help weaker units gain EXP instead of stealing it. In the first few hours of Expert difficulty he's also going to carry you through stuff that you might not be able to get through without him anyway.
With the demo, upon my first attempts that were met by multiple failures either due to dying or running out of time, initially I gave up because at that point I really didn't like the game. But I kept thinking about it, and would have thoughts like "I wonder if I did <thing> if that would work..." etc. so eventually I tried it again.

Initially I hadn't used Josef for the reasons you mention, but this time I did. And I noticed that whoever is with him gains levels pretty easily, and my other units weren't that far behind. Josef needs so many points to get to level 21 that even if you use him all the time, as long as you also use everyone else, they'll have quite a few levels by the time he gains one level.

Never having played a game that works like this one, there are some fundamental things I just missed, such as how you can still fight when garrisoned. I also kept running out of stamina even being aware of it. Just need practice with all of that, but I stopped playing the demo, since I won't have the game until May at the earliest and I don't want to feel burnt out on replaying the beginning, and I would want to start over rather than transferring since I won't have it for so long.

Steven wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 4:50 am The success of this game has made me wonder what would have happened if Sega had left Sakura Taisen as a strategy game instead of creating the mindless button mashing of the newest game. I believe Nagoshi said something to the effect of "modern gamers are too stupid to play strategy games so it's a button masher" to explain it.
While I won't pretend my view is shared by others, I did not buy this game for two reasons: that it was no longer a strategy game, and even as a musou style it looked particularly brain dead (I like Dragon Quest Heroes 1/2 and expect to like Fate/Samurai Remnant), and second, I absolutely despise the character designs. The 2D art from the artist, like the game's cover, looks quite nice, but the 3D models used in the game have a particular style that I cannot stand. They're like some kind of living dolls that will probably murder me while I sleep.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Steven »

cfx wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2024 2:31 am
Steven wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 5:44 am It looks like this game is one of those ones that might get easier as you go because it will let you add more and more characters to each unit. You'll notice the game gets much easier as soon as you are able to do this.

You definitely should use Josef, though. In most games that give you a powerful character at the start, you want to avoid using that character so your other characters don't miss EXP, but here you should use him because he will greatly help weaker units gain EXP instead of stealing it. In the first few hours of Expert difficulty he's also going to carry you through stuff that you might not be able to get through without him anyway.
With the demo, upon my first attempts that were met by multiple failures either due to dying or running out of time, initially I gave up because at that point I really didn't like the game. But I kept thinking about it, and would have thoughts like "I wonder if I did <thing> if that would work..." etc. so eventually I tried it again.

Initially I hadn't used Josef for the reasons you mention, but this time I did. And I noticed that whoever is with him gains levels pretty easily, and my other units weren't that far behind. Josef needs so many points to get to level 21 that even if you use him all the time, as long as you also use everyone else, they'll have quite a few levels by the time he gains one level.

Never having played a game that works like this one, there are some fundamental things I just missed, such as how you can still fight when garrisoned. I also kept running out of stamina even being aware of it. Just need practice with all of that, but I stopped playing the demo, since I won't have the game until May at the earliest and I don't want to feel burnt out on replaying the beginning, and I would want to start over rather than transferring since I won't have it for so long.
There are a lot of interlocking mechanics in this game that directly affect your combat performance. Unit composition has an especially massive impact. Fortunately you can deploy a unit directly on top of your flag, check how that unit would do against enemy units, and then recall the unit to assign different characters or a different leader while the game remains paused, which helps.
cfx wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2024 2:31 am
Steven wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 4:50 am The success of this game has made me wonder what would have happened if Sega had left Sakura Taisen as a strategy game instead of creating the mindless button mashing of the newest game. I believe Nagoshi said something to the effect of "modern gamers are too stupid to play strategy games so it's a button masher" to explain it.
While I won't pretend my view is shared by others, I did not buy this game for two reasons: that it was no longer a strategy game, and even as a musou style it looked particularly brain dead (I like Dragon Quest Heroes 1/2 and expect to like Fate/Samurai Remnant), and second, I absolutely despise the character designs. The 2D art from the artist, like the game's cover, looks quite nice, but the 3D models used in the game have a particular style that I cannot stand. They're like some kind of living dolls that will probably murder me while I sleep.
Claris in particular definitely has this sort of thing going on. Something about her character model is weird.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by cfx »

Steven wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2024 3:44 am
cfx wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2024 2:31 am
Steven wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 4:50 am The success of this game has made me wonder what would have happened if Sega had left Sakura Taisen as a strategy game instead of creating the mindless button mashing of the newest game. I believe Nagoshi said something to the effect of "modern gamers are too stupid to play strategy games so it's a button masher" to explain it.
While I won't pretend my view is shared by others, I did not buy this game for two reasons: that it was no longer a strategy game, and even as a musou style it looked particularly brain dead (I like Dragon Quest Heroes 1/2 and expect to like Fate/Samurai Remnant), and second, I absolutely despise the character designs. The 2D art from the artist, like the game's cover, looks quite nice, but the 3D models used in the game have a particular style that I cannot stand. They're like some kind of living dolls that will probably murder me while I sleep.
Claris in particular definitely has this sort of thing going on. Something about her character model is weird.
I don't think I had seen her before, but oh my that is nightmare fuel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If8kmuwlGlw

Something about the eyes I think? In general, the skin on the characters has a weird look; I'm not sure if it's just the color or the lighting model or both, but it looks like rubber or something to me.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by BryanM »

There's a reason every 3d illustration-artstyle is going with cell shading to enflattenate the polygons. Everyone and their dog is aping Genshin Impact these days.

The only time trying to make them look like a physical object that could exist in the real world worked, was like in Figure Fantasy's art. Because the characters are literally figurines.

(And because they're figurines, they're designed to be interesting to look at. Just rotating them around is a fun thing to do. Very asymmetric poses, some bases have cool scenery..

As opposed to the rather flat designs Sega's salarymen slaves churn out. If you think Sakura Wars is uninspired, look at the characters of "Phantasy Star" Idola. They just slid right off the brain... They're like SCP anti-memes, I swear to god. It freaks me out such a thing really is possible....)
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Steven »

Shin Sakura Taisen is actually pretty alright aside from the character designs looking like a bunch of Bleach rejects, the sometimes off-putting character models, and Kamiyama's combat uniform looking like a bathrobe. At the very least it's better than Sakura Taisen V. That probably does not say much considering how weak V is at everything, but Shin is a better game. Between Shin's bad reception in Japan and then Sega losing a huge amount of money on that mobile game, I wouldn't be surprised if they give up on the franchise again for a while. It seems they haven't even done any stage plays for a few years now, but at least they are still doing concerts.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Licorice »

Just completed Super Robot Wars Original Generation for the Game Boy Advance, which was the first game in the OG series, setting aside the fact that the first Masou Kishin game for the Super Famicom was later retconned as part of the OG "Saga" sub-series of games.

Kyosuke's route, completed in 260 turns, earning all battle masteries and meeting all secret requirements, with no self imposed restrictions except a no save scumming rule*.

Super Robot Wars OG belongs to the sub-genre of turn based strategy I call the Japanese puzzle TBT RPG, a sub-genre which I welcome for being particularly oriented towards, and concerned with, challenge. This game in particular was challenging enough to make me abandon my first blind playthrough very late in the game after hitting a wall in the form of the game's penultimate boss. While I obtained enough battle masteries to stay in hard mode, in doing so I had not built a powerful enough party capable of dealing more damage per turn than the said boss regenerates, rendering it an impossible fight. The second time through, I employed a spreadsheet and the information I gathered the first time playing, to make sure I don't meet the same fate again. This involved planning exactly how the game's finite pool of XP, PP (Pilot Points) and money earned during stages should be distributed among my pilots and mechs, which pilots to match with which mechs, and how each mech should be loaded out.

As alluded to above, the game employs a dynamic difficulty system, where it switches from easy, to normal, to hard, depending on how many battle masteries the player has earned. Each stage has exactly one battle mastery, which is essentially a bonus objective beyond the main mission objective(s). These bonus objectives most frequently take two forms, which are also the two main forms of challenge the game presents the player:

1. Clear a stage under a certain number of turns.

2. Deliver a finishing blow to a unit which would otherwise retreat when its HP falls below a certain percentage threshold.

The latter is a check of your deployed party's highest single attack damage output, which segues into the game's third form of challenge, appearing exclusively in the latter stages (at least in hard mode):

3. Destroy a unit which regenerates an absurd amount of HP per turn.

Which is effectively a check of the (potentially sustained) amount of damage your deployed party can deal to one target during one turn. If this number is too low, the unit will literally be undefeatable and the stage unwinnable, as I found out the hard way.

On the other hand, the secret requirements are simply constraints of the form X pilot must have more than N kills or be M level or higher by the end of some stage.

Back to damage output. Single attack damage output is increased deterministically (i.e. ignoring critical chances) by:
  • Attacking with the weapon which has the highest damage output, given the terrain the defending unit is positioned on, and the defending unit's special abilities (many have additional defenses against beam weapons).
  • Upgrading the attacking weapon's damage throughout the course of the game.
  • Increasing the attacking pilot's melee or ranged stats throughout the course of the game.
  • Increasing the attacking pilot's will throughout the course of the stage (exactly how differs per pilot, but using the rouse, spirit or drive spells works for everyone)
  • Decreasing the defending pilot's will using the daunt spell.
  • Ensuring the attacking pilot has the *fight, attacker, or revenge skills (latter applies only to counter attacks).
  • Ensuring the attacking pilot is an ace at the time they initiate the attack.
  • Buffing the attacking unit with the valor or fury (situational) spells.
  • Placing the attacking unit next to a supporting unit (if not going for the revenge bonus) and ensuring all of the above for the supporting unit as well.
  • Ensuring the unit has the ammunition, energy and will necessary to use the weapon on the given turn.
Due to the time keeping format of the game (each unit can (usually, barring certain spells) move and therefore attack only once in their player's phase, but since the opponent's phase also consists of moving all units, one unit may be attacked, and hence itself counter attack, multiple times in one turn), a single "super" unit with high damage output could almost, in addition to meeting the second form of challenge listed earlier, also meet the first, low turn count form of challenge, thus trivializing a large part of the game.

I say almost, because the last point listed above puts a tactical constraint on this strategy, as by counter attacking frequently, the would-be super unit will run out of resources by the time they need to execute the coup de grace to earn the battle mastery.

This has a patch of sorts, which is to equip some unit with a supply module and assign them to squire duty for the super unit, though the designers were careful to ensure a naive approach here would eat into turn counts -- the supply module is not available for post move use (i.e. it must be used before the carrying unit moves), meaning to supply the super unit, the supply unit must be, at the end of the phase, next to the super unit, in order not to have to retreat the super unit, which means the supply unit will absorb at least part of the enemy aggro (often, though not always, all, as the AI tends to target supply module carrying units) and reduce the number of units killed by the super unit on the opponent's phase hence increasing the number of turns it takes to clear the stage.

Instead, the player has to adopt slightly more complex two or more super unit rotation and resupply tactics, which does indeed meet the general tactical constraints of the game. However it doesn't meet specific tactical constraints in the form of stages which impose restrictions on which pilots or mechs may (initially) be deployed, nor the constraints imposed by the (hamfisted) secret requirements (specific pilots meeting certain level or kill requirements by the end of certain stages), nor, most importantly, the cross-stage strategic constraint the third kind of challenge mentioned earlier imposes, which appears in the final stages of the game.

Moreover, playing with a small number of super units is terribly inefficient, since pilot XP gain (and maybe PP gain as well, I didn't confirm, but I suspect so) is determined in large part by the difference between the attacking pilot and the defending pilot's levels. An overleveled pilot making short work of large swaths of low level enemy units simply lowers the total XP available to distribute amongst your pilots throughout the course of the game -- there's no grinding in Super Robot Wars OG without forfeiting battle masteries, so the XP and money pool is limited when playing for all battle masteries.

Another important note here is that the bulk of the XP goes to the pilot who initiates the attack which finishes off an enemy unit, not the pilot who dealt the most damage, either in previous attacks, or as a supporter in the same attack.

So what's the game?

In short, the game is all about coming up with a viable end game party build to meet the end game challenges, and then working towards it by optimizing and distributing each stage's finite number of kills, XP and PP across the units deployed for that stage (the choice of which is constrained by the story), while still meeting the constrains imposed by the battle masteries and secret requirements, and also minimizing turn counts (which is effectively your score, and prominently displayed by the game on the intermission and data screens), which primarily involves carefully deciding which moves to make and which order to make them in.

In my experience this required attentive planning

1. across stages, to make sure the good enough units would be available at each stage while meeting secret requirements

2. per stage, to devise a stage strategy which would clear the stage while meeting the battle mastery constraint and also minimzing turn count,

3. per turn, to make sure my deployed party was eliminating enemy units fast enough, that it had enough resources (mainly in the form of spell points) for the next turn(s), that my higher level pilots weren't eating away the stage's XP pool to the detriment of the party as a whole across stages.

I found this planning to be very enjoyable and mentally engaging. I particularly enjoyed how much unit positioning matters due to the support system -- adjacent units can add an attack to an attacking unit during the player's phase, or block an enemy's attack during the computer's phase, but different units can do so different numbers of times per phase, which led me to add a higher level concept of formations to my thinking about unit positioning e.g. I had a debuffing formation for sustained energy drains and armor breaks, and two flexible attack formations based around two different support units (one of which involved a combination attack, which is a gimmick two particular pilots can perform).

Briefly, on what exactly is a unit? A unit is the combination of a pilot, a mech, any special parts equipped, and any free weapons equipped ("free" as some weapons are fixed to the mech, while others are "free" to be equipped on whichever mech the player desires).

A pilot consists of the six basic stats, which grow with level according to the pilot's growth rates, and may also be raised by the player by expending PP which pilots earn along with XP by killing enemies. A pilot also has 6 spells they may cast (fixed per pilot, gained by level) and up to 6 skills, a number of which are innate (differing per pilot) and the rest player purchased, again for PP.

Mechs have a size, movement range, HP, EN (energy, expended by some attacks), mobility and armor, a fixed attack set, a weapon carry limit, a number of part slots, and perhaps some fixed set of (defensive) special abilities.

Parts either give bonuses to mech stats (e.g. higher movement range, or more armor), confer special abilities to the unit, adjust hit rates or critical rates, or are one time, in-stage consumables.

I forgot to mention that all three of pilots, mechs and weapons have terrain ratings for the four types of terrain -- ground, water, air and space. The word terrain may mislead here, as the same map tile may count as either air, or ground or water, based on the occupying unit's mode -- is it flying or not. Space tiles, at least, are always space tiles. Both the mech and the pilot's terrain ratings are used when defending, while only the weapon's terrain rating (and not the pilot's) is used when attacking.

Interface-wise my greatest complaint aside from the understandably cramped menus (it is a GBA game), is the lack of a pre-battle expected outcome report widget (see my footnote at the end), which necessitates using external tools or saving and reloading given how important ordering attacks is in the game.

Super Robot Wars OG has great battle music and OK menu and map music. Annoyingly, you only get to hear the battle music if you elect not to skip battle animations, though happily battle music does continue to loop a few times during the rest of the phase afterwards, temporarily replacing the two or three repetitive looping background tracks that usually play. Overall, I recommend the game's sound track.

The game is visually very clear and each attack animation is fun to watch, and even though I could skip them, and 99% of the time I did, I sometimes deliberately didn't, mostly due to the fact that battle animations functioned as kind of jukebox as explained above.

I like the setting a lot, the plot less so, partly because it's conveyed poorly. I like almost all of the characters, though almost all only ironically. Excellen and Leona are my waifus. You can skip through all the game's text segments at blazing speed almost as if it wasn't there at all which is highly welcome, especially when replaying.

Finally, the game was remade along with its sequel for the Playstation 2 as Super Robot Wars Original Generations, though I've not played this version, I can confirm that its sound track has amazing arrangements of the tracks from the GBA game.

I recommend Super Robot Wars OG for anyone who likes the Japanese puzzle TBT RPG subgenre (perhaps I should use the acronym JPTBTRPG and see if it ever catches on). Even though there were 29 previous TBT entries in the Super Robot Wars series before OG 1, and the rule set is obviously highly refined in the iterative sense, it feels as though it could use some consolidation. I'm interested to see how the designers changed the rules in OG 2, alpha 3, and Z which were the last games made exclusively by the same team (Banpresoft before they became B. B. Studio). I'm also, of course, interested in the OGs remake from a different team (TOSE) and the games which branched off from there. I will be playing those some time in the future and sharing my thoughts then.

*I never bothered to create a damage calculator so I did save and reload to see how much damage different units would deal to a target when ordering attacks mattered, as it very often did.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Sima Tuna »

Original Generation 2 is a seriously good game. I liked SRT: OG but I thought the first one was just a bit shallow by comparison. It definitely degenerates into a game of skill spamming at high levels (both games do,) but the battles are still entertaining.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Steamflogger Boss »

Sima Tuna wrote: Fri Apr 05, 2024 4:39 am Original Generation 2 is a seriously good game. I liked SRT: OG but I thought the first one was just a bit shallow by comparison. It definitely degenerates into a game of skill spamming at high levels (both games do,) but the battles are still entertaining.
I loved it. One of the few GBA carts I bothered keeping.

Been thinking about finally trying Bahamut Lagoon recently.
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Steven »

Metal Slug Tactics demo is up. It seems pretty easy, but it seems that you can only select the easiest difficulty at first. I have only played for 27 minutes so far, so hopefully it gets much more difficult. Other than that, it seems good so far, and to my surprise seems to actually have properly scaled art at 1920x1080.

The game heavily encourages an aggressive, mobile playstyle instead of remaining stationary, too, which is extremely good and welcome.
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before the spirits with in were out

Post by NYN »

Bought and started Front Mission 3, playing Emma route, and I am glad I missed out when it was new. I'll say I would not have appreciated it, the way I felt Para Eve II was revolting to mix action and "open"-stats (I rescinded that lately for the better). 3 being my first FM contact, I appreciate how maps/stages are short and sweet, instead of drawn-out and epic. I don't care much for the military scenario, not more than the dorks 'n' dragons of others, though it's a change. Characters are nice in this half (Ryogo grinning face), so I keep being interested. Just the best when one learns that some were then making games that aren't too dorky or too auto-pilot as I'd assume is now current. I will look into the remake, once it hits, that much I can tell. The thought, that SQUARE was invested in experimentation when it was S0FT, not fan-service ENIX. Very cool found.
WhatImageeven mean, though?!
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Sengoku Strider
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Sengoku Strider »

I got back into Shining Force II the last couple of weeks, I think I'm pretty close to the end, at the battle against Red Baron.

I know a lot of people feel this is the best rpg on the MD/Genesis. I'm playing the Japanese original, I don't know what changes were made for the Western release, but this version's a game with a lot of charm that I think is held back by some serious balance issues. Namely, the experience system totally sucks. It's based on how much damage you do, or landing the finishing blow. So if a character is lower level than an encounter they'll only do 1 or 2 points of damage to an enemy thus rewarding only 1 XP, there's no upward scaling for a lower level character attacking a higher level enemy, and they get left in the dust. I was really having a bad time with the game in the first half because of this, though promoting characters helped some.

The other thing is enemy balance and AI. I'm playing on hard and lots of enemies go down quick, but then there are random outliers like the bow riders in the late game who have huge mobility, huge range, but are tankier than anything. The balance in the fights is based on the enemies only coming at you one or two at a time, but being able to take out a character in one or two hits. It just doesn't feel all that well thought out. But at the same time, enemies will do things like get into range or stand next to you and not attack for some reason. I just did the Prism Flower fight and I couldn't figure out any rhyme or reason as to whether they'd map me or not.

One other criticism I have is the game world. There are a couple of set piece or dungeon fights, but most everything in the world is the same green biome tile set. I realized I was getting close to the end of the game but it still felt like I hadn't gone anywhere, because so much of it looks the same as it did in the very beginning.

I do get why people fell in love with it. SRPGs were a total rarity on console in the West, the Shining Force games and Warsong are the only ones I can think of until Ogre Battle showed up late in the gen, which is its own kind of thing. The character art is great, the music is well programmed, the Sonic Planning/Camelot UI is snappier than ever, and it does a huge amount of storytelling for a cartridge game. So in spite of all my criticisms, I have still felt motivated to keep picking it up and playing it evening after evening.
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it290
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by it290 »

I am more of a fan of the more limited in scope Shining Force games, like the original and the Gaiden series/CD. In addition to the balance issues you mentioned, the more open world in II just detracts from the core tactical gameplay.

The XP issue you mention is an issue throughout the entire series. There are some ways you can mitigate it, but they do force you to play the games in ways that are less fun and natural. At the end of the day, you just sort of have to accept that some characters are gonna suck.

The most recent game in the series I've played through is 3, which really took me a long time to get into because it takes away the series' gorgeous pixel art in favor of goofy Saturn polygons, but I have to say it does really up the ante from a gameplay perspective. Battles are much more involved with more surprises, and with lots of interesting gimmicks like moving trains on the battlefield and many battles with win conditions that aren't just 'kill the boss'—although there are a lot of these, too.
Image
We here shall not rest until we have made a drawing-room of your shaft, and if you do not all finally go down to your doom in patent-leather shoes, then you shall not go at all.
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Sengoku Strider
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Re: Sarpig pride worldwide. Sars are better than Jars!

Post by Sengoku Strider »

I finished the game. The very end was a bit confusing...
Spoiler
Have they ever explained it? The witch is the goddess Mitula? Why was she trapped in the forest?
Anyway, for all its faults I did end up quite liking it in the end. The battle system is still fun, and the storybook charm carried it through.
it290 wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2024 6:44 pm I am more of a fan of the more limited in scope Shining Force games, like the original and the Gaiden series/CD. In addition to the balance issues you mentioned, the more open world in II just detracts from the core tactical gameplay.

The XP issue you mention is an issue throughout the entire series. There are some ways you can mitigate it, but they do force you to play the games in ways that are less fun and natural. At the end of the day, you just sort of have to accept that some characters are gonna suck.

The most recent game in the series I've played through is 3, which really took me a long time to get into because it takes away the series' gorgeous pixel art in favor of goofy Saturn polygons, but I have to say it does really up the ante from a gameplay perspective. Battles are much more involved with more surprises, and with lots of interesting gimmicks like moving trains on the battlefield and many battles with win conditions that aren't just 'kill the boss'—although there are a lot of these, too.
I've finished Shining and the Darkness and the first two Shining Force games now...I have all the Saturn games, but I kind of want to play through the in-between titles first. I don't have a Mega CD or Game Gear though...the Mega CD is on the list to get at some point, but I know the third GG title is GG only, and I don't really want to buy one of those. Hopefully by the time I get around to that one it will have seen some other form of release.

I guess I could pick up Landstalker next. The JP version is super cheap and I've heard it was titled Shining 4 in development.
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