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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:12 pm

#67

Game: Phantasy Star II.
Year: 1990.
Genre: RPG.
Publisher: Sega.
Developer: Sega.



First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

The Phantasy Star series is nearly as old as the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy RPG series, and while it is held in high regard, it never reached the acclaim of those other two franchises. The second game in the series is the first on the Genesis, and is highly regarded by Genesis fans.

Unfortunately, this is an example of an early JRPG that didn't age well. Still, there are glimpses of the brilliance that made gamers love it 26 years ago.

"Mother Brain is essential to our life"

In theory, the plot of PSII can be both unique an engaging. Its about a society that came to depend on a super computer that manages all of its needs, and as such struggles when that super computer starts malfunctioning.

However, in practice, the game's story can only be implied through its archaic and poorly translated dialogue. With sentences having limited punctuation, no indication of tone, delivery, or basic dramatically nuance, the game struggles at delivering any story.

This was common-place in the early RPG days, which is why many pre-SNES RPGs aged terribly.

Take your party members for example. Other than their introductory dialogue, they do not speak for the reminder of the game. There is no exposition, no character growth, and you will only depend on the very few clues provided and outside information to make sense of the story and game world.

Thankfully then, the PS series is unique in that regard. Set in outer space, its generally an interesting idea to explore a frontier planet.

Terrible Dialogue: -3
Weak Characterization: -4

"Fool! You say such things but your powerless to stop me"

Like all the RPGs of the day, gameplay is divided into exploration and turn-based battles, which starts randomly in dangerous areas such as dungeon and the over-world. PSII's combat system is geared toward automatic play, where you can interrupt the combat to issue orders to your party.

This means that battles finish more quickly, with only the toughest battles demanding close micro-management from the player.

Of course, this doesn't mean its all on autoplay, as the player must observe all the information on enemy and ally attacks to see if they need to intervene and change the game plan. Some enemies can cause a lot of damage to all party members, which will require special focus on them with magic attack, or simply healing to counter their damage.

Outside of battle, you will be visiting a lot of dungeon and cities. The over-world is interestingly designed, especially the second planet you visit.

Unfortunately, due to its ancient design principles, this game is a chore to play. In order to progress through the difficult dungeons, you will simply need to grind for levels and equipment. Roughly more than half of my gameplay time was spent grinding. Since there are party members that cannot be in your party, the grinding time will increase if you want to use other characters. Which is why I ignored a lot of the other characters because I didn't feel like grinding more than I already did.

However, its not only grinding that will waste your time, but a multitude of other problems as well. It simply takes too much time to do anything in the game. Take healing for example. Once out of battle and you want to heal your party members, you must open the menu, go to the skill menu, choose the character whose skills you want to use, choose the skill, and then choose the character you want to use that skill on. Once you finish that five step procedure to heal one character, you are booted out of the entire menu and you need to repeat it again to use another healing spell.

Ironically, when you use items instead of healing spells, the menu doesn't boot you out of the whole thing, and instead you can choose to use another healing item. Suggesting the developers could have figured the same thing for the skills as well.

This is of course assuming you have a guide explaining what each skill and item does, because the game doesn't explain anything about items and skills. You are left looking online for clues about what each magic skill does.

Then we come to the game's dungeons, which are IMPOSSIBLE to navigate without a map or a guide. I have never seen such mazes in an RPG. Even with the manageable encounter rate of PSII, trying to navigate these mazes alone would be impossible.

Good Combat: +3
Too Much Grinding: -3
Caveman Design: -5

"The Many tragedies which have come to pass as the world falls into turmoil"

The visual design of PSII's world is both colorful, and aged. Especially out of combat. These are not the chunky sprites of other early RPGs, but an attempt at creating more "realistically" proportional models. This results in more unique models, and a different kind of world.

In battle, its similar to the style of Dragon Quest, but the backs of your characters are visible, and they are animated when they attack. Enemy models are also animate when attacking (instead of the vibration effects in Final Fantasy games) and are varied and interesting enough.

However, dungeons and cities are poorly designed, with some visual effects actually working against the player obscuring their view.

As for the game's sound, it must be said that it suffers a little from the Genesis's lacking sound capabilities. This results in several tunes sounding the same. Yet, these are some really catchy tunes, that fit well with the game world and are a delight to listen to.

There are only about 20 different tracks, which is small for an RPG but still OK considering this game's age.

Graphical Design: +3
Sound: +3

In Conclusion:

This a review I know many would disagree with. Many would say I am judging PSII harshly for a game of its time, and that it was a much better game if played in 1990. However, I am not reviewing this game in 1990, but in 2016. When making this review, I am making a recommendation for someone wanting to play the game now.

With that in mind, PSII has aged terribly, and as such I can only recommend to the retro enthusiasts. I can see how the game managed to attract such a fanbase back in the day. Yet, where games such as Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy 6 managed to stay great despite their age, PSII suffers too much from it.

Final: 20/50

"Tips"
1- Character order is important, those in the front are more likely to be attacked.
2- Use maps in the internet to play the dungeons.
3- Use guides in the internet to learn about Skills and Items.
4- Whenever you go to a new city, go back to your house and see if a new party member joins.
5- Grind a lot.

"Next Game"

Although PSII might be historically important, it didn't age practically well. As such, I spent most of my time with it struggling with its archaic design choices, rather than enjoying myself. I am hoping PSIII and PSIV aged much better.

Next game is apparently and interesting Adventure RPG also set in space. At #76, Starflight is another EA game on the Genesis. Here is hoping for some good time.

Stay Tuned

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Firenze on Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:50 pm

the division is ass
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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:28 am

@Firenze wrote:the division is ass


Saw it coming from a mile away lol.

In other news I just got my first Platinum Molenation

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Thimmy on Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:56 am

@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:
@Firenze wrote:the division is ass


Saw it coming from a mile away lol.

In other news I just got my first Platinum Molenation


Adult toy? hmm

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by M99 on Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:27 am

Taking 87 playthroughs to get a platinum rofl

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:57 am

5 besides it's pretty hard when you don't play gwent, play on hardest difficulty or bother with Witcher contracts hmm

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Firenze on Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:14 am

still an impressive feat Molenation

dat feeling when ur still holding out hope that moal will tackle bloodborne
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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Kaladin on Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:42 am

@Firenze wrote:the division is ass


Not surprised

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Firenze on Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:06 pm

keep in mind i only played for 30 mins

i'll be passing on it

i'm sure it will be popular but it's just boring to me (someone who prefers story driven single player games)

handles like watch dogs and plays like gears of war meets destiny

not expecting much from the story either

it's kinda crazy how ubisoft went from one of my favorite publishers last gen to one i'm indifferent to in general nowadays

oversaturation and rarely ever switching up the formula for games I guess

hard to argue against it when most of them sell so well

ES, Firewatch is out in just over a week, you playing day 1?

heard it's going to be short (6 - 8 hrs or so) but I'm looking forward to it, especially since i'm so burned out on gaming atm, 6 hrs sounds perfect to me
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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:31 pm

@Firenze wrote:still an impressive feat Molenation

dat feeling when ur still holding out hope that moal will tackle bloodborne


I was gonna but RG claiming how hard it is turned me away Sad

As soon as I finish the DLC on this playthrough gonna take break from Witcher till Blood and Wine. Gonna get cracking on dat dere backlog.

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:40 pm

Lmao Square Enix have no shame... Gonna announce release date of FF 15 on March 30th.

A release date for a release date. rofl

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Kaladin on Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:49 pm

@Firenze wrote:
ES, Firewatch is out in just over a week, you playing day 1?

heard it's going to be short (6 - 8 hrs or so) but I'm looking forward to it, especially since i'm so burned out on gaming atm, 6 hrs sounds perfect to me


Definitely, one of the games i was looking forward to for a while, despite it being overlooked by mainstream media

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:54 pm

ES wrote:
@Firenze wrote:
ES, Firewatch is out in just over a week, you playing day 1?

heard it's going to be short (6 - 8 hrs or so) but I'm looking forward to it, especially since i'm so burned out on gaming atm, 6 hrs sounds perfect to me


Definitely, one of the games i was looking forward to for a while, despite it being overlooked by mainstream media


It's not tbf, practically every mainstream media outlet has it on their most anticipated games random lists and keep saying how it's being overlooked despite all of them saying it lol.

Doubt I'll bother personally however as it doesn't look like my thing.

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Firenze on Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:45 pm

@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:Lmao Square Enix have no shame... Gonna announce release date of FF 15 on March 30th.

A release date for a release date. rofl


game is looking goat though

so glad that turn based combat isn't a thing, ain't nobody got time for that in 2016



imagine it'll be end of the year/early 2017

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:47 pm

They say it's gonna be 2016, definitely interested in it. Persona 5 as well.

As a staunch hater of JRPGs i'm probably gonna buy two this year Molenation

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Bellabong on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:01 pm

Tomb Raider woulda been GotY if it hadn't shared release date with Fallout 4 and release year of Witcher 3.

Actually addresses most of the criticism of its predecessor. I'm enjoying the side-tombs and their ramped up intricacies a lot.

Since you found the first a nice little surprise I highly suggest you get it when it comes out on PS4 Mole.

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Henry wrote:"“Stepovers, tricks, that’s not the game. The game is what Thomas Muller is doing. If I had a son right now, playing, I would say to him ‘look at them, look at [Franck] Ribery, look at Muller.’ What Ronaldo does, and Messi, they’re just freaks. Don’t try to copy those guys. You can copy from Ribery, you can copy from Thomas Muller. What he did at the World Cup, people don’t talk about it. They don’t talk about it, but they should talk about it. He plays the game the right way: he defends, he attacks, he controls the ball when he has to control it, he reverses when he has to reverse it. When he has to finish, he’ll finish. He doesn’t do stepovers, but when he has to perform, he performs. He does what the game asks him to do.”"

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by M99 on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:05 pm

I liked Rise Of The Tomb Raider a lot. Really liked the optional tombs except for the rewards you got after finishing the tombs. Story was interesting and gameplay was pretty much the same from the 2013 one with more varied weapons which was perfectly fine. Wish I had enough time to complete it.

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:07 pm

I was going to anyway because like you say i enjoyed the first one and the tombs being in this time will likely increase the enjoyment.

From what i understand it reviewed very well, so critically it's getting the praise it deserves but sadly it just bombed comercially due to Fallout and the exclusivity.

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by M99 on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:19 pm

It did not set the world on fire because of Fallout 4 but it still sold decently.

http://www.videogamer.com/xboxone/rise_of_the_tomb_raider/news/rise_of_the_tomb_raider_halo_5_forza_6_and_gears_of_war_ue_have_all_sold_over_1_million_units.html

Btw Phritz, the Baba Yaga DLC is being rated high. You should get it hmm

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:30 pm

@M99 wrote:It did not set the world on fire because of Fallout 4 but it still sold decently.

http://www.videogamer.com/xboxone/rise_of_the_tomb_raider/news/rise_of_the_tomb_raider_halo_5_forza_6_and_gears_of_war_ue_have_all_sold_over_1_million_units.html

Btw Phritz, the Baba Yaga DLC is being rated high. You should get it hmm


1 million is pretty poor tbf, i'd suspect that Square would have wanted closer to 10m across PS4/XBO/PC than the 5m that it's probably going to get.


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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Bellabong on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:37 pm

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/rise-of-the-tomb-raider

PC port is actually reviewing very well on both sides Surprised

This game is the reason why I have a 980 TI and a 21:9 screen.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613256149


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613268190


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613256256


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613256054


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613268064


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613256010 (notice the hair around the magazine - The collision isn't perfect but I dare you to find better hair in any game period.)

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Henry wrote:"“Stepovers, tricks, that’s not the game. The game is what Thomas Muller is doing. If I had a son right now, playing, I would say to him ‘look at them, look at [Franck] Ribery, look at Muller.’ What Ronaldo does, and Messi, they’re just freaks. Don’t try to copy those guys. You can copy from Ribery, you can copy from Thomas Muller. What he did at the World Cup, people don’t talk about it. They don’t talk about it, but they should talk about it. He plays the game the right way: he defends, he attacks, he controls the ball when he has to control it, he reverses when he has to reverse it. When he has to finish, he’ll finish. He doesn’t do stepovers, but when he has to perform, he performs. He does what the game asks him to do.”"

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:45 pm

Hairworks on Witcher 3 looks better IMO hmm

Although i hear it absolutely wrecks the performance. Laughing

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Lord Spencer on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:46 pm

Why the hell would I care about Hair collision detection?

Seriously!
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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:50 pm

@Lord Spencer wrote:Why the hell would I care about Hair collision detection?

Seriously!


You are just jelly because Mario doesn't look like he uses Head and Shoulders like Lara :bow:

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Bellabong on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:54 pm

Both games hair settings wreck performance. With standard hair I could probs get 80-90fps. As it is I get 50-60 on both games maxed out.

When you get used to Hairworks and imrpoved TressFX you kinda look at 3D games and wonder how we got by with hair looking so crap for years. If they changed the paramaters to stiffer short hair it would drastically improve the short haircuts we've been forced to get used to.

How did I end up ranting about game hair styles hmm

Mario with TressFX hmm

Accurate Tomb Raider Hair simulation:

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Henry wrote:"“Stepovers, tricks, that’s not the game. The game is what Thomas Muller is doing. If I had a son right now, playing, I would say to him ‘look at them, look at [Franck] Ribery, look at Muller.’ What Ronaldo does, and Messi, they’re just freaks. Don’t try to copy those guys. You can copy from Ribery, you can copy from Thomas Muller. What he did at the World Cup, people don’t talk about it. They don’t talk about it, but they should talk about it. He plays the game the right way: he defends, he attacks, he controls the ball when he has to control it, he reverses when he has to reverse it. When he has to finish, he’ll finish. He doesn’t do stepovers, but when he has to perform, he performs. He does what the game asks him to do.”"

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Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Dante on Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:58 pm

Phritz wrote:http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/rise-of-the-tomb-raider

PC port is actually reviewing very well on both sides Surprised

This game is the reason why I have a 980 TI and a 21:9 screen.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613256149


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613268190


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613256256


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613256054


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613268064


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=613256010 (notice the hair around the magazine - The collision isn't perfect but I dare you to find better hair in any game period.)


looks absolutely fantastic , nice stuff

but dem prices

i feel like i am cheating Merkel even by looking at 980 TI Proud

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