Post by macroidtoe on Sept 23, 2008 1:15:06 GMT -5
Had a 20% off coupon on used games at Gamestop a while back, and I managed to pick up all three of the LoH games, despite what I've heard about the less than stellar translations.
I'm trying to figure out where to start -- my natural inclination is to "do it right" and begin with Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch, but if I understand correctly, I'd miss out on whatever the Tear of Vermillion save data unlocks if I do it that way, thanks to Bandai's wacky release order.
I'm also just curious to learn more about the series, since HG101 hasn't covered it yet, and I've been watching a few Sora no Kiseki vids on youtube. I've seen it mentioned that they also changed the battle system for the PSP versions of the Gagharv trilogy, for example, so I'm kind of curious what that's all about.
I'm only now touching ED6. So far, it's not my thing, but I look forward to having my mind changed by Falcom's grandness.
If you can't read Japanese, I'm not surprised. The whole trilogy, but First Chapter especially are pretty much carried by the characters and story. If you're missing those, you're missing the whole reason people like me love the game so much
Quality of writing usually doesn't bother me at all unless it's really bad. So while the overly childish writing during some of the 'romantic' scenes bothered me a bit, your example slipped past completely unnoticed. Twice. I haven't played ED3 to compare of course, but then again assessing 'poetic depth' was honestly never something I was particularly good at, so the supposedly superior writing quality would probably be wasted on me regardless.
The world really is well developed though, you feel like you know Liberl like the back of your hand by the time SC is over, and they've likewise dropped enough interesting points about the other two major countries and other outlying regions to make you want to explore those in just as much detail too - I have a feeling I wouldn't be able to leave the series satisfied if I didn't get to explore just about everywhere on the continent. The plot does a great job of being grand and large-scale without seeming dragged out too - just the events of FC and SC alone would make for a satisfying game on their own normally, yet they make up only one part of the story, with so much more interesting plot left to be revealed.
...The only problem with this of course is all the damn waiting. It seems more than very doubtful that LoH7 will be the end of the series, and if that comes out next year LoH8 would be... 2010? 2011? That's just too cruel. I don't think I'd have it any other way though, and I know I'll really miss it when it's all done and told.
Post by macroidtoe on Sept 24, 2008 21:02:04 GMT -5
Whoa, I left this for a while, and a lot of good info. Thanks! That original battle system sounds interesting, so I might have to look up some more on that.
I think I'm going to start with Tear of Vermillion so that I can experience all the sava-data unlocked stuff on one run through the games -- because by the sound of it, if I'm going to end up doing a second run through any of the games some day, I'd rather have it be on one of the better versions.
I spent many hours hiding in the bathroom at my old job playing Tear of Vermillion, I think you will really like it. Wyrdie brings up things about this game that really upset me like the battle system and the original script, but I have never played the original versions and I still really enjoyed it. On its own its a great PSP title, a cool old school RPG and a really good story. I wish someone would kick the gears forward on a translation of the original versions, because the battle situations Wyrdie discribes would be REALLY HANDY on some battles. Like I said before though, I can't beat the end boss so I haven't started on the other 2 entries yet.
Am I the only one who actually liked the first few chapters of FC? Yeah, they're slow, but I still enjoyed them mostly because of the character interactions. Then again, I seem to have more patience for that kind of stuff. Lots of people complain about the first 7 hours or so of Suikoden V in the same kinda way but I really liked those too :/
Obviously SC is just superior in every way though. No debating that much
I always found all of the criticisms of Suiko V's beginning really strange too. I actually really, really liked the first ten hours. As much as any other part of the game. Maybe even more than some bits~ ^_^; I don't know. I guess I like sleepy, gentle, character-focused stories in any medium. And as much as I like the genre, that sort of story is really rare in J-RPGs. Like...everything's always so high-strung, and there's always a world needing to be saved and a villain needing to be taken down a few notches. ^_^ I loved that Suiko V started so modestly, and took so much time to let you get to know its cast. I think it ended up being a large part of the reason that I got so caught up in the more exciting parts of the story later on. ^_^;
As for FC, I don't remember the beginning of it much beyond some of the locales. My Japanese was kinda super-bad when I played it, and it's hardly the gentlest game dialogue-wise. ^_^; But I remember kind of liking it too? I don't know. I really want to revisit it now that I could actually take a good stab at...um...knowing what on earth was going on. ^_^;
Yeah, that's pretty much it. I really liked most of Suiko V's characters from the start, so it was nice to enjoy all that more relaxed stuff, seeing how they interact with each other when the stakes aren't so high, the country isn't in huge danger, etc. FC had the same kind of feeling for me. The plot was still slowly developing (The black orbment, the masked guys, etc) but a lot of it was just watching how Estelle and Joshua's bracer life would be like if everything hadn't started going crazy. And I enjoyed that.
On the other hand, now the major figures have started moving and the overarching plot is in motion, if Legend of Heroes 7 is as laid back as FC was I might be a little more frustrated.
Hey, hey, hey. I love the first few chapters now. Because you get to see Olivier. :D Olivier is, by far, my favorite character in the game. XD And he really shines at that point.
The time I finally got myself through was when I started paying more attention to Olivier, who was pure hilarity. And not paying attention to the one you *really* should be paying attention to! :D (even if you don't find him without actually *looking* for him in Chapter 1. :D;; )
I think on my second play Olivier is probably my favourite too. He'd be great enough if he just existed purely for comedy purposes, but when you know what he's up to you quickly realise there's so much more to his character than just that. So one of the most likeable and one of the most interesting.
Actually probably one of the funniest things about playing it again was seeing Gilbert. I just laughed so hard the first time he showed up.
I only tried the initial release so far, but it's definitely high up on their on the shocking large list of truly shitty PSP RPGs, sadly. I've got all 3 here, but since I wasn't even able to stomach 6 hours of the first, I never actually got around to playing the other two.
The first is worth a try. If you don't finish it, how will you know it was worth it? I'm not a fan of the second one, but Wyrd can hype it for you. The third one trumps the first and second releases due to its incredible translation quality and superior battle system. Not to mention the story, of course!
I think I'm probably a little over halfway through Tear of Vermillion, playing a few hours each night. My impressions thus far:
- I like the episodic "travel narrative" structure. Reminds me a bit of some of the works of my favorite author, Jack Vance.
- I likewise find the somewhat more "subdued" character design a refreshing break from the over-the-top eXtreme characters which have become the standard these days.
- The translation isn't as horrifying as I thought it was going to be, so long as I keep myself in a mental state where I'm thinking more about the general meaning that is trying to be conveyed rather than what's actually being said.
- I'm iffy on the battle system and suspect I'd enjoy the original battle system a lot more. However, this isn't that big of a deal since there seems to be very little emphasis on combat, to the extent that I often avoid all encounters for large chunks of the game with no ill effects.
- While I find the de-emphasis of combat interesting (something I've been wanting to see a JRPG attempt), the problem is that they don't really fill the resulting gameplay void with something else.
I'll give my more detailed analysis when I finish the game and before I start the next one. It's definitely got an oldschool SNES-RPG vibe I haven't experienced in a long time, but at the same time has a number of things which distinguish it from the more well known RPG series. Despite some flaws, I'm enjoying it enough to see it through to the end, something I can't really say for most modern JRPGs I've tried to play in the last few years.
Alright, just finished Tear of Vermillion, after a couple of bungled attempts at the last boss. (Oh... so I guess you're pretty much required to have Anti-Magic on everyone for that last part. )
It was definitely interesting to see the lengths to which the game went to have some fleshed out character interaction. Party members regularly talk to each other, they respond to what townsfolk say, heck, the townsfolk actually comment on the current situation rather than just spouting some random line of dialogue which would be really creepy to hear from a random stranger in a real world context ("When all else fails, use fire.") It definitely went well beyond any of its contemporaries in this regard -- in fact, I can't really think of any post-PS1 era JRPGs which match it either.
So I can definitely see what people mean when they say that the story and the characters are the central focus of the series, and it was indeed enough to keep my playing to the end (despite any obstacles put in the way by Bandai's... "amazing" translation). I'm reminded a bit of Xenogears, where I felt that the setting was really the driving force which kept me playing the game.
The only thing is that it seemed so story-centric that at times I wondered if it would have worked better as a manga or anime or something. As I mentioned before, I found the actual gameplay a little lacking, although the original real-time battle system might have changed my attitude -- or better still (as I thought any time a "cutscene" came up with characters jumping around slashing at each other), if they'd gone with some kind of action-RPG Secret of Mana-esque system. Of course, I say that about pretty much every menu-driven turn-based RPG, unless it's an SRPG with some more meat to the system...
So I guess it's onwards (or backwards?) to Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch...
I know where your at omgfloofy, White Witch got punted for Phantasy Star 1, which imo is a much superior game. Ill get back to it one day, but after finally beating TOV I am just not ready for an "Interactive Story" kind of game.