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Reply to topic GDR Forum Index -> Game Developer's Refuge -> Phantasy Star II is a pain in the ass
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:30 pm    Post subject: Phantasy Star II is a pain in the ass Reply with quote

I started playing it again, having realized I got about a dozen hours in and gave up. It certainly hasn't aged well :( You get to spend a few hours grinding just so you can survive long enough to reach the first dungeon, which is a motherfucker all on its own. Seldom have I played a game with a worse starting dungeon. Remember when grinding was not just an acceptable mechanic, but it was >90% of the game? *shudder*

I've decided that older RPGs have a difficulty scale that is largely inverted from today's. Most of them crush you mercilessly at the beginning, and only once you've gotten a foothold in the world can you begin to enjoy yourself. Things like food, healing supplies, and good equipment are hard to come by. Once you're able to survive for more than a few minutes in the wild, the difficulty tapers off. Eventually you get to the end of the game and breeze through it. Drakkhen is a great (perhaps greatest!) example of this concept.

I like a difficulty curve that starts out gentle at first, then gradually escalates to a good challenge about 3/4 of the way through the game, then tapers ever so slightly at the end -- not much, but just a little.

Any way, it has cat girls so it gets a free pass. Of sorts...
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PoV
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the original Dragon Warrior, but I refuse to play it without a fast forward button. :)
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Mike Kasprzak
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Mantastic
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have brought up how Dragon Warrior 1 is basically just one big grind (that I love) on multiple forums and there's always someone who argues with me about it. Do you ever leave town and the only progress you make is more gold/XP? That, my friend, is grinding. Very simple!
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PoV
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:38 am    Post subject: Re: Phantasy Star II is a pain in the ass Reply with quote

When I was in my "game design holier than thou" mode a decade ago, grind was a no no. Now that I'm more mature and aware of what I actually like, I think I actually like grinding, but there are things to understand about it. The Disgaea series (and other Nippon Ichi titles in the same style) are the ultimate grinding games. I love them. But the thing to understand though is the rewards for your efforts come often and are worth it. You can control the strength of enemies though the council, and make it so you're gaining dozens of levels per kill (one shot kills too). Pretty much every Disgaea game can be won at just over level 100, but the game maxes you out at level 9999, and per-level growth rate can be increased and your own level reset for greater benefit. Two 9999 characters can end up being drastically different in strength. The series is a joy for players that actually, deep down, enjoy being a level grinding masochist. ;)

Sirocco wrote:
Remember when grinding was not just an acceptable mechanic, but it was >90% of the game? *shudder*

Yeah. Certain games felt more like open world games in the past, 'cause you could go anywhere but couldn't necessarily survive there. So the JRPG evolved to fill the time with story, and conversely they get labeled as highly linear now. "Stories with mechanics/battles" instead of "interactive stories".

I don't really have a point. Just being observant.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mantastic wrote:
I have brought up how Dragon Warrior 1 is basically just one big grind (that I love) on multiple forums and there's always someone who argues with me about it. Do you ever leave town and the only progress you make is more gold/XP? That, my friend, is grinding. Very simple!


Dragon Warrior 1 is 99% grinding. Anyone who says otherwise is trolling.


I don't mind a little grinding so long as the combat mechanics are fun.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'm done with PS2. It sucks. But then, most RPGs back then did. Great music, though.

Phantasy Star 4 is really the same game, but infinitely more polished. It has less grinding, and while the plot is spartan, it does a good job dressing things up so you spend less time realizing that all you're doing is going from town to town and hitting the odd dungeon or two. Also, more cat girls.

I truly love the vibe of Phantasy Star, but the games have proven to be mediocre.
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PoV
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been tempted to fire up Phantasy Star Online again, but I bet the servers are down. ;)
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Mike Kasprzak
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ohh PSO. I have such fond memories. Mainly due to being able to feed that MAG. :]
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I played more PSU than I did PSO, but that was mainly because I wasn't keen on trying to take my Dreamcast online with a dial-up modem. I think there were some PSO ports to other platforms... PS2 and Gamecube??

I'd like to see a fresh offline Phantasy Star done is classic high fantasy style with modern amenities. PS4 was a good indication the series had potential.
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