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Old 11-11-2004, 04:29 AM   #41
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Hehe, well, the better man? Yeah yeah, call it what you will :p

Chrono Trigger is great also. That one deserves to be on the list, not far behind from FFVII. It's a genious example of design, back and forth in time, beat the boss at once, or wait until you've done most everything the game can offer. This is the most non-linear linar game I've played I think (if you know what I mean).
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Old 11-11-2004, 06:03 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flux
All those minigames are horrible and nigh unplayable.
I disagree, I thought the akira-style motorcycle racing one was incredible, and Chocobo racing was good fun. Can't remember the others too well.

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The story is thrown at you in huge, clunky chunks outside of the actual game, interrupting the flow. There is a strange paradox where the characters are portrayed highly realistic and serious in braindead fighting sequences, but turn into cute little caricatures whenever there's actual dramatic story to be told.
Most the cut-scenes are done with the game engine, it's just the FMV where they look different, but this never really bothered me, but perhaps you have a point here, as at the time the FMV was so ahead of anything else I was too busy with my mouth on the floor watching it to really care.

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And you know all those wonderfully rendered, plentiful backgrounds that make you want to interact until your hands fall off? Well you CAN'T, because the backgrounds are as lifeless and dead as it gets. Interaction is practically zero, making for an unbelievable and dead world that convinces only as cardboard scenery for an uninteresting landscape.
Well no, you can only interact with things that matter, but what's the point of being able to play with a ton of things that do nothing? There's so much hidden stuff to find already in the game that to add in 2 or 3 red-herring interactive things to check in each scene would be madness.
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The beginning of the game is very strong, but as soon as one enters the overworld for the first time, the game falls flat on its mouth: an overworld promises a high degree of non-linearity, but you are strained on a single path that forces you down an astoundingly linear game.
I always thought the overworld was amazingly realistic like that, you can see it all but at first you're constrained by where you can get on foot, then you get the car, the boat, the plane, and finally (if you're good) the Gold Chocobo. This way the map opens up to you slowly so as not to be utterly overwhelming, but enough to give you a choice of two or three destinations each time out.
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The game is very unforgiving in its fighting system, and its system to win is ridiculous: you first have to die before you can win. During boss-fights, you'll most often die at first, just so you can learn how to defeat the enemy.
I only died on a few of the tougher bosses - you have to think on the fly and adapt to beat them first time, it's not easy but it's certaintly do-able with most bosses.

Quote:
And the fighting system (and thus the game, because it's the most important thing in the rpg) is just one big treadmill of uninspired gameplay where you have to level up to meet stronger opponents, endlessly repeating itself. In some games it works (Diablo comes to mind), but when the battles themselves become boring hassles (that jump at you randomly to make things worse; making traversing the world a very jittery and frustrating experience indeed!), you know it's not going to be good. Do I HAVE to begin about those deucedly excessive summoning-animations, that could have been so easily made skippable?
I'll give you that, the random battles got annoying (at least there was the Enc-None materia towards the end of the game) and leveling up could be a pain. I much prefer the Chrono Cross system for both of these: Encounters are visible on-screen, and beating a boss automatically levels you up to a set level, so you never fall too far behind. And you can escape all boss battles to go level up a little if you're too weak.

I can see why you wouldn't like the game, but I loved the style, the story, the battle system, and the sheer depth of hidden stuff to discover. Hopefully I've explained why I do like it. It'd probably make my top 5 games of all time. If anyone's interested my number one is Planescape: Torment. Greatest game ever in my book.
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Old 11-12-2004, 12:55 AM   #43
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Thanks for reacting to my concerns with the game. Our opinions still differ, but at least you've taken the effort to defend yourself without resorting to rhetoric Kudos
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Old 11-12-2004, 01:26 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonBlue
no no no, I messed that one up, sorry about that. What I meant to say (or should have said), was it's one of the best games ever for pc-rpg gamers. I don't divede between type of gamers, but I divide between type of games these gamers play. Someone who simply loves j-rpg (Final Fantasy, Xenogears, Star Ocean, Dragon Warrior etc etc) isn't obliged to even remotely enjoy a pc-rpg, because they're of so different flavour. If you love j-rpgs, like I do, you could consider Final Fantasy VII a bigger and better game than games in another genre that you don't like.
I see what you mean now, but it's still a little misleading. There are many japanese-style rpgs out for the PC, and the western-style rpgs are getting increasingly popular on consoles (especially the Xbox - Morrowind, Arx Fatalis and KOTOR comes to mind).
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To me, Planescape Torment will never be as good a game as Final Fantasy VII, and that's just not discussable.
Ok, fair enough (though I don't know how much you've played the game - it starts getting interesting once you get more than two characters in your party). I like both kinds of rpg's, just like I pretty much like all other genres, and P:T is one of the best games I've ever played, regardless of genre.
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Old 11-12-2004, 03:20 AM   #45
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To be fair I haven't come very far into the game yet (Planescape). But if it's not interesting before you get more people in your party, I can only say that this game will probably not be my cup of tea. I don't like having to control several different characters at one time. At least, not in real-time. That's one of the things I didn't like about Baldur's Gate, and that's the main thing I enjoyed about Neverwinter Nights (where I only controlled one main character, and had the choice of adding a henchman instead - too bad the game keeps screwing up my pc). I'm not too good with handling millions of things at a time. In Final Fantasy, I can only control more than one character when I fight, and even then it's turn-based (at least until FFXII comes out it seems).

Oh, and if I have to play a game for two-three hours before I'd enjoy it, it's not worth it. I like the atmosphere and such, if only Planescape Torment was a point'n'click adventure game instead...
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Old 11-12-2004, 03:45 AM   #46
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The plot of P:T is utterly sublime. You won't have experienced any of it yet, having only played it for a short while, the true brilliance of the story only becomes clear near the end. You owe it to yourself to stick at it
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:28 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonBlue
To be fair I haven't come very far into the game yet (Planescape). But if it's not interesting before you get more people in your party, I can only say that this game will probably not be my cup of tea.

..snip..

Oh, and if I have to play a game for two-three hours before I'd enjoy it, it's not worth it. I like the atmosphere and such, if only Planescape Torment was a point'n'click adventure game instead...
I don't agree - there are many games which are a bit slow in the start, but turn out to be amazing experiences as you progress through the story. In such cases, it's definitely worth to perserve with them.

P:T is not actually _boring_ early on. I got hooked straight away, but it was when I started getting more people in my party (the half-demon, for instance) that I really understood what an incredibly special game P:T is. Not because of the actual gameplay, but because of the story and how the characters interacted with eachother in conversations and such.
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Old 11-12-2004, 06:42 AM   #48
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Yes, but I need good gameplay too, in addition to a good story. I like random encounters, turnbased battles.

And I still think that if a game doesn't grab you from the moment go, then why should I force myself to go on because "maybe there's a good game in there somewhere". I have too many other games for that. Games are meant to entertain. They're supposed to seduce the gamer to go on, the gamer shouldn't have to work for entertainment. That's not entertainment.

But of course, I'm not talking about a 10 minute session into a game like Planescape or even a racing game like Gran Turismo (strangely enough). There's a difference between instant fun and a game that grows on you. I know that. I can't say yet if I'll love or hate Planescape, but I like one side of it, and don't like the other. Story seems very intriguing and interesting, atmosphere and ambient very good, but the gameplay so far seems... well... it doesn't give me much yet. I know I can't give a game like this up after 10 minutes of play, I should put at least an hour or two into it first (of effective gameplay, not getting stuck for one hour and give up, like I did the first time). Just like a game like Gran Turismo, you won't enjoy that game if you have no idea how to control the cars, and have absolutely no feel for the physics and spins out all the time. But after a bit of practice, you get so much more out of it.

Anyway, I'll be playing Planescape a bit more. I need to be in the right mood for it first.
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Old 11-12-2004, 09:23 AM   #49
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A lot of games don't show thier best side until you've played them for a while, especially ones like Planescape with such deep plots and characters. It's sort of like a TV like The Sopranos. The first few episodes are pretty damn good, but they also introduce you to the characters and thier worlds, which means latter episodes are much more effective when they start breaking them down, and are alot better than the early episodes because of that.

As regards Planescape, whatever you do, don't give up before you get out of the Mortuary - that's one of the games few falws, it's seemingly Bioware's insistance on starting every RPG with a dull, linear dungeon (although even then it's better than most, there's more than one way to go about it, for example). Also make sure you have good stats in intelligence and wisdom, as that way you get more conversation choices and get to see more of the plot, makes the game much better.
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Old 11-16-2004, 04:14 PM   #50
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Okay, just wanted to say that I've put somewhere close to 20-30 hours into the game now. I just got all the character spaces filled up. I wonder, are there any other characters that can be added? Because since this is an rpg I expect to have a wide choice of characters.

Another thing, I'm loving this game, but I'm not so sure about calling it a western rpg. The exploring, puzzle-solving, investigating reminds me very much of an adventure game. The only difference is, there's the occasional fighting. The non-linearity that pc-rpgers tout so much about is also non-existant in the true meaning of the word. I can't see how J-RPG is any more linear than this. Planescape Torment is just as linear as one would call the GTA series. You have the choice to continue with the main-story, or you could decide to find secrets, hidden places, solve problems unrelated to the main-story. In Planescape this builds up your characters a lot, but these little side-quests seems to rarely tie into the main story.

But anyway, it's an excellent game, and I may think that after this I may be ready for some more pc-rpgs with more characters at once, since I'm getting some practice in this one. I have Baldur's Gate II lying around, it's a beautiful box. Shame on me for not being totally impressed by it yet, but hopefully I will after a while once I complete Torment.

As a sidenote... while I think it's one hell of a game, story wise, I still find Final Fantasy VII on top of the charts for me. But I have trouble deciding which one I like more - Neverwinter Nights, or Planescape: Torment? Although they can't be compared, because Planescape is much heavier story-wise than Neverwinter Nights is, which I enjoyed for the gameplay - not story.
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Old 11-16-2004, 05:01 PM   #51
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Yeah there's three more characters than there are spaces available I think, although two of them are quite possible to miss on the first play through.

There's a lot of puzzle solving yes, if you play the game that way. Assuming you whack up the charisma, wisdom and intelligence scores you can talk your way out of the majority of situations. However you could also max out strength, dexterity and constitution instead and bash your way through anything that gets in your way. I think when people talk about non-linearity they might mean that: there's more than one way to do things.
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Old 11-16-2004, 05:11 PM   #52
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Yeah, I know. Still, when I think true non-linearity, I think going totally different paths and doing totally different things and actually gaining a totally different ending. I guess one day we may have one of those games.

But the important thing is, this game is excellent and I'm having a great time playing through it... if I ever get through it that is. I tend to give up on games half-way through. With a few exceptions of course.
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