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shin ramberk
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"Advice on a good tactical RPG for the PS2" , posted Mon 3 Apr 19:46post reply

I need advice on a good PS2 tactical RPG that is along the lines of FF Tactics for the PS1. I think everyone is going to recommend Disgaea but I still want to hear opinions. The only tactical RPG that I've played on the PS2 has been Phantom Brave but I didn't really like its game engine.

For Phantom Brave I didn't like the fact that characters didn't have jobs like in FFT. I also didn't like how units can only last on the field for a limited amount of time. And I also didn't like the equipment/item/ability system. You can only equip one item per unit and the unit only gains new abilities with that one item but the abilities go away once you unequip the item. The units and abilities also seem lackluster and limited.

PS1 FF Tactics is the pinnacle for strategy RPGS IMO and I want something with similar depth and complexity. FFT Advance was good, not as complex and a little frustrating with its weapon and law system but overall decent.

So, what do you guys say? Is Disgaea the only answer? I've read a few reviews for La Pucelle and Makai Kingdom but I the reviews don't tell me much.





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Pollyanna
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"Re(1):Advice on a good tactical RPG for the P" , posted Mon 3 Apr 19:54post reply

Hmmm...this doesn't include imports, right?

If you didn't like Phantom Brave at all, don't touch Phantom Kingdom. PK is the better game, but still too much like PB if you didn't like it.

Since most people who think FFT was the best SRPG ever think Disgaea is either as good, or better...and I don't think anyone feels that way about La Pucelle...I don't recommend it in lieu of Disgaea.

I'm trying to think of some other PS2 SRPGs I've played...Stella Deus (which drags SOOOO much in the middle that it ruins what momentum it had), Summon Night 3 (which is just...OK) and like...4 Super Robot Wars games. Hmmm...surely I'm forgetting something.

OH! Rhapsodia is pretty good, and you don't have to be into Suikoden to like it. It has a very cruel and unbalanced system for killing off characters permenantly, though.





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"Re(1):Advice on a good tactical RPG for the P" , posted Mon 3 Apr 20:10post reply

I wouldn't reccomend you Disgaea as a SRPG, really. The battles have the greatest lack of strategy I've experienced in an SRPG (Well, barring that PSX Slayers game, which basically consisted in positioning Lina to unleash a Dragon Slave XD). In Disgaea, "strategy" is substituted by "leveling". I'd call it a LRPG, really.

However, and despite of that, I think it is a good game. The story is hilarious, the characters stereotyped in a good way, the voice acting (the english one, at least), is great, barring Etna's, and, well... I suppose that, if you only complete the main story, the leveling part is not that boring, and you can treat yourself with some pretty effects from spells and attacks. Worth playing, but overrated, in my opinion.





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shin ramberk
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"Re(2):Advice on a good tactical RPG for the P" , posted Mon 3 Apr 20:17post reply

quote:
I wouldn't reccomend you Disgaea as a SRPG, really. The battles have the greatest lack of strategy I've experienced in an SRPG (Well, barring that PSX Slayers game, which basically consisted in positioning Lina to unleash a Dragon Slave XD). In Disgaea, "strategy" is substituted by "leveling". I'd call it a LRPG, really.

However, and despite of that, I think it is a good game. The story is hilarious, the characters stereotyped in a good way, the voice acting (the english one, at least), is great, barring Etna's, and, well... I suppose that, if you only complete the main story, the leveling part is not that boring, and you can treat yourself with some pretty effects from spells and attacks. Worth playing, but overrated, in my opinion.



Interesting reply TM. You've hit upon something that was lingering in the back of my mind. This hasn't been the first time someone has said this about Disgaea but you've really made me think more about this.

What you say is disappointing but so far it looks like Disgaea might be my only option (if I can find a copy at an affordable price that is...)





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"Re(1):Advice on a good tactical RPG for the P" , posted Mon 3 Apr 20:57post reply

I found La Pucelle to be extremely boring after about 20 hours.

Disgaea was fun while it lasted, but I wasnt the type of ( insane ) person that leveled my characters to Lvl.9876559352.





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"Re(2):Advice on a good tactical RPG for the P" , posted Tue 4 Apr 00:09post reply

Hey Shin, definitely give Growlanser a spin. In the US, II and III (maybe I, too? I forget) came together as Growlanser Generations in a pack, so if you can dig it up, you're getting two pretty wonderful TRPG's from what I hear, plus it's Working Designs-published in the US so it ought to be great even in translation.





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"Re(3):Advice on a good tactical RPG for the P" , posted Tue 4 Apr 06:56post reply

quote:
I wouldn't reccomend you Disgaea as a SRPG, really. The battles have the greatest lack of strategy I've experienced in an SRPG



Same thing goes with Makai Kingdom. I can't rationalize the computer's "stand there" and "walk up but not attack" as strategies.

Unless it's all part of some larger scheme I'm failing to grasp.....





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"Re(4):Advice on a good tactical RPG for the P" , posted Tue 4 Apr 08:19:post reply

As long as you don't level up obscenely Disgaea has a certain level of strategy; specially on the 'main game'; when you unlock the 'post game' the game becomes a leveling game, apart from certain 'ideas' you have to grasp there is nothing hard to it; just be stronger than them; it's like Dragon Ball Z where power was everything, no one fight with 'technique'.

If you want to 'make a character' the weak point of disgaea is that the game is pretty stern with that; there are 'abilities' and 'magic'; when you create your character it's the weapon that has the abilities and not the character (like in phantom brave) but unlike phantom brave it's pretty rare that someone can steal your weapon; since the weapon gives you the 'abilities' that means that you are usually stuck with the abilities that your can gain from the weapon; switching weapons will make you lose your abilities.
Unlike phantom brave, your 'magic' is from the character alone and no one can take you that; so you can use any weapon and still use magic; the problem is that rods power up magic; so if you want a magic user then they will end up with a rod.
Special characters and beasts have special abilities that are exclusive for them; but for monsters they will lose their abilities if you change classes and you'll have to 'start over'.
To make long story short; in Disgaea everything has levels; your magic, your abilities, your characters, your weapons, your armors; so instead of trying to level up everything you have to stick to what you have till the end; many characters are 'hard' to use becuase of very specific skills and are usually ditched late in the game... The main strong points of disgaea are the designs and the jokes; it's like watching the old kinniku man all over again XD


In robot taisen if you are even thinking about playing then then you are better off playing Super robot Taisen alpha 3 (Dai 3 ji SRT Alpha), it's the longest; it's not as easy as the other ps2 games and has more routes; secrets are huge pain to get; but there are some pretty neat battles; it will be enjoyable as long as you like some of the series that appear on it and you like seeing the signature attack of your favourite robots.

And keep away from Namco cross Capcom, the game has it's decent points and good stages; but now I feel like no one will return those 96 hours of my life.







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[this message was edited by Toxico on Tue 4 Apr 08:34]

Pollyanna
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"Re(5):Advice on a good tactical RPG for the P" , posted Tue 4 Apr 08:36post reply

quote:

And keep away from Namco cross Capcom, the game has it's decent points and good stages; but now I feel like no one will return those 96 hours of my life.



I loved the battle system, the nostalgia, the music and the sprites...but like so many Robot Wars games, the complete lack of strategy and challenge in the battles themselves ruined it.

I didn't play SRWA3...it's really good? I enjoyed MX for a while at least.





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"SRW A3...." , posted Tue 4 Apr 09:11post reply

quote:
I didn't play SRWA3...it's really good? I enjoyed MX for a while at least.



It's weird, but deep down MX ended for me when the hakkeshu; Zeorymer's villains kicked the can and Zeorymer's main character (Masato) overcame his evil split personality to become a good and decent guy, I loved playing with a character that says 'see the power of the king of hell' or usually says things like 'the farse is over'; a weapon called 'cannon of the king of the underworld' was neat XD

...But in business, SRWA3 was a great improvement over the previous games; there are more routes splits and the events of the series are better portrayed by the game; most character and villains got many new voices added and there are some game play gimmicks that are more usefull this time around; for example status ailments wheren't that neat on MX; but now some weapons can have inflict some really good stats like defense - 30%; and most enemies and bosses could be affected by the stats ailments; also there is the good point that there are many stages where y.o.u. c.a.n. a.c.t.u.a.l.l.y. l.o.s.e. as long as you don't power whore some units like Ideon and it's infinite powers some stages can be challenging + you got the snes trade of 'if you finish the game is less than xxx turns you'll get a different last stage', and that can be challenging.
Even if the game seems easy enough when you clear it you unlock hard mode where the AI is more agressive and has more upgraded mecha, after completing that you get a 'special' mode that is main though for you to have ubber strong units, it's easier than the normal and hard modes.
The 'library' interface improved a lot; you can see a stage route chart showing you what stages have you cleared, a basic description of the stage and what routes splits have you 'missed' so far in the game; there are missions that are 'library menu only' and are played with default units and default upgrades and are only meant to grasp storyline events that wheren't showed in the game at that time; you can also use some units there that aren't available in the normal game.
On your 'first run' you can see 3 endings; on your second run you can see those 3 endings and 2 more endings.
The game finishes up the storyline of PSX SWA and many original villains from that game appear here, so if you liked arrowgaters enemies you should check it out...

Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
The game even finishes up Ingram's storyline

End of Spoiler

.

On the bad points we have the usual bad points that SRW have, the whole 'we are the hero' theme of the game can get pretty anoying, specially since I consider myself a villain; there are some overpowered mecha (Ideon actually has infinite energy; when you 'active' ide energy the infinite icon appear on his energy and most of it's attack have 9999 power ratings)... In an all if you can suck up the bad things is a very enjoyable game; the one downside is that there are usally 4 route splits; to see everything you'll have to play 4 times and it can get long, there is the chance that the route split that you choose doesn't has your favourite villains/hero; but at least there is the 'special' mode that can be unlocked when the game becomes easier and re-playing the game gets easier and shorter, so you don't have to eat up 4 times the hard game, if you are bored play the easy route and save some time...
As I said, secrets are also a bother to get; so if you like to unlock everything it can be difficult; in and all if you are the 'casual for fun gamer' that I think you are you can get by the game, have some hard times with it and feel satisfaction when you complete it.

And yes, I don't like short reviews.







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Pollyanna
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"Re(1):SRW A3...." , posted Tue 4 Apr 14:31post reply

quote:

And yes, I don't like short reviews.



I appreciate it. Next time I get a Super Robot itch and I have some extra money (as seems to be the case lately) I might pick it up.

I have to tone down the positive-ness of every SRW review I read, though, since I seem to have more problems with the games than anyone else.

I wish they'd make another Scramble Commander. With a little bit of work, I think it could be quite excellent.





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"Re(2):SRW A3...." , posted Tue 4 Apr 14:50:post reply

quote:
I have to tone down the positive-ness of every SRW review I read, though, since I seem to have more problems with the games than anyone else.

Of course, the main reason people play them is to enjoy all of their favorites in action together with generally (well, recently) well done animations. ^^

Edit: And would you say Scramble Commander was worth trying? I had completely forgotten about it.





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"Re(3):SRW A3...." , posted Wed 5 Apr 03:14post reply

quote:
And would you say Scramble Commander was worth trying? I had completely forgotten about it.



I HIGHLY recommend Scramble Commander. It's my favorite SRW game (even though it's absolutely nothing like the others) and the only one I would consider replaying several times.

(keep in mind that what I say about it may be a little off, though, since I haven't played it in years)

I don't know how much you know about it, but, game itself is fairly simple. You pretty much just give general AI patterns (conserve energy/melee attack, snipe, etc) for your robots to follow, point out where you want them to go, and occassionally tell them to charge up and do a special move (which stops the game to display a cinema, and usually does tremendous damage). It's all real time, and fast enough to make you sweat.

The level designs are absolutely wonderful, though. In the other SRW games, I feel detached from the action and generally annoyed when the enemy recieves reinforcement after reinforcement. There are instances of excitement when I fall into a trap, but that's the exception, not the norm. In Scramble Commander, it's the complete opposite.

Your "field of vision" is fairly limited, so it's highly likely that you're going to get ambushed in any given situation. You have to send "scouts" out (usually Gundams) and be very cautious of where you send what units and in how many numbers. You'll have instances on bosses where you'll damage them somewhat, then they'll retreat into the forest or something, and when you follow, you get ambushed.

So the situations are very believable and involving. Unlike the other SRW games, I felt like a real part of the scenario. There are a lot of missions with fun setups (your Evas going berserk and turning on you suddenly, a long-distance enemy that keeps creating smaller ones, creeping through a maze of skyscrapers while facing an enemy that can blast you with a huge beam when it sees you, etc.)

There are things that aren't great about the game as well...or at least things that may turn off robot fans. There are few units, for example, and you're forced to use them all. When you upgrade or repair a unit, it's out for one mission, so you have to carefully consider which units you're using when. I think this is actually one of the game's strong points, but many people complain about it.

There's also a matter of many robots not being portrayed effectively. Due to the nature of the game, robots may do some move that they aren't supposed to do very often repeatedly. There's also less difference between real and super robots than usual. Real robots tend to be better at sniping and dodging and have more/weaker supers, whereas super robots are slower, better at melee and tend to have devestating supers...but there is a sense of generic tactic between the two.

Also, the AI can get irritating at times, especially because of friendly fire issues. This is nice in that you have to plan when you do a super and can't have 5 robots all doing melee on one small target, but is too unpredictable in many cases. I've set up a breast of fire (Mazinger's super) then had one of my units "dodge" directly into it several times. From time to time, you'll also get a "don't do THAT move, do THAT move" problem. Still, generally speaking, you don't feel out of control.

Regardless of being a little rough around the edges (and relatively short), I think it's a great game for real-time strategy and/or SRW fans to pick up. Ah...and the music is good, too. A notch above other SRW games.





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"Re(4):SRW A3...." , posted Wed 5 Apr 07:00post reply

quote:

I HIGHLY recommend Scramble Commander.



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shin ramberk
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"Re(3):Advice on a good tactical RPG for the P" , posted Fri 7 Apr 07:54post reply

quote:
Hey Shin, definitely give Growlanser a spin. In the US, II and III (maybe I, too? I forget) came together as Growlanser Generations in a pack, so if you can dig it up, you're getting two pretty wonderful TRPG's from what I hear, plus it's Working Designs-published in the US so it ought to be great even in translation.



I actually found this title. It was used and was going for $30. Pretty expensive for a used game but I got it. It looks like a good fit for me. We'll see. I'm gonna ask my friend if I can borrow or buy his copy of Disgaea. That game is too expensive on ebay.





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"Re(5):SRW A3...." , posted Fri 7 Apr 07:58post reply

quote:
question: why don't you love me enough to write self-indulgent things for my website?

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Because your pants make Pollyanna jealous.





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"Re(6):SRW A3...." , posted Fri 7 Apr 17:25post reply

quote:

Because what's in your pants makes Pollyanna jealous.





I must admit I am dumbfounded by Pollyanna's positiveness about SRW SC. Then again you said yourself you had "more problems with the (regular) games than anyone else". Fans here had a lot of issues with SRW SC - though I know one valuable exception, but I always assumed it was blind SRW love. I am not disputing your words though, as I have not played SC one bit. But having it as your favorite SRW game strikes me as peculiar.





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shin ramberk
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"Re(7):SRW A3...." , posted Fri 7 Apr 17:42post reply

HOLD THE PRESSES...

This is not the first time I've heard about SRW but this is the first time that I've sought out the game and I'm realizing that this summer is going to be the first time that the series is going to appear in the US. That game is gonna be Super Robot Taisen Original Generation for the GBA.

So you guys have been talking about an import game this whole time? (I'm not joking around, I know discussion on import games is big around here but I wasn't expecting this. Why suggest an import game to me...?)

So, hypothetically, if I can get a copy of a PS2 SRW game, I'll be able to play it (regardless of the language barrier)? Or am I missing something?





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"Re(7):SRW A3...." , posted Fri 7 Apr 17:53post reply

Brandon: Maybe it's because I write for a living that I don't feel like writing something that needs to be good. Hmm...that's a bad sentence, but my head hurts and that's the best I can do. I hope you understand.

But still, if I get passionate about a game, and Tim doesn't write an article about it, I'll still try to come up with something.


Chazumaru: Well, you can't look at SC like a SRW game. I imagine, in many ways, that it would rub "SRW fans" the wrong way. I am not a "SRW fan". I play the games, but I don't think I have the same sensibilities as SRW fans, because clearly, half of the content/design/everything in each game doesn't appeal to me in the least.

But as a gamer, and someone who likes numerous robot series (though none obsessively) I recommend the game. The "fan" part of me enjoyed the scenarios (in terms of gameplay execution, not plot) and the music. The "gamer" part of me enjoyed the variety in stages and frantic battles.

I mean...it's different...and there are a lot of things that are kind of "rocky" about it, but I still recommend it. It's certainly worth a try out of novelty alone.

It just made me feel more "involved" with the action than the other SRW games. Like I felt I was in a real battle, or like I was a part of some anime.





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"SRW OG..." , posted Sun 9 Apr 04:49post reply

quote:

So, hypothetically, if I can get a copy of a PS2 SRW game, I'll be able to play it (regardless of the language barrier)? Or am I missing something?



YES, we have been talking about a jp game the whole time; on the lenguage barrier there is mainly the storyline that you will miss; but you can usually find SRW storylines translated on gamefaqs, the main thing will be knowing how to select the menus/options and knowing who is who with the robots; and that becomes pretty easy with time...
Remember than since most robots are taken from series once you know what's the storyline for the anime/manga understand most of the events related to that robot...

quote:
This is not the first time I've heard about SRW but this is the first time that I've sought out the game and I'm realizing that this summer is going to be the first time that the series is going to appear in the US. That game is gonna be Super Robot Taisen Original Generation for the GBA.



Most if not all of the SRW games are directed to a very special public; and that's people that will enjoy seeing their favourite(s) mech in action re-enacting events on the series; SRW OG is the most specific game of the whole...

The thing is like this, on every game the company that makes the game usually creates a hero and a villain to interact with the rest of the characters that are 'borrowed' from the other series... SRW OG is a game where you can only find characters that are original of banpresto and usually appeared in other games previously...

To make long story short; if you are willing to really get into the 'world' of the game; if you are willing to trace the mecha designs/designer; if you are willing to trace the characters origins and character interactions; if you are willing to get involved and investigate about the game's storyline and related tidbits THEN the game itself can prove to be a very enjoyable experience with lots of details and hits to other games and series and events... If the raw 'likeness' factor of the SRW series doesn't suit you then the game will pass you by without shame nor glory, the engine/dinamic of the game can be interesting and fun at one point but you can't count only on that to like the game, most games re-use the same mechanics...

... I wonder if this post express Pollyana's feelings about the games...







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"Re(1):SRW OG..." , posted Sun 9 Apr 06:20post reply

quote:

... I wonder if this post express Pollyana's feelings about the games...



Hahaha...well, in a way. If you like retro robots/robot anime in GENERAL, then SRW still works. It's best if you know all the shows and can sing along with the theme songs (and recite the special move dialogues with the characters), but I've still enjoyed a number of characters that are from series I don't know anything about.

I LOVE 70s-80s theme songs, though...so even if I haven't seen a show, the chances are I've heard the song.

But I don't think the story is that important. I've paid attention to the story in every game to a certain extent, but I always become bored with it. Not only because it's repetitive, but it's just "too otaku" for me. You really DO have to know so much just to understand what's going on.

Ah...but I eventually end up getting irritated that characters are misrepresented. Kouji is ALWAYS too nice in SRW. It drives me crazy. I don't remember which game it was (maybe SC), but in one case, he made friends with Shinji, which just seemed ridiculous to me.

To a SRPG fan, I think SRW is excellent because of its large number of characters, animations, length and complexity of system. Really, I haven't played a SRW game that didn't have a good system. MX is my favorite (which also looks the best and has the best cast, in my opinion...or maybe Impact has the best cast...?) Beyond the robots, graphics, music and everything else...the system is good. And when the novelty of the extra stuff wears off, I end up stopping every game because the system is always poorly implemented.

I mean...no matter how much you like the robots, surely you'll turn the animations off EVENTUALLY. You'll get sick of the songs EVENTUALLY. Then, unless you're REALLY into the plot, all you have left is the system. If the levels get too easy, or poorly-designed, then I can't play anymore.

Hmm...but I would recommend a SRW game to someone who knows at least a few robots, likes the "feel" and is willing to use a FAQ for a few things (tech moves) even if they don't know Japanese. If you look at the series and it looks awesome to you, then chances are, you'll enjoy at least one game tremendously.





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"Re(2):SRW OG..." , posted Sun 9 Apr 11:10post reply

quote:

Ah...but I eventually end up getting irritated that characters are misrepresented. Kouji is ALWAYS too nice in SRW. It drives me crazy. I don't remember which game it was (maybe SC), but in one case, he made friends with Shinji, which just seemed ridiculous to me.

Actually, I think Kouji is generally well done (I am especially pleased he pretty much told Asuka to shut up) and I heartily approve of changes to certain charas I loathe (like Shinji) to make them more palatable. Of course, as a fan, I generally like all of them, and they aren't all so easy (in fact, many of the old Superfami ones are rather difficult) but I don't recommend them for anybody who isn't really... serious about enjoying it for the charas and enemy appearances. They can be a bit tedious at times. Here's to hoping L-Gaim makes a return in one of the 2D ones, and that King Gainer, Getter Robo Go, Gackeen or Galvion finally appear... or Betterman, Grendizer or Acrobunch come back. -_- I also hope they continue to exclude Go Lion and Gold Lightan... Good policies! I should shut up, I could babble on forever about whom I want to appear/go away. Speaking of which, kind of a change of pace, but anyone know anything about the rosters of the upcoming DS one?

Hmm... looking back at that, did anybody notice how many of those series begin with a "g"?





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