2016: Year of SaGa - http://www.mmcafe.com/ Forums


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Iggy
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"2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Sun 3 Jan 06:45post reply

You are Leon, brave ruler of the empire of Varennes.
War and dissent have fractured your inheritance, and the empire now merely rules upon a small peninsula in the northern corner of the known world. But you have vowed to return the empire to its former glory, put a stop to this relentless war, and repel the countless monsters that started proliferating upon the ruins of fallen cities.
Fortunately, you are as strong as you are wise, and your people trust you. You even have two sons. The eldest, Victor, is a powerful warrior, and you know that your empire will be in good hands after you've passed away. The youngest, Gerald, is a kind soul in a frail body, loved by all, and he will be a great adviser to his brother after peace has returned.
You are worried, though: despite your best efforts, monster attacks have worsen, and you even heard reports of entire kingdoms falling to their overwhelming numbers… You even start, like many people around you, to believe that the fabled 7 Heroes, who vanquished the monsters many centuries ago, will come back and save you all…
But you cannot build an empire out of hope and fairy tales! You need to strengthen your empire, enrol many more mercenaries and powerful warriors to defend your people, develop your capitol… and maybe it's time Gerald learns how to fight for himself if worse comes to worst.
So today, you take him along with your most trusted soldiers to seal a small monster nest that has been discovered in the vicinity.
Who knows what may happen tomorrow?

-----------------------------

Dear patrons of the Café, in this thread we will meditate over the glory of the SaGa series, the beloved child of our lord and saviour, Kawazu Akitoshi, blessed be His name.
In His wisdom, he had announced the release of a new game in 2015. But our faith was weak and we didn't believe in His word, thus he shrouded himself in mystery and vanished, leaving merely an enigmatic illustration and a collection of themed tableware to worship and think about what we've done.

But this is a new year, and we will not disappoint Him a second time, my brothers! If our love is strong enough, He will return in 2016, and along with the promised Scarlet Grace, he will bring a remake of Romancing Sa.Ga 2, ports (probably a PS2 classics of Minstrel Song, except if he wants to challenge our faith and brings Unlimited: Saga instead), an orchestra album, and even a new SaGa branded whiskey!

Thus this thread will be the place to discuss our love for the best series ever created at Square Soft. But don't think we are intolerant proselytes! We welcome people of all faiths, and you will also be allowed to discuss Final Fantasy 2 (and only 2), Wild Cards, and even make jokes on the PS3 release of The Last Remnant! Side discussions on the brilliance of Itoken and the adequate talent of Hamauzu will also be encouraged (mostly the former). Where else will you laugh in good heart at how you bought a Vita for Scarlet Grace, only to have Kawazu unveil a port of the game to PS4 or NX the following day? Ah, the fun we will have.
You may also discuss Crystal Chronicles if you really want to, but please be aware that the last person who tested the limits of our patience ended up in a cell chained to Unlimited Saga without the strategy guide, so consider yourself warned.

Finally, if you have a bad day and think the world has abandoned you, remember: even though everything is turning to shit and Final Fantasy 6 has been hideously defaced by vandals, Romancing Sa.Ga 2 has been spared this infamy and is receiving a remake made with a pure heart, thus assessing (again!) its prevalence over all other games and shining a beacon of hope through the darkness.
Have faith, my friends! 2016 will be a good year!






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Maou
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"Duel to the Death" , posted Sun 3 Jan 08:21:post reply

Cafe friends, Parisians, countrymen, lend me your ears: Lord Iggy-nton has declared it the Year of SaGa, and while I cannot bear SaGa, I have enormous respect for Kawazu's insane machinations in the same spirit that Captain Hook referred to Peter Pan as "my great and worthy opponent." Therefore, I too must promote the Kawazu thread! Join us for:

Political Intrigue: As one of the Four Mad Gods of Square (see: Four Mad Gods of Estpolis/Lufia II), Kawazu is somehow different from the depraved ways of Toriyama and the degraded gods Nomura and Kitase, who feebly aspire to the heights of their fallen master Sakaguchi yet possess few of his talents. Can eldest god Kawazu, despite his eccentric ways, assume his rightful role in enslaving humanity through engrossing D&D-like gameplay challenges once again?!

Revenge and Redemption: Scarred by SaGa Frontier and declaring himself forever to be the Bane of Kawazu, can Maou overcome his past grudges based on the purity of Iggy's devotion to his lord Kawazu in order to serve the greater good of supporting Square making creative games again?!

Unexpected Joy
: Experience a broadening of perspectives as sensible people who find enjoyment in the early Game Boy SaGas also manage to appreciate Unlimited SaGa, of all things!

Heresy: I hate SaGa but I listen to a few SaGa albums constantly! However, these are the ones by Hamauzu for SaGa Frontier II and Unlimted SaGa, which is both an affront to my anti-SaGa stance and to Itoken lovers everywhere.





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Sun 3 Jan 08:25]

Spoon
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"Re(1):Duel to the Death" , posted Sun 3 Jan 08:50post reply

The only SaGa game I have ever cleared a run of is Minstrel Song, but I lacked the fortitude needed to clear multiple runs of it.

I have heard from some people that The Last Remnant is like SaGa, but I don't know if those are the remarks of people whose opinion of SaGa is "the game is utterly opaque and doesn't explain itself much and doesn't have a huge amount of plot/narrative-driving dialogue and explication" or "it really is like SaGa", Kawazu's role in it aside. One of my friends who did beat The Last Remnant mainly said that the game is really hard and that he liked the combat system.

We live in an era where games which are really hard and somewhat opaque in terms of story or mechanics can be very popular, whether or not they use rogue-like/random generation mechanisms. In particular, we live in a world where simultaneously the Souls series and roguelikes are hugely popular. The relative abstractness of RPG combat that exists in a wholly separated game module from the exploration sometimes makes the apparent difficulty of the game hard to appreciate to a new/casual observer: in Souls games, it is easy to appreciate a giant monster taking out all your life in one hit, or being kicked off a ledge by a skeleton into a bottomless pit, or being hacked up by an army of undead with knives after accidentally missing a spear thrust.

What I'm getting at is what if Kawazu directed a game that is fundamentally a SaGa game but with action gameplay? I think it would be 1000x more interesting than the average action roguelike, since he'd be able to instill a combination of fascinating setting together with deeply moving character and world events, and SaGa already has stuff that happens that you cannot experience the first time through. Of course, I'm not sure that there is enough lube in the whole world for somebody to survive a Dark SaGa without dying to blood loss.

I really like the LP/HP/BP system and glimmering new attacks in combat with powerful monsters never stops feeling wonderful.

I wonder what Kawazu does when he's not working.





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"Re(2):Duel to the Death" , posted Sun 3 Jan 16:39post reply

To start with I have three SaGa-related soundtracks: Unlimited OST, SF2 Piano Collection, and La Romance, a classy arranged soundtrack of Ito Kenji pieces featuring arrangements by Patrick Nugier, with lots of accordian. La Romance is one of the first ASTs I ever purchased.

Sadly that's the deepest connection I have with anything SaGa; my experience with the games was limited (no pun intended) to just the PS1 games. I had a brief go at Frontier where I cleared a few of the characters, and made it (I think) very close to the end of the Frontier 2 fueled more by my desire to see pretty watercolor backgrounds and listen to Hamauzu than actually remembering anything about the story. I had reached what seemed like a climatic final battle but then the game suddenly switched the system around completely and the difficulty turned unfairly ridiculous. I had no idea what to do and it fell apart completely. It was a rental so I ended up returning it without completing it and as was often a grievance with rentals, I lost the desire to rent it again knowing I was nearly done.

I've wanted to get into the Romancing series (and, somewhat, had a tiny desire to experience Unlimited just to fully understand what is so divisive about it, and by "divisive" I mean hated by seemingly everyone on Earth except a certain person who may be reading this) but I don't know how or where to step in anymore; my nihongo reading isn't sufficient for text-heavy RPGs so I must rely on either a localization or a patched fan translation, however the localizations became hard to find and I don't know if the fan translations are quality or not! I'm very picky you see. Plus my desire is to experience the game as it was originally presented so I'm a little unsure about the remake.





Iggy
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"Re(1):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Tue 5 Jan 10:05post reply

I think one of the common misconceptions about SaGa is that they are hard games.
OK, U:S is unplayable without a 800 pages bible, RS3 can irremediably fuck your save file if you make a wrong choice in at least 4 points of the game, and my friends only managed to appreciate Minstrel Song through constant handholding from me and only after I agreed on a 24/7 hotline service for a month with them. And... wait, that's not the best approach.

Sooooooooooooo. Well. Hum.
Actually, my point of view is that the first half of Kawazu's production is not difficult to understand.
FF2, SaGa 1, SaGa2, RS1-2-3 and Saga Frontier 1 have rather simple rules. The catch is simply that the rules differ from one game to the other, and while they share a common foundation this foundation is entirely different from the one in DQ, which is also shared by FF/Pokémon/Megaten/Insert most turn-by-turn JRPG here. It is no less arbitrary (why would grinding XP by killing low-level monsters somehow make my characters stronger? Because DQ said so, so it's like that, even though it's not fun). But Saga's rules are a different flavour of arbitrary, so people consider it as obtuse because they don't realise how entrenched into their DQ-flavoured comfort zone they are.

Of course, knowing the rules doesn't make the games easy (RS3 has many treacherous spots, Saga Frontier 1 has completely stupid and unfair difficulty spikes, and RS1 is just unfun), but learning them is not that complicated and it makes the games routinely playable. Plus, some knowledge is shared: for example, cure spells are much more rare and valuable than in many series, and most mob monsters can kill a character very easily, so you need to have a very conservative approach to health regeneration.

Out of this first bunch, Romancing Sa.Ga 2 (the one I used for the introduction of this very thread) is by far the best, but also because it is the best game in the known universe so it almost has to apologise to the other games for being TOO GOOD. The beginning is a bit tough but manageable with the right amount of strategy (and several difficult portions can be made much easier if you don't run to the fight but consider alternate solutions). After a couple of hours the game opens up, you can reach any portion of the map you want, and oh boy can you have fun. An open world RPG done right, where else could you find that in 1991?

On the other side of the spectrum, you have FF2, Saga1 and Romancing Sa.Ga1. In 2016, these games only remain interesting for archaeological purposes. I would even say that even though the first 2 were probably enjoyable when they were released but were quickly outclassed by Saga2, RS1 was a straight up bad game even when it was released, and only remained popular because how full of bullshit it is (it's like the Basara X of Saga games). The reason Kawazu wasn't reluctant to make Minstrel Song is because himself was annoyed by the amount of flaws the game had (and that's being generous) and it warranted a full remake (while he repeatedly said he wouldn't remake RS2 because there was nothing to fix in that game). It's amazing how little system-wise was passed from RS1 to 2, like if Kawazu wanted to forget all about it and start an entirely new game. Also, RS2 set up the foundation of the rest of the series single-handedly on smouldering ruins, because it really is the holy grail of Christmas.

Saga 2 is a fun and weird game. It's still an experimental black and white GB game that knows better than taking itself seriously, and it only stands by its mechanics. It allows you to create your team from scratch (like the first FFs, or most CRPG of the time), but instead of classes, what you pick is races, which not only change the way the character is played, but also almost all the rules applying to the character such as magic or stat increases. Ironically, the game may have been easier to approach by CRPG players than by JRPG players... The optimally fun way is of course to pick one different race for each party member to enjoy the full experience.
The DS remake celebrated the 20th anniversary of the series and is quite fun. I actually thought it had been translated to English, but I just discovered it wasn't? That's a shame, I guess it arrived too late, when the DS was too pirated to be profitable in the west?

RS3 is already a return to RS1, with all its crap replaced by the entire system from RS2. It has also gorgeous SFC-apex-graphics, fantastic locations and enemies, and is all in all an amazing game if you don't luck out and happen to recruit one of the 3 cursed characters (out of 30). Also, it's a blatantly unfinished game, but aren't them all.

Saga Frontier 1 is... well, it's not a very good game but it's quite an interesting mixture of Saga 1&2's base, RS1's open world and RS2 and 3's system, with some guided scenario sections added (some segments are FF13-like corridors, while on the other hand one scenario is literally "this character doesn't have a scenario, go screw around"). It is, again, unfinished, atrociously unbalanced, is unaware of basic scaling or meaningful difficulty progression, is visually horribly dated and plagued with PS1-era loadings. I think it would be a really interesting remake, but one on the scale of Minstrel Song. Leaving the game as is and adding a couple of hardcore dungeons and bosses is fine for games of the calibre of FF6 or RS2, but SF1 needs a remake that dares to recognize that some of its core aspects are flawed and need fixing.

----------------
These are the "easy" SaGa games. Their system is far from complex, it just needs the player to realise he's not playing DQ. Most Tri-Ace games are immensely more complex than them, and to make it worse the system in Tri-Ace games are entirely new from one game to each other. Now I think of it, I would love to read a genealogy of Tri-Ace's productions. How did the creators of Tales of Fantasia went on to create Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile, Radiata Stories, End of Eternity and FF13-2? SaGa is a very conservative animal, when you think of it.
----------------

Anyway, SaGa Frontier 2 is the moment the series' systems became really complex. I'm not quite sure what happened there: maybe it was a product of the era, the golden years of the PS1 and Enterbrain, maybe Tri-Ace's crazy systems as well, but SF2 is just bizarre. I cannot explain more because I didn't buy the strategy guide and just couldn't even get into it. Hamauzu's beautiful but soporific tunes didn't help, to be honest.

Wild Card, the Wonderswan RPG entirely played with cards, is an often overlooked game but it's fundamental to understand Kawazu at that moment. It's almost like if the weight of his role was too heavy to bear, and he wanted to keep on inventing new rules for small-scaled games with a small team, without the pressure of multi-million yens of returns on investment. 15 years later, he would have gone indie and try to make a name on Steam: with the amount of mash-up concepts there (Crypt of the Necrodancer, Concrete Jungle or Undertale to cite the last few I've played), "a RPG where everything is decided by cards, including the scenario and the quests" could be an interesting pitch.

Unlimited:Saga is the last game of this conflicted period and is the easiest to poke fun at. It is literally unplayable without having read the strategy guide, and I don't know who thought it was a good idea to localize the game if they weren't going to publish the companion 800-pages long instruction manual.
The game is Wild Card with higher production values, plus a detailed world and 7 starting characters to make people believe it was a SaGa game. Hamauzu's compositions don't feel so out of place anymore, possibly because the game is so intense and exhausting that having relaxing music was a necessary counter-balance. To put things into context, it is a game that shows you an iron token of your character on a crude map, with a little drawing of a meadow in the corner, some pretty music, and just tasks you to imagine the lovely scenery in your mind while it crunches numbers and moves the pawn like it was playing chess with you. It is NOT an easy game to play.
Regardless, I still have an almost undeserved love for this game, the way one would want to hug a sad pup with only 3 legs.

Finally, we arrive to the end of Kawazu's carrier: Minstrel Song. In guise of a remake, it only kept an empty shell of RS1, and filled it instead with a complex mixture of U:S and RS2's systems, everything carried at arm's length by Itoken's most inspired and powerful compositions to date. It is, indeed, a difficult game, with very complex systems that need to be mastered in order not to irremediably screw one's entire game, but an incredibly rewarding one, pushing the free scenario concept to its extreme conclusion, an offline MMO. It was the final game directed by Kawazu until Scarlet Grace, and was a fantastic achievement for a creator. His entire carrier was summed up system-wise in that game, from Saga1 (if not FF2) to U:S, all 17 years, and I can only imagine his feelings when the game went to master up.
----------------

Minstrel Song is the reason I'm more curious than excited about Scarlet Grace: can Kawazu really make a new game 11 years later? Does he have something new to tell that he hasn't already explored in MS? Was it really just a matter of recharging one's batteries? Did he relinquish his job as an executive producer in order to return to what he really loves to do, being a creative game master for a small but dedicated audience? Or is he just being set up by whoever is running SQEX to the ground before he's unceremoniously put out to graze until retirement?
During his whole career, Kawazu remained the student he was in university: a player of table RPG, a dedicated dungeon master at AD&D, fascinated by history and anthropology but only in so far as it could help him create new and amusing worlds for his players to adventure into. If his games have such distinctive systems, it's because he always tried to adapt the distinctive fun of playing a table RPG into videogame, a fun that went far beyond a mere affair of numbers, magic spells and level ups. Learning a new SaGa game must be like it was for a Japanese student in the 80s to open a rule book of a new RPG entirely in English and trying to make sense out of it, then explaining it to the other players.

This is why Kawazu cannot have a legacy: the young team that worked on the Saga2 remake, Last Remnant or the RS2 remake are faithful to their master, full of good will and creativity, but they only know videogames. They are creating new things on a ground that they are already familiar with. I don't see them coming back to original question that Horii's team had to solve in DQ1: "how do you make a RPG in videogame form for the Japanese market?". Most JRPG either take an existing answer as a base, Horii's or someone else's, or simply disregard the question (I don't think End of Eternity was concerned by the meaning of the term "RPG", it just ran batshit insane from the very start).
But Kawazu keeps coming back again and again to the original question, and even when he finds satisfying solutions he puts them aside and tries to solve the same problem again in a different way.

This autistic research is also the reason why SaGa is hardly even part of the general history of JRPG. While DQ, FF, Pokémon, but also Chrono Trigger or Xenoblade could all be arranged in a common phylogenetic tree, each being influenced by another branch and nourishing new stems, SaGa remains on its own. Most of the great inventions of SaGa were either ignored or had to be rediscovered to join the pool of the general JRPG DNA.
No game attempts that empty storytelling through free scenario. The enlightenment, HP/LP or evasion systems have no legacy, and no one copied RS2's fantastic succession system. FF13 rediscovered the concept of auto-regenating HP 20 years later. XenobladeX is trying to invent an open world JRPG from western examples, ignoring all the experiments and successes of Romancing Sa.Ga.

SaGa is less than a series, and that's why Legend of Legacy's attempt to graft itself onto it fell flat.
SaGa is part of the multifaceted creation of one creator, evolving along with him like any artist's body of work taken in bulk. Except Kawazu never thought about art or the deeper meaning of interactive storytelling: the only rule he ever followed was that in order to have fun, you need to be serious about it; the only goal he ever aimed for was to entertain people who followed that rule as well.





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"Re(2):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Tue 5 Jan 12:05post reply

quote:
I think one of the common misconceptions about SaGa is that they are hard games.
OK, U:S is unplayable without a 800 pages bible, RS3 can irremediably fuck your save file if you make a wrong choice in at least 4 points of the game, and my friends only managed to appreciate Minstrel Song through constant handholding from me and only after I agreed on a 24/7 hotline service for a month with them. And... wait, that's not the best approach.



I think if the answer is, "the game is not hard if you have mastered the game's systems", then the answer is still "the game is hard".

In the past we've discussed how SMT, particular in the Press-Turn era, is a cheap kind of hard, because no matter your mastery of the game's systems, you will usually get squashed when you encounter a boss because your team does not have the right set resistances/abilities to defend itself against the boss and to exploit the boss' vulnerabilities.

Contra Shattered Soldier is an easy Contra because many of the fights/encounters are extremely rigidly designed and don't require a vast amount of mechanical skill from the player to solve. A lot of bullet-hell STGs demand memorization and pinpoint precision and fast reactions, while Contra SS only requires memorization. One of the final bosses in Contra SS literally just requires you to crouch in a corner and fire diagonally with the machine gun. It is either a brilliantly deconstructive moment of Contra, or the epitome of what Contra SS is in terms of its relative shallowness as an action game. I still beat Contra SS multiple times, though.

I think that there is a lot of fun to be had with RS once the system is well-understood, because like a lot of things in real life, proficiency opens ever-greater possibilities of improvisation. Become proficient at RS is not trivial, though, and trying to gain that proficiency without 800-page manuals telling you what the answers are is pretty hard.

The question of "how can games allow the player to deeply create a personal sense of narrative" principally through settings and mechanics but not actual dialogue is one a lot of creators have bumped against throughout the history of games. Whether or not Kawazu thought in those terms, that is what "free scenario" embodies in practice. The strong sense of setting provides a large number of poles about which the systems ideally let the player's narrative freely swing. There are a lot of sandbox games which allow for very entertaining experimentation, but the freedom of action is not systemically connected back to the rigidly defined story. Sometimes, in purely mechanical means a story which really only has two points in it (e.g. the original XCOM: aliens invade the earth, you interrogate an alien leader and find they are on mars, you go to mars and defeat the alien HQ) can still wind up enabling a very rich player narrative. Other times, the rich action mechanics the player actively uses are connected to a rigid story that has no systemic connection to the rich action mechanics, and as a result the "sandbox" is one strictly of goofing around with the rich action mechanics but not of the story itself (see: a lot of sandbox action games).

If you look at D&D, one of the key aspects of it is that everything in the game is subject to the same rules, with the exceptions that the dungeon master deems. Because we have humans resolving and adjudicating every action, it made perfect sense that everything should be subject to everything; if anything, it'd seem odd and exceptional if they weren't. But video games have many, many technical restrictions, and doing the same tends to result mostly in just "You can kill/loot anybody you want in this game!", which can still be involving, but that alone isn't what makes the scenario in a game of D&D free.





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"Re(2):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Tue 5 Jan 13:46:post reply

quote:

hot info


いい勉強になりました!

Oddly enough I too thought that the DS remakes had been localized and spent a good chunk of time just trying to find them. Turns out I was chasing shadows, so no wonder I thought they had become impossible to find. But it turns out I did actually play one of the Gameboy originals long ago and just completely forgot about it because of the unfortunate name-changing Squaresoft did back then. Maybe I'll try the other ones, since they do exist in translated form (albeit probably edited).

Since it sounds like RSG2 is legendary status I decided to have a go at searching out a fan translation and... well, it turns out that in spite of the game's favorable impression, for 20 years nobody had actually wanted to take on the task! Then about a year ago someone finally tried, but there were some complications, and that's been stalled. This is tragic. Supposedly this person wants to get it done for the anniversary, but that may not happen.

However I did discover that RSG3 is fully translated! So is RSG1, but it sounds like I'm better off skipping that if I want to have a more favorable impression.

As for SGF2, I was going to say that aside from one enormous roadblock near the beginning, I didn't have much trouble with it. However I then remembered the reason for this: after hitting said roadblock, I cheated. I had a gameshark (primarily because you needed one to bypass mod lockout on import games back in those days) and I gave the main character infinite HP, and boom. So the reason I got stuck at the part I spoke of was because the game forces you to take control of multiple parties, all with their own stats, so the code I was using didn't work and I couldn't progress further. Tehe.





[this message was edited by Gojira on Tue 5 Jan 13:48]

Maou
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"Bane of SaGa" , posted Tue 5 Jan 16:26:post reply

Iggy is about to trick me into playing gorgeous RS3, but I won't have it!

On the face of it, SaGa has enormous appeal in the Western/D&D tradition as an open world alternative to the story-centric style mode born from DQ and FF. I personally adore raucous difficulty, too: the first Fuurai No Shiren might be my favorite game in the world depending on the day, with the very real sense of dangerous exploration combined with complex mechanics that can be understood through a reasonable balance of intuition and experimentation.

But maybe that’s where the trouble is for me with SaGa. In classic Western-style RPG or adventure games, I could explore and improve my skills, sometimes at great risk, but for exciting rewards and with great flexibility: sneaking around town made me a better thief, or maybe I could build a hideout, or steal a boat. In SaGa, I didn't gain more options through exploration and the unfriendly battle system only rewarded me with...more battles, or occasionally some nameless idiot joining my party, as opposed to tangible change in the world around me. Rather than through practice, I was just granted new abilities at random based when two party members' attacks happened to combine into a new skill.
quote:
I wonder what Kawazu does when he's not working.
When he's not out getting improbably magnificent haircuts, I imagine he's making interlocking spreadsheets consisting of other, smaller spreadsheets.

ALSO: Because this is the Kawazu worship thread, I realized that we owe him a debt for overseeing Final Fantasy II, which introduced history's most hilarious last boss death scream, ウボァー uboaaaa, a formulation so preposterous as to have remained a meme for years. Why, that's even what this little 2ch friend of ours is named for! Let's ウボァー together with Kawazu~~~





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Tue 5 Jan 16:39]

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"Re(2):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Wed 6 Jan 08:36post reply

quote:
and my friends only managed to appreciate Minstrel Song through constant handholding from me and only after I agreed on a 24/7 hotline service for a month with them.

Those were good times! Before you decided to get all active member of society-ish and got a real job and promising career, rather than staying at home and ordering helping people on how to play Minstrel Song. Blah.

quote:
But Saga's rules are a different flavour of arbitrary, so people consider it as obtuse because they don't realise how entrenched into their DQ-flavoured comfort zone they are.

That's true, and it applies to many games. I think Pokémon might have helped people get into Megaten, for instance. After all, it's a rather similar idea. I also think part of the belated success of Monster Hunter in the West comes from how Dark Souls changed players' perception on the value of making efforts and learn how to play games. Maybe Clover/Platinum titles like Vanquish and God Hand would have been better received in this generation.





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"Re(3):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Wed 6 Jan 11:24:post reply

quote:
Maybe Clover/Platinum titles like Vanquish and God Hand would have been better received in this generation.



It's hard to say if that would be true for Vanquish given that Vanquish isn't an inherently extremely difficult game, and there's probably an existing stigma against first-person shooter games that aren't full of jump scares and aren't multiplayer. Vanquish is merely a very excellent sci-fi action shooter, not a masocore or otherwise exceptionally difficult game.

Even if the target audience wasn't on the WiiU, Demons/Dark Souls priming the hardcore still sure didn't help the reception of Wonderful 101. Then again, Platinum's approach to "making the game more approachable" being infinite continues at full health at the instant where death occurred meant that the game had no challenge to people who weren't high score attackers.

Maybe the irony is that if Wonderful 101 were a lot harder and more unforgiving, it may have done better than it did to the extent that it could on the platform it was on, that likely contained a fairly small receptive audience in the first place. On the other hand, it probably would've made the QTE and mini-game sections much more infuriating.





[this message was edited by Spoon on Wed 6 Jan 11:25]

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"Re(3):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Thu 7 Jan 06:02:post reply

Apologies up front for temporarily veering off topic... I promise to try and play Romancing Saga 3 in 2016 as penance.

So anyway...


quote:
I also think part of the belated success of Monster Hunter in the West comes from how Dark Souls changed players' perception on the value of making efforts and learn how to play games. Maybe Clover/Platinum titles like Vanquish and God Hand would have been better received in this generation.



I certainly endorse the idea that playing Dark Souls is an edifying process, but I believe that the generally terrible sales for Plaitnum's typically brilliant games is largely due to their sometimes ill-considered unreasonable uncompromising design decisions which hurt them in both reviews and word of mouth. If only Platinum didn't essentially refuse to teach players how to play their games and neglect to offer motivation and encouragement.... I fully expect that this tendency will be stomped out of Scalebound due to Microsoft's involvement. But it's definitely an issue for the studio.

I am actually trying to imagine a Platinum-made Dark Souls that combines all their various issues.

What if...

You were unable to use a crucial defensive technique (the dodge roll) until you buy it from the upgrade store, which is full of cooler-sounding but potentially much-less-useful options.
(Defensive Offense in MGR)

The better your performed, the harder the game gets... and it wasn't even that easy to begin with.
(Level DIE in God Hand)

After YOU DIED your weapon suffered a downgrade, punishing your failure and diminishing the sense that you are growing more skilled and more powerful.
(the bafflingly stupid, illogical, but ultimately exploitable if really inconvenient weapon upgrade system in Vanquish)

An inferior control method was presented as the apparent, logical default (touchpad input for weapon switching), which actually makes things less efficient and keeps players from properly utilizing all their options during combat.
(Unite Morph in Wonderful 101)

Or maybe there's a really effective defensive option (cover in Vanquish), and it's tempting to use it as a crutch instead of really diving into the combat experience. Oh wait... Souls games already do that with shields. Hahah. Of course this is balanced by the stamina system.

...

I almost went off on a huge rant on this topic while discussing Mars Matrix discussion in the Darius thread. The infinite continues in Wonderful 101 may be the most damning evidence I could think of for Platinum being inept or just not giving a shit about this stuff. It's pretty much the direct equivalent to giving a player infinite credits in a lazy arcade port of a great game like Metal Slug or something. What incentive do average players have to pay attention, master the systems, and get better? How do you respect a game or yourself when you just brute force your way through it?

Seriously though, I really love Platinum, but they are absolutely terrible at teaching/incentivizing players to really learn their game systems. I have so much to say here. There are actually some interesting comparisons to be drawn between Bloodborne and Rising, but I won't get into that now.

The bottom line is that people play Platinum's games, feel like they are shitty at them (well, you finished the stage, but you are a D-Rank human being), and in the absence of any clear incentives or an apparent path to mastery, they just put the controller down and walk away. Dark Souls is challenging, sure, and it's bruised plenty of egos and turned plenty of players away. But even if you're having trouble, you can grind a bit and maybe upgrade your equipment, gradually improving your odds of survival and giving you a bit more leeway to, you know, stay alive and learn how to play the damn game the way the creators intended.

I mentioned this earlier, but I will be really surprised if Scalebound is not different.

Finally, and back on topic, I was really disappointed the DS SaGa remakes didn't get released in English. I really wish I had the necessary insight and experience with SaGa games to tie all this together (accessibility, learning/mastery of mechanics/systems, whatever the hell else I'm talking about here), but unfortunately I do not. I do really want to play more of this series, though. Was getting psyched about RS2 but my Japanese has grown quite weak and I don't think I could make it without an English translation.


LAST OF A DOZEN EDITS:

To outline my super-limited experience, I did play Saga 2/Final Fantasy Legend 2 briefly, which I borrowed for a few days from a friend but never got that far in. Somehow played Unlimited SaGa on PS2 (Blockbuster rental, I think... I definitely had reservations), and though I liked it to some extent I eventually just had to give up.





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[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Thu 7 Jan 07:38]

Maou
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"Kawazu's Army" , posted Thu 7 Jan 07:42:post reply

quote:
I certainly endorse the idea that playing Dark Souls is an edifying process, but I believe that the generally terrible sales for Plaitnum's typically brilliant games is largely due to their sometimes ill-considered unreasonable uncompromising design decisions which hurt them in both reviews and word of mouth. If only Platinum didn't essentially refuse to teach players how to play their games and neglect to offer motivation and encouragement....
Actually, Mosquiton is massively on-topic if you replace all instances of "Platinum" with "Kawazu." The real conclusion is that a prepaid telephone connected directly to Iggy must be packaged with all future SaGa games as "the official guidebook."

Back to the topic of praising my archenemy: I was about to muse about Kawazu's political savvy in surviving at Square despite Final Fantasy II having been a practical joke and SaGa not being any fun, but a quick look at sales charts reminds me that there is a small, terrifying army which continues to buy SaGa games! It's no surprise that Kawazu continued to receive funding after RS 2 and 3 sold more than one million apiece, and I was among one million (one million!?) damned souls who bought SaGa Frontier, yet an unbelievable 670,000 people still bought SaGa Frontier II, and nearly 500,000 came back for MORE punishment to buy Unlimited! I, I feel like I've been more closely involved with a sinister cult than I realized and need to bury all record of it.





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[this message was edited by Maou on Thu 7 Jan 07:51]

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"Re(4):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Thu 7 Jan 09:09post reply

I'll go back to SaGa tomorrow/when I have more time to properly spread the teachings of my lord, but I'd like to jump on Mosquiton's of topic to say I really, deeply, powerfully despise Wonderful 101.
I don't follow him on his other examples (I think Level DIE in God Hand is brilliant, I don't remember Vanquish enough, and I don't know what Defensive Offense in MGR is, probably I bought it immediately) but W101 can just burn in hell alongside with #FE.
Not even because of the usual complains on the controls or the minigames or the pacing.
I hate it because even though there are elements that could have allowed me, a seasoned Bayo player, to feel on known grounds at the beginning so I could learn the actual new systems, the prohibitive price at the shop and the poor way each item is explained made me want to throw away my controller.
I'm not entirely against having to pay for useful moves, but when you have to buy dodge AND guard, when the game doesn't explain you the difference, and anyway both are so expensive you need to play a level several times in order to buy then (because you don't have any way of protecting yourself in a very complex and confusing game, and that's if you already understand these are GUARD and DODGE and you should buy them), I just think the game doesn't want me to enjoy it.
I don't have any issue with having to buy more moves for Bayo or Gene, because they already have a pretty extensive move palette to explore and the systems are there. But why would anyone think it's good to grind for hours in order to unlock any defensive action? People who actively cut the branch they're sitting on, that's who.
And let's not even get into the stupid rule "blocking doesn't work against pointy attacks but I'm not telling you". So you end up confused on why your guard gets destroyed seemingly at random, and then you read the explanation online and you're even more confused because the "pointy attacks" are not pointy at all, they're just whatever attack the designer decided you shouldn't be able to block, but without any sound or any visual indication because why.
W101 is one of these games that deserved to burn in sales charts.

One of the reasons (amongst millions) why I think Bayo 1 is Platinum's most brilliant game is because, even though it doesn't reward you for playing well with bells and whistles, it does guide you from easy to infinite climax in the most natural way possible: at the end of easy, more enemies start appearing which will gradually become standard in normal, at the end of normal some new enemies appear and they will be there all the time in hard, and at the end of hard, enemies immuned to witch time appear and Infinite Climax is just hard with Witch time disabled.
Of course, the game still doesn't teach you how to play if you just suck at it, but at least, if you overcome this first issue, the game will lead you toward its hardest challenge in a very progressive and clever way (except if you play Very easy, in which case the game will spit at your face which is never a good idea for a company). I was disappointed Bayo 2's difficulty progression didn't do that.





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"Re(5):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Thu 7 Jan 16:29post reply

quote:

I'm not entirely against having to pay for useful moves, but when you have to buy dodge AND guard, when the game doesn't explain you the difference, and anyway both are so expensive you need to play a level several times in order to buy then (because you don't have any way of protecting yourself in a very complex and confusing game, and that's if you already understand these are GUARD and DODGE and you should buy them), I just think the game doesn't want me to enjoy it.


Yeah, that was unabashedly stupid. It's possible to get a fair way through without either, but there are plenty of moments where guard especially is the only correct answer. Even worse, Prince what's-his-name's, guard doesn't obey the same rules yours does! He slashes your pudding and it breaks, you slash his pudding and you break! WTF!

There are a ton of things that are outright dumb in Wonderful 101, and it's amazing that the demo of the game they released on the WiiU does an even worse job of introducing you to the game than the actual first level of the game. W101 is almost certainly the most self-sabotaged game that they've made.

But I just can't hate the game. I love the sheer quantity of crazy moments the game has, and as distracting as the mini-games are from the core game, the majority of them put a smile on my face. I have no idea what makes for a good combo in the game, and in one full play through of the game I still don't understand how the battery gauge works. I love how the game looks, and it's full of great special effects and animation and audio and big powerful hits. It's also a game where there are times when an enemy is attacking you and you literally cannot see what it is doing. There is a huge amount of things in the game that you simply have to guess and test with, and sometimes even when you guessed right it doesn't work (I spent like 10 minutes in the corridor of the plane with the flames in it because the first few times I tried shooting, the shots didn't break the water barrels!). Does using a crowd attack on another crowd do anything? Who knows!

Having a ton of extremely arbitrary rules on particular interactions let them make these really cool cinematic moments on each of them, but it also made it just so: it's a game full of extremely arbitrary rules. It's like how in Megaman/Rockman there are unique weapon interactions with a lot of the enemies/bosses but the only way to find some of them is to literally try them all against it, except taken to a ridiculous extreme. Why is cold super effective on Spark Mandrill, especially when any engineer will tell you that electricity conducts better across cold substances? Who knows! W101 does so in a way which no Platinum game before, and thankfully, after, has.

A single-player game really shouldn't require an external ambassador in order for the game to be at all enjoyable. Given the fact that MOBAs that dominate the world right now absolutely require such, maybe all that Kawazu really needs to do is find a way to integrate multiplayer into the game, and the legion of SunBros out there will do the job that his games never did: ambassador its own experience.





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"Monster Mystery Meat" , posted Fri 8 Jan 05:48post reply

Okay so I started playing Saga 2/FFL2 but after winning fights, I found myself getting into another fight the very next step. Truly a test my patience cannot hope to continue passing.

Although I did get to experience my favorite thing about the game, eating the flesh of strange creatures to transmogrify my monsters into other monsters. Does this idea show up in any later games (or other series)?

Weird that Pokemon never thought to start eating each other...





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"Monster Mystery Meat: Shiren vs. SaGa!!" , posted Fri 8 Jan 07:13post reply

quote:

Although I did get to experience my favorite thing about the game, eating the flesh of strange creatures to transmogrify my monsters into other monsters. Does this idea show up in any later games (or other series)?

Can it be?! Can this be a chance to invade the thread about Iggy's favorite niche game(s) with MY favorite niche game, Fuurai No Shiren? Yes, yesss, this opportunity is too delicious to let go. You shall now listen to the indefatigably merry menu screen theme and find out why monster meat is one of the many ways that Fuurai is even better than SaGa while remaining just as brutal.

In the perilous roguelike world of Fuurai, where every monster has an entirely different set of skills, you will eventually find Bufuu's Staff, which (like various other special effect staffs in the game) contains a limited number of uses against an enemy in range and will turn enemies into...meat! This meat is hugely useful and enables STRATEGIC EATING.

If you eat the monster meat, you not only stop starving with each step you take like normal, you have access to entirely new dungeon-exploring strategies: you could be an idiot and eat the meat of some strong dragon or something, but more likely, you'd want to eat the meat of the Karakuroid, who can booby-trap the entire dungeon and send enemies falling down trap doors or into explosives; or the meat of the Grim Reapers, who have double movement speed and typically run you down mercilessly; or of the Pakorepukin who floats effortlessly through walls and out of danger. Even more fun, you could get the meat of intentionally weak monsters like Mamuru, and then throw the meat at a dangerous enemy, who will automatically eat it and become a weakling himself!

There is even a dungeon where you start equipped only with Bufuu's Meat Cleaver, a crappy weapon but which has the same properties as Bufuu's Staff...kill an enemy and his meat is yours 50% of the time. You thus embark on a multi-floor adventure centered entirely around making monsters into meat and eating them at strategic times. If you survive this dungeon, you can weld the cleaver onto your much stronger regular sword and start amassing all kinds of meat!

Let's all buy Fuurai today! You can somehow buy the superior SFC original new (who was hoarding them?!), the acceptable DS port with a gorgeous Akiman cover, or even the US version for 20 dollars (20 dollars!) if you can stomach the 1991-era garbage art on the cover!

Ladies and gentleman on the jury of Shiren v. SaGa, I rest my case.





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"Re(1):Monster Mystery Meat: Shiren vs. SaGa!!" , posted Fri 8 Jan 16:24post reply

Brilliant hijacking Maou!

My only involvement with the SaGa series is Unlimited SaGa, who taught me to stay away from them for good. To tell you the truth, I kind of got into the game, but there were too many things I didn't quite understand so it got frustrating real quick (oh, so there was a lengthy guide that didn't come with the US/EU release of the game? Didn't know about that!). I totally dig Hamauzu's soundtrack for that game, and I can't get enough of the Re:Birth II SaGa Battle arrange albums, they're awesome!





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"Re(1):Monster Mystery Meat" , posted Fri 8 Jan 20:10post reply

quote:
Although I did get to experience my favorite thing about the game, eating the flesh of strange creatures to transmogrify my monsters into other monsters. Does this idea show up in any later games (or other series)?

That's a specific mechanic for the monster race in Saga 1, 2 and Saga Frontier 1. The famous in-game joke is that you will sometimes find (and eat!) skeleton meat.

quote:
Weird that Pokemon never thought to start eating each other...

Urgh, let's not start that topic...
That reminds me I recently played Pokkén and was quite impressed, I should talk about it in another thread.

Still a bit pressed by time, but I'd like to repeat again something I said earlier but was drowned in my own wall of text: the games that are extremely complex system-wise (and need the strategy guide/external help) are the later ones, Frontier 2, U:Saga and Minstrel Song.

The earlier ones are fairly straightforward. They have rules, but they are roughly as complex as, say, FF5 or 6's. They are different, but simple.
The issue is that some of the SaGa games have difficulty spikes that force you to play smart, while FF6 never bothers to check if you even use any option other than "fight".





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"Re(2):Monster Mystery Meat" , posted Sat 9 Jan 03:31post reply

quote:

Still a bit pressed by time, but I'd like to repeat again something I said earlier but was drowned in my own wall of text: the games that are extremely complex system-wise (and need the strategy guide/external help) are the later ones, Frontier 2, U:Saga and Minstrel Song.

The earlier ones are fairly straightforward. They have rules, but they are roughly as complex as, say, FF5 or 6's. They are different, but simple.
The issue is that some of the SaGa games have difficulty spikes that force you to play smart, while FF6 never bothers to check if you even use any option other than "fight".



Iggy, if you could also provide a lengthy dissertation on Romancing SaGa 2, that would be lovely. I've familiarized myself with the basic systems and ideas (kingdom governance, formations, heir system) but I would very much like to hear more.

And wow, Leon's character art is fantastic. I felt like I should play the game simply based off this illustration and your great introduction.





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"SaGa whiskey sold out" , posted Sat 9 Jan 12:23post reply

I'm not a whiskey drinker so I don't know if it was a good one, and I guess I will never know.
Thankfully, these weren't rum...

quote:
if you could also provide a lengthy dissertation on Romancing SaGa 2, that would be lovely. I've familiarized myself with the basic systems and ideas (kingdom governance, formations, heir system) but I would very much like to hear more.

If you're familiar with the core rules, there's really not a lot to say that wouldn't be minor spoilers.

Without spoiling anything, strategy-wise... Let me see.

Something vital: running away is ALWAYS FREE (R button with any character, even if your emperor is KO). You ran into a monster you didn't see and your formation is messed-up? Run and walk back into the monster to fight with proper formation. The monster is too strong? Run and reroll the enemy. You don't feel like fighting? Run and then move to another direction.
I think the important thing in term of movement is to identify the enemy symbols. Dog run fast and can accelerate, snakes are move in sudden bursts before stopping, blobs are very slow and always move in your direction, ghosts disappear in the ground... If you run away a lot, you will end up cornered by the enemies if you don't plan your moves in advance, and you won't have any alternative but killing them to clear a way. Or dying. Dying is always an option.

Something else: the game has a quick-save feature and an easy reset shortcut. You ARE supposed to save often, and if you fuck up, rewind. The game wants you to try and learn of your mistakes, and it gives you the tool to undo them if necessary. Don't forget to save after you've entered most dungeons, after one of your characters has invented a new move or a new evasion (that's the most valuable thing, save every invention!), after a difficult fight, before opening a box (some boxes are trapped with an especially strong mimic, especially in Kujinshi's mansion)... Save!
Be careful not to save after you've made a mistake, though.

The core of the LP system in this game is that your characters are expandable. They will lose LP and the loss is permanent, because every couple of dungeons you will lose everyone and re-cast your whole team, emperor included. The opposite side of the coin is that losing LP is VERY easy. Some enemies (zombies and snakes mostly) even target fallen heroes to make them lose more LP! If one of your characters has lost more LP than you are comfortable with during a single fight, L+select (if your last save is not too far away). It is acceptable to lose one or two LP against a mob... that doesn't mean it should happen all the time!

When you create a new team, you can keep the same guys (same soldiers in your castle/on the map, with different colors and slightly different stats). They will fit the same role (Emerald/Garnet/Sapphire/Ruby etc will always be the fire/wind wizard, for example). However, mixing up is more fun. You can decide at the beginning that you will only use sword/bow/spear/fire magic/water magic and stick to these 5 roles through the game, but I find it boring and try to have all the skills level 40.

When you jump to a different era, the stats of everyone are normalized against your last best. So imagine you had a mace user level 15, but he dies and you replace him with a fire magic user and finish the era like that. The next era will still have all the mace users with a mace level of 15 plus/minus one or two.
All the inventions are saved in the library when you get to a new era(the soldiers in line where you get new formations), even the inventions you saved and lost (either by the character dying or by erasing them). However, if you lose an invention, you won't have it back in the current era until someone has invented it again, so be careful!
Invention space is limited to 8 (I think?) and you always want to keep at least 1 empty (if all the slots are full, no invention will be made). Your wizards should learn all the defensive moves (except Soul Steal, that's a scenario thing that is almost never useful after you beat Kujinshi). For the others, they should learn the most powerful move you know, any novelty (for example a move that attack several enemies, or that can shoot the back row, or status-inducing moves) and then all the defensive moves possible. Defensive move allow you to not get hurt for free! Sometimes! They are fantastic! Sometimes! When they invent a new move, erase the old one that's in the library (except that was awesome and the new one is crappy) to save space. You can always go learn it back. If you erase a move that a character just invented, chances are he will re-invent it again soon after. At the beginning, you won't have many defensive moves, but they will pile up! You will love them if you decide to do an era will 5 wizards... and they activate.
Also, when you jump to an era (or whenever someone dies), all the equipment they were wearing ends up in the stockpile (in your palace, on the floor of your throne room, on the other branch of the U-shape). Go there and take all your weapons!
However, if you have developed new weapons in the previous era (for example a better sword or a better light shield), it will become the norm and all the character wearing that equipment will wear the new version, and the outdated version will only be in your stash (it's useless though). Weapons found in treasure boxes or as loot are unique, though, and can take some time to be outdated.

IMPORTANT! One super-annoying thing with the game is the empire development. It happens when you sit on your throne. Some time, your emperor will have a brilliant idea "I'm going to develop this!". If your empire is rich enough, always spend the money because it's always a brilliant idea. But... you'll only know after your chancellor tells you the price! So always save before you sit on that throne, because if you can't afford something, it may not come back.
The money in this game works very differently than in any other game. You are the great emperor of a great empire, you don't "do" money. First, because anyone in Avalon will give you everything for free, because they love you (or they would end up in jail if they didn't, which is the same). You have a 10k allowance to buy things in other countries, though (it's very rarely useful or necessary except for quest items). If you use up your allowance, you can either go take more money in your royal treasury (your empire money is your money!) or you can go buy (for free!) dozens of armors in a shop in Avalon... and immediately sell them. That will show them to trust you!
In the room with 2 chancellors (on the floor of the throne room), one will tell you how much money you have, and the other will tell you how much money your empire earns (this goes up as your empire expands or develop: for example, expanding to the rich mining region is good because you'll earn much more, but at some point the mine will be attacked and you'll lose all the income). Time in the game is counted by fights, so if you are short on cash but you really want that money, go to the closest dungeon, fight, run immediately, fight, run, until you have enough money.

You use money for two things mainly: first, the brilliant ideas you get sometimes when your imperial butt invades Leon's throne, and then with the smiths (inside your castle walls on the right, or via the door to go out of your castle next to the room for formations). One of the smith develops armours, the other weapons. Most have 3 tiers (400k, 800k and 1200k), some have less. If for example the weapon guy offers you a new foil and you hate it because foils are terrible (spears are great though), just go away, do 1 fight (or run from 1 fight) and go back to see what else he has. They cycle through their whole offering and then go back to the first idea. If I recall correctly, a new armour/weapon is ready in 15 fights, but you don't need to have it immediately: just pop back there from time to time to launch new researches. After the research is finished, you get the first prototype, but you won't get any more until the next era, when they've gone full production.
Money is also used to create fusion magic in the academy, but most of the fusions are lacking and cost far too much money (500k I think?) so only do that when you're too rich and you can't live with all these riches.

About levels... There is only one bare-handed specialist in the game (some characters might get some points at a generation, but it's inconsistent). If you want to develop bare-hand fighting, you'll need to either get that guy in your team in each era (boring, but fortunately the class is good) or have your emperor do the fighting himself to raise the level. It's totally optional so only do it if you want to see everything (though one of the techniques is an auto-heal that costs 0WP, which can be useful to teach your wizards when you're stingy with your MP). What I do is to start with Gerald at the beginning, remove his weapon, and have him punch things with his puny fists. At least the punching level of your empire will start raising.
Of, speaking of Gerald: at the beginning, after Leon comes back to Avalon, he has emperor stuff to do and Gerald is left to his own devices. You simply need to leave the castle and then go back to the throne room. Before doing that, go talk to Emerald (the rightmost room in the castle, below the formation room). She will teach Fire Ball to Gerald, which is a way to make him useful AND to raise you fire level early. After THE INEVITABLE happens, you will end up with an emperor with reasonable light and fire magic, good sword level, and good whatever Gerald was doing (punching in my case).

Since you only have 5 characters in your team and plenty more to level up, I generally try to have each character focusing on two domains. For example, if Gemini is doing wind and water, I wouldn't hire Emerald because she does fire and wind, thus wasting the wind points (remember, what's passed to the next era is the best score. If Gemini's wind is 7 and Emerald's is 6, you'll only inherit level 7 of wind, not 13!). So my emperor would do the Fire. However, if I decide to take Emerald, the emperor would stay away from the fire and use Light, for example. But that's just me and my obsession to level-up everything.
Only have one character doing sword OR claymore, one doing mace OR Axe, and one doing spear OR foil at one given time, since these 6 weapon share the same 3 stats. The unused weapon will remain unused until the next era (inventions are not THAT hard to come by). Do try to level up mace usage at the beginning as a secondary weapon, even if it sucks (like bare-handed fighting, it's more difficult because no one is a specialist of that at the beginning). Later, you'll get the pirate, and the pirate is awesome. Also, axes are awesome too. The herder uses the mace and he's a cool guy too.
So your team for that era could be: spear/light, fire/wind, sword/mace, Bow alone because Therese is only good with bows and bows are great at clearing mobs, and the martialist in front, for example. Don't hesitate to mix things up, and don't feel forced to use everything. Do as you wish!

Remember: you don't learn magic like the weapon techniques. Magic need to be learnt in the academy (along with recruiting earth and the water users)... but you need to build it first. In the meantime, Emerald and Gemini will learn per default the first spell of their two masteries, plus the highest spell they could know with their level (so at Fire level one Emerald would know Fire Ball and Self Burning, but if she is level 10 she would know Fire Ball and Fire Whip, and the only way to teach her Self Burning would be at the academy). The light master will come later, with the university.
Also, do try to level up the level of magic even if it doesn't look great. Light and Earth in particular end up unlocking laughingly overpowered moves. Simply use the level 1 spell over and over (and win the fights! If you run, no level up!). No need to force yourself to use them in difficult fights or against bosses: the XP works differently in this game, no need to endanger yourself.
Do teach healing magic to everyone before going to a serious fight: you will want everyone to have a mean of healing someone else. High-level technique: NEVER have a character healing himself unless necessary: if an enemy is faster, he may kill him before and you will have wasted a turn. If another character heals him, even if the enemy is faster and kills the weak character, he will be restored and ready for action at the next turn, at the cost of 1 LP.

What else... Whenever you recruit new classes, they will unlock a new formation if the new class is emperor and you go talk to the guys of the formations room. Most are not really good, but one is ridiculously overpowered. Also, not every class teach formations (for example, the male nomad and the female nomad teach the same formation, so no need to have them both as emperors).
One thing I like to do when the era change is to pick an emperor with skills I don't want to be playing this era (for example, if I feel like a magic user emperor this time, pick a sword mercenary, especially the likes of John and his friend who have good stats in sword/spear/mace/bows). Then, before doing anything, kill the new emperor and reincarnate into your chosen one (or keep killing them if the game doesn't offer you the emperor you want). That way, your emperor will have kept the superior stats in sword for example, or the better HP, and you'll have a bigger pool of WP to play with.
Remember that you cannot pick up a school of magic opposite to one you know (so if Gerald learns fire, and you reincarnate your emperor as Gemini, you won't get water magic and keep whatever spell Gerald knew).
Don't kill too many emperors though, because you may exhaust the pool and you'd be in big trouble. You'd have to work very hard for that, so killing 3-4 emperor each era is more than ok.
Also, you don't forget things through eras. If you don't use Earth magic during a whole era, don't worry, next time you'll use it it will be the same level as the last time, even if that was 2 eras ago. Sometimes it will even have grown a level or two!

That's all that comes to me now without getting into any spoiler... Anything you'd like to know specifically?

quote:
And wow, Leon's character art is fantastic.
Yeah... ahem... Let's just say the sprite work of RS2 is... peculiar, with the characters being larger than tall. I have high hopes for the remake with the little we've seen... The enemies still look good even in the SFC game, though.
Kobayashi Tomomi made the art for most Saga games, and she has made some great pieces。My favourite are the trademark "main illustration of the game with two fabulous characters that actually never appear in-game and you can only identify by looking through the lore" (RS3 and U:Saga's limited edition).





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"Praise Kawazu" , posted Sat 9 Jan 16:18:post reply

quote:
Iggy's shining light
I, I stand defeated. Frontier may be garbage, but Iggy's RS 2 description alone shows me that I cannot resist Romancing SaGa's greatness, particularly where emperors, sophisticated D&D skill management, and high finance are involved.

The Life Point (LP) discussion reminds me that in addition to psychotic difficulty, there is another thing that I DO love about SaGa for the same reason I love Fuurai: the mental exercise it provides by pushing the player far, far outside of the genre's standard mechanics, assumptions, and risks. SaGa breaks away from the simple "revive dead character in battle with revive item bought from money earned from battle" by making deaths costly and limited in number. Fuurai (and all true roguelikes) makes deaths costly by resetting your level and inventory, aside from what you happened to leave in a town mid-journey or send back with a rare courier you met in a dungeon (the absence of these saved items in turn making you more likely to die this round...you'll probably never beat the game without taking the risk of using your best stuff even though you might die and lose it all).

These shared genre-busting intricacies extend even to the save systems: SaGa completely eliminates the hum-drum of moderately difficult RPG dungeons with save points for the bosses and/or grinding purposes, instead giving you a rewind feature but also terrifyingly high odds of random death in unlucky encounters. Fuurai completely eliminates the hum-drum of moderately difficult dungeons with save points, instead giving you a save-anywhere feature but NOT a load-anywhere feature: you can take a rest from the game mid-action anytime by choosing quit, but you can't load from it if you die, and if you reset the game when things are looking bad, it's the same effect as dying and you're sent back to zero.

I'm shattered to realize that my most hated RPG shares so many attributes with my favorite. I can resist Lord Kawazu no more.

"But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother." ウボァー 





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Sun 10 Jan 00:14]

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"Hotline SaGa" , posted Sun 10 Jan 04:15:post reply

quote:

If you're familiar with the core rules, there's really not a lot to say that wouldn't be minor spoilers.

[MASSIVE VOLUME OF INTERESTING AND USEFUL INFO]

That's all that comes to me now without getting into any spoiler... Anything you'd like to know specifically?



Wow. That is actually much, much more than I would have thought to ask. Incredible write-up.

I think I actually feel more intimidated by the game now? I will have to really gather my courage to proceed. Still, very illuminating!

Maou! Walk ahead of me, I will follow and observe what becomes of you. Hahah.

Having the Emperor waltz into a shop and demand everything for free, then selling it back to them for pure profit is the most hilarious (and somehow fitting) unintended side effect of a game system I've heard in a while.

The quick-save/load system is also very interesting. What an idea for the time.

EDIT: Oh yeah, one thing. I'd heard (from the internet) that it can be difficult to build an academy until late in the game. Is this uncontrollable randomness? Do you just need to find the right groove when you settle your imperial butt into the throne?





/ / /

[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Sun 10 Jan 04:21]

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"Re(1):Hotline SaGa" , posted Sun 10 Jan 06:21post reply

Minor corrections:
* The mercenary that's super useful to raise the weapon skills of your emperor is "James", not "John". It's the guy that Leon puts on top of the Imperial Cross formation when you start the game (grey/blue guy). After that, he's chilling in the room in the middle of the ground floor of the castle, along with his pal Lisa, who has the same useful characteristics.
*Only the emperor can give the "retreat" order (with the L button, not R)! If your emperor is KO, you need to revive him to retreat or get killed. However, the emperor has no qualms about abandoning the unconscious bodies of his team-mates.
*The short sword/foil is still terrible.
*The chancellors that tell you about your empire's finances are in the room just next to the throne. The guy at the bottom right of that floor gives you informations on foreign lands in case you're not sure who to invad... I mean, save.

quote:
I think I actually feel more intimidated by the game now?
.
Ah.
That was not the intended effect.
Most of my explanations are high-end strategies which allow to do more optional stuff in considerably less time. In a way, if I were playing FF6 the way I play RS2, I would refuse to beat Kefuka before all the characters would be level 100 and have learnt all the magics and skills, including Gao and Stragoss. You REALLY don't need to follow all my advices at all time!
If only because making mistakes is the most fun you can have with this game. Think of it all as the amount of freedom the game gives you to explore without forcing you to do anything. The enemies do get stronger the more you fight, but contrary to RS1 it never gets to the point where it can be unmanageable (since you can always run away and reroll), and there is no even you may miss if you grind too much.

Also, when I was saying "dying is always an option", I meant it. After the first reincarnation, having your whole team decimated is nothing more than a hindrance (because you have to spend 5 minutes building it again). There's no reason to hold to your LPs like you had to finish the game with Leon only! If a character gets killed, well, change him and go on. Most dungeons are quite short, so it's never toooo annoying to get out with only 4 members.

quote:
Maou! Walk ahead of me, I will follow and observe what becomes of you. Hahah.
Take screenshots!

quote:
Oh yeah, one thing. I'd heard (from the internet) that it can be difficult to build an academy until late in the game. Is this uncontrollable randomness? Do you just need to find the right groove when you settle your imperial butt into the throne?

I just created my magic school immediately after Kujinshi (it's difficult not to have 1 million lying around there, except if you decided to waste all your money in more advanced weapons that actually don't make that much of difference).
I guess the academy will have to wait two more eras? The annoyance is to get 2 millions and not spend it until the emperor gets his brilliant idea.
There is a treasure box in Avalon that you can exploit into giving you 100k over and over immediately after Kujinshi, but it's a bit of a, well, exploit. It's linked to the thief side quest:


Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
After Kujinshi, if you talk to your people you'll hear they'll complain about a bunch of thieves. From then on, when you go to sleep in your bed, you'll wake up in the middle of the night and can explore Avalon by night (it's your hint you can find the thief at night time). You're supposed to find her just as she's stashing 100k she just stole, and that starts a quest that will help you get back the other half of your original kingdom with minimal hassle.
However, if you don't find her and go back to sleep, then, during daytime, you can walk in her hidehout, steal the 100k she stole during the day before, then go to bed, sleep through the night, go back... she stored 100k more! And so on until you start her quest or jump an era (in which case you won't be able to hire her). I guess protecting the thieves and stealing from them is an interesting taxation mechanism for the time!


End of Spoiler


It's an exploit and it's not necessary to use it, but if you're scared you may not have enough money (or just want to have super advanced weapons just for the sake of it), it's always fun.
Regardless, the Academy requires 2M. after that you'll be able to create the Imperial Guards (much later), which are just 2 new guys to recruit (I think it's much cheaper, like 500k or 1M)(it's not that useful because you'll quickly have more people than you can hire even if you get wiped out every era and change your whole army). And finally, the last thing the emperor can fund is a village to have all the warriors from foreign lands gathered into Avalon (to make recruiting faster).

I think the trigger for funding something is random, so the safest thing if you don't want to miss your chance is to simply play conservative and make sure you never go below the sum necessary for the next target. You may even skip the area south of Avalon and go even more south, to the land with the mines (Ludon). If you grab that area early, each fight will give you 5k more.
Even if you don't do that, every time you walk by your throne room, save and sit on the throne to see if something happens. Ultimately, the academy is not absolutely necessary (it's useful in case your emperor decides to forget light magic and you need someone else to wield it, and it makes one area of the map easier to invade) and neither are the advanced weapons or the fusion spells: they are just for completion's sake.
And if you're a completionist, the game has a beautifully nasty surprise for you...





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"Re(2):Hotline SaGa" , posted Wed 24 Feb 21:37post reply

DID YOU THINK I FORGOT ABOUT THIS THREAD???

Well, actually, a little. Sorry.
BUT DID YOU THINK KAWAZU FORGOT ABOUT THIS THREAD???

Looking at his twitter feed, possibly.

BUT DO YOU KNOW WHO DIDN'T FORGET ABOUT THIS THREAD?
The 89% who voted "stop posting stupid question and fucking release the damn game, spring is in less than a month and you haven't updated shit".





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"Re(3):Hotline SaGa" , posted Sun 28 Feb 10:14post reply

You brought this upon yourself.





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"Re(4):Hotline SaGa" , posted Sun 28 Feb 21:04post reply

...
Scarlet Grace won't be released in 2016, and when it will be released, it will be on iOS only, right?





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"Re(5):Hotline SaGa" , posted Mon 29 Feb 12:29post reply

And now Kawazu has blood on his hands. Shocked by RS2's postponement, Sony stops selling the Vita TV.





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"Re(6):Hotline SaGa" , posted Tue 8 Mar 00:13post reply

At least the remake looks nice.
The controls look beyond terrible, but hey, smartphone. All in all, if they delay the Vita version to make it better to control, everybody wins (until they release it on NX 3 month later, of course).
https://twitter.com/Romasaga2_PR/status/706791270111322112/video/1

https://twitter.com/Romasaga2_PR/status/706792701480448002/video/1

https://twitter.com/Romasaga2_PR/status/704999794763108353/photo/1

https://twitter.com/Romasaga2_PR/status/705000156177920000/photo/1

https://twitter.com/Romasaga2_PR/status/705000321731284992/photo/1

https://twitter.com/Romasaga2_PR/status/705000441210228736/photo/1

https://twitter.com/Romasaga2_PR/status/705321318850252800/photo/1

I can't really think of any game that got a full graphical remake, yet retro (by which I mean: neither cutting-edge 3D, nor modern 2D objects like the FF6 abomination). This remake is "what would RS2 would have looked like if it had been released a couple of years later, on Saturn for example". Which is obviously the correct way of doing it when you think of the fanbase, I'm just surprised the correct choice has been made.

Other new details: the thief chest exploit has been fixed, instead you'll make money with the Garden, a new feature.
On top of the events from the previous mobile version, the game will receive a couple more, including one where you can meet a certain character who normally dies early in the story (?!!???).
NG+ has been added. More interesting: it is possible to select it anytime, not at the end, so if you're stuck because the enemies have become too strong, you can just reset the world.
In most games, it would be pointless, but since RS2 is so open-ended and some events have several outcomes, it could be a good way of trying them out.





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"Re(7):Hotline SaGa" , posted Tue 8 Mar 00:45post reply

quote:
This remake is "what would RS2 would have looked like if it had been released a couple of years later, on Saturn for example". Which is obviously the correct way of doing it when you think of the fanbase, I'm just surprised the correct choice has been made.



Well said! That is the most perfect description! I'm really shocked at how great this looks. It's so ... tasteful!

I hope this game does well and gets an English language release. I wonder why they had to good sense to change their approach for this game vs those "uncanny valley of sprites" FF remakes. Maybe they just knew those would sell anyway, so they rushed them out the door with a style that's easily outsourced. Whereas Saga is meant for hardcore fans.






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"Re(8):Hotline SaGa" , posted Tue 8 Mar 01:04post reply

quote:
I wonder why they had to good sense to change their approach for this game vs those "uncanny valley of sprites" FF remakes. Maybe they just knew those would sell anyway, so they rushed them out the door with a style that's easily outsourced. Whereas Saga is meant for hardcore fans.

I think Saga is the only important series where the original creator is still in-house, and at a position where he can have a say on the remake even if he isn't directly involved in it.

FF4, 5 and 6, as well as Seiken (or BoF at Capcom) are basically orphans and treated like they were in a Dickens novel.





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"Re(9):Hotline SaGa" , posted Tue 8 Mar 02:57post reply

quote:
I can't really think of any game that got a full graphical remake, yet retro (by which I mean: neither cutting-edge 3D, nor modern 2D objects like the FF6 abomination).


It's certainly not common. Taking away examples that rather belong in the "port" category (such as Lunar on Saturn and PS1), I think Falcom Classics on Saturn is a very close case. The games such as Xanadu and Ys are clearly remakes, but they look much closer to "Super Mega Drive" or "Super PC-98" versions than 2D Saturn games.

Now, for something a little more interesting, let's consider how archaic DQ7 looked for a PS1 game released in 2000, which was the year of the PS2, and the year FF9 and Vagrant Story released on the same console, just to provide some context. With these comparisons in mind, I think the 2001 remake of DQ4 fits your description. It literally looks like "if only Super Famicom could amp up its Mode 7 a little bit". Personally, I think it's one of the best looking games of the console. The original "Famicom in 3D" idea aged really well (especially as this remake fixed a lot of display bugs found in DQ7), and I am not surprised this art direction served as the base for the three DS remakes.

Anyway, we recently got a remake that was scaling graphics down compared to the original game eleven years prior, yet featured enough improvements in other areas to be considered a remake and not a simple port. So I guess anything goes with remakes, nowadays.





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"Re(7):Hotline Iggy" , posted Tue 8 Mar 03:06:post reply

quote:
I can't really think of any game that got a full graphical remake, yet retro (by which I mean: neither cutting-edge 3D, nor modern 2D objects like the FF6 abomination). This remake is "what would RS2 would have looked like if it had been released a couple of years later, on Saturn for example". Which is obviously the correct way of doing it when you think of the fanbase, I'm just surprised the correct choice has been made.
Curse you, Iggy, don't you know that last-gen SFC RPG graphics/Saturn 2D RPG graphics are my biggest weakness?! I don't have TIME to play RomaSaGa 2 and become the greatest emperor. I almost played Piers Solar of all things because it was channeling Lunar 2/FFVI/Chrono Trigger/Tales of Phantasia so much, for god's sake! I even copy-pasted your linkless links (only Professor is allowed to do that!) once you got that Saturn RPG hook into me! Aaaaaaa





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Tue 8 Mar 03:15]

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"Re(8):Hotline Iggy" , posted Tue 8 Mar 03:45post reply

Chaz: Thanks, DQ4 fits what I had in mind!
(DQ8 and Xenoblade on 3DS are doing their best with the limited power of the platform, so it's slightly different to "doing less for more").
I'm half convinced RS2 cost less to make than the uninspired Seiken remake.

quote:
Curse you, Iggy, don't you know that last-gen SFC RPG graphics/Saturn 2D RPG graphics are my biggest weakness?!

My initial idea was to only put this link all over my post.





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"Re(9):Hotline Iggy" , posted Tue 8 Mar 04:28post reply

quote:
My initial idea was to only put this link all over my post.

ウボァー
魔人IGGYが猛攻撃を加えた!
反河津将軍MAOUが9998ダメージを受け、瀕死状態になった!

If they show a just a few more shots featuring, say, a lush forest, a misty overlook, or ghostly light, I'll be completely helpless.

Thinking back on it, the PS1 remake of Tales of Phantasia may not be my all-time favorite game, but I think it's the most devastingly close to my all-time favorite RPG graphic style.





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

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"Re(9):Hotline SaGa" , posted Tue 8 Mar 04:37:post reply

quote:
I wonder why they had to good sense to change their approach for this game vs those "uncanny valley of sprites" FF remakes. Maybe they just knew those would sell anyway, so they rushed them out the door with a style that's easily outsourced. Whereas Saga is meant for hardcore fans.
I think Saga is the only important series where the original creator is still in-house, and at a position where he can have a say on the remake even if he isn't directly involved in it.

FF4, 5 and 6, as well as Seiken (or BoF at Capcom) are basically orphans and treated like they were in a Dickens novel.



I'd read that Kazuko Shibuya, the original lead sprite artist behind FF1-6 oversaw the sprites on the FF6 mobile port. I know she at least did the portrait art. That was shocking to me because everything in the game is lacking the soul, charm and texture that's so characteristic of her past work.

I often wonder where all these super artists of yesteryear have gone on to. Like is Kazuma Kaneko more hands off these days because he's too busy high up managing things? Or are we living in a nightmare universe where he's been demoted from art direction and character design because new fans like Soejima more?

quote:
Now, for something a little more interesting, let's consider how archaic DQ7 looked for a PS1 game released in 2000, which was the year of the PS2, and the year FF9 and Vagrant Story released on the same console, just to provide some context.


Man, I know it looked retro even back when it was released, but man, when i first saw the monsters in DQ7 in motion, my heart started to beat so fast. They were so nicely animated! Those sprite animations still make my heart race!

Actually, in many ways the DQVII sprites were really ahead of their time. The way they were rigged and animated was quite sophisticated. This style of puppet animation has become the norm for 2.5D games (Vanillaware/Super Robot Wars/Rayman style), but DQVII is still one of the finest examples of this method of animation that I can think of.


The mobile ports for DQ are pretty good too.

Here's a detailed breakdown of each one if anyone is interested.






www.art-eater.com

[this message was edited by nobinobita on Tue 8 Mar 04:49]

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"Re(10):Hotline SaGa" , posted Tue 15 Mar 20:14:post reply

The trailer is here!

Spoiler!
Also, I don't quite understand why the enemy sprites are animated at 1:19, and not at all in the rest of the trailer. Have they run out of time? Did they use an incomplete rom to make the video?
We already know some sound inconsistency are in the release game and will have to be patched later, so who knows how the release will end up being.

(Also, let me add a link to this thread so I can taste those tasty tears whenever I'm feeling low on sodium).





[this message was edited by Iggy on Tue 15 Mar 21:24]

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"Re(2):Re(10):Hotline SaGa" , posted Tue 15 Mar 22:48post reply

I didn't know ArtePiazza was making that remake, interesting, especially in the context of our discussion on the DQ remakes (ArtePiazza developped 7 and the remakes for 5/4/6). I didn't even know ArtePiazza was developing anything on Sony consoles anymore, they seemed pretty close to Nintendo these days.





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"Re(3):Re(10):Hotline SaGa" , posted Wed 16 Mar 03:29:post reply

There is a KOF update so we have lots of visitors today, so in an effort to steer them towards SaGa, here is a post!

One of the best posts in that funny Neogaf thread Iggy sent, in addition to the heroic Duckroll's FFV support, contains this article on how to do HD remakes correctly, with FFV and FFVI as negative examples. I think Cafe patrons will appreciate the look on blurring issues and other art cohesion issues. There's no need as such to slavishly reproduce pixelated art in the modern age like so many indies (unless it's done with pizzazz, because Monaco is the greatest), and clearly there was another way.

Too bad I don't have a Vita (hahaha) and don't like playing on my phone, because Remaking SaGa 2 looks cool as hell. Hey Iggy, test the extent of your proselytizing devotion by buying me a Vita and I'll play it!





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Wed 16 Mar 03:30]

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"Re(4):Re(10):Hotline SaGa" , posted Wed 16 Mar 04:47post reply

Don't taunt me, I'm already looking for good deals for Vita consoles here since I want to take this beauty (RS2, not the Vita) with me in bed. Whenever I find one, I may as well buy two.



Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
The catch being you'd then have to buy the memory card yourself, muahaha.

End of Spoiler







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"Re(5):Re(10):Hotline SaGa" , posted Wed 16 Mar 09:15post reply

quote:
I want to take this beauty (RS2, not the Vita) with me in bed.
I will see you there! The combined excitement would more than outweigh the memory card cost.





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"Re(6):Re(10):Hotline SaGa" , posted Thu 24 Mar 21:42post reply

Just in case anyone was listening to Chaz...
http://i.imgur.com/49thMEt.png

The game isn't compatible with Vita TV.
It's unity, an engine neither SQEX nor the Vita itself are very skilled with.





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"Re(7):Re(10):Hotline SaGa" , posted Fri 8 Apr 16:15post reply

I guess they were too busy planning... A WORLDWIDE RELEASE! Whaaaat

iOS/Android only. Regarding the Vita version errr... They sent the PS Vita frolicking to the countryside and don't worry she's much happier there. I am very curious why they think the smartphone crowd will show any interest in this game and I wonder if they'll bring it to Steam later.





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"March of SaGa" , posted Fri 8 Apr 16:24post reply

quote:
I guess they were too busy planning... A WORLDWIDE RELEASE! Whaaaat

!?!?!?!?!?

Let us set up a celebratory altar for Iggy in advance of his noticing this. Not because he needs a translation (he doesn't) but because it's a cause for celebration that 22 years after its original release, people abroad will finally be able to enjoy a good SaGa game that isn't a Game Boy game. Astounding.





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"Re(1):March of SaGa" , posted Fri 8 Apr 19:13post reply

The Vita? Ha! Serves her right!

I was about to say "you plebs better buy that one", but then, smart phone.
But then but then, the controls on the Vita were a bit lacking.
But then but then but then, what does it mean for Scarlet Grace ?

But then but then but then but then... "Kzinssie"...? Is the localization made by the FF13 team?





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"Re(2):March of SaGa" , posted Sun 10 Apr 04:09post reply

I look forward to giving this a try on my tablet. I'm not expecting too much from the controls, but I'm vaguely hoping that by not including any button-based handheld or home console, they can instead completely redesign the control scheme for a touchscreen rather than having us use an awful virtual joypad.





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"English trailer for SaGa 2 re-release" , posted Fri 29 Apr 04:01post reply

youtube





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"Re(1):English trailer for SaGa 2 re-release" , posted Fri 29 Apr 18:22post reply

What exactly did they change with the sprites, backgrounds, and so on?





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""Of all the songs of triumph I have to sing"" , posted Fri 29 Apr 18:35:post reply

"...none are as melodious as that of Romancing SaGa 2's impending global release!"

What a marvelous chance for people around the world to enjoy this treasure.
quote:
What exactly did they change with the sprites, backgrounds, and so on?

Look carefully at the video about 58 seconds in as they transition between old and new looks. The sprite map looks the same, except it's gorgeous and hi-res. I noticed that enemy sprites now move, somewhat awkwardly (why does 1994's Lunar~Eternal Blue have better battle screen sprite movement? Oh well). Look at those lovely 2D graphics...Romancing SaGa 2 remake is my Platonic ideal of a 2D RPG look.





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Fri 29 Apr 18:35]

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"Re(1):English trailer for SaGa 2 re-release" , posted Fri 6 May 22:16post reply

quote:
youtube



Well, I guess technically they did give "more information" at the end of the month, as promised, but I was rather hoping for a date and price...





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"Re(2):English trailer for SaGa 2 re-release" , posted Fri 6 May 22:42post reply

quote:
youtube

This website is amazing (as it's a road you'll walk down countless times in the game).

Not only the people who did the port, but everyone else involved in the marketing understand the source material. How often does that happen on a 25 years old game?!





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"Re(3):English trailer for SaGa 2 re-release" , posted Thu 19 May 21:44post reply

26 May, $17.99.





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"Re(4):English trailer for SaGa 2 re-release" , posted Fri 20 May 06:44post reply

quote:
We'd love to hear what you have to say about Romancing SaGa 2—or the SaGa series in general—so tweet us using the #RomaSaGa2, #RomancingSaGa2, or #SaGaSeries hashtags and let us know what your hopes are for Romancing SaGa 2, your experiences upon playing it, or your memories of playing any of the other entries in the series!

Hey Emperor Iggy-nton, maybe we should link your entire magnificent megapost from the start of the thread along with "Kawazu is my lord and master" and send it to Square. Think of the young minds you can corrupt/influence beyond our board! 狂王イギー軍、ついに出動する時が来たのだー!





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"Romancing Saga 3?" , posted Fri 20 May 13:32post reply

link





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"Re(1):Romancing Saga 3?" , posted Fri 20 May 23:34post reply

quote:
link

Finally my tableware will be complete!





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"Now that Romancing SaGa 2 is out..." , posted Thu 26 May 14:12post reply

Who has given it a try? How is it? If the last RS game I played was Minstrel Song, how does it compare?





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"Re(1):Now that Romancing SaGa 2 is out..." , posted Thu 26 May 21:09post reply

quote:
Who has given it a try? How is it? If the last RS game I played was Minstrel Song, how does it compare?

I guess my opinion is irrelevant, but on the more technical sense
* it's a bit slow. Gone are the snappy changes between maps and fights (but maybe that changes according to the phone?)
* it's my first game with touch control trying to emulate a pad, and uuuuuurggghhhhhh.
* it's still a version of the best game this side of the universe.
* it's the only official version of RS2 in English.





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"Re(2):Now that Romancing SaGa 2 is out..." , posted Mon 30 May 00:32post reply

Well, looks like I was right to delay getting the iOS version, since the the English language version of the Vita port is still going to be a thing!





You have to carefully reproduce the world of "Castlevania" in the solemn atmosphere.


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"The lord gives and the lord takes away" , posted Mon 1 Aug 07:11post reply

https://twitter.com/SaGa25kawazu/status/759708832322818048

If we behave properly, we may get treated with SaGa-related info by the TGS.
I hope that means SGG moved to a modern console and an HD version of Minstrel Song, but I'm also fine with a picture of Kawazu looking puzzled while playing Kingdom Hearts 3.
Saga 2015 in 2017. I believe.







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"Re(1):The lord gives and the lord takes away" , posted Mon 1 Aug 09:25:post reply

quote:

Saga 2015 in 2017. I believe.

We now live in a strange world where I cannot wait to see the RS2 remake ported to Steam and other devices I prefer to phones or Vitas. Why, I have undergone character development in this very thread! I now hold the same distrustful fascination of the (game) culture of my supposed foe as an average American feels for Iran or an average Japanese feels for China. Lord Kawazu, shower me with your light through a port! I will do anything Iggy says. Except buy a Vita. Let's not get carried away.





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Mon 1 Aug 09:46]



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"Re(2):The lord gives and the lord takes away" , posted Mon 1 Aug 19:43post reply

quote:
Except buy a Vita. Let's not get carried away.
...
...
Even my faith in Kawazu was not enough to make me buy a Vita before SSC was out...





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"Re(3):The lord gives and the lord takes away" , posted Wed 2 Nov 14:54post reply

quote:
Except buy a Vita. Let's not get carried away....
...
Even my faith in Kawazu was not enough to make me buy a Vita before SSC was out...



I got a Vita where is the North American release? Let's go!





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"Scarlet Grace characters up" , posted Mon 5 Dec 05:44post reply

I forgot what a Playstation "Vita" is, but some 70 characters are now announced for SaGa Scaralet Grace. And...it launches in nine days. Better late than never?





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"Re(1):Scarlet Grace characters up" , posted Mon 5 Dec 06:17post reply

quote:
I forgot what a Playstation "Vita" is, but some 70 characters are now announced for SaGa Scaralet Grace. And...it launches in nine days. Better late than never?

Kobayashi's art is so good.
2015 is going to be great!







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"Re(1):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Sat 10 Dec 01:46post reply

This is how you do battle music (even if you start with a riff of RS1).

I pray to the Kawazu-gods that this little marvel won't be left to die on a dead console every night before I go to bed, and so should you.





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"Re(2):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Mon 12 Dec 14:05post reply

quote:
This is how you do battle music (even if you start with a riff of RS1).

I pray to the Kawazu-gods that this little marvel won't be left to die on a dead console every night before I go to bed, and so should you.



Kenji Ito is way too good at battle music.

Speaking of battles, I have been worried about the loading times in this game during battle. And maybe about the overall apparent cheapness.

I will be waiting for totally unbiased impressions!





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"Re(3):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Mon 12 Dec 23:24post reply

quote:
I will be waiting for totally unbiased impressions!

The loadings worry me as well. The rest of the game, not so much, as the very little interactions between characters they showed were already exactly what I expected from a Kawazu game: very direct, to the point, with a faint tongue-in-cheek half-insult...
I don't know how to say, but many characters in Saga are borderline passive-aggressive but always in subtle and elegant ways. It almost reads like one-liners from Archer or Arrested Development sometimes, not their gags, but the interactions the characters have in-between gags. It's very peculiar and one of the reasons I love anything Kawazu writes. Like Takushu, he's one of the rare videogame writers with an actual style as a writer: just read a short dialogue and you will know it's a SaGa or an original Gyakuten/Ghost Trick.
Plus, Kawazu's female characters are always fantastic, and the little we've seen of one the main characters (a heiress-in-command, I think?) is in line with his past work. Since he works in a hermetic bubble, he has always been unaware of the larger trends, which means that from the very beginning, SaGa has had the most diverse range of female characters in any videogame, from helpless princess to ruthless barbarian, or elegant courtesan, antisocial daughter-of-the-forest, queen of the amazons, wise ruler, evil seductress, teenage girl who wanted to be a boy and decides to go on an adventure to the end of the world... All of them unique, all of them likeable, all of them with their own agendas and display of will, courage, and energy. Most SaGa games have over a dozen of female characters as interesting than FF6's Tina and Celes or FF12's Arshe, Penelo and Fran, except they don't make a big deal out of it because, well, "half of the world is female, so it's normal half of the heroes would be female, right? Mathematics, right? Now let me tell you about the new byzantine system I invented to level up this time". I think only Valkyrie Profile comes close.
Like in many other aspects, SaGa has always been too forward-thinking for its own good. No one cared in 2000 for a grand Square RPG where the hero was a bad-ass female pirate in mid-life crisis who was also a widow and had lost one eye in battle. In 2016, Rosa would be all over the Internet.
Also, interestingly, while I cannot think of any lesbian or gay undertone in a SaGa, the leader of the 7 heroes of RS2, Wagnas, male, gained the power to fusion with monsters and alter his appearance at will, and after a bit of experimenting he decided that this was how he wanted to look like. Again, no big deal is being made out of it, you learn after this battle (where no gender pronoun is used because that's not the point) that Wagnas was Subie's male cousin in an optional, well hidden dialogue, and well, back to the main quest. Aaaaaaaah, Kawazu, I love you so much.

As for Scarlet Grace's game mechanics... I don't even want to read about them yet, because I know I will want to buy the game and it's really not the time for that.





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"Re(4):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Tue 13 Dec 01:34:post reply

quote:
I will be waiting for totally unbiased impressions!
The loadings worry me as well. The rest of the game, not so much, as the very little interactions between characters they showed were already exactly what I expected from a Kawazu game: very direct, to the point, with a faint tongue-in-cheek half-insult...
I don't know how to say, but many characters in Saga are borderline passive-aggressive but always in subtle and elegant ways. It almost reads like one-liners from Archer or Arrested Development sometimes, not their gags, but the interactions the characters have in-between gags. It's very peculiar and one of the reasons I love anything Kawazu writes. Like Takushu, he's one of the rare videogame writers with an actual style as a writer: just read a short dialogue and you will know it's a SaGa or an original Gyakuten/Ghost Trick.
Plus, Kawazu's female characters are always fantastic, and the little we've seen of one the main characters (a heiress-in-command, I think?) is in line with his past work. Since he works in a hermetic bubble, he has always been unaware of the larger trends, which means that from the very beginning, SaGa has had the most diverse range of female characters in any videogame, from helpless princess to ruthless barbarian, or elegant courtesan, antisocial daughter-of-the-forest, queen of the amazons, wise ruler, evil seductress, teenage girl who wanted to be a boy and decides to go on an adventure to the end of the world... All of

-- Message too long, Autoquote has been Snipped --


Thanks for that wonderful writeup! I wish I could turn more people on to older games like this, because they're often effortlessly full of all the progressive stuff that people crave. I don't know how to do it without sounding like an angry old curmudgeon, but you've set a wonderful blueprint here.






www.art-eater.com

[this message was edited by nobinobita on Tue 13 Dec 01:43]

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"Re(4):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Tue 13 Dec 06:27post reply

Iggy holds forth once more. I have considered this new knowledge. One comment:

quote:

Wagnas, male, gained the power to fusion with monsters and alter his appearance at will, and after a bit of experimenting he decided that this was how he wanted to look like. Again, no big deal is being made out of it, you learn after this battle (where no gender pronoun is used because that's not the point)


Ultimate Lifeform Wagnas kind of reminds me of the angelic figures hanging out at the bottom of Gustave Moreau's Jupiter and Semele.





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"Re(5):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Tue 13 Dec 20:29post reply

quote:
Ultimate Lifeform Wagnas kind of reminds me of the angelic figures hanging out at the bottom of Gustave Moreau's Jupiter and Semele.

Hey, I never thought of it... Now, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the actual inspiration for that crazy design!
(The this my final-ultimate-form Wagnas also looks like it comes from some neo-romantic painting)







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"Re(6):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Wed 14 Dec 19:56post reply

Three things:

1) this is the greatest OT of the universe
2) RevenantKioku is not my secret identity in the wild
3) He/she/they are good people and can bear my child.

Even though I managed not to buy a Vita, I think I might end up buying a physical version of the game just to put next to my LE of U:SaGa on my bedside table (this is not a joke, I really have the glorious LE of U:SaGa next to me when I sleep)(along with a mummified tarantula from my adventures in central Africa)(note a joke either).







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"Re(7):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Thu 15 Dec 03:13post reply

*sigh*
...
... Oh well, we all knew how that story was going to end, didn't we?

Anyway. Dengeki put two of its writers, both SaGa zealots, on playing Scarlet Grace only for a couple of days. One it at 70 hours now, the other over 80.
Their discussion is great.

Abridged version:

* There's many things you won't understand if you don't play all characters. Even at 70 hours, there are many mysteries left. They were hoping Talia's scenario would answer several of the pending questions, but it actually made everything even more mysterious.
* On your first run, you will go from mystery to mystery without understanding much. On top of that, some events have different outcomes, and some other disappear if you wait too long (other criteria may be involved).

Opinions (remember: those are two SaGa zealots who have played 70 hours of the game, not your average reviewer/player):
* much better than expected. After the TGS show, one of them expected a terrible failure [Ha! Ye of little faith!].
* It's a real SaGa game.
* Good feeling of adventure, innumerable events... Since each screen show one object only, you're never lost.
* Potentially around the top 3 of the SaGa franchise? Your opinion may vary.
* The number of events is enormous. There are still events they haven't seen after 70 hours.
* On top of that, some events are hero-specific. All characters follow the main free scenario like in RomaSa.Ga, but they all recruit different characters like in Frontier and U:S.
* Battles are great. Characters die a lot. One writer only had game over twice in the first 15 hours, but suddenly the difficulty changed and he kept dying for the following 20 hours.
* After a while, you have to understand each nuance of the system to survive. You can rely on some broken stuff for a while, but it soon becomes useless and you have to have a plan B that requires studying formations, team composition and attack types.
* Each of them found different "this is the best strategy and it works most of the time" and don't agree at all. Extract:
- I used "Magical shower" a lot.
- What's that? I finished the game and never got it.
- What? You just have to recruit this guy or that girl, it's super easy!
- What do you mean, this guy? He's a boss and I killed it! And that girl, I met her in the Talia scenario, but I was never given the option to recruit her...
- What? I met her in Talia's scenario as well, and she joined automatically...
- ???
- Maybe we chose something different in the dialogue?
- I never had a dialogue with her!
- ???
This is SaGa, lads. I wouldn't discard the possibility of a bug.
* The game is again set in a world after a massive empire of some sort crumbled, and everyone is busy re-building their livehood, like Albert's scenario in RS1, almost RS2 but really like U:S (and Emperor's SaGa, apparently). Which is a great setting, as U:S proved.
* One of the reasons the background scenario is difficult to understand is that most of the characters are busy with their own private stories and dramas and don't care much about history (again, like U:S). If a character is under 70 years old, they will not know much about the fallen kingdom. Talia apparently knows a lot, but no one asks her any question about her past either because these characters don't care about that, know already, or "that would be rude to ask such questions to a lady!" so you finish her scenario with more questions than answers.
* One writer has fought all the spirits shown on the official site, one has barely met any, even with the same character they had different outcomes for their events.
* The game is made so that players would talk about it and share their different experiences in order to understand whys and hows. Because of that, it's easier to remember place names, while U:S's cities (which were just glorified menus) are all lost in a grand blur [and I tend to agree].
* The map (which didn't exist in U:S) is well done. Places link to each other naturally, there are some shortcuts or detour you will still discover after playing 20 hours... Unfortunately, the walking speed is quite slow (but faster if you walk on roads).
* The 12 gods are much more remote than the 7 heroes or the 4 nobles. They don't interact with the main scenario, and both players only met 1 out of the 12, and may have understood the way to meet a second one. They truly feel like gods in that they don't seem to care about human affairs, and don't mingle with them at all.
* Waiting too much to meet them is a mistake, as the enemies level up with the party and fighting the god at the end made it unbeatable to one writer. He went back with another character and a much weaker party, won... and nothing happened. The god did say something mysterious before vanishing, so maybe there's a special event linked to that afterward?
* Our Lord Kawazu did warn that the 12 gods are not all in the game, so no one knows yet how many can be encountered. People will have to work together to find out.
* While the gods aren't linked to the main story, the enemy of the main story doesn't feel like they have generals that would represent major bosses in a normal RPG either, mostly because almost all fights feel like a boss battle, so the special battles don't stand out so much.
* It's a game that still leaves many questions open after 70 hours, and mysteries to be solved.

*Heroes
*You don't gain stat points, you only get better equipment. So the stat bonuses you get at the beginning when selecting the character are extremely important (though they can be mitigated with equipment).
*All heroes behave the way you would expect them to, except Talia. Talia is great.
*Even if they remain relatively predictable, their interactions with their team members are often quite funny or interesting, or show a different and unexpected side of their personality with a specific party member.
*It's strange, because party members never talked in SaGa, except U:S. This time though, it seems limited to the MC and the main partner, which allow for surprisingly rich interactions for a SaGa game.
* Maybe it was possible in U:S because the characters each hero would get were fixed, so they could be written like a normal RPG party. In ScaGra, characters join under the flimsiest pretenses (very much like RS1). You get an average of 2 characters per city/village.
* It's quite strange that when you recruit a character, you are the one selecting "I will go with you/I won't join you", but you select it from the point of view of the new character, not from the point of view of the hero/the party. It is possible the player sees the story from the point of view of a god, remote? A bit like when we were taught history in Frontier2.
* "Love" is again a mystery. The in-game explanation doesn't explain anything about it, and there is no "Love" stat under parameter. Maybe it's a hidden stat that influences the outcome of some events? It's also possible it's a red herring and it's a way by our lord Kawazu to trick players into playing in-character.
* Talia is great and all, but Leonard is fun too. One writer played through Leonard several times, and even managed to reach the end of his scenario in 20 minutes by ignoring all fights and dialogues. He reached the final boss after 3 fights only. Each one was stupidly weak... except the final boss who didn't adjust to such a low level and wiped out his party.
* It seems that Leonard's game is the one with the lowest amount of obligatory scenario, but the highest amount of sub-quests and sub-events, so it's a great character to fool around freely (similar to Lute in Frontier or Barbara in RS1).
* Each character has different choices during events: Leonard can go through one by beating the crap out of everyone, while Talia goes through by paying them, for example.
* Main heroes seem difficult to recruit. One player managed to get a couple, the other didn't, and there are some heroes they have yet to meet as NPC.
* With the amount of events and different outcomes, it's no surprise the game was so delayed. Especially amazing when you think our lord Kawazu probably wrote everything on his blessed own. Glory!
* Heroes aside, you can recruit a huge amount of weird NPC. A simple fisherman, a simple middle-aged guy, a simple woman who was standing there... There are many really weird events and characters. Some seem to have underlying meaning, some absolutely don't. It's again a game that requires you to imagine many things on your own once you have recruited a character, and make a life for them in your mind. And that's not counting characters that obviously look like they can be recruited, but none of the writers found out how! With over 70 recruitable characters, you would think most characters should be available... with luck. Some events look absolutely bizarre and absurd, or unfinished. Maybe they are? Maybe they aren't?
* Many easter eggs for fans of previous Kawazu works.
* The fact that there are no encounters, only boss fights and exploration, makes it a very different game from most. Plus, most fights being optional, even when a big boss and his soldiers appear, you can beeline on the boss and ignore his soldiers, for example. Or avoid the monsters that suddenly appeared and go somewhere else... leaving the region devastated by your actions without caring about the outcome like a real Kawazu character. It's so easy to avoid fights that there are even a boss character that one player didn't understand how to fight.
* With so many mysteries left, even with 2 players that have played 70 hours and had access to many resources, battles are the easiest part to understand.
Battles
* They feel like a card game. You can see the enemy's info, so you can select your actions according to the enemy's weak points and powers.
* Because of that, it's useful to strengthen the characters of your reserve. Having 15 or 20 good characters seems to be the best in order to get all the rewards. You need to pay attention to the ways of getting the rewards, because it's only shown before the fight starts and you cannot check it mid-fight (which is a problem).
* Some rewards you get at the beginning of the game are truly rare stuff that remain valuable until the very end (or sometimes even only become useful when you're strong enough to use it at its full potential), so you need to be playing carefully from the very beginning to get a strong party later.
* Fights are always a strong point in all SaGa games, and this game's battle rank among the best. You need to think, and analyze very carefully each turn [which was the saving grace of U:Saga]. The difference here is that you also have to think and create a strategy before the fight even started, since you're the one starting each battle.
* Protect moves are very interesting. However, the writers didn't really find a way to use counter moves once the party become big enough (I guess the difference with RS2 is that you don't have an easy way to direct the enemy's aggro on one specific character? Maybe provocation?).
* Raising and lowering stats also seem almost as important as in a Megaten game [which is new for SaGa I think?].
* I'm not sure about some of the complex systems of the game, but the writers seem extremely pleased with them and how they impact all moves and weapons, making all of them useful and giving many meaningful choices to the player. All systems work well together and balance each other in meaningful ways. Very little luck is involved (though you can still win a lost battle by inventing a super move or getting an unexpected divine blessing at a crucial moment).
* Magic is super strong, but has invocation time. Resurrection in particular has a 3 turn delay, so you need to think fairly well in advance or by the time you'll have resurrected a character, 2 more will be dead!
* Because there is a lot of variations in the characters that join you and each character has a strong affinity with certain weapons, it's difficult to advise other players (for example, "sliding is a very good martial art" "but I only had one martial artist, and he was specialized in punches"). It is still possible to force characters to learn stuff regardless of who they are, and the most powerful moves requires the player to work for them, but this time the game seems to lean towards "keep the characters on their own specialties".
* Maybe having the moves rank up (a new system) is more important than inventing new moves, as ranking up means the move consumes less BP. And some moves are so expensive that they require more BP than what your formation can give you in one turn (a system that reminds me of U:S, which is always good).
* Like in Minstrel Song, bosses aren't always immune to status alterations, so moves that stun or put to sleep are extremely important. Also, those status weaken the resistance to status, so it's not a bad idea to start with poison mist and then try to put the enemy to sleep, for example. And then obviously you encounter an enemy immune to status and you have to improvise in a rush.
* They both feel they only saw 20/30% of the events of the game. The amount of events is staggering.
* Since there's no strategy guide, the feeling of talking to other players is very close to the first SFC RomaSaga.
* Still, when's the next kaitaishinsho!
* It's rare for Kawazu to delay a game [has it ever happened?], and this one really feels like he poured a lot of heart into the smallest details. It's strange it's released under the shadow of FF15, when you think of it... Though, as one of the writers say, "if you're a SaGa fan, why would you care about FF". These people know what's up.
* It's a game that requires a lot of concentration, so the more you pour into it, the more satisfaction you'll get. Anyone who complains about the loading clearly hasn't played the game seriously. Not because they aren't long (they are) but because you have so much to keep in mind about that this "time to think" is actually pretty useful.

...
...
Well, damn.







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"Re(8):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Thu 15 Dec 04:26post reply

quote:
*sigh*
...
... Oh well, we all knew how that story was going to end, didn't we?

Anyway. Dengeki put two of its writers, both SaGa zealots, on playing Scarlet Grace only for a couple of days. One it at 70 hours now, the other over 80.
Their discussion is great.

Abridged version:

* There's many things you won't understand if you don't play all characters. Even at 70 hours, there are many mysteries left. They were hoping Talia's scenario would answer several of the pending questions, but it actually made everything even more mysterious.
* On your first run, you will go from mystery to mystery without understanding much. On top of that, some events have different outcomes, and some other disappear if you wait too long (other criteria may be involved).

Opinions (remember: those are two SaGa zealots who have played 70 hours of the game, not your average reviewer/player):
* much better than expected. After the TGS show, one of them expected a terrible failure [Ha! Ye of little faith!].
* It's a real SaGa game.
* Good feeling of adventure, innumerable events... Since each screen show one object only, you're never lost.
* Potentially around the top 3 of the SaGa franchise? Your opinion may vary.
* The number of events is enormous. There are still events they haven't seen after 70 hours.
* On top of that, some events are hero-specific. All characters follow the main free scenario like in RomaSa.Ga, but they all r

-- Message too long, Autoquote has been Snipped --


It sounds a lot like Minstrel Song from that, except with a much more opaque scenario, and much more upfront combat information. Odds of it being in English sound low, sadly.





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"Re(8):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Thu 15 Dec 04:39post reply

quote:
*sigh*
...
... Oh well, we all knew how that story was going to end, didn't we?

-- Holy text wall / beautiful Iggy's write up --


Every time you write something like this about a SaGa game I'm tempted to buy/play them, but then I remember that I will never have the time to play and fully appreciate from start to end any of this massively long / beautifully intricated games.







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"Re(7):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Thu 15 Dec 13:23post reply

quote:

1) this is the greatest OT of the universe
2) RevenantKioku is not my secret identity in the wild
[citation needed]

I honestly didn't think anyone could top his MARVELOUS SaGa DS 2 thread, until now, other than perhaps this very thread we're in now. Has anyone ever seen Iggy and RK in the same place at the same time? Can there really be two of you lunatics in the English-speaking world? If so, we need a special envoy to invite him here for your divine union.
quote:
odds of it being in English sound low
Admittedly, whatever languages you speak, knowing them will probably not help you win at SaGa. I know from personal experience and from our Iggy that you must not think, feeeeeeeeeeeeeeel the SaGa pulsing through your veins, delivering you glorious failure however much you thought you knew the system, until even your failures are triumps and ohgodwhyanotherVitaSaGarelease





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"Re(8):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Fri 16 Dec 10:24post reply

quote:

Admittedly, whatever languages you speak, knowing them will probably not help you win at SaGa. I know from personal experience and from our Iggy that you must not think, feeeeeeeeeeeeeeel the SaGa pulsing through your veins, delivering you glorious failure however much you thought you knew the system, until even your failures are triumps and ohgodwhyanotherVitaSaGarelease



I don't think SaGa games can really be beaten without a guide without dumping dozens of hours into failed runs, but no localization equals missing out on the dialogue and setting, which would be an actual shame.

Also it sounds like this is one case where playing it emulated might be nice just because even the SaGa faithful RK at neogaf is frustrated by the load times.







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"Re(9):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Wed 28 Dec 01:32post reply

- Lord Kawazu, pardon my asking, but what is the entertainment content released in 2016 that has picked your interest the most?

- The US election.

Quel homme.







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"Re(10):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Fri 6 Jan 05:14post reply

To recall something from an earlier post by Iggy, about how Kawazu lacks proteges because they are taking on the answers created by forebearers but not the questions, there was this recent thing by Rami Ismail about what constitutes ripoff versus inspiration when it comes to game design:

check it out







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"Re(2):Re(10):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Fri 6 Jan 05:26post reply

quote:
check it out

Interesting!
That's a much more articulate and clear way of telling what I meant earlier.







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"Re(3):Re(10):2016: Year of SaGa" , posted Tue 28 Mar 19:55post reply

Wow, this year of SaGa never ends!

RS3 is to follow the steps of RS2.
The previous remake was serviceable, if only because it didn't downgrade the art like Atlus's games and wasn't a blemish like FF6's.
RS3 can be interesting depending on the amount of fixes they intend to work on: while RS2 was sheer perfection and the content they added was just cherries on top of world's best cake (replace the cherry with your favourite delicacy if you hate cherries), RS3 has several unfinished plotlines and some system issues (you can get royally screwed at the very end if you hired a couple of key characters early on)(also, if you want to play the fantastic trade mini-game and destroy the world's economy (and break some moves), you have to play as Thomas, while the strange RTS simulator is limited to Michael).

The biggest surprise is of course the release of a game for Smartphone and Vita in 2017 (or beyond!)
whatyearisit.gif







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"Iggy goes to the theater" , posted Tue 11 Apr 12:48post reply

Year of SaGa continues! In celebration of the pending re-release of RomaSaGa 3, I bet you weren't expecting a...hammy live-action stage performance by martial arts theater troupe 30-Delux?!

New 4gamer interview up as well on the subject. Kawazu retains the best eyebrows in the industry.





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"Re(1):Iggy goes to the theater" , posted Tue 11 Apr 20:14post reply

quote:
Year of SaGa continues! In celebration of the pending re-release of RomaSaGa 3, I bet you weren't expecting a...hammy live-action stage performance by martial arts theater troupe 30-Delux?!

I... an... conflicted.
As always, the cosplay is quite nice, though. Thomas and Katrina look a bit odd (and unsurprisingly Harid is fucked up)(did you know RS3 had a black hero whose main character trait was "I'm a famous mercenary that everyone respects with a touching romantic love story while all the others are kinda weak and blank"? In a Japanese game in 1995? That's why Kawazu was, is and will be the best forever). Sarah is weird too, I would never have recognized her. Helen is great.

However, do you know why RS3 is great and why th people writing the play get it?
Because of this:
谷口敏也(ゆきだるま)
A world of yes.







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"Re(2):Iggy goes to the theater" , posted Wed 12 Apr 11:50post reply

And as if there weren't enough terrifying people telling me in Japanese to play Romancing SaGa 2 and 3, now there will be even more people saying it in English because Romancing SaGa2 is getting an English Vita edition (What's a Vita? Can you eat it?), with English Romancing SaGa 3 to follow! You think I kid, but I have it straight from the mouth of the Mad God himself!

Romancing SaGa probably won't sell a single copy in the West outside of Revenant Kioku's crew and the Cafe, but I love the idea of a translation being required because, of all people, Kawazu is the undisputed king of Square: the only survivor of the early Square crew, whose insane games still make big money without going over-budget or being 10 years late (only 2 years will do), and who never sunk the company on a failed sci-fi movie, opting for a theater production instead. And that hair.





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"Re(3):Iggy goes to the theater" , posted Wed 12 Apr 17:08post reply

quote:
(What's a Vita? Can you eat it?)


You can cook with it.

About the RS adaptation for theatre. Is adaptation of games to theatre a trend or a niche phenomena in Japan? AFAIR there was a Gyakuten Saiban one. Was that one a success?