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Forum Index - Donut Plains - Gaming - The Arcade: INSERT COIN
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Vanilla hacks can definitely be a lot of fun. Especially older ones often have a very unique charm to them, I find. While the very first version of Super Mario Odyssey isn't quite vanilla in the usual sense of the term, it only used vanilla music, so for me it sort of counts.

While a lot of people will probably consider that a disadvantage, I'm actually on the opposite camp and really liked the hack because of it. It's like, seeing this vanilla SMW music used on these very alien levels gave the hack some kind of strange feeling that no other hack has really managed to replicate yet, in my opinion.

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Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
Been playing a whole lot of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on PS4 and (primarily) PC.

It's crazy how satisfying the gameplay is in it, it's easily up there as my favorite Metal Gear game to just PLAY because the combat mechanics combined with the open world aspect just has so many opportunities for sit-back and relax sessions. It's just a shame the game was so infamously rushed, if the story and cutscenes were better then this would no doubt be my favorite Metal Gear game period. That title still belongs to MGS3: Snake Eater.

Also mods help a lot on the PC version. I have a mod installed that gets rid of client-side timers, which saves me the 5 minutes - 2 hours that each construction or deployment takes.

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Yes I know the text isn't centered, you can thank Twitter and the way they like to have the PFPs cut into the banners for that one.

I've never played any Metal Gear yet, I kinda wanted to try them out ever since watching all J's Reviews videos on the series. I never had any console that could play them, but I do have a PSP now, which is a good opportunity to try some of the classic games out.

Before that I always heard of the series, but I always thought it was some kind of shooter, so I never felt particularly interested. But after watching the reviews, it's so far away from that, and I really like the idea of playing a game like that, even if it gets convoluted and messy on the later games. lol

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Хуй войне!

桐生会FOREVER #ThankYouCoco
Yeah, it's one of those infamous series that I constantly tell myself I have to pick up and play at some point, but didn't so far. I never played one, but watched my childhood friend play a good portion of Metal Gear Solid 2, and I remember how funny and unique the game was.

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Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
I've been playing a lot of RPGs lately. I finished Bravely Default 2 last month, I'm almost at the end of a Let's Play of the original Trails in the Sky, and I'm currently playing Trails of Cold Steel 4. I'm currently stuck on the boss of the intermission chapter. Spoilers for details:
I have to fight Osborne and Arianrhod with Rean and new Class VII, and the latter aren't optimized because I had to spread my good quartz and equipment so thin with the previous three bosses and didn't know that those characters were the only ones I'd be able to keep for the last fight. I don't have anyone capable of casting Shining or Adamantine Shield (though I think I do have Crescent Mirror), nor do I have much protection against status effects, nor good healing. Both Canon and Moebius went to old Class VII members, so I just have one, maybe two, people capable of casting Breath and that's it. I don't think I have anyone with Chrono Burst either. I'm having enough trouble just surviving the fight, but getting the bonus AP is a complete pain in the butt.


Edit: Boss defeated (freaking finally). Act 2 is now underway.
I'm continuing to play SIG World 13 (remake of the 1st one), and these later levels are honestly pretty hard, but fun. They're never too long, and while usually there are some design flaws (low ceilings you can't see due to camera position, and some questionable choices for enemy placements).

The post-game (extra) levels and the Bowser Halls are pretty cool, I especially like how each hall is its own short level, it's really unique, I've never seen that in a hack, and considering how old both the original SIG World and the remake are, that's surprising!

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Edit:
Playing even more of that, and I loved the level Kindergarden Kaizo, it felt pretty intense and kinda frustrating at first, has a few blind jumps and some trial and error moments, but it's fun. It reminds me of a YUMP style level, but years before that was even a thing.

The level Fear of the Unseen is pretty terrible though, I can appreciate the idea, but it's very badly executed. I think something like in the Nyan Cat level of Mario Gives Up 2 did a better job at it. To clarify, this level here is almost entirely at the HUD, which means you can barely see where you or enemies jump, and while it's fine to go through after a few tries, I don't like how there's a secret exit too. This is not a level made to explore, there's literally nothing you can see, no observation can even be made, so you're just blindly searching around. While the message box tells you about a P-Switch, it doesn't really help because you don't know where to use it. You can make a springboard fall by using the P-Switch, but what am I supposed to do with that is anyone's guess, I've tried to use it at some sensible places, but it seems like the secret could be anywhere and honestly, I have no shame in saying I'll just look it up, because I know I'm not gonna find it on my own, and doing trial and error like that is just gonna waste my time. If I can't find it, I'll just ignore that and play the rest of the game normally, since the secret exit is optional.

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Edit 2:
Managed to find the secret exit, it wasn't really clever, but looking online didn't really help much, but at least it put me in the right direction, letting me put all the pieces together. But in the end, I'm just glad it's all done, it wasn't as frustrating as I thought it could be, but it wasn't clever or interesting either, and finally, I can move forward with the game and just enjoy the other levels (hopefully nothing like this will be done again).

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Хуй войне!

桐生会FOREVER #ThankYouCoco
The quirkiness of Earthbound reminds me of if someone wrote a Nanowrimo novel and then decided to make a JRPG of it. I've now been to all 8 of the Your Sanctuaries and now in the Cave of the Past. This might be kinda really late but this is my first time playing thru Earthbound, here in 2021 (I did start a playthru once before but I don't think I even made it to Giant Step and I guess I just kinda never got around to it for whatever reason).

The final boss Giygas is a tedious damage sponge with about 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000 HP. I thought Carbon/Diamond Dog was hard but this is just unfun. I wonder if it's just as difficult as if I were to fight the literal God of the Bible as an Earthbound boss. Even Ness's Nightmare is a Runaway Dog compared to Giygas. Every single MOTHER 3 boss is easier and more fun to fight than Giygas. Yes, even New and Miracle Fassad, the first time against the Masked Man, and Steel Mecharilla. I have Ness (who I named Sans) at lvl 84, Paula at lvl 68, Jeff at lvl 69, and Poo (who I named Pooh) at lvl 65, and I still feel underleveled. Wonder if I'd have any better luck grinding everyone to level 99. Wish I had PK Ground right about now. I'm done caring about whether that would be cheap. And on top of all that, has a move that has a chance of being one-hit kill, and the longer the fight drags on, the greater the chance of eventually running into this attack, and by that point I pretty much always have Ness being the only remaining party member with no one else able to revive Ness (tho if I was theoretically lucky enough to keep Poo alive with enough PP intact, even that could be alleviated).
The only things I actually like about the Giygasshole fight are the disturbing music and the background. Definitely also like the music of the first phase,. Fun fact: for me the metal part usually starts up right about when Paula takes her first turn, which I use to set up PSI shield sigma.


EDIT: Nevermind. I wasn't praying when I was supposed to, so it was more impossible than it should have been, and now I've beaten the game. Seems like a rule of thumb when there's a feature that only seems marginally useful but you probably won't use a lot if at all and then you get to a boss that is impossible AFAYK, there's probably some trick you're missing and it might just be said feature that you probably never used (never watched any LP's or livestreams).

Just remembered another thing about EB: some of the music I immediately recognized from ppl using it as custom music in SMW hacks.

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Legacy custom music


SMM2>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>SMW hacking
While the Giygas boss fight is pretty neat as an experience, it can be super frustrating if you don't know what to do. While I would have wanted to have a regular boss battle with Giygas and then follow it up with a phase in which you are unable to attack, I suppose it would defeat the point of Giygas' existence since he is supposed to be an intangible evil force.
Originally posted by Sokobansolver
The quirkiness of Earthbound reminds me of if someone wrote a Nanowrimo novel and then decided to make a JRPG of it.


Makes sense, since Shigesato Itoi is a writer mainly (among many other things), that's pretty much the big strength of these games and the reason people like it, the writing, I don't think there's anyone who likes this series just for the gameplay and somehow doesn't care for the writing.

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Хуй войне!

桐生会FOREVER #ThankYouCoco








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Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
Played a little more SIG World, honestly, there's this level called Triathlon, and while I like the idea and it has nice fun moments, like the sense of flow, it's also really messy and not very well executed, a bit too long for what it is.

I love the idea of a 3 segments in one life challenge level, but there are some trial and error moments that make it frustrating, especially considering you have limited time, as you only get 100 in-game seconds for each segment, and some parts are clearly there just to waste your time, including a "make block bridges" moment in the last segment, which is just annoying.

This level tired me out, I'm done for today.

The level that preceeded it was pretty fun though.

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Хуй войне!

桐生会FOREVER #ThankYouCoco
Just wanted to pop in here real quick and say: For those who are into anime-styled visual novels, I've got to recommend Never 7: The End of Infinity. It was written and directed by the same person who later went on to make 999 (Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors), and it really shows. This is somewhat of a smaller recommendation rather than a "you must play this now" though, because the audience is a lot more niche (it's basically a parody of the generic "anime dating sim" type of visual novel, but it does so by making the first half of the game mostly exactly like any other dating sim), so it's definitely not for everyone.

I first played it years and years ago, but I recently decided to pick it up and finish all the endings. I'm currently on the "true" route now, and once you push through to unlock said route, it becomes every bit as mind-bending, contemplative, mysterious, scientifically engaging, and all around creepy / bone-chilling as the entirety of 999 was. I can't put it down now.

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OLDC Judging: In progress
Twitter
Originally posted by RPG Hacker
Bravely Default II (★★★☆☆)]

I haven't beat the game, I don't want to be spoiled, I only read some of what you said.

I am finding myself in more or less the same situation. Mechanically, visually, and in the music department, this THE sequel to bravely default that I always dreamed of. I was having a freaking blast playing the game, and then suddenly the bosses got super hard for me, starting with the bard boss. I grinded a bit, and then I hit the boss after him, which walled me until I grinded some more.and from then on it was a repeating pattern of grinding like hell until I could steamroll the current boss walling me. It got to a point where if I could tell that a boss was coming, I just started grinding rather than just trying to beat them.

Right now I'm in the snow area, I just got a new job but actually trying to level it up is a miserable time since the enemies are only getting stronger as well and the crappy level 1 job isn't gonna cover it, I've had to fall back to other jobs while only keeping a single character with a job that actually needs grinding.

Like I said, the music, graphics, and battle system are all great, but these op bosses are literally holding me back from progressing the game, it's quite draining.
Exactly! I think mechanically, the game is amazing, but the bad pacing makes it very difficult for these great mechanics to actually shine.

Personally, I enjoy tough battles in RPGs the most when I'm able to overcome them just by switching my strategy. In this game, I rarely felt like I could do that, which is a bummer, because in theory, the high amount of jobs should make a lot of different strategies possible. I mean, they do - but only once you've mastered them all. I'm more and more leaning to feel like the game might be better without having Job Points. Just unlock each job fully once obtaining it, letting you always use the best job for the situation. I think a New Game+ might actually let me do that, but I don't think I'm replaying the game for a while.

Overall, I think Octopath Traveler did what Bravely Default II was attempting to do a lot better. It has a very similar battle system and structure, but a way better pacing and balancing. In Octopath, I actually felt like I could beat every boss without grinding, just by trying different strategies.

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Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
Originally posted by RPG Hacker

Personally, I enjoy tough battles in RPGs the most when I'm able to overcome them just by switching my strategy.


This!
To me, a good traditional RPG is measured by things like this. Not story, not a particulary gimmick or anything like that. It's all about gameplay, in particular, the speed, the light strategy, management of resources, etc.

I actually prefer when a game is more of you playing and exploring, than cutscenes all the time and whatnot. I have no problem with stories, I can enjoy them just fine, I just don't like how so many modern games have that cinematic approach that put more focus on that than the gameplay, taking forever to start. A story can help making the journey feel more satisfying. I especially like storytelling through optional dialogue, lore and whatnot. It feels really nice and it doesn't get in the way of the story, also lets more specific and detailed info be passed to the player through a more natural way.

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Хуй войне!

桐生会FOREVER #ThankYouCoco
For me, it's all about the balance. I need both story and gameplay in perfectly balanced amounts to be entertained all throughout my playtime. I need a story, because otherwise the gameplay will feel meaningless to me, but I also need some gameplay depth, otherwise there's no reason to even have the story as a game rather than a movie.

Too much story, and it'll become a drag because I just want to get playing. Too many battles, and I'll get exhausted, because I just want to explore and/or continue the story. In my case, it's not really that I play RPGs for good battles, but rather if an RPG has a battle system, I want it to either be fun and have depth, or be so fast-paced that it doesn't interrupt the exploration flow. It's why I generally prefer action RPGs/action adventures over turn-based RPGs, but games like Final Fantasy XII or Xenoblade Chronicles still work very well for me, because they transition between gameplay and exploration seamlessly, so fighting a battle never feels like it prevents you from exploring.

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Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
Yeah, balance is key. Although I'm more likely to enjoy a swashbuckling adventure with little focus on story (like dungeon crawlers, roguelikes, etc) than the usual player out there, but yeah, I agree that balance is important.

I think a lot of earlier games in certain RPG series strike a balance pretty well (at least for my standards I guess). The SNES Squaresoft games, Early Pokémon (Gen 1 and 2 mainly, but 3 and 4 are alright too) may take a while to start, but otherwise let you play just fine, with an occasional cutscene/event here and there, while later games are an absolute slog to actually start, and recently, the cutscenes have become more pace breaking (and they're not even cinematic or anything, which actually makes it worse than the simplistic 2D ones).

Regarding Pokémon, my favorites are probably the Mystery Dungeon series (I've only played the GBA and DS ones, so I'm speaking from that experience), they have great stories, nice presentation, fun gameplay and it's all pretty balanced. It doesn't take long to start playing (in fact, the first mission works so nice as a prologue, giving you an objective and introducing basic mechanics, having a simple and brief explanation for it, with every other mission being contextualized by that, while the overarching story bits make you want to keep playing to know more).

And yeah, I also really enjoy action RPGs because of that nice balance, but as I mentioned, more straightforward turn-based RPGs are enjoyable for me too, mostly because they focus on having a fun and fast paced gameplay. (I particularly like the Mado Monogatari games). The story can make a game a lot more appealing, but it shouldn't be the sole focus. I can also enjoy a game that works well by playing a little every day (or every few days), doing a little progress, and some missions, etc. There are honestly many ways to make a game like this fun.

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Хуй войне!

桐生会FOREVER #ThankYouCoco
I think how well a game's pacing is perceived is also directly proportional to how much you enjoy its gameplay. For example, you mentioned early Squaresoft games. I can relate to that with some games, but not so much with others. I think Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger had a (mostly) really great pacing, for example. However, for me personally, Final Fantasy VI had a very, very exhausting pacing - which might come down to the fact that I didn't enjoy its battles all that much. It felt like every two steps I walked, there was another random encounter. It's the number 1 reason I don't want to replay that game, despite liking literally everything else about it. I think this argument about pacing even extends outside of games. It's a popular opinion that the One Piece anime had horrible pacing, but I never perceived it that way, because I enjoy every single episode so much that the thought never even occured to me.

For Pokemon, it's actually a similar situation where I share some of your opinions and others not so much. For example, I agree that the pacing of later Pokemon games has gotten quite horrible, with Sun and Moon probably being the biggest offenders. These games are so incredibly slow that there's no fun in replaying them. Sword and Shield are major improvements over this, but still don't really compare to the first two gens, where you're dropped into the gameplay pretty quickly.

On the other hand, I'm not really into the Mystery Dungeon series, unfortunately. I gave it a try multiple times, but it just isn't for me, something about the gameplay just always bores me. I think it all comes down to the core gameplay itself being very simple and to exploration not being very fun for me in those games. Since exploration is so important to me, that alone has a lot of weight. I think the reason I don't enjoy the exploration is that the dungeons are all randomly generated and don't feel like they offer a lot of interesting content. They're all very simple in nature, don't look too pretty and don't contain a lot fun things to discover (from what I could experience so far, anyways). There are some games with random dungeons I do enjoy - like The Binding of Isaac - but those tend to have more engaging gameplay and more interesting dungeons (either visually or mechanically). Quite a bummer, since the Mystery Dungeon games get so much praise, but yeah, unfortunately they just aren't for me. 🙁

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Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
With Sun and Ultra Sun, I would play for a little bit, make some progress, then take a break, and then make more progress. Hence why it probably took the better part of a year to beat Sun and I still haven't beaten Ultra Sun yet. I think gen 5 was the last time I found Pokemon games to be consistently engaging. I almost wonder if Sun and Moon could have been visual novels.

MOTHER 3 is probably the game I've played with the greatest balance of story, gameplay, humor, and tragedy, and still fun despite the slow-paced beginning (the kickass soundtrack helps a lot). It has all the story-heaviness of a visual novel with boss battles that would probably rival Cuphead's in terms of difficulty. Sometimes I try to imagine what Pokemon games would be like if the gym leaders and elite 4 played more like MOTHER 3 bosses (with actually having to play with stat buffs and debuffs, their own equivalent of understanding your party members' respective roles, leveling up only getting you so far, etc.) instead of where you can just mindlessly use the most powerful offensive moves to victory all the time if they're super-effective.

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Legacy custom music


SMM2>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>SMW hacking
Originally posted by Sokobansolver
MOTHER 3 is probably the game I've played with the greatest balance of story, gameplay, humor, and tragedy, and still fun despite the slow-paced beginning (the kickass soundtrack helps a lot). It has all the story-heaviness of a visual novel with boss battles that would probably rival Cuphead's in terms of difficulty. Sometimes I try to imagine what Pokemon games would be like if the gym leaders and elite 4 played more like MOTHER 3 bosses (with actually having to play with stat buffs and debuffs, their own equivalent of understanding your party members' respective roles, leveling up only getting you so far, etc.) instead of where you can just mindlessly use the most powerful offensive moves to victory all the time if they're super-effective.

dude what I always play mother 3 by just spamming the most op spell the bosses are weak to, tho only bosses I actually consider challenging are the bass guitar in the attic and the barrier trio. Maybe its because I really enjoy the rhythm combat and usually hit the combos pretty high that I find it easier?? I've played and beat the game a handful of times too, so maybe that helps as well, I love that game.

For pokemon, there are so many combinations of pokemon that people can have, it needs to be a little bit easy, you need to give the players wiggle room, some people like to use their favorites and not always what's considered optimal. The problem is that it's just become too easy, practically braindead, and there are basically no options like a hard mode to add a bit of spice to your run
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