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Topic: The Golden Age of RPGs

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Tare

41. Posted:

@ChocoGoldfish
Then can you define it for me please, so I can call upon it later knowing that it came from an expert.

Thaaaaaanks for noticin' me.

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CanisWolfred

42. Posted:

Tare wrote:

The golden age, will only ever become "A thing of the past" because of your tastes. Don't let yourself believe RPG's are no longer fun.
I can understand your disappointment with RPGS's on consoles, but not as a whole.

So why exactly are they leaving you "Underwhelmed?"

So you're telling me to deny my own experience? I haven't enjoyed any RPG on a console outside of Xenoblade, the Tales series, and Dark Souls, and while still great, the Tales of games are disappointing compared to previous installments, and Dark Souls feels more like a really, really good action game than an RPG. They're underwhelming because they're stories aren't very good. Heck, some of them are horrendous, and this coming from games that have been praised by some as examples of how far we've come. Othere's have terrible, or unbalanced gameplay, and too many feel artificial and lack grace and charm. And then there are games that combine all of these aspects into one horrible mess. This isn't to say all games of the past were above these kinds of problems, but it was certainly far more than just 4 games per generation.

Again, this came about suddenly, perhaps because the best moved on to Handheld, where games still look to the past while creating their own identities.

Tare wrote:

@ChocoGoldfish
Then can you define it for me please, so I can call upon it later knowing that it came from an expert.

That was a mistake...:P

Edited on by CanisWolfred

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Bankai

43. Posted:

Tare wrote:

@ChocoGoldfish
Then can you define it for me please, so I can call upon it later knowing that it came from an expert.

[/div]

RPGs actually have their roots in strategy gaming. Dungeons and Dragons happened because the guy that invented it, Gary Gygax, thought it would be cool to take a tabletop wargame (like Warhammer) and mix things up. People would "control" one soldier each, and rather than fight on open battlefields, they would delve into dungeons. This meant that rather than facing hordes of enemies, players would fight in tight, enclosed rooms in strategic skirmishes against small groups of enemies. And, take down big monsters like dragons.

From that concept grew a game where the focus was on collaborative storytelling. The second most important person in the development of RPGs, Monte Cook, writes to the idea that an RPG plot should not be predetermined. Players are ultimately responsible for how the story unfolds. If a player wants to be heroic, or evil, or go down a completely different path to the main plot, the should be able to. This can only happen when the players are not being dictated to by a "games master" - who is there to work with players to create a mutually enjoyable adventure, rather than merely fall in line with some grand plot.

So the idea of RPGs is not, as often thought, to "play a role." That's a simplification. RPGs are about taking control of a character and living the world through that character's eyes. You can't do this if you are forced to do what the games master (or games developer) tells you to do.

True RPGs are almost impossible to do in video game form. The closest examples are probably MMOs and Minecraft, as those games don't tend to dictate how you should behave within their worlds.

JRPGs, as a subgenre, emerged initially as an approximation of a real RPG. Back in the NES days the compute power simply wasn't there to give players freedom of choice, so the Japanese developers decided to focus on a single, linear, epic quest. This is a commercially successful idea, so a new genre is born.

Where people get confused is they think JRPGs are RPGs. They're not. They're a spinoff genre that happens to share a similar name. It's like saying "Heavy Metal Music" is the same as "Classical Music" because they share "Music" in the genre descriptor. The reality is that what links the two genres together is the barest minimum of a thread.

None of this is to say one genre is necessarily better than the other. Some prefer JRPGs, some prefer RPGs - there's nothing wrong with either approach to game design. Saying they're the same thing does a disfavour to both, because there is nothing real that links Final Fantasy to The Witcher.

Edited on by Bankai

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Tare

44. Posted:

@Mickeymac
Not suggesting you deny your experience, just to keep an open mind.
Naturally, this all comes down to taste. Different people like seeing different story elements, and while there are some universal do's and don'ts, it leaves much to the imagination.

But for you Mac, what do you consider to be an RPG as opposed to an action game.

@Choco
I sort of imagined as much. Thank you for your detailed description.
If I may ask, what makes Call of Cthulu (And similar games) more enjoyable then others? What captivates you about those games?

Edited on by Tare

Thaaaaaanks for noticin' me.

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Bankai

45. Posted:

I sort of imagined as much. Thank you for your detailed description.
If I may ask, what makes Call of Cthulu (And similar games) more enjoyable then others? What captivates you about those games?

"More enjoyable" is not really what it's about. I love Atelier games with a passion, and they're as JRPG as games come. I like plenty of games and genres that are not RPGs (I like music games, puzzlers, strategy games, simulations...), and then there are RPGs that I really don't like.

But what appeals to me about RPGs? That's easy - I like the freedom and the fact that a good RPG lets the player be creative and explore a world (and story) of their own design. "Writing" your own story with a character of your own design is the nirvana of good game design for me.

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Magi

46. Posted:

Speaking of senile and cranky 'ole geezers...

Golden Age for me is the old Gold Box TSR rpg's like Pools of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, and Pools of Darkness not to mention the Dragonlance/Krynn series. Then there was Eye of the Beholder and the Black Box games. Ultima, Wizardry, Dark Sun, Dungeon Hack, Wasteland and the first Fallouts. Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate, and Planescape: Torment are really the last games in what I consider my "golden age of games".

NOW GET OFF MY FREAKIN LAWN!

Edited on by Magi

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pixelman

47. Posted:

Mickeymac wrote:

Gaming has changed, yes, but change =/= good. In my opinion, RPGs have lost their capacity to balance good gameplay with a good story. Notice that the best RPGs lately have achieved their greatness by using old-school techniques. No bad voice acting to ruin the moments, no reliance on flashy cutscenes, no action-y battle system to ruin the balance and depth, and actual areas you can roam to do some exploring without making movement a chore when you're ready to move on. While I feel Xenoblade is a wonderous exception to most of these rules (except the voice acting, but even that isn't as bad as some games), ultimately nearly every RPG released in on next-gen systems have left me greatly underwhelmed. There's no nostalgia here, either. I only started playing RPGs in 2007, and I've had far more fun playing games on the NES than on the PS3, let alone the classics on the SNES, PSOne, and of course the PS2 just before it. Heck, the best RPG in the last 5 years besides Xenoblade is Persona 4, a last gen game released in 2009 by one of the few RPG developers that I feel still know what they're doing.

Perhaps it's time RPG developers step back and look at what's important. I've seen too many try to abandon the ways of the past as if they no longer work, only to find that their way was wrong. Others scramble to recreate the past without even the foggiest idea of what made past titles good in the first place. It's as if they need to relearn the once great formula all over again, and if they don't do it soon, The Golden Age will truly be a thing of the past.

I'd like to chime in with you on the no-nostalgia. I didn't get into RPGs until a few years ago, and nearly all of my favorites are either from the "golden age" or throwbacks to that era. Pretty much nothing tops Chrono Trigger in my book, and I hated it with a passion when I first played it.

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CanisWolfred

48. Posted:

pixelman wrote:

Pretty much nothing tops Chrono Trigger in my book, and I hated it with a passion when I first played it.

Oh wow, so did I! D= I can't even remember why, but I booted it up, played it for 2 hours, shut it off, and vowed never to play it again. Took me a year and a lot of convincing to go back, and now it's one oof my favorite RPGs, and I think the only ones I like more are due to some sort of nostalgia (Kingdom Hearts, for instance. The first RPG I got into and still possibly my favorite).

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Emaan

49. Posted:

Mickeymac wrote:

Kingdom Hearts, for instance. The first RPG I got into and still possibly my favorite.

Same here! :D

And in my opinion, the absolute BEST RPG's were on the Super Nintendo. Nothing beats EarthBound, Final Fantasy 4 + 6, Secret of Mana, and Chrono Trigger.

The SNES in general, is just legendary.

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Electricmastro

50. Posted:

Emaan wrote:

Mickeymac wrote:

Kingdom Hearts, for instance. The first RPG I got into and still possibly my favorite.

Same here! :D

And in my opinion, the absolute BEST RPG's were on the Super Nintendo. Nothing beats EarthBound, Final Fantasy 4 + 6, Secret of Mana, and Chrono Trigger.

The SNES in general, is just legendary.

Nothing beats the first and second party RPGs on Super Nintendo really.

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Wheels2050

51. Posted:

Magi wrote:

Golden Age for me is the old Gold Box TSR rpg's like Pools of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, and Pools of Darkness

[/div]

I've got the collector's edition of those games at home - unfortunately I was only 5 or 6 when we bought it, so I've only got vague memories of trying to figure out how to play the games with my dad. Fortunately we hung on to the games so I've kept them - I'll get back to them and play them properly one day!

EDIT: This is the one, though this isn't my copy:

Untitled

Edited on by Wheels2050

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Radixxs

52. Posted:

Is it bad that I would buy a Chrono Trigger remake for 3DS without many additions or changes? And I already have Chrono Trigger DS. It's that good.

Edited on by Radixxs

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zezhyrule

53. Posted:

The golden age is now.

I was about to say that, but I see waltz beat me to the punch.

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DeMoN-13ruce

54. Posted:

Electricmastro wrote:

I know that there's already another topic on this site about RPGs, but I feel as if I want to focus more on the days back then instead of in general. The days back when there was an over-abundance of top-notch RPGs, mostly from Super Nintendo and Playstation 1. I'm NOT necessarily implying that every RPG in our current generation is bad, coughXenobladeChroniclescough. Really, it can apply to any decade since we're all different ages here, so maybe there's something you look up to right now in a way that not other people see it as. Personally, how I see it is that the effort put back then when people had to be more creative with limited resources and ideas should, at the very least, be noted. However, that doesn't mean this topic should just be limited to that too. :)

hey where is final fantasy crisis core and kingdom hearts bbs and dream drop distance those are great like xenoblade D:

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Electricmastro

55. Posted:

DeMoN-13ruce wrote:

Electricmastro wrote:

I know that there's already another topic on this site about RPGs, but I feel as if I want to focus more on the days back then instead of in general. The days back when there was an over-abundance of top-notch RPGs, mostly from Super Nintendo and Playstation 1. I'm NOT necessarily implying that every RPG in our current generation is bad, coughXenobladeChroniclescough. Really, it can apply to any decade since we're all different ages here, so maybe there's something you look up to right now in a way that not other people see it as. Personally, how I see it is that the effort put back then when people had to be more creative with limited resources and ideas should, at the very least, be noted. However, that doesn't mean this topic should just be limited to that too. :)

hey where is final fantasy crisis core and kingdom hearts bbs and dream drop distance those are great like xenoblade D:

I just listed one off the top of my head, besides, I haven't played those two.

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kkslider5552000

56. Posted:

I really doubt any of those games are as good as Xenoblade. That's more praise for Xenoblade than bashing those games.

Edited on by kkslider5552000

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Electricmastro

57. Posted:

kkslider5552000 wrote:

I really doubt any of those games are as good as Xenoblade. That's more praise for Xenoblade than bashing those games.

I question what is the best RPG of the 2000's, but let me tell ya, there really isn't as many big competitors than the ones on SNES or PS1.

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MikeDanger

58. Posted:

Radiant Historia best RPG from this gen. Valkyria Chronicles on consoles. Yeah... the golden age of RPG's are Wizardry,Ultima and Dundeons & Dragons. They're just way too primitive! They were awesome at the time. We have come a long way from there.

Edited on by MikeDanger

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Electricmastro

59. Posted:

MikeDanger1 wrote:

Radiant Historia best RPG from this gen. Valkyria Chronicles on consoles. Yeah... the golden age of RPG's are Wizardry,Ultima and Dundeons & Dragons. They're just way too primitive! They were awesome at the time. We have come a long way from there.

Really, it doesn't only have to apply to 80's or 90's, that just how I generally see it. You can think what's best yourself.

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CanisWolfred

60. Posted:

MikeDanger1 wrote:

Radiant Historia best RPG from this gen.

That's an understatement, since it had barely any competition that wasn't a remake or delibrate throwback.

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