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Game Recommendations


「にがいのは いやだ」って…
Since these threads pop up frequently anyway and I don't really want to post a thread consisting of HELP I AM GETTING A PSP WHAT DO I BUY? PSX GAMES TO "BACKUP" ARE FINE TOO....

  • ... recommend a series as a whole without commenting on the pros and cons of particular games
  • ... recommend things for nostalgia purposes. Do not suggest Pokemon GS if you have not played it within the past two years. Do not suggest Final Fantasy VII if you don't remember the Tifa vs Scarlet slapfight, the CPR minigame, the hypothermia minigame, or why Nanaki joins the party. Don't recommend a game that you think a game is awesome if you forgot the tone of the game or major issues with it.
  • ... be a fanbrat.
  • ... approach being a fanbrat without actually knowing the series. Final Fantasy III DS had a very similar job system to FFV, but it was much weaker and all characters end up identical if you get the secret jobs. FFV at least had you pick between Freelancer or Mime with different sets of abilities. FFIII had all Onion Knights in the best party.
  • ... dismiss other people's recommendations because you're a fanbrat.
  • ... recommend games that are not actually out yet. Even if they're out in Japan. (Note: "but it's out in Japan" is valid if you've played it already for some reason.)

  • ... say why you liked the game, why the game is (not) objectively good, and things about it you disliked. It's very unlikely that the game did exactly what you wanted it to do.
  • ... list pros and cons of ports. For example, Final Fantasy IV had the NA release as Final Fantasy II, the PSX port, the GBA port, and the DS port. From what I've heard, the PSX port has colossal load times. Bring that kind of thing up! Also, if you happen to know how well it can be emulated, share!
  • ... REC OBSCURE THINGS. That's part of the point.
  • ... disagree with people!
  • ... have fun?

- PSX --Castlevania: Symphony of the Night; Suikoden I;
- PS3 -- Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice
- PSP -- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night;
- XBox Live Arcade -- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night;
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「にがいのは いやだ」って…

SUIKODEN (I) -- PSX, Japan-only PSP port
+ Pretty sprites and music! Though I have yet to figure out why the dragons make sounds like elephants. At least you have things to mock then, eh? (Note that it came out around 1995/1996.)
+ Entertaining characters! Even though people tend to die horribly. Expect corn and flesh-eating fungal spores.
+ More to the point, there are 108 characters in your party if you get the good ending. They each are at least somewhat developed, though many of them aren't particularly plot important. I haven't gone through to find out how many really matter, but it's a lot.
+ Awesome random encounters, such as the flying squirrel. I believe their attacks often inflict Bucket.
+ ... has Bucket and Balloon as status effects. (Bucket makes your accuracy go down by a lot since there's a bucket on your head and if you get three Balloons on one character, they float away. I forget if it's a permadeath or a temporary death, though.)
+ Turn-based RPG with an Auto Attack option so that you don't have to manually target each of the one-to-six enemies when it really, really doesn't matter.
+ Probably around 30 hours long if you're wandering around a lot?
+ Script's kind of funny in bits. "Not if it's bitter."
- R A I L R O A D I N G "Not if it's bitter." "Please, drink!" "Not if it's bitter." "Young Master, don't be rude." "Not if it's bitter."
- Script is poorly edited at bits. "Not in front of a children!"
- Some of those 108 characters can be lost forever.
- In fact most characters can be lost forever if you screw up in a war sequence. It tells you that, though.
- Plot is corny.
- ... there is a LOT of corn here.
+ My name is Schtolteheim Reinbach III, and this is my son, Schtolteheim Reinbach IV. I am but a humble jujube vendor.
+ I love it anyway.
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fresh fruit for Adol

even electronic brain pancake crystal elderly
I'll recommend one that not many people seem to have played here...

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - PSX, Japan-only Saturn port (Nocturne in the Moonlight), Xbox Live Arcade, PS3/PSP through PSN, PSP on The Dracula X Chronicles

+ Take Metroid, turn it into an RPG with a wide array of weapons for you to use, and you get something even better.
- Like all early games with voice acting, in addition to some odd translations, dialogue tends to sound rather goofy ("Is that man in that castle over there?" The exchange between Richter and Dracula in the beginning of the game though gets props for being campy, yet awesome at the same time.
+ Map. Maps. Maps. And Maps. It's easy to get lost in Castle Dracula, almost as easy as it is to lose your sense of direction in Soul Reaver. And the place is as big as Zebes. Which is why maps are a godsend.
+ Same deal as Suikoden; it's got pretty sprites, and the music is bound to be amazing; Michiru Yamane did the soundtrack for both games, and I feel she really hit her peak with this, and Suikoden.
+ Replay value; After getting the Good Ending, you can replay the game as Richter. And if you're playing the Saturn Version, or playing it on Dracula X, you can also play as Maria.
- Alucard's got magic. The only problem is that it's impossible to use any of them except for Wing Smash.
- They tried to add a bit of diversity by giving Alucard the ability to transform into a bat (Obvious), a wolf (Kinda random, but kinda cool too), and mist (WTF). The only problem is that wolf is kind of useless, and the mist is absolutely pointless, sans for getting through two parts, one of which isn't even really necessary to visit.
- The game has familiars. Only the Bat and Sword familiars are useful.
- The game can be somewhat difficult if you're a)not good at platforming, or b)are just starting the series with this game.
- It uses the exact same sprites as Super Castlevania IV, and Rondo of Blood. Get ready to see the exact same ones for the next five original games.
+ Jewel glitch for quick money-making.
- Fleamen
- Plot's PREDICTABO. They just mix it up by have Alucard jump in as the sole hero, instead of a side kick, or using Belmont, or Morris.
+ Go ahead and sit in the confession box in the Chapel. You'll love what happens.
+The castle's quite decorative. You can tell Dracula's got good taste in furniture.
+ Really the cons are kind of moot, and are easy to be ignored, save for Fleamen. And even if you aren't down with the gameplay, it's easy to stay for the awesome soundtrack.


It's feeding time
Ohhey, an interesting thread. I shall contribute a post here.

Team Fortress 2 - PC, Xbox 360, PS3

+ Unlike most of Valve's other FPS games, Team Fortress 2 isn't to be taken seriously, with a cartoony setting and fake plot.
+ Even thought the plot is pretty non-existent, they evolve the characters a lot, with the biggest example being that they made a long comic to explain the reasons behind the Demo/Soldier Wars.
- But with that said, there's still no plot, so this is not the place to look for one.
+ On the other side the humour is great, and all the classes tend to drop hilarious one-liners every once in a while.
+ The class-based system is great, with all the characters balancing out each other, for example, The Heavy can easily mow down a Scout if close range, but a backstab from a Spy WILL instant-kill him, the Spy in turn lives in constant fear of bumping into a Pyro.
- On the other side, when there's an update for a class everyone will play as that class.
- The game does not feature a offline mode, so you got to play online or not play at all, this might not be a problem, thought.
+ Valve constantly updates the game, adding Achievements, maps, unlockable weapons, and hats.
- Which brings me to the GOD AWFUL drop system which makes getting hats close to impossible, since the chance of getting hats are to begin with random, but also has to do with how much you play, and since you don't play all day long the chances are incredibly slim.
+ Valve added a crafting system where you can use leftover weapons to make hats..
- ..but to make one RANDOM hat it requires a total of 82 weapons, and making a specific one requires 112 weapons.
- Sometimes people can be a bit rude, and sometimes they can be utter trolls. Usually complaining about how the only Pyro strategy is Pressing W and Mouse 1 even though you just airblasted him into a corner, put him on fire and then axed him to death.
+ On the other side, there are some pretty nice people every once in a while, as well.
+ While there is pretty few Valve-made maps, there is a lot of good custom ones you can play on.
- And a lot of those maps are either 2Fort remakes or Idling servers.

'kay, I'll add more if I think of more.


「にがいのは いやだ」って…
You forgot to mention that you're a tool if you get any version other than the PC one because they aren't updated ever.

Lady Grimdour

Probably shouldn't be here.
The God of War Series.

GoW: Chains of Olympus
+ VERY gory.
+You get to kill a giant Basilisk at the very start of the game.
+ A sex mini-game. By mini I mean 3-5 seconds tops. And non-graphic; all you get is moans and a waxy candle.
+ The controls are intuitive and easy to get to grips with.
+ Good storytelling.
+ You visit Hades.
- Kratos is one-dimensional: RAAAGGGEEE.
- Bit short; 4-6 hours max.
- Very gory if you're not into that sort of thing.
- Lag.
- You need a basic knowledge of the series to understand everything.
- Not really "pick up and play" as a PSP game should; once you start you have to keep going or you forget your place and get stuck.

God of War
+ Great storytelling.
+ You get to kill a giant Hydra at the very start of the game.
+ MUCH longer; a day or two.
+ You die and visit Hades.
- Still the same RAGETOS.
- Again, gore and sex.
- Gets tedious during the middle bit; it's mostly the beginning and the end bits that are epic.
+ You can understand everything without having played the other games.

God of War II
+ Epic storytelling.
+ MUCH MUCH longer; a week.
+ You get to kill the Colossus of Rhodes at the very start of the game.
+ Everything seems to be much bigger.
+ You die and visit Hades.
- Even more gore, and the same amount of sex.
- More of the same RAGETOS.
- Might be too long and too challenging for some people.
- Bits of nightmare fuel in there if you're that type of person.
- You need to have played God of War to understand everything.

fresh fruit for Adol

even electronic brain pancake crystal elderly
Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice - PS3

+ Same old Disgaea grid-based system. Nicely makes use of the the term "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
+ Voice acting doesn't suck as bad as it did in the first two games. It's got Vic and Bosch, and several other familiar voices, but like always, you've got the Japanese voices if those don't do it for you.
+ It's funny.
+ There's a lot of characters for you to create
- Only problem is; like any NIS strategy game, only a handful of the classes are useful.
+ Keeping the old play times in tact, the game is bound to last you a good while.
- Although most of that play time will probably end up coming from grinding in Item Worlds, like in the previous two titles.
+ You no longer have to keep using weapons to learn the skills for them. You can use Mana to get them through an Evility Scholar.
- Classrooms try to bring some diversity to character growth, but in the end, it gets to be as tedious as setting up rooms in Soul Nomad.
+ Lots of DLC to be gotten off the PSN. In addition to the ingame unlockables, you can also buy a series of episodes centering around Raspberyl (About $5 each, I think), and you can also buy characters, including Gig, and the Protagonist of Soul Nomad, Marona from Phantom Brave, and several characters, for $1 to $2 each.

+ It's just really good in general if you're a fan of NIS strategy games.
+ Really easy to pick up and play; you don't need to have played the other Disgaea's to understand it, or to know how to play, nor do you need to play the other strategy games by NIS.
- Although it's recommended if you wanna know what the heck goes on in Post-Game stuff.
+ Laharl's treatment only continues to get worse.


Wow, surprised nobody's mentioned this yet.
Portal- Xbox 360. Is it out for any others?
+Awesome game play.
-It's an FPS, and there is only one gun.
+You get to make portals to solve puzzles.
+Every level is a puzzle, which is great for people who want a challenge.
+The computer is evil. What's not to like?
+No matter how many times you do it, it's still challenging!
-Not good for people with bad timing, although the game itself helps with that.
+It improves timing!
+(debatable) You play as a woman, at least in the Orange Box version.
+It's got loads of replay value.


neither simple, nor coherent.
I have quite a few DS game recommendations! About half are mainstream, and half you might never have heard of before.

Ace Attorney series
(incl. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Justice For All, Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, and Ace Attorney Investigations)
Yes, my first choice goes to this gem. If you've played it - and I know there's a good number of fans here! - you know why. The Ace Attorney series isn't an action game or one that takes a lot of skill, and it's about as faithful to the legal system as Team Fortress 2 is an accurate representation of corporate espionage. However, what Phoenix and his friends bring to the table are interesting and gripping stories told with amusing and dynamic dialogue. You'll be pulled into the plots and working out the puzzles to clear your client's name, while building honest relationships with the recurring characters. They might not hold much replay value, but they've been out for so long you can probably pick the first three up for a song, and they're worth every penny.

The World Ends With You
(aka Subarashiki Kono Sekai, It's a Wonderful World)
It was a really tough choice for first place between this and Phoenix Wright, honestly, and PW only beat it on quantity. This is the single best DS game ever created. It's not just a game: it makes you think and examine your paradigms. You'll think you know what's up, you'll think it's an average Squeenix "i am angst, hear me mope" JRPG protag, and then as soon as the carpet of expectations is fully under your feet the plot will come and rip it out from under you. It's got the best translation I've ever seen - there wasn't one place where I thought "oh, that probably said this in the original" like I have for most other games, and that leads to witty dialogue and utterly quotable lines. (Even if you've never played it, you can't say you've never heard of "So zetta slow!" or anything along the lines of "factoring hectopascals "enjoy the moment".) As for replay value, the secret reports, pin mastering, and item completion will have you going back time and time again, not to mention the best bonus chapter ever invented in the history of bonus chapters.

See how I keep calling this game, The World Ends With You, the best of everything? That's because it is. Get it now.

Luminous Arc series
(incl. Luminous Arc, Luminous Arc 2: Will and Luminous Arc 3: Eyes)
Luminous Arc is a great turn-based RPG. The original is only slightly clunkier than the sequel, so go ahead and play both, although the storylines and characters don't match up save for a few cameos. You're a knight-in-training, and you need to team up with the 'notoriously evil' witches to stop the Flame Witch who put a curse on your brother! And also everyone's a dragon or something, I forget, it's been a while since I played it. The sprites, environments and cutscenes - especially the opening, which could be the theme song to an animé - are gorgeous, and it's fully voiced. And the characters are fantastic. Oh, Nikolai <3. Amusingly, the best lines probably go to the waxing philosophical mascot animal. It lasts a fairly good amount of time, eight to twelve hours depending on how much you like to grind, and you'll want to replay it at least once to get all the cutscenes that come with 100% completion of the characters' relationship meters.

Trace Memory
"hey, can anyone recommend some adventure/visual novel type games for ds? I've played phoenix wright, trace memory, and hotel dusk already..."

Such go numerous threads I've seen on numerous gaming boards. Trace Memory (I think it's called Touch Memory: Another Code in the UK?) is a sort of pointenclick puzzler... and, frankly, the quickest game I've ever played, clocking in at around three hours. Still, it's also the cheapest game I've seen in stores - about ten bucks - and of a simple but not laughably easy difficulty that'll have you playing through at least twice to get 100% completion and to see the bonuses of the New Game+. You're a thirteen-year-old girl looking for your long-lost father on an old island when you come across a boy ghost around your age. Together, you search the old mansion for clues to unlock his memories... and your own.

Hotel Dusk
Hotel Dusk is known as the 'spiritual successor' to Trace Memory. They were both made by the same company, and the gameplay's rather similar, but the art and characters are completely different. You're Kyle Hyde, a grizzled LA cop turned salesman, checking into a hotel for the night that will change the lives of you and everyone else there. Delve into the secrets of the mysterious girl and your old partner's history. I am lame at this, just play it, it's great.

Time Hollow
Time Hollow is more obscure than the other two, but still decent. It's definitely as close to a visual novel as you can get while still technically a game - there's no real gameplay or choices you can make. As Ethan Kairos, you wake up after a nightmare to find your parents gone and your distant uncle in your kitchen wondering what's gotten into you: they've been dead for years. You need to use the Hollow Pen, a pen with the ability to warp time and space, to put everything back the way it should be. Kind of a sad ending, but really beautiful animé cutscenes and voice acting.

Touch Detective series
(incl. Touch Detective and Touch Detective 2 1/2)
This game is adorable! And, in case you couldn't tell from the title, yet another pointenclick. These games are direct sequels, so I wouldn't recommend the latter first, although you could probably get by. You play Mackenzie, the adorable little ten-year-old who wants to be a detective. Help her solve cases with names like "ROBBERY: The reality of a fanciful dream" and "DISAPPEARANCE: The truth hidden in the cosmos". You'll be aided by your adorable friends Chloe and Penelope, your adorable mascot animal mushroom Funghi, and your adorable robot zombie butler Cromwell. Nnf nnf!

Professor Layton series
(incl. Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Professor Layton and Pandora's Diabolical Elysian Box, and Last Time Travel, Specter's Flute, Mask of Miracles because why is Japan the only one to get nice things D<)
Everyone's heard of Professor Layton. It's the beautifully animated (I admit, I have a bias) game with an Excuse Plot to fill in hundreds of people who want you to do their math homework. While I don't agree with the common criticism that the plot is just haphazardly thrown in there, I do concur that it's beautifully animated and has hundreds of puzzles. You'll probably find yourself stuck on some of the more difficult puzzles - you know the one - but the majority of the obligatory ones just make you think. And any game that can make you think and involves a great Sherlock Holmes nouveau like Layton is a must-have.

Treasure World
Here's one I'm sure you've never heard of before, and the main reason behind my recommendation is just 'cause I use it so much. There's some guy, and his spaceship crashed. (There is a plot, but the plot is seriously not the point.) To get it back flying, you have to clean the 'stars' for rocket fuel. Their stars are our Wi-Fi signals, and each star hides either an object you can use to play pretty pretty princess on your avatar, or plain old Stardust you can trade in to buy stuff to pretty pretty princess your avatar.

To 'clean the stars', then, you have to expose the game to Wi-Fi signals. (It implies you're walking around the neighborhood to accomplish this, but everyone knows it's a wardriving game.) To those who live in big cities, the cap of a little over ten thousand could probably be hit in a week or two, depending on how much you travel; me, I've had it for months and only have a little less than four thousand. There's an online aspect too, where you can back it up to the computer and chat on the website, but I've never been. It's great for traveling, and I have to recommend it on its uniquity alone.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
This was the first Final Fantasy game I ever played. I enjoyed it! No characters are wall-bangingly stupid like I heard some on its predecessor were, and it's a very pretty game with an easy learning curve. You're a teen boy who got bamfed from our world to Ivalice. You fight monsters, and make friends and influence people, and there's a mysterious thief with a mysterious past and you know. It's a Final Fantasy game. It's pretty darn long too, what with all the quests and sidequests.

Kingdom Hearts: Fractions
I can never remember the actual number, so it's just KH: Fractions, mmkay. This was similarily my first KH game! I picked up enough backstory just by being on the internet for the past few years to follow it mostly. I mean, you want to know what this game is about? Half the time, it's mashing A to bonk Heartless with your giant key, as always. The other half? Eating ice cream. I am not even kidding; there are at least eighty cutscenes involving Roxas eating sea salt ice cream. Again... and again... and again. And yet, in those non-ice-cream parts, it's a decent game. It's kind of salty, but kind of sweet, too.

Elebits: The Adventures of Kai and Zero
I never played the original to this either, but it's fine. It's mostly a puzzler with tones of Pokémon Ranger. Kai discovered an old bus in a greenhouse, and when those mighty doors were opened, the power was s-- I mean, the bus traveled to another world. You capture Elebits (Eledees in the UK, iirc? which is much sillier) with your Capture Stylus Gun to power up captured Omegas and return to your world. It's super well-drawn, and an awfully fun dealie.

Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island
"Marrying up... so nice..." At least, according to your titular protagonist, the alchemist-in-training Annie Eilenberg. The Atelier series is another mostly only in Japan trick, but the import gods decided to grace us with this one. Annie has three years to grow up into a total of seven endings, one or two of which that can only be achieved on the second playthrough. Interact with the well-thought-out characters, including jock Kilbert, scholar Hans, tsundere Fitz and many more. It's a city-sim RPG with combat elements, and you can really take it any way you want to go. Train up the lazy good-for-nothing to become a master alchemist, master adventurer, or master businesswoman; it's up to you!

Secret Files series
(incl. Secret Files: Tunguska and Secret Files 2: Electric Boogaloo Puritas Cordis)
Hey! This is the last pointenclick, I promise. Secret Files was actually originally a German PC pointenclick, not that that matters or really shows. In the first game, your father's been kidnapped, and you only have fourteen hours to save the earth from ailens or the mafiyeh or mafiyeh aliens or something. In the second, there's an evil Hollywood cult crashing your vacation cruise, and you need to save your boyfriend from being thrown into a volcano! No seriously. Funny fourth-wall references occasionally - "I only drink in M-rated games."

Runners-up: Princess Debut, Summon Night: Twin Age, Might and Magic Clash of Heroes, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor

Honorable Mentions: 100 Classic Books Collection, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, Animal Crossing: Wild World, Broken Sword: Knights of the Templar, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Nostalgia, Peggle, Phantasy Star 0, Picross, Retro Games Challenge, Scribblenauts, Soma Bringer, Suikoden Tierkeis, Trauma Center: Under the Knife, Unsolved Crimes

There! That should have you set for the next few years. :Db
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fresh fruit for Adol

even electronic brain pancake crystal elderly
Mega Man Zero series of games;

Mega Man Zero - GBA
+ It's Megaman. And Zero's the main character.
+ Decent soundtrack. It's nowhere near as good as the music you get out of X series, but it's decent.
- It's extremely difficult. Like. Almost as hard as Nintendo Hard difficult.
+ It's got a grading system that grades you based on how well you perform on missions, how much damage you've taken, how many enemies you've killed, how quickly you finish, and whether or not you've used any Cyber Elves.
+ Story's quite epic, but it's difficult to understand some things about the plot unless you've listened to the drama cds in the Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero series of remixes.
+ In order to make the game a little easier, you get Cyber Elves which you have to find around stages. They can do anything from increasing your max life, saving you from pitfalls, to making you run faster, and even slowing down your wall sliding speed.
- The cyber elves can only be used once. And usage of them heavily affects the rank you get at the end of each mission.
+ It's got some pretty awesome villains. Leviathan and Fefnir are both lots of fun to fight.
+ Fast. The game is FAST. Like, take Mega Man X, and speed it up by about 15 times, and that's how fast this game is.
- Grinding. Level grinding. It's got level grinding in the form of constantly using your weapons to be able to use them to their full extent. Wanna do a three hit combo with the Z-saber? Grind its Skill Level. Wanna charge the Z-Buster? Raise the skill level.

Megaman Zero 2 - GBA
+ Plot continues right from where the first game left off.
- Makes use of the same Skill Level system as the original.
+ The soundtrack is way better.
+ Plot's better. It really starts to pick up the plot, and overall feel of the series towards the end.
+ Chain Rod
+ You get alternate forms for Zero to take, based on what weapons you use in missions, and how well you perform. Use the Z-Saber a lot, and you get a form that gives Zero a massive boost in Attack power. Use the Shield Boomerang a lot, and you get a form that stops you from being knocked backward when you get hit.
+ You learn abilities from bosses if you beat them while your Hunter Rank is at A, or S.
- Grading system is still a real hardass. Good luck keeping your Rank at an A, or S, much less even a B unless you play perfectly.
- Cyber Elves still cripple your Rank.
- The difficulty is still unforgiving if you're not a pro at Mega Man games.
+ Halfway point stage is one of the coolest stages ever.
+ The Shield Boomerang is actually useful for one fight.

Megaman Zero 3 - GBA
+ Picks up right where Zero 2 left off.
- Fairly difficult to understand the plot unless you finished the first two games.
+ Recoil Rod isn't as cool as the Chain Rod, but it doubles as a pogo-stick.
+ Best set of bosses in the series. You can't get much cooler than Blazin' Flizard, Hellbat Schilt, and Cubit Foxtar.
+ Connects with Battle Network 4 if you have the game; if you trade a battle chip from BN4, in addition to getting a Z-Saber chip in BN4, enemies in the (Optional) Cyber Space portions of stages get replaced with Beetank and Glider viruses from Battle Network.
- Difficulty is still pretty unforgiving.
- So's the ranking system.
+ EX Skills are still around for beating bosses with Rank A, or S.
+ Gets rid of the Skill Levels, so no more grinding.
+ Plot really hits its peak, especially toward the end, with a twist that's almost as out of nowhere and in your face as the twist in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.
+ The final boss is really cool.
+ Soundtrack is still getting better.
+ There are hidden chips for Zero to equip for his head, body,and feet that improve your performance.
+ In addition to the 8 bosses in this game, the game reuses 6 bosses from the first game. One is optional.

Megaman Zero 4 - GBA

+ Once again, picks up right after Zero 3.
- The difficulty is still unforgiving.
+ If you're not that hardcore, then behold the first Easy Mode in the history of Megaman.
- Easy Mode makes you feel like a real wuss though, because it gives you all 4 E-Tanks from the start, and bosses take a lot more damage.
- Your Rank gets crippled for playing on Easy mode.
- You can't get EX Skills if you play on Easy.
+ The Ranking system isn't so unforgiving.
+ Features a weather system, where you can change weather before starting a mission to either make a stage slightly easier, or to play stage like it was supposed to be played. Playing with the altered weather affects your Rank in the end though.
+ Revamped Cyber Elf system. You no longer have to worry about your Rank being crippled unless you use too many abilities at once.
+Revamps the Chip system from Zero 3, and lets you collect parts from enemies to make new parts for Zero to use, like foot chips that let you Double Jump, body chip that halves your damage, etc... And your Rank is safe from these too.
+ Best soundtrack out of all four games.
+ Plot is still epic, and makes for a nice close to the Zero series.
+ The Z-Knuckle's pretty cool!
- Lack of a Chain Rod is disappointing though.
+ No more Shield Boomerang.
+ Out of all the stages in the series, only one in this game is possibly the biggest adrenaline rush in the entire Megaman series.
+ Props to this game for making the Zero series the only Megaman series ever to have an actual, legit finale. It's done. Like no Megaman has done before.
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I told you – I'm always with you.
Last Scenario (PC, freeware, can be downloaded here)
+ The plot is complex, interesting, and consistent. Overall, a very good story.
- It can be a bit hard to keep track of everything.
+ The game starts with a heap of CRPG cliches and manages to pull it all together into an original, compelling plot.
- Due to the game's setup, the first few hours are full of cliches and may make you want to strangle the main character, though it gets better later.
+ The characters are detailed and well-developed in general; even the more minor ones can grab you a good deal of the time.
+ The gameplay (more or less the standard RPG kind) is very well balanced; level grinding is unnecessary, but boss fights in particular are challenging and require a good deal of strategy to beat efficiently. The game is difficult enough to keep you on your toes, but generally not too frustrating if you know what you're doing.
+ The magic system is original and strategic: you equip 'Spellcards' that allow characters to cast specific spells, but can only equip so many cards to each character.
+ There is a strategy minigame, 'Hex', that is fun to the point of being addictive (and, gameplay-wise, allows you to get extra items/equipment).
+ The art is overall very good; all the character sprites, portraits, and enemies are original.
- There is a slight tendency for portraits to make characters look younger than they are, or (usually in the case of alternate portraits) slightly off in general.
+ None of the music is original -- all of it is taken from RPGMaker -- but it's at least well-chosen and fits the areas and scenes very well.
+ Geology plays a decently large role in the plot. How awesome is that?
+ You will not see at least two of the twists coming, which is certainly not to say they come out of nowhere.
- The final boss is usually very difficult when you first get up to it, which can cause serious frustration.
+ There are, however, several endgame sidequests that can level you up without feeling like you're grinding.

Exit Fate (PC, freeware, can be downloaded here)
+ Great plot, compelling main characters, and quirky side characters.
+ Beautiful artwork on the character portraits.
- Each character only has one portrait, which can be a bit odd at times when their expression doesn't match their words.
- The music is all taken from other games, which can be jarring if you've played those games, even though it's chosen well.
+ Aside from the music, almost everything in the game is original.
- The exception being that tilesets are taken from... Suidoken, I believe.
+ Tons of sidequests to do, most of which let you recruit one or a few of the 75 total playable characters. Even better, none of them can be missed or lost forever.
- The RPG battle gameplay is generally a bit on the easy side, except for some of the bonus bosses depending on when you fight them.
+ The spell system is interesting, although it takes a bit of getting used to; your characters regenerate MP as battles go on, which can be used to cast any spells you have remaining uses of for that battle.
+ Unused healing spells are used on the party after every battle, which is insanely convenient.
- One or two aspects of the plot are left completely unanswered; all signs point to a sequel that covers them, but still.
+ Unlike the rest of the gameplay, there are strategy war battles that can be difficult and require a lot of strategy.
- Unless you figure out that there's a way to beat them all with little to no effort...
+ Low-leveled characters or characters that have left your party for some time can be leveled up quickly by going into the most recent dungeon with them.
+ You're usually a bit short on money, which makes gameplay more challenging (and in my opinion, more fun), but can be frustrating for some people.
+ There are two sets of very, very well done comic relief villains. They are quite fun.

I probably forgot a ton of things I should have listed for both of those, but... I'm tired. And will do any other games I want to recommend tomorrow.

Lady Grimdour

Probably shouldn't be here.
And now for the third and final chapter.

God of War III
+ MAJESTIC storytelling.
+ About a month to finish fully.
+ You get to kill Poseidon at the very start of the game.
+ Everything is much bigger.
+ You visit Hades.
+ A new style of cutscenes; imagine the poster for the Lion King musical. Also they use the game engine as well to render the scenes.
+ The scenes are very well done; Kratos is getting creative at killing things.
- More of the same RAGETOS.
- A sex minigame WITH APHRODITE.
+ Well-paced; it's easy enough to understand but hard enough to challenge you.
+ Characters are developed very well, even Kratos loses the RAGETOS.
+ References the past games so you don't need to have played the others to get a gist of what has happened.
- References the other games WAY too much.

And Brutal Legend.

+ If you love metal, you will orgasm.
+ Jack Black.
+ Also, Rob Halford (Priest vocalist), Lemmy (Motorhead bassist/vocalist) and Lita Ford (The Runaways guitarist) are guests. All but the latter play versions of themselves.
+ The soundtrack isn't just pulled out of some random's iPod, it's well put together, including some obscure genres so it should cover all tastes.
+ Not to mention it's used to PERFECTION. If you want to be spoiled, search for the cutscene with Mr. Crowley.
+ Everything is metal. The design is stupid and giddy yet viciously badass.
+ Stage Battles; you fight using concerts. CONCERTS.
+ You get a hotrod. A very badass one.
+ The three factions are wonderfully different.
+ Even the lore is fucking badass.
- Jack Black.
- You can't jump.
- Every time you die getting from a savepoint to a mission, you start at the savepoint. EVEN IF IT'S ACROSS THE FUCKING CONTINENT.
- The RTS isn't polished enough either; the only way to play naturally is to bruteforce everything.
- At first the story is well-paced until you get to the second boss, then the third and final boss fight is RIGHT AFTER the second one. No buildup whatsoever.
- The side missions are repetitive; protect this, help these guys do that, kill x demons, et cetera, et cetera.
+ Did I mention that everything is metal?
*Chrono Cross - PSX
I suppose that it's not really obscure, but more people pay attention to Chrono Trigger.
+ 45 or so playable characters
+ Recruited characters and plot affected by various decisions
+ New Game Plus and Continue Plus
+ The gameplay is very in depth, and actually somewhat strategic
+ Music is absolutely phenominal
+ Quite a few of the characters manage to be very memorable (PO-SHU-SHU!!)
+ Graphics are really great, considering that the game is on the Playstation
+ A considerable amount of sidequests
+ Enemies can be seen on the field, so it is easier to avoid battles
+ Character growth system requires a bit of thought.
- The plot starts off promising, but turns into a confusing mess of random plot points, after a while. By the end of my first playthrough, I had to read a few summaries of the game to actually come close to understanding what was going on
- A lot of the characters join your party for essentially no reason. For example, one character joins simply because she feels like she knows the main character
- Once access is gained to the Mastermune, Vigora, and Eagle Eye, the game becomes incredibly broken
- It seems like they were really stretching it for character ideas (A freaking alien joins your party out of nowhere. WTF?)

*Legend of Dragoon - PSX
One of the games that introduced me to the RPG genre, mainly from watching my brother play it. It's really quite great.
+ It's actually challenging, unless you grind an excessive amount, which is almost impossible.
+ 7 unique playable characters
+ The attacking system is incredibly unique, and manages to actually involve people in battle instead of a massive amount of button mashing.
+ Magic system in the game is also unique and interesting
+ Plot is relatively simple and easy to follow, while still being able to throw a few plot twists out there
+ Character development is top notch for the main characters
+ Nice balance of comic relief in an otherwise dark story
- While the plot is good and all, there are some really slow moments in the game
- The dungeons are pretty linear, and the world map is very restrictive
- Sidequests in the game are almost non-existent, aside from a couple optional bosses
- Grinding is required if you want your characters to get all of the additions for your characters, and grinding is, like I said before, nearly impossible.

*Dragon Quest VI - SNES (Japan - only, English patch), DS (To be released in US later this year)
Since there is an english patch, I do believe that it's pretty accessible to people, plus a DS remake is coming later. I haven't finished the entire game yet, but I know enough to recommend it.
+ Job system is incredibly fun
+ Legitimately difficult
+ 6 characters, along with 3 optional characters, plus a monster recruitment system
+ Plot is simple and easy to follow
+ Some hilariously silly things, such as one of the vehicles in the game being a flying bed
+ Game encompasses a long amount of time
- There is a required Style competition in the game which takes a long amount of preparation to complete, which can completely ruin the game if you're not dedicated to complete it
- Being a Dragon Quest game, grinding is of course required, but if you're using the SNES patch you can use the emulator to speed ahead if you so desire, making grinding much easier
- The overall plot of the game is almost non-existent; much of the quests and stuff are just thrown in to get objects and stuff that are needed to progress


They don't call me Greed for nothing
Alan Wake
+made by the same company that did the Max Payne games
+has a errie Silent Hill feeling and setting towards it
+single player
+graphics are very good
+filled with intense action and unforgettable cinematic moments
+Amazing story telling
+broken into episodes like a TV series
+offers endless twists and cliffhangers, and building up to an epic conclusion
+Must use light against enemies
+gameplay is amazing
+controls are very simple and easy
+Many different characters ranging from minor to important

Bluberry Bat

Mostly Ghostly
Well I suppose this would be the place to rattle off an under-the-radar gem I've been engulfed in the past couple weeks. Now presented in rambley stream-of-consciousness review style~

Infinite Space ~ DS
~ I figure I should start by laying all the cards on the table. It's Sci-Fi, it's a JRPG, and if those genres turn you off then you can probably give this one a miss. That said, however, for a JRPG - and especially for the DS - its got loads of innovation and charm that really set it apart. Produced by the unlikely Nude Maker development - which, as it may well be, is exactly what it says on the tin, (This being their first venture into a non-Hentai game.. and in fact could be considered somewhat a heel face turn given the gritty overall-feel of most of the characters, only a handful falling into the sexuality trap) the game really offers what I find to be a fresh, exceptional presentation.

The game really stretched the DS to the limit - the graphics, sound and music are extremely well done (Dynamic lighting, anyone?). There's an insane amount of customisation involved, with at least 100 ships to choose from - all rendered surprisingly well with the DS' 3D capabilities, and the selection of modules and crew is like a minigame in itself. (Each ship coming with a certain grid of space, in which you work in Tetrad style shapes to determine its particular stats. Modules can range from battle efficiency mods, to spaces for keeping your crew content, to cargo holds to make money while travelling to training rooms for your commanders. Each type comes in several levels - though higher levels aren't always better, each having its own stats to space requirements, there's a balancing act to space efficiency to power as well as -finding- the better modules. It may not appeal to everyone, but I find it to be rather enjoyable and interesting.)

The opening movie is a full animated anime-style short, complete with voice acting - and the ingame battle scenes come with their own sets of voice samples. (Although some are admittedly delivered in a lacklustre drone) The music, while very good and indeed always fitting to the setting of the scene, can become a little repetitive after awhile in some cases (Such as the default battle theme, which does not change throughout the game) - but is nonetheless very well done.

Meanwhile, character portraits come in the anime-portrait style - however deceitful to the name, they're very well done and all have a very good feel of personality and grittiness to them. You really get a feel for all the characters in the game, and for the matter the genre of the game, even the more minor ones - and with over 100 people to recruit, it's amazing to see someone you recruited near the beginning of the game popping up near the end with new, unique dialogue and ways of interacting with the world - and some of their development will really throw you for a loop, especially the main character - best described as a 'White-Haired Bishie', fleshing out as an undeniable badass right from the start.

This brings up another point though - the game can be a little unforgiving if you're not careful and checking your surroundings tenaciously. It's -VERY- easy to miss character recruitment flags at times, with no real direction given to you for some of their existences. Filling the game's character database can indeed be very challenging, especially considering the game's various branching paths - even using the 5 save slots provided to you, it's difficult the get -everyone- in only one playthrough, let alone meet all of them without a guide. Nonetheless - playing through on your own and meeting those you're able to find has its own appeal, and you become attached to the ways you went out of your way to find them, which in its own sense is an achievement. Furthermore, the game offers the ever-lovable New Game+ feature, meaning taking yourself through the alternate routes via alternate playthroughs to complete your roster becomes far less a hassle.

Gameplay wise - the game has its strengths and weaknesses. It's well done and well presented, but can fall a bit short in its appeal as time goes on. The backgrounds and flight scenes look pretty for sure, and gives you a feel of space travel well enough, but there also isn't a whole lot to see - often causing you to instinctively fast-forward through the scenes and making them somewhat moot. There are many, many planets to visit - but many have limited interaction available, often only a tavern with a barkeep to chat up for a single paragraph of subtext making them feel superfluous if not for the repairs available and resting your crew, which later in the game becomes largely unnecessary, as you improve your ship's facilities and maintenance crew thus keeping vitality in the green and repairing on-the-fly exceptionally quickly.

The battle system is a little linear, but still fairly intuitive. It's real-time with only one dimension of movement, backwards and forwards - which is used to dance within various weapon ranges of you and your opponent. In addition, your fleet of ships moves as one - all following the same command you give in a single turn, which can nerf the feel of having a fleet of five moon-sized battleships at your disposal.
The battles all work off of a 'Command Gauge', basically a charge metre which will rise to three different levels at a speed determined by your fleet's combined 'Gauge Speed' mod, which is a hidden stat different for each ship, also modified by various modules your acquire. The mechanic had the opportunity to be more intuitive than it is - the idea being that smaller ships such as Destroyers had faster command gauge speed by default, meaning a balance of smaller ships with your bruiser-Battleships would have come into play as a balance of power to command flexibility. However, there's also a max to this stat - and later in the game, it's exceptionally easy to hit that max with modules alone, making Destroyers and even Cruisers feel exceptionally unneeded after progressing far enough into the story when you can just jam them into your fleet of Battleships.

Starting out, the battles play very rock-paper-scissors esque, offering three command options - 'Normal', 'Barrage', and 'Dodge'. Normal is the simple attack option - firing all your in-range and ready weapons once apiece for the cost of one command bar. Barrage is your power-player, and what you want to draw your enemy into most of the time in most cases. It fires the equivalent of three Normal fires for two command gauge, making it far more devastating. However - Dodge completely mitigates it, causing almost all shots to miss almost guaranteed. Dodge is a command that puts you into the Dodge status until you next perform an action - and while it causes Barrage to become ineffective, it causes Normal to have double-accuracy against you, meaning timing it wrong can lead to the enemy's normal attacks being more devastating than the barrage itself.

Later on you gain three more commands - Melee, Fighters, and AA. Melee essentially causes you to board the enemy ship and attempt to gut the crew from the inside-out, and its battle system is an almost literal RPS translation. Generally, though, it's ill-advised as it takes longer (Requiring you to point-blank the enemy fleet, as well as use up two command bars), injures your crew more and the enemy has an annoying habit of retreating, booting your back into a fleet battle many times over.
Fighters, on the other hand, is one of the most useful commands, becoming available mid-game after acquiring the ability to install hangers, and purchase ships with Catapults for launching the fighters themselves. When sent out, your squadron races towards the enemy fleet and locks them down in place, dealing constant damage over time and leaving them sitting ducks. However your enemy gets this commodity too, meaning you can just as easily find yourself swarmed. If both you and your enemy send out a squadron, the two will clash until one is totalled - at which point the rest of the winning squad will race to the fleet to use the rest of its flight time to nip at their ankles. AA, of course, is an anti-fighter command for when you don't have a squad of your own - however it's nearly useless, as not only do AA weapons take up normal weapon slots, they also prove to destroy them far slower than is useful. It's basically not worth bothering, even if you don't have your own fighters yet.
You also acquire special skills through certain characters and ships. The main character has a static command which is always available, while various characters will give you access to their action-specials if assigned to your First Officer crew slot. This set of skills has a far wider variety, and can cover a variety of uses, from in-battle repairs, to Defence and Offence power-ups, to breaking up the enemy formation to make them easier to target. Finally, ships themselves may come with an ability, which may be used if that given ship is used as your flagship.
At the end of the day, although fun at first, the fights can grow slightly stale in between boss fights or possible self-induced challenges. (Such as never using Battleships, which are indeed considered a mainstay of the game.) Still, it's kept me hooked enough to want to continue anyway, and it really does grow on your if you let it even for all its critique.

In an overall statement, you can probably tell I've greatly enjoyed the game even for all it's shortcomings. The story is amazing, and the branching paths give a good bit of re-playability. The characters are all unique and identifiable - especially since the game will very much invoke the 'Anyone can Die' rule. At the risk of slight spoilers, I'll say that they aren't afraid of getting you very attached to crewmates or friends, and subsequently killing them off or otherwise removing them from your sphere of influence - and occasionally making you feel like quite the jerkass for taking out certain people.
The customisation is huge, and the game looks pretty - so although the battles can leave a bit to be desired, they have the potential to keep you hooked. Occasionally you can be hooked into some extreme grinding action, acquiring extra money and fame for new ships and parts - but as an RPG as it is, that's a factor that's hard to avoid. To be fair, the game balanced my income enough that I didn't grind at all until past the halfway point.

Is the game for you? Well, you have to go on your feeling I'd say. It's not for everyone, I will say that - but if you enjoy a well done story driven plot, some fanatical customisation and perfectionism, and occasionally watching things get blown to bits on the go - give it a try. It's not a game to rent, for if you like it, you're going to want to play it for a long time, and possibly multiple times over.


+ Powerful, well done, extensive and branching story gives the game a lot of charm.
+ Various Crowning moment of Awesome/Funny bits, both in the main story and a lot of the subtext which is there for you to find. There's a good bit of dark humour involved, and some crap slipped past the radar presumably, for a T-rating - such as 'the little sister' going and blowing a major bigbad's head clean off with a point-blank blaster shot.
+ Unique, very well portrayed cast of characters, with even minor, miss-able characters able to hold their own in the story at large. There are lots of them to find and recruit and each one is memorable in their own way.
+ A very pretty looking game, for the most part - space itself is a visual treat, while the variety of ships are all well modelled and detailed. It's also fun to watch enemies explode into ludicrous gibs - which look a little short-handed looks wise, are still cleverly pulled off. They also remain in-battle until the end, which is a nice touch, giving a sense of battle continuity.
+ Tons of customisation, with all the ships available one can spend very long periods of time customising their personal fleet. The wide cast of crew members serves to expand this factor.
+ LOTS of places to explore, lots of optional little things to find and do.

+ The battle system is somewhat simplistic, at a glance feeling like a glorified game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. In addition, controlling all ships at once makes it feel less like you have an actual 'Fleet'. Still, it's fairly intuitive and challenging in its own way.
+ Depending how you look at it, the fact that the game isn't afraid to kill off characters can be good or bad. It really expands the story, makes it feel gritty, and gives you a deeper connection to both those you lose and those you could lose. Queue tear-jerker moments. On the other hand, it can be decidedly frustrating to lose them outright. As far as I'm concerned it adds a lot of depth, but it may not be a mechanic everyone will agree with.
+ Overall a bit perfectionistic. If you don't carefully check -everything- and then-some, you're liable to miss a lot of opportunities. At the same time, it can feel very rewarding to find these things and indeed very minor bits which likely go largely unnoticed, and some will enjoy the mechanic greatly.
+ Lots of intricacies to work out. The game very much throws you into the field with little to no knowledge of the real way things are working, and it becomes a learning process. The Help section is like a long-winded encyclopaedia of information and mechanics and it can take awhile to get a handle on things. At the same time, the learning process boasts its own appeal.
+ Great music, only held back by becoming a little repetitive later on. Unique voice samples, while immersive, become tiring after awhile - and some are flat out droning.
+ Has its own, personal swear word! 'Grus' is used as a sort of all-purpose swear. 'Go to Grus!' 'Oh, Grus...' 'You piece of Grus!' .....Of course, it can feel a little out of place and awkward, especially since they aren't afraid to throw around conventional 'swears' like hell, damn, or ass.

- Normal battles become very redundant after awhile, and voice acting and music become very apt to just be skipped as they take a long time to play out otherwise.
- The game -Requires- the use of the touch screen, which is always a downer for me coming from a die-hard age of control pad jocks. (Not to mention the obvious of the onscreen buttons being better formatted for righties.)
- Even with the well-told story, it can become flimsy at times, and certain bits leave you wondering how the heck that happened, exactly - such as participating in large-scale fleet battles, but only actually taking down somewhere between 5-11 ships, one of them being a very important one which it would seem more of the enemy would rush to defend.
- Although there's lots to explore, at certain points in the story you become locked out of previous sectors for a time, or indeed for the rest of the game, making extended exploration somewhat less.. shall we say, 'Infinite'.
- Later on, the game can become a little too easy without self-induced hard-mode, such as using less powerful ships and/or modules or timing yourself to get the most out of each flight before resting and properly repairing.
- Some commands and modules are/become flat-out useless, while others are flat out blatantly powerful, which can somewhat limit the customisation factor you have.
- Falls into the grinding trap in some cases.

Too much? Probably. But there you have it.
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see ya

Silent Hill 2 - PS2, XBox, PC

+ One of the greatest plotlines in any video game ever. This is not a hyperbole, this is a widely-agreed point. It's extremely well thought-out and has little to no plotholes.
+ A small, but well-developed cast.
+ Extremely scary. The atmosphere is always breathing down your neck. Also, this is the game that brought us Pyramid Head.
+ Great soundtrack.
- Voice acting is very stiff, and while it's not terrible, it's not nearly as good as it should be to keep up with the intense story.
- Gameplay-wise, the game doesn't stand out at all. It's slow and kind of clunky, and you can tell they didn't really pay attention to developing that part of the game. There's also a lot of fetch-questing and backtracking.
- It's very short. As in, it's not hard to run through the game in two hours.
- While well fleshed-out overall, the main character needed to have more of his repressed sexuality shown through his actions, not just through his symbolic monsters. After all, it's this aspect of him that the entire game rides on (no pun intended).

OVERALL: A flawed game, but it has some MASSIVE pluses on its side that make it a must-play. Check it out, if only for the exquisite story and atmosphere.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - Wii

+ The first Silent Hill game to have awesome voice acting, and its advantage over other games in the series really shows.
+ Unique gameplay. Instead of fighting the monsters, you're forced to run from them, which adds to the helpless feeling the game gives you. You're also forced to think much more quickly than most games. "Pushing" the monsters off of you with the wiimote adds to the immersion.
+ Plot is absolutely brilliant, up there with Silent Hill 2. Even if you see the twist coming, it will still shake you.
+ The psychological profile system. Everything about it. It will creep you out how almost every little thing you do has an effect on how the game plays out. Spend a little too much time staring at a poster of a hot girl? It will change the entire game. It also makes the game very replayable, because there's so many variables.
+ Again, a small, but awesome cast of characters.
- Compared to the other Silent Hill games, it's not that scary. It's not without its moments, but it doesn't fill you with dread like the others. In fact, most of the time you feel perfectly safe, which can take away from the experience.
- Only one enemy type. Sure, they change over time, but if you liked the highly symbolic variety of monsters from the other games, you'll be disappointed here.
- The puzzles are too easy and there's too few of them.
- It's very, very short. Like Silent Hill 2, if you know where you're going, you can easily clear it in two hours.
+/- This is probably the only game in existence to have no bosses, not even a final one. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on the player.

OVERALL: A fantastic, gripping game that will leave an impact and may scare you through how well it can read your actions and change the game to reflect them, though it suffers from being so short.

Earthbound - SNES

+ Very quirky and funny, but not without a touch of darkness. Of course, the darkness explodes near the end, and it's awesome.
+ One of the most unique and memorable final boss fights of all time.
+ For those sick of the usual fantasy setting, this is the RPG for you.
+ Gameplay is fun and, like the rest of the game, doesn't take itself too seriously, preventing it from being overcomplicated. The rolling HP meter is a great addition, and it will save your life.
+ Nice soundtrack.
+ The graphics. While they're simple, they fit the mood of the game perfectly.
+ No random battles. Every enemy, even bosses, are visible on-screen before they're encountered, meaning it's easier to avoid annoying or hard baddies.
- The pacing of the game is awful, making it hard to replay. It has a lot of very tedious parts that you have to slog though to get to the good parts (FUCK YOU MOLE CAVE/DEPARTMENT STORE/MONKEY CAVE).
- Only one character gets developed, and it's a second-tier villain. The protagonists are all very, very one-dimensional.
- The game can get kind of grind-y at some points.
- It's a little on the easy side, and battles require little strategy. A good deal of your PSI (the shields and stat buffs) is useless because it's easy to brute-force your way through most of the game.
- New party members start at Lv. 1, meaning that by the end of the game, Ness will be hideously overpowered while everyone else drops like flies unless you do serious grinding.

OVERALL: It'd be a lie to say this game doesn't have some seriously grating problems, but its charm and heart will win you over. It's a love-or-hate game, but it's worth giving it a chance.

Mother 3 - GBA

+ Fixes just about every problem Earthbound had.
+ Some of the most well-done mood whiplash in a video game. You WILL laugh, and you WILL cry. Sometimes both at the same time.
+ Gameplay expands upon RPG tradition by adding a unique combo system. You rhythmically tap the action button to the beat of the background music to rack up to 16-hit combos, and this system actually works very well.
+ That said, the game puts a lot of investment in its soundtrack, and it shows.
+ The sprites themselves are rather average, but their animation is brilliant, which makes up for it. Here, have a sample.
+ Like Earthbound, there's no random battles, and all enemies can be seen on the screen.
- If you hate anti-technology or anti-capitalism plots, you're probably going to hate this game. Granted, it's a little more nuanced and fair than the average story involving those themes (especially with the technology aspect), but they're still there.
- Character development outside of Lucas and his family is weak. Kumatora and Duster are two that suffer a lot from this, though probably the biggest is Fassad, who, despite having a huge part of the plot resulting directly from his actions, we know very little about.
- The major twist of the game is way, WAY too easy to predict, which could reduce its effect.
- When a character is about to learn new PSI, instead of learning it automatically after a battle, they "become feverish" in the overworld and become visibly sick. While this seems like a cool, unique idea at first, you soon realize that it prevents you from running. If this happens when you're trying to get through an area full of hard monsters, faced with a puzzle where you have to run over/ram into something, or worst of all, face-to-face with the Ultimate Chimera, which kills you instantly, this becomes infuriating.

OVERALL: If you loved Earthbound, you'll love this even more. If you hated Earthbound, you'll find this to be a refreshing change. An incredible RPG with a compelling story, fun combat innovations and buckets of emotions of all kinds. A must-play for any RPG fan.
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Rubber dinghy rapids, bro!
oooh plug for underrated series!!

**Super Robot Wars**
okay now imagine megatron fighting the hulk fighting he-man fighting the thundercats fighting doctor who fighting ed edd and eddy. that's basically what the SRW series is like. except with GIANT JAPANESE ROBOTS. so if you like Gundam, Evangelion or Eureka 7 or whatever then you'll love these games.

they're SRPGs like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics. difficulty can vary from fuckton hard to piss-easy. the gameplay can be quite complex at times but it allows for a certain amount of variety (a major feature of most of the games is branching storylines and stuff). other high points include great music (either remixed versions of the shows' OSTs or original songs which are bloody awesome), pretty sweet animation (at least on some of the later titles) and funny, nerdy, in-joke ridden, cliche-filled plots. also, unlike most SRPGs the flow of SRW is generally quite fast. you can skip animations, dialogue, whatever and speed the game up considerably if you want to rush through a level.

now, there's a downside. as you can imagine, these games never ever see the light of day outside of Japan because: a) filthy gaijins don't appreciate giant robots piloted by angry manchildren punching the shit out of each other and b) licensing costs. so, you have a choice: be a MAN and play the games in moonrunes (which is perfectly possible even if you can't speak any Japanese at all - some of the easier ones can be mastered with trial and error and a little foreknowledge of the included series). or you can wuss out and play any of the following titles:

Super Robot Wars: Original Generation 1
+Probably a good starter game
+Fairly simple game mechanics
+Professional translation, released on GBA so you don't have to pirate
+All original characters so don't feel guilty if you can't remember that obscure guy off that limited-release JP-only OVA
-Has shitty graphics even for a GBA game
-Hard as fuck to find and pretty expensive unless you want to pirate

Super Robot Wars: Original Generation 2
+Also on the GBA
+Much, much better graphics
+More awesome, overpowered characters
-Seriously don't play this game until you've completed OG1 or you'll have your balls ripped off it is THAT hard

Super Robot Wars: Alpha Gaiden
+Actually has licensed series! So if you want your actual Gundams then here they are.
+Has voice acting! So you can hear your little manchildren shouting their hearts out as they battle the forces of evil.
+Has some pretty nice graphics although the battle sprites are a little ugh.
-It's only available as a translation patch so you'll need to pirate it (but it's for the PS1 which emulates pretty well and can be emulated on a PSP iirc)
-As a fan translation it's pretty good but there are some awkward bits here and there.
-Gets ridiculously hard towards the end of the game.

Super Robot Wars: Judgement
+Features series that you may have actually watched (Gundam SEED, Nadesico, Fullmetal Panic!) rather than @G's more esoteric cast list (Xabungle lolwut)
+Best animation of any translated SRW
+The translation is as good, if not better than @G's
+It's on the GBA, so you honestly have no excuse for not emulating it
-YMMV with the OST - it arguably has a poorer sound quality than both OG games
-The gameplay is really... really... really easy

Super Robot Wars 3
+It has... more UC Gundams?
+You really don't need any prior knowledge of the series included to understand the plot
-Balls-hard gameplay, with none of the helpful frills that later games added on
-Poor graphics, even for a SNES game - and you can't switch off animations
-Remixed OSTs are alright, but the constantly looping songs will drive you mental

once you've whet your appetite on the various English titles, maybe you should try your hand at non-translated games? W and K are on the DS (=easy to pirate on one of those clever DS memory card things), both are very easy by SRW standards and feature newer series which you kiddies are more likely to have watched (Gundam SEED and Wing, Zoids, GaoGaiGar, Fullmetal Panic!, etc.) and they also have great theme music.

most other titles are either too complicated (stay away from the Alpha games aside from Gaiden, the latter two have overcomplicated squad systems which require pretty good knowledge of Japanese to really be playable) or don't have the necessary graphical glitter to make up for the moonrunes (most GBA SRWs before J - although I hear that D is one of the best in the whole series and is getting a patch soon!)

oh there's also this game called Endless Frontier which was released in English for the DS. just remember that it's shit, has nothing to do with SRW, shares none of the game mechanics and is a total waste of money. although if you want a somewhat alternative RPG mechanic system then try it idk.

might do a write-up for the Fire Emblem series if I can be bothered. they're also good games.
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fresh fruit for Adol

even electronic brain pancake crystal elderly
Endless Frontier's actually an alright game though, but the sequel's much better. The company that made it is actually the one that made Namco X Capcom, but that was made on the same engine that they use SRW for.

Arc Rise Fantasia - Wii
+ Pretty solid battle system that plays a lot like Grandia 2.
+ quite a few playable characters for a CRPG, having 11 total that join your party
- Every single character leaves your party at some point, and you only have about half of that once you finally have a steady party
+ It has a pretty neat magic system that involves putting gems of different elements onto a circle, mixing and matching ones that are together for new spells. It's almost like FFVII's Materia system, but with more flexibility.
- There are some wonderful load times.
- Several of the characters are complete buttmunches, which is why every single party member character, save for one, betrays L'Arc in some way.
- That's not to say L'Arc can't be kind of a douche himself
+ Pretty interesting story that I can't even summarize without giving any spoilers away.
+ Has a pretty fun soundtrack that we've all heard hundreds of times before, but has its own twist on things every now and again.
+ This game has a lot of costumes.
- The costumes are only there for a couple of silly side events, and for you to look at in the menu. They do nothing about changing models.
+ The character art looks really nice
- ingame models do not look the same. Everyone ingame looks like an anorexic string bean. Some more than others (grr Ryfia, why do you look so disgustingly skinny?)
+ Despite the above, the graphics for this game are very pretty, and they somehow managed to avoid an uncanny valley for FMVs.
- You can only battle with three characters at once. That 4th slot is for stupid guest characters.
+ The game is fairly difficult. Especially if you don't know what you're doing, or if you just plain suck at predicting the actions of four or five enemies and countering them with only three.


Rubber dinghy rapids, bro!
Complete endorsement of goldenquagsire's post right here.
good taste lad!

Endless Frontier's actually an alright game though, but the sequel's much better. The company that made it is actually the one that made Namco X Capcom, but that was made on the same engine that they use SRW for.
I would probably be less bitter towards it if it didn't appropriate the SRW name. and it kinda feels like a slap in the face that Atlus translated an RPG spinoff rather than the other two OG games. I mean the battle system is something different, yes, and from what I've played of it there's some mildly amusing pervert humour. but still it's the principle that counts.