My backlog just dipped down to only 25 games for the first time in a while. I noticed that a decent chunk of those are RPGs. I’m just feeling especially wishy-washy as to which one I should play next.
I’ll include some info about why each game made it to my backlog (and why it hasn’t left) in case that’s helpful…
Shin Megami Tensei V (Switch)
Preordered this because I’m a huge Persona 5 fan and I thought I’d try out the core series. Later played and really disliked Nocturne HD and wondered if I’d made a mistake, but it’s been hard to tell from reviews.
Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS5)
I enjoyed watching my friends play the original when I was a kid, and I learned how to draw Cloud from a strategy guide, but I just never enjoyed the actual game (or any Final Fantasy) whenever I tried to play it. But I got this remake for free with the PS5 + PS Plus, and I’ve heard the gameplay is dramatically different, so I’m pretty curious.
The World Ends with You (Nintendo DS)
I’ve been hearing good things about the vibe of this game for years and years. I’ve had a copy forever but have never got around to actually playing it. I’ve heard the combat is a bit more active, which may actually be part of what’s put me off from starting… if it’s active like Chrono Trigger, that’s fine, but if it’s active like a rhythm game, I have to be in the right frame of mind.
Grandia II (Dreamcast)
Back in the day, there was a big rivalry in the press between Skies of Arcadia and Grandia II as to which was the better Dreamcast JRPG. I look back on Skies of Arcadia extremely fondly (despite some issues), but given how long it took me to actually finish I’ve been hesitant to start its rival. I also wonder if I might enjoy this more on a handheld?
Evolution: The World of Sacred Device (Dreamcast)
I think the general consensus is that this game is pretty mediocre. But I’ve been fascinated by it ever since the launch of the Dreamcast, and @YABUKI’s review of the game spoke to me a lot. But as with Grandia II, part of me wonders if I should wait for the Steam Deck so I can play it in handheld via emulation (maybe even cheating through the more repetitive portions?).
- Shin Megami Tensei V (Switch)
- Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS5)
- The World Ends with You (Nintendo DS)
- Grandia II (Dreamcast)
- Evolution: The World of Sacred Device (Dreamcast)
My recommendation is FFVII Remake for the simple reasons being it’s the only one of the game I’ve played on your list and can back by personal experience, and because I think it’s superb. I was a fan of the original but have since grown less fond of it than other games in the series. Even so, it has some incredible moments and has stuck with me. What I appreciate about the remake is that rather than simply remaking the game it attempts to engage with the legacy of the game, to build off the discourse created by the game, off of it’s story and mechanics. There are places it plays with the nostalgia, genre conventions and player expectations associated with the original game while in other places if forges an entirely new direction for the story that we are familiar with. There is a risk that if you’re not a fan of the original that some of this will be less impactful, but I do think the game stands on its own quite well and that the compelling things it does are not just limited to riffs on the original. It’s also a lot of fun to play and I very much enjoyed the hybrid ATB and real time combat system.
That’s helpful to hear. Is it approachable from a difficulty standpoint? (Part of the reason I couldn’t get into the original is that it felt like I was seeing “Game Over” really quickly if I strayed at all from a walkthrough.)
I think so. There are two modes at the start, normal and easy. Under the normal mode you have full control over all aspects of combat, both real-time and the menu selected technique and magic abilities. Under easy you just control real-time combat and the system handles the rest. I found normal to be easy enough to grasp but there was a slight learning curve and I know some people have said the first boss fight can be a bit much when everything is unfamiliar. I do think that if there’s a bit of a struggle early on you can potentially ease in with easy mode and then slowly switch over to normal. Overall I didn’t find it harder than any other contemporary RPG I’ve played.
If it also helps I didn’t follow any guides and I didn’t find I needed any walkthroughs. I never hit any walls while playing. It’s fairly linear except for a couple sections that allow you to explore Midgar and complete side missions. There’s very little risk of running into enemies that are leagues above your current level except for some of those side missions but the game does give you guidance on what is level appropriate (at least I think I recall that it does).
My brain says play the Dreamcast games before the system goes kaput.
Ha! I recently opened mine to add more lubrication to the optical drive and it’s been working just fine (knock on wood). I’d like to eventually learn how to mod the battery, and when the optical drive fails I’ll probably take that as a sign to invest in an ODE.
Whoa, I didn’t know about ODEs. That’s interesting. I’ve always worried my PS2 optical drive will go kaput (touch wood) but I’ve never really thought about what I can do if it does.
I’ve been playing my PS1 and 2 backlog on my first iteration hard to get backwards compatible PS2 and I’m terrified that’s gonna fall apart any minute.
I’m lucky, I can play my PS games on my PS3, but that doesn’t help me for all my PS2 era Silent Hill games. Although I could emulate PS2 games, I really like being able to play the original discs. But I guess if you can rig a PS2 to play off of a disc it should be the best way to play from a file. I know we can use homebrew to unlock loading games from the drive slot, but I don’t actually have a drive in mine and I think you need the network card attachment to use the HDD. And then you need an IDE drive. I feel like at that point you might as well have a time machine.
I believe the PS2 has more viable soft-mod options than the Dreamcast as well. Might be something to look into if your optical drive goes kaput!
This guy sells modded PS2s with 500GB, 1TB, 2TB options. Apparently these units also allow you to backup your existing disc library. Kind of tempting if I’m being honest, because as much as I am open to tinkering, this looks like a big project:
PS2 FAT Custom HDD games Hard Drive 500GB 1TB 2TB | Etsy Canada
Ooh, this is awesome, thanks! I might buy a couple goodies from him.
He does have some nice stuff.
Thanks to anyone who voted! Grandia II slid into first, but I decided I was more in the mood for FFVII Remake. I started playing today and although the jury’s still out, I’ve already made it about as far as I ever did in the original growing up so that’s a positive sign.
Make sure you have an appropriate meal so that you have the energy to tackle any gaming long hauls while playing.
If you’re in a rush, you can bring
And don’t forget your best outfit
Quick questions for the FF7 Remake proponents in this thread:
- I just finished Chapter 4. Was there a specific point in the game where you felt like “now I’m hooked”? I’ll often approach acclaimed games as research expeditions at first (“let’s find what’s so beloved about this”) but then eventually they win me over and I lose myself in the game. It’s very beautiful, I like some of the characters, and the soundtrack is great, but I’m still feeling like it’s homework to play it.
- Seriously, is Cloud going to be a jerk the whole time? I cringe every time this guy reacts to anything.
Thanks! I’ll try sticking with it a bit longer.