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Everything posted by TriforceBun

  1. What if you like Maribel but think she goes overboard sometimes?
  2. I played through DQ1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 before playing through 3 for the first time this year...and I think 3 is definitely a contender for best game in the series! The scale of the game is truly impressive, and the final chapter is wonderfully done in almost every aspect. SPOILERS AHEAD I only wish that stuff wasn't seen as "common knowledge" nowadays, as it would've been great to experience those surprises firsthand. Oh well. Mix that in with the fun episodic elements of the rest of the game and the create-a-team aspect and the tweaked Return spell and better difficulty balance compared to DQ2, and you've got a real contender in my eyes.
  3. Hm, I didn't get that Lavender and Carraway were very clearly in love with each other. I did speak to the NPCs repeatedly and did a lot of party chat, but it's possible I missed that detail. Even so, I think Lavender's behavior is pretty awful. She gallivants around with a man that's not her fiancee, her fiancee gets (overly, but understandably) jealous about it, and she storms off over and over. If she loves Carraway, why keep stringing along Dill? I never got the impression that Dill was doing this for the money; while he was hot-headed and untrusting, he clearly cared about Lavender and was worried about losing her. If anything, the fact that Lavender didn't let Dill know that she wasn't interested in marrying him was the main problem. The onus shouldn't be on Carraway to run off with someone's fiancee behind their back! These people need to communicate with each other!
  4. I'm not entirely sure which way I want to do jobs; I think I'll give characters a mix of things that fit them, and as lead-ins to advanced classes. I've started off by making Auster a Priest, Maribel a Mage, and Ruff a Thief for some fun basic skills (and Ruff just makes total sense as that monster trainer class later). I'll probably next go with Dancer or Sailor for Maribel and Shepherd for Ruff. Not sure yet what I want to do for Auster, but I want to mainly get stuff that makes the battles more interesting...but not too easy! Maybe Warrior or Fighter for him.
  5. Normally, I like her. A bratty little spitfire adds some punch to the party chat, and she has several genuinely funny lines--plus, when she slips up and says something a bit flirtatious or coy to the hero, it's always charming. That said, she got on my nerves in Greenthumb. *mild spoilers for Greenthumb chapter* I didn't much like this chapter of the game, mainly because all the characters were either idiots or obnoxious, Maribel included. Let's see... -Dill: Overly jealous and whiny. In his defense, though, he refused the advances of the maid. Plus, his distrust ended up kinda being on the mark. -Lavender: Yells at Dill for not being trusting, then secretly asks Carraway to run away with her. -Cayenne: Hits on an engaged man. The only decent person in this group is Carraway, who protects Lavender from the rain but also refuses to take advantage of her. The problem with Maribel is that she fails to see any of the girls' problems and repeatedly complains about the boys. When Cayenne tries to seduce Dill and Dill won't have it, Maribel insults Dill for some reason. When Lavender tries to elope with someone who's not her fiance, Maribel completely ignores that and instead calls Carraway a coward (??). She's being totally unfair against the male characters just for being male, and not in a funny beginning-of-the-game kinda way, but in an obnoxious way that feels hypocritical and mean-spirited. She's much funnier when she's complaining about everyone rather than cherry-picking specific things in only the male characters, so I hope we don't see this ugly side of her again.
  6. That was one of my main beefs with Maribel early on in both versions of the game. Yep. I had big issues with both Lavender and Cayenne because Thankfully she's been good outside of that scenario.
  7. I'd like a difficulty selector in these remakes. You know, something very simple like "on Hard, all enemies deal 50% more damage with all attacks and offensive spells." I'm finding DQ7 to be on the easy side as well, largely due to the fairly low damage most enemies have been dealing to my party.
  8. On a related note, anybody know what DQVIII's camera controls are like? I seem to remember it using the PS2's second stick, but how would it play on a (non-New) 3DS?
  9. The first island/town/story thing (Ballymolloy) was really good. Nice story with a solid emotional core and some fun adventuring. I'm enjoying party chat a lot too. Only problem is that it's easy! The monsters and bosses so far haven't given me any trouble. I want to do some classic DQ resource-management in these dungeons, already! Lips and cactiballs and whatnot are barely putting a scratch on my team (and I haven't done any sort of excessive grinding or what-have-you). Kiefer's Flame Slash 0MP move--is this just a better version of Fight? Any downside to using it?
  10. Never played this before, so I dug right in. I just got to my first battle. So far, so good! Maybe it's because I'm used to modern Zelda openings, but I didn't think the intro was all that slow. The characters and NPCs are very lively and the writing is a lot of fun. The game does a great job conveying people's personalities with just a couple lines of dialogue (Maribel in particular is pretty hilarious: "Thanks for the adventure. Let's never do it again.") and I'm digging the variety of accents as well. Like the Irish guy at the Rainbow's End Bank (I get it!) or the warrior near the graveyard having a Scottish accent. The music is quite good but I still wish for the orchestral soundtrack...*sigh* And yeah, I'll agree with the complaints about the Saint puzzle--it wasn't really a puzzle so much as a very straightforward fetch quest, and while the spirit of adventure was there, it would've been nice to have a bit more agency in choosing which piece goes to which statue. Now looking forward to this strange new world I've been whisked off to...
  11. Can't have shadow without light! The cheery parts of DQV's story help to both contrast the darker parts, and help keep the player hopeful in overcoming all the obstacles thrown the hero's way.
  12. I voted Zenithian because IV, V and VI make a terrific, consistent trio, and IV and V in particular are two of my favorites in the series. That said, I think the Erdrick trilogy actually has a much stronger through-narrative than the Zenithian trilogy. IV-VI barely relate to each other, and kinda do it in a not-very-interesting way, IMO. You mainly see the castle show up a few times. DQIII, however, has a magnificent payoff from both a gameplay and thematic standpoint that I feel serves as the highlight of the entire DQ NES era! The last quarter and final reveal of DQIII are nothing short of brilliant and it puts the whole trilogy in perspective. I don't think Zenithia has anything nearly that rewarding in its multi-game storytelling. Now, on an individual game basis, DQV certainly has its brilliant spots, but its fairly separate from the overarching plot of that trilogy.
  13. Good point; the fan response for DQVII was significant enough to make that version a reality for the US, so a similar approach might be a good idea. Would physical letters be the best way to go, or is there some sort of online approach that might work as well? I don't speak Japanese either, but I do draw and could whip up some art or something that might get the idea across...? Maybe send off some e-mails to Mr. Fujimoto, I dunno. That recent interview where he said that people can't really tell the difference between orchestrated and MIDI OSTs was kind of a strange one. Not sure if he really believes that or is just covering up whatever the real reason is for DQVII's MIDI.
  14. Based on some recent impressions by players who attended the PAX DQ panel, it's been all but confirmed that DQVIII will feature a MIDI soundtrack for its US release, not unlike DQVII. The reasons for this haven't been confirmed, but the common belief is that Sugiyama holds the rights to particular orchestrated versions that make releasing those particular songs tricky and/or more costly than the MIDI versions. Now, seeing as how DQVIII doesn't come out until 2017, is there a way we can feature enough "backlash" on VII's lack of orchestrated music as to hopefully get NOA to reverse this decision, or find a way to incorporate the orchestrated soundtrack into VIII once again? I know internet petitions are pretty common, but on occasion, they do hit their mark (such as with Project Rainfall), and if NOA or Squenix feels that adding the orchestrated OST back into DQVIII means more money, they'd probably do it. The problem is that I don't think a boycott is really the way to go; that'd probably just be mis-interpreted as DQ once again not having a sizable enough audience here, potentially leading to even less DQ games localized, which is even worse than getting inferior versions. So, I dunno, what do you guys think? Any sort of peaceful protest (maybe leaving polite-but-firm comments on twitter asking for the orchestrated OST) or common, catchy hashtag might work? #DQorchestr8?
  15. Ughgh. What the heck is going on over there? Is it some weird rights thing with the orchestral soundtracks? I'm still holding out a bit of hope that it might be changed back prior to release, but if not, that's a pretty major deal for me. I'd rather not have voice acting in DQVIII (as good as it is) than not have the orchestral soundtrack.
  16. Wait, 8 really doesn't have orchestrated music?? Nooooooo!! Ugh. ...I'm seriously wondering now if I should just replay the PS2 version (got far but never actually beat it). I can live with the visual downgrade, but the orchestrated music added so much to the game's feel that not having it is a major downgrade. VII's lack of orchestrated music is bumming me out more as well, but at least in that case, I don't already own a version of the game that has it!
  17. PART 5: BIRTH OF A HERO My familiar quest through Alefgard continued as I gathered the relics my descendants would eventually get to as well: the Sun Stone, Staff of Rain, Crest, and legendary equipment. It was cool and somewhat melancholy seeing Hauksness alive and well, while Cantlin was oddly muted compared to its first appearance. A quick trip through Rubiss Tower got me the other missing items, and after a couple hours of attempts, I conquered both goals in the Kol Pachisi Track! Armed to the teeth, I was ready for the final showdown. Zoma's Castle was fairly sprawling but a bit easier to keep track of than some of the dungeons in the game. My little band--lvl40 Hero, lvl 30 Thief (from Dealer from Thief), lvl 32 Sage (from Cleric) and lvl 30 Fighter (from Mage)--was having no real problems taking down the beasties within Zoma Castle, and I soon found myself tragically reunited with Ortega! Deciding enough was enough, I hightailed it to Zoma's quarters and began dropping his subordinates one by one. Compared to DQII's end boss gauntlet, it was a cakewalk. Zoma himself was another matter; I puttered about, barely staying alive (thank goodness for the Sage Stone) throughout his initial phase for about ten minutes, then decided to check the guide for suggestions. Apparently I was supposed to use the Light Orb as an in-battle item there! Once I did that, Zoma got a tad weaker and my hearty group of adventurers got their second wind. Thanks to smart spell and item use! So the day was saved, light shone on Alefgard, and my name will go down in Dragon Quest history as the great hero Matt! ...Um, Erdrick! ...Um, Loto! Sheesh, you'd think the least they could do after I saved the world was get my name right. Oh well. All in all, this game was fantastic, on par with the absolute best titles of the series. As far as the balance of new innovations and strong core adventuring go, this might be the top of the heap for DQ. Granted, I did play the remake rather than the original, so it's possible the NES version was a little shakier in streamlining stuff, but...still: day/night cycles, (up to!) four-member parties, a balanced and replayable class system, a far more useful Return/Zoom spell, the first method of air transportation in the series, the first dual-world approach in the series, the first real casinos, and a great use of nostalgia that goes all-in during the game's final quarter. Of special note is the storytelling. The way this game references the original game and plays with expectations is nothing short of brilliant. The final twist that you're playing as Erdrick the whole time is a very satisfying and clever one that really brings everything full-circle perfectly. And running around Alefgard, seeing how things become what they were in the first game is very nostalgic. The downsides? Like DQIX, DQIII doesn't really do much storytelling outside of the main plotline, since your party members are all customized. In addition, there aren't a ton of memorable NPCs compared to later games, but this is more forgivable given the title's age. Some of the dungeon design could've been improved, with several dungeons coming across as maze-like or claustrophobic (particularly due to the GBC's small screen), and a number of areas looping around indefinitely for no real reason. I also think the combat got fairly unbalanced due to all the potent party-hitting weapons like whips. Eventually, offensive magic just became obsolete, particularly when it would only hit my foes half the time. Why waste valuable resources when I can just whip or boomerang them for almost as much damage, AND be almost-certain that I'll actually hit them? This made battling later in the game kind of a tedious slog since there wasn't much strategy beyond spamming Fight (although that final battle certainly kept me on my toes, at least). Those issues aside, there was a ton to like here. The soundtrack was great (were those Alefgard remixes--overworld, town, castle, dungeon--in the original DWIII?), the visuals are nice enough, the monster list is full and varied, and the GBC version adds some nifty extras like the Medals and Pachisi. That's all for DQIII! Now I'm fully prepared to take on DQVII for the first time next week. Thanks for reading!
  18. Pardon me for sounding dramatic, but I'll be really bummed out if they don't include orchestrated music for the US DQVIII. DQVIII's one of my favorite games in the series, and its best attribute is the wonderful, grand atmosphere it had. The excellent visuals, voices, and music all contributed to that, and listening to the original (JPN) OST really leaves something to be desired for me. I don't mind it as much in DQVII since the original didn't have it, but it missing in VIII is almost enough of a reason for me to reconsider getting it. After all, I can experience the game with better visuals and orchestrated music on my PS2 right now...at some point, the quality-of-life features are going to outweigh stuff like no random battles and two extra characters...
  19. My DWIV NES cart doesn't have the healthiest battery, so I clearly remember multiple times in my childhood, turning it on and hearing that "cursed item" music upon boot-up, only to be greeted with a message saying my files were deleted. That sound still makes me uneasy to this day... Also: *The Metal Slime ran!* *The Liquid Metal Slime ran!* *The King Metal Slime ran!*
  20. PART 4: BRAVE NEW WORLD The bad news is that, unfortunately, I've apparently had major things about this game spoiled for me prior to playing. I can only imagine how cool they would've been to experience going in blind. The good news is it was still terrific! My quest had been a long, harrowing one, but Baramos's Castle was in my sights. I parked my bird outside and steeled myself for another rough dungeon. In fact, traversing the Castle was far more enjoyable than the Gondo Cave. It was still large and foreboding, with difficult enemies, but it was far clearer where I was going and where I'd been, and exploring its corridors was a largely enjoyable chore, particularly with the fresh scenery and music. The Metal Babbles still escaped from me every single time, though. My team now consists of a Hero in his 30s, my Thief (who was previously a Dealer, then previously a Thief...yeah, I dunno), my Sage (who I used the Zen Book on when they were a lvl 32 Priest), and my Fighter (previously a Cleric and originally a Mage) who works as kind of a utility/all-options character. They're a good bunch. I don't think I'll be changing any more classes for the rest of the game. Speaking of the rest of the game, you'd be forgiven for thinking there wasn't much of it left considering Baramos's general difficulty and the cool finality of his fiery lair. I went in a tad unprepared (and then made a dumb mistake having my Fighter cast Bounce on herself, preventing healing spells), but I did barely manage to win with only my Hero and Sage left standing, leading to the traditional Dragon Quest victory! ...Or not, because it turns out there's a new troublemaker in town that seems to really hate trumpeters. So it's off to the chasm near Baramos's Castle to get to the bottom of things, so to speak. Apparently Ortega fell into this abyss into the past so...let's find out where it leads! Where it leads is good ol' Alefgard, complete with classic Dragon Warrior music and monsters! Whaaaaat. Okay, so while I knew about Alefgard being a late-game environment, this already seems to be so much more than DQII's (already cool) cameo mini-continent. Instead of a brief throwback, we've got a full-scale version of the original game's overworld, complete with towns and people and quests and all that jazz. Tantagel already piqued my curiosity with the Sun Stone chamber guardian mentioning that he had a vision of someone bringing him the Stone in the future, and a trip northeast to Garinham confirmed some crucial details--Garin is still alive, his grave hasn't been built yet, and the town only currently consists of that single large, northern house. My suspicions were right: this is a prequel! And it kinda kills me to have former knowledge that my little Hero is the mighty Erdrick/Loto, but it doesn't make exploring Alefgard any less exciting. The way the story has come full circle from the first game is delightful; you hear talk of this legendary hero all throughout the original title, and in the second one, your (DQ1) hero has also become one of legend. Finally, in the third one you get to play as the original hero and experience his journey firsthand, the same journey that you later followed in DQ1. It's a really neat way of tying everything together and I can't imagine how cool it would've been to experience it back in the 80s like this. It helps that DQ1 actually tucked away a ton of history into its world, so things like Garin's Grave and Hauksness (oh geez, what's this town going to be like??) can get explored in their earlier forms. Alefgard has taken in a lot more water since (or before, I guess) we saw it last, so a ship is required to now reach the far east forest town of Kol. I dropped in to see how things were and enjoyed more callbacks, such as the mysterious wizard guy in front of the swamp and the hidden Flute below the bath. I wonder if this thing still works on the Golem in front of that southern town! Is that southern town even there? Guess I'll have to find out next time in DQIII!
  21. PART 3: THE GREAT ORB HUNT And so we continue through the now-traditional nonlinear section of Dragon Quest! I always enjoy these extended bits of exploration, even if they can sometimes get a little unfocused. Admittedly, I did have to consult my DWIII Player's Guide at a few points to get an idea of where to go (got it off eBay for 15 bucks. It's a nice guide! Full of nifty art and maps). After I secured the Purple Orb from Orochi, I still needed five more. I essentially bounced around the world map, filling in squares in hopes that I'd stumble upon the rest of them. The tricky Arp Tower was one of the places that I needed to consult a guide for (how was I supposed to know there'd be an island of chests near the top?), and I ended up with the Orb-finding Echo Flute. The Echo Flute is kind of a neat idea for this type of quest, but its utility is somewhat limited since--at the risk of sounding like a lazy bum--opening up the submenu and selecting it and listening to it in EVERY area gets old fast. It may have made things a bit too easy, but I would've preferred an item that just "goes off" on its own whenever you're in an area with an Orb. Same ability, but far more streamlined. But hey, we're talking about a game that released in 1988, so it is what it is. Tendaki Village was a quirky place I'd stumbled upon in my travels, and as I first got there at night to see a pleasant village full of friendly people, it was quite a shock to wake up after my inn stay to find the place barren and spooky (the discordant Sugiyama "ruined city" music was a great touch). Pretty chilling. Fortunately, poking around there netted me two useful items, the Dark Lamp and the Green Orb. Next on my list of stops was Lancel and the Navel of the Earth, which I was expected to brave alone. The first expedition was cut short from a Beat-happy Mimic (sheesh, not fair), but my second attempt was far more successful. I liked the "GO BACK" masks and that fun little fake-out at the end regarding courage sometimes being about listening to others. Of course, this argument is nullified somewhat by the true path, where you still ignore the ominous wall sculptures and run off with the Blue Orb. Visiting my Dealer Bun's up-and-coming village revealed he was somewhat of a tyrant, and his inevitable imprisonment led to me trying to help him out (literally). He'd said he'd earned this punishment, though, and sent me off with the Yellow Orb. Whatever, Bun, I thought those layabouts were crossing a line, but if you're good with this, I guess I'll leave your mutinous village be. Hopefully it being overthrown by revolutionaries won't lead to its sudden horrible demise! The pirates' hideout netted me a quick and easy Red Orb, while dropping my Change Staff off in Greenlad got me a bone to help find the Ghost Ship, and subsequently, the "LuvMemory." I eventually figured out how to reach Olivia's Cape but was very annoyed at how finicky this section of the game was! There seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to when to use the LuvMemory--I must've been pushed back by the curse a dozen times as my Hero kept waving the necklace in the air in a futile attempt to get the ghost's attention. I tried using it on a ton of different tiles, after being pushed back, before being pushed back...eventually it worked and I'm not sure why. Whatever, Olivia! Pay more attention next time! Anyhoo, I got the rare, sacred Gaia Sword, which I then happily tossed into a volcano, never to see it again, and I was off to the Gondo Cave! ... ...Hey guys! Guess what? The Gondo Cave sucks! I love this series, but every now and then it throws a completely obnoxious gameplay element in your face. DWII had the nightmarish Cave to Rhone (which I think was even worse than Rhone itself, which was at least straightforward), this game has the Gondo Cave. DWIII does a lot of things really well, particularly for an RPG made in the 80s. But its dungeon design is still stuck in the past, and I do not miss these gargantuan mazes one bit. Every hallway looks the same, every screen gives you another fork in the road, and it's nigh-impossible to map it all out in your head. I should've gone the pen-and-paper route with this one, but by the time I realized how confusing it was, I was hopelessly lost. Eventually, I busted out my trusty guide because it was so much of a pain. The enemies are brutal as well, and I don't think I made a single successful Run attempt on the first go against anything here (and I ran...a lot). I guess it sounds like I'm complaining that the game was too challenging, and I guess I kind of am, but it's like the bad kind of challenge. Where you're thrown in a super-disorienting maze and the random battles only add to the frustration because you're trying to mentally map out everything in your mind. Gondo Cave can get outta here with that nonsense! Eventually, I finally made it through, got my Silver Orb, and awoke my bird! Lamia is a neat form of transportation and almost made the whole ordeal worthwhile. Cool music while flying it, no random battles, and a nifty accelerated sense of day/night all add up to one of the better moments of the game. Next time around, it's time to hit up Baramos's Castle! I regret that a late-game twist has been spoiled for me, but I'm still looking forward to it. Hopefully I won't need to use a map again for this guy's hideout...
  22. Yeah, the balance in the game is pretty rough. It gets props for being the first JRPG to have multiple party members and multiple enemies, and the gameplay is a more varied take on DQI's, but it still feels like a DQ "prototype" in a few ways. DQIII really feels like the first DQ game that doesn't feel particularly dated to me. DQII is still a fine game (mostly for its innovations), but it sure is tough when your party members can get killed by a strong breeze! Good luck on the last leg of the journey. It's...kind of a nightmare.
  23. I think DQIX was quite good; I'd probably rank it somewhere near the middle if ranking the entire series. Granted, consider that I find all the mainline DQ games to be very consistent in quality. It's true that DQIX is decidedly less grand than its predecessor (that's what happens when you go from the PS2 to the DS), and that's kind of a mild disappointment. But at the same time, it feels like a pretty tight streamline of a lot of what makes DQ work. There are tons of things to do and craft, I felt the battle system and class system were very refined, the episodic/town plot elements were about as interesting as in any other DQ game, and the overarching story--while it didn't involve your party members--was pretty solid in its own right. I actually just wrote up a full review of the game on another message board, which you can read right here (I'm trying to get a review out for all of the mainline games as I play through them--III should be next!). By and large, DQIX feels like a modernized version of DQIII, which is in no way a bad thing. Even if some of the quests are admittedly tedious with paltry rewards!
  24. I'm a big fan of strong animation, but I find this a little tough to answer. I do think the animations in the DQ games generally look great (especially the DS remakes, as mentioned). The downside is that...well, you fight a LOT of battles in DQ, and anything that slows the game down somewhat means you're spending a bigger percentage of your time watching things happen. Sometimes, snappy, static combat just helps a game flow better than seeing the same animation you've seen plenty of times before. So I don't really know what I'd say. In the case for games like DQVIII, which really go for immersion and atmosphere, I think it works nicely. It's worth the trade-off for the extra presentational oomph.
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