Morning or Afternoon or Evening depending on where on this planet you reside.
SO I had abandoned console RPGs a couple years back as I became tired of the linearity, the wacky storylines, and the over-abundance of tedious dialogue and cutscenes.
I want to make a triumphant return and have approximately three hours to decide before I go to lunch so I can buy one stealthily, before the weekend, so my wife doesn’t realize it.
All the Rogue Galaxy talk got me re-interested as I enjoyed the two Dark Clouds way back when. However, I have played few console RPGs since DC 2. I picked up LaPucelle Tactics in the hopes of starting from the beginning of the Nippon Ichi cavalcade of hits, but lost interest. AS a result of stopping before I got started, Disagea I has now dissapeared from shelves, Phantom Brave is almost gone, and Disagea II is the hot pick.
I am considering tracking down one of those 3 titles. Also all the talk of Dragon Quest VIII and Kingdom Hearts has me interested in those. I missed that other one Dragon Quarter: Breath of Fire (or whatever it was called), which I remember as being highly regarded by Dave Long and others. Then there is Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. I actually finished the first, GBA version and that rarely happens.
So in summation, I have a lot to choose from and a fixed amount of time to decide from this brief list or other suggestions:
Disagea I (prolly cannot find)
Dragon Quest VIII
Kingdom Hearts I
Kingdom Hearts II
Fire Emblem: PoR
A poll won’t help as I need heartfelt convincing from random semi-strangers to justify my purchase.
Fire Emblem. You will make some mistakes at first, so resolve early to replay the beginnings of battles or to try and power through to the end, and then replay. There are tons of characters, you need to have the right people talk to enemies sometimes. Movement ranges are high in this game, so make sure your weaker characters are protected at all times or they will be permanently taken out in one turn.
Final Fantasy XII is really good, but the guide sucks and you can only get the most powerful weapon after you beat the most powerful enemy. This makes the most powerful weapon useless.
Fire Emblem doesn’t fuck around. It gets to the action, the bonuses you get are from playing the game’s main story well. So you will never load the game and realize that in the last week, you haven’t advanced the story at all and get disheartened.
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter is absolutely worth getting because it’s the anti-JRPG. It’s got a powerful combat system like most JRPGs usually have, but it also throws out conventional story-telling and replaces it with something completely different.
It’s also like $5 used at EB if they have one on the rack, so just throw it in with whatever other game you decide to get.
The credits for Fire Emblem on the GC are scrolling as I type this. Took me awhile to finish the game, it starts off slow and punishes you mercilessly till you learn to always check the movement units of foes to see who needs protecting every turn. The story, for an rpg, amazingly doesn’t suck. I actually cared and managed to follow it through to the end, over months of time. That rarely to never happens. It takes too long to get your base and access to most of the customization of the game, but once you do it really changes into something worth playing. If you can play it long enough to get to the real heart of the game it’s a pretty amazing experience.
FFXII was the FF I have been waiting for. Played them all, beat most of them, and never really knew why I bothered. FFXII made it all worth while. Which probably explains why so many fans of the original style of gaming hate it so much =)
DQVIII proved to me that I can still like a well done bog standard JRPG. Played it to the end and loved it. You do not have to grind at all outside of the starting dungeon, and not for very long then. Hate the graphic style but the wide open environment more than makes up for it.
Don’t think you would go wrong with any of these choices, though if I could only pick one it would be FFXII.