View Full Version : Alternate Selection #9: Riviera

10-08-2007, 11:59 PM
<B>Riviera: The Promised Land</B>
Sting | RPG, sorta | WonderSwan/GBA/PSP | 2005-2007

So, as an antidote to all the shooting that's transpired in Fun Club of late, and as a diametric opposite of this month's RPG selection, let's talk a walk on the lighter side with the fluffiest RPG in recent memory: Riviera. This should be pretty easy to find, as it's been released on two different systems in largely identical versions, and the formerly crazy-expensive GBA version has come down in price considerably since the PSP version hit. Or you could find, uh, other ways to play. I won't tell.

Not convinced you want to give it a play? Please read bobservo's very pleasant paean (/toastywiki/index.php/Games/Riviera) to this very pleasant game. See? It won't hurt a bit.

10-09-2007, 12:10 AM
That link suffered damage along the way. Perhaps here? (http://www.gamespite.net/toastywiki/index.php/Games/Riviera)

10-09-2007, 12:11 AM
All the other selections were superb games, but this is a Fun Club selection I can really get into. I've had the GBA game laying around unfinished for some time and this is an excuse to finally get back into it!

Red Hedgehog
10-09-2007, 12:18 AM
Ooh, excellent. In the next short while, I'm only going to be able to play portable games since all my consoles will be packed away and I've been dying to try this one.

10-09-2007, 04:46 PM
Ooooh. I love me some Riviera. Normally I'd jump at the excuse to play through it a third time, but unfortunately I doubt I'll have the time this week. That makes me sad. I'll totally butt in on the discussion and make stupid comments, though.

So as a fledgling game design scholar, I absolutely adore this game from a design standpoint. Sid Meier's famous definition of a game is "A series of interesting choices," and Riviera boils the whole RPG genre down into just the interesting choices. For example, suppose you're fighting a fire mage; do you bring Serene, whose affinity for ice attacks and high strength mean she'll do tons of damage at the risk of getting hit hard herself, or do you bring Cierra, whose fire resistance and high magic mean she'll be more or less invincible but will do less damage? Or Lina, who's skill with bows means you can take out the mage without needing to defeat the enemies in the front row? Decisions like that are all over the place.

But of course there's the irritating random items. Nothing like getting the same weapon type over and over while another member of the party is down to the last couple uses on their 2-chapter-old weapon and desperately needed a new one.

Tomm Guycot
10-09-2007, 05:50 PM
Oh man, whoever localized Chapter 5 is a genius.

10-09-2007, 08:21 PM
I really enjoy what this game has going on, but I often found myself lost because of the endlessly repeating backgrounds. Seriously... could they have, you know, tried to make the areas feel at least a little cohesive?

Other than that, it was really refreshing to see an RPG that tried something significantly different.

Also: What is this the alternate to? I've lost track.

10-11-2007, 08:25 PM
It seems like no one is playing this game. I kind of dig it, but I was glad to finish the tutorial level, which is so boring, because Jerry Falwell with the big red spear just kills everything. So, despite what my second grade handwriting teacher taught me, I assume an S rating is better than an A? It seems like the only thing I need to do to get good battle ratings is to end with a finishing move? It is inescapably super-sweet that Ein crosses himself after every battle.

10-11-2007, 08:30 PM
Yeah, basically if you finish a battle with a 3-bar or bar breaker special you'll almost always get at least an A-rating, usually an S.

10-12-2007, 04:13 AM
I get antsy when I'm playing this game, because I'm always worried that I'm missing something important if I choose not to look around. I really should finish it.

10-12-2007, 06:06 AM
Oh man, whoever localized Chapter 5 is a genius.

Huh, I didn't realize you'd even worked on Riviera Tomm. I guess you had your hand in a bit of everything at Atlus for a time.

10-15-2007, 10:19 PM
I feel very bad that, despite claiming this is a Fun Club selection I can really get into, I haven't actually touched the game the entire time. Now this thread is sort of hanging around, watching all the other games get played. I shall remedy this immediately!

... I played a few minutes while waiting for my food to microwave, but I think that's enough to rekindle in me a motivation to pick the game back up. I don't remember what I'm doing and the story is a little hazy in my mind, but I'm still relatively early, so there shouldn't be any big problems there.

I'm playing through the GBA version, but I kinda wish I had the PSP version. I'm the sort of totally lame guy that likes having Japanese (and sometimes English) voices accompanying his text.

10-15-2007, 10:43 PM
Yeah, I'd look at the fun club forum and see all the other threads getting replies, then notice poor Riviera thread sitting all by himself at the edge of the playground, looking longing at all the other kids playing.

But enough about my childhood, what were we talking about? Oh right. Riviera. One of these days I wanna play it again and unlock all the extras. I think I got the weapon encyclopedia and the character portrait gallery unlocked, and maybe something else. Oh, and probably involved in that, I want to actually complete the line of quests for that witch in town. I think my record so far is keeping it going for three chapters.

...Hey, as an alternate selection, that means it's a week-long thread. And it was opened... 1 week ago, in a couple hours. Wow, is this the first Fun Club failure? That deserves a frowny face post icon.

10-15-2007, 10:48 PM
anything going head to head with fft has very little chance for survival, really.

10-15-2007, 11:04 PM
What shivam said, plus I don't own a copy.

I do have to ask, I've noticed people act as if finding a used copy of the GBA version, at least until recently, was some amazing stroke of luck. Is/was it really that rare? In the past year, year and a half I've seen it used at several EBStops, a couple of them multiple times.

10-16-2007, 03:46 AM
I got my copy used at a Gamestop for about $20 a couple of days before Pokemon Diamond/Pearl came out.
Also, alternate selections are only a week? There goes that plan.

10-17-2007, 11:39 PM
True to my word, I have been playing this game more. I think I'm about through with Chapter 4.

I like the game, but having to fight enemies that blow you out of combat is pretty annoying. Walking back and fighting them again over and over again is tedious, not challenging.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if there was something I'm missing out on due to my lack of a manual. I kinda like those things.

10-18-2007, 12:54 PM
Yeah, those battles are meant to test your ability to manage the enemy's special bar. Those enemies only blow you out of battle with their max attacks, so chip away slowly and use attacks with low hit counts. Then when he's sufficiently weakened, unload on him and hope you kill him before he gets his next turn (Hint: watch your Wait times. You can check them by pressing start, if you didn't already know).

10-18-2007, 02:19 PM
Yeah, best bet is to nail them with a full 3 bar EX special (likely the only one you have in Ch.4 is the main's special weapon) once you knock off about half their health or so. Full-strength EX specials are insanely strong.