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MikeDinosaur
01-10-2008, 12:52 AM
So, I've been playing a BOF: Dragon Quarter lately. I'm actually a little bit surprised by how much I'm enjoying it. It took me a little while to warm to the visuals: all of the dungeons at the beginning are inexplicably red, and red in a Nintendo 64 fog sort of way. But the central relationship between Ryu and Nina, which seems influenced by Ico, is getting to me. The story is, in certain ways, bare bones, but in a way that the game works to its advantage, the same way the good pre-FF6 rpgs managed to. As Jeremy pointed out in one of his blog posts on the beginning of Bioshock, the more complex and detailed a story is, the more pressure there is to make every aspect of it cohere perfectly. FF Tactics's story was so good that the constantly teleporting baddies stuck out much more egregiously than they would have in a worse game. Conversely, the confusing, borderline-nonsensical explanation for what's wrong with Nina here is less important than the tone of the game, the music, and the way she looks at Ryu. The game focuses on the right things, which also include the fantastic, nail-biting fights and the great risk-reward of avoiding the use of the dragon.

Looking at the reviews for this game and Dead Rising, it strikes me that both received good, 8-range ratings from game publications, and, while that would be great in any other medium, these games exist in one that awards games like FF X and Gears of War nines and tens. I know that a lot of people were annoyed with the save systems in both of these games, but I can't help but identify with Penny Arcade's recent defense of Assassin's Creed (which I haven't played). Gabe complained there that, if you're racing to the end of the game, you're not going to enjoy it that much, and that that's what game reviewers have to do. I got very frustrated by the save system when I started Dead Rising, and I even had to put it down for a few months before I picked it up as a time killer and started having a great time. It seems like many people had the same problem with Dragon Quarter's save system which is, in fact, just a very creative work around to traditional grinding mechanics.

Anyway, sorry this is so long, I've just become huge fans of these design teams lately. Dead Rising, at this point, has probably spent more time in my 360 than any other game, and it's still the game there that I most look forward to playing.

XerdoPwerko
01-10-2008, 04:54 AM
BOF: DQ is one of my favourite games ever. My favourite 128 Bit RPG, actually, and probably one of my five favourite PS2 games. The music is absolutely stunning, and the way the story is delivered to you is pure genius.

And that's just the atmosphere... the game itself is a joy to play. It's, as you say, nail-bitingly hard, yet you still want to go on. It's an awesome experience. The battle system, and the whole progression of the game just make sense, and intensify the overall journey, make it dramatic, tie the story and the gameplay in such a way that you actually feel like the game surrounds you. There's even strategy in saving (I myself like to save the least possible - since that makes the game even more dramatic/fun).

Where in the game are you at this point?

If anyone here has not played it, they should drop any other games they are currently wasting their time on and do so.
It is that good.

/edit/ - also, a similarly made BOF6 would be the only thing that would make me buy a PS3

Indalecio
01-10-2008, 05:14 AM
I have nothing to add, really. I do love Dragon Quarter, though, so I am just going to echo the above post.

Knight
01-10-2008, 10:40 AM
I played a bit of it and liked it a lot, but I just never beat it. I want to beat it, but I've been kinda holding off on restarting it and playing through it in the hopes that it'll be Fun Club'd.

MikeDinosaur
01-10-2008, 10:41 AM
BOF: DQ is one of my favourite games ever. My favourite 128 Bit RPG, actually, and probably one of my five favourite PS2 games. The music is absolutely stunning, and the way the story is delivered to you is pure genius.

And that's just the atmosphere... the game itself is a joy to play. It's, as you say, nail-bitingly hard, yet you still want to go on. It's an awesome experience. The battle system, and the whole progression of the game just make sense, and intensify the overall journey, make it dramatic, tie the story and the gameplay in such a way that you actually feel like the game surrounds you. There's even strategy in saving (I myself like to save the least possible - since that makes the game even more dramatic/fun).

Where in the game are you at this point?

If anyone here has not played it, they should drop any other games they are currently wasting their time on and do so.
It is that good.

/edit/ - also, a similarly made BOF6 would be the only thing that would make me buy a PS3

I got through the ice caverns, then had to dragon my way through much of the three-tier boss fight. This precipitated me hitting give up and start over, because I was around forty percent and it was too early for that. I'm about to come back to the introduction to the fairy colony.

Yes, the music is fantastic. Between this and FFT (and I'm sure a lot of other great games I haven't played), someone should give Sakimoto an Oscar.

Ben1842
01-10-2008, 12:29 PM
I dunno to me I'd rather play Gears and FFX than BoF: DQ or Dead Rising. so I don't really see the problem.

Gears was great co-op and I think it deserved the praise it got. It's still one of my favorite games to play on 360.

FFX was one of the biggest showcases for the PS2 hardware at the time and I personally thought it was one of the best FF games made. (wooden voice acting and all)

Dead Rising was okay but I think an 8 is fair. For me the save/death mechanic was a big thing I didn't like. Also I don't like time limits, and you are basically always on the clock for some mission in that game.

BoF: DQ, well personally I really didn't like this game. I could only force myself to play it for about an hour or two and then I was bored. I liked the previous BoF games (which I know is not an opinion shared by everyone on these boards lol) and I felt like this was a step backwards. (ultimately to the series death it looks like)

so to each their own I guess.

MikeDinosaur
01-10-2008, 01:14 PM
I dunno to me I'd rather play Gears and FFX than BoF: DQ or Dead Rising. so I don't really see the problem.

Gears was great co-op and I think it deserved the praise it got. It's still one of my favorite games to play on 360.

FFX was one of the biggest showcases for the PS2 hardware at the time and I personally thought it was one of the best FF games made. (wooden voice acting and all)

Dead Rising was okay but I think an 8 is fair. For me the save/death mechanic was a big thing I didn't like. Also I don't like time limits, and you are basically always on the clock for some mission in that game.

BoF: DQ, well personally I really didn't like this game. I could only force myself to play it for about an hour or two and then I was bored. I liked the previous BoF games (which I know is not an opinion shared by everyone on these boards lol) and I felt like this was a step backwards. (ultimately to the series death it looks like)

so to each their own I guess.

I don't mean to say that Gears or FFX are bad, because I don't think they are; I just think that game reviewers are more likely to give great grades to games that across-the-board good than games that are exceptional-but-flawed. I played Gears of War, found it enjoyable, then never thought about it again, while FFX's not-great story and, eventually, samey battles led me to put it down about half-way through.

There's no way to argue that Breath of Fire and Dead Rising have fewer problems than those two. Due to BOF's low budget and meagre localization, I didn't even know that giving up and restoring worked differently than dying and restoring, much to my chagrin. And Dead Rising has horrid boss fights and some very frustrating sections. But I do think there are a lot of people who thought they were more fun, given room to breathe. It just seems like something endemic in a points system; it makes sense these games would be penalized for their flaws, whereas Halo 3 and Gears have fewer flaws to be penalized for.

Oh and *very minor DR spoiler*

Dead Rising's "Good" endings are two of the greatest "Fuck you"s in the history of gaming.