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Looking Back and Looking Forward At the End of the World (ok just 2012)

Well, 2012 is rounding up to a close, and as the year is ending I can’t help but look back over the last year and spend some time reflecting on it from an rpg perspective. And honestly, it was pretty bad! For some reason 2012 was a gaming slump year for me. All the games I was most excited about ended up feeling either “been there done that” or were just not quite executed enough. What did I play you ask?

Well first for the current gen games:

Dragons’s Dogma: I loved this game. Possibly the only exception for the year as a game that delivered MORE than it promised. Loved every second of this game. Let someone borrow my copy, but I will consider the new speed run or hardcore mode next year (I’ll think about it anyway lol).

Dark Soul’s: I’m not even sure when this came out, but I played quite a bit of it this past year. Soul level 50 or 60 I think. Never beat it though. Nice combination of online options and creepy rpg mayhem. Good game, not my normal cup of tea.

Final Fantasy XIII-2: I’m hoping to get back into this sometime, as I never completed it. It had some nice things going for it, and for quite a while it sucked me in, and then I just got bored. I like Noel as a lead character though, as well as the opportunity to play as Serah. (And all the monsters of course).

Enchanted Arms: Can you tell how bored I was getting? Seriously? I tried to pick up my save file in this game a couple weeks ago (I picked it up last summer for like $10) and couldn’t even play it for 30 minutes. So bad. So sad.

Hyperdimension Neptunia and Trinity Universe: I put these together because I played both this year. HN is actually funny so it may see some play time in 2013. TU? Nah, probably not. I don’t even own this anymore. Super average games.

Atelier Rorona: Love it. Hate it. Simultaneously.

Atelier Totori: Really love it. Hate it. Simultaneously. The Atelier games are SO cute and fun to play. But the “you only have so much time before whatever” system annoys me. I want to feel free to take my time and enjoy a game world. The only thing about the Atelier games I dislike, is the number one most INTEGRAL part of the games. Frustrating. But I am working on the true ending for Totori. Really fun when all the pieces are clicking.

Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning: For a long time I was playing this game and absolutely loving it, and then…I just stopped. (This is apparently a problem for me. Gamer ADD). It’s fun but after a while you realize the storylines that SEEMED so interesting are just filler. So I kill monsters and conquer everything and it’s all just so…meaningless. I feel like Alexander the great in the midst of a bout of depression when playing this game. Even on hard mode.

Two Worlds II: Yep. I was just that desperate for a good game. This was not it.

Tales of Graces F: GREAT GAME! Ok, it’s really just ok. I mean, probably the best “Tales of” battle system yet, but the characters got super annoying after a while.

Did I play some non-rpg’s you ask?

Call of Duty MW3: OMG I hate this game. Even when it’s fun I hate this game. It was the only game I could play online with some friends (ps3) so I stuck with it. Occasional moments of fun. Sticking an enemy player with semtex is always a blast. Anyway. Yep. It was COD.

So the other way I attempted to alleviate my rpg depression was with some retro games (and I also started this blog to commemorate the event!) So I played lots of retro rpg’s. And they actually were a lot of fun! Somehow they didn’t quite satiate my appetite for a truly great rpg, but it helped. I only write articles on the one’s I finish though, hence the infrequent reviews lol. Now for the retro list!

Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II: Played em on my PSP when I had to travel. Meh. Old games. I liked the job classes in the original though. (The revamped original I should say). FFII is cool because of the cast. Super retro games.

Final Fantasy VI: Playing the most popular FF ever on the Wii virtual console. Nice system to play the game on, and it’s a great classic retro rpg. Awesome game. I’m working through it and hoping for a nice retro review next year.

Final Fantasy VIII: Played it. Finished it. Reviewed it. Loved it. Retro and fun. Could be my gaming highlight of 2012. Maybe.

Tales of Legendia: PS2 Tales game. You can perform grab moves in this one. Haha! This game might be fun if you were in prison and had nothing else to do. Terrible game. Great cast and great music but seriously, not a great title.

Tales of Abyss: Barely touched this one, because I could tell it had potential, so I’m saving it for a real play through. Excited about this game!

Ar Tonelico: Fun game, but probably best for really lonely teenage guys…or girls? I found the dating sim elements a bit too forced. Definitely some charm here though.

Atelier Iris Eternal Mana: The first North American Atelier game, I picked this up after getting into Totori, because I wanted to see the roots of the series. I enjoy this game far more than I should considering all its pacing issues.

Chrono Cross: Short ways in, but only started recently. Never finished this game, though I imported it what seems like YEARS ago. Review pending. I very much enjoy getting all the characters Suikoden style.

Tales of Destiny 2 (Tales of Eternia in Japan): Love this game. Popped it in to see if discs still work because I was a CD nazi when I first bought this over ten years ago. Kept playing because it’s really good.

Lunar 2 Eternal Blue: I am a HUGE Lunar fan. But I haven’t finished this game yet. What’s the deal retrodragon? C’mon man finish this game!

Koudelka: Really fun gaming experience. Roger Bacon is my boy!

Beyond the Beyond: Had to try it, as it’s the very first psx rpg. It’s terrible, but fun to own and check out.

Xenoblade: I loved this game and then I didn’t. Great cast, music, world, and “feel.” I just didn’t like the battle system and that’s almost always a dealbreaker for me. Operation Rainfall succeeded, but I’m not sure this game does.

I’m sure there were other games, but as you can see, I don’t stay focused very well when it comes to gaming. The blog helps though. My favorite moments of the past year were the following in no particular order:

1. Discovering the “END” to Dragon’s Dogma. So great.
2. Playing the Opera House scene in FFVI.
3. Renzokuken!
4. Getting a PSP and then discovering that I hate handheld gaming.
5. Performing X-Strike in Chrono Cross with Serge and Glenn.
6. Beating Xenosaga 2 so I never EVER have to touch that game again.
7. Pretty much any dialogue from Hyperdimension Neptunia.
8. Any scene with Lighting in it.
9. Conquering the Arena in KoA Reckoning.
10. Discovering that the world of Xenoblade was actually two huge mecha’s going at it (fighting I mean, not..you know)
11. 100+ combo’s in Tales of Graces.
12. Listening to my brothers laugh away as I repeatedly died in Dark Souls (a game in which they both have platinum. jerks)

Ok, one last section: What am I looking forward to most in 2013?

1. Final Fantasy XIV Realm Reborn. I have never really given an MMO a chance before, but if my out of state friends and I were to all get into this together, it could be an absolute blast. And after a year of mediocre games, I figure if I am putting some hours into rpg’s, then I at least want to do it with friends, and not alone on my couch.

2. Ni No Kuni The Wrath of the White Witch. Yes, I probably just butchered the spelling but I’m pumped about this game. Demo was awesome, so if the storytelling is solid then this will be an easy thumbs up for me. Totally my style of game.

3. Final Fantasy X HD. Is this going to happen this year? I’m not sure, but I’m holding off re-playing my FAVORITE FF game because I want to play it in HD. Please Square Enix get this out soon!

Well, that is probably way more rpg chatter than is healthy for me, so enjoy your holiday gaming friend, I will see you 2013.

Retrodragon

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13 comments on “Looking Back and Looking Forward At the End of the World (ok just 2012)

  1. Saw yer Blog on the RPGamer forums. Though we don’t have the same taste in rpgs, I found your writing to be entertaining!

  2. Tales of Legendia’s battle system ultimately turned me away from that game. It just felt so bad after Tales of Symphonia. I stopped playing after the main part. Abyss was so much easier to play in comparison.

    It’s unfortunate that you hate handheld gaming. It might be okay in the future for you if JRPGs start going Vita/PS3 but who knows. Are you looking forward to FFXIII-3 since you’ll get more Lightning? I might start that trio of games at some point; first I’d like to know if the series ever ends haha.

    2013 looks light on the consoles. Not only for JRPGs, but it seems like the big western RPG releases were this year too so it may be light on that side as well.

    • Yeah Legendia is a pretty bad game. It’s weird too bc I enjoy the 2d battle system in ToD2 quite a bit. Can’t wait to get into Abyss though. It’s near the top of my retro list for 2013. Oh and you should definitely consider playing the “Lightning Trilogy” lol. Even with some of the problems they have, FFXIII and XIII-2 are some of the best next-gen console rpg’s. And yeah, I’m really trying to accept that the way of the console rpg is no more. I guess that’s why I keep going back over my old favorites! For some reason playing on a handheld just doesn’t have any charm for me. I mean, it’s ok, but it just doesn’t feel the same. Although the Vita’s larger screen is tempting me to upgrade my unused PSP. You rock the handhelds much? Any recommendations?

      • Legendia’s system was worse to me than TOD2’s, now that I think about it.

        As for Lightning’s trilogy, I’m first going to get a PS3 and probably get them on the PS3. I’m already invested in a PS3 and have picked up a few games for it. I’m probably going for a cheap PS3 that has enough space for PS1 classics. I’m not sure how GBs that means.

        Handhelds are small. I think it’s hard to completely focus on it unlike a game on a big screen or monitor. The Vita is really nice, though. Unfortunately you’d have to download all the potential PSP games you’d want, and memory cards are really expensive.

        I started to play handhelds more and more as a consequence of games actually being on it rather than actually needing games on the go, but it has worked well for me recently as I have games for the airplane and the bus. And now the PSP will also be my Japanese games system for the moment.

        As for recommendations, I find that Persona 3 works well for me as a portable game since I don’t feel the grinding as much when I do it in small chunks. Ys Seven was a lot of fun, and I think you’d like Trails in the Sky though I hesitate to recommend the game blindly as I had some issues with it. Star Ocean was okay on handheld but I find that tactical games and more dungeon crawling type games work better for me on handhelds than something like FF or even Suikoden. I have less experience with the DS but I loved the bit I saw of Radiant Historia and TWEWY looks pretty good so far even though I am terrible at using the stylus. I enjoyed Suikoden Tierkreis but it feels empty compared to other Suikoden games.

      • I wanted the backwards compatible ps3, as I play a lot of ps2 games, but the price point was really high for one, so I ended up with the 250 GB ps3. In hindsight, this was a really good choice, as I just play my ps2 games on my old ps2, which works fine. And having all the GB space really allows me to download tons of games. Btw all ps3’s can play psx discs, but only the original series can play ps2 games. I was confused about this for quite some time. Anyway, yeah the newer models are just better all around IMO. I used to have a 360 but it died, and I had already played through Lost Odyssey so I went for the ps3. I’m really interested in Trails in the Sky! It’s one of the few psp games I really have my eye on. Thanks for reminding me. So far I’ve only played Brave Story, Crisis Core and First Departure. None of them really did anything for me. I did enjoy playing a bunch of Grandia on my psp though. Man, if rpg’s really leave the console’s I am in big trouble. I’ll be stuck in the 90’s forever:)

  3. Lol Dark Souls all day bro. Dying’s never been so beautiful

    • I need to play Dark Souls again man. But maybe Dark Souls 2 will be better for me. Did the Die Again version come out yet?

      • its the best action rpg out there, but its as far from traditional jrpgs as you can get, so i understand why you never embraced it. i actually only just picked up the dlc and havent put much time in. from what i’m hearing that dark souls 2 should have servers where we can all get together ala demons souls. and that would make it the greatest multiplayer experience i can imagine. but yeah i’v never felt a sense of accomplishment like i do beating bosses in the souls games. except for maybe the weapons in ff7.

  4. Have you played Atelier Ayesha? It still has that time management thing you hate, but it’s the easiest Atelier game thus far so you can get the proper ending with plenty of time to spare.

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