Looking for some retro games to play

Maeson

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Vandal Hearts for the PS1 is a Strategy RPG that I hold pretty dear to me, as It offers a rather different experience compared to many games of that subgenre like Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea because it's not designed to be a grindy game like some usually end up.

It's far more direct and streamlined, and because of that I find it also more engaging and challenging, and many stages have some type of gimmick or idea, like a battle on a train that needs you to hurry up to get to the front part because the enemies are disconnecting its "wagons" every so often, or a battle where you need to avoid hurting villagers that are possessed, running from then as you destroy weird statues that are the cause of the problem.

Battles can get larger than other SRPGs, and in fact you can use every character in your party, unlike others (and you're usually outnumbered even with that). It has a dark setting and a story about political intrigue, betrayal and such, and some secret battles with extra challenges and branching promotions for Classes. It had a sequel, it's good too but the battle system is very different and the story hits differently, even if it's still dark.

On SNES, there's a cool game named Chaos Seed, it never left Japan but there's a fan traslation. This thing is really cool and ambitious for a 16-Bit game. If I had to resume what it is, I'd say "It's Dungeon Keeper BEFORE Dungeon Keeper, but also with strong RPG elements.

The basic gameplay is creating dungeons (which is a complex thing, you need different types of rooms and have good design for it to work well), summoning creatures to aid you with tasks or help you with battles, and fending of invaders that want to destroy your dungeon in Action-RPG like battles. You Level Up, you gain Spells, and new combo attacks, and such.

Really cool game, good visuals and sound too, it has a strong asian inspiration that gives it a different flavour than other SNES RPGs. I guess it's a bit closer to strategy than RPG, but it's worth a shot nonetheless.

Another Japan-Only cool RPG is Metal Max Returns. It is a remake of a NES/Famicom game, and it is a great one. It's an open-ended, post-apocalyptic turn-based RPG where you play as a youngster that wants to become a bounty hunter. You explore the world filled with remnants of past civilizations, fighting all sorts of weird mutated creatures... And it has TANKS!

Vehicles in this game are one of the biggest mechanics, and in fact, going on foot will most probably get you killed. You can find a variety of vehicles as you explore, each with different stats, and can be customized, which is very important, and it lets you explore further and see new places. There's a story, too, but you can ignore it if you want. Bosses in this game are all sorts of weird "criminals" that have a bounty on their head.

Overall, a great remake of a very interesting 8-Bit game. It had sequels, if you end up liking it.

And while I'm not invested on this franchise anymore, the Harry Potter RPGs for the GBC and GBA were also really competent and well made for licensed RPGs. They're typical, turn-based RPGs , that follow the first three books. They do a great job of presenting the world of the books, and I kinda dig the Magic system, where your Spells get stronger as you use them. The first one only has Harry, the other two you can use the three usual friends.
 

notimp

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Not necessarily RPGs but games with somewhat of a story focus and a comfortably low skill ceiling.. I enjoyed more than many RPGs.

(RPG recommendations then follow in the bottom half of this posting.)

Phoenix Wright Trilogy on a Wii (Wiiware). Most comfortable gaming experience ever. :) Wiimote in one arm, on a couch - best way to experience the trilogy. :) First and third game have insanely good writing. Features a bunch of oddball characters, with an interesting or dark edge and intelligently overdraws it to make it funny. Also play the DLC episode 5 of the first game, do get an example of what I'm hinting at. Its more what you'd call a point and click adventure, without much pointing, but menus. ;)

Famicom Detective Club Part II - fantranslation, for the SNES. Same genre, imho set aspect ratio a little wider than 4:3 (but not 16:9) to enjoy the font and the art more. Starts slow - but then throws you into a rollercoaster ride of character and plot development. FIrst and foremost has charm.

Marvelous: Another Treasure Island - fantranslation for the SNES, Zelda-esque, but with less focus on fighting, huge word, puzzle centered, but more the intelligent lateral thinking kind, than math puzzles. From former Zelda devs. Just oozes charm.

Snatcher - Sega CD also a graphic adventure from Kojima, with a Bladerunner aesthetic.

Policenauts - fantranslation for PSX - same

Speaking of Bladerunner, Bladerunner (PC, now this one is a point and click adventure :) ) on ScummVM, even works on Wii, with a Wiiremote, but you can play it on any platform ScummVM is available on. (Thats at least as 'powerful' as the Wii.. ;) )

(Not as a newbie, but if you like the Point and Click adventure genre (as in you've played through Lucas Arts adventures and enjoyed it) Syberia 1 and Stilllife (PC or Xbox) Just make sure you dont play any of the ports that stretch the games art to 16:9. *erks*)

Another Code: R on Wii (also mostly because of charm), and Hotel Dusk: Room 215 / Last Window on DS (those mostly for atmosphere and presentation).



Now for RPGs if you absolutely have to have RPGs.. :)

FF7 (original) and FF8 (underrated) if you havent played them already,

Final Fantasy Type-0 - fantranslation on PSP, if you can get into it. Has a weird Harry Potter military school premise, but has something... (Never finished it ;) )

The last Story on Wii - mostly for story, actually. :)

And if you havent played it -

Child of Light by Ubisoft, on pretty much all platforms by now - is an RPG and actually my strong recommendation for people asking for an RPG, if they havent played it. :) European childrens book style fairytales, so sweet and so sour, and so sad -- great mechanics, great characters, great tales, ... just overall great. If you can get into the aesthetic, and can swallow it, that you play as a little girl princess. :)

As for older RPGs its hard to recommend stuff, without knowing how much you really enjoy the genre. :) If you, really, really do - Xenogears still holds up, so does Wild Arms 1, so does Grandia 1, so does Breath of Fire 3, Dragon Quest 8 (PS2, maybe), ... (Out of those, literally pick any one - depending on which style you like most. Grandia 1 and Xenogears are a little better than the others.)

And if you arent turned off by western RPGs, Morrowind (still my favorite RPG of all time) (only with mods, or on OpenMW) and Realms of Arkania: Shadows over Riva (only usable walkthrough is a polish one, that works well using Google translate to english afair... ;) ). edit: Also Arx Fatalis (Xbox, PC), which in concept is more like one of the Thief games, or Dishonored, but where all missions in the world are active at the same time, and as an RPG. :) But hella hard to get into these days (graphics, its so dark... its so pixely...).

Shadowrun (first play the SNES version, then the Genesis version (they are different games), imho) also is a wholehearted recommendation, if you havent played them already. A little harder to get into, but both games, still are great, and have huge payoffs, once you are hooked. You can think of the Snes version as a fully realized 'Mass Effect' style game in 676kb zipped. Not joking.

Also the more current Shadowrun: Dragonfall (PC) is one of the best RPGs in recent years. Definite recommendation. (But its more a tactical RPG gameplay - one of the easier ones to get into. Pick pistols as a magic char. ;) )

As for older pixel art RPGs, those were before my time, but aside the well known ones (Chrono Trigger, FF4-6, ...) most of them have stories that are a little too formulaic, and didnt age that well. Imho. Or I simply have white spots there, where I myself havent played stuff.. ;)



(Also if you are german, by any chance (can speak the language), the "Die Drei ???" games on Android (or PC, but Android is cheaper. :) ).

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.usm.ddfkrake
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.usm.ddfgeisterwelt
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.usm.ddfflaschenteufel
also Die drei ??? - Geheimnis der Schattenhelden (pulled from the play store for some reason...)

Also graphic adventures, and not RPGs, but so insanely well done, that you are willing to forget, that they contain pixel hunting "find item" sections (luckily only as time stretch sections, there are other riddles and puzzles as well), like those "search item games" that are so popular with female mobile gamers. (I've heard.. ;) ) Never play any of those, btw.. ;) Except these four.)



edit: Oh, and if you never have played any graphical adventures on those older consoles before - watch this to get an idea, what you are getting yourself into. :)

https://adult.noodlemagazine.com/watch/-14414281_456240766

(Also very entertaining. :) )

edit2: Mother 3 fantranslation for GBA also has to be mentioned. Almost forgot it. :) Its like a more accessible Earthbound (also SNES and a RPG).

And If I've conviced you to look into graphic adventures as well, Broken Sword 1 (again, on anything that can run ScummVM). Best point and click adventure of all time. Still. (Also has a PSX port, but play it on Scummvm, the art had to be downsized and is pixelly beyond recognition on PSX. Also can be played on Scummvm on the WIi f.e.)

Dont play the remaster (with new story sections, starting with a female character), it messes with plot progression too much (thereby ruining plot structure), without adding really that much. Play the original on Scummvm.
 
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV​

One of the most popular arcade genres from back in the day was the side-scrolling beat-em-up – they were easy to pick-up and play, and ate a lot of quarters. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property was a huge seller in the early 90s, so it’s rather fitting that one of the best beat-em-ups was a Turtles title.

OP was pretty specific about what type of games and on what systems.
 

gatoula

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You can play Final Fantasy Tactics for gba and psx. If you want to get yourself into hard rpgs you can go for Earthbound gba version.
 

emigre

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