Ocotpath Traveler has an absolutely brilliant soundtrack, but I would have liked it even more if the game had been able to immerse me to the same extent as the old classics. Granted, a lot of that has to do with me being a teenager back in the day and having a totally different life, but Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii had the same effect on me, so I don't think my age has gotten me immune to that sort of experience.
So did anyone go for the actual final chapter after beating all character paths? I just attempted it earlier and my god, this is some brutal stuff. Iím gonna need to grind a bit more I think and beef up the characters I didnít use as much to try and form new strategies with my team. I have a feeling this is gonna be a real hard battle...
I actually used a guide. I had suspicions as to what would happen and while doing the required things to reach that chapter isnít hard, you can easily miss out on crucial stuff and be left having to wander around aimlessly for hours. Iíd recommend checking a guide if you feel lost though!
Itís done! I just beat the optional (if you want to call it that since I feel itís pretty necessary to go through) and holy crap that final battle was challenging as hell. Took me many tries and switching out characters/changing strategies to pull through. Yes itís a grind fest if you want to beat it so I can see some just skipping this but I just love the game so damn much that I had to beat it.
But yeah, this game really, really surprised me. I had my doubts before release and even during playing it at one time but then it just felt right and everything fell into place. Itís as near perfect a JRPG has been in many years and feels right at home among the classics. What a game. GOTY.
I've almost 100%ed this game without a guide...! In looking for the final section, I've mainly been solving sidequests and only have a handful left. Getting the last few sidequests is somewhat tedious, though, because you'll often just stumble upon the answer while talking to people, and there's no real way to parse out what information they give you is relevant to a sidequest, and what's just there for flavor. It's not a big deal, though, and I kind of appreciate the "do it yourself" nature of these. Plus, there're apparently two solutions to many of the sidequests, and while they give identical rewards, there's usually one answer that results in the NPCs being happier overall. Kind of a neat little extra!
I'm not quite at the point where I want to look up hints to the endgame, but I may have to soon if I don't find any leads in the next 3 or 4 hours of gameplay or so...
Yeah if youíre having trouble with the end game stuff, I recommend checking the guide out. Depending on what you did early on, it can be pretty easy to miss out on it and itís either look up a guide or just wander around and hope you stumble upon what triggers the next portion of it. Itís really nothing huge that you have to do but yeah, definitely recommended it. I wasnít sure myself since I wanted to do it by myself but I saved myself hours of zero progress by doing so!
Going for the fourth chapters now. Man, Therion's chapter three boss was a frustrating son of a bitch. Quite the step up in difficulty from all the other bosses, that I basically breezed through.
Gonna have to do a lot of grinding now though, since I'm neglecting pretty much all of the dudes. Feel bad about that, 'cause I do like Cyrus a lot, and Alfyn's got some interesting stuff going on, but they're no H'aanit or Prim.
@r_hjort Of the Ch 3 bosses, I had the most trouble with Alfyn's, although that may have been because I did his fairly early on. You may not have to grind a ton though, since your equipment tends to matter a lot more than your levels, so your underleveled fellas can borrow some of the better weapons and armor.
Saw an awesome looking endgame screenshot on Twitter the other day, and then dreamed about this game all night, so I had to pop it back in for a bit yesterday. Probably the first time a spoiler has made me more motivated to play a game.
Went to do Therion's Chapter 2 and was initially a little annoyed by the fetch quest where you have to steal random items from people before you're allowed to play the fun part of the game... until I realized that this would be a piece of cake if Therion was the same level as the rest of my party, and that this is the game's way of incentivizing you to regularly use everyone. So I'm keeping Therion in my party and adventuring over to Alfyn's Chapter 2. Will try to use a wider variety of party members from here on out--seems more fun that way anyway.
Stumbled across the job system, which seems like it'll really make the battle system a lot more complex. Not really sure who to give the Warrior class to--I figure I'll wait until I feel the need for it and then give myself a boost. I actually haven't run into much difficulty so far!
Aye yai yai, that finale had me playing for hours but I just got overwhelmed at the end. When the game asked me to pick a Primary and Secondary team, I assumed Secondary meant "weaker!" I think I'll have to switch them around tomorrow to make the magic happen, as long as my Rogues can handle phase 1.
I looove the little FFVI reference during the final fight. But that boss and his lack of save points can bite a bag o' butts!
It really took me a few times to get it down and form two good teams. Of course I had a lot of grinding to get my secondary team up there haha... good thing I love this game. But yeah, the game really needed a save point for that area. Even if just a temporary save cause those 8 boss battles are waaaay easier than the final stuff.
Howíd you like the backstory though? Itís awesome how it ties so many of the gameís events together. And now it brought everyone together for this finale.
I really enjoyed getting all those threads tied together in various ways, some of them hinted at during the game and some of them brand new. The revelation that Graham was Redeye is one of those particularly creepy-in-hindsight things, and some entries (like Geoffrey, Cordelia's father, and Graham recounting his meeting with a young Alfyn) were poignant. Surprised that that one seemingly innocuous NPC from earlier turned out to be the puppetmaster behind almost all of this!
The only thing I can think of that wasn't really resolved was the story with Tressa's final boss, Esmerelda. Her concept art has her with a crow tattoo and her lair is full of Obsidians, so I was curious about her relation to Simeon and/or House Azelhart, if any.
I actually think my levels are okay; everyone's at about 65 with Ophilia at over 70. My Nobles are incredibly powerful, so if I can get my Rogues through the first phase, I'm confident I can take it home.
Wow, that was incredibly difficult. Definitely the hardest boss I've fought in a JRPG that I can remember. I thought I was throwing out my cheesiest, most potent skills, but he had an answer for everything. It got extremely close a couple times with a couple members with low HP surviving, but I eventually secured my victory despite a ton of hurdles.
All in all, I thought this game was fantastic. The story was good, the world-building was great, and the visuals and combat system were among the best in the genre. The most exemplary aspect of it, though, was the soundtrack, which I'm confident to call one of my all-time favorite game OSTs. I would have liked more interaction between the eight, and the chapter layouts could've used more variety, but everything else was great. Smash has its work cut out for it if it wants to secure GOTY for me...
And now, Matthew' Top Ten RPGs of all time!
10. Persona 4 9. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door 8. Octopath Traveler 7. Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals 6. Paper Mario 5. Skies of Arcadia 4. Mother 3 3. Chrono Trigger 2. EarthBound 1. Final Fantasy 3
The fact that you have Skies of Arcadia in your list makes me want to play some of those other games I've never tried, because you are obviously a man of fine taste. Never played a Lufia, Mother, or Paper Mario game...
I still hope for a new Skies game all the time since that dude is still around at Sega making Valkyria Chronicles games. Maybe it could star some of the kids Vyse had with Aika and Fina... and Cupil would be there too.
Thanks! I've always wanted a follow-up to Skies; few games really capture the thrill of adventure like it does, and the cast and storyline are extremely charming and compelling. In an era where it seemed like many RPG casts were just tolerating each other, you could really feel the strong friendship between the main cast in Skies. I replayed it last year with my wife and sister-in-law, and they really liked it too.
Lufia 2 is similar to Dragon Quest in progression (town+dungeon, town+dungeon, etc), but it has a few of its own twists as well, like a lack of random battles and some extremely clever puzzles (among the best in the industry, IMO), plus the earliest experience I had with what I now know as the "roguelike" genre in its ridiculously involved Ancient Cave sidequest. EarthBound is all about the journey rather than the destination and has a terrific sense of place for its environments. The SNES Classic is one of the best ways to play since you get a fantastic bunch of games with it. Mother 3 is more story-driven, and it's a heck of a story. It also has a whopping 250 music tracks, around 60 (!!) of which are battle themes. The original Paper Mario I mainly rate high for its innovation, but it still holds up well today. Thousand-Year Door might be a little easier to get into, but both have amazing battle systems that are highly strategic, and entertaining writing and scenarios.
Weirdly enough, even though Dragon Quest is probably my favorite third-party series, all its games are more consistent and less exemplary, so DQ8 is my highest-rated of them at only 11th place.
Beat Tressa's chapter 4 just now. Pretty good shit. It really felt like a long, fun journey coming to an end (except not really, because I'll obviously keep playing until everything is wrapped up...unless the grinding is ridiculous), and I don't regret having Tressa as my main, even if she's not even in my top three of the characters at the moment.
Gotta say that the writing is very hit and miss, even here though. Certain characters and events that pop up because they're needed for the story to come to a close and the gameplay to fit the formula rather than it feeling like part of a natural progression and so on. I was also once again reminded of how much of the game's immersion potential is wasted because they don't allow the cast to acknowledge the others' existences outside of skits, but I complain enough about that as it is.
I'm working on H'annit's Chapter 3, then I think I have Cyrus and... Ophilia.
Then I'm onto the Chapter 4s, but I will be saving Tressa's for last since she is my main. So far I think my favorite stories are Olberic, Primrose, Tressa, and Alfyn. Well, Therion is pretty good too.
Ophilia, H'annit, and Cyrus are meh in comparison. Still fun but not as engaging for me.
And I can agree about the lack of immersion. I know that Primrose' tale is very personal but when she tries to face on of the wings of the crow, and they threaten her, it's like... why not announce your posse!? We're gonna be there anyway! You got friends Prim!