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Tazmily Village - N4A Chat Thread - September 2020


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speaking of Tales, i'm bout to dive into a Symphonia nostalgia trip for the first time in ages. not really sure if i wanna play others but I was looking at the other PS2 era games. idk about the newer ones though. xillia looks like dump, berseria seems okay?

6 hours ago, Link, the Hero of Dreams said:

The GBA version does have more content, but the style and music has changed for the worse, and one of the most iconic moments of that game, the opera scene, is sadly worse for that translation

you know that the original SNES version has a ton of text shortened or cut due to space limitations, right? i played the original Japanese version recently and the difference in some areas was pretty shocking (granted, i wasn't looking at an english script the whole time, but long scenes where i did were missing a lot of details). woolsey did good work and all but if you want the whole script it's really worth playing a romhacked version to keep the music but have the ability to appreciate the full script.

Edited by Pichi
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I haven't played Berseria, but I thought Xillia was fine honestly. Was it rushed? Yes. Does it show? yes, particularly in the overworld copypasta maps; the last arc is also kind of short but I'm secretly thankful since the game is dragging its feet at that point. It has an interesting enough story, and honestly the final boss is probably Tales' best execution of sympathetic villain to date. I thought Xillia 2 was kind of weak though--mostly because the story loop is extremely episodic and repetitive and suffers from that sort of heavy-handed "but thou must"/"what the hell, hero?" morality that makes whatever semblance of story collapse on itself; but, hey, at least there's sidequests I guess.

Edited by Zora
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Honestly as I've grown older despite the fact that I adore a lot of JRPGs growing up I almost find a lot of them unplayable nowadays and it's kind of a shame, but that's probably very much aligned with my growing dislike of very trope-y anime on top of that.  A lot of the writing in JRPGs in most cases just feels very dramatized and hamfisted while being overly reliant on character archetypes.  The Tales series in particular has mostly lost me because while the gameplay or RPG stuff is fun I'm very much over the very bland anime aesthetic and tone. y;

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it definitely takes some take to make real progress but you can start by memorizing kana and browsing through a grammar book a bit. see if it motivates you further~
here's a list of the hiragana and katakana. just try the hiragana first. start with the rightmost vertical column and click the kana to see how to write them.
learn however many you wanna start with and try to write them from memory. you can also quiz yourself with this.

here's a grammar book to look at. it's a really neat one that breaks down regular manga panels to illustrate everything it teaches to you. skip past the intro nonsense and just jump to the first chapter and look around. you can also use the grammar guide on the site i linked to for kana, too, but it's a bit dry. if you use that instead, make sure you click on "grammar guide" at the top, because the complete guide never got completed. lol

if you decide you wanna actually jump in, go here and read the main guide in full. that introduces the whole self-study method i use, which basically involves prepping yourself to be able to read real japanese as quickly as possible. if your 20 year old games don't have complicated language, you could start playing them within a few months, albeit quite slowly.


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I'm playing Persona 5R and when does Phantom Thief B join? Also what's the lore connection between metaverse and Zumeria?


Joking aside, I'm enjoying this game quite a bit. The villains (distorted hearts peeps) are kind of weak so far, but that's my only complaint. Dungeon exploration is huge step up over P3/4, except Mementos which seems meh but inoffensive so far. P4/G never really jived with me, so I'm pleasantly surprised to be enjoying this as much as I am. I've completed the second palace, but still awaiting the change of heart.

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Tales series opinion time.

Phantasia: I think if you were to halve the encounter rate for dungeons, this would be amongst the greats of the SNES JRPG pantheon. Presentation, story, and themes in this game are terrific.

Symphonia: Still my favorite. I've replayed this game about 5 times in the past decade and a half. The chemistry between the characters is still the best in the series, but the battle system (and Shina) are flawed. This game serves as a cornerstone of nostalgia for me, when I would be playing this game and browsing message boards with people have obnoxious signatures.

Abyss: Significantly better than Symphonia in mechanics and story. Most of the characters are complete assholes to Luke, and Luke before Arc 2 is actually enjoyable. Dungeons are less involved this time, but honestly, I think that's for the better. Past game dungeons are often a complete chore.

Vesperia: Played this last year and was disappointed. The story is a mess and has no idea what it wants to be. Do I want to be a commentary on social class or environmentalist? I'm not sure, but I have anime tropes out the wazoo. I was also disappointed in how someone like Yuri never got what he deserved despite his actions. Combat somehow feels clunkier than Abyss. Only time I've had to stick to Semi-auto.

Graces: I remember being pretty excited about this one, namely because it was the first Tales game after several years in the US. Combat here is phenomenal. Story is... passing. Tropey, but the characters are fine at best. I'd really like to see this game remastered on PS4 or PS5.

Innocence: I actually played this with the fan-translation patch for the DS. Got about 25 hours in, and it was pretty solid. I'd like to revisit this one someday.

Xillia: Great combat system coupled with the worst story I've witnessed in a JRPG. Some of the characters action are completely nonsensical. I'm told a significant part of the story is tucked away in side-quests. But unless you're following a guide, you would be expected to revisit every location after any story progress.

Zestiria: I played for five hours, stopped, and never looked back. It was fine for the first two hours, but the cast is miserable here and the combat is pretty jank.


In my mind, Phantasia, Symphonia, and Abyss are the only ones worth caring about. I'm told Berseria is really good, but is that because Zestiria set the bar so low? I'm hoping with the time that Namco has had that Arise will be really good. It was clear that the quality dropped when they were churning out games on an annual basis. Tales games are usually the first to come to mind after I've spent an entire weekend at a convention and really want to indulge in anime. They can be like comfort food because you'll know what you're getting, it just may require you to turn off your brain.


Edit: Looks like I missed the Final Fantasy discussion, too. y;

I've played through almost all mainline games aside from the MMOs. My favorites are VII, X, XII, IV, and VI. I like VI, but I was never really in love with it. I never really found it engaging as others. Whenever I start a new game, I tend to drop off before the prologue because roaming around in over-powered mechs and skimming through slow dialogue is terribly boring. Final Fantasy games tend to have really slow and boring intros, which is why I never get far in replaying them.

Edited by Youngster Joey
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