So occasionally I like to discuss various games I am playing… these will not be particularly up-to-date with regards to release dates of games, but rather when I personally discover an awesome game. So if it’s old news to all you ‘cool’ people out there… whatever!
Also, the world is a sad and scary place sometimes, so it’s always good to add a bit of cheer and fantasy to ones life.
For Christmas my partner and I decided that we would treat ourselves to a Playstation 3 instead of buying each other presents, completing a collection of all the consoles post-(and including) SNES. Of course, a week later the Wii-U came out, just to foil us. However, we went through a list of recommended RPG games only found on the PS3 and have struck gold with three of them. This is not a complete discussion as neither of these games have been completed, but rather just a mention of some great games and why I am enjoying playing them so far. So in short these are RPG, PS3-only and are not completed
3D Dot Game Hero: A nostalgic must-own Oh man, if you cling to your PS1, or have a healthy “game” folder on your machine, complete with every SNES, PS1, etc emulator you could find, and spend hours upon hours replaying Zelda, Final Fantasy or similar, you MUST own this game. MUST. The opening starts out with a standard 2D exploring interface with which we are all familiar. The king then says that no one visits anymore because it is too boring, and so transforms the world into a 3D, pixelated universe. Instead of being top-down, it is now ~45 degrees and filled with vibrant, magical colours. The water animation is particularly breathtaking. The fighting style is real-time, a la Zelda.
The great thing about this game is it is very tongue-in-cheek, which might leave people who are not familiar with SNES/PS1-era video games wondering at all the little “in jokes”, but it is enjoyable enough that one won’t feel left out. Such things include a main characters name which makes little-to-no sense and inexplicably is the only capitalised word to be found, and spells which have no relation to their English name, a call back to early translations of Final Fantasy games. I just unlocked the “Normal Map” spell which allows you to bash and send a shock wave… yeah. It also embraces the old-school glitches and incorporates them directly into the game play.
In short, 3D Dot Game Heros is visually impressive and wonderfully nostalgic. Anyone who loved Zelta, Final Fantasy and misses those days of RPG, this is a must-own.
Eternal Sonata: I have only started playing Eternal Sonata, but the gameplay reminds me of the styles of the “Tales of ___” games. The artwork is absolutely stunning and the piano music is touching; the story revolves around Chopin, so it makes sense. The battle-style incorporates light and dark elements, so if you are standing in the dark, your special skill is different from when you are standing in the light. This can be tricky to get used to, but is fun to play with. The turn-based style of battle is again hard to get used to, but there is essentially a timer that goes for each character, and once that time runs out, that’s your turn. As you advanced, this method evolves which while it sometimes can be irritating, it keeps the battles from becoming ‘too easy’ as you level up and start to master each of your characters. Definitely worth playing, and my partner, who is a massive RPG fan (as I write this, he’s blasting through the Aqua Temple in 3D Dot Game Heros) said it’s quickly becoming his favourite modern RPG, as it provides a beautiful setting with a good storyline.
Valkyria Chronicles: This is a tactical RPG where you maintain a squad in a fictional setting loosely based on WWII Europe in 1935. I LOVE tactical RPG games (totally rocking XCOM right now) and this is such fun, definitely my personal favourite of the lot. Don’t worry, I am definitely aware of how popular this has become, but it is my first encounter with the game.
The animation is stunning with a soft watercolour feel. Each battle is complicated, sometimes frustrating (constantly saving is the way to go), but always interesting, and the way the story is presented, almost makes you feel like you are watching/participating in a really good, almost Myazaki-like film. I might just leave the discussion there, but if you enjoy good tactical RPG and fantastic animation, just give it a try for yourself… you won’t be disappointed.
So, in short, the PS3 was definitely a good buy with enough interesting PS3-only RPG games. My personal favourite is Valkyria Chronicles but 3D Dot Game Heros is just so much fun and Eternal Sonata is purely enjoyable.