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Old 04-12-2011, 05:38 AM   #1
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The most important thing to you in an RPG.

Some people prefer a good battle system, some prefer a nice story, and some prefer a good class system.

I really am a sucker for a good cast of characters. In fact, all my favorite RPGs have stellar casts. FFIV, FFVI, Chrono Trigger, Persona 3, Persona 4, Tales of Vesperia, and a few others, all have a nice set of characters. Not that story or gameplay isn't a priority, but when you have a great cast that you feel a strong connection to, what happens to them in the story means so much more.

When Tellah sacrificed himself in FFIV to get revenge for his daughter's death, when Locke felt the strong need to protect Terra and Celes in FFVI because he needed redemption for letting down the woman he loved, or even when any of the characters in Person 4 faced their true selves and learned about who they were, all those things lent themselves to the story because of the great cast and character development.

So anyway, discuss.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:11 AM   #2
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A while ago I would have said story, but my answer now is probably a bit more complicated.

Final Fantasy XIII was a real eye-opener for me in terms of showing me how much melodrama can keep me from feeling immersed in a game. When a character's reaction seems overblown or somehow unbelievable, it really takes me out of the story and I sort of rebel against the character.

So I guess there's an element of realism to a story that is necessary for me. No matter how fantastical a game's world or characters or creatures are, I need things to make sense or be believable.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:17 AM   #3
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Originality, battle system, and story are all important. A good one has to have at least two of those be very good. I love the RPG that takes me somewhere different, so perhaps originality (in setting or otherwise) is my most important of the three.

I mean part of the reason Skies of Arcadia was so bitchin' is because of how different it was in setting and characters. Freakin' Air Pirates. Awesome.

Same goes Earthbound's kookiness and .hack's meta-MMO setup. The underlying game mechanics might be tired, but if it's in some way new or different, I'll love it.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:28 PM   #4
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I like how Ges pointed out the the atmosphere. I never really think about it all that much, but it can make a huge difference on how well I personally receive a game or not. Skies of Arcadia is actually a really good example of this. The same goes for Chrono Trigger and Grandia.

I think the biggest thing for me is probably the characters and how they interact together. I enjoy seeing how they stick together (or possibly fall apart) as the story progresses. The general plot point is significant only as much as the role players are pushing the narrative. I think a game like Lunar: Silver Star Story is a perfect example of a basic plot that is surrounded by wonderful characters and interations.

The battle system is a big seller for me as well. Grandia was instantly one of my most cherished series' and the battle system is a big part of that. If it's fun and I feel engaged with it, I like game that much more.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:44 PM   #5
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For me to really love an RPG, it's gotta have a fun battle system and a good cast of characters. We spend a good portion of our time in RPG's just fighting things, so it had better be fun.

Shadow Hearts doesn't let you get lazy. Ever. The judgment ring system keeps you on your toes in every part of every battle. You might get better at using it, but if you become lax, you can still mess up things you would almost always hit perfectly. The characters are wacky at times but they are also relatable. The story itself isn't exactly revolutionary, but it does do it in a fairly unique way and that counts for a lot in a market filled to overflowing with plots that all sound like each other.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:05 PM   #6
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For me there are a lot of important things. I think first and foremost there is story, i like something that grabs ahold of you and doesnt let go until you finish it and revisit the game a couple more times.

But also I am on the boat with most who said that the best thing is a good combination of story, characters and battle system.

Like CO i am a big fan of Shadow Hearts because indeed, the battle system does not let you just sit there and press a button like other rpgs but doesnt let you full onto action like some rpgs tend to do these days. You can still have your strategy. Covenant showed you which turn was coming up next and during boss fights it was incredibly helpful because Boss fights were a bitch, they were not really that hard but they still gave you a bit of challenge sometimes. One of the things I like to do is ignore super items unless there is no way out. In SH there are items which let you spin the judgment ring many times, 3 or 5 or more. This means that you can potentially hit a dude 25 or more times and if you hit most of it in the strike zone you can do a whole lot of damage. SH is harder than Covenant and it really brings up its game, maybe Covenant was dumbed down a bit but is still a great game and...i completely forgot what this thread was about.

Anyway, yeah, its mostly a combination of all those things that really make a good rpg. Sometimes you can get story but lack in characters and battle system, like FF8 before mid disc 3 (I dont remember when it goes to shit but it does, Esthar?) and sometimes you get fun battle system, pretty graphics but a loose story and practically no characters like Legend of Mana, and these are still enjoyable games but you dont get me to suck cock for them like I would do for Shadow Hearts, Xenogears or Persona 2.

And sometimes, very rarely, you get a game which lacks main components and somehow ends up being fun. For the life of me I cant understand why I liked Arc the lad Twilight of the Spirit. The characters are godawful, the main dudes Kharg and Darc are complete douchebags, the voice acting is horrible, the battle system is so simple and unchallenging the first and only time you are gonna die is at the last boss fight, the graphics are not that special and its just a really mediocre game, but somehow I ended up greatly enjoying it. Maybe it was just Bebedora. She is utterly awesome.
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