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I think I've answered this question before, but my first (j)rpg to play all the way through was FF7. I know, for shame, for shame. Loved it then and still like it a lot now. My favorite RPG remains Skies of Arcadia, though. The sense of adventure and exploration has never been matched. I know it's not terribly original in terms of plot, but it tells its story very solidly. Other top games on my list would be Shadow Hearts II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Lufia II.
My first RPG was like a lot of kiddies back in the 80's - Dragon Warrior - although I got my copy before the whole Nintendo Power push thing they did. Final Fantasy came after that - I ended up liking FF more than DW tho.
Favorite is still FFIV. I dunno it's just something about the story and the characters that makes it special for me.
First RPG: Ultima IV on the old PC
Ditto..... at least, as far back as I can remember. The game came out in '85, so I was only five then. Realistically, I likely only really tinkered with my brother's and uncle's C64 copies of Exodus and Quest of the Avatar. It was some years after, probably during the early 90s, when I really started to invest in Ultima IV. Aside from that, I'm another member of the free Dragon Warrior Nintendo Power subscription club -- a game which I had indeed finished to completion back in the day.
I figured that Final Fantasies IV and VI (and even a smattering of VII) were going to populate the thread, but I'm in a bit of awe that Final Fantasy V made no one's list. For me, a solid system of gameplay is paramount in any RPG, and FFV's is a rock. Its take on the job system is still the most finely implemented in the series, all at once refined, flexible, and user-friendly. A somewhat weaker story and much smaller cast is a decent trade-off for keener investments in character building fulfillment. Thanks to the blazing-fast battles, level grinding in a conventional RPG has never felt more efficient or enjoyable. The game also provides a terrific challenge, an after effect of giving the player free rein as to how they want to utilize their party. Substantial side quests in the form of optional summons and the Legendary Weapons, a final dungeon that's teeming with great bosses, and an Uematsu score that ranks sentimentally high on my list (The Dragon Spreads Its Wings is MAGIC)..... s'yeah, a damned fine RPG.
On the one hand, he has a point. On the other, words change. Gay doesn't only mean happy these days.
Did not read the LONG article, but from what I gathered it can be summarized as:
"computer/video game RPGs suck"
Now, maybe I really should have read it, but I'd rather spend my time reading something else. Furthermore, I enjoy RPGs, and I don't mind the stat-building. Also many RPGs such as Ultima actually spend less time stat-building than actually exploring. I guess for those who really miss the traditional RPG which was pen and paper, there's always World of Warcraft which requires massive teamwork and you can in fact speak to your buddies so in some ways it's almost the same as pen and paper except the dungeon master is the computer, and of course it leaves less to the imagination (but has a better soundtrack)!
Personally, I've never played an online RPG and have no desire to do so either, but I do respect Warcraft for the art that it is.
I think TerraEpon's point is important here. "Role-Playing Game" as used today is not at all what it sounds like it should be. The term sounds like it'd be something where you make decisions, you play a real role. Much like D&D and LARP. But videogame "RPGs" are too linear for that.
Man, I just got to the last area in Breath of Fire III. I Forgot how much I HATE this freakin' place!
Hahahaha... I forgot about the plant enemies that go by "plant42" Capcom is shameless.
The first RPG I played was FF VIII, at age 24. And only because of this website, which made me aware of Final Fantasy music (I had no previous exposure to it whatsoever, because not a soul in my neighborhood played FF or any RPG). When I was growing up (I still am), you heard about video games while talking to people in person. There were no websites to check out because there were no websites.
I next played FF V and I found it more enjoyable, but a lot more difficult. I never did beat it.
I played through parts of FF VI, VII, IX and X.
I know how I could play an RPG while in my thirties. I'd have to give up going to the gym, shaving, showering, eating healthy foods, reading, movies etc. My life would consist of going to work and playing video games. This reminds me of that part in Metal Gear Solid, when the game reminded you to be thankful you can play it.
paladins quest was cool, with magic consuming your HP. the only things that were a pain was running into a battle with 12 enemies at once. You'd think you'd have enough hp to last a round but then they'd whack you so many times in a row. I never did beat the end boss but my brother did. You had to devote a lot of time fighting weaker enemies to level up your magic spells (like secret of mana)
Yeah, and I did like it in the end. A solid, slightly off the beaten path RPG. Would have liked to see a translation for Lennus 2 back then!
My first RPG was Final Fantasy IV, which I played years later after its US debut. That was and still is to this day a memorable experience, which I re-experienced with the DS version. You just can't help but love that cast and Cecil the Dark Knight transforming into Cecil the Paladin is still the stuff of memories and awe. Kain was also the start of my love for lancers and dragoons.
However, when it comes to my favorite RPG, Vagrant Story takes the cake. Beautiful character designs, environments, earthy palette, tightly-written and translated plot/script, epic and heart-searing soundtrack - you name it. I've played the game for a fun and extraordinarily mesmerizing six straight years before life caught up and reduced my play time. Before that happened, I'd already beaten the game over 4 times, started New Game + files, and was in the process of farming weapons and armor for even more kickassery. I'd taken a lot of the quotes within the game to heart; got A.J. Durai's soul "speech" remembered to a degree and recently experienced my first Vagrant Story dream. To this day, listening to "Climax of the Greylands Incident" and "Staff Roll" makes me stop still and close my eyes and relive the game. No other game has sunk its roots so deep into me and I don't think anything else will.
OK, I'm angry... the encounter rate in an RPG sound NOT spike all of a sudden for no reason - unless it's story related. Screw you Breath of Fire.
And what's with this sudden difficulty spike? I should not go into a cabe and have "Bullies" knock out my entire party w/one lightning spell. The game's cake and all off a sudden... BAM!