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  #1  
Old 01-27-2014, 05:42 AM
pjft pjft is offline
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Default FF:Tactics, Ravenmark, XCOM, BGEE, Avernum or Fire Emblem (3DS)?

Hi all,

Apologies for the mixed bag of questions. I'm (hopefully) finally finishing Avadon 1, and I'm looking through my options for next long-ish strategy/RPG game to play. I've been playing it for the larger part of 2013 (yes, I sadly do not have much game time these days), and I was looking for a similar-ish game to fill the void.

I've looked through my backlog, and these are the main games I have there that I've shortlisted on this category. All of them are appealing to me at different levels, and I'd like your thoughts, in case you have played some of them.

- Final Fantasy Tactics: I'd like to play this because I've heard lots of great things about it in the past decade and half. Alas, I never got to play it at the time, so I bought it for my iPad about a year ago. I expect it to have an interesting story, as well as game mechanics. I fear that if I make the wrong choices early on, I get to a point where it'll be frustrating to make progress. Is that the case?
- Ravenmark: I bought this a long time ago as well, and played the first couple of levels at the time. I found it interesting, though I found the theme to be potentially too military-driven, and large-scale battles. I'm not sure how I like that. How's the story? Are the battles that large-scale, and could they easily become overwhelming for someone who's used to play small squad-based TBS/RPGs like Warhammer Quest, XCom, Final Fantasy, or Avadon?
- XCOM: I felt the original XCOM (80s-90s) to be a bit too opaque for me, so it never caught my attention for long. That being said, this newer version caught me by surprise when I got it for free on PSPlus. I loved the first 6-7 missions so much that I bought it for my iPad. Alas, never picked it up after that. This one does rank high on the list, though I wonder how long it'll be, and how engaging the game/story (?) ends up being in the long run.
- BGEE: Didn't play the original, bought it on my iPad. I wanted to like this game so much, but it might just be that I do not have enough mind-share after all these years to fully immerse myself in one such game. Also, I was significantly underwhelmed by the iPad controls in one of the earlier versions, and the whole game mechanics seem to be very deep and complex for my current availability. In that sense, I'd actually prefer something with simpler mechanics and "better" touch UI like Avernum or Avadon 2 (which is coming out in a few weeks).
- Avernum: I pretty much summarized it. I have both 6 and EFTP. My concern is that I might be a bit over-saturated with Avadon-like gameplay, graphics and story at the moment that I might need a breather. Especially since Avadon 2 is about to be released, and I might be better off playing Avadon 2 instead, and at a later stage just go back to the Avernums.
- Fire Emblem: I also got a 3DS a few months back and got Fire Emblem for it. Alas, once again, haven't started it. My main concern is that my 3DS game time is significantly reduced, since it's really only at home, but I might really start this one as well, perhaps in tandem with some of the other ones.

So that's it from me. I added most of my questions in each of the games since those will be what makes it or breaks it for me. I do not have much consecutive time to play these games, so I might get 1 or 2 hours a week total, but broken in 5-15 minute chunks for the most part, sometimes 30 mins. So yes, the game would also need to have a "save-almost-anywhere" feature as much as possible, and would have to be easy to pick up and track what I'm meant to do next, or what was I doing, otherwise I can just lose track of the whole plot and goals.

Any thoughts are welcome, as always, and happy to hear your recommendations and tips here!

Thanks,
Paulo
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2014, 06:20 AM
aikavari aikavari is offline
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I've only really played FFT, Avadon, BGEE, and XCOM.

The first three have really epic story lines and have multiple ways of customizing your toons (some deeper than others). All also have quite dated graphics. Avadon and BGEE suffer from very slow paced gameplay so be warned. FFT has nice bite sized quests for quick 2 minute games. all 3 can be daunting if you're the type who wants to play perfectly. I know of a guy who spends more time reading about these types of games an actually playing them. :-P

XCOM is quite new and the gameplay is nice. The only thing that is not intuitive (to me) is the quirks of base building but it's more confusing due to differences vis-a-vis the original PC games than anything else.

If I had to choose, I'd say XCOM. If you really want an RPG, BG2EE is much, much better paced compared to BGEE.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2014, 06:37 AM
Echoen Echoen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjft View Post
- Final Fantasy Tactics: I'd like to play this because I've heard lots of great things about it in the past decade and half. Alas, I never got to play it at the time, so I bought it for my iPad about a year ago. I expect it to have an interesting story, as well as game mechanics. I fear that if I make the wrong choices early on, I get to a point where it'll be frustrating to make progress. Is that the case?
The system is very complex so you may be overwhelmed at first but it's an absolute joy once you figure it out. If you feel like you've made a blunder or have trouble with a story level, you can always go back to previous maps to farm, grind exp, steal often stronger equips and maybe invite an enemy to join your party. Jobs don't lock so you can just reload (or finish a round) and switch back. Tons of ways to mix and match as well as stat min-maxing/reversing/down-leveling if you feel like going hardcore and cheesing the game.

I loved the story playing it on the PSX and the dialogue's been refined in this version so it's even more engrossing. Love all the betrayal and heresy.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2014, 08:20 AM
pjft pjft is offline
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Hi aikavari and Echoen, and thank you for both your replies!

I am not the kind of guy who wants to play perfectly - meaning, I wouldn't strive to go out of my way to get a 100% on a game. That being said, on Avadon, I think I might have done the vast majority of "side-quests" since they end up coming to me during the narrative. But other than that, I would not usually go explore a map to the finest detail just to look for hidden secrets or quests that I might have missed. I have, however, been significantly burned in the PSOne era where twice I reached FF7's final boss and didn't have even remotely a party that would be strong enough to defeat it. So yeah, 80+ hours almost to waste there Same with FF8 at the time, where (if I recall correctly), the final dungeon you would be stripped of any magic you would have, and none of my characters was sufficiently strong to make it through the dungeon.

So that is my main concern with these kind of games.

XCOM and FFT are indeed my likeliest choices. I'm trying to force myself not to buy BG2EE before even playing BGEE for some decent amount of time. The worst I need right now is yet another full-priced-40-plus-hours-game-that-I-might-end-up-not-enjoying-much in my backlog So I'll hopefully keep that up, and only after I see if BGEE does it for me will I decide what to do in terms of BG2EE.

I have a long flight next Sunday (10+ hours), so I'll have to make up my mind by then - I might actually start both since they do fill two different niches. FFT for the story, and XCOM for the tactical skirmishes/missions (there's not much story there, is it?).

Also, any thoughts on Ravenmark?

-- or even Shadowrun Returns, actually?

Cheers!
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2014, 08:47 AM
h1ryu h1ryu is offline
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Now this is my kinda game collection, I'll put them in my order of preference and explain why.

1) Final Fantasy Tactics. This one I'm a bit biased about as it's one of my favourite games. The story is great, the soundtrack is one of the best in any game ever and the gameplay is still one of the best of its kind, (except possibly for Tactics Ogre: Let us cling together). All the unit types feel unique and you have to think about which ones you use, how you equip them, what skills to select and how you use them to finish a lot of the missions.

2) XCom. Really good strategy game, not much story in there but it isn't needed. A nice sense of progression with building your base and researching new technologies. Highly recommended but can tell you first hand it doesn't work properly on iPhone 4S or iPad mini, (works fine on iPad mini retina though).

3) Fire Emblem 3DS. Well worth a look, really good story and multiple different interactions between the characters. Each of the units is a unique person who can die permanently or have relationships with other characters. Depending on who lives or dies in missions will change the way the rest of the game plays out, (not so much with main missions but there's plenty it does affect). Lots of content and some really solid combat. One of the best 2 3DS games so far alongside Bravely Default.

4) Baldurs Gate. It's a great game, but I just don't like playing it on the iPad at all, I find the controls irritating and they take away from the experience for me. I bought it a while back and haven't played more than a few hours. If you want a solid Western RPG recommendation for the iPad them I'd recommend Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, it's as good as Baldurs Gate but the interface is much better suited to tablet play.

5) Ravenmark. Got this a while ago and only played a little of it, I seem to remember liking it and intending to go back but so far I haven't got around to it.

Shadowrun Returns is pretty good, it's fairly short for an RPG, but they're planning on bringing out more stories as DLC down the line. Personally I'd probably wait until there's a little more content available before you get it as right now it's too quick to finish it.

Looking at the games that you've put I don't think you'll go too far wrong with any of them, one thing worth noting if you have a 10 hour flight is that the 3DS battery life won't last half of that so Fire Emblem may leave you wanting
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2014, 08:58 AM
pjft pjft is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h1ryu View Post
Now this is my kinda game collection, I'll put them in my order of preference and explain why.

1) Final Fantasy Tactics. This one I'm a bit biased about as it's one of my favourite games. The story is great, the soundtrack is one of the best in any game ever and the gameplay is still one of the best of its kind, (except possibly for Tactics Ogre: Let us cling together). All the unit types feel unique and you have to think about which ones you use, how you equip them, what skills to select and how you use them to finish a lot of the missions.

2) XCom. Really good strategy game, not much story in there but it isn't needed. A nice sense of progression with building your base and researching new technologies. Highly recommended but can tell you first hand it doesn't work properly on iPhone 4S or iPad mini, (works fine on iPad mini retina though).

3) Fire Emblem 3DS. Well worth a look, really good story and multiple different interactions between the characters. Each of the units is a unique person who can die permanently or have relationships with other characters. Depending on who lives or dies in missions will change the way the rest of the game plays out, (not so much with main missions but there's plenty it does affect). Lots of content and some really solid combat. One of the best 2 3DS games so far alongside Bravely Default.

4) Baldurs Gate. It's a great game, but I just don't like playing it on the iPad at all, I find the controls irritating and they take away from the experience for me. I bought it a while back and haven't played more than a few hours. If you want a solid Western RPG recommendation for the iPad them I'd recommend Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, it's as good as Baldurs Gate but the interface is much better suited to tablet play.

5) Ravenmark. Got this a while ago and only played a little of it, I seem to remember liking it and intending to go back but so far I haven't got around to it.

Shadowrun Returns is pretty good, it's fairly short for an RPG, but they're planning on bringing out more stories as DLC down the line. Personally I'd probably wait until there's a little more content available before you get it as right now it's too quick to finish it.

Looking at the games that you've put I don't think you'll go too far wrong with any of them, one thing worth noting if you have a 10 hour flight is that the 3DS battery life won't last half of that so Fire Emblem may leave you wanting
Wow, thank you very much h1ryu!

Indeed, the battery life is also the main reason why I was a bit hesitant about using my 3DS for that purpose And yes, Bravely Default is definitely on my "to buy" list, but I'll try to play Fire Emblem first.

I totally forgot about KOTOR - I also purchased it and it's on my backlog. I guess I feel the BGEE theme appeals to me a bit more than sci-fi, but I could consider it as well... If I recall correctly, it's a bit more Mass Effect-ey in terms of the navigation and interaction (i.e. 3rd/1st-person 3D movement). Is that correct? How do the controls translate to the iPad?

Points taken on the XCOM problems on some of those devices. I have an iPad 3 retina, so fingers crossed that works well. Also, thanks for the tip on Shadowrun Returns - I'll likely wait for the Berlin DLC to come around and then dive into it all.

As for Ravenmark, that's my sentiment as well. I seem to remember liking it, but I never got back to it either.

So, that's a strong endorsement for FFT, and XCOM as well. As I said, they do fill different niches, so I might certainly start both if I need a change of pace!

Thanks all so far, and keep any more thoughts coming!
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:15 AM
heringer heringer is offline
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FFT: Huge game (40+ hours) with fairly complex mechanics that will require some investment from you. That said, it's an amazing game with a great story and great gameplay. It's a bit dated in some aspects (like controls), but it holds up well enough.
XCOM: Probably the best option for you. It's modern, it's awesome, it's deep but easy to understand. It's not very long though, clocking at around 20 hours (someone correct me if I'm wrong).
KOTOR: Another huge game. It will require some time investment to understand it's mechanics, but it's pretty straightforward and not nearly as complex as Baldur's Gate. It plays great on the iPad and it's an easy recommendation.
Shadowrun Returns: a great, short and easy to get into RPG. There are better options though.
Fire Emblem 3DS: as a Fire Emblem fan, this one was a bit disappointing to me because I thought it was too easy. That said, it's still a great. Very long too, and not too complex.
Ravenmark: Strictly a strategy game, with no RPG elements. It's pretty good but it doesn't hold up against some of the classics mentioned.

I understand where are you coming from when you say you don't want to invest a lot of time in a very complex game, so I would say XCOM or Fire Emblem would be better suited for you right now. They look great, play great and are fairly deep without being super complex.
XCOM if you want to be challenged. Fire Emblem if you want to breeze through the game, just chilling and having fun.

Last edited by heringer; 01-27-2014 at 09:21 AM..
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2014, 10:17 AM
pjft pjft is offline
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Thanks for the tips

By all means, maybe I came across wrong: I don't have a problem with "deep" games, but if they are opaque, I just don't have the time and energy these days to read through pages and pages of a manual to try and understand how everything fits together.

Also, if games are deep, but don't necessarily require you to become an absolute master of the mechanics to enjoy it, that's also positive for me.

Thanks for the recommendation of KOTOR, might consider it again.

FFT and XCOM are (not) surprisingly at the top so far, which is good - I had those in my shortlist.

KOTOR came up as a surprise contender which I'll have to research until end of week and free up some space if I decide to take it on.

Any thoughts or concerns on battery consumption for these, given the 10h flight?

I'll keep Fire Emblem for when I return and can play it at home. Sounds like a fun romp, and given it's my first FE game, being easier than previous ones isn't a bad thing for me.

Thank you all!
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:21 PM
bigred447uk bigred447uk is offline
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Kingturn, Kingturn Plus and Kingturn Underworld are three great SRPG from Mangobile which may be more battery friendly than some of the more graphically intensive games mentioned here. They feature addictive mechanics and great narrative. You will only need one of them for the flight. They do not skimp on content ! These are some of my favourite SRPG on any platform having played most of the notable classics of the genre.

All the games are free I think with a one time IAP for full game unlock after you've played the first handful of scenario. You owe it to yourself to check these out !

Last edited by bigred447uk; 01-27-2014 at 12:31 PM..
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:31 PM
pjft pjft is offline
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Yes, indeed, the Mangobile ones.

I do have them all on my Android phone, but hadn't thought of them in this context.

I know undeadcow is a great fan of them as well, and I have played a couple of scenarios and enjoyed them. I guess it was something like Ravenmark for me - never got back to them.

I might start that on my phone, though - it could be fun for my commute, certainly, as well as day to day gaming. I'd probably use my 10-hour flight to start one of these bigger beasts, though.

On the Kingturn ones, which one would you recommend for me to start on?

Thanks!
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