Zero Punctuation: The World Ends With You

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Iori Branford:

hyphz:
The question is though, how would an RPG work where the gameplay and story were integrated?

First to come to mind are cutscenes affected by character stats and previous actions. So if you had to watch your archer do some sniping, his/her Archery skill would determine whether he/she killed, wounded, or missed the target. Or the course of an enemy ambush could change if you had the right items or laid some traps beforehand.

Both NWN2 and Mass Effect do this, to a degree, like how you can pre-emptively execute badguys in ME (which is fucking oresome)

hey yahtzee love to watch the reviews you put out.. they rock. this is my first ever comment and although you probably wont see this the reviews are excellent keep up the good work. and have a great birthday. you deserve it

It was very pleasing to see Yahtzee say what he didn't like about the game and then EXPLAIN WHY he didn't like it. It must appeal to my meticulous nature. JRPGs/ WRPGs/ FPSs whatever can all be good or be stale.

(J)RPGs have the nasty habit of having laboriously long cutscenes and NPC conversations which you'll either hate as a gamer because you're not gaming while you're passively sitting through these or will like because you're part of gaming's expanded presence in society that includes people that would normally read a book or watch a movie but wouldn't be off-put to press a button every once in a while. There are games and there are "movies with interactive moments" like those flash videos that give you a little minigame to play while it loads.

Story in games is something that happens while you're playing. My complaint is that a number of games have the story happen instead of playing the game. RPGs and FPSs can both be guilty of this crime. Half-Life 2 kept most of the story-telling in game mode by keeping it short and rare and not changing the camera out of your skull or nailing your boots to the ground. Mario RPG: Legend of the 7 Stars was most clearly a JRPG that had all the usual JRPG fodder that I actually liked because the story wasn't presented to the detriment of play.

Frederf:
It was very pleasing to see Yahtzee say what he didn't like about the game and then EXPLAIN WHY he didn't like it. It must appeal to my meticulous nature. JRPGs/ WRPGs/ FPSs whatever can all be good or be stale.

It's true, while I disagree with his opinion on JRPG's (and Drakes Fortune/Bros Brawl) his reasoning is always good in context, he tends to argue like an academic rather than just aimlessly rant. I also LOVE that he doesn't use a scoring system, its WHAT he says about the game thats important, not a little number.

PedroSteckecilo:

YoungZer0:
I think Persona 3 FES has many of the points that are missing in "The world ends with you" (Stupid name). Turn based combat is okay as long as it goes fast. As far as i know every SMT Game had turn based combat and DDS/Nocturne are damn hard. You played Persona 3 FES? Just curious.

Played it, loved it. Just, judging by Yahtzees opinions and tastes, he wouldn't like its focus on Teenage Life in Japan or playing the hero with the most Emo hair ever.

I know! Fuck that god damn hair! What i think is the most impressive thing about Persona 3 FES are the characters, there are all so ... alive. But in the end, i guess you are right. :?

Wow, the "report" button looks a lot like "reply" XD. Go me.

Anyways - different genres for different players, I guess. As always, he nails the issues of the game on the head while ensuring to piss off every other fanboy in existence. I personally liked the game, but can easily see why the gratuitous amounts of dialogue can drive those who don't like it away. As far as JRPGs go, I thought TWEWY's story was refreshingly original, if still relatively doomed by the general "I are be good boy now" mentality of Neku who, despite trying to do something very awesome on the second day, becomes a bit of a goody-goody later on.

The dual screen combat can be summed up pretty easily, though - look at top when battle starts and see whether or not enemies are on the left or the right. Now mash that directional button until you notice that people aren't there anymore. Mashing works just as good as actually trying to perform the combos that are presented for the partner.

All well. As if I expected anything but a sea of bile from the great Yahtzee. At least you state why you don't like games or genres, rather than just saying that it sucks like every other person I know >,>

After the scathing Uncharted review I realized that if Yahtzee reviews a game you like... don't expect him to like it, be suprised when he does, because it is rare.

Good calls all around, Yahtzee .

Er...I mean I hate you and you smell.

Yeah...that sounds about right.

I laughed at the Charles Whitman reference.

Very nice review as usual. This has become the highlight of my week. Thank you Yahtzee for being so normal.

I'm glad to see this game on here and I agree with most of his points. That being said, this was probably the most fun I've ever had with my DS XD I really was overwhelemed by the battle system at first, but you really get the hang of it as you go on, adn I couldn't just leave my partner on auto becasue sometimes they move slower than ... well insert a developer here.

The food helps boots your atk, def and whatnot, and also your brv so you can wear better stuff. Your levelling up only increases HP, so .. well I'm going to ramble if I keep going so I'll just say it's a good unique game and it's a shame there aren't more games out there that are taking a bit of a chance like it did.

AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.

Hmm, seems like it took a step back from JRPGs then a step forward.

animation has improved leaps and bounds! not that it was bad to start with!
i have to agree with yahtzee, jrpg do tend to suck, however i do still have a love affair with Final fantasy 9.....
still as i have read somewhere that yahtzee likes to be insulted....

you're ginger! mwahahaha

Parsec:

otterbeans:

Parsec:
The writing holds up well, but it doesn't really shine until AFTER the game is over. That had me in stitches; it's a shame that level of comedy wasn't dispersed through the whole game.

Dibs on rainbow.

Exactly what I mean.

"No, no, no, I call pink." "(Great, now they are fighting over colors!)"
"His blue strikes me more of a...black and blue." "What do I look like, a bruise?"
"You're like a bruise on the tomato of my heart."

Also, "(Great, not only did he name us after crayons, apparently he's been EATING them too.)"

"You're the one that refuses to call me pink."
"So now it's MY FAULT?"

"I demand you make me a spirit!"
"Why would you wanna be a crayon!?"

I COULD DO THIS ALL DAY. XD;

YoungZer0:

PedroSteckecilo:

YoungZer0:
I think Persona 3 FES has many of the points that are missing in "The world ends with you" (Stupid name). Turn based combat is okay as long as it goes fast. As far as i know every SMT Game had turn based combat and DDS/Nocturne are damn hard. You played Persona 3 FES? Just curious.

Played it, loved it. Just, judging by Yahtzees opinions and tastes, he wouldn't like its focus on Teenage Life in Japan or playing the hero with the most Emo hair ever.

I know! Fuck that god damn hair! What i think is the most impressive thing about Persona 3 FES are the characters, there are all so ... alive. But in the end, i guess you are right. :?

That's another thing I liked about the game. The voice acting fit the characters, each one with their own distinct personality. You can even tell when Aigis is changing when how her voice tone starts to grow less and less robotic. (she is a robot, for those who haven't played the game)And plenty of times, I let an out loud laugh with things would go crazy, or grow awkward for the character and group. Why your character has an emo haircut and it's the color blue, I don't know. But the way the story flows makes you actually care about the characters, and this is something not easily achieved by many games.

Good as usual. I wonder what you'll review when you get another "week off" from the Escapist.

I liked JRPGs growing up, and I still occasionally enjoy them, but they seem rather outdated. More and more I can't help but think to myself while playing: "I could play an MMO if I wanted to level up and explore, and I could watch an anime or read a book if I wanted a compelling story". Even IF the game's story is wonderful and interesting, a game that makes you think of real life too much just reeks of bad design (suspension of disbelief is key).

That said, I buy JRPGs these days for combat, and combat only. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time was an RPG whose battle system was absolutely wonderful because of the customizability of your skills, equipment, and party members; the variability of strategies and kill conditions, and the completely optional and ball-crushing extra bosses. Did I mention that you can pick easy, medium, hard, and cut-my-wrists at the beginning of the game for even more replay value?

When JRPGs revamp their combat to be a little more enticing and strategic than "Find weak point and bash with keyblade" or "Sword doesn't work? Use spells", while retaining good replay value and fast-paced action, I'll buy some more. I rented TWEWY and liked it, but I won't remember it.

(J)RPGs have the nasty habit of having laboriously long cutscenes and NPC conversations which you'll either hate as a gamer because you're not gaming while you're passively sitting through these or will like because you're part of gaming's expanded presence in society that includes people that would normally read a book or watch a movie but wouldn't be off-put to press a button every once in a while. There are games and there are "movies with interactive moments" like those flash videos that give you a little minigame to play while it loads.

yes very true different kinds of people looking for differint things in the same medium (games).

Story in games is something that happens while you're playing. My complaint is that a number of games have the story happen instead of playing the game. RPGs and FPSs can both be guilty of this crime. Half-Life 2 kept most of the story-telling in game mode by keeping it short and rare and not changing the camera out of your skull or nailing your boots to the ground. Mario RPG: Legend of the 7 Stars was most clearly a JRPG that had all the usual JRPG fodder that I actually liked because the story wasn't presented to the detriment of play.

I think HL can work that way, because the number of characters are limited. A typical JRPG has a lot of different characters with all kinds of interactions/links between them, which sound way harder to do 'ingame'.

One of my all time favorites games & JRPG (Legend of Kartia), had like 25% gameplay and 75& noninteractive dialogs. Which meant that all the various characters had character, including all the baddies (making them less bad).

Guess it comes back to the first point, different people playing for different reasons. A strong story (however it's told) motviates me to advance, makes the game more fun to play

Anyone else notice that the reviews seem to get caught up on one frame, the dialouge goes like 20 seconds ahead, and then the screens are rapidly skipped into the right place? It happens here.

Good review, like "2007 Yahtzee". I liked it.

Yay, the World's Strongest Poplar ((Spelling?)) Tree is back!
But great review Yahtzee, an Happy Birthday man.
Oh, and way to go with the GH 3 thing. I'm still trying to get past medium, but then again I only play with a 360 controller.

*takes a guess*

HAPPY BIRTHDAY YAHTZE! <3

brilliant review, though I love story games, I hate when they put stats over the top. >.<

Charvale:
Okay, I loved this review! Considering that the game developers had a contest in Deviantart.com, it's nice to know that my suggestion for a enemy boss was not actually accepted into the game.

My monster concept was a hideous creature in a business suit... aka a professional troll.

It was my homage to Yahtzee, to see if they would accept it.

Now, I'm happy that they didn't because I thought Yahtzee stayed away from the JRPG's. It just goes to show you, anything can happen in this world.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Yahtzee.

If anything ever inspired by a comment I made on the internet ever found it's way into a game, I would be very displeased.

As well, I think Yahtzee should review Odin Sphere or GrimGrimoire. Any other game I'd suggest out of curiosity has been done, or is a strategy RPG, and I don't know how Yahtzee would feel about that.

Nice graphics in this one, Yathzee. I really liked the jumping around the brain of the character-part.

YoungZer0:
As far as i know every SMT Game had turn based combat and DDS/Nocturne are damn hard.

Not really; it's just a question of using the enemies abilities and weaknesses against themselves. If you're in an area where most of the demons are weak against wind and use ice attacks, go in there with something immune to ice and with wind spells.

Once you know their weaknesses, they're already dead.

Nice review.Yahtzee should review more JRPGs is hilarious.I don`t think Nocturne is really that hard i was playing it the other day and is not really much harder than Digital Devil Saga.

Great review, and you are so right about the out-of-the-box protagonist! I read somewhere that in FFXII, Basch was meant to be the main character, but they changed it to Vaan just so that the demographic could relate more.

BTW, any chance of doing a podcast of Zero Punctuation? Or would that force us to miss the rest of the website too much?

TL;DR JRPGS SUCK.

JRPGs have always been boring to me. I play the occasional RPG out of boredom and being too lazy to research good games, but they are generally boring and have too many middle-aged fangirls. You can almost judge how bad a game is by how many annoying rabid fangirls it has. Final Fantasy? Bad(I wish the first was the final). Kingdom Hearts? Horrible(What the fuck is mickey mouse doing fighting off evil demon things? It seems like something that came out of some 5 year old's mind). Etc...

And happy birthday, Yahtzee, the one game reviewer I actually trust!

I don't see where this sot gets off lumping all JRPGs together. There's quite a bit more variety out there than he's giving credit for. If he ever played Vagrant Story he would know the difference between a good RPG and a bad one. It doesn't fit any of the cliches he's refering to.

PedroSteckecilo:

Iori Branford:

hyphz:
The question is though, how would an RPG work where the gameplay and story were integrated?

First to come to mind are cutscenes affected by character stats and previous actions. So if you had to watch your archer do some sniping, his/her Archery skill would determine whether he/she killed, wounded, or missed the target. Or the course of an enemy ambush could change if you had the right items or laid some traps beforehand.

Both NWN2 and Mass Effect do this, to a degree, like how you can pre-emptively execute badguys in ME (which is fucking oresome)

I don't see that working so great, because it all too often ends up being the flip side of the "stole my puzzle from me" storytelling featured in this week's review. You select a dialogue choice along the lines of "Okay, I'll handle this," and it turns out that makes you blow the brains out of a major character, leaving me going, "WTF? That's not how I thought he was going to handle it!" Or you get railroaded into some other line of dialogue with similarly tragic results.

The problem is the fact that an RPG isn't an RPG unless you're role playing. When you're role playing, your options are always going to be limited, because you're playing a role. Sometimes the role is sufficiently free-form that you can act like a total dick and still get a suitable story and ending, but most often the role has to step in and say "no, don't go there," and you just have to go along. Was there ever an option in Mass Effect to hook up with Saren, hand the whole galaxy over to the Reavers, and spend the rest of your life as one of their mindless thralls, infiltrating and betraying the surviving bastions of human civilization? Let's face it, we are centuries away from having available to one and all computers sufficiently powerful that we can just make a virtual world and populate it with digital beings that react in a realistic way to any possible action you can take, let alone set up some sort of story for it to tell. The Sims can't even do that with a freaking HOUSE.

Happy 25th birthday Yahtzee!

Regarding JRPGs...

Back in the day me and my friends all played FF7 and FF8.

I had never played JRPGs before emulation. The Dragon Warrior games are unbelievably tedious grindfests. With FF7, at least you didn't actually need to stay and level up to survive. But exploring the overworld wasn't much fun. Hacking the savegame to give you the "no-random-encounter" item improves those games no end.

Amusingly, the random encounter mechanic was probably borrowed from WESTERN RPGs like Might & Magic / Bard's Tale. I didn't care for those, either. I only played Dungeon Master.
Paper and pencil RPGs don't have random encounters AFAIK, it's up to the DM to include antagonists in a multi-part story.

The FF7 art style was a real hodge-podge with the characters turning into super deformed versions of themselves for no apparent reason. FF8 looked more realistic and consistent.

A bit later I got FF9 and found the random encounters so annoying I couldn't play anymore.

I prefer turn-based combat myself, like in Fallout, Fire Emblem and Grandia, which are my favorites.

Sasha Janre:

Parsec:

otterbeans:

Parsec:
The writing holds up well, but it doesn't really shine until AFTER the game is over. That had me in stitches; it's a shame that level of comedy wasn't dispersed through the whole game.

Dibs on rainbow.

Exactly what I mean.

"No, no, no, I call pink." "(Great, now they are fighting over colors!)"
"His blue strikes me more of a...black and blue." "What do I look like, a bruise?"
"You're like a bruise on the tomato of my heart."

Also, "(Great, not only did he name us after crayons, apparently he's been EATING them too.)"

"You're the one that refuses to call me pink."
"So now it's MY FAULT?"

"I demand you make me a spirit!"
"Why would you wanna be a crayon!?"

I COULD DO THIS ALL DAY. XD;

"Uhh, I'm not good with crowds... Crowds bring out those symbols- the weebers! I can see them everywhere! There! Clinging to that guy's back- WEEBERS!!! Weebie weebie weebie..."

I'll pull the names out for the sake of keeping this spoiler free, but it's nothing major anyway.

1: Hey, wanna play me in---
2: Say, did you know?
2: We all perceive the world around us differently---
2: ---filtered through the lens of our desired reality.
1: Huh!?
1: (thinking) Is this kid high?
2: So if you're wondering why a certain young lady still looks like somebody else...
2: ...it's because you refuse to perceive her as she really is.
1: Young lady?
2: The only thing stopping you from seeing what she really looks like... is you.
2: So you see, it's your fault.
1: I need to look harder?
2: That's right. Let go of your preconceptions.
1: Um... you know...
1: I was just gonna ask if you wanted to play Tin Pin, but, um---
2: Hmm? Tin Pin?
2: We already played.
1: What? We did not!
2: Weren't you listening?
2: Like I said, you only see what you want to see.
2: You didn't want to see yourself lose.
1: (thinking) How come I always pick the crazies to talk to...
2: When you're drowning in a sea of work with not enough time,...
2: ...why pour your soul into assets that get used all of... what, once?
2: Really. Have some compassion.
2: Ta-ta. (leaves)
1: Whew...
1: What was that all about?
1: Kid plays too many video games.

Really, the writing is excellent.

ok, i feel the same way about JRPG's but i must say, TWEWY was one of the better games i've played recently on the DS. Great combat, original style, and some fun music. While i was disappointed in the maddening amount of JRPG visual influence, i'll tolerate a lot for a game that remembers how to be fun. (though it had a sewer/ underground area like all modern adventure games, which tells me it was revving up to jump the shark)
i'd still give it a great score, but i think you hit all the main points.

XT:
TL;DR JRPGS SUCK.

Keep your flames turned off, kiddo.

Hungryfreak:
JRPGs have always been boring to me. I play the occasional RPG out of boredom and being too lazy to research good games, but they are generally boring and have too many middle-aged fangirls. You can almost judge how bad a game is by how many annoying rabid fangirls it has. Final Fantasy? Bad(I wish the first was the final). Kingdom Hearts? Horrible(What the fuck is mickey mouse doing fighting off evil demon things? It seems like something that came out of some 5 year old's mind). Etc...

You do realize that it was called Final Fantasy because it was expected to be the last game made by Square. The games only got bad once 7 came into existence, and they suddenly made 8 and 9 while people still wanted more of 7, which is pathetic since it was most likely the worst of the entire franchise anyways (I never could finish X. sucked. Never bothered trying the newer games because they most likely were worse). I think 7 did good only because it was "revolutionary" for its time. That's all it had going for it. The story sucked, the characters sucked, and the Materia system was a little too drawback-ish.

Also, Kingdom Hearts really wasn't that great, was it? Sure, it was fun to actually have realtime fights and have to use magic in various instances instead of bashing the hell out of something, but story and characters were pretty shallow, too. Not to mention the second installment was basically a button-mashing-fest with less difficulty than the first one.

phyllis_the_phallus:
I don't see where this sot gets off lumping all JRPGs together. There's quite a bit more variety out there than he's giving credit for. If he ever played Vagrant Story he would know the difference between a good RPG and a bad one. It doesn't fit any of the cliches he's refering to.

It's called generalization, and as such, there are always exceptions. Calm down.

Tatter:
Lots of stuff

Actually, you explained that very well. I'm impressed. However, again, some people aren't into the genre and often ask the impossible questions like that because it's just not their strength. *shrugs* But I like your definition of it. I'm going to quote you on what you said because I like it.

I find it funny that Yahtzee bashes on the fact that JRPGs are generally novel themed when he's developed point and click games that consist also with a lot of dialogue.

In contrast though, JRPGs are basically interactive animes, repetitive but veiled with a new costume. Though I still enjoy a good JRPG once in a while. But I don't see how Yahtzee can really give a review for this game without knowing anything about JRPGs.

By the way. Somebody said Fusion is weaker than pins. This is not fully true. A Lv1 fusion is indeed not worth the fuzz except in the first week ( Shiki can only have Lv1 not more ). Lv2 though is already a large hit ( Beat can only do lv2 ). Lv3 on the other hand blasts an entire boss away in one shot ( Joshua can get this: max level ). It's though scarce. Lv1 requires 4 starts, Lv2 8 and Lv3 whoopie 16 stars. Usually battles are over ( 4-chain ) before you get 16 stars but once you get them enjoy the finishing move.

Otherwise Ben is spot on. he didn't mentioned some points I did in my review especially about the useless game mechanics but otherwise it's similar. As I found out too, a difficult game to judge since it depends a lot on your taste.

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