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MosesRockefeller

JRPGs Recommendations (preferably no Random Encounters)

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I apologize if this is the wrong section to post this, but since my topic spans multiple consoles, it seemed like the best place. 

 

Starting in my teenage years, I started getting into "Western" RPGs on the PC, games like Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics, The Witcher, etc. Some of them were action RPGs but most were turn-based or real-time with pause. I never really gave JRPGs a chance. Once I got older, I had a few friends talk me into finally trying current console gaming (my last system was a NES), so I got a Wii (mostly to play Gamecube games) and 3DS, and later a PS3, Vita, PSP, Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One. I enjoy games on each of the platforms (I rarely play my PSP though, that's really only for PS1/PSP games that don't work on Vita), but I spend most of my times on the Playstation systems, with the Vita being my favorite. 

 

Recently I have started getting into JRPGs. I guess Valkyria Chronicles is my first one that I played to completion. It was a good starter game because it was an interesting blend of genres, to the point that it's arguably not even a JPRG. But anyway, it helped me get into the genre by increasing my gaming tastes beyond the stuff I was used to. After VC, I tried various classics like the early Final Fantasies but I never got very far. I did get a decent way into FF1 though, so I got some familiarity with the conventions. After having my Vita for a short time, I tried Persona 4 Golden because it was universally praised. I loved the story, gameplay, and just about everything about the game (besides a few minor things that aren't worth mentioning). I still haven't finished that game because I got stuck and took a long break, but I'm getting back into it now and enjoying it just as much. More recently, about a year ago I tried the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, starting with the 3 ReBirth games on Vita. I really like the gameplay a lot in both P4G and HDN ReBirth 1-3. 

 

After getting obsessed with the HDN series, I started to go back to the original PS3 games and am going through HDN1 now (very slowly, I'm playing it in between other games). I actually don't mind the different combat, but what drives me crazy is the dumb random encounters. I have discovered that I really, really hate random encounters. I like the way Persona 4 and the HDN ReBirth games do it (I think this started in HDN2 but please correct me if I'm wrong), by having an enemy icon in the dungeon, that you can either approach or avoid. Sometimes I'm just trying to make it through a dungeon and being attacked every few steps is really frustrating. HDN1 would be more tolerable if it didn't load battles slowly and have slow attack animations (I know you can skip, but it's a pain to keep pressing the skip button). I know about the save and take a few steps trick, but that's unwieldy. 

 

It seems like people who like random encounters like it because it helps with grinding, but I think there are better ways to do this, like arenas or specific areas where waves of enemies keep coming, or even something like Compa's bell ring move in HDN1. Occasional scripted battles are fine, even coming unexpectedly. I just don't like being constantly harassed by invisible enemies. Being able to control when I fight is important to me. 

 

With that being said, I would like some suggestions for JPRGs. I can play on any of my systems, but I prefer my handhelds. I will consider ones with random encounters if they are handled well (e.g. a warning or escape option that pops up before combat starts). One other thing I like about the HDN games and P4G is that they cut out most of the exploration, which I prefer. I don't want to spend hours hunting for chests that may or may not be worth searching for. Small maps like those games have are much more enjoyable for me. 

Edited by MosesRockefeller
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If lack of trophies isn't a big deal to you, Persona 3 Portable and Valkyria Chronicles II are both fantastic and right up your alley.  If you don't mind real time combat, the Ys series is fantastic (Oath of Feghana and Seven on the PSP and Celceta on the Vita).  Trying to remember if Tales of Hearts R has random encounters or if it is akin to Symphonia where you see the enemy blobs on the overworld map, but if it doesn't have random encounters it is a lot of fun on the Vita.

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Seems like you might be looking more for an action rpg instead of the full-fledged experience.

 

  • Toukiden Age of Demons
  • Ys Memories of Celceta
  • Ragnarok Odyssey Ace
  • Toukiden Kiwami

Those don't have random encounters as far as I remember, and have some exploration that isn't excessive. Also, all are available on the Vita.

 

Other than that maybe try out the Tales of series or Atelier series.

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Play both Baten Kaitos games, do it, do it, do eet. This series is great and needs more recognition badly.

There is no lengthy exploration, the locations are self-contained and acsessed from the world map, and all enemies are visible on the field and can be avoided with some timing and quick dodging.

They still look great, have an interesting connected plot and the best Sakuraba soundtrack ever. Best played in the order of release. I advise to turn off the voices in the first game and switch the sound to surround though, because the acting there is just... pure, cheesiest cheese and may ruin the mood in some places. Luckily, the second game improved greatly in that area.

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Play both Baten Kaitos games, do it, do it, do eet. This series is great and needs more recognition badly.

There is no lengthy exploration, the locations are self-contained and acsessed from the world map, and all enemies are visible on the field and can be avoided with some timing and quick dodging.

They still look great, have an interesting connected plot and the best Sakuraba soundtrack ever. Best played in the order of release. I advise to turn off the voices in the first game and switch the sound to surround though, because the acting there is just... pure, cheesiest cheese and may ruin the mood in some places. Luckily, the second game improved greatly in that area.

 

Can you get Origins from the eShop?  I loved Eternal Wings and wouldn't mind checking out Origins, but physical used copies are out of my price range.

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Can you get Origins from the eShop?  I loved Eternal Wings and wouldn't mind checking out Origins, but physical used copies are out of my price range.

 

Sadly, no. That's unfortunate... I've found Origins to be leaps and bounds better than the Eternal Wings. It has improved pretty much everything.

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Can you get Origins from the eShop?  I loved Eternal Wings and wouldn't mind checking out Origins, but physical used copies are out of my price range.

 

No GC games on eShop, so sadly no. Still, the game is cheaper than it was at launch xD. (I still have my copy from launch :D )

 

 

Play both Baten Kaitos games, do it, do it, do eet. This series is great and needs more recognition badly.

There is no lengthy exploration, the locations are self-contained and acsessed from the world map, and all enemies are visible on the field and can be avoided with some timing and quick dodging.

They still look great, have an interesting connected plot and the best Sakuraba soundtrack ever. Best played in the order of release. I advise to turn off the voices in the first game and switch the sound to surround though, because the acting there is just... pure, cheesiest cheese and may ruin the mood in some places. Luckily, the second game improved greatly in that area.

 

But you have those super long Giacomo fights xD.

And the cheesiness was amazing xD.

 

 

Sadly, no. That's unfortunate... I've found Origins to be leaps and bounds better than the Eternal Wings. It has improved pretty much everything.

 
Personally I didn't think it was leaps and bounds better mostly because I enjoyed the complexity of Eternal Wings.  Origins ending ended up with me just spamming Apotheosis and Sigil Cry inbetween heals, while I do still had to change up my deck a lot in Eternal Wings. That and I think Eternal Wing's Mirror dungeon was one of the most innovative implementations of the camera angle concepts I've seen in that generation. But I will agree that a lot of the other changes were nice.
Edited by bladesoframen
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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 1 en 2. Both are available and can suit your wishes with exploration and gameplay I think.

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If lack of trophies isn't a big deal to you, Persona 3 Portable and Valkyria Chronicles II are both fantastic and right up your alley.  If you don't mind real time combat, the Ys series is fantastic (Oath of Feghana and Seven on the PSP and Celceta on the Vita).  Trying to remember if Tales of Hearts R has random encounters or if it is akin to Symphonia where you see the enemy blobs on the overworld map, but if it doesn't have random encounters it is a lot of fun on the Vita.

I should have mentioned that I played VC2, but good suggestion. I was already planning on playing P3P after I finish P4G. In fact I wanted to try the whole series but I think I read that P1 and P2 have random encounters. I'm not sure if the PSP versions change that. I'm not sure if I mind real-time combat, but I do know I don't like Musou games like Dynasty Warriors. For some reason, games like Senran Kagura that are just as much button mashers as Dynasty Warriors, are fun for me though. Maybe it's the "plot"? :)

 

Seems like you might be looking more for an action rpg instead of the full-fledged experience.

  • Toukiden Age of Demons
  • Ys Memories of Celceta
  • Ragnarok Odyssey Ace
  • Toukiden Kiwami
Those don't have random encounters as far as I remember, and have some exploration that isn't excessive. Also, all are available on the Vita.

 

Other than that maybe try out the Tales of series or Atelier series.

I'm not sure how you even define that anymore (if you ever could), since so many games blend genres. I have tried both Toukiden games (demos) and liked them okay but they were more about monster hunting than any role playing. I'd prefer games with more story. I think Rangnarok is along the same lines? I like monster hunting games like Soul Sacrifice and Freedom Wars, but what I'm looking for here is different, if that makes sense.

The exploration factor isn't as important to me as the lack of random encounters, but I still prefer games where I'm not running around all the time.

Play both Baten Kaitos games, do it, do it, do eet. This series is great and needs more recognition badly.

There is no lengthy exploration, the locations are self-contained and acsessed from the world map, and all enemies are visible on the field and can be avoided with some timing and quick dodging.

They still look great, have an interesting connected plot and the best Sakuraba soundtrack ever. Best played in the order of release. I advise to turn off the voices in the first game and switch the sound to surround though, because the acting there is just... pure, cheesiest cheese and may ruin the mood in some places. Luckily, the second game improved greatly in that area.

Thanks, I'll check out some videos.

Regarding the Chrono Trigger recommendation, does the DS version have any noticeable improvements over the PS1 version on PSN?

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The DS version of Chrono Trigger is the superior version. The DS version includes the PS1 extras, as well as some exclusive levels and an additional ending. Also, I do not think that the PS1 version has automatic running.

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I'm not sure how you even define that anymore (if you ever could), since so many games blend genres. I have tried both Toukiden games (demos) and liked them okay but they were more about monster hunting than any role playing. I'd prefer games with more story. I think Rangnarok is along the same lines? I like monster hunting games like Soul Sacrifice and Freedom Wars, but what I'm looking for here is different, if that makes sense.

 

Yeah Ragnarok is similar to those I mentioned. Atelier sort of games might be more like what you're looking for. They tend to have a more fleshed out story, more characters as part of your party, minimal exploration, crafting, most enemies can be skipped  (but shouldn't or the game will hand your ass to you) and they don't tend to pop up out of nowhere, with a turn-based battle style.

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Since you really enjoyed Valkyria chronicles, I'd highly recommend Final Fantasy Tactics. The gameplay is amazing and similar to VC in that you have units that you must position and determine which classes to bring into each battle. The story, while overwhelming and convoluted, is awesome and will run you through a wide range of emotions. Admittedly, I say this as a person who has a penchant for weird stories.

 

On the subject of final fantasy since you hate random encounters, you should stir clear of FF IV since that encounter rate is out of control. However, I think you should still consider the series. I know that you haven't had much luck with final fantasy games before, but it may be worth giving FF IV and VII a try since those are the most beloved in the series.

 

Lastly, I find parasite eve to be a unique take on the genre; it is a mix of survival horror and jrpg. I also like that it is a bit shorter than most JRPGs. Good luck. All the above seem like good choices and you probably will have a lot to enjoy.

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For 3DS, Mario & Luigi series (You can play all of them except Superstar Saga on a 3DS, and that one is on the WiiU eShop) and Dragon Quest 9 have all the normal encounters on the overworld map and you can avoid all of them aslong as you don't touch the enemies. Not sure about the other DQ games. And the M&L games have fairly small maps compared to most RPGs.

 

For PS3, Eternal Sonata, but it's not exactly JRPG but something between JRPG, ARPG and SRPG I'm having trouble describing but the enemies are in overworld like the other games I mentioned and it doesn't have much exploration due to the generally linear structure.

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But you have those super long Giacomo fights xD.

And the cheesiness was amazing xD.

Personally I didn't think it was leaps and bounds better mostly because I enjoyed the complexity of Eternal Wings.  Origins ending ended up with me just spamming Apotheosis and Sigil Cry inbetween heals, while I do still had to change up my deck a lot in Eternal Wings. That and I think Eternal Wing's Mirror dungeon was one of the most innovative implementations of the camera angle concepts I've seen in that generation. But I will agree that a lot of the other changes were nice.

 

Well, they weren't THAT long for me. The second one, maybe, but others went by pretty fast. I've had a good relationship with Kalas, so we've spammed those spells like no tomorrow. And while the cheesiness was certainly something truly special, I prefer mah drama serious, so I've turned the voices off as soon as we left Pherkad.

Plus, I was pretty burned by that-one-twist, so that's played a role too. Protagonist or not, circumstances or not, I still haven't forgiven Kalas for the shit he had done.

 

While I agree that the battle system was simplified in Origins and the highest tier combos were broken in terms of damage, I've still did change my decks around and didn't overly rely on Sigil Cry and Apotheosis. I've had an Ice deck, a Fire deck, a Coliseum deck... built a few decks for bosses as well.

And as for the ending... I was too busy being beaten in the feels by Le Ali Del Principio. Not to mention that using Apotheosis in that fight was really, really apropriate.  

Not to mention that the main reason I like Origins more is its very tight connection with the Eternal Wings. The amount of callbacks and all is staggering. I still remember sitting before my TV as the credits rolled and just thinking... and as all the pieces slid into place I was hit with the strongest game-related BSOD in my life so far. I was depressed for a week after that.

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I should have mentioned that I played VC2, but good suggestion. I was already planning on playing P3P after I finish P4G. In fact I wanted to try the whole series but I think I read that P1 and P2 have random encounters. I'm not sure if the PSP versions change that. I'm not sure if I mind real-time combat, but I do know I don't like Musou games like Dynasty Warriors. For some reason, games like Senran Kagura that are just as much button mashers as Dynasty Warriors, are fun for me though. Maybe it's the "plot"? :)

 

 

I don't like musou games at all but love the Ys series.  The PSP and Vita games are an addicting blend of JRPG and over-caffeinated Zelda (particularly Oath in Felghana).

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Tales of series (except Hearts), Star Ocean 5 (maybe 4 too? I haven't played that one yet), Atelier, Fairy Fencer F, Omega Quintet (I'm pretty sure there's no random encounters...), Mugen Souls, The Witch and the Hundred Knight, Sword Art Online.

Edited by Xillia
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Easy answers, Ateliers and especially Kiseki.

Exactly what you should want ;)

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Fire Emblem Awakening and Fates are Tactical JRPGs. In fact FE Awakening is my second favorite game of all time. Both for 3DS. If you get them, play on classic mode. Trust me, it makes each move count.

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Ask and you shall receive, Here are the JRPGs that I enjoyed and recommend:

  1. Akiba's Trip
  2. Dark Souls
  3. Dark Souls II
  4. Demon Gaze
  5. Demon's Souls
  6. Drakengard 3
  7. Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen
  8. Dragon's Crown
  9. Final Fantasy XIII (this one has lots of postgame farming, so you might want to reconsider if you don't like having incomplete games)
  10. Final Fantasy XIII-2
  11. Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns
  12. Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2
  13. Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
  14. Kingdom Hearts Final Mix II
  15. Monster Monpiece
  16. Okami HD
  17. Persona 4 Golden (I read you've already played it, but this game needs to be mentioned :awesome: )
  18. Sword Art Online Hollow Fragment
  19. Sword Art Online Lost Song
  20. Tales of Hearts R
  21. Ys Memories of Celceta
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Games with no random encounters:
Phantasy Star series (Ambition of Illuminus /Portable / Portable 2 / Portable 2 Infinity)
Tales of series (Abyss, Symphonia / Chronicles, Hearts, Graces, Zestiria, Xillia 1,2, Radiant Mythology)
Disgaea series (tactical jRPG) 1-5, D2
Hundred Knight
The Guided Fate Paradox , The Awakened Fate Ultimatum
Akiba's'Trip
Mugen Souls /Mugen Souls Z
Legasista
Ateleir Series (Rorona , Totori, Meruru, Shalee, Aesha &  Logy)

All listed games have either preset enemies or enemy avatars that start an encounter only when triggered.


 

Ask and you shall receive, Here are the JRPGs that I enjoyed and recommend:

  1. Akiba's Trip
  2. Dark Souls
  3. Dark Souls II
  4. Demon Gaze
  5. Demon's Souls
  6. Drakengard 3
  7. Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen
  8. Dragon's Crown
  9. Final Fantasy XIII (this one has lots of postgame farming, so you might want to reconsider if you don't like having incomplete games)
  10. Final Fantasy XIII-2
  11. Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns
  12. Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2
  13. Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
  14. Kingdom Hearts Final Mix II
  15. Monster Monpiece
  16. Okami HD
  17. Persona 4 Golden (I read you've already played it, but this game needs to be mentioned :awesome: )
  18. Sword Art Online Hollow Fragment
  19. Sword Art Online Lost Song
  20. Tales of Hearts R
  21. Ys Memories of Celceta

 

You were supposed to recommend games without random encounters , while Neptunia's have random encounters as does Demon Ggaze and possibly other games you listed.

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You were supposed to recommend games without random encounters , while Neptunia's have random encounters as does Demon Ggaze and possibly other games you listed.

Not sure if you've read the entire OP, but here's a quote of what the OP says:

I will consider ones with random encounters if they are handled well (e.g. a warning or escape option that pops up before combat starts).

 

You can escape battles in Demon Gaze and there are also fixed enemy spawns, besides that it's one of the best Vita RPGs I've played, so it must be mentioned. There are no random encounters in Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, as enemies walk in the dungeons. FF13-2 has random encounters in the sense that enemies suddenly appear on the screen, but you can avoid them and players can escape the battle.

Edited by Dragon-Archon
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