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Thread: Feature - Most Underrated RPGs

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    Feature - Most Underrated RPGs

    Too many awesome RPGs are woefully neglected because they've either been released at the wrong time or are engulfed by misinformation. These are some of our favourite RPGs that may have flown under your radar. What are yours?

    FEATURE



    ***Please tell us which RPGs you consider to be underrated.***
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    Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderator ChickenGod's Avatar
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    Of that list, I definitely gravitate toward Strawberry here with Arc Rise Fantasia. Its sad that more people don't give it a chance, because you know what, even you think the localization is really that bad, its funny bad and not cringeworthy bad most of the time. Over the past few years, I'd rank ARF pretty highly compared to it's peers in terms of how much enjoyment it brought.

    My all time favorite underrated RPG has to be Magna Carta 2 though. For some reason reviews I read elsewhere took an absolute dump on the game for the fact that it has an amnesiac protagonist. Never mind the fact that his amnesia is in fact handled fairly decently, or that the story actually has a very interesting cast of villains and supporting villains. The art style and visuals were just fantastic too. I felt sucked in by this world and legitimately enjoyed traveling each area even if only for the landscapes and enemy design. Combat offered a fun combo system with some flashy attacks, as well as interaction with your team by switching to them seamlessly for further links. The ability to customize your character's style was a neat concept as well, and when I played through ARF I felt like some aspects of weapon customization were actually inspired by Magna Carta 2. To be honest it is one of my all time favorite RPGs that everyone either hasn't played or just feels meh about.
    Last edited by ChickenGod; 04-11-2013 at 09:00 PM.
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  3. #3
    Argonauts is trash. I couldn't get through the palace without the game freezing. I even cleared my cache and replayed the entire opening sequence multiple times hoping that would fix things. After three freezes, I gave up. The score it did get is too good.

    The only game I can come up with is Parasite Eve 2. I think way too many people unfairly labeled it as a Resident Evil clone even though it's much deeper and way more complex than those games. Sure, the story is bland, and the early RE style gameplay was never all that great in the first place (still can't believe people want the old RE style over the one introduced in RE4; I can't stand to play the old RE games anymore and I had 2 and Veronica), but there were RPG mechanics, lots of replay value due to the challenge system and the list of unique items you could buy with replay points, weapons you can mod, and some aspects of the story could be altered simply by completing certain tasks a different way (some of them are critical to achieving the best ending). It actually has a good Metacritic rating though so it's not the best example.

    I'm not very good at picking underrated games. There are lesser games out there I like, but I can see why they're considered poor games. I try not to allow my personal feelings for the game to cloud my judgment. For example, I love Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, but I personally score it a 5 out of 10. The core design is fine, but the execution is so horribly flawed it's hard to recommend.
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 04-11-2013 at 01:17 PM.

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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    One underrated RPG I can think of that happens to be a favorite of mine is The Last Remnant...another being Shining Tears.
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    New Member Member DarkLancer's Avatar
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    Hmmm, it's definitely an interesting question defining what is underrated. Based purely on the plain meaning of the word, it means a game that was better than its ratings would indicate. As such, both bad games that were unfairly panned and great games that got solid good reviews would qualify.
    An example of the former would be Ephemeral Fantasia. The game was definitely bad, but not to the degree most people talked about it. Despite having a very confusing method of progressing the story, the story was quite interesting, the characters were really great, and all of them have different but equally effective strategies.
    For the latter type of underrated game, you might have Dragon Quest VIII (in the U.S.). The game did reasonably well, but it was a really excellent game, that should have done much better based on its gameplay.
    As far as getting word out about a lesser known fun game, Jade Cocoon 2 is surprisingly good. It's got some cool characters, who drive what story there is, but it's got a well balanced battle system, where status inducing skills are actually useful without being overpowered, and straight out attack skills are not the end-all of strategy. Normal battles may not be fun, but boss battles and opponent battles both present unique challenges.

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    Interesting article. There are quite a few titles on this list I'm really happy to see, particularly Dragon Quarter and Arc Rise Fantasia.

    That being said...

    A few short weeks ago, Atelier Ayesha became the fifth game in its series to achieve international publication.
    Surely there have been more than that? Atelier Iris 1-3, two Mana Khemias, Rorona, Totori, Meruru and Ayesha. I count nine. Ten if you include Annie, which was a side game to the main series. I guess you could argue that Iris and the Mana Khemia games don't count because they're quite different, but Gust themselves acknowledge them as part of the core Atelier series (they're numbered A6 to A10 respectively).

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    BEARSONA RPGamer Staff Paws's Avatar
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    Certainly that counts titles that were brought to North America, but how many made it to Europe and other PAL territories? I'd imagine that would be the benchmark for international.

  8. #8
    I definitely agree that Steambot Chronicle is one the best under-rated games I ever played. I still have this urge to want to try Dragon Quarters one day, despite the very mix reviews. One game I am surprise that did not make the list that I truly love but feel is very under-rated is Nier.

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    That Guy You Hate RPGamer Staff omegabyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Last Paladin View Post
    I definitely agree that Steambot Chronicle is one the best under-rated games I ever played. I still have this urge to want to try Dragon Quarters one day, despite the very mix reviews. One game I am surprise that did not make the list that I truly love but feel is very under-rated is Nier.
    Believe me, we would have included Nier if it hadn't rapidly achieved cult status after its release. It's very well known in the RPGamer community, so it's hard to call it underrated.
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    A Familiar Teacher Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChickenGod View Post
    Of that list, I definitely gravitate toward Strawberry here with Arc Rise Fantasia. Its sad that more people don't give it a chance, because you know what, even you think the localization is really that bad, its funny bad and not cringeworthy bad most of the time. Over the past few years, I'd rank ARF pretty highly compared to it's peers in terms of how much enjoyment it brought.
    I tried not to dwell on the localization issues too much as my frustration over them is somewhat well-known here. I will admit that what most upsets me isn't so much the voice acting and script, but rather how the game went from a competent publisher to, well, Ignition.
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    Valkyria Chronicles 2 was terrible. It took well balanced mechanics and convoluted them, combined with terrible pacing and the monotonous training battles just made it a slog. What I know of VC3 makes me wish it had made it here.

    Glad to see Dragon Quarter and Romancing SaGa on the list. I also find the early Arc the Lad games aren't mentioned often enough, but they probably don't qualify as underrated.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff GaijinMonogatari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalia View Post

    Surely there have been more than that? Atelier Iris 1-3, two Mana Khemias, Rorona, Totori, Meruru and Ayesha. I count nine. Ten if you include Annie, which was a side game to the main series. I guess you could argue that Iris and the Mana Khemia games don't count because they're quite different, but Gust themselves acknowledge them as part of the core Atelier series (they're numbered A6 to A10 respectively).
    Well, I DID say in the article that Mana-Khemia and Atelier Iris were different series I count the DS Ateliers as one branch of the main series, along with the Salburg, Gramnaut, Arland, and now the Dusk series, since they all share the same core concepts and general design philosophy. The two side-games I referred to were the WSC and GBA sequels to the Salburg branch, though I could also have included the GBC pair or the Atelier Lilie spin-off adventure title.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChickenGod View Post
    \My all time favorite underrated RPG has to be Magna Carta 2 though. For some reason reviews I read elsewhere took an absolute dump on the game for the fact that it has an amnesiac protagonist. Never mind the fact that his amnesia is in fact handled fairly decently, or that the story actually has a very interesting cast of villains and supporting villains. The art style and visuals were just fantastic too. I felt sucked in by this world and legitimately enjoyed traveling each area even if only for the landscapes and enemy design. Combat offered a fun combo system with some flashy attacks, as well as interaction with your team by switching to them seamlessly for further links. The ability to customize your character's style was a neat concept as well, and when I played through ARF I felt like some aspects of weapon customization were actually inspired by Magna Carta 2. To be honest it is one of my all time favorite RPGs that everyone either hasn't played or just feels meh about.
    I'm a fan of Magna Carta 2 as well. Disregarding the inappropriate bodily proportions of preteens, I found the graphical style distinctive and the gameplay like a more active iteration of Final Fantasy XII's. However, unless you pay for the DLC weapons, the entirety of the game is pretty grindtastic - making later battles especially frustrating. They don't do an amazing job explaining the finer elements of the combat systems either. Oh, and I'd actually argue that the localization efforts were just slightly above Arc Rise Fantasia's. Bearing all that in mind, it's definitely worth a playthrough from any RPGamer and is usually pretty cheap to pick up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paws View Post
    Certainly that counts titles that were brought to North America, but how many made it to Europe and other PAL territories? I'd imagine that would be the benchmark for international.
    I'm pretty sure all of ones I listed except Annie came to Europe.

    Quote Originally Posted by GaijinMonogatari View Post
    Well, I DID say in the article that Mana-Khemia and Atelier Iris were different series I count the DS Ateliers as one branch of the main series, along with the Salburg, Gramnaut, Arland, and now the Dusk series, since they all share the same core concepts and general design philosophy. The two side-games I referred to were the WSC and GBA sequels to the Salburg branch, though I could also have included the GBC pair or the Atelier Lilie spin-off adventure title.
    I know, my point was that they're not different series. :'D I know that Mana Khemia and Iris strayed from the formula a lot, but I think it's hard to argue when the original developer itself acknowledges them as part of the same main series. :P If they wanted the games to be recognised as side series, they'd have made them side series. They did it with the DS titles, after all.
    Last edited by Kalia; 04-12-2013 at 07:22 AM.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff GaijinMonogatari's Avatar
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    I'd actually argue the opposite. The "main" Atelier series is based around the resource management and item synthesis systems, with the story sort of just happening along the way. The games that follow this model all have titles with the same pattern to them. "((name)) no Atelier - ((area)) no Renkenjutsushi" (Atelier ((name)) - Alchemist/etc. of ((area))). Mana Khemia and the three Atelier Iris games break this naming pattern as well as having different gameplay focuses. Yes, they are included in the numbering, but thematically and gameplay-wise they are obviously separate from the main sequence of games.

  16. #16
    http://www.at2.metalbat.com/

    Ar Tonelico 2 - I'm not sure if it really counts here, but i'm really excited to play this.

  17. #17
    Great feature!! I added a few games to my wish list. The only game here I've played was Romancing SaGa, so I read this pretty intently.

    For my underrated RPG, I'd pick Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings for the DS. It doesn't get mentioned in many discussions and it is one of my favorite DS games.
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    Staff Healer RPGamer Staff TwinBahamut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watcher View Post
    Valkyria Chronicles 2 was terrible. It took well balanced mechanics and convoluted them, combined with terrible pacing and the monotonous training battles just made it a slog. What I know of VC3 makes me wish it had made it here.

    Glad to see Dragon Quarter and Romancing SaGa on the list. I also find the early Arc the Lad games aren't mentioned often enough, but they probably don't qualify as underrated.
    I wouldn't call the original Valkyria Chronicles "well-balanced". It was basically Stormtroopers are good at fighting, lancers are good at killing tanks, and Scouts are good at doing everything essential to actually beating the stage. The more you use scouts, the easier it is to A-rank any stage. I won't defend the pacing or issues with monotony from VC2, though. Just because its underrated doesn't mean its perfect, after all.

    Also, I would have loved to mention Arc the Lad, if I had actually beaten any of them... Yeah, they are deep in my backlog. I kept having a problem with starting the next game even though I wasn't done with the previous, and that led to... problems. I would probably have done a write-up for Growlanser Generations if I had actually managed to beat Growlanser 3 in time (I actually only beat that one for the first time a few days ago). Oh well, I'm at least happy to share my appreciation for Romancing SaGa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaylightDies View Post
    For my underrated RPG, I'd pick Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings for the DS. It doesn't get mentioned in many discussions and it is one of my favorite DS games.
    Awesome choice! I've only just started playing Revenant Wings, but I'm digging the RTS combat and it's nice to see more of that world.
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    I say the most underrated RPG was Suikoden 5.

    Suikoden 5 was a great improvement from its predecessor, Suikoden 4.

    Suikoden 5 also had some great innovative features such as simplified strategic battles, real time duels, great storyline complete with twists and turns, multiple endings (at least 3 endings), just to name a few.

    However, while Suikoden 5 was a major improvement from Suikoden 4 and even Suikoden Tactics (Rhapsodia), this game didn't generate as much sales as expected.

    Too bad that Konami didn't release any Suikoden sequels after Suikoden 5.

    If Konami releases any Suikoden prequels and sequels, which is unlikely now that the Suikoden team is disbanded (could be wrong), here are some suggested locations:

    Suikoden 6 - New Armes, Nagarea, and other Southern Continent countries south of Falena
    Suikoden 7 - Gaien Dukedom and Western Continent
    Suikoden 8 - Harmonia, Kamaro, and Northern Outlands

    Due to lack of news regarding Suikoden - Centennial Tapestry, its more likely that this title will be Japanese exclusive.

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