The horribly flawed or under-appreciated RPGs you love anyway.

I have a confession: I played Cosmic Fantasy 2 as a kid and loved it. As an adult I now know that the Working Designs translation was highly suspect in places and that never actually being poisoned or turned to stone despite remedy items being present in-game was not simply dumb luck but buggy, incomplete programming. But I enjoyed the levity imparted by the cut scenes and some of the characters and how it juxtaposed against a lot of what we know now as RPG tropes like being forced to lose important battles and the sacrifice of important characters. Hell, I thought the story was actually quite fascinating and there were several scenes in the game that I thought were legitimately narratively impactful in a way other RPGs I had played at the time were not. This game came out a few short months before Final Fantasy IV and is mechanically obliterated by the latter, but I think it actually holds up very well in storytelling. Is the game actually fun to play? It certainly isn‘t mechanically complex, but give people still like to revisit DQ1 and 2 and FF1 I’d say it‘s at least not an epic disaster, and the story bits really help carry it. I can’t actually recommend this game to most people, but I definitely remember it fondly, and the story took some twists and turns that remain in my memory today and are as good as any I've encountered since.

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My first Japanese made RPG was Enchanted Arms on the 360 and I loved it. Even at the time I was a sucker for 360 games that look like PS2 games but with normal maps. It has a great grid based battle system, a good variety of environments and English voice acting that is What You Want. There is a gay character in it and I remember them being a caricature and that they were either handled really well or terribly, I can't remember which it was.

I also loved Blue Dragon. Great art and fun romp. I got to disc 3 and dropped it because every area I went to was really hard. I think they let you cruise through the linear first two discs and when you get the airship you discover that you're under levelled.

Having not played RPGs before these, I couldn't understand why people were so down on them, I thought they were great.

oh man cosmic fantasy 2 gets talked about for its encounter rate & the like, but not about how the ending absolutely kicks you in the balls

back when i was a dumb kid that'd play anything resembling an RPG, i'd finished super hydlide on genesis and would defend it

it's a crap game but the soundtrack slaps so hard, i will buy it day 1 unironically if it ever sees a vinyl release (and honestly weirder games are seeing them lately so maybe??)

@“IrishNinja”#p114406 Exactly! The story elements are just fantastic, and yeah, that ending is great. And a kick in the balls, yeah.

The answer obviously has to be Secret of the Stars.

I don‘t remember much about besides it being woefully average.

It was just a game I decided to play when little baby me learned how to emulate SNES, and I ended really loving it even though I didn’t feel like it was anything special at the time.

Maybe that's what made it special.

Or maybe Inindo, that game was real whacky and I didn't really understand it, but I knew I was having fun.

I‘ve mentioned my love for Beyond the Beyond, an early PS1 RPG, and I’ll stand by it, even though it's been endlessly panned, both here and elsewhere on the internet. I agree: it stinks. But in 1996 or so, it was one of the first RPGs on the PS1, and one of the first ones that I was aware had been developed in Japan (ok, I was really naive at that point), AND its cover art was localized but not given something completely horrendous like the one Breath of Fire got in North America, and that meant something for me.

I'd also suggest that a bunch of other RPGs are under-appreciated, but it's super easy to find vocal fans of almost anything, no matter how terrible. But I'll mention that I love two less-appreciated Final Fantasy games, II and V (I think III might also fit here, but it just doesn't get discussed much at all). But the problem is, they're still FF games, so they're only ever going to be so under-appreciated! The first Final Fantasy is kinda bad too, although it's hardly the game's fault, since it's old. I still have a bunch of fondness for it, although I can't imagine trying to go back and play it now.

There are also a bunch of games that I wish folks liked more than they seem to, like the first Wild Arms game, which is kind of a stinker to go back to and play now in 2023, both in gameplay and looks.

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My wife watched me play Great Greed on Game Boy at some point. I was just playing it next to her laughing at the terrible translation and she started reading the text with me. I don‘t think we ever laughed more during our relationship. The garbage that is Great Greed’s translation created this magical moment of comedy in our life for a solid hour.

Sometimes I think about that moment, and pine to recreate it somehow. A bad video game brought us closer in a way I didn't think possible.

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I‘m not sure if people actually like SaGa Frontier or not, and the whole SaGa series is extremely love it or hate it, but the whole vibe and atmosphere of Frontier feels distinct from any other game I’ve ever played, the character scenerios are super creative, and I absolutely adore its bizarre, convoluted mechanics and will explain them in detail to anyone who will listen.

@“HeavenlyHalberd”#p114448 a bunch of folks here love SaGa Frontier (like me) and also are confounded by SaGa Frontier (also like me). I’ve been trying and failing to ‘get’ it for years now, thinking that one of these days it will all just click into place for me and I’ll suddenly understand why I find it so compelling. I still haven’t quite gotten there, but I know for sure I love it’s systems and complexity!

Well, today’s Famidaily* video is about Radia Senki, a horribly flawed and under-appreciated RPGs you would all love anyway.

@“Karasu”#p114449 You just summed up the essence of the SaGa series and I couldn't agree more.

I feel as though most RPGs that aren’t Final Fantasy, Persona, or Fire Emblem are under-appreciated.

@“treefroggy”#p114636 Agreed!!! I want to shout out Breath of Fire 1. No one ever talks about it because 2-Dragon Quarter are so great and memorable, but BoF 1 stands shoulder to shoulder with Final Fantasy 1 and Dragon Quest 1.

Also, I've spoken at length about my love of the Final Fantasy Legend aka SaGa games on Gameboy. They're so damn good, I love all of them. Also, Romancing SaGa 3 is so great. I'm glad to see some SaGa love in this thread.

Two under-appreciated RPGs I’ve always been a spokesperson of:

Legend of the River King / Kawa no Nushi Tsuri


~(Hey did you know that _earthbound_ *used* to be under-appreciated 😏quite an interesting story. Yeah, *earthbound*. You may not have heard of it, it’s kind of obscure 😏)

Also I would say *King’s Field* has gone from total obscurity to being almost fully appreciated.

Chulip is definitely an RPG. I feel like no one appreciates the… what has it been called here before?… _suffer-core_? I don’t remember but I found it pretty accurate.

Was it Maru who wrote about Far East of Eden, Tengai Makyou?

The twisted genius of Evergrace has become hipster-bait mainly for the OST

Hey, there’s always *BRAIN LORD*

C-tier SNES RPGS that may not be that great but they exist and are interesting 7/10’s:
Paladins Quest
Super Drakken


@“treefroggy”#p114739 Hey did you know that earthbound used to be under-appreciated

I completely understand that you're joking, but this is why I think this is such a tricky topic: there's sooooo many games that at some point didn't have a huge fan base (in Earthbound's case, it was mostly around when it launched for SNES in North America, and I first started seeing it talked about online in the early to mid 2000's, when Mother 3 launched) but that some time ago became outright phenomena-- at this point Earthbound-likes are probably just as common on Nintendo's eShop as metroidvanias or Dark Souls-likes. It muddies the water a bunch, and there are still tons of Earthbound fans out there (almost every fan I know irl, at least) who feel in their souls like Earthbound is an unknown, under-appreciated gem (but that's also the way a bunch of music fans are, thinking that only they know about the musician they love so deeply). But at this point it's like saying Undertale (itself strongly an Earthbound-like) is obscure. It's also hard to know if a game has a legion of fans, or if it just has like seven people who are the loudest people on the internet about it.

@“Karasu”#p114741 Things change!


@“Karasu”#p114741 It’s also hard to know if a game has a legion of fans, or if it just has like seven people who are the loudest people on the internet about it.

This exactly. Most of the RPGs I like are pretty well-appreciated by people who know their stuff (like all of you fine folks here on IC forums), but I rarely run into people "in the wild" who know much about SMT and Dragon Quest, let alone stuff like Suikoden, Wild Arms, Grandia, and Ys.

Anyway: one lesser-known (I think) RPG that I enjoyed a few years ago was Metal Max Returns. It's definitely the most "open" JRPG I've ever beaten; it kind of reminded me of what SaGa Frontier was doing but a little less "busy" than that as far as characters and setting(s). In Metal Max Returns, you can build your tanks pretty much however you want and you can go whenever you want as long as you can hang with the enemies. I also like that you can technically "beat" the game at any time by going to your dad and telling him you don't want to be an adventurer anymore. Enemies are usually cute animals with rocket launchers strapped to their backs. I remember playing that game around the same time as I played Fallout 3 which my coworker bought me because he loved it and wanted me to play it so much. I got into Metal Max and...never went back to Fallout 3.

Couple others I'll just throw in here:
-Anybody else like Shadow Hearts: Covenant?
-I mentioned these elsewhere not too long ago but if you like SRPGs, Treasure Hunter G and Faselei! are cool.
-I've cooled on the Disgaea series but I'll still stand by Phantom Brave
-Favorite Western-made JRPG that's not Undetale? OFF
-Maybe not underappreciated anymore but considering Lufia 2 pretty much combines the best parts of Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy, it feels like it deserves more credit

No one has said Quest 64 yet, but it‘s inevitable…!

I knew very little about the game the surface level from being a kid with an n64 during the time, but recently listened to Resonant Arc’s april fools podcast where they unironically discussed the game and it‘s development, and it’s super interesting, almost like Dark Souls of N64 storytelling, by merit of how much was subtracted to make the game appealing to westerners.


@“rearnakedwindow”#p114774 but I rarely run into people “in the wild” who know much about SMT and Dragon Quest, let alone stuff like Suikoden, Wild Arms, Grandia, and Ys.

well Persona is definitely popular with the kids. It's in smash bros, after all.

when I was a kid asking about mother 3 at eb games for the first time, I remember some *super cool nerdy chick* (ie, coolest I'd ever seen at age 12) behind the counter started *ranting* about being a Seiken Densetsu fan, lol!!!

I'm looking forward to Princess Crown finally being translated.... and still waiting on a playstation ISO of MOON remix rpg....


@“rearnakedwindow”#p114774 -Favorite Western-made JRPG that’s not Undetale? OFF

haha, those pre-undertale RPG maker games like Space Funeral, Hylics, OFF, are all still better than any of the motherlikes coming out post-undertale.

My friend showed me Lufia, Paladin's quest, **EVO (oh there's one!)**, and more on his crappy windows 98 pc the first time I ever learned about emulators at his house one day in like 2002ish or something.

*Tales of Phantasia* SFC Version