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Please recommend starter RPG

Old 08-11-06, 01:22 PM
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Please recommend starter RPG

Been playing video games since we had a Telstar Pong game when I was a kid.

And while I haven't played every system, I've tried my hand at almost every genre of game. But I've never been able to get a grasp on RPGs.

It's not that I have any aversion or dislike of them. I just don't seem to understand them enough to get very far into them. I've tried games from FFVII on Playstation to Morrowind on the XBOX to Neverwinter Nights on my PC and always find myself stuck and frustrated after only moments.

Can someone please recommend a good starter RPG that will enable me to get my feet wet but also give me a grasp on the genre that I can carry to other games?

I used to love playing D&D when I was a kid. Somehow I get the feeling I'm really missing out on something.

As always, any help is appreciated.
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Old 08-11-06, 01:28 PM
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I've never been able to enjoy turn-based RPGs, but have really enjoyed some games that borrowed aspects from them. Both of the X-Men: Legends games come to mind. If you really want to get into RPGs, I'm guessing it might be helpful to start with something like that.
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Old 08-11-06, 01:30 PM
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First off, which systems do you have? Another question is what type of RPG are you looking for? You mentioned FFVII and Morrowind. They are both RPG's but play completely different. The FF series is the basic example of a "Japanese RPG" with turned based fighting and random battles where Morrowind and Neverwinter Nights are both good examples of "American RPG's" which are more open-ended and have real time combat.
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Old 08-11-06, 01:42 PM
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If you are

stuck and frustrated after only moments
then you either need a hint book or you simply will not like this kind of game. Part of the fun of a role playing game is solving a puzzle or beating a situation.

I would suggest trying Knights of the Old Republic. It is a turn based RPG which is helpful for the combat aspect. the story is very well done and you can shape the destiny of your character through actions and dialog choices.
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Old 08-11-06, 01:43 PM
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Fable's a fun hack and slash RPG - and it's not overly complicated. Get The Lost Chapters version which has extended content.
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Old 08-11-06, 01:45 PM
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yeah you should probably try an action rpg first like the other guys said
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Old 08-11-06, 01:46 PM
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Lunar on PS1 is pretty straightforward and not too difficult.
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Old 08-11-06, 01:51 PM
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Give the Mario RPG series a try. They have fairly simple RPG systems mixed with action and platforming elements, which you might enjoy if you get easily bored with standard turn-based RPGs. In my experience, they have pretty broad appeal. Order doesn't matter, you can jump in anywhere.

Super Mario RPG - SNES
Paper Mario - N64
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - GBA
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door - GameCube
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time - DS
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Old 08-11-06, 01:54 PM
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Maybe try a Zelda game, as they are more action packed, and less convuluted, than full fledged RPGs.
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Old 08-11-06, 02:18 PM
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As someone who almost exclusively plays RPGs, I would echo the suggestions for Knights of the Old Republic and X-Men Legends. Unless you are a Star Wars fan, I would suggest X-Men first. It's an action-RPG.
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Old 08-11-06, 02:19 PM
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If you have SNES, try Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest. It's a turn-based beginner's rpg. It's really simple and has a good story. I still play it on occasion.
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Old 08-11-06, 02:30 PM
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Try Telengard for the Commodore 64. That's where I started...
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Old 08-11-06, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TheAllPurposeNothing
I used to love playing D&D when I was a kid. Somehow I get the feeling I'm really missing out on something.

If you like D&D, you definitely need to play Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 on the PC. They are excellent D&D RPGs. If you already know the basic D&D rules, they won't be complicated at all. Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 are old (made back in the late 90s) so they won't require a super duper PC to run them. They are also 2D graphics so they stand up better to the test of time than ugly blocky 3D graphics (like the PS1 era ).

Last edited by kgrogers1979; 08-11-06 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 08-11-06, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
If you like D&D, you definitely need to play Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 on the PC. They are excellent D&D RPGs. If you already know the basic D&D rules, they won't be complicated at all. Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 are old (made back in the late 90s) so they won't require a super duper PC to run them. They are also 2D graphics so they stand up better to the test of time than ugly blocky 3D graphics (like the PS1 era ).

I would suggest BG 1 and BG 2 as well. Easy to get into the game if you can remember the rules from when you played D&D as a kid...and even if you don't remember them all, a quick read thru the manual will remind you of the important stuff. Two of the best RPGs ever made.
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Old 08-11-06, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TheAllPurposeNothing
And while I haven't played every system, I've tried my hand at almost every genre of game. But I've never been able to get a grasp on RPGs.

It's not that I have any aversion or dislike of them. I just don't seem to understand them enough to get very far into them. I've tried games from FFVII on Playstation to Morrowind on the XBOX to Neverwinter Nights on my PC and always find myself stuck and frustrated after only moments.

Can someone please recommend a good starter RPG that will enable me to get my feet wet but also give me a grasp on the genre that I can carry to other games?

I used to love playing D&D when I was a kid. Somehow I get the feeling I'm really missing out on something.

As always, any help is appreciated.
What do you think is getting you "stuck and frustrated"? Is it having to learn a complicated skills/combat system. Or dealing with accumating gold, buying things, and inventory management. Or is it the "puzzle" aspects of these games (getting confused over what to do for a quest). The D&D thing made me think first of the Baldur's Gate games too. BG2 is better, but it might be hard diving in before playing BG1 since it continues the story and makes you play at higher levels (which is trickier than starting as level 1). The rules are 2nd edition D&D -- which should be pretty close to the D&D you played. So there should be a lot of familiar concepts if you remember the game -- hits points, armor class, levels, memorizing spells, classes. It's pretty much playing D&D but with the computer as the DM. You didn't like Neverwinter Knights, though that's 3rd edition which might be too different from the old D&D game you were used to. Plus, as a single player game its nowhere in the same league as BG.

KOTOR is a good suggestion too (play the first one first). It actually uses at its core the D&D engine (3rd edition), but with much better gameplay and story than NWN. It's pretty easy too -- both with combat difficulty and questing. Maps are simple, and everything is always laid out pretty simply for the player.

Fable and Bards Tale are a couple of fairly recent games that should be kind to RPG newbies. Fairly linear, not very hard, not too many skills or options, but fun gameplay and stories. I don't play consoles so I can't say anything about them. Finally, at a certain point you might have to give consideration that you just don't like RPGs. There's no shame in not liking a certain genre of game. For example, I don't like button-mashing combat/action games (and I've tried a few of those there are supposed to be the best). People are just different. The suggestion of not being afraid to use walkthroughs is good. Give things a good shot, but when you are stuck and getting frustrated check for help. There are countless sources of help on the internet these days. Though if you find yourself constantly needing the walkthrough for KOTOR, you might have to consider that your brain is just not wired for this kind of game.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:23 PM
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Honestly, if you've been playing video games for that long and have given them (from what it sounds like) multiple tries.. I don't think anybody is going to be able to recommended anything to "force" you into the genre. As much as I hate it, FF VII is basic enough (gameplay wise, at least) to be considered a starter RPG if you aren't willing to go back to the NES and SNES days and visit the genres roots.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:29 PM
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They're a bit primitive, but I'd heartily recommend Dragon Warrior (NES) and Final Fantasy II (SNES)---both are relatively straightforward but very entertaining. The first is a bit harder, but it's a one-one-one turn based game and really easy to pick up on. Final Fantasy II is also fairly linear---and even though it's more complicated, it doesn't really feel that way.

Last edited by Randy Miller III; 08-11-06 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 08-11-06, 05:04 PM
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Fallout is a fun game with a lot of depth, and it's really not difficult at all.

Diablo II also has straightforward gameplay, and it's quite addictive as well. I personally like it much better than X-Men Legends.

Last edited by dugan; 08-11-06 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 08-11-06, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rabbit77
Try Telengard for the Commodore 64. That's where I started...
Originally Posted by Randy Miller III
I'd heartily recommend Dragon Warrior (NES)
Maybe he can try Akalabeth too



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Old 08-11-06, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Randy Miller III
They're a bit primitive, but I'd heartily recommend Dragon Warrior (NES) and Final Fantasy II (SNES)---both are relatively straightforward but very entertaining. The first is a bit harder, but it's a one-one-one turn based game and really easy to pick up on. Final Fantasy II is also fairly linear---and even though it's more complicated, it doesn't really feel that way.
I was also thinking Dragon Warrior. It's just a single character, has simple gameplay, and it's not that long. It also doesn't have cutscenes to sit through.
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Old 08-11-06, 09:21 PM
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I never even thought of X-Men Legends as an RPG at all, but I guess it does have elements of the genre there. I really love the games, but a lot of that enjoyment comes from me loving comics so much. So it's easy for me to look past the games short comings a little easier.

Though I haven't finished it, I think KOTOR is a very good RPG to play for folks that really don't like "RPGs". And this is coming from someone who doesn't like the Star Wars franchise all that much. There is a bit of running around, but from what I've played things are layed out in a pretty obvious way.
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Old 08-11-06, 09:50 PM
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I highly recommend Suikoden as a starter rpg. The story is very interesting and it's quite short. Which is always a good thing for beginner since you won't have to be in for the long haul. If you want to try a strategy rpg, check out Arc the lad. You can finish Arc in less than 10 hours.
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Old 08-12-06, 12:21 AM
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Agree on Super Mario RPG. My wife normally gets stuck somewhere on an RPG and gives up (she stopped playing FF7 at about the 15-hour mark). But she played through all of Super Mario RPG.

Baldur's Gate 2 is the best American RPG ever created IMO. If you played D&D I suggest Baldur's Gate 1.

Still, nothing is like playing D&D. Real roleplaying is a much different experience from videogame RPGs. So much more interactive and fun.
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Old 08-12-06, 12:34 AM
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As for systems, I have a GBA, a DS, a PS1, a Gamecube, an XBOX, and a Dreamcast. Not to mention a handful of PCs, and a gajillion emulators.

Most of my frustration has been in using the turn-based system. Not in the idea of the system, but actually figuring out how to use it. I do like the idea of building a character and setting out on an adventure, and I've never been much for the FPS style of gameplay (with the exception of NOLF).

RPGS would seem tailor-made for my likes. But I get frustrated since I can't seem to even get a rudimentary understanding of the turn systems used. For instance, in Morrowind, it was easy in setting up a character and setting out, but every time I'd die on the road to my first quest (typically attacked by some kind of animal) and I just had no idea how to defend myself. Neverwinter...can't get out of the darned training facility. FFVII...can't get past the darned train platform.

Maybe I'm just a moron. Or it might just be one of those things where it would help to watch someone play to get an idea of how things work. Might ask my neighbor...he's knee deep into Oblivion at the moment.

In the meantime, I might try Baldur's Gate. Since it is not system intensive, I can put it on my old laptop and mess with it during lunch breaks. I'm sure with 25 years past since my last D&D game, I'll be somewhat rusty. But hopefully I'll work my way through it.

Not sure about KOTOR. Not a Star Wars fanatic, as it is. Same problem with Xmen..not a big comics fan. Fable or Bards Tale look promising however.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Last edited by TheAllPurposeNothing; 08-12-06 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 08-12-06, 01:41 AM
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"Not sure about KOTOR. Not a Star Wars fanatic"

I love a deep, rewarding RPG of the Turn Based variety (DragonQuest, Shadow Hearts, Front Mission, Final Fantasy, Valkyrie Profile, Atelier Iris). But my recommendation is for Knights of the Old Republic. It is a turn based game at high speed. It uses the Star Wars Paper RPG rules and dice rolls. You can actually play every turn, but it takes forever for one battle.

This game is FUN, it has almost nothing to do with the Star Wars you know. Great story, quick battles, LIGHTSABERS, and Kickass music.
It also has a very friendly menu system that is easy to figure out. You can get a copy for less than 10.

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