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> Rogue-likes?, Any of you ever try them?
Nottheking
post Jul 5 2009, 08:13 AM
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Some of you might be vaguely familiar with the sub-genre of Rogue-likes. A bunch of you have probably played them, most likely unknowingly. (Diablo II is an example of a heavily mainstreamed RL) These sort of games are typified by a number of common factors:
  • A relatively simple, straightforward plot; you have the eventual goal of the end of the game known from the start, (find the Amulet of Yendor, defeat Diablo, etc.) with the game progressing toward it.
  • Relatively high difficulty. These games very clearly ignore Todd Howard's suggestion of "let the player win." This includes some diseases/status effects that can be crippling, or some attacks/traps/etc. that result in guaranteed character death.
  • Simple control scheme; movement plus at most a handful of buttons. (such as D2's "click-click-click"ing, or NetHack's "walk into an enemy to attack")
  • Randomly-generated dungeons and other challenges, that respawn with both monsters and loot after leaving/quitting the game, allowing for, in theory, effectively infinite replayability.
  • Randomly-generated loot, often found requiring identification. Some of this stuff may be detrimental to use.
  • Often, (but NOT always) a reduced emphasis on graphics. This is actually less intended on its own, but rather a consequence of making a graphical system that can readily handle quickly-generated random locations.
  • A heavy focus on combat, with a variety of tactics that are viable.
  • Generally stiff penalties for dying. This can range from losing gold, experience, or even outright unrecoverable permadeath.
  • No save-and-reload. Typically, the only way to save is to quit the game, making you restart in town. You can't have multiple save slots for the same character.
Daggerfall was famous/infamous for implementing a number of rogue-like features. Diablo II would be the most-played example, though it tends to be the easiest.

As of late, though, I discovered a certain series that's been made for the DS: Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja. So far, I'm nearly beaten it, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's a true RL game in every way, with turn-based movement/combat; unlike most TB RPGs, everyone is shown moving simultaneously, and a button can be held to make turns progress in fast-forward, making sure things take only as long as you need them to. It's definitely a hard game: no save-and-reload until things run right, or getting a save checkpoint every 30 seconds. But if one plays conservatively and well, it's quite an enjoyable challenge.

So what, if any, experience have any of you had with these sort of games?
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jack cloudy
post Jul 5 2009, 11:28 AM
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Hmm...I've played some Diablo II, but I consider that one to be pretty damn boring really. It's probably because I can't sit down and think things over so I just end up clicking madly on everything that moves and use level grinding to solve all problems. I also felt as if I was just running around blindly without a real goal, other than the generic 'get to the next level for more loot' And the bosses (not counting minibosses), just really felt like they were there because the developers thought you can't have a level without a boss-fight at the end. With the exception of the Act bosses. Those worked. (except for the act 2 one. Where the hell did that thing come from?!)

Other roguelikes I've played are nethack (for all of ten minutes, couldn't handle the controls and wrap my mind around the graphics) and Etrian Oddyssey. The last one is also for the DS and I assume you have one, going by your post so if you feel like it, you could check it out.

Although now that I think of it, it might not fit your definition of roguelike. The dungeons are not random, and the combat is turn-based like a japanese rpg. The end goal is also rather vague, being 'figure out what's up with this forest maze that breaks the laws of physics and showed up all of a sudden.' But that is remedied by doing a whole bunch of fetch quests that are a good excuse for exploring the forest. I think this is the real goal in the game, exploration for the sake of exploration. Oh, and it has a built-in map drawing feature that you should really use unless you feel like getting lost.

That said, it has a pretty high difficulty, status effects can totally murder your party, and minibosses roam all over the place and are more something you want to avoid for a long time rather than confront. You also can't save while in the dungeon and there are no quick ways to get around. This means that if you end up dying on floor twenty, well too bad. You'll just have to start back from the nearest warp point, which could be as much as ten floors back. And no, you won't get to keep the experience you gained or anything. Just reload your save back in town, and pretend those last two hours never happened.

Your party can range from one guy/gal to five, but the difficulty is definitely geared towards going in with a party of five and preferably one that includes multiple classes for maximum versatility. All characters are created to your own preference, so you won't have any pregenerated folks.

One thing I liked about it is that unlike Diablo, you won't find loot lying around all over the place. There is some, but it's pretty rare and even when you do come across it, chances are it is no better than the stuff you already have. No, instead of grabbing loot, you collect resources from the forest (plants, rocks and stuff) and from all the critters you kill (hides, bones, bug wings). You then bring those back to town and let the armorer figure out what she can make from it. I kinda appreciate not knowing what I'm going to get instead of hitting a goblin and have a rusty sword of excellence or some dumb nonsense like that fly out of the corpse. Which brings me to my next point. No creature will ever drop something that couldn't possibly have been part of its body.

One downside to the game is the fact that the skill-tree is rather hard to oversee. Now Diablo had an actual tree, so you could see lines connecting related skills. Etrian odyssey does not, instead choosing to just give you a list spanning multiple pages (lots of skills here), list the prerequisites when you click on unavailable skills and pretty much assumes you can sort through those pages and not get confused.

It is also a bit vague sometimes on what a skill does or how usefull it will be. For example, you will never see '1-4 fire damage on target'. Instead it will say something along the lines of 'next level: damage up, cost up' without ever indicating by how much, or how much it does right now.


PS: your avatar just made me wonder if there is a Castlevania game for the ds. The gba one with Soma was fun.


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Nottheking
post Jul 5 2009, 03:46 PM
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QUOTE(jack cloudy @ Jul 5 2009, 06:28 AM) *
(except for the act 2 one. Where the hell did that thing come from?!)

For those that looked a bit more into it, where Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal are the 3 "prime evils," There are four "Lesser Evils," of which both Andariel and Duriel are members, as the 'Maiden of Anguish' and 'Lord of Pain,' respectively. The other two are Belial, Lord of Lies, and Azmodan, Lord of Sin. After the end of the events of Diablo II, they rule hell in bitter opposition to each other, and one of them, if not both, have been confirmed for Diablo III. (obviously as end-act bosses)

QUOTE(jack cloudy @ Jul 5 2009, 06:28 AM) *
Although now that I think of it, it might not fit your definition of roguelike. The dungeons are not random, and the combat is turn-based like a japanese rpg. The end goal is also rather vague, being 'figure out what's up with this forest maze that breaks the laws of physics and showed up all of a sudden.' But that is remedied by doing a whole bunch of fetch quests that are a good excuse for exploring the forest. I think this is the real goal in the game, exploration for the sake of exploration. Oh, and it has a built-in map drawing feature that you should really use unless you feel like getting lost.

the plot of a Rogue-like doesn't necessarily have to be perfectly simple; that there does sound straightforward enough. And for all the brouhaha given by so many people, whining on whether an RPG's combat is real-time or turn-based, that really matters less to its genre than almost any other factor. (case-in-point: the Ultima series, from which all other RPG series steal at least 50% from, contains both types of combat) However, a full-out standard jRPG style would not be terribly Rogue-like, since that would be unecessarily complicated with all those menus. But yeah, the fixed map would certainly disqualify it.

At any rate, I'll see if I can give it a look.

QUOTE(jack cloudy @ Jul 5 2009, 06:28 AM) *
PS: your avatar just made me wonder if there is a Castlevania game for the ds. The gba one with Soma was fun.

Wow, someone actually recognized it right off. Usually most people don't get my avatars so quickly. tongue.gif

But yes, there's actually a sequel to Aria of Sorrow on the DS, the creatively named Dawn of Sorrow. (in following the tradition that ALMOST ALL DS games can be acronymed to "DS") It's bigger than AoS, with largely the same gameplay, but slightly more frustrating. Still good overall, and it's well worthwhile for anyone that liked AoS. After that is Portrait of Ruin, which plays a bit more like older games, and Order of Ecclesia, which I've not gotten to yet.
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jack cloudy
post Jul 5 2009, 10:04 PM
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Well, I don't remember his name though. Just that he really had a major superiority and "I AM THE LORD OF THIS CASTLE!!!" complex. Wait, was that a spoiler? Meh, it's not as if he makes an attempt at hiding it or anything. Aria of Sorrow was some serious fun and Soma looked frikking badass after his...moment of self-discovery. The clocktower was pure platformer hell though.

I also just checked on the internet (should have done that sooner, really). And dang, did they just go all anime with the art-style? blink.gif I'm not saying it's bad but, it really changes the mood.

I would look into buying the ds castlevanias, but the only store in the neighbourhood nowadays carries nothing but some make-up simulators, baby-sit simulators, horse-grooming simulators, cooking books and who knows what else which is not my kind of thing at all. Seriously, the DS has really gone downhill these last few months. sad.gif At least there is a Shin Megami Tensei game coming out soon. (it's already out in America).

Hmm...I can't remember anymore rogue-likes I've played.


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Illydoor
post Jul 7 2009, 10:56 PM
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Could you say Mortal Kombat: Deception is a just rogue-like with an element of tekken thrown in?

This post has been edited by Illydoor: Jul 7 2009, 10:57 PM


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Nottheking
post Jul 10 2009, 07:51 AM
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QUOTE(jack cloudy @ Jul 5 2009, 05:04 PM) *

Well, I don't remember his name though. Just that he really had a major superiority and "I AM THE LORD OF THIS CASTLE!!!" complex. Wait, was that a spoiler? Meh, it's not as if he makes an attempt at hiding it or anything. Aria of Sorrow was some serious fun and Soma looked frikking badass after his...moment of self-discovery. The clocktower was pure platformer hell though.

I personally loved the Clock Tower. Had awesome music, too. But yeah, that was Graham Jones. (yes, my avatar filenames are descriptive) He also has one of the most classic lines ever: "Does this mean I'm not Dracula?!" Also, anyone who checked my introduction from 3 years ago would also see me tell what it was. tongue.gif

QUOTE(jack cloudy @ Jul 5 2009, 05:04 PM) *
I also just checked on the internet (should have done that sooner, really). And dang, did they just go all anime with the art-style? blink.gif I'm not saying it's bad but, it really changes the mood.

Yeah, in Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin they switched to a rather cheesy Anime style, far worse than the Bishonen style they'd started using wtih Symphony of the Night back in 1997. Fortunately, while they kept an Anime style, they went with a better one starting in Order of Ecclesia.

QUOTE(jack cloudy @ Jul 5 2009, 05:04 PM) *
Hmm...I can't remember anymore rogue-likes I've played.

Well, not many are made; the Western-made ones tend to be PC-only, while only a few are Japanese-made, such as the "Mystery Dungeon" series. (which includes the Shiren the Wanderer series)

QUOTE(Illydoor @ Jul 7 2009, 05:56 PM) *
Could you say Mortal Kombat: Deception is a just rogue-like with an element of tekken thrown in?

. . . whistling.gif

This post has been edited by Nottheking: Jul 10 2009, 08:03 AM
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Illydoor
post Jul 10 2009, 09:01 PM
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Well then no, I've never played one tongue.gif .


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Zalphon
post Mar 18 2010, 02:17 PM
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Diablo 2 was good, but that's the only RL I've played.


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SpicyTunaRoll
post Jul 25 2010, 09:27 PM
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I've played Diablo 2 and Azure Dreams, but that's about it.
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Kyku
post Jan 21 2011, 11:46 AM
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Well, the only rogue-like I've ever played is Pokemon Mystery Dungeons, if that counts. XD There was this one you could download over the internet that was supposed to be really hard... I can't remember what it is. It's on the tip of tongue. Anyway, I wanted to try that (if I could remember it's name!) and Diablo some time.
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