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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, '10, 2:50 am 
augmentedfourth wrote:I know PSII had similar techniques, but for me, it seemed like they were trying to cram too many into the game. For example (and I freely admit that I replay PSII the least), I have a problem remembering which of Kain's techs does what. I rarely, if ever, use Hugh, but I can imagine having a similar problem.

I have the same issue, myself. The fictional names for all the techniques can be hard to keep straight. I even have that problem with PSIII and IV sometimes. Especially when I take a long break between playing them.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, '10, 2:54 am 
I'd have to say PSIV since the game had the best battle system. I didn't even use the macros much and it's still a better system.

I can't get excited over the PSIII magic system since it was all useless except for the healing techs, anyway. Then it was just *adjust the gems to max out rever for one healer, max out gires for all of the other healers, and carry lots of antidotes*.

The other two games were fairly standard early RPG magic systems; nothing really interesting to note, though I agree with augmented about the overabundance of techs in PSII. I think there were some stat-related things that didn't make the deadline in PSII and as a result, some of the techs that could have been interesting ended up being "meh" along with the extra stats. (As in, mental, dexterity, etc.)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, '10, 1:34 pm 
It's an easy one:

If it was WELL executed, Phantasy Star III

As it stands now: Phantasy Star IV because we can combine technics/skills

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, '10, 7:47 pm 
Tanith wrote:I can't get excited over the PSIII magic system since it was all useless except for the healing techs, anyway. Then it was just *adjust the gems to max out rever for one healer, max out gires for all of the other healers, and carry lots of antidotes*.

Word on the PS III system. I used the exact same strategy. The rest of the techniques were a waste of time.

Also word on PS IV's system. PS I and II were pretty simple ones. Select the technique, select the target (though PS I didn't have that) and let rip. Plus later in PS II, the items you obtained negated the need for some of the techniques such as Deban, etc. Though they made battles quite short later on, binding the combos to macros did make things at least a little more interesting.

Though I think by level 40-45, Destruction becomes useless as using the respective abilities required to use it individually does more than the 999 limit of that combo. Usually you get over 999 damage just for using Legeon, Megid and Posibolt but throw in Rika's Doubleslash and say...Raja's St. Fire magic and you've gone way over.

Anyway, blah and all that jazz.

PS IV = best magic system.

PS III = crap, probably due to rushed development.

The rest = standard stuff of their time. Nothing too fancy about them.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, '10, 10:14 pm 
I also think the PSIII system takes all the fun out of learning new techs through gameplay.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, '10, 10:25 pm 
Oh yeah! I never even noticed that. :D Good point.

Not that it matters, considering most of them are useless. ;)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, '11, 1:16 pm 
A few comments about each of the systems:

PS1 is typical RPG fare with a twist. Having actual utility spells like a spell for disarming traps, opening doors or communicating with enemies was a nice and interesting twist. Quite a few spells were dependable enough to use a few times, like Myau's wall for Dr Mad or Alis' rope for certain tough lone enemies. Unfortunately, not all spells could keep up. Personally, I like my spells to remain useful throughout the game. Alis' heal spell become obselate around the moment she left Palma for the first time. A fireball from the fire spell usually does single-digit damage, which in most battles is useless. (though it's actually more reliable against the last few bosses due to their high defense and evade rate) Wall and Protection could have been more useful if, instead of creating impenetratable barriers that randomly disappear and never work against stronger enemies, they simply upped the physical and magical resistence of the party. Also, I found that even Lutz never got enough mp to play the role of magician very well. I usually just made him my backup in-the-field healer. Kudos to Lutz, btw, for having the best recovery spell ever. Rise resurrects an ally with full hp and mp. Sucks he can't use it in battle.

PS2, I thought was the worst. I can overlook the weird names, but not some of the other faults. Characters still don't really have enough mp to consistently rely on techniques. Techniques still do fixed damage, most characters other than Rolf don't get techniques that do worthwhile fixed damage which is bad in a game where many enemies become resistent to non-gun physicals later on. Oh, and techniques can miss. The only technique I've never seen fail was Megid (for stripping all Rolf's comrades of 50% of their hp, it'd better not), but that expensive 20tp Nathu can still miss as frequently as an ordinary swipe with a scalpel and that just sucks. Spells like Anti and Rever cannot be used in-battle and at high levels characters start learning low-level spells like Gifoi, Gra or Zan.

PS3 was an interesting idea, but not the best implementation. I can understand Rever has a fail-rate at low levels since it resurrects an ally with full hp. But anti with a fail rate just makes the spell too useless to bother with since 5 mp is just too costly to repeatedly cast. (especially since poison-happy monsters are abundant) I like the fact that spells now are generally cheap enough to use often (restoration spells are costly 5 mp, but the rest are 1 or 2 mp) AND that they grow in potential power. Unfortunately, they don't grow fast enough. I found I used Lyle's offensive techniques repeatedly (his Zan technique especially, since you don't have a slicer user in your party yet) and his magic was strong enough to be reliable, but in later generations melee spells couldn't keep up with the enemies' hp growth. (it'd be great if spells with lots of squares assigned to them evolved to their na- or sa- versions, but that didn't happen) Since battles in PS3 usually consisted of many weaker enemies, but were still over within a couple of rounds, there's wasn't much need to buff my party or stun/silence enemies. (even boss battles rarely lasted long enough to justify using 5 rounds to buff every ally with Shu...I did use Fanbi on occasion) Oh...and why, oh why, were the names mixed up after I spent so long memorizing the PS2 names? Sar became Gires, Rimit became Deban, Vol became Forsa, Shift became Fanbi and Shiza became Rimit. Ugh.

PS4 was very good, not just in terms of the rest of the series, but in general RPG terms. Non-fighters finally got lots of tp so they could use techs on a regular basis without running out after a few battles and even fighters could get the occasional spell in. Spells became slightly stronger as characters levelled up, but you still got higher level techniques with more base damage to make sure techniques remained reliable. And I absolutely loved the principle behind skills, since I could use special abilities when I needed them without decreasing my access to other abilities of the same character and on trips to the dungeon boss, I was happy being able to whip up any skill I knew wouldn't be of much use against the boss. Debuffs (like Hahn's Gelun) were still a gamble, but when they worked, they worked. And instant death skills became reliable enough to use, as long as you used them on the right enemies. And combination attacks rocked, even though many (like Paladin Blow or Conducted Thunder) weren't really available until the very end. The only gripe I have is that some skills came too late or were too limited for the time they became available, like Gryz' Sweeping skill, Demi's Phonomezer (you usually only got 1 by the time you faced Zio) or Kyra's Bindwa and Hahn's Eliminate. (not sure why he needed that skill at all when Rika has plenty of charges on that one and is more effective at it) But that's nitpicking. Oh...and PS4 finally, finally, finally added elements. (in fact, it added MANY elements) All other PS-games before it simply had spells that did fixed damage, even though it stretched the suspension of disbelief that you could broil creatures like Firefalls or Azurefires with Foi-family spells despite the critters effectively being living flames.

Last edited by Erpy on Thu Mar 31, '11, 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, '11, 11:58 pm 
It's a pity we can't port the PSIV system back to the other games. They had some interesting implementations, but a lot of impractical applications. I think PSIV must have had much more extensive play testing for the later game sections.

PostPosted: Mon May 23, '11, 11:57 pm 
IV's was easily the best, for me. It just really impressed me, with all the crazy combinations and the sophistication of the system. Even the enemy magic looked really epic, like pretty much everything Zio did.

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