ARC Entertainment. Working Designs. 2002.
Released as PSOne Classic on PSN.
Sequels on PS2.
A compilation of three RPGs and one add-on previously unreleased in NA. AtL1 is a short and sweet set-up to an extremely fun series. AtL2 ups the ante with a new protagonist and a huge cast of playable characters, new and old. AtL3 kinda does its own thing, but still has an enjoyable cast of characters with some friends you may know popping up from time to time. It's been released on PSN as PSOne Classics, but the best way to experience it is in the oversized goodybox Working Designs put out!
Konami. Konami. 1998.
Alternate version on GBC.
Spiritual sequel on DS.
Azure Dreams is a monster battler, roguelike dungeon crawl, dating sim, world builder in one! Believe it or not, coming from someone who's not a fan of those genres, this is actually kinda fun! I guess the "being everywhere" genre approach works for it. Your monster retains levels, but the main character (Koh) does not. You find items and such in the dungeons and rebuild houses and impress girls. You also want to work your way to the top to figure out what happened to your papa (Guy). It's a unique little game with a whimsical art style and a sense of humor. This game has a bit of a spiritual sequel in a little known DS game entitled Tao's Adventure: Curse of the Demon Seal. Unlike this game, it's not very good unfortunately.
Hero's name: Koh (mute)
Tropes: affection levels, level reset, monsters battle, world building
Battle Hunter is another game that's really one of a kind. That doesn't mean it's good, though! But, I suppose it isn't necessarily bad. It's just... there. You are a hunter and you fight in grid-based, card-based, turn-based battles to find relics or some sort. It's a pretty boring concept made into a budget game that was shipped over to NA when Agetec started releasing all those $10 at the end of the PS1's life cycle. Going out with a bang, eh?
Beyond the Beyond is an odd game. It was released after such mega hits as FF3 and Chrono Trigger, but it's still feels like it's about a decade behind them. The first RPG on PS1 in NA isn't much, but it's the precursor to Golden Sun. It's not a bad game, it just suffers from abounding nothing. There's nothing happening in the game. You're Finn and you left to be a knight and met a cursed knight and are helping him. Suddenly there's a....zzzzzzzzzz.
Capcom. Capcom. 1998.
Ported to PSP in Europe.
Sequel on PS1.
BoF3 is when Capcom really stepped the story up a notch. You have death, betrayal, and a little romance after 2 (pretty good) cliche adventures. Little Ryu's voice is adorable "EE DEE WOO!". The random battles get on your nerves a bit, but it's par for the course when it comes to older RPGs. I love games where the characters age, so this one has a special place in my heart.
What a pretty game BoF4 is! I love the muted colors, the stunning art, and the wonderful sprite work. It really is a marvel to look at. The game isn't to shabby as a game either! It's nothing new if you've played BoF3, except battles seem a bit less frequent. There was a big deal over censorship in this game, but whatever. It's still a wonderful title.
I've never actually played this game. I hear it's more strategy than most, but still has the RPG trappings. A "Grand Edition" was released in Japan with extra stuff. Oh phooey! Whenever I wanna drop $50+ on a strategy RPG (...never) maybe I'll pick this one.
Has a canon link with the FFX universe.
Includes very very minor monster hunting (Chocobos).
The fan favorite Final Fantasy.
Spawned many spinoffs.
A remake is inevitable, but denied.
Released on PC (06.24.1998).
Released on PSN (06.02.2009).
To be released on PC again (2012?).
Port History: SAT(J)-PS1
SAT(J) version was compatible with an also Japanese exclusive bonus disc titled: Grandia: Digital Museum. In this bonus disc, you play as Justin, Feena, and Sue through four dungeons finding artifacts used to unlock items in the galleries.