RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The advantages of playing a roleplaying game on hard difficulty. Challenge yourself.

I've often stated that playing any game on hard is the best and only way to play. An RPG is no exception to this rule, these titles are often far more rewarding and satisfying on a harder difficulty.

I am absolutely ashamed at all the gamers I know for choosing normal or easy difficulty. Unless the game is something really Korean and therefore impossible to complete unless you are Asian, then you should always try setting the game on hard mode to see what it is like.

If you play games on lower difficulties, not only are you not challenging yourself to become a better gamer, but you're also never going to be any good at any games, period.

A funny meme about hard mode being too hard and normal difficulty being too easy

What do you mean by play games on hard difficulty?

It's simple. When you have the option to choose a difficulty on your RPG or any video game, opt for the higher level of challenge. There are countless benefits to playing on a challenging difficulty, which I shall try to cover throughout this article.

When you start a new video game you are often prompted to choose a difficulty. If not, you can usually find a difficulty selection in the menu options somewhere. The most common difficulties include:
  • Easy: Easy is the difficulty level that you choose the first time you ever touched a video game. Picking easymode after this point is pathetic, and a bad gaming practice.
  • Normal/Casual: Normal is probably the most common difficulty for gamers. Most RPGs are terribly easy on normal, 
  • Hard: Hard is usually the difficulty I start with, this is definitely the best way to go.
  • Very Hard/Nightmare: Very hard is usually a crazy challenge bordering on masochistic. I will usually put it on this difficulty if hard is a cakewalk.
Bear in mind that sometimes games will use various different names for difficulty, like casual for normal mode or veteran for hard. Nightmare mode is definitely one you might of heard of or suffered through.

Why should I play on hard?

The purpose of playing games depends on the person. You could be playing for story, fun, or just out of boredom. However, if you are playing games, you are completely devaluing the price of your purchase and the quality of the game if you do not select a difficulty level that provides you with a decent challenge. If I'm not connected with the game over screen once in a while, I will get bored. So should you!

Boss battles are meant to be tough. How are you supposed to remember a boss if he didn't kill you and all of your characters 5 times over?

I have played many RPG titles such as Final Fantasy and completed the entire game with barely a single member in my party ever getting KO'd. The most prevalent thing I remember from these playthroughs was that they were easy and boring because of it. The best RPGs are the ones that you struggle against.

Baldur's Gate wouldn't be an epic iconic and classic RPG without the constant wiping and repeatedly getting killed by enemies. It wouldn't be a cult hit, because people loved it because it was brutally challenging and all about perfecting your characters and playstyle.

Playing on hard difficulty makes you exponentially more skilled at games

This is an incredibly accurate statement. When I start a new game with my friends, they all choose normal. Because I pick hard, when we do a multiplayer versus match I win every single time. Why? Because I am naturally used to playing at a higher level. Playing on normal not only sets a lower level precedent for your skill of play, but it also allows you to use redundant mechanics to win battles that you wouldn't be able to get away with on a higher difficulty.

Modern games are increasingly easy

As video games have trended towards mainstream culture, developers have continued to make easier and easier titles. This is for the filthy stinking casuals who rarely purchase and play games. I finished Dragon Age inquisition on hard without dying once, because EA think their games cater better to a wider audience.

I am disgusted with how easy games have become. I don't mind video game developers making a game accessible to noobs, but on a harder difficulty it should always be a challenge. Nowadays, whenever I want a good hearty game to play with lots of losing and increasingly difficult battles, I have to go shopping in the retro market. Even new games notorious for being challenging like Dark Souls just turn to putty in my hands.

Playing RPGs on hard difficulty

Because of my experience on JRPGs and other RPG games, even when I select a harder difficulty I usually make it through the game with minimal deaths. This is less due to skill and more down to pure experience. Check out my beating and breaking RPGs guide to see how I do it.

Don't be intimidated by the higher difficulty levels on games. They are there to encourage you to better your gaming skills. Once you get accustomed to playing games on hard you will benefit from it in several key ways:

  • You will learn much more about the RPG by playing it on hard.
  • Hard mode will increase your problem solving skills.
  • Normal mode is always too easy, it never really issues you a challenge in modern games.
  • You will become better at gaming in general.
  • Often on RPGs, there is additional content to be found by selecting challenging levels.
Ultimately advantages of playing video games on hard or extreme can be many or few. I personally do it because I do not want to get into bad habits by playing the RPG on easy in the first place.

Conclusion: Almost all RPG titles are better games on hard

If you want to be better at games, if you want to better yourself, play on hard. Relish the opportunity to be challenged, take every game over screen as a lesson. If you have that competitive spirit in you, remember to hold your skills to a higher standard!

If you want to literally decrease your gaming skills, go ahead and pick easy mode. Just remember, if you ever play against me or any other nightmare difficulty gamer online, we will always win. Are you okay with that? Or would you rather put up a fight?

Thursday, 18 February 2016

How to break any RPG: Basic edition

Every now and again during a playthrough of an RPG game, I'll die or get a game over. It's not often, in fact I regularly complete entire RPG's without seeing the game over screen. It's a combination of experience, talent, and knowing where the flaws are. If you read this guide, I'll show you some of the basic strategies and tactics to breaking any game with Role Playing elements. If this guide helps anyone or receives particular attention I will be happy to write an advanced edition on how to break any RPG.
A challenging Role Playing Game

While you won't be able to abuse these techniques in every RPG you play, a lot of them transition across most games and platforms. If you're stuck on a game and looking for a way to abuse mechanics and defeat a particularly challenging boss or level, there should be a hint or two in here to help you with your problem. Let's get started, shall we?

Grinding in an RPG
Ah, the weakness of almost every Role Playing Game in existence. If you don't know what grinding is; it's the procedure of continually farming levels for your characters and party. An example would be: you are stuck on a level 10 boss and your characters are all level 5. So you take your low level characters and kill other manageable enemies until your characters are all level 10. Then you can go back and beat the boss because your characters have received various bonuses and strengths from leveling up. You could also continue to farm your characters levels until they are considerably stronger, then the battle will be a cakewalk.

Grinding is one of my favorite ways to get an edge when I get stuck on a game. It usually takes a bit of your time, but the rewards are worth it. Not only do your characters get extra levels and experience, you can also gain gold and other advantages like items.

Indeed, grinding is the most common way to get ahead on any game. If you ever get stuck or die this should always be your first resort. But be warned, if you grind too often or too hard then completing the rest of the game may become trivially easy. Easy is boring, there's absolutely nothing to gain from playing a game that is too easy for you.

A top down RPG that is hard to beat

RPG Consumable stacking
Consumable stacking is great. This is what I always do in Final Fantasy, although more often than not it can be far too overpowered. The premise of stacking consumables or items revolves around purchasing or grinding lots of wealth in your game, and then going to a shop and buying as many consumables as you can.

The best example of this is when I start a new Final Fantasy playthrough. As early as possible I kill as many enemies as it takes to get the maximum amount of potions, which is 99. This makes the rest of the entire RPG laughably pleasant. Why? Because whenever anybody in my party loses any HP or is close to dying, I just throw 10 potions at them.

Plus, in a lot of RPG titles it's possible to use healing or restorative items when you are outside of combat.

Consumable stacking does not only apply to healing items but to other consumable type items too.

How to win at any RPG

Being smart and skilled at games, win with knowledge.
Although it's easier said than done, being smart and intelligent when you play games is an unsurpassed advantage. When I play a new RPG for the first time, my initial prerogative is to find the strongest mechanics. Any professional gamer will immediately look for weaknesses in the video games engine to abuse.

This is a simple technique, and it should be obvious to any gamer. It's as easy as a fire element monster being weak against water. If you want to be smart in a game, you take advantage of its flaws.

Let me explain it properly: In most RPG titles you are given options to choose how to build you character. If you are smart and build your character properly then the game should be a cakewalk. These options could vary depending on the video game you are playing. Here are some incredibly overpowered characters you can build in the most popular single player role-playing-games with ease.

Mass effect one two and three: Adept class
If you create an adept build in Mass Effect it's not really considered overpowered. Why? Because the first 3-4 hours of any Mass Effect playthrough sucks if you play as the adept class. Adepts are essentially characters who use biotic abilities, such as telekinesis to win.

If you start any Mass Effect game on a hard difficulty as an adept you will suffer for the early part of the game. However, if you make it part way through the game you obtain access to many incredibly overpowered and game breaking abilities that make the rest of the game a cake walk.

If you really want to break any Mass Effect game pick the sentinel class. You have been warned, this makes the game boring.

An adept destroying the competition in Mass Effect

Dragon Age
I really shouldn't have to explain why Dragon Age is an imbalanced game. If you pick the arcane warrior class you become essentially immortal. Full plate armor and magic spells, all the advantages of being a mage without any weaknesses.

Conclusion to being smart:
Ultimately any RPG is at your whim if you know what you are doing. Every single RPG ever made presents you with options on how to develop your character. You could be a Warrior, Mage, or Rogue. It doesn't matter.

Every RPG game ever made has a strongest class. It's usually mages.

Anyway, my point is: If you are smart and build your character properly; you can make any RPG your bitch. Just make sure you pick the right talents when you level up. Build your character properly.

How to break any RPG, final comments:
Although this article might have been all over the place and vague in some places, the goal is the same. If you are stuck on an RPG title take advantage of the many options you have available. You can opt to grind like a noob, or you can choose skill and die repeatedly until you outskill your opponent.

Ultimately if you get stuck on any role playing game then you haven't been taking advantage of the opportunities available to you.

Are you stuck on an RPG?
If you are struggling to complete a boss or area on an RPG then you are in the right place. Take some of these tips to heart and either grind or skill your way to victory.