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Author Topic: Definitive versions of classic RPGs  (Read 6801 times)

ShadowOne333

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2021, 06:03:25 pm »
The original Pokemon games are worth addressing at this point, now that the disassemblies are big.  I'm only going to discuss ways to play the original game, not the "Dynamic Pokemon Expansion with the Complete FireRed Upgrade engine" types that are everywhere.  If you want that, try Radical Red I guess.

1. If you want to play the original Game Boy version with those Red/Blue sprites, pick up Shin Pokemon Red and Blue.  This is Red and Blue with all those bugfixes you've been hearing about, everything available in the game, a color mode backported from Yellow (with super game boy still intact unlike the other full color patch which works more like Super Mario Land 2 DX), and optional backsprite updates.

2. If you don't care about that, I wholly recommend FireRed and LeafGreen+.  It's both games in one package, switchable at any time you wish, with optional challenge/nuzlocke modes and a postgame that's actually worth looking at to boot.  This is not quite the Sonic 3 Complete of Pokemon however, as obviously Emerald cannot be in this version and you will still need to trade to complete your dex.  But these aren't really here here for your 386 Pokedex and are here for playing right down to your version exclusives.

3. If you don't want to switch versions on the fly and want slightly more customization, Pokemon Throwback is still available.  Last I checked it's in the process of being remade in the disassembly (which would mean big things for the GB Player's use in other projects I'm sure).

4. I just realized, I should address Emerald on the way out. Emerald Final is a highly customizable version of that.  One is with original mechanics and one is built towards Gen 4. You can even play these with the original game's pokemon availability+version exclusives.

None of my hacks are on this list.  They are old and have more bugs than these.

That's a pretty interesting list of Pokemon romhacks for sure.
I'd dare to suggest Pokemon Polished Crystal as an improvement hack of Crystal, and Pokemon Cosmic Emerald as one for Emerald itself (though Final Emerald is good too).

As for Gen 1, I find it hard to reccomend any tbh.
My dream Gen 1 hack would be a Yellow Remake in Crystal's engine for all the added perks Gen 2 has, and even unlocking Johto afterwards, and culminating in Mt. Silver for Red's journey. That's hard to accomplish, for sure, but I'd be happy with Yellow as-is remade in Gen 2, with all 151 Pokemon, colour, better Pokedex, Bag and so-on.

Pokemon Throwback is also my preferred way to play Fire Red, though, as with my previous point, I'd love to see Yellow properly remade in Fire Red, with all the perks of Throwback in it.

As for other RPGs, Mother 25th Anniversary Edition (or the 25th Faithful Edition I made) is a must for Mother 1, while I'd recommend the MaternalBound Redux hack I made for EarthBound as an improvement hack that stays faithful to EB as a whole.

Outside of those (and Golden Sun), I don't play much RPGs. Mainly those I mentioned.
I have played FFVI and CT, but damn... The amount of hacks for anything FF and CT is just so overwhelming for me to even narrow down lol.

Bonesy

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2021, 06:21:31 pm »
I have to disagree on Star Ocean: First Departure. IMO, it is the definitive version. Going from the PSP version back to the SNES version makes everything feel so cramped. The PSP version gave everything room to breathe. It's also really nice to be able to play SO1 and SO2 in the same engine, back to back.

agree. i got the ps4 version on a lark because it was on sale and the font is atrocious and basically a shitty upscale of the psp font it feels like

EvilJagaGenius

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2021, 09:25:49 pm »
That's a pretty interesting list of Pokemon romhacks for sure.
I'd dare to suggest Pokemon Polished Crystal as an improvement hack of Crystal, and Pokemon Cosmic Emerald as one for Emerald itself (though Final Emerald is good too).

As for Gen 1, I find it hard to reccomend any tbh.
My dream Gen 1 hack would be a Yellow Remake in Crystal's engine for all the added perks Gen 2 has, and even unlocking Johto afterwards, and culminating in Mt. Silver for Red's journey. That's hard to accomplish, for sure, but I'd be happy with Yellow as-is remade in Gen 2, with all 151 Pokemon, colour, better Pokedex, Bag and so-on.

Ooooooh, don't want to start a Pokemon war in here... I prefer Perfect Crystal to Polished, Polished changes too much for me with the new 'mons and Lyra.  I hear good things about Sour Crystal too but it doesn't have the running shoes.

I haven't done a full Yellow playthrough with this yet, but have you checked out Evo Yellow?  There's some huge changes in the main version but there's also a minimalist branch, which I prefer.  You can evolve the Pikachu, play as a girl, use running shoes, catch all 151 'mons... the works.  The only way I found to get it though was to build it yourself which is a right pain in the neck, you need to use an old version of rgbds.  Or I could post a working patch here if you'd like.

EDIT:  I'm surprised no one's mentioned the Phantasy Star retranslation yet, it's very good and I'd consider it to easily be the definitive version.

ShadowOne333

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2021, 10:45:20 pm »
Ooooooh, don't want to start a Pokemon war in here... I prefer Perfect Crystal to Polished, Polished changes too much for me with the new 'mons and Lyra.  I hear good things about Sour Crystal too but it doesn't have the running shoes.

I haven't done a full Yellow playthrough with this yet, but have you checked out Evo Yellow?  There's some huge changes in the main version but there's also a minimalist branch, which I prefer.  You can evolve the Pikachu, play as a girl, use running shoes, catch all 151 'mons... the works.  The only way I found to get it though was to build it yourself which is a right pain in the neck, you need to use an old version of rgbds.  Or I could post a working patch here if you'd like.

EDIT:  I'm surprised no one's mentioned the Phantasy Star retranslation yet, it's very good and I'd consider it to easily be the definitive version.

Ah good you mentioned Polished changes...
That's why I'm making a fork of it which removes some stuff from Polish I don't like, and other custom changes of my own, like adding the Gen 1 Champion theme to Red's battle and other Kanto themes. I kinda dig the newer mons, but mostly because they're pre-evos or evos or Pokemon from Gen 1 and 2, and only those.

I haven't heard of Evo Yellow before, I'll give it a look and see how it fares against my current Gen 2 sprites + 151 Pokes hack I have of it.

Chronosplit

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2021, 01:11:32 pm »
Don't count out Crystal Clear!  It is pretty much the "the developers think of everything" hack.  Open world, you can inject your own starter and player sprite, and there's even the ability to trade online via a discord bot.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2021, 03:01:48 pm by Chronosplit »

stragusmagus

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2021, 03:23:15 pm »
How would you define a "Definitive" version? Is it simply the original experience of playing the RPG but with bug fixes? Or would it entail QOL changes that are deemed to be "required" by the playerbase because they get frustrated from what they perceived as a "flaw" of the original game? Or maybe it also regards the translation of the script, item, character, location names, and the dialogue?

Or is it simply a frankenstein version of the original game where feature creep, usually copied/ported from other game versions, are implemented into the original game? Most pokemon romhacks fall into the trap of the final one and I really disagree with anyone saying/defending that such a romhack is the definitive version.

Personally, I define "definitive" version as the original experience with bugs flattened out and at most a graphics upgrade. Whether this is achieved through a patch/hack it's fine as long as the base gameplay and overall story is untouched. So I'd say that for pokemon games, the definitive version would be the original game itself unless newer remakes/remaster comes out and proves to be better like Fire Red and Leaf Green for Gen 1 and HG/SS for Gen 2. Gen 3 would remain to be Emerald. Gen 4 would be Platinum. And Gen 5 onwards would simply be the vanilla games.
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FAST6191

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2021, 05:54:26 pm »
I dare say definitive is a rather subjective thing, which handily forms the basis for discussion and debate in this thread. Around here then what you said is probably going to cover the vast majority of cases -- some other places might give more credence to the original vision of the developer (such a thing not really likely to establish much of a toehold around here for obvious reasons).

Reception of the features from ports, things that might even amount to DLC in more modern games, probably goes on an enjoyment factor and impact on play or overall story. Bugfixes and extras that work within the context of the game's universe/story -- if we are doing say Final Fantasy then the rows mechanics in the earlier games were often a bit ill considered vs the later stuff so nobody would be too upset to have a version/hack to tweak something that did not allow a change outside a town, or limited to swap only (hard if one of your fighters was in the back row for some reason and a mage joined there as well).

Graphics will similarly be a fun one, mainly as a lot of places replaced art in later versions with some truly ugly stuff (see again various 3d efforts and mobile/PC ports of Final Fantasy vs wonderful 2d sprite work). To that end later might not always be better. Same for sound.

Piotyr

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2021, 06:17:43 pm »
I dare say definitive is a rather subjective thing, which handily forms the basis for discussion and debate in this thread. Around here then what you said is probably going to cover the vast majority of cases -- some other places might give more credence to the original vision of the developer (such a thing not really likely to establish much of a toehold around here for obvious reasons).

Reception of the features from ports, things that might even amount to DLC in more modern games, probably goes on an enjoyment factor and impact on play or overall story. Bugfixes and extras that work within the context of the game's universe/story -- if we are doing say Final Fantasy then the rows mechanics in the earlier games were often a bit ill considered vs the later stuff so nobody would be too upset to have a version/hack to tweak something that did not allow a change outside a town, or limited to swap only (hard if one of your fighters was in the back row for some reason and a mage joined there as well).

Graphics will similarly be a fun one, mainly as a lot of places replaced art in later versions with some truly ugly stuff (see again various 3d efforts and mobile/PC ports of Final Fantasy vs wonderful 2d sprite work). To that end later might not always be better. Same for sound.

You also get instances of better one way but worse in others, FF4 is better mechanically and translationwise in 3d but boy does that 3d look bad compared to the beautiful psp version.

KingMike

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2021, 02:12:03 am »
Having been playing the Famicom and DS versions of Final Fantasy III together, and while the DS version sure had some improvement, I've also seen a few regressions.

While the party members seem to have grown more effective at magic and such on the DS, these last couple bosses I fought to have been given a very shitty "rebalance".
Square-Enix seems to have made them largely ignore their original attack tactics to instead have been given a huge buff in attack power.
Hein is a wizard you say? Well, then why does he spend most of the time just punching the shit out of my characters for like 75% damage. And then give him a double hit so if RNG decides he can just KO a party member in a single turn (oh yeah, of course they didn't make Phoenix Downs purchasable in this version either). Maybe ONCE did he actually do his Barrier Shift gimmick he's SUPPOSED to be doing.
That's really fair game design there, Square-Enix. Makes me kind of not feel bad for playing on an emulator with the ability to cheat the Quicksave function!
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Thirteen 1355

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2021, 08:50:14 am »
I've been very busy looking into my preferred versions of JRPGs lately. At this point, I've been playing FF1 on the PS1 and I gotta say, its difficulty isn't perfect, but it's a lot better than the GBA, PSP and Pixel Remaster difficulty. This 'new' difficulty is just too easy. PS1 also gives you the option to go with that easy mode anyway, while fixing most bugs in the SNES and looking pretty beautiful. For FF1, PS1 is my new way to go.

Final Fantasy 2 I'm playing on the PS1 version for the first time at the moment. I played the GBA and PSP versions before, as I did with FF1. I'm still not entirely sure if I would prefer the PS1 version in this case. I like how things are more expensive here compared to newer versions, but on the other hand, I might prefer the faster levelling of these newer ones. Coming at a boss and doing 0 damage with physical attacks feels kinda off.

For Final Fantasy 3, I've played the NES version with Chaos Rush' retranslation. Was nice, but I'm pretty sure I will prefer the Pixel Remaster, with some minor mods.

Regarding Final Fantasy 4, I'd go PSP if it weren't for the bugs concerning the ATB. Now I go with the Namingway Edition hack for the SFC version.

FF5? Probably GBA. The new script is rather great.

FF6, Ted Woolsey Uncensored, though trying out T-Edition (which has just gotten an English version) is tempting. Can anyone tell me if the translation is new or if it simply uses the official SNES localization?


As for Pokémon, Gen. 3 through 5 are my faves. I always play these games in the order of:
- LeafGreen
- Emerald
- Platinum
- SoulSilver
- Black/Black 2


With Dragon Quest, it's sadly a lot harder to find my definitive versions. Regarding the original trilogy, NES versions are too old but have good translation (and otherwise it has good fan translations now), SNES ones are the best looking but are Japan only (and don't have great fan translations yet. Really excited for Re-Quest hacks for these versions). I love the style of the GBC versions too but the small text boxes are a detriment to writing.

With 4, 5 and 6, it's almost obvious to go with the DS versions. However, I hate the DS with a passion. It's inaccessible and hard to emulate with its stupid dual screen and touch screen nonsense. I'd love to see new translations for the original versions of 4, 5 and 6. Maybe a translation of the PS1 version of 4?


Mana series, originals, but with new translations (fanmade for Adventure (wanting to make one myself) and Secret, official for Trials).

Still wondering about whether I want to play the original SaGa trilogy as the Wonderswan (for 1) and DS (for 2 and 3) versions, or the original GB ones.

FFTactics I played only part of, but I used the PS1 version with the FFT: Prime hack. The PSP version had its music so compressed. I just couldn't stand it.

Tactics Ogre, that's gonna be PSP.

Chrono Trigger: SNES with Chronosplit's Bugfix patch. DS version just doesn't do it for me, with the dry script.

Tales of Phantasia I want to play the PS1 version of, with AbsoluteZero's translation patch.

I think that's it?
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Chronosplit

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2021, 10:53:49 am »
Or is it simply a frankenstein version of the original game where feature creep, usually copied/ported from other game versions, are implemented into the original game? Most pokemon romhacks fall into the trap of the final one and I really disagree with anyone saying/defending that such a romhack is the definitive version.
Can't speak for everyone but I never was much of a fan of this.  Even with projects that were obviously well cared for like Emerald Enhanced, it just didn't feel right.  Even official remakes try but I always just go "nah" at the updated mechanics.

I think it's mostly Pokemon with these type of hacks because it's mostly the same game with newer stuff in the gameplay mechanics.  It wouldn't really work with many others.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 10:59:08 am by Chronosplit »

Thirteen 1355

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2021, 11:04:29 am »
When 'definitive' hacks of older Pokémon games introduce features from newer ones, these older games just begin to blend together with the new, making them all even more samey than they already are.

One day I hope to hack some of the older Pokémon games in such a way that they have completely distinct mechanics. I've been thinking about it: What if you CAN catch Trainer Pokémon, but only the last one they use, and you're unable to catch Wilds? Random encounters would be gone and the focus would be on using the Pokémon you catch from Trainers, making for many more options and possibilities, but also tense battles.
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stragusmagus

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2021, 02:26:50 pm »
Can't speak for everyone but I never was much of a fan of this.  Even with projects that were obviously well cared for like Emerald Enhanced, it just didn't feel right.  Even official remakes try but I always just go "nah" at the updated mechanics.

I think it's mostly Pokemon with these type of hacks because it's mostly the same game with newer stuff in the gameplay mechanics.  It wouldn't really work with many others.
I agree. Especially when they describe their romhack as genuine Gen-# experience. It just feels like being deceived in a way no matter how much "better" the new mechanic is.
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Rodimus Primal

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2021, 04:08:44 pm »
Can't speak for everyone but I never was much of a fan of this.  Even with projects that were obviously well cared for like Emerald Enhanced, it just didn't feel right.  Even official remakes try but I always just go "nah" at the updated mechanics.

I think it's mostly Pokemon with these type of hacks because it's mostly the same game with newer stuff in the gameplay mechanics.  It wouldn't really work with many others.

I always liked the OPTION of having added stuff as a bonus ONLY if you wanted it added. It's why Ted Woolsey Uncensored has 6 patches to choose from, and why I totally recommend your Uncensored patch for Chrono Trigger over others. Giving people the choice to make the game have what they want on top of the base game is a much better idea.

With that said, I also do not like the easier difficulty of the GBA through Pixel Remasters of the early Final Fantasy games. Sure the better graphics are nice, but it really is too easy which might be good for beginners.

FF1 - I currently have Restored, with the Peninsula of Power restored and my Font Options added on top as my go to for that game.
FF 2 and 3 - Chaos Rush's translations for me. I'm curious if 3 Pixel Remaster is well worth it though.
FF5 - I haven't done a full playthrough in a while. Last time I started the GBA script port but I had a hard time adjusting to the font and Legend of the Crystals is really good but I wish the spells used modern naming. I currently don't have a definitive answer.

Dragon Quest games are tough because, again, it all depends on what you want. The SNES ones made the NES originals more enjoyable from the grind and graphics look great. I currently have the bugfixed I and II that a user made that simply fixed the Prince Inn bug years ago. Only thing is IV never made it to the SNES. I do not like trying to play those games on the DS, real hardware or emulator. Personally, I like seeing the progression of the series. Playing the first 4 games on the NES is fine as is, and I can only hope that 3 and 4 get the Mobile script ports sometime soon.

For the Mother series, I kind of wanted the games to have the modern title screens with the stuff uncensored out of the hacks made for them, since Earthbound is the Western name for it. That said, having Earthbound Beginnings as the title for the NES game and Earthbound for Mother 2 makes the most sense to me, though MaternalBound is a great way to play Earthbound.


Thirteen 1355

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2021, 04:11:07 pm »
FF3's Pixel Remaster can be quite challenging at times. It's the only FF where I choose the pixel remaster.
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vivify93

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2021, 05:33:49 pm »
agree. i got the ps4 version on a lark because it was on sale and the font is atrocious and basically a shitty upscale of the psp font it feels like
yeah the font is disgusting in so1 and 2's psp / ps4 versions lmao. the e looks like an o with a line through it. i was hoping the "upscales" would at least, like... use a ttf or something. this is one case where i would've preferred arial. but nope, they kept the ugly ass pixel font
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Spooniest

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2021, 06:47:55 pm »
I dare say definitive is a rather subjective thing, which handily forms the basis for discussion and debate in this thread. Around here then what you said is probably going to cover the vast majority of cases -- some other places might give more credence to the original vision of the developer (such a thing not really likely to establish much of a toehold around here for obvious reasons).

Reception of the features from ports, things that might even amount to DLC in more modern games, probably goes on an enjoyment factor and impact on play or overall story. Bugfixes and extras that work within the context of the game's universe/story -- if we are doing say Final Fantasy then the rows mechanics in the earlier games were often a bit ill considered vs the later stuff so nobody would be too upset to have a version/hack to tweak something that did not allow a change outside a town, or limited to swap only (hard if one of your fighters was in the back row for some reason and a mage joined there as well).

Graphics will similarly be a fun one, mainly as a lot of places replaced art in later versions with some truly ugly stuff (see again various 3d efforts and mobile/PC ports of Final Fantasy vs wonderful 2d sprite work). To that end later might not always be better. Same for sound.

You know, the entire time you've been posting here you are seemingly a master of refusing to make your paragraphs "friendly" to read at all. You are always spot-on with your assessments, but you just ram it right into my lookin' balls, duder. I've gotta say, it's impressive to have all the onus to derive context on me. Keeps me sharp! I like your posts.
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KingMike

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2021, 12:33:59 am »
With 4, 5 and 6, it's almost obvious to go with the DS versions. However, I hate the DS with a passion. It's inaccessible and hard to emulate with its stupid dual screen and touch screen nonsense. I'd love to see new translations for the original versions of 4, 5 and 6. Maybe a translation of the PS1 version of 4?

Not quite sure I understand that.
"it's inaccessible". I guess if you mean real copies are hard to find or expensive, yes?
Emulation? No, emulation is quite easy to set up. I use Desmume (even though I suppose it's old by now) and MelonDS I guess is the new better one. I think the latter requires BIOS ROMs while other emulators can use high-level replacements (not that the DS BIOS is hard to find. Hint, MAME. That is all that is permitted to be said.)
I would assume the DQ games if they even support the touch screen are fully playable without using it?
Even then the emulation is merely a couple extra options to choose whether or not to emulate the physical spacing or to rotate the screen. Things you can very easily ignore until needed. I don't know what is "hard" about them.
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Thirteen 1355

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Re: Definitive versions of classic RPGs
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2021, 04:26:37 am »
It's just the double screen doesn't at all lend well to a PC monitor. DQ has instances of being able to see ahead of you on the top screen. For that to be used, you have to put the top screen above the bottom one, which obviously creates huge black blocks on both sides. It's not pleasant to play, that's what I mean.

Though to be fair, I didn't know about MelonDS. Worth checking out.
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