Party Chat: Favorite RPG Sequel (Or Second In Series)
In this Party Chat, the team decided to discuss some of their favorite RPG sequels (or second in a series) in celebration of 2-22-2022!
I don’t think I could say it enough, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is my all-time favorite RPG. While the Nintendo Switch version may not be the ideal way to play, it is by no means a bad port. Larian Studios have done an amazing job at adapting this CRPG-style strategy RPG to a controller. And don’t let the name fool you – it may be the second game in the series, but it’s not a requirement to play the first one at all.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 uses an action point system for movement, using items, skills, and spells. You can also create many environmental effects that can manipulate the battlefield. For example, an oil slick can be cast onto the field to create not only a slippery surface that can affect both sides of the battlefield, but also something that can be set on fire. But wait, there’s more! Douse that wall of flames with water and now you have a steam cloud that obscures vision. Finally, if there’s any water left over, let your mage cast an ice spell that will cause everyone to fall on their behinds.
You can see where I’m going with this – there are tons of different ways to get through battles. If you’re at all into tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons, this may be the closest you’ll get on the Nintendo Switch. There are so many ways to build a character that it feels endless, but don’t worry, you can respec any time using the magic mirror. I could just go on forever. Do yourselves a favor and check out some gameplay – it’s well worth it!
When I got the original Dragon Quest Builders, I sank an entire day into it and could not put it down. The sequel has more than destroyed my playtime record from that game, and I could not be happier that it made its way to Switch. After revamping the combat and adding more customization options than ever, we also get an entire island upon which we can build and shape into our own little paradise.
The story explores an alternate view of the original Dragon Quest 2, and the player gets to venture with Malroth in human form, teaching him what it is to be human and experience hard work, accomplishment, friendship, and love. The game takes you to several iconic settings from the original, where you can work to try and restore the world as a Builder. It’s my ABSOLUTE favorite game on the Nintendo Switch and will scratch both the RPG and Minecraft itch at the same time. EFFICIENCY-HO!!!
So in the states, Final Fantasy II is on the SNES so I’ll go with that one. Technically in Japan at the time of release it was known as IV and didn’t get renumbered in the States until much later. As a kid it was Final Fantasy II to me. Hopefully, we get it plus all the other pixel remasters on the Switch at some point.
Grandia II for me. The lighthearted adventure of Grandia was set to give way to a much darker adventure. I was fresh off of my first play through of FFIX , convinced that I’d be going into Grandia II with unrealistic expectations. I did, but that arena-style, location-based combat was fresh. Each character had layers of development and the story was moving. This game darn near met those unrealistic expectations. I definitely recommend downloading the Grandia HD Collection from Gung Ho. Both games in the collection would be in my JRPG Hall of Fame.
Tough call! I suppose an easy answer would be to go back to the classic, with Dragon Quest II being a big upgrade to the original Dragon Quest, even with all its wrinkles. Having an expanded party list, stronger story elements, and a true open-world segment all foreshadow larger innovations to come in later generations.
But if we want to talk about my FAVORITE sequel, I’m going to have to go with Bravely Second.
I adored Bravely Default (as I do most Team Asano games), but Bravely Second was definitely a step up from the original. All the rough edges from the first game were smoothed over. The available jobs felt more balanced. Abilities felt more useful. Grinding became more streamlined. And the cast of characters remained as endearing as ever. The villains in particular were much improved. The first game relied on some multiversal shenanigans to convey depth, while Bravely Second managed to bring that depth up front and center from the start. All these improvements were piled onto Bravely Default’s strong foundation to deliver one of my favorite RPG experiences of the last decade.
For my own pick(s), I’ll first piggyback off the Final Fantasy II SNES US loophole that Rich mentioned. While I’m a bit bias considering it is one of, if not my most favorite RPG of all time, it’s also just such a large step up narratively and visually compared to the three games before it, especially for those of us that went from the Final Fantasy I NES straight to Final Fantasy II SNES. “Spoony bard” will forever be one of the greatest lines ever said in any game.
For a more rule-appropriate pick, I’d go with Final Fantasy Legend II. For me, it’s leaps and bounds above Final Fantasy Legend in almost every respect. It is somehow more approachable (by SaGa standards) than its predecessor while adding on more depth and a better fleshed out story. A close second would maybe be Atelier Ryza 2, which doubles down on the modern, refined Atelier formula introduced in the previous game, and more or less comes out better for it. The jury is still out as to whether Sophie 2 could also be a contender, but I certainly know that Atelier Firis – Sophie’s original sequel – would only be in the running for its ambitious open-world approach (but not be competitive otherwise).
I am sticking with Final Fantasy II SNES US as just like Ben, it’s one of my all-time favorite games. I poured so many hours of my childhood into it! It wasn’t explained to me until later on that it wasn’t the true Final Fantasy II, so during elementary school that is all we knew it as. The story, characters, and world were just so amazing and it was like nothing we had seen before coming from the NES.
And there you have it, folks! What are some of your favorites sequels (or second-in-series) in the RPG scene?