Having finally beaten “Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door” not long ago and after finishing “Earthbound” last night (seriously, what a gem of a game), my thoughts have turned to the next game I’m aiming to play, “Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam.” Of course, I’m partially into that one for the Paper Mario aesthetics, but I also wanna give the Mario & Luigi series another shot. I only ever tried “Partners in Time”, but back then I was less tolerant of grinding and thus was severely underleveled for most of the boss fights. I’ve learned my lesson since then and have gotten my fiance into that series in the meantime, but this may be my chance to jump back into it as well.
I don’t think I’ve ever played two RPGs back to back, let alone three as I have within the past couple months. This got me thinking about how I’ve mostly ignored the genre as a whole. Aside from the Pokemon series, the first “Paper Mario” and dabbling in “Final Fantasy VII” one time, I never played many of them as a kid or into my teenage years. I always found grinding way too tedious and those with turn-based combat a bit slow (ironic, seeing as I now consider those my fave type of RPG). But this year, I feel like it’s time I gave more of them a chance.
Of course, the three games I’ve mentioned ended up on my to-do list, but I’ve been looking into others as well. I’ve decided I’m going to finally tackle “Super Mario RPG”, a game I’ve contemplated playing ever since I got the hang of the Paper Mario games and saw a Let’s Play of it as well. It’s known for being an amazing game, so I figure since I enjoyed the RPGs that came after it (yes, despite my lack of grinding and not completing it, I did like “Partners in Time”), why not go to the one that basically started them all? On top of that, since I REALLY enjoyed “Earthbound,” I’m definitely going to try the English-translated version of “Mother 3”. I may add more classic RPGs to the list, but I’m not planning to spend all of 2016 playing nothing but RPGs either.
As for newer games, aside from “Paper Jam”, I’m re-thinking my decision to ignore the upcoming “Fire Emblem Fates” games. I’m sure hardcore FE fans will diss me for this, but being new to the strategy genre, I played through “FE: Awakening” on Casual/Normal mode. I wasn’t very good at the good in some areas, but my main takeaway was that I had a lot of fun without the pressures of perma-death or Hard mode getting in the way. I may revisit that game some day to try both, but going back to “FE Fates”, I’m now thinking of picking up the Birthright edition. I do like some of the character designs of the Nohr edition (still undecided about getting the third DLC edition), but with it being more for FE veterans plus apparently having a few more defense missions (which I despise in any game), Birthright is looking more up my alley. It helps that Birthright is being considered on par if not slightly harder than Awakening was, though I’ll probably still play through it on Casual to get a feel for everything first.
I’ve still got plenty of non-RPG games to enjoy, but I’m taking advantage of this newfound urge to play RPGs while I can. Like I said, I’m not going to play them all year round, mainly because I know I’d reach burnout on them eventually. However, I figure as long as I stick to a few series I’ve enjoyed first, that may pave the way for me to keep exploring the genre from here on out. After all, the only way to know if you’ll like something is to give it a try.