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Help with Tactical RPGs

lithoroselithorose Fire! Fire! Meiuuu!Full Members
edited May 2014 in General Help & Advice
So, about a year ago I picked up SMT: Devil Survivor and played 5-10 hours of it, and got stuck on a particular battle. I picked it up again this month to press forward, and the game proceeded to hand me my rear again and again on the same battle. I checked GameFAQs but the few guides to the game don't shed any light on how to win the game. My characters feel underpowered and too slow compared with the demons (it's the battle at Tokyo Tower with all the Jack Frosts and the bystanders, all nine of whom need to live, without letting a single demon escape off screen). And so I spent some time in the single practice area with different personas, but no real change in battle.

This is hardly the first time I've gotten stuck in a tactical RPG (or strategy RPG; not sure where one ends and the other begins)- to date the number of tactical/strategy RPGs I've finished is still 0. I have played significant portions of FFT and FF12:RW, with Disgaea sitting in the corner waiting for me to finish this one... I love the rest of this game, but there's nothing else for me to do except die again and again, seemingly.

So, is this par for the course for these games? Is there some approach that I should be taking towards them? I'm kind of out of the game rut these days...

Comments

  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited May 2014
    SRPGs are commonly pretty hard and without a lot of investment and retries you often won't beat them. I really like the genre too and have the same problem with not being able to finish most.
    I can recommend the Shining Force series. It does not have permadeath and allows you to grind and is very quick to access and has simple rules.
  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    edited May 2014
    It's been a long time since I've played Devil Survivor, but that game does have a few nasty difficulty spikes. I don't think you've reached the worst of them, though.

    If I recall the battle you're on, increased movement stats would help. I think a certain family of demons increases your movement range? There should be a couple techniques for reducing the enemies' movement range, as well.

    As a general rule for SMT games: the enemy will use cheap, underhanded tactics to win. You should too. Abuse elemental weaknesses, inflict status ailments. You've got a bunch of kids facing ancient cosmic evil, you've got to grab every advantage you can. When possible, pull a Rommel, and concentrate your attack in space and time. Have everybody gang up on a single enemy at once (not quite applicable for this battle, but generally a good idea).

    I recall DS not working well with a defensive approach; you just don't have the resources for a drawn out battle. Play offensively. Don't spend a turn healing your characters just so they can survive one more hit, heal them so that they can survive to *do more damage*. You're going to get some KO's, just make sure they do enough damage before they fall. Just don't play *too* offensively. The trick is finding the right balance. In this battle, I think you're going to lose a couple of turns to healing bystanders, so they can survive to run away...

    Don't keep using the same tactics if they're not working. If you're retrying the battle repeatedly, take a break every once in a while, and throw a battle away. Decide you're not going to win this attempt, break your patterns, try some stuff at random, and see if you can discover something new. Don't get too discouraged if you have to retry some of the battles a few times. DS is a bit higher on the TRPG difficulty scale, and SMT tends to demand you adopt a "don't give up" mentality.

    This probably goes without saying, but when you're not having fun, take a break. You're not going to play well when you're frustrated.
    lithorose wrote: »
    This is hardly the first time I've gotten stuck in a tactical RPG (or strategy RPG; not sure where one ends and the other begins)

    People seem to use the terms interchangeably, but I'd argue that I've never played a strategy RPG. From my understanding, tactics involves small-scale actions, highly dependent on terrain, available weapons technology, personnel, weather, etc. For example, your tactics are going to be completely different when you're using a medieval knight, a WW2 tank, or a naval battleship.

    Strategy, on the other hand, is larger-scale, and tends to follow the same patterns throughout history. Flank your enemy, disrupt their supply lines, destroy their manufacturing capability, capture their important bases. RPGs usually don't deal with this too much at a gameplay level, more at the story level. Games like Starcraft have a strong tactical aspect, but it's the strategic aspect that wins the game. (Tactics: defeat the enemy units to win the battle. Strategy: destroy the enemy's ability to make more units to win the war.) Once a game has a strong enough strategic aspect, people generally stop calling it an RPG.

    But, since language usage changes over time, and it's usually pretty clear what people mean when they say SRPG/TRPG, I think there's little point in arguing about it.
    Only the livin' have the privilege of sayin' they'll fight ta the last breath.
    And words like conviction and resolve don't mean much to a dead man...
    --Raven (Tales of Vesperia)
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited May 2014
    I'm assuming this is the DS version and not the 3DS Overlcocked? There are some new demons and skills in the latter that I may point out that you won't have access to that in the former. I'll just stick to the original version then.

    Probably the best demons for that scenario would be those of the Wilder race. They have a skill called Devil Speed which increases the movement for their unit. Have everyone with at least one Wilder so that they can all use Devil Speed and defeat the demons before they kill the civilians. The one I believe you will have available at that time are Waira, Garm and Afanc (and maybe Mothman; I'm not sure). Demons of the Snake race (Makara, Pendragon, maybe Quetzlcotl) also have Constrict, which you can use to lower the movement of enemy demons.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited May 2014
    In my country we always just say strategy RPG. "Tactic" is a very rare word here. I always see it so that strategy is the whole thing that leads you to victory. Tactic is for example that part in Heroes of Might & Magic where you can set the starting positions of your creature before a combat if you have the tactics skill. At the very least tactic only describes a small part of your strategy... consequently it doesn't really make sense to apply it to a whole game for me.

    I figured in US everybody uses TRPG rather than SRPG. So it's basically a cultural thing!
  • JormungandJormungand Member Full Members
    edited May 2014
    I've played a loooot of S/TRPGs. While it's impossible to pick one strategy which would be uniformly useful for all games in the genre, I do have a general piece of advice that works with most: spread out the experience, rather than concentrate it to certain units (i.e., don't let your most powerful characters steal all the experience, even though it's tempting).
  • lithoroselithorose Fire! Fire! Meiuuu! Full Members
    edited May 2014
    I do generally spread out the experience points- although I'm not sure in this game whether the final blow delivers more experience. I'm kind of stuck in levelling up a few of my newer Persona; they keep dying in practice before they can get any/much XP.

    And it's the DS version. This one didn't have a manual and I didn't know anything about it when I bought it, but from the sound of it I'm not missing anything big or major. I have a couple of the above-mentioned Persona; none of them have Constrict, I'll look into getting that. Does anyone know if there is a penalty in the game for spending more time in practice battles and levelling up? Atsuro and MC need a wider movement range than they have.

    And thanks for the responses, everyone.:)
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited May 2014
    There is no penalty for spending time in practice battles, unless you count decreasing returns for getting EXP. The higher in levels, the fewer EXP you'll get.

    Also, Jaki Race demons (Ogre, Ogun, Wendigo, possibly Loa, if you're characters are a high enough level) have the Racial Skill Bind. This skill is used in the field and you can reduce a team's movement to one from three spaces away.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

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