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Best Playstation RPG Games - Enix Gems (released before the merging with Square)

By Edited Sep 2, 2016 1 1

Enix was a Japanese company founded in 1975, known for producing video games, anime and manga. Enix branched into the video game market in 1983, and continued to do so by publishing most of its games by outsourcing their production to other developers. One of these games was Dragon Warrior, produced by ChunSoft[1] in 1986 and the first of the Dragon Quest series[2], which would eventually become Enix' most profitable franchise. This title is considered to be the truly first console role-playing game, creating a legacy that would become Japan's most popular and influential RPG series. 

Regarding Enix' stay on the Playstation, it was stable and ever-growing. Despite being constantly in the shadows of its long-time rival Square, which answered the Dragon Warrior super hit with its own Final Fantasy series, Enix saw the release of many games under its name for the Sony platforms during 1998-2002, before merging with Square in 2003 to form the new Square Enix. Three of these games in particular, have stood the test of time, and have become truly rare gems, coveted by RPG gamers and collectors alike. These are the games I will talk about in this article. 

Star Ocean: The Second Story

(1998)

Star Ocean: The Second Story (Gameplay)
The first Playstation RPG title that Enix published, produced by tri-Ace[3], was also the first PS release on North American territory, as well as one of the first Enix games played by western gamers. As the name implies, Star Ocean: The Second Story is the second installment of the Star Ocean series and serves as the sequel to another great game as well, Star Ocean, originally released in 1996 for the SNES[4]. The Second Story was a success in Japan and was also very well received over-seas. With a fantastic story, innovative gameplay and an immensity of things to do, this is one for the RPG gamers and story lovers.
Star Ocean: The Second Story
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Star Ocean: The Second Story is a story of fateful meetings and strong beliefs. Claude, an Ensign in the Earth Federation, is sent to investigate a distant planet. A mysterious device there transports him to another planet, where he will meet Rena, a girl who, due to the circumstances in which she found him, mistakes Claude for the "Hero of Light" as told in legends. Claude learns that this planet had been struck by a meteorite, and that ever since has been plagued with monsters and disasters. The two of them embark on an epic journey to investigate this event, and delve into the roots of something much more sinister.

The direction of the game is not much different than that of other RPGs. You take your party, go from town to town, fight monsters and gain levels. However, you can end up with different endings depending on the choices you make. The battles are action-oriented, where you have full control of your characters (which you have a multitude to choose from), and the skills you can learn are many and varied, providing an incredible array of things you can do, achieve or create to aid you in your quest.

Valkyrie Profile

(2000)

Valkyrie Profile (Gameplay)
The second legendary game produced by Tri-Ace and published by Enix on the Playstation. Valkyrie Profile is a game that earned a legendary status, becoming an elusive and much sought-after RPG game, for the fact that not many copies were launched, but the game started to garner a lot of popularity. Valkyrie profile was described by critics with words such as ambitious and complex, being praised for its beauty, incredible scenarios and addictive battle system. The story of the game is also nothing short of extraordinary, taking the player into a journey through Norse Mytholgy. 
Valkyrie Profile
Amazon Price: $220.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 2, 2016)
The complex story in Valkyrie Profile is deep and daring, being set in a huge world inspired on Norse Mytholgy. Although the game draws elements from mythology, it takes liberties with it in order to bring an intense and involving story to the player. The plot is centered around Lenneth Valkyrie, who is tasked by Odin and Freya, gods of Asgard, to recruit Einherjar for the war against the Vanir in the upcoming Ragnarok. Throughout the game, Lenneth will meet various Einherjar whose "value" she will evaluate, to determine if they can be used as heroes in the war, and please the gods. Every meeting will have a meaning, and every character has a story. Dramatic and metaphoric revelations bordering the emotional will follow.

The gameplay in Valkyrie Profile takes quite a departure from traditional role-playing gaming. The battle system is quite engaging, original and can provide for hours of fun. Enemies are visible, and the battle-screen appears when the enemy is engaged. The fighting is turn-based, but there are party turns instead of character turns, and every character in your party is assigned a button. Every character attacks differently (there are 24 in total), and depending on the order in which you press the buttons in your turn, the party attacks and resulting effects will differ.

Dragon Quest VII

(2001)

Dragon Quest VII (Gameplay)
Dragon Quest VII, the first, last and only entry of the popular Japanese series released on the Playstation. This game should have been to Enix what Final Fantasy VII was to Square. However, things didn't go according to plan, the game came out late, and almost brought ruin to the company. Upon release, its sales broke records in Japan, but were modest in the US. Contrary to Final Fantasy VII, though, Dragon Quest VII doesn't particularly stand out in graphism or plot. This entry keeps faithful to its roots, by providing a story filled with fantasy and adventure, simple and efficient gameplay, classic turn-based battle system, and one of the best job systems you will ever find on this system.
Dragon Warrior VII
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The plot kicks in when the hero and his friend find out that once there were many more continents on the world besides the island they live in. At some point, they find a way into the past where the world is filled with many and diverse continents, but facing problems threatening their own existence. As the growing party meddles with a fiendish plot to make the continents disappear, they start reappearing in the present.

The gameplay is classic Dragon Quest, and doesn't depart from the norm. There is a huge world to explore, where you go from town to dungeon, dungeon to boss, looting and leveling, while the story slowly unveils. There is however, an improved job system that allows for great character costumization and can provide the player with much fun and added incentive to keep playing through the astounding 100+ hours that this ambitious game comes with.
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Comments

May 3, 2013 8:57pm
aronnax
Played Star Ocean 2 multiple times. Great game
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Bibliography

  1. "Chunsoft." Wikipedia. 30/04/2013 <Web >
  2. "Dragon Quest." Wikipedia. 30/04/2013 <Web >
  3. "tri-Ace." Wikipedia. 30/04/2013 <Web >
  4. "Super Nintendo Entertainment System." Wikipedia. 30/04/2013 <Web >

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