>>2936064 Every BoF game (besides one obvious one) is worth playing. Best experience for seeing how the games improved then kinda went back down in quality is to play in release order. If you just want to play the best ones then 2, 3, and 4 are the ones worth playing. 3 and 2 are arguably the best ones but some people seem to think 4 is despite it taking lots of steps back in terms of game design.
1 is basic generic JRPG but it's still fun to play and DQ, while barely feeling like a BoF game, is still a very fun title especially if you like dungeon crawlers.
BoF is a very basic JRPG minus the fusion and dragon mechanics but minus the occasional backtracking and points where you'll have to look up a guide to know what to do next, it's never tedious.
BoF II is a impressive improvement over I with character arcs and a much more developed plot but be sure to get the translation patch. The encounter rate goes from bearably to absolutely fucking shit near the end of the game.
BoF III and BoF IV are great as well but it's been a long time since I've played them so I can't really give a concise overview. BoFIV's battle system is the best in the series though.
Play the SNES and PSX versions, no ports. The GBA versions of BoF I and BoF II has new artwork/portraits and alters the battle interface to resemble BoFIV's but they're moreorless the same games.
Call me a hipster, but I enjoyed BOF1 more than the second. But they other anons are right, it's a very basic sort of rpg, but it rewards exploration in a big way. The dungeons are also very well designed, and once again, they award exploration.
BOF2 I like a lot too, but there's a few things I don't like about it. I do like the character development a lot more than 1, it adds a lot of narrative that was more or less glossed over in 1.
The dungeons are VERY simple, though, and the world map doesn't really give you too much space to explore until you get the whale. The final dungeon IS an actual dungeon, with an absolutely shit design that makes you walk in loops with a huge encounter rate. Never mind that after you make it to a certain point inside said dungeon, if you return above ground, you'll have to go through the shitty dungeon again to reach said point. The music didn't stick with me too much in 2, either, like it did in 1.
BOF2 is great, with fun characters, don't get me wrong, but I enjoyed BOF1 a lot more.
>>2939065 I say this as someone who loves the shit out of BOF2 despite its flaws... but think of how much better it would have been if the encounter rate had been toned down and the dungeon complexity had been ratcheted up.
3 has good gameplay and an interesting background, but the plot and flow is kinda boring. It has bad pacing issues, like the unicorn guys plot taking forever to finish, training the guy, and the sushi quest before getting the boat.The BoF series is certanly not an example of excellent pacing, but 3 just has the worst of it all IMO.
>>2938286 Enemies give double the experience and money they did in the SNES version. I think that's the only change from the SNES version though
>>2941817 3 is the only one I haven't played much of, but so far it seems to be moving quicker than 4. 4 is like if that quest you got to clear Bow's name in II lasted the entire game, it's terribly boring and I eventually dropped it because fucking nothing was happening outside of the Fou-Lu parts. And then there's Dragon Quarter. I'm sure you already know the issues with that one. I could never get into it just because its mechanics actively seem to discourage progression and force you to play it as safe as possible.
Magic is great for wiping out random encounters. I specced Nina so that she could spam magic to clear out random encounters, then have her as a speedy buffer and healer when I had to face a boss. It worked just fine.
I just started playing BOF3 for the first time anon and I love it. I'm playing it via epsxe on my tablet and it's really comfy and funny too. I skipped the first two and don't feel like I'm missing anything. I guess I'm about 20 hours in and no issues really. The only thing I looked up was the masters guide just because I was worried I might train the wrong character under the the wrong master. Random encounters can be a little too frequent at times but other than that, great game.
>>2936064 Oh yeah, OP, if you do decide you want to play these, BoF I and II are in the same continuity, or at least, it's implied they are. II apparently takes place a few hundred/thousand years later, and there's a certain part in it that involves a character from I (as well as a certain bonus area that has two other characters from I inexplicably just walking around).
I'd still say it's not necessary to play them in order, and all the other games are clearly alternate continuity anyway. I only ever played II as a kid and enjoyed it just fine. It's a fantastic game. Absolutely needed a better translation though. It's got the most embarrassingly bad officially localized script I've ever seen in a video game... which makes it pretty funny, admittedly.
>>2945814 1 really didn't require grinding. Outside of a few shocking boss battles (like the one in the giant), the first BoF was pretty darn easy assuming you're being reasonable and aren't spamming Marble 3's to avoid fights.
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