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DON'T PLAY: Cyber Knight 2 (JRPG, SNES)

Do you play any retro JRPGs?

  • Yes, but only rarely

    Votes: 8 28.6%
  • Yes, in moderation

    Votes: 14 50.0%
  • I play them every day

    Votes: 2 7.1%
  • No, only modern JRPGs for me

    Votes: 1 3.6%
  • I don't play JRPGs at all

    Votes: 3 10.7%

  • Total voters
    28
  • Poll closed .

That fucking final boss fight, man. So I have been trying to beat the final boss fight in Cyber Knight 2 today, and even after consulting a guide and watching a video walkthrough of the fight to trigger the next part, for whatever sinister reason, the game doesn't want me to actually move on to the last phase of the fight. The boss in question has three forms, and the first two are easy enough to deal with. However, there's a trick with the third form to not actually attack it, but position one of your party members near a mural and have the boss at a certain spot on the battlefield so that when you're facing the mural and select an action to use on the boss, it triggers a scene and the actual final boss form comes out.

Despite doing what a guide suggested (equip all members with any gun type, don't actually attack the final boss fight) and trying to reproduce what a walkthrough had (using the exact same modules, same party members, and generally same strategy), I've had zero luck in actually progressing the fight to the actual last phase and I'll be honest, it's poor game design and highlights the problems with the game's battle system. Which, FWIW aren't issues up to the final boss fight, but boy does it exacerbate the issues. Namely, you cannot share inventory items with party members (did I forget to say this is a JRPG?) and you can't equip healing items, either. Fights up to this point are either generally easy or have challenge but are short enough to not cause too much a fuss if you lose a party member, since as long as they aren't the commander you can treat party members and repair their modules outside of battle.

The fact the final boss fight in this game just haphazardly throws a wonky puzzle element into the mix, one that involves the environment no less, when any similar things in previous boss fights either had multiple options the player can choose or felt like they naturally built upon the playability of the battle system as it is, just screws the whole thing up, and I've found myself restarting it multiple times (probably 2+ hours at this point) despite having the first two phases down pat (since they aren't particularly hard to do). The tips suggested between the guide and video walkthroughs don't even agree with each other in terms of if I need to do specific attacks on the earlier forms or not. Overall it is just a very shallow and clunky way to add challenge to a final encounter in a JRPG.




I would not recommend this game for other additional reasons, too. For one, the majority of the dungeons aren't even really dungeons, as they have no design narrative to them. The complexity of most of them amounts to nothing more than a jumbling of corridors with many dead ends as you try finding the correct path. Less than a handful of the dungeons in the game have any real meat to them and the most impressive of the bunch isn't until the final one at the end which, sadly, is let down by the aforementioned poorly designed final boss fight. Towns don't have many explorable buildings other than ones you have to go into anyway if it facilitates as a dungeon or to move the plot forward, and you won't be doing much exploring to find items outside of battles since there are no shops in the traditional sense, or explorable homes with chests (or more befitting this game, space crates) to get loot from.

Nothing really stands out with the visuals or the music, and the characters are serviceable at most, most of them fitting neatly into genre archetypes and tropes that are nary deviated from. There are some interesting elements in the plot itself, but not enough to make the story stand out from better offerings on the SNES, especially if we're talking English-patched JRPGs. In fact, while Lodoss-Tou Senki is another somewhat budget-tier JRPG release, at least it has the Record of Lodoss War IP going for it, a more interesting batch of characters, dungeons that actually feel more like dungeons, genre conveniences/staples that should always be present (like sharing of equipped items among party members), and a final boss fight that is not only more challenging than this game's, but more fun and provides a challenge that doesn't involve sloppy puzzle gimmicks, not to mention feeling satisfying to play through.

Sci-fi mecha-themed JRPGs in the 16-bit era were rare, obviously rarer than even sci-fi themed ones, but overall I don't think I can recommend people feeling nostalgic to play Cyber Knight 2, and I say that as someone who's practically done with the game minus that BS final boss fight. Getting upgradable parts from certain enemies is nice, as are some features of the ship your party travels in (i.e a training facility to hone battle skills & strategies, a lab for researching scrap from enemies to be applied to your party's mechs as upgrades, getting EXP from completion of missions in addition to the regular EXP gain from defeating enemies in battles, having active and backup troop groups, etc.). I'd also say if you're looking for a sci-fi JRPG throwback that's of the generally easier variety (outside of some difficulty spikes late into the game and the somewhat higher-than-normal (relative to most of the rest of the game) starting difficulty due to being very low-leveled and unable to escape a lot of early battles), this game might be to your liking. It's not particularly long (20-25 hours more or less for a full playthrough), either, and there's enough excitement in the plot to keep you engaged...


That all said, there are plenty of other 16-bit sci-fi themed JRPGs of overall better quality you can sink that free time into. I picked up this one to play since I wanted a palette cleanser after beating Lodoss-Tou Senki, but I think I'll be looking to a more high fantasy-driven JRPG for my next playthrough (whether it's a 4th-gen or 5th-gen, or 6th-gen game I dunno yet). If you're aware of the faults I mentioned above and still interested in playing Cyber Knight 2, I should advise you that it's technically a sequel (part of the title might give that away). However, you needn't play the first game to understand anything in this sequel, and whatever connections the story in the sequel makes to the first are concise enough to not require digging further back.

I'd like to start posting more in-depth reviews here for these games after playing them, but if any of that type were to come first it'd be Lodoss-Tou Senki. While it's technically not a JRPG, I'm pretty much in the last leg of Moon: RPG Remix, though that game has its own issues that've made me put it aside for a bit. Could probably also do something for Tomba! having played through that again a little while back (and looking towards playing Tomba! 2 again in the near future). But yeah, this was very impromptu, I HAD to vent about this game after dealing with the final boss BS for the past couple hours :pie_roffles: .
 

cireza

Member
Thanks, great read.

Here is my random recommendation :
You could give a try to Lord Monarch on MegaDrive. It was recently translated, and I had a lot of fun playing it. Very refreshing game, as it is a S-RPG with pretty unique ideas. Not overly complicated, but definitely a challenge.

I own the Lodoss game on Mega-CD. Played quite a bit, but had to stop. It is in Japanese, of course. I might give it another try one of these days. It was decent so far, nothing special.
 
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kunonabi

Member
I had a similar problem with SaGa Frontier 2. The last boss just wouldn't die. He has a max health value that can be lowered by destroying some mini bosses in the dungeon. I killed a couple of those and yet even after doing 2 million damage over his highest potential max HP value he was still alive. Had to use a gameshark and spend an entire evening chipping away at him to finally kill the bastard.
 
Thanks, great read.

Here is my random recommendation :
You could give a try to Lord Monarch on MegaDrive. It was recently translated, and I had a lot of fun playing it. Very refreshing game, as it is a S-RPG with pretty unique ideas. Not overly complicated, but definitely a challenge.

I own the Lodoss game on Mega-CD. Played quite a bit, but had to stop. It is in Japanese, of course. I might give it another try one of these days. It was decent so far, nothing special.

I have been wanting to play the Mega CD Lodoss game so badly but yeah, it's only Japanese. I could use Google Translate on my phone while playing I suppose, but that seems it would grow tiring quickly in text-heavy games which JRPGs tend to be. Curious how it compares/contrasts with the Super Famicom Lodoss game.

I'll give Lord Monarch a try; MegaDrive may not have as many JRPGs/SRPGs etc. as SNES/SFC but many of the few it does have are pretty great. One thing Cyber Knight 2 did remind me of was an earlier MegaDrive game visually speaking.

I remember the translation came out by AG or was that for the original one? Anyway it was interesting for a while but eventually I got bored of it. Thanks for the write up.

The sequel was translated somewhat recently (maybe over the past six months) and looked interesting from the art and a brief write-up I read, plus it was a break from high fantasy JRPGs and obscure so decided to play. So weird because up until the final boss while I can't say I was blown away by the game, it was at least enjoyable. I enjoyed a lot of things about it but there are some baffling design choices versus what you'd expect of the genre, even for the time.

I had a similar problem with SaGa Frontier 2. The last boss just wouldn't die. He has a max health value that can be lowered by destroying some mini bosses in the dungeon. I killed a couple of those and yet even after doing 2 million damage over his highest potential max HP value he was still alive. Had to use a gameshark and spend an entire evening chipping away at him to finally kill the bastard.

Ouch! One thing I kinda hate about JRPGs, especially older ones, is the need to grind for EXP even aside doing what's generally expected of you. It's not as big a pain if the battle system is fun or interesting, but still annoying. I'd rather deal with that SaGA Frontier 2 final boss over Cyber Knight 2's one though if it doesn't have some irritating puzzle-like gimmick in it.

Though, now with some cooldown, I'll at least try this final boss a couple more times (maybe I should've titled this Maybe Play? instead). Try things a bit differently. Really hate leaving a game unfinished when there's just one last thing to do, so I'm sure I'll eventually figure out what to do to activate the final form. Meantime tho, yeah I'm definitely swinging over to something else, just not 100% sure yet what it'll be JRPG-wise. Will probably at least try cireza cireza 's suggestion tho especially if it supports retro achievements.

We appreciate your sacrifices.

Thankfully the BS didn't really start until the final boss fight. If that were way earlier I'd of noped out sooner.
 

SpiceRacz

Member
That's a bummer. I got interested in the game because you (I think) mentioned it in another thread. Might still pick it up and mess around with it a bit.
 
That's a bummer. I got interested in the game because you (I think) mentioned it in another thread. Might still pick it up and mess around with it a bit.
Hmm, don't recall mentioning this game before, that might've been Moon: RPG Remix?

TBF, I wouldn't say Cyber Knight 2 is "terrible"; it's functionally playable and has some good ideas. There're times where you need to explore as your human characters instead of in your modules for example, and the main ship you're in serves a lot of useful functions as a hub. Plus, again, overall if you're looking for an easier sci-fi themed JRPG throwback to play, this one fits the bill more or less.

But you'd have to get used to genre staples not being there, like not being able to share inventory items during battle, not being able to access health/module repair items in battle (outside of some isolated battles tho this isn't a concern since you're either very nearby your ship and can restore health/repair modules that way, or the battles themselves can be beaten without too much damage and you just do health/module repair afterwards, or the fact you can escape 90% of battles once you hit the second half of Act 2 and onwards with little issue), etc.

The story's not going to compete with any of the greats in the genre but it's at least entertaining and hits a decent number of sci-fi tropes. It's at least worth playing through Act 1 to see if there's enough to the story and gameplay to keep you going for the following four Acts but again it's not like you're missing out a ton if you skip it.
 

SpiceRacz

Member
Hmm, don't recall mentioning this game before, that might've been Moon: RPG Remix?

TBF, I wouldn't say Cyber Knight 2 is "terrible"; it's functionally playable and has some good ideas. There're times where you need to explore as your human characters instead of in your modules for example, and the main ship you're in serves a lot of useful functions as a hub. Plus, again, overall if you're looking for an easier sci-fi themed JRPG throwback to play, this one fits the bill more or less.

But you'd have to get used to genre staples not being there, like not being able to share inventory items during battle, not being able to access health/module repair items in battle (outside of some isolated battles tho this isn't a concern since you're either very nearby your ship and can restore health/repair modules that way, or the battles themselves can be beaten without too much damage and you just do health/module repair afterwards, or the fact you can escape 90% of battles once you hit the second half of Act 2 and onwards with little issue), etc.

The story's not going to compete with any of the greats in the genre but it's at least entertaining and hits a decent number of sci-fi tropes. It's at least worth playing through Act 1 to see if there's enough to the story and gameplay to keep you going for the following four Acts but again it's not like you're missing out a ton if you skip it.

You mentioned it in the thread for Racing Lagoon. Another RPG I need to try out now that it's translated.
 
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