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Thread: RPG Battle Systems: My Opinion

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    Maverick Hunter Marigio300's Avatar
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    RPG Battle Systems: My Opinion

    Alright, let's get one thing out of the way before we begin: I don't play games for the story. Sure, the story is a key part of the overall game, but if I wanted a good story, I'd read a book. No, I play games for the challenge... which is why I am not a big fan of RPGs in general. In particular, I don't like RPGs because of their Battle System.
    In general, RPG Battle Systems are set up like a tabletop game: Choose an attack, and let luck decide how it plays out. Unlike tabletop games, however, you don't roll the dice for attacks, the enemy does. This can make RPGs seem downright FRUSTRATING over half of the time, and forces you to find a way to cheat the system (such as grinding for EXP). Now, not all battle systems are bad. Take FF7, for instance. In the short time I got to play it, I never felt like the game was trying to cheat me. I liked how there was a timer before you could attack, and that enemies could attack you during your turn. It made the combat feel more genuine, and made you strategies your moves before your turn came up. A better example would be the Mario & Luigi games, where you could press a button at the right time to inflict more damage. That way, the battle required constant participation from the player, and ensured that you could stand a chance against tougher opponents. I wish there were more RPGs that handled battle like this.
    Anyways, that's just my poorly-written opinion. If you think my opinion is wrong, feel free to comment about it. If you agree, let me know. Oh, and PLEASE tell me of ANY RPGs that handle battle like the Mario & Luigi games (where the player can directly effect the battle).
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    Survived the 『Hunt』, but not the Lady. Leon Scott Kennedy's Avatar
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    I don't think there's much luck involved, in most RPGs I've played, it was mostly a matter of numbers/maths: your characters' stats pitted against the enemies', those with higher values are most likely to have things turn in their favour.

    Since you're looking for battle-systems which would require your attention/input, give a try to The Legend of Dragoon (on PlayStation, it should also be available on the PlayStation Store); forgive me if my terms aren't 100% accurate, it was one of those titles completely translated in Italian (voice-acting included). In that game you are required to press "X" at the right time, in order to successfully pull off a combo, by battling and continuously using combos, you'd unlock stronger (and longer ones), here's what can happen:

    - You have unlocked and equipped a 5-hits attack for your character, failing to correctly input the command each time might cause you to execute just 2-3 of them.
    - Enemies might attempt to counter-attack mid-combo, so you'll have to press another button to defend yourself and continue it (I remember the defense being keyed to Circle).

    Crap, it would probably be a lot clearer if you just look it up on Youtube, maybe you'd like that RPG, too. It's still turn-based, there are magic spells, status effects… But at least a bit of your success rests entirely in your hands.
    Last edited by Leon Scott Kennedy; 04-28-2016 at 03:52 AM.
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    Anatomically Correct ManRay's Avatar
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    Maverick Hunter Marigio300's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon Scott Kennedy View Post
    I don't think there's much luck involved, in most RPGs I've played, it was mostly a matter of numbers/maths: your characters' stats pitted against the enemies', those with higher values are most likely to have things turn in their favour.

    Since you're looking for battle-systems which would require your attention/input, give a try to The Legend of Dragoon (on PlayStation, it should also be available on the PlayStation Store); forgive me if my terms aren't 100% accurate, it was one of those titles completely translated in Italian (voice-acting included). In that game you are required to press "X" at the right time, in order to successfully pull off a combo, by battling and continuously using combos, you'd unlock stronger (and longer ones), here's what can happen:

    - You have unlocked and equipped a 5-hits attack for your character, failing to correctly input the command each time might cause you to execute just 2-3 of them.
    - Enemies might attempt to counter-attack mid-combo, so you'll have to press another button to defend yourself and continue it (I remember the defense being keyed to Circle).
    Sounds like it'd be right up my alley. I'll have to give it a try... if I can find it on eBay.
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    I'll have to see some video footage first, but I like what I read so far.

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    jen' jari iv tave sith Darth Revan's Avatar
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    @Marigio300 : For all further conversations/topics regarding Role Playing Games, please post them in the Role Playing Games subforum and not the General Gaming Subforum. I am moving this thread to the relevant subforum.

    Regarding the topic... If you play games for the challenge and not the story, that's your choice. Speaking personally, I find the story has to be at the forefront more. But then, that's just my opinion from playing games for over 30 years.


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    Survived the 『Hunt』, but not the Lady. Leon Scott Kennedy's Avatar
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    On the story/gameplay bit I happen to agree with Marigio300, instead. Do I want to enjoy the story? I better go read a book, or watch a movie. While I have no troubles enjoying the likes of, say, a Telltale games release for the "first ride," those trashy games have me do what I would do with one of the aforementioned tasks, sitting on a couch holding an object/device for most of the time. Speaking of which, there was a time when consumers expected to "put their fingers to work on a joypad/keyboard/mouse," when they bought a game, not simply sit through cutscenes and watch the game play itself. I guess you could refer to cutscenes as feedback, something mostly meant as a reward to the player for succeeding in completing tasks of varying nature and advance.
    I think a good story may contribute to the whole experience, but even an RPG should have a functioning gameplay, at least; not many gamers are going to bother with something which is a core to play. Usually, in the mid of the game development process, the story/plot is the last bit to get fleshed out, what developers think about first, is set up the gameplay. More often than not, the story is just an afterthought to give some kind of context to a certain type of gameplay. Story could constitute added value of every game and it surely earns its place on the spotlight in certain genres, but it should not take the forefront in all of them. Most gamers buy games to play them.

    But what do I know, I've been mostly gaming RPGs, Survival Horror and Action games for 24 years, even wrote about this very subject on my degree thesis on game development and some of its inner workings.
    Last edited by Leon Scott Kennedy; 04-29-2016 at 01:58 AM. Reason: Fixed up wording here and there

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    jen' jari iv tave sith Darth Revan's Avatar
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    I can enjoy a story either in film, tv show, book or game. I buy games myself in hope of a good story... fortunately I haven't been burned often in that regard. For a immersive RPG, one of the main requirements for it, is story. Without that, even with good gameplay and sound etc etc... it won't be as good.

    While what you say Leon that "Most gamers buy games to play them", doesn't represent the entire gamerbase. I know that there are some who prefer story more. Those who tend to want games solely for a challenge etc, in my experience, only play games to complete it 100%, get rid of it and get another (mainly CoD/Battlefield). I'm oldschool... been playing games for over 30 years and I have ALWAYS preferred games with story, character development etc far more than what the 'mainstream' "gamers" get.

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    Survived the 『Hunt』, but not the Lady. Leon Scott Kennedy's Avatar
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    I'm honestly sorry if I gave the impression I was completing countering your opinion, Darth Revan. I find myself agreeing with you on some stuff, too. I wanted to add to the topic my point of view: while I studied overseas I've been told that often an engaging/pretty good gameplay will cause folks to overlook what might be a stupid plot/story, the opposite is often not-so-true. Some developers don't really put much thought into the plot at first, it's usually something which gets a more in-depth treatment in possible sequels.
    You're absolutely right when you say that luckily, not all gamers only think about the gameplay, heck, what's so awesome about video games is that they can have every element: music, graphic, storytelling, gameplay at top-notch quality level. I've been taught that what you should worry first, as a developer, is gameplay, then you build around it.
    Still, let's look for a moment at the most recent Call of Duty games (trivial note: the last one I completely enjoyed was Modern Warfare 2, mostly for its campaign, I'm more of a single player guy): anyone is entitled to his/her opinions about their Campaign Modes (f they have any), or whatever, but even the biggest hater should acknowledge that they still have a successful gameplay-formula; despite what some folks say, stuff like marketing/brand-flagship can only do so much, an example of such a failure? CAPCOM's Resident Evil 6. That likely was the entry which got the most coverage, prior to its release… One of the strongest marketing/press campaigns CAPCOM pulled off still didn't prevent that production from sucking… A lot.

    Story in an RPG is important, another thing completely correct, I too would like to get a great/compelling story, personally, but I've got to see the opposite side of your coin, if you'll allow me to refer to it as that: friends which dropped RPGs with awesome stories because the battle/grinding system(s) were too slow+unresponsive for them, similarly to what Marigio300 complained about. Have a great story, but make sure the player has fun "discovering" it and through which means he/she ends up doing that, for the most part? Advancing through battles, quests, in short: gameplay mechanics.

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    Onion Kid neofranky's Avatar
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    Well when it comes to RPGs like that My three favorite have been so far the Press Turn system from Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, Digital Devil Saga and Shin Megami Tensei IV (Apocalypse). while you don't exactly do inputs or anything you do get a lot of rewards (and penalties) for paying attention to how you're attacking and what you're doing. The one of the other are Paper Mario, which not unlike the Mario & Luigi series require inputs to perform the attacks and doing stylish just feel very damn good.
    And my last one is this one from a very obscure DS game called "Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Endless Frontier" in which attacks with beautiful 2D sprite animation play out every time you push a button and you have to link them together to make a combo and build up meter to do supers. You also later get assists to extend your combos and near the endgame enemies can flat-out end your turn if you drop the combo.

    Then again, I have no qualms with more passive turn based systems, so even these might be a little boring to you.

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    Maverick Hunter Marigio300's Avatar
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    Okay, there seems to be a lot of good cases for these games, so maybe I should share more of my thoughts on the matter. I may not be the best at following along with a story, but I do enjoy a good narrative in games, such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. I guess now that I'm a bit older and more focused, I can sit through these RPGs and actually take in the stories.
    However, I stay by my claim that a game should prioritize the game itself above the story. I feel that a lot of games try too hard to have stories as compelling as ones in books, which kind of hurts replayability in my opinion. I always memorize a story the FIRST time I go through, so there's not a whole lot of incentive for me to go BACK and play it again, which is why I like the combat system in RPGs more than the story. There, I feel like I'm actually honing my skills, and making the important choices.
    I guess that if a game DOES focus mostly on story, it would still be worth my time to check it out. I mean, I don't read a lot of books, so I might as well play through these games and read the stories that they wrote. However, in my mind, it's a game first, and a book second. If I don't have fun playing the game, I'm out.

    ---------- Post added at 01:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:23 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by neofranky View Post
    Well when it comes to RPGs like that My three favorite have been so far the Press Turn system from Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, Digital Devil Saga and Shin Megami Tensei IV (Apocalypse). while you don't exactly do inputs or anything you do get a lot of rewards (and penalties) for paying attention to how you're attacking and what you're doing. The one of the other are Paper Mario, which not unlike the Mario & Luigi series require inputs to perform the attacks and doing stylish just feel very damn good.
    And my last one is this one from a very obscure DS game called "Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Endless Frontier" in which attacks with beautiful 2D sprite animation play out every time you push a button and you have to link them together to make a combo and build up meter to do supers. You also later get assists to extend your combos and near the endgame enemies can flat-out end your turn if you drop the combo.

    Then again, I have no qualms with more passive turn based systems, so even these might be a little boring to you.
    I might check these out. In fact, I might already HAVE SMT:Nocturne in my collection! (I also have Paper Mario: TTYD in my collection.) I'll check it out with an open mind, but no promises that I'll see it through.

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