Final Fantasy, the new 3rd person story based beat'em up franchise?

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schindigg

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To put it simply:

Am I the only one who's extremely sad to see the Final Fantasy franchise "turn" completely away from turn based combat so "its more accessible for larger and more modern audience"? I get the feeling I am.

The DMC style combat is a complete "turn" off for me. The new art style/direction for FF16 looks really cool and Id love to play it but the combat pretty much 100% guarantees I'll never touch it. I tried to play the FF7 remake even though the original is one of my favorite games of all time and the new remake looks awesome in every way (besides some questionable story changes) the combat is a complete no-go for me and ruined it. Same with FF15.

So do you guys think the age of AAA turn based RPG's are over? I mean there are some turn based games out there but none are top quality AAA games, I guess Persona 5 is close to that level but it didn't strike a chord with me. It seems like people attention spans and ADD make it where that traditional style of game is too slow and antiquated "for modern gamers".

Maybe I'm just getting old (35) and like my games the way they were when I was a young lad lol.

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Efesell

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I think Final Fantasy had a pretty solid run with turn based gameplay and it’s more fun to see it experiment.

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obcdexter

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For what it's worth: I'm your age and fall into the opposite camp. I loved the Remake's combat. To a degree where I now believe it'll be the one thing keeping me excited for these games even after they'll inevitably have gone full Kingdom Hearts.

There's nothing wrong with traditional turn-based combat, but it sure is an antiquated gameplay mechanic. To be honest, I remember thinking that as a kid when I played the original FF7. But how much it really has the potential to turn people away? No idea. Could only speculate.

Prior to the FF7 Remake Square Enix' attempts to revamp the series' combat have never struck a chord with me either, I must admit. FF15 (which FF7R build upon) and 13 (which often gets lauded in that department) in particular felt off to me and I would've gladly swapped those systems with old faithful.

My adoration for FF7R's gameplay likely stemmed from an absolute willingness to engage with it from the get-go, which ultimately led to a better understanding of its intricacies early on, and thus a more rewarding experience throughout. Although I'd definitely describe it as more accessible--simply "easier" to fully wrap your head around than previous games, which also helps, of course. But some effort still has to be spent.

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BoOzak

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#4  Edited By BoOzak

I feel the same way you do but instead about Yakuza going turn based. There have been a lot of these games though and i'm glad the developers are trying something new.

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navster15

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Not for nothing but I’m eagerly anticipating DQXI to drop on Game Pass, which is as traditional a turn based RPG as you can get. And considering that it remains the biggest thing in Japanese gaming, I’d consider it AAA.

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imhungry

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#6  Edited By imhungry

Sure, I think the combat in FF13 was among the best in the franchise and I was bummed to see them pivot away from it but then again I also think the combat in FF7R is pretty good. Calling it DMC-style is doing a big disservice to both DMC and FF7R; they've made smart refinements to what was a fairly sub-par base in FF15 to produce something that has wider appeal but retains elements of the tactical decision making of the turn based games. I would love it if they went back to turn based gameplay but I count it as a positive to see a franchise that I love adapting, being creative and staying relevant to the changing industry because it means they're actively working to keep FF going strong.

As to your broader question, yeah kind of, and it's been trending that way for a while. But I guess I'd add to that by saying that there's plenty of amazing turn based RPGs still being made, just not with the massive budgets you seem to want. Those are almost certainly untenable with the rising cost of development in general coupled with the fact that the audience for those games just isn't big enough to support that budget, with some key exceptions.

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Zeik

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#7  Edited By Zeik

I absolutely prefer turn-based combat when done right, but I can't really say I care that Final Fantasy has decided to go in this direction. Probably because it's something they've been gradually moving toward for decades, so it didn't exactly come out of nowhere.

And to be brutally honest, I don't think Final Fantasy's turn-based combat was ever particularly great. Especially once they introduced active time battles, which was an obvious early attempt to make turn-based combat feel more active and action-y, but I never felt like it added anything to the combat. And with the exception of X the series has gradually moved more and more into being a real-time action game. If that's what they want to do I'd rather they just go all in and make a good real-time action battle system then try to tack a bunch of superfluous mechanics to make it kinda feel like one.

And I still get my fix for turn-based combat elsewhere. There's still plenty of JRPGs out there that do turn-based combat better than Final Fantasy ever did.

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schindigg

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@navster15: Yes I am looking forward to that as well, Iv never played a DQ game but that looks pretty cool.

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schindigg

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#9  Edited By schindigg

@zeik: What are some you would recommend?

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TheRealTurk

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I probably wouldn't mind it if it were better designed. I can get behind a good action RPG - the Tales series tends to do it well - but the way Squeenix has done it just shows they either lack the talent or desire to do it right. It's too much style, not enough substance (which has been a fair description of the series problems since at least X, and has only gotten worse over time).

XV is a perfect example. There's no actual depth to that combat - rather than needing to learn and respond to enemy attack patterns, defense is just "hold down this button." Working with your party isn't any fun because the AI is brain dead and pulling off team abilities doesn't involve skill - it's just selecting something from a menu. Rather than trying to engage the player in any way, they opt for max-anime cut-ins ("Oh, hello opening!" God I hate Prompto) and hope you'll be too distracted by all the pretty, pretty particles flying around to notice you aren't actually doing that much.

Although, if I'm being honest, crappy combat is kind of the least of FF's problems these days. The malaise is much deeper in the production process. It feels like there's a ton of creative inbreeding going on with the visual design, the last couple of games have had utterly incomprehensible stories, and a lot of what they do seems more geared towards making fancy marketing concepts that actually producing a good game.

I've said this before in other threads, but I would be very interested to see what would happen if Squeenix farmed out an entry in the series to another dev. It's a series that really, desperately needs fresh blood to come in and there are plenty of studios that do action combat far better if that's the direction they want to go in.

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bigsocrates

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#11  Edited By bigsocrates

I'm confused. Didn't Final Fantasy 7 Remake literally have a turn based mode? Am I making that up?

Everyone here is talking about the game like it was an action game but I thought it literally had a mode that made it ATB turn based and you could play the whole game that way.

I liked the hybrid action/command based default mode so I played it that way...but doesn't the turn based mode kind of solve the issue?

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ToughShed

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#12  Edited By ToughShed

I get your disappointment as a JRPG fan. However it was simply not going to stay a turn based JRPG. The fact is, the people that made Kingdom Hearts, exactly this type of game, are mostly the ones that rose up in the company and the place where the focus at Square has been.

Personally I think the combat is quite good in the FF 7 Remake.

@schindigg said:

So do you guys think the age of AAA turn based RPG's are over?

Pokemon and Persona are both doing well and have a nice look and budget, but otherwise the traditional JRPG is not AAA territory anymore.

Tactical Turn Based stuff absolutely can still be AAA, which makes it extra insane that Square continues to refuse to make an honest FFT follow up game.

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Efesell

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@bigsocrates: I think it makes it more analogous to something like XIII automating some features but not really replicating older stuff.

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blackichigo

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#14  Edited By blackichigo

I grew up playing nothing, but turn based RPGs and I'm totally fine with this game trying to step outside the box. I heard a guy who helped develop the combat in Devil May Cry is helping out, so that has me a little hopeful.

The only thing I'm even slightly disappointed in is, that doesn't look like there will be any other party members outside of the main character. Finding and playing with, new party members is part of the fun RPGs for me.

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Zeik

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@schindigg: Atlus has been carrying that torch more than anyone. From Persona to SMT to Etrian Odyssey to Radiant Historian. All good in their own ways.

The Trails series has also continues to maintain its take on turn-based combat and I've quite enjoyed the combat in the more recent ones.

Dragon Quest is still doing Dragon Quest things. DQ11 is coming to all platforms soon if you have yet to play it.

Octopath Traveler fell short in some ways, but the combat was really good.

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theonewhoplays

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I enjoyed the old system back in the day but I can't stand it nowadays. I still like the old FFs but it's in spite of the combat and the god awful random encounters. The fact that every battle against the same enemy will be identical each time kills it for me. XV had 'OK' combat but FF7R was GREAT. The XVI trailer made it look more like XV than Remake but hopefully it will be less floaty and messy.

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dooz

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I think both forms of gameplay have their place and both are enjoyable. It's nice to see Final Fantasy continue to evolve, as experimentation with the formula has always been a common theme with their game design. I don't always like particular experiments, but no one ever bats a thousand. Stagnation is death, in my eyes, and if you aren't growing then what is the point?

That being said, I do find myself going back to older JRPGs lately, as I enjoy the slower pace of those games. I find myself multi-tasking a lot, these days, and with the slower pace I can put the game down for a second and do something else for a few minutes, then pick the game back up. More action-oriented games make it more difficult to do that.

Either way, I probably won't play the new Final Fantasy for several years, as I won't be buying a new generation console, and I never pay full price for any game, so I'm not the target market of any game designer anyways.

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mikewhy

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@bigsocrates: Yeah FFVIIR's "turn based" isn't anything like traditional turn based systems. You're not making it up, it has a "Classic" mode that, when announced, was marketed as "essentially turn-based". It is not.

I'm definitely a fan of both shaking things up, and the direction things have been going. VIIR is a huge improvement over XV for me. The FF games are always tinkering with how battle systems work, so while I can see the more action-oriented system is a departure, it's still totally on-brand for them to change it up.

Going back to old RPGs, turn-based combat always takes the wind out of my sails and has me slamming the fast-forward button.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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#19  Edited By sparky_buzzsaw

I wouldn't mind a new line of more traditional Final Fantasy RPGs, with the series proper going in whatever direction they like. I don't have anything really to say about the new direction because I haven't played any FF game extensively since XIII, but... I miss old-ass Final Fantasy. I Am Setsuma wasn't quite there. Nothing has scratched that itch for me in a while.

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sombre

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It peaked at 9

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snaketelegraph

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I was skeptical but ended up liking FF7R's combat a lot! but I still love regular turn-based games more. It's been a long time coming since FF hasn't really been turn-based since 10, but it feels like a final nail in the coffin after (many) gradual moves. (Personally, not having party members would be a bigger issue for me. We can't really say so far with only one trailer but honestly if that's the case I'd be super bummed.)

The general environment for turn-based games I think escalates the feeling that fully "losing" FF with 16 is a huge blow. A lot of series are dead, and a lot of the currently running ones can be hit-or-miss depending on what you like. But honestly, there's still a fair amount of new turn-based games. World of Final Fantasy (which I don't think anyone played) yes was cutesy wootsy but the stacking combat was pretty fun. A lot of people liked Octopath, and maybe SMTV will actually be good and not just a ripoff of Nocturne, plus weird things like yeah, that Yakuza game that's turn-based. There's a lot of mid-range, handheld, and indie games out there and still coming out.

I am also very much having the, I am old and don't want FF to be full action but I'm trying my best to accept it lol. I think Persona 5, while I didn't like it much, definitely shows that slicking up a pretty basic turn-based system can still bring in the big bucks if everything goes right. I don't think the genre will ever fully die, but you might have to experiment more to find stuff you like.

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wollywoo

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I enjoy an old-school FF as much as the next guy, but turn-based battles get a little tiresome to me. I enjoy some of the boss battles, but the in-between minor encounters generally don't have much to speak of in terms of strategy. When I play RPGs on emulators, I can literally just hold down on the attack button and fast-forward my way through them. That's not very interesting. Action-based combat will always require at least a little finesse. I'd like to see a return to turn-based, but only if they can somehow make it consistently fun.

I bet, though, that a FFXVII that is old-school and turn-based, maybe even 2D and/or pixellated, could sell gangbusters.

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liquiddragon

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#23  Edited By liquiddragon

Mmm...I don’t think it’s much like DMC at all...

I’ve been keeping up fairly well w the series and I’ve enjoyed seeing the progression and evolution. How many games of FF’s size and clout changes so much from game to game? With the more recent games, i see the lineage of games like Crisis Core or Parasite Eve in the combat and I think it’s cool that fans can see how they build on past experiments.

What I want out of FF is the willingness to just go for it. Make the big epic thing that’s too expensive and could totally damage the company if it doesn’t do well. Don’t think about me and what I want as a fan. I’ve just never agreed w ppl that say “listen to the fans.” Artists and creatives should make what they want to make. I like games and FF, if it looks interesting I’m gonna play it.

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mach_go_go_go

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Final Fantasy is now a stylish action game.

Yakuza is now a turn based RPG.

2020 breaks all the rules.

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fugoy

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I highly doubt it's gonna be pure DMC style character action. It just comes off that way in a trailer because you want to show off the cool stuff instead of showing exactly how the moves were done. Looking at it I can see the parts that are most likely commands you still have to input, such as that fire combo ender.

Aside from all that I'm glad FF is evolving away from turn based. As others have shown there are plenty of games that still hold onto that formula that are fantastic and I have no problems with FF refining the way they do things. I look at it as the natural evolution of 15's combat(which I liked btw) and I'm excited to see what they do with 16 as a whole.

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theonewhoplays

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I wonder what the budget for Persona 5 was? I highly doubt a traditional JRPG with a FF budget would be financially feasable, at least if it isn't called Dragon Quest. And even most of the latest DQ games were handheld titles. And isn't the selling point of Persona games mostly the story and collecting demons/friends? As someone who stopped at P3, it was the repetetive battles and boring dungeons that turned me off it.

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Forestl

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Historically Final Fantasy has tended toward more active battle systems — see the ACTIVE Time Battle mechanic — and the series has changed up styles a lot so I'm not inherently opposed to 16's real-time combat. It really comes down to the actual combat depth. Look at FF15 and FF7R. Both are real-time, but while 15 is a sloppy mess 7R has a lot of fun tactical depth that makes almost every fight fun to do. FF16 seems to have some good talent working on combat system so I'm hopeful it will turn out well.

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fugoy

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I wonder what the budget for Persona 5 was? I highly doubt a traditional JRPG with a FF budget would be financially feasable, at least if it isn't called Dragon Quest. And even most of the latest DQ games were handheld titles. And isn't the selling point of Persona games mostly the story and collecting demons/friends? As someone who stopped at P3, it was the repetetive battles and boring dungeons that turned me off it.

5 just came off of not just being arguably one of the best jrpgs to date but also the highest selling persona game. As well as having dungeons and gameplay feel better than they ever have before. Not to mention the Trails series also reached 5 million lifetime sales. So it's still pretty feasible.

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Zeik

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@theonewhoplays: The combat is as much of a reason I enjoy Persona as the rest of it. P3's dungeons were repetitive, but I still enjoyed it because I enjoyed the combat.

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Lord_Punch

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Personally, I wish Final Fantasy would make a return to turn-based combat. I enjoy that style, and I think it can be implemented in interesting and fun ways.

But, Final Fantasy hasn't done traditional turn-based combat in their main numbered titles since Final Fantasy X, back in 2001. They've been slowly transitioning away from JRPG combat and into more action-oriented combat for almost 20 years now. FFXVI appears to be the one to finally put away any pretenses of having JRPG style elements to it.

I feel your pain. I'm only 4 years older than you. I also miss big-budget JRPG's. But I think whatever mourning period you're going through for the death of AAA turn-based RPG's should've happened a while ago. That combat has been in smaller, more niche games for a long time now.

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fugoy

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I feel your pain. I'm only 4 years older than you. I also miss big-budget JRPG's. But I think whatever mourning period you're going through for the death of AAA turn-based RPG's should've happened a while ago. That combat has been in smaller, more niche games for a long time now.

Dragon Quest 11 sold gangbusters fam. Persona 5 as well.

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IK2K3

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I just hope that there is an easy mode if it is full action game, so I can breeze through the combat encounters and enjoy the story.

I did not enjoy XVs combat, but it was easy af so I was not that annoyed by it. I enjoyed the 7R combat more than I expected since it had some resemblence of strategy and possibility. I would like to see 16 move more in the direction of 7R.

But Naoki Yoshida, one of the producers, strongly prefers action combat.

"The leak claims that the Yoshida led project will have combat inspiration from Final Fantasy 15 and Dark Souls"

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vasta_narada

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Seems like I'm in the minority in this thread that enjoyed XV's combat (also 7R's), despite its shortcomings. XV was easy and frantic, but it was fun to mess with and concoct combo strings. Both of those games tried to split the difference with turn-based and action combat, however, so as long as XVI is trying to just be an action-combat game and not concern itself with FF's turn-based legacy, I'm optimistic. I prefer action-combat in general, so the series' shift isn't a big deal to me, and like someone else mentioned in this thread, combat wasn't FF's strong suit in the turn-based days either. Even still, I still want Square to make turn-based FF games; if they're planning on main FF games being action-based going forward, then I hope there's a healthy dose of non-numbered games that have turn-based or alternate combat systems as well. Variety is the spice of life and all.

@ik2k3 said:

I just hope that there is an easy mode if it is full action game, so I can breeze through the combat encounters and enjoy the story.

I did not enjoy XVs combat, but it was easy af so I was not that annoyed by it. I enjoyed the 7R combat more than I expected since it had some resemblence of strategy and possibility. I would like to see 16 move more in the direction of 7R.

But Naoki Yoshida, one of the producers, strongly prefers action combat.

"The leak claims that the Yoshida led project will have combat inspiration from Final Fantasy 15 and Dark Souls"

Where are you getting that Yoshida prefers action-combat?

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IK2K3

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@vasta_narada: I can't cite specific sources, I watched countless interviews with him in the last ~6 years since I am playing FF14. I think he eludes to it in the documentaries done by Noclip on the rebuild of FF14 and the Fall and Rise series (SpeakersNetwork, Youtube).

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Dragon_Puncher

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If you count everything there must be more than 20 Final Fantasy games with turn based combat at this point. I feel like they have every right to experiment. There isn’t that much more to do down that path compared to trying something different.

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IK2K3

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If you count everything there must be more than 20 Final Fantasy games with turn based combat at this point. I feel like they have every right to experiment. There isn’t that much more to do down that path compared to trying something different.

I agree to a point, if CoD would go over to a full RTS or XCOM like in the next 5 years ppl would say it's not CoD anymore. And with CoD we have like 20 military FPS shooters, whereas high budget JRPGs with traditional combat are very rare these days.

I liked the experiments FF did with the recent titles, but going over to a full on action based (if the rumors are true a Dark Souls style) system is disappointing to me.

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Justin258

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As far as fully 3D turn based JRPGs? Dragon Quest and Persona are the only significant ones I can think of.

But you could always look into Western turn based games, of which there are plenty. Baldur's Gate 3 seems to have a hell of a lot going for it and it is turn based. There's no shortage of other turn based ges available right now either.

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Humanity

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The combat in the trailer looked A LOT like the combat in FF XV which was awkward but had potential if they built it out. I recently played it and honestly after some 50 or whatever hours it took to finish that game I never REALLY understood how it worked? I understood the basics but combos etc were weird and after watching a few YouTube videos showing some of the hidden mechanics I honestly just decided it's not worth it.

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doctordonkey

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As far as I know, FF XVI's combat lead director is Ryota Suzuki, which means it will likely play similarly to DMC5. Which is great, because DMC5 is the absolute peak of character action gameplay. FF7R has the whole ATB style of combat covered, and going back to turn-based would be a mistake, so I could see the mainline FF's playing like DMC being a staple of the future.

I don't think we need turn based Final Fantasy ever again. It has long been eclipsed by games like Persona 5, DQ11 and Trails of Cold Steel. I've played all the turn-based FF's, and I don't think those systems were ever anything to write home about. If you told me every Final Fantasy game going forward for the next 15 years was going to utilize and iterate on FF7R's combat system, I'd be more than happy with that.

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soimadeanaccount

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#41  Edited By soimadeanaccount

It is less that I don't think they should try something new, but more I don't have faith in them getting it to work nicely.

I have not played FF7R being primarily a PC gamer now a days, I just have to hang tight until the time comes.

I probably like FF13 way more than most people, but I find the combat to devolve into absolute shit fest towards the end of the game, and ruin something that have great potential. I find the combat to be way better in the beginning when options were small enough that fits within the available interface.

FF15's combat is ok enough, but plague by slightly weird control, targeting, and camera issues. Along with fumbling around weapon switching between menu and in game.

Maybe they finally starts to iterate and FF7R actually worked out the issues, again I haven't played it so can't say.

If they are doing something new for FF16, I can almost see them giving enough thought about it cross the two genre not unlike FF15. But at the same time I can also absolutely see the system getting tangle up by some weird issues that cause the whole thing to collapse.

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cikame

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I've never really enjoyed turn based combat, i think the most successful version for me was in Eternal Sonata, that had a Super Mario RPG element of interaction to it which i enjoyed.

I'm kind of the wrong person to talk to about FF though, my favourite was 13, even then i never fully gelled with the combat but i really liked its animations and camera angles, it was just cool to watch. I haven't played 15 yet but i intend to, from what i played in the demo the combat seems "ok", maybe lacking in impact, if FF7R comes out on PC i might get around to it.

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Kingloo

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Final Fantasy hasn't been turn-based in 20 years.

Not 15, not 14, not 13 (not really), not 12 and not 11.

Not since 10, from 2001.

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clagnaught

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The Final Fantasy VII Remake is one of my favorite playing RPGs. Also, FFVIIR has a built in mode similar to how the original played (I can't remember what it's called).

In terms of turn based stuff, I think that is largely in the past. The exception for me is Persona, but there's more stuff going on to keep it engaging. Games like FFVII and FFVI feel like relics to me. FFX is probably my favorite one of those since it stops time.

I had other issues and life stuff that made me drop off of FFXV at the time, but I really dig what they did with the Final Fantasy VII Remake. It feels like they learned a lot of stuff over the various FFXIII games and the development hell that was FFXV. I'm personally pretty excited for FFXVI and the next FFVII, and a big reason is because of how they play.

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jacksukeru

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I do think the action direction is affecting one of the main draws of the series and genre to me. Y'see one of the things I enjoy the most about RPGs is when it has a bunch of characters that not only feel distinct in terms of design and personality, but also the part they play in combat. 15s action forced them to focus your play on a single character, and any interactions you had with the rest of your team felt pretty weak as a result (It didn't help that, that combat also just felt like it lacked a lot of depth).

Now FF7R's combat I actually liked a lot, because it had this important part for me, where you felt like you had a team of characters that were strongly distinct from one another and you were able to control them all even in a faster-paced action gamestyle. It was really the best fusion of a modern take on old FF flavor that a fairweather fan like me could imagine.

Seeing FF16 I am interested, and it seems like they're committed to making it a better action game than 15, but also I'm worried it'll have the same issue as 15 if you're just playing one or two dudes throughout the whole thing. I'll likely give it a shot either way, I'm more into action games anyway, but I'd definitely mourn that party aspect of the series if it isn't there.

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fugoy

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15s action forced them to focus your play on a single character, and any interactions you had with the rest of your team felt pretty weak as a result (It didn't help that, that combat also just felt like it lacked a lot of depth).

Good news is that in the Royal edition you can play as the other party members and they are vastly different to the MC.

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jacksukeru

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@fugoy: Huh, I didn't know they did that outside of the DLC, of which I only played the first 2. Is it any better than it was there? I remember not being super into it, but I always wanted to main Prompto, heh.

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fugoy

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@fugoy: Huh, I didn't know they did that outside of the DLC, of which I only played the first 2. Is it any better than it was there? I remember not being super into it, but I always wanted to main Prompto, heh.

As someone who liked base XV it's a pretty great edition.

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DaviKaze

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Besides P5R this year we're also getting Yakuza Like a Dragon and the 9th entry in the Trails series (which is prolly the best thing turn based jrpg's have had going on in, uh, forever.) We've got SMT5 coming up too. And Dragon Quest is still doing Dragon Quest stuff.

I know those aren't all the highest profile titles, but the genre is far from dead. You just have to look beyond FF. And to be fair FF has kinda been about reinventing the wheel ever since FFX.