Promptapalooza – What is your earliest memory related to one of your core fandoms?

This prompt was covered by Syp over at Bio Break. Since he’s the one that plugged Blaugust 2018 on the Massively OP Podcast, a case could be made that it’s his fault I’m here at all.

As a random topic, I shall choose the console RPG. It’s a genre that I still tangle with today, though in many ways the lines between genres has become much more gradient these days.

The first memory I can recall about the old-school console RPGs are small snippets of my slightly older cousins playing Final Fantasy 2 (JP4), specifically the intro sequence or cutscene and watching some combat. It’s interesting to note that I never actually played the game as a child. In fact, the first one of the series I would play is 3 (JP6), and it wasn’t exactly new at the time.

I’m not exactly clear why those games stood out, really. I wasn’t a very picky player. I spent as much if not more time playing adventure games with slightly RPG-like elements such as Zelda or Soul Blazer, or even platformers and Mario Kart, than I ever did on the strictly RPG games. I rarely finished any game, to be honest, but certainly not any of the RPGs. I think I may have finished Lufia at some point, and I adore it’s sequel to this day.

I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t at least mention Chrono Trigger.

Still, there’s something in that gameplay loop that I seem to like. Maybe it’s just an ideal combination of story, strategy, and action. I don’t really feel any current need to understand it.

Something I do find strange is that this style of RPG is largely a thing of the past. Modern tastes seem to favor the more fluid gameplay of action combat instead of the older transition/random battle with a turn-based combat system of some sort. Even the Final Fantasy franchise has moved in that direction, leaving MMOs and XCOM-like strategy games the bastion of turn-oriented RPGs. After, what is the global cooldown if not your own personal ATB gauge?

Maybe I’m just overlooking some titles, I don’t know. I actually do feel like I need to think about that one just a bit. Is it really a change in the taste of the gamer, or simply the corporate tendency to keep copying the things that work? Maybe it’s just a general trend toward multiplayer-oriented gameplay where turns are… less useful.

Y’all take care. May your heals always go off before the boss’s turn.

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