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.