You'll forgive me if this isn't exactly news; as most of you know, my favorite game of all time is Final Fantasy Tactics , so when an article shows up called, "Why The World Needs More Final Fantasy Tactics," I'm likely to pay attention.

But as you can see by reading the piece in question , it's not necessarily about FFT, but about the lack (or outright death) of strategy/RPGs. These are games that feature a turn-based mechanic and a "playing board" of sorts; we saw this in titles like Tactics Ogre , Front Mission 3 , Koudelka , and most recently, the renowned Disgaea . These days, they're few and far between and basically non-existent on home consoles, although one could find a few on handhelds. I won't repeat what is said in that article, as it'd be simply relaying the thoughts of the that particular author, but I'll add the following-

While technology allows us to make most anything real-time while preserving depth and enhancing immersion, there's a reason why I keep coming back to FFT (and I swear, it does go beyond nostalgia). Thing is, there were many of us who wanted to play video games for the story, the characters, the depth, and the micromanagement and planning. We were never into the arcade scene and for the most part, we didn't like games that only required reactions and reflexes. I had all the time in the world to plan the exact correct approach, both in and out of battle, and at the same time, I had a fantastic story. I also had a perfectly balanced character development system (Jobs) and if I made a mistake, it was due to my poor execution (or wee bit of bad luck); it was never because I couldn't react fast enough.

These days, even the RPGs don't feel much like RPGs because of the constant inclusion of some real-time element that always limits how long or how seriously one can consider the situation. I have yet to see a viable, rational argument that says a real-time RPG is deeper – or even as deep – as a turn-based RPG could be. In fact, there's a reason so many RPG fans have never felt more involved than when playing a turn-based game. The new generation(s) of gamers simply won't allow for the return of this mechanic, and with Japanese developers insisting on a new Western approach for just about everything ( Devil May Cry and Yakuza: Of The End are only a few examples), I have accepted the grim truth. And I'm afraid this call for "more FFT" will invariably fall on deaf ears.

But at least it's good to see I'm not the only one.

Subscribe
Notify of
76 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
TheIllusiveMan
TheIllusiveMan
12 years ago

I was actually just thinking about this. I think that there needs to be a really good, story driven, classic turn based style RPG. I don't remember the last good game like that, that I've played. I just went through FF8 again, and that game is far better than any "RPG" of today.

Don't get me wrong, I love games like Oblivion, Fallout 3, Dragon Age: Origins, and even some other modern RPGs, but why hasn't there been a good classic style RPG on the PS3? That's what made me fall in love with RPGs in the first place. The strategy. My first real RPG I actually played was FF7, so my standards started really high. Although, that's kinda irrelevant, I want to feel immersed in a game, like I did back in those days.

EDIT: One of the last strategy based RPGs I played was LOTR: Tactics for PSP. I loved that game. Since then, I don't think I've actually played another strategy RPG.


Last edited by TheIllusiveMan on 9/29/2010 1:13:55 PM

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
12 years ago

I couldn't agree more with this. I want a game where I can defeat my enemies with wit and a well thought out strategy. FFXIII is just too fast, I have little to know control over my characters, and most of the time I find my self just pressing the X button over and over.
Sooner or later some developer has to capitalize on our fan base and give us the AAA RPG we miss so dearly.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
12 years ago

Agree 100%

Personally though I prefer the original straight up turn based rpgs to strategy rpgs. I know strat rpgs have more depth and all but I don't find them as fun. I can't connect with the inidividual characters. Most times you have to control 5+ characters which just makes it feel like you're commanding troops and such. I love turn based because you only control a group of 3 or 4 identifiable characters and you control them individually all the time. In Srpgs it's like you have one whole big turn to move your pieces (I think that's what I dislike most). Feels like you're using a bunch of troops instead of individual characters. That's MY take on it though, doesn't mean Srpgs aren't downright awesome and fun. I've played some really fun Srpgs like Valkyria Chronicles and Fire Emblem so I still enjoy them. But overall I prefer plain old rpgs.

In any event we just need rpgs companies to actually start making current gen rpgs. When was the last "real" rpg, FFXIII? And nothing since or even planned in the future?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

I take much issue with XIII being a "real" RPG. I'd say it had RPG elements.

Alienange
Alienange
12 years ago

Oh man, I loved the handheld Fire Emblems. That stuff was crack. But you're right, they don't replace a normal turn based rpg.

BTNwarrior
BTNwarrior
12 years ago

Well valkyria chronicals was a really good turn based rpg and so was record of agarest war. But apart from those the best way to get some great turn based rpgs is to visit the ps1 classics section of the psn. I would love to get some new titles but if they wanted to revitalise the market they are going to have to make some new titles that have modern graphics.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
12 years ago

Agree! Agarest War is really well done. Can't wait for the sequel.

Kevadu
Kevadu
12 years ago

Jean d'Arc on the PSP is a very good and very overlooked game in this category. You can get it for cheap off the PSN, too.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

I don't even consider VC to be a true turn-based strat/RPG, even though it is indeed turn-based.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

I love VC, but it feels a bit different since you take control of your soldiers on the field instead of issuing the commands. Feels kind of hybrid.

Kevadu
Kevadu
12 years ago

The one thing VC is really missing is the ability to look around in the 3D mode at your leisure without activating a unit. I certainly wouldn't expect doing that to reveal enemy units that haven't been spotted or anything, but the map view just doesn't give you a good feel for what the terrain is like, etc. And when you do activate a unit you have to worry aobut interception fire and can't always take the time to look around planning your strategy.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
12 years ago

@Kevadu,
Scouts

Gordo
Gordo
12 years ago

Yep, I put 75 hours into Jeanne D'Arc on the PSP. Loved that game.

Takes me back to Laser Squad on my Spectrum 48K and which you can now pick up on the net for the PC.

Wonderful turn based game which came alive with two players. 6 assassins with guns, grenades and rocket launchers, and one target in a house with guard droids.
Hours of fun to be had!

Ergi
Ergi
12 years ago

It really is sad, and the worse thing is I don't see any light whatsoever at the end of this tunnel.

I have recently started playing FFT because it's your favorite Ben, and it's plenty great. It gives me quite a different feel when compared to the traditional Final Fantasy style, but it really is great. I'm finally forced to think again in a game and not just aim and shoot, or in the case of FF13 just shoot.

I had a friend over who loves Call of Duty and likes FF13 because it's fast–> Double Facepalm.

Here's to the good old days.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

Awesome. If you ever have any questions… 😉

Ergi
Ergi
12 years ago

Cool, thanks….

Nlayer
Nlayer
12 years ago

"Thing is, there were many of us who wanted to play video games for the story, the characters, the depth, and the micromanagement and planning."

Amen!

I never buy a video game if it doesn't have a good story. I don't care how good it is in terms of gameplay. I know I should be more concerned with gameplay elements, as this is Video Gaming and not Movies, but I can't help it. The story is #1 on my list. Gameplay is good, but can't seem to carry my interest in a game unlike a good story can.

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
12 years ago

Yea I need both. I might be able to force myself to the end of a game with a bad story if the gameplay is excellent but I find if the story is substantial, gameplay could be a LITTLE faulty and I have no problem playing it from start to finish.

TheIllusiveMan
TheIllusiveMan
12 years ago

I think a game needs both. Without a good story, you'll eventually lose interest in the game, and therefor stop playing it, or possibly never finish it, but still play it. Without good gameplay, a game will feel broken. If it's not fun to play through a game, it will be hard to force through just to know the story and how it ends.

frylock25
frylock25
12 years ago

it seems us older gamers will be stuck playing our classics and saying "back in my day…"

twitch gaming has ruined this genre of gaming.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
12 years ago

Frylock,

Well, back in my day……..

We'd walk a 100 miles through a minefield while wearing nothing but over-sized snowshoes as blinding ice storm icicles hung from every dangling participle, just so that we could play the new game one of our buddies just got.

Man, and I don't even want to have to tell you how hard it was trying to slough it all back home afterward though.


Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/29/2010 10:31:10 PM

frylock25
frylock25
12 years ago

Biker i laughed so hard reading that.

twitch gaming really has killed this generation though.

the interactivity level has to be constant and the user must press a button every 2 seconds or they are not getting their moneys worth. its boring and the results take to long. if im gonna have to think to beat a game i might as well just look it up on youtube and watch someone else do it. now i save my money for the game i dont need to think and i can just twitch all day long. why do we give kids adderal or ridelin? (however its spelled) why not just give them prescriptions to moderen warfare 2?

how about something with a story? something that makes me think? tricks me? throws me for a loop cuz i thought the story was something else the whole time… and at the same time i can play at my pace. make desicions not on a damn counter. i paid for this why the hell are you rushing me through it?

before now every generation really brought all previous genres with them. this seems to be kind of a first to die. i am not happy about this.


Last edited by frylock25 on 9/30/2010 3:23:26 AM

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
12 years ago

I like being made to think, regardless of the stimulation. I really do feel as if I missed out on the best time to be a gamer. Valkyria Chronicles was a great game, and it was undoubtedly an RPG in my mind, but the strategy wasn't really as prevalent as it could have been. It was more about moving your units forward and trying not to lose any, rather than picking and choosing your targets and trying to break through their lines to get to your objectives.

I would love to see more games that actually require a great deal of thought before making a move. Something that allows you to control a relatively small party, with each character having different strengths and weaknesses. In short, chess given videogame form, but not in a chess game if you know what I mean. Ah well, I guess I'll just never see it.
Peace.

TheIllusiveMan
TheIllusiveMan
12 years ago

Your comment makes me wonder about L.A. Noire. It sounds amazing so far, as for the idea of having to actually do stuff and think about what you do.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
12 years ago

You weren't around for the 90s?

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
12 years ago

Ever hear of Fire Emblem?… there is plenty more from the 90's as stated by LV but Fire Emblem was one that stuck out in my mind. Huge consequences in that game that really make you think out a move before advancing.

frylock25
frylock25
12 years ago

@LV lawless's birthday on his profile is set to 1990. so he was here but more than likely to young to enjoy the good games. thats just my guess. its almost 2011 us older gamers take the 90's for granted

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
12 years ago

lol mine is set to 1909 but i could have sworn I've set it to 1989 multiple times. Furthermore I don't support piracy but with the ease of access of emulators and roms for older games one could easily have enjoyed games they otherwise would not have had the opportunity to experience. However re-release of game have also helped which is how I originally got into FE

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
12 years ago

LV, yes I was around for the nineties, but my gaming skipped from the Sega Mega Drive (even though the Atari 2600 lasted longer) straight to the PS3. That was one hell of a jump technologically.
Peace.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
12 years ago

I view the older method of RPGs as a game of chess while the newer more watered down version of RPGs is checkers. Far less strategy and little reward for mastering the mechanics of the game.

It's sad that I've found far more RPG entertainment from handhelds this generation than the consoles.

Underdog15
Underdog15
12 years ago

"It's sad that I've found far more RPG entertainment from handhelds this generation than the consoles."

I know… I just… don't…. get these dev's reasoning. Is there any proof at all that this type of thing won't sell well?

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
12 years ago

I just think it comes down to greed. Something that sold 3million copies with old school mechanics might sell more if it had toned down gameplay with extra nicey shiny graphics. So they screw over their longtime consumers to earn a few extra thousand in sales. Or in the case of FFXIII they find out they Fu*ked up.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
12 years ago

Yup, and many still bought FFXIII. Even those who disagree with its dumbed down mechanics.

Square-Enix: They bought FFXIII, let's make another one like it. Even more casual this time.

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
12 years ago

I didn't buy XIII 😀

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
12 years ago

Frylock,

<<<<<its almost 2011 us older gamers take the 90's for granted>>>>>

Hell, I wound up taking most of the late '60's for granted.

HMMMMM…..Hey Ben,
Do I get anything if I show you my AARP card????

(Nahhh, forget that, I'm NEVER getting a AARP or Senior Citizens discount card, because thanks to my Harley & gaming, I'm never going to feel like some old fogie).


Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/29/2010 10:41:57 PM

Underdog15
Underdog15
12 years ago

Imagine…. a new installment of FFT with a map set-up similar to VC… with all the jobs you can think of… with a complex storyline… freedom to shop or change your party members…

Ah… one can dream….

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
12 years ago

I can't imagine Ben wanting a new FFT with FPS mechanics with a TPS camera.

Arvis
Arvis
12 years ago

I'll take a Tactics 2 with the EXACT SAME battle system, but with HD everything: sprites, locations, battle maps, and magic/fight effects. And maybe throw in every job class from Tactics PSP remake, Final Fantasy V, and Final Fantasy X-2.

That's all I'm asking. It's not unreasonable.

-Arvis

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

I want what Arvis wants. And I'm pretty sure that's what ALL FFT fans want.

Underdog15
Underdog15
12 years ago

"a new installment of FFT with a –map– set-up similar to VC"

That's what I meant, LV. I was referring more to the camera movement of VC when I said the map settings; the way you move about the map. I don't think I said anything about the battle mechanics of VC. Everything else the same with all the jobs, etc.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 9/29/2010 3:12:46 PM

Oyashiro
Oyashiro
12 years ago

You got that right!

Arvis
Arvis
12 years ago

If they really wanted to spoil us, they could cook up some nice, detailed battle ANIMATIONS too. You know, something to take the place of the "shuffling feet" and "generic slice." 🙂

-Arvis

Fane1024
Fane1024
12 years ago

The only modification I would make to what Arvis said is that I would like it to be built on a 3D engine, with polygons instead of sprites, so that we have full camera control. The limited camera positions in FFT weren't always good.

A few other tweaks to the mechanics in the opposite direction to that taken in FFTA would also be nice.

cheng
cheng
12 years ago

Well, this is turn based, but not FFT style turn based, more like FF7 turn based. We're working on the translation now.

Here's the preview of the video

We're only about 30% throught the translation, so it'll be a while b4 we have it done.

It's a chinese rpg that's taken place during the early Song Dynasty, that's all i can say for now really.

cheng
cheng
12 years ago

oops i was meant to include the url, here it is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvSrbLdBtS4

Nynja
Nynja
12 years ago

One of my favorite all time games is Chess. Strategy RPGs feel like an enhanced version of it.

Where is my true 'next-gen' (if we can even use that anymore) SRPG?

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
12 years ago

We certainly need more, best thing is that Disgaea 4 is next year.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

While I can't say I love the chessboard or the superinvolved games like Disgaea, it is THE SHAME of the video game world that turn based JRPGs have died on consoles.

I don't always want my reflexes tested, I love forming strategies, gamers like us are out there. I blame the kids these days. I recall reading a recent article talking about Ar Tonelico saying how "That stubborn turn based mechanic still isn't gone" Which raised my ire.

I still have a tiny bit of hope for a Suikodent VI or Persona 5, but in the mean time these half turn-half real time hybrids are a blight. How much better would Eternal Sonata have been with strictly turn based elements? When I bought a PS3 I just assumed we would get a continuance of the greatness of the PS1 and PS2 days of RPGs.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/29/2010 3:43:00 PM

Underdog15
Underdog15
12 years ago

With you 100% there, World.

I felt absolutely 100% pissed when I heard Dragon Quest 9 would be on DS. Was I out of line to feel that way?

Alienange
Alienange
12 years ago

It's killing me that I have to play DQIX on my DS. I love the game, but it's killing me. Especially when those phony achievements pop up. How dare they…