Was The Best Turn-Based RPG Of The Generation On The Xbox 360?
Being a die-hard fan of the turn-based RPG since the early PlayStation days, if you had told me the best such title of the current generation would be on the Xbox 360 - and exclusively on the 360 - I would've laughed. Really, really hard.
But in looking back, I have to say it might be possible. Traditional turn-based has mostly died out on consoles (even if it still exists in the smaller downloadable realm), and maybe the last great pure turn-based RPG was Lost Odyssey. I was thinking about it today, and I recalled a great many unbelievable memories.
In addition to a good story, decent characters, great pacing, and a combat mechanic that absolutely never go told, I'd say the game shined in another area: The writing of the dream sequences. Such writing is almost nonexistent in the video game realm; it's clear that a professional penned them, and I kept thinking the publisher should release all those stories in book form. They'd only qualify as very short stories but even so, they were amazing for the interactive entertainment world.
And I have to say, the game proved that a turn-based system can and does work in this brave new world of flashier graphics and faster-paced gameplay. There's an accessibility to it that's combined with significant depth and a fair amount of strategy, and this is the main reason why turn-based remains superior in my opinion. You can throw any quasi-turn-based or deep real-time system at me, and I can show you at least a half-dozen reasons why traditional turn-based has it all beat. Having played nearly 50 RPGs in my day, I'll give a whole lot of compare-and-contrast examples.
And Lost Odyssey really vindicated those thoughts, I think. It had a great atmosphere and it kept me coming back for more, in a way that no RPG has done since. Honestly, it's weird to say, but if you're a hardcore old-school RPG fan like me, you might almost want to buy a 360 for this game. Yes, I'm quite serious.
7/31/2012 9:05:20 PM Ben Dutka