Echoing The Call For More Strat/RPGs
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.
9/29/2010 12:32:09 PM Ben Dutka