Turn Based Combat in Games, Do you like it?
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    Genius Ditz Dolce's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Turn Based Combat in Games, Do you like it?

    "Oh, I don't really like battles. I just play JRPGs for the story."

    You've probably heard something like that before, or wrote it, or thought it. There seems to be a general consensus, for better or for worse, that a Japanese RPG's merits, if they exist at all, lie in its story and characters and overall charm. Not its combat, which is just something you do in between cut-scenes. That part is just a chore.

    I am here to tell you that this belief is wrong.
    Yes, JRPG battles can be a pain in the ass. Turn-based combat in a game like Dragon Quest IX really can feel like an obstacle, particularly when you're grinding your way through a dungeon full of underpowered minions. In many Japanese RPGs, your strategy for random battles is to smash the attack button as many times as possible until you get to the victory music. These fights aren't necessarily fun on their own; they're blocks you have to leap over in order to get to the real meat of the game, the story. Your rewards for the combat grind are dialogue, cut-scenes, and pretty new places to see.

    Critics of JRPGs like to bring up this point as a way to disparage the genre, often noting that JRPG combat is always the same: you've got your attacks, your spells, and your items, and not much else. Nevermind all the creative ways you do battle in games like The World Ends With You, Valkyria Chronicles, Vagrant Story, and many others. JRPG combat is boring and stale, they say.
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    I know the above article is talking about JRPG's, but in general what's your opinion on turn based combat in gaming? Do you find it stale at all? Do you think it should be scrapped entirely? Or do you like it, and think it can be improved upon?
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    Sekai de ichiban ojisama. Pratkun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turn Based Combat in Games, Do you like it?

    Turn-based combats are made for Pokémon. If you wanted a battle like the anime, you're playing some third-player action game .
    I actually can't give any explanation off in the right way, turn-based combats are best I think. You have to grind your attacks rather than dodging attack in third-player combats. Pokémon started out really early when the way was: one-after-one-attacking. Play some JRPGs, you'll know, they stick onto plot rather than action.

    Stadium kind of made that situation and X/Y are trying to make it.


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    At last, Kalos ghaskan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turn Based Combat in Games, Do you like it?

    Turn based combats are a nice change of pace. Real time combat can get tiring due to it requiring higher levels of immediate concentration, and thus I, for one, can't play them for long. Turn based combats, if done right, can be a nice way of exercising the brain by applying strategies and, while they feel more of a drag when grinding, in some cases (such as Pokémon), they have the advantage of not requiring full attention so you can do something else, like watching TV, while grinding.

    That, in my view, can be detrimental too, since you might not immerse yourself as much and the strategies are a little more rigid (eg: you can't pull unexpected out-of-the-mold combos such as jumping to dodge instead of relying on statistics) and aren't as interactive. However, some games seem to be walking in the direction of changing that, too - for example, Bowser's Inside Story includes some action in their turn based combat (you can and should dodge enemies by jumping, for example).

    All in all, it's not the best nor the worst type of combat - it's yet another type that can be great as any other if done right. If that is the case, I do like it a lot.

    PS: While this is a topic that deserves another discussion by itself, I would say that the biggest problem with turn based combat is when it's inserted in heavy grind games. It seems to me that it's still a preferred shortcut to increase the game's playtime in JRPGs, which is a shame.

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