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I much prefer turn based battle systems in RPGs. Particularly JRPGs. What do you prefer?

TLZ

Member
I'm with DragoonKain DragoonKain .

I prefer turn based as it's more strategic than mindless button mash action RPGs with crazy numbers flying all over the screen.
 
If it’s turn-based it has to be interesting. Like Baten Kaitos, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy VIII/X-2/XIII, Grandia series, Resonance of Fate, Shadow Hearts series, Valkyrie Profile 2, etc.

I find that most people who talk about loving turn-based love the most dull and basic turn-based battle systems
 
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Kimahri

Gold Member
I love turn based. Been playing Hard West 2 these days, and it's fucking awesome. Tense and exciting and difficult, but so, so rewarding.
 

Wooxsvan

Member
bloodborne and sekiro are top 2. on the mmo front WoW. have tried turn based systems for years and they make me sleep.
 

KàIRóS

Member
Both types of combat offer a completely different experience to the gameplay, and therefore are uncomparable, I like both, I don't really have a preference I just adapt to whatever the combat offers in each game, I learn it, I master it and hopefully I have fun playing it.
 
SMT/Persona do it the best IMO as long as its snappy and responsive with options to skip animations etc. It has stayed mostly true to its formula within the separate series.
FFX had a very satisfying turn based battle system that I think still holds up and would love to see used in a current FF.

I don't dislike action-JRPGS, I really enjoy them but seriously FFXV was the biggest piece of trash and the worst FF ever created. FXVI is looking much better, more refined and focused.
 
They each have their place. I find myself more interested in turn based ones now, because they are less common I guess. Back in the day when everything was turn based, I wanted more ARPGs, but they don’t work that well with parties. Even FF7R, that did it best, didn’t quite engage me as much as a turn based version would have where I could fully control each action of every member.
 

AmuroChan

Member
I can do both and it depends on my mood. I would say I lean turn-based if they're well designed like Persona or Trails.
 
It obviously depends, but turn-based systems are usually much easier to execute (and to design) than real-time systems.

One of my favourite JRPGs is Tales of Graces F, which has an incredible real-time battle system that puts an emphasis on attack combos that also have movement properties, and using them to navigate and control enemy groups.

But for the most part, turn-based systems are my favourite. I'm particularly fond of the system in the Trails of Cold Steel games.
 
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ShirAhava

Plays with kids toys, in the adult gaming world
Turn BASED all the way

Action jrpg bore me which is weird because on paper it seems like a good idea but I've never enjoyed one
 

lachesis

Member
I prefer turn based game, but the big issue is the balance between reward/level up time and how strategically satisfying the battles are.
 

GeekyDad

Gold Member
I know the RPG genre is trending in the direction of action based systems, but after a small window in my gaming life where I gravitated toward action oriented battle systems, I settled on much preferring turn based systems in RPGs. I think action based systems in RPGs are always so inferior to actual action games they always leave something to be desired for me. It always feels like a cheap knock-off version of action combat. Meanwhile turned based systems that rely on strategy, RPGs can really bring out the best in that style of combat. I love the strategy involved, I love taking my time. The most enjoyable battle systems I’ve played in the last few years of RPGs have all been turn based.

What do you prefer, action or turn based?
Well, I personally don't believe that (in most cases), but I do prefer turn-based these days. There are plenty of great action-RPGs I've enjoyed over the years. I just don't have the energy for them anymore.
 

anab0lic36

Member
Turn based is superior for party based RPGs, as it allows for a much higher level of control of each member than is possible with real time... The only time its really done well in real time, is when it allows the player to pause at any moment (RTWP), giving them ample time to reissue orders based on the current game state.... but honestly you end up pausing so frequently in these games to try and optimize every action, that it may as well just be fully turn based. They key difference here, is that with RTWP you are manipulating the length of the turn and every character is acting simultaneously, as opposed to one after the other, so perhaps there is an argument to be had that there is enough difference between the systems that the later is worth keeping around.

The best turn based combat games for me, are the ones that also have a positional element to them - Tactics ogre, FF tactics,, Disgaea etc as having to consider your positioning in relation to both the enemy and your own troops adds a whole other layer of strategy on top. I suppose this depends entirely on how much you enjoy a good spatial puzzle though, which is something I've always been quite fond of. I describe these games as being 'chess like, but with more interesting capable pieces at your disposal.'

That said, even without the positional puzzle, the game can still have sufficient contemplative depth, as is evident in games like slay the spire, as it has a good good amount of meaningful decisions to make both turn to turn... and outside of battle with how you spec your character/deck.

The main issue I have with these games though, is that the AI is very stupid and predictable to the point where its very easily exploitable and then those exploits/strategy can be repeated in every battle, without much creative adaptation required of the player. This is usually overcome by the devs by setting up the combat scenarios to where you are outnumbered, and the battle becomes a puzzle of how to best make use of less resources at your disposable. Which admittedly is still enjoyable to figure out, but I do wish more effort was put into making the AI a more formidable opponent.

This is why if you actually want to experience this sort of tactical/strategic gameplay at its best, you should be looking into tabletop wargames/skirmish games, as a human opponent, even a lower skilled one, will provide a much more interesting challenge from battle to battle, with evolving strategy's and counter strategy' developing which are intellectually rewarding to explore. Yes its more expensive and time consuming of a hobby, with painting miniatures often required to make it more visually appealing, but boy is it worth it, as the games have substantially more depth with near infinite replayability before things become 'solved.' Take a look at the following if you want to delve into that realm... Malifuax, Infinity, Bushido, Warmachine, Guildball. Arena Rex, SAGA... just to name a few.

Why isn't turn based more popular? The primary reason is these type of games (at least the ones that are designed well) actually require a level of cognitive thinking, that to put it bluntly, the average person is pretty inept at.

I feel like there is actually a lot of room for innovation with this genre still, as there was a period of time - somewhere around the end of the PS2 era, where there really was hardly any good turn based games being made. Nearly everything became action based, sadly even series that were beloved for their turn based combat such as Final Fantasy. I wonder how FF might look today had they not abandoned the turn based systems and continued to evolve it. Instead of making it have more mass appeal by dumbing things down (but trying to to completely alienate its former player base) concocting this Frankenstein abomination of a hybrid of RT and TB we now see today, that doesn't really play to the strengths of either mode of play. You can make good turn based games on a tight budget, as pixel art is more than sufficient in these games, so hopefully the indie scene will start delivering more of these games for those that enjoy them. I have quite a few added to my steam Wishlist that look promising. Or perhaps the sales figures of games like Triangle strategy will be enough to encourage SquareEnix to devote more resources towards future development and other devs will see there is a market for them too.
 
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drganon

Member
I like them both. It's when they try to combine the two, things can get dicey.
 
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ChoosableOne

ChoosableAll
Turn based gameplay can be boring if there are too many fights. Especially if it's against slimes like Dragon Quest, or if there are a lot of random encounters in it. However, it is very enjoyable in games that provide this balance well, such as Fallout 1-2 and Divinity original sin 1-2(or tactical rpgs in general). I liked Baldur's Gate's, FF7 remake's and Legend of Grimrock's systems too, which mixes action and turn based combat very well.
 

Sentenza

Member
I like turn-based tactical system the most, but the variant where positioning, movement and use of the environment play a significant role (i.e. XCOM, Jagged Alliance, Baldur's Gate 3, Solasta, Battle Brothers, etc).
I'm not the biggest fan of what I usually call the "menu-based" combat with static characters standing in a line and the usual selection of "Attack, Spell, Item, etc" (i.e. old school Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Persona, etc, etc).
Also, I'm not into an overabundance of "trash fights" and random encounters in general.

I'm not against a GOOD action combat, but:
- I find it a poor fit for any "party-based" RPG
- it needs to be genuinely good for me to find it palatable. I love the Sous games, for instance, but half-assed button mashers bore me to tears.
 
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STARSBarry

Gold Member
People forget one of the advantage that turn based combat brings, which is the ability to add spectacle.

In FF7 for example remember how cool those summons where? Now think back to remake with its live combat, while the summons are there do you get that same utter sense or "wow cool" that you did in the original?

No because they can't really pause the game for long to show off an awesome attack. Along with the fact you made the decision to use an attack it allows you to feel like those blows really hit with turn based combat.

I miss that, and games like Fire Emblem for example don't take advantage of this with their lazy and basic animations. With all the big names going action combat so that it's more accessible we don't really see a modern take on this formula.

Really only Super Robot Wars and the SD Gundam series games try for this I feel these days, and their hardly big budget titles.
 
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SmokedMeat

Gamer™
Turn based, always. I like being able to plan my moves, as I would in a chess game.
The real time stuff was a turn off for me.
 

pasterpl

Member
I cannot stand turn based games, that’s probably why I hate jRPG games as most are/were turned based.
 

IDKFA

Gold Member
Turn based puts me off RPG games. What's the fun of taking turns? Destroys all immersion. Combat needs to be real time or it's not getting my attention.
 
Turn based on JRPGs seems more honest to me as they almost never seem to get the gameplay right otherwise.

If they get gameplay right though, I have no qualms, but it's hard to keep the elemental and rock paper scissors elements in with realtime mashing.
 

RavenSan

Off-Site Inflammatory Member
Always turn based for me. I don't mind action RGP, or hybrid, but turn based will always be my choice (if given one).
 

Daymos

Member
Variety is key. After 200 hours of xenoblade3 it's time for 200 hours of turn-based trails of cold steel and then back to action-elden ring.

I want to experience the game as a user, respecting the developers decisions and study why they did what they did as a (mostly) JRPG enthusiast. That's my hobby, it's not my place to tell them what they "should" do.
 
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I'm playing Yakuza 7 right now and, being my first turn based game ever, thought I would hate it.

On the contrary, I'm really digging it. Still prefer action in general but I can see myself sprinkling in turn based games in between a bunch of action stuff.

In the particular case of Yakuza, turn based offers richer and deeper gameplay options than the action/beat em up stuff ever did.
 
whatever The Fall: Last Days of Gaia did.
Let me decide which elements trigger turn based and everything else just flows in real time. The game was reportedly buggy at release but allowing players to choose their prefered playstyle or make two runs more interesting was a huge win imho.
 

Exentryk

Member
I prefer turn-based. Bravely Default series is my favourite combat of all time. Feels amazing to come up with crazy builds and strategies. Can't get enough of it!
 
Like the Bravely Default games
I have all of them bought, but when 1 came out, middle way I decided to commit to levelling up all my party's jobs to max. Poured like 80h and never bothered to continue the story xD.

God bless the built-in auto battle system and fast forward XD. You could watch videos and talk with people while "playing".
Lol, I was doing the current trend of mobile autogrind back then with the DS 🤔
 

BlackTron

Member
Turn based in general, but then one of my favorite games of all time is PSO which was a real-time action RPG.

I like games like Castlevania that add RPG to the action game. But adding action game to the RPG, to me the results are usually not that great.
 

lyan

Member
People forget one of the advantage that turn based combat brings, which is the ability to add spectacle.

In FF7 for example remember how cool those summons where? Now think back to remake with its live combat, while the summons are there do you get that same utter sense or "wow cool" that you did in the original?

No because they can't really pause the game for long to show off an awesome attack. Along with the fact you made the decision to use an attack it allows you to feel like those blows really hit with turn based combat.

I miss that, and games like Fire Emblem for example don't take advantage of this with their lazy and basic animations. With all the big names going action combat so that it's more accessible we don't really see a modern take on this formula.

Really only Super Robot Wars and the SD Gundam series games try for this I feel these days, and their hardly big budget titles.
Tales of games still have cutscene-like attacks in their system (though they usually aren't that flashy) so as a mechanic it can be incorporated.
 

kurisu_1974

is on perm warning for being a low level troll
I think I like it best when it is purely turn based (so nothing happens when you don't select an action) but with some element of action / reaction skill.

I find Shadow Hearts to be a great example of this. You have to press buttons to make your spells / attacks more potent. And it becomes a gameplay element, like when you find an item that makes the triggers invisible but then you hit twice as hard.

 
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