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View Full Version : Does anybody feel that modern RPG's need to become simpler.



Mason P.
06-11-2008, 10:32 AM
I was thinking at work how I would love to get into a new RPG. I grew up on Final Fatasy 1 and Dragon Warrior (1-4) Ultima and the like. At the time the stories were alittle more simple and the magic wasn't as complicated as todays RPG's. Now at 30 years old I feel that I need a degree almost to use some of the complicated crafting and magic systems in modern games. Whatever happed to those old styles? I am sure some will say they have evolved into what we have now, but I can't help but feel that there had to be "a time of change".

Anyway, what is your feeling? Do feel that they are to complicated or do feel they need more options and choices?

Thank you,
Mason

Sudo
06-11-2008, 10:46 AM
I think they've become more simple from the last gen, actually. I love complex battle systems and storylines.

carlcarlson
06-11-2008, 10:56 AM
I find that the simpler rpgs get repetitious much more quickly than ones with a more involved battle or experience system. Some are defintely pretty dense, but rpgs as a genre are kind of known to be deep, so I think it just kind of comes with the territory.

JunkTheMagicDragon
06-11-2008, 11:09 AM
these days, i get really bored with the standard "ancient evil, collect the stones/crystals bla bla bla" stories that classic rpg's had.

story is really what i'm in for, so as long as the battle and levelling system is passable, i'll probably have a good time. at least that's how it is for jrpgs. on wrpgs, i get more enjoyment out of customizing and building up my character.

i would like for more rpgs to have the same depth of customization as modern ones, just in shorter bits. i don't have the time anymore to go on 100-hour quests (which is why i'll probably never finish oblivion or ff12). something that clocks in at 20-30 hours would be much more manageable.

j1e
06-11-2008, 11:25 AM
I know exactly how you feel. I like those "old school" RPG's myself. If you haven't played Dragon Quest VIII for PS2, you should really dig that one. It brings that old gen feeling back. BTW, if anyone else knows of any RPG's like DQVIII, let me know what they are. I'm looking for more. Thanks - Mike

mailman187666
06-11-2008, 11:39 AM
I think I've gotten the hang of the whole modern RPG thing because they mostly all tell you how to play as you progress in the game. It doesn't usually throw everything at you in the very begining but more gradually. You just need to find the rpg that suits you. Final Fantasy X isn't really too complicated but still has a good amount of depth. A game like Persona 3 requires a lot more time and thought to play. Read some reviews and ask around and I'm sure you'll have find some that you like. The PSP also has a bunch of rpgs (including the old final fantasys and the Genesis collection with Phantasy Star 2-4). I usually take my sweet time in the beggining of RPGs to learn how to battle and level up, but I love rpgs so I push myself to learn it. I think if you can put in the time with a game like Persona 3 or maybe even the Shadow Hearts series, you'll be glad you learned it and will most likely have a good experience. Check out the first two Shadow Hearts games, I think they may be a little closer to what you're looking for.

Cryomancer
06-11-2008, 03:51 PM
Modern RPGs are too much into the action-RPG stuff I think. I like menus.

My suggestion is to try Blue Dragon. Simple classic gameplay for the most part, non-completely-cliched storyline. And Definetly play DQ8.

drewbrim
06-11-2008, 05:26 PM
I partly feel the same way. I dig the complex story/world/battle systems but I can't stand the extra ability grid/job system/alchemy elements new rpg's have going on. It practically forces you (meaning me) to shell out for the guide, or play the game with GameFaq's close by. The materia system in FF7 was pretty much perfect as far as I'm concerned. Just enough customization without being overly complex.

Kamisama
06-12-2008, 09:39 AM
I havent played any PS2/PS3 RPGs, but at least for the PSX there were lots of nice RPGs, don't know how much more complex they are today :)

However, the real old ones like DQ1 are too simplistic imho.. Star Ocean 2 for example was pretty cool in terms of complexity.

Daria
06-12-2008, 10:20 AM
I mix it up. I can easily go from a big convoluted modern day epic and follow it up with an old school 8-bit RPG. I generally like it when RPGs try out a new system. But I also like the simplicity of playing something old, usually when I don't want to think too hard. Like last night, I couldn't sleep so I walked around level grinding in Ultima Exodus. :P

AB Positive
06-12-2008, 10:49 AM
I find anything pretty much past Skies of Arcadia a bit too complex for turn-based for me nowadays.

However, complexity for me is wonderful on turn-based strategy... the more convoluted the better. NIS releases in particular are great for that. :)

Icarus Moonsight
06-13-2008, 02:09 AM
Mason, I hear ya. I'm writing you a Rx for a DS and Etrian Odyssey. Then you can get Etrian Odyssey 2 when you refill. Side effects include: flashbacks of fondness for the old style RPGs, elation, fixation with a degree of challenge that approaches complex but, suddenly stops short yielding only mild frustration. :D Play through and call me in the morning. LOL

Fuyukaze
06-13-2008, 02:32 AM
I often wonder that myself. My question though is why no one releases short RPGs anymore. Everything is sold as being massive 60+hr RPGs. 5-10hr RPGs may be too short, but who couldnt apreciate one that could be finished in 25-40hrs? Sadly, people want more game for their $$. Even if it means they grow bored to death with it and eventualy give up on it.

debian4life
06-13-2008, 04:43 AM
My biggest complaint with the newer RPG's like FFXII is that they got away from the turn based fight system. I prefer to be able to strategize in between turns in a fight.

In regards to the length of the games, if the story is compelling enough it can take 200+ hours to complete.

With the popularity of World of Warcraft and Guild Wars, I hope that these manufacturers will still make games that are one player instead of MMO.

Xizer
06-13-2008, 05:10 AM
RPGs have been doing away with all the annoying random battles these days and many no longer have those boring cutaway battles where everybody's standing around like a retard until you sift through a menu and select a command and then they animate an action and then stand around like retards again until you sift through the menu again and click on an action again, repeat over and over until the boring battle is over

Then you go through the game and do that thousands of times more

So... no, I think RPGs are way better these days because developers have realized that turn based battling is so god damn boring. In a day and age with high definition movies, awesome graphics, lots of spectacular effects in all the entertainment around you... putting up with a menu and a pause in the action half the time is so lame these days, and it just can't compete with the things around you that are a lot faster paced and more exciting.

Because these turn based battles have been gotten rid of, I think RPGs are actually simpler than in the past. I'd take Oblivion over some boring J-RPG any day.

Jimmy Yakapucci
06-13-2008, 12:17 PM
I remember the first time that I saw Shining Force on the Genesis. I thought that it was stupid that only the actual character that you were using earned any experience. I later grew to love the game and I wish that they made more of them. I greatly prefer turn based games since I do not have the reactions of a 10 year old with 15 fingers on a sugar rush. I also tried computer based RPGs, but some of them were so in depth that it wasn't funny. You had to choose what you wore or each arm and leg, what was in each hand, etc. That is why I was so happy to see Beggar Prince come out and once they fixed the problem with playing it on the X'Eye, I made sure to get a copy.

JY

Mason P.
06-16-2008, 08:28 AM
I just feel that some of the magical systems are alittle indepth for my tastes. Does the
Dragon Quest 8 have a complicated system?

Daria
06-16-2008, 09:49 AM
I just feel that some of the magical systems are alittle indepth for my tastes. Does the
Dragon Quest 8 have a complicated system?

Not at all. Just have to remember what the spell names are for.
example: Crack, Crackle, Kacrackle = three levels of ice
Sizz, Sizzle, Kasizzle = three levels of fire

Pretty straight foreword really.

Ze_ro
06-16-2008, 04:37 PM
I can understand your concerns, but there are a lot of different RPG's out there, and not all of them are like that. If you don't like the more complicated ones, then just stick to the more simple ones.

Personally, I'd like to see RPG's make more strides in the realm of character customization. There are extremely few console RPG's that actually give you any control over how your character looks, or allow you to make any real choice in where the story goes aside from whether or not to take a sidequest, or which pre-programmed ending you get. I feel this takes most of the "role playing" out of the genre.

--Zero

Nick Goracke
06-16-2008, 07:10 PM
"Does anybody feel that modern RPG's need to become more like Final Fantasy XII?" should have been the thread title.

There are 2 core problems with modern RPGs:

1) Those that try to emulate 8~16 bit RPGs with simplistic battle systems FAIL because they're so slow.

Battles are slower. Fade in, fancy camera work, choose attacks, watch lengthy battle animations, victory pose, battle summary screen, load map... what used to take 30 seconds now takes minutes, and when such repetitive and simplistic actions are drug out that long, it gets to be unbearable.

Story sequences are slower. Most writers are still telling the same contrived story with the same cliched characters... only with larger amounts of text, voice acting, and cinematics. The point is, again, that you can't take something predictable, make it last longer, and expect it to be enjoyable.

2) Those that try to innovate fail to make things more interesting... or: Complexity for complexity's sake. So much time is wasted in menus doing things that should be automatic. Unless Player A has the potential to make something dramatically different from Player B, and unless these differences dramatically alter the way the game is played, there's really no point in giving the illusion of customization. It's time wasted for minimal gain.

Unless the excuse is "Christmas release on a dying system", it's amazing how little fanfare Final Fantasy XII got. A developer finally found a way to eliminate the most repetitive part of RPGs while still allowing the player to intervene in "special" situations, and offered a customization scheme which can allow for a very unique player experience... and nobody noticed. And by "nobody noticed", I mean that years later, we still haven't seen anybody try to take that idea and run with it. If anything, we've seen a complete stagnation of the genre.

Overbite
06-16-2008, 08:36 PM
The really old NES RPGs are too simple for me.

I like the 16-bit turn based RPGs as well as the current gen action ones. I love the Tales and Star Ocean series, both have action battles. And I'm currently going through Mass Effect which is really really fun and the battles are all 3rd person shooting.

Complicated RPGs are fine as long as its not overwhelming and complicated just for the sake of being complicated. Something like Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne is too much for me, but Persona 3 is fine.

Overbite
06-16-2008, 08:39 PM
Unless the excuse is "Christmas release on a dying system", it's amazing how little fanfare Final Fantasy XII got.

No one noticed because it came out like a week before the PS3 and the Wii. Tales of the Abyss was worse, it came out 2 weeks before FFXII, the PS3, and the Wii. No one cared. It was just bad timing all around.

I think if FFXII had been released either late december or early january it would have done better, after the big whoop over the new systems was over.

Corb135
06-17-2008, 01:34 AM
I recommend the Fire Emblem series from the GBA (never really got into the GC/Wii ones). They're turn based strategy RPGs and quite frankly, I love them. I've worn out my R-buttons on multiple consoles playing the two that are out for the GBA.

And of course, I recommend Final Fantasy X if you can find it. Its a simpler turn based strategy game, with enough customization options for armor and weapons to satisfy you, but not overwhelm you. A deep story, with a few complexities but not enough to make your head spin. It really stood out for me, which is why I have it on my shelf even now.

And as for FFXII...I couldn't play it. I honestly tried it, but I hated the combat system. If it had been more like the Kingdom Hearts series of RTC, I could've stomached the obvious perversion from the FF game style. This waiting for an attack bar thing ticks me off. I far prefer the random battles. <_<

EDIT: Gah, forgot about KotOR! Both 1 & 2. Excellent games (both of them). KotOR 1 has a deeper story though.

TheDomesticInstitution
06-17-2008, 08:00 AM
I can understand your concerns, but there are a lot of different RPG's out there, and not all of them are like that. If you don't like the more complicated ones, then just stick to the more simple ones.

Personally, I'd like to see RPG's make more strides in the realm of character customization. There are extremely few console RPG's that actually give you any control over how your character looks, or allow you to make any real choice in where the story goes aside from whether or not to take a sidequest, or which pre-programmed ending you get. I feel this takes most of the "role playing" out of the genre.

--Zero


Agreed on this one. I like the more complicated RPG's and the amount of customization they provide. I think they can be taken even further, and eager to see what the near future holds for RPG's.

I do like some classic RPG's, and I believe the point the OP brings up is a valid one. And agree that some RPG's are too long, which can be a good or bad thing. When you have a significant other, a house, a job, and kids (no kids for me yet), it gets hard to find 100+ hours to put into a game. I can do it but I really have to spread it out. My problem is I leave it for 7 months and have a hard to figuring out where I'm at when I get back.

I'm not a handheld gamer, so I really have no good opinion on this, but aren't there some simpler ones on the DS or GBA? I'm afraid the days of the simple RPG may be nigh though, as all the current gen consoles are obsessed with bigger and more is better. Except for the Wii maybe, but I don't know how many RPG's are on that one.

Nick Goracke
06-17-2008, 09:45 AM
And as for FFXII...I couldn't play it. I honestly tried it, but I hated the combat system. If it had been more like the Kingdom Hearts series of RTC, I could've stomached the obvious perversion from the FF game style. This waiting for an attack bar thing ticks me off. I far prefer the random battles. <_<


I feel the need to point out the obvious: attack bars (visible or not) have always been present in ATB Final Fantasy games. There is nothing new here.

I should also point out the less obvious: non ATB games calculate turns based on speed or agility which, for all intensive purposes, results in the same thing as attack bars. There is nothing new here.

I understand how the initial shock of not having to hit "fight, fight, fight, cure, fight, fight, fight, cure" each battle could confuse people who don't realize that the game doesn't want you to do the mundane, brainless tasks most RPGs require; rather, it provides an Auto-battle function that is user programmed and allows you to intervene at any point you deem necessary.

b0ub0u
06-17-2008, 05:13 PM
What drew me away from RPG in the last few years is the lack of an overworld map ! All the locations on the "map" seems connected together... you never feel like you are part of a larger world.

There is NO exploration whatsoever in new console RPGs. Go there, now do this, now go there and do this. There is never a time when you feel you have a big world to explore, find caves wander around in forest etc... like you did in the old FFs and DW.

In those games, when you had the chance to finally get a ship, I was so happy I could explore the seas and find places I couldn't go before...

I guess for me the best part of an RPG is exploration, and now these days the only place I can find this is on a PC RPG. But I don't like western RPGs... in general... so I am out of luck.

Stephane

carlcarlson
06-17-2008, 07:18 PM
There is NO exploration whatsoever in new console RPGs.

I take it you haven't played Oblivion?

TheDomesticInstitution
06-17-2008, 08:22 PM
What drew me away from RPG in the last few years is the lack of an overworld map ! All the locations on the "map" seems connected together... you never feel like you are part of a larger world.

There is NO exploration whatsoever in new console RPGs. Go there, now do this, now go there and do this. There is never a time when you feel you have a big world to explore, find caves wander around in forest etc... like you did in the old FFs and DW.

In those games, when you had the chance to finally get a ship, I was so happy I could explore the seas and find places I couldn't go before...

I guess for me the best part of an RPG is exploration, and now these days the only place I can find this is on a PC RPG. But I don't like western RPGs... in general... so I am out of luck.

Stephane

Are you sure you know what you're talking about? I'm no expert, but are FF games really ones you can explore to no end? I remember playing Mystic Quest on SNES, and thinking the game was pretty linear.


I take it you haven't played Oblivion?


Or Morrowind?

carlcarlson
06-17-2008, 08:52 PM
Are you sure you know what you're talking about? I'm no expert, but are FF games really ones you can explore to no end? I remember playing Mystic Quest on SNES, and thinking the game was pretty linear.

To be fair, Mystic Quest is a bit of a black sheep when it comes to Final Fantasys. It's more of a stand-alone Square game than a Final Fantasy.

Jimid2
06-18-2008, 09:44 AM
I do like some classic RPG's, and I believe the point the OP brings up is a valid one. And agree that some RPG's are too long, which can be a good or bad thing. When you have a significant other, a house, a job, and kids (no kids for me yet), it gets hard to find 100+ hours to put into a game. I can do it but I really have to spread it out. My problem is I leave it for 7 months and have a hard to figuring out where I'm at when I get back.

I'm not a handheld gamer, so I really have no good opinion on this, but aren't there some simpler ones on the DS or GBA? I'm afraid the days of the simple RPG may be nigh though, as all the current gen consoles are obsessed with bigger and more is better. Except for the Wii maybe, but I don't know how many RPG's are on that one.
I love my GBA and PSP because they allow me to indulge in sprawling RPGs without having to find time to sit in front of a TV! The GBA has any number of good, old-style RPGs, including the aforementioned Fire Emblem games and the Golden Sun games, several Final Fantasies, etc... My PSP has been getting a lot of use with RPGs thanks to Custom Firmware and Sony's PSX emulation. I've played Final Fantasy V (fr. Anthology), FFVII, FFVIII, FFIX, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill and Resident Evil 2 on my PSP recently, as well as a couple great PSP-exclusive RPGs, like the wonderful Jean d'Arc, FFVII: Crisis Core and Valkyrie Profile Lenneth; I would have trouble getting through any of these games on a regular home console but having them on a handheld makes it easy to put in an hour or two a day on them (especially during my commute)... Great stuff! :)

b0ub0u
06-18-2008, 03:20 PM
I was talking about Japanese console RPGs, so Oblivion or Morrowind do not count.

I went through Xenosaga and such, and I felt that I never got the chance to explore, there is areas you can go but they are all conected, there is no world map.

Mason P.
06-18-2008, 04:25 PM
I want the ability to customize my party like FF1 or the Ulima series. To me that adds tottal replay value to the game. Furthermore, I would like to start with a full party. I hate this "Hey guy! Go find all of your teammates." crap that modern RPG's seem to have (or atleast the new ones i've tried).

appaws
06-20-2008, 01:49 PM
Not at all. Just have to remember what the spell names are for.
example: Crack, Crackle, Kacrackle = three levels of ice
Sizz, Sizzle, Kasizzle = three levels of fire



Snoop Dogg did the localization.

Mason P.
06-23-2008, 10:25 AM
Snoop Dogg did the localization.

Yea we need more Snoop Dog in more RPGS :)

Mason P.
08-13-2008, 09:23 AM
Bump for more opinions :)

Damaramu
08-13-2008, 01:13 PM
I'm an old school pen and paper RPG'er. That being said, I want character customization on the level of the Smackdown! wrestling games or Oblivion. I don't want to be stuck playing as pretty boy #1 or grizzled veteran #3. I want to see this kind of customization in a JRPG (yes, I own and have played Morrowind and Oblivion).

Additionally, when I purchase or find new armor, weapons, and gear...I want to see it on my character. This always bugged me with the FF games and other JRPG's. I buy all this cool stuff and equip it...only to see pretty boy #1 dressed in the same rags he was wearing when he crawled out of bed at the beginning of the game.

So to summarize:

1. In depth character customization/creation- Western RPG style, JRPG aesthetics. No more forcing to players to play as Warrior Prince Generic.

2. "Real time" character appearance updates. Games like Baldur's Gate can do it, why not *enter JRPG title here* ?

Lady Jaye
08-13-2008, 01:39 PM
1. In depth character customization/creation- Western RPG style, JRPG aesthetics. No more forcing to players to play as Warrior Prince Generic.

That seems to still be reserved to computer RPGs, unless some more recent console RPGs like Oblivion have that option. Personally, I love to play fighters but often on console RPGs either there is no character option (like in the Final Fantasy games) or you can only choose among a few characters (and often, the girls in those games are sorceresses or archers, rarely fighters).

Damaramu
08-13-2008, 01:43 PM
I hear ya. Why are females usually a spell chucker or healer type? It's a shame really...

monkeychemist
08-14-2008, 10:26 AM
Bump for more opinions :)

I have plenty of opinions..

FFXII

First of all to the person that tried to play FFXII and hated the battle system, I would invite you to suck it up and try again. I also hated that...SO MUCH... it felt like a 1-player MMO. However after about 8-10 hours of play and you get the full cast it is very fun and exciting.

Turn-Based Battles

I personally much prefer random battles with a turn-based system. Yes it is slower but feels more like an RPG versus a glorified action adventure game. Two games perfected that system first Suikoden 1 with the "auto-battle" button. (maybe someone did this prior but i did not see) The other was FFX. I loved, LOVED being able to switch characters in and out to maximize the enemy's weakness.

Complicated systems

I am also in agreeance (if that is a word) that some things have gotten too complicated. Back to FFXII, there is a we'll call "rage" gauge (because I don't remember the real name) It builds up over time and then you can do a special move. FFX's rage was well explained and intuitive but FFXII I don't understand it at all. I've mildly tried to read up gamefaqs and still couldnt figure it out. So it's not like I can't go through the game without it, but it sure would help in boss battles. I am so scared of what other complicated stuff they'll come up with next

World exploration

I also miss that a lot. Whether it was an airship, a person turning into a bird or a boat, I could not wait to go and try to find things that were hidden. I remember in FFIV for example there was Edge's broken down castle. If you went there as soon as you had the airship and Tellah, you were ridiculously outclassed by the monsters guarding the chests. However with lots of tents and luck that Tellah didn't die, you could win those battles and get some AWESOME weapons. I remember getting the slumber sword and then being so powerful with it that it put enemies to sleep. When has a status attack ever been successful in a final Fantasy Game? Never. Or how about that island of oversized monsters in Breath of Fire II. They were really hard but you could level up so fast there. All this is lost when you don't have self exploration.

Guilds

Now games have simplified the story lines by making all your quests available from the one guild in the one town. I am sorry but that is just plain boring! I liked having to go to the next place and talking to random people for quests. Having a quest guild make the game more like a chore than an adventure.

Length

I do like long games and although I don't have time to dedicate to it like when I was young I feel that if I can play in 1-2 hour bursts than it's ok, I'll get through it. I don't like how some games make you play for 4 continuous hours to accomplish something. That I can no longer do...

Scope and Guidance

So Oblivion, yes, that does seem like a good one. However, I tried the Xbox version of elder scrolls and it just seemed like too much. I had no idea what to do or where to go and while I spent HOURS exploring, I still had no idea what I was doing. It became more of a pen and paper type game with graphics but no instructions. So at the sacrifice of getting a more linear game, I would like some guidance.

Maybe more opinions when I get back from lunch...

GnawRadar
08-14-2008, 12:19 PM
I didn't realize how much I liked the modern vs. the classic RPG until very recently.

Some of my favorite RPGs are and will remain to be the classic ones, but as far as the simplicity to pick up and play after a certain period of time goes by where you haven't played, I enjoy current RPGs more. For example, I just beat Final Fantasy (on the PSP, but it's still the same story and progression) for the first time and if I had put the game down for a week or two I would have picked it back up and probably never finished because I would have forgotten what to do. Of course there are FAQs and I still had to use some just to get through the game, but that takes some of the fun and accomplishment away.

Modern RPGs have become easier to me because of how easy it is to pick up a game after you haven't played in a while. Most current RPGs will tell you where you need to go, or have someone in your party you can talk to that will say "Shouldn't we be going to X?" or something along those lines. I know it isn't classified as an RPG but I'm playing Shenmue right now if there wasn't that notebook in that game I wouldn't have played that game for more that 15 minutes.