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Thread: Does Vanilla Gamplay make for a bad title?

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Question Does Vanilla Gamplay make for a bad title?

    As RPGs and their sub-genres grow and expand, modern gamers have just learn to expect certain things like customization mechanics or quirky battle systems. My question is, were you to play something like classic Dragon Quest or Lunar, where the combat is simple turn based combat and customization is negligible, is this inherently a bad thing even if the mechanics are sound?

    I ask this because I'm replaying an older Tactical RPG, and about the only real complaint I can hold against it is that the core gameplay is incredibly bland compared to more modern takes on the genre. The issue here is that the gameplay is sound and there is no actual problems with it. There is little customization, but the game doesn't need it, the characters are all preset in design and grow in linear directiosn based on their combat roles. Everything works as it is suppose to be, except I'm playing a game set within a sub-genre that was changed and redefined, not even two years before this games release, to be one where players expect heavy customization and twinking along with other "bells and whistles".

    I guess the point of this thread is to ask the question: Does having classic and "vanilla" gameplay a valid complaint?

    I mean certainly from a subjective point of view it can be, but objectively is it really a bad thing?

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    I think in terms of reviews, it can be a valid negative at times. As genres have progressed and evolved, the general public probably doesn’t really want that vanilla experience again unless it’s for nostalgic reasons and to look back at how a series or genre has evolved. I also feel like sometimes more vanilla experiences (as long as they are still done real well) are more forgiven in indie games.

    I personally enjoy playing vanilla jrpgs like classic dragon quest from time to time. It’s still fun and kind of a stress reliever to me. I don’t really think a new AAA game done in the complete vanilla gameplay style of the first dragon quest would do well though. I feel as if it would review bad and would have no real mass appeal despite someone like me probably still enjoying it.

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    Ghost of Christmas' past theundeadhero's Avatar
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    Subjectively, no. I appreciate them. There's games that have the system I actually enjoy playing, and the combat system doesn't detract from that.

    Objectively, I don't know. The only thing I can think to compare it with is I Am Setsuna, which appeared to not do well, but even it had the momentum system.

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    Wildökarudo Mercen-X's Avatar
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    I don't mind simplistic gameplay, as long the controls and animations are smooth. I need to feel like the developers put some effort into it. I remember feeling like I missed my party members being actual characters who would speak and offer opinions when I played RPGs like Guardian's Crusade and Tsuganai, but I got over it.
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    I like games that take the vanilla turn-based gameplay and do something unique with it. For example Legend of Dragoon and Legaia, for all their other shortcomings, delivered fun and satisfying gameplay without having to stray too far from the classic turn-based experience.

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    The Alpha and the Omega WarZidane's Avatar
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    "bad" is a stretch, but I'm definitely not a fan of the super vanilla combat in the likes of Dragon Quest. It's what keeps me from the series, mostly, despite the fact I played, enjoyed and finished DQ5.

    Don't make your gameplay pointlessly complex, but having some sort of twist in it to keep it from being standard combat #23 definitely helps in my opinion.

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    So long as I have fun, I'm okay. Vanilla turn based battles can be a bit boring for sure, but excellent story, characters and/or an intricate world, along with puzzles etc. can make up for it.
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    It depends on your taste. I don't really mind it, especially if the story/characters/writing/world design is good or it has some unique element to it.

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     Master of the Fork Cid's Knight Freya's Avatar
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    I think it depends on what the game is going for. If it's wanting a more classic feel, it's fine. But if it's wanting to lead markets, they need to add in more to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freya View Post
    I think it depends on what the game is going for. If it's wanting a more classic feel, it's fine. But if it's wanting to lead markets, they need to add in more to it.
    What do you think Persona 5 added that made it such a break out success, then?
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    The UI alone is enough to make it stand out.

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     Master of the Fork Cid's Knight Freya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyblade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Freya View Post
    I think it depends on what the game is going for. If it's wanting a more classic feel, it's fine. But if it's wanting to lead markets, they need to add in more to it.
    What do you think Persona 5 added that made it such a break out success, then?
    Wouldn't know! I have never played the Persona Series!

    but I hear it's cause they added waifus

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I wouldn't exactly call the Once More System "Vanilla Gameplay". When I say Vanilla Gameplay, I am referring to mostly turn base, but I'm also talking about limited customization (probably just equipment), linear progression (simple leveling system) and little to no gimmicks.

    Think FFIV Original, Phantasy Star, DQII, IV, and Lunar 1.

    P5's gameplay is actually more robust and varied then it's predecessors.

  15. #15
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    What P5 added was marketing.

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