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Thread: "Innovation for Innovation's Sake" Limiting The Gameplay

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    Default "Innovation for Innovation's Sake" Limiting The Gameplay

    The first JRPGs I played, even if they were part of the same series, tended to radically change up things. No Xenosaga games has the same battle system, for instance. So FF reinventing the wheel with each new game wasn't really a problem for me.

    But having become an Shin Megami Tensei and Persona fan, and watching the games evolve from their respective" third" installments, has made me realize what a crippling flaw FF's obsession with starting over from scratch is. FFX-2 is the perfect example - FFX was a massively popular game much lauded for its gameplay. So what did X-2 do? Threw everything out and made a whole new combat system.

    SMT Nocturne and Persona 3 are very rough in places but you can see the potential in the Press Turn or 1 More System. You can watch how each subsequent game refines these systems, emphasizing what they did right and fixing what they did wrong. The result is SMTIV Apocalypse has one of the best battle systems in JRPG history.

    It's just not possible that the first implementation of any system is going to be perfect. That's why you make a system, experiment with it, hone it, and create something even better. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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    Feel the Bern Administrator Del Murder's Avatar
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    FFX-2's system wasn't entirely new. It was just the ATB with a mid-battle job change mechanic. It really was the evolution of the PSX and SNES games. If anything, FFX's system was the new one. But even that borrowed from FF Tactics in the way turns are set up.

    I do appreciate the consistency and drive to make small improvements in the battle system. After 11 games, DQ's turn based battles are still fun. But I think FF was always intended to be a series for experimentation. The games have several different directors and creative staff and show off a different vision in each one. I appreciate variety, so it is nice to have series like DQ and Persona that keep it consistent while also having the FF series change it up.

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    cheesesteak's Avatar
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    I'm the opposite of OP. I feel that changing systems in different games in a series is necessary to keep things fresh. They don't change systems to "innovate for innovation's sake" and nor is it limiting the gameplay. And I feel the title and OP are not aligned properly, since the OP never even really argues or elaborates on that.

    Now, that's not to say I'm against using the same systems in a series. Legend of Heroes essentially does it and I dig that series and combat. It's basically 2 separate approaches to appease 2 groups of ppl - those who embrace change/enjoy variety and those who do not.

    It sort of reminds me of fighting games and how new entries in a most series change things up. And ppl would complain about it, well after a new entry's release. And the general retort would be "go play (that older) game then."

    Of course, competitive pvp game series aren't the same as SP RPG series, when it comes to what is required for the optimal player experience, i.e. FG's you sorta need ppl to play, preferable a variety, and accessible platforms to play. So "just go and play KoFXI if you don't like KoF15" is sort of suboptimal advice whereas "just go play FFX if you don't like FFXIII" can kinda be decent advice? But if you're playing an RPG and don't like the systems, but want to keep playing for the story, then just watch the "as a movie" video on YouTube.

    Jeez...is this why 90% of the SMT fans I know basically only play SMT? And over and over?

    I don't know...the more I think about this topic, the more I feel it's kind of asinine. Especially for a series like FF where every main game is a separate story/world. It's not like you have any sort of sentimental attachment to anything in a new entry.
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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I mean to be fair, FF didn't really radicalize its battle system until VI, and even then the changes were honed into Limit breaks later and the meat and potatoes of the system is still FFV's. I mean even looking at games like XII and XIII which feel fairly alien to III and IV, you can still see their bones in the systems, just tweaked. I mean even FFX's battle system, which was taken from Tactics, is basically just the NES era FFs battle system just now with the ability to see turn order. It's hardly radical. Same with X-2's system which is IV's system just with characters able to act simultaneously so it feels faster. The biggest leap is really III to IV with the advent of ATB which added a level of challenge and urgency to combat that most turn based games couldn't match.

    FFs bigger change has always been development systems, which have almost never stayed the same. But honestly, with the possible exception of the job class system from V, which itself is only sort of newish within the genre, FF has never really had a development system I felt was so good it needed to stay and just be refined.

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    I am eternally going to be mystified that Square-Enix was surprised that Bravely Default sold so well and was so popular. Because they thought it was archaic and unwelcome in the gaming ecosystem of the time. Same with Capcom and Resident Evil 7, for that matter..

    From Software essentially used the same system for multiple games. Granted, a good portion of them are in the same series. But Demon's Soul and Bloodborne make good bookends on that system. Sekiro is really the closest they've come to really changing things up. I'd be curious to know why companies like Square make the decisions they do. At least with Resident Evil you can see the evolution based on the popularity of 4. But while I don't hate 12, 15, or 7R, pretty much nobody said they wanted realtime action combat in a Final Fantasy game



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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Actually, I remember people whining about the series not having an action combat system as far back as VII's release. Turn Based combat has always been a sticking point of the genre that was more of an acquired taste as far back as the 90s. Even ATB's creator Hiroyuki Itou has said he always believed the genre would move towards being more action focused eventually.

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