Thing I remember disliking about Suikoden 1 is that the combat seemed really "Get paper weight, highlight select, put paper weight on confirm button." Then again I haven't played it in years, and at the TIME I think "RPG strategy" was still sort of a non-concept to me.
most of the NPCs were individual characters to talk to, or groups of identical characters, like the Magic Academy Students, or Sproutlings.
True, true, but on the other hand, they WERE mostly unique NPCs, many getting some amount of character development, and not just arbitrary signpost NPCs that didn't matter. Although I should also point out I'm always an advocate for bigger towns. "Towns too small but NPCs fairly unique" is something I'm also really prone to launch at Dragon Quest games. Especially 8. And don't even get me started on Chrono Trigger's towns.
Plus, it would've resulted in dungeons and enemies that were actually challenging.
Or just shark it and start out on Nightmare mode from level 1 and then cry blood
. Actually in regard to this, my major complaints were that movement in combat was too slow and battle could take forever against certain high-HP enemies if your weapons weren't good enough (although this was somewhat mitigated when you discover that there's a combo system). Also I didn't think the dungeon layouts were that great although I've seen far worse (and we're not even beginning to approach Daggerfall levels of stupid, although I'd be hard-pressed to find anything that honestly did).
(Also apparently most of the fruit doesn't work as expected in regards to monster personalities, and most meats don't do anything. damns)
(Also there's the issue of stats not doing anything in Secret, although I'm of the opinion that that's the intent and the stat screen is something incidental they never actually planned to do and just forgot to dummy out).
(SD3 also has a lot of bugs)
(Oh and let's not even get started on Sword. Did they even beta that?)http://people.umass.edu/jvight/3059/
There's a link to 3059 if you're interested, I guess.
Also, just remembered Elona, actually. JRPG-styled PC roguelike where you can build buildings and I THINK maybe form a town. http://homepage3.nifty.com/rfish/index_e.html
I'm gonna go hit up the usual circuits and see what I find.
Had it ever been translated, Romancing SaGa 2 would probably work.
Wouldn't be surprised if one of the Gothic games had something like this, but I never played them that far myself.
Various Might and Magic games let you acquire and upgrade castles.
Morrowind has some mods that make the strongholds more in-depth. Nothing for Oblivion though, as far as I can tell.
I wouldn't be surprised if Wizardry 7 or 8, or one of the Goldbox games let you build/run a town.
No idea how I forgot this one. Rocket Slime Adventures is pretty heavily based around this concept. Basically, you have to rescue other slimes from the dungeons you go into. You can also capture monsters and send them back to town. As your town fills up, stuff gets repaired, weights get moved away, eцетtará.
Oh. Brave Fencer Musashi does the same thing to an extent too. Again, not town building, but you rescue crystalized people and the castle gets more diverse resultingly. Not to the same extent though, really.
Also, stupid me, forgot to mention that DQ7's continent resurrecting' thingy is sort of like a global town-building thing in and of itself, vaguely. Very vaguely.
(Also I think I like legend of mana on easy mode more. it's... kind of relaxing just to explore and stuff. giving the enemies more hp is kind of nice though if you like pulling of giant combos)