We may disagree about breath of fire Mesh
Debuffs and status attacks don't work on bosses in BoF1 or 2, and neither do the undead-targetting spells. This isn't a matter of opinion and it's not something debatable -- this is how the games are programmed. Your only options in boss fights are attacking, using element-appropriate attack magic, or healing. BoF1 has I think four buffs. BoF2 has three, but one of these doesn't work due to a glitch.
I can't see any way that you could approach these games strategically -- you don't have the tools for it.
My original post (days ago) was actually in reference to Breath of Fire 3 (being the most fresh in my mind). Strategic use of formations, character selection and Masters enabled me to breeze through without grinding once.
My recollection of BoF1 and 2 is far too dated to debate anything about those titles. I haven't played either in 10 -15 years or so.
That is why I did not debate your reply to my post in the first place... my fault for not putting a "3" after breath of fire in my original post as I was listing the games I felt illustrated clever mechanics that made gameplay a wee bit more interesting when approached strategically.
Let me also add, I WAS TRYING TO PAY YOU COMPLIMENT (in my last post) MESH!! LoL
Again, that's why I love Megami Tensei games, because buffs, debuffs, status effects, and defending are useful and necessary aspects of battles.
Having just played persona 2 IS and EP this last year I couldn't agree more. Both titles sport grueling turn-based gameplay that can REALLY be a grind if you don't play methodically. Conversely, exploiting what the game offers in terms of that which can aid you in combat can be really fun. I loved how many options you had as far as battles were concerned and the various ways you could built a killer team via the persona equipped (particularly in EP). Best of all was the demon negotiation which added a whole new layer to the experience with completely different risks and incentives (once again, waaaay better in EP) allowing a player burnt out on combat to progress a bit via an entirely different avenue of gameplay.
The problem with IS and EP to me was that, in spite of the wonderful versatility in combat, things were still very longwinded and "slow" feeling. Not to mention the encounter rate was a wee bit on the high side...