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Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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Author Topic: Traditional Strategy & Action  (Read 7755 times)
Zool
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« on: November 28, 2008, 06:41:59 AM »

Now I get it........ I think.  Following on from my previous thread about being new to rpg's, as well as Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen I have also bought Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates which, so far I like; but the controls take a bit of getting use to.

One is a Traditional RPG and the other is an Action RPG, which I have played a few of in the past, but not though of them as RPG's. Like the Zelda & Phanton Hour Glass; that game is listed on some sites as an Action Adventure rather than an rpg. I've played quite a few action rpg's / adventures in that case.

Now all I have to do is try a Strategy RPG. I do like a game of chess so maybe I will like a Strategy RPG.

How do Strategy RPG differ from the Traditional RPG and what is a good DS Strategy game to start with?

Thank you in advance for any feedback.
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Evil Gately
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2008, 06:57:35 AM »

Strategy RPGs differ from standard ones in the way that combat is implemented. To illustrate this, I'll use the example of Shining Force III. This type of game is normally split into two phases, adventuring/exploring and combat. The adventuring sections will see you exploring towns, recruiting characters, managing your team and purchasing items/equipment, whereas, the combat section sees your team arrayed against the enemy team on a battlefield. Each character gets to move one by one. Each turn generally consists of a movement and an action.

Here are a few pics to help:


This is exploration, walking around a town. Although, sometimes this phase can be reduced to a simple menu listing all the locations in the town, with no actual walking from place to place (See the Front Mission or Final Fantasy Tactics series for an example of this!)



The top image here shows the movement phase of Shining Force III. Note the flashing, highlighted area that shows where a character can move. The second image shows an action being taken.

As for recommended DS s-RPGs? Advance Wars has gotta be worth a look, and Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon for the GBA is excellent. Both nice, entry level titles with a bit of depth once you get used to the genre!

Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 06:59:56 AM by Evil Gately » Logged

Hathen
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2008, 07:57:13 AM »

Advance Wars: Day of Ruin (I think that's what it was called) is the only one of the series I really enjoyed. Love that game.

Generally with strategy RPGs I feel that simplicity often leads to deeper strategy- just look at Go. One of the simplest board games out there, but the strategy possibilities are near limitless. For this, I would recommend the GBA Fire Emblems to play on your DS- the difficulty level is quite high, but its nothing even a newcomer cant handle, I think.

The only DS SRPG I can remember off the top of my head is Rondo of Swords- never played that myself, though.
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Willy Elektrix
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2008, 10:45:05 AM »

Generally with strategy RPGs I feel that simplicity often leads to deeper strategy- just look at Go. One of the simplest board games out there, but the strategy possibilities are near limitless.

Agreed. It's a common misconception that numerous obscure statistics give a game greater depth. Not true. Greater interactivity gives a game depth. More statistics just give you a game like Contact.
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AJR
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2008, 11:28:49 AM »

I think Jeanne D'Arc would be a decent starting point, assuming you have a PSP. It's fun, not too challenging, and I imagine it would be pretty cheap at this point.
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2008, 01:37:01 PM »

Zool,

It's really enjoyable witnessing someone completely new to RPGs try to sort out the variety of games that are out there. And the community coming in and giving good, legitimate information is great to see as well.

To give you an idea, RPGFan has established seven RPG "genres" by which we categorize everything. Some of them are cousins, or bastard step-children, to what one might think of as an RPG. But here's how we break it down:

1. Traditional RPG -- we used to call this "Turn-Based RPG," but some traditional RPGs have modified the turn-based system into something quite different, but without it being a real-time (aka Action) RPG. In particular, I think of Final Fantasy XII as a game that remains traditional without holding on to the turn-based days of yore. A traditional RPG thrives on menu-based combat, uses a standard character growth system (experience/skill points), and often (though not always) has a strong plot.

2. Action RPG -- Character growth, with experience points etc, remains the same as the Traditional. But now, we have real-time battles where skill and handle of the control gives you as much (or even more) advantage than having the right level and equipment. Kingdom Hearts and the .hack// series come to mind here.

3. Strategy RPG -- Turns are taken by individual allied and enemy units on a field (often times a grid broken into squares), and the units can perform short-range and long-range attacks depending on what their class is. There are tons of games in this category. Final Fantasy Tactics, Jeanne d'Arc, Fire Emblem, Shining Force, Tactics Ogre, Langrisser, Disgaea ... the list goes on and on. Always a good time.

4. MMORPG -- Whether it be real-time, turn-based, or even using a Strategy RPG field (see DOFUS), the main feature of this RPG is that it takes place online and that thousands, even millions, of players play cooperatively and/or competitively in this large-scale fantasy world. See World of Warcraft, Everquest, Final Fantasy XI, Lineage, and about 75% of the Google Ads that come up on our site for the free Korean ones. :P

5. Simulation RPG -- The Harvest Moon series, and anything remarkably similar to it.

6. Graphic Adventure -- generally, these games are a very pretty "choose your own adventure" novel, with a little puzzle-solving thrown in. See Ever17, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and every Japanese dating sim ever. There are some Western-developed games in this genre, and they can be third-person (see Grim Fandango).

7. Adventure -- Our excuse to cover the Zelda series.

The last 3 aren't true RPGs, but we've decided to incorporate these genres into our site for a variety of reasons, including the fact that many RPG fans have similar tastes and find themselves attracted to these other genres. And some of them may have more RPG elements than others. We are selective in our coverage of games in the "Adventure" genre (example -- we cover Zelda, we do not cover Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, etc).

Ramza
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Tomara
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2008, 02:47:07 PM »

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is very newbie-friendly compared to the other Fire Emblem games, but it will be a while before it's available in the US (not Europe, we get it next week, haha!). However, if you want to play a SRPG right now, Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon (what's up with all the dark dragons?) for the GBA is an excellent choice. It's not too difficult (you can grind some levels whenever you want), teaches all the basics and is one of the genre's classics. The story feels very dated, but the gameplay is timeless.

Having played way to many strategy RPGs I'd say there are three types.

The classics
The first type gives the player many characters to choose from, but keep stats and items fairly simple. Characters can carry a weapon or two, some healing items and maybe an accessory. Maps are often large with many enemies and the player has to plan a strategy based on the map. Examples: Fire Emblem, Shining Force, Vandal Hearts.

The middleground
These are very similar to traditional RPGs, but use the battle system of a strategy RPG. These games usually only allow the player to bring a small party (5-6 characters) to the battleground. However, the characters learn skills, can wear various types of equipment etc. Examples: Final Fantasy Tactics, Stella Deus

The NIS games
Nippon Ichi makes its own kind of strategy RPGs. The gameplay is practically limitedless, the amount of options and stats a source of confusion. However, at the same time it's nice to have the freedom to throw friendly units and enemies or to damage everything on the map with some insanely intricate geo-symbol combo. NIS games usually have a quirky plot to motivate the player.

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Zool
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2008, 06:11:55 PM »

Thanks for all the advice guys, I think I'm about up to speed on rpg's right now..........just got to play more of them.

I am in the UK so I will look out for Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon next week.  We have to wait until April 09 for Chrono Trigger DS but we get Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon first, so that's makes up for it, I think.

Has anyone played, Ninjatown? I've just read a review of it and it sounds interesting.
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Lord Scottish
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2008, 06:34:13 PM »

And there are also those PC strategy games that have RPG elements but, as far as I know, generally aren't thought of as SRPGs. Jagged Alliance, X-Com, etc.

And to be nit-picky, most of what we're calling strategy RPGs are actually tactical RPGs. A strategy RPG would be something like Ogre Battle or, from what I've heard, Soul Nomad.
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Ramza
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2008, 05:33:30 PM »

The Japanese use "Tactical RPG" as a genre name very often, but in the Western marketing world "Strategy" and "Tactical" can be learned interchangeably.

I love the classic, mid-range, and "NIS" breakdown of S-RPGs. Good post. :)
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Sketch
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2008, 05:46:17 PM »

I am in the UK so I will look out for Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon next week.  We have to wait until April 09 for Chrono Trigger DS but we get Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon first, so that's makes up for it, I think

Fire Emblem isn't going to be the best game to start out with, I'm thinking. One of the Fire Emblem quirks is that when one of your characters dies, they're dead for the rest of the game, and for someone new to the genre, well...I don't think that'd be a very good thing. =P
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uwsguy
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2008, 11:36:43 PM »

Here is a tough question, outside of the Shining Force series, are there any Srpgs/Trpgs that have the adventure portion? I'm talking about walking around towns, visiting different areas etc.
The only ones I know of are la pucelle and Rhapsody that kind of do it and Disgaea and Soul nomad, do a really dummed down version. What I'm looking for is full town exploration sections.
Any ideas? I think Arc the lad might qualify but I don't know.
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Sketch
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2008, 11:52:15 PM »

Here is a tough question, outside of the Shining Force series, are there any Srpgs/Trpgs that have the adventure portion? I'm talking about walking around towns, visiting different areas etc.
The only ones I know of are la pucelle and Rhapsody that kind of do it and Disgaea and Soul nomad, do a really dummed down version. What I'm looking for is full town exploration sections.
Any ideas? I think Arc the lad might qualify but I don't know.

The only one that immediately springs to mind is Arc the Lad. I haven't played the AtL3 yet, but I assume it's like the first two. You are given towns to thoroughly explore, and whenever you feel like fighting, you head out to the overworld map and walk into a battle map.

Unfortunately, I felt that these games were absolutely terrible (I just played through them a few months back), so I can't really recommend them. AtL: Twilight of the Spirits, however, is fantastic, though that's a different style game than the previous installments.

Pretty much every other SRPG I can think of/in existence has only a single town/area for you to run around in. That, or they have a list of areas for you to choose from within the towns (like Soul Nomad).
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Tomara
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2008, 03:50:50 AM »

Some qualify the Arc games as SRPGs, but since the battlesystem is so dumbed down, some people prefer not to. You might say that if you count the Arc games as SRPGs, you might as well say the earlier Lunar games and the later Wild Arms games are SRPGs as well, since they allow the player to move on the battlefield. Out of all the Arc games, the first installments fits the genre the best. It's similar to the first Shining Force in many ways.

Arc the Lad was fun and short. Arc the Lad II expanded upon the first game in every way, but also overstayed its welcome. Arc the Lad III was mission based and couldn't really motivate the player to actually do those missions, because the story was so weak. Twilight of the Spirits was a decent game, but unbalanced in more than one way. The final battles are ruthless if you didn't get the secret characters and one half of the story was cliche garbage, while the other half showed a lot of originality and interesting characters. Oh and: Mary Sue alert.

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Fire Emblem isn't going to be the best game to start out with, I'm thinking. One of the Fire Emblem quirks is that when one of your characters dies, they're dead for the rest of the game, and for someone new to the genre, well...I don't think that'd be a very good thing. =P

Shadow Dragon is different. It actually encourages you to get rid of the weaker characters and the overall difficulty is lower than that of the other Fire Emblems because of the weaker enemies, the abundance of special weapons and the map save points. (This coming from someone who actually played the game) If you're new to the genre, Shadow Dragon is a good start (or Sacred Stones, that one's pretty newbie-friendly as well).
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Zool
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2008, 11:23:28 AM »

Fire Emblem isn't going to be the best game to start out with, I'm thinking. One of the Fire Emblem quirks is that when one of your characters dies, they're dead for the rest of the game, and for someone new to the genre, well...I don't think that'd be a very good thing. =P
Shadow Dragon is different. It actually encourages you to get rid of the weaker characters and the overall difficulty is lower than that of the other Fire Emblems because of the weaker enemies, the abundance of special weapons and the map save points. (This coming from someone who actually played the game) If you're new to the genre, Shadow Dragon is a good start (or Sacred Stones, that one's pretty newbie-friendly as well).
Hi Sketch, Hi Tomara,

Now I am intrigued. I guess that if you loose all your characters then the game is over. Is that where the strategy comes in? I can't find a review for Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon ds.  How does the game play?
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