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JRPG Battle Systems on Phone! / Final Fantasy Record Keeper

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by AndrewGrayGames, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Posts:
    3,821
    So, I don't usually enjoy mobile games, but yesterday I had some repairs I had going on at home. So, I settled down and watched a speedrun of Dragon Quest 8 on Twitch. It was good. Took 14 hours.

    Along the way, in chat there were some game discussions, and one that came up was FF: Record Keeper. I downloaded it and gave it a play...and I was pleasantly surprised. It's not a complex game. Pretty much, the majority of the game is the ATB battle system that debuted in Final Fantasy IV, way back in 1991. In addition to that, you also have some character customization and gear enhancement, and play time is controlled by an energy system.

    All of that being said, while the game has nowhere near the amount of content that I found in JRPGs I enjoyed in my teen years, it has some really good ideas.

    First, a game that's just the menu-based combat works surprisingly well on mobile, since you're just touching commands. You can have good, fast-paced gameplay, but without bumping into the many limitations of the phone interface.

    I also like the pacing of the Energy system. It's possible to play this game for extended periods of time, because the Energy system is more lenient - by completing groups of fights, you can get 'Stamina Shards'; if you get 5, your Stamina capacity gets increased by 1 and fully filled. As the game goes on these get more scarce, and you'll start hitting the Stamina floor more often...but it's still possible to enjoy this game for longer periods of time than most mobile games let you. I'd still be happy if they ditched the energy system and just made the game available for outright purchase...but then, I'm not the average mobile gamer, either.

    Long story short: I didn't think a game that's just a fragment of a JRPG could be so fun, least of all on a platform so saturated with transparent money-grabs. I think if properly done, a "RPG Battler" game could be fun on other platforms.

    Thoughts?
     
    theANMATOR2b likes this.
  2. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Posts:
    2,234

    Had to dig that episode up.

    Menu based combat always worked well on handhelds since the controls don't require much. Most console RPG's past a point seemed to throw gimmicks in just to find some use for more of the buttons.

    I wouldn't say a fast pace is desirable though. The point of a menu is to provide more options than you have inputs for, and if the player has more options, that should then mean the player needs to consider these options carefully. If the player isn't thinking carefully, then combat is failing to provided meaningful, or at least interesting, choices. Man cannot live on bread alone and all that.
     
    AndrewGrayGames likes this.