Auto-pausing after every turn is available in all the Infinity Engine games for sure and I think the NWN games also, although NWN in particular hardly even warrants pausing. It’s not the same, because real turn based combat prompts you to use each and every one of your party members. With autopausing I found it far too easy to simply let most of the party run itself while I micromanaged the mage. To the point where I’d often forget to use special abilities and such my other characters might have.
On a different note: for the record, TOEE is based pretty directly on a really oldschool D&D scenario and those always were mostly about elaborate combat setups. So I don’t think that part’s really Troika’s fault except insofar as they decided to use it as the basis for their game.
If you mean genuine turn-based AAA CRPGs for the PC, in my opinion you’ll never see another one.
If realtime-with-pause is close enough, then you have NWN2 and addon, BioWare’s Dragon Age (one day) and Radon Labs’ Drakensang (arguably not AAA but pretty close) plus most of BioWare’s back catalogue.
The Witcher is rtwp but it feels much more actiony than the the other stuff mentioned.
Eschalon: Book 1 should be released next month and although it is definitely indie, the graphics and production values are pretty damn good (relative to being an indie) - genuine turn-based, old style CRPG - worth checking out.
I don’t think so, they do just fine marketing them in the US though some of the niche titles don’t make it over here. I think they just proved they could do a way better job at making turn based RPGs and drove the US companies out of the biz.
I realize not everyone feels this way and the quality of the AI makes a difference, but I really don’t have a problem with only controlling a single party member most of the time. It’s certainly more “realistic” than micromanaging a team of combatants. For example, I played most of NWN2 just controlling my created character and let the AI handle the rest of the team (though using one of the popular AI mods really makes this a lot less frustrating). The general group commands are closer to reality than micromanagment and you can always pause and jump in.
As I said, I realize that not everyone is going to agree and I certainly understand the appeal of full control (I love JA2 for example) but as AI improves the necessity for it is less than it was 10 years ago.
I agree. My ideal is the Fallout system, where you control just one character, but can have other characters in your party that are autonomous (and who, amusingly, sometimes do things that you’d rather they hadn’t). I also like straight single-character games.
Do Japanese and Western RPGs even compete with each other? I mean, most Japanese games are for consoles, and until a few years ago most Western RPGS were primarily PC titles, right? Plus, there’s the giant cultural gap they’d have to cross.
There are some fans who like both types and others who only like one or the other. I think it really depends on what you were exposed to first, that really caught your eye. Many of us define “RPG” by whichever game first caught our attention and find wide variation from that formula to be daunting or inferior.
It’s a lot like that small but devoted group that still finds text adventures to be the height of gaming and all these new fangled games with decipherable graphics to be the downfall of what was pure and right with the world. :-)
I don’t particularly object to real-time-with-pausing (though I used to). And it’s certainly much closer to what I like than strict real-time play (although that can be fun too, if I don’t have to have five hands to deal with everything at once). But it’s not turn-based, and turn-based offers a different experience that I tend to prefer overall.
Yeah, that’s one of my biggest beefs with the genre. Too many JRPGs are relentlessly linear. No making your own character, very little (if any) opportunity to affect how the story develops, and often even the exploration is a straight line walk from point A to B to C. About the only thing that’s dynamic is the battles, and those are not so much dynamic as they are completely random. When I play JRPGs, it’s usually a race to see which makes me shelve the game first: the tedium of having to fight some lengthy generic battle every five steps, or the boredom of realizing that I’m just shunting my way through the RPG equivalent of a rail shooter.
I think the main reason I played DQ8 for as long as I did was the relatively open exploration. The battles still got tedious after a while, though.
Oh yes. I just beat the game, and the parts where you could explore open-endedly with the boat and the flying ability were nice, but it still felt too linear and it was hard to get any nice exploration momentum with the constant battle interruptions. I still liked it for giving me a big nostalgia trip for playing Phantasy Star I and II on the Genesis. I would have loved it if they had added ten or twenty more optional side-quest dungeons and given you the option to speed up the pause-heavy combat by a factor of 10.
I’d also like a spiffy new TB RPG but will probably just stick to Jeff Vogel’s games and going back to older ones on the PS2. Trying to get my hands on Dark Chronicle (i.e. Dark Cloud 2 in the U.S.) which seems to be well-reviewed.
Etrian Odyssey is a Japanese turn-based RPG, but it plays more like an old school PC RPG like Bard’s Tale or Wizardy. First person, too, so you don’t have to look at your own spikey hair. Virtual graph paper included.