I can only play that game so many times…
I’ve combed threads and online lists for many years, but never tried the excellent community here.
To be clear: lists that start with suggestions like FFT (or similar) miss the mark. OB64 (and it’s predecessor-March of the Black Queen) have a very specific core game engine and loop. It’s not the same as FFT - it’s almost a blend between FF1, FFT and a RTS. Very unique, very specific.
I, too, have fond memories of OB64, and I’ve never seen anything else quite like it.
The Dragon Force games for Saturn sound somewhat similar, but I have never played them.
Another game that may be somewhat similar is Flamberge. Steam is having issues at the moment, but it’s on Itch, too, and the good news is that if you bought that crazy $5 bundle you have it in your library:
It might be abandonware at this point, though, like so many early access indie games.
It’s not real time (turn based) but it’s a strategy game with roads between castles, in which you assemble armies and send them to play tactical battles (that are resolved on a hez grid). Similar to Dragon force wbut with a more tactical battle resolution, really.
No prob. It’s not real time, but it’s the closest thing that comes to mind. It definitely has that thingy where your form squads with individually chosen units (with one as leader) and basically the units act by themselves depending on where you put them in the formation. That’s pretty distinctive.
I think some might say Soul Nomad is a forgotten gem. It certaily has a unique story and an unrepentant bad guy as the “hero”. IMO, it’s kind of crappy in that Nippon Ichi way, i.e. it’s a SRPG on the surface but underneath it’s really a game about grinding for the sake of grinding.
Haha, I’m not sure what Himeko Sutori is supposed to be exactly, but I saw it a long time ago on Greenlight (remember that?). Hey, it does seem to have progressed a lot compared to last time I saw it!
The Dragon Force games are one of those things that I desperately envied the Saturn for and wanted to play at the time because it looked so impressive. I remember seeing it running in games stores windows as an attract mode kinda thing and just thinking it was the coolest thing ever. I guess I could play it now, but I know it won’t live up to the vision I have in my head.
Langrisser series (first originally released as Warsong on the genesis) has Commander/troop based battles, but it’s a bit more abstract (one commander + a specific troop type, as opposed to the unit variety in Ogre Battle). But it’s also turn based outside of battles. Also the way troops work evolve over the series (they start out as discrete units but later on you’ll have troops that are directly attached to heroes). But you can get the remakes of I and II on steam right now.
Likewise, the PC Disciples series (the first two anyway) is turnbased outside of battles as well as in. Unlike Ogre Battle, you manually select all unit commands and battles continue until either someone wins or someone flees. But this combat is IMO closest to what Ogre Battle did, and it has some branching unit evolution paths that can be pretty fun. The world map game plays pretty differently though, with you just controlling a handful of squads as opposed Ogre Battle’s much larger active roster. Also, the maps are much more populated, with you going around collecting resources/fighting neutral monsters/investigating ruins and such to level up your units/hero (as opposed to Ogre Battle where you largely fight the enemy troops).
Sadly, Ogre Battle is a form that has been mostly forgotten by gaming at large.
Great call on Disciples: those games’ battles (especially the first one’s) managed to really improve on the battles of Ogre Battle. The map AI is also quite amazing and relentless in the first game, probably helped by the turn based choice. And with its incredible esthetics (those drawings! that soundtrack!) it’s probably the better single player version of Ogre Battle. I had never linked them, but now it feels very obvious how inspired it has been by the first Ogre Battle game.
I always assumed the devs were Ogre Battle fans as well. I had qualms with the 2nd game for sure (some of the campaign scenarios were so frustrating), but I still liked it.
There is a part of me that has a fondness for the “script driven” approach to Ogre Battle and how you could manipulate it via a combination of the general targeting focus and where you positioned troops/how you equipped then. e.g. shifting clerics to the front row on I think it was battle 5 to deal with the undead/werewolves until you found some magic/holy weapons to equip on leader units. But being able to pick and chose how everyone fights has distinct advantages. I just think the upgrades in Ogre Battle were slightly more interesting overall (e.g. putting a Samurai troop in the front row for 3 powerful slashes versus making them a very high damage “any single target on the battlefield” blaster with inanuchi or whatever it was called).
I just adore that tiered upgrade concept where there’s some branching and even hidden options (e.g. OB’s Princess!). More games need to do that.