Persona 5 & the Rebirth of Turn Based RPGs

When the Final Fantasy 7 Remake was announced, everyone was hoping it would be the classic RPG we love with a face lift.  Maybe some new systems in place for combat and updated story beats, but mostly the same.  When we found out it was going to be an action RPG like Kingdom Hearts & Final Fantasy 15, there was a split with the fans.  Some were against the change, while others welcomed it; mentioning turn based RPGs were done, that action gameplay was the way of the future.  With the release of Persona 5, it’s got me thinking that turn based RPGs aren’t as dead as we thought, and still have a place in this day and age.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

I can understand that the turn based combat of old has its flaws.  Battles could take a while.  With the newer ports of Final Fantasy 7, 8 and 9 they’ve implemented features that can speed up battles, or skip them all together.  Say goodbye to that ten minute wait for that Knights Of The Round summon you love so much.  It’s a welcome addition that lets older players like myself fly through the battles and relive the past, without having to sit through the grind.  For newer players, it could be a turn off.  You’re not really experiencing the game the way it was meant to be.  You know, back in my day we had to walk across that World Map with no x2 speed, so you’re gonna do it too!  With Persona 5, it retains that turn based charm but keeps the combat exciting and fast paced.  It also looks ridiculously cool.  It’s an update to the gameplay done right, and a breath of fresh air for the genre.  It makes turn based combat look hip and happening (yeah, I’m down with that new age lingo).

Another upcoming release is the next entry in the beloved Dragon Quest series.  Dragon Quest 11 seems to keep the classic battle gameplay it always has, but with updated gorgeous graphics.  If you look at where Final Fantasy has gone, the strategy has been taken away.  As long as you have an endless supply of potions and phoenix downs, battles in Final Fantasy 15 devolve into using R1 to target and circle and square to attack and dodge.  Don’t get me wrong, it was fun and I thoroughly enjoyed the game; but the thought of a new Final Fantasy entry with the fast turn based combat of Persona 5 gets me giddy with excitement.  I can picture it now……….and it’s glorious.

Dragon Quest 11

Although it’s disappointing, of course I’ll be buying the FF7 Remake on day one.  It honestly looks amazing.  I just hope they can adapt the story to the new gameplay properly.  With the release of Persona 5, and the future (please don’t only release in Japan) release of Dragon Quest 11, lets cross our fingers more developers start to realize that even in this fast paced age we live in, there’s still a place for our beloved turn based combat we hold dear to our hearts.  What are your thoughts on the state of RPGS?  Which battle system do you prefer, or do you love both?  Am I some old guy stuck in the past?  Leave a comment below! – NVJ


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