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I Feel the Need for Speed

Michael Cunningham

REBUTTAL TO: Battle System Originality: Blinded by the Light

Yeah, I'm rebutting myself again. I'm not changing my stance from earlier, but I'm taking a different angle than just stating that Japanese RPGs are every bit as innovative as Western RPGs. I can understand some of the points that Glenn Wilson makes in his editorial, even if I disagree with his reasoning behind it. While I feel that Japanese RPGs have been creating new and unique battle systems, I am having a harder time playing those with older, slower systems. This includes Suikoden Tierkreis, Crimson Gem Saga, Black Sigil and Dragon Quest V.

For the longest time I could play any and every Japanese turn-based RPG out there. It didn't matter how slow or how basic the combat was, I would eat it up. That is no longer the case. Now I'm craving the innovation and want to play something faster and more exciting. I'm not just wanting an action focused combat system like Kingdom Hearts or the Tales series, but something that's faster than most games are. I love the combat systems in both Japanese and Western RPGs, so I'm not picky. I enjoyed Final Fantasy XII, Fallout 3, and The World Ends With You. All of these combat systems were fast and unique. I'm just getting impatient, and there is no reason not to speed things up. This doesn't mean that I want a game where you have to have quick reflexes in order to be successful, but why not make the battle system quicker to use?

I think that both sides of the world are doing good jobs at creating new RPGs with fast battle systems, so it's not a matter of Japan falling behind. It's just the fact that Japan is still pushing out RPGs with slower combat along with the newer stuff. The older I get, the more I realize that I don't want to spend minutes doing what should take seconds. So Japanese developers or anyone else wanting to make a retro RPG, speed up your battle system. You don't have to copy the active time battle system or turn your game into an action RPG, but turn-based combat can be quick. If you want to hold my attention, please speed up.

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