Turn based combat is a simple, yet complex style of battle specifically in the JRPG genre. In these games you’ll explore an overworld, then you’ll find yourself in random encounter battles where your party will take turns choosing to attack, use magic, defend, or use an item; these are the basics of turn based gaming. These battles seem simple, but tend to be won based on strategy of how you use your attacks and magic. They also tend to make the player grind to gain levels, which I find enjoyable, but it’s a polarizing topic.
The combat system took form early on with games such as Final Fantasy or Earthbound Beginnings, then later started seeing some of it’s best games in Chrono Trigger, Suikoden 1 and 2, and Final Fantasy VI during the 16 bit era. Then along comes the Sony PlayStation; this console was loaded with popular turn based games such as Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX, Legend of Dragoon, SaGa Frontier, Legend of Legaia, Grandia, and Breath of Fire IV. After the big turn based boom on PlayStation, the genre seemed to become less and less common on the next gen consoles and most games were pivoting towards western RPGs such as Skyrim or Witcher.
Fast forward to 2022 where Nintendo just released the demo for the upcoming turn based game Live A Live where fans of the genre are excited for this game to be released in the west with its new coat of paint in the style of 2D-HD graphics. In the last few years I’ve been so happy to see games such as Bravely Default I/Bravely Second/II, Monster Hunter Stories 1/2, Octopath Traveler, Dragon Quest XI, and Shin Megami Tensei V get main stream publicity while seeing the hype surrounding the JRPG community.
Not only are these new games making a big splash, but we’re seeing a lot of turn based games with a slightly new coat of paint being released in recent year such as Chrono Cross, SaGa Frontier, and Final Fantasy VII Remaster.
Are turn based JRPGs popular again? I think so. I’ve seen people flocking towards some of these games for the first time in years. I’m not entirely sure what caused the comeback of these games, maybe HD-2D graphics are partially to thank, but regardless, us turn based fans are eating good in the gaming world now.
How do you feel about turn based games? Do you enjoy them? Do you think they deserve to be back in the spotlight? Let us know in comments, or write to us in our Facebook Group, and be join the conversation on our Discord by scanning the QR code below!