There are many factors that make a role-playing game unique from other gaming genres, but the party system is one that has always stood out.
While games in the Metroid and The Legend of Zelda franchises often have players exploring on their own, games like Final Fantasy and Xenoblade Chronicles have you save the world with a group of friends.
Japanese RPGs often utilize this trope heavily in their gameplay along with tactical and action RPGs. Even Pokémon games allow you a party in some form though the personalities are not so fleshed out.
As a newcomer to the genre, this has been a welcome shift in my gaming as I learn how to play with multiple characters with various skills. What also makes it fun is the interactions between the party members.
So, which RPG’s party was your favorite?
My first experience with the party system, outside of Pokémon, was Xenoblade Chronicles. I originally played this game on the 3DS and fell in love. What I enjoyed most was the various party members.
Playing alongside the party members naturally makes you become attached to them. Most of the Xenoblade Chronicles party were just fun to be around. I always enjoyed having Melia, Reyn, Fiora, and Dunban alongside me in battle and throughout the game.
Another game with a great party was Ys VIII: The Lacrimosa of Dana.
In terms of combat, I was indifferent to each of their styles, but the interactions made them fun to have around.
The eponymous Dana joins later but comes with a plethora of lore and her interactions with Adol are really sweet and kind. Sahad wields a giant anchor as his weapon and brings a lot of jocularity to the party, much to the disgust of the prim and proper Laxia.
They all work so well off of each other that they made my playthrough enjoyable.
There are also plenty of party members that stand out. I point to Aerith from Final Fantasy VII as one who you come to care about a lot so that when the infamous scene happens, you’re left feeling shocked.
To me, a video game rises to the top when it can make you feel something while playing it. As human beings, we seek out relationships with others and RPGs do a fantastic job at tapping into that via the different parties.
That’s why I believe party members stick with us long after we roll the credits on a game.
But what do you think? Which RPG has the most memorable party? Are there some party members that have stood out to you over your time gaming? Let us know in the comments below or by joining the discussion on our Discord Channel.
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