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What Makes RPG Combat Good? @ Joystiq

by Dhruin, 2012-04-06 23:51:25

In his weekly RPG column at Joystiq, Rowan Kaiser asks What makes role-playing game combat good? I thought the article missed the obvious answer and goes for "responsiveness" instead:

Responsive pace means that when you press the button to have something happen, that thing happens quickly. In Jagged Alliance 2, one of the greatest tactical RPGs of all time, you click your mouse and you immediately see what happens. Your choices register instantly. Or, in games like The Elder Scrolls: Arena and Daggerfall, your sword follows your mouse when you hold the attack button, and you see the effect instantly. On the other hand, there are games like Anachronox, a fascinating Ion Storm homage to Japanese classic Chrono Trigger. Anachronox does extremely well at setting a tone for the game with interesting characters and narrative, but its sluggish combat is a major drawback and renders the game extremely frustrating in battle-heavy areas.

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