Tobold's Blog
Saturday, August 11, 2018
The importance of combat

When you look for a mobile game involving fantasy heroes battling monsters, you invariable stumble upon the so-called Gacha games, which are Free2Play games with collectible heroes from loot boxes. I sometimes play those a bit, because the hero collection aspects are fun enough, I don't mind the Pay2Win nature of these games, and I don't tend to go overboard with loot box gambling anyway. However I usually end up not playing very long, because I get bored of the combat. Combat is frequently either completely automated, or so trivial that an optional auto button results in the same combat result as you playing manually. Boring combat, boring game.

I thought about the contrast to some other games I have been playing recently. One is Octopath Traveler on the Switch. The other is a dungeon crawl series of D&D sessions with varying DMs and players my roleplaying club is currently running, which doesn't bother with story but just has that classic door - monster - loot mechanic. And in spite of all the failings on the roleplaying and story side of both Octopath Traveler and the D&D hack & slash session, these games are fun, because the combat is fun.

That isn't to say that I wouldn't prefer a game in which both the story and the combat are great. But it isn't always possible to get everything you want. And when looking at the shortcomings of a game, I end up liking a game with flawed story and good combat more than the other way around. So when I looked at a Steam offer for Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom at 50% off yesterday (I played and liked Ni No Kuni I), I ended up not buying the game because the reviews that the world is fantastic, but the combat is a) action RPG combat and b) not so great.

My plans for the weekend: Playing Card Hunter, a game with little story but great tactical combat.

Have you tried Fire Emblem Heroes?
Yes, I played that when it came out. Somehow I leveled faster than they could add content, although I imagine that has been fixed by now.
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