In the February 2007 issue of Game Informer, Game Informer had the opportunity to not only give their hands-on impressions with Blue Dragon, the Xbox 360 RPG game that Microsoft hoped would generate more 360 sales (which it did…slightly), but also interview the father of Final Fantasy himself, Hironobu Sakaguchi. When poised with the question of whether or not it was difficult for Blue Dragon’s battle system to be turn based due to many RPGs now taking the real-time/action route, Hironobu Sakaguchi replied with the following;
"I had no desire to be swayed by a fad. Conversely, if there are less turn-based games now, then the project may have scarcity value".
Whether or not this has any signifance to you is based on your preference when it comes to JRPGs; but for many people who’ve watched gameplay videos of Blue Dragon and few who’ve personally gone out of their way to import an Xbox 360 with Blue Dragon, turn-based gameplay wasn’t exactly their cup of tea anymore in this generation of gaming. Furthermore, with the Xbox 360 being a current-gen console (since next-gen is current-gen already), many people expected more from this RPG, preferably a real time nature that manages to exploit the system’s full potential if not some of it.
This, of course, begs the question as to whether or not turn-based JRPGs are even suitable now with the power of current-generation consoles. With Final Fantasy XII being the major RPG that cast away traditional turn-based gameplay and combined MMO elements with the turn-based formula to create something both real-time and new, should traditional turn-based RPGs cease to be and just remain a gameplay formula of the past; or should developers continue to experiment in various ways of incorporating new formulas within turn-based gameplay formulas and hopefully keep turn-based gameplay alive? Are action/real time RPGs really just a fad that cater to those who easily lose interest in the repetitious nature of turn-based battle systems, or do they offer the same deep, strategic feel as traditonal turn-based battle systems?
Personally, I feel traditional turn-based battle systems are superior to those of an action/real-time nature.