Dragon age origins vs Final Fantasy combat system

#1 Posted by megamagition (149 posts) -

So me and a friend of mine got into a heated discussion on the combat mechanics of Final Fantasy. I'm not the biggest fan of FF games(I've played a bit of 3 games from the franchise) , my main problem with them was the combat. In my opinion, it mainly consists navigating through menus and watching short to long animations play out, which get's tedious for me after the 100th time of doing that.

He brought up Dragon age origins saying

"Cos you have a menu and instead you assign the buttons to the menu oh and guess what if you have no space, you go into the huge menu and you pick an attack"

I said there are a lot more variables within Dragon Age, such as movement and positioning yourself. Not to mention that you rarely have to go through the "huge menu" he mentions.

Can you solve this for us? This doesn't involve story, or exploration, but just pure combat mechanics, which game has the superior combat system in your opinion?

#2 Posted by Planeforger (15401 posts) -

It depends - do you prefer the really well designed but relatively more straightforward combat of the Final Fantasy series, or the terribly designed but more complex combat of Dragon Age?

I say terribly designed because DAO's combat felt like a tragically watered-down-and-covered-in-manure version of Bioware's Baldurs Gate 2.

#3 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (8591 posts) -

Your Friend is a moron...... There its solved !

Also Navigating a menu is not combat, its like eating at a restuarant.... You place an Order and then it happens... Except a restuarant is much better because you know.... You get something much better than animations and numbers erupting out of no where.

#4 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16389 posts) -

I like Final Fantasy combat systems a lot. V and VI were great in their own ways (jobs in V and how exploitable some things are in VI).

#5 Posted by illmatic87 (14956 posts) -

What Final Fantasy game are we taking about here? What's interesting about this is that the systems in Final Fantasy XII and Dragon Age: Origins are alike. FFXIIs gambits are similar to DA:Os Tactics and there were similar party based mechanics between the two games.

Comparing DA:O and FFXII, there are different strengths and weaknesses between the two. So it's really hard to decide which is better. As for other FF games, the systems start to become really different in that it's personal taste. But I'd say the older FF games just cant hold up in terms of combat alone to X and XII, which I think hit the peaks in terms of core combat. XIII had its strengths of feeling really active, but lacked that depth as it squandered a few mechanics and lacked impactful use of skills.

I think the progression systems of Dragon Age: Origins were pretty underwhelming; Which is usually where Final Fantasy games can shine, particularly in V, Tactics, X and XII. In XII you can pretty much branch out a character to whatever you want them to spec into with the clever-yet-flawed license board. Whereas DA:O had your predetermined classes. Ashe from XII can spec into a Caster or a Melee class with heavy armoury or a mix of both, whereas Morrigan in DA:O was stuck to being a spellcaster.

I loved how responsive DA:O was. Actions were immediate. It made for a system where you can quickly react to a situation immediately after it happens. Whereas actions in FFXII would need to charge up. That made for quite abit of downtime if you were not rotating character actions (or relied on Gambits). While FFXII was great in its own right - despite the freedom of movement - the combat system boiled down to just a seamless, glorified system to what you'd find in FF games from IV-IX. And as you already mentioned, there is very little in positioning and movement involved in XII (and likewise with most FF games). There wernt much in the way of positional Area of effect damage skills, line/cone skills or cleave skills to utilize and I dont recall there being flanks/backstabs, which were the best things DA:O had going for it.

What's missing is the factors outside of the combat alone. FFXII had a pretty expansive and interesting enemy varieties and just a greater amount of depth going on behind the scenes with elemental strengths, resistances, weakness and its signature range of ailments to deal with, as well as a plethora of bosses; which DA:O lacked in. However, the compositions of enemies in DA:O was pretty robust compared to how randomly scattered mobs were in XII; You often had organized groups to fight in DA:O, where there was an element of mobility, positioning and a process of eliminating a deadly unit that can be found sitting in the backlines, Problem is though, was that with DA:O, the enemy designs were pretty uninspired, sometimes just a swam of the same types of units were thrown at you. There is nothing that comes close to the cool signature mechanics of a Bomb or *Shudder* Tonberry that you would find in a Final Fantasy game.

I cant really tell you which is better or more enjoyable if you take the combat systems out of the context of the rest of the game as I enjoy them both. All I can say is that there are games with better combat systems out there if that's what you're focus is on with RPGs :P.