Tuesday, January 15, 2013

strategy rpg vs rpg

Strategy RPGs vs. RPGs
Which is better, a game like Fire Emblem or a game like Final Fantasy? Well that depends on what does "better" mean. Each genre is unique in it own way and give a different type of fun to the player.
By strategy RPGs, we don't mean RTS, or real time strategy, that is fast paced and not like the most important strategy games out there. The problem with the strategy games popular out there is that they contain RPG elements but aren't ordinary RPGs, and many newbs confuse them with normal RPGs.

Final Fantasy is probably the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about RPGs, as they have all the features of any classic JRPG. From the EXP system to turn-based combat, there is nothing Square Enix left out with covering or experimenting. FF13 uses something like a turn based strategy, but it makes a surprisingly quick pace, and still retains the normal structure.
Strategy RPGs also have an EXP system. It is almost an essential in all the strategy games I have played to have some form of leveling up and gaining some rewards the more you get in battle. This means that weak units, if protected, will become even weaker to the environment.

This means that SRPGs are having more characters than RPGs because RPGs have better stat rewards and item management than SRPGs. RPGs have fewer characters but each character has more stats than SRPGs, also that role playing games have more items and probably character customization that is more in-depth than SRPGs. Strategy is defined by a simple game like chess. You have so many units you can control, each with limited abilities that are each different. The knight moves in an L shape, The rook moves only straight horizontal or vertical lines, while the pawn moves mainly only one step. However there are many pawns, more than anything else, to compensate their low move space. The rook can shoot anything that is in the straight line to compensate the fact that there are only two of it. There is only one Queen, who is literally, the Queen of the board. But she knocks out pieces like how the pawn does because of her high range. So in the end a strategy RPG deliberately lowers stats of all characters to add more characters and even out the game. Overall this "evening out" turns out harder than ordinary RPGs, giving greater challenge for those who want difficulty.
RPGs usually (but not necessarily always) have bigger inventory and a wider range of items. You can upgrade weapons, healing items in a more complex way than strategy games. The reason is very obvious: we are focusing on one or two character (even 9) that have many skills, and life is looked upon from the adventuring point of view rather than the top down point of view, even if the RPG game really is top-down. Zelda: Minish Cap's castle town was really awesome, and while the game was top down, it was focused on you, Link, and not the location of you relative to the octorock, for example. This is why Link's inventory management is better than Lyn's inventory management, when she can only carry up to five items, including her weapon, and can trade with Florina, who always does the shopping (giggles at the advantages of a flying horse) I am happy I am not Florina; shopping is the trickiest hardship in life.

RPGs are sometimes mistaken for adventures, which is something that you can never do in a strategy game, unless you are that addicted. RPGs nowadays feature some beauty in the graphics, but regardless of graphics or not, when you talk to villagers in a town and see the life of the character you are controlling, it just creates a bond between you and that sprite on the screen. Strategy RPGs sure do make you feel the character, but absolutely not like role play where you live in the game more that strategy games.
Overall both genres are amazing, and you can't say one is overall better than the other, as it always comes down to opinion. Personally I love RPGs better than anything, but I do play strategy games as a change of pace and I love them too. So if you have only tried one type of games, try another one. If you have never played any RPGs, now's the time. Don't wait until tomorrow. And play more Zelda!
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