EWG Editorial: The Lost Art of the RPG

-Uriah Marriott

In life we constantly find ourselves wondering whatever happened to the good old days. Lately, I have found myself doing the same thing, instead of wondering whatever happened to the good old days of running around at a playground, I find myself wondering whatever happened to the good old days of basic role-playing games. With gaming quickly becoming a leading form of entertainment and release for every day issues, the gaming industry is constantly improving and trying to add new concepts and creative ideas into gaming to keep everyone entertained. What about the classic characteristics that are the foundation of a gaming genre though? I’m talking about RPGs. RPGs are a dying breed in gaming now. There are not many stand alone RPGs that anyone is thrilled about. Even with my favorite series, Final Fantasy, I have been finding myself, while playing, wondering, “What the hell happened to the good old days when Fire spells actually greatly damaged Ice elemental monsters?”

RPGs have came a long way since the Nintendo Entertainment System, now with jaw-dropping cinematic cut scenes, brand new battle systems, and varieties of character and monster designs to solicit new players into this dying genre. I am all about broadening my gaming horizon but, what about us veteran RPG gamers that want some of the basic key elements back in our games? One game that will always stand out to me and I believe has most, if not all of these basic RPG necessities, is Final Fantasy 3 (American version for SNES).

Final Fantasy 3 had the silent main character that, through facial and body expressions, could communicate with all of their allies and enemies. This game also had an amazing character development style that came later in the game through Espers, amazing story, the typical 60+ hours of game play, variety of character personalities and stories, hidden characters, and a vast variety of magical spells and character skills. The main focus out of all of this is the battle system but more dealing with the spells and character skills. In Final Fantasy 3, spells were more than just pretty images that dealt damage in the end. The spells actually meant something such as; ice was weak towards fire, fire to water, earth to wind, water to lightening and many more. The creativity of these spells also made this an unforgettable addition to the genre; if you were to cast “float” on all of your characters before an enemy would cast Quake your party would take no damage.

Last in my rambling is the character skills each character in this game had. Each character had one unique skill/ability about them, such as Edgar’s ability to use tools like drills or chainsaws, Mog’s ability to learn dances, Cyan’s sword techinques, or Gau’s rage/leap technique to learn monster’s abilities.

If the game creators would bring back some of the basic and great qualities of such classic RPGs, maybe we would no longer see RPGs as a dying breed of game and only being remembered as parts augmented into other genres of gaming.

How do you feel about Uriah’s thoughts?