Yuji Horii, creator of the critically acclaimed RPG Chrono Trigger and the Dragon Quest series, was interviewed by IGN regarding the release of the most recent DQ title, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies and shared his thoughts on turn-based versus real-time RPG combat. The Dragon Quest series has always been a turn-based affair, allowing gamers to plan out each round of action for maximum effectiveness of their characters and I can’t really see any problems with it.
Horii-san’s thoughts reflect that philosophy when asked about the differences between Japanese gamers and American gamers when it comes to turn-based combat:
“I wonder sometimes why the US reviewers are more negative towards turn-based battle systems. Real-time play has fun aspects too, but for this type of game there is more strategy that comes with a turn-based system. Also, you can play with other people in this game and decide what actions to take together.”
I agree with Horii-san’s thoughts. When I play an RPG I do expect the classic turn-based system to be in effect. I understand newer RPGs coming out have started to adapt the real-time combat system to make things a bit more interesting. The problem is, part of the lure and fun of a RPG, to me, is planning your strategy methodically and unleash it upon the enemy resulting in his ruin (hopefully).
Titles like Dragon Age that incorporate a pause feature that allows the gamer to still be able to plan action. This is something that I think is still a feature that is not necessary, but at least appreciated by gamers who grew up on turn-based games. Obviously gamers will be able to adapt with changes, but sometimes the old ways can be the best.
Source: IGN (German)