Will we ever get an SRPG with high production values?

banshee150

Member
Apr 3, 2019
505
Three Houses is great but some things irk me to no end. The ugly backgrounds, the action that is taking place in cutscenes that you only get comments on, the ugly maps and effects, weak animations, no collision physics, etc

Now imagine a game with HZD, GoW or RDR2 level of graphics where action transitions smoothly from cutscenes to gameplay, where battle scenes play out with FFVIIR flair (while keeping the excellent turn-based system in place), where you have multiple towns to explore (like in DQXI), where skit interludes don't involve black screen slashes but actual exciting combat with dramatic camera angles (ala Kojima and Platinum games) and realistic expressions. Imagine a protagonist that's not a self-insert silent type but a full-fledged personality with a complicated backstory and ability to influence the environment (ala Hitman games), where conversations take place organically and events are a combination of scripted and free-flowing that immerse you in the enveloping atmosphere.

The possibilities are endless but no one is willing to undertake such an endeavor.
 

transience

Found the ultimate water hazard
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Oct 27, 2017
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I doubt it, but I also kinda don’t want that. I like my grids and tiles. I guess there’s Valkyria Chronicles if you want something approaching that.
 
Sep 25, 2018
106
Still prefer everything fire emblem did vs what you want but good thing about life many options to choose from so hopefully someone make something you wrote
 

Trace

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,852
Canada
Unlikely. Those kinds of budgets are pretty much exclusively for games that are expected to sell 10+ million. And an SRPG isn't going to do those numbers consistently enough for the production costs to be worth it.
 

Elven_Star

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Oct 27, 2017
1,848
I mean it's not exactly a popular genre, so I doubt anyone would be willing to invest too much on those games. Things might change if Three Houses sells a couple of millions... but they probably won't, because there are safer bets out there.
 

B-Dubs

Oh well, what the hell?
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
15,914
Three Houses doesn't actually use cutscenes for it's fighting, it just zooms in on the battlefield if I remember right. You can play all the way zoomed in the whole time if you want.
 

Jakenbakin

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Jun 17, 2018
485
Valkyrie Chronicles is still kind of the king of this I guess? I has hoped after it first came out others would follow but alas
 

Pirate Bae

X marks the spot
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Oct 25, 2017
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Eh, I think it's gonna be a while considering strategy games in general aren't considered huge "blockbuster titles" by mainstream audiences; they're just not super accessible to the general playerbase IMO. Of course, Fire Emblem is huge and the game is doing really well, but I think that is due in large part with Nintendo's marketing strategies and the fact that the characters are available in other games, like Smash (the franchise as a whole, I mean). Normally, it would be released and then forgotten about by everyone other than fans of the series, like a fart in the wind. Just look at how long it took for FE to be considered "successful" and popular. Wasn't until Awakening, at the earliest.

So to answer your question, OP, I think it will happen, but not for a while. There has to be a huge demand for such games other than Fire Emblem, which is the hot commodity right now. This gen doesn't have a huge platform for strategy games outside of PC, Steam, and the Switch.
 

Hella

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,715
I don't want to play an SRPG designed with graphics over gameplay.

GIVE ME JANK OR GIVE ME DEATH
or some kind of sensible balance between the two, like the beautiful XCOM 2.
 

Orioto

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,860
Paris
I remember some SD Gundam games on PS2 being pretty high production value for the time! Generation Neo for exemple. But maybe i was easily impressed back then!
 

Fantomas

Is this tag ok?
Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,521
There has to be a huge demand for such games other than Fire Emblem
Have you heard the good word about Shining Force? :P

But yeah, the genre is pretty niche so there isn't really a lot of incentive to put that much money into a SRPG at the moment I don't think. Games like XCOM and Divinity Original Sin have similar combat, but they are still different than a more traditional one like Fire Emblem or Shining Force.
 

BlackJace

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
2,971
My "If I Could Make It" dream game would be exactly this. Really high production values with traditional XCOM/FE gameplay. FVIIR/RE2-level character models for cut-ins of characters during critical attacks, particle effects for the battlefield/battle scenes. Cinematic, "Destructive Finishes", slick UI.

I'd go crazy with it lol

But to answer your question OP, it would be a massive financial risk for a company to do this. SRPGs don't really sell that well, and they don't have the trappings for recurrent services that publishers could use to have a steady stream of revenue.
 

BizzyBum

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,406
New York
Three Houses is great but some things irk me to no end. The ugly backgrounds, the action that is taking place in cutscenes that you only get comments on, the ugly maps and effects, weak animations, no collision physics, etc

Now imagine a game with HZD, GoW or RDR2 level of graphics where action transitions smoothly from cutscenes to gameplay, where battle scenes play out with FFVIIR flair (while keeping the excellent turn-based system in place), where you have multiple towns to explore (like in DQXI), where skit interludes don't involve black screen slashes but actual exciting combat with dramatic camera angles (ala Kojima and Platinum games) and realistic expressions. Imagine a protagonist that's not a self-insert silent type but a full-fledged personality with a complicated backstory and ability to influence the environment (ala Hitman games), where conversations take place organically and events are a combination of scripted and free-flowing that immerse you in the enveloping atmosphere.

The possibilities are endless but no one is willing to undertake such an endeavor.
I was just complaining about the cheap production value of Three Houses in the OT hours ago, too.

It's a good game still but I agree it's weak in all those departments.
 

Slayven

You probably post about me on another board.
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Oct 25, 2017
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Trying to think of what they can do otherwise. Disgaea is pretty dope with all the attack animations
 

Kouriozan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,108
SRPG need to sell better for that to happen.
Nobody need to remind you that Fire Emblem was a dying IP with Awakening planned to be the last one of the series.
Mario x Rabbids looked really good, a lot better than Fire Emblem at least.
True but it’s also a very short and small game, no full VA etc, everything is tied to budget.
 

TFJ

Member
Aug 9, 2019
7
SRPG's are a niche genre (and will always be probably), so I don't ever see them getting really high budgets. Besides, I would argue that having a high budget most of the time detracts from the experience, since a lot of the money is spent on things not related to the core gameplay and just add busy work.

For example, in modern FE a lot of money is spent on things like character relationships, dubbing, avatar system... heck, in the newest ones you have tea parties and a Hogwarts-style monastery. Imagine if that time and money were actually spent on more / better level design, balance and gameplay mechanics?
 

Encephalon

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Oct 26, 2017
2,807
Japan
Front Mission 5 (as well as 2 and 3, arguably) and Valkyria Chronicles had pretty high production values. But since VC never took off, it's hard to imagine we will; it's probably the most accessible the genre had ever been.
 

LunaSerena

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,026
You’ll have to resign yourself, because for that to happen, you’d need to have an SRPG that sells on the level of, say, Zelda.
And if that didn’t happen before, it ain’t happening now, when all people is interested is stuff like Fortnite and battle royales.
 

Harp

Member
Oct 27, 2017
722
Dude, get a PC. Phantom Doctrine comes out tomorrow, and Battletech came out last year. You're looking on the wrong platforms.

Honestly, there's a shitload of turn based games on PC you would enjoy. Not all are RPGs, necessarily, but turn-based is very alive and very well on PC. X-Com 1 and 2, Divinity 1 and 2 (full on RPG with deep, turn based combat, classes, skills, environmental interaction that'd make Kojima blush, etc.), Banner Saga, Age of Wonders, Endless Legend, Shadow Run, Invisible Inc., any number of the Heroes of Might and Magic games, Wasteland 2, and many, many more.

My only gripe with Three Houses is the weird-ass 2D backgrounds with the fucked up perspectives during conversations.
That shit is so hard not to notice. That, and the very pixelated blocky clouds, even docked. So distracting. Honestly, the game looks like ass, but it does have a damn decent art style that carries it a fair way.

Good thing outside it's visual presentation, it's a fucking blast. Easily my game of the year so far, over RE2 and Sekiro.
 

John Omaha

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,200
You might get your wish eventually if Fire Emblem continues to grow in popularity while other developers jump on the bandwagon. You can already see the building blocks of many of the elements you're looking for in Three Houses - perhaps you should focus less on the flaws and appreciate how far the genre has come presentation-wise even compared to the previous generation.

Personally, I don't have much interest in what you're describing. SRPGs to me are like an extension of board games. My ideal high-end SRPG would be something like Final Fantasy Tactics that goes all-in on the diorama aesthetic with really high quality environments, miniature character models and special effects.
 
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texhnolyze

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,982
Indonesia
Dude, get a PC. Phantom Doctrine comes out tomorrow, and Battletech came out last year. You're looking on the wrong platforms.

Honestly, there's a shitload of turn based games on PC you would enjoy. Not all are RPGs, necessarily, but turn-based is very alive and very well on PC. X-Com 1 and 2, Divinity 1 and 2 (full on RPG with deep, turn based combat, classes, skills, environmental interaction that'd make Kojima blush, etc.), Banner Saga, Age of Wonders, Endless Legend, Shadow Run, Invisible Inc., any number of the Heroes of Might and Magic games, Wasteland 2, and many, many more.
This.

We've never ran out of SRPGs, especially in the golden age of indie gaming today. Yes they're not high production value, but they're pretty good.
 

Pata Hikari

Member
Jan 15, 2018
1,645
a self-insert silent type but a full-fledged personality with a complicated backstory and ability to influence the environment (ala Hitman games),.
Hitman games also have like 6 stages total and the game can be beaten in 10 hours

Also Byleth being a silent protagonist is clearly an artistic choice.

SRPG's are a niche genre (and will always be probably), so I don't ever see them getting really high budgets. Besides, I would argue that having a high budget most of the time detracts from the experience, since a lot of the money is spent on things not related to the core gameplay and just add busy work.

For example, in modern FE a lot of money is spent on things like character relationships, dubbing, avatar system... heck, in the newest ones you have tea parties and a Hogwarts-style monastery. Imagine if that time and money were actually spent on more / better level design, balance and gameplay mechanics?
Ah yes. How to improve a game in a series in which your units being actual characters instead of generic fighting units is a defining trait: Remove any characterization and character interactions.

The school section and the character interactions is not just some "busy work" that's "not related to the core gameplay". It's a key element of what makes Fire Emblem Three Houses a good game.
 

the_wart

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,324
SRPG's are a niche genre (and will always be probably), so I don't ever see them getting really high budgets. Besides, I would argue that having a high budget most of the time detracts from the experience, since a lot of the money is spent on things not related to the core gameplay and just add busy work.

For example, in modern FE a lot of money is spent on things like character relationships, dubbing, avatar system... heck, in the newest ones you have tea parties and a Hogwarts-style monastery. Imagine if that time and money were actually spent on more / better level design, balance and gameplay mechanics?
What you're asking for is to take what is currently the most popular console SRPG franchise and kill it. Fire Emblem is alive right now in large part because it brought characters and relationships to the forefront.

You should probably just play a different game instead of hoping FE will change. Folks in this thread have had plenty of suggestions for games with a tighter tactical focus.
 

Tibarn

Member
Oct 31, 2017
7,839
Barcelona
I think 3Houses is a bad example. Valentia on the 3DS is a game with a really good presentation (no AAA budget though, and the system is really weak), so we can expect a big jump on graphics for the next Switch FE game.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 looks amazing IMO, but it's not AAA by any means, and it doesn't look that much better that the 2008 original game (which is proof that a brilliant artstyle is the most importat thing related to graphics, the 2008 game looks amazing today).

And some things you've listed are not related to budget, the silent MC seems to be a deliberate decision by the team that has some ties to the narrative.

As others said, some games like XCOM 2 look really nice if you want a nice looking turn-based tactic game, and tbh 3H has a really high amount of voice acting, so the team is slowly improving the series presentation from game to game. As 3H has sold well, better than any other FE game (or so I've heard), we can expect the next one to look less ugly.
 

Hella

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,715
What you're asking for is to take what is currently the most popular console SRPG franchise and kill it. Fire Emblem is alive right now in large part because it brought characters and relationships to the forefront.

You should probably just play a different game instead of hoping FE will change. Folks in this thread have had plenty of suggestions for games with a tighter tactical focus.
I'd go further and call character relationships a defining part of FE, even before Awakening. e.g. my touchstones--Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn (FE9/10)--wouldn't be nearly as engaging if you cut out the story and character stuff.

Making the most out of your characters relationships via positioning in battle is a core element of Fire Emblem.
One of the best CRPGs in decades, although I'd hesitate to call it an SRPG. I guess in some sense? It does have positioning and it is turn based, but I wouldn't put it with, say, FE.
Yeah, DOS2 is much closer to a traditional CRPG because of its focus on a small, core cast.

It's one of the best RPGs made, without a doubt.
 

the_wart

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,324
I'd go further and call character relationships a defining part of FE, even before Awakening. e.g. my touchstones--Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn (FE9/10)--wouldn't be nearly as engaging if you cut out the story and character stuff.

Making the most out of your characters relationships via positioning in battle is a core element of Fire Emblem.
You're probably right, but... if the wider audience is anything like me, a lot of people made it through 90% of their first FE before learning supports even existed and went at least three games before realizing they had any gameplay impact...

Honestly just the immediate feedback of having those hearts pop out of people's heads might have been Awakening's single most important innovation.
 

Moirayn

Member
Nov 7, 2018
553
Like most have said the genre is too niche to break the bank on production values. There is room to improve with Fire Emblem certainly, & given it was their first HD effort I expect it will over time, but I wouldn't expect it to ever be a graphical showcase.

Maybe if Square did a new Final Fantasy Tactics game it might get slightly higher production values? But idk if that's on their radar anytime soon.