Does anyone here like Action Commands?

Jiggykoopbob

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Action Commands is where the player has the press a button at the right moment for an attack to be more effective against the enemy. Basically something that has only been in Mario RPGs (Bug fables too) as far as i know. And i once made a post on a different forum about Pokémon if people there liked the mechanic. Only a few people agreed with me there.
 

TeiRaven

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I've encountered something like this in Legend of Dragoon and Tales of Xillia. If memory is willing to serve, you had to get through the button press combo at the right tempo to land attacks properly at all in Legend of Dragoon (but it's been Several years, memory might not be willing to serve). That could be frustrating, because if your controller had a sticky button or otherwise wasn't in tip-top shape, your attacks might do all of two damage.

Rowen's arte tuning in Xillia was more what you describe, I think--the attack would land regardless, but if you kept hitting the buttons (at a certain tempo, I think? I don't think there was a sequence component) you could deal more damage. I enjoyed it, Rowen was one of the characters I frequently played. And missing the tuning window if your buttons stuck, someone in the other room shouted for you, or you were otherwise interrupted didn't usually make or break an encounter.

I haven't ever encountered it in an RPG Maker game, but I'm not averse to the idea. I just wouldn't be keen on having to do it for every attack with every character.
 

TheGentlemanLoser

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You need to check out Vagrant Story.
 

Frostorm

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I played Bug Fables lately, which is kind of like a spiritual successor to Paper Mario. It can be pulled off, but I typically prefer not having that mechanic. Leif in Bug Fables is annoying to use, for example.
 

KazukiT

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I feel this timed attack works better as a special attack since it's less frequent than a normal attack. I have this in my game Path of the Martyrs, but the plugin (MV) I am using from SumRndmDde is a bit buggy.
 

Aoi Ninami

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I'll reiterate the points I made in my response to your profile post. Action commands work in Paper Mario for reasons that don't necessarily transfer to other games, namely:

* The battle system is built around the action commands as a core mechanic. There is a lot of variety in the actions you have to take (whereas I've seen RPG Maker games that have every single action in every battle have "hit one button at the precise time", which gets old really fast), and the actions get gradually harder and more complex throughout the game.

* The game is balanced around the action command system. If you can do the actions reliably, you get a notable edge and feel rewarded for success, but it doesn't trivialise the game; if you can't, then it doesn't become impossible.

* The battle system is not built around anything else as a core mechanic, so there aren't two cores interfering with each other. For example, in a game where the main focus is analysing and understanding enemies' attack patterns and weaknesses and coming up with strategies in response, action commands would detract from this, because a player might have a really good strategical insight and not get rewarded for it because they fumbled the action commands.
 

ATT_Turan

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Both Legend of Dragoon and Final Fantasy VIII used this (and didn't Final Fantasy VI for one/some of the limit breaks?).

I'm not a fan of it. It feels weird to me to say "combat is turn-based except it's also time-sensitive." Plus, as Aoi mentioned, if you don't do it right, it makes your attacks less powerful than the game balance was predicated on them being.
 

Milennin

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I liked it in Dragon Ball Z; Legendary Super Warriors, because each different button was assigned a different attack animation, so it was fun to see the different combinations of attacks. There was also a way to fix a missed button press mid-combo, difficult to pull off, but rewarded a skillful recovery from a mistake made.
For RPG Maker games, I can't recall having played any that had action commands in battle, but I also wouldn't trust a game with it. There's too many things an amateur developer could potentially screw up with a mechanic like that for me to give them the benefit of the doubt. It's one of those mechanics that sound nice to have in a game, but it's very difficult to pull off without having it feel boring or frustrating for me as the player.
 

AphoticAmaranth

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I'm not a fan of it. If I wanted to play an action game, I'd play an action game and not an RPG.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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I feel this timed attack works better as a special attack since it's less frequent than a normal attack. I have this in my game Path of the Martyrs, but the plugin (MV) I am using from SumRndmDde is a bit buggy.
Gonna agree with this. As long as every normal attack isn't using it, I have no issues whatsoever.

I give Legend of Dragoon a pass though, mostly because the additions were cool to watch play out, and the voice acting for the game is hilarious.
 

ATT_Turan

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I give Legend of Dragoon a pass though
I quite liked the game overall...it's a testament that I did the horrible amount of grinding necessary to get the rare accessory for each party member that simply made all of their attacks automatically succeed without button inputs, and played the game from there.

It's one of the few games I would support a remake of, because it used the icky pixelated 3D models that just didn't do justice to the very cool character/creature designs.
 

TheTitan99

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I like them! But they do not work in all games. I say this from experience. I've actually been programming in Action Commands into a game I've been making. And, I don't think I'm going to keep them, because they don't fit the direction the game is heading.

I think that it's important, in game design, to have a clear focus on what you want your game to be. The Mario RPGs have simple, quick combat that plays almost like a series of mini games. Action Commands make perfect sense there. Likewise, Undertale and Deltarune have variations of action commands, more so focusing on dodging than anything else. And when you look at the other mechanics, they are fairly simple, as to not overwhelm the player and shift focus away from the action.

There's a story I think back to every now and then about a developer of a stealth-based videogame. I wish I could remember what the game was, but I can't! Argh!

Anyway, the story goes, when developing the stealth game, the game had a combat system. It was very fun combat too! However, the existence of the elaborate combat system made people want to use it. I mean, why else have a combat system in a game?

So, you had what was meant to be a sneaky, stealthy game that had tons of combos, weapon choices, damage types, and whatnot. All great elements... for an action game. Terrible for a stealth game. Like half of all gameplay was based on combat, which the game wanted you to avoid! Talk about mixed messages!

The developers ended up removing most of the combat system, and replaced it with a simple sword swipe and that was it. This made players focus on the core gameplay system: Stealth. All that combat didn't fit with the core of the game.

Taking this back to Action Commands, this is why I think I'm not gonna use them in my game. I have a tactical, strategy heavy game based around status effects and team synergy. Then... you also have to press 'Z' at the right time to do extra damage? It doesn't matter if pressing 'Z' to a rhythm is fun or not, it doesn't really fit, and it distracts the player from the actual core gameplay: Strategy and team building.

Long story short, if you're using Action Commands, you have to build the entire game around them. But, really, this is true for any major gameplay mechanic.
 

Iron_Brew

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I love Action Command a lot - it helps prevent the "mash a to win" that a lot of JRPGs suffer from. It's incredible in Mario RPG where it's legitimately quite difficult to pull off, so by the endgame when you're doing it consistently it also feels tied into player progression.
 

CG-Tespy

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I, for one, like action commands. Makes RPG combat systems a lot more interactive than the usual menu-navigation approach they usually take.

* The battle system is built around the action commands as a core mechanic.

That kind of applies to core mechanics in general, but I agree with what you're trying to say here. I'd also say that the Mario & Luigi series did a pretty good job of designing their combat around action commands. All the attack commands involved them, each with their own timings and such that the player had to memorize. There's also how enemies have their own little counterattack windows, adding more depth to how those games pulled things off.
 

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