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Round 2, Match 23: Persona 4 Golden - Winner (3) vs. Kingdoms of Amalur R (2)

JuMeSynJuMeSyn Code: KirinAdministrators
edited June 2014 in Battle Royale!
Match 23: Which battle system do you prefer?
Persona 4 Golden
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

This match is actually beginning slightly before midnight on Wednesday morning, and will end in roughly 48 hours as Friday dawns for easterners.

Paul, Phil, Sam and Alex get to debate this round whenever they feel ready!

At just about the stroke of midnight Friday morning on the east coast, this round is concluded.
It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
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Comments

  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    Awwwww, I don't get to vote this time. That's probably all right. I don't want to choose between the awesome turn-based strategic SMT battle system and the super-fun action system in Reckoning. I'm cool no matter who wins.

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  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited June 2014
    Awwwww, I don't get to vote this time.
    You can have my user vote if you want. I don't care for either battle system.
  • PimpaliciousPimpalicious Member Full Members
    edited June 2014
    I love Persona 4 but because of the sum of it's parts and not the battle system(though it is good). Kingdoms of Amalur is quite fun and I like it's action and the options to multiclass and change skill points with the fateweavers so it's possible to try different methods in the same playthrough.
  • Severin MiraSeverin Mira News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    Once more it's a case where a superior game as a whole is taking on a more mediocre one, but where the battle system did an awful amount to drag the latter up. Persona 4 Golden is an excellent turn based battle system, managing. It doesn't get bogged down trying to be overly complex or in other facets that can cause battles to go too slowly but still managing to include lots of depth, and has a good chunk of my favourite turn-based boss battles. As I've mentioned before Amalur is an excellent action system, with tons of flexibility in character build and combat styles. It's very fluid and another good example of using the pace to keep combat engaging. No immediate clear cut victor here.

    Depending on if some compelling arguments otherwise get presented, at the moment I'm edging towards simply going for the game where I just had the most fun and most engaged in the battles, which will of course be revealed later :)
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  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited June 2014
    I agree with Alex. Persona 4 is easily my favorite game of the two, but I can say that I really enjoyed Amalur's combat so much more. Not that Persona 4's wasn't good, but combat's not why I played that game. For Recknoning, combat is THE reason I played it. I could play more and more games with that battle system, so I'm sad that we never got the chance.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
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  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    This is an easy choice for me: while I absolutely love the strength of Persona 4's battle system (being able to build an awesome deck of personal for the MC), I wasn't fond of the card system in P4 where you could give a demon any skill you wanted providing you had a card for it. It was a great way to cheat certain fights, but you shouldn't have to resort to that to be successful in battle. I always love the fact that you can overcome enemies with a little thought and strategy, even if you were heavily disadvantaged (though grinding is equally effective to get better demons). Amalur, however, as much as I didn't like the game on a whole, I did think the battle system was fantastic especially because of how you can build your character and the fact that skills could be mixed and matched to one's heart content. The only aspect I disliked of Amalur's combat was that Reckoning Mode felt like the press A to win button due to how overpowered it was. But other than that, there's just a ton of complexity in Amalur's combat system that it can be so different for every player, and I appreciate how much it tailors a to a player's style.

    If we were judging on a whole (which we are not), I'd give it to Persona 4. However, since this is strictly for battle systems, I'm going to give it to Amalur simply because there's so many ways to play that game and tailor that combat system to your personal play style and preference.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    Variety in combat is helpful, but I look more for depth, myself. And, I do find myself questioning whether that should play a role in determining how fun a combat system is... at least in Amalar's case. We're talking about variety of character creation (the fact you can respec anytime in the game is, essentially, a character creation tool, IMHO).

    Regardless, I found myself getting bored with any single focus on a character build in Amalur. Don't get me wrong. My first six hours or so with my wizard build, for example, was totally memorable. I didn't know a wizard could be that much fun. But, ultimately I got bored with it, because no matter what spells I took, the process to beat the monsters (combo of buttons) was pretty similar. It didn't help that the monsters didn't really provide a variety of challenges. That's when the average player changed classes (and, in talking with my friends, that eventually happens to many who play this game). That helps it feel fresh and fun again for another X hours...but, I just can't shake the feeling that the ability to change classes and skill sets anytime in the game was a cheap way to cover up an underlying shortcoming...that the battle system just has short legs.

    Using another action RPG to help contrast in my mind...Diablo III, helps me to see that an action RPG could feel a lot deeper and, by extension, make me want to play it a LOT longer. By the time I was done with Amalar, I felt no desire to run through it again. I know some will point out "That's because everything else about Amalar is so average!" No, really, for me its the combat. I actually LIKED the story (though I would never claim its awesome. The combat had me falling asleep on my couch after I got bored of doing the same combos over and over again. Granted, Diablo III lets me also change skills on the fly...but I can (and have) stuck with a single build a lot longer without getting nearly as bored.

    Persona 4's turn based combat is deep...but as someone pointed out, not so deep that it becomes inaccessible. I'm running out of time, and I've already sang P4's praises on another thread... so I reckon I'll just get this one outta the way early, rollin' with the crowd on the vote... (early voting poll has Persona up 4 votes for every 1 for Amalar)

    Vote: Persona 4 Golden
    Did you know? They dropped the "Shin Megami Tensai" name from Persona 4 when adding "Golden" for the Vita version. Interesting!
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  • Zeboyd GamesZeboyd Games Member Full Members
    edited June 2014
    Aww and here I thought this might have been the first match-up that was a total blowout.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    Really not getting the downplaying of Persona 4's combat. Everything in the game feeds into the combat, making it just, like the bees knees folks.

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  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited June 2014
    Aww and here I thought this might have been the first match-up that was a total blowout.
    Final Fantasy VI beat Xenogears 5-0 in the first round. The only one so far.
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  • TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff Healer RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    I can't vote, but I'll argue in favor of Persona 4 this time around.

    As I've mentioned before, I don't think Kingdom of Amalur's combat is really that great. It is fun and a nice change of pace, and certainly better than what you see in many of its western peers, but it struggles because it lacks depth, both as an RPG and as an action game. When all is said and done, it is an RPG built around a single character and an auto-potion button that can save you from any fight, and an action game that only really has basic combos and no advanced mechanics. It's not exactly a game that gives you the best of both worlds.

    On the other hand, Persona 4 is a really impressive game. I don't know how much I really can sing its praises for this competition, but it has a lot I like. A complex element system that leads into knocking enemies over and getting extra attacks, combined with elementalized allies that have actual weaknesses, the hero's ability to change persona to adapt to different circumstances (but almost never having the perfect persona for a given fight), being able to cover up your weaknesses with the guard command, the various special abilities allies gain from raising their social links... Persona 4 has a lot of really fun mechanics. It helps that, while you can take control of allies at any time, their AI is still good enough that you don't have to for anything other than boss fights, which gives the player the freedom to focus on how to best apply the range of personas and skills available to the main character in order to cover the teams weaknesses and defeat enemies swiftly. It is a game where your approach to battle changes slightly with every fight, making the experience always new and interesting.

    So vote for Persona!
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    Interesting that this comparison is taking into account how the battle systems are relative to the rest of the game. I guess everyone needs some type of tiebreaker when both battle systems are this fun. Persona 4 is a great game with great combat overshadowed by some of the best writing in an RPG. Reckoning was a rather bad game whose only strengths were the combat and how you could personalize it. Their relativity to other components doesn't affect my opinion of their separate systems when comparing them.

    Both games have the same major issue that taints their combat for me: there's too much of it and it's hard to avoid. In Reckoning I was sick of all aspects of the game well before reaching the final continent. There was two or three times more content than the shallow mechanics could support. I agree with Phil that the system has short legs. Persona 4 has ugly, boring levels that feel longer than they actually are, and the bosses are all HP tanks that don't require any thought or tactics other than treading water until they die. That's what brings both of these systems down for me, and I think the extent to which that bothered others comes up in some of the earlier posts.

    Since my issue for both these systems was that the games featuring them over-estimated their longevity, my tiebreaker is more along the lines of which of these systems would I want to play for another length of time. Persona 4 is the deeper system, impacted by story choices, and I have gladly played P3, P4, and P3P, all of which use the same general battle system. A spiritual successor to Reckoning, which is unlikely, would need to overhaul combat to add depth for me to be remotely interested in playing it again. It outwore its welcome too hard the first time, being too basic for an 80 hour game. The class and loot systems felt to me like smoke and mirrors making something shallow try to appear deep, which would have worked in a 20 hour action game, but had obvious, fixable flaws well before the end of this one. It had no meaningful progression for the mid and endgame, which a game this long desperately needs.

    So vote for Persona? I will. I liked Reckoning's combat a lot but think its fans overrate it or just generally prefer action games over turn-based ones.
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  • Zeboyd GamesZeboyd Games Member Full Members
    edited June 2014
    Something that's worth mentioning is that the combat in Persona 4 actually does a good job at reinforcing character personalities with all the dialogue that is spoken there. Unlike most voiced RPGs where characters will just call out moves, in Persona 4 (and 3) you have a support character giving encouragement & advice, characters wanting to do all attacks (and being disappointed if you say no), and just general commenting on what's going on.
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  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    7thCircle wrote: »
    Interesting that this comparison is taking into account how the battle systems are relative to the rest of the game.

    Indeed...I think that some might rate KoA too high and Persona 4 too low because in KoA, combat is really the highlight of the game... and in P4G, the other components shine more brightly than the combat (for most).

    I like the way your reasoning works out here, Glenn, and pretty much does a better job than my previous post in expressing my opinion on both of these games and battle systems. They're both fun, and they both have some short comings. But, persona 4 is one that I could go back to again and again because it does have longer legs. It's understandable given that Persona 4 is the last in a long running series of a slowly improving series, and KoA feels like a solid first attempt that needs time (and future games) to more fully flesh out.
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  • Zeboyd GamesZeboyd Games Member Full Members
    edited June 2014
    Persona 4 has ugly, boring levels that feel longer than they actually are, and the bosses are all HP tanks that don't require any thought or tactics other than treading water until they die.

    Agree with you on the levels, but that's not true of most of the bosses. Yeah, they have plenty of HP, but there's definitely a right way and a wrong way to fight most of them and brute force will only take you so far on the higher difficulty levels.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    JCServant wrote: »
    Indeed...I think that some might rate KoA too high and Persona 4 too low because in KoA, combat is really the highlight of the game... and in P4G, the other components shine more brightly than the combat (for most).

    Seems like too many people played P4 on "easy street" difficulty modes.
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  • KeldarusKeldarus RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    I play Persona on baby mode because I don't like losing hours of progress if I get wiped by a bad mudo or hama attack. Granted it's not as painful as Persona 3, but still annoying. I'm a huge fan of Reckoning's combat, and P4's combat is solid, but it's not the highlight of the game. It's a pretty static turn based system. There's some really good things that P4 does, from party member encouragement, to combat that makes you think even on Easy. Finding the right persona and party make-up is fun, but the dungeon design gets boring over the course of each dungeon, and it is a game that requires grinding with those battles of attrition against the damage sponge bosses. Being underleveled in Persona 4 usually means death. Combat is fun, but grinding becomes a button mash just to get through battles quickly and move onto the next.

    Reckoning is a game where combat is at the forefront, and it's a blast. KoA's action combat is fun and it's easy to play different ways from a mage to a rogue who can backstab to a walking tank, and everything in between, you can fight how you want.

    I'm going with Reckoning on this one, but it's close and if Persona had less grinding and combat was more streamlined, I think Persona would take it.

    -Kel
  • Zeboyd GamesZeboyd Games Member Full Members
    edited June 2014
    Well of course combat is going to become a grind if you play the game on super-easy mode. Since there's minimal thought & planning involved, you're just killing time to get back to the story.

    Although I enjoy the story & characters, the combat in Persona 4 (on Hard or higher) is actually the high point of the game for me so seeing so many people discount it is discouraging. I've actually replayed the game, skipping all the story scenes just to do the dungeon crawling segments.
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  • DarkRPGMasterDarkRPGMaster A Witness to Destruction Moderators
    edited June 2014
    Wheels wrote: »
    Seems like too many people played P4 on "easy street" difficulty modes.
    I usually play on Beginner for my first playthrough, and then Hard on my 2nd to really test what I learned. It's the 2nd playthrough that pushes me to my best.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    Keldarus wrote: »
    I play Persona on baby mode because I don't like losing hours of progress if I get wiped by a bad mudo or hama attack. Granted it's not as painful as Persona 3, but still annoying. I'm a huge fan of Reckoning's combat, and P4's combat is solid, but it's not the highlight of the game. It's a pretty static turn based system. There's some really good things that P4 does, from party member encouragement, to combat that makes you think even on Easy. Finding the right persona and party make-up is fun, but the dungeon design gets boring over the course of each dungeon, and it is a game that requires grinding with those battles of attrition against the damage sponge bosses. Being underleveled in Persona 4 usually means death. Combat is fun, but grinding becomes a button mash just to get through battles quickly and move onto the next.

    Reckoning is a game where combat is at the forefront, and it's a blast. KoA's action combat is fun and it's easy to play different ways from a mage to a rogue who can backstab to a walking tank, and everything in between, you can fight how you want.

    I'm going with Reckoning on this one, but it's close and if Persona had less grinding and combat was more streamlined, I think Persona would take it.

    -Kel

    How could it be any more streamlined?

    It's like you guys played a completely different Persona 4.

    All I need to know about these two games is only one combat system holds up for 80-100 hours.
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  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    Keldarus wrote: »
    I play Persona on baby mode because I don't like losing hours of progress if I get wiped by a bad mudo or hama attack. Granted it's not as painful as Persona 3, but still annoying. I'm a huge fan of Reckoning's combat, and P4's combat is solid, but it's not the highlight of the game. It's a pretty static turn based system. There's some really good things that P4 does, from party member encouragement, to combat that makes you think even on Easy. Finding the right persona and party make-up is fun, but the dungeon design gets boring over the course of each dungeon, and it is a game that requires grinding with those battles of attrition against the damage sponge bosses. Being underleveled in Persona 4 usually means death. Combat is fun, but grinding becomes a button mash just to get through battles quickly and move onto the next.

    Reckoning is a game where combat is at the forefront, and it's a blast. KoA's action combat is fun and it's easy to play different ways from a mage to a rogue who can backstab to a walking tank, and everything in between, you can fight how you want.

    I'm going with Reckoning on this one, but it's close and if Persona had less grinding and combat was more streamlined, I think Persona would take it.

    -Kel

    Eh? How do you make combat in P4G more streamlined? More ways to do one hit kills? :P I just, of course...but I don't understand what you're looking for here...do you mean if leveling was streamlined, aka ...faster?

    For those on the fence, I'll point out that being underleveled in KoA could get you killed just as fast (especially if you weren't super careful). I wondered into areas that were over leveled for me on more than one occasion, and got my tusky kicked. That's just RPGs and not something I generally bemoan. Now an argument could be made that leveling/XP doesn't happen fast enough in P4G, requiring more grinding than makes you happy in order to be able to face that next challenge. It's funny...but even though I spent less time in it by far, I actually felt KoA was more grindy. Not that I was necessarily lookin' to grind just to handle the next boss ala P4G...but rather that the fights and stuff all started to feel like button mash-athons with little need for strategy or thought. Wondering from place to place doing quests usually involved fighting lots of stuff that just stated to fell so repetitive.

    Once I spent enough time in a class...a dozen hours-ish, it felt that the only way to make the game interesting was the change classes. And that would last another 6-10 hours..do that a few times, and you get through a game that was really too long for its gameplay.

    You say that KoA's focus is on combat... It almost sounds like the whole point I made above again :) Where Amalar's combat sticks out as awesome because, by contrast, its so much better than its other parts...and Persona's does not because all of its parts shine just as brightly, if not more brightly, than its combat system. What's really nifty about P4G is that many of those other parts feed right back into the combat in some way, shape or form. I agree about the design of the dungeons, but that's not what we're really rating here. Take KoA's combat system, outside of its contrasting parts, and you have a solid, promising combat system that needs maturation to give it needed depth. Take P4G's combat system outside and you have a system that's matured over many games in the series, with plenty of depth and thought provoking fights that entertained many gamers for two to three times as long as KoA.
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  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited June 2014
    Oh wow, two Amalur votes, one Persona 4 vote, and the reader poll leaning toward Persona 4. Oh Alex! You get to break this tie, it seems.
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  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited June 2014
    Lets note the KOA was honestly a DEMO. Yeah it was a full game but it really was a demo for the world that it took place to help promote an MMO with many of the features.

    KoA isn't really a full game of what everything coulda been and I'd argue that would also include the combat.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    Lets note the KOA was honestly a DEMO. Yeah it was a full game but it really was a demo for the world that it took place to help promote an MMO with many of the features.

    KoA isn't really a full game of what everything coulda been and I'd argue that would also include the combat.

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  • TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff Healer RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    Well of course combat is going to become a grind if you play the game on super-easy mode. Since there's minimal thought & planning involved, you're just killing time to get back to the story.

    Although I enjoy the story & characters, the combat in Persona 4 (on Hard or higher) is actually the high point of the game for me so seeing so many people discount it is discouraging. I've actually replayed the game, skipping all the story scenes just to do the dungeon crawling segments.

    While I could never skip the story scenes in a Persona game (enjoy them too much), I can understand enjoying the combat and gameplay even without them. I mean, it wasn't Persona 4, exactly, but I actually really liked the "The Answer" section of Persona 3 FES. It stuffed a minimal amount of story into a dungeon crawl the size of the original game, but I still enjoyed it very much. In fact, unlike the main game I didn't even burn out on it. It helps that "The Answer" removes a some extraneous gameplay mechanics, which makes the experience a bit more focused and have less grind. Any RPG in which I can enjoy long segments of pure gameplay with only minor plot scenes is one with a good battle system.
  • Severin MiraSeverin Mira News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    Some good arguments on either side here, in the end my vote is going to stick with the one that I was leaning towards yesterday and that I did find to the have most engaging and fun battles (though I think that one did receive the better arguments in this case as well).

    So, sorry Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, this time I'm ending on the same side (unless something odd happens) of the user poll and my vote goes to Persona 4: Golden.
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  • AncientRuneAncientRune Member Full Members
    edited June 2014
    Wheels wrote: »
    All I need to know about these two games is only one combat system holds up for 80-100 hours.

    yep Rekoning

    not gonna argue because both are good but i had way more fun with KOA than persona 4, but thats more because im turning away from pure turn based battle systems as they just arent as fun anymore.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2014
    Hey, I hear ya anout being bored with turn based games. People know I'm not a fan of generic JRPG battle systems myself. Like me, you may just need a break. I found that coming back to games which have a battle system with a twist...such as shadow hearts spinning wheel or Grandias action bar.... Made a big difference in coming back. The key for more generic battle systems is finding games with good balance where spamming attack,attack,heal will not win random encounters...at least for me.

    Out of curiosity, how many times did you beat KoA?
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  • AncientRuneAncientRune Member Full Members
    edited June 2014
    only once, I got a little mad that you cant max out your skills even after getting every skill book, unless you get the first dlc, probably did about 75% of the quests on the other side i have never got much past the first murder in P4. It may be that P3 ruined the series for me, I really hated that game and the fatigue system.
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited June 2014
    only once, I got a little mad that you cant max out your skills even after getting every skill book, unless you get the first dlc, probably did about 75% of the quests on the other side i have never got much past the first murder in P4. It may be that P3 ruined the series for me, I really hated that game and the fatigue system.

    Persona 4 doesn't have a fatigue system
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