Strategic RPG video games

This is probably my favourite genre of computer games. The Fire Emblem series has to be at the top of the list, but there’s some other decent ones. The Advance Wars games are good (though i’ve yet to play the third). And then there’s the Tactics versions of other games, like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (which was good) and Tactics Ogre (which was not).

Anyone else share my love for this genre?

I do, but I’m a PC gamer, so my titles are games like X-Com, Panzer General, and Jagged Alliance. Anyone remember the Panzer General spin-off, Fantasy General? I think that might have been my favorite from the series. Also, generally, when someone says “tactical,” I think “turn-based,” but the Total War series is some excellent, real-time tactical action. I’m way into Rome right now (again) but I’m going to drop it like a dead rat as soon as Medieval 2 comes out.

I haven’t played many console tacticals, although I did get the latest Advance Wars for the DS. Neat game. I’m really impressed by how big it is. I got into Final Fantasy Tactics late, playing it for the first time on my PS2, but I got really into it for a while. Until I hit a scenario mid-game that was such pure bullshit it just killed the entire game for me. Haven’t been back since. I’d still play a real sequel in a heartbeat though.

I do enjoy them, though I admit that I tend to be a little obsessive about the ones which punish you severely. I can’t let any of my guys die in the Fire Emblem games, for instance.

Miller, have you tried out Silent Storm? It’s a bit like X-Com (Action Points and all), with some RPG-class goodness thrown in. It’ll tax almost any PC, though; when things blows up, there’s a lot of fun physics calculations going on that the engine really isn’t capable of handling at speed. It does let you do fun stuff like run around shooting through floors from underneath to get at the guys above.

And don’t forget the NIS (PS2) goodness. Disgaea is great, Phantom Brave is somewhat disjointed, and Makai Kingdom is excellent. Oh, and Disgaea 2 will be out soon.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms?
Genghis Khan?
Nobunaga’s Ambition?

The only two tactics series I’ve ever played are Fire Emblem and the Final Fantasy spin-offs. I prefer the former to the latter as every character in the game as an actual memorable personality. In the FF Tactics games only the main characters get plot. Both series were enjoyable, but I’m not sure I’d call them my favorite type of game ever.

Fantasy General was my favorite of that series as well. Loved the hidden “Heroes” you could find and recruit. Getting one of them killed sucked, but if ya could keep them alive, they’d do wicked damage.

Which is more important, the tactical elements or the RPG elements?

Does anyone think that, say, the Infinity engine games are tactical?

Oh yeah- it might be dated, but I think Warcraft III has RPG elements. I’ve only played a little of the demo.

If you like the Advance Wars series, there is a Wars game for every Nintendo console, or pretty close to it. But they’re all in Japanese so unless you know Japanese the only real way to play them is on an emulator with a translation patch.

Also, Final Fantasy Tactics for PSX is better than Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

I’m an RPG gamer generally, so that part is probably more important. Having said that, Advance Wars (which has probably the least actual RPG elements of all the ones i’ve played) is alright. As Wolfian says, though, the Fire Emblem characters are actual characters, instead of random generic units, and that’s definetly my favourite series. It’s the mix of both that really makes the genre, i’d say.

Had to look it up; the Baldur’s Gate style? No, because although they’re turn-based, that nature of them is designed to be “hidden”; it (and the Aurora engine) is designed to look as though it’s real-time combat. Tactical games are clearly turn-based.

Would the Wing Commander series qualify here? I forget which game did what, but there were a couple where you were a space-fighter pilot in a war against the Kilrathi, and another where you could play a Hans Solo type smuggler…

Yeah, there are a few levels which are very RPG like mixed in there. The entire Orc campaign in the Frozen Throne expansion was even more RPG like, and quite frankly well done in that respect.

I think you’re refering to Wing Commander III and Wing Commander Privateer (One of my favorite games of all time and IMHO has yet to be matched. And yes, I tried Freelancer)

No, those were space flight sims, not tactical RPGs.

BraheSilver, I did play it. I liked it a lot, but there were some things that bugged me about it enough that I didn’t finish it. Can’t remember too many specifics, except that I was consistently annoyed that my hard core elite commandos didn’t have enough upper-body strength to throw a hand grenade across a room.

Guess it depends on how much of a purist you want to be. Those games did have RPG elements. You could advance your character in rank to gain access to better ships and/or wingmen. Air-to-Air (or Space to Space) combat is all about tactics…you want to get to a position where you can shoot the other guy and he can’t shoot back. In some missions, you had to take out a larger ship…like a cruiser or a carrier. That had to be done very carefully, with the correct weapons hitting the vulnerable areas of the capital ship.

I wouldn’t call that an RPG element. It was a reward system for how well you flew the missions, and how far you’d progressed in the storyline. It’s no more an RPG element than the hi-score screen on Space Invaders. There were some extremely light RPG elements in the interactive cutscenes, but it never had any real effect on the game, so far as I can remember. I think if you’re going to call a game an RPG, (in either the purist, character-driven sense, or the console “stat building/treasure gathering” sense) then the main focus of game play should be the role-playing. The main focus of Wing Commander’s gameplay was not the cutscenes. It was the space combat.

Privateer did have a stronger RPG element, but I’d still balk at calling it an RPG. The gameplay is still too centered on space combat. Someone looking to play an RPG would probably be disappointed in Privateer. Someone who hated RPGs probably wouldn’t have too much trouble over looking the RPG aspect.

That’s “tactics,” not “tactical.” Every game ever made involves tactics. “Jump of the turtle, then kick it into the mushroom,” is a basic tactic from Super Mario Bro. A tactical game place the gamer not in control of one character, but of a squad or more of them. It involves tactics in the sense of multiple parties working together under direct control of one player. WC did allow simple commands to your wingmen, but it wasn’t direct control, and it wasn’t specifically necessary to the game play. Like the role-playing in the interactive cutscenes, it was a light tactical element, but it wasn’t a tactical game.

I’m blanking, but I seem to remember an RPG with these elements for the SNES. Very much like FF Tactics Advance, that played like a straight FF game, with the emphasis on character building. Anyone remember the name?

What company was it? One game that matches that description is Bahamut Lagoon, although it never came out for the US SNES, but only on Famicom. It is nevertheless playable through fan translation. IIRC you controlled a few (4?) dragons, who were each matched to a party of 4 people. I never got into it, but it seemed extremely complex.

Bahamut Lagoon ain’t it, but I might look that one up now. Couldn’t honestly tell you the company. It’s entirely possible that this game was actually for Sega Genesis- I never played it, just watched it played briefly.

Well, I just mentioned it in another thread, but Crusader Kings, long a buggy and struggling contender, has been significantly redeemed with the latest patch ( 1.05). Battles are largely abstracted, so none of the Total War experience. But as a strategic RPG it’s tops in my book. My book being written by a medieval history geek ;).

Starting from a historical European setup ( 1066, 1187 and, I think 1337 ), it’s a dynasty builder. NOT a state builder, which many new players don’t quite get right away. This was before the age of nationalism. Half the fun is watching fortunes fluctuate from generation to generation - seeing your brilliant strategist, valorous, just and wise king with great stats conquer and inherit a vast empire stretching Gibraltar to the Alps, only to see his first three sons die of disease and on the battlefield, to be replaced by a worthless schizophrenic, excommunicated, wastrel of a loser who loses 3/4 of it to rebellion. Great fun :)!

And the role-playing possibilities ( again, if you’re a huge geek ) are endless. You could start as the count of Vermandois in 1066, his son and heir also heir to the Vexin and Amiens and the last direct male-line descendant of Charlemagne, and try to rebuild Carolingian glory.

Or complete what Roger II started and conquer Tunisia for the d’Hauteville’s of Sicily.

And why should the Langue’Oc rule the day? Start as the duke of Toulouse and replace the Capetians on the throne of France with a proper Occitan-speaking monarch.

Strategic marriage, assassinations, claim-grabbing, excommunications, war with the heathens. What more could you ask for?

  • Tamerlane