Playing through Bravely Default, I loved a lot about the game’s approach to class design and the combat system. However, certain elements held over from old school design I felt hurt the system from reaching greatness and it had to do with boss design.
Boss design in RPGs is a tricky concept as it’s about finding that right balance between challenge and just being mean to the player.
This week, Ken and I were joined by freelance composer Danny Barkley to help us talk about composing music for games with composer Marc Canham, a veteran composer who recently did the soundtrack for Infamous Second Son as well as The Secret World.
The confusing next game in the Ninja Gaiden series: Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z was released recently to poor reviews, with the combat system being cited as one of the main problems. And after watching two minutes of gameplay footage I could tell exactly why the combat system doesn’t work and it is one of the biggest traps of game design in action titles.
When Ace Team released Zeno Clash in 2009, we had one of the rare examples of a first person game that focused on melee combat as opposed to shooting. Backed up with an amazing visual style and story, the game became somewhat of a cult hit. After several years and Ace’s next unusual game Rock of Ages, we finally got a sequel released last year.
While Zeno Clash 2 aimed to make things bigger, the developers kind of missed the one area that was most important: The combat system.