Obviously the title is a bit of a misnomer, MGQ has it's fair share of decent battles despite not technically being an RPG. However, playing Chapter 2 was a drastically different affair from Chapter 1. It would be fair to say that Chapter 1 did have some filler battles, but you also had a much more limited list of commands, plus you didn't have to summon Sylph and Gnome to avoid a heavy chance of losing quickly. In the second installment you start with two summons, four special attacks and the trusty guard/attack pairing, yet the battles seem so set on setting up that it's just silly.
One example is Undine's Spring, the first two monsters are slimes and they actually attack in pretty much the same way, their moves do exactly the same thing and there's nothing in the battle script to kick things up a notch. Instead it's a case of putting up defences and getting Sylph and Gnome to help you tackle some hits while you deal the pain.
Now, while this is a viable strategy, it actually does get a bit boring. Especially when a sizeable portion of the monsters are fought in this way, sometimes you just want Ilias to say something else than "use Gnome" or "use Sylph" when it comes to the evaluaton screen.
Luckily, though it has been a bane for chapter 2 there have also been some notably awesome battle scripts, everything in Succubus Village seems to have it's own vibe from tempting Lencubus to magical Succubus Witch. It's a shame that it wasn't really followed through in the game, Ladys Village was pretty humdrum apart from Cassie and her offspring. Same goes for monsters like Mantis Girl, who I absolutely adore but have to admit that her battle is far from special.
A lot of the boss battle felt a little less earned in the Chapter also, Orochi, the aforementioned Cassandra, Beelzebub, Undine and many more were a simple matter of chipping health down to a fraction before the script kicked in to finish the battle for you, feeling a little cheap when compared with big battles like Frederika and Chimera Dryad in chapter 1, taking down a feeling of achievement. Even the ones that you could beat felt a little lacklustre, for every Queen Ant you could be sure that there are at least two Raffias who had nothing too special.
The question is if Chapter 3 will continue making Luka overkill or if it would bring him down a peg or two. The simple option would be to make the enemies a lot more complex, no more "2 attacks and a bind" monsters but mixing up status, how attacks are deployed, attacks that need guarding, counterattacks and the like once-again giving the feeling of fighting individual monsters and not cookie cutter monsters of the day.
Chat on the IRC has also speculated on the removal of the Spirits altogether could make the game more tactical. Whatever the case, Luka might be the best warrior born but the battles can really offer so much more to keep you on your toes, testing your abilities to read the battle rather than a case of summoning Gnome/Sylph to stop an automatic death.
Unfortunate Mermaid 23:44, March 26, 2012 (UTC)