I think most of the reoccuring sound effects was generally changed into more acoustic instrumental samples (and they have remained so through the series ever since DQ5). But there are a few things like the classic attack and spell sound effects that didn't change much from their synthetic originals and thus I guess could be considered NES-like. I guess not using more of those S-PPU2 effects could also be considered NES-like.Well the most obvious NES-like feature is the sound effects. But unless I'm misremembering, the game also lacks many features which were introduced in other games series with the SNES, such as mode-7, mosaic effects, characters being animated in battle, parallax scroling, transparent water/fog or other transparent effects. This doesn't prevent DQ5 from being a great game, but I can see where those critics comes from, and they're similar to what I have to critic against DQ3-4 for sticking too strictly to looking like DQ2.
At least DQ5 re-introduced the battle backgrounds which were lost in DQ2-4 for some reason.
DQ1 had one single battle background that is used no matter what terrain the battle takes place in. In dungeons it's the same all-black background that every other NES RPG had. DQ1 battles are always one-on-one so enemies can therefore be made up by sprites without worrying about the 8 sprites/scanline limit. DQ2 to DQ4 all uses BG characters for enemies, so a background behind it would be more complicated. The FF games solves this by drawing a few tiles at top to at least show the player what terrain the battle takes place in (although I've no idea if terrain effects battles in any way).
Since the SNES has multiple backgrounds, battle backgrounds becomes standard (Mother 2 and 3 uses strange psychedelic backgrounds for some reason though).
That's what I said, the menus became more intuitive with time (DQ5). Besides getting rid of unnecessary commands like STAIRS in DQ1. And the only unintuitive part besides not being able to go backwards in many (but not all) menus is things like the item management I think. FF games have better menus for moving items around.Nope, menus for all the NES DQ games are terrible and were only made intuitive in DQ5.
Unrelated, but FF1 had terrible restrictions on equipment since you could only carry about as much as you could equip. Especially a fighter/knight or ninja that could equip all slots. That means if you have a party with only these classes (which would be a terrible party though) you wouldn't have any room to pick up new equip items if you are fully equipped. The only good thing is that medicine and key items have separate space. Later FF games fixed this by letting equipment and other items share the same space, and give you more space.
My point isn't about compensating anything, you said that DQ games haven't grown in any way besides maps, characters and such content unlike other game series, and I pointed out all the things where it did grow, which I think is pretty much on the same level as other game series.The other things you mentions doesn't even compensate the horrendousness of the graphics seen from a 1990 perspective, combined by the slow/unresponsive character motion, very high encounter rate, etc... All little details which makes the game look really dated.
Although it's besides the point, I agree that movement on the map is a bit unresponsive in all the NES DQ games. I guess that's due to some bad programming, as I've been able to do a more responsive system myself (we'll see if it's still fast when I throw in more characters and objects though).
I don't agree about the other things. DQ games don't have higher encounter rates than other RPGs. DQ1 use a system where the terrain type determines the encounter rate (mountains have highest rates) and whether or not an encounter happens is tested every step. FF1 instead randomizes a step counter between each encounter which determines after how many steps the next encounter will happen. Either way encounters are not terribly different from most other RPGs. Lufia is an RPG with very high encounter rate, but also has very quick battles.
Personally I think random encounters in dungeons affects exploration negatively, since you easily loose orientation after a battle. I much rather have random encounters be reserved for highly scaled maps (like the world map) and have visible monsters in dungeons. Lufia 1 is terrible at this by having tons of short battles randomly encountered while Lufia 2 is great and does it exactly like I suggested. Monsters are also part of the puzzles which makes the dungeons more interesting. Zelda games of course also gets their dungeons right with heavy focus on puzzles, but they are also not a traditional RPGs.
Ah right, both FF3 and FF4 had arrows.I'm fairly sure FF3 has this, too.
Given that DQ games have text-based battles where position isn't really a thing besides the order of the party members (which do affect how much you are attacked I think) bows wouldn't be very interesting. And then we have the whole thing about arrows. Given how badly item management are done in earlier DQ games, a system with arrows might had been hard to manage, unless they just give it unlimited arrows like in FF2. FF2 on the other hand introduced the front/back row system which makes ranged weapons make sense, so it also introduced bows into the FF series. Sadly it seems to have died out after FF5, and with the Chrono Trigger-style "one character one weapon type" system (which I also disapproves of) in FF7 and on, it probably won't come back unless they make an archer character.I never noticed it, but indeed this is a lacking aspect of a traditional fantasy element in the series. I guess they just didn't like bows. It also contributes to less interesting battles I suppose.
Ah I see, that might just been some game that hadn't left the drawing board yet.The FF4 that was originally develped for the NES isn't the FF4 we know for the SNES, but yet another game, the only thing we know is that it featured shops selling airships. Apparently that game was cancelled very early anyway, and some ideas probably made it to the actual FF4.
Both FF4 and DQ5 can look "NES-like" to a player of later-day SNES games, but this is just yet another proof that back then, it made a huge difference whether a game was released on the start or end of life of a system. DQ5 has incredibly bright colours, I don't think it looks very good. FF4 suffers more from its tiny sprites. We have to wait for DQ6 to have a DQ game with truly good graphics.
Yeah as you say many early SNES RPGs may look NES-like if you compare them to later SNES RPGs, which is why I'm confused why DQ5 especially got criticized for this when it's clearly no different from anything else. Just sounds like biased critics to me.
Really? I think DQ5 and the DQ1&2 remake both looks fabulous. FF5 also looks good, but it also suffers a bit from the small sprites of FF4. Small sprites fits the series though, and is how the series always had looked anyway. FF6 (one of my favourite FF games BTW) has that late SNES RPG look with large detailed sprites and gorgeous backgrounds and animations, but it suffers from a bit too much use of Mode 7, and uses a very low resolution for its world map for this reason. It's also a bit dark, just like FF7.