-Keywords from FF2. This was a more western approach to dialogue that at times made town/story segments more engaging I thought. It could've also been used just to keep track of important info, like a journal.
My impression is that keywords in FF2 was a cheap way to make characters says different things when the game engine would normally not have allowed it. In FF1, characters just says a line, period. Only Conelia's King, Conelia's Princess, Matoya and the elf prince actually switch their dialogue from something to something else depending on your progress.
In FF2 it would not be much better, but the keywords allowed them to make a NPC act more appropriately depending on your progress. I think in FF3 and after they improved the engine so NPC could just say whathever was needed depending on the situation.
Manually using items on NPCs (FF3). This could've been a lot of fun if expanded upon and using items on NPCs is re-used, albeit in a more controlled manner, but I suppose they had to prioritize due to cart size and time constraints.
Cool feature indeed! I dont know why they removed that, but this is back in... Chrono Cross !
Group target by enemy type (FF3). This was a surprisingly modern convenience type feature, which would also have more of a use with more mixed encounters of enemies with different affinities. Would've perhaps made things too easy though.
I do not remember what exactly you're mentioning. However, it's quite possible FF3 allows you to group enemy type only, and not *all* enemies, so back then it was supposed to be impressive that FF4 allowed to target all enemies, seen as an improvement from FF3 where you could only target a small group. From FF5 and on, you fight smaller group of enemies (usually 1-4) as opposed to FF1-4 where fighting against 8 enemies was common, so it's quite different.
Controllable growth of stats, spells and party make up (FF1-3 to different extents). I don't mind predefined, specialized characters from a challenge perspective and can see how it makes storytelling easier, but I also thought earlier approaches to character/party building made more sense for an RPG and offered a bit more replayability.
In FF4, Cecil switching from dark knight to paladin, as well as to a lesser extent, Edward being a bard and Lydia being a summoner plays a major role in the story. So they'd rather have fixed jobs for everyone else too and make a game based on fixed job characters and develop other portions of the battle system better, in occurrence the ATB system. FF4's battle system might seem the least interesting now that character progression is fixed and linear but ATB wasn't the norm back then so it was the selling point of this game back then, I think. FF5 and + did restore the controllable growth of stats, spells and party make-up that was lost in FF4.
Gating via harder encounters rather than with a "lock and key" mechanic (FF2).
This can probably easily be contoured by abusing various mechanics in the game, also, this do not impose a precise time in the story where an area switch from "inaccessible" to "fully accessible", instead, it gradually moves from inaccessible to accessible. The story of FF4 and + are linear, and requires you to complete tasks in a precise order, this wouldn't be possible by preventing you to pass only with hard encounters. This only works for subquests access locking. It could work by allowing enemies to be defeated by a key-item only, but heh, that doesn't sound very exiting.
Anything else you can think of and want to comment on? Go ahead!
I agree it's a shame that elves disappeared from the series.
Really, the old-school miss mechanic is just stupid and probably only existed because they were early iterations of the franchise and therefore less developed than all of the games that followed.
I agree, this mechanic is terrible. FF3 does better things to prevent us to spam the 'A' button, like forcing us to be mini to access certain areas for instances, as well as having enemies almost immune to physical attacks.
Golden Sun still manages to be great despite them using this shitty idea of ineffective attacks.
That's something these days that prevents me from enjoying a lot of FF games like I used to.
Only the original FF and FF2 have this "feature", and FF2 already suck for other reasons, so this really does only make one single game we're prevented to ejoy.