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I'll add another complaint: Battle systems that drain your MP too quickly and force you to conserve your MP-restoring potions in dungeons, so you have to primarily stick to boring basic attacks until you get to a boss.

 

For me, random encounters aren't the problem. I prefer seeing enemies on a field map, but I can live with a game that has a decent encounter rate and escape rate. The real problem I have is grinding. It doesn't matter whether I can choose when to battle or not if I'm forced to choose to repeatedly and mindlessly battle to get past a boss or area that has a sudden jump in enemy levels and stats. That is an issue with a game's pacing and design, not with the way battles are encountered.

I played Tales of Phantasia on my GBA last year (started in 2016), and I could not agree more with your thoughts. I saw it through to the end, but I will never touch that game in its current form again. Random encounter rate out the ass, slowest paced battle system I have ever seen in my life (imagine an action-stopping FFVII summon every single time one of your party members, who is mandatorily in your party for more than half the game, casts a spell, and about 40 percent of the time for another party member), an MP (or TP)-based system like the one I mentioned above, and like many SNES RPGs, a horrible world map traversing system using Mode 7 that makes you waste more time guessing where to land than just walking there yourself (that would be true if not for the random encounter rate). I'm currently playing Tales of Graces f on the PS3, and I'm loving the battle system in it, and wondering if I can ever go back to the TP system in other Tales games now.