One of the things that a lot of fans internationally were really demanding running up to the MV release was the inclusion of a sideview battle system.
Many sideview systems existed in XP-VX Ace, as scripts, but what was really needed was a single unified sideview that could only be done by a default system built in.
So luckily we have the choice now, Frontview or Sideview! And plenty of cool battlers to use with it.
Technically, from a pure gameplay perspective, frontview vs sideview makes no difference.
Both offer the exact same decision space. In fact, both also offer the exact same decision space as a pure text RPG. But, that doesn’t mean there is zero difference.
So how can sideview enhance your game? Well, first of all, it just generally looks better.
Frontview is a more simplistic setup. You never see your characters, you only see your enemies. Most of the screen stays static. It is, well, honestly, despite growing up with many games that use it as my favorites, pretty boring.
Sideview adds a kind of dynamic look to the screen, with characters jumping forward and attacking. You feel more like your characters are actually doing something.
But not just that, sideview gives you more options for expressing status effects. A character that is raging can be red. A character that is blind can be tinted black. This is a much more efficient than symbols next to your health bar. There is much more room for the UI to be blended with the art of the game itself.
But that doesn’t mean sideview is the only choice. Yes, it is probably superior to frontview, but not every game has to take every superior option. Sometimes you have to sacrifice based on your skills, or those of your team.
Sideview is just more work. Animating sprite motion is more work. Creating battle sprites is more work. Creating different stances/etc for status effects is more work.
If you are doing a lot of custom art, frontview still might be better for you, as sideview will create a load more work. But only you can decide if it is too much work for the reward in your game.
In addition, some games, for instance, those that are intentionally imitating older games, might do better with frontview BECAUSE it is a simpler system.
So which do you use in your game? Why do you use it? Join us in the comments section below.