I'm specifically talking about games like Tales, Ys, Ni No Kuni 2, Kingdom Hearts, and more recently for me, I have been playing Valkyrie Profile.
I want to talk about Valkyrie Profile in this first post, though this topic is to discuss any and all of those games. VP is such a hidden gem and I am having a blast. It has everything I love in a game, good combat, interesting story, good leveling and progression system, and it is super vague on how to even play it at all, like classic King's Field or those newer FromSoftware casual cash grabs. (Mostly joking but Dark souls 2 put the nail in that series) I love when I have to really dig into a game and read faqs online/watch playthroughs to truly understand a game. If you play the new spiderman game, within the first battle, you have seen and done just about everything there is to the combat. This game is the exact opposite.
If you haven't played it, each party member is on one of the four face buttons. You select an enemy in a classic turn based way, then unleash combos in any order or string you want with the four buttons. The game rewards juggling the enemy as long as possible to get more XP and enemy drops. It's a pretty fun little system. Yeah it isn't the most in depth thing in the world, but trying to set up your party to maximize juggles is a lot of fun. Different weapons have different attacks as well, some even having multiple attacks, and a lot of them can break. So equipping your dudes is a tough choice, luckily the game let's you practice on a dummy to test your kit whenever you want.
I haven't even talked about the other main part of the game. It is time based like Dead Rising, each action, like going to town or a dungeon, consumes time. After a certain amount you have to send one or more of your party members up to fight for Asgard in Ragnarok at the end of the game. Though you can choose not to send anyone up and get a bad ending, or send up too many people and not get the true ending. It is a super weird system that can be frustrating, but is clearly meant to be played multiple times to understand. The A ending sounds impossible to get without a FAQ on your first play though so I will just end up watching it on youtube.
The ps2 sequel Silmeria looks great as well and I can't wait to try that one.