Personally I'm more a fan of 2D jRPGs over 3D ones so I'll say more about that side, but most times the world gets boring to look at and explore after a while since tiles are reused. What really makes me want to explore is a reward for doing so. Random items, chests, optional (special) monster encounters are all things that would make me want to explore the world in both a 2D and 3D game.
I don't quite remember the game's economy in terms of item costs, but Eternal Eden was a great 2D jRPG in that each map screen did have a hidden item that you could get from exploring the whole screen. Instead of something like Dragon Quest's multitude of drawers, barrels, vases, etc that you would check for items, Eternal Eden simply shows an exclamation mark above the player's head to denote an unseen item tucked in a corner. Sometimes the item is a generic potion or herb, but for the harder to reach places, it could be a great weapon for the area you are in.
In short, I personally think the only way for exploration to be "fun" is if there is something to explore. Something to find and discover. Exploration implies risk, I believe, and with risk, you most certaintly should have a reward at the end. Otherwise it's more of a walk through the scenic route which may get the player to the same place longer than the normal way, something that won't resonate with most people.
LunarKniteMember Since 17 Apr 2012
Offline Last Active Nov 26 2012 04:58 PM
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