In XC2, characters perform auto attack but that only gives the rhythm to the battle. Auto attacks count for very little in the actual damages done. Driver Arts will start to do damages, then combos and chains will be the real key to the win.
It’s hard to explain if you haven’t tried yourself.
What makes the difference is what/when you are going to launch your arts/combos/chains.
Auto attacks will never make you win the battle.
So to be clear, I have never felt more invested in a battle system, in a RPG.
If you want something that requires even more attention from the player, then it will probably be a live action based RPG game.
Now, the battle can be long when you start but your stuff, your level, your affinity with your blades will also make a huge difference in how fast you take ennemies down.
I know it can be misleading if you watch battles from youtube but I strongly recommend trying the game yourself.
In Saga (which is still my favorite game), the battle was dynamic, but it was interrupted every time you scrolled through spells, pausing the game. And most of the time, you were doing the same moves.
So that’s what I am discussing in the topic I opened. I’m not saying a Saga remake or new PD RPG should borrow the whole system but a little bit of it could maybe make it even more dynamic.
Example: in Saga when shooting with your gun. Once you have targeted the weak spot, you could have a press button action that would allow you to make more or less damage (a multiplier). You would feel even more involved in the battle.
That’s one of the thing I found a little bit ‘light’ in Panzer Dragoon Saga. The battle system was easy to understand and… easy to master. It didn’t offer too much challenge.
In XC2, well you can still try to get a record, make a bigger chain attack. And I can guarantee you that when you’ve finished the game, and when you are trying to break your record, you are not staring at your heroes, you are trying to perform the best moves to beat your record. And that requires a lot of attention, you are not watching a film at all. And when you succeed, it feels really satisfying.