Fire Emblem: Awakening Resident Evil: Revelations (if you like portability- it got ported to consoles with a bit of additional content) Kid Icarus: Uprising (though, it's not friendly to lefties) Super Mario 3D Land Virtue's Last Reward (it's classified as a standalone entry, but the narrative is more potent if you've played the prequel, 999, on the DS- I REALLY suggest you play it before VLR) or Dead or Alive: Dimensions (a summary game of DoA to DoA 4).
These are currently my favorites. Though, you should take into consideration that 999, VLR, and Fire Emblem (especially) are hard to find.
Besides those, you should also get Bravely Default if you like classic FF RPGs. Its battles are just so damned fun (though it can be a bit of a drag near the end).
Like I said, I'm not arguing with any of the intricacies surrounding its battle system, but the nature of it. It's like fixing up that old bicycle in your shed; you can give it a new paint job, tighten the brakes, and replace the tires, and that'd all be great, but, in the end, if you leave it with that old, rusted chain, the effort doesn't amount to much. Ask yourself if there's anything in Bravely Default's battle system couldn't be done in a real-time or action battle system. Is it really necessary that it restricts your control over everything, has you combing through menus, or subjects you to the glacial pacing of TB battle system fights?
Do you know part of the reason why people despise QTE sequences in games? It's because it restricts the input of the player. You press the required button/button combination, and during that time, a sequence of events plays out, and you, the player, no longer have any control over anything that happens onscreen. It's the same deal with most TB battle systems. Want to move your character for strategic advantage? Nope; can't. Want to attack? Nope; have to wait your turn. Want to switch characters? Nope; gotta wait for their turn to come up. My point is that Bravely Default can be everything it is now without any of the restrictions and would most certainly be a better game for it.
What you describe to me sounds very much like Shin Megami Tensei IV. You have to play smartly, look for boss's weaknesses, and can't mindlessly attack and expect to win. Yet, it still suffers from the same issues that arise from having a TB system. It's fine that you're tiring of Tales of systems, but I brought it up because it offers you the kind of freedom, like the rest of those games, you would expect from a modern JRPG.
The kind of thinking that I have to do is something I sorely miss in most TB JRPGs, and even action RGPs. Most of the time, only a few enemies and bosses stay memorable to me, because those actually had me think about how to beat them, and I've always wished that most JRPG bosses stayed that memorable. Tales tired me out because the battles eventually offered no challenge at all after a while, once I had learned how to do stuff. Bravely Default at least lets me stay awake because I have to approach battles, and especially bosses, with care, lest I crash and burn.
But let's just agree to disagree and put this issue to rest.
I've actually gone tired of the Tales battle systems, and I can't say anything about the rest of them (Except that Xenoblade is still the best thing), but what Bravely Default did is to evolve the turn-based battle system. You have to pay attention to what the boss does, you have to pay attention to what the enemy does, and you have to have backup strategies for when your tried-and-true attacks don't work. The game may not challenge your skill as much, but it does challenge your brain, and it challenges it good. This is not a turn-based JRPG where you can just mindlessly hit on enemies (and bosses), but it's a turn-based JRPG where they're actually expecting you to think and pay attention, and on that point the game delivers! The planner and strategizer in me is shivering with delight, and it just feels so carthartic when everything comes together and I beat the bosses.
And no, not even grinding will take away from this, as the Endgame bosses are expecting you to be at max level for everything.
The Brave and Default system: Everyone starts every battle at 0 BP (unless one side gets Brave Attack at the start of the turn, then that side starts with 1 BP). Every action you and the enemy take cost at least one BP, but after one turn ends, you get one BP back. You can either Default to halve all damage against you (except fixed damage and some moves designed to break through Default), or you can Brave in order to take up to 4 actions at once. Default is the only action that doesn't cost BP, which means that you can play it safe and save up your BP (up to 3), or you could blow all 4 braves in order to try to defeat all the enemies, and risk putting your BP in the negative (which means they skip that character's turn when the next turn where someone can take an action get to go... and the character does not get the Default effect while they're paying their debts because that's the price for overestimating your power and trying to blow your load all at once).
Most encounters are designed so that you're able to KO most enemies if you go for the risk, but some encounters feature enemies that can be very dangerous if your BP is in the negative and you have no one to shield you from their actions. Not to mention that the enemy is also bound by the Brave and Default system and can thus do the very same things I've described here to you (and that's very dangerous to be on the receiving end of, if you aren't defaulting on the turn that they do this). Eventually, you and the enemy get actions that carry a BP cost in addition to the usual 1 BP, as well as skills and abilities that lets you manipulate BP or benefit from risky play or careful savings, whether on your end or the enemy's.
One thing I like about this system is that it benefits the entertainment regarding boss fights: Since the bosses are bound by the same BP rules as you, they all get different patterns: Some like to Default in order to use their abilities without risk; others happily put themselves in the red in order to take multiple actions or do a powerful attack. Some do both. And since just about every boss has different moves and unique patterns, no boss fight plays exactly the same: You might be happily wailing on one boss only to have it pull off a status effect/multiple attacks/AoE/curative ability, and suddently you are on the defensive again and are biding your time, waiting for the opportunity to favor you again as the boss proceeds to undo everything you've done so far.
There's also a thing about the game I like that isn't because of the B&D System: Bosses that give job classes fight like you'd expect their class to do. The Black Mage casts offensive and status afflicting spells, the White Mage heals and attacks in a pinch, the Monk makes powerful single-target attacks, and the Knight protects its underlings (or partners) once their HP is down. The Thief steals from you, the Spell Fencer enchants his weapon with spells before attacking, the Red Mage attacks and waits for the BP to come to him so that he can multitask efficiently, and the Performer buffs her allies to the point where they're a big threat to your party. And those are just some ways that they utilize their class abilities. Once you've beaten them and gotten the class they hold, you will already have a faint idea of what the class is able to do.
That's not to say that the main bosses who aren't utilizing jobs aren't beasts in their own right. Each of the four main bosses have their own unique abilities and patterns that make for fun fights nonetheless.
And then there's the job system. Early on, the fun comes from winning against the bosses with the limited jobs you have, but later on, you will have access to many classes and jobs, and experimenting with those and testing them out can lead you to discover strategies that makes you able to beat bosses in other ways than before. Discovering new ways in which skills and abilities syenergize with one another is almost as fun as straight up battling. Another thing I find great is that the Freelancer, while a powerful class when all jobs are maxed, is not the be-all-end-all class that it is in the usual Final Fantasies, as this only encourages me to keep my favorite classes and my favorite combos.
My only complaint about Bravely Default is that it drags a bit around the late middle of the game, but that's all made up for by the lategame and endgame, for Bravely Default does in fact have an endgame, and that endgame is pretty awesome!
I don't know about you guys, but Bravely Default is up there with the best. The Brave and Default system fixes most of the issues I have with classic turn-based JRPGs, most bosses actually feel like bosses and not like enemies with more HP than the norm, enemies are actually threats, and none of the classes and spells so far have felt useless. Not even the spells that have "upgrades" to them.
Still Bravely Default. If there's one thing I've learned about this game system, it's that knowing when to attack and when to heal is very important if you're not grinding. It pays to come into boss battles (and even normal battles) with a well thought-out plan, as enemies have no inhibitions about chipping off at least half (if not more) of your HP from your poorlier defended units on both the physical side and the magical side. (Damn you Fiore DeRosa! )
I'm also thinking of making a thread for the game.
Some info on last week regarding 3D World and Wii U in Japan. 3D World saw the usual drop in sales after first week... but the Wii U saw a rise with 7k units. That's 2 weeks that it has consequtively risen in Japan.
EDIT: For the record, I'll post comparison links when I'm ready. I've just changed who my Internet provider is, so I want to mess around a bit so I know there's no errors here.
A friend gave me a Tyrunt with two Egg moves: Dragon Dance and Fire Fang, and 3 perfect IVs, woot! It's a good thing that thanks to Tyrunt/Tyrantrum's ability, the elemental fangs actually become rather good moves.
I like how the new starters are themed towards a Fighter/Mage/Thief style, which is rather nice, thematically speaking, as you'll understand some of the strengths and weaknesses of each Pokémon rather early.