Designing AI Allies – How Games Create Great Party Members and Companions ~ Design Doc


I love games with unforgettable allies. That feeling you get when you team up with
a new character gets me every time. Getting Auron to join permanently in Final
Fantasy X. Meeting a new partner in Paper Mario back when it was…y’know…good. Or Drachma from Skies of Arcadia. Oop, nope, nevermind. Oh you’re back! Great! Oh. OK. In a lot of turn-based games your party members
were an extension of yourself. You’d have full control over what they’d
do on their turn. In lots of more action-based games however,
you can’t control your whole team at once, so you need to rely on AI to control your
allies. Designing and fine tuning their automated
behavior can make or break an entire game. If they’re too useful or powerful you risk
them playing the game for you. If they’re too weak or ineffective they
could become an unintentional liability or you might forget that they’re even there. In a perfect world these characters should
feel like they make a real contribution without stealing the fun from the player. That’s easy to say, but clearly there are
pitfalls everywhere. Let’s look at how some games approach AI companion
design successfully and unsuccessfully, and talk about how both the mechanics and story
of a game can influence AI design. There’s an idea in psychology called Loss
Aversion that says that losing something feels more negative than gaining it feels positive. One way to design an AI around Loss Aversion
is instead of depending on a character and being disappointed if they fail to help, switch
it up and have an AI character occasionally give out bonuses. Just framing the player’s expectations differently
can make them happier, even if they’re getting the same benefits on average either way. The palicos of Monster Hunter World are a
good example of how to design around Loss Aversion. Palicos are great at distracting monsters
and creating opportunities during fights. They don’t do much damage, but they make
up for it in utility and customization. They can be equipped with status-inflicting
weapons and special palico tools that can heal you, give you buffs, set up traps, or
they can even steal monster materials. They will use these skills on their own but
you can command them manually if you want to. There’s no major penalty if they run out
of health, either. They have autonomy without being a liability. Some palico equipment loadouts are better
than others, but they all provide at least SOME benefit, but never so much that they
make the monster hunting at the core of the game too easy. If Monster Hunter framed palicos as allies
that did a major part of the monster hunting, the same behaviors would feel disappointing. But since they’re more of a companion that
gives out bonuses, and they only show up when you don’t have many actual players in your
party, they feel like good partners. They’re great during the beginning of the
game while you figure out the ropes, and they don’t get in the way of high-end monster hunting. And above all, it’s a cat. It’s adorable. Don’t overthink it. There’s a murky middle ground for AI design
that you can see in Kingdom Hearts. One of the running jokes with Kingdom Hearts
1 and 2 was that Donald and Goofy were the poster boys for useless companions. I revisited Kingdom Hearts 1 and I was surprised
in the early game. They actually did more than I ever gave them
credit for. They’ll automatically attack enemies, using
offensive and support skills to help you out. You can also use the triangle button to send
them after a specific target that you’re locked on to. They do well enough against the fodder in
the early game, but once tougher enemies and bosses come into the picture they just can’t
keep up. Unlike the palicos, Donald, Goofy and the
various guest party members don’t create many opportunities for you during fights. They can’t really evade or block attacks
well, they waste MP by whiffing attacks and they’ll take slivers away from the enemy’s
health while Sora takes out huge chunks with each hit. They don’t know how to protect themselves
and will quickly burn through any items you give them. When they’re not doing chip damage or wasting
items they’re probably unconscious. They end up being much more useful if you
customize their skills and behaviors to focus on support skills like MP Gift and Cure. It’s nice that the game is flexible enough
to let you do that, but it’s a little disappointing to have to override some bad AI if you want
Donald and Goofy to be as useful as I think the game intended them to be. Kingdom Hearts 2 tried to make them more useful
in combat with the Limits and Drive Forms that require your party members to perform,
and it helps a bit, but they still can’t do that much on their own. They also took out most of the support abilities
and the AI control, so even going back to the strategies you used in Kingdom Hearts
1 isn’t as effective anymore. The AI feels like wasted potential, requiring
too much hand-holding to be effective, but they’re not so useless as to break the game. Luckily, Kingdom Hearts 3 fixes a lot of the
series’ AI problems. Your party members will do decent damage this
time. There are new team combo finishers that trigger
if they’re nearby. The game has lots of customization options
like Kingdom Hearts 1 and special limit commands like Kingdom Hearts 2. Your party feels more complete. Strategically, anyway… Donald: This might be a good spot to find
some ingredients. Mmhmm. Thanks. Ally design can also become a problem if you
don’t properly frame what the AI members should be responsible for. In Star Fox Assault, there’s a disconnect
between what the game SAYS the AI characters are there for and what the game actually DOES
with them. Star Fox is supposed to be a team of space
mercenaries. Emphasis on TEAM. But, it’s mostly just the Fox McCloud show. Let’s use the 3rd mission of Star Fox Assault
as an example. In this all-range map you have to infiltrate
a space station to take out a number of enemy spawners. While you look for them, enemy ships will
periodically spawn outside of the station. As more ships appear, a meter will fill up
and if it maxes out the mission will fail. Your teammates will either help you on foot
in the station or fend off the enemies outside in Arwings. Hah, just kidding. They’re just flying around in circles taking
random pot shots. Or firing at me! You’ll have to go outside yourself to clear
the area before the meter maxes out. Your ally on the ground can actually hold
their own, kinda like an auto-turret, but they’ll only stay within a very small space. Scripted events will show your wingmates being
useful, but the second they’re needed in the actual game it turns out they’re really just
there for show. The framing of the role of your wingmates
is confusing and makes the situation feel like a missed opportunity. Ace Combat 7 has exactly the same problem,
actually, but in every mission. The series gives you wingmates every game,
and Ace Combat 5 even lets you guide their behavior. Ace Combat 7 however has teammates that take
random shots at random targets and you have no way of making them do anything else. Very, very rarely will your wingmates take
out any of the mission critical targets marked in red. Instead you might see them pick off a non-critical
target once in a while. Or maybe just nothing. It’s the same problem as Star Fox, but it’s
a strange regression for a series that had more or less fixed the problem in an earlier
game. If this makes you think that maybe you know
better than the AI programmers and you should just make the AI yourself, you should try
Final Fantasy XII. The gambit system in FFXII lets you program
exactly the steps, or ‘gambits’, that your AI party members will take in battle
in a kind of Lego brick sort of way. For example, you can set a gambit to have
a character cast healing spells whenever someone’s HP drops below a set threshold, or automatically
cast Haste on the party whenever you can. More advanced and specific conditions for
gambits can be found in shops as the game progresses. You also have to consider the priorities of
your gambits, placing more situational instructions at the top and common ones at the bottom. If you have attacking nearby enemies as a
top priority, the other gambits will never be used. It’s not that far off in concept from what
an actual AI programmer might code, but this way you feel like you’re in control if the
AI screws something up. Even though the gambit system needs micromanaging
like in Kingdom Hearts the framing is completely different. Managing gambits is a huge part of the game,
so it’s not as frustrating as the micromanaging was in Kingdom Hearts. Players expect it, so they’re OK with putting
in the time. The idea of what a player ‘expects’ a character
to do is pretty central to AI design, but an AI’s expectations can also overlap with
a game’s story. The narrative of a game can make an AI character
behave unexpectedly, but there is a way to do it that won’t frustrate players as much. God of War 4’s story is all about the father-son
relationship between Kratos and Atreus. The developers at Santa Monica designed Atreus
to always feel like he was contributing during combat. He can shoot arrows and summon creatures on
your command with a single button. He’ll follow up on your attacks when he’s
nearby and he can distract and stun enemies and open them up for you. You don’t have to micromanage him beyond
equipping stat boosting gear and occasionally saving him when he gets caught by an enemy. Atreus also acts as your hint guide and helps
you solve puzzles. He’s not treated like an escort character
but the game does turn him into a liability in combat to fit with some of the story beats. In a later section of the game, Atreus won’t
always listen to your commands and will recklessly lead you into bad situations. He’ll even start using the special summon
attacks on his own regardless if it’s well timed or not. For some this sequence can come off as rushed,
but it’s a deliberate choice and it’s an effective way to tie together an antagonistic AI character
in the story with their behavior in the gameplay. Deltarune also uses AI controlled allies as
part of its narrative with Susie. Susie’s deliberately designed to be a headache
for your party and, unlike Atreus, this happens over most of the game. If you’re an Undertale veteran you’ll
probably try to play through the game as a pacifist. Susie, the bully of the group, will make life
tough for your pacifist playstyle by automatically attacking whatever you fight. It adds an interesting wrinkle to combat since
you have to account for Susie’s violent actions if you want to get through battles
peacefully. It’s very easy to circumvent though, as it’s
meant more as a characterization device instead of a real gameplay challenge. The battle system in Deltarune is treated
more like an extension of the story, and to that end Susie’s behavior in battle and how
it changes over time is an interesting way of progressing her story arc. With a good story driven reason, even the
most annoying character actions can have purpose and make the game better. But without a reason there’s nothing left
to counter the raw annoyance that uncontrollable bad actions inherently have. I love Persona 3, but the biggest problem
with the console releases of the game is your uncontrollable party members. It’s rare for a traditional turn-based JRPG
to not give you full control, and the console versions of Persona 3 show why. Things can go south real fast in Shin Megami
Tensei’s press turn system. In it, you take away enemy turns by hitting
them with elemental weaknesses. Your opponents will also try to do the same
to you. You can only fully control your main character
and if you’re hit with an elemental weakness, you lose your only turn that combat round. You can give your allies broad commands like
‘Conserve SP’ or ‘Focus on weaknesses’ but you can only change these commands during
your turn so you can’t always micromanage them if you need to. This can lead to some ugly scenarios where
you’re at the mercy of not just the enemy AI but also your allies. Sometimes the party will cast the spell you
need them to. Other times they cast marin karin which will
probably miss and lead to your death. And to add a horrible twist to the situation,
if your main character’s HP hits 0 for any reason it’s game over. The AI can lead to a frustrating death and
it’s a big reason why I sometimes hesitate to recommend Persona 3 over its sequels. AI design is hard to do. Developers have to find the balance between
an AI that feels like a help without taking over the game, between an AI that takes input
from players but still doesn’t need their hand held all the time. Lots of games get the balance wrong for lots
of reasons. But by learning from mistakes made in the
past, taking some cues from psychology, and setting expectations properly you can turn
an AI into an ally. [chill vibes outro from Deltarune]

100 thoughts on “Designing AI Allies – How Games Create Great Party Members and Companions ~ Design Doc

  1. Really good video, you madenthe info really understandable and clean cut 🙂 That said to be honest I never had issues during my playthough of P3:FES and I even use the vague tactics for my playthroughs of P3P. I really like the idea of having teammates that I just have to trust much like real people. That and they know weaknesses once you scan and I scanned like a motherfucker, so my issues were mainly self imposed

  2. giving KH1 and 2 shit for having "bad allies" is a bit absurd, because they were clearly designed to be bad. the fact they deal chip damage is proof enough. you said it yourself, in the early game, Donalds magic does tremendous damage to the random enemies that show up on your journey, but then against bosses, its almost like Sora is on his own with how weak they are.

    thats the whole point! you said it yourself, the allies should not be taking the fun away from the player. random trash enemies that youll see hundreds of each and every one of em arent fun to take out 100 times. if 15 enemies spawn, Sora is likely only going to kill 5-10 of them, because your allies got the rest of em while you werent looking. youll see more of these enemies, and youll kill more on your own, but the allies are absolutely crucial to speeding things up.

    then boss fights completely destroy your allies with large AoE attacks, and its up to you, the player, to deal with the boss. you wont be fighting this boss again later down the story, so they dont want to take an exciting boss and have it trivialized by strong allies. they dont want to take the fun away from the player. you said it yourself in the video.

    also, if you really did want a strong ally, the fight against Saix in KH3 is a perfect example. this fight is seen as a complete joke on the hardest difficulty settings because your ally is invincible and far stronger than Sora. all you need to do is run, and he will win the fight in a moment. its not fun, because if you do try to fight, you struggle to move as fast as they do, and wont get nearly as many hits in.

  3. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The feature that Dragon Age Origins had that let you literally program your companions' behavior is the single best innovation RPGs have EVER had. And I am still salty that it has never been brought back in future titles.

  4. I love how Monster Hunter and Dragons Dogma do AI, sometimes dumb, most times useful, you feel like you have a worthy traveling companion that works with you and your style of play, and that is key for me.

  5. I remember as a kid playing Star Fox Assault how frustrating it was that the ally ai was WORSE than it was in Star Fox 64, where you could watch your allies select and destroy enemies periodically. I remember in 64 Falco once killed one of the Star Wolf team that I had weakened. Amazing! in Assault its like some drunken monkeys are at the controls.

  6. 1:57 the palicoes in monster hunter are the worst. The fact that they steal the monster aggro from you is in fact a negative. Not knowing if the monster is targeting you or the palico, or if it will switch targed during the attack, makes nearly impossible to read the attack pattern and use the right openings to do some damage.

    Online this is a minor/non existent issue because other players have the same damage potential as you, but the palicoes don't. So the result is that hunting with the palico makes so you do less dps, take more hits, and your companion doesn't make up for the loss, while another human player can at least do something useful while you aren't attacking.

    He can provide you buffs, but they last a couple minutes that you will spend most of the time healing from attacks that you could have dodged if there wasn't the palico. He can steal some monster materials, but they are usually 3-4 materials in a 15-20 minute hunt, while in the same time you can do at least 2 times the same quest if you are alone or online with real people.

    In conclusion, they are great in concept and from the point of view of someone that hasn't never played any mh game, but someone who knows a little better the game knows that they are executed terribly.

  7. i say Tales of Beseria’s A.i is the best in it’s series, while Zestiria’s being the worst in the series

  8. I am still surprised how the FFXII Gambit System is not used in more games, its such a good and well thought system!

  9. If you really hate yourself, try playing Persona 5 with all AI controlled partners on Merciless difficulty on Act Freely combat AI!

    It's manageable on low to medium difficulty, even hard if you don't mind dying as much as in a Dark Souls playthrough. But i had a hard time beating Merciless, even when i use the most efficient party and had the Omnipotent Orb, which made the only lose condition (Joker) completely immune to EVERYTHING except Almighty damage! Doing a chaotic AI playthough on Merciless was almost as agrevating as doing the first Wesker fight in Resident Evil 5 on Professional with an AI partner!

  10. As someone who's never touched a Monster Hunter game until World I gotta say, the Palico is one of my favorite buddies from a game in a long while.

    I love you, Almond Milk. Thanks for hitting the monster with a stick.

  11. Persona 3 also has a quirk where the AI needs to be taught what the elemental weakness is before it will avoid it, at least in the PSN release of FES.
    In normal encounters analyzing enemies solves this problem most of the time.
    But against floor bosses and full moon encounters, where analysis doesn't work, your party will have to screw up and waste a turn to figure out what they can and cannot do.
    This can make some fights needlessly difficult to the point where you'll have to take that character out of the party in order to progress without grinding well past the boss's level.

  12. Glad you shouted out FF12! I feel like a lot of people were disappointed with its combat, but I feel like the gambit system was one of the best designed JRPG combat system in years. A lot of times, story and/or completion are the only reasons to replay an FF game, but I replayed FF12 just as much for the combat.

  13. I always felt that the shitty AI in Persona 3 was a good part of the experience. As opposed to the other entries in the series the team in P3 is pretty rag-tag and for most of the game, there's a fair amount of disdain & issues between party members. As the main character/leader, it feels like you're this neutral party that glues everyone together and has to wrangle all these party members into getting the job done. Changing the character's AI strategy always felt like yelling in the middle of a battle at a character to do something, maybe they'll get what you mean, maybe they'll decide that they want to Marin Karin because this time surely it will work.

    If there's ever a remake I would totally understand having party members being under direct control, but I still like how it is in FES.

  14. persona 3 portable actually fixes that problem…alongside many many other baffling design choices the OG and FES had

  15. -Devs gave you the worst A.I in the game
    -Entire studio deemed you as best character in your game.

    Power of Marin Karin folks

  16. Futaba Sakura from Persona 5 (even though I'm sure you know her) is a great example of a helper AI.

    She cannot be controlled, but she will do her job just well.
    If you are at low HP, she'll focus on healing you. [Insert obligatory "I need healing" joke]
    And the way she interferes in battle is rather smooth; a glitching animation and her showing up in her Persona, giving you a feeling of amusement.

    That's all I have to say, so thank you for reading!

  17. Star Link has a funny split on this issue… on the ground, at least on lower difficulties, once you get some armories going they can handle pretty much everything on their own and when you go attack one of the things they don't do, you're probably going to get backup before long.
    Meanwhile in space, you're on your own for everything except attacking dreadnoughts and a few key moments, and even when they show up they really aren't doing much and it feels like the battles are designed as if they should be, so you're constantly dealing with half a dozen enemy fighters while you're trying to destroy turrets on the capital ship.

  18. Honestly I would gladly welcome Gambit system to every game with AI partners. I rarely use them in any game because they're usually either too stupid and useless or so powerful that I don't feel like my contribution actually matters. In latter case their power and victories would at least feel earned if I had to plan out their entire strategy. Of course there should also be automated AI for those don't wanna bother with that Gambit system copy, but I can't see why giving players at least some control of their AI partners would be a bad thing

  19. devil summoner: soul hackers has some interesting AI allies. you can directly command them, but they sometimes don't listen to you and use whatever they feel like.

  20. Thankfully P3 Portable removed that issue.
    Not by making the AI less stupid, sadly Yukari will still use diarama on someone who's only lost 10hp, they just make it so you can turn off the AI!
    And there is absolutely no reason to ever turn off direct commands, ever

  21. FFXII was probably the second best AI system in gaming. And the only game I put ahead of it is Dragon Age origins which had the same AI system but done in a way that the AI system isn't tied to RPG mechanics which was really the only fault of FFXII's system. This is one of those things that I can confidently say that it was too high IQ for gamers that it was never seen again. It is very reminiscent of MMO based party combat where the pre combat preparation is not just about what minmax gear to equip but what strategy to employ. I wish faster games with more complex fights would use this system. The way FFXII and DAO works is that you can ignore the AI and just micromanage making the whole system more of a quality of life feature, a huge one of course, rather than an actual necessity to success. But what if we had a game where you couldn't pause the action? Where you had to follow up taunted enemies in real time with an AOE or miss out on damage? What if a certain member of your party had to use a specific move to interrupt a boss' attack? A system like this will then be necessary for success. It would also solve the main problem that action RPGs have in that the more skill based you make it, the less your companions matter. I have yet to see an action RPG where I can launch an enemy into the air and I can tell my companions to follow up with spells to juggle them. Think of how great combos would be in KH if you could do that. And still the best part of all this would be the amount of control you have while still fulfilling the dream of having a fast paced action game. Really it should be a win-win. Devs don't have to design good AI and gamers don't need to complain about useless companions that don't do what you want. The fact that I'm not seeing it more simply proves my point in that it is too smart for most people. And not even from a developer "gamers are idiots" viewpoint. FFXII was not really liked even mechanically when it came out despite it being FF at its most complex and deep mechanically, maybe besides the MMOs. Plus if we're being honest most people can't follow basic instructions so I don't see why they would be able to create basic instructions.

  22. I absolutely hated P3FES purely because it wasn't hard, it was just a lot of shit out of your control that made it hassle for me TBH

    Like, it's hard to grind with the sick/tried system and since its a labyrinth, you basically have to rush through every floor and get to a boss floor to save and then go down to train, because if you die before then you have to start over from where ever you last saved, which can be some floors away.

    Then you had the issue of the AI itself! I don't know if i had bad luck or the game hated me, but characters were retarded.

    Boss battles or against strong enemies? You have Yukari refusing to heal properly, Mitsuru wanting to use only Marin Karin (Which i thought was joke, it wasn't, at all), Junpei wanting us only moves the enemy resist, block, repel, or absorbs, and Aigis just doing random whatever

    I had to stop at the first Full Moon Boss after you get Aigis because the only smart AI i had was Akihiko but that wasn't much.

    I tried again and was going to Solo it, but then i realized, that means I would slogging through the game or one shooting things and that ain't fun so i dropped it until i played Portable, its the only version i can say i enjoyed

    Maybe i needed to get good or something, but P3FES is something i can never go back too, and if the remake P3, i hope they do it with Portable as the base because it will have to be pass for me

  23. Persona 3 portable has an option where you can ACTUALLY control your party members…I used it and it's way better than letting them do what they want

  24. I have not watched the video I just saw Aigis and I wanted to complain about the AI in Persona 3 after playing Persona 4

  25. Everyone is going on about Mitsuru casting Marin Karin instead of heal, in life-or-death siuations…

    Then you have me over here, playing Persona 3 Portable.

  26. I found it weird when you were given the option to make teammates run on ai in turn based rpgs, like dragon quest viii. Sure, there might be a very specific instance where that COULD be helpful as ai units make decisions based on their current situation on their turn rather than the beginning of the round when you'd get to choose, but 99% of the time "follow orders" is just preferable.

  27. Ally AI seemed really competent in Fortune Summoners, even better than me without practice. They can really keep you alive with well-timed healing in a boss fight. They probably lean towards being too powerful, but having them around to help you makes a ton of difference, which is probably what the game was going for. The only minus is that it's pretty chaotic fighting with allies, and much more precise fighting on your own (although you've got less room for error on your own).

  28. so a few things:

    1. In KH3, some of your allies late game, are so powerful that you don't have to do anything, you can set the controller aside, that's overpowered AI.

    2. In Persona 3, there is a notorious boss where you have to kill them in the same turn or they resurrect each other, that boss is almost unwinnable with your party members.

  29. Im glad that I played Persona 3 Portable for the PSP instead of the PS2 release, I think I would hate the game if I didn't had control of my allies

  30. I think the worst part about Persona 3's combat has to be that the commands for your allies, that are almost necessary to not get screwed over, are UNLOCKABLE. You only get them as you progress the Fool social link, so the beginning of the game (around the first 5-6 hours) is incredibly annoying combat wise, specifically with the Tartarus bosses.

  31. You say Persona 3 has no good story reason to limit party actions to AI but that isn't true. The game is emphasizing a theme of death and one of the ways it tries to drive its theme home is by making your party members individuals, not just pawns for you to control. You are just the main character, not some godlike puppet master. You can't just escape death by becoming someone else, your life is all you have. It's also why sometimes your party can't explore Tartarus. They have their own lives to live.

    The game is also setting the main character up as the party's leader. As the game progresses, you become more adept as the leader and get more sophisticated controls. I think that only having control of the main character helps the role playing element of the game as well, so I choose to set party members to AI control even in Persona 4 and 5.

  32. When it comes to player programmed gambit systems, Dragon Age: Origins did it so much better than FF12. In Origins you have much better customization options, but it never feels like you have to mess with it too often. It also helps that you can easily switch to any of your party members whenever you need them to move and carry out a complicated battle plan, and there's also an overhead mode where you can more instruct your party on where to position themselves tactically. It was a game that let you play the way you wanted to when you needed it.
    Unfortunately later Dragon Age game deviated from a lot of what made Origins so unique

  33. I like the "gambit" system, they had the same thing in dragon age 2, I enjoy micromanaging everything because I'm a control freak

  34. I've had…I'm sorry…EVERYONE who has played Hyrule Warriors knows exactly what bad ally A.I. feels like. Seriously, the entire army of both your allies and enemies are stupid and barely engaged in battle. In the meantime, the main ally characters in the game are tuned well into the objectives of the fight up until at least one skimpy enemy distracts them and they abandon forward progression just to take minutes to defeat it which can and should be skipped. Bottom line, your allies in that game don't know how to prioritize what's more important. They'll sacrifice the entire battle just to kill one enemy that's barely even a threat.

  35. “Palicoes don’t do that much damage”

    Late game Palicoes can solo most elder dragons with the right skills equipped. Those things are the real monsters.

  36. good thing that in persona 3 portable you can actually control the characters (also why is there not a p3 remake on ps4?, like, there is only the dancing game, or a port of the p3p, i dunno, maybe that is hard to make a portable game on the big screen, but what can i say)

  37. If P3 will ever have a remake then they should keep the AI controlled party members and have an option to directly control a member when you reach a certain level in their social link. I think this makes sense since a member would most likely put more trust in a good friend than a blue-haired emo boi with zero self-preservation(and would give more incentive to max social stats)

  38. Palicos are consistently my favorite AI companions in gaming. While I enjoy the fact that World's Palico has a lot more utility like recruiting wild cats and small monsters, I purrsonally prefurr the Generations (Ultimate) Palicos more. I like the idea of maintaining a platoon of Palicos and micromanaging their skills to create unique allies which I honestly grew really attached to.
    I have one of each support bias that I've fully leveled up and perfected. I always keep my starter Charisma Palico in the first slot because she's based on my real cat. Then, I have a few that I will use in the second slot. A Healer, a Guard, a Support, and a Collect Palico tend to occupy this spot depending on what I need. Meanwhile, my Attack, Beast, and Bomb Palicos tend to be the ones I use as Prowlers, though the Guard and Collect ones sometimes end up as Prowlers too.

    The amount of time I spent fine-tuning my Palicos in Generations Ultimate makes them incredibly useful. They make hunts less lonely, offer great utility, and even steal my kills sometimes.

  39. 8:10 you can get to a point where the character's gambits are self sustaining and auto killing/targeting mobs

  40. I hate when they give puzzle hints. Just let me figure it out. If there's an option to ask them for help, that's much better than an unsolicited interruption.

  41. I actually had the absolute inverse experience with Persona 3's AI party members. They were usually quite competent if I wasn't incompetent with giving them the right battle plans to begin with. I actually felt like being able to control them in the remake was to the detriment of the game overall.
    I will always recommend P3 as the very first choice for trying to introduce someone to the franchise.

  42. Player: * starts pressing the calling button like a idiot *
    NPC: CAN YOU STOP DOING THIS, I ALREADY SAID I'M COMING GODDAMIT

  43. Yeah, your Buddy-Aces in Ace Combat 7 really are just decoration.
    At least they are not getting in your way though.
    Think of them as flying radios, delivering you lore and banter while sometimes making crucial callouts.

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