One distinctive characteristic of Square Enix RPGs such as Final Fantasy is their battle systems. With each installment comes a completely new or reworked system by which combat occurs. Even in titles that are not as well-received, Square Enix games regularly get praise for being able to keep this aspect of their games fresh.
Yesterday, Square Enix was rewarded a US patent (seen here) for a single-button RPG battle system. It was submitted by Hajime Tabata, co-Director for the upcoming Final Fantasy XV, and is described as such:
The present invention provides a game apparatus that can cast various attacks only by pressing the same operating button without performing any complex operation. In an attack method setting screen, attack method setting panels are displayed arranged. Each attack method setting panel is provided with a positional condition display area that displays a positional condition regarding the positional relationship between a player character and an enemy character, and an attack method display area that displays an attack method performed on the enemy character by the player character.
Essentially, it’s a patent for a system by which a single button can do multiple tasks, like in Assassin’s Creed, but in the context of a JRPG battle. I could be way off on this, but it feels almost reminiscent of the Gambit system in Final Fantasy XII. Whether this will have ramifications for Final Fantasy XV or some other upcoming title remains to be seen.