Combat in Pageboy is intense and fast-paced. You'll enter battle with a stamina gauge that determines the amount of actions you can take. You can rush forward and lunge at your opponent giving it everything you've got, but if you spend all of your stamina without defeating them, you are going to have a bad time. The enemies have teeth, claws, and laser-eyes and you need some of that stamina to guard yourself. Watch your opponent's movements and riposte with perfect timing and you can mitigate that damage and get boosts to your stamina regeneration, keeping you in the fight. It's all about timing!
Using the TRIUMVERATE system, you will control three members of your party in real time. With this fluid and intuitive system, you can control the offense and defense of your team, responding swiftly and strategically to the many threats of your journey. As your party grows you will join up with fighters who have very different play-styles and strategic options, and you will need them, because the enemies get horrifying and the timing requires more precision as you travel.
Protect your neck! Defense is just as important as being on the attack, and you wont get far until you master the art of guarding. Watch your opponent carefully to determine the direction of their attack and cover your vulnerable party members with whomever has the most health. Your biggest attacks require preparation and it will take coordinated teamwork among your party to protect each other. If you can defeat your opponents with a perfect guard ratio you can earn bonus experience and loot.
As you gain experience, your team learns to function as a cohesive whole pairing up to perform devastating DOUBLE TECHs. These are unlocked through your relationship with each character and change depending on how you have treated them. If you can achieve harmony with the entire party you can erupt into the amazing TRIPLE TECH. Do you synergize or polarize?
Exhaustion is a very real danger of your journey and those who don't manage their stamina will quickly be overwhelmed. Your stat build will determine if you specialize in giant crushing hits, quick careful strikes, or a risky interrupt build which centers around extremely precise timing and high risk-high reward critical hits. You may wish to push one of your characters to the extreme limit while using the rest to cover them while they catch their breath.
The Genericans killed off their gods long ago and their medical technology is unreliable at best. As such, no cleric's prayers or medic's salve will help you. On this journey you will have to eat to stay healthy. You can chomp down on a snack in combat, but the healing is gradual so if you take a hit while chewing the effect of your food is canceled. Like every other aspect of battle, timing and teamwork is the key to recovery. Watch your mate's back while they snack!
Pageboy features the PSYCH-SYSTEM which tracks your actions and gives your character a psychological profile which is mirrored in combat. For example: Consistent acts of empathy and kindness will increase your SENSITIVITY which lowers your defense but significantly increases your speed and healing. All of the psych-stats are sliding scales, so there is no perfect god-build. Some players may choose to focus on the story to engineer specific narrative outcomes, where as some players may focus on min-maxing combat. The game can be completed as you see fit, and with quick save and load and a NEW GAME + system, you can explore a wide array of conclusions.
Your mental toughness and ability to bounce back from setbacks vs how open to influence and change you are. A sensitive character feels more and takes in more emotionally where a resilient one has more internal stability.
Your belief in yourself and sense of purpose vs questioning yourself and your place in the world. An anxious character thinks ahead and looks outside of themselves, where as a confident character looks within for answers.
Your ability to notice details in the world around you and pick up on subtleties vs your ability to tune out exterior influences and ideas. An oblivious character simply doesn't care about small details, where a perceptive one is constantly seeking information.
Your mental rigidity vs your tendency to make light of things and jest. A humorous character is usually a quick thinker but irresolute where a serious character can be intimidating and intense.
Your belief in the collective and ability to care about other people vs prioritizing yourself and your needs. An altruist places the needs of the group over their individual concerns where an egoist thinks of what they need first.
Your ability the think practically vs your belief in larger philosophical or moral ideals. An idealist is a conceptual abstract thinker where as a pragmatist is concerned with the here and now.