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I want to like JRPGs so much, but I'm not sure I can do it.

DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
I agree. The designs in anime are every bit as bad. It's like the testosterone was sucked out of Japan. I'm thinking corporations started instructing artists to move away from 'cool' and instead make 'pretty characters' that women would also like.
I think so much of it is designed for dudes who are absolutely terrified of real women and are intimidated by more masculine men.

The WRPG fantasy: you can be the ultimate alpha male who kicks everyone’s ass and gets the woman of his choosing if he plays his cards right.

The JRPG fantasy: you can be some dopey clueless beta male who saves the world by being nice, and get the hottest girl without having to do anything scary like flirt with her or ask her out or make any moves. Usually the romance develops through some accidental ice breaker moments like them accidentally seeing each other naked, or the girl getting all bitchy and jealous when the guy gets attention from some older cougar lady.
 

supernova8

Member
Not a big fan of JRPG's and don't play many of them, but there is one I played and liked called Lost Odyssey on the X360. Lot of grinding but the story and characters were interesting.

Have Final Fantasy 13 and 15, Ni No Kuni 1 and 2, Dragon Quest XI, among others on my Steam account and still haven't touched them. I've asked myself several times.... why the f**k did I purchase those games.

Probably same boat as you. Literally the same with buying JRPGs and never fucking touching them. WTF is wrong with us? My guilty pleasure random JPRG is Enchanted Arms (I played it on 360, I believe it also came to PS3). The over-the-top-camp-as-fuck Makoto character is hilarious and kept me playing. It's basically Pokemon but with "golems".


I also remember playing and completing Breath of Fire 1 and 2 as a kid but I tried to play them again recently and it felt like my eyes were melting. I'm not that much of a graphics whore but come on it's practically pong.
 
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DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
My guilty pleasure is Star Ocean: First Departure R. It has really fast, spammy, flashy combat that requires little skill. Best way to overcome any challenge is to gain a few levels. It has a skill/item creation system that gives you tons of ways to power up your characters and break the game.

Honestly it feels less like an ARPG and more like one of the “golden age” turn-based JRPGs, except with combat that’s actually entertaining and satisfying. It’s equally mindless and un-strategic as most of the classic turn based JRPGs.

The story is kind of dumb and nonsensical but it has some fun twists. Main protagonist and his childhood female friend are bland and boring as fuck, but the rest of the cast is really wacky and fun. Tons of choices of characters to recruit.

And the whole thing is like 20-25 hours so it never overstays its welcome. It’s the perfect game for when you just want to turn your brain off and have some mindless JRPG entertainment.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
I hate JRPGs in every aspect and I'm fine with it
 
Most JRPG's are really NOT 'role-playing' games. Most of the time you cannot create your character or really find lots of interesting loot to outfit your character.

Most Western RPG's really focus on a comprehensible story rather than 'amnesia' or an angsty teen wanting to defend his royal family, while protecting an under-age looking, scantily dressed damsel.

They really haven't evolved since the 90's (other than graphics). Still a linear story, walled-off maps, terrible maps, unlikable characters and unrelatable. Still find a single chest with an apple in it and just overall wonky.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
They really haven't evolved since the 90's (other than graphics). Still a linear story, walled-off maps, terrible maps, unlikable characters and unrelatable
All those points also applies to WRPGs. Both peaked at the 90s.

And this idea that WRPGs don't have linear stories is silly. All those games have linear stories, regardless of having multiple endings or not.

Most Western RPG's really focus on a comprehensible story
I've played quite a few WRPGs, and a 'comprehensible story' is not what makes them stand out from JRPGs. It's quite the opposite.
It's the freedom to create your characters and go on predetermined adventures (e.g. Darklands, Gold Box games)

What JRPGs *actually* stand out is in storytelling, since they put a lot of emphasis on the predetermined characters and their development.

That is, excluding modern JRPGs.
 
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Petopia

Member
Modern jrpgs are obese. They are full of characters who rarely have interesting traits and generally are just walking tropes, while being so overloaded with idiotic and unonteresting dialogue that it's next to impossible to stay interested.

It's sad to say. But jrpgs generally suck these days. They used to be awesome, but it's like all the great storytellers just abandoned ship and let incompetent fools take their place.
Yakuza like a dragon ring a bell.
 

RaduN

Member
Lost Oddyssey and Final Fantasy XII are 2 of the least jrpgs jrpgs you can play, if one doesn't like that distinct anime style that most have.
Final Fantasy XII also has God tier writting and voice acting. One of the best games ever made in that regard.
 

Jigsaah

Gold Member
Man if you played Chrono Trigger and FF7 and more recently Octopath Traveler and you can't seem to love JRPGs then it just might not be the genre for you.

I consider JRPGs ones that include turnbased or semi turn based gameplay. They generally have multiple playable characters with some elements of open world exploration and a lengthy engaging story. They usually have a leveling system and some type of skill tree to progress through.

I'm seeing people mention Nier Automata. That's more like an Japanese Action Adventure game more than anything. No turn based combat there. Do you even level up in Nier? Been a while since I've played.
 
As a big non-jrpg fan, a person who thinks Dragon Quest XI and Ni No Kuni 2 and some other recent ones are absolute garbage, Persona 5 Royal and Yakuza Like a Dragon are fucking amazing. Buy these 2 forget the other generic cute shit.

EDIT: well not sure if I'd add these to the jrpg genre as they feel more action-oriented but souls series/nioh 2 and Nier Auto are also obviously great if you consider them jrpg.
 
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The writing in Japanese games can fluctuate wildly. I think there was probably a lot more gatekeeping in terms of story back in the day, whereas now you get a lot more of the weird anime and manga subgenres seeping in. I haven't actually played many new jrpgs. I didn't play them as a kid so I've mostly just gone back and played some of the older classic ones as an adult. Sounds like I made the right decision.

One aspect I like about jrpg storytelling and japanese storytelling in general is there's a lot of focus on why your character is powerful, what is making him powerful, and how he is getting more powerful as the game progresses -- so that having powers and leveling up actually gets woven into the story. And the same with the villains, who also tend to level up or transform at various points, so that you have a sense of how the threat is growing. I need the power of all three these magic artifacts flowing through me or the universe is doomed. It's fun in a ridiculously grandiose sort of way.

I played Final Fantasy IV a few years ago for the first time - it was so insanely over the top and world-shattering, a little 16-bit game taking you all over the world and to other planets, your party constantly changing, characters dying and being reborn - how could you not love it.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
I played Final Fantasy IV a few years ago for the first time - it was so insanely over the top and world-shattering, a little 16-bit game taking you all over the world and to other planets, your party constantly changing, characters dying and being reborn - how could you not love it.
Nowadays everyone wants the most photorealistic graphics, everything to be detailed and having realistic proportions (1:1 character-to-world ratio).
The problem is that the budget also greatly increases, and this kinda kills some design decisions that some developers might have.

One good thing about older games is that since they abstracted away most of those details, this also allowed them to do some crazy stuff.
In Final Fantasy 4 you went to the Moon! In Final Fantasy 5 there were TWO worlds to explore, and they merged together at one point!

If those games were remade the way Square-Enix is handling their big budget games today, they would take forever to make a detailed 1:1 world.
And honestly, a 1:1 world feels really boring as well, since no developer has time to make a big world interesting and non repetitive.

It's kinda like Hitchcock said:
Movies have lost a lot by this new trend towards documentary realism at the sacrifice of fantasy. After all, drama is life with the dull bits cut out.
 
Most JRPG's are really NOT 'role-playing' games. Most of the time you cannot create your character or really find lots of interesting loot to outfit your character.

Most Western RPG's really focus on a comprehensible story rather than 'amnesia' or an angsty teen wanting to defend his royal family, while protecting an under-age looking, scantily dressed damsel.

They really haven't evolved since the 90's (other than graphics). Still a linear story, walled-off maps, terrible maps, unlikable characters and unrelatable. Still find a single chest with an apple in it and just overall wonky.
I feel seen.

Will Smith Yes GIF by Bad Boys For Life





With that said, western RPGs have their own stereotypes I guess. Currently enjoying The Outer Worlds.
 
Nowadays everyone wants the most photorealistic graphics, everything to be detailed and having realistic proportions (1:1 character-to-world ratio).
The problem is that the budget also greatly increases, and this kinda kills some design decisions that some developers might have.

One good thing about older games is that since they abstracted away most of those details, this also allowed them to do some crazy stuff.
In Final Fantasy 4 you went to the Moon! In Final Fantasy 5 there were TWO worlds to explore, and they merged together at one point!

If those games were remade the way Square-Enix is handling their big budget games today, they would take forever to make a detailed 1:1 world.
And honestly, a 1:1 world feels really boring as well, since no developer has time to make a big world interesting and non repetitive.

It's kinda like Hitchcock said:
Yeah, it's true that a lot of newer rpgs struggle to balance these elements, although there are games that show it can be done, like Mass Effect or The Witcher. But then even these games probably don't match the scale of something like FFIV, which would be very hard to pull off nowadays.
 

Fbh

Gold Member
Would you rank it above XBC 1 and XCX ?

Haven't played X.

IMO:

2:
+Has much better combat, which is what you'll be doing like 80% of the time.
+ Gives you some more freedom in how to build your characters and which role you want to give them in combat, which is nice
- It goes all in on the cringy weeb waifu aesthetic
- The way you get blades (basically skills and weapons) is weirdly tied to a gatcha style mechanic. The game doesn't have microtransactions or anything....it just seems to be there for the sake of being annoying?

1:
+ Has a better story and aesthetic (the story in 2 is still fun though)
+ Has a nicer world and better locations (though they are still good in 2)
- The combat is pretty bland and repetitive, and your ally AI is terrible.
 

sigmaZ

Member
Haven't played X.

IMO:

2:
+Has much better combat, which is what you'll be doing like 80% of the time.
+ Gives you some more freedom in how to build your characters and which role you want to give them in combat, which is nice
- It goes all in on the cringy weeb waifu aesthetic
- The way you get blades (basically skills and weapons) is weirdly tied to a gatcha style mechanic. The game doesn't have microtransactions or anything....it just seems to be there for the sake of being annoying?

1:
+ Has a better story and aesthetic (the story in 2 is still fun though)
+ Has a nicer world and better locations (though they are still good in 2)
- The combat is pretty bland and repetitive, and your ally AI is terrible.
Agreed. 2 was 'good enough', but I feel like the blades would have been much better if they weren't so random and there was less grind for the abilities. I really can't stand the content-on-top-of-content design. It cheapens the whole experience for me and feels more like doing a job than playing. That said, I loved overall aesthetic (minus the big breasted waifus) and the combat and traversal, which is mainly what I play the Xenoblade games for.

As for 1, it's a loose it in the third act type of plot for me. I loved how it hit the ground running and the pacing for the first half or slow. Then once you get that one city futuristic like city, the pacing just comes to a screeching halt. Also the amount of quests gets ridiculous after awhile. Again, I like content I can complete without hating myself afterwards or forgoing social or work obligations. One thing I absolute abhor about games like this and FFXVI is how you finish one quest for NPC and they keep giving more and more. I'd rather them limit how quests particular NPCs give or something. Nonetheless, I really loved the areas and how they were designed.

X had really nice aesthetics outside of the atrocious character designs and overall the combat and mechanics were alright.
The thing I hated about that was the progress-the-story-through-affinity-quests structure. Just awful. I much prefer seamless transitions and story progression. It feels even more laborious than the other two titles. Also, like 2 there was a bit too much waifu and cute animal character stuff in there.
 
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Mister Wolf

Member
Agreed. 2 was 'good enough', but I feel like the blades would have been much better if they weren't so random and there was less grind for the abilities. I really can't stand the content-on-top-of-content design. It cheapens the whole experience for me and feels more like doing a job than playing. That said, I loved overall aesthetic (minus the big breasted waifus) and the combat and traversal, which is mainly what I play the Xenoblade games for.

As for 1, it's a loose it in the third act type of plot for me. I loved how it hit the ground running and the pacing for the first half or slow. Then once you get that one city futuristic like city, the pacing just comes to a screeching halt. Also the amount of quests gets ridiculous after awhile. Again, I like content I can complete without hating myself afterwards or forgoing social or work obligations. One thing I absolute abhor about games like this and FFXVI is how you finish one quest for NPC and they keep giving more and more. I'd rather them limit how quests particular NPCs give or something. Nonetheless, I really loved the areas and how they were designed.

X had really nice aesthetics outside of the atrocious character designs and overall the combat and mechanics were alright.
The thing I hated about that was the progress-the-story-through-affinity-quests structure. Just awful. I much prefer seamless transitions and story progression. It feels even more laborious than the other two titles. Also, like 2 there was a bit too much waifu and cute animal character stuff in there.

The characters in 1 do nothing for me. Shulk's Girlfriend, Shulk's Best Friend, etc. Besides the great voice acting I don't even think that much of Shulk. The only standout is Melia. The cast of characters that accompany the main are way better in 2.
 
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Y0ssarian

Banned
I think the only ones I can still do are Atlus (SMT & Persona) and Final Fantasy. I'm wondering about Yakuza Like a Dragon but I don't want to grind in that
 

sigmaZ

Member
The characters in 1 do nothing for me. Shulk's Girlfriend, Shulk's Best Friend, etc. Besides the great voice acting I don't even think that much of Shulk. The only standout is Melia. The cast of characters that accompany the main are way better in 2.
Same here for the most part. I would've gotten more into 2's plot, but the big breasts thing really ruined most of it for me. Just couldn't take it seriously. LOL
 

Fbh

Gold Member
Agreed. 2 was 'good enough', but I feel like the blades would have been much better if they weren't so random and there was less grind for the abilities. I really can't stand the content-on-top-of-content design. It cheapens the whole experience for me and feels more like doing a job than playing. That said, I loved overall aesthetic (minus the big breasted waifus) and the combat and traversal, which is mainly what I play the Xenoblade games for.

The blades are somehow the best and worst part of 2.

I really like how they make combat more dynamic, give you more freedom in how to build your characters and give you a more active role during combat compared to the XBC1. And it's also fun that they all have their own personalities, some have unique quests and it's just fun collecting them and getting new ones.

At the same time they are also the perfect example of unnecessary bloat and artificial length in a game that's already like 60 hours long for the main story. Why is getting blades tied to a shitty gacha system where I have to go farm crystals so I can then basically use them on a lottery with a low chance of getting a rare blade? Why is leveling them up not straightforward but instead tied to annoying and time consuming fetch quests?. As cool as they are during combat, everything about them outside of combat somehow feels like it was taken straight from a F2P mobile game.
 
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DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
I have such a love/hate relationship with the Xenoblade games. On one hand, they have god-tier music, generally fun combat, and huge fascinating locales to explore. On the other hand, they’re a little too heavy on the cringe weeb shit (especially 2).

And my god, they have the most time wasting bullshit I have ever experienced in a single player game. Especially 2.

- endless, boring “collect the shiny blue dots” fetch quests

- the whole gacha system for getting new blades (it could easily take you 10 hours of grinding to get the really rare ones like Kos Mos)

- merc missions, where you have to dick around in menus every few minutes to view your results and figure out some combination of blades suitable for the next mission

- need to grind that arcade mini game for hours if you want to make Tora good (sucks because he’s the best party member in the game)

- field actions/treasure chests where you have to rearrange your party to make the skill check

- some of the affinity requirements are completely ridiculous and time wasting (e.g. Ursula’s)
 

Kssio_Aug

Member
My main problem with JRPGs nowadays is that they're just terribly written and full of anime tropes. Granted, I do enjoy anime and manga, but even I tend to avoid or dislike them when they use too much of said tropes - they're often linked to badly written material, doesn't matter if it's anime, manga or games.

I feel like JRPGs nowadays, just as the broad anime market, tend to aim to strongly please teenagers that only want some "cool" lines being spit out every so often, alongside with some over the top battle choreographies. This is not appealing to anyone who wants spend their time with something actually interesting.

That being said, it's quite common nowadays to not be into it if you're an adult. The gameplay might be actually fun, but if you have to sit through 50~100 hours reading constant cringe and shallow dialogues from flat two-dimensional characters, it's just not worth it.

So move on... play other things instead. Or make a search about games or RPGs with the elements that you like that are more gameplay oriented and don't spend too much time with bad dialogues and cut-scenes.

A personal recommendation given your problems with it: try Nier Automata. It's not too reliant on cut-scenes and dialogues, has a very unique art direction and has a very intriguing story. It's one of the few modern JRPGs that I feel that stands out in the genre nowadays.
 
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Vaelka

Member
You don't need to like every genre.
Plenty of genres I don't like and I am not overall fond of most Western games altogether anymore, I am especially bored with FPS.

It's the same with movie genres I am not a fan of horror, it's just a matter of taste.
 
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