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Thread: JRPGs: Dated or just Different?

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Manhattan Sports Club's Avatar
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    Default JRPGs: Dated or just Different?

    I know some people who prefer their games to have alot of so-called 'badassery' tout games like FF or Dragon Quest for instance as dated in comparison to modern WRPGs like Dragon Age or Skyrim. I however, don't see the appeal of the latter two. I don't see why turn-based combat or interaction has to be viewed as 'dated'. I personally do not like modern RPGs and stick to the JRPG games for their 'strategy lite' mechanics. What do you guys think about this?

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    I dont think after the early to mid 90s the JRPG has evolved all that much, they stick to certain staples, but in that same light you might as well call Mario games, Megaman franchise, Castlevania in the SOTN style, and some other 80s and 90s era stuff dated too. Sometime the age of it and a relative level of non-change isnt such a bad thing because sometimes when you get the formula right, theres no reason to foul it up. JRPGs have changed some over time with some franchises livening things up like Tales...live combat or DQ9 showing the non-random monsters on the map but it just is what it is and its not dated. One could argue that the WRPG is far more dated since their style is still mired in the 1970s D&D design on paper style in leveling gear and what not but that doesnt make those agmes bad, just different.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) LaughingMAN.S9's Avatar
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    Not even gonna read any posts in here. My answer is.....


    DATED.
    "Kidnap the presidents wife without a plan..."

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    Key (Level 9) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    I think JPRGs are both different AND dated. But dated doesn't mean bad, it means the concept was established long ago and has been refined to a masterful level.

    Modern JRPGs such as Persona 4 Golden and Tales of Graces f are two examples of how JPRGs have evolved to to menu driven or action driven. Both work equally well, and I think western RPGs are just a newer take.

    I like all three and want there to always be new exciting offerings in all three genres.
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
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    I agree with Satoshi Matrix about JRPGs being less-evolved as opposed to outdated. The very mechanics that have come to define what a JRPG is-largely menu-driven and turn-based combat, playing as an existing character over creating one leveling applied by the game instead of managing your character sheet directly, etc.-have to remain the same, or the game end up classified as something else. Those characteristics not only define the genre, but also are valuable tools to provide a framework to tell a more specific narrative. Essentially, in a JRPG, you mostly play a character or characters in THEIR story, wheras in a WRPG, you usually create your own character and define YOUR story.

    Some people view JRPGs as lazier and more restrictive, but I think that the more strategy-driven approach to design and pre-existing characters allow for a more specific, detailed story to be told. It's like reading an adult (for grown-ups, not pornographic) novel vs a choose your own adventure. In a novel, you're an observer to the story more than the person controlling it, but it can really take you for a ride. In a choose your own adventure, like a WRPG, you own what happens to you more and are a more active participant in the story's direction, but that wider gauge of freedom presents limitations to detail, as the developer has to account for variety in player choices and actions, making it much more difficult to go as deep or complex in narrative structure. Both have a place, but to me the JRPG is the more relaxing option that streamlinew a lot of things to tell me a story, and I enjoy that more. I don't usually want to create my own character and run errands in the form of quests and manage my character stat sheet so directly to immerse myself in a world and define my place in it. I'd rather be less immersed by simply interacting in a more limited capacity with someone else's story.

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    Crono (Level 14) Custom rank graphic

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    Dated doesn't even mean anything, similar to people throwing around "that game didn't age very well." It's not that the game didn't age well, it's that it was never good in the first place and you didn't notice the flaws until you came back after playing other games that didn't have these issues.

    You could say literally any genre on the market is "dated." It's whether the game portrays that genre well or not. While the JRPG genre had some great games on the PS2, the genre had no where near the amount of quality you could find on the PSX and it was worse. Most developers in the current gen are either trying to push some incredibly deep storyline, but don't realize that it doesn't tend to entertain if the storyline sucks ass, while others are modeling their game after the basic principles of the JRPG genre while keeping the flaws the genre has gained over each generation. Back then it's like developers put their heart into making a great storyline and great gameplay in one. That's not something that happens often today even when you stick to the exact same series.

    The problem with JRPGs today is that the developers are fine with mediocrity. You have a few JRPGs on console, but it's rare. An example would be Tales of Graces F. I've always liked the 2D Tales games but the 3D Tales have always been so slow and boring imo. Symphonia, Abyss, and even recently when I played Xillia for around 15 hours, the games really aren't that great and I've had no interest to finish any of them. Tales of Graces F was the first Tales I've played in a long time that really wowed me though. The battle system is amazing and everything else was fairly well done. Although with Xillia, Xillia 2, and Zesitiria where the Tales teams merged, it seems that the Symphonia team is the ones who do all the decision making. Looks like I'm never going to play another game in the series when they're aiming for mediocrity rather than pushing for quality.

    They're not the only ones though. NIS has always aimed for mediocrity. The only two really good games they've developed have been Prinny 1 and 2. It's like they have a knack for platformers. But they can't make a good JRPG if their lives depended on it. Disgaea is highly praised by JRPG fans when the series has been garbage since day one.

    Fans and journalists aren't helping when they're shouting praise for the shittiest games and panning the best ones. Two Level 5 JRPGs, White Knight Chronicles and Ni No Kuni. Where the hell is all the Ni No Kuni praise coming from. It's got a cliche storyline that isn't bad but isn't good, borderline boring. It's got a beautiful world, but the combat is complete ass. White Knight Chronicles on the other hand also has a cliche but atleast somewhat entertaining storyline, and the combat while not anything spectacular, is a turn based version of Phantasy Star Online. Unfortunately the online is no longer available, but the you could also take your avatar character online and group up with people to different quests based on your GR rating. The combat was great but instead of the weakness focused PSO like combat system of White Knight Chronicles, JRPG fans and journalists lapped up the braindead mash the x button gameplay of that pos Ni No Kuni. The fans are basically telling developers to keep releasing this shit because we'll buy it no matter how good it is, but we'll completely ignore a good one just because journalists shit all over it.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Manhattan Sports Club's Avatar
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    I agree with you guys on several things. JRPGs are the only genre that makes me think in the same way as reading a novel. Both require focus and critical thinking to read and comprehend what's going on, and both have linear, but much more compelling stories. I learned this from free-form role-playing on an MMO where people had no organized system or even character sheets most of the time. In regards to story, there was so many differing levels of writing capacity from both parties that every time you tried to take the plot towards something daring and interesting, someone else who was a noob would fuck it up and ruin hours of input you had invested to create that story. So I eventually learned what most seasoned free-formers learned: RP in this vein only with people you trust and have similar tastes to. That cut out a large portion of RPers who graced the public maps, but it also got rid of the misery factor. WRPGs strike me as being similar to this.

    As for Nippon Ichi, I think the Atelier alchemist series is the best thing they adopted so far (long-running series in Japan but it was actually developed by GUST). Phantom Brave had potential but was repetitive and dead easy. Never played Disgaea. Hell, I'd say their obscure mahjong game on PS1 was actually among their best.

    I agree about the use of the term dated, too. A lot of games were just products of their time or sold based on the franchise alone. Personally, I think Metal Saga (part of the Metal Max series) was one of the better PS2 JRPGs that got massively overlooked, and was ironically open-ended.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Rickstilwell1's Avatar
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    I don't care what anyone else thinks, they're my favorite.
    [quote name='Shidou Mariya' date='Nov 17 2010, 10:05 PM' post='4889940']
    I'm a collector, but only to a certain extent.
    Not as extreme as Rickstilwell though.[/quote]


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    This whole thing about JRPGs being "dated" is just bullshit mainstream flavor-of-the-week nonsense. I remember a time not long ago when people looked at western RPGs like the Gold Box and Ultima games, and called THOSE dated for exactly the same things we now praise about Skyrim--back then, open-endedness was seen as detrimental because it meant less focus on narrative and character growth, which was the way of THE FUTURE!

    And now things have flipped, and suddenly games that focus on telling stories are passe and open-ended exploration and complete customization are THE FUTURE? Yeah, no. It's just a flipped perspective, probably helped by how western gamers have become kinda xenophobic (I remember someone here mentioning that american game expos are seen largely as excuses to bash Japan) I can kinda understand it. After all, western developers spent years being shown that anything they can do, Japan can do better (was there ever an American-made shoot-em-up, fighting game, side-scrolling platformer etc. that was anywhere near as good as the best ones from the East?), and now that they're somehow coming out ahead they want to rub it in their former overlords' faces.

    Just to further show how facile this point is, remember when people said that 2D was going the way of the dodo, and that the adventure game was dead? And yet now, guess what have been making big comebacks on the indie scene?

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