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It’s Time for a Grown Up JRPG

Scott from the D Pad D Bags writes I sure do love me some turn-based Japanese RPG’s. I’ve spent more time with the Final Fantasy and Persona games than I care to think about. There’s just something thrilling about the process of assessing an enemy, checking the condition of your party, issuing orders, and then watching how the next round plays out. Maybe it’s the suspense of waiting to see if your next attack is going to be effective. Maybe it’s the fear of getting caught by some huge counter-assault that leaves your party beaten and bloodied. Maybe it’s the simplicity of it all, given that such systems typically provide the player with ample time to plan his next few moves or to drink a beer without having to push pause. Whatever the attraction, the turn-based battle system is a tried-and-true mechanic that’s survived since the very beginning of gaming.

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Brosy1929d ago (Edited 1929d ago )

JRPG's are emo.

amaguli1929d ago

It would be a bit refreshing playing a JRPG as a group of adults instead teenagers for once. There are more things you can explore in terms of themes and characterizations.

I just think it is easier for game creators to write about a coming of age story. Plus if you look at stories of the past, the focus has always been on young people simply because youth equals purity and hope. Old age is always viewed as being corrupted by the world, lose hope, and losing the ability to dream.

synchroscheme1929d ago

That's one thing that I enjoyed in Lost Odyssey.
All of the characters were adults and though there were 2 kids that join your party they were realistically treated as children.

It's likely the most mature storyline I had ever seen in a JRPG, and I think the adult cast contributed to that a lot. It certainly made it more "real" than a bunch of ragtag kids out to save the world.

amaguli1929d ago

Lost Odyssey is one of the best JRPGs released this gen due to the storyline. Sakaguchi took the time to play with the tropes of the genre and it work.

I wish writers would take risks with the stories they create. It just that not only is it easier to write about teenagers -remember less 'real' issues to write about- but the stories tend to be timeless and easier to understand for younger audiences. It's still not an excuse though, I wish more games like Lost Odyssey were made.

cleft51928d ago

I just beat Lost Odyssey a little while ago and I can't agree with you more. Truly an amazing jrpg. The short stories had me crying.

TheColbertinator1929d ago

I will play anything different from those generic FPS crap-a-thons around.

wishingW3L1929d ago

I rather play nothing at all if I don't like what I see. XD

My PS3 game library is so thin!

UMVC3
Uncharted
Valkyria
Yakuza
MGS4
Deus Ex HR
Folklore

and that is it. This entire generation I've been playing mostly old games from the Snes, PS1 and PS2. And right now I'm playing School Days HQ that got a western release, uncensored and with more violent endings!

kevnb1929d ago

Get a Wii and xenoblade chronicles.

LightofDarkness1929d ago

I've been dying to play a more mature JRPG, but the reason it's almost unilaterally teenage protagonists is because Japanese culture tends to focus more on youth and innocence than western cultures. They primarily make the game for their home audience, so you can't really blame them for going with what they know.

Plus, SE tried to go with a 30-something protagonist in FF XII, but the upper management had a crisis of confidence about not having an effeminate teenage boy as the poster child (part of the "winning formula" of the previous 4 games) and one was shoe-horned in towards the end, which is why the Vaan sucks so much and seems to have no real connection to the story (I believe Basch was the intended main).

Bimkoblerutso1928d ago

Yeah, I remember playing through and thinking how unnecessary Vaan and Penelo were as characters...and then I read that little factoid like a year later and it all made sense.

It's not that I necessarily think it's BAD to have young characters, but as far as context is concerned, older characters usually can be more believably exposed to deeper subject matter because writers don't have to compensate for their lack of worldview and inexperience.

Not to mention that, as the FFXII incident suggests, targeting that demographic has sort of become the standard in the industry these days to the point that it's affecting artistic vision in some cases.

kevnb1929d ago

Grown up anime based games? What the hell are you talking about. Most games should never be grown up or mature, that's usually another way of saying boring.

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