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Submitted by Chadness 511d ago | article

Do JRPGs Really Need to Innovate to Survive?

Chad Awkerman Writes: "Frankly, innovation is overrated. The word “innovation” seems to be put up on this high and mighty pedestal as something that games in general – not just JRPGs – need to do to be relevant. The problem here is perception and expectation. If you perceive innovation to be needed, then you come to expect it. But, we really shouldn’t perceive it to be needed at all. Why?" (Industry)

Godmars290  +   511d ago
the problem is most game rely on the tried and true mechanics of Dragon Quest.
majiebeast  +   511d ago
Yeah and for good reason Dragonquest VIII is 1 of the best JRPG's ive played next to Chrono trigger. Nothing this gen beats it, i loved Xenoblade and Ninokuni but DQ8 is in a league of its own.

@Kalkano

If it aint broke dont fix it.
#1.1 (Edited 511d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
kalkano  +   511d ago
I think you misunderstood. He's saying those battle systems similar to DQ8 are the problem.

@ majiebeast

I agree. I just don't think Godmars290 does.
#1.1.1 (Edited 511d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report
Donnieboi  +   511d ago
Persona series, SMT, and any JRPG by Atlus or NIS, has revived my interest in JRPG's.
ApolloTheBoss  +   511d ago
Damn right. Ni No Kuni and P4G MADE me a JRPG fan.
3-4-5  +   511d ago
* Stop including annoying characters...Nobody wants to hate the game they just spent $60 on.

* Get creative with the story, but have the dialogue be more real.

* Use unique Art Styles

* The Music better be awesome
kalkano  +   511d ago
I can only partially agree with this article. First of all, it really annoys me when people say that storylines are why people like JRPGs...Almost EVERY GAME has a storyline. And, nowadays, most storylines are fairly in depth. I think most people like JRPGs for the gameplay. We don't like to test our twitch reflexes; we like to test our brains.

I see innovation as the difference in battle systems between each Final Fantasy, 1-10. When you change more than that, you're not innovating. You're completely changing the genre, and losing your original fanbase.

JRPGs need to take a step back, and go back to what made them successfull in the first place. Then, try to innovate again. Because they're last attempt at innovation failed miserably. It wasn't innovation. It was catering to an entirely new crowd, and changing the genre. Not everything needs to be an action-oriented WRPG. If we want to play those, we will. If we want to play turn-based JRPGs (much more often, for me), we will.

Also, bring JRPGs back to consoles, and stop making shovelware JRPGs! A game needs to look like it belongs on the system it was made for! If you release a PS3 JRPG that looks like it could have run on PS1, I'm going to assume that same level of effort went into the rest of the game, and I'll immediately label it as shovelware.

I've saved tons of money this generation, because instead of buying tons of new JRPGs, I'm playing tons of them from my backlog of games. I've recently played Dragon Quest 1-3 on SNES, and Phantasy Star 1-2 on Genesis. I've got tons of games from the NES to the PS2, still waiting to be played. The industry isn't making any money from me, while I play these old games.
HeavenlySnipes  +   511d ago
I think the story is the main reason for playing a JRPG. The good ones like Persona have deep stories that don't become obvious 2 hours into the game. The characters are also a big factor. You play the game for over 20 hours and character development is essential for this genre.

That is why Persona, Final Fantasy etc.. have great games in their franchise
rataranian  +   511d ago
You know you can't wait until FFXIII-IV. =D
kewlkat007  +   511d ago
If innovating involves dumbing the game down..so whiners can play it then, NO!
patterson  +   511d ago
I miss turn based RPG's.
Xer0_SiN  +   511d ago
not really just give us an intriguing storyline, likeable characters, and good game mechanics. thats all we ask for. were not asking for companies to reinvent the wheel. i mean hell, most of us rpg fanatics are asking for remakes from past systems to be wowed all over again. now doesnt that tell you something.
#6 (Edited 511d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
whamlollypop7  +   511d ago
That genre is waaayyy too lengthy, Ni No Kuni is cool but it's soooooo long.
kalkano  +   511d ago
You'd rather pay $60 for a 10 hour game (or less)? If it's unneeded padding, that's one thing. But, as long as it's quality content that keeps you entertained, the longer the better.
whamlollypop7  +   511d ago
I find jrpgs have a ton of padding, western rpgs ie fallout 3, deus ex, and me2 are all 30 to 50 hr games and that's good, jrpgs like either valkyria chronicles or demons souls were in the same time range and were great. when you get that ugh moment because there is sooooo much fluff something is awry.
#7.1.1 (Edited 511d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report
Snookies12  +   511d ago
No. Why do you think Call of Duty keeps getting more and more sales even though they do nothing to change the formula? JRPGs don't need to change to survive, I do however like to see when they take risks with things.
#8 (Edited 511d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
LordHiggens  +   511d ago
JRPGs do not need to change...in fact changing is the problem...GOD GIVE ME BACK MY TURN BASED SYSTEM. Final Fantasy X had it down bros...it had it DOWN. As far as I'm concerned if every JRPG had something similar like that in it...I'd be living the life of Riley.

btw who was Riley and why did he have such a good life?
crazysammy  +   511d ago
They don't need to change the formula, but like any genre they need to make good games. Playing current RPGs with few exceptions are just not that good. Its a combination of story, open world exploration, secrets, characters, and side missions that make games great but lately not many seem to be putting in the effort. Most likely because they are trying to be different.

Ni No Kuni was great though.
Inception  +   511d ago
From the articles:
"Then we have the abomination that was Resonance of Fate. I do not know what kind of drugs the developers were on at the time, but the narcotics didn’t do them any favors based on the horrible, convoluted battle system that resulted from their night in the clouds. While the setting and characters were pretty neat, the “innovative” battle system completely ruined that title for me, and many others."

There's nothing horrible/convoluted with Resonance of Fate battle system. What you only had to do is training in the arena for half or maybe one hours just to adapt with the system.

See, this one of the problems for people/journalist who always screaming JRPG need to innovate. When games such as Resonance of Fate comes, this people are lazy to learning how to play the game properly. They think it's just like a walk in the park. But they just mad when the enemies kick their ass because they too lazy to learn the battle system. They only blamed the game is broken, but not themself.

It is the same case with people who said Demon's/Dark Souls are bad games because they too lazy to learning why they died over and over again.
Timesplitter14  +   511d ago
JRPGs just need actual good stories and not those retarded japanese stories with completely ridiculous characters that we've been seeing recently
izumo_lee  +   511d ago
It depends on what JRPG one is talking about.

There will always be the very niche JRPG games that cater to a very specific crowd. Those games are often quite unique but due to the subject matter (loli, japanese inuendos etc.) are ignored by the mainstream masses. Dedicated lovers of these games know what to expect from these & enjoy them for what they are.

Then there are the AAA JRPG brands that are well known to the mainstream gamers. Series like Final Fantasy, Pokemon, Tales of games vary on innovation. Sometimes it appeals to the gamers, sometimes it is polarizing. Fans of Final Fantasy are looking for a more traditional game, however Squarenix has turned a blind eye to this request. Innovating the games to something that barely resembles a Final Fantasy game.

Change is welcomed if done right but for the most part the majority of JRPG fans are pretty much ok with something traditional.
FRA85  +   511d ago
I've not enjoyed any JRPG's recently. Years ago i got into them because the storylines were great and told very well plus sometimes i didnt want to play an all action all the time type of game.

lately when i play them they seem tageted at 12 year olds and the story's have been shallow and either predictable or just plain silly. i get they're trying to appeal to a wider audience but they losing the real fans of the genre.

i'd love to see an JRPG with a darker more grown up style and story aimed at adults. if u know any already out let me know.
BranWheatKillah  +   511d ago
Define innovation. Every genre is stagnant to some degree and relies on the same tropes and ideas it has since creation. The games that stand out, stand out because of the additions they make to the formula and quality of their story. There is also something to be said for actual design quality - within the levels, the characters, and the background mechanics.

There is nothing wrong with the old-school, turn based JRPG formula. The problem lies in the quality of the JRPG's that have been released in the past few years. Even the quality of store, something RPG's are supposed to be the leaders in, have been lacking.

A bad game, is a bad game, is a bad game. Build a solid game experience around the core mechanics of a genre people enjoy, and the idea of JRPG doesn't matter. It's just a good game.
MilkMan  +   511d ago
Yep, most desperately. Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story is heading in the right direction.
CLOUD1983  +   511d ago
I don't know who they have in their minds those companies who try to innovate & at the end they ruin everything but in my case I prefer my JRPG old-school, that means as traditional as it gets with turn based battles, world map, villages, stores, npc's , exploration, secrets & most of all EPIC stories & LIKEABLE/INTERESTING characters, I have learn to value a good story & a good soundtrack much more than graphics but unfortunately companies continue to focus on visuals &not in what truly matters & that's the reason they keep on failing.

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