2017: The Year Japanese RPGs Caught Up To Western RPGs

GameRevolution: "For gamers who grew up in the 80's and 90's, it hasn't been easy to watch JRPGs fall from grace. Really, if it weren't for FromSoftware and its Souls series the circumstance would be ugly... or at least that's what the previous few years would lead you to believe."

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FallenAngel1984481d ago

Why no mention of Pokémon, the most successful RPG series of all time

naruga481d ago (Edited 481d ago )

imo always western RPGs/or devs were inferior to the japanese ...Japan was just been left behind from tech standpoint .... western devs were like one-eyed kings in the land of blind..nothing interesting came from them, but in an era where japan couldnt develop worthy in visuals games, Western devs became temporary kings ......take for example Dragons Dogma (a good effort from Capcom that imo had only given the 50% of their potential ) literally tears apart the "saint chalice" of west --Skyrim

Bimkoblerutso481d ago

I certainly think Japanese developers have made a comeback this generation, if just for the fact that they're still delivering a lot of variety among their franchises when Western developers seem to be obsessed with converting all of theirs into generic open-world crap (not that there aren't any Japanese developers guilty of this too).

481d ago
indysurfn480d ago

No mention of Pokemon because they are trying to compare westurn rpg's to JRPG's that are trying to be western rpg's hinch leaving out turn based.

ULTp0ltergeist480d ago (Edited 480d ago )

I still see no comeback, if anything might be a last dying gasp of JRPGs. The quirky anime JRPG era was only unique in its own time. Western RPGs are out-rightly dominating not only in terms of technical prowess but financially with well established franchise that will out last JRPGs. Also JRPGs are designing their games to appease western audience not Japanese anymore. So if anything this is just hopeful thinking than it is an actual catch up.

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XanderZane480d ago

There were like 100+ JRPG's on the DS / 3DS. Don't think they needed to do much catching up. I'm glad to see a lot of Western PC RPG's coming to game consoles now though. Games like Diablo 3, Divinity: Original Sin, Torment: Tides Of Numenera , Incredible Adv of Van Helsing and so many more.

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KionicWarlord222481d ago (Edited 481d ago )

Not even close. None of these games maybe except Final Fantasy the KING of JRPG dont even touch the new ip Horizon Zero Dawn made by a western developer Guerilla games.

I doubt any of these games will sell better then Mass Effect Andromeda either even though that games a fumble but still posting in sales.

Western developers will forever be head over shoulders the Japanese devs.

Its whats what the people want and whats best for business.

JonnyBigBoss481d ago

Embargo for Persona 5 lifts in less than 48 hours. I'm patient, I can wait that long before roasting you.

KionicWarlord222481d ago

There will be no roasting of anything by looking at the chart i posted.

If you wanna wear horseblinders be my guess.

But when you got Forza 5 outselling Nier Automata...that should be enough evidence.

Razzer481d ago (Edited 481d ago )

"But when you got Forza 5 outselling Nier Automata...that should be enough evidence."

Doesn't mean anything. Racing games are extremely popular in UK. You think Forza is outselling Nier in the US?

But this isn't just about game sales numbers. The quality of the matters.

PaleMoonDeath481d ago

Cold blooded, I like it. Boss.

gangsta_red481d ago

I have to agree, as much as I enjoy JRPGs they still fall way behind their western counterparts in many, many areas and that is not even considering sales of the games, just design and story for me.

I did enjoy FF 15 but even that game had some serious issues I found puzzling not to mention again the ridiculous, confusing story it told.

Japanese role playing game devs need to seriously spend some more time on their games just ironing out and updating the little things to bring them up to speed for this gen. For example I'm playing the new Tales game, Berseria and while I am enjoying the game it still annoys me how their NPC's stand still and don't move inside the cities. It's little things like that which makes me smdh. A western developer could never get away with that in their role playing game nowadays.

CDbiggen481d ago

I happen to agree. JRPGs have more charm but can feel so restricting.
I like both for what they are.

gangsta_red481d ago


Agreed, JRPGs have that charm and humor with their characters that for some reason western devs can never replicate.

Maybe it's because how most WRPG's always have realism with their art and graphic style while most JRPGs go for the anime look.

I also like both and what they do, but I feel in terms of design the Japanese can step it up a notch.

remixx116481d ago

I just think for starters Japanese need larger budgets. They lose in the small areas that matter and just don't have the funds to push everything and miss out on their true potential.

rainslacker481d ago (Edited 481d ago )

I've always considered JRPG's more what they used to be. Whatever they became when they tried to cater to the western market just was never as good.

Maybe it's personal preference, and actually growing up during the JRPG heyday during the PS1/2 years...or even before really....but I think Japanese JRPG developers just kept things where they always were because they weren't as interested in making games like western games.

Obviously, some western based RPG's would appeal to the western audience more, because they were made for that audience, so that's why they moved ahead...and not sucking ass like they did back in the PS1/2 days....or beefore....really helped.

But overall, I don't think JRPG's really went downhill, they just became less relevant to the bigger gaming market. I think they stayed about where they always were....popular among the Otaku gamer, with the exceptions of things like FF, DQ, or Pokemon.

Then of course, the sudden drop in big JRPG franchises last gen, particularly new IP's, didn't help either. There is something seriously wrong when the most notable new JRPG series to actually come about last gen was Hyperdimension. Good series sure, but about as basic as it gets on RPG mechanics.

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Goldby481d ago

Just a head ups Kionic.

Guerilla Games is in Amsterdam. not the most western place.

Phill-Spencer481d ago

While i completely disagree with kionic i have to say that the netherlands, just like france, germany, italy..... generally are also considered as THE WEST

Razzer481d ago

You must live in California.

rainslacker481d ago

everything is west of something.

Otherwise, Western devs are generally considered anything not Asian. That would include Europe. Technically, the US would be east of Japan by the shortest route.

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Dragonscale481d ago

@kionic, the souls games beg to differ. They are head and shoulders above most western devs . And just because m e andromeda is selling don't make it a great game. 'Its what the people want' only seems to apply to a certain console and its fanbase, no wonder ms struggle to gain Japanese support lol.

Dragonscale481d ago (Edited 481d ago )

@343, thats like saying cod isn't a fps. They may be action rpgs but still rpgs non the less.

@kwiet exactly, to muddy the waters.

TheOptimist481d ago

lmao..... Except Bioware's (Baldur, Neverwinter etc) older titles, The Witcher franchise, The Older Fallout's, Obsidian Games (Pillars of Eternity), Deus Ex and a few others, nothing comes even close to what Persona, SMT, Nioh and most recently Nier Autotmata (Which I am currently playing) offer in terms of RPGs

_-EDMIX-_481d ago

"except Final Fantasy the KING of JRPG dont even touch the new ip Horizon Zero Dawn"

I don't know about that I own both games and I actually believe Horizon zero Dawn is miles better game but in regards to sales Final Fantasy 15 on multiple platforms is easily going to continue to move more units especially when you factor it is yet to release on PC.

But if you're just going on a sales basis most of these titles are not going to surpass Pokemon releases....

mastiffchild481d ago

Wouldnt you agree, though , that Pokemon is a very special case existing primarily(almost exclusively)on handhelds. Also, a lot of Pokemon players play literally no other jrpg at all and it owes loads of success to things other than just the games-cartoons, card games, an augmented reality phenomenon etc. Its pretty atypical in profile even if a lot of mechanics are classic turn.based jrpg. As such id ignore it here.

I, also, wouldnt say western devs or jap devs are more or less advanced. Certain devs in both geographical areas are ahead in specific things and on top of that the two are.moving closer overall with open worlds and real time combat, western things becoming prevalent all round. If by catching up we mean japanese devs using these features then , sure, more japanese games have more common western features than in the past.

However, jrpg are often more story driven, have quirkier characters and follow a different artistic approach to the usually realistic western one. You could argue that shows more artistic freedom because of animes influence. Point being theres things the west can.learn and things japanese davs can learn. Above that, though, companies like SE have a lot of western subsidiaries these days and cross pollination is unavoidable so we are bound to see examples of the two moving closer in many ways.

As long as both improve as a result and we keep the variety, even extend it as we see another Ni No Kuni arriving for example(so still more turn based in this action rpg age)games then rpg players are the winners. For me,, the difference between the Witcher and Persona is beyond huge and I couldnt split them in terms of quality

KwietStorm481d ago

Why do you keep bringing up sales?

Edito481d ago

For you best is equal to sales? Following your logic COD is better than ever... Japan has a different taste and for sometime they forgot why they games were so special and gladly they recovered they inner soul and are delivering top notch games that only Japan can do, games like Nier, Nioh, Bloodborne, Yakuza even FF XV after so many years it's a big accomplishment for them and the game industry as a whole.

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kalkano481d ago

"During the past six months there's been a huge awakening of JRPG developers. It all began with Square Enix's debut of Final Fantasy XV in November. After the Final Fantasy series had struggled to elevate itself for a decade, this long-awaited release managed to inspire confidence in fans again. Its combat system was enjoyable, and its narrative journey was one rich with a sense of adventure. With major updates slowly but surely being introduced to the game throughout 2017, it's safe to say that Final Fantasy is trending upward—finally."

Whatever this guy's smoking...I want some...

Razzer481d ago

uh....I'm not smoking anything and I think that paragraph is dead on. To each their own....

rainslacker481d ago (Edited 481d ago )

I don't know about that. FFXV has been kind of divisive. Its a very western JRPG...although has a lot of heavy JRPG themes. The narrative in the game alone was one thing many fans actually criticized, because it wasn't really all that great. It was worse than FFXIII to be honest, and suffered from many of the same problems except that Square released a movie to explain much of the back story.

@Ed below

Didn't read the article, but based on the quote, he was talking about the fans having more confidence, not that publishers were.

I don't think FFXV did this. I think things like the upcoming Persona becoming more mainstream, Dragon Quest, Nier, World of FF, and even the remaster of Valkyria Chronicles probably had more influence in giving fans confidence. Then of course, there are quite a few upcoming JRPG's which have a lot of JRPG fans really excited. The feeling that the PS2 JRPG glory days are back is ramping up, and as a JRPG fan myself, I can't help but be excited for this "return", because last gen was kind of rough on the home console.

I think there was a lot of people looking forward to FFXV, but I wouldn't say it brought confidence to the fans.

_-EDMIX-_481d ago

Lol agreed.

The biggest issue I have with this article is this bizarre assumption that the release of Final Fantasy 15 has had some sort of influence on the release of other titles especially ignoring that those games I've been in development for years.

To say Final Fantasy has struggled to elevate itself is almost a complete joke with as bad as Final Fantasy XIII was that damn game still managed to sell almost 9 million units.

I have no clue what the hell they're talking about with huge "Awakening in the past 6 months" how fast does this idiot think games are created? 😂😂😂 28514;

I mean technically speaking what on Earth is even releasing right now that otherwise wasn't releasing last generation? We have a Persona, we have a Yakuza ,we have Nino Kuni ,we have valkyria Chronicles in fact a large portion of the releases we are getting are of sequels

Eiyuuou481d ago

To be fair, once your reach the bottom you can only go upwards.

jc48573481d ago

you know, I am glad they see Yakuza as an rpg

DragonDDark481d ago

More of an adventure/action game

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