The Art of Definining the JRPG

Final Fantasy XIII producer Yoshinori Kitase doesn't see Square's latest FF installment as a JRPG. As many of us hold Final Fantasy to be the crystal standard (pun intended) of JRPG gaming, it may seem jarring to consider any FF game a genre renegade. So what exactly is the essential trait of a JRPG? Let's take a look at the seven most common arguments for a JRPG defining quality.

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DNAgent3469d ago

I doubt "many of us" think that. I can see how it would be true if you are just looking at the FF games made when it was on SNES but not these days. Also, seeing as how the FF games have been going downhill ever since S-E started making them then it should be even less of a "crystal standard". If you consider the FF games these days to set the standard of JRPGs then you need to play more JRPGs.

Myst3469d ago

Rogue Galaxy picture - Nice RPG :)

"The story argument.
A true JRPG has a powerful story that is immersive enough to allow players emotional access to the characters and stakes."

This is what I love about JRPGs and the other RPGs that bring about good stories just as well. The stories are really nice ultimately and feels like your being swept up into the whirlwind.

Tony P3469d ago

"The tabletop argument.
Any electronic RPG is essentially a JRPG. Western RPGs require a tabletop and a D20."

Pretty much my only disagreement. I don't understand it, particularly since the first computer RPGs weren't Japanese in origin. JRPGs are obviously more popular (although that could be changing now), though there have been plenty of WRPGs, mostly on PC, the most overlooked platform ever since consoles gained prominence.

Dark_Overlord3469d ago

its an RPG that comes from Japan, so in my eyes its a JRPG

SpoonyRedMage3469d ago (Edited 3469d ago )

I still think Dragon Quest is the definitive JRPG. It's the original and has kept the style all these years(luckily a style change for DQIX was boycotted).

Final Fantasy is still a JRPG in my opinion but has been becoming more and more western, I think FFXII was the most Western and it might be reverting a bit now.

EDIT: Mistwalker's games are much more Japanese flavoured than the Final Fantasy's as well.

kewlkat0073469d ago (Edited 3469d ago )

since Square sets the standard, moving from turn-based to action-based, seems to me more like a western flavor. This is one of my biggest gripes with JRPG's trying to become more westernized.

Maybe it's because I'm old-school but when a JRPG, to me, resembles a MMORG in terms of controls/battles, I get turned off a little because I do not play MMORGs, for which the west have really popularized over the last 10 years.

I think it's good to give gamers a choice on how they would like to battle, if it's possible. I heard FFXIII is suppose to be of a mix. I do agree Mistwalker truly exemplifies "Traditional" JRPG with his style.

SpoonyRedMage3469d ago

Well FFXII had the same style as FFXI(which is an MMO). Although it really reminded me of KOTOR, with the weird real time/turn based approach. FFXIII seems to be a more traditional, turn based approach.

I think the problem though is that JRPGs are expected to have their own unique battle system rather than sticking with a classic style.

Yes Sakaguchi seems to prefer full turn based than ATB or other but you never know, he may be working on a new style.

LightofDarkness3469d ago

I liked FFXII a lot. I thought the battle system was much more engaging (especially compared with X), if a little less spectacular, while the story and themes were much more mature and almost Shakespearean in scope. FFX had the most unlikeable cast of characters I can remember, and the voice acting was atrocious. I think a lot of people look at X with a certain amount of nostalgia, it was a JRPG first for many, much like VII/VIII were for my generation. I like ATB and some turn-based systems, but they often become needlessly drawn out systems. Chrono Trigger's simplicity was a stroke of genius.

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