The Final, Final Fantasy?

GameZone: An introspective look on the past and present state of the Japanese RPG industry

The genre that's inspired millions of bad cosplayers all over the world has a problem. One that isn't so easily fixed. However, before we explore that, let's take a trip down memory lane. For you see the problem began long, long ago. During the early '90s and the '00s, RPGs were once known as the home of Japanese developers such as Square and Enix (pre-merger) where it was easy to sell a million of any given game based on publisher name alone. Square's Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII and Nintendo's Pokemon series provided endless hours of entertainment for gamers everywhere, presenting some of the best elements of cinema with intense unbridled gameplay. Who could forget about their first time walking in some tall grass, only to read the sign "a wild Pokemon appeared!" or the heart-wrenching climax of Final Fantasy VII? These games were a force to be reckoned with and titles such as Xenogears and Final Fantasy Tactics proved to be the highlight of the genre; and more importantly, no one cared that they were linear

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