Try our new beta! Click here
Submitted by agentxk 1607d ago | article

The Death of the American JRPG

As you may know, games such as Pandora’s Tower, The Last Story and Xenoblade shall not be going to the Americas. Nothing unusual in that, they are cult RPGs and they often don’t leave Japan. The strange thing is while they won’t be visiting New York or Los Angeles, they will be coming to Europe. Maybe they like the Eiffel Tower better than the Statue of Liberty. (Pandora's Tower, The Last Story, Wii, Xenoblade)

agentxk  +   1607d ago
Missing these 3 hurt but losing out on Mother 3 hurts the most. Sometimes I can't understand the decisions a company that supports so much shovelware makes.

Not listening to core gamers
Making poor localization decisions (eShop!)
Refusing to support some of the most standard technologies?

C'mon Nintendo, you were better than that
Peaceful_Jelly  +   1607d ago
they always been like that.
Godmars290  +   1607d ago
"We're getting these great games your not. Who's independent now?"
Just can't can't forgive us for the whole tea in the bay thing, can you?

"C'mon Nintendo, you were better than that"

Given that you're likely using the good old days of the SNES era as a basis for this misconception, what actual recent example do you have? Mad World?
#2 (Edited 1607d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
maskren  +   1607d ago
The JRPG is caught up in its own culture of being a JRPG half the time. You just don't see character models in a JRPG without ridiculous swords and hair. American gamers just don't associate with that kind of thing anymore...
Peaceful_Jelly  +   1607d ago
the sad true. I enjoy Japanese games because I like that quirky stuff and anime but most North Americans prefer the more realistic action packed stuff.
Orionsangel  +   1607d ago
Personally I think the entire Japanese gaming scene is too caught up in its own culture. They're too traditional and stuck in their old ways with no room for outside influences. That's why western developers surpassed them.

Don't get me wrong either. No one says Japanese games have to totally change and be like Western games. They need to evolve into a form that better competes with modern western games. While still having that quirky Japanese style.
#3.2 (Edited 1607d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(13) | Report | Reply
Lord_Sloth  +   1607d ago
You saying the same 3 games westerners keep remaking surpass Japan?
Optical_Matrix  +   1607d ago
And you say this, denying the fact that the US game development scene isn't caught up in their own culture as well? How many gun totting, bald, white young men have we seen as main characters in games this gen? Not to mention the ridiculous amount of US focused military shooters. The US is guilty of the same thing, but because their games are more popular in the west, they get a free pass. Japanese games need to evolve. Western developers need to be more original.

To me, you'll also generally find that although JRPG's are archaic in their gameplay, the character depth and immersive story and world is what makes them. That's something the haters don't realize and thats why people still buy these games in their thousands.
#3.2.2 (Edited 1607d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(2) | Report
Orionsangel  +   1607d ago
I'm not just talking about FPS games and especially not just war games. I'm mostly talking about Assassin's Creed, Bioshock, Flower, Journey, Uncharted, Little Big Planet, Portal to name a few. Games that are thinking outside the box, be it in graphics, gameplay and how a story is told in a game.
Lord_Sloth  +   1607d ago
Tell that to the modern Otaku. It's not all "Rediculous Swords and Hair" that makes a JRPG. They generally have better character development than just the same ol macho gun toting bald freak every1 seems to prefer. It's annoying as hell that Picaso can be recognized as a great artist yet Nomura and the like get bashed.
maniacmayhem  +   1607d ago
I'm really going to disagree with you on the whole "japanese have better character development"
Some games do but it's mostly guy/girl with odd color hair must get stronger to beat the evil empire. Throw in some wacky powers and over the dramatic scenes and blam there you have it. i have had more fun with western rpgs than i had with the current crop coming from Japan.

And this from someone who played rpgs exclusively for snes, ps1 and ps2.
Hicken  +   1607d ago
If you've been playing for that long, then you should be familiar with the characters/gameplay of SMT/Persona or Xenosaga, which don't really follow those things at all. Hell, it's also not true of the Star Ocean games, or the Atelier games, or the Disgaea games, or the Ar Tonelico games, or... you see where I'm going with this, don't you?
Lord_Sloth  +   1607d ago
I've been gaming for a long time as well and W"RPGs" are all very samey without an abundance of characters to begin with. The main plot is fairly vague and the sub plots are even worse.

JRPGs may have a more linear storyline on average, but that storyline is better told and more interesting with a colorful cast of characters.
maskren  +   1606d ago
Well, yeah. I happen to like art.

So between going to a museum and looking at Picasso's (It's with two s's) work, and looking at Final Fantasy-themed artwork, I will choose Picasso.

Maybe you should too. Pablo Picasso went through several periods: Blue, Rose, Cubic, Surrealist, and so on. Each of these periods helped distinguish him as a revolutionary artist. When I look at Nomura, I see the same layered hair, anyway you look at it.

Frankly, the macho gun toting thing doesn't even hold up. I mean yes, John Shepard exists and everyone loves him. But you have to take into consideration other "western" protagonists in their games: Dragon Age, The Witcher, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, and so on. All of them have masculine traits, yes, but none of them are bald.

It's just the Japanese culture that identifies its aesthetic principles in a certain way. If you relate to it, it's probably because you have a good long history watching anime. Anime has given the Japanese a fixed notion of how characters grow, show emotion, and express themselves. For Americans, even those who have watched anime extensively, those tropes have gotten old.

Forgive me for using Joystiq as a source, but it fits my argument:
Lord_Sloth  +   1606d ago
Picasso's never been my thing. His art looks like it belongs on Nickelodeon or something. Nothing compared to Larry Elmore or Brom.

Fallout and Oblivion have no set protagonists beyond what you yourself choose to design so there's no imagination in them beyond your own. Also, I don't really consider either of them RPGs. Oblivion is an Adventure/RPG and Fallout is a Shooter/RPG.

I'll concede to the Witcher actually having a design of his own, but that still doesn't make for a vast amount of differing characters in Western Developed titles. We have 1 who stands out drastically.
ViserysTargaryen  +   1607d ago
Yup, the problem with JRPG is how they're caught up in Japan's own anime culture, a culture that most in the Western world do not identify with. Hence they find JRPGs to be too flamboyant and emo when compared to the western RPGs which tend to be gritty and badass.
#3.4 (Edited 1607d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(7) | Report | Reply
Troll-without-Bridge  +   1607d ago
They do as much as they always did, which is to say very little. Going by your generalization americans go by bald, generic looking dudes.
Xof   1606d ago | Offensive
meganick  +   1607d ago
Couldn't another company step up and publish these titles?
EYEamNUMBER1  +   1607d ago
all 3 of these tittles were made by nintendo with the exception of last story that was co developed by mistwalker
meganick  +   1607d ago
I know, but what I'm asking is couldn't another publisher step up and publish these titles for North America since Nintendo doesn't seem interested?
EYEamNUMBER1  +   1607d ago
nah the big companies usually never really let others publish their games when they don't want to

there might be 1 day when they do feel like releasing em or releasing em as downloads but then the guy who did publish the games would have the rights to do so and would have to be cut in $$$

least that is why i think they wouldn't let anyone else publish em
Kos-Mos  +   1607d ago
Well I have a different view on these things. Xenosaga and Xenogears made the fanatic christians in usa raise their swords because of highly religious materials that is not considered ok by christian people.
They were released eventually because it was only a game and games were not as popular then as it is now. Censorship didn`t believe the fanatics that these game could have a impact on peoples minds and faith.
I`m sure Xenoblade will have many intertextual references to christianity in a way that makes the christians in usa roar.
It`s different times now as games have become bigger.
Land of the free and home of the brave, but not land where you can watch and play everything.
Heishiro__Mitsurugi  +   1607d ago
Hey guys, Im new here. So Im not sure how things are done. I apolygise for being off topic, the article below this has such a disgusting title. Is nobody reporting it to the mods? It says Child of eden review-Deflower her. I cant believe how sick some people are. My 11yr old sis uses N4G. Please help me report it or get it changed or something. :(
Hicken  +   1607d ago
Sent you a PM.
maniacmayhem  +   1607d ago
Your new and you already have bubbles taken away.

N4G sure is harsh.
jacksonmichael  +   1607d ago
What? I started with 3...?
Kos-Mos  +   1607d ago
Are you serious? I reckon you`re the type of person that thinks showing a nipple on tv is a big crisis.
Hicken  +   1607d ago
There were entirely too many things wrong with this article. About the only thing it got right was the (probable) perception of teenagers in America (British teens, in response to his question, never enter into my mind as existing).

What the hell does PETA have to do with video games? And why would Nintendo worry about CoD fans when it comes to rpgs? Generally speaking the two crowds don't mix.

The problem is that there exists a misconception that persists on its own merits: Nintendo (or another company) doesn't think (insert game/genre here) will sell well, so they don't release them here. Then, when even more people go out and buy CoD or Madden, they use that as proof that the only thing Americans play are shooters and sports games.

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy, in that respect, and I hate it.
palaeomerus  +   1607d ago
If Nintendo doesn't want the money (jrpgs usually sell substantially more in the US than in Europe and Japan, even on Wii) they'd make, then fine.

And PETA getting a game banned? Banned by who? There is no legal mechanism for a state, local or the federal government banning sales of a game based on content in the US unless it is deemed obscene in the sense of pornography.

A boycott is possible but that is a private people refusing to buy something, not a ban on sales.

Peta is largely disliked in the US and thought of as a bunch of preachy, wrong headed idiots by most people here. That's not to say that the US enjoys the idea of someone being cruel to animals but their ethical vegan/vegetarian stuff and the end of animal domestication platform is NOT popular.

NoA is the company that would bring these three games to the US as a publisher. Thus the problem is Nintendo of America and no one else. They don't want to localize them I suspect. They expect a couple of hundred thousands sales and maybe a half million and don't think that justifies the effort though they've already done worse than that in Japan and will probably do worse in Europe too than they would have in the US.

How are UK youth seen in the US? Does the phrase 'football hooligan' ring any bells? Yeah.

BTW, how are you guys in Europe liking Trenched?
CrescentFang  +   1607d ago
TBH, I'm actually really excited for the Falcom games coming here, because I thought it was next to impossible to get them in English, at ALL lol.
Xenoblade will at least be in English and with the overwhelming amount of games never released outside Japan, I might as well learn Japanese. (Plus in Europe I don't know how many games they've missed out on, but it must be A LOT of them)
I think everyone it exaggerating this JRPG stuff, we like what we like and that's how it is. Specific games are unique on their own, unless you generalize it. You know how James Cameron's Avatar was kind of copying other stories/movies? Well that's if you generalize it, no one else has had a story with intergalatic smurfs going to war with humans to fight for unobtainium or something. (or is there?)
I'm assuming there are times when things are n't popular anymore, I'm not sure how popular JRPGs were back in the day (family was poor and I didn't play too much, focus on academics), but didn't the 2D fighting genre jump when Street Fighter IV came out?
Anyways, I don't see a death any where. We're getting Persona 2 innocent Sin, Dark Souls, Tales of Graces f, Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky SC and 3rd and possibly many more unannounced titles.
Kos-Mos  +   1607d ago
Avatar is the new word for "how to not make a movie" since pearl harbor, so please don`t use it as an example.
TheBatman_Fanatic  +   1607d ago
American JRPG? What is that, American Japanese Role Playing Game? Doesn't make sense. It's one or the other.
maskren  +   1607d ago
American-released JRPG. Gotta put two and two together! :)
segamon  +   1607d ago
the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty are both french, there must be a puzzle to solve here for the game to appear in both places!
Foxgod  +   1607d ago
J-rpg need to get a bit more appeal and marketing overseas.
Theres very few jrpgs who get the same treatment that games like gears, halo, uncharted, mass effect, elder scrolls and other famous series get.

When it comes to jrpg's the common gamer can probably only mention final fantasy and zelda, while i can mention 40+ jrpg franchises from the top of my head. (most of them being series from the past).

The japanese need to develop rpg's with mass appeal in mind, something that the major crowd would woo.
If the japanese market wants to grow further, they are going to need global appeal.
Action games from Japan succeeded at it (Metal gear, resident evil, ninja gaiden, devil may cry, mario, street fighhter), jrpg are still dead in the water however.

So yes, i think the problem with jrpgs is that they are developed for japanese people, instead of the global market, because of this, the sales remain low, and japanese rpg's cant grow to a bigger budget.

Dont get me wrong, they still need to appeal to the japanese market as well, so a token girly boy with a big sword here and there will be fine.
But cater to the rest as well.
#12 (Edited 1607d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
CLOUD1983  +   1607d ago
Imo JRPG's loose fans the past years because they don't make them like the old days anymore, some say that the characters and the story r the same every time but u know the ppl who love JRPG's from the PS1 era love them for that reason because they r completely different of how WRPG is, what companies must do is to stop change them to appeal to western audience they r not making traditional JRPG anymore and they don't make them like the WRPG's what they make is some kind of hybrids that no1 like this will be the doom of the genre,
Take for example FFXII & XIII go give those 2 games to some1 that become fan of the genre playing JRPG's from the PS1 era and have taste some masterpiece like FFVII, Xenogears, Suikoden, Chrono Cross, Legend of Dragoon and other, some1 who have play those games is for sure angry and disgusted for what they have done to the genre the past 10 years, FF is not the only game more and more companies abandon traditional turn based combat for real time/action they transform the games to hack&slash button smash fiesta no more thinking required to win battles just spam button to win that's what drive me away from JRPG's the last years and I am sure I am not the only one...
zerocrossing  +   1607d ago
I think you have to look at what's popular in America right now to see why the devs of those 3 games aren't willing to localise them, For example You have COD, Uncharted, and Gears rated as top sellers, They're about as far away from a RPG game as you can get, Square Enix probably the biggest JRPG dev going right now made FF XIII which as far as Im aware didn't get great reviews here or America Im so the smaller devs mite be thinking that if Squure Enix couldn't make a dent in the market in America then what chance do they have.
VampiricDragon  +   1607d ago
when was the last time in a gen that ever single jrpg was localized?


the funny part is most of you didnt even read the article. This isnt about j vs w or anything. Its about why 3 rpgs which always happens didnt get localized.

And fyi jrpgs are as popular here as ever.
#15 (Edited 1607d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Tuxedo_Mask  +   1606d ago
This is a very strange article and it was clearly written by a person who has never been to the USA, or at the very least is vastly unfamiliar with the culture of the country.

PETA is a fringe group and is not as widely respected as they would like people to think, American teenagers are no different from teenagers in other developed countries, and the preferences in video games of Americans is as varied as Americans themselves.

As for our inability to play the three games being discussed, Americans have many methods at their disposal to use if they really want to play these or any of the games that haven't been released here, including games released on other platforms. However, NoA will more than likely release at least Xenoblade and The Last Story here, but if they don't it won't stop people from playing them if they have the desire to.

Add comment

You need to be registered to add comments. Register here or login
New stories

Atelier Shallie Plus Official Japanese Website Opened, Dusk Series Trailer Released

20m ago - GS: The latest entry of the series to get released in North America and Europe is Atelier Shallie... | PS Vita

The Sega Mega Drive is 25 years old today – these are the 12 best games

25m ago - Britain’s favourite console is a quarter of a century old, but from Streets Of Rage 2 to Micro Ma... | Retro

HotLiked - What the Internet is talking about right now

Now - Kill some time at You will regret it... | Promoted post

Is Rainbow Six: Siege ready for release? Beta testing suggests not

27m ago - The Rainbow Six: Siege launch was delayed by around 24 hours, and with problems supposedly ironed... | PC

Winged Cloud Partners With MangaGamer, Announces New Visual Novels

54m ago - Winged Cloud is looking to explore a new direction with its next lot of visual novels. | PC

This 'Resident Evil' Cosplay Gets Five S.T.A.R.S. -

1h ago - This 'Resident Evil' Cosplay Gets Five S.T.A.R.S. | Resident Evil