GameZone's Vito Gesualdi takes a look at why Japanese RPGs are failing, and what they can do to compete with the likes of Western titles like Skyrim.
"The problem is that when the game's entire cast tops out at the age of nineteen, I find myself completely unable to relate to these whiny brats and their ridiculous problems. And I can hardly believe that this is a personal problem given the average age of gamers is now pegged at around 35-years-old, JRPGs seem entirely marketed towards the Twilight crowd, encouraging the ridiculous "youth = awesome" myth that really doesn't appeal to an audience suffering from male pattern baldness. These games are supposed to be escapist fantasies (No, you're just supposed to enjoy the story for what it is. You're a dick), not reminders of how much youthful potential we've squandered (That's YOUR problem). The teenage kid at the drive-thru can't even get my burger order right and I'm expected to believe he's more capable of saving the world than me? (He probably is, then again these are fantasy games so real world teenagers aren't expected to save the world. So basically, you want unnecessary realism in a genre that doesn't at all warrant it) Time for some age-appropriate heroes, c'mon now." In short: "I'm ugly as hell and these games make me feel bad about myself." I love how he speaks ill of basically ALL anime and confirms how ignorant he is of it within the same paragraph. Oh and we were all "tricked" into thinking anime is cool. Oh and apparently DBZ is a children's show. Anybody who has watched the japanese version, kai uncut or read the manga would tell you otherwise. So again, fucking fail. This dude needs to educate himself and stop speaking for anybody other than himself. Oh and he basically shits on everything JRPG fans like about JRPGs and says they need to be changed. What is this? Some guy rants about games he doesn't even enjoy? I mean, seriously. He's basically shitting on JRPGs as we have come to know them since FF7. That's still quite some time ago. So you're just another member of the "JRPGS died on PS1" cult? good to know, now nothing you say is valid. It's time to stop hanging onto the nostalgia of 2D, buddy. If those were the only JRPGs you liked then maybe you never really liked JRPGs for the right reasons. Not everything he said is wrong though. JRPGs could stand to include more mature protagonists and yeah FFXIII wasn't all that and the game was very linear. And don't get me wrong, I'm all for the right changes being made to JRPGs, changes we have already begun to see in games like Demon's Souls/Xenoblade and The Last Story. Catherine is pretty unique, oh and that one game that's been in development for 5-6 years, FINAL FANTASY VERSUS XIII But when you present your points in such an insulting and frankly dickish manner...FU
Dude, Demon's Souls is not a JRPG. It's a western style RPG developed by a Japanese studio. Neither is Catherine. Doesn't sound like you know what you're talking about either.
Dear god ... Demon Souls is a jrpg . it's another subgenre that is more obscure (like the japanese Wizardry , still alive and kicking) but has been a staple for a few publishers like From Software for at least the past 15 years . Pretty much all from software had to publish was that (under the ancestral form of King's fields ) and Armored core . Just like there are various kind of wrpg , not all of them are cookie cutter and tailored upon FF. Catherine now is particular ... mostly puzzle with hybrid dating sim and rpg parts .
I stand corrected.
Sorry if i'm flippant and sounding a tad hostile there , but there have been many silly stuff attached to DS lately , especially those mostly random Elder Scrolls/DS comparisons
Only thing i can agree with is we need more mature JRPGs. My favorite JRPGs this generation is Valkyria Chronicles and Folklore. I also liked Eternal Sonata some.
You gotta try xenoblade. Imo the best jrpg this gen by a mile!
Love all three listed above @dark-hollow, I'll be sure to try xenoblade
@ Simon You sir, have great taste in games (all 3 you mentioned are one of my few favourite RPGs of this generation).
Speaking of JRPGs of this gen WKC2 just came in the mail.
Seriously that kind of rant sounds more like "what's wrong with jrpgs is that i'd like them to be something else , like wrpg" than anything else . So instead of quetioning their own taste , wich may or may not have changed , they question a valid genre instead . I've seen on some chinese and japanese forums boards people nitpick at every tropes , flaws and tired clichés of wrpgs , open like the elder scrolls or otherwise , or just plainly western games and their heroes , and they too can't come out unscathed . Basically if you barge in looking at everything negatively , of course you'll find dirt . Pretend otherwise , but stuff like the muscular and dumb space/modern marines got as much mileage as the jrpg teen savior . Those guys just wanna pretend otherwise , because that musclor and other stereotypes they like and got tired of the other ones . As for sales , they only truy begun dropping when they actually started to listen to dudes like the author , instead of keeping their style . As a result you end up with some hybrid sh*t that still wont appeal to jrpg non-fans and as a massive bonus turn off their own fans . Whenever , lately , a popular jrpg studio stayed true to their roots and catered instead to their fans , they actually met success rather easily . Just look at Xilia among other things
@D3 and BaKa Good points. Unfortunately, I stopped reading after the writer acknowledged that he did not know if HBO's 'Game of Thrones' was based on a book and the following comment: "as a real American, I never read a book in my life".
You stopped reading after I made a blatant joke, followed up by an even more nerdy literary joke you likely failed to comprehend? Awesome.
Author of the article here. Dragonball Z is a shonen manga. It's primary audience is young boys aged 8-15. That is all.
Deadman wonderland is also shounen. http://www.mangafox.com/man... Give it a read and tell me if that's the correct age group for it.
I've read part of Deadman Wonderland. Seems like 14-19 is about the age group. Still nowhere close to average age of gamers.
Deadman Wonderland was published in Shonen Ace , so yeah shonen magazine , but Ace is still with usually more mature tones , content and less mainstream than the likes of jump
Whats wrong with some JRPGs is that they stray from their roots. Some of the companies trying to cut corners by leaving things out. Some of the companies trying to jump on the boat called DLC. Charging fans/customers for stuff that probably should already be in the game. The only time I should be buying dlc is for expansions/new quests/missions.
I loved Lost Odyssey because Kaim was a badass not some pre teen. I think jrpgs are kinda out dated now days. This is my opinion not a fact.
Again ? What's wrong with japanese rpgs ? Nothing .... Move along people... Dark soul ? Tales of xillia ?Atelier totori ? Xenoblade ? No i see nothing wrong with Jrpgs in 2011 All 4 have nothing in common And all 4 are at the top of their game. Jrpgs aren't defined by one brand ..and they are fine.
Article #500356 about JRPG is failling and WRPG is dah best -_- Well, personally i don't really care what this guy thinking about JRPG. Cause i will enjoy a lot of great JRPG in 2012! Tales of Graces F, Ni no Kuni, Grand Knights History, Persona 4 Golden, Ys IV, and more! ;)
The author should just say "what's wrong with jrpgs is they aren't wrpgs" and be done with it. The only thing I agree on is MAYBE the maturity thing. But in all honesty, that's more of a cultural thing. What I find funny is that you never say "what's wrong with jrpg" rants until western rpg games came to light.
The real problem with JRPG's is they are trying to be half and half and not capturing either market. The games that are NOT trying to be half and half are on the Handhelds, they are breaking EVERY record. It is HARD to find a single week that the top 50 sales in Japan that does not have at least 40% rpg's in them see the site the magic box or the site famitsu. We like dark games we like action games. They like more light heart-ed cerebral games. The JRPG console games are trying to capture the western market, the final fantasy games are not selling like the the turn based summon spell games are in Japan. That has been going on since FF IX. And the sales have been dropping since FFiX. Also I have NOT seen a JRPG that does NOT have a character over 35 in a long time so that is a overstatement. As soon as a JRPG takes note of what people are buying on handhelds, (note a lot of JAPANESE own handhelds) people will buy them. I don't want a JRPG that is trying to be a western game, and failing at it. I don't want a western rpg that is trying to be a JRPG, and failing at it either. But they just keep on doing it. Sure that was a nice nuclear explosion, but JRPG's are way more over the top than that! And story telling, that was not exceptional at all. Find a single western rpg that made millions cry! I want to see a cosmos spell that make some planets explode on the way to earth followed by what look like MANY nuclear explosions, that is a JRPG!
You sir, have hit the nail on the proverbial head!! Some Japanese developers need to read this guys post! I want my JRPG's to have an 'Eastern' flavour. I live in the bloody west, I don't need it to have 'Western focused' elements. I want to a way to escape to a world which the impossible happens so if that means worlds with guys with swords the same size they are, villians who are a species of cat in dark robes, kung fu men jumping into mechs, police women with powers to affect cells, then by god that's what I want! lol As for the age of protagonist comments, I don't know many protagonists in ANY genre older than 35. If people say that JRPG's have just teenagers in them as main characters then they obviously haven't played: Nier Eternal Sonata (Chopin is not a bloody teenager lol) Yakuza 3 Hell, even Cloud in FFVII wasn't a teenager!
Articles like these are flamebait, but they have merit. Japaneses culture and JRPR lovers will ALWAYS come to the defense of there genre and quote the most obscure of games as proof that the genre is well and good even though you have well respected developers like Kojima worried that "they" are in a steady decline. Why? Well times change, tastes change. I've been playing games for a better part of 25, going on 30 years. That's a full generation and let me tell you. jrpg's simply don't do it for me anymore. I don't connect with a cast of characters that look like they are rejects from Xanadu. I cant connect with a cast that is no older than my 4 year old son. I don't understand the "emotional" context that is trying to be portrait in every single scene. Yeah I watch Anime. Sure I was there when Robotech was pioneered on television and I awed when Akira made it's debut. But I want more from my rpg's now. I want multiple paths to my story, I want toolkits and that abilities to perhaps not meet certain characters in my quests. I like to choose where I go in my quests and be able to alter the world I inhabit. I like believable characters and situations. Characters I can connect with. I love long careers, meaning I want to be able to transfer my character from one game to another. I also like visceral action not flamboyant. If I can combine the two, I'll take it. At the end of the day, it comes to choice and what you like. I am confident that the Japanese will learn what needs to be done and get with the program. But firs they must overcome this long standing fear of guns in their games. Its been slow in coming, but its getting there. Lets see what happens. (and please don't mention MGS and the like. These are exceptions not the rule. It is a well know fact that fire arms are not the preferred method of gaming for Japanese developers)
again it is a matter of your taste evolving , hardly more . Likewise some ex will find a few people going through the reverse path . "Japaneses culture and JRPR lovers will ALWAYS come to the defense of there genre and quote the most obscure of games" I've yet to see this as an habit actually . What we do see most of the time are people complaining for the heck of it , and when being told they could at least search for the odd obscure title to satiate their palates , they'd pretend to turn the brain off and having found nothing . Hence those lists . Of course there arent 20 shin megami tensei games each gen , but there is a variety , other than than you can't suddenly require some major shift and transformation into a totally different existing genre . Heck even some of the requirement arent fullfilled honestly and completely in genre that feature them , like WRPGs . "I want multiple paths to my story" . Sure why not .. but how many of those actually feature drastic changes of plot paths WHILE actually having a substantial plot ? Hardly many , if any . Take mass effect , wich i love mind you . Every sequels , most important decisions are ignored by Bioware , or just nodded to . Most of what's acknowledged is a small lists of changes and lines . At the end when all is accumulated in the course of a game , you have an impact on the storyline , but nowhere as profound as advertised . You mostly choose the order of the plot/recrutement phases , who died among your team , and a selection between 3 set of good/evil/pretend neutral . And on the other end you got stuff like Elder scroll where you go and mostly do anything , since your impact is irrelevant on a mostly absent plot , and with barely a few npcs acknowledging what you changed . Most jrpgs obviously arent about that , they follow a hugely scripted plot , more so than the likes of mass effect . Wich mean you either take it or leave it . With at best once everywhile small incrementations in freedom . Bare some magical game non yet existant fusioning both aspects perfectly ... it is just two spectrum of gaming , hardly one superior over the other , except within each individual's own taste ... and with their set of cons and pros . What i mostly see in those articles is no merit at all , just some hyenas and jackal blogs or sites , suddenly "discovering" the magic of wrpg , when Elder scrolls has been there for a while and already awesome , bioware/black isles games too . Their sudden love happen to coincide with the commercial newfound success this gen of such wrpg .. while jrpg already a tough sell in the west , waned further in the west . Again that's just opportunism for such "journalists"
This was very well said and point well taken. No rpg has given me complete freedom of choice. As you stated such a game does not exist. But I will take a semblance or a nod in the direction of fictitious "disbelief" where I am making decisions and altering the course of the world I play in as opposed to following a linear path, which was totally awesome when I was younger and had never tasted the candy from this other store. In fact what most consider modern jrpgs I consider modern "adventure" games because of the linearity. I place them in the same category as Zelda more than Baldur's Gate. And I hesitate to say even that, because Zelda has recently learned some new tricks, with Skyward Sword. In a few years who knows what it can become. (heaven's forbid) To answer the question of the author, there is nothing wrong with jrpgs. They just need to re-invent themselves. Take a hard look at what they do well and where they are failing and as you know. Self analysis is the hardest thing to do. Thank you for the comment it was a great read.
JRPG's I own this generation: Resonance of Fate Yakuza 3 FFXIII Valkyria Chronicles Disgaea 3 Demons Souls Dark Souls Nier Folklore Eternal Sonata Star Ocean The Last Hope (Also got Alpha Protocol which I love but not sure where that fits in this list) WRPG's I own: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of The year Edition (I will pick up Mass Effect 2 eventually) ...I think, at least in my opinion, JRPG's are fine :-) (Of course FFXIII could use some work but that may be done in it's sequel)
Pick up Mass Effect 2! Loved this game with a passion....not since Dragon Age Origins have a WRPG title pulled me into it's world so well. Great writing and very solid game play. Regarding RPGs in general ...my #1 most engrossing, enveloping title of this Gen (..could easily say my 30+ years of gaming life) is Dark Souls...200+ hour of fantastic enriching gameplay goodness. .....but that's just me. :)
Yeah, I'm definitely will pick up Mass Effect 2 as everyone tells me it's good 9though some tell me the 1st was the best) Hope the story is good and unpredictable as that's what generally puts me off WRPG's...I always seem to know what's gonna happen as the stories are never outlandish..which is actually what I want lol Dark Souls is amazing. I've put in nearly 200+ hours in myself..same with it's predecessor. One thing I wouldn't mind having if there isn't a good story is atmosphere and both Demon and Dark Souls have that in spades!
That's a mighty fine list you've got. Yakuza, Disgaea, Dark Souls...all great games.
I love JRPGS. The problem that I have with them is that most of the time they are only released in Japan. Hopefully the Vitas online store will bring a lot of them over seas. XperiaRay
I disagree with this article. I think that Japanese companies need to stop trying to implement western ideas into their games and go back to doing their own thing. After all, their main audience is in Japan and there will always a niche market over here to profit from as long as as they don't go overboard in localizing it.
Dude Stop bashing JRPG's, grab some rogaine and get your ass back in the gym.
there is nothing wrong with them.they just don't really catch my attention but that's just personal taste.
I love these articles about JRPGs by people who know nothing about JRPGs.
It's the new generation of gamers that don't give a crap about JRPG.
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