360°
Submitted by littletad 902d ago | opinion piece

Culture Clashes: Why JRPGs Will Never Be Great Again in the West

I’ll never forget the reason why I love JRPGs. I remember my aunt steadily holding the strategy guide to Final Fantasy 7 while I was mere seconds away from finally defeating Emerald Weapon, an optional boss that I wished never existed. Nevertheless I felt compelled to explore and achieve everything in that game. Years later, I’m quite sure I wasn’t the only gamer who felt that way, and that’s exactly how I started my foray into JRPGs. (3DS, Industry, Nintendo DS, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360)

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Colwyn  +   902d ago
i love jrpgs
fluffydelusions  +   902d ago
Same, but since it says only the west and shows a pic of FFXIII-2 it should be mentioned that XIII-2 scored A LOT worse from Asian reviewers opposed to western review sites. Xenoblade chronicles is supposed to be really good though and that is coming to the US. Also lets not forget about Ni No Kuni.
#1.1 (Edited 902d ago ) | Agree(17) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Yi-Long  +   902d ago
I love Japanese RPGS's as well...
... HOWEVER, I won't buy any game (or movie, or anime) that's missing the option for the original language, which is too often the case with JRPG's which are released here in the west with a horrible english dub only.
ShaunCameron  +   902d ago
@ Yi-Long

You thought English dubs were bad? Try French (Canadian) dubs. Those are even worse. I agree with your sentiment. Video games and films are much better off presented in their original languages with subtitles.
DeadIIIRed  +   901d ago
Even though it scored well, I agree with the author that they just don't sell well anymore because of cultural differences. Japaneses culture tends to be highly collectivist and fatalistic, while the West tends to be the exact opposite. These cultural values are embedded in the values of each style of RPG and it really shows if you look hard enough.
KillaManiac  +   901d ago
Tales of Graces F coming in March.

Its not the best game, but its a true JRPG whereas FFXIII and FFXIII-2 try to be JRPGs with a western feel.
Ranma1  +   902d ago
.....We need another FF7 or Chrono Trigger and it will be popular again, but SE keep giving us FF13 and FF13-2 and FF13-3

When the company that made JRPG's popular has fallen down to the levels of a sewer, its difficult to make JRPG's popular
#1.2 (Edited 902d ago ) | Agree(15) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
brish  +   902d ago
@ranma1

Troll much?!
The Rock Bottom  +   901d ago
Ranma1 may be trolling hard, but what he's talking about is real talk. SE needs to pull their heads out of their rear ends! I've been very patient sense XII came out for another Final Fantasy to talk about. I'm sick of talking about how good 6 or 9 was. I want a new Final fantasy to go wild about! Come on Versus! Don't let us down!
papashango  +   901d ago
How's that trolling?
RedDead  +   901d ago
He trolls every FF 13 article, rightfully so, FF has literally got to ****. Type 0 and Versus is my only hope. I don't know how the **** Toriyama got to make these games.

Oh yeah I disagree with the article, FF 13 isn't the only Jrpg.
#1.2.4 (Edited 901d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(2) | Report
brish  +   901d ago
@papashango

What he does is EVERY Final Fantasy story there is on n4g he posts a message complaining about how bad FF is.

He has over 100 posts whining about Final Fantasy. Seriously, check out his posts.

He also submits every article he can find that says something negative about the game. Check out the stories he posts.

If someone said they didn't like FFXIII-2 most people respect their right to say so (I do). But when a person dedicates their lives to whining in forums about a game it's just pathetic.
Jaces  +   901d ago
It truly is sad to see such a beloved franchise fall from grace. I remember the days when I couldn't wait for the next installment, turned now into dread just thinking about how they're going to ruin this series even further.

The only hope I have is for Versus, until then, I will not be buying another FF game.
Godmars290  +   902d ago
Sadly most JP devs got lazy during the later PS2 era, then couldn't get it in gear when the HD change came.

They're still making good JRPGs, only they're on the PSP and DS. Overly relies on moe/loli themes, ten year olds who save the world, and that's just not generally connecting in the West.
iamtehpwn  +   902d ago
Agreed. Much like What Kojima said, I think it's Japanese developers as a whole, are currently uninspired. Kojima is really trying to reinvigorate these developers, Miyamoto is doing the same.

It does sadden me to see the state of the Japanese gaming industry. I sorely miss the days when a game was made in Japan ensured it was of the best quality and an original world we've never seen before.
Allowen  +   902d ago
I can ' wait to play Tales this march on the 3DS and later on play another Tales game on PS3 !

Next bring Persona 4 and a Tales game to the Vita and more JRPGs ASAP !! K THX
Hyperbomb69  +   902d ago
oh cmon....
FF13 is probably the worst FF game and probably the downfall unless SE gets their sh*t straight. that doesnt mean JRPG's wont do great here again, keep in mind that Demons and Dark Souls did pretty good, Valkyria chronicles was an amazing game. There are so many good JRPG's out there, its just that this gen sucks.
Sorrow24  +   901d ago
But Demon and Dark Souls still follow a western-RPG style even though they're made by a Japanese company.
Noticeably_FAT  +   902d ago
JRPG's just aren't fun for me, I know a lot of PS3 gamer's tend to love them, but I personally don't have much fun with them. I did like Lost Odyssey, but I'll always prefer the RPG's from Bioware.
kevnb  +   902d ago
Jrpg isn't even truly a genre imo. dark souls was made in Japan for example. anime based games will always have a hard time in north america, and besides final fantasy they always have. the turn based combat was found in old pc rpgs too, random encounters were because of limitations. the way its done now is perfectly illustrated in mmo games like wow, same ideas but better implementation.
#6 (Edited 902d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(7) | Report | Reply
Non_sequitur  +   902d ago
Turn based combat and random encounters are part of these games to kind of resemble true rpg gameplay, which is dice based. Dungeons and Dragons is an example of a true rpg.
D3mons0ul  +   902d ago
Because the mainstream media has apparently launched an anti-japan campaign since 2006.

Could be due to all of the "new blood" that has been brought in by call of duty and now the very notion of any game remotely resembling "anime" is suddenly something to write off as "gay" because many of the male characters aren't bald or playing off some kind of militaristic role?

Could it be that the western market was taken over by ignorant assholes who were never gamers until the modern military shooter craze? Could it be that western society is actually becoming dumber and unable to cope with a presentation that isn't filled with action movie cliches? Could any of these OTHER reasons have anything to do with why JRPGs will "never" be great in the west again?

Even if they do improve, they will just be overlooked and mocked anyway so yeah, it looks like they will never be great again. This is a sad fucking world we live in now and EVERYBODY is to blame, especially the mainstream media.

And stop accepting our mental, cultural and artistic downfall. Stop chalking it up as tradition or "lol they're just different"

The way WE are NOW, is how NOBODY should be. Do you fucking get that? Western society (At least in America) has fallen SOOOO below the intellectual acceptance line it isn't even humorous anymore. There are no jokes here, just a bunch of dumb motherfuckers who are wasting resources and taking up space while dictating a half-assed idea of "quality" to the rest of us.
#7 (Edited 902d ago ) | Agree(16) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
D3mons0ul  +   902d ago
"quality" based around a general idea of false machismo to the rest of us.*
#7.1 (Edited 902d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
dragonknight4  +   902d ago
Well said. There is indeed an anti-Japanese campaign and the consequences are very real. Some companies have become very reluctant to localize their JRPGs out in the west. Just look at Nintendo and their refusal to release the games in Operation Rainfall or Namco denying Tales fans their Tales of Vesperia. But the worst recent example would probably be Trails in the Sky. Although it received much praise, it still had poor sales. Because of that, there's a possibility that XSEED might not even localize the two sequels let alone Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki.

Anyway, I'll be picking up Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 this month and Graces in March.
D3mons0ul  +   902d ago
It just kills me to see this "not in my back yard" stance when it comes to these games.

I like the art style of anime, I tend like Japanese themes, there are plenty of other people like me, America doesn't have to be ONE idea.

You like and dislike whatever you happen to but isn't there a point when you should take a look at the interests of somebody else and just...lay off a bit? People need to stop being selfish because the Japanese developers are beginning to take it to heart and as you said, we are already starting to see the effects.

I wonder if there would even be a backlash if Japan just decided to stop sending their entertainment media over, all of it. Would we actually stand together and speak out or would we just let it happen and shrug it off? We need to get our voices out there and let people know that we do have numbers, anime isn't something to be ridiculed, generalized or written off as annoying high school girl stories and these games, while not personally appealing to some, still have fans out there who would be devastated to see them go.
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edonus  +   901d ago
There are a lot of factors that have contributed to the fall of the JRPG and mainstream media is more of an affect than a cause.
The biggest issues is that the JRPG devs stopped evolving or didnt evolve fast enough, and the quick rise of the western/action RPG. The Japanese market also hurt jrpgs by not adopting a friendlier relationship with the 360....despite all the hoopla that you will get about this fact is the 360 was the 1st next gen system on the market. Americans bought it and you their genre of choice was the fps...this set a trend early. They were counting on the Ps3 to hit the market like lightning so they could just jump in then but it didnt. The 360 even put out some stellar Jrpgs in Blue Dragon and Lost Odysey(just to name a few), if the japanese market had more 360s and produced sales of those games the JRPG would have still looked profitable but since they didnt they lost their value.
Americans arent as bad as you'd think. Everybody always talks about the tastes of the US market being macho gun shooting military minded. The fact is that Americans are more competitive, fighting games and sports games used to be the fix because they could be related to so easy. Over the years FPS have jumped leaps and bounds in quality and scale. Thats why the shooter took over. Shooters are a much more diverse and expansive canvas than sports and fighters so they took over. Add in online gameplay you have the most competitive and quickly innovating genre opened with competition around the world.
Next next frontier is MMOs but they have to be developed in a way that people can grasp them and relate to them better. Look at WOW thats just the tip of the iceberg.
JRPGs has a special place in my heart and I will always be inclined to buy one that interests me. But I think they have been sitting in limbo too long and have to hard of a road ahead of them to comeback by conventional means.
DaPrintz  +   901d ago
So what do you say to the japanese when they don't buy western games considered gems of this or previous generations? Nothing of worth has been produced in the west? People agreed with this totally one-sided comment. Generalizations about the reason why certain games aren't released in the west? People in the east don't play Skyrim, Mass Effect, Halo, Uncharted, or Call of Duty/Battlefield because they're smarter and their values are better? That's fuckin ridiculous. This generation has seen the total dominance of western developers period. The men and women that grew up playing japanese games did just that, THEY GREW UP. We want real world conflict, grown up romance, actual story, consequences for action, realistic characters, enormous games that don't take 6 years to make. Think about the developers and people you're insulting. Aside from Kojipro, Platinum, and From Software, the east has been left behind. By the way, if you want to play jrps, I'm sure you already know the PS3 is region free. Use the feature and keep those comments to yourself.
Hudahudahuda  +   901d ago
He's just a buttpained weeaboo neckbeard sobbing over the fact that no one cares about his craptastic games or girly anime. I was gonna type a huge ass response to his bullcrap pointing out why he's and idiot and a hypocrite, but then I realized it isnt worth it and he'd probably get depressed afterwards. I just laughed at his whining.
kevnb  +   902d ago
A great example of an anime based rpg that has evolved is xenoblade chronicles, fantastic game. at above, anime has always struggled in north america compared to.the rest of the world. pokemon, dragon ball and final fantasy are the only exceptions.
#8 (Edited 902d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
D3mons0ul  +   902d ago
And acceptance is worse now than it has ever been.
Hicken  +   902d ago
Pokemon, Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Robotech/Macross, Voltron, Gundam... Naruto, Bleach, ANY Miyazaki film, Ronin Warriors... The Big O did so well in the US that its reception here is the ONLY reason there was a season 2. I could name off a dozen more series that had or have very large followings in the west, from Astro Boy to Zoids. I mean, Speed Racer?

@D3mons0ul: Gave you bubbles for comment #7. It's pretty freakin sad that there are actually people here who hate on games or systems simply because they're from another country.
Tuxedo_Mask  +   902d ago
I don't think it's legitimate to claim that the rise of WRPGs has lead to the fall of JRPGs. This isn't Highlander, there can be more than one.
Tito08  +   901d ago
I'm not a big RPG guy, but for some reason I got into the Suikoden series, especially 3, but I want to see Legend of Dragoon, Breath Of Fire, Shadow Hearts & some more.... I know Polyphony Digital are more into GT, but damn, they sure can work on a non-racing game, at least LOD & Omega Boost!!!!
FancyPants-MD  +   902d ago
wait for ni no kuni.
A LIVING LEGEND  +   901d ago
Japanese innovation and imagination is sorely lacking...... as japanese developers look to the western trends.
shoot first,ask questions later.
ShaunCameron  +   901d ago
I'm not exactly a fan of RPG's in general, but I'd buy a JRPG if it had more of an action-based combat a la Demon's/Dark Souls. As much as I like to see Japanese developers stick to what made them popular, I feel that turn-based RPG's long ran its course. Art-style-wise? They need to keep doing what they're doing because their creativity and imagination are second to none.
MySwordIsHeavenly  +   901d ago
White Knight Chronicles 1 and 2 were AWESOME! I'm not sure why JRPG's have gotten such low scores this generation. I loved The Last Remnant, Blue Dragon, and Lost Odyssey also. I do prefer a real-time action style to turn-based, but it can't turn me away from a great story.
AWBrawler  +   901d ago
JRPGs are sufffering the same fate as dubbed anime. some gets big like DBZ Naruto or Sailormoon, but then some fall short of their expectations, such as Shaman King, Onepiece, and S-Cry-ed. So the problem to me,it seems like the west hates westernized japanese stuff. we want japanese stuff to be japanesey.
A LIVING LEGEND  +   901d ago
turn based rpg's....run course
we have cover mechanics,free roam limited roam AI, click x repeatedly deep combat systems,turns are for children become aware geniuses.We have real time combat with minimal real time effects you fools
#15 (Edited 901d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
GraveLord  +   901d ago
They will be/are great.
Nostalgia is just clouding your judgement.

You guys are stuck on the past. Text-based games will always be your favorite. Voice Acting sounds too cheesy for you. Games worlds aren't big enough, story is too short. Get over it. We're in the HD era. It's not possible to make a game the quality of FF VII on these consoles.(at least not withing a consoles life span)
A LIVING LEGEND  +   901d ago
well,a quick ff13 remake should suffice. HD gen and all you understand
Final Fantasy 7 was a timely tedious celebration....of looking forward to looking back.
FF13 -? not so much.
maybe requires 1996-2 or versus type thinking....of course i'm imbecile.
#17 (Edited 901d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
Relientk77  +   901d ago
I hope next generation JRPGs will be huge again, like they were in the PS1, and PS2 eras. So many amazing JRPGs on those consoles
Agent_hitman  +   901d ago
Why JRPGs will never be great on XB360?
Razongunz  +   901d ago
because in japan the XB360 is a loser the asians prefer their nintendos or ps3s..so thats why there arent any jrpgs made for xbox..because the japanese gamers don't play on xboxes..they use wii' and ps3.
Razongunz  +   901d ago
i prefer JRPG over any other games.. JRPG are the best :)
well atleast all tales and FF games, i don't like any other JRPGs

alot of ppl hate the XIII series of FF..but to be fair..i love them..to me they are the best games i have ever played.. my top favorites in fact.

i have probbably played over 400 games on ps3/360/psp/3ds/ds/gamecube/N6 4/pc and i havent found anything better than tales of the abyss and FFXIII.

that beeing said.. i have never played any other FF games at all..(well..besides FFXIV..which sucked balls)

but compared with all other games..cod, BF, uncharted and about any other big hitters like resistance, ratchet & clank, jak & daxter.. final fantasy XIII was my top favorite, so i'm really hyped about XIII-2 and i personally hope for a XIII-3 :)
knifefight  +   901d ago
Just came in to say...
Xenoblade
Ni no Kuni
Valkyria Chronicles
Yakuza
Tales of (Insert almost any Tales game)

^ Great, current JRPGs.
Pikajew  +   901d ago
List of JRPGs

Dark SOuls
The World Ends With YOu
Xenoblade
The last Story

Final Fantasy isnt the only JRPG
PSWarlord  +   901d ago
Have played Dark Souls, I really should but I havent got the patience BUT isnt it not a JRPG!
knifefight  +   901d ago
It's an RPG made in Japan.

That is the definition of "Japanese RPG."
PSWarlord  +   901d ago
Its true JRPG's have become abit rubbish this gen, but ill alwayz be interested in our slanty eyed friends in the west when in comes to RPG's!I enjoyed FF13, I even got the plat but I can say I enjoyed everyother FF I have played more than 13.
Bring on FFvs13 and please get your act together and make me a kingdom hearts for PS3, Im waiting!The last JRPG I played last gen was dragon quest 8 and it was epic.
EverydayGuy  +   901d ago
2012 still waiting for a good JRPG. Come on ni no kuni. I need a game that has fantastic story line with likable characters facing impossible odds with a great soundtrack. WRPG are good but they are not JRPG.
Joegrine20  +   901d ago
Last Story and Xenoblade are the only jrpgs worth playing.
Tzunoy  +   901d ago
JRPGS have gone bad because they change the their true soul for west influences thinking that will bring more money this way. I can't even call them JRPG'S anymore they are Action adventure that is what they are a big shame in favor of money.
gnb2003  +   901d ago
I use to love jrpgs during the NES and SNES era, but found my enjoyment from them slip during the PS1 era and beyond.

I think what did it for me was the overuse of cut-scenes. I don't really mind small cut-scenes, or ones that don't feel like they are interupting the flow of a game. But so many jrpgs since FFVII started relying on cut-scenes to tell the story, rather than having the story naturally evolve through the gameplay. Again, not saying all Japanese games do this, but many of them do.

It is a development crutch that has been exetremely overused.
#27 (Edited 901d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
NYC_Gamer  +   901d ago
why not just play the games you enjoy and stop being worried about rather its accepted by the mass or not.
#28 (Edited 901d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
edonus  +   901d ago
JRPGs could be great again. They just have to go about things a little bit different. They need to attack a the market in a new way. I say with talk of game engines that can run in browsers and the craze I have seen around facebook games like farmville that is their way back in. How to exploit it (they'd have to pay me to consult) is up to them but that is the perfect place to attack the right product doing the right things and they are back.
FrigidDARKNESS  +   901d ago
A Next gen Dragon Quest could revive the genre.
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