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JRPG's - will the new generation be different?

When Square Enix went onto the fuc*ing podium at Sony's PS4 conference. I expected them to show that its different for them this time in this new generation, that this generation they will make good games not repeat the same mistakes as the past. I expected a surprise and I was surprised. But in a bad way. They just showed a tech demo we already saw 1 year ago, it was a joke.

Here's why I think it might be different this gen for JRPG's:

1) People are still interested in JRPG's. There is a market out there. The fact is, there are millions of people out there that still want console JRPG's. Kotaku wrote about this recently and proved it. Check the image of the all time top 5 PSN downloads. All the PS1 games are JRPG's and almost all PSP games are JRPG's.

2) Casual gamers and mobile gamers are now playing a lot of RPG's and JRPG's. Another game called Cthulhu Saves The World sold 300,000 copies on PC alone—and another 100,000 on mobile platforms and the Xbox marketplace. Cthulhu Saves The World is a traditional turn-based RPG and was a big success. It indicated that casual gamers are starting to find JRPGs simplistic and easy, just like how casual gamers in Japan find JRPG's simplistic and easy. It seems this day and age devlopers prefer to go for the safe side and make games for casual gamers. If it is found that casual gamers are once again into JRPG's, just like how they were when FF7 was released, then things just change.

3) In the PS3 generation, it is said by many analysts that Japanese developers fell behind mainly because they didn’t adapt to the new technology and couldn’t grasp it or keep up to date. However the PS4 is said to be more open just like the PS2 and is easier to code for.

I want to believe that it will be different this gen. But if we face the harsh reality there is more to indicate that it wont be different for console JRPG's this gen in terms of quantity and popularity Here's why I think it might not be different for console JRPG's this generation in terms of popularity and quantity:

1) I feel that for casual gamers, for the JRPG genre on consoles to be revived, it needs at the least 1 good game to be released early on to get peoples interest. Like Dark Cloud during the PS2 era. To show that early games are what casuals get hooked to, look at Mario 64 , because of that early game, we saw lots of platform games on N64. Or look at resistance, in my opinion because of resistance, FPS games became popular among casual gamers. In my opinion gamers both casual and hard-core, during the early period of a new console launch, will play games that they normally wouldn’t since there is too few games out there. During this period the JRPG genre could have been revived, but there was nto a single JRPG announced at Sony's conference.

2) There aren’t many JRPG devs which can invest a lot of money into an expensive next gen game other than Square Enix. Whatever they realeased early on is likely to play like sh*t, everything they have done during Sony's PS4 conference indicates they are just continuing there past mistakes. During the Snes, PS1 and PS2 era you could always rely on Squaresoft to make quality JRPG's, no company has filled their gap and purpose yet. I think the main ingredient that’s needed to make things different this generation for JRPG's is just one great JRPG game but early on. What is your opinion.

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Donnieboi1850d ago

I think that the biggest reason why we see more Western games rather than Japanese is because of a lack of toolset experience in the Japanese dev community. They don't use Havok, Unreal, and all the other mmiddleware that the West has used to drastically shorten development time. The amount of money and time that it takes to make a AAA game today is time consuming and expensive, so middle ware makes it a faster and cheaper process.

The problem with Japanese devs is that they often take pride in utilizing their own in-house engines. As noble as that may seem, it takes 3-5 years to make an entire game engine from scratch. The few japanese companies that pump out alot of CURRENT gen games (not talking about mobile/handheld) are Capcom, Atlus, Sega, FromSoftware, and a few others, simply because they've (respectfully) learned to use middle ware like Havok, Unreal, Gamebryo, and Phyrengine. T

The other game companies, big and small, have been making their own engines, which only last them a single generation. Like Squaresoft, Kojima (the MGS 4 engine), and many others.

So I think that is why Square is making Luminous, and Kojima is making Fox Engine. They realize that an important step in Japan's comeback, is having fast-acting tools that let them edit events and levels faster. Because the cost of game production what be going down any time soon.

Because of these new engines, we can now have MORE games coming out from japan. We can get Kingdom Hearts, new Square games, maybe a new Chrono game, etc because now they will have this easy to use toolset which cuts down on time spent making yet another engine PER game.

SageHonor1850d ago

Don't forget Persona 5!! XD

Donnieboi1850d ago (Edited 1850d ago )

Dude u bought up a good point. The reason why it's taking so long is because Atlus only JUST NOW got the idea that they should make a NEW engine from scratch. Pretty dumb to start this late huh? They been using Gamebryo since Persona 2 (PSP version), all the main SMT cannon games (ps2 versions and new 3ds version), and even Catherine (ps3/360). That's why there were never any excrutiatingly long waits for the next game in the series. But now they wanna start from scratch. All power to them, but they should have been doing that while making the Golden version of P4 and Catherine as a background project. Now it could be 2-3 more years until Persona 5 comes out (they confirmed 6 months ago that they only finally just began production -_-).

Middleware is the future. Especially for JRPG's because their already massive which takes forever to make. Making new engines from scratch, with poor tools for designers will cause us to not get enough games on consoles.

That's why so many JRPG's are unfortunately on PSP and DS/3DS instead of consoles. Because their using the same old tired in-house made, propriety game engines for like 10 years! (plus other factors like the fact that the Japanese work long hours so they prefer games on the go, and the cost of making games on old consoles is a lot cheaper to make).

dedicatedtogamers1850d ago (Edited 1850d ago )

JRPGs are going to handhelds. For one, handhelds are increasingly popular in Japan, while consoles are on the decline over there. It makes sense to release a "J"RPG for the systems that are most popular in the "J" market. The reality is that JRPGs in the West are niche titles, with a few exceptions.

The other thing is that - and this might anger some people - JRPGs on console simply cannot compete with Western RPGs. People on consoles want the bigger, freedom-filled experience. Western developers have this RPG style down to an art. Japanese developers couldn't develop a choice-driven, open-world RPG if they had a gun pointed at their head. Mass Effect, Fallout, Skyrim, Fable, Oblivion, Witcher, and Dragon Age are all Western RPGs, and with the exception of FF13 (which sold on the name, mostly), those games have outsold any JRPG that has hit the consoles.

DragonKnight1850d ago

"JRPGs on console simply cannot compete with Western RPGs."

That's incredibly false. Most of the good Western RPGs aren't even on consoles and of the ones that are, they are incredibly dumbed down experiences, or lack a real identity, or generally don't really measure up to any quality standards. It's just that the Japanese developers haven't been putting in the real effort they used to and so it makes Western RPGs look better to have no competition.

Think of the most notable WRPGs on the console market. Skyrim is probably the most well-known and that game is a huge mess. The coding is terrible, the story is incredibly lacking, there's literally no character development, and the game is far too easy.

Mass Effect isn't even an RPG yet some people cling steadfastly to calling it one despite the continued de-emphasis on RPG elements with each consecutive game.

Don't get me started on Dragon Age.

What's left? Well you got Fallout, as a notable series but that's only slightly better than Skyrim and still relies more on the shooter style than RPG style.

The thing is is that the West seeks to claim anything they can as an RPG even with the most minimal of RPG elements in the games. But if you want a JRPG series that proves that Japan still has it and absolutely destroys WRPGs, then look no further than FromSoft's Souls series. Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are far from niche, are continuously and endlessly played, and have probably the most dedicated community any console game has ever had. JRPGs aren't just about turn-based battles and anime cliches.

Then you've got Ni No Kuni, another game that can easily stand up to any WRPG.

The problem is that Japanese devs want easily developed games with as little effort as possible so they fall behind when any large games come around. It isn't that WRPGs are better, it's that they have no real competition.

dedicatedtogamers1850d ago

@ DragonKnight

Look, I'm a huge fan of JRPGs. What I'm pointing out is that compared to western RPGs (and RPG hybrids), Japanese RPGs sell horribly. The games I mentioned sell in the millions, if not tens of millions. It would be difficult to find more than three non-Final Fantasy RPGs that have sold more than 3 million on consoles this gen.

It's not a comparison of quality. It's a comparison of what the market wants. And since the market (based on sales numbers) seems to prefer Western RPGs on consoles, the Japanese RPG developers are fleeing to the handheld market, where the sales of Japanese RPGs is incredibly lucrative.

DragonKnight1850d ago

Sales are irrelevant to gamers. They don't equate to quality and they are not an indication of who's a better developer. You're talking about two different development styles. One sells a lot but is filled with a lot of garbage or pseudo-RPGs the other has shown a profound lack of effort, but yet when effort is made it is well received and for good reason. Again, I would put up Demon's/Dark Souls against any and all WRPGs out there for community dedication and desire.

The Souls series is proof Japan still has influence and ability. You can't say that the market wants WRPGs more than JRPGs when the only reason for high WRPG sales is a lack of JRPGs. I mean, I hesitate to use this as an example because I don't enjoy the Future that the trend can bring about, but handheld JRPGs sell immensely well globally. And that's where many Japanese developers are focusing their true efforts. If those efforts were focused on consoles, we wouldn't be having this conversation. The market wants RPGs, and if there are more WRPGs available then guess what will sell better?

SageHonor1850d ago

What are some JRPG's you recommend this current generation? I'm looking for some

I already have Yakuza 3, Folklore, Valkyria chronicles, and games from the persona series. I don't mess with final fantasy

dark-kyon1850d ago

tales of graces f,atelier totori,fate extra.

dedicatedtogamers1850d ago

If you enjoy strategy RPGs, I like the Disgaea series.

Also, if you like tactical/real-time RPGs, give Resonance of Fate a try. The storyline isn't very epic, but the combat is everything that FF13 should have been. It's a very underrated game and you'll be glad you tried it.

Also, Ni no Kuni.

moegooner881850d ago

Nier, it's an action based RPG, but one of the best I have played this gen, also, it has an amazing soundtrack.

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Godmars2901849d ago

By and large JRPGs are not only little changed from the PS1 era, they kind of slid backwards from SNES titles like ChronoTrigger.

And sadly, going by the Atelier series rather than Ni No Kuni which is coming towards the end of the console, I'm not seeing much hope. Just more of the rule rather than exception.

Garbanjo0011849d ago

I'd be excited if FF #? was a turn based. I grew up in the era of 1-3 release (American) on NES. While I am excited about the boots for mobile devices, I want a large scale console to have turn based again. With a twist. It's simple, make it active, and make a button "stop" the battle to identify what the new strategy is. FF13 was way too linear, and I hated the constant running and killing aspect, it was always motive just to get to the third disk (xbox) so I can free roam. While, most of FF 7-9 was free roam. Those are also top sellers in the FF franchise.

I'm excited to hear from square about what things they have cooked up, hoping that FF 15 will be awesome. I have waited for a baller game for quite some time, thought 13 looked amazing, but didn't like the battle and roaming very much. In time, we will have a game that we can be proud of.