2012: Year Of The RPG

An opinion column via in which the author closes off the year by talking about the RPG genre and the influence in mainstream gaming, regarding mechanics that are usually found in pure RPGs but have now permeated all types of games.

Quote: "This is my last column for 2012 and as the curtain closes on the year that held the greatest anti-climax since Hitler’s failed attempt at map control (inb4 we’re all still alive) I thought I would use this opportunity to have a look back at the year that was, by mixing in the two favourite loves that I have described above.

Those two being the RPG and my love of the English language.

Since RPG starts with the letter “R” let us see how many words we can find to describe the ascent of the RPG mechanic in 2012. "

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Godmars2902221d ago

I have issues with several of those supposed "RPGs".

dedicatedtogamers2221d ago

Yup. Nearly every one of those listed is an action-RPG at best, and yet real RPGs don't make the author's list? Okaaaay.

WPX2220d ago (Edited 2220d ago )

True. I don't see Xenoblade or Last Story among other RPGs that should be here. Even though the games mentiones are still great games some of them aren't even RPGs.

rainslacker2220d ago

Should be more like "Rise of the Western RPG". JRPG's have been far and few between. I also don't consider a game with RPG elements in a completely different genre(ie Mass Effect) an RPG. It can still be good, but realistically there simply weren't that many true RPG's this year. This whole gen has been rather lackluster on quantity.

Godmars2902220d ago

JRPGs came into this gen crippled by required high production costs and trends towards traditionalism established since the SNES era. Even most games today do little different than what was being done in the PS2's later days.

As for WRPGs its more like rise of the sandbox. Of being given an area to explore and a loose narrative to either ignore or break. And walking.

Lots and lots of walking...

2220d ago
rainslacker2220d ago

I never said there weren't any RPG's. Of all those you mentioned for this year, only 3 were on home console systems. I have nothing against RPG's on handhelds or iDevices, but handhelds aren't my go to place for playing games, particularly JRPG's. While I am a gamer, and don't care what system a game is on, my preferred console of choice is the one sitting under my TV. As such that portion of the market has gone largely ignored by all but NIS America, with a few other companies filling in the gaps.

What I remember is last generation, there were many, many RPG's to choose from on the PS2, that it was sometimes hard, and I could sit there for quite a while considering what RPG to get next. At no point in this generation have I done that, and it basically comes down to waiting for the next one to release every 3-6 months.

I've been playing JRPG's for over 25 years, and I have every right to comment on how I see the way things have been this generation. You being an apparent RPG fan, can not sit there and tell me that the home console JRPG market has been amazing this generation. It is nowhere close to what the PS2 or PS1 era was, both in terms of quantity or quality.

Next year is looking up, and I'm looking forward to some of those you mentioned, but that wasn't what we were discussing.

2220d ago
rainslacker2220d ago (Edited 2220d ago )


Your likely right. And while I like that more traditional feel to my RPG's, I do understand that not adjusting to the market has made it more difficult for console RPG's to make any headway. While they have definitely moved out of their niche status in the west, it can be hard for a new JRPG IP to really make any headway. Die hard fans of the genre, and those that enjoy JRPG's in general don't give enough sales for the increased production costs. It's why many JRPG makers have moved more to the mobile market, and have even produced many good games on these systems.

Quite personally WRPG's just don't appeal to me. The story's and art style just seem to turn me off, and no matter how hard I try I can't get into them. I could probably get over the art style, but the story's just don't really catch on with me. Maybe I'm just too set in my ways.


Bias has nothing to do with it. I have a preference for the home console. I like to play my games sitting on the couch, and watching them on the TV. I also have a Vita, and play JRPG's on there, so, like I said, I have nothing against handhelds, I just don't prefer them for that genre.

Many companies have made JRPG's this gen, I never disputed that, but last gen, you could literally have 1-2 JRPG's coming out each month. Almost my entire game collection was filled with a JRPG backlog. That just isn't the case anymore.

Lets go down your list to analyze this "fact" you keep mentioning

Mistwalker: Two games early in the generation, Then the amazing last story last year.

Nintendo:I'll give you that, too bad I don't like motion controls or the Wii in general. Zelda is cool and all, but I prefer traditional controls.

Square: 2 Final Fantasy games in the same universe and Star Ocean, probably some stuff on the Wii, and I think a couple on the 360. Most of their other RPG's this gen have been on portable machines or crappy spin-offs.

Image Epoch: They've done alright this gen, but focused mostly on PSP.

Falcom: I don't recall them releasing a single home console game this gen, but did have plenty of handheld releases.

Now, as I said, given the state of the previous generation, can you sit there and tell me that the home console market is really getting the same kind of JRPG love? I know JRPG's just fine, so stop with the personal attacks.

I'm happy for the Japanese to get more JRPG's, but if they aren't localized I'm not going to play it. I play these games for the story, and if I can't know what the story is, then what's the point.

I am grateful for the great JRPG's I have gotten to play this gen. But that doesn't mean I should shut up about their current situation. It is something that has let me down this gen, and while I am a fan of JRPG's, it doesn't mean I devote my life to hunting them down, and purchasing every possible system just to play them.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2220d ago
DestinyHeroDoomlord2221d ago

What exactly is a real rpg? (1.1) Sheesh there's just no pleasing some people. Merry christmas!

Godmars2902221d ago (Edited 2221d ago )

Yeah, what is an RPG nowadays? Cause last time I checked Borderlands 2 was billed as a four player loot shooter. Bioshock may as well be call an RPG then.

2220d ago