RPG's Just Aren’t What They Used to Be

Have RPG's lost their charm? Join ScreenCritics Emily as she ponders the direction that RPG's are taking in modern gaming.

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Hoffmann2304d ago

There are still some charming ones, World of Final Fantasy is a good example. You are also talking about jrpg's and not rpg's in general I guess. Western RPG's like The Witcher 3 are as charming as Fallout back around 20 years ago.

freshslicepizza2304d ago (Edited 2304d ago )

jrpg's have taken a huge step back because japanese developers did not adapt to the new hardware as much as western rpg's. this was a problem dating back to the beginning of last generation. not sure if it's because they dont have as large of a budget or consoles just aren't as popular over there and most of the good ones are on handhelds.

nitus102304d ago (Edited 2304d ago )

May I ask what you would classify games made by "From Software" are?

I will make it easy on you how about Zelda RPG's?

Sorry, I forgot the Metal Gear franchise, the original Resident evil games and how about Kingdom Hearts?

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nitus102304d ago

I think CD Projekt RED may take objection to have The Witcher 3 being called a Western RPG. After all, Poland is classified as an eastern European country on the Baltic Sea that is known for its medieval architecture and Jewish heritage.

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NukaCola2304d ago

True, CDPR is about as Eastern as you get until you get to Japan LOL.

JRPGs have not adapted well but there are still plenty. A lot of problems are the Western gamer has went from complex Western role playing games like Ultima and Knights of the Old Republic which are really well thought-out, to Skyrim which is basically a hack and slash. 90% Skyrim consist of crouching and bow and arrows. It almost takes zero thought to play the game. Thankful for Witcher or kingdoms of amular. As for JRPGSs, Persona 5 looks deep and fresh.

kraenk122304d ago

Just because it's called Eastern Europe doesn't make it less of a western RPG. It's still the Christian influenced so called 'western cultural circles'.

Mikefizzled2303d ago

To be fair, you're ignoring one of the biggest producers of MMORPG's out there. NCSOFT of South Korea

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2303d ago
xDealtwithIt2304d ago

JRPGs are relics stuck in the past and refuse to update with the times in terms of innovation and design game play. It's why most of these japanese companies are straggling and turning to other options like mobile and panchinko machines.

The east just isn't putting out the hits like they used too and most anticipated games are coming from the west. The only real shame are for those who like bug eyed girls with huge boobs who scream and cry and shoot powers out of their hands while showing off their panties, the amount of those games can only mainly be found on Vita and some dark corner of the PC.

Dasteru2304d ago

What is wrong with bug eyed girls with big boobs shooting powers out of their hands while showing off their panties?

TheOptimist2303d ago

It's just a marketing strategy I guess? Just like Anime has adapted the same things, don't like the modern animes one bit. They have such bloated assets, makes me disgusted lol

DarXyde2304d ago

"The east just isn't putting out the hits like they used too and most anticipated games are coming from the west"

Speak for yourself. I have World of Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts 2.8, Kingdom Hearts III, Valkyria: Azure Revolution, and Persona 5 to look forward to.

PS- your assessment of JRPGs is grossly uninformed. None of the games I mentioned are like that.

_-EDMIX-_2304d ago

I don't disagree with you as I'm purchasing most of the games that you listed myself but that doesn't make his comment any less valid.

You buying it doesn't actually classify as a hit...

Now I disagree with a couple things that xDeal is saying but for the most part I believe it's sort of undeniable that we have not seen as much hits in regards to huge sales from Japanese RPGs.

Put it this way the Witcher or fallout can come out and sell huge millions in the West...

But the thing with the West is many Western RPGs could come out in still sell huge Millions.

Basically Dragon Quest , Pokemon ,Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy essentially have a Stranglehold on the Japanese Market in regards to being the only RPGs that even move such units.

Yet in regards to Western design many companies can come out and create a western RPG that gets a large amount of sales. I think when Horizon zero Dawn and cyberpunk 2077 releases it's essentially going to show you that indeed the West is more open to purchasing RPGs that are new than the east.

The Eastern Market has this bizarre love affair with specific established properties so much so that it's essentially difficult for these Japanese companies to create something new.

Some of the top Japanese RPGs that have released in the last ten to fifteen years in Japan are still some of the top properties that are still releasing. In the last four years can anyone even name a Japanese RPG that is come out and sold even a couple million that was a brand new ip?

I understand that we all love Japanese RPGs but we at least have to acknowledge something is definitely wrong with the market currently. It's almost as if only the top properties have any traction with the Japanese consumers. Anything new seems to get banished to the shadow Realm lol

DarXyde2304d ago


You're actually taking my post out of context. As I said in the beginning of my reply, "speak for yourself". By no means am I suggesting the aforementioned games will be classified as "hits" (frankly, I'm curious to know what the exact parameters for "hits" are by modern gamer standards). What I am saying is that, in reply to them saying eastern developers aren't putting out the hits like they used to, I'm saying that I disagree from my own perspective and nothing more. Those are games I'm looking forward to and I'm already convinced they'll all be gems for me. Why? Because I've played demos for three of them, two have extremely solid track records, and then there's the wild card (Kingdom Hearts III) which seems to be in good hands.

Hoffmann2304d ago

Looking for downvotes, eh?

fromchildren2304d ago

Play bloodborne! Or dark souls 3.
Does MGSV count?

TheFirstClassic2304d ago

Well Ni no kuni and Persona 4 Golden were released fairly recently and were extremely well recieved, just to name a couple of turn based jrpgs. I think the problem wasn't that they are outdated, in fact turn based jrpgs age better than most games, but that there were just so many of them on snes and ps1 that the market just got over saturated. They seem to be making a return now though, Im really looking forward to Persona 5.

xDealtwithIt2304d ago

People keep saying that jrpgs are making a return and in reality they're not. The ones that have been released so have been failures.

Everytime one releases I read the same comment, wait for Persona 5, a game that has been delayed for years, a game that was originally planned for PS3.

As I said, no innovation, no progress especially when the biggest non FF jrpg to look forward to is a ps3 port.

andibandit2303d ago (Edited 2303d ago )

You are forgetting the oversized weapons, and all teenage cast, who came in straight from the catwalk, and are so forgettable, because they are almost identical to the characters in the last JRPG you played.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2303d ago
PhoenixUp2304d ago

Nah there are still plenty of quality RPGs these days

Gardenia2304d ago

Care to name a view? I mean the once that come close to the quality of FFVII, FFIX, Suikoden 2 or Chrono Trigger

PhoenixUp2304d ago

Ni No Kuni, Fallout 4, Mass Effect 2, Bravely Default, Pokémon Sun/Moon, Persona 5, Bloodborne, Witcher 3, etc.

There have been plenty of great RPGs every generation

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WildArmed2304d ago (Edited 2304d ago )

Thank you. I was hoping someone would straighten out the facts.

RPGs have been doing fantastic. And as much as people love knocking on the FF13 series, FF13: LR was actually a fantastic game. And more recently, we just got another great one -- Deus Ex.

And we are getting Ni No KUni 2, another Valkyria Chronicles, NI Oh. Man, this gen has been great for us RPG lovers!

Sometimes I think some people love the "idea" of an RPG, but not RPGs themselves lol

Sunny_D2303d ago

Not sure if it counts but Valkyria Chronicles was also a phenomenal game. I love it's gameplay and story.

phoenixwing2304d ago

Many great rpg's and jrpg's released over the course of last generation and this generation. I don't know what they're trying to say. My only gripe is now that I'm older I don't have as much time to play them.

admiralvic2304d ago

If you read the article, it's that RPGs are moving from more of a vague exploration to a fairly linear experience. The author basically wants a game filled with hidden paths, secret rooms and a ton of other things. Think something more like World of Final Fantasy, just more open than that.

Now, while I get where the author is coming from, I think this is more of a budget thing than anything else. Extremely high quality graphics, plus large places, in addition to tons of hidden secrets costs a fair bit of cash. Likely more than a company wants to invest. Plus there are still some that do, but they're becoming less common.

phoenixwing2304d ago

I don't think that argument holds up. There are tons of open rpg's available to people that have just as much freedom as they have in the past. Maybe they're slightly fewer in quantity due to graphics and production values being sky high nowadays but it's not like there aren't any. I find the whole argument to have no substance.

Muzikguy2304d ago (Edited 2304d ago )

I feel this same way. Was just thinking this very thing yesterday. I've got so many games to play still, along with FFXV, RE7, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Persona 5 all coming soon that I want to get. Even though I don't have the time to play the games anymore like I used to, being older has given me the money to buy the games I want to get. I definitely have more games today than I did back then.

phoenixwing2304d ago

I have the same situation. I still have ps3 games to beat let alone the ones I have for ps4

Sunny_D2303d ago

Yes this is my problem. It takes a long time for me to finish one nowadays. When I take a break from the last time I played and then come back, I have a hard time remembering the plot and where I left off last time.

joab7772304d ago

I think this article is speaking more of Jrpgs. And while FF13 tried to move into next gen gaming by altering its formula dramatically, effected by Western rpgs, No No Kuni did it perfectly. It still had an over map, modes of transport, a good battle system including capturing enemies, an amazing story and characters, towns with atmosphere and side quests, as well as great progressive difficulty and gameplay.

NNK is what FF13 could have been. Now that FF15 has gone almost entirely the way of the WRPG, it will be interesting to see if it holds up, as the bar has been set very high.

As far as rpgs in general, TW3 has shown that they are alive and well and at the top of the video game world, capable of unbelievable immersion and captivating storytelling. Yes, I do miss the more calculated aspects of some jrpg combat systems, but TW3 wasn't too bad. I assume that Cyberpunk2077 will be even better. Dark Souls does well in this department, as it does in almost every other aspect too. Games like DS and TW ruin other rpgs for me and many others.

If FF15 is able to offer an atmospheric open world with a lot to do, a deep combat system with worth customization and a grand complex tale, it may just hold its own. It's quite the leap though from king of the east, taking on western juggernauts that many consider some of the best games ever made.

ChronoSloth2304d ago

Great point in NNK. It's the only console JRPG that comes to mind since PS2 that retains the feel and quality of the JRPGS of old.

Omnislashver362304d ago (Edited 2304d ago )

That may be true, but I actually like the balance in the KH/FFVIIR system. That said, not enough of them have a budget for such a system. I really think Platinum should start making these J/ARPGs, they seem like a perfect studio.

no_more_heroes2304d ago

Funny you mention that, because MS contracted them to do just that, with Scalebound.

Whether Scalebound will actually turn out to be good remains to be seen though.