2009: The Last Days of the Japanese RPG?

Where have the vital Japanese role-playing games gone? If 2009 was a bad year for the game industry, it was even worse for the heart-sick JRPG fan. Game Developer magazine's production editor - and committed JRPG scholar - Jeff Fleming looks back at the past year of Japanese RPG releases in North America, and finds troubling signs of a genre in decline.

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Noctis Aftermath3215d ago

Well i'm still buying them and plan to buy several more next year, consoles have been neglected for the most part by japanese developers, handhelds have plenty of JRPGs, some devs are only just stepping into the console market after spending some time on handheld games.

Simon_Brezhnev3214d ago

i guess its the last days of JRPGS to them because PS3 have a lot of exclusive RPGS next year.

rambi803214d ago

JRPGs just need some time to evolve/adapt.
Western RPGs have raised the bar in terms of storytelling and presentation.

JRPG devs need to get proper writers most of all and a bit more effort at localization to stay competitive.

presto7173214d ago (Edited 3214d ago )

Just saying....

BTW I prefer hardcore classic rigid turn based fighting. this whole new "real time action" crap or whatever system games like ffxiii are moving towards just sucks. JRPG's are my favorite genre. I have not enjoyed this gen as much cuz the jrpgs have not been pouring in. I mean come on, ffxiii comes out three years after the ps3 launched? it took ffx one year after the ps2 came out!!!

Baliw3213d ago

I didnt even bothered to read the article.
There's no need to go there, to think JRPG are done.

More or less the problem this generation is that JRPG developers are targeting easy systems as DS or PSP.

We will see next year.

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Raoh3215d ago

have you tried the resonance of fate demo (end of eternity in japan)

i'm excited for this one..

the problem is that companies like square are trying to woo the u.s. too much

upgrade jrpg's not change them.. and end of eternity does just that, it has your traditional gameplay with some new tricks

i would call it a cross between persona and stranglehold

websites are too quick to make calls. just a few months ago, they said the ps3 had no rpg's and the 360 was the home of the rpg but it seems like its balanced and ps3 actually has the best as far traditional rpg's with new tricks and 360 has the western rpg market

websites are too eager to show they are knowledgeable but actually show how little they do know

Chris3993215d ago (Edited 3215d ago )

The graphics were sub-par. The gun-kata (see Equilibrium - fantastic movie - for the reference) was kinda fun, but I don't see it remaining so for the 80+ hours the game is supposed to clock in at.

That said, WKC, whatever Mistwalker is cooking up next and FFXIII with all of it's faults will be making my wallet burn next year. Oh, and for die-hard JRPGers (like me) there's a wealth of other titles being released next year: Ar Tonelico 2, Star Ocean International, that soul breeding SRPG I can't remember the name of, Last Rebellion, to name a a few.

Addressing the article itself, I hardly see how the JRPG genre is dying, especially if you look at Lost Odyssey, Valkyria Chronicles and Demon's Souls. If anything, 2010 will be a JRPG renaissance.

Jack-Pyro3214d ago

Title your looking for is Record of Agarest War, just thought I'd help

dktxx23215d ago

Final Fantasy is really the only noticeable jrpg that ever tried new things within the genre. Every other game is just a stale repeat of what we've already played, just with new settings and characters. And sometimes those aren't completely original. Final Fantasy does a great job of creating a unique world, different from anything we've seen. Most jrpg's don't do that. So the gameplay cliche's become tolerable. But if absolutely nothing is new or unique then why play the game?

Tony P3215d ago

Yikes. Play more JRPGs.

You should definitely expand if middle-of-the-road FF is your example of most original.

Redempteur3215d ago (Edited 3215d ago )

like i said ...

WHy do you people are so quick to say that rpgs are stalled or something ... or on the decline WHEN there are no current-gen
-dragon quest
-shin megami tensei
-breath of fire
-xeno... ( insert whatever)
and so on ..

Blabla bla
Japanese rpgs are supposed to be the same thing for some people YET when FF13 try something different , THE SAME PEOPLE are screaming in agony .

This is ridiculous ...i agree with raoh in teh second post ..there are plenty of rpg that just evolve for this gen and they are fine
Resonance of fate is great so far ( played the demo ) , Tales of vesperia was more than fine and more Rpgs are just coming ...

We're about to get White knight , Star ocean international ( improved version over the original ) , FF13 , atelier rorona and many others ( last ranker , last rebellion , arc rise fantasia ect ect ect )) The flood hasn't EVEN BEGUN !! AND people are already calling it the last days ?

When it's different ..they are crying because it's different ..when it's the same with some HD tweaks , they cry because it's the same thing for them ...

COMMON SENSE !! they should at least wait for the HUGE franchises to come before calling it the "last days" because so far ... i'm looking at "Valkyria chronicles" and many others already out and it's no contest ... they are great games and original ... some rpgs failed ( like always )and instanly it's the end of the world !!

Chris3993215d ago (Edited 3215d ago )

Turn based > semi-turn based/ ATB. And they've revamped their internal systems about as much as well: LVLING > Classes/Job LVLing > Point Distribution/ Grid Systems.

Everything else about the series - melodramatic cut-scenes, summons, even spell names - has remained mostly the same.

Probably not the best example of an innovative series. I'm not hating on the game, I will be getting it; but if anything, they're streamlining and trimming options out of the series (from the information gleaned off previews and reviews thus far), not innovating and adding new features.

FamilyGuy3215d ago

Having the same spell names and some of the same monster names are pretty much the only thing that lets you know you're really playing a Final Fantasy game since most have a completely unrelated story to each other and all have had different game play mechanics whether it be the battle system or the way you level up. FF is always trying to improve upon itself unlike many other jrpgs that just rinse and repeat.

Why does no one complain when other genres do nothing different but add a new story and maybe a game play option. Snake never changed, Master Chief never changed, shooting in a ww2 game never changed, so what's the issue about jrpgs having a few similarities?

This article has already been debunked in the comments here alone, 2010-2011 are looking like great years worth of upcoming rpgs/jrpgs.

lonestarmt3214d ago

are you kidding me? wh play them? Well why play call of duty, halo, killzone, medal of honor, bad company, doom, half life, left for dead, battlefield, crysis, fear? they are all the same basicilly. Actually the gamplay between most JRPGS are more different than those games. Their so called story is slightly different, but its the same concept. However there are no, are FPS dead articles. ITs BS and biased.

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ape0073215d ago

I don't like jrpg,to me they seem like a long multiple choice exam

I may get into a role playing game with REAL gameplay

like borderlands,Im having a great time with it,such an underrated game,borderlands got everything,the only thing it need to elevate it to a AAA game is an epic cinematic experience,you know what im saying

mass effect 2 looks amazing btw

Baliw3215d ago

I think that Borderlands is TOO slow for me. The game pace is kinda boring even when i liked the game.

ape0073215d ago

yeah that's the weak point about it

borderlands 2 should have intense pacing and cinematic action and some orchestrated tracks

Foxgod3214d ago

Borderlands 2 needs a decent leveling system, its ridiculous that your car explodes if youre lvl 7 and hit a lvl 9 enemy with your car.

Also the spawning in that game is horrible, the enemy's always spawn in the exact same spot, sometimes out of thin air, always taking the exact same route, making you engage in the exact same fights over and over again.

Borderlands is nice, but it lacks a living world, its more like spawn/kill fest.


is a overrated game is not fun.unless playing with friends

3213d ago
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Cajun Chicken3215d ago

Boo hoo hoo. Cry about the fact that only 3 platformers on all systems got released this year being New Super Mario Bros, Ratchet ACiT and Jak PSP. THERE'S a genre in decline.

rambi803214d ago (Edited 3214d ago )

i thought i was the only person who still cared about platformers

I'm back to playing spyro - and loving it

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