Is the Japanese RPG Dead?

GameXplain Says: "Yesterday we looked at how 2011 looks to be the "Year of the Western RPG." But what about its eastern counterpart? Typically, Japanese RPGs have been known as "traditional" style (though they derive from the American Dungeons & Dragons) compared to the "western" style RPG that has been the king as of late on this side of the Pacific.

If you were to walk the store shelves of any gaming retailer today, this question "Is the Japanese RPG dead?"might arise. Outside of the DS and PSP, only barely pronounceable games have landed in the US on consoles this year, and were met with dismal sales success. Of course, portables are huge in Japan, but is that mentality killing the genre for the rest of the world?"

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Dash Reindeer3672d ago

They've been dead to me for 20 years

Biggest3672d ago

JRPGs were always niche. There are more people with websites to talk trash about them then there used to be. I've hear the same reasons I heard in the early 90s (when I first played a JRPG). Companies like SquareEnix would do well to make games they want to make and spend less time trying to appeal to wider audiences. The PSP and DS have proven time and time again that smaller budget games for gamers work more often than big budget games for people with websites pretending to be gamers. The people that loved the older formulas still love them. The people that hated the older formulas still hate them, and any new formula the developers try to create. Ignore them, please.

somerandomdude3672d ago (Edited 3672d ago )

They didn't have to die. Square Enix made them less relevant this generation by making horrible decisions.

The demand for jrpg's still exists, the developers just suck at executing them nowadays.

Don't forget how hyped and excited we all were for ff13, then SE let us down by not including traditional jrpg elements.,

TheDivine3672d ago

No ffvs13, ff13-2, last story, xenoblade exc. We had some of the best jrpgs ever this gen with Lost Odyssey, Vesperia, Blue Dragon, resonance of fate and others. They're few and far between but theres still life left in them. It seems they are now mostly on sd systems like wii, psp, ds/3ds though pbly due to rising costs and less sales as wrpgs become more popular. I think wrpgs were mostly pc until xbox brough out elder scrolls and kotor. Then the 360 hit and oblivian and mass effect became the best games and overshadowed the jrpgs which funny enough MS was puping out and heavily invested in. The xbox made western games more available to people. Sad ms dropped mistwalker, they are the best jrpg developers and one of the last who make traditional ones wich kick azz.

dktxx23672d ago

"Typically, Japanese RPGs have been known as "traditional" style (though they derive from the American Dungeons & Dragons)"

I don't think Japanese RPg's take all that much from Dungeons and Dragons. It seems like western rpg's are the ones that derived from it. I'm no rpg historian though.

Eternalb3672d ago (Edited 3672d ago )

The original Final Fantasy was heavily inspired by D & D and most Japanese RPG's were inspired by Final Fantasy as well as Dragon Quest.

Form the 1up article "30 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Final Fantasy"

"Final Fantasy might as well have called itself "Dungeons & Dragons: We Filed Off The Serial Numbers Edition." Its class system and magic spells were practically drawn straight from the tabletop game. Certain monsters were even more blatant rips. The "Sorcerer" was simply a weaksauce version of D&D's Ilithid (aka Mind Flayer), and the Death Eye was even worse: In the game's original Japanese release, it looked so much like D&D's iconic Beholders that Square meekly redesigned it before bringing the game to the U.S."

evrfighter3672d ago

Wow you just made quite a bit of weaboos

dktxx23672d ago (Edited 3672d ago )

Thank you Eternal. I can now say I learned something on N4G today, for once.

DragonKnight3672d ago

Demon and Dark Souls both say hello.

DragonKnight3672d ago

LMAO! I guess those 2 games aren't proof that JRPG's are still wanted and successful judging by the disagrees. It's ok, you can have your lame Mass Effect and Dragon Age 2 games, I'll be over here playing real RPG's.

dragonknight43672d ago

Looking forward to Dark Souls as well as Tales of Graces F and Tales of Xillia. All published by Bamco. The huge irony.

BTW, nice name.

DragonKnight3672d ago

Agreed. And thanks, I've had this name for eons. Lol.

somerandomdude3672d ago (Edited 3672d ago )

Those games play more like wrpg's. Top jrpg's this generation are SO4, Tales, and Eternal Sonata.

DragonKnight3672d ago

A Japanese Role Playing Game is literally a role playing game made by a japanese developer. So no, top JRPG's this gen are Demon's Souls (soon to be Dark Souls) Valkyria Chronicles, and the like.

Eternalb3672d ago

So if a bunch of non Japanese people go to Japan and make a western-style RPG, but release it first in Japan does that make it a JRPG? It's developed and released in Japan.

DragonKnight3672d ago

@Eternalb: *sighing facepalm walk shaking head* Really? That's really your comment? Are you sure you want that to really be your comment?

Eternalb3672d ago

LOL... I hope you could tell that my comment was highly sarcastic.

Listen just because a game "literally" is developed in Japan, does not mean it can not be "western" in design.

You can call it a JRPG and I will call it a JRPG that is a WPRG in disguise.

somerandomdude3672d ago

Well to say the least. I think traditional jrpg's are taking on more westernized roots trying to make games more like Mass Effect, thus losing their more traditional eastern based roots.

Demon souls is a damn good game, but it isn't traditional.

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Tex1173671d ago

Of course you are correct, but the distinction most people draw between wRPG and jRPG's is some form of turn based battle system.

Demon's Souls is my favorite game of the last decade and in my top 5 of all time.

Dark Souls is my most anticipated game of the year, and that is saying alot this year.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3671d ago
Lavalamp3672d ago

"Can Japan find their creative juices again"
They never lost it to begin with, and the awesome list of titles in the article can attest to that. Sales isn't a determinant of creativity. I mean, how well do WRPGs sell in Japan compared to JRPG sales in the west? The day the JRPG dies is the day Japanese culture dies, so I'm positive both forms of the RPG will continue to coexist.

Eternalb3672d ago

But when are they going to do well here? JPRGs need to sell well here for us non-Japanese speaking people to get a chance to play them. And when was the last creative/innovative JRPG (besides TWEWY)?

Lavalamp3672d ago

The Valkyria Chronicles and Persona series have been pushing the envelope, Birth by Sleep was a very solid title, Knights in the Nightmare = swag on infinity, and Demon's Souls really made some great strides in online functionality. And love 'em or hate 'em, the latest Pokemans (much more fun to spell it that way) made use of the C-Gear feature in some really neat ways.

Eternalb3672d ago

I'll give it to this first Valkyria and while Persona is came out in 2008. Birth by Sleep and Pokemon are just iterations of their predecessors. Demon's Souls I'd argue is actually more western in design.

Believe me I love JRPGs (I worked for a company who's released their fair share) and if you read the article its not about sending them to their grave.

Lavalamp3672d ago

I picked Valkyria and Persona cuz I was trying to think of games that came out after Twewy (even if it was only be a few months :D). You're absolutely right about BBS and Pokemans (still callin' it that) being iterations, but I was specifically calling attention to things like Pokemans' C-Gear. And yeah, when you look at Demon's Souls, the last thing you think of is JRPG, but dem Japanese devs be packin' dat Phantom shizzy in dat game.

I read the article, and I'm definitely with you on its main message, but I was just pickin' at one quote in regards to creativity.

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