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I want to like JRPGs so much, but I'm not sure I can do it.

fart town usa

Gold Member
Try Dragon Quest.

Some people don't like how simple/basic is it but that's the also the main reason so many people enjoy it.

They aren't too difficult, not many cryptic side quests that require hours of obscure gameplay mechanics in order to get spells needed at the end game.

Just old school battles, easy leveling systems, a fun story with memorable characters, beautiful cartoon graphics and an equally beautiful OST.

It's just a super chill gameplay experience.
 

Fbh

Member
I played a lot of JRPGs but at some point they started to bore me. My main complaint are dialogues. They abuse of them, with ton of silly dialogues that are pointless to me. The worse recent offender has been Persona 5 Royal. At some point I started to skip absolutely all dialogs, and you know, I played all game without problem. All those dialogs have almost zero impact in the gameplay.

Actually I think JRPGs have become visual novels with repetitive combats.

Give SMT3, 4 or 5 a try sometimes.

You get an enhanced version of the demon battling/fusing/collecting without 50 hours of anime highschool kids talking in circles about the same shit over and over and over again.

Man, not a lot of people seem to be enjoying modern JRPGs. Like, for me, the PS3 era was ROUGH for JRPGs even with there being the occasional one I enjoyed somewhat, but things feel better for me this gen. I loved Final Fantasy VII Remake, Nier Automata, Dragon Quest 11, and Tales of Berseria. I didn’t enjoy Persona 5 on the high level I did 3 and especially 4 but it was still great.

Only played a few hours of Trials of Mana remake but it was fairly fun. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth was a pleasant surprise, still need to play the sequel. Also Voice of Cards was pretty fun. Demon Gaze 2 was fairly good for a budget title. If it counts despite not being Japanese then Battle Chasers: Nightwar was great.

Sure, a few didn’t work for me like Final Fantasy XV being weak and Tales of Zesteria being mid, but that happens every gen. And there’s some I still need to play: Kingdom Hearts 3, Xenoblade 2, SMT 5, Ni no Kuni 2, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, The Caligula Effect, I Am Setsuna, etc.

To be fair as much as I complain I'm still looking forward to a lot of JRPG's and I also agree they've at least gotten better since the PS3 era.
Eiyuden Chronicle, Triangle Strategy, Granblue Fantasy Relink, FFXVI, etc. There's quite a few JRPG's coming that I'm at least cautiously optimistic about.


Though most of them will probably still be too bloated.
 

SteadyEvo

Member
I played SMTV, Takes of Arise, Bravely Default 2 and FFVIIREMAKE and I did zero grinding in those games. What I notice most of the time is some players die in one of the bosses and instead of trying come up with different tactic to beat it they think they should “grind”.
The need for strategy completely throws me off cause it feels like I’ll never figure it out. I believe it was a boss in bravely default that kept kicking my ass. Before that it was Grandia 2.
 

WoJ

Member
Try Dragon Quest.

Some people don't like how simple/basic is it but that's the also the main reason so many people enjoy it.

They aren't too difficult, not many cryptic side quests that require hours of obscure gameplay mechanics in order to get spells needed at the end game.

Just old school battles, easy leveling systems, a fun story with memorable characters, beautiful cartoon graphics and an equally beautiful OST.

It's just a super chill gameplay experience.
This. Dragon Quest games are just magical.
 

pramod

Member
Try Dragon Quest.

Some people don't like how simple/basic is it but that's the also the main reason so many people enjoy it.

They aren't too difficult, not many cryptic side quests that require hours of obscure gameplay mechanics in order to get spells needed at the end game.

Just old school battles, easy leveling systems, a fun story with memorable characters, beautiful cartoon graphics and an equally beautiful OST.

It's just a super chill gameplay experience.
I actually haven't played much of the modern DQ games. But what I liked about the old ones is that they felt very much like the early Western RPGs like Bard's Tale, Wizardry, etc. ie very little "hand holding". You are thrown out there on your own and you're probably going to die a lot when you wander into places you're not strong enough to yet, etc. I wonder if that's been changed in the newer ones.
 
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fart town usa

Gold Member
I actually haven't played much of the modern DQ games. But what I liked about the old ones is that they felt very much like the early Western RPGs like Bard's Tale, Wizardry, etc. ie very little "hand holding". You are thrown out there on your own and you're probably going to die a lot when you wander into places you're not strong enough to yet, etc. I wonder if that's been changed in the newer ones.
They aren't like that much anymore but they're designed in a way so that it always feels like you're making forward progress.

My main issue with JRPGS is that so many are like, "hey you put 70 hours into the game but sorry, you're still not powerful enough to beat the game because you didn't complete this obscure sidequest..."

Like fuck that, if I put 60+ hours into a game I want to be able to simply beat it. I never come across that issue with DQ games.
 
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Fbh

Member
What do you mean? Look at this masterpiece


Star Ocean 4 is the first game I remember being embarrassed to play in front of other people. I would have rather had my mom watch me kill hookers in GTA than playing this abomination.
I've no idea how I played 50 hours of this (I guess the actual combat was pretty fun).

I actually haven't played much of the modern DQ games. But what I liked about the old ones is that they felt very much like the early Western RPGs like Bard's Tale, Wizardry, etc. ie very little "hand holding". You are thrown out there on your own and you're probably going to die a lot when you wander into places you're not strong enough to yet, etc. I wonder if that's been changed in the newer ones.

The newer ones aren't like that. I enjoyed Dragon Quest XI because it still feels like a Ps1/SNES era RPG with nice modern graphics, but it's a pretty guided experience and it's often not really worth it to go explore beyond the area the game has told you to go to. It's also extremely easy by default though thankfully they have the Draconian Quest options (the "stronger enemies" one is a must if you don't want the combat to be painfully dull).

The second half also has quite a bit of unnecessary bloat and you'll have to grind if you want to beat the true final boss.
 
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Jeeves

Member
I didn't read the whole thread so forgive me if I'm repeating. Maybe try the Switch remaster of Xenoblade Chronicles 1. The character development is good and compared to 2, it doesn't lean super hard on anime tropes (not that I mind that too much personally, I like both games about the same. but your mileage may vary). The environments to explore are large and varied and beautiful. You can dig into side quests as much or as little as you want and you might even end up feeling attached to some of the extremely minor NPCs as a result. The battle system takes some getting used to but it's great fun once you get going, and so is the character skill/attribute customization.
 

hemo memo

Member
Star Ocean 4 is the first game I remember being embarrassed to play in front of other people. I would have rather had my mom watch me kill hookers in GTA than playing this abomination.
I've no idea how I played 50 hours of this (I guess the actual combat was pretty fun)..
I was embarrassed at myself playing it.
 
I was embarrassed at myself playing it.
First time I ever felt embarrassed was the intro to FF X-2 with Yuna singing her pop song. Literally jumped off my bed and ran to close the bedroom door. To this day I hope my family thinks I was just masturbating and not playing FF X-2


Although I think Star Ocean 4 was a revelation for me. There was an interview with the director where he specifically singled out the scene from that video above as an example of the great motion capture and character development of SO4. That’s the moment I realized that this wasn’t some abominable failure. It’s 100% intentional and there are some freaks out there who legitimately eat this stuff up.
 
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Braag

Member
I recently finished Tales of Arise. Last JRPG I finished before that was FFXV years ago. My main problem with them is the whole cast of teenagers who save the world with the power of friendship with whole lot of quirky and cringe dialogue. This seems to be the story with most JRPGs. I don't mind the whole saving the universe shtick but I wish the banter didn't make me feel physical pain so often, Tales especially was bad in this regard.
It's weird cause right now I'm playing Yakuza 0 which is also a Japanese dialogue heavy game, but man, the dialogue in that game is excellent, I could listen to the characters just talk for hours in that game.
 
I've played a LOT of JRPG's in my lifetime, and I'm hear to tell you you're not wrong. Most JRPG's are bloated and would be a better game if the fat was trimmed.

Exceptions exist, some people love all 115 hours of Persona 5 and that's fine, but let's not pretend that some of the mandatory quests in Final Fantasy VII Remake and other games weren't created specifically to slow you down and bloat things.
 

Fbh

Member
I recently finished Tales of Arise. Last JRPG I finished before that was FFXV years ago. My main problem with them is the whole cast of teenagers who save the world with the power of friendship with whole lot of quirky and cringe dialogue. This seems to be the story with most JRPGs. I don't mind the whole saving the universe shtick but I wish the banter didn't make me feel physical pain so often, Tales especially was bad in this regard.
It's weird cause right now I'm playing Yakuza 0 which is also a Japanese dialogue heavy game, but man, the dialogue in that game is excellent, I could listen to the characters just talk for hours in that game.

Yeah Yakuza games are great and easily have some of the most enjoyable stories in games coming from Japan. They actually feel like they are written for older teens and young adults as opposed to many JRPG's which weirdly still seem to be writing stories for that 12 years old demographics despite the fact that most of them are probably playing phone/tablet games or multiplayer stuff.

It's also refreshing to have a main character that's in his 30's and 40's for most of the games as opposed to a bunch of teens and highschool kids.
Im still mad they ruined FFXII with Vaan and Penelo. The same game with just Balthier, Basch, Fran and Ashelia would have been so much better
 
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Kondor88

Neo Member
Loved JRPGs and still do find gems every once in a while.

Story at the end of the day has to be one of the main reasons people enjoy JRPGs. I think modern story telling requires more "show don't tell" which JRPGs fail to do. Over bloated dialogue on static screens or dedicated cut-scenes for some of the scenarios what would require to much additional effort if it became a game play segment. Rarely do you go off a linear path and when you do, it's mostly never effects the larger world of story.

Game-play wise, a 60+ hour "epic" loses it's meaning if it's the same strategy/game play the entire way through without a small amount of reprieve. In modern action games we build muscle memory, learn ai mechanics, or obtain new abilities/means of movement along the way. Most JRPGs, your first battle most likely function and looks very similar to the end boss. Aside from your attacks being stronger, it doesn't feel like you grew with the game. Just put up with it.
 
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fart town usa

Gold Member
I've played a LOT of JRPG's in my lifetime, and I'm hear to tell you you're not wrong. Most JRPG's are bloated and would be a better game if the fat was trimmed.

Exceptions exist, some people love all 115 hours of Persona 5 and that's fine, but let's not pretend that some of the mandatory quests in Final Fantasy VII Remake and other games weren't created specifically to slow you down and bloat things.
As crazy as it sounds, I realized the other day that FF13 is really similar to Panzer Dragoon Saga. Both are insanely linear, heavy emphasis on story, paradigm systems that allow you to focus on healing/attack/defense while in battle, a gauge ATB system that can be rolled over into future turns, etc.

Main difference is that PDS is like 10-12 hours long but FF13 is easily 60+.

As much as I enjoy JRPGs, they could really learn a thing about streamlining aspects of the game. It'd also be nice if they could tone down the Anime archetype, but I feel like that is there to stay. As others have stated, it's embarrassing to play some of these games in open view.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
I actually haven't played much of the modern DQ games. But what I liked about the old ones is that they felt very much like the early Western RPGs like Bard's Tale, Wizardry, etc. ie very little "hand holding". You are thrown out there on your own and you're probably going to die a lot when you wander into places you're not strong enough to yet, etc. I wonder if that's been changed in the newer ones.
You know, I really think JRPG developers should start from the basics again.
A lot of newer developers probably never played those older games, or probably never put much thought in what made those games good and how we got to the current situation.

They probably think it's just combat + their dumb otaku fetish fantasy mixed in.
 
If you have an issue with character "repeating themselves" and "doing the same thing over and over" or gameplay which is "repetitive", I can see why a JRPG (and perhaps more traditional RPGs in general) might not greatly appeal to you. That's personally one of my favorite elements of gaming as a whole, seeing the gradual progression over the course of a narrative, seeing the little (and big) ways in which combat/gameplay changes as characters progress over time. But if you're not into that, you're just not.

The issue I have with JRPGs is a cultural one; I can't deal with the more flamboyantly eastern storytelling aesthetics. That may sound like some kind of contradiction, considering we are talking JRPGs. But when I came into them via mid-90s Squaresoft, I think the eastern & western storytelling sensibilities were much more balanced. Since then, things have really swung -- the difference in storytelling between FF6/Chrono Trigger & FF13 or 15 (or even FF10 IMO) feels immense, to me -- and the more idiosyncratic the storytelling or the aesthetic style, the harder it is for me to get into a story.

In the end, I think it's clear I'm much more of a 90s Squaresoft fan than I am a big fan of the genre on the whole.
 
I miss when JRPG where 20~25h affairs (sidequests included). Chrono Trigger was that short and it was amazing.

Leaving the gamer wanting more is not a tact often taken by many JRPGs that I've played... but when it's done well, like with Chrono Trigger, it's really a beautiful thing.
 

Werewolf Jones

Gold Member
Most of the games you listed are kinda bad aside from Chrono Trigger.

Don't play the Persona games. Go play the SMT games instead. SNES/PS1 was the pinnacle so you have to go backwards to get quality.
 

pramod

Member
You know this whole discussion has made me think more about why we play RPGs in the first place.

For someone like me who grew up on western rpgs it's never been about the story or characters. It's about the challenge, the satisfaction of building the most bad ass character you can (often by exploiting quirks in the game which western rpgs have a lot of).

I think this is why in the end I quickly grew tired of JRPGs after the 90s when they became a lot more story and dialog focused and were extremely linear experiences.
 

RSLAEV

Member
Don't feel too compelled to play a game just because it's a JRPG. There are ton's of different jrpgs with different themes, art styles and battle systems. If one frustrates you just put it aside and move to the next one until you find one you think you can stick with. Also helps if you don't buy JRPGs brand new. Wait until it's at least half off so you don't feel like you have to try and grind $60 worth of fun out of it.
 
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SpiceRacz

Member
I have a lot of the same issues with modern JRPGs. They feel soulless and play up the anime shit way too hard. To the point it ruins the experience for me.

As crazy as it sounds, I realized the other day that FF13 is really similar to Panzer Dragoon Saga. Both are insanely linear, heavy emphasis on story, paradigm systems that allow you to focus on healing/attack/defense while in battle, a gauge ATB system that can be rolled over into future turns, etc.

Main difference is that PDS is like 10-12 hours long but FF13 is easily 60+.

As much as I enjoy JRPGs, they could really learn a thing about streamlining aspects of the game. It'd also be nice if they could tone down the Anime archetype, but I feel like that is there to stay. As others have stated, it's embarrassing to play some of these games in open view.

Agreed. Games like Chrono Trigger and Mario RPG stand above the rest for me because the pacing and length are perfect. The developers knew where to trim the fat on those games.
 

pramod

Member
Maybe in the end for me the problem is just the complete lack of challenge in most JRPGs.
I can't remember a JRPG I've played in the last 20 yrs that presented any sort of challenge, as long as you have the patience to sufficiently grind your party to a certain level.
That's what happened to me when I was playing Grandia on Switch....I loved everything about the game...the story, characters, graphics, etc....but around 25 hours in I realized, I've never died to a boss, and the game is just an endless repetition of town-dungeon-boss-town etc.
I stopped playing.
That's certainly not the case with a lot of Western RPGs, which usually require a lot more strategizing to beat the more difficult sections. The really good ones even give you freedom to beat the game in different ways.
 
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I find it difficult to maintain interest in JRPGs too. I’m playing SMT V and really like a lot of it. A huge step up from Persona 5 for me personally but the turn based combat and grinding is just getting so tedious. I love the weird world and art and music and sounds and finding stuff in the overworld but the combat just becomes so pedestrian after a handful of hours. It’s only difficult on bosses and even those aren’t “hard” they’re just figuring out weaknesses then repeating a set of actions over and over. I don’t know.

I think that’s why I loved the first two Paper Mario games so much. There were puzzles in between combat and the combat kept you engaged.
 
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I can suggest, Shin Megami Tensei V, it is set in high school but I'm 10 or so hours in and the story takes a back seat to the gameplay. Check that out or take a look at Dragon Quest XI
 

fart town usa

Gold Member
Since we're talking about JRPGs...

Am I the only person who really enjoyed White Knight Chronicles? I used to own 1 & 2, both copies but didn't beat either. I've always wanted to go back to it, prices are pretty good on eBay, will probably order a copy this week. (White Knight Chronicles 2 has a revamped WKC1 on it).

Also downloaded the PSP game last night, plan on playing it in bed tonight.
 

BossLackey

Member
The game that broke my JRPG dam was Persona 5. The art style, music, gameplay, voice acting, and story are all top notch.

I bought Royal probably 6 months ago. Game looks really great, so I'll
I'm a huge JRPG fan, but Tales games are overrated.

Try something like Yakuza Like a Dragon or Persona 5.

Yeah, I've played Tales of Symphonia and that's it. If Arise is the best the series has to offer lately, I don't even know. Gameplay is fun, but the pacing of the story, the story itself, and the dialogue is...not good.

I'm at 10 hours from finishing I think and I've been told that a solid 5 hours of cutscenes is about to happen.
 

amigastar

Member
Try Dragon Quest.

Some people don't like how simple/basic is it but that's the also the main reason so many people enjoy it.

They aren't too difficult, not many cryptic side quests that require hours of obscure gameplay mechanics in order to get spells needed at the end game.

Just old school battles, easy leveling systems, a fun story with memorable characters, beautiful cartoon graphics and an equally beautiful OST.

It's just a super chill gameplay experience.
Yeah, for me Dragon Quest was always a feel good RPG. It's just so jolly.
Also i've enjoyed Dragon Quest VII on the 3DS very much. Great music (and i don't say that very often)
 
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K' Dash

Member
I was in love with them in the 90s and early 2000 but I can't stand them anymore.

Though, I have to admit that I played Persona 5 at launch and loved it to death, also have tried some here and there after that and hated them all.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Since we're talking about JRPGs...

Am I the only person who really enjoyed White Knight Chronicles? I used to own 1 & 2, both copies but didn't beat either. I've always wanted to go back to it, prices are pretty good on eBay, will probably order a copy this week. (White Knight Chronicles 2 has a revamped WKC1 on it).

Also downloaded the PSP game last night, plan on playing it in bed tonight.
I've never played it, but I heard good things about it.
Still want to give it a try one of those days.
 

sigmaZ

Member
Modern jrpgs are obese. They are full of characters who rarely have interesting traits and generally are just walking tropes, while being so overloaded with idiotic and unonteresting dialogue that it's next to impossible to stay interested.

It's sad to say. But jrpgs generally suck these days. They used to be awesome, but it's like all the great storytellers just abandoned ship and let incompetent fools take their place.
Construction Hammer GIF by Biteable
 

sigmaZ

Member
Thing is a lot of the features of abilities, customization, and grinding are integrated into general games these days so you don't need to go to a specific genre to experience those elements. All that's left is fanficky tropes.
 

kevm3

Member
JRPGs peaked around the PS generation. I don't know what happened to all the 'cool designs' in JRPGS. It seems like the characters got wimpier and wimpier over time until now all the characters look like something that came out of a 14 year old girl's anime sketchbook. Why is every main character like 120 lbs and a schoolboy? Why are all the villains some androgynous magician with long, white hair? The designs went to adventuresome and fun to looking like something that came out of sailor moon
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
JRPGs peaked around the PS generation. I don't know what happened to all the 'cool designs' in JRPGS. It seems like the characters got wimpier and wimpier over time until now all the characters look like something that came out of a 14 year old girl's anime sketchbook. Why is every main character like 120 lbs and a schoolboy? Why are all the villains some androgynous magician with long, white hair? The designs went to adventuresome and fun to looking like something that came out of sailor moon
Yeah, same thing with the anime industry. Now all characters look the same.
Back in the 80's and 90's it was not unusual for developers to hire manga artists to design characters for their games (e.g. Dragon Quest with Akira Toriyama)

I wonder if it's because this new generation of artists are just bad.
 

kevm3

Member
Yeah, same thing with the anime industry. Now all characters look the same.
Back in the 80's and 90's it was not unusual for developers to hire manga artists to design characters for their games (e.g. Dragon Quest with Akira Toriyama)

I wonder if it's because this new generation of artists are just bad.
I agree. The designs in anime are every bit as bad. It's like the testosterone was sucked out of Japan. I'm thinking corporations started instructing artists to move away from 'cool' and instead make 'pretty characters' that women would also like.
 
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sigmaZ

Member
JRPGs peaked around the PS generation. I don't know what happened to all the 'cool designs' in JRPGS. It seems like the characters got wimpier and wimpier over time until now all the characters look like something that came out of a 14 year old girl's anime sketchbook. Why is every main character like 120 lbs and a schoolboy? Why are all the villains some androgynous magician with long, white hair? The designs went to adventuresome and fun to looking like something that came out of sailor moon
I just got to say. I am very happy with this thread. Lots of people seeing things for how they are.
The thing that gets me is how so many stories are focus on people figuring out how they feel about things and having to encourage themselves or be encouraged again and again. It's so lame. Show me how characters feel based on the situation at hand, don't focus in on the character with monologues trying to make me feel something. This ain't Shakespeare.
 
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