Role-Playing Games

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Jrpgs are brilliant, Yahtzee is plain wrong about them

"Free Entertainment?" Uh oh, Yahtzee is taking the Unforgotten Realms ideology. It didn't work out too well for that guy so...

This seems a good spot to rant since I doubt anyone will ever read it and my spleen has been especially full recently.

First off, I would just like to say that I don't care what Yahtzee reviews. He's been doing a great job thus far and I hope he keeps it up.

However, I get a little irritated when contributors of "Free" online series say that fans have no right to complain since they're not paying for it. The reason is because, quite simply, this shit ain't free. Yahtzee already said in a review that he get "paid perplexingly well for it."

Well, where does that money come from if viewers don't pay?

Advertisers. And what do advertisers base pay on?

Traffic. Yahtzee and other such contributors are are paid based on their traffic figures. So even though we viewers don't pay, simply watching the videos puts money in their pockets.

Moral? Even though the videos are "free," viewers are still the source of the income. Piss off the viewers, lose the money. Simple as that. A lesson Unforgotten Realms learned the hard way.

Ok, I'll get off my box now. I feel better now though. I think I'll go start cutting again.

The simplest answer about why some games still call themselves RPGs is the that they're still the same genre, play-style, as the old original RPGs like the first Dragon Quest/Final Fantasy, Ultima, or those dozens of ancient D&D games. I mean, we don't say that Half-Life is not an FPS because it has a linear story and stars Gordon Freeman rather than Faceless McNoname, right?

rpg ... runs pretty good ... mechanic term ...lol

gee if they keep putting labels on every game , it will get to the point were it will be pointless ... gta will be a good label for drive ,shoot , kill , steal , etc

NamesAreHardToPick:

Woodsey:
JRPGs follow almost nothing that WRPGs use, so it makes absolutely no sense that we then label them RPGs

Oh yeah I totally forgot that JRPGs give you a party of characters to manage, challenge you to min/max your gear and stats, offer some kind of quest to complete in a sci-fi or fantasy setting ... that's totally different from all the big western-made RPG's like Doom, Flight Simulator, and The Sims.

Seriously, what are these differences supposed to be that you're talking about?

Eugh, you know what? I really don't give a fuck.

The story's are generally fixed, character customisation is less prevelant, and overall styles are handled differently.

My point was that there's no point in naming them something that they don't align to - I pretty much reiterated the paragraph bang in the middle of the fucking article:

"The protagonist is always the same (usually an angsty androgynous douchebag) and the story is fixed. Many of them don't let you pick your own stat bonuses when you level up. They might as well just make the games entirely cutscenes, that's clearly the direction Final Fantasy wants to go in."

I've got 2 fucking exams in which I will be raped because my mind literally not work out how the fuck anything works in them, and when I come on here for a break from revision I've got some sarcastic dick head whining like a bitch because the differences he sees in something entirely unimportant aren't the same as the differences I see.

All I did was agree with that paragraph, and yet I've had the shit quoted out of me for it. Just quote the fucking article.

A "role-player" is where the game is to empower your character (above and beyond simple power-ups). Mainly, empowerment occurs through levels, gear, and talents. Your score is defined by how bad-ass your character is, and a good role-player will involve a lot of strategy in choosing between how you occupy your gear slots and choose your talents.

While RTS's are bringing some of this in, and probably shooters too, a role-player is where this is a core function of the game, where the game is built around this, rather than it being added as an afterthought.

RPG is a broad category but thats no reason to get your shorts in a twist. The best description of Torchlight is "Diablo clone". Story light, loot heavy, lots of clicking. Borderlands is an FPS with Diablo style gameplay. Story light, loot heavy, lots of clicking. And I liked Borderlands because I thought the graphics style was spectacular. And since I don't have hours to devote to games anymore, loading it up making progress in 20 minute chunks by completing a quest or two was exactly what I was looking for.

Games are getting more and more complicated so they are getting harder to categorize. Check out some wine reviews if you want to see people make a big deal about minute differences real or imagined.

I don't see what is wrong with a JRPG category where you know you are controlling a fixed character and experiencing parts of a pre-determined story, making tactical and strategic decisions and being rewarded by revealing more of the story when make the correct ones.

A good description for Bethesda games (Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3) would be sandbox RPGS, where you are exploring a world rather than following a set path.

What does and does not constitute an RPG is in the eye of the beholder, not a hard and fast line. You could say a lot of games have RPG elements and I don't think anyone could say that is a bad thing.

With Yahtzee bashing Borderlands and RPGs in general. I think it's pretty much safe to say that the man has transcended merely having bad taste and has achieved the status of "whiny bitch". While his reviews started out with a sense of detachment from the reviewing norm and occasionally made some brilliant analyses; it can pretty much be said that his entire job, now, is to endlessly search for things to bitch about. Even if he has to recycle his rants or construct new ones that don't entirely coincide with the facts.

I'm not exactly sure when Yahtzee jumped the shark, but it's pretty apparent that he has. With that in mind, I'd just like to add one more thing.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAYY!
image

rembrandtqeinstein:
I don't see what is wrong with a JRPG category where you know you are controlling a fixed character and experiencing parts of a pre-determined story, making tactical and strategic decisions and being rewarded by revealing more of the story when make the correct ones.

Don't a lot of western RPGs also give you a fixed character or choice of fixed characers, or force-feed you a single story arc?

Even the latest Bethesda game has a plot set in stone if you want to talk about advancing from chapter to chapter, it doesn't even matter if you're playing good or evil. Sure you are free to go around doing interesting side quests or just generally looking under rocks and blowing up anything that looks at you funny but it's largely mindless... the most interesting places are the ones the primary storyline guides you through.

NamesAreHardToPick:

Even the latest Bethesda game has a plot set in stone if you want to talk about advancing from chapter to chapter, it doesn't even matter if you're playing good or evil. Sure you are free to go around doing interesting side quests or just generally looking under rocks and blowing up anything that looks at you funny but it's largely mindless... the most interesting places are the ones the primary storyline guides you through.

Its funny you mention that, in my first play though Fallout I ignored the main story and just wandered in circles. Eventually I stumbled on my father by accident, without following the whole quest chain to find him.

Woodsey:

NamesAreHardToPick:

Woodsey:
JRPGs follow almost nothing that WRPGs use, so it makes absolutely no sense that we then label them RPGs

Oh yeah I totally forgot that JRPGs give you a party of characters to manage, challenge you to min/max your gear and stats, offer some kind of quest to complete in a sci-fi or fantasy setting ... that's totally different from all the big western-made RPG's like Doom, Flight Simulator, and The Sims.

Seriously, what are these differences supposed to be that you're talking about?

Eugh, you know what? I really don't give a fuck.

The story's are generally fixed, character customisation is less prevelant, and overall styles are handled differently.

My point was that there's no point in naming them something that they don't align to - I pretty much reiterated the paragraph bang in the middle of the fucking article:

"The protagonist is always the same (usually an angsty androgynous douchebag) and the story is fixed. Many of them don't let you pick your own stat bonuses when you level up. They might as well just make the games entirely cutscenes, that's clearly the direction Final Fantasy wants to go in."

I've got 2 fucking exams in which I will be raped because my mind literally not work out how the fuck anything works in them, and when I come on here for a break from revision I've got some sarcastic dick head whining like a bitch because the differences he sees in something entirely unimportant aren't the same as the differences I see.

All I did was agree with that paragraph, and yet I've had the shit quoted out of me for it. Just quote the fucking article.

The only thing that they don't align to is your opinions and beliefs about RPGs are or what they should be. But as I said before even Yahtzee acknowledges that the term "role playing game" has never had any clear cut definition. Yahtzee bases his opinion on a presumption, and so do you. The only difference is that he actually acknowledges this.

Po-ta-to. Po-ta-to.

Personally, I don't really care about how games are categorized. Labels like 'shooter' or 'RPG' are just idioms from gaming culture, slapped on to give potential buyers a basic idea of what the theme and gameplay are like so they have an easier time finding other titles which are similar to stuff they've liked in the past. Perhaps the old stickers aren't quite as informative as they once were, but that's what Internet reviews are for.

Right, Yahtzee?

Oh yeah, and I kind of wish you had reviewed Borderlands. Maybe then I would have thought twice before shelling out my hard-earned cash for it (I don't have any friends I can rope into multiplayer games either).

Wow, there's a lot of thin skin in this thread. Look, what does it matter if one guy on the internet doesn't like the type of game that you do? Create your own blog/cartoon/manifesto where you call "WRPG"s "idiotic transgender chunder" and call it a day. This whole JRPG/WRPG nonsense has gotten old in the short time I've heard the terms and seems to have ignited some old ethnic divides that didn't need igniting. How about we drop the J and W and stick with prefixes that describe the combat mechanic or perspective:

Turn-based
First-person
Tactical
Action
Etc.

I agree with you completely.
I had the misfortune to play Borderlands, which is why I think you should review it to show the world what utter garbage it is.

so in an fps, you'd prefer to click once and the character would keep attacking the enemy until he looks like a sieve?

Perhaps the whole "JRPG = one samey douchbag on a fixed plotline" is cause enough alone to rename these games. Personally, I don't play many different genres, but I do recognize a need for change. Why don't we just do like our middle school science taught us, and come up with a sorting chart, like a simpler version of binomial nomenclature? Kings Play Chess On Fine Glass Surfaces? Anyone?

I mean you have your casual games and your complex games, then you get into plotline tone (survival horror, action, comedy, drama...) and mechanics (point and click, trigger, arcade style, button masher...). Then you add in character (multiplayer, single avatar, traveling party...) and main functions (rhythm, sidescroller, topscroller, choose your own adventure, etc...).

It would have to be more simplified and generalized, but I think that taking this as a frame, you could rewrite the genre system. Some Examples:

Rock Band: Casual Music Rhythm Multiplayer
SSBB: Complex Action Button Masher Multiplayer

If this was to be formulated, would it work better than the current system?

The problem with genres is that after a certain amount of time, there will be so much bleed as to make them mostly useless. Everyone from Kanye West to Korn gets called Rock from time to time, there are 62.5 million sub genres of metal, some which get really anal retentive, and what the Hell isn't pop these days?

RPGs were easy to define once upon a time, even though they weren't always strictly quite games where you adopted a role. But then everybody and their momma broke out with "RPG elements," to the point that there are few genres that don't borrow some from RPGs.

JRPGs, at least the ones we get over here, have gone far less toward the RP part than their predecessors (And many of them seem to be dropping the G as well). But since that includes titles like Final Fantasy, it's hard to really re-label them. And even still, the ones that play on rails still offer a lot that is common to RPGs. Leveling, large world (though not as immersive), exploration and looting, etc.

"RPG" Tells me about half of what I need to know. It's not a comprehensive description, but it tells me there's elements I'm likely to like. Anything else should come down to game description. No genre will do a good job at covering all its bases, as even JRPGs occasionally have something other than femmey boys in shiny armour with big swords.

Even if we drop the RPG entirely, you end up in a ridiculous scenario. Is it a Tactical, Turn-Based, Action-Adventure Assumed Persona title, or does that ticking bar make it technically a RT? Or maybe we need a third hybrid option. Is it tactical, or does the ability to hold down the X button to repeat your moves ad nauseum remove the T? Are the platforming scenes enough to really mark it as an action game?

Genres work to describe levels of commonality. If you want more, you're better off going with a real description, because by the time you've finished your acronym, you're probably going to have one anyway. TTB/RTHAAAPSPPWSJPB...That gave me a migraine looking over.

I agree with this because so many people don't get the difference between genre of game's They really need to fix this by just simply putting out there true nature and explaining why.

Its really hard to consider the "let's pretend" aspect of table top role playing when addressing video games. Especially since any video game is simply giving you predetermined paths. Even games like Dragon Age and any of the Bethesda's are all predetermined so its a bit silly to rag on RPG's for being esoteric and otherwise. Video game RPG's are for us math lovers and people who like to plan in their spare time and people who love chess. They aren't for adrenaline junkies. If you have a problem with turn based games, then you don't like RPG's. A better thing would be to specify as we obviously can't fit games under any one banner. Fallout 3 would be an FPS sandbox RPG. I actually just recently did a post on this but Yahtzee seems to have beat me to it even though I disagree with all his details.

Croshaws right as usual. bloodlines was excelent, incredible dialogue, i must say however not all jrpgs are bad, tough most of them are yeah, for example the art in panzer dragoon saga was amazing and i also enjoyed chrono trigger and bof4...

Unfortunately most everything that has come out is a rehash of something else on the other hand I will give it up to Torchlight for having an editor so the players can mod the game themselves without having the developer freak-out and have to make patches. Although it still is a Diablo clone. On the other topic, slapping a leveling system on a game does not make it an RPG.

I may totally disagree with you on Darksiders Yahtzee, but you're dead on with Borderlands. It's like World of Warcraft and Diablo mixed with Call of Duty and Fallout and made even more boring.

I really enjoyed Borderlands, but it definitely wasn't perfect, nor is it for everyone. The first few hours on that game, especially if you're playing by yourself can be described in three words: boring as fuck. If you continue after that it slowly gets better until you're let down by a boring boss and a disappointing ending.

Regardless of that though, I thought it was fun playing with my friends so much so that it pretty much saved the game for me. Second playthrough makes the game more challenging and generally more enjoyable.

It all depends on personal tastes.

I too have found Borderlands exceedingly boring. And I cannot even play online due to me using my friend's copy. So either me and my friends play it LAN or I don't play it at all and it needlessly takes up several gigs on my computer like a fat man on a park bench.

Jhales:
I too have found Borderlands exceedingly boring. And I cannot even play online due to me using my friend's copy. So either me and my friends play it LAN or I don't play it at all and it needlessly takes up several gigs on my computer like a fat man on a park bench.

I heard that Borderlands was rubbish on the PC anyways.

Too many glitches with multiplayer and such.

Man this article made me hade all video games a lil.

Jonesy911:
Jrpgs are brilliant, Yahtzee is plain wrong about them

Please present your argument why.

Yahtzee is somewhat incorrect here. There are JRPGs where the player determines the nature of his character and the events of the world. They're few and far between, but they do exist.

Look up Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. The player's actions and decisions determine how the world comes into being. No, it's not Bloodlines, but it's a rare step in that direction.

Yahtzee's hatred of JRPGs is getting a bit much. It's OK to mention that he hates JRPGs or treat it as a running gag, because that's his opinion and part of his 'caustic critic' schtick, but his insistance on labelling EVERY game that professes to be an RPG from across the ocean as 'stupid gay rubbish' is getting to be shallow, cheap and nasty. OK, you don't enjoy JRPGs, we get it. You don't have to abuse every game which falls under that umbrella term (which is an alarmingly wide variety of games including real-time action and turn-based strategy) with criticisms that, honestly, make you look a bit dim. Going on about "emo girly-men with spiky hair" in particular is echoing the shallowest and most poorly-researched complaints made by anti-fanboys who've never actually played a JRPG in their life. Frankly, it's not funny and he really should stop.

Fuhjem:
Hmm, renaming the genres could be hard. The only one I can think of would be to replace RPGs and JRPGs.

Avatar Development Game (ADG or Avment Game) - Takes the place of Role-Playing Games. Describes how you develop your avatar by choosing your actions.

Tactical Cinematic Game (TCG or CineTac) - Takes the place of JRPGs. Describes a game in which main story progression comes from cinematics and combat is more tactical such as selecting and combining combat moves with other characters.

Meh, those ideas kinda suck, but it's worth a try.

Meh, your terms are well-bolded, eloquently explained, and even come with ready-made colloquialisms.

I'll take 'em.

Henceforth, the aforementioned terms shall be entered into the lexicon of the Oxford English Dictionary: 2010 Gamer's Edition.

Genres have always been a bit iffy. In literature you have Fantasy and Sci-Fi which are by nature required to tag along another genre into its fold. Then there is 'Horror', which is a mood, and 'Western' which is a setting. What is up with that? On the other hand, 'Mystery' is pretty cut and dry so some video-game genres actually do make sense such as 'First Person Shooter'; but even this example relies solely on a game-interface standpoint. Genres are a mixed bag of vague labels.

Otherwise; Yahtzeeh makes a few good points while calling everything he does not like 'shit' in a very boring fashion as opposed to a comical or interesting one. Come on, Yahtzeeh, at least give me some unintentional humor? Oh right; I am not actually paying to read these articles so my criticism on the quality of his content is now moot. Because, as we all know, criticisms only matter on things you have to pay for as opposed to, say, posts in one's comments section or e-mail responses. There we go. =D

Jonesy911:
Jrpgs are brilliant, Yahtzee is plain wrong about them

Or, you know, he just has a different opinion about them.

Yes, the terms seem to keep getting combined with something else. Effort into the "Lets attract more people" Kind of thing.

The only problem I've really had with this was Bioshock. To me, it's a shooter with upgrades. Just like Wolfenstein.

My theory for how those Japanese games became "RPG's" is a history/tradtion thing. What were the first RPG's to come out on Nintendo anyways, Dragon Quest? Final Fantasy? who knows how well the Japanese knew D&D back then, but these games could hardly qualify as a strict D&D adventure, which are the original RPG's. So my guess is the game got dubbed an "RPG" somewhere in translation. How would you classify the original Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy game to a North American audience? Well hey, it's sort of a medieval setting with swords and sorcery like that Dungeons & Dragons thing, so lets call it a Role Playing Game! Even though there may not exactly be any 'Role Playing', it was the closest thing to fit the bill at the time.

If you're looking at it from today, the reason JRPG's are called RPG's when it's so unclear exactly what an "RPG" should mean is simply because that's what they've always been called on the consoles. Just like how the old North American PC RPG's, which were actually a lot closer to D&D, took a different development path but still called themselves RPG's. It was easy enough to make the distinction untl the Xbox came out and starting bringing this Western PC RPG's to the living room, a domain that used to soley belong to the JRPG.

VioletZer0:
Your arrogant attitude came across particularly sour today. -_-

I must have overlooked that part of the article, where was it ?

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