Yahtzee vs. the JRPG

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Abriael:

JEBWrench:

And what someone whose job is to make jokes about games while sharing his personal opinion?

Because, you know, that's what his job is. He's not a reviewer.

Given that he feels the need to write a quite lenghty article like the one that stemmed this thread in order to try and defend his "views", I guess he doesn't really agree with you.

I have no intention on playing FFXIII, but that's not because of what Yahtzee said. I have no intention on playing FFXIII because Square and Enix both stopped making games that interested me two generations ago.

More power to you. This doesn't make their games bad, or less good. Epic Games basically never made a single game that interested me. This doesn't turn them in a bad developer, they're simply not for me.

You still here?!! What are you the one person JRPG defence league? I know it's mainly a matter of taste but JRPGs have many more legitimate criticsm in narrative terms than porbably every other genre combined.

They are not a write-off as a genre but they do continuously baffle me this generation just as how unlikeable most aspects of the games can be, even you must admot they need a kick up the arse into new territory. I get spectable. i like spectacle but when that's all you game has then it leavs most people feeling hollow and cold.

Abriael:

Tetranitrophenol:

It IS a hatred filled rant for the lulz review thing, yet it conveys the information; why, how, and how much the game sucks, in some cases less than others; For instance, Gears of War, Bioshock (which he classified as one of the best games of the year), Dragon age and some others have received Yatzhee's "approval" yet they DO NOT receive absolute praises from him, quite the contrary. ZP points out what why a game sucks and what are its flaws rather than why is good and why you simply "must" have it. While not a deciding factor on whether or not you should buy it, it is a pretty handy point of view when you consider making a purchase. + its funny as hell!

Sorry, but there's nothing informative about some hateful dribble that happen to only display some random guy's tastes (and exaggerated, on top of that). You may be able to read through them,and that's more power to you, but a review that makes you struggle through the hate in order to try and relate to it simply isn't information. It's a rant. There are tons of random guys with a blog that rant on the internet.

ok

JEBWrench:

Actually, I'm pretty sure that "I was bored before the five hour mark" is indeed an accurate criticism of a game if it bores you before the five hour mark.

This is neither a negative nor a positive, it's a matter of perception.

It is accurate to an extent, sure. Recounting the lack of fun during a certain part (in this case small fraction) of a total product is something anyone with an opinion should mention. However, when you are paid to discuss a game, you should do just that: discuss the entire game.

As you said, Yahtzee isn't a reviewer. But he probably thinks of himself as one, otherwise he wouldn't have taken up doing this sort of thing. He also wouldn't have felt the need to write this post if he didn't feel like he needed to respond to the people that were criticizing his methodology.

The truth is that characterizing something as bad, despite fully experiencing it, is ignorant. Even more so when that individuals job is to discuss and dissect said content. Yes, Yahtzee is a comedian, but he's being portrayed (by others mostly), as a legitimate source for whether or not to get a game.

Abriael:
[quote="JEBWrench" post="6.186067.5743022"]
But that isn't a problem with God of War 3, right?
But more funny, for all your grandiose claims you do the same Yathzee does. You run your mouth about games without playing them.
What was the last Metal Gear Solid game you played? Because you know, it's since Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence that the series doesn't have a fixed camera.

Oops...

I know, I was criticising the fact that it took him 3 games to fix a hideously glaring game design flaw that similar developers had long since fixed. And I never mentioned God of War 3...although now that you mention it God of War is annoying in that the fixed camera is actually a pretty frustrating flaw, although not as egregious as MGS 3 or Devil May Cry (Which, while not always fixed, moved so stiffly and clunkily that it might as well have been) since the fixed camera was generally positioned so that you could see the whole field.

But I won't spend too much time berating specifics, because I agree on one point...Yahtzee did review the game after only playing 5 hours, which, despite being a long time playing a crappy overblown behemoth of a ploddy JRPG, isn't very professional. This review wasn't his finest hour.

On the other hand, your position would not be any different if he played through the entire thing, you would still be trying to defend every point and making an excuse for everything.

Because you are a fanboy...and there's nothing wrong that: I envy it. I wish I could fanatically love any product with the right brand name despite its flaws. I'd probably enjoy life more.

But Yahtzee doesn't review for you, he reviews for me. You approach something like unintuitive controls or a ploddy opening and you want to excuse it, you delve deep and look for some balance explanation or further promise and try to justify it. Yahtzee reviews the experience actually playing something as someone who is hard to impress, which is exactly what I want in a review because that's how I play games. I buy and play games to be entertained, and I have no desire to waste time and invest work trying to convince myself that I'm only not enjoying something because I'm not working hard enough at it.

boholikeu:
Unfortunately, there's very little story progression during the interactive parts of the game.

It's actually not exactly like that. You make it sound like there are long winded gameplay parts with no story and then long winded sequences with no gameplay.

Final Fantasy XIII jumps between the two pretty much seamlessly, even thanks to the fact that the graphics of the gameplay parts is very similar to the cutscenes and even to the CG. While you don't have direct control during cutscenes, they pretty much melt into the gameplay parts without feeling like you have to put down the controller and go grab popcorn.

Now, I have no problem with mixed media, but why not include more story elements in the gameplay as well? What's making them hold back? I get that they think cinematics are the more emotionally powerful technique (which is something I disagree with, but whatever), but why not include thematic development in the interactive parts too?

Because there are so many small little cinematic events during the gameplay that there isn't much space left for more narrative. I'd guess. What holds them back from moving to cutscenes to other kind of media you said it yourself, it's style and personal development choice. I definitely doubt that making good cutscenes is technically more difficult or expensive than telling the story through gameplay.
It's a tradeoff that boils down to personal style.

In any case, there are plenty of gameplay sequences that are just as emotionally involved as the best cinematics, so I don't really see how you can say that and only a sentence later accuse me of not realizing that different people prefer different methods.

That's why I said that some game developers believe that, and some players agree. Those game developers make products for those players, other game developers make products for other players. Mind you, I'm lucky, I like both, more fun for me :D

Ahh Kojima... Well, I'd definitely agree with you that he's a great game developer, but I have to say that he's a pretty bad film director.

Unless you count cinematics to be a part of game design, in which case I think he's a mediocre developer.

They are part of game design, and counting what some quite famous movie directors had to say about Kojima, I'd say he's not bad at all at it.

Scrumpmonkey:

You still here?!! What are you the one person JRPG defence league?

And why are you still here? are you the yathzee defence league perchance?

I know it's mainly a matter of taste but JRPGs have many more legitimate criticsm in narrative terms than porbably every other genre combined.

That must be why they are generally referred as the best stories in the gaming field uh?

And what criticism praytell? Like the "emo boys with spikey hair and debatable fashion sense" that our little yathzee quite foolishly perpetuates? Of course you must think that the bald or near-bald bulky marine/space marine with a discipline problem and a brain as big as a nut that stars in most western-developed games is perfect, and not a cliche at all :D

They are not a write-off as a genre but they do continuously baffle me this generation just as how unlikeable most aspects of the games can be

...In your humble opinion. With which I, and many others, disagree.

even you must admot they need a kick up the arse into new territory. I get spectable. i like spectacle but when that's all you game has then it leavs most people feeling hollow and cold.

No game needs a "kick into new territory". innovation is not a necessary element to quality in a game (actually most of the times innovation for it's own sake turns into a trainwreck, as the past very aptly demonstrated, despite the fac that many refuse to learn).
There's plenty space in the industry for games that stick to their tradition, like Dragon Age did for western RPGs (being critically acclaimed for that, mind you).
There are Japanese developers that innovate, like Level 5. that turned White Knight Chronicles into a receptacle for a BIG deal of innovation to the JRPG genre, and more will come with White Knight Chronicles 2.
Other developers, exactly like Bioware did with Dragon Age, prefer to stick to their traditions and the traditions that their public likes. You don't like em? Well, though luck. You may consider the fact that you don't belong to their target and just move on. The gaming market offers plenty alternatives that you'll like even without hoping for the genre that you dislike will disappear or turn into something else.

ArmorArmadillo:

Because you are a fanboy...

I'm sorry mate, but you're quite a bit out of line, as you seem to imply that only "fanboys" can enjoy Final Fantasy XIII.
There's a much simpler (and obviously less insulting, but people love to insult on the internets) reason. And that's because I have a brain of my own, able to generate opinions of my own, that I will express and discuss in a forum that, guess what? is made for expressing opinions and discussion.

I'm so very sorry if my being here rains on Yathzee's and yours parade of hate, but yanno, if you don't like it, instead of writing in a forum where people will discuss, you can get a nice blog, fill it with your hate, and make sure that you set comments to "moderated", because yanno, if you don't someone might dare to counter your points.

But Yahtzee doesn't review for you, he reviews for me.

Nope. He reviews for himself, and the few people with tastes as hideously elitist (in a quite wrong direction) as his, and this is the pure climax of lack of professionality in gaming journalism, as for anyone else his sketches are nothing else than misinformation.
Professional journalists still manage to express their opinion without being misinformative. You see it in an unfortunately growing minority of the most flamemongering random bloggers that try to garner hits through controversy alone. Pretty despicable.

Wow thanks for the props on CT and FF6, those are great games I see people shy away from and look for games like FF7.

I think squaresoft did a great job on FF9 & FFX but after that started making half ass storylines. (oddly enough right after they became square-enix)

Nice read and very true about the Final Fantasy world. I have played Final Fantasy 13 and I could not finish 3 hours of the bloody thing.

What irks me about Yahtzee's review of XIII is that he says he didn't get far into it and all, which is fine if you're NOT reviewing it, and then stands by the claim that, "It wasn't good five hours in, which is pretty bad." Again, fine, ..if, you know, two weeks before he didn't claim that Heavy Rain gets really good later on, once you get past the incredibly boring first few hours.

He contradicts his own standards for what I can only imagine was so he could go, "Hate JRPGs hurrrrrr".. I'm not a major fan, either, but Jesus..

If you're going to review a game, review the blasted thing without any biased opinion. Besides the fact that the Crystarium is MUCH better than traditional leveling because there's no arbitrary number, you "level" what you WANT to level.

Final Fantasy XIII is much like any of the past Final Fantasy games, it has a deep and brilliant plot and it IS involving. If you're so up yourself that you don't care enough to see and -want- a closure to the whole l'Cie/fal'Cie, Pulse/Cocoon thing, then that's not my problem. I'm going to be over here actually enjoying a game for once in a long time.

Fallout 3 was SHIT with the whole lame plot about WATER and having to traverse FUCKING THOUSANDS OF KILOMETERS!.. Ugh.. I like my battle system where I can select commands. Full strategic, not quite. I don't just want to see chess pieces moving back and forth around. XIII's battles are intense and involving. USE the Paradigm Shift, USE the Eidolons. Sheesh..

Sgt. Sykes:
Seriously, this is wrong. Yahtzee doesn't like JRPGs. Whatever.

The point is, SOME PEOPLE LIKE THAT SORT OF THING. I could write a ton of articles why Bioshock sucks and doesn't make sense, but what freakin' for? Some people like it, who am I to convince them the game is crap? No, I haven't played FFXIII. The last FF I've played was VIII and I liked it. Devil May Cry 4 is one of the few games I've actually finished from the last 50 I've bought, I can also enjoy Dragon Ball Z or other Japanese stuff.

And frankly, I'll rather play Final Fantasy than any of the artistic, independent/anarchistic look-at-the-intelligent-level-design games Yahtzee keeps propagating.

DragonBall Z is shit. I don't know why people watch that crap. Next thing you'll say is that Death Note is a good cartoon. It's not. It's an audiobook.

But yes, you're right, some people like BAD games just because they're japanese or whatever. Hell a buddy is one of the biggest FF nerds on the planet, he was waiting and waiting for FF13 and when it finally came out he said it was crap. Reviews on the Run gave FF13 lousy scores, 6/10. I've not heard good things about it, but then again I've never played a FF game.

I think Yahtzee's problem with modern JRPGs is that they're not very interactive. That and there's a big disconnect between the game and cinematics. That and the fact that they're not very good games. Obviously Yahtzee has liked JRPGs in the past, that's the point of this column, so when he doesn't like modern ones it's not a reflection on JRPGs in general but on modern JRPGs. Ie, to say that the current trend is no longer appealing.

Personally the lack of connectivity is a problem I had with Star Craft. Everyone thinks Starcraft is like, the best RTS ever made or some crap. I'd play the game, have like 20 Mutalisks or whatever and a few guys then it goes to some cutscene, and the sky is blackened with ships and bugs and it's some huge ass battle that doesn't resemble the game at all. It's like "okay, I guess that's SORT OF what I'm doing in the game, except, completely not".

Bioshock wasn't that hot either. Just a corridor crawl with boring samey-same enemies and easy boss fights that you could tackle at a time of your own choosing.

[/quote]Nope. He reviews for himself, and the few people with tastes as hideously elitist (in a quite wrong direction) as his, and this is the pure climax of lack of professionality in gaming journalism, as for anyone else his sketches are nothing else than misinformation.
Professional journalists still manage to express their opinion without being misinformative. You see it in an unfortunately growing minority of the most flamemongering random bloggers that try to garner hits through controversy alone. Pretty despicable.[/quote]

I think you're missing the point of Yahtzee, entirely, it is supposed to be funny, it makes fun of many of the more popular genres today, power armored space marine, and the jrpg alike. Of course he is going to biased you're biased, I'm biased, everyone has a bias, it's part of being human, a reviewer can only try his best to ignore his own bias, while reviewing anything, there are many examples where so called "professional" art reviewers have praised nonexistent artists because they were to proud to admit they had never heard of them before. Anyhow I await your rebuttal with baited breath; today I shall revel in my own verbose state.

I blame Final Fantasy's decline on Tetsuya Nomura. It seems that everytime I see his name on anything related to Final Fantasy, it's a crap fest. And don't get me started with Kingdom Hearts and The World Ends With You.

I never finished Chrono Trigger, either. But I sure liked it over any Final Fantasy game. Even Super Mario RPG was great. I thought of it as an JPRG for beginners but it was still enjoyable, nontheless.

Argh I have to agree with you but you cant blame the Japanese for making more mainstream games now. They know the big money is selling to America and Europe and have to conform to our tastes. I really hope the Japanese RPG starts to kick off again as they offer something so different to what we expect. And know once cannot disagree that the latest Final Fantasy visually is stunning and very different that what we normally see.

The bottom line is that until Yahtzee develops an appreciation for Turn based combat and stat management (which I doubt he ever will), I imagine he'll never really appreciate RPGs much in general as he pretty much blasts even Final Fantasy VI (3) for turn based combat when arguably the battle system was a big part of it's appeal.

Hey, turn based combat is not for everyone. Basically as soon as you talk about "why can't I pitchfork someone while they are rolling for initiative?" your missing the point. In a turn based combat system the basic idea is that everything is supposed to be happening simultaneously, however it's broken down into turns and showing actions/defenses individually so the stats as opposed to player reflexes and such determine the outcome.

Now yeah, playing "Spread Sheet Adventurer" is not everyone's cup of tea, but leveling up, assigning skills, and similar things are exactly what appeals to me. The more complicated and involved the better for the most part. The fun being seeing what I set up happen... and really some people don't just get that, which is fine, and why they make differant kinds of games.

I don't knock shooters that badly for the most part despite playing them occasionally, and truthfully it would be nice if the anti-RPG crowd would engage in similar courtasy even if they also play them occasionally.

That said, I do tend to agree that Final Fantasy XIII is a mess, because even as an RPG fan I don't have much to manage (less than pretty much any other Final Fantasy game to date).

For those that have read this far, I think "Final Fantasy XIII" should be being compared to "Heavy Rain" to be honest, as to me both are the results of the entire "interactive movie" type mentality which I had hoped died out. Both games being obsessed with the spectacle of the thing, and less on the actual gameplay, despite being differant generes. With "Heavy Rain" it's basically an action/exploration game without much action or exploration. With "Final Fantasy XIII" it's pretty much an RPG without the number management, or exploration.

In both games you pretty much just follow the story, and hit a bunch of buttons when told. I do NOT blame the RPG genere, as much as I blame the game designers who still think that this is a good idea despite the fact that we've already seen this entire "Interactive Movie" thing come and die once already (back when the CD Rom was "new" for computers).

Such are my thoughts.

JRPGs just make me angry when i play them, cos they're so frigin confusing to follow and just aren't enjoyable to play, i'd rather have something like Fallout 3 or Far Cry 2.

He didn't get far in because the game bored him so much that he could not play on and he even said that in the review.

T_ConX:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
...and I don't care what any official media says, if Vanille is over 16 I will suffocate myself with a miniskirt

As both a fan of spectacle, and someone who played more then the first five hours, I feel obliged to point out that...

Hmm, I hate to see yahtzee go, but somehow this seams like a poetic death.

Ok, I will agree that FFVI is the best FF ever made. My problem here is that Yatzee seems to be giving the people who do like the game shit for the sake of giving them shit for daring to play any FF past VI. Lastly, the first sentence seemed rather pretentious to me. "...If you claim to have enjoyed playing Final Fantasy XIII, then you are wrong." Um. Well. That's a matter of opinion, isn't it? Who are you to say that someone is wrong for enjoying playing a game? It is a game after all, no matter how you view it.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
So saying that you 'play' FFXIII is like standing in the middle of a river and claiming to be the all-powerful master of water. No, you're not, you're just an idiot with wet trousers...

But who doesn't want to be the guy standing in the middle of the river, actually believing that they're the master of water, as opposed to some overweight middle aged guy bitterly disapproving from the sidelines ?

Chrono Trigger! What a coincidence, right now I'm playing through it on the DS for the first time. I've just unlocked the pendant's power to open those silly mysterious chests and doors. But what do I do with it now?

Also, LAAAVVVOOOOOSSSSSSS!!!!

/fistshaking

Final Fantasy 1-6. Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Zelda, Phantasy Star 3 & 4, Crusader of Centy, Tales of Phantasia, Star Ocean, Hydlide....

American PC games made to look & funcion exactly like them:
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ahriman's Prophecy (free)
Arcuz.
Arvale: Treasure of Memories.
Asguaard.
Aveyond.
Aveyond 2.
Aveyond 3: Lord of the Twilight.
Aveyond 3: The Lost Orb.
Aveyond 3: Gates of Night.
Blades of Heaven.
ButaVX (free)
Dark Souls.
Dark Souls 2.
Dawn's Light.
Dawns Light 2: A Christmas Tale.
DreamScape.
Eschalon Book 1.
Eternal Eden.
Eternal Twilight.
Hero's Tale Enhanced.
Kara's Quest.
King's Quest 1.
Last Heroes.
Laxius Force.
Laxius Force 2.
Laxius Power 1 (free)
Laxius Power 2 (free)
Laxius Power 3 (free)
Legie.
Lily & Sasha: Curse of the Immortal.
Millenium: A New Hope.
Millenium 2: Take Me Higher.
Mardek 1 (free)
Mardek 2 (free)
Mardek 3 (coming soon).
Morning's Wraith.
Pinnacle: The Witch Hunt Begins.
The Way 1 (free)
The Way 2 (free)
The Way 3 (free)
The Way 4 (free)
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The Way 6 (free)
Unseen World.
Whisper of a Rose (Gold).

Yey!
I hate things I am ignorant about too!
Before any of you 'people' think ignorance is an insult, it isn't, look it up.
I think this vs was more about producing hate then trying to have any meaningful ideas.
I think he should be put on probation for 3 days.

Abriael:
Because there are so many small little cinematic events during the gameplay that there isn't much space left for more narrative. I'd guess. What holds them back from moving to cutscenes to other kind of media you said it yourself, it's style and personal development choice. I definitely doubt that making good cutscenes is technically more difficult or expensive than telling the story through gameplay.
It's a tradeoff that boils down to personal style.

See, the "it's their personal style" argument just sounds like a cop-out to me. Style choices like that (where you take away from something) are typically made for a specific reason. To go back to the movie analogy, if a movie chooses to focus its narrative primarily through either sound or visual information, it usually adds some greater meaning to the overall work. If it doesn't people generally consider it a flaw because otherwise there's no reason for a director not to focus on both aspects of film making. Same goes for games and interactive. If you're going to mainly tell a video game narrative through non-interactive sequences you better have a pretty good reason why you aren't also doing it through gameplay. For example, one could argue that Uncharted has such a cinematic focus because it's actually an homage to action movies like Indiana Jones. That makes sense because it's a pretty specific stylistic reason, but how does leaving the narrative out of gameplay in FF games enrich them? Certainly progressing the story in both cinematics and gameplay would add more meaning to the work as a whole, right? If you can come up with a stylistic reason why they wouldn't want to include story in the gameplay I'd be happy to change my mind about "cinematic" JRPGs, but as it stands it seems more likely they are just continuing an outdated convention that was born from the technological limits of old consoles.

They are part of game design, and counting what some quite famous movie directors had to say about Kojima, I'd say he's not bad at all at it.

What'd they have to say about him? I'll admit his action scenes are quite good, but the rest are pretty horrible...

No game needs a "kick into new territory". innovation is not a necessary element to quality in a game (actually most of the times innovation for it's own sake turns into a trainwreck, as the past very aptly demonstrated, despite the fac that many refuse to learn).
There's plenty space in the industry for games that stick to their tradition, like Dragon Age did for western RPGs (being critically acclaimed for that, mind you).
There are Japanese developers that innovate, like Level 5. that turned White Knight Chronicles into a receptacle for a BIG deal of innovation to the JRPG genre, and more will come with White Knight Chronicles 2.
Other developers, exactly like Bioware did with Dragon Age, prefer to stick to their traditions and the traditions that their public likes. You don't like em? Well, though luck. You may consider the fact that you don't belong to their target and just move on. The gaming market offers plenty alternatives that you'll like even without hoping for the genre that you dislike will disappear or turn into something else.

Actually people are moving on. Like I mentioned before JRPGs are becoming more and more of a niche genre, with only the truly innovative titles (or really big names like FF) doing well outside of Japan.

Whenever a new ZP comes out, I see if the game is a popular one and what number of comments have been posted; if it's a popular/hot game Yahtzee will more often than not be quite cruel and this will prompt an endless parade of butthurt posters claiming they stopped liking Yahtzee when he dissed their favorite games.

Christ.

Totally agree with your picks here. FF6 and Chrono Trigger are probably two of my favorite RPGS, if not games, of all time. When RPG's went in to the realm of 3D, something was lost, and I'm not entirely sure what exactly or why. You explained very well how FF6 managed to be simple yet grand, and I don't think many games new or old are able to accomplish that. Although, I'm playing FFIX for the first time right now and I'm enjoying it a lot. If you manage to ignore that the main protagonist looks like a prepubescent HSN doll during the cutscenes, it's actually a pretty fun game.

I'm probably going to make myself more unpopular than I am already by saying I liked it. It isn't a pick up and play game you need to relay immerse yourself in the story to start to like it, the more you do so the more it grows on you (yes like a growth...). Seriously though the characters seem incredibly unlikeable in the early parts of the game, but as you get deeper under their skin they become less and less annoying.

As for the linearity I agree it is a terrible system, but once you get past chapter 9ish it starts to open up into a much more diverse and free world. I know that isn't an excuse for the bad design choices early enough in game (which at certain points relay did get frustrating).Despite this if you are willing to drag yourself through the tedious grinding, and insanely hard bosses there are some relay ausome moments made even better through the hard work needed to get to them.

If you can't stand FF13 I recommend you watch the first nine chapters cut scenes on you tube, if you start to like the characters then it will be worth it. If not its not you just aren't the type of person that will enjoy this game. Personal I found once I got into the twenty minute long boss fights I started to enjoy it. The fights become almost an emotional cycle from agh how an I going to beat this to ooh I could win with AGH NOO moments, ending in a wooo!!! moment. Basically its a hard game to get into, but once you do it will reward you for it.

PiCroft:
Whenever a new ZP comes out, I see if the game is a popular one and what number of comments have been posted; if it's a popular/hot game Yahtzee will more often than not be quite cruel and this will prompt an endless parade of butthurt posters claiming they stopped liking Yahtzee when he dissed their favorite games.

Christ.

No-one should take a commic reviewer that seriously; if people did no-one would buy anything. I diddent like Psyconought and liked Brútal legend for example. Anyone who gets worked up about oppinons probly needs to chill out XD

Well, I can agree with Yahtzee on this one and this comes from a ex-fan of series.

Final Fantasy may be decent as a story but not as a game because there isn't THAT much of a game to begin with. You spend much of time watching cut scenes about characters who all seem have a connection to someone from a pervious game. Also, while talking about the characters, none of them seem to be likeable and in a game that is nearly a story likeable characters are a must.

You can say that it gets good later on but really playing a game is like meeting a person, the first impression is important. If getting to the fun parts takes more than two hours than that is just bad design and not a good style choice at all because not many people want to wait that long. The best kind of game is one that draws you in quickly and the best kind of story is one that don't have to skip the start of and one that doesn't start at the middle.

I've seen some really good example's of good RPGS, one being the Breath of Fire series because you start at the start of the events and you develop an idea of what is going on. Also, if one has to have a slow starting game then do it the Obilvion/Fallout 3 way, give the player a reason behind the slow start.

I know this is a long rant but this is the best way for explaining the issues with JRPGs like Final Fantasy, in my view at least.

EDIT: Also, FF has got an over the top story because it's not expalined from the start, with Lord of the Rings there was a BASIC understanding what was happening and of who was behind. SOmeone said Fallout 3's story was bad, but at least you know the basic's!

The problem with FF XIII is pretty simple; It's a game that sheds pretty much everything in the name of "we're going to tell you a damn fine story!" and then...completely fails to follow through on the "damn fine story" part. The battle system is minimalist, and the only other ways the player interacts with the game is an overblown and stupid character levelling system and an unremarkable item "levelling" system.

All this would have been fundamentally forgivable if we'd cared about the characters and found the story leaving us wondering what's going to happen next. Instead we have a confused mess of a plot with characters that you can't understand who are, frankly, pretty dang annoying until you've dealt with them for 15+ hours. That's inexcusable in a game that jettisons so much in the way of gameplay.

If FF13 had an awesome combat system (Sorry, it doesn't) that started out fast and only got better, then it would be forgivable that the story takes a while to get going (Aside: I -still- don't care, and I'm basically done with the game.) but when you say "We're cutting towns, sidequests, exploring, and any real control over battles so we can give you a good story!" you bloody well better deliver on the story. And they didn't. And even with the tedious blob that is the story, they -could- have salvaged it with an endearing cast, but they botched that too - if the whole party had been as cool as Sazh, then, you know, I'd have cheerfully played through it anyway, because I would've been entertained by the character interactions, even if the plot was meh and the combat was mediocre.

Fundamentally, the problem is that FF13 fails to hit any of the three pillars of CRPG design square on - the story isn't anything to write home about, the game mechanics are bland, and the characters take 20 hours to grow out of "God shut up already." None of the aspects are terrible, but neither are any of them -good-. And without doing well in at least one of those three areas, there's really not much to recommend the game at all, beyond the fact that it is Really Pretty(tm).

Can the JRPG be done properly? Absolutely the hell yes. It has happened as recently as Persona 4 (2008), which, frankly, sweeps every western offering from the past five years completely aside in terms of character development, plotting, and atmosphere, while maintaining a number of engaging game play mechanics. What hasn't been proved yet and really needs to be is that the JRPG can be done properly on current gen hardware, because none of the offerings currently in that space go beyond "pretty decent" (Tales of Vesperia) and most of them haven't even gotten that far, with several outright sucking (I'm looking at you, Infinite Undiscovery.) I was looking forward to FF13 because it really COULD have been the game to show everyone (again) why JRPGs are awesome, because, frankly, there are too many posts here from people who only played FF games and are now saying "Geez, this genre sucks now."

"Beat it to the rush to give me money" i might jsut have 2 do that...

I can't be bothered to wade through all 12 pages of this thread to find out if somebody has mentioned this but one game (well, two) I played that apparently is JRPG style is the Penny Arcade game On the rain-slick precipice of Darkness. While I had little knowledge of Penny Arcade before I played (I knew of them basically, "Gabe's thick, Tycho is verbose" pretty much summed up my knowledge) I found the game really, really fun. The story was simple enough as was the gameplay but over all, for a small budget game (with turn-based combat and story conveyed either in text or in cutscenes, hence a JRPG supposedly).

Sadly the series is apparently over as the dev (hothead games) ran out of money but I just thought I'd mention it as how to make them fun.

Some JRPG's are good but it's hard to find one that is realy good

I know it's not much of a jrpg, but what about Shadow of the Colossus. and why hasn't he made a video review of it?

I know this is a month late, because honestly I didn't know that he wrote columns on here. I was completely shocked when I heard him say that he actually enjoyed FFVI. Not only because he said he enjoyed a turn-based JRPG that I consider one of my all-time favorite games, but FFVI has often been overshadowed by games like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 7. I'm glad that he pointed out that the characters were expressive and the plot was grandiose. I would argue that tha amnesia part is really not that bad, because it does make sense with the plot, since she was controlled by the Empire, and the main aspect of the story is revealing the secrets that Kefka uses to gain power later in the game.

I would also argue that, while Chrono Trigger's story is easy to understand, and perhaps its combat is better, FFVI's storytelling quality is above it, and I would argue that versus every game he mentioned. It is straightforward, as any good story should be, but it's not entirely simple. The other games have a lot of style and humor that is respectable, but they don't have plots that are as well executed.

Maybe I'm wrong, or perhaps weird, but I play RPGs because of the experience, immersion, and storytelling. Much like the point-and-click adventure games, it's all about interacting with the world, instead of completing the level or beating the boss. All I'm saying is that there's a place for both.

Abriael:

This might sound like me hyperbolically overstating things for comic effect again, but if you claim to have enjoyed playing Final Fantasy XIII, then you are wrong. Because I don't think you can use the word 'playing' in this context. Final Fantasy XIII is more like something you 'watch', or 'are subjected to'. For the lion's share of the game the only real input the player has is during battles (and even that's a loose and uninvolving input)

Yes, it sounds like you hyperbolically overstating things for controversy effect.
Or more because you're bent over so many people calling you on the fact that your "review" of FFXIII was misinformative on so many levels, that I'd define it more of a disjointed rant than anything else.

So be it, i will cave in and respond to your plea for attention.

I enjoyed and Enjoy Final Fantasy XIII, at the moment i'm savoring the open endedness that's chapter 11 fully, on my 117th hour of gameplay. And mind you, you're no one to say that I'm "wrong".

I never once felt, during the game, as I wasn't in control. Maybe because I wasn't so biased against it and I actually took the few minutes necessary to read the tutorials (you look like you didn't) and master the Paradigm Shift system, that is very complex, tactical, and requires a good deal of tactic and forward-thinking to use to it's full extent.

You say you're not in control? Really? What is "being in control" like? In games it normally means that the game puts a problem in front of you, and you have to solve such problem through input.
Even during the most linear parts, Final Fantasy XIII puts enemies in front of you, and you have to decide how to kill them. That's the very definition of being "in control".

And by the way, God forbid a game not forcing the gamer to mindlessly mash buttons randomly over and over! Tactical approach is the devil! I seriously wonder what you thought of Battle Chess...

Funny, though, that you continue to rant about the alleged "fashion sense" of Final Fantasy characters, given that not counting Vanille's skirt, the characters in Final Fantasy XIII all wear some fairly normal and practical outfits. Makes me wonder if you paid actually paid attention during those meager 5 hours.
To be further honest, I've been wonder if you DID play those 5 hours, or simply mashed together a few misiformed opinions read somewhere.

Seriously, do yourself a favor, Yatzhee, don't defend your "review" further. You're just digging yourself in deeper.
Your personal fanboys will like you anyway, though, don't worry. Now that you're feeling reassured and validated again you can move on to the next game you'll bash.

You are, unequivocally, wrong.

You are barely in control. Around hour 15 you actually get to choose your party for the first time. Around hour 22, you get to the first, and only, area that isn't a hallway. The game does not, as many say, "open up" later on. There is one field. You go through it to continue down the hallway to the end of the game. If you're so inclined, you can go down two or three other, optional hallways that branch off of the singular field. In this "opening up" of the game, you have all the exciting "control" of being able to run long distances to fight the same 20 monster models all over again. What an adventure!

As far as the battles are concerned, again, you're wrong. You, as the player, again, barely have control. You actually tell one out of three fighters what to do. The others, you give general suggestions. It might be much more productive for a certain fight if, say, while I'm controlling Lightning, Hope first casts bravery or faith. But he won't! Even if I have him set in the proper buffing mode, he has his own priority of buffs. Same thing with every paradigm. No matter what might be optimal for a given situation, you only control one character. The other two have general ideas of what you want them to do. That is not control, it's suggestion.

The paradigms themselves are limiting. The abilities you have, regardless of what you've learned, are set by which paradigm you're in. Ravager Lightning completely forgot all of the healing spells she knew a moment ago. You can't even change individual characters on the fly! You have to change the whole group. It might be best in some fight to suddenly have one character be defensive, do some healing, or start buffing. Well, hope you programmed that paradigm as one of your six choices with the other two staying in your preferred role! It's incredibly limiting.

Funny how you call him a fanboy while you're the one with your lips planted firmly on the cheeks of a game that, without the name recognition, would be even more well regarded as garbage.

Abriael:
In any case, since Vanille is WAY over 16 (and you would have known if you, you know... played the game), will you do what you promised with that miniskirt Yatzhee?

Epic fail is epic.

So someone who is physically, emotionally, and mentally a child but existed as some form, without thought or function, for centuries you would consider to be ancient? You're being obstinate for its own sake.

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